Monday, September 29, 2014

Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf (Santa's Izzy Elves #4) Book Review

I was given an e-copy of this children's book for my honest review, which I've shared below.

Title: Frizzy the S.A.D. Elf (Santa’s Izzy Elves #4) |  Author: Dorothea Jensen  |  Illustrator: Shayne Hood  |Publication Date: August 2, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 34 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 10

My Book Review:

The author did a wonderful job with creating such an entertaining holiday rhyming story for children to enjoy! The illustrations are simple and compliment the story. 

I'm not a hundred percent sure what lesson the author was trying to teach. At first, I thought it was how easy it is for people to get attached to their creations. I know I do! I have the hardest time selling my hand painted wine glasses. But once I do, it brings so much joy to me to see someone else really appreciating my creative art piece. In this story, the solution in the end, didn't reflect that. Instead, Frizzy got to keep one of her dolls.

Even though there wasn't a clear learning lesson, it still is such a cute rhyming story that brings a different spin to one of Santa's elves lives. Kids love Christmas stories! Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf is a great Christmas gift!

Santa’s Izzy Elves have won a number of literary awards.  Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf received Honorable Mention in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards and has been Story Book Approved.  Plus, the e-book editions of Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf and Blizzy, the Worrywart Elf both received the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award, honoring “the best in family-friendly media”.

Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf is available for purchase

Amazon (Paperback)  | Amazon (Kindle) |  Barnes & Noble

Friday, September 19, 2014

Spooky and Fun Halloween Decorating Ideas for Inside Your House

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, especially decorating my house! We have two floors that we decorate - the main floor and basement. On the main floor, we keep it light and fun, so little kids can still enjoy. For our basement, we metamorph it into a Haunted House! This is our fifth year of making our basement into a spooky Haunted House to share with family friends.

First, some musts to make the inside of your house spooktacular!

 I just love Michaels Arts and Crafts Lemax Spooky Town collection and so do all my kids! My kids and their friends stand there forever enjoying it. We have a witch riding a bike. Skeletons dancing. Another skeleton driving a hearse. And more!

There is also a Lemax Spooky Town collection on

This year I purchased a spooky house collectible from Michaels Lemax Spooky Town Collection called Dead Man's Cabin! It lights up. The fence that I put around it was a separate item in the collection.
In my dining room, I have the butler. He's a 5ft standing Bobblehead Reaper with sound effects that I purchased from Home Depot. Only $59.98.  It's a great deal compared to the one's at SpiritHalloween. He talks, his eyes light up and his head bobbles up and down. He's so life like. He's also very easy to put together.

I also have a punch bowl, candles, and various potions that I purchased at Michaels Arts and Crafts too. Michaels has weekly coupons you can find on the web and they also take competitors coupons.

Lights and fabric drape are another must! I purchased the colorful ceramic books and the sparkly word signs from Michaels. The skeletons I purchased from Party City and  Walmart.

Oh, and the string-light purple hanging gauze garland you see in the picture, was purchased from Target for $10.00.

(Not in the picture) I used black creepy cloth as curtains for my windows in this room.

Okay, I just love these two animal skeletons. They are so fun and really add character to my room which used to just have your ordinary skeletons.

This is the first year that I've seen them. The skeleton dog retails for $39.99.  I purchased it from SpiritHalloween. The skeleton cat I bought at Target for $24.99. Both are a little pricey but they are such a great addition!

I signed up for SpiritHalloween emails and was able to get a coupon! Also, when your delivery arrives they include a 20% coupon off a single item on your next purchase.

Knick-knacks add so much character to creating a fun and lively room. I stuck black roses in a vase, which you can pick up at Party City, Target, and SpiritHalloween. I also purchased some fun knick-knacks at Kirklands and Michaels.

Additional props and decorations include skeletons, spooky Halloween signs, foam grave stones, framed art work that lights up, pictures that change appearance depending on where you are standing, and animated pieces are another fun addition. Below are several that I've hung up. The BEWARE sign will be leading guests to the Haunted House, which I will share in another post as I start decorating it. You can purchase the below at stores like Walmart, SpiritHalloween, Party City, and  

My all time MUSTS for decorating the inside and outside of your house is having lots of skeletons and grave stones! 

Have fun decorating and please share the spooky pieces you've included in your home!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Society Devaluing Children With Type One Diabetes

It's almost been three years since my daughter Madison was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I knew there was going to be challenges in her life, especially with managing her blood glucose levels. But I never imagined the lack of support and understanding by some in society.  This past summer, several people made comments like, "Maybe it's better if she's not in AIG (Academically or Intellectually Gifted Program). This way it is easier;" (easier on who? no matter if she's in AIG or not, her life will never be simply easy) or "If she were my daughter, I wouldn't put her under so much stress by having her in AIG," (first, she wants to be in AIG. second, stress is part of life and she needs to learn to deal with it no matter what age she is.) "Perhaps she should play recreational soccer, instead of competitive soccer because it's less stressful and it's more flexible." (not sure what world this guy lives in, but athletic games and tournaments will always entail some form of stress. and as she gets older, she is going to have to compete for jobs etc.)

I was blown away by their words, specifically the word easier. What about overcoming all odds? What about helping her reach her potential? What about looking at her true ability and being an advocate to help her succeed?

On top of it, this is what she wants and she is willing to deal with the stress that comes with succeeding and achieving her dreams.

Children with type one diabetes should be given the opportunity to succeed and perform their best at whatever they do. If they are smart enough to be in AIG's then create an environment that allows them to do so. If they are talented enough to play competitive soccer, help them make it happen. Especially if that is what they want.

I've never once thought that Madison couldn't do anything she put her mind to, even with having type one diabetes. Yes, it's not going to be as easy as someone who doesn't have her disease. But if she puts her mind to it, I truly believe she and any person living with type one diabetes can accomplish anything they put their mind too. They shouldn't be left out of success, even if it comes with more stress or they have to face competition.

Children with type one diabetes shouldn't be pushed to live an easier, less competitive life. They should be pushed and motivated to be the best at whatever they chose to do. And society should support them in the process.

Please share your stories of where someone suggested that you and / or your child take the easy road.

Isabella babysits Baxter
Available October 27th
in bookstores and online

Sing-Along Construction Song Book Review

I was given a copy of this children's book for my honest review, which I've shared below.

Author: Louise Lintvel

Illustrator: Julie Sneeden
Publication Date: August 11, 2014
Publisher: Independent
Page Count: 32
Recommended Age: 1 to 5 years old

Free audio download of the construction song available at

My Book Review:
This children's book is colorfully illustrated and fun to read! And the audio song that accompanies it is such a wonderful compliment. 

I read the book first, and then listened to the audio song that came with it. Right after, I shared it with my two year old daughter. It kept her fully entertained. In fact, within seconds of the audio song playing, she got up and started to dance (smiling from ear to ear). Once it was finished, I had her sit by my side, listening to me read the story to her and allowing her to look at the pictures on each page.  Both kept her attention.

The song reminds me of Thomas the Train. It's fun and simple, with a catchy beat. The illustrations were perfect for this age. They were colorful and kid-like.

There was one part of the book which I wasn't a huge fan of and that was the way the text was shown (mom view versus a kid view). On every page, the text was placed within a box that was supposed to look like it was underground. However, it actually made me think of ancient scroll paper, giving it an ancient time feel. That being said I don't feel it has any affect on any boy and girl construction enthusiasts enjoyment of the story and illustrations. 

As such, I give this book a 5 Star! 

About Author Louise Lintvelt  

Louise Lintvelt
I am from South Africa and I live in a city called Pretoria. I am a Chemical Engineer by day and a children’s book writer by night. I am married to a wonderful man and we have a beautiful two year old daughter called Allegra. I love writing stories for my daughter, who is a constant inspiration. 
I have always loved reading. My childhood was filled with books and you would often find me crouched the corner of my room devouring the pages of my favourite book. I lived for Tuesday mornings as this would bring with it the excitement of a trip to the local library for story hour and the opportunity to take home a new book. I was the local librarian’s worst nightmare. I would arrive a few minutes early to check that she had not mistakenly chosen a book that had already been read in story hour.
I was a very bossy three year old with an insatiable appetite for books! This has not really changed much in the last twenty seven years. Dr. Seuss was my absolute favourite and to say that my copy of One, Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish was well read would be an understatement.

When it comes to writing, my daughter is my biggest inspiration. I love seeing her face light up with excitement when we sit down to read a book before bedtime. My daughter was fascinated by giraffes after we went on a safari trip in late 2012. This planted the seed for my picture book called How Andrew Got His Spots which is a rhyming adaptation of a story I originally wrote in the third grade. My daughter has since grown into a healthy two year old with a passion for aircraft which was the inspiration for writing Goodnight, Sleep Tight, What a Wonderful Flight.

I am sure that there are many parents in the world (myself included), who are quite decidedly sick and tired of reading the same favourite picture book night after night. I believe that the words of Oscar Wilde best describe how children should feel about picture books when he said, If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.
Happy Reading!

Website  |  Goodreads 

Amazon Author Page  |  Author Blog  |  Google+

Thursday, September 04, 2014

ASTROLOGY NEWS: Pluto Goes Direct With Transforming Power

Pluto goes direct in the sign of Capricorn September 22, 2014. Pluto is slow at creating change. It makes you feel. It causes some to hit rock bottom so they are forced to change old habits and ways.

On a global level, the United States and it's allies need to join forces, uniting for a common cause -- PEACE! And it has to happen now! With Pluto going direct in the sign of Capricorn, the USA has to be practical with its decisions, yet move forward strong and confidently. This is a time to transform the world and not let the bad guys become the transformers.

In addition, the energy of the country starting this fall and over the next four years is similar to when Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan were in the Presidential office, making me believe that a Republican will become the next President of the United States.  

On a personal level, as Pluto turns direction, let bygones be bygones. Forgive and move on. Let go of the past, because it cannot be changed. 

Things to watch out for as Pluto turns direction September 24th.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse are big subjects when Pluto changes direction. Do not drink and drive!
  • Manipulation is another area.
  • Depression usually reveals itself. Those who are prone to have depression need to make sure they take their meds or see their therapist if things are feeling a little out of control.
  • Watch out being overly stubborn and fixated.
  • Count to ten to keep better control of your temper or go for a walk.