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Book Review: The Picky Eater

The Picky Eater is about Piper. Otherwise she is a good student and a great little pig. But she is NOT a good eater – because she will only eat food that starts with the letter P! Her parents try to give her other things to eat but she always refuses. If they ask her to take 5 bites that is all she will take.  Then she tells them what she would have preferred instead, that starts with a P.  Rice should be Pasta. Apples should be Pears!  Finally her Mother had enough and told her that if she didn’t want to eat she didn’t have to but she had to be silent. By Friday she started to try new foods because she was so hungry!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

For ages: 4-7

Piper is a picky piglet! Especially when it comes to food. She prefers foods that begin with the letter P. Can she overcome her picky eating habits?

Author Bio:

Betsy grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, she has taught Kindergarten in five different states. She loves her morning runs and traveling during summer. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband two daughters.

Book Review: Make Your Own Ice Cream

I have never made my own ice cream outside of Science class in High School and somehow ours came out tasting really salty.   Make Your Own Ice Cream includes classic recipes for Ice Cream, Sorbet, Italian Ice, Sherbet and Other Frozen Desserts. The recipes all have very few ingredients, but the actual making of the ice cream seems to be a bit advanced – double boilers, using frying pans… I am not sure that I am ready for that kind of work, but some of these flavors do sound delicious! It starts out with Philadelphia Creams, then Neapolitan Creams, Ice Creams from Condensed Milk – that comes with a warning that these are not as good as those made from raw cream, Frozen Puddings and Desserts, Water Ices and Sherbets or Sorbets, Frozen Fruits, Frappes Parfaits and Mousses, and finally Sauces for Ice Creams.

I wouldn’t recommend reading this book if you are hungry! I liked that there were so many recipes included, but I would have liked to see some photos. Either of making the recipes or of the finished products, or some combination of both.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Updated for modern kitchens, this vintage book of ice cream recipes offers a mouthwatering selection of frozen treats that’s sure to include something for everyone. In addition to dozens of different types of ice cream and sherbet, the recipes cover frozen puddings, soufflés, parfaits, and mousses as well as tasty toppings. Numerous dairy-free options include sorbets, Italian ices, and fruit ices. Easy-to-find ingredients range from a variety of fruits and nuts to the traditional flavors of chocolate and vanilla. Brief explanations identify the differences between ices, sorbet, and sherbet and offer general instructions for making frozen desserts.
Author Sarah Tyson Rorer (1849–1937), founder of the Philadelphia School of Cookery, was a pioneer of domestic science. Educator, author, editor, radio show host, magazine columnist, dietician, and lecturer, her emphasis on healthy eating was instrumental in the creation of the field of hospital dietetics. Her classic recipes, which are ideal for inexperienced dessert-makers, are compatible with modern ice cream machines.

Book Review: Crochet Loom Blooms

Ahh, Crochet. Something that I always say I want to learn to do but never do anything with it beyond reading books about it and looking at the pretty pictures.  This time I am reading all about how to make various crochet flowers.  The book contains 30 fabulous flowers and projects.  Most of these flowers are done with a loom, which might be a bit easier for me to figure out… even though it features a handful of different kinds of looms.  It then goes in to talk about what kinds of yarns you should use as well as colors – this page was especially interesting because it showed the same flower made with 12(!) different color sets and they all looked wildly different from each other.  Then it goes into different techniques for different flowers.  BRB, buying myself a loom, these are all so pretty!!!! It also features some crochet techniques as well.  These all go over my head but there are photos included with the instructions so if you have any idea what you are doing it should be easy to follow the stitching instructions.  Then you can join everything together to make really fun flowery things like doilies or I suppose even blankets if you have enough flowers made!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Discover the blossoming trend of flower looming! It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s fun, and with a bit of crochet you can create a stunning collection of 30 flower motifs. In Crochet Loom Blooms, you’ll find everything you need to get you started including:
Step-by-step guide to using a flower loom, plus detailed illustrations on crochet stitches that bring your flowers to life.30 unique flower motifs in a variety of shapes and styles–from simple and lacy to dense, multi-layers foliage, Crochet Loom Blooms has it all.5 fabulous projects and valuable tips and tricks from best-selling author Haafner Linssen that will have your home bursting with crochet loom blooms in no time!A garden of delight, you’ll find yourself referencing Crochet Loom Blooms time again whether looking for specific instruction or a dose of inspiration.

Book Review: Amazing Origami Boxes

Amazing Origami Boxes includes 20 origami models with instructions and diagrams. There are some really cool ones included – I can tell just from the cover!  The book starts with the biography of Tomko Fuse – “the queen of modular origami” who wrote this book and came up with these amazing designs.  The book has 3 degrees of difficulty – Medium, Medium to Advanced and Advanced. Each one is noted by 1, 2 or 3 dots.  There are also guides to the different kinds of folds that you will find in the instructions.  All of these designs seem to be a bit over my head, so I guess I am not quite at “Medium” level yet – probably still a “beginner”.  The basket with triangular handles looks amazing, I thought the cube box was awesome – then I turned the page and there was a DOUBLE cube box… My mind is blown. And the Tulip cup and Rose box may be some of the pretties origami I’ve ever seen. Makes me wish I had some paper to try it out – even though I know I would end up failing miserably.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Simple but unique, an origami box represents the thoughts and feelings of its maker. Between the pleasure of paperfolding and the satisfaction of having a handmade item to use (or give!), the box forms a positive association for the maker (and between the giver and recipient). In this guide, origami master Tomoko Fuse presents 20 original designs for origami boxes — some simple, others more complex, all made from a single sheet of paper.
Beautiful, full-color photographs accompany step-by-step instructions and diagrams for a splendid variety of completely functional boxes. They range from conventional square and rectangular shapes to those in the form of a bird, a basket, a cat’s head, a flower, and other shapes. By varying the type of paper and color combinations, folders can create an endless variety of effects. Suitable for origami enthusiasts of all skill levels, this guide promises hours of creative joy.

Book Review: Coding from Scratch

Coding from Scratch is a book about using Scratch to code.  I had used this once as part of a class I was auditing and it was a lot of fun, although I kind of got stumped at one point and gave it up, so I was curious to check out this book to see if it would give me some more information so maybe I could play around a bit more.  If you’re unaware, Scratch is an online coding platform that uses colorful coding blocks to create.  Rather than actually writing the code out in text, you move what look almost like colorful puzzle pieces around to build loops and actions quickly and easily.  You can sign up for an account at  The first parts of the book go over how to create and set up your account and what all the tools mean and do.  You can then make your own games pretty easily. The book also notes some components that you should think about before you start like – where does your game take place? What are the rules for what you can and can’t do?  There are also some examples you can copy to re-make some games so that you can get a feel for how everything works before you dive in and do you own games.

I found Scratch to be a lot of fun to play around with and I think that this book is a really great guide to help you if you want to get started learning to code or even if your child does. It can be basic at times, but you can get really complicated and really cool with it as well which I think is great!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Learn to create your own games, animation, presentations, and musical projects in no time at all with Coding from Scratch. Whether you’re just learning to code or need a refresher, this visual guide to coding will cover all the basics – coding tools, where to find them, and how to use them – with hands-on, step-by-step instructions designed to make Coding from Scratch second nature.

Book Review: Yankee’s New England Adventures

Yankee’s has put together over 400 essential things to see and do in New England.  Even though I have lived in New England my whole life, I know that there is still TONS I have yet to see and do so I was interested to read this book and see how I rate on what I’ve already done and what fun and adventurous things are still out there to do! (And maybe get some fun not too far date ideas?)  For those of you who are geographically challenged (and I am, but I’d probably never have graduated if I didn’t figure out what was New England) New England consists of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  All of which I have visited at some point (and all but Vermont I have seen a Hanson show in. Fun fact.)  The book is broken down by state, with my state, Connecticut, up first.  I’ll highlight each state with what I have done and what I’d like to do below! (But keep in mind there will be lots of other things included in the book too if you don’t see something that seems interesting!)


Have Done
Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk
Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison
Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven
Mark Twin House & Museum, Hartford
Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden

Want to Do
Bushnell Park Carousel, Hartford
Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam (I just love the look of this building)
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, Essex
Louis’ Lunch, New Haven

Rhode Island

Have Done
Waterfire, Providence
Block Island

Want To Do
Pawtucket Red Sox, Pawtucket
Newport Mansions


Have Done
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge
Freedom Trail tour, Boston
Fenway Park, Boston
Cape Cod

Want to Do
Boston Cream Pie at the Parker House, Boston
Battleship Cove, Fall River
Whale Watching
Edward Gorey House Yarmouth Port


Have Done
The Goldenrod, York Beach
Nubble Light, York

Want to Do
Puffin Watching, Machias Seal Island

New Hampshire

Have Done
Apparently nothing worth mentioning in this book lol

Want to Do
Canobie Lake Park, Salem


Have Done
Nothing mentioned

Want to Do
Covered bridges?


I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated/

About the Book

The experts at New England’s iconic Yankee magazine have distilled nearly a century of experience and knowledge into the guide you have been waiting for. Yankee’s New England Adventures is the go-to source for in-depth travel information, with the same stunning photography and practical know-how they bring to you every month. Whether you are interested in exploring the vibrant culture of tiny villages or big cities, eating outstanding meals in colonial inns or vintage diners, rambling through art museums or up steep wooded hills, this is the guide for you.

An island stuck in the 19th century? A walk-in, stained-glass globe? A place where you can eat Thanksgiving dinner every day of the year? From the golden dunes of Nantucket to the alpine tundra of the White Mountains, from the blue waters of Lake Champlain to the green grass of Boston Common, travelers and residents alike will find over 400 local secrets, out-of-the-way places, and unique experiences in all six states of this remarkable region of America. Live the Yankee lifestyle and get on the road with Yankee’s New England Adventures.

About Yankee: Robb Sagendorph founded Yankee Magazine in September 1935 as a New England-centric magazine “for Yankee readers, by Yankee writers, and about Yankeedom.” Its “destiny” would be “the expression and… preservation of that great culture into which every Yank was born and by which every real Yank must live.” Today Yankee boasts nearly 300,000 subscribers and the company is still family-owned. In addition to Yankee, they also publish the Old Farmer’s Almanac and New Hampshire Magazine.


101 Reasons Why It’s Great to be Single

After yesterday’s mention of dating hell, it was easy to choose why today’s book to read would be 101 Reasons Why It’s Great To Be Single.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty independent, do a lot of really cool shit and don’t need someone to complete me – but it might be nice to have someone to hang out with and do really cool shit with sometimes. (Only sometimes.)  I have to say some of the 101 reasons are a bit of a stretch – but some of them were things I already know – like Guilt-Free Adventures.  Want to run off across the country to see Hanson? Cool.  No significant other to run it by. (Though lets be real, even if I did end up with a boyfriend  – if he tried to tell me no he’d be dumped so fast).  A Silent Night – no snoring – is something that I really didn’t think about.  I cannot sleep if someone in the room with me is snoring.  Do I need to start adding this to my dating app profiles? Swipe left if you snore? Yikes.

This book definitely put a smile on my face and made me realize that I shouldn’t be in any sort of rush to find that special someone. I just got a new phone and I didn’t reinstall ANY dating apps. It’s ok to take some time for me!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

“A fun, light-hearted book about all the reasons why it’s great to be single. No shaving! Eating all the garlic! Guilt-free travelling with friends! A wonderful book for you or a friend going through a breakup, or anyone who just needs a reminder of all the positive things that come with being single.”

Book Review: Choose Your Own Misery: Dating

I am currently living a nightmare of dating apps so I had to laugh when I saw there was a “Choose Your Own Misery” book related to Dating.  I probably shouldn’t have started it because like I said, I am living it, but I had to see if they came up with anything worse than what I have already experienced and as a kid I LOVED Choose Your Own Adventure books so I had to give it a go.  I’m usually hesitant to read these in e-book forms since it’s hard to “flip” to the page that you need, but this book had hyperlinks with “swipe left for NO” and “swipe right for YES” as the way to get to the next part of your story.

My first time through I “played” as if I was myself and what I would do in all the scenarios.  I had to laugh when it asked me if I was willing to expand my age range, because when I was feeling down and desperate and ran out of guys to swipe on that was *exactly* what I did. In this scenario I ended up going on a date to a fancy restaurant where my date had a heartattack and left in an ambulance, leaving me with the bill. Yikes.

My second attempt I decided to “play” as a male. That date ends in a medical emergency too.

The third go round I decided to stay as myself again, just to pick something different in the beginning to see where I’d end up instead of the fancy restaurant. This time I end up at a gym trying to hit on a trainer, who ignores my asking to go out for drinks until he matches with me on Kindler while I’m at the gym.. standing in front of him? lol. We go out and surprise surprise it doesn’t end well (but at least not medical emergency.)

I’m sure there are plenty more scenarios for me to play out, so I’ll let you get to finding this book and I’ll see what other trouble I can get myself into…

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The only thing worse than getting back on the dating horse? The brutal loneliness of perpetual singledom.

That’s why you’re putting in the effort to find your soul-mate…or at least someone to warm your bed for a night. Playing as one of two characters, you get to choose just how bad your dating life gets. Will you head to a high school party or hitch your wagon to a Steve Urkel impersonator? Dabble in the painfully shallow depths of sexualizing your arm wound, or up the intensity of your first date by entering an underground fight club? Try to relive the romance of Harold and Maude, but with more roofies and an ominous burial plot in Maude’s backyard?

From the writers who brought you the hilarious parodies Choose Your Own Misery: The Office and Choose Your Own Misery: The Holidays comes the oldest form of misery in the book: the self-prostitution that is dating.

When we’re young, we all believe in the possibility of lifelong romance. But let’s remember: young people are very, very stupid.

Book Review: The Wonder Down Under

The Wonder Down Under is basically a user’s guide to your vagina. (Assuming you have one. If not, you probably can skip this review.)  It is an insider’s guide to the anatomy, biology, and reality of the vagina – since you really don’t learn as much as you should about it in school.  There is information on sex, abortions, birth control. Lots and LOTS of detail – many, many more than any health class I had ever taken.  I have been realizing lately that I am too old to not know everything about my own body so I was glad that this book laid things out in an informative and straight forward way – it wasn’t like reading a health or medical text book but still gave you all the information you needed and maybe some that you need and didn’t quite want to hear in an easy to understand kind of way.  Definitely recommended for anyone who has a vagina. And I guess if you don’t but have ladies in your life and want to learn more to be more sympathetic to them, you might want to take a peak at this as well.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book


Book Review: Chicago: America’s Best Sports Town

Chicago: America’s Best Sports Town is another in the series (I had previously read about Boston – I disagree w/ both but I may be biased as a NY Sports fan).  The forward of this book is written by none other than Mike Ditka.  The book focuses a chapter on each of the sports teams – Football’s Bears, Hockey’s Black hawk’s, Basketball’s Bulls, Baseball’s Cubs and White Sox.  There are also chapters on the colleges, the Olympics and then some other fun inclusions as well.  I really like when they include the “mount rush mores” in these books – what players from each team past and present would end up on the mount Rushmore if it was sports based and not presidential based.  And for those that didn’t quite make Rushmore status, there’s also “the best of the rest.”

While I may not agree that Chicago is America’s best sports town, (I’ll give them the Bulls though) the book had a lot of great information and was a fun & easy read.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Chicago’s five major professional sports teams have put their fans through hell, reached incredible heights, and been graced by some of sports’ greatest stars. And that’s only part of the story of Chicago sports. Divided during the summer and united for the rest of the year, the Chicago sports scene has a unique culture. The win-loss records can only say so much about the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox. Each team has a rich history filled with characters and settings a writer could only dream of creating. Perhaps more than any other city, Chicago is defined by what its teams do on the field, as some of the city’s athletes have become its greatest ambassadors. Chicago: America’s Best Sports Town tells of the stories of the athletes and beloved sports teams of this Midwestern metropolis. Yes, some losing is involved, but so is plenty of triumph and, most of all, passion.