Book Review: Teddy Bear Doctor

teddybearTeddy Bear Doctor is a Let’s Make & Play Book and teaches you how to make everything you’d ever need in order to set up a vet office for your child’s stuffed animals in your home. From doctors outfits to home vet kits to a vet office set up, exam room, pharmacy and recovery room – I’m not sure anyone has a playroom actually large enough to create everything in this book! But if your child wants to be a vet and take care of his/her stuffed animals – this book is definitely what you need to get started with some fun pretend play.

I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.

About the Book

Got a teddy bear with a tummy ache, a feverish plush puppy, or a dinosaur who scraped her knees while skateboarding? Never fear! This delightful book offers everything kids need to set up their own veterinary clinic and enjoy hours of fun playing doctor with their stuffed animals. It features dozens of DIY projects to make with common household items, including a thermometer made from a pencil, a lab coat made from an old t-shirt, and a hospital bed made from a cardboard box. The book includes four sheets of fun and adorable stickers for making a doctor’s name tag, eye patches, medicine bottle labels, and much more, as well as cute cut-out props, such as a nurse’s cap. For ages 3 to 8.

Book Review: Seinfeld FAQ

seingeldEverything you need to know about the show about nothing. Except that its called FAQ and there’s no questions. One day I guess I’ll figure out why these books are called that! The book is broken down by The Beginning, The Core Four, The Supporting Characters, The World Of Its Own, Episodes, Legacy.  The appendices have information on all the episodes and all the characters, the awards the show won and of course you can’t leave out the team behind creating the show.  If you are a fan of Seinfeld, you will enjoy this book and reminiscing about all of the episodes and characters that were on throughout the years.

I received an e-copy of this book in order to write this review.

About the Book

Is it a show about nothing or one of the greatest TV series of all time? It’s both, of course! Seinfeld’s impact on popular culture was so profound that it continues to this day-years after it left prime time-thanks to its inimitable characters (Newman! Bubble Boy!), its wacky, memorable plots (who can forget “The Contest” or “The Puffy Shirt”?), and the many catchphrases we use regularly (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Seinfeld FAQ is the first-ever comprehensive guide to the sitcom, tracing its path from modest beginnings to water-cooler-show status and to its infamous, love-it-or-hate-it finale. This humor-filled reference tells all about Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, as well as the other unforgettable characters in their world. It features season-by-season episode reviews and a wealth of fun facts about everything from the characters’ inevitably doomed relationships to their food obsessions and fashion sense (or lack thereof) as well as profiles of actors and other notables.

Broad in scope and yet obsessed with detail (like the show itself), this FAQ is essential reading for anyone who wants to be master of the Seinfeld domain

Book Review: Lusitania

lustitanieLusitania is an illustrated biography about the ship that sunk 100 years ago on May 7, 1915. The book goes through her birth, career and her last days. There are some notes from survivors and since it is illustrated there are a LOT of photos. (In fact, it almost seemed like it was too many photos for my Nook to handle!) The book also contains passenger lists, crew lists, and basically everything you’d ever want to know about the Lusitania. (I’m not sure why I am so fascinated with the Lusitania, but I am, since I first learned about it in school.)  The end of the book contains some colorized photos which was a nice surprise!

If you want to know more about Lusitania or you don’t know much about it at all – either way you’ll leave this book knowing her entire story. Take a journey back in time and find out about this ocean liner.

I received an e-copy of this book in order to write this review.

About the Book

It is now over a year since the Lusitania made her maiden crossing of the North Atlantic. For seven and a half years, she crossed that rugged ocean with punctuality and dependability. She fast became a living legend, the ship of choice for many of the transatlantic travellers. Since her sinking on 7 May 1915, however, her wondrous career and technological marvels have largely been neglected. Instead, the focus has shifted to her political importance, and on numerous conspiracy theories about her last voyage and sinking.]

This illustrated biography of the Lusitania discusses her entire story, from her conception and birth on the Clyde to her career and, finally, her tragic demise off the coast of Ireland; it reveals her as she has never been seen before.

Prepare to take a journey back in time … step aboard the decks of one of the world’s largest, finest, fastest and most beloved ocean liners, and relive her history in all its splendour.

Book Review: Otay! The Billy “Buckwheat” Thomas Story

otayOtay! The Billy “Buckwheat” Thomas Story is written by Billy’s son, Bill Jr.  Billy is most well known for his role as Buckwheat in The Little Rascals / Our Gang.  This book is rather short, but I think it covers Billy’s rise to fame in the Rascals as well as the problems he found adjusting to normal life once he was too old to be part of the gang anymore.

There are also a lot of great photos throughout the book of the gang and on set as well as Billy as he grew up and joined the Army and had a family.

A quick, enjoyable read.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review.

About the Book

A biography by his son!

William Thomas, the man known as “Buckwheat,” one of the most beloved characters in the history of the Our Gang andLittle Rascals films, rose from obscurity to become an American icon. Billy’s heritage grew to be more than the ninety-three comedies in which he appeared as Buckwheat. He was a husband, father, and soldier. Several generations have come to know Buckwheat as if he was a real person, but few knew Billy, the man behind the myth.

In “Otay!” The Billy “Buckwheat” Thomas Story, William Thomas, Jr., Billy’s son, joins with acclaimed author David W. Menefee to brush back the sands of time and unearth the facts beneath the fable. For the first time, the true story is told how producer Hal Roach, Sr. plucked three-year-old Billy from hundreds of children and raised him on a pedestal before an adoring public. For a decade, Billy was the most prominent Black American in motion pictures, but World War Two brought an end to the famous comedy series and a halt to his film career. Billy went on to live a private, nearly normal life, married, fathered an adorable child, and then answered the call to arms and enlisted in the US Army during the Korean War. Years later, imposters attempted to steal his limelight, but Billy forgave the offense with his characteristic, childlike good humor.

In an era when most Black American actors were struggling to gain a foothold in Hollywood, Billy achieved a lasting legacy. Enjoy the timeless tale of a baby superstar, who once shown brightly on movie screens during Hollywood’s “Golden Years” and still fascinates audiences today.

Throwback Thursday: Josh Gracin 8/16/05

Headliner: Josh Gracin
Opener(s): None
Venue:  Wolf’s Den @ Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
Cost: Free


I Want To Live
Endless Helping Hoping
Peace of Mind
Workin For The Weekend
The Long One
The Other Little Soldier
Brass Bed
Summer of 69
It’s My Life
Turn It Up
Here Without You
Nothin To Lose
Bless the Broken Road


Josh was my first concert at the Wolf’s Den at Mohegan Sun. We couldn’t get in to the show so we watched from the outside. I stupidly didn’t take my camera. After the show we met him and he signed my CD for me though! I haven’t managed to get a photo w/ him since – and missed the perfect opportunity!  Also, we sat down outside the wolf’s den before the show started and got carded almost immediately. I guess I was only about 21 years old + one month at that time.

Where Are They Now:

Josh is still making music though most recently made headlines after posting what appeared to be a suicide note on his Facebook page. He is supposed to be releasing a new EP soon.

Love With Food Box – June


Fresh air, relaxation and plenty of snacks – now doesn’t that feel good? Even better knowing that your choices have made a difference. Remember, for every box sold, we donate money to fight hunger. So soak up those rays with a smile on your face. The sun really is shining a little bit brighter on your back today!



Northwest Trail Mix by Emily’s

A naturally balanced combo of protein-packed nuts and vitamin filled fruit, here’s the perfect take-along for that mid-morning stroll.

This was good. Loved the nuts. I only wish the package was bigger! 🙂

Original Naan Crisps by Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads

Flame baked for an authentic taste and ideal texture, these mini crackers are picnic perfect! Dip ’em, top ’em or eat straight from the bag.

I opted for straight from the bag with these and LOVED them. Definitely going to be considering buying these for snacks to bring to work!

Crazy hot pop chips by popchips

Be the first to try these brand new popchips, hot off the line! They’ll make your taste buds tingle with a slow, growing burn that’s oddly addictive.

These were definitely crazy hot! I am not a fan of hot so I wasn’t able to try more than one chip.

Everything Bar by Sheffa

Seeds, whole grains and chickpeas give these savory bars everything – flavor, crunch, protein and fiber. Looking for sugar? You’ve got the wrong bar.

This bar tasted like nothing and I thought it smelled like a beef bouillon cube. Not for me.

Choo Choo Cherry Flavored Dried Cranberries by Funny Face

Ideal nibbling as you burn through that bestseller. Just make sure to slather on your SPF. Bright red is best for cranberries, not your skin tone!

Mom tried these and said they tasted like nothing.

Brownie Brittle

Hide this stuff! Like ants to a picnic, your friends will arrive out of nowhere and take over as soon as this scrumptious secret is out of the bag.

This stuff was GOOD and I definitely will be looking for it in stores! A great snack, the perfect amount of brownie.

Classic Iced Tea Candy by Bali’s Best

Be refreshed anytime! Made with real tea extract – a natural antioxidant source – it’s like having a tall glass of cool that you can pack in your purse.

As of writing, this is the only item I haven’t had a chance to try out yet.

Chocolate Maca Bar by Amrita Health

Harnessing the superfood powers of maca and cacao, this raw protein bar is energy boosting and antioxidant rich. Yoga on the green anyone?

Mom also tried this and enjoyed it.

Kelly Clarkson Mohegan Sun 7/23

Thursday night Kelly Clarkson brought her Piece by Piece 2015 tour to the Arena at Mohegan Sun.  She had three opening acts along for the ride – Abi Ann, Eric Hutchinson and Pentatonix.

Abi was up first and at 17 years old I think she still needs some work.  I’m not sure if the sound system was off or she was but I can’t see her really going anywhere if she continues to sing so off key. She mentioned it was her first ever Arena and I just can’t see her being to that stage on her own, ever. Hope I’m wrong but…

Eric Hutchinson was up next. I was really excited to see him, last time I saw him was about 3 years ago.  He was a lot of fun and a really up beat set. I also loved how he had choreographed moves with his other guitar players. You’re never really expecting that from a band, but it’s always appreciated by this boyband fan!

Pentatonix was next up and somehow their stage seemed to take the longest to set up – despite the fact that they are an acapella group and had no instruments! They did have risers to stand on though and obviously those had to be safe and secure before they could take the stage!  They did a lot of the same songs that they did when I saw them headline back in March.  A new addition was a Michael Jackson medley that was amazing and the current hit “Cheerleader” which was pretty cool too even though I’m so sick of that song (and I haven’t even been listening to that much Top 40 lately… but I heard it 2 or 3 times just on the ride up the casino!)

Kelly took the stage at about 9:30 and played until 11! I thought I was going to be so tired and not make it through her whole set but she was so high energy that it was contagious and I could not believe that an hour and a half had passed when she was exiting the stage!

She promised to play her hits as well as showcase a lot of the new songs off her new album that she loved as well.  I think that she found a great balance between the two.

I love that before Mr Know It All she dedicated it to anyone who had a jerk of a man in their life – maybe a coworker.  I’ve definitely been dealing with that lately and never realized just how perfect this song fits the situation! Thanks, Kelly!

She has also been featuring an open mic night each night on the tour since she basically got her start at a really, really big open mic night.  We were treated to Mya Silva ( doing Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy!  After Mya, Kelly did the fan request which was Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love.  I was a bit disappointed because the night before she did NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye (though I’m not sure I could have handled that anyway!) and a few nights ago she did Nick Jonas’ Jealous.  Although she kills whatever she does so it was a great rendition and Elvis isn’t all that bad 😉

I was also super happy that the song that she decided to do for her throw back was my favorite Kelly song – Beautiful Disaster. It seems like she hasn’t done this one live since 2008 so I was quite happy to get to see it!

At the end of the set she did an amazing mash up of Bruno Mars Uptown Funk and Walkaway that was pure genius! Such a great mix of the two songs. I loved it!

Dance With Me
My Life Would Suck Without You
Catch My Breath
Mr. Know It All
Second Wind
Piece by Piece
Because of You / Breakaway
Take You High / When Doves Cry
Behind These Hazel Eyes
Open Mic- Gnarls Barkley Crazy
Can’t Help Falling In Love
Beautiful Disaster
Heartbeat Song
Walk Away / Uptown Funk

Bang Bang
Miss Independent
Since U Been Gone

Book Review: The Great Depression For Kids


The Great Depression for Kids is, as its title says, a book about the Great Depression geared towards kids.  The book starts with a timeline of the Great Depression and then goes on to talk about different aspects of life in more details, but in such a way that kids would not have a problem understanding.  Throughout the book there are also activities for kids to do to be more hands-on when they are learning about the Great Depression.  There are a lot of photos throughout and a lot of great information.  The book also includes additional websites to explore if you are looking for more information than included in the book.

I received an e-copy of this book in order to write this review.

About the Book

American history before and after the Wall Street Crash of 1929

Providing a balanced, realistic picture of a time rife with hardships, The Great Depression for Kids brings the era and key concepts to life. Kids learn about the harsh realities that most Americans could not escape, such as massive unemployment, natural disasters, and economic collapse. They also learn that the 1930s were a time when neighbors helped neighbors; sports figures behaved admirably; and an army of young men rebuilt the nation’s forests, roads, and parks. Librarians delivered books on horseback, a curly-haired child star charmed moviegoers to “stand up and cheer” in the darkest of days, and a little African American girl became the first of her race to participate in the National Spelling Bee. Beginning with an in-depth look at the 1920s, the book builds readers’ background knowledge to help set the stage for the decline of the economy over the next decade. Twenty-one crosscurricular activities help kids learn how to research, buy, and sell stocks; use scientific methods to conduct a survey, re-create Depression glassware; and much more.

Music Monday: Ernie Halter 90s R&B Acoustic Throwback



All My Love
Return of the Mack
I Wanna Know
Always Be My Baby
If I Ever Fall In Love
No Diggity
My Prerogative
You Make Me Wanna
I’ll Make Love To You
This Is How We Do It
Love No Limit

Ernie Halter is one half of my favorite “hid yo kids” remixes… along with Tony Lucca. I think about 5 years ago Antoine Dodson became an internet sensation by telling the news to “hide yo kids, hide you wife” and in true internet fashion it became a song and then Tony Lucca and Ernie Halter did their own remix of the bed intruder song and it is something that I listened to regularly around that time. I love it.

There it is above, in case you want to see what the heck I’m going on about.  Anyway.  Recently Ernie Halter said that he was going to do an album of 90s R&B tracks in a way that only he could.  Knowing what he was capable of from bed intruder and from seeing him live several times, I knew that this was something that I didn’t want to miss out on.

If you love singer/songwriter/broken down acoustic remixes of songs that started out sounding nothing of the sort as much as I do, you’ll love this new album from Ernie! These are some of my favorite songs from my childhood too so it is great to relive that with a bit of a twist!

Book Review: Color Me Crazy

colormecrazyColor Me Crazy is about Julian, a former rockstar who is now running a studio. He is “crazy” in that he sees colors for sounds. His sister ends up introducing him to her friend Cleo, who has lost her job and is getting evicted. Julian decides to hire her to manage his studio and live in the apartment upstairs with him. (She has her own room.)  But there is something about Cleo’s tangerine scent and orange color that isn’t letting Julian stay away from her like he said he would.

Cleo has dated several rock stars in her day, she used to follow bands around as a groupie in her teens but has decided this time she’s keeping things professional, even if Julian does play guitar.

For a while Julian is keeping his true identity a secret, his professional last name and private last name are different.  Once Cleo finds out who he really is she wonders why he wanted to keep it a secret.  Julian comes clean about his synesthesia, his time on the road and his heroin addiction.  Cleo realizes that he isn’t like that anymore and is recovering and the two start a romance.

Things seem to be going well, that is, until Julian decides to go on the road with another band.

There were several times in this book when I thought things were going to take a turn for the worse, and I am glad that they didn’t.  When I was about 100 pages to the end of the book, I had to take a break because my idea of what the ending was going to be was awful and I didn’t want to continue reading if what I thought would be the ending was the ending. Fortunately the author still had several twists and turns in the story and I was pleased with the outcome of everything.  This book was a bit of a roller coaster ride, which I think is why I liked it so much!

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

About the Book
Never fall for a rockstar…

Julian Wheaton views the world through a kaleidoscope of synesthesia, seeing the colors of every sound he hears. His life as an iconic rock guitarist was a stressful psychedelic trip that nearly destroyed him. Now he’s abandoned the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle for the peaceful sanctity of his recording studio, but when fiery Cleo Compton comes to work for him, she brings chaos with her.

Cleo Compton has had her flings with rockstars—and it’s left her wary and bruised. Julian may have those sexy bedroom eyes and drool-worthy tattoos, but Cleo is determined to keep things strictly professional—until Julian turns out to be every dream she’s ever chased. When he risks it all to hit the road with a band again, Cleo fears he’ll return as the one thing she can no longer abide—a rockstar.

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