Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Shopping: 10 Teen Picks

Having a hard time shopping for teen books? Here is a list of 10 of my favorite either stand alone or series. You can't go wrong with any of these. Click through pics for more info.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (First book in the Remnant Chronicles)-- Second book Heart of Betrayal coming July 2015

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo


Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor


The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare


Under the New Sky Series by Veronica Rossi


The Lumatere Chronicles Series by Melina Marchetta


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

These books by Katie McGarry are stand alone books, but take place in the same universe and have repeat appearances by different characters.


 The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout


And if your in the Philadelphia area there is an amazing book event coming up in February. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Feeding your Netflix Addiction

I've kind of been on a roll lately with my Netflix selections. Don't you just love when that happens?!? SO much better than when your eyeballs are crossing from watching the same screen and list over and over again waiting for one thing to be appealing. I LOVE getting new suggestions for shows/movies to watch as much as I like getting book recommendations… so feel free to share what you've been watching lately.

Old Favorites:
Supernatural. One word "Dean" you'll be thanking me later. There are 9 seasons available for your enjoyment.

Orange is the New Black
Hemlock Grove
Arrested Development
The last three all part of Netflix stepping up their game since the company split and lost millions of viewers. Netflix is like a social movement now. Where would we be without the term "binge watching."

I noticed Silver Linings Playbook is available too. That movie! Perfection. You can also catch up with the Hunger Games movies…and if you haven't yet, check out the first season of the Blacklist. It's a must see. 

Now to the new addictions…

Video Game Highschool- Props to my girl Jenny for suggesting this show! I'm hooked! Still have the last show in the series to watch (the third final season isn't on Netflix yet but can be found on Rocket Jump)..I just can't, I want it to last forever. I went on a social media frenzy and had to follow everyone on insta, tumblr, and that random twitter account I have and never use. After you watch you will see how epic it is that Brian D. is now following me on said twitter account. I could re-watch this series and never get tired of it. Hilarious and well done! Im not a huge gamer now..but growing up it was one of the favorite things to do. I coveted my cousin's Nintendo 64 (my parents were not swaying on that decision..my sega would just "have to do")... that four person split screen 007 was so hi- tech! Still one of the best games in my opinion. Anyway tangent ended..this show is overall appealing even if your a NOOB! I'm so excited for my Christmas gift to come in..thanks mom. (side note: I am fully aware that I am a nerd. I bask in my nerd-ness.)

Salem- Ahh the show I've been waiting for. Season 1 is now available. Already four episodes in. It is SO creepy and I love it! Way better than AHS:Coven. If your looking for a witch show..it's this one. Currently filling the gap that Witches of East End left. Seriously though Witches of East End is bland compared to Salem. Two completely different shows but both enjoyable in their own way. Can we talk about Mary's brows?!? I want those brows. Bow down to the brows.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Christmas Shopping: My Top Ten Picture Books

I took a very LONG break from blogging. I use this blog as an outlet and to let others in my life know if I've found products/books/activities/recipes worth sharing. Also as a little peek into our everyday lives. I decided now is the perfect time to get back in the swing of things with the holidays fast approaching. I will be posting a series of my favorite ideas for Christmas gifts.

I decided to share some of my favorite picture books!! A picture book is a great gift for any of the kids in your life. My ten year old will still sit and listen to "story time" if the book is entertaining enough.

1. The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak: Go ahead Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Grammy or Grampy. Make a complete fool of yourself and have the kids cracking up as you turn the pages. You MUST say EVERY word that is printed on EVERY page. This book is a crowd pleaser.

2. Mix it Up by Herve Tullet: Perfect for preschool age kids. It engages them on every page. Go ahead and mix up that paint kid, shake that book.

3. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt: Crayons with personality! By far one of my most favorite story time books. The kids will get a kick out of every crayons complaint.

4. Hug Machine by Scott Campbell: Because kids find it hilarious to hug inanimate objects. Don't forget to let the kids get up close and personal with the hug machine on the last page.

5. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka: Find out what really happened and who the real villain is..the pigs or the wolf?

6. In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek: A "must buy" for me this season. The illustrations on each page alone sold me. What makes this book a winner is the way the author perfectly describes each feeling from a child's perspective in a way they will understand and enjoy.

And for a little bonus.. how cute are the illustrations?
7. Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke: Julia gains a big monster family. I loved this book because of the great sounds the monsters make while knocking on the front door. Your kids will get a kick out of you saying them all and the illustrations are beautiful.

8. Is there a Dog in This Book? by Viviane Schwarz: A story of how three scared cats (Tiny, Moonpie, and Andre) fall in love with a dog. Features flaps and hidden pictures for the kids to lift. The personalities of the three cats are spot on.

9. Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O'Connor: By far one of my favorite book series. The illustrations are beautiful and I totally prefer these over the popular series Pinkalicious. Nancy absolutely has the fanciest covers with beautiful glitter sprinkled all over. Obviously a girl-oriented book series but I'm sure your little guy will get a kick out of the situations Nancy gets into.

10. The Secret life of Squirrels by Nancy Rose: One of my favorite book discoveries this season. Who doesn't love a squirrel just going about his day…ya know mailing snail mail..ironing his shirts. Each picture is superb and will be entertaining even for the older kids. I've seen so many adults stopping and reading the whole book.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Giving Back During the Holiday Season

This year the kids and I put together shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. They have SO much fun picking out items to fill in the boxes. The whole time John is asking questions like "I wonder which country this will go to?" "Do you think the boy who gets my box will like what I'm picking?" Then he goes on to say things like "I wish there were no poor children in the world. "I want everyone to have food and a house." Living in the USA I know I'm spoiled. My kids are spoiled. I thank God everyday that my kids will never know what its like to not have a safe house to go and wondering when their next meal will come. Although my kids usually get most of the things they ask for they still understand the need to give and find so much joy in doing it. Operation Christmas Child is a fun way of giving back and is on such a personal level for kids since they are picking the gifts. For information please see their site Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child.

This is the week for Shoebox drop offs November 17-24. Search your zip code for drop-off locations in your area.

New this year is paying the requested $7.00 donation for shipping online and you can track your package to see which country your shoebox ends up in.