Friday, October 24, 2014

My Perfect Pantry

"My Perfect Pantry" by Geoffrey Zakarian is a cookbook that focuses on delicious home made recipes from items that are commonly stocked in a home pantry. This book begins with a list of "foundation" items that Geoffrey considers to be most essential to a home pantry. These items are some of the common ingredients that are found in the recipes that follow. Most of these items you will most likely already find in your home, such as bay leaves, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract.

The recipes that are in this book are centered around specific ingredients, and Zakarian offers helpful tips and tricks about that specific ingredient. For example, the first three recipes of this book use almonds as an ingredient. On the first page of every new section of recipes, we are introduced to the ingredient that is in the recipes, as well as tips in working with that ingredient.

There is a good variety of recipes in this book. You can find everything from chicken wings and salmon to tarts and yogurts. The selection is vast, and with 50 recipes to choose from, you can easily find something that will satisfy. Zakarian does a great job of understanding his audience, and these recipes are geared toward the home cook in the simplicity of the ingredients, directions, etc.

Overall, I would give this book a 5/5. I liked the concept of the book, and appreciated that the recipes use commonly found items. I also liked that there were many pictures of the foods in the book, as well. Lots of delicious recipes to choose from! Great variety, and delicious taste!!

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free from the BloggingforBooks program in exchange for my review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

"Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary" is edited by Ronald F. Youngblood, F.F. Bruce, and R.K. Harrison. This book is, as you can guess, a dictionary of key words, people, events, and locations that appear throughout the Bible. Although, I think that this particular dictionary is much more in-depth than any other dictionary I've seen.

This dictionary is prefaced with several informative articles, such as "History of the Early World", "The Poetic Books: The Heart of the Jews", "The Life of Christ", and "The Writings of the Early Church". This dictionary also features articles and outlines on every book of the Bible, appearing where they belong, alphabetically, within the dictionary's pages.

There are also many charts, tables, and maps that appear in this dictionary, to help you understand some of the events, times, and history of Biblical events. Study tools, such as "The Parables of Jesus", "Pagan Gods Mentioned in the Bible", and "The Exodus" appear throughout this book, and reinforce and explain the Biblical events they summarize.

I would rate this book at a 5/5. I think that they did a very thorough job putting this dictionary together, and I think that it will be extremely helpful to anyone. Whether you're curious about a term, or want to know more about a specific location or person, you'll find plenty of information in this book. Awesome tool.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free through the BookLookBlogger program in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NKJV Study Bible

The "NKJV Study Bible" by Thomas Nelson is a really neat tool that can definitely help you get the most out of your Bible reading. The cover advertises that the Bible is "full color", but the actual text of the Bible is black and white - however, there are colorful boxes with interesting facts about the culture and times, colorful photographs, colorful maps, and colored boxes with important vocabulary words and their meanings.

Like any other Bible, the "NKJV Study Bible" offers footnotes, to further explain Bible teaching. The footnotes in this Bible, however, are extensive. Nearly one-third of every page is devoted to footnotes, which I enjoyed. I think that it's so helpful to have that helpful explanation of Bible verses.

There is a Chapter Introduction for every chapter in this Bible, giving you background information about the chapter, and any themes that are going to appear in what you are about to read. I always find this information helpful, as a pre-reading summary before I start reading the chapter. It's helpful to understand what is going on at the time the book was written, and who wrote it, etc.

I thought this Bible was a really great study tool, with lots of neat tools and extra information to help me really understand everything I read, in context of the times and culture of the Bible. I would definitely recommend this Bible to others, and think that it'd be a great investment for those looking for a way to get more out of their Bible study time.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this Bible for free through the BookLookBlogger program in exchange for my review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


"Draw-A-Saurus" by James Silvani is a tutorial in drawing dinosaurs. This is a pretty inclusive book, with 150 pages of tips, tricks, and tutorials in the art of drawing dinos. This book definitely breaks down the shape, size, and technique of bringing some of the most famous dinosaurs to life on paper.

What I liked about this book is that it breaks down, step by step, how to draw a variety of different dinosaurs. This isn't just a general overview of drawing them, it really gets into the specifics of each different kind of dinosaur and their distinctive characteristics.

This book makes it look much easier than it really is to put pencil to paper and draw dinosaurs, but I found a lot of the tips that Silvani offers to be really helpful. Also, he really breaks a long and complicated process down into manageable steps that you can follow. My dinosaurs didn't look as awesome as his, but I know they looked much better than they would have without following his steps.

Overall I would say that this book is a great way to develop art skills, as it does offer a lot of helpful tips for drawing dinosaurs, and I'm sure that some of those tips can translate into drawing other items as well. I would definitely give this book a 5/5, because it made it seem simple by breaking down the drawing into smaller steps and describing the steps in a simple way.

This would be a great gift for the art lover, or for the young child that enjoys drawing as well.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Weird & Wonderful Creations

Zonderkidz has published an amazing new book all about the amazing creatures that share our planet. "Weird & Wonderful Creations (Made by God)" is a super neat book that has hundreds of cool facts all about the animals on our planet. Did you know that sea turtles love to eat jellyfish? Or that bats can live up to twenty years? These are just a few of the fun facts that your child will learn in this book.

This book uses very simple language and easy to understand sentences so that it can be read easily by early readers. The text is large, and each page of this book only contains two or three sentences, in most cases. The majority of the page is images of animals where the live, as well as captions in the margins with even more fun facts.

What makes this book unique is that it is Biblical based, so instead of making the scientific approach to these amazing animals, this book ties these creatures in to God's creation. For example, the book reads, "God made of 1,000 kinds of bats", and "God blessed butterflies with colorful wings". I really liked this connection between what I have taught my children.

I would say this book would be a great read for children 5 and up, although younger children will most likely enjoy looking through this book and checking out all the pictures in it. There are lots of amazing photographs of whales, bees, bats, jellyfish, whales, and more that are sure to grab the attention of your little one. I would highly recommend this book. Very neat!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from BookLookBloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


The Food Network Magazine editors have put together the MOST amazing dessert cookbook, entitled, "Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More". This dessert cookbook features classic dessert dishes such as peach pie, pineapple upside down cake, and whoopie pies, as well as the most uncommon dishes, such as mini bacon cheesecakes, s'mores cake, banana-marshmallow meringue pie.

With over 300 pages of delicious recipes (as evidenced by the full page photos that will have your mouth watering), and a photo table of contents, it's easy to find something to bake. With so many different recipes, it's easy to find a recipe that has ingredients that I already have on hand. Most of the recipes are simple, which I appreciated.

As a busy mom of two young children, I really loved that I could flip through this book and find a recipe that I could make easily with whatever time I had. There are such a huge variety of flavors in this book, and I loved it. I am super excited to test out the "holiday desserts" chapter of this book soon, as well!

Amazing recipes, easy to follow directions, and photographic proof of the results! I would give this cook book a 5/5, easily, and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who loves to bake!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from's blogger program in exchange for this review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari

"Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari" is the third book in the series that features shoe model, Riley Mae. In this adventure Riley Mae and her crew are headed to Africa for an advertisement campaign for the Sole Fire running shoes. Riley Mae heads to Kenya with her mom, and friends in tow. Almost immediately after arriving in Africa, Riley Mae wishes she was ANYWHERE except Africa.

This book does a good job of highlighting the vast differences between what most teenagers here in the U.S. would consider to be "normal", versus what life is really like for teenagers in another country. Riley Mae encounters strange new foods and a lot of hard work, which less than excites her. Riley Mae leans on her faith throughout her experiences in Africa, and even shares her faith with a young orphan that she meets.

I think that this book is a great book for the pre-teen age group, as it does highlight some Christian ideals and shows them being put into action, but without being too preachy, which will usually turn most teens off. Katrina Cassel does a great job of developing Riley Mae's character, making the shoe model a character that is easy to love.

There is a little bit of a language barrier with some of the African terms that are used in this book - it took me several times of having to look back to remember what the terms meant before I could keep track of them. The terms aren't overwhelming in number, but there are some.

Overall I would give this book a 5/5, and highly recommend it for pre-teens. It's a lengthy read, with over 200 pages, and the African vocabulary making the read slightly more difficult, I think ages 10 and up would be appropriate.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from BookLook Blogger's program in exchange for my review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.