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.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Adventure Bible for Toddlers

The "Adventure Bible for Toddlers" by Catherine DeVries is a new Bible storybook for the very young child, published by Zonderkidz. This storybook features ten Bible stories, bringing Bible characters like Jonah, Daniel, Moses, and Jesus to life for young kids. The Bible states on the back cover that it is for ages 4-8, but I would recommend for ages 3 and under. The board pages make it easy for little fingers to turn the pages on their own, and the beautiful illustrations by Jim Madsen will attract little eyes. I have a 1 year old and a 6 year old, and while this book is great for my 1 year old, it is nowhere near appropriate for my 6 year old.

The stories are told in a concise way, with each page of the book having only a few sentences on it. DeVries uses simple language so it is very easy for little ones to understand what is happening. The pictures in this book coincide with the events. It's easy for little ones to see the illustrations and understand what is going on.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book to those with children under the age of three. I think this book would be an ideal first Bible storybook for this age group. The board book naturally lends itself to younger hands, making it easy for toddlers to independently look at this book. I would give this book a 5/5.

As I mentioned, the only issue I had with this book was the recommended age group. Definitely appropriate for much younger children than the book recommends. Would make a great birthday or Christmas present!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from in exchange for my review.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Berenstain Bears - "Blessed are the Peacemakers"

"Blessed are the Peacemakers" by Mike Berenstain is another adorable and lesson-teaching story from Bear Country. It's time for the All School Play, and Brother and Sister and nearly all the other cubs have landed parts in "Romeo and Grizzliet". Except that Queenie, who is part of Too-Tall's gang has the role of Grizzliet, and Ferdy Factual got the part of Romeo.

Too-Tall does not like Ferdy, and does not like that Ferdy and Queenie are "in love" in the play. This causes a lot of tension, and even a few arguments that have to be broken up by Brother and Sister, and the other cubs. There are several times in this story where there is a Biblical reference to making peace, which I liked. Brother and Sister remind Too-Tall and Ferdy that "peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness".

On the night of the big play, everyone in Bear Country comes to see "Romeo and Grizzliet", even Mayor and Mrs. Honeypot. The play is going wonderfully until Too-Tall thinks that Ferdy is playing his role a little too convincingly. An all out brawl nearly erupts on stage! Squire Grizzly and the Pastor have to break up the fight and restore order to the play! Preacher Brown tells the cubs, "turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it".

In the end, the cubs learn a valuable lesson about seeking peace, and I thought that the story was really great in conveying the message. The illustrations and story are typical of the Berenstain Bears series, and I loved that this story referenced the Bible in solving the cubs' problems.

I would give this book a 5/5. Recommended for ages 4 and up - my 6 year old loved it!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.