Archive | February, 2021

Book Review-Charlie Thorne and the Lost City

28 Feb

Charlie Thorne and the Lost City was written by Stuart Gibbs and is book two in the Charlie Thorne series. You do not need to read book one in order to read this book, but I would recommend it for the backstory.

Summary: Charlie Thorne has been hiding out. The last thing she wants is for someone to find her and try to get her to reveal Einstein’s secret formula.

But when clues come to light that could lead her to Charles Darwin’s lost treasure, she decides to go after it. After all-who could find her anyway while she is searching the jungle?

It turns out…..quite a few people.

My Thoughts: I really like the premise of this series. Charlie is a super-smart girl that is one step ahead of everyone, and having her traverse the world to find clues hidden by some of the smartest people in history is a pretty fascinating storyline.

I like the characters in this series, the intricate plot twists and turns, and the overall fun of the bad guy vs. good guy chase scenes. And if you have read my blog at all, you know we are HUGE fans of Stuart Gibbs around here!

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book. It is written from the point of view that evolution is scientific fact. As someone who believes evolution is as far-fetched at they come, I really don’t like that evolution is touted as a fact and not a theory in this book-especially when impressionable children will be reading it.

That being said, the next book sounds really good, we do like Stuart Gibbs a lot, and we will read that one when it comes out. I would just skip this one due to the content.

I would like to thank Simon and Schuster for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

*Please note: this book will be released on March 2, 2021.

Book Review-Unknown Threat

27 Feb

Unknown Threat is book one in the Defend and Protect series by Lynn H. Blackburn.

Summary: Secret Service Agent Luke Powell’s life has exploded. Literally. One moment he is reminiscing about a fallen comrade with a friend, and the next, they are being shot at with cars exploding all around.

Before the day is done, it is obvious that his entire division is being targeted by an unknown assassin.

Everyone is in danger-but from whom?

FBI Agent Faith Malone is assigned to the case. Can she and Luke figure out what is going on before more agents die? Or will Luke’s entire division get wiped out before his very eyes?

My Thoughts: This is one of the best books I have read this year. It is very well-written. There is tons of action and suspense. The characters are well-developed and interesting, and can’t wait to read more about them in coming books. There is also a good romance-not too mushy, but romantic.

This book hit all the highlights for me and is just the type of book I really love to read.

The only thing I didn’t quite get into was the reasons behind the bad guy actions, but it is a minor point and I still really liked it.

I would buy this one, and I give it five stars. It is very, very good, and I will have a hard time waiting for the next one for sure.

I would like to thank Revell for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!!!

*Please note: this book will be released on March 2, 2021.

26 Feb

Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We recently received access to This online program contains the PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game, the PersonalFinanceLab Stock Market Game and coordinating curriculum for each-all designed to promote financial literacy.

These games teach students the ins and outs of paying bills on a monthly basis, and teaches them about stocks and the stock market.

For our family, my 14 year old daughter played the PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game.

This game is all online and is very customizable. The parent or teacher can set-up the parameters of the game including the length of the game (each “month” takes about 20 minutes to play), whether or not the student is working a part-time job and going to school, or is working full-time. It also allows the customization of how much the student is getting in their paychecks, how much their bills will be, and more.

I chose to leave the parameters at their default, because I mainly wanted my daughter to just get a feel for how to pay bills. I set her parameters to cover nine months where she was working part-time and going to school, and nine months where she was working full-time, so that she could get an idea of what each scenario would be like.

Otherwise I pretty much left the game alone and let her play. If you want to customize the game further though, there are plenty of options including creating assignments, exporting game data, articles to read, activities, and quizzes.

Here is what I liked about the game:
1. I think the game does a good job of mimicking daily life. Students earn paychecks and have to pay bills. They learn how to make choices (work extra hours vs. studying, etc.), and how those choices affect their lives-positively and negatively. I liked that students really have to juggle life responsibilities and make wise choices-using a credit card vs. a debit card, how much to put in savings, and taking care of random bills that pop up-all things that happen in real life.
2. The game is very thorough. Many different scenarios are covered, which really gives the student a good picture of what paying bills is like. My daughter commented that she felt the game was a little repetitive, and I told her that’s what real life is like with bills-it’s definitely not all fun and games! 🙂
3. I like the supplemental curriculum. Students can learn about a huge variety of financial topics (over 600 articles and videos!)-all of which can help them in their future financial lives.

Overall, I think does a great job introducing students to real life-paying bills, juggling responsibilities, and making decisions. We barely scratched the surface of what can actually be learned from the site. It is a very detailed, yet interesting way to learn about personal finance.

I am glad my daughter got a chance to try the budgeting game, and I think she has already developed a better understanding of bills and a budget which can only serve her better for the future.

If you are interested in learning more about, please click here and check it out!

You can also visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to see more reviews!

Pinterest Thursday-Air Fryer Poptarts

25 Feb

Last week I shared about our new air fryer, and today I wanted to share another recipe I love to make in it!


pin and picture found here

I did modify these a little. I used Smuckers Natural Strawberry jam instead of strawberries, and I did not have lemon juice, so I used milk with powdered sugar to make my glaze.

I did not use sprinkles, and while I did make some with the glaze, we all found it too sweet, and that just a dusting of white sugar was much better.

These are so easy to make, and very tasty!

I know poptarts aren’t the greatest for you, but I am sure these are better for you than the store-bought ones.

Plus, I found an amazing sale on pie crust over the holidays, so I have several crusts in my freezer ready to go for a fun and tasty treat!

Wednesday Words

24 Feb

pin found here