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The Multiplying Mysteries of Mount Ten

13 Jul

The Multiplying Mysteries of Mount Ten was written by Krista Van Dolzer. This book is a middle grade fictional novel set in modern times.
Summary: Twelve year old Esther can’t wait to attend art camp at Mount Veneer. She’s been dreaming about it for months. But a freak storm, and windy mountain roads lead to an unexpected detour, and instead, Esther ends up at math camp.
Soon Esther finds herself deep in a math mystery she is determined to solve. Will she be able to figure it out, and will she ever make it to art camp?
My Thoughts: I think that a middle school reader might enjoy this book. There is a very interesting premise, and I think a younger reader would enjoy trying to solve the mystery along with Esther.
However, I do not believe this book is one someone older would completely enjoy, and here is why-this book leaves many unanswered questions that never get explained or resolved. As an adult, that makes it difficult to say I enjoyed reading it, because I was left wondering what actually happened in several parts of the book (I don’t want to go into too much detail on the loose ends here, as it would ruin the story if you chose to read it.)
So, I would say if the middle schooler is one who just enjoys surface reads and likes helping solve a mystery, they are going to probably enjoy this read. If the reader is one who really likes to dig into a story, and wants all the loose ends tied up at the end of the story, they might find themselves a bit frustrated with this book.
Also, I have to say I found Esther to be quite rude and self-centered. I actually began feeling sorry for the other characters in the book, because she was always treating them so poorly.
It is kind of a shame too, because I could really see the potential with the creative theme to this story line, but it just came up short for me.
I would like to thank Bloomsbury Children’s Books for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you.

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Pinterest Thursday-Pretzel Bites

11 Jul

As I have mentioned in the past few weeks, I have been making some recipes from Cooking For Isaiah, by Silvana Nardone. I did buy her other book too:

Silvana's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen by Silvana Nardone

pin found here
One of the first recipes I tried was Soft Pretzel Poppers on pg. 62.
I don’t have a picture, but they look similar to these on Pinterest:

Gluten-Free Soft Pretzel Bites - easy to whip up and taste like the "real" thing!

These were very labor intensive, but the recipe made quite a few. They tasted absolutely delicious straight from the oven.
I couldn’t believe I had actually made a pretzel that tasted like it was straight from a pretzel store!
I will say though, by the next day they didn’t taste nearly so good. I suppose if I re-heated them in the oven they would have been better? Not sure.
If you want to make something to serve to a large group that day (like a Super Bowl party), these would definitely hit the spot though.
I might make these again, but only if I got a little help-the recipe contained quite a few steps!

Wednesday Words

10 Jul
Didn’t quote, letter board #letterboard
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Book Review-Collage Workshop for Kids

7 Jul

Collage Workshop for Kids was written by Shannon Merenstein. This crafty book for younger kids focuses on painting, ripping, tearing, and using bits and pieces (along with a healthy dose of creativity) to create art.
My Thoughts: At first, I wondered if I would like this book-simply because I don’t consider myself a collage type of person. BUT, this book has well-written instructions, great picture examples, and fun, easy projects.
It was very simple for me to fill a table with crafty supplies, show the kids an example picture, and let them go to town.
One of the things I like least about art, is the amount of time I have to invest in setting up projects. It seems like that takes more time than the actual project itself!
In this case however, I would consider this book to be more like an invitation to creativity, and all I had to do was provide the supplies.
Another great benefit to collage projects too, is that it is a great way to use up leftover kid craft supplies!
I have to say, I was also very inspired by the cover. It was filled with painted shapes, so I decided to make that the first project we tackled from the book. My kids (ages 12, 9, and 5), created quite a large stack of painted papers. My bigger kids lasted about twenty minutes, but the five year old actually quite happily painted paper for over an hour, which is a successful art experience unto itself!
On our second session (again with the five year old), I simply showed him some picture examples, pointed out supplies on the table, and let him get creative. He ended up creating several pieces of art on his own using the painted papers, and we still have plenty of painted papers for more projects in the future, which is great.
I really liked that I could just let him go to town-without much input from me, which was quite the relief for this busy momma!
Overall, I liked this book. There are lots of creative projects, but even if you just use this book as a jumping off point for your kids to get creative, it is well worth it.
I would definitely agree that this book is meant for younger kids, but if you have older kids that really enjoy art and being creative, I am sure they would get something out of it as well.
I would like to thank Quarto Publishing Group for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Thank you!

Book Review-Over the Line

6 Jul

Over the Line was written by Kelly Irvin, and is a modern-day fictional novel.
Summary: Chef Gabriella’s life is wrapped up in her restaurant, and her family. But when an acquaintance of her brother shows up with a bullet in his chest, her whole world turns upside down. She finds her brother is now missing, and the one person that can help her find him, is her ex-fiancé homicide detective Eli Cavazos.
Will she find her brother? And how can she possibly trust Eli when he betrayed her so cruelly in the past? It’s a race against time to save the ones she loves-before it’s too late.
My Thoughts: This story is filled with non-stop action and lots of suspense. I think just because of the topic though, it didn’t end up being my favorite. It was primarily about drugs coming into the United States, as well as the violence that comes with it. It seemed to have a bit of a darker feel to it, and some politics as well (even though the author does state that it isn’t a political book.) There was nothing wrong with the book-there are interesting characters, and lots of plot twists and turns, it just wasn’t the book for me.
I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Thank you!

Happy 4th of July!

4 Jul
Happy 4th Of July
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Wednesday Words

3 Jul
Fill your home with the things and the people you love. Because we know: it's only home if it's filled with those that matter most, surrounding you with warmth and love. ♥ Our fine art chalkboard prin
pin found here