Bring Star Wars to Life with Star Wars Maker Lab

DK Canada

Ever wanted to move things without touching them like a Jedi can? Or grow your own kyber crystal? Now you can (and maybe just maybe you can share with your child!).

About Star Wars Maker Lab

With 20 amazing projects, Star Wars™ Maker Lab teaches your child how to become a Master of science, in both the real world and the Star Wars galaxy. Using clear step-by-step instructions, the book guides scientists and makers through each experiment – from making Jabba’s gooey slime or a hovering landspeeder, to an Ewok catapult and a glowing Gungan Globe of Peace. Each experiment has fact-filled panels to explain the real-world science as well as the Star Wars science fiction from the movies.

With projects that are out of this world, this Star Wars book can keep children entertained for hours, making use of many household items such as cardboard tubes, baking soda, cornstarch, straws, balloons, and food coloring. There is also plenty to keep adventurous scientists engaged, with instructions on how to make your own bristlebot mouse droid, lightsaber duel, and Mustafar volcano. Star Wars Maker Lab supports STREAM topics and helps children to learn the basics of science by traveling through the Star Wars galaxy.

My Thoughts

This beautiful hard cover book is a child (and adults) dream come true. We are huge Star Wars fans although we do argue over if the newer or older movies are better (I still love the oldies!). This bold, vibrant book is full of ideas that help make the popular series come to life.

I have to be honest, some of the experiments would require you to have to go out and make a special purchase as you may not have them lying around the house. Which is perfectly okay – you just would have to plan out the projects to ensure you had every item (I don’t own a hamster ball but that project looked like so much fun).

We decided to tackle making Kyber crystals this weekend. I had most of the items needed except for clothespins but we improvised and it still worked. The kids loved the craft but were a bit impatient with wanting to eat the crystals as soon as possible. I loved how the book explained the process of creating the cyrstals and how it worked while incorporating a Star Wars theme. I was also a bit impatient and kept pulling the skewers out of the solution to check on the state of the crystal formation, this was fascinating to watch even as an adult!

This is an excellent craft book for any Star Wars fan. You will want to plan ahead to ensure you have everything you need to create the crafts but you will not be disappointed (our next item to tackle is creating our own light sabres – awesome right?). The instructions are easy to follow, a lot of illustrations to help you along the way and helpful hints (like watch the hot sugar boiling but this Mom still managed to splash herself!). Enjoy hours of Star Wars themed fun with this book – you will never have a dull PA or snow day again!

You can learn more about this book on the DK Canada website and purchase a copy on Amazon.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Postmodern Love

iRead Book Tours

Have you ever fallen in love and then had not just your life but your conception of life altered forever?

About A Postmodern Love

Have you ever fallen in love and then had not just your life but your conception of life altered forever? Come and find out more in A POSTMODERN LOVE, a contemporary adult novel–romance, noire, psychological suspense.

In the end, a man is shot through the heart. Another man is driven to the edge of madness. Caught between them is Lana Fauves, a beautiful, intelligent woman, but one who is haunted by her past and the loss of her true love, a musical genius. In this fast-paced novel–romance, thriller, and noire–Thomas Wilde, a doctor and veteran of the Iraq War, will stop at nothing to win over the woman he has desperately fallen in love with. But amid the machinations of the modern world, will he find true love, or only heartache, deception, and murder?

My Thoughts

In this novel we are introduced to Thomas Wilde, a successful ENT physician working in LA. He has quite the past having been to Iraq and returning home not quite the same as when he left. He had been married in the past but his marriage failed due to multiple reasons. He does not seem to have a strong relationship with family and we can see throughout the novel that he has an obsessive personality, which has gotten him in trouble in the past.

Lana, our other main character and Thomas’ obsession, is much more difficult to read. She is mysterious, manipulative, secretive and has many layers to both her history and personal life. Throughout the novel, I never knew quite what I should expect from her or what she would do next.

Thomas meets her by chance and she becomes an instant obsession for him. He has to know her, to speak to her and to help her. She brings out this different side to him, a side that will stop at nothing to reach his end goal. He is met with obstacle after obstacle and as we turn each page, we unravel more ghosts from Lana’s past. What starts off as an innocent attraction quickly dives into a world of lust, money, power, obsession and murder.

This is a well written novel that I enjoyed from start to finish. Lana’s story and her developing relationship with Thomas was a bit hard to follow at times but this is in line with her personality. She only reveals what others need to know when they need to know (or if she wants you to know) and this is how the novel read. I truly enjoyed every minute and didn’t want to put this novel down in fear of missing something.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Nick Totem has been a practicing physician for more than a decade, and he has been writing all his life. He combined real experience in medicine with a love for writing to create compelling fiction.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Slay Like A Mother Book Review

Slay Like a Mother reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly behind the self-sabotaging battles within all moms.

About Slay Like a Mother

This empowering self-help book champions the kind of self-doubting that mother Katherine Wintsch, CEO of The Mom Complex, calls “Never-Enough,” the kind of mother whose guilt, desperation, and fear about not being or doing enough is overwhelming.

Based on more than a decade of research, Slay Like a Mother reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly behind the self-sabotaging battles within all moms. Brave, supportive and insightful, the stories and advice shared in this book will encourage women to live more confidently, enjoy the present, and slay like a mother.

My Thoughts

Have you ever felt like you keep failing as a Mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend and person? Do you compare yourself to others? Feel constantly drained but continue to take on more in your quest to be the perfect Mom? This book is for you!

On the outside I like to appear as if I have everything in control, my kids get to school on time, they participate in competitive soccer, I have completed two diplomas after my Bachelor degree while working full time, I volunteer at our local soccer club and life is perfect right? Under all of that, I suffer from severe anxiety and feelings of being unworthy, unloved and never enough. I criticize myself constantly for making mistakes or for forgetting something. I take on more work then I can complete, get mad at myself for doing so and stress myself out to complete everything. As I am typing this, I almost signed up for two more Human Resource courses this term but decided against this as I just don’t have the time.

This book helped me realize that I am not alone. That many women are struggling through the same issues but that this is not normal, we need to learn to be kinder to ourselves, to love ourselves, to forgive ourselves and to give ourselves time. This quote really stuck out for me:

“What’s astonishing to me is that when the cruel voice in our head is giving us a real tongue-lashing, we don’t turn a deaf ear. We don’t tell the voice to shut up, we listen.”

This is me – I would never speak to anyone else the way I speak to me but I don’t hesitate to tell myself how awful I am, how forgetful, how I have gained weight, always late, not smart enough and the list goes on and on.

I worked my way slowly through this novel as I wanted to take in every word and practice each suggestion. I found myself over and over in the other women in this story and it was comforting to know I was not alone. By the time I got to the last page, I felt empowered to make changes, to recognize when I start down the wrong path and how to make changes. Not signing up for those courses this morning was a huge challenge for me, I want that Human Resource Diploma but this would mean sacrificing the little time I have to myself and overstretching myself which not only affects me but my family to.

This book is a welcome eye opener. You laugh, you cry and you can relate to the stories shared throughout the book. I felt humbled and full of hope by the end. That while I am my own worst enemy, I can get better, I can be a good Mother, wife and person. I can learn to be happy and to support others in their journey as well. This book was easy to read and Katherine is personal, funny and down to earth. While it is a book, you feel like she is right there with you, helping you through the exercises. This would be a great gift for any Mother regardless how many children she has. A definite must read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

KATHERINE WINTSCH is an internationally recognized expert on the topic of modern motherhood. The majority of her expertise comes from studying the passion and pain points of mothers around the world—the rest is accumulated from a little trial and a whole lot of error while raising her own two children with her husband in Richmond, Virginia.

As the founder and CEO of The Mom Complex, Katherine and her team help develop innovative new products, services, and marketing strategies for the world’s largest mom-focused brands including Walmart, Babyganics, Pinterest, Kimberly Clark, and the Discovery Network.

Katherine’s sought-after research and expertise have been featured by Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company, and she regularly writes about the topic of motherhood on her popular blog, In All Honesty, and for Working Mother magazine.

When she’s not helping other mothers find inner peace, you can find her sitting in the bleachers at swim meets, balancing upside down on a yoga mat, binging on Netflix with her husband, or sipping wine with her girlfriends.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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One Tough Cowboy Book Review

First in a brand-new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick about one man’s pursuit of justice—and unbridled desire.

About One Tough Cowboy

For as long as Samantha can remember, Hunter—a man as strong as steel, with a heart of gold—has been her hero. It came as no surprise to Samantha when she found out that the ranch- hardened cowboy who always protected her from bullies went on to become the town’s sheriff. What does surprise her is how incredibly hot he still is. And how much she still wants him.

And, lo and behold, Hunter still has feelings for Samantha. The long-smoldering heat of their innocent flirtation has grown into a full-raging fire. But when tragedy strikes, and their small-town community is shattered, Hunter vows to do everything he can to keep his childhood sweetheart safe. But can Samantha trust that Hunter has her best interests at heart…and that, after all these years, his love is true?

My Thoughts

We have two main characters in this story, Samantha and Hunter both of whom have a long history together. Hunter was her protector and someone she looked up to and also had a huge crush on. Hunter would do anything for Samantha, he had strong feelings for her before she moved away and they lasted long after she left.

Samantha returns home after a death in her family and she knew it would be difficult to see Hunter again as she wasn’t sure how strong her feelings would be and how he would feel about her. She had nothing to worry about! Both of our characters had a strong chemistry that poured off the pages.

While we having their romance and intense chemistry brewing at the top of this story, we also have quite the plot developing underneath. There are a serious of deaths that on the surface look normal but Hunter believes there were more to these deaths, especially as they were personal. As Hunter and Samantha begin to investigate (not only do they have their personal history  both are members of the law enforcement!) we find a dark plot that has spanned several years and may have international ties.

This story was a good read, it was intense at times and I found myself having to re-read certain parts to ensure I understood the plot development. I loved the way the plot developed – I was not expecting the ending and it was perfect for this story.

The novel did have a lot of sexual content spread throughout the story so fair warning to those who may not enjoy that as much. It would be exciting to see the next chapter in Samantha and Hunter’s relationship and what came of the ending to this story.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Authors

#1 New York Times bestseller Lora Leigh is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.

Veronica Chadwick started storytelling when she was a little girl. She was first published in 2004. She lives in Tennessee with three cats, a very spoiled Shih Tzu and two grand dogs. When she’s not writing, she’s hanging out with friends, reading or badly playing video games.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Making Math Fun with The Incredible Math Games Book

DK Canada

Kid approved games in a book that makes math a win win for parents and kids a like!

About The Incredible Math Games

The interactive The Incredible Math Games Book will capture and hold your child’s attention, making practicing math and play one and the same. With games like Zip to Zero, Shape Stepper, Math Maze, Times Tables Tug-of-War and more, kids will learn key math concepts while having fun. Everybody wins!

You can roll the dice, move the counters, lift-the-flaps, and learn with this fun-filled math game book designed for children ages 6-9.

My Thoughts

Math can be a very touchy topic for parents and students. The way math is taught in schools is quite different now (and the way my eldest learned math in grade two is now different then how my youngest is learning it) and sometimes we all struggle a bit. If you have a child going through a rough patch with math skills, it can be quite difficult at home and at school – they will not want to learn, may yell and even refuse to do the extra work sheets that come home.

I know that my kids usually learn the best when they are engaged, having fun and being hands on (I am the same way too – I am definitely a hands on learner). I had fantastic teachers throughout my elementary and high school years and what I remember the most is that they made the traditionally tougher classes of math and sciences FUN. Whether that was through games, hands on labs – the key was to grab our attention, get us laughing and in turn learning.

The Incredible Math Game Book incorporates important math skills with fun games, thinking questions and hidden answers. We were able to play a version of snakes and ladders, mazes, counted backwards to zero and so much  more but it all centered around basic math skills of addition and subtraction. We could open up the flaps to reveal hidden questions or answers to some of the tougher questions. I loved that it got our minds working each time, even when we played the version of snakes and ladders – it was us prompting our son with questions like ‘you rolled a three – seventeen plus three equals?’ and him giving us his answer in order to move his marker. Even though we were having fun and playing games, he was still learning (and it even got my mind working – I am not the greatest at counting backwards!). The Incredible Math Game Book is an excellent teaching tool for you to have in your home that beats traditional work sheets hands down.

You can learn more about this book on the DK Canada website and purchase a copy on Amazon.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

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