Month: July 2015

Keep Learning Fresh in the Summer with My First French Book Words

DK Canada

While summer is all about fun and getting outside, don’t forget about learning too! Our children can forget so much over the summer months so it is important to keep up those skills by practicing their math and language skills.



Our eldest had his first year of French lessons at school and he fell in love with the language (can you blame him?). It also brought back so many memories for me as well. Children that can speak two languages definitely have a strong advantage and I want this for my kids, especially as Canadians it is important to speak both French and English.

My First French Book Words covers topics ranging from toys to farm animals to shapes food. The book contains both the English and French word to accompany each picture.

The best features of this book:

  • bold and bright photos that draw your attention
  • easily divided tabs on the top and side of the book so you can jump ahead to a preferred section (or find your spot again)
  • a fantastic variety of words that goes well beyond the basics (for example parrots, budgies and guinea pigs are included in the animal section)
  • thick pages to help little hands turn the pages themselves (a must for those independent children!)
  • the writing was kid friendly and easy to read

DK Canada’s My First French Book Words will be the perfect tool to expose your children to the French language and garner their interest in learning a second language. Make sure you check out the DK Oh Canada Boutique this summer for lots more fun!

Does your child speak another language at home? 

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

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Summer Time Family Fun in the Sun #KinderMom

We are halfway through the summer (hard to believe right?!) and our family has been taking full advantage of this warm weather from swimming, to movies, to the Pan Am Games – Ontario has so much to offer for family fun and Kinder treats have been with us each time.

Summer Time Fun Activities!

But sometimes, we just need to unwind and have some downtime to help us focus as a family. There are so many fun (and free) things you can do in your own community. Here are my top places and activities to do in the summer for free:

  • Splash Pads: these provide hours of endless fun for children and help to cool them down on hot days.
  • Family Movie Nights: we like to set up blankets and pillows in front of the television (our ‘campout’) and put on an oldie but goodie movie to enjoy at night. Throw some popcorn and Kinder eggs and it is a win win!
  • Hiking: while the weather has been far too hot to actively be hiking the trails, find a hiking trail in your community and get out there. Supply your children with a mission to complete (finding a certain amount of birds,etc..) and have fun. You can combine exercise and education in this one.
  • Picnics at the park: I am a huge fan of picnics. You don’t even have to go far just pack up a small bag of food and get outdoors. You can even eat in the front yard and the kids will have so much fun with the change-up of routine.
  • The library: there are so many activities provided at the library over the summer from movie days, to bingo and animal days. Take advantage of these free activities as your children will learn, have fun and meet new friends.
  • Fishing: while I am not a huge fan of removing the fish or attaching a worm (seriously gross), my kids can spend hours at the lake fishing!

Summer Time Fun Activities

Where ever you go this summer, make sure to pack lots of water (a must) and a special little Kinder egg treat for your kids!

What are your favourite summer time activities to do with your kids?

Disclosure: I am a KinderMom and receive perks associated with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Two Hearts by James Eric Richey

iRead Book Tours

Will doubts of being true to her ruin her marriage in Two Hearts?

Two Hearts ReviewAbout Two Hearts

Jaxon Tagget is a cattle-rancher’s son, born and raised on the Double T, just outside of Dillon, Montana. He is in love with his high-school sweetheart, Annie, so much so that Jaxon proposes on graduation night. He presents her with a wedding ring made from gold he had mined himself. Annie accepts immediately, to the horror of her bitter, man-hating mother.

Jaxon is a wonderful husband, but the warnings of Annie’s mother linger in the young bride’s ears. And it doesn’t help that women continue to fall all over the markedly handsome Jaxon.

Unaware of his wife’s persistent doubts, Jaxon is struggling with his own troubles when he finds out his Dad is in need of money to save the ranch. But hope glimmers gold when he rediscovers the old mine on the Double T.

While Jaxon travels to verify the mine’s productivity, Annie grows increasingly suspicious. Is Jaxon’s absence what it seems, or does he have another, less faithful reason for his travels? When Annie sees a picture of the beautiful laboratory owner whom Jaxon is visiting, she’s sure the only gold he’s interested in is long, blond hair. Is Annie right, or will it be her doubts that forever sever their Two Hearts?

My Thoughts

Our past experiences shape our current actions and thought patterns. It is hard to ‘unlearn’ everything that has shaped us throughout our childhood. This is the same for Annie in Two Hearts. She loves Jaxon with all her heart but because of her childhood she is quick to not trust him and find fault. This is a typical thought pattern so many of us get into and is even that much harder to break. It is the ‘safer’ road for us, just as this is the safe road for Annie.

Jaxon loves Annie with all her heart but the constant accusations and lack of trust is eating away at his heart. He wants and needs her to see how much he loves her. That when he said ‘I Do’ he meant it and always will mean it.

Two Hearts is not only an honest, romantic novel but touching and provides readers with a good lesson. Trust is the basis of any relationship and without it a marriage can fail easily.

You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

James Eric Richey was born and raised in California. He attended Brigham Young University, studying English with an emphasis in Literature. After graduating from BYU he returned home to California to further his education by attending law school. After passing the bar, James practiced in California for several years, but he quickly learned that he did not have a passion for the law.

In 1998 James obtained his real estate appraiser license, which has given him a flexible work schedule and allowed him to pursue his true passion, writing books. Besides his writing, he also enjoys reading, running, and sailing. James currently lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with his wife, Heather, and their two daughters.

You can connect with him online, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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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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Navigating the Sea of Bras to Find Your Perfect Fit with Wacoal

Navigating the Sea of Bras with Hudson's Bay and Wacoal

Do you ever feel as though your bra was purposely designed to torture you and make you despise it?

I know that I personally feel this way on a daily basis. My bra is the first thing that I put on in the morning and it is the first thing that I can’t wait to rip off when I get home from work. My bra leaves me feeling sore, uncomfortable and longing for freedom. These are the feelings that I had been accustomed to and naturally assumed were normal, that all bras were like this but I was completely surprised to find out this is wrong! You should be able to comfortably wear your bra for twenty-four hours minimum. I don’t think I have ever worn mine for more than the eight hours I am in the office (and that is only because I am required to).

So what makes the perfect bra and how do you find one?

Firstly, you need to understand that all breasts are different sizes, shapes and weights. I know that this sounds like common sense but I did not realize that this would affect my bra design choices so greatly. Pregnancy and breast-feeding have altered the shape of my breasts and my cup size, so much so that the bra that I was wearing was actually emphasizing their irregular shape instead of smoothing and giving them the natural push up that I desired.

This is the most important part here, have a proper bra fitting. Over the last two years, I have had several bra fittings and have been told two different cup sizes (one of the fittings told me that I could get away with a C or D whichever I prefer!) which only led to greater confusion for me – how could I possibly fit into two cup sizes?

My first real fitting experience happened at Hudson’s Bay this past weekend. I met with a lovely consultant named Brenda, whom not only sized me (which by the way was a cup bigger then I was wearing and went from a 38 bust to a 44!) but explained the differences in bras designs and figured out in under five minutes what type of bra design would better enhance my breasts. The wealth of knowledge she shared with me was jaw dropping. I always purchased my bras by running in a store, quickly finding my assumed size, paid for it and ran out. No wonder I was always suffering with discomfort, escaping underwire and pinch marks on my skin. If there is one thing you can do when you go to purchase your next bra, take the time to meet with a consultant to be properly measured and shown the best bras for your breast shape and weight.

Navigating The Sea of Bras with Hudson's Bay and Wacoal

All bras are not created equal and each design has a unique job to fill. Your bra is more than just frilly lace designed to make you feel pretty. Brenda took me through the section of Wacoal bras in their intimates department. The Wacoal brand is relatively new to Canada, hitting Hudson’s Bay stores roughly five years ago. Wacoal has designed a bra that fits every shape and weight of breast imaginable.

Navigating the Sea of Bras with Hudson's Bay and Wacoal

So what are the different types of bra designs?

A woman with a larger cup size and heavier breast weight is our first example. She would need the proper bra support to keep her breasts elevated and preventing shoulder strain, in order to do so the bra needs to have a thicker shoulder strap like found in the Wacoal Awareness bra. These thicker straps help elevate the breasts while minimizing the shoulder strain that comes with a heavier weighted breast.

Navigating the Sea of Bras with Hudson's Bay and Wacoal

The t-shirt bra is a must-have fashion item for every woman. This is the bra that you will wear everyday and you want to make sure it is comfortable. The angled straps on the Wacoal t-shirt bra hides the straps from being visible if you are wearing a tank top, provides seamless support and gives a comfortable push up for your breasts. I actually left the store with two of these bras in hand (actually one on and one in my purse!!) because they are that comfortable.

Navigating the Sea of Bras with Hudson's Bay and Wacoal

The bralette is a cute alternative for smaller cup sizes and young ladies who are just starting to wear bras. They are lightweight, stretchy and resemble a sports bra (just cuter). If you have a daughter, bring her in store to try one of these out. This will not only expose her to the bra selection and buying process but help her with her comfort level of talking about her breasts and being measured.

Navigating the Sea of Bras with Hudson's Bay and Wacoal

Sometimes, we all just want to feel pretty and our bras help us feel this way. The intricate design and European fabrics of this Wacoal bra screams gorgeousness and helps you feel your best.

Navigating the Sea of Bras with Hudson's Bay and Wacoal

The process of purchasing a bra can be overwhelming (this is coming from a dash in and dash out bra shopper!) but you can simplify the shopping experience by having a bra fitting with a consultant. Your bra fitting will change the way you look at and purchase a bra. Have your consultant show you the best brand for your shape and breast size, for me this was the Wacoal brand.

Navigating the Sea of Bras with Hudson's Bay and Wacoal

Tell me your bra stories! Were you like me and completely in the dark about the different bra designs?

This post has been brought to you by Hudson’s Bay, but the images and opinions are my own. For more information, please visit

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A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears

Litfuse Book Tour

Two strangers are drawn together in A Bride at Last through one woman and her child.

A Bride at LastAbout A Bride at Last

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought a battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she had been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she will take on care of nine-year-old Anthony – until two men suddenly show up in town, both claiming to be the boy’s father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

My Thoughts

Whenever I read a historical novel, I always feel how shocking the norms were during these time periods especially in North America. The concept of mail-order bride can be mind blowing and the same goes for the many children that were orphaned or left to survive on their own. Kate Dawson is an incredibly strong woman for the time period she lives in. She has been hurt, taken advantage of but still manages to push ahead. Her job as a teacher helps her to protect ‘her’ children and guide them. She becomes extremely attached to Anthony who has been abused by his ‘father’.

When a new man comes to claim Anthony as his own, both Kate and Anthony are forced to struggle to put Anthony’s safety and well being first. When bribes were the norm, his fate could be decided by who has more money. It broke my heart.

When Kate and Silas begin to realize they may have feelings for each other or at least try to help each other move past their own hurts, it is heart warming. Both of them have been hurt so badly in the past, that you want to see them happy but their wounds are still so fresh!

You can find more reviews on the Litfuse Blog Tour Page. You can purchase a copy here.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps and A Bride in Store, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. You can connect with her online and on Facebook.

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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