Month: September 2016

Printable Colouring Book Fun with KidloLand and WMJ

Educational Fun with KidloLand Nursery Rhyme App

A little over two months ago, I shared with you the educational nursery rhyme app, KidloLand on my blog (you can find all the information here). I have once again partnered with them to bring you a twelve page printable colouring book for your little ones.

Educationl Fun with the KidloLand Nursery Rhyme App

My boys love to colour and I am constantly online printing out new cartoons, new animals and cars for them to colour. It keeps them physically and mentally busy all while having fun! It also let’s you as the parent get some much needed time to get other things done, like maybe cooking dinner – I know it has always helped us out in the past.

Make sure you download and print off the exciting new colouring book and share your child’s colourings with me online! I would love to see their work. Enjoy!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Drop of Water Book Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

In A Drop of Water, Yvonne reflects upon her past experiences, grief, and losses to find her way back to her spirituality and strength.

A Drop of Water Book Spotlight

About A Drop of Water

In this extraordinary book, Yvonne reflects upon her past experiences, grief, and losses to find her way back to her spirituality and strength. She bares her soul, yet is able to use water as a lighthearted, uninhibited, and fun way to express how we are all connected. It is a spiritually inspired book about healing, grief, and personal growth.

It becomes a beautiful poetic journey as she discovers her love of water as part of what led her towards her spiritual path. Through her writing she expresses how she found her way through several tremendous losses, including the loss of her husband. In her ability to endure, she found a strength she never knew she had.

This book is for anyone that has ever struggled with depression, grief, or loss of any kind. It is for anyone interested in personal growth and healing. By sharing her personal story she is able to remind us that we are never truly alone. Water connects us all.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Yvonne Williams Casaus is a Mom, Wife, Author, Counselor, and Play Therapist. She is an independently licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCC), a Registered Play Therapist (RPT), and is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She specializes in Depression, Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She has a private practice in New Mexico and has been helping adults, children, adolescents, and families for over eleven years.

Yvonne’s areas of expertise include Depression, Anxiety, Divorce, Panic Attacks,(Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), Sexual Abuse, Rape, Physical Abuse, Grief, ADHD and other issues. She also specializes in treating traumatized children with issues such as PTSD, Sexual abuse, Physical Abuse, Neglect, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

You can connect with her on website, facebook, twitter.

A Drop of Water Book Spotlight

The Giveaway

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Day Tripping to Darien Lake New York: Tips and Tricks

Day Tripping to Darien Lake Tips & Tricks

Our family just recently received our passports (way over due) and we have made quite a few exciting trips to the USA. We live within an hour from the border but it never really crossed our mind to visit the local shopping and attractions. In my mind, I always thought it was just too far and too much of a hassle. So you can imagine my shock when I was talking to my co-workers and realized that Darien Lake is actually closer to us then our Canadian amusement park! We of course had to put this to the test and decided to do a day trip to Darien Lake to check it out for ourselves. Here are top tips for our fellow Canadians making the day trip down to Darien Lake (which was actually quite feasible and the park is amazing).

Day Tripping to Darien Lake Tips & Tricks

Leave Early! You want to enjoy yourselves and bypass some of the line ups at the border, so leave as early as you can. Being thirty minutes away from the border, we left at 8 and arrived at Darien Lake around 9:30. The park opened up at 10:30 but we were allowed inside the gates at 10 and made use of this time by planning our way through the park with their helpful site maps. My son also was quite impressed with the Pokestops and Pokémon that were there at the park (as you can see below as he made sure I capture of the Pokemon site!).

Day Tripping to Darien Lake Tips & Tricks

Pack light – we only brought one bag that held our bathing suits and towels. A lot of the patrons wore their bathing suits with shorts on top, which was a great idea. There is a lot of walking and you don’t want to be weighed down by heavy bags. You can always leave the park (with a stamped hand) and come back but it does take away from enjoying the park and just living in the moment. We chose not to bring lunches and instead wanted to enjoy one of the many restaurants located throughout the park. We ended up at the Boardwalk (but really wanted to try the Italian restaurant near the water park!). The food was delicious and reasonably priced for an amusement park, for four people the meal cost us $50 US. Which is actually probably cheaper than many other places and the fries were to die for! They also had large bottles for pop/water/juice that once you bought the bottle you could refill the bottle for a much cheaper price.

Day Tripping to Darien Lake Tips & Tricks

Plan out the rides you really want to go on so that you know where to start first, this is something we didn’t do well enough and we ended up wasting time walking around quite a bit as we searched for the right rides. We were able to hit all of the rides we wanted to go except for the Ride of Steel (and this was more due to grumpy children then the line ups). In the early morning, there were very few line ups for rides and even by mid-day the wait for a ride was pretty short. This left us with two happy kids (and even happier parents!!). Make sure you save time for the water park, it is definitely a must go to for families. We loved the wave pool and the Rip Curl Racer – I have not had fun like that since I was a young girl.

Day Tripping to Darien Lake Tips & Tricks

Bring lots of small change. When you exchange your Canadian currency for American, make sure to ask for at least twenty dollars in ones. This is quite helpful for the toll booths along the highway (we encountered two on the way and two on the way back) and the first toll booth I only had a twenty dollar bill which she didn’t look too happy about – lesson learned for us! The park also has many games for children to play (it reminded me so much of a fair and I loved it), so having smaller change available was perfect.

You can purchase and carry alcohol around the park. This was the biggest difference to me and felt odd at first, as we watched others carry alcohol (I saw only beer) around the park. My husband purchased his own mug to happily carry around and I must admit it did make us feel like children being bad but it was also quite fun. I was really impressed that even though individuals were allowed to carry around alcohol, we never encountered any one who had too much to drink or anyone who was misbehaving.

Our family was super impressed with the proximity, rides and water park located inside the park and the quality of the food and entertainment. It was almost hard to believe that we had travelled such a short distance, crossed the border and there was this incredible amusement park. We can not wait to visit again, this time ensuring we hit all of the must do rides.

Make sure to follow Darien Lake on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with news and events.

Disclosure: I received admission into the park in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Looking to Save Money? Check Out Groupon Coupons Now!

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Disclosure: Looking to Save Money? Check Out Groupon Coupons is a sponsored post. As always, the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

I love saving money (I mean honestly how can you not with a growing family?!) as it means I can put our hard earned money toward the kids, vacations and extra curricular activities. I use a variety of methods to save money – from price matching, to comparing items by brands and by store but my favourite way to save money is by using coupons.

Looking to Save Money? Check Out Groupon Coupons Now!

Coupons give instant gratification when you redeem them in store or online as you see your total come down dollar by dollar. When we shop for household items, clothes and groceries we know exactly what we need or what we want, which makes using the Groupon Coupons site that much easier. You can easily move through their website by popular coupons, popular stores or even by category.

Looking to Save Money? Use Groupon Coupons Now!

I personally find before I start looking for coupons, the most important step is to write down what you need. It makes sorting through the website for coupons that much easier. Once you find the store and coupon you need, you have the choice to use the coupon code on the store website (if the coupon is only valid online) or to print the coupon required for in store purchases (I was able to print out a great coupon for 30% off at Michael’s Arts & Crafts store).

Some of my favourite stores that can be found on Groupon Coupons are:

I loved that I had the option to use my coupons either online or in store depending on the deal. The best part of it all was that they took the searching and guess work out of coupon hunting for you by having them sorted into the right categories and all on one site. A definite win win for this savvy shopper!

What are your favourite coupons to use? Do you prefer online codes over in store coupons?

Make sure to follow Groupon Coupons on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest news and deals.

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Everlasting Lies Book Review

iRead Book Tours

In Everlasting Lies, Edina Paxton is kissed at twelve, seduced at fourteen and married with child at fifteen. She immediately regrets her marriage to Charles Vernon and is relieved when he leaves to fight in the trenches during WW1. She soon finds love, comfort and sexual satisfaction with Bill, another soldier and the boy who first kissed her.

Everlasting Lies Book Review

About Everlasting Lies

Charles is invalided out of the army and is sent to India on a hospital ship. There, he becomes a manager of a coalmine in Britain’s Indian Empire, with all the privileges that his position rewards, including sexual favours from female employees. At the end of his army service in 1920 he returns to England to collect his family and return to India, only to be greeted with the news that while he was away Edina was at play. She is pregnant.

Reluctantly, Edina and her three children sail for India with Charles and Edina gives birth to her fourth child while sailing south on the Red Sea. On reaching India Charles finds his Indian mistress is pregnant and Edina finds Charles’s Indian boss to be very attractive. It’s a mutual attraction. Neither Edina nor Charles is a saint.

Piecing together fragments of her grandmother’s remarkable and tragic story, Everlasting Lies is Barbara’s loving tale of the early life of Edina, her grandmother, and Charles, Edina’s husband. They both experience the horrors of WW1 and, in hopes of renewing their marriage, start new lives as members of the upper class in Imperial India.

My Thoughts

Just wow! Everlasting Lies is an incredible story that leaves you shocked, happy, angry at times and at other times emotionally involved. Edina had a horrible transition into adulthood after becoming pregnant. My heart ached for Edina throughout the novel, she is a tender soul who had her heart broken and tested far too many times. The way she was treated by Charles and her lack of rights in general is shocking and disturbing. Charles at many times at the book made me so angry and I wanted to lash out at him. He never treated Edina the way she truly deserved and took advantage of her age and naive nature. Edina tries to be kind and play the good wife but it does take quite a toll on her throughout the novel. I felt like she aged herself and separated herself from her family and friends, the true protectors that she needed.

When he drags his family to India, a trip that I was personally so angry at him for enforcing on Edina and her children, we see him almost redeem himself both in Edina’s eyes and our own (ALMOST!). Edina has a difficult choice to make – make the most of their marriage, forgive themselves for their mistake (which also includes her own affair) or for them to continue to stray. The move to India puts a lot at stake for both of them as well as opens their eyes to their own mistakes and how it has affected their children.

Everlasting Lies is an incredible tale that will leave you shocked, angry, full of emotion and raw. I never wanted to put this novel down. I had to continue to read Edina and Charles’ story, although many times I prayed Charles would just leave my prayers were never answered. The story ends at an almost crucial point in their marriage – where they decide to work on their marriage but there are hints of the start of more affairs. I wanted to know so much more! You will fall in love with this fantastic novel!

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

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Barbara Warren always has the pedal to the metal. Born in England and educated at a convent, she left school at sixteen and was selling encyclopedias in the roughest part of London at eighteen. She married and emigrated to Canada when she was twenty-three, had three charming daughters, went to university when she was thirty-six and retired from teaching in her mid fifties.

Then she pursued her passion for the arts and for travel. She and her husband rode camels in India, elephants in Nepal and horses in Montana. They hitchhiked in Norway, cycled across Denmark and snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef. Barbara’s paintings grace homes in Canada, USA and Mexico and she designs her own clothes. She spends the winters in Mexico and the summers in the bible belt of southern Alberta.

Her first novel, Everlasting Lies, tells the story of her grandparents’ love affairs with each other and with others. They struggle to survive in the last years of Victorian England and the horrors of WW1 and then start a new life with four children in Imperial India. You can connect with her on her website 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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