Month: December 2016

Microsoft and Intel #FindYourJoy Top Picks

Microsoft and Computer Science

Tech products are always at the top of the many Christmas wish lists around this time of year. Even our five-year old has tech products on his! Crazy how they start so young right? But what is even more amazing is the technology that companies like Microsoft and Intel are coming up with! Our son, featured below, was playing Fruit Ninja on the TV with just hands and body movements, awesome right?

Microsoft and Intel Help You #FindYourJoy

The only problem with buying tech products is that sometimes it’s so hard to know what exactly the person wants and needs. Especially when the person you are buying for is the type that writes only laptop, tablet and video game – leaving the decision-making up to you. Microsoft and Intel understands how hard purchasing technology can be and have put together a top picks list this year and I wanted to highlight a few of my favourites!

Microsoft and Intel Help You #FindYourJoy

Number one on our list? The Xbox One S. The Xbox One S is the smallest and most compact unit made and it also plays Blu-ray movies and streams videos in 4K Ultra HD. I also loved that the unit can also play a growing number of Xbox 360 games at no additional cost. Which as a parent, I can’t help but love. There is nothing harder than purchasing a new unit to have to purchase all new games at high cost.

Microsoft and Intel #FindYourJoy Top Picks

The Xbox Design lab was introduced to us in the fall at the Xbox event in Toronto. Your little gamer can build their own personalized and unique controller. The design lab features over eight million, one of a kind options that are made to order and shipped to your door. Our eldest had so much fun designing his own personal controller and if you have a gamer in the home you know how much these controllers mean to them.


The Surface Book is another favourite pick. The Surface Book features a 6th generation INtel Core i5 or i7 and the versatility of a tablet. It has 13.5 inch detachable high-resolution touchscreen. You can sketch out ideas with the Surface Pen and most importantly it has a twelve-hour battery life.

#FindYourJoy with Microsoft and Intel

Rounding out the Microsoft and Intel Top Picks list are:

  • Surface Pro 4
  • Dell XPS 13
  • Dell Inspiron 7000
  • Forza Horizon 3, ReCore, Minecraft
  • Arc Touch Mouse – Surface Edition
  • Microsoft Surface mouse and keyboard

So what does the tech lover in your home want for Christmas? Are any of the items above on their wish list?

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Theodoric Saga Book Review

Theodoric Saga Book Tour

In the Theodoric Saga, what will triumph? Love of country or love of mate?

Theodoric Saga Book One

The Crown of Anavrea

The Theodoric Saga Book 1

by Rachel Rossano

Genre: Historical Romance

th-about-the- book

In a time when castles were the strongest…in a place where combat was face to face…Labren was on the run. He hid his true name and he admitted it freely.
In a time when slavery was legal…in a place where kings were all-powerful…Eve,a slave, appeared in the right place at the right time.
Eve saved his life. In return, he offered her the opportunity of freedom. She did not know what would happen to her if she chose to accept his proposal, but she did know the consequences of rejecting it.

My Thoughts

I found myself torn with this story – I loved the plot but I was left wishing for just a little bit more to their story. The plot was excellent – full of adventure, suspense and just enough romance. We have a man who was rescued and cared for by a slave. Little did this slave woman know that he was a Prince on the run, with a bounty on his head by his Father. She cared and tended to him and in return he freed her from her slavery. It wasn’t until his wounds became more fatal that he was forced to seek help from trusted friends and have to tell her the truth. Eve took this with grace – she trusted Labren fully and would do anything for him.

I loved the plot line and the characters but I just would have loved to see a bit more depth in the character development or even a little bit more detail in the plot line. It seemed almost rushed at times. I still loved the story and can’t wait to read book two and three in this saga!

Rating: 4/5

Theodoric Saga Book Two

The King of Anavrea

The Theodoric Saga Book 2

th-about-the- book

A reluctant king, a blind queen, and a marriage that sparked a rebellion…

Ireic Theodoric, King of Anavrea, constantly battles with his council over who will

run the country. When the council insists on a treaty with Sardmara, he agrees. However, the

treaty quickly becomes an arranged marriage. Ireic offers up himself for the sake of Anavrea. But

after he signs, no princess appears.

Lirth Parnan, only daughter of the king of Sardmara, survives alone in a cold, damp

tower room. Baron Tor kidnapped her in an attempt to control her father. No one came to claim

her. She suspects her father considers her flawed beyond use in his political games. After five

years of waiting, her hope of rescue wanes with her health.

After Ireic fights his way into Lirth’s tower, he realizes the depths of her father’s

deception. Instead of being an answer to his problems, Lirth creates new ones. The council will

not accept her as queen, but Ireic has sworn an oath that he will marry her. His choice could cost

him his throne, perhaps his life.

Theodoric Saga Book Three

The Reward of Anavrea

The Theodoric Saga Book 3

th-about-the- book

She couldn’t hide forever.

A hard life taught Jayne to avoid men, powerful men most of all. When a new nobleman arrives to

take over the vargar, she takes her family and hides. But the new baron seeks her out and makes

her an offer she can’t refuse: protection. However, once they were sheltered behind the dark

stone walls of the vargar, who would protect her from the new master?

His reward isn’t what it seems.

King Ireic of Anavrea charges Liam, a former bodyguard, with the task of retaking

and taming a corner of the northern wilds. Upon arrival at Ashwyn Vargar, Liam finds challenges

beyond his military experience. The keys to the vargar are missing and so are the field hands who

should be harvesting the fields. Once he finds the keeper of the keys, she raises more questions

than answers.

th-about-the- author


Rachel Rossano

specializes in clean romantic fiction set in historical-feeling fantasy worlds. She also dabbles in

straightforward historical romance and not-so-strict speculative fiction.

A happily married mother of three small children, she divides her time between mothering, teaching, and writing. She

endeavors to enchant, thrill, entertain, and amuse through her work. A constant student, she

seeks to improve her skills and loves to hear from readers.


sdsxx-tour- button

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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Rhynan Saga Book Tour

Rhynan Saga Book Tour

Rhynan Saga Book Tour


Novels of Rhynan Book 1

by Rachel Rossano

Genre: Historical Romance

rh-about-the- book

Duty to King
Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.
Duty to Others
Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?
Duty to Each Other
Bound by Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.
My Thoughts
I fell in love with this book! The plot was unique, which I loved with excellent character development. Tomas and Brielle were special main characters and I loved watching them grow as individuals and as a couple. They are both bound by duty and honour, although they start off not knowing each other and may be a little distrustful – through a series of misadventures they are drawn together. They definitely did not have an easy start to their marriage as they fall victim to evil plots, attempted murders and more! I couldn’t tell you who I  loved more – Tomas was a favourite because of his flaws, his honesty and his trustworthiness. Brielle for her confidence, bravery and independence. You just keep rooting for them to open up enough to each other and wish them peace and happiness.
The story is well written with well-developed characters and an excellent plot line. I can’t wait to read the next two books in this series!
Rating: 5/5

Rhynan Saga Book Two


Novels of Rhynan Book 2

rh-about-the- book

The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king’s order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin.When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.
Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother’s massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.
As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother’s creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa’s fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.

Rhynan Saga Book Tour

The Making of a Man: A Short Story Anthology

(Novels of Rhynan)

This is a short story anthology.

rh-about-the- book

The Earl of Dentin returns. Eight stories ranging from short story

to novelette in length give us greater understanding into why Dentin is the complex and enigmatic

man he is. It also includes new adventures that happen between Honor and the next Rhynan novel.

Passing the Mantle – An ill-fated hunting trip

Forging Friendships – Recruiting able-bodied men ineligible for knighthood

The Sword of Korma Monroe – A sword made for trouble

Turning Point – A duke and an earl plot treason

The Bittersweet Pear – A marital misunderstanding

Isbeth’s Redemption – Dentin doesn’t make a good first impression

A Squire’s Love – Reginald’s quest

Restoration – A trip to Braulyn produces unexpected company

rh-about-the- author


Rachel Rossano specializes in clean romantic fiction set in

historical-feeling fantasy worlds. She also dabbles in straightforward historical romance and not

so-strict speculative fiction. A

happily married mother of three small children, she divides her time between mothering, teaching,

and writing. She endeavors to enchant, thrill, entertain, and amuse through her work. A constant

student, she seeks to improve her skills and loves to hear from readers.


sdsxx-tour- button

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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Create Family Adventures with Trollhunters This Holiday Season


We are so close to the Christmas holiday break and soon the kids will be out for school for two weeks. While they are always super excited to be home (yay no school!), too quickly the ‘I’m so bored’ can set in. While you may look at them and wonder how can you possibly be bored with all the new gifts, we know this happens year after year. Netflix is here to the rescue with the release of DreamWorks Trollhunters on December 23rd, 2016.

Trollhunters follows the tale of a fifteen year old boy who finds a magical amulet. This amulet gives him the title of Trollhunter, defender of the trolls that live below the human town of Acadia. With his friends, they become tangled in this  new world and in the fight between good and bad trolls.

There are twenty-six episodes which total thirteen hours of adventure, suspense and imagination. Parents will love the acts of bravery and friendship, as well as the adult humour tied in there that we get but will go over the kids heads (big thumbs up there!). Kids will love the twenty gross out moments and the forty-six moments that will make them laugh out loud.

Create Holiday Adventures with TrollhuntersTo help you out on this adventure (and to keep active children busy), check out this handy battle and armor sword activity to help bring the action to life. Just print out this PDF and get ready for action packed fun. And if you really want to embrace the Trollhunters fun, make some delicious hard rock candy – we all know Trolls love hard rock candy and so will your little adventurer.

Create Adventures with DreamWorks Trollhunters

So my question to you is: how do you handle the long two weeks of the Christmas break? Do you have any go to favourite movies/activities/crafts?

Disclosure: I am a #StreamTeam Member and receive perks with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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How Do You Binge? #StreamTeam


Binge: a short period devoted to indulging in an activity, movie or anything else in excess.

I am sure so many of you have heard about bingeing habits, especially when it comes to Netflix. You have the extreme, wont move from the couch until they have finished the series viewers or the ones who watch a couple of shows and quit.

I have tried to binge watch my favourite shows but none of them are appropriate for when my children are around (I love Borgia, Orange is the New Black and Call the Midwives would just bore them). I learned the hard way when I turned on Orange is the New Black and the opening scene came on while my kids were running around and I was left scrambling for the controller! I have had to change my binge habits and watch my shows early in the morning or late at night for several hours at a time. Talk about being exhausted the next day! It would be pretty neat to see a study on the bingeing habits of parents – there is so much to take into consideration when choosing shows.

The newest trend? Netflix has found that over 30 million members around the world pair TV shows with movies. So what does this mean? It means that members are bingeing on their favourite TV shows and then take a brief three-day break. During this break members are watching complementary movies that reflect their favourite show or are in contrast to what they just viewed (from horror shows to comedy films).

How Do You Binge? #StreamTeam

So what are some common pairings? Check it out:

How Do You Binge? #StreamTeam

While we don’t follow this binge habit, it seems like many others do. In our house we alternate in the middle of series to a movie and back again. I really liked this table of choices – they definitely make sense! Marvel’s Luke Cage to Deadpool and Gilmore Girls to Mean Girls, these are definitely choices I would have made.

How do you binge? Do you follow this bingeing pattern?

Disclosure: I am a #StreamTeam Member and receive perks with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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