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Shower Your Little One with the Love of Reading from Sourcebooks Kids this Valentine’s Day

I love how reading a good book helps to connect you with others, especially children. A book helps children understand the world around them, helps them verbalize and understand others and their feelings. Books help us put in to words how we are feeling and helps us to better express ourselves.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, what better way to talk about love with your child then with a fantastic, kid friendly book?

Every year we celebrate Valentine’s Day with a gift for each of our children. The following books would make an excellent gift or even a great read leading up to Valentine’s Day to help us talk about our feelings and what we mean to each other. Being a part of a family, we know we love each other but sometimes we also know that we can drive each other a bit bonkers. It is important for kids to know that they are loved for every part of their personality. Thinking a bit outside of the box, these would also make a great baby shower gift and guaranteed to make the parents to be want to cry!

Here are the top five Valentine’s Day children’s books that will show your little one just how much you care.

I Love You All Ways

From the author of Be Brave Little One and If I Could Keep You Little comes I Love You All Ways, an adorable exploration of how love surrounds us, no matter what we do or where we go. From morning to night — through the happy, playful, and mischievous moments — I Love You All Ways is a sweet celebration of the never-ending love for a child.

In case you ever wonder,
in the busy of our days,
exactly how you’re loved by me,
I think you’ll be amazed. “

This is a beautiful hard cover book that will make you want to cry. The simple sentences that were easy to read, leave a big impact on children. The words remind children that yes we love them when they are good but we also love them when they are loud, mischievous, sick and everything in between. It reminds our children that they will have our love with them wherever they go and whatever they do. The illustrations are done in soft colours that matches the tone of this book.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

I Love You To The Moon and Back

Share your heart with the one you love most in the world and wrap them in the security of God’s protection with this newest picture book from renowned inspirational brand Precious Moments. Written in sweet, rhyming verse, this is the perfect book to share on Valentine’s Day or all year round!

I collect Precious Moments so I could not wait to open this book and it did not disappoint (the illustrations were brilliant!). This beautifully written book starts off with that special moment when we bring our child home and our hearts are bursting with love. It takes on a religious tone, as we talk about the gift from above in the form of His love and our friends and family. That these very important people will be there for us, supporting us and celebrating with us for the rest of our lives. It really helps to remind us of the importance of these relationships and the impact they have on our lives. I loved the ending – I found it was only when I became a Mom that I really understood all my parents did and felt for us.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Always More Love

Always More Love is a heartwarming story and fun experience for families to share together about how the love for those special ones in your life only grows more and more each day.

I love you so much, but there’s more in my heart.
How is that possible? Well, where do I start?

Now move in close and you will see
Just how much you mean to me.

This book was so much fun to read aloud – it is very interactive and you can act as silly as you want together. From tickles, to snuggles, to giggles – this book is perfect for young children as we talk about how our heart is so full of love but we can always love just a little bit more. The book is illustrated with bright, bold colours that your young child will appreciate.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

I Love You Like No Otter

There’s no better way to say “I love you” than with a sweet and heartfelt animal pun! I Love You Like No Otter combines a warm message of love with beautifully illustrated animals, making it the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day and all year round!

This is an adorable and simple read for young children. Each page is a pun using favourite animal characters. The puns are quite funny, I have used a few to put as notes in a lunch pail and it gives us a good laugh at the end of the day. How can you not love animals and jokes?

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Love: From Sesame Street

In this New York Times bestselling picture book, beloved Sesame characters share what love means to them. This warm and uplifting book will show children new ways to look for love in everyday life—and brighten their day!

“Love is a sunny day!
Love is being an everyday HERO.
Love comes in all shapes and sizes.
Love is cookies… and then more cookies!”

I love Sesame Street and the message that it sends to young children. This book has a powerful impact on young children as we explore the many sides of love and how it comes in all shapes and sizes. It can help children to discuss their feelings and how love makes them feel, and even the examples of love that they see every day. How do we show love to our friends? To our teachers? To our family? And even gives children a great way to describe these feelings. It helps to really open the door to the endless possible ways that we can describe love.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Make sure to add one or more of these great books above and get ready to start engaging your child in the wonderful topic of love and what it means to us.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned books in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Deconstructing Anxiety Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

Replete with processes that bring the theoretical background into technicolor, Deconstructing Anxiety provides a clear roadmap to resolving this human dilemma, paving the way to an ultimate and transcendent freedom. 

About Deconstructing Anxiety

In Deconstructing Anxiety, Pressman provides a new and comprehensive understanding of fear’s subtlest mechanisms. In this model, anxiety is understood as the wellspring at the source of all problems. Tapping into this source therefore holds the clues not only for how to escape fear, but how to release the very causes of suffering, paving the way to a profound sense of peace and satisfaction in life.

With strategically developed exercises, this book offers a unique, integrative approach to healing and growth, based on an understanding of how the psyche organizes itself around anxiety. It provides insights into the architecture of anxiety, introducing the dynamics of the “core fear” (one’s fundamental interpretation of danger in the world) and “chief defense” (the primary strategy for protecting oneself from threat). The anxious personality is then built upon this foundation, creating a “three dimensional, multi-sensory hologram” within which one can feel trapped and helpless.

Replete with processes that bring the theoretical background into technicolor, Deconstructing Anxiety provides a clear roadmap to resolving this human dilemma, paving the way to an ultimate and transcendent freedom. Therapists and laypeople alike will find this book essential in helping design a life of meaning, purpose and enduring fulfillment.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

TODD E. PRESSMAN, Ph.D., is a psychologist dedicated to helping people design lives of fulfillment. He is the founder and director of Logos Wellness Center and Pressman and Associates Life Counseling Center. An international speaker and seminar leader, he has presented at the Omega Institute, the New York Open Center, and numerous professional conferences, including the prestigious Council Grove Conference, sponsored by the Menninger Foundation. He has written dozens of articles, educational programs, and two highly acclaimed books, Radical Joy: Awakening Your Potential for True Fulfillment and The Bicycle Repair Shop: A True Story of Recovery from Multiple Personality Disorder. He earned his doctorate in psychology from the Saybrook Institute and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, has studied under renowned leaders in the Consciousness movement and Gestalt therapy, and has traveled around the world to study the great Wisdom traditions, from Zen Buddhism to fire-walking ceremonies, providing a cross-cultural perspective of the extraordinary capacities of the mind and spirit. He makes his home in Philadelphia.

Connect with him on his website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Cherish Family Moments with Medieval Times #MTCelebrate

The holidays are a hectic time of the year. This busy schedule starts in November and goes right up until the last present is opened. There are tears, frustration, success, happiness, lots of food and more. The only downfall? Not enough time to just spend together and focus on your family. There is always something else to bake, wrap and another party to attend and sometimes the true reason for the holidays is lost.

The kids were about a week into their school holiday, the Christmas get togethers were done and we strongly felt that we needed a day to focus on our family. We wanted no cooking, no cleaning and no technology to disturb us – just laughs, quality time and fun.

What better way to achieve all of this then to travel to the Middle Ages with Medieval Times?

Not only was it a break for Mom and Dad from cooking and cleaning, the entertainment and education value for the kids is superb (honestly as a Mom, this is a huge win for me if I can get my kids learning without even realizing it). A complete win-win for every family member!

We did a bit of research on jousting and a medieval feast, starting with the Medieval Times website and then doing our own searches online. Our youngest was really curious about how the jousting happened, if they would really injure each other and how a winner was chosen.

I strongly suggest arriving at the Medieval Times castle prior to the doors opening (roughly seventy five minutes before the start of the show). We were greeted by Lord Cedric and the Queen and welcomed into her Castle in true royal style at that seventy five minute mark and it was worth waiting for. I was a bit nervous on how they would assign seats, but they have a truly efficient system set up that moved the flow of traffic from the front doors into the great hall quickly while still enjoying the atmosphere, allowing you to take photos and take in the design of the castle and pictures with the Queen.

We really wanted our younger kids to fully immerse themselves in the experience and purchased the knighting ceremony add on for them. Both of the kids were made a Princess and a Knight of the Realm in a special ceremony in the Great Hall prior to the start of the show. The looks on their faces was just priceless. The Queen knighted them and presented them to all of the people in attendance for their great acts of courage battling a dragon.

We were then allowed to wander the hall until the show started. We found swords, a falcon, and so much more. Once we were allowed to sit, the excitement level went through the roof! Between the lights, sitting in the benches, cheering for our knights with the serving wenches and the realization that they get to only eat with their hands, the anticipation and excitement was incredible.

The show itself has something for everyone – an incredible falcon show (the falcon flew so close to us, our youngest was convinced it hit one of the crowns), the horse display and then the knights. It is hard to pinpoint one part that we loved the most – it was all executed so well with such great attention to detail. You truly feel as though you have stepped back in time.

The knights were fantastic to watch as they completed challenges and then jousting. Our yellow and red knight started off very strong but was ultimately defeated. They were animated, full of strength and bravery – they were truly a pleasure to watch as they performed.

Ready to plan your visit?

Head over to Medieval Times now to book your trip – right now you can save 40% on adult tickets and 20% on children tickets using the code USF4020. The code is valid until September 30, 2020 so you have a lot of time to take advantage of this fantastic deal. Make sure to check on the extra add ons for your trip (they are well worth it).

Feeling lucky? Enter to win tickets now here (good luck!).

What would you celebrate at Medieval Times?

Make sure to follow Medieval Times on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with promotions, giveaways and more.

Disclosure: I received tickets in order to facilitate this post, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Middle Eastern Cuisine in Hamilton: Paramount Fine Foods

Hamilton has become recognized in the GTAH area in the last several years for the development of great restaurants, great shopping and cultural experiences. You can find excellent restaurants that offer you more than just the commercialized dining experience.

Located on Upper James and just past Stonechurch Road in Hamilton, is Paramount Fine Foods. Don’t let the name throw you off – they are an unique, family centred, high end restaurant serving delicious Middle Eastern cuisine. I was not actually aware that the location was even there (thinking that the closest one to us was in Mississauga area!). The location is ideal – close to major shopping stores, car dealerships and the main parkway (Lincoln Alexander Parkway) that connects the east and west mountain and major highways (Highway 403 and Red Hill Valley Parkway) entering into Hamilton.

The restaurant itself has a laid back but upscale environment. It felt like we were walking into a family’s home – we felt welcome and enjoyed the warmth and presence of the restaurant. The atmosphere is warm and elegant with a lot of attention paid to the small details. The staff were extremely welcoming, kind and helpful.

The restaurant even includes a small child’s playground area, which when you are dining with kids is an excellent option to have. They can get bored sometimes waiting for their food to arrive, they tend to finish faster and so on. Having an option for them to go play, climb and explore is a fantastic option for parents, who really just want to relax during their meal and take everything in (especially when you don’t get out much!). Even with having the play area in the restaurant, the noise level was never high and it was never distracting (in fact the kids were adorable as they tried to climb the highest).

The food at Paramount Fine Foods is divine. You can taste the quality of the ingredients and the love and pride that they put into their food. I don’t think that there is anything on the menu that we don’t like – from their manakeesh (cheese is my favourite), to their shared platters to featured mains like lamb chops, there is something for everyone on their menu.

The restaurant also features a children’s menu if you have a picky eater or want smaller portion sizes. We are easily able to share a platter as a family of four with everyone getting something they love (funny enough on the platter – the favourite is the rice and beef skewers and shawarma!). Bonus – everyone is completely stuffed by the end of the meal (like make sure you have stretchy pants on because your stomach will be full and satisfied!).

You can learn more about the Paramount Fine Foods story on their website. Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Disclosure: We were invited to visit Paramount Fine Foods in Hamilton. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Law and Addiction Book Review

Law and Addiction is real-life drama at its finest ― a book that clears away the darkness page by page, spotlighting a profound truth about our society through expert storytelling.

About Law and Addiction

One week before his law school graduation, Jake Rutledge is shattered. His fraternal twin, Blake, has died of a drug overdose. When Jake returns to his hometown of Oakley, West Virginia, he discovers that his brother was not the only person hooked on opioid painkillers. The entire region has been ravaged by an epidemic insidiously planned and carried out by one of America’s most powerful pharmaceutical companies.

Still wet behind the ears, Jake is determined to seek justice for all the victims of Big Pharma’s greed. He soon learns that the drug companies’ tentacles reach far and deep. His only hope is to get Nicholas “Deke” Deketomis to help. A partner at one of the country’s most powerful law firms, Deke’s “as tough as a two-dollar steak” and well-known for his winning tactics against corporate wrongdoers. With just enough persistence, Jake coaxes Deke to see Oakley’s devastation firsthand. Overwhelmed, Deke agrees to join forces with Jake.

And that’s when the real heat begins. Death threats, bribes, unlawful property seizure schemes – all are connected to the massive distribution of both legal and illegal drugs. Everyone is impacted, from the highest levels of corporate America to corrupt local officials to their lackeys and hapless victims. The complexity of the schemes is overwhelming.

Working tirelessly, the lawyers begin to uncover the truth. Along the way, Jake falls in love with Anna Fowler, a former homecoming queen who has succumbed to the power of opioids. With his support, she weans herself off the drugs. Hope begins to bloom ― when suddenly, Jake disappears. As Deke undertakes a desperate search to find him, questions swirl. Has Jake abandoned Anna and his crusade? Can the case against the evildoers move forward without him? Will Oakley and its residents survive?

My Thoughts

Law and Addiction was an incredibly powerful, thought provoking novel. I was pulled right in from Chapter One and could not put it down. I felt a range of emotions throughout the novel, anger, compassion, hurt – but definitely a lot of anger.

The story begins with the death of Blake, Jake’s fraternal twin from an overdose. Jake, who was just finishing law school, is shattered as he never saw the signs of addiction in his brother. He is left wondering how did this happen, could he have done more, should he have seen the signs and so many more emotions. His hometown has been ravaged by opioids – people he has known his whole life are struggling with addiction. The town has quickly become a ‘zombie land’, where there is no hope, poverty and the citizens are feeling the physical and mental damage from opioids. The book really brings home that addiction is not always what you believe it is – any one can suffer from addiction and we need to pull apart the stigma of addiction, so that they can receive help.

Jake (like so many of us), feels anger – anger for his brother and the people of this town. But when he starts to do some digging, the facts that he finds is astonishing and he knows that he wants to make a difference, to ensure that no one suffers the loss he felt. He is prepared to go to war with the pharmaceutical companies to ensure that this is stopped.

As he begins his lawsuit (with the help of two other lawyers) against the pharmacy companies, the story really speeds up. We uncover bribes, death threats, illegal distribution and the list goes on. The story has so many working parts but it never feels overwhelming. Instead, you realize how far people will go for financial gain and corporate greed. It leaves you feeling disappointed with people but with some hope that there are still good people out there fighting for the rights and protection of all people.

This is an amazing novel from start to finish – a definite must read novel. The plot was fantastic – not what I was expecting but incredible all the same. It was educational but entertaining, but definitely leaves you with a lot of food for thought.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Autho

Mike Papantonio is a truth-teller, a crusader who uses fiction to entertain and inform his readers about some of the most pressing issues of our time. In each of his thrillers, from Law And Disorder to Law And Vengeance, and now Law And Addiction, he lays bare the conspiracies and white-collar crimes that hurt ordinary Americans ― and that are rarely covered by the national media.

A senior partner of Levin Papantonio, one of the country’s largest plaintiffs’ law firms, Papantonio uses his own cases as springboards for his novels. He has aggressively taken on Big Pharma, tobacco, weapon manufacturer, and the automobile industry, among other bastions of corporate greed.

One of the youngest inductees into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, Papantonio is also a well- known media presence as host of America’s Lawyer on the RT America television network and co-host of the syndicated radio show Ring of Fire. A skilled musician and athlete, he is based in Pensacola, Florida.

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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