Category Archives: Product Reviews

Project Emergence Book Tour Dates

The Math Lovin’ Momma Reads: Project Emergence

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The Math Lovin’ Momma Reads

Project Emergence Book Cover

 Project Emergence

Written by Jamie Zakian


Recently I was asked to read and review a new YA Science Fiction novel. This book was just released this week so what better time to tell you what I think!
Before I do that, however, why I don’t I tell you a little about the book and its author. You know peek your interest and then I’ll tell you if it’s worth your time! (Spoiler alert… it is.) 

Project Emergence

An ancient Hopi myth says people arrived on tiny silver pods that fell from the sky.

But the truth is far more terrifying.

Two-hundred fifty-eight teens are sent from a dying Earth to a terraformed Mars as part of the Emergence Program, mankind’s last hope before solar flares finish off their planet and species. Among the brave pioneers are sixteen-year-old Joey Westen and her twin brother, Jesse.

After only minutes in space, something triggers a total ship lock down.

With the help of their roommates, the Matsuda twins (notorious hackers and shady secret-keepers), Joey and Jesse stumble onto an extremist plot to sabotage the Emergence Program.

But Joey and Jesse didn’t travel to the deepest pits of space and leave their mother behind to be picked off in a high-tech tin can. They’ll lie, hack, ​and ​even kill to survive the voyage and make it to Mars.

About the Author

Jamie Zakian
Jamie Zakian is a full-time writer who consumes the written word as equally as oxygen.

Living in South Jersey with her husband and rowdy family, she enjoys farming, archery, and blazing new trails on her 4wd quad, when not writing of course. She aspires to one day write at least one novel in every genre of fiction.

 

My Thoughts on Project Emergence

I’ll just be honest, I went into my reading with pretty low expectations. I mean end-of-the-world stories seem to be a dime a dozen these days. 

Then I started reading.

I read Project Emergence in two days. (More than two sittings because I have a toddler and a full time job…) I could barely put it down. I was hooked and wanted to know more from page one. Some books start off so slow, you try to give them the benefit of the doubt because you know they have to do some back story and introduce the characters but Zakian does it with pizzazz!

Not only was the story fast paced and fun, with a few emotional moments mixed in for good measure, the characters seemed well developed to me. I’m not a literary expert by any means, but I wasn’t bored. I connected with the characters. I liked some, but not all. There was just enough back story to keep the present interesting but leave you wanting to know more about the past. 

There is a little bit of romance, but no more than you’d expect in a YA novel. Some flirting, an innocent kiss or two, and teenage angst overthinking every little action. Just the right balance. The romance doesn’t over take the story… ever.

Another plus for the story was that it kept me guessing. Just when I thought I knew what would happen next another branch of the plot popped up and knocked me back into uncertainty. 

Now, I’m a nerd. I love science fiction and fantasy but this story didn’t have too much of either. Obviously due to the space travel and science-y stuff it fits into the science fiction category but I think any lover of good fiction would enjoy this, even if sci-fi isn’t their thing.


Don’t stop yet! There’s a surprise if you keep reading!


If you want to hear more reviews for the book or check out some excerpts be sure to hop over to the other blogs in the book tour. Be sure to check the date, they’re not all published yet!

Project Emergence Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

3/13/2017- Reading for the Stars and Moon– Guest Post
3/13/2017- Kaelan Rhywiol– Review

3/14/2017- Month9Books– Excerpt
3/14/2017- YA and Wine– Interview

3/15/2017- Kaitlin Gillespie– Review
3/15/2017- Don’t Judge, Read– Interview

3/16/2017- The Math Lovin’ Momma– Review
3/16/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

3/17/2017- Fix Gal– Review
3/17/2017- Book Review Becca– Spotlight



Week 2:

3/20/2017- Jennifer Eaton– Guest Post
3/20/2017- So Few Books– Interview

3/21/2017- Never Too Many To Read– Review
3/21/2017- Rockin’ Book Reviews– Excerpt

3/22/2017- Omg Books and More Books– Review
3/22/2017- Wishful Endings– Guest Post

3/23/2017- Hall Ways Blog Excerpt


And Now the Surprise…

Passengers DVD and Fire in the Woods eBook set Giveaway - 2 Winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to wait? Click on any of the pictures below and get your copy right now! 

These are affiliate links. Any purchase will help cover the costs of my page!

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Dacobots

Math Lovin’ Review: Dacobots eLearning Portal

 

I received one month of complimentary access to the Dacobots eLearning portal in exchange for an honest review.
This is a Math Lovin’ Momma #SponsoredPost. All opinions expressed within are 100% my own.


The Math Lovin’ Momma Reviews:

Dacobots Home Page

Dacobots eLearning Portal


As a parent and a teacher I am always on the look out for new or new to me products that can help my daughter at home and my kids at school be more successful academically. Sometimes it feels like there are so many products on the market that have similar purposes it can be overwhelming. In my short career, thus far, as a teacher I have played around with a lot of the options that are available for middle school and high school age students but now that my daughter is getting old enough to start looking at preschools my focus has started to switch to finding eLearning opportunities for her as well.

Dacobots eLearning has lots of games based on a variety of topics offered at many different grade levels. The program is still currently in its Beta phase of development, which means that there are still some bugs that need to be worked out and there is still content being added. However, I feel that I was able to try out a lot of content in the one month that I had membership.

The Basics:

Dacobots eLearning portal has games for students in grades K – 6, divided among six categories. The categories include: Health, Math, Science, Language, History, and the Arts. Currently there are no games in the Arts category or for grades 1, 2, 4 and 6, but since the project is in Beta I’m sure there will be games coming soon to those groups. 

Avatars

Each game category has an specific avatar that leads the user through the games. Currently there are four active avatars and a slot for a fifth avatar that is grayed out. The four active avatars include:

                  G4                                   Zalmox                          Derzelis                          H.E.N.A        
     Dacobots: Math Avatar - G4   Dacobots: Science Avatar - Zalmox   Dacobots: Health Avatar - Derzelis   Dacobots: History Avatar - H.E.N.A.                     Math                                Science                            Health                           History

Since there is not an existing avatar for Language or the Arts I’m assuming the grayed out avatar will eventually be the guide for one of those categories. 

All of the avatars speak with a very robotic sounding voice. I don’t really mind that but sometimes they are difficult to understand. What they say is always shown on the screen as well, but children who are not yet reading or who are not quick readers may not be able to read the instructions before they leave the screen.

The Games

Finding a Game

There are a lot of ways to search for the games. You can specify a grade level and a category, you can search for a name, or you can just browse through all of the games available. At last count there were 130 games available for play with a paid membership. 

Dacobots Games Browsing Interface

As you can see from the screen grab above, some of the games have an unlocked yellow padlock in the lower right corner. That padlock means that those games available to play without a full membership. Right now there are only seven games that are free to play and most of those are Kindergarten level games.

Game Play

Each Dacobots eLearning game has three parts. The first part is generally the place where the main teaching takes place. The avatar will give information or instructions related to whatever topic you have chosen. In the screen grab below, from the Brain Power series (free-to-play) game ‘The Human Brain‘, you can see in the first part Zalmox is giving information about different parts of the brain.

Brain Power: The Human Brain - Part 1

In the second part of the game, the avatar guides the user through some activity after a brief review of the information given in part 1. If a mistake is made the avatar will tell the user the answer was incorrect and let them try again. For instance in ‘The Human Brain‘, as shown below, part 2 asks the user to identify the parts of the brain and the activities associated with each part. 

Brain Power: The Human Brain - Part 2

The last part of each game is a review of the information given in part 1 and practiced in part 2. However, in part 3, the avatars do not provide any guidance beyond the basic instructions until the user has finished their attempt at a solution. Sometimes this means that the activity will have to be repeated because the user completed the challenge incorrectly. In ‘The Human Brain‘, part 3 requires users to identify brain parts and their jobs in more detail, while also introducing them to some new ideas. 

User Incentives

Many eLearning portals that I’ve investigated have some kind of user incentive that help keep students engaged and wanting to keep playing games. Dacobots is no different. The Dacobots award users with collectible cards for decks that correspond to certain game series. Right now there are 11 decks for users to complete, the number of cards in a deck varies depending on the number of games that correspond to that series.

Dacobots: Gears of the Mind Card

When you complete a game satisfactorily you get a card showing you’ve mastered that skill. When you collect a card it shows the card face when you are viewing your card deck, as seen below.Dacobots: Brain Power Card Deck

Current Series Corresponding to Card Decks:
  • Arithmetic – 5 cards
  • Healthy Eating – 2 cards
  • Dangerous Habits – 4 cards
  • Brain Power – 10 cards
  • Basics of Genetics – 2 cards
  • Parts of Speech – 2 cards
  • Bygone Civilizations – 5 cards
  • Autumn Secrets – 21 cards
  • Winter Magic – 21 cards
  • Masters of Astronomy – 31 cards
  • Signs of Spring – 27 cards

Membership Options

There are a few options to choose from when choosing how you’d like to pay for your Dacobots eLearning membership. Users can choose a 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, or 1 year membership. As with most subscription-type services choosing a longer membership time equates to a small amount of savings in the cost.

Dacobots Membership Options

For my US readers, those prices currently equate to $5.29 for one month, $10.63 for three months, $18.11 for six months, and $26.66 for a full year. Basically, a buying a three month membership is like getting one month free, a six month membership gets you 2.5 months free, and buying a full year at one time is like getting 7 months free, so if it is something you like and expect to use for a while the full year membership is definitely the way to go.


My Thoughts

All in all I really enjoyed the games and I feel that they do have a nice balance between fun and learning. Obviously there are some games I liked more than others, as with any eLearning system, but overall there were many more games I liked than there were games I did not like.

I like the characters of the various avatars and I like that their voices are not all the same. However, as I mentioned earlier they are sometimes hard to understand. Sometimes the words seem a bit jumbled together and other times I just feel it is hard to understand because there are no pauses or voice inflection.

I think the card decks are a fun addition and they give kids something to work toward as they are learning new things. Overall, I really enjoyed the time I had with the portal and Dragonling loved playing the Kindergarten level games (with a little bit of help). I could definitely see this being an eLearning portal we subscribe to in a year or two, when Dragonling is ready for Preschool or Kindergarten!


Follow Dacobots

To keep up with new releases and other news Dacobots eLearning creators would love to have you follow them!

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/dacobots
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dacobots


What do you think? Would your kids or grandkids enjoy learning through games and puzzles? Let me know in the comments below!


Thanks for stopping by to check out my review. If you liked what you read click below to vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs and Picket Fence.

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Vote for The Math Lovin' Momma!

The Math Lovin’ Momma Reviews: NEOSAN Blanket Scarf + Giveaway

 

I received this NEOSAN blanket scarf at a discounted price in exchange for an honest review.
The views expressed here are honest and entirely my own.

I only review products I would consider purchasing for myself or my family.

The Math Lovin’ Momma Reviews:

Giveaway Hop

NEOSAN Blanket Scarf

NEOSAN® Blanket Scarf

Normally I don’t do much for accessorizing, but I do love a nice scarf and when I received this one for review I was not disappointed. The fabric is nice and thick and it is very warm! (Great for Iowa winter!) I also really like the size of the scarf. It measures about 76 inches long and 25 inches wide and is made from an acrylic that has the feel of cashmere. It think it may easily be the softest scarf I own!

The one thing I didn’t like was the diamond pattern. When I ordered it I really didn’t notice the stair-stepping effect between the white and pink parts of the pattern and in person that specific part of the pattern seems to be more noticeable. Basically, I should have looked more closely before making my selection!

I like this scarf so much that I’m giving one away to a lucky reader! If you’d like to have a chance to win, scroll down to the giveaway tool and complete the entries.

 

Giveaway HopWelcome to the 1st annual Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop hosted by SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways. This is an open themed hop with NO minimum prize value. Enter to win the prize Grand Prize by our host for that lucky man in your life. Manscaped – The Perfect Package is sponsoring the prize. So be sure to enter the giveaway here than hop on over and enter all the other great prizes today.

NEOSAN® Blanket Scarf Giveaway

Go enter to win the grand prize here!

 

Math Lovin’ Momma Reviews: Teasia Tea + Giveaway

I received these products complimentary in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed here are honest and entirely my own.
I only review products I would consider purchasing for myself or my family.

Keep Calm & Hop On

The Math Lovin’ Momma Reviews:

Teasia Tea: Floral Variety

Teasia Teas Giveaway - 3 Winners

I have always been more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, but as I’ve gotten (a little) older and have been trying to be healthier I’ve started delving into the world of tea.

Believe me there is a lot to learn!

Tea has a lot of health benefits like helping to reduce levels of stress hormones, lower blood-pressure, boost metabolism, and improve strength. All good things in my opinion! 

So when Teasia contacted me about sampling their Floral Variety tea box I jumped at the chance to test out some new tea flavors. This box contains 36 individual pods, perfect for my Keurig in my classroom at school, with nine each of the four flavors. The flavors included are Jasmine Green Tea, Rose Black Tea, Rooibos Lemongrass, and Chamomille Mint. 

My Thoughts

Overall, I am really happy with the Floral Variety box. I have tried all four flavors and I really enjoyed all of them, which was honestly unexpected. I also really liked that I got some caffeinated and some caffeine-free in the same box, that added another level of variety to the box.

I’ll talk about the caffeinated varieties first because I’m almost always looking for a little caffeine in the mornings and afternoons of my school days. Now, an important note, while some teas have caffeine they usually have less caffeine that a cup of coffee. So if you’re trying to slow down your caffeine intake (like me) they make a perfect swap for a beverage with higher caffeine content.

  • Jasmine Green Tea: Now, I’ve had green tea before and I kind of had the impression going in that green tea is a little over-rated. I really enjoyed the addition of the subtle floral flavoring that came from the jasmine. This has become one of my favorite afternoon pick-me-ups when I’m teaching.
  • Rose Black Tea: Again, I’ve had black teas before Teasia. Usually I find black tea to be a little bitter, sometimes too strong. The Rose Black Tea does have a stronger flavor than the Jasmine Green Tea but I didn’t find it to be bitter and the subtle added rose floral flavor was quite nice.

Now for the caffeine-free options. I don’t drink these as much at school unless I’ve already had my caffeine fix for the day. However, they do make excellent beverages for days when I’m not feeling well or if I simply want something warm to drink.

  • Rooibos Lemongrass Tea: This flavor was new all around. I had never even heard of Rooibos Tea until the box arrived. It has more of a dark, almost earthy flavor (from the rooibos, I think) with a hint of bright that I’m guessing comes from the lemongrass. It is definitely not my favorite of the box, but the pods aren’t going to go to waste either!
  • Chamomile Mint Tea: This is always one of my favorite flavors of tea and Teasia did not disappoint. Just as soothing as one could hope to have and the perfect balance between the chamomile and the mint! This is my favorite of the box, hands down.

Another reason I’m a new found fan of Teasia is that with every purchase of Teasia teas, a portion of the proceeds is donated to support charities in the areas of environment, education, health care, and poverty.

Charities Supported by Teasia Teas Purchases

Screenshot from Teasia.com showcasing the charity organizations they have supported.

About Teasia

Teasia Teas are all natural teas made from the high quality ingredients from various locales around the world. Their teas do not contain any artificial additives or chemicals.

Taken from Teasia’s ‘Our Story’ page

“At Teasia we believe in using top quality products and 100% natural ingredients to create healthy and great tasting teas. Our strong background and experience in the Taiwanese tea marked has ensured that we source only the highest quality teas. The tea leaves used for our Formosa series teas come from some of the best tea plantations in Taiwan, owned by farmers we have developed trusted relationships with. During tea selection, we taste, re-taste, and taste again, to finalize that only those teas with rich and unique flavors are selected.”

All of Teasia’s teas are available in a variety boxes or in single flavor boxes so you have a variety of options when shopping.

Want to Stay Up-to-Date with Teasia:

If you want to keep up with Teasia Teas and be informed of new products and sales check out their website and follow them on social media!

Now for the Giveaway!

Teasia will be giving away a box of their single serve tea pods to three (3) lucky readers! 

One (1) winner will receive one (1) Oolong Tea (36 count) box.

One (1) winner will receive one (1) Formosa Series Tea (36 count) box.
Formosa Series Box Includes:
Green Tea
Oolong Tea
Roasted Oolong Tea
Black Tea

One (1) winner will receive one (1) Floral Variety (36 count) box.
Floral Variety Box Includes:

Jasmine Green Tea
Rose Black Tea
Rooibos Lemongrass Tea
Chamomile Mint Tea

U.S. only. One winner per residence.
Scroll down to find the giveaway entry box and links to lots more great blogs to visit for more awesome chances to win!

Keep Calm & Hop On

Welcome to the 2nd annual
Keep Calm and Hop On Giveaway Hop!

This hop is packed with amazing prizes at each stop.
Enter my Teasia Teas giveaway below, then be sure to check out the three hosts for wonderful grand prize packages. Visit daily to increase your chances of winning and good luck!

This hop event is brought to you by:

The Mommy Island, The Kids Did It and MamatheFox

MamatheFox will be giving away the following all to the (1) winner!

  • $30 in assorted products from MAM
  • Go Go Bugs by Sassy – $13.20
  • Bumpy Ball by Sassy – $9.99
  • (1) Squeasy Gear (winners choice of style and color) – up to a $16.99 value
  • (1) Simply Soft Blanket by Balboa – up to a $25 value

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Teasia Teas Giveaway – 3 Winners

Head over to these other great blogs and enter for a chance to win more great stuff!!!

The Other Place – Book Review + Giveaway

The Other Place

Book details:

The Other Place by Elizabeth Roderick
Publication date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
My Thoughts: 
What I liked most about this book was that the main character is not the usual main character; not the expected personality of a main character. Justin is a guy that the majority of the population won’t relate to directly. There are parts of his character I could relate to and there were parts that I had to try to understand in order to really get into the book. That necessity for me to try to understand him was part of what drew me into the book.
The story line kept moving, I never really felt like I was reading a chapter where nothing happened or a chapter that didn’t move the story along. I wanted to know what would come next and I wasn’t always able to anticipate what was going to be on the next page. Definitely a positive thing in my book. If I can anticipate everything that is going to happen I get bored very quickly. Kudos to the author for keeping me interested!
For me a five-star book is one that I would read again and this book doesn’t really meet that criteria, but I would give it 4 stars.  I’m having a hard time writing this review because I don’t really want to give away anything that isn’t stated in the synopsis that follows. Personally I hate book reviews that have spoilers. That being said, I don’t know what else to write that won’t ruin it for a potential reader so I will end it here.
Even if you don’t think it sounds like your cup of tea I encourage you to at least give it a shot!
Synopsis:

Living in Justin Flaherty’s mind has never been easy. Unfortunately, things are about to get much worse…

At eighteen years old, most guys are chasing girls or dreams. Justin, on the other hand, wants to draw and be left alone. He’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but it’s more than that. He’s in tune with the Dark Energy that surrounds us all, and can see how it controls people’s actions. Sometimes, the Dark Energy will give him visions, to help him on the road to enlightenment.

When his mother hooks up with a Baptist preacher named David who believes Justin’s schizophrenia can be cured with prayer, Justin knows he has to get out—or risk involuntary commitment in a religious facility.

After a brush with incarceration, Justin takes off to San Francisco, where his drawings are not just noticed, but admired…

Justin’s bizarre and beautiful drawings create a stir in the art world. Meanwhile, he’s homeless, couch surfing, and trapped in a continuous battle with his mental illness. His salvation is a girl named Liria Czetski with a shady past. They’d met a year ago, and she’s appeared in his visions ever since. It turns out Liria has been sharing those visions, something that is a surprise to everyone but Justin…

When secrets surface, Justin is forced to realize that being a genius has a downside. Surrounded by people who want to exploit his talent, he must fight not only for his career and freedom, but perhaps for his life…

 
Purchase:
Elizabeth
AUTHOR BIO:

ELIZABETH RODERICK grew up as a barefoot ruffian on a fruit orchard near Yakima, in the eastern part of Washington State. After weathering the grunge revolution and devolution in Olympia, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, she recently moved to a small cluster of houses amidst the vineyards of California’s Central Coast.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and worked for many years as a paralegal and translator. She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands, rocking some instruments she doesn’t even know the real names for, but mostly guitar, bass and keyboards.

Elizabeth writes novels for young adults and adults; short stories; and memoir which is way more interesting than it should be. Her stories are about love, death, gang warfare, and madness; her characters tend to be of the type that society generally shuns: addicts, convicts, and the mentally ill. She believes if people get to know these characters in stories and in real life, they’ll find them more likeable than they originally thought.

She applies Hunter S. Thompson’s Gonzo method to fiction writing. It often gets a little heavier than what she had in mind, but she chalks it up to forced consciousness expansion.

 

Follow Elizabeth at her links below:

The Other Place Book Tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Book Release – The Dream Protocol: Descent

New Book Release
The Dream Protocol: Descent by Adara Flynn Quick

The Dream Protocol: Descent
Publication date: May 18th 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Looking for a new book?

Check out the information and excerpt below to see if The Dream Protocol: Descent is what you’re looking for! If you have an young adult in your life be sure to share with them also. 

Synopsis:

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD. In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.

Excerpt:  Copyright © 2016 Adara Quick

          It was a rare moment on Skellig Michael. The mist-drenched rocks of the isle were illuminated by a ray of sudden sunlight. Pools of water caught in the rock crevices reflected the light skyward. For an instant, the island glistened like a thousand gems cut from the earth. For a moment, it was something beautiful: a lighthouse promising safety through the dark. And then, above the island, the clouds rushed back in. The island returned to its true form, a black shape jagged against the horizon. There was no safety to be found on Skellig Michael, where deep down in the dark and the damp it was custom to take a life before its natural end. Below the waterline of the island, thousands of feet under rock and concrete, Maeve O’Brian watched a timer tick away the last minutes of her life.
          A thousand years ago, a great hole had been dug through the center of the island known as Skellig Michael. Into the hole was poured steel and concrete and the sweat of thousands to build Skellig City. When they finished their great work, the top was sealed again for the city dwellers had no need for the birds in the sky or fresh air upon their faces. The peace of their wild, natural land was denied to them. With the passing of time, the old country was lost. Anything they desired was provided in sleep by the Dream Protocol. Through the rooms and halls of the great concrete city, the dreams floated on invisible networks to the dreamers. As the decades rolled by, many more things were stolen from them. One of these was the number of years that could be lived.
          On the lowest level of their underground home, the citizens had gathered to witness the Ritual of Descent for Maeve O’Brian. The rite began as it had for generations, in a room filled with the smell of bodies crushed against bodies. Too many people were forced into the small space, a reminder of limited resources in their underground home. The clothing of the crowd was another marker of their dwelling, a sign of the order that ruled the place. At the top were the Minister and his Dream Drone soldiers, all dressed in crisp red uniforms. The spider was the insignia of the corporate state, and the eight-legged creature was stitched in gold thread on the left side of each jacket. Next in the power structure were the Dream Makers, clothed in orange hooded robes with wide, flowing sleeves. Their mark was the Maker’s amulet that hung around their necks. Last in line was everyone else, dressed in worn grey clothing that had seen too many patches and repairs. The threadbare grey rags did little to ward off the cold, but the huddled mass of people provided them a welcome respite.

Want to Know More?

Check out the Goodreads page or buy your own copy at Amazon!

Author Biography:

Irish-American author, Adara Flynn Quick, is the writer of The Dream Protocol series.  Early in her career, Adara was fascinated by dreams, the unconscious, and the healing stories of many cultures.  As a contemporary author, she writes young adult literature that brings ancient myths and legends into futuristic worlds.  She is an accomplished visual artist and uses her background as a psychotherapist to inspire the finest and darkest moments of her characters. 

Driven to distraction by her computer, Adara writes all of her stories longhand.  Pen and paper are two of her favorite things.  The author tortures her husband with a passion for downtempo electronica and too many pillows.  She is a firm believer that there are never enough pillows.

The Dream Protocol Blitz

Now for the Giveaway!

The giveaway is for 2 signed copies of the book and a painting framed in silver leaf. (Painting shown below.)

20_FlynnGeissel_YellowFlowersOntheMountain_9x12_OilonCanvas_$295

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers
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Children’s Book Review: Nurtured and Nuzzled

**This post contains an affiliate link.**

The Math Lovin Momma Reviews: Nurtured and Nuzzled

Recently I got the chance to read and review “Nurtured and Nuzzled by Mike Speiser. This is an adorable book intended for children from newborn to age five. (Of course, you don’t have to stop reading it when your child turns 6, but it is definitely written for a young audience.)

Nurtured and Nuzzled” is written in English and Spanish. So it’s a great way to introduce your child to another language and maybe even become a little more bilingual yourself! 

The illustrations are bright and cheery with just the right amount of detail to keep the interest of a small child. Dragonling loves to point out the animals on each page, with special attention given to the babies, of course. She especially enjoys the page with the mother breastfeeding the baby, that page gets some extra “Baby? Momma? Baby. Momma.” when we read.

"Babies are breastfed"

Although this is not a board book, the pages are thick and durable so they stand up to the rough handling of a toddler, which, at least in this house, is a very good quality to have. We are hard on books. They get read over and over, Dragonling drags them around the house to various locations to find the best “reading” light. Cats sit on them. Occasionally they get shoved under the couch or the TV stand. Covers and pages bent. This book has held up and, so far, seems to show little wear and tear. 

Nurtured and Nuzzled” can be purchased from Platypus Media or from Amazon for $9.95.

Want your own copy? Click here to buy on Amazon now!

I received this book complimentary in exchange for my honest review. I only review items that I would consider purchasing for myself or my family.

Check out my YouTube review here!

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My Body Utopia Product Review + Giveaway

I received these products complimentary or at a reduced price in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed here are honest and entirely my own.
I only review products I would consider purchasing for myself or my family.

My Body Utopia Shop Spotlight & Review + Giveaway

My Thoughts:

First of all, this review for My Body Utopia has been a long time coming, so long in fact that the packaging on the product that I received has been updated as you can see in the above picture. Don’t worry pictures of my actual product will be seen below! 

Sparkling Meadows Natural Deodorant:

This was my first time trying an all natural deodorant and, I must say, I was skeptical at first. I had been using the same deodorant for so long and I knew that it worked so why rock the boat! I am so glad I tried this product!

The deodorant I was using did work but I didn’t realize how poorly it had been working until I tried My Body Utopia’s natural deodorant. Not only did it smell better, it lasted long and kept my underarms dry longer too. (All important characteristics of any deodorant, in my opinion.)

The one thing that I didn’t like at first was the texture. It seemed like it was too soft compared to the deodorants I knew. However, after I had been using it for a while the texture became less of an issue.  

Another thing I like is that it seems to last a little longer than the tube I bought at the store and when you consider the benefits of all natural the difference in price is no big deal!

Deoderant

Product Details:

All of My Body Utopia’s natural deodorants are hand made. The Sparkling Meadows scent that I reviewed is made with coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E, beeswax, arrowroot powder, baking soda, bentonite clay, and floral fragrance. Currently, you can purchase a regular size 2.5 oz. tube ($8.50) or a 0.625 oz. trial size tube ($3.25) in whichever scent you choose.

Currently available aluminum free scents include: Fresh Cotton, Fruity Splash,
Land of Lavender, Pure Man of Steel, Scent Free, Sparkling Meadows,
and Zesty Lemongrass

Kitchen Clean Hands Soap:

First impression of this bar of soap? It smells wonderful!

I am not a big fan of bar soaps because they usually leave my hands feeling almost too clean. You know kind of squeaky. I hate that.

This bar of soap doesn’t do that. My hands felt clean but it was a good kind of clean feeling. A natural kind of clean feeling.

My Body Utopia advertises that this soap will get rid of onion and garlic smells that stick to your hands after cooking. A claim I was skeptical of because, let’s face it, onion and garlic odors hang around forever. So I tested it out!

Much to my surprise, it worked! I didn’t completely get rid of the smell with the first wash but after a second round, if I hadn’t known I had just been slicing and onion, I wouldn’t after smelling my hands either.

 

Kitchen Clean Soap

Product Details:

All of My Body Utopia’s bar soaps are hand made. The Kitchen Clean Hands soap that I reviewed is made with palm kernel oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, castor oil, lye, water, lavender essential oil, lemon essential oil, melaleuca essential oil, and colorants. Soaps are cut so you receive about 4.25 oz. in each bar.

Currently available handcrafted specialty soaps ($8.00) include: 

  • Dolphin Smooth Shaving Soap 
  • Dude Degreaser Soap
  • Garden Grit Bee Gone
  • Kitchen Clean Hands

Other handcrafted soap scents ($6.00) available include:

  • Bunches of Lavender and Mint
  • Cutting Down Lemongrass
  • Just Lavender 
  • Perfect Man

My Body Utopia also has some discounted and discontinued soaps still available for $2.50-$2.75 in the following scents.

  • Cherry Honey Bomb
  • Cup of Chai Tea
  • Gingerbread House
  • Glass of Berrywine
  • Holiday Candy
  • Rolling in Cloves

Current Shop Favorites:

I really enjoyed both of the products I was able to review and will definitely be ordering more of both. When I went to peruse the website I found a whole host of other items that I might want to try, here are a few of my favorites:

Spearimint Madness lipbalm

Spearmint Madness Lip Balm: $2.99

Cooling Wintergreen Toothpaste

Cooling Wintergreen Toothpaste: $5.99

More About My Body Utopia:

My Body Utopia is family-owned and operated by Candice Garcia, her husband Antonio, and daughter Kaitlin. They make all of their products by hand, with love from their home in Upstate New York.

If you want to keep up with My Body Utopia and be informed of new products and sales check out their website and follow them on social media!

 

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If you like what you read please click here to vote for me on Picket Fence! Linked up at:

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Giveaway!

I loved my products so much I want to give one of you wonderful readers a $10.00 gift certificate so you can try out the My Body Utopia products that caught your eye!

Enter below!

My Body Utopia $10 Gift Certificate Giveaway

Learning to Multiply with Multibandz™

I received this item free or at a reduced price in return for my honest review.
May contain affiliate links.

Learning to Multiply with Multibandz

Do you have kids that are trying to learn the basic multiplication tables? 

Are you looking for a way to motivate your children to learn those important facts?

Look no more! Multibandz™ is for you.

Seriously, these are great! It combines the trend of the colorful silicone bracelets with the, perhaps less trendy, need to learn basic multiplication facts.

The Idea:

Give your child one band at a time, starting with the ones times table. As your child masters each new table, reward them with the bracelet matching the next table.

Multibandz™ are designed as a milestone reward system to keep children interested in the learning process. As an added bonus, once your child masters the one through five tables, the bands matching the x6, x7, x8, x9, and x10 tables glow in the dark. 

That’s right. They GLOW! 

Who doesn’t love glow-in-the-dark. I know some adults who might be persuaded to reacquaint themselves with their times tables for glow-in-the-dark jewelry. 

When your child gets to the x11 table they are awarded with a silver band and the x12 band is gold. What a great way to encourage your kids to go for the gold!

My Thoughts:

As a Math teacher I think this is a fantastic idea. Anything that might help get kids excited about learning Math is a great idea in my book. 

Something that will encourage kids to learn and retain basic math facts? 
That’s an even better idea.

As a high school teacher, it’s scary to see the number of kids that come into my classroom who don’t know the basic skills. They don’t remember their times tables, they can’t do simple division without a calculator. 

I think we need more ideas like Multibandz™ to get kids excited about mathematics.

Maybe some unit circle bands and trigonometric identity bands for high school trigonometry and calculus students? Or bands that help kids memorize equations for area? The possibilities are really endless. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

 Where Can You Get Multibandz™

Multibandz™ are available at Multibandz.com. The company is based in Austrailia but ships worldwide. Bulk buying options are available for schools and teachers who might be interested in using them in their curriculum.

For more information you can contact Multibandz™ at info@multibandz.com.

Check out my YouTube review! My very first. Eeek! Hopefully it’s not too terrible.

 

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Soap.Club: Kona Coffee Kick Bar Soap Review

I received this product for free or at a reduced price in return for my honest review.
May contain affiliate links.

Soap Club: Kona Coffee Kick

Kona Coffee Kick

I was recently selected to test and review a bar of soap from Soap.Club, I chose to try out Kona Coffee Kick. Because coffee…

The company classifies this as a men’s soap, but, in my opinion there really was nothing all that masculine about the scent. It’s a pleasant, almost sweet scent, that smells almost nothing at all like Coffee. 

I was kind of disappointed. I love the way coffee smells!

According to their website product description,

Rich and intoxicating, the scent of our Kona Coffee Kick handmade soap is drawn from energizing, freshly-ground Kona coffee direct from the Big Island of Hawaii. 

I guess, to be fair, I’ve never had Kona Coffee so maybe it does smell like coffee. It certainly doesn’t smell like the coffee I make in the morning!

Aside from the scent disappointment, there isn’t really anything I don’t like. The soap didn’t leave behind a film on my skin like some bar soaps do, and, in fact, it was actually quite moisturizing. It is larger than most standard bars of soap, which is nice and the texture of the soap makes it easier to hold when it’s wet! Plus, it is great for exfoliating.

Using an old-fashioned cold process, every Soap.Club  product is made by hand, starting from stirring the recipe, cutting the bars and even packaging each individual bar. They only offer quality bath & body soap aged up to 6 weeks. Each bar is made fresh with pure natural & organic ingredients that will stimulate your senses.

They have so many scents to choose from at their website, plus, if you’re really a soap lover, you can join their Soap.Club. (Yep not just a cute website name!) There are five options of club plans so you can tailor it to your needs! 

Soap.Club soaps are also available from Amazon.com.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers