Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Granola Nut Cluster Cookies

A nice little Granola Nut Cluster Cookie Recipe... Good for gifting or munching! ENJOY!!!
  • 1 cup raw walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan halves
  • 3 tbsp brown rice syrup (no less or it will be dry)
  • 6 tbsp gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2-3 tbsp Sucanat sugar, see note
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Scant 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 275F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place walnuts and pecans into a large mixing bowl. Pour on brown rice syrup and stir very well until combined for about 60 seconds. Your goal is to have every nook and cranny covered in syrup. No pressure!
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, coconut, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour it onto the nuts and mix very well until combined. Some of the oat mixture won’t adhere to the nuts, but that’s ok because it adds character.
4. Spoon the entire mixture onto the baking sheet and into a single layer, including any oats that didn’t stick. Garnish with fresh nutmeg. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 10-13 minutes (I baked for 23 mins total) and allow to cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes.
5. Once cool, break apart clumps and store in glass jars or Tupperware containers. I expect these would stay good for at least a month.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Pansy at the Palace

Rating:  [[[[[

Pansy at the Palace
Author: Cynthia Bardes 

Buy Links: Amazon

Pansy's life blossoms when she is adopted from an animal shelter by a loving family and little girl named Avery. Swept into her new life at the Palace Hotel in Beverly Hills, this smart and courageous puppy saves the day by solving a mysterious theft. Pansy at the Palace celebrates the spirit of curiosity and exploration, and teaches us that no one is too small to make a difference in the lives of many!


In this book, Pansy narrates the story. She is a little brown poodle who lived in an animal shelter and feared she would never be adopted. But then that all changed when Avery came to the shelter. Avery took this wonderful little puppy home to the luxurious Palace Hotel in Beverly Hills and from there adventure abounds.

The character creation is so fabulous that we actually can see through the eyes of this puppy, Mr. Bijoux, Monsieur DuMal and of course Desiree the mean nature'd cat. What happens in this story I won't divulge but your children will absolutely fall in love with the little puppy and the antics of what happens in the hotel and the mystery that this young pup solves. 

Children will also get to see that it doesn't matter how big or small you are, you can still make a huge difference in the lives of others. I feel that this is a lesson that ALL children should learn. 

The graphics in the book are fabulous and will catch the eye of even the youngest reader. I highly recommend this book not only for the lesson but also the imagery.

I also must say that I applaud this author for bringing awareness to the Humane Society and local shelters. And I recommend that anyone searching for a pet please do visit them to get your next kitty or puppy, because there are many animals looking for that forever family just like Pansy.

Details/Disclaimer: Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Ella the Pink Elephant

Ella the Pink Elephant
By Doris Rueger
Purchase Link: Amazon

In her new children’s book, a beloved elephant learns how to grow older gracefully
In “Ella the Pink Elephant: Her Life, Love and Fame,” Doris Rueger creates a children’s book with a moral lesson as a former star elephant learns how to accept herself as she ages.

BELLPORT, N.Y. – In “Ella the Pink Elephant: Her Life, Love and Fame” (ISBN 1469937565), children’s author Doris Rueger writes and illustrates a fantasy tale with a moral message. It follows the life of Ella the Elephant, a star-studded pachyderm that never lacked for attention.

As a child, Ella was the star animal of one of the world’s largest zoos. Her keepers dressed her in pink silks and shawls, while friends and admirers flocked to her side. Yet as all creatures must do, Ella grew older. She grew tired of all the work it took to remain at the center of everyone’s attention. After many years, Ella wanted to be taken to a retirement zoo where she could rest and enjoy her days in peace. 

In this restful reserve, Ella was by herself. For the first time, she looked at herself in the mirror, without makeup or fancy clothes, and saw an aging elephant with grey skin and wrinkles. “Who am I?” she asked. “I am neither Ella, the beautiful elephant baby, nor am I Ella, the gorgeous elephant modeling expensive clothes and being the star at weddings. I am just plain me. No adornments. Will I still be loved?”  Ella would have to find a new way to be happy. She looks in the mirror and realizes she was a beloved elephant, full of tender memories that she could enjoy for the rest of her life. 

Through her storybook tale of talking zoo animals, Ms. Rueger weaves a tale that encourages children to love and accept themselves for who they are. A children’s fantasy with fun characters and a moral ending, “Ella the Pink Elephant” is illustrated by the author in crayon and color pencil. Self-acceptance, knowing and loving one’s true self and learning how to graciously live in the limelight are lessons parents would be happy to impart to their young ones.

“Ella the Pink Elephant: Her Life, Love and Fame” is available for sale online at and other channels.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Germany, Doris Rueger attended college in the United States and graduated with a master’s degree in literature and journalism. After a 30-year career in the scientific community, she now pursues her love of literature by writing and illustrating children’s books. Ms. Rueger currently lives in Bellport, NY.

Winner of the Summer 2012 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for “Ella the Pink Elephant”


I have to give Doris Rueger a resounding 10 stars for this fabulous children's book. In this story we meet Ella, who is born in a zoo and taken care of by a former clown. She is loved by everyone because of all the beautiful outfits that she wears. We continue on the story with her as she ages and all the way through to her self-acceptance of her much older self.  This is a wonderful story about loving people with all your heart and being kind to others. She learns that she is loved not for her wonderful outfits but because of her kind and loving heart. This is an invaluable lesson for young children to learn.

It doesn't matter what's on the outside its what's on the inside that matters! The story itself was fabulously written and the art work was beautiful. I highly recommend this book to everyone young and old alike. This book is a fabulous addition to any family library.

Details/Disclaimer: Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

DIY Ghost for Halloween!

Here's what you need...
1 Liter Soda Bottle,
Cheese Cloth,
Old Towel,
Scrap piece of felt,
Styrofoam ball (the white kind works better.)
Wire (not pictured)


    • 1
      Stick the foam ball on top of an empty 1 liter plastic soda bottle. This forms a dummy of the ghost to help it keep its shape while you create it.
    • 2
      Wrap a long piece of wire around the neck of the soda bottle, with the wire coming out on either side to look like arms.
    • 3
      Place the cheese cloth over the ghost form, covering it completely. The cheese cloth should be long enough that there is leftover material all around the bottle.
    • 4
      Spray the cheese cloth heavily with the spray starch. The more starch you use, the better your ghost will hold its shape, so be generous with the starch.
    • 5
      Allow the ghost to dry in sunlight, if possible. Check if it's dry after a few hours.
    • 6
      Pull the dry ghost off of the bottle. Use scissors to cut two circles out of the black felt and glue them to the ghost's head with the craft glue to create the ghost's eyes.

      Original Idea from numerous places... 

Thursday, 18 October 2012


  • Squirrel Rescue

    Jennifer Keats Curtis (Author)
  • Laura Jacques (Illustrator)

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. (July 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764342460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764342462
Purchase from : Amazon

This book was a fabulous and educational journey of two boys who find a baby squirrel and gave it back to its mom. This book is wonderful for all age children from the youngest toddler on up to grade school children. With the beautiful illustrations to add a picture to the words it makes it very easy to understand. Also the Author is donating money from every sale to help rescue squirrels which is a fabulous idea.

I highly recommend this book to any parent of young children to educate the children on what to do should they find a wild animal.

Perfect for the young during Fall...

Into the Pumpkin

By Linda Franklin

4 of 5 stars false

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. (July 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764341839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764341830
Purchase from : Amazon

This book is a wonderful addition to your Halloween reads with small children. The illustrations are fabulous and the poetry is catchy for the young ones. I mean the first page of the book starts with:

Whoever you are,
No matter what age,
Don't be afraid to
turn the next page.

And that in itself made me laugh and say oh goodie there are going to be pages of poems. And sure enough it was exactly the type of book I thought it would be. Perfect for beginning readers. Children and adults can enjoy this book together for Halloween.

Two thumbs up for this fabulous and entertaining story.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Great for the young ones...

Song for Papa Crow


Purchase here: Amazon

I received this book from Net-Galley for my honest opinion. 

I have to say I enjoyed this book. It is a book of self-discovery and teaching an important lesson, To always be true to yourself and who you are. This lesson is very important in today's world where everyone is trying so hard to fit in and be the same.

In this book little crow feels bad because he can't sing as pretty as the other birds. He soon learns that his sound is unique for a reason.

The graphics are beautiful and we get to learn a lot about birds and their calls in the story.

I recommend this book to anyone with young children

Just in time for Halloween...



Purchase here: Amazon

Kritterkreep is a book which both young and old alike can enjoy. I read this book with my son who is 9 and we both agree that it was fabulous.

J.D. Gordon has created a fabulous group of Characters. We have Andy who is from a divorced home, living with his mother and step-father and baby sister. Surprisingly or not surprisingly he adores his baby sister and takes care of her if she wakes in the night at times. Since he is a young teen and a boy that is strange behavior to me but I'm oh so glad that the author made this young man so loving to his younger sister. And protective too, he would have to be the best big brother ever. As for Chester the step-father all I can say is what a turd. Andy doesn't have many friends but those he does have seem to be strong and true friends. And Elsa was such a sweet girl yet oh so strong.

This story had many creepy parts, but nothing so out there as to scare you so you couldn't sleep. It is perfect for that tween age where they want to be scared but still are sometimes afraid of things that go bump in the night. As I said my 9 year old read it and wasn't afraid at all, he had a few words he wasn't sure of what they were but for a whole he had very little difficulty reading it and found it to be entertaining. The "monster" kept him guessing for a long time as to what it was. To him it was everything from a demon to an imp to a monster.

J.D. Gordon has definitely created a story for both young and old alike. The only negative I found was that I didn't truly know what Elsa was. Other than that I would have to say I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone with 8 and up children for Halloween.

Watch and Wiggle

This is a fabulous video for anyone with young kids to get them up and moving to burn off a bit of energy... I suggest a daily game of Watch and Wiggle with your kids! Not only is it fun but its a great way to get them up and moving...

Sesame Street with Will.I.Am singing "What I Am!"

Sesame Street "I'm Elmo and I know it"