Reviews, Giveaways, Recipes, Fiber Arts, and more...

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart {Giveaway & Review}


Jack and The Cuckoo-Clock Heart kept me captivated from beginning to end. The visual style of the movie is truly fantastic and shows the emotions of the characters though visual whimsy. The look of the film is a bit of steam punk with lots of eye candy of interesting designed gadgets and background surroundings. The story we found to be finely crafted and felt that it flows smoothly over the course of the film. I didn’t realize it was going to be more on the musical side but felt it fit exceptionally feel. A lot of thoughts, feelings, and emotions definitely will be invoked upon viewing this such film of the heart.


I would urge parents to take into consideration the pg rating. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it for children under the age of 13. There’s nothing particularly awful as in gore or swearing. It’s not graphic. I just believe the maturity of those who may be viewing this film be taken into consideration. It’s about love and we all know that it can get messy with our heart sending feelings to our brain we sometimes just can’t make sense of.


The bonus features on this DVD I enjoyed. Each of the characters in the movie are broken down and explained and there’s a segment on how the movie was adapted from book. It’s always nice to see the behind the scenes to truly appreciate all the hard work that went into making such a engaging film. All features are in French with English subtitles. The runtime of the movie is 89 minutes and it didn’t feel too long or too short. I would definitely recommend seeing it and if you’ve seen A Monster in Paris you’ll pleased to know the same producers are part of this one.

Interested in Purchasing? Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart can be pre-ordered right now before it’s release date on October 7th, 2014 on both DVD & Blu-Ray.

Get Connected: Shout! Factory on FacebookPinterest and/or @Shout! Factory on Twitter!Jack-and-the-Cuckoo-Clock-Heart-Trailer-2

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Disclaimer: I was sent the above mentioned product to review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life {Review & Giveaway}

chknsouprebootYou will be inspired to pursue your true passion as you read stories like the one from ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes. He didn’t like where his life was headed and literally ran out of his 30th birthday party and didn’t stop for 30 miles. Shortly after that pivotal moment, Dean quit his corporate job and his partying lifestyle. He wanted to make his living by running. And he did. “Now, some two decades later,” Dean writes. “I’ve realized more happiness and greater fulfillment than I ever dreamed imaginable.”

Within these pages, you’ll find the tools and the advice you need to solve your problems, use positive thinking, find your purpose, follow your dreams and start over. The 101 role models in this collection of revealing personal stories will help you change your life, and become the person you are meant to be.

It does a person good to hear motivational stories. I’ve found it personally quite recharging. The testimony of others of where they were and where they are now are a true inspiration. These stories can help us to come out strong knowing that we aren’t alone. I believe a reader will be left with hope in moving forward no matter what may lie before them.

Each story shared is roughly about 3-4 pages each. There’s a title followed by a quote that goes with the story at hand. These stories are shared and written by and from every day average people just like you and I. There are ten chapters with about 10 stories each. The chapter titles are:

  • Do It Now
  • Follow Your Heart
  • Take a Chance
  • Find Your Purpose
  • Start Over
  • Mind Your Health
  • Overcome Adversity
  • Listen to Your Friends
  • Take Time For You
  • Adjust You Attitude

I believe this collection will no doubt bring readers of all ages inspiration and reflection in coming to terms of what lies in their own past  and what may be ahead in the future. Growing from our past and thriving in the future. We control how we react in keeping a positive attitude in every situation.

I would certainly recommend picking up a copy of this book. It would make a great gift to someone that is feeling a little down or finding themselves at a crossroads in their life. There’s something in this title for everyone!

Interested in Purchasing? Find Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life: 101 Stories about Finding a New Path to Happiness  at right now for $8.89 Kindle format & $12.29 for a paperback copy.

Get Connected: 
Twitter: @ChickenSoupSoul (
Instagram: @chickensoupsoul (

Win it: I’m excited to be giving three of my loyal blog subscribers a chance to win a copy of this book for themselves or to gift to friend! Enter below through Rafflecopter. Giveaway is open to USA & Canada participants.

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Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

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Coloring Animal Mandalas by Wendy Piersall {Review + Giveaway + Interview! }


As a young girl as well as through my teenage years, I could spend hours with  art supplies of choice creating and as well as coloring all sorts of pictures. There’s just something quite peaceful and freeing about it. Coloring for me  clears the mind and allows me to focus about just bringing to life the picture at hand in whatever way my whim takes me. No color is wrong and each mark of the pencil or stroke of the brush blends in a way that is unique and beautiful. I’m certainly glad there are intricate coloring books out there for more than just children and am excited to have rediscovered my love again in Wendy Piersall’s newly released book Coloring Animal Mandalas.

In this book, there are thirty-one beautiful designs. The designs feature animals such as birds, butterflies, unicorns, foxes, dragons, fish, and so forth. The detail in each of the designs is beautifully intricate and the patterns are truly unique. It’s been hard for me to chose a favorite but I do favor the bird designs quite a bit more than the others.

I would say that ideally it would be best to color the designs with colored pencils. A coloring tool with finer point and can get well into the edges of each little detail in the patterns. The black lines in which you’ll be coloring within are sharp and bold with no dither or blur. The book is printed well and the of top quality as the pages are a good thickness for coloring. It’s a reasonable size so I can just throw it in a tote with a a few pencils and bring it along with me to a coffee shop or quite place at the park.

I believe that this book can awaken or reawaken an artistic side to any person of any age. I know it has for me. I’ve made sure to take time each day to be still and relax and there’s nothing more relaxing than creating. I’ve been inspired to draw again which is something I love doing but haven’t made time for during the fast pace of daily life. Coloring is quite therapeutic as it can bring clarity, inspiration, deep concentration, and a peaceful and pleasant state of mind.

I enjoyed getting to know Wendy Piersall, illustrator behind Color Animal Mandalas and hope you do to!

Illustrator Interview

1. What inspired you to create “Coloring Animal Mandalas ?

I first drew mandalas 5 years ago for my kids activities network of websites at I quickly found them to be one of my absolute favorite things to work on and I drew up many sets for different themes – including Halloween, Christmas, Summer, and fall mandalas – and of course animal mandalas. Ulysses Press found my work online and approached me to do a whole book of Animal Mandalas and I jumped at the chance!

2. During the process of from idea, creation and getting published, what was the biggest challenge?

I’m the first to share my challenges with anyone who is interested in the process, but drawing Coloring Animal Mandalas was quite honestly one of the easiest project I’ve ever worked on in my entire life! Not that it wasn’t work, it was just such a SHEER JOY to do the work that it was never a challenge to sit down and get stuff done. Probably the hardest part of all is promoting the book, because like most artists, I’m not comfortable with self-promotion. Thankfully, my friends and followers online have been just as enthusiastic as I am about this book, so it’s been welcomed warmly – which makes my job much easier!

3. Do you have a favorite design in the book and if so, which one is it?

My favorite designs in the book are the birds – the hummingbird, peacock, crane, owls and eagle. When brainstorming ideas, I could have probably filled the entire book with just birds because they really lend themselves so well to this precise art form. The hummingbird on the cover is probably my absolute favorite, which is good because we had to choose the cover art before all the drawings were completed!

4. What are your go to art supplies of choice?

I’ve always preferred colored pencils for drawing and coloring. I do love using art markers, but they are quite expensive and not many people can afford them. I have a large Prismacolor set of 150 pencils and a set of Derwent Inktense pencils that act like watercolors when wet. Both are a joy to use! But honestly, my primary ‘tool’ is the computer using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. When drawing from scratch, I’ve gotten quite attached to the ability to hit UNDO.

5. Can we expect to see more books like this from you in the future?

I certainly hope so! I’ve already been discussing ideas with my editor at Ulysses Press, so we hope to be able to answer that question sooner rather than later!

6. Is there any advice you’d love to share?

The thing I love most about coloring is how accessible it is to such a wide range of ages and abilities. Several people have asked me about color choices, and stated they didn’t think they could do it “right”. There is NO right or wrong way to color! Some of my favorites by others are actually painted completely outside the lines. So my suggestion is to not worry about the colors at all. Pick 6-9 colors you like and keep it simple. Or close your eyes and just pick random colors to use. Let the process be the fun part and don’t worry about how you think it will look at the end – they all turn out beautifully when finished!

Interested in Purchasing? Coloring Animal Mandalas 
can be purchased on right now for just $7.38 as of this posting.

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Three of my readers will get the opportunity
to win their very own copy of this book! 

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Coloring Animal Mandalas by Wendy Piersall through Ulysses Press.  I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

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Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil Review + Giveaway


I always opt for natural products free from any sort of harmful chemicals or additives to be used and remain in my home. If a product has more than one use or purpose, that’s even better. This is why I’m head over heels for Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil. This oil I’ve been using for aromatherapy, household cleaning, first-aid, and in my skin and hair care regime. This 4 ounce bottle oil is a product of Australia but it’s bottled in the USA. The generous size I find to be quite affordable and imagine it will last me at least a year, if not longer. When it comes to oils such as these, it’s important to know that a little truly goes a very long way.


If you only know a use or two for Tea Tree Oil and are wanting to know more without having to search all over the internet, this bottle when purchased off Amazon comes with an extremely helpful e-book. This guide is 100 pages long and it introduces you to the oil and all the helpful ways it can be used. Do note and it’s mentioned on the bottle and in the e-book that this oil should not be ingested. It’s safe to use it in any other way as long as you have ruled out any potential allergic reaction. The oil can also be diluted if needed.


I’ve been using this oil to freshen my laundry, to ease my aching muscles at the end of the way as a soak, as a cleaner in my kitchen, and to clean my make up brushes. When mopping with just water and the oil I was pretty amazed how well dirt and grime came off my floor. The oil smells good. It’s not too strong or to mild. It can be mixed with other suggested oils such as Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Rosewood, Rosemary and Thyme if preferred for cleaning as well as when using it in a aromatherapy. Other uses include being used as a antiseptic for cuts and burns. It’s an excellent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent great for fighting bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Also it’s good for spot treatments of acne! I’ve applied this and a day or two later the bump is gone! It has been quite effective!

I’m excited to start making my own shampoo and body scrubs with this oil and eager to find other ways to fit into our daily household and family needs.

Interested in Purchasing?
4 Ounce 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil can be purchased for $24.99 and comes with a free recipe e-book!

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset Review & Giveaway



The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset by Vtech will have kids learning as they play and what better a way is there? This set is cute and colorful appealing highly to children ages one to five years old. What’s really cool about this set is that you can add to it to further the learning experience! Children will learn numbers, songs, letters, animal names, and animal traits! So there’s definitely a lot to do and learn for child with this quite engaging toy.


My son age 3 1/2 years old was quite taken with this playset. He’s been going around telling me all sorts of fun animal facts about rhinos and asking when we can go to our local zoo again so he can see real ones! How awesome is that? What’s really neat is that this set is unique with special smart points. There are 7 smart point locations on this particular set. These locations teach children different phrases, music and fun sounds depending on what animal is being used upon it. So in the case of this set, children will learn all about rhinos! Other animals that can be added to the set include a monkey, tiger, lion, hippo, giraffe, elephant, zebra and alligator.

P1150577 The 13 piece set isn’t very difficult to put together. In fact it took about 15 minutes and that’s including putting the stickers on the instructed areas. The set can be configured in different ways and hooked up to additional sets that can be purchased separately. This is also compatible with the Go! Go! Smart Wheels sets. Just note it does take up a good amount of space. My son has been changing the set up plenty on his own at ease. The pieces are all plastic and can easily be cleaned when needed. There are no sharp points and it seems to hold up pretty well under heavy play.P1150580  This set is pretty fun! It’s got an elevator, turning gates, spinning water tanks, and pieces that make animals slide down into another area. There’s a rhino toy as well as a cute little penguin with it’s igloo to play with. It has over 80+ sing-along songs, melodies, short tunes, sounds and phrases so there’s plenty here to learn and have fun with whether it’s with a friend or on their own!

Interested in Purchasing?  VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset can be bought for $39.99 on as of this posting.

Get Connected: “LIKE” the VTech Toys Facebook Page and following @vtechtoyson Twitter.

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Disclaimer: I received the  Tech Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset  from VTech to review .  I was not financially compensated for this post. The complimentart giveaway prize was also provided. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

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Color Me Couture Book Review & Giveaway

Color Me Couture is a book that allows you to learn about and add your own touch to fashions throughout the ages of history. This unique offering offers great appeal to one that wants to design fashion , those curious to learn about fashions during certain periods, and artist eager to expand their skills in such a way as this. Whether it be one of those things or all, this book certainly might be of interest. There’s really no age recommendation for this book because it is put together in way that anyone could benefit and learn from, be it one of their school age years or beyond that.


There are 192 pages within this book. Readers will find an introduction of the book followed by several fashion categories ending with acknowledgments and about the contributors. The categories of fashion designs are Vintage Dresses, Contemporary Dresses, Assorted Fashion Garments, and Shoes & Hats. Each design is covered on two pages. The first page has an illustration of the garment, the title of the piece is called “Glacial Ball Gown” for example. And is followed by the date and season, material, inspiration & style, followed a description and a snippet of history on it. On the second page, the fashion illustration is on but the inner parts completed on the first page are left blank for you to design and color however you so chose. I really like how much freedom is given to design and create whether you’d want to design for that era or take that piece and make someone completely new.

This book would most certainly make a great keepsake after used to hold on to to share with future generations as well something to look back upon when you get that itch to design. When I have little more free time, I’m excited to start doodling around with this book myself. I love to draw and create and believe this book has the ability to awaken all sorts of imaginative and chic designs that are currently lying a bit dormant! I love that I’m learning history about pieces from the 1800’s to 1960’s and beyond! What a wonderful book!

Interested in Purchasing? Color Me Couture: Imagine, Create and Sketch Your Own Fashion Designs is available on for $9.27 as of this posting.

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Color Me Couture Imagine, Create and Sketch Your Own Fashion DesignsBy Gloria Collazo and Catherine Mong through Ulysses Press.  I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

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