Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Limelens Cell Phone Lenses Can Elevate YOUR Photography!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from limelens,for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, all opinions are my own.

And speaking of photography....

Today I have a great product that is perfect for everyone who takes pictures with their cell phone, who always find themselves with a cell not their DSLR and want better photos, or for any camera-aholic! PS- it makes a great holiday gift idea too!


Limelens lenses capture intricate detail that a smartphone camera could not achieve on its own. Their lenses boast incredible framing capabilities, removing the limitations of the smartphone camera to produce stunning photographs with a greater choice of photo angles, framing and composition. 

limelens kit

Included in your Limelens case are two lenses (The Thinker, a wide/macro lens and The Captain, a supreme 190 degree fisheye lens), three Limeclips (one will fit any of the varied 40 different devices, including tablets!), lens cleaner sheets, an instruction sheet, an alignment disc and three stickers.

limelens kit 2

The lens are ONLY available in the dual kit at this time. As you can see, the kit is actually pretty compact. That is a traditional size school eraser next to it. As far as height it is bigger obviously, as you can see from the photo above, it is padded, to protect the 2 lenses. I would estimate it about an inch and a half. So it's easy to put in your purse or backpack and take with you for the day, or to keep in your bag!

limelens limeclip placement

It is VERY easy to install the Limceip. You search the list (online as well) and determine which of the 3 clips you need for YOUR phone or tablet. Now caveat here. The Limeclip will not work with all CASES. As you can see from the photos at the top of the post, on some phones, the clip stick the lens OUT and some cases would prevent that from happening. But I have the Samsung, and as you can see it is more flush, and I can actually keep my Otterbox style cover on my phone, as the lens fits perfectly in the space available. 

You use the alignment disc then to make sure you have it in the correct spot, before peeling the back paper and sticking it to your phone. Hint- use painters tape to keep it in place while you check alignment. The SMALL plastic disc has a tendency NOT to stay in the Limeclip, so if you can keep 1 hand free, it will save your sanity! LOL. 

Once the Limeclip is on, it's just a matter of putting the different lenses on it! Just make sure you properly twist them on, or they will pop OFF when you move your phone, causing more scrambling! I recommend doing this over a carpet or padded area, until you get the hang of installing the lenses, then take it out with you!

Now let's talk about the Lenses!


This lens will help you attain a 10x Macro perspective OR a 0.67x wide-angle view ,
thanks to its dual purpose lens! This one if my favorite and I am quick to pull it out wherever we go!

limelens wide sample 1

Here is an example of the wide angle lens results. The top photo was without the wide angle lens. It's decent, put it resembles a close up, when it wasn't. By adding the Thinker lens, you can see JUST how much MORE area is added to the photo. That gives you more depth perception and a truer photo, by properly centering the subject and making it really POP.

wild things egg display

Some pictures from Wild Things Fest, above and below, that you might have seen last week on our Wordless Wednesday post, that I used the wide angle lens for. You can see just how much MORE I was able to get into each picture, that you could have gotten from a traditional cell phone!

wild things snake

In this picture, I was able to get the kid;s face AND the snake's! I couldn't have gotten that with the regular lens of the cell phone- it cut off the picture at the lady's watch!

As for the macro:

close up for day of the dead cookie

Sorta makes you want to lean over and brush those crumbs on the side, right? I was trying to comenpensate for the store fluorescent light, so got the shadow on the left, but you can see how the Macros let's you get up close and personal, without loosing ANY quality that can sometimes happen!

The Captain

No landscape too vast or group photo too wide, this lens will gladly capture it all. Drink in the atmosphere with The Captain, our 190° supreme fisheye lens.

Here you can see how much MORE of the outside was obtained, even through the door. You can see how much LIGHT was let in as well, if you look to the area of the pumpkin hanging on the door. The beauty of using this lens is that it DOES give you more light into your photo!

And here as well, you can see how the lens allowed me to get BOTH streets, just about equal distant. As you can tell, I was able to get the entire yard in as well. The normal lens would not have been able to do that!

This is a SUPERB cell lens set, possibly the best I've seen, for giving you true 'rival the DSLR' quality photos from your cell phone! There are so many times I don't want to take my big camera, either for fear of something happening to it, or from not wanting to have to lug it around ALL day. This set is so easy to take with me, that I know I can always slot on one of the lenses and get the same great quality shot! Those same reasons are what makes it perfect for gift giving to the coed always on the go, the Mom who wants to take better pictures, and the budding photographer, who want to work on technique, not pay for expensive equipment! And at ONLY $49, right now on SALE, it's a super great buy too! So head on over to and pick up a set, or tow, for gift giving this holiday season, and be sure to snag one for yourself too, before the price goes back up!

Wordless Wednesday: Images from the Past Week

grace and fair queen



miss grace



How to Make Learning FUN? Grab Outdoor Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke (FUN Experiment and Giveaway!)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from Quarto Publishing, for review and giveaway, purposes on this blog, and from the author for blog posting (experiment). No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

If you read this blog, you know that this is Miss Grace's second week of homeschooling!

So far, fingers crossed, all is going well. One of the reasons for that is that we are able to have hands on art, science and history experiments and lessons, that really ENGAGE Miss Grace, and help her to understand the principals she is learning, in a tactile way.As she is a tactile learner (60%), this is a BIG boon, to reigniting her love for learning!

So when I heard that Liz Lee Heinecke had a new book, that brought science experiments to the back yard, and covered ALL science subjects in out curriculum, I was thrilled! I've already pulled quite a few from her blog, The Kitchen Pantry Scientist, for Miss Grace to do, so I knew her quality of experiments is really great!

This new book really lets you look at take your kitchen pantry and backyard and turn them into the foundation for some really great FUN educational afternoons. Even if you don't home school, these experiments are SUPER for re-enforcing learning. Unfortunately, most teachers just don;t have the TIME anymore to do these in class. By using this book, YOU can become their secondary teacher, and showing them their book learning, in a way they can touch and feel. And as we all know- those are the lessons that tend to STICK with kids!

About the Book:

book synopsis


With 52 family-friendly at home science experiments, this book really DOES cover the gambit of science: Biology-botany,gardens, animals, invertebrates, Earth Science- atmosphere, solar science, ecology, Chemistry and Physics. They seriously range from uber simple to the "oh my gosh, I can't believe we did that!".  All the ingredients you need are readily available, usually in your pantry or backyard, making for quick set up and prep time! Something busy parents can love. Now some of the experiments take only a few minutes, other may require days and months (like tadpole transformation), to see full results. BUT that is true scientific method at work! Kids need to learn in this modern age of technology, that some things take TIME.

Liz includes safety and helpful tips when necessary, and breaks the experiments down by materials, protocol, science behind the experiment (helpful for parents to read BEFORE the kids do the experiment, in case you didn't know it beforehand!), and a creative enrichment, for what to do AFTER the experiment, t take the learned info to another level. As a parent, who is now a teacher, I LOVE that she has set each up this way, so that there is no guesswork. It's all here and ready to go.The experiments are aimed at the upper elementary to middle school age, and most are ones they can do themselves (with some oversight), allowing them to learn all aspects of conducting a science experiment!  But even older kids can help lead the experiments, and younger ones can observe along, so the experiments can cover all your kids! 

This is an AMAZING book, that is FUN and educational. You could give it as  Christmas gift, along with some of the materials needed, and kids wouldn't even think of it as a boring gift! They'd be thrilled to become a 'mad scientist' and amaze their friends! We HIGHLY recommend it for all families!

explodign heads

And speaking of 'mad scientists'///

With Halloween fast approaching (eek where DID the time GO?), Liz has some simple, inexpensive and fun experiments will have your kids running for their lab coats and crazy hair wigs! As part of this book tour, different blogs will each have a fun experiment for the holiday from Liz. So be SURE to check out the list below and link over (list below) to find out what scientific fun your kids can get into!

For our featured experiment, 
we get to bring gummy worms to “life” with a simple chemical reaction!.


Frankenworms Experiment:


Gummy worms candy
Scissors or kitchen shears
3 tablespoons (42 g) baking soda
1 cup (235 ml) warm water
White vinegar
(yes, that is REALLY all you need!)


cutting worms

·       Step 1: Using scissors or kitchen shears, make super-skinny gummy worms by cutting them into long strips. Cut each worm lengthwise at least four times. The skinnier you make your worms, the better they’ll work. 

Safety Tips and Hints

·       To avoid cuts and frustration, help young kids cut the gummy worms into long strips.

mixing water and soda

·       Step 2: Mix the baking soda with the warm water. Stir well. 

mixing worms and water

·       Step 3Drop your skinny gummy worms into the baking soda solution. 
Let them soak for 15 to 20 minutes. 

While your worms are soaking, fill a clear glass or jar with vinegar.·     

·       Step 4: When the 20 minutes are up, fish the gummy worms out of the baking soda solution with a fork, and drop them into the glass of vinegar to bring them to “life.”

Get ready for the 'ewwwws" and 'wows"!

Creative Enrichment- ask your kids:

1. Why don’t full-size gummy worms work well for this experiment? 
2. What else could you bring to “life” with this chemical reaction?

The Science Behind the Fun 

·       The gummy worms float and move as the vinegar (acetic acid) in the cup reacts with the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) you’ve soaked them in, to form carbon dioxide gas bubbles. The gas bubbles are less dense than the vinegar and will float to the surface, pulling the worms with them. This makes the gummy worms wriggle until the chemical reaction stops.

From Kitchen Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke
© 2014 by Quarry Books, Text © 2014 Liz Lee Heinecke; Photography © 2014 Amber Procaccini Photography

Book Tour!

Book Tour- all of these participants will be offering different experiments and content, like giveaways of the book, so be sure to click into each one for something new to try out with YOUR kids:

BlogHome Page URL                                                         Date of              Participation
April Noellehttp://www.aprilnoelle.com17-Oct
Happy Healthy Hip Parenting
Mom of 2 Dancershttp://www.scrappyd.blogspot.com19-Oct
Just Joannahttp://justjoanna.com20-Oct
Say it, "Rah-shay"
Honey Badger Momhttp://honeybadgermom.com23-Oct
The Life of a Home Momhttp://homemom3.com24-Oct
Mom, Are We There Yet?http://momarewethereyet.net25-Oct
Bless Their Hearts MomTHIS POST26-Oct
Central Minnesota Momhttp://centralmnmom.com27-Oct
Cassandra M's Placewww.cassandramsplace.com28-Oct
My Silly Little Ganghttp://mysillylittlegang.com29-Oct
Houseful of Nicholeshttp://housefulofnicholes.com30-Oct
Cook with 5 kidshttp://cookwith5kids.blogspot.com31-Oct

flashing Win


One lucky BTHM reader, or those who are visiting today (HELLO!), will win their own copy
of this great book!

About the Author:

Liz Lee Heinecke has loved science since she was old enough to inspect her first butterfly. Liz graduated from Luther College. After working in molecular biology research for ten years and getting her master’s degree (in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison), she left the lab to kick off a new chapter in her life as a stay-at-home mom. Soon she found herself sharing her love of science with her three kids as they grew, journaling their science adventures on her KitchenPantryScientist website.

Her desire to spread her enthusiasm for science to others soon led to a regular segment on her local NBC affiliate, an opportunity to serve as an Earth Ambassador for NASA, and the creation of an iPhone app, with the goal of making it simple for parents to do science with kids of all ages, and for kids to experiment safely on their own.

You can find her at home in Minnesota, wrangling her kids, writing for her website, updating the KidScience app, teaching microbiology to nursing students, singing, playing banjo, painting, running, and doing almost anything else to avoid housework.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

YA Book Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge, from the DIsney Book Group, via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And speaking of teens, and detective work...

the amateurs cover


As soon as Seneca Frazier sees the post on the Case Not Closed website about Helena Kelly, she's hooked. Helena's high-profile disappearance five years earlier is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It's the reason she's a member of the site in the first place. 

So when Maddy Wright, her best friend from the CNC site, invites Seneca to spend spring break in Connecticut looking into the cold case, she immediately packs her bag. But the moment she steps off the train in trendy, glamorous Dexby, things begin to go wrong. Maddy is nothing like she expected, and Helena's sister, Aerin Kelly, seems completely hostile and totally uninterested in helping with their murder investigation.

But when Brett, another super user from the site, joins Seneca and Maddy in Dexby, Aerin starts to come around. The police must have missed something, and someone in Dexby definitely has information they've been keeping quiet. 

As Seneca, Brett, Maddy, and Aerin begin to unravel dark secrets and shocking betrayals about the people closest to them, they seem to be on the murderer's trail at last. But somewhere nearby the killer is watching . . . ready to do whatever it takes to make sure the truth stays buried.


WOW, I RACED through this book, staying up VERY late to finish it! It may be a YA book, but adults will find the mystery just as entrancing. Although adults may see the ending coming more than teens, having read more mysteries, they might make bigger jumps in logic, than teens. The book really delves into characters- what we project to others, and the truth behind the facade, as much as it deals with the mystery of Helena's disappearance, as the teens find just how much that very thought is linked to her going missing. It will be interesting to see where the next book in the series (!!) picks up from, or who it introduces into the circle of friends. If you are looking for a book that older teens will love, be sure to pick this one up for them (and then just sneak and read it while they're at school or sleeping, LOL).

About the Author:
Sara Shepard graduated from NYU and has an MFA from Brooklyn College. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona. Sara's Pretty Little Liars novels were inspired by her upbringing in Philadelphia's Main Line. Check out her website for more info!

10 Myths of Teen Dating- AKA The Things You Don't Know and SHOULD!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Litfuse Publicicty, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

All parents turn into detectives when their teen starts dating, so this book is timely today!

There's no greater moment of panic in a parent's life than when their daughter begins to date.


Due to their lack of knowledge about the world their teens face coupled with the scant dating information they received as teens, many parents feel ill-equipped to guide their daughters through the minefield that is teen dating.

And by the same token, teenage girls crave information about dating and relationships. And left to their own devices, many will develop their own assumptions about dating by talking to their friends or watching the latest TV shows and movies. But that will only lead them down a path toward heartbreak.

So how do you engage your daughter in discussions about dating, relationships, and her future happiness? Expert educator Daniel Anderson and his twenty something daughter, Jacquelyn, help you navigate the biggest dating myths, including: the myth that a boyfriend will make your daughter happy, that she should trust her feelings, or that sex will enhance her relationship. Combining the latest scientific research with poignant personal stories, as well as proven truths and practical application, The 10Myths of Teen Dating will equip you to teach your daughter how to date smart for today . . . and tomorrow.

Check out the author and his daughter, talking about how the book came about:

Purchase a copy:


Topics included in this books are ones you would expect, like sex, feelings, abuse, fighting, and ones you might not, like serial dating, rebound relationships and getting back together. I truly love how Daniel started out with what happiness IS, and what it is NOT. This may be the hardest one for teens to understand, as they are so ruled by peer pressure at this age. The thought of being different and unique is not only difficult, but fraught with it's own devilish rocks to overcome. But Daniel stresses that happiness doesn't come from those outside signs, but from within OURSELVES. This is something I've actually already talked to Miss Grace about- if you are happy with yourself, then that shows and you will find the right person for YOU, not who others think you should be with.

Each chapter gives a bottom line, summarizing the myth and solution, then offers questions for you and your daughter to discuss, questions for reflection, and thoughts for the next chapter. This way you can take one chapter at a time, break it down into discussions and questions, and then see where you and your daughter are. Do you need more discussion? Should you move on to the next chapter, or offer more discussions on the present topic? This is a very realistic and honest look at all the pitfalls and myths of teen dating and a very welcome resource to parents- moms and dads alike. I would recommend ALL parents read it. Even if you only have boys, many of the myths cross over to both girls and boys!

About the authors:

Daniel Anderson is a former college All-American basketball player, an expert educator, and a father of two grown daughters and a son. As a veteran high school teacher in the public school system, Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships. He and his daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson---a twenty something and also a high school teacher---decided to address this need by equipping parents with The 10 Myths of Teen Dating, their first book together. Daniel and Jacquelyn both make their home in Portland, Oregon. Follow them on their Website and Facebook pages.

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