Monday, August 21, 2017

How to Have GREAT After School Snacks on the Go!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge,from Brilliant PRM and 3D Communications, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them, all opinions are my own.

blast off back to school banner

With Back to School upon us, some of you are still hunting for the best lunch box holders for both healthy snacks and healthy water. Others know they need new products for after school activity snacks and hydration!

Today I have not 1, but 2 new products for you to chekc out"

snack box 1

this cool looking box is a revelation in the snack box aosle!

 Precidio Design has you covered, no matter what your snacks are! With their innovative Snack in the Box , you can have all your child’s  snack favorites ready and waiting for whatever adventure you decide to take – or not take. The best part is you can double up on one snack, or have two on each side thanks to their convenient Tritan chambers! Easy to pour and carry, it is also BPA and Phthalate Free! And thanks to it's durable design, it's also dishwasher safe!

snack box 2

We found the box super handy for snacks for BEFORE dance class, and AFTER! She had her healthy cereal for before, and popcorn for after. It held JUST the right amount to fill her up and take the edge off! She LOVES the flip top design, that can be opened singly, or both sides at once. It is super easy to clean too, just pull the top off and put both pieced in the dishwaster! It also comes in five fun colors (Blue, Pink ,Orange, Green, and Purple), so you can color match all the kids!

And if you have snacls, you need hydration!

ion8 water bottles are great for kids of all ages.  They are are 100% leak proof, easy to use with one hand and dishwasher safe! Plus they are suitable for HOT and COLD liquids (14 – 200 degree Fahrenheit!), so you can use them no matter what the weather!

But what REALLY sold us on this bottle is it's ONE handed use! They is a lock on the open button, that can be flipped down with ONE finger, then you push the button and you up pops the lod, giving you instand access to the fast slow opening. Which means your kids get hydrated QUICKER. plus that means no weird drinking nozzles to clean, or get icky. And I know you LOVE that!

Plus it's soft touch surface allows you to have an effortless grip, and the attached small carry strap, means you can grab and go VERY easily! It also has an outside water reading, so you ca see how much water your kids are drinking (holds just over 11 1/2 oz)! The junior bottle comes in 4 colors, and fots easily in lunch boxes and purses! While Miss Grace loves this water bottle, I'm inclined to steal it back from her, as it's perfect for me for work! So it's probably a good thing that it comes in a 20 oz version too, as she wants that one for dance class! 

So if you're looking for snack items for your kids, but need them to be for slightly older kids too, check out these great new products!

You'll love them as much as we do!
Friday, August 18, 2017

PhotoMamas 101 is YOUR Back to School Gift to YOURSELF!

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

blast off back to school banner

Well Back to School is upon us, and I don't know about you, but I tend to take a whole lot more pictures during the Fall (versus Summer).

Which means it always time for a brush up on techniques, to remind me how to get some amazing pictures of da kid and our adventures!

What about you?

nikon camera

So you really know how to use that fancy camera you got for Christmas/your birthday/anniversary?

Would you like a simple, down to earth, EASY course? And one that is online, so you can take it at midnight, is you want to? 

Then I have the course for YOU!

photo mamas logo

The purpose of PhotoMamas is to remove the fear from taking photos. To create a community for encouragement, not comparison. The PhotoMamas Masterclass offers easy to understand tips on the creative and technical aspects of photography, so that after you watch this series, you will have the tools to capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments of your family with confidence and skill.We all need professional photos, but YOU need to be the one taking the pictures in your everyday… let Evin show you how!

One thing that makes a photo great is a different perspective. Evin can teach you to look at your everyday life from different perspectives and new angles. While no one is taking pictures of our dirty dishes, we are taking photos of things we are thankful for! By learning how to take better photos, you will learn to see things from a new perspective and will have FUN while capturing them. 

i was given the chance to check out this new course and I'm thrilled to be able to share with you, as unlike others I have taken, it is not boring, stuffy or dry. you'll find yourself following along and UNDERSTANDING completely, maybe for the first time!

photomams 101 course
It is VERY easy to take this photo course! When you log into the Photomamas website, after purchasing the course, you click on My Library, and your course will be showing on your dashboard. Just click on it and it opens up. You can start and stop, then restart at any time (like when the kids are FINALLY asleep!), so no worries about a short time period to take the course, like some other sites!

In the first section, you can download a workbook, that follows the course and allows you to take notes, as the videos progress, so you can refer back to them when you need to! Even though I've taken different photo courses, I still took notes! you also get 2 'cheater pages' to download, which I would recommend to save as postcard sized, and laminate them, back to back, so you can carry with your camera, for quick reference.

In the first section, Creative, you get a video presentation from Evin (which can also be download if easier for you to check out offline), that is all about being creative with your photos (and doesn't require you top have your camera in your hand (so you could watch it while waiting on that football practice to end!). This section includes: 

1. Light- How can natural light play an integral part of your photos?
2. Perspective - Can you really TELL a story by where your camera is?
3. Composition- Do you always center your subjects? Should you?

Do all three of these really make a difference? 
YUP! Check out these photos:

photo collage 1

If your photo can TELL your story, without you needing to narrate, you've perfectly captured the moment! FYI, I think I had more hits on the 'boozy gator', than all the rest of the parade pictures that week! He just summed up the parade, and made everybody SMILE!

The second section, Technical, DOES require you to have your camera, so you can see not only what button are on it, but to start taking shots and experimenting with what Evin is teaching! Included in this section are:

1. Equipment- Which type of camera and more importantly (sometimes), what lenses do you need?
2. What are the 3 Exposure variables? How can you use them for better pictures?

The variables are those numbers, and meters, you see in your camera display, but might NOT know what they are, like this:

camera display 2

See that graph bar on the right? That's the light meter and does it make a difference?
Yup- look at these three shots:

collage 2

Which one is best in a 8x10 on the wall?
 Yup- the last one where the light and aperature were perfect! 
It tells the whole story without any words needed!

I like how the course is laid out. Evin shows you plenty of examples, especially in the Creative section, so you can understand what she is talking about, even if you've had no camera experience. Her straightforward approach means that it is easy to apply what she is teaching to YOUR camera, and immediately start taking better pictures! I highly recommend it as a first course for those looking to take better pictures, or learn what the dials on their new camera mean!

Be sure to check out the encouraging tips & tricks on PhotoMamas Instagram & Facebook pages, and share the great pictures YOU'VE taken too!

cheat sheet collage

Stay tuned next week, if you're interested in this course, and I'll have a FREE download of Evin's Camera Settings Cheat Sheet for you, and an exclusive $20 off coupon code for you, for the PhotoMamas Masterclass! Check back on Wednesday for that post~

About Evin

Evin Krehbiel, of Evin Photography is a wife, mother of three, and has been a professional photographer for over 12 years. She is the creative talent and energetic personality behind PhotoMamas. She has a heart for teaching women how to better use their cameras while capturing the everyday moments. Her teaching style is both confidence-building and encouraging, removing the fear of not knowing how to use your DSLR and allowing you to actually have FUN learning to take better photos!

photo tip

Book Review: Good Friday by Lydia Laplante

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Zaffre Press, 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,  all opinions are my own.

Well, it IS Friday, LOL!


good friday cover


Every legend has a beginning . . .
During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused - some were not.
Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured.
Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can't identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.
'Good Friday' is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin's Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It's the perfect target.
As Jane arrives for the evening, she realizes that she recognizes the parking attendant as the bomber from Convent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London's entire detective force?

I have been a fan of the Tennison books from the beginning, and this book, taking BACK to the start when Tennison was fresh on the force was a superb entree into the series! Not only does it show just what she had to overcome, but it shows her strength of character, and we as readers get to see where that inner resolve of hers came from! It is odd to see her as such a young woman, as you really can't get Helen out of your mind! Although if you've seen the new series, then Martin does an admirable job. She's just not Helen, LOL! But it was such FUN to step back into Tennison's world and to see how her mind worked it's amazing logic, even then. She may have been rough and naive in some ways, but she was quick on her feet, and knew what she wanted to become. If you love this series, this book is a must read, if you're new to it, START with this one, and then get into the rest of the books! You won't regret doing so!

About the Author

Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National Theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing - and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series WIDOWS.

Her novels have all been international bestsellers. Her original script for the much-acclaimed PRIME SUSPECT won awards from BAFTA, Emmys, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Writer's Award. 

Since 1993 Lynda has spearheaded La Plante Productions. In that time the company has produced a stunning slate of innovative dramas with proven success and enduring international appeal. Lynda has been made honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Writer's Award 2000. In 2008 Lynda was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List (Writer and Producer for services to Literature, Drama and to Charity). In 2009, Lynda was honoured at the Cologne Conference International Film and Television Festival with the prestigious TV Spielfilm Award for her television adaptation of her novel, Above Suspicion.

Books penned by Lynda La Plante include: The Legacy, The Talisman, Bella Mafia, Entwined, Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood, Cold Heart, Sleeping Cruelty, Royal Flush, Above Suspicion, The Red Dahlia, Clean Cut, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream, Blind Fury, Blood Line, Backlash, Wrongful Death, and Twisted, which have all been international best-sellers. 

Please visit for further information. You can also follow Lynda on Facebook and Twitte
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Some Fall Blog Cleaning....

With the advent of the new https transition from http, 
I've had to make some blog Fall cleaning changes.

networked blogs logo

Those of you on Networked Blogs, know there have been steady issues with syndication, so with a sad heart for my 500 plus followers there, I've decided to let it go, to keep from having security site issues for all followers.

For the giveaways already running, the Networked Blogs follow WILL still count, but it will not be on any new ones.

The side and bottom bars have also been adjusted.

But altogether, there isn't too much obvious change, most of it is in the coding!

Book Review: The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,  via Edelweiss, 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 now for our second 'bloody' book, that also happens to be historical fiction!

the blood card covber


In the third Magic Men mystery, the first partially set in America, a threat of mass violence looms over Elizabeth II’s coronation: Can DI Edgar Stephens and Max Mephisto crack the case and save the crown?

Elizabeth II’s coronation is looming, but DI Edgar Stephens is busy investigating the death of a local fortuneteller. Meanwhile, his old pal, the magician Max Mephisto, is rehearsing for his television debut, a Coronation Day variety show. But upon hearing that their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, has been found dead in his flat, the two men join forces to find out what happened.

While Max is stuck in rehearsals, Edgar finds himself heading to New York, hot on the trail of a mesmerist he’s sure has valuable information for them—and his trusty sergeant, Emma, investigates some important leads at home. As the clock ticks down to Coronation Day, the team must scramble to keep Max’s small-screen debut from ending in a dangerously explosive finale.


Set in 1953, this book takes us back to when illusion and slight of hand were more than parlor tricks, and preceeded the ways of the internet. This mystery reminds us more of what we have lost, as Max and Edgar have to think on their toes, and use a lot of common sense and ingenuity to solve the mystery at hand. No running of computer checks or whisking across the country to surprise witnesses, no they have to go at a slower pace, yet the odds are just as risky. For those who like stepping back in time, this series will delight!

About the Author:

ELLY GRIFFITHS is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series. She is the recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her work has been praised as "gripping" (Louise Penny), "captivating," (Wall Street Journal) and "must-reads for fans of crime fiction" (Associated Press). She lives in Brighton, England.

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