Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pirates of Penzance Opera - 10% Off Code

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

One of the things my daughter requested to learn about this year was the opera. I have been on the search since August to find an opera that would be the perfect fit for her. After all I wante her first opera experience to be an amazing one! Well that search is over because I finally found it. The Pirates of Penzance sails into Atlanta on March 5th!  Pirates of Penzance is a rollicking show with serious operatic chops. Great for the whole family!


As Frederic enters the rank of full pirate at the end of his apprenticeship, he and his fellow pirates court the daughters of Major-General Stanley, which sets off a hilarious course of events that pit Frederic against his pirate clan.

Bass Kevin Burdette, whom the New York Times hailed as the "Robin Williams of opera," sings the role of the Pirate King in his Atlanta debut. Sean Curran will direct this exciting interpretation of a Gilbert & Sullivan classic.

Learn more about the show here. If this sounds like a show you want your family to experience you can also Save 10% with code PIRATES10.

We'll see you there, mateys!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Multicultural Children's Book Day - Rafa The Refugee Book Review #ReadYourWorld

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

I am really proud to be part of the Multicultural Children's Book Day event again this year. As part of the blogging team our family received a fantastic book from Terri Hoops to review. Our review is below along with a fun project idea, but first let me tell you more about this event, the sponsors and the cohosts.

What is Multicultural Children's Book Day?
Mission: Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and  favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

"The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media."

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors:

MCCBD's Cohosts Include:

Classroom Reading Challenge:
This very special offering from MCCBD which offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children's book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.

So teachers/librarians/classrooms click here to find out how. There is no cost to teachers and classrooms and the process is super simple.

A Moms Review:
If you watch the news then you are well aware of the influx of refugees coming into the United States. And whether you agree with the situation or not it is something that our children need to be educated on so they learn to be accepting of others from different races, religions, cultures and countries. Our family is always learning about different cultures which is one reason I love participating in the Multicultural Children's Book Day.

"Rafa the Refugee” is a soft cover picture book about a young girl whose family flees Iraq and escapes to the United States. The book follows her journey to United States, adoption of a new culture and realization that her heritage, language and culture are part of who she is. As Rafa settles into her new home she soon discovers that she needs both languages and cultures to grow and succeed. 

This inspirational children’s book celebrates culture, heritage and language. It shows kids that it is okay to be different and that one should always take pride in one’s own culture.

We enjoyed what the book was trying to convey, but personally I would have liked more in depth information regarding Rafa's language and culture. For example there is some Arabic writing throughout the book and a translation of the phrases would have been a great addition. And I wasn't overly impressed with the writing style or illustrations, in comparison to other cultural books we own or have read. But the kids did enjoy it and we will be passing it along to a library so others can enjoy it.

About the Author
Terrie Hoops is a passionate educator working in second language acquisition. Terrie develops K12 curriculums for modern languages and ESOL programs serving migrant and refugee populations. She has a bachelor's degree in anthropology and a master's degree in administration and leadership from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in curriculum, assessment and instruction from the University of Maine at Orono. Terrie is originally from Montreal, Quebec, and is fluent in English, Spanish and French. She lives in Bradenton, Fl with her husband Dave.

Fun Project Idea:
As I was searching for a fun activity that would compliment "Rafa the Refugee" I found a great blog by a fellow homeschooler. She is Muslim and has some great hands on projects for kids. Check out her blog for information on creating Arabic Letter Mosaics.

Image from Muslim Homeschool Blog

Links to Follow:
-Multicultural Children's Book Day Facebook
-Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter
-Multicultural Children's Book Day Pinterest

Where to Buy:
You can purchase Rafa and the Refugee on Amazon for $19.99.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Homeschooling With National Geographic Books #NGKInsider

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

It is no secret that our family has a slight, okay a BIG, book addiction. We have several favorite publishers that we love and utilize in our homeschooling journey and National Geographic Kids is one of them. Their entire line up of books are educational, fun and filled with beautiful illustrations. And most importantly the kids LOVE them.

Over the last few months we have received several amazing books from National Geographic, it is one of the many perks of being part of the National Geographic Kids Insider Club. Sadly I got a little bit behind due to some health issues so I am sharing all of the great books we received that we have been utilizing in our homeschool learning adventures.

I'd like to also mention that all of these books make great gifts for the upcoming holidays too and many are currently on sale on Amazon right now!

A Friend For Lakota by Jim and Jamie Dutcher - ($16.99) Since we homeschool you might think bullying is not a huge concern for our family, but it is, and mostly in our own home. I always say that my kids are each others best friends and worst enemies, it is to be expected since they are together ALL the time. In this book Emmy winning Jim and Jamie Dutcher had the unique experience of living in a tented camp in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains among a pack of wolves where they observed and documented the rarely seen social behavior, including bullying. In the book Lakota is a shy wolf pup who is growing up as the lowest ranked and frequently picked on member of the wolf pack (his brothers and sisters). This story was a great one for my kids. It taught them a very important lesson about not bullying one another and being there for each other no matter what and it also taught them that they shouldn't bully other kids and should they see a kid being bullied to do something to help them. In the back of the book there is a map that shows where Lakota lives as well as information about gray wolves, notes from the authors and a page with websites, books and places to see wolves. The photographs in this book are absolutely stunning by the way and make you feel like you are right there with the National Geographic photographers.*If you hurry you can get this book for $11.79 on Amazon right now!

100 Things To Make You Happy by Lisa m. Gerry - ($9.99) Have you ever made a happiness bucket list? Well after you flip through the pages of this book you just might. This book is filled with great ideas that are guaranteed to make you happy. Try a few or try them all, from exercises and foods that boost happiness to tips from professional "happy makers," like psychologists and even magicians. This book is also filled with inspirational quotes, heartwarming tales from the animal kingdom and interviews with National Geographic explorers who followed their dreams. I will tell you I have been very down in the dumps lately due to my health. I am in pain just about everyday and extremely exhausted. So whenever I am having a really bad day I flip open to a page in this book and find some inspiration to be happy. So not only is this book great for kids it's great for moms too! "The secret to happiness is to start by doing things that make you happy!" *If you hurry you can get this book for $7.34 on Amazon right now!

Why? Over 1,111 Answers to Everything by Crispin Boyer - ($19.99) Have you ever wondered why your cat hacks up hair balls? Or why volcanoes blow their tops? Well this book has you covered. It contains 7 chapters covering questions about your body, our planet, the universe, history, technology, animals and pop culture. This book is filled with hundreds of topics ranging from silly to serious, and includes expert information! It is fun and entertaining and will literally keep your kids busy for hours....seriously it kept my kids busy during a recent road trip from Georgia to Florida. Answers include all kinds of fascinating extra info like top ten lists, weird-but-true facts, explorer profiles, and cool activities. If your kids are anything like mine they ask a lot of questions....well this book will give them the answers without needing to Google! *If you hurry you can get this book for $10.99 on Amazon right now!

Mission Tiger Rescue by Kitson Jazynka - ($12.99) One of our favorite series from National Geographic Kids is the Mission Rescue Series. One of the homeschool clubs I run is zoo club. Each month we visit the zoo and learn about an animal while sitting in front of the animals habitat. Well thanks to the Mission Rescue books I am always well prepared for zoo club and can not only teach the children about the all about the animals but also ways we can help rescue them. Mission Tiger Rescue combines fun and amazing adventure stories, beautiful photographs, hands on activities, tons of facts and more. Throughout the book you meet real life tigers and learn about their habitats, challenges, and successes plus how YOU can personally take action and save these amazing endangered animals. Check out my review on Lion Rescue and Elephant Rescue here*If you hurry you can get this book for $11.4 Amazon right now!

Buzz Aldrin Welcome To Mars with Marianne J. Dyson - ($18.99) This book is perfect compliment for our astronomy lessons. This book has 5 detailed chapters and covers Why Mars, Off to Mars, Approaching Mars, Riches of Mars, Martian Home and Green Mars. The kids favorite part of the book are the hands-on science experiments. I love that in the back of the book there is a section with additional book recommendations and websites. *If you hurry you can get this book for $12.22 on Amazon right now!

Pope Francis by Barbara Kramer  - ($3.99) I am sure you are all well aware there is a new Pope in the Vatican, Pope Francis! But did you know that he is the oldest of 5 siblings, that he loved to play soccer as a kid, that he was the first pope to take a selfie, or that he is an excellent cook? Well you can learn these facts and more in this Level 1 reader. This book arrived at the perfect time because my daughter asked to learn about the smallest country in the World this year which is well the Vatican!

How to Survive Anything by Rachel Buchholz - ($12.95) My kids are very interested in survival skills so this book is right up their alley. It contains 31 chapters and covers everything from surviving a tornado to a breakup. We took this book along with us on a recent camping adventure it was the perfect book to read at bedtime. I mean knowing how to survive a snakebike, being lost in the woods, or wildfire is definitely important information to know when camping! *If you hurry you can get this book for $8.34 on Amazon right now!

Before I get to some really exciting news I want to quickly share one more valuable resource we use in our homeschool and that is apps. Well National Geographic experts have teamed up with Google Play to hand select some top educational apps. Nat Geo Kids is all about exciting children to explore the world around them. With these apps kids will have so much fun discovering all about animals, science, countries, and more that they’ll forget they’re learning. We have personally tried at least 4 of these apps and can say they definitely deserve to be on the list!


My kids love their National Geographic Kids subscription. This magazine subscription definitely makes a great gift for any child. Each magazine is loaded with engaging age appropriate content and fantastic photography. Little kids is designed for children ages 3-6 yrs old and Kids is designed for children age 6-12 yrs old. Currently you can get a subscription for as low as $12-$15.

Guess what? One winner will receive a 1 yr subscription to their choice of Kids or Little Kids National Geographic Magazine thanks to National Geographic. Just fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below. Only the first entry is mandatory. Other entries are optional and give you extra chances. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. The winner will be posted on the blog and will be emailed. Winner must reply within 24 hrs with their contact information or another winner will be chosen. Prize will be shipped by National Geographic. Wait a moment for it to load....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Brick Builders Club Review #BrickSwag

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

I have another Lego related item for you that I reviewed. Can you tell we are a Lego loving family? This one is an awesome one of a kind subscription box for the Lego lover in your family and its called BrickSwag from the Brick Builders Club! Subscription boxes are the newest fad and I can totally see why....I mean who doesn't love getting fun stuff in the mail every month?

Now I don't have Rowyn's opinion yet on this amazing product because it is going to be one of his Christmas gifts but I think it's safe to say he is going to go crazy over it.

Every month a Lego style box arrives at your door filled with an exclusive T-Shirt, trading cards, parts packs, activities, techniques/tips, mini build challenge and more!

In our November box we received a turkey build, really cool t-shirt (which I claimed because it is too big for Rowyn), brick booster pack, trading cards, Lego cup, BrickSwag brick, fun poster, build a feast challenge pack and tips and trick book. I can already tell you Rowyn is going to go crazy over the bricks but I also know the trading cards are going to be a huge hit because since they have become a new hobby for him over the last few months. When you sign up for a subscription you can select the t-shirt size you need so you won't have to worry about it being too big or small (since we received our set to review I wasn't able to select the size).  The challenge pack is definitely something Rowyn is going to love participating in, especially since he aspires to become a Master Builder. Each month you can build a creation to go along with the theme and submit it online If you win you receive a Booster Bucket 500! Pretty awesome right?

Want a box? Subscribe!
Brick Builders Club is Now Enrolling for May! Don't miss out! 
Sign up for the plan that suits you:
$26/mo (one month)
$23.50/mo (three months)
$21.50/mo (six months)
$20/mo (1 year)
*You can receive 10% off your NEW Membership by using code HAPPYTEN at checkout.
Still undecided? Perhaps the cost is holding you back? Well let me tell you that these boxes are worth every penny. The shirt alone is worth $20. If I had to place a value on all the items you receive I would put the cost of these boxes at about $35-$40.

You can learn more about Brick Builders Club through their website. Be sure to connect and share with Brick Builders Club through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube! Use hashtag #BrickSwag to tag and share your photos and videos!

You can also register for the Brick Builders FREE Lego Building Guidelines emails

Click N' Play 500 Piece Building Block Set Review #Valuepack500blocks

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

I have a Lego loving son who can never seem to have enough bricks despite having a rolling cooler + a plastic bin full of them.....not to mention the countless bricks that I often find, I mean step on, laying on the floor. And then there are the bricks that are hiding in the car in various nooks and crannies. But like I said he can NEVER have enough so of course I couldn't resist reviewing the 500 Piece Click N' Play Building Block Set.

The 500 piece big bag comes with an assortment of building blocks in various colors and sizes, 10 assorted colors in 14 block sizes to be exact. I must admit I was skeptical that they would fit properly with his Lego brand bricks, but they did and were a nice snug fit. The company actually guarantees them to be compatible with compatible with Lego and other major building block manufacturers. I am not sure my son will be thrilled with the pink and purple blocks but luckily he has a Lego loving sister too.

The best part about these bricks is the price. They cost a fraction of what a similar Lego brand set would. With this set your child will stay busy for hours. You can order the bricks on Amazon. Order them today and get them in time for Christmas. These fabulous bricks will actually be under our tree this Christmas!

These bricks are not affiliated with or endorsed in any way by Lego, a registered trademark of Lego Systems.  

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