Summer reading is here! Two New Easy-to-Read Books from the I Can Read!™ Bible Stories Series ( + Giveaway) 6/17 (US/CAN)

 If you are a reader of my blog, you'll know that we are great fans of Zonderkidz books. My little one loves to read and thanks to Zonderkidz, I have been able to read some Bible stories every day.Just like how my parents read to me.

There are 2 new books from the I can Read series for beginner readers. It is not just to know the story but also helps the child to identify short words.

In ZACCHAEUS MEETS JESUS (Zonderkidz; April 2012; $3.99), Zacchaeus is a devious tax collector who gets a lesson in acceptance when Jesus visits the city of Jericho. Notorious for cheating people out of money, Zacchaeus is not a well-liked man. However, following an inspiring conversation with Jesus, Zacchaeus offers to give half of his money to the poor, showing that even the most unscrupulous person can change his ways.  

In ELIJAH AND KING AHAB (Zonderkidz; April 2012; $3.99), King Ahab and his people pray to a pagan god, Baal, while Elijah is the only man among them who continues to recognize the "One Almighty God." During a three-year drought, Elijah challenges Ahab to a contest atop Mount Carmel to see which god is the true Almighty, and it is proven that Elijah was right.

The story of Zacchaeus was easy to understand compared to Elijah's story. While both are short reads, comprehension maybe hard in Elijah's story. Maybe more simpler stories should be chosen for beginner readers. Nevertheless,  we have been reading these books often and I like the idea of having the stories in separate books. It makes it easier for kids to identify and remember the story by making a connection with the pictures.

My goal for this summer is to help my son identify as many 3 letter words as possible. Since he will be attending kindergarten in a French medium school, his English vocabulary has to be developed at home. I rely hugely on the I Can Read series as they are highly effective in keeping a child's attention during reading time.

I really look forward to seeing more of these books from the I Can Read series! They are affordable and reasonably priced at $3.99 per book. If you are looking to share Bible stories with your children, you must give these a try!

Wordless Wednesday: When Mommy forgets her tea, I .......

                     ........ add some noodles to it!

I better hide now!

" Ultimate Dad Contest " from Sharp Canada

 Sharp recently launched their Canadian Facebook page.

 As part of the launch, Sharp is celebrating with the “Ultimate Dad Contest” just in time for Father’s Day. 

To enter:
  • Simply upload a photo/video of why your Dad is the “Ultimate Dad” and why he deserves Canada’s largest (80-inch!!!) LED TV for Father’s Day. 
  •  Contestants get their friends and family to vote for their video/photo. 
  • At the end of the contest period Canada’s “Ultimate Dad” will win a Sharp AQUOS 80” TV.
  •  Four finalists will also win a Sharp TV prize package including the latest Sharp AQUOS 42” TV and Blu-Ray disc player. 
  • There are also random weekly prizes including the latest Sharp audio and home theatre systems and Sharp Plasmacluster Air Purifiers.
Now go and try your luck! You'll never know what you might win :)

Sid's Backyard Campout DVD ( + Win a copy for yourself !) 6/17 ( US/CAN)

Is this going to be your child's first camping trip? You have news!

 NCircle is launching a Sid’s Backyard Campout at a special DVD at a promotional cost! In addition to the Sid’s Backyard Campout special, this DVD includes a bonus of 12 Teacher Susie songs.

 Pack some food and bring your backpack because Sid, Gerald, and Dad are gearing up for a big adventure!  They’re setting up tents for a campout in the backyard!  Dad is eager to share his love of nature and demonstrates how to have a great time outside with the simplest of necessities. They look for animals, cook their own dinner, marvel at the stars in the sky, roast marshmallows, and sing songs around the campfire.  Join the adventure and sing along!

We loved watching this DVD as this will be my son's first camping trip and he sure is getting previews of what it will be like! Camping out in the backyard can be equally fun especially if you have dad and a friend to hang out with.

My son was not just watching but making plans all along while watching, about what he would do when he goes camping with daddy! It was a great stimulator for his imagination and it was beautiful to hear about his dreams. They are about to come true very soon!

Sid in all his curiosity, wonders how it will be like to sleep out when there is no bedroom outside!  His dad shows him what camping is all about. They explore some animals in the backyard and Gerald learns that there is nothing to be afraid of, when it gets dark in the evening.

Every situation in this episode connects with the child and they will love it because they understand the entertainment.That's what NCircle always brings us - entertainment that educates!

Run Time – 45 minutes
Special suggested retail price - $6.99
Studio – NCircle Entertainment
Sid’s Sing Along special DVD can be found at Toys “R” Us, Target, Kmart, Amazon, and also on!

NCircle is offering one lucky reader a chance to win this great DVD, right here on my blog!

Kellogg's Special K Cracker Chips - I like it ! (+ Prize Pack to be won!) 6/17 ( CAN)

 Here's the latest scoop from Kellogg's! 

Savory and crunchy.

With just 80 calories for 18 chips, Kellogg's has launched its latest Special K Cracker Chips in 3 delectable flavors - Original, Cheddar and Sour Cream & Onions.

 Here are few reasons why I seem to devour them:
  • Doesn't taste like they are deep fried. Oil fried thanks.But these are cracker chips! Tastes like a cracker and baked chips, two in one.
  • Just the right size for even children to hold and enjoy.
  • Perfect thickness to call it "cracker chips".
  • I was relieved to see that the % of sodium was not in double digits. Good job Kellogg's!
  • Only 80 calories for 18 chips, trans-fat free, no artificial colors or flavors. Just the goodness of potato and rice blend in crunchy form.

 I would consider these cracker chips to be a healthier option compared to many other chips that I have seen in the grocery store. Kellogg's did very well in creating this cracker chips with a close attention to the nutrition facts. You deserve a pat on the back Kellogg's!

I offered it to my friend who had come over to my house. While she loved the idea behind it and the fact that it doesn't look or taste like a deep fried snack, she mentioned that the additive - "disodium inosinate" may not suit her. She is allergic to MSG and did not want to take a chance.The ingredient label does not mention the presence of MSG but according to her, any food with disodium inosinate will contain minute amounts of MSG.This is not a proven fact as different websites say different things and I am no scientist to figure this out!

But I am not allergic to MSG and the Kellogg's Special K Cracker Chips is a comparatively healthier option for me and my family. We avoid oily, deep fried food at all costs.

I really liked the sour cream and onion favor just by itself,. The original flavor was a great combo with spicy dishes and it sort of offset the spiciness with its bland but crunchy texture. The Cheddar was ok but we seem to favor the other 2 flavors over cheddar.

 You can find Special K Cracker Chips in your grocery store. 

Kellogg's is offering a chance for one lucky Canadian reader to win a prize pack with all 3 flavors of Special K Cracker Chips.

Fresh and cool for summer - The 4 ingredient wrap. Toddler approved!

I am always on the search for easy, healthy and tasty ( that's  deadly combo!) ideas for my son. I'd be surprised if I do find something that meets the 3 main criteria. 

Maybe some of you have already tried this..but this was a " moment of triumph " for me as I knew right away from the ingredients that this would make it to our "to eat frequently" list.

I saw this on the kraft recipes website but tweeked it a slightly to make-do with what I had in hand.So here we go:

These are the only 4 ingredients you will need:

Whole wheat Tortillas, 1 banana, 2 strawberries, strawberry cream cheese spread.

Spread strawberry cream cheese generously onto a tortilla and load with sliced bananas and chopped strawberries. 

Roll it up in an aluminum foil and it is good to go! 

Tastes best when eaten fresh.

How easy was that? Absolutely delicious too!


We love reading and so does Nugget!

I do not hesitate to invest when it comes to developing reading skills for my preschooler. My efforts have paid off since my little boy LOVES reading and is well on his way to identifying sight words. 

Here are some of the things that  worked for us:
  • Establish a "reading routine" - We began by reading regularly at bedtime and slowly branched out to reading several times in a day.
  • Read aloud and with your child - Tone moderation and use of animated voice can make reading time extremely stimulating for children. It also helps identify with the feelings conveyed in the passage being read.
  • Lead by example - Let your child see you read for yourself. When I finish reading for my son, I tell him that Mommy is going to read her own book before sleeping.
  • Use a variety of books - My son loves books about vehicles. But I make it a point to read his choice first followed by classics and other faith, value based books.
If I have to pick the one of the best "reading aid" I have used with my son, it would be the Hallmark's Interactive Storybooks. I had the privilege to review two other interactive buddies and they were a hit.

This time, we got to befriend a buddy named "Nugget". My son calls him his "reading buddy". When you read certain words loudly, Nugget responds. Jingle the Husky Pup was our very first bud and by now we know how these buddies respond. They are great to make reading time fun and for naps my little one grabs Nugget for some story time. 

 The Interactive Story Book package comes with a buddy and a book. You can also pick up 2 extra books . I am so glad that the "Nugget's First Day at School" book is included with the package. We plan to read it many times to prepare him for school.

Disclosure: I received a sample for review purpose only. No monetary compensation was received. The above post reflects my personal opinion.


Jake and the Never Land Pirates DVD Combo ( +Giveaway ) 6/17 ( US / CAN)

Peter Pan is back––but his shadow is missing! When Peter loses his shadow while playing a game of Catch-Me-If-You-Can, he returns to Never Land to seek help from his kid pirate friend Jake. Embarking on one of his most daring and exciting adventures ever, Jake and his kid pirate pals, Izzy and Cubby, along with lookout parrot Skully, must use teamwork to find Peter’s shadow and return it to its rightful owner. However, their mission is nearly thwarted by the fiendish Captain Hook, and his bumbling first mate Mr. Smee. But bravery and justice win the day and Jake and his Never Land pirate crew once again reveal what it takes to become heroes, in Disney’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns.”

My preschooler absolutely enjoyed watching this many times and was full of laughter and giggles! 

He loved the thrill that the episodes gave him as he watched the gang of little pirates move from one adventure to another. Peter Pan and his friends have special powers that helps them win every situation. The trouble makers - Captain Hook and Mr.Smee are always looking to get them down. But the pirate crew doesn't give up and nothing can come between them and their adventures!

The songs were fun to sing along and we even watched and learned them in french. I found that the length of the episodes were just perfect for preschoolers. Packed with fun, interesting music, colorful and imaginative backdrops definitely added punch to the story.

Loved the digital copy that came along with the DVD. It is on our i-pad and mac. Especially since my little boy seems to love this DVD, it is worth having it for on-the go.

You can buy it from or

Win your own copy here!

New and natural - Orajel Natural Source Homeopathic Remedy Teething Gel

 I very well remember those bulky little swollen gums and incessant periods of screaming. My precious bundle would get annoyed at the drop of the hat! It was like he was telling me " Something is poking my gums so bad that I feel like BITING you and you are telling me not to chew the crib railing?? You crazy woman!" . 

Yes, as a new mommy, it was equally hard for me to find what teething pains were and I tried my best to keep my baby comfortable. There are several home remedies that I came across and have tried almost everything. Here are some dentist recommended tips:

Cold, Frozen Washcloths – tie the washcloth into knots as some babies enjoy the hardness. Try out different degrees of coldness for each baby.

Ice Cube and Slushy Remedy – choose either water, breast milk or chamomile tea to
freeze. The frozen sensation will help ease the pain of teething.

Plush Chew Toys – a fun, colourful and bright chew toy will engage your baby and
possibly distract from the pain of teething.

Your Finger – one’s finger is a chew toy that is never too far away. Always remember to
clean your finger prior to providing it as a chew toy.

Cold Fruit or Vegetables – use re-usable tea bags to package frozen carrots or bananas cut into a size that is too large for a baby to place into their mouths. Ensure the tea bag strings are cut off as longer strings can represent a strangulation hazard for babies.

When nothing worked, my pediatrician recommended Orajel.There are different varieties available based on the need and diagnosis. But I remember using the normal strength. It gives a numbing sensation (I tried it before I applied it on my son) when applied on the gums and soothes the pain. It worked for my son and we have used Orajel on many occasions.

 Now there are more natural forms of relief available for teething pain. 

The new Orajel® Natural Source Homeopathic Remedy Teething Gel that offers effective pain  relief and is free of parabens, dye and sugar. Medicinal ingredients for the New Orajel® Natural Source Homeopathic Remedy Teething Gel include the homeopathic properties of Calcium Phosphate which supports dentition, Chamomilla (a whole flowering plant) which relieves
irritability and Coffea cruda (dried, unroasted seed) which helps ease wakefulness and dieresis.

I did not try the Orajel® Natural Source Homeopathic Remedy Teething Gel as my son is full of teeth now, but it sounds like a natural and safe product to use when needed.

Disclosure: I received a sample for review purpose only. No monetary compensation was received. The above post reflects my personal opinion.Please check with your pediatrician before administering  any medication for your child.


Experience the highs and lows of the game with Hasbro's Chutes and Ladders ( Giveaway) 5/31 ( CAN)

   Be the first to reach the top! It's been more than 60 years since families discovered CHUTES AND LADDERS, the exciting climbing and sliding game. children learn counting and number recognition as they travel along the gameboard to get to the top. Land on a good deed space, and a ladder will race you ahead. But watch out for the chutes that can send you back down!

 Summer is almost here but there are some cold, wet days where indoors is the place to be. What do you do with a energetic toddler who always is in for a game? It seems like my toddler loves to play board games with me. Guess what? This is something I love too! Win-win!

My son doesn't like to play too long though. But, this game of Chutes and Ladders can be paused and restarted from where we left. It was a good game to expect and experience the highs and lows of the game. My son understood easily how the rules apply and of course it was always his turn! It was definitely fun to play it with him!!

It teaches number recognition and benefits of being good. I grew up playing this game so I was thrilled to have a colorful version of the same game. As we played I was able to reinforce his numbers and counting skills. Great game to have at home to play with kids.

We'd love for you to have a chance to win your own  Hasbro game! Here's how you can enter to win a game of Hungry Hippos.

A very Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy this meaningful video !

Being a mom is hard. 

But it is one of the most rewarding and successful jobs!  

Have a wonderful Mother's Day and don't forget to say "Thank you, Mom" !

The Scent of a Mother ( + Win a gift basket worth $150 from The Body Shop)

Mother's Day is just around the corner. 

It has always been a special day for me since I was a little girl as I loved to write a card and make a small present for my mom. It gave me such pleasure to let my mom know how much I loved her and missed her.I looked forward to it.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be with my mom all the time.It was because she was working in a different city for a few years.And that left me with a longing to be with my mom. My dad was wonderful to take care of us along with his full time job.So as I looked back and was reminiscing about my childhood memories, there was this one memory that I can never forget.

There couldn't be a more perfect time to share this.

During the times, when I felt like I wanted to see my mom, I would go to her closet, slowly take her neatly folded clothes and smell them.I held them against my chest and sometimes cried like I will never get to see her again. It smelled like mommy.Ah, what comfort it gave me...The Scent of a Mother. I think her clothes probably were fragrant from the perfume she used or maybe the make didn''t matter. To me, it smelled like mommy.

When my mom came home for the weekends, she did everything for us. It included a LOT of cooking. I do not recall her  ever sulking but flavoring everything she did with love and care.I still can picture her in her apron and I used to often run up to hug her in her apron. The apron was stained, smelled of onions, potatoes and oranges. It did not matter. To me, it smelled like mommy.

She was and still a hard-working woman who did the BEST she could so that my life would be sprinkled with joy and laughter. She set the  standard high for me so I can aim high and never give up.

She  worked like it depended on her and prayed like it depended on God. My mom, showed me what it is to reflect God''s love to others.When I feel and see God''s love, it smells like my mommy.

She taught me to experience the joy of giving. Giving to the needy ranked high in her priorities.Thank you mom for leading by example that I am able to humbly and joyfully support the less fortunate children across the world.She taught me to feel the pain of the painful.

My mom has had her share of hurts in life but through it all, she was real. She taught me how to pray and pray through.

I am not sure if I will be even half a good mother as my mother was. But the scent of her love, sacrifices, patience, hard work, embrace, kind words and mostly her beautiful, reassuring smile....still fills my life. She is the most wonderful mom and I am so blessed to be her daughter! 

Years have flown by and I am a proud mother now. I do not live close to my mom and I wish I had at least one of her clothes to remind me of her presence close to me. I am pretty sure that I will hug her clothes and cry for her at least once a day.  
She will always be "my mommy" and no matter  how old I grow, I will always be her "little girl". 

The scent of my mother, will always linger on in my life.

The Body Shop is joining me in celebrating the spirit of motherhood with some new releases and they are offering one lucky Canadian reader a chance to win a totally awesome gift!

One of the top reasons I love The Body Shop products is because they use a lot of natural ingredients. I do not like to smother myself with products high in chemicals. So my love for The Body Shop products will only increase with each of their new addition to their existing collection.

 This Mother’s Day, give the gift of love with help from The Body Shop!  

Win a sensuous, eco-friendly gift basket valued at $150, filled with the White Musk Libertine bath and body collection.  Lavish your mom with the guilt-free pleasures of knowing that these gifts help spread hope and happiness worldwide, thanks to The Body Shop’s Community Fair Trade program. 

Click to visit the website for more information:

Here''s how you can win it:

Goodbye Packaged Pudding! ( + Avocado Chocolate Pudding Recipe...oooooh)

 We do not crave for sweet things at home. Since we are used to that, my son who is almost 4 is never peeking into jars and cabinets for chocolate.He is someone who spits candy out after tasting it . At least for now.

 But we do make it a point to tell him why too much sugary stuff is not a healthy option. The first thing that he will look at are the "nutrition facts" of anything edible.Last evening we were grocery shopping and he pointed to a big shelf of cakes covered in cream and said "Those are unhealthy"!. Hmmm..maybe I am doing something right after all!

So I am so thrilled when I find healthy and delicious ideas!
A few days ago, I had the urge to try something new. The only criteria being - HEALTHY and SWEET. The urge was so strong that I left hubby and sonny help themselves to breakfast. I turned to my best friend, Google and typed away for a recipe. Google never says no or can it? I found this recipe and when I tasted it with my eyes, I just knew I couldn't wait long. And honestly, it takes a few minutes to satisfy your taste buds.

 But I did not have all the ingredients, so I decided to go ahead and try it anyway with what I  had.

This is not a great picture, but definitely the best pudding I have indulged in without feeling guilty. You'll never know it has avocados in it.My son liked it less sweeter but hubby and I relished it spoon after spoon!

 Goodbye packaged pudding!  

Say hello to a healthy, choco-licious snack which will leave kids asking for more and adults wondering what magic ingredients you put in it! You can make it a 100% natural desert by using organic cocoa and pure vanilla extract.

Serves 2-3, in small sized bowls.

Ripe Avocados - 2 nos
Maple Syrup - 2-3 tbsps
Cocoa Powder - 5-6 tbsps
Vanilla extract - 2-3 drops
Milk - 2-3 tbsps

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. You will see the smoothness  emerging and the glossy finish in the pudding. That's a sign that you have it at the right consistency.

I needed more sweetness so I added more maple syrup until it was sweet enough for me.I do not know how it will hold up if it has to be chilled. Maybe chilling it for a few minutes will add to the punch.But this has to be served as soon as possible because you know what happens to avocados if you leave them out.

 Click here for a printable recipe.

Do let me know how you liked it if you get around to whipping this up!


Learning to forgive is very important. A Paws & Tales Review.

Forgiveness. It is a hard word for us as adults. We know it is good to forgive. It is not an easy thing to do. But oh! the joy of forgiving and being forgiven is unexplainable. 

 I read this somewhere: "Holding a grudge against someone is letting someone live rent-free in your head". It is clear as daylight to me, why I should forgive.

I have been drawn to Chuck Swindoll''s DVDs , ever since we watched our very first Paws & Tales DVD. It is one of the best tools to teach good values and it definitely helps build Godly character in them.

Episode #1: "The Hullabaloo at Hunker Hill"
Hugh brags that his soapbox derby car is the fastest and dares Staci to drive it and see. Never one to back away from a challenge, Staci takes the car out for a spin... a spin that turns into a disaster at the bottom of Hunker Hill! Was it sabotage or an honest mistake? Now The Club must decide whether to get their revenge, or to forgive. (Ephesians 4:32)

Episode #2: "The Great Go-Kart Race"
The big go-cart race is coming up. Everyone's got their own ideas about the best way to grab the big prize. But when they can't agree to work together, The Club discovers just how hard it is to be on the winning team and the importance of working together. (Philippians 2:3-4)

This DVD features two full-length episodes, music videos, activities for kids, and parent helps.

What made this DVD more interesting was that it was centered around go-cart racing. The theme is very clear and easy to understand for children and they will remember it. There are 2 catchy songs about forgiveness. CJ and Staci are always up to something and their club is buzzing with plans and ideas. Gooz is one sassy and funny character. Always willing to give her opinion! 

I have been using the phrase " I forgive you" with my son for quite sometime and this DVD nailed it. Now he gets the idea behind the extent to which someone can be forgiving.

We watched it many times and never got bored of it.You should try at least one of the DVDs from Paws & Tales!

Disclosure: I received a sample for review purpose only from Tyndale Publishers. No monetary compensation was received. The above post reflects my personal opinion.


Spend more time PLAYING with Hasbro's Original Memory Game ( + Giveaway) 31/5 ( CAN)

 There is an ocean of toys and games out there and even as a parent, I find it overwhelming to choose "THE" toy. The one that will not make me go nuts to set it up and after sweating over set-up, I see my toddler  walk away from it after a few minutes. Huh?!

Even kids like some change from their highly stimulating toys that have them scream in excitement over the shiny lights and noises.

I love the days when my house is quiet and all I can hear is the clippity clappity sound of my computer keyboard. The other days when I try to write a blog post, my son would come and call me  a 100 times to go see how his Tonka Ricochet can show him some awesome moves. I feel guilty if I do not go.How many more moments will I get to share with him? 

Maybe many more...if we play some board games. The woman in me says that  I like board games WAY more than a Tonka Ricochet

So here's a way to PLAY more and spend some quality time with your child ! 

This is a great preschooler game that you can play with your child and also helps improve their memory skills. Colorful and fun pictures help preschoolers easily recognize them. Easy recognition helps to get them interested in the game.Once they gain interest , the game is on!

I remember buying a memory game but all the pictures were irrelevant to a 3-4 yr old ( it was meant for that age according to the cover). My son had no interest in it and slowly the pieces went missing.

Hasbro's Original Memory Game has got it right.He is happy to recognize a butterfly, goldfish and wants to play more.There is no set-up involved and you can spend more time playing. All the pieces can be stored away in the box.

It is a great game for a quiet time that the child can even play by himself / herself.

And I love to play it with my helps me keep my memory sharp!

Thanks to Hasbro, one lucky reader will have the chance to win another board game - CANDYLAND!

Where oh where have I been?!

I was gone for a long time..or does it just seems like it? No, I wasn't on a break or a vacation. 

My son had to undergo surgery and is recovering at home. It was a traumatic experience for him, given his age.
There is nothing too important when it comes to being there for my only son. I made sure I did everything to make him feel better at every stage. So, that's what kept me far, far away from my computer for all this while!

I plan to catch up slowly and start posting again. I will not be posting a separate post for winners this time, due to time constraints and commitments that I have to keep up. Winners will be sent an email directly and winner will be displayed on the Rafflecopter widget. Thank you for bearing with me!