icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: January 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review~A Woodland Miracle by Ruth Reid



A Woodland Miracle is the second book in the Amish Wonders series by author Ruth Reid.  I've read several of Ruth Reid's books in the past and have always enjoyed them.  In A Woodland Miracle, Grace Wagler is tired of struggling.  She has a limp and weak muscles, and although she is a hard worker, she lives in an Amish community where women outnumber men three to one.  She's given up hope on finding love.  She wants to go see a muscle specialist in Ohio, but her father does not agree. 

Ben Eicher was sent to Grace's community in Michigan from Florida.  His father, frustrated with his goofing off all the time, sent him there to straighten out.  He is intrigued by Grace and the two form a friendship.  Some dangerous men arrive in the community and their lives are in danger.  Can they escape these dangerous men and find love?

My Thoughts: Ruth Reid is a talented author.  Every book of hers that I have read is unique.  Sometimes Amish romance books can all seem alike, but not Ruth Reid's.  A Woodland Miracle is so much more than an Amish Romance!  It has mystery and suspense, and will keep you turning pages-even if it means staying up all night!  The location of this story was different than most Amish stories, and the author did a wonderful job describing the location.  There is a glossary of Amish words and a Reading Group Guide included in the book. 

Disclosure: I received this book free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Review~Murder Tightly Knit: An Amish Village Mystery



You all know I love my Amish fiction, but you may not know that I also enjoy a good murder mystery.  Well, those two worlds came together in author Vannetta Chapman's new book, Murder Tightly Knit.  Oh-I also love knitting, so this book was a win-win-win for me!  Murder Tightly Knit is the second book in the Amish Village Mystery series.  The first book, Murder Simply Brewed, was excellent so I knew I was in for a treat! 

In Murder Tightly Knit, an Amish man has been murdered near the Amish Village in Middlebury, Indiana.  The Amish Artisan Village is a quaint place with shops and a restaurant.  Amish and Englisch work together there.  The Village Manager, Englischer Amber, and one of her employees, Amish Hanna, find themselves involved in helping to solve this murder that has shaken their small, close knit community. 

My Thoughts: Murder Tightly Knit is fast-paced and full of twists and turns.  It is a murder mystery with just enough romance.  I enjoyed that it was written from more than one character's point of view, even the murderer's.  My favorite characters were Amber and Hannah-what a great relationship from two different worlds!  Although it is the second in the series, I believe it could be read alone.  There is a map of the Village and surrounding area at the front of the book, and discussion questions at the back.  Murder Tightly Knit is a great book for a lazy weekend!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Children's Book Review~If You Were Me and Lived In...Greece


My family and I have been enjoying Carole P. Roman's series that introduces children to other cultures around the world.  I was especially excited to receive If You Were Me and Lived In...Greece because I come from a Greek family (you may have already figured that out by my name-Athena).  I have never been to Greece, but have heard so many stories and enjoy learning about our family's heritage. 

If You Were Me and Lived In...Greece starts out with two Greek children showing where Greece is on a map, and discussing Athens, the capital.  The kids discuss what popular names are for boys and girls, and what you would call your parents and grandparents.  My husband and I have continued on our family's tradition and we are Yaya and Papou to our grandson.  I love being a Yaya! 

Continuing on in the book, you learn about what currency is used in Greece and what toys you may buy with your money.  The children tell you what is good to eat in Greece, and popular attractions you would take visitors to.  The Olympics are discussed, school, and holidays.  At the back of the book is a very handy pronunciation guide. 

The If You Were Me and Lived In... series is wonderful for families.  It would make a great addition to homeschool curriculum as well.  Although it is written for children, our entire family has learned so much by reading this series!  It has color illustrations on every page, and is written in a type perfect for school age children to read. 

You can learn more about author Carole P. Roman and her books at her website.  You can purchase If You Were Me and Lived In...Greece at Amazon.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Children's Book Review~If You Were Me and Lived in...Peru

If You Were Me and Lived In...Peru is a great addition to author Carole P. Roman's children's series that introduces them to cultures around the world.  This series is a favorite of my family, and we have many of the books. 

Each of the books in the series follows a similar layout.  Two children from the country introduce you to their country by first showing you a map of where they live.  They discuss different areas in their country, such as major cities and different landscapes.  They tell you popular names for kids, what you would call your family members, and what money is called.  You will learn favorite foods from the region, popular landmarks, favorite toys and sports/games, and what school is like.  At the end of the book is a pronunciation guide. 

Every page has full color illustrations which are adorable.  The text size is perfect for school age children.  The story is engaging and keeps kids' attention.  This series is for children, but I must say I have learned so much!!  In If You Were Me and Lived in Peru, I learned many new things, one of which was that Peru produces potatoes, and there are over 4,000 types of potatoes!

To learn more about this fantastic book series, visit Carole P. Roman's website.  You can also purchase If You Were Me and Lived In...Peru at Amazon.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Product Review~Ozeri Ultra 42" Wind Fan


We got a new fan-the Ozeri Ultra 42" Wind Fan.  It is an Adjustable Oscillating Tower Fan with Noise Reduction Technology that was designed for 5 star resorts.  This is our third Ozeri fan, so obviously we have been impressed with the quality of Ozeri products.  Before we got our first Ozeri fan, our fans were the box-type, big and bulky.  This Ozeri Tower Fan is sleek and stylish-it blends in with any room d├ęcor. 

This fan's precise engineering generates more air velocity while emitting less noise than competing models.  There are three whisper-quiet speed settings and the fan oscillates 90 degrees.  There are three pre-programmed airflow patterns designed to foster sleep, relaxation, and comfort. The Ozeri Ultra Wind Fan has an impressive multi-color, bright LED screen that displays all of the fan's features, including the room temperature.  You can dim the LED screen for nighttime.  There is also a 12 hour timer that can be set in one hour increments. 


The extended range remote control is small and sleek, and fits in a nook on the top of the fan.  The buttons that control the fan are all on the top side for easy access.  You can adjust the height of the fan from 32 to 42 inches using the optional, removable extension column. 

As it is winter now, we don't have fans going in our house.  But when Summer comes, I look forward to using the Ozeri Ultra 42" Wind Fan to circulate the air and cool the house off!  My favorite features are the remote control and the bright LED display.  I also love how quiet this fan is! Satisfaction is guaranteed, which always makes me feel confident when making a purchase.

You can learn more and purchase your own Ozeri Ultra 42" Wind Fan at Amazon.


*Disclosure: I received this product free in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.






Thursday, January 15, 2015

Product Review~Ultrasonic Dog Training Whistle


I've got a stubborn 3 year old miniature Schnauzer, Tulip, who is a runner.  If a door is open, out she goes, and she takes off.  We call and chase her, and she just runs from us.  Its very frustrating.  She also has a few other behaviors that need some work.  So when I received my Ultrasonic Dog Training Whistle,  I was excited to give it a try. 
 
 


The whistle arrived quickly and was packaged well.  It is small, fits in the palm of my hand.  It has a loop on the end to hook it onto your keychain.  By turning the screw at the end of the chain, you change the frequency of the whistle.  This is not a silent whistle, but as dog's ears are so sensitive, it doesn't take much to get their attention. 


The Ultrasonic Dog Training Whistle by CDL Brands comes with a bonus ebook with tips for training your dog.  This was helpful.  So far, we have made progress with our training.  First, I am using it to call her, to make her come to me.  The whistle definitely gets her attention and we have had success.  This gives me peace of mind as blowing a whistle if she gets out is much easier than grabbing shoes and running after her! 

You can purchase your own Ultrasonic Dog Training Whistle at Amazon.  Even better,  CDL Brands offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Children's Book Review~Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis



My family loves author Carole P. Roman and her Captain No Beard book series!  This series is wonderful for encouraging children's imaginations.  There is always a good value to learn in each story, too!

In her latest book, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis, the crew is heading north!  The Captain has something he wants to take home without permission.  The entire crew is worried because they know it is wrong to take something without permission.  The captain tells them what it is he wants-the beautiful colors in the sky called the Aurora Borealis.  Hallie explains to him that the Aurora Borealis will only work in the north, but she has another idea that they could do at home.  Later, at home, beautiful, colorful pictures are hanging up that they colored with crayons!


This is a picture of my oldest son, Nick, and his son, Daniel (3), enjoying this latest Captain No Beard book.  They always hold his attention and he loves pretending to be a pirate himself after he reads them.  Daniel loves our Captain No Beard book collection!

To learn more about the Captain No Beard series and author Carole P. Roman, visit her website.  You can purchase Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis at Amazon. 

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.




Product Review~Pure Body Naturals Lemon Essential Oil


I like using essential oils for many household and health uses.  I received Pure Body Naturals Lemon Essential Oil to review.  This is a BIG bottle, 4 ounces.  It is pure therapeutic grade essential oil, 100% pure with no fillers or additives. 


There are so many uses for Lemon Essential Oil-it helps with a healthy lifestyle by helping aid skin, hair, digestive problems, and boosting the immune system, among others.  Lemon Oil is a natural antiseptic, detox, and disinfectant.  You can clean just about anything safely and naturally with Lemon Oil.  My favorite use for the Lemon Essential Oil is using it in cleaning and laundry.  I make my own household cleaners and add several drops of Lemon Oil to the ingredients.  Smells wonderful and fresh!  I've been adding it to laundry and the dishwasher too!  Everything smells so fresh, and I've added extra cleaning and disinfecting power! 


You can learn more and purchase your own bottle of Pure Body Naturals Lemon Oil on Amazon.  Best of all, Pure Body Naturals offers a 3 month 100% money back guarantee or your money back!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Children's Book Review~Surprise at Yorktown


Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey have released book #15 in The Imagination Station series.  Surprise at Yorktown, by Marriane Hering and Nancy I. Sanders, is published by Tyndale House Publishing.  The paperback is 135 pages, with black and white illustrations throughout the book.  It is a perfect Elementary School  age chapter book. 

In this installment of the popular series, cousins Patrick and Beth continue their adventures through history.  They find themselves in 1781, witnessing the Battle of Yorktown.  They meet James Armistead, a courier, and find themselves escaping enemy camp, surviving cannonball attacks and storms, and must warn George Washington that the future of the country is at stake!

My son, who is 12 years old, enjoyed Surprise at Yorktown.  It was full of action, which is what definitely kept his attention throughout the story!  I think it is great that he is learning history while he is enjoying a book! 

I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review~Knitting Block by Block


I enjoy knitting.  I learned to knit about five years ago, and have enjoyed the craft ever since.  I love looking at patterns and yarns-the possibilities are endless!  So, I was thrilled to be able to review Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein.  This is a beautiful hardcover book that would make a lovely gift for the knitter in your life. 

Knitting Block by Block is 240 pages, with color pictures and illustrations.  I love the idea of knitting blocks-for a novice like me, knitting one block at a time is much less daunting than a pattern for a big blanket!  I can do one block at a time, feel satisfied that I accomplished that block, and move on to the next block. 

In this book you will find 150 original block patterns, from simple textures to embossed pictorials, lace to cables, colorwork, double knitting and more.  There are more than ten project designs you can make with the blocks, many that don't look like they are made from blocks!  These designs are gorgeous and unique, and the patterns and instructions are thorough. 

Author Nicky Epstein is the author of numerous books and has been featured in many knitting publications. 

You can purchase your own copy of Knitting Block by Block at Random House and other online retailers. 

I received a copy of this book free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Product Review~AirComfy Travel Pillow


I'm not a frequent traveler, but when I do travel, whether by plane or car, my biggest concern is my neck.  I have a spine condition that has required surgeries, and traveling is very painful.  I have to make sure my neck is supported and as comfortable as possible.  I've tried SO MANY different pillows over the years, but never achieved the level of comfort I hoped for-until now!


The AirComfy Travel Pillow is my new best friend while traveling!  This pillow has a unique butterfly shape that cradles the arch in your neck, providing support where you need it, and eliminating bulk that you don't need.  It can be used for both the neck and lumbar (lower) back, and can be strapped on to your seat.  I especially like the support on the sides of my head, so my head doesn't tilt if I doze off. 

 
This Travel Pillow is so easy and quick to self-inflate and deflate.  All packed up in its bag, it only weighs 6.2 ounces!!  That is awesome with todays strict regulations on weight of luggage!  The bag has a carabiner to easily clip it on to other luggage.  My favorite part of the AirComfy Travel Pillow is that you can inflate and deflate to get it to just the right firmness for you! 

This picture above shows how small it is.  My daughter travels internationally each summer with a dance group, and if she's lucky I may just share my new AirComfy Travel Pillow with her!!  To learn more, visit the AirComfy Travel Pillow website.  You can purchase your own pillow at Amazon.