Book Bears Review

Hi everyone! I miss blogging SO much! I have taken a blogging hiatus because I have been adjusting to my new work situation. Same day job but I am now able to work from home, so I had to get my equipment set up and what not-it has been such a game changer for me! Now laundry and dishes are not backed up and I am eating a REAL breakfast as opposed to my daily binges of  trips to the Starbucks before heading to the office. The best part of this all is no more commuting! If you ever tried commuting during rush hour in Chicago, you know how chaotic and stressful it can be.

Also, I have been spending quality time with my daughter since she came back from staying with her grandparents overseas. I will have to post some of the fun things we did over the past winter.

I love books,and I especially love Children’s books. When Book Bears asked me to do a review of their picture books, I happily obliged. I received two books from their monthly picture book selection in exchange for a review.

Book Bears is a monthly children’s book subscription service. Monthly selections are made by a children’s book editor with over 10 years of experience. The great thing about all of this is that for every new subscriber,Book Bears will donate a book to a child in need. Their mission is to create lifelong readers and to show children that reading is fun!

 

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Also included with every monthly book is a “Share the love of stories” card that gives you tips on how to get the best experience out of reading the books. It includes some great conversation starters to ask the children related to what is going on in the story,including activities where the children can act out the characters.

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Also included is a coloring sheet/reading certificate that allows the children to keep track what they read that month and a great way to learn the months of the year, great for building confidence.

Now on to the books themselves-they are big, bright, colorful and beautiful,and really captures the attention of the children. My four year old loved acting out the sounds that the animals make and giggled with joy with every page I read:

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The age ranges that the books are available are 2-6 and 4-8. Pictured at the bottom for example is aimed for the 4-8 set,which is a great story about a bunny,named Newbie,who is training to become a Rescue Bunny, and all the challenges he has to face to become one.IMG_1230

So if you want to instill a love of reading and keep the children engaged in reading, Book Bears is a way to go. It provides children something to look forward to each month. It’s the perfect opportunity for families to bond with their children through these books. It’s also another great way to spend quality family time. I am all about quality family time around here which is the best gift you can give a child.

 

Coming to Sweet Home Chicago.

Hi there, did I startle you? You must not have expected a blog post on a Saturday did you?

Well we are having are first snowfall of the season here in the Windy City so I am keeping it low key here on a Saturday morning, and after I grabbed myself a cinnamon roll from Ann Sathers to go (which you MUST try by the way), I thought I’d make a cup of coffee, and have a seat and try to remember to blog.

I guess you can say it is a combination of not being motivated, and being anxiously awaiting and preparing the home for my 3 and a half year old to arrive after being on an extensive stay at her grandparent’s in Europe as reasons why I haven’t been writing lately.

It almost felt like waiting for the arrival of a new baby execpt this time it was waiting for an arrival of a little one that has grown into a little lady, speaking a second language(she is officially bilingual),and officially out of diapers amongst other things.

When she arrived home in Chicago she immediately went to her toys she hasn’t seen in awhile (hello Disney Princess Castle and Little People!) even though it was 11pm. The girl was a chatterbox the whole ride home from the airport,in her newly learned second language. I am truly amazed.

When she had left she was pretty verbal but just a little over 2 and a half and speaking only English and still in diapers. Her grandparents who live here have been spending time with her recently while I go to work and they are just as impressed and amazed how much she has grown.

So far we have been having great adventures and she got to meet her new niece for the first time. It has been a bittersweet reunion.

Since I went ages without posting kid’s pictures on here, I will do so today, hope you don’t mind. 🙂

I am truly excited that she is here for the Holidays and looking forward to exploring what the city has in store and spending quality time with her.

First day back here,she loved the welcome balloon I got her:

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Book Review: Accidental Happiness

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When the opportunity to do a book review came up, I immediately jumped on it. I LOVE books, and I LOVE to read. I was given a copy of Accidental Happiness in exchange for a review.

But wow, does it take me longer nowadays to get through one! When I was younger way way back in the day, reading was one of my biggest past times. I recall going to the library and literally getting a stack of books a mile high and would just lock myself in my room and read all day,that’s of course when I didn’t have school.

But nowadays,my plate is a lot fuller than back then,being a wife, a mother, and a full-time career woman.

Accidental Happiness, a novel by Meredith Rachek, is a story about two young lovebirds named Brian and Becky who have found each other during their senior year of high school. The two were inseperable,and their young love was unstoppable, until one day a tragic car accident changed Becky’s life forever.

Trying to continue a normal life as much as possible,Becky heads down state to college on a soccer scholarship until one day another strike of events occurs that will change her life again, but in a different way. Just when you think you get the story plot,there is a twist to the story.

I usually read books that completely relate to me and so in this case, being a mother myself but to a 3 year old instead, I really had to put my head in a place to the time when I was in college myself,and trying to remember how it was. I am sure that time will come sooner than later, they grow up so fast! My college experience was nothing,however,compared what Becky was going through.

I appreciated the dynamics in this book between Becky’s therapist,between her overbearing mother, and also her circle of friends that mirrored her circle of friends back home in Memphis. The characters in the book were  found to be a relatable if you are family oriented or have young adult children yourself.

The author was able to articulate that these are normal people with unfortunate circumstances, but still trying to move on in life. They are in on this situation together,with Becky being the center character, and Brian continuing to play a big role in their lives as you see this throughout the book.

I won’t spoil the ending but it was pretty bittersweet, and it was like leaving a set of family members behind. I suggest and pick up a copy of this today. It is especially a great read for those who are empty nesters to college bound children, or parents themselves that are about to head that way, but a good overall read for anyone that is trying to do this thing called life.