Melissa McClure

The Mystery of the Lost Recipe and The Mystery of the Lost Uniforms #books #childrensbooks #IamReading

Book reviews are always one of my favorite reviews to do for authors. I love finding out about each author and their interests. Children’s books especially intrigue me as I am a licensed child care provider, but, when I was contacted to review a couple books about healthy eating AND exercise I was all in. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate this concept to the children at an early age.

While I was waiting for the books to arrive I did a little research about the books and the author that I was about to review. Jerome Jones is a teacher and a coach to school aged children from elementary to high school. While teaching in Utah he was inspired to start writing children stories. “The Mystery of the Lost Recipe” and “The Mystery of the Lost Uniforms” were written while Mr. Jones taught a 4th grade class about nutrition and exercise.

On a Thursday morning while putting my sons, Jayden and Gavin, on the bus I remembered that I had completely forgotten to get the mail Wednesday afternoon. I walked to the mailbox and there was a manilla envelope address to me. When I opened it I was absolutely excited. Every time I get a new review and it arrives it’s like Christmas for me. I opened the package and was amazed at the quality of the books that Mr. Jones had created. Not only had he sent his two hardcover books, he also sent stickers for the kids. My sons each took one before they got a chance to read the book (remember they were waiting to board the bus) and was excited to tell their friends about the new story adventure they would surely go on when they got home.

The Mystery of the Lost Recipe

After my sons got on the bus to go to school I decided that I would do a little experiment to see how well the different age groups would take to the books. When I was doing research I saw Mr. Jones was a elementary to high school coach and teacher, so I thought I would see how well my early childhood children would like the books as well as my elementary aged sons.

While waiting for my daycare children to arrive I was flipping through the book. The illustrations were amazing! Jose Galeano did an impeccable job creating bright and vibrant illustrations to go with Mr. Jone’s books.

illustration

My daycare children arrived and were excited to hear that we were going to change up the lesson plans for the day and learn about Abby and Tommy, the main characters and mystery solvers in the book. During story time I read to the children, “The Mystery of the Lost Recipe.” The ages of the children are 1, 2, and 3 who were attending care at the time.

I started reading the book and was honestly expecting the children to eventually lose interest (not meaning this in a mean way, just because the children are so young and the books are pretty long) and move away from the circle. I was quickly proved wrong, even the 1 year old stayed to hear the story of Abby and Tommy solving the lost recipe issue. The children actually stopped me part way through to tell me they loved lasagna and blueberries on their waffles sounded yummy. After I was done reading the book, the 2 and 3 year old wanted to take the book and read it again!

whole crewreading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later on that day my sons got home and were excited to go on a new adventure and find out about these new books that they told their friends about with their new stickers (which are plastered on their planner they are required to take back and forth to the teacher daily). Gavin started first and with help read through “The Mysteries of the Lost Recipes” and grabbed “The Mysteries of the Lost Uniform” without missing a beat. Jayden was there to help him read and finish the second book but both of the boys literally devoured both of the books. I was very excited to see how anxious they were to find out what happens in both of the books. Both Jayden and Gavin give “The Mysteries” books a big thumbs up.

JaydenThe Mystery of the Lost Recipe

If you are interested in checking out these books for your children (or maybe you run a daycare too!) I would highly recommend them to anyone. These books are bright, colorful, and very well written to keep the children engaged and learning. The next day at daycare we had blueberries for a snack and the kids continued to talk about Abby and Tommy and what other mysteries they might solve.

Go over to Facebook and give Healthy Kids Publishing a like.

If you are interested in purchasing these books you can do so on their Website and Mascot Books

 

 

Tigger could not get enough of his Purr Packs box #toystreatstreasures

lazy Tigger

Meet Tigger. I posted this lazy day picture of my cat Tigger and much to my surprise ended up with the opportunity to review a monthly subscription box to Purr Packs. My excitement was through the roof!

outside box

I was shocked at how quickly the box arrived at my house. From the time that I was presented with the opportunity to do the review to the time when the box was delivered to my house is was less than 1 week. I was already impressed, not to mention the box was addressed to Tigger…..Come on how cute is that?!?!

Since I run a licensed daycare in my home I didn’t have time to open the box right away but Tigger….He had other plans….Tigger getting box

I had to give into his desperate attempts to open the box and I only had to cut the packaging tape from the sides for him to be able to open the side inserts of the box. He was ready to reveal his treasures.

inside of the box

The packaging was bright pink for the month of February. I have never seen a monthly subscription box packed like this before and I’ve reviewed and had many delivered to my home. This was extraordinary. The box was packed perfectly and it was very eye appealing. The treasures were all throughout the entire box (not to mention the daycare kids had a blast with the shredded pink paper).

Inside the box was a nifty card that stated everything that was included in the box as a type of inventory sheet. Included in the box was: Yeowww! Brand Hearrrt Attacks (the red heart toy that was filled with organic catnip), Purr-Packs Double-Sided Brush, Petstages Nighttime Cuddle Toy (the greyish ball that glows in the dark encouraging night time play. This toy was very SOFT!), Cosmic Catnip Kitty Family Grass Kit, Snap Cat Fish Toy, Purr-Packs Phone Stand, Feline Greenies (savory salmon flavor), and Blue Buffalo Wilderness treats (chicken and salmon recipe).

Although I’ve reviewed monthly subscription boxes before I was pleasantly surprised with Purr Packs. When I was able to evaluate all that the box included, everything was full sized! Most subscription boxes, or at least the ones I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in, provided quick little samples to use. Purr Packs included everything full sized.

Quickly after I had opened the box, I realized why Tigger had taken such an interest in this box…..besides it being a box (what cat doesn’t love a good box?). It had a smell that he has never experienced before….Catnip. As I am a relatively new cat owner (he’s my very first cat) I have never had experience with catnip. I quickly looked it up to make sure he could play with it and I didn’t have to take it from him after a period of time. I have never seen him act the way he did when he got a hold of that Yeowww! Brand Hearrrt Attack toy. By far his favorite out of the entire box. He literally held it in his paws and cuddled with it, rolling all over it, and not letting it out of his sight. Once the box was emptied from the other treasures he slept with it inside the box. Later on we were able to review the other treasures, but I had to let him love on his new found friend. Tigger Yeow

After a day I was able to continue on with the review. He then expressed interest in the treats. Since I recently took him to the vet and they were explaining what to do to help him take care of his teeth I was very excited to see the Greenies treats in the box. He had his nose pressed against my hand the entire time I was opening the bag for him to try. He LOVED the treats and was actually pretty bummed that I wouldn’t let him consume the entire package

Tigger Greenie

A few treats later, we tried the Blue Buffalo Wilderness treats. He went equally as nuts as he did with the Greenies treats. Tigger Wilderness

I was unsuccessful at getting pictures of him with the Snap Cat Fish Toy as he was jumping and pouncing all over the place and all the pictured ended up being a blurred mess. This toy had to be the kids favorite toy to play with him. When you squeezed the plush fish part of the toy it sent the feather at the end of it into a tail spin. Tigger went wild swatting, biting, and grabbing at the toy.

Overall this entire box was absolutely incredible! I was very blessed to be able to review it for Purr Packs. I would recommend this monthly subscription box to anyone who has a feisty feline as I do, or even a more mellow one. At Purr Packs, you are able to customize your monthly box or even send one as a gift.

Go to http://www.purrpacks.com to get started.

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Sinless Cookies #Theyaretodiefor

WahmReviewer Melissa

Sinless Cookies

This cookie is a favorite not only from my own children but the children that attend my daycare. I have a couple children who have a dairy intolerance, and one that also has a gluten intolerance. Finding recipes that meet their needs is a challenge by itself but this cookie has been a favorite since I introduced it to them. Pssst….just don’t tell them it’s good for them!

2 ripe bananas

1 cup oats

1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter

Add ins (your choice/optional): chocolate chips, chia seeds, walnuts, dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together. Use a spoon to drop them on a greased cookie sheet and bake them for 15 minutes. Enjoy.

Sinless cookies

 

Who is Walker’s Hollow?

 WAHM Reviewer – Melissa McClure

 

Where do I start? I asked myself this question when I received my package from Walker’s Hollow. Shannon Petro, the owner of Walker’s Hollow sent me a variety pack. In my package it included, an 8oz. Mason Candle in Berry Parfait, and Clamshell-Red Velvet. Air Freshener in Sexy Little Thing scent and one Wild Current Sandalwood. Plus two Tart packages, one was Lavender, the other was Hot Toddy.

Walker's Hollow

Whenever I receive a package in the mail, everyone in my house goes crazy. This time in particular was my 5 year old son. When we opened the package, he took each item out and smelled each one. His response was, “mmmmmmmmmm” to every-one. His absolute favorite was the Clamshell that smelled like Red Velvet cake. When you open the clamshell package the wax even has what appears to be cinnamon.

Walkers Hollow Tart

I have to be careful when I burn candles, as I own a daycare and candles are not permitted during daycare hours. So I got up early one morning after my morning run and lit the Berry Parfait candle. In between children leaving and arriving when I do not have them at my house I light my candle. Oh my gosh is it heavenly! The candle smells exactly like it does when you open the jar. I have bought many store candles and have been disappointed when I light the candle and it does not smell like when it is not lit and just in the jar. Currently as I am typing this review I have this candle burning and the wonderful smell is completely across my entire upstairs of my house. I have had comments from the daycare parents asking me what I used to make my house smell so wonderful. They actually thought I was baking something!

Walkers Hollow mini

The next test and the true test were the air fresheners. Sexy Little Thing is my absolute favorite smell out of the whole line that Shannon had sent me. Considering I have two young boys…..*gulp* and a mini-van, which I won’t admit to owning….it is my husband’s vehicle. Anyone knows that when you have children, your cars are not the same anymore; you go from clean cars to finding chips and spilled chocolate milk in the carpet. Eventually, there is kind of a funky smell that not even the ever famous Febreze can get out. I hung my cool new Fleur De Lis shaped air freshener in the van, and when on a small trip with the family to the grocery store. When I first opened it, I did not smell the wonderful Sexy Little Thing scent from the package but as it circulated a bit it began to work. By the time we came back from the store, MY HUSBAND’S VAN 🙂 smelled wonderful. Although it did nothing to change the ever apparent look, yup, it’s still a mini-van.

Back of Tart

The tarts can be placed on any burner and according to the brochure that Shannon sent me, “soy candles burn for 7-9 hours per oz. of wax whereas paraffin only burns 4-5 hours per oz.” I put the lavender tarts on the candle warmer at night time outside of my son’s room, hoping the calming scent of lavender would slow him down a touch. The tarts let off a warm, calming aroma and as my son was relaxing for bed I noticed he kept inhaling deeper and deeper so he could smell the warming tarts. Everyone in my household truly loves these candles; the smell is exactly the same as when you open the package.

Walker's Hollow Logo

Inside the brochure is a HUGE list of different scents that Shannon has and at the bottom of the brochure it even says that if there is not the scent you are looking for listed, she will make it for you! She has a few stores in Lower Michigan that carry her products and you can also contact her through her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/walkershollow to place an order. I know where I am going to be getting my candles and air fresheners from now!

 

 

This is sooo Tasty! Tasty Brand #snackingmadeeasy

Wahm Reviewer Melissa McClure

I received these products for free to base this review on. All thoughts and written words are my own.

 

Tasty Logo WAHMReview

My family is literally one of the biggest gummy candy fans that I have ever encountered. When my husband and I were dating gummy bears were and still to this day are favorite candy. Then my sons Jayden (who is now 6 years old) and Gavin (who is 3 years old) came along. I thought Hank (my husband) was a gummy lover….you should meet these kids! Wow! If I would let them they would sit down and munch on gummies all day long. When presented with the opportunities to review Organic Fruit Snacks and Cookies from Tasty Brand I couldn’t think of a better family to test it on.

I got home from taking my son and his friend shopping (exhausting day) to find a huge box sitting on my door step. I was super excited as I knew it was my Tasty Brand box we’ve all been waiting for. We take the box inside and open the package. Tasty brand literally sent us their entire line of gummies and cookies to try! Wow! I was blown away! I was expecting a sample or two but their whole entire line?!? How awesome is that?!?!?

Tasty Brand WAHMReview

Jayden was literally squealing with excitement as he seen package after package of gummies being lifted from the box. Inside the box contained, two larger bags of fruit gummies, citrus splash (which is coated in sugar), and super fruit flavor, three boxes (5 ct. packages) of organic smoothie, organic wild berry, and organic fruit snacks, and two boxes of cookies (5 ct. packages) vanilla stars, and organic chocolate chip stars.

Liane Weintraub and Shannan Swanson are the co-founders of Tasty Brand. They were on a mission to create wonderful tasty snacks without all the harsh ingredients for children ages 2-102! So let’s dig in a little deeper. Were they a success?

Tasty Brand Gummies WAHMReview

I looked at the larger bags of gummies and squeezed them, I thought “Wow! Citrus Splash gummy is going to be hard, it feels really hard.” Jayden and Gavin are really into the chewy, soft kind of gummies so I was worried now. I opened the package and gave the first one a test myself. I couldn’t believe it! They were so soft after feeling pretty hard in the packaging. I gave them to my sons to try and they both gobbled them. I only allowed them a few each as we were going to be testing more.

Tasty Brand Love WAHMReview

 

Next we tried the other gummies, each one were so soft and very juicy! My husband even said, “Wow, the peach even tastes like peach and not the nasty artificial flavoring.” That is what impressed me, my husband was impressed. So I asked Jayden, “What do you think?” He just smiled at me and said and I quote, “These are the best gummies I’ve ever had.” Guess what he’s going to be packing in his lunch box for school tomorrow?

Tasty Brand Cookies WAHMReview

So we moved on to the cookies after spending so much time devouring the gummies. The cookies come 5 packs to a box, with only 100 calories and 3 grams of sugar to a pack! This made it a lot easier to give them to the kids, only 3 grams of sugar? Nice…but did they taste good? Well according to my sources which are a 3 year old, a 6 year old, 31 year old and an empty box I would say yes absolutely!

 

So if you are looking for some Tasty snacks check out Liane and Shannan’s website at http://www.tastybrand.com and their Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/tastybrand. There you can order their amazing snack or even find local retailers that carry them!

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Questions and Comments are always welcome below.

Drinking with ease with Faucet Face

WAHMRevwier – Melissa McClure

Let me tell you, everything tastes better in a glass bottle. Why did they change to plastic? Plastic is cheaper and costs the company less money to make. Did you know that plastic has been known to leak chemicals into the liquid that it holds? It also fills landfills. Different water bottling companies have created these amazing commercials for their products and let’s face it; American’s are addicted to drinking bottled water. These water bottles then fill up our landfills and cause pollution and other harmful substances that hurt our environment.

Faucet Face WAHMReview

Faucet Face has created a water bottle that is made of glass. When glass is used there is no nasty chemicals that get leaked into the water, its reusable and saves you money instead of purchasing cases upon cases of water.

I am an avid fitness person. In the mornings before I get ready for work I run and currently have been doing Focus T25. I admit I have fallen prey to the addition of bottled water, it’s just so convenient. But when I got the chance to do a review for a glass water bottle I was all over it. My family and I recycle, reduce, and reuse many items so my bottled water addiction didn’t make me feel so bad but I knew I needed to change. This review came at the perfect time as I was currently looking for a replacement for my water drinking habits.

When my box came that was labeled Faucet Face I was like a little kid on Christmas morning. I opened the box and was automatically taken away with this bottle. I couldn’t believe how thick this glass was! That was one of the areas of concern that I was worried about…what if I dropped this bottle? Is it going to shatter on me? Of course my son (who is 3 years old) loves to get mail and presents too so he helped me open the box and that was literally the first thing that happened….he accidently dropped it on the floor. Solid. Absolutely nothing happen, and it didn’t even scratch the lettering on the bottle that reads, “Tap is Terrific.”

Faucet Face Bottom WAHMReview

Faucet Face has three different bottles to choose from and I was able to pick which one I wanted. My favorite color is blue so of course I picked the blue lettering bottle. The other two were absolutely awesome looking as well, one was green that says “Hose Water” and the other one had beautiful humming birds on them. A hard choice but I got it done.

Faucet Face 100 Liters of Clean water WAHMReview

Inside the bottle is a tiny slip of paper and it states, “Each bottle you buy will provide a minimum 100 liters of clean water for a family in rural India.” How amazing is this company? People in India are dying due to being forced to drink contaminated water full of parasites, worms, and other horrid, toxic organisms.

Faucet Face believes in BioSand Filters to help the people of India. BioSand Filters are a simple filter made of concrete. This concrete holds several layers of sand that traps and contains sediments, pathogens, and other impurities in the water. To build a BioSand Filter costs very little and requires no money to use. These filters eliminate 90-95% of impurities in the water. That is a great percentage! Faucet Face’s non-profit partners, TMA, employ local Indian people to build these filters and distribute them to their neighbors that are in need.

When a person buys between 1 and 4 bottles a portion of the sales will be combined with other customer’s purchases to make these filters. When 5 bottles are purchased one whole filter can be made. Wow! How generous is that?

So….is Faucet Face all it’s cracked up to be?

YES!

Faucet Face taste test WAHMReview

I washed and filled my bottle up with icy cold water and put the bottle to the taste test. Amazing. It was cold and refreshing. The water in the bottle did not taste at all anything like the plastic bottled water. It was crisp and had zero aftertaste. Yummy!

This product is truly changing my way of consuming water. I will never buy a case of water again! Go over to Faucet Face’s website and check out their bottles and read more about the BioSand filters. Also make sure to head on over to there facebook page as well!

I received these products for free to base this review on. All opinions are honest and mine alone.

Read our Disclosure Policy here

Questions and Comments are always welcome below.

Are There Monsters in My Closet? #bookreview by Jack Batcher

 

    WAHMReviewer – Melissa McClure

Books are my weakness, especially children’s books. I have a library in my daycare home and am a strong believer in the importance of literacy. Every child loves a good story read to them. When I was browsing Facebook and saw that Are There Monsters In My Closet by Jack Batcher was up for review I quickly pounced on the post and I was the lucky reviewer who got selected to do the review!

Are There Monsters in My Closet.

I contacted Jack via email and he quickly responded enthusiastically to my email regarding the review. Within a matter of a few days he emailed me back and already had his book in the mail heading my way. I was so excited I told my kids about our new book that was coming and they were just as excited to receive the book as I was. Each child, whether they are my own boys or my daycare kids, cannot wait for story time; a new book added to our collection…..how exciting!

Always check for Monsters

Jack’s book arrived while I was out of town for a few days and when I got home I had a wonderful package waiting for me on my counter (who doesn’t love to come home to a package?). I opened up the package and much to my surprise I had an autographed copy of the book! Both of my boys immediately wanted the book. They were flipping through the pages and smiling at the beautiful bright illustrations. It was late at night so I told them they had to go to bed that we would share the book with the daycare kids at story time the next day. With a bit of a struggle I finally got them to agree that they had to wait just a little longer to hear the story.

The day as finally come

FINALLY! The day has come! As the daycare kiddos were eating a snack, we just couldn’t wait any longer so I read “Are there monsters in my closet?” to them while they ate. This book is so well written that it was easy to do “voice changes” for the kids and act out the story a little bit while reading. All the kiddos love a good “scared” or a loud “monster” voice.

The story starts out with a little boy named Calvin who hears noises….but where are they coming from? Are they outside noises? Nope……. Did something get into his room?………….It’s definitely in the closet, but what is it?!?!? It has to be the monsters in his closet that his sisters warned him about………

   

The children’ couldn’t keep their eyes off the book, even the 1 year old little boy that comes. By the time that I finished the story the kids were begging for me to read the story again. Needless to say I ended up reading the story 2 more times after the original reading. Then the kids carried the book all over the house and “read” the book to each other, usually turning to the page that had the “monster” on the page.

   Thank you Jack

Roughly 9 years ago Jack’s sister Cheryl was due to have her third child, Calvin, join their family along with her two daughters Brinna and Melody. This thought sent Jack’s memories into motion. He remembers playing pranks and other tricks on his family members thus leading him to the idea of this book.

Jack started his search in 2004 to find the perfect illustrator that could give him the illustrations that would make his story really come to life. Almost 10 years later after many ups and downs he met Charles Berton at The Artist Pad in Smithtown in 2013. Charles like his story and agreed to do the illustrations for “Are there monsters in my closet?”

On May 25, 2013 the book was finally published.

Jack’s book is available through his website at http://www.jackbatcher.comas well as Amazon.

Also while you are out surfing the web for Jack’s book, check out his Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/authorjackbatcher) and give it a “like” while you’re there.

CFR