Friday, August 29, 2014

Foodie Fridays - Sweet & Bitter Almond, Red Dates and Pumpkin Soup

We love to drink soup, from the simple mixed vegetable soup to herbal soup, any type of soup coz we gotta have soup at dinner time.  Today I am sharing with you a nourishing soup that only requires 4 ingredients which you can grab at any supermarket.  The recipe calls for different amount of sweet & bitter almond but because I bought premixed package so I simply just put 3 tablespoon of it into the soup.


If you are cooking over the stove in a stew pot than you have to boil it for about 4 hours. For me, I made this the night before using my thermal pot.  The next afternoon DinoPapa cook a simple lunch for himself and had it with the soup.

While boiling the ingredients, my nose was being overpowered by the sweetness smell from the red dates, I thought perhaps I had put in too many and the soup will probably turn out to be too sweet.  When I drank it later there were no strong red dates sweetness, instead there is the sweetness from the pumpkin with a little hint of almond, it is quite tasty actually.


Why is it a nourishing soup?
So, what's so nourishing about this soup other than perhaps the pumpkin which aids in bowel movement?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DinoFamily's September 2014 Term Holiday Fun

A few days ago DinoBoy said in a somewhat sad tone "This September there will be nothing for me because I have to go to XXX (student care's name)."  Little did he know that this Mama has lined up some weekend fun activities for him to enjoy.  Why ONLY the weekends you asked?  Sadly, this Mama is unable to take leave for the whole week or even a few days because this Mama does not have too many annual leave left *sigh*  So, we shall make the most out of weekend and have an enormous time enjoying it.  Here is what I have planned for us~

Fun-cation @ United Square
We are fans of Geronimo Stilton, so how can we miss the FIRST live show in town?!!!  Can you hear us squealing and screaming with excitement???  We are getting ready for some cheddarfic action with Geronimo Stilton at United Square.

Kids can look forward to an engaging mousey adventure filled with games, dance, songs and a whole lot of fun! Get your paws ready to tap and clap along!

OMG!  Meet & Greet sessions, FOC too!  We must not miss this!!  We'll just have to queue to get a Meet & Greet pass 1 hour before each show, only the first 50 families will get to Meet & Greet Geronimo, Thea, Trap & Benjamin Stilton after the show.

Catch Geronimo Stilton ‘Live’ Shows / Meet and Greet!
Show Dates : 03 to 15 September 2014
Show Time : Mondays to Fridays 2pm and 7pm
Weekends : 2pm, 5pm and 7pm
No shows on 9 Sept, Tuesday
Show Venue : Atrium, Basement 1

Total Turtle Takeover at City Square Mall!
Are you a Cowabunga!!! fan too?  This September, be prepared to meet the familiar heroes in a half shell – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! The exciting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ’Live’ On Stage will take place during the September school holidays at Singapore’s first eco-mall, City Square Mall. 

Look forward to meeting the Turtles – Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo – join in the action as they share some tips they have learnt from Master Splinter.

Gosh another Meet & Greet session not to be missed!  There are 50 Meet & Greet passes to be redeemed, join the queue with your minimum spending of $50* receipt 1 hour before each show to get a pass.

If you are catching the "Live" show anytime from 05 to 14 September, stay back for the Turtles TV Nights and watch episodes from season 2 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at B1 Fountain Square from 8pm to 9pm for free. There are also wide range of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Nickelodeon merchandise for sale from 08 to 14 September 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ‘Live’ Shows / Meet and Greet!
Show Dates : 06 to 14 September 2014
Show Time : Mondays to Fridays: 2pm & 7pm
Sat & Sun: 1pm, 4pm & 7pm
Show Venue : Level 1 Atrium, City Square Mall

3D Turtles Floor Art: Snap & Win!
This, we are definitely NOT going to miss it!  A unique Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D Floor Art, shown for the first time and exclusively at City Square Mall.

Find the 3D Turtle Floor Art at L1 Atrium, strike a pose and share your photo on Instagram with the hashtag #TurtlesAtCitySqMall and stand to win $50 worth of Metro vouchers! Only 20 winners will be selected, based on the creativity of your photo and the number of likes garnered.  Contest runs from 21 August to 14 September * Instagram accounts have to be public to qualify. Other Terms & Conditions apply.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Once is NEVER enough on the Skyline Luge Sentosa

When I received the media invite to the Skyline Luge Sentosa I was excited because I know DinoBoy will enjoy this but at the same time I was scared.  I am not a fan of height, especially those that mean I am hanging high up in the air with nothing to hold on for my life.  Regardless, I still went ahead to confirm our attendance because to see my son happy and have a chance to experience something new & dangerous is more important than my little fear or phobia. 

Frankly, taking the Skyline ride for the first time, I was petrified!!!  Sitting strapped down by a safety bar on a chair that hangs on the cable by a small "metal thing"and moves slower than a snail uphill with the feet dangling below was way too much for me to handle.  The noise made by 2 Luge karts hanging below our chair is affecting me too, I tried to distract myself by chatting with Adora and taking photos.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Finding Fuzzy: A "You-Decide Tale" of a Lost Friend (Sweet T Tales) - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Finding Fuzzy: A "You-Decide Tale" of a Lost Friend (Sweet T Tales) 
Author: Cat Michaels 
Illustrator: Irene A. Jahns 
Publication Date: March 26, 2014 
Publisher: 2101 Ink 
Pages: 44 
Recommended Ages: 5 to 10 
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: Illustrated chapter book for early readers (Gr. K-3)

Blue sky ...

Warm sea ...

Sugar-sand beach ...

The perfect family vacation on the Carolina coast ...

Except the trip takes a nosedive when Jenna loses Fuzzy, her plush blue rabbit pal. Jenna learns to carry on without him. But when she stumbles across a secret, she faces the toughest decision of her young life. And YOU, the reader, will help her make that choice and come up with the ending of this You-Decide tale. Don't worry. Cat shows you how in her book and on her website.

So, slip on your flip-flops and join Jenna at the shore. It's time to decide YOUR ending for Finding Fuzzy.

Caution: Irene A. Jahn's ocean-themed watercolors have been known to cause beach fever.
"Finding Fuzzy" placed second in the Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books.


Book Preview



Purchase


The Buzz About the Book

"Finding Fuzzy is an early chapter book featuring the opportunity for children to create their own ending to a sweet, summertime story. The main character, Jenna, has a decision to make when she discovers that her beloved stuffed bunny she had lost is now being used to protect a litter of kittens. After weighing out all of the possible outcomes, it is up to the reader to decide what happens next in the story. I thought this was a unique concept that will interest children, especially ones who are interested in writing their own stories (like my daughter!). I recommend this book to parents, homeschoolers, and teachers with children between the ages of 5 and 10." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"The story is sweet, and suitable for all children. The book is set up to get kids to think and discuss what they would do in a certain situation--in this case, giving up a precious friend (the stuffed bunny.) I could see using this in either a classroom setting or as a bedtime story. The watercolor illustrations really capture a beachy mood and create a great visual for kids as well.. " ~ 5 Star Review, Nikki B., Goodreads

"Cat Michaels has put young readers in a position to solve the dilemma. Readers must brainstorm and utilize their critical thinking skills to write the ending to Jenna's story. This quick to read chapter book has small colorful illustrations that help readers imagine the beach. Readers will also find that the author has created a world where they use all five senses. The back of the book has tips for parents and teachers to help their readers.. " ~ 5 Star Review, Kristi B., Goodreads

"This is a book with a difference. The space where the ending should be is blank, leaving readers with the opportunity to take a far more pro-active role in the unfolding of the story. It's time to get creative. It's time to give the story your own ending! There's room for a picture as well, so the budding author can test out their illustration skills too!" ~ 5 Star Review, Peachy Emma, Amazon

"The genius here is that Cat has picked the perfect storyline to make your would be writers put themselves into Jenna’s shoes and truly understand how she feels.It’s the stuffed animal, every child has one and every child is very attached to it. This is a great book for it's educational value as far as letting the kids use their imagination to come up with their own conclusion. ----5 stars for this one!" ~ Bookroom Reviews, Amazon

About the Author

CAT MICHAELS started writing stories in fourth grade and hasn’t stopped since. After earning an M.S. degree in special education from the University of Kansas, she spent two decades helping students from kindergarten to college reach their potential.

She also managed communication and resource development programs for an international high-tech company that included writing press releases and articles for trade journals. After recession and downsizings, she returned to her education roots, serving at a community college as a writing coach and learning specialist for students with Asperger’s syndrome and learning disabilities.

Cat spins tales of everyday life, with a twist of magic or twinge of mystery, that open young minds to new ways of thinking and looking at the world. Illustrations by watercolor artist Irene A. Jahns help bring that world to life. Cat and her family live in North Carolina where she designs playful gardens, dabbles in all things digital, and writes.

* Download free pdf of chapter 1 and You-Decide pages by visiting http://www.catmichaelswriter.com/finding-fuzzy-a-you-decide-tale-of-a-lost-friend.html *


FREE Short Story Offer

Subscribe by email to Cat's Connections to receive updates, special offers, and to be among the first to hear about new releases by Cat Michaels. PLUS, when you sign up, you will receive a short story penned just for adults, Driving Down to Dillon: A Very-Short Story of Love and New Beginnings by Cat Michaels. Click on the cover below to subscribe to Cat's Connections.

PLUS... email subscribers to Cat's Connections will also receive 5 extra in the giveaway below.

Driving to Dillon by Cat Michaels

* Giveaway *


Prize: One winner will receive a $30 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize
Contest ends: September 19, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cat Michaels and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Foodie Fridays - Simple Almond Butter Cake

I have not been baking since I don't know when, so last weekend I decided that I will TRY to bake something because I think my flour and ingredients are going to be expired soon (after checking, they are not).  I flipped through my many cake books and finally decided to bake an almond cake since I have all the ingredients except for milk.

That Sunday I accomplished so much that I am so proud of myself.  In the morning I went to NTUC to gather the ingredients. I baked AND cooked a 3 dish + 1 soup dinner for us and my sis' family.  This almond cake recipe is so easy and simple that I could start the preparation while watching my soup boiling on the stove.



The last time I baked this cake I put too little almond flakes on top so this time I make sure that they cover every corner of the batter.  When I open my oven to remove the cake the aroma of baked almond flakes fills my kitchen, it makes me want to cut a slice to enjoy with my cuppa.

I always have difficulty in storing my cakes because the containers I have are either too small or too big.  I managed to find this rectangle box from Daiso with the right size and height plus the cover is in my favourite color, best part is that it cost only $2, it does not matter that the box is not air-tight since it will be consumed within the next 2 days.  Now perhaps this will make me bake more cakes in the near future.

Till my next bake post, hope you will try your hands in making this simple almond butter cake.

Almond Butter Cake

by Jennifer Lim
Prep Time: 30mins
Cook Time: 40mins
Keywords: bake dessert nuts cake
Ingredients (10-12 slices)
*140g self raising flour
*140g castor sugar
*50g milk
*2 eggs
*150g butter, soften
*50g ground almond
*Some almond flakes

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line an 8x3x3 inche loaf pan with baking paper.
2. Sieve the self raising flour and ground almond (optional), set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter & caster sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mix to combine.
5. Add milk, mix to combine.
6. Add the flour & ground almond 1/3 at a time. Mix to combine.
7. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40mins.
8. Remove from oven and let it cool on a wired rack for about 10mins.
9. Remove cake from the pan and let it cool down completely before storing.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Karmack - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book


Title: Karmack
Author: J.C. Whyte
Publication Date: June 6, 2013
Publisher: Muse it Up Publishing
Pages: 140
Recommended Age: 7+
Summary: A strange little creature enters the lives of three tough guys at Higgins Elementary. And from that point on, pranks come back like boomerangs, smacking the bullies right in their fifth grade butts!

Sully, the leader of the gang, is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. Sully learns that the creature’s job is to balance all the bad pranks the bullies have pulled over the years. Karmack warns that if this fails, “dreadful, awful doom” awaits them all.

Sully soon realizes that he must save not only himself but his friends, who have no idea why they keep getting boomeranged by Karmack!

"Karmack" won First Place in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books (e-Books).


Purchase the Book


The Buzz About the Book

"Karmack is a well-written, middle grade book tackling the difficult topic of bullying from the perspective of the bully. The character development is absolutely brilliant as the reader witnesses the transformation of Sully from an aggressive, angry bully to a positive role model and respected leader among his peers. While the concept of karma is not for everyone, I found myself agreeing with the main message of how our actions have consequences, intended or otherwise. I would recommend this book to middle grade classrooms as a great book to generate discussion around bullying." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"A wonderful story about growing up and treating others with respect, Karmack is well paced, funny, and manages to teach important lessons without coming off preachy." ~ Jess W., Amazon

"A fun read with important lessons for us all about Karma, and why bullies have more to balance than most people. Great for ages 9 up, child centered, non-preachy, action packed, great classroom read aloud." ~ Carolyn W., Amazon

"What an AMAZINGLY FUN story! EVERYONE needs to read it! Full of FUN, FANTASY, and FANTASTIC REVENGE on a bully! Fun for ALL ages!" ~ Shauna W., Amazon

"Karmack is a captivating pre-teen fantasy and author J.C. Whyte has created a strong cast of characters that are well developed and quite likable. As the story progresses, the suspense builds to a delightful outcome that is sure to keep readers anticipating Whyte's next round of literary treasures. We look forward to seeing more from this author." ~ Literary Classics Book Review, Amazon

About The Author


When J.C. Whyte was eleven, her 6th grade teacher gave a class assignment to write a poem about a sport. Realizing her classmates would probably choose popular American sports like baseball or football, J.C. decided to write about something different: golf. And to her complete surprise, the teacher found it comical; she was thereby encouraged to keep writing.

Then over summer break, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list and write a book report on each. J.C. was horrified! She wanted to enjoy her summer, not spend it reading! You see, J.C. was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience. Plus, kids back then didn’t have all the fun books to choose from today. But that same teacher who had assigned the sports poem told J.C.’s mother she could write 26 stories instead of reading them. That was absolute genius! Although she didn’t actually write 26 stories (perhaps six?), J.C. submitted one which made her teacher laugh out loud in class. And she got an “A” on her summer reading assignment. J.C. has never forgotten that wise teacher who let her play to her strengths.

So from the age of eleven, J.C. knew she wanted to be a writer. Yet by the time she reached college, she understood that writing stories seldom paid the bills. So she got her degrees in Journalism and Communications Management. Then for many years she channeled her creative energies in the field of Public Relations.

Marriage, kids, and several more degrees and occupations later (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J.C. entered law school – mostly for the challenge of writing creative arguments for the court. But while in law school, she became a columnist for the student newsletter, writing humorous pieces on the strange and quirky life of a law student. She was absolutely thrilled when one of these articles was chosen for publication in The National Jurist, a magazine distributed to law students throughout the US.

But after graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she’s returned to writing. And with publication of her middle grade novel Karmack, she’s come full circle, back to where her writing journey began.


* Book Blast Giveaway *


Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize
Contest ends: September 18, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, J.C. Whyte and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Lost (and Found) Balloon - Book Review & Giveaway

In celebration of my birth month, I am lining up a few giveaways to my readers, since the DinoFamily love books, it is a MUST that we have a children's book giveaway!  I went through our mini library and decided on The Lost (and Found) Balloon book by Celeste Jenkins.  I won this autographed book in a giveaway last year and it's seems right to bless another child through a giveaway too.



Title : The Lost (and Found) Balloon
Author : Celeste Jenkins
Illustrator : Maria Bogade
Recommended age : 4 to 8
Number of pages: 32
Publisher : Aladdin
Publication date : 01 July 2013
Summary : Where do balloons go when you let them loose? Find out in this whimsical, imaginative tale, winner of the General Mills Spoonful of Stories contest. Molly O'Doon ties a note to her red balloon, lets it loose, and off it goes on a buoyant adventure. Who will answer Molly's letter? Someone in a different state or a faraway country? Or maybe, a new friend much closer than she could ever imagine. "The Lost (and Found) Balloon" is the winner of the 5th annual Cheerios(R) New Author Contest. Selected from more than 8,000 entries by a team of editors, teachers, librarians, and General Mills staff, "The Lost (and Found) Balloon "will also appear in a bilingual (English/Spanish) mini-paperback edition in 1.5 million specially marked boxes of Cheerios.


Purchase


My Review

I have always like books with rhyming words and this book tells a story using rhyming couplets which I absolutely love it!  Incidentally since I was a little girl I have always wondered what really happened to balloons that broke free from the kids' hands and floated away into the sky?  I used to think that they will be floating up there forever and ever, or landing in another place where some other kids will pick them up and bring it home.  

The Lost (and Found) Balloon tells a story of a little girl who decided to let go a big red balloon into the sky with a little note attached to it.  Where will the balloon go?  Who will find it?  A beautiful story that started off innocently and ended up with 2 kids being acquainted in an unconventional way.  I wonder why I never thought of attaching a note to my balloon and setting free to find a new friend?

Being a visual creature I always take extra time to study the illustrations of any children books that I have a chance to read and review.  I think Maria Bogade has cleverly if not creatively brings out the main & important character in each page.  Look at the following sample pages and see if you agree with me.  The clean and simple illustrations definitely earns a thumbs up for me. 



Giveaway Details

Prize : An autographed The Lost (and Found) Balloon book
Contest Ends : 28 August 2014
Open : International
How to Enter : Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
Terms & Condition :
- Winner will be picked randomly by Rafflecopter widget.
- Winner will be contacted via email within 48 hours of the giveaway ends.
- The winner will have 72 hours to respond to email, failure to do so will mean that a new winner will be picked.
- Prize will be mailed out by normal mail for local winner and registered mail for overseas winner.

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Remarks : This post contains affiliated links.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Saturday Morning Movie Time with Golden Village's Kids Flix Promo

Besides a book chomping family, we also love to go for a movie but with our working schedules. DinoBoy's school work and weekend schedules we have much lesser chance to do that. It was such a disappointment to DinoBoy and sometimes to me too when we miss some great movies, especially animation movies.

Then earlier this year I discovered Golden Village Kids Flix and Mums & Babies promo where we can catch movies that has been taken off the movie screen. That's not all, parents and their kids can watch them at a special Kids Flix rate @ SGD6 per ticket on certain Saturday mornings at selected cinemas. Great deal right? Well, we were unable to enjoy this until last Saturday 18 August 2014 as DinoBoy did not have morning lesson that day. Imagine DinoBoy's joy and excitement when he knows that we are going for a movie instead of lesson and to top it off we'll be watching Rio 2, a show that he has bugged me every other day to bring him to watch but we just did not have the time.

I was expecting a crowd but was surprised that the cinema was barely half filled.  Perhaps some parents needs to work on Saturday mornings or the kids have lessons to attend.  I hope more family will be taking advantage of this great promo as it's a great opportunity to catch a movie by saving a few dollars on ticket and what better way to start the Saturday morning with a great movie with your family?


Besides the promo ticket price of SGD6, I also love the kiddie combo @ SGD4.  We usually struggle to finish the regular box of popcorn and always end up with 1/4 leftover, a waste of food and money.  This small size kiddie box of popcorn is great for DinoBoy as he is able to finish almost the whole box by himself.


Ooohh~~ More good stuffs! Besides the promo ticket price of SGD6, the kiddie combo of SGD4, we get a goodie bag each! Nothing fancy but we all do love to receive goodie bag right?  And since its a movie event it is just right that they give us a small brown paper bag with chips and chocolates to enjoy during our 2 hours in the cinema.

More to come for this promo~  If you purchase 2 tickets to Kids Flix: Rio 2 (2D) online you will get to stand a chance to win a movie hamper that  includes the following items, but since we received complimentary tickets from Golden Village we are not eligible for it.

1 x Blu Plush
1 x Drinking Cup
1 x RIO 2 Art book
1 x Sticker Capsule
1 x Magnetic Bookmark

Promotion valid from 7 Aug 2014 to 16 Aug 2014.

So the next time when you missed the movies that you and your kids were dying to watch, don't be sad, keep your eyes glued to Golden Village Kids Flix site and perhaps the movie will be back for a particular Saturday again!

On a side note, since this is Golden Village's Family Time at the Movies, please expect toddlers and parents walking up and down the aisle, babies crying, toddlers talking too loud etc.  I don't know about you but I find that all these just makes the event more meaningful.

*** *** ***

More about Golden Village Kids Flix and Mums & Babies
- promo are for selected Saturday mornings at selected Golden Village cinemas.
- tickets are priced at SGD6 each.
- babies and children below the height of 90cm enter free.

For more details, do visit:

Remarks : We were invited for the screening of Rio 2 under the Golden Village Kids Flix Promo.  All photos & opinions are 100% based on our experience during that day.

Friday, August 15, 2014

HeART Studio September 2014 Holiday Workshop Giveaway

During the recent June school holiday, DinoBoy attended a holiday workshop at HeART Studio and had a 2.5hours of fun "glass" painting.  Of course for safety reason the kids are not painting on real glass, instead they did the painting on a plastic transparency sheet.  

The kids started off by choosing the picture they want to do, after that they place the transparency sheet over the picture and used a marker to outlined it.  Once that is done, they were given some special glass color paint from teacher and started to paint their picture.  It looks like an easy job but it most definitely not!  Besides applying a few layers of the paint to make the colors visible, DinoBoy has to do color shading and lighting too.  Teacher Gaz mounted his finished artwork onto a piece of crumpled aluminum foil and framed it up.  DinoBoy is obviously very happy with his work.

PS : If you are at HeART Studio, look around and you may see a few of DinoBoy's art work hanging all over the studio.



GREAT NEWS!!!

HeART Studio September Holiday Workshop program is out, this time the focus is on Canvas Painting, the lesson topics (according to the age group) are Little Men and Little Miss, Humpty Dumpty, Transformers, Superheroes logo, Olaf from frozen, the tooth fairy and many more!!  So book your slot now before your preferred class is full!



Canvas Painting
The Children will learn how to paint their all-time favorite characters and Artist technique at the same time they will also learn to blend colors and understand the color values: Contrasting and complimentary colors. This painting program will open a window of experience for the student to try out canvas painting to the many different interesting subject matters that have been chosen for the class.

** Drum rolls PLEASE!!! **


Giveaway Details

Photo Credit : HeART Studio

Prize : 3 sets of HeART Studio September Holiday Young Masters (for 7 years old & above) Workshop Passes value at SGD75 each

x1 Canvas Painting - Adventure time (Canvas Size 40cm by 50cm)
Date : 9th September 2014
Time 4.30 to 7pm

x2 Canvas Painting - Pop Art Flower (Canvas Size 40cm by 50cm)
Date: 12th September 2014
Time : 10am to12.30pm

Contest Ends : 21 August 2014 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore Only
How to Enter : Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
Terms and Conditions : To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated;
- Winners will be picked randomly by Rafflecopter widget.
- The winner will be contacted by HeART Studio directly via email for collection of prize. The DinoFamily's responsibility will end once we pass the winners' details are to HeART Studio.
- Only one winner per household.
- The child MUST BE be at least 7 years and above, based on the month and year of birth.
- No repeat winners are allowed.
- Winners will have 3 days to respond by replying to the notification email or by phone call to HeART Studio at +65 6554 7563 (Quote DinoMama giveaway), otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- No changing of date or time is allowed.  This is because there are limited slots for these popular workshops and HeART Studio has to set aside specific slots for the giveaway.
- We regret that existing HeART Studio customers are not allowed to take part of this giveaway.  We have to give other kids a chance to experience the wonderful art learning from those excellent teachers right?

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HeART Studio Singapore
1 Charlton lane #01-04
Singapore Singapore 539631
Phone : 6554 7563
Email : info@heartstudiosg.com
Website : http://www.heartstudiosg.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heart-Studio-Singapore

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Year published: April 17, 2013
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Number of pages: 120
Recommended age: 9+
Summary: Three Friends. Three Quests. Three Mysterious Predictions.

At Pembroke Castle in medieval Wales,11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan, brought together in friendship by the one they call The Wild Man, embark upon a quest to save The Wild Man's life when he is accused of murder and robbery. If they have any hope of succeeding, the three will have to confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. But it is the arrival of King Arthur and what he reveals that surprises characters and readers.

Awards
  • 2013 EVVY Finalist and EVVY Merit Award for Juvenile/Young Adult from Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.
  • 2013 Ariana Cover Finalist
  • 2012 Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction from Children's Literary Classics and the CLC's 2012 Seal of Approval.
  • 2012 Finalist E-Book Children from USA 2012 Best Book Awards

Purchase


Free Educational Supplement

Visit the Wise Owl Factory for a FREE study guide. Click on the image below.


The Buzz About the Book

"Young Knights of the Round Table is a short, fast-paced adventure set in Arthurian times which features great character development, an intriguing and engaging plot, and a surprise ending (in more ways than one!). I would highly recommend this book to tween and teen boys and girls who love mysteries or stories set in the time of King Arthur." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"I so enjoyed the factual information about weapons, clothing, daily life, and places, cleverly interspersed in the text and dialogue to inform without overwhelming young readers. The author has a gift for delving into the depths of each young hero’s psyche. The way each one of the trio faces their fears, learns to believe in themselves, and finds their true meaning and path in life is moving. This is a superb coming-of-age story, set in a time of chivalry and pageantry, and harking back to an age when a hero was truly a hero. Five stars! " ~ Fiona Ingram, Author

"There is much to rave about this book, and I don’t want to give anything away because it’s a quick paced, thrilling, new classic about the knights. Witches, white stags, and a Wild Man make the plot exciting, along with cheering along the young knights. There are quite a few surprises at the end that really make the book a great read. We highly recommend this book for any young reader; sure, boys might convinced by the action and title, but I’m positive all young readers will enjoy the mystery and chivalry of Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom! " ~ Tales of a Bookworm

"I absolutely loved this book... [T]his book has just enough Arthurian legend to tie it to and draw from that period of history while being jam-packed with fantastic new characters and fresh plot twists. I am rarely surprised by things in books, but this book really surprised me with a few events I totally did not see coming! I highly recommend this book for young readers! It would be an excellent tie-in to a unit study about King Arthur." ~ Mommynificent

"This is a fast-paced story that children and adults will both enjoy! It's well-written and exciting as we read about the fears each boy faces and how they are able to triumph. It's a great story about loyalty, friendship and overcoming obstacles. Because of the length, it doesn't drag or slow down at all, so it's fun to read and hard to put down. And the ending is full of surprises! I highly recommend reading this book! " ~ Mel's Shelves

About the Author: Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello, Author 

I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more and to reach reluctant readers with my Arthurian Tales and soon a series of stories from ancient lands and legends that will take readers on adventurous quests throughout history.


* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *


Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: September 9, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Cheryl Carpinello and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Skies Like These - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Skies Like These 
Author: Tess Hilmo 
Publication Date: July 15, 2014 
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), sold by MacMillan 
Pages: 240 
Recommended Age: 7 to 12
Summary: Twelve-year-old Jade’s perfect summers have always been spent reading and watching TV reruns, so she’s not happy when her parents send her off to Wyoming to her aunt’s house. She meets a boy who calls himself Roy Parker—just like the real name of the legendary rebel cowboy Butch Cassidy. Roy’s dad’s hardware store has closed because a chain store has opened up in town, and Roy thinks it is just like the big cattle barons in Butch’s day who put the local ranchers out of business. He wants Jade to be his Sundance Kid and help him pull some stunts worthy of Butch Cassidy. Sabotage the big store? Outsmart the store’s owner by doing reconnaissance on his ranch? Jade wants to be a good friend, but she’s not so sure about Roy’s schemes.

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The Buzz About the Book

"A robust cast of well-developed characters and a delightful, swiftly moving plot will leave readers wishing for Jade to extend her stay in Wyoming." ~ School Library Journal, Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WI

"Drawing on rich Western lore and creating characters as gritty as the earth itself, Hilmo paints a picture of a town where everyone is connected . . . A heartening, comforting story with enough tension to keep readers hooked." - Kirkus Reviews

"A robust cast of well-developed characters and a delightful, swiftly moving plot will leave readers wishing for Jade to extend her stay in Wyoming." ~ School Library Journal

"Writing with humor and heart, Hilmo gently reminds readers of the benefits of being shaken out of one's routine, especially the sense of perspective gained by traveling to new places and trying new things." ~ Publishers Weekly

"A fantastic story for the 7-12 age range it is full of lighthearted humor and goings on. The characters are fully developed and loads of fun, the dialogue is engaging and the scenery is captivating. Jade a spunky city girl and Roy a down to earth cowboy create an incredible chemistry that draws you deep into their adventures. Full of suspense, good nature, childhood problems, loyalty and friendship this is one you definitely want your children to read (and is fun for the adults too). I highly recommend it!" ~ 5-Star review, Ally M., Amazon

"Mystery, intrigue, friendship and the true essence of childhood all form the backbone of this astounding book that will surly become a classic. I felt Author Tess Hilmo’s character descriptions are perfect with a deep POV that had me walking alongside both Jade and Roy on there fun filed adventure. As mentioned this is perfect for a summer reading list and highly recommend to all. 5 Stars!!!" ~ 5-Star review, Michael B., Amazon

About The Author


Tess lives with her husband and three children in Highland, Utah. Her first book, With a Name Like Love, received three starred reviews and was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ABC New Voices title. Skies Like These is her second novel.


* Book Blast Giveaway *


Prize: $75 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: September 3, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Tess Hilmo and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book

Title: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab 
Author: Fiona Ingram 
Publication Date: December 30, 2008 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Pages: 272 
Recommended Age: 10+
Summary: A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They survive terrifying dangers in a hostile environment (such as a giant cobra, as well as sinking sand), pursued by enemies in their quest to solve the secret of the sacred scarab. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out. They must also learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another!

Awards
  • Finalist Children's Fiction USA Next Generation 2009 Indie Book Awards
  • Finalist Juvenile Fiction USA National Best Books 2009 Awards
  • Winner Pre-Teen USA 2009 Readers' Favorites Awards
  • Number 2 in the USA Children's & Teens Book Connection Top Ten Favourite Books of 2009 for Kids, Tweens & Teens
  • Winner Silver Medal Teen Fiction 2010 Nautilus Book Awards
  • Finalist Children's Fiction 2010 International Book Awards
  • Winner Bronze Medal Pre-Teen Fiction 2010 Moonbeam Book Awards
  • Finalist 2011 Rubery Book Awards
  • Winner Gold Award Mystery Pre-Teen 2011 Children's Literary Classics Awards
  • 2nd Place in the 2011 YA Sharpwrit Book Awards
  • Winner Gold medal 2013 Wise Bear Book Awards

Book Trailer



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Coming Soon!!
(September 2014)


Buzz About Book 1

"Wow! That was an action-packed story! I loved how Ms. Ingram just dove right into the story. From the time that Adam is given the scarab to the time that Adam and Justin return home, there is non-stop action. Through Ms. Ingram’s fantastic writing skills, I was able to visualize all of the events as they were occurring. I can totally see the story in this book transformed into a screenplay for the big screen. I think it’s a fabulous story filled with mystery, intrigue, and action." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"Author Fiona Ingram mixes history and legends in this fast action adventure that keeps you reading till the very end. The characters are cleverly written. Young readers can easily step into the shoes of these two cousins and experienced this exciting adventure that takes you into the heart of Egypt. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery..." ~ 5-Star review from Coffee Ramblings "Billy", Amazon (US)

"If you enjoyed reading Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Enid Blyton's The Famous Five, I am sure you will look forward to reading this book. It will keep you spellbound to the end. The mysteries of the Sacred Scarab and the Scarab King unfold gradually. The story is even livelier because of its references to ancient history, legends and archaeology..." ~ 5-Star review from Book Review, Amazon (US)

"This story ROCKED! It was exciting, action-filled, adventurous and history filled book! It pretty much had everything me (as a boy) would want in a book - danger, mystery, legends, exciting setting, myths and much more. The story was written really well and it kept me reading page after page. I really liked the simple pencil illustrations in the book. I liked the characters of Justin and Adam. They were both nice, smart and brave. The book has no bad language or graphic violence in it..." ~ Erik @ This Kid Reviews Books

"...[T]his is a fun read that reminded me more of the Hardy Boys than anything else. Characters using their minds to solve the problems in the modern world. The writing is tight and fun. It doesn't linger on the unnecessary, rather, it constantly moves forward, always capturing your attention and finding reasons to read on and neglect whatever is burning on the stove. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a fun mystery in what projects to be the first in a well-crafted and original series."~ 5-Star review from J. Lurie, Amazon (US)

About The Author

Fiona Ingram (B.A., Hons. (Natal), M.A., (Wits)) was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel has resulted in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—Chronicles of the Stone. Fiona has recently completed the second book entitled The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, a treat for young King Arthur fans. She is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.



* Book Blast Giveaway *


Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: September 2, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Fiona Ingram and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

WhipEye (WhipEye Chronicles Book #1) - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book

Title: WhipEye (WhipEye Chronicles Book #1)
Author: Geoffrey Saign
Year published: June 20, 2014
Publisher: KiraKu Press
Number of pages: 280
Recommended age: 9+
Summary: Samantha and her neighbor, Jake, have no idea that Samantha's best friend, a parrot named Charlie, is a thousand years old. Charlie is also at the center of a secret battle between magical creatures and an ancient, evil man. When Charlie asks Samantha and Jake to protect him, they are chased by monsters from both sides. To save Charlie, and two worlds, Samantha and Jake have twenty-four hours to figure out how to use the supernatural staff, WhipEye, and find the courage to confront what they fear most.

Book Preview



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The Buzz About the Book

"As an avid reader of all kinds of books, I often find many fantasy books sloppily written, as though the genre is the dumping ground of less talented writers. So imagine my delight and surprise when right at the get-go--from the first page onwards--`WhipEye' demolished my prejudice and reminded me that every once in a while, you find that shiny needle in the proverbial haystack." ~ 5 Star Review, Meghan, Amazon

"Attention to detail,best of all fleshed out and well-written and well-rounded character development. There's an abundance of well illustrated scenes that actually make you feel like you are right there in the story -or at least wish you were - and that's something I really look for in a good book. " ~ 5 Star Review, Tali, Amazon

"`Whipeye' by Geoffrey Saign is a wonderfully written fantasy story that combines elements of fantasy and magic. The author has created a fantastical world that is vividly imagined with magical creatures and strange but colorful characters...What really makes this story engaging are the likeable characters that you can't help but root for. The story may be about an adventure that involves magic and supernatural elements, but it's also about friendship and discovering one's strength when it's needed the most. " ~ 5 Star Review, Portia A., Amazon

"Whipeye is a thrilling magical adventure with surprises at every turn, a story that deserves to be read." ~ Laurisa White Reyes, Editor-in-Chief of Middle Shelf Magazine and author of The Celestine Chronicles series

"Simply put…it’s a creative story that draws you in from the beginning. The twists and turns, the interesting characters and surprises keep you wanting to turn the next page. This walk into a fantasy serves as a nice mini-vacation without having to go anywhere or plan anything. I look forward to the next book. Well done. " ~ 5 Star Review, Michael S., Amazon

About the Author

Geoffrey Saign can often be found looking for interesting critters, and magic, while swimming, snorkeling, sailing, or hiking in the woods. His passion for nature and wildlife led to his nationally endorsed book, Green Essentials: What You Need to Know About the Environment, as well as his books African Cats and Great Apes. He has a background in biology, assisted in field research with hummingbirds and humpback whales, and sailed as far away as Australia. With more than twenty years of experience working in special education, he has taught adults and children everything from sailing to novel writing. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *


Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: September 6, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Geoffrey Saign and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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