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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving My Friends

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Book Review: Tell me A Story

Disclosure: Grandma Bonnie's Closet has not been compensated for the following book review. I received a copy of the mentioned book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Title: "Tell Me A Story"
Written By: Grace Sandford

250 Great Books For Kids
Softcover, 329 pages
I am so thrilled to be reviewing this book. I am looking forward to using this book for many years to come. I am sure you are wondering why I am so excited about this simple book. So let me get right down to it. "Tell Me A Story" is a book guide that will save me many hours picking and choosing books for my grandchildren. I have written time and time about the books I have gotten for my grandchildren. I always express the importance for developing a love of reading in children. Well, the author Grace Sandford has the same belief as I do when it comes to children and reading. What Grace Sanford has done is researched lots of children and teen books. She has collected all this great information and put it together in this handy book. 
The book is divided into five sections. Babies to age 2, 3 to 5-year-olds,  6 to 8-year-olds, 9 to 11-year-olds and 12 into teens. In each section are 50 titles listed. These book are then listed into categories and then alphabetically. 
I can't even begin to count the hours I have spent online and in book stores searching for the perfect book for each of my grandchildren. I believe a child has to love being read to if they are going to learn to enjoy reading. If a book fits the child's interest half the battle is won. That is what "Tell Me A Story" is all about. Finding the right book for the right child.

When my oldest son was growing he would sit with me for hours and let me read him stories over and over. As he grew older his love for reading turned into a battle. He wanted to read but I struggled to find books that could hook his interest and keep it long enough to improve his reading skills. Then I came across some Goosebumps books. They were just a bit above his reading level but I figured they might be just what he needed. I was right he was addicted and we spent a small fortune on his collection. It was money well spent as he became an advanced reader in a few weeks. 
Knowing how important good reading skills are to finishing school, getting a great job and living a good life. I am all for using every trick up my sleeve in helping encourage my grandchildren to love reading. 
So stop over to Amazon and pick up "Tell Me A Story". Make your children's book selection in the comfort of your home. You will have more time to read to your child and spend less time shopping for all those great book.

UncommonGoods Iconic Camera Bag And Much More!

Disclosure: Grandma Bonnie's Closet has not been compensated for the following product review. I received samples of the products mentioned below for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

I was tickled pink when I heard I would be reviewing products from UncommonGoods. I love shopping gifts online and UncommonGoods is the place to find fine quality, handcrafted products my family will be sure to enjoy. Most of their products are made here in the U.S.A. With that being the case I can enjoy shopping and knowing I am supporting artist and designers in our own country. 
I selected three products to review and share with you today. First is the Iconic Camera Bag by Tommy Kronquist which you can find on this page: http://www.uncommongoods.com/sets/messenger-bags

Hand-flocked in Minnesota and made of 100% cotton. This army green messenger bag will be perfect for caring my camera, tablet and electronic cords. The main compartment is nice and roomy. Its strap and buckle closure makes its contents very secure. The two small front pockets have Velcro closures. They are perfect for sunglasses, tissues or other small items. 

Next is this great Cake Pops Book.
I tried this book out personally. It has complete instructions on making cake pops and cake balls. You do not even need a cake pop maker or cake pop pan. 
What do you think of the little owl I made? 
The step by step instructions are easy to follow. There are recipes for many different kinds of cake and cake pops. The book is priced at $20 making it an affordable gift for the baker in your life. You can also find other gifts for under $50 on this page:  http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-price/gifts-under-50.

Last, but most important. A Wildlife Bingo Game for the grandchildren.
This Bingo game is very educational. The grandchildren love animals and are going to have lots of fun playing this animal style bingo game. There are 42 wildlife animal cards that can double as educational flash cards filled with fascinating facts about bears, turkeys, porcupines and more. Recommended age: 3-11+, accommodates 2-6 players and is made in the U.S.A. 
If you are still looking for something with a bit more price. Check out the gifts under $100 on this page: http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-price/gifts-under-100

Readers what do you think? Have I found some good gifts? Have you completed your holiday shopping?

Ozeri Instavac Food Storage Set

Disclosure: Grandma Bonnie's Closet has not been compensated for the following product review. I received a sample of the product mentioned below review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

I bet you have heard of Ozeri before. They have so many wonderful products on the market today ranging from scales, ceramic earth pans, vacuum food storage sets and much more. When I first learned I would be reviewing the Ozeri Instavac Food Storage Set I was pleased. I knew this would be a high quality product that I could really enjoy.

This eight piece food storage set is BPA free, stain resistant, shatter-proof and transparent. I am already liking its strength and durability. My family is hard on our food storage containers. So, I expect a container to stand up to punishment and last a long time.
The Ozeri Food Storage set is microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe which is a big plus in my book. I like to store left overs in our freezer and with Ozeri's Instavac Food Storage containers I do not have to worry about the freshness of our stored foods.
The containers have a special press on lid  with valve that removes excess air and seals the food in to keep it fresh.

The bottoms of the containers have a wave pattern to elevate fruits and vegetables off the bottom to keep them dry from juices.  There is also a date dial to help keep track of the date an item was stored. There is also a release valve that can prevent spills and spatters in the microwave.
Check out this video of the sealing feature on the Ozeri Instavac Food Storage Set. Note the sound it makes when sealing and unsealing. The clip is less than 30 seconds thank you for watching. 
Purchase on Amazon

What do you think about this product? Would it be useful in your kitchen?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: Grandma Loves You!

Disclosure: Grandma Bonnie's Closet has not been compensated for the following book review. I received a copy of the mentioned book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Title: Grandma Loves You!
Written By: Helen Foster James
Illustrated By: Petra Brown
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Suggested Interest Level: Age 0-4
Hardcover, 32 pages

I am always on the look out for a new book to read to my grandchildren. We have been reading via Skype ever since my granddaughters moved away. I also read to two of my grandsons via Skype on the weekends. I do have one grandson that lives near enough that I am able to read to him in person at least two or three times a week. So, when Sleeping Bear Press offered the book "Grandma Loves You" to me for a review I could not say No! 

I love, love, just absolutely love this book. My grandchildren have asked me to read it multiple times over the last two weeks. The story gives me a warm fuzzy feeling right down to my toes! I am not kidding it made my heart flutter with happiness when my grandchildren were able to delight with the lovey rhyming of grandma bunny's words. 
My favorite passage is, "So here is my promise I want you to know: I'll love you forever wherever you go."
It hits a spot for those grandparents with grandchildren miles apart. 
My grandchildren had to question me on what "my baby's baby" meant. After my explanation they have to giggle every time I read this page. 

If you are a grandmother you really do need to read this book to your grandchildren. If you are a parent this would make a great gift for your child's grandmother. 
The final pages in this book have a special place for a letter from Grandma to grandchild and a place to put a photo for grandmother and grandchild. 
Our friend and her daughter enjoying "Grandma Loves You!"
This book is recommended as a holiday gift in my "Holiday Gift Guide".
Like Sleeping Bear Press on Facebook.
What do you think of this book? How often do you read to your Child/grandchild?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Embracing The Season – Winter Walks

The following post was written in collaboration with and brought to you by Pavers.co.uk.

As temperatures begin to plummet and snow starts to fall, we seek shelter and warmth at home. This usually results in a lot of drawn-out evenings where the grandchildren are bored and you’re restless.
To combat this and make the most of the season, get wrapped up in your thickest coat and venture into the great outdoors! Here are just a few ways you can embrace the season:

Snowball fights

As soon as there’s an adequate level of snow on the ground, the kids will be itching to go outside. Before you go, make sure you’re all suitably wrapped up with coats, hats, ear-muffs and gloves. Speaking of which, if you’re going engage in a friendly snowball fight with your grand-kids, you should pick up a pair of gloves that won’t leave your hands wet and numb. A pair of leather gloves like these from Pavers, are perfect.


If you know any good hills that are near your home, you should definitely relive your youth by going sledding! There are a variety of sleds available from most toy retailers; choose one that’s sturdy and easy for the kids to fit into. If you can fit into it yourself, that’s an added bonus! Amazon has some excellent sleds you can order in time for the coming snowfall. 
Whizzing down the hill is a hoot, and the trek back up again is an excellent workout for you and the kids. Just remember that some children have seemingly infinite amounts of energy, so schedule regular breaks for less strenuous activities if you start feeling tired.

Snow sculpting

Sledding brings us nicely onto out next activity. Snowmen, snow igloos and snow angles are all excellent laid back winter games. Help the kids create a snowman that will stand tall throughout the season; just make sure you pack the trademark carrot, scarf and hat to complete the look. Building an igloo is a little more involved, but the extra effort goes a long way in creating a magical outdoor experience. This guide on instructables can be followed over the course of a few days until you create a structure even Pingu would be proud to call home!

Treasure hunt

Nothing says fun quite like a treasure hunt! Buy a couple of small Christmas treats and bury them in the garden the night before the kids arrive. Write out some easy to follow clues and give them to the kids, so that they can track down your hidden treasure. Arm them with a small shovel or trowel and they’re ready to start playing Indian Jones!

Health and Safety

In order to have the best time possible, it’s important that you take these necessary precautions. Dress for the weather. Layering your clothing will allow you to remove a layer if you become overheated. Take a watch with you and keep track of how long you’re outdoors. If they start to complain about numbness or aching pains, take them indoors immediately to warm up by the fire. You’ll also want to make sure the kids, and yourself, stay properly hydrated during the time outside. It may seem like madness to take water out with you on a freezing day, but it’s very easy to become dehydrated when you’re running around during the more physically asserting games. Stay safe and have fun out there!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Not Just An Ordinary Cell Phone

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Boomer Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Being a Verizon Boomer Blogger has put me in the know when it comes to getting connected. I have learned so much about the best ways to stay connected with the newest and most advanced  technology available from Verizon Wireless. 
Verizon has given me another new phone to try out. I will be sharing my thought about this phone in the coming days. I am unveiling this great phone today on my blog. I hope you take a minute to watch the unveiling of the product. The clip runs less than a minute. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is an amazing phone with so many features I can't possibly cover all these wonderful features in one post. 
My first impressions were of the large 5.7" screen. I love the size it will be great for skyping the grandchildren, watching movies, note taking and reading eBooks.
One of my first thought were about the camera. The 13MP camera is perfect for a grandparent, blogger or anyone who likes to use the camera on their phone. The camera features an eraser to remove photo distractions. The eraser will come in handy when a stranger shows up unexpectedly in the background of my pictures. The camera also features a drama shot that will capture every photo frame of my granddaughters while dancing in their recital.   
This phone is sleek, stylish, light weight and the textured-touch back looks like leather. 
I placed my three phones together to compare the size. 

                     Galaxy S3     Samsung Galaxy Note 3    Droid Raxr Maxx HD
I feel the size of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is perfect for me. It is just a little larger than the GS3. The large screen is great for my e-reader. It is lighter than the Droid Razr Maxx HD. This will make it comfortable to hold with my arthritic fingers. 
What do you think of the screen size? What is your favorite cell phone feature? 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Toys And Games For Christmas

Disclosure: Grandma Bonnie's Closet has not been compensated for the following product review. I received product samples for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. 
You will find the following Product in my Holiday Gift Guide.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you already know that I have been scouring the internet for interesting toys to review for Christmas. Well, while I was surfing one afternoon I came across www.spinmaster.com website. Immediately I found several toys and games I thought my grandchildren would like to have for Christmas. Of course I contacted Spin Master and asked to review a product. Well, not only did they agree to a product review they asked me to review the following four products.
This is a very interesting toy for Children ages 8+ to adults. Created using auto-hover technology the levitating sphere hovers over any surface. No remote control needed. The spherical shape allows the Atmosphere to bounce off walls and ceilings for a continuous flight. The Atmosphere hovers above objects and can be controlled with the palm of a hand. 
The Air Hogs Atmosphere comes with a charging cradle and needs 6 AA batteries to run. 
Can you tell this is going to be a hot item for Christmas?

Boom Boom Balloon
The Boom Boom Balloon is a fantastic game. I had so much fun playing this game with my grandchildren. I loved seeing my grandchildren cringing with anticipation as they were waiting for the balloon to pop. The game is played by rolling a die and pushing and clicking the stick as many times as the number you rolled. The idea of the game is to prevent the balloon to pop. I must warn you, even though you will know at some time the balloon is going to pop it still can scare you when it pops. Boom boom Balloon is a game for two players or more. good for players age 8+ and does not require batteries.

Logo Party Game
We have a Christmas tradition in our home. Every year on Christmas day we play games that are great for the whole family to join in. The Logo Party Game is going to be at the top of our game list this year. There are four exciting ways to play the game: Draw it, Describe it, Do it and Reveal it. The object is to get your teammates to guess the brands based on the clue type. The first team to reach the Logo Party Space and successfully answer a "Reveal It" Card to win! Play the game in teams of two for players age 8+.

Another game we will be adding to our Christmas Game day is the Hedbanz Act Up. This is a fast-acting family game where everyone gets to act out the clues on each others headband. Guess what's on your head before time runs out. There is only one catch there is no talking allowed. This is a Family fun game for two to six players ages 8+.
Do you have a holiday tradition that you follow every year? Are games a part of your family fun?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Transforming Solar Robot

Disclosure: Grandma Bonnie's Closet has not been compensated for the following product review. I received a product sample for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. 
You will find the following Product in my Holiday Gift Guide.

A few weeks ago I ran across the stevespanglerscience.com website while I was looking for Christmas gifts.I was immediately impressed with  all their educational science projects. I always enjoyed science as a child. We have made it a priority in our family to expose our grandchildren to fun science projects. The idea is to make science fun so that our grandchildren view science as a fun subject to study. 
I am very excited to be reviewing the Transforming Solar Robot Kit. I know this Transforming Solar Robot is going to be a hit this year for Christmas.
My grandson collects anything related to Transforms. So when I I was asked to review this three in one solar transforming robot I knew this was the model I wanted to put together with my grandson. 
The robot transforms in to three separate modes, humanoid robot, tank robot and scorpion robot. The robot runs on solar power so there is no need for batteries. 
Putting this robot together was quite fun to do with a little help from my grandson. The instructions manual was easy to read which is a plus for myself and grandson as we are beginners when it comes to building models. 
The parts were labeled well so there was no confusion or frustrations in completing this project. 
Following the manual step by step we completed the project in about two hours with a few breaks. The robot is easy to transform into the three different forms of which my grandson prefers the humanoid robot form the best. 
It was so exciting to see my grandson learning about eco-responsibility and renewable energy. Putting the parts together was also a great work out with his fine motor skills. 

Our Transforming Robot

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Christmas Cup Cake Wreath Made Easy With Signature Brand Products

Disclosure: Grandma Bonnie's Closet has not been compensated for the following product review. I received product samples for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. You can find the following Signature Brand Products on my Holiday Gift Guide. 

We are always busy during the holiday season. With all the rush it is often hard for me to find the time to make an extra special Christmas cake. I love decorating cakes for any occasion. When I am in a rush cupcakes are simply a better choice for most occasions.
With the holiday season sneaking up on us so quickly I thought I would share with you an easy but fun Christmas Cup Cake Wreath.

Supplies needed:
 Betty Crocker No Fade Baking Cups

The No Fade baking cups are high quality, foil lined, standard size, paper cupcake liners. They not only look great on my cupcakes they did not fade or leak. I just love how pretty they make my cupcakes look. 

Christmas Wreaths Candy Cake Decorations
I found the candy Cake Decorations easy to remove from the packaging. There were 16 pieces in the package. I love the bright colors of each piece. They would be perfect on cupcakes, cakes, brownies and even cookies. 
The Christmas Decor four pack is perfect for all your Christmas decorating needs. The package includes green sugar, red sugar, Holly Berry Decors and Jingle Mix Nonpareils. Not only are they pretty on cakes, cupcakes, and cookies they are perfect to use for decorating ice cream for your grandchild. 

Lastly, Butter Cream Icing and cake batter. (scratch or box mix your choice)
Red and green food coloring to color your icing.

Fill your baking cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake according to the instructions on your recipe or box mix. 
I baked 24 vanilla cupcakes. I used 18 cupcakes for the wreath. You can use all 24 to make a  larger wreath. 

I iced the cupcakes with a star piping tip.

Decorate your cupcakes with the candy cake decorations and the colored candy sprinkles. 
Pipe a ribbon at the top of your cupcake wreath and you are finished. 
If you are not in the mood to make a wreath you can also make a few Christmas tree, snowflake or Santa cupcakes.

I hope this will pass along some holiday inspiration. What is your go to dessert for the Holidays?