Friday, June 21, 2019

Review & Giveaway! 20 Recipes Kids Should Know!

I have such a fun book to tell you about today. 20 Recipes Kids Should Know by Esme Washburn and Calista Washburn is available now and is packed full of recipes FOR kids BY kids.  Her is the scoop...

 The perfect book for children, this fun and engaging cookbook is written and photographed by a pair of young sisters for budding chefs.

Whether they're helping stir cake batter or producing their own YouTube cooking channel, kids of all ages are getting increasingly busy in the kitchen. This cookbook features twenty classic recipes that are fun, healthy, adaptable, and easy to prepare. From banana bread and the perfect grilled cheese to breaded chicken and apple pie, each recipe is written in a clear, accessible style that young cooks of every level will be able to follow. The author is a young chef whose love of cooking developed from her own family's food traditions like baking popovers with her grandmother and Sunday-night pizza making. By teaching kids basic recipes that can be adapted in endless ways, this book is the perfect launching pad to finding their way around the kitchen--or launching their own cooking careers.

About the author and photographer: ESME and CALISTA WASHBURN are sisters living in New York City. Esme, who is in middle school, is an amateur chef and cooking enthusiast. She has learned everything she knows from her grandmother. Calista, a recent high school graduate and budding photographer, loves helping out in the kitchen and eating the delicious food that Esme cooks.

Our Thoughts:  My 9-year-old daughter loves to help out in the kitchen.  The minute this book arrived she devoured it. I really loved that the book was created by sisters.  I think this really brings a connection to young readers.  The book is full of great photos with the recipes that really appeal to all ages.  The book is divided into categories with a few standards in each.  The girls really have you covered from breakfast to dessert with everything in between!  A family favorite so far has been the Super Strawberry Shortcake.  Here is my daughter prepping for the Fresh Pasta with Tomato Sauce....
This book was easy to follow (even making homemade pastsa!!!), colorful and instructional without being dry.  This one is new "go-to" in our kitchen and has lots of ideas for keeping the kids engaged and fed this summer!  I also think this would make a really fun birthday gift along with an apron, or kitchen tools.

Buy It!

Win It!

The publisher is giving one lucky RBM reader a fun prize pack!  The prize pack includes the book, a porcelain rainbow bowl from HAY like the ones the girls use in the book, and a set of 6 stackable rainbow measuring cups.  To enter use the Rafflecopter form below!  Thanks to the sponsor and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Won't You be our Neighbor?....Giveaway!

A real favorite of my kiddos when they were smaller was Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  This sweet show is full of positive messages delivered by endearing characters with catchy songs and fun storylines.  You really can't go wrong with this show.  Earlier this  month PBS released the latest DVD from the series:  Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood:  Won't You be our Neighbor".  Here is the scoop...

PBS Distribution just announced the DVD release of “DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD: WON’T YOU BE OUR NEIGHBOR?,” which includes episodes about a new neighbor and friend for Daniel. In the first episode,Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?, Daniel is excited to meet the family moving into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe! Daniel lends a hand by making his new neighbor and playmate, Jodi Platypus, feel right at home. In Jodi’s First Day at School, Teacher Harriet lets Jodi find someone she knows in class and hopes it will make her less nervous on her first day. Jodi finds Daniel and he becomes “First Day Friend” to help his new friend adjust. Other episodes included on the DVD are: 0Daniel Plays at Jodi’s House, A New Friend at School, and A New Friend at the Playground. 
 “DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD: WON’T YOU BE OUR NEIGHBOR?” has a runtime of approximately 102 minutes. The DVD will be available beginning May 14, 2019.   
Other titles available from PBS Distribution include: “DANIEL GOES TO SCHOOL,” “KING DANIEL FOR THE DAY” and “YOU ARE SPECIAL, DANIEL TIGER!”
 Episodes featured on this DVD will also be streaming on PBS KIDS Prime Channel.

About Fred Rogers Productions
Fred Rogers Productions was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for PBS. In the years that followed, it not only created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program, but also extended Fred’s values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional, and behavioral health while supporting parents, caregivers, teachers, and other professionals in their work with children. Fred Rogers Productions continues to build on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media and engages new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. The company’s highly-rated, award-winning children’s series include Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat, Odd Squad, and Through the Woods. For more information, visit or follow us on TwitterFacebookand Instagram.  
You can buy this DVD today on Amazon...

Win It!  PBS is giving one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader a copy of this sweet DVD! Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Forgotten Hours....Review & Giveaway!

If you are like me, summer months mean some extra time for reading.  I love sitting on my porch with a good book or tucking one into my beach bag.  Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes and I think a good book is one of life's most wonderful escapes.

I just finished a great book by Katrin Schumann that would make a perfect summer escape book.  The Forgotten Hours is a twisty tale set, in part, by the lake making it an excellent beach bag addition.  Here is the scoop...

In this evocative debut novel, Katrin Schumann weaves a riveting story of past and present—and how love can lead us astray.

At twenty-four, Katie Gregory feels like life is looking up: she’s snagged a great job in New York City and is falling for a captivating artist—and memories of her traumatic past are finally fading. Katie’s life fell apart almost a decade earlier, during an idyllic summer at her family’s cabin on Eagle Lake when her best friend accused her father of sexual assault. Throughout his trial and imprisonment, Katie insisted on his innocence, dodging reporters and clinging to memories of the man she adores.

Now he’s getting out. Yet when Katie returns to the shuttered lakeside cabin, details of that fateful night resurface: the chill of the lake, the heat of first love, the terrible sting of jealousy. And as old memories collide with new realities, they call into question everything she thinks she knows about family, friends, and, ultimately, herself. Now, Katie’s choices will be put to the test with life-altering consequences.

My Thoughts:  I couldn't put this book down.  I love a good mystery with lots of twists and turns and this book really delivered upon that.  The book, told from Katie's perspective alternated between her current life in New York City and past summers spent on the lake.  Katie, as an adult, is damaged from the ordeal that occurred during the summer 10 years prior.  She has been a dutiful daughter, speaking to her father weekly and visiting him regularly even though many others in his life have abandoned him.  She is definitely taken the side of her father in this situation.  The flashbacks in the book serve to fill holes in Katie's memory about that night and her actions and those of the ones around her.  

The prospect of her father's release from prison has her scrambling to not only to get the lakeside cabin ready for his return but also to come to terms about what really happened that night.  The book follows the friendship of Lulu and Katie and how it grew and then shattered as well as the deep bond between father and daughter.  

Katrin Schumann has created a book that kept me guessing throughout.  The characters she brought to life amongst the pages are complicated in a way that had you questioning wether you could trust them or not.  I thorougly enjoyed being kept rethinking my theories as the story progressed.  The Forgotten Hours would make an excellent summer read and a great choice for book clubs!  You can pick up this book at your local library or buy it from Amazon.....

GIVEAWAY ALERT:  Lake Union Publishing is giving one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader a copy of The Forgotten Hours! Please use the Rafllecopter link to enter.  Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 20, 2019

What a Year...

I started this blog, Reviewed by Mom back in 2010.  In the beginning, it was a fun hobby for me.  I was a mom of three young children who missed some of the structure of a 9-5 work life.  Blogging became a way for me to feel a little more connected to the outside world.  Over the years, I was able to work with some really amazing companies and host some fun giveaways.  I really enjoyed those opportunities and loved writing about the newest products out there.

On top of having some fun products to try out and a forum to share my thoughts, I really enjoyed getting to know my readers.  Some of you have been with me since the beginning!  I have truly appreciated the support over the years.  You have all kept me in the blogging business for almost 10 years!

You may have noticed some real silence from me over the past year.  When I just hopped on to write this post, I couldn't believe how long it had been and it made me feel sad.  I really love Reviewed by Mom and it has brought me many smiles over the years (the horrors of Moon Sand, charity work with Zhu-Zhu Pets and the countless page turners I have had the pleasure of reading in the name of RBM to name just a few).

2018 was not my favorite year.  Sure, there were some really great moments but there was some really tough stuff too.  First off, in the late spring, I become really sick with some significant stomach issues.  I lost more than 20 pounds, had no energy and really became a  shadow of who I was.  During that time, my mom who lived here with us in an inlaw apartment and who I cared for, was hospitalized and sent to rehab.  As a result of mobility issues and increasing health issues, she had to move to an assisted living facility in August.  In the fall, I was in the ER twice with dehydration and a third time for kidney stones as a result of being dehydrated.  Cue the violins, my was a real pity party of here for awhile!

At the end of the fall, I began to feel better after some new medication and a great doctor.  Unfortunately, as I began to get better, things for my mom became worse.  She had a stroke right after Thanksgiving.  The doctors did not think she would survive but she did.  And because of her strength and will to live, we got two extra months with her before she passed away in February.

It has been really hard.  I am an only child and my father passed away in 2006.  It has been a very emotional time for me and my family.  I miss her terribly but also feel grateful that the kids had so much day to day time with their Grammy.  How lucky we were to have her live here with us!

This past year, with all of the challenges, left me little time or energy to do the things I love.  I abandoned the blog.  I gave up running and I even began reading less.  Now that I have had some healing time behind me, I am ready to jump back into life.  I just finished a great book that I can't wait to share with you all, I ran a 10 miler a few weeks back and I am doing my first post for Reviewed by Mom in almost a year.  Things are looking up and getting a bit more "normal". 

Thank you to all my readers for sticking with me for all of these years.  I am glad to have you here and am looking forward to connecting with you again. It is good to be back!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Stars on Ice coming to Portland!!!!

I am so weekend Stars on Ice is coming to my City!  Portlanders are you ready?  If you haven't heard all the buzz about the show (where have you been?!) here is the scoop...


National Tour to be Highlighted by Performances from U.S. Olympic Figure Skating
Bronze Medal Team Members, including Nathan Chen, as well as
Ice Dance Bronze Medalists Maia & Alex Shibutani


(Portland, ME) – Every four years, the Winter Olympics give us a chance to revel in the performances of our favorite athletes, as well as celebrate any medals they might have won. The U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team delivered against tough opposition winning a Bronze medal in the team competition, while Maia & Alex Shibutani, the brother-sister two-time National Ice Dance Champions and three-time World medalists also took home an Ice Dance Olympic Bronze. Despite narrowly missing out on the podium, two-time National Champion Nathan Chen delivered one of the Olympics greatest single performances with his record-breaking free skate that featured SIX quadruple jumps! Those Olympic memories will be at the epicenter of the 2018 Stars on Ice tour that will feature many of the skaters who medaled for the U.S. in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The Tour will visit Portland, ME on Sunday, April 15 for a 4:00 PM performance at the Cross Insurance Arena.
This year’s Stars on Ice tour will put American fans front and center to experience the best of U.S. Figure Skating. Joining Maia & Alex Shibutani as 2018 Olympic medalists on the 2018 tour will be U.S. Olympic Team Bronze Medalists; two-time and reigning National Champion Nathan Chen, U.S. Champion and overnight sensation Adam Rippon, 2018 U.S. Ladies Champion Bradie Tennell, and National Champion Mirai Nagasu, who made history by landing the first triple axel for an American woman at the Olympics.

The 2018 Stars on Ice tour will also present several other skating luminaries, including U.S. Olympic royalty, Ice Dance Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White; three-time National Champion and 2016 World Silver Medalist Ashley Wagner; and National Champion and huge crowd favorite, Jason Brown. Also featured on this year’s tour will be three other members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating team, 2017 U.S. Ladies Champion Karen Chen, 2018 National Ice Dance Champions Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue.

Tickets for the 2018 Stars on Ice tour are on sale now. Tickets start at $25 and are available at,, the Cross Insurance Arena’s Trusted Choice Box Office, Ticketmaster at Wal-Mart Electronics’ Departments, and by phone at 1-207-775-3458 or 1-800-745-3000. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Please visit for the most up to date information, as well as exciting show announcements.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed watching the Olympics with the kids this year and figure skating was one of our very favorite events.  I think it is incredibly exciting that Olympic medalists are coming to our city.  It really is a unique opportunity to experience some of that Olympic excitement close to home.  I am thinking of surprising the kids and taking them next weekend!  I hope to see some familiar faces there so be sure to get your tickets at  Not near Portland?  Not to worry...Stars on Ice is visiting lots of other towns so be sure to visit the website to find out when they will be near you!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Regal Academy: The Grand Ball....Review & Giveaway!

Earlier this month an adorable DVD was released that would make a great Easter Basket addition for the girls in your life.  Regal Academy:  The Grand Ball is out now and is sure to be a big hit.  Here is the scoop..



Public Media Distribution, LLC. announced it is releasing the new DVD “REGAL ACADEMY: THE GRAND BALL.” Kids aged 6-11 will have a blast with Rose Cinderella and Friends at Regal Academy’s first big Ball on campus. The DVD also includes a karaoke bonus track of “This is the Moment” from the “Grand Ball” episode of the Nickelodeon series.

The episodes on this DVD include:

“The Grand Ball”

It’s time for the first big Ball on campus, and that means big dresses, big dancing and big dates. Rose ends up going with Hattie, the awkward grandson of the Mad Hatter, but Joy has only eyes for Esquire Frog. Esquire’s frog curse is so strong, no one has ever broken it, so Joy and Rose cook up a plan to kiss him at midnight with special curse-breaking lipstick. Vicky has her own plans for a fun night, inviting the evil Candlewick from Pinocchio to turn everyone at the Ball into donkeys!

“Swan Dancing with the Stars”

Headmistress Cinderella is holding a dance competition at her castle, and both Astoria and Odette -- the granddaughter of the Swan Princess -- are determined to win. But Vicky sabotages the dance with the help of Rothbart, the evil wizard from Swan Lake. Can Rose help everyone dance to victory?

“Song of the Sea Witch”

Rose wants to learn to sing, because all of the great fairy tale princesses could sing. Things get tricky when the Sea Witch steals Rose's voice! Rose has to sing in front of the whole school, as Hawk and the others fight to get her voice back in time for her debut! 

My Thoughts:  This is a really sweet show that my daughter, who is 8, really enjoys.  At her age she is all about "fancy" so shows that feature princesses are right up her alley.  She really loved The Grand Ball episode with the hubbub surrounding preparations for the dance. 

Each episode is filled with fun and problem solving messages which make it a positive show for children to enjoy.  I love the integration of familiar characters like Cinderella that tie in beloved fairy tales.  This show is bound to be a bit hit with fairy tale lovers and little girls who long to be princesses!  Pick up your copy today on Amazon...

Win It!  I am thrilled to tell you that one lucky Reviewed by Mom follower will win a copy of Regal Academy:  The Grand Ball!  Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Moveable Feast Season 5....Available Now!

Where are my foodie followers?!  I am such a wannabe foodie.  I love food but I lack the time and motivation to create really fabulous dishes most of the time (I am working on it though!).  I really love to watch cooking shows on TV and one that I always enjoy can be found on PBS....Moveable Feast. Season 5 is now available on DVD and would make a great addition to your DVD library or a thoughtful gift.  Here is the scoop...


Available on DVD and Digital HD March 6 from Public Media Distribution, LLC

 Public Media Distribution, LLC announced it is releasing “MOVEABLE FEAST WITH FINE COOKING – SEASON 5” on DVD and Digital HD. Nominated for an Emmy® and James Beard Award, and winner of both Telly and TASTE Awards, MOVEABLE FEAST WITH FINE COOKING is co-hosted this season by award-winning chefs Pete Evans and Curtis Stone, and special guest chef Michelle Bernstein. In Season Five they bring viewers to Europe and Puerto Rico, in addition to locations in the United States, to meet top chefs and award-winning food artisans to source the finest regional ingredients and create a multi-course feast for friends.

Viewers will learn cooking tips and techniques from talented chefs, including Patricia Wells, Guy Savoy, Bryan Voltaggio, Tom Douglas, and Sherry Yard, and discover how they can interpret the chefs’ flavorful dishes in their own kitchen. Diners enjoy these spectacular meals hosted in unique places, from the breathtaking mustard fields of Dijon and rice farms near Turin, to a stunning vineyard in San Luis Obispo and an authentic Taos pueblo. Viewers will want a seat at the table!

My Thoughts:  I have seen this show before on PBS so I already knew I was going to like it.  What's not to like?  The places the chefs take you are gorgeous and interesting and the food is to die for.  I love to see what local dishes the chefs come up with and I am appreciate the tips and techniques even though I am currently in the "macaroni and cheese" phase of life.  I will be banking these ideas when fine cuisine no longer means red sauce.  

If you love travel and food this show is a fun and informative watch.  You will find inspiration and maybe even some motivation to create some of these amazing dishes.  Even if you are not a person who loves to cook this show is a fascinating trip to great locations to learn more about food culture.  Yum!  

Purchase your copy today on Amazon...

You can also visit for local show times.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Fear by CL Taylor...Review & Giveaway!

It is no secret how much I love to read.  It is, hands down, my favorite hobby.  I love all kinds of books but my current favorite genre is psychological thrillers.  A real favorite of mine in this realm is C.L. Taylor and  I am  delighted to be included on the blog tour of her latest book, The Fear.  I just finished this book up last week and I couldn't put it down.  It hooked me right from the first page and left me guessing until the end...I love it when that happens!  Here is the scoop on The Fear...

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

 Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

My Thoughts:  Earlier this year I reviewed a book I loved by CL Taylor called The Missing (read it HERE).  I was wondering how The Fear would measure up because I had enjoyed it so very much.  The verdict?  The Fear is even better than The Missing!  I should have known I would love it because two of my other favorite authors were already singing its' praises (Karin Slaughter and Mark Edwards). 

As I mentioned, the book grabbed me right from the first page.   I was immediately curious about Lou.  Right off the bat you could tell she was complicated and kept feelings and thoughts close.  She is the kind of person who doesn't let others in easily and Taylor was able to convey that to the reader.  I felt like I was just getting to know someone who didn't really WANT me to know them which I felt added a real layer of complexity to the book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The present day is expertly woven in with the past when a young Lou was being abused by her karate teacher.  As the story unfolded, I became invested in Lou.  I wanted her to succeed and to rise above what had happened to her in her childhood.  Mike, her abuser, is just  a horrid person and as the book goes on you learn just how terrible he was to Lou and what a danger he is to Chloe.  The book mainly told through the perspective of Lou in both past and present but we also hear from Chloe from time to time as well as a character named Wendy who offers even more depth into this complicated story.

The twists in this book kept me on the edge of my seat.  C.L. Taylor writes with real creativity and took me on a real rollercoaster ride as I rooted Lou on in her quest for justice.  I didn't see the ending coming and was left at the end feeling grateful to the author who managed to keep me guessing and surprised by the ending.  

If you haven't read C.L. Taylor, you absolutely must.  She is a master of psychological fiction and The Fear would be an excellent introduction into her world.  You can pick up your copy today at the local bookstore or on Amazon...

Win It!  I am so excited to tell you that one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader will win a copy of The Fear!  Thanks so much to the publisher for sharing this great book with me!  Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway