Thursday, January 24, 2013

emmy rossum's sentimental journey review: takes me back to the "good ol' days"

i'll admit:  i would like the experience of being in a café in paris, moping in my french café au lait, when the love of my life (bill, of course) walks in, our eyes lock and our lives are changed forever.

that's the kind of daydream evoked by the songs of emmy rossum on her album sentimental journey.

due to be released on january 29, sentimental journey is a collection of covers from the american songbook.  each of the 12 songs represents a month in the year.  i actually don't care very much for the first song on the album, but i absolutely love all the rest of the songs.  my favorite (because of my french café daydream), is the song for october, "autumn leaves."  the songs range from peppy big band style numbers like "the object of my affection," to more quiet sentimental and thoughtful melodies like "many tears ago."
we've listened to the album so many times around here that two-year-old lilianna is starting to sing the songs herself.  it has been a favorite for our whole family.

If you think you would be interested in this album (a great choice for that special someone for Valentine's Day), it is available on itunes, as well as amazon.

if you still need convincing, you can check out emmy's music video, "these foolish things (remind me of you)":
i participated in this campaign for one2one network. i received a free copy of the cd to facilitate my review. by posting, i am eligible for incentives. all opinions stated are my own.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

raising a reader: diary of a wimpy kid review (w/giveaway)

i never want to seem like a pushy parent or a helicopter mom, but i like to do everything i can to encourage my kids to have a love of reading.

we make multiple trips to the library.  i buy books i think they will like from the thrift store (our shelves are overflowing), and we try to make time for reading throughout the week.

another way to encourage a love of reading is to make sure they have access to a wide variety of books that will hold their interest.

the diary of a wimpy kid series seems to be one such series.  for one thing, it is extremely popular.  my kids always want to be reading "what everyone else is reading" (which is healthier than doing some other things "everyone else is doing").  both zoe and tessa's classmates talk a lot about the series, and the girls want to be able to contribute to the conversation.

of course, the drawings and illustrations are hilarious and appealing to kids.  the storyline is not only something my kids can relate to, but i think it is a great way to open the door to important conversations about how to treat our friends, how to deal with bullies and the best way to develop a healthy self-esteem.

to be honest, when i first read this, i wasn't sure i wanted the kids to read it.  i'm not sure that greg is properly remorseful for the way he treats his former best friend.  i wasn't sure i wanted my kids to read a book that endorses using your friends to get something for yourself.  i still think greg wants to see what he can get out of his friend, rowley, but since the books are so popular and the series is continuing, i think that they will be useful and beneficial as conversation starters for our family.

if your kids (or you!) are into this series, i am happy to announce that i am giving away a copy of your choice of any diary of a wimpy kid book in the series.  just leave me a comment describing your worst junior high memory, and i will choose a winner using on january 21.  you must be 18 to enter and a resident of the united states; make sure you leave your email address so i have a way to contact you if you win.

i received a free copy of diary of a wimpy kid (book 1) for the purpose of this review.  regardless, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

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