Holiday Gift Guide Day 16 & Blog Tour-Review/ The Sparkle Box

Holiday Gift Guide Day 16 & Blog Tour-Review/ The Sparkle BoxThe Sparkle Box by Jill HardieChristine Kornacki
Format: Hardcover
Published by Ideals Children's Books on 2012
Pages: 18
Genres: Christian, Christmas & Advent, Holidays & Celebrations, Religious, Values & Virtues, Young Adult

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He's thinking about his Christmas list, anticipating holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift -- a sparkly box sitting on the mantel above the fireplace. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family's good deeds. Sam's parents explain that the things that they've been doing for others are, in fact, a gift for Jesus -- for Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. This heartfelt story will inspire readers to adopt this faith-centered tradition in their own homes, using the included Sparkle Box.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I am super excited to share with you today a book I received for a blog tour I am on today called The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie and Illustrated by Christine Kornacki.

I have to saw right away that I love the cover with the embossing and glitter box. The illustrations inside the book are beautifully done they are vibrant and beautiful to look at. The images are very realistic looking.

Before I begin my review I should share with you the website for The Sparkle Box all you have to do is click on the book title and it will take you to the page.

Sam is a young boy who is excited about Christmas, like any other child is during the holiday.

This isn’t going to be your typical Christmas book. Its not going to focus on Santa Claus or about the presents that Sam wants and will probably get instead the story will center around caring and helping others in need during this time of the year and about Jesus.

The story begins with Sam’s mother having a sparkly box on the mantle that catches Sam’s eye. He questions his mom about the box and all she will tell him is that they have to fill the box before it can be opened. As time goes on he keeps asking him mom about the box. She tells him there is something int he box but they can’t open it yet because they still need to add things.

Throughout the book the story is showing us the family is helping the less fortunate with dropping off food and blankets to a shelter, how the father’s company has donated to a village in Africa and how Sam’s school has a tree and they decorate it with hats, scarves & mittens.

I loved this book and the message behind it and what I loved the most was the author showed us that Sam who is young notices things in the world that most ignore and he took it upon himself to help someone in need without being asked to.

Finally Christmas morning arrives and they can open their presents. As much as Sam is excited to open his presents its the sparkly box that attracts him the most. When he opens the box he notices small pieces of paper inside with things written on them. He is puzzled at first but then begins to read them.

Mittens and a candy bar given to someone in need.

Warm blankets and food for the homeless

A well in Africa that will provide clean drinking water.

His mother explains that they are the gifts to Jesus in honor of his birthday. This confuses Sam but his mother explains that when we give to others or help others we are giving it to Jesus.

I think this is the perfect book to give children this year and I highly recommend it. The book also include a box to make in the back of the book and I think we will be filling it up this holiday season. This would also make a fantastic family tradition in families that are just starting out who want to teach thei

There were so many things I liked about this book. First, Christmas was being celebrated with all the decorations and special traditions, but that was not the emphasis. The focal point was Christ and the less fortunate. It is quite the opposite nowadays as else is highlighted by all the worldly activities and Jesus is pushed aside.
I also liked the fact that Santa wasn’t mentioned once. His image as grown to such proportions that he takes the place of Christ. Not only in celebrating Christmas but sadly in the hearts of children. Little ones love to give and this book introduces them to the idea of how to give gifts to Jesus by helping the needy.
I was surprised and delighted to see in the back of the book was a Sparkle Box to put together! You can start your own family tradition of giving gifts to the One Who gave all to us! A must have for anyone that has children or works with children! It is a book to be treasured through generations!



Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids

Stocking Stuffer Ideas @cindysloveofbooks

If your a parent like me you probably wonder what to put in a stocking for Christmas especially for kids right? I know every year I am in the same boat of just not knowing what to put into one so I tend to shop early and pick up cute little things as I see then and I also hit the dollar store often to see what new things that have.



Today I am going to show you what was in my son’s stocking from last Christmas (2014). I can’t show you this years because then he will know what he is getting and it will spoil the fun.

I think this year we will need to upgrade his stocking because as he is getting older (12) its getting harder to fit it all in.

This Montreal Canadiens stocking has been his favorite for the past few years and he always wants to use it so we will see if we can find a bigger version of this.

Here is what was in this jammed packed stocking:

  • The Simpson’s comic book (I love including a magazine in our stockings each year)
  • a pack of Pixi Stixs
  • assorted Kinder chocolates
  • a new tooth brush and toothpaste (we all get new ones)
  • Kool aide drink
  • Lindt chocolate bar (we all get one of these each year)
  • a note pad and pen (he loves doodling and making notes)
  • BBW Shower Gel in Endless Weekend
  • Lego (anything in poly bags)
  • Lego mini figures pouches
  • minecraft little figures (another thing he loves)
  • Ice Breaker candy
  • loom bands (he will take his own and make some every once in awhile)
  • lollipops
  • stickers

This is just some of the things that he always gets but as he gets older I am sure it will change. I hope this little list helps you and gives you a few ideas. Please let me know in the comments below some of the things you put in for kids stockings.

Christmas Book Advent Calendar 2015

photo courtsey of Pinterest.
photo courtsey of Pinterest.

For the past few years I have been seeing the Christmas Book Advent Calendar and I have always wanted to do this. Not quite sure why I haven’t since we love books and getting books.

Hopefully I will be able to make this a new tradition and honestly its never to late to start a new holiday tradition right?

The Christmas Book Advent Calendar: What is it you ask?

Basically the idea behind this is you take 24  Christmas themed books (you can do picture books, chapter books etc but mostly picture books) and you wrap them up and label them 1 through 24.

So every day you get to open one Christmas book and read it with your child. Its a great way to spend quality time with them especially with the hustle and bustle of the holiday.

Over since Michael was a baby I always managed to get a new picture book for Christmas for him so we have quite the collection happening so I am excited to dig those out so we can read them together and there will be a few new ones bought this year to reach our goal of 24 books.

Would this be something you would do?

Check back tomorrow to see what our first book is.

Holiday Gift Guide Day 7/ Suggestions for the Artist


Michael has always been interested in art but this year he has really taken a great interest in it. As an elective in high school he decided on taking art class and he has been thriving in the class and loves drawing. He loves the teacher and he loves the projects he has to do within the class.

So with Michael in mind I thought I would share with you something I would give a budding artist for Christmas.

The first thing is the New York Liberty Handmade Pouch to hold all the varies art supplies they will need. The pouch is all hand stitched and made with 100% cotton. It measures 9.5 x 5 x 1.5 inches. Its available in New York Liberty, Paris Eiffel Tower, London Big Ben (this is the one I plan on ordering) and San Francisco Golden Gate. It retails for $11.99 US

Next thing the budding artist needs is a sketch book and going along with my love of NYC I chose the Brooklyn Bridge sketchbook. This is the Mudpuppy Andy Warhol Brooklyn Bridge sketchbook. The sketchbook includes 30 high quality paper with a colored wire binding that will make flipping the pages easy. It measures 9 x 12 in. (23 x 30 cm) when the sketchbook is closed. This retails for $10.99 US.

I think this would make the perfect gift for that budding artist on your holiday gift list.

Please note that I have included affiliated links to the products on Amazon to make your shopping easier.

I just want to thank Galison/Mudpuppy/Chronicle Books for reaching out to me asking if I would be interested in partnering up with them this holiday season to show case some awesome Christmas gift ideas.


2014 Holiday Gift Guide



Christmas is quickly approaching and its hard to believe there is only 7 1/2 weeks left until the big day.  Are you ready?

This year I thought I would try something different and I hope you guys will like it. I am currently taking submissions for the Christmas Season.

I always find it hard to find just the right gifts and I know I am not the only one.

If you would like to be included in my first every Holiday Gift Guide please click on the Holiday Gift Guide Button in my navigation bar or email me at

I am accepting items for children, women, men, and stocking stuffers.

Reviews will include a blog post with photos, a vlog, Facebook shares, Twitter shares, a spot on pinterest in my Holiday Gift Guide pin, instagram photos, and so much more.

Give away and featured posts without a review will be subjected to a  fee or need to meet a min requirement.

Please note shipping of give away items is your responsibility.

Thanks in advance. Happy Holidays.