Monday, September 29, 2014

Alex Boyè's Africanized Review & Giveaway!

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Have you heard of Alex Boyè? If not, you NEED to head over to YouTube and be among the over 100 million that have enjoyed watching his videos. Boyè has mostly covers but the what makes his sound unique is the fact that his are sang with and African twist. I had never heard of him or really listened to African music before, but I really enjoyed this album.
Africanized comes with a CD and DVD. On the DVD, you can find a number of his music videos. I love the art in the CD case. It's simple, nice nonetheless. I watched the DVD first because I enjoy watching the artists convey their music. Boyè did not disappoint! The videos were uplifting and fun; he even had some mom bloggers singing with him (Roar)! The One Voice Children's Choir that joined him in a couple videos were amazing too! It's nice to see artists pairing with children (whether it's singing, dancing, or playing instruments) because they are our future!
Check out the video for his "Let it Go" cover!
On the album, one can find covers of Ho Hey, Happy, Roar, Royals, Grenade, Set Fire to the Rain, and much more. Boyè also includes a few of his own songs for our listening pleasure. All in all, I found the album really interesting. Boyè wanted to convey the message: Music has no passport. And I think he succeeded. The Africanized songs give you a good feeling and you can't help but be in awe of how they sound at times.
Alex Boyè is a charismatic, London-born, U.S.-based singer that actually got started as a gospel artist before hitting it big on YouTube with his covers. He recently made his debut at the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall, opening for Olivia Newton-John! Both his parents are Nigerian, but his mother is credited for urging him to put some African influence into his music. Mothers know best!
Connect with Alex Boyè    Facebook    Website   YouTube    Twitter
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Africanized!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Supportive Saturday (24)

Do you remember playing with those "Cootie Catchers" when you were a kid?
Photo courtesy of
YES! Old-school origami fortune teller! I so want to make one of these again. It inspired me to make the theme of this week's Supportive Saturday, ORIGAMI.
1. Letterpress Origami Pigs in Love, twinravenspress ($4 USD, ships from U.S.) 2. Origami Star Cookie Cutter, Printmeneer ($8.47 USD, ships from The Netherlands) 3. Origami Paper Doll Bookmarks, HappyFlavor ($13.50 for a set of 5, ships from Japan) 4. Wooden Origami Fox Necklace, FawnAndRose ($26.69 USD, ships from United Kingdom) 5. Origami Paper Daffodils, DearBetsy ($36 USD, ships from U.S.)
While researching the different origami items, I found something I used to make in grade school! So, guess who is determined to make a little origami gift box just for the heck of it! ;)
Have you ever tried to make something with origami paper? Or which Etsy find above is your favorite? I think the bookmarks and the letterpress card are my faves!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Avery Book Blog Tour & Review!

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book in order to facilitate an honest review. All opinions are mine, thank you!

Tour Page & Schedule

Thanks for stopping in for my review and good luck entering the giveaway included at the end! :) Also, please check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Avery_cover FINALAvery (The Chronicles of Kaya #1) by Charlotte McConaghy
The people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does too. So it has been for thousands of years – until Ava.

For although her bondmate, Avery, has been murdered and Ava’s soul has been torn in two, she is the only one who has ever been strong enough to cling to life. Vowing revenge upon the barbarian queen of Pirenti, Ava's plan is interrupted when she is instead captured by the deadly prince of her enemies.

Prince Ambrose has been brought up to kill and hate. But when he takes charge of a strangely captivating Kayan prisoner and is forced to survive with her on a dangerous island, he must reconsider all he holds true . . .

In a violent country like Pirenti, where emotion is scorned as a weakness, can he find the strength to fight for the person he loves . . . even when she’s his vengeful enemy?

Avery is a sweeping, romantic fantasy novel about loss and identity, and finding the courage to love against all odds.

Goodreads | Amazon

Now Available: THORNE (The Chronicles of Kaya #2)

My Review:

Honestly, I am not a fan of how the book starts out. I don't generally like it when books are told through different points of view, but the story pulled me in anyway.

I loved Ava so much and I really felt for her character and the vengefulness she felt. The author gave just enough background story on all the characters which I was thankful for; I hate when you want to understand a character but don't know much of how they became the way they are.

Of course, there is romance. But this book is a great fantasy read and keeps your interest the entire time. This is saying a lot because I usually have a hard time getting into fantasy fiction, but not this one! I'm excited for the next in this series!

4 out of 5 stars!
About the Author:
Charlotte started writing her children’s fantasy series ‘The Strangers of Paragor’ as a teenager and has since gone on to publish five novels. After a Masters degree in Screenwriting she wrote ‘Avery’, the first in her adult fantasy series ‘The Chronicles of Kaya’, published by Random House. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, and has just released a new dystopian sci-fi novel called ‘Fury – Book One of The Cure’, published by Momentum.

Connect with the author:

 Website | Facebook | Twitter 


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Roald Dahl Day 2014!

I'm pretty late writing this post, but better late than never! ;) We celebrated Roald Dahl Day 2014  by making purple cupcakes and reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl has written lots of treasured children's books, but we have only read a couple. This year also marked the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In honor of the anniversary of one of my favorite books, we make some purple cupcakes, complete with purple frosting and a jawbreaker! I wish I had written down the steps I took with this creation, but honestly, the cupcakes used a little of my failed attempt at a blackberry cupcake! There is a bright side to everything!
I did attempt to make some cake pops as you can see, but they didn't turn out quite the way I wanted. In my defense, it was my very first time making cake pops. Tip: buy extra of the candy melts and be careful heating them. And if you add food coloring (like I did), keep in mind, it will make it thicker!
 Isn't it beautiful!? I'm so pleased because I normally just use a spatula to frost cupcakes (or leave them naked)! I decided to just use a sturdy little Ziploc bag and cut the corner a little. I will definitely invest in a pastry bag for more control, but I did alright! I also grabbed a grape pixie stick and sprinkled a little on them. It was so good! Keep in mind though: the longer the cupcake sits with the pixie sprinklings, it will melt onto the top of the frosting. :)
Here's the cupcakes naked right out of the oven! All I really did was use white cake box mix (Pillsbury) and then add a little purple food coloring (Wilton's). Like I mentioned above, I did add a little bit of the blackberry cupcake batter/frosting that didn't turn out. It made this cupcake extra moist, which I loved, and a little sweeter.
Did you celebrate Roald Dahl Day with your kids? Or which Roald Dahl book is your favorite?