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Review: Wizzy Gizmo – Who Created Everything?

Wizzy Gizmo Who Created Everything by Chris Del Aguila and Justin CumminsSpecial thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book as a member of the Home & School Mosaics Review Team.

Book Description:

Explore the wonders of Creation

It all begins when Wizzy Gizmo places the Bible on his incredible Gizmovision invention. The machine whirls and hums, the room begins to vibrate and shake, lights flicker on and off. The invention is surrounded by tiny arcs of electricity, as a sphere of blue-green light emerges and begins to grow bigger and bigger. There is a flash, and then things really begin to happen…

About the Authors:

Justin Cummins is a Christian, husband to Patty and father to five children aged 8 to 13. He is a church planter, pastor teacher at Cornerstone Reformed Bible Church in Marsing Idaho, an author, and illustrator. Justin earned his Bachelors of Theology from The Master’s College and attended The Master’s Seminary.

Chris (Ives) Del Aguila is a follower of Christ, husband to Kirstin, and father to three children between the ages of 5 and 9. He worships and serves as a Minister of Music at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley California. He is a musician, worship leader, author, and sound engineer.

You can follow Wizzy Gizmo on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Vimeo, and Youtube. You can even download free kid’s devotionals and activity sheets.

Book Details:

  • Series: Wizzy Gizmo Old Testament Series
  • Paperback: 58 pages
  • Publisher: EOG Studios (October 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN 10: 0989824500
  • ISBN 13: 978-0989824507
  • Retail Price: $12.99

My Thoughts:

Gizmovision transforms any book to a life-like world inside a bubble. Participants are no longer just reading the story, they are part of the story. They can touch it, taste it, feel it, and smell it. It’s the creation of Professor Wizzy Gizmo. This summer, the kids of Summerville get to experience the Bible like never before when Professor Gizmo uses the Bible as his test book for Gizmovision with the kids.

Each chapter has one day of the Creation Week come to life for the kids of Summerville. The Gizmoblaster (an invention that can transform into any vehicle) allows the Professor and kids to explore their surroundings from space to the sea. Gizmovision allows them to hear the scriptures as well as see and be part of Creation as it takes place around them.

Wizzy Gizmo: Who Created Everything is the first book in The Wizzy Gizmo Old Testament Bible Series. It introduces readers to Professor Wizzy Gizmo, his robot duck – Qwacky, his talking dog – Pepe, and the kids from Summerville – Summers, Thomas, Eli, and Olive. It’s a fun way to look at Creation Week – Genesis Chapter One. It’s presented from a literal 6-day week where dinosaurs were created with land animals and walked with man. Man and animals co-existed peacefully before sin and death entered the world.

The book includes highlighted vocabulary throughout the text with a definitions at the end of the book. The book even includes review questions with answers to help readers cement the concepts being taught within the story. It’s a entertaining study tool for family bible study or even for use as part of a homeschool curriculum. There is even an audio drama for Who Created Everything.

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Review: NIV Spiritual Renewal Study Bible

Spiritual Renewal Study BibleSpecial thanks to BookLook for providing a sample copy of this book for review purposes.

Study Bible Description:

Are you experiencing a hunger to know God more completely in your life? Do you long for a deeper connection with him? If so, then the NIV Spiritual Renewal Bible – the recipient of the 1999 ECPA Gold Medallion Award – is for you. Using a time-tested process honed over decades of counseling and teaching, Stephen Arterburn employs 7 core principles of spiritual renewal and refreshment, connecting you more closely with God’s Spirit through his Word and helping you to develop the deep, satisfying change you desire in your spiritual life.

About the Bible Study Author:

Steve Arterburn is a bestselling author, radio host, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries, the largest faith-based broadcast counseling and treatment ministry. He is also the host of “New Life Live!”—a nationally syndicated daily radio program—and founder of Women of Faith conferences. He is the author of many bestselling books, such as the Every Man’s Battle series and The God of Second Chances. Arterburn lives in Indianapolis with his family.

Study Bible Details:

Hardcover: 1376 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (December 25, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310417376
ISBN-13: 978-0310417378
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.8 x 1.8 inches
Retail Price: $39.99

My Thoughts:

The Spiritual Renewal Study Bible is a study Bible that is set up to help readers seek God’s plan for our lives on a daily basis. This study Bible is set up in a way that focuses on the following 7 keys:

  1. Seek God and Surrender to Him
  2. See the Truth
  3. Speak the Truth
  4. Accept Responsibility
  5. Grieve, Forgive, and Let Go
  6. Transform Your Life
  7. Preserve Spiritual Gains

Each book of the Bible starts off with an introduction which gives a summary of the book including an outline of the contents of the book, a summary of the book (The Big Picture), the theme of the book (Spiritual Renewal Themes), and Essential Facts such as the purpose, author, audience, date written, setting, key verse, key events, and key people. This is a really cool feature as it gives a really interesting glimpse into each book of the Bible prior to reading.

Throughout the Bible, readers will encounter character profiles which include an overview about the person(s), their strengths and accomplishments, their weaknesses and mistakes, lessons from their lives, and a key verse. These profiles help readers take a closer look at the individuals covered in a way that shows both the good and bad in their lives.

Also included is the Spiritual Keys Devotional Reading Plan which highlights the 7 keys mentioned above.  At the end of the devotional, the reader is then sent to the next devotional in the plan. A full list of devotionals, arranged by the 7 keys, are featured at the end of the Bible.

There are also Spiritual Disciplines Devotionals which are topical studies in the various spiritual disciplines such as prayer, service, solitude, worship…. Once again, there is a notation that directs the reader to the next devotional. A full list of the topical studies is given at the end of the Bible in case someone prefers to go through all of the studies in the particular spiritual discipline.

Keeping with the theme of Spiritual Disciplines, there are also articles that highlight different characters in the Bible and how they utilized the various spiritual disciplines in their life.

As with any study Bible, this Bible features text notes. These notes highlight the concepts/lessons being taught that focus on the spiritual renewal theme. These text notes are quite tiny which is something that may concern those who need a larger print.

The font of the Bible itself is easy to read. The hardcover under the dust cover is a plain brown. From what I can see, the devotionals and profiles appear to be Biblically sound. Overall, it’s a nice topical study Bible, but it is not a Bible that will provide an in-depth look into the topics covered.

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Wordless Wednesday: Gluten Free Bread Baking

Gluten Free Artisan Bread Loaf

Chili with Bread

GF Artisan Bread

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Review: Brieftons Spiral Slicer


Brieftons Spiral Slicer

I’ve been fascinated by spiral slicers since I first saw one, but I had never used one until recently. The Brieftons Spiral Slicer is a hand-held unit that has two different julienne sizes – one on each end. The unit also comes with a finger tip guard that grips the vegetables. A small brush helps clean out the hard to clean places in the spiral slicer. I love the idea of easily being able to make delicious veggie noodles. As soon as it arrived, I jumped into trying it out with zucchini and carrots from our CSA box.

Leftover Zucchini

The Brieftons Spiral Slicer creates beautiful strands of zucchini, but it does create a good bit of waste as you can see above. I just chopped up the “stubs” and cooked them separately as I didn’t want to waste anything. The spiral slicer was quite easy to use with the zucchini. You just place the zucchini in the spiral slicer and twist like a pencil in a pencil sharpener.

Spiral Zucchini

You end up with beautiful zucchini noodles that can be used either raw or cooked. I chose to cook them with some basil, olive oil, and fresh-pressed garlic. It’s a fun way to eat zucchini, and it completely changes the taste/texture of the zucchini.

I tried using the spiral slicer with carrots, but it did not work for me. I don’t know if my carrots weren’t fat enough or what the issue was, but it was not a successful endeavor. The finger tip guard is okay, but it doesn’t really grip the veggies all that well. For the most part, I used it without the finger tip guard.

The Brieftons Spiral Slicer is a compact unit that works well for creating beautiful spirals from zucchini, but in my experience, it does not work well for carrots.

Disclosure: 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.

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Review: The Kitchen EcoSystem by Eugenia Bone

The Kitchen EcoSystemSpecial thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a review copy of this book.

Book Description:

The Kitchen Ecosystem (affiliate link) will change how we think about food and cooking. Designed to to create and use ingredients that maximize flavor, these 400 recipes are derived from 40 common ingredients–from asparagus to fish to zucchini–used at each stage of its “life cycle”: fresh, preserved, and in a main dish.

About the Author:

EUGENIA BONE is the author of At Mesa’s Edge and Italian Family Dining. Her work has appeared in Saveur, Food and Wine, Gourmet, the New York Times, and many other publications.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (September 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385345127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385345125
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Retail Price: $27.00

The Kitchen EcoSystem by Eugenia Bone

My Thoughts:

I love the idea of treating a kitchen as it’s own ecosystem by using everything and wasting nothing, so this cookbook immediately appealed to me. The concept is using food while it’s fresh, preserving some of the food, using that preserved food, and then using any “waste” to make more food (like vegetable/chicken stock). It’s bringing us back to a time when people used everything they could possibly use because it was not a throw away society. They couldn’t afford to waste any food.

In this cookbook, Eugenia Bone takes us through her process of waste not, want not in the kitchen. Each “chapter” is based upon one food (fruit/veggie/meat). The chapter features a chart that shows which recipes utilize one of the four different methods: Eat Some Fresh, Preserve Some, Use the Preserves, and Use the Scraps. Most chapters, but not all, feature all four methods. She even includes a chapter on making your own condiments.

After all of the recipes, there is a complete section of different methods of preservation as well as a section featuring a variety of recipe techniques. In other words, Ms. Bone gives you all the tools you need to be successful in the kitchen. She even talks about substitutions at the beginning of the book. She encourages you to make the recipes your own. The only caveat to this would be in the preservation stage as you want to make sure you’re following safe preserving techniques which means following specific recipes for canning.

The recipes are delicious, and I love being able to look up ideas for specific veggies and fruits based upon what we receive in our CSA box for the week. The full-color images are scrumptious and encourage me to test out even some of the unfamiliar recipes.

The one thing that I would have like to see with this book is for it to be an enclose spiral binding to allow it to lay flat. Because it’s such a thick book, it doesn’t like to stay open. You definitely need a recipe book stand for this type of book if you plan on using it while cooking.

The Kitchen EcoSystem is a beautiful recipe book for those who love to not only use fresh ingredients but also preserve food while at it’s freshest point. If you want to fully utilize the foods coming in to your home and not waste anything, this is a cookbook for your kitchen. It will help you think just a little differently about your food – even the scraps.

Disclosure:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. A positive review is neither expected nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.

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