Monday, 21 August 2017

Little Miss Spider at Sunny Patch School - David Kirk

Little Miss Spider at Sunny Patch School
David Kirk
ISBN 9780439087278

My youngest and I recently read this together, a number of times.  It brought back a lot of memories, for my oldest loved the TV series Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends, and we read number of the Miss Spider books together over a half dozen year ago. My youngest never really got into the TV show but she fell in love with this book right away.

In fact the day we picked up this book we read it through three times back to back. My daughter loved the cover and even though she is not fond of spiders she loved the story. She could really relate to not doing many things at school well, and even not liking some things at school. She fell in love with the young Miss Spider and we will need to track down other books with her and maybe even revisit the show.

Any book my child asks to read, even if it is rereading the same book is considered a winner. But this book has a great lesson and amazing bright vibrant illustrations. It is visually fun to read.

A great little book for young readers.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Which popes do you have a devotion to and why?

Which popes do you have a devotion to and why?

I was thinking about popes recently. Someone posted to Facebook asking people to share their favourite pope and why. I found that I could not immediately answer. For I have felt an affinity to a number of popes for different reasons. The first to come to mind was:

Pope John XXIII
Pope from October 28th 2938-June 3rd 2963

I went to Pope John XXIII primary school for SK, grades 1,2 and 4. And always felt closeness to him. The next that came to mind was John Paul II, I remember this man taking Peter's Chair, and he was pope for most of my life.

Pope John Paul II
Pope from October 16th 1978 - April 2nd 2005

Next was his successor. Pope Benedict XVI the scholar.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope from April 19th 2005 - February 28th 2013

Then Pope Pius XII, I encountered him often in my academic studies and have a soft spot for him, thought I could not specify why.

Pope Pius XII
Pope from March 2nd 1939 - October 9th 1958

And finally Pope Paul VI, he called reconvened Vatican II, he made John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI cardinals during his pontificate.

Pope Paul VI
Pope from Jun 21st 1963 - August 6th 1978

Back in my Windows XP days I used the below two as desktop backgrounds for a long time.

So which popes do you have a devotion to and why?

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Organic Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Coconut Flour - Viva Naturals

Organic Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Coconut Flour
4 Pound
Viva Naturals

Viva Naturals is a company new to the Canadian Market, but they have been around since 2011 south of the border. Viva Naturals is working towards, is striving to become an all-around health and wellness company. . They have products ranging from nutritional supplements, organic food, and beauty products to essentials oils. They have a goal of helping you with your wellness goals, and now we are fortunate that they are expanding into the Canadian market place. I have the benefit of receiving a number of their products to try at the same time. And have used many of them in combination with each other and separately. I must declare that I have been impressed with each of them. But enough about Viva Naturals as a company and on to reviewing this specific product the Coconut Flour. 

How I tested this product:
Making Chicken Strips
Dusting on Fish
In Tuna cakes
In Sweet Potato Pancakes
In Smoothies

Product Specifics:
Gluten Free
Certified Organic

Great taste
Added fibre in smoothies
Works great as a wheat flour substitute

The reseal feature on the pouch does not work well
Highly addictive so good you will not want to ever be out

To be honest the fact that the package does not reseal is the only drawback I encountered from using this. I love adding it to help thicken smoothies. It has become a staple in my kitchen and I do not see a need to look any further, for a flour substitute, and prior to encountering this product I had tried about a dozen different products and brans and had not settle on anything.

I had the opportunity to try over a dozen products from Viva Naturals. I have been impressed with them all. This coconut flour is an excellent product and I trust this product and the brand! I can think of dozens of other ways I want to try this product and look forward to doing so. As stated these products are now available in Canada currently through the Amazon Marketplace. This is a great products at good prices, looking forward to trying more products as they make their way to the Canadian Market.

Viva Naturals Reviews:
Supplements and Nutritional:
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 32 Ounce
Organic Ground Flax Seed
Organic Goji Berries
Maca Powder
Coconut Flour: Non-GMO and Gluten-Free
Royal Quinoa Whole Grain
Chia Seeds
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs

Cacao Powder
Krill Oil 1250 milligram

Essential Oil Difusers:

Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 300ml, Ash Zen Model
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml, Pine Tranquil Model
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser 400ml, Espresso Tranquil Model

Friday, 18 August 2017

Product Review - Philips Airfryer with Turbostar Healthy Fry, Cook, Bake, Grill HD9622/96

Philips Airfryer with Turbostar 
Healthy Fry, Cook, Bake, Grill with Double-Layer rack, 

Some products you are so excited about they might never live up to the expectations. I am not sure if that was the case with the Philips Airfryer or if it was just disappointing. I had been hearing a lot of friends talk about Air Fryers and Instant Pots and was really excited to try this out. But from the day I unpacked it it was a let-down. To start with the documentation in the package said to download the Philips Airfryer application to register and for recipes. The first thing the app does is ask you to select your model. There are almost a dozen models in the application but not this one. Then when you pick a model it reduces the recipes offered to those that can be made in that model. So I had to guess and play and try a few until I found some recipes to try.

So the first week I had it I tried a few different things. Then over the next month a few more, and then it sat on the counter for a few weeks until it was just moved to a shelf in the garage.

How I tested it:
Fries from fresh
Fries from frozen
Sweet Potato fries
Baked stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps
Chicken Wings
Baked Beet and Sweet Potato Chips

Over all the food came out well prepared. But the prep time and cook time was much, much longer than traditional ways I would have prepared the same recipes. And after doing some research based on the energy consumption I doubt it was an energy saver over traditional cooking methods. 

Overall I was underwhelmed! It is a well-constructed product but the time and effort without any energy savings just does not seem with it for me. I liked the double rack especially when doing the stuffed mushrooms or the wings.  So my rating for this product is just meh!

Reviews of Other Philips Products:
Philips HU4805/40 Series 2000 Humidifier 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Mitt Brennender Sorge On the Church and the German Reich - Pope Pius XI

Mitt Brennender Sorge:
On the Church and the German Reich
Pope Pius XI
ISBN 9781533189479

First published on March 10th 1937, but bore the date of Sunday March 14th Passion Sunday, this Papal encyclical made waves from the time it was released.  It was smuggled into Germany to be read on that holy Sunday, and unlike most church documents which were written in Latin this one was written in German. It was read from all German pulpits on Psalm Sunday March 21st 1937. I first encountered this book while reading Married Men as Ordained Deacons by Wilhelm Schamoni, a book that was mostly drafter and revised in the concentration camps. And after the events this past week in the United States I think is timely to write the review of this booklet.

This is a very powerful piece of writing, both when it was written and for us today. One of the most powerful sections in this piece is:

"8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community - however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things - whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds."
It has been stated that this encyclical condemned pantheistic confusion, neopaganism, and the myth of race and blood, and also that of idolizing of the State. The encyclical also declares "that man as a person possesses rights he holds from God, and which any collectivity must protect against denial, suppression or neglect." It is worth revisiting this book and the message within.

You can read this encyclical on the Vatican website or you can purchase the book or eBook. At the time of his death a two years after publishing this encyclical Pope Pius XI was working on another encyclical , Humani generis unitas (On the Unity of the Human Race), on the Church, anti-Semitism, racism and persecution of Jews. I have only tracked down excerpts from that draft and wish I could find it in its entirety, one except that I strongly belive we need to be reminded of today is:

"131. Those who have placed race illegitimately on a pedestal have rendered mankind a disservice. For they have done nothing to advance the unity to which humanity tends and aspires. One naturally wonders if this end is faithfully pursued by many of the principal advocates of a so-called racial purity or if their aim is not rather to forge a clever slogan to move the masses to very different ends. This suspicion grows when one envisages how many subdivisions of a single race are judged and treated differently by the same men at the same time. It is further increased when it becomes clear that the struggle for racial purity ends by being uniquely the struggle against the Jews. Save for its systematic cruelty, this struggle is no different in true motives and methods from persecutions everywhere carried out against the Jews since antiquity. These persecutions have been censured by the Holy See on more than one occasion, but especially when they have worn the mantle of Christianity."
I believe that the two combined are a much needed message again in 2017. And encourage you to give this encyclical a read, especially in light of recent events and the daily news.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!