Usborne Fashion Coloring Books Review

Usborne Fashion Coloring Books

So, we love to color in our house. Happens all the time. We will draw and color on just about anything, but high quality (sorry dollar store) coloring books are my fave way to go. And, just so we’re clear, high quality does NOT mean high prices.

Which is why I wanted to share some books with you, all of which feature nice thick pages and beautiful illustrations for around 6 or 7 bucks.  Can’t beat that.

The other reason these books are so amazing is that people of all ages can enjoy them.  I’ve purchased these books for both kids and adults, and my daughters and I often color them together.

Usborne Vintage Fashion Coloring Book

First, I wanted to introduce the Vintage Fashion Coloring Book:

As you can see from the video, this is a pretty awesome book.  It’s great for kids (and adults) interested in fashion design, but also for anyone looking to just relax and have some fun coloring.

You can head over to my website to see the Vintage Fashion Coloring Book.  It has 32 pages of gorgeous illustrations to color, and is suggested for ages 6 and up.

Another similar book we own is the Clothes and Fashion to Color book that I got for my daughter, seen here:

Clothes and Fashion to Color

It also has 32 thick pages and tons of historical fashion to color.  It’s rated for ages 6+ but is, of course, great for any age.  It features different decades on different pages.  Here’s one I was recently working on:

fashion coloring book victorian 1850

Plus, there’s the mini sized Pocket Fashion Drawing Book that we usually keep in the car.  ‘Cause, like I mentioned, my daughter is pretty much always drawing.

Pocket Fashion Drawing Book

Isn’t that just too cute?  We love it.

The pocket book is a smaller size – easier to store in a purse or something, but it has many more pages.  At 128 pages, it’ll keep you entertained for a long time.

Plus, it features mostly modern styles, if that’s your thing.

If you’d prefer something different, here are some examples of different coloring books available on my site:

Patterns to Color Usborne Coloring Books

And they are seriously awesome.  There are more in the series too, which means tons of PATTERNS TO COLOR!  I’ll make some videos for them too, (and some newer fashion coloring books as well!) but if you have any questions about them, please comment or message me anytime!

Happy Coloring!

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Usborne’s Amazing Books on Shakespeare

best shakespeare books for kids

I am mildly (okay, that’s an understatement) obsessed with Shakespeare.

I’m not exactly a Shakespearean scholar or anything, even coming from a literature major in college, but really more of what I call a Shakespeare groupie.

I love Shakespeare and everything that he has given us, and I love to share the stories and the characters and the words with my kids.  My girls are still very young, but we’ve already seen multiple live performances together, watched some of the plays as movies, and done crafts and activities based on the plays.

And one of the original reasons that I became a consultant with Usborne Books & More is because of  Usborne Publishing’s amazing collection of books about Shakespeare.  Which is what this post is about.  I wanted to share with you how these books help to get kids excited about Shakespeare and help to research and understand his plays.

Though, honestly, I really got the books for myself.  My kids just get the benefits of having them around.  ;)

This seemed like the perfect time to share them, too, with this month being a worldwide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  Not a celebration that he died, mind you, but a celebration that we’re still so excited about and grateful for everything that he brought into our world through his art.

Talking about books seemed to me a great way to honor the words he gave us.  ;)

The books are much more impressive in person, however, than they appear from a simple photograph, so I’m first going to share a video review I made of the books listed here – so that you can see a glimpse inside of them and compare what they offer.  Then I’m going to list each book with a brief description.

Ugh … I don’t like watching myself on video.  But hopefully I was able to explain and demonstrate the books well enough for you to figure out what would be best for your household or classroom.  (Even if I did get confused and stumble over my words here and there…)

But if anything was unclear, or you have any further questions, please leave a comment here and I’ll do my best to help!

Here are the books, including the gift collection not mentioned in the video:

Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare

Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare

Recommended Age:  8+

Pages:  414

The Illustrated Stories contains retellings of 6 plays, all fully illustrated with artwork on every page.  It’s a hardcover book with a soft outer cover and includes a ribbon bookmark.

Plays included:  Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and the Tempest

Usborne Shakespeare Illustrated Collection

Usborne’s Shakespeare Hardcover Gift Collection

Recommended Age:  7+

Pages: 5 books at 64 pages each

This boxed set contains five hardcover books, one for each of the five plays represented, and each includes a ribbon bookmark.

Plays included:  Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet

Sticker Dressing Shakespeare

Sticker Dressing Shakespeare

Recommended Age: 5+

Pages: 24 pages + 10 pages of stickers

This sticker dressing book allows you to dress up characters from many of the plays with over 160 stickers, from Bottom to Macbeth and Cleopatra to Hamlet.  Also includes some quotation stickers.

Where's Will Shakespeare's Hidden Characters

Where’s Will: Find Shakespeare Hidden in His Plays

Recommended Age: 7-11

Pages: 48

A truly fun and unique concept, this book of Where’s Will is the Shakespearean version of Where’s Waldo.

There is an illustrated summery from 10 of his plays, followed by a double spread illustration for each of those plays in which you must seek out characters from the play.

Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare

Stories from Shakespeare

Recommended Age: 12+

Pages: 192

This book is covered with a sturdy flexi-binding and retells 10 of Shakespeare’s plays with large lively illustrations.  Includes summaries of all of the plays.

Play include:  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, As you like it, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, and The Taming of the Shrew

The Usborne World of Shakespeare

The Usborne World of Shakespeare

Recommended Age: 11+

Pages: 64

Available in flexi-binding or in library binding, this book will thoroughly introduce you to Shakespeare.  Find out how he lived, what Elizabethan London was like, and why we still perform his plays today.

Includes multiple glossaries plus information about how to further research the topics on the internet.

Usborne's World of Shakespeare Reference Book

The World of Shakespeare Reference Book

Recommended Age: 10+

Pages: 32

Shorter than the book mentioned just above, this hardcover reference book contains similar information, but in smaller chunks and with a more colorful format.

That’s it for my review!  Overall, I highly recommend ALL of these books, but I understand most people aren’t going to rush out and stock up on each and every one of them, so I hope I’ve been able to help you decide on a favorite(s).

Also, be sure to follow me on Facebook where I have a habit of posting random funny or interesting Shakespeare stuff.  ;)

Happy Reading!

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Top 50+ Non-Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas

Top 50+ Non-Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas from RoamingRosie.com

I was about to say that I’ve got everything listed here from toddler to teen… but that’s too narrow a description. Really, if you’re looking for Easter basket gifts for anyone – whether they’re a newborn or about to leave for college – you’ll find something here.

You might even find something for yourself. :)

But what you WON’T find here is this: candy. Chocolate. Marshmallows. Sugar.

My kids will each get a chocolate Easter bunny, sure. (They’re even in the pic above.)  And probably a few jelly beans, too. But they last thing they need is a gigantic basket filled to the brim with sweets and sugar.

I also, however, don’t want to fill it with a bunch of junky toys that will break and get thrown out soon afterwards.

So I’ve compiled a list of gift ideas that all fit in an Easter basket, that aren’t made of sugar, and that are quality gifts your kids will enjoy.

If you’ve got any ideas to add to the list, please tell us in the comment section!

Happy Browsing!

Here are my Top 50+ Non-Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas

1. If you read my blog regularly, you can probably guess what #1 will be: BOOKS. I give books for every holiday, and I certainly give Easter-themed books at Easter, BUT there are a ton of other ways you can incorporate books into gift giving. Some of my favorite interactive books to stick in an Easter basket include:

Sticker Books
Doodling Books
Wipe-Clean Books
Activity Cards
“That’s Not My…” Touchy-Feely Baby Books
There’s a Mouse About the House
Muddle and Match Imagine and Adventure
Kid Kits

2. DVD of their latest favorite movie or television show.  My girls are getting some 2-for-1 movies (2 in one case).
3. That Video Game they’ve been asking for
4. A CD or an iTunes Gift Card
5. Gift Card to their favorite clothing store
6. Gift Card to the local movie theatre
7. Disney Phone Case
8. Monogrammed iPad Case
9. Pocket Journal
10. Personalized Night Light
11. Personalized Flash Drive
12. Wooden Craft Set. Like the kind you get at Michaels or the Dollar Tree that comes with paint and markers (and is pictured above).
13. Foam Craft Set. Like #12, you can find these things at craft stores with all the pieces to make your finished product included in the set.
14. Sun Catchers and Sun Catcher Paint
15. Colored Pencils
16. Markers
17. Crayons
18. Gel Pens
19. Scarves
20. Socks. My favorites are the colorful character ones that you find in the Target bargain section.
21. Sunglasses
22. Jewelry (necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.)
23. Press on Nails
24. Make Up. Blush, eye shadow… seriously, there are soooo many sparkly and fancy (yet affordable) make up sets out there.
25. Lip Gloss. (My 3yo looooooves lip gloss!)
26. Nail Polish
27. Small LEGO sets. Also LEGO Minifigures.
28. Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars. We have a whole drawer dedicated to cars at my house. Receiving new ones as presents never gets old.
29. Erasers. These things are even great for hiding in Easter eggs. And they come in sooooo many designs – both girl and boy specific and gender neutral. I get most of mine from the Dollar Tree.
30. Puzzles. For smaller versions of puzzles, the dollar store has some really nice options.  Like the two in the photo.
31. Glow Sticks / Glow Bracelets / Glow Necklaces
32. Bubbles
33. Bookmarks
34. Stickers
35. Schleich Figurines. From dinosaurs to fairies and from jungle animals to giant castles, these things are not only versatile, they’re classic.
36. Punch Balloons. You know – those balloons on a string that you bounce all around. Keeps kids busy forever.
37. Sidewalk Chalk. Egg-shaped Sidewalk Chalk is more widely available around this time of year, too.
38. Travel Games
39. Pool Toys
40. Backyard Safari Adventure Sets. Or just a net or a bug house. I only let my kids keep their bugs or worms in their habitats for a couple of hours – max – but what they really love anyway is the hunt. And the longer they spend chasing no-see-ums around the backyard with a butterfly net – the better they’ll sleep that night.
41. Instruments. Kind of like these B. Jungle Animal Instruments Set. I’ve also seen some of those pieces for sale individually at Target.
42. P’Kolino Mess Eaters Artist Journal. My girls just received this as a birthday present and we LOVE it. Great for my little artists – and great for car rides, too. Available in Pink and Green and Blue.
43.  Budding Baker? Get them some cool Cookie Cutters.
44.  Budding Eater? Get them a cool Utensil Set.
45.  A Kid’s Water Bottle  or Personalized Sports Bottle for Teens and Tweens
46.  One of those character party cups found in the party section.  Like the Frozen ones pictured here.
47. Stuffed Animals. Could be a bunny or a chick, but don’t forget about other favorites, like that 20” Elsa doll that’s become my daughter’s new favorite or that Minecraft Plush Enderman your kid spotted at Walmart the last time you were there.
48. Card Games. Like Uno, Phase 10, Spot It and even regular playing cards. Did you know they made Princess Bride Playing Cards??? Because I just may have to make an Easter basket for myself to sneak some of these in there…
49. Flip Flops. Especially ones with cool designs or gemstones.
50. Gardening tools, gloves, and packets of seeds.
51.  A flower pot that comes with its own seeds, like these Grass Heads my kids really like.
52. Rosary Beads. If your kids don’t already have their own beads, now is a good time to gift them some.

I hope you enjoyed the list!  Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions to add!

If you’re wondering about the specific books pictured above, they are the Zoo Sticker Book, Animal Sticker Book, Magic Painting Book, 50 Easter Things to Make and Do (also reviewed here), and the Easter Bunny Flap Book (also reviewed here).

And be sure to check out my Resurrection Garden:

Easter Resurrection Garden

and Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies:

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

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Matching Personalized Monogram Gifts

Blue and White Chevron Matching Personalized Monogram Gifts

I love the idea of being able to set up an entire meal with personalized dishes and matching accessories.

Which is what these chevron patterned monogram gifts are for!  From the placemat and coasters for your breakfast at home to the lunchbox and water bottle for your lunch at the office, these are a great way to start any meal.

They’re great for kids, too!  I mean, sure, you might first think of yourself, or even your teenage daughter/granddaughter when you first look at them, but young kids also love to see their names on things – even when they’re just starting to learn their letters.  And not all of us want to have blinding primary colors or gigantic faces of Elmo plastered all over our kitchens.

We have to look at this stuff every day, too, amiright?

{Okay, okay… my girls have Jake and the Neverland Pirates placemats.  I admit it.  BUT, I love Jake, too.  :) }

Because we should be able to surround ourselves with things we love.  And things that no one will mistake as not being ours.  Especially if you’re living in a dorm or working in an office where your stuff keeps walking off…

Anyway, aside from the easy personalization, the other thing I love about this line of monogrammed gifts is that they come in different colors.  Below you’ll find the links for the blue, green, and pink versions!

Please share with me which are your favorites!  And don’t forget to also share them on Facebook and Pinterest!

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Coasters

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Lunchbox

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Mug

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Soup Mug

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Water Bottle

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Melamine Plate

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Porcelain Plate

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Napkins

Blue & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Placemat

Green and White Chevron Matching Personalized Monogram Gifts

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Coasters

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Lunchbox

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Mug

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Soup Mug

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Water Bottle

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Melamine Plate

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Porcelain Plate

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Napkins

Green & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Placemat

Pink and White Chevron Matching Personalized Monogram Gifts

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Coasters

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Lunchbox

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Mug

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Soup Mug

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Water Bottle

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Melamine Plate

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Porcelain Plate

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Napkins

Pink & White Chevron Personalized Monogram Placemat

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“Nevermore Awesome” Edgar Allan Poe Shop

Nevermore Awesome Edgar Allan Poe Store

My latest Zazzle venture is a store with an Edgar Allan Poe theme.

It’s a lot of fun for me to make these designs.  I always liked Poe, but I really fell in love with him in college.

Anyway, the store itself, like all my Zazzle stores, features t-shirts, mugs, keychains, cell phone cases, and all manner of gifts, from journals to toothbrush holders.

Check it out by clicking:  www.Zazzle.com/Nevermore_Awesome or the photo above.

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I’d Rather Be Reading

I'd Rather Be Reading T-Shirt

I’d rather be reading.

Really.

This is pretty much how I feel most of the day.

Except when I’m already reading.

And since I’m not the only bibliophile in the world, this is the newest sentiment that I’ve added to one of my Zazzle stores.

For example, here are a ring and a charm bracelet featuring the new design:

I'd Rather Be Reading Ring

I'd Rather Be Reading Charm Bracelet

 

Of course, there are also t-shirts, coffee mugs, cell phone cases, and the like, all decorated with this saying.  Heck, you can find everything from pendant lamps to pacifiers in this design.

Check it all out at my I’d Rather Be Reading Zazzle Store.

Enjoy!

If you need me, I’ll be … well, you know.

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“Make Your Own” Custom Chocolate Bars

Create Your Own Chocolate Bar from 3 Types of Chocolate and Over 100 Toppings!

Today, I discovered custom chocolate bars.

That’s right:  make your own Belgian chocolate bars by mixing and matching 3 types of chocolate and over 100 toppings.

I believe that “Sweet!” would be an appropriate response to this.  {Pun fully intended.}

Create Your Own Chocolate Bar from 3 Types of Chocolate and Over 100 Toppings!

Anywho, the combinations are endless, which I love.

You can add up to 5 toppings to make “recipes,” like Peanut Butter Jelly Time Chocolate Bar which includes a milk chocolate base and toppings of dried strawberries, butter toasted peanuts, peanut butter drops, and gushers.

Heck, you can even go the extra mile and add a “Congratulations” plaque and a candle.

Create Your Own Chocolate Bar from 3 Types of Chocolate and Over 100 Toppings!

Some of the ingredients which most intrigue my taste buds include:

Diced Ginger
Himalayan Sea salt
Pumpkin Spice
Dried Raspberries
Nerds
Sour Patch Kids
Cookie Dough
Pop Rocks
23 Karat Gold Flakes
Crystallized Violet Petals
Bacon
Monkey Munch

The list goes on…

Create Your Own Chocolate Bar from 3 Types of Chocolate and Over 100 Toppings!

And I mean, seriously, does anyone really NOT know someone who wouldn’t want a pumpkin spice chocolate bar?

I’m thinking that I’d love to try the dark chocolate base topped with violet petals and gold flakes.

What about you?  What would you try?  What would you craft as a gift for a loved one?

Let me know!  (And don’t forget to check out all the ingredients for the Create Your Own Chocolate Bar on Zazzle!)

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