Tuesday Tales: Drawing Animals Shape by Shape

It’s no secret that I love coloring and drawing. From an early age, I would take out Ed Emberley drawing books from the library just to doodle and draw for fun. My boys have definitely caught the drawing for fun bug. We have a great collection of drawing books that the entire family enjoys. When Sixth&Spring contacted me to review the new Christopher Hart book for kids, we said yes and could not wait to check it out.

Family Drawing Time

Drawing Animals Shape by Shape: Create Cartoon Animals with Circles, Squares, Rectangles & Triangles  – Drawing with Christopher Hart  – Published by Sixth&Spring Books ISBN 9781936096954 – $14.95 – Spiral-bound 176 pages –  Ages 4 and up

Drawing Animals Shape by Shape is broken up into different segments by animals of course.There are dogs, cats, farm animals. woodland creatures, safari animals, feathered friends, water animals, reptiles/bugs, dinosaurs, and more fun options in the table of contents. Kids of all ages will see the easy to follow step by step directions using simple shapes layered onto of one another until you see the featured animal friend before you. It truly is fun to see how an oval with some rectangles, circles, and triangles makes Fido the dog’s face come to life. The spiral bound book is filled with over 100 cartoon creatures for your budding artist to replicate.

Drawing Animals Shape by Shape

Moments after the book arrived, the kids ran off with it. They immediately pulled out some notebooks and colored pencils to practice drawing. After some time, they came over to show me several of their drawings. One of the first that was completed was the very fitting Art Loving Hippo.

Art Loving Hippo Drawing

The animals within the book would be great for kids to draw and tell stories, or to create their own fun cartoon stories. The lively creatures within actively engage even those that don’t think they can draw. This book will be on my birthday and holiday gift giving list because it will appeal to a wide variety of kids. Pair this up with a nice drawing notebook, colored pencil set, and voila the perfect creative package. I know my boys are already asking about the original Drawing Shape by Shape – Create Cartoon Characters with Circles, Squares & Triangles. The book has been a great addition to our rainy weather activities and will be fantastic on snow days that are bound to happen in a few months.

Giveaway Time!

Would you like to win your own copy of Drawing Animals Shape by Shape? One random person that answers the following question will receive a copy of the book.

What type of drawing book would you love to see by Christopher Hart next? Remember he already has made over 50 drawing books!

Bonus Entry:

As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

This giveaway ends on Friday, October 23 at 11:50 PM ET. Only open to US and Canadian residents that are 18 and older. 

It's Me

Disclosure: As noted above, I received this family drawing book from Sixth&Spring Books to review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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Trusting Your Smartphone Photos

#VZWBuzz Disclosure

Do you still take a camera with you when you go here, there, and everywhere? I used to schlep around an extra camera, but those days are primarily over. I rarely have my digital camera with me because I know my smartphone will be there to capture the moments. Not only am I able to share them with family, friends, and social media at an instant, they are a good enough quality that I can print them.

Capturing Memories with a Smartphone

On our recent cruise, I brought my Samsung Salaxy S5 along for the trip. I love the camera on it and knew that if TechyDad did not have his big camera with us we would be fine. My phone was on airplane mode while traveling all around the Atlantic Ocean, but I could still use the camera. While sitting outside and listening to the waves, I was able to edit photos and get them ready to share with our limited WiFi access.

While waiting to see the Status of Liberty, I was able to check out the sail away show with one of my boys. While he danced, I captured and shared a sneak peak of the fun we were about to experience for the week.

Norwegians like to get wild. #CruiseLikeANorwegian

A video posted by @theangelforever on

The boys loved the shows on the Norwegian Gem. No photography or video was allowed and it was wonderful to enjoy everything as a family. After Magika with Sander and Alison, the kids begged to purchase one of their DVDs to take home. We allowed the boys to select them and NHL was so excited to meet Sander. He loves magic and as you can see my smartphone caught this magical moment beautifully.

Sander from Magika on the Norwegian Gem

The kids had some moments with just the two of us while we were on the Gem. At one point, NHL went to the kids club and JSL stayed with us. The little guy was surprised that we stopped in the Atrium to get a nonalcoholic Pina Colada. Of course, I had to get snap shots of the boys drinking them at the family friendly bar.

Fruity Beverages on the Norwegian Gem

We also found out that one of our boys is great at being a photographer with my phone. Thanks to JSL, TechyDad and I were able to get a rare photo together with the Atlantic Ocean behind us.

TechyDad and Moi on the Norwegian Gem

I know that with my new Samsung Galaxy Note 5, I will be exploring new places this autumn with my kids where I will capture those memories for future generations to see. How do you use your smartphone when traveling?

It's Me

Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to test out and share ways that I use it in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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Sweet New Year Wishes 5776

This evening at sundown, my family will start our Rosh Hashanah celebration. The Jewish New Year is a symbolic part of the year. It’s during this time that we stop to look back at the past year and reflect.

Sweet New Year Wishes for Rosh Hashanah

So much has happened over the last year and I am looking forward to the year ahead of us. At times life can be overwhelming, but time with family in recent weeks has helped to keep my focus. Rather than dwell on the negative, I am looking for ways to improve things for myself, my family, and others. While things may be quiet at times over here on my blog, life keeps going and so much has been happening. As we start 5776, I have a list of things to share about our summer, the educational world, autism advocacy, Bar Mitzvah planning, and so much more.

Now I leave you with a fun new Rosh Hashanah song that a friend shared from YouTube. Apples and Honey Are Good – Rosh Hashanah Parody by Erez Cohen Music.

To all of those that celebrate, I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and sweet start to 5775.

It's Me

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Hello From Our Cruise

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It’s hard to believe that our time on board the Norwegian Gem is almost over. There is so much to write about. For now, I will share some photos from our family travel.

The first day we spent time looking around the beautiful Gem.image

Thanks to Splash Academy, the kids liked to play and TechyDad and I had time to explore and relax alone.

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Our only excursion was to Kennedy Space Center. So amazing to see the history behind NASA.

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A day of sun, fun, and sand thanks to the private Bahamas island. The Great Stirrup Cay was gorgeous. I wanted to take home my own palm tree.imageimageimageimage

The next day we explored Nassau, Bahamas on our own.

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So much more to share, but first I must enjoy the rest of the cruise with my family.

It's Me

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Cruising with a Smartphone

#VZWBuzz Disclosure

I have a confession, I love my smartphone. At times it is my lifeline and my BFF. It allows me to be connected to my family, friends, kids’ schools, and work. In addition to this, my Samsung S5 that I currently use has an amazing camera on it. This means I rarely need anything else to capture memories. Thanks to my heavy reliance on my smartphone, an upcoming vacation scared me a little bit. We are going on our first ever cruise and it was planned rather quickly.

Smartphone gear for cruise

During out planning process for the trip, my phone has been huge. I have been able to communicate with our travel agent, Norwegian Cruise Line, and make lists. This week it has also allowed me to keep tabs on the developing weather. Tropical Storm Erika was starting her path earlier in the week and we didn’t know what that would mean for our Florida and Bahamas cruise. While out last evening, I checked the NCL website and saw an updated weather alert. We were one of three ships that had their itineraries changed to avoid the storm that will likely become a hurricane shortly. While waiting for an event to begin, TechyDad had already started to research places to go and see while in Bermuda.

While it is easy to get phone plans for international travel, cruising is an entirely different beast. Being in the middle of the ocean for a few days at a time leaves you at the mercy of very expensive and potentially slow WiFi. I have to admit that being completely unconnected may appeal to some, but I am not as thrilled. I like being able to be in touch in case of emergencies.

I have embraced being mostly disconnected and prepared so I can still use my phone to share and check in from time to time. For days when we head to the pool or beach, I have a waterproof Geckobrand pouch to store my phone and camera inside I have my handy dandy Zeiss lens cleaning wipes for my lens and glasses. Thanks to TechyDad, I will be able to avoid the use of our WiFi enabled SD card in my camera to transfer for social media shares. He found us a Card Reader Hub by Allreli. This fantastic item will allow me to take photos off my phone and store it on a FlashDrive or shuttle something from my digital camera to smartphone. To be ready I just had to put the ES File Explorer app on my phone and I am all set with folders ready for quick access.

Now I just need an app that will finish packing everything that I am sure to forget. What tips do you have for traveling on a cruise with your smartphone? I would love to know and will share more after we get back from our family vacation.

It's Me

Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Droid Turbo to test out and share ways that I use it in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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