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Profile for Amy VG > Reviews

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Content by Amy VG
Top Reviewer Ranking: 235
Helpful Votes: 311

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Reviews Written by
Amy VG (Southern Ontario)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Long Way Round: The Entire Series (Ten Episodes)
Long Way Round: The Entire Series (Ten Episodes)
DVD ~ Ewan McGregor
Price: CDN$ 28.98
18 used & new from CDN$ 20.69

5.0 out of 5 stars What a fun ride!, July 24 2008
This series is AMAZING! I loved watching Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman ride around the world and seeing all their adventures and mishaps they had along the way. It was funny, touching, exciting, and riveting, so it was definitely a roller-coaster ride just watching them. And it was really great to see all the different countries and the interesting people they met.

I highly recommend this series for motorcycle lovers and non-motorcycle lovers alike! (I'm in the latter category...well I was before watching this series, I have a new respect for motorcycling). I'm also pumped to watch their next series Long Way Down where they travel from Scotland down to South Africa, but I can't seem to find the American DVD format available. Either that, or it's so popular it sold out very quickly, as it was released in June of this year.

A word of warning though, there is quite a bit of swearing in this series, especially as they get along on their journey. Nothing too profane, just typical for a bunch of guys hanging out together for a long period of time.

Thankfully our DVDs did not skip or anything, even on our low-quality DVD player. Perhaps it's just the luck of the draw, or perhaps the manufacturer have fixed the issues concerning the quality.

The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections
The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections
by Amanda Blake Soule
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.61
62 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Inspirational!, July 17 2008
I just loved this book. I found the author Amanda Blake Soule to be very down to earth, yet firm in her convections. I really like her writing style, perhaps it's because I also firmly believe in what she's trying to convey, how being creative with your children helps nurture family connections, which is something sorely lacking in our society today. It is JAM PACKED with amazing, yet simple, creative projects to do with your little one(s). It's totally inspirational! Out of all the crafty books I've read recently, this is by far the best, I like almost all of the completely doable projects, and plan to try all of them over this year. Highly recommend!

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children
Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children
by Sharifa Oppenheimer
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 32.99
38 used & new from CDN$ 21.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Suggestions for Implementing Waldorf Principles, July 17 2008
I really like this book, the author Sharifa Oppenheimer, writes with such a warm tone, guiding you along, helping you, as a parent, try to implement some of the Waldorf principles into raising of your child(ren). I found You Are Your Child's First Teacher to be a better, perhaps "meatier", resource for specific Waldorf Principles, while the easier to read through Heaven On Earth breaks it all down, giving you many simple examples on how to give your child the best richly creative environment for each age-specific developmental stage. Oppenheimer provides guidance on establishing life rhythms (so important for a stay at home parent to stay sane, while producing well-balanced children), creating indoor and outdoor spaces, numerous suggestions on celebrations, which helps build a "family culture" (absolute must!). I think out of the two (You Are Your Child's First Teacher vs Heaven On Earth), I will have my husband read Heaven On Earth, as it's definitely an quick and easier read.

Peaceful Piggy Meditation
Peaceful Piggy Meditation
by Kerry Maclean
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.55
27 used & new from CDN$ 2.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My kids love this book!, June 28 2008
The pictures capture my young children's attention, the words are simple and clear, and I find it sets the right mood just before meditating with my children.
I highly recommend for any wiggly meditator!

Zen Shorts
Zen Shorts
by Jon J Muth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 15.31
41 used & new from CDN$ 1.36

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, June 27 2008
This review is from: Zen Shorts (Hardcover)
I just love this book!

Zen Shorts is such a positive, engaging story for young children. And thought provoking too, as my oldest (whose five) asks many questions about the morals in the stories (there are several). The illustrations are beautiful, the story is unique, and it's a wonderful inspiring read for young minds.

You are Your Child's First Teacher: What Parents Can do with and for Their Children from Birth to Age Six
You are Your Child's First Teacher: What Parents Can do with and for Their Children from Birth to Age Six
by Rahima Baldwin
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 6.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend For Every Parent of Young Children, June 27 2008
What this book helps with is seeing children differently...through their various developments, so you can help guide them - at the right times - and to avoid frustrations, because you can now see what your children are or aren't capable of, depending which development stage they are currently at.

Baldwin Dancy recommends having "rhythms" (loosely based schedule) to your day to avoid a lot of the chaos and confrontations, because your children will know what's happening next. It was interesting to read that most children under six don't have the focus/concentration to sit for long periods of time (like my children). And that children do best learning through play.

This book explains why it's beneficial to avoid television,video games, and computers. Plus ways to provide the right natural imaginative toys for learning and growing developmentally.

Baldwin Dancy even explains why a stay-at-home parent is so tired at the end of the day and how it's so important to take care of yourself.

Some main-stream parents might find this read a little too "hooky" and "new-agey". So all I ask is you keep an open mind, as your children will benefit immensely. I'm not sure I agree with all the "stressed" importance of some of Steiner's writings on childhood education as I am still not convinced I shouldn't teach my son to read until his adult teeth come in or the importance of colour therapy. But I now have some absolutely amazing tools I can take from such an unbelievable rich style of raising and teaching your children.

Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children
Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children
by Sarah Napthali
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Every New Mother, June 16 2008
I highly recommend that every mother read Buddhism for Mothers, even if you do not practice Buddhism. Bringing the insightful 2500 yr old teachings of the Buddha and blending them into practical advice for mothers of young children is so necessary for every parent to read and implement.

The author Sarah Napthali (from Australia) is so real and easy to identify with. Several years ago, I tried reading a different parenting buddhism book and felt the author was way to "perfect" to relate to and put it down half read.

Each chapter of Buddhism for Mothers deals with an area to work on (dealing with anger, finding calm, parenting mindfully) and offers ways to evolve to a more mindful loving parent.

I also thoroughly enjoyed "Creating Loving Relationships" and "Living With Partners". Packed with many helpful tips to create connections in a real and honest way, something our society is seriously lacking.

I think my favourite chapter was "Finding Happiness". Being a mother is absolutely wonderful, however, if all of us mothers were honest we can say that mothering is hugely challenging and lonely and selfless and occasionally stressful, having a positive outlook and changing your "delusion" or "perception" of your reality is absolutely necessary to create a sense of calm peacefulness, which I think every one needs. In Buddhism for Mothers, Napthali gives you the starting tools to create your new mindful path.

Each Breath a Smile
Each Breath a Smile
by Sister Susan
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.19
36 used & new from CDN$ 4.81

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great beginning book for teaching mindfulness to young children, June 9 2008
This review is from: Each Breath a Smile (Paperback)
I read Each Breathe a Smile by Sister Susan before every KidsYoga session (so two times a week) and I think it's definitely a great beginning book on mindfulness and conscious breathing for very young children. My five-yr-old and my three-yr-old definitely take the soothing words seriously and, for the most part, they breathe deeply when the story says to. I do find the story a little too long for my young children, they do get a tad squirmy near the end of the book. There aren't a lot of words per se, however, with all the breathing-in and breathing-out we do through-out the book, it takes a little while to finish it. I don't think it's a really big deal, as we practice I'm sure they will get less restless. The colourful pictures are so beautiful!

The Sun in My Belly
The Sun in My Belly
by Sister Susan
Edition: Paperback
11 used & new from CDN$ 41.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Such a lovely book for young children, June 9 2008
This review is from: The Sun in My Belly (Paperback)
The Sun in My Belly by Sister Susan has such a beautiful story about two young friends who have a selfish fight and in the end realize all life is wonderfully interconnected. My five-yr-old and three-yr-old were glued to their seats listening to the engaging story. I personally love the gorgeous water-paint art that fills each page. I highly recommend this book for all young children, as this is the age to start teaching this message about how our actions can affect many things and how many things affect our actions...and to become mindful of that.

Finding the Still Point (Book and CD): A Beginner's Guide to Zen Meditation
Finding the Still Point (Book and CD): A Beginner's Guide to Zen Meditation
by John Daido Loori
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 16.99
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Starting Point, May 24 2008
I read this book start to finish last night (it's small). Though I knew most of basics from when I went to a Zen Centre a few years back, this book was a nice refresher. And I did learn a few excellent things that will help my zazen practice greatly, like the best sitting position to keep my spine straight with-out strain, plus a great way of easy counting of my breath to keep the mind from wandering. I tried both techniques during this morning's zazen, and found the results amazing. I listened to the CD today. Though short, it was nice to listen to Loori, he is very calm and informative in an informal way, which I liked. I don't think the two meditations sessions, one 10min and the other 30min, are really necessary tho, as all it does is have three gongs at the beginning and two gongs at the end, something you can do on your own. But I gather it would be helpful for some to have the exact timing for each meditation session, instead of consistently checking their clock, and perhaps for those who do not have a singing bowl or gong.

I definitely recommend this little book and CD for any beginner looking for good basic advice and motivation to start their Zen meditation practice.

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