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Reviews Written by
Amy VG (Southern Ontario)
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The Hidden Folk: Stories of Fairies, Dwarves, Selkies, and Other Secret Beings
The Hidden Folk: Stories of Fairies, Dwarves, Selkies, and Other Secret Beings
by Lise Lunge-Larsen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 13.43
24 used & new from CDN$ 2.71

2.0 out of 5 stars Not so good, Dec 23 2008
I just didn't like this book...which is pretty rare.

I guess the introduction set my mood...it writes about how "the hidden folk" came into being. According to The Hidden Folk's intro Eve (from Adam and Eve) was a horrible housekeeper. Poor thing, she gets such a bad rap, first for the downfall of all "man"kind and now for feeling overwhelmed with the task to care for her large family. She, apparently, neglected her children, as when God came over to visit one day, Eve hid all but two of her many children, as the rest were "unkept". God was upset and proclaimed that all the children will remain hidden and so, according to The Hidden Folk intro, they became fairies and dwarves.

I was reading this aloud to my oldest two and was just cringing inside! Just ridiculous. I'm not Christian, but as a woman and mother, I was insulted of how incapable Eve was portrayed in this story.

Also, I found most of the stories to be slightly negative in tone. And one of the stories was full of war and guns. No thanks. I returned it this evening.

The illustrations were interesting, and very colourful, and some of the stories were okay, which is why I gave this two stars and not one.

Mindfulness for Beginners
Mindfulness for Beginners
by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Edition: Audio CD
Price: CDN$ 15.64
37 used & new from CDN$ 9.49

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes for a good start, Dec 17 2008
I've really enjoyed this 2-disc CD set. With-in the first CD Jon defines mindfulness and its benefits (living moment to moment, awareness as a sixth sense, non-judging, non-striving, letting go, etc), while the second CD consists of six fairly short (10-18min) guided meditations.

There's a certain style of how Jon speaks (and writes, as I'm currently reading his book called Everyday Blessings)...he has these run-on sentences that work for him, as each sentence has such wonderful prose and clarity. And he's personable, and humorous, and thought-provoking. There's a lot of talk during the guided meditations, which can slightly distract the mediator, but for beginners I think this "chatting" may be beneficial to help focus the mind to stay present.

Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners
Shiva Rea: Flow Yoga for Beginners
DVD ~ Shiva Rea
Price: CDN$ 16.99
18 used & new from CDN$ 10.87

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Introduction, Dec 15 2008
This is Shiva Rea's newest DVD. It's a very lovely DVD which will help beginners build the foundations of yoga properly. It's actually the best instructional yoga DVD I've ever come across thus far. Shiva Rea's instructions are excellent. The backgrounds, which are outside on various locations of Kauai, Hawaii, are just gorgeous and relaxing. The first two practices, "Foundation Flow" and "Beginners Backbend Flow", walk through the basic moves. IMO after those beginning moves are mastered it would be nice to just do the "Beginner's Standing Pose Flow" followed by "Relaxing Flexibility Flow". Unfortunately to pick and choice your practice, you have to return to the chapter menu to pick each practice, instead of Shiva Rea's usual "matrix" selection system on her other DVDs.

This simple video is definitely for beginners and, perhaps, advanced beginners, however, more seasoned yoga practioners may also find this DVD helpful to remind themselves about proper form and to have a nice relaxing yoga program occasionally.

Workout: One-On-One Training With Jackie [Import]
Workout: One-On-One Training With Jackie [Import]
DVD ~ Rebecca Cardon
Offered by BuyCDNow Canada
Price: CDN$ 38.98
10 used & new from CDN$ 20.00

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivating!, Dec 15 2008
I have no idea about the "hit show" Workout or who Jackie Warner is, but what I do know is this workout DVD is GREAT! It consists of three individual 20min workouts, one for lower body, one for upper body, and the last is for core. You can customize your workout by just doing one or adding one or two of the others, depending on your energy level.

The workouts are TOUGH (I couldn't walk very well the day after the lower body portion). But Jackie shows how to modify for beginners, as well as, adding extra to maximize your workout. The studio looks pleasant, and Jackie is motivating and personable. Her helpers are apparently some of her trainers at her "famous" gym, and they all definitely add their own personality to make the DVD more interesting too.

Each 20min workout mixes up 1 to 3 different exercises followed by 1 to 2 min of cardio, which repeats (with different exercises, you only do the same exercise for 1min once, which keeps the whole program fresh IMO) about four times (one new set per trainer).

This Is the Stable
This Is the Stable
by Cynthia Cotten
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.59
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, Dec 14 2008
This review is from: This Is the Stable (Paperback)
Ahhh, finally! A Nativity book without all the religious "stuff". Yes, I know, an oxymoron...but I want to share with my children the beautiful Nativity tale without all the dogma attached. It is, after all, a tale that (loosely) originates from pre-christian era.

The illustrations are beautiful, and I love how all the figures match their proper ethnicity. It's a simple story, with lovely rhyming verse. Great for my 2-yr-old and 4-yr-old. It's a little young for my 6-yr-old, but it's still a nice story to share at Christmas time.

One Amazon reviewer put it perfectly: "Bettoli's (illustrator) distinctive style, her mastery of colors, and the rich symbology that transcends faiths and cultures makes this a gift to be passed from generation to generation". Nicely put!

Living Simply with Children: A Voluntary Simplicity Guide for Moms, Dads, and Kids Who Want to Reclaim the Bliss of Childhood and the Joy of Parenting
Living Simply with Children: A Voluntary Simplicity Guide for Moms, Dads, and Kids Who Want to Reclaim the Bliss of Childhood and the Joy of Parenting
by Marie Sherlock
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.26
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Guide!, Nov. 24 2008
What a wonderful little guide! The first and second chapters were slightly tough reads (for motivation to continue on with the book), more about determining my goals and values, these chapters really should have been at the end of the book, after reading why we should simplify in the first place. But the rest of the chapters were excellent, great for motivating myself to finally change my over-consuming ways.

The first part of the book is about the "whys" families should practice simplicity. The second part of the book goes into the "hows". This book took an simple straightforward approach to simplifying, I learned so many easy to implement techniques to motivate myself, my husband, and my children to all simplify; tips on communicating to our kids the whys, how to teach our children money management skills from an early age, and providing examples of "simple pleasures" to reconnect with family and community.

Because, lets face it, it's not just about our pocket-book anymore. Basically due to our greed we're destroying our environment and taking away from those living in less fortunate countries.

Another great part of this book are the lists of resources for more in-depth research on those areas discussed in each chapter.

I highly recommend!!

The Quiltmaker's Gift
The Quiltmaker's Gift
by Jeff Brumbeau
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 15.15
58 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful message, Nov. 16 2008
This review is from: The Quiltmaker's Gift (Hardcover)
What a beautiful story...a greedy, yet unhappy, King demands a quilt by the very generous Quiltmaker, but she refuses because she only gives her quilts to the poor. In the end, the King gives all his treasures away and realizes how much happier he is with less.

It's a great story for our over-consuming un-fulfilled society, a perfect example that living simply provides a more contented way to live. Also, shows children how giving without expecting anything in return provides happiness.

The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and the text just flows when read aloud. It's a longer story, perfect for my six year old.

Rea;Shiva Fluid Power Vinyasa
Rea;Shiva Fluid Power Vinyasa
DVD ~ Shiva Rea
Price: CDN$ 22.14
23 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yoga DVD out there, Sept. 25 2008
Shiva Rea is perhaps the most inspiring yoga instructor out there (that's available on DVDs, as I'm sure there are many amazing yoga instructors teaching in local yoga studios).

This past week, I purchased Shiva Rea's Fluid Power and have tried a couple of the practices, and all I can say is...this is the best yoga DVD out there (for those looking to try something different). It's so distinctive and so beautiful (the poses and the scenery). Some of the reviews I've read say that what Shiva Rea teaches on this DVD is not yoga, and I completely disagree. What Shiva Rea teaches is EXACTLY what yoga truly is. This is raw yoga (it's a "fluid" practice, where the poses move you like water), perhaps like the poses taught in India for many past generations, not the mechanical "mainstream" yoga taught in North America today.

If you are looking for more "tradtional" yoga poses, I highly recommend Shiva Rea's Yoga Shakti.

So if you've been practicing yoga for several years and are bored of your routine, then I highly recommend trying one of Shiva Rea's inspiring DVDs. She'll take you to another - spiritually moving - level, and perhaps rekindle your love of yoga.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Inspirational, Sept. 25 2008
Shiva Rea is perhaps the most inspiring yoga instructor out there (that's available on DVDs, as I'm sure there are many amazing yoga instructors teaching in local yoga studios).

I have been practicing the Yoga Shakti DVD for a couple of months now. It is so wonderful. Using her unique matrix system, you can "create" an abundant different sequences, mainly traditional sun and moon salutations (with Rea's own unique take on them). Shiva Rea's form is just perfect, every move and pose is flawlessly executed.

This practice is not for the absolute beginner. I pop in this DVD when I'm feeling energetic and ready to take on a challenge. I'm always glad I did, as I usually feel so amazing afterwards. It reminds me of when I use to walk home after a taking a class at an amazing yoga studio in Toronto, and I felt like I was walking on a cloud, as every muscle tingled with energy. That's how I feel after a Yoga Shakti "class". That's never happened with any other home practice DVD.

I have been practicing yoga for 14 years now, and taught "power yoga" at the last gym I worked at before kids. For the past 7 years though, I've been mainly practicing yoga at home, and so I have collected a huge array of yoga DVDs. Many are boring and mechanical, except for the Namaste series, and now the Shiva Rea DVDs.

So if you've been practicing yoga for several years and are bored of your routine, then I highly recommend trying one of Shiva Rea's inspiring DVDs. She'll take you to another - spiritually moving - level, and perhaps rekindle your love of yoga.

Sharing Nature with Children
Sharing Nature with Children
by Joseph Cornell
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.37
38 used & new from CDN$ 3.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Great little book full of activities, Sept. 20 2008
This is a great little book for those wanting ideas to play innovative games with a group of children to explore nature together in fun and exciting ways. For homeschooling families, there may be a need to adapt the games to suit individual requirements of a much smaller group (unless you have six or more kids!). Given that, I do think after having read all the activities, I may adapt a few for next time we're on a hike or camping, just for fun.

One more thing to note, reading Joseph Cornell's words, you really get a sense of his reverence to nature.

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