“The Complete Idiot’s Guide” & “For Dummies” Smack Down

I am crazy behind in posting this review.  Like, embarrassingly behind…  However, I stick to my commitments, and while I should have posted this a long time ago, I’m posting it now because I said I’d review these items.


I was sent a copy of two books:  The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Facebook® {TCIG} and Facebook® for Dummies® {FFD}.  I was asked to give an impartial head-to-head comparison of the two books.

I’ve never read a book from either series, so I thought this would be really interesting.  Right out of the box, I already had a few opinions…

Looks Matter


TCIG is a much more manageable size than FFD.  It’s lighter and smaller, and I prefer that.  It’s likely that someone would be carrying this book in a laptop bag or something similar, and smaller and lighter is better.

Cover Art

This may not be important to some, but I noticed it and wanted to include it in my comparison.  I prefer the cover of TCIG to that of FFD.  I’m not a fan of yellow and black together period {except on bees}, and on the cover of a book it’s just too harsh to me.

The FFD book also seemed jumbled and cluttered.  Personally, I don’t need to see, on the cover, what I’ll be learning.  I can look in the table of contents for that.


I prefer the font spacing in TCIG.  It makes it a bit easier on the eyes while reading.


I prefer the extras in TCIG to those in FFD.  The icons are more pleasing to the eye and the content seems to cover a wider spectrum, while still giving detailed and pertinent information.

Content is King

Table of Contents

Hands down the award goes to TCIG.  Not only does the table of contents show you exactly what you’ll be learning {in great detail-allowing you to pick and choose your topic if you’d like}, it’s layout is much nicer.

Visual Aids

Both books include a variety of visual aids, but I think TCIG uses them more effectively.  The standout?  The little lines/captions that really break down a photo in TCIG; no wondering what that button over there does…


Again, TCIG wins this one hands down.  I was completely amazed at the detail with which they give instructions.  I chose to look at the chapter on uploading pictures in each book.  While they both went over how to upload photos, TCIG broke it down into every tiny little step.

For someone who knows this stuff, it’s not earth-shattering.  But, for someone who is afraid any little touch will break everything, this is priceless.  It leaves nothing to question.  Excellent!

Material Covered

TCIG seems to cover quite a bit more than FFD.  While the latter gives a good overview of what you need to know to get started using Facebook, the former goes into all sorts of detail; I even learned a few things!

The Verdict


While I personally think TCIG comes out on top, FFD is not a bad book by any means.  I am glad I was exposed to the TCIG line of books, though.  I look forward to looking into those if I ever have questions that they have covered before.

True Confessions:  I was provided with a copy of both books and asked to do a side-by-side comparison.  Having never read either series before, I had no loyalty one way or the other.  These were my honest opinions about the two books.

Train Up a Dog – Results #ILoveMyk9

Milk Bone

Last week I talked about some of the treats we got to train our dog, Winston {aka Mr. Stone}.  We got a variety of things that we thought would be good for him, as well as tasty, and set out to teach  him to spin.

The Results


Well, he can’t spin…  Babydoll wanted to be the one to train him to do this, but she was scared of him snatching the treat from her hand, and it just wasn’t working out.  Winston likes to think he can bully Ava sometimes, so it’s generally best that she not test him unless she’s ready to show him who’s boss.  That hasn’t happened yet.

The good news is that we have made significant progress with something else we were trying to teach him to do:  stay.  We haven’t really worked much at getting him to stay, other than what Vince does when we’re bringing Winston back inside.  I took this opportunity to work with him on just staying when we asked him to, and he’s getting much better.

What I Used


Winston liked both the Pup-Peroni and the Milk-Bone® treats.  We haven’t broken into the other two items {the Milo’s Kitchen treats} because I didn’t want to have four bags of treats open for one small dog.  He doesn’t get soft treats often, so I think he really enjoyed the Pup-Peroni ones.

To train him, though, I used the Milk-Bone® Healthy Favorites treats.  I break them up into a few pieces when training since he’s so small {10 pounds}.  Otherwise, he’d be getting tons of little biscuits!

This time around, I called him over to me, had him sit, and then had him do something else we’re working with him on:  up.  Apparently Havanese used to be circus dogs and it’s easy to see why; they look very entertaining when they’re doing things like begging.


These are fairly easy for him; he learned to sit right after we got him, and he generally begs {up} anyway.  The real test for a dog like him that gets super excited about everything is to have him sit and stay when he knows you have a treat.

He knew I still had more treats in my hand, so he was very attentive.  I had him sit again…

…and then I slowly backed away.

Score!  It took a few tries, but we successfully got him to stay while we continued to back away.  I even walked back over to him to give him his treat and he patiently sat there until I gave it to him.

This was a lot of fun to do!  I used some of the tips we got when he went to puppy class, such as starting by rewarding with a treat every time, and then slowly expecting more out of him before he got a treat.

Also, I think the best piece of advice is to stay “Good ______!” instead of “Good boy/girl!”  This helps them learn the command and know what it is they’re doing good.

Do you have any dog training tips?

True Confessions:  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias


Sweet Critique: Chippy the Chipmunk – Babies in the Garden

Chippy Chipmunk: Babies in the Garden (The Chippy Chipmunk)Chippy is back!!!  Last year I did a review of Chippy Chipmunk:  Parties in the Garden.  The book was awesome, and all three of us really enjoyed it.

I was so happy to find out that I was being sent a copy of the newest book in the series:  Chippy Chipmunk:  Babies in the Garden by Kathy M. Miller.

I have to say, I think I love this book more than I did the other!  The pictures are even more amazing {the very first page of the story has a gorgeous picture of a purple and pink flower}, the explanation of the names of the chipmunks can start great conversations {the four chipmunks are named after conservationists and others who have tried to make an environmental impact}, and the story is wonderful.

The back even has several facts about chipmunks that can lead to even further investigation.  This would be an excellent book for any child {or adult…} who loves animals, a study on chipmunks, or just a basic study of animals.

The book does a beautiful job of telling an engaging story with great pictures and great educational content.  As a homeschool mother, I love this!

I can’t get over the photography in the book.  I’m amazed by good pictures anyway {I suck at taking them}, but the actions and scenes that Kathy catches are amazing!

Whether you choose to use this book as an educational accompaniment or just to enjoy as a family, I highly recommend it.  It’s such a fun book!

Check out this video to see Chippy in action.

True Confessions:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Sweet Critique: Anna Delores Photography


Photography fascinates me.  Not in the “I live it and breathe it” kind of way, but in the “man I wish I could do it” kind of way.  Good pictures can make or break something.  They can totally enhance your blog, and they can transform a room in your house.

Some of my favorite home decor is photographs, especially photographs that have some sort of story behind them.  They make you happy whenever you look at them, help you recall the surrounding events, and remind you of what you cherish.

But, since I suck at taking pictures, you’ll never find any of my photography on my walls.  Thankfully, we’ve got people like Emily, owner of Anna Delores Photography.

About Anna Delores Photography


Named after her maternal great-grandmother and paternal grandmother, Anna Delores Photography is a nifty little Etsy shop where you’ll find great photographs taken by the super-nice Emily Reiter.  She lives in CA, so most of her photos are of CA, but some are also taken in places she’s visited.  Emily loves vintage and antique photos as well, and she’s got quite a few really great pieces that fit that bill also.

I absolutely love the photos in Emily’s store!  I had such a hard time picking one to review {and Emily was nice enough to send me two, as well as a few other goodies!!!}, so I spent quite a bit of time looking through her store.  What I really love is that she has photographs to fit pretty much any taste.  Like pastels?  There are gorgeous prints of macaroons.  Like architectural prints?  She’s got those too.

What Did I Get?


Oh, the most lovely pictures around!!


They’re great quality, Emily ships fast, and they’re packed nicely.  I was so happy with the whole thing!!  Her prices are great too; I really can’t recommend her enough!!

How About a Giveaway?


Emily has been kind enough to offer one of you an 8×10 print of your choice!!!  Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

True Confessions:  I was provided with two prints to facilitate my review.  This did not influence my opinion of the product.  I do totally <3 Emily though.  :)

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Sweet Critique: Taylor Gifts

Taylor GiftsTaylor Gifts is an online retailer that sells a variety of items such as gag gifts, As Seen On TV items, and tons of other things.

They’re celebrating their 60th year of business in 2012, and it’s easy to see why they’ve been in business for so long: they take customer service seriously.  They may not have a big flashy logo or appear on commercials everywhere, but they’ve got that whole understated awesomeness thing down.

My First Experience With Taylor Gifts


SIX COLORFUL MAGAZINE FILESThe first time I ever bought from Taylor Gifts was a couple of years ago when we started homeschooling.  I needed a way to keep each subject separate and organized.  We were also living in a hotel while waiting to find a house, so I needed something small.  The magazine files they sell were perfect.  They lasted quite a while and did us proud until we moved on to our workboxes {our homeschooling storage needs grew…}.

The price was great, the shipping was fast, and I had not one problem with the whole transaction.  I love companies that are like that: they do a kick-butt job on getting you the stuff you paid for really fast and in really good condition.  You better believe, though, if there’s a problem, they’re ready to make it right.

What Do They Sell?


Taylor Gifts sells a variety of unique gifts, perfect for anyone on your list, including pets.  I was excited to find they sell a ton of gifts for pets, such as cat toys and Kong toys for dogs {they’re just about the only thing that can stand up to Winston’s chewing}.

You know all those quirky, fun, interesting things you find and think, “Oh, so-and-so would so get a kick out of this!” or “Oh, so-and-so would so love this!”?  Taylor Gifts sells that stuff, and they sell them at great prices.  They’re committed to fast shipping, and they don’t like backorders {who does?}, and they do this crazy thing: they don’t charge you until your item is shipped.  Imagine that!

Final Thoughts


I definitely recommend you check them out, even if you’re not in the market for gifts.  They sell a ton of stuff that you can use in your home, yard, homeschool, and everything in between!

True Confessions:  I partnered with Taylor Gifts to bring you this post. I really do shop there and all opinions are mine.