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    Grandma's Back Room


    Brief book reviews: Yummy Thanksgiving picture books from Candlewick Press

    Picture books to keep kiddos entertained while awaiting turkey and pumpkin pie — or any time.

    gobble gobble tucker

    Four more follow!

    Click to read more ...


    Iron Man ocarina: Easy-to-play, collectible instrument for budding musicians

    The ocarina, a pocket-sized wind instrument, has been around for ages. As in, played by Mayans, Aztecs, Incas and other ancient civilizations. Americans finally caught on to the trend during World Wars I and II, when soldiers often carried the easy-to-play instruments in their pockets.

    Soon after the wars, the ocarina fell out of popularity in the U.S. They saw a resurgence in the '90s, though, when the video game "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" captivated kiddos and had them clamoring for an ocarina of their own.

    Iron Man ocarina

    I'm happy to say I now have an ocarina of my own!

    I recently received...

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    Pick and Draw game: Artistic fun for all ages, with a group or on one's own

    A deck of cards plus a pencil (with an eraser) and paper are all that's needed for hours of fun — as long as the cards are from the Pick and Draw game.

    The Pick and Draw game, created by picture book illustrator Rich Davis, makes me think of those painting places where a group of soon-to-be artists receive the very same instruction yet create fabulously unique paintings, each masterpiece just like the others... but different.

    pick and draw game

    That's the idea behind Pick and Draw, only, the creative result is a comical cartoon. Funky...

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    Strider No-Pedal Balance Bike a super holiday gift for beginning riders

    What kid doesn't want a new bike from Santa? Even the kiddos who can't yet ride a bike want one.

    For those youngest wanna-be bike riders, the Strider 12 No-Pedal Balance Bike makes a great gift — while providing a revolutionized way to teach a child to ride a bike.

    strider no-pedal bikeMac tries out the Strider No-Pedal Balance Bike

    See, the Strider No-Pedal Balance Bike has — you got it! — no pedals. The idea is...

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    Holiday hint: LG OLED TV from Best Buy a hoped-for family gift

    This post sponsored by Best Buy. I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

    best buy holiday tree

    The #HintingSeason is upon us!

    The what season? you ask.

    The hinting season! It's the time of year when folks share blog posts, magazine ads, Pinterest...

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    Great American Smokeout: How my husband quit smoking for life

    This is a sponsored post in partnership with the American Cancer Society. All opinions and anecdotes are my own.

    great american smokeout

    When my future husband and I first started dating, he had it all. The personality. The kind heart. The looks. The hair. 

    And he had a cigarette in hand. Always.

     1981 smoker

    I wasn't a smoker, though all six of my siblings and both of my parents were, so...

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