Camp Review: Background Info and Day 1 – Camp Woodward – Action Sports Camp for My PANDA?

Well…we arrived in Woodward, PA yesterday for Camp Woodward and I’ve been dying to tell you about it! Camp Woodward is an ACA-accredited action sports camp for ages 7+. While there are several Camp Woodward locations and they offer camps for several different action sports, my PANDA is attending Scooter Camp at the location in […]

Book Review: The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow – 3.5 stars

Boy…if you think your family puts the ‘fun in dysfunctional,’ you haven’t seen anything until you read The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow! This book is the second one I’ve read this year (the first being Tara Westover’s Educated) that has left me speechless about just how broken and toxic families can be! Well-written and […]

Book Review: The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict – 3 stars

Since the inaugural Mama Panda Bear Virtual Book Club meeting has come and gone and we had the opportunity to discuss The Only Woman in the Room as a group, I thought I’d follow up with my personal review of the book now. I added The Only Woman in the Room to the list of […]

VOTE NOW!! Mama Panda Bear Virtual Book Club – 2nd Meeting! Help pick the book!!!

Our last Mama Panda Bear Virtual Book Club pick was The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict and, whole the meeting was sparsely attended, it was a lot of fun! I’d love to have more of you join us this time…so I need your help picking the book!Since this blog focuses on Middle […]

Book Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White – 3.5 stars

As always, I’ll be completely straight with you and admit: I struggled with this book. I almost gave up on it twice early on: I found the plot a little too ‘convenient’ and formulaic. The voice that Claypole White gives to mental illness (particularly OCD) however, reeled me in and kept me reading. I had […]

Book Review: Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith – 4.5 stars

This book is beautiful, lyrical, sad and hopeful. It’s one that has stuck with me for many days after I finished reading it. Delivered in verse, (Thank you Kwame Alexander for teaching me to appreciate books in verse!) Ebb and Flow packs a punch without flowery or abundant language. Smith’s book is the story of […]

Book Review: Bloom Where You’re Planted by Lasairiona McMaster – 3.5 stars

I’m sure some folks are wondering why I would even bother to read a book about being an expat! Are the Navins considering relocating somewhere else in the world for work? For fun? I’ll be honest…when I was asked to review this book, I skimmed the book blurb and said ‘yes!’ When I started reading […]

My PANDA: A Year in Review

For those of you fighting PANDAS or just fighting to keep your child’s life normal in the face of PANDAS, I think it’s fair to admit that this may have been one of our worst years for symptoms since Spencer was diagnosed! Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun and I wanted to take this […]

Book Review: The Nerdy Parent’s Guide to Raising a Nerdy Child by Leo Murphy – 1.5 stars

Ugh…I was so disappointed in this book. I had really high hopes that this would be what it promised: ‘a parenting guide that will help you engage with your little ones with crafts, games and recipes based on their new nerdy interests!’ I’m a huge Star Wars, Harry Potter and Hunger Games fan so this […]

Guest Book Review: The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister – 4 stars – Review by Sarah Williams – Available May 21st!

Have you ever been transported back to the memory of a time and place by a smell?  The Scent Keeper is a man with a seemingly magical machine that can preserve those smells on “scent papers” that he keeps in sealed glass jars.  This is one of the unusual truths Emmeline grows up with, living […]