Dad of Divas' Reviews: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Boston Pops Celebrates 125 Years

Acclaimed actors Robert De Niro, Ed Harris, and Morgan Freeman give life to the words of John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy, respectively, when they join conductor Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for the world premiere performance of The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers—the centerpiece of the Boston Pops 125th anniversary season celebration—on May 18, at 8 p.m. (repeated on May 19), at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA. Celebrating the legacies of these three influential and inspiring Massachusetts native sons, The Dream Lives Oncomposed by Peter Boyer with Tony Award-winning lyricist Lynn Ahrens—was commissioned by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops.  This new multi-media work combines quotes from speeches by the Kennedy brothers with original text and video, accompanied by a dramatic orchestral and choral score. The Dream Lives On pays tribute to the towering achievements and singular spirit epitomized by the Kennedy brothers—the call to public service, drive for social change, and the legacy of optimism for America’s future.  The title of the work was taken from the closing lines of Ted Kennedy’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Emmy Award-winner Alec Baldwin will join the Pops to narrate The Dream Lives On at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (parent organization of the Boston Pops) in Lenox, MA on July 18, at 2:30 p.m.  Academy Award-winner Chris Cooper will serve as narrator for a special performance of the new work on the Hyannis Village Green in Hyannis, MA, home to generations of Kennedys, on August 1, at 5 p.m.  The work was written with more than one performance adaptation in mind: it can be performed with four narrators, chorus, and orchestra or it can be performed with a single narrator and orchestra (optional chorus).  

In addition to the repeat performance of the work at Presidents at Pops on May 19 (with Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Ed Harris narrating), The Dream Lives On will receive additional performances during the Pops 125th anniversary season celebration on May 20, 21, and 22, and on July 3 and 4 at the Charles River Esplanade as part of the annual Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular concert (narrator/narrators for these performances to be announced at a later date). Commissioning of The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers was made possible by generous support provided by Paul and Catherine Braverman and Robert and Evelyn Doran.

Kid-Friendly Crafts and Recipes for Thanking Mom

Below please find a number of Mom-worthy crafts and recipes from the editors of Disney FamilyFun magazine.  A few may require another adult’s help, but all offer a personalized way for kids to celebrate Mom to the fullest on her special day.

Queen for a Day Cupcakes: This Mother’s Day give the moms in your life the royal treatment by serving up these tiny sweets. (In the May 2010 issue of Disney FamilyFun)

Beauty Mask: This eye pillow, filled with lavender and flaxseed, is a Mother's Day gift that actually takes something away: stress!

Button Bracelet: This sweet and simple craft features well-loved faces all in one place and makes a great gift for Mom on her special day.

Purse-onal Greetings: Need a great gift that Mom will love? We've got it in the bag. This fancy, one-of-a-kind handbag holds just what Mom needs this Mother's Day: a message of love.

Mother’s Day Box: Made with love, this magical wonder issues a steady flow of surprises and gifts.

Paper Blossoms: A bare branch, tissue paper, and glue are all it takes to present Mom with a bouquet of delicate, easy-care blossoms she'll love.
Bagel Family Portrait: Breakfast in bed on Mother's Day is a tradition that will never go out of style. But it could stand to be jazzed up a bit. So we here at FamilyFun came up with the perfect solution: bagel portraits of Mom and the kids created by the kids (with a little help from Dad).

Garland Card: This clever garland card is an unexpected way to wish a mother the best on her big day or send fun greetings on any occasion. Use a mint or candy tin to create this craft! (In the May 2010 issue of Disney FamilyFun)

6 Tips for Saving Money While Preventing Car Problems

I wanted to introduce you to JustAnswer, a Web site connecting people to thousands of verified Experts in over 100 categories, because it’s the perfect resource for moms and dads that need to avoid finding themselves at odds with their vehicle. Auto Experts on JustAnswer are providing insight to drivers everywhere to help them not only save time and money on car maintenance, but also learn insider secrets about the dreaded auto shop.

Below you’ll find 6 tips that Eric Brock, an auto Expert on JustAnswer, finds himself offering up to JustAnswer users everyday.
1) Spend some quality time with the user’s manual. Getting to know the basics about your vehicle can prevent you from throwing money away on repairs. That knowledge also comes in handy if you’re in an emergency situation and have to do a quick DIY fix. For example, you should know how to check and fill all the fluids in your engine compartment because if you use the wrong transmission fluid, you will end up with a failed transmission that won’t be covered by your warranty.

2) Keep your receipts to keep your warranty intact. Keep a receipt for everything, whether it’s routine maintenance or supplies you bought for a DIY fix. In order for your warranty to cover a mechanical failure, you must keep accurate records to prove you’re not at fault.
3) Update your calendar with the recommended maintenance schedules.
Despite what you may think, recommended maintenance schedules don’t exist just to rip you off. They were created by the engineers who designed your vehicle and can save you tons of money. The number one reason for engine, transmission, transfer case, and rear differential failure is customer neglect.
4) Don’t ignore those warning lights.  Just like with maintenance schedules, warning lights and gauges aren’t there to dupe you. The second most common reason for drive train failure is that drivers ignore warning signs. Paying attention and responding to these warning signals can prevent a hefty garage bill. 5) Increase gas mileage by up to 15%. Maintaining proper tire pressure and changing your air filter and PCV valve every 7,500 miles will increase your gas mileage. You should also check behind your vehicle’s grill to keep the radiator and fan free of debris because that causes higher engine temperatures and poorer gas mileage.

6) Know the truth behind mechanics’ prices – and why they might be worth it. Shops have overhead that must be taken into account in order for them to remain profitable and stay in business. They charge more for parts that can easily be purchased at a parts store because mechanics offer a parts and labor warranty for the work, whereas you only get a parts warranty from a parts store. Typically, a shop must charge 2 to 2.75 times what they pay for a part just to achieve a 1% net profit for the job. The technicians only receive 20-25% of the charged hourly labor rate. So you can either pay less for the part at a parts store or head to the garage for the part plus expert problem diagnosis.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

GM Certified Used Vehicles Attract Recent Graduates

With the graduation season fast approaching, families may be thinking about getting their sons and daughters a more reliable vehicle than, say, the one that’s been in the family for 15 years, as they send them off to college. Or maybe you’re a recent college grad ready to upgrade to something a little closer to new. GM Certified Used Vehicles remain an excellent option for those seeking great value, backed by an excellent manufacturer’s warranty as well as a great way to begin building your credit.

Matt Mullaney of Hudson Pontiac Buick GMC Truck commented, “GM Certified vehicles are the perfect solution for recent high school and college graduates, on a budget and looking to trade-up.   Backed by a detailed warranty, they are getting a great value for an affordable monthly price.”

With a 12 month/12,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, 117-point inspection, vehicle reconditioning, free CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour roadside assistance and 3-month trial of OnStar and XM Satellite Radio, GM Certified Used Vehicles offer incredible safety and reliability, in addition to approximately $1,925 of built-in value.

Dave Adams, CEO of Michigan Credit Union League noted, “Getting an affordable loan for a GM certified used car is a great way for recent graduates to establish a credit history. These loans help students get started on building their credit score while taking advantage of historically low rates, and put them on the road to a solid financial future.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baby Magic Introduces World's First Dustless Baby Powder Compact

Baby Magic® Introduces Patty Cake®,
World’s First Patented Dustless Baby Powder Compact

When it comes to changing diapers, there hasn’t been much advancement in the past century.  Sure, we’ve gone from cloth to disposable diapers, an innovation that had moms the world over crying for joy, but beyond that, many parents have followed the same diaper-changing protocol for generations: remove soiled diaper, clean, apply lotion and sprinkle your little one – and everything around them – with baby powder.  If only the process could be made easier and less messy.  Coming this spring, Baby Magic® – a mom- and physician-approved brand for more than 100 years – will revolutionize the industry with the launch of Patty Cake®, the world’s first U.S. patented*, talc-free, dustless baby powder compact that will help give parents the magic touch at the changing table. 

Baby Magic® Patty Cake®, the first pressed baby powder packaged in a conveniently-sized compact, implements a hypo-allergenic, talc-free formula that uses rice starch and Lauroyl L-lysine to help keep skin dry.  Together with zinc oxide, a proven ingredient in diaper rash prevention; moisturizing jojoba esters, derived from natural jojoba oil; and lubricating squalene, derived from olives; Patty Cake® eases chafing and dryness on your baby's most sensitive areas.     

DIRECTIONS: Using the disposable cotton round applicators included in every package (extra rounds can be stored in compact), swipe applicator across Patty Cake®.  Apply baby powder on baby’s bottom and other areas that can use powder and are susceptible to irritating friction.  Not only is the precise application easy-to-use, the dustless formula eliminates the possibility of airborne particles from entering your baby’s lungs, something that is hard to avoid with all other baby powders.

Suggested Retail Price: $8.99 (Over 250 Applications)
* U.S. Patent 5747007
Traditional Baby Powder
Patty Cake®
Dustless Baby Powder
Talc Base
Cornstarch Base
Water Repellent (helps prevent diaper rash)
Lubricant (helps prevent diaper rash)
Controlled Application
Carry with Convenience
Fresh Scent
About Baby Magic
Baby Magic is the dermatologist and pediatrician-endorsed brand known for gently cleansing and protecting babies for over 100 years.  Providing a wealth of information and support on everything parents need to keep their baby’s skin soft, clean and healthy, Baby Magic offers a wide range of products for all your baby care needs.  For more information, please visit

Mothers Day Concert in Central Park Announced

The InterSchool Orchestras of New York
in association with GPR Records

present a free



the world premiere  of
A Lullaby for Soprano and Orchestra
with Special Guest Star
Lauren Flanigan


A Concerto for Reader, Violin and Orchestra
narrated by
Kate Mulgrew

ISO Symphony, George Stelluto, Conductor

In honor of Margaret Wise Brown’s 100th Birthday

May 9, 2010 at 3:30pm at The Naumburg Bandshell

Live Recording to be released on May 23rd

In honor of Margaret Wise Brown’s 100th Birthday, The InterSchool Orchestra of New York (ISO) ( in association with GPR Records (Glen Roven, Peter Fitzgerald, Richard Cohen, artistic directors) have announced a live concert based on Brown’s two best selling children’s books Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. The concert will take place at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2010 and GPR Records will release a live recording of the concert on Margaret Wise Brown’s actual 100th birthday, May 23, 2010. The CD will be available at, Amazon, and iTunes.

Composed by GPR Records artistic director and 4-time Emmy Award Winner Glen Roven, GOODNIGHT MOON, A Lullaby for Soprano and Orchestra will be sung by international Opera superstar and beloved New Yorker Lauren Flanigan in the new concerto. The InterSchool Orchestra of New York (ISO) (, New York’s most prestigious youth orchestra, will accompany Ms. Flanigan in the Bandshell and the concert will be conducted by Julliard’s George Stelluto. GOODNIGHT MOON, A Lullaby for Soprano and Orchestra is based on Wise’s book, in print for over 60 years.

Also on the recording will be Roven’s companion piece, RUNAWAY BUNNY, a Concerto for Violin, Reader and Orchestra.  The piece will be read by Kate Mulgrew. RUNAWAY BUNNY has been performed all over the world and narrators have included: Brooke Shields, Glenn Close, Sandy Duncan, Donna McKechnie, and Phyllis Newman. This piece premiered at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra, with Glenn Close narrating. Runaway Bunny was written in 1942 and has been published continuously since that time.

Renowned flutist Carol Wincenc will also join the ISO Symphony in the park as she continues to celebrate her 40th year of performing this season. In addition, the ISO’s youngest two groups, The Morningside and Turtle Bay Orchestras lead by Robert Johnston, will open the Mother’s Day celebration

Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny are national treasures and many of us remember them from growing up,” said GPR Records Producer and composer Glen Roven.  “Having Lauren Flanigan and Kate Mulgrew be part of this concert really solidifies GPR Records’ goal of creating wonderfully new and sophisticated products for children. We're so pleased to be able to honor Margaret Wise Brown with this recording.”

“The ISO is very honored to be part of such a momentous occasion,” said Nora Gibson, Executive Director of the ISO. “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate Margaret Wise Brown’s 100th Birthday with these two concert pieces.”

The GOODNIGHT MOON and RUNAWAY BUNNY CD will be released on May 23rd (Margaret Wise Brown’s 100th Birthday) and will be available at, Amazon, and iTunes.


The InterSchool Orchestras of New York (ISO), The InterSchool Orchestras of New York (ISO), which is in its 38th year
as a premier youth orchestra program, consists of five graded orchestras, a
symphonic band and a chamber music program. Our award-winning ensembles 
are comprised of close to 300 students that truly reflect the face of New York City, 
representing a multitude of ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds.  

Passionate about music and its ability to change lives, ISO programs also include
a series of partnerships and a multi-faceted financial aid and scholarship program 
dedicated to bringing orchestral experiences to children who traditionally have not 
had access to instrumental instruction.  ISO offers more than 30 concerts each year 
throughout the City, including venues such as Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, 
community centers and nursing homes, and concerts offered to New York City public 
schools free of charge.

Lauren Flanigan Renowned for her musical talents from the bel canto to Berio, Soprano Lauren Flanigan has firmly established herself as a unique musical presence in the world today.  Named by TIME magazine as, “the thinking man’s diva” and awarded by ASCAP and the Center for Contemporary Opera for her commitment to performing the works of living composers she has also been equally recognized as one of the leading interpreters of the early operas of Verdi including Attila, Giovanna D’Arco, Nabucco, Macbeth, I Lombardi, and La Traviata.  Her repertory has included performances of more than 100 operas including Nabucco (La Scala, Teatro San Carlo, New Japan Opera, Artscape South Africa, Cincinnati Opera, Carnegie Hill), Macbeth (La Scala, Opera Company of Philadelphia, NYCO), I Lombardi, La Boheme, The Ghosts of Versailles (Metropolitan Opera), Norma (Cincinnati Opera, Manaus), Intermezzo (NYCO, Glimmerglass), Prince Igor (San Francisco Opera), Midsummer Marriage (Bayerische Staatsoper), Euryanthe (Glyndebourne Festival), Venus und Adonis (Santa Fe Opera, Concertgebuow), Maria Stuarda (Opera Orchestra of New York), Roberto Devereaux (NYCO), Rusalka (Metropolitan Opera), Mourning Becomes Electra (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, NYCO), Don Giovanni (Baltimore Opera Company, Seattle Opera, Glimmerglass, Cincinnati Opera), Esther, The Mother of Us All, Seven Deadly Sins, Lillith, Lizzie Borden, Central Park, Mathis der Maler, La Boheme (NYCO), Peter Ibbetson, Merrymount (Seattle Symphony), Regina (Florida Grand Opera, BARD Summerscape), Fierrabras, Oberon, Giovanna D’Arco, Nabucco (Collegiate Chorale).

Kate Mulgrew Internationally recognized as ‘Captain Janeway,’ the first female captain of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: Voyager (Golden Satellite and Saturn Awards), Mulgrew’s career spans film, television, and the stage. Classically trained, she received a Golden Globe nomination at the age of 23 when she portrayed ‘Mrs. Columbo,’ the wife of the famous detective. Other notable television appearances include Kate Loves A Mystery, Cheers, Murphy Brown, St. Elsewhere, Ryan’s Hope and The Black Donnellys.  Film roles include Throw Momma from the Train (opposite Billy Crystal and Danny Devito), Star Trek: Nemesis, A Stranger is Watching, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins and The Response. Mulgrew has toured throughout the United States as Katherine Hepburn in her stage play, Tea at Five, for which she was nominated for Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel awards.  Other theater credits include Equus, The American Dream, The Sandbox, Iphigenia 2.0 (for which she won an Obie), Our Leading Lady, Black Comedy, and Titus Andronicus, all in New York.  She performed in The Exonerated in London and regionally in The Royal Family, The Film Society, What the Butler Saw, Hedda Gabler, Measure for Measure, The Real Thing, Another Part Of The Forest and Major Barbara.  She recently completed the film, The Best and the Brightest, slated for release later this year, and can currently be seen on the NBC series Mercy

ISO alum ('86) Robert L. Johnston is Director of ISO's Morningside and ISO at Turtle Bay Orchestras.  His ISO orchestras have been featured in Ari L. Goldman’s New York Times article “Big Cello, Little Cello,” and David E. Myers’ “Beyond Tradition II,” originally published by the American Symphony Orchestra League.  Mr. Johnston has been Director of String Studies at St. Francis Preparatory School since 1997, where his orchestras have appeared on The Prayer Channel (NET), and performed for the likes of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, President and Mrs. Clinton, Vice-President and Mrs. Cheney, and Mayor Bloomberg.  In addition to his teaching duties, he the Co-Internal Coordinator for Prep's upcoming re-accreditation.  A native New Yorker, he holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and Lehman College.

American conductor George Edward Stelluto is known for his engaging, energetic performances of repertoire ranging from the Baroque to present day. As Resident Conductor for the Juilliard School, he gives frequent performances at Lincoln Center with the Juilliard Orchestra and the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony. He also serves as Assistant Conductor of the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony, interim director of New York’s Inter School Orchestras, advisor to Sinfonia por La Vida in Ecuador (based on Venezuela’s Il Sistema), and will finish a five month residency with the Columbia University Orchestra this April. His broad musical interests take him around the world as a guest conductor with professional orchestras, new music ensembles, and prestigious youth orchestras including the National Philharmonic of Ecuador, New York City Ballet, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Ukrainian National Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Beijing Conservatory.

Peter Fitzgerald Founding partner in GPR Records, a new recording company devoted to classic and unexpected works. Peter is a noted Broadway sound designer represented currently by, Looped and All About Me.  A prolific designer including last season’s: Will Farrell’s Your Welcome America, Blithe Spirit, Speed the Plow, and such past designs as: New York Philharmonic’s production of My Fair Lady, in 2006 and Camelot in 2007. Billy Joel’s Movin’ Out, La Cage Aux Folles, Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews, City of Angels, Gypsy, Falsettos, Paul Simon’s The Capeman, The Will Rogers Follies, Swing, Minnelli on Minnelli with Liza, Dream, Threepenny Opera with Sting, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas to name a few. Noted plays: The Odd Couple, M. Butterfly, Stones in His Pockets, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and A Thousand Clowns. Peter is President and co-owner of Sound Associates, Inc a premier provider of sound and video systems to the theater and business community with locations is New York, Yonkers, and Atlanta. He was instrumental in developing the recording studio at the New York location, home of GPR Records. Peter and his wife, Maritza, are the proud parents of daughters Lori and Mallori.

Glen Roven, a four-time Emmy winner, recently conducted his Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall and will accompany Baritone Mark Stone this season at Carnegie when Stone performs a full evening of Roven's music. He has conducted The Israel Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Munich Philharmonic, The Radio Luxembourg Orchestra, The American Symphony, as well as many others. He has produced for Julie Andrews, Kathleen Battle, Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Aretha Franklin, Kenny G., Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Quincy Jones, Kermit the Frog, Patti LaBelle, Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross to name a few. Career highlights include conducting the original Broadway production of Sugar Babies, conducting four Presidential Inaugurations, conducting Frank Sinatra's last television appearance and Sammy Davis Jr,'s last televised appearance. Next season sees the debut of his Broadway musical, Dr. Seuss's The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

Richard Cohen has broad and extensive experience in theater, television and film as a producer, designer and theater tech. His career in live theater began at The Metropolitan Opera in 1968, on Broadway, from Company in 1970 to Smokey Joe's Cafe in 2000. Richard has designed video projections on Broadway for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Legend. He coordinated lighting for arena shows and industrials. His television credits include soaps, news, variety shows and commercials for every brand of detergent on the market. Richard produced a TV pilot, The Tatler in 1981.  His film credits include, among others, “Billy Bathgate” and “The Thomas Crown Affair”. Outside the biz, developed real estate in New Jersey.

For More Information, Visit:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Product Review - Glass Atlas

About the Product
Glass Atlas is a glass dome on top of an artistic image of a specific region or area of the Earth from an outer space view.  It comes in a variety of available images, from the sea surface to the Grand Canyon, Italy and many more. The authentic NASA satellite images provide a cool new way to enjoy the gorgeous view of the Earth. Each Glass Atlas is beautifully packaged in a unique eco-friendly wooden crate and comes complete with a small fact sheet about the specific image you’ve chosen. They can even engrave your Glass Atlas to make a great personalized gift for any Earth lover!  Available online at

My Take on the ProductI love paperweights and blown glass! I have a number of them in my office and I am always looking for unique items such as these for my office or for home.

When I ordered my glass dome, I selected an image of Michigan with Surrounding Great Lakes. Living in Michigan this is such an iconic shot that has been a part of my whole life that I could not turn this down. There were so many other amazing images to choose from, but for me, there was no question the one I would choose. I was amazed at the detail that each globe was quite intricate!

I also found that they can engrave the items so that the glass itself is etched. So if you wanted to leave a special message for who you were giving the gift, this would be an option for you. They also do some other custom images and make things such as mousepads with images as well, so you can get your favorite images in a number of ways if you so choose.

I encourage you to look for yourself at the other beautiful shots that they have available and I would be interested to hear which one you would choose and why!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Monday, April 26, 2010

ParentFurther - A New Website to Assist Parents

ParentFurther is a new online resource for families that offers parents the step-by-step guidance and tips they need to raise successful kids. Instead of focusing on what is wrong with our kids, ParentFurther provides positive, strength-based parenting advice that highlights what is right with kids AND parents. With topics about young children as well as older teens, ParentFurther provides interactive content in the areas that matter most to families.
ParentFurther is the only online parenting community that helps parents do just that: parent further. Providing practical, everyday parenting tips and useful advice for difficult situations, ParentFurther helps parents:
  • Teach kids positive values
  • Build a strong family
  • Improve family communication
  • Set clear boundaries and enforce reasonable consequences
  • Find the support and knowledge needed to help kids grow up successfully
  • Focus on the things that matter most to family
The content and advice featured throughout ParentFurther is backed by research as well as a panel of family and parenting experts. ParentFurther provides parents the research-based knowledge they crave with the everyday tools they need to tackle family issues. It is the only parenting site based on Search Institute’s Developmental Assets®.* Forty common-sense, positive qualities and experiences that help influence the choices young people make. By combining the assets concept with the power of positive parenting, ParentFurther provides innovative and successful approaches to a wide variety of topics relevant to today’s families.
In addition to the more traditional “ages and stages” information, topics covered include:
Health and Nutrition
The Environment
Kids and Money
School Success
Technology and Media
Work and Family
Chores and Responsibilities
Peer Pressure
Positive Values
School Problems
Caring Relationships
Connecting to Community
Family Communication
Family Fun
Serving Others
Spiritual Life
Alcohol Use
Tobacco Use
Bullying and Violence

Presenting a proactive parenting strategy, ParentFurther gives families the tools they need to build caring relationships and develop positive values, and it helps parents address not only the issues their children are dealing with now, but also the issues they will face in the future.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ming Wang Provides a Stylish Gift for Moms

Ok dads, are you looking for a stylish gift for your wife? If you are you should definitely look into

The collection itself offers a versatile collection of chic, effortless knitwear for the modern woman. Machine washable, wrinkle-free, and color-guarded, the line is ideal for the active woman dedicated to style and practicality. Its separate pieces pair vibrant colors and bold patterns with fitting timeless neutrals, making it perfect for wardrobe building and transitioning from day to night.

I gave this dress to J-Mom and she was very excited. Her first impression of the dress was that it was a classic style that wouldn't go out of stle and one that could be dressed up or down. She was amazed that it arrived folded up in a box and there was not a wrinkle on it.

When she tried it on she looked reat (of course) but she said that it was very comfortable and especially in warmer eather she coud see herself wearing it and not being uncomfortale at all.

I was very impressed by the qality and style of the dress and best of all, J-Mom loved it. Guys, if you are looking for a dress that will let your special someone look and feel great, these dresses will definitely do the trick.

You can find dresses like these on

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Announcing's new Lifestyle Center


Everyone has a different priority when it comes to shopping for a car. It could be finding a good deal, a vehicle that is safe for kids, or even a model with the latest features. With so many different vehicle types out there, choosing the right one can often be a challenge., the largest online auto classifieds site, offers the Lifestyle Center, a new tool that allows consumers to search for cars based on their lifestyle preferences, featuring Family Focus, Going Green, Smart Saver, Trend Watch and Work & Play sections. The Lifestyle Center provides abundant information for consumers that fit into each category, including helpful articles, tip sheets, the most-searched vehicles within each category, reviews, videos and 360 degree views of many cars. Consumers can also see which popular vehicles in each category are for sale near them, where they can be found and price details.

“The Lifestyle Center helps consumers find the best car for them, which can be a very difficult thing to do. The right tools and research make finding the ideal car an easier process for any car shopper,” says Shawn Tucker, auto analyst at
To help consumers get started in their search, Tucker provides the following overview of the Lifestyle Center’s five different sections:

Family Focus
When family safety is top of mind, this is a must-read. It provides the top researched SUVs, minivans and wagons, allowing consumers to see what their peers are looking at most often. It also includes helpful articles and tips on topics like what to keep in the car in case of an emergency, what to look for in a family car, correct installation of a baby seat and more.

Going Green
In this area, consumers can find the top researched hybrids, recent news about environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient cars, tips for buying a fuel-efficient car and more.

Smart Saver
Budget-conscious consumers looking for a deal can plug in their zip code, the type of car they are looking for and their price range and view a variety of appropriate vehicles. This section also includes articles on how to get the most value out of selling a car, money-saving tips for parents, ways to improve credit and more.

Trend Watch
It’s always fun to keep an eye on the latest car trends. Here, consumers can find the top overall most-searched vehicles and trendy models such as convertibles and coupes. It also provides tips and information on the latest trends in the auto industry.

Work and Play
Whether hauling equipment or towing ATVs, finding the right vehicle for the job is important. Those looking to get the most out of work and leisure driving by can access information on the most searched-for SUVs, trucks and crossovers, as well as tips for do-it-yourselfers, choosing a tow vehicle, off-road driving and more.

Visit to access the Lifestyle Center and learn more about the right type of car for you.

About, created in 1997 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is the Internet's leading auto classifieds marketplace and consumer information website. aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private owners.  The site attracts about 15 million unique monthly visitors.  Through innovative merchandising functionality such as multiple photos, videos, detailed descriptions and comprehensive research and compare tools, unites new and used car buyers and sellers online to improving the way people research, locate and advertise vehicles. is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises.  The venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor.  For more information, please visit

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Product Review - Clear Poreformance Shampoo & Conditioner

Good skin care doesn’t stop at the hairline. And healthy hair isn’t just a matter of what you see in the mirror.
Like the face, the scalp is subject to breakouts and irritation from bacteria caused by pores clogged with oil, dirt, grime and dead skin cells. If you’re an acne prone teen or adult, or a sports enthusiast known to work up a sweat under that helmet, your scalp may need some special care.

The marketplace is full of products for oily and acne-prone skin. Until now, no over-the-counter products have specifically addressed oily hair or problem scalps. Noting an increasing demand for such solutions among their large celebrity and athlete clientele, Dr. Sheri Feldman, a Beverly Hills dermatologist, and her Santa Barbara-based partner, Dr. Louise Stewart, set out to fill the void. Clear Poreformance™ Antibacterial Shampoo and Conditioner are the result of extensive research, as well as the doctors’ lengthy experience treating acne and testing both prescription and non-prescription medications over the past twenty years.

“During our many years in practice, our patients have asked for hair care products that thoroughly cleanse and condition not only the hair, but also the scalp,” says Drs. Stewart and Feldman. “The need is especially prevalent for those with oily, acneic skin or people who frequently wear helmets and build up sweat while playing sports. Clear Poreformance Antibacterial Shampoo is also the perfect solution for men who shave their heads and are susceptible to shaving bumps that are caused by inflamed follicles. It is also an excellent cleanser for men with irritated beard areas.”

Clear Poreformance is an antibacterial, deep pore cleansing system designed specifically for hair and scalp. With ingredients that stop bacteria in their tracks and a clearing capacity that rids pores of blemish-causing oil, dirt and debris, the products live up to their name while also delivering the aesthetic benefits expected of any premium hair care line…silky, shiny, strong and manageable hair.

Clear Poreformance products work three ways to thoroughly cleanse the scalp. Their proprietary blend of triclosan, azelaic acid, manuka and Australian myrtle balance sebum production, kill and prevent growth of bacteria, and deep clean the pores. Additional botanical ingredients like black cumin seed oil and pumpkin seed extract help to soothe the scalp and reduce irritation. Clear Poreformance Antibacterial Shampoo leaves hair pristinely clean, but also soft, shiny and manageable, while the Clear Poreformance Antibacterial Conditioner delivers a generous helping of moisture deep into the hair follicle for stronger, healthier hair.
Both products are sulfate and sodium chloride-free and compatible with the popular Brazilian keratin straightening treatments. In addition, both products are perfect for color-treated, permed or straightened hair. Clear Poreformance products are tested (but never on animals) and manufactured according to FDA guidelines for non prescription medications in an FDA approved facility.

My Take on the ProductI used this product and was plesed with the results. My hair felt very soft after using the product and as prior, it felt a bit oily, these products definitely made my hair feel cleansed of all oily residue. I look forward to continuing to use this product in the future!

A Few things I Came to Find about This Product
  • Clear Poreformance™ is an innovative, over-the-counter antibacterial, deep pore cleansing system for hair and skin developed by Dr. Sheri Feldman of Beverly Hills and Dr. Louise Stewart of Santa Barbara
  • Consisting of shampoo and conditioner, the system boasts a unique blend of ingredients designed to effectively control excess scalp oil and irritation while promoting healthy, shiny, manageable hair
  • Especially recommended for anyone with oily, acne-prone skin, as well as sports enthusiasts who experience scalp irritation from sweating and helmet use
  • The Clear Poreformance™ system has the following special features:
  • Antibacterial - diminishes the overgrowth of bacteria caused by excess oil and sweat, kills bacteria at the root of irritations, blemishes and folliculitis
  • Deep Pore Cleansing - cleans pore of oil, dirt, grime and dead skin cells that can cause blemishes
  • Sebum Control - helps reduce the production of sebum long term for a more normalized scalp
  • Proprietary blend of triclosan, azelaic acid, manuka and Australian myrtle supports deep pore cleansing antibacterial action to balance sebum oil production. Calming botanical ingredients soothe the scalp, help to reduce redness and irritation
  • The shampoo leaves the hairline clean and clear, and the hair soft, shiny and manageable. It also works great in the beard area. The conditioner delivers moisture deep within the hair follicle for stronger hair but will not clog pores
  • Both shampoo and conditioner are sulfate and sodium chloride-free (compatible with Brazilian keratin straightening treatments). In addition, our products are perfect for color-treated, permed or straightened hair

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review - Dr. Hackenbush Gets a Job

About the Book
Finally, the book for anyone who’s ever worked in an office when they’d rather be making art. The book for anyone who’s ever worked with an artist making ends meet between gigs. And the book for anyone who remembers the Reagan years with more rage than fondness.

Set in 1988, Mabel Hackenbush is between gigs, her baritone ukulele smashed, and her car in the shop, she is bravely temp secretarying her way to a kinder, gentler, not to mention, solvent life until she can get back to her real work as a jazz standards singer.

My Take on the Book
I didn't know what to expect in this book when I was asked to review this book. I found the ook to be a very quick read and while it was not one that I would call an all time favorite, there were parts where did feel very connected with the characters. But there are other parts in the book where I felt that it was a bit disjointed and took a bit more effort for me to get into the entire reading of the book. 

I plan to pass this on to a friend to read and we will see if they have a different experience in reading the book itself. What I would say is definitely give it a shot, you may find it to be a great book for you!
If this book sounds like one that you would like for your own collection you can find it on Amazon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Product Review - Token Tags - A Great Gift for Mothers Day

About the TokensPut whatever is dear to your mom's heart, well, close to her heart this Mother's Day.  Token Tags® are the most personal of charm necklaces with a hip and modern twist!

Each Token Tag is tailored to what the customer holds dear: be it words of inspiration, a personal motto, a special date, a loved one’s name, etc. Since each piece is made-to-order by the designer, no two Token Tags are exactly alike! They make a thoughtful, chic and appreciated gift for any woman in your life.

They’re created for all sorts of occasions and reasons, but popular requests include: in remembrance of a loved one, for a family member serving in the military, birthdays, an anniversary, a beloved pet, a personal value, a daily affirmation, and “mommy tags” which feature the names of your children.
Design options include 18k gold and/or sterling silver, pendant-style token tags, circle-style token tags, assorted charms, and birthstone-embellished tags in gorgeous colors. The finished product is really striking! I can send over great photos if you'd like to see examples.

Token Tags are owned by several celebs, including Trista Sutter who had a set made with her daughter's name (worn in US Weekly mag).  The tags range in price from $25 to $150, so they’re very reasonable. Place to order is

My Take on the Token Tags
I was able to get some very beautiful tags made for J-Mom for Mothers Day that had both Diva-J and Diva-PJ's name imprinted on them. The tags themselves are well constructed and the imprints are very professional.

The tokens that I received did not include a chain or any embellishments so I cannot comment on these, but I would say that if you chose to order these token tags for yourself or for a special woman in your life, I would definitely recommend the chain for sure and the embellishments look to really add something special to the tokens themselves. I liked especially the ones pictures above with the birthstones within them. If given the choice I would have definitely had requested these for this sample because they add something special to the tag.

Overall, these tags are very nice and would definitely be a great gift!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Have Your Child Win a Free Makeover for Prom

Hesitant about attending prom? Don’t be because we are here to help!

Kymaro Health and Beauty Spa Essentials is teaming up with local hair & nail salons, dress shops and more to offer you this once in a lifetime opportunity to win a $2,000 dollar makeover for prom.

What you win:
  • Prom dress of your choice
  • Manicure/Pedicure
  • Hair coloring, cut and styling
  • Limo service to and from prom for you and your date
  • Prom tickets paid for by Kymaro
Here’s how you win:
  • Submit to on why you weren’t planning on going to prom or why you are hesitant to attend. Whether you can’t afford it, broke up with your boyfriend, or can’t find a flattering dress, tell us your story – anything goes!
  • Submissions are ASAP!
  • Your 1-page essay submission MUST include:
  • Name (First, Last)
  • High School
  • Email Address
  • Contact Number
  • Reference (How did you find out about this contest?)

**Your application will not be qualified to win if you do not include ALL of the above information
**You must be either a junior or senior in High School to apply


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Product Review & Giveaway - Yoplait Greek

With 12 grams of protein -- twice that found in leading yogurts-- new Yoplait Greek nourishes from the inside out. Available in four delicious flavors, Strawberry, Blueberry, Honey Vanilla and Plain, the brand´s newest offering has a unique thick and creamy texture with the unmatched taste expected of Yoplait.

To celebrate its new Greek yogurt and to encourage women to nourish their inner goddess, Yoplait has teamed up with actress Izabella Miko, who plays Greek Goddess Athena in the epic adventure new Warner Bros. Pictures´ and Legendary Pictures´ film "Clash of the Titans," which started in theatres April 2 in 3D.

If this new Yogurt sounds like something that you would like to try for yourself you can download a coupon* and save $0.30 on one cup of new Yoplait Greek today!

*This coupon offer for a free cup of Yoplait Greek yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Tennessee.

My Take on the Yogurt
I have tried Greek Yogurt in the past and had mixed feelings based on the fact that there was a distinct aftertaste that the brand had that did not make me want to try it again. But in being approached to try a different variety I am always game to try something new, so I did!

In trying this new yogurt, I can honestly say that it was both tasty and did not leave a bitter aftertaste as the other brand did. Actually, I was quite impressed by the flavor and the creamy texture of the yogurt itself.

I tried both the blueberry and strawberry varieties and found each to be flavorful. I usually would say blueberry was my favorite, but in this case, I would say that I preferred the taste of the strawberry yogurt itself, but you will have to decide for yourself which one is best for you.
Overall, I would recommend this to those that enjoy Greek Yogurt. I also would challenge those of you that enjoy yogurt to try this type of yogurt for the first time if you haven't in the past. It is a bit different than regular yogurt in both consistency and flavor, but I can say that I did enjoy both of these differences, and you may as well.

How would you like to win a "Nourish Your Inner Goddess" gift pack that contains two VIP* coupons. One lucky reader will win this great prize! All you need to do is let me know why you would have an interest in this books to be considered. The contest will run for one week and will end on April 23, 2010.

Bonus Entries:

  • Blog about my Giveaway by linking back to this post (1 entries per blog post. Please leave each entry in separate comments with your URL link in order for it to count)

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    • Share this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook or any forum, including the name of the prize and a link to this post. Here I'll make it easier on you, copy and paste this:" @dadofdivas is giving away a Nourish your Inner Goddess gift pack from Yoplait -" (Then leave the link to your post. One entry per place per day)
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    Make sure you comment separately for each task after the required entry task so you will get credit for each one ~ and leave your e-mail where you can be contacted.

    This contest will run until April 23, 2010 at approximately 12:59 pm Eastern.

    Winner must be a resident of the U.S or Canada.

    Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

    Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

  • All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

    This product, prize pack, information, and giveaway have all been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark

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    Book Review - I Has a Hotdog

    About the Book
    An you thawt we dint! Now Professor Happycat tells you what's in it and, from I HAS A and beyond, lets over 200 LOLdogs loose on the world, all barking the truth about kibble, toys, and bad kitties. This collection of favorites and never-before-seen photos will have you barking for more!

    About the Author
    Ben Huh is the CEO of Cheezburger Network, which owns and operates I Has A Hotdog, I Can Has, Fail Blog, and 38 other popular humor sites. He is a former journalist turned dot com entrepreneur who has a knack for nailing the zeitgeist. Ben has been credited with bringing Internet memes to the mainstream and popularizing Internet culture. The success of his business is attributed to his knowledge of memes, viral content, and crowd sourcing. Ben has been featured in the New York Times, TIME, the LA Times, and Wired magazine, among many publications in print and online.

    My Thoughts on the BookI do like dogs (though I own cats) and this book was strewn full of dogs! I had not really known much about the I Has a Hotdog website so when I received this book, I did not know exactly what to expect.

    This book is full of  pictures of dogs with funny captions....that is the main concept. While it is definitely not going to increase your IQ, I will say that it will provide you with some fun entertainment through the clean humor that it provides.

    The book is very quick read but may take you a bit longer if you have not seen books like these before. Why do I say this? One of the things that people either love or hate about the way that the website and book is written is that it is not written grammatically correct. So just as the name infers, you will find funny quotes such as: They said walk da hooman... Neva anything bout bringing em bak. I know that when J-Mom read this (being an elementary teach by training), she did not really like the way the book was set up for this reason. I can set that aside (though at times, I did have to go back a second time to make sure I read it right).

    If this book sounds like something that you would like in your own library, you can find it on Amazon!

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