Dad of Divas' Reviews: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Book Review - The Secret Lives of Princesses

About the BookGo beyond Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella! Some princesses are well-known to all children—but others, equally magical (and sometimes, a lot funnier) have remained anonymous, mysterious, and far from the fairy-tale crowd. Now these captivating ladies are finally stepping out of the shadows where they’ve remained hidden for far too long. With wit, sublime humor, and beautiful art, The Secret Lives of Princesses introduces a bevy of royal daughters to the court of young readers.  While it alludes to some of their more famous sisters, this large and lusciously illustrated compendium presents such unique and unforgettable characters as the petite Princess Claire Voyant, who can see very far into tomorrow (but muddles her predictions); Princess Oblivia, who forgets everything and misses all her appointments; Princess Tangra-La, who does the tango, the fandango, and any dance that comes her way; and Princess Babbling Brooke, who chatters on and on about everything and nothing. Plus, you’ll learn about such princessy matters as the language of fans; coats of arms; and how not to offend dangerous fairies who cast evil spells.Poetic, often humorous, and always enchanting, this is the perfect collection for princess-loving girls who long for more than just the traditional fairy tale.

About the Author
The author of several children’s books, Philippe Lechermeier also teaches French and history. As a student, he worked several odd jobs and says he grew up a “dreamer, lonely, one foot on earth, the other on the moon.” He is married and has two children. Rébecca Dautremer has illustrated several children’s books. She studied art at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, where one of her teachers recognized her talent and encouraged Rébecca to specialize in children’s book illustrations. She currently lives in Paris with her husband and three children. 

My Take on the Book
This book was breathtaking, especially in the illustrations alone. Outside of this I also have to commend the writing as well as I and my girls loved every minute of the stories that were told of the unknown princesses that did not get all of the hype that some other had gotten in the past.

The book is full of wonderful additions such as maps, diagrams and other fun tidbits all over the page, your eyes will never get tired!

As a father of two daughers that love princesses this was a find and one that I would completely recommend to you. Not only will they love it, you will find it endearing and charming as well!

If you would like to find this book for your own collection, you can find it on Amazon!

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.

DVD Review - Adopted

About the Movie 
Phase 4 Films is pleased to announce the DVD release of ADOPTED in the United States and Canada on June 15, 2010. ADOPTED is a comedy written, directed, produced and starring Pauly Shore (Encino Man, Son In Law, Pauly Shore Is Dead). Politically incorrect and hysterically funny, in the style of WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and BORAT, the film explores the hilarious lengths to which Pauly Shore will go to adopt a child during a trip to Africa. 

In ADOPTED, Pauly believes that he can leave his playboy past behind for good and start an instant family - as many other stars have done.  After getting help from a social worker friend, Pauly practices fatherhood by taking an orphan-a-day while he explores a strange country full of weird and wonderful people, with disastrous and side-splittingly funny results.  Meeting real people in actual chaotic situations along the way, he stumbles along the adoption trail, stepping on toes and poking fun at the current fascination with celebrity adoptions.

Phase 4 Films will release ADOPTED on DVD in the United States and Canada on June 15, 2010. The DVD will be available for a $29.99 SRP in the U.S. and a $32.99 SRP in Canada at all major retailers.

Genre: Comedy
Run Time: 80 minutes
Rating: R
Sound: 5.1 Surround Sound
SRP: $29.99 U.S. / $32.99 Canada
DVD Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Full Screen (1.78:1)
Language: English
Over 56 Minutes of Bonus Features, Including:
Odwa Dances, Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela, Pauly and Faith lost in a bad neighborhood, Faith dresses Pauly, and much more!

For more information, follow the movie on:

My Take on the Movie
When I saw a new movie with Pauly Shore I knew I needed to check it out. Seeing him in some other films such as Son-In-Law, Bio-Dome and In The Army gave me a better appreciation for his fun loving comedy. This movie follows suit and shows the lengths that he will go through to be able to adopt a child. You will find yourself laughing in some of the off the wall antics that Shore shows in the movie!

This movie was definitely worth the time and the laughs!

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.

These fun, interactive, and dynamic children’s books from Candlewick Press will keep kids entertained – whether you are traveling far or staying close to home!


Summer is here, and Little Nye is making icepops to take on vacation. Nella is stuffing too much in a suitcase, and Lester offers to remove some things to lighten the load. Out go toys for beach games, flippers and masks for paddling, and more. But why won’t the suitcase shut now? Good thing that rubber raft is really all they need for their journey -- and the garden hose makes a wonderful nautical spray! Imagination goes a long way when four friends play together -- even when they stay close to home -- in a fresh, enticing story for preschoolers.

March 2010 ~ Hardcover ~ ISBN 9780763648138 ~ Ages 1-3

By Lucy Cousins
Games, activities and more at!

How exciting! Maisy has put her sun hat, pajamas, toothbrush, and camera into a bag, and she’s off to the train station with Panda and Cyril. They’re headed for the seashore, but getting there is only half the fun. Coloring and snacks help pass the time on the ride to the beach, where Maisy can’t wait to swim, collect seashells, build sandcastles, and lots more. At nighttime it feels special to go to bed in a hotel--knowing that tomorrow another vacation day awaits! Maisy’s packing her bags and setting off on a fun vacation in a story that’s perfect for young children making a trip away from home.

May 2010 ~ Hardcover ~ ISBN 9780763647520 ~ Ages 3 and Up


Written by Megan McDonald, Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Games, activities and more at!

Have you ever played Mood Libs? How many fun facts do you know about chewing gum? Is your personality more like Judy’s or her brother Stink’s? From pranks to yoga poses, making paper snowflakes to matching up pet tracks, this book is bursting with quizzes, challenges, crafts, and other cool stuff. Get in the mood to:

  • design your own T-shirt
  • walk through a piece of paper
  • invent your own board game
  • find out what Judy Moody’s name is in other languages
  • and lots more wack-tivities! 

Crazy about Judy Moody? Or just looking for something to do? Stop dawdling--and start doodling and noodling with this RARE activity book.

January 2010 ~ Paperback ~ ISBN 9780763643096 ~ Ages 6-9

More info and extras at!

What’s the difference between a steamer and a schooner? How would you navigate in stormy seas? How are underwater volcanoes formed? And which creatures lurk in the inky depths of the deepest oceans? All this and much more await eager young oceanologists in this exciting handbook, prepared for Zoticus de Lesseps, the young author of OCEANOLOGY, by his tutor, Professor Aronnax, during their around-the-world journey aboard the mysterious Captain Nemo’s NAUTILUS.

Among the book’s special features:
  • four pages of stickers featuring sea creatures, ships, treasure, and diving equipment
  • activities for the reader on nearly every spread
  • a pull-out letter from Professor Aronnax to Zoticus
  • a removable Beaufort scale chart of the winds -- an indispensable resource for seafarers! 

Explore the ocean’s wonders, real and . . . imagined? Dive into this essential handbook to discover some lesser-known secrets of the sea.

July 2010 ~ Hardcover ~ ISBN 9780763648749 ~ Ages 9 and Up

Written by Sarah Hines Stephens, Illustrated by Bethany Mann
Contains 150 fun, foolproof, and must-do activities!
Are you the crafty type? Try drawing some manga or customizing your sneakers. Got a soft spot for science? Dazzle your friends with the old exploding volcano trick, then slyly ease an egg into a bottle. Or you can really get cooking by slipping fortunes into a batch of cookies and folding them like a pro. From taking funny fake photos to breeding butterflies, from running a ninja obstacle course to reading minds to, yes, whipping up some edible fake barf, here is the source for learning how to do absolutely everything. With minimal text and maximal humor, these simple illustrated instructions will have kids psyched to:
-- Investigate (science projects anyone can do)
-- Create (arts, crafts, and personal style)
-- Explore (adventures in the great outdoors)
-- Cook (recipes for tasty -- and terrifying -- treats)
-- Move (sports, games, and playground acrobatics)
-- Amaze (tricks, pranks, and awesome acts).
How many cool things can YOU do? The answer will amaze you -- and the secrets are all in this witty and nearly wordless book.

Summer 2009 ~ Paperback ~ ISBN 9780763645991 ~ Ages 10-14

Visit Waldo online at!
The travel companion that Waldo fans
can’t get enough of!
Waldo seekers young and old won’t want to hit the road without this paperback compilation of his world-famous excursions, including:
  • Where’s Waldo?
  • Where’s Waldo Now?
  • Where’s Waldo? The Fantastic Journey
  • Where’s Waldo? The Wonder Book
  • Where’s Waldo? In Hollywood

With such a wealth of Waldo at hand, even the most restless travelers will be entertained for hours on end. Don’t leave home without it!
The essential travel companion! Now Waldo can wander everywhere his fans do, thanks to a compact bind-up of five classic adventures.

May 2008 ~ Paperback ~ ISBN 9780763639518 ~ All Ages

My Take on the Books
These books were great! I read them with my girls (at least the ones that were age appropriate) and they were entranced. I could see how kids would enjoy these books and get engrossed in them as their families went on vacation. I know that for us, we will definitely be bringing these on some of the trips that we will be taking this summer.

All of the books have beautiful illustrations within them and great content and I would say that depending on the age of your child, you cannot go wrong with one of these books as a gift!

This post was written for Candlewick Press who provided the complimentary book in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review - The Flanimals

About the Book
They're grotesque. They're absurd. They're so ugly they're cute - and they could only be spawned by the mind of award-winning comedian Ricky Gervais. From a planet far away, these bizarre and whimsical beasts - from the ferocious airborne Bletchling to the badly behaved Grundit to the fatally timid Splunge - spring to life in the droll and off-the-cuff prose of a writer who some may liken to a latter-day Edward Lear. Then again, some may find these grossly amusing creatures simply-gross. And whose fault is that? Just remember: don’t pull a tab just because you’ve been told to!

From the unique mind of comic master Ricky Gervais comes... 3-D Flanimals! The ghastly stars of a wildly popular book series are about to pop up everywhere.

What does Ricky Gervais say about Flanimals Pop-Up?
“Even though they’ve sold millions, won awards, and are currently being made into a Hollywood blockbuster, I’ve always thought that Flanimals lacked a certain poppy-upness. That is not a problem anymore.”

About the Author & Illustrator
You may know Ricky Gervais as the creator and star of The Office. He is a best-selling, award-winning author of the Flanimals series. He has appeared in many films, has been nominated for an Emmy, and won numerous media awards. He Currently resides in London.

Rob Steen has illustrated all the Flanimal books. He is a comic artist and his illustrations appear in Afterlife an Elephantmen.

My Take on the Book
When sharing this book with my kids I have to say that outside of the storyline itself which definitely was fantasy fun, the pop ups are what make this book so special. I can remember loving the pop up books that I had as a child and the ones in this book simply do not compare (they blow them out of the water.). Both of my girls ages 5.75 and 2.5 loved the pop ups in the book. My eldest did enjoy listening to the story and kept asking me "Are they real?".

The author does a great job at building an amazing  world for the reader and he could easily continue this work into the future!

If you’d like to add this to your bookshelf you can purchase it only Amazon!

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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Can Moms Have It All? Getting off the Fast Track doesn't mean Moms can't continue a fulfilling Career Path.

Allison O’Kelly, CEO of Mom Corps started her company five years ago trailblazing
flexible professional jobs for Moms
It’s no surprise that becoming a mom changes everything. Many career-focused new moms don't expect they'll scale back after the baby arrives, but often priorities change.   The good news for moms who hop off the career fast track is there are now more work options and opportunities than ever.

Mom Corps, founded in 2005, has experienced a huge national evolution, providing companies throughout the country with “on demand” and flextime professionals.  This trend has been a win win for moms seeking more balance in their life.
 “I just couldn't handle the consistent work week,” Allison O’Kelly , CEO of Mom Corps, says of her full-time corporate job, which she quit after her first son was born. “it wasn't about hours for me. I needed flexibility.”
O’Kelly started Mom Corps, a staffing company that finds full-time, part-time and contract jobs for moms looking to keep their careers going while spending more time with their kids. She says there’s a definite increase in the willingness of companies to allow flexibility for their employees.
Mom Corps is a premier staffing solution, supplying companies top-tier, professionals “on demand” to meet business needs and cycles, while enabling candidates seeking flexibility to pursue their professional careers and maintain work/life balance.  Now with over 50,000+ candidates nationwide, hundreds of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, and 13 franchise locations, Mom Corps is poised to continue its exponential growth throughout the remainder of 2010.
“So many people in our generation have gotten their law degrees or their MBA's, and now they're having kids and discover they don't want to work the traditional schedule,” O’Kelly says. “If the companies don't want to work with these flexible schedules, they're going to miss out on some great talent.”
O’Kelly has seen a recent increase in corporate flexibility, thanks to the economic downturn.
“Companies are finding it’s a good thing to only have to pay employees for 30 hours a week or just pay for the weeks they need them.” O’Kelly says. “It’s a really good business decision for them to offer flexibility because they're getting better talent and not having to hire someone on a full-time basis with benefits that they can't afford right now.”
Nonetheless, even if your children are top priority, some women fear being disregarded at work and, worse yet, losing their career entirely.
“The hardest thing for people who have been very successful is that you're taking yourself off the career track,” O’Kelly says. “For now, you're going to see people getting promoted ahead of you, and maybe you're going to see people who worked for you become your boss.”
The news for moms who hop off the career fast track to focus on motherhood is bright.
“You can always get back on,” O’Kelly says. “Even if you're out altogether and don't take that flexible job. At some point you could do volunteer work or get an internship; there are so many ways to freshen up your skills. It’s a lot easier if you stay in, but you can do it even if you've been out for a while.”
At the same time, for moms who really want to keep a foot in their career, O’Kelly encourages them to explore their options before quitting.
For more information on Mom Corps, go to

Footloose, Fanciful and Free for Summer Travelers: Capella Pedregal Rolls Out Fun-Filled Kids Club

It’s been said you can’t put a price tag on a child’s happiness, and at Capella Pedregal this summer, there’s no need to try. The exclusive Cabo San Lucas hideaway resort invites family travelers to experience its new, activity-packed Capella Kids Club for free throughout the months of July and August -- an exceptional value for a summer vacation certain to spark a lifetime of memories.
The Capella Kids Club expands the resort’s focus on creating exceptional guest experiences to its youngest visitors. Days are filled with supervised fun for the junior jet set in their own Club House and on the beach beyond. Possibilities range from beach walks and kite flying to sand castle contests and board game Olympics. Children will learn to cook Mexican specialties and speak a little Spanish. There are arts and crafts, tennis and swimming, scavenger hunts and swimming with dolphins. Thursday evenings, parents can enjoy a date night while youngsters gather for Movies Under the Stars, featuring the latest kids’ flick screened in the beachside Palapa, complete with snacks by the resort’s acclaimed Chef Marco Bustamante. 

After August, Capella Kids Club rates are $25 per child for a half day (9 a.m. – 12 noon or 12 noon – 3 p.m.) and $50 per child for a full day (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.). Both rates include lunch and the full-day rate includes a daily snack as well. Nanny service is also offered for $30 per hour for 1-2 children.

Outside the Kids Club, more fun awaits traveling tots. Available a la carte are a Kids Swim Experience, featuring private swim or snorkeling lessons in an Oceanside pool ($60 for 30 minutes and $100 for 60 minutes), Yoga for Kids with a certified yoga instructor ($30 for 60 minutes, offered three days a week) and Laughter Yoga ($30 for 60 minutes, offered two days a week).

For families who seek to explore beyond the resort, Capella Pedregal has arranged a special rate through National Car Rental that puts a full-size or premium car at guests’ disposal for $70 per day. Larger families can opt for a minivan or Suburban for $115 per day.  

For more information and reservations, call (877) 247-6688 or visit

July 4th Fireworks: An Explosive Combo for Owners and Dogs

Fireworks are the most thrilling aspect of the Fourth of July for people while at the same time terrifying dogs.  The danger signal fireworks send to dogs — and the reaction it stimulates — can be lethal. Nationwide, animal control services cite a 30 percent increase in lost dogs reported between July 4th - 6th and an increase in chained dogs left outside that have inadvertently strangled themselves in reaction to loud fireworks.

“Loud sounds are a trigger for dogs to run or panic,” says Robert Cabral, a Malibu-based dog trainer / behaviorist known for his “Black Belt Dog Training” ( and for his national nonprofit organization Bound

Other reactions, Cabral adds, include dangerous stress levels and out-of-control panting. “The reality is that fireworks are part of the holiday celebration so it is incumbent for dog owners to know how to prepare and deal effectively with the situation.”

Here are Cabral’s 10 Tips for how to help your dog cope with Fourth of July Celebrations:

1.      Do not leave your dog alone, especially outside during fireworks displays. If you absolutely must leave your dog, leave a TV or radio playing.
2.      Do not coddle or hug your dog if your dog becomes scared or distressed – this tends to make dogs think that their actions are justified.  Be strong, talk in a normal tone and remain indifferent to the noise.
3.      Do find an alternative to the noise, be it playing an instrument, listening to a news program or playing an entertaining DVD.  This can serve as a positive distraction for your dog.
4.      Do keep all windows and doors closed to keep the sound out.
5.      Do not take your dog for a walk during fireworks celebrations.
6.      Do feed your dog long before the time for fireworks.
7.      Do give your dog a special toy to play with during fireworks.
8.      Do make sure your dog keeps a normal schedule the day of the fireworks.
9.      Do plan to keep your dog away from strange dogs or dogs that may excite him during the fireworks.
10.     Do keep your dog away from unfamiliar people before and during the fireworks.

With proper planning, says Cabral, the Fourth of July can be a safe and fun holiday for pets and their owners.  For more information, please visit

About Robert Cabral

Robert Cabral is a professional dog behaviorist and trainer with a background in Japanese Martial Arts.  He applies many of those principles in his Black Belt Dog Training, a Zen-like approach to transform dogs with difficult behavior patterns.  In addition, his passion is the nonprofit he founded called Bound Angels ( and, which is dedicated to giving a voice to animals, in particular those living in our nation’s shelters at risk of being killed: some for bad behavior, some just because they are no longer wanted.  Robert has worked with countless shelter dogs, and as a result of his work, these animals have found loving homes.  He also serves on the advisory board for K9 Connection in Los Angeles where he tests their dogs and speaks to at-risk teens and those in foster care about animal behavior.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Baby Potential Promise: Doing Good with Fun, Practical Clothing

About the Products
Parents dream that their children will grow up to be well-educated and successful.  In order to promote that aspiration from early on, two San Antonio mothers, Dacia Napier, M.D. and Allison Zeller, decided to start Baby Potential, a line of onesies and t-shirts embroidered with a choice of 12 silk-screened career patches such as Artist, Lawyer, and Teacher among other careers to communicate to the world the inherent potential baby possesses.  The unique line with a promise for brighter horizons for children everywhere launches nationally this spring.
that each and every

The company started when Napier was inspired by her aunt’s hand-embroidered onesies she made for new babies in their family.  When she asked if she’d be willing to sell them and her aunt declined, she decided to start the business herself.  Napier wasn’t only motivated by her aunt’s needlework, but was also influenced by the community around her.  After learning that her city of San Antonio had one of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect reports in the state and the country, she knew she had to do something.  She determined that the apparel line would encourage change through social marketing and community outreach.

"Baby Potential was born of the belief that with love, education and community support, all babies have the potential to grow into productive adults and achieve career success – regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status," says Napier.  "The idea is to see the career patch on an infant’s onesie or a toddler’s t-shirt and equate the message with that child’s potential and future."

With this charitable mission in mind, she created a onesie prototype and showed it to her friend, fellow mother and philanthropist, Allison Zeller.  With a shared belief to give back to the community and to spread a positive message, Zeller quickly got on board.  “It’s about helping children and helping the community,” said Zeller.  “How could I not support this?”

Baby Potential not only communicates an inspirational message with its apparel but gives back to the community in two ways.  The company donates ten percent of sales to community outreach and educational programs and also has a partnership with the Family Service Association (FSA) of San Antonio to support local women.  Through this partnership, Baby Potential established the “Sew Circle,” a group of ten women who were trained and had classes to teach them how to hand-embroider the garments for custom orders.  This opportunity allows the women to work from home and earn an extra income.

Quality and style are also high on Baby Potential’s list of objectives.  The products are gender-neutral and available in six bright, contemporary colors with a modern and sophisticated design.  Featuring classic styling and tailoring, they are made of 100 percent fine cotton, combed for softness and comfort, and are durable and won’t fade or shrink.  Double-needle stitch detail reinforces the seams and shoulders are form-fitting.  Onesie’s have three-button style closure with premium snaps.

If you don’t like Artist, Lawyer or Teacher, other career patches include: Biologist, Chef, Doctor, Philanthropist, Radiologist, Rancher, Rocket Scientist.

Baby Potential apparel is fun, it provides parents and gift-givers a unique option for baby apparel, and also spreads the belief that every baby has value. Every baby has the potential to be what ever he or she wants to be,” concludes Napier.

Ideal for parents and gift-givers, Baby Potential products are available on, select retailers and at  Specialty orders can also be made online.  Apparel and sets start at approximately $15 and are available for infants and toddlers in sizes 0-4T (4 years old).  Visit, the blog, “Start here.  Grow Far” at

My Take on the Products

I have to say that I was impressed with the quality and the messages that these products share. We were able to try out two (Vet and Philanthropist) and we received many compliments on how cute the shits were. One of the nice touches on the shirts (besides the images and future potential message) was the extra stitching that goes into these items. Each of the shirts had machine sewed florets and other sewn items around the neckline of the shirt. This added a nice touch and actually made me think of a home made item instead of a store bought item.

Second, I have to commend the idea of the future potential of any young child. The messages on these shirts reinforces the potential that all children have to achieve their dreams and become whatever they want to become. I love this message and think that we need more of these messages in society today!

So if you are looking for a well crafted item that reinforces the idea that all children have potential, this clothing line is perfect for you!

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.

Terri O’s Super Simple family fun projects to do before and on the 4th of July

Preparation is everything! Here are a few projects you and your family can do together to get ready for all those fabulous fourth festivities. The best part is they are Super Simple ™

Before the holiday:
  1. Grab a plain t-shirt and give it your personal touch. Paint stars and stripes with acrylic fabric paint, let dry and heat set in the dryer. ( for Category: Holiday Crafts)
  2.  Have the kids paint a terra cotta pot in red, white and blue. Roll your plastic ware in decorative napkins and secure with raffia. Place them inside the pot and set on your table. ( for Category: Holiday Crafts)
  3. Using large wood craft sticks, stars, a dowel and some paint you can create super simple outdoor décor for the yard. I call them Crafty Wood Stick Flags. Be sure to save them for next year! ( for Category: Holiday Crafts)
  4. Paint a message board with chalkboard paint. Take it with you to the parade and write messages to people in the parade to let them know you support them!
  5. Thank a soldier. Create a care package for someone in the armed forces. We decorated a cigar box and filled it with a goodies. (

Party Day Projects:
  1. Make your own edible arrangement. Kids love to make melon balls. Place all your fruit on skewers in a fun colorful arrangement. Use watermelon for red, blueberries for blue and marshmallows for white.
  2. Make an instant scrapbook out of paper bags. If you have access to a printer you can print your photos and place them in your embellished book that night! ( Results for)
  3. Gather the kids and make red, white and blue wind socks. With some craft foam and a glue gun you can make it instantly.
  4. Tempera paint is washable and can be found at the craft store. Pick some up and do some face painting before the parade.
  5. Pay a visit to a lonely veteran. Show them how much you appreciate them serving our country.

For more great ideas and Super Simple projects visit Free how to videos and printable projects. Order Terri O’s DVD on line and download right to your computer for even more Super Simple projects for fashion, holidays and paper crafting.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Save The Children Starts Initiative to Raise Awareness of the Impact of Local Health Workers in the Developing World 
Save the Children and The Advertising Council announced today the launch of a national multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness of the preventable and treatable causes of childhood death in the developing world. The new campaign shows Americans that they can have a significant impact on saving and improving the lives of at-risk children and newborns by supporting the deployment of local health workers.

According to Save the Children, the majority of child deaths are preventable through proven, low-cost interventions like vaccinations, better delivery and newborn care practices, and treatment of common infections like diarrhea and pneumonia. This care is delivered by local health workers serving in their own
communities or local clinics. In fact, Save the Children estimates that every four seconds a child’s life is being saved as a result of the care provided by these local health workers. However, global estimates suggest the need for over 4.2 million more health workers to deliver this life-saving care throughout the world. The
PSAs highlight the local health worker as a hero, offering a sustainable solution for child survival in the developing world.

Every day, about 24,000 children in the developing world die of preventable or treatable illnesses such as pneumonia and diarrhea before they reach the age of five, according to Save the Children. Nearly 4 million of these deaths occur among newborns less than one month old, which is roughly equivalent to the total number of babies born annually in the U.S. These tragedies occur because many of these children live in marginalized urban and rural areas which lack access to trained health professionals and health facilities. Local health workers are trained to promote preventive care and to assess and treat children with signs of disease and other life-threatening conditions.

“I have met many of these women and men who are not only looking after their own children but all of the children in the community,” said Mary Beth Powers, Save the Children’s Newborn and Child Survival Campaign Chief. “They make my daily jog look like a walk in the park compared to the miles they travel to
help save lives.”

Consumer research released today by Save the Children and commissioned by WomanTrend found that 42 percent of women said they would be encouraged to give time or money to help save the lives of newborns and children in the world’s poorest nations if they had a better understanding of what they could do to help. Furthermore, 52 percent of women said they would be willing to donate money to a respected charity and 51 percent said they would volunteer their time to help save the lives of newborns and children in the world’s poorest nations.

"We are thrilled to partner with two wonderful organizations, Save the Children and BBDO, on this compelling campaign that has the opportunity to save the lives of children and newborns throughout the world,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “By highlighting the significant work of local health workers, we hope to inspire Americans to learn more about Save the Children and provide
encouragement and support to these local heroes that are so deserving of it."

Created pro bono by BBDO, the campaign includes television, radio, print, outdoor and web ads. The PSAs, filmed in Ethiopia and Bangladesh, aim to show Americans that they can have a significant impact on saving and improving the lives of at-risk children and newborns by supporting local health workers. The campaign highlights the local health worker as the bridge between American supporters and children in need. The PSAs end with the tagline “See where the good goes” and share the experiences of the local health workers in a way that is both relatable and inspiring. Additional radio spots feature voiceovers by actresses Lisa Edelstein, Rebecca Romijn, and actress and singer Idina Menzel, all supporters of Save the Children.

“This is an issue that is near and dear to all of us at BBDO,” said John Osborn, President and Chief Executive Officer of BBDO New York. “We’ve tried to make a connection with our audience by accentuating the positive, reinforcing the heart and soul of Save the Children. People told us they want help and hope, so
these became the building blocks of our effort, one of the ways BBDO is approaching ‘soul branding,’ which reinforces doing well by doing good.”

All of the PSAs direct audiences to visit a new interactive website,, developed by Washington, DC-based Home Front Communications. The site provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the issue of child survival and the role of the local health worker and “See where the good goes.” Additionally, the site features a customized Google map application of their village routes, blog posts, video bios and statistics on how many children they treat and the child survival solutions they administer.

In addition to the new PSAs and website, the campaign will engage the audiences through a series of social media strategies, including blog and online outreach, as well as social networking initiatives. Through an innovative Facebook application, users will be encouraged to become a part of a virtual wall of support for local health workers and share messages of encouragement.

Audiences will also have the opportunity to sign up on Twitter to receive tweets about local health workers and their journeys. They can text “GOODGOES” to 20222 to give $10 for a package of newborn care and give a baby a healthy start in life. Furthermore the new PSAs will be featured on the homepage of YouTube.
The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide this week. Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.

More about the Project

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Staycations: Company Kids Helps Families Enjoy Summer Fun From Home

modern bloom quilt bedding.jpgMore and more families are staying at home in lieu of the summer vacation in an effort to save some extra dollars this year. As staycations become the vacation of choice, kids will celebrate National Slumber Party Day (NSPD) on June 26. For the event, Company Kids is offering 20 percent off for four days, to help parents create a summer getaway at home. Below are some helpful tips from Company Kids to make your staycation off without a hitch:
  • Keep all guests on an equal playing field. For ultimate party success, you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings because one guest received two cupcakes and the others had one.
  • It’s never too early to teach your child how to be a good guest.  Send them packing with a gift for the host that fits the theme of the party. (Cookies, cupcakes and snacks are always welcomed!)
  • Game time is a must! Don’t forget to incorporate brain teasing games that will stimulate their mind. 
  • Monitor the computer. One wrong click on the internet, can lead to tons of inappropriate content for those under 21.
    Chenille Sofa.jpg
  • If your child hasn’t quite conquered bed wetting, don’t forget to pack an extra set of pajamas. This could be the difference between cute and fashionable or simply embarrassed.

Modern Bloom Quilt Bedding
Retail Price: $32.00-$129.00
Bold flowers add a sunny feeling to any room. Company Kids handcrafted modern bloom quilt is the perfect item to bring in that summer aura. Since it is 100% cotton, this quilt is machine washable.
Standard Shams: $32.00
Twin Quilt: $99.00
Queen Quilt: $129.00
Available online at:

Annabelle two-piece shorty PJ.jpgChenille Sofa
Retail Price: $159.00
Whether reading a book or just watching a movie, Company Kids chenille sofa offers a cozy resting place. An all purpose item, this sofa flips open to provide an overnight guest with a goodnight’s sleep. Equipped with a removable cotton chenille cover, two companion pillows, this item is perfect for summer slumber parties.
Available online at:

Annabelle Two- Piece Shorty PJ
Retail Price: $24.00
Company Kids annabelle two-piece pajama is the perfect item for a pajama party or Friday night slumber party. These flame resistant pajamas are made with cotton/modacrylic blend jersey.
Floor Table.jpgAvailable online at:

Foldable Floor Tray Table
Retail Price: $49.00
Company Kids foldable floor tray is perfect for crafts and indoor picnics. Equipped with metal legs for easy storage, this portable tabletop is finished with a non-toxic paint. This item is available in an array of different colors, from red and blue to pink and white.
Available online at:

Zoo crew plsuh animals.jpg
Zoo Crew Plush Animals
Retail Price: $24.00
Need more members for the tea party; this crew is ready to have fun with you! These poly-fill stuffed elephant, monkey and lion come in a bright mix of corduroy, felt, velour and more with gingham checks and polka dots.
Avaliable online at:

My Take on the Products
I was able to try out the plush stuffed animals and I can say that my daughters loved their new Elephant! The are made with high amounts of detail, soft and plush, my girls were in awe. If all of the rest of the materials were made to the same parameters, I can just guess that I would like these as well. I loved the fact that they had a ton of products in the catalog that would fit the theme as well!

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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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Cascade Complete Pac Challenge

About the Product
Cascade Complete All-in-1 ActionPacs™ combines the best of powder and gel in one powerful pac to conquer tough food cleaning and greasy messes. It pre-treats, fights stains, and rinses away tough food particles; all while fighting through layers of residue and leaving nothing behind but shine.

Powers Away 24 Hour Stuck-On Food
A dishwasher full of dirty dishes? "Would you ever let them sit for a whole day so that the food gets dried on and stuck on?" Cascade Complete Pacs have more tough food cleaning ingredients.It Power away 24hour stuck on food so you can let them sit for a whole day, and they’ll still turn out amazingly clean and shiny!

Pre-treating Power
The pre-treating power of Cascade Complete All-in-One ActionPacs rinses baked-on messes away easily.Simply stick a dirty casserole dish right into the dishwasher instead of soaking it over night.Now you can wake up to a beautiful clean, instead of another chore.

Fast Action
Cascade Complete All-in-One ActionPacs dissolve quickly to get to work making the most of the dishwashing cycle.

Rinse Aid Action
The rinse aid power of Cascade Complete All-in-One ActionPacs helps prevents spots and film so your glassware and clear plates shine as brightly as you do.

Grease Fighting Power
Cascade Complete All-in-One ActionPacs use tough power to remove grease and keep it from sticking to dishes and plasticware such as spatulas, mixing bowls and storage containers. 

My Take on The Product I have used action pacs from other companies in the past, but did not have a chance to try out this product in the past. I was excited to try this, especially with their claim that one Pac would be all that I would need to clean up any messes that I might have. They even sent me a baking dish to get messy so that I could try it. I was asked not to pre-rinse prior to washing as well. Well... I followed their instructions and made some Potatoes au Gratin et Moutarade. We all know how messy this can be, so needless to say I was happy to try the Action Pac to see if it lived up to its claim.

I have to say that I was impressed! Like many action pacs, Cascade's is very easy to use and their dissolvable pac makes it easy to drop and go. As a parent I love this as it makes my life so much easier and thus, I do not have to worry about the time it take to measure out, pour, etc. The result of our experiment was quite impressive as well, the baked on items in the pan they provided were gone. I had a spotless pan in my midst!

I am sold and plan to watch for this the next time I need dishwashing detergent.

Are you ready to take the Cascade Complete Pac Challenge? If so, check out for more information!

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.

Book Review - Fast Track Networking

National networking expert Lucy Rosen has spent more than twenty five years networking – both as the founder and president of a bi-coastal marketing/public relations agency and as the founder and president of the national networking organization Women on the Fast TrackNow she’s sharing her networking expertise with readers across the country with the publication of her latest book – revealing the networking secrets, and successes, of some of the best networkers in the country and offering a unique step-by-step approach to networking proven to put people on the fast track.
 This book offers an insider’s look from the woman dubbed the “Queen of Networking” into what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to networking.  In addition, the book is filled with real-life “networking success stories” of leading business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the country – highlighting how networking helped them in their careers … and offering valuable real-life-lessons that every networker needs to know -- now -- to take their career to the next level. 

“Networking isn’t giving your business card to everyone you meet, or collecting as many business cards as you can and then calling all the people the next morning and trying to sell them your widget.  Yet unfortunately, that’s still how far too many people approach the concept of networking,” says Rosen, who has been featured in hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, PINK magazine and Working Mother and interviewed on numerous national and local broadcast outlets.  “When done right, networking can often be the differentiating factor that helps you land the deal, or in today’s times land the job, so it’s critical that people know how to approach networking in a way that not only builds relationships, but builds business.  There’s an art to turning a run-of-the-mill conversation into a life-long contact, and the building of these valuable contacts is what this book is all about.” 

Fast Track Networking offers seasoned advice not only from Rosen – the founder/president of the national marketing firm SmartMarketing Solutions Group (, but from a number of other successful executives who share their networking strategies in this informative, and insightful, book.  Peppered with anecdotes and networking tips from business leaders  throughout all industries, including Build-A-Bear founder and CEO Maxine Clark and Alison Berke Morano, Chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party Chairs Association, the book is designed to turn today’s fledgling networkers into fast-track networkers …providing an easy-to-follow plan guaranteed to get results.

A fresh approach to networking written in Rosen’s unique down-to-earth style, the book covers today’s most important concepts when it comes to this area of growing interest to professionals, with chapters including:
  • Networking is Like Dating.  Only Better.
  • Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter, Oh My: How Smart Networkers are Using Social Media to Make -- and Keep -- Great Contacts
  • Position is Everything:  Where to Stand, How to Navigate the Crowd ... and Other Advice on What "Works" in Working Every Room you Enter.
  •  Strategic Alliances: How the Right Partnership Can Boost Your Business ... and Beyond   
In addition, each chapter ends with a summary of tips/tools learned in each section -- clearly pinpointing what the reader now knows as a “fast track networker” – providing a concise guide as to what the reader can do to put themselves on the fast track to networking success.

For more information about Lucy Rosen and/or to order Fast Track Networking: Turning Conversations into Contacts or view a complete list of booksellers where the book is available, visit

My take on the book
As a person who networks daily, I was quite excited to read this book. With all of the experience that the author brings to the table, I found this book to be complete with great, practical information that is lively and energetic. The book also does a great job at engaging the reader in experiences so the information jumps off the page and draws the reader into the book itself.

If you work in business or are just trying to increase your networking savvy this book is a great addition to your professional collection!

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

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.

Book Review - The Power of Rest

About the Book
Award-winning sleep, rest, and body clock expert Dr. Matthew Edlund has identified an ongoing health crisis.  After years of clinical research and consultations with hundreds of patients, he discovered that many people aren’t just sleep-deprived, they’re rest-deprived. The result?  Our hearts, minds, and central nervous systems are overloaded, our health is suffering, and we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be truly refreshed.  Dr. Edlund’s new book THE POWER OF REST: Why Sleep Alone is Not Enough (HarperOne, Hardcover, $24.99, June 8, 2010) provides a comprehensive step-by-step solution to rebuilding our natural ability to rest

Too many people today accept sluggishness and fatigue as the inevitable side effects of hectic lives, and believe that there isn’t much they can do about it besides squeezing in another hour or two of sleep.  Getting enough sleep is important (and Dr. Edlund provides plenty of expert advice on sleeping well) but it’s only one part of a much larger spectrum of rest.  The benefits of making time for rest have proven extraordinary: when people engage the body’s power to restore and renew itself, they look younger, heal faster, lose weight more effectively, and experience greater joy in their work and their relationships. 

Dr. Edlund has isolated the unique benefits of four crucial types of active rest to create a groundbreaking program that fits easily into even the busiest schedules.  The four types of rest include:

·         Physical Rest: Sleep is one form of passive physical rest, but engaging in active forms of physical rest is also crucial.  Dr. Edlund’s 30-day plan provides a range of techniques for active physical rest, including breathing exercises, timed naps, baths, and yoga poses.

·         Mental Rest: While we need to rest the body, it’s equally important to learn to focus and concentrate the mind.  Mental rest involves reconfiguring one’s mind to quickly and easily obtain a sense of relaxed control, and Dr. Edlund has developed exercises—including self-hypnosis, relaxation, and visualization—designed to help maximize this process.

·         Social Rest: Humans are hardwired to be extremely social—social connectedness is built into the structure of our brains.  Studies show that people with strong social connections live longer, cope with stress better, and are healthier.  The Power of Rest explains how to incorporate key social rest techniques into your life.

·         Spiritual Rest: Certain spiritual practices can provide a profound sense of rest, inner peace, connection, and self-healing, and scientific studies have demonstrated that meditation can actually change the structure of the brain over time.  Dr. Edlund provides exercises involving meditation, prayer and contemplation that bring renewal and a sense of well-being.

We wouldn’t expect our bodies to function without food and, Dr. Edlund argues, we shouldn’t expect to feel fully fueled and alert without rest. This step-by-step 30-day plan introduces one simple, no-cost technique each day—many of which can be accomplished in just a minute or two.  Readers will learn to make room in their lives for this basic biological need, and how to quickly create a healthier, more successful, more vital and relaxed life.

About the author:
Matthew Edlund, M. D., M.O.H., is an award-winning expert on rest, body clocks, and sleep. Dr. Edlund’s work had been featured in O, the Oprah Magazine, Prevention, Shape, Redbook, Real Simple, More,, and hundreds of other magazines, newspapers and websites.  He founded the West Coast Regional Sleep Disorders Center, and now runs both the Center for Circadian Medicine and the Gulf Coast Sleep Institute in Sarasota, Florida.

My Take on the Book
As a parent I think most parents have come to realize that sleep is a luxury. For me, I have never needed a lot of sleep and my body typically does not let me sleep long into the morning. Though this is a the case for me, this book brought forward interesting concepts. The book suggests many easy to implement strategies that can help to change your hectic and most of the time sleep-deprived life.

Dr. Edlund seems to make sleep fun and tries to make the reader see this as well. He also spends a lot of time helping the reader to understand the importance of sleep on one's body as well as overall functioning and productivity, which I have even seen in my own life.
I plan to try some of the techniques, and who knows, I too may be finding new ways to sneak in a rest here or never know!
If this book sounds like one you would like in your own library you can find it on Amazon!

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.