Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Clean Up With Wet Ones

Halloween Safety Tips

For kids, Halloween looms large – a night to stay up late, dress in scary costumes, and
gorge on buckets of candy. But for Mom and Dad – between kids hopped up on sugar
and determined to hit every house within a 10-mile radius – Halloween can turn into a
very long night. How do you keep your little ghouls and goblins safe and sound on the
spookiest night of the year?

Start Off in Style: A pre-trick-or-treating party kicks off the festivities for kids
but also serves a real purpose for parents. It breaks up the agonizing wait for
darkness to hit and also allows parents to serve up healthy snacks so kids don’t
head out on an empty stomach.

Clear the Way: Between pumpkins on the steps, Halloween decorations on
display, and piles of leaves everywhere, just getting to the front door can be a
challenge. Before the big night, take a look at your front walkway and make sure
kids can easily reach your house.

Stress Safety over Spookiness: Sometimes the scariest costumes prove the most
problematic, with capes that drag on the ground, ill-fitting masks that cover
kids’ eyes, and an overabundance of dark colors. Ensure kids can walk without
tripping, opt for make-up over masks, and place reflective tape on costumes to
ensure visibility.

No Magic Age: Whether or not it’s OK for kids to head out on Halloween without
Mom and Dad depends solely on the maturity of each child, if older siblings will
be along, and how far they plan to meander. Typically, kids begin going out with
a big group of friends and just in the immediate neighborhood around sixth
grade – but limit the time and insist they stay in touch via cell phones.

Out & About: Give younger kids some autonomy by letting them go up to houses
alone while you remain on the sidewalk. Kids of all ages should only approach
well-lit, welcoming homes. And on a night filled with sticky candy, pumpkin
carving and more, don’t forget to take along Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hand Wipe
Travel Packs to ensure hands stay clean on the go.

Check the Loot: Make sure kids know to bring candy home first for inspection
before sampling -- no eating on the go! For kids with allergies, braces, or other
dietary restrictions, have a discussion beforehand so they understand the rules
still apply and can choose, for example, chocolate bars over candy with nuts and

The product: Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes are great at getting kids and adults out of sticky situations. We all know how messy things can get at Halloween with the candy and goodies and outdoor play. You can prevent germs and stickiness in one step by keeping Wet Ones on hand.

What we thought: I seriously keep Wet Ones everywhere I go. I have a canister in my car for messy fingers when we're traveling. I have the Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipe Travel Packs in my purse at all times. And I usually have 1 or 2 of the singles in my purse, my son's backpack, and his lunch bag. They are handy and keep things clean. (I'm a bit of a germaphobe.) So I always give Wet Ones a big two thumbs up. They are great to have around at all times. Every mom should take advantage of the variety and availability of them.

Where to buy: Wet Ones are available in stores everywhere.

*Disclaimer: I will be receiving samples of this product in exchange for my thoughts and review. All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BUMP ALERT! Top Doctors & Experts Weigh In on What Not to Do When Pregnant

Top Doctors & Experts Weigh in on What NOT to Do When Pregnant

NEW YORK, NY (October 24, 2012) – The list of things that women should and shouldn’t eat or drink or do during pregnancy can be confusing and hard to keep track of.  Nothing is more important to an expectant mom than the health and safety of her unborn child.  Fortunately, you can protect your baby by avoiding risks that can complicate a pregnancy or cause harm to your baby.  To help you with all the pregnancy don'ts we asked top physicians, nutritionists and fitness experts to create a list of things moms-to-be should avoid during pregnancy.

Bumps in Pumps: A Fashion Faux Pas
Sky-high heels aren’t the first thing we usually think of when it comes to maternity attire, but in Hollywood celebrities are choosing fashion over comfort – and perhaps even safety – so that they don’t have to give up their Jimmy Choos. 

“The comfort of high heels is questionable under any circumstances, but when you’re pregnant the question of health and safety become important factors,” says Dr. Ezriel Kornel, a principal surgeon at of Brain & Spine Surgeons of New York and assistant clinical professor at the Cornell University School of Medicine. “Some studies show that high heels can flatten the back and by making the center of gravity higher in the body.  As a result, it puts more stress on the lower back which can lead to earlier deterioration of the discs.” 

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Photos Courtesy of Google Images

The arguments against heels during pregnancy usually amount to (1) you're more likely to fall and harm two people instead of one, (2) heels put undue pressure on your lower back, leading to lower-back pain, and (3) feet can change up to two sizes during pregnancy, which means having to buy all new shoes unless you plan to really suffer by stuffing your swollen toes into pointy pumps. 

Dr. Kornel adds, “If high-heels do result in back aches related to changes in the center of gravity, this would be amplified in the third trimester of pregnancy because of the postural adjustments that need to be made to compensate for the excess forward weight. Of course, additional weight always adds stress to the joints and discs of the lower back as well as all the joints in the legs and feet.”

You’re Eating for TwoSort Of
Although a healthy dietary lifestyle benefits everyone, it offers exceptional benefits during pregnancy. Developing healthy eating habits when you’re pregnant will set the stage for your baby to grow into a strong child and adult, as well as ultimately reduce the risk for certain diseases. Scientific research increasingly shows that a prenatal diet rich in nutrient-dense foods is key in preventing heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many types of cancer.

“Keeping track of all the advice you receive about the foods you should and shouldn’t eat while pregnant can be overwhelming,” says Dr. Sue DeCotiis,
New York City based Medical Internist and weight loss management specialist. 
Pregnant women require 300 extra calories from healthy and nutritious sources. Avoid eating high-fat and high-sugar foods, which have no nutritional value and can lead to excess weight gain.”

MercuryDue to the high mercury content of many fish, especially larger older fish, the following should be avoided by pregnant women: swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish. “Mercury can harm the developing neurological system of the baby. Some mercury is also present in canned tuna fish so no more than 12 oz. per week should be consumed,” warns Dr. DeCotiis. Other fish that can be eaten in moderation are: shrimp, crab, tuna steak, salmon, catfish, cod and tilapia. Avoid raw and uncooked seafood such as salmon tartare and clams on the half shell.
Soft cheeses such as Camembert, Brie and goat cheese are often not pasteurized and could contain dangerous bacteria called Listeria; it has the potential to cause miscarriages. “Also check that all milk products and fresh juices are pasteurized,” says Dr. DeCotiis.
Fruits & Veggies
Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before consuming as they could be harboring bacteria on their surfaces as they could carry toxoplasmosis from the soil in which they were grown.  
Do not consume raw or rarely cooked meats, which may be contaminated with bacteria. Packaged deli meat such as bologna and turkey roll are processed and could contain Listeria.
The CDC estimates that 2.2 million eggs in the U.S. are contaminated with salmonella. “Any food such as eggnog and Caesar salad dressing made with raw eggs is a big no-no for pregnant women,” says Dr. DeCotiis. “Most eggs are pasteurized but better to be overcautious!”

How to Lose Weight After Pregnancy
Are all celebrities magically blessed with amazing weight loss powers allowing them to wear their skinny jeans only weeks after giving birth? It sure feels that way when you see photos of Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr and Kristen Cavallari getting back to their gorgeous pre-baby bodies in less than 4 months.  That’s a lot of pressure for the average new mom.  “Women should know that their pre-baby body is within their reach, but expecting it to happen in less than 3 or 4 months is a bit too drastic and unrealistic,” says Isabel De Los Rios, nutritionist and co-founder of Beyond Diet.   “What many women don’t realize is that some celebrities take extreme and drastic measures to lose their excess weight fast after giving birth. The good news is, with the right healthy approach, your pre-baby body is easier to attain than you may think, without any crazy and dangerous diet schemes.”    

                           8 weeks after baby                                   16 weeks after baby                                  16 weeks after baby
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Photos Courtesy of Google Images

1.     Monitor your weight gain during your pregnancy.  According to the American Pregnancy Association, a healthy weight gain during pregnancy is 25-35 pounds total.  This amount ensures that both baby and mommy are gaining the adequate amount to support a growing baby and increased nutritional needs of the mother.  Pregnancy is not a time to diet, but focusing on clean and natural foods is essential.  Eating a balanced diet of naturally raised protein, healthy fats, and wholesome whole grains, fruits and vegetables will give you the right amount of nutrition you need to support your growing baby’s needs.  There is no need to go low carb, calorie count, or eliminate entire food groups during this time.  Feed your body wholesome foods in the right proportions to stay within the 25-35 pound range for weight gain.
2.     Breastfeed.  Breastfeeding comes with a long list of wonderful health benefits for your baby.  But the biggest health benefit for you is weight loss.  Breastfeeding will burn an extra 300-500 calories, assisting many women in shedding their extra baby pounds rather quickly.  As with your pregnancy, this is not a time to diet.  You want to be sure you’re giving your body all the tools it needs to make enough milk for your growing baby.  Those “tools” are the vitamins and minerals from wholesome foods.  The same list of quality healthy foods you ate during your pregnancy are perfect choices for when you are breastfeeding.
3.     Give yourself a realistic time frame.  “Remember, it took your body 9 months to grow your beautiful baby, give yourself at least 6 months to get back to a healthy weight for you,” advises Isabel.  “If you stayed within the recommended 25-35 pounds, this should not be a difficult goal at all.”  Focusing on a diet of natural proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, in sensible portions will get your back to your pre baby weight without having to resort to extreme or dangerous dieting tactics.

Exercises to Avoid When Pregnant
Exercising when you're pregnant benefits both you and your baby.  Working out regularly improves circulation, helps regulate your internal organs, strengthens your muscles to better carry added weight, stabilizes your joints, and boosts your mood.  “It goes without saying that you first need to choose an exercise program that is safe and appropriate for your stage of pregnancy,” says Burr Leonard, fitness expert and founder of The Bar Method.   “Doctors consider twenty weeks a good point at which to start modifying your exercise routine to better accommodate your growing belly and heightened metabolism.” 

Here are some definite don'ts for making your pre-natal workouts after those 20 weeks as safe and effective as possible:

1.     Avoid intense aerobic exercise that goes on longer than a half-hour.  You don't have to wimp out of intense exercise altogether, but don't choose sustained aerobic workouts that could over-heat your body.
2.     Take a break from high impact sports while you're carrying your baby.  Running, for example, can shift your baby so that it sits lower in your belly, which can make the last months of your pregnancy uncomfortable.
3.     Avoid extreme stretches.  Your ligaments, which act to stabilize your joints, loosen during pregnancy, and over-stretching can destabilize them farther.  What's more, the center of your body, which is housing your baby, no longer possesses much range of motion.  Accept this state of affairs, and wait until post-baby to resume twisting yourself into knots.
4.     When you do exercise, substitute other stretches for the following ones:  
a.     Spinal twists.  Instead, do a "straddle" stretch (sitting on the floor and extending your legs outwards) with straight or bent legs in a diamond shape.
b.     Splits. Skip splits altogether during the latter months of your pregnancy.  Your loosening ligaments make this stretch hazardous for the joints in your pelvis.  Stick with the “hamstring stretch position,” kneeling on one knee with your other leg stretched on the floor in front of you, then folding forward at your hips.
c.     Cobra. Substitute a "cat stretch," coming onto your hands and knees in a crawling position, then rounding your back and returning it to neutral (don't arch in this position).

In the Clear: Acne During Pregnancy
Are your friends saying you have that pregnancy glow? It's only one of many skin changes you may experience during pregnancy due to hormonal changes including acne.  Similar to an adolescent going through puberty, there are higher levels of hormones in the body when you are pregnant. These hormones cause an increase of oil production in the skin and can lead to break outs. Typically, the surge of hormones occurs during the first trimester and starts to improve during the second trimester. 

What acne treatments should you avoid?
“Some acne medications, in particular, come with a high risk of birth defects to the developing fetus or a child that is being breastfed,” saysDr. Rebecca Baxt, a New Jersey/New York based board-certified dermatologist. Here are medications Dr. Baxt recommends say to avoid:
Oral medications:
1.     Isotretinoin. The birth defect risks are so high, women of childbearing age must be on two forms of birth control while on the treatment
2.     Hormone therapy, such as estrogen and the anti-androgens flutamide and spironolactone
3.     Oral tetracyclines, such as antibiotics tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline
Topical medications:
1.     Tretinoin (Retin-A)
2.     Adapalene (Differin)
3.     Tazarotene (Tazorac)
4.     Salcylic acid, which is found in many over-the-counter products

Mommy Beauty: Skincare Ingredients, Products & Beauty Treatments to Avoid When You’re Expecting
When you get pregnant, your beauty regimen, like eating and exercising, takes on a whole different meaning.  “Most women when pregnant, turn into health junkies and maintain the best lifestyle, diet and fitness routine to ensure a safe pregnancy,” says Dr. Nicole Mathis, a board-certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas.  “Women easily give up on alcohol and smoking and anything else that might be harmful for their little bundle of joy. However, we generally forget that the beauty products we use also might affect pregnancy and the health of the baby.”   Research studies have shown that the effects of mother’s chemical exposure may permeate the placenta, affecting the chances of a healthy and normal baby, especially in the first trimester. Although there are no conclusive reports to isolate beauty products that might cause miscarriages or birth defects it is always better to err on the side of caution. 

Skip the Hair Salons for Now
Hair products when applied on your scalp have a minimal risk of being absorbed into the skin. However, chemicals from hair products used in hair coloring, hair straightening and hair sprays may include p-phenylenediamine whose high exposure has not only been linked to reproductive toxicity but it is also considered a neurotoxin.
Scented cosmetics and perfumes
Most cosmetic products use fragrances to hide the unpleasant smells of their chemical constituents. What the companies fail to tell us is that these fragrances use phthalates as carriers. Phthalates can imitate the hormones responsible for the growth and development of the fetus and unnatural levels of these hormones could be dangerous. Even if a perfume has a dangerous phthalate as its ingredient it might not be listed on the label due to the laws, which protect the secret formulation of fragrances.
Anti-aging products
Anti-aging products like wrinkle control creams have retinoids as their ingredient, which helps the breakdown of collagen. Retinoids with vitamin A when used in large quantities can cause dangerous levels of Vitamin A for the baby. Anti-aging products also contain parabens, which can disrupt the body’s hormone systems. 
Tanning sprays
Although DHA (Dihydroxy Acetone) used in chemical tanning is approved and is considered safer than Suntanning (which can cause cancer), it is still not clear whether inhalation of the spray particles is harmful or not. There are clinical studies to suggest that DHA might be mutagenic and cause DNA damage. Tanning beds are also a strict no-no as the elevated temperatures can cause fetal damage.
Nail Products
Many nail products like nail polishes, cuticle strengthener, polish removers etc. have Toluene and Formaldehyde in their ingredient list. Toluene is an industrial solvent, which poses reproductive toxicity and can cause brain cell damage. Formaldehyde is a preservative and hardener, which has been linked to cancer and developmental toxicity. Nail products can cause fetal damage because your hands come directly in contact with what you eat, which goes into your bloodstream. 
Between the morning sickness and sleepless nights, there could be plenty to frown about during pregnancy – but should you get Botox to smooth out frown lines?  The decision to undergo any cosmetic treatment while pregnant should always be made by your doctor, who must determine if the benefits outweigh any potential risks.  “The decision to undergo any cosmetic treatment while pregnant should always be made by your doctor, who must determine if the benefits outweigh any potential risks,” says Dr. Richard Chaffoo, a triple board-certified plastic surgeon in San Diego. “Even though Botox is injected into specific targeted areas, general consensus is to stay away from Botox while pregnant, it is not worth the risk.”
Chemical Peels
A chemical peel involves different types of acids applied to the surface of your skin to exfoliate the top layers and to improve the tone and textures of the skin – but are they safe during pregnancy? “Superficial peels such as lactic and glycolic acid are very safe, but should not be done during pregnancy secondary to unknown risks regarding absorption of chemical products into the bloodstream and potential exposure to the baby,” advises Dr. Chaffoo.  In addition, he suggests staying away from fillers until after pregnancy. “Restylane and Juvederm are localized injections of a natural hyaluronic acid fillers to smooth out deeper lines and furrows,” he says. “These are likely safe during pregnancy, but usually unnecessary as the face typically plumps up on its own while pregnant!  Best to stay away from any injections during pregnancy as the safety has not been proven.” A good alternative treatment that is non-invasive, has little to no downtime, and will provide the mother with a relaxing, spa-like experience, is the HydraFacial. Leaving the skin supple, smooth and rejuvenated, the immediate results are long lasting.

Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe?
For the most part, sex during pregnancy really shouldn’t be all that different from sex at other times. Sex is safe, fun and a great way to celebrate this special time in your life with your partner.  “For the majority of women, sex right up until their due date is perfectly safe - though it may become uncomfortable as the months pass,” says Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, LMSW, MPH, PhD & Clinical Director of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality in New York. 

1.     If your doctor gives you specific instructions, it’s important to follow them. For some women (few and far between) it is not okay to have vaginal intercourse or orgasms and your doctor will make those special instructions perfectly clear.
2.     If you are prone to early labor, your doctor may give you special instruction in the last month or so of the pregnancy and tell you to avoid specific activities such as nipple stimulation or orgasm that may lead to vaginal contractions.
3.     Make sure you are physically comfortable! Sometimes pregnancy can feel like the “invasion of the body snatchers.” You may not know on any given day what part of your body (and hence what position) may feel squeezed, tight or just plain hurt. Pay attention. If it’s not comfortable to be on your back today, have sex in another position. It can be a good time to experiment.
4.     Pillows can be a good friend when you’re pregnant. You can use them under your backside or lean on them sideways in order to make your body feel “more even” when you’re having sex.
5.     Women’s libidos go up and down during pregnancy.  Don’t panic if you’re not in the mood today, but pay attention and don’t assume you won’t be in the mood tomorrow.

A woman’s life changes significantly the moment she becomes pregnant. Aside from hormonal influences and the extra bodily stresses of being pregnant, she now has to act with increased awareness, as every action effects not only her, but her soon to be born child as well.  “The extra efforts of the mother to take care of herself during these nine months can reduce some of the undesirable symptoms of pregnancy, increase the ease of giving birth, speed recovery after birth, and most importantly; give a better state of health to the baby,” saysPacific Fertility Center’s Dr. Carolyn Givens, board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  She adds, “Taking care during pregnancy will reassure and strengthen the growing baby, give the baby a better start on life and prevent physical and mental health problems from manifesting later in the child’s life.”

1.     No Hot Tubs. One study suggested a higher risk of miscarriages in women who reported frequent hot tub use. If you enjoy a hot bath, no more than a 10-minute soak if you like your baths very hot.
2.     Avoid Stress.  Stress is harmful to us in many ways so it makes sense that stress hormones may not be good for fetuses as well. Stress from daily life can be hard to avoid. Counteract stress with exercise, yoga or meditation.
Get A lot of Zzzzzz’s.  Seven to eight hours a night, minimum. This one is really easy to do and should be a habit that is kept religiously. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul Helps Fight Breast Cancer

Chicken Soup for the Soul

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             CONTACT: Rusty Shelton (512) 206-0229

Chicken Soup for the Soul offers exclusive promotion 
on, Gannett’s daily deals site, to raise 
funds and awareness for breast cancer

DealChicken’s exclusive online promotion allows consumers to show support for the American Cancer 
Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 

COS COB, Conn., (October 24, 2012) –Chicken Soup for the Soul is raising money to fight breast cancer,
running an exclusive online promotion with DealChicken, the Gannett Co., Inc.’s (NYSE: GCI) daily deals
site.   The promotion, available at, offers consumers the opportunity to
show their support for American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and runs through
November 9, 2012.

The promotion features Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey, written by breast cancer survivor and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Julie Silver. The book is part of a new health and wellness series from Chicken Soup for the Soul and combines stories from those affected by breast cancer with Dr. Silver’s cutting edge medical advice.

As part of this exclusive package, buyers receive the book and a limited edition pink cooler bag for
only $12.50 (a $25 value) with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. If individuals want to contribute even more to the cause, they may choose to donate their savings, an additional $12.50, to Making
Strides with the American Cancer Society.

The promotion was highlighted at the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Jones Beach Walk on Sunday, October 21, 2012, as part of an in-person promotion from Chicken Soup
for the Soul. “It was so inspirational to see thousands of survivors walking and the sea of people there to support their fight, celebrate their victories and remember loved ones” said Joelle Jarvis, marketing director.  “Having lost my mom to breast cancer a few years ago, it was incredibly moving to have one woman after another share how Chicken Soup for the Soul books helped bring them and their families hope in very tough times.  It was a privilege to be there.”

About Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC: Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC,
publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, which is distributed through Simon & Schuster,
Inc. In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable books in the last quarter century. Since 1993, more than 100 million books in the series have been sold in the United States and Canada alone. Chicken Soup for the Soul titles have been sold in more than 100 additional countries and translated into more than 40 languages. The company is currently implementing a plan to expand into all media, including TV shows and a major motion picture, and is also developing a digital presence for life improvement, emotional support, inspiration, and wellness. Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods, a joint venture with Daymon Worldwide Inc., will start rolling out its line of delicious, nutritious comfort foods in early 2013. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing also licenses the right to use its famous brand to high-quality licensees. For more information, go to visit | @ChickenSoupSoul |

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Run the Risk" by Lori Foster Excerpt Scavenger Hunt

Start from the beginning or join in here. Follow this link for more excerpts of this book-

Excerpt from Run the Risk by Lori Foster:

Or at least, she remembered to mumble when a certain neighbor didn’t push her past the breaking point.
                “Well, I think you are,” he said, still watching her, his tone almost…pitying.
                How dare he feel sorry for her?
                Pride rose to the forefront, returning her backbone. “Is that a joke, Mr. Stark?”
                Shifting his stance, he leaned in and—while she held her breath—said with distinct insistence, “Call me Logan.”

The product:



Lori Foster

A police detective goes undercover to investigate a murder, and his target is a mousy young lady he believes is the link he needs to solve the case. But little does he know that his plain-Jane suspect has her own secrets that will turn his case head over heels before it’s over. From award-winning author Lori Foster comes RUN THE RISK (HQN Books; October 2012; $7.99 U.S./$9.99 CAN.), the first book in her brand-new original series.

When handsome construction worker Logan Riske moves next door to the dowdy young Pepper Yates, she can’t believe her luck. Her new beau has everything she wants in a guy—looks, charm, style.  He also has one thing she doesn’t even suspect—a badge.

Logan is really an undercover cop investigating the homicide of his best friend and he’s sure that the shy, introverted Pepper is concealing the whereabouts of her eyewitness brother, Rowdy. Logan needs Rowdy’s testimony to bring crime boss Morton Andrews to justice for the murder, and he’ll go to any lengths to obtain it—even seducing Rowdy’s wallflower sister.

The longer Logan’s seductive charade goes on, however, the more he starts to see through Pepper’s drab exterior to the true beauty beneath. Despite all his training, Logan can’t stop himself from falling for Pepper.  But to warn her now will cost him any chance of trapping her brother and bringing his friend’s killer to justice. Like it or not, Logan’s going to see this masquerade through to the end, even if it costs him what he now values most—Pepper.

But Pepper Yates is no one’s fool. She and her brother have managed to survive on the run by trusting no one, especially a flirtatious neighbor with romantic intentions. Despite her undeniable attraction to Logan, Pepper isn’t about to risk her brother’s life by falling prey to her passions.

But no matter what she does, it may be too late. Rowdy is already caught in the killer’s crosshairs and Pepper knows it’s up to her to do whatever it takes to save him no matter who stands in her way…even Logan.


Lori Foster

HQN Books; October 2012
384 pages; $7.99 U.S./$9.99 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77695-5

Lori Foster
Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a Waldenbooks, Borders, USA TODAY, Publishers Weeklyand New York Times bestselling author.

Lori believes it’s important to give back to the community as much as possible, so she routinely arranges events among authors and readers to gather donations for various organizations.

What I thought: I have read other books from Lori Foster and enjoyed them. This new title lived up to her others. It was a great adventure and action packed book from beginning to end. And as always her books are steamy and spicy.

I enjoyed Run the Risk. The story about the quiet, shy Pepper Yates turns out not to be quite what Logan Riske expected when he first started keeping tabs on her. But something draws him to her, and he just can't stay away.

Where to buy: Run the Risk by Lori Forster is available in stores everywhere.

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Power Rangers Samurai Monster Bash DVD

Zachariah is at that age where he's really getting into superheroes and other "fighting" type characters. One of his newest finds it Power Rangers. Now I know they have been around for a while, but the Power Rangers have changed since I watched them with my sister when we were little. They are still action packed and fun for kids. That's why my son enjoys them.

The product:
Join the Power Rangers for a Halloween party so awesome that their enemies are dying to get on the ghostly guest list in the new Lionsgate Home Entertainment release of Power Rangers Monster Bash. Featuring three Halloween themed episodes from the beloved Power Rangers Samurai series, Power Rangers Monster Bash Halloween special will be available on DVD and Digital Download September 11, 2012. Join the team of Samurai Rangers at the scariest of Halloween parties where the Nighlok's and the Samurai Rangers put their differences aside to trade stories with one another about previous battles in this new production of Power Rangers Samurai, the #1 kid's action series across all television.

A fan favorite for over two decades Power Rangers Samurai combines action-filled storylines with humor and heart, while promoting strong values including teamwork, friendship and fitness. The Power Rangers Monster Bash Halloween special DVD will be available ni collectible O-card packaging for the suggested retail price of $14.98.

The action-packed series consistently ranks #1 with boys and the "Power Rangers Samurai" online game was voted 2011's "Game of the Year" by visitors to These DVD collections join the 100+ new Power Rangers licensees worldwide that include toys, video games, apparel, publishing, sporting goods, food, beverages and more.

Power Rangers Monster Bash Synopsis:
Halloween is every monster's favorite day of the year so the creepiest creatures from the Netherworld are just dying to get into the scariest party ever and trade war stories about their battles with the Samurai Power Rangers.


  • "Samurai" Party Monsters"
  • "Mighty Morphin Life's a Masquerade"
  • "Might Morphin Trick or Treat"
DVD Special Features:
  • Power Rangers Samurai Halloween PSA
What we thought: As I mentioned my son is really into Power Rangers these days. And he loves everything Halloween. So this was a great combination of the two in the Power Rangers Monster Bash DVD. He has watched this a lot leading up to Halloween, and I'm sure he'll enjoy it all year long too. For your action hero loving child, this is a great DVD to have in your collection.

Where to buy: The Power Rangers Monster Bash DVD is available in stores and online now.

*Disclaimer: I received this product to review. All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Welch's Filled Licorice

Do you like fruity snacks? Maybe your kids do. Here is a new product from Welch's that your whole family can enjoy together.

The product: When I think Welch's I think about juice. But now they have these fun, fruity snacks that you can enjoy with their classic flavors.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (April, 2012)  Frankford Candy has partnered with Welch’s to develop an innovative new entry into the rapidly growing licorice categoryBy adding a jelly-filling inside a juicy-flavored licorice, Frankford has created a new licorice experience with the introduction of Welch’s ® Filled Licorice!  Product, now shipping, is targeting all grocery, convenience and non-food retailers in America.

“We at Frankford Candy are tremendously excited about the debut of Welch’s Filled Licorice,” says Kurt Dungan, VP of Marketing for Frankford Candy, makers of Welch’s Filled Licorice.  “The licorice category doesn’t need just another fruit flavored licorice.  Our goal withWelch’s was to create a unique, great-tasting product that leverages Welch’s brand strength with consumers.  By developing Welch’s Filled Licorice, we’ve combined the bold, fruit flavors you’d expect from Welch’s with a soft, smooth licorice texture that the whole family will enjoy.”
Welch’s Filled Licorice combines a soft licorice outside with a flavorful filling inside.  The unique jelly filling is made with real fruit juice and fruit pectin to deliver real fruit flavors. This new one-of-a-kind licorice treat is a blend of soft and chewy textures with a bold, real fruit filling. 
“We’re proud of what Welch’s and Frankford Candy have accomplished together,” says Lino Marrero, Business Development Manager atWelch’s.  “This is a fun innovation for the category that appeals to a broad audience.  Kids will love the soft, easy to chew texture and the fun jelly filling while adults will appreciate the bolder, real fruit flavors.”
 Welch’s Filled Licorice is available in Concord Grape and Strawberry flavors.  It is offered in 1.75 oz (SRP $1.09) and 3.5oz (SRP $1.59).Welch’s® Filled Licorice are distributed by Frankford Candy LLC ®.

About Welch’sHeadquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative.Welch’s is owned by 1,150 family-farmers across America and in Ontario, Canada, who make up this cooperative and who grow the delicious and inherently healthy Concord grape, used in Welch’s juices and many other grape-based products. Welch’s products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 50 countries around the globe.
 About Frankford CandyFrankford Candy was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1947 as a manufacturer of seasonal chocolate products. In 1994 Frankford Candy began expanding its brand portfolio through licensing partnerships, expanding beyond chocolate into a broad range of everyday and seasonal confections.

Today, Frankford Candy a leading supplier of licensed brand confections.  Frankford manufactures chocolate products in its modern, 500,000 square foot facility in Philadelphia, PA and partners with other high quality candy suppliers from all over the world.

What we thought: We really liked these filled licorice sticks. They are chewy and good. The flavors are good ones that we all enjoyed. It's a great snack to have with popcorn while watching movies too.

Where to buy: Welch's Filled Licorice is available in stores everywhere and online.

How to connect: You can learn about this product and more at Welch's website.

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*

Alison Faith Levy "World of Wonder" Children's CD

Children's music today is a world all it's own. I'm amazed at how many artist really get kids and create great music just for them. One of these wonderful musicians is Alison Faith Levy with her new CD "World of Wonder".

The product:




 “World of Wonder is kid-friendly rock by grown up professionals who know how to write, sing and play … ‘Like A Spinning Top’ feels, to my ears, like the Patti Smith Group covering Gerry & The Pacemakers. Instantly, I was singing along and clapping my hands.”  – Paul Myers (author of A Wizard, A True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio)

“Meet the Sippy Cups – a rock band for kids that’s like nothing you’ve ever heard.” –Billy Heller, New York Post  

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 6, 2012) – Alison Faith Levy, formerly “Sippy Alison” of legendary kindie trailblazersThe Sippy Cups and the songwriter behind such Sippy hits as “Magic Toast,” “The Jellyfish,” “Move Your Pants” and “One Day Soon,” returns to making music for kids with a stunning solo album, World of Wonder.

After spending five years crisscrossing the country with the psychedelic rock n' roll circus for kids that was The Sippy Cups, performing in such venues such as Symphony Space in NYC, Lollapalooza, House of Blues, Central Park Summerstage, and Austin City Limits, Alison Faith Levy took abreak from performing for children and found success with her "grown-up" Americana band, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, with songwriting partner Victor Krummenacher (of Camper Van Beethoven). They performed with the likes of Rosanne Cash, Cracker, and Built to Spill and released an acclaimed album Time for Leaving.

Alison missed performing for children, however, and decided to start a music time at a local bookstore. She began writing new songs for the kids, and word spread quickly. Within a few months the place was packed to the rafters every week, and Alison soon began booking performances at libraries, museums, music venues and outdoor festivals. She was tapped by a local club to produce a monthly music series for families, and her Starry Day Matinee Series in Berkeley, CA grew to be a runaway success, with full houses of jumping, dancing kids andhappy moms and dads.

For World of WonderAlison enlisted the help of her friend, songwriter and bandleader of lush indie popsters The Orange Peels — producer Allen Clapp. Together they took a new batch of songs and, with a goal of crafting their perfect pop kids’ music album, played practically every instrument themselves and mined their collective encyclopedic knowledge of pop music for production touchstones. Carole King, Elton John, Phil Spector, Godspell, The Zombies, The Byrds, Dusty Springfield, Pentangle, The Flaming Lips and XTC are just some of the influences that can be heard wafting through World of WonderAlison’s ten-year-old son, Henry, a musician in his own right, plays drums and sings on a couple of songs on the album, as well.

Enthuses noted music journalist Paul Myers, “While she regularly appears with kid-rockers The Sippy Cups, I only knew singer keyboardist Alison Faith Levy from her work in more alt-rock settings such as The Loud Family (with Scott Miller) and McCabe & Mrs. Miller (with Camper Van Beethoven's Victor Krummenacher), but in this milieu, we really get to hear her voice, which recalls the great girl group singers like Ronnie Spector. It doesn't hurt that California sunshine pop mastermind Allen Clapp (The Orange Peels) bathes the whole thing in Spectorian reverb. So it's a natural and fitting moment when Levy re-imagines "Itsy Bitsy Spider" in a Wall of San Francisco Sound. By the final strains of "One More Cupcake", you're in full agreement with the character in the song who begs mommy on her ‘bended band-aid knees’ for just five more minutes of fun. A true world of wonder which promises more wonders to come.”

# # #

CD Details: World of Wonder
For ages 5 and under, and parents, too!
Label: Mystery Lawn Music
Release Date:  April 1, 2012
SRP: $12.97  ($9.99 digital download)
Run time:  33 minutes

What we thought: We enjoy all kinds of music. My family is pretty eclectic with music selection. (Believe me, you'd know really quickly by listening to my husband's iPod.) My son already has quite a music collection. This CD has already made the nightly rotation. Basically, that's a big two thumbs up from him for this CD.

Where to buy: The Alison Faith Levy "World of Wonder" CD is available from several online stores, like Amazon.

How to connect: You can learn more about Alison Faith Levy on her website. And she can be contacted on Facebook and Twitter too.

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*

LapFit Makes Travel Easier with Kids #Giveaway

Do your kids have a hard time keeping occupied in the car? Maybe they just don't have the space they need to read a book, eat a snack or color a picture. Here is a product that will help solve all those problems. It makes kids happier with a useable space right on their laps. And the design is practical and well made, which makes parents happy too. If you haven't seen or heard of LapFit before now, you need to check them out right away.

The product: LapFit was started by a dad who wanted a solution for his busy family. They were always on the run and it's hard to deal with eating, working and playing in the car. After looking around and seeing nothing that fit their needs, they started designing their own solution. Along came LapFit. They launched their new product, LapFit, at the toy fair in New York in February and have had quick success. 

LapFit is designed to meet families needs. It's a great product for busy families who are always on the go. It gives your child a flat surface to use in the car for playing or working on homework. And eating is much easier with this. Just try it yourself and see what you've been missing. It's perfect for kids from 3 to 15.

What we thought: I get a lot of review products for my son to try out. He was really excited when we received this one. I couldn't wait to try it. We've been using it for a few months in our car. It's been great for longer trips especially. Zachariah loves to read magazines for kids, books and more. He also likes to do puzzles and workbooks. This gives him a nice area right on his lap to do these things.

We don't eat in the car very often, but I do really like the inside of the LapFit with the eating areas. There are little molded spots for food, drinks and sauces that your children can easily use. Plus it makes eating in the car a lot less messy. It's all on the tray and on their lap. There is even a cut out for a larger drink cup that I think is ideal.

I am very impressed with the LapFit. I think it's a great fit for all families. And it would be a great Christmas gift for your children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, friends or anyone else you're buying for.

Where to buy: You can purchase the LapFit from their website. It is also available on, Learning Express Toys and Parent-Teacher Store USA, plus more retailers coming soon.

How to connect: Learn more about LapFit on their website. You can also catch them on Facebook and Twitter.

Prize: The great people at LapFit are going to give away 3 Lapfits to my readers. You get to choose the size and color you would like.

Giveaway: This giveaway is open until 10/30/12 at 12:01am EST. This is open to US residents only. Please enter in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: I received this product for review. All opinions are my own.*