Life... Health... Reviews...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Explaining the Gulf Oil Spill to children {book review}

Lynda Wurster Deniger had a great idea for a children’s book to help explain to children what happened as a result of the Gulf Oil Spill. In the second book in the Salty Sea Series by Deniger, Patti Pelican and the Gulf Oil Spill, which was illustrated by Paulette Ferguson, recounts the events and responses of those who came to help save the animals that were impacted by the spill.

Here is what the back of the beautifully covered book reads:

Louisiana and much of the Gulf coast had barely recovered from the 2005 devastation of Hurricane Katrina when the area was brought to its knees by the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history on April 20, 2010. Patti Pelican and Sammy Seagull of the “Salty Sea Series” were caught in the wake of this tragedy. Patti Pelican and the Gulf Oil Spill tells their inspiring story of rescue and release by the dedicated men and women who fought valiantly and tirelessly to rescue endangered wildlife trapped in the oil along the coastal waterways.

One of the best things about the book is the included audio CD, which is read by the author, and the sing along song. The not-so-good thing about the audio CD is that it’s read so quickly that it’s difficult for children to keep up with, and even when I was following along with them and trying to point to the words I had a hard time as well.

My two middle children, ages 6 and 7, followed along with the book pretty well and understood what was going on. My 4-year-old daughter was able to comprehend what happened to the birds, but some of the key points were a little too advanced for her. Overall I think this books is best for children ages 7 and above as a great tool to help young people understand what happened during the oil spill.

This book, which is hardcover and 36 pages of full-color, is available at bookstores nationwide retailing for $19.95. Also, take a peek at a video presentation of Salty Seas and Friends.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Patti Pelican and The Gulf Oil Spill by Lynda Wurster Deniger  to help facilitate this review. This did not effect my opinion and any opinions expressed here are my own. Clicking on my Amazon affiliate link and making a purchase will garner a small commission for me. For more information review my complete policy.


Friday, July 1, 2011

My kids love their bling {product review}

I am the first mom – well, in my neighborhood – that complains about all the sugar and sweets children consume. It almost hurts me to watch them wolf down empty calories that hold no nutritional value, but I understand that children like candy – as much as I like dark chocolate – so I have to give in now and then.

100_4995One type of candy they like are Ring Pop. When I saw an email about testing Sugar Free Ring Pop, I had to say yes because just days before that my three children had been arguing over the last one. I finally got the chance to break out the bag (it was mysteriously hiding in a drawer in my office), which contained three Sugar Free Ring Pop in strawberry, blue raspberry and watermelon.



My threesome were more than excited to help me with this particular product review. (No, their expressions don’t quite relay that!) Anna had strawberry, Andre watermelon because his favorite color is green and that left blue raspberry for Amareah. Before they had a chance to race away with them I was able to get a quick taste of the strawberry one and, surprisingly, I thought it was very tasty. One hundred percent of the time I put back products that contain Splenda because I normally do not like the taste, but I must admit that the pop had a great strawberry taste and just enough of sweetness.

100_4998The children ran off contemplating what color their tongues would be afterward and I wish I had a picture of Amareah with blue raspberry lips. Hands down the Ring Pop was a hit. They had no idea they were sugar free.

Sugar Free Ring Pop is even a mom-approved treat for children with diabetes because there are 0 sugar carbs and impact carbs. The pops are also fat free and have only 30 calories per pop – not too bad. Even with all of that goodness I still like to keep track of the sweet goodies my kiddos are noshing on. But, overall, this sweet experience was a winner.     100_4996  

If you want to find Sugar Free Ring Pop, you can pick some up at Walmart and BJ’s as well as online at and

Keep up with Ring Pop on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: I received a three pack of Sugar Free Ring Pop to help facilitate this review. This did not effect my opinion and any opinions expressed here are my own. For more information review my complete policy.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Believe it or not… I’m delinquent

It escapes my mind as to whether I’ve posted that I’m going to slow down on doing reviews and more than likely stop doing giveaways. Although I love doing book and product reviews I am continually getting behind on them. I see a press release or information about a book from an author or publishing company and I get so excited because I’m absolutely addicted to books. It doesn’t matter that my to-be-read and to-be-reviewed piles are already overflowing, I accept before I know it and it grows even higher.

I do a better job of ignoring the new products coming out … uh, sometimes. But I’m getting behind in that as well so I’m going to have to put myself on punishment. At least until I have time when I have more focus and more quiet to concentrate on reading (why is it that I read so slowly now?) an entire book in less than six months to a year.

Then there are those product reviews. I may actually use the product, but unless I write about it right away I often forget. If it’s a children’s product I try to do it at the right time, but I sometimes do that at the right time as well.

And, honestly, besides free books and products I don’t get paid for them so it really shouldn’t be a priority. There are often products that help to supplement my income (you know like coupons for free pizza) and that’s always good, but I have to continue to focus my editing and writing business. That includes being more organized and productive as well as bringing in more money.

I wrote all of that to say: given my delinquencies I neglected to choose a winner for the last giveaway I had for the FRESCHETTA® By the Slice and a FRESCHETTA® storage set. If you click the link you’ll see that the giveaway ran in April, but I still have the prize so it’s only right to go ahead and send it to the winner.

The winner is ….


Congratulations Andrea. Please email your mailing address to me as soon as you get the opportunity (and forgive my delinquency). Andrea will also be contacted for her address information.

What’s the best thing you like about hosting giveaways or what’s the worse thing? Do you post them on your site, enter them or neither?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

99 percent good; I’ll take it

I happily went to my hematology appointment today. Yup, happily. That’s the appointment where my very thorough, professional and friendly physician’s assistant reviews all of my tests and blood work from my last visit through the current visit. Then reviews the current day’s blood work, which I have to get before each appointment.

MP900315619[1] Today’s appointment mostly went well. Mostly meaning 99 percent. And I’m pleased with that. There was one blood test result – the most important one – that hadn’t been recorded yet. That particular test lets them know whether the smoldering multiple myeloma is active, and I’m sure that if it is they’ll let me know. The 1 percent that isn’t good is my white blood cell count is low; it’s lower than my normal too low results… that resulted in a reminder for me to take care not to get sick and to get a lot of rest.

Lately, that seems to be easier said than done. Even when I go to bed at a semi-decent hour I don’t sleep that well so I’m still tired. It’s a viscous, ugly cycle. There are a few other things I can try to help myself in the sleep department, but I feel like it’s the one area where I can be a little rebellious and not have any repercussions. (Come on, give me a break I take 14 pills per day!)

What’s next? Another Zomeda treatment in August (that’s to help in strengthening my bones), a more extensive x-ray (or was it MRI?) of my shoulder and neck area, follow-up appointments and monitoring of all the “little” things that are brewing. There ya have it, my health update.

How have things been going on your side of the world?

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