"Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” author Spencer Johnson

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Different Kind of Hero by Leah Beth Evans Review

A Different Kind Of Hero
by Leah Beth Evans

Illustrated by Colleen Gedrich

ISBN-13: 978-0979504525


The rainforest is under attack.
One monkey is determined to save it.
His name is Tomagochi.

He's brown.
He's small.
He's plain.

But when a group of men enters the rainforest armed with bulldozers and axes, Tomagochi the monkey springs into action to defend his natural habitat.

While larger animals like Peshe the tiger run and hide, Tomagochi charges into battle.

Will he be victorious?

Will the rainforest be saved?

Join Tomagochi as he fights to protect his home and discovers just how special he truly is.

My Review:

This is a great book written by Leah Beth Evans when she was in 4th grade. When I first started reading this encouraging story, I was concerned about the writing. I didn't realize this had been written by a child. As I read through the story, I thought that my 10 yr old could've written this book. How was I going to do a positive review?

Finally I made it to the end of A Different Kind of Hero where I learned, thankfully, that this had been written by a little girl. Imagine my relief. I was able to go back and read the story with an entirely new perspective and enjoyed the story that much more.

A Different Kind of Hero is about Tomagachi, the monkey. He doesn't think he's anything special, but his friends, Peshe the Tiger and Mocho the Tucan try to help him believe in himself. Tomagachi thinks that everyone else is prettier or can do better things than he can. At the end of the story through a scary situation, he was able to learn of his strengths.

What a great way to show children two ideas: 1) you can do anything even if you're a kid...like write a book, and 2) the story will help children see that there's something special in each of us. I know that at Amazon they have the age range of 9-12, but honestly, a 1st grader could read this story. It would be a wonderful read for that age!

About The Author:

Leah Beth Evans was inspired to write her story as a 4th grade student after studying about the rainforest. She continues to enjoy writing stories and poetry. However, her story A Different Kind of Hero has always been one of her favorites.

I'd like to thank Tribute Books for sharing these books with my readers. If you'd like to learn more visit: http://www.tribute-books.com/

You can also follow Tribute here:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon: Special Mom Screening

Get Tickets to How to Train Your Dragon Online!
Visit the Official How to Train Your Dragon Site

The reviews are SCORCHING HOT and the movie looks like a ton of fun. Check your local movie listings for information about time and location for other showings. Special morning screenings for moms this Friday, March 26th at 10 am in these cities:

○ Chicago (suburbs only)
○ Denver (Douglas County, Boulder Valley, Littleton)
○ Los Angeles (Inland Empire ONLY)
○ Miami (Broward County)
○ Minneapolis (Rosemount & Burnsville Eagan)
○ Orlando (Orange County, Brevard, Volusia)
○ Portland
○ Sacramento (Stockton, Lodi & Vacaville Counties)
○ Salt Lake City (Weber, Toolele & Murray Counties)
○ Tampa (Mantee, Sarasota, Hernando & Citrus County)
○ Washington D.C. (Prince Georges County & Spotslyvania)

From the studio that brought you “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda” comes “How to Train Your Dragon.” Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

DreamWorks Animation's “How to Train Your Dragon” was produced by Bonnie Arnold and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. Rated PG.

The boys have Spring Break next week so I was planning on taking them to see the movie! We've been excited since the Super Bowl commercials for it to come out!

I'd also like to thank Megan from Twittermoms.com for letting us know about the opportunity to share this with our followers!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Red in the Flower Bed by Andrea Nepa

Red in the Flower Bed
by Andrea Nepa

To be honest, I don't believe I've ever read a book on adoption. We don't know anyone with adopted kids and I guess it's never crossed my mind to read this type of book. Now, on the other hand, I know there are so many families out there looking for great books to share about adoption with their child or a family they know.

I'd love to share with you a book that pertains to this very idea. Red in the Flower Bed by Andrea Nepa is a great way to demonstrate how adoption occurs. A baby (or a seed) is born from one mommy and is blessed by living with a new mommy and daddy as well as other family members.

The reader follows a seed as it journeys from it's mommy, who is a Poppy, to a new garden full of other flowers. The little seed doesn't just appear in the new garden, it takes time and this colorful and joyful travels of this sweet seed is inspiring!

When the little seed makes it to the garden where she will grow, she is fully welcomed by all the different flowers surrounding it. The poppy seed blooms into a beautiful poppy in a garden filled with sweet peas, snapdragons and other flowers.

If you know someone who has adopted or is adopting, Red in the Flower Bed would be a wonderful book to have as they share the story of where their precious child came from!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cadence Keen Innovations Introduces Bed MadeEZ™

With the demand for heavier, luxury mattresses continuing to increase, many mattresses in today’s homes weigh in excess of 150 pounds creating an increased degree of difficulty and risk of injury while changing linens. Applying just sheets alone require a mattress to be lifted at least eight times from a stooped position of only 14” off the ground. The awkward twist and lift motion required to make a bed contributes to the back pain experienced by 85% of the population. The Bed MadeEZ was designed to reduce strain to the back, neck, and shoulders associated with the repeated lifting of heavy mattresses. How does it work? The Bed MadeEZ:
  • Inserts effortlessly between box spring and mattress, lifting as it slides in.
  • Allows mattress to rest in raised position eliminating repeated lifting.
  • Alleviates strain to back, neck and shoulders with ergonomic design.
  • Can be used to tuck in linens.
  • Comes with a full replacement LIFE TIME warranty.

To see a video demonstration, visit: http://www.cadencekeen.com/setupvid_ez.html

Here is the CKI Press Release announcing their new Bed MadeEZ:

Cadence Keen Innovations Introduces Bed MadeEZ™

Unique new bed-making accessory applauded by housekeepers, ideal for homemakers

Ft. Lauderdale, FL — March 1, 2010 — Cadence Keen Innovations (CKI), a leading inventor and provider of sleep solutions for the hospitality industry, today announced the debut of the Bed MadeEZ™, a new bed-making aid designed to reduce the fatigue and risk of injury associated with changing linens. Bed MadeEZ utilizes a unique wedge-shaped, ergonomic design that inserts effortlessly between the mattress and the box spring, creating an automatic lift as it slides in. The mattress can then rest in a raised position, eliminating the need for repeated lifting as the bed is made. This innovative device is aimed at reducing back strain and injury from lifting increasingly weighty luxury mattresses.

“The Bed MadeEZ is a simple solution that solves a painful problem,” stated Sam Montross, founder and president of Cadence Keen Innovations. “The average luxury mattress now weighs in excess of 113 pounds, and on average, a mattress is lifted at least eight times during the course of making a single bed, putting a great strain on the maker’s back, neck and shoulders. The BedMadeEZ was designed to eliminate this repetitive lifting.”

With three beds in the average American household, domestic duties now require the lifting of more than one ton of weight each day during bed-making alone. The 14 ounce BedMadeEZ eliminates the need for this repetitive lifting, enabling the user to slide the wedge shaped tool between the mattress and box spring, resting the mattress on BedMadeEZ’s ledge in a raised position to easily tuck sheets, change linens, or adjust bed skirts.

Since finalizing the design and beginning production of the Patent Pending Bed MadeEZ in 2009, CKI has received hundreds of orders for samples and demonstrations, ranging from select service hotels to 5-star resorts as well as some of the world’s most prominent hotel brands. For more information on Bed MadeEZ or other Cadence Keen Innovations products, please contact Steven Gordon at 888.222.2217 or visit http://www.ckisolutions.us/.

In our house we have 5 beds, and two are bunk beds. Of course, the kids sleep on the top bunk! Thankfully, my teenage daughter makes her own bed. My queen size bed has a nice cushion on the top, but not as thick as many these days. My mattress is 10yrs. If you watch the video, that bed is just like mine. At this point, I could use all the help I can get!!

I don't know how many people have school-age kids in your home, but my 2 boys like helping me make their beds. The only issue with that, if you can call it an issue, is that they can be more of a hindrance than a help. I know they mean well, and don't say anything to them. *grin* The Bed MadeEZ would be a fantastic help with the boys. They would actually be "helping" with this tool. They could actually slip this under the mattress and I could slip the sheet on!

Headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Cadence Keen Innovations is one of the leading providers of sleep solutions to the hospitality industry. Originally founded by Sam Montross as China Horse, Inc. in 1996 with the introduction of the first bed doubler systems, Cadence Keen Innovations offers a comprehensive line of mattress care products. CKI designs and manufactures cutting edge waterproof mattress protectors and encasements for mattresses, pillows and box springs. All CKI products are designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. Bed MadeEZ™ is Cadence Keen Innovation’s latest patent pending invention, designed to reduce the back, shoulder and neck pain associated with the repeated lifting of heavy hotel mattresses. For more information, please visit http://www.cadencekeen.com/ or call 1.888.222.2217.

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Target gift certificate and/or a Bed Made EZ in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place. I'd also like to thank the people at Sheblogs for sharing this information with me to pass on to you!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ragú® Recipe for a Good Start

Ragú® is teaming up with actress and mom Molly Ringwald to promote the Recipe for a Good Start Contest asking moms to share their recipes for a good start for a chance to win a $5,000 college scholarship. By visiting http://www.recipeforagoodstart.com/, you'll have a chance to submit your recipe for a good start in life and your original Ragú® recipe that has the family running to the dinner table! Three first prize winners will be awarded a family trip to New York City where they will compete in a nationally televised Ragú® Recipe Challenge for the chance to win the ultimate prize of a $5,000 college scholarship.

Ragú® offers moms hundreds of nutritious, convenient, delicious and affordable meal ideas- perfect for busy families on the go. From making sure the kids get their veggies (Ragú® red sauces contain more than a full serving of veggies in every half cup of sauce) to skip-a-step recipes like No Boiling Lasagna and No Frying Chicken Parmesan, Ragú® understands your hectic lifestyle and desire to feed your family quality meals at a great value.

I have been a Ragú® lover since I can remember. My favorite is/was their Super Vegetable Primavera Pasta Sauce. Huge zuccini chunks and other great veggies. Haven't been able to find it for about a year. Every grocery store I go to I try and find it. I love chunky Ragú® sauces! My 16 yr old on the other hand will only eat the Parmesan & Romano Pasta Sauce. I swear to you, these are our favorite sauces! I was thrilled to talk about my love for Ragú®. *grin*

Now, you'd think that I, being a lover of all things pasta, would have some fantastic recipe to submit. Well, you would be wrong. I'm a simple girl. Give me noodles and a boat load of Ragú® and I'm good to go. When I was a single mom in the mid 90s spaghetti was the staple in our house. I would literally eat it every day. My kids weren't forced to, but I loved it! I don't think my 18 yr old really ever recovered from the year of pasta!! We still have it at least once a week but my 16 yr old and I are the only ones who eat it with sauce. My 6 yr old only has butter and parmesan cheese. My 18 & 10 yr old prefer something else altogether. Well, that's more for us!

What about you? Do you have any fabulous recipes that include Ragú®? If so, head to http://www.recipeforagoodstart.com/ and enter it to win a $5000 college scholarship. Trust me, if you have a recipe, it's worth entering it! I have one daughter in college right now (cha-ching) and another one going in just over a year (double cha-ching). Even if you have a young child, $5000 is a fantastic amount for the future of your child. And hey, a trip to NYC would be a blast! Have faith in yourself and your recipe. Come on, you know you want to enter! Do it!!

To receive recipes and exclusive tips from Ragú®, go to http://www.ragu.com/

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Ragú® family package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place. I'd also like to thank the people at MomSelect for sharing this information with me to pass on to you!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Exciting News from MyBlogSpark

General Mills´ Pssst... network - and all the exciting opportunities it offers. During the week of March 22nd, Pssst... is launching MyGetTogether, a fun way to try products and sometimes new recipes in the company of good friends, giving you a real inside look at the products, providing coupons, unique giveaways or other offers. Be sure to sign up now so that you can apply to host a get together!

In addition, as a member of the network you will get a chance to try new products, provide insight and feedback to the brands, take part in cool surveys and get exclusive, behind the scenes content. From time to time you will receive samples and coupons to give out to friends and family members you think would enjoy them.

Interested in seeing what it´s all about? Visit http://pssst.generalmills.com/. Just click the Join Now tab to become a member and get in the loop on new products. And, please feel free to tell others about it too.

*This information was sent to members of MyBlogSpark from Kelly Hrank ~Thanks!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Mom's Choice Awards: Call Me Kate

The Mom’s Choice Awards® Names Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires Among Best In Family-Friendly Products

The Mom's Choice Awards® has named Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by author Molly Roe among the best in family-friendly media, products and services.

The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) is an awards program that recognizes authors, inventors, companies, parents and others for their efforts in creating quality family-friendly media, products and services.

Parents, educators, librarians and retailers rely on MCA evaluations when selecting quality materials for children and families. The Mom’s Choice Awards® seal helps families and educators navigate the vast array of products and services and make informed decisions.

An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of our panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling author, Priscilla Dunstan, creator of the Dunstan Baby Language; Patricia Rossi, host of NBC’s Manners Minute; Dr. Letitia S. Wright, D.C., host of the Wright Place™ TV Show; and Catherine Witcher, M.Ed., special needs expert and founder of Precision Education, Inc.

MCA judges are bound by a strict code of ethics which ensures expert and objective analysis free from any manufacturer association. The evaluation process uses a propriety methodology in which entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost.

To be considered for an award, each entrant submits five identical samples of a product. Entries are matched to judges in the MCA database. Judges perform a thorough analysis and submit a detailed assessment. Results are compiled and submitted to the MCA Executive Committee for final approval. The end result is a list of the best in family-friendly media, products and services that parents and educators can feel confident in using.

For more information on the awards program and the honorees, visit MomsChoiceAwards.com

For more information on Tribute Books, visit Tribute-Books.com

TO ORDER: http://bit.ly/dpbfbA

TO REVIEW FOR YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITE: Email info@tribute-books.com for a eBook review copy

Fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty risks job, family, and eventually her very life to rescue a lifelong friend. Disguised as a draft resister, Katie infiltrates a secret Irish organization to prevent bloodshed. Tragedies challenge her strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience. Can Katie balance her sense of justice with the law?

Call Me Kate is suitable for readers from eleven to adult. The story is dramatic and adventuresome, yet expressive of daily life in the patches of the hard coal region during the Civil War era. This novel will appeal to readers of the Dear America series, as well as more mature readers who will enjoy the story’s rich context and drama.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How Do Ya Like Me Now?

It's done! I have a new look and it's all thanks to the patience and kindness of Jessica at So Stylized! And...she's done a month early. Let's talk about this process with Jessica.

I saw Jessica's offer of doing a few blog makeovers. I had been pondering separating my Woven by Words blog and this seemed like the perfect time. I contacted her and she agreed to take me on. Poor gal, she had no idea what she was in for. As opposed to my Woven by Words creation, I took the bull by the horns and started searching for my ideas! hahahaha Honestly, poor Jessica.

I went to http://www.123rf.com/ to find some vectors that I thought would work in my header. This can be such an utterly time consuming experience. Trying to figure out what I wanted nearly sent me to the loony bin! There are some really creative people out there! I chose the girl because I loved that she looked like she was so excited about her day! Then this picture of the coffee cup in the window just brightened my search! I also liked that the coffee cup is similar to the coffee cup from Woven by Words. I wanted some carry over so that they could go hand in hand.

So, I started shooting my ideas and requests off to Jessica. poor Jessica I figured if I got all of the info to her in one or two emails, she wouldn't have to do as much work when she started creating my site. What I didn't anticipate was having so many questions about the process. How do you do this, why do you add that, what can go here or there? Ugh... Jessica had the patience of a Saint!

Originally Jessica had told me that it would be done by April 1st! Then she contacted me and let me know she was ready to get started on it!! What?! Really? Who can complain about something getting done early?

Jessica got my page up and going and then my computer started acting stupid! I couldn't get my test window open without waiting overnight to see the page. So crazy. It started happening with other sites as well. I have no idea what was going on.

After Jessica had my header set up and my awesome button created, I was able to start viewing my page. Great timing I say! I LOVED IT!!! Of course, being the opinionated person I am I had little tweaks that I wanted to have her do. Nothing major because I was so pleased with the overall look.

Jessica listened to my requests & apologies, and went about making the changes. Sometimes my ideas worked, other times...not so much. Let's just say Jessica has A LOT more experience now that she's finished my new blog.

Would you like a blog makeover? Jessica is your gal. I know that she is scheduled into next year, but if you're like many of the other bloggers out there, you like to change things up a bit. Then getting on the So Stylized waiting list is the best thing you can do for your blog. She will work wonderfully with you and take all of your ideas into consideration. Jessica has wonderful communication and I don't have a single concern over referring you to her!