Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Review: Chilling Tales From The Porcelain Seat


I heard about this book and I just had to see what it's all about. "Chilling Tales From The Portcelain Seat" is a bathroom reader written by Roto-Rooter plumbers with commentary by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson from the SciFi channel's "Ghost Hunters".  This book not only has funny stories, but it also has practical tips for maintaining your plumbing!  I learned new facts that I could teach my husband :)
It was amazing to read about the kinds of things that people have lost down a drain - a glass eye, false teeth, money, etc.  Throughout the book, not only are these funny stories presented, but there are really practical tips for people!  It is stated in the book that Thanksgiving is the single busiest day of the year for plumbers.  I never that, but it makes sense! 

"Most Americans take part in Thanksgiving celebrations with eleven or more people.  Big holiday meals require a busy kitchen, meaning lots of grease and food go down the kitchen drain into the garbage disposal.  Holiday guests require extra shwoers, eash cycles, and toilet flushes".

The book also discusses "Self-Help, Maintenance, Going Green, & Saving Green".  I found this section particularly helpful!  I can't stand when my sink starts to get an odor - and I don't even have a garbage disposal!  Here's a helpful tip:  "To eliminate these dors, place ice cubes and lemon peels in the disposal and run for about 30 seconds,, then rinse with cold water".

This book is full of stories that will make you and your houseguests giggle!  Please check it out!  If not for the amusing stories, check it out for the practical tips.  It will be worth it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Reflections of Light for Daily Living: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious by Dr. Tiffany Brown - Blog Tour, Book Review, & GIVEAWAY!


Dr. Brown has an extensive resume.  It is quite impressive to say the least.  If you would like to read more about Dr. Brown's background you can visit her website here.
 I definitely consider myself an ambitious person. However, life can be tough and circumstances can affect my motivation and/or get in the way of me achieving what I want. I like thinking positively, but sometimes, that's just plain difficult. I was instantly drawn to reading "The Reflections Of Light For Daily Living" because I need that positive support whether it's from people or from reading materials.  I have also been attending religious classes and learning a ton, so the connections that Dr. Browns makes between the concepts and the church is very interesting to me. 

I absolutely love that each day is about something different.  For example, Day 8: Motivation - "Today is about motivation".  I think it is definitely easier for me to focus on one thing each day instead of EVERYTHING, which is just simply overwhelming.  With each day, Dr. Brown provides a personal story to help the reader understand the concept/affirmation better and share some information about herself.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have been feeling the pressure of my birthday coming and I am doing ALOT of reflection about my life and considering options for my future.  I love that this book gives me a structure to help me on my way!  I would strongly suggest reading this book if you are in search of inspiration and motivation in your life!

Dr. Brown answered a few questions for us:
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

The three things are business strategy, marketing and publicity. Each are incredibly important when you building yourself as a brand. I don’t think I really understood this component when I was younger.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

One do is to be to be strategic about selling your books. Hiring your own publicist may be a good idea to ensure you get your desired response. Don’t assume you’re a major priority just because you have book deal.

One don’t is similar to the do. Do not wait on the publicity department for your publisher . Do not rely on your publisher for everything. You can miss out many additional revenue streams by waiting on your publisher to act.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That it is not as easy as it looks and it is a emotional experience. You are really putting yourself out there; good and bad. You are allow yourself to be complete transparent and it can be scary experience.

I love how you have included your life stories onto the pages and you are so relatable; what has been one of your biggest challenges in life and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was bouncing back from my failed mayoral bid that was a disappointment on a professional and emotional level. It was completely humiliating because I was marginalized and misunderstood throughout the campaign. I felt like people didn’t get me; they just stereotyped me.
There were many people that I had supported in the past that didn’t return the favor added to the humiliation. I was very disappointed in people that I had respected and loved in every facet of my life. It definitely changed the way I see the world.

“The Reflections of Light for Daily Living: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious” that has will be released on October 23, 2010. (ISBN number 978-1-4512-3143-4 Publish America)  The E-Book will be offered for the low price for $9.95.  The books are also available through Ingram book distributor.

Win It: Dr. Brown is offering one of my readers a free, autographed copy of “The Reflections of Light for Daily Living” as well as a Smart Phone App !

To enter: Please leave your email address with each comment.

Mandatory Entry: You must follow me publicly through Google Friend Connect. This is required in order for the Bonus Entries to count.

Extra Entries:
1. Follow Dr. Brown on Twitter
2. Leave a comment on my review.
3. Leave a comment on any other review on my blog and leave a comment and let me know which review you commented on. (2 entries)
4. Follow me on Facebook (2 entries)
5. Follow me on Twitter (2 entries)
6. Subscribe to Tidbits From A Mom through email (3 entries)

This giveaway will close on November 3rd at 11:59pm EST. I will use to choose a winner. The winner will be notified through email and will have 48 hours to confirm.

Disclaimer: I was not provided monetary compensation for this review. I did receive a free copy of Dr. Brown’s book for the purpose of review. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Review: Find A Way – Three Words That Changed My Life


Title: Find A Way – Three Words That Changed My Life
Author: Merril Hoge with Brent Cole

About the Book: Find A Way is an inspirational personal account of Merril Hoge’s struggles and accomplishments in life, including his career as a professional football player in the NFL. The book discusses how the lessons learned from his struggles and accomplishments lead to his ability to overcome Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

About the Author: Merril Hoge was a small town boy from Idaho who dreamed of playing in the NFL. Working long hours and saving money, Merril was still able to find time to play football in high school. After college, Merril was drafted by the Pittsbugh Steelers in 1987. Merril played eight seasons in the NFL. Diagnosed with cancer in 1995, Merril was faced with the biggest battle of his life. Living by the motto “Find A Way”, Merril won his battle and is now able to encourage others through teaching this same motto.

My Review: I will admit off the bat that I did not know who Merril Hoge was when I requested to review his book, “Find A Way”. I am not a big football fan because I was never taught about the game. However, I was drawn into the book because of his message of “finding a way”. Merril states, “Finding a way is tapping into those core spiritual motives inside you and taking fierce, resourceful, and consistent action until victory is yours”. Basically, you can get through the tough times if you can find what motivates you. I was immediately impressed by Merril Hoge’s inner strength and perseverance through the challenges he faced early on in life. Although I didn’t understand the football terms used in the book, I couldn’t help but empathize with him when he discusses the toll that football took on his body. Also, the way he discussed his cancer was reminiscent of my own family’s experiences. I wish I had know his motto earlier in life, it could have proven useful. Now that I’ve learned it, I will certainly try to apply it in the future!

*I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. I did receive a copy of this book to keep in order to review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Friday Blog Hops


Skin MD Review


As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been paying more attention to taking care of my skin lately due to my impending 35th birthday this November. I have developed my first two sunspots which is freaking me out! I had the opportunity to review the Skin MD Natural Lotion and Skin MD Natural + SPF 15 Shielding Lotion. I used them for approximately two weeks and was really impressed!

I used the lotions on my hands, face, and body and was struck by how soft it made my skin. The lotions are light, not at all greasy, have almost no scent, and are made with all natural ingredients. I used the Skin MD Natural more on my hands, arms, and elbows. I was amazed that after two hours, my elbows still felt soft! I used the Skin MD Natural + SPF 15 Shielding Lotion on my face most often because I've pretty much had the rest of my body covered up (it's been really cool in NH lately). I love feeling how soft it makes my skin, but I love the added SPF even more!

Skin MD has a wonderful website. I learned so much, particularly about the difference between shielding lotions and conventional lotions. According to Skin MD, "Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion becomes part of the outer layer of skin working to strengthen the skin barrier, keeping the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. Conventional lotions don't utilize the skin's own natural moisturizing oils; instead they cover skin with a greasy layer of artificial moisture. This greasy, artificial moisture can send the wrong message that skin is hydrated and doesn't need to produce it's own natural oils that protect and moisturize. After extended use of a conventional lotion skin can form a dependency causing it to become more dry and damaged if use is stopped. With prolonged use Skin MD Natural helps restore the skin's own natural moisture-production cycle that becomes damaged by the use of other, more conventional lotions."  I never knew this!  This explains why I have been having to reapply other lotions every half hour on my hands! 

Visit Skin MD today and learn more about your skin and how to properly care for it!

SOMBands Review & Giveaway


I believe strongly in the power of the mind.  I spend a great deal of time talking to my students about how their thoughts are connected to their feelings which affect their behavior.  It's a quite a cycle!  I recently discovered SOMbands, which stands for "State of Mind" bands.  I have to tell you I was instantly intrigued!  I loved the quotes I read on their website:

"We can overcome life's most challenging obstacles by changing our state of mind"

"It's time to get out of your head and start living"

Lauren Jones, the creator of SOMbands, has designed wristbands and t-shirts that when worn, encourage a positive mood.  The wristbands and t-shirts come in four different colors, each representing a different feeling or focus for the person wearing them.  The colors (Red, Green, Yellow, & Blue)  were chosen based upon research conducted in the past on how certain colors illicit certain feelings in people. 

Here are the meanings for the four colors:
  • RED gave the most universal associations of strength, vitality and activity. RED= passion, most attention, strength, energetic
  • GREEN is a cool color that symbolizes nature and the natural world. It also represents tranquility, good luck, health, and jealousy. Green is often used in decorating for its calming effect.
  • BLUE calls to mind feelings of calmness or serenity. It is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly. It can also lower the pulse rate and body temperature.
  • YELLOW has a dramatic effect of energizing you with 'happiness' vibes. Yellow= optimism, joy imagination, friendship, hope sunshine, summer

The wristbands ($5.99) and the t-shirts ($28.00) address PAIN, FEAR, HAPPINESS, & AGE. 
They are based on the colors above. 


Pain is just a state of mind
Fear is just a state of mind
Happiness is just a state of mind
Age is just a state of mind



I was very lucky to have the opportunity to review the Happiness is just a state of mind bracelet.  I've worn it every day for the past week and it has been such a conversation starter with my students!  Co-workers have asked about it and have loved the concept as well.  It is really easy, as I'm sure most of you can agree, to get bogged down in the stress and chaos of family, work, maintaining the household, etc.  I love wearing the reminder for me to "Get out of my head and start living".  LOVE IT!!


SOMbands has offered to sponsor a giveaway!
SOMbands is offering for one of my followers to win a Happiness is just a state of mind wristband!

If you would like to enter the giveaway, ENTER HERE!

This giveaway is open to US residents aged 18 and up and will end on October 26, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. I will use to choose the winner. Once the winner is notified through email, they will have 48 hours to respond.

Disclaimer: I was not provided with monetary compensation for this review. However, I was provided with a free product to keep. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Review - "Flightless Goose"


As the school counselor in my elementary school, it’s my responsibility to work with the students on the issue of bullying, tolerance, friendship, and self-esteem. They are certainly topics that we discuss throughout the entire school year, but I devote about four consecutive lessons per grade level on each theme. I’ve collected materials over the past ten years that I’ve been working there and developed my own curriculum to use; however, each year I try to find new resources that will be interesting and exciting to the kids to help support our discussions and activities.

I was given the opportunity to review “Flightless Goose” this past week. "Flightless Goose" was written by Eric D. Goodman and was illustrated by his wife, Nataliya Goodman.  Flightless Goose is about a goose named Gilbert.  Gilbert was just like all the other geese - happy and loved playing with his friends.  However, one day, Gilbert is unexpectedly struck by a car and sadly, is no longer able to fly.  Over time, the other geese began to pick on Gilbert and make fun of the fact that he was no longer able to fly.  Gilbert finds friendship in a little boy named Johnny who is wheelchair bound.  Without revealing the entire story, Gilbert finds himself racing to save his friends from strangers.  At the end of the story, Gilbert's peers recognize that although he can't fly, he certainly has strengths. 

As I opened the package, I immediately thought, "What a beautiful book!"  The Writer's Lair Books sent me not only this wonderful, hardcover book, but they also sent me an audio CD to go with it!  I used this book to support my lessons in grades one and two. I also read the book to my daughter, who is almost seven, of course.  My students loved Gilbert. Canada geese are so prominent in New Hampshire, so they really felt a connection to him.  I wanted to see if the kids' opinions of the book were different based on whether I read the book or played the audio CD.  Either way, the students loved the story.  While I read the story, the students were able to ask questions, make comments, and we were able have a discussion.  While I played the audio CD, I simply asked students to hold their questions until the end.  It was a wonderful story that really brought home the message of tolerance and friendship.  This lesson was a huge success!

I also read the book to my daughter, who will be turning seven shortly.  Not surprisingly, she loved "Flightless Goose" as well.  We then visited and she was able to print out a few pictures of scenes from the book to color, which completely made her day.

I highly recommend this book!  It shares such an important message!

"Flightless Goose" can be purchased for $15.95 at  You will also receive a FREE audio CD when you purchase the book on the parent's page on the website!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Avon Anew Rejuvenate Day & Night Cream Review


I do not want to "grow old gracefully"...I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  I will be turning 35 this November and I am definitely feeling as though I have aged a bit in the past year.  This summer I started looking at my skin more closely and wondering, "Have my pores gotten larger?...How long have I had that tiny wrinkle?"  I also discovered my first two sunspots!  Are you kidding me?!?!

I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to review Avon's Anew Rejuvenate Day and Night Creams.  Avon states that Rejuvenate products are for "women experiencing the first signs of aging, including fine lines, uneven skin tone, dullness, rough texture and tone and visible pores".  I was in denial for a little bit, but now I am facing the truth.  I am starting to see the first signs of aging...and I am determined to fight it!

Although the samples were small, there has been enough cream for me to use them for the past two weeks.  I don't tend to use a lot, so I imagine it depends on the person.  Also, I may need to use more during the winter months here.  My skin gets pretty dry.  Right now my skin is pretty normal, not dry, not oily.  I applied the creams during the day and night and overall, I was happy.  Did it lift my skin back to where it was before? No, I wish it did :)  But, I can't remember the last time my skin felt this soft!  My skins appears to have a smoother complexion overall and doesn't seem as dull.  Yeah!  Not only, did it improve the look of my skin, but my favorite aspect of this cream is that the Day Cream has SPF 25 against UVA/UVB rays!  I am not a girl who goes and sits out in the sun, but obviously with the new appearance of the sunspots this summer, I definitely need to step up my protection!

I was wondering, "How can a cream do this?  What is the chemistry behind it?" and the Avon website explains it nicely -

Formulated to replicate the 3 steps of a professional anti-aging facial with a breakthrough fusion of pioneering technologies:

MiniExtraction Technology— formulated to work like thousands of micro-extractions to help visibly shrink pores.
Exfo-Smoothing Complex— designed to resurface skin to help clarify and reveal a fresher, younger look.
RevitaFresh Technology— engineered to reinforce cell bonds and help make skin look more even & smoother.

Visit Avon today to read more about the many Rejuvenate products that are available.  You can purchase a fabulous Rejuvenate starter kit that includes a day cream, night cream, cleaner, and eye cream for only $25.00! That's a pretty good deal for making you look younger!

Michelle from Not-So-Secret Confessions Of A First-Time Mom is giving a starter kit away on her blog right now!  The giveaway ends tomorrow night so enter now!

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