Should I Scoop Out My Bagel? And Other Nutrition Questions.

Should I Scoop Out My Bagel? And Other Nutrition Questions.

Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (January 5, 2016)
Language: English

Just about all of us would like to eat healthier, but there is so much information (conflicting information, at that) out there. How are we supposed to know what to believe and which health regimen to follow? These questions and many more are answered in Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?: And 99 Other Answers to Your Everyday Diet and Nutrition Questions to Help You Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Live Healthy. Authors Ilyse Shapiro and Hallie Rich break it down and give you all the tools and the most relevant information you need to make a positive change to live a better, more healthy lifestyle.

As stated in the introduction, the authors are described as “Dear Abby meets Sex In The City meets Dr. Oz.” They cover questions from all areas of your life “from food and nutrition, to diet and weight loss, as well as healthy habits for the kitchen, bedroom, boardroom and even the bathroom — nothing is off limits!”… [read more]

Step Into The World Of Jean Harlow

Step Into The World Of Jean Harlow-- Platinum Doll by Anne Girard

Platinum Doll by Diane Haeger, writing as Anne Girard, takes a look into the early life of famous actress, Jean Harlow (born Harlean Carpenter) in 1920’s Hollywood. This book is a fiction novel. However, a wealth of research was completed prior to committing the story to the page in order to, as closely as possible, portray events in young Harlow’s life as they happened. Creative license was taken by the author in some minor areas of the narrative, such as the wording of personal conversations to flesh out the story.

I didn’t know much about Jean Harlow before picking up this book, I will admit. Though I love reading biographies, I have not previously read any about celebrities from this time period. I was sucked into the narrative from the very first paragraph and was fascinated by the entire book. My mother-in-law loves anything Old Hollywood, so I’m passing this book on to her because I know she will love it and it will make good reading material to help her pass the time while this cold winter weather rages all around us…. [read more]

The Dogs Of Newtown, A Boy’s Perspective

The Dogs Of Newtown, A Boy's Perspective

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Charlotte’s Litter Inc.; 1st edition (2015)
Language: English

I very clearly remember watching the news as the events of the school shooting in Newtown, CT unfolded in December 2012. My own family had survived a tragedy that year when our home was destroyed by a tornado in February. Fortunately for us, I had been the only one home (along with our animals) as my kids were all at school and my husband at work.

By the time the Sandy Hook school shooting occurred, we had built a new home and moved in. We still had moving boxes scattered around and a garage full of totes containing items hastily recovered from the rubble of our former home. I remember trying to go through those totes and finding random items covered in debris and insulation, and how sometimes I would be cleaning these things and just want to cry for the irreplaceable items we’d lost, like the baby/toddler items I’d spent weeks immediately preceeding the tornado going through and paring down to what I wanted to save most, the pictures I’d collected and spent time labeling with the occasion they represented, the handmade Christmas ornaments the kids had made at school for me over the years…. [read more]

Juice It, Blend It, Live It

Juice It, Blend It, Live It by Jamie Graber

My husband bought me a juicer for my birthday — in March, oops! It’s out of the box and sitting there on the kitchen counter glaring at me every single day. I swear, it speaks to me, accusing me of gross neglect as I’ve only actually used it a few times since I received it.

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Pick Up This Gripping Read For Your Holiday Break

Pick Up This Gripping Read For Your Holiday Break

Looking for something to read after the Christmas gifts are opened and the kids are immersed in their new toys? Pick up this gripping read for your holiday break.

Left: A Novel by author Tamar Ossowski is “told from the perspectives of Franny, the younger sister who is left behind; Matilda, the older sister who vows to go back and save her; and Therese, a mother on the run” (but is she really?). It didn’t seem like the mother was running away from anything, rather that she was in control and doing what she wanted to do all along. [read more]

How To Have A Baby And Not Lose Your Sh*t

How To Have A Baby And Not Lose Your Shit by Kirsty Smith

Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: Dark River (November 11, 2015)
Language: English

If you’re wondering whether you are really ready to have a baby, you should grab a copy of How To Have A Baby And Not Lose Your Shit, by Kirsty Smith (published by Bennion Kearney). It’s funny, yes, but more importantly it sends the message that when it comes to having and raising kids, don’t sweat the small stuff. You don’t have to be the perfect parent, you don’t have to have the perfect child, heck you don’t even have to have the perfect life… the best way to be a good mom is to just roll with the punches and expect the unexpected. And above all, just remain as calm as possible; both you and your child will make it through and as long as you love him (or her) and have their best interest at heart everything will turn out okay in the end. The best approach to parenthood I can advise a new parent to take is to view it as comedic fodder for future recall, because, oh you will! You will recall it, the stories will be standard holiday time storytelling fare for years to come!… [read more]

The Boy Who Spoke To The Earth

The Boy Who Spoke To The Earth

My son loves to ride the bus and go to school. We can tell he is learning so much and his teachers enjoy finding ways to interact with him and see progress. He is more verbal with his wants and needs. His teachers are pushing us to read more this year and with that, I am slowly building a library of books for us to read to him. My son and I love reading books with beautiful pictures and illustrations. We are able to point to objects and people and identify them together. He is listening and learning and we can grow together. He is able to focus on the story for so long and I take the time to listen to him too.

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A Penguin, A Man and Lessons on Life

A Penguin, A Man and Lessons on LifeThe Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell has been released just in time for the holidays and would make the perfect gift for all the book lovers on your gift list. This fun read is full of smart, poignant and moving experiences that will draw readers right into the world created with deft precision by Mr. Mitchell.

Described as a real-life Mr. Popper’s Penguins meets Dead Poets Society, this tale describes the events in the life of 23-yr-old Tom Michell who travels to Argentina to become an assistant master at a prestigious boarding school. Were his experiences at the school the only subject, this book might be deemed boring by many readers. However, by chance, enroute to Argentina, Mr. Michell happens to find a penguin stuck in an oil slick off the coast of Uruguay. Of course, he saves the penguin, cleans him up and tries to release him back into his natural habitat. But, oddly enough, the penguin refuses to leave his rescuer. What else could he do but continue on to the boarding school, smuggling the penguin across the Argentinian border with him?
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Restorative vs Punitive Justice–You Decide

Restorative vs Punitive Justice--You Decide

Series: Justice and Peacebuilding  |  Paperback: 112 pages  |  Publisher: Good Books; Rev Upd edition (May 5, 2015)

The Little Book of Restorative Justice, by author Howard Zehr, is published by Good Books, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc, a Delaware corporation. The book offers a concept to navigate America’s current criminal justice system more effectively by involving all parties (criminal, victim and the community) more inclusively to meet the needs of everyone involved.

American jails and prisons are woefully overcrowded, we house more people convicted of criminal offenses than many other countries — perhaps all other countries. Overcrowding has necessitated early release programs for those serving sentences for non-violent or more minor criminal offenses. Still, many Americans are uneasy when they hear about prisoners being released before serving out their sentences.

Personally, I worry less about these early releases as a concept, and more about what sort of counseling and rehabilitative services are offered those housed in penal systems across the country. Because, face it, relatively few prisoners, compared to the total number who are incarcerated, have been given life sentences without possibility of parole. Most people who are incarcerated will, at some time in the future, be released and return to society, either by serving out their sentences, being granted parole or having been identified as an early release candidate due to overcrowding.

Undoubtedly the issues surrounding the American criminal justice system are complex, to say the least. And there are no shortages of opinions among American citizens, law enforcement personnel, politicians and special interest groups about what those convicted of crime in this country deserve in terms of punishment.

Restorative justice as a concept is not intended to replace the current justice system, rather to complement it. The concept focuses on the needs of those accused of criminal acts as well as those victimized. I found this concept intriguing, because as I see it, I don’t understand how putting a person in a cell with relatively little human contact and (in many cases) no counseling or positive reinforcement can possibly result in the inmate being released into society a better person. The concept of restorative justice was developed in the 1970’s with the intent of correcting weaknesses in the legal system and to also build on some of its strengths. Of particular interest to me is the concept of assisting the accused, those victimized and other community partners to initiate discussion with the intent to not only help the victim to grieve their losses, express how they have been effected and find answers to their questions, but also help the accused to understand the harm they caused and allow them the opportunity to accept responsibility for their actions and try to find ways to repair the damage they have caused (to the extent possible). This seems like basic common-sense practice to me as we are taught growing up that when we have done something wrong, we are to acknowledge it and try to apologize and repair the damage, if we can. I think not only serves victims and may bring some peace to them to work through this process, but it might also benefit those guilty of the crime, as well, to feel compassion for those they’ve wronged and provide them a starting point for positive personal growth, rather than simply tossing them into a cell, throwing away the key and leaving them to grow further isolated, depressed and disaffected.

There are many other titles available in the series. Rather than type them all out, here is an image from the book listing them. I will be reading some of these other books in the future. My college degree is in Criminal Justice Administration, so it’s an area of particular interest to me. However, I would encourage those in other fields to consider reading a few of these, as well, as the concepts can be applied to many areas, including discipline in schools (another area of interest for me) and general conflict resolution in many facets of human interaction at work, home, etc.

The Little Books of Justice & Peacebuilding

I highly recommend The Little Book of Restorative Justice to anyone with an opinion on the subject — which, face it, is all of us. This 100 page book is brief, with clearly defined concepts and will not take long to get through for the average reader. I would love to see this title on the required reading list for high school and college level Introduction to Criminal Justice course syllabus in every American educational installation. I think it is that good and that it is imperative to offer an alternative theory of what the criminal justice system can be to those who may well one day be employed in one sector or another of this system.

Howard ZehrHoward Zehr received his BA from Morehouse College, his MA from the University of Chicago, and his PhD from Rutgers University. He is widely known as the grandfather of restorative justice and is known worldwide for his work in the field, having spoken about and trained others in the topic throughout North America and in more than 25 countries worldwide. He is the author of many books on this topic, as well as others.



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Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this title was provided for purposes of review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Posh Stories for the Princess in Your Life

Posh Stories for the Princess in Your Life

Princess Cupcake Jones children’s book series

By Ylleya Fields

Illustrated by Michael LaDuca

PrincessCupcakeJones – Website

My niece, A.,  is in elementary school and is loving having access to a wide variety of books in her classroom. As a matter of fact, her favorite activity at school are the times they get to go to the library.

I am excited to have the opportunity to share the Princess Cupcake Jones children’s book series with her. She pays great attention to detail and the large, plentiful color photos in these books are very engaging to her. A beginning water color enthusiast, she has enjoyed trying to recreate the cover photos in her sketchbook, too.

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