Friday, January 23, 2015

Winners Doing the Mardi Gras Mambo?

winners button

1. Mean Girls 2- #27 Shirley

2. the Identical DVD= #32 Jordan G

3. Dreamtreaders 2- #11 tami C

4. The Hanging Tree- #78 Cyn

All winners have been notified by email.

Thanks to everyone who entered to win!

Children's Book Review: Merriam-Webster Children's Dictionary

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Penguin Publishing, via Edelweiss,
for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for another book coming out in May that would be great for Summer brain-drain time, home schooling, and for the upcoming school year. Or you could make your child learn a new word every day! 

2008 Cover shown above, 2015 cover not available yet


A favorite source of reference among elementary school children, DK’s Merriam-Webster Children’s Dictionary is now updated and revised to reflect changes in the modern world.

With the addition of 110 new entries—including smartphone, MP3, and graphic novel—the Merriam-Webster Children’s Dictionary now features over 35,000 words and more than 3,000 images.

Definitions, word usage, examples, and spelling and pronunciation are included, and a comprehensive reference section containing continent maps and country statistics has been updated to include new countries, borders flags and cities making this an essential addition to any home, school or public library.

Merriam-Webster Children's Dictionary  sample 1

This upcoming resource is aimed at kids in grades 2-5. As you can see, the book is nicely labeled for kids, with alphabetical listings on the side, for quick and easy locating by small fingers. The illustrations are super bright and colorful, and your child may find themselves just looking through the book for all the cool things that it illustrates! As you can see from the above and below pictures, certain concepts and items are more thorough shown, as way of explanation.

Merriam-Webster Children's Dictionary  sample 2

As you can see, each definition includes examples, and guidance such as variant spellings and usage labels ("often cap") are provided where necessary. There is also a reference guide to letter pronunciation at the bottom of each page, handy for younger readers. The book has 960 pages, whereas typical collegiate dictionaries have over 1700 pages, and standard dictionaries have around 2,000. But it covers really the basics that most kids in this age bracket need for general studies! My only issue was some of the simplifications- such as referring to a Sari or a Eskimo parka as 'costumes'  Nope, some explanation needed there. But hopefully as knowledgeable parents you've done some social studies work already, and your kids know to treat other ethnic customs correctly! 

Merriam-Webster Children's Dictionary  sample 3

A closing reference section includes a spread for each continent, color images of the flags of the world and of U.S. states, significant data on each state, a chronological listing of U.S. presidents and vice presidents, and common abbreviations. Making this a handy reference guide for elementary ages, but keep in mind you may have to further explain some basics! 

Miss Grace is utterly fascinated with this book and I know she will delight in going through it this Summer, as we pick a word a day to learn! The scientific break down illustrations are already making her want to try more experiments! This is a book that will keep on giving, long after you give it! 

Did you know YOU can sign up for learning a new word every day too? Yup, just click on over to the Merriam-Webster website and you can get a new word every day via email! Plus you can take quizzes and stump yourself! 

Recipe Weekend / Book Review: Chowderland by Brooke Dojny

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Storey Publishing, via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for a book perfect for stormy Winter days...

Chowderland cover


Creamy Clam Chowder. Portuguese Caldo Verde Chowder. Northwest Salmon Chowder with Leeks and Peas. Double Corn Summer Chowder. Brooke Dojny offers 57 recipes for chowders of all kinds -- some made with seafood, some with meat, and some with just veggies -- plus side dishes, salads, and desserts to round out the menu. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal on a cozy winter evening or a fresh gumbo perfect for a summer lunch, you’ll turn to this delicious collection again and again!


This new book doesn't come out until May (I know BUMMER, you really need it during the cold seasons), but it would be a great Mother's Day present (so put it on your wish list now), and I really wanted to share a great recipe from it with you! I may be Southern, but I have a Yankee/Canadian grandmother, and chowder is just comfort food to me! So I was thrilled to be able to check out this new cookbook!

The recipes over so many new variations to the tradition chowder that you think of, plus add some new ones you might not have thought of (ie Thanksgiving chowder, with your leftovers!). Plus she has included some simple side salads, side breads and great desserts! It really is a one stop meal book! There are plenty of lovely color pictures of the recipes, to leave you drooling and hungry (do NOT read this book on an empty stomach! LOL). If you are looking to vary your chowder recipes, or just to have some great ones on hand, check out this new book when it comes out!

Here's a sample of a GREAT recipe from the book that is perfect for this time of year, and is an easy variation of your traditional Shrimp Chowder!

Shrimp, Fennel and Red Potato Chowder:

Chowderland shrimp fennel and red potatop chowder recipe

About the Author:

Brooke Dojny is an award-winning food journalist and cookbook author who specializes in writing about New England food. She is the author of Lobster!The New England CookbookThe New England Clam Shack Cookbook, and Dishing Up® Maine. Dojny writes regularly for thePortland Herald. She lives on the Blue Hill Peninsula in Maine.
Thursday, January 22, 2015

5 Myths About Losing Weight This Year by Eleazar Kadile, M.D.

Disclosure / Disclaimer:  I received this info, free of charge,from News and Experts for blog posting purposes. No compensation,  monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post/review. Nor was I told what to say, all opinions are my own, and yours may be different.

More than a third of adults in the United States, 35.1 percent, are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nearly 70 percent are at least overweight, and obesity in adolescents has quadrupled in the past three decades.

“Despite all the attention, an unhealthy amount of body fat remains an insidious problem,” says Dr. Eleazar Kadile, who specializes in treating patients with obesity and associated chronic disease.

“Most of us know we’re facing a national health crisis, yet diets for millions of Americans continue to be based in heavily processed foods. Obese people often live in perpetual shame, and many others believe they are right to blame the overweight and obese for their problem.”

Dr. Kadile, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine and author of “Stop Dying Fat” , says poor attitudes and lack of understanding contribute significantly to this national crisis, which contributes to our national healthcare difficulties. He debunks five myths about being overweight and obese.
•  “It’s your fault that you’re fat.” Obesity is caused by complex imbalances within a person’s body and his or her environment. Some imbalances are exacerbated by poor dietary choices based on bad dietary information, personal history and psychological patterns. Together, the physiological, psychological, social and environmental causes of the disease of obesity create a predicament that obese people are drawn into and unable to get out of. 
•  Obese people are among the “fat and happy.” Large people can be masters at suppressing the indignities they suffer in society. The obese often have to pay first-class fare since cheaper seats for transportation are designed for thinner people. Most advertisements employ beautiful people who are thin, and rarely attractive actors who are larger. National campaigns to battle obesity do not focus on the factors beyond diet and exercise that keep people overweight. Obese patients also spend an average of nearly $1,500 more each year on medical care than other Americans. 
•  Obese and overweight people just need the right diet. There’s no shortage of diets promoted by beautiful people who promise amazing results. If only overweight people eat what they eat, then they’ll be beautiful, too. But that’s just not true. What and how one eats is just a part of an excessive body mass index level. Other important factors to achieving a healthy BMI include good information regarding one’s health, sustained motivation to change, continuous learning, vigilance and an ability to be extremely honest. 
•  Food is not an obese individual’s friend; exercise is. Eat less; exercise more; lose weight – those have been the commandments in the religion of weight loss. But most obese people have tried this and it hasn’t worked. More than being a source of pleasure, comfort and survival, food is medicine. 
“I’ve developed a complementary set of protocols that target an obese person’s specific set of problems,” Dr. Kadile says. “Sometimes, you need to eat fat – the right kind – in order to burn fat. And, many exercises can actually harm an obese person. You can’t impose cookie-cutter solutions to this complex problem and expect them to work.” 
•  Fat people need to “just do it” – lose weight. This attitude is not based in reality; it’s an over-simplistic response for a frustrating problem. 
“Morbidly obese patients need plenty of preparation,” he says. “When a patient comes to me, I go through a rigorous list of questions regarding medical and family history. I ask about eating, sleeping and activity patterns, as well as medical conditions, emotional patterns, stress histories, good times and bad times, etc. I also have them go through an extensive battery of medical tests. That’s the effective and safe way of doing it.” 
In other words, “just do it” just doesn’t cover it. 

Thoughts to ponder aren't they? Check out Dr Kadile's website for more thought provoking ideas and  his weight loss plan, that takes a DIFFERENT approach than the ones you may be following now, with limited success!

About Eleazar Kadile, M.D.
Dr. Eleazar Kadile is a complementary physician who specializes in treating patients with obesity, who may suffer from heart disease, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, depression or ADHD. With decades of medical experience throughout the United States, he has been developing a comprehensive and systematic approach to battling obesity. He is the director of the Center for Integrative Medicine in Green Bay, Wis. 

Book Review: Frost Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge, from St Martin's Press via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Looking for a great Valentine's gift for the book lover?

Here's a book that romantic, magical and offers all the excitement of Valentine's Day!


From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes the second story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves...

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree
and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.


This is the follow up to Garden Spells, with the return of the Waverly family. I didn't realize how much I missed them, until I started reading this book and felt like I was back nestled in a perfect place and time. Isn't it funny how some books can do that? Send us to a different place, and make us not want to leave? The Waverly house and garden are as much their own quirky characters, as the Waverly women are. Readers may think they know where the story line is going, but as always Sarah pulls some magical surprises out of her hat. In many ways, it is a tale of sisterly love, almost like 'Frozen' for grown ups! Made you smile there didn't it? But it is-Claire and Sydney have always had each other and now with new issues and problems, they are there for each other. I can't wait to read the next chapter in the Waverly series, and you won't be able to wait either once you read these books! I highly recommend both books as a super Valentine's present for the romantic book lover on your list!

About the Author:

Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Allen grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journalist father for the former and her mother, a fabulous cook, for the latter). In college, she majored in literature -- because, as she puts it, "I thought it was amazing that I could get a diploma just for reading fiction. It was like being able to major in eating chocolate." 

After graduation, Allen began writing seriously. Her big break occurred in 2007 with the publication of her first mainstream novel, Garden Spells, a modern-day fairy tale about an enchanted apple tree and the family of North Carolina women who tend it. Booklist called Allen's accomplished debut "spellbindingly charming." The novel became a Barnes & Noble Recommends selection, and then a New York Times Bestseller.

Allen continues to serve heaping helpings of the fantastic and the familiar in fiction she describes as "Southern-fried magic realism." Clearly, it's a recipe readers are happy to eat up as fast as she can dish it out.

Her published books to date are: Garden Spells (2007), The Sugar Queen (2008), The Girl Who Chased the Moon (2010), The Peach Keeper (2011) and Lost Lake (2014)