Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do You KNOW If YOUR Child Has Asthma?

asthma allergies in child cover

Today, we have another installment on our back to school info for kids and parents!

Doctors and parents have always been at a loss for how to deal with children under 5 who can’t reliably measure peak flows. Dr. Thomas F. Plaut, a pediatrician, has been a pioneer in treating children with asthma. In fact, some of us specialists would say he is exceptional among primary care physicians in really learning about it. He has written several books, notably One-Minute Asthma (the sales figures of which we look at with more than a touch of envy). 

Now he has developed a signs-based asthma action plan for the new edition of One-Minute Asthma as a Kindle edition, but he has very generously allowed to introduce it to the world as part of his guest editorial (and to share with BTHM readers!). We are honored.

–Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Dr. Larry Chiaramonte

Asthma patients younger than five are hospitalized at more than double the rate of older children. There are several reasons for this:
• Their airways are smaller, and become blocked more easily.
• They experience upper respiratory infections, a major trigger, more frequently.
• Most of them cannot use a peak flow meter to monitor an episode.
• Their parents have not learned how to track the course of an asthma episode.

Only this last factor is within parents’ control.

Ask your health care provider to teach your child how to score the four main signs of asthma: cough, wheeze, sucking in the chest skin and breathing faster. With this knowledge you will be able to monitor and treat your young child appropriately. And you will be able to avoid most emergency care and hospitalization.

In contrast, symptoms (what the patient feels) and general signs, such as poor appetite, fussiness, or listlessness are hard to score in a uniform fashion. They are often not an adequate guide to specific treatment.

Asthma Signs
A sign is an objective finding that an observer can see or hear and can score.
I devised a tool that enables parents to monitor their young child accurately and then treat them properly. I chose signs that appear early in an episode, change as an episode becomes worse, and improve when the episode gets better. The signs are cough, wheeze, sucking in the chest skin (retractions) and increased breathing rate. Here is how to score them:

1. Cough (in past two minutes)
None 0
Less than 1 per minute 1
1-4 per minute 2
More than 4 per minute 3

2. Wheeze
None 0
End of exhale 1
Throughout exhale 3
Inhale and exhale 5

3.Sucking in the chest skin
None 0
Barely noticeable 1
Obvious 3
Severe (deep) 5

4. Breathing rate
No increase 0
Slight increase 1
Moderate increase 2
Double usual rate 3

Treatment Zones
Add the four scores above, to get a total. This total places the child in one of four treatment zones:

  1. A child with no signs of asthma scores 0 and is in the green zone. No change in treatment is needed.
  2. A child who scores 1 to 4 points is in the high yellow zone. He has a mild episode and needs an increase in treatment.
  3. A child who scores between 5 and 8 is in the low yellow zone He has a moderate episode needs more intensive treatment.
  4. A child who scores 9 points or more demands immediate treatment in the emergency room or a well-staffed and equipped office.

Use the example below to check your ability to use these signs:
• Coughing twice a minute
• Wheezing throughout expiration
• Sucking in of the chest skin -barely noticeable
• Slight increase in breathing rate.
The total about would be five, the high yellow zone, and identifies a moderate episode.

The Signs-base Asthma Action Plan is available as a free download HERE. Ask your doctor fill it out. This written plan will guide your response to any asthma situation.

Copyright © 2010 Thomas F. Plaut, M.D. Used with permission.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wordless wednesday: Prayer

No pix today.

Instead I am asking for your prayers for my father in law who had emergency back/tumor removal surgery today (Wednesday)/p> He had a longer than expected surgery and things are still touch wait n see on recovery.

Thank you in advance. We hope all goes well, and I will be back blogging back on schedule soon.

Book Review: Crazy Things Parent Text by Wayne Miltz & Stephen Miltz

Ah, we all have to have some humor in our lives, and what better place than texting? I don;t know about you, but we all claim our smart phones are 'dumb'- you need a degree to understand how to access anything on them, and more importantly the auto text just comes out goofy sometimes. 

In this book, though we get some on-purpose and woopsies that will make you LYAF or ROTF from laughing so hard!

Crazy Things Parent Text


MOM: did you spill ice on the floor? 
DAUGHTER: it was an accident. 
MOM: so were you.

Whether it is a dad not knowing how to work the phone or trying to sound "hip," a mom accidentally sending a "sext" to her own son, or parents posing a clever retort that puts their kid in his place, parents and their kids send each other the craziest texts.

Crazy Things Parents Text features the best all-new user submitted parent texts from the web sensation, Inside you'll find countless hours of LOL, LMFAO, and WTF across hundreds of hilarious texts. You'll also find out::

The Seven Phases of Textual MaturityParents start typing IN ALL CAPS and end up out-texting their kids.

Crazy Things Parent Text sample 1

Text Translations: Made up on the spot or common knowledge, parents are abbreviating the heck out of their texts when they LMAO or ask you to UTD (unload the dishwasher)

Crazy Things Parent Text sample 2

No texting in the house: Why walk up the stairs or even shout from the other room when you could just send a text?

Crazy Things Parent Text sample 3

Insexts: Oh no, my parents don’t do THAT! How kids discovered their parentshave (gasp!) a sex life

Crazy Things Parent Text sample 4

And remember kids, keep texting. And parents, keep texting crazy things. We love it, and it makes us love you more.

About the AuthorsStephen and Wayne Miltz started in December 2010, and received 7 million page views in the first two weeks of January. Visitors logged on to read and share messages, and the site just kept growing til they decided it was time for a book!

Stephen Miltz, 25, is a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His 30-year-old brother is a self-taught Web developer who says his parents' text messages are "awkward." The two founded Miltz Media in 2007 and now operate 15 websites designed with college students in mind.The brothers still work from home and say their mom does the taxes.

Review: This is the perfect idea for a Christmas stocking gift for your parents, or those who just want a pretty humorous book to keep around! If you've ever tried to text and are over 30, you'll be able to relate to alot of the texts in the book! Check out the website and you'll see just how funny some of the texts are! Then go out and pick up a copy of the book, or two, or three, and be the hip gift giver this Christmas!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Sourcebooks, 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.

Bless Their Little Giveaways Linky: August 30- September 5, 2011

school books

Is Your Child Having Trouble Learning at School?

Today's post offers some great answers to that question, and may make you think about signs that you may have missed!

education sign

Dr. Selznick looks for certain signs in the child's behavior that are often not obvious to parents or even educators, pediatricians or general practitioners to help understand the child's school struggling. The most common key to helping a shut-down learner is identifying whether a child has sufficient “Emotional Fuel”. Here is how he explains the most common situation he hears from parents asking about the problems that plague their children:

Succeeding in School: Plenty of Emotional Fuel

Seven year old Marissa is in the first grade.  Reading comes easy to her.  Spelling and writing are fun. Teachers smile a great deal in their interactions with Marissa and make nice comments on her tests and papers.  Positive reactions come from Marissa’s parents who post the teacher’s comments on the refrigerator.  In short, Marissa derives much gratification from her school experience.  The praises and successful outcomes add “emotional fuel” to Marissa’s growing reserves.  As time goes by, this fuel will serve Marissa well for meeting the inevitable challenges of school.

Shut-Down Learners:  Nothing in the Gas Tank

Contrast the scenario above with the Emily, who is the same age.  Emily has the mirror image opposite experience to Marissa. For Emily preschool, kindergarten and first grade have been nothing but a struggle.  Learning the alphabet and the sounds that go along with the letters has been excruciating.  Trying to read words seems painful and reading out loud is embarrassing for her.  There are many Emily’s in every school district of the country. These children quickly become victims to a negative feedback loop.  Negative reactions, either subtle or overt, are sensed and experienced.   Deriving little gratification from the ongoing school encounters, the child starts to shut-down and become disconnected by degrees.  Like air leaking out of the tire, over time there is little emotional fuel to carry the child along. 

Filling the Tank with Emotional Fuel

To counter the downward spiral in of the struggling child, the adults in the child’s life (parents & teachers), must pay very close attention and offer support and empathy to counter negative feelings, insecurity and the limited sense of gratification.  Empathy and support give the child emotional fuel. It is this fuel that allows her to work through her difficulties. Once the children feel more understood a weight is lifted.  There will be more fuel to tackle challenges. 

A child’s attitude towards learning is enhanced only when there is and encouraging, supportive relationship between the tutor and the child.  This relationship is true with normal children, however it is particularly important for discouraged children.  Discouraged children are demoralized and disheartened.  They do not perceive hope and they lack enthusiasm for meeting challenges.  They need positive relationships to counter their discouragement.

You can add emotional fuel to the child’s reserves in many ways:

·         Assume discouragement if child is struggling.  A struggling child may not tell you she is discouraged.  Even if the child maintains a cheery demeanor, assume a certain amount of discouragement.  Small empathetic comments go a long way. “Honey, I know this is hard for you.  School was hard for me to a lot of the time.”

·         Watch yelling and sarcasm.   Yelling and sarcastic statements are the number one tools parents use today and they are very hurtful to kids.  It’s so easy to lash out a child who doesn’t seem to be trying.  Stop yelling and being sarcastic.

·         Find a fun activity Brief game interactions can add an enormous sense of energy to the child. For exampleplaying Uno with kids is a great example and something kids would look forward to doing.  The game’s not long and drawn out and it usually can hold enough interest for kids and adults alike.  Kids get much emotional fuel from playing games with adults.  Take the time to play a game or two once in a while during the week

·         Embrace the child’s strength(s).   Many struggling shut-down learners are wonderful with hands-on activities.  These “Lego kids” thrive with visual and spatial activities.  Feed the child some more.  Exercise these mental muscles.  Find more of these types of activities to do with the child.  Build a model. Create a Lego city. Make a diorama.  Have fun!!!! Build on the strengths and talents the child shows you.

·         Enlist the child as a helper.  Some of you may remember the good old days where there were actual blackboards in schools.  Kids loved to be the eraser monitors - the ones that got to go outside and clean the erasers against the walls. Find tasks like this for the child to do in school and at home to give him or her a sense of participation, belonging and competency.  They will love to do these.

Remember, children are not car engines that can be fixed by getting replacement parts.
Only through relationship building and understanding can kids find themselves with a great deal of renewed energy for overcoming their deficit areas.  Finding those points of encouragement will go a long way toward adding emotional fuel to the child’s reserves. 

The bottom line? The most important thing that parents can do is to pay attention to the child and go slow. It will also be helpful to see a learning specialist.  Get a referral or get an appointment, do whatever it takes.  Seeing a learning specialist is to best way to make sure your child gets the best and most effective treatment. 

About the author

Dr. Richard Selznick is a child psychologist and the director of the Cooper Learning Center, Department of Pediatrics, Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey. He is the author of The Shut-Down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child
As Director of the Cooper Learning Center in Voorhees, Dr. Selznick oversees a program that assesses and treats a broad range of learning and school-based academic and behavioral problems. The Cooper Learning Center is a Division of the Department of Pediatrics, of Cooper University Hospital, in New Jersey.  The Hospital is a leading teaching hospital in the region.    Dr. Selznick presents nationally and internationally to parents and educators on a variety of topics related to school struggling.Dr. Selznick is an experienced media guest and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows to discuss a variety of children’s issues

A native of Staten Island, New York, Dr. Selznick lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey. 

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through DirectContactPR.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Winners Waiting for Labor Day!

education pix

1. Book of Lies- #8  Cathy W

2. dealEvery- #36 Elena

and a redraw (I know, we haven't had one in a while!)

3. the Trust- #61 Sue VB

All winners have been notified via email.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Book Review and Giveaway: Insideout Coaching by Joe Ehrmann

** this giveaway is closed ***

I eagerly requested this book as part of my Back to School info week, as with the advent of the school season starts the sports and extra curricular activities season. With the hustle and bustle, do we ever stop to consider WHAT our kids are being taught by the people we entrust them to? We've all seen BAD behavior at games and matches, and wth this book  we can ALL learn HOW to stop it!

Insideout Coaching cover
Synopsis: This book is part autobiography, part motivational manifesto, and part instruction. In the 2004 bestseller Season of Life, Pulitzer-winning author Jeffrey Marx told the story of Ehrmann’s journey from angry, abused boy to national football star (a first-round NFL draft pick, he completed eight successful seasons on the Baltimore Colts’ defensive line and two more with the Detroit Lions) —and then to dedicated volunteer, ordained minister, and inspirational coach and speaker. Now, in InSideOut Coaching Ehrmann shares his personal history in his own words, and explains why and how he developed his groundbreaking coaching philosophy—and what other coaches and leaders can do to incorporate it into their programs.

Joe’s life mission is “to help boys and girls become men and women of empathy and integrity who will lead, be responsible, and change the world for good” and in InSideOut Coaching he shares his secret of how he has personally been able to accomplish this. Ehrmann draws on stories from his own life and from history to provide vivid examples of what makes a good coach, what makes a bad one, and what kind of difference each type can make in a person’s life. He tackles concerns ranging from the importance of play in the lives of both children and adults to the dangerous effect American culture can have on our understanding of what it is to be a man or a woman.

Review: This is NOT just a book for the sports fanatic. It's a book for parents, teachers, and community leaders, all who have stakes in our kids' lives! It will inspire you and make you question WHAT we are doing nowadays to our kids.

"Coaches have a tremendous platform, says Ehrmann. Perhaps second only to parents, coaches can impact young people as no one else can. But most coaches fail to do the teaching, mentoring, even life-saving intervention that their platform provides. Too many are transactional coaches; they focus solely on winning and meeting their personal needs. They see sports as a simple exchange: the athlete performs to a coach’s demands and in return gets something, usually praise or a position in the starting lineup." Admit- we all know THESE coaches- we see them screaming at their players, demeaning them, and more importantly, we see the parents who act the same way.

"Some coaches, however, use their platform. They teach the Xs and Os, but also teach the Ys of life. They help young people grow into responsible adults; they leave a lasting legacy. These are the transformational coaches. These coaches change lives, and they also change society by helping to develop healthy men and women", says Ehrmann. And this is the kernel of the book- HOW do we as parents and coaches become this for OUR kids and those in our community! This isn't just for sports- what about you Sunday School, Youth Ministry and Boy/Girl Scout leaders. Do you truly understand HOW and WHAT you are teaching may influence a child down the line?

I really recommend this book for anyone with kids in sports, dance and other you activities, so as parents we can see the type of people we need to be trusting our kids to, and if there are those that don't measure up, well stand up and seek the change! NOT to mention, what are you teaching YOUR kid, if winning is the only thing you praise them for?If you are the coach/teacher, read this book to see what YOU need to be doing differently. Ehrmann's story will help illustrate the ways very clearly that change is needed. If everyone instructed kids like Ehmann teaches, what a wonderful world we truly would have!

How is YOUR Child's Vision?

Well school is in session and I've got a few great articles to share with you, that may relate to why your child may be having difficulty in school.

Today's is about eyesight!
boy reading

Since 80% of learning is dependent on vision, comprehensive eye examinations are very important and should be a part of the child’s back to school routine”, says Dr. Sandy T. Feldman of ClearView Eye & Laser Medical Center.

Correcting a child’s vision can not only improve their sight but a startling 64% of the time teachers notice an improvement in a student’s academic performance and/or behavior after their vision was treated.  This can also have a positive result with a child’s performance in any sport activity they are playing. 

 “The old adage 'look and listen' pertains to more than the crossing of the street rules. Parents need to look and listen to their kids when it relates to their daily routines at school.  You would be surprised at what you might hear in relation to challenges they are having with school work which could be vision related and very easily fixed,” said the doctor.  If you think your child may have an issue, seek medical help by contacting your local ophthalmologist or optometrist.

Here are some important tips that might indicate a child has vision issues:

  1. A child may be squinting, closes one eye when in the sun, and/or the eyes are misaligned.  This may indicate a lazy eye and may lead to permanently poor vision, if not treated. 
  2. Parents listen to your children, especially if you are hearing them say they are having difficulty seeing the blackboard and/or smartboard at distance;, reading books or the computer close up.  Children may be nearsighted, farsighted and/or have astigmatism, and their vision may change quite rapidly. Like adults, many children need prescription glasses.
  3. Exhibiting poor behavior in school could be due to frustration with not being able to see the assignments. This can lead to incomplete homework and performance below one’s potential.
  4. Difficulty with playing sports, such as baseball, tennis, archery to name a few, can also be caused by poor eye sight.

A few “eye” clues to your teen’s self esteem.

  1. Teens are easily embarrassed and may not wear their glasses.  Wearing contact lenses is a less visible option for vision correction.  A recent study in Eye & Contact Lens Journal, showed that wearing contact lenses helps teen’s self esteem.
  2. When one is genuinely happy and smiles, the corners of the mouth move up and the eyes wrinkle; however, sometimes, teens fake a smile.   Only the mouth moves!  So look at the eyes for a clue to your teen’s inner feelings!
  3. Avoiding direct eye contact may also indicate poor teen self esteem.

As a leader in the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Sandy T. Feldman has participated in FDA clinical studies of custom LASIK.  Currently, she is involved in studies of a new treatment to halt the progression of keratoconus, a disease n which the fitting of contact lenses can be challenging.  In 2009, she was one of ten laser eye care providers in the U.S. to receive the Goldline Award as seen in Forbes Magazine.  In 2010, she was awarded the Silver Elite RealSelf Award, and in 2011, she was awarded Top Doc San Diego and was inducted into the prestigious American College of Ophthalmic Surgeons.  Dr. Feldman is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

Information courtesy of DSMMedia Relations, for blog posting only.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book Review: Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations by Joel Henriques

Today we have a book that is sure to beat the boredom blues, when the kids are off from school and claiming there is nothing to do'. It's also great to incorporate into home-school curriculmns!

made to play cover
Synopsis: From sewn and stuffed musical instruments to interlocking paper building blocks and wooden animal figurines, the projects in this book are meant to encourage open-ended play. Organized by kid-loving subjects, the toys here follow the themes of Zoo; House; Blocks, Cars & Trucks; Dress-Up; Music; and Art. All are meant to stimulate imagination, build confidence through success and enjoyment, and enhance the bond between family and friends through the creation of unique, artistic handmade toys and crafts.The thirty-five projects in this book include a variety of crafts, from drawing to sewing and light woodworking. The toys are made out of repurposed materials like fabrics, wood, and paper--and invite opportunities for creative and imaginative play. Every project is easy to complete, made with accessible materials, and requires little time to make. The projects are simple enough that endless variation can come from the making of each, leaving enough room for you to make the item to suit your own personal interests.

About the Author:  Joel was drawn to painting as a child, inspired by his grandmother, a painter herself. She taught him ideas about color and design, and eventually coached him on his earliest paintings. These childhood experiences lead him to pursue a B.A. in Fine Art and Philosophy. Becoming a parent was, for Joel, another way of looking at art in the world. As a young child himself, he made many of his own toys. As a father, he began making toys for his young twins. 

He began to see that a beautiful, minimal, well-crafted object allowed his children to use and develop their own imaginations, rather than having an object tell them how they must play with it. Moved by his children's interaction with art, Joel began documenting these crafts on his blog, Made By Joel.  Joel lives with his wife and three-year-old twins in Portland, Oregon. See more of his crafts at, and see more of his art at

made to play cover directions ReviewWith a clean, and simple format, this book presents wonderful projects with full-color photos and hand-drawn instructional illustrations and templates, making them all easy to make! As you can see from the drawing at right- even a young child can figure out how to make the finger puppets (pictured on the cover)!

made to play cover spool bird Kiddo is entranced with the spool birds (wooden spools, tape or glue, construction paper, wire (we may use chenille stems instead) and feathers), so we'll be making a flock of them every time I finish a spool of thread while sewing- I am planning on putting a box shelf above my sewing machine and I think they will be a cute addition. Plus a wonderful memento of time spent with Kiddo (and a good tradition- my mother still has a small bird I made her!).

His instructions for musical instruments would be perfect for Vacation Bible Schools- they're easy and can be used repeatedly-perfect for using in your final day production if you have one! In fact, many of the projects can be completed in 15-20 minutes, making them perfect for hand-eye coordination training in a classroom!

For the items that require templates (if you want to use his dimensions), he includes them at the back of the book. This is a great touch, as not all of us can draw giraffes, for example! If you're interested in a cute playland of Paris , check out his recent blog post (in fact he has quite a few paper cities there- perfect for social studies themes!)! It will give you an example of the wonderful items in this book!

I would definitely recommend this book for all home-schoolers and parents who want to bring back the joy of home made toys to their kids! It will be released in October, so be sure to pre-order, or put it on your wishlist!

Disclosure: I receives this book, from the publisher, Shambhala , via NetGalley, free of charge, for blog review purposes. I received no other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post.Nor was I told what to say about the book!

Book Review: Every Day on Earth by Steve and Matthew Murrie, Illus. by Tom Bloom

Today we have a SUPER interesting book, that is not only perfect for the home schoolers out there, but for searching for science fair/class projects, and for winning those trivia games. Ok, so it's also good for astounding your kids- always a plus!

Every Day on Earth cover
SynopsisDiscover all of the amazing things that can happen around the world in just one day! You already know all of the amazing things that can happen in just one minute on Earth (from their previous book), so think of what could happen in a whole day! 

Your taste bud cells are replaced at a rate of 50,000 a day. Almost 40,000 trees are cut down every day just to make paper bags. And a mayfly lives its entire life in a single day. This book is full of fun facts about space, technology, pop culture, food, animals, sports, the human body, and more!

About the Authors: Matthew has an MA in the Teaching of English from Teachers College, Columbia University and has over five years of experience teaching in five countries on three different continents, as a public school teacher, private academy instructor, and Peace Corps volunteer. In addition to having coauthored Every Minute on Earth and Guide to the Planet (Planet Earth), Matthew has also written classroom curriculum and reading material for one of Korea’s leading, private educational institutes, Chungdahm Learning.

Steve, a retired science teacher who still substitutes and teaches classes at a local community college, has been teaching for nearly 40 years. He holds an MA from Penn State University in Science Education. He is the coauthor of Every Minute on Earth and Guide to the Planet, both published by Scholastic, Inc. His dedication to his work and effectiveness in promoting it has been instrumental in the former reaching the 100,000 sales mark in a little over a year.

Review: This book came at a pretty good time, as Kiddo is starting in on wanting thorough answers to questions like 'how many bones do we have' and 'why do we sneeze'. So I knew she would like alot of the info, even if we were reading and making sure it was on her level to understand!

The book has 8 sections: Living Things, Earth, Food, the Human Body, Pop Culture, Space, technology and Sports. All are color coded, so they are easy to find! Mr. Bloom's illustrations are simple and colorful, and definitely 'kid friendly'. I learned alot I had either forgotten, or never learned! Consider these facts:

  • Male mosquitos son't bite you- they prefer plant juices. BUT a female, now that's another story- she acts like a vampire to get 0.0001 to 0.001 milliliters of blood PER day, so she can have enough nourishment to lay eggs. BAD Momma to be!
  • There are 15 million bars of America's favorite candy bar made DAILY: The second oldest candy bar from the Mars company: Snickers!
  • Check your ice cream label. Chances are there is SEA KELP in it! As a source of algin, it is a blending and binding agent!
  • Your heart pumps enough blood daily to fill the tank of a fire engine! That's 2,000 gallons, in case you were wondering!
  • Did you know our 'day' is not really 24 hours? The Earth rotates completely around on it's axis in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds! 
  • and During a standard 90 minute soccer match, the average player runs 6.2 MILES. Whew, I;m tired just reading that!
You see? FUN stuff that can get your kids interested in science and spur some really cool science fair exhibits (call me if you do the heart/fire engine thing- I'd love to see that one)! PLUS, at under $10, it's a BARGAIN. And if you get their previous book, you;d have double the science fun for under a $20 bill, how cool is that?

The authors have gave us lots of ideas and topics to talk about- check it out with your kids today and see where it can take your family!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from the authors themselves, 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.

Product Review and Giveaway: The Knot Genie Detangling Brush

*** this giveaway is closed ***

If there is ONE thing that Kiddo hates with a passion, it's getting her hair combed. She has baby fine hair still, yet it is naturally curly and now that it is getting long and we are having to put it up in barrettes and pony tails (!!!), it's quick to get tangled it seems, no matter what she does.

Little did we know that the simple solution to the twice daily chore of combing out her hair could be so easily solved with a brush that fits in the palm of your hand.

knot genie logo

Enter the Knot Genie

From the FIRST brush, combing out Kiddo's hair has gone from a tempest to a breeze, with one smiling, very happy kid! 

The magic trick behind the Knot Genie? It's in the different lengths of teeth on the brush. When brushing, If you have horses, or other livestock, it might remind you of a curry brush. Sorta the same principle. The teeth on the brush bend, to gently untangle the hair, as it slides through it. With no stress or pulling, you get a)NO ouchies and b) the hair's cuticle stays unharmed giving you smooth and shiny hair! AND it fits perfectly in your hand (in fact, I;d love it if they had a smaller, more kid size one, but Kiddo does just fine with this one).

knot genie brushes

We tried it on her dry hair before her bath on the first night and she liked it. THEN we tried it on her wet hair after a bath (when it tangles the most) and we both fell in LOVE with the brush! No pulling away, no screaming, no tangled mass. The brush went through the tangles and removed them with ease. Kiddo was quick to seize the brush and 'brush' her own hair, while looking in her special 'Princess' mirror that her favorite Auntie bought her for Christmas! With no tangles, it was easy and she loves 'massaging' her scalp with it too! So now every night I know we will have a pleasant after bath experience, and one happy kid!

And best yet? Kiddo is quick to tell EVERYBODY about her new brush and how well it works, and how grown up she is, because she can comb out her long hair by herself! Alrighty then, we can add another item to her new chore chart! I am so impressed with such a simple design idea! It has made both our lives SO much easier! The Knot Genie comes in 4 colors, so boys can get something other than pink, and it is available online, and at local salons!

AND you can not only win a free Knot Genie, if you;re one of the first 50 entrants, but Knit Genie is giving away a $500 college scholarship (US Savings bond) on their Facebook page, and all you have to do is submit a video telling them "WHY YOUR CHILD NEEDS A KNOT GENIE". Just remember to make it good, because the video with the most votes will win! So get out that video camera, share your hair pain and start off your child's college fund! Check out the entries and get yours in quick to get your free Knot Genie! 

Not the video submitting kind? Then I have a chance to win one HERE for yourself and your family's problem head of hair!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: The Betrayal by Jerry B. Jenkins

** this giveaway is closed **

And now for something a little different....

the betrayal cover
SynopsisDetective Boone Drake has just pulled off the most massive sting in Chicago history, bringing down the heads of not only the biggest street gangs in the city but also the old crime syndicate. The story is the biggest in decades, and the Chicago Police Department must protect the key witness at all costs. Yet despite top secret plans to transfer the witness ahead of his testimony before the grand jury, an attempt is made on his life.

It soon becomes apparent that someone inside the Chicago PD leaked information to the shooter. As evidence mounts and suspicion points too close to home, Boone doesn’t know whom he can trust. An investigation reveals that the turncoat might be someone very close to him, even someone he loves—or is the guilty party just trying to cover up corruption at the highest level of the police department? Trusting the wrong person could prove fatal.

About the AuthorDr. Jerry B. Jenkins, former vice president for publishing and currently writer-at-large for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, is the author of more than 160 books, including the 63,000,000-selling Left Behind series. Also the former editor of Moody Magazine, Dr. Jenkins's writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. Jerry and Dr. Tim LaHaye were profiled in a May 24, 2004 cover story in Newsweek magazine entitled "The New Prophets of Revelation."

Jerry owns Jenkins Entertainment, a filmmaking company in Los Angeles, and also the Christian Writers Guild, which aims to train tomorrow's professional Christian writers and has nearly 2,000 members worldwide.

Review: When I started this book, I had no plans to read beyond a couple of chapters and then calling it an early night. OOPS. 3 hours later I had steamrolled thru the ENTIRE book, AND was very satisfied and happy to have found a new mystery/detective/police procedural series to check out! To say that Jenkins is a entertaining writer is a misnomer. When you read his fiction, the movie rolls in your head- he is VERY explanatory and descriptive! I can very easily see this series of Det. Drake being made into a television show!

The difference in this series is one thing: God. Yup- it's a CHRISTIAN police procedural! Truly, I had never thought I'd see the two combined, but Jenkins took it on with ease and has both very well in hand- he has the law enforcement innuendos/asides down, and he brings faith into the book in a very realistic and honest way. Which is why I was so easily able to read straight thru the book- there was no questioning- everything clicked and worked!

And the mystery? Top notch! Very well designed plot and plan, while you see it unrolling as Drake finds the clues, you keep thinking that there's a catch, that there's another play at hand. And that is a sign of a great author- one who keeps you reading and guessing! I definitely HIGHLY recommend this series as a great add onto the typical police procedural!

This is the second book in the Precinct 11 Series!

Product Review and Giveaway: EvoraPlus Probiotic Mint with Teeth Whitener

Almost 2 years ago (wow , has it really been THAT long ago?) I told you about EvoraPlus- a probiotic mint that freshened your breath by fighting the harmful bacteria that causes bad breath.

Well, I loved EvoraPlus before, and when I was contacting about reviewing the NEW EvoraPlus, that now WHITENS your teeth, as well, I was pretty interested!

new evoraplusEvoraPlus has been redesigned by Oragenics to be the first all-natural probiotic mint designed for total oral health care! Not only does it get rid of bad breath, promote gum and tooth health, it naturally whitens your teeth! In the mouth, harmful bacteria convert sugar and carbohydrates into lactic acid. Lactic acid is responsible for a decline in dental health!

Containing Orgenics ProBiora3 patented blend of bacteria, it goes to work instantly as it melts in your mouth and stays with you ALL day. The ProBiora3 establish colonies of live, active beneficial bacteria, both on the surface of the teeth and deep beneath the gum line. These colonies compete for both nutrients and space with the harmful oral bacteria that disrupt gum and tooth health, as well as cause bad breath. AND they win! It's sorta like having your own personal oral army in your mouth!

You can use it if you have braces, dentures and caps! AND if you take probiotics for internal health, you can still take EvoraPlus, as this bacteria stays in your mouth!

I know what you're thinking! But HOW well does it work? let me say this, after only a couple of days, I knew immediately in the morning if I had forgotten to take one the day before. Yup, morning breath came a calling! Ugh. I'd forgotten HOW well EvoraPLus works! As to the teeth whitener, Oragenics says UP FRONT that you will only see 1-2 shades lighter. This is not a bleaching plan folks. Did my teeth get whiter? I'd say so- I switched to a non-whitening toothpaste to give it a fair trial. and my teeth stayed the same, got somewhat lighter, so I'd call that a success with all the coffee and ice tea I drink!

AND you can buy EvoraPlus in formulas for your kids and pets too! Yippee, no more doggie breath! Available at your local Walgreens or online, it is easier than ever to use EvoraPlus! Plus if you order online before the end of August, you can get $5 off your order (just use code EPLUS811 at checkout, plus they are offering free shipping on orders over $6!) But don't take my word, try it for yourself and you'll see the difference like I did!

AND one lucky BTHM reader will get to try a box (30 day supply) FREE! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Recipe Weekend: Book Review and Giveaway: You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool by Celia Rivenbark

** this giveaway is closed **

And now for something from one of my favorite authors:

 You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl cover
SynopsisIn her newest wickedly irreverent humor collection, Celia Rivenbark cracks up while getting her downward facing dog on, pines for a world in which every mom gets to behave like Betty Draper and wonders why everybody's so excited about the Science Fair when there aren't even any rides. In it you’ll find essays on such topics as:  Menopause Spurs Thoughts of Death and Turkey, I Dreamed a Dream That My Lashes Were Long, Movie To-Do List: Cook Like Julia, Adopt Really Big Kid, and Charlie Bit Your Finger? Good! 

About the Author: Celia Rivenbark is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank; Bless Your Heart, Tramp; Belle Weather; and You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the MorningWe’re Just Like You, Only Prettier won a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Book Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the James Thurber Prize for American Humor. Born and raised in Duplin County, North Carolina, Rivenbark grew up in a small house “with a red barn out back that was populated by a couple of dozen lanky and unvaccinated cats.” She started out writing for her hometown paper. She writes a weekly, nationally syndicated humor column for the Myrtle Beach Sun News. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina

Review: Full of chapters that stand on their own, this is the perfect book to leave in the car or purse and pull out when you are waiting and need to get a couple of laughs. I've been a big fan of Rivenbark's since her Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank book came out (if you have a daughter- READ IT). She has been called "Dave Barry with a female attitude"- I'd call it a SOUTHERN WOMAN attitude, and ya'll KNOW what I mean by that- there IS a difference!

In this book, Rivenbark I think the most hilarious chapter was about Twitter and Southerners tweeting. I just about lost it when she started in on how can a Southerner limit what they are saying to 140 CHARACTERS, it's like CHEATING! Cause how can you tell exactly what you mean in a sentence or two? Southerners don't talk that way! Course she also laments how Southerners used to not voice their displeasure, and instead went cat and mouse on payback. Now it's all out in the open, and maybe that's a bad thing? And yes, I don't really need to know everything a celebrity is doing, who needs that much self-satisfaction? 

Now I do need to warn you, Rivenbark's "daddy was a Southern democrat" (go ahead ya'll sing the rest of the song, then come back to finish reading), and she does have a couple of chapters that are pro-Democrat. So ya'll Tea Partiers and Republicans, just skip those chapters and you'll be just fine, you'll agree with the rest of the book.

Now being Southern, Rivenbark can't get away from FOOD.  Duh. So she has thoughtfully included a couple of recipes in the book- AHA you knew there was a reason for the recipe weekend meme link, right? - and I'm sharing one which is super! Just remember to go pick up the book, and get some good Southern flavored laughs and wish Rivenbark was your best friend! I mean wouldn't you be freaked out if there was a white full sized casket, sitting on a flatbed of a pickup truck, parked right in front of you house for over 3 hours". And wouldn't you feel the need to share this observation with one and all? Right, so you see, you'd want her to be calling you too! So check out the book and make your day complete!

Butter Pecan Pound Cake

1 pkg Betty Crocker Butter Pecan Cake Mix (or spice cake mix)
1 cup milk
2/3 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cp chopped pecans, divided
1 container coconut-pecan frosting (the kind you use to frost a German choc. cake)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (or use Baker's Joy and make life easy)
3. Mix eggs, milk, oil and vanilla together. Add half the pecans.
4. Add cake mix and beat well.
5. Fold in can of frosting until incorporated.
6. Place remaining pecans in bottom of bundt pan, and pour frosting in cake pan.
7. Bake for one hour.
Very rich and very dense, cut thin slices!

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