Archive for the 'Books' Category

Babushka’s Beauty Secrets *Review and Giveaway* CLOSED

Beauty products can get really expensive and some of them contain ingredients that can do more harm than good. If you like to take care of yourself and want to save money, here is a great book that I got to review and have the opportunity to give 3 of you a copy!

Babushka’s Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips For a Glamorous New You by Raya Ruder and Susan Campos has “all natural and better than Botox” tips and handmade recipes.

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Book description:

(from back cover)

DON’T SPEND A FORTUNE TO LOOK FLAWLESS

Esthetician to the stars Raisa Ruder learned her time-tested beauty techniques from her Ukrainian grandmother (or babushka, as they say in the old country). Now everyone can discover the all-natural, better-than-botox secrets the Hollywood stars use to shine on the red carpet! Ruder reveals her sought-after beauty recipes that can fight wrinkles, plump lips, and eliminate crow’s feet and acne, using inexpensive, everyday grocery items like eggs, honey, vegetable oil and strawberries (and a splash of vodka for freshness!). At last, by popular demand, Raisa Ruder opens up her babushka’s secret pantry and shares her most amazing and effective beauty advice:

  • Skin-saving Soufflés – whipped up wonders that shrink pores, brighten skin, and diminish lines
  • Chocolate weight-loss wrap- a moment on the hips, tightens, tucks, and nips!
  • Hot hair- a cayenne pepper blend that leaves locks silky, soft, and full
  • PediPure- a soothing, smoothing foot scrub made with milk and mint
  • Lustrous Lashes – a simple castor oil serum that thickens and lengthens
  • Perfect Pucker- a mix of salt, green tea, and fruit that plumps up lips naturally

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About the authors:

Raisa Ruder was a registered nurse in her native Ukraine when she decided to move to the United States fifteen years ago. For seven years she worked at the famed Anastasia salon doing eyebrows and facials until opening her own West Hollywood salon in 2005. She noticed the large amount of preservatives in American products and decided to introduce her Babushka’s old world beauty recipes in her salon. She quickly became LA’s go-to-girl. Her clients include: Madonna,Tyra Banks, Molly Simms, Ali Larter, Nicolette Sheridan and others.

Susan Campos is a broadcast and print journalist. She is a former anchor for the national weekend edition of Today. She’s reported for Dateline and hosted numerous entertainment shows on MSNBC. She currently writes trend stories on beauty for The New York Times’ “Styles” section and its T Magazine, and is a contributing editor for Radar Magazine.

Susan Campos met Raisa Ruder when she was writing a story about green beauty. She immediately loved Ruder’s beauty regimen, and a few years later they decided to do a book together.

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This book holds some great beauty tips. Included is a list of “Must-Have Tools” like empty bottles, wash cloths, and measuring cups and spoons. There is also a list of the top ten “Must-Have Ingredients” and ten things vodka can be used for besides drinking. The book also has a great informative chapter on how to create a fab five-star spa right in your own home!  Along with the incredibly wise and money-saving tips are some fabulous recipes. You can find recipes for milk soaks and bubble baths for rest and relaxation and souffles formulated to plump up the face and use before heading out to a big event. There are also recipes for homemade remedies and beauty supplies that focus on your eyes, lips, hair, hands, feet, and the rest of your body. One of my favorite chapters focuses on waxing and shaving with tips on achieving the best wax or shave and recipes for dealing with ingrown hairs and making your own shaving cream. My other favorite chapter has “One-Ingredient Wonders!”  This chapter tells you how you can take one item and beautify yourself easily. For instance, you can blend strawberries (or blueberries or blackberries) and create a facial mask to pump up your skin much like pumping up the skin with bovine collagen. Another great chapter focuses on recycling beauty. It’s great to read this chapter and see how household leftovers, such as coffee grounds and eggshells, can be recycled and used in recipes. This book is great for anyone who wants to save money, be green and beautify themselves at the same time.

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Win it:

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, 3 lucky readers will each win a copy of Babushka’s Beauty Secrets.

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To Enter:

Main (MANDATORY) entry: Leave a comment here mentioning why you would like to win a copy of this book.

If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it most likely got sent to moderation. If this happens, I will approve your comment asap.

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Extra Entries: (must do main entry above first.)

1 entry: Subscribe to my blog by email or by reader. See right sidebar. Leave a comment letting me know you subscribe.

1 entry: Follow this blog on Networked Blogs. See right sidebar. Leave a comment letting me know you follow and include your name.

1 entry: Follow me on Twitter.  See right sidebar. Leave a comment and include your Twitter ID.

1 DAILY entry: Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment and include a link to your tweet. Feel free to copy and paste the following:

#Win a copy of the book Babushka’s Beauty Secrets – 3 winners!  http://wp.me/pWep5-24  #giveaway ends 6/30

3 entries: Add my NEW button to your blog (see right sidebar for code) or add my blog to your blogroll. Leave 3 comments and include your link in at least one of them.

5 entries: Mention this giveaway on your blog/site. Leave 5 comments and include your link in at least one of them.

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Giveaway ends June 30, 2010 at 11:59PM CST. Open to US and Canadian residents. I will select a winner using Random.org and announce the winner the following day. Winner will also be emailed and will have 48 hours to reply. Any comments that do not follow the rules are ineligible to win. Good luck!

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Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinions. The book, information, and additional books for giveaway were provided by Hachette Book Group. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, and different people may have different outcomes.

Silver Dolphin *Review and Giveaway* CLOSED

I am really glad that my son has a love for books and reading. I enjoy finding books for my son that are educational and entertaining. I was so happy to discover Silver Dolphin, a company that offers innovative nonfiction children’s books that are both entertaining and educational.

Silver Dolphin offers several books for babies and children ages newborn to 12. They offer great series like Snappy Builder that allows readers to build 3-D scenes and characters, I Love Pets! that includes fun drawing kits, Learning in Action that features sounds, lights and movement, Master Engineer that allows readers to build awesome models, and several others. Many of the books found at Silver Dolphin have been recognized for their educational aspects by noted organizations such as Parents’ Choice Awards, Learning Magazine Teachers’ Choice Awards, and others. All of the books offered at Silver Dolphin are tested in accordance with federal guidelines and reviewed by a safety testing specialist from the manufacturing stage on through to the final product.
My son and I got the opportunity to review a couple of books from Silver Dolphin.
One title my son chose was Action Files: Sharks.

(image from Silver Dolphin website)

Action Files: Sharks by Camilla de la Bedoyere features an amazingly awesome 3-D lenticular image of sharks on the cover. It’s almost as if you could reach right into the cover and touch one of the sharks! Inside are several fact filled pages that describe several species of sharks and their anatomy, how and what they eat, how they attack, how they reproduce, ancient shark relatives, and how they are threatened into extinction, how scientists study them and try to save them from extinction.
Included with the book are stickers that can be placed into the fact book and accompanying storybook, Shark Attack. Among the stickers are “shark rating stickers” that can be used to rate each shark species as “Killer!” or “Cool!”

At the bottom of each page are suggested activities to further the learning. The activities include things such as going to the Facts For Projects website and following web links that contain more information and pictures, sound files,  games, quizzes, and video clips or suggestions such as visiting local libraries and other places to find more information. Included in the stickers are activity stickers that you can place in the book alongside the suggested activity when you have completed the activity.

Also included with the book are 18 info cards that feature the amazing different shark species with a great illustration on one side and educational facts about the species on the other side.

Action Files: Sharks is packed full of education on sharks and even includes a fun shark mask to make and a huge colorful poster with the shark species featured in the book.

(image from Silver Dolphin website)

The other book my son chose was Learning in Action: Dinosaurs.

(image from Silver Dolphin website)

Learning in Action: Dinosaurs by John Malam Features a great T Rex embossed on the front cover. When you press the button on the cover, the T Rex comes alive with a roar and opens his eyelid to show a glowing red eye.

The above pictures show the T Rex’s eye before and after pressing the button.

When you open the book, there is a 3-D pop-up of a  baby Eoraptor hatching from an egg and you can hear it’s small yet impressive roar. Throughout the book there are other 3-D pop-ups and lift-the-flap pages. The book is brilliantly illustrated by John Francis and includes amazing facts about dinosaur babies, the Mesozoic era, the earliest dinosaurs like the Plateosaurus, the different dinosaur families and types, what and how they ate, how they defended themselves, possible causes of extinction, and about fossils and how the fossils tell us about the dinosaurs.
My son enjoyed reading this book and he loves the page with information and the 3-D pop-up of an Allosaurus.

Silver Dolphin books can be purchased at online retailers such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Indie Bound..
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Win it:
One lucky reader will win a book of choice from Silver Dolphin.
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To Enter:

.Main (MANDATORY) entry: Visit Silver Dolphin and browse through the great selection of books available. Leave a comment here with the title of a book you/your child would love to have.

If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it most likely got sent to moderation. If this happens, I will approve your comment asap.

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Extra Entries: (must do main entry first.)

1 entry: Subscribe to my blog by email or by reader. See right sidebar. Leave a comment letting me know you subscribe.

1 entry: Follow this blog on Networked Blogs. See right sidebar. Leave a comment with your name.

1 entry: Follow me on Twitter.  See right sidebar. Leave a comment with your Twitter ID.

1 entry: Follow Silver Dolphin on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter ID.

1 DAILY entry: Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment with a link to your tweet. Feel free to copy and paste the following:

#Win your choice of Silver Dolphin children’s book  http://bit.ly/aJ7nNg  #giveaway ends 6/17

3 entries: Add my NEW button to your blog (see right sidebar for code) or add my blog to your blogroll. Leave 3 comments and include your link in at least one of them.

5 entries: Mention this giveaway on your blog/site. Leave 5 comments and include your link in at least one of them.

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Giveaway ends June 17, 2010 at 11:59PM CST. Open to US residents. Winner will be picked via Random.org and announced the following day. Winner will also be emailed and will have 48 hours to reply before another winner is chosen. Any comments not following the rules will be deleted. Good luck!

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Disclosure: I received a copy of the books mentioned in above post  in exchange for my honest opinions. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, and different people may have different outcomes.

Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised and Updated *Review*

I enjoy cooking and love it when I discover new recipes. I like recipes that are easy to follow and result in a great tasting dish. I have a slow cooker and love using it! It is so nice when one is able to prepare the ingredients and cook them in the slow cooker without standing over the stove or oven watching and waiting.

Fix-It and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised and Updated by Phyllis Pellman Good is a fabulous cookbook full of 700 wonderful slow cooker recipes and information. This revised and updated version has some great content like:

  1. Brand New: 100 new recipes for slow cookers.
  2. Brand New: “Prep Time,” “Cooking Time,” and “Ideal Slow-Cooker Size” are included for each recipe.
  3. Brand New: 4 pages of basic and very helpful “Extra Information”:
    • “Substitute Ingredients for When You’re in a Pinch”
    • “Equivalent Measurements”
    • “Kitchen Tools and Equipment You May Have Overlooked”
    • “Assumptions about Ingredients in Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, Revised and Updated
  4. Brand New: 1 page of “Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker: a Friendly, Year-Round Appliance.”
  5. Brand New: Additional tips and tricks for making the most of your slow cooker, spread throughout the book.
  6. Brand New: A second color — a rich purple — for recipe titles, contributors’ names and addresses, the words “Tip” and “Variation,” and the numbered instruction steps.
  7. Brand New: The drawings on the opening pages of chapters and the spot illustrations throughout.
  8. Brand New: 1 page of tip-in color, right inside the front cover.
  9. Brand New: 2 pages of review excerpts to position the original book’s success, immediately following the tip-in page of color.
  10. Revised: An improved Index!
  11. Revised: A personal Introduction to the book by author Phyllis Pellman Good.
  12. Revised: Good’s personal comments and voice throughout the recipes.

All the recipes contained in this cookbook come from households across the country. It’s great to see so many great cooks out that have shared their loved recipes. There are recipes for appetizers, snacks and spreads; breakfast foods; breads; soups, stews and chilis; main dishes using beef, pork, pasta, chicken, turkey, seafood, beans, and meatless main dishes; vegetables; desserts; and even beverages.  The “Prep Time,” “Cooking Time,” and “Ideal Slow-Cooker Size” inclusions are a great feature. This makes it so much easier to decide when I should start on a recipe, how long it will take and if it is more sensible to use my large or small slow cooker. I also like the added helpful information such as the substitute ingredients. I sometimes come across a great looking recipe I would love to fix and get disappointed when I discover that I don’t have a particular ingredient.

Here is an excerpt that I think many of you would enjoy:

Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker: A Friendly Year-Round Appliance
by Phyllis Pellman Good,
Author of Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised & Updated: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes

1. What to buy

  • A good standard size for a household of four is a 4-quart slow cooker. If you often cook for more, or you like to prepare sizable roasts, turkey breasts, or chicken legs and thighs, you’ll want a 6-quart cooker.For parties or buffets a 1½ to 2-quart size works well for dips and snacks.
  • Cookers which allow you to program “On,” the length of the cooking time, and “Off,” are convenient. If your model doesn’t include that feature, you might want to get a digital appliance timer, which gives you that option. Make sure the timer is adequate for the electrical flow that your cooker demands.
  • A baking insert, a cooking rack, a temperature probe, and an insulated carrying tote are all useful additions offered with some models. Or you can buy some of them separately by going to the manufacturers’ websites.

2. Learn to know your slow cooker

  • Some newer slow cookers cook at a very high temperature. You can check the temperature of your slow cooker this way:
    1. Place 2 quarts of water in your slow cooker.
    2. Cover. Heat on Low 8 hours.
    3. Lift the lid. Immediately check the water temp with an accurate thermometer.
    4. The temperature of the water should be 185°F. If the temperature is higher, foods may overcook and you should reduce the overall cooking time. If the temperature is lower, your foods will probably not reach a safe temperature quickly enough, and the cooker should be discarded.

3. Maximizing what a slow cooker does best

  • Slow cookers tend to work best when they’re ⅔ full. You many need to increase the cooking time if you’ve exceeded that amount, or reduce it if you’ve put in less than that.
  • Cut the hard veggies going into your cooker into chunks of about equal size. In other words, make your potato and carrot pieces about the same size. Then they’ll be done cooking at nearly the same time. Softer veggies, like bell peppers and zucchini, cook faster, so they don’t need to be cut as small. But again, keep them similar in size to each other so they finish together.
  • Because raw vegetables are notoriously tough customers in a slow cooker, layer them over the bottom and around the sides of the cooker, as much as possible. That puts them in more direct contact with the heat.
  • There are consequences to lifting the lid on your slow cooker while it’s cooking. To compensate for the lost heat, you should plan to add 15-20 minutes of cooking time for each time the lid was lifted off.
    On the other hand, moisture gathers in a slow cooker as it works. To allow that to cook off, or to thicken the cooking juices, take the lid off during the last half hour of cooking time.
  • Use only the amount of liquid called for in a recipe. In contrast to an oven or a stovetop, a slow cooker tends to draw juices out of food and then harbor it.
    Of course, if you sense that the food in your cooker is drying out, or browning excessively before it finishes cooking, you may want to add ½ cup of warm liquid to the cooker.
  • Important variables to remember that don’t show up in recipes:
    • The fuller your slow cooker, the longer it will take its contents to cook.
    • The more densely packed the cooker’s contents are, the longer they will take to cook.
    • The larger the chunks of meat or vegetables, the more time they will need to cook.

4. Debunking the myths

  • Slow cookers are a handy year-round appliance. They don’t heat up a kitchen in warm weather. They allow you to escape to the pool or lake or lawn or gardens — so why not let them work for you when it’s hot outdoors. A slow cooker fixes dinner while you’re at your child’s soccer game, too.
    So don’t limit its usefulness. Remember the dozens of recipes-beyond-beef-stew in this collection!

    One more thing — a slow cooker provides a wonderful alternative if your oven is full — no matter the season.

  • You can overdo food in a slow cooker. If you’re tempted to stretch a recipe’s 6-hour stated cooking time to 8 or 10 hours, you may be disappointed in your dinner. Yes, these cookers work their magic using slow, moist heat. Yes, many dishes cook a long time. But these outfits have their limits.
    For example, chicken can overcook in a slow cooker. Especially boneless, skinless breasts. But legs and thighs aren’t immune either. Once they go past the falling-off-the-bone stage, they are prone to move on to deeply dry.

    Cooked pasta and sour cream do best if added late in the cooking process, ideally 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time if the cooker is on high; 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time if it’s on low.

5. Safety

  • A working slow cooker gets hot on the outside — and I mean the outer electrical unit as well as the inner vessel. Make sure that curious and unsuspecting children or adults don’t grab hold of either part. Use oven mitts when lifting any part of a hot cooker.
  • To prevent a slow cooker from bubbling over, either when its sitting still on a counter, or when its traveling to a carry-in dinner, fill the cooker only ⅔ full.
    If you’re going to exceed that limit, pull out your second slow cooker (what — you have only one?!) and divide the contents between them.

The above is an excerpt from the book Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised & Updated: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes by Phyllis Pellman Good. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Reprinted from Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. © by Good Books (www.GoodBooks.com). Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2010 Phyllis Pellman Good, author of Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook: Revised & Updated: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes

Author Bio
Phyllis Pellman Good is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have sold nearly 10 million copies.

Good’s cookbooks have also appeared on the USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She is the author of Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly: Healthy, Low-Fat Recipes for Your Slow CookerFix-It and Forget-It 5-Ingredient Favorites: Comforting Slow- Cooker RecipesFix-It and Forget-It Recipes for Entertaining: Slow-Cooker Favorites for all the Year Round, and Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook: Slow-Cooker Favorites to Include Everyone (with the American Diabetes Association), all in the series.

She and her husband, Merle, live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

For more information about Phyllis Pellman Good, visit www.Fix-ItandForget-It.com and www.facebook.com/fixitandforgetit

Disclosure: I received a copy of the above mentioned book, from FSB Media in exchange for my honest opinions. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, and different people may have different outcomes.


Welcome to Go YAY!

My name is Danetta. I am a stay at home mom to an active 7-year-old boy and wife of 11 years to a hard-working man. We live in southeast Texas with our fearless and adventurous dog, Obi Kenobi.

This is a PR friendly blog. I enjoy discovering new products of all kinds. If you are a company or PR rep and have a product that you would like reviewed, please fill out my form.

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