Friday, November 28, 2008

The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice – Review and Giveaway

My husband is quite a television connoisseur, so he was extremely excited when he heard that the third installment of one of his favorite TV specials, The Librarian, was going to be shown on TNT on Sunday, December 7, 2008, at 8:00 PM (EST). He was even more excited when I got my hands on a preview copy of the film! He popped it into the DVD player as soon as it hit his hands. Fortunately, for both of us, the movie did not disappoint. Mike loved it and said it was even better than the previous one. In case you’re wondering what all the excitement is all about, here’s what happens in the third installment of The Librarian:

The world is in danger of being overrun by vampires, and the only person who can prevent it from happening is Flynn Carsen in the third installment of TNT’s hugely successful Librarian franchise, starring Noah Wyle (ER). THE LIBRARIAN: CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICE, co-starring Bob Newhart (Elf, The Bob Newhart Show) and Jane Curtin (Our Town, 3rd Rock from the Sun), sends the bookish hero Flynn to New Orleans, where he tries to undo a nefarious vampire plot and rescue a kidnapped professor (Bruce Davison -– X-Men, Knight Rider) with the help of a beautiful chanteuse (Stana Katic -– Feast of Love).

THE LIBRARIAN: CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICE was directed by Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation), who also directed the second Librarian installment, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines. The story opens with the kidnapping of Professor Lazlo (Davison), a brilliant language and history expert at the University of Bucharest. Elderly and using a crutch to walk, he is taken hostage by a group that wants to force him to locate the Judas Chalice. They hope to use the cup -– which was made from the 30 pieces of silver Judas received for betraying Jesus -– to bring the notorious Prince Vlad Dracul back to life and foist evil on the world.

Meanwhile, Flynn heads to New Orleans for what he hopes will be a vacation. He has been summoned through mysterious dreams by Simone Renoir (Katic), a gorgeous New Orleans jazz club singer. She has made it her mission to keep the location of the Judas Chalice a secret so it won’t fall into the wrong hands. When the secret is accidentally revealed and the cup taken, Flynn and Simone must do everything in their power to prevent Vlad Dracul from casting the entire world into shadow. Helping from the sidelines are Judson (Newhart), the enigmatic and always surprising head of the Library, and Charlene (Curtin), the extremely serious-minded, no-nonsense personnel director.

The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice is action-packed and will keep the whole family riveted to their seats. And if you missed previous installments in the series, you’ll still love this one. Even better, you now have an opportunity to win a copy of The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice on DVD! From now until December 15, 2008, just leave a comment on this blog telling me either what you enjoyed most in the previous Librarian movies, or why you’re looking forward to the third installment, or, if you’re reading this after seeing The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice on December 7 on TNT, then leave a comment telling me your favorite part of the movie. I’ll randomly select a winner after December 15 to win a free DVD copy. (Please make sure you leave a valid email address. If I don’t hear from the winner via email within 5 days, a new winner will be selected.) Learn more about the movie on the TNT website. Good luck!

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to our winner: Charlotte (Life's a Charm!).

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Getting Through Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is extremely common with children. Some start showing signs of it around 7 or 8 months of age. Other kids don’t demonstrate it until they’re older. The good news is that it’s a sign of healthy bonding. Young children have a hard time understanding that when you disappear, you’ll be back soon! All they know is that the one they love most in the world is leaving them. It can be tough on the child and, often, even tougher on the parents who have to peel those adorable little arms from their shoulders and hand them over to another caretaker. My twins are almost five, and they still give me a hard time some days when I drop them off at preschool, even though they’ve been at the same school for three years and love it there. Their teacher tells me they’re fine about a minute after I’m gone, but it’s still stressful dropping them off each day, not knowing if they’ll leave me with a smile or tears.

It’s tempting to try to sneak out the door when dropping your children off at school or daycare, but experts say that this will cause even more problems in the future. Instead, it’s best to give your child a reassuring kiss, tell her that you’ll be back soon, firmly hand her over and leave. You might give her a time that she can understand for your return, such as, “I’ll pick you up soon after your afternoon nap.” (Just make sure you do as you say!) Most parents call the daycare provider and find that their child has settled down soon after they’ve left. In very rare cases, if your child continues to show signs of extreme stress, such as nightmares or physical ailments, you may need to have her evaluated for an anxiety disorder. But in the majority of cases, separation anxiety is just a phase your child will eventually overcome.

I recently came across a very cute book for preschoolers that helps them handle separation anxiety. Oscar the Pig: Mommy Goes to Work, by Megan Calhoun, shows children that it’s normal to experience anxiety when a parent leaves them with a caregiver. In the book, little Oscar is left in the care of Mrs. Tutu, a nanny hen, who takes him on a magical adventure to China via a magic egg! Of course, this is all imaginary fun, but it shows children that they can have a good time while Mommy’s away. And at the end of the day, she returns and showers him with “piggy kisses”! I read the story to my four-year-old twins, and they both loved it. You can read more about Oscar the Pig at as well as order on Amazon.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sugar and Kids: Doing the Right Thing

[NOTE FROM SUSAN: As I ponder all the candy, soda, fruit juice and other sugary items in my pantry and refrigerator, I realize that my family’s diet might not be the healthiest. I’ve tried to convince myself that it’s fine because nobody in my family is overweight, but I know that obesity isn’t the only problem caused by too much sugar. So I asked Dr. Scott Olson, author of the book Sugarettes, to explain why families should cut down on sugar -- and how they can accomplish this seemingly impossible task. The following article was written by Dr. Olson.]

There you are, standing in the grocery store, reading the labels and looking for something that your kids will eat and something that doesn’t have sugar. You heard that sugar might be bad for them, so you try to pick the best foods you can, but you are confused.

Should you pick the snack you know they love or the one that is better for them but languishes in the pantry uneaten? Which should you choose -- fruit juice or soda? Maybe you can figure it out from reading the labels, but even that is a nightmare: You know that glucose is a sugar, but what about maltodextrin or dextrose?

All this is enough to make you go bonkers! Even if you are successful at stemming the tide of sugar coming into your house, your kids are often out of your sight and exposed to sugar in their daycare, their schools, or, if they are older … everywhere they can travel.

Consumption Junction

Our consumption of sugar has increased dramatically in the last few years. Most adults and children are eating 1/4 to 1/2 a pound of sugar every day.

A recent study by the journal Pediatrics, which focused on the sugar found in drinks, reported that 10 to 15 percent of our children’s total calories are coming from fruit juice or soda (and juice, from a sugar point of view, is no better than soda). Children and teens, aged six to eighteen, averaged 30 ounces of juice or soda every day (or 20 teaspoons of sugar) and younger children were drinking an average of 15.5 ounces of sugary drinks (for 10 teaspoons of sugar a day).

What is amazing about this study is that it only focused on sugars in drinks and not the cereal, cookies, jam, candies, crackers, ice cream and other foods our children are eating. Clearly, our children are eating a lot of sugar.

The Problem with Sugar

If you have ever wondered if sugar is harmful or not, let me put your mind at unrest: sugar is harmful. While there is not a single established medical association that has yet to speak up, there is mounting evidence that sugar is not just simply added calories that may rot our teeth, but an otherwise okay food source.

Sugar has two distinct characteristics that make it harmful.

First, it is addictive. While many people joke about the addictive qualities of sugar, scientists have uncovered that sugar is every bit as addictive as cigarettes, alcohol and even hard drugs. Rats that have become addicted to sugar act the same and have the same brain chemistry as rats addicted to those other “hard” drugs. So when you try to take sugar away from your children and they go crazy, you know that you are experiencing addictive behavior.

This is why we as adults also have a hard time staying away from the white stuff. Sugar has a powerful grip on us, and seeing sugar as addiction explains a lot of the behavior we see around sugar, including bingeing, cravings and even yo-yo dieting. If you feel constantly pulled by sugar’s sweet song, you are not alone.

Second, sugar damages the body, and it does so through three mechanisms.

Weight: The standard medical opinion of sugar is that it contains calories, so it may add to our growing obesity epidemic, but only because of the calories it contains. This is true, but sugar does so much more to add to our weight. When our blood sugar is raised to the high levels that occur when we eat sugar (and especially when we drink sugar), our bodies store that extra sugar-energy as fat. This is a unique aspect of sugar that doesn’t occur, say, when you eat a steak.

Insulin Insensitivity: Consistently high blood sugar leads to insulin insensitivity. When the cells of our body become insensitive to insulin, it creates a downward spiral to poor sugar control, including metabolic syndrome and eventually diabetes.

Toxic: Sugar is toxic in much the same way that cigarette smoke is toxic to the lungs of a smoker, but sugar harms our blood vessels. As sugar enters our blood stream, it damages the very blood vessels that carry sugar throughout the body. We see this damage dramatically in people with very high blood sugar (diabetes) whose eyes, kidneys, hearts, and nerves are all damaged by sugar. The same sugar damage occurs in people who are not diabetic, only at a slower rate.

Sugar is at least partly responsible for the ever growing epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease, and it even affects the brains and moods of our children.

Surviving in Sugar Land

For most of us, completely eliminating sugar from our children’s diet is an impossible task. Not only do we have to face our children’s and our own addiction, but our children are out of our sight for much of the day -- especially as they grow older.

In the study mentioned above in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that most of the sugar consumption (55-70 percent) occurred in the home, so parents do have a lot of control. Here are some ideas to help you control the amount of sugar your children is consuming:

Get rid of soda: Removing all soda from the house can dramatically cut down on the amount of sugar that children are eating. Fruit juice should also go, but many parents feel they need some sweet drink in the house. While fruit juice still alters blood sugar, it does contain some nutrients, so use with moderation.

Look for hidden sugars: While you won’t know if everything on a label is sugar, look for the OSE at the end of the ingredient. Examples of sugars include glucose, maltose, fructose, dextrose; this won’t help you find all the sugars, but it will take care of most of them.

Eat crunchy: Encourage your children to eat something fresh and crunchy with every meal. When we try this in our home, our kids always say potato chips are crunchy, and we have to say, no: fresh and crunchy. Good crunchy foods are carrots, celery, apples, pears, peaches … and really most fruit.

Eat fruit: For the most part, fruits, eaten in whole form, are much better and don’t cause a rise in blood sugar the way that juices made from the same fruits do. Try mixed berries with a little whipped cream as an afternoon snack. (Whipped cream makes anything fun.)

Stay away from artificial sugars: While the subject of artificial sweeteners is an article (or a book) in itself, let me say that these chemical sweeteners are harmful enough to recommend eating sugar over them. Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that shouldn’t be in our bodies, and we are just beginning to see the damage that they cause.

Sugar substitutes: The best natural sugars are Stevia and xylitol. Stevia is an herb that is super-sweet but has no calories, and it actually helps with blood sugar control. It takes some effort to learn how to cook with it, but it usually satisfies that sweet tooth. Xylitol is a sugar that has some benefits, including not increasing blood sugar dramatically, and it has also been shown to be an anti-cavity sugar.

What to do if you can’t stay away from sugars:

Know what keeps blood sugar low: If you cannot get sugar out of your life, you need to understand how to keep your and your children’s blood sugar low. The nutrients that keep blood sugar low are: protein, fats and fiber. So the best way to eat a sugar is to eat it in a meal where protein, fats and fiber are present. This means giving children their dessert right after dinner, or having them include other foods (that contain a protein, fat or fiber) with their snack. So don’t pass out the cookies without, say, a hot dog. Don’t give a juice box without, say, peanut butter. Peanut butter (especially the non-added sugar kind) makes everything taste good: put it on apples, carrots, celery … whatever they will eat.

Sugar Challenge

You are in for a challenge when you try to keep sugar away from kids; doing the right thing is hard. Every step you make to remove sugar is a step in the right direction. Sugar is a powerful foe, but you can lessen the damage with a few simple changes in what you are offering your children. Good luck and good eating!

Dr. Scott Olson is a naturopathic doctor, expert in alternative medicine, author and medical researcher. Spurred on by his patients’ struggles with sugar addiction, he was determined to discover just how addictive and harmful sugar can be and ways to overcome that addiction. The result of that study is his book
Sugarettes, which describes the addictive qualities of sugar and the harm that sugar does to our bodies. Dr. Scott also maintains a blog (, which highlights the latest in health and healthy living.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teaching Our Children That Giving Is Better Than Receiving

This time of year, my mailbox gets flooded with mailings from charitable organizations asking for donations. The needs are great this time of year, and I wish I could afford to support every one of them! Unfortunately, most of us have to make the difficult decision to narrow our choice down to just a few. Often, we give to those organizations that move our hearts. If we have a loved one with a particular illness, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease, we want to encourage research on those conditions. If we’re parents or grandparents of young children, we may feel moved to support organizations that help sick children. As a parent myself, I’ve been greatly inspired by a campaign called Project Good Gift, which raises funds for finding treatments and cures for illnesses that especially impact children. What really impressed me, though, was the way in which Children’s Hospital Boston has structured the Project Good Gift campaign. It actually encourages children to become involved in the joy of giving and sacrifice. Here’s more information:

Project Good Gift ( from Generation Cures, launched by Children’s Hospital Boston, is an inspirational holiday giving campaign for children and their families that lets kids be heroes by “giving it up” for other kids. With Project Good Gift, kids choose to give up receiving a holiday gift — like a game or a toy — and ask family and friends to make a “good gift” donation to Generation Cures in place of their present. All funds raised through Project Good Gift will support life-saving research programs at Children’s Hospital Boston that enable doctors and scientists to explore new cures and treatments for sick kids all over the world.

An easy and impactful way to give back during the holiday season, Project Good Gift teaches kids that giving can be just as great as receiving. In contrast to traditional holiday giving campaigns for adults, Project Good Gift puts kids in the driver’s seat, giving them the pride and satisfaction that comes with personally taking action to help other kids. With Project Good Gift, kids get to be the philanthropic leaders in their families — encouraging and equipping the adults around them to make a difference.

“New pediatric research dollars are critical to finding cures for serious childhood diseases and illnesses such as autism, diabetes and pediatric cancer — the need is profound,” said Jan Cady, chief philanthropy officer at Children’s Hospital Boston. “With Project Good Gift, kids see that even the smallest sacrifice, like one less holiday gift, can make a major impact when combined with similar acts of generosity from others. These lessons about giving are especially important this year, when so many are struggling to do more with less.”

Project Good Gift was unveiled just two weeks after the launch of Generation Cures (, a first-of-its-kind web-based philanthropic community for tweens. Kids and parents can visit the newly launched Generation Cures website and click on the Project Good Gift icon to give up a gift to help cure other kids. In the process, families can enjoy the free original games, stories and videos on the Generation Cures site. Created by award-winning educators and designers, Generation Cures’ content teaches kids to care about others, understand the concept of giving and believe they can make a difference in the world.

“Today’s kids really want to make an impact, and the children who participate in Project Good Gift will be so proud to know their kindness is changing the lives of other kids,” commented Cady.

Children’s Hospital Boston is a leading source of life-saving treatments, groundbreaking research and compassionate care for children in New England and worldwide. In its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” issue, U.S. News and World Report has rated Children’s Hospital Boston one of the top two children’s hospitals for 19 consecutive years. Children’s Hospital Boston has the largest and most active research program at a children’s medical center.

I encourage you to talk to your kids this year about making a difference in the lives of other children. Help them to recognize that good health and financial security should never be taken for granted. Show them that even a modest effort, such as giving up a single gift and contributing to Project Good Gift, can make a big difference in the life of another child. Teach them that giving is the true message of Christmas.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Preparing Your Heart for the Holidays

If you’re like most people, you love Christmas, but not the stress that accompanies it. The holiday season is supposed to be filled with love and laughter, but this year promises to be especially tough for a lot of families. Money is tighter, and jobs are uncertain. Credit cards are maxed out, and bonuses aren’t likely to be issued. You hate the thought of having to tell your children that they can’t have the big-ticket items on their list, or having to phone your relatives to request that you all cut down on the gift-giving this year. So, approaching Christmas with the right mindset is very important. Despite what the commercials say, it’s not about the toys or the money or the video game systems. It’s about love and hope and family and a little baby in a manger. Perhaps we need to focus on our hearts instead of our bank accounts.

My family has certainly been guilty of this emphasis on the material aspect of the holidays. Every year, my mother looks at all the presents under the tree and says, “We did too much!” Then she says, “Next year, we need to cut back.” But the following year, it’s the same scenario. I’m certainly not against gift-giving, but I think we sometimes feel empty inside because we haven’t focused enough on acquiring the real Christmas spirit. Women are especially vulnerable to this as we’re often responsible for selecting gifts for extended family, making the holiday plans, getting the cards mailed, arranging for the family photo, getting the groceries, making the cookies, and…the list goes on and on. So, this year, I decided to take a little time each day to express my gratitude and reflect on what Christmas really means to me.

I recently found a book that is going to help me do just that. It’s called Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas, by Maria Rodgers O’Rourke. It’s a devotional journal that reminds us that we can still find God during this very hectic and stressful time of year. The book begins on Thanksgiving Day and goes through the first week of January. Each day includes a Bible verse and a story or message from the author. In the journal section for each day, readers fill in what they are grateful for, their intentions for the day and their to-do list. (Notice that gratitude comes before thinking about what needs to get done!) I’m really excited to start this book on Thanksgiving because it will encourage me to take ten minutes a day to cherish the joy of the season, despite all the craziness going on around me.

In addition to using Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas, I encourage you to visit the author’s website at Maria Rodgers O’Rourke is a popular speaker, columnist and radio host, and has been involved in church ministry for more than 20 years. You can sign up for her email newsletter to help you stay in the Christmas spirit, and you’ll receive a free bonus document called “The Seven-Step Action Plan for a Great Christmas.” So, give the first gift of Christmas to yourself! Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas is only $10.15 on Amazon, and it’s a gift that will save you a lot of anxiety this holiday season. Rejoice!

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Review and Giveaway: Kubit2me Games

My family has always enjoyed playing games. It’s a great way for adults and kids to bond and share some laughter over a little friendly competition. Games make great gifts, too, especially for the holidays! After the presents are opened, everyone can gather around the table after dinner and join in on the fun. Many people play the traditional games, like Scrabble or Monopoly, but I often like to discover something new. So, I’m excited that I found a new line of games this year for our family. Played with a really funky fuzzy cube -- yes, really! -- the Kubit2me games are so much fun! These unique games are winners of the 2008 Creative Child “Game of the Year” Award. They encourage interaction and communication between parents and kids, but in a relaxed and fun setting. But, best of all, your kids will love them. The games include:

Now You’re Talkin’

In this high-energy game of self-expression and social interaction, thought-provoking questions get tossed from player to player. Now You’re Talkin’ encourages open and honest communication about engaging topics where every player’s opinion is important and valued. Game questions focus on beliefs, opinions, relationships, memories and just about any topic that affects our everyday lives!

Truth or Dare

This is a new twist on the traditional Truth or Dare game that ’tween and teen girls love to play at sleepovers! If you score a point, you get to grab a glitter bracelet from the cube’s hidden compartment. Yes, you wear your points! The first person to score ten points (bracelets!) wins!

Lil’ Scholars

If you’ve got preschoolers or kindergartners at home, you’ll want to check out Lil’ Scholars. They’ll love the fuzzy cube and its pockets, and they’ll have so much fun they won’t even mind that they’re learning about ABCs, vocabulary, number recognition, counting, sequencing and more. Even comes with reward stickers!

You can also purchase “bonus boxes” for all three games, which provide more cards, stickers and bracelets. To purchase games or bonus boxes, please visit the Kubit2me website at You can either order online or visit their list of retailers to locate a store near you.

GIVEAWAY: Would you like to win a Kubit2me game? I’m thrilled to announce that the company is offering a giveaway of one of each game: Now You’re Talkin’, Truth or Dare, and Lil’ Scholars. Here’s how to win: Visit the Kubit2me site at and find the game that interests you most. Come back to this site and leave a comment telling me which game you’d like to win and what you like most about it based on the description. Giveaway ends December 2, 2008. One entry and one game per person please.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winners: wwe11 -- Truth or Dare; lilyk -- L'il Scholars; blueviolet -- Now You're Talkin'!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blog Catalog Tour: Self-Help Books and CDs

What follows is a list of books and CDs compiled for a special “Blog Catalog Tour” that are intended to offer guidance or enjoyment in today’s tumultuous times. As we approach the holiday season, you may want to consider purchasing these titles and/or listening to the music.

[Note from Susan: I have not personally read these books (other than my own) or listened to these CDs, but have agreed to participate in this Blog Catalog Tour by sharing this list with you. I’ll leave it up to you to check them out through the contact information provided.]


Money and Manifesting by Dyan Garris
Why the Law of Attraction is not enough to manifest and exactly what to do about it. Learn to manifest in a multi-dimensional, integrative way.

Diagnosis: Lupus, The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient by Marilyn Celeste Morris
When she was suddenly assaulted by myriad baffling symptoms of joint pain and extreme fatigue, the author embarked on an intensive search for diagnosis and treatment of what would be diagnosed as systemic lupus erythematosus, a little-known autoimmune disease that promised to destroy her body, her mind and her spirit. From the pages of her intimate daily journal, we travel with her through chronic joint pain, frustration, anger and grief for her former self to her current state of remission. Far from being a litany of complaints, the author’s pages reveal her unexpected spiritual growth and gratitude for life itself, and she hopes she can be of help to others who suffer from this disease or other chronic illness.

Invisible Blueprints -- Intuitive Insights for Fulfillment in Life by Diane Brandon
5-Star Rating on
Invisible Blueprints encapsulates information Diane Brandon has gained through her integrative intuitive counseling work with clients and covers such topics as personal growth and unfolding, essence, relationship types, soul agreements, purpose and mission, reincarnation, spectrum of consciousness, manifesting, and even how readings are evolving from “fortune-telling” to counseling and personal facilitation.
Available on and

Law of Achievement: Discover Your Purpose, Possibility and Potential by Kathleen Gage and Lori Giovannoni
Law of Achievement offers a rare look into what it really means to discover your purpose, possibility and potential. Kathleen and Lori dare to reveal uncommon and rarely explored philosophies in this unique book.

Message of Hope: Inspirational Thoughts for Uncertain Times by Kathleen Gage
Message of Hope offers invaluable, inspirational, highly recommended perspectives for dealing with life’s uncertainties, especially those arising from change, loss, death, and fear. Each single-page observation is worth of contemplation and reflection.
Kathleen Gage, The Street Smarts Marketer, P.O. Box 551, Pleasant Hill, OR 97455
541-654-0426 (blog) (spiritual blog)

A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss by Elaine Williams
Midwest Book Review -- 5 Stars
A widow’s journey through loss, grief and renewal

How to Heal from Psychic Attack: The Problem Solvers Alphabet by Nita Hickok
ISBN 1411688708
The Problem Solvers Alphabet uses symbols to cleanse, clear and resolve problems in the person’s life to empower them in all of their decisions.

Beneficial Law of Attraction: The Manifestation Teachings
The Living Word of Kuan Yin: The Teachings and Prophecies of the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy by Hope Bradford
Bringing to Beneficial Law of Attraction: The Manifestation Teachings her extensive studies in ancient and contemporary wisdom and philosophy, Ms. Bradford has acquired more than a quarter of a century of expertise in clinical and transpersonal hypnosis. In spite of her extensive professional credentials, she could never have imagined the singular psychic event that would transform her life. Commencing in the winter of 2004, a hypnosis client, Lena Lees, spontaneously channeled twenty-eight sessions delineating Eastern goddess of Compassion Kuan Yin’s modern spiritual scriptures. Witness and transcriber of these sessions, Ms. Bradford then compiled them into the extraordinary manuscript, The Living Word of Kuan Yin: The Teachings and Prophecies of the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy. Distilling from that work the essence of the goddess teachings, Ms. Bradford now brings to you the highlights of Kuan Yin’s world-renowned compassion along with the next generation of manifestation sciences.

Storm by Joyce A. Anthony
Who he is and why he’s here is a mystery, even to Storm -- a mystery that can only be solved within the whirling rainbow. As he searches for answers, he touches the lives of society’s forgotten, and when he finds his identity, nobody is left untouched.

A Book Inside: How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story by Carol Denbow
Learn to write a book, what publishing options you have, and how to market for success!

Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power by Holly Engel-Smothers and Susan M. Heim
Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power offers practical and fun ways for parents to develop and nurture maximum brain power from the womb to baby’s first birthday!

Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year by Bettie B. Youngs, Ph.D., Ed.D., Susan M. Heim, and Jennifer L. Youngs
With its realistic portrayal of the many ways that life is changed after the baby is born, Oh, Baby offers practical advice and sensitive know-how to help you survive -- and even thrive! -- in the first year.

It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence by Susan M. Heim
In It’s Twins, parents of multiples tackle the important questions on raising twins of any age with plenty of tips, tales, tricks-of-the-trade, trivia and more.

May I See Your Hand? Palm Reading for Fun and Profit by Myrna Lou Goldbaum
A how-to book for Asian Palmistry. All the information everyone needs to go forward with a mate or to learn how to find theirs. Also, 46 short stories from soul mate palm reading clients.

Soul Mate Connections: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Relationships, Love, Romance and Soul Mates by Myrna Lou Goldbaum
The title/subtitle give away the whole story of this book!

Diary of a Palm Reader by Myrna Lou Goldbaum
Palm reading sessions from 1956 to 2003

Myrna Lou Goldbaum
PO Box 19081
Boulder, CO 80308

Healing the Shadow
An in-depth look into the human shadow, how it affects us and how to heal it.

A book for the advanced spiritual seeker providing a host of helpful techniques and insights.

Journey to Enlightenment
A contemporary view into the transformational process called life.

Ross Bishop
201 Jefferson Drive, Palmyra, VA 22963-2325
(434) 589-3902
web site:

Owen Fiddler
Sing along to the tune of the Beatles’ “Nowhere Man”:
Has a selfish point of view, why he’s such a fool, no clue. Isn’t he a bit like me and you?
Owen, man, please listen. You don’t know what you’re missing.
Owen, man, your world is at your command!

He’s no role model for you or your kids, but reading his story will learn ya a thing or two, and that’s a fact. This is an entertaining, thought-provoking, humorous and spiritually insightful book which will surely have you thinking about your own life. Hey you -- yeah, you! Do you like to dance? Don’t forget to pay the fiddler!

Meet Your True Self Through Meditation by Swami Shyam
A view of the Self through the eyes of the enlightened being. Reading this book transforms one’s consciousness into the state of meditation and knowledge of the Self as the free Space. Written in an engaging and intimate style, the text explains what to expect from meditation with a gentle explanation of the practice, and includes anecdotes; a clear description of the meaning of the super state of consciousness; references to the Bhagavad Gita; and the technique of meditation that anyone can follow.

Juliana by Adelle Laudan
Juliana’s healing journey after an abusive marriage.
BUY link:

In Silence, Discovering Self Through Meditation by Jane Rosalea Booth
ISBN: 978-1-4251-2004-7
A simple daily approach to meditation, ancient wisdom and inner peace, In Silence, Discovering Self Through Meditation is a guide for exploring our inner sanctuary and reminds us to live each moment from the natural, peaceful place where we are closest to God.
e-mail:; blog:
To order: or

Once Upon a Time There Was You: Three Magic Secrets to Finding Your Real Self by Maia Merril Berens
More than just another self-help book to discover new ways to find yourself, but rather a journey to the center of yourself and back out again that gives you the key to YOU and also helps you to fit it into the lock and turn it.
PO Box 19081, Boulder, CO 80308
310-264-5625 or

Core of Your Business by Kaya Singer
An empowering workbook to help you get in touch with the core of your business. Exercises for listening and strengthening your small business.

Living in Courage (eBook) by Debra Oakland
A spiritual oasis for overcoming life’s biggest challenges

The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write by Mark David Gerson
A dynamic blend of inspiration and instruction for anyone in any genre seeking to write more effortlessly, flowingly and engagingly.

The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy by Mark David Gerson
The critically acclaimed, award-winning visionary novel that will change your life.

Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy) by Donna Sundblad
ISBN-10: 1934258245, ISBN-13: 978-1934258248
Five planets visibly align in the dawn sky marking the long-awaited Kamali’s Cycle. Based on ancient prophecies, Elita’s faith carries her to the first portal where she is faced with a choice: the risk of never seeing her home again. Upon entering the first gate, there’s no turning back. Her faith quest thrusts her into a one-way race against time, before the planets move out of alignment and the gates close for another 50 years. Follow Elita on this life-transforming mission to free her home world.
Amazon Link:
Fictionwise Link:

Windwalker (Fantasy) by Donna Sundblad
ISBN-10: 0977222489, ISBN-13: 978-0977222483
The peace-loving Stygian people trust in their ancient prophecies predicting the coming of the Arich -- their savior. Paranoia and fear prompt the issuance of royal Jonnick decrees designed to thwart his coming. Midwives ordered to report the birth of any child born on a moonless night know it means death to the child. Effects of the law trickle to the present where Manelin, a social outcast, and Jalil, a lame Jonnick girl ordered to be killed at birth, find themselves thrust into the midst of unfolding prophecies and a world on the verge of annihilation.
Amazon Link:
Fictionwise Link:

Bartlett’s Rule: A Novel About Love, Patience & Hope by Chelle Cordero
Reach the author at:

Polarizing Your Life Toward Perfection by Philip F. Harris
Alter your life and your reality and learn how to use The Law of Attraction!

Collected Messages: Guides for Personal Transformatiom, Book I and II by Philip F. Harris
Discover tools for better health, relations, abundance, awakening and more.

Jesus Taught It, Too: The Early Roots of The Law of Attraction by Philip F. Harris
In the top 2% of all books at Amazon since October 2007. 2nd edition now available from All Things That Matter Press

Books by Philip F. Harris available from and (just type in the title under books).

CDs, MP3s

Eight and Beyond. Title track from Eight CD by Dyan Garris
Part of the Spiritual Toolbox(TM), this CD is 12 tracks of music for ascension and is #8 in the now complete series of music and meditation for Automatic Chakra Balance(TM), relaxation, help in sleeping, and vibrational attunement of mind, body, and spirit.

Elements of Grace. An MP3 from the recently released Eight CD by Dyan Garris. Part of the Spiritual Toolbox(TM), this CD is 12 tracks of music for ascension and is #8 in the now complete series of music and meditation for Automatic Chakra Balance(TM), relaxation, help in sleeping, and vibrational attunement of mind, body, and spirit.

DVDs by Gurutej: Go to to purchase
Awakening the Intuition for Women: Our intuition is our link to the source of all creativity. Losing this gift is one of our biggest losses; it is losing the inner voice of our soul.
Mental Clarity: Would you like to be more clear, alert and present in the moment? If yes, this is your new best friend.
Strengthening the Immune System: Stress compromises our immune system and today we all need help to uncompromising it. This is the support for your immune system that is always available to you.
Kundalini Yoga for Balanced Chakras: Your energy centers are crucial to every part of your life. This will help you have a balanced life. Try it.

Blessings by Gurutej

A Journey Within Meditation -- Introductory Guided Meditation by Diane Brandon
An introductory guided meditation recorded by Diane Brandon, integrative intuitive counselor, radio host, and author. This meditation, almost one hour in length, allows you to experience meditation by going to a deeper level of consciousness, as well as to find your own answers within and achieve deep relaxation and relief from stress. Diane’s voice is soothing and expert, as well as adept in guiding people into deeper levels of consciousness. Available as MP3 file or CD. For more information or to order, go to either or Contact Diane at

Healing Methods (CD)
Advanced healing methods for the spiritual seeker.
The Shamanic Journey (CD)
The ancient shamanic journey process explained.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Glow Mama: A Natural Juice Drink for Moms and Moms-to-Be

I’m one of those women who loves being pregnant. Yes, even with twins, hard as it was, I was sad for my pregnancy to come to an end (especially since it would be my last one). Except for the morning sickness, I like everything about being pregnant -- feeling the baby (or babies) move, wearing cute (and not so cute) maternity clothes, getting tummy pats from friends and families. But one thing I do recall disliking was being advised to drink a lot of water. I’ve never been a water lover, so it was always torture for me to try to increase my water intake during pregnancy. However, I recently found out about a product that would have solved that problem for me -- Glow Mama!

Glow Mama is a natural juice drink that “keeps you happy, healthy and hydrated with the crisp, refreshing taste of New Zealand kiwi.” It contains things your body (and baby) needs, such as fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamins B3, B6 and B12, calcium and iron. Best of all is what it doesn’t have: artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors; caffeine; lots of calories; or fat. The taste far exceeds plain water in yumminess, and you can either drink it alone or make a mocktail with it! (Delicious mocktail recipes can be found on the Glow Mama website.)

Fortunately, you don’t have to be pregnant to benefit from Glow Mama. It’s good for nursing moms, sick moms, busy moms…any moms! In other words, it’s a healthy drink for anyone who wants an alternative to soda, caffeinated drinks, or even water. And it’s endorsed by the American Pregnancy Association. You can buy Glow Mama through their website,, or at many San Francisco Bay area stores (listed on the site).

I really wish Glow Mama had been available when I was pregnant with twins in 2003. Fortunately, I can still drink it and enjoy its nutritional benefits. And I noticed there's a Glow Mama Gift Pack that I can purchase for the next baby shower I attend! Would you like to win a Two Week Taster of Glow Mama? Just leave a comment below about why you'd like to win Glow Mama, and I'll randomly select a winner on December 1, 2008. For a bonus entry, tweet this contest on Twitter (to @ParentingAuthor), and leave me a comment here letting me know you tweeted. Enjoy!

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to Ohana Mama, who won the Two Week Taster of Glow Mama!

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Products to Keep Our Kids Safe:

When I was a kid, I remember having full rein of our neighborhood. My sister and I would take off on our bikes or on foot, especially during the summer (this was Michigan, after all), and the only rule was that we return home when the streetlights came on. My parents never thought twice about our safety or choice of location. They knew that we’d stay out of trouble and, most of all, that we’d come to no harm. Alas, those were the good old days. These days -- whether there is actually more danger or we just perceive there to be more -- most of us wouldn’t even consider letting our kids freely roam the neighborhood or be away from home for more than an hour or so without checking in by cell phone. We’re just much more concerned about our children’s safety these days.

So, I was really excited when I stumbled across a company called My Precious Kid, which specializes in products that help protect our children. My Precious Kid was started by Kay Green, a mother (of course), and has grown from a small online business that she started out of her home in 2001 to a recently acquired storefront office in Hillsboro, Oregon, with four employees. They ship 40-60 orders a day from their line of 120 child safety and baby gear products. Of course, I can’t begin to mention all of the products that they carry, but some of my favorites are:

• a DNA/fingerprint kit
• ID bracelets
• allergy labels
• seat belt adjusters
• cold packs
• bath tub alarms
• locks for refrigerators, toilets, etc.
• DVDs about safety
• folding potty seats and potty toppers (great for public restrooms)
• baby sleep positioners
• shopping cart covers
• BPA-free sippy cups
• kids’ dog tags
• …and much, much more!

They really have an amazing array of products, whether you’re expecting a baby, childproofing your home, planning a trip or teaching your kids about safety. Visit their website at or call 800-381-4577 to learn more about their products. Save 10% off your first online order at by entering voucher number 10WTR09 before March 31, 2009. (One coupon/discount per household.)

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Book Review: Faith & Doubt, by John Ortberg

My pastor is always quoting books by author John Ortberg, so I was really excited when I was offered the chance to review his latest, Faith & Doubt. The topic was especially intriguing because it’s one that often stays in the closet. Most of us have probably had doubts about God at one point or another in our lives, but we feel ashamed about lacking faith and often keep it to ourselves, hoping it will pass. But, in Faith & Doubt, Ortberg assures us that doubt is not the opposite of faith. In fact, it can actually strengthen our relationship with God! Ortberg admits that even he has struggled with faith in God. And great Christians like Billy Graham and Mother Teresa have also expressed feelings of doubt. It’s comforting to know that faith and doubt can walk hand-in-hand. So, this book answers the question: “Is it possible that doubt might be one of those unwelcome guests of life that is sometimes, in the right circumstances, good for you?”

John Ortberg is a master at using real-life stories and down-to-earth writing to explore the religious issues that we all grapple with. He tackled materialism in When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box. He spoke of fear and courage in If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat. And he wrote about having an intimate relationship with God in God Is Closer Than You Think. But, of all these issues, I think that doubt is a “biggie” in today’s world. It’s far too easy to wonder if God exists when we see tragedy and violence all around us. If there is a God, we tell ourselves, why doesn’t he stop all the awful things from happening? Why did he let a child die, or a house burn down, or a father of six lose his job? These are questions that all of us grapple with. It’s easy to have faith when things are going well, but much more difficult to hang onto when they aren’t.

Of course, doubt isn’t always okay. It can have very negative and serious consequences. “I often find myself wishing, given the damage that doubt can do, that God would just remove it,” writes Ortberg. “But he generally doesn’t. Maybe he has a reason not to.” Ortberg knows that God can use doubt to help us grow. “Sometimes doubt can do good in us. It can motivate us to study and learn. It can purify false beliefs that have crept into our faith. It can humble our arrogance. It can give us patience and compassion with other doubters. It can remind us of how much truth matters.”

In Faith & Doubt, Ortberg doesn’t shy away from the tough issues, but addresses them head-on. He answers the questions we have about belief and comforts us in our doubts. And, in closing, he explains why, despite his doubts, he chooses to believe. If you’ve never once in your life doubted God’s existence or promises, then feel free to skip this book. But if you are like most of us with imperfect faith, Faith & Doubt is eye-opening and highly recommended.

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