Product Reviews, Book Reviews, Fun Giveaways, And Life As A Mama! Supporting Our Troops And Veterans!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Coco Joy Water

New, health-conscious food products have been popping up all over the supermarket shelves. From almond butter, to chia pudding, there has been a greater emphasis on presenting healthier options for kids in the food isle, but what about the drink isle? Coco Joy, the first all-natural coconut portfolio, has recently launched Coco Joy Kids Flavored Coconut Water.

Made from 100% pure green coconuts, Coco Joy Kids has no added sugar, no preservatives, and no concentrates. And for any children with dietary restrictions, Coco Joy Kids is gluten, lactose and dairy free! Available in kid-friendly packaging designed for small hands, Coco Joy Kids offers all-natural coconut water in enticing flavors including: Strawberry, Banana, Watermelon and Pineapple, and proudly feature popular characters from Disney’s “Frozen,” Marvel’s “Avengers” and Disney∙Pixar’s “Inside Out.”

Hot Box Subscriptions

Hot Box was started after trying to find a subscription box tailored towards smokers. Disappointed by the options on the market, Hot Box decided to do it better. They are constantly working with wholesale suppliers, as well as your favorite brands to put their products in your box. They currently have one subscription box, the Lite Box. The Lite Box is aimed towards smokers who enjoy using papers, while The Hox Box, our flagship product, will be the full experience. Expect The Hot Box to launch in the coming months.

My Lite Box included:
1 really nice glass pipe
Some different papers and wraps of various flavors
A one-hitter

Check it all out at Hot Box on Facebook, as well as Hot Box on Twitter.

Christmas At Cartwright's DVD #201HolidayGiftGuide

With the holiday season at hand, single mom Nicky Talbot is unemployed and struggling to afford a nice Christmas with her 8-year-old daughter. Hearing that Cartwright’s Department Store is hiring temporary holiday help, Nicky rushes in to apply, but is rejected by Senior VP Fiona Aldrich, who considers Nicky a threat to the relationship she hopes to have with Bill, a charming and handsome store manager. In a whimsical turn of events, Harry Osbourne, claiming to be a consultant from corporate headquarters, encourages Nicky to dress up and begin working as Cartwright’s store Santa Claus. With the magical help of Harry, Nicky keeps the job, but nobody knows Cartwright’s Santa Claus is a woman. Will she be able to keep her job if her secret gets out? Celebrate Christmas At Cartwright's.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Best Christmas Party Ever DVD #2015HolidayGiftGuide

Jennie Stanton (Torrey DeVitto) throws the best Christmas parties every year for her company, Petra's Parties. Things are a little different this year, as Petra is retiring and looks to the next generation to take over. Jennie thinks she has her new job in the bag, until Petra's charismatic nephew, Nick (Steve Lund), shows up as "seasonal help" and his natural talent and confidence clashes with Jennie's stern work ethic and traditional values. The pair battle it out for the top job with unmistakable chemistry and symmetry, but when the new owners of the legendary Tyrell's Toys put the bottom line before Christmas spirit, threatening to pull the plug on Tyrell's Toys' annual Christmas party for the community, Jennie and Nick are forced to work together to throw the Best Christmas Party Ever.

Build A Knight's Castle #2015HolidayGiftGuide

Nothing sparks a child’s imagination quite like the fascinating world of turreted castles defended by gallant knights. With Build! A Knight’s Castle, children ages seven and up will enjoy hours of fun when they build a 3D medieval castle, fully furnished with knights, battle implements, and all the tools for a medieval siege! Parents and teachers will love the educational component, which combines history with the science of archaeology. When a castle is at center stage, imaginative play emerges from a foundation of learning. First, the book engages young readers with photographs, illustrations, and descriptions of real archaeological digs. Then, readers are drawn into the mythic world of medieval life through weapons, knights, castles and warring armies. Finally, children discover and interpret clues in their own excavation site, bringing the castle to life using pieces popped out of the heavy card stock in the back of the book. Figuring out the castle layout, how the pieces of the wall fit together, what’s located inside the courtyard, and how a trebuchet works is part of the fun and challenge. Written by archaeologist and educator Annalie Seaman, Build! A Knight’s Castle is a perfect birthday or holiday gift for curious young minds and is an excellent accompaniment to any child’s study of medieval times.

Caswell-Massey's Vintage Collection #2015HolidayGiftGuide

As America’s original apothecary founded in 1752, Caswell-Massey knows quite a bit about the treasures of yesteryear as well as enduring quality. If you love antiques, vintage clothing, and big band tunes – then you are bound to also love the new Vintage Collection from Caswell-Massey. Authentic, timeless and modern, Caswell-Massey’s Vintage Collection features three classic floral scents from this venerable brand – Lilac, Gardenia, and Honeysuckle – that have been brought back at the demand of the customers who have loved them for years and reformulated with pure ingredients. Stunningly packaged with an elegant and feminine vintage chic flair, this collection is sure to be loved by vintage enthusiasts of all ages.
The Vintage Collection from Caswell-Massey features three classic floral fragrances: Lilac - The 1928 silent film Lilac Time featured actress Coleen Moore, who was a quintessential flapper who helped popularize the bob haircut. Anyone who loves the 1920s and Gatsby style will adore Caswell-Massey Lilac, a luxe scent that embodies passion and renewal. The packaging features clusters of soft purple lilacs that will look pretty on the vanity.
Gardenia - It would be hard to picture chanteuse Billie Holliday without a cluster of gardenias in her hair. The fragrant gardenia is almost synonymous with jazz age glamour. Caswell-Massey Gardenia is a romantic fragrance the melds creamy white gardenias with lush green notes. Exquisitely soft yet intoxicating, just like the illustrations of magnificent gardenias that envelop the pretty packaging.
Honeysuckle - The song “Honeysuckle Rose” has been recorded by greats ranging from Louis Armstrong to Sarah Vaughan – a true classic. The honeysuckle flower is indeed itself a classic in perfumery. Caswell Massey has captured the delicate scent of coral honeysuckle that evokes the aroma of a summer garden and the overall beauty of nature. This fragrance is subtle and soft yet warm and inviting. Coral honeysuckle blossoms and the hummingbirds who love their sweet nectar make the packaging a true delight to display.

Check it all out at Caswell-Massey on Facebook.

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Five Ways Hospitals can Save on their Equipment Expenditures

Hospitals play an essential role in modern life. We are born, cared for, and, in many cases, die in hospitals: without doubt, many of us take them for granted. The prospect of an America, or, worse, an entire world, without these indispensable facilities is unthinkable.

We are told again and again of the health-care industry's financial woes, but do we really give the topic the attention it deserves?

Of the vast number of dollars invested into the United States health-care system each year, around $750 billion goes to hospitals. Despite this, hospitals are facing cuts and financial strains across the country, which has a massive impact not just on doctors, nurses, and other employees, but also on us – the patients.
Hospitals must save money wherever possible, but reducing the number of staff, limiting facilities, and ultimately offering patients less for their rising insurance payments, only serves to make the situation worse. In order to stretch funds further, and to make investments more effective, hospitals need to explore all the cost-cutting possibilities available to them.

One major area of investment is equipment: the huge amount of medical supplies used in hospitals on a daily basis means finding cost-effective solutions can help to reduce spending.

So, what can hospitals do to save on their equipment expenditures?
1: Share and Share Alike
As the internet has revolutionized the world of business with its capacity for innovative time-saving solutions, hospitals now can use online platforms to cut costs on their equipment expenditures.
A recent Boston-based startup, Cohealo, is encouraging hospitals to share supplies between themselves. Using a simple online platform, Cohealo enables hospitals to catalog and organize their inventory of equipment, providing staff with the power to order supplies from hospitals in their network with a quick tap.
Cohealo's third-party logistics arrangements ensure equipment is packed, transported, and calibrated by experienced professionals. Based on the early stages of using Cohealo, hospitals could expect to save up to as much as $5 to 7 million.
2: Use Third-party Vendors on Equipment Repairs
When equipment begins to show signs of malfunction, hospitals are likely to contact the original manufacturer to conduct repairs. However, working with third-party specialists is much more cost-effective, due to the lower prices these groups are likely to charge.
3: Buy Refurbished Equipment Instead of Brand New Models
Used medical equipment is a cost-effective solution for hospitals searching for ways to cut spends. While the prospect of second-hand supplies may sound like a cheap way of acquiring equipment at first, buying refurbished supplies from a reliable, experienced company is an effective way to save money.
Many different items are available, such as a refurbished endoscope selection, which are calibrated to meet, or exceed, the original manufacturer's specifications. In the case of a used endoscope, for example, a company is likely to perform strict testing to ensure the piece of equipment functions exactly as needed.
With used equipment, hospitals can make their money go farther, getting more for their investment. Another benefit is that staff can continue to use specific models of equipment that may have since ceased production: this reduces the time and resources needed to train doctors and nurses on new features, keeping their focus on treatment.
4: Repair Equipment Instead of Replacing
Hospitals may order new equipment when current models stop working as they should, simply discarding items that may well still perform as needed with a few tweaks.
Repairing medical equipment, rather than paying high rates for brand new, possibly updated models is a much more cost-effective solution. Reputable repair companies will work hard to return items to their original quality.
Companies selling repaired and refurbished equipment can help hospitals direct funds into other areas.
5:  Avoid Buying the Cheapest Equipment
The phrase “you get what you pay for” is both a cliche and often inaccurate: price does not always reflect quality. However, with regards to buying medical equipment, hospitals should avoid cutting corners and choosing the cheapest model available.
Opting for a market-cheapest item from a company with either very little standing or a poor reputation can lead hospitals to having low-quality equipment on their wards. With questionable equipment to hand, the reliability of items, and the safety of both staff and customers, may be threatened.

While hospitals should not feel pressured to buy the most expensive equipment available, from the biggest brands, they should be willing to spend money on good-quality items: buying the cheapest may well be a false economy. Companies supplying refurbished equipment are likely to offer decent prices without sacrificing the items' quality.

If hospitals are to save money and make investments reach farther, more funds will be freed-up to extend into additional areas of health-care. Ultimately, when hospitals begin to struggle with funding, resources will become restricted, and patients will suffer.
Reducing hospitals' equipment expenditure is an effective way to cut spending overall, and is giving hospitals the motivation to discover new solutions.

Kyle McManus is a freelance writer based in the UK. This article was prepared on behalf of Pro Scope Systems.

Home Alone: How to Keep Your Kids Safe

Parenting is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. Not only do you have to worry about raising your children, but you also have to worry about other people – bad people. Parents must stay vigilant. If possible, many of us would forgo work to concentrate on our kids. However, that is a pipe dream for most people. So what can you do when you can’t be home to watch your kids? Thankfully, technology provides a plethora of tools for parents to help keep kids safe.

First off, before you leave any child home alone, even briefly, you need to make sure that child is mentally and physically capable of taking care of himself while alone. Consult the U.S. Children’s Bureau's factsheet to help make the decision. It also covers some of the legalities involved with child self-care.

The Stats

You may be reading this thinking that people need to trust their children, that keeping tabs on them is a violation of trust, that kids need to be left alone to learn how to live or any combination of the aforementioned. If this is you, then please look at the following stats:
As you can see from the above statistics, it is important to know your child’s whereabouts at all times and to create a daily check-in schedule. Otherwise, they could become a statistic.

Surveillance Cameras

Keeping visual tabs on your children is the best way to ensure their safety. We like Lorex, a Flir company. Flir is one of the top names in the industry, which means you can't go wrong with their products. Plus, they offer contract-free surveillance cameras so there aren’t any additional costs outside of the original purchase. To make this effective, strategically place cameras inside and outside your home. You don’t have to get all 007 on your children. Rather, let them know where the cameras are located and that you will expect to see them at certain times.


There are numerous apps aimed at helping parents keep tabs on their children, which, in turn, will help enforce your daily check-in schedule. Here are a couple of our favorites:
Footprints is an app that allows parents to track their children in real time. The app sends notifications to the parent's iPhone or iPad, which can be shared with family and friends if needed.
TeenSafe takes child monitoring to the next level by allowing parents to see all their kid’s activities: text messages, incoming/outgoing calls, and social media posts. Parents can use the app without the kid’s knowledge.

Being Audrey Hepburn

Being Audrey Hepburn by Mitchell Kriegman

About The Book:
Lisbeth comes from a broken home in the land of tube tops, heavy eyeliner, frosted lip-gloss, juiceheads, hoop earrings, and "the shore." She has a circle of friends who have dedicated their teenage lives to relieve the world of all its alcohol one drink at a time. Obsessed with everything Audrey Hepburn, Lisbeth is transformed when she secretly tries on Audrey's iconic Givenchy. She becomes who she wants to be by pretending to be somebody she's not and living among the young and privileged Manhattan elite. Soon she's faced with choices that she would never imagine making - between who she's become and who she once was. In the tradition of The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, this is a coming of age story that all begins with that little black dress…

My Thoughts:
This is a great coming of age story. Fun to read, and fast paced. Would make a great stocking stuffer for a teen reader in your life!

About The Author:
Mitchell Kriegman is the author of Being Audrey Hepburn, and a novel called Things I Can't Explain - a modern day sequel to his groundbreaking cult classic 90s Nickelodeon show, Clarissa Explains it All. Kriegman's short stories have been published in The New Yorker, the National Lampoon, Army Man, Glamour, Between C&D, New York Press and Harper's Bazaar. He joined the team of Saturday Night Live as a filmmaker, performer and writer and contributed to the cult classic Mr. Mike's Mondo Video. Mitchell was also the executive story editor of the original Ren and Stimpy. Rugrats, Doug and Rocko's Modern Life. He created the children classics Bear in the Big Blue House, Book of Pooh, and It's a Big Big World and wrote Elmo in Grouchland and has written original screenplays for Rogue, Universal, Disney, Columbia Pictures and others. He is the winner of four Emmy Awards, the Director's Guild Award and an American Film Institute Fellowship as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mitchell began his career performing in the dark "An Evening of Stories and Tricks You Won't See Anywhere" and other original performance art works in New York at Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, Franklin Furnace, and throughout the country. His video works are part of The Museum of Broadcasting, Whitney Museum, London Institute among others.



Welcome to the fashion revolution. Hipknoties is an all-in-one infinity scarf wrap dress halter top skirt shawl cape one shoulder dress and much more. Unlimited style at its best.
Sarah Yonover, creator of Hipknoties, developed this clever yet simple fashion concept completely by accident. During summer 2011, when traveling to New York, Sarah would only bring carry on luggage. Being limited as to what she could pack, she took the infinity scarf that she wore on the plane and effortlessly turned it into a rocking one-shoulder dress when she landed. When she was stopped on the street multiple times to field inquiries about her awesome dress she knew that she was on to something special.
Hipknoties is simple yet chic, one size fits all garment, made in the USA. Hipknoties is offered in three different lengths; Short, Medium, and Long. “I have nothing to wear,” said no Hipknoties owner, ever. 

Check it all out at Hipknoties on Facebook.


Ripley's Eye-Popping Oddities #2015HolidayGiftGuide

Readers beware: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Eye-Popping Oddities! is now on sale. The book has been known to induce actual eye-popping, jaw-dropping, and head-spinning in people who stare at its pages for too long! Eye-Popping Oddities! is the annual collection of strange-but-true stories from Ripley Publishing and features 256 pages of mind-blowing stories of animals, feats, art, pop culture, the human body, and more. Readers of all ages will discover the oddest, funniest, most awe-inspiring stories on earth - worthy of returning to again and again. The book is available through all major booksellers. The book will be easy to find - just look for the five 3D eyeballs on the cover (they'll be looking for you.)
Inside lurks a collection of unbelievable stories.
Meet the "Austrian Rock," who uses his amazing strength to pull a 156-ton airplane!
Read about the man who built his own iron suit to stand in the center of a fireworks display.
Check out Jorge Ivan Latorre Robles, who can stretch his skin, pop out his eyes and dislocate his joints, allowing him to fold himself into a suitcase!
Get the lowdown on a goldfish that underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor.

Eye-Popping Oddities! makes the perfect holiday gift for teens, tweens or reluctant readers. Previous editions of the Ripley's annual have been recognized by the National Parenting Publication Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers List and the Parents' Choice Awards.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Great Kids Books #2015HolidayGiftGuide

The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A with 50 Fact-Filled Maps
 Be inspired by the inventiveness, beauty and diversity of the United States in this curious collection of fact-filled maps. Explore thousands of wondrous locations and be awed by the achievements of hundreds of people who helped make America what it is today. Celebrate, explore, enjoy!

My Big Book of Christmas Coloring, Songs & Activities
My Big Book of Christmas Coloring, Songs & Activities is filled with activities for kids of all ages! Packed with 96 pages of holiday-themed projects, this book will keep kids entertained for the twelve days of Christmas and beyond. With tons of bright and colorful illustrations and plenty of Christmas cheer, My Big Book of Christmas Coloring, Songs & Activities is the perfect gift for kids to help build the excitement for the upcoming holiday season.

Creaturepedia: Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth
Welcome to this collection of best-loved animals from all over the world, chosen for their special talents and characteristics, with fun illustrations by Adrienne Barman. Meet the architects, the noisy neighbors, the homebodies, the forever faithfuls, the champions of forgetfulness and more in this alphabetically ordered encyclopedia. Filled with fascinating facts, curious creatures, and characterful cartoons, this book will keep young explorers busy for hours.

How to Cook in 10 Easy Lessons
In the Super Skills series, kids can master a new talent in 10 easy lessons! How to Cook in 10 Easy Lessons is a comprehensive cookbook for aspiring young chefs that introduces children to the art of cooking and breaks it down to the basics in a fun and interactive way. Young chefs will learn key skills and practical techniques from a professional chef that will help them become experts in the kitchen in no time. Easy-to-follow recipes then help guide kids as they practice their newfound cooking skills. With an inviting format and step-by-step illustrations, this is the perfect book for kids to gain the confidence and skills necessary to learn how to cook themselves.

Crazy, Zany Cartoon Characters Drawing Book & Kit
Children will love learning about cartooning with this all-inclusive kit, which features interactive cartooning lessons and art supplies in an easily portable format for on-the-go fun and creativity. The secure magnetic closure houses all of the necessary tools and materials so that children can express their creativity wherever they are. This fun, colorful kit includes a 40-page drawing book, loose-leaf drawing paper, a drawing pencil and sharpener, an eraser, colored pencils, markers, and stickers. Featuring a variety of subjects, including quirky people and whimsical animals, as well as fantasy creatures, robots, and space aliens, Crazy, Zany Cartoon Characters Kit provides young artists with the essential concepts for drawing in true cartooning style. Each project starts with a simple shape, such as a circle or square, and then builds upon the previous steps, progressing to a finished full-color cartoon character. Along the way, tips and tricks from a professional illustrator are included to guide children in their artistic efforts, making this cartooning kit an experience that is sure to make drawing a new favorite pastime.