Archives for April 21, 2014

Beat Cabin Fever – Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments by Mike Adamick


Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments (April 18, 2014) by Mike Adamick is the science behind, “But,why, Dad?!”


Don’t get caught off guard by your kids’ science questions. You and your family can learn all about the ins and outs of chemistry, biology, physics, the human body, and our planet with a little help from popular dad blogger Mike Adamick – great for school vacations.


From Mike, “I’m excited to share all the fun kitchen sink science experiments I’ve done with my daughter over the years. Rockets. Eruptions. Neat experiments with air pressure and gravity. Fun ways to blend science into snack time. We’re big believers in tinkering and failing and trying again or just making stuff up and having fun. We’re also big believers in the idea that you don’t need to go out and buy a mess of supplies — you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen or medicine cabinet to explore the wonders of science right now. Think MacGyver meets Mr. Wizard. Now that’s how I like to spend my afternoons.”


Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments will bring out the mad scientists in your family–in no time!

We received this book to facilitate this feature and my son loves it! He can’t wait to try many of the Science Experiments in this book! Below is one of his favorites in the book:

Volcano-Before   Volcano-Process

Volcano-Final1   Volcano-Final2

Excerpted from Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments by Mike Adamick. Copyright © 2014 F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Photos by Mike Adamick.

About the Author: Mike Adamick (San Francisco, CA) is the author of Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects (Adams Media, 2013) and a stay-at-home dad who writes for the Adventures in Learning science blog at, The San Francisco Chronicle, KQED Radio, Disney’s parenting website,, and the Daddy Issues column on His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, McSweeney’s, Details magazine, The New York Observer, NPR, and other media outlets.


Volcano Time!


If you grew up watching endless Brady Bunch reruns you’re probably familiar with Peter Brady’s volcano—a mud-spewing, steep-sided science project that sent showers of muck and sludge all over Peter’s sister, Marsha, and her snooty friends. It was the coolest thing ever.


There’s a good chance that this one episode alone launched our love affair with kitchen-sink volcano projects—an experiment so simple that you and your lab partner can most likely do it right now with stuff you already have in the kitchen. All you really need is vinegar, baking soda, and a bottle to mix them in, but it is much cooler to use good ol’ fashioned backyard dirt to construct a volcano model around the bottle first and then conduct the experiment.

Either way you do it, this is a science experiment with serious thrills. But it also expertly mimics what happens under the earth’s crust to create volcanic eruptions.


Here’s Why It Works

When the solid baking soda (sodium bicarbonate—a base) mixes with the liquid vinegar (acetic acid—a weak acid), a chemical reaction occurs and forms a gas (carbon dioxide). All those bubbles and foam? They’re evidence of gas, and as the gas expands, it looks for an escape route for all that built-up pressure. So the foam and bubbles rise until they flood out of your bottle’s opening.

Pretty much the same exact thing is happening under the earth right now.

The earth’s crust is made up of many sections of superthick shell—65-plus miles thick!—called tectonic plates that are always moving, very slowly, over the much, much hotter inner earth. Most of the world’s volcanoes are found where two or more of these tectonic plates meet one another. Sometimes those plates shift and sometimes they collide, forming escape routes in the earth’s crust for molten rocks and gas, called magma. Much like the carbon dioxide in your baking soda–vinegar experiment seeks the quickest escape route to relieve pressure, the gases in the underground magma do the same thing before erupting out of a volcano.


Not all eruptions are alike, however. Sometimes the gases in the magma are easily released from the earth’s crust and the result is a slow, oozing spread of superhot lava. But sometimes the gases stay trapped beneath cooled magma and rock building up pressure until they erupt in violent explosions that can send ash and boulders flying up to 20 miles high. In fact, airplane pilots keep track of volcano activity around the earth, just to be sure they don’t fly into clouds of dangerous ash.

Here’s What You Need


Baking soda


A bottle (a good vase with a wide bottom and slender top also works well, but use whatever you can find)

Red food dye


Toilet paper

Here’s What You Do


1. First add the vinegar to your bottle and dye it red with food coloring. Then, rip out a few sheets of toilet paper and make a pouch for the baking soda. Use your string to tie the pouch and then insert the pouch into your bottle, using the bottle cap to hold the other end of the string so that the pouch dangles above your “lava.” (See Fig. 1.)

2. If you’re feeling super science-y/crafty, let your lab partner shape a volcano model out of backyard mud and dirt around the bottle. Note: you don’t have to do this, but go big or go home, right?

3. When your volcano model is ready, lift the cap and watch the pouch drop into the lava. It will foam up slowly, mimicking the slow buildup of earth’s gases, until the vinegar fully soaks the tissue paper. Then, the fun really begins, as the foam begins to climb the bottle, looking for an escape route. Just stand back, and watch the foam erupt. It’s really that easy!


Want More?

There are many, many ways to perform this experiment, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Try mixing the vinegar and baking soda in a bottle, and then quickly place a balloon over the bottle opening. While this doesn’t create a lava explosion, the gases will inflate the balloon. Pretty cool, right? Or, put baking soda in small snack-size zip bag and seal tightly with a bit of air in the bag. Place the baking soda bag in a larger zip bag that is filled with vinegar and seal that bag tightly, with as little air as possible in the big bag. Now use your fist to smash the tiny baking soda bag and stand back. You just made a sandwich bag bomb, using the same chemical reactions as your volcano.

For this one and many more, check out this book! My son and I highly recommend it!

More about the book:

From Rock Candy Crystals to Magnetic Fields, each of these fun science projects features easy-to-understand instructions that can be carried out by even the youngest of lab partners, as well as awesome, full-color photographs that guide you through each step.


Complete with 30 interactive experiments and explanations for how and why they work, this book will inspire your family to explore the science behind:


  • Chemistry, with Soap Clouds
  • Biology, with Hole-y Walls
  • Physics, with Straw Balloon Rocket Blasters
  • Planet Earth, with Acid Rain
  • The Human Body, with Marshmallow Pulse Keepers

Praise for Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects:

“From circus stilts to cupcakes, these creations are of the ‘anybody can do it’ variety—less Martha, more Everyman (or woman). A great Father’s Day gift for handy dads who want to cultivate crafty kids, too.” — Parade Magazine

“Wow, is it fun. And not just for dads, by the way. I’m impressed with the diversity of the projects which are perfect for both girls and boys, as well as moms and dads. Snatch it up before school’s out and you’ll be more than ready when summer hits. Or even Father’s Day.” — Cool Mom Picks

“Step-by-step instructions for superhero capes, eggshell cupcakes and a backyard swing set are included, all with a no-coddling, do-it-yourself mentality.” —San Francisco Chronicle

The projects in Mike Adamick’s new craft collection, Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects, aren’t designed for experts–just families who want some good, possibly quite messy fun.” — Huffington Post Parents

Mike Adamick (San Francisco, CA) is the author of Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects (Adams Media, 2013)and a stay-at-home dad who writes for the Adventures in Learning science blog at, The San Francisco Chronicle, KQED Radio, Disney’s parenting website,, and the Daddy Issues column on His work has also appeared in The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, McSweeney’s,Details magazine, The New York Observer, NPR, and other media outlets.

Self Disclosure: I received a book for free to facilitate this feature but any opinions expressed are truthful. Photo and Volcano Instructions credit as listed above.

Noah Zarc Books Giveaway!


About the Noah Zarc Books

Book 1

Noah Zarc Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert PeaseTitle: Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble (Book #1) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: July 22, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing (2nd Edition) Number of pages: 214 Recommended age: 9+

Summary: Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth… for the second time.

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (AudioBook) | Audible


Book 2

Noah Zarc - Cataclysm by D. Robert PeaseTitle: Noah Zarc: Cataclysm (Book #2) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: July 22, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing (2nd Edition) Number of pages: 234 Recommended age: 9+

Summary: Noah becomes embroiled in a mission that could cause the greatest cataclysm in the history of the solar system. Will his name, Noah Zarc, be forever linked to the most devastating crime in humanity’s existence, all because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (AudioBook) | Audible



Book 3

Noah Zarc - Declaration by D. Robert PeaseTitle: Noah Zarc: Declaration (Book #3) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: November 1, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing Number of pages: 226 Recommended age: 9+

Summary: As battles rage across the solar system, Noah must work to join together a rag-tag bunch of miners, farmers, and scientists who would rather just live in peace. With only a time-traveling ship full of animals and a general from the history books, the Zarc family has to stand against the full might of the Poligarchy. Will the truth about what really happened a thousand years in the past be enough to stop total war, or will Noah and his friends need to find another way to bring down a dictator?

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo



Special Omnibus Edition

Noah Zarc - Omnibus by D. Robert PeaseTitle: Noah Zarc: Omnibus (Special Edition) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: November 2, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing Number of pages: 630 Recommended age: 9+


In a future where Earth has been wiped clean of all life, and humanity has moved on to other worlds, twelve-year-old Noah Zarc and his family have embarked on a quest, in a time-traveling spaceship called the ARC, to retrieve two of every animal and repopulate a dead world.

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


The Buzz About the Noah Zarc Books

Book 1: “Pease’s strength as a storyteller lies in his ability to connect multiple time periods imaginatively, as well as Noah’s excited, fast-paced narration.” ~ Publishers Weekly

Book 1: “If I had read this book at age 10, I think it would have made me love SF just as much as reading Asimov did. If you like the non-stop action and humor of Rick Riordan’s Olympians books, I think you’ll also like Noah Zarc.” ~ Sher A. Hart, book blogger and author

Book 2: “This is another great mind-bender. The wild time jump details are fabulously thought out and cause some unexpected results.” ~ Michelle Isenhoff, Children’s Author

Book 2: “A well-written, adventurous read for young readers and even adults, Noah Zarc blasts through space and into your imagination.” ~ TKristufek, Amazon Reviewer

Book 3: “I was completely captured by the characters, the action and the issues and questions: set in fantasy but integrating concepts and engaging readers with a fun tale that teaches as it entertains.” ~ Gaele, Amazon Reviewer


About the Author: D. Robert Pease

D. Robert PeaseD. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn’t been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer’s Sirens. It’s not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters he brings to life.

Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+


* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: May 20, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, D. Robert Pease and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Navitas Naturals has the Best Snacks! Navitas Naturals Cacao Sweet Nibs and Cashew Nuts

Cacao-Sweet-Nibs     Cashews

I love products from Navitas Naturals because they are healthier and they just taste good. I was excited to receive the Cacao Sweet Nibs which is Organic Sweet Raw Cacao Nibs and they are tasty! I love adding these to my cereal, yogurt, coffee and smoothies! They have a dark chocolate flavor and you can actually just eat them straight out of the bag. Yum! But, you can find recipes to use them in on their website.  They retail for $5.99. I also received the Cashew Nuts and they are Raw cashews and they are healthy and tasty too! I just love adding these to salads or just eating them out of the bag! They retail for $9.99. Cashews are a  great source of iron and are a really tasty snack!

To find these and many more healthy and delicious products, check out Navitas Naturals.

Self Disclosure:  I received samples for free but any opinions expressed are truthful. Photo Credit: Navitas Naturals.

Serafino Glasses by Ozeri

41cwlb2NrDL._SL500_AA300_     41EcEkf35WL._SL500_AA300_

Looking for glasses that you can have hot drinks and cold drinks in and the glasses do not burn your fingers when there is hot liquid in them. Well..these glasses work perfectly! I can pour hot tea or coffee in them and they do not burn my fingers. I can also leave them in the freezer and they don’t freeze my hands when I drink cold drinks in them. I love these glasses by Ozeri! I can even put them in the microwave! I love that they are made of heat and shatter resistant glass and they really do seen stronger than your average glass. But, my favorite thing is that the glasses keep my drinks hot or cold without making my fingers too hot or cold. I love that these 12 0z glasses are available in a set of 4 and the 8 oz size is the perfect size for my son!

 Each set contains 4 handmade glasses designed for lifetime use. The Serafino glasses are completely microwave and freezer safe, and ship in an elegantly printed and carefully packaged box with a 1 year warranty.
You can find them at :
Self Disclosure: I received this product for free but any opinions expressed are my own. PhotoCredit: Ozeri.


Laura Mercier’s latest innovation – High Coverage Concealer, $28 available at all Laura Mercier counters!


This unique 3-in-1 concealer was designed to cover, de-puff and brighten under eye circles. The highly pigmented formula builds and blends flawlessly for professional makeup artist result and lasts all day. The concealer was formulated with honey, vitamin E and fruit acid to nourish and smooth skin, and comes in 12 shades, so you can find your perfect match.


Laura’s tip for application: Apply to under eye area using fingers in a patting motion. And remember, a little goes a long way!

Self Disclosure: No products received to facilitate this feature. Credit: Laura Mercier.

Hullabaloo Shy Kid Blues Hullabaloo Music 27 May 2014


With a ten-year track record of glowing critical acclaim, having picked up fourteen national awards along the way, the beloved “free-range, organic” duo Hullabaloo raises the bar even higher with their 11th studio CD, Shy Kid Blues, set for release in May.  (Hullabaloo Music, $12.00, for ages 3 – 8, run time 37 minutes.)

Hullabaloo is Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer, buddies since kindergarten.  Shy Kid Blues mixes music and spoken word to tell the (mostly) true story of their friendshipwith Hullabaloo’s down-home, good-times musical ebullience and infectious humor at the forefront.  In telling their story, Steve and Brendan want to let kids (and parents) know that shyness doesn’t need to be a limitation.  Shy kids are capable of doing anything they set their minds to!

Explains Steve Denyes, “In an era when kids seem to have an overabundance of ‘screen time,’ we really wanted this to be a project where the audio would inspire them to create a picture in their minds rather than have one pop up on a screen.  In recording the monologues, we were inspired by classic radio shows like Prairie Home Companionand more modern versions like This American Life and Radio Lab, where stories are told in conjunction with sound effects that spark the imagination.”

Hullabaloo has made a career of creating “a foot-stomping, wing-flapping celebration of song that both honors and entertains kids and families.”  Storytelling alternates with songs throughout Shy Kid Blues.   The opening monologue, “A Very Quiet Baby,” sets the stage, with audio drops of a ’70s-style version of Hullabaloo’s “Run Bunny Run,” a rotary telephone, and a vintage manual cash register.  The album’s first song, “Talking Shy Kid Blues,” spins the fine yarn of Steve, a very shy kid, in traditional talking blues style à la Woody Guthrie. In the monologue “Just the Opposite” we meet Brendan, an outrageously gregarious kid. Musical highlights include the hand-clapping, gospel original “365 Days on Earth,” “Best Friends Forever” (in which Steve Denyes’ strong voice and clarity of diction remind one of Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson), “Earn It,” a three-chord scorcher in classic country style, “Brendan Rocks the Box,” where Brendan Kremer lays down the beat with his cajon (a wooden box drum), and “You Can Do This,” a tremendously affirmative message delivered with a tip of the hat to Kentucky bluegrass.

Among the major awards garnered by Hullabaloo are Parents’ Choice®, NAPPA, and Children’s Music Web.  Parents’ Choice®enthused, “They raise their own foot-stomping ruckus with humor, infectious energy, and appealing blend of country, folk, funk, and rock rhythms.”  Scholastic Parent & Child praised Hullabaloo’s “banjo, mandolin, and fiddle-powered fun.” wrote, “The two-man band has hit another home run with their cool collection of instant classics featuring all the folk, funk, and rock inspirations parents (and kids) are sure to appreciate.”

Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer really did meet in kindergarten and have been friends ever since.  Together they started playing music in the 5th grade band, where they vigorously exhibited their burgeoning talents on “Old MacDonald” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”  Little did they suspect that, decades later, these songs would still be among their biggest hits!

Steve grew up to be an elementary school music teacher, folksinger, and songwriter, while Brendan became a rock ‘n’ roll drummer.  The maiden voyage of Hullabaloo took place when Steve and Brendan teamed up to play a few songs at Brendan’s twin daughters’ first birthday party. Fast-forward ten years to find that Hullabaloo has performed more than 2,000 shows throughout the country at venues ranging from birthday parties to fancy concert stages like the Austin City Limits festival, Philadelphia’s World Café Live, and LEGOLAND.  Along the way they’ve released ten award-winning albums (at last count, with more than 30,000 sold) and developed a loyal following nationwide.

Shy Kid Blues will be available at,, iTunes, and virtually all online music services and retailers.

We received this fun CD to review! One of the things I really like is that this two-man band really does have an unique style and sound all their own! I highly recommend this CD for all children.

Highlights – Spring 2014

May 29       San Diego Botanic Gardens, Encinitas, CA – 6:00 p.m.

May 31       North Coast Repertory Theatre, Solana Beach, CA   Album Release Concert! – 10:30 a.m.

June 1        Fiesta Del Sol, Solana Beach, CA – 9:30 a.m.

June 1        Shir Energy Festival, Cardiff, CA – 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

Check out Hullabaloo’s website at

Self Disclosure: I received this CD for FREE to facilitate this feature but any opinions expressed are my own.