Archives for July 3, 2014

The Crew Goes Coconuts!: A Captain No Beard Story Volume 6 by Carole P. Roman


The Crew Goes Coconuts is a delightful, creative, imaginative story with a very important lesson for young children. The lesson is that everyone is different and shouldn’t be made fun of or not be liked because of their differences. Everyone has things that they are good at and things that they are not so good at. I love the fun characters such as Mongo the Monkey and Linus the Lion. Matie the Goat is the one who is different. For one, she doesn’t have a name that starts with a “G” for Goat and all the other animals have names that start with the letter of what they are. Captain No Beard is the insightful one who asks all the animals the meaningful questions of “what is something they like about themselves and something they don’t” and this helps the animals to learn that everyone has something about themselves that they don’t like. It also helps that Matie the Goat saves the day! But, you have to read the book to find out more about that! Very creative story and I love the colorful illustrations!


Islands fine burgers & drinks! The BEST place to go this Summer for Summertime Happy Hour and for family time!

Red Islands Logo

Last week my family had the opportunity to review the Islands Long Beach Pike location (55 South Pine Avenue) for lunch. This was actually a few days before my birthday and the only reason I mention that fact is because the lunch was just like going out for my birthday! The service was the best! I don’t even think there are enough words to describe how amazing the service was! Our server (Kelli) was simply awesome! I can’t remember ever having better service in a restaurant! But, on to the the food! We started with an appetizer and I have to highly recommend the Spinach and Artichoke Dip!



It is really good! I think that I ate so much of it, that I couldn’t finish my Northshore Tacos. But, don’t worry! I brought the one I couldn’t eat home with me. My son loved the Island Fries and the basket was really big! He was also quite excited about the Unlimited Root Beer (although he could only finish one)! He gives Islands a “thumbs up!”

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My husband tried the Hand Shaken Strawberry Daiquiri and was impressed but he was even more impressed with the Kilauea Burger and onion rings! Now, I also tried the Mangortita, which is a Frozen mango flavored Margarita..yum! It was a little strong but delicious! Now, back to the Tacos! I loved the Northshore Tacos! This is just the BEST place to go for lunch with the family. We were really impressed! I thought I wouldn’t have room for dessert but when I heard the words “Chocolate Lava“…well, I couldn’t resist and with my husbands help..I really did eat most of it…yes, it is THAT good! I thought I would be taking it home but it sure didn’t work out that way!

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islans                          Hawaiian Sliders

Islands also offers Summertime Happy Hour (Offering Stress Relief as their menu says!) Monday-Friday 3-7 pm in the bar. They offer a variety of appetizers such as Island Fries, Cheddar Fries, Beachside Sliders, Hawaiian Sliders and more! They also offer Drinks of course,  such as the Hand Shaken Strawberry Daiquiri and Beach Margs and they have really great prices! We didn’t go to Happy Hour since Islands was so awesome by letting me bring my son to the review. But, my son did love the Island Fries!

Check out the menu!

2014 Summertime Happy Hour Menu

Islands really is a great place for lunch or dinner with the family and for Happy Hour!

Self Disclosure: My family received free lunch as compensation to review this Islands Restaurant but all opinions expressed are honest and truthful. We can’t wait to go back! Photo Credit: Islands/SoCal City Kids.

July 4th Sun Essentials from Coppertone! Don't forget the Sunscreen!

WB Pure and Simple SPF 50    Kids Lotion - Tear Free   CT_CS_SunSpraySPF30_new_080613_Thumbnail

It’s almost the 4th of July! I know…time for BBQ’s, the beach, all those fun outdoor activities! But, don’t forget the sunscreen! During your prep for holiday barbeques and family beach trips, it’s important to remember that suncare is the ultimate summertime essential. The Coppertone closet is brimming with sunscreen classics to protect your family from the sun’s harmful rays this summer. Coppertone has always been a favorite of mine! I was quite happy to receive the following products to review on my website. 

         Coppertone Kids Tear-Free Lotion: Specially formulated to protect and keep children’s skin soft and smooth. The ultra-gentle, tear free formula won’t sting or irritate eyes, perfect for summertime activities. I love this one and even though it is for kids, I also have used it. I like that it is Fragrance & Dye free and has a Broad Spectrum SPF of 50. It is tear free with Zinc Oxide and many of us know that Coppertone is the #1 Pediatrician Recommended Brand!

         Coppertone WaterBABIES Pure & Simple Lotion: The #1 pediatrician-recommended product, specially formulated to provide broad spectrum protection for a baby’s delicate skin. The gentle, moisturizing formula is an essential for your water baby.   This one is also Tear Free and has a Broad Spectrum SPF of 50. I would highly recommend this product!  Both the Coppertone Kids and the Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple are Water Resistant (80 minutes).

        Coppertone Clearly Sheer for Sunny Days Broad Spectrum SPF 30: Fast absorbing sunscreen spray with a fresh, clean scent and love how lightweight it is! This is now my go-to sunscreen product for every day use! I actually prefer the Coppertone Kids for long days at the beach.

Additionally, Coppertone recently launched its second year of its Making the Sunscreen Grade program to provide parents with the tools and resources needed to protect children from the sun. I received the Guide to Sun Protection and found it very helpful. I loved the Sun-Savvy Tips for Summer Camp, the Pool, or Anytime.

Happy 4th of July!  Don’t forget the Coppertone!

Self Disclosure: I received free Coppertone samples to facilitate this feature but all opinions expressed are truthful and honest. Photo Credit: Coppertone.

Starchild book series by Vacen Taylor Giveaway Opportunity!

About the Books

Book 1: The Age of Akra

Age of Akra (Starchild, Book 1)Title: Starchild: The Age of Akra (Book 1) | Author: Vacen Taylor | Publication Date: March 6, 2013 | Publisher: Odyssey Books | Pages: 135 | Recommended Ages: 10+ | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)

Summary: When Mai is chosen to take a pilgrimage to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts to train with the oldest and wisest master of their people, an ancient prophecy is set in motion. The events to come have been predicted but are not unchangeable. When the Starchild returns to the planet of Sage, the foreknowledge of the prophecy begins to gain strength. Four children come together and become linked to the events that lie ahead. In The Age of Akra, the first stage of their journey has them facing the deadly spiderflax, only then to be confronted by a creature of the underworld, an evil Dementra called Amual. The struggle to bring peace to the world of powerful energies lies in the hands of these four children and a strange little lizard. And it will not come easy. This journey is only the beginning.


Buzz About Book 1

“The Age of Akra is a riveting, well-written, and imaginative story featuring an intricate plot and stellar cast of characters that is sure to be thoroughly enjoyed by tweens, teens, and even adults who love a great science fiction tale. This is a real page-turner and I highly recommend this book to children aged 10 and older. I just loved it and to think the author has seven books planned for the series … I’m salivating.” ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“What an imagination!! Absolutely fabulous. What a great read. The characters came to life so easily. Their physical descriptions have me a visual idea but their personalities evolved and developed quickly so they were my friends and heroes before very long. I cried when Mia was selected and was on the edge of my seat when it looked like Long wouldn’t make it. I couldn’t put it down. A very clever story with wonderful likable characters in amazing places with fascinating skills and weird animals. I went through a range is emotions with these characters where I wanted to hug them, love them, give them a good slap, protect and spend time with. I cannot wait for book 2. Highly recommend this series of books and hope they make a movie from it would be a blockbuster!!!” ~ 5 Star Review, Dannielle S., Goodreads

“Masterfully told from different viewpoints, Starchild is neither a “boy” nor “girl” book, but rather an everyone book. Struggling readers will enjoy the simple truths of the characters, and more advanced readers will delight in the journey of Mai, Long, and Akra. A journey that introduces multifaceted characters, whom I hope will make an appearance in subsequent titles in The Starchild Series, because I’m already attached to them. Even the slightest of creatures was placed in Starchild with the greatest of skill, care, and thought. Outstanding job, Ms. Taylor, and I look forward to continuing my journey through the series.” ~ 5 Star Review, C. Bullard, Amazon


Purchase Book 1

*Available as a 99 cent E-Book through Amazon *

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Ganxy | iTunes | The Book Depository


Book 2: The City of Souls

Starchild: The City of Souls by Vacen TaylorTitle: Starchild: The City of Souls (Book 2) | Author: Vacen Taylor | Publication Date:October 14, 2013 | Publisher: Odyssey Books | Pages: 137 | Recommended Ages: 10+ | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)

Summary: In The City of Souls, the pilgrimage to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts continues. Having already triumphed against dangerous adversaries in The Age of Akra, the four children — Mai, Long, Akra and Sahib — now face the evil melkarie and must escape to the City of Souls. When they reach the safety of the land of Naroan, in a city hidden under a blanket of living green, the children are confronted with the challenge of locating the Singing Soul. But the underworld is searching for it too, and will do anything to stop the young pilgrims from finding it. The prophesy is at risk of being extinguished unless the children succeed in their quest.


Buzz About Book 2

“The City of Souls is the second book in a science fiction fantasy featuring an intricate and engaging plot, well-developed characters who are faced with new challenges, a well-described setting reminiscent of Star Wars with a hint of Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones-style action and suspense. I’m in this series for the whole haul as I feel completely invested in what happens next as the prophecy continues to roll forward. I highly recommend this book as well as the series to science fiction aficionados ages 10 years and older looking for something a little different. ~ Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“The author graciously sent a signed copy of this 2nd book in her series to my daughter Emily. Emily read Vacen Taylor’s first book in the Starchild series: The Age of Akra. She very much enjoyed the adventure and getting to know the characters. Emily eagerly anticipated the next book! Emily was thrilled when her copy of The City of Souls arrived and did what she could do to avoid her homework so that she could sneak and read The City of Souls. She read the book with much interest and said that she loved every bit of it. As a parent, it’s a big comfort and joy to me when my kids find stories written for their enjoyment! The Starchild series captured the heart and imagination of my daughter. And she very much looks forward to book three.” ~ 5 Star Review, Vonda N., Goodreads

“Ms Taylor provides masterful descriptions that don’t bore the reader. Thank you. I think the writing is at its best in the action, but the character building, backstory and forewarning is all there and relevant to the overall building of good storytelling. I’m assuming the introductions to some of the other multifaceted characters will have relevance in future books. I do hope so. Overall, a great read for children who are looking for something refreshingly new and unique.” ~ 5 Star Review, Kirt T., Amazon


Purchase Book 2

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | The Book Depository


About the Author: Vacen Taylor

Vacen Taylor AuthorVacen Taylor is an Australian author, writer, occasional artist and amateur photographer. She loves creating stories for children and reading to her young readers. She is a happy person with a zest for life and exploring the world at large. Vacen collects comics and loves superheroes. Her favourite superhero is Spider-Man. Vacen also believes in expressing the uniqueness of self. She has had several short stories published for adults online. Starchild is her first novel for children and is the first book in a series of seven.

Book Website | Author Website | Twitter

Facebook | Goodreads | Google+


* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

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

Contest ends: August 1, 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, Vacen Taylor 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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MDBR Book Promotion Services

Have your little ones show their patriotism with MAM this 4th of July!

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Independence Day is right around the corner! Let your little one show off their patriotism with our USA motif pacifiers. We received samples and these are just perfect for the upcoming holiday (and really, for anytime!) They are really cute! MAM USA pacifiers are available at

More information:

MAM Pacifiers


MAM’s cutting-edge pacifiers combine technological innovation and trendsetting design to help give babies a healthy start in life.  Developed by leading pediatric dentists and developmental psychologists, MAM pacifiers provide maximum comfort and style for babies of all ages.


Clever design and lightweight materials make MAM pacifiers a pleasure to use.  All MAM pacifiers feature an orthodontically correct nipple design that allows little ones to safely satisfy their sucking reflex while maintaining proper jaw and tooth alignment.  MAM pacifiers feature an easy-to-grasp front knob and a curved shield for a comfortable fit that’s gentle on baby’s skin, thanks to generous air holes and MAM’s patented interior surface.


MAM pacifiers are available in an assortment of colors and design motifs, and come in two nipple options: patented anti-slip Silk Teat™ Silicone or Natural Latex.  Like all MAM products, the brand’s pacifiers are BPA-free, PVC-free, lead-free and CPSIA-Compliant.

Suggested retail price: MAM Pacifiers, $7.49 for a pack of two



About MAM

Founded in Vienna, Austria in 1976, MAM offers real solutions for real parenting with an award-winning range of smart and simple products. A global leader in the baby care category, MAM’s mission is to combine the best in technological innovation, medically sound function and contemporary design to provide innovative baby care products essential for a child’s early years.  The MAM collection includes pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, and oral care items.  MAM is sold in over 30 countries and five continents.  For more information about MAM products, please visit


Follow MAM:


Twitter: @MAMBABY


YouTube: Subscribe to MAMbabyUSA



Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post but any opinions are truthful and honest. Photo Credit: MAM.