Archives for October 15, 2015

Introducing Little Secrets for Halloween!

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Little Secrets, a new, premium, natural candy-coated chocolate with no artificial ingredients, flavors, colors or corn syrup brings the fun back to small indulgences with its line of four amazing chocolate candies.

Little Secrets offers conscious consumers four premium flavors of candy-coated chocolate made with high quality ingredients. The line features four decadent offerings, including Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate. All flavors are Fair Trade Certified, and are made with 100% natural ingredients. Learn all about Little Secrets at

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I received samples and they are really good! I love that there are no artificial coloring or flavors. My favorite is the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter! Yum! These are a real must-buy for the upcoming Halloween!

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Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Photo Credit: Little Secrets.



Setton Farms Dark Chocolate Pistachios are a naturally gluten free snack to try this Fall!

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I don’t know about you..but I like sweets! They tend to be my downfall when trying ti eat healthier! So, I was quite thrilled to receive samples of Setton Farms Dark Chocolate Pistachios! They keep you full and hit the spot!

Here’s a quick recipe (courtesy of Sara Siskind ) that you have to try!

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough- an easy no cook recipe:  2/3 cups raw cashews, 1/3 cup gluten free oatmeal, 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips.  Place nuts and oats into a blender until a powder like consistency forms.  Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and form into small balls.  Enjoy!

Check out Setton Farms Dark Chocolate Pistachios

About Dark Chocolate Pistachios 

Available in 5oz bags, these sweet treats offer the heart healthy benefits of pistachios along with the amazing qualities of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. Dark Chocolate Pistachios are definitely a sweet snack that you can feel good about, these power-packed treats are a must-have item for your pantry or office drawer. MSRP $5.99


Fun Facts:

  • A serving of dark chocolate pistachios 2-3 times a week can help lower your blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
  • Pistachios and cocoa are loaded with nutrients and rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent a variety of chronic diseases and slow the signs of aging.
  • Dark chocolate can increase blood flow to the brain and heart, helping to improve cognitive function.
  • You can obtain as much dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios as from a 1Ž2 cup cooked broccoli.


Available in major grocery store chains across the country such as: Bristol Farms, Albertson’s, Associated Grocers, C&S, Fairway, Key Food, Raindew Family Center, Rainbow, Save A Lot, Shoprite, TJ Maxx, Zabars, A&P, Winn Dixie, Bi-Lo, Waldbaum’s, Mariano’s, NY Times, CNBC, etc. They are also available online at and

About Sara Siskind

Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, Sara Siskind is the founder of Hands On Healthy, cooking classes for adults, families and teens based in New York. Sara has dedicated her career to educating clients on how food and lifestyle choices affect health, and how to make the right choices to look and feel your best each day. Sara translates the complexity of integrated nutrition into usable tools with easy-to-cook recipes that appeal to the entire family. Sara counsels privately to offer highly customized health and nutrition plans for her clients. She also works with parents on shopping and cooking smarter to create healthier homes. In addition, she teaches beginner to gourmet cooking classes with her signature “toss it in” approach. In addition, Sara regularly works with corporations and non-profit organizations to lead workshops and lectures on healthy eating.




Upgrade Your Sandwich with Colman’s Mustard

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Back-to-school time means more packed lunches! Whether you’re craving a new sandwich idea for a picnic, the beach, or back-to-school, Colman’s Mustard is the ultimate sandwich topper and it can be used in a variety of ways! From turkey to roast beef, it perfectly complements all of your favorite sandwiches and provides a delicious and healthy alternative for common mayo-based sandwiches such as tuna. Colman’s Tuna Sandwich (recipe below) is sure to satisfy your taste buds. By replacing mayo with mustard as the key ingredient, not only is this mix a healthier take on tuna, but it also makes a lighter and more refreshing sandwich.

I received samples of Colman’s Mustard and I tried it out  int he recipe they provided and it is a hit with me! I still can’t get my son to eat tuna but he did like the mustard too!

Colman’s Tuna Sandwich
Yield: 2 servings


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1 can solid white tuna, drained

1 tsp. Colman’s Mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup shallot, finely chopped

1 radish, finely chopped

½ tsp. fresh dill, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste



In a small bowl, whisk the Colman’s, vinegar, olive oil, and shallot to create a vinaigrette. Add the dill, radish, and tuna. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

About Colman’s Mustard:

Colman’s Mustard is a pantry must-have that has certainly withstood the test of time. This iconic yellow tin has been around for over 200 years and is the only “Queen Approved” condiment on the market! While Colman’s Mustard is certainly a great topper to sandwiches and hot dogs, it also makes a wonderful “secret ingredient,” adding a zesty flavor to many mealtime favorites including roasts, veggies, mac & cheese, and even cocktails and dessert. Colman’s Mustard comes in two varieties, Prepared and Dried. The prepared is available in a jar as well as a handy, squeezy container. The Dry is available in both 2 and 4 oz. tins. Colman’s is available nationwide at supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway and Kroger for $4.99 – $6.99. Visit for more information.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Recipe/photos courtesy of Colman’s Mustard.

Global Genes 4th Annual RARE Tribute To Champions of Hope Gala and Patient Advocacy Summit Raise Over $1.2 Million Funds

 Global Genes™, a leading global rare disease patient advocacy organization, hosted the fourth annual RARE Tribute to Champions of Hope Gala on Saturday, September 26, at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach. More than 800 patients, advocacy leaders, biotech, and pharmaceutical executives, healthcare philanthropists, star athletes, pop stars and celebrities came together to support the fight against rare disease. The evening of heartfelt awards, presentations and performances raised funds to directly benefit Global Genes’ educational programs, as well as the organization’s new Patient Impact Grant program.

The star-studded evening kicked off with a pre-event cocktail reception sponsored by Healthcare at Home. Celebrity award presenters and guests in attendance included Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Jason Ritter (Gravity Falls, Girls),Lindsey Shaw (Pretty Little Liars), Kit Hoover (Access Hollywood LIVE), Max Charles (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, American Sniper), Melanie Lynsky (Two and A Half Men), Madison Mclaughlin (Supernatural), Camryn Howard (Straight Outa Compton) Travis Flores (philanthropist, author and actor), and Lisa Bentley (11x Ironman champion and Pan Am Games winner).  Rare disease patient advocate and syndicated radio talk show host, Scot “Froggy” Langley, played the master of ceremony for the evening of festivities.


As the gala began, CEO of Global Genes, Nicole Boice welcomed guests with a champagne toast noting, “We are so honored tonight to be in a room filled with so much hope and courage. On behalf of Global Genes we extend our deepest thanks to everyone here for their unwavering dedication to the rare disease community.“


Tribute to Champions of Hope alumni performer and 2013 Teen Choice Award Web Star Winner, Cimorelli, delivered the first performance of the evening. American Idol season 8 winner and Platinum Recording artist, Kris Allen, took the stage for a special collaborative performance with RARE Champion of Hope, 12-year old Global Patient Ambassador honoree, Ben Lou. Later in the program breakout-recording artist, Aleem, performed. 2015 Macy’s iHeart Radio Rising Star Contest, Christina Grimmie, took the stage and delivered the final songs of the evening with a moving a capella performance.

Seven standout honors were presented during the night and included RARE Champions of Hope: Teen Advocacy: Shira Strongin, patient advocate, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and founder of The Sick Chick Network; Global Patient Ambassador: Ben Lou, patient advocate, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA); Awareness: Andrew Lenchewski – Executive Producer, Michael Rauch – Producer, Writer, Director & Mark Feuerstein, Actor (Royal Pains); Brave Feats of Courage: Noah Coughlan, 3x transcontinental racer and patient advocate, Courtnay Midkiff, transcontinental walker, patient advocate, Jonathan Maidment, Appalachian trail hiker, patient advocate, and Bonner Paddock, Kona Ironman competitor, marathoner, author, patient advocate; Patient Impact Grant Program: Caroline Harding, CEO Genetic Disorders UK and Natalie Douglas, CEO Healthcare at Home; Documentary: Marianna Palka, writer and producer and Lucy Walker, director, The Lion’s Mouth Opens; and Industry: Alexey Salamakha, manager of patient advocacy and Nicole Riley, director of public relations, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

The 4th annual two-day RARE Patient Advocacy Summit took place September 24-25, prior to the gala, and brought together rare disease patients, parents, advocates, clinicians, and key stakeholders for a series of best practices panels, policy driven discussions and recognitions. Between the two events, Global Genes raised over $1.2 million with proceeds going directly to fund Global Genes Educational programs and recently announced Patient Impact Grant Program.

It is estimated that it takes over seven years for a patient suffering from a rare disease to receive a proper diagnosis, with 95% of those diseases having no FDA approved treatment. Global Genes’ RARE Patient Advocacy Summit and Tribute to Champions of Hope Gala annually raise awareness for more than 7,000 different types of rare diseases that affect roughly 30 million Americans and approximately 350 million people worldwide.

Sponsors of the 2015 RARE Tribute to Champions of Hope Gala and RARE Patient Advocacy Summit include the following organizations:

Premiere Sponsors:
Alexion, Amicus, Healthcare at Home, Horizon Pharma, Takeda, Walgreens, and Genzyme.

Other Sponsors include:
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Abeona Therapeutics, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals,​ Ambry Genetics, Audentes, BIO, BioMarin, Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cambridge BioMarketing, Clementia, Connexion, Counsyl, Dohmen Life Science Services, Every L​ife Foundation for Rare Diseases, ​Genentech, GSK, Illumina, Insmed, Intellia, Intercept, Idis, Invitae, ​ Janssen, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, New Enterprise Associates, ​Novartis Oncology, Pfizer, Recordati Rare Diseases, Retrophin, Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Sarepta, SERMO, Shire, Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, SmithSolve, Synlogic, Synageva, Ultragenyx, Vanda, Vertex and Watson Land.

Credit: Global Genes.

SPARKLING ICE features Breast Cancer Awareness


Sparkling Ice is a favorite in our house because of the taste! But, they also are a company that gives back! The zero-calorie naturally flavored sparkling water, proudly displays a Pink Ribbon on their Pink Grapefruit bottle all year long and also donates a minimum of $25,000 to research facilities nationwide to help find a cure. Now, how cool is that?!

SPARKLING ICE has created a specialty “Sip Pink for the Cure” cocktail using its Pink Grapefruit flavor.

I received samples and even my son likes the Pink Grapefruit flavor! The following recipe is great for Mom and Dad!


SPARKLING ICE Sip Pink for the Cure Cocktail

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3 oz. Grapefruit Sparkling ICE
1 ½ oz. vodka
1 oz. lime juice
Lime wedge
Sliced fresh jalapeño
Chili salt for rim of glass (Kosher salt mixed with chili powder)


Use a lime wedge to rub the entire rim of a chilled martini glass, and dip into chili salt mixture.
Combine vodka and jalapeno slices with ice in a shaker.
Strain and pour into the chilled martini glass.
Top with Grapefruit Sparkling ICE.
Garnish with a few Jalapeno slice.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Recipe and photo credit: Sparkling Ice.


A Deep CHILL Returns to the Queen Mary November 20


Experience the Ice Kingdom, Glacier Glide Ice Tubing, Ice Skating and Holiday Entertainment at the Coolest Place in Southern California

 The Ice Kingdom Introduces the New Holiday Ice Bar!

The Queen Mary will once again be overtaken by a deep freeze for the fourth annual CHILL, opening on November 20, 2015. Experience the frozen magic that will bring holiday wonderment and artic temperatures to Southern California.


A holiday extravaganza like no other, CHILL transforms over two million pounds of sparkling ice into larger than life hand carved colorful ice sculptures in a giant Igloo called The Ice Kingdom, located inside the Queen Mary’s Dome, once home to the legendary Spruce Goose. The Ice Kingdom will bring Charles Dickens’ classic tale of A Christmas Carol to life with Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come frozen in glistening ice. Walk-through chilling scenes from the Nutcracker complete with castles and sugar plum fairies. Get lost in the life size candy cane forest and explore the penguin village. Slip down ice slides off of a 30’ high replica of The Queen Mary and enjoy a festive cocktail at the all-new ice bar aboard the ship’s frozen bow. Each ice exhibit is precisely hand sculpted and created by an international team of expert ice carved from Harbin, China and enhanced with LED lighting to create a visually awing experience. The Ice Kingdom is kept at a frosty nine degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the ice. Guests receive parkas to help protect them from the chilling temperatures.


The 4th annual CHILL welcomes back Glacier Glide Ice Tubing with six lanes of glistening ice slides standing two stories tall and 100-feet long in front of the Ice Kingdom. Ice skate under the stars on the 6,000 square-foot ice skating rink with the backdrop of the picturesque Queen Mary ship. A holiday village will offer visits with Santa Claus, holiday carolers, snow days and live festive entertainment.

“CHILL truly embodies the spirit of holiday magic,” commented Steve Sheldon, director of entertainment events at The Queen Mary. “We bring the cold festive weather of the North Pole right here to the families of sunny Southern California.”

CHILL pricing starts at $34.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids (ages 4-11). Tickets include entrance to The Ice Kingdom, Ice Tubing, CHILL Village and access to the Queen Mary ship. Lodging packages are also available. CHILL will be open select dates Nov. 20 through Jan. 10. For more information, including hours or to purchase tickets online, visit

Credit: The Queen Mary.

New Study Shows Bedtime Math at Home Equals Success Bedtime Math Boosts Kids’ Math Skills, According to University of Chicago

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Using Bedtime Math at home as little as once a week boosts math performance significantly, according to initial findings from a five-year longitudinal study led by University of Chicago psychologists. The findings appear in the October 9 edition of Science, a leading peer-reviewed research journal.
Bedtime Math delivers quick, engaging math story problems for parents and children to solve together, typically over a few minutes. The results found that within just one school year, children who did Bedtime Math improved their math achievement on average by three months more than children who didn’t use it. Most notably, children of the most math-anxious parents who chose to do Bedtime Math had gains of half a school year, narrowing the “math anxiety gap.”
The University of Chicago study is examining how much elementary school-age children across all income levels enjoy math, and the extent to which it correlates with performance. Research has shown that children who begin school behind their peers in math tend to stay behind in later grades. The study is also observing the effects of parental math phobia on their children’s academic performance.
“Many Americans experience high levels of anxiety when they have to solve a math problem, with a majority of adults feeling at least some apprehension,” said senior author Dr. Sian Beilock, a cognitive psychologist and the author of the book Choke. “These math-anxious parents are less likely to talk about math at home, which hampers their children’s achievement in math. Bedtime Math encourages a dialogue between parents and kids about math, and offers a low-effort, high-impact way to do it.”
“Millions of dollars are spent every year on education reforms that hope to double kids’ yearly academic gains. Bedtime Math has actually achieved that goal for some of the most math-anxious families, and at no cost to them,” said Laura Overdeck, founder of the nonprofit Bedtime Math. “The fact is, in a given year kids spend three to four times as many hours outside school as in it, so their parents have a huge effect on their learning. Parents are a child’s most important educators, and thanks to Bedtime Math, any parent can succeed at this.”

“The idea is simple yet brilliant – make math as cuddly, fun and commonplace as a bedtime story,” said a sample review on the App Store. “My daughter was annoyed the first night I introduced this to her bedtime routine, accepting the second night, and by the third night she wanted math before her story. It has completely transformed my daughter’s attitude towards math.”
The University of Chicago study, led by Talia Berkowitz and Marjorie Schaeffer, consists of 587 firstgrade families from 22 schools in the Chicago area. Families were given an iPad installed with a version of the Bedtime Math app with which parents and their children read stories and answer questions involving math, including topics like counting, shapes, and problem solving. A control group received a reading app that had similar stories without the math content and questions related to reading comprehension instead. Children’s math achievement was assessed at the beginning and end of the school year. Parents completed a questionnaire about their nervousness around math.
Study senior author and psychologist Dr. Susan Levine added, “For many families, reading bedtime stories is a regular part of a child’s nightly routine. But when it comes to math, parents widely believe that it is the responsibility of schools and they pay less attention to their child’s math learning at home. We found brief, high-quality parent-child interactions around math using Bedtime Math – just a few times a week – markedly increased children’s success in math at school.”
Bedtime Math is a nonprofit organization that has become a leader in the area of childhood math content. By providing playful, zany math problems for parents to do with their kids every day, Bedtime Math helps children achieve in math which is important for success later in life, especially in STEM careers. Whether it’s flamingos, ninjas or pillow forts, kids can see the math in their favorite topics. Parents can sign up for the nightly email, download the free app, or read one of the best-selling Bedtime Math children’s books. For more information, please visit


Credit: Bedtime Math. I have reviewed in the past and recommend highly.


Claim Your Ticket to the Port of Riches! Families of the World: Families of Puerto Rico and All 28 Other Families of the World Programs Available On Digital For The First Time since September 8, 2015!

Families of Puerto Rico

Families of the World DVDs Value Priced at $9.99 Each!

“Families of Puerto Rico,” from the multi-award-winning live-action Families of the World series, gives an intimate look into the lives of people in countries around the globe.  It’s now one of the 28 additional Families of the World titles available for the first time on digital September 1,2015 with unlimited steaming for $8.00 each, and the entire series available for unlimited streaming for $225.


Families of the World DVDs have also been available since September 8, 2015 for the value price of $9.99 each,  plus shipping, and the total set for $275, which includes shipping within the continental USA.


Just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month, (Sept. 15-Oct 15, 2015) Families of the World has six other titles besides “Families of Puerto Rico” appropriate for the celebration:  “Families of Costa Rica,” “Families of Guatemala,” Familias de Mexico,” “Families of Mexico 1,” “Families of Mexico 2” and “Families of Panama.”

“Families of Puerto Rico” introduces nine-year-old Jose, who lives with his mother, father and sister Tanya, in the capital city of San Juan. A hurricane is on its way, so Jose and his family are making preparations while still going about their day, which includes school for


Jose and his sister, and work for their parents. Jose shares the history of his homeland’s name (the island of Borinquen, renamed Puerto Rico by the Spanish after a visit and claiming by Columbus), what “good manners” mean in his country and his desire to be a veterinarian when he grows up.


Eight-year-old Laura, lives on a farm with her mother and father. She attends private school more than an hour away, learning both English and Spanish while her parents work.  She talks about her weekly piano lesson and introduces her pet Coquis frog. Later she visits the world’s largest radio telescope to listen to radio waves from outer space, and reads before turning in for the day.

I received a copy of this DVD and found it very interesting and educational. I think it is great for kids of all ages! I like that it shows children how real life is in Puerto Rico.

More about the Series:

Families of the World offers a documentary-style “day in the life” glimpse into how people in different countries live from a child’s point of view. Focusing on two children from differing homes, one urban, one rural, Families of the World invites viewers along through their daily routines, introducing both the similarities and differences that exist.


School Library Journal applauds the Families of the World series as “excellent,” providing “an intriguing taste of another culture.” The series has garnered more than 100 awards, including Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Parents’ Choice and NAPPA (National Parenting Publications of America) as well as endorsements from KIDS FIRST! and recommendations from Dr. Toy’s Children’s Products. The series is used in classrooms around the country as a valuable tool for multi-cultural education and language learning.


Families of the World programs include: Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, England, Familias de Mexico, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico 1, Mexico 2, Panama, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.

Watch a trailer at: For more information go to

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post.