Archives for May 10, 2016

Free family event at 365 by Whole Foods Market Silver Lake, May 22, 12-3PM

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The ultimate pre-party before the first 365 by Whole Foods Market store opens in Silver Lake on May 25! Enjoy snacks from food trucks – Coolhaus, Kogi, Yeastie Boys, Border Grill and Allegro Coffee – an acoustic set with Rocky Duwani, DJ Monalisa, face painting and henna hand painting, games like cornhole and skeeball, a kid’s area and fun giveaways.

LA-based non-profit rescue Wags and Walks will have adoptable dogs, a puppy photo booth and will host a supply drive to help meet their goal of adopting out 1,000 dogs in 2016. Wags and Walks is in need of treats, dog beds, crates, leashes, collars and toys. Don’t forget to pick up a free doggie bandana!

Come by for food, drinks, fun and get to know your new local grocery store. Parking is limited so biking is encouraged – we’ll have ample covered bike racks. Event is free and open to the public.


WHEN   Sunday, May 22
12:00 p.m.3:00 p.m.

WHERE   365 by Whole Foods Market Silver Lake

                2520 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039

Credit: 365 by Whole Foods Market.

Bold Eyes and Bold Lips from NYC New York Color and Rimmel London Spring Beauty Must-Haves!

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NYC New York Color  and Rimmel London are going bold! With the launch of the new NYC New York Color Kajal Eye Pencil and Get It All Lip Color, you are sure to stand out for Spring. And with Rimmel London’s new Magnifeyes double ended shadow and liner, you will have all you need for a complete eye look.


-Comfortable and creamy texture in a long-lasting formula

-Intense, vibrant and shiny finish

-Non-drying formula wears up to four hours

-Available shades:  ImpREDssive, WondeREDfu, IncREDible,  FUCHSIAtastic,  FabFUCHSIA,  PINKdigious, ExeptioNUDE

MOCHAmazing, ExtraordiBERRY, TerrifiCORAL

I received samples of the Lip Color and I love the shades! I also love that it really does seem to last longer than many other lipsticks that I have used!


-Creamy, soft, and smooth texture glides easily over the skin, offering coverage and intense color in one stroke.

-Cone-shaped applicator gives you maximum precision and helps you achieve luxuriously lined lids

-Available in four ultra pigmented shades: Deep Brown, Deep Grey, Purple Glam, True Black


-Get magnified eyes in two easy, mess-free steps. Rimmel’s spectacular 2-in-1 eye pencil delivers ultra-intense, long lasting color for stand-out eye-looks.

-Highlight, sculpt and accentuate your eyes with a double dose of rich, high-pigment color. The dual-tipped pen features a stay true shadow at one end and a 24 hour kohl kajal liner at the other, which can be used on both the lash and water line. Just draw on the drama! In a flash, eyes are defined AND lids are enhanced with incredible, head-turning hues – double wow! The creaseproof, transferproof and waterproof formula means your magnif’icent eye-looks stay put and looks fresh all day.

-Available in five strong shade combos in matte, shimmer and pearl finishes. The duo palettes have been carefully selected to work together for a complete double dare look, or you can mix and match to create your own unique fashion-forward effects. Three of the pens (#001, #002, #003) star your fave Rimmel eye shades in luscious tones of black, gold and bronze. To twist-up your look, try the brilliantly bold yet highly wearable #004 Dark Side Of Blue: a matte cobalt liner with pearlescent dark grey shadow. Or create a powerfully pretty eye with the matte plum liner and glittering sugar pink shadow of #005 Pink & Purple Rain.

-AVAILABLE SHADES#001 Back To Black, Liner: Black (matte), Shadow: Gun Metal Grey (high pearl with glitter), #002 Kissed By A Rose Gold, Liner: Brown (low pearl) Shadow: Rose Gold (medium pearl),  #003 Queens Of The Bronzed Age, Liner:           Gold (high pearl with glitter), Shadow: Bronze (medium pearl), #004 Dark Side Of Blue, Liner: Cobalt Blue (matte), Shadow: Dark Grey (low pearl), #005 Pink & Purple Rain, Liner: Dark Plum (matte) Shadow: Light Pink (high pearl with glitter)

I really love these shades! (See below!) They really are long lasting and have replaced my other eye pencils this Spring!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Press info and photo credit: NYC New York Color and Rimmel London.

Muzic School Delivers Songs About Us by Kerry Fenster; Album Aims to Educate, Empower and Entertain Kids with Special Needs


With the support and guidance of long time music executive Richie Gallo, who has worked with artists from Sting to Raffi, Kerry Fenster is getting the professional push necessary for the world to hear the music he’s designed for children with special needs. Fenster’s fine-tuned music therapy approach on Songs About Us provides parents, educators and therapists with a unique recording that assists kids in developing basic social and developmental skills.


Songs About Us is an innovative social skills behavioral tool for developmentally delayed young adults, disguised in a set of extraordinary songs that are accessible to the current generation,” said Gregory T. Anderson, J.D. Education Specialist, Vocational Education, The Help Group West. “You’ll find yourself whistling these catchy tunes.”


Kerry Fenster’s work with children with autism at The Help Group, one of the largest, most innovative and comprehensive organizations of its kind in the United States, spurred his passion to make music for the children. “Families with special needs children deserve music they can all enjoy and learn from together,” said composer Fenster of Songs About Us. “We are excited by the feedback we’ve received already from those who have heard the recordings.”


One of the four original songs on the recording is the lead single and music video “Quiet Hands,” an engaging song that encourages body control with a fun sing-along chorus which repeats “never to poke, never to scratch, never to hit, never to snatch” and features arm movements that both entertain and teach by example. “Hygiene,” “Personal Space” and “Use Your Words” are additionally entertaining, educational and energetic songs, each teaching popular social skills as indicated in the song titles. Enthusiastic, well-spoken peers provide charming greeting and parting statements for the album, which draw the listeners into the experience while subtly teaching vital conversational skills.


Produced by Mark Mazzetti, who has a significant history of creating Grammy® Award winning hit records, the independently released Songs About Us bears the hallmarks of a major label, high-quality listening experience. “Kerry has created some exciting music for a very special group of people. Supporting a generation with new music that might just make a difference in some lives is certainly a worthwhile project”, said Executive Producer Richie Gallo.

I received a copy of this CD and highly recommend! 


Aiming to educate, empower and entertain those with special needs while delivering practical tools to improve their regular interactions with others, Songs About Us –the first in a series from the label Muzic School– is a 5-song EP featuring 4 original songs plus an updated version of Pete Townshend’s “Pinball Wizard,” a lively tribute to the uniquely gifted. Songs About Us is available on iTunes,Amazon, CDBaby and other popular online retailers as digital download for $6.99 or physical CD for $12.00. Both formats include song lyrics for lively sing-alongs and improved comprehension. A portion of all net proceeds will be donated to various children’s charities. For more information on Songs About Us, come check us out at or write to

Credit: Press info/photo Muzic School. I received a free CD to facilitate this post.

Raffi’s “Take A Breath (The Self-Reg Song)” Can Help Children Deal with Stress; Free Download Available

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Singer-songwriter Raffi, along with being known as “the most popular children’s singer in the English-speaking world” (The Washington Post,) is renowned for his advocacy on behalf of children. This month he released a new song that can help children and adults deal with the stresses and anxieties of everyday life in a very simple way.


“Take A Breath (The Self-Reg Song)” is both tuneful and calming, and provides simple ways, such as breathing slowly in and out, to feel better when feelings are beginning to overwhelm.  Teachers and parents alike will find it helpful when children feel stress.


Says Raffi, “Self-regulation is the awareness of anxiety and our ability to regain a calm centre. Since anxiety constrains intelligence, it’s important for young and old to learn simple self-reg ways to regain balance. I wrote “Take A Breath” to inspire a self-reg response in all who hear it.”


Self-Reg expert Dr. Stuart Shanker –  a Raffi colleague, and member of his Child Honouring advisory council — says, “In the Shanker household, self-regulation meant listening to Raffi, and not just for the children!”


Dr. Shanker leads The MEHRIT Centre, an organization working with early childhood programs, schools, and communities across Canada and beyond to ground living and learning in self-regulation.  “Self-Reg is the ability to deal effectively with stress in all the many forms a child encounters-physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and prosocial-then recover from the energy expenditure involved and restore the energy expended.  Raffi’s song will certainly help,” says Shanker.


The song is available for streaming on SoundCloud, and can be downloaded for FREE from the Centre for Child Honouring site and the self-regulation site.  It will also be available soon for download on iTunes.  Parents & Teachers can also download, print, post and share this FREE song lyric poster –


Download 8.5 x 11 POSTER

Download 12 x 18 POSTER

Credit: Rounder Records.

My Top Book Choices for May

Here are the Books of the Month!

Rose and the Wish Thing: A Magical Story Of A Journey That Begins With A Young Girl’s Wish For Friendship


Caroline Magerl’s new children’s picture book, Rose and the Wish Thing, will surely strike a chord with children, parents and teachers alike.  Moving to a new city or town, or any change for that matter, can be a daunting task and it’s not always easy to adapt.  Rose’s story, coupled with beautiful illustrations, shows us that sometimes what we’re looking for is right outside our own window.

This is a delightful story filled with imagination and lovely illustrations. I highly recommend for young children ages 2-8. 

More about the Author:

Meet Caroline Magerl: talented author, artist, illustrator and print-maker. Magerl immigrated to Australia from Germany as a young girl and spent the majority of her childhood at sea on her parents’ yacht, sailing the east coast of Australia. This lifestyle accommodated little in the way of possessions, and so she especially treasured the East German picture books gifted to her by her Great Oma; “the two languages of imagery and words whose interplay had a profound impact on me”

This book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all fine bookstores.


The Art of Connecting Generations Through Storytelling
Retired genealogist shares youth novel featuring atypical princess

Meet Alice – a self-sufficient young princess that uses her supernatural gifts to save herself, no prince charming necessary!

Alice is the magical main character in young adult novel “The Golden Princess” by L.R. Garner. After his family dispersed among multiple continents, Garner began writing this entertaining read as a method of staying in touch and keeping family ties strong.

“The story stems from raising our own family and having been made aware of royal family duties during my younger days of WWII,” Garner said.

In this coming-of-age story, readers follow 8-year-old Alice’s journey through childhood into her college years, introducing new friends, enemies and obstacles along the way. Pre-teens and young adults alike will relate to Alice as they face similar hurdles in their own lives.

Garner gets back to the basics of storytelling with “The Golden Princess” – the novel evolved from letters he wrote to his great grandchildren and great nieces every few months until eventually the book was a reality.

I like that the Princess does not need a prince to rescue her and found this a very interesting book to read! Highly recommend!

Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris LLC

This next one teaches an important lesson..Just be yourself! 


Through his delightful new book, Remember, Just Be You, William Campbell helps parents and children understand it’s ok to be “different” and to follow your own path. Readers follow character Mark through his first few weeks at a new school as he struggles with fitting in and feeling like he can’t do anything right.

Mark doesn’t enjoy sports, cannot play an instrument, is ignored at recess, has not learned how to ride a bike and doesn’t look like other kids. Mark doesn’t even have a puppy and now he’s not sure he wants to continue going to school. After all, he doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere. Luckily for Mark, his parents understand and keep reminding him he can work on what he cannot do and to always, “Just be you!”

Thoughtfully written and beautifully illustrated, Remember, Just Be You, inspires adults and children to embrace:

  • Being different – we are all special and unique
  • Acceptance – true friends will always accept you
  • Unique talents – we all have hidden talents, we just have to discover what they are
  • Patience – with ourselves and finding those who accept us for who we are
  • Determination – never give up on yourself

I recommend this as a must-read for children of all ages! Many children do not think it is okay to just be who they are and I think that children will relate to this book and maybe realize that it is okay to be different.

Remember, Just Be You is available on Amazon. A portion of each book sold will go towards Saint Jude and Feed America.

This next book made me laugh out loud and I am sure kids will find this one a fun one to read!


The first Zombie Goldfish picture book, THE FINTASTIC FISHSITTER, and the final chapter book in the Zombie Goldfish series, ANY FIN IS POSSIBLE, both were released  this past March!

The Zombie Goldfish series are the perfect chapter books for kids in that tricky 6-10 age range, and the picture book will introduce new readers early so they can grow into the series!

These books are based on the true story of the time Mo and her brother resuscitated their childhood goldfish with a AA battery!

Yes, an AA battery! How creative and original this one is! Kids 6-10 will love the chapter books and the picture book will definitely be a hit with kids 5+.

The entire series can be found on

I love this next one! If you love cats, this one is a must-have!

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Paper Cats
By PaperMade™

Punch out, fold…voila! Instant Cuddly Kitty.

Paper Cats is the 5th in a remarkable series by paper toy maker PaperMade.™ The whimsical and playful cat designs are pre-cut, scored and perforated—easy to punch out, fold up and enjoy—instantly becoming adorable 3D objects to play with and love! Paper Cats also comes with 8 special pages that transform into the quintessential cat habitat—a carpeted cat condo! Paper Cats deftly combines paper craft with advanced paper engineering so no glue, tape or tools are ever needed!

Paper Cats make great companions for anyone age 7 to 101. Best of all, they don’t need litter boxes or food, and don’t kick up any dander—some people may love them more than real cats.

Paper Cats includes:

One oversized scratching post / carpeted cat condo
Piano Cat — the YouTube piano-playing feline
Mac — the orange tabby from Bryant Park
Surprise Kitty — another YouTube cat star
Cranky Cat — never content, even for a cat that sleeps all day
Spooky — redefining the term “scary black cat”

PaperMade™ Books are easy to understand and assemble—no glue, tape or tools are EVER needed. They’re a safe, simple, and nostalgic alternative to digital games that are fun for the whole family. PaperMade™ — Paper craft for the masses.

I did really have fun with this one and was surprised how easy they were to put together! 

You can purchase on

I love this next one because it is great for families! 

Look at Us Now coverart

LOOK AT US NOW: A Creative Family Journal (A Tarcher Perigee paperback, on sale May 5, 2016) by Bernadette Noll, an interactive diary for families to complete together. Filled with clever questions that will engage parents and kids alike, this illustrated journal encourages families to capture the essence of their lives during the present moment. It’s the seemingly mundane things – the sleep patterns, school choices, and family rhythms and rituals – that make up the fabric of daily life; and Noll captures this with playful prompts, including:

  • The last time we laughed out loud was because…
  • What does family dinner look like? Who talks the most? The least?
  • Inside jokes. Family sayings. And things only our family gets (Spill it):
  • Things we appreciate about each family member:
  • Something crazy that happened this month:

Designed for families of all ages, LOOK AT US NOW will foster connection, reflection, and creative fun.

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I love how this one encourages family time and also helps family members to get to know each other better! I recommend for all ages.

You can purchase on

Being a Teen is tough! I highly recommend this next one for all Teenagers!


Stop. Breathe. Chill. by Beth Stebner offers teens 100 short mindfulness meditations, each tailored to a specific situation, such as taking a high stakes exam, or dealing with decisions about risky behavior, to help teens find resilience and strength while practicing coping skills that they’ll need in school, and throughout their lives.

How I wish this book was around when I had been a teenager! I feel that this book really is a must-read for all teenagers and highly recommend! I’m hoping to get my 12-year-old son to read this one!

More about the book & author:

100 easy exercises for everyday mindfulness

 Stop. Breathe. Chill. can help teens focus on the present instead of worrying about what the future holds, as they learn to manage the stress of school, family expectations, and life in general.


Beth Stebner is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and reporter. She currently writes for several publications, including HelloGiggles, Bustle, theFashionSpot, and the Wall Street Journal, covering everything from the latest beauty trends to body-positive fashion. Visit her website at

You can purchase on and B&N.


Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post.