Sunday, November 29, 2009

Need a Unique Gift?


What would you do if you knew that 71% of the world’s surface needed protection?

The world’s oceans are at a critical juncture and face collapse if more isn’t done.

· Industries will continue to dump pollutants into our water unless stiffer laws are enforced.

· On average 16 billion pounds of “bycatch” (creatures like dolphins, sea turtles, and birds, as well as unwanted fish) are being slaughtered and discarded overboard dead or dying due to the effects of most commercial fishing gear.

· Bottom trawling and dredging of the ocean floors cause more harm than any other human activity to the ancient deep-sea corals and marine habitants.

Now you know. Will you help?

Oceana is providing a unique and meaningful way to give funds to preserve coral reefs, curb climate change, protect sea creatures, and best of all, to maintain a healthy and abundant ocean.

You can help by Adopting a Sea Creature

Choose from any 10 adoption choices that support Oceana’s campaigns, like:

· Cookie Cutters: choice of Dolphin, Octopus, Penguin, Polar Bear, Sea Turtle Shark

· Plush Toys: Dolphin, Hammerhead Shark, Killer Whale and Seal

As well as helping with a worthy cause, your donation level will send you items like:

· $35: cookie cutter, sugar cookie recipe card, and personalized adoption certificate

· $50: plush creature and personalized adoption certificate

· $75: cookie cutter, recipe card, framed adoption certificate, and an additional gift or you may choose a plushie and a framed adoption certificate

· $100: complete set of cookie cutters, framed adoption certificate and an additional gift

· $150: complete set of plushies and framed adoption certificate

Or you may opt for the special “Limited Edition” Sea Turtle Adoption Package in honour of 1- year-old sea turtle advocate Casey Sokolovic, a finalist for Oceana’s 2009 “Ocean Heroes” award. This package consists of:

· 22-inch plush sea turtle

· Sea turtle cookie cutter

· Sugar cookie recipe

· Personalized framed adoption certificate

· Information about sea turtles

· A note from Casey

Any of these options would make a great gift this holiday season for those hard-to-buy-for folks on your list or anyone who loves the ocean and the creatures in it.

For more information on Oceana’s work or to donate to this worthy cause, please visit the web site at or go directly to “Donate” at

Friday, November 27, 2009

Interview with Moira Donahue

An ex-lawyer, playwright, children’s author and a self-proclaimed “punctuation and grammar geek,” Moira Donahue puts the pun back in punctuation.

Both Moira’s books make learning grammar fun and memorable. She says, “My first book, Alfie and the Apostrophe (Albert Whitman, 2006), is the story of an apostrophe who is afraid to try out for the annual talent show - Alfie's talent? Magic, because he can make letters disappear.

My second book, a companion to "Alfie," is Penny and the Punctuation Bee (Albert Whitman, 2008), was inspired by the spelling bee. I modified it to work with punctuation marks and gave it a spunky heroine - Penny, a period who is also a safety patrol.”

Moira’s unique take on punctuation is fun and fabulous. She says, “Did you know punctuation marks have their own secret personalities? Question marks love riddles, jokes and, well, any kind of question. And exclamation points? Cheerleaders!”

Moira’s books are both educational and memorable. The proof is evident at Moira’s school visits. She explains, “If no one tells you that punctuation is boring, then you don't think it is. I also try to make it extra fun by talking about what kind of punctuation mark you would be based on your personality.”

What punctuation mark does Moira consider herself? “The asterisk- its name comes from the Greek word meaning "star" and it's sparkly and twinkly, which is how I like to think of myself!”

Moira continues, “I really love school visits. When I present my "Alfie the Apostrophe" program, we end with a magic trick (taught to me by a teacher friend) where we make letters disappear and an apostrophe appear. It's a lot of fun! When I talk about "Penny and the Apostrophe Bee," I have a mini punctuation bee with the students. And there's never any predicting how that will turn out!”

Moira finishes by saying, “Most importantly, I have had children tell me they sleep with "Alfie" under their pillows. And that's really why I write!”

To read more about Moira or Alfie the Apostrophe and Penny and the Punctuation Bee, visit her web site at; or her blog at;

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hayneedle - Experts

“It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.”

Not anymore. Hayneedle has done all the work for you.

Hayneedle is a new destination consisting of more than 200 online specialty stores that exist in a realm where floor space is irrelevant and freedom of choice is unlimited. The focus is product variety rather than the typical limited mass-merchant array of products. A universal shopping cart allows customers to purchase products from thousands of SKUs from all 200 stores at one domain name,, making it simple to search, shop, and buy with confidence.

“Consumers’ freedom to choose has come under assault over the past several decades because traditional commerce has been significantly affected by cost-cutting and the bricks and mortar distribution channel,” says Carter Cast, Hayneedle’s President and CEO. “Hayneedle provides the missing link between style and self-expression, allowing consumers to customize their home with unique products that actually represent their personality—not the most common personality of every other consumer shopping at the local store.”

While the typical retailer currently offers approximately three storage benches, Hayneedle advertises 246. Need a hammock? Hayneedle provides over 100 in styles such as Brazilian, Mayan, Nicaraguan, poolside, and quilted. This virtually endless shelf space affords design, color, and style combinations ranging from 243 telescope items to thousands of possible living room furnishings.

The lack of product variety is a primary reason consumers are shopping more and more for home and lifestyle products online today, according to Ash ElDifrawi, Hayneedle’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“A survey of our customers showed that about 70 percent are not finding what they want at bricks and mortar retail stores,” says ElDifrawi. “We created Hayneedle as a wake-up call. Thank goodness people are rising up to say that one size does not fit all, and no two patios should look alike. We want consumers to buy what they love and love what they buy.”

With the limited choices offered at mass retail and home improvement stores, many consumers settle—dare we say reluctantly—on a green patio umbrella or a typical black bar stool. Larger retailers will offer anywhere from two to six options of each, on average. Hayneedle offers 87 umbrella choices and a whopping 949 bar stools.

“Consumers want choices, but they don’t want to waste hours traveling from store to store to get them,” says ElDifrawi. “We’re seeing a steady increase of online consumers who realize they can more readily find the style they want at a fraction of the time it takes to shop [at] bricks and mortar stores. The merchants that will win in the new retail environment are the ones that recognize consumers want price and convenience but are not willing to sacrifice their sense of style to get it.”

Style is something Hayneedle knows well. The company has a team of buyers and merchants who select each and every product.

“They’re obsessive about it,” says ElDifrawi, referring to the buying team. “It’s on their mind 24-7, so they find styles and designs to fit everything from eclectic to traditional to modern.”

The Hayneedle buying team uses a simple technique to determine versatile yet in-demand products and styles. Representatives from the company meet regularly to determine product lines and categories that are under-represented in the marketplace.

And when it comes to “not settling,” Hayneedle practices what it preaches.

“We’re inspired to keep searching and discovering unique products,” explains ElDifrawi. “It’s what we do and what our customers want. . . . And if you're ever in my neighborhood, stop in—just look for the fuchsia patio umbrella among the 28 green ones on the block.”

Looking for unique gift ideas for your kids this year? Hayneedle has those too. “We carry traditional, timeless toys such as rocking horses and dollhouses,” says a toy expert from Hayneedle. “These are the items parents and grandparents buy because they had one too. Play-kitchens and petal cars are great for imaginations and offer years of play.”

Have a hard-to-buy-for kid? Hayneedle suggests, “Personalized items are always great. . . . We have toy boxes, table and chair sets, and dollhouses that can all have a child’s name added for a unique, special gift. Hayneedle has a great selection of items kids won’t see in the stores.”

About Hayneedle

Hayneedle (, the leading online retailer in product variety, was originally established in 2002 as NetShops, Inc. with just three employees. NetShops, Inc. has been recognized by and Inc. magazine as one of online retail’s fastest growing companies. In 2009, it changed its name to Hayneedle, recognizing an opportunity to develop multiple ecommerce niche stores. The privately held company is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and funded by Insight Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. For more information, visit

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Interview With Frank McKinney

Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle

How will the new kid in town, Ppeekk (“Peekie”), age 13, fight the evil forces of a 50 million-year-old bus-sized shark called Megalodon who is determined to take over the underwater world of High Voltage?

With the help of a magic good luck circle, a royal talking fish, King Frederick the Ninth (nicknamed Dead Fred); Ppeekk’s two new friends, a geeky boy named Quatro and his mouthy kid sister, Mini Romey; and a whole host of sea creatures . . . that’s how.

Ppeekk’s first day at a new school takes her on a walk through a nature preserve, where she encounters a strange dwarf working with a construction crew: “He puffed on a pipe and blew perfect smoke rings that seemed to hang in the air,” his piercing blue eyes and soothing voice chanting:

“Waves of Smoke

And Fish that Sing

Silvery, Shimmery,

Glittery Wings,

Step and Dance

Within the Ring,

Look to See,

What Dreaming Brings.”

Ppeekk’s adventure of a lifetime is about to begin.

Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle is packed full of under-sea adventure, suspense, mystery, and magic. Author Frank McKinney got the idea for Dead Fred on the way to his daughter’s school. He says, “I have personally walked my daughter Laura to school over 1,200 times (she has never been driven). Imagine the stories, games, and adventures we have schemed and experienced since pre-kindergarten (she is in 6th grade now) as we walked through a dense forest, past a nature preserve, and over an old drawbridge every single school day of her life!”

McKinney has definitely captured the essence of being young. His characters are what any adolescent would love to be: courageous, smart, adventurous, and, most of all, likeable.

Frank McKinney is indeed a bit of an enigma. He’s written five books, all of which have become international bestsellers. He’s an extreme risk-taker, a philanthropist, a real-estate “artist,” and a visionary, all without any previous training. To see another example of Frank’s success, look at Acqua Liana (, the world’s largest and most opulent certified green home, covering over 15,000 square feet and costing $29 million dollars.

How does he do it?

Frank says, “Success is sharing your blessings with those less fortunate. It is applying the wonderful life mantra, regardless of your religious preference, the biblical passage from the Gospel of Luke (12:48): ‘To whom much is entrusted, much will be expected.’ I believe in exercising your risk threshold like a muscle; eventually it will become stronger and able to withstand greater pressure. Never lose the little girl or boy inside. Once you do, all creativity dies, and it is ingenuity and artistry that are rewarded in life today. That is the reason I wrote Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle from my tree house office!”

With the success of Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle, I ask Frank, is there a sequel in his future? He said, “As I am contemplating the sequel, I am asking readers to be a part of the new book by submitting their ideas for new characters and a new villain to;

In addition, Frank also reminds us to “be sure to play the ‘three-headed treasure hunt’ when reading Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle” at:

Dead Fred, Flying Lunchboxes, and the Good Luck Circle is sure to please any adventurer on your list this holiday season. Look for it in bookstores everywhere or online at

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

“You’ve come a long way, baby…”

This may seem like a tired, old cliché, but it definitely holds true, especially in the realm of parenting. Parents today have to deal with many more obstacles than the parents of yesteryear; from sex, drugs, and violence in our schools and on TV to a whole new realm of cyber-bullying and internet predators. Not to mention that with the tough economic times we’re in, parents are working more and having to depend on the help of family, friends, or neighbours to help out with their kids.

Well, don’t despair. Help is here. No I’m not personally going to come over and clean your house or entertain your little ones, but I can recommend this one-stop-shop, Big Book of Parenting Solutions by Michele Borba Ed.D.

This book is like having a psychologist at your fingertips. “It’s based on cases of children and their families with whom I have worked over the last years or gathered from my observations,” writes Borba, (Notes to Reader).

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions starts out by giving the reader an overview of the “Seven Deadly Parenting Styles.” Take time to read this section and identify the category you most likely fall into, this will help in your “Parenting for Change.”

That’s not all. This book covers every problem, worry, and situation you could possible think of. Plus, it’s broken up into nine sections for easy reference, with sub-categories in each.

Part 1: Family

Part 2: Behaviour

Part 3: Character

Part 4: Emotions

Part 5: Social Scene

Part 6: School

Part 7: Special Needs

Part 8: Day to Day

Part 9: Electronics

After you’ve pinpointed the section you need, you can then read about The Problem: Red Flags, The Change to Parent For, Why Change?, and The Solution. If that’s not enough, each sub-category also has added advice in sidebars with, More Helpful Advice, Late-Breaking News, One Parent’s Answer, and Pay Attention to This.

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions has over 626 pages of solid, practical advice and solutions for all your parenting needs. This would make an excellent gift for anyone just starting a family or in the very midst of raising their own kids.

To order your copy, please visit;

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Perfect Nest for Mrs Mallard - Review

Come on a journey with Mrs. Mallard as she looks for the perfect nesting spot.

Is it by the pool’s edge, where the Coots have taken up residence? Maybe under the rhododendron bush would be better? Or perhaps on the island’s edge, where the swans, Canada geese, and herons make their home?

After Mrs. Mallard finally decides on a nesting spot, whom will she trust to help get her babies safely across the parking lot and to the pond?

Mrs. Mallard has some tough decisions to make in A Perfect Nest for Mrs. Mallard by Angela Cater. This beautifully illustrated picture book chronicles the quest of one mother duck to find the perfect nesting spot. In addition, Cater has sprinkled in facts about mallards and various other water foul, as well as actual photographs of “Mrs. Mallard” and her babies.

This would make the perfect gift for the little nature lover on your list. A Perfect Nest for Mrs Mallard is available at, Barnes & Noble, and Borders and online at

Sunday, November 15, 2009

IBW Books - Review

IBW Books (Interactive Book-Webscene)

Looking for a fun new way to teach your Preschoolers? The Busy Preschooler’s Guide to Learning, by Trish Kline and Mary Donev may just be your answer.

Why settle for a flat, one-dimensional book when you can have a full hands-on experience? Interactive Book-Webscene (IBW) takes the tangibility of a print book and combines it with the fun, excitement, and interactivity of the computer for a unique mix. Reading a plain book is good, but having the option of incorporating different games and learning tools is awesome—your kids will love it.

Here’s how it works: You read a chapter. At the end of the chapter, you find a web-link. Go to the web-link and you’ll see an animation or other multimedia called a webscene that’s part of the story. After you view the webscene, you go back to the book and read another chapter, find another web-link, and so on. Six or more webscenes are included in every IBW book.

IBW - The Busy Preschoolers Guide to Learning takes your tyke through the alphabet with several unique and fun games/exercises for each individual letter. Plus, your child will also be learning valuable skills, such as:

• Reading readiness
• Position and direction
• Colors and shapes
• Numbers
• Listening and sequencing
• Gross- and fine-motor skills
• Time
• Size
• Social-emotional development

In addition, be sure to check out the online handwriting program called ABC-TRACE-123 at the bottom of each webscene. This enables your child to click and drag animal icons around the target for a fun way to learn the alphabet while developing the motor skills needed for handwriting.

This is the most fun you could ever ask for from a book. IBW is sure to be the wave of the future.
To learn more about IBW or to get started, visit their web site at

Friday, November 13, 2009

10 Ways to Make Your Work from Home Experience Successful

By Lesley Spencer Pyle, MSc.

1. Whether you are dealing with a customer over the phone or via email, it should always be done with the utmost professionalism. You want your current and potential customers to feel confident in your abilities. This should include stepping into a quiet area to make a call to a client or getting a company-dedicated phone number so you can answer the call with a company greeting. Emails should always be spell- checked before they are sent.

2. Schedule your day and create goals to ensure you are completing all the tasks that need to be done as well as making a set number of marketing contacts each day. This will help you remain focused and productive despite any distractions that might be taking place in your home.

3. Create a business plan to help keep you on track. It is a lengthy and miserable process for some, but once completed, it is so advantageous to the success of your business. Even if no one else ever sees it, a business plan creates a tool for you to make sure you have thought through the entire process of running a successful business.

4. Determine your strengths and weaknesses and what responsibilities take up the majority of your time, either in the workplace or your household. These are the functions that should be considered for outsourcing, which will help you find a balance and, more importantly, focus on the strengths that will help thrust your business forward.

5. Participate in local and online networking groups to help build resources and a support group. There are several online groups, including,, and

6. Get yourself up to speed with new technologies. Whether it is taking a class online or at a local community college or having someone come in to train you, you will keep up with your competitors by being technologically literate.

7. Set parameters with your family members so they know that when you are working, this is your work time. This may be challenging with little ones but should get easier as you continue to emphasize the importance of “work time.” Be sure to hire help when needed. Your business needs your full attention, as do your children. Don’t try to do both at once.

8. Set a limit so you are not overwhelmed by taking on too much at one time. Be comfortable with letting people know that you are not available to watch their kids, do volunteer work, etc. It is OK to say that your schedule is really booked right now but maybe in the near future they can call on you when things have settled down.

9. Create emergency back-up plans. These would include back-up daycare, instructions for what to do if your computer system goes down, or lists of people you can rely on for assistance if a huge project comes in. This prevents you from scrambling at the last minute.

10. Make time for yourself. Points 1–9 will not make any difference if you are not looking out for yourself. You need to be healthy and happy to be there for your family and your business. Prioritize time for you, your faith, your family, your friends, and your home in addition to your business.

Lesley Spencer Pyle is the founder and president of the, Inc. Network, which includes Home-Based Working Moms ( and ( Pyle has been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Parenting, Dr. Laura’s Perspectives, Family PC, and many others. She has four children ages two to fourteen years old and has been working from home since the first baby was born!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tips on Cleaning and Disinfecting

Holidays are Haven for Germs

THE MAIDS offer tips on cleaning and disinfecting to minimize spread of germs

If your home will be holiday headquarters for family and friends, it may also be a haven for germs and viruses. Follow these tips provided by THE MAIDS Home Services to help battle pesky germs before, during, and after your holiday celebrations.

· Wash your hands regularly in warm, soapy water. Place antibacterial hand sanitizer in plain view for guests to use. Make an effort to not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes without first washing your hands.

· Spray disinfecting spray on a cloth, and wipe all hard surfaces—doorknobs, appliance handles, keyboards, remote controls, light switches, phones, facial tissue box covers, tables, chairs, and counters. Viruses can live for up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.

· Keep germs at bay in the bathroom by stashing disinfecting wipes near the toilet and sink for easy, quick clean-up whenever needed.

· Hosting overnight guests? Wash items like towels and bedding in hot water with soap. Be sure to not share these items until they are thoroughly cleaned.

· To keep children safe, you can clean and sanitize toys by putting them through a dishwasher cycle. Make sure items are dishwasher-safe and are placed securely on the racks away from the heat source. Turn off “heat dry” and run the wash cycle as usual.

About THE MAIDS Home Services:

THE MAIDS Home Services, founded in 1979, is a premier residential cleaning service in the U.S. and Canada. Rated as the fastest-growing residential cleaning franchise in Entrepreneur magazine for the past four years, THE MAIDS is one of the oldest and largest residential cleaning franchisers, serving over 40 states and four provinces in North America. For more information, visit THE MAIDS Home Services web site at “Nobody Outcleans The Maids.”

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Guest Blogger - Author David Krueger

French Fries, Credit Cards, and Debt Psychology: The Behavioral Economics of Small Decisions

by David Krueger, MD

The Tyranny of Small Decisions

How do two French fries weigh 40 pounds?

· Putting on 40 pounds over 10 years means gaining an average of four pounds per year

· 40 pounds divided by 10 years equals 4 pounds per year

· 4 pounds divided by 12 months equals .33 (1/3) of a pound per month.

· This is approximately 1/100th of a pound per day (1/3 pound divided by 30 days)

· One pound of stored fat represents 3500 calories

· 3500 times 1/100 equals 35

· To achieve the feat of gaining 40 pounds in 10 years, all you have to do is consume

an extra 35 calories every day.

· 35 calories = two regular French fries

Little things count.

Economist Alfred Kahn described how we become trapped by the series of seemingly insignificant choices that we make—the tyranny of small decisions. And if we were able to see ahead to the end results of those small decisions, we might chart an entirely different course.

If you are burdened by credit card debt, it probably wasn’t one huge purchase that created the problem. More likely, it was hundreds of small decisions all along the way. Some were necessary, some justified, some rationalized. “It’s just a couple of French fries” thinking. Internal bargaining took care of others: “Just this one time” or “I’ll pay it off next month.” Segmentation of the pleasure of the purchase from the pain of payment obviated any lingering questions.

The Nobility of Small Decisions

Consider the inverse: the nobility of small decisions.

We recognize, in parenting, from the very beginning, that we really don’t know which interactions or words will be really important or even remembered. Knowing that we don’t know, we have to assume that everything we do is important. Everything matters.

Consider the very small decision of stopping for a $4 coffee each day. Calculate how much that is per year. With interest, how much it would be in ten years. In twenty years.

Epictetus asked twenty centuries ago: “What is a good person?” The one, he reflected, who achieves tranquility by having formed the habit of asking on every occasion, “What is the right thing to do now?”

You can be held hostage by small decisions. Or you can be effective, achieve mastery, and freedom by small decisions.

All you have to do in life is the next right thing.


David Krueger, MD

1. Don’t use credit cards.

In numerous studies, individuals spend significantly more—on the average 23%—when using credit cards versus paying cash. Credit cards make money an abstraction, as well as relegating payment to a future time. The immediacy of real money makes cash a real consideration.

2. Estimate expenses in detail; pay in cash.

Studies at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland found that people spend less when they have to estimate expenses in detail as well as pay in cash instead of using credit.

3. Pause between the pick and the purchase.

Time cures wants. Wants are the language of the initial intoxicating exposure to dopamine. A study from UCLA found that when purchases were interrupted—a break in the buying process—purchasers became more objective and discerning about the need to buy. Dopamine is released with an increase in anticipation. The anticipation makes actions feel compelling. Neuroscientists at Emory University found that this delay disrupted dopamine release. This is the chemical that, once a purchase is made, diminishes to result in “buyer’s remorse.” Create a contemplative pause—a space of time between choosing something and paying for it at check-out.

4. Simplify your symbolism.

Designer brands are marketed to symbolically represent quality, desirability, and the experience of having “arrived.” The symbolism of specialness costs more. The qualities that we attribute to brands create a relationship with the brand that results in both desire and the commitment to pay more.

5. Leave emotions at home.

Emotions highjack the logical brain and, along with it, reasonable decisions. Under stress, we may relieve that stress by buying, hoarding, or purchasing out of other emotional needs, such as insecurity or a desire to win approval.

6. Don’t be special.

Special offers or other indications that you are in a select group—an inner circle of consideration—will make you buy more than you need. Special, exclusive, unique offers induce a desire to respond with gratitude and with purchases. Be suspicious of special offers.

7. Shop alone.

The social contagion of shopping with friends induces a relaxation of usual constraints as well as the desire to impress friends with purchases.

8. Know what “good enough” is.

Rather than go on an impossible quest for perfection or the unattainable endpoint of “more,” you need to specifically define what good enough is. Having an endpoint lets you know when you have arrived, when you can feel satisfaction, and when you can experience effectiveness and mastery at reaching a goal.

9. Keep your eye on the ball . . .

Focus on the immediate and the specific and their importance.

10. . . . and your head in the game.

Be aware of the big picture—the scope of importance. A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that wealthy Londoners do not feel rich because they do not mix with less affluent people. When you look at the global neighborhood, that half of humanity lives on less than $3 a day, it puts things in perspective. In the United States about 1% of the people owns 96% of the wealth. Keep the big picture in mind. “Good enough” is the antithesis of “more.”

11. Consider the opportunity cost of your purchase.

Instead of purchasing an item, calculate what the money would be worth in five or ten years if you invested it.

12. Consider the absolute value rather than the anchor price.

Evaluate an item you purchase on the basis of the item itself rather than the stated initial price. Our brains are wired to log in an initial anchor price and then to judge everything in reference to that anchor price.

13. Consider the actual product and what you will do with it if purchased.

Disregard the brand, the esteem of ownership, and how you will be perceived as its owner. Marketing produces desires we didn’t know we had.

14. Use “free” as a cue to spend more slowly.

Evaluate carefully. “Free” is designed to induce action and minimize consideration.
NOTE: Dave will do "An Evening With The Author" discussion of his book just released by McGraw Hill, The Secret Language of Money on Tuesday evening, November 10 at 7:00 PM Eastern by Teleseminar. Registration, which includes free downloads of excerpts, is at

Friday, November 6, 2009

TIME Great Discoveries: Explorations that Changed History

Looking for a chance to get away from it all, but tight on funds? What if you could journey through the past on a trip through the Egyptian ruins with leading archaeologist and Egypt’s own “Indiana Jones,” Zahi Hawass, as your tour guide? Or learn about the “Calendars of Stone” and the “City in the Sky,” Machu Picchu? Or maybe travelling along the trail of Viking navigators is more your style?

What if you could search for the source of the Nile, go on a polar exploration, travel to the ends of the earth, go on a quest for mineral riches, or seek a new species of human known as “Hobbits”?

Sound like fun? There’s more.

You’re not limited to the past and present. Take a journey into space and the future. Map out Mars. Take a look at the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Or view the astonishing auroras’ magnetic rope tricks. You can even learn about NASA’s Kepler Telescope.

Now what if I told you it would only cost you around $35 to have all these incredible experiences? Impossible, right? Wrong. You can do all this and more.

TIME Great Discoveries: Explorations that Changed History is your one-stop source for all these great adventures, and it won’t break your budget. This beautiful coffee table book is 135 pages of fun and interesting facts. Plus, its large, glossy pages are loaded with visually stunning photography, making you feel like you’re right there.

This book would make a great addition to any collection, and with Christmas right around the corner, those hard-to-buy-for folks are now taken care of. Pick up your copy today at leading booksellers or online at

Take the journey with TIME Great Discoveries . . . you’ll be glad you did

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wellspring Camp

Did you know?

· Research indicates overweight children and teens perform worse on some measures of intellectual functioning and in school.

· Obese children are absent from school an average of 20% more days than healthy- weight children.

· Significant weight loss has led to improvements in a measure of academic competence.

We all know what the effects of being overweight can bring – physically, mentally, and socially. When you’re an obese child or teenager “just trying to fit in,” the added strain is only intensified.

The number of obese children has increased explosively over the last ten years and continues to rise. Let’s face it, we live in a “fast-food-computer-generated” era, where food is prepared for the taste buds and ease of preparation and exercise is looked upon as a leisure activity, rather than a way of life.

So what can we do to help our overweight kids? Of course we start by setting an example, eating healthy, and getting daily exercise, but sometimes that’s just not enough.

Wellspring Camp, the leading weight loss program for teens and young adults, may be the answer to your problem. Wellspring has a scientific approach to diet and activity management that helps campers change behaviors in order to adopt a new, healthy lifestyle. Campers lose an average of 4 lbs. per week and, best of all, 70% of Wellspring campers maintain or continue losing weight at home.

Wellspring takes kids as young as five years of age and has fourteen locations located in California, Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania, and in the UK and Canada. Family camps, retreats and adult programs are also available. Wellspring Camps isn’t only a place to get healthy; your kids will meet others struggling with the same issues and have a lot of fun doing it.

This organization just launched an early enrolment deal of $1,000 off their summer 2010 programs from now until January 31, 2010. How does it work? Any parent who registers his or her child will immediately receive the discount upon completion of the form. Summer programs start at $6,000 and many guests will be eligible for health insurance reimbursement.

To see more of what Wellspring Camps are all about, or to take advantage of this great offer, check out their web site at


*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.