Saturday, January 29, 2011 - A New Website Created to Help Others and Feed the Hungry

Christopher Burgess is one of the top experts in his field of security, both online and off.  From helping people with security issues, to feeding the hungry, to bring an awareness to the horrible situation of human trafficking, Christopher is a true humanitarian.  This is why when he recently launched his new website, I knew I had to add it this Blog of helpful books, websites and resources.....
Here is a little bit about Christopher:

BurgessCT  is the personal website of Christopher Burgess, where he shares his thoughts on many of the chronic issues which face our society today in the 21st century.  

  • Hunger: Christopher primarily focuses on bringing to the forefront the needs of those who are food insecure in the United States

  • Human Trafficking:  The United States has a serious issue with respect to the trafficking of persons within our borders.  Christopher will share his thoughts on the situation in each of the states which make up the United States with particular emphasis on the sexual exploitation of minors.

  • Safety & Security:  As the title implies, will be full of advice and guidance on keeping you and your family safe online and off.  In addition, Christopher will speak the prevelant issues being experienced by our young and elderly in the online world, which end up in exploitation, bullying, or threat to life/property. 
There is much more!  Click here. 

You can also follow him on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

PACER Center: Champions for Children with Disabilities

What is PACER Center?

Visit Today
PACER Center is a parent training and information center for families of children and youth with all disabilities from birth through 21 years old. Located in Minneapolis, it serves families across the nation, as well as those in Minnesota. Parents can find publications, workshops, and other resources to help make decisions about education, vocational training, employment, and other services for their children with disabilities.

Highlights from PACER programs:

  • PACER provides information, support, workshops, and referrals to both families and professionals.
  • PACER provides puppet programs on disability awareness and abuse prevention.
  • PACER's Simon Technology Center provides software, adaptive devices and training to help children and young adults with disabilities learn to communicate through technology.
  • PACER provides programs for Native American, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Somali and Southeast Asian communities. Many of our publications have been translated into Hmong, Somali and Spanish.
  • PACER's Family-to-Family Health Information Center provides a single source of information, including resources and support, for families whose children have disabilities and complex health care needs.
  • Through the Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers, PACER offers consultation and technical assistance to the over 100 parent centers across the nation funded under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Its work affects the 7 million children with disabilities across the nation.
  • Other programs focus on employment, grandparents, housing and bullying prevention.
Learn more about PACER at

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NFCC 2011 Be Money-Wise National Financial Poster Contest

As a parent, you know your children will learn the importance of making smart money choices through experience. But did you know financial experts agree that starting early in life is one of the keys to later financial success? I’m contacting you today on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) to alert you and your readers about a fun chance for children of all ages to get a head start towards a smart financial future!

In an effort to increase interest in financial literacy to our nation’s youth, the NFCC is once again sponsoring the 2011 Be Money-Wise National Financial Literacy Poster Contest and has chosen “Be a $uperhero! $ave Money!” as this year’s theme. The contest is a great way to get young students thinking about how to manage money effectively, and offers them a creative outlet to demonstrate their knowledge. The contest also provides the opportunity for local and national recognition for student artwork, and rewards the winners with US savings bonds as well as other prizes!

Do you have a child or children in mind that you feel has the talent and creativity to win? All school-aged children in grades 3-12 are eligible to enter with local and national winners to be chosen from each of three grade categories. Students from public, private, and home-schools are welcome. Entries will be judged by expression of the theme (above), artistic style, creativity, and must be submitted through an NFCC Member Agency for judging. *The submission deadline for poster entries is in February 2011, varying by each specific member agency. 

National finalists will be judged in Washington, DC in mid-March and placed in contention for three national awards, one per each of the three grade categories. An overall national winner will then be chosen from the three category winners. The winner will be presented with the national award plaque as well as a $500 savings bond during Financial Literacy Month in Washington, DC at the JumpStart Coalition’s Annual Awards Dinner in April!

Parents are encouraged to visit to find rules, entry forms, and submission details. I look forward to working together to get the word out about 2011’s contest.

Encourage a child to get involved today!

Join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

Check out the 2010 winners!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Recovering The Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing

Order today!
Recovering The Self is a quarterly journal which explores the themes of recovery and healing through the lenses of poetry, memoir, opinion, essays, fiction, humor, art, media reviews and psychoeducation. Contributors to RTS Journal come from around the globe to deliver unique perspectives you won't find anywhere else!

The theme of Volume III, Number 1 is "New Beginnings". Inside, we explore this and several other areas of concern including:

  • Diet
  • Health and Chronic Illness
  • Fitness
  • Parenting
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Child Abuse Survivors
  • Relationships
  • Substance Abuse Recovery
  • Grieving
  • Incarceration 
  • Journaling
  • and much more...
This issue's contributors include: Barbara Sinor, Chandru Bhojwani, David Roberts, Sam Vaknin, Niall McLaren, Allison Ballard, Claire Luna-Pinsker, Holli Kenley, Kat Fasano-Nicotera, Bronnie Ware, Jim Kelly, Andrew D. Gibson, Larry Hayes, George W. Doherty, Bonnie Spence, Sweta Srivastava Vikram, Michaela Sefler, RD Armstrong, Devon Tomasulo, Patricia Wellingham-Jones, Sue Sheff, Gail Straub Daniel Tomasulo, and Diane Wing.

Get sneak peek!

Order on Amazon today!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Avon Calling.... Fundraising Can be FUN and Products You Can Use

A product your neighbor will support
Many schools (private and public) will have our kids bring home those fundraisers that we cringe over.  But what about a fundraiser with products you can actually benefit from?  Avon has been part of many families for many years and many don't realize they have fundraisers!

Earn up to 40% profit with an Avon fundraiser. Request information now from an authorized Avon Rep. She will provide everything you need to get you started with your Avon fundraiser. Receive professional service from an experienced fundraising manager.

Aren't we tired of the candy, expensive wrapping paper (which we can now get at the dollar stores), and other stuff we simply have no use for?
Learn more - click here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Best Kept Secret - Part 2 of The Pink Locker Society

Order today!
I just loved Debra Moffitt's Pink Locker Society - almost as much as my 12 year old niece did! 

Now part 2 is here!  Best Kept Secret!  I am so excited to read it.  I am anxiously waiting for it. 

From Amazon: 

At the end of "Only Girls Allowed", the first book in the "Pink Locker Society" series, readers were left with a cliff hanger when the society was abruptly shut down by the principal of Margaret Simon Middle School, thanks to hacking by the ever-popular and charismatic Taylor. But Jemma, Piper, and Kate won't be kept down!

At the start of "Best Kept Secret", "The Pink Locker Society" is back in action, featuring the same three smart and savvy 8th graders on their mysterious mission - to help other middle school girls by answering their questions about anything, especially the PBBs (Periods, Bras, and Boys). But this time, the girls are running the show from the spooky school basement, without any adult help. They'll discover why the society was shut down years before, and learn that they'll need to watch their backs to stay afloat.

All the while, Jemma is dealt a rude awakening when her beautiful best friend, Piper, secretly asks Forrest to the annual Backwards Dance. Yes, That Forrest - Jemma's epic crush! Will Jemma and Piper resolve their differences? And will the Pink Locker Society survive? For now, the fate of the friendship and the society are Best Kept Secret, but Jemma may soon unlock the secret behind the pink doors once and for all.

Order today!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Circle of Respect: Learn about Bullying Prevention

What is Circle of Respect?

To promote RESPECT as a way to manage conflict and prevent criminal behavior.

Let's face it, many of today's teens and kids lack the respect that generations prior had for authority and even their parents.  Teens and children are controlling  the home, driving parents crazy and simply don't honor their elders as they should.

So what does Circle of Respect do?

The Circle of Respect is the National Crime Prevention Council’s (NCPC) latest and most comprehensive campaign to protect youth from bullying and cyberbullying. Launching in October, the campaign seeks to change the commonly held belief that bullying is a rite of passage, and teaches instead that such behavior is unacceptable through a positive, pro-social message that encourages respect and consideration for others. To succeed in its mission, the Circle of Respect will feature an education campaign, outreach materials including publications and public service advertising, and partnership efforts to reach a national audience.

One of the strong components of Circle of Respect is educating parents and schools about bullying and cyberbullying.  This is a growing concern and deadly issue that needs to be addressed by the entire country.  Florida, however, has landed on many national headlines with the near death of Michael Brewer and Josie Lou Ratley as well as the special needs 13 year-old girl that was taunted on her school bus - with condoms!
Did you know 160,000 kids miss school every day out of fear of being bullied? The recent cases of young people who have tragically ended their lives because they were so badly bullied are a painful example that there is a serious problem in America today. There is no better time than the present to start changing these statistics…and we can do so through education!

Do you want to become more active in The Circle of Respect?  Here are some other ways you can do so:
  • Circle of Respect Book Club: Take part in the online Book Club to generate a guided national discussion about this issue. The Book Club will feature one book each month on the Circle of Respect’s website by a noted author in the field of bullying and cyberbullying. Each author will also lead an in-depth discussion via a downloadable podcast.
  • Sign up for Email Alerts: Sign up for email alertsto get updates on the campaign, find out how you can be involved, get sneak previews of what's happening next, and even enter contests.
  • Make Your Pledge: What actions will you pledge to take in order to spread awareness and widen the Circle of Respect? Let us know.
  • View Pledges: Sign up for your own free account on The Circle of Respect to see what others are doing to help.
  • Take Awareness Video Viral:NCPC and Saatchi & Saatchi unveiled an animated short starring everyone’s favorite crime dog,McGruff®,  to teach a whole new generation of children how to “Take A Bite Out of Crime.” View and share the video here:
  • Simply spread the word:It’s as easy as it sounds. Share the campaign online via your social networks and also talk openly with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and/or peers.
  • Join us on Facebook:Become a fan today and share your ideas and stories with the community.
For more information, visit:

Watch the video .

Be an educated parent, you will have safer families.

Read more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Overweight Teens - Wellspring Florida Summer Program

Over the past 20 years, clinical obesity among children and adolescents (defined as 95+ percentile body mass index on a growth chart) has skyrocketed from 6% to 15%. This makes overweight teens and teen obesity the most common chronic illness in pediatrics. To provide a sense of the magnitude of the opportunity, the prevalence of eating disorders is only 0.3%.

Although pediatric and adolescent obesity is most common in lower socio-economic groups, it is prevalent at all income levels, including in upper-income families. In 1995, 2.9% of households in the top 5% of income had obese children or adolescents. The number has certainly risen over the past 8 years.

The cause of this epidemic is entirely behavioral: high-calorie diets and insufficient exercise.

The direct effects of pediatric and adolescent obesity are clear and well established:
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus (formerly adult onset diabetes)
  • Hypertension and predisposition for cardiac disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Eye diseases
  • Nerve damage
  • Various gastrointestinal disorders
  • Various skeletal and orthopedic problems
  • 80% increase in incidence of obesity in adulthood
  • Obesity in adulthood likely to be more severe with earlier onset of co-morbidities
Source:  Overweight Teen

Wellspring Florida is the first and only scientifically-based summer fitness and weight loss camp in St. Petersburg Florida, and one of the most effective weight loss programs in the world.

MTV's latest reality show
MTV just launched their new show, "I Used to Be Fat". The show will follow teens during the summer after high school as they work to lose weight and transform themselves before entering college.  As with many of today's reality shows, this is a topic that can be sensitive, difficult, however extremely necessary to talk about and address.

Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens.

Watch the video to learn more about Wellspring summer for your overweight teens.

Read more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

It launched, it roared and it's burning up Blogs, websites and media all over the country, including South Florida. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was released today by author and mother, Amy Chua.
  • No sleepovers.
  • No playdates.
  • No television. (Whoa, that would be tough and probably not such a bad idea with today's reality line-up of television).
  • No computer games.
  • No say in what your activities would be.
  • No school plays.
  • Must play violin or piano.
  • Must always get an 'A' in school.
This is only part of the way Amy Chua raised her two daughters, Sophia and Louisa. In her recent book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, she describes her determination to raise successful daughters in a strict fashion contrary to what she sees as modern American standards.  
Some are calling this extreme parenting.

Sandra M. from Ft. Lauderdale said, "I am not sure this is allowing children to be children, but I also can see that some of her philosophy would be beneficial for today's kids."  Sandra went on to say, "It isn't a secret many American children have entitlement issues and many parents give too much."

Joseph T. from Lauderhill, father of two teenage boys said, "It all seems a bit too rigid, but I won't deny my boys do need more structure and discipline.  Working two jobs and trying to keep the house, it can be impossible to be the perfect parent, but that isn't an excuse, it is just reality today.  My wife lost her job of 12 years, so we needed to supplement our income."

Leona P. from Sunrise, a single mother of a teenage daughter said, "It sounds like she had some struggles, but in the real world we all can't afford those piano or violin lessons, not having TV would be like not ever having a break myself.  I think she has some valid points, but I also believe it is not reality for most families."

Watch the video with Amy Chua's appearance on the TODAY Show

You can order Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, click here.

Read more and leave your comments here.