Friday, March 27, 2015

Fun Freetime: Gym Class Science

Scientists and Jocks are BFFs on DreamWorksTV’s new series ‘Gym Class Science.’ How do science and sports combine to make a web series? In under four minutes, hosts and YouTube stars Jonah Green (of Mutant Boyfriend) and Tessa Netting (of Geek with Me) take science to the extreme and break down the physics, chemistry and biology of your favorite sports: hockey, running, etc.

In episode one, the hosts demonstrate the explosive properties of hydrogen and the awesome physics of the competitive sport of archery. Watch what happens when kid expert archer Thomas shoots a flaming arrow at a hydrogen-filled balloon!  (Warning: don’t try this at home!). 

Want more Gym Class Science? Subscribe to the channel and check back on Fridays!

Healthy Habits: Colorectal Cancer

Wade Hayes is a country singer and advanced colorectal cancer advocate. Wade was at the height of his country music career with Billboard hits and a promising road ahead when he was diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer.

Like so many people facing a cancer diagnosis, he had to put his life on hold. He is now disease free and would like to raise awareness about this disease and discuss the inspiration behind his new song “Go Live Your Life,” an emotional song that he wrote after his oncologist told him he no longer had any evidence of disease. 

Wade was joined by Dr. Manish Shah, an oncologist specializing in advanced colorectal cancer.

According to the 2015 American Cancer Society report, from 2007 to 2011, incidence rates declined 4.3% per year among adults 50 years of age and older, but increased by 1.8% per year among adults younger than age 50. Wade was 42-years-old when he was diagnosed.

Through a partnership with the Colon Cancer Alliance and Genentech, for every download of “Go Live Your Life” purchased on iTunes, a donation of a $1 (up to $50K) will be made to the Colon Cancer Alliance Blue Note Fund, a non-profit that supports advanced colorectal cancer patients who are currently in treatment.

Dr. Manish Shah is Director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Dr. Manish A. Shah completed his undergraduate education at Johns Hopkins University in 1991, going on to receive his Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School/MIT Health Sciences and Technology program in 1996, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency training at Duke University Medical Center in 1999, and his Fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2001, where he served as Chief Oncology Fellow. Dr. Shah now serves as Director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program within the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and the Center for Advanced Digestive Care at Weill Cornell Medical College/ NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Shah is a distinguished peer-review funded investigator and has led several Phase I, II and III clinical trials in GI malignancies. He is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association for Clinical Research (AACR).
The information provided today is for educational purposes. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your medical condition or your treatment.
[1] SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Colon and Rectum Cancer. National Cancer Institute.

Consumer Critique: Healthy Delights Chews

Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. 

Healthy Delights creates confectionary nutritional products. They have three new products: Hair, Skin & Nails Chews, Probiotic Chocolate Bites & Multi-Vitamin Chews.

Healthy Delights products are packed with essential vitamins without compromising great taste.  The Hair, Skin & Nails Chews feature 5,000 mcg of Biotin, an essential B Vitamin, to nourish and strengthen hair and nails and impart a luminous glow from the inside out. The Probiotic Chocolate Bites contain more than 1 billion strains of probiotics combined with powerful antioxidants to balance the immune system and support digestive health. With natural strawberry and watermelon flavors, the Multi-Vitamin Chews are a delicious way to get 16 essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C, D and E, Biotin, Vitamin B12 and Zinc.  

Other products include coconut oil chews to promote metabolism, control appetite, and support immune system, strawberry B-12 energy chews, chocolate probiotic bites, and chews that contain green coffee bean, biotin, CoQ-10, or garcinia cambogia.

The formulas are gluten-free and do not contain artificial colors or flavors, preservatives or animal by-products.  Healthy Delights is available at Walgreens stores nationwide for $11.99 each.

I've gotten to try out the coconut oil, the B-12, and the probiotic chews. All three are great tasting - and normally I don't really like coconut. There's not much coconut texture to the chews, so they're easy to eat. It's great to have a sweet treat that has some healthy nutrients too!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Giveaway: The Hobbit - The Battle of the Five Armies Blu-Ray

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves.

Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.
Special Features on the Blu-Ray combo pack include:

• New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth Part 3
• Recruiting the Five Armies
• Completing Middle-earth: A Six-Part Saga
• Completing Middle-earth: A Seventeen-Year Journey
• The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes
• Music Video
• Trailers
I have a chance to giveaway a Blu-Ray copy of the movie. To enter, take the quiz below and comment with your results. Deadline is March 31st.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Blu-ray The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. I am working with Warner Home Video for this giveaway.

Consumer Critique: Just Cookie Dough

Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

I love cookie dough. I always finish out what's left in the bowl. However, it's not always a good idea, if the dough contains raw eggs. Just Cookie Dough is free of eggs, dairy, and cholesterol. The parent company, Hampton Creek is on a mission to make healthier, more affordable food options. Products include Just Cookie Dough and Just Mayo, the latter with several different varieties.

I had a chance to sample the cookie dough, and it was delicious. It didn't even make it to the oven. 
Unfortunately I can't vouch for how well it bakes up, but it's probably the best store-bought cookie dough I've ever tasted raw. No aftertaste, great texture, and I look forward to buying it again to actually bake this time!

Just Mayo is nationwide at Walmart, Target, Safeway, Kroger, Shipwright, Dollar Tree, Costco, and more. Just Cookie Dough is sold at Limited Krogers - parts of AL, GA, SC, MI, Limited Whole Foods Markets - SoPac, PacNW, Costco San Diego and Central Market in TX. 

Parenting Pointers: AutoWeb's Safe Car List

AutoWeb, the fast-growing search engine designed to help car shoppers find and choose the right vehicle based on specific and intuitive search criteria, has released its list of the ten safest new family cars for under $25,000.

Parents will instinctively do anything to protect their children, but many forget that all family sedans are not created equal in terms of crash safety.

In the most basic sense, curb weight — vehicle mass — matters in terms of frontal-impact protection, with heavier vehicles doing a better job of protecting vehicle occupants. 

Researching curb weight isn’t difficult, but understanding automotive engineering — more specifically, how a vehicle protects its occupants in an accident – is not a talent taught in high school. Thankfully, the aforementioned IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) run dozens of vehicles through a battery of crash tests each year and publish the results.

To come up with a list of the safest new family vehicles, they looked at curb weight and crash tests scores. Then they factored in comfort, practicality, fuel economy and performance. As larger and heavier cars tend to be more expensive, they then drew a line at $25,000.
Based on those parameters, AutoWeb’s Chief Analyst Michael Harley has come up with his  list of the “10 safest new family cars you can buy for less than $25,000” – parental instincts will take care of the rest.

1.     2015 Chevrolet Malibu
2.    2015 Chrysler 200
3.    2015 Honda Accord
4.    2015 Hyundai Sonata
5.    2015 Mazda 3
6.    2015 Mazda 6
7.    2015 Subaru Impreza
8.    2015 Subaru Legacy
9.    2015 Toyota Camry
10. 2015 Volkswagen Jetta

 Read More Here            

About AutoWeb
AutoWeb is the first vehicle search engine with unique social sharing features that make shopping for a car more engaging and fun, while enhancing the experience with intriguing and informative content. AutoWeb’s adserver platform enables advertisers to reach car buyers across all makes, models, locations and devices, delivering high-intent car shoppers to automotive-related websites and apps in real-time. Founded in 2013, AutoWeb is headquartered in Miami, has regional offices in Detroit and Los Angeles, and is expanding operations around the world. For more information, visit

Giveaway: Snipe Hunt

Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. 

There are times when parents struggle to find something to keep kids occupied. It's tempting to just let kids play video games, surf the Net, or watch TV. Snipe Hunt from Education Outdoors is a great indoor/outdoor  hide-and-seek game. Simply turn on the Snipe, find a good hiding spot for it and send your kids out on the search! As time passes, the Snipe will begin to make noise and its eyes will light up to help clue kids in to where it is hiding.

My girls loved this. They enjoy playing it over and over again, sometimes helping each other, sometimes competing with each other to see who finds it first. We've played it indoors and in our yard, and it is a great way to get them up and moving around (and sometimes cleaning their rooms too).

I have a chance to giveaway one. To enter, check out @campgames on Twitter or and leave a comment with your favorite thing from the websites. Deadline is March 31st.

Giveaway: GoodBelly

Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. 

With spring holiday meals and early summer barbecues, it's tempting to overeat, which means our bellies may be in need of a little TLC! GoodBelly is a line of probiotic drinks that can help balance digestion after rich food and drinks. GoodBelly juices are packed with probiotics and good-for-you plants, fruits, and vegetables. They are non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free and vegan, made with the well-researched probiotic strain, LP299V to give you the digestive helpers you need! Drink straight out of the carton, blend into your favorite smoothie for a festive morning treat, or save it for a next-day reboot. 

I had a chance to try some out. I loved tropical orange and cranberry watermelon. My kids really liked them too!

Right now there's a 12 Day Belly Reboot - guaranteed that you'll love it or your money back. You can find details on the website. I also have a chance to give one lucky reader 3 VIP product vouchers to complete a 12 Day Belly Reboot. To enter, leave a comment with what flavor you most want to try. Deadline is March 31st.

Mealtime Magic: Mediterranean Seafood Salad

With the Lenten season upon us, many may seek to turn to fast food and dining out to avoid eating meat on Fridays. This year, why not try this simple at-home recipe that won’t break your diet, or the bank?

Kontos Foods has crafted a Mediterranean Seafood Salad recipe that can be served on a pita to make sticking to your Lenten commitment a little bit easier. This recipe is a healthy alternative to pizza or fried food and, if you know you’ll be in a rush, you can make it ahead of time for a quick and easy Friday night preparation.

Mediterranean Seafood Salad on a Pita
Vegetable (such as eggplant or zucchini)

Scallops or Shrimp
Olive Oil
Medium Onion, chopped
Garlic cloves, more or less to taste
Salt & pepper
Cooked couscous (or cooked rice)
Kontos Pita or Flatbread


  1. Cut up vegetables into small cubes.  Slice the mushrooms.
  2. If using shrimp, peel, de-vein, and cut into small cubes.
  3. In a small amount of olive oil, sauté the onion and the garlic until the onion is soft, but not quite transparent.
  4. Add the vegetables and mushrooms.  Sauté until they are almost soft.  Taste and add salt, pepper, and whatever spices suit you (i.e., oregano, basil or crushed red pepper).
  5. Add the scallops or shrimp and cook until just done, about a two or three-minutes. Scallops will turn opaque and shrimp will turn pink. Do NOT overcook.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the cooked couscous and mix thoroughly.    
Place on warmed Kontos Flatbread and fold over (you may also add chopped tomato) and serve cold.

As an appetizer – cut the warmed Kontos Flatbread into wedges, top with the salad, and serve.

“This recipe is great for Lent because you can transform it to suit any occasion, or satisfy any craving, without disrupting Lenten guidelines,” said Steve Kontos, vice president of Kontos Foods. “You have the freedom to serve it as an appetizer, or an entrée, or to substitute your favorite seafood or vegetable, without sacrificing great taste.”

About Kontos Foods
Founded in 1987, Kontos Foods, Inc. is a Paterson, NJ-based provider of traditional Mediterranean foods for restaurants, hotels, food service, retail specialty stores and supermarkets worldwide. The family-owned company specializes in hand-stretched flatbreads, including the Kontos Pocket-Less Pita®, Fillo dough, pastries, olives, gyro meats, and Greek yogurts, as well as nearly 50 varieties of multi-ethnic flatbreads. Kontos has over 225 employees and was founded by Evripides (Evris) Kontos together with his son Steven, who together bring over 100 years’ experience in the premium food industry. To learn more, visit, or call (973) 278-2800.

Consumer Critique: If I Was A Bird...What Kind Of Flock Would I Fly With?

Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

I recently got a chance to read If I was a Bird...What Kind of Flock Would I Fly With? by Peter Sacco. This is a cute book that really packs a lot in to its pages! Kids learn about types of birds, symbolism behind birds, and relationship tips that can help prevent bullying and other negative peer behaviors.

My girls both enjoyed the book, although my younger one (5) didn't have the patience to sit through the whole thing. My older one (7) has loved spouting off the facts she's learned.

If I Was A Bird will be printed in five different languages to benefit children’s programs at the Center For Abuse Awareness, an organization highlighting the true cost of neglect and abuse, and supporting abuse-related organizations in the U.S. and Canada, including children’s services, victims services, shelters and other agencies that deal with children, women and men whose lives have been affected by abuse.

Peter is the author of many popular international books and more than 700 magazine articles. He has received the Award of Excellence in Teaching and lectures at universities in both the U.S. and Canada. He currently hosts a weekly radio show, “Matters of the Mind” which features celebrities with whom he discusses mental health, relationship and addiction issues. He is also an award-winning executive producer and host of documentaries on relationships, psychological issues and children’s issues.