Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale Review


When all else fails, turn to the divine taste of hummingbird cake.

In the South you always say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” You know everybody’s business. Football is a lifestyle not a pastime. Food—especially dessert— is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family— even if the threat is something you cannot see.

In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, you’ll laugh alongside lifelong friends, navigate the sometimes rocky path of marriage, and roll through the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws . . . from devastating pain to absolute joy. And if you’re lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  This book is sure to tug at your heartstrings. It is mixed with emotions so much so that you can easily have a stack of tissues right next to you for both the ups and downs.  The author does a great job of mixing in the deep south with the bonding of friendships and the strength of the women created is both powerful and inspiring.  I would recommend grabbing a cup of sweet tea and settling in for a real treat.

THE DIRT CURE Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil by Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD Review

In the tradition of Michael Pollan, Mark Hyman, and Andrew Weil, pioneering integrative pediatric neurologist Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD, reveals the shocking contents of children’s food, how it’s seriously harming their bodies and brains, and what we can do about it. And she presents the first nutritional plan for getting and keeping children healthy—a plan that any family can follow.

New alarming studies show the dramatic rise of chronic disease in children—from allergies and ADHD to mental illnesses and obesity. A traditionally trained pediatric neurologist and a parent herself, Dr. Maya encountered the limits of conventional medicine when her son suffered a severe episode of asthma on his first birthday and began a backward slide in his development. Treatments failed to reverse his condition, so Dr. Maya embarked on a scientific investigation, discovering that food was at the root of her son’s illness, affecting his digestive system, immune system, and brain. The solution was shockingly simple: Heal the food, heal the gut, heal the brain…and heal the child.

Recent changes in growing and processing food harm kids’ gut microbiomes, immune systems, and brains, contributing to chronic disease. Dr. Maya’s plan started with the soil, using fresh foods and nature to heal her son from the inside out and the outside in. Since then, she’s successfully helped chronically ill patients from around the world. Revealing the profound connections between food, nature, and children’s health, Dr. Maya explains how food is constantly changing kids’ bodies, brains, and even genes—for better or for worse. She also shares success stories from her practice and tips as a working mother of three on stocking healing foods (from veggies to chocolate!), reading labels, and getting even picky eaters into the new menu. This paradigm-shifting book empowers you to transform your child’s health through food and ensure the long-term wellbeing of your kids and the entire family.

About the Author

Maya Shetreat-Klein, M.D., is an integrative pediatric neurologist with a medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she was awarded the Edward Padow Award for Excellence in Pediatrics and graduated with a Special Distinction in Research in Child Neurology for her original work on autism. Dr. Shetreat-Klein completed the University of Arizona's two-year Fellowship in Integrative Medicine, founded by Andrew Weil, M.D., and is now a member of the faculty. She teaches integrative neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York Medical College, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

She lectures nationally and internationally at conferences for both physicians and laypeople on topics such as children’s health, autism, integrative medicine and nutrition, toxins and neurological health. Additionally, Dr. Shetreat-Klein sits on expert advisory boards, including chef Bill Telepan’s Wellness in the Schools and Documenting Hope.

She has been interviewed and quoted on Dr.Oz, NPR Marketplace, The New York Times Magazine, WCBS-TV News, and WABC-TV News and has partnered with Sen. Charles Schumer in promoting legislation for reducing toxic exposures in childhood.  Perhaps her most valued work is seeing patients at her own integrative practice in New York City, where she also lives with her family, dog, and eight chickens.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  I found the information can be useful for adults as well as children.  There are so many people forcing their kids to take medications that are very harmful, just so that they can cope with them.  It is so sad that society chooses to do this and sometimes a doctor will try to force a child to take a medication, when they may be misdiagnosing them at the same time.

As a mom with special needs kids in my family, I felt like this book was perfect as it filled with great knowledge on the topic.  Being able to have many alternatives to help my family is so important and I thank the author for opening more options to people who may not know about them.

YourNovel $50 Gift Card Valentine's Day Giveaway

Star in your own personalized romance novel

In the novels, any couple can play the starring roles as hero or heroine. With 50+ books and ebooks set in exotic locations around the world, there's something for everyone (even vampire, detective, golf and historical fiction). The authors blend action and romance to produce fun, campy books for a one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake. 

This is the  2nd collection of 10 romantic, personalized short stories selected as winners in's 2nd Personalized Romance Writing Contest held to celebrate our 20th year of business.

As with Celebrating Romance (still available), Celebrating Romance 2 has something for any starring couple:

• "Piece of Paradise" by Jamie Loafman of Garner, NC;
• "Greco Romance" by Marilee Smith of Grand Island, NE;
• "On a Rainy Night" by Yonnie Groza from Beacon, NY;
• "Halloween Delights" by Eren Deniz of Morehead City, NC;
• "Infectious Love" by Emily Dommershausen of Bedford, MA;
• "Island Forecast: Danger" by Jayne Grey of Springfield, MO;
• "Remote Control" by Lee Malcom of Calgary, Canada;
• "The Grape Escape" by Sunshine Morrison, Portland, OR;
• "An Aloha Scavenger Hunt" by Diane Vann of Honolulu, HI;
• "Mayan Riviera: Unexpected Encounter" by Lisa West of Toronto, Canada.

Celebrating Romance 2, with 10 different stories, offers 10 times the fun and romance.

I received a complimentary copy.

It would be great if you took the time to connect with the sponsor:


Cassandra's Review-- I have had the honor of working with YourNovel in the past and the books are very high quality.  I enjoy being able to personalize them to fit my needs.  The process is very simple, actually the hardest part for me was trying to select which excellent story, I wanted. 

 I would really like to see this site expand to children and teen selections or family friendly options, as I feel not everyone has a lot of hot romance laying around the house.    Even the mild selection can make you blush so not at all for anyone but adults but it does make a great gift. 

Valentine's Winners Choice #TeaMoments @LibreTea Glasses Giveaway

From the site

When you don't have time to wait for the leaves to steep, you can take brewing your favorite loose leaf on the road with the Libre 10 oz. Travel Tea Mug Infuser. The easy-to-grip handled travel mug is outfitted with removable stainless steel filter, which gives you the freedom to place tea leaves on top or inside of the mug (view our how to video). When the tea is the perfect strength, you can enjoy every sip without a taste or feel of fine tea particulates.

The Libre 10 oz. Travel Tea Mug Infuser has a hi-temperature glass interior that will not alter the taste of your favorite teas and in fact is great fro all your drinks ‘on the go’. Just one wash and all the flavor is gone and ready for a new taste treat.

The clear BPA-free Tritan exterior makes the mug highly resistant to wear and tear, so you can use it for your daily commutes or for more fun, its really practical for camping and hiking. The mug holds 10 ounces of tea, and can also be used without the filter. The Libre tea glass keeps hot brewed tea HOT!! and cold drinks COLD!!  Use it for sun teas, iced teas, and fruit’n herb waters too.

And it fits into your grip easily - the mug measures 6 inches in height by 3 inches in diameter. The handle extends 1 inch from the side of the mug.

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I received complimentary product.

Cassandra's Review- The thick, durable glass is well made and the handle was the perfect size for my hands.  When placed on and used correctly there are no leaks.  This is not hard to clean or dry and will become a well used mug for me.

The winner of this giveaway can choose one of the following

One of the Libre Classic collections: Large (420ml/14oz),  Original (260ml/9oz) or Mug with handle (290ml/10oz)

Or one of the Libre Life collections: 14oz Lively Leaves, the 14oz Starburst, the 14oz Garden Pink, the 9oz Garden Pink,  or the 14oz Black Brush

Osaka Cafetiere 6 Cup, French Press Review #osakacoffee

Double-walled Borosilicate glass will keep your coffee/tea hot for longer than standard presses.
The glass is also resistant to thermal shock, and will not absorb any odors or residue.
The beautifully designed hardwood cover will surely stand out, and is made of quality materials that will last you a long time.
Durable stainless steel mesh filter will ensure no grounds get mixed into your coffee, but will let the essential oils though leaving a fresher better tasting coffee.
Makes 6 (4.5 oz) cups of coffee. It is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Get the perfect brew with
Brewing coffee is an art form, and it can be pretty challenging. We at Osaka would like to help you up your coffee game. If you follow our instructions and tips, and with some practice, you should be brewing the perfect cup of coffee in no time. Impress yourself and your guests with an awesome tasting coffee every time.

Zenrin-Ji is our double-walled Cafetiere with a beautiful wood lid that will impress.

The Carafe is made of hand-blown Borosilicate glass that will resist thermal shock, so it wont break when it goes from cold to hot or vice-versa. Another great benefit of Borosilicate is that it will not absorb any residue, or odors giving you a fresh tasting coffee every time you use it. It is also double-walled so it will keep your coffee or tea hot for longer.
The stainless steel filter will ensure no grounds get mixed into your coffee, but will let the essential oils though leaving a fresher better tasting coffee.
The carafe holds up to 6 (4.5 oz)cups of coffee.

The carafe is also dishwasher safe.

"Osaka"what does it mean?
Osaka, is a large city on the Japanese island of Honshu, and is known for its modern architecture, boisterous nightlife and delicious coffee shops. We were inspired by their coffee brewing techniques, and from that "Osaka Coffee"
 was born. We carefully design each of our products to produce the best tasting coffee and not sacrificing on style. Every one of our products will look good enough to display, and will perform better than anything else. If you are not yet in love with the process of coffee-making, be prepared to be infatuated.

I received complimentary product.

Cassandra's Review- Unfortunately the first press arrived in shattered pieces (was shipped by Amazon), but the brand quickly resent a new one and it arrived in perfect condition.  It is easy to use and clean.  Very classy design and simple instructions.   

Leader Accessories White Kayak Paddle #leaderaccessoriespaddle

1. The paddle total length is 87'' (220 cm)
2. Blade length* width: 18.5'' * 7.5''
3. Durable lightweight introductory kayak paddle
4. 2 piece take-apart construction
5. Can be feathered 60 degree for right or left hand control
6. Enforced push-button connection
7. Three locking positions
8. Engineered curved paddle blade

You can purchase this on Amazon.

I received complimentary product.

Cassandra's Review- Lightweight and easy to use.  The blade is durable and shaped perfectly.  An appropriate sized handle that is simple to take apart.