NEW on my shelf and in my KINDLE… ah.. random joys…

 Summer is a great time to curl up poolside with a book or magazine.  Here is what is sitting on my summer reading bookshelf  this month.  Note to readers- the list is as random as the writer!


          by Rallie McAllister, MD and Jennifer Bright Reich. (Available Amazon. Twitter as @MommyMdGuides)

I had NO IDEA what to expect when this book arrived.  I was approached by the authors who thought that my blog may be a great fit for a review.  I had a preconceived notion that  it would be a traditional parenting guide with some step by step directions of how to care for your baby.  Color me WRONG!

This book is clever, unique and educational. Written with the input from the personal experiences of  dozens of  physicians and other medical professionals, all who write about their own personal journeys into parenthood.  These vignettes are then juxtaposed with sound advice on topics ranging from breastfeeding to developmental milestones.  The Psychologist in me  LOVED THIS BOOK!  In fact, it is now on my list of books to give as a baby gift for rookie parents and suggest for early intervention programs to place in to their infant-toddler lending libraries.  Wonderfully written. Easy to read.  A++ . Bravo!


New Magazine for the Ricki Lake Show- airing September  10th. Photo property of Ricki Lake Show magazine.

  I think it really is awesome that there is a community of people from all over the world who have one common link this year  –  They are Friends of Ricki – a group based on social media bonding!  Banded together as fans of the timeless and quirky actress, Ricki Lake (who I LOVED in HAIRSPRAY ). Her social network groups are genius. Her magazine is engaging.  Her book is a must read.   Frankly, it is so raw and honest you almost feel guilty for reading it!

Ricki– I love all  of the energy your team has built  from your groups to your magazine. And, I can’t wait to see you back on the air starting September 10th!


LITTLE GREEN by Arnold Rudnick is the second book I have reviewed for this author. This preschool – early elementary level book is based on the concept that one should accept themselves for who they are, including their limitations.  Beautifully illustrated it is a good conversation starter for parents and children. I can see this book being a wonderful addition on bookshelves of families who have children with special needs or considerations.


This next book I adored!  I love the concept that you can find smiley faces in common objects throughout our natural environment. That is the premise of the children’s book , THE SMILEY BOOK OF COLORS.   Children and parents can read about colors on common objects – which make a smiley picture!  There is one draw back of this book… it is addictive.  Now, I find myself looking for spontaneous smileys EVERYWHERE!  Below is a video of my “findings” and the authors,  Ruth Kaiser.   I also inserted some real kids smiling!  As a side note, I recently met Ruth at the premier of the new RICKI LAKE SHOW. She is as wonderful in person as her book! And, she has a beautiful smile!

Sign Language is FUN!

I remember my first intro to sign language course. It wasn’t even called American Sign Language (ASL) but SIGNED LANGUAGE  in ENGLISH.  WOW.. that set’s me back a few years.  Now ASL is recognized as a foreign language in many colleges and schools, therefore, allowing students to learn credit for their efforts and promoting signing in our communities.

SIGNING FAMILIES, my instructional company focuses on melding developmental psychology with sign language instruction. We are deeply rooted in the bilingual-bicultural worlds and have an affinity to work with children and families within the special needs communities.  Most of our connections are in fact within special education.

There are many great companies that are producing some sensational  ASL learning tools  to help those who are motivated to learn the basics of sign language. I happily will promote and offer reviews and links to those who I feel are really connected to ASL  and not just wanting to “teach sign” in order to line their pockets with your cash.

So without much further ado.. here are a few that really “get” ASL –

VISUALIZE ASL is the brainchild of Cathi Bouton.  I love that she has her heart and soul in the deaf world as well as the hearing.  Cathi told me that she wanted to give her students some interactive way to practice after classroom instruction.  Through research, trial and error and much sweat, Cathi created the VISUALIZE ASL Interactive Activities for learners of American Sign  Language.  I previewed the Basic Vocabulary and Fingerspelling CD along with the Match Games. Both were very good for novice learners and quite enjoyable. Both were soundly developed according to sign language linguistic principles -which I truly appreciated. I would offer this as a good supplement for college students, home educated students and those who wish to take on ASL instruction at the comfort of their home computer.   This can be purchased on their website or via AMAZON and HARRIS COMMUNICATIONS.  Check out Visualize ASL on YouTube too!

EVERYDAY ASL is another wonderful sign language instructional company.  I love how the duo of  Gilda Toby Ganezer & Avery Posner  developed a series of videos to demonstrate ASL IDIOMS. Also, they have APPS and YouTube Videos available.  The apps are my favorite as you can learn to sign “on the go”.

And, I would be really remiss if  I didn’t invite you to check out the many fun, interactive and inexpensive ways to learn ASL via my company SIGNING FAMILIES.  We have ONLINE VIDEOS for beginners, homeschool learners and even those who use sign language adaptively.

We also offer a series of  DVDs, communication charts, folders and bookmarks. ALL of our products are made with input from educators, students and people within the special needs communities. (Our I WANT, I FEEL CHART was made by request from families within the Autism Community)

Happy Signing!

Sensitive Friendly Cleansers Thanks to The Peaceful Housewife!

THE PEACEFUL HOUSEWIFE , aka Jenny Deramo,  is a mom on a mission, including her desire to have safe alternative to cleaning supplies for your home. Her new pdf book- THE PEACEFUL HOUSEWIFE – NATURAL HOUSEHOLD CLEANSERS eBookintrigued me because it is chocked full of “recipes” that use natural substances. I never knew there were so many cleaning applications with VINEGAR!

Included in the guide is everything from day to cleansing strategies to the more challenging tasks- such as scrubbing rough services (I wonder if Jenny comes with the book to clean my house?)

Even more important, as someone in the field of special education, I really liked that families with sensory sensitive children, such as in the case of Autism, would find this online book very helpful.  If I were a parent with a child who was very sensitive to scents, this would be a “must buy”!

This book is a very reasonable $3 per online download.  (Vinegar not included)

To learn more about obtaining this book simply click on this LINK

And… here comes the giveaway…. first two people to comment get this ebook FREE.