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books

A Dog's Way Home, pets, Lola, kid's crafts, art

Are you a dog person? Is your furbaby showered with love and adoration? Do you have a special voice you use to greet your four-legged friend when you get home? No shame in our game, we definitely do. We love our Lola. She truly is one of the family. I don’t know what we’d do without her and all the joy she brings with her happy tail wagging and dog kisses.

Lola was a Christmas gift for our family to ourselves after a particularly hard year. In 2012, we suffered a miscarriage and lost our first fur baby, Saffaron. We were gutted. There was so much upheaval in our lives from the losses and so much love in our hearts that needed to be given and had no place to go.

The girls had been begging for a pet to fill our dog-sized hole in our hearts. It feels weird now to think that one goes to a place to “buy” a pet, especially since they are so much an integral part of our family’s story.

Lola was like salve to our hearts. She is our constant companion and loves our daughters as fiercely as we do. When I work at my desk (or on the couch or from my bed), Lola is always beside me. When the girls are sick, she sits by them until they are well. When the Big Guy has had a particularly bad day, she knows and she lays her head in his lap and soothes his soul.

I can’t even imagine a world without Lola in it. Who knew you could love a four-legged friend as much as you love human family? But how could you not, they are always there to make the world a better place.

Gabi wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up and she has a particularly special relationship with Lola. She calls her, “my sister” and she means it. In a lot of ways, Lola has healed us as a family and there is nothing we will ever be able to do to repay her for that. For now, we love her with all that we’ve got and she does the same in return.

Gabs painted a canvas of Lola to put on her wall in her bedroom and it is adorable. I think this is a great activity for all kids to do. It gave Gabs some one-on-one time with Lola and now, she has this sweet memory of the day her and Lola sat together for an hour as she tried to get her sweet face just right. I love it. I want one for the wall in my office.

A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heartwarming family adventure of Bella, a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human. A Dog’s Way Home is based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron with an all-star cast including Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp, Wes Studi and Bryce Dallas Howard.

“Finding Bella” takes us on the journey of a dog trying to get back to her owner. Bryce Dallas Howard, the voice of Bella, shares the story of how Shelby the dog was rescued and goes on a journey of her own. Discover Shelby’s epic adventure as she finds her forever home and new life purpose as a therapy dog.

A Dog’s Way Home In Theaters January 11, 2019

 

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Linda Fairstein, Killer Look, Swarovski, Touchstone crystal,fashion

It’s Friday! Summer is winding down but we’ve got a few lazy weekends left until the leaves start changing color. I don’t know about you but I am looking more forward to this long weekend than I used to look forward to Friday nights when I was in my 20’s.

I can’t wait to sleep in and have no place to be. Sure, I’d love to be lounging on a beach somewhere but to be honest, after the week we’ve had, that even sounds like too much effort. I just want to relax and enjoy my family. I’m thinking sleeping in, lounging by the pool, cooking out, an outdoor movie and s’mores and wine sound like the plan for me this weekend. Maybe even sneak in a little reading of something other than work related reading.

Linda Fairstein has a new novel KILLER LOOK and it is page-turner, crime, mystery set in NYC in the fashion world. Anyone who really knows me knows that I have a fashion addiction and a minor in criminology, so this is right up my alley.

A little bit about Killer Look, New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world, well-known for its glamour and style. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the runway, where American haute couture continually astounds with its creativity, daring, and innovation in the name of beauty. Yet high fashion means high stakes, as Alex Cooper quickly discovers when businessman and designer Wolf Savage is found dead in an apparent suicide, mere days before the biggest show of his career. When the man’s daughter insists Savage’s death was murder, the case becomes more than a media sensation: It is a race to find a killer in a world created entirely out of fantasy and illusion.
With her own job at the DA’s office in jeopardy, and the temptation to self-medicate her PTSD with alcohol almost too strong to resist, Alex is not anyone’s first choice for help. But she is determined to uncover the grime—and the possible homicide—beneath the glitz. Along with detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, Alex must penetrate the twisted roots and mixed motives among the high-profile players in the Garment District. The investigation takes the trio from the missing money in Wolf Savage’s international fashion house to his own recovery from addiction; from the role of Louisiana Voodoo in his life to his excessive womanizing; and to the family secrets he kept so well-hidden, even from those closest to him—just as things are about to get deadly on the catwalk.

I don’t know about you but even the synopsis has me on the edge of my seat. With Killer Look, Linda Fairstein proves once again why she is the “Queen of Intelligent Suspense.” And why shouldn’t she be? Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney’s office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America’s foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. She, herself, is the inspiration for Mariska Hargitay’s character on Law and Order SVU! Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

What makes a book about fashion and suspense even better? Getting to wear a little fashion bling yourself while engrossing yourself in a great book!

Linda Fairstein, Killer Look, Swarovski, Touchstone crystal,fashion

Thanks to Touchstone and Linda Fairstein, I’m giving away a Swarovski’s Touchstone Crystal Chanelle necklace, a special necklace that is modeled on a famous Swarovski Coco Chanel necklace that was “brought back from the Swarovski archives” by Touchstone Crystal and a copy of Killer Look for one lucky reader!

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Enter by telling me what your favorite Killer Look Touchstone piece is and why.

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Christmas, rudolph, 50th anniversary, rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, holiday classics

I’ve been crazy busy with holiday running. There’s been the city tree lighting, caroling, Nutcracker performances, violin concerts, holiday parties, tree decorating and cookie baking. It’s all been a blur; a great big beautiful blur of joy and family togetherness. Sure, there has been that overwhelming feeling of impending doom that comes with overextending yourself and forgetting where the damn elf was last or where it should go next but overall, we’re all embracing the holiday madness.

One tradition that we never skip is watching the holiday classics together; White Christmas, Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, Frosty, The Grinch who Stole Christmas and our favorite, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Did you know it’s the longest-running and highest-rated holiday TV special of all time and this year it’s celebrating 50 years?

I’ve grown up watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with my parents when I was a child. I always remember that warm feeling I’d get in my stomach when the opening credits would begin to roll. It signaled the beginning of the holiday season. As far as I was concerned, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was Christmas.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” started out as a song made famous by Gene Autry but then he came to life in an animated special that has charmed generations. This year, Rudolph will run for the 50th straight year.

For a Christmas special to be a classic, it has to have cross-generational appeal and who doesn’t love Rudolph?

Rudolph first aired in 1964, it was the creation of Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass, using a technique they called “animagic.” It was stop motion at it’s finest. It lacks fluidity and  the bodies and heads don’t match up and their movements are very awkward  but we love them still because Rudolph is about magic and imagination, hope and belief, not perfection or reality.

Rudolph has influenced a number of contemporary filmmakers from Tim Burton, Wes Anderson and even Oscar -nominated director Henry Selick who is the genius behind, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Selick says that he was highly influenced by Rudolph and there are several nods to the classic in The Nightmare before Christmas.

As a mom, I watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with my girls. Every year, we cuddle up together in front of the fire and watch with the Big Guy. There’s lots of giggling and laughter on the girls’ part and lots of nostalgia and retrospection on my part. The Big Guy usually sits there smiling from ear to ear, soaking it all in. I watch them enjoy these moments and it truly does warm my heart. I want to freeze these moments but sadly they are fleeting, as is their childhood so we have to embrace every single moment. There are only so many of these Christmases that we will get to cuddle together and watch these holiday favorites before they outgrow these magical years so we’ve got to make the most out of each one. We must suck the marrow out of every moment of parenthood.

If you feel like you’ve been seeing Rudolph everywhere, you probably have and I’m alright with that. The year’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer anniversary celebration includes a major tie-in with the U.S. Postal Service, tribute promos from CBS, a collector’s edition DVD with new bonus material, a new stage musical, theme park and in-mall entertainment, and a social media campaign – #ShineBright – that celebrates uniqueness in association with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Rudolph really knows how to celebrate 50 years. I’ll have to keep this all in mind for my own 50th birthday in the future. Debi the stage musical has a nice ring to it, right?

Anyways, Square Fish, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, has released 6 new Rudolph-themed books that span a variety of formats, including the first ever graphic novel starring Rudolph and company, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS, by Brendan Deneen. Other formats include a classic storybook, a picture book, slide-and-find and lift-the-flap board books, and a ‘My Reader’ edition specifically designed for beginning readers. There’s something for the entire family, no matter the age or reading level!

 

rudolph, 50th anniversary, rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, holiday classics, ChristmasThe Rudolph books are

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Classic Story
    Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition for ages 4-8
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Slide and Find
    Board Book for ages 2-4
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Life-the-Flap Board Book for ages 2-4
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Rudolph Saves the Day
    Paperback picture book for ages 3-7
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: My Reader
    Level 2 Paperback Reader for ages 5-7
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Island of Misfit Toys
    Middle-Grade Graphic Novel for ages 7-12

We were provided the Rudolph books for review purposes by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and my girls fell in love with them instantly. I’m betting that your kids will too so I am providing a full set of all 6 new Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer classic books to one lucky reader. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday classic and follow The TRUTH about Motherhood on Facebook. Open to U.S. residents. Giveaway ends December 16th at midnight EST. Good Luck!

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Disclosure: I have partnered with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for this compensated campaign but all love for Rudolph is genuine and our own.

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Happy Chaos, Soleil Moon Frye

Happy Chaos ~ Isn’t that the exact spot where most mothers reside? I do and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting (via Skype) the star of one my favorite childhood TV shows,(no, not Ricky Schroeder though that would certainly be nice too:) Soleil Moon Frye…PUNKY BREWSTER!Is it wrong that I was so geeked to speak with her? If it is, I don’t want to be right!

Happy Chaos, Soleil Moon Frye

In a way, Soleil Moon Frye never stopped being Punky, the fun- loving star of the 1980s hit television show Punky Brewster. In the real world, she’s the mom with the inside-out shirt and bits of playdough in her hair, who can’t remember where she parked the car. She balances being a mom with a hundred other tasks associated with running her eco-friendly clothing store The Little Seed, hosting her web series on HerSay.com, advocating for causes close to her heart, and being Target’s Mommy Ambassador, to name a few. As Twitter and Facebook communities can attest, Soleil’s life is messy and chaotic, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her book, HAPPY CHAOS: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between (on sale August 23,2011) is a refreshing take on modern parenting that encourages moms to be themselves and to embrace the inevitable madness of raising kids and living a full life.

I met Soleil while being a Hot Topic guest on HerSay. She is as sweet and spunky as you could have imagined. She is very down to earth and talking to her felt like talking to one of the mom’s you might meet at the park or in one of your child’s Kindermusik classes. I was very excited when I found out that she was writing a book Happy Chaos From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures In Between ( in stores TOMORROW August 23,2011). The book is a refreshing take on modern parenting that encourages moms to be themselves and to embrace the inevitable madness of raising kids and living a full life. I’ll take one please.

Happy Chaos is the place between perfection and destruction where bliss exists

Soleil believes that “happy chaos” is a sign of a family operating at its best—when parents accept that they’ll make mistakes, there will be messes, tears and skinned knees. Her over 1.4 million Twitter followers know just how much Soleil lives this philosophy as she often shares with her real and virtual friends and family how she navigates the various obstacles of parenthood.

I had the opportunity to interview Soleil about her parenting style and am sharing them here with you. Hope you enjoy getting to know Soleil on a more personal level as much as I did.

What is the most profound way in which having your children has changed your life?

I learn more and more each day from my children and I never imagined they would be life’s greatest teachers. Amen sister!

If you were only allowed to leave your girls with three life lessons, what would they be?Why?

The lessons would be

1) to stay strong and always self-confident

2) to be kind to others and the world around them.

3) to love completely and not be afraid or fearful of what’s to come. To embrace every moment and lose themselves in the dash in between. These three lessons are amazing and I think every mother can relate. I know I certainly do.

How has your perspective on parenting and the world changed from before you had your girls? What do you do or not do that you never thought you would before giving birth?

Before kids, I thought I was going to be the total hippie laid back parent. I guess I am a bit more protective than I ever thought I would be.  Aren’t we all? Who knew having our hearts walking around outside our bodies would be so monumental.

Happy Chaos is where true happiness lives

Happy Chaos comes out tomorrow ( August 23,2011). I am giving away one signed copy to a lucky follower of The TRUTH about Motherhood. All you need to do is GFC follow The TRUTH about Motherhood or email susbscribe and leave me a comment about your own Happy Chaos (please include your email address). A winner will be chosen on Friday August 22, 2011.Or you can click Here to be one of the first moms on the block to own a copy of

Happy Chaos

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10-10-10, this is what I am reading. Well, this is what I am reading…along with Women , Food, and God (yeah, that was a bitch to track down. Thanks again Oprah!), The secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Jamie Olivers Food Revolution, Eat Pray Love, Vonnegut’s Gallapagos, the Kama Sutra, and A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate sex! Oh, yes, I am serious and I am a die hard multi tasker, could you tell? I have a tendancy of biting of fmore than I can chew and then getting it done just to prove to others that I can. Not the wisest way to live life, I admit.

Anyways, enough rambling, I am reading 10-10-10. The premise is to learn to make wiser choices by considering the ramifications of these choices..10 minutes into the future(immediatley), 10 months into the future (short term ramifications), and 10 years into the future (long term ramifications). This is so simple yet so smart.

Just think, someone asks you why you made a choice and you can actually  give them a logical answer rather than say because I wanted to. I know our instinct is fabulous but wouldn’t rationale be brilliant to employ occassionally? I know there are some of us who live by the seat of our pants and make choices as we go. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. This is life. Others of us, not myself, make decisions based on some far off future.

You know, we all have the friends who have been planning for retirement since the moment they gained employment. Unfortunatly, I am not one of those either. But what if we spend our whole lives planning for the next stage and we never make it. What a waste. To spend a life planning and not actually living.

I used to joke that when I got pregnant with my first child that she was a surpeise because we were in the planning to plan stage. Life had other plans and we were forced to jump right into the living part of our lives. 10-10-10, helps us to find the happy medium. I am excited to finish this book, not so sure the others will get finished in any timely fashion but this one will for sure. Just wanted to share.

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