Monday, May 31, 2010

Win a FREE copy of Anywhere- How Global Connectivity is Revolutionizing the Way We Do Business

A pill bottle helps health care professionals monitor patients taking medication. A vending machine reports its own inventory over a wireless network. A telephone speeds checkout by serving as a debit card in retail stores around the world. The future of the world—and business— is ubiquitous connectivity, the total interconnection of people, ideas, and products through a global digital network. As the network grows and the world of data expands, every citizen will have instant access to virtually anything he or she wants. Where is this network? Anywhere. And you must learn to use it to the fullest if your business is to thrive in the coming years. Are you moving fast enough? Reply to this post to be automatically entered to win this new release.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Contest Reminder!

May 24 – 31: Interview with Author Michele Ashman Bell for young adult novel “Summer In Paris.” I read it and loved it, so it’s good for adults, too. This book is about a 16-year-old spoiled rich girl who is sent to her cousins for the summer in Paris, Idaho. She never realized such a place existed! Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, wash her own clothes, gather eggs, hoe the garden, etc. She feels like she's about to die until she meets handsome Adam White whose got a deep secret. This book is quite humorous and I found myself laughing out loud. Visit
and leave a comment if you’re interested in this book.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fitness Expert Says Michelle Obama’s Childhood Obesity Fight is Swimming Upstream Against the Gene Pool

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA – While Michelle Obama’s admirable quest to fight childhood obesity is addressing the issues of better nutritional choices and increased movement for America’s youth, her campaign is missing the “elephant in the room” when it comes to many children’s struggles with obesity.

Michelle Pearl, ACE certified professional fitness expert, entrepreneur and author, insists that the issue of chronic genetic obesity also must be addressed because as many as two-thirds of America’s youth will otherwise remain unaffected by the First Lady’s current program. Pearl, author of Wake up! You’re Probably Never Going to Look Like That: How to be Happier, Healthier and Imperfectly Fit (ISBN 978-0-557-27290-7, 2010 Lulu, 131 pages, $14.95, struggled with morbid obesity throughout her childhood and adult life until she managed to lose over 100 pounds twice, and successfully keep the weight off the second time.

“For Michelle Obama’s well-intentioned campaign to be successful she must first expose as ineffective the erroneous messages and ill-conceived recommended weight loss methods that children and their parents are bombarded with throughout the media,” stresses Pearl. “Then she must include a component to teach families how to deal with the difficult side-effects of a lowered metabolism which children with chronic weight problems who cut back on their caloric intake will experience. And, finally, she will need to teach children and their families to have realistic body expectations to increase their perception of their own successes.” According to a Stanford University School of Medicine study, 67 percent of children suffer from obesity because they are genetically predisposed to. And, the study determined, the factor that puts children at the greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents. “In other words, if you want to know how you might look in your jeans in 30 years, you might want to look at your genes,” says Pearl.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Albert Stunkard of the University of Pennsylvania found a comprehensive 20-year registry of Danish adoptees. The registry, originally maintained to determine if schizophrenia was an inherited disorder, also detailed the heights and weights of the adoptees, their biological parents, and their adoptive parents. Stunkard’s findings definitively showed that obesity stems from genetic influences, rather than environmental factors, because the adoptees ended up as fat as their biological parents, regardless of the size of their adoptive parents. “Trying to fix childhood obesity without making changes in the way the entire family looks at and handles chronic obesity,” adds Pearl, “is like trying to row a boat with one oar in a hurricane; it’s going to be pretty rough going and you can be fairly certain that only a slim number of passengers are going to make it.”

Pearl’s book Wake Up! takes on the mass-media-driven myth that everyone should be striving to achieve the perfect body and instead provides an optimistic testament that exercise and eating right will absolutely be life-changing. “But the message of the book,” stresses Pearl, “is that to become a success story before you jump in front of a camera for that coveted ‘after’ picture, you need to make a giant leap of faith and learn to rethink your expectations.” In Wake Up! Pearl discusses what she believes are the fallacies of the erroneous messages of fitness guru Jillian Michaels and the dangers of the game show The Biggest Loser which she also chronicles at In addition, Pearl interviewed seven Imperfectly Fit Superstars from across the United States and chronicles their success stories in Wake Up!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Well-Read Communter Reviews: Connected- The Surpising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

By: Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD & James Fowler, PhD

Just how powerful are our personal social networks? Connected promises that it will forever change the way we look at one another -- and at ourselves. The author claims that happiness is contagious, your future spouse is likely to be your friend's friend and your friends' friends' friends can make you fat -- or thin. These are just a few of the startling findings of internationally renowned scientists Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler. In Connected, they present intriguing new evidence that our real-life social networks shape virtually every aspect of our lives.

How we feel, whom we marry, whether we fall ill, how much money we make, and whether we vote -- could everything around us hinge on what others around us are doing, thinking, and feeling? What does that mean for your business and how do you harness that power? Connected shows that our world is governed by the Three Degrees Rule -- we influence and are influenced by people up to three degrees removed from us, most of whom we do not even know! You’ll love this juicy read and you will love the coplex theories that are put forth by two PhD’s and the way that the make it accessable outside of a clinical setting. This is one of my favorite books that I have read this year. In the age of facebook and blogging, you will be surprised by the power of our human nature, social networks and realize that momma was right, you do have to watch who your friends are!

Book Review: The Host

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

What was this book about?

Aliens have come to the planet earth to infect us. They are a parasitic creature that essentially consists mainly of a “soul”. These souls take over the human body, and in some cases the original soul of the person leaves to give room to it, while others have to co-exist (this is very rare). These souls come to claim planets because they are kind, caring, have no war, and can exist in a moneyless society. Almost a Utopia of sorts.

Wanderer, or Wanda as they like to call her, is one of these alien souls. She has existed on many planets and for very many years. When she is placed in Melanie’s body she has no idea what is going to happen. Melanie is the rare human who has rebelled. They learned what is going on and they are hiding out trying to stay away from these “evil” aliens. Melanie is captured but she is willing to fight for her part of Wanda’s existence. It is a tough fight though. Wanda retains all of Melanie’s memories and can’t help but begin to feel the emotional entanglements that Melanie has always felt.

This means Jared, Melanie’s love and Jamie her little brother are in danger. Traditionally the soul gives up these other humans who have rebelled. Wanda cannot make herself do that. Instead she wants to find Jared and Jamie and help them.

What did you like/dislike about the book?

When I finished the book I realized how much I really liked the whole thing. The beginning was a little slow but something that was required. I will definitely continue reading Stephanie Meyer books.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Author Post: Quick, Healthy, Springtime Dishes -- Featuring Herbs!

Quick, Healthy, Springtime Dishes -- Featuring Herbs!
By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich,
Author of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes

The use of fresh herbs has exploded in the American kitchen today. I recall that as a young apprentice in Italy -- at my great-aunt's apron strings -- for every herb we had in the garden, there seemed to be a pot on the stove to match.

Some herbs were better to cook with while others were better added at the end to a finished dish. For example, rosemary, bay leaves and thyme are mostly used for long cooking where their oils are extracted slowly out of their leaves. Sage, oregano and marjoram need very little cooking time, and herbs such as basil, parsley and mint are great to toss in raw at the end -- just enough to release their refreshing aromas.

If you have small children a wonderful way to introduce them to the enticing aromas of herbs is to gently crush the herbs in your hands and let them smell. I did this with my grandchildren when they were very small and it's a great way to get them excited about the world of herbs and food at an early age.

In fact, once you get your small children excited about herbs, introduce them to your own dishes. Here I'm sharing some of the quickest, and most child-friendly. Enjoy!

Makes 1 ½ cups

* 1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
* ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
* ½ cup packed mixed fresh sage, thyme, and marjoram leaves
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled
* 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
* Salt

Wash the herb leaves in cool water and dry them thoroughly, preferably in a salad spinner. Combine the herbs and garlic in a blender and blend on low speed, slowly adding the oil while the machine is running, until the pesto is smooth and all the oil is incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and use as needed. Pesto will keep refrigerated for up to 4 weeks or it may be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure there is a thin film of oil over the pesto to keep its flavor and color bright.

Serves 2 as an appetizer, 1 as a lunch dish
From "Lidia's Family Table" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004)

* 2 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons milk
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
* 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 1 teaspoon butter
* 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and fresh herbs until just blended together.

Heat the butter and oil in the small frying pan until it just starts to sizzle, then pour in the eggs and turn the heat down very low. Cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes. The eggs will start to puff up and sizzle at the edges. Lift a corner of the frittata with a spatula, and check to see if the bottom has browned in splotches. When it has, flip the frittata over by giving the pan a firm, quick shake up and over toward you so that the egg mass dislodges and flips over in one piece. Or, if that unnerves you, turn the frittata over with a spatula. Cook the second side for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, again checking to see if the bottom has browned to your liking. Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and cut the frittata in wedges.

Serves 6

Landlocked Umbria does not have a seafood cuisine. But its mountain lakes, rivers, and streams abound in freshwater fish, like the tasty tench. This simple preparation is one I found in Umbria, and it is excellent for fillets of our sweet-water varieties, such as carp or whitefish, or even light ocean-fish fillets like sole.

* 2 pounds whitefish fillets
* ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
* 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* Juice of a large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
* ½ cup white wine
* 6 plump garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
* ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
* Zest of a large lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
* ½ teaspoon dried oregano
* ¼ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste, chopped fine
* Fresh lemon slices, for serving

Recommended equipment: A 4-quart shallow rectangular baking dish; a heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan, 12-inch diameter or larger, with a cover.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly salt the fish on both sides, using about ¼ teaspoon salt in all. Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, white wine, and another ¼ teaspoon salt into the baking dish, and whisk together well. Drop in the garlic cloves, and stir with the dressing. Lay the fillets in the dish, turn and swish them in the dressing so both sides are thoroughly moistened, and arrange them, skin side down, in one layer.

Toss the bread crumbs in a bowl with the lemon zest, parsley, oregano, chopped peperoncino, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and toss the crumbs well until evenly moistened with oil.

Spoon the seasoned bread crumbs on top of the fillets in a light, even layer. Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the fish is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Lift the fish out with a spatula, and set on a warm platter to serve family-style, or on individual plates. Spoon over it the juices left in the baking dish, and serve right away, with lemon slices on the side.

© 2010 Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, authors of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes
Author Bio
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, coauthor of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipe, is the author of five previous books, four of them accompanied by nationally syndicated public television series. She is the owner of the New York City restaurant Felidia (among others), and she lectures on and demonstrates Italian cooking throughout the country. She lives on Long Island, and can be reached at her Web site,

Top 5 Favorite Authors

Who are your favorite authors - that you would buy a book from them whenever it comes out without even finding out what it is about?

Comment below!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Sorry - I have been a little MIA lately. Thankfully my friend the Well-Read Commuter has been picking up my slack.

I have posts that I will be soon posting on:
* The Host
* Savor the Moment
* The Mommy Files
* The Finger Prince
* Mom over
* Clean, Green and Lean

So please continue to stop by!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Win a FREE copy of I Hate People: Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your Job

Respond to this post to be entered to win!!

I Hate People: Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your Job

The modern workplace can be a minefield of clashing personalities. What do you do when you find yourself stuck in a workplace filled with all of the wrong people? You know, the Liar Liar that never got your e-mail, the Sheeple that can't make a leadership decision to save her life and the FlimFlam man? Littman and Hershon don't disappoint in their collaboration where they dissect the modern workplace and provide survival techniques such as becoming a Soloist and Digging Your Cave and Island Hoping. I think that this book is an important read for managers so that they know why their top talent might be looking for a new job. While the economy is so tough that less people are looking to change jobs, managers still need to get more out of their employees than ever. This book is just a solid read and a brutally honest acount of the pitfalls and survival methods for the modern workplace.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews: The Happy Stepmother

In honor of Stepmother’s Day (May 16), I thought I would post this review today. As a stepmother for over three years to two teen boys, I found this book charming and insightful. In fact, I wish I would have had this book over three years ago! The book details a ten-step plan to a fulfilling life as a stepmom. I couldn’t help but skip around the book and take in the different chapters and the advice on letting go of resentment, what to do with his old wedding photos and what to do when your blended family feels literally like being in a blender. The book also includes a resource section and serious advice from a variety of stepmoms who have been there, done that. The author maintains the website

Saturday, May 15, 2010

WIN a Free Copy of Carla Collins', Angels, Vampires & D-Bags

Respond to this post by the end of May and you will be entered to win a free copy of this hilarious new release!! description:

In this candid confessional, comedian Carla Collins divides the world into the angels who guide us, inspire us, and save our butts; the sexy and trendy vampires who suck the life out of us; and the douche bags who constantly annoy, disgust and taunt us. With a fast wit, fake breasts and real heart, Collins shares her unconventional journey from a small steel town in Ontario, Canada to Tinseltown L.A. On this wild and revealing romp, she navigates her way through seventy-two imaginary friends, multiple fiancés, eight dogs, two marriages, and one topless grandmother. Her hard-earned life lessons will show you that by taking risks, embracing humiliation and tapping into the power of laughter, anything is possible--and everyone is manageable. Attract more angels into your life, control your vampires, and keep all the douchebags at bay. Angels, Vampires and Douche Bags is original, edgy, uplifting and laugh-out-loud funny.