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    Not your mother's books... Two new anthologies for women and former stupid kids

    Seems anthologies have been hot ever since the Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise took the publishing world by storm. Readers want snippets of stories that pack heartwarming or giggle-inducing tidbits into a small space, tales that take minimal time to read yet resonate to the max.

    Enter two new anthologies sure to make you smile, wipe a tear or two, or blush in admission that you, too, were equally...well...stupid.

    Let me start first with the first in the Not Your Mother's Book (NYAMB) series. It's called Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Woman. Subtitled, "A Collection of Stories from People Like You," this "New Anthology for a New Century" was created by Dahlynn McKowen and Ken McKowen. The collection of stories from women from one end of the age spectrum to the other (plus one brave male!) offers an equally vast array of anecdotal tales on what it really means to be female. The real life stories of the real-life women are broken into eight chapters that anyone who's ever worn a bra, dealt with menstruation, or checked out their own butt in the mirror will certainly relate to:

    • Keeping Up Appearances
    • Worth Our Weight in Gold
    • They're Called Boobs!
    • Hear Me Roar
    • Just Saying
    • Stand Up!
    • Never Again!
    • Sense and Sensibility

    From such chapter titles, it's not too difficult to get an idea of what the stories in each are about.

    It's also not difficult at all to figure out the angle of the stories in Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Stupid Kid (created by Dahlynn McKowen, Ken McKowen and Laurel McHargue). These are tales of derring do and double-dog dares contributed by adults willing to fess up about their youthful idiocy. Some of the stories make the reader marvel that the writer lived to see adulthood. Most of the stories will make you so glad they did...and that they shared their stories of youthful adventures.

    Chapters in the Stupid book include:

    • Double-Dog Dare
    • Smart Kids—Stupid Stuff
    • They'll Never Know
    • ABCs and 123s
    • Sibling Shenanigans
    • Hodge Podge
    • You Did WHAT?
    • More Smart Kids—Stupid Stuff

    Both books were a delightful—and quick—read, but the one story that most touched my heart was one in the "Stupid" collection, contributed by Ireta Black. Ms. Black, who turns 90 years old this month, shares the story of her desire to wear ankle socks—like all the cool girls did in 1933—against her mother's wishes. The story, titled Scandalous, reveals the scandal and shame that followed when 10-year-old Ireta goes against her mother's wishes and reveals just how far our society has come (or gone downhill) in relation to acceptable behavior. Though the book cover says there are "no sad, sappy or death and dying stories" in the collection, this one did indeed seem sad to me as I considered little Ireta Black feeling guilty about her harmless flouting of Mother's rules.

    The Not Your Mother's Books ($16.95 softcover) are published by Publishing Syndicate LLC and available wherever books are sold. Several additional collections are in the works, including titles on teachers, on dogs, on parenting, on grandparenting, and more.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of each book for review. All opinions are my own.


    Overcoming fear, VeggieTales style: The League of Incredible Vegetables

    The world can be a scary place, and not just for grown ups. Unfortunately that applies more than ever to little ones, too, considering the inexplicable tragedies of 2012 and the virtually unavoidable 24/7 news on those events.

    Teaching kids how to keep their fears—real or imagined—in check can be tough, but there's a new tool parents, grandparents and other caregivers may want to consider. It's one of the latest DVDs from VeggieTales, called The League of Incredible Vegetables: A Lesson in Handling Fear. In the wacky ways typical of all VeggieTales tales that came before, Larry, Bob, and the rest of the gang address important issues with understanding, empathy, and, most importantly, humor.

    Super heroes are super cool with kids, and this is the fourth title in a series of DVD releases starring the popular “LarryBoy” super hero. This time around though, when the dastardly Dr. Flurry plans to freeze an entire city with fear, LarryBoy must call for backup. He turns to league of incredible vegetables, four new super heroes with super silly powers: Bob the Tomato, Petunia Rhubarb, Junior Asparagus and Mr. Lunt. Their tagline: "They came. They thawed. They conquered."

    Take a look:


    In addition to the fun—tinged with comforting and helpful lessons on handling fear—are several bonus features, as is always the case with the VeggieTales DVDs. There's a requisite silly song (always my favorite part of VeggieTales shows!) called "Supper Hero" by LarryBoy, a League of Incredible Vegetables music video and singalong, behind-the-scenes features and more. Plus, The League of Incredible Vegetables features the new theme song and music video from Newsboys.

    VeggieTales The League of Incredible Vegetables: A Lesson in Handling Fear DVD is available at all major retail outlets for SRP $14.97. Visit the VeggieTales website for more fun and products. And be sure to submit your own incredible story of an everyday hero in your life on the VeggieTales - Incredible Heroes Facebook page.

    Disclosure: I received a free copy of the DVD for review. Opinions are my own.


    Start 2013 on a positive note with 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Joy and Inspiration: Our Most Moving Stories Ever'

    Considering all the negativity and sadness related to natural disasters and unthinkable tragedies that defined 2012, perusing the latest from Reader's Digest is a perfect way to kick off the new year on a positive note.

    In celebration of its ninety years of publishing, the editors of Reader's Digest read through their vast archives—all the way back to 1922—and compiled their very best "reads of lasting interest," according to Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello, for the Reader's Digest Treasury of Joy and Inspiration: Our Most Moving Stories Ever.

    The 318-page hardcover compendium features thought-provoking and sometimes tear-inducing articles and essays from many famous and a few not-so-famous writers, speakers, heart-shakers. Names you'll know, like Alex Haley, Helen Keller, Billy Crystal, Gary Paulsen and many more, plus other names you'll meet for the very first time in the pages of this moving book. All selections gleaned from newspapers, magazines, books, radio broadcasts, and television specials throughout the past ninety years.

    As noted in the literature accompanying my offer to review the book for free (and give one away, too; see below), readers will be treated to:

    • Find out how a mysterious gift forever changed author James Michener's life in The Christmas Present.
    • Experience a truly powerful life-changing moment in Christopher Reeve's Decision.
    • Let actor George Burns make you feel like you're dancing on air in Shall We Dance?
    • Find encouragement and hope in Dwight Eisenhower's essay: An Open Letter to America's Students.
    • Go looking for true peace and happiness as Barbara Walters takes you In Search of Heaven.
    • Get ready to see the whole world anew as Helen Keller imagines what it'd be like to only have Three Days to See.
    • Marvel at the healing power of laughter in Billy Crystal's amazing true story: My Father and Me.

    What I loved about the book: Treasury of Joy and Inspiration is divided into seven themes—Joy, Miracles, Gratitude, Giving, Holidays, Healing, Heroes—with each theme featuring five or six related essays. That makes it easy to choose, when not reading front to back, which essays fills a need in your heart at the time. Of course, the Holiday theme was a biggie for me as I received the book for review just before Christmas. My favorite essay of all, though, came from the Joy category: "Gilligan's Aisle" by columnist Jeanne Marie Laskas.

    Another thing I loved about the book was the snippets of some of my favorite features from Reader's Digest, used to fill out pages here and there. Things such as Laughter, the Best Medicine, Humor in Uniform, and other anecdotes that make readers smile.

    The Reader's Digest Treasury of Joy and Inspiration: Our Most Moving Stories Ever, hardcover, is $19.99 and available exclusively from Reader's Digest. For more information, visit and follow Reader's Digest on Facebook and Twitter.


    Enter to win a free copy of Reader's Digest Treasury of Joy and Inspiration: Our Most Moving Stories Ever, a $19.99 value that makes a super gift for yourself and a loved one who needs a dose of joy and inspiration to kick of 2013. Entries accepted through Saturday, January 5 and the winner will be drawn via and notified via email January 6.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway  

    Disclosure: I received a free book for review as well as the offer of a free book for giveaway to be shipped by the sponsor.


    BabbaBox: Creative, convenient, complete activities delivered right to your door

    My oldest grandson, now four, memorized and regularly sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" when he was but a wee bit over the age of two. He was—and continues to be—enchanted by the stars up in the sky. Same goes for the phases of the moon, evidenced by his recent tracking of the full moon appearing just about the same time as Halloween was to arrive.

    The BabbaBox (Some rights reserved - SITSgirls)Because of Bubby's fascination with all things planetary and beyond, I was delighted when the BabbaBox I agreed to sample arrived and the theme for the month was Sun, Moon & Stars. The BabbaBox is a collection of creative and thought-provoking crafts for ages three to six, delivered monthly right to your door. The Sun, Moon & Stars theme of our sample box meant Bubby and I had the opportunity to create, explore, connect and learn more about a few of his favorite things.

    The BabbaBox makes the most of the four primary ways in which youngsters engage: create, explore, story tell, and connect. Specifically, the Sun, Moon & Stars BabbaBox included two create activities—a make your own "moon" paper-mache nightlight and creating a constellation print using sunpaper; an explore activity complete with binoculars to keep track of the moon's cycle; a story tell treat via "Twinkle, Star of the Week" picture book; and a connect treat in which Bubby and I could use a "Planet Finder" to locate different stars in the sky plus an opportunity to download a digital piano app to learn "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."


    The binoculars were an instant hit with Bubby, and he spent a fair amount of time searching the sky for stars, planets, the moon—plus a stray airplane or two. They were equally engaging for his one-and-a-half-year-old brother, Mac, and they both enjoyed the picture book, too.

    The creative endeavor of using the power of the sun ("the biggest star", the literature pointed out) to make a frameable constellation print was something new and wonderful for Bubby. Of course, star stickers are always a hit, but once applied to paper, exposed to the sun, then removed, the stars created a magical picture that Bubby proudly framed, ready to hang on the fridge to share with Mommy and Daddy and anyone else interested in hearing about harvesting the power of the sun to bring out the stars on his paper.

    With so many activities included in the BabbaBox, we've yet to create the paper-mache nightlight—an activity that surely must be done only once baby Mac is engaged elsewhere for a lengthy period of time.

    And that digital piano? Seems "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" may end up being not only the first song Bubby memorized and sang, but the first he learns to play on a digital piano, as well, thanks to the BabbaBox.

    Want to learn more about the BabbaBox? Check it out:

    BabbaBox is a theme-based box delivered to your door that allows you to enjoy a little convenience and inspiration! As any parent can attest, the most important thing you can give to your child is quality time. BabbaBox makes this possible by helping you to save time, money, & mindspace.

    Just think! Fantastic monthly activities with ALL the materials for kids ages 3-6. Included in the box are 3 projects + 1 bestselling book + digital download + parent surprise gift!

    The best part? Babbabox makes a GREAT unique gift during the holiday season.

    Act now! Get 50% off your first month when you sign up for a monthly membership using the code, SWAY100. Offer expires December 31, 2012.

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BabbaBox. The opinions and text are all mine.


    The grandparents are coming! Parental Guidance movie prize package giveaway

    Quick! Think of a memorable grandma or grandpa from a movie. Kind of hard to do, isn't it. There are a few, but not many that immediately come to mind.

    Until now. With the Christmas Day release of PARENTAL GUIDANCE, featuring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as unforgettable grandparents, you'll surely never have trouble coming up with memorable movie grandparents again.

    Take a look:

    PARENTAL GUIDANCE from 20th Century Fox is rated PG and opens in theaters Christmas Day. Find out more on the PARENTAL GUIDANCE official website or Facebook page.


    In celebration of the PARENTAL GUIDANCE opening, 20th Century Fox offers up a memorable prize package for one lucky Grandma's Briefs reader.

    One (1) winner will receive:

    • $25 Visa Gift Card for a day at the movies
    • Retro cassette iPhone case
    • Magnetic photo frame
    • Crap at My Parents House book
    • ($50 total value)

    Entries are easy and accepted through Friday, Dec. 14. The winner will be drawn via Dec. 15. Don't miss out!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Disclosure: I received a free movie card to view the movie in exchange for sharing this giveaway with my readers. Opinions are my own.


    Warm up with promo codes for hot deals on Women's Outerwear at Kmart

    It's December in the Rockies, my home. While the calendar suggests I should be shivering and possibly shoveling snow—or depending on my husband to do the shoveling—such scenarios certainly aren't what's happening at my place. I've not given up hope, though, as the weatherman swears snow is on its way. I'm counting on him to be right, for after the hot summer Colorado suffered through, I'm ready.

    Many other spots around the country may be in the same sort of weather limbo as my home state, waiting for the chill to arrive. And though the weather outside may not be all that frightful in some parts of the country just yet, we all know it's surely coming.

    Now, before the cold settles in, is the perfect time to prepare for a white Christmas and beyond by taking advantage of these online last-minute, limited-time deals from Kmart on Women's Athletech Fleece, Women's Active Apparel, and Women's Outerwear and Cold Weather Accessories.

    Take a look and take note:

    Athletech Women's Belted Fleece Jacket



    10% off $25 or more Women's Athletech Fleece PLUS members earn 2X Points

    Online Promo Code: CSOATLFL




    Fit Female Outlet





    10% off $25 or more Women's Active Apparel PLUS members earn 2X Points

    Online Promo Code: CSOWATHL






    Athletech Women's Reversible Puffy Jacket




    10% off Women's Outerwear and Cold Weather Accessories + Members Earn 2X Points

    Online Promo Code: CSO10OW1




    Tis the season for sharing, especially when it comes to great deals. So go ahead and warm the hearts—and everything else, from head to toe—of your friends and family by sharing these very same special deals from Kmart for women's outerwear.

    It's pretty simple to share. For spreading the news to your Facebook friends, just copy the info for the deal you want to share below (be sure to include the entire link), then paste as a status update on your Facebook page. Twitter users have it even easier: You need only click the "Click to Tweet" link associated with each deal, and once the pre-filled Twitter box pops up, all you have to do is press tweet.

    @Kmart Gifts for Her: 10% off $25+ in Women's Athletech Fleece w/ code CSOATLFL. Members earn 2X Points #Holiday2012
    Click to Tweet

    Get 10% off $25+ in Women's Active Apparel w/ code CSOWATHL @Kmart. Plus, our Members get 2x Points #Holiday2012
    Click to Tweet

    Use code CSO10OW1 @Kmart for 10% off Women's Outerwear & Accessories + Members Earn 2X Points! #Holiday2012
    Click to Tweet

    As my friendly local weatherman likes to say, this is the "warm before the storm." Grab your outerwear now and save some cold cash in the process thanks to these hot deals from Kmart. The best part: You don't even have to leave your house to do so.

    Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with I am a Sears blogger, though all opinions are my own.