Day #7

Day #6:

Day #5:

Day 4: The Gift of Voting #Blogher #NaBloPoMo

Today’s gift:  VOTING!  Our family has made it a tradition to all vote together in the morning on election day(s).   And so today we all piled into the car (even Rocky) and discussed America’s history, voting, freedom, politics, and so much more.

The gesture feels fun at the time but the impact behind it is serious and time honored.

I’m delighted to be able to educate my children this way!

Day 3: Blogher joins SheKnows and #NaBloPoMo

Today’s gift:  Blogging Day 3 and celebrating the news of SheKnows and Blogher joining forces!  Wow and Wow and Wow.

Busy day here but I’m taking the time to celebrate the power of writing, blogging, connecting, and community.  I’m a SheKnows Expert and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this brand and platform!

Stay tuned for details and news.

Day 2: Blogher’s National Blog Posting Month #NaBloPoMo

Today’s gift:  Music! In all its glorious, inspiring, contagious forms.

We are a music family — we love to listen, play, dance.  And we all have different tastes and preferences.

It’s fun to discover new tunes and since the last two movies I watched have great soundtracks — for dancing and singing along –and great narratives, I’m sharing them here as today’s blog post gifts.  Thanks to the brilliance and ease of Spotify, I can find new songs or soundtracks in a click or two.

CHEF is a savory story about family, food, and passion.

BEGIN AGAIN is a delightful romantic film (by the creator of Once) about life lessons, love, and self-discovery.

I won’t reveal too much more — just to say that both films will elevate, inspire, and hopefully ignite something in you to really stop and listen — to the music, real or imagined, and to the soundtrack of your life.  There is great joy when a tune speaks to your soul.

Happy Listening!

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LOST STAR lyrics from the film Begin, Again

Please, don’t see
Just a boy caught up in dreams
And fantasies

Please, see me
Reaching out for someone
I can’t see

Take my hand
Let’s see where we wake up tomorrow
Best laid plans
Sometimes are just a one night stand

I’ll be damned
Cupid’s demanding back it’s arrow
So let’s get drunk on our tears

And God, tell us the reason
Youth is wasted on the young
It’s hunting season
And the lambs are on the run

Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars
Trying to light up the dark

Who are we?
Just a speck of dust
Within the galaxy?

Woe, is me
If we’re not careful
Turns into reality

But don’t you dare
Let our best memories bring you sorrow
Yesterday I saw a lion kiss a deer
Turn the page
Maybe we’ll find a brand new ending
Where we’re dancing in our tears

And God, tell us the reason
Youth is wasted on the young
It’s hunting season
And the lambs are on the run

We’re searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars
Trying to light up the dark

I thought I saw you out there crying
I thought I heard you call my name
I thought I heard you out there crying
But just the same

And God, give us the reason
Youth is wasted on the young
It’s hunting season
And this lamb is on the run

Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars
Trying to light up the dark

I thought I saw you out there crying
I thought I heard you call my name
I thought I heard you out there crying

But are we all lost stars
Trying to light up the dark

But are we all lost stars
Trying to light up the dark

Brisebois, Danielle / Alexander, Gregg / Lashley, Nick / Southwood, Nick

Published by
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

Day 1: Blogher’s National Blog Posting Month #NaBloPoMo

Today’s gift:  National Blog Posting Month!  Otherwise known as #NaBloPoMo.

I decided to join the posting party and post every single day in the month of November.

This takes me back to my blogging roots — when I started blogging  My So-Called Sensory Life I committed to blogging every single day for one year (that’s 365 consecutive days).  And I did it!  I experienced joy, gratitude, pressure, procrastination and so much more.  I’m hopeful that recreating a small version of this daily writing exercise will strengthen my writing muscle and take me on a new journey.

This month, I plan to give you a lot.  I post about:  family, parenting, books, food, fashion, and more.

Today, I’m celebrating my renewed commitment to personl writing and some quiet time with the family.

Thanks #Blogher and #NaBloPoMo.  I’m ready to WRITE.

Kick off Summer 2014 with Block Island Organics!

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer and this means all the BEST things are coming our way.

Sun. Fun. Sand. Fun. Surf. Fun. And more Sun!

I live at the beach or on a boat all summer.  I’m also a sunscreen addict which is why I am so excited to share today’s MSCSL gift with you: Block Island Organics Sunscreen.

There are so many things I love about the BIO sunscreen (starting with the name b/c I met my husband on…wait for it…Block Island!).

I’m a huge beauty and product fan (more like addict!) and when my family and I received some complimentary products to try out I was delighted.  In fact, there are so many reasons I love this line that I created The Top 10 Reasons I Love Block Island Organics Sunscreen (and You Will, too!) List:

1. The Name (see above)! The brand Block Island Organics name instantly conjures New England summer images.  Block Island has the nickname of the “Bermuda of the North” and if you have ever visited you will agree.

2. The Logo — the crisp palette of turquoise ocean blue, summer sun yellow, and clean clear brilliant white are inviting and perfectly  match the pure and natural ingredients and promise of this product line.

3. The Smell — the sunscreen barely has a scent which I love.  I (along with my children) are very sensitive to strong smells.  My twins (boy-girl, age 11) loved this unscented (mostly) product even more than I did.  The slight aroma is aloe and eucalyptus and it suggests, again, nature and natural.

4. The Ingredients — especially zinc oxide and titanium dioxide! I’m doing a happy dance because in the past, I have had to order VERY expensive, hard to find in the stores sunscreens in order to get these two essential ingredients in one product.  Not only do they prevent sunburn but they protect from harmful UVA/UVB rays and for me, this is a must when our family is sailing or sunning.  And because I don’t want wrinkles and I want to prevent aging, and because I’m a sun-lover, I am happy this sunscreen BLOCKS (pun intended!) out the bad stuff.  I feel great about still enjoying the sunshine knowing I am protected.

5. The Consistency — I LIVE for ultra lightweight sunscreens that also work for sensitive skin. Plus it is non-comedogenic and water-resistant. Our family tried out the face + body sunscreen for soccer (the twins), running (Mom), and working outside (Dad). We give the product high marks — it was easy to apply and it stayed in place and it worked for hours.  It’s also TERRIFIC that the sunscreen is for face + body — one product does it all!   (Note: it has a slight white upon application and that aborbs quickly into your skin — to me it means I’m getting the good stuff without any synthetic ingredients. Yeah!)

6. It’s Organic. Need I say more?

7. It’s made in the USA.

8. There are different SPF choices – depending on the coverage you need, you can buy 15, 30, or 40 SPF.  And there is a special edition for Baby.

9. There are other products in the line and plans to expand! Block Island Organics sells complimentary products for after-sun care and to repair skin damage with (hopefully) much more to come.  Is there a LOVE button?

10. Block Island Organics created a special 20% discount code for me, you, and our friends! Order your Block Island Organics sunscreen starting today, Thursday, May 22 through Thursday, May 29 directly from Block Island Organics and receive a 20% discount off your entire order.  Simply enter the code laurat at checkout for the savings.

So, grab your virtual shopping bag, fill it up, enter the laurat discount code at check-out and let’s all kick off Summer 2014 safely with Block Island Organics!  Here’s to The Block.

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Note:  I received press samples in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own. Thank you Block Island Organics!


3 Page-turners to Kick-Off-Summer 2014

Today’s gift:  3 un-put-down-able books to kick-off summer.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer.  This year, I started my summer reading binge early with several books you will LOVE.

All three titles are vastly different but they have one shared characteristic — you will not be able to put these books down.

So whether you will be on a hammock, deck, boat, or rooftop terrace this weekend, toss one of these fabulous reads (or download all three on your kindle) and start your summer on the right page!

TEMPTING FATE by Jane Green (St. Martin’s Press)

Jane Green is the author of 14 (!) New York Times bestsellers.  Her books tell stories about real women and real life.  TEMPTING FATE is provocative, exciting, and the first book the author has set in her hometown of Westport, CT.  As a Fairfield (CT) native, I loved visiting the familiar spots via the pages of this colorful and sexy read.  You will too.

THE ACCIDENT by Chris Pavone (Crown)

Another New York Times bestseller, THE ACCIDENT grabs you from page one.  Stephen King says, “If you like real nail-biters, this is the best one so far this year.” And Michael Connelly raves “Chris Pavone is the new best thing.”  Trust these two authors and all the others that are singing the praises of Pavone.  Set in the delicious world of NYC book publishing, the plot is at times surprising, explosive, and adrenalin inducing.  You will stay up late for this one!

YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN by Jean Hanff Korelitz (Grand Central Publishing)

Fans of GONE GIRL will devour Jean Hanff Korelitz’s new novel.   The book is a thrilling thriller with a book-within-a-book literary device that will blow your mind (in the best way possible).  The reviews have been glowing — for the story, the writing, and the genius behind this elegant twisting tale.   You’ll think about the title long after you’ve closed the book.

Pack your bags and buy/borrow/order your books today for the long weekend and kick of my favorite season of books with 1, 2, or all 3 of my top picks!

Order links:




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PS:  I’m not the book publicist for any of these books.   Full disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of each title from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Courage Blog Book Tour: What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

Today’s gift:  Courage!  Specifically, a new book WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU COULD NOT FAIL? by Nina Lesowitz & Mary Beth Sammons.  It is a guide that teaches readers to transform their fear into courage and it belongs on everyone’s book shelf.

The authors share personal stories, expert advice, exercises and more in this delicious little book as way to teach us how to live every day of our lives with confidence.  The two authors live their daily lives with gratitude and also wrote a bestselling book that is also a favorite of mine:  LIVING LIFE AS A THANK YOU.

The title of the new book comes from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, an extraordinary role model for some many throughout history, and by channeling her spirit, the book will surely resonate with anyone who has ever faced a fear, a challenge, adversity or an unexpected life event.

The personal stories contained in this compact book are BIG and BOLD.  Courage comes in all sizes and shapes — from cupcake sized to scuba tank dimensions to the vastness of whole countries — and yet we learn that it’s not the size that matters but the passion behind the bravery.

One of the best parts of WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU COULD NOT FAIL? are the exercises and daily practices we can all weave into our busy lives.   Here readers can learn, for example:

1.  How to create an Attitude of Courage

2.  How to create a Courage Ritual

3.  Simple Steps to think Positively and Live Courageously

Finally, the book is filled with inspiring quotes (I collect quotes! Swoon!) — from the back cover book blurb by Good Morning America’s Lee Woodruff to chapter quotes from Elie Wiesel, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Beck, and Mother Theresa.  These introduce chapters by cancer survivors, athletes, neighbors, spiritual teachers and others.

Tomorrow is the first day of spring and the idea of rebirth and renewal frames why I think this book is a must-read for everyone — Start new, and  start tomorrow by living with courage and you’ll face all your fears –and life–with grace, determination, and spirit.

I wish you all a Happy Spring filled with Courage!

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Disclosure: I’m proud to be a part of the Courage Blog Book tour for this book. Viva Editions, the publisher, sent me a review copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.