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

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

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.

Karma Gone Bad by Jenny Feldon: Blog Tour & Book Review

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Today’s gift:  KARMA GONE BAD, the new memoir by Jenny Feldon.  I am SO excited to share this book!

Jenny is a virtual friend and a blog sister [I love her blog Karma (continued...)] and now a published author.  I adore her (how can you not — watch her book party launch video and you’ll see what I mean!).

KARMA GONE BAD:  How I Learned to Love Mangos, Bollywood, and Water Buffalo is a new memoir as powerful and page-turning as EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert.   I am not kidding!  I’m wishing for a movie asap!

A mom of two originally from the Boston area and now living in Los Angeles, Jenny is one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year (2012) and her new memoir chronicles her journey from the Upper West Side halfway across the world to India. With humor, honesty, and spunk, Jenny Feldon tells the story of how she attempts to make a home for herself in an exotic new culture.

Her unique memoir blends the NYC chutzpah of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw with the armchair traveler expertise readers devoured in Eat, Pray, Love.  The result is a charming memoir that marks the debut of a fresh new voice in publishing.  In the book, readers will cheer for Jenny on her journey of self-discovery and transformation and most of all, they will relate to how she eventually lets go of expectations and embraces life fully.

In the spirit of the book, I hope you will believe in KARMA and please pay it forward by sharing my post and spreading the word about this funny, smart, honest, fierce, and entirely addictive, terrific memoir!

Bahut Dhanyavaad.

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I adore Jenny and I’m thrilled to be part of her book launch blog book tour.

Join us on all the stops and read the diverse posts here:

KARMA GONE BAD / Blog Tour Schedule

3-Nov- Withered Papyrus

4-Nov- Figuring Out 40

5-Nov-Edible Garden

6-Nov- A Bookish Way of Life

7-Nov- Bitches n Prose

8-Nov- We Said Go Travel

10-Nov- Salt and Nectar

11-Nov- Laura Rossi

12-Nov- Baby Zone

14-Nov- Back ‘n Groove Mom

15-Nov- Bookshipper

16-Nov- House of Prince

17-Nov- The Top Shelf

19-Nov- Perfectly Disheveled

20-Nov- These Little Waves

21-Nov- Alexandra Wrote

22-Nov- Practical Parenting

And here is a great interview from Jewish Boston.

Follow Jenny on Twitter here:

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I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

Feed A Child, Feed A Dream: Join “The Lunch Money Challenge” October 14 – 18, 2013

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Today’s gift:  giving the gift of lunch to hungry children.

Can you imagine what is it like to be extremely hungry in school?  Or what it is like to spend an afternoon starving while you are trying to learn?

This week, Oct 14-18, I am fundraising through “The Lunch Money Challenge” which encourages people to bring their lunch to work or school instead of buying it and to donate the proceeds to support childhood hunger and education.

Did you know that every day, an estimated 66 million students across the developing world will go to school hungry?

Or that 25 cents fills a cup with a healthy and nutrious meal for a hungry student?

Or for just the price of crayons ($1.50) you could feed a student for a week?  And for $50 you could feed a student for an entire school year?

Alongside a powerful group of bloggers and social media influencers, I am taking the challenge to raise money for lunchtime school meals for hungry children in Honduras, Kenya and Niger.   In fact, last week I had one of the most inspiring calls of my life with Fatuma Mohamed* in Kenya about this program and her work. Her personal story and inspiration across the phone lines from Kenya touched me deeply.  You can help by joining in.  It’s so simple!

1.  For the next 4 days, bring work to lunch or eat in (if you work from home or are at home).

2.  Save the money you would normally spend for the week.

3.  Donate your own “Lunch Money” to hungry children here.

Last year, the World Food Program provided meals to over 24 million school children in 60 countries.

Please give the gift of lunch!

These visuals and statistics from the World Food Program USA will inspire you — feel free to repost and share.

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Follow the campaign on Twitter:  #feedadream and follow @WFPUSA

Please note: This post is part of a campaign with The Mission List and the World Food Program USA. All opinions are my own.


Fatuma Mohamed is a senior program assistant with the World Food Program in Dadaab, Kenya.  Growing up in Kenya’s northeastern province, Fatuma’s connection to WFP began when she was 7 years old. As a young student, she received hot meals through the organization’s school meals programe.

Fatuma lost her father when she was 4 years old. Her mother had little money and faced hostility in their family because she refused to be inherited as Fatuma’s father’s brother’s wife. Although her mother had no formal education, she wanted her children to have the opportunity to go to school. At this time, though, the Somali community did not believe in allowing girls to go to school.

However, Fatuma and her siblings were able to attend school with the help of local administrators. WFP provided daily mid-morning school meals of porridge for Fatuma and her siblings there. She graduated from the Jaribu Primary School and later went on to receive a higher university diploma in agriculture and home economics.

Fatuma is now a mother herself. She and her husband have three children, two boys and one girl ranging in age from five to 18.

Fatuma has been working for WFP since July 2005. In her role, she works to ensure accountability and transparency in food distributions, supervises other staff and coordinates WFP activities with partner organizations, among other things.

My #SOMENERVE Challenge: Facing My Fear of #CleanEating

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Today’s Gift: SOME NERVE!

My brother-in-law and his wife own and run an organic farm a few towns away from us. Every summer and early fall we participate in a weekly “community share” and the beautiful produce is plentiful, delicious, and fresh. I’ve used the word “clean” to describe the taste as well as the process from field to table when explaining the difference between what we buy in the grocery story and the farm to my twins. I’ve explained how the life cycle of the produce from the farm to our table is a pure process: we know exactly where -and how –the beans, tomatoes, melons, and onions grow; we know how the crops are picked (sometimes we do it ourselves!); and we often know the specific location for each crop (especially the pick your own tomatoes and raspberries) all this because we are very fortunate that the farmers are the twins’ aunt and uncle.

I’m consistently surprised by the taste, smell, and feel of the fruit and produce. I’m also overjoyed about the way my family experiences the food – we barely get home before we rip into the bags plus we have to force ourselves not to devour an entire week’s worth of fresh produce on the first night.

From June to October, the effects of this weekly cornucopia can be seen and felt throughout our family in real ways from increased energy to more satisfaction at our meals. We eat every single item in our share and have fun trying to figure out how to prepare celery root or mustard greens. After a month, we look healthier, we don’t crave junk food, our breath is better, our digestion improves, our skin glows. I know the kale and spinach and squash and bok choy and heirloom tomatoes and carrots and beets are gold because they are not processed or artificially colored or sweetened.

The last 2 summers, I saw such a huge difference in our twins when they ate from their beloved Uncle Chumless’ farm (I’m saving the story behind his nickname for another blog post) that I vowed to change our diet.

Predictably, when our summer share ended so did my courage to make a change. The thought of drastically changing the diet and eating habits (not to mention pantry) for 4 family members (me, my husband, and our twins) was unnerving. My daughter has my sweet tooth, my son loves fast food and we all eat junk food, carbs, sugar, dessert, and pizza. I was afraid of the amount of work overhauling our food habits would involve and I was convinced that embracing the “clean eating” movement would be impossible (not to mention would exacerbate my life long aversion/ bordering -on-phobia of grocery shopping).

Fast forward to this September – I’d already begun thinking about the impending “last farm share” and the return of our old food habits when an email arrived on September 10.

My friend and former colleague Patty Chang Anker’s new book SOME NERVE: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave challenges readers to name and then face a fear — to conquer one thing and in doing so take that big first step toward a bigger and braver life. Dozens of bloggers are facing fears online and writing about their experiences for Patty’s #SOMENERVE challenge and it was the email invitation that energized me and inspired me get up my nerve to make my big change, to face my fear of an eating makeover.

That very day, I began my “clean eating” campaign.

Almost immediately, I knew I needed some coaching and so I reached out to one of the founders of The FWORD Blog – a fantastic fitness and health blog.  The blogging guru Jen met my inquiry with enthusiasm and cheers — she’s now my virtual coach!  Her posts gave me the guidance, real advice, and the concrete “how to” for getting started.  When I reread Jen’s recent blog posts, I felt less intimidated – her written words have helped me create shopping lists, menus, and recipes. So you know, Jen isn’t a nutritionist or certified fitness trainer – she’s a real woman/mom/sister (well except for those abs!) who wants to feed her family and herself well. As Jen recently emailed me “It’s amazing how different you begin to feel after filtering some stuff out. I’m no expert, but I’ve adapted to this lifestyle and it’s made my entire family happier and healthier. I wish you lots of luck on this journey.”

For the last two weeks, I’ve embraced the challenge with my family and I am happy to report we’ve been successfully making the change to “clean eating” and I have conquered my fear and then some.  We are doing both the summer and winter farm share so I’ll get amazing “gifts” of fresh produce all year long.

Today, I have so many reasons I’m personally gratified and proud that I faced my fear. The list includes: improved health for me (and my whole family), weight management, inspiring my husband, helping my daughter become a leader in her school’s healthy eating initiative, an organized refrigerator and pantry, a weekly meal plan, a deeper joy of eating and cooking, and the added bonus of looking forward to grocery shopping for the first time in my life (TRUE!!). This one change has led me to so many others that I am already trying to find a new fear to face.  Get ready for another post Patty!

If this blog post about “clean eating” inspires you, you may like my

“Top 5 Reasons Your Family Should Embrace Clean Eating”–

1. It’s easy!

2. It saves you money (you will use everything you buy when you eat this way).

3. You will look and feel healthier (and if you are concerned about weight this change will help you maintain a healthy one).

4. Real, unprocessed food tastes GREAT (and so much better than processed fake food).

5. Your children will be asking for (and craving!) fruits and vegetables (my two want raw red and orange pepper slices more than candy now).

Today, as I sip my coffee with cinnamon (thanks, Jen!),  I wonder what took me so long and why I was so fearful?

Take it from this Italian girl – the same one who loves pasta, bread, polenta, carbs, chocolate, dessert, and pizza – when you face your fears (whether they are food related, exercise related, career-based, or something else) you embrace living fully.

To learn more about joining the SOME NERVE challenge and Patty’s brave movement, visit her website or blog. If you are interested in Clean Eating, check out this great HuffPost article to get started and also subscribe to Jen’s posts at The FWORD blog and check out some of her recent guest posts at sites like How Does She.

Thank you, Patty!  Thank you, Jen! It takes a village and #SOMENERVE!

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Now it’s your turn to gather your nerve and face your fears. To win a copy of SOME NERVE, send an email with your name and address to me at this email:   my so called sensory life [at] gmail dot com. One winner will be selected on October 3 and notified via email. US ONLY please.  (Thanks to Riverhead Books for providing me with a complimentary review copy and a giveaway copy.  All opinions are my own and were not influenced by the publisher.)

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Farm photo credits: Amy Gropp Forbes

Virtual Book Tour: Bork Reveals the Real Deal about the Facts of Life

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Today’s gift:  we are part of a virtual book tour!

My So-Called Sensory Life was selected to be part of a book tour for a book for boys about the facts of life.

As mom to twins (one boy), this book is perfect and I’m thrilled to tell you about it.  There are so many books for girls about the facts of life but not many for boys.

Until now!

Bork Reveals the Real Deal about the Facts of Life is a witty and humorous description of puberty, adolescence, sex and reproduction. The main character, Bork, leads fellow preteen boys on a journey through everything from physical growth and development to shaving and reproduction. All of the essential, factual information is conveyed in a way that is easy to understand. The amusing and edgy style of this book will appeal to boys ranging from nine to twelve years old. Bork empowers them with easy-to-understand facts, while the interactive element called “Real Deal Action Challenges” promotes understanding through simple and entertaining activities.

Filled with fun and appropriate illustrations and graphics as well as boxed facts, the book hits a home run for boys age 10 and up.

My son and I dove into the book (along with Dad) and had fun reading, discussing, and casually addressing a big topic.

Author Terri Trenchard gives parents and boys an entertaining and educational book that will make the whole family feel confident about facing all the facts of life and growing up.  Terri has a master’s degree in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University, and a bachelor’s with a concentration in Psychology from Bucknell University. A Mom of two, she is currently developing a similar title, “Corky Gives the Whole Scoop about the Facts of Life” for girls, as well as additional titles about topics of interest to young adults, including summer jobs and college.  We can’t wait!

I plan to recommend this book to everyone–other parents, schools, even pediatricians.

I give an A + (and most importantly so did my son) and I know you will, too.

If you want to read more reviews, visit the other stops on the book tour including the following fantastic blogs:

Monday, July 22: Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Tuesday, July 23: My Book Addiction and More

Wednesday, July 24: Book Reviews by Tima

Thursday, July 25: Storywraps

Friday, July 26: CoupleDumb

Saturday, July 27: The Literary Word

Sunday, July 28: My So-Called Sensory Life

Happy Reading!


A big thanks to the author and Firefly Marketing & PR for the complimentary review copy and the opportunity to be part of the tour.  All opinions stated here are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Scary Mommy feature today!

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Today’s gift:  Scary Mommy (aka Jill Smokler) generously features my post today on her site.

You can read the post here.  Scary Mommy is a pay-it-forward kind of gal and that’s also a gift.

Please help me thank her by sharing, commenting, tweeting, and sending to everyone you know especially special needs families.  And buy her bestselling books — her voice and nod to imperfection will help any parent.

From her website:

“Jill’s honest take on parenting has appeared in numerous publications and on television programs, including The Today ShowThe New York Times, Good Morning America, Nightline and CNN. The website averages over 3 million page views a month and the Scary Mommy Twitter feed keeps over 310,000 followers entertained daily, including Tori Spelling, Nicole Ricci, Cynthia McFadden, Holly Robinson Peete and President Obama. The Scary Mommy Facebook page boasts over 89,000 active fans.”

Thank you Scary Mommy!

Friday June 14 is World Blood Donor Day!

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Today’s gift:  the gift of life = blood.

Did you know?

1 pint of blood can save up to 3 lives

Blood shortages occur most frequently in summer due to vacation schedules

Someone needs blood every 2 seconds

If 1 percent more Americans gave blood, all national blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future

Most Americans will require a blood transfusion at some point in their lives

Donors can give whole blood up to 6 times a year

This Friday, June 14th is World Blood Donor Day reminding all of us that all around the country blood centers are experiencing major shortages of blood and platelets and need the help of volunteers to donate and spread the word. During the summer months blood donations drop significantly and yet the need does not – every 2 seconds someone in America needs blood and with no substitution for human blood these people in need rely on the kindness of volunteers.

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of World Blood Donor Day and I’m beyond excited to announce that Soleil Moon Frye is leading this cause with her trademark passion, positivity, and that great smile.  As you all know, I’m a regular blogger (Soleil’s incredible site) and so I’m equally thrilled to be part of the social media campaign to spread the word about donating blood this summer.

Nexcare give in partnership with mother, actress and American Red Cross spokesperson Soleil Moon Frye will be conducting a nationwide campaign encouraging American’s to donate blood and bring attention to the 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day. To do so Nexcare give has provided local blood donation centers around the country with free special-edition bandages to hand out to donors and supporters to wear with pride and help spread the word about this vital need. These limited-edition bandages are also available for free online at where readers can also find their local participating blood donation centers.

Right now it is particularly important that those people who are eligible to donate platelets schedule appointments this week to donate, as platelets only last five days are currently at an extreme low around the country.

Key facts about platelets:
*Platelets are the clotting factor in blood; they help prevent excess bleeding.
*Cancer patients undergoing surgeries and premature infants often need this specific blood product.
*It’s important that eligible platelet donors give as often as possible to help ensure this potentially lifesaving blood product is available for patients whenever and wherever needed.

This year’s Nexcare give Bandage collection is announcing that “It’s Always In Season to Give Blood” with Bandages inspired by each of the four seasons.

So get out there, roll up your sleeves and give!

About Soleil Moonfrye — For more information visit:

About America’s Blood Centers
Founded in 1962, America’s Blood Centers is North America’s largest network of community-based, independent blood programs. Recognized by the U.S. Congress for its critical work in patient care and disaster preparedness and response, the federation operates more than 600 blood donor centers providing nearly half of the U.S., and a quarter of the Canadian blood supply.
These blood centers serve more than 150 million people and provide blood products and services to more than 3,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America. America’s Blood Centers’ U.S. members are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Canadian members are regulated by Health Canada.
For more information, please visit

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit join our blog at

Happy Mother’s Day 2013! So many gifts!

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Mother’s Day arrived early for me this year and I have the joy of experiencing some incredible (professional/blogger) gifts this week:  it’s been the triple-crown of publicity for me with features on The Huffington Post, iVillage, and allParenting!

My tributes to my own Mom and to my twins are striking a chord online with Moms and families and parents.  And the magic from the Local Listen To Your Mother Show I Co-Directed/Produced has been fueling me all week (including my tv spot).

You can read them here:

The Huffington Post



I’m also still celebrating my first time on (*yes that TODAY).  Read my thoughts about Wonder Woman (fitting for Mother’s Day weekend!) here.

Thankful and grateful for my life — my work life, my family life, my ME-life.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Day #4 – How Do You Get Your Water?

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Today’s gift:  gratitude for the running water and working toilet in my home.

What if you had to get your water this way every day?

Click HERE for images.

Please donate today to The Mission List’s fundraiser and save a life.

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Photo Credit:

Give Water Day #2.

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Today’s gift: Give Water Day #2.

The second day of the fundraising is changing lives.  We’ve raised $955 and saved 38 lives.

I hope you will watch this video about “Tackling the Water Crisis” from and head over to give by clicking here.

Check back here tomorrow for the link to my Huffington Post piece about our social media campaign.