Monday, August 31, 2015

Premama Prenatal Vitamin Review and Giveaway #spon @Premama

Do you remember your pregnancy cravings or are you experiencing them right now?

When I was pregnant with my son, I craved a giant Ho Ho type chocolate and cream roll from Tesco, a grocery store in the UK (My son was born in London). I also craved Ritz Crackers and pineapples. It's no wonder that I gained a ton of weight while pregnant with my son (all gone now thankfully!) and he was a giant when he was born at 8 pounds 12 ounces. 

While pregnant with my daughter, I craved Sicilian oranges and watermelon. Today, my daughter loves both. It was wonderful to crave healthy foods during my second pregnancy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book Review: Cheap Chic

Disclosure: I receive a review copy of the mentioned book. All opinions are my own.

Fall is the perfect time to revamp your wardrobe, and here's a book to get you started:
Cheap Chic: Hundreds of Money Saving Hints to Create Your Own Great Look.

Originally published way back in 1975 - Diane Von Furstenburg was one of the original editors - this book teaches you how to develop your own unique sense of style. It's a fashion bible that offers advise on how to develop your own personal wardrobe that reflects your own unique style.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: Dr. Formulated Once Daily Women's Probiotic

Disclosure: I received a product sample but was not asked to write a blogpost. As always, all opinions are my own. 

I recently injured my ear, experiencing a tear that required not just stitches but also a strong does of antibiotics. Though I knew that the antibiotics were necessary, I also knew that they would potentially throw my body even further out of whack. Thankfully, I had a full bottle of Garden of Life's once daily women's shelf stable Raw probiotics.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Classical Opera with the Animals: Lyric Unlimited Presents 'Second Nature' at the Lincoln Park Zoo

This post originally appeared at, where I am a contributing writer. 

Imagine taking in live, classical opera together with the lions, tigers and bears. The Lyric Opera of Chicago is setting up shop at the zoo of all places this summer. 'Second Nature,' a new opera for youth from the acclaimed composer/librettist Matthew Aucoin will premiere this summer at Café Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Presented by Lyric Unlimited, these four world-premiere performances will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. and noon, and Thursday, Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Free and open to the public, these performances are the perfect opportunity to introduce your children to the joys of lyrical opera.

How can we heal and protect the environment? Both the characters in the opera and the children in the audience are asked to ponder the state of our planet. Set in a fictional future when humans have retreated from nature because of the deteriorating environment, Second Nature tells the story of two kids who decide to leave the safety of their artificial habitat and work to heal the planet. Each performance will also include an interactive, informational talk about conservation work at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Award-winning composer, pianist, poet and conductor Matthew Aucoin has been called "the next Leonard Bernstein" by The Wall Street Journal and "Opera's great 25-year-old hope" byThe New York Times Magazine.

"Lyric is thrilled to be presenting the latest new work from Matthew Aucoin, one of opera's rising young stars," said Anthony Freud, Lyric's general director. "Our creative consultant Renée Fleming flagged Matthew as a composer to watch several years ago, and we are delighted to be one of the first companies to have commissioned and now to premiere a work by this outstandingly talented composer and librettist."

"Two facets of Lyric Unlimited's mission are to identify and nurture new operatic talent and to present opera that explores contemporary themes in unexpected venues. 'Second Nature' succeeds on both counts," said Cayenne Harris, director of Lyric Unlimited. "We are so pleased that families will be able to enjoy this work that celebrates the importance of nature and conservation in a setting as appropriate as Lincoln Park Zoo."

'Second Nature' stars Sylvia Szadovszki (debut), James Onstad (debut), David Govertsen, Julie Miller, and Leah Dexter. Govertsen and Miller are alumni of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric, the company's premier artist-development program. This world-premiere opera is directed by Matthew Ozawa, with sets by William Boles (who was set designer for Lyric Unlimited's world-premiere klezmer opera, The Property), and costumes by Sally Dolembo (debut).

'Second Nature' is recommended for children ages 7 to 12. Reservations are recommended.For more information or to reserve a free ticket, visit

Book Review: Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book. As always, all opinions are my own.

Summer is the perfect time of year to commit to eating lighter, healthier meals, but truly our bodies appreciate foods that are natural and nutrition-packed year round. Here's a great cookbook to help keep you on track while keeping the focus on fresh, healthy and tasty foods.

Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore is a healthy guide to detoxing naturally, all year round. I like this book because it removes the "diet" word from the equation. Diets, as many have come to realize, don't work. It's all about making healthy choice after healthy choice and relying on natural foods in their most wholesome state as opposed to dieting, juice fasting, or calorie counting. This beautiful tome features 100 properly combined recipes for every meal of the day, to help you lose weight, improve digestion, sleep better, and feel great.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review: The First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler

Disclosure: Special thanks to Blogging for Books for sending me a review copy to facilitate this blog post. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

Long ago, in my early 20's, I worked as an intern with the Department of State. I was luckily assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Rome - truly a dream come true. On an even luckier note, President Clinton came on two official visits to Italy during my summer internship at the embassy.

I was always fascinated by the security detail that surrounded the president and the first lady at the time. The Secret Service agents truly do have front row seats to both the challenges and joys that the U.S. president faces on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.

So I was happy to have the chance to review THE FIRST FAMILY DETAIL: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents by Ronald Kessler, an uncensored look into the lives of the presidents, as seen through the eyes of Secret Service agents.