Don’t Tell Her to Relax: 22 Ways to Support Your Infertile Loved One Through Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond.

Samples received.


Over 14 million American women are either unable to bear children, or are using some type of fertility treatment to assist in their efforts to have children. While these statistics illustrate the pervasive issue of infertility in the United States, they do not begin to illustrate the emotional toll that infertility produces: feelings of social isolation, depression, and frustration. Worse yet, family members and friends of those struggling with infertility oftentimes don’t know how to help, or what they can say to try and comfort and support their loved one.  

To try and help those struggling with infertility and the people who love and support them, former lawyer Zahie El Kouri wrote the new book, Don’t Tell Her to Relax: 22 Ways to Support Your Infertile Loved One Through Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond. Based on her own painful experiences, El Kouri teaches readers how to be supportive with women dealing with fertility issues without being intrusive or offensive.  Written in a compassionate and friendly tone, this new book is the ultimate guide for family members and friends who wish to help and emotionally support a loved one cope with the stress and frustration of infertility.

Designed as a tool to open the conversation between the person who is going through infertility and the person who wants to help, Don’t Tell Her to Relax also touches on:

·      Common Causes and Diagnosis: Common causes of infertility and different types of diagnostic procedures

·      Treatments and Costs: Various fertility treatments such as IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilization) as well as the financial costs associated with each

·      Hormones: The volatility of emotions that fertility hormones can produce in your loved one and how to handle them

·      Emotional Support Simple tips to help your loved one minimize stress and focus on the future

·      Building a Family: All of the ways possible to build your own family including: surrogacy, gestational carriers, embryo adoption, and traditional adoption

·      And much more!

“There was a long period in my life during which I was simultaneously trying to get pregnant, exploring adoption, and trying to imagine a life without children. During those years, there was a part of me that wanted to retreat, because it was so hard to explain how I was feeling to people who weren’t struggling with the same issues,” says El Kouri. “At that time, I remember wishing that there was a manual I could hand to them, with step-by-step guidelines for what to say and what not to say to help me through a difficult time. When I finally did have a child, I didn’t forget that need. I wrote this book to bridge the gap between those going through infertility and their loved ones.”

Read Up On Your Health With Books From Robert Rose Publishing

Health Books

Samples provided for review. This post is not intended as medical advice; always consult with your doctor.

Managing health problems can be completely overwhelming – not only is it costly, but trying to find a doctor who meets your needs and communicates what you need to know to manage your conditions can be absolutely exhausting.

Fortunately, Robert Rose publishers has new tools for your toolkit. Though their books span a variety of topics in health and cooking, their strong suit is cookbooks and health guides designed for conditions that have few resources available to a layman, like thyroid diseases and leaky gut syndrome.




Reading through the books, I found that they offered good introductions for people newly diagnosed, along with practical advice, meal plans, and recipes specifically for your health needs. The thyroid book offered recipes rich in B vitamins, selenium, and probiotics, while minimizing gluten – all vital nutritional shifts for people with hypothyroidism.

Here’s a lovely example recipe that is healthy and gluten free:

Gingery Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Courtesy of The Complete Gluten-Free Whole Grains Cookbook by Judith Finlayson © 2013 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Gingery Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Makes 6 main-course servings

1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs/1.5 kg), cut into pieces 1
1 onion, coarsely chopped 1
2 carrots, peeled and diced 2
2 stalks celery, diced 2
4 sprigs parsley 4
1 clove garlic 1
1 bay leaf 1
1⁄2 tsp salt 2 mL
1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
12 cups water 3 L
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
2 large leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced 2
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
2 tbsp minced gingerroot 30 mL
1 cup brown and wild rice mixture, rinsed and drained 250 mL


1. In a stockpot, combine chicken, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, whole garlic, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Using a slotted spoon, skim off foam. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is falling off the bone, about 11⁄2 hours. Drain, reserving chicken and liquid separately. Let cool. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding skin and bones. Skim off fat from the stock (see Tip, left).
2. Measure 2 cups (500 mL) of chicken and set aside in the refrigerator. (Refrigerate remainder for other uses, see Tip, left.) In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add rice and toss to coat. Add reserved stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until rice is quite tender, about 1 hour. Add reserved chicken. Cover and simmer until chicken is heated through, about 15 minutes.

While I wouldn’t recommend using these books as your sole point of reference – the thyroid book recommended soy in a few recipes, for example, which some think interferes with thyroid function – I think they’re straightforward starting points for what can be a lengthy, difficult, and confusing process. Your health is always worth it. Here’s to investing in yourself!

Learn more:

Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook: 281 Delicious Whole-Grain Recipes
by Camilla Saulsbury

The Complete Leaky Gut Health & Diet Guide: Improve Everything from Autoimmune Conditions to Eczema by Healing Your Gut by Dr Makoto Trotter & Doug Cook

The Complete Thyroid Health & Diet Guide: Understanding and Managing Thyroid Disease by Dr Nikolas Hedberg & Danielle Cook

The Essential Guide to Women’s Herbal Medicine by Dr Cyndi Gilbert

Cover Your Children In the Entertainment Industry

Yes I’m letting my kids enter the entertainment industry and have learned a lot. I continue to learn new things and continue to seek out more information. I was offered “Cover Your Children In The Entertainment Industry” to review and I said yes because I wanted to read another mother’s opinion. Jackie Elam has a Christian perspective on keeping her children safe which I really enjoyed.


Cover Your Child in the Entertainment Industry is a revealing, informative, enlightening and instructive book from the first-person experiences of author, Jackie Elam whose two sons have been in motion pictures, television, modeling and commercials since infancy. Her new book addresses the questions from parents who already have children in entertainment world or parents who are seeking information about getting their child into showbiz. Jackie s new book shares with you her experience and knowledge of how to keep your child safe and happy while forging a career in film industry. Whether your child is already in modeling, motion pictures, television, beauty contest or hopes to be, this book will help guide your steps and lead you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the Industry.

The only thing I didn’t really agree with is her perspective on using social media, I do believe in keeping your kids safe on-line but so many people are using social media. Other than that it’s full of really great information on how to keep your child safe. The number one rule is to get educated and never leave your child unattended.

I’m always on set with my kids, in some cases I’m in the background and have become an “extra”. I’ve heard and now read some really crazy stories, things to happen and you being there and knowing what you ARE allowed to do will help keep them safe and sane. I used to be worried about being a “crazy set mom” but now I know what I am allowed to do.

The Zodiac Legacy #ZodiacLegacy

Zoe is reading THE ZODIAC LEGACY: CONVERGENCEa new Disney middle-grade illustrated novel from Stan Lee, the legend behind the Marvel comics universe.

And she Loves it. Book 2 is available for pre-order.



Twelve magical superpowers, One sinister conspiracy, One unlikely hero.

Stan Lee presents a brand new, magical, super-powered adventure!

When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-America teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He’ll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.


Stan Lee is known to millions as the man whose Super Heroes propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comic book industry. His co-creations include Spider-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four, as well as hundreds of others. He introduced Spider-Man as a syndicated newspaper strip that became the most successful of all syndicated adventure strips and has appeared in more than 500 newspapers worldwide. Stan currently remains Chairman Emeritus of Marvel, as well as a member of the Editorial Board of Marvel Comics. He is also the Chairman & Chief Creative officer of POW! Entertainment, a multimedia entertainment company based in Beverly Hills, CA.

Stuart Moore has been a writer, a book editor, and an award-winning comics editor. His recent writing includes Civil War, the first in a new line of prose novels from Marvel Comics, The Art of Iron Man 3 (Marvel, with Marie Javins); and THE 99, a multicultural super hero comic from Teshkeel.

Andie Tong has worked on titles for various franchises, including Tron: Betrayal, Spectacular Spider-Man UK, The Batman Strikes, Smallville, Wheel of Time, TMNT, Masters of the Universe, and Starship Troopers, working for companies such as Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Panini, Dark Horse, and Dynamite Entertainment, as well as commercial illustrations for numerous advertising agencies including Nike, Universal, CBS, Mattel, and Habsro. When he gets the chance, Andie concept designs for various companies, and also juggles illustration duties on a range of children’s picture storybooks for Harper Collins. Malaysian born, Andie migrated to Australia at a young age, and then moved to London in 2005. In 2012, he journeyed back to Asia and currently resides in Singapore with this wife and daughter.


Learn More at

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American Girl Beforever: Let Your Imagination Soar


Book provided.

“Timeless stories. Inspiring characters. Endless possibilities.”

Exciting new books from American Girl that let your young reader’s imagination soar: Introducing the Beforever series with new adventures featuring characters we already know and love.

What would it be like for a girl to suddenly find herself in Samantha’s world at the start of the 20th century? When she meets Samantha for the first time, Samantha may tuck one leg behind the other and dip into a curtsy, the way girls did a very long time ago. But what other things might girls experience while exploring 1904? In this book, readers can join Samantha on a rustic adventure to her summer home in the mountains, get dressed up and attend a fancy dinner, and discover what life was like as a servant instead of a wealthy young lady. Readers’ journey back in time can take whatever twists and turns they choose, as they select from a variety of exciting options in this multiple-ending story. 208 pages. Paperback. Author: Erin Falligant. Ages 8+”

Reading the Beforever series

My daughter is at the perfect age and reading level for the Beforever series. Did you catch in the description that there are multiple endings??? Yes!! Choose your ending! This is where this series really takes off. Every girl can have a different experience, one as different as they are.  Readers can truly customizing the story, read it again, pick a different ending and the story is new all over again! My daughter was delighted and fascinated to create her own story and devoured her first book in this series.

We received a copy of: The Lilac Tunnel: My Journey with Samantha MSRP $9.99
This is the first in a series of 3 books. (MSRP $29.95) The 2 remaining books are definitely at the top of our reading list for Spring Break. You can find this and the other American Girl Beforever books: Manners and Mischief plus Lost and many others online at American or at American Girl retail stores.

MomStart mom recommended: Absolutely! MomStart kid recommended? To the moon and back!

The Cat’s Pajamas by Daniel Wallace

The Cat's Pajamas by Daniel WallacePromotional copy provided.

By nature, I am a very picky children’s book reader. If the first sentence or the pictures don’t draw me in, I place it back on the shelf and browse on. The Cat’s Pajamas is not a children’s book I would return to the shelf. It quickly snags your attention and brings you into the story. True to the nature of his novel “Big Fish,“ Daniel Wallace does not disappoint with yet another (adorable) tall-tale. It is the story of one cool cat in his quest to be different who instead, in the end, makes a difference. It is the perfect bedtime story or Pajama Day (at school) story and the narrative voice is quite pleasant and easy to read. I would say that this book is appropriate for ages pre-k through 2nd or 3rd grade and is enjoyable for any parent or teacher as well, especially if said readers are cat fanatics.

The cool thing about this book is that it was published through INKSHARES, which is a crowdfunded publisher. On, users donate funds to projects they are interested in by pre-ordering copies of the book. Depending on the amount donated, a user can receive a digital copy, hard copy, draft or even recognition in the book. Users can chose to donate $15, $40, $100 or an undisclosed amount to projects of their choice. Once the author has received enough support, supplies an editor, designer and takes care of other aspects of the publishing process.

Any writer can publish using INKSHARES, whether they’re a seasoned and published writer like Mr. Wallace, or a new and upcoming writer being published for the first time. INKSHARES supports an artist’s work by paying more per book sold than a traditional publishing house. A writer can receive up to 70% more in royalties per book as opposed to traditional publishing methods which pay only pocket change for each book sold.

Open book

Please take a moment look at and browse their current project list or maybe even look into publishing your own book!

Mr. Wallace’s book “The Cat’s Pajamas” is available in hardcover for 18.00 here.

Books with Thought and Heart by K.S. Robinson

Books by K.S. Robinson

Samples were provided, opinions are my own.

I was delighted when given the opportunity to read and review 2 children’s books for Tate Publishing.

No Lunch Money! and A Mermaid’s Tale were written by Pacific Northwest writer, K.S. Robinson.  Let me just say that both books were well thought out and show the heart of the writer which I believe captured her intent in writing them.

No Lunch Money! finds young Casey having one of those days when you are just one step behind in everything you do. We have had those bad days, I have for sure!  Well, Casey learns a lesson about kindness that he will not soon forget and a single event can turn his whole day around.

No Lunch Money! has a biblical virtue and discussion questions at the end of the book to guide reading comprehension. This is perfect for a full class of children on a Sunday morning or one on one with your own child before any time.

A Mermaid's Tail

A Mermaid’s Tale
is a sweet little story. Every little girl dreams of and can relate to searching for that perfect shell and meeting a new friend.  Not every friend is a mermaid but don’t we all wish we could meet one!  While Melanie travels with the mermaid Celine to that, “Secret cove” (You know, the one that all little girls dream of finding), she frolics with Orcas and explores the ocean blue for her perfect shell.  Does she find it?  You’ll need to read the book to find that answer.

Cute stories, right? Here is what I liked about them: Both stories are GREAT read aloud books as well as beginning reader books. That is hard to do because read aloud and beginning reader books are written in a totally different perspective.  The pages are easy enough to read aloud with confidence, well illustrated, and challenging enough for a beginning reader.  They also creatively embrace situations that all kids know: Having a bad day or day dreaming while searching for that perfect shell!

A feature soon to be available for both of these books is an E-Live downloadable audio book.  Kids can just listen or read along.  However your kids choose they will love it!  Well done K.S. Robinson and Tate Publishing!

The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton

Earlier this year on one of my blogging adventures I met LeVar Burton. He gave the moms at the Social Media Moms conference in Disneyland a speech about the importance of reading and helping your kids develop a love of reading. I had no idea how many kids are out there that are not learning how to read. He has written a book for children to help them learn to express their emotions. The book is called, The Rhino who Swallowed a Storm.


When little Mica Mouse is scared by thunder booming outside her cozy home, Papa Mouse reaches for just the right story to comfort her. Hugging her close, he begins to read The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm. In this poetic book-within-a-book, a happy little rhinoceros is overwhelmed by a storm that sweeps away everything he loves. Swallowing the storm just makes him feel worse, so Rhino sets off on a whimsical journey toward healing. Along the way, he meets many friends, including a kind spider, a brave kangaroo, a wise tortoise, and an uplifting whale. With their help, Rhino lets go of the storm inside and learns to see the light in a world turned gray. Mica Mouse is soothed by the story and Papa’s gentle reminder that even though bad things sometimes happen, the world is full of people who care.


In his first children’s book, longtime Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton gives us an engaging resource to help children express their feelings and navigate through difficult experiences. The “Take a Deeper Look” page at the end of the book even provides discussion questions to facilitate a healing dialogue.

About the Author:

Actor, director, and educator LeVar Burton has been an icon for more than 35 years. 1977’s TV miniseries Roots propelled the 19-year-old Burton onto the world stage with his unforgettable performance as Kunta Kinte. As Star Trek: The Next Generation’s blind chief engineer Geordi LaForge, Burton reminded audiences that it’s not our disabilities but our contribution to society that defines us. However, it’s his 31st year as host, producer, and now co-owner of Reading Rainbow where Burton has had his greatest impact, delivering the message of the importance of literacy and reading to generations of children. Coauthor Susan Schaefer Bernardo is a published poet and the author of Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs. Courtenay Fletcher is a designer and the illustrator of Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs.

I See Me! Birthday Magic Makes Mom a Little Misty!

I See Me

Sample provided by “I See Me!”

My sweet daughter recently turned 9. She is truly a princess, kind hearted, friendly, smart, energetic and sweet. So I thought an “I See Me!” gift from My Chronicle Books would be absolutely perfect. I don’t know about you all but I tend to get a little misty anyway on my kids birthdays but this sent me over the edge into a quivering chin and all! This book should come with a hankie for mom!

Birthday Party

We received, “A Day in the Life of a Princess” personalized with sweet detail and a personal letter written to her about being smart and kind hearted. Also, character features like hair color and skin color, favorite dress color and the best part was what she would name her royal pony! I knew the answer to this because we had just talked about it. Yvonna!

Princess letter

Personalized book

She read the book to us and the water works opened up! To hear her little voice reading a story about her and the things she loves (ponies) was perfect and special in every way. Not only was this a great gift to her but also a great gift to me.

Reading "I See Me"

“I See Me!” has a great website with many ideas for personalized product. We also received a placemat with her name which was perfect at the head of the table for the Birthday Princess. Check it out, you will find something for everyone.


Mom and Kid recommended. **** note: you will need a hankie too***

Here is a great opportunity from Chronicle Books and friends for your little prince or princess to show their royal stuff!

Announcing “A Princess for a Day Photo Contest” for I See Me! fans! Submit a photo of your princess along with the caption, “What special qualities makes your child a true princess?” Grand prize winner will receive a personalized copy of our new princess book + a $300 princess prize package from Knot Genie Detangling Brush, Chronicle Books, Galison/Mudpuppy, and SmartLab Toys. Five additional winners will receive a personalized copy for our new princess book too.”

Enter at Winners chosen at random. Princes welcome too!

Reading With Miles: Ricky Ricotta Book Series Giveaway #RickyRicotta

This is a partnered post and all opinions are my own.

We received the RICKY RICOTTA series by Dav Pilkey and they are perfect for my new reader Miles. They have adventure, colored pictures and are comic style. Miles’ favorite books to read right now are comics.



When Dav Pilkey was a kid, he suffered from ADHD, reading challenges, and behavioral problems. Dav was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hallway every day. Dav loved to draw and make up stories, so he spent this time creating his own original comic books.

In second grade, Dav created a comic book about a superhero named Captain Underpants. His teacher ripped it up and told him he couldn’t spend the rest of his life making silly books. Fortunately, Dav was not a very good listener.

Dav has written and illustrated many bestselling books for children, including the Captain Underpants series with over 70 million books in print, the Ricky Ricotta series, and The Paperboy, a Caldecott Honor Book. 

Dav grew up in Ohio and now lives with his wife in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about him at



Dan Santat attended the University of California, San Diego, where he received a degree in biology. Thankfully, he had a change of heart and went on to pursue an illustration degree from the Art Center College of Design, where he graduated with honors.

After a few years of designing art for video games, Dan switched his attention to children’s books. Since then, Dan has written and illustrated several bestselling books for children, including The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and Sidekicks. Dan also created the Disney animated hit The Replacements.

Dan was born in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in Southern California with his family. You can find out more by visiting his website at

From Dav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants, and acclaimed artist Dan Santat, an out-of-this-world friendship adventure with brand-new full-color illustrations and mini-comics throughout!

Ricky Ricotta is a little mouse with BIG problems! Every day he is picked on by the neighborhood bullies. He lives in Squeakyville with his mother and father, and being an only mouse, he is often lonely. That is until SOMETHING BIG HAPPENS! A giant flying robot enters Ricky’s life and an unlikely friendship is born! Together, Ricky and his Robot must save the planet from a galaxy bursting with bad guys!



Little Ricky Ricotta has a problem: the bullies at school pick on him all the time. Until one day, he saves the life of a mighty robot. Together, Ricky and his Robot face the bullies, and save Squeakyville from a giant evil lizard monster. That’s what friends are for!


Mr. Mosquito hates Mercury. The days are so hot, they melt his flip-flops, and the nights are so cold, his toothpaste freezes solid! He’s decided to take over Earth instead. Ricky and his Robot must stop his army of massive Mutant Mosquitoes!


Victor Von Vulture hates Venus. His toasted cheese sandwiches are always way too gooey, and ice cream melts in a second! So he and his army of Voodoo Vultures try to cast a spell on the Earth. It’s up to Ricky and his Robot to stop them!


Little Ricky Ricotta has a problem: the bullies at school pick on him all the time. Until one day, he saves the life of a mighty robot. Together, Ricky and his Robot face the bullies, and save Squeakyville from a giant evil lizard monster. That’s what friends are for!

Follow Along Socially:

Visit the Ricky Ricotta Official Site
Learn more about author Dav Pilkey
Follow Scholastic and ScholasticTeach on Twitter
Like Scholastic Parents and Scholastic Teachers on Facebook


Check out the Classroom  Guide
View the Book Trailer
Play the Make Your Own Robot Game
Read Chapter Excerpts & a Mini-Comic Excerpt
Download the Character Cards
Check out Ricky Ricotta Printables


Enter to Win:


Prizing includes:

– 3-D Glow-in-the-Dark Solar System

Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs Mutant Mosquitos from Mercury
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs the Voodoo Vultures from Venus
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs The Mecha-Monkeys from Mars.

Prizing & samples courtesy of Scholastic

Giveaway open to US addresses only

Which Ricky Ricotta book would your children most enjoy?

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