Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories 2012

Recently the US News & World Reports released the High School Rankings for each state. I was appalled at some of the numbers for certain areas of the country. While it is no secret that low-income school districts typically have lower scores than high-income areas, it amazes me year after year that many schools have a reading proficiency rating of less than 2.5%.

Forty-two percent of children in the United States – more than 30 million – live in low-income households and don’t have age-appropriate books at home or at school.

It is upsetting that children are passed through the school system year after year and cannot read or write as they enter high school. And in many cases,they still can’t at their high school graduation.

Cheerios continues to lead the fight against illiteracy. This year marks the 10th anniversary for the Cheerios Spoonfuls of  Stories® program.

Cheerios is distributing six million bilingual children’s books from award-winning authors free inside cereal boxes. Cheerios is also giving 50,000 children’s books and $300,000 to First  Book, an award winning literacy non-profit.

Worms, monsters, zebras and hippopotamuses are only a few of the  imaginative children’s book characters to appear in specially marked Cheerios® this year. I received a few of this year’s books and my kids and I loved them. I was a little disappointed they didn’t do the Author contest this year but then again, how can you be disappointed when you receive a children’s book written by Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison.

This year’s books are all from award-winning authors and appropriate for ages 3-8. They include:

 – Peeny Butter Fudge, by Toni and Slade Morrison

– Mostly Monsterly, by Tammi Sauer

– Noodle & Lou, by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon

-If I Were a Jungle Animal, by Amanda Ellery

– Hello Baby, by Mem Fox

– Can I Just Take a Nap?, by Ron Rauss

Fusspot really liked Noodle & Lou. When I was done reading it she tried to absorb everything it had to offer by eating it. The illustrations are very colorful. She kept staring at them as I read.

So, go buy a specially marked box of Cheerios today and share a few moments with a child by bonding over the characters in these great stories.

To learn more about Spoonfuls of Stories or to donate to First Book, go here.

*By texting Books2Kids to 20222, a $5 donation will be made (and will appear on the primary subscriber’s cell phone bill), providing two new books to a child in need.  Standard messaging rates will apply.


Disclaimer: I received several of the in-pack books from Cheerios. No other compensation was received. All opinions are mine and were not influenced in any way.


Real Moms Love To Eat – Chapter 1 (hint: Eat Chocolate)

i just received my advanced copy of Beth Aldrich’s new book, REAL MOMS LOVE TO EAT and I’m already hooked. Any nutrition expert that requires me to eat Dark Chocolate every day in an effort to lose weight has my immediate attention and devotion.

Like Beth, I too love food. And I don’t do well with having to give up food that I love and replace it with cardboard tasting alternatives. To me, loosing weight is just not worth dreading mealtimes.

The entire first chapter is pretty much dedicated to the concept of having a love affair with food and enjoying every aspect of food – from the sound of a sizzling cheeseburger to the smell of a ripe melon. We are encouraged required to eat only what we desire.

So, I am giving you an assignment – actually this is Beth’s directive in chapter 1. What kind of reviewer would I be if I didn’t pass along the first assignment in her book to help us all drop some pounds?

This Week, Do Five Things:

1. Start each day with a green smoothie.

The magic of the smoothie is its ability to hide nourishing ingredients that you might not normally eat . . . and it can still taste like fruit or chocolate!  The green in a smoothie comes from healthy raw greens, whether you buy them in powder form or throw a handful of fresh greens into the blender. You can gradually increase the amount of greens until your body and taste buds adjust.

2. Eat one ounce of dark chocolate every day. It’s an assignment!

In case this one requires more convincing – The smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation. The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may raise good cholesterol. Women who eat chocolate live a year longer, on average, than those who don’t. Mexican healers use chocolate to treat bronchitis and insect bites (maybe we should all just move to Mexico). Recent studies all over the news say that a small amount of dark chocolate every day may actually reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

3. Drink four glasses of fresh, pure water every day.

Water keeps all our systems running, and it is also a key to clear thinking, great skin, and de-bloating.

4. For dinner every night, make sure your meal contains two naturally green things, one naturally red thing, and one naturally yellow thing. (No, a bag of Skittles doesn’t count.)

If you add a salad to your meal every day, you can check this off your to-do list easily. Beth recommends that you top your salad with tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, red onions, green beans, peas, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, green onions, or maybe even a tablespoon of corn.

5. Each day, eat one portion of something you really, really desire, no matter what it is.

I’m pretty sure I’ll skip #1 but the others I can at least try to accomplish.


Real Moms Love to Eat – Upcoming Book Release

After Baby P is born I’ll be on a mission to drop the extra baby weight and be able to put my own shoes on without breathing heavy and having to twist myself into a pretzel. There’s just one problem – I don’t do diets. And, as you know – I love food. Mostly food that is probably not on anyone’s Healthy Eats list. And old school Italian ladies don’t understand the concept of portion control when they are cooking for you and filling your plate.

So what is a girl to do? Well, I’m hoping Beth Aldrich can help me out with this. Beth will be releasing a book on January 2, 2012 – Real Moms Love to Eat – How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous.

I’m excited to be reviewing this book in January and I’m currently waiting patiently for my pre-release digital copy. Real Moms Love to Eat is broken down in three sections, which include a fun and easy-to-follow 10-part plan; allowing you to make gradual, life-long changes in your approach to food and 21 days of meal suggestions,tips, recipes and lifestyle changes. Beth’s approach to healthy eating is simple and realistic for busy people. You’ll learn a lot about the food you eat and how it impacts your body.

It sounds like it is intended for real people who don’t sit at home next to a food scale all day. I’m also hoping it has some yummy and practical recipes and food choices for those of us who might be a little more picky as well as some healthy alternatives for kids.  

If there are any bloggers out there who just can’t wait until January to check out this book, then you might want to sign up for Beth’s Food Affairiate program. All those who write a review will receive a digital copy of the book now and then a final paper copy when they come out on January 3rd, a goodie bag filled with swag from the book tour sponsors AND be entered to win prizes.

About Author Beth Aldrich:

Beth Aldrich is a Certified Health Counselor, Healthy Lifestyle and Nutrition Expert, engaging speaker, media personality and author. She delivers health, nutrition and balanced living fundamentals through keynote addresses, presentations, lectures and as a media spokesperson. As a health and nutrition columnist for,, and, Beth shares her wisdom, experience and knowledge about health and nutrition topics.

Beth is also the founder of Restoring Essence Nutrition, LLC and a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Beth received her education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Beth Aldrich – Real Moms Love to Eat blogging program, for a chance to get 3,000 My SocialMoms Rewards points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


Great Book For Children – Flightless Goose

Bullying has become a huge issue in schools and neighborhoods across the country over the last few years. Schools have employed counselors and law enforcement officers to help kids deal with bullies and harassment in an effort to stop this behavior, or at least limit it. For younger kids, sometimes a friendly character and a creative way to approach the subject can make all the difference in learning about self worth, confidence, and acceptance of others. I love children’s books that combine all those aspects of growing up and making these important life lessons entertaining and interesting. The Flightless Goose by Eric D. Goodman manages to do this beautifully.

This book is about Gilbert – a happy, fun-loving, active goose- who suffers an accident and is left without the ability to fly. Gilbert soon learns that his friends no longer see him the same way and in time, tease him because he is different and turn him away. Gilbert becomes an outsider in his flock and one little boy in a wheel chair tries to comfort him. Gilbert eventually has the opportunity to prove that being different can sometimes be beneficial and could even save their lives. Gilbert teaches all of the other geese some valuable lessons about tolerance, awareness, acceptance and real friendship.

The book doesn’t go into details about the accident’s damage or get graphic in any way. It is very age appropriate for young children through 2nd or 3rd grade. The illustrations by, Nataliya A. Goodman,  are absolutely gorgeous. I love how she captured the main points of the story without making such a sensitive topic graphic or uncomfortable. She uses a lot of bold colors.

Since this book is a hardcover it will not tear or fall apart and can be a part of your children’s library for many, many years. And for those too young to read you will love the CD that is included. The CD includes a narrated version of the story so your child can listen to it on their own.

Bruce really liked the book. He said the pictures were his favorite part. His 1st grade teacher read it to the whole class as part of a week-long themed session on bullying. She said it was perfect for her lesson and the kids really related to and enjoyed the book.

For a preview of this book and interactive children’s activities, click here. The book’s website has some fun reading activities and questions for children as they go through parts of this book. This book can be purchased directly from the author for $15.95. You might even catch Eric Goodman at a school near you as he visits schools around the country to share his anti-bullying message.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book and cd for this review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by anyone. I was not compensated or paid in any way for this review.


Liven Up Your Kids Summer With 2 Giveaways

If you haven’t already ran to the nearest book store or to pick up a few of Keri Smith’s books, such as How To Be An Explorer Of The World or Wreck This Journal, then you’re still in luck to get a free copy. These books will definitely liven up your kids (and yours) summer.

Chase away those summer boredom blues and check out these books. I have 2 packages to send to 2 winners(1 package each).


Prize Pack 1 includes:

  • Wreck This Journal
  • How To Be An Explorer Of The World

Prize Pack 2 includes:

  • Wreck This Journal
  • This Is Not A Book

How to Enter:You can complete as many of these as you want. Leave a comment for each completed task. Please follow instructions; I will delete invalid entries.

  • Why will you and/or your kids enjoy these books?
  • Comment on any non giveaway post (only comments left after the date and time of this post are valid). Don’t forget to leave a comment here for this entry.
  • Follow my blog via e-mail.
  • Vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs by clicking the banner on my sidebar.
  • Like Musings of A Misplaced Jersey Girl on Facebook.
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. Include @Musings of A Misplaced Jersey Girl in the comment so it shows up on my fan page. There is a link on my page with this post. (2 entries- post 2 comments here with your FB name)
  • Blog about this giveaway in a separate blog post (not a linky) with a link to this post.  (3 entries – post 3 comments here with a link to your blog post)
  • Deadline: The deadline for this giveaway is June 24, 2011 @ 11pm  EST, at which time a winner will be chosen using

    The Fine Print: Current subscribers/followers are eligible too.  Open to US residents only. Include a valid email in your comment form. The winner will be notified by email. Winner will then have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

    Disclosure: I received  several copies of Keri Smith’s books at no charge to review and several to giveaway. No other compensation was received. The opinions expressed here are my true opinions based on my experience or the experience of my testers and was in no way influenced by anyone else.

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