26 Acts of Kindness

22 Dec

I don’t know anyone who wasn’t devastated by the tragedy in Newtown, CT last week. After my initial shock I wanted to find out how I could help. Then I read about NBC Ann Curry’s acts of kindness. She had an idea which she put out into the twitter universe about doing an act of kindness for every child who was killed in Newtown. The idea went viral and now is known as #26Acts.  Do an act of kindness for every child and teacher who lost their lives in this horrific tragedy.   This is one band wagon I can’t wait to jump on. So as of yesterday I have committed to doing 26 things to honor each precious life lost. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Will you join me?

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Guest Blog On “I Had Cancer”

20 Nov

Check out my guest blog on the site “I Had Cancer” about Pet Therapy!

http://www.ihadcancer.com/h3-blog/11-09-2012/Four-Legged-Therapist

Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

5 Nov

 

You may have been able to watch Homeland last night or are back to work today but there are still thousands of people who are in need of help due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy[i]. Below are some ways you can help those in need.

Give Money

The Red Cross has made it very easy to donate to Hurricane Sandy victims.

 You can donate by:

–      Visiting the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org,

–      Calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

–      Texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation

–      Mailing a contribution to:

 The American Red Cross

P.O. Box 37243

Washington, D.C.

20013

 Volunteer

To volunteer in New Jersey, call the emergency response hotline 

1-800-JERSEY-7 (1-800-537-7397) or email Rowena Madden, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism at  Rowena.Madden@sos.state.nj.us.

 To volunteer in New York, check out New York City public advocate Bill de Blasio’s volunteer program, hosted on his website advocate.nyc.gov.

 

Buy a T-Shirt

GREY AREA is selling two t-shirts designed by Sebastian Errazuriz to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief victims. These shirts will be sold on their website (https://www.shopgreyarea.com) and at their SoHo showroom with 100% of the profit going to Hurricane Sandy relief programs.

Donate Blood

Hurricane Sandy has made a negative impact in blood supply so the Red Cross is  asking for immediate blood and platelet donations to support the needs of those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Go to http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation to make an appointment.

House a student

Fairfield University is asking for help housing about 300 students who lived along Fairfield beach. For information, visit www.fairfield.edu to sign up to host a student.

Want more information?

The Huffington Post is maintaining a live blog on how to help storm victims, which includes donation drop-off locations in New York and New Jersey.

Halloween M&Ms-Love it or Leave it?

18 Oct

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My relationship with Halloween is complicated. On one hand, I hate anything that is even relatively scary. This includes, but is not limited to: scary movies, clowns and (if you ask the child version of me) the Sesame Street character Guy Smiley. However on the other hand, I LOVE CANDY and that is one thing that luckily also comes with Halloween.

So with that being said and with the help of some coworkers, I reviewed the Limited Edition Halloween Candy Corn M&Ms. Here are the comments:

ImagePositives

  • “I thought they were actually very good. Not too sweet. Nice crunch and very flavorful.”
  • “A seasonal delight sure to bring a sweet-toothed smile to trick-or-treaters of all ages.”

Mixed

  • “Much thicker than any other M&M I’ve ever had. Tastes like frosting, which is awesome but way sweet…Almost too sweet. Kind of got tired of eating these halfway through but I have to say I did enjoy them way more than good ol’ fashioned candy corn.”

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Negatives

  • “I give it a thumbs down! Give me candy corn the old-fashioned way.  Hint of chocolate OK – but a very artificial flavor otherwise.”
  • “Would not buy them-would buy the real thing-“

So the overall reviews are mixed.  I have to admit that I was not blown away by these M&Ms. I was so excited to try them because I love both M&Ms and candy corn. However I agree with one of my coworkers that they are just too sweet.  I think that Mars should stick to what they know and do best, the original M&Ms.

I would also like to review the Candy Corn Oreos. Unfortunately I can’t seem to get my hands on them. Maybe next year!

Monday to Saturday

28 Sep

Check out my friend Garett’s new movie “Monday to Saturday”  at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jJtX0qnm6NU

To see more go to http://garettng.com

A Devastating Loss

27 Sep

I am deeply saddened to report that Avalanna Routh died yesterday at the age of 6. I first wrote about Avalanna on February 18th, 2012 (https://cancerandcandy.wordpress.com/?s=routh&submit=Search).

Avalanna  was diagnosed at 8 months old with a rare form of brain cancer, Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor, or AT/RT. Avalanna had a dream to meet international pop super star Justin Bieber. She was such a big fan that her nickname was “Mrs. Bieber”. With some help from her friends at a local hair salon and social media her dream of meeting
Bieber became a reality. After hearing Avalanna’s story, Bieber flew Avalanna and her family to NYC so they could meet. They spent 2 hours playing Candyland, laughing and taking pictures.

After hearing of her death, Bieber tweeted Wednesday: “just got the worst news ever. one of the greatest spirits i have ever known is gone. please pray for her family and for her. RIP Avalanna. i love you.”

Watch more of Avalanna’s story here http://youtu.be/mYRaPMcyL_g

Avalanna’s strength and spirit will never be forgotten.

Sugarfina – My Virtual Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory

24 Sep

I get a lot of junk email. It is mostly my fault as I sign up for every shopping, vacation and coupon site out there. I don’t always read the offers but recently a write up of the site Sugarfina caught my eye. This was probably due to the word “sugar”.

This candy boutique was set up by Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick who wanted to bring the best candy from around the world to me and oh yeah, you as well. But mostly me.

The website is very easy to use:

Pick your candy. Subcategories include traditional items like chocolate and gummies. You can look into candies that are classified as “Young at Heart” or “Colorful”. You can also search candy by country of origin.  If you need help or want to buy for a special occasion, Sugarfina has gift ideas and does custom packaging.

Once you are done buying up the place, you can ship the candy to anywhere you desire.

I have already clocked way too many hours on this site and wanted to share some of my favorites with you (hint to husband, family, friends and strangers)

S’Mores

Described as a mini marshmallow drenched in premium milk chocolate, then rolled in crushed graham crackers. Kum Bah Yah!

Licorice Beagles

I don’t particularly like black licorice but I can’t resist it when it looks like a beagle.

Ice Cream Sundae Malt Balls

Move over Ben & Jerry. These malt balls come in Raspberry, Orange Sherbet, Pineapple, and Key Lime. Who says the summer is over?

Chocolate Sparkles

Like M&M’s but better because they, yup you guessed it, sparkle.

 To see more go to http://www.sugarfina.com

“The F Word”

18 Sep

Infertility affects about 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or six months if a woman is 35 or older).[i] Yet, we live in a world where people are sometimes made to feel embarrassed and inadequate about fertility issues that they can’t control. 

 The word fertility sometimes seems like a dirty word. Something you can’t even say out loud. What I do know is that although your fertility is private it is not something you should ever be ashamed of. To me that seems like feeling ashamed that you have cancer and just like infertility, a cancer diagnosis is something you can’t help. Fertility problems don’t discriminate; they affect people from all walks of life. In recent years, some high profile couples have opened up to the public about their struggles to have children. In 2009, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick spoke about the fact they used a gestational surrogate to carry their twins. In December 2010, Keith Urban and his wife Nicole Kidman had their second child with the help of a gestational surrogate   Kidman has since spoken openly about her ups and downs with fertility, even appearing on Australian “60 Minutes.” Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey also talked about his male infertility problems. Ramsay talked on the UK show The F Word” about how he suffers from low sperm count and his experiences with IVF.

When people talk about fertility, they also talk about cost. Resolve, The National Infertility Association reports that the average cost of an IVF cycle using fresh embryos(not including medications) is $8,158.[ii]

The good news is that many insurance companies cover various stages of infertility treatment. In addition, many states are now requiring that insurers include infertility benefits in their policies. I don’t know about you but reading and figuring out my insurance information is very complicated! A good resource is Fertility LifeLines (http://www.fertilitylifelines.com/payingfortreatment). You can actually call this company and they will help you figure out what your insurance will cover in terms of fertility treatments.

 Here are some other great resources:

 Resolve

http://www.resolve.org

 RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders.

 Fertile Hope

http://www.fertilehope.org

Fertile Hope is a national LIVESTRONG initiative dedicated to providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients and survivors whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.

 Dr. Licciardi’s Infertility Blog

http://infertilityblog.blogspot.com

 This site is for those who have trouble conceiving. Dr. Licciardi writes on his experience in daily practice as a fertility specialist. He wants to inspire hope from the lessons of his patients.

 Know of any other resources? Have any comments? Let me know!

Who is my doc?

6 Aug

Consumer reports is a good resource for a lot of things. It can help you pick a car or a new washer/dryer – but what about helping you pick your doctor? Consumer Reports has just published its first ratings of primary care doctors and earlier this year they published reports on heart surgeons.

I decided to check out this resource, however I was out of luck because you must have a Consumer Report account.  One thing that I found interesting is you can look up your state and Consumer Reports will give you a list of free health care resources. For example I looked up New York and found that I could go to the New York State Department and find licensing, disciplinary action, hospital affiliations, mortality rates and number of procedures for all registered doctors. Below are some screen shots

As helpful as these resources are I would use caution in letting them be the only factor that dictates which doctor you see.  When I am looking for a doctor recommendation, I usually consult with my primary care physician and also ask for recommendations from family and friends.

Go to http://www.consumerreports.org/health/home.htm to look up healthcare in your area

Project Candy

31 Jul

 

This week the show Project Runway mixed two of my favorite things, candy and fashion. The contestants went to Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York where they could spend $500 to buy anything in the store to then make their garments.  The results are amazing. Here are some of my favorites:

Contestant: Ven

Materials Black licorice and crushed rock candy

Contestant: Buffy

Materials: Sour strips, cotton candy and an umbrella

Contestant: Gunner

Materials: Licorice and Candy Foil

 

Contestant: Sonja

Materials: Gummy sharks, gumballs and jelly beans

 

Contestant: Melissa

Materials: Black licorice and silver twist ties

 

Contestant: Nathan

Materials: Foil chocolate  and candy boxes

Contestant: Elena

Materials: Pina colada licorice

 

Dmitry

Materials: Sour balls and a black t-shirt

 

Christopher

Materials: Licorice and rock candy

 

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