Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pink Days, Pinks Ribbons urge you to join National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Written by Eileen Wacker

Each year the month of October is dedicated to creating awareness and raising funds for breast cancer. There are traditions, activities, and events all over the world to promote awareness and celebrate breast cancer survivors. 

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In the fall of 1983, the Race for the Cure was born. In Dallas, Texas over 800 people showed up to participate. Since then, the number of participants has reached 1.3 million and is held all over the world, including over 100 cities in the United States. Today, countries including Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with activities such as Germany's Komen Frankfurt Race for the Cure, the Netherlands Walk for Women, and the United Kingdom's Race for my Wife and Race for Life. 

In the United States, there are countless "walks for the cure", some up to lengths of 30 miles. In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out ribbons to those who participated in their race for breast cancer survivors. 

Evelyn Lauder, the Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estee Lauder Companies, liked this idea so much that she made established the pink ribbon as the official symbol of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which she founded in 1993. Since then, pink has become the symbol of breast cancer awareness and prevention during the month of October. 

Many theme parties, also known as "pink parties", are thrown during October and on "pink days" employees across the United States will wear pink clothing or accessories to work. The National Football League also joins in the fight against breast cancer and the celebration of breast cancer survivors by incorporating pink into their advertisements, websites, and graphics. Players also like to show their support by adding the color pink to their apparel, such as gloves and cleats. Even comic strips go pink during the month of October. 

In 2010, over 50 comic strip artists used the symbol of the pink ribbon with the words "Cartoonists Care" written inside. 

Moms, support fellow Mom and businesswoman Eileen Wackerclick here.

People everywhere are standing up against breast cancer and celebrating those who have overcome the disease which will affect 12.4% of American women in her lifetime. There are so many ways to get involved, ranging from walks to simply wearing pink. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

History of Halloween May Surprise You

When one thinks of Halloween dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, and watching horror movies is what often comes to mind- but how many people know the true origin of the celebration on October 31st? 

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Halloween is a term first used in the 16th century. Many believe that the holiday comes from pagan roots, but what may be surprising to learn is that the etymology of the word is in fact, Christian. Researchers say that it can be linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, meaning "summer's end." It was a festival to celebrate the last few days of the warm months and to prepare for the cold months ahead. It was believed that this was a time when the physical world was closest to the supernatural world and magical things could happen. On the eve of Samhain, the souls of the dead would visit their old homes. In order to protect themselves from these spirits, people would build huge bonfires and call to the gods to help them by sacrificing animals.

Learn more about acclaimed author and Mompreneur Eileen Wackerclick here.

It is also theorized that Halloween was heavily influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saint's Day, which is also known as All Hallows. Traditionally, this was a time for honoring the saints, as well as those who had recently passed away but had still not ascended to Heaven. It was believed that on the eve of All Saint's Day, or All Hallow's Eve, the wandering souls would inflict revenge on the living before they made their departure. To avoid being victimized, Christians would disguise themselves by wearing masks and costumes. This tradition can still be seen today when children dress up and go trick-or-treating. 

Symbols associated with Halloween have developed over time. For example, carving pumpkins comes from the Samhain tradition of carving turnips into lanterns to honor and remember the dead. Turnips have still been used as a carving tradition in places like Ireland and Scotland, but immigrants who came to North America began using pumpkins because their size and softness makes them easier to carve. Gothic and horror imagery associated with Halloween derives mostly from classic horror films such as Frankenstein and The Mummy. 

Celeb Moms Stand Proud for Nat'l Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, we are adding more celebrity moms to our list of inspiring breast cancer survivors! These women bravely stepped forward to tell their stories, both supporting and motivating other women who are currently fighting against breast cancer or have beat the disease. 

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Olivia Newton-John makes our list of breast cancer survivors, but that is not all she has accomplished during her lifetime. The English-born Australian singer and actress is a four-time Grammy award winner with five number one and ten other songs on the Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles and two number one Billboard 200 solo albums. Six of her fourteen albums, ranging from pop to country, are platinum or double platinum- not to mention, she did co-star alongside John Travolta in the hit "Grease". All of these accomplishments are impressive, but her two most impressive accomplishments are her role as a mother (she has one daughter, Chloe), and surviving the battle that 12.4% of women fight during their lifetime- breast cancer. Olivia had always been an avid animal rights activist and activist for environmental issues, but she added breast cancer awareness to her list after being diagnosed in 1992. 

Actress and mother of one Suzanne Somers has received both support and criticism for her views on medicine, but her opinions were put to the test when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. She sparked controversy when she opted for alternative treatment rather than chemotherapy. In 2009 she wrote "Knockout", a book that explores alternative treatments over what typically may be offered in a doctor's office. Despite much controversy, her decision to receive a lumpectomy and radiation therapy was successful in ridding her of breast cancer.

Pop star and mother of two, Anastacia, went in to receive breast reduction surgery at age 29. Her doctor insisted that she have a mammogram before going into the surgery, which was when it was discovered that she had breast cancer. She immediately underwent surgery to remove the cancer and after was declared cancer-free. When asked what she learned from the experience she stressed the importance of getting mammograms early and often.

Learn more about acclaimed author and Mompreneur Eileen Wackerclick here.

American singer and children's author, Carly Simon, is known for not just her 13 Top 40 hits, including "You're So Vain", and her induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, but also for her extensive battle with breast cancer. In 1997 her world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the support of her two children, Sarah and Ben, she underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and reconstructive surgery from 1997 to 1998. When asked about her cancer she says she was angry with herself for not dealing with it earlier, but was thankful for her survival

Click here to read other's inspiring stories of beating breast cancer:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moms, Here are the Hottest Halloween Costume Trends 2012

You may find it surprising that Halloween is the most popular holiday in America -- even more so than Christmas! According to the National Retail Federation, last year Americans spent over $2 billion dollars on Halloween costumes. So what kind of costumes were we spending all this money on? 

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According to CBS San Francisco, the most popular costumes worn in 2011 were zombie costumes, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Scream, Angry Birds, Sue Sylvester from Glee, and Charlie Sheen. So what are the trendiest costumes to wear to your costume parties this year? 

Party City, the largest Halloween retailer in America, has recently announced the top 2012 Halloween costume trends, some of them may just surprise you!

The number one trendiest costume this year is a superhero costume. Due to the influence of the 2012 blockbuster hits "The Dark Knight Rises", "The Avengers", and "The Amazing Spider-Man", superhero costumes take the crown for the most-popular costumes of 2012. 

Learn more about acclaimed author and Mompreneur Eileen Wackerclick here 

Thanks to Disney's new Tinker Bell movies, such as this year's "Secret of the Wings", fairy costumes are more popular this year than ever. Party City has expanded their Tinker Bell collection to include more costume accessories to meet the high demand. 

Lots of people are zipping up their space boots this year and stepping into the future for the night. Be prepared to see a lot of bright make up, shiny outfits as Sci-fi glamour hits the Halloween scene as the third trendiest costume.

Disney Princesses are still capturing the hearts of little girls all over the nation, as the costumes remain chart-topping this year. Due to the release of the Blu-ray version of "Cinderella" and the newest Disney hit "Brave", Party City says to expect to see more Disney Princess out and about this year than ever. 

Similar to last year's zombie trend, gothic romance costumes have found a place on the trendiest costumes list. Accessories such as lace gloves, antique shrugs, and zombie make-up kits have been flying off the shelves this year. 

Angry Birds' popularity still remains high this year as it concludes the list of trendiest costumes for 2012. With all the different colors, it makes a great group costume and is a good way to guarantee laughs when you make your appearance on the 31st. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Celebs Christina Applegate, Cynthia Nixon, Sheryl Crow Speak Out on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In 2011, more then 2.6 million women fought and won the battle against breast cancer and ONCEKids is joining the fight by spreading awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

To inspire hope in those women currently battling the disease that affects 12.4% of women during their lifetime, three celebrity mothers came forward and bravely told their story of struggles and triumphs while battling breast cancer.

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Christina Applegate, actress and mother of daughter Sadie, has been making people laugh for 20 years with shows like her hit sitcom "Married With Kids", but in April of 2008 people were shocked with the revelation that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Christina had kept her disease a secret for some time, but explained that after a while it became to hard to stay silent. Since then, she has used her story as means of spreading awareness to young women at risk. Christina says since she was vigilant about getting regular mammograms, being the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, but she was forced to make a life alternating decision after the test for the BRCA gene, also called the "breast cancer" gene, had come back positive.

After being given the choice of receiving radiation treatments and testing for the rest or her life or have both breasts removed, she chose to have a bilateral mastectomy. When talking about her decision to remove her breasts she says, "It came on really fast. It was one of those things that I woke up and it felt so right. It just seemed like 'I don't want to have to deal with this again. I don't want to keep putting that stuff in my body. I just want to be done with this.' and I was just going to let them go." In July of 2008, Christina underwent the surgery, which left physical and emotional scars, but she says she has continued to stay strong and remains proud of her decision. 

Learn more about acclaimed author and Mompreneur Eileen Wackerclick here

Mother and actress Cynthia Nixon also successfully battled breast cancer. She was diagnosed during a routine breast examine in 2006 but kept quiet through the fight. She did not go public with it until 2008, explaining that she didn't want the papparazzi taking pictures of her at the hospital. Although she kept it a secret from the press, she says she made a point of being very open with her family about it. Since coming public about her cancer, she has become the official spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

Cynthia's goal has become to create awareness about risks and stress the importance of getting annual mammograms and check ups. She strongly believes that the "only thing we have to fear is fear itself." 

Sheryl Crow has been an advocate for many causes during her fame, including finding a cure for breast cancer. The 50-year-old mother of 2 year-old Wyatt increased her support for breast cancer awareness after her own diagnosis in 2006. She answered questions readers of Health magazine submitted on staying healthy and cancer-free and talks openly about the life-style changes she made after her diagnosis. In 2007 she moved to a farm outside of Nashville with her son, saying she wanted to live a less stressful life.

She stresses the importance of eating healthy, exercising, and getting regular mammograms. After a minimally invasive surgery in February 2006 followed by radiation therapy, Sheryl was able to overcome the disease. In 2010 she added to her family by adopting son Levi James Crow.

At ONCEKids, every woman is appreciated.  Here are more everyday women's stories about their victory against breast cancer:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween Ideas for the Family

With Halloween just around the corner, it's time to get those decorations up and those costumes picked out!  There are so many fun activities for celebrating Halloween that the whole family can get into. 

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The quickest way to get into the spirit of the holiday is by decorating your homeThe whole family can participate and your hard work will be more than a little rewarding when seeing the joy it brings to your children's faces. Depending on your preference (and budget!) your house can have a few decorations put up to set it apart from the rest of the year or you can go Halloween-crazy and fill your home with seasonal decorations-its up to you! 

Another Halloween activity to try this year is to make a scarecrow. It is easier than it sounds and a ton of fun for the kids. Just stuff some old clothes with hay and use a pumpkin or old pillowcase for the head. You may want to take this activity outside-it can be messy! 

Have a family movie night featuring a scary movie, even if you have little ones there are still lots of not-so-scary Halloween movies out there.

Learn more about acclaimed author and Mompreneur Eileen Wackerclick here 

Buy some candy corn at the local grocery store for candy corn necklace making, or just to eat! Popcorn balls and caramel apples are also delicious holiday treats. 

Maybe try something new and throw a Halloween party. Neighbors, friends, and family can all gather together to celebrate by bobbing for apples and carving pumpkins - the adults can dress up too! 

Visiting a haunted house is a great way to spend a weekend night out for families with older kids. 

Fall is an eventful season and getting in the spirit of Halloween is a great way to bring families with children of all ages together to carve pumpkins, drink hot apple cider, decorate and more! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

ONCEKids reminds Moms of National Breast Cancer Awareness month

It's October, so ONCEKids is going pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness month! Students, athletes, and other people across the nation are showing their support, so we've decided to join in the fight against breast cancer.

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to educating people about how to reduce their risk, joining together communities in the fight against breast cancer, and most of all celebrating those who have overcome this disease.  

Learn more about acclaimed author and Mompreneur Eileen Wackerclick here

In the United States, breast cancer death rates are higher than those of any other cancer other than lung cancer. Approximately one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. These statistics are not meant to scare you, but it is important to be aware of the risks in order to take the proper precautions. The most important way to reduce your risk of invasive breast cancer is to talk to your doctor! Being open with your doctor and figuring out your risk of developing breast cancer is crucial in preventing invasive breast cancer. Annual breast exams and mammograms for women over 40 have been proven to increase the odds for survival. 

Only 51% of women reported having a mammogram done last year- we need to work to get this number to 100%! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

ONCEKids Publishing: 10 Tips for Moms Who Blog

Being a mom means helping with homework, grocery shopping, organizing play dates, rides to school, rides home from school -- you get the idea! A seemingly endless list of things to do with not nearly enough hours in the day to do them. 

So what about for our blogger moms? Managing to check off everything on your to do list and still having time to blog seems like an impossible task. 

Luckily, there are ten things you can do to stay super-mom and still have a fresh, fun blog. 

1. Keep a notebook handy
Inspiration can hit at the most unexpected times, and with all the chaos in your life you can't rely on your memory to store your brilliant idea for you. So write it down! Even if it's on a napkin, get your idea on paper so you can move on with your day and come back to it later. 

2. Have a back up blog ready
Life as a mom means a life full of the unexpected. You can't predict those days where you have a sick child, an unexpected visit, or a last minute play date. There are going to be days where you are just too busy or too exhausted to sit down and write a blog, so have one or two ready on your computer to be published at a moments notice. 

3. Have a "vacation day" from your blog
Just like with any job, we all need a day off. Plan your blog to be five or six days a week, never seven. Take a day off to relax and spend time with your family. Don't even think about your blog that day! It is important for your sanity that you don't let your blog consume your life. Take this day to pursue other interests.

4. Create a schedule 
Part of being an efficient blogger is organizing your time. Create a schedule and try to follow it as closely as possible! Plan ahead what you would like to accomplish that week and how much time you want to spend on each task. It also helps to prioritize the items from highest to lowest importance. 

5. Seek out support
Despite how it might seem, you are not alone in the world of mom bloggers! Sitting behind a computer screen can feel isolating sometimes -- so reach out! Find a group of other moms who also like to blog, or get your friends into it. Together you can share your experiences, ask for advice, and inspire each other. 

6. Cut yourself some slack
Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs out there! It is a lot of work and very time consuming, so try to refrain from pressuring yourself. Don't give yourself unreachable goals and get discouraged when you don't immediately reach them. Make sure you give yourself attainable goals to work towards to keep you encouraged.

7. Don't compare yourself to other moms (!)
Every mom is different and every child is different, so don't fall into that trap of comparing yourself to moms around you! A strategy that works for one family may not work for yours, and that's okay. Just hold yourself to your own standard and worry about your own family routine instead of concerning yourself with other families.

8. Treat your blog like a real job
In order to have a  successful blog, you need to treat it just like you would any other job. Give yourself hours and make sure to "show up" to them. 

9. Brainstorm a list of ideas
Take some time out each month or week to brainstorm a list of ideas you'd like to blog about. That way during those inconvenient times of writing block you can refer back to your list. 

10. Remember what is important
It is okay to get a little caught up in your blog, but don't let yourself drown in it. No matter what, your family is still the most important thing

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Can Justin Timberlake Make Myspace Sexy....Again?

With sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest dominating the social media world, it leaves us wondering -- whatever happened to MySpace

Let us not forget that it was this site that led the way for other sites like Facebook, but has the door been shut on MySpace forever? Despite its decreasing popularity, we may not have seen the last of this once-upon-a-time social media king. At least not if Justin Timberlake has anything to say about it. 

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In the words of Tim Martell; "Sexy isn't the only thing that Justin Timberlake is bringing back." You are probably wondering what Justin Timberlake has to do with MySpace, and what about Tom!?

Timberlake has teamed up with the Specific Media Group, purchasing the social network for about $35 million dollars. The team is currently working on a brand new, innovative MySpace site

Don't mistake this for the old "behind the times" MySpace page, you won't be seeing Tom anywhere on your friend list. This MySpace has been designed to be much more visual, similar  to something you would see on Pinterest- but even more hip, and even more sexy.

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They plan on competing with sites like Facebook and Twitter with a pretty genius registration system. The plan is that users can register on MySpace using their accounts from other social networks. This is an exceptional strategy for two reasons, first it lets users "test the waters", making people more willing to try it out, second, the account information they have provided the other social networking site with automatically be loaded on their MySpace page -- making the transition painless and easy

Whether this site will be a hit or a flop remains to be seen, but it is certainly making things more interesting in the social media world! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

E-Books bring Ease and Education to Amazon, Fujimini Island and more

E-books are quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of reading for not just adults, but now kids too. Like with television or video games, parents are finding themselves asking the same questions about the Kindle, like how much is too much or when is it appropriate and when is it not? 

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Access to the Internet is almost unlimited these days -- you can pull up your Internet browser on your phone, laptop, television- just about anywhere it seems! With the right amount of supervision, the internet (and Kindle!) can provide a valuable tool for helping your child learn, as well as a great source of fun for them. 

The Kindle Fire includes several features to help ease parents' worries of Internet safety, including parental controls that allow you to choose what your child is allowed to access and view while using the Kindle. 

Click here to find ONCEKids Publishing and Fujimini Island's full collection of award-winning E-books.

One of parents' biggest concerns regarding this type of technology is that it will be a distraction to other things, such as homework or playing outside. The Kindle Fire provides a solution to those concerns by enabling parents to set a time limit for how long their child is able to read, play, or surf the Internet. 

The Kindle is perfect for long trips, learning, or just relaxing with a huge selection of apps and books for children. With apps ranging from Angry Birds to Dora the Explorer, children of all ages can enjoy this piece of technology.