COOL PRODUCTS & GIVEAWAY: Kid and Mom Finds by Robin Gorman Newman

 kidlidThe Kid Lid is a simple and innovative solution that provides a stable surface that defends against inadvertent spills and resists the pounding of even the most active child. Invented by a savvy stay at home dad who recognized the need, Kid Lid products protect computer keys from unwanted typing that disrupts movies, games and video chats as well as the removal of keys by small fingers. Equipped with a 3MM thick molded plastic and removable elastic strap, the Kid Lid fastens securely in place for added protection. The Kid Lid is universally sized to fit on both 13” and 15” Mac and PC computers and is made from BPA-free ABS plastic…an available in different colors.  My middle school age son embraced this right away.  Since like so many kids, he is glued to his laptop, including often snacking or eating meals there (though we prefer family meal time at the table), and crumbs and mess can easily get in the keyboard.  This is a super handy, practical and portable tool  Visit


nerium-2bottle Nerium has a line of age-defying products, all of which include the exclusively patented NAE-8 extract to give your skin a complete makeover. 

NeriumAD Age Defying Treatment and NeriumAD Age Defying Day Cream are clinically proven to fight the signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, uneven skin texture and aging or loose skin.

For a full body treatment, opt for NeriumFirm Body Contouring Cream to help smooth, tighten and firm loose skin while also reducing the appearance of cellulite and dimpling.

Scientists were researching the uses for the Nerium Oleander plant, and when tested on skin they realized it had anti-aging properties. The finding led to the creation of the  Nerium AD skincare line, which claims to address multiple concerns including wrinkles, discoloration, and texture.

I had the opportunity to sample the Day and Night Creams.  The packaging is sleek, elegant and easy to use — convenient pump dispensers.  The Day Cream feels more like a lotion, and the Night Cream is thicker than is my personal preference when you apply.  That said, while I didn’t favor the textures,  my skin did seem to reap the benefits of increased tightness and smoothness, and the company offers a generous 30 day money back guarantee.  I imagine the longer you use it, the greater the benefit, so I’ll keep at it.



 construction simulatorgameFollowing the tremendous success of Construction Simulator 2014 on iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ tablets and smartphones (more than 2 million sold games, continuously in the top charts of the app stores), German games publisher astragon Software and developer weltenbauer. has released Construction Simulator 2015 for PC and MAC OS on Steam®.

My son, age 11, really really likes this game…..and he’s quite discerning.  He says the graphics are vivid and amazing, and the level of detail is impressive.  Plus the sounds are realistic.  He spends hours on it building houses.  His suggestion: also feature public service vehicles like snow plows.

Just as in the mobile version, in Construction Simulator 2015 the player assumes the role of a builder who sets out to expand a newly inherited construction company and vehicle fleet. The player fulfills construction and supply contracts and works to the top from small-time contractor to the largest construction tycoon in town! In possession of a small flatbed truck with trailer, a skip lorry, and a small excavator, the young entrepreneur first takes on smaller jobs and delivery missions in a little village and its surroundings. The player then invests money in additional machines and vehicles to expand the influence of the company to the big city and its varied neighborhoods.

The money the player earns by successfully mastering the initial missions can be used to expand the growing business’ fleet: wheel loaders, big excavators, halfpipe trucks, concrete mixers, concrete pumps, flatbed trucks with cranes, forklifts, low loaders, rollers, and giant machines like a LIEBHERR 81k fast-erecting crane or a LTM 1060-3.1 mobile crane.

In contrast to previous mobile versions, players in the new version can explore a much larger game world with many new features that will set the heart of every construction and simulation fan racing! An extensive cooperative multiplayer mode allows players of Construction Simulator 2015 to play with up to four other players, thus allowing teamwork for challenging buildings tasks. Detailed and fully animated cockpit interior views of the vehicles, machines, and their operational areas guarantee realistic building fun. Also, the newly integrated economic system forces players to look beyond the company’s machines and to manage finances and labor costs.

Thanks to more than 150 building sites with 250 varied subtasks, players will have no problem staying busy in the game’s lively, freely accessible world – including smart AI traffic. And for all those who cannot get enough of Construction Simulator 2015, modding tools can be added to the game. The vehicle editor enables creative players to add new vehicles and machines, while the mission editor allows them to design and integrate their own building missions, which can of course be freely shared with other members of the game’s community. Visit


by Nathan Sawaya

October 2014, 248 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-59327-588-4
4-Color, Hardcover

Nathan Sawaya is renowned for his incredible, sometimes surreal, sculptures and portraits—all made from LEGO bricks.

The Art of the Brick is a stunning, full-color showcase of the work that has made Sawaya the world’s most famous LEGO artist. Featuring hundreds of photos of his impressive art and behind-the-scenes details about how these creations came to be, The Art of the Brick is an inside look at how Sawaya transformed a toy into an art form.


Nathan Sawaya is the artist who first brought LEGO into the art world. He has more than 4 million tiny colored bricks in his New York and Los Angeles studios.

His work is just amazing.  Even if you’re not into LEGO, you can’t help but recognize his enormous talent and creative vision.  My son is a huge LEGO fan, and this is a very special coffee table book for the LEGO collector.  It is a highly personal book and a true testament to the determination of a man to pursue his passion and to, literally, build a highly successful career out of it.  It’s hugely empowering.  He shares the inspiration for his art and how it’s evolved and the places its taken him including meeting President Bill Clinton (a photo of them is included).


 Build, Program, and Experiment with Five Wicked Cool Robots!

by Daniele Benedettelli

October 2013, 432 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-59327-533-4


The LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 set offers so many new and exciting features that it can be hard to know where to begin. Without the help of an expert, it could take months of experimentation to learn how to use the advanced mechanisms and numerous programming features.

In The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory, author Daniele Benedettelli, robotics expert and member of the elite LEGO MINDSTORMS Expert Panel, shows you how to use gears, beams, motors, sensors, and programming blocks to create sophisticated robots that can avoid obstacles, walk on two legs, and even demonstrate autonomous behavior. You’ll also dig into related math, engineering, and robotics concepts that will help you create your own amazing robots. Programming experiments throughout will challenge you, while a series of comics and countless illustrations inform the discussion and keep things fun.

As you make your way through the book, you’ll build and program five wicked cool robots:

  • ROV3R, a vehicle you can modify to do things like follow a line, avoid obstacles, and even clean a room
  • WATCHGOOZ3, a bipedal robot that can be programmed to patrol a room using only the Brick Program App (no computer required!)
  • SUP3R CAR, a rear-wheel-drive armored car with an ergonomic two-lever remote control
  • SENTIN3L, a walking tripod that can record and execute color-coded sequences of commands
  • T-R3X, a fearsome bipedal robot that will find and chase down prey

With The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Laboratory as your guide, you’ll become an EV3 master in no time.  My 11 year old son is in the Robotics Club at his middle school, and he’s taken this book to show the crew.  It’s impressive, and to quote my son “awesome.”

Requirements: One LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set (LEGO SET #31313)

Daniele Benedettelli is known worldwide for his original LEGO robots, including his Rubik’s Cube solvers and his humanoid robots. As a LEGO MINDSTORMS Community Partner (MCP), he helps to test and develop new ­MINDSTORMS products. He earned a master’s degree in Robotics and Automation from the University of Siena in Italy. He holds educational presentations and workshops on Information and Communications Technology around the world and teaches robotics at the high school level.

newyorkpopupbookPop Up: New York
Welcome to New York City! Open this large-format hardcover pop-up book and set off on a tour that wends its way from the Statue of Liberty to Yankee Stadium, with many must-see stops along the way. Visit the new World Trade Center and the Empire State Building, feel the urban bustle of Times Square and Grand Central Station, and check out the greenery of the High Line and the Botanical Garden. Filled with fun facts, flaps, and amazing pop-ups, this interactive tour offers plenty of reasons to love New York.
$19.99/$23.00 CAN – ISBN: 9780763671624  Visit


washingtonbookWashington, D.C.: Panorama Pops
Illustrator: Sarah McMenemy

Take a tour of the U.S. capital with an enticing 3D foldout display featuring Washington’s most famous landmarks.

Whether you’re planning a visit to Washington, D.C., bringing a memento back, or simply want to explore the U.S. capital from afar, this beautiful cut-paper novelty is a keeper. Housed in a handy slipcase, its cool stand-alone design makes for easy display. On the tour are a dozen popular destinations, including the Capitol Building, the White House, the Vietnam Memorial, the Supreme Court, an array of outstanding museums, and other national treasures.  Visit

These make for great gifts, and my 11 year old son — and I — find them both informative and engaging.  Really unique designs and a fun way to explore towns you’ve visited or yearn to.  Excellent mementos.

GIVEAWAY: To win of copy of either of these featured titles — you choose — please send an email to  Put BLOG BOOK GIVEAWAY in the Subject Line, and write why you’d like to win.  Please include your full name and full mailing address.  Winner will be notified via email.



Note: Thanks to the above companies for providing product samples.

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