My, Aren’t You The Crafty One…

With summer upon us, parents will be looking for fun ways to fill the days when the kids are home from school.  If you have a crafty or creative child, you’ll want to check out some of these jewelry making kits.

jewelry1Pop-Arty (B. Toys)
Pop-Arty, from one of our favorite companies, comes in two sizes: 300 pieces and 500 pieces. Either way, that’s a lot of pieces, and you get an assortment of beads, bracelets, rings, and more. The beads come in a wide range of colors, textures, shapes, sizes, and with different end, others have only holes, some have two “nubs” for connecting, some with one hole and one connector.  Build one design, wear it, then disassemble it and make a new one to match your next outfit. No mess with this project, as it has no glue or glitter. Comes in its own storage unit. For kids three years and up, $15-$30 at major retailers.

i heart charm alex toysI Heart Charm Bracelet (Alex Toys)
This kit is great for slightly older kids who are able to use molds and more complex patterns.  Children can make their own beads in one or more colors, even accent them with glitter or included gems, and set them to dry.  When they do, they can add them to the included silver bracelet, add charms, and have a very personalized bracelet.  Two bracelets are included, so are charms, and the dough for molds.  A fantastic project for best friends or sisters to do on a rainy day. About $22 at your favorite toy seller.

bling bangles alex toysBling Bangles (Alex Toys)
Aimed at kids 6 and up (although tweens will like it too), the Bling Bangles kit comes with six metal bangle bracelets (just like mom’s!), six floss colors, and six gemstone strips in different sizes. Children can easily add the desired “bling” of gems to the bangle and wrap the colored floss around the bracelet, and voila!  Available for $14.99 and up on

me & you b. toysOur Generation Me & You Jewelry Set (B. Toys)
The Me & You Jewelry Set lets children create matching accessories that they and their dolls can wear together. Let the kids run wild with a variety of colors, ribbons, styling options, and more.  Comes with three large (kid size) wooden bangles in different widths, and two smaller ones for her favorite doll. Produced by a company with a conscience, B. Toys donates 10 cents from each purchase to the Free the Children’s Power of a Girl Initiative, which helps fund girls education. They also print everything with soy-based inks and use recycled materials for packaging. About $20 at or and at Target.

pick-n-mix Craft Scene Pick-N Mix Jewelry Kit (International Playthings)
One of the most complete kits we’ve ever seen, you get enough supplies to make at least eight jewelry pieces: 200 felt strips and squares in assorted colors, yards of lilac organza ribbon, plastic stretch cord, plastic coated jewelry wire, jump rings, clasps, clamshell clasps, and ear hooks. Kids can get some ideas from the 16-page illustrated activity guide, or let their imagination take over and create whatever they want. The convenient plastic storage box helps keep creations safe and easy-to-find for the next time. Aimed at kids eight and up, and individuality-seeking tweens will love it. Retails for about $14.99 at


Men’s Health Month Encourages Men and Boys to Take Charge of their Health

men's health month, men's health week

Together We Can Reduce the Number of Preventable Deaths and Injuries

men's health month, men's health weekWASHINGTON, June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — June is Men’s Health Month, and groups across the country are joining Men’s Health Network in celebrating this special awareness period. The goal of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the public’s awareness of the many preventable health problems that affect men and boys.

Communities across the country celebrate Men’s Health Month by organizing screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities throughout the month of June.

“These efforts reach men where they live, work, play, and pray,” said Ana Fadich, Vice President of Men’s Health Network, which organizes Men’s Heath Month events nationwide. “They’re a great way for healthcare providers, policy makers, the media, and individuals to educate men, their families, and the public on a wide range of men’s health issues, including cancers, hypogonadism, cardiovascular problems, sexual and mental health concerns.”

The highlight of Men’s Health Month this year is the 20th Anniversary of National Men’s Health Week(NMHW), which is the week ending on Father’s Day, June 15, 2014. NMHW was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994. Additional support comes from governors and mayors who declare Men’s Health Week in their states and cities.

“Men notice when their car doesn’t perform properly, but they don’t always listen when their body tells them it’s time to see a doctor,” says Dr. Salvatore Giorgianni, science advisor to MHN. “Men’s Health Month is a call to action for all men and their families to take ownership of their health and well-being. All dads out there should use Father’s Day as a reminder of how much their family needs them, and how important it is for them to take care of themselves.”

We thank our 2014 Men’s Health Month sponsors which include AbbVie and Pfizer Inc. for their continued support of education.

To learn more, go to

About Men’s Health Network

Men’s Health Month and Men’s Health Week are organized by Men’s Health Network (MHN), a national non-profit organization committed to improving the health and wellness of men and their families with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at and follow them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and

Helping Kids Through Tween Transitions

Michelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover.
: Improving the way you and your child experience the middle school years.
Issues: Helping your kid through real middle school problems, including social media, questions about sex, mean girls (and boys), and fitting in, dealing with bullies, fashion, peer pressure, dating, independence, and more.

Have Something to Say About Men’s Health? We Want to Hear It!

I manage and edit a popular men’s health blog, Talking About Men’s Health ( and am looking for guest bloggers.

My definition of “men’s health” is pretty broad, and includes lifestyle, fitness, nutrition, policy, mental health, physical health, relationships, etc. Pretty much anything as long as it deals with men. We even have pieces aimed at women who are looking for ways to help or better understand men–and for men on how to better understand women.

Please check out the blog and let me know if you’re up for a guest post, a series, or even a regular gig. And feel free to pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested.

Manual to Manhood + Middle School Makeover

Jonathan Catherman, author of The Manual to Manhood.
How to cook the perfect steak, change a tire, impress a girl, and 97 other survival skills for young men.
Issues: As a man in the making, you’ll need to know how to do stuff. You also need a strong moral character to back up your new abilities. Here are step-by-step instructions for just about everything you need to know.

Michelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover.
: Improving the way you and your child experience the middle school years.
Issues: Helping your kid through real middle school problems, including social media, questions about sex, mean girls (and boys), and fitting in, dealing with bullies, fashion, peer pressure, dating, independence, and more.