Category Archives: Dot Girl Recommends

Reviews of books, movies, websites and other things your daughter might like.

How to Talk to Your Daughter about her Body

How to Talk to Your Daughter about her Body

How To Talk to Your Daughter about her BodyReblogged from Hope Avenue:

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”


Read the rest of the post here.






Three Favorite Parenting Blogs

Three Favorite Parenting Blogs

Three Favorite Parening Blogs by Dot Girl ProductsWhen our children were born, the internet did not exist (our youngest is 21 years old).  When we needed advice on parenting we turned to our parents and my sister-in-law whose first born son is the oldest cousin.  We also relied heavily on books by T. Berry Brazelton.  Now of course the Information Age confronts us at every turn and there must be at least a million mom and dad blogs for parents to turn to for advice if grandma is not available.

To help Dot Girl readers find the best blogs for parenting advice and in honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I would list the blogs we would recommend to our children, should they ever decide to have their own children.  This list is in no particular order.

The Dad Man

The Dad Man is Joe Kelly – a father, author, speaker, blogger, activist and consultant.  He offers a blog, books and resources to help Dads get through those all important parenting years.  Pay particular attention to the Dads & Daughters® section of his website.  This section is what makes him one of our favorites.  He also has a book with the same title.

Lisa Belkin

I follow Lisa on Facebook and am always glad that I do. Lisa blogs for the Huffington Post and offers insightful commentary about today’s modern parenting dilemmas.  She is not afraid to offer differing opinions when she sees another article that she doesn’t consider right.  Reading Lisa reminds you that you are not alone in this great parenting world.


This site is a little edgy but always honest.  It’s not just one blogger, it is a group of bloggers and their ‘About Us’ page says it all – “Mommyish writers take parenting seriously. But we don’t take ourselves seriously. We care about the realities of parenting today, and combine a thirst for the latest parenting news and trends with a tongue in cheek approach to child rearing”.  I would highly recommend this blog to those who want to stay in touch with what is happening in the ‘real’ parenting world.

I’m sure our readers have their favorite mom and dad blogs too.  Please be sure to leave links in the comments and help other parents find good advice on the internet.


Celebrate Earth Day 2013 with Clean Water

Celebrate Earth Day 2013 with Clean Water

Celebrate Earh Day 2013Today marks the 43rd celebration of Earth Day.  According to the Earth Day Network website, “All of EDN’s activities, whether greening schools or promoting green economic policies at home and abroad, inform and energize populations so they will act to secure a healthy future for themselves and their children.”

In the spirit of Earth Day 2013, I thought I would do some research and provide information on several charities that work to provide clean water for bathing, drinking and washing to people across the globe.  This idea was sparked by my recent visit to the Gates Foundation Visitor’s Center in downtown Seattle.

The exhibit includes a ‘water walkway’ where you can walk in the footsteps of an African woman who must walk several miles a day to get water for her family.  There is even a bucket filled with water to give visitors an idea of how heavy the load is.  Another subtext is the time spent on getting the water, time that could be spent on other activities such as growing food or educating her children.

As a reminder, always use Charity Navigator to thoroughly vet a charity before sending them your money.  I hope this list inspires you and your daughter to research these organizations and donate in support of working towards clean water for the populations who need it.

Water Charity is a nonprofit corporation, directed toward improving the human rights and dignity of individuals throughout the world by providing them with resources that impact upon their health and wellbeing. With all donations applied to projects in the field, we have become one of the best and highest-ranked water charities delivering global services.

The Water Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

 Clean Water Fund

Clean Water Fund’s mission is to develop strong grassroots environmental leadership and to bring together diverse constituencies to work cooperatively for changes that improve their lives, focused on health, consumer, environmental and community problems.

‘Gender Neutral’ Toys for Girls

‘Gender Neutral’ Toys for Girls

Toy manufacturers seem to finally realize that girls want toys that are a little more ‘boyish’.  With the emphasis on gender-neutral toys and the push for girls to have more support in exploring STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) opportunities, there has been an explosion of new toys on the market.  I’ve done some research and come up with some of the latest and greatest toys you might want to consider for your daughter.

This list is in completely random order:

Does your daughter want to be a doctor?

In my day the game ‘Operation’ helped teach about the different organs of the body, now girls can explore with Squishy Human Body from SmartLabs.  With a true to life human body and removable organs, kids can see exactly what is under their skin without getting any blood on their hands.  An instruction book is included along with tweezers and forceps so kids can ‘operate’ with ease.

Does your daughter want to be an engineer?

Now admittedly, this toy is not ‘gender-neutral’ but it’s aim is to get girls interested in engineering so I’m allowing it on the list. Soon to be on the market – and funded by KickStarter – GoldieBlox is the new engineering toy for girls.  Goldie is the engineer and in her debut toy she builds a spinning machine for her dog Nacho to chase his tail.  The toy is receiving lots of press so I can imagine that you will soon see GoldieBlox in every little girl’s bedroom very soon.

Does your daughter want to be a builder?

Structures by KEVA is the best choice for getting your daughter interested in building.  Using the wooden blanks, a girl can build bridges, buildings, or whatever else she dreams up.  A book with structure ideas is included.  Keva has other toys too including MindWare KEVA Contraptions to challenge the girl who likes to play with chutes and ladders.

Does your daughter want to be a chemist?

75 unique experiments are included in the CHEM C1000 beginner’s chemistry set.  This chemistry set will allow your daughter to build a strong foundation in chemistry with experiments ranging from writing in invisible ink to testing air pressure and other weather phenomena.  Safety instructions are included and I’m sure your daughter would also love a lab coat and safety glasses to go along with the chemistry set.

5 Best Christmas Gifts for Tween Girls

5 Best Christmas Gifts for Tween Girls

Are you still frantically doing your Christmas shopping?  We thought we’d help with some ideas for that special tween girl in your life.  These are our favorites based on experience and Dot Girl customer suggestions.

New Moon Girls Magazine

I gave this magazine to my 9 year old niece last year for Christmas and she liked it so much, her mother is renewing her subscription for this year.  New Moon Girls is entirely advertisement free.  Articles are written for girls by girls for ages 8+.  There is also an online community that is safe and monitored. Article titles in the recent magazine include Body Language: Picture Yourself Perfect, Throw an Art Show, and Painful Beauty: What’s the Modern Foot Binding?

Mogo Charms

The inventor behind the charms spoke at a business conference I attended this past summer and she passed out free samples.  What a great product!  Magnets on the bracelets are interchangeable leaving no end to your daughter’s creativity.  She can even start her own Mogo Charms club and trade with friends.  There are different themed magnet sets – everything from animals to peace symbols.  Other products include purses and sunglasses, all with interchangeable magnets.

Does your daughter love clothes?  Would she like to do her own designing and then have the clothes made just for her?  Then is the place for her. The site allows girls to design and wear their own dresses, hoodies, jackets, t-shirts, and more.  There is even an option for customized jewelry.  Girls pick out the style and color, and then add their own flair.  It’s like playing with paper dolls but your daughter gets to have fun creating her own outfits.

The Boxcar Children

A favorite of my daughter when she was growing up (and my sons) and now my niece is reading their old copies.  The series – for readers 7+ – follows a family of 4 orphaned siblings who make a home in a boxcar.  Their grandfather does figure into the story also.  The children solve mysteries and overcome obstacles in their path by working together.  There are over 130 titles, so something for every reader.  This year marks the 70th anniversary of the series which means many special editions are available.

A Mighty Girl

This is not a single toy or gift, but a website that offers products for girls that counter the princess culture that seems to have taken over girl books, movies and toys over the last few years.  Products for infants to teens are included, with many book and movie recommendations.  It really is a site where you can find the perfect gift to match your daughter’s interest and your values.

Happy Shopping!

Anigan Menstrual Underwear

Anigan Stain Free Menstrual Underwear

Here at Dot Girl Products, we are always on the lookout for new products that will help periods be a little less messy for girls (and their mothers) and we just found a new product you all will love.

Anigan Menstrual Underwear has just been introduced to the market.  The stain-free, guaranteed not to leak period panties look and feel exactly like other pretty underwear you would want to wear everyday.  There is a wide range of colors and styles to make that time of the month as fashionable as the rest of the month.

Blue Anigan Underwear

The company is so sure of their product that they have made a guarantee that if the panties ever stain, you can return them for a free pair.  This is a pretty strong statement that they believe in their product.

Anigan has paid special attention to the needs of pre-teen girls with sizes and styles appropriate to that age.  You don’t know when your daughter is going to start her period.  Slipping a pair of menstrual underwear into her backpack or locker means she’ll be prepared at school and at other activities.  This will help relieve some of her anxiety about that all important first period and whether her clothes will get stained, a common worry among young girls.

We’ve looked at other period panties on the market.  There are very few companies that venture down this path and when they do, the panties are generally one color with few sizes available.  Anigan has taken a giant leap forward with the variety of colors and styles, your daughter may want to wear this underwear all the time!Pink Anigan Underwear

To check out all the styles and colors available from Anigan Menstrual Underwear follow the links from their ‘Where to Buy‘ page.  The product listings goes into more detail about what materials are used to provide the stain free, leak proof guarantee the company is offering.

Day of the Girl

Day of the Girl

Day of the Girl

Today, October 11, 2012, is the first ever United Nations Day of the Girl!  From now on it’ll be every year on October 11th.

According to the United Nations, this annual Day will “help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”

The campaign for this Day was started by Canadian girls who inspired School Girls Unite, an organization in the Washington, D.C. area, to mobilize support in the United States.  Since 2004, School Girls Unite has focused on the right of every girl in the world to get an education.  Girls everywhere are confronted with stereotypes, discrimination, abuse, violence, and other reasons that limit opportunities now and in the future.

Why does the world need a Day of the Girl? Here are just a few reasons the organizers at Day of the Girl give:

  • Illiteracy – By 2015 more than 64% of the people in the world who cannot read will be women
  • School Dropout – Only 30% of girls in the world get to go to some kind of secondary school.
  • Forced Marriage – One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15
  • Violence – In the United States more than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18

How can you help raise awareness about Day of the Girl and help solve some of these issues?  Talk to your daughter and her friends, your friends and neighbors, church community or other groups you belong too.  Educate yourself about girl issues in your town or city.  Perhaps the local schools need reading tutors or a high school student needs a mentor.

There are also excellent websites that discuss girl issues and list organizations that work to improve the lives of girls worldwide.  Half The Sky is one example.

By improving the lives of girls, we will improve their families and communities, and the lives of the future children.  Visit the Day of the Girl website to learn more and find out how you can help.


Little Women – My Favorite Book

Little Women – My Favorite Book

Little Women by Louisa May AlcottI just finished my annual reading of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  It is my favorite all-time book.  The picture you see in this post is a picture of my copy of Little Women.  It was handed down to me from my mother and was already well worn when she gave it to me.  About 15 years ago, my sister Ann had the book re-bound and had the cover art saved and attached to the new front cover.  This ensures the book will last for many more generations with the original cover art intact.

Every year when I finish Little Women, I ask myself why I love the book so much.  I have added reasons over time.  I am the oldest of four sisters so stories about sisters always interest me.  I strongly identify with Jo, the character that Louisa May Alcott based on herself.  Jo is an independent minded young woman who wants to make her own way in the world at a time when independence in women was not celebrated.  And I enjoy novels set during the Civil War.

I think this year though I enjoyed the book because of its representation of family values.  And I’m not talking about traditional family values so often talked about in political circles.  Family values in Little Women is represented by a group of individuals who happen to be related to each other who pull together when times are tough. The group also lends support to others who are in need of a family.  This is best represented by how the girls treat Laurie, their neighbor’s orphaned grandson.

It is the story of facing things head on and rejoicing in what you do have instead of complaining about what you don’t have.  The girls do complain that they don’t have money for the finer things in life, however, they learn to substitute with simple pleasures and home made gifts.

Little Women is a great book to read with your daughter.  It encompasses U.S. history, positive family interactions and romance.  If you or your daughter have already read the book, give us your thoughts below.




London Olympics Big Step for Women

London Olympics Big Step for Women

London Olympics Brings Back Memories

Terri and I in our Olympic uniforms

The London Olympic Games start tonight and I can’t help but remember how much fun Terri and I had while working for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee during the 1984 Games.

I was just three years out of college and had my dream job as the Payroll Manager for the Olympic full time staff.  During the games Terri worked as a clerk in a downtown hotel.  Even though it was an overwhelming time for both of us (my husband and I were also moving into our first home), it was a blast being part of the Olympic games in one of the best cities in the world.

The 1984 Olympics was also the first time that a women’s marathon was held.  This was noteworthy for obvious reasons.  Through the years women’s sporting events had slowly been gaining parity with men’s events and a women’s Olympic marathon was a huge step in the right direction.  It was also noteworthy because the route went within a block of our new home.  We gathered a large group of family and friends together and walked down to watch the women run past on the main street through our town of Culver City.

The American Joan Benoit was the favorite to win the marathon.  She already held the women’s world record.  I still remember Benoit as she ran past, leading the pack.  The crowd waved American flags and cheered her on.  We were all thrilled to be so close to these Olympic athletes who had worked so hard to be part of the Games.  Benoit went on to win the race and set the first ever women’s Olympic record.

With the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece the modern Olympic movement began.  Women were not allowed to participate.  At the 2012 London Olympics every one of the 205 participating countries will send at least one woman athlete to the Olympic Games.  What a wonderful step forward for the women of the world!

A Better High by Matt Bellace, Ph.D.

A Better High by Matt Bellace, Ph.D.

A Better High by Matt Bellace, Ph.D.A Better High: Laugh, help, run, love… and other ways to get naturally high, this week’s book review, is all about ditching the alcohol and drugs and using natural means of attaining a high in life.  Specifically geared towards teenagers, A Better High author Matt Bellace, Ph.D.  details in each chapter better ways of becoming high.

In the first chapter, Matt describes his own background.  He has been involved in youth drug and alcohol prevention efforts since high school.   Matt is also a stand-up comedian and speaks at schools nation wide to encourage students to find their own way of reaching a natural high. I was especially impressed by Matt’s support for educators.  By joining Natural High teachers receive materials for teaching their students on how to achieve a natural high.

The book chapters each discuss a group of natural highs.  For example, chapter 1 covers ‘laughing, smiling and other highs better than cocaine’.  Matt explains how to reach a high in each of the ‘better highs’ with examples from his own life and those of his friends.  Each section ends with a ‘Try This’ paragraph describing an exercise that will help get a teenager through painful or stressful times using a natural high.  Tools like making up a song to describe the painful situation are also described.

Other chapters devote time to running or surfing (or whatever exercise works best), to eating (healthfully) and cooking, to helping others, listening, loving and caring.  It struck me that all of these topics apply to anyone and everyone who is trying to achieve a happy, healthy balance in life.

A Better High also includes how to avoid using natural highs unnaturally.  For example, eating too much or too little food in order to avoid addressing stressful situations.  Matt than ends the book with his ‘best natural high day’ for each season and encourages readers to do the same.

This was a very interesting and fun book to read.  Matt uses humor to illustrate many of his points and I found myself smiling at his stories as I absorbed his message.  I would recommend this book for any teenager looking to achieve a natural high in life.

Leave a comment about this blog post and enter to win a copy of A Better High.  Comments must be left by 12 midnight PST on Friday, June 29th, 2012.