Bombarded as we are on a daily basis with news stories that emphasize all of the negative things that are happening, it’s a good practice to go on a dedicated search for beauty on a daily basis.

“Beautiful Creatures” by Marion Fasel (www.rizzoliusa.com) will treat you to some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring ways that the world’s top jewelry designers over the years have represented such members of the animal kingdom as birds, butterflies and jungle and rainforest inhabitants. Open this book to any page and beauty awaits you in the form of legendary jewelry creations inspired by the natural world. This book is a must for vintage jewelry collectors as well as those who love wild animals in all shapes and sizes.

“Beautiful Creatures” by Marion Fasel – Gotta Love it!

Want to stimulate the imagination of the wee ones in your house? Look no further than the utterly charming board book, “Look, Baby! Magical Creatures”, written by Anne elder and Illustrated by Junissa Bianda (www.starryforestbooks.com).

Thanks to an unbreakable mirrored surface positioned in place of the faces of such magical creatures as a unicorn, mermaid and centaur, children can see their reflections and imagine themselves as part of this magical and mythical menagerie. This book makes the perfect holiday gift, a great way for children to “play and learn” thanks to the mirror magic within its pages. Starry Forest also publishes two companion book, “Look, Baby! Amazing Dinosaurs”, and “Look, Baby! Exciting Jobs” that employ the same mirror magic technique.

“Look, Baby! Magical Creatures” — Gotta Love It!

We agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment expressed on Eleni’s New York packages of Butterscotch Cookies – “Eat dessert first!”

Who couldn’t use a cookie in today’s times to make life just a little bit sweeter and less stressful? Cookies are Eleni’s passion and business (www.elenis.com) and we recently had the good fortune to try her crisp Chocolate Chip creations, along with the Butterscotch variety pictured above. Both are crisp, flavorful cookies that are the perfect any time of day treat but they go especially well with a steaming hot cup of coffee. Check out Eleni’s website for her full range of cookie offerings, including custom orders. Each is a bakery masterpiece guaranteed to put a smile on your face. And they can be mail ordered for holiday gift giving!

Eleni’s New York Cookies — Gotta Love It!

Dehydration can lead to fatigue, adversely affect blood pressure levels and create other health issues that can easily be avoided.

SOS Electrolyte Drink Mix (www.soshydration.com) offers you a delicious way to increase your fluid intake by adding any of their packets into cold water to enjoy a refreshing beverage. Physician formulated SOS is an electrolyte and mineral mix that helps the body recover more quickly after physical exertion, boosts immune response and absorbs more quickly into the system than plain water or commercial sports beverages. There is also an SOS Kids Electrolyte Drink Mix in such popular flavors as Pawsome Mixed Berry, Soaring Strawberry and Splashin’ Lemonade, with individual packets easy to slip into backpack or lunch boxes.

SOS and SOS Kids Electrolyte Drink Mixes — Gotta Love It!

Looking for some inspiring and entertaining reading this weekend? Consider “The First Lady of Under Fashions” by Christina Erteszek (www.chinmusicpress.com).

Erteszek shares the compelling story of her immigrant parents, who overcame many daunting obstacles to eventually create the Olga brand of ladies undergarments and lingerie, headquartered in California. If you’ve ever worn Olga bras, slips or other undergarments, you may not have known that Olga was a real person and the driving force behind the quality, passion and hard work that built this fashion industry leader. The experiences of Jan and Olga Erteszek offer numerous life as well as business lessons that the reader can apply to their own lives. Their daughter’s book offers an amazing behind the scenes look.

“The First Lady of Under Fashions” by Christina Erteszek — Gotta Love It!

Animal Policy Group CEO Mark L. Cushing has done a remarkable job outlining and analyzing the many factors, benefits as well as legal challenges and economic influences that America’s pet population has brought to the nation and its citizens.

If you are caretaker of a cat or dog, then you are among the two-thirds of households who are pet owners, with 200 million cats and dogs now considered members of the family, a number that has doubled in size over the past 20 years. Pet Health Care, the Human-Animal Bond, and the legal and political fights that pets have inspired are among the broad range of topics that Cushing covers in this amazing book. He also reveals some very interesting statistics about other animals kept as pets in a chapter called “It Isn’t Only Cats and Dogs.” Pet Nation has some revealing insights into how our love of animals in America reflects our culture, our values and our needs. It makes the right holiday gift for the animal advocate or pet lover on your list!

Pet Nation by Mark L. Cushing — Gotta Love It!

Here is a sweet deal being offered by Bushel & Peck Books, publishers of such kid-empowering titles as “Your Life Matters” and “ABC Rise Up and Be!” (www.bushelandpeckbooks.com).

For every book a customer purchases, the company offers a “Book-for-Book Promise” to provide a book for a child in need, free of charge. You can even nominate your favorite organization or school to be the recipient of free books in this program, the company’s mission to eradicate illiteracy worldwide.

The two titles featured here — “Your Life Matters” and “ABC, Rise Up and Be!” — feature inspirational prose and creative, colorful artwork, designed to help children of all ages realize that not only who they are and what they do really matters to everyone else on the planet, but also that their actions and attitudes can make a tangible difference. Choosing Bushel & Peck books is a win-win for the recipient, as well as needy children, thanks to their innovative Book-for-Book Promise program! Perfect for holiday gifting, too!

The Bushel & Peck Book-for-Book Promise — Gotta Love It!

Chic, elegant and affordable are among the best ways to describe the quality jewelry offered by Starlette Galleria (https://www.starlettegalleria.com/), a Colorado-based company founded by Olivia Starling.

Starling’s specialty is offering her customers affordable, luxury jewelry that makes you feel fabulous and range from rings and necklaces to bracelets and earrings. The two rings we recently ordered came nestled in beautiful pink display boxes and have the look and feeling of jewelry that would cost five to ten times more coming from a bricks and mortar jewelry store. We got so many compliments when wearing them! Use the code word SEPTEMBER and enjoy 30% off your purchase this month. And every jewelry item featured at Starlette Galleria is constructed using the highest quality metals to prevent skin sensitivity issues. Check out the sale section which features discounts up to 50% off. Bookmark Starlette Galleria for all of your holiday shopping needs.

Starlette Galleria Jewelry — Gotta Love It!

If you are observing the Jewish High Holy Days this month and want to create the delicious braided bread typically served for the New Year, pick up a bag of Best For Challah Flour from Pereg Natural Foods (www.pereg-gourmet.com).

This high quality, pre-sifted flour blend already includes the active yeast, so all you have to do is add water, knead, shape and bake. The result is a light as air dough that can also be used to make babka, cinnamon buns, dinner rolls or croissants. Pereg offers home chefs an array of mixed spices to use as a delicious topping for challah or other breads, including “Everything But the Bagel”, Cinnamon, an aromatic Zahtar blend, and a 2-Color Sesame Seed. “Shanah tovah” (which means good year!).

Pereg Best For Challah Flour – Gotta Love It!

If you haven’t discovered John Kucko’s wonderful images in and around New York State on Facebook at John Kucko Digital, you owe it yourself to head there today and enjoy the beautiful images he freely shares on a daily basis!

And even better news is that you can now order a 2022 Wall Calendar https://omnidon.myshopify.com/collections/2022-calendar-for-nami/products/kucko-nami-2022-calendar?fbclid=IwAR0yJKaS2KOMaFY4ugzOYWpdbKvdb_SkFZMygN4N83ujPWz7sxef4aMI3Zs featuring his famous New York State Scenes at the sale price of $12.25. The start of a new month today should remind us all that a New Year is just around the corner and time to pre-order your 2022 calendars – the Kucko edition makes a great gift for yourself or family and friends!

The 2022 Kucko Nami Calendar featuring New York State Scenes — Gotta Love It!