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  • Public Relations Contact: Nine Twenty Press
    Phone: 214-956-9844
    Media Hotline: 214-697-7289
    E-Mail: PublicRelations@togetherparenting.com

    About The Authors

    The Authors

    Janell Sewall Oakes (left) and Rondi Hillstrom Davis
    Co-authors of Together: Creating Family Traditions

    Gather your children around and let the creativity begin. Family Style experts, Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes will show you how to create wonderfully simple and oh so impressive projects, activities, and celebrations that the whole family will enjoy. With Rondi and Janell as your guides, it only takes a minute to create memories that last a lifetime.

    Just like the festivity of a family-style meal: gathering at the table, passing large bowls, and sharing warm laughter, Rondi and Janell believe that the best times of our lives are the ones we share together. From these two talented women who just happen to share the same birthday, comes this philosophy of Family Style entertaining.

    Award winning authors and experienced media guests, Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes have appeared on numerous television and radio shows. Their Family Style philosophy has earned them a reputation as outspoken authorities on the importance of creating family traditions in today’s busy world. Co-authors of the book Together: Creating Family Traditions, they present quick, articulated thoughts on ways to bring families together with style.

    Together: Creating Family Traditions, received numerous awards, including a Benjamin Franklin Award for Best How-to Book, and a Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Magazine. Their book reached #1 Best Seller status on Amazon.com’s Holiday charts. It is also recommended by PBSkids.org.

    Rondi is also an independent costume designer renowned for her work in regional theatre and film. Her exceptional creative talents include designs for celebrities Gene Hackman, Robert Mitchum, Jimmy Smitts, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mary Kay Ash, Patti La Belle, Burgess Meredith, Doris Roberts, and Tyne Daly, among others. Rondi lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and two teenaged daughters.

    In 1989, Janell Sewall Oakes, a native of Austin, Texas, came into the Hillstrom Davis family where she remained for six years as nanny to Rondi's two children before starting her own family. Janell, now a stay-at-home mom, grew up in an artistic environment from where she drew inspiration for devising and creating many of the projects featured in Together. She now resides in Appleton, Wisconsin with her husband and to elementary aged boys. With strong connections to her local community and family, Janell is the living spirit of what Family Style parenting is all about.

    Rondi and Janell are talented authors who believe that parents today need to shift the focus of the time they spend with their children. Parents lavish their children with material goods and an overabundance of scheduled activities, rather than finding ways to interact with their children. So much so, that it has become a catalyst to developing their Family Style philosophy. “Stop and remember for a second what was important from your own childhood. Was it building a snowman with your dad? Baking cookies with your grandmother? We’ve forgotten how simple things can bring us joy.” Let Rondi and Janell help you discover your own family’s style.

    For further information visit www.togetherparenting.com
    NineTwentyPress 214-956-9844

    Segment Suggestions

    Public Relations Contact:
    NineTwentyPress 214-956-9844
    Media Hotline 214-697-7289

    What’s Your Family Style?

    Enter a world of childhood fun, simple pleasures, and beautiful memories. Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes believe that the best times of our lives are the ones we share together and they have thousands of quick and easy ways to make family-time fun and meaningful.

    Great ideas, great visuals, great fun!

    1. ENTERTAINING FAMILY STYLE—Stylish get togethers for everyone from the smallest child to the oldest adult.

    * Host a Pie Eating Contest
    Make it. Bake it. Everyone dive in!
    Who can resist poking a finger into a freshly baked pie when nobody is looking?
    We pull out all the stops and give everyone a pie of their own.

    * Birthday parties under $35.00
    Family traditions should be familiar, not monumental.
    It’s time to bring kid’s birthday parties back into our own homes.
    You don’t need a 5-tiered cake and hired performers to have a great time.
    Everyone will want to get into the fun when you host a Paint the Fence Party, BYO Wading Pool Party, or Photo Scavenger Hunt. Guaranteed smiles and lots of photo opportunities.

    * Pack up the gang and head for the country.
    Plan an outdoor party. Adults, as well as children, will love stuffing scarecrows. Spread a simple buffet on the tailgate of a pickup truck and friends will naturally gather around a hearty offering of spiced cider, corn muffins, and meat pies.

    * Host a caroling party and get the whole neighborhood into the spirit.
    Too often we forgo entertaining because of the mere thought of all of the preparation that is involved. With this quick and easy event, parents, kids, and even a few dogs can join along the way. It’s a great way to meet the neighbors.

    What’s your day like? Up by 6:30 making breakfast, carpooling, a quick trip to the gym, a full day of work, shuttling kids to after school activities…Whew! And that’s all before 3:30… No wonder it feels like someone pushed the Fast Forward button.

    As a special treat for all of the moms out there, we’ll show you how to take a mommy time-out; a way to relax. Enjoy our chocolate bath sachets, fresh baked scones and 5-minute strawberry jam.

    Has your family time become hectic time?
    Here's a game that takes your family from hectic to happy in 30-seconds.
    Tag, you're it! These funny faces will have you falling on the floor with laughter.

    Let Rondi and Janell be your seasonal experts. Celebrate as they showcase beautiful projects that mom will love doing just as much (if not more) than the kids. It isn't about perfection. It's about discovery, having fun, and sharing, even if you make a mistake or two along the way.

    All of these projects are simple enough to do with a 5-year old. If they can do it, so can you!

    Make this the year you create meaningful traditions with your family. Start with these whimsical New Year's activities.
    1. Cast your wishes to the wind with a colorful Wishing Tree
    2. Chocolate Resolutions-3 ingredients and oh so yummy!

    Instead of store bought valentines, show your love with a homemade gift from the heart.
    1. Capture your sweetheart’s heart with a unique Sugar Cookie-Box that is as delectable as it is beautiful.
    2. Love notes... "One of my favorite things about you"

    Think green! Make St. Patrick's Day fun for the whole family with projects that will chase away the winter blues.
    1. Use your green thumb to plant a Spring Container Garden
    2. Leprechaun Lime-aide

    Celebrate spring with eggs-travagant Easter eggs. Achieve sophisticated elegance with colors taken directly from your own backyard.
    1. Natural Dyed Easter Eggs are simply decorated from a myriad of plants and flowers. Try this technique—it’s simple enough to do with young children.
    2. Miniature Golden Cakes –So that’s how to use all those eggs!

    Any mom can be a domestic diva with these 4 simple projects.
    1. Beautiful hand-tied bouquets
    2. Fresh baked scones and 5-minute strawberry jam.
    3. Flower print cards
    4. Herbal bath sachets

    Show Dad how much you love him with this handmade scrapbook and breakfast in bed.
    Scrumptious recipes that take less than 5 ingredients and 15 minutes of your time.
    1. Collection of treasures honoring Dad
    2. Oatmeal Cookie Granola Parfaits

    Celebrate America's birthday with an old fashioned picnic in the park
    1. Comets, Rockets, and Whirls create colorful magic in the summer sky
    2. Mom's Blueberry Muffins

    A trip to the farmer's market is the catalyst for 3 bountiful summer centerpieces.
    1. Garden in a Basket
    2. Citrus and Sunflowers
    3. Wildflowers and Herbs

    These back to school gifts are guaranteed to make your child teacher's pet.
    1. Blooming Bookmarks
    2. Marbleized Pencils and Note Cards

    Trick-Or-Treat! You'll want to keep our vintage scarecrow around long after the goblins are gone.
    1. His and Her Vintage Scarecrows
    2. Hot Apple Cider for a crisp autumn afternoon

    Welcome friends and family with decorations rich with fall's ornament.
    1. Give Thanks Wreath
    2. Golden Apple Wreath
    3. Miniature Luminarias

    Host a caroling party and get the whole neighborhood into the holiday spirit.
    1. Caroling Party Check List
    2. Decorative Holiday Candles
    3. Mexican Hot Chocolate

    For further information on award winning authors Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes contact:
    NineTwentyPress 214-956-9844
    Media Hotline 214-697-7289

    Demo Reel

    View Rondi and Janell's Media Reel
    View Rondi and Janell’s Media Reel
    2 min 53 secs

    Media Placement

    Family Style experts, Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes
    Co-authors of the award winning book, Together: Creating Family Traditions

    For more information contact:
    Nine Twenty Press 214-956-9844
    Media Hotline: 214-697-7289


    WOAI/NBC/San Antonio – Regular monthly segment-2 years


    KTBC/Fox 7/Austin

    WDRB/ Fox 41/Louisville

    WHAS TV 11/ABC/ Louisville

    KXTV/FOX-6/San Diego

    KMOL/NBC/San Antonio


    Listen to the Interview

    WWJC/Deluth, MN

    WCWA/Toledo, OH

    KORN/Mitchell, SD

    WBYY/Dover, NH

    WWJC/Deluth, MN

    WLRQ/Melbourne, FL

    WRVC/Huntington, WV

    KABJ/Adrian, MI

    KGAB/Cheyenne, WO

    WBZ/Boston, MA


    Copley News Service – September, 2007
    Placement: Syndicated article –Family Affair; Spread the Spirit of the Holidays

    Country Living Magazine – September, 2004
    Placement: 3 page article –Welcome, Fall!

    Women’s World Magazine – January 2006
    Placement: Article on Finding Family Time Together

    Dallas Morning News – June 25, 2003
    Placement: featured 2-page article – Getting Kid’s to Cook

    The Nashville News – August 18, 2004
    Placement: featured book review

    El Hispano News – July 25, 2003
    Newspaper, Albuquerque, NM
    Placement: featured book review

    The Messenger – April 17, 2003
    Newspaper, Ft. Dodge, Iowa
    Placement: featured article – Easter

    Colorado Homes and Lifestyles – December 2002
    Placement: Book Review

    Creative Crafter – December 2002
    Placement: Book Review

    Our Sunday Visitor – National Catholic Magazine, November 1, 2002
    Weekly – Controlled Distribution
    Placement: Book Review

    The Glenview Announcements – November 28, 2002
    Weekly – Controlled Distribution
    Placement: Book Review

    SA Kids – November 2002 Issue
    Monthly – Controlled Distribution
    Placement: Authors quoted in full-page article

    Somerset Studio (Legacy Magazine) – September 2002, Premiere Issue
    Monthly – Family Legacies
    Placement: Book Review

    The Leonard Graphic – August 8, 2002
    Placement: Half page feature article about the book

    Dallas Family Magazine – August 2002 Issue
    Monthly Local Home Parenting Magazine
    Placement: Book Review

    SouthernLiving.com – July 2002
    Placement: Featured Book Review

    San Diego Family Magazine – July 2002 Issue
    Monthly – Controlled Distribution
    Placement: Book Review

    Today’s Dallas Woman – July 2002 Issue
    Monthly – Controlled Distribution
    Placement: Red, White & Blue Feature: Recipe Mom’s Blueberry Muffins

    California Homes – July/August 2002 Issue
    Bi-Monthly Regional Home Magazine
    Placement: Book Review

    True Story – May 2002 Issue
    Monthly Women’s Magazine
    Placement: Book Review

    Personal Journaling Magazine – May 2002 Issue
    (A division of Readers Digest)
    Placement: Book Review


    ForeWord Magazine 2003--Book of the Year Award/Family and Relationships

    Benjamin Franklin Awards 2003–Best How-to Book and
    Finalist: Best First Book-Nonfiction, Best Website

    Independent Publisher Book Awards (Ippy) 2003– Finalist: Book of the Year/Parenting Category

    Publisher’s Marketing Association 2003– Finalist: Best website design

    Barnes & Noble “Authors of the Month” July 2002
    North Texas Region


    Book of the Year Award Winner, 2003, ForeWord Magazine
    Benjamin Franklin Award, Best How-To Book, 2003

    Splendidly illustrated with full color photography.
    Midwest Book Review
    , December 10, 2002
    Collaboratively compiled and written by Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes, Together: Creating Family Traditions is a 131-page compilation of fun activities for adults and kids to undertake together, all splendidly illustrated with full color photography. Holiday themes are spotlighted in this delightful guide to making homemade paper, granola, gingerbread man garlands, and so much more. Enthusiastically recommended for parents seeking to bond with their children, Together: Creating Family Traditions is a simply wonderful, thoroughly "user friendly" activities how-to book which the entire family can enjoy - from generation to generation.

    Here, at last, is a book that appeals to adults and well as children.
    Emmy Award Winning News Reporter
    , March 2003
    Together: Creating Family Traditions is an essential read for all parents with children. The no fuss recipes, colorful projects, and holiday treasures to be found here will inspire families to start their own traditions. Here, at last, is a book that appeals to adults and well as children. A treasure trove of what family "togetherness" is all about.

    Your book is gorgeous! April 20, 2002
    4th Grade Teacher
    , The Lamplighter School, Dallas, Texas.
    Your book is gorgeous! I…want to send your book to my mother-in-law, who was also a fourth grade teacher.

    The splendid photographs alone are worth the price of the book.
    Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic Magazine
    , November 1, 2002
    The authors write that they created this book "to show parents how easy and simple it is to connect with their children and how they can get away from our electronic, very commercialized world." Show it does! The splendid photographs alone are worth the price of the book, and there are creative ideas and delicious recipes for family celebrations of New Year's, Valentines Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Cherish Family Time? Buy this book!
    Elizabeth D.
    , April 11, 2002 This book has it all: great ideas, great photography, great recipes, and lots of JOY! Anyone who enjoys time with family and wants it to be meaningful, over the years, holiday by holiday, will love this book.

    I liked smashing the leaves.
    Allen, Age 6

    I learned how to make leaf prints.

    The book is recommended for anyone who needs a refresher course in the meaning of quality time.
    Legacy Magazine
    , Autumn 2002
    Together reminds readers that it's the simple family pleasures, not the pricey trips to Disneyland, that are often the most meaningful and memorable. The book is filled with projects that everyone in the family can enjoy...Filled with lovely photographs of adorable tykes, this book is recommended for anyone who needs a refresher course in the meaning of family time.

    Every Family Should Own This Book. April 2, 2002
    A reader from Chicago, IL, USA

    A delightful book, it brought back memories of my own life as a child, and made me wish I had shared more time "together" with my young nieces then I too, could have shared in a cherry pie eating contest. I would have been right in there, face first along with them! Simply precious.

    I loved revisiting my experiences through your stories in the book.
    Lenny M., Houston, TX
    , January 26, 2003.
    I cannot tell you how much I've enjoyed your book. I stopped at a restaurant ...and took your book in and soaked up the warmth of it over a very long lunch! I grew up in a family full of wonderful memories and special occasions. I loved revisiting my experiences through your stories in the book. Our time spent on this planet is precious and all we really have is our connectedness to one another.

    A gem...
    Meredith M. from Alexandria, VA,
    April 3, 2002
    What a great find...I was given this book as a gift and I can't wait to try these projects and recipes with my nieces and nephews. Not only is this filled with beautiful pictures and a joy to look through, but when reading it, I couldn't help but recall memories from my own childhood. I especially like the fact that the projects are for children of all ages, this book is for everyone! I highly recommend "Together"...it makes a wonderful gift, and I know that first hand. This book definitely stands out from any others I have come across!

    One Stop Shopping with this Wonderful Book!
    A reader from Falls Church, VA USA
    , April 3, 2002
    It seems like everyone I know is either getting married or starting a family this year. I love Together: Creating Family Traditions. It's the perfect bridal shower / baby shower gift, as it covers everything from creative ideas to recipes to family journaling. (The recipes for mom's blueberry muffins and Grandmother Borland's cookies are yummy!) The pictures are vivid and beautiful, the prose is thought provoking and tenderly written, and the little touches, like the satin ribbon bookmark, are just lovely. I bought multiple copies to give as gifts, and have received a bevy of ecstatic thank-you notes from brides-to-be and mothers-to-be.

    My kids and I love thumbing through the beautiful pictures for inspiration.
    Debra, Chicago, Illinois
    Together is full of great new ideas! We have incorporated many of them into our own family traditions.

    Download Reviews (PDF document 64k)


    Press Release

    For Immediate Release
    For further information contact:
    Nine Twenty Press
    Phone: 800.825.6448


    Together: Creating Family Traditions
    By Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes

    We’re excited! We’re delighted! And here’s why – 
    NineTwentyPress is pleased to announce that Together: Creating Family Traditions won the 2003 Benjamin Franklin Award for Best How-to Book and ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award /Family and Relationships. Judges for the Benjamin Franklin Awards come from all areas of the industry: major newspaper and trade reviewers, bookstore and library buyers and reviewers, non-competing publishers, artists and writers who serve the industry. ForeWord magazine's fifth annual Book of the Year Awards recognize excellence in publishing from independent presses. Finalists are selected based on editorial excellence and professional production as well as the originality of the narrative and the value the book adds to its genre.

    Texas authors Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes published Together: Creating Family Traditions as an attractive, creatively packaged book that showcases 9 holidays through beautiful, inviting photographs easy-to-read text and recipes, with interactive ideas for the whole family. Open the pages one by one, and by the time you reach the back cover, we promise you will have a smile on your face. Together delivers a warm personal message. See for yourself. This fabulous kitchen table gift book is guaranteed to make you want to be a child again. Midwest Book Review states that “Together: Creating Family Traditions is a simply wonderful, thoroughly ‘user friendly’ activities how-to book which the entire family can enjoy – from generation to generation.”

    NineTwentyPress is an independent publisher with a clear marketing objective. Their products are targeted at the educated, self-assured mothers of young children, a group that comprises the top tier market of 68 million families with children. Despite the abundance of children’s books published annually, there are only a few directed at the entire family even when today in America, focus is shifting back to family life and traditional values. 

    Phone: 800-825-6448
    Download Press Release (PDF document 37kb)


    Press Release

    For Immediate Release
    For further information contact:
    Nine Twenty Press
    Phone: 214.956-9844


    Celebrate the holidays with a gift that brings back warm nostalgic memories, and sets the tone for the wonderful holiday season to come.

    Together: Creating Family Traditions will put a smile on your face. This beautiful gift book will bring back memories of baking cookies with your grandmother or building a snowman with your dad. The whole family will enjoy these simple recipes and activities. Children can see that there is fun to be had without the latest gadget or ultimate video game. Experience a book that turns your attention away from the commercial marketing of the holidays, to a more personal expression of the seasons.
    The perfect gift book for Holidays, Baby Showers, Girlfriends
    Autographed copies through the publisher
    Phone: 800-825-6448
    Preview the book at: www.togetherparenting.com 

    Download Press Release (PDF document 25kb)


    Press Release

    For Immediate Release
    For further information contact:
    Nine Twenty Press
    Phone: 214.956-9844


    Nothing crystallized what's important in life faster than the events of last year. In the aftermath of catastrophe, as we collectively embraced each other, we re-ordered priorities. Traditional family values have become more important to everyone. Parents no longer want to postpone time spent with their children. Families are closer together today than they have been in a long time.

    A new title from NineTwentyPress, directed at modern parents who are searching for ways to enrich quality time with their children, brings families closer together. The book, entitled Together: Creating Family Traditions by Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes, is a book that addresses a back-to-basics philosophy themed around family togetherness.

    Together: Creating Family Traditions is a cheerful book that will put a smile on your face - a book that brings out the child in all of us. It fills us with memories of our own childhood, and shows us how to share those wonderful times with our own children. Simply stated, this is a book created to involve parents with their children in a variety of imaginative, seasonal, and holiday activities. It identifies directly with parents and children through beautiful, inviting photographs, easy-to-read text, and recipes with interactive ideas for the whole family to enjoy.

    Photographs of children running a sack race and stomping in puddles, families stuffing a scarecrow together, playing tug of war, catching fireflies, planting gardens, or simply picking flowers - all events that evoke nostalgia from a simpler period. These fun, yet timeless activities require nothing mechanical, automated, or electronic - just good old-fashioned togetherness.

    Together: Creating Family Traditions inspires moms and dads to start their own traditions with their children. A 'must have' for all parents - a book that can be passed from generation to generation. Together makes an ideal gift not only for the current holiday season, but a welcome contribution for baby showers, expecting mothers, birthdays, and celebratory holidays. A family gift of sharing that is priceless.

    This new title from NineTwentyPress is now available. To learn more about Together: Creating Family Traditions, and further information on NineTwentyPress, authors Rondi Hillstrom Davis and Janell Sewall Oakes and their availability for interviews, contact:

    Nine Twenty Press
    Phone: 214.956-9844

    Download Press Release (PDF document 12k)

    Review Slip

    NineTwentyPress- Dallas
    Distributed by Midpoint Trade Company

    Title: Together: Creating Family Traditions

    Co-authors: Rondi Hillstrom Davis
                 Janell Sewall Oakes

    Publication Date: April 1, 2002

    Price: $21.95 retail

    Size: 9 x 9 hardcover with dust jacket

    Pages: 132

    Photographs: 114 full color

    ISBN: 0-9716002-0-1

    We would appreciate two clippings of any notice you give the book.

    Public Relations:
    Nine Twenty Press
    Phone: 214.956-9844
    Media Hotline: 214-697-7289

    Download Review Slip (PDF document 8k)
    Download Cover Image (JPG document 98k)

Rediscover the joys of childhood. Beautifully photographed, Together: Creating Family Traditions is a journal of family traditions, seasonal projects and recipes. We invite you to experience a book that turns your attention away from the commercial aspects of the holidays, to a more personal expression of the seasons.

We will send a free review copy to members of the press. Follow the link above to request your copy today.

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