All posts in Parenting

Edible Gifts for the In-Laws

Edible Gifts for the In-Laws

My mom just moved into a one bedroom apartment in Independent Living facility. My sister moved her in and it was a little like moving one’s kid into a college dorm. They got her new stuff: bed, TV, and furniture … and left a lot behind in her old house.

That’s because she has a tendency towards hoarding, so this is a chance to do things differently. And she likes having less stuff around to collect dust; it’s liberating to live more simply.

As a result, when I buy her gifts for Mother’s Day, Christmas, and her birthday, I am now giving her something that can be enjoyed but does not stick around. Edible presents fit the bill perfectly!

Edible Gifts for the In-Laws

Japanese Confections: Wagashi

My mom was born in San Francisco where her parents immigrated from Hiroshima, Japan. She likes Japanese mochi and I found a high end Japanese confectionary bakery, Minamoto Kitchoan, that delivers “wagashi” — Japanese sweets. Not all the items can be shipped but her favorite kind can.

Maccha Mochi

Maccha Mochi. Sweetened red beans covered with sticky green tea mochi.

Tsuya Read more…

Circle of Gratitude custom bookmarks

Gratitude Bookmark GIVEAWAY!

There is something to be grateful for every day…Circle of Gratitude custom bookmarks

I met Charlotte of Circle of Gratitude on Instagram and today she’s giving away 11 beautiful custom bookmarks tied to these books:

Little Elliot, Big Fun

Read more…

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

CapXTalk Boston on Giving Tuesday

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

The #CapXTalk at the Capital One Cafe in Back Bay Boston was a celebration of Giving Tuesday and how Boston’s companies give back to the community in different and innovative ways. I was in the audience and I took a few clips but you can watch the entire 45 minute live stream too!

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Capital One Reimagined Banking Initiative

It was my first time to the Capital One Cafe even though it’s down the street from my office. I was greeted by really friendly and helpful staff who serve as Capital One Ambassadors, including Jacky Chong. We struck up a conversation and I learned about the Capital One Teen debit card.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

My 16-year-old, a high school junior, has off campus privileges during school which she uses to buy food in town and she just got a debit card. It was our way of teaching her personal finance and it’s worked! She adds (her) money to her card when she earns it and has to keep track of how much is left. The Capital One Teen debit card has some built-in safety features that I really like including not allowing her to buy cigarettes or alcohol with it!

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Another really innovative feature at Capital One is an ATM that does not require an ATM card! You simply just tap your mobile device against it to get your money! The thing about Capital One is that it’s innovating in two ways. Their entry into retail banking is based on online banking, focusing on mobile and tech savvy milleniels who merge work and leisure with a view of the world that includes social justice.

Corporate Giving Ideas for Giving Tuesday

Capital One doesn’t want to leave behind those who don’t have access to technology. That’s where their own charity work begins. They focus on programs and charities that give technology to underserved kids. In fact, the panel for #CapXTalk included Capital One’s Foundation, Red Sox Foundation, and Harpoon Brewery. Each company gives back to the community in different ways, with different philosophies, and maybe each of us can use these ideas to champion charity work in our own workplaces.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Capital One Foundation

Much like they would evaluate a loan, Capital One Foundation has an overarching theme of giving. Theirs is technology for underserved youths. They find nonprofit partners and then analyze based on effectiveness. They allow for innovation and failure, learning from mistakes, in an effort to help their programs and their non profits succeed. A really cool example is their coding for girls event in Dallas which set a world record for participation!

Another major investment that Capital One Foundation does is Future Edge. This is a five-year, $150 commitment to equipping Americans with the skills they need to succeed in today’s digital economy, and C1 Coders, which helps to close the gender gap in STEM for middle school students.

In Boston specifically, the brand has partnered with charitable organizations like Boston Cares, ABCD and Junior Achievement, and also launched the Give Back campaign, which empowers and funds Capital One associates to support local causes of their choice.

Red Sox Foundation

It was clear that charity work at the Red Sox organization begins with rolling up your sleeves and that management, aka the owners, consider charity work to be their privilege. They fund many different programs but it all starts with an internal champion … like David Ortiz who uses his celebrity to fund open heart surgery in the Dominican Republic. Their Boston Red Sox Scholars program gives college scholarships to kids in need and is funded by working with license plate manufacturers to sell Red Sox vanity plates. You’ll find that the charities that the Red Sox Foundation supports will include one of their own organization’s member on the board of that non-profit, both writing a check and showing up to volunteer.

Harpoon Brewery Gives Back

Out of 600 asks, Harpoon Brewery fulfils 400! That’s 2/3 of all requests, whether it’s a basket of Harpoon logo gifts for a charity auction, or something beer for an event. Harpoon Brewery’s charity work focuses around events and their 5 miler Race is a good example of rallying around a cause — in this case cancer — to raise money, have a good time, and build community. Because that’s exactly how they do it.

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Capital One wants to empower people to feel more confident with their relationships with money so that their money can ultimately fit their life, and they’re redesigning the banking experience to help them do just that.

The company is implementing new programs and ways for people to think about their finances and is continuing to develop and pilot innovative digital financial technology. This means innovative products, digital tools and Cafés that help customers feel confident in their relationship with their money and confident about their ability to achieve their goals.

Within the Cafés, Capital One is also piloting an exciting first-to-industry series of supper club-style money workshops and offering 1:1 money coaching sessions, which are designed to help people reshape their perspectives about their relationship with money. It’s free for everyone and super easy to schedule a session in their Harvard Square Café, so please check that out, my readers in the Boston area!

The #CapXTalk panel discussion is part of Capital One’s continued growth in Boston and ongoing efforts to reimagine banking. Their Café concept came to Boston more than two years ago and has since expanded to five Café locations across the city. They just announced they will be expanding to Hingham, Lynnfield and the Seaport in the coming months. I’m hoping they will open in Newton soon!

Banking reimagined. I like that!

 

 

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One.
Donate to Causes Under Threat

Donate to Causes Under Threat #GivingTuesday

We do what we can to fight injustice anywhere we see it—whether it’s writing a check or rolling up our sleeves. Aaron Sorkin in a letter to his daughter (full letter below)

There are plenty of things to worry about during a Trump Presidency and Republican controlled government.
Donate to Causes Under Threat

If you are worried about this too, here are non-profits to support:

Worried About Women’s Right to Choose? Support:

Planned Parenthood (I donated in Mike Pence’s name and he’s going to get a certificate from them for my donation!)

Center for Reproductive Rights

Donate to Causes Under ThreatRead more…

EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

I’m not much of a crafter so DIY gifts are hard for me to pull off. Still, I like the idea of giving a gift that is homemade; that it shows time and effort rather than just a swipe of a credit card.

These DIY gifts are easy … they have to be! What are your favorite gifts to make or to receive? Thanks for sharing!

The EASIEST DIY Gifts to Make with Kids

DIY Dog Biscuits

This was a good way to use up old bananas and peanut butter that had lingered in the pantry for way too long. My dog is a Golden Retriever and he loves food so perhaps he’s not the most critical of dog biscuit judges. He did LOVE these biscuits and my son and I had a lot of fun making them together.

DIY Dog Biscuits Read more…

Our Family Yoga Class & GIVEAWAY

Our Family Yoga Class & GIVEAWAY

It was my husband’s idea to start a weekly family yoga class. He didn’t want to do yoga with strangers, and he also thought it was the only way to get our oldest to practice yoga. Grasshopper and Sensei had the four concussions from volleyball, and now she needs to work her way slowly back into physical activity.

Our Family Yoga Class

PickyKidPix has hung up soccer cleats, switching over to competitive crew, but as a coxswain, she’s not getting much exercise. She went through puberty recently, and her joints are looser. For the first time in her life, she complains of knee pain “on her inner right knee when she runs on pavement.” Yoga will help with that.
Our Family Yoga Class Read more…

Delivering Thanksgiving Dinner to the Elderly

Delivering Thanksgiving Dinner to the Elderly: Our Hasbro Kindness Project

Our service project each Thanksgiving is to deliver a meal to the elderly through Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. We’ve been doing this for a few years now and my kids all agree; it’s the best part of our Thanksgiving.

Delivering Thanksgiving Dinner to the Elderly

It isn’t always easy to find a service project around Thanksgiving meals that includes your kids. I tried calling homeless shelters and they all said that they don’t allow children to serve meals though my sister in Torrance, CA has a place that she and her family support every year. I guess you just have to call around.

Delivering Thanksgiving Dinner to the ElderlyRead more…

FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

PickyKidPix is a coxswain at CRI and is highly motivated to improve so that she can cox in college. I was a coxswain at Radcliffe, back in the day when they had a Freshman program, and the minimum weight for women’s coxs was 100 pounds. Now it’s 110 pounds.

FREE Resources for High School Coxswains

Things have changed in college women’s rowing since I was in college thirty years ago. With Title 9 as boon, women’s college rowing has grown tremendously, and with it, an industry for rowers and coxswains to help them get recruited.

This is my working list as I learn more about resources for coxswains, rowers, and the college recruiting process (which is so different from soccer). Still, the NCAA rules are the same and I have a post on that: How to Get an Athletic Scholarship, though only 2% of athletes get a full ride scholarship (Full Ride Scholarships are Rare).

 

Free Great Advice for Coxswains

1. Coxswain Nation: advice from Yaz, DVDs for purchase, and downloadable PDFs and links. Lots of great resources, many of it free.

Yasmin “Yaz” Farooq has been involved in coxing and coaching for over 30 years. As the coxswain for the United States National Team from 1989 to 1996, she competed in the 1992 & 1996 Olympic Games. She was captain of the Olympic Women’s Rowing Team at the Atlanta Olympics. She was the head coach at Stanford University from 2006-2016 and won a National Championship in 2009, along with five podium finishes. She was also the on-air rowing analyst for NBC’s telecasts of the Olympic Games from 2000-2012. Yaz was inducted into the National Rowing Foundation Hall of Fame in 2014. Read more…

World Kindness Day ideas for kids

Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)

The day after the election I was in shock, then angry and finally depressed. And the thought of facing racism made me mad and ready to fight. And it’s not like I don’t spend a few hours punching every week. I was ready to fist fight, and, it turns out,  I wasn’t the only one. Day 1 in Trump’s America is an ugly place to be.

But then I met with Valarie and Becky for Multicultural Children’s Book Day — we meet weekly via Skype for the months leading up to January 27th — and we realized that now, more than ever, we need to fight for acceptance of diversity through compassion. Believe me, this is not an easy leap to make for me!  My first response would be to throw a punch when faced with racism, so I give myself this reminder today, on World Kindness Day, November 13th.

Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)

And, as I think about kindness, I am reminded of Valerie at Inner Child Fun (different Valerie than Valarie at Jump Into a Book/Multicultural Children’s Book Day) and how she inspired me with her 35 Random Acts of Kindness Birthday Challenge. I knew I wanted to face my own upcoming 48th birthday this way. It wasn’t easy to pull it off; I needed a month, but it was the best birthday present ever!

And just like that … ripples of kindness actually spread. Read more…