All posts in Parenting

International Book Giving Day

International Book Giving Day FREE Book Plate!

International Book Giving Day is giving out lovely bookplates and bookmarks to celebrate a day of book giving coming up February 14th. It’s another way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and literacy!
 International Book Giving Day February 14

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New Whole Foods South End BOSTON Brings Me Home Again

New Whole Foods South End BOSTON Brings Me Home Again

When I was in college 30 years ago, I volunteered at Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter for men. It was located in South End, Boston, then an area cut off from Boston proper by the orange line subway line which ran above ground. It wasn’t a safe area; I had to recruit my 6 foot 2 inch football player friend Neal to come with me.

Our job was pretty straightforward. We mixed up a pitcher of KoolAid and offered multi-vitamins to guests as they came in to sleep there for the night. I was the front person; Neal, amused by the action we’d get, kept pace by filling paper cups of KoolAid. One night as we were leaving the premises, a strung out homeless man followed us, yelling garbled expletives and closing in quickly!

We screamed “RUN!” to each other and sprinted the half mile to the subway station (and by “sprinting” I mean that I held Neal back as I am a slow runner and he chivalrously slowed down for me to catch up. He noted at our 25th college reunion that I wasn’t a very good runner back in college. I never improved much either). The weird guy opted not to chase us so it ended up being an “All’s Well That Ends Well” tale of excitement to be retold around the dining hall that night. We did end up returning to Pine Street Inn the next week and the week after that with no other incidents of excitement.

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Trades of Hope

Helping Women in Haiti Rebuild Their Lives

Please welcome my work friend Jeradina today. She is guest posting on a cause that is near and dear to heart: helping women in Haiti rebuild their lives through an organization called Trades of Hope.

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Monday, January 12th marks the 5th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. When the disaster struck many of you felt empowered to help in some small way; you probably gave money, donated clothes, shoes etc. Although the country is rebuilding itself, there are still large areas in Haiti affected by abject poverty. There are many companies out there giving aid to the families that are still suffering from the effects of the earthquake.. But still poverty prevails.

Fortunately there are some organizations that help families build sustainable businesses. Trades of Hope is built upon helping women out of poverty. Read more…

Bootstrap Marketing 101 for Authors

Bootstrap Marketing 101 for Authors

I thought I would talk about branding, SEO and social media marketing for authors even though I am not an author, nor have ever marketed a book. So then, you might ask, why would I be qualified to talk about bootstrap marketing for anyone, let alone authors?

Thanks for asking. When I was twenty years ago, I co-founded a business out of my college dorm room that has grown — twenty-seven years later — into a large enterprise staffing creatives around the world. But my marketing story starts with a book I found at a local bookstore called Guerella Marketing.

Using the ideas from this book, my partners and I tried out boot strap marketing ideas starting with [illegally] posting flyers with tear off tabs all over Harvard Square. A few years later, my partners and I went to business school (different ones) and our company hit the 12th spot on the Inc. 500 List for Fastest Growing Private Company. I majored in Entrepreneurial Marketing but I was really back in school to fill in gaps in knowledge that I needed such as accounting so that I could understand my company’s annual report. (And now that I have three kids with busy schedules, I really wish I had paid more attention in logistics.) Read more…

facing fear at 50, boxing and women

Facing Fear at Fifty

I grew up in a culture of fear. I’m not sure if it’s because my mother’s life turned upside down when she was forced to leave her home during WWII for simply being Japanese American and living in San Francisco or if it’s because she’s a tiny woman at 4 feet 11 inches. Or if it’s simply because she read the paper every day.

Let your faith  be bigger than your fears boxing girl

The Orange County regional news is full of violent crime and my mom would draw parallels and warn us, “Don’t ever use an A.T.M. machine at night or you’ll get robbed!” I was living in Boston at the time and Harvard Square at night is a hopping place. No matter. Just don’t use the A.T.M. at night. Check! Thanks mom!

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25 Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

Our 25 Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

First of all, I have to say that December is a crazy busy month to attempt to complete 25 Random Acts of Kindness for our family. We are busy and stressed out and giving back isn’t top of mind. Which is why this is so good for us!

25 acts of kindness advent calendar that you make yourself

It’s almost easier to do an Act of Kindness as it is to keep track of it. And forget getting everyone in my family to complete one per day. I think that is a great goal but not feasible for us right now. Completing one a day as a family will have to do.

So my upshot is: do it but be kind to yourself. Good enough is … good enough. Even thinking about doing an Act of Kindness every day is an improvement for us so baby steps! Read more…

My Son Gives to a Child in Need Through CWIST

My Son Gives to a Child in Need Through CWIST

I posted on CWIST’s learning challenges that parents select for their kids and reward them as they see fit. For the holiday season, CWIST has a program that lets kids earn a present for a child in need who might not have any presents under the tree this year!

my son gives to a child in need through CWIST Read more…

Michelle Phan: Best Book Signing Ever

Michelle Phan: Best Book Signing Ever! #MYLifeGuide

I’ve been to many author book signing events since I start blogging including very popular authors like Rick Riordan where fans stood in a line that snaked around the building! But I have never waited in line for two hours just for a book signing; there wasn’t even a presentation or talk involved!

Have you heard of Michelle Phan? She’s a YouTube beauty and fashion vlogger rockstar with over 7 mllion subscribers and a growing media empire that includes a beauty sample subscription service called Ipsy, her own make up line Em and now a book, Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success–Online and Off. How does one become a YouTube rockstar? It’s a pretty simple formula:

  • Step 1: Make your own videos
  • Step 2: Get them to go viral
  • Step 3: Do this every week for nine years

Step 3, of course, is the hard part. Michelle says its easy to make a video and get it to go viral. It’s about doing something outrageous and then timing the release of the video. But to do this weekly? That’s where the real work comes in.

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Bombadier Beetle Fun & Educational App for Kids

Bombadier Beetle Fun & Educational App for Kids

My kids think farting is extremely funny. I think they would love this interactive app about Luna, a Bombardier Beetle, with a unique talent. The talent of the toot! But first, some background on the Bombardier Beetle to put Luna’s talent into context.

 bombadier beetle

The amazing defense strategy of the Bombardier beetle! Read more…