This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Marie Callender’s. The opinions and text are all mine.
With the cold weather around the corner, I’m starting to think about changing our dinner menu to stews and soups. It’s not just comfort food; it’s also the ultimate convenience food when you have a brood that gets home at all different times from practices, starving!
The change of seasons also has me thinking about the upcoming holiday season and ways to give back. Last October, my son and his friend did a joint birthday party. In lieu of gifts, asked for donations to a local dog shelter that rescues dogs from kill shelters in the South. When the boys delivered the dog toys and collars and played with the dogs, I think it was the best present anyone could have given them.
My friend Lydia’s husband and Grasshopper and Sensei‘s art teacher’s husband are both Industrial Designers who have worked on vacuum products. Turns out that they have worked together too! What a small world!
Industrial design is a process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production.
When I saw Lydia’s husband last week at a dinner party, I asked him what does it take to design a really good vacuum? An industrial designer is an interesting job; it’s part designer, part sculptor and part mechanical engineer. Industrial designers design a wide range of products from cars to package design to consumer products like coffee machines, vacuums, blenders and space heaters.
What does it take to design a great vacuum? Industrial designers work with marketing and market researchers to find out what consumers want and then they try to deliver. What do I want? It’s pretty simple because I hate vacuuming more than any other cleaning job in the world:
- I want a cordless vacuum because I am forever running over the cord or pulling it out of electrical socket, both actions being very bad for my vacuum.
- I want a vacuum that can pick up the massive amount of Golden Retriever dog fur that my dog contributes to our household without causing my vacuum cardiac arrest.
- I still need a portable, handheld vacuum for quick pick up like when my kids spill cereal all over the floor.
- I want my vacuum to live a good, long and productive life.
- I don’t want my vacuum to be heavy because I need to carry it up and down stairs and even vacuum the stairs while I’m at it!
Jeanette Nyberg of Craftwhack and I have teamed up again to bring you a holiday shopping series.
November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: Hers, Mine)
Today, we bring you Gifts That Give Back!
I like to have my kids think about giving back as we near the holidays. I read that teaching kids gratitude is the best way to assure that they will be happy.
Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. From Harvard Health Publications
Last year, I tried my hand at crafts (which I am bad at) and created a DIY Advent Gratitude Calendar in which my family tried to do an act of kindness as we counted down towards Christmas.
If you need Random Acts of Kindness ideas, I researched them in order to do 48 for my birthday.
Thankfulness, in our house, also includes Thank You notes and I have a free Thank You Card printable for kids that I hope makes note writing less onerous.
There is an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together. From The Red Thread by Grace Lin
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. To celebrate, I offer a multicultural adoption picture book, chapter book and young adult list for kids and teens. There is a subtle thread that tie some of these books together. It’s the bridge from Asia to America through adoption.
When kids are placed into loving families that do not reflect their face in the mirror, there comes a time, as part of growing up, where these kids can have an identity crisis and a hunger to know more about their past. There’s another thread as well about the power of love to bind a family together. I hope these books will comfort by showing that they are not alone.
What books am I missing? Thanks for your great suggestions!
Multicultural Adoption Picture Books
Bringing Asha Home by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Jamal Akib
Rahki is a north Indian holiday celebrated on the day of the full moon of the Hindu month Shravan, usually in August. Sisters tie colorful shiny bracelets called rakhi around the wrists of their brothers, signifying their special bond. In this picture book, Arun waits impatiently while his parents try to adopt a baby girl from India, his father’s homeland. It takes a long time, but finally Asha arrives, and she has a special bracelet for Arun! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Thank you to Junior Library Guild, the collection development and book review service relied upon by thousands of schools and public libraries, for donating the books for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge!
The Junior Library Guild editorial team reviews more than 3,000 new titles each year, in manuscript or prepublication stage. They have a keen sense for finding the best of the best. Over 95 percent of their selections go on to receive awards and/or favorable reviews.
Here are some of the books that we are giving away as part of our Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge SIGN UP
How does it work?
- Teachers: Sign up for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge HERE.
- Introduce 2 to 4 diversity books to your class by the end of your school year. (Diversity picture book list for 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade tied to Core Curriculum.)
- Earn a FREE Book like ones below for your classroom library. We will match book to your grade’s reading level.