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Hoover Cordless 2-In-1 Stick and Handheld Vacuum Rocks!

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.
Hoover Cordless 2-In-1 Stick and Handheld Vacuum Rocks!

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!

Read more…

Gifts that Give Back, a series with Craftwhack

Gifts that Give Back

Jeanette Nyberg of Craftwhack and I have teamed up again to bring you a holiday shopping series.

November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids  (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: HersMine)

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.

DIY Gratitude Advent Calendar

If you need Random Acts of Kindness ideas, I researched them in order to do 48 for my birthday.

RAK, Random Acts of Kindness

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.

Thank you card printable for kids Read more…

Multicultural Adoption Books for Kids

Multicultural Adoption Books for Kids

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

rakhi bracelet

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]

Read more…

Teachers: Earn FREE Diversity Book for Classroom Library

Teachers: Earn FREE Diversity Book for Classroom Library

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!

Junior Library Guild

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.

Junior Library Guild

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?

  1. Teachers: Sign up for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge HERE.
  2. 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.)
  3. Earn a FREE Book like ones below for your classroom library. We will match book to your grade’s reading level.

Read more…

Viewing the Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse from Boston

Viewing the Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse from Boston

Did you catch the supermoon lunar eclipse this past September 27th, 2015? It’s a supermoon and a lunar eclipse or ‘blood moon’ happening at the same time. It was visible around much of the planet in a rare celestial event. The last one was in 1982 and the next one is in 2033.
Bloodmoon super moon lunar eclipse Boston

We watched it here a few miles west of Boston. My iPhone images weren’t great but my friend Stella shared the photo her daughter Sam took.

Boston Bloodmoon super moon lunar eclipseRead more…

Visiting Plymouth for Aunt Jemima® Griddle Melts™

Visiting Plymouth for Aunt Jemima® Griddle Melts™

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aunt Jemima®. The opinions and text are all mine.

My kids like a hot breakfast but I rarely wake up in time to cook for them before school. On the weekends, before their soccer games, it can also be mad scramble to get ready which means that I can not pull off a hot breakfast for them. This last weekend, my daughter had a soccer game down in Plymouth, the oldest city in the world.

Visiting Plymouth for Aunt Jemima® Griddle Melts™We love the city of Plymouth. We’ve gone there for vacation and it’s always a fun school field trip to Plimoth Plantation to learn about the Pilgrims, the Native Americans, and the Mayflower. Plymouth is also home to a huge Walmart where we went to buy Aunt Jemima® Griddle Melts™. Read more…

permalinks

What Not to Do To Get Traffic to Your Blog #InfluencerMarketing

I remember when I started my blog about seven years ago. I wrote a few posts and then sent it to friends and family via email and Facebook. That got me a pop of traffic but then what? How do you get readers?! The kind of readers that come back day after day. It’s an addicting quest and I’ve made many mistakes on this journey of If You Build It, They Will Come. Let me share my most spectacular mistakes with you!

How To Get Traffic for Your Blog

permalinks

Permalink Nightmare

If you are like me and you set up your blog in ignorance, you might not even know what a permalink is. I didn’t. My WordPress blog template had a default permalink setting (that’s the link that is created for each post) that used numbers. I never really thought about my permalink. It was just there.

But then I took an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) class and I learned that the permalink IF IT HAS WORDS SUCH AS THE WORDS IN YOUR TITLE can generate traffic from search engine queries. But, of course, mine had numbers. So I just switched it on the back-end of my blog so that my permalink used the title of my post.

Disaster!

Please go here to read rest of post.

Brands are searching for voices like yours. A TapInfluence profile is a great way to atract attention from top brands who are ready to harness the power of influencer marketing. To get started, create your free profile here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TapInfluence, the leader in connecting influencers with opportunities to collaborate with brands.


Goosebumps Movie Book

Goosebumps Movie Activities from Scholastic!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Scholastic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Do you like scary movies? I get so scared that I can’t watch them, but my kids are braver than I am! I did see the trailer for Goosebumps at the last movie that I went to and I loved that it was about all the Goosebumps books! This big-screen adventure is based on the Goosebumps books written by R.L. Stine, with R.L. Stine played by none other than Jack Black.

Goosebumps Movie for Halloween

Of course, capturing the monsters from the Goosebumps books that come alive will take some know how. Reading the books will help!

I love that Scholastic has collaborated with Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation on this movie. Families can celebrate Halloween by seeing the Goosebumps movie in theatres and checking out all kinds of movie tie-ins they’ve created! Read more…

Alcatraz Book List for Kids

Alcatraz Book List for Kids

My girls visited Alcatraz this past summer and it didn’t freak them out. I wondered if it would. PickyKidPix has been obsessed with psychics and mediums lately, and watches Lisa Williams a little too much.

Alcatraz Book List for KidsIt could be that we live in a old house which is NOT haunted but there are certainly stories of houses in our neighborhood that could very well be cohabited with ghosts.

Alcatraz prison cell with toilet

Still, it would be easy to get creeped out by seeing a jail cell in Alcatraz. Isn’t it exactly like a movie set of what a prison cell should look like? I guess it’s good that they visited in broad daylight!

Alcatraz Book List for Kids Read more…