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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.
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.
The amazing defense strategy of the Bombardier beetle! Read more…
How is your holiday shopping going? I typically want to be done before Thanksgiving but this rarely happens. Now, I’m at the point where I’m shopping for a few “perfect-but-not-expensive” gifts for the family that really nail it. That means a lot of searching. And frustration.
So … I’m happy to have discovered Flipp App!
It’s the holiday season which means two things for almost all of us: baking and spending lots of money on loved ones. So today, I am sharing coupons to save money at the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® website! You can save up to $35 on Johnson & Johnson products including these that you might already be using.
My son, now age 10, is the serious gamer. He goes from screen to screen if we are not careful: iPad, computer, TV, Wii, and 3DS. But lately, the 3DS is rarely used; he’s waiting for the newest Pokémon games to come out, so his device is untended and uncharged.
I had purchased other Petz games in the past for his older sisters when they were younger. PickyKidPix (now 12) and Grasshopper and Sensei (now 14) both have DSi that they don’t use at all. When Petz Beach arrived, I was surprised by how my kids pounced on it. Read more…
We are closing out our 12 Days of Shopping with the necessary thank you notes: Day 12 Etiquette of Thank you Notes. Thank YOU so much for joining us in this series. Jeanette and I really enjoyed your company! Thank you again! What gift categories would you like us to cover next year? How about for Valentine’s Day?!
Today we will cover:
- How to write a thank you note
- DIY printable thank you note for kids
For Day 11, I am exploring the art of giving and receiving unwanted gifts and Jeanette has 15 DIY holiday gifts you can make with your kids.
I doubt anyone would ever reject a handmade gift made with love (hence going DIY shows you really care), but are you inadvertently giving gifts that are being regifted? Do your kids know how to react when receiving a gift that does not excite them? What is the etiquette of handling an unwanted gift? I don’t have the answers so I went exploring…
I really liked what The Grio had to say about regifting.
Exchanging at the Store: She says it’s tacky to return for money but exchanging for something more suitable is ok.
Here’s what you say to the giftor (I thought this was genius): “I took the [insert gift] back to the store because it had a [insert defect], but they didn’t have anymore *look really sad for this part *, so I got a [insert much cooler gift] instead.”
The Perils of Regifting: You can’t get caught so you have to think 6 degrees of separation when you decide to regift. Does your intended gift receiver have any connection to the originator of the gift? If there is any hint of that, then No, No, No!! You will get caught and it will be ugly.
Donating Unwanted Gift: Find a local charity and get a two for one. You get rid of it and you get a tax deduction.
Here’s what you say to the giftor (again, pure genius): “Gosh, you know me so well! I already have a [insert gift], so I went ahead and donated the one you gave me to [insert awesome charity]. I know that will make someone really happy.”
Hannukah is late this year, ending on December 24th, so holiday gifting can also roll right into New Year’s Resolutions. Why not gift someone something to help them kick off their goals for the new year? Jeanette and I thought we’d find gifts that help teach something new and help you reach your New Year’s resolution goals.
Jeanette’s New Year’s resolution goals include: personalized volunteer match, exercise trainer, photography class, public speaking like TED, cooking and knitting. I love hers! How about you? Would you give gifts for someone’s New Year’s Resolution? And how do you figure that out?
Artistic New Year’s Resolutions
I’m trying to return to watercolor painting. I used to take a lot of art classes before kids and now I’m ready to start back up. This is my first attempt in nearly a decade. It took me a month to rebuy art supplies, set up my watercolor palette and get myself to sit down and paint again.