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Asian furniture designers, Asian designers, Asian artisans, interior design, modern Asian furniture

Asian Furniture Design and Asian Furniture Designers

I’m been researching Asian American and Asian furniture designers and artisans. Grasshopper and Sensei is enjoying the finds I am discovering and now she’s even talking about being an architect or furniture designer someday when she grows up. It’s not just the beautiful forms I’m searching for; it’s also the stories behind the designs.

Take George Nakashima who is a recent discovery for me. A Japanese American, he was forced into concentration camps when his youngest was just 6 weeks old. He and his family ended up settling in Pennsylvania where he started building his compound, one stone at a time. Today, he is considered the father of the American Craft movement.

His pieces tell a story of time, the uniqueness of each tree, and the artisan who brings that story to life. They have a timeless quality that really appeals to me. You can really fall in love with his work.

George Nakashima

George Katsutoshi Nakashima (Japanese: 中島勝寿 Nakashima Katsutoshi, May 24, 1905 – June 15, 1990) was a Japanese-American woodworker,architect, and furniture maker who was one of the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design and a father of the American Craft movement.

I love this dining room table and the chairs as well. George talks about bringing the soul of a tree to life. What a wonderful way to think about furniture making! Read more…

K'NEX Extreme Sports motorcycle

Staying Off Screens and K’NEX GIVEAWAY

My 8-year-old son is off this week while his sisters are in day camp. One is playing soccer with some members of the FC Barcelona coaching staff, the other is learning hot glass blowing. This is a good week for all my kids as they fulfil their dreams but not so much for me and my husband. We are crisscrossing across Boston suburbs to drive them to their camps battling traffic, limited parking and narrow streets. Thank goodness for car pools!

I did not do any preparation for my son’s week off like I did last summer. My only strategy to keep him off screens is to play with K’NEX sets. I am an blog ambassador for them and my son would agree that the most awesome box just arrived.

Angry Birds Space: Red Planet “Hogs on Mars” Building Set

My son loves Angry Birds and I have an iTunes bill to prove it! iGame Mom had great ideas on keeping boys off screens by doing video game extensions … like book extensions, it takes boys off screens to act out their favorite games. Genius!

K'NEX Angry Birds, K'NEX gaming toys, Read more…

LifeProof nuud iphone 5 case

LifeProof Case Giveaway: The new nüüd case!

My girls really want the LifeProof case so badly that they are willing to complete their summer math workbooks to earn one. I had actually ordered two of them for prizes when Natalie from LifeProof, whom I met at BlogHer last year, offered me one to try out.

My daughters want to use the LifeProf case to take underwater photos during our upcoming trip to California to celebrate their grandmother’s 90th birthday. They very much want to try out the new LifeProof nüüd iPhone Case but it’s for an iPhone 5 and they have the iPhone 4.

The new LifeProof case is waterproof, drop proof, dirt proof and snow proof. It’s for the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy SIII. I’m not sure how they did it, but the LifeProof nüüd cases leave the screen completely naked, yet are still waterproof. They are the only waterproof and drop proof cases that let you touch the actual screen.

iPhone 5 Lifeproof nuud caseRead more…

Tinkertoys for boys, Tinkertoy giveaway

Tinkertoy GIVEAWAY to Celebrate 100 Years

Can you believe that Tinkertoys is turning 100 this year?! To celebrate this great milestone, I am doing a Tinkertoy Giveaway of a special 100 piece essential set before it hits the stores next month. K’NEX is also launching Tinkertoy’s very own Facebook page!

If you played with Tinkertoys as a child, you’ll notice that it has morphed from wood to plastic.

original tinkertoys, original wooden tinker toys


My son, a rising 2nd grader, saw the box and balked at first at playing with the toy. He saw the little girl on the box and the ages 3+ and thought it was for babies.

Tinker Toy 100 piece setRead more…

Mario toys from K'NEX

Screen Free Week Ideas using K’NEX! GIVEAWAY

Thank goodness a shipment of K’NEX came this past week. We are trying to cut back on screens for Screen Free Week and my biggest challenge is my 8-year-old son who like to simultaneously play video games on the computer while watching TV and eating a snack. I need more screen free week ideas!

I met Kate from K’NEX at BlogHer12 and am thrilled to be part of their blogger ambassador program. The first box of K’NEX toys arrived and I called my son off the multi-screens.  He came reluctantly but then his eyes lit up when he saw the goodies.

The first thing he went for were the little packages of Mario Brothers figures. He didn’t touch the Star Wars packages so I am giving those away. He’s not a Star Wars fan (yet…)!

Mario Brother K'NEX toysRead more…

Lysol No Touch System, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Lysol No Touch GIVEAWAY

I was so impressed when I met the Lysol folks at BlogHer12. They were really nice and I was able to speak to Dr. Laura Jana, a rockstar pediatrician that I’d stalk to get into her practice if she lived in Boston. (She doesn’t).

So when Michelle Vroom asked if I’d cover the new Lysol No-Touch System, of course I would. Yes, that’s her real name. Vroom. How great to have a last name with onomatopoeia! And just in time for April’s National Poetry month!

Word of the Day

onomatopoeia (on·o·mato·poe·ia)

Definition 1: the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss)
Definition 2: the use of words whose sound suggests the sense
Her name is also in a famous children’s book!

Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems … Vroom-Vroom Vroomy Vroom-Vroom. Read more…

educents, discount educational products for kids,

Educents: Discount Educational Products!

Discount Educational Toys and Games

Educents is a daily deals website featuring educational products at 30-90% off!

They are about to launch their site and to get the word out, they are offering a free $15 gift card to my readers if you sign up before launch! Click here to sign up.

educents, discount educational products for kids,

They will have programs such as foreign language, reading, math, science, art, and more including educational toys and games, as well as books and other items. Basically everything you can think of in terms of educational materials to help kids learn. I asked about exact brands and items but the paperwork is not quite done yet so they can’t disclose it.

I received a small stipend to help get the word out. I am personally excited to buy educational products at a discount!  I just signed up myself.


best tablet computer for kids, best tablet for kids, best kids computer, best tablet for toddlers

What’s the Best Kid’s Tablet?

Carl Laron from

Tablet computers are expected to be hot sellers this holiday season, topping the gift lists for both parents and their kids. At, we dig pretty deeply into the many choices available — and name the tablets we think are the top picks for most users. When picking a tablet for your son or daughter, however, there are a few extra things you need to think about. Read more…

Felix Doolittle, book plates for kids, custom book plates, book labels for kids

Lovely Custom Book Plates for Kids GIVEAWAY

Custom Book Plates for Kids

I’m always looking for ideas to get kids reading and sometimes little toys do the trick.  Grasshopper and Sensei started working at a commercial art studio in town, doing an old fashioned apprenticeship in exchange for art lessons. Read more…