Friday, November 19, 2010

An Awesome Gift for Teachers

OMG! Eeek! I Just 'discovered' Dallas Clayton's Awesome Books and all I can say is WOW.

This is now at the top of the Christmas list.

My kiddos (I) NEED this book in their (my)lives.

Also, we are definitely getting the Awesome Book of Thanks for the kid's teachers this year.

You can read both books online here

If you haven't already read his blog, it's a must. There so much there that is inspiring, and truth, and simple, and beautiful.

Check it out:



Have you already taken
the greatest photograph that you will ever take?
What does it look like?
Where do you keep it?
How do you know?

As an adult
have you run
top speed
naked through a field?

More than once?

Have you been inside every
room in your house today?

How about every closet?

How long since you’ve been in every closet?

Too long I bet.

There’s plenty to be learned in those closets.
Wasted snapshots.

And you paid for them.

Get in there.

Root around.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tool of the Day: MoneyPack and Paypal

We use Paypal all the time. 90% of our clients prefer to pay via Paypal and the money goes right to your pocket if you have the Paypal Debit card. We also constantly pay developers and freelancers this way. Recently we've been buying Greendot MoneyPack cards at RiteAid and Radio Shack to add money to the Paypal account and have even had a client pay us this way as well. There is a $4.95 fee to buy the card, but as far as I know, Paypal doesn't charge you a fee when the money hits your account, so if you're sending someone a big chunk of money, this is the way to go.

Today I saw this promotion where they'll give you $10 if you add funds using a MoneyPack card. This only applies to first time customers, so I'm out of luck, but maybe one of you can use it. You'll also be entered into a drawing to win $1000.

Get $10 Free

I don't get anything out of presenting this offer to you. Just good Karma.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tool of The Day:

I have another cool website to share with you this week:

The boys and I have been using it to practice our morning and evening routines and get chores done over the summer. We love it and I'll tell you why in a minute.

Here's How It Works:
You (The Parent) create an account then add your children each with a picture and password. 

Next you add 'jobs' for the kids, which can be anything from daily routine basics to household chores to working on long term homework assignments or practicing lines for Drama. Then you get to assign how many points will be earned for completing each task. I love that you can set different values for different jobs. For example, making the bed is 5 points while emptying trash cans is 15.

There are preset jobs to choose from or you can create your own and even add your own little picture for each job. Decide when the task should be done, whether it's morning, afternoon, daily, weekly or only certain days. Assign the job to one or more kids and save it.

At first this seemed kind of daunting to add all the stuff I wanted to do, but I decided it was best for me and the kids to just add a few new jobs each week. As some things become habits, like brushing teeth in the morning or making your bed, I will probably reduce the points value or remove them all together.

THE FUN PART: Create cool prizes that your kids can buy with their points. When they have racked up enough points they can go to 'My Store' and buy one of the rewards.

My guys have earned things like trip to the park, family game night, extra story time, ice cream cones and the favorites: Nintendo DSIs and Mario, Luigi & Buzz Lightyear Piggy Banks (which I found on eBay for $1 each!).

I love that there is less whining about getting the chores done and they love logging on to check of their jobs and of course THE REWARDS!

Feeling like your work as mom needs more benefits? Make a child account for your inner-brat too :) And treat yourself to manicures, new shoes and Me-Time!

Oh! And It's FREE! Check It Out

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tool of The Day -

I recently created a signature for my email and have been using it in newsletters for the business too. I love it and have had several comments on it so thought I would share here.

I made the signature online here

While the site isn't too flashy, it offers a simple online tool where you just type your text, pick a font, size, pitch and color and then can save the image to your computer or grab the URL and use it in your email signatures. Also great for forum sigs and (duh!) blog posts. I guess I should add it to my blog too! They also have a feature where you can just draw your own, but that is probably best when you have a drawing pad.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gorilla Vanilla

Jules' new favorite snack. He named it and even though it doesn't have Vanilla in it, I like the name :)

Gorilla Vanilla
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1 tblsp Maple syrup
1/2 cup Granola Cereal

Cascadian Farms has a Nut Free flavors!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spoonfower - Say hello to new curtains!

I am looking for new curtains for my 2 double sliding glass doors in the living room. Right now they are brown. And I love brown, but they are plain, and tired and need some life.

I spent 20 minutes on ebay looking for affordable and chic curtain panels... ewww
I spend 30 minutes on JoAnns looking for contemporary and stylish fabric to make my own... barf

I went to etsy to search, got distracted and read about the featured artist who mentioned that she prints all her fabric designs using (Enter gasp of discovery here)

You can make your own fabric? WOW

I am not that artistic. But fortunately so many others are and you can just buy their designs, which are chic, affordable, contemporary, stylish and just plain COOL

Check out some fun designs I found


Against The Current - Medium

Hurche Plaid

Harvest Flower, Summer Joy Collection by Lana Kole

No, I havent decided yet. Now I have too many choices.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tool Of The Day Introduction

Tool of the day is intended to be a regular post offering up some useful (digital) tool to make life easier, prettier, smarter or more fun. Most often they will be Free Tools, because I'm just that cheap ;)

  • No promises to publish a tool of the day everyday
  • Sometimes it may be a little on the tech/nerd side of life
  • I may or may not have an association with the entity providing the tool, but I'll let you know when I do
  • Suggestions are welcome
 First handy helpful tool coming tomorrow...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A new favorite: The Cereal Song

Remember this song?

Well, the band now has out a children's album and we love it. The Cereal song is definitely a new favorite.

The Vere Pipe Website

Had a chance to hear a fantastic interview with the band on Kid's Corner, a local Kids radio show on WXPN here in Philly which is also syndicated on their site which also has a lot of great resources, music and activities for kiddos.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Expressing Gratitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."  -Melody Beattie

What I am Grateful For Today...
The joy and wonder that the Tooth Fairy brings
Iced coffee made in the blender at home
Learning about myself through conversations with new people 
The amazing opportunities that are created by the vision and dedication of DH
Letter-shaped pretzels using the recipe from my childhood cookbook 

...what are you grateful for?(BTW I really think it should be spelled "greatful")

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GoDaddy Promo Codes

Discount Promotional Codes for

For Domains:
QUEEN3 - 30% off .com domain names (just used this one today!)
YES3 - 30% off .com domain names
YES1 - 10% off any order
YES2 - $5 off an order of $30 or more

$ Discount by Order Size:
$30 or more : MIN2 - $5 off
$40 or more : YESOFF - $10 off

% Discount by Order Size:
10% Off: MIN1 - any order size
15% Off : YES15 - $75 or more

For Hosting:

YES20 - 20% off a 1yr or greater hosting plan
MIN1 - 10% off a month to month plan

Also... I broke my blog, but now it's fixed again and you can get here from!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Turn Photos into Video Slideshows

Turn Your Photos or any images into a SlideShow Video for Youtube or DVD

Not really my car... but it is my software and I think it's pretty nifty

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Obsession - Hello Kitty TV

Hello Kitty TVs - LOVE THIS!

and this...
Can't wait until DD has her own room!

Because SHE (um me?) needs one of these!

Sweet Lil' Guys

Your little one is sweet already, but now he can 'dress up' like daddy, right down to the cologne. Jafra Todler Cologne

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Handmade Bagels

Feel like making some fresh bagels today. 
I remember mom making bagels when we were kids. Love the smell of fresh baked bread.
Until I looked up the recipe, I had NO IDEA that you're supposed to boil then bake!

Homemade bagel recipe
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. You don't have to worry about soaking the yeast when you use instant yeast (most yeast sold these days is instant yeast). The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated.

Knead on the counter for about ten minutes, until the dough is smooth

Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.

Pre heat your oven to 425.

Now to make the bagel shape... just watch this handy video I found on YouTube!

Now For The Boiling:
Let your bagels rise on the counter for about 20 minutes
Bing a large pot of water to boil
Lightly grease a large baking tray lightly

Once the bagels have risen (and hopefully the hole did't close up all the way!) add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.

Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they're done! Let them cool for at least 20 minutes and then bring on the cream cheese!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wear The Same Dress Everyday for A Whole Year? Yes!

It's called the Uniform Project, started by a chic lil' lady from Brooklyn and has raised over $103,000 to help kids go to school and buy school uniforms. Basically she had 7 identical dresses, 1 for each day of the week, and wore them for a whole year, with some fabulous accessories of course! Amazing what you can do with 1 LBD and some creativity.

Uniform Project Picture Book from The Uniform Project on Vimeo.

Customize Your Firefox with Personas Plugin

First off, if you're still using Internet Explorer... get with it! You probably have had to take your computer in for repair at least once in the last year, you use Norton or some other anti-virus software to scan for trojans and viruses regularly and your computer is still slow, or maybe you've even had to replace it recently .

One of the best and easiest ways to keep your computer healthy and running smoothly is to use an alternative browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. I've been using Firefox for years now and have no complaints, but I did want to spruce it up a little so I found this fun (and safe) way to customize my Firefox interface using a neat-o plugin called Personas.

Once you've made the switch to Firefox you can have a pretty browser too.

1. Go to and download & install the FREE Personas Plugin for Firefox

2. Once it's installed, you can use the handy little icon in the lower left corner of your browser to click and select a new persona to 'wear'

3. Just rollover the different themes (there are literally thousands!) to try them on and click to set it as your default, or try your hand at making your own... one to match your blog perhaps?

Right now, my browser is wearing "Blue Floral  Abstract" dorky name, yes, but it looks cool.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Breastfeeding is hard!

Ladies! There is no need to put yourself, your baby and your spouse through endless sleepless, tearful nights associated with breastfeeding woes. Just cheat! There is a very helpful product that hospitals, doctors, lactation consultants, nurses and LaLeche league almost NEVER tell new mothers about. Perhaps it is because they themselves are unfamiliar with it. Or perhaps they insist on breastfeeding done the old-fashioned, "worked for thousands of years" way, ignoring the fact that so many mothers start supplementing formula after just a few weeks because of the extreme pain that can be involved in breastfeeding.

Fortunately for me, when my first son was born and we were having exactly these kinds of problems with breastfeeding, my dear mother heard about nipple shields from a friend and mailed me one from across the country. What a lifesaver! With the breast shield in place during feeding, he was able to easily latch-on and stay there for a full meal. The pain associated with cracked, blistering nipples was immediately eased and the sores were healed within a week and I was able to stop pumping between feedings and supplementing bottles. Occasionally I tried feeding without the nipple shield, but found it wasn't worth the struggle so always went back to it.

I relied on nipple shields again with DS (dear sons) 2 and 3, but for some reason when my daughter was born I rebelliously thought we could do without. Oh boy, was I wrong! I should have known better! In the hospital before going home I met with a lactation consultant (first one ever, which is amazing considering this is baby #4). I told her that DD (dear daughter) was doing well latching and feeding, but it was very painful. She tried to help me get her repositioned and a better latch, but there was still a clicking sound while sucking, even when everything appeared to be correctly placed (boob, baby, head, tongue). I decided to grin and bear it because after all, breast is best. After nearly a month of suffering I finally broke-down. I jumped on, ordered 2 and had them shipped overnight for the fastest relief possible.

Below are the two I ordered most recently. I preferred the Ameda one because although the plastic was a little thicker, it stayed in place better, and I didn't really see the value in the odd shape that the one from Medela had, it usually just got in the way.

Finally, I lost both nipple shields at about 3 months. I think they went in the trash by mistake. Good news is that we have been doing just fine without them ever since so I didn't feel the need to re-order.

Have you tried these? Is it okay to cheat at breastfeeding?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TweetDeck for PC

TweekDeck - My newest obsession. Perfect for 10-20 distractions per hour and never getting any work done. On the other hand, it's great for staying on-top of what's what and who's who and since I'm just now getting into this Twitter thing for work, I'm loving how simple it is to view multiple searches all at once. The other day I was watching Celebrity Apprentice and decided to plugin a search for #celebrityappentice in my TweetDeck and discovered what social television really means. It was awesome and amazing and I can say that now I finally 'Get It'... the whole reason behind Twitter, it was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. Fun!

Do you tweet? I would love to follow you! You can find me at

...more software reviews to come later

Top 10 Application for Windows

Considering that I spend about 2/3 (if not more) of my waking hours in front of the warm glow of my laptop screen, thought I would post a list/reviews of the applications I use (nearly) everyday, just for a little nerdy fun. ;)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Saturday Pancakes

Ran out of milk making protein shakes (I know!) for the kids this morning, so now what to do about breakfast?


1 c. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. water
2 tbsp. butter, melted

Mix dry ingredients. Add egg and liquids; stir thoroughly. Add butter and stir. Bake on a griddle and serve. The evaporated milk gives the pancakes a light texture.

Guess we're off on another adventure to the grocery store after breakfast. Can't Wait.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rules to Live By

Had this list sitting on my desk for a couple days now, then I read This post by The Cheap Chic Momma and felt inspired to post it here.

My new Rules for 2010:
1. Finish what you start, 1 thing at a time
2. Pay someone else to do it!
3. Raise your standards, don't settle for less than the best

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Life Is A Blender

I love to make smoothies and considered myself to be on a first name basis with the blender. Today I greedily dumped a whole bag of Dole Tropical Fruit blend (which I love because it already has the bananas in it) and poured in some fresh OJ and the poor blendie was FULL (um I guess I usually do just 1/2 a bag of fruit!).So, I started it up and gradually increased speeds to 10, as usual. But the contents proved to be too much for it's speed limit of 10 (or so I thought) Don't know why but I hit the + button again and delightfully discovered MY BLENDER CAN GO FASTER THAN I EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE! Made it all the way to the rip-roarin' speed of 18. Of course it SAYS right on the base that it's a freakin' 18 speed blender, but who reads those things anyway?!

So, my metaphor for life? Just when you think you're maxed out or have already reached your potential, push it a little more. You might be surprised to find you have a lot more power than you ever imagined.

Now how do I store the leftovers? I don't have any ice cube trays b/c the freezer has an ice dispenser!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Left Handed Preschooler

I am starting to get the idea that my 4yr old is left handed. Of course, I have had indications in the past, but never really paid much attention to it. Now that we are working on things like handwriting and lettering, it's becoming a more frequent question. If anything, he may be ambidextrous He can write and eat with his right hand, but often chooses to use his left. Both hands are very shaky when writing or tracing lines, and he ALWAYS plays the guitar the other way 'round. There are some simple tests you can do to see if your child has a left-handed preference and I am thinking I will do some of these throughout the week... just to see :)

BabyCenter Article:

Dr.Spock Article,1510,5812,00.html

Potato Chip Chicken Nuggets

Take the challenge! Any flavor potato chip will work for your own taste buds! It will work for a meal or appetizer!

* 2 cups of your favorite potato chips, crushed (I used sour cream and onion)

* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
* other spices for taste (I added some Garlic Salt and Adobo All purpose seasoning and basil)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spread the crushed potato chips in shallow dish.
3. Beat together the egg & milk in a shallow bowl.
4. Dip the chicken cubes into egg mixture & then dredge them in the chips.
5. Place the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet (line with tin foil for easy cleanup)
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
7. The nuggets can be frozen after baking!

SERVE: with honey mustard :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Goals for 2010

We ended 2009 with a strong finish, selling off all the companies and products we had developed over the past year (including the kid's web browser created in-part with the oldest boy... although we kept the Harry and Jules brand) and are now entering 2010 with a fresh palette and some clear goals for the year.

I think we've finally come to understand that what we do best is build and sell companies/products... and accept that taking them to market is NOT our forte. DH is great at coming up with innovative technologies (has written and sold at least 10 patents in the last 5 years), and now we have developed an established process for building the products, creating the Intellectual property, then branding and presenting them for acquisition. So, we've got big plans and 10 more products in R&D already, as well as a new umbrella company to house all the development efforts and I am really excited at what I know we can accomplish this year.

What goals have you set for the new year?

1 Month and Counting....

Well, the baby is Officially due February 20th... and hoping I get the full month to prepare because I am not ready yet (physically and mentally)! Just wondering if it's possible to stock-up on sleep like you do diapers, because I know it's going to be at a premium once there is a newborn in the house again. The gender will be a surprise because during the ultrasound, the baby was keeping legs crossed tight and we were unable to see... so it's anyone's guess.

My mom is making plans to come out and stay for a few weeks to help out with the boys. Hopefully we are timing it right so she will be able to be at home with the boys during the delivery. We are all looking forward to that (the boys for someone to play with and DH & I for the extra helping hands!)

Fiona Apple - Shadowboxer