IN PRINT... ONLINE... AND ON THE GO!

BLOG

January 14, 2021

The KindHumans Story

With everything that has happened in 2020, we wanted to introduce you to our friends at Kindhumans! Their “Gift Kindness” campaign focuses on planet-friendly gift options For Her, For Him, Furry Friends, Treat Yourself and gift cards.

This year, choose gifts that are good for people and the planet—and help create a kinder world! Support this BIPOC, women owned, eco-friendly family business and their new Marketplace for Good. 3% of each purchase supports awesome causes like Stoked.orgSeaTrees and 501cTHREE. All of our 3rd party products meet our ethical and sustainable high standards. Want to Pass on Kindness with us this holiday season?

The KindHumans Story

KindHumans founded by wife and husband team, is a movement for good and spotlights kind humans, causes and non-profits in need of support. Justin and Suzi Wilkenfeld who were motivated to make a difference and ensure their children were raised to be kind, launched a marketplace for good to elevating community, commerce and world-changing causes. Together, the “Three Cs” form the mission of the KindHumans brand.

“I don’t care if our kids are the smartest or most athletic, I just want them to be kind humans,” said Suzi Wilkenfeld, co-founder of KindHumans. “They are the basis for KindHumans and our mission to connect good people with responsible brands.”

Our amazing community is taking the next step forward with our KindHumans holiday campaign with a gift of kindness to our membership program. We’d love you and your audience to be a part of our marketplace for good. Perks include 2% cash back, a welcome package and doubling down on KindHumans’ givebacks on acts of kindness to benefit kids, the planet or humanitarian aid. 

For 2020, our “Gift Kindness” includes amazing presents For Her, For Him, Furry Friends, Stocking Stuffers, Treat YourSelf and gift cards.

Our original 'Kindness. Pass It On!' hat is popular for everyone on your list.

December 22, 2020

Five At-Home Activities to Help Kids Enjoy a Pandemic Holiday

The holiday break sounds like a magical time with fewer commitments, lazy days cozying up with hot cocoa, and quality, quiet time with family. But in reality, cabin fever sets in and kids complain there’s nothing to do. Even worse, they are glued to their screens all day long and never get off the couch. Most parents agree that kids are happier when they are active, but with so many indoor activity centers closed it can be challenging to find engaging activities that are fun, safe, and don’t require expensive equipment.

To help parents, youth sports and learning experts at Skyhawks Sports Academy and STEM Sports® recommend five fun activities to get children active during the holiday break. They’re easy to learn and use objects found in most households.  Bonus – there may or may not be a STEM-learning hidden in these activities, so it’s a win-win.

  • Farthest Football Throw: We all know a key skill for a quarterback is to throw the football accurately and for distance, but even the pros fall short or overthrow the ball. So, grab a football and a measuring tape and start a fun competition to see which family member can throw the ball the farthest. Have each person try it 3 times and record the results. This activity will also teach your children math skills as they calculate the distance between the farthest and the shortest throws. 
  • Glove Grip Test: Notice how many football players wear gloves during the game? It’s not because they’re cold, it’s because the gloves give them a better grip while catching and passing the ball. To test it out, gather different types of gloves you may find around the house – sports gloves, boxing gloves, leather gloves, mittens, dish cleaning gloves, or even disposable gloves. Try passing the football and catching it from different distances and with different gloves to notice the difference in grip and accuracy when throwing and catching.
  • Basketball Tower Challenge: Make your child an engineer for the day by making basketball towers. All you need are a few easy-to-find materials: newspaper, masking tape, and a basketball. The goal is to roll up several sections of newspaper tightly to create poles for a scaffolding that will be strong enough to hold the basketball without tipping over. This will teach children problem-solving skills and critical thinking. In addition, it emphasizes the use of soft skills such as teamwork and how to deal with and recover from failure.
  • Playing Card Fitness: This is a fun activity with simple exercises that is enjoyable for the whole family and can be played indoors in any size room. All you need are a deck of cards. To play, each participant picks a card, and depending on the suit and value on the card, everyone completes the exercise. Every suit represents a different exercise like hearts = pushups, diamonds = jumping jacks, clubs = sit-ups, and spades = squats; and the value on the card represents the rep count like number 2 – 9 = 2 to 9 reps, face card = 11 reps and ace = 12 reps. To make it more fun and a little competitive, see who can complete all the rounds first to decide a winner or add up all the reps to see who did the most.
  • Fireworks in a Jar: This is a great project for younger children. Take a clear glass and fill it with equal parts of oil and water. The oil floats to the top because it is less dense than water. Then add a drop of food coloring and watch as the drop sinks through the oil and bursts once it hits the water. This demonstrates that food coloring is denser than oil because it sinks. Experiment with different amounts of water, oil, and food coloring, and encourage questions – you can always Google the answers!

For children interested in taking STEM learning to the next level, Skyhawks and STEM Sports® offer in-person and virtual programs using sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills. For more information, visit https://www.skyhawks.com/.

About Skyhawks Sports Academy

Skyhawks Sports Academy is a youth sports camp organization based in Spokane, Washington. Skyhawks was founded in Spokane in 1979 as a soccer program for children to learn sports in a fun, safe, and non-competitive environment. Skyhawks currently offers programs in more than 11 different sports including Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football, Baseball, Multi-Sport, Tennis, Mini-Hawk, Lacrosse, Golf, Volleyball, Cheerleading, and Track & Field for children ages 4-14 across North America. The format of our programs includes traditional week-long summer day camps, year-round after-school programs, sports leagues, and clinics. For more information, visit https://www.skyhawks.com.

About STEM Sports®

STEM Sports® provides standards-aligned, turnkey K-8 supplemental curricula that use various sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills in classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. Our double-play combination of physical activity and cognitive thinking provides a comprehensive, inquiry-based educational experience and a solution for crucial STEM literacy for students. As a result, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem-solving, and leadership skills that can be applied throughout their education and future careers.

Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, our curricula will cultivate and promote participants' STEM engagement and retention. STEM Sports® provides all of the necessary and relevant sports equipment along with the entire list of supplies called for in the teacher/administer manual and all of the items have a long-lasting shelf life. Learn with us at www.STEMSports.com.

December 15, 2020

A trip to pick out our Christmas Tree

2020 has been such a roller coaster of a year. As we look toward the positives of the holiday season, our family decided to put our Christmas tree up earlier than normal.

This year to make it special we decided on 2 trees! Why not! Two Fresh, big beautiful trees to brighten the holidays and our house. One for the living room and one for the 3 season porch.

My first thought was how we would ever get them home from the tree farm? The tree farm was 45 minutes away! Well, that was not a problem at all when we had a 2021 Chevy Suburban!

The Chevy Surburan is the longest-running nameplate in automotive history at 85 years. For the 2021 model Chevrolet has taken what people love most about the Suburban and made it even better – with more room for people and cargo, advanced technologies and unmatched driving experience.

The five of us had ample room in the 2021 Suburban. We were traveling in comfort! The third row in the Suburban has been enhanced on the 2021 model to offer a more comfortable chair height long with more leg room than the previous generation. Leg room is essential when traveling with tall teenagers. The All-New Suburban also offers the most advanced available suspension in its class with an independent rear suspension, available Magnetic Ride Control™ and a first-in-class Four-Corner Air Ride Adaptive Suspension.

During the drive my son took over the Technology options. The Rear-Seat Media System, Head-Up Display, Apple CarPlay, 4G LTE Wi-FI and the HD Camera Views!

Once at the farm we inspected many trees. Finally agreed on 2 trees that would be perfect for our home. My son got low to the ground and cut the trunk straight across. Perfect!

Now to transport the trees home! We put up a tarp and the netted trees on top of the Chevy Suburban. I learned that the stump always faces toward the front of the vehicle. This is the most aerodynamic way to transport the tree. We laid the trees directly over top the cross rails, looped twine over and around, and repeat to cinch with a “figure-8” motion. This protected the tree from moving around while we drove home.

We brought our trees home with out any problems in this SUV. Both trees fit on top with no issues at all. For comfort and cargo space the 2021 Chevy Suburban is the way to go!

November 30, 2020

Goodtimer

"Goodtimer is the hottest new educational toy of 2020! Developed for kids ages 3-10, this five-time award-winning product is all about encouraging kids to do their best every day! Goodtimer is an interactive and friendly clock-like companion that glows with soothing green lights and encouraging sounds that motivate kids to earn Good Time©. What's Good Time?  Unlike "time outs" that punish bad behavior, Goodtimer helps kids earn Good Time when they're following your family's house rules. What's great about Goodtimer is it's customizable to meet your family's unique values. Good Time can be earned for anything that kids and parents agree to, such as simple age-appropriate tasks like making their bed, household chores, getting homework done, brushing their teeth, or just being good listeners. With Goodtimer, it's totally up to your family.  The best part is, kids LOVE feeling celebrated for their accomplishments when they earn Goodtimer tokens they can save and exchange for fun incentives

More than just a toy that kids will play with once and then get bored with, Goodtimer's smart software and adjustable difficulty settings will grow with your child, encouraging them to form healthy habits for years to come.  No wonder both parents and kids love Goodtimer! Discover why Goodtimer is getting noticed by Mothering Magazine, The Toy Insider, and more; and why Creative Child Magazine made Goodtimer their 2020 Product of the year!   

Each Goodtimer includes the Goodtimer device, the Goodtimer children's book, a decorative sticker sheet, a charging cable, 32 reusable tokens, a plush token pouch, 24/7 customer support from certified parenting experts, and exclusive access to positive parenting resources. Available at www.gogoodtimer.com and Amazon.”

 Looking for a great holiday gift idea for young children? See why thousands of parents are calling @GoGoodTimer “The Must-Have Holiday Gift of 2020”.  Also, Goodtimer is running an BIG promotion beginning on Thanksgiving morning and continuing through Cyber Monday where you purchase Goodtimer for ONLY $48 with promo code GIVE40. 

Shop #GoGoodtimer: https://gogoodtimer.com/

November 19, 2020

Gardening and houseplants topped the charts of 2020 home and lifestyle trends.

From the hottest houseplants to “victory garden-ready” tools, the Garden Media Group 2020 Holiday Gift Guide has the trending plant gifts to bring beauty home this holiday season.

September 14, 2020

Back to School Supplies

Back-to-school is coming even if we are ready or not! Some families will be home schooling, some will have online school, some a mix of on-site and online, but everyone, no matter where or how school happens, will need pencils and supplies. Experts are predicting that some kids may need two sets of supplies, one at home and one at school, so value is more important than ever.

USA Gold and USA Titanium offers high-quality wood pencils sourced with American wood and finished in Tennessee.  With almost 60 years of pencil making, USA Titanium continues a family-run legacy in Lewisburg, Tennessee and a vital part of an American community.   

·      USA Titanium pencils are high quality, high value.  Compare them to your favorite pencil and see what a difference American quality can make!  With their satin smooth black finish for enhanced writing comfort,  USA Titanium pencils are available exclusively at Walmart in packs of 12, 24, and 36 pencils. Last year, these were the No. 1 selling pencil at Walmart for 2019 BTS time frame.

·      A favorite with moms, teachers and kids, Scribble Stuff Felt Tip Pens are bold and bright. Kids find it easier to take notes and study with colorful pens and add some pizzazz to drawing and art projects!  And teachers will find they make paper grading fun. These long lasting, vivid pens have a fine point tip for easy of writing and won’t bleed through the paper.  Available in 24 bright colors and an awesome price make it easy to add some fabulous fun to your child’s school day. Scribble Stuff also makes popular gel pens and scented gel pens. Available in assorted packs at Walmart, Target and Amazon.com

September 10, 2020

College dropoff - how to get all the stuff there!

This September was a bittersweet one for our family, we had college Freshman and a two hour trip with a lot of stuff! We not only have the emotional roller coaster of dropping your son/daughter off at college. But wait, there is also the logistics of how will this stuff all fit in our car!

We knew we could not fit the comforters, back pillows, clothes, end tables, tv's, ect. for 2 Freshman in our car! Instead of packing 2 cars we were lucky enough to have a 2020 Chevy Silverado! This truck is amazing and fit everything! The cargo storage in the 2020 Silverado bed has more cargo volume, a higher-strength steel bed floor and more tie downs with a power up/ down tailgate. We fit everything in the truck for not one but 2 freshman to live comfortably in their dorm rooms.

Tutions, computers and filling a dorm room to keep them comfortable is expensive. Another wonderful perk of the 2020 Chevy Silverado is the Fuel Efficiency. The Silverado is a full-size track with an EPA-estimated rating of 29 mpg highway and 23 mpg city. The engineers started with a clean-sheet design to develop the all-new engine for the first diesel offered in Chevy’s light-duty truck lineup since 1997. This Silverado 3.oL Turbo-Diesel is perfect for those who want the capability and driving range of a diesel in a lightweight truck.

The two hour drive with teenagers is much better when you have Carplay and Android Auto. Both of these applications enable phone users to display certain apps and functionality from their phone on the vehicle‘s infotainment display. Thus allowing them to control those apps and functions via the vehicle‘s infotainment system touchscreen or voice commands. The teenagers loved this feature and took it over immediately. Of course, the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot capability of pairing up to seven devices, as well as improved access to existing OnStar and security services were also a big hit!

The trip was so much easier with the 2020 Chevy Silverado, and took a lot of stress out of an emotional day! See you in November as I drove home in an empty but comfortable Silverado.

August 26, 2020

Tips for Balancing Remote Work and Full-Time Parenting During COVID-19

Many parents are currently navigating an entirely new normal: Working from home while taking care of their kids full-time. As school picks back up and many kids remain at home for remote learning, figuring out how to balance their schedule and a full-time job sometimes feels totally unmanageable.

Most parents have had experience working remotely in one-off, unplanned situations. However, working at home day in and day out for the foreseeable future while also caring for (and in some cases, teaching) kids at home proves to be a major struggle without careful planning where needed and flexibility when possible.

Read on to learn how to create better routines and habits that can help parents maintain a healthy work-life integration:

1. When possible, keep things flexible
This is often easier said than done. However, when you do have the ability, consider getting creative with your work schedule to base your hours around your kids’ schedules. Giving yourself the flexibility to work differently during this time is crucial to maintaining work-life balance. 

This can work in a variety of ways. For example, if you’re an early morning person or a night owl, or you are used to commuting a long way, consider working on projects during these times when kids are usually sleeping. Of course, there will always be vital tasks and meetings that require collaboration with your colleagues during regular work hours, but finding ways to give yourself time for small breaks during the day will help you and your kids stay on track.            
 
2. Establish a kid-free zone
There will be times when you need to hunker down and complete work items free from distractions, which is why it is important to establish an area of the house where you can separate yourself from your family. 
 
Not only is it important for this space to be free from other people, but it also needs to be free from other distractions such as dirty laundry and other messes. Keeping the area clean and organized will keep you from wanting to disengage from work to complete other tasks.

3. Clearly communicate with your family
If you have a partner who is also working from home and sharing kid duties with you, it is crucial to communicate the times you can and cannot help out during the day. Setting these expectations will allow for a much smoother daily routine.

It is also important to communicate with your children if they are old enough. Set expectations for when there will be breaks in your day that you can check-in, whether it be a quick snack break, lunch, or even hourly check-ins. 

4. Utilize special toys and screen time during work hours
Set aside designated toys and other gadgets, as well as movies or TV shows, to be used when you need to focus-in during the day. This will give your kids something to look forward to and will allow for some distraction-free work time.
 
5. Don’t overwork
During this time, it can be easy to feel like we need to push ourselves to work extra hours, but the reality is that taking the time to unplug and reset each day is critical to success as a parent and an employee.
 
With schools and offices closed, parents are likely finding themselves faced with a to-do list that has only grown. Although many of us have now had a few months to settle into fully-remote work, that does not mean keeping up with distance-learning while figuring out the best way to accomplish your work has gotten any easier. Designing a schedule that fits your needs is easier said than done, but following the above tips should help ensure you are on the right track.

Should you find yourself out of work during this time, consider that there are other work options out there, such as freelance and contract work, that may help you meet your scheduling and finance needs. Freelancing is also a great source of supplemental income for people while they look for new full-time employment. Just make sure you choose the right platform to help you get the right kind of projects, such as Bunny Studio

By: Sheyla Scaffo, People Experience Associate & Executive Business Administrator at Bunny Studio

August 11, 2020

Understanding Pandemic Pods… And All Your School Choices This Year

If you’ve stumbled into an education conversation or joined a parent discussion group recently, you’ve surely heard of pods or micro-schools. As families grapple with a changing education environment, some hope to find the flexibility, safety, and community they desire in small, local learning arrangements called learning pods.

Micro-schools, pods, pandemic pods, and learning pods all refer to the same concept, one that is pretty easy to understand: students gathering together in a small group – with adult supervision – to learn, explore, and socialize. Usually, pods are formed when families in a neighborhood or vicinity bring children similar in age group together. Parents and students in a learning pod have significant flexibility. Based on the needs of the community it serves, a pod may gather for just 10-20 hours a week or only certain days. Families may work independently the remainder of the time.

Why pods? Interest in pods has spiked due to the pandemic. In pods, many families see an education environment where their children can learn and socialize with fewer health and safety concerns. In a recent poll of families nationwide, just 1/3 of parents said they were comfortable sending their child back to school under the present circumstances. This means there’s a lot of parents who are looking for alternative learning environments. For many, pods seem like a way to both prioritize safety and engage in much-needed in-person learning and community. In fact, the Chicago Tribune described pods as “Equal parts traditional homeschooling and Mary Poppins-style nurturing — with a COVID-19 sheltering-in-place twist.”

Learning pods may be a popular topic of conversation, but It’s important to understand what kind of pod you’re signing up for and whether it meets your child’s necessary school requirements. Pods can take a variety of legal forms. Some pods are private micro-schools, others are support groups for online schools, and some are simply homeschool co-ops.  

National School Choice Week’s guide to school choice in Connecticut includes all the details on how to start or join a learning pod. Beyond pods, it lays out information on all types of school choice in Connecticut: traditional public school, public charter school, public magnet school, private school, online school, and homeschooling. Whether it’s a learning pod or your neighborhood public school, finding the right fit for your family this year starts with knowing your options.  

National School Choice Week is an independent, non-political, non-partisan public awareness effort that works to inform parents about the options they have for their child’s education. 

August 6, 2020

Weekend adventure in a 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir

We were lucky enough to have a 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir for a weekend so the kids and I decided to go on an adventure! We jumped in a 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir, which is such a beautiful and roomy car!

For the ride, my son used the wireless charging pad and hooked "his" music up to the bluetooth. We were off to seek out the gems in outside gems of Connecticut.

Silver Sands State Park in Milford was our destination. This is one of the great state parks in Connecticut. Silver Sands has 297 -acres of a massive recreation area that is home to many dunes, restored salt marsh, open areas, woodlands, a beach, and the bird sanctuary. We had a full day of swimming walking and walking the boardwalk.

At the end of the day we climbed back into the 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir for our hour ride home. This car comfortably fit all 5 of us plus our beach gear and extras we brought with us. Our ride home was comfortable and enjoyable for all.

If you are seaching for a new family car, this one is a beauty!

Some important features to note on the 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir:
- Premium Appointments: Everything from the wood tone accents to the leather appointed seats, there is luxury in every detail.
- Advanced Technology: (based on what you used!)
o Wireless Charging - modern amenities like a standard wireless smartphone charging pad
o Apple CarPlay/Android Auto – enables you to display certain apps and functionality from your phone on the vehicle‘s infotainment display
o 4G LTE WiFi Connectivity – comes with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot capable of pairing up to seven devices so everyone stays connected
- Safety: To help raise your awareness when driving, Enclave Avenir empowers you with an advanced suite of safety technologies, including standard features like Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert.

<< prev - page 1 of 8 - next >>