Even in a world where much of our communication is via keyboard and screen, there’s still something wonderful about a handwritten note or a real-life a holiday or birthday card without any dancing emoticons.
I have spend much of my life chafing against the constraints of the handwritten note (please, not another thank you note!), but I am still very much a lover of pen and paper. And nothing about receiving an email compares to the excitement of opening up a real, stamped envelope.
Minted.com is an online stationery store powered by a global community of designers–which means that artists and designers all over the world submit their creations to try to win their chance to be your next holiday card or stationery design.
As a lifelong New Yorker, I’ve been to my share of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades–I can’t say that I ever spent too much time contemplating how the spectacular balloons get from the drawing board to the actual parade.
As the niece of a former theater set designer and the wife of a graphic designer, I probably should have given it a little bit more thought.
It was incredibly exciting to have the chance to chat for a bit with John Piper, Vice President and Creative Director of the Macy’s Parade Studio. John comes from a theater background, with a BFA in Theater Design and Technology from the University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign and as the former Direction of Technical Services at the George Potter Center for the Performing Arts in Michigan, and approaches the Macy’s parade extravaganza like he would a large-scale theatrical production.
Welcome to our week-long giveaway that we are co-hosting with a fabulous group of bloggers from across the United States and Canada.
We are very excited to be giving away toxic-free goodies from Brooklyn (New York) based company Nine Naturals. Forward-thinking Nine Naturals make personal products which are smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. They craft their products (which include shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, deodorant, body wash, sunscreen and lip balm) using only natural and organic ingredients.
Though many of us are aware of the dangers of eating foods and foods sprayed with pesticides, drinking excessive coffee, drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy, we rarely think about the chemicals that we are applying topically via so many mainstream personal products.
My kids are crazily prolific crafters. At any given moment, bits and pieces of half finished art projects could be covering at least 2/3 of my not-so-huge New York City apartment.
I buy construction paper by the ream, glue and tape in multi-packs and googly eyes in numbers that I don’t even want to think about.
That’s one of the many reasons that it’s nice when my kids decide to use things like empty egg cartons, wire coat hangers and toilet paper rolls to create some of their masterpieces–it saves money, gives them another outlet with which to be creative and leaves and opening for a good lesson about recycling and saving the earth.
Remember how much fun it was to take kids into the voting booth even just a couple of years ago? In a attempt to make the system simpler and more foolproof (no hanging chads!) last Election Day, New York switched over from the lever machines that I remember from my youth to paper and pencil ballots. I know it’s supposed to be simpler, but frankly I find it more confusing (and not just because I’m adverse to change.)
Here is a cheat sheet of what tomorrow’s ballot will look like:
You’ll notice the Woman’s Equality PartyWoman’s Equality Party (WEP) is on the ballot for the first time.
What is the Women’s Equality Party and what is it doing there?
For me, screen time for my kids is a guilty pleasure…for me. In a perfect world, I would be on task all of the time–the happy smiling mom with a list of fun projects for us all to do together. And, a lot of the time, I am that mom. Sometimes, however, even Super Mom (which I do not purport to be) needs a break.
The trick is to balance the need for a few moments of peace and quiet (which screen time almost always provides) with really good content. I was excited to view a few episodes of Creative Galaxy with my kids, because I really think that this series provides both. This new series, created and produced by Angela Santomero (of Blue’s Clues and Super Why fame) follows Arty, a creative preschool alien, as he, together with his family and his shape shifting pet, Epiphany, travels through a universe of Art-related planets and craftily fix problems in his life with art.