Pebbles in the Pond (Review)

51Hit3GCYyL._AC_UL320_SR214,320_Are you stuck? Looking for the magic pill or words that will help you overcome a failed relationship, deal with unexpected changes in employment or cope with a loss of a loved one?

Are you looking for a way to find some meaning and purpose as to why your life might be topsy – turvy? Why yesterday made sense, but today it does not? Everyone at one time or another experiences a tidal wave of self – doubt, grief or apprehension.

Confession: The week I felt stuck. 

Yet, despite feeling a bit “stuck” in situations that I thought I had no control, I found solace and hope in a series of books written by Christine Kloser and featuring a consortium of excellent contributors. I had started reading them earlier this year, but really delved in to them this week.  Pebbles in the Pond (2014), shows that behind every life changing event there is a purpose.  It also demonstrated that beyond a shadow of doubt that the human spirit is resilient beyond measure.

Each chapter talks about situation that serves as a catalyst. Something that prompted the author to change or shift their thinking. While many of the stories resonated with me there were a few that I believe stood out the most.

One story, Transforming My Aging Script, by Sharon Matthias, talked about the personal passages one faces when turning 65.  How life seems to shift mentally when you are deemed “too old” to be employable.  Everywhere you look there are people or organizations that  tell you that “65 or older” you should take this pill for this ailment or it is time for retirement. Yet, this author convinced me that 65 is not to be feared but simply an age where you re-invent yourself – again. Thanks, Sharon!

What would you do if you were faced with a life and death situation? One author , Carin Rockind, discussed just that as she wrote  From “Perfect” to Purpose,  how she  changed her life course when she became face to face with a predator holding a gun to her head. She eloquently described how her biggest fear moments earlier was her bad choice in blind dates. Now as she bargained with God for her life, she realized that if she survived this personal assault that her priorities would need to change.  Heck of a way to find out what path you should be on – but Rockind did survive and now leads a life that gives her a more purpose, grace and meaning.

Then there is the poignant story by Tiffany Kane, who I know personally from our association with  the Beach Cities Breakfast Club.  I have heard Tiffany speak before, but wow, I was unprepared for her deep sole searching following a series of tragedies that was eloquently written in the chapter simply titled, “Inner Power Parenting”.  Tiffany describes how one can find the tools you need to grieve and turn a life that seems “stuck” into a productive one.  I admire Tiffany for her candor and willingness to help others who are “only parenting”.  Tiffany is also the founder of Widows with Kids, an organization well worth checking out. Please do.

I could write much more about the golden “nuggets” of wisdom throughout Pebbles in the Pond. Instead, I will invite you to read them and enjoy them on your own time.

Also recommended: Cultivating Joy and Choosing Happiness, featuring chapters by Tiffany Kane, as well. All books are available on AMAZON.

Note: I received nothing more than the books for this review. The books will be donated to a local Los Angeles library.

 

 

 

LA GADGET EXPO: Product Reviews

Today I spent the morning at the LA GADGET EXPO in downtown Los Angeles.  I was expecting an exposition chocked full of entrepreneurs showing their newest creations and devices.  The reality was more an intimate gathering of students with cool ideas and small businesses showing their unique gadgets.

While smaller than expected, the LA GADGET EXPO  did offer a few very impressive companies that I felt was worth mentioning for consideration for the upcoming holiday season.

 

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ALLOCACOC –  POWER CUBE  @Allocacoc 

Let’s start with my FAVORITE of all the gadgets at this show.  FINALLY, someone has solved the problem of the power strip that is cumbersome.  Meet ALLOCACOC – an award winning idea that is a  multi- prong power cube!  Offers USB, international and US standard plugs. I LOVED IT! Simple and sleek.  The cubes can be singular or connect to stack! The enables people, like myself, who have a ton of technology in their office much needed versatility and helps to solve the  problem of “Is there another outlet?”

I can envision these at airports, restaurants and hotels! Not to mention when social media correspondents gather for events!

Price point is VERY reasonable at $12.95 for the basic cube.


 Muku Labs Camera Shutter  @MukuLabs  

IMG_0081Muku Labs made a very nice camera shutter that is used with iOS and Android devices.  A standard bluetooth mechanism, it is perfect for taking group or selfie photos without having to hold on to a phone.  Must say that the streamlined look, feel and ease of use is much preferred over others I have tried.

Retail: $39.99  Link to purchase



DOTT – SMART DOG TAG  @DottSmartDog

DOTT- Smart Dog Tag is an VERY intriguing device that is well worth a look. Imagine letting FIDO off leash at a dog park.  This multi-function dog tag has dual purposes. First it  helps signal the dog, through a small dog tag worn on your dog’s collar, to return back to you. Secondly,  the technology allows owners to locate a dog that has wandered off. As a bonus, the tag is paired with an app that offers ancillary services, such as community alerts to find a missing animal.

From their website is this excellent description:

DOTT provides with you digital tracking of latest technology. DOTT tag sets up a virtual leash, connects your pet to your mobile phone. If it wanders off, DOTT will let you know immediately. And, our social GPS network actively tells you the last seen location and help locate it continuously.

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I couldn’t help but think that this technology would also be good to interface with other community based apps such as BOP  or  ROVER.com.

Dog rescues and veterinary services should give DOTT some consideration.  Price point is a very easy $30 online


MY OPEN ROAD  @MyOpenRoad

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Two companies offered  eco friendly ideas. The first is My Open Road – an app for both IOS and Adroid that allows users to document how they are reducing their  carbon imprint on the world by  taking alternate forms of transportation – such as walking, riding a bike or carpooling. I love to see companies that are eco- friendly and even their t-shirts were made with eco-sustainable products.  They also had a coveted spot at the expo and were a joy to speak with!

Their motto:  Tiny Changes- Big Rewards is very clever.


URB-E – ELECTRIC BIKE that FOLDS UP!  @URBErides

URB-E is a very clever eco-friendly bike – motor scooter.  I can imagine this being a huge hit on college campuses, for urban dwellers and even those who want to explore large cities but not on foot.  Their price point was far more than others at this fair, starting at $1699.

URB- E gets my personal kudos for having the best online marketing, however!

They have a decent social media presence for a start-up but excelled over others with the most CLEVER holiday campaign!   Check out their video for the 21 days of URB- E Christmas (and if you enter their contest you may win one of their bikes!)

 


 

I should also mention a few other gadgets that caught my attention. Sound Brake was an interesting device to help alert headphone users of environmental noises, such as a doorbell ringing.  Here is my periscope interview  with the founder.  And, MOTI app is a healthy – lifestyle application for iOS and Android to help people register their level of exercise, healthy habits (such as water consumption), etc.

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed speaking to these creative minds who invented fun and functional products.  However a word of wisdom to those who are vendors/ displayers at booths that are seeking investors, distributors or publicity – have a PR KIT FOR YOUR PRODUCT!  Only a handful of the gadgets had any information about their product. Some had postcards with their websites. Others had only business cards.  A PR kit for press, etc. with information, easy to find social media “411” and if possible a sample would be FABULOUS!

Do you have a gadget that you can recommend or created? Feel free to add your information in the comment section below!

 

Disclaimer:  No renumeration was received for any of these products.  These are reviews based on observation and interviews.