You will LOVE tablift® by nbryte. You will love to give it as a gift. You will love to ask Santa for one for yourself. You will love the functionality. You will LOVE the price! AND… YOU WILL LOVE THAT I AM OFFERING A GIVEAWAY!
What is tablift®? Here is where photos can be worth a zillion words to describe this handsfree device that helps you to view with ease content on a tablet or cell phone.
tablift has strong but lightweight construction making it perfect for travel or when lounging.
Use the tablift while in bed. Perfect for individuals who are bedridden due to illness or need a way to prop their device while lounging!
Save yourself from getting “tech neck” by bending too much to read your device. Use the tablift to be better with ergonomics and save yourself from future pain!
1- The tablift is compatible with the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Amazon Kindle, Asus, Microsoft Surface 2, 3 and other tablets. (Frankly, I think my iPhone 8 plus would also fit!)
2- Height of the tablift can be easily changed by stretching the “legs”.
3- User friendly. No complicated directions – just pop it up and fasten your device. Really – 3 steps, if you include removing it from the box!
4. Perfect for parents with young children, people with physical challenges, those who wish to have better ergonomics and travelers.
STEP 3- READ MY WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT on DECEMBER 3rd. This giveaway ends midnight December 2, 2019. Must be US resident, live in the US and be at least 18 years of age. You also can’t be one of my relatives. Winner chosen via a randomizer.
I was given a free gift of one TABLIFT for my personal use in exchange for this sponsored blog. But all opinions are organic, authentic and groovy.
Confession. I am a real push-over for books written and/or illustrated by children. l don’t care if it is their kindergarten Mother’s Day project or a book, such as The Wild Slide written and PUBLISHED by 8 year old ,Aryanna Khodorkovskaya – from Alfred Station, New York.
The Wild Slide is a very thoughtful and engaging story that in a few pages tells a rather sophisticated tale that includes adventure, friendship and bravery. The reader is brought along with Aryana’s characters to enjoy an exciting “ride”. I found myself also wanting to be part of this cadre of friends and transported in to world where a Wild Slide could offer a great escape.
Illustrated by Michael Stevenson, Jr. – the story reads like a typical early childhood reader. The twist – it has content, including vocabulary, that would be more typical of an adult writer who is creating for a child, rather than a child writing for other children.
Here is another accolade for Aryana – not only does she have a book that is published BUT she holds the record for being the YOUNGEST published author in Western New York!
Keep in mind that rarely does an author, of any age, become published on their own. In this case – Aryana credits Nicholas Dosch for “generous financial and emotional support.”
She also had the artistic talent of Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. to help add the illustrations that graced the pages of Aryana’s story. I was curious to see how these two teamed up and what role as a mentor Michael may have had with this project.
Here is a short interview with Michael:
Question 1: How would you describe your artistic illustrations and the inspiration for them in Aryanna’s book, “The Wild Slide”?
MSJr.: The Wild Slide, written by Aryanna Khodorkovskaya, was quite descriptive in nature which provided a more than adequate foundation for creating imagery for the book. One of my favorite lines is “‘Should we do this?’ Violet asked. ‘Yes’ said William. ‘No!’ said Rosie, looking panicked.” Rosie’s demeanor was spelled out for me. Various other elements were laid out for me too, like later when Violet and Rosie gives Zee a necklace and bracelet respectively, I knew I wanted to include those elements in the character design. I also modeled the character of Violet after Aryanna herself, and Rosie after her sister Natasha. Violet calm and composed, delicately dressed, while Rosie has a slightly more ruffled aesthetic, with untied shoes in every scene.
As far as my own illustrative style goes, I have always had a style that closely resembles that of children’s drawings. I like my drawings to communicate an idea without relying on the exemplification of drawing technique. Part of the reason is that I don’t derive intense pleasure or joy from agonizing over details. I want to move on to the next thing. I also enjoy the simplicity of the drawings I do. However, this also serves the nature of my work with young people. They’re always shocked and impressed by what I’ve drawn, as well as how quickly when I’ve done the drawing in front of them. This creates a level of comfort with them, I’m not producing photorealistic drawings, the likes of which they could never produce themselves. I produce work that’s accessible to them both visually and practically as far as their own drawing practice goes.
Question 2 : As an adult, you appear to “slide” into the role as mentor, who was or is your mentor?
MSJr.: Interestingly, most of my work is collaborative by nature, a process that’s been a long time in the making. Much of my work is in direct response to having a series of primarily elder mentors in life and practice inside and outside of the art world. Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the exhibition that The Wild Slide was produced for, was actually all about this dynamic. While I was growing up in Alfred New York I had a series of mentors, a prominent one being Fred Tscheda who taught neon and lamp design at Alfred University.
I also collaborated with Tschida for the Won’t You Be My Neighbor exhibition on a project involving the collection and display of rocks found across America. Fred and I have collaborated on rock based projects in the past and hope to collaborate on more in the future. We still stay in touch even though we’re a few time zones apart. At this point the majority of my practice is one on one or small group mentorship projects with young people.
In closing – please add The Wild Slide to your holiday gift list. Amazon offers it and consider it an investment in the future of this creative writer! Thanks to Aryana for letting us in to the world of her Wild Slide friends! And, thanks to Michael for his responses.
Let me start with this “disclaimer”… I shop local when I can because I love to support “Mom and Pop” stores in my own backyard. From CRAFTEDin San Pedro with their original wares by local artisans to flea markets and local box stores. But, when I need something fast, not readily available or in bulk, I go to my computer and click on Amazon. In this blog, I am going to have a little fun and tell you about my favorite items for tech, travel and back to school as TOMORROW, July 16th, starts their widely popular AMAZON PRIME DAYS. This is when they will suggest and make offers on thousands of GREAT DEALS! But, I am throwing my faves in to this “mix”, too!
And, in turn I want to know your favorites – so use the comment section below. Note, as am Amazon Influencer, I get my “own favorites page” that you will find right below. There are many more items listed on this page than blog space allows and that any proceeds from this page to me go directly to back to the community as I support a wide variety of charities.
I love having all my essential travel products for hygiene in one zipper kit that doubles as a nice bag, too. There are many different configurations of the Convenience Kits line, so check them all out for one of your faves!
I NEVER leave home for a long trip without this inflatable pillow by Therm-A-Rest! This product is the envy of everyone who spots it on flights and train rides and wishes they had one, too!
Recently I have met entrepreneurs who have developed very interesting businesses. Their focus is on bringing unique products that are “out of the box” – while being very appealing.
Are all t-shirt companies equal? I think NOT
I fell in love with an apparel company because of their amazing display at the Celebrity Connected gifting suite for the Emmy Awards. Gosh I loved NAIA VIBES. If you are an entrepreneur who becomes a vendor at a trade show or gifting suite- take a page from NAIA VIBES. The display was GORGEOUS. Very clever ways to give prizes (gifts) to the celebrities that were on hand. AND… the array of apparel and accessories made me want to order and order and order. Having a theme that was a standout made for one photographic opportunity to spotlight the brand after another.
I was confused when I saw this unique necklace design sitting at the Celebrity Connected. It was a beautiful piece of jewelry but what exactly made it look “different”? So, I inquired. And much to my delight it was a functional piece of jewelry where a lipstick could be hidden, but also at your finger-tips for easy application. I was trying to think if a pepper spray would fit inside – but I don’t believe so (Hint to the design team). However, it did fit my lipstick without fail. It retails on their website for $98 and is in silver and gold colors. It is worth the price as it is a carrying case and a statement piece of jewelry.
I connected with the creator, Christine Abdoo who sent me some background information. She sent to me her press packet that chronicled briefly the story of this Grand Rapids based company:
“I would find that multiple times a day I would want my lipstick with me,” said Christine Abdoo. “I would get frustrated during the day, jumping from meeting to meeting, not being able to go back to my office to put my lipstick on. […] I wanted a necklace with a fashionable container where I could carry my lipstick with me.” The first designs on the market fit Chapstick size lip balms, and travel size lipsticks.
… “It really just started with an idea. We all have them, but it’s what you do with them that makes a difference,” she said. “Taking an idea and making it come reality is pretty exciting”
I must say that the guys from SOLE Bicycles caught my attention recently. In fact I made a bee-line to their vendor booth at the Halopalooza vendor fair in Los Angeles this past month. How unique to put advertisements on the bikes themselves and then have them available to rent at hotels, resorts, etc. Imagine having an event, such as a music festival, where vendors can bike from place to place with your logo zipping by!
If you love one-of-a-kind ideas that are eye-popping check out this Southern California company pronto!
Eat my promotional material – Please!
Are you tired of receiving or giving the same old branded products. What if I could introduce you to products that are from sustainable materials that can turn your event wristband in to a flowers with just a little TLC? Or instead of a greeting card – send a garden in a box? So much good can come out of so little effort by simply planting your branded products after initial use or when you are done with them. Find my favorites here.
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.
I don’t often review holiday specific products on this blog. However, there was something intriguing about Peaceable Kingdom’s Valentine’s Day card collections that piqued my interest.
First, they are A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E! Not only do they have some weight and substance to them (unlike the store bought ones I use to give my kids to hand out in school), but they come with messages that are thoughtful, yet not too “sappy”.
The “foodie” in me loved the Scratch and Sniff Valentines (Chocolate scented – a bonus!). They are large enough to go through the US mail without being lost, but small enough to not be overwhelming in a backpack. The box that I received had the standard classroom quantity- 28 cards and 28 envelopes (kinda wish they would add one extra envelope for boo-boos).
The second pack I received was the more interactive Lollipop Valentine’s with “Moustaches and Lips”. These are a hoot! Imagine dress-up for Halloween blended with the sweetness of Valentine’s Day! Again, 28 was the quantity.
Not just for kids!
Here is an “out of the box” idea for the grown-ups who read this blog. These Valentine’s are not just for kids! Imagine how fun it would be to put some out in your office lounge or at your organization’s meeting? Not only are they a fun discussion starter, but they also show that your place of business or group has a sense of humor sprinkled with compassion.
About Peaceable Kingdom
Before I tell you how to get these delicious cards – let me delve more in to the company itself. Peaceable Kingdom is “my kind of company”. They are dedicated to #SocialGood. In fact on their “about page” they go in to length about their commitment to being ecologically friendly as a “green company.”
Peaceable Kingdom’s company mission or “promise” says it all…
The future, as they say, is in our hands. We consider this every day in everything we do so that our children and their future may be as healthy, as peaceable, as our kingdom today.
Also, they don’t just create speciality cards as they are big in to the board game business. Their website also helps promote game inventors, creative kids and much more. People in the San Francisco Bay area who are interested in being a GAME TESTER can learn more via their website.
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.
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!
Muku 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.
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.
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
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 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.
Just a short blog to give you some ideas on where to #ShopSmall this week. Check out these suggestions that support the endeavors of family/ women owned businesses and projects. All unique and worth a “click through” to see if something catches your eye this holiday season. A special shout – out to Shara Lawrence – Weiss of MommyPerkswho welcomes those with a family friendly product or service to post on her MommyPerks Facebook wall here . She does this annually and is just one great example of women supporting women in the small biz world! (Check out what many women have posted)
As usual my gift recommendations often have a secondary purpose- such as giving back to an organization or helping a national or international cause. In other words – I like my hard earned $ to be given to businesses with heart and pizazz.
BOOKS! What better gift to give a child than a BOOK! Two new faves made my list.
I know that giving a gift or pepper spray or other self defense items may seem to zap the holiday spirit… but, when all the holiday decorations are placed back in to their respective boxes it will be the safety items I purchased from small biz owner Linda Beneckethat will help keep my loved ones safe. I want to give her a heartfelt thank you for introducing me to DAMSELS in DEFENSE. Personal safety protection products, especially for women who are the most vulnerable such as those who live alone, are seniors citizens, or are on college campuses. Interestingly, many of their products can cross over to other purposes such as keeping people with Autism or Alzheimers safe and indoors rather than wandering- this company has it all! Learn more, see the catalog and connect with Linda here.
HELP SANTA BRINGS GIFTS TO NEEDY CHILDREN
When Santa arrives at the San Pedro YWCA soon he will be bringing a “sled” full of stuffed BEARS. Sponsor a bear via Tracy Farman and her pals at Jockey Person 2 Person. This campaign is what the true meaning of the holidays is all about! Learn more here including how you can donate a bear to be distributed in your locale.
LASTLY- Louise’s List of Unique and Fabulous – “out of the box” ideas!
When I was growing up the Jewish holiday of Chanukah was considered a simple 8-day celebration with family, a few dreidels and a menorah (Chanukiah). By the time I had children of my own – Chanukah became a multi- zillion dollar industry! Why the change?
Many believe it is because of more and more interfaith families. Others think that parents wish to provide for their Jewish children an experience akin to families who celebrate Christmas.
As an educator who for a decade taught Judaics in a Jewish Sunday School, I was pleased to see an educational book that told the story of Chanukah and also included a song and blessings. Then I went on to the website and learned a whole lot more from “behind the scenes”. The Maccabee on the Mantel is the brainchild of Abra Liberman-Garrett, and mom of two. The website offered this as a reason for her creation:
…And so she conceived the concept of a disarming and charming Macabee, a little boychick who would spread sunshine and delight to all the Jewish children who had him in their home. Abra’s children positively reveled in the joy of this modern tradition in the making. Now it is time to share this miracle of a Macabee with all those who are looking to create a fun family custom of their own.
For parents wishing to help share their Jewish culture, history and religious insights – this website is a welcome addition. I usually would put an age rating on a review – but this unique box set could be for young and old. The price is set for the box set – $34.95 on their website. Extra Maccabees and books can be purchased separately. Click here for their online store.