Technology

Quick Parenting PSA

As mentioned in my previous post, I really know nothing about babies.  But I’m a quick learner.  And one of my favorite -to-date parenting hacks: BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES.

Whether I’m out for a walk around the block or trying to not let the mind-numbing screeches of the Children’s Museum drive me to day-drink, my bluetooth headphones have saved the day.  I’m not zoning out to ultra chill beats, but rather making my brain a little more wrinkled by listening to podcasts!  These four have been in heavy rotation:

podcasts

 

1. | 2. | 3. | 4.

(I also love Joanna Goddard’s recommendations too.)

So when you see in my eyes that “thousand-yard stare”, it’s not just because I’m the mother of a busy 15 month old, but mostly because I’m listening to something really interesting!

Finding my happy place

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but a new app has been helping me to zen out!  Have you heard of calm.com?  I’ve opened it when I’ve wanted just basic spa-like music while at a clients and I’ve used it for actual meditation.  You can meditate on your own or use their guided meditations from 2 minutes to 20 minutes.  You can also choose different visual scenes, anything from mountain brooks to rainforest leaves.  (I of course will choose the ocean every time.)  I’ve been genuinely surprised how much I use it…and like it! (The only thing not leaving me zen about the app is their font choice…glad there is not too much of it!)

Calm App

smitten in the mitten

I’ve been a little MIA from this space (and my other one).  I’ve been wrapping up a couple of time-consuming clients and making a quick trip back to Michigan.  We just returned home (late!) Sunday night (actually early Monday) from a 48 hour trip that felt like we squeezed in a months worth of  activity.  The main reason for our visit though — to meet our nephew.  And we are hopelessly smitten with the little guy.  We caught him at just the right baby stage: 10 weeks.  Old enough to not be too floppy, but not yet teething or squirming.  He was perfect.  I tried to keep my cool around mom & pop, but really this is all I wanted to do!!!

I won’t be posting any pics of the little dude in this space (or any other public forum) respecting the wishes of his parents.  It’s actually a decision I highly respect.  Some time ago I (and his dad) read an article on a child’s digital footprint that they have no control over and subsequently how disturbing that can be for someone.  (If I can find it, I’ll footnote it later.) So darling nephew, you will control your on-line fate once you are old enough (and your parents are ready).  But it’s tough because that little nugget is SO CUTE!  For now though, I’m just glad that we all have iPhones so that we can have our own private photo sharing with stream sharing.

I miss him already.

New Family

my new jam

For the last several weeks I have had one app open almost nonstop on my phone and/or computer: Songza!  Goodbye Pandora, I have faithfully listened to you for at least 5 years, but your mixes don’t hold a candle to the concierge service on Songza.  (Oh yeah.. and no ads!)

What I love the most about Songza is that you get to choose music by mood (or genre, or activity, or decade, or record store clerk!).  And with stations with titles like: Lush Electronic Yoga, 3am Airport, Sadcore Hibernation, Ride Around Shining, & High Heel Power Walk how could I not be intrigued.  

Some stations in heavy rotation these days are: Indie Roots Rock, Solo Jazz Guitar, In the Euro Hotel Lounge, Singer-Songwriter Christmas, & Shredding The Slopes (for demo in the studio!).  I have already discovered new music that will become a permanent part of my collection.  Go download it right now!

Songza

songza

 

 

would you take a DNA test?

Over the weekend, I read an interesting article about the art direction/marketing for a genetic testing company.  Instead of leaning towards the  super-sci-fi ( a la Minority Report) they went with the “I’m your friendly neighbor and, oh yeah, science is fun” approach.    As soon as I saw it, I felt like it was something that I could easily find on Target shelves.  (I’m not sure if that’s a praise or a slam…) 

23 and me website

Here is one of their commercials:

And as I scrolled through their website, it reminded me (a lot) of the now discontinued Dr. Perricone SUPER products. A product whose packaging I really enjoyed.  

super+products

 

So, ethical questions aside, I’m not sure if I’m their target audience (35-45 female) but they did indeed sucker me in with friendly, clean, colorful graphics and that chunky sans serif font — so who all wants a DNA test for a stocking stuffer this year?! 

 

inspiring fellows

I have been enjoying perusing the winners of this year’s MacArthur Fellows.  Per their website,  “The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted $625,000 fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”  These individuals, from ages 32-60, are quite inspiring — writers, scientists, and artists of all types make up this years’ recipients. Go take a gander

Smarty Pants

listen up

We’ve recently changed up our Sunday morning routine — and I like it.  The alarm goes off at 5:45 and the first thing I do after I manage to not fall crawl down the ladder is grab the radio remote and hit the power button as I stumble to the bathroom.  After catching news highlights, one of my favorite new shows begins.  It’s called On Being.  Krista Tippett is the host and she’s moderating discussions on topics that typically don’t lend themselves to civility and grace.   Per their website, “On Being is a spacious conversation — and an evolving media space — about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit.” It’s an hour-long program so we always miss the second half; but for the last 5 weeks I have gone home Sunday afternoon and downloaded the rest of the days discussion to continue to engage my own thoughts.  I’ve even downloaded the podcast so I can listen to it during my long Monday morning commute.   A show about meaningful things, delivered in a meaningful way… I’m in.

containing the crazy

 

I spent part of the last two evenings writing a very long monologue about my thoughts & concerns on blogging.  It’s a letter I’ve written several times before but never posted.  And this time won’t be any different.  But what I found surprising was just how much better I felt after having just focused my attention and actually gotten the words out.  It reminded me of the instructions my mother would encourage when I had a problem with a friend, boyfriend, and later an employer, to “write it down and then sleep on it.”  Still that advice rings true, even for something as trivial as blogging.  After seeing things in the morning light, I have a new perspective.  (See, this is why it’s best if I don’t ever join twitter!)

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a day at the beach

For my dad’s birthday party, my folks rented a cabin at the beach.  Saturday was the party and we saw gale-force winds (ok, not that strong, but darn close!) and thus we had to rethink party decorations since it was to be outside.  But Sunday proved to be simply marvelous with a high only in the low 90s — perfect for a dip in the Gulf of Mexico.  I have many, many childhood memories in that muddy, brown beach water, and we made a few more this weekend.  I was finally able to use my newest tech gadget, the scuba suit for my iPhone.  And I must say it worked like a champ.  (My only complaint was that when taking photos using the front camera, the photos were quite foggy-looking.)  What I liked the most was that it kept out not only salt water, but sand, seaweed, and unidentifiable floating objects and left my phone in tact!