Friday, May 25, 2018

Shopping Savings: Kwilt Shoebox Mini

Photos and videos take up a staggering amount of memory on our smartphones. It’s only a matter of time before we get the dreaded notification that our storage is full, forcing us to choose between deleting precious old memories or not capturing equally important new memories. In the best-case scenario, we have to spend hard-earned money upgrading our cloud storage or buying a phone with more memory space.

The perfect gift for dads everywhere, Kwilt Shoebox Mini solves this issue by allowing consumers to backup photos and videos from their mobile devices, social media profiles (i.e. Facebook, Instagram) and commercial cloud storage (i.e. Google, Dropbox) to the privacy of their home storage device for anytime, anywhere access through one streamlined interface on their mobile devices. Because all of his content is stored safely on his own personal storage device, Dad can rest easy knowing no one else has access to his family’s photos and videos – not even Kwilt.

Kwilt Shoebox Mini costs just $59, with no monthly fees - a huge savings from the usual monthly cloud subscription fees eating away at your budget.

Healthy Habits: Foundation Fighting Blindness

Foundation Fighting Blindness is aiming to help reduce blindness caused by Age-related Macular Degeneration. You can receive information by calling 1-800-Blindness or by visiting

Parenting Pointers: Emergency Preparation Tips

Hurricanes can be extremely unpredictable, as can be the recovery from the storms. Months have passed since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, and nearly 200,000 families and businesses — 16% of the island — remain without power.

It is incumbent upon those living in areas at highest risk of being impacted by hurricanes to take storm preparations into their own hands. Taking small steps before the storm hits and knocks out your power can save a lot of headaches and heartache when it’s too late. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters.

Some important tips include stockpiling enough emergency supplies to last you, your loved ones and your pets for at least three days. The emergency kits should include bottled water, non-perishable food, prescription drugs you are taking, emergency radio and a DIY phone charger.

Experts also advice to keep handy changes of underwear, comfortable shoes and clean wool socks.

Mark McGinnis is an authority in forensic meteorology and an expert in weather hazard planning and weather analysis. His depth of experience in weather preparedness as it relates to increasing safety and reducing associated losses is highly relevant to both home owners as well as local businesses. In this video he discusses emergency planning methods. Mark will provide tips on how to best prepare yourself for the coming hurricane season and avoid the troubles that can accompany these storms.

 Interview is courtesy: Generac

Enriching Education: 4 Skills Your Child Needs To Know Before Entering Kindergarten

Kindergarten is supposed to be fun and educational, and allow children an opportunity to blossom because it is usually the first time the tykes are away from their parents for any significant amount of time.

And while most kindergartens don’t exactly have GPA requirements, for a child to succeed there are a few milestones that should be reached before they toddle through the door, says Alise McGregor, founder of Little Newtons (, an early education center with locations in Minnesota and Illinois.

“New parents especially can have a hard time understanding that there are actually things their child should know prior to kindergarten,” McGregor says.  “But if they take time to make sure their child knows some basics, it will make kindergarten a better experience.”

McGregor says the typical things a child should know prior to entering kindergarten are:

  • Basic shapes. The child should have learned basic shapes like the square, circle, rectangle and triangle in preschool.  If not, parents should teach them.  In kindergarten, they will probably be introduced to the hexagon, star, heart and octagon.

  • The letters of the child’s name. They should at least be able to recognize the letters of their name.  In kindergarten, they will learn their uppercase letters and begin lowercase letters.  They will also begin to learn how to write freehand without tracing.

  • Numbers 1 to 10. Although some children will be able to count to 100 by the time they reach kindergarten, all should be able to at least be able to count to 10.  Numbers will be used starting on the first day of kindergarten so the children need to at least understand and recognize numbers.
  • Social skills - The child should be able to follow directions, be able to be separated from the caregiver and use the restroom independently.  Children who scream and cry when they are separated from caregivers disrupt the rest of the class.  Teachers simply do not have the time to supervise individual students who cannot independently use the restroom.
McGregor says that it is important for children to get off on the right foot early in school. By teaching children these skills prior to attending kindergarten it should make it easier for them to succeed.
About Alise McGregor
Alise McGregor is the founder of Little Newton’s (, an exceptional child care center focused on early childhood education in four locations in Minnesota and one in Illinois.  She is the author of an upcoming book Creating Brilliance.  Also a nurse, she has a B.S. in Exercise Physiology with a cardiac rehabilitation emphasis.

Thrifty Thinking: Professionals and Student Loan Debt

Ever wonder which professionals are doing the best when it comes to student loan debt? For example, did you know that optometrists have the highest percentage of monthly income devoted to student loans? Also, veterinarians have the highest median loan balance as a percentage of their annual income.

These types of insights and more were revealed in a recent Credible survey report. Data for the report came from over 91,000 graduate degree holders. They answered questions about their student loan situation, and the results are surprising.

Professionals Paying More Per Month

As mentioned, optometrists  pay a higher percentage of their monthly income towards student loans at 14.9 percent. Next come veterinarians (12.6%), physician assistant (11.6%), dentists (11.5%), and pharmacists (10.9%). Lawyers pay 9.4 percent and doctors pay 7.5 percent of their monthly paycheck towards student loans. In some cases, part of the debt held by these professions may be due to personal loans.

Professionals Paying Less Per Month

At the other end of the spectrum are those paying the least per month on student loans as a percentage of their monthly income. The degrees they hold are:

  • Computer science = 6.4 percent
  • MBA = 6.8 percent
  • Finance (non-MBA) = 7 percent
  • Nursing = 7.1 percent
  • Accounting = 7.2 percent

How Much Time Left On Loan

Another variable the study looked at was how long each profession has to pay back their student loans. Lawyers (15.4 years), dentists (14.9 years), and veterinarians (14.8 years) topped the list. Engineers (12.7 years), nurses (13 years), and public policy degree holders (13 years) appear to be paying back their loans faster. 

Enriching Education:

At, stay-at-home parents can go back to school for free. All from home, on their own schedule, no pressure or entrance exams. They could literally be changing diapers and saving thousands on tuition towards a degree...meaning, they no longer have to wait for kids to be out of the house.
It's truly disruptive. By understanding the predicament that parents have, it's obvious that the current educational system doesn't address their needs. is changing that. From founder Grant Aldrich:

Two years ago, then pregnant wife, Ravit, said to me, "Nobody makes it easy for parents to go back to college...don't they understand we're busy and trying to save money?" My wife's frustration was a big reason why I founded our startup.  As a stay-at-home mom, she didn't have time to get another degree. Yet, she wanted to learn a new career to work from home. If parents want to rejoin the workforce after spending years at home raising children, how do they get the careers and degrees to stay competitive? Money is tight, schedules are unpredictable, and there is never enough time. is a team of startup veterans, leading academics and PhDs (from NYU, West Virginia University, Georgetown, etc).  Students take as many college-level courses as they’d like on Psychology, Robotics, Computer Programming, Marketing, Criminal Justice and many many more…free. They've partnered with accredited universities across the country so students can receive college credit for the courses they’ve taken (there are pathways to receive credit at over 1,400 schools in total throughout the US.)
Our courses are:
  • Online and Available 24/7 - No class schedules, no fixed times, and completely self-paced.
  • Easy to Get Started- No applications, No entrance exams, and most importantly, No tuition. 
  • Interesting and Top Notch-  Our professors are experts in their respective fields with PhDs and advanced degrees. The courses are incredibly interesting.
  • Recommended for over 44 units of college credit to over 1,400 universities and colleges

Why Is This So Disruptive?
Stay-at-home parents can now start their path back to school while still changing diapers at home with the kids…regardless of their finances or busy schedules. They can test drive different courses and subjects on their own schedule, be better prepared for college-level coursework at a university, and receive college credits toward their degree. Given the often intimidating, inflexible and costly nature of applying to a typical community college or 4-year, we’re more like “wading” into the pool rather than forcing everyone to jump in.    
How Have They Made It Free?
They will always be 100% free to students. They're exploring a marketplace for tutoring, Patreon, Kickstarter, university sponsorships, private grants, and many other avenues.There are all kinds of ways to keep the lights on without charging students or sacrificing educational quality.

Pre-enrollment is happening right now.
You can read more on our launch release here or more About Us here   

Thursday, May 24, 2018


Olay Regenerist Whip
Breathe Now
Country Chic Paint

Healthy Habits: Don't Fry Day

As the upcoming holiday weekend ushers in the summer season, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is joining the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to promote Don’t Fry Day, a national effort to encourage sun safety awareness. NEEF is marking the day—which falls on the Friday before Memorial Day—by releasing its updated SunWise® sun safety tool kit. The free online tool kit aims to teach children in grades K through 8 about sun safety.
“Memorial Day weekend kicks off an entire season of fun outdoor activities,” says NEEF president Meri-Margaret Deoudes. “But no matter what you have planned, don’t forget the sunscreen.”
Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. While individuals with lighter-toned skin are more susceptible to UV damage, people of all races and ethnicities can be at risk for skin cancer. As NEEF encourages people to explore the outdoors, ensuring they do so safely—by wearing sunglasses and proper clothing and shoes, adhering to posted regulations, staying hydrated, seeking shade, and wearing plenty of sunscreen—is an important part of helping people have a positive experience.
“Whether you’re playing in the backyard, exploring a park, or heading to the beach, summer is an ideal time to connect with and enjoy nature where you live,” explains Deoudes. “SunWise gives youth and their caregivers the information they need to protect their health while exploring the great outdoors.”
Sun safety is particularly important for children, as unprotected exposure to the sun during youth can lead to an increased lifetime risk for skin cancer. Educators, camp counselors, health departments, and coaches can play a major role in protecting children by teaching and modeling sun safety behaviors. From spotting the many ways animals protect themselves from the elements to identifying both the helpful and harmful effects of the sun, SunWise features a variety of standards-based lesson plans, games and activities, and other ideas for helping kids of all ages play it smart in the sun.
NEEF recently updated the SunWise tool kit with support from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Download a free copy here.
NEEF offers practical information about how to be good environmental stewards and why it is important for each one of us to step up and make a difference in ways that work best for us and work within our busy lives. NEEF’s vision is that by 2022, 300 million Americans will actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the wellbeing of the earth and its people. To learn more, please visit
Don’t Fry Day is a public awareness campaign that aims to reduce the number of new skin cancer diagnoses by promoting sun safety and encouraging people to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors. Learn more at

World Wisdom: EWG's Guide to Sunscreens

Before you stock up on sunscreen and SPF products before some fun in the sun over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, check out the Environmental Working Group’s new Guide to Sunscreens.

Please let me know if you want to speak with a researcher at EWG to talk about the best sun safety tips for babies and children, worrisome sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone, the problem with high SPF products, the differences between the U.S. sunscreens market vs the EU market, and the lists of best-rated products.

Book Nook: Love Match - The Art and Science of Finding Your Ideal Partner

I've been fortunate to have found my husband years ago, and we have a very loving relationship. But love isn't always easy to find. I had a chance to read a book called Love Match: The Art and Science of Finding Your Ideal Partner. It's not just about finding the right mate, though, but also about keeping that relationship strong.

Developed and written by "love doc" Shaelyn Pham, Ph.D., Love Match helps you find true, healthy, meaningful love—the kind that enriches your life and creates new opportunities for personal growth and happiness. The book includes the different types of intimacy, the difference between love and attachment, love languages, managing conflict, and even advice on finding love after loss or heartbreak.

I had a chance to interview the author to learn more.

-Why did you decide to write this book?
After spending over a decade working with individuals struggling to find their ideal love match and couples that have fallen out of love, I discovered noticeable  patterns and common themes to their success. It would be irresponsible of me not to share with others what I have done to help them find happiness. It's like finding the cure for cancer and not sharing it with the world.  

-How can it be helpful for people to learn the science behind finding a match?

The science behind finding your love match is like a blueprint. It's easier to create what you're looking for when you have the blueprint for it rather than trying to reinvent the wheel or shooting in the dark. 

-Why is it also partly an art?
Psychology is a social science and when it comes to emotions, it's more delicate and intricate than 1+1=2.  Try to think of this science as a road map; however, even with road maps, there are detours or scenic routes that you may want to take.  The art is the beauty and flexibility that you must allow when it comes to love because it's not just a matter of your head and logic but it's also a matter of you heart and feelings.

Shaelyn Pham, Ph.D., "The Love Doc", is a licensed psychologist, author and speaker with a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. She has a busy private practice in Los Angeles, CA as the principal and founder of Psychological Services & Holistic Health, Inc., where she enjoys helping her clients find love and success in all areas of their lives. Dr. Pham has been practicing psychology for over a decade and has helped thousands of people. She is the author of The Joy of Me.