Quote for the Day: Michelle Obama

In today’s look-obsessed world,  Michelle Obama gives the best advice to all those searching for Mr/Ms Perfect.

“Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, Who are you as a person? Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul … When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good … You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.”

Brava!

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Nov 7: Money Matters for Kids

Money MattersMoney Matters for Kids: Earn it, Save it, Spend it, Share It! Traveling Exhibit and Workbook Launch * Nov. 7, 10 AM
It is never too early to teach our children to be financially literate.  When we start young, we can be wise savers, careful spenders and smart consumers!  Through a sponsorship grant by Citi Foundation, Museo Pambata presents a traveling exhibit and workbook on financial literacy for children. The traveling exhibit and workbook feature information, puzzles, games and ways to understand money and how significant it is in our lives. Similarly, a box of activity cards which comes with the workbook provide ideas for a child to further inquire about the meaning of money in their lives.

One Thing You Should Do Now to Combat Climate Change

Three words. Reduce plastic waste.

I was shocked to learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of over 3.5 million tons of plastic spanning 10 million square miles.  80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources, and 20% from ships at sea.


It’s a horrifying twist to the saying “Don’t shit in your own backyard.”

Charles Moore, the sailor who discovered the Northern Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, warns that unless consumers cut back on their use of disposable plastics, this plastic soup would double in size over the next decade.

Plastic has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives.  At the moment, it’s virtually impossible to spend a single day without touching the stuff. However it IS possible to avoid creating MORE plastic waste. Here are just 2 actions that you and your family can start implementing TODAY.

1. Ditch the straw
Think of how many thousands of plastic straws you have used, wasted and thrown away. Did you know that it takes centuries for each one to biodegrade! The next time you dine outside, do think twice before accepting that straw. For those operating food joints, make that paradigm shift: makes straws an option, not the default.

2. Bag the Bag

Seriously, do you really need that plastic bag when you buy something at the local 7-11 or Ministop?

Let’s try to reduce our habit of using plastic bags when we don’t need them.

I discovered this pocket bag at the check-out counter of my favourite shopping centre – Daiso (aka the $2 store). I usually have it folded into a tiny square and tucked into my bag organizer. I whip it out whenever I grab a bite at 7-11, buy office supplies, pay a visit to the Library, use my umbrella on a rainy day… etc etc.
We are now also taking a conscious effort to reduce our collection of plastic bags when buying groceries. Those cloth bag giveaways at trade fairs & bazaars are discovering a second life.
It’s Blog Action Day today, focusing on Climate Change. How exactly does the reduction of plastic relate to tackling climate change? Everything is interconnected — manufacturing plastic depends on consuming oil so the indiscrimate use of plastic literally fuels global warming. Getting rid of them (plastic) in incinerators also adds a little bit more to the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere.


As our family has found,  it’s not that hard to make that shift to a greener life. Just take it one plastic bag/straw at a time and make the world a better, cleaner place.

JOELLECHRONICLES recommends:

1.  How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Save the World by Tony Juniper

2.  Save Cash and Save the Planet by Andrea Smith and Nicola Baird

Disney World on a Budget

 

A Disney trip is at the top of the vacation list for most young families.  However, let’s face it, the happiest place on earth can also be  the most expensive.  Disney,  amongst all the various theme parks,  has marketing and promotions down to an art form and it can be hard to resist the pleas of the little ones as they hop up and down with glee.   But do not despair, saving money in a world designed to make your spend IS possible.  Here are some tips:

  1.  www.mousesavers.com.  The brainchild of Mary Waring,  MouseSavers finds and posts more than 300 pages worth of coupon codes and money-saving ideas on all things Disney whether it be Disney  merchandise or a Disney Cruise.
  2. Disney World DOES give freebies, such as free park tickets or free food during your stay.  http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers.  The only catch is in order to avail of these freebies you may need to stay at least 4 days AND time your trip during the off-peak season.  Be sure that concentrating your stay in Disney World is indeed what you want to do since it may come at the expense of seeing other worthwhile sites such as the Kennedy Space Center and Universal Orlando.
  3. Going as a big group?  Skip the hotels and rent a house.  You can take your pick of dedicated McMansions complete with pools, grills, and big-screen tvs.  Another big plus – you won’t be held hostage by hotel food which can eat a big chunk out of your wallet.  Take your pick of rentals from http://www.allstarvacationhomes.com/ and http://www.ipgflorida.com/.
  4. Can’t get enough of Disney magic?  The main hook of the Disney-run hotels are their extra perks – free parking and  “Extra Magic Hours”.  Be warned however – they cost at least twice as much as comparable hotels in the near vicinity.  You may still be able to get some discounts during off peak season.

With careful planning and budgeting,  your Disney vacation CAN be the best ever!  =)

Oct 3: Expo Kid @ Rockwell

Expo Kid

Everything for kids under one roof

October 3, 2009, Saturday, Rockwell Tent

* Interactive Activity Areas
* 30+ Exhibitors and vendors showcasing products and services for
kids of all ages.
* All day talks and demos for moms, dads and kids at the stage area.

Come to EXPO KID and experience active fun, learning, imagination-building, and just smply having a grand time with your kids!

Featuring interactive activity areas and all-day talks and activities
showcasing some of the most progressive and creative kids activity providers today:

* My Masterpiece Multi-Arts School
* KidsAhoy
* Multiple Intelligence School
* Kiddieparty.com

Program Schedule:

10:00 AM Formal Opening
Kids Bazaar open to the public

10:30-11AM Yoga Kids

11-11:30 AM Balloon Show by Jiggles the Balloon Lady
11:30 AM-12NN Raffle

12NN-12:30 GSK Book Launch

12:30-1PM Games and Raffle

1-2PM The Bumblebee & Co 2009 Collection – A Halloween Costume Fashion Show

2PM-230Pm Science Exploration by KidsAhoy

2:30-3PM Little Theatre by KidsAhoy

3PM-330PM Drum Jam! by Dona Esteban
Enrich your child’s creative expression, coordination, team spirit and musicality through dynamic rhythms!

330-4PM Tumble Tots

4-5PM My Masterpiece multi-arts show

5PM-6PM Batang Pinoy by KidsAhoy

6PM Onstage Games

Raffle draws
8PM Closing

An Expo Kid Bazaar of 30+ vendors and exhibitors of unique finds for kids and everyone in the family.

Expo hours: 10am to 8pm

Entrance Fee: P 25/head
*All proceeds from registration will benefit Mio Mendiola, a 5-year old boy fighting leukemia. (
www.miofightscancer.com).

Michael Jordan on Failure

I really love the message that Michael Jordan is saying in this ad — “I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

One of my biggest challenges as a mom is getting my 6-year old to take mistakes or defeat as a learning experience and not a personal failure.    Teaching him to read bigger words usually ends in tears of frustration and sobbed-out phrases like “I can’t do it.  It’s so hard. ”   Saying “try and try until you succeed” will only get you so far until it become too repetitive and ignored.

I’ve always wondered how other parents nurture their kids.   How do you teach them to be competitive yet sportsmanlike?  How do you teach them that losing is not the end of the world?

Education for free

My one take-away LSS from Avenue Q was Trekkie Monster’s mantra:  The internet is for porn.

While that may be true for most,  the internet has proven extremely useful for geeky SAHM moms like myself to keep up to date with the latest global issues and trends.   The internet has shrunk the world to the point where one need not travel thousands of miles to see Thomas Friedman expound on his theory that The World is Flat or learn from Kamal Meattle the exact number of plants needed to grow fresh air in an crowded office environment.

Thanks to the internet and the generosity of certain think-tanks and universities, lectures by global movers and shakers are now accessible to the public:  for FREE.

My favorite sites at the moment are the following:

1.  TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

TED is a small non-profit organization which hosts annual conferences in Long Beach and Oxford,  bringing together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers  who  are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).    Videos of these talks are available online at www.ted.com.   I love their mission – to build a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.     Topics range from the environment to art to what makes us happy.

Must view video:  Sir Ken Robinson’s talk about “how we are educating our kids out of their creative capacities.

2.  FORA.TV
Hot on the heels of TED is Fora.tv whose mission is to “gather the web’s largest collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates going on all the time at the world’s top universities, think tanks and conferences.   We present this provocative, big-idea content for anyone to watch, interact with, and share –when, where, and how they want”  Be sure to catch George Kembel’s lecture on Awakening Creativity.

3.  Academic Earth

There is a revolution happening in campuses around the world and this is being led by the edupunks who espouse a do-it-yourself philosophy with regards to education.   MIT was the first to lead the pack — posting videotaped lectures on  ocw.mit.edu.  Other Ivy League schools such as  UC Berkeley, Carnegie Melon and Yale have followed suit.

It was just a matter of time before someone had the brilliant idea of aggregating all these videos on to one website.  Academic Earth now allows you to audit classes from various universities in the comfort of your own home.

As Thomas Friedman said,  The World IS Flat.