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On LIFE AT 30 & BEYOND: kids, family, men, BOOKS, cars, pets, tattoos...NASCAR, Aspergers/Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Virtual/Home Schooling, teenagers, Navy Mom...




Tuesday
May072013

Happy Mother's Day! $25 & Under

Happy Mother's Day! $25 & Under - Part One

by Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife®
http://www.rebelhousewife.com


As a Mom, I could easily rattle off a dozen ways, and more, in which I could be fabulously gifted on Mother's Day for under $25. (In response to a challenge from NerdWallet -- this is probably not what they had in mind, but there you go. I appreciate the great suggestion and motivation to do a Mother's Day blog post this year!)

Here's a Quickie: FIVE Best Gifts Under $25 For Mom:
  1. A BOOK (my most-favorite thing!) or gift card to Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. Specific suggestion? Shameless plug: Rebel Housewife Rules: To Heck With Domestic Bliss! or anything by Erma Bombeck -- trust me, she'll love it.
  2. Lunch at my favorite restaurant. You do know Mom's favorite restaurant, right? (This Mom's is La Fonda Latina - Atlanta).
  3. Candles/Flowers (preferably plants) - so many choices! Check this out:
    Candles (BBW) -- Ooh, how 'bout them candles? (LOVE those flameless ones for outside!)
  4. CHOCOLATE -- and not the cheap stuff you can buy in the check-out lane at the grocery store; at least go to the candy aisle and get some decent truffles. Look for Lindt LINDOR Assorted Chocolate Truffles. Yum.
  5. Jewelry -- watches, earrings, bracelets/anklets, oh my! -- Amazon Jewelry Sale.
    My top picks -- and, coincidentally, Happy Mother's Day to ME:



There you go...easy! Now, if you want to go super-special, under-under $25, check Part Two for some other thoughts and ideas:

Happy Mother's Day! $25 & Under - Part Two


Mother's Day: Thru the Years

As a new mother, 18 years ago, for my first and five-or-so subsequent Mother's Days, I needed nothing more than TIME -- for myself. The greatest imaginable gift for those early, blissful, exhausted Mother's Days would have been a coupon book or certificate of offerings from friends, family, husband, neighbors...anyone...TIME: an offer to change a diaper; baby's hour out; nap-time for Mommy; Date Night w/Daddy; 15 minutes to go to the bathroom or take a shower; a delivered meal. All free, or nearly so, but of inestimable worth to the new Mommy. (Of course, jewelry is always appropriate, especially birth-stone jewelry or mother's jewelry -- or diamonds, always perfect! Not necessarily under $25, or under-under, but I digress...)

Five years later (noting I had three children, age five & under, at this point), I treasured every toddler and kid-made arts & crafts symbol of love: the macaroni necklaces, handpainted plant pots; "stained glass" paper creations, thumbprint-decorated cardstock photo frames, ceramic handprints in clay. If my kids slapped glue and glitter paint on a stick, I loved it. I can still visualize those precious gifts, wrapped in simple tissue paper, so eagerly given by those little hands, the super-big-hugs. I still have many of those wonderful, priceless gifts.

As the mother of teenagers, 13 years later, there is a cat's-in-the-cradle aspect to everything, and the ideal gift is TIME -- with my kids. Appreciation. "I love you, Mom." A family dinner at home (without having to cook or clean up after) -- "you take it easy today, Mom." A kid who might pick up their own dirty clothes, turn their own stinky socks rightside out, even run a load of laundry -- woo! Another excellent idea for teenagers: help Mom with the TECHNOLOGY! Set up a ringtone for her; show her how to download and listen to music she would actually like, or a cool app; figure out for her why it's making that noise, or that light keeps flashing, or why it won't do what I want it to (whatever it is).

As a Mom, I can tell you-- Mother's Day does not need to be expensive or extravagant -- truly, it shouldn't be -- to be special. How these 18 years slipped away so quickly, I don't know. Everyone said they would, and they were right.

So relax.

The happiest Mother's Days are completely free: "I love you, Mom. Thank you."
I need to go get a nose-wipie (Kleenex) now...
Happy, Happy Mother's Day - Make it Special.

Monday
May062013

Happy Mother's Day - Kindle-tastic! $20 OFF

In case you are still looking for the perfect last-minute gift for Mother's Day -- or Graduation! -- I've just heard from a very good source:
This week there is a DEAL on Kindle Fire HD for Mother's Day. The 7" Kindle Fire HD will be $179 ($20 off) until Mother's Day (May 12th). The promo code is FIRE4MOM at checkout on Amazon.com.
Here's a pic of my (reluctant) first Kindle -- and an excellent suggestion for
the perfect first book for Mom's Kindle:
The Rebel Housewife Rules: To Heck With Domestic Bliss! -- also on sale!

And, for my personal take on Kindle (which I now find I can't live without), enjoy:

Rebel Review - Kindle: Love or Hate?


Why Gift Kindle for Mom This Year?

  • Mom is busy and works hard. She deserves a few minutes of me-time! Kindle Paperwhite is a great accessory for busy moms -- Paperwhite fits in her purse and connects effortlessly to another world between the pages of Mom’s favorite book or magazine, not to mention the millions of books available in the Kindle Store (including all the best-selling classics Mom loves). Plus, she won’t keep Dad awake at night with Paperwhite’s unique front-lit e-ink technology; she can read in bed without disturbing his snooze!
  • She could use an extra hand (or two) around the house. Kindle Fire HD 7" and 8.9" are Mom’s favorite helpers, offering the ability to stream cooking videos while playing chef and choose from countless apps and books that keep her up to speed with the latest organizational tips, how-to guides, cookbooks and inspirational novels.
  • Mom already has enough to worry about. Kindle FreeTime for the Kindle Fire family is practically a built-in babysitter for Mom, allowing her to create customized profiles for the kids which allot specific times for what they are allowed to read, how long they can play games for, and more.
  • She could use a vacation (understatement of the year). Whether she's planning a vacation or stay-cation, Amazon Kindle is Mom's ultimate travel companion -- cute, compact (weighs less than a paperback) and #1 on her what to pack list. Kindle’s e-ink technology is a dream on the beach, with no glare. And, if she can only make it to backyard pools this year, she’ll still feel like she’s escaping when she gets lost in her Kindle.
Don't forget! promocode FIRE4MOM - Kindle Fire HD 7" $20 OFF until Mother's Day:
Tuesday
Apr232013

Non-techie Live Blogging: Can Big Data Mitigate Threats?

Tuesday
Apr232013

Live Blogging Adventures: Big Data Week


In a week that includes my 7th grade virtual school student going to a very real-world testing location every day to take the Georgia CRCTs...AND my crazy mother packing up and moving from Georgia to Washington State...AND my 10th grade daughter conquering the world with power smashes and aced serves, playing high school varsity tennis as a sophomore -- and winning! -- in the state championship preliminaries...all this week...

It's also BIG DATA WEEK:ATLANTA!!!
Hosted by Emcien Corp, a company with which I am intimately involved.
[Disclosure: My husband is a co-founder and the Chief Technology Officer of Emcien.]

This is a Very Big Deal, on a level that I, as a non-techie, could not have expected, in terms of international scope, big-corporate participation, the calendar of activities scheduled, and the number of people involved and so very, very enthusiastic about the Next New Thing in Technology: Big Data.

Big Data is everything, from the location & use of your cellphone, to online transactions, to what you put in your shopping cart at the grocery store, to healthcare, to your social media activities. It is mind-boggling, and in many ways downright creepy, how much information is out there, the extent of our individual & collective digital footprint, and how that information can be used.

So, in the midst of CRCTs, State high school tennis competition, and my crazy mom, counting down the days to high school graduation (exactly 30) and my oldest son's departure to the Navy (OMG, exactly 60 days from today)...I am visiting the World of Big Data and live blogging my experiences as a non-techie writer in the techie world. Adventures indeed:



Wednesday
Feb272013

School Shooting - Live Blog Tomorrow

I will update with the link to the Live Blog tomorrow: