5/26/17

The New, Safe Way To Share + Verify Personal Information Online



 **Today, I am Partnering with Intelez, to talk about Online safety and SAFE information sharing.


You hear the horror stories every day about people being taken advantage of online, having their identity stolen, even online dating sites full of falsified profiles with profile pics showing the best photo taken in the last two decades of the potential mate. 


Then, there's Craigslist, AirBnB and Lift that rely heavily on online interaction and personal information sharing, including; Name, Address, Bank Details, Income. What a leap of faith it is to not only share your private info and bank details, but meet these strangers face-to-face! 


Bottom Line: Anymore, it's hard to weed through the Online BS. So how in the world do we protect ourselves and our children from the web of lies and stolen info?


Three Words: Anonymous Digital ID.





Recently, when a fellow parent and representative for Intelez reached out to let me know how Intelez Passport, a new progressive way to verify minimally necessary information to, is making Online information gathering and sharing MUCH safer, I said tell me more! 


Here's what I learned about the, Intelez Passport, and how it can help protect my family from online fraud and bogus info.





Intelez PASSPORT: There's and App for that!




The Low Down
  • readily available (takes 3 minutes to create)
  • anonymous (you only share certain attributes, e.g. credit rating; your name is never shared)
  • interactive! (you can communicate via passport, gaining both ability to confirm ownership of passport, and to ask for more information)
  • you are in control (you decide what to share; share as little as just zip code)
  • authenticated (the information Intelez allows you to put into passports comes from trusted sources only)
  • temporary (delete passport as soon as your transaction is complete)

How It Can Help You:


  • With Intelez, clients use and PROTECT THEIR OWN data. With a standard background check, there is a middle-man company that accumulates data about all, and then sells access to it. NOT INTELEZ!
  • Intelez puts clients in CONTROL what data is shared and how. With background checks, this control belongs to the middle-man company and the person who “runs” the background check.
  • Intelez enables clients to COMMUNICATE via passports (that is, ANONYMOUSLY). Communication is very useful when there is a complex identification problem at hand – for example, Intelez users can ask “for more data” – anonymously! Also, communication is used to prove ownership, and to provide a risk-free way to talk to each other. Background checks have no such mechanism.
  • Intelez can source practically ANY information for as long as it is trusted. For example, Intelez can source data from freelancer.com, allowing freelancers to employ their reputation elsewhere. The list of sources can be expanded quickly and easily, as long as someone tells us they would like to see another website added to our sources. Background checks operate mostly with data that’s open to the public.
  • Validation Fairness. We observe a certain lack of balance in the way people get validated – you often see that there are those who require validation and those who look at the validation results. Intelez creates a level of trust in online transactions by providing fair, symmetrical interaction where people can validate EACH OTHER safely and easily. Intelez does exactly that.
  • All data is encrypted using the strongest technologies. Background checks are all about “background check company” hoarding someone else data.





HOW IT WORKS:





There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, INTELEZ is ahead of the curve with the Intelez Passport system. The fear of sharing and collecting valid data online is very real. Without systems in place like Intelez, online sharing will continue to be a dangerous game to play with your personal info.


To get more info on how INTELEZ can help you and your family, click here.


Ready to get started using INTELEZ Passport? Click here!

5/25/17

10 Super Cute + Useful Father's Day Crafts #FathersDay

With Father's Day around the corner, I have been scouring the Internet for the perfect Father's Day gift that Ollie and I can create together. I think a homemade Father's Day gift is so much more special than anything we can buy.  That being said, rather than make him a candy bowtie, We make him something useful. Below are a few of the super cute Father's Day Crafts that are not only super easy to make but useful too! 


Most all of these are so easy they don't need instructions! But if they do, I have a link in the title for you...


1.  The Handprint Baseball is perfect for little baby hands. What dad wouldn't love a baseball handprint paperweight?






3. Father’s Day Stache Jar Fill full of daddy's favorite treat or golf tees!





5. Father & Son Silhouette This is super-duper easy to make. I'm going to give it a try for a Christmas ornament!



6. "We Love You Because" Photo Collage I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea.  Kid's say the best stuff.



7. Swiss Army Key Ring This is an awesome gift for a crafty kid to make for dad.  



8. Neck Tie EYEGLASS HOLDER This is an adorable idea and fun spin on the traditional Father's Day tie gift.

This is so cute!


9. Luggage Handle Cover If dad travels often, this will always remind daddy of his family while on the road.

    The next time we fly, I'm making this. SO much nicer than crazy ribbons and whacky luggage tags.      



10. EVERY dad wants this shirt! Every. Single. One.


BONUS: Hare are a few fun photo gift ideas for the photographer and photoshop lover

The 3D Family Tree From Made By Joel is so easy to make and so cute. I'm thinking a jewelry tree and laminated photo cutouts could make a great gift that will last!


This is a great idea for a family with three or more children



Make Dad A True King! The photoshop lover can go crazy with this one. Find a fun photo of royal proportions and stick your family's heads in the photo.



 The family portrait of awesomeness
If you are savvy with a photoshop program, this is not that difficult.
1. Find an awesome portrait,
2. Find photos of each family member with their head pointing in the same direction of the person they will replace..
3.. Cut out then paste your each person's head on to the corresponding person.
4. Fiddle with it for five hours to make it just perfect.
5. Drink a bottle of wine.
6. Send to nearest printing place (We go to Walgreens. The one near us  has the equipment to print huge banners and posters.)
7. BLOW DAD'S MIND!


If you are shaking your head, thinking, "no way can I do this!"  Then just head over to BlueMountain for some super cute eCards and customizable coupon books and Father's Day Printables. There's even a cute article about, "What to Write in a Fathers Day Card" you might find helpful!


*I partnered with Blue Mountain to create this post. All opinions are my own.

5/24/17

UNITED Is The Only Way We Will Stand #EnoughIsEnough








To The Reader, As you may or may not know, when there's a terrorist attack, I don't say a thing.  (Unless I'm being paid money to write an article for a pub. Please hire me!)  I'm always so horrified and angry, I'm afraid I'll go too far in the heat of the moment and write something so unpoliticallyfuckingcorrect, I'll be damned to social media hell with Matthew Weinerdog.

Plus, this is a humor blog about life's trials and tribulations. People come here to laugh and take a moment away from their own hectic life. If you want the news, you go to the news. You want to laugh, this is the spot.

HOWEVER, the Manchester Arena Attack, after the Arianna Grande Concert, that essentially targeted children, was so far out of bounds, I have to say something. Those fuckers have gone way too far. Watch out, here I go. I apologize now for the language and God know's what else will pour out...  -April


With the constant terrorist attacks around the world, I can't help but think, Terrorism, IS the face of World War III. 

I also can't help but think, if there's any hope for the next generation, this generation has to step up. There needs to be more focus on community and restoring faith in humanity. We're all fighting the same fight. Terrorist have no bounds, lines, morals, religion, country...

Not to mention, it takes one fuckstick angry at the world to identify with those ISIS assholes, and off they go with a gun and shoot up a mall. 



Terrorist are EVERYWHERE! Some asshole is probably buying a semi-automatic weapon off the internet right now, with every intent killing innocent people and children. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!


While the military is fighting the large cells, we as a community, need to make our neighborhoods safe. It's time to create communities of compassion, strength, and honesty. It's time to check on the elderly and spend time with your family.

It's time to protect our children by any means possible.

Well, when I say any means, I don't mean vigilante asshole style. Quite the opposite. We live in a different age from our parents, it's time to adapt. It's time to fight for stricter gun laws. Let down your fear of invasion of privacy, and let the metal detectors go up in schools, malls and movie theaters. Until this madness subsides, if it does at all. There are too many unmedicated narcissistic psychopaths running around, WITH a license to carry a concealed weapon, INTO WALMART! 

I'm not saying these guys are, unmedicated narcissistic psychopaths running around WITH a license to carry a concealed weapon, INTO WALMART! Just using two dudes in a WALMART with guns for the fuck of it. No, because they have a small peepee, to protect themselves, from the crazy old dude with the funny pants in line.

Even though some days it's hard to believe, the majority of the world is made up of kind humans. If we can reach out our hands to each other and protect our communities, then there's hope. Work as a community to tighten laws in your area. Your State has power and so does your voice, make a change in your community, then state. Not only can it be done, but WE CAN also DO IT! 


You really want to make America great again? Go meet your neighbor and change with the times. Stand up and demand better laws that protect citizens, not the deep pockets of the NRA.

If nothing else, with so many hurting and mourning all over the world, just if only for today, please smile at your neighbor. 

Please, be kind to a stranger. 

DON'T walk around suspicious of every person you pass because of their religion, race, sexual orientation, or whatever, be kind to them and your heart. Love feels really good. I promise that smile will feel just as good to you as it did to the stranger... who may not see another smile today.

Thank a cop. They put their life on the line every day to protect yours.







I beg you, citizens of the world, come out of the shadows and shine a beautiful light from within. We've stood idly too long. This fight is on our home turf, please, let's protect our community, the children and ourselves before it's too late. 


Stand with me as I stand with Manchester and every other community bearing the pain and scars of terrorism. 



SaveSaveSaveSave

5/22/17

Want Calmer, Well-Rounded Grounded Kids? DO THIS

**Today, I'm partnering with, The Stillness Project.  to share the benefits and documented facts about children who meditate. All opinions are my own.




So you want to keep your kids calmer and grounded? Who frigging doesn't?

I would give anything to keep my son quiet, calm, out of trouble, and doing something productive, even just 75% of the time!

Thankfully, I have the answer.

Wait for it...

Meditation.

Seriously. You may have read about the Baltimore school, Robert W. Coleman Elementary, and the School's meditation room. The children are taught to refocus their negative energy into something positive. It's AMAZING! 


One boy, after being sent to the meditation room, instead of the principles office for his out of control behavior, said, "I did some deep breathing, had a little snack, and I got myself together," the boy recalled. "Then I apologized to my class."

Wow. Just, Wow!




WAIT! Before you go thinking, I can't meditate, how in the hell am I going to get my kids to meditate? I have the answer for that as well.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce a WORLD'S FIRST, meditation program for adolescents, created by a global meditation expert and father of two teens, Tom Cronin. Tom, was not only saved from his own personal issues through meditation but also helped his sons too. Seeing the effects of meditation on his family, he created the program, Meditation for teens.



The purpose is to deliver deeply relaxing meditation programs to teenagers and schools. While the program is a first, and about time, studies have been around for years showing the effects of meditation on children. Which, is why schools all over the world have implemented meditation in the classroom. Tom's program is being utilized in the classroom throughout Europe and Australia and is gaining steam in the United States!



Meditation is not only amazing, but it's also ESSENTIAL! It's like giving your mind, body and spirit the best, most relaxing massage.  Which, is why you hear about so many A-List celebrities meditating two or more times a day like, Miranda Kerr.  It took some practice, but I meditate twice a day, morning and night. Without fail. The effect is amazing!



So what does all this mean for your Child or Teenager? THE SAME THING!

I truly believe this program works because of Tom's understanding of effective meditation and easy techniques ANYONE CAN FOLLOW!

Each day, for 14 days, the Chill Out Meditation member will receive an email with a video instruction on how to meditate using an ancient and powerful practice. It's under $5 a month too!





Meditation WILL change your child's life, please, take a moment to read more about, The Stillness Project.



5/19/17

Oh How Foolish I Was... I'm totally, THAT Mom.



Before being a mother, I had all of these grand ideas of motherhood. Most of all, I knew I was going to be amazing, and so was my child.

Allow me to delight you to some of my silly brilliant ideas:

1. I was going to be so attentive to my child; he would never cry, want for anything or act out.
2. My child would never, ever eat fast food.
3. My child would not watch TV before two.
4. My chid would not play on a smartphone, tablet or video game console until he was, at least, ten years old.
5. I was going to stick to the 'routine' like glue, so my child would always be well adjusted and easy to get to sleep.
6. I was going to be the best school-mom ever. Including attending classroom parties, field trips, and PTO meetings.
7. I would never use foul language or fight with my husband in front of my child.

Ok, I'm going to stop now, because surely you get the picture. I had this insane preconceived notion of what the "perfect mother" is, and how I was sure I would be her.

Ha! I can sum those grand ideas up in three words.

Ignorance. Is. Bliss.

Now that I am a mother, I realize all of those grand ideas were, well, crazy. Especially, for me.

I'm just not that kind of mother.

In fact, I'm not sure any mother is? Is it possible to never screw up, or always stick to the routine? Or ONLY feed your child all-natural organic foods, and still be active and on-the-go? And that whole classroom mom and PTO stuff is not for me.

Not yet anyway.

And showing up for carpool 45-minutes early so my kid can be picked up first? Yeah, that's never going to happen!

I tried to make a super-awesome Valentines box but stopped when my son decided his Star Wars Lunchbox looked like a better option.  Which, was the truth, my homemade valentines box was turning into a shit-box.

Even my son knows I'm just not that kind of mother. And thankfully, he's cool with it.

My little guy could give a crap if I picked him up first after school. (I asked him!) He LOVES when we have to grab a meal on-the-go at a fast food place. He thinks bedtime is for the birds, so when we miss his regularly scheduled bedtime for a family night out, he's all for it. The tablet is a win-win for both of since he can play one of his favorite learning games while I have a quiet minute to think or get something done. (I caved to technology, but only under the pretense that only can access educational apps.)

The truth is, I don't even know what kind of mother I am. I know I love my son with all of my heart, would do anything in the world for him, and above all, I try to be the best mother I know how to be. I also always try to follow my heart and instincts; Even when they go against my silly pre-mother ideas.

If having a quiet, well-behaved child means crushing my lovely child's spirit by constantly staying on him, then forget it. If being the perfect mother requires strictly sticking to a routine, wasting 45-minutes sitting in my car to pick my child up first, and spending an entire months' salary on organic meals, then forget it.

 I'm just not that kind of mother.

If you too are fighting your heart and instincts to reach an idea about motherhood, stop. If you are trying to be a certain kind of mom to please society or your mother, STOP!


Be true to yourself, love your child and do your very best, because I've come to realize, that's the secret to being the best kind of mother.






5/16/17

10 Parenting Things I Swore I'd Never Do...

For today's Top 10 Tuesday, I thought I would share some of my stellar parenting moments...

I miss the days when I was a perfect mother with a perfect child... you know, when I was childless and still swimming in self-righteous parenting ignorance. I'm pretty sure the saying, "Never say never.", came from parents saying it to non-parents. So far, almost all of my pre-parent, I will nevers... I have done. Here are 10 of my top "Nevers" that I do and say on a regular basis...

1. I will never let my kid do that in public!  Run through the store; have a meltdown; make a huge mess; talk back... All. the. time.



2. I will never say all of the stupid things my mom said to me!  I say it all, daily... "Don't make me turn this car around!" "You can sit there all night until you eat your veggies!" "Do you want something to cry about?" <---- I thought that was the all time stupidest thing my mom ever said!  I WAS crying, clearly I HAD something to cry about!  Now that I'm a mom... yeah, the shit kids cry about... now that's stupid!

5/15/17

The Parent's Guide To Buying The Perfect Violin

The Parent's Guide To Buying The Perfect Violin
I would love love love it if my son played a musical instrument, and not only because he's beaten my pots and pans to death over the past three years. The research is everywhere, music and musical instruments WILL enhance a child's life, mind, body and soul!

A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute shows musical experiences in childhood accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. According to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM Foundation), learning to play an instrument can improve mathematical learning and even increase SAT scores. 

Since so many children start on recorders, and eventually graduate to a violin or other string instruments, I wanted to share the fantastic infographic, The Parent's Guide To Buying The Perfect Violin, created by the Fiddlershop. (Dear parent with the drummer and sax player, sorry. Earplugs will be your fried until he gets it down!)