Continuing Ed

Snow Day Home Improvement Project

I do like a good snow day – especially when I can plan ahead of time for it and have no where to be. Here’s a super easy and quick project I did on our last snow day.

First I took an decorative outside plant stand and painted it white (Rust-oleum or Krylon are both brands that I have used with equal success – this project was Rust-oleum). Then I re-purposed a plastic IKEA place mat to make shelf liners and cut to size (notice how I even rounded the edges – so fancy). And then slid the place mat piece through the side. Add a candle, hand lotion, and cute paper napkins and you have a little more storage. This would be sweet with a tiny plant or vase with flowers. Do you have a favorite quick DIY project? Share in the comments – I could use some inspiration for Thursday.

Checking out Xfinity wtih some fun Xfinity Moms

I was recently invited to a holiday party with a group of Xfinity Moms to learn about new and improved Comcast services. I have partnered with them for this sponsored post to share with you a few of my favorite things. As always, all opinions are my own.

So on a very cold night last week, I was persuaded to leave the comfort of my home, and a potential evening of binge watching The Crown, to learn more about Xfinity at the Comcast store in Burlington. Okay, my decision was helped along by the promise of prizes – namely a goodie bag of cute Xfinity swag and time with some bloggers I know in real life and online. Great timing, because we are looking over our phone, internet, and television service and about what is best for our now far flung family. With two kids in college, the daily household internet and television use might be down but only until they’re home again – and in the meantime, we’re not willing to give up fast internet speed and service.

So, what did I learn? A lot, actually. Did you know that 86 percent of in-home broadband use will travel over wi-fi this year, and by 2020 Americans will have an average of 50 wi-fi connected devices in their homes?  What?! I can’t wait to see our future home! Like The Jetsons but without the flying cars.

While we nibbled on yummy food, and as I finally warmed up with a hot cider, I learned about Xfinity XFi and some cool new features. Like what? Well, you can pause wi-fi on your network by device OR user! Hello homework helper! That is definitely a  feature that I wish we had while our kids were younger. So awesome for managing screen time. More features for the younger set?

Comcast has partnered with one of my favorite sites for help in determining appropriate content for kids is Common Sense Media, and now you can get ratings and reviews directly on the TV. And you can set up controls by age – super helpful.

Well, it’s almost Christmas and the Santa Tracker has fun games, music, movies and sing-a-longs, updates how many days until Santa will be here. Year round, The Kids Zone is a safe and secure place for them to explore age appropriate content.

We also learned that voice recognition is here…and it is awesome. Say you want to re-watch (no judgement) Love Actually – just say so and it will play it! And once you’re watching the movie, you can replay your favorite scene… like my favorite performance of All I want for Christmas is You.

Xfinity makes finding your favorite shows a breeze with a very cool user interface that can be set to menu style below or using images – I’m seriously into the visual menu. And for your sports fans – check out the team remotes!

Wait, there’s more! We learned that Xfinity Mobile was the nation’s first wireless service and you can set up your account in different ways – either “By the Gig” for $12 per GB of shared data across all lines per month, or an unlimited plan for $45 per month, per line. If you’re paying by the gigabyte, you can “switch and save” by changing to Unlimited anytime during the billing cycle. Or also “mix and match” so each individual has a data option that makes works best for them. Great idea – our mobile needs seem to change monthly.

My favorite feature? If you’re home and can’t find your phone (phew – it’s not just me), you can ask the tv where your phone is. My kids will really like this feature so I can stop asking them to call my phone for me. Yes, it may happen once or twice…a week.

 

Wow, Xfinity has a lot going on! And I haven’t even mentioned their home security, control and energy management platform called Xfinity Home.  You can stay connected to your home wherever you are. And they have awesome apps for streaming, checking your home security, Comcast account, and connecting to your email and with Voice2go access which lets you take Xfinity Voice virtually anywhere (including overseas). Now that’s a feature your college student  can use if they’re lucky enough to take a semester abroad!

So many features, and such a innovative and thoughtful approach to integrating your tech life with your real life activities. Well done, Comcast!

Need more info?

Follow them on social:

Twitter – @Xfinity

Facebook – Xfinity

Instagram – Xfinity

Best Gifting Practices – Uncommonly Good

For a long time now we have had a present cabinet. Yes, as in gifts. And, no, I am not super organized. It’s for when I need an emergency gift, you know, when you’ve forgotten an event is coming up – What, you don’t do that? Well, I do and sometimes the cabinet is stocked and I breathe a sigh of relief, and sometimes I am down to some hair ties and a pen.

So I clearly can’t leave special events like birthdays, graduations, weddings or anniversaries to chance, those need more planning, and, well, I have that covered, too. Actually, UncommonGoods does. When they contacted me to share my gift giving practices, I was thrilled – I love their site because they have cool, creative gifts in a wide range of prices, and make shopping by occasion super easy. Located in Brooklyn, NY, they select works from talented artists and artisans, and, as an added bonus, they’re a B Corporation. What is that? It means they do work on social and environmental problems, including wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to the community. That’s to the good of everyone.

But you need gifts.

Our family just wrapped up one graduation season, and while the next is a ways off, the holidays are around the corner and I’m betting on UncommonGoods to help with my list. Love this dreamy retro camera that takes romantic, light soaked photos and will charm any photographer, artist or film student. The Diana Camera is super cool, dare I say hipster? – and uses 120 film.

The Diana Camera at Uncommongoods.com from Capabilitymom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Math mug Uncommongoods from capabilitymom

Less art and more math? There’s fun with numbers in this math-y mug or great geeking out clock (equations included).

geek equation clock uncommongoods from capabilitymom

Looking for something a bit more personal? You’re covered there, too, with gifts that can be made to honor a special someone. And I love that the Uncommongoods site lets you search by occasion, interest, price, and category. No small feat, that.

And having just reached a milestone wedding anniversary, I also know a bit about great gifts for anniversaries (or weddings). Keeping it personal is key, and so easy to do here. My favorites for couples include these gorgeous faux bois personalized mugs, just pair with your favorite fair trade coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new go-to gift: Put together a mixed six pack of local craft beer, the beer labels are cool and the names are usually funny, and if you put that together with these wordy glasses, you have a really thoughtful gift. And you might even pick up a vocab word or two.uncommon goods wordy beer glasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling the sentiment? Me, too. Love this company,

 

 

Check out their blog  which features their artists, design inspiration, and even more gift guides.

 

Disclaimer: While I did receive payment for sharing this post, all opinions are always my own.

Summer Plans, Part One

For me, summer officially starts on the last day of school but this year was different. Our youngest graduated from high school in June, and there was so much more going on than the usual end of year picnics and the slide into camp schedule. All good things, just really, really different. Prom, graduation, graduation parties, award ceremonies, and family get-togethers- all wonderful but a super busy time. And I have a few part-time gigs going on… so lots of juggling on my part, and I am not really all that good at juggling.

And I always think that summer means slowing down, catching my breath and reading with my toes in the sand.

Do I ever have that summer? Have I ever had that summer? Definitely not, and while I do try to carve out at least a few beach days here and there – I have goals, people! I try to catch up on my reading, get to a Red Sox game or two, and hang out with my family. How am I doing so far? Reading, check – I have this great poster of 100 Essential Novels to keep me on track  – you scratch them off when you’ve read them – so fun!

Then it occurred to me to see how many of these classic books have been made into movies and to watch them this summer. Well, maybe I won’t finish this summer. Here’s what I am watching and reading and, in some cases, re-watching and re-reading. Make it a family movie night, and take turns choosing from your favorite adaptations. All are available on Fios – click on the image for more info.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Gregory Peck)

Pride and Prejudice – any version except the zombie one, but, hey, no judgement if you’re into that.

Gone With The Wind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Gatsby (again, choose your favorite – Redford or DiCaprio). No zombie version available, thankfully.

The Scarlet Letter – Demi Moore or the 1934 version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that should get you started with the classics. Also on my list:

The Fault in our Stars

Me Before You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water for Elephants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Help

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And no summer would be complete without the movie that made me afraid to go in the water for an entire summer.

Yes, Jaws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure – I am a member of a Verizon #BostonFios influencer team (a natural for me – a Verizon superfan!) and we are compensated for social shares. All opinions are, and always will be, my own.

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