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17 Tips for Successful Weight Loss in 2014

Posted by Kyle Design on February 5, 2014

I have a bit of a bad habit. Every January I commit to getting in shape. I keep it up until I reach my goal, then I treat myself to some pizza here, some Chinese takeout there, and a lot less time being active. See, by then, summer has rolled around and my idea of the perfect afternoon involves relaxing by the pool, not pushing myself on the elliptical. So, by the end of the year I’ve put back all the weight I worked so hard to lose and during the first week of January I step back onto the elliptical feeling like I’ve never worked out a day in my life. And the healthy food on my dinner plate isn’t near as appealing as the greasy fair I’ve become accustomed to.

Sigh.

Sound familiar? Whether you’ve got a chronic case of yo-yo dieting or you’ve put on some weight that you’d like to remove by bikini season – either through a sedentary lifestyle, overindulging during the holidays, or having a baby – it helps to have specific goals in mind. Below are some tips for setting goals that can be reached.

17 Essential Tips for Losing Weight

1. Set specific goals for weight and achievement date.

If I plan to lose 25 pounds but don’t have a date in mind, nothing is going to push me to get there. Look at how much you have to lose, pull out a calendar, and realistically determine how much time it’s going to take you to get there. For me, losing 2 pounds a week is doable. So, if I plan to lose 25 pounds, I’ll set my goal date for 13 weeks out. But that is nowhere near the end of goal setting! You must…

2. Make sure your goal date is realistic.

Losing 2 pounds a week is realistic. You will probably lose more in the beginning if you’re dramatically changing your lifestyle. I go from no physical activity and wolfing down entire Panda Express dinners with 2 sodas to working out 4-5 days a week, eating small servings of grilled chicken and steamed veggies, and cutting out soda altogether. So the first week is a total success as my body goes through the shock of this new lifestyle. But then things slow down and 1-2 pounds is the norm. It’s better to reach your goal early than be nowhere near your dream weight on your goal date, so make it realistic or  you’ll end up disappointed.

3. Set mini goals.

Mini goals ensure you’re staying on track. I set weekly goals. This way, I can really take into account those occasions in which I won’t lose – and may even gain – weight, and be sure they don’t keep me from reaching my end goal on time.

There are times that keeping to a workout schedule or eating healthy won’t be practical. If I have a week-long vacation planned, a birthday to celebrate, or a even a weekend out of town, I can anticipate that there will be setbacks. I know that when I travel it’s difficult to eat healthy and control my portions. If I’m in Chicago, I can’t go without Chicago-style pizza (and I can’t stop after 1 or 2 slices) or Duncan Donuts. If it’s my birthday, I’ll be eating a big dinner out and feasting on cake for at least a few days. And that’s OK! Total deprivation isn’t the key to dieting success. Staying committed is. Look at your calendar and see what events, vacations, or special occasions occur between now and your goal date. This will come into play in the next step…

4. Be sure you’ve adjusted your goals for scheduled breaks in routine.

You may have trips or other calorie fests already on the calendar. Don’t let those be an excuse to delay getting started on your program. Just be sure to build them into your mini goals. For example, let’s say that 5 weeks into my new healthy lifestyle I have a 4 day trip planned, Thursday through Sunday. I know that on Wednesday (the night before my trip) by the time I get off of work, get my nails done, run any last-minute errands and finish packing there will be no time for working out. So I basically have Monday and Tuesday to work out, which means I may only lose 1/2 to 1 pound that week. Then, I’ll essentially be reverting back to my old lifestyle for 4 days because I tend to lose all control when I travel. So there’s a good chance I’ll gain 2 or 3 pounds during my trip. So if the week before my trip my goal was 138, my goal for my weigh-in the morning after I return will be 140 max. Then, I’ll get right back into my routine and have a goal of 138 for the end of the week. If I reach it or beat it I’m happy. If you know you can make healthy eating choices on your trip or you’ll only be gone for a couple of days, you may want to plan to maintain the previous week’s weight while you’re gone.

5. Put your goals in writing.

Now that you’ve set specific and realistic goals, put them in writing. Print out a calendar and fill in your goals. Hang it up on the fridge or near your scale so you can easily keep track of your goals.

Fitness Themed Metal Wallet for Weight Loss Goals

Fitness Themed Metal Wallet for Weight Loss Goals

Even better – engrave your goals into a fitness themed metal wallet (or mini pill box or bookmark). With an engraved metal wallet, you can put money into your “fitspiration” wallet every time you finish a workout. Then, you’ll have all the money you need already set aside to treat yourself when you reach certain mini goals – like a pedicure after you lose the first 15 pounds.

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6. Weigh yourself at the same time.

The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning, naked, before you eat or drink anything and after you pee. If that’s how you weigh in one day, but another day you weigh with clothes on after you’ve eaten dinner, you’re not going to get an accurate reading of how your weight loss is going. And you’re going to be discouraged for no reason! Make it a habit to only weigh in the morning.

7. Use goal tracking tools to chart your progress.

Print out a calendar, download a fitness app on your phone or tablet, or join a website like SparkPeople that tracks your weight loss.

8. Keep a log of your workouts and eating habits.

You’ll lose weight faster if you pay attention to what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and what types of workouts get results for you. Write down everything you eat and drink daily as well as what specifically you did to work out. If you’re on the treadmill, jot down how far you went, how long it took you and how many calories you burned. Did you do weight training? Make a note of it. Then, you can review your most successful weight loss weeks and see what types of foods and exercises contributed to that success.

Not only does keeping a workout log help you determine what blasts fat the fastest….you’ll love seeing the improvements in your physical fitness as time goes on. When you’re running 5 miles it will feel good to look back at when you struggled to get through 1 mile. And that will inspire you to keep going.

9. Switch up your routine.

Doing the exact same routine day in and day out not only gets boring, but after awhile it won’t get results. So switch it up. If you typically use the treadmill or elliptical, take your workout outside for sprints in the park. Pop into some of the classes your gym offers. Sign up for boot camp. Borrow a friend’s P90X or Insanity DVDs. Browse the web for circuit workouts. Grab a friend and hit the basketball or tennis court. Go hiking with your dog. There are lots of ways to keep from getting bored and prevent yourself from reaching a plateau.

10. Know that interval training is best.

Intervals are always better than a steady pace. Sprints followed by periods of rest burn more calories and boost your metabolism more than going at a steady pace for your entire workout. This can be done while running in your neighborhood, on a track or treadmill, or on an elliptical or exercise bike. Go as hard as you can for 1 minute, then rest for 3 minutes and then repeat 6 times. You can adjust the times as needed, but be sure to give yourself enough time to get your heart rate down between sprints.

11. Don’t forget your muscles!

Strength training is key. It doesn’t matter if you are female and don’t want to “bulk up” and your only goal is to shed the lbs.  The fact is you’ll lose the weight faster if you have more muscle. Muscle boosts your metabolism which means your body burns more calories when you’re at rest if you’ve been weight training. So grab some dumbbells and start sculpting some muscle!

12. Music matters – create a killer playlist.

I can’t tell you how many times I was ready to end my workout but then got re-inspired by just the right song coming through my headphones. Create a playlist that keeps you going. If there are songs that really get you fired up, save those for 1/2 way and then for 3/4 of the way through your workout – they will help get you to the finish line. Sites like ClickMix allow you to adjust the timing of your favorite songs so they’re fast and upbeat enough to keep you going.

13. Reward yourself!!!

Choose certain milestones (like every 10 or 20 pounds lost or fitting into a certain size of clothing) and reward yourself when you reach them. Go for a pedicure or massage or buy some new clothes – this will give you something extra to look forward to.

14. Find the time that works for you.

If you’re a night owl, setting your alarm for 5:00 a.m. and expecting to burst out of bed and fit in a workout before work is only going to set yourself up for failure. If you’re a morning person who is in bed by 9pm, doing a post-work workout isn’t going to work either. Think about what really fits into your schedule. For some people it’s the morning, for others it’s during a lunch break or after work, and some of us do our best at 10:00 p.m.

15. Dress the part.

Obviously you aren’t going to try to work out without the right attire. But when you put your workout gear on can make a difference. Put your gym clothes on right when you wake up (for an a.m. workout) or before you leave the office. If you’re already in your gym clothes when you head out the door, you’ll be less likely to talk yourself out of your workout.

16. Plan mealtimes around convenient workout times.

If you plan to work out after work, but you’re starving, you’ll be more likely to hit the McDonald’s drive thru than the gym. Or, you’re going to be so distracted and weak with hunger that you won’t give it your all. I have breakfast before work, a snack during the morning, and a very late lunch so that I can go straight to the gym after work and it’s only been 3 hours since my last meal. Find meal and workout times that don’t conflict.

17. Don’t beat yourself up when you get off track.

There will be days when temptation is too tough to resist. Maybe your boyfriend or husband brings home pizza or your dining out with friends and the chocolate dessert can’t be passed up. It’s OK to sneak some junk food here and there as long as it doesn’t lead to a week-long gluttonous feast in which you revert back to a sedentary lifestyle. Eat your bad meal – enjoy every bit – and then get back on track. You’ll often find that just 1 meal doesn’t lead to a setback.

Follow these 17 weight loss tips and you’ll be showing off that thinner you sooner than  you think. Be consistent. Stay motivated. And remember, once you reach your goal, don’t be like (the old?) me. Yes, sneak in some of your old favorite treats like pizza, fries, or donuts, but don’t overdo it and don’t cut off all physical activity at the same time. Let’s reach our goals and keep the weight off together.

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Posted in Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Unique Gifts, watching weight, woman, women | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Inspirational Lent Gifts

Posted by Kyle Design on February 21, 2012

Can you name 5 of the top 10 most common “addictions” people give up for Lent? My husband always gives up 1, and sometimes 2, items from the Top 10 List. I wasn’t raised Catholic so this has been a new concept to me and while I try not to tempt him I have yet to go 40 days without dropping even 1 of my guilty pleasures. Until this year. I’ve spent the past several weeks pondering what I will give up. Thinking I was rather creative I’ve announced all my “unique” ideas to my husband, only to learn that every one of them is actually quite common for Lent participants. Hmmmm. This got me wondering, what are the most common things people give up?

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#10 Gossip

If you know someone who intends to give up gossiping for Lent, help them out with this inspirational box. This will encourage and remind them that they can do it! Engrave Ephesians 4:29 as an added reminder of how we should speak.

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Personalized Cell Phone Pill Box

No Texting for Lent Reminder Box

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#9 Texting

If your son or daughter is determined to give up text messaging during Lent, buy him or her a neat little reminder with this personalized pill box from Kyle Design. This girly one is pink, but there are more than 40 great colors to choose from. Engrave it with an inspirational message like “You can do it!” or “I’m so proud of you!”

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Gold Cross Cigarette Case from Kyle Design

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#8 Smoking

Smoking is an especially difficult thing to give up for Lent, and it shows true dedication! If your husband or wife would like to give up smoking for Lent, get him or her a personalized cross cigarette case. Put the remaining cigarettes from their last pack in this case and let it serve as a religious reminder not to smoke each time they instinctively reach for their smokes.

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Pink and Silver TV Pill Box from Kyle Design

No Television Watching Reminder Box

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#7 Television

Giving up television means missing out on all your favorite shows, but it gives you more quality time with your family. If someone you know has decided to skip TV for Lent, design a unique pill box with a “No TV for Lent 2012” engraving.

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Gold and Blue Personalized Computer Pill Box

Facebook Free for 40 Days Reminder Box

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#6 Facebook

Going Facebook Free for 40 Days isn’t easy – especially if you’re a teen or in your 20s. (OK, maybe some of us in our 30s struggle with this too!) Make sure you disable any facebook apps on your cell phone or ipad! Buy a cute computer themed pill box to carry around as a reminder. Engrave “40 Days of NO Facebook” and then write a note to yourself explaining why you chose facebook and what it means to you personally to give it up. Then, fold up your note and tuck it inside your pill box so you can read it when you’re feeling weak.

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Exclamation Point Gift Pill Bos

@#$! No Cursing Reminder Box

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#5 Cursing

Get this Exclamation Point pill box as a reminder that you plan to spend the next 40 days without swearing. Put some candy in the box and each time you want to curse but don’t, pull out a little treat to reward yourself! Engrave a Bible reference like James 3:10.

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Red Wine Pill Box from Kyle Design

No Alcohol Wine Pill Box

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#4 Alcohol

Many people choose to give up alcoholic beverages during the period of Lent. This can prove especially difficult if you like to enjoy a green beer on St. Patrick’s Day (I know I do!). But, it also means living a healthier lifestyle and enjoying 40 hangover free mornings in a row. Engrave this Alcoholic Beverages Ban Pill Box to remind you or a friend to stay sober during Lent.

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Custom Caffeine Pill Box from Kyle Design

Say No to Soda Reminder Box

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#3 Soda

Soda is my greatest weakness and would be the most difficult thing on this list for me to give up. Not only do french fries just taste better with Coke, but I rely on soda’s caffeine to keep me headache free throughout the day. If you or someone in your family is giving up soda for Lent, personalize this neat little caffeine molecule pill box for them – choose a gold or silver box, a blue, pink, green, red, or purple background color (to name a few – Kyle Design has 42 color choices) and even engrave it with your words of encouragement.  Don’t forget to add some Motrin to get them through those first few days of caffeine withdrawal!

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Blue Desserts and Sweets Pill Box from Kyle Design

Tasty Treats Tempt Me Not Pill Box

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#2 Chocolate / Sweets

Many brave souls give up desserts for Lent, relishing the sweet love of Jesus rather than indulging their sweet tooth. You’d think this would be harder for women than men, but when my husband has to sit next to me while I dip Oreos in milk, the temptation hits him pretty hard. You can personalize this desserts pill box for the man or women you know who’s decided to nix sweets this Lent season. And be sure to get them some extra Easter candy – they’re gonna need it come Easter Sunday!

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Custom Coffee Cup Pill Case from Kyle Design

Coffee Caffeine Withdrawal Pain Pill Box

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#1 Coffee

Starbucks won’t be happy with you (they sell 8,200,000 cups of coffee a day), but your wallet will! If you give up coffee for Lent you won’t be alone – it’s the most common thing people choose to deprive themselves of. This of course, only counts if you actually drink coffee. If not, look back down the list and find something more challenging for you, or choose something unique that’s not listed here (that’s my plan!).

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If you’re like me, you didn’t grow up keeping this ritual of self-deprivation during the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Why not join me in my first year participating in Lent and see what spiritual blessings you get from it. It all starts tomorrow, February 22nd. All I ask is that you challenge yourself. Don’t pick an item that when you consider giving it up you automatically think, “I could go without that for 40 days…” Instead, pick something you could never give up, and let the power of the Holy Spirit get you through it. I believe the harder it is to give up, the more rewarding your experience will be.

Posted in Holidays, Lifestyle, Men, Pill Boxes, Religion, Unique Gifts, women | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Extra Crispy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp And Pie – Experimenting is Fun!

Posted by Kyle Design on June 13, 2009

It is fruit and berry season again, and the first day of summer vacation for the kids. I’ve just baked my second pie of the week plus a strawberry rhubarb crisp, with the help of four kids – my girls, age 10 and 13 and their boy cousins, age 11 and 14. Baking is a great way to keep kids busy, have them learn some new cooking skills and have them experiment with some new flavors. New for the boys: cardamom. New for all the kids: rhubarb.

Fresh Fruit Business Card Holder for farmers, foodies and anyone who loves summer

Fresh Fruit Business Card Holder for farmers, foodies and anyone who loves summer

(My first pie of the season was a bit of a disaster – my oven broke while the pie was in it baking – no flaky crust there! Just a soggy mess – sooo disappointing.) Oven has been fixed, and I was wanting to erase the bad pie memories with the wonderful smell of fruity baking goodness.

Love to bake? Enjoy fresh strawberries? Capture the spirit of the season with a strawberry name badge holder.

Love to bake? Enjoy fresh strawberries? Capture the spirit of the season with a strawberry name badge holder.

Today’s pie is a strawberry rhubarb pie, which was my dad’s favorite. With Father’s Day coming up next weekend, memories of him are on my mind. We used to grow rhubarb in our backyard growing up and when I saw it at the Farmers Market I knew that was the right pie for this new memory making job.

We made pie dough from scratch – really not hard or too time-consuming when you have a Cuisinart, although it turned out a little sticky for some reason this time. While waiting for the pie crust dough to sit in the refrigerator for an hour, however, we whipped together a slightly different strawberry rhubarb crisp that was really good (and gone before the pie was even come out of the oven, so I guess this new flavor was a winner!)

I’m an artist  – I love to experiment and try new ways of doing things and trying new flavors. Yet another creative outlet for me! My youngest daughter does not like fruit (horrors!), so I make a batch of crisp topping for her separately. This time we made a double batch and discovered that the extra crispy bits were especially good mixed into the regular crisp. Always something new….

Extra Crispy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Filling

2 c. rhubarb, cubed into 1/2″ pieces

Encourage Kids to Cook and Plan Meals with a Cooking Bookmark for Cookbooks

Encourage Kids to Cook and Plan Meals with a Cooking Bookmark for Cookbooks

1 c. sliced strawberries

1/2 c. sugar

3 T.  flour

1/4. cardamom

dash of nutmeg

Combine and pour into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan.

Topping

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. flour

1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 t. ground cardamom

dash of nutmeg

1/2 c. softened butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine topping ingredients in bowl or plastic bag and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle half of topping mix over filling. To create the extra crispy topping, pour the remaining topping mix into a separate greased oven-proof pan and bake at the same time as the pan of filling and topping. Remove the crispy topping after about 20-25 minutes (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn), and continue baking the filling and topping pan for about 10-15 minutes more, for a total of 35 minutes.

Serve up the crisp filling and sprinkle the extra crispy topping over it, stirring in if desired. The result is a delicious chewy, crispy, sweet, sour mix of flavors and textures.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - Good memories in the making, and the baking

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - Good memories in the making, and the baking

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – This Pie Is Really Good!

3 c. rhubarb, in 1/2″ slices

1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries

1 1/4 c. sugar

3 T. tapioca

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. ground cardamom

1/8 t. ground nutmeg

3/4 t. grated orange peel

Strawberry Pie ala Mode Christmas Ornament - A great way to capture those memories of baking together.

Strawberry Pie ala Mode Christmas Ornament - A great way to capture those memories of baking together.

Mix above ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before pouring into unbaked pie crust.

Pastry for two-crust pie

Roll out pie dough and line a 9″ pie pan with one of the crusts. Pour in fruit mixture, cover with top crust and crimp edges. Cut a few slits in the top, sprinkle with a little bit of sugar. (To protect edge of crust from getting too dark while baking, cut length of foil, cut in half length-wise and wrap over crimped edge of pie.) Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes, removing foil after 30 minutes if used.

If you love to bake or know someone else who does, please be sure to visit Kyle Design’s Baking and Cooking Gift Ideas pages, as well as our other pages for Strawberries, Fruit, Pie, Christmas Ornaments, Business Card Holders, Vitamin Boxes and Bookmarks for other interesting gifts for those who appreciate the different.

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Hey Artsy Smartsy Types! Maker Faire for Creative Tech Arts This Weekend in San Mateo, CA

Posted by Kyle Design on May 30, 2009

The coolest fair ever, the Maker Faire – science masquerading as art, high tech passing as toys, creative solutions to world problems pretending simply to be fun – is this weekend, May 30 and 31, 2009 in San Mateo, CA.

Get yourself a creative business card holder that reflects both hands-on and high functioning.

Get yourself a creative business card holder that reflects both hands-on and high functioning.

Any of you (and your kids) who love crafts, computers, music, making, DIY, tinkering, technology, recycling, building, inventing, collaborating, this is THE place to be. You’ll come away inspired, informed, invigorated and happy. Find suppliers of really unique crafts and tech materials for future projects, websites with cool things to do, and entrepreneurs who have turned hobbies into fun businesses. A “DO NOT MISS” for families.

This year’s theme is Re-Make America, in keeping with President’s Obama‘s  call to action for “the risk takers, the doers, and the makers of things” to help re-invent the USA. This is the fourth annual fair, and in past years things that captured my family’s attention were the crazy parts bikes, the motorized giant cupcake-mobiles, Fiddlesticks bendable fabric building sticks, the computerized elaborate egg decorating machine.

Robot Memory Box in Wood - A creative way to store memories of fun events.

Robot Memory Box in Wood - A creative way to store memories of fun events.

I’ve always loathed the term “artsy fartsy” because it seems intentionally disrespectful to those are trying to do something different. If you never try, you’ll never succeed! So I much prefer the term “artsy smartsy” because it better represents what inventors, designers and artists are all about. It certainly sums up this show. Bright ideas and creative execution. Really smart, funny people who express that humor in their art and technological products. I love being an artist and I LOVE this fair!

The Maker Faire website describes the event as “The ultimate DIY festival – It’s county fair meets science fair meets farmers market meets burning man for families! Maker Faire will showcase individual creativity and grassroots innovation in the largest festival devoted to DIY culture and technology in the country.”

Have a crafts room or workshop? This Building Tools DIY light switch plate is the perfect finishing touch.

Have a crafts room or workshop? This Building Tools DIY light switch plate is the perfect finishing touch.

The fair is open 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday at the San Mateo County Expo Center.

Maker Faire Tips:

Buy your tickets off-site or ahead of time online. The crowds keep growing every year and I can only imagine what it will be like this year. Chronicle story in the paper yesterday about it, too.

Come early – lines are long just to get into the parking lot, let alone the door.

All you black sheep out there who are making a living in an unexpected way, here's a wallet that reflects your independence!

All you black sheep out there who are making a living in an unexpected way, here's a wallet that reflects your independence!

Bring food if you don’t like fried, (keep it in an ice chest in your car). Plus you can, once again, avoid long lines. (Although I am hopeful that there might be more of an emphasis on good food with the suggestion that there will be a Farmers Market.) This fair is so fabulous you will be tempted to starve rather than miss anything waiting in a line somewhere!

Wear a hat: Half the events and projects are outside, although this year it looks like it will be overcast most of the day.

Take a quick peek into each building first: Each building has a different theme and you can get stuck in any one of them for hours, so see which one looks like it is most interesting for you and your kids before getting involved. You WILL run out of time and not be able to see or experience everything.

If you appreciate creative approaches to life, please check out Kyle Design for unique gifts and home decor. We have switch plates, business card holders and practical gifts for those interested in robotics, crafts, science, music and more.

Posted in American Made, art, artist, Artistic Gifts, Arts and Crafts Supplies, Business, Business Card Cases, business card holders, Cigarette Cases, Computers and Technology, crafts, Creativity, design, designer, DIY Crafts, Electrical Devices, entrepreneur, Events, family, Functional Art, Gifts, Hobbies, Humor, Innovation, kids, Lifestyle, metal, Metal Wallets, New Uses, Online Shopping, Pill Boxes, Science, Shopping, Switch Plates, switchplates, Valentine's Day, Wall Plates, Wood Boxes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Moms: Earth Day’s Earliest Advocates – And Mothers Didn’t Even Know It!

Posted by Kyle Design on April 22, 2009

Moms have always encouraged us to behave in ways that protect Mother Earth, whether they were conscious of it or not, and Earth Day 2009 is a great time day to reflect a moment on this. Consider if you will these momisms:

Wear a vegetable name badge holder to work so you remember to go green!

Wear a vegetable name badge holder to work so you remember to go green!

Feeling inspired to find new ways to save energy? This light bulb business card holder is great way to keep it on your mind.

Feeling inspired to find new ways to save energy? This light bulb business card holder is great way to keep it on your mind.

Eat Your Vegetables! – Moms have been trying to get us to go green since the beginning of (my) time. Even Thumper in the movie Bambi (1942) quotes his mother. “”Eating greens is a special treat, It makes long ears and great big feet. But it sure is awful stuff to eat.” I made that last part up myself.” I shop locally at the Farmer’s Market here in Livermore, CA, for my greens and fruits the year round. I eat them, too. And ended up with big feet. 😉

Turn Off The Lights! – What household doesn’t ring with the echo of this familiar refrain of moms trying to save money? Turns out it also helps save the world. I tell my own kids that someday they will be sorry they wasted that energy. I can see their little minds calculating the veracity of such statements.

No TV Until You Finish Your Homework! – Yes, distract yourself with activities that don’t require the use of electricity. Maybe that’s not quite what mom meant, but hey, its good for the environment. Play outside! Hide in the dark! Anything to put off getting that homework done until the last minute. By the time you get it done, it’s past your bedtime and there is no need to fire up that big energy-sucking tube.

Hang your backpack on the side of your desk with this Television purse hook and think about your favorite TV show.

Hang your backpack on the side of your desk with this Television purse hook and think about your favorite TV show.

Hurry Up Or You’ll Be Walking To School! – Walking is great for kids. Perhaps they really do want to get that exercise. And maybe it isn’t just that Mom doesn’t want to be late for work. Really she’s trying to get you to burn less fossil fuel. And adding that heavy backpack is the best way to build muscle. Isn’t that what they do it the military during practice exercises? “It’s good for you!” Just want all kids want to hear.

World Refrigerator Magnet Clip - Think about Mother Earth each time you open the fridge.

World Refrigerator Magnet Clip - Think about Mother Earth each time you open the fridge.

But really, being an Earth Day advocate is good for all of us and Mother Earth, too.

Please visit Kyle Design if you’d like to see more of my Gifts for Mom, TV Gifts, Light Bulb Inspirational Gifts, Vegetable Gift Ideas and Earth Gifts where you’ll find unique business card holders, purse hooks, ID badge holders and more.

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The Purse Hook – Hot “Design Your Own” Handbag Accessory

Posted by Kyle Design on April 18, 2009

Purse Hooks are the latest hot accessory for women who carry handbags!

Purse Hooks are the latest hot accessory for women who carry handbags!

Familiar yet with handbag holders, those strong hooks that hang over the edge of a table or bar to keep purses close and germ-free? Here at Kyle Design we’ve added our own twist to these up-and-coming must-have accessories that are turning into the coolest new gift idea for women of style.

Unlike other sites that offer you a dozen or two popular images (purse, cat, flower, spiral, shoes, etc. – yes, we have those, too), Kyle Design offers over 400 patterns. Specialized designs include professions, sports, musical instruments, more unusual animals, monograms,  games, crafts, Chinese characters, alcoholic drinks, fruit, trees, desserts and so much more.

Better yet, you decide what color you want, you decide if you prefer silver or gold. Literally, you create the look, we create the purse hook. No need to have a generic handbag hanger, no fear of two women whipping out the same exact holder. And we’re fast. We typically ship within a day or two – even for custom items such as these designer handbag holders.

Do Comedy and Tragedy describe your dating experience? Then we've got just the purse hook for you!

Do Comedy and Tragedy describe your dating experience? Then we've got just the purse hook for you!

Choices, Choices: How many possibilities are there? Currently, 440 original designs x 2 metal choices x 19 gorgeous colors = over 16,000 possible looks! How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many of them carry handbags? More than 16,000? I think that the chances are pretty good that you won’t show up at a restaurant or bar with the same purse hanger.

Simple? Yes! They are so easy to use. Simply set handbag holder disc on the edge of table and hook on a purse strap. That’s it!

Interested in Safety? These purse hangers are perfect for holding designer handbags, shopping bags, digital camera, tote bag strap, umbrellas or backpacks where they stay clean, safe and convenient – right next to you at a table or bar. No more worries about forgetting a purse on the back of a chair, an umbrella on the floor, or being distracted and forgetting to keep an eye on your wallet.

We have great designs for professional women such as this purse hook for a pharmacist.

We have great designs for professional women such as this purse hook for a pharmacist.

Single? These designer handbag holders are great conversation starters, too! They provide a small window into your world that someone new could run with. Although popular in Europe for years, purse table hooks are new enough here in the U.S. that most people I run into are curious about them.

Support American Designers? California artist Kyle McKeown Mansfield creates all the fun designs and unique patterns found on every handbag caddy. You can be the designer when you design your own purse hook – we’ll make it for you right here in our art studio and promptly ship your personalized purse table hook to you in a velveteen pouch.

Show your creative side, have fun, express the real you! Select a purse hook design/color/metal grouping that is a true reflection of who you are! They make wonderful gifts for her including professional women, working girls, dating singles or the handbag queen.

Want to see more? Check out our full collection of Uniqe Purse Hanger Designs. We also have really cool gifts for professionals like pharmacists, attorneys, doctors, dentists, nurses, scientists, mathematicians and others.

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Cool Diabetic Supply Cases for ADA Diabetes Conference in San Francisco – June 6-10, 2008

Posted by Kyle Design on June 7, 2008

Cool Diabetic Supplies Travel CaseThe world’s largest diabetes conference started today in San Francisco, CA, with the American Diabetes Association‘s 68th Scientific Sessions. It is being held Friday, June 6th – Tuesday, June 10th at the S.F. Moscone Center where they are expecting 13,000 diabetes experts including scientists, physicians and other health care professionals from around the world. They will be discussing the latest in diabetes research, treatment and advances toward a cure, according to the ADA website. It is a conference / trade show and as such is not open to the public.

Rates of diabetes have been growing in recent years, with the disease affecting nearly 21 million children and adults in the United States alone. It contributes to the death of more than 220,000 individuals here in America, costing our nation upwards of $174 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”) annually.

The three most prevalent types of diabetes are Type 1 or juvenile diabetes, Type 2 or adult-onset diabetes and gestational diabetes which is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy.Sleek Metal Diabetic Supply Travel Case Of the three, rates of Type 2 diabetes, in particular, have reached epidemic levels over the last ten years, even though it is a preventable disease. The disease, which is often triggered by obesity, is affecting adults and even children, rather than just the elderly as had been the case in the past. Many of us now know many people of all ages who are diabetic. I personally know several different individuals who have each type of diabetes – those who’ve had it their whole lives, those who became diabetic as older adults, and kids who have just been diagnosed with the disease. By the way, the Awareness Ribbon color for Diabetes is a gray ribbon.

Metal Travel Cases to Protect Insulin Supplies for DiabeticsI recently was approached by a mother who lamented the fact that there were no attractive cases in which her daughter could store her diabetic supplies. As a result of her request, I have just introduced these sturdy metal travel cases that can hold insulin pens and extra pen needles supplies. These unique cases are an elegant way for diabetics to keep insulin supplies safe and secure. They are come in a sleek classic style or with your choice of nearly 300 cool designs, all available in either silver or gold finishes.

So I’m very happy to introduce my line of diabetic supply cases today. These cases are a wonderful product for juvenile diabetics who want to keep their insulin pen and supplies safe yet discreet as they go through their school day. The sturdy metal cases offer added protection if your student carries his or her supplies in a backpack or purse. Furthermore, the person’s name and phone number may be engraved on the case in the event the case is lost or stolen.

Gray Ribbon Christmas Ornament for DiabeticsFor a juvenile diabetic or anyone else who has to carry their insulin pen with them all the time, these cases work perfectly!

Kyle Design offers many other metal travel cases in a variety of designs and sizes that may accommodate other diabetic or medical supplies such as blood sugar monitors, lancets, test strips, and syringes. These affordable carrying cases can offer a safe yet attractive way to carry important, and often expensive, medical supplies and may be found on our Unique Travel Cases page. Visit Gray Ribbon Gifts for more gift ideas with awareness ribbons in gray.

 

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Getting Out to Vote in CA – Restoring the Flag

Posted by Kyle Design on June 3, 2008

Fire Department Magnet Clip for Clamping Your Sample Ballot to the FridgeIt’s noon, and I’ve just returned from voting at my local polling place: Fire Station No. 7 here in Livermore, CA. So, how many people cast votes ahead of me today? Not many, as I was voter #23. Yes, 23. As an artist, I remember numbers by relating them to my designs, so today, I was voter Tropical Fish. One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. OK, so now I get it. I never knew Dr. Seuss was so involved in state politics….Tropical Fish Night Light in Brass with Blue Stained Glass

The weather was overcast and cool for a June day in California but not unpleasant so I chose to walk to my polling place, thereby minimizing my carbon footprint one step at a time.

Oddly, for the second trip to the polls in a row, the American flag outside the station blew over as I approached, so I once again replaced the flagpole in its stand, restoring the flag to its proud, upright position. Red, White and Blue American Flag OrnamentAt the same time I was experiencing a strong feeling of deja vu and thinking of the famous picture from Iwo Jima aw well. Is this significant in some way? I always vote and then wear my “I Voted” sticker to encourage others not to forget.

This was a second primary for us Californians with our first one being in February when we voted for our preferred presidential candidates. This time we had senate, state assembly, water board and constitutional amendments to consider – obviously nothing important with the excitement of the presidential election in November, emotions running high over eminent domain and rent control and the looming likelihood of drought.Hoping for a Rainy Day Hope Chest

Ha! Number 23!? With this low voter turnout, my votes are particularly powerful. Voting is a wonderful thing.

Whether you’re from a blue state or a red state, if you’d like to see more of my patriotic gifts, be they in blue, red or a nice undecided white, be sure to visit my American Flag Gifts page. Click any of the photos or the links here for more information on my Hoping for A Rainy Day Jewelry Box, Tropical Fish Night Light, Fire Department Magnet or the American Flag Christmas Ornament.

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Cool Graduation Gift Idea – Double Major Business Card Cases

Posted by Kyle Design on May 29, 2008

Double Major Nursing and Art Business Card Case in SilverMy cousin’s daughter just graduated from Humboldt State University with degrees in nursing and in fine arts, so I made her a very special business card holder that represents both professions. She’s excited about starting her nursing career but is also a very talented artist who has created stunning jewelry. I hope she can find a way to incorporate both loves into her professional life.

It is especially important to me as a professional artist who has “made it”, to encourage new artists starting out. Certainly, art is not a career that affords any guarantees, not like a career in nursing where one can get a job as a nurse anywhere because of the demand.

Becoming an artist requires a tenacity and a calling that most likely will be tested time and again, so it is important to let young artists know that it is possible to find your own way and that the rewards are worth the effort. I personally cannot imagine doing anything else – being creative, thinking outside the box, running my own business, taking on challenges and being proud of what I do are so ingrained in me, so a part of who I am. It fits my personality and interests, and that is a very important concept for anyone to really get their mind around when deciding what to do with one’s life. If you can, pick a career that really suits who you are and what your style is.

Business Card Case for Accountant and PhotographerSpecial Interests Business Card Cases: Now, these cases also work for those who have specialized in a particular field, such as Sports Medicine, as reflected here in the business card wallet that depicts a Medical Caduceus and a Tennis design.

Sports Medicine Business Card Wallet fpr Credit Cards, Cash I’m sure there are many recent graduates with a range of interests who might have fun with a business card case that reflects both loves, whether it be two careers or a combination of work and play, such as this business card case that reflects accounting and photography. Or maybe they were intending it as the business of photography.

That is the fun thing about these card holders – it’s a bit like playing charades as we try to interpret what our customer had in mind. We’ve have many unusual cases ordered that I will feature in another post – I’ll put the question out to all my readers to help me figure it the meaning of each.

If you know a recent graduate who has two special interests or who double majored in two fields, then check out my Custom Double Interest Business Card Cases and my Metal Wallets for Two Careers.

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Earth Day 2008 – Make a Difference One Switch at a Time

Posted by Kyle Design on April 22, 2008

Save the Earth Light Switch PlateTuesday, April 22 is Earth Day 2008, and it is a great reminder to make a difference, however small it may seem, and do what you can to help save the earth, whether through energy savings, recycling, education, etc.

Switch Off Unused Lights: Make the effort to turn off lights when you leave the room and shut down computers when not in use. Tired of yelling at the kids to turn off the lights? How about light switch plates that subliminally remind them to Save the Earth. (Someday they will thank us.) Energy Saving Insulating Gaskets for Light Switch Plates and Outlet CoversOr install motion-sensor lights that will automatically turn off those lights for you (or for those family members who never remember). Or insulate any light switches or outlets on home outside walls with foam insulation gaskets that help reduce airflow thereby reducing your heating and cooling bills. Motion Sensor Light with Timer Automatically Turns Off When Not in Use

Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Compact fluorescent light bulbs last for years, provide better quality of light and yet use only about 70% the energy of incandescent bulbs. For an average household, switching to CFLs can add up to nearly $200 in savings every year. It couldn’t be easier to make a positive difference!

Global Warming Business Card HolderSwitch Your Attitude: It is no longer somebody else’s problem. It is important to understand the urgency of the situation in which we all find ourselves. Educate yourself and find out more about global warming and the rapid changes that are affecting our planet and the creatures on it. See Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, join WeCanSolveIt.org, attend lectures such as the Livermore National Laboratory’s Science on Saturdays talk on Greenhouse Gas Reduction and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). It is urgent that we all start making a difference and know what we are facing.

Reusable Recycling Symbol Hip FlasksSwitch to Reusable Containers: Both paper bags and plastic bags have a great impact on the environment, so the best solution is to switch to reusable shopping bags such as those cool, recycled bags I use from Trader Joe’s. Or carry your drinks in a reusable stainless steel hip flask that can last for years instead of a throw-away plastic water bottle.

Whether through learning, remembering, insulating, recycling, switching or just generally being more aware there are many approaches to helping the environment.

A little here, a little there – it all adds up, and we really all can make a difference.

If you’d like to see other Kyle Design energy-saving solutions and environmental awareness products such as the Motion-Sensor Light Switches, the Light Switch Plate Insulation Gaskets, the Global Warming Business Card Holder, Reusable Recycling Symbol Hip Flask or the Save the Earth Light Switch Plates, please click the links here or the photos above.

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