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Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Decorative Night Lights for Kids Who are Scared of the Dark

Posted by Kyle Design on September 17, 2014

Is your son or daughter scared of the dark?

Many small children are afraid of the dark and the best way to alleviate their night time fears is with a night light. Adding a soft, glowing light to a kid’s bedroom offers your son or daughter reassurance during the night.

At Kyle Design, we have a variety of designs that are popular for children’s rooms including the carousel night light for girls, rocket night light for boys, butterfly night light, star night light, celestial night light, fairy night light, baseball night light and more.

Click customize my nightlight to select from hundreds of Kyle’s unique designs.

Kyle’s nightlights are handcrafted so each one is created specifically for your son’s or daughter’s room. You get to select the stained glass color, the metal finish of the decorative design (shown: brass carousel and silver rocket), and the base type.

Automatic night lights are best for kids’ rooms as they turn on when it gets dark but also turn off in the early morning hours when they’re no longer needed.


Nitelights for Kids’ Rooms

Posted in Decorating, kids, Night Lights, Parenting | 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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Posted in art, Badge Holders, Business Card Cases, business card holders, crafts, design, Events, Functional Art, Gifts, Handbag Holder, kids, Lifestyle, mom, Online Shopping, Parenting, Purse Hook, Refrigerator Magnets, Shopping, Switch Plates, switchplates, Unique Gifts, Wall Plates, woman, women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

California Coastal Clean Up Day – Inspirational Message: It Feels Great!

Posted by Kyle Design on September 22, 2008

It is a beautiful lake, and now even more attractive along a stretch of clean beach.

It is a beautiful lake, and now even more attractive along a stretch of clean beach.

Saturday was California’s Coastal Cleanup Day 2008. Although I missed the actual day, reading about it on Sunday in the newspaper inspired my family to go to Lake Del Valle in Livermore, CA, and clean up the beaches there.

Recycling Logo Business Card Holder is a gentle reminder to always do your part.

Recycling Logo Business Card Holder is a gentle reminder to always do your part.

They were in sore need of help. We came prepared with plastic bags and gloves. My husband, two daughters and I spent over an hour picking up about 75 pounds of garbage – beer bottles, cans, candy wrappers, trout bait containers and fishing line. We hauled the bags back to the recycling bin – those three large ones in the photo.

Lake Del Valle is a beautiful man-made lake nestled in the mountains of south Livermore and managed by the East Bay Regional Parks District. Recreational activities include dog walking, boating, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, sailing and wind surfing. There are picnic tables, boat launch, dock, concession stand and facilities. It is a great site for parties because there is so much to do.

Attention Beer Lovers! My new Beer Business Card Case is a cool way to carry your credit cards, too.

Attention Beer Lovers! My new Beer Business Card Case is a cool way to carry your credit cards, too.

My husband had been there the day before walking our dog. He was struck by how dirty it was, so when he read about the Coastal Clean Up Day, which was started in 1985, he suggested we all go and do our part, albeit a day late, but, hey, better late than never. It was a gorgeous day – in the low seventies with a gentle wind. Cleaning up was a good workout – good for the body, good for the soul. I’ve been working furiously on the computer to get all my new designs up on my site, and this was a great break to get the blood flowing again.

I was really rejuvenated by the experience – doing something practical for our community while enjoying nature, taking the time to appreciate the quiet lapping of waves, the scenic views and the sense of being away from it all while just being minutes from home.

Are you the type to get out there and do it? Or could you use a little inspiration from our Mountain Biking Light Switch Plates? Check them out here!

Are you the type to get out there and do it? Or could you use a little inspiration from our Mountain Biking Light Switch Plates? Check them out here!

All we can do is set an example, for our kids as well as others, with family activities that make a difference, and hope that if everyone just does a little, a lot will get done. Make it your business. And, really, it feels great!

For all you beer drinkers who drink (and dispose of) responsibly, please check out my brand new Beer Gift Ideas. And for those of you who enjoy participating in activities that help your community, please visit my Recycling Logo Gifts. If you appreciate getting out and enjoying nature while getting a good workout, see my Gifts for Mountain Bikers. California Coastal Cleanup Day 2009 is on Saturday, September 19 next year (the third Saturday in September). Put it on your calendars if you are so inclined!

Posted in Community Service, Events, family, kids, Parenting, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Slow Food Nation in San Francisco – Kids Are Foodies, Too

Posted by Kyle Design on September 1, 2008

Ever tried eating snail? This bread display makes it appealing!

Ever tried eating snail? This bread display makes it appealing!

I took my girls (9 and 12) to the Slow Food Nation 2008 show in San Francisco Saturday. The deal was, if I was going to spend $65 on a ticket for each of them, they were going to try everything. I feel I got my money’s worth out of it because we overcame some big food hurdles this weekend, in particular with my youngest who is a picky eater.

Slow Food USA is a movement promoting good, clear, fair and sustainable foods and the pleasure of eating them. We attended the Taste Pavilions and loved almost everything we tried (and tried again). It was wonderful! We had tickets for the 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot, got very lucky with parking in the Fort Mason center and then lined up behind the other 2,000 foodies waiting in line to get in at the stroke of 5:00. There were some other kids, but certainly not a lot – maybe about 20.

As you enter, you walk past the brick ovens baking bread and pizza outside the pier and your salivary glands go wild. We came hungry and left stuffed and happy, yet still had extra spaces on our taste cards for more if we were so inclined. You receive tickets for 20 tastings, and samples “cost” from 1-3 tasting dots. When I first got there I thought, “Oh, I can eat more than that.” HA! By the end, my daughters were trying to give away our extra tickets, but everyone they approached had the same stuffed-to-the-gills look on their faces. We ended up leaving our unmarked tickets on the table for any hungrier (or thirstier) individuals who might exist.

Slow Food Nation Taste Pavilions - Ate Like a Pig and Proud of It

Slow Food Nation Taste Pavilions - Ate Like a Pig and Proud of It

The taste pavilions were divided up into about 13 different sections: Fish, Charcuterie (Meats), Honey and Preserves, Chocolate, Cheese, Olive Oil, Tea, Coffee, Ice Cream, Pickles and Chutney, Breads, Wine, Spirits, Beer. As it turns out, we only went to about half, but didn’t feel like we were missing out at all. Our stomachs are only so big!

ice Cream Flask - Eating and Drinking Were the Nights Mission

ice Cream Flask - Eating and Drinking Were the Night's Mission

Ice Cream: We went through this line twice. We went through it at the beginning when the line wasn’t that long (we decided to have desserts first, then dinner foods – why not?) The raspberry sorbet was heavenly! And my youngest (who does NOT EAT FRUIT) loved the chocolate cherry ice cream!!! You get 3 flavors for two dots, and they had 3 assortments each time. Of course, later, when everyone was ready for dessert, the line was huge, but since we knew how good it was the first time, we were happy to wait for the new selections. The only one we didn’t like was the lemon goat cheese ice cream. It really just tasted like frozen goat cheese, and I prefer to eat that in small bites on salads and in pasta dishes. I don’t need a whole bowl of it. It could have been interesting if the goat cheese flavor were more subtle instead of overwhelming.

Cheese: Turns out, the cheese ice cream was the closest we got to sampling cheese. We kept hoping to get back to the cheese line, but it was always at least a 45 minute wait. But I take my girls out to the Cheese Board in Berkeley at least once a year to sample new cheeses, so it didn’t feel that critical to us to wait in a line that long. We asked one woman how her cheese was, but she only liked one of the three, so that demotivated us as well. I know, we should not be basing our actions on a sample of one stranger, but, oh well. But if we’d waited in line and they’d served us lemon goat cheese, I would have been in big trouble.

Eat Whatever Turns You On - Fish Rotary Light Dimmer Knob

Eat Whatever Turns You On - Fish Rotary Light Dimmer Knob

The children loved the opportunity to touch and explore the fresh fish.

The children loved the opportunity to touch and explore the fresh fish.

Fish: The fish was delicious – we tried octopus, tuna, sardine and an orange-fleshed fish called cra (sp?). Sooo flavorful! There was a cool display of freshly caught fish that we were all able to touch, including a monk fish (no scales!) that had unfortunately died before being caught. (If it had been alive, they would have thrown it back because it has been over-fished.) There was a very friendly and informative marine biologist (Ed) there answering all of our questions and explaining the differences between the different varies – halibut, tuna, etc. Fish eyes don’t feel anything like I was expecting….

Bee Pill Box - You Could Even Carry Your Bee Pollen In It

Bee Pill Box - You Could Even Carry Your Bee Pollen In It

Looks Cool, Smells Good

Beeswax Quilt with Real Bees: Looks Cool, Smells Good

Honey and Preserves: My hands-down favorite. The peach jam from Dry Creek Peach & Produce in Healdsburg, CA was so good I nearly came to tears. They raise their own peaches and pick only the best ones for their jam, and you can absolutely taste the quality. The honeys were really good, too, and my nine-year-old tasted honey for the first time. She LOVED the coffee-infused honey. (She’s been trying to recreate it since we got home.) Cool display: the beeswax quilts that still have bees embedded in them.

Wine, Beer, Spirits: We skipped the Wine, Spirits and Beer pavilions because I don’t drink (and neither do my children, of course) so that would not have been of interest to any of us.

Wine Connoisseurs Light Switch Plates

Wine Connoisseurs' Light Switch Plates

Chocolate Stamp Dispenser - Write to All Your Friends About How Good It Is

Chocolate Stamp Dispenser - Write to All Your Friends About How Good It Is

Chocolate: The dark chocolate samples were distinct and delicious, with the Amano being our favorite. They had actual cacao tree fruit pods and seeds (or beans). Another sampler had chopped cacao beans called nibs. They were chocolaty, crunchy and nutty at the same time, but not really sweet. They’d be great on top of ice cream and cakes, or just for a tiny, tasty snack.

Pickles, Chutney: Another long line for something I don’t particularly like and seldom eat. Maybe I’ve just been setting a bad example…. Chutney I like, but from what I could see, most of the samples were for pickles, which my girls won’t even touch. So I slid on this one.

Caffeine Business Card Case - The Kick in Tea and Coffee is Serious Business

Caffeine Molecule Business Card Case - The Kick in Tea and Coffee is Serious Business

Tea, Coffee: Skipped these too as I didn’t want to have caffeinated drinks late at night, otherwise I would never get to sleep. Also didn’t want to be giving my daughters caffeine that late at night either or again, I would never get to sleep. If we’d gone during the day, we definitely would have been in line….

We tried so many types of olive oil - huge variety of flavors, styles.

We tried so many types of olive oil - huge variety of flavors, styles.

Olive Oil: I had no idea the range of flavors that can be found in different olive oils! I always assumed that they would be close, and that maybe I would be able to tell the difference. But no! Shockingly different. Some I didn’t like at all – too bitter, others were nutty, others soft or spicy or sour. Very, very interesting and fun experience. My family’s favorites were the Bozzano and the Pacific Sun Proprietor’s Select. They were also offering samples of olive oil that you drink(!). My older daughter and I tried it, but decided it was not for us. Maybe not as weird as I first thought, but really, I don’t need to be adding random fat and calories to my diet. I would much rather be eating chocolate or jam. Lots of it, in fact.

Theres So Much More to Read About the Sustainable Food Movement

There's So Much More to Read About the Sustainable Food Movement

American Indian Foods: We tried bison stew, hominy soup and wild rice cakes. The stew and soup were both rich and delicious, but the wild rice cakes were a little bland.

The Bread display featured all kinds of fun animal-shaped loaves - alligators, lobsters, crabs, etc.

The Bread display featured all kinds of fun animal-shaped loaves - alligators, lobsters, crabs, etc.

Bread: Tandoori breads, pizza, bread sticks, all baking away in wood fired brick ovens glowing in the dusk of night. What can I say, there is nothing like fresh-out-of-the-oven bread. The smell is definitely part of the experience. Crispy and chewy, full of flavor, fresh toppings. We sat in a reed hut on rushes while eating our pizzas, protected from the winds outside.

The bread displays were fantastic, too. There was a giant snail, surrounded by cute alligators, crabs, lobsters and other animals, all made out of bread. Makes you want to bake up some fun shapes of your own. I think I will….

We stayed the full four hours, and left, well, full. For those who tried everything, I can only assume they were bursting at the seams.

We really enjoyed ourselves, experienced many new flavors (whew!!!), and I shared a love of good food with my daughters. We can taste the difference, appreciate it and crave it. It adds to one’s experience and appreciation of life, and my daughters were so proud of themselves. That makes me happy. Happy is good.

If you’d like to see more of the unique gifts above, please click on the photos or here for cool Pill Cases, Flasks, ID Badge Holders, Bookmarks, Stamp Dispensers, Business Card Holders and Light Dimmer Knobs and Switchplates.

Posted in Events, family, Food, Healthy eating, Parenting | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

xx = xy: Girls Equal Boys in Math Skills

Posted by Kyle Design on July 25, 2008

Girl Power Vitamin Case - Keeping Women Strong (in Math) and Healthy

Girl Power Vitamin Case - Keeping Women Strong (in Math) and Healthy

As a woman (xx) who was good in math and as the mother of two girls (2xx) who are good in math, I was thrilled to see the results of a study that found no difference in scores on math tests between the boys and girls. Mathematics is a critical skill that should be encouraged and presented in a positive way. No more setting lower expectations. No more teen Barbie dolls proclaiming “Math class is tough.” I believe girls and women will do well if told they will do well. Set the bar high.

Mathematics Tape Measure - Perfect for Measuring the Differences Between the Math Skills of Girls and Boys

Mathematics Tape Measure - Perfect for Measuring the Differences Between the Math Skills of Girls and Boys

In a study published today in the journal Science, by Janet S. Hyde, Sara M. Lindberg, Marcia C. Linn, Amy B. Ellis and Caroline C. Williams, finds that there are no gender differences between the sexes in performance on math tests. The researchers reviewed results of math tests taken in 2005, 2006 and 2007 from almost 7 million students in 10 states. One of the study’s authors, Marcia C. Linn, is professor of development and cognition specializing in education in mathematics, science, and technology in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. The fact that she is a professor at my alma mater only increased my sense of delight. Go Bears!

My favorite class in high school was geometry (not art as one might expect of a professional artist!), but which is a type of math that has a strong visual element to it. I loved it! I think math is fun and that is always the attitude I take with my girls.

Celebrate Being Number One with an Engraved Christmas Ornament

Celebrate Being Number One with an Engraved Christmas Ornament

My math-major husband (xy) has always encouraged our daughters in math as well, finding every opportunity to find a math angle to discuss about a subject. He and our eldest daughter participated this last year in MATHCOUNTS, an after school program that encourages enthusiasm for math and attempts to enhance achievement in middle school mathematics throughout the United States. Our eldest daughter’s team won first place in the 6th Grade Livermore city MATHCOUNTS competition. You go, girl!!

In the spoof of former Harvard president Lawrence H. Summer’s remarks about the differences between men and women, Principal Skinner of The Simpsons, struggles with his words at an assembly: “No, no, no! It’s the differences…of which there are none, that make the sameness…exceptional! [desperately] Just tell me what to say!”

Girl Equal Boys. At last, we have statistical proof!

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate a math achievement or to reward girls for their accomplishments, please click on any of the photos above or check out the Kyle Design Math Gifts, Gifts for Women, Number One Awards and Christmas Ornament collections.


Posted in Artistic Gifts, kids, Parenting, Schools | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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.


Posted in Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Parenting, Travel Cases | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to Start a Reading Book Group – What’s Worked For Us

Posted by Kyle Design on April 15, 2008

Book Group Pillbox in Silver with Teal AluminumI started the Moms’ Reading Group over seven years ago with my friend Robbie. She and I were discussing books in my living room one day and we decided we should start our own book group. We had young children and were really feeling the need to make time to read and also to have a designated day where we’d be able to get out without the kids. We mentioned the idea to friends whom we knew enjoyed reading and got a small group together. Here’s what’s worked for us:

Getting Started: Robbie contacted local book stores, and Barnes and Noble generously welcomed us to meet in one of the sitting areas in their store each month, and they even make us a big pot of coffee. Beaded Coffee Cup EarringsIn addition, they list our reading group in their monthly newsletter, and new members have found us this way over the years. We chose contemporary fiction as our main focus, however we will sometimes read a non-fiction book if one peaks our interest. We have about 10 core members, but usually end up with about 6 – 8 members who can make it each time.

Stained Glass and Metal House Night LightLocation: Having the group away from home removes the burden of any one person having to prepare to receive guests. It also allows all members to speak freely without fear of being overheard or interrupted. This works best for our group at this stage of our lives, but certainly is only one way to structure a group. I know most groups meet in a different member’s home each time, Wine Bottle and Glasses Switch Plates in Nickel Silver and Blackand for those who love to entertain and have the time and energy to do it, I’m sure that works great. Some groups make food, chocolate or wine part of the experience, although we only bring treats for our anniversary each year.

Our members are just happy when we can make it to group, whether we’ve finished the book or not. We are a group of busy, active moms, with some who work and others who don’t, and some months it is just tough to do it all.

Another benefit to holding it in a book store is that we are able to quickly find reference material of we want to check facts or find out background information to flesh out our understanding of a subject.

Frequency: Our book group meets once a month at the local Barnes & Noble. We meet at 7:30 p.m., late enough to have gotten home from work or classes and made it through dinner. We have on occasion moved the date when it fell on a holiday weekend or when several members would all be gone, but for the most part stick to the second Monday of each month.

Engraved Custom Bookmarks in Gorgeous Colors and DesignsStructure: Robbie was willing to take on the task of leading the discussion, but when she can’t make it, it falls to me. My contribution, as an artist, is to give each new member one of my handcrafted bookmarks as a welcoming gift. We usually compile a list of questions to get us taking. Sometimes our books have questions in the back, other times we’ll get questions from, others are just ones that occur to us.

We start off discussing the book for about and hour or so. After that, we choose a new book. Holding our book group in a bookstore makes it easier when it comes time to pick our next selection. We all fan out to peruse the bookshelves and tables for books we’ve heard about or to find something new that peaks our interest. Our approach is to have each member pitch a book and then all vote on which one we’re interested in reading. The book with the most votes becomes the next month’s selection, but if it is a split vote, we might make them the next two month’s choices. Usually around 9:30 we conclude the discussion and have time to chat, share pictures or play games.

Robbie sends out a reminder email before each meeting as well as a follow-up one letting everyone know what was chosen for next time.

Include the Kids: Once a year we select a book that we will read to our kids, then bring our kids to our book group to discuss it. We all really want to instill our own love of reading to our children. They are always so excited to come meet the other members and their kids, plus they enjoy seeing exactly what Mom does each month. The discussions have been really fun, and it is especially interesting to hear what all the kids thought and see each family’s reaction to a book.

Our group has been going strong for seven years now and I feel this structure has worked really well for us. I hope some of these ideas will work for you as well. Happy Reading!

If you’re a member of a book group and would like some gift ideas for your fellow members, please visit Cool Reading Book Group Gift Ideas or click any of the photos above to learn more.

Posted in Bookmarks, Books, Hobbies, Parenting, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Indian Joe Trail at Sunol Regional Park, CA – Great Fun for Kids

Posted by Kyle Design on April 14, 2008

Native American Indian Feather Bookmark in Silver and Apple GreenWe went hiking on the Indian Joe Creek Trail at Sunol Regional Park today and had a blast. This is the same park that has rock formations that are known locally as Little Yosemite, but we chose a different route this time.

Orienteering Control Marker in Orange and WhiteWe were sharing the trails with an Orienteering event where runners with a map and compass are timed as they navigate a course. You can recognize them by the white and orange control markers.

We hiked up this somewhat steep, fairly shady 1.4 mile trail that has these huge rocks at the top with caves or large crevasses underneath. Giant Rocks on the Indian Joe Trail at Sunol Regional Park, CAThere is a large flat rock, cool and shady and about 5 feet off the ground, that makes a perfect spot for a picnic for a small group (or a group of small people – we had 4 kids and 1 adult crammed onto it at one point). The caves themselves are best navigated by kids – some spots only the 5- and 9-year-olds could crawl through – but the whole area was refreshingly cool and a welcome relief from the heat.

The rocks have enough ridges or grips to make it fairly easy to climb over and around them, even for the 5-year-old. They make for very satisfying rock scrambling. And yes, those are my girls waving from the top of that very tall rock.

Running Light Switch Plates with FeetNow I have to admit, I thought that it wouldn’t take us that long to get to the top being that it was “only” 1.4 miles, but I was quite mistaken. I had neglected to take into account the slope, the 92 degree weather, or my 5-year-old niece whom I carried up a fair amount of the way. [I teased my niece that the deal was I would carry her up, but she would have to carry me down. I enjoyed watching her face while she tried to puzzle out whether I was serious or if it was still going to be a fair deal. 😉 ] Fortunately, it only took 30 minutes for us to run back down.

Blue Belly Lizard Money ClipsThe kids had fun catching and releasing blue belly lizards. (They are actually Western Fence Lizards, or as I knew them as a kid, Swifts. ) My youngest daughter had just learned how to a make a snare for catching lizards and had caught one yesterday, however no luck using one today. All the kids had fun trying to corner these quick and very motivated reptiles…. Cow Business Card Case in Silver with Black AluminumScore today: About 20 Lizards spotted, one caught (and it bit!) against 4 kids. We saw one snake, too, and a lot of grumpy cows.

If you’d like to see more of my Native American Indian Gifts or Running and Walking Gifts, please click the highlighted links (or the photos) for switch plates, bookmarks, money clips, ID badge holders, business card cases and more. Visit Animal Gifts for other cool ideas with Cows or Lizards.

Posted in Animals, family, kids, Parenting, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Child Safety Tips: Hey Kids! Watch Out For Escalator Crocs

Posted by Kyle Design on September 22, 2007

So, you thought you only had to watch out for crocs at swamps. Reports in papers andCrocodile Travel Sweetener Packet Carriers online are now circulating about injuries caused on escalators from wearing soft-sole shoes like the brightly-colored Crocs, but even flip-flops can be dangerous. Most of those injured seem to be young children and the injuries are often on the toes.

So, how to protect your kids? Have fun while teaching your children to be safe:

  • Make a game of being safe. I’m not a fan of scaring kids into behaving, so I wouldn’t recommend saying that escalators are dangerous and instilling a life-long fear of them (you’ll be sorry the next time you’re running late and need to take an escalator with tired, cranky kids). Instead, I suggest telling them to pretend that there are escalator crocs that want to bite your toes, but see if you can ride your boat (the step) all the way up the river (moving escalator) without getting near the edge of the river (sides of the escalator). At the end you have to jump over the crocodile’s teeth to escape. Everyone has fun, has a sense of accomplishment and leaves with a smile on their face. A win-win situation!
  • Specifically: Have them stand in the middle of the step and help them jump over the teeth at the end of the escalator.
  • In addition, children should not let their feet rub against the side of the escalator because the heat created from the friction can cause the rubber to soften and so be more likely to get pulled into the gap.

Pretty Compact Mirrors with Flip-Flops Keep this in mind as well: I’ve heard that kids don’t hear the way we think they might,Artistic Feet Key Rings especially if we are scolding or directing them. A parent can say, “Don’t stick your toes in the escalator teeth.” But when the child actually starts listening (or stops tuning us out) , what they hear is “Don’t Stick your toes in the escalator teeth.” The child then might be curious about what will happen and will react before you have a chance to make sure they understand. Whenever possible use positive, affirmative sentences – tell them what they should do.

If you’d like to see more of our unique gift items like the Crocodile sweetener packet case, Flip-Flops compact mirror or the Feet key ring shown above, please visit our Alligator and Crocodile Gifts, Feet Gifts and Flip-Flops Gifts pages.

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