Speaking of Rube Goldberg machines

A light, prism and mirror Rube Goldberg machine as a commercial for a Japanese high-speed optical internet service.  Amazing.


Mabel's Labels are back to school essentials for me

It's that time of year again.  As hard as I try to ignore all of the advertising, in store promotion and my calendar, there's no denying that the school year is looming around the corner.  With a new school year comes new school stuff.  Stuff that needs to find its way home for the rest of the year.

I'd first assumed that we'd outgrow name labels when the kids hit the age where they can recognize their own belongings.  Apparently not.  As they get older, things get shared.  Lots.  Things like clothes with best friends.  Things like geometry sets.  Things like snack containers.  Enter my friend Mabel!

We're going to need some Skinny Minis™ by Mabel's Labels.  These dishwasher / microwave safe and UV resistant labels have outlasted some of our lunch and snack containers.  They're fabulous for stationery supplies and especially for food containers.

Tag-mates™ are also on our list.  They're washer / dryer safe and best of all stick tight to clothing labels without ironing.  Some of the clothes are worn and faded, but the labels are still going strong!

Growing feet mean new shoes and boots too, which means new shoe labels are in order.  Some Teeny Tags™ will round things out nicely, to tack onto pencil cases, lunch kits or backpacks.  (I may place a separate Teeny Tag™ order personalized with an ICE (In Case of Emergency) phone number to hang off clothing for use as personal identification.  They also double as great ID for kiddos who are too cool to wear 411 Wristbands.)

It looks to me like I'm in the need of their Ultimate Back to School Combo!

If your kiddos are too cool for Mabel's fun designs, they can graduate to the snazzy new Stylish Scholars Combo.

I should also add that their customer service department is one of the best I've had the pleasure to deal with.  They go above and beyond to make sure you're happy with your order.

You all know that I'm a huge fan of Canada's own Mabel's Labels.   I've been writing about them here since 2007 and I was a direct sales agent with them prior to that.  So it shouldn't be a big surprise that Mabel's Labels Ultimate Back-To-School Combo is on my list of things to get before school starts.

Ordering my Mabel's Labels is one back-to-school task I actually look forward to doing!

Disclosure: I'm a Mabel's Labels Buzzmama and I receive free products for my involvement in the program.


A wise person once told me this

"Never compare your insides to everyone else's outsides."
     ― Anne Lamott 


Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


World's toughest job

Thanks Mom!


Mabel's does it again!

I look forward to these posts every year!


The artist


Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.

Inspired by a Tweet from Bill Abbott:


Fun multiplication games

If you have a youngster learning mulitplication, you may be looking for a fun and engaging way to help them with the rote learning of number facts.

The thing I like about these five in particular, is that they don't have a timed component to them.



- 20 question a day limit
- facts up to 10
- can sign up for an account to get unlimited questions (I have not done this)

Buzzy's Times Table Challenge
- whole times table review up to 10 x 10

Fridge magnet multiplication game
- choose “Level A - make the answer”
- choose “no clock”

The Amblesweb Tables tester
- choose “harder” to go up to 11 x 11

Multiplication Math Games For Kids
- includes “flash card” games for specific number series, cheese capers game and bus math multiplication


Heart crayons


I've been wanting to try this artsy Valentine's craft from Parent Hacks for a while now.  (I'm not ambitious enough to melt them down as per the instructions from the post Recycle Old Crayons Into New Shapes.)

Then one day I looked around the house and saw this:

Later in the week at the store I saw this:

So we put the crayons in a bucket with warm water, and peeled the labels off:


And chopped them up.  (Turns out I cut the pieces too small.  Next time I'll make them 1.5 - 2 cm, or about 1/2 inch,  in length.)


The bits go in a silicone baking pan:


Pop it in the oven at 230 F for about 15 min (you can see some aren't quite melted yet).  Tip:  put the kitchen exhaust fan on and / or open a window to get fresh air into the room.


Let the whole thing cool and then pop them out!


Any rough edges can be smoothed down by rubbing across a piece of paper.

Just make sure that kids don't eat them!

[Cross-posted at Craft Day.]


How confident are you?

Interesting read over at Medical Daily. Apparently overconfidence may be a result of social politeness.

Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


What does the spleen do?

So much fun!  Watch on YouTube:


Who do you write like?

I put this post into this app and it says:

I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Way cool.

Who do you write like?


Advice from Harry Anderson

From the Dallas Observer:

"Everyone's life would be improved if they do could one great magic trick," said Anderson, winding up. "And tell one great joke, play one tune on the piano and do one great origami fold."

Read more.

How many can you do? 


The road to happiness

"The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it put your whole soul into it-every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have."
Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.