:: about ::
occupation:full-time mom + wife
interests:mod, modern, futuristic + space-age design, technology, music, books, blogs + adventures
resides:sixties vintage prefab in silicon valley between yahoo + google since summer 2005, but we lived in a tiny apartment in oakland,ca before that
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:: mod*pals ::
:: happy mother's day :: optimist
:: happy father's day ::
today, mod*tot raced with her friends, classmates + hundreds of kids in the ryan's ride bike race benefiting lance armstrong's foundation
+ cancer survivor programs around the bay area.
ryan's ride was created by a cancer survivor + his wife, who had twin sons that went to bing nursery school at stanford university, like mod*tot. 1 of the twins, ryan passed away suddenly of unexplained cause, so his parents created this wonderful community fundraising event in his honor. it's part of the burlingame criterium raced by amateurs + professionals. mod*tot's mod*opa (grandfather) + mod*pop (father) raced in their categories too (my husband won the criterium race once). i ran along the course with mod*tot (the kids are so cute!). we spotted top pros + long time biking friends, like olympian sheila young's husband jim ochowitz, best friend of lance armstrong + father of local olympic hopeful ellie.
by ~mod*mom~ at 29.6.08 Â© 10 comments
enter my summer vacation giveaways worth $1,000+
doof-a-palooza :: free admission for your family $120
sugarcoat :: removable art car decal sets $300
flor :: mid-century modern eco-friendly area rug $160
dwell magazine :: digital subscriptions $100
whole foods market :: natural first-aid kits $150
harper collins :: sex and the city books
education.com :: summer vacation educational toys $150
by ~mod*mom~ at 27.6.08 Â©
education.com is a new resource + they'd love to get your feedback, so they're offering 1 fort, 2 stacking toy sets, + 3 magnetic poetry kits!
to win a set of summer educational toys, check out education.com +
by ~mod*mom~ at 27.6.08 Â© 150 comments
i'm interested in learning about solar power panels for homeowners – especially if it helps curb their carbon footprint + energy expenses.
at the dwell on design conference + expo this month, i visited solarcity to check out a fully solar-powered car-charging station with the $100,00 high-performance electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster + learned how convenient + affordable solar power can be. solarcity's southern california director jim cahill, discussed SolarLease, the company's zero-down solar financing program that makes solar less expensive than electricity from the utility company. solarcity is california's #1 residential solar power company.
here's my interview with jim (if you have questions or information about solar panels for homes, please leave them for me in the comments below):
1) what's an example set up cost for solar panels in silicon valley?
under the SolarLease, there are no setup costs required. assuming the home has sufficient roof space + good sun exposure, a 1,500 sf home in sunnyvale might lease a 2.4 kilowatt system for $0 down + $65/month. if the home’s electric bill was $150/month on average before the system was installed, the new bill would be approximately $65 (plus the $65 lease payment) for a new energy cost of $130, a net savings of $20/ month.
2) what would the electricity rate be for that homeowner in sunnyvale?
utility rates may vary based on usage and time of day. sunnyvale’s rates are available online at http://www.pge.com/tariffs
3) the leases are only for people with excellent credit above 720, that will exclude a large population. how can others get solarcity solar panels?
solarcity is continually working on new ways to allow more families to take advantage of power, + SolarLease does that by eliminating or dramatically reducing the upfront cost of the system + installation. both a SolarLease + power purchase agreement (PPA) are dependent on receiving consistent payments, + as such we can only offer this product to homeowners with excellent credit. we estimate that more than 40% of california homeowners meet or exceed the necessary credit score. the cash purchase option is available for homeowners who don’t meet the credit requirements for SolarLease, + they would be able to finance the purchase through a bank or other lender.
4) in this recession, is there help for low-income customers?
Initiative offers a low-income incentive program with rebates as high as $7/watt, more than double the typical rebate. this makes a cash purchase possible for many low-income homeowners.
5) how does solarcity compare with sun run?
solarcity is a single source (or 1-stop-shop) for solar system design, financing, installation + ongoing support. Sun Run is a financing company that partners with multiple installers, so Sun Run’s customers deal with Sun Run for financing, + a separate company for installation and/or support. both solarcity + SunRun utilize extensive federal + state commercial tax incentives for solar equipment to offer affordable solar financing options for homeowners. the main difference between the 2 companies today is the higher upfront cost of Sun Run’s option. solarcity’s SolarLease includes a zero-down-payment option which can allow a customer to save money from day one. Sun Run offers a power purchase agreement that requires an upfront payment that can range from $5,000 - $20,000 or more for a residential system. you should check with Sun Run for the specifics on their upfront cost. visit href="http://www.solarcity.com/solarlease to see some examples of SolarLease savings estimates for typical homes.
6) what else should a family know when considering solarcity service?
solarcity guarantees the electricity output from its solar systems over life of the SolarLease, + includes an extended, 15-year warranty for parts + service. solarcity also provides a free service called SolarGuard that allows customers to monitor their system’s output + positive environmental impact via an internet link. SolarCity is california's #1 residential solar power company, provides homeowners a single source for solar financing, installation + support. SolarCity serves communities throughout California, Oregon + Arizona. for more information, please visit solarcity.com
by ~mod*mom~ at 26.6.08 Â© 9 comments
mod*mom giveaway :: 6 tickets to Doof-A-Palooza 2008 $120
get an inside take on the DooF television show at DooF-a-Palooza through a range of participatory activities with growers, chefs, purveyors + cookbook authors, including the chefs of Google’s own amazing food program.
DooF, f-o-o-d backwards, is an innovative television series for children, set to air on public television in 2009, that is designed to transform the way kids eat by making good food fun. DooF emphasizes a back-to-basics approach, utilizing a playful style combining live action, animation, colorful graphics, cooking + lively music to entertain young viewers while introducing them to a wide variety of healthy foods + encouraging positive eating habits. (perfect for mod*tot! i'm so excited about DooF!)
DooF-a-Palooza includes food from DooF + Google’s amazing cafes, a DooF-a-Palooza eco-tote-bag, a commemorative Foodbackwards Passport with your photo inside, free parking, + dozens of hands-on activities:
plus: the DooF store, Google cafes, + a fabulous silent-auction!
when? saturday, july 12 11am- 3pm
mod*mom giveaway: if you'd like to win free admission for your family,
please leave a comment telling me what you'd like to do at Doof-a-Palooza
include your email address, before midnight, thursday july 10
by ~mod*mom~ at 24.6.08 Â© 22 comments
today, was mod*tot's last day of nursery school break before she starts summer school, so we took her to the monterey bay aquarium + met up with her 1st best friend + some new friends + all us parents. we had a wonderful time! it's amazing how the kids have grown + they love each other + get so excited about all the animals + exhibits + educational films. what a wonderful place. i also got to visit my dear school friend who lives on the monterey peninsula. we had a great time this 2 weeks of school break + it was so exciting to make a podcast for martha stewart's new flor eco-friendly carpets, + go to southern california for dwell on design + disneyland. we even drove a prius from zipcar.com to carmel + big sur last week, i took mod*tot on the 10-mile san francisco friday night skate in her big pink jogging stroller, + i finally learned to meditate, but now it's time to go back to school + catch up with posts + winners :)
by ~mod*mom~ at 23.6.08 Â© 6 comments
target :: futuristic plasma car
flor :: alexander girard eco-friendly carpet tiles
dwell magazine :: digital subscriptions
whole foods market :: natural first-aid kits $150
harper collins :: sex and the city books
sugarcoat :: removable art car decal sets $300
by ~mod*mom~ at 22.6.08 Â©
mod*mom giveaway :: 5 removable art car decal sets $300
do you want to jazz up your scooter, car or "momvan" for the summer?
express yourself, cover dings + scratches for a car trip, years, or a day
by ~mod*mom~ at 20.6.08 Â© 178 comments
mod*mom giveaway :: 3 whole foods market natural first-aid kits $150
"sunburn + scrapes, bites + bruises remind us that summer’s not all easy. fortunately, there are effective natural products for addressing nature’s small challenges. learn how to create your own summer first aid kit with essential oils, vitamins, herbal ointments + homeopathic remedies."
whole foods wants mod*mom readers to listen to their new podcast.
to enter to win a whole foods market natural first aid kit, listen to their natural first-aid remedies podcast (click here to listen) + leave me a comment telling me your favorite natural remedies before midnight, july 4
please include your email address + your url, if you have one.
*use the little envelope icon below this post to share this with your friends
by ~mod*mom~ at 18.6.08 Â© 226 comments
gollifer langston’s transportable "clip-on" classroom of the future can be fitted with advanced information + communication technology (ict), + installed rapidly + cheaply within a range of existing schools. it's able to adapt + change to suit future scenarios, to facilitate the use of developing ict in an innovative school based environment, different + complimentary to what's currently provided + represents a window on the future.
a literal + metaphorical vehicle for learning, disseminating new technology + stimulating learning - a container for ideas-- wirefree, web + satellite connected, linking to the resources of local + worldwide institutions."thecoolhunter says the, "transportable Classrooms of the Future will deliver information + communication technology (ICT) on a flatbed truck in the form of an oblong gray pod capable of providing a sufficient ICT facility that many schools are unable to install within their own environments."
mod*tot will attend "virtual" kindergarten, so all she needs is a laptop, or
maybe just a smartphone, + we can transport her learning anywhere.
by ~mod*mom~ at 18.6.08 Â© 6 comments
i was looking around on martha stewarts's body + soul website + found :
25 Eco-Chic Ideas for Your Home: re-purpose your FLOR carpet remnants
i also love their tip on glass food containers + ran out to buy these:
"when heated, plastic containers can break down + leach chemicals into food. reusable, durable lidded glass ones, like Ikea's 365 line, are safer for your family + the planet. use them to store leftovers or dry goods like pasta + beans. cost: $5.99 to $6.99 each" (mod*tot loved the kids room)
by ~mod*mom~ at 18.6.08 Â© 4 comments
disneyland tomorrowland launch day in 1967 with jetpack view
before america landed on the moon or invented the handheld calculator.
this is my ideal disney experience + i wish they'd continued on this theme
by ~mod*mom~ at 17.6.08 Â© 3 comments
I'M SO EXCITED THE HOUSE OF THE FUTURE IS LAUNCHING TODAY!
disney sent me this press release + photos to share with my pals :)
we just went to disneyland last weekend + i want to go back NOW!
(i've got that hp touchsmart computer that's on the kitchen counter!)
IT’S THE HOME OF YOUR DREAMS!! INNOVENTIONS DREAM HOME INVITES GUESTS TO EXPERIENCE THE FUTURE TODAY New Tomorrowland attraction at Disneyland combines state-of-the-art technology with the latest in Disneyland immersive storytelling
ANAHEIM, Calif. - June 16, 2008 - Imagine a home so perfectly attuned to the needs of a family that it can anticipate and fulfill them, virtually without anyone lifting a finger. Now imagine that the home offers family members high-tech connectivity, not just with one another but with people, entertainment and information in the world at large. Guests at Disneyland can soon do more than imagine it. Beginning June 17, the Innoventions Dream Home in Tomorrowland is bringing that world to life as a limited number of guests have the opportunity to preview the home. The Innoventions Dream Home is both a show and a showcase, offering guests of all ages a hands-on experience with new in-home technologies, some that are practical and some that are astounding. Microsoft, HP, Life|ware and homebuilder Taylor Morrison have joined with Disneyland Resort to demonstrate how a connected digital lifestyle can simplify and enhance many aspects of daily family life.
The Elias family will be excited to welcome all guests into their new Dream Home at the end of June. The experience includes guest interaction with the residents of the Dream Home - the fictional Elias family. Members of the family move from room to room, utilizing the technology as they prepare for a big celebration. Guests who enter the Dream Home can observe and play with all its comforts, including:
A member of the Elias family greets guests as they approach the front door of the Dream Home. Today, the family member announces, everyone is invited to visit as the family prepares a party to celebrate younger son Robbie’s amazing soccer goal, which earned his team a victory in the Nationals and a spot at the International Soccer Championships in China. The Front Yard also introduces guests to the ease, function and connectivity of the Dream Home. With the touch of a button, the family can change the outside appearance of the Dream Home. Today, they’ll be decorating for Robbie’s celebration, but they can also easily decorate for the holidays.
The Dream Home “recognizes” members of the Elias family as they enter the home. The dog door even recognizes the family dog!
Foyer & Great Room
Upon entering the Dream Home, guests may explore on their own in several directions. Whichever direction they choose, they will enter through the Foyer and Great Room, which showcases many of the connected personal features of the home. As the Dream Home notes the presence of individual members of the Elias family, the surroundings in the Great Room – pictures on the walls, music in the sound system – automatically adjust to the preferences of the family member who is in the room. At the Grand Piano in one corner, a would-be virtuoso can take a master class from a teacher on the other side of the country. Technology lets the teacher do a full demonstration, complete with technique, on the Dream Home piano. In the center of the room, next to the family’s easy chairs + ottomans, is a “coffee table book” that is actually an interactive touch screen with content from the library. The book will display the original manuscript of “Alice in Wonderland.” Guests + Elias family members can turn the pages of the book simply by touching the screen.
Like most kitchens, the Elias family Kitchen is more than just a place to prepare food. It’s where the calendar is kept, and where family photos and works of art are displayed. New technology enables all of this, with a virtual bulletin board that posts all the latest messages about soccer schedules, along with digital photos and versions of the kids’ hand-drawn creations. Since this Dream Home Kitchen is fully interconnected, appliances can “talk” to one another. So can the grocery items! If Mrs. Elias puts a bag of flour on the counter, the computer voice of “Lillian” will provide recipes and instructions to prepare the meals. If ingredients are missing or out-of-date, the interconnected pantry and refrigerator will share the information and create a shopping list on the virtual bulletin board.
Like most families, the Elias family gathers around the dinner table to discuss the day’s events, and the day of Robbie’s soccer victory has been a special one. The Dining Room table is a large interactive surface, inlayed with computers, and when the family sets down their mobile phones on the table, photos and videos spill across the screens. Then the family can interact with, view and enlarge the images with a simple touch.
The Dining Room table can also be used to create art, do homework, and assemble video puzzles – with multiple family members all at once. A Dining Room memory cabinet displays photos and art appropriate to any occasion, triggered by objects placed on its shelf.
Family Room/Home Office
The entertainment center in the Dream Home Family Room is a movie lover’s dream. With the touch of a button, the room transforms into a state-of-the-art home theater. The curtains close, the lights adjust, the 7.1 surround sound kicks in, and the 100-inch television screen comes to life with one of the movies stored in the Media Center. Across the room is the Home Office, with desk and chair inspired by the classic design of Walt Disney’s own Studio office. Here, Elias family members can attend to the business of the day, including communication with the Chinese soccer team that will meet Robbie’s team when it arrives for the contest. A 3-D Printer enables the Chinese hosts to send a congratulatory three-dimensional gift directly to the Elias home.
Teen Daughter’s Room
At her desk, the Elias family daughter can connect with friends or her favorite entertainment. As she develops new interests, she can easily change the photos and posters in her room. But she may be spending much of her time in front of the Magic Mirror, a virtual mirror that projects accessories, hairstyles and the clothes from her closet onto her reflection, fitting the styles to her body so that she can try out different “looks” as she prepares for her brother’s party. Tip: Watch as she holds the dress up for consideration. The virtual skirt even sways as she twirls around!
Younger Son’s Room
Robbie has a room that would be the envy of any adventurous kid. His bed is a pirate ship, complete with onboard cannon. In the manner of all great Disney attractions, the room combines the latest technology with classic storytelling. When a family member takes a seat by the bed and begins to tell the story of Peter Pan, the story jumps off the pages. Everyone in the room is immersed in the story with special effects, including video that appears on the ship’s sail and the surrounding walls. Tinker Bell may even breeze past some of the room’s fixtures, causing them to shake and tinkle. The bed-cannon can shoot holes through the virtual clouds, just like the cannon on Captain Hook’s ship.
Backyard, Courtyard & Party Tent
When guests exit the house and make their way into the Courtyard and Backyard, they’ll find that even the barbecue and outdoor décor feature the latest technology, including a flat-screen monitor that can dispense barbecuing instructions. Inside the Party Tent, guests who want to “build” their own virtual Dream Home can get even more hands-on experiences with the fascinating applications on display in the Innoventions Dream Home.
by ~mod*mom~ at 16.6.08 Â© 11 comments
dwell on design 2008 pictures: electrolux, scavolini, valcucine, hom, modern cabana, kithaus, tottini, huset, marmol radzinger, flor, ecosmart, la-fete...
lara deam the beautiful dwell founder + mom of twin 5-year olds from marin.
(my camera was brand new + i set it to automatic, but it blurred)
with 4,000 registered attendees, i'm so glad we got in on the friday preview.
i'll be back soon with more links. remember to enter my dwell magazine digital subscription giveaway + view the FREE june digital dwell magazine issue. see 50 more dwell on design 2008 pics on my flickr
quick! it's not too late...you still have time to show dwell how green your home is + if you have innovative + interesting ways you have "greened" your home (or someone else's) you can win prizes totaling $2000. the winning project will be featured on dwell.com -- enter here now!
by ~mod*mom~ at 16.6.08 Â© 7 comments
time again to squeeze your lemons for signs of breast cancer...
i've been very concerned about a hot, painful lumpiness growing in my remaining breast. it is 2 years since my diagnosis + grim prognosis that i'd likely recur within 2 years. i had an exam last thursday with my oncologist + she said it feels normal.
i read about breast thermography in a booklet from whole foods market called pink and green (alternative breast cancer news). it says thermography is nearly flawless detection years earlier than mammograms, there's no radiation or painful compression, so teenagers can have them (which interests me for my daughter). a thermogram is pictures with an infrared camera every so often to compare heat patterns that are supposed to be unique to each person. i'm very interested in thermography for myself, my daughter + everyone. my large lemon sized tumor was not visible on mammograms, so i assumed it was a plugged milk duct from breastfeeding. meanwhile, the cancer was growing rapidly + spreading to the lymph nodes. now that i've had an excellent response to chemotherapy + i'm recovering from a mastectomy + lymphedema from lymph node dissection, i'm on "high surveillance" for recurrence, which is not comforting, because it consists of mammograms + manual exams, backed up by ultrasounds + MRIs. i remember the noticeable heat i felt from the tumor + it's vascular blood supply it had grown to feed itself, so i'm very interested in more information about thermograms. i showed the article to my oncologist thursday + told her i wanted to be referred, since she knows i think mammograms are a waste of time for me, + don't want their additional radiation + painful compression, but insurance forces me to get them, before i can also get an ultrasound + MRI (the ultrasound shows whether masses are solid (cancer) or liquid (benign) + the MRI shows detailed pictures, as opposed to mammograms that look like black storm clouds + may have white spots of calcification that indicate tumors. not all tumors are calcified (like mine), so mammograms aren't effective for everyone, but all tumors grow their own veins to feed themselves, so thermograms are for everyone. i'm going to look into this more though, because it's not listed on breastcancer.org or memorial sloan-kettering cancer hospital, 2 trusted resources.
komen.org says "Thermography was used as a screening and diagnostic tool until the 1980’s, when mammography was shown to be more accurate . The test uses infrared light emissions to measure temperature variations on the surface of the breast. Abnormal temperature patterns can signal a problem in the breast. However, many benign conditions also cause abnormal heat patterns, and thermography cannot distinguish between those patterns that are non-cancerous and those that are of concern . Additionally, because thermography measures heat at the surface of the breast, it is not good at detecting cancers deeper within the breast tissue. Although future improvements on this technology may make it a useful tool for staging disease or confirming diagnosis, thermography has limited ability as a screening technique [25,52]."(maybe the technology has advanced)
also at komen.org are breast cancer awareness videos by cynthia nixon who plays miranda in Sex and the City on tv + Sex and the City: The Movie. i'm sad + happy to say that cynthia is a breast cancer survivor + so is her mother. to celebrate their recovery + the launch of cynthia's new movie, she would like mod*mom readers to enter to win a copy of the Sex and the City: the Movie book.
mod*mom giveaway:: 5 Sex and the City: The Movie books
watch cynthia's breast cancer messages at komen.org + tell me in the comments something you liked or learned. include your email address + url, before midnight, monday july 7
*use the little envelope icon below this post to share this with your friends
subscribe to my feed + daily email updates to get mod*mom sent to you.
by ~mod*mom~ at 15.6.08 Â© 72 comments
HP just unveiled a broad portfolio of new products that offer all-in-one entertainment technology including 1-click access to high-def TV, photos, movies, web, games, calendar + music in a smooth, thin, elegant design:
the new touch-sensitive, high-definition, 22-inch diagonal widescreen touchsmart PC is ENERGY STAR® qualified (i've got the 1st generation).
HP notebooks are designed with the environment in mind, with features that promote energy efficiency + materials that enable easier recycling. several HP notebooks are available with the choice of an optional mercury-free Illumi-Lite LED display, which is lighter + more energy efficient than standard notebook display technology. HP has set a goal to remove all mercury - a material commonly found in notebook screens - from its entire notebook line by the end of 2010.
by ~mod*mom~ at 14.6.08 Â© 5 comments
hi pals! be sure to enter my newest giveaways!
meanwhile, i'm trying to catch up on picking winners
+ posting more pictures + new giveaways
target :: futuristic plasma car
flor :: alexander girard eco-friendly carpet tiles
dwell magazine :: 10 digital subscriptions
by ~mod*mom~ at 13.6.08 Â©
guess who that mod model is?
i'm so excited i'm going to interview martha stewart's
creative genius kevin sharkey on a podcast thursday!
i'm a huge martha fan, ever since i discovered her "entertaining" books in the preppy-craze days of the 80's. martha is partnering with FLOR eco-friendly carpet tiles.
what questions would you ask martha stewart's top editor + executive of creative merchandising?
by ~mod*mom~ at 10.6.08 Â© 28 comments
we just got back from the dwell on design conference + disneyland trip.
we had a fabulous time + i got to talk to lara hedberg, the beautiful mom founder of dwell magazine. i'm going to load pictures + describe the dwell conference after i take mod*tot to nursery school + run some errands.
disneyland's new "house of the future" opens next tuesday + i'm so excited to see what's in there. i loved the space age 1960's monsanto plastic house + general electric's carousel of progress. disney employees gave me some "top secret" information on the $15 million 5000 square foot "house" in tomorrowland's innoventions building, including software + hardware by lifeware, hewlett packard + microsoft, appliances by siemens + built by taylor morrison. it has 5 rooms: kitchen, dining room, office, girl's room, boys room, + a backyard, but no bathroom or parent's room. there is a washer + dryer that "talk" + send you a text message when done, a mirror that "changes" your clothes + suggests coordinating outfits, + a closet that keeps track of what you have + what's in the laundry. a swiveling table you put all your electronics on to synch with each other. lights + thermostats automatically adjust when you enter a room. kitchen countertops read food package barcodes + make menu + recipe suggestions.
the house has a "smart sytem" so when you start a movie with the television remote control, you can program it to dim the lights, turn off music + close the curtains automatically. you can also transfer digital photos, videos + music among televisions + computers in different rooms with 1 click. desktops turn into computer screens. you can load photos, music or e-mail onto your cellphone by putting it on the desk. there are more secret marvelous gadgets + touch-screen prototypes built into appliances, furniture + countertops.
i wish i could get in there for the sneak preview launch party next monday!
by ~mod*mom~ at 10.6.08 Â© 3 comments
mod*mom giveaway :: 10 digital dwell magazine subscriptions +
FREE dwell on design exhibition tickets for all mod*mom readers
i'm so excited we're going to dwell magazine's design conference at the los angeles convention center this weekend. it starts today + i've got FREE admission for all mod*mom readers to this weekend's exhibition with code: BDODEC + $50 off the conference ticket using coupon code: GRP22SP if you register online here. i'm going to investigate residential solar panel programs. disneyland's new house of the future is about to open. yay! so we'll also go there to investigate. nursery school's almost out + mod*tot has a few weeks off, then summer school, then she'll begin stanford university + california virtual academy's "virtual" kindergarten."
dwell on design features 200+ modern product exhibitors, a life-size sustainable prefab home neighborhood built on site, an eco-friendly conference of 50 speakers, plus 16 home tours of private green residences + evening parties at the museum of contemporary art + an art gallery. i'm going to investigate residential solar programs like solar city + sun run. solar city will have a charging station for the $100,000 electric tesla roadster. i got to sit in one at mod*tot's nursery school auction last year, because her teacher's husband works at tesla (he's a speedskater, like us).
to win a digital subscription to dwell magazine, check out this free digital dwell magazine issue, + tell me in the comments what are your favorite parts of the magazine + what stories would you like to see them cover?
by ~mod*mom~ at 4.6.08 Â© 14 comments