June 26th, 2013 Update: Before you buy yours, read first Why I returned my Fuelband
It has been a while since I had my eye on a Nike+ Fuelband. Yesterday, I took the plunge. The reason why I bought a Fuelband is to help be more active. Yes, I wish to look better in my bikini but my real motivation is to stay healthy. Following my toddler boy around helps me but I want to do more. For the past 6 months, I try, without success, to add a daily yoga session to my routine. Between my work schedule, the household tasks and making dinner, I don’t seem to find the time to squeeze a yoga break. I wish that by raising the bar of my Fuel goal, I would have no choice but to integrate yoga in my life. Continue Reading
Every blogger develops their own writing style. This is a part of the attraction of reading a blog. If we were to examine your writing style, we will probably find that reflects the type of person that we are in real life. Loyal readers can discover some of your character traits and your skills just by reading your blog. For instance, I like to get to the point, which is why I prefer shorter posts to long ones. Continue Reading
I wish all the dads a wonderful Happy Father’s Day! The time you spend playing with, talking to and caring for your kids has a tremendous effect on building their self-esteem and making them happy. Your presence counts and puts smiles on their face. We love you for everything you do for your family!
I became a mom after 40s. I gave birth so late that my age group doesn’t appear in fertility tables. I was 47 years old when I gave birth to my beautiful son. For readers who are aware of the congenital heart defects of my son, it has nothing to do with my age. I don’t have any fertility stories to share since my son was conceived naturally. What I want to do here is addressing misconceptions about midlife parenting.
Some call us selfish to have waited so long, others assume that we do it to fill void in our life. Personally, I feel that it is better for everyone — that is, you and your kids — when you are ready to be a parent. Continue Reading
A TED2013 talk by Nilofer Merchant offers us a way to mix work with leisure. It is easy to see why a walking meeting is great for your mind and body. With careful planning and some luck, I bet that they could save you time by allowing you to move between the places where you need to be. They could be more productive than the typical business meetings. Continue Reading
Today marks a great day for me. At last, a new chapter of my blogging career is starting. Starting today, At home with Kim Vallee becomes a blog about Making life easier for entrepreneurs and parents.
I passed half of the year reinventing, redefining and rebranding what is, at the end, the new At Home with Kim Vallee. The funny thing is that a key element changed last night. That important detail makes today’s reveal possible thanks to my mentor and to my little boy. Continue Reading
If you dream of showing off your own drawings, you will love this next idea. Designed for iPhone 4 and 5, a Krillz iPhone set comes with a 40 page drawing and a clear iPhone case. There is a dye-cut iPhone cutout, that fits your model, on every page.
Where to buy: Krillz iPhone case for creative people at Neo-utility $35 USD
Keep it in mind for a creative gift for a teenager, for graduation or Father Day. If you draw well, why not customize the gift even further by sketch a case in the book?
+ photo credits: Krillz
Here is a fun pretend play alternative to the cardboard fruit and vegetable market. The best thing for busy parents is that you only have to fold it for your kids to be ready to play. Cool features includes a service window that easily opens and closes.
OTO is a brand new toy company starting up in New York. They design and make huge cardboard food trucks for kids. Continue Reading
I always start my day of work by brewing a pot of French Press coffee. I am picky about which coffee beans I buy. It has to taste fresh and strong. If it is not, I will throw it away. I will take extra steps to ensure a great cup of joe but I am not a coffee snob. Although I grind my own beans right before brewing my coffee, I won’t make a fuss if some grounded beans from yesterday are in the pot.
Here are the few essential steps to brew a robust French Press pot.
1. A coarse grind
The larger particules eliminate the unpleasant sludge caused by the fine grit. I take that with caution. The coarser setting of my old entry-level grinder does produce some powder and tiny coffee bits. But the metal filter of my Bodum pot doesn’t a decent job at keeping them out. I found that pouring the coffee into a carafe as soon as it is ready diminishes the effect.
If you are on the market for a coffee grinder, go for a burr grinder instead of a blade one. Be prepared to invest $300 or more for a grinder that will produce an even grind time after time. Remember that an entry-level burr coffee grinder will always beat the best blade coffee grinder. Fopr the moment, I will continue to use my 25 years old grinder.
2. The right amount of coffee
Personally, I put 2 rounded tablespoons for 2 mugs and a half of coffee. I have an 8-cup model but I don’t fill it up. Find what works for you and for the coffee beans that you use.
3. The water temperature
Water should be about 200ºF (anything between 195-205ºF is fine). I don’t need a thermometer since my Breville electric kettle has a French Press setting. Otherwise, know that the right temperature is slightly lower than boiling temperature. It is because you don’t want to burn your coffee.
4. Pour a Little, Stir and Set the Timer
I initially pour a third of the total water that I will use to make a press pot. I stir with chopsticks until I create a small foam. I set my stove the timer to 3:40 minutes. Since I aim for a total brewing time of 4 minutes, I offset the stirring time and the time it will take me to cancel the timer and reach the pot.
5. Fill the Pot
Pour the hot water. Add the filter assembly. I put down the filter a little, just enough to make sure that the coffee is fully immersed.
6. Pour into a Carafe
As soon as the timer rings, I pour me a cup and pour the rest into a Mason jar. To avoid the sludge, don’t pour every sip of liquid. I also throw away the bottom of every mug. Maybe, it is time that I invest in a better coffee grinder after all.
Here is a flexible way to add a splash of color on your terrace. The new planting pots by Bacsac are ideal for an urban garden. Like their predecessors (the Bacsquare), these 100% recyclable, weightless and portable bags are easy to move outside on the balcony or in the garden. When not in use, the pots take little space since you can fold them. Continue Reading
Inspired by the Romotow concept, I continue my search for modern looking holiday home with a small footprint. Personally, I prefer a smaller place because it requires less maintenance. Since sleeping in a tent for several days in a row is not what I have in mind when I want to relax, I like to explore how small you can get to be comfortable as a family.