Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Have you tried a twitter party?

I open tweetdeck and the host's twitter page when I chat
I meet a range of people who are lost on twitter, others just don't want to bother and others who are on the fringes.  The ones who casually participate I find are curious about twitter chats but do not know how to participate - soooooo, I made a video.

Some thoughts before watching the video, the second half of the video is just watching me participate in the twitter chat.  It's to give you an idea of how particpate.  Also, #momchat is a great twitter chat to start with.  It's every Tuesday at noon (eastern standard time).  The chatters are welcoming and we have some who don't have kids and we have Dads participate too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Decluttering and Vlogging about it

Has anyone been keeping their New Year's resolution?  Did you complete it? My resolution was to de-clutter my home.  I've been reading about it, but learned so much more by doing it.  For instance, I'm in the process of de-cluttering my family room.  It is more of a challenge than I expected.  Since it's the second most popular room in the house (kitchen is #1), daily life stunts my decluttering efforts.  Nonetheless, I carry on.

Last week, I began a vlogging series about my decluttering efforts.  In my first video, I got an answer to, how do you define clutter, that I didn't expect.  So I thought I'd put it out into the blogisphere and add a question as well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Zero to Video Hero Challenge Review

I've been on youtube for a few years, but I rarely put my face in front of the camera.  Over time, technology, my equipment, and my skills improved.  When I heard about the zero to video hero challenge I thought, perhaps I am beyond it but it was a free course so what the hell.  Since I am not a traditionally trained professional I thought any tidbit is a good tidbit.  What I didn't realize that it was not a course - at least not a traditional one.

Each day for 15 days, Holly Sugrue asks a question - like give a book recommendation, or tell us about yourself.  The only rule is to keep it under 3 minutes.  Then you post your video in a closed group on facebook, where you can look and respond to other videos.  That was it.  Halfway through, I thought why am I doing this?  Is it worth it?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A video advertisement for a blog post

I'm in a video e-course Zero to Video Hero, to get you comfortable being in front of a camera.  Many of you probably know I do a lot of videos on youtube.  If you have seen them you'd know, I rarely put my face in them.  This challenge has been an experience because I've had to put my face up there everyday.

Simply put, the program, asks you a question each day and you give a video answer.  The video must be under three minutes.  You then post your video in a private video group.  Sometimes I get responses for my video but most of the time I look at other videos and see how they are performing the challenge. 

During one of the challenges, we were told to make a list.  'A list?' I thought scratching my head.  So I watched some of the other videos first and found many animations.  I also discovered a new program called Animoto that gives you a free 30 second video.  I then remembered a post I made about 10 ways to shake bad juju.  I knew I couldn't list 10 in 30 seconds, but four is doable.  I did and found I still had more room, so I added text so one could go to my blog. 

I thought the video came out fantastic and bonus ... it was advertising a blog posting.  This was not my intention, but I thought, wow, what a great tool to keep your old posts fresh.  The video is below, I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The agony of making a twitter lists how-to video.

I spent the morning looking for a microphone.  Mine is getting old.  I found great reviews to Blue Microphone Snowball Mic.  I brought it home and alas, it was awful.  I found out it was an old verison of the now popular mic.  So now I gotta drive back and return it.  Sorely disappointed.  I'm leaving you with this video, which is recorded with the mic.  I did some adobe premier magic to make it sound like it does.

I'm not sure if I adjusted the speakers just right or if they are actually a good sound, so please, let me know what you think of the sound.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Snowflake Cupcake - for January

My daughter really enjoys cupcake decorating and I got a calendar with cupcake pictures.  Although the pictures have neither instructions nor references, we decided to try to duplicate them using our imagination.  Last month was a cupcake with a snowflake.  (I called it a star in the video.)

I thought I’d give you a quick synopsis of the how we made it.  

We used chocolate frosting to help the star (I mean snowflake) stand out.

For the snowflake:
White chocolate
Sparkling sugar

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The One Percenters of Education

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile, every time I pay for another test or some "supplies" the kids need that the school expects the families to pay.  What if I couldn't pay?

In last night speech, Obama recommitted to education in this country. He believes all Americans should have access to college. It's a great sentiment however, there is another challenge to this problem than just education. As a parent of a High Schooler, there are so many out of pocket expenses just to get your child to the college door.

Getting ready for college costs include calculator, and test fees
The tuition for college is only one hurtle. There were many more to get through before reaching this one.  There is the cost for the SAT and ACT tests and the calculators to go with the test. Most experts suggest that students take the test at least twice but the average is three times. Many parents spend thousands of dollars on tutoring for the entrance exams. And then there are the parents who hire college coaches to help with the application process, college entrance essays and interviews. They'll guide you on what you admissions is looking for from a candidate. And let's not forget the college application fee, which you will need more than one to ensure you'll have a shot.

I went on a couple of campus tours and the admissions officer will say that they are looking to see that the
student took advantage of the high level classes in High School including honors and Advance Placement (AP) classes. With those AP classes comes an AP test fee.  I can't imagine that families struggling to make ends meet can pay for these fees easily.

There are many financial obstacles before even stepping foot on a campus.  Yes, I think every child should have access to a higher education but I also believe the families need financial support while they are on the journey to college.