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Archive for the ‘Apple’ tag

October 3rd, 2013 at 11:12 am

Fall Traditions


As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized just how important traditions are. As a child, seasonal and holiday traditions were things I looked forward to all year. There’s excitement in knowing a special activity or outing is approaching…they are some of my fondest memories, and now as an adult, I love seeing the children in our family experience the same excitement. Here are some of our fall traditions to inspire you…perhaps you have your own or will start some new ones this year!

Apple and pumpkin picking

At the beginning of every October we pack the family up for a fun-filled autumn day of pumpkin and apple picking. We go to “pick your own” places where you can pick them right off the tree and vine. The kids love climbing the trees and picking the apples, and selecting their own pumpkins. The places we go to usually have a corn maze and other fun activities for the kids to enjoy. I, myself, love the seasoned corn on the cob and apple cider they sell…YUM! After a long day out, we come home and make a warm, hearty meal like beef stew or chili.

Baking pies and banana bread

The kids really love helping make pies from the apples they pick themselves! Apple and pumpkin pie are my usuals, but berry pies are delicious as well. My family has a chocolate chip banana bread (no nuts) recipe that has been passed down for generations, so we make a few loafs for the house and a few to give as gifts to friends and family. Here’s a popular recipe similar to mine (can’t give away all the family secrets!).

Pumpkin carving and painting

Needless to say, this is the most popular tradition with the kids…it’s a great way for them to get creative. Sometimes we use stencils we print online and other times they just let their imagination run. The little ones use paint to safely decorate their pumpkins instead of carving utensils.

Halloween books and movies

Since Halloween can be a somewhat scary time for kids, it’s nice to read books that celebrate and poke fun at the holiday. When I was little, my mother used to read me my favorite Halloween book, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. GoodReads has a list with other great titles you can see here. For the little ones, watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and the older ones will enjoy Nightmare Before Christmas (bonus, two holidays in one!).

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October 11th, 2011 at 5:00 am

What Steve Jobs Meant to Me

You don’t have to be a tech geek to feel the loss of the incredible man who was Steve Jobs. Now the word visionary has been repeated by just about everyone who has commented on his death. And it’s hard to hear any word repeated over and over without it sounding cliché. But try as I might, there really isn’t a better description of him and his life’s work.

In my first job, I worked for a company that made incredibly sophisticated microchip-making equipment. How the product looked wasn’t the priority. How it worked was everything.

Next I worked for a consumer products company and the struggle between engineering and design priorities often resulted in great looking products that didn’t always perform. That was difficult for me. I don’t care if my appliance doesn’t win a design award. If it does the job really well, then I’m happy. That’s the engineer in me.

Over the years, I’ve watched Apple consistently come out with products that not only look great but work incredibly well. The marriage of form and function in Apple products is spectacular. That was Steve Jobs’ vision. He knew what he was doing and he was uncompromising. In my mind, that made him heroic and that is his legacy.

I’m a PC gal by necessity. My work is Windows-based. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t own a Mac if I had the choice. I do own an iPod and an iPad. As you might have figured out by now, I just love being organized. And what could be better than having all of your music on one compact little device, with the ability to make playlists for any occasion, never have to hear the songs you don’t like, and have immediate access to any music you desire? It’s everything I want for my music collection and I actually enjoy spending time organizing my iTunes and making great playlists.

And I absolutely love my iPad. It is true genius.

So here’s to a remarkable man who made an astonishing contribution to our world with his unswerving devotion to quality, design, function and fun. He really did change the world.

I hope that Steve Jobs looked far enough down the road to create a framework for the next great things that Apple will bring us. He had the knack for knowing what we want before we knew it, and in most cases, he was so very right. I hope he left good notes.

People speak of the cult of Steve. But when you look at his body of work, from the Macintosh to Toy Story to the iPad, how can you not be in awe.

Rest in Peace Mr. Jobs. You certainly packed a life into your short years. How painful to think that we’ll be deprived of what should have been decades more of your innovation. Our loss is profound.

If you haven’t seen this video of Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address, it is so worth your time.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.


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