Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Q&A Session with Karyn Climans, Creator of Tail Wags Helmet Covers, Inc.

Buzz this

Yesterday, I shared my review of the ‘Lucky the Ladybug Helmet Cover, manufactured by an awesome company named Tail Wags Helmet Covers, Inc. Click here to read all about it! Their helmets are designed to make it FUN for kids (and adults) to wear their safety helmets. Here is a question and answer session with Karyn Climans, the creator of Tail Wags.


Question: What was the inspiration behind your company?
Answer: Nine years ago, I was in a serious ski accident but fortunately I was wearing my ski helmet. The helmet saved my life! Ever since my accident, I became determined to encourage more people to wear a safety helmet while biking, skating, skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing.

Question: How did you come up with the idea of helmet covers?
Answer: I have a teaching & costume design background. I wanted to incorporate the idea of dress-up/imaginary play in to wearing a helmet so kids would find it fun to wear their helmets. For adults, the motivation to wear a helmet is different... They like to "make a statement"!

Question: How many helmet cover designs do you have?
Answer: There are over 40 adorable designs to choose from including the Fairy Princess, Gladiator, Big Stinker Skunk and the Pink Kitty.

Question: What type of helmets do they fit over?
Answer: They fit ALL makes & models of bike, skate, ski, snowboard, toboggan & equestrian helmets. They even fit "bucket style" motorcycle helmets. In fact, the Bridal helmet cover was created when a bride who was driving off in to the sunset called me and asked me to create her a bridal helmet cover. She wanted to feel like a bride on her special day!

Question: Do you do custom orders?
Answer: unfortunately, it's impossible to respond to every request for a custom helmet cover. That said, if I think the idea is going to appeal to the general public, I would give it a try!

Question: From a safety perspective, are helmet covers safe?
Answer: The important thing to remember is helmet covers should not be attached in any way to the helmet. Tail Wags are not tied or velcro-ed or snapped on to the helmet. They are simply a shower cap design. The other important thing to remember is helmet manufacturers warn that stickers should not be applied to helmets because the adhesive of the sticker may undermine the integrity of the plastic shell. One more important point: Tail Wags helmet covers ADD to the visibility of the user when biking, skating & skiing. There are no drivers who don't see me coming when I'm riding the streets of Toronto with my Princess helmet cover. Because of the added visibility, I feel safer when riding my bike.

Question: What is the most satisfying aspect of running your own business?
Answer: Customer feedback is the thing that makes the hard work of running my business worthwhile. I've had parents call me to tell me their child who didn't want to wear a helmet is now wearing their helmet in the car & house because they love their Tail Wags ... Since my company goal is to increase the number of kids and adults actually wearing their helmet, I know I'm doing a good job!

Question: What plans do you have in the future for Tail Wags?
Answer: Of course, I'm always creating new designs because I love the creative side. I'm about to launch 4 new designs including a Unicorn, Butterfly, Dinosaur and Zebra.


Thanks to Karyn for giving us some background on her company. It is amazing to see how far the company has come in the couple years since I first discovered it on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s TV series, ‘Dragons’ Den.’ I highly recommend that you head over to their website to check out their awesome products! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

'Lucky Lady the Ladybug' Helmet Cover by Tail Wags - Product Review

Buzz this

Living in Detroit, right across the border from Canada, has its advantages. One of them is watching what has become my favorite program, ‘Dragons’ Den;’ its US equivalent is ‘Shark Tank.’ If you’re not familiar with either program, inventors and new business owners come in and present their ideas. Five business moguls then decide whether or not they want to invest in these businesses. It is interesting to see the new ideas presented, as well as to occasionally see the moguls haggle with each other to win the business. I rarely miss an episode!

One of the businesses that really piqued my interest was Tail Wags Helmet Covers, Inc. The founder, Karyn Climans, came up with the great idea to make fun helmet covers for adults and children alike. Karyn generously provided ‘Lucky Lady the Ladybug’ for my review.

This delightful helmet cover is made of polar fleece. It is clearly very well-made (in Canada). The cover fits easily over the safety helmet and is held in place by the elasticized binding. The ‘Lucky Lady the Ladybug’ cover is available in adult sizes, as well as in children’s sizes up to the age of 11 years old. It is adorable, and I will be sporting it on bike rides, as well as the next time I go snow-shoeing!

Here is some information on the founder, Karyn Climans:

Karyn is the entrepreneurial spirit behind Tail Wags Helmet Covers, a company devoted to encouraging more children and adults to wear their safety helmets. One of her goals is to prevent unnecessary head injuries and it is her passion for safety awareness, along with her imaginative flair, that have been the key ingredients for Tail Wags’ success.
Karyn’s innovative helmet covers first appeared on the ski slopes in 2006. Since then, Tail Wags helmet covers have been showing up on bike trails, skating rinks, tobogganing hills, ski slopes and equestrian trails across North America and internationally, including Europe and Australia.

Here is some information on the company, Tail Wags Helmet Covers, Inc.:

Tail Wags are adorable and innovative helmet covers that fit over bike, skate, ski, snowboard, toboggan and equestrian helmets. Tail Wags features over forty animal characters, each with its own personality and each making its own statement! From tigers and dinosaurs to Princesses and Kitty Cats, children love dressing-up their safety helmets with Tail Wags helmet covers.
All Tail Wags designs are created exclusively by Karyn and are made locally in Toronto, Ontario.

I love these products! They are really innovative, with lots of adorable designs, including the Fairy Princess, Cleo the Cat, Fifi the Pink Poodle, Ticked Off Bird, Regal Tang the Blue Fish, Slope Shark, and Gulp the Piranha! These make great gifts for children of all ages, for all occasions! You can place your order here.

Thanks to Karyn for providing this awesome product for my review!

Please join me again tomorrow for a Question and Answer session with Karyn Climans!

Friday, February 22, 2013

‘Solitude’ by Keri Wyatt Kent – Guest Blog Post

Buzz this

Today, I have the unique opportunity to share a guest post from a wonderful author, Keri Wyatt Kent. Please enjoy!


A guest post by Keri Wyatt Kent

Let’s consider a counter-intuitive truth: time alone can ease our loneliness.
The practice of solitude is not mere isolation, but time alone with God. We forsake others, for a time, to come away with our Beloved.
The very thought may frighten us: we live in sometimes palpable isolation, even with the pseudo-companionship of television, social media, and the crowds around us. In solitude, we bravely face what we’ve been unconsciously avoiding: the intensity of our loneliness. In so doing, we experience the furious, piercing love of God who is our only real hope of escape from that loneliness.

Solitude creates a boundary, within which we might pray, mourn, rejoice, read Scripture, or simply be silent. We can speak to God, or attentively listen for the voice that is always there, but too often drowned out by the noise of our lives. In solitude we are alone and still, and must face the fact that the world keeps spinning without our assistance.

Jesus spent time alone for his own sake, but also to serve as a spiritual role model for his disciples—both then and now. He went to lonely places, in part, to show you how to do it. The gospels whisper over and over of Jesus waking before dawn to withdraw, to sneak off for a few moments alone.

Yet even Jesus sometimes found it difficult to escape the demands of daily life, of others: “At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.” (Luke 4:42)

Any close relationship, if it is to grow, requires time spent with the beloved. We nurture our relationship with Jesus by spending time alone with him—whether it is a few minutes each morning, or a longer solitude time on a weekly or even monthly basis. Ours is not a religious obligation but a response to love: the love within our hearts, and the persistent love of Jesus that beckons us to come away with him.

Luke, ever the fastidious observer, connects two truths that give us the “why” of solitude: “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:15,1 6) The gospel writer links the demands of the crowd with Jesus’ response—withdrawal into solitude.

Imagine if Jesus had a publicist. Time alone would not be on the agenda: he’d be advised to build his platform, use the momentum he was gaining, add a few more appearances to his calendar, and to be more polite to the Pharisees. Solitude would likely not have been a strategy for ministry effectiveness. But that’s the paradoxical power of this discipline: by doing nothing, we are supernaturally enabled to do much.

As we spend time with no one except God, where we are reminded that it is his love for us—not the accolades of the crowd or the adrenalin rush of accomplishment—that truly matters. Solitude inoculates us against the spiritual malady of relying too much on the approval of others.

In other words, our priorities can be more easily aligned with God’s when we spend time in solitude. As God says through the Psalmist: “Be still, and know that I am God;” (Psalm 46:10) 

Some of us seem to have only two speeds: overdrive and collapse. We’re honestly afraid that if we stop running, and just be, we will fall asleep. That’s fine—it’s even biblical. Elijah began a very transformational time of solitude with a little nap (see 1 Kings 19). It may be that is exactly what you need.
Solitude is foundational to all spiritual practice. It is one of the few disciplines that every Christian needs—indeed, every human being, no matter their beliefs, would benefit from it. When the distractions are set aside, we come face to face with who we are, who God is. We can no longer hide behind the flurry of activity that keeps us swimming along the surface of life. When we are still, and alone, we are able to dive deep, and be lifted up by God’s presence. We begin to live into the truth that we are deeply loved.

About the Author:

Keri Wyatt Kent is a freelance writer and speaker, with ten books to her credit. She writes and speaking about slowing down, simplifying and listening to God. Her latest book is ‘Deeply Loved: 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus.’ To learn more, join Keri on a 40 day Lent study of her book on Facebook or by following her on Twitter (@KeriWyattKent #DeeplyLoved). 

Through her writing and speaking, Keri Wyatt Kent helps people to connect authentically with God and to be spiritually transformed. Her books include 'Rest: Livingin Sabbath Simplicity.' In addition, she is the coauthor of several others. Keri frequently travels around the country to speak and lead retreats, and she is a regular contributor to several magazines, websites, and blogs. Keri is a member of Willow Creek Community Church, where she has taught, led groups, and volunteered in a variety of ministries for more than two decades. She and her husband, Scot, live with their teenage son and daughter in Illinois.

Here is the description of ‘Deeply Loved:’ 

Jesus loves you.

That profound fact has been changing lives around the world for centuries. Yet, there are days when you don’t experience this completely in your own life. So, how do you get to the very core of that statement on a deep, personal level?

Keri Wyatt Kent wants to help you fully experience the heart of Jesus’ love in Deeply Loved. Using the gospel stories of Jesus, reflection, and personal stories, Kent will guide you through 40 days of how to create space in your life for Jesus to show up and love you. Deeply.

You can order this deeply impactful book here

Thanks to Keri for this powerful guest post! I have a copy, and look forward to starting to use it during my morning devotionals!

Friday, February 8, 2013

‘5 Days to a Clutter-Free House: Quick, Easy Ways to Clear Up Your Space’ by Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims - Book Review

Buzz this

We are still early enough in the year where we are working on our New Year’s resolutions. One of them usually has to do with being more organized.  The latest book on my reading list can help with that! The book is '5 Days to a Clutter-Free House: Quick, Easy Ways to Clear Up Your Space’ by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims.

Here is the synopsis of this helpful book:

A Clean, Organized and Restful Home is Only Five Days Away. If you’ve picked up this book, you want to reduce the clutter in your home, organize what’s left, and keep it that way. But does the sheer scope of the project give you an anxiety attack? Don’t let fear stop you! Organizing and time management experts Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims show you how, with the right game plan and a healthy dose of adrenaline, you’re just 5 days from your goal.

With their proven team-based approach, even the most overwhelming de-cluttering job becomes doable. Section one shows you how to de-clutter, with each day of the week focused on one reachable goal. Section two shows you how to cultivate time-tested habits that keep your house in the clean, well-ordered state you’ve just achieved. You’ll even learn how to deal with common obstacles such as:

·         filing
·         storage needs
·         health issues
·         space restrictions
·         the car
·         even family sabotage!

So what are you waiting for? The home of your dreams is just a week away.

Here are the biographies of the authors:

Sandra Felton, The Organizer Lady©, is a pioneer in the field of organizing. She is the founder and president of Messies Anonymous; the author of many books, including Organizing Magic; and the coauthor of Organizing Your Day and Smart Office Organizing. She lives in Florida.

Marsha Sims is an international speaker and lecturer on time management and organization.  She is the founder and president of Sort-It-Out, Inc. and Clutter-Free University. She is the coauthor of Organizing Your Day and Smart Office Organizing  and lives in Florida.

I love the ladies’ introduction:

Fall in love with order and beauty. Don’t settle with living in a house whose condition drags you down, makes you sorry you have to live there. Do you wish you could just move to a fresh and lovely new house, leaving all you have behind? You can reinvent your house into that dream. Seek the happiness you will experience by getting the house under control and keeping it the way you dream it can be. You’ll love it! (p. 24)

My marriage is like the relationship of the friends in ‘The Odd Couple.’ I am the messy one; my husband, Fred, is the neat nick! The lack of organization in our home has always been a source of some tension in our lives and our marriage. So this book is perfect for me!

In the chapter entitled ‘The Cluttered Psyche,’ the ladies describe me to a tee:

People like us, who struggle with clutter, have a much stronger attachment to our belongings than most. We see their possibilities, their beauty, and their place in our personal history with a special itinerary. What is simple to others is complex to us. That’s why we have more difficulty making decisions about what to do with the “treasures” that fill our home. (p. 27)

I do have a tendency to be attached to things, so they are speaking my language!

The ladies have an interesting strategy for each day of the week.  They also recommend that a team of friends be assembled. I am sure that is a great strategy, as it will be easier to tackle this big – and emotional – project.

The book is interspersed with testimonies from people who have already implemented the program. Donna was expected to host parties for three high school family graduations. She recruited her sisters to help her, with great results:

And they did the job – using their own version of a team approach. During the process, they got rid of some things Donna would have kept, but she kept her eyes on the final goal. “I worried about wasting things, because they aren’t as frugal as I am. I did have a feeling of loss of control, but I kept going because I wanted it done for the parties.” (p. 65)

Of course, after the clean-up, it is necessary to have a change of mindset in order for the clutter to not return.  Section Two is entitled ‘Keep the Good Life Going.’ The ladies state that the secret is maintenance, and they show the readers how to take time each day to maintain a state of order. Along with maintaining our stuff, we need to maintain ourselves. They suggest several Clutter-Buster Habits (pp. 143-144):

1.   Stow as You Go
2.   Catch Follow-Through Fever
3.   Practice the Thirty-Second Rule

Section Two also includes chapters on managing your house, managing your family, and managing your time.

The ladies have ‘A Final Word.’ They state that this book is a useful tool:

You have some very powerful tools in your hands – tools you can use to finally clear the clutter that has been dragging you down for a long time, and that can empower you to maintain the wonderful harmony and order you are seeking. Furthermore, if you have time and desire, you have what it takes to apply these ideas to helping others in need. (p. 207)

Finally, the Appendix provides helpful resources in the form of websites, books, and blogs.

I have not implemented these strategies, but I plan to do so! I grew up in a household that was much more cluttered than our home is right now, so a cluttered environment is the norm for me. I don’t think it has a detrimental effect on me, but I have no other frame of reference. I think I will take some time to consider the person who would be a good cleaning partner for me (I don’t think my husband would be the right candidate; too much anxiety for a happy marriage)! I will definitely reference this book when that very 
challenging time comes! Thanks to Sandra and Marsha for this valuable tool!  

This book is available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Clicky Web Analytics