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Putting the Pieces Back Together & Living More Sustainably

23 Dec

I try very hard to balance my need to thrive while respecting the Earth’s delicate balance. It is pretty incredible when you can meet your own day to day needs and be kind to the planet at the same time!

Flaky as it sounds, it is important to me to do things like using as few natural resources (like water and gasoline) and buying products from companies that share my values. It takes a bit of effort and brain work to figure out how to best fit in the flow of the world but, in my opinion, it is so worth that extra push to leave this world better than I found it.

A while ago I got to drive a Kia Optima Hybrid – a super gas saver – on the way to learn something new and discover some real treasures.  Yes, it drove like a dream and got incredible gas mileage but there is really something more. I dug a bit into Kia and found a company supporting a better world through products, outreach, and funding.  Kia is leading some pretty cool initiatives like Project Green Light and programs that provide access to education as part of their current social responsibility efforts.

Kia is putting the pieces together and so it seems fitting to create a Scrambles photo puzzle album featuring the Kia Optima Hybrid.

Click on the Level you want to play. Level 1 gives you two memory crutches – a thumbnail and a faded image on the playing screen. In Level 2 the faded image disappears but the thumbnail remains. In Level 3, you and your working memory are on your own.

Then click on the Puzzle Albums’ cover image. Study the photo that appears on the playing screen. It will fade after about 10 seconds. Your task is to reassemble the photo by clicking and dragging the pieces back in to place!

There are five puzzles so keep clicking Next Puzzle to keep playing!

What criteria do you use when you shop for products – big and small?

Devices to Make Life Easier: Reminders Plus

19 Feb

Careline Phone System: Safety, Reminders, and More

Living with brain changes of any kind– including those that were a result of an accident, a stroke, a disease, a treatment for a disease, or neglect — is often a long-term, daily challenge. Even after the rest of the world tells you how “normal” you look, there are lingering issues that continue to pose problems and create frustration. It is those things, the ones that go on privately — the ones that no one else can see, feel, or even understand — that can lead to feeling misunderstood, alone, and depressed.

One particularly common issue is keeping track of the day-to-day routines like medication, appointments, paying bills, etc. — all those things that allow you to successfully get from waking through the end of the day and not miss a beat.

There are a ton of solutions on the market that help from smart phone apps to daily planners. Carry your phone or planner with you when you go and, if you follow your chosen system, you will most likely stay on track. No matter the system or level of technological sophistication, there is one huge hole in all – safe at home! We think of keeping track of life when we go outside but in comfort of our own homes, how do we manage the moment to moment? If this seems silly, ask someone who has had a major brain incident!Careline Phone System

I was asked to review Vtech’s Careline Safe at Home system primarily because I speak to caregivers and those who might be concerned about safety and security as they age. Yes, the Careline phone system is such an easy emergency alert system to use and can be a comfort for those who are worried about aging parents and grandparents who live at home alone. Check out my friend and trusted source Lisa’s post on her blog Grandma’s Briefs for a great review of her experience with her beautiful mom and how they are using this product to provide peace of mind. Here, though, is the hidden gem in this system – it has the coolest, most effective reminder system I have seen that can help those with brain injury of all kinds stay on top of the details at home – that one place where they are most likely to slip through the cracks!

The phone system has extremely easy to use, programmable reminders that can be set up in advance to remind you to do things. For example, if trash day is Thursday, you can set a reminder to broadcast at a particular time on Wednesday nights. Or if the physical therapist is coming at 9 AM, set a reminder to get dressed at 8:30. That reminder is broadcast on 1) the home station for the phone (the one connected to the land line), 2) 2 remote phones, and 3) a “pendant” that can be worn or put in your pocket when you are walking around. All have adjustable volume control that actually works well. It gets better. These reminders can be set remotely as well. Anyone who has the access code for the system, can call into the system (as if checking voicemail) and set up a reminder. Is your dad supposed to come to dinner and you are worried he will forget? Call in and set up a reminder.

There are many other features on this phone system that make this phone better than others on the market like:
• Big buttons that are individually lit (no need to strain to see them even on the remote phones).
• Large screen displays for the answering machine, caller ID, and reminders.
• Pre-programmed emergency and commonly used numbers (easy, easy, easy to program).
• Volume control on all of the phones in the system for the ringer, call ID announcements, reminders, and voicemail recordings.
• Emergency buttons – one touch from all 4 parts of the device
• Flexibility to choose how you want to use the system.
• No monthly fees!


Check all the features and find out where to buy this at

Even though I wrote this piece while participating in a campaign by on behalf of Vtech’s Careline Phone System and received payment for my participation, I jumped at the chance to review a product that enhances the lives of those with brain issues.   Needless to say, all opinions stated within are my own – wouldn’t have it any other way.


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