Life at Warp Speed

life, faith, food, parenting, homeschooling and just about anything else that is on my mind

Achieve It With Sesame Street app- currently free! April 10, 2013

Filed under: Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:33 pm
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Achieve It With Sesame Street for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.

In honor of my friend’s daughter, Miss A, who loves Elmo, I am sharing this rewards app for kids. My own son, M is rather freaked out by Elmo and the entire Sesame Street crew, so I haven’t used this app with him. However, if you are looking for a fun mobile reward app for your child which tracks as they earn and “spend” their rewards, then consider trying this app. Sticker reward charts are great, but they aren’t always convenient when you are out and about. Currently, this app is free for iDevices and the Droid.



Timer+ App – free October 12, 2011

Filed under: Apps,Mommy Tips & Tricks,Parenting — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:12 pm
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App Store – Timer+.

Today’s shout out is Timer+ for iPhone and iPad is for an indispensable app for any busy multi-tasking person like me. Moms everywhere will agree that timers are a really helpful parenting tool. You use them for time outs, for potty training reminders, for transitional warnings for a variety of things like it is time to clean up, time to go to bed, etc., for quiet time reading for your children, for taking turns playing the iPad or any other coveted toy.

I love that you can program and save a variety of timers for yourself to use. This is really great if you have multiple children and have different set time out periods for them. I can track my laundry, dinner, time out, potty training, and piano practice all at the same time on one device instead of setting the egg timer, oven timer and my phone timer. I love that you can run multiple timers simultaneously, and the app runs in the background of your iPad even when it is on power down mode.

Love this! Highly recommended for anyone who loves organizational tools or is in desperate need of organizational tools.



$17 for 5 play sessions at Parents Place August 29, 2011

Filed under: Deals,Parenting,Things to Do with Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:50 am
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Parents Place Deal of the Day | Groupon San Jose.

Here is a deal for $17 for 5 drop-in play sessions at Parents Place or $35 for a two 2-hour parenting classes at either the San Mateo or Palo Alto locations.

Here is the yelp review for the Palo Alto location.



Diet book for school kids?!? August 24, 2011

Filed under: Children's Books,Parenting — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:58 pm
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Diet book aimed at children causes uproar – Los Angeles Times.

To be honest, I have not read this children’s book. I’m really not sure I want to because the concept of this book makes me quite uncomfortable. I think that it is important that girls have a good self-image and live a healthy active lifestyle for the sake of themselves and not because of what other people think about them.

I just find myself at the crossroads of a cultural and societal dilemma. How did we arrive in the place that we have at the same time an epidemic of childhood obesity side-by-side with major problem of anorexia and bulimia with boys and girls even among those who are just old enough to start school?

It is a perplexing problem. I think about how much parents obsess over this issue of the trifecta of early childhood issues (eating, sleeping and pottying). Sometimes, I think we as adults project a lot of our own issues onto our children. Other times, I think that we are a very neurotic, narcissistic society. And still other times, I think that this is very much a First World problem that because our basic needs are pretty much met, we seem to create these new problems in our society to struggle with because we don’t worry for the most part about food, water, shelter and basic safety.

What do you think about this book, the LA times review, or how our society and culture relates to food?



Pork and Summer Squash Potstickers

Filed under: Chinese,Cookbooks,Parenting — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:30 am
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I saw my cousin’s comment on the Beef and Tomato Potstickers recipe ( about being reminded about her mom’s marathon potstickers sessions. Now as an adult, I have very fond memories of sitting in my aunt’s kitchen with my cousins pressed into service to mass produce handmade skins for folding all sorts of dumplings. As a kid, I have to confess I would have been much happier reading instead. Isn’t that the irony about childhood experiences? Sometimes those things we resented so much as children become precious, valued, and even yearned for again with the passage of time.

It does make me think about the things I do with M which quite often are not fun at all for him. Someday, I hope that my parenting choices will be appreciated decades from now when he is able to see the long view. There are so many things that my parents and our wider family clan have taught me for which I have greater appreciation. I use “clan” in the fullest sense of the word since I am related to well over 250 people just in the Bay Area. It can be mind-boggling to contemplate the full impact of that.

Before I go too far off on this bunny trail, I will say that I will probably post more on those topics when I have time to do it justice. Let’s get back to the whole point of this which is sharing with you, my tweaking of another recipe from Stuart Chang Berman’s Potsticker Chronicles (  His recipe calls for lamb, so I substituted ground pork. I really think the world is divided into lamb and non-lamb people; either you love it or you hate it. Obviously, I am in the latter camp.

This is a really great way to use up all that squash that seems to grow like weeds in my backyard. Homegrown squash is so good compared to supermarket squash. There is almost a sweet flavor profile to the squash, and this tastes fantastic in this recipe. It works better to use younger, more tender squash than overgrown gigantic squash the size of your arm.


Pork and Summer Squash Potstickers


1 pound summer squash, finely minced
1 pound ground pork
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, or mushroom soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
48 store bought or handmade potsticker skins
1 egg white, lightly beaten (optional)


1.    Place squash in the center of a cloth. Gather the edges of the cloth to form a ball. Twist the gathered fabric and the ball in opposite directions to squeeze as much water out of the squash as possible.
2.    Place the squeezed squash in a mixing bowl. Add the pork, green onions, garlic, soy sauces, rice wine, sesame oil, and black pepper to the squash and mix well with a pair of chopsticks.
3.    To wrap dumplings, you can either use lukewarm water or egg white to moisten one side of each skin. Place about 1 tsp of filling in the center of each skin. Fold and crimp into crescent-like shapes. (Here is a youtube video on how to fold potstickers. Place on a floured tray. Potstickers may be cooked immediately or frozen on the tray. Once frozen, transfer the dumplings to a freezer bags for storage.
4.    You can either boil (Northern style) or pan fry (Canto style) the dumplings to your preference. I find that pan frying works best when you freeze the pot stickers first.

Note: The potstickers turn out better if you use the fattier ground pork available at the Asian markets.


Suze Orman’s Money Class August 19, 2011

Filed under: Finance & Stewardship,Parenting — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:45 am
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The minute I start talking about money or finances, most people start running for the hills. It seems to cause a visceral reaction in most people. It touches nearly every aspect of our daily lives in some way or another, yet most people hate talking about it abstractly, much less dealing the specifics of their own personal finances. Weirdly enough, one of my most favorite topics to teach about is money, finances and stewardship. It is really rewarding to me to help de-mystify things for people and to help empower them in the area of their finances and becoming good stewards of their resources.

We do an incredibly poor job as a culture and society in teaching people to be in control of their money and not allowing money to control them. People often wonder what the differences are between the haves and the have-nots are. One of the MAJOR key differences is how the haves deal with their finances within their families. It is a integral part of their life; they start educating their children about it very early. They talk about it frequently at the dinner table. It is part of their normal everyday life and conversation. Their children learn about business, investing, and finances by osmosis. They understand how the world works financially speaking and how to take advantage and leverage that knowledge for their own benefit and their children.

Growing up and even now, my own family talks about money, finances, investments, stocks, real estate, etc. You name it, we talked about it. Same thing with P & I at home. Our son, M, hears us talk about these things openly and sometimes daily. When you compartmentalize it or treat money and finances like a boogeyman that you keep locked up in a closet, it communicates unhealthy attitudes to your children that it is scary, confusing, secret, difficult, overwhelming, or whatever negative connotative you can ascribe to it.

I just noticed today that PBS (in the Bay Area) is re-airing Suze Orman’s latest offering, The Money Class, which was broadcast originally in the Spring of 2011. Although Suze can be a bit more new age-y and touchy-feely for my tastes, the gist of what she has to say is right on target. I know that the majority of people feel that the rug was pulled out from under them financially speaking these last few years. Most people are operating out of fear, despair, frustration and hopelessness. You might feel overwhelmed by debt, underwater in a mortgage, wondering if you can ever retire, concerned about how in the world you will pay for college for your kids, and wondering what kind of world it is that we live in now.

It doesn’t have to be that way for you. There are answers and help if you would just take some time to take control of things and, yes, educate yourself a little. Check out what Suze has to say about this new economy and how you can take back control of this area of your life. I love how she cuts to the chase, tells you the truth and makes things simple so that anyone can understand. Suze Orman’s Money Class | Expert Financial Advice : PBS.

I will say that I do not believe that the American Dream is dead, but I do think it isn’t the same as what a lot of us assumed it was. I think that American Dream was really a house of cards built on easy credit, very little reality, and a lot of trying to keep up with the Jones, Wongs, Gonzales, Washingtons, Guptas, etc. Don’t pay attention to what other people are doing, pay attention to what YOU are doing. No one is looking out for you except you. You are the only one that can take control and be your best advocate. You can either be your own best friend or your own worst enemy with respect to your money and your finances. I believe that you can do this!



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