March 23, 2015

35 before 35: My Bucket List for my 30s

30—that’s twenty nine more than my daughter’s age, seven more than my sister’s, and  twenty-seven less than my mother’s. It’s the exact amount of days in a typical month; and the exact minutes it takes for my daughter to get sick of a toy.  It also totals the amount of birthdays I will have, counting the one this coming Friday. 

Ah yes, the milestone birthday. Next to the proverbial 18th and 21st, this is by far the most significant I’ve had. I’ve accomplished plenty in my thirty years, but to quote one of my favorite poems, I still have “miles to go before I sleep.” And in the spirit of motivation, I’ve decided to come up with a list of 35 things to do before 35. Call it cliché or simple minded, but these are the things I’d like to accomplish in five years. It’s not meant to be boastful or arrogant. This list is an incentive; to ensure that I live out my 30s in the same fervor that I lived my 20s.

So in no particular order of priority here it is…
  1. Own a piano
  2. Teach my daughter how to play at least one song (or more) on said piano
  3. Have at least 2 pieces of my writing published (in a medium other than my blog)
  4. Ride a hot air balloon
  5. Continue to grow my blog through writing and building its solid following
  6. Continue to document my daughter’s growth & my adventures in motherhood
  7. Finish my novel
  8. Start looking into publishing possibilities with my novel
  9. Take a family vacation (a short one—a weekend, or a long one—a week)
  10. Get a dog
  11. Get down to my wedding weight
  12. Go to a concert and have a backstage pass to meet the act
  13. Stay in a fancy hotel suite for more than a day
  14. Travel to the West coast (stopover from a flight doesn’t count)
  15. Cook a meal on the grill
  16. Host a holiday meal (Christmas or Thanksgiving)
  17. Bake a cake from scratch (no cake mix!)
  18. Stratle state lines (like the one in Hoover Dam)
  19. See Shakespeare in the Park in NYC (Central Park)
  20. Cook/bake with my daughter
  21. Sleep under the stars (preferably during the summer)
  22. Cook a family recipe without help
  23. Continue to make our house a home
  24. Read as many books from the 100 books to read in a lifetime
  25. Watch as many of the AFI top 100 movies
  26. Go hiking
  27. Buy a DSLR camera
  28. Learn how to use said camera
  29. Watch a sunrise on the beach
  30. Conquer my fear of the beach
  31. Do random acts of kindness
  32. Go on a road trip 
  33. Try ideas I've pinned on Pinterest (at least 5 or more)
  34. Learn how to balance my time
  35. Be thankful for all that’s happened

March 16, 2015

The One on Quality and Practicality


I’m a big proponent of practical and well made products. And Puro Sound Labs fits this mold perfectly. Their purpose is simple: to bring awareness to Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), a condition that is on the rise among our youths. But they don’t stop there: they’re also looking for ways to eventually prevent it.  Their journey started in 2014 with the launch of their Healthy Ears initiative—a suggestion from a mother (the wife of one of the company’s marketing executives) that they make kid-friendly headphones that promoted the same quality and safety standards as their adult ones.  

Hence, their Puro Sound Labs Kids Wireless/Wired Headphones was born. We were lucky enough to receive this product to try, and it did not disappoint. Quality and Practicality are its main function, and the fact that it’s for a valuable cause makes it all the more worthy to try.

The Basics: 

As part of the company's NIHL prevention and awareness initiative, these Puro Sound Kids Headphones was designed with a volume limiter, which exceeds no more than 85 decibels—the healthiest level deemed safe for children by the CDC. Don’t fret, however. Just because the decibels are at a “safe” level, does not diminish the quality of sound. In fact, they made it a point to make the sound quality studio grade, thanks in part to their Puro Balanced Response technology. The idea is this: the better the sound quality to the ears means less urgencies to turn the volume higher (read more about it here). And speaking from experience,  whether it’s movies, videos or music, the sound is absolutely perfect (take it from me who blasts a 30 second video clip into full volume for the “experience” of it all). And though the volume is, technically, “low” I can attest first hand that I was able to enjoy every bit of my Netflix binge watching and Spotify listening sessions without even so much as an urge to turn up the volume.

Puro Sound Labs understands their target audience: kids & teenagers. After all, no one is better at blasting their music to the highest volume, but those young’ns of today,  right? So their approach to the aesthetic of their Kids Wireless Headphones is very clever: sleek, hip, and cool. With the option for the basic white or the tan/gold, it resembles the unmistakable design of the latest and greatest headphones and music players. So whether it’s an Apple or an Android, these headphones can look just as slick and lustrous as the best tech gadgets out there. Its protein leather and aluminum design adds to its “cool” factor, further surpassing their counterparts’—whether Beats or Skull Candy—appearance ten-fold. 

The ear cups and cushions also serve dual purpose. Their soft leather structure practically cradles the ear when used—a useful feature, especially when a kid falls asleep while leaning their head against the seat or the window (no more uncomfortable ears when they wake!). But it also helps to reduce the ambient noise for better quality sound as mentioned above. 

But appearance isn’t everything. These headphones are also fairly durable. Believe me: it survived a one year old--whose sole mission was to bang it on every hard surface before her mother catches her. If it can survive that ordeal without so much as a scratch or a blip in the quality of sound, I believe it can survive almost anything.

This is where Puro Sound Lab impressed me beyond expectations. There are the simple things in the product: like the fact that I was able to fit, what was deemed to be children’s headphones, on my adult sized head; thanks due in part to its adjustable bands. Or the fact that this very option allows its owner to literally grow into the product—using it  from childhood, to teenage years and onto adulthood!

There’s also the Bluetooth option, which allows me to play a slue of songs on my downstairs office without being tethered to a wire. This means I can tidy up on the second floor, make dinner, and even fold some laundry all while my favorite playlist is playing safely downstairs. Of course, the headphones also comes with an audio jack, so the option to connect with older devices (that may lack a Bluetooth option) is also available.

I’ve mentioned how these headphones limit ambient noise through Puro Sound’s technological advancements, a component that certainly helps deliver the sound quality safely and efficiently to the listener. But what I most admire about this feature is this:  I am still able to hear sounds from the outside world—like the doorbell buzzing, my phone ringing, and even the baby monitor at my side. Though it’s not the prevalent sound in my ears; it’s just enough to truly enjoy what I’m listening to without the risk of tuning out the rest of the world or damaging my hearing. The same reason can be argued for those preteen and teenagers who want to drown out their mother’s request to come to the dinner table, or their father’s insistence in taking out the garbage. There’s no more stomping down the steps and barging into their rooms; no more tapping them on the shoulders as they flail their arms in shock for the contact. They’ll be able to hear you and their music safely and reasonably.

Bottom Line:

The Puro Sound Lab team did a phenomenal job with this product. From its design to its function, their Kids Wireless Headphones combines the perfect balance between practicality and innovation without sacrificing quality or value. It’s the perfect blend that very few can achieve, and I will adamantly and enthusiastically recommend it to anyone who shares the same merit.
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