All Natural Strawberry Lemonade

Country we are exploring: United States  Strawberry Lemonade

Continent: North America

National Language: English

English Recipe Name: All Natural Strawberry Lemonade

Fun Fact about the country: America uses a lot of food-related phrases when describing itself!  It has long been known as a “melting pot” because it is the home of people from all over the world who blend together, but more recently it has also been described as a “salad” because each group also manages to remain unique.  It seems that everyone can agree on apple pie though, since the phrase “as American as apple pie” has long been popular for describing something typically American!

Did you know?

In America, many popular kids books are banned or censored in schools and libraries. Among these books include Harry Potter, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, The Lorax, and Where’s Waldo?

Action ideas: Parents should guide their children’s reading and exposure to books as they see fit outside of school environments. The public library can assist in this process by providing reader’s advisory services, booklists, and other related services in a positive, pro-active manner.

Link to a resource where kids can learn more about this issue or take action:,

Kids love this country because…
The American city of Los Angeles is the birthplace and home of many popular kids television shows such as Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, and Yo Gabba Gabba. These shows are not only entertaining but have become stuck in young hearts around the world!

Ingredient spotlight:  Lemon  

Did you know Lemons are…?
The lemon is native to Asia, around Northeast India, North Burma, and China.

Lemons are believed to be a hybrid between a sour orange and a citron.

Christopher Columbus took lemon seeds with him to the America’s in 1493, introducing the fruit there. 

Due to its high acidic nature the juice of a lemon can be used for cleaning. Lemon halves dipped in salt or baking powder can be used to brighten up copper and clean kitchenware.

The top 5 producers of lemons in the world each year, in no particular order, are China, India, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.


8 large strawberries, halved
2 tablespoons white sugar
7 cups water, divided
1 cup white sugar
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Place strawberries in a blender; top with 2 tablespoons sugar. Pour 1 cup water over sugared strawberries. Blend until strawberry chunks transform into juice.
  2. Combine strawberry juice, 6 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a large pitcher; stir until blended. Chill before serving.


Big Chef Duties:

  • Handling cutlery and blender

Little Chef Duties:

  • All steps are little chef friendly with big chef guidance.

Practice setting the timer or keeping time with your kids for 30, 20, or 35 minutes and do a Learn While You Wait exercise:
Learn while you wait: (Introduce a Math, history or science related fact)
The United States is divided into 50 states. However state each varies in size considerably. The smallest state is Rhode Island with an area of just 1,545 square miles (4,002 sq km). By contrast the largest state by area is Alaska with 663,268 square miles (1,717,854 sq km).


  • Serve in mason jars with ice and bendy straws for a fun summer drink!

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe:
English: Enjoy your meal!

FSHN 2014 Winter Love Issue: Geek Chic Column

There is always an element of pertinence to dressing well, no matter what life style you lead. Times are changing and instead of conforming to a dress code defined by renowned designers; you now have the luxury of making your own rules. When choosing what to wear, I invite you to go beyond the obvious consideration elements such as: weather, time of the year, or the occasion. Instead, reflect on what type of data you want tracked!

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s a great time to review the high-tech wristbands that are the new vogue for tracking a healthy lifestyle, monitoring sleep patterns, heart rate, what food you eat – and ready for this? Your love life?

UP_App_ViewThis past October I almost bought the new pink Flex band from Fitbit as I was glad to see them donate $10 to the American Cancer Society for every pink Flex sold. But while trying it on, the clasp on the bracelet was hard to close. I have to admit, I also found the design bulky and well, it pretty much looked like an exercise tracker rather than a chic bracelet.

photo-7I began considering the more elegant Jawbone UP, which my gorgeous friend Inga, was flaunting around.  UP is not your typical wearable activity tracker – the band features a great design that stands out from the crowd. It’s a smart chic ergonomic accessory that serves you seamlessly 24/7. UP features sleep and nap tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, food and drink tracking, mood tracking, an insight engine, idle alert and smart alarm. It also breeds a little friendly competition: by showing the fitness levels of  your friends, family, or even co-workers. Inga uses her UP to compete with her friend Elena (a model in New York), so the UP has become her constant companion and a personal trainer to push her walk those extra steps. Marissa Mayer, (Yahoo! CEO) ordered one for each Yahoo! employee and various teams at Yahoo! can compete with each other on their fitness level activities! The best part is that the band wears like an accessory, and you can easily combine it with your favorite bracelets.  (Put pictures of Inga with the purple Jawbone

I was about to purchase the Jawbone Up for myself, when my husband surprised me with a Nike Fuelband the other day.  As I unwrapped the box, he joked: we can now keep track of our love life and how intensely we have sex.

NikeNike fuelband is not exactly my definition of a fashion bracelet, and I have to admit it was hard for me to free up my wrist from the new Ports1961 leather bracelet I had been wearing to make room for it.  But it’s competitive advantage is about its LED display: time, fuel spent, and colored fuel gauge – all visible with the push of a single button. It comes in black, white or transparent with color accents as options. My husband got me the black one, which does exude a classic chic look, and, is the bracelet that would be most easily matched to any fashion style.

I put together this short table in case you are shopping for the perfect Valentine or wedding gift.  How cool would it be if we could customize the bracelets with the couple’s initials followig the wedding band trends? Even cooler if the initials would show up via LED’s.  It will be intersting to see the future of Datachic trends!

Comparison table

  Measures Price Mobile Apps
Jawbone UP Steps, Sleep, Calories, Food $149.99 iPhone, Android
FitBit Force Fitbit Flex Steps, Sleep, Calories, Food $129.95 (Force) $99.95 (Flex) iPhone, Android
Nike+ Fuel Band Steps, Calories, Nike ‘Fuel’ $149 iPhone


Feedback? Drop me a line on: or send a tweet: @laylasabourian


Ready for Day Two of TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco

What an exciting time to be a part of SAP. For the first time ever, SAP held presence at TechCrunch Disrupt yesterday and I had a chance to be a part of it all, telling 300+ startups, developers and entrepreneurs all about Hana’s in-memory data platform that is deployable in the cloud.

Although many people who stopped by our booth looked impressed, enjoyed our frisbees and wanted to know more about the different ways in which Hana platform is suited for performing real-time analytics, many looked perplexed, gave us strange looks and raised eye brows to see the SAP brand represented, in particular when I began talking about our consumer facing apps such as Recalls Plus.

The morning started by Paul, a French entrepreneur who has launched a wiki related to fun activities, visiting our booth and facing a completely new image of SAP: Video with Paul 

Throughout the day, Sophi, Aslan and Ron spoke to more than 60 Startups, offering details on SAP’s Start-up focus program, and showcasing how simple, inexpensive and effective our development accelerator to eligible participants can be.

Amit Sinha shared his perspective on the day right before he called it a day: Video with Amit

Sophi and I ended the day with a VIP cocktail reception hosted at Prospect, where we continued to shock people whenever we showed our SAP badges: Video

As we contemplated whether we should hide our SAP badges during dinner, we were discovered by other ‘unexpected folks at a TechCrunch event’, such as Shaun Reid (Digital Realty) and Sanjay Sharma (Director of Strategic Alliances, HP Cloud Services) who have already begun exploring possibilities with HANA and could vouch for SAP’s disruptive ways (they even held seats for us at dinner).





Today, I had to drop off my daughter at school so I am a bit disappointed to miss Kevin Rose’s talk at 9:35, but will definitely be there on time to hear the Panel on “How Enterprise Got Sexy” and hope SAP is a part of the panel next year!


My Relationship to Money

After my mother left me and my father died, my aunt and uncle kindly took me in their posh apartment in Northern Tehran, where I shared a room with my cousin.  Like the rest of the children in my neighborhood, I enjoyed being driven in their in luxury cars, wearing trendy shoes, carrying the latest bags. It was a privileged existence, but I was an outsider to it in an important way.. I didn’t receive an allowance, and not wishing to be ungrateful for everything my aunt and uncle had offered me, never dared to ask for one.

I watched uncomfortably as the others bought snacks, offered me birthday gifts, and brought flowers for teachers.  The worst was when my younger cousin would spend his allowance to buy me a snack, or the parents of my friends, knowing I was an orphan, insisted on giving me their children’s unwanted items.

I moved to the US as a teenager, and not having permission to work legally, begun cleaning houses making $4.00 an hour.  Unlike the other Iranians who felt shameful of having to hold such a job, I was simply thrilled to have the opportunity to make my own money.

Two years after finishing college, I moved to San Francisco to be a part of the bubble, and I quickly spent my earnings on my new friends: inviting them to lunches, paying their bus fares, and buying them presents. For so long, I’d been unable to reciprocate their generosity, and I felt deeply in debt.

Years later, during the bubble burst of Silicon Valley, I returned home with suitcases filled with luxurious gifts for my childhood friends, still attempting to make up for the imbalance I’d felt growing up. My friends wondered what I did for a living that I could afford such lavish gifts. No one knew that I had just been laid off from my job or that I didn’t have a dime in my savings.

When I discovered the Wells Fargo Challenge, I sat down and truly examined my relationship with money, realizing that it was a codependendent one. I had grown up in privilege, but as an outsider, trying to pretend that I truly belonged. With my management of my money, I wasn’t focusing on the thing that I really wanted – financial security for myself, and now also a family of own, including a two-year-old daughter.

I don’t have a firm idea of my financial net worth, and I haven’t yet done my homework on properly managing my 401K. I have to put an end to this, and hope to begin this journey now.  At BlogHer conference, I met Jean Park, the Director of Marketing at Saveup, who told me their company will actually be awarding people who take a conscious decision to save, and there is a 2 million dollar grand prize! I will check into this and hope to get inspired in my journey of improving my relationship with money!






Funny Requests While Applying for Online Community Manager Roles

Hi Everyone:

It has been a while since I dropped a note on this blog, I know….I know….shame on me.  But I have been busy becoming a mother and writing corporate blogs for Yahoo!

Here I am, however, once again, back on the job market, and I have to say, applying for jobs as a Community Manager in 2011 is kind of fun.  Here is the latest request a prospect employee asked me:

Could you describe how you would teach our customers how to make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich?  I decided the easiest way would be to do a video, what do you guys think?


Learning a new language with Myngle

Living in Silicon Valley and hearing about the latest technology news from local sources, it is easy to forget about what is happening in the rest of the world!  However, being a foreign languages aficionado and having worked in Community Development with Egbert Van Keulen, I continued to follow up with his latest ventures as he worked on Myngle: the global online language e-learning platform, connecting people and cultures from all over the world.  I knew Egbert was extremely bright from hearing his input on Community, but did not expect he would have up to 20,000 users in less than 7 months, not to mention the 800.000 euros raised already!! Myngle has proved to be one of the most promising ICT companies in Benelux.


Although personally I prefer to learn languages through in person human interaction, if I did have to choose an online method, Myngle would certainly be my top choice.  Since December 2007, Myngle has brought together language teachers and students from all over the world, enabling live lessons or conversational practice over the Internet. Myngle offers a solution that provides the possibility of teaching or receiving live one-on-one classes from the comfort of your home for practically any language and level from any type of teacher.


Myngle brilliantly removes the physical dimension to learning a new language, and allows students and teachers to get together for real time lessons in the best possible combinations, at the most convenient times, and – crucially – between any two points in the world. Students are able to find teachers online for any language, and a method that meets their individual needs.


Myngle is unique as it has developed the first in online education special search algorithm that matches the student’s needs with the right courses, and already offers about 900 different teacher/course combinations students can choose from. Teachers (and even offline language schools) are able to reach students anywhere in the world, and showcase their abilities and services to a much wider audience.


How do teachers and students communicate?


Myngle offers a toolkit for synchronous learning, which consists of VoIP (Skype) plus own integrated whiteboard, payment systems (Paypal), feedback and a community environment. Myngle’s feedback system is made up of comments and ratings left by students who were taught by the relevant teacher. These comments and ratings are available in the public Feedback Profile of each member. Extra features will gradually be added to enrich the learning experience, such as podcasts, homework, 3D virtual reality classroom / role plays etc.


The most exciting features of Myngle, Virtual Classroom, will be launching sometimes next week.


This Virtual Classroom will empower teachers and students’ full interactivity in a lesson. Besides file sharing and Skype integration it will have:


  • Desktop sharing
  • Marking tools right above the lesson slides, or with a blank whiteboard (so that users can draw or write real-time);
  • Video feed (teachers can turn on/off when they wish to interact visually with the student);
  • Integrated chat;
  • Enabling lessons with several students;

 There will be a few surprise features we will have to wait until Thursday to discover.


Myngle’s team is composed of experienced Community and Foreign language devotees, formerly employees of eBay and Berlitz, and including all types of nationalities such as The Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, Brazil, Ukraine, England, and Indonesia!


For additional information, screenshots, or photos feel free to contact:

Egbert van Keulen

tel: ++31-617704408

Skype: egbertvankeulen



As the Dutch say, “Veel plezier met leren”


After a year of long distance planning, stressful negotiations with my fiance’s parents, and virtual decision makings, my husband and I finally said our wedding vows in Valbonne France.  Following a short and adventurous honeymoon, we began the most amusing task of all: opening the gifts and writing thank you cards. We live in a one bedroom apartment and our friends proved to be far greater in numbers and generosity than we expected, the gifts kept rolling and we ran out of places for storing them.  The obvious solution seemed returning some of the gifts, and as we began standing in long lines in Crate and Barrel, I could not help but wish that, Wisheo had been launched a year earlier so we could have taken advantage of it for our wedding.


Wisheo is a new group gift application that allows you to setup group gifts for your friends and family, and the organizer can collect money from the participants via paypal. It eliminates the usual hassles and forcing the organizer to have to constantly remind everyone to pay their share as Wisheo takes care of this automatically. It is pretty easy to use, and has a wide selection of items to select from. It also allows you to personalize the invitation with pictures and text. We’ll be sure to use Wisheo as our registry for our next special occasion, (hopefully a housewarming party!!)


To find out more about Wisheo, visit their website:


Wisheo is also founded by some of the coolest people I know:


Stefan Pongratz – Marketing
Stefan is one of the kindest people I know.  He is half Swedish and half Chilean and has the best qualities from both words. He has more than eight years of varied RF experience and brings five years of product management experience to the group. Not only does he hold a BSEE and MSEE, he is currently working on his MBA at UC Davis.


Benjamin Bigaut – Graphics-User Experience

Benjamin has a strong interest in graphic arts and digital photography and is fluent in Photoshop. His artistic skills and experience will provide Wisheo’s users with the best graphical interface. Benjamin is currently working as a manufacturing manager at Anritsu and holds a BSEE from Virginia Tech.  Benjamin is also a great chef and a great catch for any single ladies out there.  His French accent alone will melt your heart.


Matthias Zeitler – Technology
Matthias is a pioneer in global content lifecycles and translation process automation with lots of international business experience after leading an offshore software development organization in Russia and working in multiple countries. He currently works as a business consultant at SDL international. He holds a BS in CS and is currently working on his MBA at SCU.


Being an eBay Inc. enthusiast, one of my first steps in exploring new career opportunities was to check out MicroPlace , an eBay Inc. start up that had launched on October 2007.  Common sense dictates that when it comes to investing, you are taking risks, and can never guarantee 100% success. MicroPlace is ready to disagree, and has proven that in fact when it comes to investing you can finally have your cake and eat it too.

When the company had first launched, my fiancé and I immediately registered and made a small investment of $100 via Calvert Foundation for a loan to LAPO, a lending institution in Nigeria, an investment that would vest 36 months later with 2% annual percentage yield (APY).

In order to prepare the interview, I was asked to submit various writing samples, and also to draft a blog posting for MicroPlace –so I began to do my research and compare various investment vehicles with MicroPlace.

Examining other forms of marketable securities, in particular: CDs and money markets, it dawned on me that in fact the best thing I could do to my money was to invest it through MicroPlace. With the stirring economy, and the continuing fluctuation of the interest rates where profitable saving accounts such as ING have declined from a 4.5% APY to a mere 3%, I foresee a continuous decline, therefore it makes more sense to invest where I can be guaranteed a locked 3% return on my investment. Plus with MicroPlace, I feel that I am guaranteed 100% success, because not only am I investing and ensuring my money gives me a most reasonable profit, I am also making a huge impact on someone else’s life, and fulfilling some of my social responsibilities.

Here is a summary of my research on the available current rates through various investment options which convinced me MicroPlace is offering a reasonable and competitive interest rate. Another thing I really appreciated about MicroPlace was the superb customer service agents they had. I called in several times to each of the banks to discuss the various options, and by far, the MicroPlace customer service reps were the most educated about their products, and took the time to patiently answer all of my questions.

As with all other investments and like most securities, you should be aware that if the issuer of my choice, Calvert Foundation, experienced serious enough financial conditions or bankruptcy, they may redeem all the securities and this may result in my losing some or all of my investment. On the MicroPlace site, you have the option to read the detailed prospectus associated with each security to know exactly what you are getting into. I feel pretty comfortable with my investment, knowing that in the very worst scenario, if I don’t make any interest (which is highly unlikely), at the very least I have taken a small step towards alleviating poverty. For me, that equals 100% success, where as in a traditional investment, I know I won’t be impacting anyone’s life but my own, and I still risk losing all my assets, should a catastrophe happen in our economic situation.
Investing is exciting, but it can also be very risky. I am conservative by nature, and feel that in the US we have no job safety, so I would advise that you first make sure you have a safety net of at least 6 months salary saved in a traditional savings account before investing.