tech-section

Category : Tech

4 Easy ways to print photos

Now that the new year is here, it’s time to turn those precious memories from 2014 into books and prints that you can keep at home. Here are some of our favorite photo printing ideas to get those memories off of your phone to make room to create new ones in 2015!

Chatbooks

Chatbooks

Chatbooks is one of the newest ways to turn the photos from your phone into photo books and they are one of our favorites. Using the Chatbooks app — available for both iPhone and Android —, you can upload your Instagram or other photos from your phone to create a 60-page photo book for just $6 (including shipping!). Each book is 6×6-inches and there are options to make books with additional photos, as well. We love Chatbooks for clearing all of your 2014 pictures from your phone, then start using them for making books throughout the new year!

GrooveBook

Groovebooks

GrooveBook is a similar idea, but as a monthly subscription service! Available for both iPhone and Android, start by addin the GrooveBook app to your smart device. Once a month, you get to choose up to 100 of your favorite photos to make a photo book. GrooveBook automatically prints and ships it to you for just $3, including shipping. This is such a fantastic photo printing option for moms who never get around to making photo books! They even send you reminder emails if you haven’t picked the photos for your book that month.

Pinhole Press

Pinhole PressIf you’re looking for more creative ways to print your photos this year, take a peek at Pinhole Press. Beyond the typical photo books, they feature some fantastic photo gifts for kids, such as the Mini Storybook of Names and Faces ($30, pictured above), Flash Cards ($25) and Memory Game ($20).

Print Studio

Print Studio

Formerly know as Printstagram, Print Studio is the place to order Instagram prints. Their website and app both sync up with your Instagram account, making it easy to print the photos you want, no matter where you are. And, their Infamous Square Prints ($12 for a set of 24) are well-priced and great for displaying at home. Not an Instagram-fanatic? You can also upload and print non-Instagram photos directly from your computer on the Print Studio website.

More fun and easy photo ideas

Geek Meets Chic: Get those photos off your phone!
Print photos for a quick decorating pick-me-up
Photo storage options to keep your holiday memories safe

What do you use to print your photos?
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Fitness trackers can help you achieve your goals

Making a new year’s resolution to eat healthier or get more exercise can be about taking baby steps toward a healthier lifestyle. The tiny pieces of technology can really take your fitness goals to the next level — and there are even stylish options available. Fitness trackers keep track of all of your baby steps — and they let you know when you need to do a little extra work to meet your daily goals. Lauren Weber, from Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood, confesses to using her FitBit for added motivation, even if it means unexpected activity.

fitness trackers

An expert’s take on keeping those pesky resolutions

According to fitness expert and nutrition specialist Joey Thurman, founder of The Lifestyle Renovation, people tend to think too narrowly about the New Year’s resolutions, and that can cost them in the long run. Joey talks about how to stay on track with your New Year’s Resolutions.

  1. Set the right goal: This might seem intuitive, but it’s a critical first step. “This is about setting realistic goals that address the problems you want to fix most,” says Joey. “So, if you want to eat healthy, start by resolving to substitute unhealthy desserts for fruit. That way, you’re making smaller changes that will have a bigger impact.”
  2. Lose the negativity: Although you may have tried and failed in the past, this is now, and you can do it. “When people think about failure, they set themselves up for failure,” says Thurman. Think positive thoughts about your resolutions each morning, and that positivity will stick with you all day long.
  3. Rid yourself of enablers: Everyone has that one friend that encourages them to eat unhealthy food or skip the gym. “Be up front with the enablers in your life,” suggests Joey. “Let them know your goals and ask them to be supportive or stop hanging out with them.”
  4. Stay accountable: Whether it’s working with a fitness coach or tracking progress on an app with friends, accountability is the key to success. “When my clients aren’t accountable to someone else, they often rationalize cheating on their resolutions, which is a very slippery slope.”
  5. Celebrate your successes: Setting goals only works if you celebrate your success. “Achieving milestones is something to be proud of and celebrate,” says Joey. “Plan how you want to celebrate and do so with vigor. Then, get back to work the next day.”

fitness trackers

Fitness trackers are part of this year’s fitness trends

MyFitnessPal, a popular website and app that helps people track their nutrition and fitness goals and progress, released this fantastic info graphic about upcoming fitness trends. After uncovering some of the top fitness trends of 2014, the stat wizards at MyFitnessPal discovered the use of wearable fitness devices was up 78% during 2014. With that many people using fitness trackers, you’ll want to get on board with the greatest gadgets to track your activities, nutrition — and even sleep.

Three fitness trackers to get you moving

fitness trackers

Garmin Vivosmart (Amazon, $170)

Why we love it:

  • Fantastic smart notifications — The Vivosmart vibrates to let you know about emails, notifications, achieved goals, and even reminds you when it’s time to get moving again.
  • Cross-device compatibility — Pairing the Vivosmart with a heart rate monitor or bike sensor can help you meet your personal fitness goals in data-driven, technical ways.
  • A peek of color — The black band is sleek and simple, but the peek of color allows you to express just a bit of your own style.

fitness trackers

Tom Tom Multi-Sport Cardio (Amazon, $300)

Why we love it:

  • Multi-sport GPS — The Tom Tom is serious about its GPS capabilities. On land — running, cycling, walking — and in water, the Multi-Sport Cardio can track your movement and match it against your workout goals.
  • Integrated heart rate monitor — One of the biggest pains about training with a heart rate monitor has been the necessary — but annoying — chest strap that provided the most effective readings. The heart rate monitor built into the Tom Tom is accurate, and built directly into the device, so you can stay within heart rate goals — and watch your calories burn away.
  • Extra-large display — The display is easy to read at a glance, which is key for fitness enthusiasts who want to keep a specific pace during training.

fitness trackers

Fitbit Flex™ (fitbit.com, $100)

Why we love it:

  • An encouraging community — The Fitbit community grows daily, and everyone knows working out with friends can be more fun. Find your friends, cheer them on, and even set up friendly competitions if that helps motivate you to move.
  • Improved sleep quality — The sleep tracker in the Fitbit Flex can track your sleep patterns, allowing you to see how much quality sleep you’re getting. Once you discover when you’re restless or waking, you can experiment with ways to improve your sleep.
  • Tory Burch — Need we say more? Not only is the Flex available in a variety of gorgeous colors, you can slide your fitness tracker into a chic bracelet. The Tory Burch hinged bracelet disguises your fitness tracker in sleek metal, emblazoned with the iconic Tory Burch emblem, including on-trend rose gold (Tory Burch, $195).
Have you gotten on the fitness tracker trend yet?
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Quick! There’s still time!

Trust us, we’re not judging you for not having your Christmas cards in the mail yet this year… or even for just thinking about it for the first time during this holiday season. We get it. But, if you’re feeling the twinge to send cards this year, consider using one of these Christmas card apps that make sending cards easier than building a gingerbread house.

Ink Cards

Christmas Card Apps- Ink Cards Logo

Available for: iPad, iPhone, Android

If you love pretty, designer holiday cards, Ink Cards is going to be your favorite new app. You can upload any picture from your phone, or one of your social media accounts, and even edit it as you’d like within the app. Then, simply choose your favorite card, personalize it and add any messages you’d like to include, add recipients from your phone’s address book and pay to send them. Cards cost approximately $2 each, including postage.

justWink

Christmas Card Apps- JustWink App Logo

Available for: iPad, iPhone, Android, Nook, Kindle Fire

JustWink is a card-sending app that specializes in sending digital greeting cards… for free! Once you’re in the app, pick your card, add a photo and message and even a personalized signature. Then, choose how to send your card — via email, Facebook or text. You can add multiple people to send it to and it delivers it to them immediately. JustWink will send old fashioned paper cards for a fee as well, approximately $3.50 per card, although Christmas delivery is no longer guaranteed.

Red Stamp Cards

Christmas Card Apps- Red Stamp

 

Available for: iPhone, iPad, Android

Another Christmas card app that will have you swooning (and, likely hugging your phone with excitement!) is Red Stamp Cards. A spin-off of the popular Red Stamp Cards website, where you can send both paper and digital greeting cards and invitations, the app is just as fantastic and the card selection is top-notch. Pick your card, add your photo and custom message, then save it to email or send digitally via social media straight from the app. They will also send traditional paper cards or postcards for you, starting at $3.

Are you sending Christmas cards this year?
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Photo storage keeps your images safe

Between the photos I take with my phone, the videos my kids insist on making of each other, and the goofy photos of stuffed animals that somehow end up on my camera roll, I spend a lot of time transferring images onto my hard drive. Organizing photos is one of those things that never quite gets finished, but there are some images I would be loathe to lose. Don’t lose your digital images to a computer crash. Keep your memories safe with the best digital photo storage options. From virtual storage to external hard drives, learn about different photo backup options and choose the best one for you.

photo storage

Photo storage on a hard drive is convenient and quick

Storing your photos on your hard drive has some advantages. It’s quick and simple, and your photos and videos are always at your fingertips. If you access your images often or plan to edit or use them on a regular basis, keeping them on your hard drive is a valid plan. Be sure your computer is equipped to deal with the memory space needed for digital images — especially if you’re using photo editing software. This iMac with Retina 5K display has plenty of storage (Apple, $2500).

photo storage options

Transfer photos to an external hard drive

External hard drives don’t look all that impressive, but the small exterior packs a giant storage punch.    Transferring your photos to an external drive provides a double benefit: you keep images from clogging up the memory of your main hard drive, and you have the ability to keep the external drive in a firesafe location. Some users transfer everything regularly, but you can also choose to keep certain images on your hard drive, in the event that you want to access them for sharing with family and friends. The WD My Passport has 1 terabyte of storage — and comes in a variety of colors (Amazon, $150).

photo storage
Let your photos into the cloud

Online photo storage options abound, and they are a fantastic way to back up your images. The majority of services have a basic, free option, with the ability to upgrade to paid versions for more storage capacity and premium features. Choose from four of our favorites and keep your photos safe and accessible anywhere you have internet access.

  • Flickr — If you haven’t used Flickr in a while, it may be time to revisit the site. The look is updated, you can download the app for various devices, and the free version offers 1 terabyte of storage. Flickr lets users share with friends, family, the general public — or absolutely no one — and it integrates well with social media. Browsing Flickr images might soon become one of your favorite online breaks.
  • Dropbox — Users who want simple, streamlined photo storage will find that with Dropbox. You can upload photos easily and share with others, and with the easy document editor, Dropbox is ideal for group projects involving images and text. Dropbox doesn’t offer photo editing tools or an intuitive tagging system, but it provides no-frills, practical storage for your digital images.
  • SmugMug — Design lovers will fall in love with the aesthetics of SmugMug. From beautiful templates to editing tools, SmugMug can help you fine tune your photos to look their best before trusting them to the the photo storage system for safekeeping. Though the service doesn’t offer a free level of storage, the paid management option comes with unlimited storage — and you can take advantage of a two-week trial to be sure it fits your needs before committing to a subscription.
  • This Life — Shutterfly’s storage system had me at “intelligently organized.” Not only can the photo management service pull photos from any device, photo site, or social media channel, it has fantastic tagging options and the ability to get rid of the duplicates that seem to plague my attempts at photo organization. Another genius feature? A joint account that allows you to share an account, which means less worrying about whether your husband has seen the latest forty-seven photos your kids took of the kitchen table. With three levels of service, This Life has an option for anyone needing secure photo storage.
How do you store your photos?
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Tykester knows leaving your kids is hard

You don’t have to be a new mom to know being away from your kids can be tough. Whether your little ones occasionally stay with friends or family members, or you drop off your child with a caregiver each day, wanting to check in is natural. Calling all the time can be awkward, either because it’s inconvenient for you or for the person in charge of your child. Paper notes passed between parents and caregivers at the end of the day feel a little incomplete and can get lost in the car before you even have a chance to look at them.

Tykester

Tykester app helps parents and caregivers stay connected

The Tykester parenting app is an amazing — and paper free! — way for parents to connect with their children’s caregivers when on the go. Updates can be done in real time, so parents know if kids are currently playing outside or just woke up from an extra-long nap. Not only does Tykester let caregivers provide current, detailed information on children, it gives parents the opportunity to feel connected to their little ones. Knowing your toddler had a super-short nap before you pick him up can help put parents in the right frame of mind for the mood their child will be in when you arrive.

Tykester

The Tykester difference

Not only does Tykester give parents more detailed access to their children’s days, the app is helpful for caregivers as well. Available as a free app for mobile devices and desktops for both iOS and Android, Tykester is an easy way for anyone to stay connected with their caregivers — and because it’s free, parents can connect with regular childcare providers, family members, or even friends watching their kids for the afternoon. Instead of filling out several forms saying the same thing, for various parents, caregivers can update a group of parents with one click of a button. Playing outside? Fingerpainting? An entire group of parents can be updated with the information instead of a paper system that involves multiples copies containing identical information. Solid communication goes both ways — parents can check in quickly with the “What’s Up?” feature of the app. Learn more FAQs about Tykster and find out if it’s right for your family.

Tykester app

Why Tykester will work for you

Even if you don’t use a childcare provider on a regular basis, Tykester is a fantastic app for on-the-go parents. Parents can use Tykester as a stand-alone app to track their child’s patterns in behavior, moods, eating, and sleeping. Moms and Dads can use it to communicate, and it is a fun way for grandparents to see a tot’s schedule in action before coming over to babysit for the day. Tykester can even be used to share photos.

parenting apps

Watch Tykester in action

Stay connected with Tykester
How do you stay connected to your kids while you’re away from them?
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Brought to you by Microsoft Office 365

Managing a family is challenging. With constantly changing schedules, having access to important information whenever and wherever is a necessity. Microsoft Office 365 helps keep your family organized with all of your favorite applications on your devices.

For more information or to purchase Microsoft Office 365, visit https://products.office.com/en-us/what-is-office-365

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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Introducing WishBin

WishBin

We know it is the thought that counts, but when it comes to the holidays, getting gifts that you love from your family and friends makes celebrating pretty special. However, we all know that leaving countless hints for your husband and sending emails with gift ideas to your loved ones is just plain awkward… if you can even think of gift ideas to send them in the first place!

Thankfully, this year, WishBin has come to the rescue, offering an easy-to-use, free gift registry method for creating a holiday wishlist for yourself and even for your kids (Hello, grandparents? Are you listening?). Use WishBin now to make holiday gift giving easy for you and for your family and friends and keep using it throughout the year to both give and receive gifts that are thoughtful and that you’ll never need to include a gift receipt for.

The details: How it works & how to get it

WishBin

Here is how you get started and how to use WishBin, step-by-step:

  • Start by visiting the WishBin website and click “Get WishBin.”
  • Choose to register using your Facebook account or your email address. You’ll be asked to upload a profile picture, as well as if your account is a wedding registry. You can also add personal dates that might be helpful for gift givers, such as your birthday and wedding anniversary.

WishBin Icon

  • You’ll be prompted to install the WishBin plug-in, which is simply the little WishBin icon that lives at the end of your web browser toolbar. You won’t even know it’s there… until you see something you want to add to your bin!
  • Be sure to take the time to watch the quick WishBin tutorial video, which shows exactly how you add items to your bin.

WishBin How-To

  • Now, start adding items from your wishlist to WishBin just by dragging that cute pair of shoes or that purse you’ve been swooning over to the little WishBin icon on your browser. This will open up the WishBin sidebar, automatically adding it to your bin and allowing you to input any additional details, such as size or color.
Santa Claus has nothing on you

While creating our own WishBin gift registry is fun, we also love the flip-side… how easy it makes gift giving during the holidays and throughout the year. Have your family, friends and those oh-so-hard-to-buy-for teenagers in your life create their own WishBin accounts and you’ll be able to access them easily for the holidays, birthdays and other special gift-giving moments.

Use the “Find Love Ones” search bar in the upper right-hand corner of the WishBin website to find the person you’re looking for. Then, click the “Get Reminders” button to get automatic updates for their birthdays and other special occasions. Easy, right?

You can click straight-through from WishBin to buy the items in their bin and, after you do, WishBin allows you to say that you purchased it, taking it off of their account to avoid duplicate gifts from other gift givers.

Stay connected to WishBin

Be sure to keep up to date with what’s new at WishBin by following them online:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Win your WishBin for the holidays!

One winner will receive $150 worth of “wishes” from their very own WishBin. Be sure to fill up your bin with goodies, just in case you’re the winner! Contest ends 12/8/2014 at 11:59 PST. Open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 years old to enter and win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3 Hot designer tech accessories that you must have

We’re always keeping our eyes on what’s hot and happening in tech accessories and these trends sure did catch our attention. From the bold statement of a foil-textured iPhone case to colored embossed python cases that are both sassy and chic, these are some of our favorites of the moment from designer collections. And, as always, Kate Spade New York hits the mark with tech accessories which prove that sometimes, the devil really is in the details.

Tech Accessories kate Spade MARC Jacobs DVF cases

MARC by Marc Jacobs Foil iPad Mini Case, Nordstrom, $58
MARC by Marc Jacobs Foil iPhone Case, ShopBop, $38

Devil Pocket iPhone 5 Case, Kate Spade New York, $35
Speak of the Devil iPhone 5 Case, Kate Spade New York, $40
Speak of the Devil Tablet Case, Nordstrom, $65
Kate Spade New York Dance Till Dawn Tablet Hardcase, Zappos Couture, $85

Python-Embossed iPad Mini Case
, Neiman Marcus, $135
Python-Embossed iPhone 5/5s Personalized Case, Neiman Marcus, $55

DVF Heritage Print Leather Print ipad Mini Case DVF, $158
DVF Heritage Print iphone 5 case, DVF, $48


Which HOT tech accessories are you loving?
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Charge your new iPhone 6 in style

iPhone 6 Charging Accessories

So, you have a new iPhone 6 and they say the battery will last longer than previous models, but we know how that goes! Check out these fun, stylish iPhone 6 charging accessories that will be the perfect — and most helpful — additions to your new iPhone 6. (Psst! Many iPhone 5 chargers also fit the iPhone 6. All of these listed will work with both devices!) 

iPhone 6 charging accessories

iPhone Charging Accessories 1. Goldie CableKeeps, Nice By Design, $13 (Editor’s Pick!)
These little cuties are such a lifesaver for keeping your iPhone 6 cords under control. We’ve been keeping ours in our purse for easy, on-the-go charging, no matter where we are. Available in tons of sassy colors, the Goldie CableKeeps are an absolute favorite!

2. UO Lightning Charge and Sync Cable, Urban Outfitters, $32
If your iPhone 6 cord is always on display, either at home or in your office, it’s fun to have a cord that is better than basic white. Available in a few trendy color combinations, these are a must-have iPhone 6 charging accessory for every mom.

3. iPhone Charging Cord, Lilly Pulitzer, $18
Lilly Pulitzer fans will want to snag at least one of these colorful charging cords in Lilly’s signature prints. No more accidentally stealing your guy’s charging cord when you run out the door in the morning, that’s for sure!

4. iPhone 10-Foot Long Charging Cable, Our Corner Shop via Etsy, $12
Sometimes, the cord they include with your iPhone just isn’t long enough. Thank goodness for these extra-long charging cables. Not only will they give you the extra length you need to reach the lone outlet in your favorite coffee shop, but the rope-like cord covering will keep cord breaks away.

5. Tassle Charging Cable Keychain, Photojojo, $60
It’s pretty much everything you need for the day, all wrapped up into one accessory. Keys? Check. Charger? Check. Cute little decorative tassel that comes in a bunch of colors? Check.

6. Bjacked Cable Organizer Set, BHold Design via Etsy, $50
If you feel like your life is overrun by cords, you need some of these helpful iPhone 6 charging accessories. You can wrap your cords around them, clip them together to keep them together, and get everything organized in one fail swoop.

7. Charge Card Universal Battery, Pottery Barn Teen, $39
For those days when all you’re ditching your purse, slip one of these universal batteries in your wallet. They’re as slim as a credit card, but they’ll revive your dead phone on even the longest of moms’ nights outs.

8. Charging Phone Wristlet, Pottery Barn Teen, $65
Or… if you’re looking for an iPhone 6 accessory that will let you leave your purse at home, but with room for a few more mom must-haves, this little wristlet is the way to go. Plus it will charge your phone back up in an instant.

9. Printed Portable Phone Charger, Urban Outfitters, $24
Another great on-the-go iPhone 6 charger, these from Urban Outfitters come in a variety of funky prints and patterns. And, at around $20, you can grab a couple to keep in your car, your purse, your travel bag, your kids’ backpacks…

10. Handcrafted Silver Cord Holder, Cade and Co via Etsy, $8
Probably the cutest iPhone 6 charging accessory we’ve ever seen, these little cord holders are like adorable, metallic tacos that clip around your cords to keep them organized. These, via Cade and Co on Etsy, are handcrafted and available in other color combinations, as well.

Are you loving your new iPhone 6? 
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Wheresie helps parents find peace of mind

Parents don’t get distracted on purpose, but toddlers have a way of waiting until your defenses are down and making a break for the nearest hiding spot. Wheresie can help. The small device — we’re talking not much larger than a quarter — clips onto your child, connects to a smart phone app and alerts you when your child wanders out of range. Wheresie

Why Wheresie is important

None of us want to believe we’ll be the mom who gets distracted by a clearance rack while our toddler wanders into the mall. We don’t want to think our preschooler would sprint to the toy aisle while we’re placing an order at the deli counter. We can’t fathom forgetting our little one in the backseat of the car after a rushed morning or change in child care routine. But accidents happen.

Be sure you think about safety tips while traveling with kids. Wheresie

Wheresie helps connect parents and caregivers

Not only can the Wheresie app connect with multiple devices for each child, different phone numbers can be associated with each device. When your child is separated from you, your phone will alert you, but it will also alert another smartphone. This feature helps make sure parents and other caregivers are on the same page when sharing child care duties. Designed with toddlers and preschoolers in mind, Wheresie is water — and mess! — resistant. Need a little more energy to run after your tot? Try one of our five favorite fitness apps!

Help bring Wheresie to life

Wheresie was developed by Dr. Wyche T. Coleman, who is a new father as well as a physician. He wanted to create another tool for parents to use to keep their little ones safe, and he wants to raise awareness about how easily accidents can occur. Pools, shopping malls, and cars can all be dangerous when toddlers are separated from the adults caring for them. Wheresie can help — but it needs your support. Check out the Wheresie Kickstarter campaign — even a small pledge will help parents find a little more peace of mind.

Would you use Wheresie to help keep track of your little sprinter?
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