Category : Tech

How to Use a Subscription Box Swap

Do you subscribe to a subscription box? From skincare to snacks, makeup to meals, candles to cocktails to even… ahem, bedroom toys, monthly subscription boxes have continued to explode in popularity. According to one study there are nearly 10,000 different subscription boxes available. Crazy! And really, what’s not to love? It saves you shopping time by arriving right on your doorstep, helps you keep it fresh by trying new things, and lifts your spirit by balancing out the bills in the mail with some fun new products to try.

But what happens when a bunch of the items in your subscription box are a bust? While some jewelry and clothing subscription boxes allow you to return undesired items, many other subscription services can leave you stuck with products that don’t work for you.

Not surprisingly, there’s an app for that. SWAP by reKindness is an app that lets subscription box shoppers swap their “meh” pile for a “marvelous” pile. All you have to do is snap a pic, upload “swap” items available, request a swap and seal the deal from your phone.

How to use a subscription box swap app


How a subscription box swap works
  1. Upload an image of an unused item(s) from Glossybox, Stitch Fix, Owlcrate, etc. (or a high-quality fashion item) and a brief description to add an item.
  2. Browse your news feed or search for items you want in exchange. You can search by location to avoid shipping costs or search by similar priced items.
  3. Make swap offers by tapping on items you like and offering items of your own in return.
  4. Members have 48 hours to accept or counter the swap offers they receive.
  5. To finalize your swaps, either schedule a time and place to meet or share shipment tracking information in the app.

swap app2


One thing that sets the SWAP app apart? It’s fast. Offers only last 48 hours so you’ll know within days, instead of weeks (I’m looking at you Craigslist), if your item has an offer or counteroffer.

Did you know that 85-percent of clothes and textiles end up in landfills, even though 95-percent can be reused or recycled? And that over 25-percent of what subscription box customers receive is unloved? That makes the SWAP app good for the earth, good for your closet and good for your wallet. A triple win!

Visit the SWAP website to learn more or download the app on iTunes.

Which subscription boxes do you use?
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4 Self-Care Apps Moms Will Love

Back-to-school craziness have anyone feeling a little… crazy? We’re sharing a few of our favorite apps to help you find and make use of those few moments of “me time” in the midst of your money-making-carpool-driving-dinner-making-homework-helping-permission-slip-signing busyness. Even if it’s just a few minutes, you’ll be glad you took a moment for yourself.

If you have one minute to spare: Make self-care a habit

Apps to Use When You Have One Spare Minute

When’s the last time you did something for you? Whether it’s meditating or working out, calling a good friend or taking that probiotic everyday, building these good, self-care habits can be hard when your day is filled with “Mom mom mom mom mom mom”s. With a habit-building app like Balanced or Productive, you can set self-care goals big (get a massage once a month) or small (drink three glasses of water today), and the app will remind you of your goals, celebrate your progress and keep yourself accountable for taking time for you.

If you have five minutes to spare: Zen out

Apps to try if you have 5 minutes to spare

Mediation doesn’t have to be twenty minutes of ommm-ing or nothing at all. The benefits of taking just five minutes to breathe deeply and focus inward can decrease your stress, lower your blood pressure and help you make it through the afternoon. Finding a meditation app you connect with can take a try or two since you’ll want to find one with a voice that won’t make you want to scream (not very zen). Personally, I’ve enjoyed Stop, Breathe, Think (free), Buddify ($5) and the new OMG I Can Meditate (free). You can also just set your phone timer for five minutes, close your eyes and focus on taking longer and deeper breaths — until the kids pile into the car asking for a snack.

If you have 15 minutes to spare: Work out

Workout Apps for Moms

Don’t have 30 or 60 minutes to exercise? No worries. High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) has been shown to be a quick and effective way to fit in your exercise in small doses with benefits that continue throughout the day. Try Keelo, which tailors its HIIT workout suggestions based on your age, gender, fitness level and available equipment. The workouts average 15 minutes with options as quick as eight minutes. The app also has instructional videos to show you how to do each exercise correctly and a built-in timer to show you when you move on to the next exercise. Did we mention the app is free? #noexcuses

If you have 26 minutes to spare: Nap

How to nap in just 26 minutes

Raise your hand if you’re tired. While you may not be able to score a few extra hours at night, you might be able to feel a whole lot more rested with just 26 minutes. I know, I know. It sounds a bit crazy. A 26-minute nap? I wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes. But I have a dear friend who takes a 26-minute nap most days. She falls asleep in just minutes and wakes up seconds before the 26-minute alarm goes off. It’s crazy, but it’s also crazy effective. Using Nap26, you’ll “learn” to get to sleep fast, get restful sleep and wake up refreshed, un-groggy and ready to rock the rest of your day — all in just 26 minutes.

What are you favorite apps that help you find “me time?”
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15 Favorite Podcasts for Parents


15 Podcasts for parents

Over the last few years, there has been an explosion in the popularity of podcasts. Ever since the world became obsessed with the true crime investigation story told in season one of Serial (a spin-off of the most popular podcast of all time, This American Life), podcasts have sprung up on every imaginable topic, from entrepreneurship to engineering, and from pop culture to parenting. This is great news for parents — particularly those that don’t have a lot of time and would like to digest news, stories and comedy segments in 30- or 60-minute increments. We’ve put together a list of podcasts that we think parents will love… that don’t all deal with parenting!

For all parents

Longest Shortest Time: Host Hillary Frank started this podcast when she was a brand new mom who was struggling to connect and find herself. While the initial episodes focus on that first year of life as a parent, the most recent seasons feature stories on unique parenting experiences and situations. Check out the Accidental Gay Parents episodes and The Parent’s Guide to Doing It.

Mom and Dad are Fighting: Two Slate editors discuss and debate the latest parenting news, articles and techniques with guest speakers. The chemistry and banter between the hosts is great and a lot of their personal content relates to struggles with raising kids when both parents work outside the home. I constantly find myself laughing at Dan’s jokes and wincing at Allison’s epic fails, which always make me feel slightly better about my own parenting skills.

Spawned: Hosted by the women who brought you Cool Moms Picks, this podcast covers a wide range of relevant parenting topics in a real-life, non-judgmental, and hilarious manner. Recent topics include how to talk to your kids about the election, how to embarrass your tweens for life, making friends after kids, Pinterest syndrome, and summer camp. Plus, there’s always a great “cool mom pick” at the end of every episode.

For the hip mom

Lady Gang: We are loving this celebrity-based podcast hosted by Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek, and Becca Tobin. Each episode features a different celebrity guest for hilarious chatter about Hollywood, personal lives and being a woman. Check out the episodes with new mom Haylie Duff and the one with sex therapist, Dr. Emily Morse.

One Bad Mother: One of our favorite parenting podcasts that hilariously shows that motherhood isn’t as natural or magical as it may appear. Episodes deal with real life topics and the hosts aren’t afraid to share their most embarrassing moments and epic fails. This podcast will have you laughing more and judging less.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The perfect podcast for the parent that wants to stay up-to-date on the latest books, movies, TV shows, comedy, podcasts, news, celebrity gossip, music, and everything else. Recent episodes cover everything from Beyonce to Bourne and Prince to Pokemon.

For the armchair detective

Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories: This is the latest in the recent spur of true crime podcasts following the success of Serial. This podcast is part cold case examination and part audiobook with a cast of characters, plot twists, and haunting storytelling. Each cold case remains unsolved, but they attempt to explore all the real case facts, follow the clues and identify the most likely culprit.

Someone Knows Something: Host David Ridgen goes back to his hometown of Arnprior (Ontario Canada) to re-investigate the 1972 disappearance of 5-year-old Adrien McNaughton, who vanished while on a family fishing trip. Despite an intensive search and investigation, no sign of Adrien was ever found and no clue as to what happened has been uncovered in the 40 years since the disappearance. But surely, someone somewhere knows something…

My Favorite Murder: The surprising breakout hit of the summer, this podcast will shock you, make you squirm and fall in love with true crime all at the same time. Hosted by two girlfriends who share a mutual fascination with murder and unsolved mysteries, each episode discusses the grizzly details of a case with awe, fascination and humor that will leave you wanting more. It’s an unusual spin on a dark topic, which the hosts claim is their way of dealing with their own fears and anxiety over issues like rape, murder and kidnapping. I realize this sounds totally creepy and crazy, but trust me, it’s great.

12 Podcasts Parents with LoveFor the geeky parent

Stuff Mom Never Told You: From the people who brought you Stuff You Should Know, Stuff to Blow Your Mind and Stuff You Missed in History Class (all of which are great, by the way), this podcast specifically hits on topics relevant to women and discusses in from every imaginable angle. Topics include boobs, libidos, lesbians, spray tans, feminism, babysitting, wrinkles, and infertility.

Science Vs.: The latest podcast from Gimlet Media (makers of Reply All and StartUp, two other favorites), this podcast takes a close look at some of the most controversial topics today (attachment parenting, gun control, fracking) and pits the facts against everything else. Hosted by science journalist Wendy Zukerman, this podcast will make you question what you think you know about these fascinating topics.

More Perfect: From the creators of Radiolab, this spin-off dives into the relatively unknown realm of the United States Supreme Court. The podcast attempts to explain how the cases deliberated inside the hallowed halls affect our lives far away from the bench. We get a glimpse into the lives behind the justices, their relationships with each other and how their personal backgrounds have affected the outcomes of the most important cases in legal history.

For the busy/working mom

The Tim Ferriss Show: Each week, host Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Work Week, interviews people at the top of their field/industry and deconstructs the discussion to give you tips, tricks, advice and routines to help you excel in any field. From favorite books and morning routines to workouts and time-management tips, each episode focuses on finding manageable ways to increase your productivity and be more successful.

Working Motherhood: Dr. Portia Jackson hosts this daily inspirational podcast that gives you helpful tips, inspiring stories and lots of encouragement from successful working moms. Topics include: prioritizing your time, building a side business, outsourcing, creating gratitude, successful breastfeeding and setting incremental goals.

The Run-Up: For those that want to stay up-to-date on the political coverage in the final months running-up to the election, this brand new twice-weekly podcast by The New York Times political reporters have you covered. The episodes will cover the big stories and surprises, feature interviews with key players and analyze all the data you could ever want. (See also: NPR Politics Podcast)

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Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: You’ve had so much coffee in the morning that you’re now smelling colors, but not enough water during the day that you’ve become the dreaded “wilted flower.” Instead of playing the never-ending guessing game of how much coffee and water you’ve had throughout the day, now there’s the new Ozmo Active Smart Cup that will help you track and control both your water and coffee intake in one sleek, high-tech spot.

Ozmo Smart Cups Tracks your Coffee and Water Intake

How the Ozmo works

The Ozmo is a 16oz BPA-free cup that syncs with its own app (iOS and Android) to wirelessly track and record your caffeine and water intake. This high-tech cup comes in four colors and can be used with, or without, the Ozmo app but I recommend the free app since you can customize your daily intake goals to fit your life and activity levels.

How to use Ozmo to track water and coffee intake for the day

First thing in the morning, I filled my Ozmo cup with my coffee and when I was done, rinsed and filled with my water, refilling it throughout the day. The completely spill-proof lid made it a cinch to throw in my diaper bag for on-the-go convenience. When I was slacking on my water drinking, the cup vibrated to remind me to take a sip! While I was certainly excited about this feature initially, it became a double edged sword as I used Ozmo. The vibrating alert was a nice reminder and got me drinking more water. However, there is (so far) no way to turn this feature off and while I was out of town, my husband wandered around for two whole days wondering what in the world was making that noise. 

Pros and cons

Aside from not being able to turn off the reminders (which I’m told they are working on for the next update), this is a pretty great cup if you’re looking for help with meeting your hydration goals. At $79, it’s definitely on the pricier side for a water bottle, regardless of the abilities, and the external size is quite large for the small internal 16 oz capacity. It’s understandable since there is a ton of tech at the bottom of the cup but don’t expect this to fit into your car’s cup holder and for sure not on your stroller (definitely not dishwasher safe). But if you’re the type of person that just needs a little helpful reminder, then this will be worth the money. You body and skin will thank you!

The Ozmo Active Smart Cup works via Bluetooth and syncs to both iOS and Android operating systems, as well as, Fitbit and Apple Health and retails for $79.

Thanks to Ozmo for sending us a cup to test out! All opinions are our own, as always.

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Savvy Sassy Moms on Snapchat

That’s right… Savvy Sassy Moms is on Snapchat! If you aren’t familiar with this form of social media, not to worry! We have enlisted our teen expert, Hailey, to tell you all the ins-and-outs of Snapchat to make it easy and fun.

Snapchat: It’s you, but better

As a teen, or “emerging adult” as I prefer to be called, I am obviously very familiar with Snapchat. The impact that the app has had on my life is indescribable — I can’t even remember my life before the “Story” feature. For some reason, using the Snapchat Story feature, I feel compelled to know what everyone is up to at all times. Watching other’s Snap Stories gives me gratification, and I feel fulfilled when other people watch my Stories, as well.

Whenever I see something interesting or funny, I’ll upload it to my Snapchat Story. This allows me to share my content with my contacts, and my mother, who monitors the content that I upload to be sure that it is appropriate.

Why Snapchat?

Snapchat is not about growing a following — it is about cultivating the following that you already have. Obviously, you will not gain any new Snapchat contacts if you are directing Stories towards your five followers. In contrast to other forms of social media, Snapchat does not have a direct method for you to build a relationship with any person that you are not connected with in real life or have as a contact on your phone. In order to grow a Snapchat following, you must already have followers on another form of social media, and advertise your Snapchat account outside the app.

Overall, Snapchat is a funny way to connect with your in-real-life friends, not to build a presence with, unless you already have a large following. With this in mind, don’t take Snapchat too seriously. If you are, you’re probably doing it wrong.

All about the filters

Snapchat has released several ways to filter photos on the app. Unlike Instagram, the filters found on Snapchat have little to do with changing the color of a Snap. On Snapchat, using face detection technology, the app is able to fit a sort of digital mask to a photo taken on the app.

With this new update, you can edit your photos to look like a dog, a lizard, a panda, Superman, and Batman, to name a few. Personally, I have had lots of fun sending Snapchats to my friends with the new filters.

While filtered photos can be fun to share with friends and family, many filters incorporate “jumpscares,” which can include loud screams, and pop-up monsters/demon faces, making it important to monitor young ones while using the app.

Listed below are some of our favorite, kid-tested and parent-approved Snapchat filters:

SavvySassy Moms do SnapChat

1. The Dog Filter

Who doesn’t love dogs?

SnapChat Panda

2. The Animal Filter
Everyday, there are new animal filters popping up. Sometimes you can do it with a friend. This week, we became a panda!SnapChat Flower Child
3. Flower Power Filter

Take yourself back to the ’70s and become a flower child. If only we could walk around like this all day long!

Face Altering SnapChats

4. Face-Altering Filters

Definitely unflattering, but definitely hilarious.

And if anyone screenshots the snaps you sent using these filters, you’re doing it right!

This article was contributed by Hailey Kobrin, our teen correspondent.

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Meet Stiya

We’re so excited to feature the app, Stiya, in our #SummerScoop4Moms this year. Not only is this app made for moms, but it was created by one!

Stiya, short for Stories in Your Attic, isn’t just another picture sharing app.

How to get started with Stiya

Starting with Stiya is as easy as downloading it to your phone. Available via iTunes (Android coming soon!), when you open Stiya for the first time, it prompts you to create an account and then to allow it access to your photos.

Then, let the magic of Stiya begin! In the blink of an eye, all of the photographs from your phone are organized into journals on the app.

You can also allow it to access your location, a feature that sets Stiya apart. As it automatically creates your journals, it will also organize them by location, so all of your road trip pictures are ready to go or your summer vacation adventures are set for sharing or finding later. Leave notes about that yummy cafe you visited on your last date night or the exact location of the to-die-for ice cream shop you discovered when you were lost.


Get sharing

Once everything is in your Stiya journals, it’s time to get sharing! One of our favorite features of Stiya is that you can so easily share your journals with family members and friends via social media, text, and email. When you’re in a journal, just click the button in the upper right-hand corner and choose your sharing method!

Of course, this mostly comes in handy to give grandparents and family members who aren’t on social media a quick and easy picture update… or, it allows you to share your pictures from an event or vacation without having to dump everything onto Facebook where the entire world can see!

The other useful sharing feature comes when you’re sharing your notes about a specific location. Let your friends know where you’ve been traveling and leave little tips for having fun with kids while you’re there!

Stiya is truly the best new way to get all of those stories out from the attics of our mom minds!


Share a Stiya journal to win

Join Savvy Sassy Moms and Project Nursery on Wednesday, May 25th on Twitter for our first #SummerScoop4Moms Twitter Party. Before or during the party, share your Stiya app and use the hashtag to be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card! You can read all of the details of the Twitter Party and RSVP on Savvy Sassy Moms.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 1.07.58 PM (1)

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Few things have changed the entire way I parent my children like the addition of a video monitor into my home over six years ago. Fast-forward to today and our video monitor is still a staple and a must-have in our daily lives. Because of this, I’ve had more than a few video monitors in that time — some horrible, some good, some amazing. But, so far, one stands above the rest — the Kodak Baby Monitoring System — and I’m about to tell you why. Hang on to your hat, techie moms, you’re going to love this!

NEW Kodak Baby Monitor

The Kodak Baby Monitoring System is loaded with top-of-the-line features, including infrared night vision, a two-way talk system, an extended range parent unit and 100 percent digital privacy. While the camera does come with its audio-only parental unit, it does not come with a video monitor. At first, I thought this would be a bummer since personally, I like having a screen totally dedicated to the baby. However, after using using this for a couple weeks, I found I don’t even miss it since I can access the camera from my phone or tablet, which is never far from me. If you’re looking to monitor multiple rooms at once, additional cameras are available for purchase on Amazon and all controlled within the same app. Think home security, nanny cam, or multiple children. So many possibilities.

How to Read a Baby Monitor Sleep Log

The camera is accessible via the Tend Baby app (iOS and Android), which is very easy to use and is fast (nothing worse than hearing a baby cry and waiting for-ever for the app to load). Bonus for Apple Watch wearers… the app is Apple Watch compatible. The app also offers helpful features like the ability to log feedings, diaper changes, and sleep, and even lets you set reminder alarms. In addition, the app will soon give you the ability to track sleep patterns as well. And since the app is web-enabled, it’s accessible from anywhere! Which means I was fully able to obsessively check on the baby while at a wedding across town.

Other neat features of the app include the ability to take photos and videos, turn on and off its own on-board white noise machine, and the always fun two-way talk. (Don’t forget the diaper cream, Honey!) But one feature I didn’t even know I needed but now can’t live without is the touch-less nightlight. Just wave your hand over the back of the machine and a sweet, soft light turns on. Wave again to turn off, or just tap the app if you’re not in the room.

The NEW Kodak Baby Monitoring System has an AMAZING picture!
What sets this camera apart

This camera is definitely loaded with great features, but none of that matters if the picture quality isn’t there, right? This camera is from Kodak and, just as you would expect, the picture quality is probably the best I’ve seen in a baby monitor yet. It’s no wonder that the Kodak Baby Monitoring System was a CES Innovation Award Nominee in 2015.

Both my husband and I were shocked at the clarity in both day and night. Hands down the very best feature of this camera is the 180 degree room view, enabling you to see the entire room, at once, without fish-eye distortion. The camera, however, does not allow you to pan and tilt, although it does allow you to zoom, and in zoom mood you can then pan slightly. FYI, the entire time I’ve tested the monitor, I never once felt the need to zoom, the camera is that good.

Lastly, this monitor is just gorgeous, there’s no other words. While some try to not be as obnoxious as casino surveillance, you still tend to always feel that way (anyone else?), but the Kodak Baby Monitoring System looked more like a decoration made of wood, for lack of a better term. The only way they could improve this is if there were different wood finishes to match the furniture. Either way, it’s so so pretty.

The Best Baby Monitor Cameras

What could improve

While this camera is as perfect as they’ve come, there are some things I wish were a bit different that parents should know before they buy. For one, there is no ability to wall-mount the camera. That’s unfortunate if you’re not lucky enough to have a tall piece of furniture somewhere in the room. In my opinion, wall mounting should always be some sort of an option on every monitor, period.

Like I mentioned above, there is no dedicated parent unit with a screen. While I did find I was okay without it, it would be nice to have one, as an option. I was able to leave my iPad with the app on it for the baby sitter, but what if I wasn’t? 

Finally, and this is a personal preference, there is no temperature reading. While this is not a standard feature on a lot of monitors, if you live in a region that is either very hot (like me) or very cold, you tend to always wonder what the room temp is for your kids. Having that information right on your screen comes in very handy.

Regardless, the picture quality more than makes up for anything lacking and is as close to perfect as an over-all monitor that I’ve seen. I am so impressed. (Kodak Baby Monitoring System, $199)

What’s your favorite feature of the Kodak Baby Monitoring System?
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If you are anything like me, then you take way too many pictures of your kids. I believe that you can’t possibly take enough because they change so fast. Even though we swear we are going to remember every special moment forever, I promise your memory will fail you once or twice as the years go by. While you probably don’t have your camera on you every second of the day, you most definitely have your phone… and I’ve found the perfect app to go with those pictures you take on the go!

Baby Pics is an app designed for new parents and parents-to-be to document all of the exciting milestones that they’ll never want to forget by adding the cutest artwork to your photos. While I am creative in some ways, I am not in others. (Thank goodness for friends who have Photoshop and put up with my incessant messaging and picture sending to make my photos just right!) The Baby Pics app is completely foolproof and has become my go-to for editing pictures of my kids. And, at less than $5, it’s such a steal!

How to Create Cute Baby Pics in an App

Getting started

Start by downloading the app via iTunes or Google Play.

From there, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Take your photo with the in-app camera or import a photo you have already taken.
  2. Choose the artwork you want to add and/or add text to personalize.
  3. Save and share!
Let your creativity go wild

The artwork is divided into groups to make your selection easy:




DATES: Months (1-24), days of the week, due in, birthdays, weeks (1-42), weeks of pregnancy by fruit (Love this!), weeks of pregnancy by junk food (Even better!)

FIRSTS: All the firsts you can imagine from pregnancy firsts to big kid firsts, including first holidays

ON THE DAILY: Cute descriptions of your little ones such as Chubby Cheeks, Bath Time, and Messy Hair Don’t Care… to name a few





PREGNANCY: The cute sayings and pictures in this section will have you taking pics of your belly just so you can use them!

HUMOR: These are exactly what it says… humorous! Poop Explosion, Party At My Crib, and Daddy’s Drinking Partner are just the beginning of these goodies.

BIG KIDS: This section covers milestones such as moving into a big kid bed, potty training, and the first day of Kindergarten.





DOODLES: Add a variety of cute art to your photos when there isn’t any other more specific category to fit.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and besties are all taken care of!

Not sure what you are looking for? Browse through all of the options in the “All Artwork” section to find something you love or to get inspired.

More to love

Not only can you save the photos, but you can also print them directly from the app. Choose from two styles — square prints or retro-style prints — and two sizes. You can also print stickers and magnets, which I definitely see in my future!

I have so much fun with Baby Pics and find myself using it on a daily basis. The best part is going back through my pictures and putting artwork on old photos!

Here are a few of my Baby Pics favorites:

Wanna have some fun? Take the Baby Pics Challenge! When you join, you will receive a daily prompt with a new theme for seven days. Create your best pic to match the theme, share it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag #BabyPicsChallenge #BabyPicsApp @babypicsapp

Have fun with this app! I certainly do!

What’s your favorite way to take pictures of your baby?
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Tech to Soothe Sore Muscles

So… how are those New Year’s fitness resolutions going? If you’re like millions of other moms, there’s a good chance you made goals last month of getting back to the gym, upping your daily runs, or finally trying that new fitness class. The potential problem? People who jump into things too quickly can often leave themselves injured instead of with improved fitness.

I once jokes with my Pilates teacher that January must be a busy month for her. I was wrong. “It’s February and March when I get busy,” she told me. People often jump headlong into a new fitness plan in January and then either get injured or realize they need to pair their workouts with the core strength and low-impact muscle building of something like Pilates or yoga.

If you’re like me, you don’t have time to be slowed down by a stiff back or sore muscles after exercising or *cough* sitting at the computer all day writing, but also (sadly) don’t have the time or budget to fit in a weekly massage. Luckily, there are high and low tech ways you can soothe sore muscles at home.

How to soothe sore muscles

Tech to Soothe Sore Muscles

InstaShiatsu+ Massager

I laughed when I first saw this massager… that is until I used it. Holy mother of massagers! This thing is truly amazing. I love a pretty hard massage and many devices like this seem to be pretty wimpy or require too much of your own strength to make them effective. Not this one.

The InstaShiatsu+ has two rotating, multi-knob massagers that magically combine to work out knots and ease post-workout pain. I love that the massager can be used corded or cordless (and has an amazing battery life!), can be used all over the body (neck, shoulders, back, legs and more), and has a heat button for added muscle relaxation. Everyone who has come over to the house recently has tried it and I know of five different people who immediately bought one. It’s that good and that effective.

The Best Way to Soothe Sore Muscles

Melt Method Roller and Balls

Dealing with muscle tightness and pain makes day-to-day life difficult. Designed by Sue Hitzmann, the MELT Method is a program designed to help you lessen and even eliminate your muscle pain by using gently compression to create rehydration of the connective tissue, the supportive, flexible scaffolding that keeps body stable and balanced.

Her method includes a soft foam roller, a hand and foot kit, and instructional DVDs. Hitzmann’s book also provides lots of background on how she developed the MELT method, why and how they work to eliminate pain, and how to do many of the key exercises. After using her foam roller for a few weeks, my masseuse even asked what I had been doing differently at my last appointment!

The Best Tech to Soothe Your Sore Muscles
TENS Handheld Electronic Pulse Massager

Have you ever tried a TENS machine? TENS is an abbreviation for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which is the use of electric current to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. While it may look like some kind of torture device, this TENS unit is similar to machines used in doctors or chiropractors offices and is designed to help relieve pain, stimulate muscles, and help with relaxation.

The portable device has five auto-stimulation programs and three massage settings to select speed and intensity that is comfortable for you. My husband has had great luck using a TENS unit for back pain and after recovery from knee surgery. I love its compact size and how versatile it is for treating pain all over the body.

How do you soothe your sore muscles?
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Everywhere you look someone is sniffling or sneezing and there’s no escaping preschool germs, which only means one thing: It’s cold and flu season again. Have no worries, Mom, for I’ve put together a list of five really awesome thermometers for babies and kids that just might make this round of fevers a little less terrible for everyone.

The Best Thermometers for Babies

1. FeverFrida by FridaBaby

From the people that brought your the NoseFrida comes the FeverFrida Thermonitor, a wearable thermometer that gives continuous monitoring for up to 24 hours. Worn just under the armpit, this thermometer sends your app-enabled device a new reading every 4 seconds. Plus, it will also alert you of a fever spike and even remind you that Baby is due for a dose of medicine. 

I will warn you that getting started is a bit tricky and, at times, confusing. The app is a tad bit hard to understand at first. However, there is free online chat help via the Fridababy website, available Monday through Friday. They are super helpful and very patient… trust me.

Overall, once I got the hang of it, I found it to be pretty accurate and definitely a step up from a traditional thermometer. My favorite thing was being able to check the reading log to see her changes in temperature over night. So handy. (FeverFrida Thermonitor, $70)

 Which Thermometer is Best for Your Baby?
2. Pacif-i

They say necessity is the brith of invention and it’s certainly true for this husband and wife team out of the UK. With zero engineering experience (she was a teacher and he a banker), they set forth to create the first thermometer housed inside a baby pacifier. What they came up with is a sleek Bluetooth and GPS-enabled pacifier that links to an app on your smartphone.

Other awesome perks of the Pacif-i is the ability to keep a record of your child’s medicine, track historical data and send this information via email to your pediatrician directly from the app, and if you ever, ahem, misplace the Pacif-i, it will beep to let you know where it’s hiding. Too far far to hear the beep? Track your Pacif-i through GPS on the app. Genius.

In the end, if your child is a binky baby, this is an truly game-changing way to take their temperature. However, keep in mind that if they are partial to a certain brand or type of pacifier, this might be a hard sell. The Pacif-i is available in green or orange, works with both iOS and Android and comes with a 1-year battery. (Pacif-i, $59)


3. Thermo by Withings

The Thermo by Withings was the talk of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, even being awarded a 2016 CES Innovation Award Nominee and for good reason. The Thermo takes temporal thermometer technology to a new level with its modern design, ease of use and increased accuracy thanks to its 16 infrared sensors, which take 4000 measurements in only 2-seconds. The Thermo will be available to the public March 2016, but be sure to sign up on their website to be informed of updates. (Thermo, $100)

5 High-Tech Baby Thermometers

4. FeverScout

The Fever Scout is another wearable thermometer, but what sets this one apart is that it’s a single, low-profile sticker (unlike the FeverFrida which is a plastic disk under an adhesive patch) that can be worn up to 3-days on a single charge. So yes, it’s rechargeable. Other features that make this thermometer outstanding are the history log, journal option, alerts and notifications of fever spikes, a share button that will allow you to text, email, or airdrop tempature information, and a connectivity range of up to 16-feet. Fever Scout comes with the patch, charging dock, 10 adhesives and the free Fever Scout app. (Fever Scout, Spring 2016, $59)

Thermometers Your Kids Will Actually Want to Use

5. Kinsa Smart Thermometer and Smart Ear Thermometer

The Smart Thermometer and Smart Ear Thermometer have become the go-to fever-takers in our house and I’ll tell you why: With a fast and simple setup and an easy to use app, this is just one of those things that’s a no-brainer. Everytime you grab it you know it will work and you know it will be accurate. Like the others on this list, the app allows you to log medications, keep temp records and give each family member their own profile for quick and easy reference. On top of all that, there is a fun interactive bubble popping game that kids can play while waiting for their reading to be done. It seems like such a small thing but becomes a game changer when you’re dealing with an unhappy and sick child. (Kinsa Smart Thermometer, $25 and up)

Which one are you excited to try?




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