tech-section

Category : Tech

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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Mornings with kids don’t have to be crazy

Even self-proclaimed morning people can struggle when adding little ones to the mix. Being in charge of someone other than yourself in the morning adds a new dimension to starting your day. Whether you’re juggling morning breastfeeding with pre-dawn workouts or getting kids out of the door for school, mornings can be stressful. Try these three mom must-haves to make your morning routines with kids go smoothly.

analog alarm clocks

Wake up without your phone

We’ve written before about keeping your bedroom a tech-free zone. If you want to wake up for some alone time before your little one wakes, try an old-fashioned alarm clock. We love the gentle nudging of the Big Ben Moon Beam Alarm Clock (WestClox, $46). You can set the clock to use increasing light to awake you at a set time. If you need something a little stronger, you can add sound to the alarm. Set it just out of arm’s reach, so you need to at least sit up to turn off the alarm.

Keurig 2.0

Add the Keurig 2.0 Brewer to your morning routine

The Keurig® 2.0 will change your morning coffee — or tea — routine (Keurig, starting at $150). The ability of the Keurig to brew an individual cup of coffee just improved. The 2.0 can different brew settings for different coffee types, ensuring your chosen beverage is made at optimum strength. In addition, the 2.0 can brew the K-Carafe™ Pack, which brews up to 30 ounces of coffee into the included carafe — and some mornings call for every one of those ounces!

alarm clocks for kids

Help kids learn when to get out of bed

The Onaroo Teach Me Time! alarm clock might be one of the most versatile tools in a mom’s morning routine (Amazon, $42). Long before little ones are able to tell time, the alarm clock operates by changing colors at specified times — set by mom or dad — to let kids know when it’s time to stay in bed or an ok time to come out to play. Setting the “ok” time at a reasonable time — after your child wakes, but not too long after! — can buy you a little extra time each morning. Later, the clock can be used to help teach time, and it functions as a typical alarm clock. School-aged kids can help in the morning by taking responsibility for the beginning of their morning routine.

Have a breakfast plan for morning routines with kids

Take a few minutes at the end of each day to think about breakfast for the next morning. Moms of babies generally only have a few options, but once solid foods are introduced, breakfast can be stressful. Hungry tummies are fairly demanding, and having one of our favorite quick and easy breakfast recipes on tap will help the kitchen feel inviting instead of intimidating.

How do you help your morning run smoothly?
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Protect your new phone with stylish cases

Tech cases are one of the most crucial parts of a new phone purchase. No matter how you acquired your new iPhone — waiting in line, preordering, or taking your chances at the store a few days after the release — protect your favorite piece of technology with the perfect case. Combine fashion and protection with these chic cases for iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 .

Looking for other tech protection? Protect your tech with cases for all of your products. 

iPhone 6 cases

Stylish cases for iPhone 6

Apple users talked about wanted a larger display, and the iPhone 6 delivers. More texts are displayed, reading is easier on your eyes and your apps seem to go on for days. The larger format means you have more to protect. The sleek, aluminum casing won’t do anything to protect the smooth, seemingly endless glass screen on your newest tech toy.

Lucite was a staple during the 1950s and 1960s, but the 24 Karat Case modernizes the translucent material (Case-Mate, $50). Genuine gold foil makes this case sparkle while keeping your iPhone 6 safe.

If drops are your biggest worry with your new phone, protecting the corners will go a long way in keeping your phone safe. The Survivor Core has special protection on the corners for the ultimate in drop protection (Griffin Technology, $30).

Leather cases help keep your phone in your hands instead of slipping onto the floor. The Leather iPhone 6 case from Kate Spade comes in four colors — we love the Vivid Snapdragon (Kate Spade, $50).

The Symmetry Series is OtterBox’s sleekest line of cases (OtterBox, $45). We love the soft colors of the Aqua Dot, which is a colorful and chic way to cover your iPhone 6. The Symmetry cases offer the protection of an OtterBox in a streamlined design that won’t feel too bulky in your hand.

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24 Karat Gold Case_iPhone 6
Survivor Core_iPhone 6
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 11.43.09 PM
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iGlaze armour_iPhone 6 Plus
Brilliance Case_iPhone 6 Plus
Quilted Folio_iPhone 6 Plus
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 11.07.51 PM

Cases for iPhone 6 Plus can still be stylish

If you’re upgrading from an iPhone 4s — or any previous model, actually — the iPhone 6 Plus might feel a little like an intruder in your purse each morning. Its dimensions don’t mean the 6 Plus has to be hidden away between a mammoth case.

No matter how you look at it, the iPhone 6 Plus is likely to be the largest phone you’ve handled since that ancient cordless phone you vaguely remember from childhood. The iGlaze Armour case adds very little bulk, while providing a gorgeous, metallic finish (Moshi, $45).

The Case-Mate Brilliance Case in Champagne is a gorgeous, glittering case (Case-Mate, $80). The genuine crystals and premium leather form an outer protective layer, and there is an inner liner to protect the already lovely iPhone 6 Plus body.

When you’re carrying the iPhone 6 Plus, you have everything you need at your fingertips. With the Quilted Folio by Rebecca Minkoff, you can toss your phone into your bag during the day and use it as a tiny clutch at night (Case-Mate, $45). The micro-suede interior cushions your phone, while the black and gold folio can hold two credit cards.

If you want maximum protection for Apple’s largest iPhone, the Defender Series offers heavy-duty protection (OtterBox, $70). You can choose custom color options, and this case will withstand any abuse you give — and even weather the storm of letting children take photos or check out one of your apps.

Don’t forget to stash your new phone at the end of the night. Discover why — and how — to keep your bedroom a tech-free zone.

Have you gotten your hands on one of Apple’s newest phones?

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