tech-section

Category : Tech

Health apps for teens make hard conversations easier

Talking to your preteen or teen daughter about her first period doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation. The Clue app offers a way for girls to track the physical and emotional changes involved with tracking their monthly cycles. Learn tips about talking to your daughter about her first period and check out the ways the health app for teens can make the transition easier for girls.

health app for teens

The Clue app helps you and your teen understand your monthly cycles

Designed to be informative and user-friendly, the Clue app announces immediately: Confident. Scientific. Not pink. We don’t have a problem with pink around here, but the idea that Clue is based on science and data will help moms and daughters talk about their monthly cycles in a way that helps everyone. Your menstrual cycle is about so much more than your actual period, and tracking your physical state and emotions throughout the month can help your teen make sense of the fluctuations happening throughout the month.

health app for teens

Increased app use makes Clue more accurate — and more helpful

Clue reminds women, “Get to know your body. It’s not a clock.” The more you use the Clue app, the more accurately the app can make predictions about your next cycle. This increased accuracy is helpful for teens who are just learning about the way their bodies feel during different parts of their menstrual cycle. Women will find Clue to be an amazing app for tracking fertility, as well as their monthly cycle. Accurate tracking helps Clue predict your window of fertility each month, which is crucial when you’re trying to get pregnant.

How to talk to your teen or preteen about her first period

Ida Tin, the Founder and CEO of the Clue app, has helpful, practical information to help moms talk to their daughters about their first periods. Her advice can be helpful even if you’re talking to a family friend or a niece.

  • Leave euphemisms out of it. There’s no need to be vague or mysterious about periods. Half the world’s population experiences a menstrual cycle at some point, after all. Talk plainly to your kids about what’s happening – or if you’re not comfortable, give them some accurate but accessible reading material (like the info in Clue!)
  • Share your experience. Do you remember your first period? Whether your story was casual or embarrassing, funny or mundane, it can be helpful to your daughter to know that you went through the same things that she’s experiencing.
  • Atypical is typical. Menstrual cycles for teens can range from 21-45 days — and that’s totally normal in early menstruators, because the hormonal system/circuitry that regulates their cycles is still maturing. For most women it takes about six years for their cycle to settle into a personal “normal.”
  • Play and pamper. From period underwear to mail-order period care packages, there’s tons of ways to make your teen feel special and celebrated leading up to and during her first cycle.
Have you had to have the period talk with a daughter, niece or family friend? How did it go?
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Raise your hand if you have too much time in your day? No one? Me neither. Luckily, I rely on some helpful apps to help me get stuff done. Here are four of my favorite time saving apps apps that I use every single day to keep me organized and to help me save time.

4 Time saving apps to download right now

Time-Saving Apps: Wunderlist

Wunderlist

Like you, I’m managing a mind-boggling list of different types of to-dos. I have interviews to schedule and articles to write for work. There are random errands for the house, returns for too-small clothes and dry cleaning waiting to be picked up. For my kids, there are lessons to pay for, permission slips to sign and next season’s teams to fill out forms for. The number — and variety — of to-dos always amazes me, but I try to keep on top of it all with Wunderlist. This list-making app has a simple interface, lets me categorize my tasks by labels I create, allows me to set due dates and will even let you share lists with others (aka, shopping lists with the husband). Best of all, it has a sweetly satisfying “Ding!” sound when I complete a task and check it off my list.

 

Time-Saving Apps: OurGroceries App

OurGroceries

If you don’t use a shopping list app, stop whatever it is you are doing and download one now. I’ve used Ziplist for years, but since they are no longer supporting the app, I’ve been migrating over to OurGroceries. Here’s the beauty of a shopping list app: When you have a random thought at work or on the treadmill or while you’re waiting for baseball practice to end — I’m out of razor blades/light bulbs/dog food/bananas — you simply add it to a list for the appropriate store and then next time you’re at that store, instead of banging your head trying to remember what you needed, you just calmly check your phone and feel brilliantly awesome and on-top of it all.

There are lots of shopping list apps out there, but one of the reasons I like OurGroceries is because it also have a web-interface, meaning you can access your account, make lists and add to your existing lists from a web browser. I find this particularly useful for meal planning, which I like to do at my computer Saturday mornings with a hot cup of coffee, my Bon Appetit issue, my Recipes to Try Pinterest board and the week’s weather report (can’t be scheduling pot roast for Wednesday if it’s going to be 75 degrees outside!).

 

Time-Saving Apps: Evernote

 

Evernote

As parents, we receive and need to retrieve a ridiculous amount of information on a given day. The name of a fellow mom on your son’s soccer team. Tonight’s dinner menu. The name of a book your BFF recommend to you during a walk that now you’re trying to remember while you’re at the bookstore. Your daughter’s volleyball game schedule for the month. And the list goes on.

With Evernote, you can save any kind of information you need. It’s not just for recipes (though I use it for that). Not just for lists or scanned documents or notes (though I use it for all that too). It’s like an alter-brain. Make notes about anything or everything and when you need to recall that important info, just open up Evernote on the web, your computer, or your phone and type in a keyword or two to pull up the note. Sure, you Type-A moms can create elaborate filing and tagging systems (I tagged a bunch of recipes with “fall” for easy menu planning and “re-read” for those articles I know parenting will require that I read again), but the beauty of Evernote is that you don’t have to. Save a zillion notes on a zillion different topics and with a simple search box you can call up just that thing you were trying to remember.

 

Time-Saving Apps: GoogleCalendar

Google Calendar

I know there are lots of calendar apps out there, but since I’m already pretty Google-integrated with Gmail and Google Docs, I rely heavily on and thoroughly enjoy Google Calendar. I access it through the basic calendar app that comes on the iPhone, but Google also has it’s own brand new app you can download.

The key is in how you use it. I create different calendars for my personal life, our family obligations, the kids’ schedules, my work, and even things like keeping track of workouts. My husband also uses Google Calendar for his work, which allows me to see his day, week and month in a color-coded array of activities. An, most importantly, turn those calendars on or off as needed. Need to see what’s due this week for work? I only click on my work calendar. Trying to schedule dinner with friends? No need for 50 back-and-forth texts/emails with my husband. I can check his schedule, my schedule and add something to our family schedule without a conversation.

It may sound heartless that one of the benefits of using this app is that it cuts down on communication between me and my husband, but in parenting, there is so much managing that goes on — Who’s picking up Merric from practice? Can you watch the kids during my haircut? Do we have a free Friday in May to have dinner with your parents? — these are not the quality conversations that build a relationship. Necessary, yes, but they can make a marriage feel more like a business than a bond. With Google Calendar, I can keep all parts of my life scheduled, organized and on-time without lots of extra communication.

What are your favorite time-saving apps?
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Discovering the best kids’ cameras

If your child begins to show more interest in your camera’s phone each time you take her photo, it might be time to give her a camera of her own. The best cameras for kids vary, depending on age, responsibility and how often you want to print photos or charge batteries. Find the best fit for your family with our roundup of the best kids’ cameras, from beginning, ultra-protected cameras to easy-to-use video cameras for older kids.

cameras for kids

Start with a simple kids’ camera

Kids from around 3 to 8 will love the VTech Kidizoom Camera Connect (Target, $34). Little hands will fit perfectly on the rubber grips, and it’s basically impossible to break. I can personally vouch for the durability of this one; my kids literally toss their VTech into bins, bags and sometimes even on the ground. The camera stores up to 800 photos or 10 minutes of video, there are some simple games and kids can edit photos by adding backgrounds and accessories to their photos. The Kidizoom takes batteries, so you might want to try rechargeable ones if your kids love the camera.

best kids' cameras

Curious kids will love building their own camera

Tactile learners will adore the concept and the implementation of the Bigshot Camera (Bigshot, $89). The camera pieces arrive unassembled, and kids can put the camera together on their own before shooting their digital photos. Charged with a lithium polymer battery, you can also supply backup power with a hand-crank that gives you enough power to keep taking pictures until you have time to recharge the main battery.

best kids' cameras

Don’t get stuck on automatic

Shooting on automatic is a fabulous way for kids to capture the shots they want, but when they’re ready to learn a little more about photography, considering moving to a camera like the Polaroid iF045 (Polaroid Store, $70). The Polaroid doesn’t have games or kitschy photo effects, which kids may expect from their own camera, but it does let interested photographers adjust shutter speed and white light balance. Learning about how to make the photo look the way they want, including the ability to manually or automatically focus is a crucial part of photography education.

best kids' cameras

The perfect waterproof camera for little fish

If your family spends a lot of time at the beach or a pool, and your child has expressed an interest in checking out what’s happening underwater, the Nikon COOLPIX S31 will thrill your little photographer (Amazon, $180). The S31 is a lightweight when you’re carrying it but a heavyweight when it comes to durability and toughness. Built to withstand weather, heavy use and shock, the camera films in the rain — and underwater — so kids can film the minnows they’re always trying to catch at the beach.

best kids' cameras

Give them the tools for great live-action video

When kids are ready to graduate to making films, try a GoPro – HD Hero3 (Best Buy, $200). While they can definitely take still shots, the GoPro takes fantastic, high-definition video recordings. It’s compatible with a wide variety of mounts, so cinematographers-in-training can attach it to bike helmets or other gear to record physical activities from their point-of-view. The camera even has built-in WiFi, making it perfect for tech-hungry teens.

best kids' cameras

Cover your tech

If your kids are used to using your iPad — or are lucky enough to have their own — don’t discount the camera on the tablet. Be sure to use a durable cover, like the iPad Air Defender Series Case (Otterbox, $100). Using the camera on a tech device they already use will give kids the chance to take and edit photos easily, and it will feel a little more like a game — giving them the freedom to experiment with their skills.

iPad cases

 

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American Well
American Well
Getting sick is inconvenient

Staying healthy with two school-aged children is like walking a tightrope. There are always germs floating around, and even the strictest preventative measures — lots of hand-washing, vitamins, talks about not sharing food or drinks with friends — don’t always work. When one of the four of us starts to feel sick, we up the prevention and try to decide if a doctor’s visit is worth the inconvenience, especially because we’re still seeing our original pediatrician… the one who isn’t located particularly close to our new house.

Online health care keeps you connected

Doctors used to make house calls and thanks to online health care, they can again. If you don’t have a family doctor you love, or the time to visit your favorite provider, quality health care can come directly to you — via your computer, phone or tablet. American Well is an online health care service that connects you with doctors from family physicians to therapists. Ask questions, express concerns and get a diagnosis all from the comfort of your home — even if you’re feeling like you can’t get out of bed. Online visits last about 10-minutes, which gives you a lot of one-on-one time with a physician.

American Well

American Well offers quality online health care

American Well isn’t only about chatting with a medical provider when you’re sick. Online health care can also help you with nutrition questions and even therapy issues. While online health care can be used from the comfort of your couch, it doesn’t have to be. Add the app to your most-used tech devices and know the expertise of a medical professional is at your fingertips, even when you’re away from home.

Check out the way one little boy benefited from the expertise of an online health care provider when his family was traveling:

How American Well can help busy moms

One of the most difficult things in our house when sickness hits is coordinating visits to the doctor with everyone’s schedules. I’m never sure whether to send one of the kids to school if the other is sick, and Dylan’s preschool schedule makes it hard to schedule sick visit appointments for Abbey during a time when he wouldn’t have to come with us. In the midst of sick-child season — it’s a thing, right? — bringing a not-yet-sick child into the sick waiting room at the doctor’s office makes me jumpy.

After filling out a quick health assessment, I was able to chat with a doctor about Abbey’s symptoms. I chose the “first available” doctor, but I like that if I wanted, I could search by different specialties and read reviews on specific doctors — simple graphics let you know which doctors are currently available to consult. Thankfully, I was reassured she was afflicted with a slightly annoying, but not terribly serious, gastrointestinal virus. I forgot to ask if they had any advice for getting the non-sick child to leave the sick one alone to rest. After a little rest — and a lot of fluids, one of the suggestions provided by the online doctor — she was ready to join her brother outside.

Use the code MOMSQUAD for your first FREE visit to American Well.

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American Well

 

How do you think your family would benefit from online health care?

 

American Well

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by American Well via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of American Well or Momtrends

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Tablets, smartphones, e-readers… we know you’ve got your share of tech gadgets. And if you have kids at home, there’s a good chance those gadgets take a beating. From sticky fingers to spilled drinks, from clumsy hand-offs in the backseat to “Mommy, I blocked a snowball with your iPad!”, your family’s smartphones and tablets need protection from all sorts of life. So fittingly, there is LifeProof.

LifeProof Tech Cases

The Proofs

LifeProof makes tablet and smartphone cases that protect your tech from the elements — they are dirt-proof, waterproof, snow-proof and shockproof. Which also makes them toddler-proof, teen-proof, pretty much life-proof.

Lifeproof tech cases

How protected are LifeProof cases?

  • Waterproof: Fully submersible to 6.6 feet (2m)
  • Dirt-proof: Totally sealed from dirt and dust
  • Snow-proof: Completely closed to snow and ice
  • Shockproof: Survives drops from 4 feet (1.2m)
nüüd Vs. frē

LifeProof has two main styles of cases for tablets and phones — the nüüd and the frē. The frē includes a built-in touchscreen scratch protector, while the nüüd allows you to touch the screen directly.

Lifeproof NUUD

If you’re thinking that you have to get the frē with a screen protector if you have kids, think again. We’ve been testing out our nüüd for the last month with my kids (ages 4-8) and haven’t had any issues with scratching. But, if you’re more comfortable with a screen protector, I love that LifeProof provides that option.

The cases are easy to apply and snap on your phone or tablet in a few easy steps. I love the extra protection LifeProof provides our phones and tablets and that all that protection doesn’t cost me in my tech’s feel, look or functionality — you can still use your charger and headphones with ease and while the case adds lots of protection, it doesn’t add a lot of bulk.

LifeProof Tech Cases

I’ll admit – the cases aren’t super stylish. But, I’d much rather have a functional case with a working phone than a cute case on my broken-screen tablet. While LifeProof tests each case at the factory, it wants customers to feel comfortable with how the case works and to make sure they assemble it correctly, so in addition to the case, they also send along a “test tablet” so you can check the waterproofing for yourself before you put in your own gadget.

LifeproofIMG_4550LIfeproof

 LifeProof Accessories

LifeProof makes lots of optional accessories to go along with their cases. I really like the Portfolio Cover/Stand, which attaches easily to the case an is super thin, but provides both screen protection and doubles as a stand. I’m also looking forward to throwing on LifeProof’s Lifejacket which slips on over the phone or tablet case and ensures that your phone is not only waterproof, but floats too — an accessory I would have loved when my son accidentally kicked my phone into the river last summer!

LifeProof Tech Cases LifeJacket

Whether you have a tablet or a phone, an Apple, Motorola or Samsung, keep your family’s tech protected with LifeProof.

Dirt-proof, waterproof, snow-proof or shockproof — which proof does your tech most need?

Disclaimer: Savvy Sassy Moms was not paid for this review. A sample was provided. Opinions expressed are my own.

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The best yoga apps offer zen on the go

Whether you have a sick little one or just can’t figure out the latest change in a napping routine, some days it seems impossible to make time to get to your go-to yoga class. The best yoga apps can help you find your zen from your living room or a hotel room. Supplement your yoga practice with a little help from your favorite tech devices.

Looking for more ways to stay fit on the go? Try these fabulous fitness apps.

best yoga apps

Yoga Studio offers classes for all levels

Yoga Studio has 24 hours of ready-made HD yoga videos, with instruction crafted for various levels from beginner to expert. In addition, you can create your own classes from the 280 yoga poses available. Developed by a qualified instructor, creating a class is simple with unique features like pose blocks and smart-link. The best part? Once you’ve crafted a class, the app turns it into a free-flowing video, just like the ready-made classes.

best yoga apps

Maximize your time with 5 Minute Yoga

Even if you don’t have time to fit in a regular yoga class, you can squeeze five minutes out of your day for 5 Minute Yoga. Ideal for beginners because of its simple, but effective, poses, the 5 Minute Yoga app has a library of 350 different sessions — so you’re never bored. In order to make the most of your time, poses are timed, and you choose music from your own library, so you’re listening to music that relaxes you.

best yoga apps

 

Pocket Yoga understands your yoga practice varies with your days

Life with kids differs day to day, and Pocket Yoga knows your yoga practice needs to differ, too. The app allows you to customize each of your yoga workouts by level, time and types of yoga practice, so it’s truly an app that will grow with you as your yoga needs change. If you have trouble with a particular pose, the comprehensive dictionary explains clearly and concisely how to attempt it. The Pocket Yoga app doesn’t require network connectivity, so you can truly practice anywhere.

best yoga apps

 

 Salute The Desk knows sitting at a desk all day can hurt

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time — whether you’re working at home or in the office — can lead to tired posture and tense muscles. Salute The Desk has a series of 27 poses and two guided relaxation sessions to help combat the fatigue that comes from sitting at a desk. The app isn’t just useful for those who sit for work, either. Use it during road trips or when you’ll be on a plane, or simply during the day when you’re sitting on the floor and playing with your little ones.

best yoga apps

Daily Burn knows pregnancy doesn’t have to interrupt your yoga practice

Beautiful Belly by Daily Burn offers yoga instruction for all stages of your pregnancy. Briohny Smyth is a renowned yogi who teaches classes all around the world. Now, the Beautiful Belly app brings Briohny into your living room — or anywhere you have a little space to relax — to present customized yoga practice for each of your trimesters. When your little one is born, Beautiful Belly will help you ease back into yoga practice with the post-natal yoga section.

best yoga apps

Kids Yogaverse lets kids join your yoga practice

Kids Yogaverse uses storytelling, fun pose descriptions and simple relaxation techniques to introduce kids to yoga. Their apps have different suggested ages. I Am Love is recommended for 4-8 year olds, and the app is easy enough that kids can use it on their own. A little storytelling never hurt anyone, though, and the Kids Yogaverse series can be a fantastic way to spend some quality time sharing your love for yoga with your children.best yoga apps

Do you have a favorite fitness app?
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Toddlet Screen Time Best Apps and Learning Programs
Fun kids’ apps and other programs for quality screen time

Like it or not, screens are a part of all of our lives. Try to make the best decisions about screen time limits and screen time use for your kids by choosing TV shows, apps, and games that parents and kids both enjoy. With the right choices, screen time doesn’t have to be a point of contention in families.

BabyTV offers a complete screen time experience

BabyTV is a commercial-free option for parents of young children. The shows and apps are developed by experts and focus on kids under four, introducing fun character like Charlie & The Numbers to introduce counting, Big Bugs Band, who play all different styles of music and The Cuddlies – short stories with a moral. BabyTV isn’t only about letting kids spend time watching action unfold on a screen — there are interactive activities that reinforce learning in fun, exciting ways.

An app to help young readers increase comprehension

Question Builder knows reading comprehension isn’t only about knowing the words on a screen. The app builds critical thinking skills with 1200 audio clips of questions and answers, based on three different levels of abstract thinking.

Young wizards will love the Mathly Hallows

Complaints about the Common Core abound, apps can help kids have fun with math skills within the standards set forth by the Common Core. Work on mental math skills at various levels and protect the Mathly Hallows from monsters. Kids earn different levels from apprentice to master wizard, and parents receive progress reports about the different levels their kids are reaching.

CHALK Online Preschool Savvy Sassy Moms

Try an online preschool curriculum

CHALK Preschool Online provides an opportunity for parents to access a preschool curriculum developed by a brick and mortar school from the comfort of their homes. CHALK combines online activities, taught by a person on the screen, with hands-on activities. Daily art projects encourage kids to learn, and dance and music are part of the curriculum to build motor skills in a fun, organic way.

The comprehensive curriculum includes core subjects such as literacy, math, and science.

  • Preschool lessons align with Early Childhood Learning Standards
  • Hands-on activities
  • Integration of cooking, geography, and weather
  • Play-Based teaching methods
  • Both indoor and outdoor activities
  • References using real life visuals
  • Optional activities that continue the learning beyond the computer

CHALK Preschool

CHALK Preschool Online knows you can use screen time to access a quality preschool curriculum for your little ones, but sometimes you want high-quality, family-friendly entertainment options, too. We love CHALK’s “Chaulkutainment”:

Let’s face it. Screening every bit of entertainment your child watches is no easy task. Our Chalk-U-Tainment library is for families seeking high-quality, child-safe content they can feel good about letting their child explore. Subscribers get on-demand access to hours of music videos, webisodes, kids’ talk shows and interactive books that can be viewed across a variety of devices, at home or on the go.

Try CHALK Preschool Online {giveaway!}

CHALK Preschool Online is providing one Savvy Sassy Moms reader with a complimentary scholarship to the online preschool! You’ll have access to the resources and curriculum available to all CHALK Preschool students and can get started at any time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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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