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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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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:

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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

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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.

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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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What is Flipboard?

Flipboard is the latest and {greatest!} way for you to see and organize online content that you actually want to read. Because let’s face it, there is just too much content in our faces every day and it’s impossible to see it all. In order for you to filter out all the junk and items that you’d rather not ever see you really have to create your own carefully curated online magazine and Flipboard is helping you do just that! Flipboard is the one place where you can bring all of your interests and the topics you care about together into an online space you want to read.

Getting started and using Flipboard

Getting started with Flipboard is easy. The first step is signing up for an account and selecting categories that interest you — fashion, food, cooking, travel, lifestyle, entrepreneurship, social media, productivity, parenting, and photography. Then, when you open the app, only those types of articles show up in your feed.

This has been life changing for me. Every morning, I wake up and open the Flipboard app and I only see content that I want to see! Before Flipboard,  I would open Facebook first and go down that deep dark rabbit hole of scrolling and scrolling…. seeing things that I wasn’t really interested in, that annoy me, or news I wasn’t really ready to hear before I’d even had my first cup of coffee!

Now my mornings have changed for the better. I get up, make my coffee and open Flipboard to scan topics and read articles that help me start my day. My Flipboard is filled with positive content that matters to me.

How to Add Flipboard to your Toolbar

Install the Flip It Web Bookmarker

Not only can you create a custom magazine for your own interests, but you can create your very own magazines dedicated to the things you love! It’s a bit like curating your very own digital magazine pile or clipping articles from all around the internet into on magazine and not just from magazines, but your favorite blogs, too!

Once you’ve added the Flipboard app to your phone or tablet, you should install the “Flip It” toolbar bookmarker next. This will allow you to “flip” articles into your own magazines on Flipboard. So when you are reading that awesome article on how to make baby food over on the BabyCenter Blog, you can “flip it” into your magazine for Baby, Kids or Parenting. Simply grab, drag, and drop the Flip it Web Bookmarklet into your toolbar.

Flipboard for bloggers and content creators

If you are a writer, blogger or content creator then you’ll definitely want to take note! Flipboard is a great way to get your articles and content seen and shared on another platform! You can flip all your articles onto Flipboard and they will link directly back to your website, getting fresh eyes on your posts and content, all within the Flipboard platform.

Since this is a social sharing platform as well, you will also want to follow other content creators that have similar interests to you… or you can simply just follow one of their specific created Flipboard magazines. For example, i just followed Skimbaco Lifestyle’s Christmas Around the World Flipboard magazine, which is such a fun new way to learn about how other countries celebrate Christmas!

Follow me and see my magazines here!

Give the Gift of Flipboard This Holiday Season

Give the gift of Flipboard

Now is the perfect time to give the gift of Flipboard!

The gift of Flipboard gives your friends a way to get started on Flipboard with a curated set of stories about a specific interest. Flipboard’s editorial team has preconfigured 21 special packages, for everyone from travelers to tech enthusiasts. Anyone can “gift” these packages to friends or family to get them started on Flipboard with pre­loaded sections that make Flipboard instantly more useful. Each preconfigured package has about 25 sources to get people started with content that fits their interests.

The holiday season is a popular time to start dreaming about travel for the year ahead, so why not share some holiday wanderlust by sending them a gift of a beautifully curated magazine that will inspire their next big adventure!

You can follow Flipboard on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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findery-platforms
On Findery, one person’s local is another person’s travel. The social network for travelers that invites users to share stories and explore places near and far, announced today the availability of its latest mobile app: Findery for Windows.

Findery users can discover and share local knowledge about their current location through personal travel stories, hidden histories and local tips left by the extensive and active community. Findery users can also share their experiences and leave notes and photos about meaningful places they’ve found and love, both where they live and where they travel.

I have been using Findery for almost a year now and have left 89 notes about the places I’ve been. Adding notes is easy and can be a bit addicting!  As a frequent traveler and travel blogger, I like to be able to share little secrets or tips for other travelers in my notes. I hope that when a family is visiting Madrid they will look at my Madrid Notemap to see where we went and the places I recommend.

Findery Madirid Notemap Savvy Sassy Moms

The new Windows application opens up a bright new world for Windows users, allowing them to connect with other travel minded individuals, whether they’re planning trips or just dreaming of exploration.

“We’re the social network for travelers,” said Caterina Fake, founder and CEO of Findery. “We offer a location travel discovery solution that appeals to arm chair travelers and world explorers alike.”

Since the app was formally launched for iOS back in March 2014, Findery users have posted notes to share travel stories from each of the 196 countries across the globe. The platform makes it a snap for users to discover treasures in countless places – from those they have been to those they dream of visiting.

windows available now

With Findery for Windows, you can plot all of your travel stories and travel dreams on a map and explore the world from New York to New Delhi. Pin a Findery note or notemap to your Start Menu or ask Cortana to “Explore nearby” to see interesting notes around your location.

Findery is about uncovering hidden secrets and local knowledge, all of which is entirely sourced from Findery users themselves. Members follow each other and receive notifications when those new notes or comments are posted. Notes can all be shared to Facebook, Messaging, OneNote, Mail or NFC.

Findery for Windows is available for free from the Windows App Store.

Findery Travel AppAbout Findery 


Findery, on the Web, iOS, Android, and now Windows, strives to create meaningful products for people who want to experience the world and connect with a global community. Founded by serial entrepreneur Caterina Fake, Findery is the place for people passionate about discovery, travel, personal stories and technology.

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I take way too many pictures on my phone. You probably have the same problem. Snap a few here. Snap a few there and then forget about them. Them there they sit on your phone for weeks (or more), until one day you scroll through and find a keeper. It’s then that you realize it’s pretty much the best photo you’ll ever get of your kids, and you want to print it. That in itself is a big endeavor, one that moms who are crazy busy like me can forget about as quickly as the original idea came. And getting said printed photo into a frame? Forget about it!

In comes Pictli, a new app that does all the work for you. It’s totally simple and absolutely foolproof, which is exactly what we all need.

Getting starting with Pictli

Start by downloading the app. It’s free and available for on iTunes or you can do it online via the Pictli website.

How to use the Pictli app

But let’s be realistic. You’re gonna do it on your phone, because your phone is basically attached to your arm already, right? From the app, click on the “Let’s Go” button to get started. Next, pick an image that you want to print. You can choose it from your phone’s camera roll, Facebook, or Instagram. Then you choose the size you want. Right now they just offer 7×5 vertically or horizontally, but really a larger picture might be too big.

After that you choose a frame. Right now they have 15 frames and most are very simple – think unfinished wood, different metals, and standard black and white. Like I said, simple, but it allows for your photo to really pop.

I ended up choosing a photo of my boys that was taken on Mother’s Day at Descanso Gardens in La Canada, CA. I had it on my phone for weeks, and was waiting (er, procrastinating) on when to get it printed. I knew I wanted it framed for the mantel, but again, when would I have time to do that (never)!

Pictli Picture Printing and Framing App

So much to love

Pictli made it easy for me to get the job done. I could even edit the photo inside the app to make sure the lighting and color was just right. You also have the option of cropping and changing the print style (black and white, sepia, etc.) but I decided to let the bright colors speak for themselves.

The end result was great and it cost me no more than $25, which when you think about it is pretty great for convenience and the quality of the pic and frame.

Pictli app for printing and framing picturesIt came in the cutest box, wrapped and ready to go. In fact the wrapping was so perfect, that I immediately ordered another for my mother. It makes the perfect gift for grandparents. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see those smiling faces every day!

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Best Headphones for Kids

Finding the best headphones for kids

Moms know from experience that not all headphones are created equally. From sound quality to comfort, finding the right pair can be the difference between comfortable listening and a major headache. Kids have the same problem, and we’ve rounded up some fantastic choices for the best headphones for kids. Finding the right pair will save you the parenting hassle of having to replace a pair that malfunctions quickly or feels uncomfortable on their little ears.

Wireless headphones to ward off tangling issues

Kids stay untangled with LilGadgets Untangled Pro Children’s Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (Amazon, $50). While they aren’t the most inexpensive headphones in our roundup, the wireless feature can be key, especially when you’re using the headphones in the car. Available in a variety of bright, fun colors, the LilGadget Wireless Headphones offer up to 10 hours of wireless use, and a backup audio cord is included in the even that you forget to charge them before a trip.

best headphones for kids

Volume-limiting headphones save little ears

Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for Kids are a solid, dependable choice for frequent headphone use (Amazon, $20). With a Lifetime Limited Warranty, you’ll be satisfied with the headphones for years. The KidzControl Volume Limit Cable limits audio volume to approximately 80% — about 20 decibels lower — of original maximum volume. Lightweight and comfortable, the headphones are designed to be used for kids as young as two years old.

best headphones for kids

Let kids personalize their headphones for custom combinations

JLab JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones are designed not to increase volume past 85 decibels, so young ears don’t face damage from listening to music or videos too loudly (Amazon, $21). The headphones fold into a smaller size for portability — with pinch-free hinges so little fingers stay safe. Choose from a variety of colors, and let kids choose their own 3-D character stickers. Each pair comes with 8 character sticks from which to choose.

best headphones for kids

Cute and noise-cancelling headphones

The Califone 2810-TI Kids Stereo Headphones are ideal for use in classrooms because of the noise-canceling feature (Amazon, $14). A six-foot cord makes it almost impossible for kids to accidentally pull out the connection, and the noise-cancelling feature can be helpful on flights — just try to remind kids that they don’t have to yell in the middle of the plane just because their headphones make it harder to hear the people around them. The animal designs are cute and fun for young children.

best headphones for kids

Adorable patterns mean siblings won’t mix up their headphones

Maxell Safe Soundz Over the Ear Headphones come in sweet patterns so you won’t have to listen to squabbles about whose headphones are whose (Amazon, $19). With ample padding around the ears, kids will find the headphones soft and comfortable. The patterns aren’t all overly cutesy, so they’re great headphones if your kids are growing into tweens before your eyes.

best headphones for kidsBasic headphones when you carpool like crazy

If you’re the mom who carpools on three-hour field trips or sports tournaments, it can never hurt to have a couple backup pairs of headphones on hand. The Sony MDR-222KD Children’s Headphones with Over-The-Head Design are functional, streamlined and perfect to keep in the car (Amazon, $11). The lightweight headphones still have a volume-limiting feature, but they’re inexpensive enough that you won’t mind — too much — when they get stepped on or knocked out of the car.

best children's headphonesShare the headphones your kids can’t live without!
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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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Spring is here which means it’s time to start freaking out over how little you worked out over the winter and how quickly summer will be here. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the latest gear and gadgets to solve your biggest exercise pet peeves. From untied shoe laces to earbuds that wiggle out mid-workout, we’ve got the fitness gadgets you need to get your butt in gear. No more excuses!

Problem: Untied shoelaces

Solution: Clipzeez

Clipzeez

Nothing stalls a workout or run like stopping to re-tie your shoelaces. With Clipzeez, you’ll never have to worry about losing pace or time from an untied lace. I love that they can be used with any type of shoe, work with your existing laces, and most importantly, that they work! From mud runs to marathons, basketball shoes to hockey skates, Clipzeez keeps your laces tied. (As a side note, they are also great for kids, adults with special needs or the elderly.)

Problem: Headphone wiggle out

Solution: Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds

Jabra Sport Pulse

I love these headphones. First, no wires. The Jabra Sport Pulse earbuds deliver the beats you need without any annoying wires and while still letting you control music playback, volume and even take calls with a quick tap on the earbuds. Second, these are designed for working out. You won’t have to worry about these popping out during your sprint or last burpee. Finally, the Jabra Sport Pulse are a multi-tasking wonder and are the world’s first stereo earbuds with a built-in biometric heart rate monitor. Used with the Jabra Sport Life app, you can plan, track and evaluate your workouts.

Problem: No where to stash your keys

Solution: FlipBelt

FlipItStack

I’m guessing you aren’t exercising in bulky sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt. I’m guessing you’ve got yourself a pair of cute leggings or shorts and a stretchy workout top with interesting straps or piping that shows off your best parts while keeping everything where it should be. This is all great – except when you’re trying to figure out a place to stash your keys, lip balm or phone. With the FlipBelt, you can keep your exercise essentials close at hand without sacrificing your sleek outfit. Slip your essentials into the pocket and then flip it over to keep them secure. Simple, sleek and easy to color coordinate with your workout wear.

Problem: You like to run at night…and get really thirsty.

Solution: GoMotion Synergy Hydration LightVest

01_Synergy_Bladder

This do-it-all vest has everything you need. A lightweight design that won’t weigh you down. A 1.0 L water bladder to keep you hydrated. Bungee storage straps to store your layers. A three level, 100 lumen LED light to help you see the trail ahead as well as reflective trim and dual flashing LED tail lights to ensure you’re visible to cars around you. Just add your favorite pair of kicks and some motivation.

 What are your favorite fitness gadgets?
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