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Can you believe this? I just learned that a few savvy shoppers are already getting their holiday shopping started! Are you one of those early, non-procrastinator types? Can’t say that I’ve ever started quite this early, but for those that do, now is the time to buy that Xbox One.

For people with an Xbox One on their holiday gift list or those that haven’t yet made the jump to the new generation of gaming, now is the time to buy an Xbox One. For one week only (Sept. 7-13), when you buy an Xbox One from participating retailers in the U.S., you’ll get a free Xbox One game of your choice. The deal includes all of the current console options, including the Xbox One Madden 15 Bundle or Forza Motorsport 5 Bundle. And the sky’s the limit for the choice of games: whether you want to lock-and-load with friends in Destiny or Titanfall, hack the planet in Watch Dogs, or hit the sports arena of your choice in Madden NFL 15 or NHL 15.

For more details on this promotion, please visit Xbox Wire and see where you can get a head start on crossing off those items on your holiday list.

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Are you an early shopper or a procrastinator? Let me know in the comments below. I want to know if there are others like me! :)

 

  

Learn a Language on the Go This Summer

Living in Los Angeles, my daughter hears half a dozen different languages when we go to the grocery store. Having grown up in another country myself, I know first hand that speaking another language allows you to understand other cultures and relate to people in a much more personal way.mommylovestech - duolingo app

With that in mind, we have chosen to teach our daughter Spanish, primarily because it’s the one language one of us (me) speaks fairly well. But even with all those years in high school and college studying grammar and memorizing vocabulary, I’m still pretty rusty.

That’s where Duolingo comes in. Available for iPhones or Androids, this app is designed to help you learn (or improve) on a lanmommylovestech - duolingo appguage, Duolingo  urrently offers five languages, with another seven on the way. You can test out of levels or start with the very basics. It’s tailored to fit wherever you’re at in your language learning, giving you practice in writing, speaking and listening. It’s a great way to make the most of those minutes you spend waiting in the doctor’s office or unwind at the end of the day while still learning. For an over-achiever like myself, it rewards you for how well you complete a level and gives you opportunities to battle other people who are learning your same language.

If you’re traveling this summer or just want to brush up on a new language, check out Duolingo  It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s shown to actually improve your language skills. What more could you ask for in an app?

–Joanna

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Joana Hyatt is the author of The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents
MY BLOG: www.joannahyatt.com
SPEAKING: www.joannahyatt.com/speaking-engagement
TWITTER: www.twitter.com/JoannaHyatt
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/joannahyatt
Based out of Los Angeles, Joanna Hyatt is a national speaker on dating, relationships and sex, and the author of The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents

 

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OK has this ever happened to you… you go to the fridge and someone (insert name of kid , roommate, husband, whomever) has drank the last bit of milk and put the empty carton back. So annoying, right?!

Well with same-day services like Amazon Fresh and apps from major grocery chains like the Von’s Delivery App
Its just like having your own personal assistant who you can order to run out and fill your grocery list.

Have you guys used any of these same day delivery services? Let me know in the comments

Make grocery shopping a breeze with #TheNew Personal Assistant. Learn more about #TheNew here: http://s.chevy.com/PLg #sponsored

CREDITS:
Actors: Joanna Hyatt, Tyree Vance
Producer: Dennis Lovelace, Maria Quiban
Production Asst: Tyree Vance

Music: Audiojungle
“Music in this video is used under license from the rights holder”

The above is a “QooL Media Studios” Production.
www.QooLMediaStudios.com

Learn more about #TheNew here: http://s.chevy.com/PLg #sponsored

  

#Ad

Meet #TheNew Keepsake. A love so strong it’s in 3D.
This is how you how you can save that precious drawing your daughter or son just drew for you. Instead of pinning it to a board where it can fall and slip under a table, why not “Print” it and put it where it belongs, right on your desk.

How have you seen life change over the years for your family when it comes to how it’s been impacted by technology we have today? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Who knows…we might take up the challenge and shoot a video of it in your honor!

Learn more about #TheNew here:http://bit.ly/yTheNew
And on our website www.MommyLovesTech.com

For all other social channels we want to use the Father’s Day hashtag: A love so strong it’s in 3D. Meet #TheNew Keepsake. Learn more about #TheNew here: http://s.chevy.com/PLg #sponsored #FathersDay

CREDITS:
Actors: Kaylynn Garcia, Ray Garcia
Producer: Dennis Lovelace, Maria Quiban
Audio: Randy Underwood
Production Asst: Miguel Salazar

Music: Audiojungle
“Music in this video is used under license from the rights holder”

Special Thanks to
Iluminode
Maker City LA

The above is a “QooL Media Studios” Production.
www.QooLMediaStudios.com

 Learn more about #TheNew here: http://s.chevy.com/PLg  #sponsored

  

I can’t believe how time flies! Yes, it’s time to make sure you (if you haven’t already) get the dad in your life a cool father’s day gift. Here’s my suggestions.

First up, the Zepp Golf:

zepp1

No matter if you’re a beginner or a semi- pro, this little sensor is sure to improve his golf game. This tiny square, which fits easily and perfectly by the way on any glove, measures and analyzes each swing. And it’s precise! measuring about 3 dimensions at about a thousand points per second.
Here’s how it works..pretty simple really.

zepp2This square attaches to your glove, you connect it via blue tooth to your mobile device…and then… watch as it analyzes your swing. Dad will *instantly see his swing from every angle and get actionable feedback instantly. It will replay your swing, tell you how to improve it, it shows you your history and compare two swings. It keeps track of your stats…and it does so much more. And of course, it has a share function so you can email, tweet, facebook and brag away your improving stats.

The Zepp Golf isn’t bad price wise…you can get one for about 149 dollars. http://www.zepp.com/buy/

jumpakOK, Forget the swiss army knife, make sure your dad is always “charged up” with the Cobra JumPack.  This charger is so cool, I want one for myself! This is a handheld rechargeable jump starter. Yes, this little thing can jump your dead car battery and lots more. In fact it can jump several cars after just one charge. It hooks up via USB so you can also charge your smartphone or laptop on the go. Not to mention light your way because this also has a built in LED light.

Pick one up from their website for about $129.95 https://www.cobra.com/products/portable-power/cobra-jumpack™  or at Amazon if you’re a prime member for a little less  http://www.amazon.com/Electronics-CPP-7500-JumPack-Portable/dp/B00IZGWL1W

Next: How about The Reversible Tie from Ties.com.

TieThis is such a fabulous idea. You know, most Dads need all the help they can get when it comes to fashion.  And if they do a lot of traveling…this is perfect! 2 in one! One side is a very classic stripe and the other a pattern. My suggestion is get the pink or purple. It’s really chic. And of course, blue, black and red are classics so any one of these will be great. And at $22 bucks per silk tie, heck get him one of each!  http://www.ties.com/search?idfa=12Q2&srq=reversible

And lastly-  for a unique and very personalized gift. How about a Personalized Phone or Tablet Case? You can order online through CVS or walgreens .com. They vary in cost from about 25 – 60 bucks.

CVSIt’s simple to do. Start by choosing a device model, upload your pics… then plot them on the canvas style of your choice. The Order should be finished in about 5 days. If time is too tight….try same-day posters and canvas pictures. I like these a lot because, we take about a hundred photos every day, and they all live in our smart phones. You end up forgetting about them and no one ever sees them..so this is a great way to showcase and remember your special memories without having to open up a photo app!
http://www.cvsphoto.com/phone-and-tablet-cases
http://photo.walgreens.com/walgreens/pdpgifts/type=iphone_case?tab=photo_ElectronicAccessories_iPhoneCase

So there’s just a few of my gift ideas for dad. What are YOU getting dad? Let me know! I’d love to share your unique ideas with everyone else. If you haven’t already–  please subscribe to our Newsletter as well as to our YouTubeChannel.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Father’s Day!

And p.s. no- I am not getting paid to suggest the gift ideas above :)

  

Don’t let distance make a birthday any less happy. Check out the #TheNew Surprise Party.  #ad

This is how technology and video calls are letting families can celebrate birthdays and special milestones together even though they’re miles apart.

How has yours and your family’s lives changed over the years when it comes to how it’s impacted by awesome technology we have today? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Who knows…we might take up the challenge and shoot a video of it in your honor!

Learn more about #TheNew here: http://s.chevy.com/PLg #sponsored
And on our website www.MommyLovesTech.com

CREDITS:
Actors: Joanna Hyatt, Christianna Hyatt, Andrew Hyatt, John Seckel, Edna Seckel
Director/Producer: Dennis Lovelace, Maria Quiban
Audio: Randy Underwood
Production Asst: Tyree Vance

Music: GoMusic / Audiojungle.net
“Music in this video is used under license from the rights holder”

The above is a “QooL Media Studios” Production.
www.QooLMediaStudios.com

Learn more about #TheNew here: http://s.chevy.com/PLg#sponsored

  

#TheNew Maid of Honor – always by your side, no matter how far away. #Sponsored:

Coming up in the next few posts, we highlight what we think is “#TheNew” here @MommyLovesTech.
We’re participating with Chevrolet this month to showcase different ways we do things today compared to perhaps how our parents did things back in their day.

We’re following the theme of “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes MommyLovesTech with a Baby Carriage!” lol! Certainly not necessarily the only way to start a family today (nor in that order), as you know….but this new #Chevrolet campaign challenge is fun in that it got us thinking about how many ways our family activities have evolved over the years with the help of technology.

Starting with our first video, “#TheNew Maid of Honor – Always By Your Side, No Matter How Far Away”.  We love how technology and video calls are letting best friends prepare for an upcoming wedding together even though they’re miles apart.

How have you seen life change over the years for your family when it comes to how it’s been impacted by the awesome technology we have today? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Who knows…we might take up the challenge and shoot a video of it in your honor!

Learn more about #TheNew here:http://bit.ly/yTheNew
And on our website www.MommyLovesTech.com

CREDITS:
Actors: Saki Miata, Anne Selby, Alfalfa Lennon
Producer: Dennis Lovelace, Maria Quiban
Audio: Randy Underwood
Production Asst: Miguel Salazar

Music: “Feels like a Wedding Day” by Pink Zebra
“Music in this video is used under license from the rights holder”

Special Thanks to “Alfalfa Jones Dress Design Studio” at The Reef in Los Angeles.

The above is a “QooL Media Studios” Production.
www.QooLMediaStudios.com

 Learn more about #TheNew here: http://s.chevy.com/PLg  #sponsored

  

Sponsored by Cartonomy:

Do you do all the shopping for your household? Or your office? Then you know how much of a pain that can be. Today we’re checking out a new app that’s going to make that chore a lot easier and even a bit more fun!

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This is Cartonomy.com  It’s a new shopping website that will help you organize and buy everything you need,  quicker — for the different people in your house or office. Never share logins, passwords or accounts again.  Cartonomy helps groups of people like families, roommates, church organizations, or school groups shop together. So Instead of leaving you a ton of voicemail or email requests for stuff, your peeps can just logon and put items right into a cart.

Here is how it works.
Just logon to Cartonomy.com. Its free and fast to sign up. Then create a group and begin adding  friends, family &coworkers. You can also search for their name if they have already registered, or if they haven’t,  simply send them an email invite.

Groups are made up of two types of members: Admins and regular members. Admins have access to all items in the cart and can make the final purchase while regular members can only add things as requests to the cart, which the Admin can remove if they find them irrelevant or excessive.

When adding things to the cart, you have the choice to use the “+1 for me” or “+1 to share” feature. This feature allows shoppers to either privately select items that are only visible to them and the Admins, or to put items in the cart for everyone to see.

 A good tip to remember is to set an expiration date so the rest of your crew don’t forget when they have to get their orders in. yeah….This is a little bit like Amazon but not quite as overwhelming. There’s a list of all your favorite retailers in one place. You can pick just one if you prefer to get one delivery from one store or you can let Cartonomy choose the least expensive item out of all the stores around, saving you money.  Cartonomy has a long list of familiar and reliable retailers and are always adding new ones to make sure you get the best deals. It compares prices from across the web and gets you the best deal – every time.

(Parents, this way of shopping can make for less awkward moments when certain requests are too embarrassing to say out loud) And when certain requests are not quite necessities, you can easily take them out of the cart.

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When you’re done, just click purchase and voila, everyone gets the things they need without wasting any precious time. What I like about cartonomy, is it’s a great way to make sure there’s no miscommunication or doubling up on purchases.

So check it out. Why not, it’s free! An app is soon to come, but in the meantime you can always access Cartonomy’s website from any web enabled browser. From your desktop to your smartphone.  This will make shopping for your office or your family a breeze.

Let me know what you think about it and leave me some comments below. I’d like to know how you streamline shop for your home or office.

For more information:  Log on to Cartonomy.com
Twitter:  @Cartonomy
Google+:  +Cartonomy
Facebook: @Cartonomy

#SponsoredReview

  

photo 1Hello and Happy Mother’s Day 2014! It has been a wonderful morning. Woke up late and to a sweet “Happy mother’s day mommieeeee….” shriek from my 3 year old, followed by a quick call from my 27 year old.  Hubby brought my cup of tea and bouquet of colorful flowers by the side of the bed… added with mucho kisses and the TV remote control, made for a very relaxing morning for moi. PLUS, topped off with a veggie bacon and egg breakfast, my morning was complete!

Moms, if you have to work today (I’ve worked many many mother’s days in the past so I know how you feel), I’m sending you all my love and mommy power to get through it!! And if you don’t come home to the kind of relaxing day you imagined (I’ve had many of those too!) don’t despair. Know that you can ‘re-schedule’ your own mother’s day! Plan ahead and schedule your Mother’s Day on your next day off. Schedule a day at the nail salon or day spa. In L.A. there are many Korean day spas that offer 1/2-day bliss for $100 or less! A scrub and body wash, massage and steam sauna just to name a few available at all hours of the day to fit your busy schedule . If that’s out of your budget, then consider a massage school for a relaxing hour as prices are even more affordable there.  Whichever you choose, whether it’s to just get some much needed extra sleep, just remember to take some time to indulge in YOURSELF! :)

photo 2

If we didn’t have awesome moms, I swear this world would fall apart. My mom was always there for my brother & I, making us yummy meals and taking care of the house AFTER a full day’s work at her job! It amazes me how she made it all work. So if you’re a super hero mom, I salute you!

Now, I’ve got to get back to the books I’ve set out to read today! I’m daydreaming while watching HGTV. :)photo 3 Thanks for stopping by to read my blog today. #MothersDayBliss !!

 

 

 

  

The App Chick is on it this year with more than just apps. She’s got gadgets too that may just be perfect for the mom in your life!

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Check out:
The Samsung Gear Fit. It’s never been easier to stay in touch with your health goals and look great doing it. It’s more than a fitness band… the Samsung GearTM Fit is your perfect workout partner. With this device you can track your steps and monitor your heart rate. You can even check your email and texts. $199

btbtlp_icons_266Scosche boomBOTTLE. Rugged, Weatherproof, Wireless, and Portable Speaker that fits rightinside your bicycle water bottle cage. boomBOTTLE has been designed to bring entertainment to the outdoors. This wireless bluetooth media speaker is weather-proof and durable, allowing you to take your music vi
simple.b-dis-png.h47e3210a910010717f0d5ec74009f261.packrtually anywhere. $139

Fitbit One Black Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker. FitbitOne tracks your calories burned, steps taken, distance walked, and stairs climbed. It monitors your sleep cycle to help you learn how to sleep better, and at the end of the night it vibrates to gently wake you. Plus it looks cool on your wrist! $99

How are you planning for the Mom in your life? Send us your suggestions so we can share some new ideas with everyone else! Thanks!

  

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, our App Chick is back to sit down with MLT’s Joanna Hyatt to give us her suggestions on how to make mom feel extra special this year.

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First off, what Mother’s Day would be complete without flowers. Meredith says download 1800Flowers from your App Store or Google Play and send mom gifts anywhere, anytime while on the go. From beautiful flower arrangements, to chocolates and mini fruit trees, this app is truly great all year round when you’re looking to send out a quick and special delivery. So try 1800Flowers and see how quickly you can put together something special for mom.

How about sending mom the perfect card? You can do that pretty easily with the CleverCards App. Create personalized birthday and greeting cards straight from your iPhone or iPad and they’ll print and deliver them anywhere in the world. Depending on where, shipping costs can run about 2.99 – 6 bucks. For a personalized card, it’s worth it! And of course you can create and share FREE digital eCards to post to Facebook or by email and text.Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 1.56.03 PM.png

For a special and unique gift download ALL THE COOKS app and organize mom’s recipes! Just submit your favorite recipes from your tablet or phone. Allthecooks is the best place to share recipes and has a vibrant community of cooks. It’s like getting recipes from friends and neighbors!

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 1.57.33 PM.png You can easily scan through a huge number of recipes just by saying ingredients you have and discover great recipes! Use the search filters. Upload your recipe pictures and get instant love back from our community!

All these apps are free to download from your Apple iTunes Store or Google Play

1800FLOWERS
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/1-800-flowers-flowers-gifts/id457699767?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.flowers1800.androidapp2

CLEVERCARDS
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/clevercards-app-best-free/id573523591?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cleverbug

ALLTHECOOKS
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/allthecooks-recipes!-social/id585332633?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mufumbo.android.recipe.search

  

We caught up with one of our favorite celebs, Holly Robinson Peete at the AT&T store to help kick off the Autism Awareness Month #SpeakHope Campaign sponsored by AT&T. Heres the cool part….

AT&T will donate $1 to the HollyRod Foundation for each Facebook “Like” on the Speak Hope Facebook page and for each tweet or retweet that uses the hashtag #ATTSpeakHope between 4/21/14 and 6/30/14, for a minimum donation of $15,000 up to the maximum of $25,000.  Limit one Facebook “Like” per person.  See att.com/speakhope for details.

So come on people! Lets use social media for good… besides we’ve enough funny looking animal GIFs  ;)

______

 

 

Press Release

AT&T is collaborating with Holly Robinson Peete, an influential celebrity, mother to a child with autism and activist in the autism community, to launch Speak Hope, a social sharing initiative that drives donations to support Robinson Peete’s HollyRod Foundation’s Gift of Voice program.  The program offers tablets with specially-designed apps to children with autism; in essence providing them with a voice.  AT&T is committed to making technology accessible and beneficial to everyone, which is why they are proud to team up with the HollyRod Foundation on this important initiative.

Here’s how participation can help make a difference:

  • Share Stories of Success – Go to the AT&T Speak Hope Facebook page at att.com/speakhope to submit your story about how technology has made a positive impact in the life of someone living with autism for a chance to meet Holly Robinson Peete and attend the 16th Annual DesignCare Gala, which will benefit the HollyRod Foundation. You could win a VIP experience to hang out with Holly, enjoy some cocktails and walk the Red Carpet in the lively city of LA – for a good cause!
  • Drive Donations of Technology – Engage with the community by Tweeting or retweeting using the hashtag #ATTSpeakHope or “Like” the Speak Hope Facebook page and AT&T will donate $1 to the HollyRod Foundation, up to $25,000, through 6/30/14.  See att.com/speakhope for details.

 

AT&T will donate $1 to the HollyRod Foundation for each Facebook “Like” on the Speak Hope Facebook page and for each tweet or retweet that uses the hashtag #ATTSpeakHope between 4/21/14 and 6/30/14, for a minimum donation of $15,000 up to the maximum of $25,000.  Limit one Facebook “Like” per person.  See att.com/speakhope for details.

  

Budgeting Made Fun, Chic, and Effective

I’m one of the few people who gets a weird enjoyment from doing my taxes. All those little boxes to fill in on Turbo Tax, organized receipts and watching the amount we owe slowly go down (hopefully). My husband and I open a bottle of wine to try to take the sting out of it and it almost feels like a fun game. Almost.

Since we’re both freelance and don’t have a company taking our taxes out of our paycheck, my husband and I have to make sure to set aside money throughout the year for the sole purpose of paying our taxes. It may look like we have the money in the bank, but we know better than to touch it! That’s where a budget is key.

A friend recently turned me on to You Need A Budget (YNAB). Started just a year before Mint.com, YNAB seems to take a different approach to budgeting. In addition to keeping track of your expenses and showing where your money is going, YNAB wants to help you improve your financial situation and save money towards the things that really matter to you. They offer a free nine day course to help you change the way you think about money (for the better), have free classes offered at multiple times to help improve your budgeting and finance acumen, and have created a sleek software that works across your phones and computer. The design in clean and good looking, which is a bonus. If you have to work on your budget, you might as well enjoy what you’re looking at.

YNAB software does require a one-time fee of $60, though you can take any of the classes or the 9 day course for free without signing up. But they boast that the median net worth increase for YNAB users is $200 in a month, so you may find yourself making up that initial fee and more in no time. The small cost to invest may also increase the chance that you’ll actually use it. I tend to find that when I have to pay for something, I’m much more likely to make sure I actually use it!

We’ve got a whole year before taxes are due again but I know now is the time to get a jump start on organizing and tracking our expenses so that next year is a breeze. I’m planning on signing up here  with my husband for YNAB’s 34 day full-featured demo and some of the classes to see if, as they claim, it will “change my life.”

If you check out YNAB or already use it, let us know what you think! What are your favorite features?

———–

Joanna Hyatt

Author of The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents

MY BLOG: www.joannahyatt.com

SPEAKING: www.joannahyatt.com/speaking-engagements

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/JoannaHyatt

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/joannahyatt1

  

I’m a “Hyster Sister” now…

Yes, I’m baaaaaack…after a long break. If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve actually been recuperating from surgery. A pretty major one actually.  And as I write this,  today (April 4th) marks 4 weeks post op for me.  I’ve decided to sit down and let you know what’s been going on and share a wesbsite (of course!) that I found is helping me get through it. If you haven’t figured it out yet, a Hyster Sister is part of a big club of women who’s had a hysterectomy.

(ok guys, here’s where you can check out if you’re not interested in hearing about female reproductive organs getting removed!) lol, but actually on a serious note, you might want to read on because chances are you’ll have a wife, girlfriend or even a daughter that might be going through it soon enough.

Like many things in life, we don’t discuss “everything” with each other and I suppose we shouldn’t have to if we don’t feel comfortable doing it. I certainly didn’t…at least initially anyway. That’s why I’m thankful for the internet because there’s so many resources and websites available that can make you feel like you’re not alone.

Thank goodness for Hystersisters.com.  I had sooooo many questions and concerns before my surgery and there were a couple of friends at work that shared their own stories of having a hysterectomy but they didn’t really go into great detail. And after I came home from the hospital, I had even more questions, so thank goodness for Hystersisters.com.  

Now, I’m not saying this website should take the place of your doctor, because your doctor should always be there for you to ask ANY questions you might have, but having that e-community be part of your support system, well, it really helps.

Everyone heals differently and all the effects of any type of surgery, so this website helped me tremendously when it came to understanding some of the things I went through afterwards and still am.

If you or someone you know is about to or just had a hysterectomy, tell them to check this site out.  I do have to admit that it is a little bit confusing at first when you get to the home page and to find what you’re looking for…but take some extra time to look at the different tabs and you’ll find your way around soon enough. I love how it emails you your hysterectomy checkpoints. It gives you an idea of what to expect each step along the way as you prepare and recover from surgery.  I particularly appreciated the different forums too. Especially the ones that were in line with your scheduled surgery. So, instantly you have this group of women, going through the same things you are! You can ask them if they’re feeling this way or that way…it really helps!

I’m planning to go back to work at 6 weeks post op… though my doc is recommending 8. I’ve had plenty of rest, thanks to my family and I’m hoping to be close to 100% by the time I get back to work. I’ll plan to still to take it easy for quite sometime as even now, it’s still a little exhausting to be up and about for more than a few hours. I can only imagine after a full day’s work.  From what I’ve been told and also have read, many women don’t feel like themselves again for at least 6 months to a year. Physically and emotionally. So hang in there girls!

So with that, I hope you’ll be patient with me as I get back on the saddle so to speak and I will also be patient with myself.

Check out hystersisters.com. I know it helped me a lot and it just might help you too!

Aloha from the newest Hyster Sister,

Maria

 

 

  

Gus & I were invited to a party! It wasn’t just a regular party though, it was to help raise awareness when it comes to our kids’ safety. Did you know that preventable injuries are the #1 killer of kids in the U.S. and that each year a million families around the world lose a child to these injuries.

Headed to the event, I thought I already knew all the important things….but honestly I learned there were so many more dangers to be aware of. It was a good reminder for me and the rest of the parents that there’s actually so much more we can do. We learned about the right kind of car seat a child should be in when it comes to their height and weight. Firefighters were on hand to show you how to put those car seats in the right way. Helmet experts were there, home experts showing the hidden dangers at home and so much more.

So take the time today to look around the house and make sure there aren’t any hidden dangers. When you head out to the car, make sure your baby’s car seat is nice & tight. If you’re not sure, to to the nearest fire station and they’ll help you. For more information on how to make sure your kids don’t suffer from preventable injuries, check out SafeKids.org.

p.s. Let me know in the comments below if you found any wiggle room with your baby’s car seat. Firefighters told me that more than 4 out of 5 car seats they see today are improperly installed!! That’s astounding!!! Is yours?

  
 Struggling to come up with a creative date with your partner that won’t break the bank?

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HowAboutWe.com  is a site that came onto the scene a couple of years ago for singles, but recently it ramped it up with a new feature that’s making sure you stay together! If you’re not familiar with this website and app yet, you really have to check it out. Whether you’re single or a couple. There are so many awesome and creative date ideas! And many at a discounted rate. In my home town of Los Angeles, I’ve taken advantage of recent dates ranging from dance lessons to dinner for two to a paint-with-your-body canvas kit.
In addition to the deep discounts, HowAboutWe.com also offers a membership program. With this, you get a FREE monthly date.HAW 2One month it might be luxury ice cream and coffee for two, and the next, sandwiches and a drink from a local BBQ place. These perks and more are available if you sign up for $18 a month. This will get you members-only access to sold out shows and their concierge services plus a lot more. When you sign up, you’ll get the first month free so you can try everything they offer without putting out any extra dough. You can cancel it if you decide you don’t need it. No worries though, you’ll still enjoy all the perks of the regular membership, such as many of the free deals being offered and the many great date ideas. It’s currently in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, with more cities to come.

HowAboutWe.com might be just the way to spice up your dates plus get to know your city a bit better!

HAW 3Click here to sign up and get your first month free for the membership, as well as a $50 credit to apply to your first date. Finding a babysitter is on you however.  :)

What’s the most exciting date you’ve planned recently? Let me know in the comments below!

  

I often get asked the question:  “At what age should I give my children their first smartphones?”

baby-84626_640This is a great question and leads to so many more like “When should I get them their first computer? How long should I let them play video games or spend on my iPad?” etc…and most importantly “How do I make sure they stay safe Online?”

In today’s world, you can’t be too careful!

As Mindy from CuteGirlsHairstyles and I sit down to discuss some of the most important questions that face parents today, watch as we answer a viewer’s question and discuss how we try to navigate our kids and technology at home.  Personally, I have an older child and a much younger one so I literally have a second chance to correct some of the missteps I may have made the first time around when it comes to technology.

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This time, I’m definitely much more aware of what’s going on with all our gadgets and connectivity and I’m trying harder to stay a step or two ahead.  As a parent, it’s more important than ever for us to know about safety provisions and parental controls when it comes to smartphones, computer games, the internet and social media.
How do you feel about the American Pediatric Association’s recommendations on age restrictions when it comes to electronics? Do you have a different approach
when it comes to making sure your kids stay safe while surfing the interwebz?
Please share your thoughts below.
Thanks!

  

I had the chance to unbox the new G Flex by LG.  At first glance I thought this was a huge device but then again this is not unusual for many Android users these days. Upon spending a little time with the device here are some of the key points to mention about the new LG G Flex for AT&T.

First off, the major selling point is the large 6-inch curved Plastic-OLED flexible screen. It comes with a 2.1 megapixel front facing camera and a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera. On the inside, this device comes with 2gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage space. This is incredibly useful as we are in the generation of social media. The G Flex utilizes a bendable detachable USB data cable (micro as port) to charge the device.

lg-flexSecondly, the G Flex has placed the illuminated Power button at the rear of the phone, under the camera in between the volume buttons to turn the screen on and off. You can also use the KnockOn feature or double tap the center of the screen or the status bar at the top of the screen.

This device gives you the option to add apps and widgets to the home screen by touching and holding the screen down. This gives you the option at the bottom of the screen to add apps, widgets and wallpapers. Widgets include but not limited to: calendar, contacts, bookmarks, AT&T traffic and search. Keep in mind that if too many widgets are added, this can make the home screen look extremely crowded.
Another interesting plus that the G Flex offers is the use of multiple screens simultaneously by touching and holding down the screen. The LG G Flex Interface is very helpful to and for new users or technology deficient folks (or the technologically challenged people). Each time you turn the screen on/off it automatically gives helpful tips on how to use the phone and it’s shortcuts.

For instance, if you hold the “back” button on the front of the device (to the right of the home button) you can open two app recent apps or new ones. Another cool shortcut, you can switch order of home screen by pinching the G Flex’s screen.

The G Flex has a feature called QSlide. It allows users to view apps in a smaller window (similar to picture-in-picture on tv). Users can drag the title bar to move or drag the bottom right corner to resize the window.

One of the most necessary features from AT&T on the G Flex is the fact that the address book offers a free backup service. You can easily recover your contacts if you ever upgrade, damage or lose the device. This feature also allows users to manage their contacts online.

The G Flex also offers VuTalk. By tapping an icon users can draw and chat with registered friend in real time. This is only available on LG phones, unfortunately.
The G Flex allows users to utilize screen share let’s you share location, images and more in real time.

The AT&T G Flex offers great safety options such as:
The phone come with numbers already stored in the device like:
AT&T check bill balance
Customer service
Directory assistance
Pay my bill
Spam text reporter!
View data usage
View minutes

Users can also store ICE or Emergency Contacts (not sure what the I stands for–kanye shrug). This could be very helpful if hurt or if phone is lost.

When sending text messages, the G Flex has a function called Text link. Basically, when users tap a message bubble with a chain link icon it will recommend apps related to the message content. I imagine this feature being cool and convenient or kinda scary for some. This may ruin some relationships… Anyway Textlink allows users to add the content to their calendar, search google maps, web browser or add to note pad in the device.

The camera picks up the colors in a low light situations well. The G Flex’s camera has a very vibrant that comes with photo editor (for even better selfies…or pictures of landscapes and things). I am not a big fan of the picture quality of the images that the camera produces especially those in indoor settings.

Camera has SmartShare technology that will allow users to beam images or select a video that you wish to play. Users can do this by connecting to wifi, wifi direct*, or Bluetooth. SmartShare can share between phone to phone, phone to tablet, phone to CPU and phone to TV.

Dual window is pretty cool in theory but a little tricky to use at first, which can be a bit frustrating. But if you can get past that it can be rather useful, especially for students or folks that like or need to multitask when using their device.

Voice mate, the voice activation command feature offered in the G Flex. The name sounds a little anti-personal; wish the name was different. No biggie.
Anyway, it allows you to do the following:
Calling contacts
Settings alarms
Searching the web

One cool aspect of the voice mate is when users open it from the lock screen, it activates by saying the launch command “LG Mobile”. When the user swipes left on voice mates main screen, a view of sample commands appear. Voice mate search uses Maluuba to find local restaurants, businesses, movies, etc.

Quick remote is awesome! It turns the device into a universal remote for your television, cable box, audio, DVD, Blu ray, air conditioner and projector! This is pretty cool. You can select different rooms as well. The G Flex uses a common IR (infrared) signal remote control to make this possible.

AT&T Drive Mode:

When this app is activated it automatically answers incoming calls, texts, and emails while the vehicle is in motion.

Overall, the LG G Flex is a an awesome device that comes packed with more than enough bells and whistles to make life simpler. I definitely recommend this device for professionals, students, artists, and even mommies. The G Flex makes it easy for you to customize the phone to your needs.

- Tyree Vance

——————–

  

Every parent out there with a baby has faced that moment when they peeked in to the nursery to see if their baby was asleep, only to realize they woke them up by checking. And babies woken up before they’re ready to get up are not happy babies.

Our friends at Verizon Wireless sent over the new Belkin NetCam for me to review. The NetCam not only allows parents to keep an eye on their child via video, they can do so on their smartphone or tablet from anywhere in the world. For parents who work outside of the home, whether all day or just a meeting now and again, it’s a great way to keep an eye on whether or not your little one went down ok for a nap as well as see them when you’re away.

With the added feature of email alerts when there’s movement, the Belkin NetCam can also double as a home surveillance camera.  Click here to order a new Belkin NetCam.

-Joanna

___________________
Author of The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents

Based out of Los Angeles, Joanna Hyatt is a national speaker on dating, relationships and sex, and the author of The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents

 

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You know what I just did? I downloaded the iOS security patch for my iPhone 5!  If you have an iPhone 4 and later, iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 and later and haven’t downloaded the security patch yet that prevents hackers from getting to your device very easily, you better do it today!!!  Just make sure you’re on a private and secure wi-fi network and NOT at the local Starbucks.

I could hardly believe it when I first heard the news about how the latest generations of Apple devices had a major security flaw. All these years we’ve always been told how Apple was basically immune to hackers or different types of malware. And that hackers only got to the guys on the other platforms. Well, not anymore! And come to find out, we may have been super exposed and unprotected for a number of years!

Apple acknowledged that there was indeed a big problem last Friday saying on their website “IMPACT: An attacker with a privileged network position may capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS …

DESCRIPTION: Secure Transport failed to validate the authenticity of the connection. This issue was addressed by restoring missing validation steps.”   Here’s the page they use to address it.  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6147Frankly, it wasn’t much of a statement. A bit confusing in my opinion.

Basically it means that there’s currently an error in the encryption coding that leaves iOS users to something called “Man-in-the-middle” attacks. A Man-in-the-middle attack is one in which an attacker intercepts communications you think you’re sending to someone else while you’re logged onto an open wifi connection. This “attacker” pretends to be the website you are connecting to…transmits your communications to them acting as a proxy. Doing this all the while looking through your computer for identity and bank information etc. You are especially vulnerable to this when you’re connected to open wi-fi connections like coffee shops or hotels. So don’t use any of your iOS devices or lap tops on any open wifi connections until you’ve safely updated the security patch from a trusted and locked wifi account.

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Here’s how to update your devices:

1. Tap “Settings.”

2. Then, Tap “Software Update.”

3. Click “Download and Install” to continue.

4. A “Terms and Conditions” window opens. After reading it (or completely glossing over it), tap “Agree” to download.

5. It takes about 3 minutes to download and update.  Your  device will auto-reboot to install the updat

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e. Please remember to keep your operating system up to date.

You should definitely do the same for your lap top. Go to the Apple drop down menu on the upper left hand corner. Select “Software Update”.  And while you’re at it, if you’ve got an Apple TV, update that software too.

 

34This was a little bit of an eye opener for me. I’ve always taken the security I thought I had on my apple devices for granted. I didn’t really ever think twice about connecting to a public wifi signal at the airport or anywhere else while traveling. Although I’ve downloaded the software security update, I think I’ll be using my own secured hotspot from now on, whenever I’m out and about.

Have you downloaded your patch yet? If so, how do you feel about your apple device now that you know it wasn’t as safe and secure as you thought it was? How do you keep your devices safe from hackers? I wanna know what you think, so leave me your comments below.

Thanks!