While tax time makes you do a hard look at your spending habits and swimsuit season can help us realize we’ve been light on kale servings, there has been little impetus in my family to check our technology usage. A bank balance or a scale can provide some hard data to allow us to analyze and then change habits, and now, the Shaw BlueCurve Gateway modem and Home app allow us to do this with device usage. It just can’t make you eat more veggies!
Toys!!!! My problem in choosing toys is that I want them all! It takes me forever to select gifts like this when I just want to keep playing. Here are some of my favourite hot holiday toy picks:
Anyone else play Pokemon Go as soon as the kids are at school and text the photos of the epic Pokemon you caught while you are traveling? I didn’t think so. In case you like electric types as much as we do, there are a few fun things on our Pokemon gift list.
I have two boys and very real concerns (read: I’m petrified) about their entry into the digital space. While I haven’t been one of the parents who refrained from submitting the kids’ photos or names into cyberspace, I am one of the last hold-outs for allowing them an instagram account. There’s also been a significant amount of avoidance about when they can get cell phones. After a lavish essay about why instagram is a good thing, our older child was awarded his own profile, with very strict rules and unlimited access by me. As I now venture into parenting kids who will eventually own a mobile phone, a roundup of parental control apps is in order.
My kids are going back to school next week and I know, as always, there will be a period of adjustment while we get used to the new routine. And with my oldest off to Grade 6 and the increased independence that entails—it’s not just the kids who will take a while to adjust to the new world order. With a home that’s on a busy street in a big city and a new routine and, safety is a big concern for me, so when I was offered an opportunity to review the Netatmo Welcome Camera, I jumped at the chance.
Living near a large city has its perks; there is always something fun happening, indoors and out, and going into the city is a great way to spend the day together as a family. I know that’s how I should feel, but for years I didn’t. I work in that same big city, and couldn’t wait to get home to my suburban life at the end of the day. It’s not because I don’t love the city; I do. It’s not because I don’t know about all of the amazing sights, events, and activities the city has to offer either, and it’s not because we don’t have a pretty reliable transportation system to get us there.
I love it when I’m testing out a highly educational app and my sons both stand watching behind me in awe, before grabbing the phone so that they can play it themselves. Flip4Gold is a free dice app (actually reminiscent of a bar game that I played for hours at a beach bar in Belize!) that reinforces math skills for kids… and adults. There are two levels of the game – a Jr. version for 5-7 year olds (which is also available for android), and the original, which my 8 year old loves and I found myself playing for hours.
I am a tradition-a-holic. From a very young age, I have been addicted to the traditions that surround each holiday. Meticulously sorting Halloween candy with my brother, reading holiday-themed books with family, piling into a vehicle with friends to go on a Christmas light tour, and hand-decorating Valentine’s Day cards for classmates. Traditions are an integral part of each holiday and they are what evoke feelings of nostalgia, comfort, and most of all connection with each other.
There are few treats in life as precious as a photograph that communicates instantly with a viewer, and Annie Griffiths does this with every shot. One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, Griffiths has photographed in more than a hundred countries during her illustrious career.
Keep your family safe online. Get great savings on Net Nanny products! The Family Protection Pass is a software bundle for families with Android devices and Mac and Windows computers. In essence, you get the award-winning security of Net Nanny on all devices in your home—for one low price.
The Family Protection Pass is available in two options:
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* This is an exclusive offer and can’t be combined with other offers.
And, with each Family Protection Pass, you’ll also get a free, one-year license of Net Nanny Social ($19.99 value). With Net Nanny Social, parents can monitor a teen’s friends, pictures, and comments on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn.
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