This holiday season I’m determined to give thoughtful and kind gifts. Most websites charge crazy prices for shipping, take forever to fabricate a product and even longer to arrive.
My normal week always consists of boats, rainstorms, kids sneaking off with (and dropping) my ipad to watch Stampylongnose, and a pair of eyeglasses getting scratched from being wedged into a huge purse. While coats can get wet and glasses can easily be replaced, it’s not always as economical to replace the sacred ipad Air. She is my new baby. And yes, she might have a name. I carry an android phone, an ipod touch, an iphone and an ipad. Two out of four of these things have cracked screens, all have overheated in the sun and three have been dropped in the snow during ski trips.
Logitech must know me well because one day I opened a package and it was the new Logitech Big Bang case for ipad air. In one of the most clever PR packages I have yet received, it came with marbles, a bath mitt and toy keys for a toddler. Double take! They were daring me to put the case to the test. And my kids and I obliged.
1. I left it on the deck of a catamaran during a downpour.
2. My kids knocked it off the kitchen counter.
3. We went to the beach and dropped it in the sand.
4. In my purse, keys scratch sunglasses and poke holes in the gorgeous leather wallet, but the ipad is fine. I am happy to report that my ipad is still perfect, and the case isn’t ever coming off. I wish Logitech could make a sunglass case..
Disclosure: UrbanMommies was provided a Big Bang case for testing purposes.
We know you’ve done it: spilled flour/milk/grape jelly on your iPad while trying to follow a recipe. This Thanksgiving, spend more time on the table decor and less on futzing around with recipe books by getting technical. There are a few things you’ll need, but we guarantee you’ll become hooked. Not only will you want to spend all your time trying new things in the kitchen, but your prowess will win over the hearts and health of the family. We’ve got 6 iPad recipe apps and accessories that will make your Thanksgiving dinner easy-peasy. Ready?
1. An iPad. Not that you don’t have one already. But if you don’t (or have a hankering for the latest)… the fourth generation iPad has a gorgeous 9.7-inch Retina display perfect for viewing digital recipes and cookbooks as well as video tutorials. And with it’s advanced dual-band Wi-Fi you can download and stream content at remarkable speeds. Not that you’re watching Real Housewives while you cook or anything.
2. This is the best ever for those of you who cover your screen with ingredients. Protect your iPad with Chef Sleeve’s Disposable Sleeves. chefsleeve.com
3. Get Appy. Apps, not appetizers. These are some favourites:
a) Shopping List Free Universal (Free) Sort your items into store departments and organize your shipping trip!
b) GrocerySmart Universal (Free) Sync and share lists across multiple users and devices.
c) MealGuru iPad ($3.99) MealGuru transforms your iPad into a mobile meal planning solution capable of whipping up deliciously healthy dinner ideas for every day of the week.
d) MealBoard Universal ($2.99) MealBoard combines recipe management, meal planning, groceries and pantry management into a single app.
e) Evernote Food Universal (Free) Discover and save delicious recipes and amazing restaurants, add photos, notes and location to remember your food and experiences and share with your friends via email. Twitter and Facebook.
f) Big Oven Universal (Free) The most complete cooking tool for getting inspired and organized in the kitchen and on-the-go. Take 250,000+ recipes wherever you go.
4. Be a stand up chef. Williams-Sonoma Smart Tools Kitchen Stand for Tablets is a must have. And while you’re at it you may as well order some new Vitamix accessories, a new chef’s knife, Thanksgiving decor…..
5. No counter space? Attach your iPad directly onto the fridge with the minimalist-inspired Belkin fridge mount. Space-age.
6. Want to write down recipe modifications or create your own? Geek out with the Cube – Bluetooth Laser Projected Keyboard. (PS. It’s on sale).
We’ll also be publishing lots of hearty Thanksgiving recipes, so feel free to bookmark our recipe section on your iPad too.
As a writer for the Tech Timeout Challenge by life insurance provider Foresters, I made a huge commitment as summer began. I set off to up the ante and do a full week without technology with the whole family. Over the summer, how hard could it be? It was hard. And I am embarrassed to say that we did not succeed. We lasted 3 days. But in the process we did accomplish the original intent of the program. We sat as a family for a minimum of an hour a day for the whole summer, talking, playing board games and playing in the sand. The art of balancing technology use as a parent proved far more challenging than I expected.
So half of me feels incredible – I bonded with the kids, we talked more as a family and I realized that taking away the tech from my kids wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. But the other half is ashamed. Is it society or the high standards I place on myself that make me feel like that? Not sure. Perhaps tasking myself with the elimination of tech while I run a tech business with little time off is unrealistic. Perhaps the tech is my security blanket that allows me to hide when necessary or collect my thoughts when I go through a difficult parenting situation. Using technology
As part of our tech timeout and summer plans, I took my boys on a train to Portland. My husband was away for three weeks climbing Kilimanjaro and I was having a magical time. I taught them Crazy 8’s and Old Maid. Upon arrival we went walkabout. In a generic corner grocery we stopped to collect fruit, chips (it was vacation) and water. But then my 7 year-old went down an aisle and there, at eye-level, were at least 15 different pornographic magazines. We all stopped in our tracks. He began to cry as the lady behind the counter yelled for him not to go down that aisle. I became the lioness mother, being strict with her for having no signage or warnings. We left and I didn’t know what to say.
So I turned to my ‘tribe’. Which happens to only be accessible online. I facebooked my son’s teacher to ask how to handle it. I reached out to another friend to vent. I texted my husband in Tanzania in hopes that he may be in a freakish serviceable area. And I put the boys to bed and held them tight and it became intensely apparent that the world we live in is a different one. It is a world where tech can and should be controlled, but I’m not sure it can be removed.
I was with a few ‘Big Bang Theory’ types this week and we all reached for our phones. One mentioned that his grandmother would be laughing at us texting, but he also said that our brief sojourn into the keyboards was for the purpose of extending out interactions, increasing the size of our village and working to bring more folks to join us in person. He had a point.
1. We’re on devices too much and unless there are limits we can slide into constant use.
2. My kids get riled up by tech, and yet when it’s gone for a time they don’t notice. They become more creative, role-play and use boredom to expand their horizons.
3. To ask of myself to give up all tech for a week was unrealistic given my job, and I realized that women often set the bar very high for ourselves and feel like failures if we don’t succeed. Moderation and instincts should be given preference.
4. Placing more importance on sitting around a table and playing actual ‘games’ and talking brought me back to childhood and gave the whole family pure joy. We’ll be sticking with the games and also making sure the technology never creeps into dinners or restaurants when we are bonding as a family.
5. Technology can be used to educate your kids and research their questions or find fun things to do in person with them.
Tech isn’t the devil. But it can also be useless and addictive. I think the real challenge as families is to use it for good – to broaden our village instead of shrinking it.
Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by life insurance provider Foresters, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit www.techtimeout.com.
Some back to school iPad apps for grade school kids can help children get organized and help parents save money. Breathe…. With lessons becoming more fun and interactive, kids may find them easier and more organized than the traditional modes of learning. Some of the back to school iPad Apps for grade school kids that make school a happier place are listed below. They can help parents and children eliminate that dreadfully long listed of items required to be purchased before school starts every year, saving you not only money but your time. Feel free to add your own!
Google Drive: This is a good app for students to learn how to archive their work while also collaborating with other students on documents and spreadsheets on different school projects and notes. They can access their work in multiple places from any computer and also learn how to use the cloud.
ShowMe: A free and dynamic creation and presentation application providing an iPad app to access the ShowMe database. It allows teachers to create lessons, provide remedial assistance and references for review by students and other teachers, allowing its use across different classes and subject areas.
iHomework: Getting organized before school begins by keeping tabs on your courses, assignments, information on teachers, and preparing your to-do list. This app consists of Questia, an online library providing you with lots of readings and references. All you have to do is sync your iPad with this app.
Kno Textbooks: A great app to make your kid’s backpack lighter with more than 200,000 books to browse through at very at reasonable prices. With one click your kids can have access to flashcards and journals and get the benefit of browsing through interactive 3D models, importing PDFs, accessing email, search engines, dropbox and videos.
Evernote: This is an amazing iPad app with a free notes service with loads of features such as text recognition. We love it for organizing all forms of notes.
World Atlas 2013: This one puts the whole world in your kid’s hands, with geographical information including time zone, satellite, physical, and political maps with a zoom option, compass and country-related details.
Now we just need an app that makes their lunch every day.
With four kids in our family, there is often conflict about turns on the computer, the iPad, and the XBox. Whichever device is popular on a given day winds up with a line of three waiting children who all complain that the current player has had a long turn and Dad, could you please kick him off of the whatever? Luckily, there is an app for the iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone to help with problems such as these. Kids’ Quota can help manage time on games and other tasks.