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Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

Lsst Minute Fathers Day Gifts Let’s face it, being a parent leaves little time to think about gifts. Yes, there are some very organized people that plan months in advance to order the perfect Father’s Day gift for their husband/Dad and organize the perfect brunch or dinner.

 

For the rest of us, there are still alternatives that you can DIY, order online or buy quickly to show the Dad in your life all the love he deserves.

 

TAKE A FAMLY PHOTO ON THE FLY: Take a special photo and frame it: There are multiple ways to print photo’s from PCs and mobile phones to home printers. So take out your phone, pocket camera or DSLR and shoot away. Cool Mom Picks posted with some great photo ideas.

 

GO SHOPPING TOGETHER ON FATHER’S DAY!  Most people don’t like to shop at brick & mortar stores, but after brunch or before dinner why not stop by a store to buy that special Dad a Father’s Day gift of his choice.

 

GIVE A COUPON FOR SPECIAL DAD TIME: Give Dad a coupon that says they get to plan a day of doing their favorite things, even if that means playing tennis with the guys..

 

ONLINE GIFT CARDS: There are so many websites that offer e-gift cards, which means a gift is a click away..

 

DONATE IN DAD’S HONOR: My husband has favorite charities so many times we include a donation to his favorite charity on Father’s Day.  Many charities offer ways to donate online – just donate and print the reciept to put in his father’s day card!

 

GET STREAMNG: What Dad does not like to be able to access his content on the go. So gifts such as Netflix if you don’t have it already, Slingbox (TV content on the go) or other streaming services make a great gift! Note: Some Smart TV’s offer Internet access to streaming services while other TV’s need hardware such as Roku, Chromecast or Amazon TV.

 

DIY DADS: A great gift for Dads that love DIY is to have a family trip to the store to pick out the materials for a project on Father’s Day. For example, pick out a few options to build a new wood backyard chair for Dad, print the materials list and put that in the Fathers Day card. My husband loves to visit Home Depot and Lowes, so doing that on Father’s Day to build a project with his family as an activity always makes him happy!

 

GIFT OF NEW TABLET OR E-READER:  Dads on the move also need to consume content so why make them look at their small phone screen all day. Microsoft, Lenovo, Samsung, Apple and other companies make great touchscreen mobile tablets.  To help choose consider their platform of choice. If Dad uses all Apple products, then an iPad may be the best fit. If Dad uses Windows then the Microsoft tablets are a great fit along with the Windows tablets made by PC manufactuers including Lenovo Yoga laptops that convert to tablet form. Android Dads have many tablet options as well including the Samsung tablets.

 

My husband asked for a tablet or E-reader, so I told him that I would research it but he could “pick it out” ON Father’s Day. My husband is looking into Amazon E-readers or tablets because he wants to read outside and also highlight passages while reading.  I told him that he can highlight text using apps or use the funtionality that the tablet offers. iPads for example allow annotations by taping and holding – then select highlight. With the Kindle you select the text and then choose the highlight button.

 

At the same time, I checked my inbox and happen to see a press outreach email summarizing the Amazon E-reader and tablet options which made researching the information much easier! I narrowed it down to the following:

 

— Kindle Voyage $199 with all-new design making it the thinnest device Amazon has ever built. Kindle Voyage uses a brand new Paperwhite display to deliver laser-quality text and images, which even matches the feel of paper, and the new adaptive front light automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on your environment. ”

 

Kindle ($79)” Smart, light and portable, the all-new Kindle is great for anyone who’s new to e-reading, including a 20% faster processor, twice the storage and a touch interface and weeks of battery life. This Kindle also includes enhanced reading features such as instant dictionary look-up, adjustable font sizes, and X-Ray, which lets readers quickly look up character information and more.”

 

Or he may just want the a tablet, so I will also show him the  Fire HDX 8.9 ($379) “…color accuracy for the most life-like screen images and first tablet with Dolby Atmos, creating a new mobile headphone experience with sound that flows around you. Fire HDX is light with an incredible battery life that lasts up to 12 hours.”  Or the Amazon Fire HD 6” and Amazon Fire HD 7 ($99 and $139) ” Each tablet features a quad-core processor, front and rear cameras, Dolby Digital audio and 1M pixel high-definition display for crisp, vivid viewing.

 

What gifts are you getting the “Dads” in your life tomorrow?

 

Holiday #Gift Ideas At @MicrosoftStore #Sponsored

Microsoft Store Holiday Gift GuideAfter countless experiences of giving my kids gifts they were asking for (even begging for), that they then abandoned after a short time – I pledged to try to buy gifts that last. During the holidays some of my favorite gift ideas (that last throughout the year) are technology devices and accessories. I was excited when SocialMoms and Microsoft asked me to participate in a sponsored blogging program to discuss holiday gift ideas at the Microsoft Store because they have such a wide range of technology devices and accessories gift ideas under one roof!

Here is a video that shows my fun adventure at the Microsoft Store checking out gifts that satisfies everyone from tech beginners to tech savvy, gamers, fashionistas, busy professionals, students and technology for the whole family.

Some of the great gifts I checked out at the store you can also check out online first, then head to the Microsoft Store to have your gift in hand for the holidays. If you don’t know exactly what they want, you can get gift cards for the Microsoft Store, XBox  or Skype. But there are also a range of phones, unique family touch enabled All-in-One desktops like the Sprout by HP, laptops like the Lenovo Yoga 2 in 1, tablets like the Surface Pro 3 Bundle or HP Stream 7 tablet (currently only $99!).
Microsoft Surface 3 Pro Bundle

 

 

All types of cases like  Brenthaven Collins Vertical Messenger Bag , Greene & Gray Device Purse  or the Knomo Foley Device Cross Body Sleeve.

 

Knomo Foley  Cross Body Device Sleeve

 

 

Wearables are another hot gift idea such as FitBit and stylish Misfit Shine that monitor activity, calories and sleep. But there are also many other app-enabled accessories to choose from!

 

Misfit Shine and Sport Band

 

Entertainment gifts such as the Jawbone Mini wireless speaker, XBox One Plus Kinect  and maybe a stocking stuffer of a new XBox Wireless controller.  “Makers” may want the gift of MakerBot-Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer that can inspire all types of creative projects or the Go Pro HERO3 to unleash video creativity on the go.  I know that my kids are asking for some new video games but I also have some on my list including the Nike + Kinect Training and Just Dance 2014!

 

Xbox 360 Chrome Series Wireless Controller

 

Don’t forget tech toys such as the remote controlled aircraft like the Parrot AR Drone2.0 that performs smartphone-controlled acrobatic tricks.

 

Parrot MiniDrones Rolling Spide

 

 

 

What are you shopping for this holiday?

 

 

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Microsoft blogging program #MSFTHoliday . The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

 

 

 

Tips To Find A Gift That Lasts

 

I look at holiday gifting not only as a time for fun gifts but also to invest in practical gifts that can be enjoyed past the holidays. On my top holiday shopping tips is to look at the full list of what you, your family and loved ones need and make sure to include those in gift lists as well.

 

For example, woodworking equipment to work on family DIY projects? How about new cooking appliances for family cooking projects? What self improvement do you and your family want to accomplish over the year?  Or does someone on your gift list want to find ways to read more, so maybe a Kindle would be a gift of reading?  One thing I hear from many people is that they need an upgrade mobile device, a great holiday fit is a new tablet or laptop (especially with all of the holiday deals!). Most of all, don’t forget to include charity in gift giving. We ask our kids to help identify charities that they want to “gift” such as Toys For Tots and many others.

 

Health and wellness are tops on the priority list not just for our family but also many of our loved ones. So we also look into that category for gifts. One gift idea is buying your family a membership to a local health club as a way to gift fitness throughout the year. Or how about gifting sports related items for loved ones who wants to take up a new sport (for example, new running sneakers)? We are also looking giving our kids a membership to the local climbing gym as a fun family activity that also involves fitness. A mom friend of mine wants to do yoga but does not have the time to attend classes, so an at-home yoga program would be a great holiday gift for her.

 

Dental health is a gift that lasts because smiles are so priceless. I am looking into a new electronic toothbrush for my husband who wants a quick and effective way to brush in the morning. We are also looking into smart toothbrushes for our kids so they can grade their own brushing (leaving mom and dad out of it!). They like anything that connects to apps so smart toothbrushes could make brushing more fun for them.  My younger son has seen my older son wearing Teen Invisalign and wants them when he is ready for them. He said it would be a gift not to wear painful metal braces!

 

What other holiday gifts do you know of that can last throughout the year?

 

Disclosure: I am a member of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board. My teen has received complimentary treatment from Align, but all opinions expressed are my own. Here is information on the Invisalign smile assessment, treatment process and how to find a Doctor.

 

 

 

#MomsWithApps And TechMamas Holiday App Gift Tips

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Moms With Apps and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

 

MomWithApps TechMamas  Gift Guide Tips

 

 

Parents and those looking for gifts for kids have so many options. But one option that will always please and is very budget friendly are the gift of apps. At the same time, there are many apps that are either not age appropriate, low quality or can rack up extra charges from in-app purchases. Moms With Apps is one of my top websites for finding high-quality apps for kids. I am excited to team up with them to share tips for giving apps as holiday gifts.

 

Mom With App Top 5 Holiday App Gift Tips  :

 

1. Choose an App that will Top their Gift List:  It’s important to know what you and your child want from an app before downloading. When it comes to educational content, what exactly do you want your kids to learn? Letters? Math? Problem-solving skills? Secondly, what interests your child? Is it all about trucks these days? Or maybe they can’t get enough of farm animals. With Moms With Apps, parents can search for trustworthy apps in a variety of different subject areas, including science, math, reading and critical thinking.

 

2. Give the Gift of a Social Experience: Apps can teach kids how to be social. In fact, in a recent survey of more than 450 parents, 96% of parents believe that apps are beneficial to their child’s development. Look for an app that’s age-appropriate and engaging for the recipient. With a carefully selected app, children can interact with people online in a safe and fun way.

 

3. Pick with Privacy in Mind: App privacy is a huge concern for parents. A Federal Trade Commission report released earlier this year says close to 60 percent of apps designed for children collect and share personal information — and only 11 percent tell you they are actually doing it!  The great news is that there are many apps that are created with your children’s privacy in mind; you just need to know where to look. Moms With Apps only features developers who are committed to high standards for protecting kids’ privacy and disclose their policies in a clear and concise way.

 

4. Avoid the Gift that Keeps on Giving: How many of us have discovered that our children have made purchases within an app without our knowledge? Some free apps hook children with extra purchases to get extra features or to get to other levels in the game. Make sure you avoid this unpleasant surprise by reading all about the app and understanding whether “upgrades” are necessary to access certain aspects of the game.

 

5. Choose an App that Works in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: So what does this app need to work? Internet access? Battery power? Nimble thumbs? Think about whether “airplane mode” is important to you–do you need this app to function when you’re on the road or in the air and without Wi-Fi? Moms With Apps allows parents to search for apps that function in without an Internet connection, among other requirements.

 

TechMamas Top 5 Holiday App Gift Tips:

 

1. Buy Gift Cards To Set Budget: You can give gift cards such as iTunes, Google Play or Windows App Store to the kids on your gift list. For your own kids you can sit down together to decide on what apps they want to buy with the gift card ($10  for example). That discussion can help them understand the concept of setting budgets for buying apps. No matter how your kids buy apps, it is important (as mentioned above) to either not share the passwords if your kids are using devices with your accounts or if they have their own to not attach a credit card to the account.

 

2. Set Account Restrictions: All app stores offer the ability to have password verification before app purchases, but sometimes kids can guess passwords. That is why it is important to review and set account restrictions or parental controls for all mobile devices used for kids. In iTunes you can set a pin for account restrictions and turn in-app purchases to “off”. In Google Play you can filter content to settings such as “E” for everyone and set notifications to notify you by email of all purchases. Windows devices have parental controls.

 

3. Play Apps Together:  No matter how much I know about choosing apps, at times I find an app that looked good but then ends up either low quality, pushes in-app purchases as mentioned above or does not deliver on what the app described in the app store. One way to make sure you are finding good quality apps is to check out the apps vetted on Mom With Apps. Another way is to play the app with your child the first time they use it or even play it on your own.

 

 

4. Show Your Kids Creative Apps as Well as Games: Many kids know all about game and educational apps, but there are also creative apps. For a child who loves playing music, recommend a music making app. For kids that love WATCHING videos, suggest movie editing apps so they can make and edit their own videos (such as stop motion animation videos). Show your kids how to produce entertainment content instead of just consuming it.

 

5. App Accessories: When looking for giving apps as gifts consider adding accessories such as stylus brushes for painting on touchscreen devices or music digital interfaces that connect electric instruments to iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac/PC.

 

 

If you want to find out more tips, please join in the #MomsWithApps Twitter Party 12/3 12pm EST/9am PST.

 

Details

What: With more than one million apps to choose from, it can be hard to find the trustworthy apps that you know upfront your kids will learn from and enjoy. That’s where Moms With Apps comes in! Moms with Apps gives parents the power to choose the best apps for their kids. Their site features more than 285 developers and 885 apps that maintain high standards for protecting kids’ privacy, and allows you to filter by criteria like whether the app has advertising or works without an internet connection. It’s now easy to know what’s inside every app before you hit download!

 

Moms With Apps conducted a survey of more than 450 parents to get their thoughts on selecting apps with kids. We’ll be sharing their findings with you during this party! 

 

When: Wednesday, December 3 at 12 p.m. ET 

 

Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #MomsWithApps hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Vite: http://vite.io/themotherhood 

 

Hashtag: #MomsWithApps

 

Prizes: We will be giving away five prizes during this Twitter party to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Each prize includes a $50 Visa Gift card. Prizes limited to U.S. participants only.  

 

Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann

Co-hosts: @techsavvymama, @jessicamcfadd, @WellConnectdMom, @techmama, @melissanorthway, @littletechgirl, @daddymojo, @MamaDweeb

 

 

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Moms With Apps and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

Give the Gift of Giving Back #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday

 

Every Christmas Eve we have a family tradition that means the more to us then any gifts: cooking for a local homeless shelter. We work as a family to peel, cut and cook our famous sweet potato casserole (with pineapples and cinnamon) in big containers that we take over while still hot. We have a group that works together serving and the others cooking.  It is a family activity that we do together and our sons get the gift of learning to give back to their community. We also make decisions on what charities we give to as another family activity.

 

With all the focus on holiday gift shopping it is important to take a break to think about ways you can give back this holiday season.  Today is Giving Tuesday and many organizations and individuals are sharing how they are giving back. Here are some posts with links highlighting their favorite charities.

 

MommyPoppins is having a virtual food drive.

 

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations discussed the Shot@Life Campaign. The One Campaign also shares information about the Shot@Life and other important initiatives.

 

Estelle Sobel Erasmus shared a list of 54 writer’s charities on the Huffington Post.

 

Cool Mom Picks discussed Family Volunteer Opportunities.

 

MomTrends shared thoughts on putting joy in the season by giving.

 

#TeamBlogalicious shared their favorite picks from Giving Tuesday.

 

Jessica Shyba (@mommasgonecity #theoandbeau) has an adorable book “Naptime With Theo and Beau” and is donating proceeds to the Santa Cruz SPCA.

 

Glennia Campbell shared information about Advocates For Youth.

 

TechSavvyMama discussed Gifts that Give back for the holidays.

 

Jim Higley discussed #‎HelpCampKesem‬ to help youths with Cancer.

 

 

Please share charities that you support during the holidays!