Posts Tagged ‘
Friday, April 5th, 2013
Stylish and versatile bags that do double duty as a bag to carry professionally and personally are true treasures. Gone are the days of the dedicated diaper bag. Today’s mom wants a multitasking bag that that can function as a diaper bag when the kids are little but grow with them and her. From a day of meetings to a day off at the park, here are four must-have bags for any mom to consider.
Holly Aiken bags are somewhat of a legend in North Carolina where they are designed and built. Charlotte area native, Lisa Frame who blogs at Daily Pinch speaks highly of her large Turbo in the Paspartou pattern. “My Holly Aiken bag is stylish, yet functional. I use it for everyday, as well as for work. It will hold a MacBook Pro, 2 video cameras, an iPad, a Kindle Fire and my camera, not counting my makeup kit, wallet, and iPhone without straining. I’ve had my bag for three years and it still looks like it’s brand new and I wouldn’t trade it for another.” The large Turbo measures 12” high x 16” wide x 5” deep with a 12” strap drop is roomy, comfortable to carry, and made of durable vinyl that wipes clean, making it look as new as the day you got it.
Founded in 2008 and based in San Francisco, Rock Flower Paper bags feature gorgeous patterns that range from subtle to bold nature themes, are affordably priced, and well made for every day use. The Weekender Tote line is a new favorite of mine thanks to a roomy interior measuring 14” x 16” x 9” that provides room for clothes and a laptop in a sleeve and has a zipper to keep everything inside during your travels. Features abound to keep you organized on the go. There are organizational pockets inside and out and the option of wearing the shoulder strap or carrying it by the handles provides versatility. The all cotton bag has a water resistant lining for easy cleaning, making it great for carrying to work, the park, the beach, on family trips, and wherever life’s journeys take you.
J.J. Cole bags are commonly found in baby product stores but Thien Kim Lam from I’m Not the Nanny is on her third bag from the company. She loves the gorgeous prints that they come in and the spacious interior. “It’s roomy and has plenty of pockets which come in handy when you’re carrying around a myriad of baby gear and your wallet, keys, lipstick, etc.” Lam currently carries the J.J. Cole Caprice tote in Vintage Poppy that allows her to “fit my basic things like my wallet, keys, camera, a diapers, a change of clothes for Jaxson and still have room to stuff in my current book and my iPad with room to spare. ”
Best known for high quality travel products, Eagle Creek Travel Gear Emersen Daypack isn’t really a backpack at all. It’s a stylish shoulder bag that is great for travel, for commuters to use during their daily commutes, and even as a tote when you’re with the kids. As with all Eagle Creek products, organizational features abound in this bag. There are interior pockets for your smartphone, pens, and zippered pockets to hold keys and other small items. A toggle closure secures your computer inside a padded compartment that is generously sized to fit a 17” laptop.
Happy Young Beautiful Woman Looking At Hand Bag via Shutterstock
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Preschoolers are always clamoring for our digital devices, but in the name of maintaining a healthy balance between imaginative play, outdoor time, and screen time, gift them with some toys that will exercise their mind, imagination, and bodies. Open-ended toys allow for endless play possibilities that preschoolers thrive on. Toys that get them moving help burn off excess energy, even in the colder winter months. Challenges for the mind help young brains develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Here are 5 toys that are well worth adding to your family’s list of must-haves.
Tegu Blocks— In our home, blocks are always being used in some sort of play from designing make believe worlds to using them for more practical things like weighing down blanket corners for a fort. Blocks are a classic toy because they provide limitless possibilities for a child’s imagination, but what if there were magnets inside your blocks to allow you to build up and out? Tegu’s eco-friendly blocks revolutionize building thanks to their magnetic nature. They stick together and make a satisfying clicking sound and attach to each other in gravity-defying ways to form structures that can be created on the floor or any magnetic surface like a metal filing cabinet in our home office or the refrigerator door. They are as much fun for the kids as they are for adults!
Perplexus Rookie— There’s something very addictive about this maze inside a sphere. Rotate the sphere to move the enclosed ball along the length of track and through obstacles in order to reach the end while practicing hand-eye coordination and spatial skills. Perplxeus Rookie features wider tracks than the Original and other models, making it a great introduction to the Perplexus line. Kids have a tendency to spend long periods of time completely engrossed in moving the ball from start to finish and often take pleasure in being better at it than the grownups in the house!
Plan Toys Play House— This darling three-story house is made with sustainable, eco-friendly wood and features a panel that divides the doll’s living space from the outside. The panel also serves as a two-sided play mat that can be a wall, roof, or garden. Parents will love that it comes with furnished with furniture for the two dolls and doesn’t require screws for assembly, while boys and girls will delight in the endless play scenarios that they can create.
Legos— This classic toy is something that you can never have enough of because of the endless play possibilities. Structures with or without doors and windows that open and close, vehicles, towers, and more! Giving the gift of Legos ensures that there are always more to add to a child’s collection.
Balance Bike— Riding a bike is hard but not if the skills involved are broken down into manageable tasks. Since learning to ride a bike involves mastering the tricky art of balance and learning to pedal and brake, Balance Bikes are great for giving preschoolers a head start in learning the fine art of balancing on two wheels so they can move right to riding a bike sans training wheels. Look for quality brands such as balance bikes from Skuut and Like A Bike so they will last well beyond your first child for siblings and even be passed down to cousins.
Little girl with gift box via Shutterstock
Friday, June 8th, 2012
Father’s Day is next Sunday and if you’re at a loss as to what to get your gadget loving guy, here are 5 suggestions that are cool, yet practical, and are sure to delight Dad on his special day.
Eye-Fi Mobile X2— Go wireless when it comes to photos with the newest Eye-Fi card, the Mobile X2. The Mobile X2 automatically and wirelessly transfers photos directly from your camera to the device of your choice, such as your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. It takes mere minutes to set up Mobile X2 to work with your home wireless connection and upload pictures. The Endless Memory feature is a welcome addition for anyone who loves to take photos but frequently fills up their memory cards. Endless Memory automatically creates space for new images so you never have to see the memory full message or scroll through previous shots, deleting ones as you go in order to create more room.
Dyson DC-41— For a guy who helps out with housework and appreciates innovative engineering and great design, Dyson is the way to go. Despite its intimidating appearance, it’s actually quite light and easy to maneuver. The DC-41 is made of materials that are used for strength and durability while the Ball that is a prominent design feature, makes it easy to maneuver around furniture and corners. Engineer-types will also appreciate that the Ball is also the place where the motor, ducting, valves and the stand are located. Designed for hard wood floors and also carpeted surfaces, the DC-41 has an adjustable head that actually creates a seal to provide the highest suction power through the Radical Root Cyclone™. Long bristles penetrate deep into carpet to remove ground-in dirt and pet hair while shorter bristles sweep the carpet top to remove surface dust. Allergy sufferers who are sensitive to microscopic particles of dust, pollen, and mold will appreciate that the design includes a mesh shroud that helps separate large debris. The inner cyclones generate powerful centrifugal forces to extract and capture particles while purifying the air.
Leather Bluetooth iPad 2 or 3 Case from Hammerhead— Hammerhead cases are made of soft pebbled leather (red or black), feature a Bluetooth keyboard, and come with a stylus. The beauty of the Hammerhead case is the removable keyboard. Most cases with keyboards have fixed keyboards but the Hammerhead keyboard can be removed and reattached thanks to Velcro on the back side, providing the ability to use it inside or outside of the case at a range of 30 feet. Velcro also allows the iPad to be positioned at multiple angles, allowing for the most comfortable viewing of the screen. Pairing the keyboard to your iPad is easy. The lithium ion battery provides 6-8 hours of keyboard usability and recharges via included USB cable.
Sonos Play 3 — The streaming audio player gives you instant access to your digital music library and streaming internet audio settings from anywhere in your house. It plays music from your home PCs and Macs, and also has the ability to stream internet radio and music from many of the popular online music services, including Last.fm, Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, Spotify, iheartradio, and more. The Play 3 connects to your home internet connection via Ethernet, or an optional wireless bridge. Once you have one Sonos unit in the house, they have the ability to communicate between themselves and form a wireless mesh network, extending their range. If you have multiple units, you can play the same music around your entire home. The Sonos streaming music player provides high quality speakers and a great user interface for listening to your digital music collection or tapping into the Internet’s vast assortment of streaming audio.
BlackBerry PlayBook — Die hard Blackberry users will appreciate the 7” PlayBook running the new 2.0 OS with either 16 GB or 32 GB of storage. The interface allows BlackBerry devices to connect seamlessly thanks to the BlackBerry Bridge. Using your BlackBerry ID, information stored on your smartphone immediately synchs with your PlayBook and vice versa. The design of the tablet is sleek, with more square sides than other tablets on the market, and features a crisp screen, two HD 1080p video cameras (for front and rear facing picture taking capabilities), and 1GB of RAM.
Happy family with big gift box via Shutterstock
Categories: Must Read, Tech Savvy Parents | Tags: BlackBerry, digital camera, Father's Day, gadgets, gifts, iPad case, music, Sonos, streaming audio, tablet
Friday, May 11th, 2012
We’re getting down to the wire for Mother’s Day gifts but sometimes the best gift is one that will truly surprise, delight, and be useful all at the same time. Here are 5 of my favorite tech accessories that I’d love to give and receive this year.
Go hands free with the Jawbone ERA. Bluetooth headsets keep getting better thanks to improved technology. Jawbone ERA features stunning audio quality thanks to a 25% larger speaker that provides HD quality sound whether taking calls or listening to favorite songs. Caller ID that identifies callers by name in a non-robotic voice and smart NoiseAssassin 3.0 technology kills background noise and adjusts the volume on both the calling and receiving end. A built-in accelerometer allows users to shake the ERA to pair it with their phone or simply tap it to answer a phone call. High tech meets high function in a great gift that’s a must have for moms who need to stay in touch in a safe and hands-free way.
Let her take calls in a whimsical way with Pop Phone. Pop Phone is a retro handset complete with a curly cord that plugs into the headphone jack on mom’s smartphone. This retro device is not hands free, nor is it Bluetooth enabled, but it is sure to turn heads and start conversations wherever she goes as long as she doesn’t talk and drive while using it.
Decorate her desk with The VTech Retro Phone ($59.95, Model #LS6195). It may look a little old school but the high tech version of the phone reminiscent of yesteryear features a cordless handset with a 500 foot range, caller ID storage of the past 50 calls, digitized and encrypted calls to reduce identity theft and discourage anyone from listening in, last 10 number redial, eco-mode that optimizes battery performance, digital answering system, backlit keypad, and more!
Cut the cord and go wireless. Since everything is wireless these days, give her a mouse that suits her personality. The Logitech Global Graffiti prints found in the M325 and M310 wireless mice incorporate the hottest local trends and fashions while fitting comfortably in the palm on one’s hand thanks to the ergonomic design making them a great tech accessory. If mom prefers solids to prints, Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 come in limited edition colors that are sure to put a smile on her face.
Add a little more bling to her day with Hello Kitty Earbuds. These comfortable earbuds are sparkly, fun, and feature volume control right on the cord to work with her MP3 player, iPod, iPhone, and computer and are sure to stand out even in the deepest depths of her bag.
Friday, May 4th, 2012
Moms always work hard to create family memories so this Mother’s Day, create some special memories from her. Custom photobooks, cards, and digital gadgets for preserving memories will be treasured. Here are just a few of my favorites.
Highlight the important memories with mom in a custom photo book from Snapfish. Snapfish’s service is so easy to use that even your kids can help in the creation. Upload photos and let them drag and drop them into place, add text, and custom backgrounds to make a special gift that she’ll treasure.
Send mom an individualized greeting card with the new Treat by Shutterfly. With over 4,500 fully customizable card designs, including 300 from Hallmark, users can create personalized cards using personal photos and custom messages in only minutes. Cards range from $1.99-2.99 each but for a limited time, every new customer gets their first card for free. Order before May 8 for Mother’s Day delivery.
Capture precious memories with a compact DSLR like the Olympus PM-1. Those looking to upgrade their point and shoot but don’t want the bulk of traditional DSLRs will appreciate Olympus’ PM-1 line that features compact bodies that don’t compromise on picture quality. With the ability to interchange lenses, capture close up stills or far away action shots with a zoom lens this easy to hold camera features a slim body and lightweight size compared to its competitors. Photos are crisp and built in image stabilizer helps eliminate the shakiness that is inherent when capturing video. If you’ve ever wanted to capture a still while shooting video, the Olympus PM-1 allows you to do so and also features a wide variety of cool effects. Shoot right in sepia and brighten colors as you shoot with Pop Art!
Put the power of editing in the palm of her hand with an Olympus LS-20M that is compact enough to carry in any bag to capture all of life’s amazing moments. Edit on the spot using for different filters for fun effects, stream a soccer game to a far away grandparent or a dance recital via UStream anywhere you have an internet connection, and enjoy high definition video in an amazingly small package. Controls are easy to maneuver when keeping your eye on the action but in case your hand wavers, the built in electronic image stabilizer helps eliminate the shakes. The action gets even closer with 4x digital zoom while the autofocus lens keeps images crystal clear.
Happy parents looking at a photo album via Shutterstock