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Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
This Father’s Day splurge on the gadget loving man in your life with a gift that aligns with his interests. Whether an adventurer, traveler, photographer or music lover, these six gifts are sure to delight any man.
Adventurers will appreciate the GoPro Hero 3. Some of the most incredible footage from GoPros come from extreme athletes who like to catch their best moments on the slopes, water, and air but they’re just as incredible for capturing everyday moments. The compact GoPro Hero 3 is a camera that can be worn, held, or mounted to your sporting equipment for ultimate versatility. Exceptional video quality, waterproof housing, and ability to operate it through an app makes it a fun gadget for dads who want to preserve all of life’s important moments. This incredible camera is available in-store at Target Electronics for $199 for immediate gratification.
Dads on the go will relish having a Mophie Juice Pack, Nothing is worse than being incapacitated by a dead cell phone. Make sure dad can stay in touch constantly thanks to extra juice from the Mophie Juice Pack Helium. This battery fits on Dad’s smartphone and functions like a case but fits like a glove to provide an extra charge when needed. With one cable, users can charge their smartphone and Mophie at the same time but know that your phone’s synch cable will be needed to transfer any photos on to your computer. Mophie Juice Pack is available for many model of Android phones and also iPhones. iPhone users will find a good selection at their local Apple Store while Android users can shop in store at Best Buy.
Music lovers who want to be able to listen to their favorite songs throughout the house need Sonos Play 3. Sonos Play 3 is a streaming audio player that provides instant access to your digital music library and streaming internet audio settings from anywhere in your house. Sonos pulls music from your home computers (PCs and Macs) and has the ability to stream internet radio and music from many of the popular online music services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, Spotify, and iheartradio. The real beauty of this system is the ability to expand by adding as many speakers as you want, being able to control the music you want to listen to through the free mobile app for Android and iOS, but also the exceptional sound quality that emanates from the speakers. Sonos Play 3 is available in-store at Target Electronics for $299 where it comes with a free Sonos Bridge and 90 days of Rhapsody with purchase.
Foodie Dads who love to be involved with meal prep will love the addition of a BlendTec Designer Series Blender into the kitchen. Made popular by the Will it Blend YouTube videos depicting BlendTec blenders blending anything from a pool cue, iPhones, glow sticks, and more, this series demonstrates the at-home power that can be unleashed as BlendTech’s dual blades spin, crushing anything that may get in the way. It’s the perfect appliance for whipping up a cold beverage as refreshment on a hot summer day, tasty marinades for whatever may be on the grill, and pulverizing summer’s fresh fruits into ice cream. Available through www.BlendTec.com or at some Costco Warehouse Stores.
Photo happy dads who are constantly sharing artsy pictures via Instagram will enjoy the effects from the Olloclip Lens System for iPhone 5. Simply snap the fish-eye lens over the camera of your iPhone and begin capturing panoramic-like photos with the wide angle, close ups with the macro lens, and putting a new spin on favorite subjects thanks to the fish eye. Target Electronics sells Olloclips for iPhone 4 and 5 for $69.99 each.
Frequent fliers will love the efficiency of SkyRoll On Wheels, an innovative carry-on size rolling suitcase that allows travelers to lie suits and dress clothes flat before rolling them around the outside of the bag. Not only will clothes arrive less wrinkled, but this packing system is designed to hold everything Dad needs for a short business trip. Available online through Skyroll.com.
Asian father receiving a gift from his son via Shutterstock
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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
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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
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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
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BlackBerry, digital camera, Father's Day, gadgets, gifts, iPad case, music, Sonos, streaming audio, tablet | Categories:
Must Read, Tech Savvy Parents
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.
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