Author: Betsy

Headphones that help you turn down that noise

I love music, hate earbuds. No matter how cushy I buy them they always make my ears ache after a little while. So I’ve resorted to the “headband” kind. Much, much better, but here are my complaints–one I feel dorky. Two, I can still hear all the ambient noise around me (compliments of the ladies gabbing at the table next to me while I try to work). I finally found a solution to my dilemma from the company Able Planet. These foldable noise-cancellation headphones are lightweight, have in-line volume control (meaning it’s on the cord, not the headsets so...

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3 free apps for Mother’s Day. It’s not diamonds, but it will do.

Now that we moms can practically run our lives from the palms of our hands, three of the best mom-focused apps have come together to do something nice for us for Mother’s Day–help keep us a little more organized. The free Mother’s Day App Bundle includes three of our favorite apps, each of which will leave you wondering what you ever did without one of them, let alone all of them. –Cozi, which our Editor-in-Chief Liz just raved about on CBS The Early Show, is one of my personal all-time favorites. I use it to organize my entire family’s...

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Calling it an iPad cover is a gross understatement

Every mom is a master at multi-tasking. I’ve been known to make lunch, check emails and help with homework all at the same time. So why should I expect my gadget accessories to do any less? I love this incredibly cool line of Brenthaven 5-in-1 iPad cases available on Café Press. If you’re like me and just discovering this mega-bastion of self-expression and custom design, you’re going to lose your mind. First, these cases will not only protect your iPad, but they can hold the tablet upright for viewing, tilt it for typing, have a gripper strap for easy...

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e-Cards that are so moving. Literally

Here’s a new twist on the growing market of instant e-Cards–an app that lets you customize an animated message for just about every occasion. Also? It’s free The YourCards app has a great selection of video e-cards that your children are going to flip over. Each video is about 30 seconds long, plays cute music and sound effects, and can be customized with a personalized message. Once you set up your video you can send it via email, SMS text, or post it on Facebook or Twitter. Some are very cool (I love the Ladybug Happy Birthday one which...

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An iPhone ecard app that gets it right.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that I’m supposed to jot off a thank you note before the wrapping paper hits the ground, but I usually forget. Or worse, I don’t and it just nags at me. Solution: a great instant card iPhone app that looks more fantastic than any we’ve seen before. The Red Stamp app hails from one of our long-time favorite online card shops, Red Stamp so it’s not surprising that the designs aren’t secondary to the technology. They have a stylish gallery of design templates and you can customize the message to suit the situation. From...

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The British are coming! And they’re here for your children.

Today there are tons of toddler apps that not only keep kids entertained, but also teach basic concepts like, colors, shapes and counting in ways that are a lot more engaging than my method of repeating over and over: Green ball. Three Cheerios. Hey, that’s how we rolled back in the dark ages. Take for instance the new Brit-developed Jellytoons app, which is so well designed I think it may become the gold standard for toddler apps to come. It has the look of a cool cartoon, with a classy British narrator whose voice makes everything seem instantly smarter....

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Kindermusik Radio: Like Pandora for kids

Back in the day, if you wanted to sing silly kids songs while banging a tom-tom and moving to the rhythm you had to sign up for an expensive kid’s music program. Today, well, you still have to do that. But in the age of apps like Pandora and Slacker radio, there’s also an app to help get your kids moving wherever you are. The Kindermusik Radio app gives parents access to hundreds of songs, stories and activities right on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It’s truly impressive, super easy to use, and will save you about $244.01...

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An app that motivates my kid to clean his room? I am so in.

Sure, in a perfect world my son would make his bed and clean up the minefield of LEGOS without being asked. That would be the same perfect world in which I could eat chocolate cupcakes and lose weight. But in the world in which I actually live getting my son to take care of his daily responsibilities is usually achieved by a fair amount of threatening and frustration. At least until I found the ultimate motivator. Screen Time Media Manager is an app that allows you to set up a profile for each kid, and assign a time limit...

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An app that makes it okay to pick your nose

I have a confession to make. While I was checking out the Faces iMake App for iPhone and iPad, supposedly designed for kids, I got absolutely hooked. The create-a-collage premise of the app is simple enough for a four year-old, and even a forty(something), to jump into quickly and is completely engaging. There are a bunch of different templates to get you started. Just choose a face shape, a background color, and start inventing hilarious portraits using a wide selection of everyday objects like food, toys, candy and items you find around your house. You can enlarge and rotate your objects...

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An app that makes running errands almost enjoyable. I said almost

**Please see our editors’ note below You know the drill: school drop off, supermarket, dry cleaner, bank, drugstore, repeat. Yes, it’s tedious, but at least now you can get a little credit for it. Literally. Checkpoints is a free app that gives you redeemable points for just doing the stuff you usually do anyway. And I like it. Checkpoints is sort of like Four Square meets a CVS extra-bucks card. It determines which businesses are near you at any given time, and then you start racking up the points. You can earn 2 points just for pressing the “check...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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