Author: Kate Etue

This app lets you check out library books on your tablet. Free. From home. Yes!

I love the feeling of being surrounded by stacks and stacks of actual old-fashioned books at my local library. But, I also love that they’re embracing all the amazing new technology that has huge benefits for busy parents like me, who are still emphatic that our kids read as much as possible. That’s where the new hoopla digital app comes in. Let’s just say, life for readers is about to get soooo much easier. With the hoopla app, you can access your local library’s entire collection of ebooks, audiobooks, and even music, movies and television shows to download or stream right...

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Our smart tech tip for finding designer shoes at a great price

As a mom of four kids, my budget for designer shoes is…not as robust as some. But, I recently discovered a new site called Purcado, which is like Kayak for shoes, that might change that. You can enter the designer or brand you’re looking for, and it will search across different retailers — like Zappos, Nordstrom, and Foot Locker — to find you the beset deal on what you’re looking for. Add some of our favorite Chrome extensions for saving money to it too, and you’ll come out with some pretty great deals on shoes for your whole family. CMT is an...

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Facebook Fundraisers: Ask for donations to your cause, right in your News Feed

There’s a new option in the online fundraising world that’s going to make giving so convenient because it’s right in your Facebook feed. Yes, it’s true! Facebook has added the capability for any user to start a personal fundraiser on Facebook for themselves, a friend, or even an event or person who’s not on Facebook. To start your own fundraiser, go to the Facebook Fundraisers page, or tap the menu icon and select Fundraisers on the mobile app. (You don’t even need to update the app; it’s just magically there. Facebook, you get us.) Click or tap on the blue box that says Raise Money...

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3 helpful group gift websites that make the process so much easier

We’re coming up end-of-the-year gifts for teachers, grads, and coaches over the next month, plus Father’s Day, which often means lots of group gifts. And as you might have experienced, chasing people down and keeping track of everyone’s money (all year long) can be a huge pain. But this is the 21st century! You can do this all digitally now! Here, 3 group gift websites that might just help you put the joy back into the giving. At least, the kind that involves lots of different people.   Related: The best teacher gift ideas, from people who actually know: teachers!...

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Turn any water bottle into a smart water bottle with Ulla

Recently we’ve seen a lot of smart hydration tech options come onto the market lately. A few months ago, I tried out the Hidrate Spark smart water bottle, and I liked the way it subtly reminded me to take a sip of H2O and tracked my progress in its app. So, I was very curious about the new, much-less expensive Ulla intelligent hydration reminder which I purchased to test out. Unlike smart water bottles that have a tracking device built into them, the Ulla is simply a silicone band with a clip-on tracker that you can attach to any water bottle. Whenever 40 minutes goes by without you taking a drink, the...

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Stack app: The mesmerizing, beautiful free app game we can’t put down

I like to keep at least one totally mindless, just-for-fun app on my iPad for some winding-down entertainment at the end of the day. Of course, Candy Crush and 1010 have dominated recently, but I’ve just discovered the Stack app (iOS and Android). And now I’m hooked. Related: The Path to Luma: A beautiful new puzzle game app that’s free. Yay! Related: 9 of the most stunningly beautiful mobile games to add some zen to your apps Stack is both beautiful and so simple (although, I do turn the volume off — ugh). As you play the game, squares glide across...

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Houseparty app: Free video chat with multiple friends at once. Great idea, or terrible one?

Thanks to FaceTime, my kids are able to chat face-to-face with our relatives and friends around the country — something this mom is really thankful for. But, at this point FaceTime videos are still just one-on-one. That’s where the fun and free Houseparty group video chat app (iOS and Android) comes in. It allows us to all get on and video chat together every once in a while. It’s like having a party, without the dirty house to clean up when they all leave. Whoo! That said, there are some concerns those of us parenting tweens and teens with their own phones have...

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Flowers for Mother’s Day, right on her iPhone

We love to get fresh flowers for Mother’s Day, but when they’re on a new phone case, they’ll last all year long, not just a few days. So, we found 8 pretty floral phone cases, from sweet bouquets to geeky chic designs, that any mom would love. Including us! CMP is an rstyle affiliate. At top: Jane Soleil floral case | Danse de Lune at Society 6 Related: 13 amazing Mother’s Day gifts under $20 that don’t feel cheap at all Herb Garden case ($36, Rifle Paper Co) This collection of herbs, fruit, and flowers is a perfect switch for spring, and...

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The free Lab4U apps are like having a science lab right in your smart phone

For those of you with budding scientists at home, the Lab4U app collection lets kids conduct real science experiments with just their phone. No WIFI required! The collection currently features two apps, Lab4Physics app and Lab4Chemistry, both of which use the sensors on your phone (in the camera, speakers, and other hardware) to measure variables like speed, velocity, sound waves, gravity or even to calculate the concentrations of chemical solutions. To be clear, these apps aren’t educational games. They actually transform your smartphone into the scientific instruments needed to perform real experiments, with step-by-step instructions on how to complete them. Once you record your data and the results...

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10 questions parents should ask when writing a cell phone contract for kids

Last year my husband and I gifted our two older kids with their own iPod and Kindle, and along with the devices came a contract that outlined our expectations for using them. As my friends have started getting wifi-connected tablets or phones for their kids, these contracts have been a big topic of discussion. So, we’ve pooled our collective ideas to share the top 10 things to we’ve considered before writing a cell phone contract for our kids. It really does help us start on the same page with our kids when it comes to how they use tech. And having less...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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