Author: Kate Etue

Oyster ereader subscription: Like a Netflix for books only this time for real.

Even with the busy holiday season here, I’m bound and determined to set aside some personal time for momma to keep me sane. For me, that means reading a lot more. Like, a lot more. So I’m really excited about the ebook subscription service Oyster. We’ve reviewed other ebook services, and they all seem to be great in their own ways. What’s really impressed me with Oyster is that they have lots of books in their library that I actually want to read. Oyster charges you a monthly fee of $9.95 a month, which gives you unlimited access to their ebook library. So if you’re a...

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The best gift books from your kids are the ones they made themselves. Thanks Artkive.

We have limited storage space at home, and I’m just not able to keep every single drawing my little Picassos bring home. Or, rather, I thought I didn’t until I discovered Artkive. We’ve raved about this kids’ art storage app before, but now that the holidays are coming up, we’re excited that you can turn those works of art into the best books for your kids filled with their keepsake art, all with a few clicks. Plus we’re happy to support them today as part of Small Business Saturday. Those of you who have used Artkive know how simple...

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Consumr app: Quick, crowdsourced reviews for almost anything. Perfect for holiday shopping.

My kids have been poring through the holiday catalogs that are flooding my mailbox, circling everything they want for Christmas. Plenty of which might be junk. Since Consumr is currently the number one app for consumer reviews in the Apple store, I thought I’d try it out using my kids’ wish list to see just how valuable it can be for holiday shopping. First off, the Consumr app’s search function is super easy. You can browse through their categories, search for an item in the search box, or scan a barcode for instant feedback. I was able to find every...

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Enter the magical world of Pandora ebooks, where kids become storytellers too

When I started working in children’s publishing over a decade ago, I would never have imagined that children’s authors would be able to create an interactive book experience for kids like what Hullabalu, creators of the über-successful ebook series Pandora (not to be confused with the streaming music app) have dreamed up. Pandora ebooks are part book, part movie, and part video game. And my kids love it. Also? Free for a limited time. The phenomenally popular series starts with Pan: The Fearless Beribolt, the  tale of a happy little panda who lives in the clouds but is leaving...

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Affordable mini photo books for when you have lots to send.

Editor’s Note: Kindred Prints has changed focus from creating photo books to photo printing services for app developers. Especially as the holidays approach, I find photo books make perfect gifts for so many people. But man, they’re not always cheap. I’d love to get my pictures off my phone and send my parents a little book of the kids each month if I could, but at $20 or way more for a book, that would mean tightening my morning coffee budget—and that’s not good for anybody. So woo-hoo for Kindred Prints. They’ve simplified the photo book process and made it...

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Sony Vaio Tap 21: Possibly the most evolved tabletop PC yet

One childhood memory I can recall with amazing clarity is the morning my dad loaded us all up in our wood-paneled station wagon and drove us to  to pick up an Apple IIc. It had a whopping 128 KB of memory and an 8-inch green-on-green monitor. Wow, that makes me feel old. Let me just say the obvious—we’ve come a long way from the early 80s. Now my family uses the new Sony Vaio Tap 21 and it’s like nothing I ever dreamed of as a kid. The concept of tablet-as-desktop-computer is not new, but the Sony Vaio Tap 21 seems...

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Toymail Mailmen – The cutest of all options before kids are ready for their own cell phones.

Really young kids aren’t ready for their own cell phones yet, but we love the idea of being able to communicate remotely with our elementary age kids while they’re with a babysitter or just send them a funny message while they’re playing in their rooms. Which is why the Toymail Mailmen is about the coolest alternative to something like the dryer Voxer app. And the Mailmen looks way more fun. Developed by two smart Brooklyn women, these little guys are colorful Wi-Fi enabled plastic toys that can receive (and send back) messages to any approved contact, anywhere. So while you’re stuck at work too...

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Review: One of the best dual operating tablet around.

The problem with trying to find a tablet for kids is that many of them tend to look like, well, tablets for kids. And the thing is, no matter how amazing might be (looking at you, Nabi 2 and  Nabi Jr) I can’t convince my older kids that it’s a real tablet. They want theirs to look like mine, with a name that doesn’t sound like a cutesie kid name. So, I’m excited to have found the perfect mix of kids tablet and adult design, in the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids. Don’t let the colorful packaging and protective...

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A story app for kids that will totally make you think Flight of the Conchords

Remember playing the telephone game when we were kids? That one where you’d sit in a circle and whisper a phrase all the way around, and by the end it was nothing like the original secret? Well, now that game has had a makeover, hit the iPad, got an extra shot of coolness from Rhys Darby, and it’s great. Have You Heard? is the debut release from Yoozoo books, a kids’ app company from New Zealand–thus, the connection to Rhys Darby from Flight of the Conchords, who serves as narrator.  In fact, I’m willing to listen to this app over and...

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Style Up: Like having a free personal stylist through your computer

If you’re anything like me, your mornings are crazy–waking everybody up, making breakfast, walking the dog, packing backpacks, getting the kids dressed, and more. Sometimes it’s hard to find time to also put together a chic outfit that lets the world know you actually do care about the way you look. But now there’s a service using technology and your own email inbox to help women get out of the yoga pants and default pony tail. Sign up for StyleUp and set up a profile on their site about your style, body type, and budget (should you be looking for new clothes...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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