Author: Kate Etue

5 things you can do right now to make Facebook fun again. Or at least, tolerable.

I’m pretty sure there’s one thing most Americans can agree on: Facebook has become a tough place to be. In fact, some media outlets are declaring it “dead” as people are leaving behind the divisiveness they see in their feeds. But we don’t think you have to throw in the Facebook towel quite yet. If social media has been bumming you out lately too, try these easy tips to help make your Facebook feed fun again. Or you know, tolerable. With these small changes, it’ll be more of what you want to see, whether it’s cute photos of your friends’ babies, parenting tips and tricks (hey, follow us,...

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What parents need to know about the new LEGO Life social media app for kids

This week, LEGO launched a new social media-style app for kids called LEGO Life (iOS and Android), a free app that’s designed for kids ages 7-12 to share their LEGO creations and get ideas and inspiration for new projects to build. As much as we love LEGO, we always have reservations about anything “social media-y” for kids that young. So, we took a closer look to see exactly how it works and if it’s something you should look into for your kids. Related: Easy Internet safety tips that parents can start using right now Related: KidGuard helps parents track their kid’s online...

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Merriam-Webster’s informative (and sometimes snarky) free dictionary app

We’re getting a good laugh out of the Merriam-Webster Twitter account, and don’t we all need a good laugh, lately? If you’re not following them, you should. Also, may we suggest downloading the free Merriam-Webster dictionary app? Sure, it’s the most respected source for definitions, pronunciations, and spellings in the English language, but it also has a great (albeit, subtle) sense of humor. Or, a great jocoseness, if you will. Related: Grammar rules, even in your kitchen! Related: Grammar police: Your mugs are here! The app has a full dictionary and thesaurus with audio pronunciations, which is a great resource for checking your spelling...

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How to opt out of Family Tree Now. Because, yikes!

Online privacy is becoming harder and harder to wrangle. Remember Spokeo? Well, recently there’s been a ton of buzz about a newish site called Family Tree Now. It’s been around for a couple years, but within the last 24 hours I have heard everyone from my tech-averse baseball-mom neighbor to goofy morning radio hosts, even the Washington Post warning about the amount of personal info that is shared on this site. We took a closer look and whoa, they weren’t kidding. You’ll definitely want to check to see if your info is there, and opt out if you so choose. What is...

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Sprite Box: Code Hour is our cool free app of the week.

We love finding cool toys and apps that do a great job teaching our kids the basics of coding, since it’s a language we expect they’ll want (and need) to know when they’re adults. When they’ve got great design and fun play through too, it’s even better. The updated Sprite Box: Code Hour app (iOS and Android) has all that, plus it’s totally free. Related: 5 cool TV shows for kids that are all about STEM Related: A cool way to teach kids how to code Sprite Box, which is a new app from the makers of one of our favorite math apps Lightbot, teaches the...

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The Snow Fox: A cool, free ebook app with an extra special feature kids will love

I will always be a fan of real books I can turn the pages to read while my kids are in my lap, but there are plenty of times when a sweet, entertaining ebook on my phone is a total lifesaver, like the The Snow Fox, which we discovered this week. It’s a simple, sweet story about a child and a fox that’s beautifully illustrated, and completely free on your phone. Related: A new chat-style app that might just get kids reading more Related: Stella and the Space Bears ebook: Because we can never resist a wonderfully geeky heroine. The app starts out by...

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Hypocam app: A cool camera app for black and white photo lovers

For super cool black and white photos beyond the couple of Instagram filters you get, take a peek at the free Hypocam app (iOS and Android) that we’re loving. Related: 5 terrific pro photography tips beyond selfies Related: The new Camera+ 6: the best iOS photography app This Italian-based company has created rich filters for black-and-white photography that give your photos a professional, journalistic feel. You can shoot directly in the app with their camera tool, with real-time control over exposure, color, shadows, and more, or pull up photos from your library to edit later. The free version comes with seven filters (with...

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Christmas Lights Displays: The app that tells you who’s got the best lights in your neighborhood

One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is the night we tuck our kids in bed, sneak downstairs and make hot chocolate to go, then get them up and load in the car to drive around the city looking at Christmas lights. But the worst is loading up and not being sure where to head to first. This year, I’ve downloaded the Christmas Lights Displays app (iOS and Android), which uses GPS to pinpoint the biggest and brightest lights displays in town. Now, to hit them all before the kids fall asleep. Related: 8 fun Christmas apps for kids that they’ll still...

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Listen to music through your beanie. Congrats on winning winter.

We love finding swanky, stylish tech gifts for the men in our lives, and this year we’re swooning over this cashmere Bluetooth beanie we spotted at Neiman Marcus. Concealed, wireless headphones are built in to the hat, designed to fit over your ears, so they’ll be warm while you stream your favorite music or podcasts via Bluetooth. Not to mention the gorgeous, imported cashmere that makes it extraordinarily soft, and very upscale. Related: 11 cool audio gifts for men, whatever his style Wondering how it works? The beanie is entirely wireless and the battery lasts 6-8 hours, but it does comes with a charging...

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How a smart water bottle has really helped me drink more water. And that’s a good thing.

When we first heard about Bluetooth-enabled water bottles last year, we were a little skeptical here at Cool Mom Tech. I mean, how hard is it to just drink a glass of water, right? But when Hidrate Spark sent me one of their smart water bottles to try, I thought, why not? If nothing else, it’s a nice water bottle. So, I gave it a try for a solid week and I have to say that I’m sold. Also, peeing a lot.   Related: The coolest new wearable fitness trackers of 2016 Related: 3 free fitness apps for the not-so-fit....

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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