Author: Kristen Chase

Penultimate brings paper and pen into the 21st Century

As much as I love my iPad, I still use good old paper and pen to jot down notes to myself and make to-do lists, because it’s just way faster than me clicking away on a tablet keyboard. But all that has changed since I started using Penultimate, which just so happens to be on sale right now. A quick download and a few instructions later, you and your kids will have a blast with Penultimate, a cool app that allows you to take notes, sketch drawings, or do whatever else you’d usually do with pen and paper but...

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3 cool tech gadgets and apps for the Tinkerbell half marathon (cheer me on!)

As part of our fitness resolutions, Julie Marsh (our awesome VP of Operations) and I have been training for a series of races this year. So imagine how excited we were when Disney Sports invited us to participate in the newest race: The Tinkerbell Half Marathon. Along with tapering our runs and finishing up our costumes (they’re hilarious), we’re also on the lookout for some cool tech gadgets and apps to help make our experience extra smooth. Here are three fitness gadgets that we’ll definitely have on us during the race, that can make any runner’s journey smoother. 1....

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Lesson learned from the Zappos hackers: Make strong passwords!

Many of you, like us, received an email from Zappos yesterday asking you to reset your password due to a security breach. And after determining that the email wasn’t phishing spam (thanks, Twitter!), I headed to the Zappos site, clicked the “reset password” button and changed it immediately. Thanks to Zappos’ vigilance and swift attention to the problem, they did a great job alerting customers, being responsive on Twitter, and made changing passwords pretty simple. (At least for US users.) They also assure us that the database where credit card info is stored was not compromised. That said, something like...

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Belkin Mini Surge: The ultimate travel charger

If you’ve done any sort of traveling, then you know how tough it can be to find enough outlets to charge all your gadgets in the airport and in your hotel room. I’ll have my laptop plugged in at the desk, then my phone and tablet in the bathroom, which definitely isn’t the safest option. That’s why I’m so glad I found this smart new gadget from Belkin. The Mini Surge with USB charger protects your computer and lets you charge your phones, PDAs, or MP3s. You get room to charge up to 3 devices as well as 2 USB outlets....

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Join the circus

In my experience with iPad apps over the last couple of years, I’ve learned that sometimes the simplest apps are the most entertaining and educational. And that’s exactly how I’d describe this adorable new parent-created app for preschoolers and toddlers. I guess that’s why my kids can’t stop playing it? It’s pretty clear that Oddballz at the Circus was created by parents because it’s got everything you’d want in an app for your littler kiddos, and nothing you don’t. (No in-app purchases, hooray!) The object is to swipe the different parts of each adorable, illustrated character–head, body and legs–until...

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5 ways you’ll be wowed by technology at Universal Orlando

My family and I were beyond thrilled to be invited to experience Universal Orlando for a week, and were nothing short of amazed at how cutting-edge technology is such an integral part of both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. It’s no surprise that the parks are such a tech spectacle given that they were built by the same Hollywood folks behind some of the biggest blockbuster movies. (Hello, Spielberg.)Here are a few ways I found myself blown away by the use of tech at Universal Orlando–all of which you might just be able to see for yourself...

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Pump up the volume with a teeny tiny speaker

I’m not afraid to admit how excited I get when I find a cool little gadget that makes life better without blowing my budget. And that’s just what this teeny speaker (yes, that’s a speaker!) did. The X-Mini capsule speaker packs a huge punch, making them perfect for poolside, desktop, or even in your kiddo’s room. You simply charge it on your computer or netbook with the USB end, plug it into your MP3 device, and then unlock the speaker so it pops up. You’ll be as amazed as I was as to how fantastic the sound quality is...

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The Belkin Rockstar means no more headphone fights

When you’ve got kids, a headphone splitter is your best friend, particularly when you’re traveling and you’re using your smart phone or tablet to entertain them. But sometimes two isn’t enough, and that’s when the Belkin Rockstar multi headphone splitter comes in handy. This handy gadget was intended for musicians who wanted to mix music from various gadgets all at one time, but it’s just as effective as a tool for parents. You simply plug the splitter into your iPhone, iPad, or gadget of choice, and then add in up to five sets of headphones. With four kids and...

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Sing your baby to sleep with your smart phone

Even though I’m the one with a few music degrees, it just so happens that my husband is the bedtime songbird around our house. Only problem is that he travels much of the month, leaving me to try to recreate his original lullabies for each of the kids. And then we found this cool new app that lets him put the kids to sleep, even if he’s not actually here. The My Voice Baby Lullaby app is ridiculously simple to use but utterly brilliant. Just ignore the cheesy graphics and get right to the good stuff–recording your voice. Simply...

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Hands free – Music to a busy mom’s ears

I’ve definitely raised an eyebrow when I’ve seen what looks like someone talking to themselves at a restaurant, only to notice some giant bluetooth headset stuck in their ear. But with “hands-free” being the only legal option in many states for car cellphone usage, and as a mom of four who needs her hands for all sorts of things other than holding a mobile phone, I agreed to give the hands free headset from Jabra a try. The Jabra Stone bluetooth headset is far different than anything I’ve ever seen or tried, with extremely sleek over the ear styling,...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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