Author: Liz Gumbinner

9 creative kid portrait ideas that make genius Father’s Day gifts. Just add a frame!

If you missed the boat on photo gifts for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day…no, wait! You didn’t! We all live in the land of the smartphone cam, after all, and if you’ve got a camera  — especially that dandy iPhone 7S — and a place to print a photo, you’ve got what it takes for a creative kid portrait idea, that makes a wonderful surprise Father’s Day gift. Well, you’ll need the kids too, of course. Here are just a few creative kid portrait ideas for Father’s Day that we’ve seen found from incredibly talented parents around the web that...

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Gadget guy, photographer, music lover or podcast buff, we’ve got Father’s Day tech gifts for every kind of dad

We love excuses to shop for cool new tech, and we love excuses to shop for the cool dads in our lives. Put them together…and we’ve got some really creative, fun ideas for cool tech gifts for Father’s Day. Whether he’s a traveler, an adventurer, a music lover, a movie junkie, or just a guy who seems to be attached to his phone, we hope you find something here for him that he’ll love. And hey, don’t miss the rest of our 2017 Father’s Day Gift Guide which is filled with all kinds of cool gifts for all kinds...

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9 of the best educational YouTube channels for teens and tweens to help keep brains sharp this summer

There are so many cool educational channels on YouTube for tweens and teens, but I don’t think that a lot of parents think to open our YouTube app when we look for educational resources for our kids. But we should. Let’s put it this way: when I ask my kids if they want to watch a show, all hands reach for tablets. I’m always saying, “hey! I mean, on the TV! Together!” But the truth is, the videos on YouTube (and similar sites) are just how kids consume media these days. So why not blend entertainment and education when it comes to video watching? I find...

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Hot home tech design: 7 devices you never knew could be gorgeous

It’s amazing how far home tech design has come, even since we started this site six years ago. What once may have looked sleek and amazing — a baby monitor, a humidifier, even a lawnmower — now looks clunky and dated compared to what’s available to us now. Prepare for your minds to be blown by some of these designs. How wonderful to be able to beautiful our spaces so very practically. CMT is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate Related: 8 cool gadgets to make your smart homes even smarter   An air quality monitor The AWAIR Air Quality Monitor is pretty...

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How to make sure you have the right power adapter for your Mac laptop

I’m still making good use out of my trusty, late 2013 MacBook Pro, but what I’m not making good use out of is the original power adapter and cord. It frayed (as with so many Apple cords over the years, sigh) and I immediately replaced it. Only — surprise! — the Amazon seller I bought it from wasn’t honest about compatibility, forcing me to buy a Magsafe to Magsafe 2 converter tip.  Gah. Related: Everything you need to know about the new MacBook Pro The Apple power adapter styles change so often, here’s the best thing to do to find the...

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9 kinds of educational apps for kids you may not have considered

We’re all for loading up our kids’ tablets (or uh, the ones they steal from us) with apps that help keep them entertained while hopefully imparting a little more educational value than “how to shoot birds.” Especially as summer creeps closer, and with it, summer road trip plans. The thing is, when it comes to educational apps, our minds tend to go right to math and reading. But educational value can be defined so much more broadly, really opening up myriad ways for our kids to use screens to learn. So as parents who have covered a ton of our favorite educational, entertaining apps for kids on Cool...

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How to use the fun new Instagram 3-D facial filters. Wheeeee! Snapchatty

As someone who’s not on Snapchat (what? I’m old!) I admit I’m excited about the novelty of the new Instagram 3D facial filters, as anyone who follows our @CoolMomPicks Instagram Stories can tell today. I put together the quick, Cliff’s Notes version below, for you visual learners, but here’s step by step just what to do to use your fun new starter pack of 8 Instagram 3-D facial filters. Related: How to use new Facebook story. It’s like Facebook and Instagram story had a baby!   1. Be sure to update your Instagram app for iOS or Android to the May 15 release....

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Why yes, you do need this app for free last minute Mother’s Day ecards

I’m a big fan of ecards for holidays, and I have yet to find a better, easier resource for last-minute ecards than the Red Stamp app. With Mother’s Day just a day away, get on it! Surely there’s someone you’ve forgotten — a mom, stepmom, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt, best single mom friend — or just someone you want to flood with some extra love this weekend without spending a penny. In which case, you can bombard them with gorgeous, free ecards by text or email, choosing from dozens of customizable modern designs, and even uploading your own photos to many of templates. This...

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The deadly Blue Whale online suicide game targeting teens: Is it a hoax? What parents should know.

We all issued a collective gasp around here this week, reading about the online game called Blue Whale, A.K.A. The Suicide Game. And of course right away I was hoping it was a big hoax. When I checked out the details, I was kind of hoping it was some awful teen-focused version of Grand Theft Auto — but that would be a step up. In fact, it’s a more like a real life version of a Black Mirror episode. What is Blue Whale? Reportedly, teen users are asked to download the game, then perform a new task as instructed for 50 days....

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A free photo effects app that turns ordinary shots into works of art

As someone who is definitely not a pro photographer, I’m all about the photo apps that help make my snapshots…let’s say, a little more artful. That’s why the Prisma photo effects app (iOS and yes, Android) is my latest photo filter app obsession, and if you’re not yet in the fast-growing Prisma fan club, well, join us! If you’re kind of over crema, juno and inkwell, there are more than 60 filters on Prisma that can turn even an admittedly average, poorly lit photo of my daughter, above, into something resembling a Mondrian, a Monet, a Münch or a Miyazaki. And a whole lot more....

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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