Category: Helpful Services

The new Girl Scout STEM badges: Engineering, computer science, and robotics, oh my!

When I was a drop-out Brownie some 30-ahem years ago, my troop worked on badges like Basketry and Arts & Crafts. But now I’m kind of wishing I could go back and do it all over again because this fall, the Girl Scout organization has announced a new collection of badges for girls of all ages, all focusing on STEM. From long-term curricula that focuses on engineering, computer science, and the outdoors, to smaller-level badges that introduce robotics and mechanical engineering to girls as young as kindergarten, these are the real deal. Seriously, Girl Scouts has come a long...

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You hear that? It’s the sound of your inactive SiriusXM radio turned on, free!

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the inactive SiriusXM radio in my car was suddenly blasting Channel 78 Kids Place Live again? Well, it turns out that it wasn’t a fluke. Now through the end of May, SiriusXM has automatically turned on all inactive radios, with no strings attached. Related: Here’s how to listen to podcasts on your iPhone.  That means you can catch up on news, your favorite 90’s songs (not just me, right?), and yes, listen to the segment featuring Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas that was the impetus for their new Wow in the World podcast on...

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Big (real) news! Fake news gets easier to spot with the new Google Fact Check

It seems like an April Fool’s joke (and yes, I double checked the date on the post) but at long last, Google is taking moves to quash fake news with a new Fact Check feature in Google Search and Google News, worldwide. So basically, Google Fact Check is not itself fake news. That’s a relief. According to the recent post on the Google blog, publishers can now enable a “Fact Check” tag in Google News which will mark as news those articles that have been fact-checked by publishers and respected fact-checking organizations, like Politifact,  FactCheck.org and Snopes. It even includes fact-check sites like Climate...

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Upgrading for the holidays? Helpful services for selling or recycling your old tech

If you’re upgrading your family (or yourself) in the gadget department this holiday season,  here are several services that can help you sell or recycle your old gadgets, beyond wrapping them up for your kids that is. Which hey, isn’t such a terrible idea at all. Gazelle Gazelle has been a longtime recommendation of ours, primarily because it’s so easy to use and you can get a pretty good chunk of change back. I’m not ready to get rid of my iPhone 6 just yet, but when I looked it up on Gazelle, I can get anywhere from $170-$190 for...

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3 awesome websites for sending holiday e-cards that look just like paper cards. Except, no postage. Or trees.

We love sending out paper holiday cards and getting them in the mail. We really do! But these days, you can send gorgeous digital cards that look as fabulous as your paper cards, and save yourself a whole lot of time and money. Here, 3 websites and apps that feature beautiful holiday e-cards that anyone would be thrilled to receive. So long as they have an email box. Related: Emily McDowell’s witty greeting cards go digital. Yay! Paperless Post We’ve been longtime fans of Paperless Post, and their holiday card designs make us love them even more. Recipients will receive an...

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The holiday gift for grandparents that’s a keepsake the whole family will love

I am fortunate that my grandmother was a writer, so she took it upon herself to write all her amazing life story down for us before she passed away. Even so, I would have loved to have had StoryWorth, a service that helps you capture your loved ones’ stories and turns them into a beautiful keepsake book. Your purchase of StoryWorth, whether it’s for a special family member or maybe yourself, includes a year’s worth of weekly writing prompts in the form of email questions that your recipient answers, then sends back to StoryWorth (with the option to share...

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Personalized, handwritten cards that give the finger to the digital age. Just download the app.

Who ever thought that one day, the fine art of thoughtfully handwritten, artful notes would be considered punk?  Well, the husband-wife team behind Punk Post is who. And they are determined to bring handwriting back in the coolest way possible. Even if it’s not yours. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had my own Emily McDowell when it came to addressing my own thank you notes and cards, and that’s pretty much the gist of this smart service. Well, you won’t get her specifically, but you can have your cards — both inside and out — hand-scripted and illustrated by incredibly talented, real human artists, whose styles you...

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Emily McDowell’s witty greeting cards go digital. Yay!

The summer is birthday season in my family, with what seems like every relative born in these few months. Inevitably, I finish up wrapping a gift only to realize I forgot a card. My go-to has always been Paperless Post to send last-minute digital greetings, but the the other day when I was browsing their site, I realized they now offer cards for all occasions from Emily McDowell, one of our favorite artists, and I was thrilled. Related: How to send cool online thank-you cards   You’ll find cards for every single occasion (some you might not have even thought of), with Emily’s incredible designs always...

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5 online coding summer camps for kids that turn screen time educational

Even with school out for summer, that doesn’t mean learning has to go on vacation too. If you’ve got a computer-crazy kid who’s interested in the creativity that comes from learning to code, there are so many great resources online. You can always start with  your local youth service programs which may be offering coding camps right in your town. But if you’re looking for something a little more digital, I’ve put together some of the best online coding camps for kids of all ages.   Connected Camps Created by three women with tech backgrounds, Connected Camps offer week-long sessions for themes like Game Design,...

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Organization help: Decluttr app gives you cash for unwanted CDs, DVDs, and games. But is it worth it?

Since starting to Konmari, or “tidy,” my  home almost a year ago, I’ve found myself avoiding certain categories of stuff left to purge, like the four large bins of CDs we’ve had stored in our basement since switching all our music over to digital. But I recently discovered an app that makes it easier to part with all that media, because I actually get paid to declutter. And that’s apparently all the motivation I needed to part with them. Aptly named Decluttr, this free app for iOS and Android is so easy to use that I’ve already sent and received payment for...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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