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Thursday
May222014

Shopping with Coupon Codes

Do you shop online? There are many different strategies and tactics that you can use to save yourself money while shopping online. There is a vast amount of businesses offering products (often the same products) for sale online. It really does pay to do some research and find the best price.

This can include coupon codes. Many businesses will offer deals and coupons on items to try and outsell their competition. I for one, always at least search for a free shipping coupon before ordering online. Some coupon codes will offer this free shipping, while others will offer a discount on a certain product or on a certain amount spent.

Using coupon codes can make shopping online more enjoyable. Not only can you shop from the convenience of your home, you can also save money using promotions that oftentimes are not offered in stores.

Two sites that offer a variety of coupon codes are the Coupon Lady Blog and Joss and Main Coupon Codes. Joss offers coupons, discounts and promo codes for both US and Canada based outlets. The Coupon Lady Blog offers discounts from a variety of markets and vendors.

Coupon codes can change often. They usually have an expiration date and promotions are changing constantly. I encourage you to bookmark your favorite sites for promo codes and visit it often for new and updated information. If you didn’t find a coupon for your item today, don’t give up, you might tomorrow.

You can save a great deal of money by making it a habit to use coupon codes whenever you purchase something online. The little extra time it takes can end up saving you your hard earned cash. What other tips do you have for saving money online? Does your shop offer promotion codes? How do you advertise them? Tell us about it in the comments!

Wednesday
May142014

Kinsights:: An advice-sharing network for parents

Are you a tech-savvy mom looking for a way to monitor your child’s health records, get relevant advice, have access to useful resources and talk with experienced parents all in one place? Kinsights is an advice-sharing network for parents and offers all of the above.

Parenting is tough! Whether you’re facing a fever or potty training, Kinsights can help you make the right decisions. They safely monitor your child’s health records, give you access to resources, useful data and most of all a community of parents who’ve been there before!

It’s a place where you can get answers to questions that are specific to you and your child. For instance, if your child has a certain food allergy, you’ll be connected to families who share that experience and can help answer your questions. You’ll be able to post note and give advice to other parents, or even journal your own experiences.

Kinsights is an online community and features groups that you can join. Groups pertain to you and foster discussions between you and other parents. You can discuss anything from allergies to local events and more.

Once you create a free account and sign in you’ll be able to ask questions of parents who have been in your shoes before. You can share your own experiences with others and you can track your own child’s health history. The site aims to let you spend more time enjoying parenthood and less time dealing with it.

You’re encouraged to post questions to the Kinsights community of parents and then you’ll get great answers in return. While you’re at it, look around at the questions other parents have asked and see if you have any helpful advice to offer them in return.

Here are just a few of the topics covered on Kinsights:

  • Health
  • Teenagers
  • Responsibility
  • Race
  • Technology
  • Activities

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Tuesday
Apr152014

Easter Gift Ideas:: Games!

The great folks at Wonder Forge recently contacted me and asked that I review a few of their new games in time for the upcoming Easter holiday. I gladly obliged. I've reviewed their products before and have always been impressed. In fact, when these two arrived my kids were jumping with joy that they had more new games to try out!

Right now, Frozen is all the rage! My kids loved seeing it at the movie theater and all of the items (custumes, toys, games, etc.) surrounding the animated movie have become very, very popular. So, of course the Disney Princess Frozen Matching Game was a hit at my house. My daughter loved it (and asked to play again and again) but my sons liked it too. You really can't go wrong with this choice, espcially if you have a little princess-lover in your life.

About the game: It’s the classic game of picture-matching, now featuring your favorite characters from Frozen! Flip over brightly colored tiles and find beautiful pictures of sisters Anna and Elsa, plus friends Kristoff, Olaf, Sven and more. What familiar faces will you see? Pick up the most matching pairs to win!

I also chose to review the Disney Planes Sky Race Game. My boys, especially my younger one, love all things that relate to planes, trains or automobiles. So, I thought this was the perfect choice and indeed it went over very well.

The game offers some more challenges than just  your basic matching game and I thought it might be a little too difficult for my toddler. However, it kept his attention pretty well and he enjoyed the 'high-flying, tricky-tossing fun!'

About the game: Fly your plane through the Wings Around the Globe Rally to win. But, watch out–flight conditions change and you’ll face surprising challenges. Toss with your eyes closed, between your legs, lying down, and more!

Friday
Apr042014

Kinsa Smart Thermometer

When your child is sick, the last thing you want to struggle with is a thermometer that isn’t working or that is difficult to use. I was recently asked to review the new Kinsa Smart Thermometer since it has received regulatory approval from the FDA. It provides a convenient, trackable way to take temperatures of your family members.

The packaging is neat and simple and provides a great way to store the thermometer between uses. I was easily able to open it, download the free app via iTunes and set up the thermometer. All of that in just a couple of minutes.

About the Smart Thermometer:

As a reminder, the Smart Thermometer is the world's first oral, digital thermometer that connects to your smartphone (via the audio jack). The use of the smartphone allows us to create a fun and engaging temperature-taking experience (see screenshot below) and do far more than what the average thermometer can do. With just a few taps, a mother can track temperature and symptoms over time for each member of her family and help her doctor provide the best care. In the coming weeks we will also be adding the ability to track health within your own private groups (e.g. your child’s classroom).

It was also very easy to take my temperature. It was quick and simple. The thermometer plugs directly into the audio jack but there is also a nice extension cord to give a little space between the phone and the actual thermometer.

About Kinsa:

Kinsa is driven by a bold mission – to enable society to track and stop the spread of disease, while simultaneously revolutionizing the way we care for our families. By using innovative ‘connected’ health devices, we can provide unique value to our users, while simultaneously aggregating information to help society understand what illnesses are spreading and where.

Kinsa's mission is to enable society to track and stop the spread of disease, while simultaneously revolutionizing the way we care for our families. By using innovative ‘connected’ health devices, we can provide unique value to our users, while simultaneously aggregating information to help society understand what illnesses are spreading and where.

The Kinsa app currently includes the following functionality:

o   Engaging temperature taking experience. Kids fidget. Especially when they’re sick. So Kinsa uses the smartphone display to create a fun, engaging screen that calms your child while you take her temperature.

o   Automatically track your family’s illness for better care. With just a few taps, track temperature and symptoms over time for each member of the family, so you can help your doctor give you the best care.

o   Find care. If your symptoms persist, find nearby urgent care facilities without ever leaving the app

What I find most beneficial is the ability to track and store the readings. When my child is sick, it is stressful. When I’m sitting in the doctor’s office, the ability to pull up the app and relay the accurate readings is a huge benefit. I don’t have to worry about giving misinformation or forgetting how high their fever actually was.

If you’re interested in your own Kinsa Smart Thermometer, they are currently taking preorders on their website. The price point of $29.99 is more than reasonable. You can also find Kinsa on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday
Nov302013

Make Meal Time Matter and Craft Time Count

From Chris and Lindy Bartell:: The Smarty Parents story began over a bowl of deliciously sticky oatmeal that our son Josiah, who was two years old at the time, was spreading into every nook and cranny of our wood dining room table. After experimenting with available placemats and having little success, we two rather energetic parents saw an opportunity. Thus, the Kiddy Platter™ Placemat & Craftmat was born.

With the arrival of our very crafty second son, Michael, we quickly realized the practicality of the Kiddy Platter went beyond meal time.  Drawing, finger-painting and "doughing" on the Kiddy Platter became as much a part of our daily routine as eating on it.  As our eldest son entered a Mandarin immersion program and Kindergarten included actual homework, the Kiddy Platter became the go-to surface in the car during our commute. Our invention was further validated when a high-end competitor introduced a similar, more expensive alternative.

In the winter of 2011, we had the pleasure of meeting the inventors of Yummy Dough, Andrea and Stefan Kaczmarek, and our mutual stories as parent-inventors simply clicked. Their inspiration was their two daughters, Sarah and Luisa.  Ours was our two sons.  They invented Yummy Dough while experimenting in their kitchen in beautiful Idstein, Germany.  Ours was invented while experimenting in our Portland, Oregon dining room. And of course, our inventions perfectly compliment one another.

Our goal is to help parents make meal time matter and craft time count with great products that kids love.  We believe that once your children have tried Yummy Dough, or used a Kiddy Platter, you'll enjoy using them as much as we love bringing them to you.

Check out their products:

Yummy Dough Creative Cookie Dough $30 - Yummy Dough is a just-add-water sugar cookie dough that acts like regular modeling dough! It is safe and fun to eat raw or baked.  Perfect for play-dates, parties or just for playing around!  Kids will stay busy and have a blast with this parent-invented, kid-inspired baking activity.

Kiddy Platter Children's Placemat & Craftmat $34 - The Kiddy Platter children's placemat & craftmat contains the mess, protects the table, and can be personalized/updated with art, flash cards and more underneath.  It is dishwasher-safe, BPA-free, phthalate-free, and PVC-free.
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