Archive for Techie Stuff

Kids Apps from Cupcake Digital Education

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

My iPhone homepage

We are living in the day of apps. Our children LOVE going on my iPhone. Over half of the apps on my phone are kids educational apps. We use my iPhone as a part of our homeschool curriculum. If we are working with one child, another child can be using my phone, as it keeps them occupied.

Cupcake Digital Apps

We were gifted three new kids apps for review. They are Fraggle Rock Game Day – Cupcake Digital, Wubbzy’s 123 Learn & Play – Cupcake Digital and Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends – Cupcake Digital. Our children are really enjoying them.

Review of Kids Apps from Cupcake Digital Education

Fraggle Rock Game Day – Cupcake Digital

Fraggle Rock Game Day

Fraggle Rock Game Day 2

Fraggle Rock Game Day 3

Fraggle Rock Game Day 4

Fraggle Rock Game Day 5

Fraggle Rock Game Day 6

Fraggle Rock Game Day 7

Counting, tracing and games.

My five year old liked this one and Wubbzy’s 123 Learn & Play the best.

The whack a raddish game is hilarious! I even want to play that one! ;)

Wubbzy’s 123 Learn & Play – Cupcake Digital

Wubbyzy's 123 Learn & Play

Wubbzy’s 123 was good for my five year old. I am not sure how much my three year old understood it but he tries. It’s a bit too young for my seven year old but she still had fun doing it.

Wubbzy's 123 Learn & Play

Wubbzy's Learn & Play 2

I thought counting meatballs was fun! ;)

Wubbzy's 123 Learn & Play 2

Wubbzy's 123 Learn & Play 3
Tracing

Wubbzy's 123 Learn & Play 4
Coloring/Paint


Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends – Cupcake Digital

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends

Book, coloring and games.

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends 2

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends 5

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends 3

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends 4

Our seven year old daughter liked this app the best. She said because it’s nice. :) She’s a girly girl and loves to do the hair and nails game the most because I keep finding photos stored on my phone! She saved me the trouble for the sake of this review – in house help!

Our older daughter even enjoyed playing around with this app.

Strawberry Shortcake and Friends App

These kids apps are definitely keepers and you can find them on iTunes or follow the links in this review.

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LeapReader “Ready, Set, Read & Write!”

I received free LeapFrog products in order to host the LeapFrog sponsored MommyParty.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

I am thrilled that I was able to be a host for the LeapReader “Ready, Set, Read & Write” Party, sponsored by Leapfrog!  LeapReader is the complete learn-to-read-and-write solution.  It combines reading, writing, and listening into one easy and fun system.  LeapReader uses books, flash cards, workbooks, audio book apps, music apps, and even trivia apps to enhance the learning experience.  If you’ve never tried a LeapReader, you must.  It is lifechanging!  My son and I call it a magic pencil, since it knows everything.

LeapReader1

The activity book that came with the LeapReader was great.  It really taught us how versatile the LeapReader was.  For example, we turned to the page featuring “Cars” and the LeapReader read it to us.  It also had a game to play, and it would sound out the words for you if you touched the words with the LeapReader.

LeapReader4

When we turned the page to the “Leap and the Lost Dinosaur,” my son loved pointing the LeapReader on the different pictures and learning fun facts about them.  He was engaged the entire time, and was learning.  It is the best of both worlds!  Another page he loved was a game you played with the “Muscular System” page.  The LeapReader would give you a clue and you had to point to the answer.  For example, touch the muscle you smile with.  We played that for a good ten minutes.

LeapReader2

The LeapReader flash cards were a hit, too.  You are able to mix and match letters to build words.  It has rhyming, spelling, and singing games as well.  My son’s favorite were the singing games.  If you touch one of the pictures with the LeapReader it sings a song, spelling and sounding out the picture.  It actually made him start to remember how to spell the words, it was very catchy!  My favorite feature was the included sight words list.  Just touch the word with the LeapReader and it would say it.

LeapReader6

We attempted the Writing books, but my son was more interested in hearing the stories than writing.  Some of my friends’ kids came over and tried them, and they had a ball!  The LeapReader really tells you step by step how to write Upper and Lowercase letters, while saying letter sounds.  I found it amazing that the writing magically appears on the special paper.

LeapReader5

Each of the writing activity sets includes a workbook filled with fun activities as well as extra writing paper so you can practice.  The activity books are so interactive that the kids are constantly engaged.

LeapReader3

The Get Ready for Kindergarten book is a must for all preschool aged children.  It teaches letters, vowels, beginning sounds, blends, patterns, numbers, skip counting, math, months, seasons, community places, and more.  This was my son’s favorite book.  He plays with it almost daily.  There is so much to do on each page, that he rarely does the same thing twice.

My son really enjoyed reading the Monsters University LeapReader Interactive Book, too.  You can either touch on the book picture and it will read it for you, or you can touch word by word to read and follow along.  For now my son likes to listen to it, but I’m sure in no time he will be wanting to touch word by word.  This will then teach him how to read.

I am absolutely in love with the LeapReader “Ready, Set, Read & Write” system.  In additon to all of the workbooks, flash cards, and books you can buy for your LeapReader, you can also download apps to put on the LeapReader.  Mine was conveniently loaded with two audio books, learning music, and a trivia app.  Let me just tell you how amazing this is for travel.  My son brings this in the car, plugs in his headphones, and enjoys listening to the stories and music.  With a touch of a button you can switch between apps.  The LeapReader is lightweight so I carry it in my purse or diaper bag when we are out and about so he is always entertained and more importantly, learning.  The best part is that no batteries are required.  Simply charge it with the included USB cord and you are good to go!

I can honestly say that this LeapReader is life changing.  I will be telling all of my mom friends about how great of a learning tool this is.  It is great for reading, writing, and listening skills.  My son has yet to become bored with it, and continues to ask me to buy more books or apps for him.  I love that he asks me to buy him books rather than toys.  The LeapReader is definitely going to create lifelong learners for all children who use it!

www.LeapFrog.com

I received free LeapFrog products in order to host the LeapFrog sponsored MommyParty.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

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Alphie the Squid App Review

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

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Alphie the Squid App Review

Help Alphie the Squid to grow up big and strong on this new app.  Guide Alphie through the maze of the ocean floor, along the way you need to watch out for riptides, sharks and other obstacles. Alphie needs eat along the way to help him battle the riptides, there are little fish along the way for Alphie.  You earn points by finding treasure and treasure fish!

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The animation of this app is vibrant, inviting, & funny and the music is great!  This app is addicting for adults, yet very friend for kids. This Alphie helps kids with swiping action as well as learning about fish.

 

657817239_4Check out the Alphie Trailer on YouTube!

 

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Alphie is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and android products.

 

Don’t  forget to like Alphie on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

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Tandem Review

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

I am always trying to stay current with the new fashions, especially when it comes to accessories.  As crazy as it sounds, my cell phone has now become an accessory that expresses who I am.  Normally I buy a pink case to cover my iPhone since pink is by far my favorite color.  When I heard about a phone case that had images from top photographers of the world it immediately piqued my interest!  Tandem is a company that sells high quality prints and iPhone cases at quality prices.  They offer five different collections of photos to choose from: Underwater Dogs & Pets, America’s National Parks, Abstract, Nature, and Urban Environments.  The images are all from the world’s top photographers.

Tandem2

Tandem offers three different styles of cases, the Barely There, Vibe, and Tough.  I was able to try the Tough case for an iPhone 4 in the Paradise image.  When I took it out of the package I immediately was drawn to the vibrant colors and how perfect the image looked.  It instantly relaxed me and made me want to go to the beach.  It had a very smooth feel to it and I was very anxious to try it on my phone.  The case I currently have is three pieces and a pain in the butt to take on and off.  The Tandem Tough case slipped on in seconds.  I loved how easy it was to put on as well to take off.  I like to clean my phone, so being able to quickly remove the case was a huge plus to me!  The case had two pieces; a black flexible rubber to cover the phone and the hard case to protect the phone.  The rubber piece seemed a little too stretchy, mostly on the bottom.  I think if it was a little stiffer it would have fit nicer.  Once the case was on, I held it up to my ear and loved how it felt.  It was very easy to hold and felt good in my hand.  It easily fit all of my chargers, adapters, and charging docks.  The Tandem case was extremely durable.  My toddler likes to play games on it and he definitely dropped it a few times, and the case didn’t crack, chip, or move.  The case was a little heavier than my other one, but I feel it is much stronger and more durable.

Tandem1

Overall I was very impressed with the Tandem case.  With so many beautiful images to choose from, you could change your case daily to go with your mood!  Tandem offers a 90-day Limited Warranty on all of their products.  Check out their website to see all of their amazingly brilliant images.  They are truly breathtaking!

https://tandemstock.com/shop

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Eggy Sight Words App Review

eggywords-icon-16b7f4a8a3948bbfe6ad43ffc0c45eccHere’s the next review of the Eggy Apps – Reading Eggs Sight Words. Available for your Apple products.

Eggy Sight Words App Review

Eggy Sight Words 3

When you first begin this screen will pop up and they will ask you to select a level. This app has a total of 10 levels and 250 sight words.

Eggy sight Words 4

The options are Chicken Run, Turtle Tap, or Penguin Plunge.

All of the options games are the same, it just matters on your animal preference you’d like to start with first.  You are given a sight word and then eggs are tossed around they have many sight words on them.  If the egg matches your word you touch it and the app will say the word.  If you choose the wrong word or miss your sight word it cracks.  As you continue to play the game the eggs go faster, watch out for the flying animals, objects and rotten eggs!  Don’t forget to collect puzzle pieces and happy face eggs along the way!

Eggy Sight Words 1

Eggy Sight words 2

When you continue on to the next round you spell the word.  It will toss eggs into the air with letters on them.  Then you choose which eggs spell your sight word.

They have a bonus round with gold eggs – you must try collect/tap 100 eggs.  If you tap an animals, pan, or other flying object, the game ends and you need to retry.  This is a great hand eye coordination tool.

In the tools section you can select and appropriate setting – Slow (age 3-4), Medium (ages 4-5), Fast (ages 6+).

Really cute app, my 4 year old daughter did okay when the eggs were going slow, once the eggs sped up it was hard for her to keep up.  This will be a great app for her once her motor skills and eyes can recognize the words faster.  When the eggs were going really fast, it was hard for me to keep up sometimes. lol….otherwise, great learning app!

Look for my next Eggy App Review – Eggy Reading

 

 

 

 

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5 Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

If you are heading out shopping this weekend and still need a few stocking stuffers, we have some ideas for you! Below are some products we have recently tried and reviewed or have used in the past. From techie stuff to kids toys, there are last minute stocking stuffers for nearly everyone in the family!

1. Shredz. We got our first snow the other day and our boys have been outside playing with their new Shredz action figures and accessories. The boys really like them! The photos speak for themselves.

2. Eco.Ditty. Eco.Ditty is a company that offers eco-friendly, organic cotton, reusable sandwich and snack bags.

3. Fruit. My mom use to always put a huge apple and orange in our stockings. We never saw that size of fruit any other time of the year.

4. Love’s Christmas Journey DVD. We won this movie in a drawing or something and received it this week. Planning on watching it this weekend or sometime over Christmas.

5. PlayMG. PlayMG is a portable mobile gaming device. It is very cool. So cool that my husband and I have enjoyed playing NBA Jam. ;) If you knew us, you’d know that we both love basketball both watching and playing, but don’t do much of either anymore. Though PlayMG is a pricier item for a stocking stuffer, it is the size of a perfect last minute stocking stuffer, especially if you are stuck in what to get a special someone. No need to buy extra equipment, as it uses a standard cell phone charger to charge. Accessories can be purchased separately, like a case, charger etc.

We have really been enjoying learning to us our PlayMG, but I wouldn’t say it hasn’t been as user friendly as I would like. It took me an email and a couple calls to support and I still cannot get the internet to work even though my WiFi says it is connected. I have to call them again after Christmas. The game has frozen on us a couple of times causing us to reset it by pressing the brightness and volume down buttons, which I need to ask about. Support has been great though.


There were a couple of cards like this and that was the extent of instructions. :( It came beautifully packaged though in a nice box that slide out like a drawer. Too bad my children sort of wrecked ours already or I could show you how nice it was.

I will say that so far the PlayMG has been a motivator for my boys (9 and nearly 11) to do their chores, so it is working in the sense that I want it too. I like that it is portable and needs no other service other than WiFi and it will work with our NetZero device. I also like that we can use the Bill My Parents card. I added $20 to it and Bill My Parents added another $10, so I can use that as an extra incentive for chores. OR if certain individuals are not complying then I can say I get to spend the money instead. Hoping I don’t have to resort to that but if I have to play hard ball I will!

The Bill My Parents card works like a debit card but teens cannot overspend if there is no money on the card. Parents can be notified via email of purchases etc., but they will not be able to get a report of websites visited or what their kids watched. That’s a downfall, if you ask me. I like that it’s a debit card. Now that my girls are getting older, it will be a useful tool to use to educate them about responsible credit card use.

Overall, we like PlayMG, I just wish more instructions came with the device on how to get everything set up -email, internet etc. This is a great device that gets my children OFF my iPhone and onto THEIR games without expensive cell phone charges or contracts.

Have fun with any last minute shopping, visiting or preparing you have to do this weekend!

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Prevent Getting Lost With Navigation Apps

When traveling do you use GPS or do you prevent getting lost with any navigation apps? Leave me a comment if you do!

Last Saturday I started an early morning paper route – paid opps and business has been rather slow this month so I needed a back up plan that still allowed me to be at home with my children. The glories of being self-employed…work isn’t always steady or consistent. A paper route allows me to work while my family sleeps. In the spring, if not before, I plan to invite my older girls to help me so we can spend extra time together. If that goes well, then maybe the little ones can join me, but I’d really hate to get them up that early!

An early morning paper route means I have been getting up at 2:22am and am usually out the door by 2:40-2:45am to head to the warehouse to bag the Chicago Tribune, Sun Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and New York Times. Grab my route papers and be on my way. It’s very easy work. It’s finding the houses and maneuvering my town’s streets in the dark that is taking longer to get use to! I’ll admit I am not much of a navigator and while I have improved, you all know that I have used my human GPS – my travel savvy husband – many times in the past for help getting around town.

Multiple times I have got turned around or taken the wrong way as I drive my route. I have even called Mr. D, the man who’s in charge of routes, for help finding what I call “mystery” houses, the ones with no numbers, yet we are suppose to know where they are! Thankfully, Mr. D trains new drivers with half their route first so I have had the same half all week, however, there are a few new/different houses every day. This weekend he’ll probably introduce the second half, which will be interesting as the weekend routes are bigger and longer.

The past couple of days I have been using Verizon’s Navigator App to help me drive my paper route more efficiently. It has really helped, especially the voice directions on VZ Navigator. The Verizon Navigator voice guidance feature uses traffic lights and number of streets instead of feet or meters, to provide a safer driving experience.

About VZ Navigator

As I stated, VZ Navigator is an GPS or navigation app you can download to your cell phone. Verizon is offering a FREE 30-day trial, after the 30-day trial it costs $2/month or you can pay as you use for a fee of 99 cents per day (Yikes!). According to your data package you may be billed for data usage per megabyte basis.

The app also offers roadside assistance service, show traffic, a follow me option, plan a trip view, a place to store favorites, contacts, recent searches, find a place, movie or events and you can even input your preferences.

This app offers 2D, 3D, Dashboard and List view, plus so much more. From detours to weather, so far it appears to be a full service app from my initial use of it.

VZ Navigator Review

For the most part I am very hesitant to use location services and rarely have that feature turned on, but for the purpose of this post and review I turned it on. The thing I like the most is the voice guidance, which saves me from having to look down so much at the list of directions or the moving pin on the map (that’s what Google Maps provides).

Another thing I like is the convenience of it being on my phone without having to buy another device.

The thing I don’t like is the monthly charge at the end of the 30-day trial. I could buy a GPS system, you know? Time will tell on how much I use it and how attached I get to it. Ha! It’ll probably save me time on my paper route though!

Visit iTunes learn more about the VZ Navigator App.

This is a sponsored post.

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NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband Review and Giveaway

When we moved into our new house last year we had to change phone companies because our old one did not service the city we were moving to; and with that change came the opportunity to use what was called a “hot spot”. It was our first experience with a hot spot mobile device…and it was terrible. That device was so slow and unreliable. So much so that I finally stopped using it. It sat on our shelf for months until the phone company sent a notice saying that it was discontinuing that service/device. Sad, eh? I never did seek out a device to replace it. I really wanted it for our Zyto Compass, which I use in conjunction with our Young Living business and to avoid using public Wi-Fi.

NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband Review

Well, there’s good news. This past week I was able to review NetZero‘s 4G Mobile Broadband device.

It comes with a USB cord, wall charger, installation CD and instructions.

What’s so special about NetZero 4G HotSpot?
It can be shared with up to 8 Wi-Fi devices.
It’s super easy to use!
It’s obviously for people on the go.
No contracts or committments.
Plans start as low as $9.95/month.

I love it! It works fast. To be honest I didn’t notice any difference to our home service, but an incredible difference to the other “thing” we tried last year. This is 200% better, truly. I always have a ton of windows open and multiple browsers, to the annoyance of my oldest daughter and husband. Just how I work, but NetZero’s Mobile Broadband device worked great and I only had 1 bar…see the photo below:


On the screen of the device it gives you the name of your network and your password, which is what I covered for security reasons.

I can only imagine how fast it would have been had the strength of the signal been all four bars.

It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to use NetZero’s 4G mobile device. I am very happy to have found something so easy to use. I set it up by myself without any help from my husband – probably a first.

I look forward to being able to use it with my Zyto Compass at our educational events instead of having to use a public Wi-Fi network or wait until I get home to send Zyto Reports to my clients.

Here in the Chicago area there are still pocket areas where 4G is not available so be sure to check the coverage areas on NetZero to see what areas near you have 4G.

NetZero 4G Giveaway

For the NetZero 4G giveaway one winner will receive a NetZero 4G mobile device and 3 months of service! The giveaway value is $300 worth of NetZero’s 4G Mobile Broadband product and services. Awesome or what? Enter to win now!

Please note: This contest is only until Wednesday, December 19 at 12:00am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am part of the Mom It Forward blogger network. Mom It Forward and NetZero partnered in support of this campaign. NetZero

 

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I Spy with Lola App Review

Meet Lola the Panda Bear.  Are you ready for your little ones to go on a searching adventure with her?  Great! Don’t tell the the kids but I’m sure they will learn a few things along the way too.

I Spy with Lola App

There are 3 different levels with I Spy with Lola – Easy, Medium, and Hard. BUT, you need to get through the easy level before you can move on.

Lola flies in her airplane to a destination in the world that your child will pick. Watch out because some are locked because they are higher levels. For example, if you child picks Hawaii on the map the app will tell you it’s Hawaii. Once the destination is picked Lola flies in and will tell you to find the sunglasses, boat, dolphin, etc. If you choose the wrong one, it will tell you the object but will not cross it off Lola’s list.

Once you complete the first level, the second level or medium level are about things that begin with ….  For example – things that being with “B”. The Hard Level is “a hat that shades your eyes” – along the lines of a riddle.

I Spy with Lola App Review

My 4 year old daughter loves this app. It’s teaching her new objects and helping with “things that begin with the letter …”.  She’s working on the  “riddle” or hard part with some help.

Download I Spy with Lola from iTunes.  It’s available for iPhone and iPad. You can also get a free version to try out before you buy!

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive free products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

 

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TVGuardian

I don’t know about you but if I had the opportunity to have a filter for foul language and sexual content I’d probably watch more TV with my family. The American Family Association just sent out an email featuring TVGuardian, a filter doing exactly what I want it to do. However, it is not available for online streaming (Netflix, Hulu etc.). We don’t have cable or satellite, or even a TV for that matter, as we do most of our movie/TV watching online from our computer. So in an appeal to garner more interest in sites offering online streaming I am blogging about TVGuardian to recruit any of you using online streaming to contact the sites you use to ask them if they would consider getting TVGuardian. I have tried contacting ClearPlay to see if this is something they would be able to do but have never, ever even received a response. :(

So if you are a person who utilizes online streaming sites, please appeal to those sites to offer TVGuardian as a choice because until there’s a need these sites are not going to do anything. IMHO. (in my humble opinion.)

Nope this is not a review or paid ad. I wrote about this out of my own interest. I have no idea how well it works but if it filters out any foul language I’m in, as film producers are slipping more and more into movies these days. It isn’t cheap but I think the cost is worth it in the long run.

Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

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