Does your kid have an iPad? Mine do not but they certainly wish they did. How about their own computer? How does your family deal with technical needs?
I’m finding more and more that my kids need to use my computer for their homework projects. So how do you deal with all these technical challenges as a family?
Author and editor Christina Tynan-Wood from Family Circle magazine gives parents great ideas about what gadgets and apps are going to work for your students as they head back to school.
Tynan-Wood writes about technology for www.FamilyCircle.com/tech and she blogs at www.geekgirlfriends.com]]>
Monica Singh Haley knows a bit about keeping people happy.
She ran the 60-person animation department on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. And she’s a mother of two.
Released yesterday, Haley’s new company, Happy Apps (www.thehappyapps.com), uses Eastern knowledge to assist us frenetic Westerners. Her father, a native of India, helped influence her interest in the applications she has created meant to help calm millions through a simple $1.99 iTunes download.
The influence of her father’s stories of India and her own visit to that country helped bring her the idea of developing an app that uses color to lift our moods. Inspired by the rainbow of the chakra energy centers, and the beautiful colors of the Indians’ wardrobe in a dusty land, Haley has created several applications to assist with several life challenges, including one every parent needs.
Happy Apps offers light therapy, color therapy, help with sleep, happiness and health. Each app offers a special feature to help you with your challenges. The applications work best on an iPad because of the size of the display but can be used on any smartphone.
With a cool, white light of the Light Therapy Box, users can experience the mood-lifting effects of a light box without the enormous expense of the traditional headset. The light can help alleviate several issues including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), jet lag, and depression. The light helps suppress melatonin secretion and helps reset the body’s circadian rhythms. Haley tell Family First this app also works well for people who are in internal offices and don’t get a lot of natural light during the day, or for people who live where it is cloudy, rainy or dark a lot during winter, like in Alaska.
For the Color Therapist app, the Color Therapist program runs through seven natural colors, each one resonating at the same frequency as your body’s energy centers, or chakras. When your energy centers are out of balance, you can get depressed, lethargic and even sick.
Here’s the app every parent needs. The Dusk Emulator slowly brings down the light in the room to simulate the sunset. With the help of your choice of white noise, ocean sounds (with no distracting seagulls, per her instruction to the developers), sitar music or others, you or your child will slowly drift into sleep. Haley says the app works great for hotel rooms, so you don’t need to remember a night light or a sound machine.
The Dawn Emulator part of the app then simulates the sunrise to slowly wake you to gradually brightening light. Again, this is a great tool if you often sleep in a darkened hotel room or other dark room. Just to make sure you do wake up, an alarm of your sound choice goes off at the end of the program.
The Help Yourself Happiness Guide offers a search tool to find the solution for the symptom you are suffering and a Body Guide so you can pinpoint specific parts of your body that need attention. The app then offers the proper solution to help alleviate your issues.
Just prop up your device up near your face and you get a combination of all the good stuff – color, light and sleep therapy. Moving through the color series, each one is displayed for 5 minutes each, except green with is displayed for 10 minutes because “you can’t get too much green,” says Haley. Then, for 30 minutes, reset your internal clock with some light therapy, followed by help falling asleep. You will be ready for restful, restorative sleep and wake ready for a new day.
Haley says the Happy Apps business idea is part of the expression of her own self. After spending the past several years solely in “mommy mode,” she has decided to work on her own life a bit and starting this business was part of that.
She took an entire year to rediscover herself, including learning to sew to make costumes for her kids, traveling and spending over 30 hours on the phone with her father, writing down the stories of his life. She even took writing classes to make the stories stronger.
Now, she enjoys the freedom and challenges of a new business that is all her own. She has learned to barter for help, find ways to entertain her children while she does business calls and “access (her) brain that had been hibernating.” Look for more apps to come in the future of this budding young company from this successful business woman.]]>
No matter who you are, it’s still fun to get something in the mail, a real invitation that you can hold.
With the advent of “E-Vites” several years ago, it seemed printed invitations might not survive. However, one company has brought itself into the new paradigm by offering scannable barcodes on the back of their super-cute invitations for an instant response and richer social experience.
Papersping (www.paperspring.com) says on their website: “Our purpose is to bring life to paper and paper to life.” Paperspring was launched in 2008 by Charlie Chan Printing in Los Angeles, California. For over 40 years, Charlie Chan Printing has been printing high quality paper invitations for consumers and big-name clients like ESPN and Westin Hotels. Their Paperspring division modernizes the printing experience.
They are keeping themselves in line with the times by offering a new option for invitees –Paperlink, which launched just last week. That’s a customized QR code (quick response) which allows you to scan a barcode on the back of your printed invitation with your smartphone to RSVP as well as get additional information about the event, see photos and videos and even view gift registries.
Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see for the QR code:
With Halloween just around the corner, there’s still time to order your party invitations and add Paperlinks so your recipients can RSVP super quick. Here are some of the oh-so-cute invitations you can choose from.
The pricing is $1.79 each for 25 cards – still much cheaper than buying 25 individual cards which can cost up to $3.99 each!
Another great feature is that all the Paperspring products are printed on 100% post consumer waste paper stock. I received a few samples and I can tell you the quality is very high – great resolution, heavy stock and super fun graphics. Their printing process is chemistry-free and waterless so it’s very environmentally friendly.
Actress Kelly Rutherford liked Paperspring invitations so much she used them last year for her holiday cards. They also offer baby announcements and shower invitations, baptism and birthday invitations, cards for all kinds of holidays, graduation announcements, moving notices, address labels, save the date cards, and on and on.
They can even do digital name invitations like this one they made for me – how cute is this? A great promotion for thanking business clients.
Check out Paperspring.com and hurry! There’s still time to get your invitations for Halloween or get ready for the holidays. They’re running a special for October – $15 off $75 but hurry – that ends October 31st.]]>
Cell phone reviews
And yes. It is exactly as it sounds. iFart is a sound machine that makes noises of flatulence.
And the darned thing is funny!
The app is stylishly done, so it doesn’t look like just another app.
Along with a number of sounds you can choose from, iFart Mobile has two additional features which none of the other similar apps have. (There are more than TWENTY fart apps in the store now. iFart is clearly the most fun.)
The Sneak Attack feature allows you to set a countdown timer and catch someone off guard.
The Security Fart feature allows you to leave your phone alone by blasting a selected fart from your phone if someone should try to lift your iPhone.
This app was mentioned on Techcrunch, MSNBC and many other sources.
If you want a good laugh, watch this video.
Is it appropriate for a family-friendly site?
Sure. It’s just gas. And the kids LOVE it. Let yourself go and you might find that you love it as well.
If you want to get the app, click here for iFart Mobile