The first five apps to install on your new smartphone

The First Five Apps To Install on Your New Smartphone

This post is sponsored by Life 360. The apps in this list were chosen by me, and all are downloaded onto my personal phone (that means I use them myself!). Did you or your teen just get a smartphone? Congratulations! Your life will never be the same. As someone who has had a smartphone for several years and often writes about apps, tips and tricks, and accessories on iPhoneLife.com, I’m happy to share with you what I think are the first five apps…

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Help your teen find intentional acts of kindness

Help Your Teen find Intentional Acts of Kindness Ideas

This post is sponsored by Dignity Health, who wants to pair you with the perfect intentional act of kindness in your neighborhood.  I always hear about random acts of kindness, but I don’t like that they’re categorized as random. They might feel random to the recipients, but truly, they are intentional. The giver intended to do something nice for someone else. Especially during the holiday seasons, intentional acts of kindness are what make us smile. They allow us to give…

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My Radio Shack last minute gift list #GiftSmart

My Radio Shack Last Minute Gift List #GiftSmart

This post is sponsored by Radio Shack and Find Your Influence. Gift choices are mine, of course. Last minute gifts are stressful–not only do you have to quickly decide what to get, you have to find somewhere to purchase it too! A lot of the stress goes away when shopping at a one-stop store like Radio Shack, where you can find gifts for people of all ages.   Shopping for gifts this year was a little tough–tweens and teens want…

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Christmas morning scavenger hunt clues for tweens and teens

Christmas morning scavenger hunt clues for tweens and teens

Scavenger hunts are a wonderful way to make gift opening last a little longer when your kids get older and ask Santa for more expensive gifts. There’s no need to start from scratch when creating your clues because there are several places to find scavenger hunt clues for tweens and teens online! Of course, your clues might need to be tweaked a little depending on your hiding spots, but these are great starters! Here are some of our own holiday scavenger hunt clues and rules,…

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Gift Ideas for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch

Gift Ideas: Toys for iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone

Looking for some fun tech toys this holiday season? Here are some fun toys for iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone that you might love! 1. Plush Pals ($24.95) These adorable plush animals are a must have for any music-loving kid (or adult). Plug Freddy, Manny, or Patch into your iPhone, iPod, or iPad and they’ll sing your favorite song, pretend to narrate a cartoon, or mimic your video game. A bonus? They’re soft and cuddly, apart from the battery area in the bottom. Playing…

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What is a prepaid hotspot, and how can it help my wireless bill?

NETGEAR Prepaid Hotspot: AT&T Unite for GoPhone #LifeConnected

These days, it’s tough to imagine having no internet connection. For a variety of reasons, we seem to depend on it and are a little lost without it. We use a prepaid hotspot to keep us connected while we are places that don’t have wifi. In the car while on a road trip, while “stuck” in places like the car repair shop or DMV, and even at the coffee shop when you’d like faster speeds or more security than the wifi…

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2014 Teen Gift Ideas

2014 Teen Gift Ideas

As the boys get older, their wish lists seem to get smaller and more expensive. No more asking for Matchbox cars–we’re on to iPads, iPhones, and Bluetooth headphones. I’m sharing what’s on Michael’s wish list this year, and adding in a few products of my own. I’d love to know what you’re getting for your teens! Please leave your comments below. iPhone and iPad Cases Amzer CRUSTA Rugged Case ($45.00) Michael isn’t easy on his phone, so we require that…

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Video game rules for tweens: How we tackle the never-ending battle for screen time

Video Game Rules for Tweens

“Mom, can I play a game?” It means something completely different now than it did when I was little. It used to mean Chutes & Ladders. Now, it means PS3. Or Wii. Or XBox. How do you do it in your house? Does your son or daughter have free reign over video games? Are they allowed to play whenever they want, or do they have to ask before touching anything electronic? My tween used to ask us to play video games…

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Snorkeling in Maui with Trilogy Excursions

Snorkeling in Maui with Trilogy Excursions

Book with Trilogy Excursions now until December 15 and receive 15% off your tour. Excursions are redeemable until June 15, 2015. Discount applies to Adult tickets only. Must call Trilogy direct at 808-661-4743 x2 and mention this promo offer! This promotion cannot apply to existing reservations. Remember, youth rates are ages 13 through 18 and it’s 25% off. Kid rates are ages 3 to 12 and are 50% off! We had an amazing vacation in Hawaii, and one of our favorite days was…

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5 Things to Know Before You Zip Line: Our experience with Skyline Eco-Adventures

Our Maui Zipline Adventure with Skyline Eco-Adventures

While we aren’t vacationing with little kids anymore, traveling with older kids brings struggles of its own. How do we keep them entertained for 10 days away from their friends? Will they want to hang out with us? What will we all do? After talking with the boys about what they envisioned doing on their vacation (because we realized that our ideas of vacation are very different), we decided that zip lining was something our family had to do! After searching…

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Back to school tips for parents of teens

Back to School Tips for Parents: Help Your Teen Succeed

Getting ready for school at any age is trying, but the teen years seem to be especially difficult for many parents. Kids want freedom, but they need guidance. They want to monitor their own school work, but are they ready to yet? Here are some tips to help your teen succeed in school: Get organized with technology Whether your teen is at a “no textbook school” like mine is or not, kids love technology. Get them organized with cool apps…

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DIY Tween Girl Costume Ideas (that are appropriate!)

DIY Tween Girl Costume Ideas

There’s no lack of costumes for tween girls out there, but most are inappropriate or too silly. I’ve found some fun and age-appropriate costume ideas for your not-so-little but not-so-big girls. DIY Tween Girl Costume Ideas Wonder Woman (here’s another awesome Wonder Woman costume!) Katniss Everdeen (here’s another great Katniss costume!) Minion Marionette Monsters University Sorority Costume Red Riding Hood School House Rock Costume Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head Effie Trinket Mexican Sugar Skull Rag Doll Katy Perry Cleopatra Lady Bird owl Costume…

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How to Host an Awesome Outdoor Movie Party

How to Host an Awesome Outdoor Movie Party

There are affiliate links in this post.  Here in Arizona, we are spoiled with sunshine and clear skies about 340 days every year. We decided to take advantage of that, as well as our big backyard, to start hosting outdoor movie parties. With just a little planning and a few supplies, you can have an outdoor movie night of your own! You’ll need: Movie projector We bought this Epson PowerLite Home Cinema LCD projector last year and love it. You can also…

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Printable craft supply list

Stock Up With This Kid’s Craft Supply List

Having a crafty kid means always having fun supplies on hand to keep them entertained. This isn’t as easy as it might sound if you’re not a crafter yourself (that was my situation!). Jack is the craftiest kid I know, and I learned pretty quick the secret to keeping him entertained was to have lots of craft project ideas and supplies on hand at all times. I thought this craft supply list would be helpful to those of you with…

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Energy Drinks and Teens: Which ones are the worst?

Energy Drinks and Teens: Which Drinks Are The Worst?

Michael is 14. He’s in the middle of learning who he is what he likes. He thinks his parents are totally uncool. Actually, most things are totally uncool when you’re 14. Most things except video games, skateboarding, smartphones, and energy drinks. Our philosophy is everything in moderation, and that carries over to our parenting philosophy too–we let the boys have soda & sweets, but not too much. I resisted against energy drinks for a long time, and then I realized…

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Printable Tween Cell Phone Contract

Pantech Vybe and Printable Tween Cell Phone Contract

This post is sponsored by Pantech. As always, all opinions and ideas are my own!  Michael received his first cell phone when he was 10 years old. It wasn’t a necessity, like it is for most kids that age. He wasn’t walking home or staying by himself at home after school. He wanted one more than we had ever seen him want something, and we decided that it was good for our family for different reasons: he could text and…

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