Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Trade Old Cell Phones for Cash with Trademore

This post is sponsored by Trademore. I was paid for this post. 

We are at the point with our move where we're too far to actually start packing, but are taking advantage of this time to declutter our closets and not take anything to the new house that we won't be needing.

We've had a box in our closet with a bunch of old cell phones for as long as I can remember. I had very little interest in bringing this box along for an eleventh move with our family, but also didn't want to dump it into a landfill. We've been taking a lot of steps as a family this year to be better stewards of the environment with recycling, so I wanted to make sure these phones went somewhere where they would be handled appropriately. 

In comes Trademore. I instantly loved that their website mentions all phones being sustainably repurposed or recycled. Their entire process from start to finish was super easy, and I can't recommend them enough if you're looking to get some cash for your old devices.

How to sell a phone with Trademore:

To sell a phone with Trademore, simply go to their website where you can find get the answer to, "How much is my phone worth?" Put in all the information about the make and model of your phone, the condition that it's in, and any other questions they ask, and then they will tell you how much money you can get for your phone.

Trademore will send you a recovery kit in the mail (that includes a return shipping label), where you can safely package your phone and send it back to them hassle free. Your quote that you receive from Trademore is good for 30 days, so be sure to send your phone back promptly when you get your recovery kit so that you don't see a delay in your payment being processed or run into any issues.

How does Trademore issue payments? 

Trademore issues payments through a virtual MasterCard or Paypal accounts. When you go to checkout on their website for your recovery kit, you enter the payment information that you would like to use when they issue your payment. It's a super easy process that only takes a few minutes to get started.

I'm so glad that I decided to make moving a litter easier on myself by getting a little cash in my pocket for selling my old phone, and not having to pack one extra thing to bring to the new house! Be sure to head on over to Trademore's website to find out how much cash you can get for your phone!

My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies.

 Any affiliate links are not associated with Trademore.

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How to Keep Kids Safe Online

As our world becomes all the more digital, parents wonder how to keep kids safe online. These guidelines that we use in our home can hopefully benefit your home too. 

With our world becoming more and more digital with each passing day, I often wonder if I'm doing enough to keep my kids safe online. Their safety and wellbeing is always my number one priority and I hope I can develop a good balance in our home with giving my kids the tools they need to be successful on devices, while also keeping them safe from the dark side of the internet, and also making sure screens don't become a crutch for them. These are some things we do in our home to keep our kids safe online.

Limit Screen Time:

I get that this is easier said than done, but it's true that it's easier to keep your kids safe online when they don't have unlimited access to screens. We've been on both sides of the coin on this with way too much screen time, and doing a screen time fast during the summer, and everywhere in between. I stick to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for no more than two hours per day. Typically our kids have no screens before school, then they go to school, and when they come home I typically let them watch a show or play on the iPad before dinner, and then screens are done from dinnertime until bedtime.

Set Filters and Boundaries on Devices for Kids:

Our kids don't use computers or laptops regularly which makes this a lot easier to manage. Our iPad is strictly a kids device and there are no apps on there that we wouldn't want our kids to use. We use Youtube Kids instead of the regular Youtube app, and have it filter the content for our kids to be appropriate for their age range. I've been really happy with it, and feel it does a really good job at keeping my kids safe from seeing things I don't want them seeing. 

We also have kid accounts setup on Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc... and the kids know that they only go on the kids specified account. We've never had an issue with that and again, it's worked great.

Talk to Your Kids About the Dangers of Being Online:

A few weeks ago Kyle wanted to start playing Minecraft. After discussing at length with other parents, family members who have used it, and some online research we decided to let him purchase the game with his birthday money with strict rules. We discussed how there are bad people out there who pretend to be a kid, just to talk to other kids. We talked about how we never talk to ANYONE online, and that we NEVER send a picture of ourselves to someone even if they ask. We talked about how people can threaten to hurt you or do mean things if you don't send pictures, and how those are lies to trick you into complying. We explained that if people try to talk to you online to come and get mom and dad right away so we can fix it. 

We also explained to Kyle that playing Minecraft was a privilege, and that if we felt it needed to be taken away, we would take it away and delete the app, and give Kyle his money back since he was the one who originally purchased the game. 

I think kids are old enough to be told these harsh realities of being online and we have give small amounts of trust to let them build up to more future privileges of being online as they show responsibility and maturity to do so.

No Screens Behind Closed Doors:

We have a strict no screens behind closed doors policy. The kids are allowed to play with screens anywhere upstairs (my bedroom, Kinsley's bedroom, living room, playroom, etc...), but the doors have to be open so we can hear and have eyes on what is going on. Screens are never allowed down in the basement, unless with a parent, and screens are never allowed in rooms after bedtime. 

The only exception to this is that we do let Kyle listen to audiobooks in his bedroom at bedtime, but he knows to strictly stay on the app for the books, and if he wanders off the app he will lose that privilege. We have him set a 30 minute timer, and when the timer goes off he has to bring the iPad up to my room where I can see that he stayed on the app and that he didn't go into other apps. 

My kids don't currently know how to close out the apps running in the background, so I can easily double click the home button and see what is running in the background and what they've been doing.

Check Their Browsing History:

I know a lot of parents don't believe in "spying" on their kids, however, I'm not one of those moms. I believe in spying, and spying regularly. Youtube Kids allows you to view the browsing history of what your kids are watching. About once a month I'll login just to make sure there isn't anything new my kids are watching that I don't know about. Because it's Youtube Kids I've never had any concerns or issues, and there filters really are pretty good, but we use Youtube Kids because we have had issues with our kids on regular Youtube. Being aware of the content your kids are consuming is the best way to keep kids safe online, and how you can best help them navigate this digital world.

What are some things you do to keep your kids safe online? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

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Babble Boxx Review

This post is sponsored by Babble Boxx. 

I love partnering with brands who are doing amazing things. When I was sent the most recent Babble Boxx, I found myself taking out the products and going, "Yes! Yes! Yes!". Babble Boxx curates brands and products together in a box to send to influencers based on their preferences. One person can get a box catered to health and fitness, while someone else can get one catered to beauty. It's a win-win for everyone, and is an awesome way for smaller brands and companies to be able to expand their reach to a broader audience. 

I have been dying to try a pair of bone conduction headphones since I run and bike outside almost everyday. I love listening to music super loud, even though I know it's not safe since I can't hear cars or other people that might be trying to get my attention. These Trekz Air from Aftershokz are perfect since they allow me to hear the world around me, and my music at the same time, since they're not inserted directly into your ear. You can get $50 off Trekz Air and Trekz Titanium Endurance Bundles when you shop directly on their site.

As a tired mom, I love a good eye gel as much as the next one. These patches from Patchology not only smell good, but provide amazing benefits as well! The Green Tea, Bergamont, White Mulberry helps you to stay focused, motivated, and energized while the Rose, Hibiscus, Lotus Flower patch helps you to feel creative, joyful, and positive. My personal favorite is the Calendula, Evening Primrose, Lavender right before bedtime, to help me feel relaxed, calm, and serene. 

I love a good drink as much as the next person. This fitness drink from Celsius contains 7 essential vitamins, no artificial preservatives or flavors, no high fructose corn syrup and is very low in sodium. Celsius is clinically proven to burn calories, and accelerate your metabolism. What's not to love with these amazing benefits? 

I've also been loving these Berry and Enzyme Power from The Synergy Company. You can mix 1 tsp of the Berry Power into your morning smoothies or with 4-6 ounces of water to give you a boost of antioxidants that will support your heart, brain, immune system, and more! The Enzyme Power can be taken as a capsule with each meal to help aid in digestion support! You can get 15% off your order with code SPRING15 at checkout through May 31, 2019. 

Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

Teaching Fire Prevention in Your Home

Thank you First Alert for sponsoring this post. October is Fire Prevention Month - practice safety in numbers to ensure your family’s super prepared too!

Fire prevention and fire safety have been a passion of mine for most of my life. I remember in third grade my school held a fire prevention poster contest with all the other schools in my city, and my poster won first place! I got to go to the fire station for the day, ride the fire truck, have cake with the fire fighters, the whole nine yards. After that moment I was hooked, and it's been something that I've taken very seriously ever since.

Facts About Fire and CO Safety
Now that my kids are four and six, they're at the age where they're really starting to grasp fire safety topics, and we can start talking about it on a bigger scale with our kids. Did you know that in the US over 100 million homes aren't protected with smoke alarms, and that 3 of every 5 home fire deaths come from a home with 0 smoke alarms. 

Alarms provide early warning in case of a fire, so it's crucial to make sure that your's are working properly. You should test your alarms and replace batteries as needed every six months. To eliminate the need for battery replacement, upgrade to First Alert's 10-year sealed battery alarms. 

Carbon Monoxide is also something you should be teaching your children about too. CO poisoning is the number one cause of accidental death. Because it's odorless, tasteless, and invisible, it cannot be detected unless you have an alarm. 

How to Teach Your Kids About Fire and CO Safety
One way that Derek and I teach our kids about important topics they need to know are through weekly Family Home Evenings. We hold these every Monday night, and during the month of October, we plan on dedicating one of these nights to learning about Fire Safety.

If you log onto the First Alert website, you can find so many valuable teaching tools. They an entire section dedicated to, "The Super Prepared Family", where you can find animated informational videos to share with your children, activity pages to print and color, and many more valuable resources.

After you take your kids through the information on the First Alert website, it's important to talk about what Fire Safety looks like in your home. Show your kids where the smoke alarms are, test them with your kids so they know what they sound like, and have a designated meeting spot outside your home where your kids know to meet at when they hear that alarm.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

How We Do Screen Time In Our Home

This is a sponsored post in behalf of WebSafety, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this space possible. 

At some point within the last year I found myself falling into this trap of lies, that it was okay for my kids to spend more time on media because I have a special needs child, or Em is grumpy, so here have a phone, or Jay is going outside to play and that's hard to do with Em, so she can have a little more screen time than Jay. These were lies that I found I was telling myself to avoid bigger issues in my life, like tantrums, meltdowns, and avoiding having to figure out how to make our lives more accessible to Em, instead of just pawning her off on a screen. I became dissatisfied when other special needs parents would tell me, "That's just how it is...", because despite the amount of time Em was spending on devices each day, I desperately wanted more for our lives.

The just a few days ago we took Em into the occupational therapist for the first time since we moved here, and she was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. This shed so much light on a lot of the meltdowns we were experiencing at home, and the lack of sleep for three years, and one of the biggest things the therapist told us we could do over the next several weeks is to cut off all screens at least two hours before bed. Doing this over the last three nights has a made a dramatic improvement to how much faster Em falls asleep, and more sleep has translated into better behavior during the day.

While the media has been cut off after 5pm in our home, there are definitely times during the day when we still use it. I let the kids watch something on the television for about 20 minutes while they eat breakfast before school, because we've found that this is best way to get Em to eat breakfast, especially since this is a time of day that is already stressful for her, and then eating on top of that, we've found that watching something can take her mind off the other things stressing her out, and she can at least get a meal in before school.

In the afternoon when I need to get some e-mails and other work done for about an hour, I'll typically let Jay work through some educational apps on my phone, and I'll let Em watch some preschool shows like Daniel Tiger, or Team Umizoomi, and although they are shows, I can tell that she has learned a lot from them, which helps me have less guilt over the situation.

After I get my work done though, we head downstairs and will play with toys in the living room, or do bubbles or swings outside until it's time to make dinner, and then it's screens off for the rest of the night until the next day. It's not a perfect solution by any means. I know that a lot of other parents do a lot less screen time, but it's what works for our family right now and our particular needs.

Obviously my kids aren't old enough to be on social media, nor do they know how to use the computer on their own, but when they get older and start being more digitally independent, I 100% plan on using WebSafety to help keep my kids safe online.

WebSafety is an app for Android and Apple devices (including tablets), that monitors text messages and social media use, and allows you to see what photos your kids are posting and interacting with on apps like Facebook and Instagram. Should your child access something in those apps that you don't want them to see, it sends your phone a real time alert so that you can address the problem immediately with your child and talk to them about why that content is inappropriate.

At just $5.99/month WebSafety is the lower cost, most comprehensive tech to address smartphone usage for kids. For more information about WebSafety, visit their website, or download the app in the App Store. 


Never Lose Your Valuables Again + VIDEO!

If you knew me in high school, you know that I was the queen of losing my wallet, gym bag, phone, keys, you name it, I lost it. I have no idea how this always happened to me, but I'm glad for my mental sanity that technology has been invented so that we can eliminate these hardships from our lives. 

Tile is the world's best selling bluetooth tracker. You simply attach it to anything that you don't want to lose, and you can keep track of it through the tile app. Through the Tile app, you can gather together with friends and strangers to help find lost items around the world. So far, over 2 million items have been found using tile. 

Jay has inherited my misfortune of losing things all the time, so we've attached a Tile to his favorite stuffed puppy. He got Sophie as a gift right when Em was born, and she has been with him through all his major life moments. When he had surgery on his eyes, family vacations, all of our major moves... it would be devastating if we ever lost her. Now that she is safely tiled, our minds are at ease that Sophie will be around for as long as Jay needs her. 

Tile isn't just for stuffed puppies, you can use them on phones, keys, backpacks, literally anything you don't want to be without. You can see more of how Tile works through the short video we created below, and be sure to head over to their site to join the Tile movement.

A Quick and Easy Office Update

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc, and it's advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are mine along. #CreateWithHP #CollectiveBias

Back-to-school has always been a strange season to me. Where I grew up in New York, school never started until the Wednesday after Labor Day each year. It always seemed so weird to me that stores were putting out back to school adds in June and July when summer vacation had literally just started. It never really occurred to me that other states started earlier until I went to college and friends would tell me that their schools started in July or August.

Click this photo to shop this printer now!

Now that I'm a mother who has school aged kids that don't live in NY, I've experienced the early summer back-to-school rush first hand this year. School started here in Georgia on July 31st, and despite the fact that my kids didn't start school until this week, and my college classes don't start until September, if we wanted any shot of the local stores having school supplies still, we had to get all of that done weeks and weeks ago. 

Since this is going to be my last year of college I wanted to make myself a dedicated space where I could do my homework each day while the kids are in school. We've had this little office space in our basement ever since we moved into our house, but I wanted to spend a few minutes giving it a little love this week so that it was cute, and functional, and actually made me want to be in there. 

One thing that I hated about this space was that the old printer we had on our desk was so big that if I had my laptop on the desk, it would hit the printer. There was never a way to space everything out and get comfortable. 

When we were at Walmart getting some back to school supplies, we picked up the new HP Deskjet 3722 All-In-One Printer/Copier/Scanner and it has been the greatest upgrade ever. It's super affordable, comes in three different colors (ours is dragonfly blue!), and it's the world's smallest all-in-one printer, meaning it's not competing for space with the rest of the items on my desk. There are some in-store demos happening at local Walmart stores too, so be sure to see if your store is hosting one!

Another bonus about this printer is that it's wireless, meaning I can print something off in my bedroom, and then go down to the office, and it's there waiting for me. You can also print things off from your mobile device which is super thrilling! 

Once we had the new printer squared away, I wanted to put it to the test and make my office look a little cuter too. I bought some really inexpensive clipboards from Walmart, and then used my new HP printer to print out some fun printables. I then attached them to the clipboards and hung them on the wall with sticky clips to make this a super easy and fun DIY project that totally helped to take my office space to the next level! 

What are your office space must haves? Are you tired of your current printer taking up valuable real estate one your desk? Head on over to Walmart's website and see if your local store has one of these printers for you to pick up during this back to school season!

A New Kindle App We Love

Before Christmastime we got a phone call from Grandma asking if it would be okay if she got Jay a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I was a little hesitant because I didn't want to start my life of being the screen time police, but we didn't have any tablets at all in the house, and there was a part of me that was excited to use it as well, so I said yes. She then asked what Em would want for Christmas, and I said that she'd probably want a tablet if Jay was getting one, and so she grabbed the Nabi Jr for her. 

They both really loved their gifts (who wouldn't?), and it made life so much easier for us when we were traveling. The kids did really well, and it only took Em a day or two to figure out how to use her fingers to get her tablet to work before she really loved hers too. 

I was stressed about the Kindle for Jay because the level to which he would enjoy it was entirely dependent upon my ability to put fun apps on there. We've never done apps for the kids on our phones in the past, so I really had no clue where to start. 

A few days after Grandma's Kindle for Christmas declaration, I got an e-mail from KidloLand asking if I would like to try a year long subscription to their app in exchange for review on my blog. I said yes, and was excited at the prospect of having something on the Kindle Jay would enjoy. I downloaded the app and within a few minutes it seemed like there were hundreds of different things Jay could do on there. 

They have tons and tons of stories for kids to read/look at, with options to have the app read the story for you, or for your child to read it themselves. There are tons of learning games, puzzles, work with math, phonics, everything. I'm not saying that this app is going to turn your kid into an Eisenstein, but if you've already been working on letters, sounds, and numbers with your kids at home, then it's a great way to keep them occupied, and reinforce information that they already know. 

We were traveling a ton the last few weeks between flying from Atlanta to Salt Lake City, and then driving to Idaho and back to Utah, and then driving all around Utah for a blog project I was working on... Those car rides could have been so miserable, but this app kept both Jay and Em so content. Em would get bored or frustrated with her tablet at times, and Jay would happily switch his for hers and let her have a turn playing with the Kidloland app, and she loved it just as much.

If you're interested in downloading KidloLand for your children, its available on Apple, Google Play, and Amazon devices. I think it's totally worth the small investment if you know you're going to be traveling and want to try it out... in the meantime, we'll be over here getting back to reality and trying to tell Jay 50 times a day to read a book, or play with some more toys.