Category: technology

Creating A Sense of Security for #BTS with Lumia 435

Creating a Sense of Security with Lumia 435

Many of you may have already started back to school preparations by purchasing new clothes, uniforms, backpacks and school supplies – we started last month purchasing new uniforms for our youngest son who will be starting school this year. One of the many overlooked but important areas is your child’s first smart phone.

For many children this year may mark their very first time walking to and from school. While this is an exciting milestone for them, it also brings with it a new set of worries for parents. How will my child handle walking home alone, what if they need to contact us on the way home or they need to stay late at school? Or if your child will have to start taking a city bus to school in high school, what if they miss their bus how do they make you aware of this?

Recent stats show that 31% of parents want/need the ability to contact our children and 27% want our child to have a phone in case of emergencies (information take from a recent Telus smart phone chat).

These fears and concerns are very real and concerning for parents. Safety is one of the number one concerns parents chose to purchase a cell phone for their child at a younger age. I am sure if they had cell phones when I first started taking a bus, my parents would have purchased one for me too (not trying to age myself here!!).

Creating a Sense of Security with Lumia 435

Microsoft has just recently launched the Lumia 435 and with its competitive price and features, it will be a quick favourite for those just entering the smart phone market. Some of the top features it includes that many parents should consider prior to purchasing are: price, durability, size, apps, display and camera.

Price Point. Let’s face it, kids just aren’t as careful nor gentle with electronics as we wish they would be. Spending a large amount on a first smart phone may not always be the best, especially if they damage the screen, lose the smart phone or drop it (heck I still drop my phone all the time so I won’t spend a lot on my own!). Priced without a contract for under $100, you can’t beat the price on the Lumia 435.

Durability and Size. The phone case itself should be strong but light in weight. A flimsy phone case will just break or damage if it is dropped. The size should be reasonable because it is meant for a student. It needs to be able to be placed in a backpack, pocket or desk away from sight. The Lumia 435 has the bonus of having two additional covers that can be purchased in bright orange or green that really gives it that extra pop of colour.

Creating a Sense of Security with Lumia 435

Popular Apps. While most children will be using the phone for safety concerns, texting arrivals or phone calls home, it would be hard for anybody to resist playing a game or connecting with social media. I quickly became addicted to Fruit Slash!

Display, camera and memory. A clear and bright display screen in a must. The display on the Lumia 435 is fantastic! The images are bright and clear on it’s 4 inch screen, not quite what you expect for this price point. The Lumia 435 has a 8GB memory with an additional 125GB maximum memory size that can be added in. This allows for plenty of storage for your child. The camera itself has the ability to take pictures from the front and back (very important for those much-needed selfies and Skype calls).

The Lumia 435 is sold exclusively on the Telus and Kodoo networks and available at Walmart and Best Buy.

Have you purchased a smart phone for your child? If yes, what were the main reasons you purchased the phone? If you haven’t, are you considering one in the near future?

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product to test in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Clean Up The Wire Clutter with Kinivo K300 Premium 3 Port HDMI Switch

Eliminate WIre Clutter with Kinivo

The one thing that I hate the most in our home? The crazy clutter and awful look of a ton of different wires plugging into the tv and hanging down the walls. It just looks unsightly and unorganized. I love my electronics but I just don’t love the look of the wires hanging around everywhere from our children’s video game consoles, digital plug-ins and blu ray players.

The Kinivo K300 Premium 4K 3 port HDMI switch eliminates the need to have multiple wires all over the place. This one device eliminates multiple wires hanging out of the back of your television or even worse the unplugged ones that are hanging out all over the floor because you only have one or two inputs! Instead of plugging the consoles into the inputs on your television you plug them into the K300 device which is in turn plugged in only using one wire! Talk about the perfect solution to multiple wires hanging out all over the place.

Eliminate WIre Clutter with Kinivo

The Kinivo K300 features:

  • the three ports that allow you to switch between three video sources at up to 4K resolution with automated switching, remote-controlled switching or manual switching
  • compatible with all HDMI video sources including gaming consoles, DVD, Blu-Ray players, home theatres
  • supports 48 bit deep colour
  • AC powered
  • supports HDCP 1.3
  • retails around $55.99 US but currently on sale for $34.99 US

Here is a basic model example of how the K300 works:

Kinivo 3 Port HDMI switchWe loved the easy set up of the Kinivo K300, it was basically just a plug-in and get ready to use device. Which with my limited tech skills (thank goodness my hubby is so good with technology!), I can appreciate the most. With one small remote, I could easily change from my son’s Playstation to my favourite movies. The size of the K300 is perfect, small enough to not take up a lot of space but still sleek and stylish. Talk about love at first sight!

Eliminate Wire Clutter with Kinivo

Make sure to check out Kinivo’s brand new website and all the latest products they have for sale!

How do you manage the wire clutter in your home?

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth Headphones For Your Active Lifestyle and Giveaway #HolidayGiftGuide

Tweens and active individuals alike will love the Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth Headphones! Sleek, easy to use with a great charge life these headphones will be the perfect gift under the tree this year.

Kinivo BTH240 bluetooth headphones is the new re-design of the popular BTH220 headphones. Kinivo took customer recommendations into consideration and the new design includes: increased battery life, micro USB charging port, sleeker design as well as a reduced LED brightness.

It was easy to fall in love with the sleek wrap around design of the BTH240 headphones. The headphones wrap around the back of your neck allowing a comfortable fit without it getting in the way or feeling uncomfortable. Pairing with our devices was simple (thank goodness!) – press and hold a button until the light is flashing, go to settings on your device and link to the headphones.

What impressed me the most about the BTH240 headphones was the battery life. Unlike many other devices these have lasted several days on one charge. The box states that the battery life is ten hours but I think they are much longer than that. They have stayed charged longer then the device they are connected to!

The sound quality was impressive for their size – everything comes through crystal clear.

Kinivo is giving my Canadian and American readers the chance to win their BTH240 Bluetooth headphones! This will definitely make someone happy this holiday season! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a pair of BTH240 bluetooth headphones in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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RealPad: The Tablet for All Ages #review

How many people do you know that have struggled to learn how to use a tablet? Your parents perhaps? Or maybe even yourself – I know my children can navigate a tablet much better than I ever will be able to!

A tablet is the perfect alternative to a traditional desk top computer – you can take it outside with you in the backyard or even out on the porch with your morning coffee or tea. Tablets allow us to keep in contact with our loved ones as well as follow major world events. But what happens when you can’t figure out the technology? The screen and icons are too small? Perhaps it is just too difficult to set up.

While this may not seem possible in our technologically advanced times unfortunately for many people it is. My Mom is included in this group – she has let her own tablet sit and go unused because it is just too difficult for her to figure out how to use. It is awful for her not to be able to use it but also a missed opportunity for her to be in contact with her grandchildren from home via video calls, emails and social media sites.

The RealPad from AARP has been designed to be user friendly for the 70 million Americans who are 50+ who have yet to embrace tablet technology (yup – 70 million!).

RealPad comes pre-loaded with useful apps and educational videos on how to use the tablet (no need to fumble through a user guide that is difficult to follow – just watch the video!). An extremely helpful toolbar at the bottom helps you locate the information you need quickly – especially when something goes wrong. I literally opened the box the tablet came in, charged the tablet, pressed the on button and I was ready to go. I could easily connect my email, facebook and twitter accounts. Navigation is simple with only one button to exit the screen. The icons were large, easy to recognize and navigate my way through.

Easy to read labels on the back identified USB source, power source and headphone connections. Connecting to our home Wifi network took under five minutes – most of my trouble with that was trying to remember my password!

Curious to know more about the specifications of RealPad?

  • Intel 2.1  GHz Duel Core Processor
  • 16 GB of storage
  • 7.85″ HD display (1024×768 resolution)
  • 5 mega pixel rear camera to take stunning HD photos and videos as well as a 2.0 mega pixel front camera
  • 24/7 live help (yes you heard that right – LIVE help!)
  • RealPad comes pre-loaded with 20 step by step videos
  • Android 4.4 operating system
  • RealPad has a total weight of 14 ounces

The real bonus came when I let my children test it out as well. Both of my boys are pretty advanced with technology (they definitely did not get it from me!) and they fell in love with RealPad. It was easy for them to use, they loved the entertainment section as well as the ability to pair it with their blue tooth headphones to listen to videos, music and their games. This allowed them to be the perfect helpers with their Grandma when it came for her to use it! As I am letting my children use it I wanted to buy a tablet holder so they could lie on the couch or in bed watching their favourite program or movie, I found a great little tablet holder at, it’s like a mini bean bag and it allows you to rest your tablet anywhere you want without the worry of it falling over.

One of RealPad’s best features? It’s price! At $189 US, it will be hard to find a better deal. A RealPad can be purchased on the AARP site or through Walmart.

Whether you are looking at purchasing a tablet to stay connected with your parents RealPad is an excellent as well as affordable choice in the tablet market.


Disclosure: I received a RealPad in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Get Ready for Back to School With the Nokia Lumia 635 #NokiaBTS

Summer vacation is winding down and if you haven’t already done so it is time to start preparing our children for back to school. The new school year brings changes, meeting new people and for some of our children it will be their first time walking to and from school or even taking a city bus to high school. As a parent this is a terrifying moment for us – I swear I now know why my parents never wanted to let us go out alone! We want to be able to communicate with our children and let them have a security measure to be able to call for a pick up or assistance if needed. The problem? Tweens and teens can sometimes not be as careful with their electronics as we would hope they could be. Broken screens anyone?

Nokia has introduced the Nokia Lumia 635 a one of a kind smart phone in the affordable range that you will feel comfortable with purchasing for your tween or teen. How affordable you ask? You can pick up one for $0 down on some plans or purchase the phone itself for $199.  Despite the affordable price the phone does not look nor feel any different than any other smart phone out there. It still has a good solid feel while holding it in your hand as well as having full capabilities of any other smart phone.

Our son is slowly wanting to gain his independence and this was the perfect starter phone for him to help transition him to walking to a friend’s house, walking to the park and practice walking to and from school with his friends. He still had the confidence to walk alone or with his friends but knew that he was always one swipe away from being able to call us. Not to mention he fell in love with all of the apps and social media features he can use.

Nokia has developed several features that are unique to their line of phones. I wanted to share some of the ones that I felt your teen would love!

 Top Features for Tweens and Teens

  • Mix Radio App. This is probably one of the coolest apps I have ever seen. It comes already installed on the phone and is a FREE music playing radio app. Yup – FREE! That’s one perfect word to my ears especially since my son loves his music. You can even personalize your mix so that the app will recognize the type of music you like to listen to and play these songs.
  • Navigation App. I have the Nokia Lumia 1020 and became familiar with the navigation apps using that phone and it is a fantastic feature for those constantly on the go. The Nokia Lumia 635 has a built in GPS with no subscription or fees required to be able to use this. The three navigation apps are: Here Drive+, Here Maps and Here Transit. Your child can use the app to navigate routes home from after school activities, map out routes to their friends house and even check the local transit system! You can check out this app in motion here.
  • WiFi & Data Sense. Now this feature will be appreciated much more by the parents then their children but I had to highlight this feature. I have gone over my data plan only once and it was horrendous. An extra one hundred dollars in just data alone! With the Nokia Lumia 635 you can turn on WiFi sense so that it will automatically switch to WiFi while they are out and about or at school which helps prevent data overages. Your child can combine this with Data Sense – a feature that allows set limits on data usages, warnings when you are close to your limit as well as limiting data usage to WiFi only.
  • Social Media Apps. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – the essentials! All can be found on this phone and easy to use. With the large screen pictures can be viewed easily.
  • Customizable. The phone is easily customizable. Your child can change the display, accent colours, update the tiles, add more or less tiles as well as change the shell. We chose the bright green shell – flashy, bright and easy to find once he misplaces it!

 Nokia Lumia Specifications for the Techies!

  • Display screen is 4.5″
  • Touch screen technology
  • Dimensions: 129.5mm X 66.7mm
  • 222.1 ppi
  • USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows One Drive

The only drawback with this phone is no front camera. Now what does that mean for your child? It just means it is a little harder to take that selfie! Knowing this, Nokia developed a Glam Me app that helps guide the user to take their own selfie using the back camera. Once the timer is started it will beep to help you position the camera into the appropriate spot for that perfect selfie. Problem solved!

The Nokia Lumia 635 is the best and affordable starter phone out there. Our son fell in love with it’s easy to use features, bright display screen and mix radio.

What are your favourite features of the Nokia Lumia 635? What features do you look for in a phone for your child?

Disclosure: I am part of the Nokia BTS campaign and received product as well as compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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