Category: electronics

Bringing Communities Together: Pokémon GO #SafariZone

How many of you grew up as a fan of Pokémon?

In my childhood home, my siblings and I were huge fans of Pokémon. We loved watching the shows, purchasing our favourite keepsakes (still have our giant Pikachu pillow from twenty years ago!). Pokemon was a huge part of our childhood but as we grew older, the craze died down a bit and it became more of a fond childhood memory.

That was until the Pokémon GO app was released and we were able to rediscover the world of Pokémon all over again. But this time it was an enhanced experience where we could connect with others in real life.

Not familiar with the game? In the app (can be downloaded on either the Apple Store or Google Play), users create an avatar and explore the world of Pokémon by moving through their everyday routines. The app shows your world on the screen and intertwines the Pokémon world within it (gyms, PokeStops, Pokémon, etc). You can capture new Pokémon, make friends, battle in raids and complete challenges for rewards.

What makes this game even more special for us?

That we can participate as a family – my kids LOVE the world of Pokémon! It has brought us closer as a family, as we spend several hours a week going for walks, going to parks, hiking and playing the game together. We have discovered new locations in our community and even at my work on campus (I found new sculptures on campus that I never knew even existed). It not only gets us active but learning about our community and each other. As a parent, there is no greater feeling then seeing the smile on your child’s face as they speak about something they love.

The second best part? The amazing trainer community. The trainers in our area are a special group of people that support, laugh and encourage us. At the last community day, we headed out to the Bay Front and my kids were giving high fives and receiving congratulations on their captures. The feeling was so special and so difficult to put into words. There is such a strong sense of community and inclusiveness in this global community. The game brings together people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.

Pokémon GO Safari Zone at Montreal

This past weekend my family and I had the privilege of attending Pokémon GO Safari Zone in Montreal. To say my son was excited was an understatement – he had a countdown and could barely sleep! We packed up our car at 1:30 in the morning and made the long trek to Montreal.

The event was held in the beautiful Circuit Gilles Villeneuve at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The location was stunning with beautiful views of the water, gorgeous beach and stunning pathways through greenery. There were so many spots to relax – we ended up walking close to 25 km on the Saturday!

Our youngest was in Pokémon glory. He was bouncing around, dancing to the theme music playing and talking to other trainers. He loved catching his shiny characters and showing off his finds to those around him. We caught so many new characters and my husband (new to the game) leveled up quite quickly.

The group was huge (we later found out over 39,000 people attended the three day event) and spanned all ages and genders. I loved watching the young toddlers dressed up as their favourite Pokémon characters and helping their parents capture those shinys (talk about complete heart melting moments).

My favourite photo of the day is this one:

It is everything that this game means to us – that no matter how many years separate us and how busy are days are, this brings us together. We laugh, joke, support and play together. When we play, it is our time to come together as a family.

This event was an incredible experience from start to finish – hats off to all of those individuals who came together to make it a magical experience for all. Fingers and toes crossed for another event in Canada soon!

Make sure to connect with them on Twitter and Facebook. You can also find some great groups on Facebook that will connect you locally with other trainers to complete challenges and raids together.

Disclosure: I received Early Passes to the Pokemon GO Safari Zone. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Feel Confident and Safe with MYNT Tracker

Feel Confident and Safe with MYNT

I am an anxious person by nature. I double (and sometimes triple check) to make sure my stove is off. I re-check locked doors and even get my kids to double-check with me for a second pair of eyes (I really hope that they don’t grow up and follow in my steps with anxiety). I will put my keys in my purse only to be checking ten minutes later if they are still there.

When I can’t find something in the place that I thought it was in, I go into full-out panic mode. My anxiety kicks in and I begin to have an attack – face goes red, sweating and being sharp with those that are around me. It is truly not a pretty sight! Most of my anxiety is over my keys, my phone and my wallet.

I know I am not alone in these habits. So many others also become anxious at the thought of losing their phone, keys and anything of value. As a society we are constantly on the go so we know that this is a reality – it is easy to misplace or leave something behind. We have so many things that we are multitasking that our brains tend to go into over drive.

What if there was a device that could safely track your valuable items and help give you that piece of mind that you need to function day-to-day?

Feel Confident and Safe with MYNT Tracker

The MYNT tracker is a sleek technology designed to attach or even be embedded into valuable items to track their location. It has the shape of a typical USB but much smaller design – it is 2 inches in length, 1 inch wide and an incredible 1/8 inch thick. It definitely packs a lot of power in such a small design! The tracker has a stainless steel shell allowing it to hold up against a lot of wear and tear including being water-resistant.

Feel Confident and Safe with MYNT Tracker

The tracker uses Bluetooth to connect to an app on your phone to monitor and let you know when the item that the MYNT tracker is attached to has become too far away. The app is easy to download from the Google or Apple store. Once the app is downloaded you would pair the device to your app and you are ready to be worry free! The app has three great features that includes: separation phone alert, separation location and distance indicator.

Common uses include:

  • smart phone
  • keys
  • wallet
  • car
  • purse
  • backpacks
  • your child’s clothes (this would be a huge bonus if going to an amusement park or location that is overly packed full of people)

The uses are really unlimited and you are in charge with what you feel is important to you and what you want to track. The tracker also has a remote control function allowing you to use it for camera, smart phone and more.

Feel Confident and Safe with MYNT Tracker

The tracker was very easy to set up, I literally took it out of its packaging, downloaded the app (a quick and painless and hit the MYNT button on the tracker. It began to pair immediately and took me through a couple of steps to let me know how to use the app and tracker. It gives a peace of mind knowing that at any given time I can check my app and see that my keys are nearby.

The MYNT tracker is available for purchase on Amazon and Amazon Canada.

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

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Creating Magical Christmas Memories with the Portable North Pole Magic Pass

Portable North Pole

For the last six years, our family has been creating Portable North Pole (PNP) Santa calls for our children. My Dad started this tradition with our eldest son and we have carried it on.

Portable North Pole (PNP) allows parents (or grandparents/aunts/uncles,etc) create a personalized video call for the special child in their life. They can personalize it with their name (which you can choose the right pronunciation of the name), their pictures, an achievement they made this year and what they have been asked to do this year. At the end of the video the child finds out whether they are on Santa’s naughty or nice list (not going to lie, my husband and I made joke ones for each other that the kids think are hilarious as Daddy is always on the naughty list!).

Creating Magical Memories with Portable North Pole

Each year the video calls are different with the most amazing attention to detail. The calls are engaging and Santa is animating and attentive. He really makes you feel part of the video call. Our youngest sits there listening to his video answering ‘yes Santa’, ‘I will try Santa’ and ‘okay Santa’. It is priceless and something we can’t wait for them to experience each year.

With the magic pass, you have access to all of the premium videos for an unlimited amount of video videos, a reaction recorder (this is for the mobile app), unlimited Santa calls, HD downloads of your videos and a story time video with Santa every week during the month of December. Right now you can save 20% on the PNP Magic Pass by visiting their website here.

Portable North Pole

I highly recommend downloading the app on your phone for the PNP. You can always watch the videos online but the app has so many extras that are perfect for parents and kids. There is a parent section (password protected!), where you can create the videos as well as email them. I used the app to create all my videos this year. There is also a call button on it that I have convinced my youngest and all his friends that it gives me a direct line to Santa when they are being bad. The second section is just for kids where they can playing a matching game, tree shaking game and watch their videos.

Creating Magical Memories with Portable North Pole

Make sure you follow Portable North Pole online to keep up with all things Christmas and Santa, you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Happy video calls!

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

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Educational Fun With KidloLand Nursery Rhyme App

Educationl Fun with the KidloLand Nursery Rhyme App

Kids love electronics! They can’t keep their hands off of them, especially in our home. While we do have set agreements around screen time based on their age, we do encourage both boys to use the iPad. We like to look for apps for our iPad that are educational, fun and age appropriate. We recently downloaded KidloLand Nursery Rhyme app from the Apple store for our youngest son who is four and have been very happy with our experiences with this app.

Educationl Fun with the KidloLand Nursery Rhyme App

What Is KidloLand?

KidloLand is designed for children from 0-5 years of age, making it very user-friendly especially for this young age group. The app contains over 260 rhymes and educational songs, as well as over 100 games and activities to keep your child occupied. The songs are educational and help your child learn their ABCs, animals, fruits and more. The activities help children with cognitive skills and hand/eye co-ordination.

The educational app can be downloaded from the App store, Google Play and the Amazon App Store.

Educational Fun with the KidloLand Nursery Rhyme App

Our Thoughts

Fun, great graphics and music can sum up this app in one sentence. Our four-year old son had no problem navigating through the app to choose a song that he wanted to listen to or to switch to an activity to play. The graphics were fantastic and colourful which really helped to draw our son into the song and keep his attention (which can be a tough job sometimes!). The songs all had the words play out on the bottom and were highlighted as they sang the words. I really loved this idea – not only was he hearing the song but he was also seeing the words pop up on the screen to help with word recognition.

Educational Fun with KidloLand Nursery Rhyme App

The activities were engaging and he really enjoyed them. I loved how they helped with fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination.

Educational Fun with KidloLand Nursery Rhyme App

The KidloLand app is a win-win for both parents and children alike! They will love the songs and graphics and you will appreciate the learning and skills that your child will develop.

Follow KidloLand

Make sure to follow KidloLand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more information and new happenings.

The Giveaway!

My Canadian and American readers can now enter to win their own one year subscription to KidloLand. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a one year subscription to KidloLand in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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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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