Category: PTPA winner

Racing Action with AnkiDRIVE #review #giveaway

I love race cars and everything racing! We love auto shows, race tracks and playing racing video games with our children. We love the fast pace, quick decisions and excitement of choosing cars and winning.

When I was given the opportunity to test out Anki DRIVE how could I resist? This looked like one of the most exciting video games ever brought to life. Anki DRIVE uses artificial intelligence to deliver a racing video game in the real world with you in control. Pretty amazing, right? I had too literally take it away from my children in order to set it up they were so excited.

Anki Drive comes with a starter kit starting at $199 – which may seem expensive at first but once you open the kit and begin to use the cars you can fully appreciate the technology behind the system and appreciate the price.

Each kit includes:

  • the racing track (roughly 8.5 feet by 3.5 feet)
  • three car charger
  • two cars with charging pods
  • start up information.

The Anki Drive app is free to download at the Apple app store and the game is compatible with any of the following: iPhone 4s or newer, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad3 or newer or iPad mini. Anki Drive is suitable for all ages capable of using an iOS device (our two year old had no problem!). You can also purchase additional race cars for additional cost.

Set up is incredibly easy – I was actually expecting it to take long but was pleasantly surprised.

Physically you have to just unroll the mat in a clear and flat area, ensuring the cars are fully charged before you can begin to play.  The game will work best on a smooth and flat floor but we also played on the carpet in our children’s toy room and had no problem as well.

The app took less then two minutes to download – which was perfect for my impatient family members who could not wait to start playing. This also surprised me because apps can sometimes take quite a bit of time to download.

The technology in Anki DRIVE is jaw dropping – literally. The moment you set them down on the race track they sense the track’s every curve and line. The cars speed around the track, gliding through every curve and avoiding each other. It is incredible watching the cars race each other. Our boys were screaming in excitement. Using blue tooth the cars report back to the app on the IOS device. You control the speed, turns, maneuvers – all through the app. The app also has a great starting guide that walks you through on how to control the car so you don’t have to worry about not understanding how to play.

As if this was not cool enough – the cars battle. Yup you heard that right – they sense each other and can battle their racing opponent. This has been a fantastic game for our whole family to play and has provided hours of entertainment for all of our family and friends that have come over to visit.

Anki DRIVE and PTPA are now giving you the chance to win your own starter kit – the perfect gift for any car enthusiast in your house!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.

Don’t forget to follow Anki on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on important news and information!

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Oink: Teaching Financial Literacy and Independence #review #giveaway

Teaching our children financial literacy skills is incredibly important. It gives them the strength, knowledge and independence to help them grow as stronger young adults. But how do we teach our children these skills? Money can be such a sensitive topic for people and others may not feel comfortable discussing bills, savings, etc. The tricky part can be in how to get these conversations rolling.
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Oink (previously Virtual Piggy) is an online piggy bank where children and teens can safely (and securely!) spend, save their allowances, create wishlists, donate and more. Most importantly, Oink opens up the door of communication so we can have these important financial chats with our children (that do not always happen when we give them their allowance in cash and they disappear quickly and I speak from experience there – never seen a nine year old run to his room so quickly before!).
Oink has set up quite a few safeguards for children when it comes to spending. A parent must first set up their own account linking it to their child’s account. Parents can then set a number of parameters depending on the age of their child, the amount of independence they feel is right, etc. Parent’s can set up funding goals, choose how much a child can spend in a single transaction, how they are alerted for these transactions and if approval needs to be given before these transactions can go through. Oink works with kid friendly retailers online and when your child goes to make a purchase they simply click on the “Virtual Piggy” at checkout. This video by Oink really helped walk me through the whole concept and understand our accounts better.

I love how Oink not only allows my son and I to have important financial conversations but also how it empowers him to make good financial decisions on his own. I was quite proud to hear him say that he did not want to spend all of his money on one toy because then he would have nothing left! He wanted to save a portion of his allowance and the other part he would save until there was something he really wanted. Oink gives him the tools to independently save his allowance, create a wishlist that we can go through together (you know all those “wants”) while still allowing me to monitor from a distance to make sure he is safe. It allowed me to feel confident in his choices and help us to speak more freely about money and budgeting for our wants and needs.
The best part of Oink? It is 100% free to use! Yes you heard that right! Both the child and parent account are completely free to use, save and spend online!
Oink is also a Parent Tested Parent Approved Winner. They have met the high standards of other parents just like you in order to earn that designation which is well deserved!
You can also check out their website which has a wealth of financial knowledge and tips. They have great tips on starting money conversations when paying bills or shopping along with helpful resources for families. You can also keep up to date with them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Oink is giving one reader a chance to win a $100 in gift card credit at
This giveaway is open to residents of the US, 18 years of age and older. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. The only compensation from this post is the giveaway for you my readers.

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How To Keep Your Personal Information Personal In a Social Media World #ESETProtects

Social media plays a huge role in my life. It is the number one way I stay connected to family overseas, friends from high school and network with new friends and bloggers. You can instantly share updates on your children, success stories and pictures. Sometimes without even realizing it we can share too much information and make information public that we may regret later.
Facebook is one of the largest social media sites that many of us use on a daily basis. If you are not careful about your privacy settings you can unintentionally share information not only with your friends but their friends as well! ESET shares with us their top tips on how to protect your privacy on Facebook. Our eldest son has already started to ask for a Facebook account even though he is not yet thirteen. He has many friends that have been allowed by their parents to join the social media site. We were firm with our decision that no he is not ready for a social media account. A certain level of maturity is required to safely manage a social media account and to prevent the sharing of inappropriate or unsafe content that will later be regretted.
Some key tips to remember when setting up a Facebook account:
  • Do not over share! If you give away to much information online it is easier for your identity to be stolen. Your friends and family members know you already – there is no need to share more than the basics.
  • Keep your private information private. Actively go in to your privacy settings and update them. You do not need to share every status update and photo in public mode nor should you want to. If you do not change your settings most of the updates you share will be public.
  • Update your Timeline settings. Did you know you can choose who can or can not see your Timeline? If you did not then you should look – you can chose to review posts that include your name, items posted to your timeline and so on.
  • Third party access – every once in a while check out who you have allowed to view your information (i.e. – birthday, friends, etc..). If you do not use the app remove that access they have.
  • Before you chose to log in with Facebook on some accounts or sites make sure you trust that site. You are giving them access to view your personal information!
  • Look at your Facebook friends. Every once in a while go through who you have added, accepted friend requests from, etc. Do you really know this person? Are you comfortable sharing information with them? If not then you may want to remove them from having access to your page.
Remember my post from last month about all the awesome features of ESET Smart Security 6? They even have you covered on Facebook with a Social Media Scanner! The scanner works to protect your Facebook and Twitter accounts from any form of malicious content. Pretty awesome, right?
Now that we have covered the basics of protecting ourselves on our social media accounts, what would you do if you were to lose your mobile device or laptop? I can not even begin to think of the nightmare that would bring! If you are like a lot of the people I know your mobile device is your calendar, it stores important dates/information, contact information, your social media accounts and so much more!
I was so surprised about how likely the chances of your mobile device or laptop being lost or stolen were. There are a few ways you can help to protect your personal information if your mobile phone or laptop are ever lost or stolen.
  • Password protect your devices. This will help to slow down anyone who may have stolen your phone (not to mention keeping your little ones out of your phone and posting updates on your behalf!).
  • Back up your devices. You can only really know the importance of this after losing all of your important papers or documents, pictures and so on. Safe yourself the hassle and regularly back up your devices.
  • Tracking software. ESET Smart Security 6 comes with tracking software that can help to locate your laptop. ESET also has mobile security for androids!
  • Do not tempt thieves. Be careful with your devices. Do not leave them out on a table and walk away. Guard your personal devices like you do your personal information.
  • Encrypt sensitive data or better yet remove sensitive data from your devices.
Have you had the online social media chat with your pre-teens and teens yet? What advice do you give them?
ESET is offering an incredible giveaway open to CDN/US residents! Enter now: a Rafflecopter giveaway

ESET Smart Security 6 is a PTPA award winner! Check out their full line of products here. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosure: As part of the ESET Brand Ambassadorship I received compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own and I only support products that I love!
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PercyVites: An Interactive and Exciting Way to Send E-Vites

Recently I was given the opportunity to try out the PercyVites website and create my own personalized e-vites. I was really excited to be able to participate in this opportunity through PTPA Media and even more so because our son’s second birthday was coming up!
I love birthdays and parties – to be very honest I love any reason to celebrate and be given the opportunity to plan and organize a party. I love the thrill of choosing a theme and carrying it out from start to finish.
Both my husbands and my own family are scattered all over Ontario and through out several continents so it is not feasible for us to be able to mail invites to each and every person we want to. This usually results in us sending out a text message to family close by or an email if needed. I can not even begin to describe how much I hate doing that – I love invitations as they set the mood and excitement for the party to come.
PercyVites are unique personalized video invitations that are delivered to your invitation list by email. They incorporate popular licensed characters into a video clip with your child’s photograph and all relevant party information.

I loved how simple the site was to navigate through. My two year old and I sat down and he had to have Caillou! So we made our choice and quickly began to go through the pages to set up the invite; choosing our event date, details, email addresses, etc..

Our final invite came through to our email looking like this:
We were able to send them out to everyone in our family, including our family that live overseas! This was a first to be able to include them and they were very grateful for this. We had such rave reviews from everyone that received an e-vite. They had never seen something so  neat and interactive before. They loved how his picture was included and the whole video clip in general.
I loved PercyVites because:
  • PercyVites site was easy to navigate and enter the information.
  • At $0.99 an invite you can not go wrong!
  • They are eco-friendly! No wasting paper and they save you money on having to purchase stamps.
  • I loved the personalization. It was nice to know that each person that received an invite felt included and welcomed.
  • My child’s image was included in the invite! He loved being in a video clip with Caillou!
PercyVites have been awarded the PTPA seal as well! Very well deserved!

You can follow them on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.
Have you signed up yet to be a parent product tester with PTPA Media yet? If not sign up here now!
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