6 articles Tag apps

How To: Create Valentine’s Day Cards + Content for Social Media using the Instasize App

Who said Valentine’s Day was just for lovers?! We view Valentine’s Day as a day of love – celebrating with whoever you’re lucky enough to hold close. With social media playing such an integral part of our day to day lives, avoiding the massive amount of Valentine’s Day posts that your feeds and timelines are about to be flooded with sounds impossible. So why not join in on the fun? Instasize – a premier photo editor + content creating tool kit gives you the ability to completely transform the photos you’ve taken with your smartphone into engaging content pieces that both your friends and followers will love. The app is free to download for both IOS and Android platforms: http://instasize.com

Spice your feed up this V-Day with some border love. Create custom family collages to show the special people in your life just how much you appreciate them. The app currently has two available border packs that contain a plethora of Valentine-y backgrounds.  And at the start of this week the people over at Instasize introduced a flashy new Marble Border Collection we’re obsessed with. Keep reading to find out what types of content you can be creating for your various social media platforms – all created in under 2 minutes and with the Instasize App.

Borders & Collages:

You can find the Valentine’s Day themed border packs within the apps border editor. After selecting a photo to edit, click on the border icon (it looks like a square within a square) and from there you can download the “XOXO”, “LOVE”, and “Marble” border collections. Here is the step by step breakdown on how to re-create the collage above:

  1. Open the Instasize App (download here: https://instasize.me/xcSO/OdnBzRMzvK)
  2. Tap the “plus” sign to select which format you wish to edit.
  3. Tap the “collage” icon.
  4. Choose up to 6 images to be placed in a single collage. (we chose 3 to begin with)
  5. At the top, you may swipe left to see different layout options.
  6. Tap the layout option you wish to use.
  7. At the bottom of the editing screen, tap the “borders icon”
  8. Choose either the LOVE or XOXO border packs.
  9. Select Valentines borders of choice.
  10. Use the bar above to adjust border width
  11. Next to the “borders” icon, tap the “A” icon, meaning text.
  12. Write your desired message (we wrote “XOXO”) followed by the checkmark when complete
  13. Swipe left to choose from an array of fonts. (We love “Cute Love” font)
  14. Pinch with two fingers to move or adjust size of text.
  15. To add another text, swipe right at the bottom until you see the plus sign and tap.
  16. Next type your family’s name to complete your valentines card. (The Sorenson Family)
  17. Move Text to desired area on photo.
  18. Share with friends, family, and followers!

Valentines Card w/ Text:

These easy to make cards are the perfect addition to any Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and/or Instagram feed. The Instasize App comes equipped with over 30 fonts to choose from for creating themed content online. Best part? You can make add text to any photo in under a minute. GO.

  1. Open the Instasize app.
  2. Tap the plus sign at the bottom.
  3. Tap the “photo” icon to choose your image.
  4. Apply desired filter on top.
  5. At the bottom tap the “A” icon meaning text.
  6. Type your message “My Loves” and desired color of text.
  7. Choose font (we used Playlist Script)
  8. Position text on image.
  9. At the bottom scroll all the way to the left until you see the “+” sign to add another line of text.
  10. Repeat steps 6-8
  11. To create the lines on either side of your text like pictured above above, repeat step #9 and type — side by side to create a “line”
  12. Create two and add to each side of text “My Loves”

Unlock new fonts, filters, and border collections every month with a subscription to Instasize Premium – enjoy a free 7 day trial on us: https://instasize.me/xcSO/OdnBzRMzvK

Valentine’s Quote w/ Background

Another great addition to any Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and/or feed are themed text posts. We’ve discovered that our borders (typically used with photos) make phenomenal backgrounds for quotes! Here’s how to recreate the above image on your own device.

  1. Open the Instasize app.
  2. Tap the plus sign at the bottom.
  3. Tap the “photo” icon to choose an image (it can be any image, we’ll be removing it from the frame so we can have full access to the border).
  4. At the bottom scroll to find the borders icon.
  5. Choose desired border from the “XOXO” or “LOVE” pack.
  6. Pinch your photo to make it small and slide it off to the side until you no longer see your photo.
  7. Find the text icon below
  8. Type out your Valentines message.
  9. Choose font (we used Blackout Midnight)
  10. Position text on border.

With 20 different border backgrounds to choose from there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be posting some fun + engaging content this Valentine’s Day! Tag the Instasize app on Instagram for a potential chance at being featured.
Instagram: @instasize.official

Juggling Your Busy Life: Top Tools and Strategies for Work at Home Mums

Work at home mums must juggle it all; from child care and housework to cooking and working. To make life a little easier, Android have developed a number of apps for mums who are always on the go. Check out these ideas to help you manage your time and minimize your stress.

Keep up With the Weather

When you’re working with a tight schedule, it’s important to know what the weather’s going to be like, so you don’t get caught out in a storm when all you want is an hour in the park with the kids. This versatile app will give you a weather report at a glance, wherever you are in the world and an accurate 7-day forecast. As well as the temperature, it will also tell you air pressure and precipitation, wind speed and direction, sunrise and sunset times and weather radar. Learn more about this great app.

So you Don’t Forget

Little reminders help busy mums stay on top of things. Widget Notes Whiteboard is a great note taking app. Use it for shopping lists, things to do lists, reminders, and memos. It’s really easy to add notes to your home screen. The app has three board colors and three widget sizes.

Take Time Out

Busy mums need to take some time out to relax even if it’s only five minutes every day. The Buddhist Meditation Trainer is your personal trainer for meditation and relaxation. With ten levels of enlightenment and quotes to meditate on every level, you can begin straight away, with just 5 minutes per day. After ten days, you will gain a level of further enlightenment. You can set a daily reminder so you won’t forget to meditate.

Great Family Meals

Favorite Recipes is a great pocket cookbook with thousands of recipes, so you can easily plan your weekly meals. You can search recipes, save your favorites and submit your own recipes. Each meal has directions so cooking couldn’t be easier or more fun. You can also share recipes on Facebook or Twitter.

Keep Track of Bills

From the Creators of Quickbooks, Mint Bills is the easiest way to keep up with bills and have on-hand records of all your payments. You can also monitor your bank accounts and credit cards all in the same place. This is a great way to keep your budget in check so you never have to stress about missing a bill payment. Armed with the same encryption and security standards as your bank, the app is completely safe to use. QuickBooks can be handy tool for keeping an track of expenses, QuickBooks Enterprise hosting on a Citrix Xendesktop VDI can help you catch up with your finance records remotely from any device.

Stay Fit

Don’t have time to exercise? Try the 7 Minute Workout. Designed for busy mums like you, this app has a highintensity interval training workout that will get your heart pumping. It is comprised of 12 exercises and all you need to get in shape is a chair and a wall.

Using these apps will boost your productivity and save you time when you’re keeping up with you home office and your family.

Emily Rickard started her own business from home 2 years ago. She has 2 young kids and enjoys the freedom her own business allows her, even when it does get crazy busy!

Technology and Kids: Moderation is the Key

kids and technologyTechnology. It’s one of those things which can be SO good when it works but can also be the bane of your life when it doesn’t. We’re quite “techy”, here in the Mum’s the Word house, and all of us have various devices that we use on a daily basis. The girls have tablets and Sausage has a mobile phone which she got for her last birthday, mostly to allow her to go Pokemon hunting without needing to use my phone!

However, it’s not without it’s issues; I often find myself spending far too much time on Facebook or Reddit or playing some mobile game and sometimes I realise I’ve spent almost all day staring at a screen, and naturally, Sausage would be the same if we allowed her unfettered access to her phone. She only uses her phone at home, but just recently My Voucher Codes conducted a survey which found that 75% of parents feel that mobile devices have a negative effect on their children’s education and how social media platforms have become so distracting to students that they are less likely to concentrate during lessons.

I do think that a lot of the problem is the lack of monitoring that goes on – just because Sausage has her own technology doesn’t mean that she is able to use them autonomously – Husband and I have to approve every app she installs and we like to ensure she has a mixture of fun and educational apps. Pokemon Go encourages exercise, so we’re happy for her to use it, and she also has apps which help her to learn foreign languages, her times table and which encourage her to train her memory.

I also think that the issue is WHEN children are allowed to use their phones. Until she’s a LOT older, Sausage won’t be allowed to take her device to school because she simply doesn’t need it. Also, when she’s at home she has to have completed her homework before she can use her phone and we don’t let her use it for hours on end. She also has to put it down at least an hour before bed because it’s now been proven that looking at screens can interrupt a person’s circadian rhythm and we certainly don’t want her to be unable to sleep!

Chris Riley from My Voucher Codes thoughts on technology for kids echo my own:

“It’s interesting to see that three quarters of parents feel that mobiles, tablets and gaming devices have a negative effect on their child’s education, yet half admit that they do not restrict the time that their child spends on the internet.

“Monitoring your child’s internet and social media usage is now more important than ever. Although there is a range of benefits from spending time online, including increased communication and access to information, there is also the risk of online bullying, depression caused by online altercations and exposure to inappropriate content. Setting ground rules, checking privacy settings and monitoring what your child is sharing are good steps to take to ensure your child stays safe online.”

He added: “We find using our mobile or tablet devices can easily take over our lives and those of our children. Setting times when you children can use these devices means they are not on their phones 24/7. It will also be beneficial to their health if they are not on devices late into the night as well as improving their concentration in class.”

How do you feel about mobile devices for kids? I’d love to hear your thoughts so do leave me a comment below.

10 Healthcare Apps That Can Make Your Life Easier

Mobile technology has changed most aspects of our lives. Millions of people own smartphones and other mobile devices. All of these devices let users install mobile apps, with healthcare apps among the most important and popular. These are 10 healthcare apps that can make your life easier.

1. WebMD

The WebMD app is a comprehensive healthcare app that gives its user access to a wide range of health related information and tools. Some of its key features include the following:

  • WebMD Symptom Checker
  • Conditions
  • Drugs & Treatments
  • Pill Identification Tool
  • First Aid Essentials
  • Local Health Listings

The WebMD app has an easy-to-use interface. As well as this, users can customize many of the features above, making it an extremely powerful healthcare app.

2. Doctor On Demand

Doctor On Demand is an example of one of the many web based care agencies that have changed the way many people interact with a range of different medical professionals. This app lets you have a video visit with one of many screened health professionals. This means you can get a diagnosis without having to leave your home. Each visit normally costs $40.

It’s the perfect way to get advice from your doctor about many common health issues. The fact that you can do it through your mobile device, means you don’t have to travel or queue to see your local physician, pediatrician or other health professional.

3. MedScape

The MedScape app is one of the most popular healthcare apps available. It’s used by a wide range of health professionals including physicians, nurses, medical students and other individuals who want a reliable healthcare resource.

This app has a wide range of useful features. It’s most useful features include its medical news updates, drug information and tools, disease and condition information, medical calculators, drug formulary information and medical courses information.

4. Health Tap

Sometimes it’s difficult to visit your doctor. The Health Tap is designed to give users access to doctors 24/7. Simply open the app and connect with one of over 70,000 doctors who are available to help you through your mobile device.

As well as providing live virtual consultations, the Health Tap app also features actionable check lists, daily health tips, personalized feeds and much more.

5. Learn First Aid

Learning First Aid has saved many people’s lives. However, many individuals are unaware of what’s involved. The Learn First Aid apps is designed for these people.

It’s an easy-to-use app that shows users how to deal with the following:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Heart attacks
  • Electric shock
  • Bullet wounds
  • How to do CPR
  • Stab wounds
  • Falls
  • Eye wounds
  • Swelling
  • Choking
  • Burns

6. BMI Calculator

The BMI Calculator app is the perfect tool to help you reach your ideal weight. This healthcare app has four tools to help you achieve your weight goals. These four tools include the following

  • Body Mass Index
  • Daily Calories Intake Calculator
  • Body Fat Percentage
  • Waist to Height Ratio

This app is suitable for all genders and age groups. It allows for metric and imperial calculations.

7. Blood Pressure

The Blood Pressure app works alongside a blood pressure gauge to record your blood pressure details. Once you obtain your blood pressure reading from the blood pressure gauge, these readings can be stored and analyzed, thanks to a range of useful features on this app.

The Blood Pressure app has an easy-to-use interface. Once you have stored your details, you can create various reports and even send this information to your doctor for further examination.

8. Ask a Doctor

As the name suggests, Ask a Doctor gives you the opportunity to contact doctors about a wide range of health issues. Over 15000 doctors worldwide are available to deal with your inquiry. To get help through this app, simply ask questions, upload your reports or send images of your health issue.

9. IGEA Software

If you’re a home health provider, the IGEA Software app is a great choice.  It’s one of the few home health billing software options that comes with an app that you can utilize from a tablet or smartphone, and enables users to bill Medicare and other insurance companies through an easy to use dashboard.  It can also help with scheduling and time management, and help you to update medical records electronically.

10. Health Log

It’s important to keep track of your health, especially if you have certain conditions that need to be monitored or checked regularly. Health Log is designed to record a wide range of health issues including allergies, anxiety, headaches and much more. Once this information is stored, the app allows you to view it in different reports and graphs for easier analysis and viewing.

Mobile apps are important health related recourse for all mobile device users. The ten apps above will help make your life and the life of your family members much easier.

Learning to Tell the Time

When I was little, I was pretty capable when it came to most things. I had great verbal reasoning and could catch on to most concepts with minimal effort (if only it were so easy as an adult!) but the one thing that I remember struggling with was telling the time. I lived with my Grandparents when I was 5 and they had this little clock on top of their telly, a proper 1970’s marvel with an oblong-shaped face and no numbers, plus the classic orange second hand that all clocks seemed to have when I was a kid, and I remember spending what seemed like ages staring at that clock with my Grandad trying to explain 20-past and 10-to, to me.

My Nan used to do this thing, I don’t know if it’s just a Southern idiom, or a London thing specifically, but she didn’t say ‘twenty-five past’, she said ‘five and twenty past’ – I used to find it really funny as it reminded me of the nursery rhyme where they say “four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie”.

Anyway, the time has come where Sausage needs to learn to tell the time and the best way for her to do this is to wear a watch, so we’ve been shopping around, trying to find one which would be good for her. So far, our favourite comes from The Watch Hut:

The Watch Shop

This ICE watch looks like it’d be really sturdy, but it’s still very pretty and the numbers are bright and easy to read. Sausage will absolutely love it and it’s something that she won’t outgrow in a hurry. We love being able to teach Sausage new things, and watch her absorbing and using her new life-skills. Telling the time is one of those things that seems so simple and second-nature to an adult, but is actually really important to know, so we’re intent on providing her with the right tools to do it.

What do you think of our choice? What would you choose, if you were us?

If you need any help with teaching your kids to tell the time, there are some great resources below which are full of great tips and advice:

The Guardian

Kids Activities Blog

Here’s an Android App which is very useful

And one for iOS

Mini Pupstars iPad App Review

Recently, we were asked to download and review Mini Pupstars, the interactive iPad app for kids. The name alone was enough to let me know that it would definitely be worth a look for my animal-crazy five year old, so this weekend we set about finding our way around the app. These videos show you what it’s all about:

The app, which is basically a virtual dog grooming parlour, allows kids to give their chosen Pup a trim, shave, shower, wash, blowdry and add numerous colours and accessories to them to make a new and glamorous Pupstar each time. They can then photograph their preened pooch and add them to their gallery. There are three dogs to choose from and it’s completely ad-free and doesn’t feature any in-app purchases, which is really important to me as a parent.

Sausage took to the game right away; she’s a very tech savvy kid but she literally picked the iPad up and started playing, with no instructions needed, which tells me that it’s very user friendly. The app is aimed at kids aged 5 and over, so Sausage is the prime age for this app, but I also think she’d have been more than capable of using it a year or two ago, too.

She’s spent probably about 2 hours playing the game on and off over the course of the weekend and she’s really enjoyed all of it. There are no ‘wrong turns’ in the game, so she hasn’t needed help to go through the menus or work out what she’s doing and the fact that you can take snaps of your dog from within the app means she doesn’t have to agonising over losing all of her work whenever she’s ready to create a new pooch.

Mini Pupstars

Both Husband and I have sat with Sausage while she’s been playing and here’s what he and Sausage had to say about it:

“I liked the spray can and I like the hats and necklaces for the dogs. I thought the app was interesting and fun!” – Sausage, age 5

“The app looks quite enjoyable, novel and fun for kids. The accuracy could do with some improvement when using the tools, but it’s still a good kids app” – Husband

All in all, we really liked the Pupstars app. I like the fact that it brings out the creativity in kids in a fun and engaging way and the user interface is super easy to get to grips with.

It would be nice to see more breeds of dog and more customisation options available in the next update, but overall it’s definitely a good app for both boys and girls alike and we’d all recommend it highly.