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All summer you were taking photos, now what?

Have you been taking an abundance of photos this summer? At the end of the summer, I find myself with thousands of photos and messages on my phone, but I’d much rather spend time making more memories than reviewing and editing them.

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School Emergency Kits

It’s back to school time! Can you believe it? My oldest kiddo starts school this year and I am slightly in denial. I may get a little teary when I drop that cute little boy off.

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Tailgate MVP

Look. If you’re such a big fan that you’re going to haul half your kitchen and all your booze out to freeze/roast your butt off in a parking lot for several hours, you might as well do it right.

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Printable Back to School Teacher Gift

August marks the end of summer and the start of a new season—back to school season that is! Chances are your children aren’t ready for summer to end, but many of their teachers are excited for the new school year! Help make your children’s teachers feel appreciated with these fun printable apple gift tags. All you need to do is print out the free download, cut out the tags, and pair them with a ruler. You can personalize them with the teachers name or use the one that simply says “teacher.” Either way, they are sure to make your child’s teacher feel appreciated and let them know they rule!

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Football Season

I love a good football game as much as the next red-blooded American, but usually it is the whole nostalgia of football season that gets me really excited. Sure jaw-dropping touchdown catches are thrilling, but conversations over mounds of chips and salsa are equally fun for me.

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Keeping Kids Safe at Home

My neighbor is a wonderful mother of three. When she moved to our neighborhood a few years ago, she came over to let me know her son has autism and often tries to leave the house unsupervised.

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The Modern Latch Key Kid

When I was a kid, there were few things I liked to come home to more than a note on the door that said “Go to the Webber’s.” That meant that my mom wasn’t home and that the garage door opener had been placed in grill. It also meant I could do whatever I wanted for a while… yes!

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Update Your Child’s Contact Info

Everyday, in schools across the nation, runny noses and uncovered coughs are common sights and sounds. Having a child come home sick from school is bound to happen to everyone.

This school year, be prepared for that inevitable call home by ensuring your child’s school has all the correct contact information

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Back to School Checklist

Backpack? Check. Lunch box? Check. Carpools? Check. Medical forms? CRAP!

Getting three kids in three different schools ready to start the new year is a nightmare. I should know, because it is my life right now. I’ve got one starting elementary school, another in junior high and my oldest is heading into high school.

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Is Your Home Ready for Back to School?

Keeping kids busy during the summer is a challenge.  Parents fill their spare time with planning activities, chauffeuring kids all around town and loading up the family car for a vacation or two.  By the second week of August, parents often look forward to the structure and predictability of the school schedule.  Their children, on the other hand, are loath to give up late nights and sleeping in.

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Preparing Your Home for the Change of Season

Is it fair to say that my favorite season is the change of a season? I love the shift from summer to fall – school is back in full swing, the sweltering heat fades away into chilly mornings, and it’s almost time to grab your fall gear. On top of all that, it’s a good time to prep your home for the change of the seasons. With fall comes a few housekeeping chores to check off your list that’ll keep your home running smoothly through fall and into winter.

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Video Game Guidelines

I had big plans for my family this summer. We were going to read piles of books, organize the entire house (and garage) and take educational adventures every week. Sadly, these things didn’t all happen. We did read a few books, clean out a couple of drawers and visit the local museum but sadly way too much of our time was spent in front of screens playing video games.

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Voice Recognition Software Challenge

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We live in the future. I’m sure that if you told my great grandmother back in the day that in the 21st century we could talk to our phones and they would talk back, she would have said you were off your rocker. But here we are, talking to robots who understand what we’re saying and can respond in kind!

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Close the Garage

I’ve come to love our home automation system. From remotely turning on and off lights to unlocking the front door in just a tap there are so many features I just adore. One of my favorite newest additions to our home automation system is the garage door controller.

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Save the AC – Take Control

It’s 90 degrees today. While I can easily recall cold days spent by fire, summer means we’re now focused on keeping the house cool. The great thing is we don’t have to worry—we have a Vivint smart thermostat that follows a schedule and automatically controls the temperature in our home.

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Crime in the Summertime

In 1935, J. Edgar Hoover, the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said, “Offenses of robbery and burglary are most frequently committed in the winter months.” Fast forward to today, burglaries are 10.5% more common in the summer than the winter, according to the Department of Justice.

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Easy Target – Garage Theft

My husband can attest to the fact that I am a worrier when it comes to keeping our doors locked. All day and night I make sure they are locked to prevent my kids from roaming the neighborhood and to keep strangers out. The truth is, I may be a bit over-paranoid about a potential break-in and feeding that paranoia isn’t the best practice…So naturally I started doing a little research on garage theft and was floored by how easily thieves can break into a garage. Like 6 seconds and they are in! The good news is that there are precautionary steps you can take to prevent garage theft and here are a few I found really helpful:

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Preventing Household Theft in the Summer

Ah, summer. Time to pack up, head out, and leave home for a while. It’s also, unfortunately, the time when plenty of houses are targeted for break-ins and theft while families are away. If you’re heading out of town this summer, take a few precautions before you leave and while you’re away to ensure that your house and belongings stay safe and sound.

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Travel Safety Tips

Traveling is my favorite thing to do. Eating ice cream is a close second :). I love to explore new places and meet new people. I also love that travel can help you grow and learn about the world and about yourself. Traveling can, however, present a few risks that require some extra preparation.

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Making Neighborhood Friends

National Friendship Day is coming up, which means you have a nation-wide excuse to make more friends! No more lonely lunches for you (unless you enjoy eating alone…that’s cool with me…no judgment here). But on the off chance that you woke up this morning and thought, “Hey you know what? I could use another friend in my life!” then this is the perfect article for you!

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Home of the Future

Can you imagine a home that manages itself while taking care of your everyday needs?

Would this home of the future automatically open your front door when your hands are full or suggest preheating the oven as you drive home from the office?

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How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

While shopping for sunscreen on a recent vacation, it surprised me that there were hardly any nice quality bottles available for less than ten dollars. Since when did sunscreen get so expensive? It seemed that the lower the price, the lesser the benefits and the longer the ingredient list.

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Vacation Packing Checklist

This summer my family has been constantly on the go. Going here. Staying there. It’s been amazing, but it’s also been a little overwhelming in the packing and prepping department. Getting my family of six out the door, in the car and on the road can be a major undertaking. Without fail we’ve gotten to our destination and discovered we’ve forgotten something.

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Homemade Baby Food Safety Tips

I’ve always admired new moms and dads who prepare homemade baby food for their little ones. When my older son was ready for solids,

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Keeping Your Children Safe on the Internet

The Internet has completely changed the way my children interact with the world. With a few clicks on a keyboard they have access to endless amounts of information, in-depth knowledge, tools to express their creativity and programs allowing them to interact with people from all over the world. To them the internet is a magic thing capable of answering all their obscure questions, connecting them face-to-face with grandparents hundreds of miles away and endlessly-repeatable cat videos and loom band tutorials.

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Tips For Taking Great Vacation Photos

One of my greatest joys in life is taking photos. There’s something so wonderful about having a memory recorded digitally or on film, especially when the photo looks the way that you remember the moment.

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Conserving Water In and Out of the Home

I love my home state of California – it’s one of the best places in the world in my book. But being a California resident these days is a little nerve wracking, as we’re finding ourselves in the middle of one of the biggest droughts in history.

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Vacationing At Home

Often, the best way to unwind is by taking the perfect getaway vacation. But after all the time spent on preparing, planning, and traveling, your vacation can quickly feel more stressful than it should. If you are already feeling overwhelmed with all of the costs and frustrations that come with traveling, maybe your ideal vacation is a stay-cation.

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Securing your Home Network

When I think of home security, I really only think about things that provide physical security, such as door locks and alarm systems. I never really think about the security of our home in the virtual world, yet the reality is that protecting our home network is just as important as protecting our physical home.

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Wearable Fitness

Wearable technology is the latest frontier that gadget makers are battling to dominate. The trick has been finding products that consumers find not only novel and cool but also useful enough to buy. Already, the field is littered with products that didn’t quite make that cut (see: Google Glass) either because they were ahead of their time or just didn’t provide enough benefit to be worth shelling out for.

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