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streamlining the holiday season: meaningful online gift-giving

In my lifetime online shopping has evolved from being an anomaly into a viable shopping option—especially during the holidays. It’s true, when I was a wee child you went to the mall and grocery store for everything (this last sentence must be read in an elderly accent to get the full effect). Nowadays you can buy almost anything online that you could in a store with even more options online in many cases. “But doesn’t online shopping diminish some of the sentiment when gift giving?” you may ask. Not at all! In fact here are a few tips when shopping online that will help you streamline this holiday task and still purchase thoughtful gifts!

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tech solutions for sending greeting cards

I love sending cards to my family on holidays and on birthdays, but greeting cards are getting outlandishly expensive. Nobody needs to spend $7 on a single Christmas card. I’ve started exclusively sending all my greeting cards via an app on my phone.

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fighting the lights

To say that I have a love hate relationship with Christmas lights doesn’t quite cover the depth of emotion that the twinkly little devils inspire in my heart. Beautifully lit houses and radiant trees really do stoke my Christmas spirit but the thought of getting my own lights out and putting them up makes me want to crawl into a dark hole and hide until New Years.

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circa 1647

Papa Whooley is a revolutionary man, who loved his family. his horse and his luscious hair. He saw the writing on the wall when King James I took over the English crown and decided it would be smart to move his beautiful family to America.

After five short months of eating stale bread, fighting seasickness and scurvy, they finally arrived in their new home of Plymouth Massachusetts.

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meal planning for thanksgiving

If you’ve ever hosted a dinner, you know the fear of not having enough food to satisfy your guests’ appetites. That fear is amplified on Thanksgiving, a holiday centered on stuffing oneself with turkey, cranberry sauce, and – of course – stuffing.

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consolidate the chaos

With holidays creeping up on us faster than the speed of light, if you’re like me you’d like to organize your life so that you have time for things that really matter. 

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use less stuff day

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, I do have one. I am a hoarder. There. I said it. I am a hoarder, but you wouldn’t know it at first glance. I carefully hide everything in a few closets out of the way. To the untrained eye, it may seem like my home is clean and organized and clutter-free. But if you were to open one of those closets? Oh me. Oh my. You’d run for the hills, and I can’t blame you!

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thanksgiving by the numbers

Thanksgiving is around the corner and chances are if you’re hosting friends, family and neighbors this year you probably have a lot of details—and numbers to sort through. What size turkey should you buy? How many house guests will you have? And how can I even figure out how many calories I’ve serving?

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game day tech

The technology you have lined up on game day can make or break your sporting experience, especially if you’re hosting the party. You don’t want to be the person who has the gang over to watch the game huddled around some standard definition, 4×3 tube television do you? DO YOU??

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sharing large multimedia files

It can be tricky sharing large digital files between computers. When it comes to video, audio, and photography, the file size can get pretty large and make it extremely annoying and time consuming to get data from one person to another.

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transferring digital files between family members

In our new house, the office is pretty far away from the living room. I immediately found it incredibly frustrating to run back and forth across the house when I needed to look something up online or use the computer.

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digital consolidation

As much as I love living in the new digital, paperless society, I find that I’m faced with the same fundamental question the old society presented: where do I keep all this stuff?

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digital photo hoarding

I noticed something last time I was at my parent’s house. There, in my mom’s basement, were about 30 file boxes full of photos from the last 40 years, unorganized and untouched.

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how to keep your family’s schedule organized

Between my husband, our two children and myself we’re always juggling our schedules around to coordinate between two full-time jobs, three different school schedules for our kids, dance lessons, play dates and other obligations. Add to that our babysitter, whose college schedule constantly changes.

Our home works best when it’s organized and we need

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four ways to support military families in your neighborhood

When my husband was in the Air Force, we lived near the military base in Omaha, Nebraska. With the exception of a few of his Air Force buddies, we didn’t know anybody when we arrived. Neither of us grew up in the Midwest, and our immediate families lived hundreds of miles away.

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apps for taking daily medicine

No matter how organized we all may be, one thing that seems to be the hardest to remember is taking our daily vitamins and/or medicine.

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keeping your digital information organized and accessible

There is nothing worse than trying to login into an online account and not knowing the password. You try all of your regular ones, then you remember you had to change it last year, and then

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how to test a smoke detector

It’s fire safety week and not only is it a great time to reinforce the importance of fire safety to your kids, it’s also a good time to check that the smoke detectors in your home are functioning properly.

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How to Make Your Windows as Energy Efficient and as Safe as Possible

The hours of warming sunshine are getting shorter, the colors on the leaves are changing and with this time of year our minds start trying to come up with ways  to stay warm!  One of the biggest culprits of heat stealing are those beautiful windows that can let in such light and warmth. 

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best ifttt recipes to streamline your life

I love having everything in my life automated so that I can spend time doing the things I enjoy. I am just getting my new house set up and I can’t wait to automate everything with Vivint 

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national preparedness month from a techie perspective

It’s terrifying to think about something awful happening to you or your belongings and being left with nothing. I sometimes have nightmares about what I would grab out of my house if it were on fire,

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best productivity apps for the home

There’s no doubt that my smartphone makes my life easier. Sometimes I worry that I’m even a bit too dependent on it; its got lists, contacts, email chains, and all of the apps that work to take a little bit of work off of my shoulders.

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10 “dumb” ways to use home automation

With all this talk about a “smart” home, it begs the question: what makes a home “dumb”? And what are some ways to smarten up a “dumb” home?

While Vivint home automation is all about smarter living, there are in fact some “dumb” ways to

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goal tracking: finish the year with a bang!

When September rolls around it means the sweet days of summer have come to a close and it’s time to refocus. The holidays and the year’s end are upon us and this time of year always seems to move faster than most. With January right around the corner, it’s time to

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unplug: 3 apps to help curb your media habit

Let’s face it; sometimes your best friend can become your worst enemy. That seems to be the way it works with our smart technology anyway. We rely on our phones, tablets, and desktops to keep us

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college football

I’m a soccer fan. Love it. Ask me anything about Major League Soccer or any of my favorite international leagues and you’ll be in for a lively discussion. Or you may wish you hadn’t asked me at all. Either way, it’s my thing and I enjoy following it.

College football on the other hand, is a

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last fling

As summer comes to a close and school looms ominously on the horizon we find sometimes find ourselves casting about, wondering if we made the most of our summers and how we can

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control your home, away from home

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I came home from school to an empty house when I was growing up. I was the oldest of six kids so my mom wasn’t exactly mobile. On those rare occasions when my mom couldn’t be home after school, she’d leave a note on the door that said

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should children have cell phones?

My three-year-old son has his own iPhone. No, it doesn’t have cellular service. My husband turned his iPhone 4 into a “game phone” for our toddler, Levi, when he upgraded to the iPhone 5S. Levi can only use

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cell phones in the classroom

We are in the age of technology and, with that, we face certain battles. More and more children are being given cell phones at a young age. I remember not having a

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