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Breathe And Stay Calm App

18 Feb

Did you know that your breath is fuel for your body, the number one indicator of your mindset, and is in your control? The easiest way to monitor your stress, activity and sleep is to breathe. Spire is an app that gives you control of your breath. You put on a monitoring device on your waist and it communicates with the app to help you breathe and stay calm. Check it out and see it for yourself!

Spire.io

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Easily Compare Utilities In Your Area

14 Feb

Are you looking for a local utility resource? We talked about the Mover Hotline in the past, however you should also check out Allconnect.

We know moving from city to city is a pain and the same utility company may not be available at your new location.We also know the only way to save on your utility bill sometimes is to switch companies from time to time. Whether you are looking for Bundles, Internet, Cable TV, Home Phone, Electricity, Natural Gas, or Mover Services check out this site. Allconnect.com is integrated with over 200 utility providers, eliminating the need to make multiple phone calls to find the right provider. The best part: it’s free to use.

https://www.allconnect.com

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Find All Certified Gluten Free Products

11 Feb

I just saw this mentioned on LifeHacker and I thought it’s a cool tool because this search engine locates gluten free products! According to the site, “The Gluten Project is the first and only place to find the entire list of certified gluten free products.” 

  • Everything certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)
  • Comprehensive list of all certified gluten free products
  • Built to make it easy for us to find and buy certified GF products for Evelyn who has (undiagnosed) Celiac disease

https://glutenproject.com/

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Find Your Glasses Online 

5 Feb

Are you looking for a quick way to find a pair of glasses? A friend of mine told me about Zenni – an online eye glass shop. You can determine your pupillary distance on the site. You can also upload a photo and give their virtual mirror a try. I thought the experience was simple so I thought you may be interested trying it out.

Zenni.com

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The Top College Scholarship Search Platforms

4 Feb

Are you trying to find the best college scholarships? I’m guessing that like us, you too have noticed there is no shortage of information about the numerous scholarships available to students. In the course of our research, we found a common pain point among students was finding tools to sort through all the available scholarships to find those that would be most applicable to their situation. We were contacted by Reviews.com to post these guides. They spent over 200 hours researching 17 of the most popular scholarship search platforms that are currently available. They analyzed and audited them using five core metrics to identify key functionality, research tools, and useful student resources.

You can see the entire guide along with some of its features here:

Check out these free guides! We want students and their families can have access to these resources so you can succeed.

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How To Successfully Prepare Your Child For College Life

3 Feb

If your child is currently attending his last year of high school, then it’s likely that you’ve already done some research on colleges or universities that your child can attend in September. However, it takes more than picking the right college and getting good grades to prepare for college life. According to a survey, 60% of freshmen wished that they had help getting emotionally ready for college. With so much energy going into visiting campuses, SAT prep, and taking AP classes, students have less time to learn the skills that they need to cope with the demands of college life. Moreover, students need to master the right technology for college success. As classrooms all over the country are in a state of constant change, teens need to feel that they’re fully prepared to use technology tools as more professors are integrating it into the classroom. To help your child cope with the academic, financial, and emotional challenges of school life, here’s a guide to successfully prepare your teenager for college life.

Let your child get familiarized with common technology in classrooms

Most campus leaders and professors assume that just because students are well-versed in basic computer skills means that they can cope with the tech used in the classroom. Nowadays, some professors use software that enables students to complete homework online, and the same software allows educators to make assessments and give feedback. To help your teen prepare, do some research on the system or software that the college or university utilizes and allow your child to get familiar with it. This helps your child prevent missing homework and paper deadlines once he or she starts freshman year.

Let your teen work alone on a project or paper

Once your child goes to college, there will be no one there to help him or her do homework or do practice ACT English and Math tests with. To be successful in college, students need to be able to prioritize their studies despite the many distractions that college life has to offer. Before your teen starts college, make sure that your child can complete a paper or project on his or her own. It’s also a good idea to observe how your child prepares for a test so you can see if certain changes are needed with regards to your teen’s study habits.

Work with your child on important life skills

Can your teenager cook simple yet healthy meals and do laundry? Can your child keep his or her belongings in order and keep a room clean? Now would be a good time to practice these life skills with your child so that he or she can accomplish them in college. Doing so allows your child to be independent and get along with future roommates.

Teach money management skills

Children don’t learn how to manage money in school, so parents should take the initiative to teach their kids how to balance a checkbook, pay credit card bills, create and stick to a budget. Talk to your teen how credit cards work and how to avoid being in debt. You can also encourage your child to get a part-time job or do side hustles for extra income.  

Teach your child how to deal with stress in positive ways

Some college students cope with the pressure of college life by overeating, partying too much, binge-drinking, or taking drugs. To help your teen deal with the demands of college, teach him or her positive ways to manage stress such as exercising, going for a walk outdoors, listening to music, or getting in touch with you and other loved ones on Skype. Remind your child not to sweat the small stuff and to keep cool during stressful situations.

Preparing for college life can be a challenge for students and their parents, but by focusing on preparing academically, financially, and emotionally, your child can be better equipped to deal with this new phase of life. Follow these tips to help your teen prepare for college life and set him or her up for success.

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Online Logo Maker

13 Jan

Are you looking to create a quick logo? Are you in a pinch? The best route is to always hire a professional graphic designer for a unique brand experience but we’ve discovered an alternative. We recently reviewed the newly released online logo maker DesignEvo; it actually does a pretty good job at creating unique and professional logos for free. It walks you through choosing your industry, then logo style and then dives you into adjusting fonts, colors and shapes. When you are ready, you can download this is where the catch is!

You have an option to choose from three packages: free, basic and plus. With the free plan, you can download the image as low resolution with a background. For basic plan, the resolution increases and you can download it with a transparent background. The plus plan gives you copyright and ownership.

Here are some of its key features:

  • Million icons available to search through
  • Hundreds of text fonts and shapes to choose from
  • Freely customize a logo with powerful editing tools

We recommend this tool because it’s easy to use and creates good looking logos. If you need a logo in a pinch, use this platform.

https://www.designevo.com/

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Graphic Artist Loves Open Source

29 Dec

Are you an starving artist looking for some affordable digital tools? We’ve posted before about open source software. However, I just have to jump in again and focus on Graphic Designing with Open Source. I work on a Mac, PC and even an Ubuntu Linux box. Professional Graphics Software isn’t cheap. So I let my Boss buy it for work. Adobe is great, and pricey. My heart is with the following software. All available for all platforms I use.

 

Inkscape (Illustrator equivalent)

Pros:

  • The Best Auto trace anywhere.
  • SVG native format- (one of Illustrators default save options)
  • PDF editing well underway- not fully implemented
  • Diagraming tool works great for planning websites

Cons:

  • Color Swatches are not currently able to be saved in direct manner. No Built in Pantone support ( but that is just a matter of specifying the proper Pantone number for printing)

 

Gimp (Photoshop equivalent)

Pros:

  • It’s free
  • Regularly updated with fixes and the latest features
  • Strong community
  • Runs smoothly on almost every platform
  • Customizable with plugins and scripts
  • Handles almost any format including: bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm

Cons:

  • Newest version can be buggy
  • No 16-bit per channel color support
  • Feature development is slow

 

Scribus (InDesign equivalent)

Pros:

  • It’s free
  • PDF compressing is quality
  • Works well on Windows
  • It is a lightweight program

Cons:

  • Lacks the “spell check”
  • Need to keep the pictures integrated in your document in the same location on your computer or you’ll lose them
  • Doesn’t look pleasant when switching fonts
  • Runs slow with multiple pages or large files
  • Navigation needs to be updated
  • Not enough intuitive
  • Documentation is incomplete

 

Blender (Maya equivalent)

The pros:

  • It’s free
  • Features animation, rigging, fluid simulations, UV mapping, and more
  • Export blender files to different file formats
  • Render with your gpu instead of cpu

The cons:

  • Slow viewport performance with high-poly scenes
  • Layers system is not intuitive at times
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Most Functional and Durable Badge Holder & Wallet

28 Dec

Do you need to carry an ID badge to work everyday? If so, you need to check out this cool, functional, and durable badge holder that my friend created. I generally don’t talk about products in such high regard, but after seeing it – it had me at hello 🙂 It can not only hold your work ID, but you can also hold your driver’s license, and credit cards too!

Features of GOVO Badge Holder&Wallet:

  • A combination of badge holder and wallet
  • Carry your Badge Holder/Wallet in anyway that fits for you
  • Durable and light weight

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1460729046/govo-the-most-functional-and-durable-badge-holder

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How Parents Can Help Their Kids Learn What Schools Leave Out

18 Dec

Although most parents are eternally grateful to teachers for the wealth of information and life skills taught to kids, the packed curriculum and limited hours mean that there are many more crucial abilities that children are failing to pick up. Learning involves mathematics, history and science; but ideally, it should also focus on how to be more technologically savvy, practical, environmentally aware, and, in general, happier! In this post, we highlight four ways in which parents can help fill gaps which are sometimes left by schooling.

 

Using Technology in Daily Life

 

It is surprising to think that this day and age, when coding and programming are part of the school curriculum in so many parts of the world, some schools have yet to offer computer science as a subject. Parents can enhance children’s interest in technology in many more ways than by just placing a tablet in their hand. There are a plethora of websites, for instance, which parents and kids can use to create their own games and learn a bit or programming while they are at it. Parents can also help children use creative apps (focusing on drawing, or even filmmaking) to work on projects together during school holidays and long summers. Finally, moms and dad can support budding techies by signing them up for a challenging robotics course, where children will enjoy meeting other people their age who are fascinated by programming, coding, and/or design.

 

The Importance of Nature

 

Richard Louv, expert in the benefits of nature and author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, greatly laments the blunt way that children in the modern world have been deprived of a relationship with nature. Countless researchers back Louv’s claim that nature has the ability to calm, increase focus, and excite the senses in unique ways. When you children get home from school and finish their homework, why not head into the Great Outdoors for an unstructured play session?

 

Practical Skills

 

At school, children can miss out on vital practical skills that will come in handy for the rest of their lives. These include cooking, sewing, gardening, and basic mechanics. You can really give your children’s self-confidence a boost by giving them problems to solve at home: a faucet that needs changing, raw chocolate that needs preparation, a garden that has veggies that are their responsibility to grow and tend to. Kids don’t have to be a master of any one skill, but if they can be a ‘jack of all trades’ and work alongside you, all the better!

 

How to Calm Oneself

 

Placing children into a ‘quiet corner’, as is often done when kids are in preschool or in the early school years, enables them to collect their thoughts, but we can really help them sharpen their ability to emotionally self-regulate, by teaching them mindfulness-based activities. You might like to start with controlled breathing; there is a wide array of free apps that guide children through short pranayamic breathing activities. Learning how to inhale slowly, and exhale even more slowly, really helps bring the heart rate down and stops the ‘fight or flight’ response in its tracks! Other interesting holistic activities include yoga, kids’ meditation, and Tai Chi.

 

Although teachers have a wealth of valuable knowledge to pass on to your kids, don’t forget that you, too, can help make them whole, happy adults by teaching them the importance of other abilities, hobbies, and skills. Learning to value nature, developing important practical skills, and cornering the difficult art of emotional self-regulation are just three life lesson you can pass on. What other skills would you love to pass on to your children?

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