Friday, March 4: Spring Cleaning Your Digital Life

VERIZON MOBILE LIVING TWITTER PARTY

#VZWBuzz

When: TODAY, Friday, March 4, 2016
3:00 – 4:00 pm ET
12:00 – 1:00 pm PT

‘Spring Cleaning Your Digital Life’

Join @SaraFHawkins and the VZWBuzz team at 3 pm ET (12 noon PT) TODAY, Friday, March 4 as we chat about Spring Cleaning Your Digital Life!
Spring is almost here and it’s time to get rid of all that clutter, including our digital clutter! Join us as we look at ways we can spring clean our digital lives and look forward to a more streamlined and secure future.
RSVP and attend the party for a chance to win a JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth speaker or one of TWO Droid Maxx 2 smartphones!

(Click here to learn more about our Twitter chats. You must RSVP and attend the party to be eligible for a prize.)

To RSVP:
  1. Email RSVP@theonlinemom.com (subject line: VZWBuzz) and include your Twitter ID.
  2. Spread the word and RT this link on your Twitter feed:  http://ow.ly/Y5iDK    
  3. Join us on TweetDeck or HootSuite (#VZWBuzz) on Friday, March 4 between 3 – 4 pm ET
  4. Tell your Twitter followers!
PRIZE WINNERS will be announced during the Party!

(The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon Wireless.)

Apps to Suit Your On Demand Lifestyle

Why wait when what you crave is just a few clicks away?

By Tracey Dowdy

Led by services like Uber and Amazon Prime, the on-demand economy has ballooned over the past couple of years. As a result, the acceptable wait time for a product or service has dropped from days to mere minutes.

So what’s out there? Besides the luxury of having a coffee maker delivered to you within an hour via Amazon Prime, what other amenities are just a click or two away? Need your morning coffee dropped off with a text notification when it shows up? Maybe you need salon services but don’t have time to get to your stylist? Or maybe you forgot to take your suit to the cleaners and you have an important presentation coming up? Relax, there really is an app for that – for all of that.

Here’s just a sampling of what’s available:

Glamsquad and Veluxe bring stylists, manicurists or personal trainers to your home. Get a mani/pedi, an up do or a blowout, or have a private one-on-one yoga session. Glamsquad’s services are limited to New York City and Veluxe to the Washington DC area. (iOS only)

Fetch Coffee comes with a hefty $45 a month subscription charge ($15 for your first month) plus the cost of the coffee. Schedule your morning latte through their website and a Fetch Coffee courier will drop it off in a thermos. You’ll get a text that the coffee has been delivered and a note instructing you to leave the thermos by the door so the courier can pick it up.

Washio offers on-demand pickup and delivery of laundry and dry cleaning with their team of “ninjas”. They guarantee 24 hour turnaround on week days, use green products, have availability early morning through late night and even bring a cookie with every pick up. The service is currently available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington DC with more cities on the way. (iOS, Android)

Drizzly offers one-hour delivery services for alcohol with a relatively wide selection of beer, wine, spirits and mixers ranging from top shelf to the not so top shelf. The site also includes drink recipes, advice from sommeliers, top chefs and mixologists, and a selection of gifts you can also have delivered. Available in 19 cities nationwide and with plans to expand into additional markets. (iOS, Android)

Plowz and Mowz is a snow removal and lawn service available in over 30 cities. Cost varies by location – e.g. it’s more expensive in big cities – and variables such as the size of the yard or driveway, the amount of snow, the condition of your yard, etc.. Just download the app and schedule your service. Plus get 10% off your first job when you sign up. Service is pay-as-you-go with no contract required. (iOS, Android)

Of course these apps are just the tip of the iceberg. Depending where you live, on demand services are available for everything from finding a parking spot to in-home meal preparation by professional chefs to finding someone to come and assemble your Ikea furniture.

Many of these apps are limited to specific locations, so be sure to check availability in your area.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Fun Activities for Snow Days

By Tracey Dowdy

Do your kids wear their PJs backwards or sleep with a spoon under their pillows the night before a storm is forecast? Mine did and though I have my doubts about the science behind it, it definitely seemed to work as there were plenty of mornings when we woke up to school cancellations.

Snow days are the perfect time to play outside and have a winter adventure, but when your mittens are soaked and your feet are cold there’s still lots of snow-day fun to be had indoors.

The Book Creator app allows your child to create their own book right on their tablet or iPad. A sample book serves as a tutorial and online help is also available. Kids write their own text, choose background colors and images from their camera roll to create books that can be viewed in iBooks, Google Play Books, or other apps such as Dropbox and Evernote or can be shared via email. Book Creator for iPad – $4.99; Book Creator (Android) – $2.49.

Generator is a free movie creating resource for kids that provides tools and instruction for them to make their own short films. Professionals from the movie industry walk kids through everything from camera angles to the motivation and meaning behind movies. The site is easy to navigate and all content is moderated making it a safe option for your kids to explore.

DLTK’s Crafts for Kids is a great free resource for coloring sheets, crafts, worksheets and activity pages. Most of the crafts use found items from around the house so there’s no scrambling for supplies and enough ideas and options to keep your little ones busy for hours.

The Toymaker is perfect if your list of craft supplies consists of nothing more than paper. Make Valentines, origami animals, puzzles and even paper toys. There are also suggestions on games to play with the toys, like turtle races or putting on a dog show. Best of all, it’s free.

If your kids need to burn off some energy and the weather isn’t cooperating, Kidnetic is the answer. This free site is filled with loads of activities, including a Move Mixer that lets kids create their own dance so they can teach it to the rest of the family, a Scavenger Hunt and a Fitness Challenge where they do a timed set of exercises. The site also includes recipes like “Monkey Brain Stew” (chilli), Quicksand (hummus) Apple Lips (apple slices with marshmallow “teeth”) that kids can make on their own or with your supervision. (Free)

One of my family’s favorite things to do on a snow day was cook together. Spatulatta has delicious kid-friendly recipes the whole family will love. Click on the recipe box and choose a recipe based on a meal, holiday, ingredient or cuisine, including vegetarian and vegan options. There are 350 recipe video options, videos to teach basic skills like shredding cheese or separating an egg, and the Artist in the Kitchen has fun food crafts that show kids how to make a hedgehog out of a potato. Honestly, how much fun is that?

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.