Category Archives: Tech

How To Start A Blog In 15 Minutes

So, you want to start a blog, this step-by-step guide will get you started with your domain name, blog server and website in about 15 minutes.

What Kind of Blog?

Think about what kind of blog you want to start. Maybe you already know, and that is good. If not, the first thing to consider is, the type of blog you want to start. Do you want to have a niche blog that will limit you to one topic or do you want a more general blog that gives you the freedom to post about different topics?

There are pros and cons to both.  A niche blog on a subject you are knowledgeable about can help build your credibility as an expert. Some say they rank better and are easier to make money with than a broad subject blog. However, others will say that a broad subject blog allows you to appeal to a larger audience and get more new readers from search engines thanks to the wide range of topics.

In the end, I believe if you are sharing great content, your followers will come whether you have a niche or broad topic blog, so blog about what you like to write about.  It is always easier to write about what you know and are passionate about. 

Own Your Domain 

Next,  you need to think of a name for your blog and register your domain URL. You might think you would rather skip buying your own URL and start blogging on a free site like Blogger or WordPress.com. If I can offer my first piece of advice,  it would be to start with your own domain name on self hosted site. I speak from experience as someone who started on wordpress.com. Within 6 months of my blog taking off,  I switched to a self hosted WordPress.org blog for a number of reasons.

First, it allowed me to add sidebar ads and affiliate links to monetize my blog as well as being able to use plugins which helped me to customize my blog easily. When you switch platforms, you have to transfer all your content from one platform to another. Many bloggers are not comfortable moving their content over, and so they have to hire someone to do the transfer for them.

Luckily, I am tech savvy and performed the transfer myself or I would have had to shell out a few hundred dollars to have my site transferred. Beyond that, when you do switch, you have to build up your stats again. All of that could have been avoided had I just started on a self-hosted WordPress.org site in the first place.

Register Your Domain 

After you chose your domain name, you have to register it. The first step is to make sure your domain name is available. Go to BlueHost and click GET STARTED.

You will then be taken to a page that shows you the plans. I know you will be thrilled to see that it is not going to cost you an arm and a leg to get started when you use BlueHost. They have some amazing deals on their already low-cost hosting.

The great thing is one domain name is included with any hosting package you pick. The thing I love about BlueHost is that for their Plus, Prime or Pro hosting plans you  can host an unlimited number of websites with them for the same price.

That means you pay the same low price a month to host 10 sites as you would 1 site. If you want to branch out in the future and add more sites, you will not have to pay any extra. Right now, the Prime plan is the same as the Plus and so, it is a no brainer to go with the Prime. 

Choose your plan and it will take you to the next screen where you can check to see if your domain is available. Just type the name in the new domain box and click on next. If your name is available, you are golden. If it is not, they will give you some alternatives or you can think of something else.

Once you have a name that is available you can advance to the next page where you will fill in your information.

 

There was a nice surprise on this page. As I was scrolling down, a pop up appeared with an offer to save even more. It said I could get 3 years for the price of 2. The new price was $4.95 a month, and as you can see, it is quite a savings.

The other great thing is with the Prime membership, many extras other companies charge you for things like domain privacy protection, site backup pro  and domain registration are FREE. You can add SiteLock security for just $1.99 a month, and I would recommend it. Okay, you are all set, just hit submit and we can move on to the fun part.

Install WordPress

Once you have checked out, you will get an email from BlueHost that will have your login information. Once you have that, you are ready to log on to your BlueHost CPanel.

The second icon on the first row under the heading WEBSITE is what you will click to install WordPress.org.

You will be advanced to another screen where you will click the down arrow to select your website and it will show up as the domain for installation. Click NEXT.

On the next page, you will fill out your site name which would be the name of your blog, your admin name that you will log on to WordPress with and your WordPress Password as well as, your admin email. Acknowledge the terms of service and click NEXT.

While WordPress is installing, you will see a bunch of themes on the page. Don’t worry about those and just wait until the installation is complete. I will go over themes once you log into your WordPress site. There are many free themes available as well as some like Genesis that many bloggers use because it is so easy to work with.

When the installation is complete, you will get an email with everything you need to log on to your new WordPress site. 

As you will see in your email, the address for your login will be http://www.YourDomainName.com/wp-admin. When you enter that address, you see the log in screen below.

Choose A Theme

Log in and look at the sidebar, you will see a paint brush icon and the word APPEARANCE. Click it and you will see THEMES. When you click that, you can have fun browsing themes for your blog. There are so many to choose from . There are many free themes you can choose from or you can go with the very popular Genesis Framework.

Genesis is very flexible and makes it easy to customize your blog easily whether you are a novice or advanced developer. The Genesis theme provides a secure, search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go, for a one time purchase price of $59.95. Once you purchase this theme you can use it on as many sites as you have, at any time. That is a super value!

You can then get a return customer discount on a Child Theme that works with your Genesis Framework. There are Child Themes for Lifestyle Blogs, Food Blogs, Business Blogs, Real Estate Blogs and more.

See, that was easy wasn’t it. We will cover more about customizing your blog and the best plugins to install but the hardest part is done! Give yourself a pat on the back, I am really proud of you!

 

Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links, if you purchase through these links, I may earn a commission. All of the links in this post are products or services that I recommend because I truly believe they are the best and would recommend them whether or not I earn a small commission from them. 

 


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Exceed Your Vision With a Personal Photo Lab! #Giveaway #HolidayGiftGuide

Do you take a lot of photos? I sure do! I love my DSLR and how easy it is to share, save and edit my photos instantly. While it may be ideal to share your photos through email, social media and online photo sharing sites with your family and friends, there are benefits to being able to print and share photos at home. Imagine taking a rare family photo with all the aunts, uncles and cousins at your holiday gathering. Sure, you can tell most `you will post the photos to Facebook and that will be good but what about Aunt Harriet who does not have a computer and thinks if she tries to use one her identity will be stolen? Wouldn’t it be nice to send Aunt Harriet, Uncle Earl and Aunt Ethel home with that rare group photo? It sure would and it can be hassle free!

All you need to do is insert your SD card or use Wi-Fi Direct and print from your smart phone with the Epson PictureMate PM-400 Personal Photo Lab.

This unit was so easy to set up, we inserted the 1 ink cartridge and let it go through a 4 minute set up. Then I inserted my SD card and it was so easy, my 7 and 9-year-old were able to select their favorite photos and print them. The pictures were great quality, the colors vibrant and the image was clear and sharp. Check out our video review below:

 

This compact unit is small on size and big on features! It uses MicroPiezo inkjet technology to create detailed prints at 5760 x 1440 dpi at up to 5 x 7″, ideal for snapshots and family photos. You can also set the layout to print multiple photos to one page. You can use 3.5 x 5″, 4 x 6″, and 5 x 7″ paper, as well as No. 10 envelopes, for producing your most common and convenient photo sizes. It is fast, capable of producing a 4 x 6″ photo in about 36 seconds.

Have a big family? No worries, everyone can go home with a copy without having to reload the printer because it can hold 50 sheets of plain paper and 20 sheets of gloss photo paper. It is versatile and will power up with the conventional power plug included or you can use a USB 2.0 cable to connect to a USB port.

You can do some photo editing directly on the printer like cropping, removing red-eye and more. There is only one ink cartridge to install and the dye based ink is rated to last up to 200 years in album storage. The photos are scratch, water, smudge and fade resistant.

I will be inserting a video review of this printer so you can get an up close and personal look at the unit. While you are waiting, would you like to enter our giveaway for your chance to win one of these awesome units of your own? You can enter by using the widget below. We added the PM-400 to our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide at Mommy Ramblings!

Giveaway:

Epson is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a Epson PictureMate PM-400 Personal Photo Lab. Thanks to Epson for the review product and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Epson PictureMate PM-400 Personal Photo Lab Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Learn How Povi Helps Children Develop Their Emotional Intelligence

Today’s environment has taken a toll on children’s emotional development. Overwhelmed parents and overly connected kids are leading to a lack of developing critical emotional intelligence skills.

Povi image

The Povi app and plush toy provide creative stories that teach children emotional intelligence based on input from experts.  Povi connects parents and caregivers to a network of child development specialists.Stories are written and curated  by expert psychologist, parents and teachers to help children develop their emotional intelligence.

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These stories help children work through situations and develop social skill helpful throughout life  by gaining understanding of how Povi would react in a situation. Povi helps spark conversations and can help children deal with feelings of disappointment, frustration, anger and sadness.  Povi  can help guide parents through what normally would be difficult conversations with their child. Povi is designed for children 3-8 years old. Check out the Povi Kickstarter campaign now!

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Povi isn’t a one-size-fits-all toy: it has stories for everyone. The app enables downloads of new content based on age, interest and ratings. It also provides follow-up questions for parents to spark discussion. The app enables users to rate stories and authors,this allows Povi to track interest in content and make suggestions.

 

 

Emotional intelligence  is one of the most important factors for  children’s happiness and success. Homework, extracurricular activities, both parents working outside the home and other commitments have made it harder than ever to have the necessary conversations with children to develop their emotional intelligence. Povi was created as an answer to this problem. Povi is loaded with real-life stories children can relate to and provide endless conversation starters.

povi app

The concept for this conversation-starting innovation came from Povi founder Seow Lim’s own experience with her son. “I always felt that I paid lots of attention to my child’s development and was very surprised when a school counselor said, ‘Your child is really smart, but he is not happy.’ It was so painful to me that I didn’t know this about my own son! In the process of transforming my parenting style from Tiger Mom to getting more connected to my child’s emotions, I created Povi.”

According to multiple studies, preschoolers who participate in social-emotional skills programs exhibit less aggression and anxiety and become better social problem solvers. Prosocial behavior in early childhood is closely tied to future academic performance and mental health.

Thousands of schools now use programs with this goal in mind. Povi enables parents to implement social-emotional development at home.

You can stay in the loop with Povi via their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, be sure and check out their Kickstarter page to learn more or to help with their mission. Let me know what you think of Povi in the comments.

 

 

This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Povi. I received compensation for my participation, but my opinions are my own.


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The Smart Way To Organize All Your Keys-#KeySmart

Tired of fumbling around trying to find the right key? Hate that big bulky key ring with sharp jagged keys sticking out of your pant’s pocket or sliding all over your purse. Would you like to find a better way to streamline those keys?

Well, if you answered yes, I have the answer! Isn’t that good news, when it can be so hard to find a solution or answer to many of life’s questions, I am going to give you this solution right now! How awesome, then you can spend the rest of your day finding answers to all the other unanswered questions floating through your mind.

key smart

KeySmart Pro is the answer to taming that messy, cluttered key ring of yours. I could tell you so much but you know if a picture speaks 1,000 words this video easily has to speak thousands more!

Pretty cool don’t you think. You can see all KeySmart has to offer on their website.  I love my KeySmart Pro! Let me know if you decide to tame that messy key ring with KeySmart Pro.

key smart pro

 

I was provided with product samples to facilitate my review.


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Kids Academy Apps Updated | Free Educational Apps + Printable Worksheets!

This blog has partnered with Mom Buzz Media to announce this exciting information!

Kids Academy Releases Preschool Education Center
for iOS and Android!

Looking for some great educational kids apps that your kids will like to play?  If so, I am excited to share with you this great Kids Academy App that makes it fun for kids to play and learn essential preschool skills.
Kids Academy – the team behind some of the top educational apps for kids with over 10 million downloads worldwide just released the long-awaited version of their flagship app – Preschool Education Center.
As the name suggests, Preschool Education Center is an all-in-one educational app for kids and toddlers. The app covers all aspects of early childhood education from the alphabet and reading to writing, building vocabulary and developing math skills. Based on the proven Montessori method the app offers a number of fun games that help master essential learning skills through play.

I have reviewed this app and it is perfect for preschool and kindergarten age kids. There is a  lot of great free material and in app purchases. Your kids can have fun with the free content alone. The learning games are Montessori based and kids will play games and activities that will help them learn to spell, write and form letters correctly and read! The music and fun let kids really enjoy themselves while learning. The learning level will go up as your child becomes more proficient at skills. Helpful hints are given if your child gets stuck on something. The curriculum was developed and reviews by a preschool education expert which makes this mom of 5 feel good.

Until now, Preschool Education Center has only been available on iTunes but today’s release makes it finally available for Android device on Google Play! This fun and free app is currently being featured in the Family section of the Android store in the USA, Australia and Canada.

Get the app free on Google Play!

For iOS devices:

Kids Academy have also updated the iOS version of the app: Preschool & Kindergarten Early Learning Games adding new games, books and educational cartoons and shows as well as printable worksheets.
– The update boasts a bunch of cute little monsters that will teach your kids about money and how to count it.
– Kids Academy TV now has a 24/7 Live Zoo channel offering web-cam views on real-life animals.

Grab your free copy of the update on the iTunes App Store!

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BONUS!
Free Preschool & Kindergarten Worksheets for Kids

Kids Academy is also finding a way to expand beyond the screen and help master pen and pencil with free printable worksheets. You can get free preschool worksheets on a variety of subjects from alphabet to math (the library is being constantly updated).
Download, print out and get start practicing with good old pen and paper in seconds!

Head over to to the Kids Academy to get your FREE PRINTABLE WORKSHEETS and get your kids busy!

 


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Keep Multiple Mobile Devices Charged In Your Car Easily #PlusLifeGuard

Car Chargers for our smart phones are essential.  We need to know that we have the capability to charge our phones and mobile devices in the car.  Not only do I work from home and need my cell phone to be ready for me at all times to check and respond to business emails, take and make calls, check on the weather or other important things, it’s a contact point for my family.

 

I recently tested out the white and black +LIFEGUARD Car Charger 2.1 A and I was very impressed.  It has two USB ports so it can charge 2 devices at once, the front glows a nice blue color to show you the charger is working and believe me, it really is bad when you can’t tell and find out the hard way.  This way I know my charger has power and my connected devices are recharging.

Lifeguard Car Charger

 

#PlusLifeGuard

They device is compact and easy to take when traveling.  I am very impressed with it and you can purchase them right on Amazon.  Let me know if you have them and what your think.  Also let me know if you have any other questions about them.  I will be happy to answer them.

Lifeguard Car Charger White Boc

Lifeguard Car Charger Black Box

SPECIFICATIONS:
Type: Dual USB Car Charger
Input: DC 12-24V
Output: 5V – 2.1A (Max)

Compatible Devices:
USB Output 1 (+IQ): All devices like iPad, iPhone, iPod, Tablets, Samsung Galaxy, HTC, Google Phone, Motorola, Sony, cameras, power banks etc.
USB Output 2 (1.0A): Cell phones and other small usb devices.

 

I was provided with 2 chargers by the company to facilitate my review.  As always all of my words and opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

 


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The Easy Way To Keep Your Smartphone Secure & Accessible In The Car

I have a great universal car mount for your smartphone to share with you.  You can use the K2R Universal Car Mount in the car or even on your kitchen counter.  The adjustable sides ratchet closed to hold your phone securely.  Holder rotates 360 degrees to hold your phone in all kinds of angles for portrait or landscape viewing.

K2R Universal Car Mount

Out of the package it’s super easy to just connect the 2 pieces and tighten with the lock nut.  Next remove the protective film from the bottom, place on a clean, flat surface and push down on the lever lock to secure.  You will not be able to budge the holder.  When you are ready to release you push up on the lever and pull the little strip on the back and the holder will release, leaving no damage to your surface.

K2R Smart Phone Car Mount

K2R Cell Phone Mount

K2R IPhone 6 Mount

K2R Cell Phone Holder Mount Car Holder Vlog

 

We tested this mount on the counter at home and in the car and were very impressed with the secure seal and all the viewing angles.  You can see our video review to see it in action.  Please let us know what you think.

 

 


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See How Magnets Work To Keep Your SmartPhone Secure

Maybe you are driving down bumpy mountain roads and want to make sure your phone is not sliding all over your dash or ending up on the car floor. Perhaps you just want to keep it securely in place on a counter or desk.  Whatever the reason, it is easy to do with the power of magnets.  DAFQCO’s Smart & Easy Magnetic Phone Holder is sleek and stylish.  It is easy to use and set up and comes with a money back guarantee.  Watch our review video below for all the details and to see it in action.

Smart and Easy Cellphone Holder

Package Contents:

• 1 detachable magnetic disk, gives you a choice to keep the magnet at the back of your device or leave the magnet on the ball mount

• 2 extra metallic phone attachments and 2 extra 3M tapes

• 1 steel ANTI-RUST ball mount for 360-degree rotation

• alcohol cleaning pads

Smart & Easy Phone  Holder 1

Smart & Easy Phone Holder

 

Please note, the magnet will not harm your phone but keep it away from credit cards, people with pacemakers and other magnet sensitive devices.  I was provided with this product to facilitate my review.  As always my words and views are 100% my own.

 


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The Secret To Never Dropping Your Phone Again

Ever find yourself frantically patting your pockets, looking for your smartphone…trying to capture that perfect moment, only to miss it because it took too long to get your phone out? Maybe you like to mountain bike, or rock climb, and wish you had easy access to your phone without having to stop and unpack it from its super safe location? Are you a mom with a  2-year-old that screams bloody murder until you hand over your phone at which point they throw it at the ground and laugh at you hysterically?


This lanyard design turns your smartphone from being a concern and a hassle to being an accessory and easily accessible. Wear your phone several different ways and keep it safe from being dropped but at the same time right there in your hand when you need it.

ReelCase is sponsoring this giveaway in celebration of their Kickstarter Campaign! Head on over and show your support!  You can contribute as little as $1 and it goes a long way, or just stop by and leave an encouraging message on the Kickstarter Wall! 3 winners will each get their own ReelCase and a $25 Amazon Gift Card! US residents only please, Ends 5/12

reelcase

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Prizes will be fulfilled by the sponsor. Winning entries will be verified. Winners will be contacted at the email address used when signing into the Rafflecopter. Winners will have 48 hours to respond otherwise forfeiting their prize and a new winner will be chosen.

 

 


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How I Save Money Using My Unlimited Data Plan #MyDataMyWay

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #MyDataMyWay #CollectiveBias

10 ways I use unlimited data

 

We’re a very high-tech family and love the way technology has enhanced our lives.  I’ve been working from home for the last 8 years thanks to technology!  Technology opened the doors to so many opportunities for me!  Using the latest technology can help us do the things we do well even better!  I’ve always been a savvy shopper, but the data/web service on my smartphone lets me save like a superstar! One of my favorite apps is a price matching app that lets me scan a barcode on any item, then it shows me prices at other stores.  Most stores today will price match competitors, all you have to do is show them at the register. I have saved hundreds of dollars using this app.

The Price Matching App not only saves me money, it saves me time.  I don’t have to worry that something will be less expensive in another store, I know right away and can get the same price. No more driving around, wasting gas going from store to store. Now, I just load the item in my cart and get the lowest price at the checkout!

Another thing I use my data plan for is inspiration.  I’ll look up a recipe while I’m at the store, check the ingredients and know if I need to pick up anything. Last weekend I was on a road trip and checked the weather before heading home because it was snowing where I was. Data/Web service is perfect when traveling and unfamiliar with the area, we can pull up the local restaurants and attractions, get GPS directions to guide us and even pull up the latest episode of a podcast to listen to while driving.

Having all of this at my fingertips is great, but don’t learn about data overage charges the hard way.  If you don’t have a sufficient data plan, you’ll be charged when you go over and those overage charges can be brutal.

I was in Walmart the other day and saw their Family Mobile has the Lowest Priced Unlimited Plans. It’s just $29.88* a month (on the first line) for Unlimited Talk, Text & Data/Web service which includes up to 500 MB of 4G LTE data. I was impressed!  Could not pass up a deal like that so I checked out their phones and really liked the Alcatel Fierce 2.

walmart Collage

The Android smartphone is packed with features like 4G connection speeds, 5 inch touchscreen display and best of all no contract!  This plan saves our family big money! Given the winter we had that’s still here even though it’s spring, we just may take our savings for a quick getaway somewhere warmer!  Off to research some destinations on my new phone!  Let me know how you use your data/web service and what you think of the lowest priced unlimited plans from Walmart Family Mobile.

Walmart Family Mobile Unlimited

 

alcatel fierce 2 smartphone front

Alcatel OneTouch

Walmart family mobile 4

 

*Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please check HERE  or your local Walmart for current pricing.

 


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