Posts Tagged ‘iPhone Apps’

Don’t Forget – Spring Forward!

Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 08:03 AM
posted by mrscaz

We’re here to help you remember Spring Forward this weekend!


Mar 12, 2017 – Daylight Saving Time Starts

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 2:00:00 am clocks are turned forward 1 hour to

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 3:00:00 am local daylight time instead.

Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour later on Mar 12, 2017 than the day before. There will be more light in the evening.

Get the World Clock app for IOS > click here!
Get the World Clock app for Android > click here!

The above image is courtesy of Pixabay.comobpia30 



Deceptively simple…

Thursday, March 13, 2014 @ 09:03 AM
posted by mrscaz

lyne…Infinitely complex. Or so they say. Who says? Why, the developers of the App “Lyne“, that’s who. I know it’s been a while since I reviewed an iPhone app here on the kids belts blog, but my love for them has not wavered!

One of my very favorite apps (because I get free stuff, well… free after I purchase things, so I guess not technically “free”) is the Starbucks app. I’m not going to take the time to review this app, but one of the cool things about the Starbucks app is that once a week or so they usually send a free app or song download, which is how I got Lyne. (Did you see it come full circle there?)

lyne2The premise of this game is simple, connect the shapes. As with most games, the first few levels are relatively simple, basically getting you used to how the game works.


Then they get more difficult. The lines can’t go through other shapes, meaning you can’t get from one triangle to the next by going through a diamond (or as my son calls it, a rhombus). There is an exception, though, you can use the octagon as a conduit to the other shapes.



This game is challenging but surprising calming. It’s almost zen-like. So grab your phone, find a quite spot and relax while you work out your brain!

- Hundreds of pre-built puzzles
- An infinite number of procedurally-generated puzzles, released daily
- No in-app purchases. No ads.
- Slick, intuitive interface
- Soothing dynamic audio
- Unlockable colour palettes

Let me know if you check it out and what you think!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor





4 Pics 1 Word Review

Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 01:03 PM
posted by mrscaz

I got sucked in… I innocently downloaded a game on my break from making kids belts, and now I’m hooked. Well, hooked until I get bored with it, you know my attention span is very small. :)

The game is 4 Pics 1 Word. It’s a ridiculously simple premise for a game, but strangely addicting. You are given 4 pictures, a bunch of letters to choose from and there is one thing that they all have in common. Whatever that is, is the answer. Seems easy, right? Well, yes and no. Some of the puzzles are super easy.

Take this one for example:

Easy, right? (Round, the answer is round.) There are quite a few that are this easy and I think they do that to suck you in. “Hey, look, I’m so smart that I figured out all of these levels!”

And then, BOOM! You are hit with this level:

Not impossible, but definitely a little more difficult. (Spoiler alert, the answer is address). Then they throw this one at you:

This one took me a while, but I did get it. (Plenty) The one thing I like is that they vary so it keeps my attention. You can facebook it, and you can get hints (costs you coins). The hints involve revealing letters and removing them. Sometimes, those hint are the only way I made it through a level. If you have aced every level, don’t brag, it’s not nice and you make me feel dumb, but kudos to you! I’m not to proud to say “way to go”!

Anyway, try it out. I think you’ll like it, just don’t blame me when you aren’t getting anything else done because you are trying to figure out what the pictures have in common. Enjoy!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


My Fitness Pal

Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 11:03 AM
posted by mrscaz

It’s Thursday and you know what that means? It’s time for this kids belts inventor to do a review! Today, in keeping with my iPhone app addiction, I will be reviewing the My Fitness Pal app.

This app is a great way to keep your “calories in, calories out” in check. This app lets you keep a food diary, but does all of the calculating for you. It already has thousands and thousands of food items already pre-loaded into its database, but the other really cool thing about it is that it has a bar code scanner. That’s right, no more manually typing in the calories, serving sizes, and all of the other nutritional information, just scan and save and you are set. I think that’s my favorite part. As you add foods to your diary, it keeps track of how many calories you have left for the day. How awesome is that?

When you set up your account, you put in your current height and weight and so on. My Fitness Pal calculates your BMI as well as your BMR (resting metabolic rate). The BMR is important because if you know how many calories you burn resting, you know how the calorie range you need to stay in each day. It also gives you daily goals for sodium, protein, cholesterol, potassium, calcium, and so on.

Another really cool feature is that you can add in when you exercise and it calculates the calories burned. It then adds those calories into your daily allotted calories and increases the amount accordingly. See, it totally takes all of the work out of it for you. So far, my assistant has lost 14 lbs using this app along with her running.

According to their website, here is what you get with your FREE (free is good, right?) membership to My Fitness Pal.

  • The easiest to use food diary on the web - Track what you eat with just a few clicks from anywhere with an internet connection – at home or at work
  • A searchable food database of over 1,582,000 items - and it’s growing everyday!
  • Your own personal food database - add your own foods and recipes at any time and access them from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Free mobile apps for iPhone and Android - so you can log your meals and exercise even when you are on the go
  • Support and motivation from people just like you – Our discussion forums let you learn from others, share your own tips, receive and give encouragement, and make friends.
  • A personalized diet profile - customized to your unique weight loss goals.
  • Flexibility - our system can support any diet like Atkins, the South Beach Diet, the Zone, and more. No matter what diet you’re on, we can help.

I’m really excited to be using this app and look forward to seeing the results!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor




Run Training App Review

Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 01:02 PM
posted by mrscaz

I am many things; mom, wife, friend, kids belts inventor, and so on, but there is one thing I am not, I am not a runner. I don’t understand it. I’d even go as far as to say if I ever had to run for my life, I’d probably die. As I’ve said before, my assistant has gotten into running. She’s even gone as far as to run 3.25 miles straight, without stopping. I know what you are thinking, “What’s wrong with her?” Ha ha! I joke! I think it’s great and she went from barely being able to run in 30 second intervals to running a whole 5K in 6 and 1/2 weeks. How’d she do it? Well, she just happened to let me in on her secret.

Yep, its an app… You should have seen that one coming! My fondness for apps has outweighed my hatred of running. I downloaded the Run Training App and it looks really helpful. I decided to recruit some of the other moms at Bugs school to start this with me. I’m hoping that together we can push and encourage each other to go farther and really do this.

This App has some really great features (Note: this app does cost $2.99, but there is a free version that you can use 6 times prior to deciding if you want to purchase it). The first feature that I really like is the Mode section. That is where you can choose how you want to train. There are 4 main modes (all modes keep track of your time, distance, pace, and calories burned):

  1. Free Mode – Allows you to just get out and run.
  2. Route Mode – Allows you to set up a routes for different places that you may run.
  3. Training Mode – My favorite mode. This is where you can choose what you want to train towards, ie. 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon (Good night! Why on earth would you want to put yourself through that???) What’s nice is that in training mode it gives you voice cues as to when to run and when to walk.
  4. Goal Mode – This mode allows you to set up either a distance goal or a time goal and then announces when you are halfway there.

This app also keeps track of a calendar for you and every time you run it logs it on the calendar without you having to take an extra step.

You can go back and look at your history and see how each run compares to the previous one.

The last thing I’ll mention is a cool sort of techie feature. It keeps a map of where you ran so you can actually see how far you went! I think that’s super cool because I am a visual person. You can select the street view, satellite view or a hybrid view.

Overall, even though I’m not a runner (no matter how many times my assistant says “Oh, you’d be surprised! You’ll love it!”), I really like this app and I think that it will be a great asset on my overall journey to health this year!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


Customize Me

Thursday, January 26, 2012 @ 08:01 AM
posted by mrscaz

Earlier this year, in my kids belts blog, I admitted that my new year resolution is to work on my health. My overall health, not just weight, but with that being said, weight does play a roll in better health. Last week I started a running program (maybe I’ll review that app next week), so that is working on my strength and cardio, now I need to work on cutting calories and fat and all that fun stuff. Well, hubby and I wanted to go out to dinner a few nights ago (I know, eating right and eating out are a dangerous combination) and we decided on Red Robin… Yummm.

Once we were seated, I did the responsible thing (bleh… I know) and asked for their nutrition facts. What I was given both surprised and delighted me. You all know by now that I have an iPhone app addiction, so when the waiter said that there’s an app for that, I was sold!(PS they have an online version too, check it out)

I downloaded the Red Robin Customizer app and it is super cool.

The home screen of this app has two options: Create a Meal or My Saved Meals. When you click on “Create a Meal” it takes you to the Red Robin menu. You can choose any item, from burgers, to wraps, to chicken sandwiches, to appetizers to sides and so on and so on… Say you want a chicken sandwich, click on chicken sandwich and then surf through their options. Let’s pick the Chicken Caprese Sandwich. You can click on the “customize” button and suddenly, the sandwich separates by ingredient. you can then delete an item, or switch an item out by sliding the item back and forth. It’s so cool! As you are doing this, you can switch back and forth between that and the nutrition. Once you get the sandwich to the calories you want, you can then add on to the meal with a side, dessert and beverages. You can also save that meal for next time so you don’t have to take the time to do it again.

I have to say, this will totally take the guess work out of eat out at Red Robin. I wish every restaurant had one. My word, could you imagine my phone if they did?? It would explode!!!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


10 Tips to Healthy Grocery Shopping

Friday, January 6, 2012 @ 12:01 PM
posted by mrscaz

It’s a new year! 2012 already? That happened way too fast, but I am a bit disappointed because I was sure that by now we would all be driving flying cars and using teleporters.

But I digress, back to the new year and new resolutions. This year I resolve to have the best year in kids belts history! That should be easy because I only have to compete with 3 years and while they were great years, I am certain that this will be the best. That’s not my only resolution, like tons of people out there, I am making a resolution for health. Maybe I should be more specific, good health. I’m not looking to lose mounds of weight and be super model skinny thereby making my head look hugely disproportional to my tiny frame, I just want to be healthy. In my search for healthy-ness (shhh, I can make up words if I want…), I thought I would pass along some healthy shopping tips that I picked up.

10 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips:
  1. Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where the good fresh stuff is located. The produce section, fresh meat section and dairy section are the best places to shop for clean eating.
  2. LIST LIST LIST Take a few extra minutes before you go shopping to plan out your weeks worth of meals and make a list. If you have a smart phone, there are so many free apps out there that are specifically for shopping lists. The really neat thing about those apps is that they will also organize your list for you into sections so in the long run it makes the shopping trip go much faster! (I like the ShopListFree app. It’s very basic, but also user friendly.) Some of the apps even include pricing, so you can keep it budget friendly!
  3. Focus on Fiber Officially, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Most adult women should shoot for over 20 grams of fiber a day; men should shoot for over 30 grams. Some great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, and all manner of beans. You should choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat or whole oats) as a first ingredient. Bread, cereal, crackers and other grain foods should have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
  4. Avoid Overly Processed Food Box mixes and canned food, while they are convenient, are riddled with sodium. Try to avoid boxed food altogether and if you must get canned food, always opt for low/no sodium choices.
  5. Buy Lean Cuts of Meat There are so many choices out there now with chicken and turkey (ground meats, sausages, cutlets, etc…) that it’s much easier to make substitutions. Beef and pork aren’t too bad in moderation, but you definitely should get the very lean cuts.
  6. Dairy Opt for low-fat items. Cabot has some really great low-fat cheese options (Cheddar, habanero, jalapeno and pepper jack). Skim milk is a good choice and if you are going for yogurt, opt for Greek yogurt. It packs more of a protein punch and has little to no fat. Plain Greek yogurt also makes a wonderful substitute for sour cream.
  7. SAY NO TO IMPULSE JUNK Resist impulse buys while standing in the check out isle. Don’t let those candy peddlers win! You don’t need the candy bar or that bag of chips. Put it back…
  8. Resist the Twinkies Ok, it’s hard to jump into healthy eating, so if you are going to pick up some not so healthy treats, limit it to what you can fit in the top of the buggy (you know, where a small child usually sits). Then when you get in line to check out, re-evaluate those choices and ask yourself again if you really want (NEED) it.
  9. Don’t Meander Shop with a purpose. When you aimlessly meander through the store, you open yourself up to more impulse buys. You also fall into the stores sales traps, the end caps. The end caps are where bad food goes to tempt you and the store pretends that they are “practically giving it away”. Usually, the deals aren’t that great anyway. Just walk away.
  10. Don’t Go Hungry A huge mistake is to shop when you are hungry. Everything looks good when you are hungry and when you are hungry your stomach is telling you that you NEED it all. So save yourself some trouble, eat before you shop. You will thank me later.

So, that’s it. That’s my miracle list for healthy grocery shopping. I know that its not an exhaustive list by any means, but it is a start. I hope you can use at least a few to make your 2012 the healthiest ever!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


Weelicious App

Thursday, December 8, 2011 @ 08:12 AM
posted by mrscaz

I have an iPhone App addiction, I know this… I have embraced it because it’s really useless to fight it. I love the variety of apps out there, games, entertainment, books, utilities, social networking… and so on.

As I have mentioned before, besides being an awesome kids belts inventor, I am also a mom and as such, I try my hardest to be the best mom I can be. I am not perfect my any means, but I do have spurts of greatness… :) One thing I like to do, is cook for Super Dude and Bug. I found a website a long time ago (and have even shared recipes from there, read this blog post) called Weelicious and fell in love. They offer tons of recipes for all ages (seriously, even baby food!) and they are usually quick, easy and relatively healthy.

My assistant brought it to my attention that there is a Weelicious App. I know, I don’t know why she did that either, but she did and yes, I love it.

This app has so many features that it’s hard to know where to start, but one really cool feature is the videos. The videos are tutorials for how to prepare the recipe and she posts at least one a month. I like this because I can review the video before I prepare the dish so I know what to expect.

Then I can go in and check out the recipe which can add  to my favorites so it’s super easy to find the next time and how cool is it that it will even make my shopping list for me?? They must know that I will lose a paper list. While on the recipe page, you can scroll to the bottom and read comments and reviews for that recipe.

Speaking of recipes… I think they have something for every palate, every taste bud, every age and even variations for food allergies. I really like the fact that they not only separate them by category (including, but not limited to holiday categories, age categories and meal type categories), but they also have a search feature if you are looking for a specific ingredient.

Then, there is this “More” tab, which includes even more great stuff. It breaks down the food groups and gives you recipes that fit into them. There are tips for getting your kids to eat, trying new things, and feeding plans for babies. The health tab is amazing because it shows you all of the vitamins and minerals, explains why we need them and where you can find them!

Overall, I love this app (in case you couldn’t tell). I can’t think of anything I would change or add. If you are a parent with a smart phone, I highly recommend this app. Did I mention that it’s a FREE app? That makes it like a bazillion times better!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

Hanging with Friends

Thursday, October 20, 2011 @ 08:10 AM
posted by mrscaz

So, my new obsession is Hanging with Friends. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a cutesy version of hangman. It’s super addicting especially if you are at all competitive which I am and currently my assistant is beating me. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that, I mean, shouldn’t she at least let me win?

There are times throughout the day when I need a mind break from working on my kids belts and my go to distraction is now this game. It’s nice because it keeps me thinking and stratigizing (is that a word?) in way that is different from my day to day thinking and stratigizing. A good deal of what I tend to do at work is stare at a computer screen. Whether it’s designing a new pattern (which can be awfully mind-numbing at times) or answering emails or seeking out new ways to spread the word about Dapper Snappers, while I love it, it is monotonous. As a result, I like to break up the day with a game or two of Hanging with Friends.

Here’s how it goes, once you have started a game (either with a random person or a friend), you use your random tiles to create a word. You get points for the letters you use in your word. The points are used to purchase your lifelines (see more below). Your opponent then has anywhere from 4 to 8 chances (depends on the length of your word) to guess your word. Once they have guessed your word, or have run out of chances, they get  to put together a word for you to guess and it all starts over. Once one of you has missed 5 words, the game is over. Simple enough.

They just came out with some new updates that I love and some changes that I’m not so fond of. I love the fact that you can now see how your opponent tried to guess your word, that way I can see what letters they tend to choose first and stay away from them. That’s where that whole stratigizing (if I use it more than 3 times, does that make it a word?) thing comes into play. Then there are the lifelines (sometimes free, sometimes 20 coins) that come in handy as well. There are several to choose from:

When guessing your opponents word:

  • Suspects – reveals 4 letters, one of which is actually in the word.
  • Extinguish – removes 4 incorrect letters from your tray.
  • Revive – will remove one strike from you.

When creating a new word:

  • Tune-Up – lets you swap out letter tiles for randomly-drawn new ones
  • Conjure – gives you one magic blank tile that can become any letter you want

One of the things I don’t particularly like since they updated the game is that the bonus tile (DL, TL, TW) seems to more often than not just be double letter. Before there was a good mix of all of the bonus tiles, now, not so much. I know it’s because they want to limited the point you earn, which in turn limits the number of coins you earn. That way you will purchase coins to be able to use your lifelines. It’s not fair. But, alas life isn’t fair and that one little gripe isn’t going to keep me from playing the game.

So that’s how I kill time, when I know I should really be doing something constructive… oh well, there’s always later!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

Because I Love My Kids and These Awesome Apps

Thursday, August 18, 2011 @ 01:08 PM
posted by mrscaz

iPhone apps for kids

I had the pleasure of checking out a couple of Kiboomu’s iPhone Apps, Toddler Sing & Learn and Preschool Sing & Learn. You all should know by now how much I adore Kiboomu. They have so many great apps!

Both apps are great for entertaining bored little ones while sneaking in a little bit of education. Bug spent hours in the office killing time with the Preschool App while I was tirelessly working on the new kids belts fall catalog. She loves it. The toddler app and the preschool app both have interactive puzzles with music, coloring pages and songs.

Toddler Sing & Learn is a great “stepping stone” app for early learners! Toddlers will learn words, letters, numbers, colors and shapes, body parts, food, and more with their full music album of 10 sing-along songs, 10 puzzles, and 10 coloring pages!

Kiboomu Preschool Sing & Learn
Preschool children will learn essential early learning skills such as first words, alphabet letters, counting, seasons, days of the week, and more with an album of 10 children’s sing along learning songs, 10 puzzles, and 10 coloring pictures!

Kiboomu 5 little monkeys puzzle
I’m not one to try to pacify or babysit my kids with technology, but there are times where it really comes in handy and I try to only choose apps or videos that offer some educational benefit as well. Kibumoo is AWESOME for that very reason! And Bug seriously plays both apps all the time. She loves the songs. She sings along. She’s happy and content. Yay!

Kiboomu Sing along
I really liked that I could just hand it to Bug and go. She could very easily maneuver through the app bouncing between areas, so she totally does not need my help. The colors and graphics are great and the music is very clear (and the singing is great too!). Overall, I would highly recommend these apps for parents of preschoolers and toddlers. Your little ones will love them!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor