Posts tagged ‘gift’

7 Gifts to Keep Dad Busy on Father’s Day

The other ‘parent day’ is upon us already – Father’s Day. Do you have a plan? No? Me neither. Luckily, I am writing this post so I can simply choose from one of the many ideas I will offer to you! Gifts for dads must be something they can use immediately – something to solve, consume, learn or build. Otherwise, you get a meager smile and it gets put aside with all of the other unusable gifts that never even made it out of the cellophane wrap. Dads are hard to buy for, everyone knows that. So what will make him smile this Father’s Day? Bring a little joy into his day, even for an hour? I have a few ideas…

  1. A Soccer-watching Kit: Is Dad enjoying Euro 2012 this week? Fill a kit bag with a jersey from his favourite team, matching old-school stripey socks, gourmet salted nuts, his favourite imported beer, and a tourny app that lets him check out stats and scheduling for his favourite teams.
  2. Nest Thermostat – It’s smart, it’s sexy and it’s good for the environment. Oh yeah, and Dad, it saves you money!
  3. Surprise him with a new TV – he doesn’t think he needs one but if it just happens to appear on his wall, I am sure he would thank you… in his own way.
  4. Beverage Gadget of Choice: Fizzy water anyone? The Sodastream Crystal Water Carbonator is the bomb and again, good for the environment. Or if wine is his thing, wine aerators are all the rage now and at very least inspire an afternoon of wine-tasting!
  5. Food Dehydrator – I know, it’s strange-looking but he might actually use it! Great for a dad trying to kick a sweet tooth so he can make his own dried fruit. Or have the whole family participate in the ‘Great Sunday Jerk-making-a-thon’ (had to be careful there…)
  6. High-tech Sneakers: He will never know sneakers like these. A customized pair in the hottest neon just for him.
  7. Pocket Camcorder: For Dads that spend their time behind the camera at most family events this one-function wonder will be a hit! (And will even survive being dropped in the punch bowl.)

Some of these gifts might require doubling up with siblings but come on, your Dad’s worth it! A gift + A barbequed meal = Enough said.

June 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Part 2 – Top 10 Apps for Mom This Mother’s Day

Now for the final five of the Top 10 Apps for Mom,  because I couldn’t get them to start at 6: (See Part 1 for the first five!)

  1. BugMe (FREE): This is a fun and simple way to organize her weekly to do list in a familiar sticky note fashion. (Have you ever received an envelope with a sticky note letter from Mom? I have.) It is not however good for medication reminders and the like – of course, there are other apps for that! Now, she will never give up her good old wall calendar but this will help remind her to look at it! HINT: help her discover what kinds of items she might need a reminder for and show her how to move them around the bulletin board.
  2. TuneIn Radio (FREE): Your mom is still of the generation that knows what radio is and this app lets her find stations with the music she loves. It beats the heck out of making Playlists! Throw in a cool new Jawbone wireless speaker so she can finally get rid of her 300 pound wifi collecting dust in the corner of the living room. Great for finding music in other languages! HINT: Add her favourites to the Presets so she can access them easily on her next visit.
  3. Netflix ($7.99/month): This is great gift for the Snowbird or traveling Mom who wants her own entertainment device. It also comes in handy when minding the grandkids! HINT: Show her around to identify shows and movies she might like and throw in the Belkin Grip 360 to beef up her gift!
  4. NPR/CBC Radio (FREE): Content that is just so darn interesting from announcers and personalities she knows. HINT: they both operate in a similar fashion, a quick tour should do the trick.
  5. Jamie Oliver – 20 Minute Meals ($6.99): Something Mom might not buy for herself because she doesn’t think she needs new recipes. She does. There are only 60 in this app but sometimes less is just more. Yes, Mom might have time on her hands, but after cooking for a family for 20 years, 20 minutes is all she can mentally spare. HINT: Teach her how to use the shopping list feature so she can use it on her iPhone and impress the cute produce boy at the grocery store!

You may have noticed that most of these apps are free. Does that still count as a gift? Definitely! It’s the gift of time that you add on as the most precious thing you can give to her. And just because they are free doesn’t mean you should get all of them. Try 2 or 3 to start, or your day together might end with a grey cloud over both of your heads. Happy Mother’s Day! And let me know which ones she liked best!

May 9, 2012 at 9:37 am 3 comments

Part 1 – Top 10 Apps for Mom This Mother’s Day

Top Apps for Mom

This blog is talking to those of us who have a Mom in the 55+ range who might not have the know-how or experience to go and research her own apps for her nifty new iPad. Don’t get me wrong, she is in love with the thing and when she is on it, it’s harder to get her attention than that of your Crackberry Colleague at the office! However, buying apps doesn’t come naturally yet to her so you are in charge of introducing her to said items of marvel and making sure they are easy to use or set up to the point where she can see the benefit to her.

Let’s dive in, shall we? I am not going to put the obvious on the list like Skype, Facebook, iBooks, Sudoku and the Weather Channel. She should just have these already…that is why she bought the iPad right? My Top 10 Apps for Mom include:

  1. Flipboard (FREE): A beautiful and really easy way to tune into her favourite web content without having to deal with bookmarks, typing in urls, or sorting through Google search results. The magazine flipping just makes more sense. HINT: Sign her up and set her up with her favourite content before she gets a look at it.
  2. A Story Before Bed (FREE): She can create a video of herself reading a selection of books to her grandchildren. Yes, that is often what we use Skype for but it is sometimes hard to schedule a time with a 3 year-old! HINT: Sign her up and take her through the process of creating one video. You can upgrade her to the paid version to access a larger selection of books.
  3. Ancestry (FREE): She can build her family tree while she watches her favourite primetime programs! HINT: Sign her up and fill her iPad with a bunch of scanned family photos to get her started.
  4. Kobo or Kindle (FREE): If you are in Canada, you may have noticed that the Store on iBooks doesn’t have a great selection – this is due to publishing rights, etc.. Get the Kobo app for your pick of what you could find right in the stores! Lots of free titles too. HINT: Sign her up and buy her first book…this one is a bit more complicated since you can’t purchase in the app. You have to buy on the website and go read it in the app. It’s worth it for the selection.
  5. Words with Friends (FREE): Zynga is doing what they do best, Social Gaming. It’s a good intro to the Social realm of possibility for your Mom while playing a game she will likely get addicted to if she is a Crossword person. HINT: Set up her profile and show her how to play.

See Part 2 here

May 9, 2012 at 3:05 am 2 comments

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