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Friday Finds: Apple TV

Friday Finds: Apple TV

This blog comes with a warning. It is openly about my love for Mac products. Some people may take offence and roll their eyes, but if you read on…you have to know what you are in for!

My friends know that I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to all things Mac. I work in a school that uses only Mac technology. I’ve converted my house into a PC free zone. I love nothing more than holding the newest Apple gadget in my hands and finding a way to integrate it into the classroom. Whether its an iPhone, and iPad, a Mac book Pro or a desktop….my philosophy is ‘once you go Mac, you can’t go back’. Whether you love or hate

Needless to say, that since becoming a Mum, this love has now progressed to a borderline obsession. Whether you love or hate Apple, you have to agree that their products do promote a sense of awe and wonder. If you are lucky enough to have a few products, the use of fabulous features such as home sharing and iCloud become clearly evident. Taking photos of my gorgeous baby girl on my iPhone, instantly pop up on our iPad. Songs that we download to our home desktop via iTunes are available via home sharing on my Macbook. Apps that we install on our products also appear instantly on other devices. Its so cool, I love it.

This year one of my favourite features has been Photo Streaming. As any new parent would attest, every day moments that are captured need to be accessible at anytime and anywhere. Photo streaming as meant that photos taken on my iPad can now be seen on my iPhone when out and about. Similarly, when I’m writing this blog, I can draw upon a range of photos taken from other devices easily via photo streaming on my laptop’s iPhoto library. It makes accessing and viewing photos really easy, and really fun.

I can’t believe therefore, that it took us so long to acquire ourselves an Apple TV. A couple of friends had told us of their love of this product, particularly in it’s ability to play videos from your iPhone or iPad, directly to your TV. Recently Dan and I got ourselves one of these little babies, and instantly we were blown away. Syncing your devices with the Apple TV simply makes your TV a sharing station for all the videos, photos, songs and apps you have. Ok, I know I’m a little biased, but seriously, for new parents this product is really cool.

Here is a summary of some of the features that new parents will love:

  • The ability to play videos and photos of your little ones from your mobile devices directly to your TV via Airplay.
  • The ability to play videos such as Charlie and Lola or Peppa Pig directly from your iPad to your TV. This means no more DVD’s everywhere!
  • Syncing with your home computers via home sharing. Any music you have in your iTunes library can be played.
  • Movies for Mum and Dad can be played directly to your TV via your home network.
  • The ability to access the iTunes store, meaning you can buy and rent movies, watch previews and listen to music (great for stressed our Mums and Dads).
  • The ability to mirror your iPad, meaning that you can surf the net, play games or look at apps directly on your TV.

At $103, I think that this device is pretty reasonably priced. Especially considering what it can do. It helps us to share the wonderful memories that we have. It also helps Ella’s Mum and Dad have a bit of down time so that we can remain sane. That has to be a good thing!

For more information about Apple TV and it’s features, click here.

Images are linked directly to their original source.

Friday Finds: Peek-a-boo App

Friday Finds: Peek-a-boo App

This week’s Friday Find comes courtesy of my dear friend Amy. A Mother of two, she shares my obsession with all things Mac! Amy and I were sharing our selection of our favourite apps recently, when she suggested a simple yet engaging app called Pee-a-boo Baby Rattle. At nearly seven months old, Ella is learning to understand that people and objects continue to exist, even if you don’t see them! Games like peek-a-boo are a daily favourite in our household at the moment, as Ella squeals with delight when we poke our heads around a corner or up from behind a couch.  It’s so funny how you can now see the look of expectation on Ella’s face as she now knows what’s about to happen. Little brains are just amazing as they learn.

The Peek-a-boo App allows babies to play this familiar game on their own. Once babies and toddlers either press the smiley face or shake they phone, an animal appears making their corresponding real sound. A variety of favourite animals include a:

  • Dog
  • Bird
  • Cat
  • Pig
  • Parrot
  • Duck
  • Frog
  • Chicken
  • Cockerel
  • Mouse

There are soooo many apps out there for kids, it’s hard to know which ones are actually worth it. This app costs 99c. Ella already seems to love the colours and sounds. I’m sure that it will come in handy when she grows a little older and shows her alter ego in the most convenient places. Apps like these can be a parents best friend, as well as a great learning tool for little ones. In my book, if it’s recommended by a friend (especially this one), then it needs to be in my baby tool kit!

Hope you and your kids have fun with Peek-a-boo too. If you have any other App recommendations, I would love to hear from you! You can find Peek-a-boo Baby Rattle on the App Store here.

* Images are linked to their original source

Friday Finds: Babyology

Friday Finds: Babyology

I’ve been learning how to be a Mum this year, and recently, I’ve been learning how to write, maintain and develop my own blog. I’ve been blogging for a while now about technology in education, however it hasn’t been until the creation of this blog for Ella, that I have learnt about the real craft of blog writing. I have a long way to go in achieving my goals and helping this blog grow, however one of the things I have learned about is developing a schedule for posting so your audience can establish their own relationship with your writing.

My main purpose for writing this blog is a personal one. It’s primarily for my family as a way to document memories and celebrate milestones for our daughter Ella. However, I have also been sharing some great resources, websites, challenges and stories with friends who are also travelling on this journey of parenthood. It’s been great to hear about other people’s experiences, advice and general comments as they impart some of their own wisdom or frustration. I’m definitely a people person, and this blog has really helped to connect with others, some familiar, and some not. We all have one thing in common – we are doing our best to be great Mums and Dads.

In four weeks I will be embarking on a new phase of parenthood as I return to work part time. I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to fit everything in, and how I’m going to be able to keep a regular presence on this blog. So I’ve decided to set myself a target, no more like a routine, to keep myself on track. In some ways, this blog will just evolve as Ella grows and that won’t follow a routine (just like babies). Her milestones will just happen, and I will write about them as she grows. However I’ve thought about documenting other things in a scheduled way. So each Friday, I’m going to write about fabulous finds that I’ve come across that have made my job as a Mum a little easier. ‘Friday Finds’ will be devoted to sharing websites, apps, blogs, products, tips and anything really that I’ve come across either through the web, friends or other means. Hopefully these finds might help other parents find their feet!

The first fabulous ‘Friday Find’ has to be the team @ Babyology. Many of you probably already know about and follow the Babyology website, but if you don’t, do yourself a favour and check them out here. According to their Bio, Babyology is:

The place to find anything for children and parents that’s worth having, from the practical to the sublime and everything in between. If you love hunting down cool, innovative gear for pregnancy, babies, toddlers and kids, then Babyology is for you. An online arbiter of good taste for anyone who’s ever felt overwhelmed when faced with buying for little ones, we’re here to show mums, dads and everyone else that good design and a sense of style don’t have to disappear when parenthood begins’.

This website certainly keeps you up to date with the latest and greatest products and releases. They post fantastic articles about every day parenting topics and host discussions about issues relating to everything from high chairs to breast feeding in public. The bottom line is – this site is Australian. It’s written by Australians for Australian parents. With all the information out there – this site is fantastic. It also has a fabulous pram and high chair ‘chooser’ tool that allows you to compare and contrast products to find one that suits your style and budget.

By subscribing to their site, you receive updates each week about the latest news, ideas and products on the market. They are also visible on Facebook and Twitter. What’s even more fantastic is that if you ‘like’ them on Facebook, they will donate 20c to the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Association of Australia.

This is a simple, fun and informative site that has helped me make sense of the huge world of baby products! I hope it helps you too!

*Featured images are linked to their original source.

I heart Pinterest!

I heart Pinterest!

My name is Kate Korber and I am a Pinterest-aholic. I never thought I would be, but I am. I admit it. I’m on this band wagon in a big way. When I saw all the talk about Pinterest (via Twitter and Facebook), I thought – yeah, yeah…another thing. Coming from someone who openly admits to loving social networking and the fantastic world of mobile devices, I was apprehensive to delve into this new ‘fad’, for reasons that I now seem to forget. After a year of learning to be a Mum (still learning and always will be), I was quite proud of myself for embracing Instagram and starting this little blog. I thought that I could not possibly be into something else – boy was I wrong.

I am always talking about (no raving about) the possibilities of Twitter in terms of networking and professional development for teachers.  It is such a fantastic tool to ask questions, share knowledge and resources. It really is an untapped resource for many who seek to broaden their networks, whether it be for a new business, community group or personal interest. I also used to love and use a fantastic resource called ‘Delicious’. Delicious was an online bookmarking service that allowed users to tag their favourite websites with keywords and save them to the ‘cloud’ (ie. the web). This means that all your favourite sites could be accessed any time, anywhere and be shared with anyone you like.

Pinterest brings this idea to a whole new level. As a teacher, and now a new Mum, interest has allowed me to browse the web and ‘pin’ ideas, resources and any new finds to virtual pin ‘boards’ that I have created. Instead of bookmarking a link, you basically bookmark an image from the site that you like. Thus you develop a fantastic pinboard of images relating to your topic of choice. As a new mum, this means that you can pin ideas for your baby’s room, cute clothes, recipes, art and craft ideas etc. If someone shares a great website with you – pin it! If you find a picture of a great birthday cake for next year – pin it! You can create boards for any topic you like!

Some of my favourite boards that I have created include:

  • Being a Mum
  • Kids Fashionista
  • Kids Wonderland
  • Fashion Style
  • Cool for School
  • Dream Kitchen
  • Dream Bedroom
  • Dream Bathroom
  • Education Inspiration
  • Awesome Interiors
  • Cool Images
  • Frames, Frames, Frames
  • Great Quotes
  • Technology in Education

The best thing about Pinterest is the ability to follow others, so you get to see what other people are ‘pinning’. You can follow every day people, friends, businesses, celebrities or anyone who inspires you. You can re-pin their ideas onto your own boards, email the link, share it via twitter or Facebook etc. You can browse through categories and look at what is hot in the world of interest at that point in time.

I think that the possibilities for this site are endless. If you were researching for your wedding, you could pin all your ideas to a board you have created! If you have a business, you could pin ideas for potential clients, or post images of things you are proud of within your own. If you are researching for ideas for your own home, you could create boards (like I have done) and save ideas for later. If you are a teacher, you could post ideas for the classroom for all areas of Education. This image is a snapshot of my board ‘Kids Wonderland’ which holds heaps of ideas for Ella’s bedroom. Some of these ideas I have used, some are for the future. Click on the image to be taken to this board.

As a Mum, I’m always on the look out for ideas and resources that make our lives a little more easier and fun. As a Mum on the go – Pinterest is a great way for us all to save the ideas that we would like to make happen, but always seem to forget. If you are like me, paper is the enemy – I never seem to remember where I put papers down. However I always have my phone or iPad handy and this site can help me to keep my ideas in order, even when my brain can’t. That has to be a good thing!

If you would like to share the love – follow me on Pinterest via

Apptastic Parenting 2.0

Apptastic Parenting 2.0

In one of my earlier blogs, I talked about some of the fantastic apps that have really helped with the daily tasks of being a new Mum. Many people have talked about how these apps have helped them too, and I thought that I would continue to share any apps that I have come across that either bring about a sense of calm to a Mum or Dad’s day, help capture a beautiful memory or inform in a simple and clear way. Here are a few apps that I have downloaded lately:

Baby Karaoke – FREE

For many new parents, the idea of learning those endless nursery rhymes can be enough to give you a headache! This simple app was developed but the site and plays five common nursery rhymes in the form of little videos. Playable on your iPhone or iPad, this app is an essential for any Mum or Dad who need a refresher course in ‘Row, Row, Row your boat’ or ‘Open Shut Them!’ Singalong and learn at the same time!

Click on the image to the left to be taken to the iTunes store

Elmo loves ABC’s – $4.99

This has to be one of Ella’s favourites so far. There is a FREE base version that allows you to access some letters of the alphabet, but for $4.99, this app is worth it. Obviously, it is tailored for pre-school aged children, but the colours, sounds and animations capture the attention of any child. Elmo invites kids to practice writing their letters, playing games, identifying images, drawing and colouring in etc. It also shows cute little videos that help kids learn the alphabet. This app is creative, interactive and heaps of fun…even for Mums and Dads!

Click on the image to the left to be taken to the iTunes store

Diptic – 99c

This app allows you to combine multiple photos taken on either your iPhone or iPad, or those imported from a camera. It provides you with various different layouts that help you create a montage /collage of photos, with the ability to then save this as a single image. Images can be shared via Facebook, twitter, Flikr, Tumblr or Posterous. It also contains 15 filters and rounded borders to give you the ability to transform any basic image into a mini masterpiece.

Click on the image to the left to be taken to the iTunes store

Artinphoto – 99c

This app provides you to add / mix sketches within photos taken on your mobile device. Click on anywhere within your photo and a sketch box is created to transform your photo into a work of art. Choose a variety of hands to make it look like the sketch is being held in front of the real photo. The image to the right is an example of what can be done! It’s one of those apps that is so imaginative…something that can really change a basic image into something wonderful!

Click on the image to the left to be taken to the iTunes store

That should keep any Apptastic Parent busy for a while! Hope you enjoy 🙂

‘Tiny Beans’ – Watch your children grow

‘Tiny Beans’ – Watch your children grow

As with Instagram, I am a big fan of super simple ways of capturing daily memories of Ella growing up. Being able to capture photos on my iPhone has become something that is almost a reflex. Any app that can transform a somewhat hopeless amateur shot into a masterpiece is high on my list of Mummy friendly apps!  Then there comes the debate about sharing photos, and to what extent do we share them with the world. As a parent who is an avid lover of techno gadgets and anything starting with the letter ‘i’, I know that Ella will indeed be a well captured baby. I also know that being the first Grandchild, her family are always asking for current snaps and images that show her smiling, laughing, staring, slob erring….any old thing really. Never before has it been so easy to share our photos of daily moments with family and friends, and with social networking mediums such Faceboook, Twitter and Instagram, parents can share to their heart’s content.

The issue of ‘over posting’ of photos however, is a topic that is gathering momentum. As a new parent, I am happy to share photos of my gorgeous girl, but am conscious of bombarding people with more and more pics each day. There are some people in my social networking world who are only too happy to see a daily shot of Ella rolling around the floor or wearing her Essendon Beanie, but I also know that there may be some people who must curse the FB phenomenon of endless babies popping up every hour in some sort of cute pose or outfit! On behalf of new FB parents everywhere, we are indeed sorry! However I want to continue to share in the delight of capturing my gorgeous grow grow each and every day.

Tiny Beans is an app that came across my Mac desktop via the fantastic blog – Babyology. I have been looking for a way to be able to share a private photo gallery online with my family, so that they can still get their daily ‘Ella fix’ without needing to bombard all my FB friends at the same time. I mean, I know she is cute, but we are indeed biased like all parents!

Tiny Beans is just fantastic. It is a simple app that allows parents to capture moments on their smart phone and upload them to a daily calendar photo journal. This journal can then be as private or public as you like, with the ability to invite people to view, edit and add to the photo journal. You can access Tiny Beans either on your phone or with your log in online. You can even log in as a FB user.

Tiny Beans can also be linked to your FB, Twitter and Instagram accounts. When posting a picture to Tiny Beans, you have the option of sharing it on FB, or simply keeping it private to the journal. If you post a pic via Twitter or Instagram, you simply need to add the hashtag #tinybeanskids to also add the photo to your own Tiny Beans Journal. Tiny Beans also has a great range of  filters to enhance your photos, rather than needing to use a third party app. Those who can see the journal can add comments as well.

For those of us who love using technology to follow our kids grow each day, Tiny Beans really is a fantastic way to share the journey with your loved ones in an intimate way. Ella’s Nanna loves checking in each day to see her little ‘sweets’ – and even sends be a subtle reminder when I have forgotten to upload a daily snap! Which reminds me….I need to upload one for today!

Tiny Beans is available via the iTunes store

To visit the Tiny Beans website, click here

To view the Babyology Tiny Beans review, click here

Images via and a screenshot from my iPhone!

Apptastic Parenting!

Apptastic Parenting!

Being a new Mum, coupled together with being a bit of a technology nerd is proving to be quite a bit of fun. As a teacher, I have embraced technology in every sense of the word. I have been a Mac fan for the last ten years, and have spent much of that time searching for software programs and apps that engage learners and assist them to make learning fun and interesting.

As a new Mum, there are so many aspects of technology that I have stumbled across to help make my job either easier in some ways, or more exciting! The world of apps has really brought to life many of the every day jobs that a Mum has to complete. From breast feeding, to reading about developmental leaps, I have found a variety of apps that have really helped me over the past four months.  Having these apps on my phone has meant that I don’t need to remember or carry around pencils, pens, cameras, notepads, books etc. It is all stored in one simple place.

I thought that I would share some of the apps that I have used so far…these apps have been used by me, not Ella as she is still too young to understand that my iPhone is more than just colours and cool sounds! That said, I’m sure she will be ‘swiping’ in no time!

  1. 1. iBaby Feed

This App literally saved by breastfeeding life! I don’t know about other Mums, but I have felt like I live my life by a clock, but never know what time it is! This app is designed by and for breastfeeding mothers who want to track when and for how long their baby feeds, whether from breast, bottle or expressed milk. It includes a useful reminder for which breast to start on each time. This reminder can be altered to remind for chosen intervals as well as calculating a reminder based on the average time between your feeds.

For some Mums, using a notebook or pad to write down their feeds worked great for them. I know however, that I am a complete fruit loop when it comes to remembering where I have put things down, but I somehow always know where my phone is (most of the time). Using this app was easy, all I needed to remember was the different between right and left, stop and start. This was something that I could do!!! The app gives you a great run down of how many feeds that day, week and month, the average length of feeds and intervals between them. As a new mum this information gave me great peace of mind and also great information that I could give to my doctor or nurse when they asked during the early days. Honestly, I cannot recommend it enough!

             2. The Wonder Weeks

Based in the best selling book by Hetty van de Rijt and her husband Frans X. Plooij, the Wonder Weeks is based on scientific research that details your baby’s stages of mental development and ‘leaps’. I found that during 8-12 weeks, Ella’s sleep went hay wire…she was really clingy (we couldn’t put her down without crying) and generally a little more flat than she had been in the weeks before. The wonder weeks gives you an outline of how babies go through stages where they learn significant skills and new information that can really put a strain on their little bodies, hence causing them to be a little more ‘monsterish’ than usual.

This app is the summary version of the book. It contains sections to help you ‘know what is going on inside the head of your baby, and to help them make this leap more easily. It helps parents by:

  • showing when your baby makes leaps in their mental development
  • What your baby can understand and learn after this mental leap
  • what your baby can do after this leap
  • What you can do to help your baby

It also gives you a chart to help show where your baby may lie in terms of wonder weeks, stormy and sunny periods. The wonder weeks were recommended to me by our Maternal Health Nurse in our Mothers Group. As with anything, I’ve learned to read and then take away what makes sense, but not fixate too much on the detail. It sure does beat Googling (don’t do that!), but I always still read with a sense of objectivity.

      3.  Read me stories

Although Ella is only 4 months old, this app (available on iPhone and iPad) contains 30 great stories that are interactive and fun. The characters come to life with their cute little voices. The colours are vibrant and story lines simple enough for little kids to understand. My husband Daniel loves reading Mr Chilli to her and considering that Pizza is his favourite meal, I’m sure that he will be reading it to her for many years to come!

The app allows you to preview some of the books for free, but there is a small cost to purchase the entire library. They also make other apps for children with great stories for bedtime!

      4. Popsicolour

I am the biggest fan of Instagram and the effects that can transform any old photo into a Masterpiece. Popsicolour is awesome. It allows you to transform any photo into a water colour work of art. Imagine taking a cute photo of your gorgeous bub and then creating a water colour artwork for a frame in your home.

I’ve been tweaking with a few photos in my library and this is the best one so far….

This is the original….                                  This is the Popsicolour version!

I look forward to tweaking with these Apps to capture Ella as she grows in a cool and colourful way!