Ever since purchasing my iPhone 7 Plus, i’ve been on an iPhone accessories kick. Has anyone used a loop to grip their iPhone? The iPhone 7 Plus is massive (the camera is totally worth the massiveness!), so needed a way to get a better grip on it. I have cord issues, so found a cord solution. I needed a way to take a better photos in the dark. Recording videos is great, but for sounds you really need an external mic.
(*SIDE NOTE: I am SO not an organized person – but for some reason cord gadgets make me feel totally organized.)
I’ve rounded up my top 15 must have iPhone accessories – hoping that you find something that will help you!
What did you think of that smart wallet? Pretty cool, right? I carry a wristlet (anytime I try to carry a purse, I end up with half of my house in it!) and this wristlet with the iPhone charger is just perfect for the mom on the go who constantly needs to make sure she has her iPhone battery charged.
The Anker dual car charger really is a must-have as well. We have them in both of our vehicles. With 4 kids, someone is always needing a device charged. Last year, we took drove nearly 5,000 miles across the United States and USB plugs were in full-use the entire trip!
Phone sanitizer – talk about gross germs. I am sure I would gag if I ever had a swab done of my iPhone to find out what really was on it. Even grosser if I had them swab one of the kids’ phones!
Selfie sticks are still all the rage – but when adding a light, that totally UPs the game!
We’re in the beginning stages of movies. It’s mad nuts around our house as we declutter and start the process of packing. Surprisingly, the whole decluttering process has been pretty painless, because well – the wife handles tbat… (she approves of this message – I don’t declutter – I save.) My task, was the man cave, aka my office. Let’s just say that “we” have a major problem when it comes to our office desk. The desk is a mess. I put things on the desk, thinking they will be magically taken care of without further thought.
Going paperless is something we’ve done with all of our bills – but there are still things that come in the mail. Going paperless now is more important than ever. I hate wasting time looking for that one odd document that is buried in who knows what box!
This time around, rather than having to worry about which box a certain paper is in, we will be able to get on our computer, open up Evernote and find the document we are looking for.
If you are thinking about going paperless – I’ll show you how we are doing it. Here is How to Go Paperless:
How to Create a Paperless Office
Setup an Evernote Account
If you don’t have an Evernote account, set one up! My wife introduced me to Evernote and I’ve come to appreciate how it neatly organizes docuements and makes them easy to find on all of my devices. That being said, using it for our paperless office, is a must.
Get a Scanner
We recently received a ScanSnap iX100 from Fujitsu. Previously we had an all-in-one printer scanner. While it worked, it took work to scan something. To create a paperless office, you need to be efficient and able to get your items digital QUICK and orderly. This ScanSnap scanner does just that.
The ScanSnap iX100 is light, just 12 ounces. It scans in paper as small as an inch, up to 34 inches long (and it scans plastic!). It’s USB powered and portable. It’s small enough to stick in your bag and can be used with both PC and Mac. All you do is insert a page and it scans in just a few seconds. It creates a searchable PDF file with the touch of a button and can scan to Evernote for easy categorization.
Using your scanner, start scanning. Make sure that you are saving your files in Evernote. We have started scanning as much as possible with the ScanSnap. It’s so easy, we’ve enlisted our 11 year old to help. While ideally everything that is needed in your office is scanned in, start small. We focused on our desks first. All bills, paperwork, IDs were scanned and stored in our Evernote account.
As we were cleaning out the office closet, we came across our kids art box. The SnapScan came to the rescue. We chose the art that resonated most with us and scanned those in. (Confession: I did end up keeping some of the more memorable works of art.)
Throw away everything that you have digitized. I know, sometimes paper is just so hard to let go of, but keep your eye on the prize – a CLEAN and PAPERLESS desk!
As you move forward, keep on top of scanning documents and don’t let stacks of papers eat your desk alive! The SnapScan is super thin and can fit easily on your desktop or in your drawer and it will help keep you accountable to paperless living.
Our friends at Alienware sent over the brand new Alienware Alpha R2 and Dell 27 inch monitor over for us to review. No one is more excited than my 11-year-old Elijah (well, my husband was pretty stoked, but he knew this machine would be used by the kid.) As the kid knows, if you are going to play on it – you better help me review it – so that is what he did. Check out our unboxing video above and stay tuned for a full review.
Elijah has been playing on the Alpha R2 for the last week, he even set it up by himself. We are counting down the days until we go back to school, until then – all day and all night, well anytime that we let him – this machine is running Minecraft, Roblox or he is using to build something Scratch.
A little sneak peak about the Alpha 2 and Alienware Vindicator Carrying Case:
This carry case is specially designed for all-around protection of the Alienware Alpha R2. It has safety-cell™ technology for all-around protection which means my son can pack up the Alpha R2 in this case and take it over to his cousin’s house. Portable game play, an 11-year-old’s dream.
The case is zippered, and has a fleece-lined accessories compartment with adjustable padded dividers to organize your game controllers, power supply, and additional gear. Total crush-proof protection which with kids, is a must.
Today’s Friday Fave is this USB charger power strip. Yes, I know – it doesn’t sound all that exciting but let me explain.
Too Many Devices to Charge
I have a problem, okay I have many – but one of my problems is that I like to make sure all my electronics are constantly charged and I like to use them in bed. So what does that mean? It means my nightstand often has 2 laptops, an Apple Watch, an iPhone and a tablet charging. My husband has his Samsung Galaxy charging – oh and 2 Fitbits that need charging once a week. Total third world problem here, but our old country house is sparse when it comes to electric outlets and well, we have a lot of devices to charge.
USB Charger Power Strip
I searched for and found the perfect solution. The ORICO Family Size Power Strip Surge Protector solved my issue. It’s the exact USB charger power strip that I was hoping for. It comes with 4 electric outlets, 5 USB ports and a 5-foot cord. WINNING! I was able to tuck this behind my bed so now all of my devices can happily charge while I sleep (if I remember to plug them in, doh.) I’ve had this device for 3 months now and it’s been one of my favorite purchase. I just love all of the USB ports, it really has simplified and helped me organize the long cords going to various plugs.
Here’s the full details of the ORICO Family Size Power Strip:
ORICO high-end designed surge protector has enough power outlets to handle all your devices at once. It features 4 outlets and 5 ports USB super chargers that let you plug in and charge all your essential devices wherever you are. What is more, fireproof material ensures long durability and safety while using.
Efficient Design with Neatly Arranged Sockets and Built-in Power Cord
Its clean and efficient design means that it is good looking, its high-end outlook marches perfect with your nice home and office use.
Its neatly arranged sockets cause less clutter, save space efficiently.
Its built-in 5 Ft. power cord allows connection to a distant wall outlet.
4 AC Outlets and 5 USB Super Charging Ports for Worry-Free Use
4 protected AC outlets supply complete protection with a total power output of 1250W
1700 joule energy rating provides standard protection for your electronic devices.
5 USB Super Charging Ports can easily charge your USB devices with a max power output of 40W. Its integrated intelligence charging technology enables the charger to deliver the fastest possible charge speed up to 2.4 amps per port – yay!
Looking at iPhone 6 cases? The iPhone 6 is a phone of beauty. It’s all nice and shiny. I haven’t even upgraded to the iPhone 6s yet because I am still just loving the 6!
This may be an obvious statement, but if you have a toddler – and don’t buy a case for your iPhone – expect something bad to happen. Hell, even if you don’t have a toddler – these phones have a mind of their own and have been known to jump out of people’s hands, make themselves fall off tables, slip out of back jean pockets into toilets. The last thing you want is to accidentally slip and drop your iPhone 6. (Did you see the video of the guy in Austrialia who was one of the first people to get his hands on the new iPhone and DROPS IT on live TV? I’ll include the video at the bottom.) The average cost to fix an iPhone 6 screen is $125. So before you spout off some non-sense about not wanting to spend money on a case, think of how much screen replacement alone costs! The cheapest place for iPhone 6 cases is on Amazon. The good news is – since the Apple iPhone 6s is out – iPhone 6 cases are significantly cheaper!
Personally, I have used the Otterbox Defender case and Lifeproof case for my iPhone 6. Both are excellent cases and have protected my phone for the last 16 months that I’ve had it. I will say that the Lifeproof iPhone 6 case has a much better design than the Lifeproof iPhone 5 case. You can hear better and the quality of the case is spot on. I think I may prefer the Lifeproof because it is a lot thinner than the Otterbox, but for my kids – I still buy the Otterbox Defender because it does such an excellent job protecting the phone.
I’ve rounded up 20 iPhone 6 cases to help keep your phone SAFE. We have used the iBlason case on the kids’ phones, and on my husband’s phones – so those work great as well. Whatever you choice is – believe me, the first time you drop that iPhone 6 you will be glad you read this and bought a case!
We finally did it – we GOT RID OF CABLE TV! The cord is cut! The last year has really had us thinking, do we need cable? But alas, we were stuck in a contract and it wasn’t worth us breaking it. Our contract ended in early December, and after quickly realizing that if we wanted to continue with the bundle service we had, we would have to pay around $60 more a month for the EXACT service/equipment – we didn’t hesitate to cancel cable TV.
Yay! Cable-free and we have an extra $60 in our pocket each month. Take it we have been subscribing to Netflix, Hulu, Feeln and Amazon Prime (try free for 30 days) for the last few years – so I don’t count that as additional money that we are spending. So now that we’ve been without cable for a month, what do we think? For the most part, we love it. BUT that said, we have learned several things that we just didn’t think about or know before we cut the cord.
5 Things To Know Before You Get Rid of Cable TV
1. Buy a Clock!
So, what we didn’t think about as we were packing up our old cable tv boxes was that we relied on the clock on the box way more than we realized. It’s bright and you can see the clock from across the room and in the dark. We liked it so much, we bought 1 for our bedroom and another for our family room.
Today’s antennas are nothing like the antennas of yesterdays! There is no tilting a huge antenna various ways to get channels. We bought 2 flat antennas (though if we want WFAA, channel 8 here in Dallas with an antenna, we do need to purchase a UHF antenna — not a big deal though!). We are able to pick up around 20 channels – and it’s all digital so the picture is just as good as you would have with a cable tv box.
Here are the 2 antennas we purchased. I had bought 1 on Amazon and then another was an impulse purchase at Best Buy. Both work great!
This is the Homeworx HW110AN Super Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna ($7.78). The reception is fine with this antenna. Remember that where you place the antenna will also determine your reception. We had this on our family room TV and everything was fine and dandy. I purchased the RCA HDTV antenna ($15.78) below and since it’s a cleaner design put it in the family room. When I moved the Homeworx antenna to our bedroom, I am not getting all of the channels — it’s due to the location of the television/antenna. The family room has 3 large windows that our TV is next to. We just have 1 bedroom window, and the TVs isn’t close to it.
I do like that it’s a nice slick design! I will say that if you are missing local channels – you may need to purchase a UHF antenna. This is something we haven’t done yet since there is only one main local channel that we don’t get.
Heads up DALLAS – FT. WORTH people – if you are trying to get WFAA ABC Channel 8 on your antenna but having problems, you may need to buy a UHF antenna. (Think rabbit ears.)
3. Network Television is JUST as Bad as Cable TV
So with cable tv, when we did watch TV – it was mostly HGTV, Food Network or Discovery Channel (or Sprout, Disney Channel or Nick JR.) While yes, occasionally there was something questionable – overall on those channels the shows were family friendly. Fast forward to network TV — oy vey.
From TMZ talking about a man with two male parts to Divorce Court where they are discussing threesomes… I have had to turn the TV channel way more than I ever expected. (I will say, I love PBS programming. During the morning and afternoon hours, they offer plenty of kids programming.)
4. Amazon Fire TV is Amazing
We have smart TVs, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, xBox 360 and an xBox One. Of all of these smart streaming devices, Amazon Fire TV (read our Amazon Fire TV review) outranks them all. Why? For some reason we get WAY less lag when streaming video from Amazon Fire TV. This is true with not only Amazon Prime, but Netflix as well. Second, TETRIS. Sorry, but I love Tetris and don’t tell the kids but I lay in bed and play this stupid game way too much when I really should be sleeping. Yes kids, no screens in the bedroom – except mom and dad’s (which we really should get rid of, because sleep…)
5. Dish Sling TV
While yes, we are loving not having to pay for cable – I will say after hearing the announcement of Sling TV – I am in! For $20 a month – Dish Network, the satellite provider is offering a service called Sling TV. What is Sling TV? For $20 a month — yes, twenty dollars — you get access to a lineup of cable tv networks that includes TNT, TBS, CNN, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, the Disney Channel, ESPN, and ESPN2. The service launches first quarter 2014.
I was able to demo Sling TV by Dish Network at CES 2015 this year. I have to say, the interface is slick. I was able to choose the channel I wanted to watch, it displayed the show. While the options were limited, it’s only $20 a month – you can’t expect everything cable provided you! Here is a demo of Sling TV:
There is also talk of being able to purchase add on content, say kids networks for an additional fee. The best part is there is NO contract and NO commitment. Sling TV doesn’t require dedicated equipment – it uses any of the following devices: