Allstate QuickTrip App To Help You Juggle All The Things!


This is a sponsored message from Allstate.

Busy parents need all the help they can get, especially as we head back to school! Our friends at Allstate get that need. Allstate has developed an app to help us juggle everything required of us parents. Busy day, a million places to go and don’t know where to start? There’s an app for that – introducing the QuickTrip app from Allstate. 

Video - VideoLet’s go thru the app, see what this can do to help keep our busy lives sane and BONUS – we have a giveaway! We’ve partnered with Allstate in a giveaway and are offering a $100 Visa Gift Card to a Digital Mom Blog reader! Keep reading, you don’t want too miss this or how this app can help juggle your day-to-day! 

QuickTrip App Review

Let’s get to know the QuickTrip app from Allstate Insurance. First thing to know, this is a free app that is for everyone to use. You are not required to be an Allstate Insurance customer to utilize this app! Its purpose is to help you tackle everything you need to do during the day by optimizing your to-do list, giving you a smarter more efficient route to your destinations, reminding you when it’s time for a tune-up and keeping you notified of any recalls for your vehicle. QuickTrip is the route planner that can help you save time with multi-stop routes. 

to do appJuggle All The Things With This App!

We don’t know about you, but with back to school – our to-do lists are a mile long. Do this, do that, you have this appointment here, but don’t forget to pick groceries there. We’ve all been there, right? Good news! Allstate’s QuickTrip app is here to help you optimize that to do list in an easy concise way. It works with your calendar, allows you to input your tasks and acts as an advisor as to what you should do when by optimizing you to do-list and your route! Let’s look at how this works.

Quicktrip App To Do List and Route OptimizerFirst, you have to download the app! It’s free! 

After you have your QuickTrip app installed, here is how to utilize:

Choose which calendars you would like to sync. The app will take any existing activities from your calendar and add them to your daily route!

Next, add in any additional plans that aren’t in your calendar with their location. I typically go a step further and put in how long the task will take me as well. This isn’t required, but does help with optimizing!

Next, you will hit Optimize Route. This is where the magic happens. The QuickTrip app takes in all of your data, events, appointments and to-do’s and finds what the best route is for you, along with what you should do when! So should you go pick up paint first or drop off that package at the post office? Let the app tell you! 

Up-To-Date Car Recall Information

Another feature that is super valuable is the car recall feature. When a car has a recall, it is essential to get the problem fixed. Car recalls happen.  Typically the cost of a car recall is covered by your vehicle’s manufacturer, but you have to know about the recall first! 

QuickTrip App - Recall Notifications

Good news! The QuickTrip app by Allstate Insurance makes it super easy to learn if your car is under a recall. From the top menu, select My Vehicles. You scan your VIN (or manually input it) and the app will give you personalized maintenance reminders. Then simply add those car maintenance tasks to your route. 

Feature Overview

Here is a list of general features you will find within the QuickTrip app. 


  • Get multi-stop routes—view all your stops for the day in a single map overview.
  • Sync your calendars for a simple, complete overview of all your daily tasks.
  • Add additional tasks or errands, so everything on your to-do list gets done.
  • Give each task a name, location and timeframe in which it needs to be completed and QuickTrip takes it from there. 
  • Save time with the smartest order for your tasks and the most efficient route.
  • Scan your car’s VIN to get personalized maintenance reminders and recall alerts. 

There you have it. Give the Allstate QuickTrip app a download and start optimizing your to-do and multi-route schedules in no time! 

$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

As mentioned, our friends at Allstate in addition to wanting you to know about the QuickTrip app – have partnered with Digital Mom Blog to offer a giveaway of $100 Visa gift card, perfect for filling your tank with gas or any other needs as your run errands!



This has been a sponsored post on behalf of Allstate. All thoughts and opinions are that of Digital Mom This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.

Fingerlings – The 2017 Hot Christmas Toy


Fingerlings – what in the world is a FINGERLING? Let us introduce you. Our friends at WowWee emailed us a few weeks back saying they had the hot new toy for 2017 and wanted to send us one to see what we thought of it. So, here is what we thought – more importantly we are given you the thoughts of kids because they are the ones who will be playing with these things. 

Hot new toy for 2017 christmas fingerlingsWhat are Fingerlings?

So a Fingerling is a little robotic baby monkey. Think interactive pet. They come with a battery already installed, so all you have to do after unboxing is turn them on. There are 6 varieties of monkeys – you can order in white, black, pink, purple, blue and turquoise. Each monkey comes with a name. 

fingerling monkeyWhat does a Monkey Fingerling do?

Here is what the Fingerlings do.  These interactive pets love to hang onto your finger, blink their eyes, turn their heads, blow kisses, swing by their tails, and talk in monkey babble

Clap your hands twice and your Fingerlings will sing together. Fingerlings respond to sound, motion, and touch with blinking eyes, head turns, and silly monkey babble. Blow them kisses and they will kiss you back! Hang them upside-down by the tail and watch them monkey around! Pet them to sleep or make a loud noise and watch them get excited! They are VERY gassy. 

What do Kids Think of Fingerlings?

The kids loved the Fingerlings. I would say they are good for ages 4-10, though our 12-year-old did fight over getting his turn to play with the monkey. The kids have had the monkey for the last 5 days and each day it’s a fight on who gets to play with the monkey when. They make great car toys as they are small, while they make noises – it isn’t obnoxiously loud and it’s nice that the kids aren’t on screens actually playing with a toy.

Video - Video

Paint Coming Off Fingerling Monkey

One thing to note, the paint did start to chip off of the Fingerling after the first day. I’m sure this is due to our kids scraping, playing or possibly chewing on the toys – but something to note. 

Unicorn Fingerlings Review

Just announced, the Unicorn Fingerlings!

What is the Finger Monkey Price? 

Fingerlings retail for $14.99. They are currently available on Amazon. If you are wanting to order a Fingerling, I would suggest you do so soon. Remember the craziness last holiday season and outrageous prices to get a Hatchimals?

Hot Christmas Toy

The 2016 hot toy was the Hatchimal – I predict that the 2017 hot toy is the Fingerlings.  I’m not the only one predicting this. They are slated to be one of the 2017 hot Christmas toys by many industry toy giants, so order now

Ultimate Lightning McQueen Car

Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen Review

Best Speech Therapy Apps for Kids


Speech therapy apps – helping your littles with their speech via an app is a great way to learn thru play. Learning thru play is something we have really strived to do with our kids.

When our older kids were little, iPads and technology really weren’t a thing. Their learning thru play occurred with Leap Frog toys and Baby Einstein.  Our younger two kids are all about iPads and electronics, so when it became apparent that they both needed speech therapy, in additional to working with a speech therapist – we incorporated app play. 

Speech Therapy Apps for KidsBest Speech Therapy Apps

These apps are not meant to replace speech therapy by any means, but act as another encourager and teach as your child learns to pronounce sounds correctly. 

Articulation Station

First on our list of Speech Therapy Apps for Kids is the Articulation Station speech app. This speech therapy app offers 6 engaging articulation activities. The app is free to download and offers the “P” sound program for free. You will need to purchase the other sound programs. 

articulation stationThe Articulation Station app offers practice at the word, phrase, sentence  and story levels in one app. These activities encourage your kid to love practicing their sounds and hopefully forget that they are actually working, not playing!

Here are some features. Something to note, this is a pricey app if you purchase all downloads – though it does gets excellent reviews.

  • Quick tips for teaching each sound
  • 20 target words per sound position (initial, medial, final)
  • Beautiful high quality images
  • Create custom word lists
  • Shuffle multiple sounds
  • Flashcard activity
  • Matching activity
  • Rotating Sentences (like carrier phrases)
  • Unique Sentences
  • Level 1 stories with picture prompts and comprehension questions
  • Level 2 stories with comprehension questions
  • In depth Scoring and data tracking for each child/student
  • Student profiles
  • Group sessions (Up to 6 students at one time!)
  • Voice recording and playback feature for monitoring responses
  • Save audio recordings
  • Backup and restore your data

Download from iTunes

Elmo Loves ABCs 

While the Elmo Loves ABCs app is not your standard speech therapy app, is does work with your children on articulation and it features a fun lovable character that your child probably already knows… ELMO!

The Elmo Loves ABCs app features songs, videos, games and more all about letters! 

Elmo Speech TherapyApp Features:
• Slide, sweep, swipe, touch, trace and dig to discover over eighty classic Sesame Street clips, seventy five Sesame Street coloring pages, and four different ways to play hide and seek!
• Touch and trace your favorite letter to unlock its surprises. 
• Tap on the star button to discover even more letter activities.
• Personalize by adding your own photos and videos to the game. 
• ABCs tracker for grown-ups to see how your child is doing. 
• Ability to purchase even more great letter content and holiday surprises. 

What Your Child Will Learn:
• Letter identification (uppercase and lowercase) 
• Letter sounds 
• Letter tracing 
• Art and creativity 
• Music appreciation 

Elmo Loves ABCs App Tips:
• If you wish to personalize Elmo Loves ABCs by adding your own content, remember to complete all the fields: name, recording, photo, and video! If you do not have all four, your content will not appear in the game. 
• Your videos must be in “Photos” (your device’s photo library) on your iPad or they will not be accessible by the game. 
• To upload video into the “Photos” folder using iTunes, connect your device and click on the “Photos” tab. Click on the “sync photos from” box, and use the drop down menu to choose the folder that your videos are in. Make sure that you have the “include videos” box checked before you sync. If you are using a Mac, you may also use iPhoto to sync your videos under the pictures tab. Again, just make sure you have the “include videos” box checked. 

Download from iTunes

Kids Vocabulary, Grammar and Language Learning Games App

Another Speech Therapy Apps for Kids to check out is the Kids Vocabulary, Grammar and Language Learning Games App. This app was developed to help your child get ready for school with fun language development learning and educational games for kids via an app.

speech therapy apps fro kids• Cross-curricular game-based learning program in Math, Science, Literacy, Language and more 
• Self-adjusting levels of difficulty 
• Unique progress tracker to follow your child’s progress across apps and devices
• Detailed success stats
• Recommended learning path personalized for each child
• Add up to 4 children per account
• Over 200 fun rewards to motivate your child to continue his/her learning experience
• Designed with educational and child development experts
• No third party advertising

Download from iTunes

Phonics Studio App

Phonics Studio app is a free app that provides over 2,500 flashcards to help kids pronounce more than 200 sounds. Your child selects a letter from the alphabet than a sound. Each has a collection of flashcards. Your child can practice by listening and then recording their voice saying the sounds. 

Phonics Speech Therapy Apps for Kids

● The app comes loaded with over 2,500 gorgeous flashcards
● Phonic sounds are grouped by letter into 200+ unique sound groups
● Consistent number of phonic words within each sound group
● Beautiful high quality images
● Supports In-depth scoring and user tracking
● Ability to track unlimited number of users
● Ability to email detailed summary reports
● Stores students progress, including their audio so you can clearly hear progress over time
● The app is beautifully designed which makes it great for kids of all ages and all abilities 
● This app is FULLY customizable to your students needs
● Can even add own cards, categories, sound groups and more… 

Download from iTunes

Speech Therapy Tool Kit

Last on our list of Speech Therapy Apps for Kids is The Speech Therapy Tool Kit app. It was created by a licensed SLP and offers nine great tools for parents, teachers and therapists.

This app is free to download, but does offer in-app purchases for full capability. Here is what is included in the Speech Therapy Tool Kit app:

  • Milo’s Sticker Chart is great for rewarding children. There are a lot of cute stickers for your child to choose from. You can have a sticker chart for as many children as you like. 
  • The Coloring Book is good fun for any child. You can color on the iPad or print it out and color the old fashioned way. 
  • Therapy Ideas is new and improved. We have 130 ideas for activities focused on speech and language, and we continue to add more. We have the ideas broken into ‘general’, ‘articulation’, ‘language’, and ‘videos’.
  • Articulation Tool – popular articulation images, there are approximately 1400 images.
  • Tracking Tools: goal tracker, therapy notes to keep daily SOAP notes, attendance tracker, IEP calendar
  • Age Calculator

Download from iTunes

Which of the Speech Therapy Apps for Kids is your favorite? Leave us a comment below!

Here are some more posts from Digital Mom Blog that you may enjoy:

Handwriting Without Tears App
Teach handwriting with this handwriting app!
Cell Phone Etiquette for Kids
Cell Phone Etiquette for Kids

Handwriting Without Tears App – Wet Dry Try


Handwriting Without Tears app has been a huge help in our house. Our 2 littles just don’t quite get the wonderful penmanship of that their mother has (I have the worse handwriting.) If your child needs help in the hand writing department, look no further – we have a solution! 

Wet Dry Try Handwriting Without Tears App

Handwriting Without Tears is a program you maybe familiar with if you have worked with a school, tutor or occupational therapist with your kid and hand writing. We had used the program thru our OT a few years ago. She had recommended that we download the Wet Dry Try Handing Writing Without Tears app to continue our son’s progress at home. 

The Handwriting Without Tears app that we use is called: Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try for Capitals, Numbers & Lowercase and can be found here (in case you are scouring the app store for which one to buy.)  It works with your child on teaching the correct way to write their capitals, lowercase and numbers. 

I should note – currently, Wet Dry Try app is only available for iOS. It does work amazing on the iPad since it’s similar in size to that of a piece of paper. 

Teaching Handwriting With an App

One of my favorite things about the Handwriting Without Tears app is the positive encouragement given thru-out the app. For the demo, I played quite a bit with the app and felt like I was getting a pat on the back every time I wrote my 8 the correct way!

Funny thing, as I was going thru this – I quickly learned that I draw my letters and numbers TOTALLY wrong. As mentioned, my penmanship sucks so this could be of benefit to anyone who wants help with learning the correct way to form your letters and numbers. 

Parent Tip

Just a tip when starting the learning process on this app. When you go to the letters (either capital or lowercase) or the numbers, choose the HWT ORDER button.

This is the Handwriting Without Tears suggested order for learning. This will teach your kids in a different order than the standard A-B-C or 1-2-3 order. This is the easiest order for your kids to learn!

About the Wet-Dry-Try App

The Wet-Dry-Try app is $4.99 – but in my opinion worth it. Here is more about the app from the developer:

Make handwriting practice fun! With Wet-Dry-Try, children learn and practice correct formation habits for writing capitals, numbers, and lowercase letters. The app simulates our Slate Chalkboard and Blackboard with Double Lines and helps children learn handwriting skills in the easiest, most efficient way. The result truly is handwriting without tears! 

Practice and Learn Hand Writing on the iPad

Here are the Handwriting Without Tears app features. Not only did our OT recommend this app, but so did our kids’ Kindergarten and First Grade teachers. 

  • A proven multi-sensory approach teaches children to write letters and numbers with correct habits and without reversals. 
  • Children can practice letters in any order they choose, or follow the HWT Order, which presents the letters in the proven Handwriting Without Tears® developmental teaching order. 
  • A personal coach helps children with friendly audio cues to learn formation steps and fix mistakes. 
  • Student-created avatars let children personalize their learning, and help them easily identify their accounts.
  • Each letter has three levels of difficulty that build skills progressively. Master a level and win a star. Earn three stars and win a letter card. Collect them all to win the grand prize! 
  • The two options for sensitivity allow parents and educators to adjust the writing tolerance depending on each student’s needs. 
  • The smiley face and Slate Chalkboard frame promotes good handwriting and reading habits for capitals and numbers. 
  • Lefty-friendly setting lets you adapt horizontal cross-strokes to make their handwriting easier.
  • The double lines, modeled after our Blackboard with Double Lines, make it easy to understand where lowercase letters start and end.

Classroom Usage

If you are a teacher or educator needing classroom usage with the app, purchase the Handwriting Without Tears Classroom edition. This will allow you a classroom license, enabling multiple students will be able to create a profile and save their handwriting progress. 

Download the App

Handwriting Without Tears Products

If you are looking for additional handwriting support, outside of an app – check out these Handwriting Without Tears products. These are used in our kids classroom and at OT and can provide great additional help when your littles need assistance with writing. 

View all the Handwriting Without Tears Products

Read more about Helping Kids Learn How to Write with an iPad

How to Download Instagram Photos and Videos in Under a Minute!


Have you ever needed to download Instagram photos or videos? Last year, my youngest son needed to do a poster board for school of his life. Sorry kid, you were born in 2011 therefore the majority of your life has been placed on Instagram and I the photo back-ups are on some hard drive in the attic.  Thankfully I found a solution, so super easy too!

How to Download Instagram Photos and Videos in Less Than a Minute!

Download Instagram Photos and Videos

Are you ready for this simplicity? For real, so simple. To download Instagram photos or videos – first thing you will need is the URL of the Instagram photos or videos. Let’s use this Instagram pic. I actually need it for a blog post, so perfect!


The URL is Copy the Instagram photo or video URL. 

Now here is where the magic happens.


The DownloadGram website has ONE purpose. It’s purpose is to download to you the Instagram photo or video that you want. 

Go to and paste the Instagram url here: 

download instagram videos

Click the Download button. 

Then a Download Image button appears. Click that. 

That’s it! Your Instagram photo or video will download and you forever have a copy of YOUR photo. 

download instagram photos and videos

Come on Instagram, Give Us a Download Option!

So this is a major annoyance of Instagram. I love me some Instagram. I quit Snapchat because Insta-stories. I’ve accepted that Facebook now owns them. But one thing I just don’t get is why there isn’t an easier option for us Insta users to download our photos. 

As much as some things on Facebook annoy me, they will let you have your data. Same thing with Google. They aren’t locking it up in some crazy code like Instagram does. Seriously, have you ever tried downloading your image off of Instagram? You would think you could just go to your profile, right-click and save. NOPE. 

There is a way to dig into the code and find the image (not obvious!) but come on! Thankful for simple tools that just do the job like DownloadGram.

I found my first post on the Instagram app, get this on November 10, 2010 – it had just launched publicly a few weeks before. Back before the Facebook purchase, hell wasn’t even on Android yet! Time changes everything, but still obsessed with this app. 

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