Whether you’re looking to earn extra cash for Spring Break or need to update your closet with a few Spring wardrobe essentials, there’s a ton of cash hidden in your home and all you need to do is Spring Clean to cash it in! If you’re like me, you probably have an oasis of electronics that you’ve been hoarding since 1983 – and it’s time to let go. How else do you expect to keep up with the latest technologies, if you can’t let go of the nostalgic gadgets of the past? There’s no better time to include electronics on your spring cleaning agenda and with so many options to earn instant cash, you’ll be rolling in the dough in no time!
Here’s a few steps on how to spring clean your junk drawer of gadgets and earn instant cash below.
First, take inventory of all unused electronics in your home, and separate them into two piles. Everything that’s two years old and older, place in pile A and all of your newer (unwanted / unused electronics) place in pile B.
Research: Now that you’re ready to sell some of your electronics, you need to know how to price those items and make some money. Take your newer items (Pile B items) and research the retail prices online and on sites like Craigslist and eBay. You can also find out the value of your gadgets on Amazon here.
List: Based on your preference, you can then list those items on Craigslist, eBay or other sites like Gazelle.com or for a quick fix EcoATM examines your device and offers a price based on its condition. If you decide to sell it, you’ll drop in you device and receive cash right away. You can search for the nearest EcoATM on the company’s website.
Donate: You might not do much with the hundred or so dollars you get for that used laptop, but a local school or library could benefit greatly from having more working computers. There are many options for donating your old devices, from local charities to larger established programs.
Goodwill and Dell teamed up for the Reconnect program, which accepts donated computers at select Goodwill locations. The official site has a full list of items it will accept and locations near you. The Salvation Army also accepts used computers and electronics. If you’re donating a cell phone, the Verizon’s Hopeline program and the 911 Cell Phone Bank are just some of the many charitable projects that can do good with your old handset.
Recycling: Now for Pile A. If your device is too old or damaged to sell, don’t just chuck it into the trash can, recycle it. Many electronics manufacturers also have mail-in and drop-off recycling programs for their old devices, including Apple, Samsung and Sony. Wireless carriers will take old flip phones at no cost. Sometimes, recycling older electronics can become costly with processing fees, but I’ve found Best Buy’s Recycling Program to be the best and easiest of them all. Head to the nearest Best Buy and they will take electronics off your hands for free.
Now that you have a few tips to get you started, how do you plan to tackle your spring cleaning projects? If you plan on donating, recycling or selling your electronics in the process, sound off in the comments section below.
If you’re a new parent, Gerber is a brand you know and trust – and they’ve just created the next level of technology that’ll make feeding your baby extremely easier. Being called the Kureg for babies, the Gerber BabyNes Formula Dispenser is the WiFi-enabled formula dispenser that comes with an app that can send you feeding alerts and even help you track your child’s nutrition and growth.
Create the perfect bottle in less than a minute. The Wi-Fi enabled BabyNes Machine delivers superior hygiene, intuitive design, lump-free formula and a happier bottle-feeding experience for babies and parents.
Making bottle feeding fool-proof, the formula pods are effortlessly cool. The formula comes in pre-portioned capsules that are sealed to protect against contamination and work similarly to Keurig’s K Cups. Just pop them into the BabyNes and you’ll can get a bottle of formula milk at the perfect temp in no time. Additionally, each pod comes printed with its own barcode that allows the machine to identify the type of formula it’s making so it can adjust temps accordingly. The folks at Gerber have also thought of everything when it comes to designing the machine.
There’s a non-slip surface that will keep the bottle standing upright when it’s filling — ideal for a parent who is carrying a hungry infant in one hand and trying to fill the bottle with the other. Also, the machine comes with LED lights that will help you see what you’re doing during night feedings when you don’t want to wake anyone up, and with a 27 fluid ounce water tank that will fill up multiple bottles. This gadget is the ultimate hack that makes parenting a little easier and is sure to be #1 on mom’s and dad’s list everywhere. Buy it here.
Finding the right gift for new homeowners or holiday house warming parties can be tricky. While most may reach for sharing stylish home accessories, why not upgrade homeowner gifts with security for the homeowner in your life? From connected cameras to bluetooth enabled door bells, I’m all about connected home accessories these days. Discover just a few of my favorite holiday gifts (that I’m sharing & want for myself) for any homeowner on your list below!
Nest Cam is a sleek Internet-connected security camera that’s super easy to setup and use. It’s entirely controlled through the Nest app or online, so it works with your smartphone (iOS and Android), tablet or computer. It sends you notifications when it detects motion and sounds. Since it’s so connected, you can watch a live feed of your video, and save video clips — though the latter comes at an extra cost. The 130-degree wide-angle lens gives you a default video resolution of 1,280 x 720 (720p HD). You can also bump it up to 1,920 x 1,080 (full HD) for extra clarity, and there’s night vision, too. ($199)
You can turn your smartphone into a virtual key. Use your phone to lock and unlock your door and create keys for guests by granting access during specific times. Use the Kwikset Kevo app to send, delete or reassign eKeys anytime/anywhere allowing you complete control of your users. Provide your eKey recipients with anytime, scheduled, or guest access for a truly automated experience. ($199)
Need a little extra security for guests and package deliveries? Never miss a bell with Ring, a smart doorbell that comes equipped with a camera. The iOS/Android app gives you instant alerts when someone rings your doorbell. The wide-angle HD camera shows you who’s on your doorstep, so you can see or speak to them via your smartphone. As an added security, motion detection alerts you of any activity at your home. It records footage and has HD night vision, too. Ring makes sure you never miss a guest or package delivery, even if you’re not home. ($199)
The Philips Hue smart lights have been around for years, but now they’re a part of Apple’s HomeKit. You can use Siri to control the lights, and it works with other HomeKit products, like garage door openers, front door locks, thermostats and blinds. Just remember, to get Hue up and running with HomeKit, you’ll need the new square-shaped Philips Hue Bridge 2.0. (Bulbs $15)
Why not step up your gift giving efforts this year with amazing connected home gifts for the loved ones on your list? Are you a home owner? Share what connected home gifts you’d like to receive in the comments below!
Calling all Happy Hour fanatics, TGIT Scandal fans and boozy brunch lovers alike. If you love to get your drink on, Floome – the pocket-sized breathalyzer that connects to your smartphone, could be the best next thing you buy!
I know you love to get your drink on, but I also know that part of being a grown adult is knowing when you’ve had too many glasses of wine, martinis or shots to get behind the wheel. Let’s keep it real, it’s near impossible to make an educated guess about your own sobriety once you’ve got some alcohol in your system, so rather than playing a guessing game and taking a huge risk getting behind the wheel, Italian startup 2045Tech as developed a better solution: a stylish portable breathalyzer called Floome.
The design is super slick, and skillfully straddles the line between minimalism and functionality. Without sharp edges to snag on anything, Floome slides easily in and out of your pocket, and since it plugs into your smartphone it also doesn’t require any batteries or recharging of any kind. 2045Tech also outfitted the device with a removable cap so you can pop it off and wash it every so often to keep it clean, making it a much more hygenic choice than other breathalyzers on the market. And the best part? It all works through your smartphone.
If your blood alcohol level is too high, it’ll give you an estimate on how long it’ll be before you can get behind the wheel and automatically set up a reminder for you to blow again after that period of time passes. Don’t feel like waiting around to sober up? The app can also hook you up with local cab services and food in your area at the touch of a button. And of course, if you feel like sharing just how wasted you got last night, you can also post your breathalyzer results on your social media accounts.
Before you grab your wallet, grab your keys and head out to your next happy hour with your girlfriends, pickup your personal Floome device (you can order it from Amazon Prime) here.
You’ve registered for your favorite conference and with only a few weeks to go you’re beginning to review the itinerary, confirm your schedule and determine what to pack for your trip. Attending conferences might be one of the best things you can do for your career. You’ll learn about industry trends, gain some new skills, and make all kinds of new connections. Sure, you have plenty of options when preparing for your experience but with all those speakers, sessions, contacts, and conversations – if you’re not preparing right, then you’re already planning to fail.
Besides bringing tons of crisp, new business cards and collecting/trading them with other attendees, what else should you have packed and ready to go for your next conference trip? I’m getting ready for Blogalicious #BYOE15 – what about you? Discover the best apps and gadgets to pack to make the most of your next conference below.
Rule #1 – Always Be Charging
Portable charger accessories – The #1 accessory that I never travel without is a multi-mobile usb cable. Why carry multiple cables for your smartphone, dslr camera, tablet, etc – when you can carry one cable that’ll charge them all simultaneously! The 10-In-1 USB Computer Charger ($4) can charge all your devices at once and is a conference must have!
Portable charger – There’s so many portable charging options available that there’s no reason you don’t have 2-3 fully charged power packs in your arsenal ready to go. Not all portable chargers are created equal. Just in case you still need a few options, consider the MyCharge Hub 9000 ($116) and charge your tablet, smartphone & more for up to 40 hours. If you need extra juice to keep you charged for the day check out the MyCharge RazorPlus ($19) and if you want to be a conference hero by keeping you and all your conference buddies powered up for days without being chained to a wall outlet the LUXA2 ($120) (aka worlds largest power station) boasting 41,000 mAh is an investment worth buying.
Power Strip – My favorite is the Quirky – Pivot Power Protector ($14). It has six pivoting outlets accommodate plugs and adapters of all shapes and sizes. That means you can always fill every outlet; yes, even those big ol’ brick charging cords.
Rule #2 – Always Be On Time
Conference App – Many conferences come equipped with comprehensive apps filled with up to date news and event information. There’s even options to plot out your schedule and sync with your smartphone calendar from within the app. If you’re headed to any of these popular conferences in the near future you definitely want to download the conference app to ensure that you’re present and on time – no matter what! BeBlogalicious | SXSW | TED | BlogHer | Social Media Week
Kick Butt with the Moleskine Timepage app: The most elegant calendar for your pocket and wrist, Timepage is a calendar designed to make conference days more enjoyable and easy to navigate. Have all your calendars in one place, seamlessly integrated with weather forecasts, maps and contacts. (I have six different calendars, so you know I need something simple and seamless that’ll work for me!) Even on the Apple watch, you can see your day-by-day schedule for the entire conference week, discover the weather, see how long until your next session and travel details and wrist tap reminders…ALL ON YOUR WRIST! Genius! (Download Moleskine Timepage)
Rule #3 – Always Be Charming
Smart Voice Recorder (free) – You can’t leave for your upcoming conference without having your 30-second pitch memorized and ready to go! Smart Recorder is a full featured recorder and transcriber offering many features beyond what is available in the built in voice memos app. Use it to capture session meetings, interview, keynotes, classes, todo lists and more! Plus after you have made your recording, you can transcribe it through the Smart Recorder transcription service instantly!
Business Cards – It’s never too late to print out luxe business cards from Moo.com but just in case you need to figure out where/how to store all those cards with Business Card Reader Pro ($6.99) you’ll get instant (it takes seconds!) recognition of business cards right on your iPhone. Import contact information from a business card directly to your iOS Contacts. You can also try the CamCard app for free.
Bluetooth Selfie Studio kit ($24) – Need a selfie stick to capture all the action during the day? What about a tripod and selfie flash/LED light to capture Periscopes on the go? You can create your own Bluetooth Selfie kit like I did – or stock up on the kit which includes 1 x Bluetooth Extendable Bluetooth Selfie Stick Monopod, 1 x Rear Mirror Selfie Adjustable Phone Holder, 1 x Tripod Mount, 1 x Adjustable Phone Holder, 1 x Rechargeable Mini 16Selfie Flash LED Light, 1 x EEEKit Pouch at BestBuy.com.
These are just a few of my favorite conference must-haves that’ll keep you prepared and ready for a productive and engaging conference experience! Did I miss any? What are some of your favorite gadgets and apps that you have packed and ready to go for your next conference? Share your favorites below!
The digital craze has affected virtually every aspect of life, but perhaps nowhere is it more useful than in the home. From keeping your property secure to saving water and energy, digital upgrades can give your house a modern edge that adds convenience, cuts costs and improves resale value.
Within the home, the kitchen showcases the digital trend more than any other room. Smart appliances simplify tasks for homeowners while adding sleek design to spaces. Homeowners can now control stoves via smartphone and microwaves have the ability to sense when food is warmed just right. Can’t remember if you’re out of milk? A smart refrigerator will tell you via text if you need to make a stop on the way home.
Even seemingly basic aspects of the kitchen are getting futuristic makeovers. No place is this more evident than with faucets. Evolving tremendously over the last decade, faucets today embrace a blend of style and function with high-tech features that impress guests and potential buyers while making your life easier on a daily basis.
In fact, if you’re looking for a manageable first step to transform your current kitchen into a high-tech powerhouse, the faucet is the perfect starting point. Here are some things to consider as you shop for a digital faucet:
1. Does the faucet help keep the kitchen healthier (or more hygienic)?
More than just access to water, look for digital faucets with features to help keep the kitchen more hygienic. For example, Did-U-Wave digital faucets from Danze Inc. have a 3-inch infrared sensor for motion-activated functionality – perfect when your hands are full or dirty. Just imagine not having to touch the faucet to wash your hands after handling raw meat or dirty dishes. Eliminating touch means eliminating the spread of germs.
2. Does the faucet help save water?
A sensor makes it easy to access water, but what if you forget to turn it off? Especially important for the busy home cook or household with kids, a faucet that shuts off automatically if movement is not sensed is an important feature. While some digital faucets stay on two or more minutes, 60 seconds is the time to fill an average pot, so watch for a faucet that runs more than is necessary. That way you won’t waste water when you or someone else is in a hurry or simply forgets, which not only helps the environment but also helps save money on utilities.
3. Do the high tech features make life easier?
A good digital faucet will help make kitchen activity easier so you can maximize your time and minimize stress. Unique features of digital faucets include LED task lighting at the tip of the spray head that provides spot lighting for easy sight no matter what you’re doing, and SnapBack Technology that ensures the head will comfortably snap into place after every use for a tidy kitchen with less effort.
4. Is the faucet stylish?
Much like jewelry accentuates an outfit, a faucet is a key focal point of the kitchen. Look for a stylish faucet with advanced features that marries fashion and function. Gooseneck designs in chrome or stainless steel are classic options that match a variety of kitchen aesthetics, so you can have timeless style alongside helpful benefits.
High-tech kitchens are here to stay in American homes. This growing trend adds value while making the heart of the home more useful. Are you looking to upgrade your home soon? Check out plenty of digital faucets available from BestBuy.com, HomeDepot.com and Lowes.com today.
As you bid farewell to the holidays and say hello to a prosperous new year, it’s all about what you want to change, upgrade and do better. Health and well-being are always the first things that come to mind, but don’t overlook how to declutter your home. In fact, sometimes it’s the first place to start – from a total overhaul to the simplest design changes. Those major or minor design decisions can really impact not only how you live, but also the health and happiness of you, your family and your home.
“As we move in to the New Year, it’s about embracing function but also creating a space that’s a strong reflection of the people who live there,” says Nate Berkus, renowned decorator, designer and artistic advisor to LG Studio. “Forget fleeting trends – 2015 is all about integrating thoughtful elements that have a lasting impact,” adds Berkus, who offers these tips:
How To Declutter Your Home
The first thing, and maybe the most important, is to clean the house. Don’t underestimate how important that is, and what a difference it will make! Next, clean up the clutter. Getting rid of all the clutter, which has probably been piling up all year, will allow a room to really shine again. It’s all about editing – throw out what no longer works to make room for things that are necessary to live well.
Streamline your tech with a 2-in-1 laptop.
Toshiba – Satellite Radius 11.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop ($379)
Easily browse media and Web content with this Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1302 laptop, which features an 11.6″ high-definition 10-point multitouch display with TruBrite technology that simplifies navigation and offers crisp images.
Scan away your clutter.
Hp – Scanjet Flatbed Scanner ($219)
Scan multiple photos, slides, film and negatives and get superior color accuracy with 6-color, 96-bit scanning – exclusive to HP. Capture every detail with 4800 x 9600-dpi hardware resolution1. Get infrared-based dust and scratch removal too. The HP Scanjet G4050 Photo Scanner is designed for families and photo enthusiasts with large numbers of photos, slides, negatives or medium/large format transparencies which they want to convert into professional-quality, color-accurate digital files.
Store it all in the cloud.
WD – My Cloud 3TB Personal Cloud Storage External Hard Drive ($169)
This 3TB WD My Cloud external network-attached storage device’s Gigabit Ethernet interface allows connection to your existing network, so you can easily store and access files with compatible PC, Mac, mobile phones and tablets from anywhere in your home.
Shed those paper files.
Fellowes – Powershred M-7C 7-Sheet Crosscut Shredder ($59)
Protect your information with this Fellowes Powershred M-7C crosscut shredder that accepts credit cards and up to 7 sheets of paper with or without staples to cut your documents into small pieces and help keep your information private.
Simplify your controls with one smart remote.
Logitech – Harmony Ultimate Home Remote ($349)
Designed for use with home entertainment and home automation devices, this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home 915-000237 remote integrates a full-color touch screen, motion sensing and vibration feedback for a seamless, intuitive Harmony control experience.
Now that you have a few options to get you started on streamlining your 2015, in what other ways are you planning to get organized and get ready for a prosperous new year? Share your organizational tips below.
Welcome to my bedroom, where the “magic” happens. I’m talking late night rendezvous with Roku, and where sensual evenings are set by 90s slow jams and soft lighting from my MiPow PlayBulb. Sexy huh? In a world filled with connected devices, it was only a matter of time before technology invades our most private and serene spaces, our bedrooms. Nowadays, it’s all about the connected home and I’m now using tech to help me save money, improve activity and enjoy life!
Looking for ways to create your very own connected home experience? I’ve been able to integrate my favorite tech accessories into my bedroom without geeking it out and now I have a few suggestions on how you too can use them to stay connected in your bedroom or connected home below.
Charge Up Your Bedside Mannor with Contort Power 2 :
The Contort Power 2 USB HUB and AC Outlet is one of my favorite space saving accessories in my bedroom. It’s a great way to keep my devices charging and close by with it’s 2 usb hub outlets. The unique design transforms a standard electrical outlet from two power source outlets into three. (Plus its my favorite grab and go accessory anytime I’m headed out to a coffee shop or on the go and need an extra outlet of power.)
The Quirky Contort Power 2 can be found for $24 at HomeDepot.com.
Set the mood with sight and sound using the MiPow Playbulb:
When I first learned about the MiPow PlayBulb at CES in January, I never knew just how much I’d love and need this dual-purpose home accessory. The Playbulb is a fresh new Bluetooth Smart LED speaker light allowing you to combine you light with music and control both from your mobile device. The familiar light bulb shaped design and technology delivers a combination of stylish looks and good function in one. It’s wireless and cord-free, you simply screw it into any lamp-socket and operate it just like a normal light. You can play music from your iOS, Android or most other Bluetooth-enabled devices and is an ideal accessory for student dorms, apartments or any small spaces in need of light and sound.
The MiPow Playbulb can be found for $79 at MiPow.com.
Movies, Cable Tv and entertainment for days with Roku 2:
Last month, I was gifted with a Roku 2 and I really didn’t give it much thought about using it. I already binged on Orange is the New Black earlier this summer, and since that’s my only reason for using Netflix, streaming entertainment wasn’t too high on my priority list. That is until, a Time Warner Cable outrage threatened my reality tv consumption for a week. Luckily, not only does my Roku 2 offer 1000+ of entertainment channels and movies including Hulu Plus, Netflix and more – but it also streams live tv shows include in my Time Warner Cable service.
Get an upgraded TV experience with a Roku 2 available for $69 at RadioShack.com.
Control Your Home With Belkin WeMo
Who doesn’t love the power to control your home automation with the press of your smartphone button? That’s exactly what Belkin WeMo gives you – the power of a connected home, one gadget at a time. The WeMo Insight Switch sends notifications to your smart device showing how much energy your electronics are using. You also have the ability to turn your electronics on and off and monitor their behavior, all you’ll need is a Wi-Fi or 3/4G connection. I use my WeMo to control my air conditioning unit and pre-cool my home on hot summer days, I also use it to control those energy sucking gadgets that consume energy even when they aren’t in use. I save money and stay connected with home automation no matter where I am.
Get started on your journey to home automation with the WeMo Insight Switch available for $49 at Belkin.com.
Stay Connected With Your TV Using The Samsung Galaxy S5
I hate it when I lose my cable TV remote control! It happens more times that I care to count, but instead of wallowing in my failure, I simply grab my Samsung Galaxy S5 smart remote app and reconnect with my shows instantly. The Samsung TV Remote App lets you consolidate your remote devices and navigate the possibilities of your home entertainment system right from your Galaxy S smartphone or Galaxy Tab. Now everything you need to maximise your entertainment experience can be controlled all in one place, making the hassle and confusion of multiple remotes a thing of the past. (It’s been a few days since I’ve seen my original cable remote control, and I ain’t worried bout nothin! LOL) The app is free and available in Galaxy Apps store.
What tech would you invited to create your connected home? Share your favorite gadget finds and home automation wish list below.
Traveling on the go can be cumbersome if you’re not prepared. Travel interrupts our naturally scheduled programming and is an easy scapegoat for not maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as being out of touch with our friends, families and jobs. Don’t let a change of scenery spoil your New Year’s resolutions – gear up for 2014 with these 10 apps and gadgets to help make your travel experiences exciting and productive.
1) Tile your passport
Tile, one of Kickstarter’s hottest projects of the year, is a matchbook-sized, thin, white plastic square. This self-adhesive device, equipped with GPS, allows any item to be tracked using the owners smartphone app and Tile’s low-Bluetooth technology. Can’t find your passport? If prepared and equipped with a Tile affixed to the passport’s back or case, the owner can located the passport on a map and remotely send the device a signal to emit a sound, hopefully putting an end to the search-and-rescue. This simple device is the “find my iPhone,” for all physical items. Tile, which does not require battery changes or charging, can be pre-ordered for summer 2014 delivery. Tile for travel could keep your passport and checked-luggage always in your pocket. ($19.95 for one Tile, $59.85 for four Tiles, thetileapp.com)
2) Rove hands-free, with your automated travel diary
This free app is an automated timeline, which tracks users’ movements through GPS, estimates the method of travel, and inserts pictures, maps and locations into a timeline. The result is a beautiful visual travel journal– no inputs required. Next time relatives ask to hear all about the trip? Just “Share” from the app and Rove will email a link to the trip’s timeline- allowing the traveler to enjoy the moment and not spend time recording it. Want to keep Rove personal? The app is 100% private unless users choose to share. (Free in the iTunes store)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
3) Viber App + (friend with) Viber App = Free Calls
The Viber app allows users to make free phone calls, video calls or send text messages, over 4G or WiFi, anywhere in the world, free of charge (as long as both users are connecting through the Viber application). The app is available on all mobile devices and with 200 million active global users, has become one of the largest disruptors in the online global communication space. (Free; runs on: Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
4) Caught with a dying phone? Bring extra juice
There are many options on the market to pack power for on-the-go charging. Dark Reservoir’s sleekly designed device is on the higher end of the price rage, but the pocket-sized device will provide up to five charges for an iPhone, 1.5 charges for an iPad mini and will charge anything with a micro-USB charger ($129, mydarkenergy.com). Innergie has a wide range of prices and products for back-up batteries, including laptops. (Prices start at $54.99,myinnergie.com/store)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
What are some of your favorite gadgets and apps that simplify your travel? Feel free to share your favorites below.
How would you like a battery pack that not only doubles your battery life but also doubles your phone storage? Mophie announced the Mophie Space Pack at CES last week, promising the new battery pack would not only double your battery life but also your iPhone 5 or 5S’ storage capacity.
The Space Pack boasts the same 1,700mAh battery as the Air, (its’ predicessor) both devices feel about the same.
The space pack, however comes in both 16GB and 32GB varieties, which will more than double your storage for photos, music, and movies. Mophie even goes a step further with an intuitive storage management system – its own Space app to handle keeping up with your saved items. The TASK app is really intuitive: it’s immediately accessible to anyone who has used iOS 7. Music and movies can be played from within the app, and you can keep all your documents in one place on your phone — even ones the iPhone can’t read. You can’t autosync from outside the app, but it will pull in all your photos and files if you give it the correct prompt. And if you connect the device to your computer, it reads like any other hard drive.
The Mophie Space Pack is available for preorder on Mophie’s site for $149.95 for 16GB and $179.95 for 32GB. It’ll hit retail on March 14th.