Summer App Roundup

by Katie on May 18, 2015

11036889_10153223426466826_791943938444551950_nSummer is right around the corner and we have already planned all sorts of fun activities. When we are out and about in the summer I always have my iPhone 5s with me. I use it most often for snapping pictures of my boys so I can always remember the fun summer memories we make.  I am also a big fan of keeping my calendar on my phone so I have instant access to all the soccer games, meetings, and summer parties we have planned. In a nutshell- my phone makes my summers run smoothly!


Devices can help simplify and enhance summer so we can spend more time doing the things we love, like spending time with family and friends or relaxing at the pool.

Apps to enhance your summer include:

  • Hipmunk can help find the best flight and hotel deals and book them immediately. The app searches hundreds of travel sites to help ensure you find the most convenient arrangements and the best price for you.
  • Google Calendar helps organize busy summer schedules in one convenient place. This app allows users to sync calendars across multiple devices, and push notifications will help ensure your family makes it to every practice, family party and appointment on time.
  • Don’t get caught off-guard by a summer shower or severe weather with the Yahoo Weather app. It offers detailed information on wind, precipitation, sunrise and sunset times and provides twice daily notifications to prepare you for changing conditions.
  • For those looking to edit and share their favorite summer memories, Snapseed offers pro-level photo editing capabilities in an intuitive, user friendly interface that is great for perfecting photos taken on your phone. Snapseed also allows users to share their photos via email, Facebook and Twitter.
  • People can also keep track of their favorite sports teams and players wherever they are this summer with The Score app, which provides news and scores from a multitude of leagues and events and provides live updates on teams so users never be caught out of the loop.

With the strength of U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network and national coverage, U.S. Cellular smartphone and tablet users can access these helpful apps whether at home or on vacation this summer.

What apps to you plan to use this summer?

As always Let U.S. Cellular make it easier by using the Parent/Child Cell Phone Agreement to set some ground rules.

I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade. I received an Apple iPhone5S and am being compensated for my time


I Know How Boys Are

by Katie on May 14, 2015

A few weeks ago I read  a blog comment that just made my heart sink. In the comment the woman said “I know how boys are” in reference to high school boys and their behavior. This comment was made in the context of younger girls going to high school with older boys…it was stereotypical and in my opinion an offensive portrayal  “of how boys are” and my defenses immediately went up.  This is far from the first time I have read or heard comments being made about boys in the same negative context. It is usually from parents of girls with the tone that their girls needed to be protected from boys.

The thing is that I also know how boys are.

I grew up in a small town and went to preschool with most of the same boys who were in my graduating high school class. These boys were my friends. They were respectful, funny, good people. They loved football, pulling innocent pranks, and just hanging out. These boys  cared about doing well in school and could be found Thursdays nights at their church’s youth group.

I know how boys are.

I went to college and met boys who became some of my best friends. These boys saw me through some of my wildest college nights. Boys who sat beside me as we watched coverage of 9-11 with horror on their faces. Boys who answered the phone anytime I called.  Boys who wanted to have careers. Boys who have gone on to become husbands and fathers.

I know how boys are.

My Dad was successful at many things in high school and college and went on to medical school. He then married my wonderful mom and raised three daughters with  patience and humor and love. He also happens to be the best person I know.

I know how boys are.

My husband is the kind of man you want your boys to grow up to be and your daughters to marry. He is caring and kind and has a great sense of humor. He values our marriage and puts his family and God above everything else. He is the best dad and is raising our two sons to grow up to the kind of boys and men we will be nothing but proud of.

I know how boys are.
I’m raising two boys who we are teaching to be respectful, kind, and honest human beings. Boys who are sensitive and wild and just plain sweet. Boys who already know how to make a girl feel special-I know because they make me feel that way. Boys who have a lot expected of them, but receive even more love in return. Boys that make my heart burst with pride.

I am lucky enough to know how boys are.




PhoneI don’t know about you, but I can hardly remember what life was like before cell phones, wireless, and all the other conveniences that our mobile devices provide us on a day-to-day basis.  I honestly start to feel a little panicky if I forget my phone.  My iPhone 5s works as my alarm clock, calendar, and pretty much does everything but cook meals for my family (although I do read recipes off my phone) and put my kids to bed.

It seems like many people agree with me, as according to a recent survey conducted by U.S. Cellular,  more than half of today’s wireless consumers report using smartphones as a morning alarm, to check weather forecasts and stay updated on news.

Since wireless devices have become an integral part of the daily lives of consumers, there are a number of questions that people have consistently asked. Here are U.S. Cellular’s solutions to some of the most common:

What is the best way to disinfect my wireless device?

o    The best way to keep your device free from germs, especially if you have a touch screen, is to use a screen protector like PureTek. Then, you can disinfect the protector with a simple alcohol or disinfecting spray. Pre-soaked wipes aren’t ideal as moisture can damage the device. Spray a soft cloth with ethyl or isopropyl alcohol and be sure the cloth isn’t soaking wet. Turn off your device and wipe it down. The less moisture you expose your gear to, the better. Be extra careful around the charging port and headphone adapter.

How can I make my device charge faster?

o    The fastest way to charge your smartphone or tablet is to turn it off and plug it in. The screen needs the most power, and users often have apps that run continuously in the background. If you don’t want to turn off your device, switch to airplane mode, which will disconnect you from cellular data and Wi-Fi. You also can stop all apps running in the background and reduce screen brightness to conserve the battery.

Can my smartphone read texts and emails out loud to me?

o    Most of the latest devices have this feature internally, and you can set voice control to your preferences. If your Android device does not have this feature, download the Voice Commands app to allow access to your phone’s core features and control system. Some hands-free driving devices, like the Jabra FREEWAY Car Kit, automatically turn on when you are in the car to enable these services.

How can I take a photo on a tablet without needing two hands to focus the photo and press the shutter?

o    Most devices have autofocus and allow users to touch anywhere on the screen to focus the shot. Apps such as Say Cheese Camera also let you use voice control to take pictures, turn on the flash and rotate the camera view. You also can purchase remotes and tripods to take your wireless device’s photography capability to the next level.

Can my smartphone alert me to messages other than through sound or vibration?

o    Most smartphones have LED lights that can flash different colors for emails, text messages and phone calls. On the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, users can enable the LED light flash, which will activate the device’s camera flash to signal an alert or phone call.

Thanks U.S. Cellular for answering those questions. I can now make my iPhone 5s work even harder for me!

As always Let U.S. Cellular make it easier by using the Parent/Child Cell Phone Agreement to set some ground rules.

I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade. I received an Apple iPhone5S and am being compensated for my time



March 27, 2015

Last week our Charlie turned three. I know every single mom ever always says the exact same thing…how is it is even possible for time to go this fast…but it is so, so true. I can still remember every single detail of the day he was born just like it was yesterday. I remember the way […]

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