I love gadgets that make my life easier, whether it’s help with losing weight, getting organized or anything in between. And there is nothing like a new year to get me excited about doing those kinds of things.
I figure I’m not alone in that department since that whole New Year’s resolution thing is so popular, so this week we feature some products that will help you reach those goals.
They’re the kinds of products that I tell new parents about all the time in my baby planning business, www.BottlestoBritches.com. These are the kinds of gadgets that just make life more fun. I know you’re just going to love every one of these, so make sure you leave a comment at the end of the article to enter our drawing for one of each item, compliments of the manufacturers who told us about each gizmo!
Resolution 1—Get organized and de-clutter
Want to take all those holiday pictures you just shot and put them into a really cool video that you can give to friends and family? Or how about making a slideshow of your sports team’s winning year? It’s easy-breezy with the new FOTOBOX™ Plus. The New FOTOBOX™ is a USB device which helps you create multimedia slideshows with photos, videos, music, and narration. You just upload your digital pics from a memory card and take it from there. Super simple. FOTOBOX retails for $79.99.
Have dozens of old VHS movies sitting around the house and want to switch them over to DVD so you can actually watch them again, or take them with you without taking up lots of space? Try the VHS to DVD™ Deluxe 4.0. It easily converts your VHS, BetaMax, VHS-C and other analog and digital video to DVD format. It has even received certification from the Blu-ray consortium and supports high definition video editing. The MSRP is $79.99 (available in many locations for under $69.00).
Now, if you have lots of old VHS tapes laying around, odds are you also have lots of cassette tapes for your favorite bands from just a few years ago (really, discs haven’t been around that long!). The CES Award winning Audio Recorder Deluxe 2.0 retails for $79.99 or the Audio Recorder 2.0 Plus has an MSRP of $59.99. The Audio Recorder Deluxe 2.0 enables you to convert your cassettes, phonograph records, and move between various audio formats including; MP-3, WAV and Audio CD. I can’t wait to pull out some of my high school favorites and put them to disc!
And if you have a creative child (or maybe a husband who never grew up and likes cartoons!), there’s Claymation Studio 2.0, with an MSRP of $49.99, which lets you make your own animated movies. Funky and fun, and maybe a better option for their brains than the typical video games you can’t keep the kids away from.
All of the above products are sold through QVC, JCPenney’s.com, OfficeMax, Costco, BJ’s and other retailers.
Another resolution—Be more prepared.
Ever get stuck with no gift for a girlfriends’ birthday? Maybe your boss or colleague has a celebration you didn’t realize and you need a quick gift, pronto. Well, let me introduce you to GiftZip.com. GiftZip.com provides consumers with immediate access to hundreds of retailers’ instant, emailable gift cards. Its greener gift giving, if you will (another resolution I have). Giftzip.com has a “kiosk-like” usability with tons of selection and speed. It’s a free service that lets you buy a gift card online from 300 retailers. Just go to http://www.giftzip.com and you’ll find something for everyone, from Glitzypetjewerly.com, Lobster Gram, to Mix my Granola or the big names like Saks, Sears and Macy’s. They’re giving us one $25 gift card from any of their retailers, just for you!
Resolution 3—Look out for the little guy
I have the best dog ever. Better than Lassie. Yeah, no joke. She is awesome, but she’s not a real fan of travel. So, I love the idea of Ark Naturals Happy Traveler. Everyone knows travel can be very stressful for pets, so Ark Naturals Happy Traveler offers a safe all-natural herbal calming formula for stressed, nervous, or anxious pets. Happy Traveler can help by easing separation and travel anxiety, motion sickness, and tension caused by changes in your pet’s daily routine. I’m told Happy Traveler was designed by a nutrition and herbal scientist using premium, human-grade natural materials and is non habit-forming and has no harmful side affects. Happy Traveler can be found at Whole Foods, PetCo and other major pet stores as well as online and costs $10.50.
Resolution 4—Save money!
My phone bills are out of hand so I’m looking for ways to save. The magicJack may be my answer. It is inexpensive compared to regular service–$40 for the device and first year of service and then only $20 each year (yes—year, not month) afterwards. It lets you make local and long distance phone calls from any broadband-enabled computer. This includes calling back to the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands from anywhere in the world for free. Set up is simple. Just plug the magicJack into the USB port of any broadband enabled computer and after less than a minute you can get talking. And, for a traveling mom-on-the-go, the magicJack is small, portable and can go anywhere you roam. Or, use it at home to cut down on monthly long distance phone bills or as a second line for business. The magicJack is available at most major retailers including Best Buy, RadioShack and Wal-Mart, and also at www.magicjack.com.
Resolution 4—Get fit!
Peter K. Fitness DVD–It’s not easy getting fit, especially when you’re a mom on the go, but how about trying a fitness travel kit? “5 Minutes to Fitness+” includes an exercise DVD, exercise bands and nutrition book. It can be used anywhere as long as you have a DVD player and is intended to combine cardio with functional resistance training. The goal: increase muscle, burn fat and decrease pain. It’s $40 and can take just five minutes a day. You can check it out at www.peterkfitness.com.
SpinGym–You can get an easy upper body workout with the SpinGym®, a compact gadget that consists of a string, two metal rings and a metal disk. The goal–to improve the muscle tone of the upper body including arms, shoulders, chest and back. You can do it anywhere, anytime (no excuses left, right?). Created by fitness expert Forbes Riley (who will be inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2010), this product sells for $39.99 online only at www.MySpinGym.com.
iBlinks–I started running in the last year and was really amazed at how much easier it was to keep going when I had music playing in my ears. So, this year you can bet I’ll be plugging in the ear phones again, but this time I want to try iBlink, the ear bud that blinks to the beat for hours. The iBlinks isolate sound, making an acoustic seal inside your ear and blocking outside noise from interfering. The highlight (pun intended) of the ear buds is a patented audio-optic technology with lights that flash to the sound. The volume level controls the brightness of the flashing lights. Fun, right? I have a feeling I’m going to have to fight my kids off from “borrowing” these.
One last resolution–make more time for my honey…so my mind is on romantic getaways. Maybe these resolutions will free up the time and energy to make it reality! If you want a chance to win these great gadgets, just sign up for our newsletter now and then leave a comment below telling us about your favorite ROMANTIC getaway. You have until midnight, January 11th (EST) to leave a comment. We’ll draw a winner at random on January 12th.