What Is Pokémon Go?

What Is Pokémon Go

The entire Internet, nay the entire world, seems to be buzzing about this whole Pokémon Go thing. You probably remember Pokémon as being a card game that little kids played back in the late 90’s, which accompanied a Saturday morning cartoon of the same name. So why are adults and children alike hooked on this mobile version today… and what exactly is it?

For starters, Pokémon Go is a free mobile app. While you can use real money to buy in-game currency, you don’t have to, and the game is actually more fun if you have to use your time and energy to get further in the game (because it means you physically have to go out into the world and interact with other people to advance). I explained it to my son this way, “If you want to just sit at home and pay . money to get coins to purchase things instead of go out and find these items on your own, you’re better of playing something else. Pokémon Go isn’t for you.”

Pokemon Go map

 

How Does It Work? 

The game uses your phone’s GPS for your real-world location, drops an avatar of yourself onto a map of your area, and then shows you where to go to catch Pokémon (or “pocket monsters”). You then have to physically go to the location in order to “catch” the Pokémon. 

Your collection of little monsters is stored away in a Pokédex, where you can break them out later at your local “gym” to battle them against other, real-live people’s collections. (The players are referred to as trainers, by the way. You’ll have access to gyms, where you can battle other trainers using your collection of Pokémon, onceyou get to level five in the game. 

Time to geek out: Each Pokémon has a “CP” designation, or combat power designation. The higher the CP, the stronger it will be in battle.

When you see blue diamond markers on your map, it means a Pokéstop is nearby. These are places where you can interact with other trainers or pick up other items important to your game. When you find a blue Pokéstop close by, you can spin the center medal to reveal Pokéballs, eggs, potions and more. 

Pikachu Caught in Pokemon Go

How To Get Started

If you want to give it a try, download the app. Once you open it, you’ll be prompted to sign up with either your Google account or a Pokémon Trainer Club account. You’ll get a brief how-to tutorial before three Pokémon pop up on your map. Swipe your finger across the screen to throw a Pokéball at one of them (which captures the creature). Practice makes perfect! After this, you’ll be able to explore the app. Look for blowing leaves, which mean there are hidden Pokémon nearby. 

FYI: Highly populated areas tend to have more Pokémon and Pokéstops. 

PokemonWarning

What To Look Out For

A few warnings: The app itself warns users to be aware of their surroundings when playing the game. There are a few obvious dangers, such as paying so much attention to your phone that you walk into oncoming traffic, but there are also more troublesome crimes being reported, blaming the app. Some people have been lured into unsafe areas and robbed, with the hope that Pokémon would be at the scene of the crime. The best way to avoid criminal activity is to use common sense when playing. Don’t go to unfamiliar, isolated places at 2:00 a.m. for example… On the whole, the game is harmless fun, so don’t be scared.

These isolated incidents aside, Pokémon Go is catching on because it combines gaming, physical activity and making new friends…in the real world! When you look at it this way, it makes sense that everyone’s “gotta catch ‘em all!

Have you downloaded Pokémon Go yet? 

We’ll be sharing tips on playingPokémon Go next so stay tuned! And hopefully on your adventures you don’t get this screen…

Pokemon Go servers down

Back to School Healthy Checklist

As we head back to school, I wanted to share this back to school healthy checklist, sponsored by Kinsa, as a way to keep everyone healthy over the first few weeks back in the classroom.

Back to School Healthy Checklist
I feel as if sickness has been coming through a revolving door this summer. We all get better and then WHAM! something else hits. From colds, to ear aches, and runny noses, our family has been hit with it all. And now that I’m sending the kids back to school next week, I need to make sure I’m doing everything I can to stop the cycle in this house.

We’ve been working on trying to keep our home sickness free and I’ve come up with a checklist for the kids so that they’re reminded of what to do to stay relatively healthy. Since the first weeks of school mean exposure to a whole new lot of kids, an a whir of germs, we want to be in tip top shape when we return. And that doesn’t just mean staving off illness, it also means doing routine check ups that may help prevent illness.

Back to School Healthy Checklist - what to do

Back to School Healthy Checklist

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands! Keep reminding your kids to wash their hands frequently throughout the day. I have my kids hum happy birthday two times when they’re washing (similar to how they brush their teeth) so that they wash long enough. Make sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date. I’ve found that a lot of classrooms have hand sanitizer that they use but since my daughter has eczema, hand sanitizer burns her. 
  • Medications and Allergies need to be mentioned to your child’s school. If medications are needed during the day, make sure the school has what they need (with prescription/note from doctor if needed) and that they know of any allergies or conditions that your child may have. We had to make sure my son’s inhaler was ready to go for the new year! You might also want to mention any allergies to the room mom, if you have one, just in case.
  • Keep emergency contacts up to date! Make sure that the school has the correct emergency contact information for your child. A contact may have moved or changed phone numbers over the summer.
  • The most important meal of the day! Plan to give your child a delicous and healthy breakfast before leaving in the morning, such as oatmeal (made in a rice cooker!), smoothies, yogurt with fruit or scrambled eggs.  This will provide much-needed energy for the day. A great make-ahead option for busy mornings are these delicious egg cups!
  • Buy your child a comfortable, ergonomic backpack with thick straps. You don’t want the stress of a large load of books to hurt their shoulders or back. 
  • Make sure that your child’s shoes fit properly so that they get the support and comfort they need for all-day wear. With kids growing so quickly, make sure your child knows that they should speak up if their shoes are getting tight or their feet are hurting. My son grew 1.5 shoe sizes over the summer! Talk about a growth spurt. 
  • Has your child had a vision screening? This will ensure that he/she can see the board in class and will help with writing and reading.
  • Schedule a dental checkup to ensure that your child’s teeth are in good condition to start the new school year.
  • Concerns about hearing or speech? In the first few weeks of school you can bring your concerns to the teacher to see if they observe anything in the classroom. Or have your child’s doctor observe and make recommendations. 

And the #1 way to keep everyone healthy: Keep your child home when they’re sick! Let them rest and recover so that they feel 100% and the illness doesn’t spread. A sick kid won’t be as alert and ready to learn. They’ll be much more comfortable resting at home.

Kinsa Thermometer

But sometimes illness is inevitable. And having the right tools in the medicine cabinet is important. And Kinsa has those tools.  Kinsa has built something truly revolutionary for parents – the first smartphone-enabled thermometer designed for your peace of mind. Kinsa automatically remembers fever, symptoms, medications and notes for each child or family member, and helps you take action when fever and symptoms are cause for concern. Users can also join groups for their child’s school to see the “health weather” of the school and know what symptoms and illnesses are circulating.

And even better? They’re giving back to the community in a huge way. With their new FLUency program, Kinsa is choosing 100 deserving schools this fall and providing all families in each school with free Kinsa stick thermometers ($30 value). To nominate your school email fluency@kinsahealth.com. You can learn more by watching this video here.

 How do you keep the kids healthy during the school year?

Tips to Clear Out The Clutter with Close5

This post featuring tips to clear out the clutter is sponsored by Close5. All opinions are my own.

Tips to Clear Out The Clutter with Close5

If your house is anything like mine after the holidays then you’ll know why I’m at my wits end trying to get rid of the bomb that exploded Christmas day. While we didn’t go overboard for Christmas, the few things we did bring into the house are just enough to leave our house in a constant state of clutter.

So what’s a 36 week pregnant mom to do? Purge, purge, purge!! 

And with the help of a few tips I have, I’ve been able to do just that. Just in time to try and find out where we’re going to put all of this new baby stuff… [Read more…]

5 Outdoor and Adventure Apps for Kids

5 Outdoor and Adventure Apps for Kids

My kids love being outdoors and exploring. But they also love to have a little screen time when they’re allowed and learn more about the world around them that they can’t yet explore.

I searched for some great apps that would keep them excited about exploring their world.

These 5 outdoor and adventure apps for kids are the perfect way to bring the outdoors to life and further my kids interest in the outdoors. [Read more…]

How to Help Your Preschooler Learn The Alphabet

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How to Help Your Preschooler Learn The Alphabet

One of the biggest things we’re working on right now with our kids is learning the alphabet. From their curriculum at preschool to what is done at home, we’re always thinking of how to help your preschooler learn the alphabet.

Since my son is entering kindergarten in the Fall I want to make sure that he has every opportunity to explore the alphabet and get a head start on what he’ll be learning in the classroom.

I also need to make sure I’m making it fun for him too. Because if he isn’t interested, he isn’t going to participate at all!  [Read more…]

10 Best iPad Apps for Preschoolers

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10 best ipad apps for preschoolers

When my husband got his iPad for Christmas last year he had no idea that it would soon be commandeered by our two children. So this year when thinking of things to ask for from Santa, he thought it’d be awesome if Santa just brought the kids their own iPad mini. Problem solved!

Since the kids opened up their new iPad I’ve been on the hunt for great apps to load for them. Here is a list of the 10 best iPad apps for preschoolers that we’ve found and enjoyed over the past few weeks!

You’ll notice that quite a few of them are from PBS Kids. Since my kids love their programming, they also are much more interested in apps that include their favorite show’s characters. Plus, quite a few PBS Kids apps are free or low cost! And you can always catch up on your PBS Kids shows by downloading the PBS Kids app. [Read more…]

Shop With Ease with the Sears Shop Your Way App

This is a sponsored post. I am a Sears blogger, though all opinions are my own.

Sears Shop Your Way App

Admit it, if your smart phone is glued to your body the majority of the time (we’re guilty of this), you likely have a favorite app.

I’m not talking a boring necessity app like a weather forecast or grocery list. I’m talking about apps that you can’t quit and may be slightly addictive. Prepare yourself, because there’s a new app in town that is destined to be your next obsession (and it does more than just crush candies or cut ropes). [Read more…]

Christmas Tree Delivery in San Diego with HouseCall

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Christmas Tree Delivery in San Diego with HouseCall

Has an app ever delivered a Christmas elf to your front door with your Christmas tree? No? Well an app hadn’t done that for me either. Until I downloaded HouseCall. And what happened after that was nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

You see, with my husband and I working long hours, and all of the other normal holiday chaos that ensues, we hadn’t yet had a chance to head over to the Christmas tree lot to pick up our tree. So when I was asked to review the HouseCall app AND found out that they had a Christmas tree delivery service I was sold.

I mean, who wouldn’t want a tree delivered right to their door? But then I found out that not only was a tree delivered, but it was delivered by an elf (make sure to put in this special request!). [Read more…]

Holiday Shopping with Isis Mobile Wallet

This post is sponsored by The Online Mom.

Holiday Shopping Isis Mobile Wallet purchases

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, this season is a busy one for us. We’ve done our holiday shopping, gotten our gifts organized, and stuck with our budget. With all of this holiday shopping Isis Mobile Wallet has come in handy. It makes transactions quicker and lessens the amount of time I spend trying to find my wallet in my purse.

By simply imputing my pin on my phone and swiping my phone against the contactless payment devices at the registers I can pay for my purchases quickly and head back out to the next errand I have to run.

The best part about Isis Mobile Wallet is that I didn’t have to remember all of my loyalty cards or coupons. I simply used the Isis app to store all of the information I normally would have had in my wallet. Saves time and space! [Read more…]

Take Back Control of Your Tablet with the VTech InnoTab 3 Learning App Tablet

VTech InnoTab 3 take back control

As soon as my kids figured out our tablets there was no getting them back. They constantly were in control. So when I was asked to review the VTech® InnoTab 3 Learning App Tablet I said a big YES without hesitation. Finally… I had my answer to taking back control of our tablets.

The VTech® InnoTab 3 Learning App Tablet is a child-size tablet with apps just like mommy and daddy’s tablet, only the apps are geared towards 3-7 year olds. Perfect, huh?

As soon as we got our InnoTab 3 the kids wanted to head to the store to pick up some games. So we grabbed Hello Kitty for my daughter and Scooby Doo for my son. Within literally minutes of grabbing the InnoTab 3 from our hands after we set it up they were off and running. Each taking turns and showing each other what they learned and figured out. [Read more…]



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