Turn Your Kid into a Citizen Reporter and Reviewer With the New KidzVuz App!

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I am super excited to announce the launch of the first and only video creation and sharing app for kids!  After months of hard work with a team of fabulous developers, our KidzVuz app has hit the iTunes App Store!

What can kids do on the KidzVuz app?

First of all it’s awesome for travel.  No more eye-rolling or saying, “I’m bored.”  Now kids can create travel videos instantaneously, engaging and empowering them to be a part of the trip – and share their tips with other kids.

Got a budding foodie?  Instead of zoning out at the table with a game, let them make food reviews from the restaurant – who doesn’t want to know what’s beyond the kids’ menu?

And of course it’s great for movie, theater, sports, toy, tech, book and fashion reviews too.  (not to mention showing off music, dance and athletic skills)

Anywhere your kids goes they now have the ability to have their say on the go!

Plus, they can check out what other kids have to say BEFORE they buy something.  And so can their parents.

It’s totally monitored and moderated just like our main KidzVuz.com site and it’s FREE!

So, what are you waiting for?  It’s made for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad.  Download the app right now and please rate and review it in the iTunes store!  Have fun and have your say!

 

 

 

The No Schlepping, No Shipping Gift Guide (With a Giveaway of Course)

We’ll be lighting the menorah on Wednesday night while leftover cranberry sauce still jiggles in the back of the fridge.  Even the procrastinators have an excuse this year (not like Christmas which is always the 25th, I mean come on it’s not like you didn’t see it coming!)  So for all of you who have been caught by surprise here is my no schlep, no ship gift guide when it’s gotta be there ASAP but you don’t want to get off your ASS to get it -or even pay for shipping.  Good for Xmas (and those sneaky birthdays too)

Many of my specific suggestions are NYC-centric but you can take the idea and Google away locally!

1 – Museum or Zoo Membership: I love NYC for the incredibly rich array of cultural institutions that enrich every borough.  But, no matter where you live chances are there’s a museum, zoo or other site that your loved ones would go to on a regular basis.  Membership is a fantastic way to give all year long, plus it’s tax deductible and takes up no room in the house!  Win-win all around.  And sometimes they throw in a T-Shirt too!

My faves: The American Museum of Natural History and Wildlife Conservation Society for 4 NYC zoos & aquarium

2- Theater Tickets – It’s not just a gift, it’s an outing.  Have a drama queen, a gleek or budding musical genuis in your midst? Have theater loving friends?  Take them to a show.  Many children’s theaters have subscription series so you can enjoy shows all year round.  Or make a special day of it and throw in dinner or lunch as well.

My faves: The New Victory Theater Subscription for kids and Roundabout Theater Subscription for adults

3 – Groceries – OK – that sounds weird right?  But who wouldn’t love their groceries covered at least once?  Takes a big bite out of the family budget so not having to worry about it for at least a week is a true gift.

My Fave: Fresh Direct - It’s not just groceries, it’s wine and prepared food too – delivered exactly when you want it to your door.

4- Design Your Own Sneakers – I almost didn’t put this in because it is my go to gift of the moment.  So, if you’re invited to the same parties as I am you are not allowed to give this – but if you don’t even know me you should jump on this!  Send a $75 e-gift certificate to the fashionista of your choice and they can go online to design their very own custom Converse sneaks from tongue to sole and everything in between.

Also Check OutNike for pricier but equally fab custom sneakers, especially for narrower feet.

5- Geek Out Your Tot – Kids love to hear the same books over and over and over again.  But parents, well sometimes reading The Night Before Christmas for the 1000th time can be a chore.  Fortunately you can let Meryl Streep do the reading for you.  Ruckus Media has created gorgeous storybook apps for the ipad and iphone like The Velveteen Rabbit and Tom Thumb that your child will pour over again and again – and you can read Us Weekly The New York Times in peace. (See the GIVEAWAY below!)

Also Check out: iKnowDogs – if your kid is a freaky dog lover like mine & iLive Animal World for animal loving little ones

6- Give for the Sake Of Giving – Find a charity and give in honor of someone.  Or better yet, let them decide and pick with you.  It’s a proactive easy way to embrace the meaning of the holidays.

My Faves: World Wildlife Fund – My girls love adopting an animal every year & Donors Choose – help schools, help kids.

7- Who Says School is Boring? – Have a friend or family member that’s dying to learn how to knit?  Or ice skate?  Or become the next Martha Stewart?  If you have an expertise you can share then offer up your services!  Or offer to pay for the class of their choice at a nearby gym, cooking school or community center.

My Faves: Institute of Culinary Education Recreational Cooking and Baking Classes & Rising Shutterbug private photography lessons for kids and adults to finally learn all the cool tricks your camera can do! (full disclosure – taught by my sister!)

Cranwell Resort

8-Leaving on a Jet Plane or a Car – Travel is something they never outgrow.  Give your miles or points to a family member or treat them to a trip (even to see you).  Or how about a weekend away for your grown kids with babysitting thrown in?  Just a thought.  hint, hint.

My Faves: Cranwell Resort & Spa in the Berkshires – a four season gorgeous escape with or without kids & Luxury Link so they can get away and get a great deal.

9 – Say OOHHMMM – This guide is all about no stress so why not give the least stressful gift around?  A SpaFinder gift certificate – emailed to their inbox of course.  They can pick a spa closest to them from 100s of choices.  And again, if you throw in some babysitting you eliminate half the stress before they walk out the door.

My Fave: Bliss Spa – They warm the massage tables and put paraffin booties on your feet.  Heaven.

10 – When All Else Fails - The Amazon electronic gift card.  It’s not original or sexy but it does the trick.  One click and boom!  it’s in their inbox ready to be spent.  What could be better than a shopping spree on somebody else’s dime?

And now the GIVEAWAY!

You can win 5 Gorgeous Ruckus Media storybook apps for iphone/ipad?  These are truly gorgeous apps that fully capture the beauty of classic stories with talent like Robin Williams and Meryl Street reading the texts.  Your child will love them!  Just leave a comment below telling me what your “Go To” gift of the moment is and be entered to win!

Want an extra entry?  Follow me on Twitter and let me know you did here.

Contest ends December 8th.

Good luck!  And check out my other giveaway for Petz Nursery 2 for DS

NYC iPhone Apps Every BlogHer Attendee Should Have

You’re coming to New York City For BlogHer10. You know that most of your time is already taken up by all of the crazy BlogHer events but still you’re going to have some free time right?  These are the iphone apps I can’t live without as a native New Yorker.  They will help you make the most of your free time and maybe even look like a local (NO FOLDOUT MAPS!). Staring at your smart-phone while walking down a crowded street is your first step to fitting in…

  1. HOPSTOP (free) – take public transportation.  And even if you think you will never set foot in a NYC Subway you may find yourself stranded without a taxi in sight, laden with swag and just tired.  Hopstop will save you.  It knows where you are, you tell it where you want to go – and you can even select bus only to be a true New Yorker (the buses are New Yorkers’ little secret.  Super safe, AC blasting and you get a lovely tour of the city to boot) – and off you go to your destination without worry.
  2. EVENTBRITE EASY ENTRY – (free) You’ve got lots of BlogHer parties to keep track of and all those paperless tickets to show at the door – use the EventBrite App and see all of your events in one place without having to scramble through your email.
  3. OPEN TABLE -(free) Yes it’s good for lots of cities, but it’s a life saver in NYC.  Find out which restaurants near you have availability, get instant options, and make your reservation.  Almost anywhere you want to eat is in there.
  4. SEAMLESS WEB (free) – Food delivery at your fingertips.  More restaurants than you can imagine.  Place your order, put in your credit card, and just sign when the nice delivery man brings the food right to you.  Real New Yorkers do NOT pick up food.
  5. CENTRAL PARK NYC ($2.99)- Even better on an ipad.  Don’t even think of not going to Central Park when BlogHer is only 5 blocks away.  Take a breather and go for an early morning stroll, or run if you’re one of those crazy fitness bloggers, or a gorgeous lunch break.  This app makes navigating the park easy and enjoyable.   Plus it’s really cool to show your kids when you get home.
  6. VILLAGE VOICE (free) – Tells you what to do, where to do it and why you should.
  7. AT THE BOOTH – ($0.99) Want to know what’s at the 1/2 price Broadway ticket booth in Times Square before you go wait in that line?  The app will tell you.
  8. MIDTOWN IN MY POCKET - ($1.99) Best cupcakes by the Hilton?   Closest Art Gallery?  Manolo Blahnik?  This app covers midtown (the area where the Hilton is located) by category, shows you on a map, and even lets you tag favorites and show you local deals.  There’s also a SOHO in My Pocket free App if you’re heading downtown.
  9. WHITE NOISE – ($1.99) – We live in small 2-bedroom apartment, so we’ve always used a white noise machine in the bedrooms.  Now I find it indispensible in hotel rooms world-wide, but particularly in a hotel full of partying bloggers!  Especially good if you’re sharing a room with a snorer or early riser.
  10. FLASHLIGHT – (free) – Another great app if you’re sharing a room but you and your roomie have different bedtimes.  Also works great as a booklight on the fly or (just saying) there’s a blackout!

Do you have an NYC app you can’t live without?  Or a travel app that makes your life better no matter where you are?  Let me know in the comments so I can add it to the list!

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