Free Phone Case Giveaway for Mother’s Day

Tech21 iPhone 6 case
My Tech21 iPhone 6 case

Geek Mom’s Review

Looking for an affordable accessory for Mother’s Day? I have three new Tech21 gadget cases to give away! I’ve just slipped a new Tech21 FlexShock™ case onto my iPhone 6, and here are my first impressions:

  1. It’s hard, but flexible. Easy to slip onto the phone, because it bends a little bit.
  2. Shiny and colorful. Reminds me a bit of those plastic “jelly shoes” from the 80s. Or a phone-shaped gummy candy. Very pretty!
  3. Interesting looking texture. I can see through the case to the Apple on the back, but there is a nice polka-dot texture overlay.
  4. Excellent fit on the phone. Fits like a plastic glove.
  5. Screen protector not included. The case covers the back, sides, and buttons, but leaves the screen and ports open.

So far, I’m enjoying my free phone case. I’m tempted to taste it, because it looks like candy! It’s shiny, but not slippery. It’s hard, but not rigid.

How to Win a Free Tech21 Case

Want one for yourself? Or to give to the woman who brought you into the world? Leave a comment to enter, and three people will win a free case (for any major mobile device), provided by Tech21.

Thanks to Tech21 for sponsoring this giveaway! Tech21 is the leader in impact protection for smartphones, tablets and laptops. Tech21 has a suite of protective cases featuring Tech21’s scientifically proven material, FlexShock, and are backed by a lifetime warranty. The new Tech21 EVO range featuring FlexShock delivers thinner (by nearly 30%), lighter and more stylish impact protection than ever before. Learn more at Tech21 or follow @Tech21_UK on Twitter.

Winners will be randomly selected, and will be contacted via e-mail, so be sure to use a functioning address when you submit your comment. Winner’s choice of case will be shipped directly from the sponsor.

How to Get Kids to Wash Hands the Right Way

keep-calm-wash-hands-400x400Now that school is back in session, kids are exposed to bacteria and viruses more frequently. Just three days into the first week of school, my fourth grade daughter came home with a fever. I was annoyed, but not surprised, at how quickly she had gotten sick.

When illnesses make the news, reporters always share advice from doctors on how to keep yourself and your family healthy. Hand washing is always on the list of things to do. It’s the easiest way to prevent illnesses from influenza to diarrhea. Wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry.

Handwashing Guildelines from the CDC:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

We all know that kids don’t always wash. They may skip it completely, or just wet and wipe their hands on a towel or their clothes.

To encourage my kids to wash their hands properly and for the recommended amount of time, I tried putting new words to the “Happy Birthday” tune. The CDC recommends scrubbing for the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday to You” twice.

To get started, wet your hands, get a squirt of soap, and start singing! Here are the words to go with the washing:

Sing to the tune of “Happy Birthday to You”
Fronts and backs and in-between.
Fronts and backs and in-between.
Fronts and backs and in-between.
Fronts and backs and in-between.

Sure, it’s repetitive, but it’s easy to remember, and includes all of the important information. Scrub those hands! Palms, knuckles, and between the fingers.

I hope this little song is helpful for you and your family. Have a healthy school year!

For more information and instruction, check out these printable handwashing posters from the CDC:
How to Handwash
Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands
One Trillion Germs Can Live in a Gram of Poop

Is “Like a Girl” an Insult?

I think the phrase “like a girl” is used as an insult, not as a compliment, almost every time it is spoken. Here is an interesting video by Always, that looks at what we think when we’re told to do something “like a girl,” and how we might change what it means.

I like the idea of changing the meaning of “like a girl” to something empowering and strong, especially since my daughter is now in that almost-a-teenager stage. I know that the next few years will be important in her physical and emotional growth. I want her to make it through puberty feeling positively about herself and her future.

Some girls never recover from the things they experience and feel during their early years. I want to do whatever I can to help my daughter feel good about growing up.

What do you think about the message in this video?

Three Tips for Happiness

Type "S"uperwoman Book Cover
Type “S”uperwoman Book Cover

You can turn March Madness into March Happiness! Whether or not you’re a fan of the NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka “March Madness), March is a great month to spend some time feeling happy. And if you’re not feeling very happy right now, maybe try some new things to improve life and create more happiness tomorrow.

Author Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D., LMHC has written a book to help women evaluate their lives and find ways to be happier. The book is, “Type ‘S’uperWoman – Finding the Work-Life Balance: A Self-Searching Book for Women.” Here are three ways to increase happiness this month.

Smile and Wave Goodbye to the Toxic People: Waving goodbye has never made you smile so big. In a world where everyone faces uncontrollable stressors and negativity every day (no matter how happy of a person you are), you must get rid of the things and people that are only going to bring you further down. Rid yourself of the toxic people in your life, the haters and the hurters. Take control of your happiness by not allowing others to steer your emotions up and down, or steal them altogether. If you can’t completely rid yourself of the negative people, you can definitely set boundaries to minimize your interactions with them. Saying goodbye means saying hello to happiness.

Take Time to Decide: The best way to be unhappy is to go around making promises or commitments you can’t live up to or, if you do live up to them, you despise every moment of it. You get one life, so make it a happy one. Don’t over commit to someone else and then under commit to yourself. Your happiness is just as important as everyone else’s, and don’t think otherwise.

When you make an impulsive decision, it is typically based on intense emotions and made with little thought. In most cases, quick decisions are not only poor decisions, they also reduce your control and even ruin your credibility.

To create happiness, make a habit of taking time when making both large and small decisions. Retreat, Rethink, React are your new decision-making steps, in that order.

Forgive: When you hold grudges, possess anger or find yourself always looking backward, it is hard to move forward. The great thing about forgiveness is you don’t have to feel it, you just do it. And you are doing it for you, not the other person. If you are angry with someone, your attention and energy is given to them, not you. You can’t control your past, and that can be upsetting sometimes. But you can control your future, and you can drive right up to happiness.

What better time to start new happiness habits than right now? It’s a new month and springtime is just around the corner! I like to think every woman has a “Superwoman” inside. I just have to figure out how to let mine out. Who’s with me?

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5 Signs that you’re TOO OLD for trick-or-treating

Every year, I’m puzzled and annoyed by the near-grown “children” who show up on Halloween. I think some of these teenagers just race around the neighborhood, doing as many laps as they can, filling up their pillowcases with candy meant for the younger kids.

So if you’re wondering whether you or someone you know is too old for trick-or-treating, here is a helpful guide for you. Happy Halloween! 🙂

5. You’re old enough to drive.

If you can drive, go to the store and buy your own candy.
If you can drive, go to the store and buy your own candy.

4. Your costume has anything to do with Miley Cyrus twerking.

Miley Dynasty
You are not Miley Cyrus!  And whether you think you are, or you’re just making fun of her, you don’t belong around children in an outfit like that. (Photo credit: michaeljzealot)

3. You’re smoking and/or drinking.


Just stay home. Nobody wants to give free candy to someone blowing smoke and/or booze breath.

2. You don’t think this joke is funny.

Who was the most famous skeleton?
Q: Who was the most famous skeleton? A: Napoleon Bone-apart (Photo credit: msabcmom)

Trick-or-treating is for little children, who enjoy childish things like cute costumes and silly jokes. If you’re too mature to enjoy a joke like this, you’re too old for trick-or-treating.

1. Your costume is pot-related.

marijuana costumes
If you’re dressed as marijuana, you’re too old for trick-or-treating.

So, what do you think? Are there any other telltale signs of being too old for trick-or-treating?

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Go Outside! Summer boredom busters

Geek Mom’s old-fashioned, non-electronic, free outdoor summer vacation activities. Hey, kids. If you are bored, go outside and be bored until you’re not bored any more. You will survive. You will figure out what to do, and you will even have fun! Here are some ideas to get you started.

bored kids
photo by Jan Tik, used under CC license

School’s out, and summer vacation is in full swing. Or full boredom, as my kids would have me believe. As much as I enjoy technology and gadgets, my kids and I benefit from some unplugged time. However, as soon as I turn off the electronics, I’m hit with a barrage of “I’m booooored. There’s nothing to do. Can I have a turn on the computer?” This annoys me.

Excuse me while I indulge in a bit of reminiscing…

Listen up, children.

When I was your age, we didn’t have cable TV. We had three channels, and cartoons were only on Saturday mornings.
We didn’t have a computer.
We didn’t have video games.
We didn’t have air conditioning.
We had bikes and sprinklers and mosquito bites and neighborhood kids to keep us entertained all summer.
And Dad made us work in the garden.

So if you are bored, go outside and be bored until you’re not bored any more. You will survive. You will figure out what to do, and you will even have fun! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Geek Mom’s old-fashioned, non-electronic, free outdoor summer vacation activities:

  • Pick up a rock and see what’s living under it.
  • Smooth out some sand and draw in it.
  • Mix dirt and water to make mud.
  • Write on the sidewalk with a rock.
  • Sit in the shade and watch the sky.
  • Learn how to whistle with a blade of grass.
  • Make a kazoo with a plastic comb and waxed paper.
  • Melt stuff in the sun.
  • Look for bugs.
  • Find another kid who looks bored. Talk about stuff.

I’m sure there are lots of other great ideas for curing boredom. Please share yours in the comments!

“To This Day,” by Shane Koyczan


“To This Day” is a powerful and moving poem by Shane Koyczan. It’s been making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, and I took a few minutes to watch it this morning. And you should, too.

It’s an anti-bullying anthem that I can relate to, as a parent, as a person who’s been treated for depression, and as a human being with a soft heart.

seems like each school has an arsenal of names
getting updated every year
and if a kid breaks in a school
and no one around chooses to hear
do they make a sound?
are they just the background noise
of a soundtrack stuck on repeat
when people say things like
kids can be cruel?

(excerpt from “To This Day”)

Shane is planning to continue the “To This Day” movement against bullying, and you can sign up to help.