The iMums 10 Great Gift Ideas for Moms

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Mother’s Day is coming up fast and The iMums have come up with some cool gift ideas that are bound to be popular with the women in your life. They are definitely gifts we’d love to receive this Mother’s Day! From a stylish bag through fitness, mobile storage, iPhoneography and home accessories we have gifts to suit all tastes.

Poppy Cross-Body Satchel from Mia Tui
Poppy Pewter
Every woman needs a good bag and Mia Tui make great bags! These are the most organized, practical bags on the market. The Poppy is a great bag for the woman who wants the signature Mia Tui organization, but in a more compact package than bags like the Grace, Sofia and Olivia Mia Tui bags we have previously reviewed. You will still find the unique pink Mia Tui interior, with an interior pocket for the included clutch bag, key clip, pen and smartphone holders, and a zip pocket on the back of the bag. A full-sized iPad will fit in the main part of the bag or an iPad mini will fit in the interior pocket.
 Available from Mia Tui USA, in Pink, Pewter, Brown or Black for US$53. Get a 20% Mother’s Day discount on any bag from Mia Tui USA with code imum

iBridge Mobile Memory from LEEF
leef2Many moms struggle with having enough memory in their iPhone or iPad and the iBridge from LEEF is a tiny solution to a big problem. It is small and light enough to keep in her purse at all times, weighs only 10 grams (less than 1/2oz) and measures 63 x 19 x 18mm- that’s about 2.5″ x 0.7″ x 0.7″. Many portable memory solutions rely on Bluetooth or wireless connections to connect to your iOS device but the iBridge simply plugs in to the lightning connector.  It will store music, photos and videos and you can even take photos directly onto the iBridge by-passing the iPhone’s storage completely. – this is a lifesaver when you need to take a photo but your iPhone is full.  Read our full review. Available from Amazon or LEEFco.com from US$59.99


Screenguardz Pure® with the Crown™ Premium Glass Screen Protector  iPhone case from BodyGuardz
 ScreenGuardz Pure® with The Crown™ Premium Glass Screen Protector for Apple iPhone 6
The Crown™ is a solution designed to protect the curved edges of your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+ with an aluminum rim combined with a Screen Guardz Pure protector which offers edge to edge protection for your device in case of drops, collection of dust and debris (which can get in under the protector).  The Pure and Crown provide coverage for the entire screen and all four corners of the device adding very little “bulk” to your iPhone 6.  This ensures that your phone is protected, even when your kids use it or if you have greasy or sticky fingers touching your device.
Available from Amazon, BodyGuardz  for US$25.00 – $39.99

iPro Trio iPhone Lens Kit from Schneider Optics

iprolens41HYz-XeIZLThe iPro Trio Lens Kit from Schneider Optics, is a great gift for the iPhoneographer mum. It provides a good selection of high quality add-on lenses including a macro, wide angle and 2x zoom, plus an iPhone Case, lens cap and handle. The handle is both a really useful accessory and a great way to store and carry the lenses. This kit is currently available for the iPhone4/4S, iPhone5/5S, iPhone 6, iPhone6+ and Galaxy S4. Read our full review. Available from  Schneider optics, Amazon and other suppliers  RRP $229


[EXPOSE] Smart Video Light for iPhone from KNOG
[expose]The [expose] from KNOG is a great gift for the mom who loves to take photos and videos with her iPhone, but is unhappy with the results when she takes pictures at night. The [expose] a tiny iPhone Flash that packs a lot of light. It has 9 LEDs and a total output of up to 130 lumens which is 6x as powerful as the iPhone’s built-in flash. The [expose] has a built-in rechargeable battery, so it won’t run down her iPhone battery and can be used for both video and still photography. Available in Black or White RRP $59.99 from Knog.com and other retailers.

Mpow iSnap X One-piece U-Shape Selfie Stick
Mpow
Do you love taking photos but find as a mom that you are often not in any of them because you are taking them of your kids?  The iSnap allows you to attach your smartphone or tablet to a “selfie stick” which then allows you to take photos of your family and include you as mom!  It connects to your device via Bluetooth with a switch on the tripod which allows you to actuate your photos without having to touch your device.  Available from Amazon for US$20

Mio Link Heart Rate Monitor from Mio Global
MiolinkFor moms who like to work out the Mio Link is a great gift idea. To get the most benefit from exercising it is recommended that you monitor your heart rate so that you can stay “in the zone”. The Mio Link is a really comfortable, easy to use heart rate monitor that you wear on your wrist, eliminating the need for uncomfortable chest straps. The Mio Link uses a series of color coded lights to let you know what “zone” you are in, and you can also view your exact heart rate on your iPhone. Read our full review. Available from  the Mio Global website, RRP $99 

Fitbug Orb Activity and Sleep Tracker

fitbug orbFor the mom who wants to improve her fitness using a fitness tracker can be a first step on in providing an incentive to exercise more. The Fitbug Orb from Fitbug is a small, versatile tracker that tracks both activity and sleep and can be worn in a number of ways. It comes with both a wrist strap and a clip, so you can choose different ways to wear it. It comes with a watch-style battery that lasts approximately 6 months so you don’t need to recharge it. You can track your fitness data both via an iOS app and online and can also enter your food intake to track calories and join the Fitbug online community for support. Available from Amazon and other retailers RRP US$49.99

Pulse Dimmable LED Light with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers, Powered by JBLsengled
Pulse Dimmable LED Light with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers (Pair), Powered by JBL from Sengled The Sengled Pulse is a smart lightbulb which includes an LED light with an embedded JBL Bluetooth speaker which allows you to control both the speaker and the light from your Smartphone. I loved how easy it was to stream music and turn up or down my kitchen lights while cooking dinner. You can install the Pulse into any standard light socket, and adjust light and sound from a Bluetooth enabled device without needing wires, cords or a remote.  Available from Amazon  for US$156

Withings Aura Smart Sleep System
AuraWhat better gift is there for a busy mom than a good nights sleep? With Aura Smart Sleep from Withings is a system that not only tracks her sleep in detail but also provides tool to help her fall asleep and wake up better both from a night’s sleep and from a nap. It includes an under the mattress sensor that measures movement, heart rate and breathing to analyze her sleep. This connects to the bedside unit and includes a smart light, speaker, clock and USB charging port. The system works to lull her to sleep with soothing sounds and red light, and gradually bring mom to her light sleep phase in the morning before waking her with blue lights and gentle wake up sounds. Available from Amazon and other retailers RRP US$299

 

For additional gift ideas check out Gorgeous iPod, iPhone & iPad Accessories for Women.

We haven’t personally tested all of these products but they are from reputable companies that we trust and recommend. Products may have been received from companies for review purposes, no other compensation was received.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Live The Look -Personalized Online Fashion Site – Review and Giveaway

livethelook

Like many busy mums I don’t have a lot of free time to shop for clothes for myself, and so my wardrobe tends to be a mishmash of different styles. When I do buy something new I often end up wondering what can I wear it with? Former Twitter executive Francesca Helina recognized this problem, and created a solution- a new online shopping experience called ”Live The Look”, you can read more about it in our interview with Francesca Helina.

I recently got the opportunity to try out Live The Look and I wanted to share about that experience with The iMums’ readers. 3 lucky readers will also win a shopping voucher to spend on the site for $100 + free shipping, so they can try it out for themselves.

One of the things that is different about Live The Look is that it encourages you to purchase items that will co-ordinate with items you already have in your closet. Before you can start shopping on the site you create a profile. This has the usual things like what sizes you wear for tops, pants, shoes and dresses, but also asks which of 10 basic items you already have in your closet. These are things like blue jeans, black dress, white T-shirt, black blazer and white shoes. Next you choose which of 8 styles you like – preppy, casual, glamorous, ladylike, modern, sporty, bohemian and edgy: you can choose as many as you like from just one to all 8. Once you have personalized your profile you can then set up an account with your email address and password, then start browsing.

When you are shopping items are presented 2 ways. You can search items to go with a particular item in your closet such as all the suggested options to go with blue jeans. Alternatively you may want something in a particular style. If you look at your choices in say bohemian style and choose a T-shirt, when you look at it in detail it will tell you which of your closet essentials it goes with. Either way the options you are presented with are personalized for you based on the profile you created. The items on the site include accessories such as bags and jewelry, as well as clothes so you can create an entire look.

There are a couple of things I really like about Live The Look: one is that is gives you ideas of clothes and accessories that co-ordinate well with things you already own, the other is it has introduced me to some great indie designers I have never come across before. All the brands they currently feature are US-based, and the clothes are made in America. I love finding new clothes that are unique, high quality, domestically-made and trendy; and love knowing I’m not likely to bump into someone else wearing the exact same thing.

I was looking for some fun new summer tops to go with my jeans and came across this great One Cal Tank’s from LA – based Weekend Society. It is made in the US, lightweight and great for layering.

 

One Cal Tank from Weekend Society

One Cal Tank from Weekend Society

I was also looking for something more ladylike, and came across this great take on the Little Black Dress from A-Thread. It is polyester so has a little stretch to it, making it quite form-fitting, and the lace cutouts over front and back shoulders make it more interesting than a standard little black dress.

Noir Little Secret Dress from A-thread

Noir Little Secret Dress from A-thread

 

I was also tempted by this loose-fit jersey dress from Third Palace, the cobalt blue color is stunning.

Loose Fit Jersey Dress fromThird Palace in Cobalt Blue

Loose Fit Jersey Dress fromThird Palace in Cobalt Blue

Once you have made your selections you can pay using a credit card, at the moment there is a launch special where you can save 20% off your first order and get free shipping by entering the code MAKEOVER at checkout.

After I placed my order I needed to contact customer service because of some questions about my order and found Nathan very helpful, friendly and quick to respond to emails. Shipping was very fast, the clothes came directly from the designers and I had my clothes within a couple of days of placing my order (they came via priority mail).

I was very pleased with my order – I love my new clothes and the fact I already know what to pair them with. I ordered a couple of items from Weekend Society including the One Cal Tank and they are all very soft comfortable and great for summer. The Little Noir Dress is very elegant and works well for business or evenings out. The Cobalt Blue dress was out of stock in my size when I ordered, but it is back in stock now so I’m very tempted to go and do a little more shopping ….

The website is new, it is still in”Beta” mode – where they are taking customer feedback to improve the site, and I do have a couple of suggestions for improvements. The biggest one is the return policy – at the moment you can only return defective or damaged goods, but when buying clothes without being able to try them on, particularly unfamiliar brands, there is always a chance they won’t fit. The FAQ on the site does state that they will consider exchanges on a case by case basis, so I hope this means they will allow exchanges under these circumstances. I also would like an easy way to change your profile once it has been created . I couldn’t find an easy way to do this, and would like to be able to change my profile to reflect changes in the staples I own, and to change my sizes if I loose or put on weight; or add a new style if I want to try something different.

Overall, Live The Look is a fresh new way for women to shop online for clothes and accessories, I love how the shopping experience is personalized to suite my taste, size and closet; and I love the great selection of new designers it showcases.

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Giveaway

3 lucky winners will each receive a $100 shopping voucher for Live the Look. USA only. Winners will be emailed and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Interview with Francesca Helina of Live the Look

Barbie Hull Photography

Today’s interview is with Francesca Helina of Live the Look .  Please visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Hi Francesca thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

You are very welcome and glad to be interviewing with you!

I am an entrepreneur, style addict and social media connoisseur. I enjoy the busy lifestyle of many women out there, balancing work and home while taking time for myself when I can with yoga, a glass of wine with a friend or a manicure.

After a number of years working with entities across the fashion vertical while at Twitter, I found myself extraordinarily passionate about changing the way women shop for clothes and accessories online. I felt like they deserved more and the technology was there to give them a truly time saving experience.

 

How did the idea for Live the Look  come about?

I wanted to create Live the Look because I felt that women deserved more from an e-commerce experience. Every day we all get up, head to our closet and wonder what outfit to put together on our bodies. We may feel adventurous or safe or cold or sassy or spontaneous, but we all have to still get dressed. There was no option out there that actually tried to help women make that choice and took into account that we already have clothes – most likely quite a lot of them – sitting around.

There are a ton of pages and sites out there meant to inspire us through photos and media into copying what they wear, but I find them to be overall very aspirational instead of realistic in price or in wearability. I wanted to take what I did at Twitter with democratizing fashion experiences or content and try to democratize fashion commerce by making it reflective of real women and real choices.

 

And how long was the process from the original idea to the launch of the site?

We took about 4 months from idea to live prototype in December 2013. From there we just iterated into a beta after another 5 months of diligent work and feedback from customers.

 

How is Live the Look  different from other online fashion shopping sites?

Live the Look is unique in that it creates a personalized shopping page for each customer that reflects the styles she likes and the key basics she owns in her closet. There is no guess work around the products since everything is visually associated with your preferences. You are not left on a product page wondering what you would wear with a new top with because we show you that it would look great with your black pants you told us about when you took our quick quiz to sign up.

We can do this via our unique product categorization schema into an adaptive learning engine that utilizes algorithmic AI to create the custom experiences. We spent many months prior to launch testing and running the engine with over 1,000 different items to ensure we could generate quality results every time. From our current beta site, we intend to increase the specificity of the engine and the breadth of items offered.

 

Tell us a little about the designers and clothing manufacturers you feature on  Live the Look .

I am a big believer in the courage and scrappiness of new brands and designers. I want to be able support and discover them via a growing platform like Live the Look.

We currently carry a set of fantastic brands made in the US but another important factor is that they also create high quality, unique, on trend , wearable items that you are not going to see your friends in or find on a stranger walking towards you down the street.  If that roster starts to include international brands that meet our quality and style bar, I am happy to include them in the future and increase our selection

 

What are your plans for the future? How do you see Live the Look developing?

I would say that we are working very hard to broaden out our roster of items and make the styling engine even more useful. We also intend to go beyond only driving commerce on the site. Coming from a social background I always look to create a product that people want to visit every day.  We are going to launch features that create a destination where people want to visit us more frequently.  We will create styling resources, fun and community on the site as well as unique items to purchase.

 

I know it is early days as Live the Look has just launched, but what sort of feedback have you been receiving so far?

Thus far, we are receiving very positive feedback from customers and users. We also are getting great suggestions for additional features and things they want to see. We are always watching our support@livethelook.com mail as well as our Facebook page  and Twitter 

 

Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company.  We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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