The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – With Great Giveaways Too!

The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – With Great Giveaways Too!

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones? 2014 is drawing to a close and it is time to start shopping for Christmas Gifts. The iMums have been searching far and wide for gifts that will be a hit with family members of all ages. Which ones are on your wish list this Holiday Season ?

We have picked out some of our favorite products from the past year to share with you including products for the home,and office,  for the young and young at heart, gifts for use on the go, photography picks, and some brand new cases for the iPhone!

 

Gifts for The Young and Young at Heart

In this section we highlight some cool products that kids and teens will enjoy, but they aren’t just for kids – adults will have just as much fun racing a rally car, enjoying a light and sound show or feeling the soothing effects of playing with sand.

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For the Home and Office

We have a great selection of gift ideas for the home and office. Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a pet lover, a home baker,

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Gifts for On-The-Go

We have a great range of on-the-go gift ideas including mobile storage solutions, portable speakers and bags and cases for the avid traveller and those who like to stay closer to home.

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For the Photographer

Whether you prefer to take pictures with your DSLR or iPhone we have some great gift ideas.

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Stocking Stuffers

These are a few of our favorite gift ideas for $30 or less.

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Giveaways

Giveaway for the Perfect Bake
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a ReadyNAS RN102
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a Minnie Amelie bag from Mia Tui
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win an Ozobot Smart Robot – Congrats to our Winner Helen W – your prize is on the way!!

Sales and offer codes

Yantouch Diamond+ 

From November 18 until December 31, 2014, the Diamond+ is $50 off, priced at only $99 (normally $149) from Amazon Yantouch IceDiamond+  when using coupon code YT50DOFF

Ozobot

To celebrate the launch of #OzoGroove, we’re offering 20% off Ozobot Dual Packs when you use the promo code: GROOVY20 Visit www.ozobot.com to purchase!

Mia Tui

15% off your entire order using the code imums at MiaTuiUSA

 

 

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).
 Ozobot Miniature Smart Robots – Review and Giveaway

Ozobot Miniature Smart Robots – Review and Giveaway




ozobot 1

Ozobots are miniature smart robots than can be used with or without an iPad or Android tablet. They are fun to play with and also teach the basics of programming at the same time. Ozobots use a color based code system – the Ozobot detects color changes and reacts to them, so you can control it via using different colors. I recently had the opportunity to test out an Ozobot dual pack with my kids and we had a lot of fun with them.  The Dual pack comes with 4 skins to customize your Ozobots and 2 charging cables. Ozobot’s recommended age range is 13+, but my 11 year old enjoyed programming and playing with them, and the younger children enjoyed watching us.

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Ozobots come with a free iOS or Android app, allowing you to play 3 different types of games with your Ozobot on the iPad. The app also introduces Ozobots color codes so you can learn how to program and control it with color.  A really cool feature is that even if you don’t have access to an iPad or compatible tablet you can still play – Ozobots respond to paper tracks to and you can even draw your own using paper and colored markers.

The first step is to charge up your Ozobot via a mini USB cable (included) which you need to connect to your computer or charger (not included). The Ozobot comes with a quick guide, calibration card and some Ozocards so you can get started quickly. I’d recommend downloading the app too as it gives an easy introduction to using the Ozobot. If you don’t have a tablet you can get started by following the quick start guide in the box, then visiting the Ozobot website where you can learn the full range of color codes (a short list is included in the box to get you started) and download a variety of printables than you can customize by adding codes to.

There are two types of codes: static codes and flash codes. Static codes are basically colored lines – these cause the LEDs in Ozobot to change color to match the line color. Flash codes are rapidly changing combinations of color, they must be placed on a black line to be recognized and allow you to give Ozobot all kinds of instructions. There are 6 flash codes that control speed; 7 for direction including turning, jumping and u-turns; 3 that control the timer; 7 that initiate fancy moves such as spinning or zig-zagging and 3 to indicate an end or finish line.

ozobot3

The app currently has 3 games: OzoDraw, OzoPath and OzoLuck, with plans to add more.

OzoDraw

This has 3 sections: FreeDraw, Playground and Challenge.

Challenge is an excellent place to start as it introduces you to the codes step by step as you solve challenges,  so you learn to program the Ozobot as you complete the challenges.

Playground

This is a good next step, you pick from a variety of pre-drawn mazes and then customize them by adding your own codes (by dragging and dropping). This gives the player an easy way to experiment with a variety of codes without having to think about the background maze.

FreeDraw

After learning about the codes and seeing a variety of different layouts in the previous 2 sections, you can express your creative side and draw your own mazes then add your choice of codes.

iPad Screenshot 5

OzoPath

This is a 1 or 2 player game. Each player has a start and finish tile, the board is divided into blank tiles and the player has to lay down tiles to create a path for their Ozobot to travel from their start to finish. The computer will randomly draw tiles and each tile must be laid down before the player can move on to the next one. Tiles may be rotated before they are laid. Tiles must create a continuous path if they are placed next to another tile and must not create a path leading off the edge of the board.

iPad Screenshot 2

OzoLuck

This includes 3 different mazes: Equiibrium, The Vortex and Time Machine. You pick between 2-8 outcomes and then choose from the available mazes. You can enter your own outcomes e.g. players names (with photos), or load one of the preset options e.g. numbers, dice, truth or dare. To add some extra excitement, with both The Vortex and Time Machine, elements of the maze are continually in motion so you can never be sure where the Ozobot will end up. Ozoluck is a fun way to add a new element to party games or family fun nights.

iPad Screenshot 4

 My favorite part about Ozobot is that it can be played with or without the iPad. I think the iPad app is a great starting point where players can learn about all the different things Ozobot can do, get familiar with using the codes and gain inspiration on creating track layouts. Once they are really comfortable with using Ozobot then they can use the markers and pens to create their own layouts limited only by their imagination and the size of their playing surface. Instead of being limited by the size of the screen they can create a playing surface the size of their table or even to run along the floor the length of a room. I love how this is a fun toy, but also teaches the player how to control the Ozobot using color coding, and it grows with the player – the more you use it the more complex your coding can become.

recommended-by-the-imums

You can see the Ozobot in action here:

Ozobots are available in single or dual packs RRP $49.99 for a single from Brookstone,
Ozobot Smart Robotic Game Piece
,

Amazon and many other retailers

Ozobot App by Evollve, Inc.

Ozobot Ozobot by Evollve, Inc.

Price: $FREE

Ozobot is an award-winning smart miniature robot that bridges digital and physical gaming. Designed to learn, play and entertain, Ozobot brings a refreshingly new element into solitary play and shines.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

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Giveaway

If you would like to win an Ozobot of your own, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to USA only, and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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).
Mission Rucksack by Toffee Cases – Review

Mission Rucksack by Toffee Cases – Review


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Summary

The Mission Rucksack is a messenger style bag designed to hold an iPad, smartphone and accessories. It is made from soft waxed cotton with leather and metal accents and is very well made and durable. The bag is compact, smart and professional looking and has a cool retro design.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

If you are looking for a slim, stylish way of carrying your iPad and other essentials with a cool retro feel then you will love the Mission Rucksack from Toffee Cases. The Mission Rucksack is a messenger-style bag made from soft, water-resistant waxed cotton with leather trim and is available in black or mustard. The mustard colored Rucksack does remind me of a classic old canvas military rucksack from a bye-gone age.

The bag has a pin-stripe lining with a sewn-in name and address label inside the bag. Inside the bag as well as a main compartment there is also a zippered pocket to fit a smartphone or wallet, and a padded iPad pocket secured with a leather strap and snap. The iPad pocket is designed to hold an iPad Air but will also fit an iPad Mini or an older model iPad (as long as it isn’t in a very bulky case.) There are also 3 more pockets – a roomy zippered pocket on the back which could easily fit an iPhone 6+ and 2 slip-in pockets on the front which could be used to hold accessories.

mission rucksac

The main compartment is closed via 2 canvas straps which feed through metal buckles – this takes a little more time than the fake buckles with snaps behind them that you see on similar styled bags, but it means a much more secure closure. The shoulder strap is made from a strong woven material with leather trim and metal clips. The clips have swivel ends which help to prevent the strap from twisting when in use. The strap is adjustable in length, and very easy to remove. The bottom of the bag is reinforced with leather.

If I were to make any changes to the bag it would be to add an extra closure to the front outer pockets. They rely on the straps closing the bag to keep them shut, so if you don’t close these tightly it is possible smaller items could slip out, however I have not had any problem with this happening.

 

mission rucksac2

The bag is really well-made and after a month of use looks like new. All of the buckles, zippers and clips are heavy duty and look like they will withstand a lot of wear. It has a really tough, rugged feel to it, but at the same time looks stylish. I love how padded it is to protect my iPad and iPhone, yet at the same time it is light and comfortable to carry. If you are looking to carry a lot this isn’t the bag for you, but for when you want to travel light it is a great option. The Mission Rucksack is perfect for carrying an iPad, Smartphone, documents and a small amount of accessories – it is compact, and looks smart and professional. It’s design is unisex – a businessman or woman or a busy mum would all be equally at home carrying it.

Available from Toffeecases.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $99.95

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

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).
Power2U Power Outlet with USB Ports by Newer Tech – Review

Power2U Power Outlet with USB Ports by Newer Tech – Review

Power2U Power Outlet with USB Ports by Newer Tech 

Our homes are constantly being filled with more and more devices that need charging via a USB port. Digital cameras, Smart Phones, iPads and other Tablets, back up batteries, keyboards and more; all charge via a USB. Often these need more power than a computer USB port provides, so you end up with a lot of different chargers all over the house. One solution to this issue is to use multi-port chargers, but another is to replace some of your household electrical sockets with ones with built-in USB chargers. The Power2U Power Outlet with USB Ports by Newer Tech is designed as a DIY solution to adding electrical outlets with built-in USB chargers to your home. They are available in 15 and 20A versions, so you need to check which is compatible with your home wiring system.

I tackle most DIY projects around the home, but I typically leave electrical projects to my husband as he is an Electrical Engineer by training. With any electrical project safety is very important, so only do this installation if you are comfortable safely doing basic home electrical work, such as installing or replacing electrical sockets, otherwise have an electrician do it for you.

I watched my husband do this project so my review is based on his comments, plus my observations. I initially asked him to install the Power2U on our kitchen island as I often charge my phone there. The first issue we ran into was that the installation box is on the large side, and it wouldn’t fit in the hole in the island where our current outlet is and as we didn’t want to cut a bigger hole that location was out.

 

Power2U on left, too big for box in island

Power2U on left, too big for box in island

We also tried several other locations around the house where we encountered the same issue. We did eventually find a location which had a large enough hole. My husband said that if you have installed electrical outlets in the past that this shouldn’t be too big a challenge but that it is a little bit fiddlier than installing a regular outlet. It took him about 15-20 minutes to install, so it was pretty quick.

power2uinstalled

Once the Power2U was installed the hard part was over, it works really well. I love the convenience of having USB outlets right in my outlet without needing any extra charger. The USB ports have sliding flaps which automatically close to over the port when it is not in use. You can charge 2 devices at once and still use the regular electrical sockets at the same time (though not with any bulky plugs as they can cover up the USB ports). If you have certain rooms in your house where you routinely charge your devices it is worth considering replacing some of the outlets in the room with the Power2U outlets, but I would recommend first checking to see what size box you currently have housing your outlet – it requires a 16 Cubic Inch or larger single gang electrical box. You can find more information on requirements on the Newertech website.

Available online from Newer Tech,  Amazon and other retailers , 2-pack from $45.98

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

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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