Parlez-vous français? Oui with these Apps.

This post is part of my partnership with the
US Cellular Blogger Brigade Ambassador Program.


Ello there.

I’ve been fancying a trip across the pond and in May it will happen.

Seriously, I’m counting the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds until the big trip to London and Paris. While I’m not too nervous to visit London, Paris is a different animal altogether. Mostly because of the language barrier.


Photo by my amazing cousin


The only foreign language experience I have is a few years of High School Spanish. Of which I only remember Holla and how to count to 10. And…college Latin, which is the deadest language EVER. Unless you are a physician or reading Greek Mythology.

Which means I need to learn a little bit of French so I can at least find a bathroom and coffee {not necessarily in that order}.

Lucky for me, my iPhone can not only connect me to friends and family while I’m in Paris, but it can help me learn French too.

A 2015 study by the Pew Research Center found that approximately one-third of respondents have used their smartphone to take a class or access educational content, such as learning a new language.

As a full-time working mom, I’m extremely busy, so finding time to sit down and study French can be a bit of a struggle. My iPhone breaks down the education process into bite size pieces so I can conveniently practice my French while in line at the grocery store. That’s definitely a mom win!

How smart devices make it easier to learn a new language:

Smartphones like the Apple iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S7 are very useful for learning a new language. One way to use your phone to continue your language education is by downloading language learning apps to increase vocabulary and work on basic grammar.

Another easy way to learn a language is by listening to podcasts or watching videos in that language. There are many easily accessible language-learning videos and podcasts out there. Non-education podcasts and videos, such as sports news or children’s cartoons, are also great ways to become familiar with a secondary language.

A next level trick you can try is changing the language on your smartphone to your new language. I already have Siri programmed with an English accent, now I just need to make him speak French. By changing my phone’s GPS app to French I can quickly learn directional vocabulary that will help me getting around Paris.

I’m excited to use Duolingo or Babbel to learn French, and if I get in a jam during my trip I can always use iTranslate.

And when someone asks me “Parlez-vous français?” I will confidently say, “Oui”.


All opinions are my own and an honest view of my story as a US Cellular customer.

Apps for a Healthy New Year

This post is part of my partnership with the
US Cellular Blogger Brigade Ambassador Program.



The cookies have been munched.

The turkey and stuffing devoured.

The pie stuffed into my face.



Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to start the new year right.

Of course, I say that every year, and I’ll be honest I try to stick to a healthy lifestyle. However, sometimes I don’t feel like hitting the gym, or I miss that dentist appointment, or I eat and drink my weight in sweets and alcohol.

As 2017 approaches I’m more and more conscientious about making health a priority for myself and my family, but I could use some help.

While a chef, nutritionist, personal trainer and personal assistant might be helpful they’re definitely not realistic. There’s one thing in my life that could do all that and more, and it’s my iPhone.

According to US Cellular, today’s mobile devices are empowering people to become more engaged in health and wellness than ever before.

In fact, a recent survey by U.S. Cellular 17 percent of smartphone owners used a connected device to monitor their health, nine percent to track their medications and seven percent to monitor their blood sugar.

Smartphones allow us to access and view our health information in an entirely different way.

Earlier this year my husband had a catheter ablation of his heart. Basically, it was beating out of rhythm and needed to be fixed. The surgery was successful, but he still needs to monitor his heart rate. Instead of wearing a heart rate monitor all the time he uses a device that can be snapped onto his iPhone. This little device has given him peace of mind and helps him keep his heart rate in check.

Smartphones and tablets, such as the iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S7, and the iPad Air 2, can also provide blood test results, medication information, glucose readings, medical images and much more.


I even keep track of my heart rate too, especially during exercise, so I can monitor my health data and get continuous guidance and information. Instant Heart Rate (IOS and Android, Free) allows users to measure their heart rate wherever they are by simply placing a finger on the device’s camera. The app records heart rate data and notes each measurement with details on physical activity.

I can’t wait to try it!



One of my favorite apps that will help me on my 2017 health journey, is MyFitnessPal. I use this every single day. Lately, due to medical reasons, I’ve had to monitor my diet. The ease of calorie calculation and food diary documentation makes MyFitnessPal a life saver. Not only that, but I can just email a copy of my food diary to the doctor each week. Easy peasy.




Luckily for us, our hospital has online medical records we can access at any time, even from our smartphones. This comes in handy when referencing medications, test results or immunizations.

If your hospital doesn’t have digital medical records yet, there are a few apps that can do the same thing {within reason}.


CareZone (IOS and Android, Free) lets users create a list of medications, dosages, and schedules directly from the device’s photo library. The app also documents and shares symptoms with a user’s family or doctor, while providing a place to store vital insurance information and schedule reminders for upcoming appointments.




My Medical (IOS and Android, $4.99) is a comprehensive record-keeping app for personal medical information.  Users can keep track of immunizations, blood pressure, cholesterol, emergency contacts, health insurance and doctor’s information. It will automatically keep track of upcoming appointments on the smartphone’s calendar app. Not only can you keep track of your own medical records, you can also keep track of your kids’, parents’, and others.




Some apps and services even give you medical advice for non-emergency situations:



Doctor on Demand (IOS and Android, Free for the app, $49/doctor visit) delivers quick medical advice for non-emergency situations.

The app provides video visits with a board-certified physician, psychologist or more from home or anywhere. There is no subscription fee, but doctor visits are $49.





With these helpful tips and apps, I’m ready to start my health journey.

Bring on 2017!



All opinions are my own and an honest view of my story as a US Cellular customer.

Holiday Hacks to Keep you Organzied

This post is part of my partnership with the
US Cellular Blogger Brigade Ambassador Program.

Purchasing a smartphone for your kiddo this Christmas? 


‘Tis the season to ring in the holiday hustle. I’m doing my best to plan {cough, cough} and start shopping early, but sometimes things just get … CRAZY.

I need all the help I can get, so my iPhone is doubling as my sanity saver this year.

Whether planning a holiday party or traveling to see family, it keeps me organized and provides instant access to needed information.

Did you know?

Smartphone users are more likely to use mobile devices while traveling than ever before. According to a recent survey, 76 percent of people used their phone while traveling in 2015, up from 68 percent the previous year.

Here’s a few Holiday Hacks I’ve implemented to keep me and my family sane.

Your iPhone camera is your Holiday Helper.

Take a screenshot of directions.
This is a useful tip anytime you travel. Also, once you have saved the directions, you can turn off your phone’s navigation and location services while traveling through populated areas in order to conserve the battery!

Capture a photo of where the car is parked.
With crowded parking lots at airports and shopping destinations, it can be easy to forget where you parked. Snap a photo of your vehicle and nearby landmarks to serve as a handy reminder. Oh, how I wish I would have used this at Mall of America – it would have saved us hours of wandering.

Scan or photograph passport, identification, and itinerary.
Save these images for offline access and email them to your personal account. It is always important to have an extra copy of travel documents.

Take pictures of the refrigerator and pantry before heading to the grocery store.
Making a list is always helpful, but using technology to see what ingredients you already have on hand will take the guesswork out of your shopping trip.

Snap a pic for Santa.
My kids will randomly be walking the toy aisles asking for the newest LEGO set. I can barely see straight let alone remember which set they want Santa to deliver. So, we snap photos for our Santa list. It cuts down on the temper tantrums and makes those letters to Big Guy a lot easier.

Bonus smartphone Holiday Hacks … 

Charge your phone on airplane mode.
As our schedules become busier or your children play too much Pokemon GO! while standing in long lines, we tend to go longer between charges. Using airplane mode helps devices regain battery strength by eliminating apps or services running in the background.

Track the master to-do list in the note feature of your phone.
Keeping up with a handwritten to-do list or a bunch of sticky notes is a challenge. If your list starts in your device, it stays with you. For Apple users, the reminder feature allows you to display both completed and outstanding tasks. Without this feature my holiday gifts would never make it to the post office.

Put your phone in a cup to amplify music at a holiday gathering.
The cup increases the volume from the phone’s speaker to help set the mood of any party. Cups with harder surfaces, like glass or porcelain, work best. Best hack EVER! I use it all the time. Upstairs folding laundry, at the office and while decorating the tree.

Use location-based reminders.
It’s easy to forget a stop when juggling multiple errands. To make party planning more efficient, set location-based reminders either through the Reminders feature on iOS or Google Keep on Android. Set a notification to sound when you’re near a specific destination. That way you won’t forget to swing by the dry cleaner when at the nearby florist or stop at the party supply store when you’re down the street at the supermarket. Hello post office.


With a little planning and technology my holiday {and yours} could be stress-free. Now if it can just keep me from eating all the Christmas cookies.


All opinions are my own and an honest view of my story as a US Cellular customer.