And So it Begins … {Day 5}

Today a bottle of shampoo made me cry. The stylist where I get my shampoo is closed. I commented on a post about needing shampoo and they responded that they could hook me up. We met at the salon and he delivered it to my car. As he refused to take payment I forced him to take and paid him double because we need to help small businesses.

I cried at his generosity and at the fact that this is our new normal.

Facebook has been moving at break neck speed and it’s been hard to keep up. I feel an extreme need to connect people and help in any way I can. Even if it’s just providing marketing advice.

A bright spot was when my sweet friend delivered pizza to my old co-workers at Melrose Meadows who are working hard to take care of our seniors.

The boys have been bickering A LOT and if I hear “can I play electronics” one more time I’m going to lose my mind.

Thankful for this dude who intervened and made them clean rooms and get their shit together so I could finish up work.

We ended the night playing the game of LIFE that included no TP shortages or quarantines.

Wash your hands, wear your mask, social distance, be kind to one another, and survive (physically and economically) to build a better world. ❤️

A Few Tricks to Keep the Kids Safe on Halloween

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

Halloween 2013


‘Twas three days before Halloween and all through the house kids were begging for candy and driving us nuts.

“We want to wear our costumes,” they yelled at the top of their lungs.

“Not yet sons,” we calmly replied, “Halloween has not yet arrived.”


Oh, the tales of Halloween, deciding on costumes, decorating, buying candy, making sure I don’t eat the candy, kids changing their minds 20 gazillion times about their costume {which has already been purchased}. Whew!
Oh, and the ultimate dilemma. What to do when the eldest wants to stay out with his friends until the last possible minute, and the youngest is cool visiting 5 houses and calling it a night.

We’ve considered getting the oldest one a cell phone for these types of occasions. It would allow both him and us more freedom. A recent survey from U.S. Cellular found 62% of parents actually cite safety as a reason for getting their child their first phone.

But we are concerned that he would spend his entire life playing Pokemon Go! and never make it to school on time. Let’s just say once he does get his own phone he will be signing the Parent-Child Agreement.

Until then, by combining a selection of built-in features, our iPhone can double as a Halloween hub to help our little goblins stay safe and give us peace-of-mind.


Store Recent Shots

  • Plenty of pictures are taken of kids in their costumes so they can be shared with loved ones and on social media channels, but it’s critical to have current photos stored and readily available should a problem arise.
  • In addition to having a current photo of each child in regular clothing, before heading out on Halloween night, also take and store individual shots of children in their costumes.
  • If they are wearing masks or anything else that covers all or a portion of their faces, make sure to get photos of them with and without the masks on.


Track Trick-or-Treaters

  • Parents wanting to keep track of kids headed out without them can do so by using “Find My Friends.”
    • This app, which comes pre-installed on iPhones and is available for download on Androids through Google Play, can be set up to show the location of devices so a child’s whereabouts can be identified at all times.


Pre-load Pertinent Info

  • iPhones include a built-in emergency feature located in the lower left-hand corner of locked password screens, which allows users to make emergency calls, even when the phone remains locked.
  • iPhones also give users the opportunity to set up “Medical ID” information allowing friends, first-responders or even concerned bystanders to gain access to potentially life-saving information if needed, right from the emergency screen.
  • To set up this built-in “Medical ID” feature:
    • Select the pre-installed Health application
    • Click on Medical ID in the lower right corner
    • Make sure the “Show When Locked” option is turned on
    • Add name, date of birth and information as it relates to medical conditions, allergies, and reactions, and medications
    • Add emergency contacts and personal information that would be useful in case of an emergency.


Set a Series of Reminders

  • Amid the excitement of trick-or-treating or Halloween parties, it’s easy for kids to lose track of time.
  • Using the clock feature you can pre-set a series of different alarms on a child’s phone to remind them to periodically check-in and to ensure they don’t cut it too close when it comes to curfew.


Stay Charged

  • Be aware that certain applications can drain batteries quickly.
  • If users suspect they will be using their phones more than usual, they should consider bringing along a portable charger, like the PureGear® PureJuice Portable Charger.
  • External batteries are lightweight and easy to plug into multiple devices via USB microcharging cables, allowing users to recharge a phone’s battery in their pocket, purse or bag.
  • There are also cell phone cases on the market that automatically charge smartphones without any extra cables, like the Mophie Juice Pack.


Navigate through the Night

  • Strolling streets and walkways in the dark can be dangerous, and since superpowers such as night vision are not included with the purchase of superhero costumes, flashlights are needed.
  • Fortunately, today’s smartphones come with built-in flashlights.


With all this in place, our Halloween night can be full of treats!



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


Educate Your Vote

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

Does your child have a cell phone?
Make sure you download the Parent-Child Agreement.



I live in Iowa.
{in case you didn’t know}

We are a swing state.
There are signs in every other yard.
Political commercials stream our TV screens.
Candidates visit our state on a frequent basis. {which is pretty cool}.

In February, I joined the masses and caucused for the first time. Traffic was backed up for blocks around my caucus location, the lines extended out the door, and it was hotter than a sauna in the gym where we had to meet.

But even through all the waiting, heat, and craziness, there was an energy that couldn’t be denied. I felt it in my being. No matter what candidate you were supporting, we shared something amazing that night – the ability to add our voice to the cacophony of the election process.

Thanks to my iPhone I was able to document the process in real time. Not only that, but it was exciting to see all my friends and family post their caucus experience. We were brought together in-real-life and through the digital universe.


Iowa Caucus

The process and the people were amazing.

But it isn’t over yet.

Even if you weren’t able to participate in the caucus you still have a chance to add your voice to Decision 2016.  Not sure where to start? Try your mobile device.

This election season, more than ever before, voters are relying on their mobile devices to learn more about the candidates and political issues before heading to the polls.

The increased usage means that voters have faster, more frequent access to campaign information and candidates must expertly leverage digital tools like social media to interact and engage with the American public to win votes.

As we head into the homestretch toward Election Day, many voters are using their smartphones and tablets to gather information about candidates, events, volunteer opportunities and polling results on the news, social media or in online discussions.

In fact, according to the Pew Research, about two-thirds of Americans owned a smartphone in 2015, compared with just 35 percent in the spring of 2011.

That same research tells us that more than a quarter (28%) of registered voters in the United States used their smartphones to keep up with politics in 2014, compared to 13% in 2010.  And 68% of smartphone owners use their phone to follow breaking news and 33% say that they do this “frequently.”

To stay on top of the political landscape with your iPhone or Android U.S. Cellular suggests the following tools for mobile device users:

Election AppUS Presidential Election 2016 App – This helpful app tracks important dates and events, including debates, conventions and primaries by state. It also provides background on all candidates, insights, commentary and news across party lines.





Network News Apps – Use news channel apps like CNN, FOX News or C-Span to get updates, breaking news and round-the-clock election coverage, anytime and from anywhere with U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network with nationwide coverage. These news outlets often delve into political issues, offer in-depth coverage of candidates’ campaigns and viewpoints, provide expert commentary on the political landscape, and provide real-time updates during debates as well as on Election Day.


Periscope and Meerkat – Livestreaming apps let users stream and view live video footage via Twitter. This is significant because voters can now witness campaigns like never before with round-the-clock access to the campaign trail.  Even remarks made off-the-cuff during a campaign can easily go viral and these “behind-the-scenes” moments have the potential to influence viewers’ opinions of the candidates.


Election – As of April 2016, 31 states as well as the District of Columbia allows people to register online to vote. This online registering process is quick, easy and convenient, and is meant to encourage more people to register to vote in time for the upcoming election.


With just over a month to go until the election, you have time to do your research and let your voice be heard.



Rock the Vote 2012



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