Friday, July 29, 2011

Worldictionary - GIVEAWAY!

I was recently given the opportunity to try out and review an iPhone app called Worldictionary.  Worldictionary is a translation app that harnesses the powers of the iPhone camera and Google translation services to give you real-time translation of text from over 20 languages into over 50 languages.  Basically you set the from/to language pair very easily by tapping on the language at the bottom of the screen (or reverse the pair by tapping a quick reverse icon), then you focus the center of the camera image on the word you wish to translate.  There is a circle at the center of the camera viewfinder that shows an outline while you are moving around, and a solid circle when it is focused on a word.  The word comes up and so does the translation.  In addition, on the bottom right of the screen, it gives you an icon to let you hear the pronunciation of the word (not the translated word, but the actual word you are pointing at).  It also tries to give you some guidance on word usage by looking at 2-word pairs, and in this way it helps to avoid incorrect translations of expressions that lose their meaning when translated literally word for word.

The app also allows manual input through the iPhone keyboard, in case you have a shaky hand or in situations where the camera might be able to focus on the word you want (if it's far away on a billboard or road sign, for example).  You have the option of enabling the iPhone flash too, so you can still use the Worldictionary app in low light situations.

Once the word is translated, you can click on it to look it up in the dictionary, in Wikipedia, and for some reason, also on YouTube.  I'm not quite sure why the YouTube integration is there, but the dictionary and Wikipedia links are useful as you can quickly and easily find out more about the word in question.  The app also keeps track of your previous translated words, in case you quickly want to go back and see info about any of them.  You can even set bookmarks on words if you think you'll be needing them again.

Overall, I found the app to be easy to use, very effective at translating, and the app performed quickly and correctly identified everything I threw at it.  If I had to make a few suggestions for improvement, I would like to see pronunciation available for both the original text AND the translated text, since I was mostly translating my native English to other languages and not vice-versa.  I would also like to see some sort of automated detection of the language of the source text, because I could imagine in some cases, if you are looking to translate something into your native language, you may not always know what exactly the source language is.  I've been assured that the automatic detection of the language of the source text is coming in a future version, so that's exciting!

I think this app would be great to use with kids that are learning to read - if they have it handy, and don't know how to pronounce/read a word, they can easily use the app in English to (anything) mode - then the app will read the English word to them.  It may not be that great for really young readers, if they're like mine, and don't have a super steady hand to hold the iPhone steady while detecting a word.  Also, if I ever have the opportunity to travel to a country where I don't speak the language, I will definitely be making good use of this app.  And right now I think it will be fun and handy the next time I get to a Chinese restaurant - then I'll know once and for all what's REALLY in the Szechuan Chicken dish.

Worldictionary is available in iTunes for $5.99 and you can read more about the app on the company's website at

Wait, there's more!  One lucky (Canadian or US) reader will win a promo code for their very own copy of Worldictionary!  To enter, just leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win this.

Plus earn up to 3 extra entries by:
  1. Liking "Geekmommy Reviews" on Facebook and telling me you did this in the comments (be sure to let me know your name on Facebook)
  2. Following @geekmommyreview on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway (be sure to link to the tweet in the comments)
  3. Following this blog on Google Friend Connect and telling me you did this in the comments
Winner will be drawn on Friday August 12th, Monday August 15th, 2011 using  Your odds of winning obviously depend on number of entries received.

*Disclaimer:  Geekmommy Reviews was given free of charge the product/software to review in exchange for featuring this product on  Any opinions or statements given above come only from Geekmommy Reviews and were not influenced in any way by the product vendor.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Handy Mommy - Amateur Air Conditioner Repair

OK, so this isn't a product review in the strictest sense, but I felt it should still be shared.  I purchased a Haier 9000 BTU portable air conditioner (the kind that uses one vent hose through a window bracket) about three summers ago.  We happily used it the first year, running it whenever the heat got to be unbearable, using it in our home office during the day, moving it to our son's bedroom in the early evening, and into our bedroom after our son went to bed.  We were able to keep three rooms cool with a single air conditioner purchase, and since it was on wheels, it was not too big of a hassle to keep moving it from room to room.

Then, last summer, my husband had pneumonia, and spent a fair bit of time in our bedroom, sleeping & recovering.  It was in the middle of the August heat wave, and so we just put the air conditioner in there full time and ran it a lot more than usual.  I slept in the basement because I didn't want to get sick (I was pregnant at this point with our daughter), so I didn't actually go into our bedroom much.  However at one point I did have to go in to get laundry from the hamper, and I noticed that the floor was wet (!!).  Now we have carpeting, so this was pretty alarming.  It wasn't just wet, it was squishy and you could actually see the water puddled up wherever you stepped.  We quickly found out that the air conditioner was the culprit, and turned it off.

After a lengthy process to get the carpet dried out (we ended up having to pull up the carpet and replace a fair bit of the subfloor and underlay...don't even get me started on that), we again used the air conditioner, but this time we placed it inside an upside down lid from one of my large Rubbermaid bins, to contain any water that would drip.  This worked, but was clumsy, as now it was not so portable, and emptying the lid of water every couple of days was not a fun task.

Here you can see the back of the unit, with the drain hose at the
bottom and the "hot" coil running vertical in the middle.  Notice
the"drip tray" I had to resort to for catching the water, which was
coming out everywhere EXCEPT from the drip hose

This year, we only had to use the unit a couple of times, and the first time, we didn't have any problems with water, so I let it run without the water catching lid in place... well, I soon regretted that.  One humid day, my daughter's bedroom floor was wet, and it was again coming from the air conditioner.

This photo shows the side view of the "hot" coil after I
brushed the dust off.  The fins are slightly dented at the top
but otherwise in good shape. 
So today I took matters into my own hands and dismantled the air conditioner.  I took the back panel off first, then the two sides and the front.  Once I had the air conditioner coils exposed I could see a fair bit of dust on the "hot" side, the coil on the bottom half.  I used an old toothbrush to gently remove it (as I didn't want to bend the fins on the coils).  I still could not see why there was water leaking but I suspected that it was coming from the "cold" coil, where the moisture in the room air condenses.  I could see that the idea was for the moisture to drip from the small catch tray under the cold coil, and run through the hot coil where it would evaporate and be forced outside through the vent hose.  So I assumed that there must be dust buildup clogging the drain from the catch tray.  Boy, was I right.

I had to remove the 4 screws holding the upper coil in place, and then ever so gingerly pry it out of its snug little home, so I could see the drain.  Or more precisely, so I could see where the drain once was.  It was covered in so much dust and fuzz that there's no wonder it didn't work!  I used a wooden skewer from the kitchen to pick up as much of the fuzz and lint as I could.

This photo is taken of the drain area under the "cold"
coil at the top of the unit after I cleaned it.  Before
cleaning, the visible fins were covered in about 2mm of
dust and lint, and were effectively completely plugged
Then I flushed it out with a sports top drink bottle filled with hot water.  I was finally able to get the drain cleaned out and water was running smoothly through it down to the reservoir on the bottom half of the unit.

I have yet to get the back panel re-attached but the unit is otherwise back together now and awaiting a test run... we've got a few hot humid days in the forecast this weekend so I'm looking forward to testing it out.  I'll be sure to post my results back here.

So in conclusion, if you're thinking of getting an air conditioner, one of the units that mounts out of your window is not likely to give you this kind of problem (at least ours doesn't).  However if you need the convenience of a portable unit, you might want to check and see how the condensation moisture is handled to see if you may end up with this kind of problem down the road.  Perhaps this post will be of some assistance to others having the same model and trying to fix the moisture issue.

BabyLegs Leg Warmers

When I first heard of BabyLegs, I thought they were adorable, but couldn't really think of a use for them - my little guy wore cloth diapers but in our climate, if it was ever warm enough for him to run around in just a diaper, it was almost definitely too warm for leg warmers.  I bought some anyways though, and have been very happy with my purchase.  When my son was younger, he would sometimes wear a onesie and BabyLegs around the house, and it did simplify diaper changes.  We did not like them for potty training though, because it seemed that every time an accident happened, the BabyLegs would inevitably get soaked, and it's bad enough to have to pull off wet socks, let alone wet leg warmers.  Maybe if we were potty training with pull-ups it would have been better but we went straight to underwear when he was ready (and it worked, so no complaints).

I think though, now that he's four, and has his own special version of "fashion sense", BabyLegs get even more use in our home.  Either he wears them under (or sometimes over!) his pants in the cooler weather, or he puts them on his arms as "arm warmers", especially when he is wearing a t-shirt on a cooler day.  He even will wear them under his pyjamas to stay extra warm if he's feeling chilly at bedtime.

They have been washed and dried along with all our other laundry and still look great, there is no pilling, fading, or snagging of the material, and they have held their elasticity very well.  I have bought a few pairs for my daughter too, and I expect that they will be just as well loved as she grows up.  They come in tons of different colours, patterns, and prints, and in newborn (0-3M) and regular sizes, so you are sure to find something you love.  Check out the selection and be sure to view some of the cute customer photos over on their website at

Does your little one have a favourite pair of BabyLegs?  My little guy's favourites are a pair of blue/green striped ones that have little giraffe's on the bottom.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Dropbox is a nifty little service that I like to compare to a virtual USB key.  You can sign up for a free account that gives you 2GB of storage up front (with an opportunity to "earn" more space), and if that's not enough, they have paid accounts that you can buy to have more storage.  You set up a folder on your computer and anything you put into it, syncs with the Dropbox service so it's accessible from any computer (as long as you log in).  You can choose to share files you place on Dropbox (so if your sister wants full resolution pics of her kids that you put on Facebook, you can put them in Dropbox for her to grab), or you can keep them to yourself.

You can set up multiple computers to sync with Dropbox and then anything in the folder is automatically shared with all computers.  For example, my husband and I have our iPhoto library stored in Dropbox (we break off a new library every 6 months).  This way, whenever he or I sync our photos from our cameras/iPhones to our computer's iPhoto library, they automatically are available to both of us.  Which is good, because I'm the one that does the photo printing/uploading to Facebook, while my husband is often one to take pics with his iPhone.

You can also access your Dropbox files from work or other locations, so this can come in handy if you need to access personal data throughout the day, but perhaps you don't have it with you on a USB key.  It also means you don't have multiple versions of a document or file kicking around - you are always accessing the latest version on Dropbox.

As an added bonus, since Dropbox is storing your files, if your computer decides to stop working for whatever reason, your files are safe and can be accessed from other devices or you can just pull them back onto your computer once it is repaired/replaces.

The free account comes with 2GB up front, and you can do things such as referring others for space credits.  Speaking of which, if you are intrigued, you can certainly use my referral link to sign up:

Dropbox is a pretty simple way to have instant access to files you need, without having to remember to carry them with you on a USB key.  It is also a nice way to back up things that you wouldn't want to lose if your computer suddenly died, such as your resume or perhaps a selection of your wedding photos.  And since it's free, it's a no brainer if you've ever wished for a little more tech convenience in your day.

Check out more at or if you don't mind, use my referral link:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Contigo AUTOSEAL Madison Water Bottle (24 fl oz/750 mL)

It looks like we are finally into the hot, sunny days of summer.  The days where you can easily rush about for hours out in the sun, only to realize at lunchtime that you are thirstier than you have been in a long time, because you didn't take a break to get a glass of water.  Oops!  And if you're like me, by this time, you probably have a headache from the dehydration, and a baby wanting to nurse (how are you supposed to make milk if you don't have enough liquid in your body to hydrate yourself??)

I have taken to using my Contigo water bottle to make sure that I always have something to drink with me, wherever I go.  The water bottle holds about 24 fl oz or 750 mL of liquid, and has a waterproof top that screws on for a tight seal.  The top has a nifty mechanism built in that allows the liquid inside to come out only when you are ready - it has a button you push with your fingers that opens up the hole near your mouth when you drink.  The top also has a carabiner style clip on it that lets you clip the bottle onto your purse, backpack, stroller, even to the belt loop on your jeans if you're really desperate for a place to put it.  The Contigo water bottle is made of sturdy BPA-free plastic (remember the indestructible Nalgene bottles?  It's like that.  I've actually left mine on the roof of my car and driven away, had the bottle fly to the pavement, and it barely had a scratch on it.

These reusable water bottles are much more environmentally sound than continuously buying single-use water bottles, and much cleaner & better for you than reusing single-use bottles.  I find them to be a lot easier to keep clean than the narrow-neck aluminum or stainless steel bottles, and they don't dent when you accidentally drop them.  (Or am I the only one with a cupboard full of reusable metal water bottles that won't stand up because the bottoms are awkwardly dented?)  They can go in your dishwasher, mine have even survived the bottom rack, but we don't use the heat-dry option, so do that at your own risk.  The tops are dishwasher safe but you can be more thorough with the cleaning if you do it by hand with a mini bottle brush type thing.

Now I do have one peeve about these bottles, though it hasn't stopped me from using them.  That is the top has a vent to let the air in when the water comes out.  Nothing wrong with that, except this vent has a plastic cap with a couple small gaps/holes when it's installed, which not only allow the air to get in, but also allow gunk from your dishwater/dishwasher in, and worst case, it could let small insects inside as well (say, if you're gardening and putting your bottle on the grass beside you...).  Let me tell you the story of the earwig...well it's not much of a story, except that it took me a LONG time to figure out what that "funny smell" was every time I took a drink... turns out it was an earwig that had crawled into the air vent space (once I forgot my bottle outside overnight...) and it died in there...and I imagine every run through the dishwasher disintegrated it a bit more...  Well I ended up prying the vent lid off, and found the earwig, I washed it out about a thousand times, threw up a little in my mouth, and debated whether to keep the bottle or to throw it away.  Well it turns out that my love for the Contigo bottle exceeded the yuck factor, so I kept it.  But from that day forward I made sure to pull up the air vent cover on all my Contigo bottles before running them through the dishwasher, to make sure that nothing gross got stuck in the air vent space.

Well, now that I've thoroughly grossed you out, I'll tell you that you can get these bottles at Costco for under $20 for a set of three, or follow the embedded purchase links to get them from Amazon.  You may possibly also be able to buy them elsewhere.  And when you get them, I have two tips.  One: don't leave them outdoors in the grass overnight and Two: if they smell funky at some point in the future, try prying off the air vent cap and clean it out thoroughly.

You can read more at Contigo's website:

What's your favourite way to stay hydrated on the go?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Armpocket SPORT i-20

I love to run.  I may be one of the slowest runners you'll ever meet, especially right now that I'm eager to run but my body is somewhat less co-operative, having just been put through the wringer with labour and childbirth (albeit a relatively simple, uncomplicated one), but I really enjoy my running.  One thing I definitely rely on to carry me through from the imaginary start line, out on my run, and back to my home is a place I can safely store my iPhone in order to a) enjoy some fast paced tunes along my running route and b) track my workout using RunKeeper (see my review on RunKeeper here).  I used to run with an iPod Shuffle, preloaded with all my favorite tunes, plus a Timex Bodylink system for heart rate monitoring, GPS, and recording purposes.  (Honestly at this point you'd think I was some hardcore runner.  Fact is I'm happy when I can knock off two 5K's a week...)  When I was introduced to RunKeeper (on an old HTC Touch, no less), I had to add another gadget to the collection.  Finally with the iPhone I can do everything except heart rate monitoring with a single device.  But it's not a cheap device, so I don't exactly feel good about the jostling, sweat-dripping, pavement-dropping potential dangers of taking it out on the road.

I researched a ton of armband type iPhone holders before finally getting this one, my husband has one too so I was able to try it out before I bought as well.  My favourite things about it are:
  •  the clear window so that you can see & interact with the phone while it is in the case
  • the extra pocket inside to hold keys, lip balm, cash, whatever you might need (as long as it fits into the space)
  • the padding that keeps your arm sweat from becoming sweat on your phone
  • the little stretchy fabric thing that holds your iPhone right up to the clear window
  • the fact that it comes in a bunch of bright fun colours
One thing I'm not super crazy about:
  • the armband itself, I find it sometimes needs to be adjusted a couple of times to stay tight.  But, it's never come undone, so I guess it could be a lot worse!  It's neoprene with a hook & loop style closure so perhaps it's the slight stretch in the material (or my upper arm jiggly bits) that keeps me from finding the perfect fit the first time I put it on
It is so convenient to be able to put the phone in, and know it's safe from both sweat and precipitation, and to be able to interact with it without having to take it out of the case.  I run with a pair of Bluetooth headphones so I don't have to worry about cables, but the Armpocket SPORT i-20 does have an opening for earphone cables to come out without compromising the water resistance of the case.

If you're looking for a durable, well-made, attractive, and functional case for your phone that will not break the bank, this could very well be it.  Check out more at

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I think there are two kids of people in the world, those that like to-do lists, and those that don't get anything done.  Well, OK, maybe it's not that serious, but if you ARE one of those people that likes both the inner calm that comes from converting your mental to-do list into an on-paper or online version, and the satisfaction that comes from crossing things off the list, then have I got a service/app for you!  I am definitely a hardcore list maker, in fact, I have been known to add things to my to-do list that I've already completed, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off.  Yes, dirty little secret, I know.  I believe that it keeps me productive!

I am all over the idea of GTD ("Getting Things Done",, but when it comes right down to it, what makes me happiest is a simple daily list where I can just put the stuff that needs to get done.  On a good day, it's full of productive things like "wash laundry" and "make batches of lasagna to freeze".  Some days, I have to put "shower" and "eat breakfast" on the list, just for the satisfaction of being able to cross SOMETHING off.  I have been using the TeuxDeux website ( which is free, and the accompanying iPhone app (which is inexpensive, $2.99 in the app store) to keep track of the daily things that need accomplishing.

The concept is really simple, you can enter in a one-liner for each task, and put it on the appropriate day (today + 4 days in the future, plus a "Someday" section).  Once it's done, cross it off.  Once it's crossed off, it stays put.  If at the end of the day, some of your to-dos remain undone (I'm absolutely certain that this doesn't only happen to me...), the service simply rolls them over to the next day.  There are no fancy deadline fields, priorities, tags, or categories to manage.  You simply put in what you need to do today, get cracking & cross stuff off as it gets done, and anything you don't get to, no problem - the app rolls it over into tomorrow.  You can edit or delete any of the items you've put into the list, you can drag-drop items to put them in order (if you like to group your @home and @errands stuff into separate sections, the sorting helps do this), and you can even move stuff to future days if you know you won't get to it today.

I especially appreciate their humourous and informative FAQ section - one of the questions is in regards to how many days to display - can the whole month be displayed?  Their answer is "Whoa there partner. Let's just take it down a notch. Don't worry about the whole month. Live for today. So, short answer: No."  My thoughts exactly.  With two kids at home I try not to think too far out in the future (we have Google Calendar to keep track of dentist appointments and kid checkups and the like).  Having an app that helps keep me focused on the daily priorities, and is almost as satisfying when it comes to crossing things off as actually putting a line of ink onto paper.  Plus, since the iPhone app syncs with the online service, I can cross things off while I'm out and about.  Post Office to mail letter?  Check!  Buy Groceries? Check!  I can also add things while on the go, or even just add them while walking around the house with my iPhone.  (Yes, I've walked around and added stuff like "wash unidentified gunk off kitchen window" and "ask husband if he drained the kiddie pool or if it sprung a leak" because if you're like me, you'll forget those things when you're in front of your computer and not staring at the gunky window or empty pool.

Check out the service at and the app on iTunes at

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow

I had a simple Jolly Jumper nursing pillow when I was breast-feeding my son, and for the most part, it did what I needed it to do. But it was sometimes awkward to get it into the right position, and as my son grew, I found that his body being supported at the same height as his head was kind of like you or I lying in bed on our side without a pillow...not comfortable and definitely not that conducive to breast-feeding. So I ended up hunched over and supporting his weight on my arm despite the pillow being there. It was not that great for my back, let me tell you.

When I was pregnant I heard a lot of good things about the My Brest Friend nursing pillow, and I must say, now that I'm using it, I definitely feel it is a good choice of nursing pillow, especially if you tend towards chubby babies that are heavy to hold in those long late night "feeding frenzies" (or am I the only one whose baby takes two hours to settle to sleep at night?)

It is made of foam and has a comfortable C shape that curves around the front of your body, and a narrow piece that goes behind your back. The narrow piece can be buckled to the front part (essentially so you are wearing it like a belt) or you can leave it undone. I prefer to leave it undone so that when my baby finally falls asleep, I don't risk waking her up by fiddling with buckles, etc on our way from rocking chair to crib. The top of the pillow is a uniform flat surface except for two small hill-shaped "pillows" which gently support baby's head while nursing.  The cover has an attached pocket for any essentials, Vitamin D drops, or a book to read while nursing, or whatever else you can think of.

The cover is removable and washable, which is great, because few things see as much spit up as mommy's shoulders and nursing pillows... I'm not sure if the foam core is machine washable, so I always try to keep a spare blanket on the "business end" to help minimize the number of times the cover needs to be removed and cleaned.

If you are the type to need a nursing pillow, I would highly recommend the My Brest Friend pillow. You can find out more at

Saturday, July 16, 2011

GoGo Navigator USA & CAN

I'll admit, I have always been a Google Maps kind of girl.  Email yourself the directions before you go, follow the line on the map on your phone while you're on the road.  If you get lost, pull over, and re-route.  Free, easy, and mostly effective.  However, that was before I tried using the GoGo Navigator USA & CAN iPhone app.  I received this app for review on Monday morning, which was handy since I was doing a lot of driving over the next few days - visiting my parents, off to the beach, back home to my parents via the grocery store, back to my own home the next day, and off to run errands the day after.

But I have to say, the developers of this GPS navigation app have thought of just about everything. When you first launch it, there is a warning screen that reminds you not to use the app while driving (you should really just program in your trip before you depart). Once you agree, you are taken to the main screen which shows where you are right now. You can program in your destination (address, points of interest such as "nearest gas station", or Google search) and any stops along the way, and then let GoGo Navigator calculate the route for you based on shortest time or shortest distance. Then as you drive, it gives you excellent directions, with warnings 300m/0.25mi before any turns, and reminders just before the intersections. I found it really nice how it would recalculate my route if I took a different road than it suggested. It also gave me the option of having the prompts given by a male or female voice, in English, French, Spanish, or even Korean (I think...)! The default voice has a Text To Speech (TTS) feature which meant that it didn't just say "turn left", but it would actually say "turn left onto Bananarama Road" (obviously a made up street name, but serves the purpose of giving an example). This is terrific, especially when you don't know the area, because you can see the street names on the signs and be sure that you are on the correct route. The app sometimes got confused in parking lots, since these don't show up on maps (most of the ones around here didn't, anyhow), but this wasn't a big deal because by the time I had reached my destination parking lot, I did not need the directions anymore.

I was really impressed that it knew the speed limit of the roads I was driving on, and both my mom and I found the speed limit warning super helpful. Basically anytime we might have been exceeding the speed limit (you know those roads that go from 80 km/hr to 50km/hr when you least expect it?) the voice in the app would speak up and say "Warning! Speed limit exceeded!" but without any judgement, unlike what some backseat drivers or paranoid spouses might do. My dad remarked dryly that maybe the app was capable of reporting our occasional speed excesses to the police, but so far that does not seem to be the case :-). It is really a useful feature to help you, especially if you were born with a lead foot like I was. There was just one place along the route I drove on Tuesday where this data was incorrect, so it warned me against speeding, even though I wasn't. I would guess that this data would be incorrect in any GPS app, since it probably comes from a common central source.

One other really cool feature that this app has is Live Traffic. I unfortunately could not try out this feature because the data is not available in my home city, but it's available in most large cities across the US and even some in Canada.  I can imagine the live traffic feature would be very helpful on our next trip driving in Boston though! It is a one time in-app purchase for $8.99, but would be worth it if it helped us not sit in traffic with a baby in the back who cries when ever we stop...

I could go on about the other features of this app (metric vs imperial units, multiple stops on itinerary, different route views, zoom in/out, ETA calculation, point of interest search, and much more), but I really think you should imagine all the ways it can help you when you are driving, especially if it's an area where you don't drive often. It will save you time and frustration by guiding you to your destination. I wish I'd had this app when I was in Las Vegas a few years ago, it took us forever (for some odd reason) to get off the highway onto the strip, but if we had this app we could have been out partying much sooner! (OK, I'll admit, I went straight to bed, it was a late flight!). It can also save you from any unwanted arguments with other passengers about asking for directions...that alone is worth the price of admission.

GoGo Navigator USA & CAN is a great deal at only $29.99, it does not require any extra maps to be downloaded, and looks & works great right out of the gates.  It's easy to use, and has a ton of features.  To find out more about GoGo Navigator USA & CAN, you can do so by visiting:
iTunes -
Demo Video -
Live Traffic Demo -
Website -

*Disclaimer:  Geekmommy Reviews was given free of charge the product/software to review in exchange for featuring this product on  Any opinions or statements given above come only from Geekmommy Reviews and were not influenced in any way by the product vendor.

Friday, July 15, 2011

innobaby Packin' SMART (Butterfly Series)

Anyone that has experienced the joy (not!!) of having a bag of Goldfish crackers empty and crush itself in the bottom of their purse or diaper bag needs a better way to transport crumbly snacks from point A to point B. The innobaby Packin' SMART is a clear BPA-free plastic contraption that is sold as a formula dispenser, but it can hold up to five servings (1/3 cup each) of any snack that is small enough to fit into an oval container about the size of your palm.

Each container has an integrated funnel shaped lid (funnel presumably for easy filling formula powder into the containers, inverted funnel for the lid) and it snaps to the one above and below, making a stack as tall or short as you need. The set also comes with a coloured base and top with built in handle which neatly packs the whole thing into a super portable, spill-resistant snack transporter. The individual section lids have a hole in them but this is blocked off by the lid or container above it. This little hole also is great for shaking a couple of snacks out into little hands, or for easily dispensing formula powder into a waiting bottle.

I love being able to put a couple of snacks in for my son, and some for me, and not have to dig for them in my bag or have to carry multiple containers. The only thing I would not recommend is putting any sort of chocolate chips into it, at least not in the summer when they can easily melt in the heat and make a real mess of the container they are in. The innobaby Packin' SMART can go in the dishwasher (top rack), and is built strongly so it will resist any accidental dropping by you, hubby, or child.

If you would like to learn more, go visit their website at They are about $20 each, which isn't cheap, but if you think about it, it's cheaper than buying a zillion sandwich bags for snacks, and then ending up with crushed snacks and crumbs in your purse - not to mention the waste that ends up in our landfills from so many disposable packages.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ana Silver Co Jewelry

Sometimes, as a mom, it can be challenging to look put together. There is only so much redeeming that a nice pair of shoes or a cute scarf can do. One thing I have found that helps a lot is jewelry. But, jewelry can be pricey, and if it's not, it usually looks cheap or childish, and it doesn't usually last very long. This is where the Ana Silver Co comes in. They make a TON of real sterling silver jewelry - pendants, chains, rings, earrings, and bracelets. Most, if not all, are made with some form of precious or semiprecious stones such as amethyst,aquamarine, moonstone, amber, or onyx. My personal favourites have to be Rainbow Mystic Topaz, Pink Druzy, and the various colours of copper turquoise. Usually you can find a complete set, namely a ring, earrings, and matching pendant, and get all three for less than $20, if you are patient and hold out for auctions that don't already have bidders on them.

They sell their jewelery from their website, but also on eBay, and the prices are extremely reasonable. We're talking about auctions starting at $6.99 and shipping is around $7, plus $1.50 for each extra item. So if you do buy some, it makes sense to get multiple things, even to combine forces with your friends, or to buy some items as gifts, to bring down the per item shipping cost.

The items are excellent quality, well made, and well described in the auction listings. Some of the stones appear brighter in the photographs than they do in real life, but this is true in jewelry stores too, where items in a case have special lighting to bring out all the sparkle and shine. I really like the way they give the measurements of the jewelry in their listings, so you can get an idea how big the ring head is or how long the silver chains are.

Once you win an auction, you have ten days to pay, and trust me, you can buy a ton of jewelry in ten days! After you pay, it takes about ten days for the items to arrive (at least to our home in Eastern Canada). Then you get to wear your new jewelry and start getting compliments on it... Not to mention that the jewelry is real .925 sterling silver, so it's actually an investment as well, and won't get grungy over time. If you want to check out their eBay store, it's at

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

iPregnant iPhone App (v1.6)

First of all, I'm not pregnant right now, so don't get the wrong idea from the fact that I'm writing this review. But when I was pregnant with my daughter not so long ago, I used a fantastic app called iPregnant to keep track of the various ups, downs, and data points. There is a free version which is limited by lack of password protection, lack of photo support, and a few other things, but once I started using it, I bought the full version, since it's only $0.99.

When you install it, it asks for your due date, which it uses for obvious calculations. Each day it lets you enter in all sorts of data, such as your mood, whether you exercised that day (or not), your weight, fetal movement, dr appointments, if you were sick, whether you had a "love connection"' and general notes. It will also store a photo if you are tracking your progress by pictures. There are also four custom checkmarks that you can configure however you wish. I set one up for "milk drank" and one for "vitamins taken" which helped me, as I'm the forgetful sort, and probably wouldn't have stayed on track with regular prenatal vitamins without the daily reminder.

It also has a daily view that tells you your due date, current trimester, how far along (in weeks and days), time left (in weeks and days), baby's likely weight, and baby's likely length. It lets you save your name ideas and gives you access to the "top 1000" names (based on US 2008 data). You can password protect the app, export the data to email, and change the units between US and metric. It also allows you to see sample 3D ultrasound pics from weeks 10 to 38 courtesy of

This app was super handy when going on regular checkups to the doctor as I could note various symptoms each day and then be able to look back and give the doctor details as needed. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consider trying this app to track everything you need during your pregnancy. It is available in the iTunes app store, and you can learn more about the app over at  You could definitely go with the free version and then upgrade if you want to the paid version, as there are not THAT many differences.  I just figured for $0.99, I could get rid of the ads.

Zagg InvisibleShield Screen Protectors

Do you have a phone or tablet computer? Do your kids sometimes play with it? Do you sometimes put it into your pocket, or use it without washing your hands first? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably should have a screen protector. A good device screen protector will be unobtrusive, securely attached, and will shield the screen of your device from any and all scratches and marks caused by rough handling, abrasions, or accidents. I have a friend who left his iPad upside down on his coffee table...picked it up, and I guess there was some dirt or dust on the table, now his iPad screen has a scratch from top to bottom. Yikes!

I have used cheap screen protectors, and don't recommend them. They tend to come unstuck at the edges, allowing dust underneath, and are stiff and hard to install without bubbles. Zagg InvisibleShields however are super flexible, stick tight and don't come undone, and although they are not super easy to install, once you do it, you'll never have to think about it again. The hardest part of the installation is the emotional leap of faith you need to make, as the process involves spraying the back of the screen protector with what I suspect to be distiller water (it comes in a little spray applicator with the shield) and then putting this WET thing onto your phone. They do advise you to remove the device battery before putting on the protector and to leave it turned off for 24 hrs afterwards - just in case - but in the case of my iPhone and iPad, the batteries aren't exactly easy to take out, so I just left them turned off for the procedure. Basically all you do is clean the screen, wet the back of the protector, place it, then use the included squeegee to push the water out and make a good tight seal between the protector and the device. Use a paper towel to catch the water as it is squished out the edges, and you should be just fine to use the device when you are done. (Note, I am not responsible for any wrecked devices resulting from following my advice!)

Zagg makes screen protectors for just about any device with a screen (I even got one for the new iPod Nano that I gave my mom as a gift last year!) so you have no excuse to not get one. They also make a ton of other products, including full body decorative and protective skins, which I may cover in a future review. Check out the selection on their website at and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Like them on Facebook because they often have discount codes. They are not the cheapest, but considering what you'd pay to replace your device, they are so worth it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baby/Kidz Banz Hats

In the ever more contradictory discussion around sun protection (wear sunscreen! Go sunscreen-free to avoid vitamin D deficiency! Sunscreens contain carcinogens!) it's nice to know that there is a way to protect your kids from the pain and likely health risks of sunburns, without having to expose their delicate faces and necks to the possible and unknown risks of exposure to the cocktail of chemicals in most commercial sunscreens. What is that way, you ask? Hats! Specifically, hats that are comfortable, lightweight, attractive, washable, and adjustable to fit your kids for years and years.

Baby and Kidz Banz hats come in many colours and are made of a fabric that gives them a UV protection rating of SPF 50+. They were designed in Australia where they get a LOT of sun, so you know they'll work just about anywhere. They come in two sizes, the Baby size (up to 19" or 48cm), and the Kidz size (up to 22" or 56cm) and have an integrated elastic/hook & loop strap to customize the fit. I have two of the blue hibiscus print ones for my son, and a green hibiscus print for my daughter.

The hats must be comfortable, because my son is more than happy to wear it, it rarely falls off (only if it's really windy) and there are no fussy chin straps to deal with. A friend of mine has another breed of the Kidz Banz hats for her daughter, I think it may be solid colour cotton instead of polyester, and the bucket part does not seem to be as deep as the hibiscus print, so it is a bit heavier and doesn't stay on as well. So if you are getting one, I would recommend the lightweight print ones over the solid colour ones.

I have washed my son's hat more times than I can count, and it still looks as good as the day I bought it. It is flexible and easy to cram into your purse or beach bag, it doesn't kink or wrinkle so you don't have to worry about any awkward folded brim situations.

Check out the selection and other Baby/Kidz Banz products on their website at If you are patient, you can stay tuned to where the hats occasionally come on sale for about $7 each.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Review: Pouchee Purse Organizer

In a previous review (of the Mrs. Smith's Elite Diaper Bag) I mentioned that I use a Pouchee Purse Organizer, which I purchased with some gift money (thanks Grandma!) a few months ago.  I know it sounds overly dramatic when I say this, but it has changed my life.  It is so simple to run errands now that I can carry all my mom stuff in the diaper bag, without actually having to disperse my mom stuff into the diaper bag.

It is basically a mini purse that holds all of the essentials.  The one I have has pockets in all the right places (I'm not sure if they're all configured exactly the same way, as it comes in cotton canvas, leatherette, and an "ultimate" version).  There are two main sections on the inside, one big enough for my wallet (which is not dainty and small by any stretch of the imagination), and one that holds a small hairbrush, a pocket mirror, lip balm, nail clippers, a nail file, and any other smallish cosmetic thing I might need that day.  There are also a few tall narrow pockets that fit a tube of lipstick perfectly (so it doesn't get lost in the bottom), as well as a couple of narrow pockets that I use to hold a spare key for my car, and any store gift cards I may have (so I don't forget to use them).  On the outside of the Pouchee Purse Organizer, there are 3 pockets, all big enough to hold an iPhone, one to hold a pen, and several to hold commonly used cards.

One of the great things about the Pouchee is that you can just grab it and go - if you've just got a quick stop and you don't need your whole diaper bag, just grab the Pouchee and go.  If you keep your keys on a carabiner, even better - just clip the rings to your keychain and go handsfree.  If you are changing purses (night out, without the baby?  Why, yes please!) you just pick up the Pouchee and put it into your new purse (or any purse that's not your diaper bag).  And then you're done!  No panic about forgetting to grab your driver's license from one purse to another, if everything important is in the Pouchee then it's all you need to move.

It's sturdy and well made, and has held up very well so far.  I haven't had to wash it, but would assume that since it's made of cotton, I should be able to do my usual routine of putting it through the machine on the Delicate cycle, and then air drying... (don't hold me to that though, as I haven't tried it!)

If you'd like to learn more, check out their website at or click through on the embedded Amazon link to purchase.  It's not dirt cheap, but considering it's like buying an infinite amount of purses, $30 is not bad!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Review: The Croncast

Kids are hilarious.  Sometimes it's the things they say ("Beer is bad for mommies because it comes out in the baby's milk!" to a roomful of strangers), sometimes it's the things you say to make them laugh (anything with the word "stinkybutt" currently qualifies in our house).  But one aspect of kid humour is laughing at with other parents who are also dealing with the challenges of parenting, clothing & feeding the brood, becoming/staying employed, and surviving the complications of vasectomies (yikes!).  Where on earth am I going with this?  Today's review is of a podcast (AKA internet radio show released in episodes that you can download to listen to on your computer or portable media player...) called the Croncast.

I have been a loyal listener for a really, really long time now, and at this point the Croncast is the ONLY podcast I actually pay to listen to.  So many podcasts are free, and not worth the time they take to download.  The Croncast, on the other hand, is a hilarious take on the quirks of day to day life, whether it be about the perils of buying a vehicle on eBay, the unfortunate bodily side effects of drinking too much coffee, or surviving post-snip infections.  The husband and wife team that record the show frequently say that "Life is Show Prep", and it's so true.  What makes the show so good is the way that Kris and Betsy can laugh at themselves for the sake of a good story.  It also doesn't hurt that their two kids often inspire show segments, which are often sweet and funny, and easy to relate to.  Beware though, as there is definitely some profanity in the shows so you probably don't want to listen to with the kids in earshot.

If you want an introduction to the show, I would highly recommend their vacation series to whet your appetite.  This set of 4 sequential episodes follows them on a road trip in which they run into one disaster after another.  Start on "Act #1" on this page:, then move on to acts 2, 3, and 4.  I honestly can't even begin to describe how funny these shows are, and in fact just writing this post inspired me to re-download them so I can hear them once more...

If you like the shows, you can check out their archives for a TON of free shows, and you can subscribe to their current shows by "Getting Cool" as they call it, over at

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Review: RunKeeper for iPhone

When I run, which is never as often as I'd like it to be, I like to track my progress both during and after my activity.  I like to share my runs with friends so they can see I don't ONLY sit on my butt all day, and besides, it's encouraging to see people commenting with "way to go!" or similar sentiments.  The RunKeeper app for iPhone (also available for Android or Windows Phone 7) helps me to do all of these things, and much more.  It's a free app, and it uses the GPS feature of your phone to track your runs.  It syncs with the RunKeeper website where you can analyze your runs, view maps, and much more.  There's no way I can cover all the features, but I'll tell you the ones I use the most.

1) Coaching: you can set RunKeeper up with coaching programs.  Trying the Couch to 5K?  You can program in each run before you do it, and it will tell you when your run/walk intervals are.  Looking to  maintain a certain pace?  Set Runkeeper up with your target pace, and how often you want to be reminded, then it will tell you your average pace, current pace, and how far above/below your target you are.  If you are doing speed training, you can set the app up with a coaching plan to tell you when to run fast versus when to recover.  You can set up these intervals by time or by distance, which will likely help satisfy just about any training program out there.  You can even tack on a warmup/cooldown to your workout.

2) Music: if you already run with your phone, chances are, you listen to music during your run.  RunKeeper lets you pick a playlist from your phone to play while you are working out.  The music fades a bit quieter when RunKeeper is telling you stuff (like RUN FASTER, BEE-OTCH! YOU CAN DO IT!  OK, well it doesn't actually say that in so many words...but you get the idea)

3) Post to Facebook: you can post your runs to Facebook and make them visible to everyone, just your "street team" (friends using RunKeeper that you've selected & added through RunKeeper), or just you.  You can make all the run information public, or maybe not the maps if you don't really want people to know where you are running.

4) Analyze your runs: On the RunKeeper website you can check out the details of your run, the elevations of different segments and how that affected your pace.  It sends you encouraging emails every time you break a "record" (such as, Most Distance logged in a month, or others like that).  There is a RunKeeper Elite version (you have to pay for it) that gives you access to extra reports.  I don't have it so I can't comment on it.

5) Live Tracking: OK, so since this is an Elite only feature, it's not one I use, but on certain occasions, you might want to be able to turn on live tracking.  This basically posts your run online while it is happening.  This is a nice feature if you're running in a race and want your family/friends to track your progress (or to give them a heads up when you're near the finish line, so they can make a point of seeing you cross the finish...).  It could also be helpful if you are trail running, or going out for a solo run and just want someone else to know where you are.

If you are a  runner (or walker, jogger, cyclist...) who would like to know just a bit more about each workout, you may enjoy using RunKeeper like I do.  Go check it out over at  If you already use it, let me know in the comments what your favourite thing about it is!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Review: Mrs. Smith’s Elite Diaper Bag

It's a backpack, no wait, it's a shoulder bag, no wait, it's a cross-body baby-gear toting, shiny, convenient extravaganza!  Yes, this is a diaper bag.  But there's nothing cutesy or kitschy about it.  This bag is all about convenience, function, and space.  I no longer carry a purse and a diaper bag when I'm out with the little one(s), because everything I need fits in here (not to mention it's gorgeous!)

The bottom part is a fold-down flap that unzips to reveal a spacious structured (read: won't crush your stuff) compartment that has a divided drawer in it.  There is a big flap pocket on one side (perfect to hold a couple of Envirosax) and the other side has a smaller flap pocket (keeps my iPhone in a handy place) plus an elastic topped bottle holder which fits baby bottles, kids sippys, or even Mom's own water bottle (even my big clunky Contigo bottle from Costco!)

When you open the top (the big flap is closed with an adjustable hook & loop closure) the main bag compartment is zippered.  Inside there is a small zippered pocket (great for lady products or a mini first aid kit), 3 insulated pouches for bottles/sippys, one uninsulated pouch (will fit an Epipen according to their promotional brochure), and one wider hook & loop closure pouch that will hold a few disposable diapers & wipes.  Plus of course there is the space in the center (all the pockets/pouches are along the perimeter) and that's where baby's blanket, change of clothes, and your wallet/makeup bag can go.  I've also put in my Moby wrap, and my entire collection of Envirosax (on grocery day).  The last feature I feel I need to tell you about is the changing pad - it's included, and rolls up and fits into a pocket underneath the large flap.  Easy peasy to pull out with one hand when you're holding a poopy baby in the other hand.

Now because I cloth diaper, I've had to play with the configuration a bit to make everything fit.  I took out the divided drawer (I use it on my change table to hold cotton swabs, nail clippers, and baby hair clips, among other things) and I keep 3-4 rolled up pocket diapers + one wetbag in the compartment at the bottom.  One of the sippy pouches on the top holds 5-6 dry rolled up cloth wipes (or a Ziploc with a few wet cloth wipes if I'm going somewhere that doesn't have a convenient sink/faucet).  Baby's change of clothes are in a Ziploc bag at the bottom of the large open section, then a spare receiving blanket.  I use a Pouchee Purse Organizer to hold my wallet, lip balm, hand sanitizer, hairbrush, etc and that goes right on top of everything else so it's easy to access.

So the bag holds everything I need (with room to spare), but what makes it so convenient?  Well, for starters, it converts super easily from a shoulder/messenger bag (good for when you know you'll be picking it up and putting it down a lot), to a backpack (which is great when you're out doing lots of walking, or if baby's in the Moby wrap).  At the grocery store, I clip the bag to the cart using the backpack straps, which makes it completely hands free and does not take up space in the cart.  I can reach in for whatever I need, and I'm not weighed down with a bag as I zip up and down the aisles (with GroceryIQ in hand so I don't waste any time).

If you're in the market for a spacious bag that will have you covered for a day out, this is the one.  Yes, it's big, but it holds a ton, and is configured really well so that you never have to dig for stuff.  It doesn't come cheap, it seems to be around $130 new (I was lucky and got it for $60 on Baby Half Off), but it's a lovely and useful bag, and you won't be disappointed with it.  Go read more about the Elite (and check out the rest of their collection!) over at

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Review: Glamourmom Nursing Tanks and Tops

Back when I was nursing my son 4 years ago, I heard about Glamourmom and their fantastic nursing tanks/tops.  I wanted to get some but just couldn't justify the cost at the time.  But when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I saw them come up on, I couldn't resist.  I purchased 3 of them.  (I had tried them on at a local retailer to make sure I was ordering the right size...)  When I got them, one had a teeny tiny hole in it, which Babysteals made right, right away, by sending me a similar replacement.  So now I have a blue nursing bra top with lace, a nude nursing bra top (with a teeny tiny hole), a purple nursing bra tank, and a light pink nursing bra tank.  They are all great, but I wish the tanks also had the wider elastic straps and the nursing bra type closure, rather than spaghetti straps and the smaller flat closure.

The "tops" have slightly wider straps and a secure clicking closure like most nursing bras have.  The "tanks" have narrower straps and a closure more like the back of a bikini top.  While they do also click securely, it's a bit more fiddly to close them up with one hand (while juggling a baby on your shoulder) and so sometimes I don't get them clicked all the way shut, and then I end up walking around the house with what some might call a wardrobe malfunction.  Not cool.  HOWEVER - both the "tops" and "tanks" styles have amazing support.  They have a secure shelf bra built in, and an extra layer of mesh fabric in the fold down part that really holds things in well.  I would never think of going out of the house in a typical shelf bra tank, but I have worn these out (under a hoodie or button up shirt) a ton of times without feeling self conscious at all.

They are very comfortable, although I do suggest getting a size bigger than what you typically wear (I'm a M in most things but had to get the L in the tanks/tops so that the shelf bra elastic would fit comfortably).  They are generously long so they cover the post-partum belly area nicely.  The "tops" are also made of a material that is stretchy yet holds things together to help give a smooth line when worn under a shirt.  They come in many different colours so you are sure to find something you like.  Check out the selection and get more information (including where to buy) over at

Friday, July 01, 2011

Review: LoseIt! iPhone App

We've all got the baby weight to lose, some of us are lucky enough to lose it while our kids are still babies, others are still toting the baby weight along to preschool graduation, even high school graduation.  I personally called it baby weight til my little boy turned two...then I just called it extra weight.  I did end up losing it though, using an app called LoseIt!  I started using LoseIt! when my son was almost 3, and in about 6 months, I managed to shed almost 20lbs.  Then I got pregnant with my daughter, but instead of abandoning LoseIt!, I adjusted my daily calorie target to account for the extra calories needed during pregnancy.  I don't know if it was just using LoseIt! or if there was something else at play, but I did not gain nearly as much with my second pregnancy than with my first (and that's even with the 9th month of crazy chocolate cravings...).  I'm still using it (most days) now that I'm breastfeeding (again, I added calories to my target to make sure I'm getting enough), and after three short months, I'm only a few pounds from pre-baby weight.

I'm not an advocate for "diets" - fancy and scientific though they may be, the basic concept of weight loss is still limiting your calorie intake while maximizing your calorie expenditure through activity.  LoseIt! app for iPhone helps you to track calories in/calories out in a simple and quick way.  Because let's face it, we're busy moms, we don't have time for fancy journals, point calculations, support group meetings/weigh-ins, or typing in all of the nutritional info of each thing we eat.  LoseIt! allows you to select from the HUGE list of built-in foods, their food database even includes restaurant foods which is handy when you are eating out.  For the odd item that isn't in the database, LoseIt! app allows you to enter in custom foods.  Not only can you enter in custom food data, but you can even enter in custom recipes!  You just add foods to the recipe, say how many servings it makes, and it calculates the calories for you.

The best part is that the app is on your iPhone, so you can have it with you everywhere you go.  That also means there's no excuse to not log your meals.  LoseIt! can be set up to remind you at a set time if you haven't entered, say, your breakfast by 10am.  LoseIt! also tracks your exercise, so anytime you do anything, be sure to enter it in.  It does the calorie expenditure calculations based on the weight you are on the date you exercise, so you'll also want to make sure that you log your weight regularly.

If you want to try LoseIt!, check out their website here: or check it out on the iTunes App Store (it's FREE):