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Introducing the Life of Dad App!

lod-logo-tmMy buddies over at Life of Dad have announced that their app has finally been released in the iOS and Android stores! The app is great and includes just about everything from the main Life of Dad website as well as an awesome ability to take photos and add some really cool filters to the amazing photos you take. I used the Beauty and The Beast filters for our screening a few weekends ago and I was very impressed with how easy the app is to use.

As mentioned the app is available for free for iOS and Android, so be sure to search it out and download. It’s free, what else could you be waiting for?

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The St. Louis Dad Father’s Day Gift Guide

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I have partnered up with Verizon for this post and have put together an awesome list of items that just about any dad would love this Father’s Day.

Fitbit Charge 2

IMG_9481First up is pretty cool heart rate and fitness wristband. The Fitbit Charge 2 is a great way to dad to monitor his health and activity while chasing around the kids. The long battery life makes wearing the Fitbit Charge 2 all day an easy way to stay on track. Reaching goals with the app & dashboard add even more to what you can do with this awesome little device. Wearing the Fitbit is a good reminder and motivator to stay active and better your health. A healthy dad is a happy dad.

The Fitbit Charge 2 connects up with both Android and iOS phones. So it doesn’t matter if you have one or the other you will be able to access your dashboard. It’s small and lightweight and doesn’t get in the way. A Fitbit would be a great way to help dad work on his dad bod.

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JBL Flip 3

IMG_9484Next on the list of awesome things to get dad this Father’s Day is a booming JBL Flip 3 portable Bluetooth speaker. All purpose and all weather this loud little speaker offers 10 hours of playtime to keep those backyard BBQ parties groovin’ with tunes. It’s splash proof so if the kids get a little too crazy with the water balloons, dad can be sure the tunes will still be playing. A cool feature with the Flip 3 is that you can use JBL Connect and wirelessly link multiple JBL Connect compatible speakers together. So if all the dads in the neighborhood get one, the music will be jamming throughout the burbs.

Works with any Bluetooth compatible phone. Play that stream, podcast, playlist, or even use it while watching a movie. The JBL Flip 3 is a must for any dad that loves his tunes. Great for the backyard, camping, the beach, and more. You can take the JBL Flip 3 just about anywhere.

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Google Home

IMG_9502Probably my favorite device on the list is the Google Home. This voice-activated speaker by Google is super cool. We already have a few Chromecasts in our house so the Google Home is smart enough to talk with them to play media wherever I tell it too. Dads will love the ability to ask their Google Home questions on how to perfect their new rub, or how to fix something on their car. I like to ask Google to play YouTube videos on my T.V. in the living room. Google Home also works with other devices like Nest so you can control other things within your home like your thermostat and more. All you have to do is just start with “OK Google”.

The kids love asking Google questions, like “Hey Google, what’s your favorite snack?”. Of course Google replies with some culinary masterpiece of a delicious dish and my kids are like “huh?”. But it’s still fun. My daughter likes to have Google start YouTube on the T.V. in our playroom. It’s funny hearing the things she will ask Google. I find myself asking Google some silly stuff all the time as well.

The kids love asking Google questions, like “Hey Google, what’s your favorite snack?”.

Samsung Galaxy S8+

IMG_9493The big ticket item on the St. Louis Dad Father’s Day Gift Guide is a Samsung Galaxy S8+. This phone is amazing. The curved edge is so smooth and surely would impress dad. Loaded with the latest Android operating system the Galaxy S8+ is super fast and ready for loading up apps from the Google Play store. The battery life is amazing. Dad won’t be able to use an uncharged phone as an excuse with the S8+, and with 64GB of space, there is plenty of room for dad to store photos and videos of his wonderful family. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is an amazing phone that would be a great gift for this Father’s Day. Great phones for great dads.

The camera on this phone is incredible. Samsung really shines in the quality department overall with this phone. Be sure to grab one as soon as you can because I’m sure it will be a great gift this year for all dads.

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Any one of these four devices would be an excellent choice as a gift for dad on Father’s Day. Or you could go crazy and get all four. I am sure he would appreciate that. I know I would (hint).

I want to thank Verizon for partnering with St. Louis Dad on this awesome Father’s Day gift guide. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more great content!

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Upgrading Outlets to USB with DIYZ

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with the DIYZ® app. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own.

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One thing I hear all of the time from my family and kids is that I often forget to charge their tablets. My best excuse it that I have no idea where the chargers are or that I can’t find the big brick blocks that are required to charge these things. Fact is, it’s just a USB cable connected to some power. You can now upgrade your home outlets to include a USB port so you can charge your devices. Isn’t the future great? For this Mother’s Day, the kids and I are doing a little home upgrades. Mommy will be so proud.

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Now, I am a pretty technical person but when it comes to electricity, I can get a little freaked out. I need to be sure I am doing everything right so I don’t hurt myself, or someone else. That’s where this awesome app called DIYZ comes in. I downloaded the app to my phone and got right to it. It is a very easy to use app with a plethora of projects to look through for every DIY skill level. Each project includes step-by-step instructions and even the option to live video-chat with a professional contractor if you need it. The Pro Advisors are available Monday through Friday from 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM ET and on weekends from 8:00 AM – 1:00 AM ET. Check it out and #GetWise! The DIYZ® app is free to download and is available in the Apple App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android. For a limited time, the video-chat feature is also FREE!

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I easily found the project I needed and started going through it step-by-step. First, I needed to make sure I had all the tools needed, and within each project on the DIYZ® app you can easily browse a list of tools for each project with the option to purchase directly in the app via Amazon, if you don’t already have them. Doesn’t get much easier than that. I thought this project was going to be easy as I already had all the tools that were listed, so I was ready to get started right away. But first I figured I would get the kids involved in this as well. It is good for them to get experience with tools and get some hands on #DIYZ experience.

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So the first thing you always need to do when working with any sort of electricity is to turn off the breaker. Always be sure to double check that the flow of electricity has been cut with a none contact voltage tester, just to be sure no current is still going through. With all tools in hand and the electricity turned off, we were ready to start the removal of the old outlets. I picked up a couple outlets so we have some options on where we plug in our devices. We decided to start in the kitchen.

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The kids removed the screws from the outlet covers first and then they unscrewed the outlets themselves. I did all of the wiring. It was fun working with them on this little project using the DIYZ® app. The app really helps make the job a lot simpler and set my nerves at ease when working with something like electricity.

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There also wasn’t a big mess, and now Mom will be super happy being able to charge her devices just about anywhere in our home. The new outlets were unveiled on Mother’s Day and my wife was so proud of her kids’ hard work. It was a big hit in our home and I am finally out of the dog house when it comes to charging the kids’ tablets!

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Be sure to follow DIYZ on these social channels and download the app today!

DIYZ Homepage: https://www.diyz.com
DIYZ Blog: https://www.diyz.com/blog
DIYZ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DIYZApp
DIYZ Twitter: https://twitter.com/DIYZ_App / @DIYZ_app
DIYZ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/diyz_app / @DIYZ_app
DIYZ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/diyzmobileapp
DIYZ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVRsZ1NjtnDAU5JkhXEjyBg/

“This post is in collaboration with the DIYZ® app. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own.”

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#ISleepTo Be Amazing

 

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Sleep. It is probably my favorite thing to do. Yeah, kids, wife, family, etc. They are all amazing and awesome to be around but sleep, oh sleep, it is quiet. It is relaxing. It is dreamy, literally.

Sleeping is how I reset and recharge my body as well as my mind. It’s important for everyone to get rest. Unfortunately for some it’s easier than others. My wife and I have had plenty of conversations about how “easy” it is for me to fall asleep, while she may lay restless for hours before finally getting just a fraction of sleep she feels like she could have gotten. Enter sleep monitoring.

SleeptrackerWe could wear a special bracelet or some other wearable device but for us, that just doesn’t work. Personally, I don’t think they are fashionable. I’m happy with my nice beautiful watch and don’t need another gadget that I have to charge on my wrist. Beautyrest to the rescue. Their Sleeptracker monitor was a great solution to a specific need. The Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor is super simple to setup. Just place the sensors under your mattress where you sleep (in-line with your pillows), plug the wires into the processor, sync up to the app, and you are ready to go. I was very curious how my data would come back. For forever I have always told my wife that it probably takes me about seven minutes to fall asleep. I never measured this so I was excited to learn that after the first night my “Time To Sleep” was six minutes. Six minutes! That’s awesome! After a few more days my “Time To Sleep” has averaged out to 18 minutes. I think I can get that average back down after using the product more.

The other data provided was incredible. Avg heart rate, breathing rate, efficiency, deep, light and REM sleep times, and more. Since I was already confident in how well I sleep I wasn’t surprised to see good percentages with just about everything. What I was surprised to see is that I don’t sleep as much I as I think I should. On a day when my wife let me “sleep-in,” my data was awesome. I need more days like that.

IMG_8494Because I already feel like I sleep pretty good I wasn’t sure how I could use Beautyrest’s Sleeptracker monitor to improve my sleep but then it happened. So when the unit came in the mail and I got it setup it was a work week, so I wasn’t sure about using the Sleep Cycle Alarm feature. I didn’t want to be late. Typically, I have my alarm clock set for 5:30A.M. and 5:50A.M. (just in case). Most of the time I am hitting snooze from 5:30 all the way to 5:50. This has two repercussions; 1) doesn’t make my wife happy and 2) I sometimes wake up groggy, even though I knew I got plenty of sleep I wasn’t sure why. So I started looking at the graphs in the app. I noticed that a lot of times I am in REM sleep right before I wake up. I read that it is best to wake up when you are in light sleep, so I decided to try out the Sleep Cycle Alarm. Instead of setting an alarm to go off at specifically 5:30, you give it a range of say 5:30-6:00, the Sleep Cycle Alarm will work with the senors and determine when you are at your lightest sleep and sound the alarm at that time. If you are not in a light sleep stage by the end of the range then the alarm will sound regardless.

So with this data I was able to use the Sleep Cycle Alarm to start waking me up during my lightest sleep. In turn I have actually been waking up just a little bit earlier than usual but I feel pretty good when I wake up too. Even though I know I can hit snooze, I don’t and I start my day. I feel so much better because of this change.

As I said earlier, sleeping is how I reset and recharge my body as well as my mind. It’s how I become amazing. If I am tired and groggy, I’m not amazing. Beautyrest’s Sleeptracker monitor is proving how getting a little bit of data can make a difference. When at home I can’t be in a bad mood because I didn’t sleep great or having an alarm go off at the wrong time. The same goes for work. Being as amazing as me just doesn’t happen overnight. It takes precision planning and sleep monitoring.  Oh and that photo at the top. That’s me monitoring my sleep. It’s as easy as that. Credit to my wife for taking the photo. I’m glad she highlighted my nose. Look at the size of that thing. Yikes! #ISleepTo be amazing.

I have partnered with Life of Dad and Beautyrest for this campaign, but my opinions are my own.

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