Aug 242015Tips to Keep Teens Safe Online

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Letting kids have unsupervised time online can be scary for parents. When kids are little it’s easy to monitor them with parental controls and kid-safe web browsers. But what do you do when your kids hit their teens? When they need the “real” Internet for homework, college applications, research and interacting with friends? What do you do when they grow up and ask for more time and greater boundaries than the kid-safe platforms offer? When they have their own phones and are glued to Snapchat and Instagram. How do you keep your teens safe online?

Today I partnered with ASUS to bring you some ideas and inspiration to help you and your teens navigate online safety. Here are 5 Tips to Keep Teens Safe Online and then keep reading for more about the new ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE and a fun giveaway! 

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1. Have a Technology Safety Meeting

Sit down with your kids and have a talk. Make it a two-way conversation. Share your fears about their increased online presence. Be open and honest. Ask them if they have any questions or concerns. Talk about best practices. For example, I don’t “friend” people I’ve never meet in person. Also explain that the Internet is forever. Contrary to what certain apps or friends may tell them, the internet is forever. A good practice is to encourage them to never post or say something unless they would be comfortable showing it to their grandmother. In 10 years you never know what their future employers will be able to find. 

2. Make a Technology Handbook

Employers have handbooks with technology guidelines for their employees, make one together as a family. Agree together how many hours of fun time will be allowed each day. Screen time only after homework, or at least all the homework that doesn’t require a screen. Reading or exercise before screen time. No devices during family meals. No devices in the bedroom after 9pm. Also set consequences for breaking the contract. Work together as a family to set parameters. Make sure you abide by them too and set a good example. When kids are part of the process they are more accountable and they know what’s expected of them.

3. Trust, But Verify

You’ve talked about your concerns. You’ve made a family technology handbook. You trust your kids, you are done, right? No! Trust, but verify. Have your kids give you their passwords. Let them know that while you trust them you may check in from time to time just to be sure that everything is safe and secure. Just knowing you have to ability to check on them will often help them stay safe. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that you can check in if you are feeling nervous.

4. Follow Your Kids on Social Media

Following kids on social media isn’t just about keeping tabs on them. It’s about familiarizing yourself with the platforms. Seeing what your kids see and who interacts with them. Maybe they post a cute picture with their friends and hashtag it. Check out the hashtag they are using and see what types of other things are there. You might be surprised to see some of the scandalous images under seemingly innocent hashtags on Instagram. Just be aware what’s going on. It will be much easier to have an open dialogue if you know.

5. Be a Good Role Model

Make sure you are modeling good online behavior. Follow the rules you set for your kids. Be aware that even teenagers are watching what you do. Be respectful. Don’t post something about your teen that would make them uncomfortable. Ask their permission before posting. This may encourage them to be discerning in their own posts. Follow your own rules about devices at dinner or bedtime. It’s much easier to enforce when everyone follows the same rules.

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These Teen Internet Safety Tips are brought to you by the ASUS MeMO Pad™ 7 LTE. This is a fabulous, affordable tablet for teens and college bound students. The ultra-light design is perfect for already loaded down kids. Tuck it into their backpack without too much additional weight or bulk. 

I know many schools here in Texas and across the country are adopting “Bring Your Own Device.” This is the perfect time to make the switch and get your kids an affordable tablet that has all the capabilities they need for school, like up to 10.5 battery life, scratch-resistant glass, and 16GB internal storage with up to 64GB MicroSD Card support. Plus, it’s super affordable at just $168, so while you will probably cringe if they lose the tablet it’s not as bad as losing one of the much higher-priced alternatives.

Your kids will love the ASUS MeMO Pad too thanks to the vivid sound quality, true color display, dual cameras, fast processor and other best-in-class features that make it perfect for entertainment. Another reason to love the ASUS MeMO Pad is the data capability. The AT&T 4G LTE Network provides speed and reliability. Plus with cost-effective, pre-paid data plans exclusively from Walmart, you can better manage teen data use and keep things on budget. But don’t take my word for it, check out this video to see it in action:

We have an ASUS MeMO Pad™. I thought about giving it to the boys but then my husband decided it was going to be his. He was ready to make the switch to a flash-based device that he can use for work and home. This tablet was perfect for him because it’s lightweight, easy to use and he can run all the programs he needs on it when out in the field.

I love it because if we do decide to let the kids use it, I can add additional user profiles and introduce limitations to keep the kids safe online. Within the settings, you can add restricted profiles which limits access to apps and content or add full account users that can have their own apps and content. It’s super simple to set up!

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ASUS MeMO Pad™ 7 LTE Specs:

  • Android™ 4.4 KitKat
  • 7″ LED Backlight Touchscreen LCD Panel WXGA (1280×800) Screen
  • 10.5 hours of battery life for all-day computing
  • 0.66 lbs and .39″ thin 
  • 2 MP Front Camera ( 720p Video Recording )
  • 5 MP Rear Camera ( 1080p Video Recording )
  • Micro-SD slot with support for up to 64GB extra storage
  • Intel® Atom™ Z3530 Quad-Core, up to 1.3 GHz

The kind folks at ASUS have generously provided an ASUS MeMO Pad™ 7 LTE for one lucky Simply Shellie reader. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win. If you are seeing this in a feed reader or via email, you may need to click here to see the entry form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Abbreviated Rules: NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND NECESSARY, A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. The Giveaway starts on 8.24.15 and ends on 8.31.15. Open only to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C. and 18 years or older as of time of entry. Residents of P.R. are ineligible. Void in P.R. and where prohibited.

This post and giveaway are sponsored by ASUS and Walmart. All opinions are mine.

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Sep 092014Jingit Dr Pepper Tailgating Promotion + Giveaway!

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Aren’t you just loving that college football is back!? We have spent the last two weekends watching games and I wonder how I have survived the past 10 months! Even better than watching games on TV is tailgating. We go on occasion to the football games here in town and I think tailgating is an even bigger event than the actual game!

If you are trying to save big on everything for your tailgate party, be sure to check out the Jingit App. Remember, I told you about Jingit last week? It’s a cash back and rebate app that is simple to download and use.  The store-based savings allow stacking since store cards, sales, and coupons can all be used before Jingit. To take advantage:

  1. Download the Jingit App
  2. Reserve a deal by tapping on the screen
  3. Shop for the item(s) within 24 hours
  4. Scan the receipt
  5. Get paid!

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Right now there is a fun Jingit Dr. Pepper Tailgating Promotion at Target. Through Septemeber 27 when you purchase 3 participating Dr. Pepper products at a participating Target store, you will receive a cozy stadium blanket for free, while supplies last.

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You can never have too many blankets and getting one for free is an added perk. I know here in Texas people LOVE their Dr. Pepper. Since you’re buying it anyway, you may as well take advantage of the Jingit offer and get a free blanket!

I got a blanket the other day and it will be perfect for tailgating and those colder high school football games. Of course, since it’s still sweltering in Texas, I’ll just be using it to snuggle up on the couch until November or so. :)

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As long as you are checking out the Jingit App. Don’t miss other offers that are perfect for tailgating. I spotted cash back offers for charcoal, portable chairs, ground beef and even Coleman coolers! Download the app and see what offers you have available!

Another reason to give Jingit a try? They are giving away a $500 Target gift card to one lucky winner! Why can’t it be you? Download the Jingit App today and enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Jingit.Tracking Pixel

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Mar 282014GIVEAWAY: $50 Gift Certificate to NeedTo

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Let’s face it ladies. Life as a mom is hectic. You have to cook, clean, shop for groceries, shuttle little ones to all their activities, check homework, meet with teachers, plan birthdays, do laundry and pack lunches. I don’t know about you but even with just two kids I find I often need to be in two places at once which means running back and forth and having to skip grocery shopping or laundry. Then add in the extra busyness with holidays or Spring Break and it reaches a whole new level of crazy.

This is why I was so excited to hear about a new service here in Austin, Texas called NeedTo.com. It provides a way for busy moms and dads to get help with just about anything. Gotta to run a kid to soccer and need someone to walk the dog? NeedTo.com. Your spouse has been coaching little league games every Saturday for the past 6 weeks and your yard looks like the Amazon? NeedTo.com. You bought a new dishwasher but can’t stomach the installation charge? NeedTo.com. Your house looks like a tornado went through it and you are expecting company in a few hours? NeedTo.com. It’s all at the click of a mouse.

NeedTo is a new social helping platform that connects helpers with people who want work completed. Posting jobs is free on NeedTo.com. People can choose helpers based on qualifications, reviews and ratings from other people, offer a price – or a combination of these elements. Employers only pay when the task is completed. Here’s a brief video about all NeedTo has to offer.

I listed all the ways it can help busy parents but NeedTo.com works for more than household chores. Its a temp agency without the paperwork and lets employers decide on staffing each day. Hire extra hands for production or to meet a shipping deadline. Or use the service yourself to find a job. You can help tutor students, mow lawns, patch drywall, pickup BBQ. It’s a great way to find some odd jobs to earn extra cash.

COUPON CODE: Wanna give NeedTo a try? Get $10 off your first job with coupon code SHELLIE10 at checkout. This will give you a great opportunity to check something off your To Do List without breaking the bank. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t think about NeedTo last month. I would have gladly paid someone to camp out at 5am for preschool registration for me!

GIVEAWAY: In addition to the $10 off Coupon Code, NeedTo is generously offering one lucky local SavingWithShellie reader a $50 coupon for their first job! Have your windows washed. Have someone clean your rain gutters or put together some furniture. I can think of any number of tasks my husband and I would gladly have done for us!

Wanna win? Just click the image below to enter.

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Don’t live in Austin? Stay tuned! NeedTo plans to ramp up Nationwide in 2014.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me for NeedTo. All opinions are my own and are not edited or approved by NeedTo. This Giveaway will end at 11:59pm CT on Thursday, 4/3/14. The winner will be selected at random.

Mar 252014FREE Fire Safety Videos + $50 Amazon Giveaway!

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How old is the battery in your smoke detector? Daylight Savings Time is the perfect opportunity to replace your batteries. These should be replaced at least once a year so it’s easy to remember if you just replace them when you switch your clocks. In case you forgot two weeks ago, it’s not too late!

Just grab a 9-volt battery and and swap it out this weekend. While you are up on the ladder, inquiring minds might want to know exactly what you are doing up there. I know my boys are curious about any kind of home maintenance. Anything that involves tools or taking things apart beg the endless “Why?” questions.

This is a great time to help teach your kids about Fire Safety too! The National Fire Protection Association recently introduced some really cute Fire Safety videos. They rounded up some of the hottest kids’ bands, Recess Monkey and SteveSongs, to teach kids fire-safety through great beats and original moves.

The first video is Little Rosalie. Kids in Pre-k through 1st Grade can sing and dance along with SteveSongs as Rosalie and her little brother learn the four key steps to follow when you hear the sound of a smoke alarm. It’s really cute. My boys were mesmerized by it. They watched it probably a dozen times. We are a little under the target ages but they loved seeing Sparky the fire dog and the Firetrucks.

The second video is What’s That Sound? Best for kids in Grade 2 and 3, Recess Monkey and their gang of pals brave Sparky’s flying smoke alarm and learn what it takes to stay fire safe. This song is really catchy and fun for kids and the characters are funny. I think the older kids will really get a kick out of these!

So what’s even more fun than cute, educational YouTube videos? How about a giveaway!? I teamed up with NFPA to bring you a $50 Amazon Gift Card giveaway. You buy a bunch of new smoke alarms and batteries with that! Or grab something fun just for you. :) Wanna win?

There are two ways to enter. Do one or both for extra entries. You choose.

1. Watch the videos and Leave a Comment to let me know which was your favorite and why.

2. Head over to the SavingWithShellie Facebook page. Share the Little Rosalie video or the What’s That Sound video on your own page. Then leave a comment on the Facebook post letting me know you shared it.

I’ll compile all the comments from here and Facebook and choose a winner of the $50 Amazon Gift Card on Friday 3/28. The winner will be contacted via email. Good Luck!

Jan 102014GIVEAWAY: Sonic Salsa Verde Breakfast Burrito & Gift Card

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Sonic Drive-in is one of my favorite places to have breakfast either on the go or just because. It’s hard to find a good breakfast on the go. I am never disappointed when hitting up the Sonic. It’s so easy and convenient plus the service is always great.

Right now they have this awesome Salsa Verde Breakfast Burrito with crisp bacon, bold salsa verde, fluffy eggs, fresh onions, melted cheddar cheese and Sonic’s signature Tots, all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. Sounds amazing right? I am in love!  The verde part is named for its green color. Salsa verde is a tangy combination of fire-roasted tomatillos, onions, jalapeños and roasted garlic, lending a slight heat and deep roasted flavor.

As if that wasn’t enough, Sonic also has a Salsa Verde Breakfast Toaster made with the same ooey gooey goodness, but placed between two thick slices of Texas Toast. Something amazing for everyone. Both the toaster and the burrito are finished off with Wholly™ Avocado – all-natural, 100% Hass avocado brought to you by the makers of Wholly Guacamole® brand, America’s number one selling guacamole. There is also some slight heat and deep roasted flavor to these breakfast favorites which is another reason I like them. If you don’t love every ingredient of this yummy duo, feel free to customize them to your likings. Easy enough!

If you are interested in trying these two new delicious items from Sonic you just might be in luck! We are giving an awesome prize pack away and you can try both of them for FREE!

GIVEAWAY: (1) Saving with Shellie reader will win a Sonic prize package with a $20 Sonic Gift Card, a Sonic backpack filled with Sonic goodies, five coupons for a FREE Wholly Guacamole® brand product!

The old giveaway format was messing up the email newsletter. So we are now doing a simple form for giveaway submissions instead of the usual comments on this post. To enter, just click the SWS logo image below.

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This giveaway will end Tuesday 1/14 at 11:59pm CT.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me for Sonic. All opinions are my own and are not edited or approved by Sonic. This Giveaway will end at 11:59pm CT on Tuesday, 1/14/14. The winner will be selected at random.