(BPT) - When it comes to parenting, there are as many styles as there are stars in the sky. It doesn't matter if you're a known helicopter parent or you prefer detachment parenting methods, there's one thing everyone can agree on: You want to parent with compassion and confidence.
Every mom knows that managing a family can be a full-time job. Throw in your career and a social life and you might find yourself asking: how do some parents make it look so easy? There's no magic formula, but there are a few strategies that these 'Total Boss Moms' implement to manage those hectic days. Take it from an expert:
"Being a total boss mom means juggling a chaotic schedule with ease - like a boss," says Tamera Mowry, actress and host of 'The Real' talk show. "When I'm running a mile a minute, I rely heavily on my smartphone to help me manage my days."
Here are five tips for parenting like a total boss that will help you stay organized, cut wasted time and save money:
Prep early and often
Packing lunches, organizing backpacks, prepping dinner - staying on top of all the day's to-do's can be overwhelming. The best way to reduce stress and stay organized is to do as much as you can early. That means use Sunday night to chop vegetables for the week's lunches and dinners. Pack backpacks and pick out clothes the night before. Finally, parents who get up before their kids have a few moments of silence to shower, read the paper and get a cup of coffee down before the little ones wake.
Stay connected to stay in charge
Being connected is essential to being a boss. Fortunately, that doesn't require an expensive mobile plan. Starting at $35 a month, Total Wireless offers unlimited talk and text plus 5GB of 4G LTEâ€ data with no contracts or hidden fees. Plus, with nationwide coverage on America's largest and most dependable network, you have confidence you're always connected. Learn more at www.totalwireless.com.
Stay organized with a central calendar
When parents and kids all have different obligations, it means schedules can get chaotic. Set up a shared electronic calendar that both you and your partner can access to see what the day holds. If possible, use color coding and other sorting tools to designate items for each family member. Then set alarms and always make sure you can access this calendar on your smartphone throughout the day.
Use group texts to save time
Save time and stay up-to-date by using group texts to communicate quickly with multiple people. "I have a group text with the girls from 'The Real,'" Mowry says. "A busy mom doesn't have a lot of time, so being able to streamline those conversations about work and personal life is a real time-saver. This way everyone is on the same page and we can plan things outside of work easily, too."
Stay healthy with the help of your smartphone
It can be easy to overlook your own needs between everything you manage, but they're just as important. "I use the fitness apps all the time. As a busy mom, I need to make sure I'm staying healthy," says Mowry. "I can keep track of the calories I'm burning on my phone. I can also make sure all the food items I'm buying at the store are healthy for my family."
(BPT) - Your Facebook profile is a representation of you on the Web. It's where you connect with friends, learn the latest news and find the best reviews of the restaurants and products you enjoy every day. You use your Facebook profile all the time, so you want to make sure the information you display on Facebook remains as safe and secure as possible.
Facebook works 24/7 to protect people's accounts, but there are also simple things you can do to take more control of your security. Here are three easy options:
1. Take a security checkup.
Security Checkup is the quickest and easiest way to add extra layers of protection to your Facebook account. With three simple steps you can:
* Control where you're logged in. This makes it easy to log out of devices you haven't used in a while or may have forgotten about, meaning you'll only be logged into Facebook on devices and browsers you approve.
* Turn on Login Alerts. When this feature is activated, you'll receive a notification or email alert whenever someone tries to log into your account from a new device or browser.
* Review your password security. Only use strong and unique passwords. You should never use your Facebook password anywhere else online and never share it with anyone.
You can start your Security Checkup any time by searching for "security checkup" in the Facebook Help Center, or by typing facebook.com/securitycheckup into your browser.
2. Turn on login approvals.
If you're only going to make one change to improve the security of your account, this is it. Otherwise known as two-factor authentication (2FA), login approvals provide an extra security step whenever you log in from a new device. You will get a special code on your phone that you use along with your password to complete the login process.
To turn on login approvals, all you have to do is go to "Settings" in the Facebook app on your phone or in your browser. Once you've done this, select "Security Settings" and check the box next to "Login Approvals." If you don't have login approvals turned on already, you should do it as soon as possible.
3. Use your Facebook login with third-party apps.
Your Facebook login allows you to quickly and safely log into many third-party apps using your Facebook account. Maintaining a login system is hard, and by using your Facebook account, you don't need to trust your login to every app you sign into. They never get to see your Facebook password. As an added bonus, using Facebook Login means you don't need to create and remember lots of new passwords.
You can also control what information you share with these apps by clicking "Edit the Info You Provide." And best of all, you choose whether to let the app post on your behalf.
To sign into an app with Facebook, simply click on the Facebook button on the app's sign-in page.
Improve your Facebook security today
In addition to the steps above, you can also visit the Facebook Safety Center, which provides additional tools to help control your experience on Facebook, as well as numerous tips and resources for safe and secure sharing. It also gives you access to the Bullying Prevention Hub, a resource for teens, parents and educators seeking guidance on how to prevent and address bullying on the Internet.
Your home comes with locks on the doors. Your car comes with an alarm. Your cell phone comes with a passcode. Yet every day you take additional steps to protect these possessions and the valuable information they hold. Why not do the same for your Facebook account? With just a few simple clicks, you can give your account a tune-up and more safely connect and share on Facebook with the people you care about.
(BPT) - It seems more and more of us are "cutting the cord" these days, moving away from hard-wired connections to cable TV, internet service and more. The freedom to go wireless offers options that we couldn't have imagined just five or 10 years ago - you can stream movies on your phone while sitting in the backyard, or do a Google search as you wait in line at the grocery store.
The last bastion of hard-wired service, the good old home telephone, is undergoing this transformation as well. Cellular providers now offer devices that let you turn your traditional home phone into a line on your cellular account. You keep your home phone number, and even continue using your existing home telephone. But you're no longer required to stay tethered to phone jacks - nor do you have to keep your home phone at home.
Small device, simple setup
Wireless home phone service is offered under various names - usually Wireless Home Phone or Home Phone Connect. It allows a regular wired telephone to connect to cellular networks as if it were a mobile phone.
Connections are made via a small device you can place almost anywhere in your home. It's about the size of a wireless router, and contains the necessary electronics to provide voice-only telephone service to your phone from one or two jacks on the back of the unit. It also has a small radio antenna and a transceiver for the wireless side of the connection.
The only plug-ins required are your phone (or its charging base) into one of the rear jacks, and a power cord. Most wireless home phone devices also include LED indicator lights on the front to show signal strength and indicate waiting voicemail messages.
Savings on landline, long distance
If you already have cellphone service, you can add wireless home phone to your account for the cost of purchasing the device (expect to pay around $50), plus the cost of adding a secondary line for the service, which can be as little as $10 per month.
With most carriers, you'll simply share the airtime minutes on your existing monthly cellular plan with your home phone line. Nationwide coverage is also a feature of most cellular calling plans, so in addition to your redundant landline service, you eliminate the need for a long distance carrier. There are even special rates just for seniors: for instance, Consumer Cellular, which specializes in service to users over 50 years of age, offers no-contract, post-paid plans at discounted rates to AARP members.
If you don't currently have cellular service, you can still convert your landline to mobile simply by ordering a wireless home phone device, then signing up for a monthly service plan that covers the number of minutes you're likely to use each month.
Never miss a call - anywhere you go
Wireless home phone service redefines the meaning of "home." The device is completely portable, so your service is, too; you can make and receive calls anywhere you have access to a cellular signal and an electrical outlet. Set it up anywhere you want in your home - you're no longer restricted to locations near a wall jack.
Perhaps more significantly, you can take it with you to a second home, a hotel or even a campsite and still receive calls made to your home telephone number, if cellular reception and a power source are available. It also works well with home phones that have additional handsets. By connecting the wireless home phone device to the base of your primary cordless phone, it becomes accessible to your other cordless extensions, giving you even more calling flexibility.
Making the cut
Like any cord cutting measure, wireless home phone service isn't necessarily for everybody. Your telephone service becomes completely dependent on a cellular signal - if, for instance, the nearest cell tower experiences an outage, you'll be unable to make anything except emergency calls. There's also no data signal on the line, so wireless home phone devices can't be used with medical monitoring devices or fax machines.
But if you've been seeking a way to cut the costs of your landline service while also keeping your longtime home telephone number, it offers a practical and affordable solution. You save on monthly service, eliminate long distance charges, and the portability offers true modern luxury, especially for "snowbirds" or retirees who travel frequently. It's a nice way to make yourself feel at home - wherever you go!
Today, smartphone users are discovering that new technology and sophisticated apps make it unbelievably easy to manage virtually every aspect of life. There are dozens of apps and innovative technologies, such as these, that improve quality of life by helping individuals save money, stay comfortable and feel secure.
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