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Christmas Gift Ideas: Stocking Stuffers for the Family

Finding fun stocking stuffers can be tricky!  Gabrielle, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad, has put together a list of some great stocking stuffers that are sure to be a hit!

stocking stuffers

Christmas Gift Ideas: Stocking Stuffers for the Family

Stocking stuffers often get a bad rap. They are usually the last things to be opened after we’ve unwrapped all the big colorful boxes, and tossed aside all the carefully tied bows… But good things can come in small packages.  Here are few Christmas gifts that can fit inside the “stockings hung by the chimney with care.”

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids 

School supplies– pencils, pens, erasers and crayons make great stocking stuffers.  Kids have often lost or destroyed many of the items you purchased for back to school.

Virtual pets–If your kids are begging for a pet for Christmas, but you’re not ready to commit, this is a great way to buy yourself some time.  Have your kid take care of the virtual pet for a few months to show that he is responsible enough to handle pet ownership.  I know my children would either lose the pet, or at least lose interest after just a couple of months.  If your kids are more responsible, use that time period to save up cash to buy an actual puppy.

Cold Weather Gear– Socks, gloves and mittens work as stocking stuffers for kids (and adults) of all ages.  This is the perfect time to stock up, as many of them will be going on clearance soon to make room for Spring clothing.

Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers 

Christmas shopping for toddlers can be tricky.  Many toys are too dangerous or delicate for their tiny hands.  Stuffed toys are often good for little bitty hands. Also, DVD/BluRay Disc featuring their favorite characters would be a hit.  Board books also make great stocking stuffers for kids.  Cute little hair accessories might work for girls, and toddler safe toy cars might be a good idea for little boys.

Stocking Stuffers for Teenagers 

If you have teenagers to shop for, you can make their Christmas wishes come true by stuffing their stockings with gift cards to their favorite stores, or even better, cash.  Teenagers also would appreciate more technologically advanced stocking stuffers, like earbuds/headphones, USB Drives, or wireless chargers

Affordable Stuffer Ideas 

Some of the best Christmas gifts can be bought at your local discount store.  Spend a dollar or two on favorite boxes of candy, toys, and kitchen gadgets.  Cruise the aisles of your local dollar store and stock up.

D.I.Y Christmas Gifts for Your Christmas Stocking 

Finally, there is nothing as sweet as a homemade gift.  Your homemade triple chocolate brownies taste better than anything you could buy at the store.  Scarves and slipper socks are warmer when they are knitted or crocheted with love.  Be creative.  Give from your heart, and the work of your own hands.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


Holiday Giving 2017: Help International Military Families

The holidays are a great time to do good things for others and, when it comes to supporting military families, there are lots of options to support our troops. Ruth, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her experience in helping International military families today on the blog. Take a look…

military families

Holiday Giving 2017: Help International Military Families

Living close to a military base, I have been exposed to a lot of different cultures, religions, and traditions. I have made military friends from all over the world, sponsored officers from a variety of countries, and shared my holidays with them. In turn we learn a little bit about them too! For the last several years our family has participated in the International Military Sponsorship Program. It is a program designed to give foreign officers some companions to make their year at Fort Leavenworth a little bit easier. Each officer involved in the program is provided with a Kansas City Area Sponsor, a Leavenworth Area Sponsor and a Fort Leavenworth Sponsor.

What does the program entail?

As a sponsor, your role is to help them get acquainted with your sponsor area, socialize with them and assist them with important services and needs if they have not set it up already. They may need assistance setting up a bank account, obtaining a cell phone, obtaining furniture for housing, getting a car, choosing a school for their child and so on. Other services you can provide to them can include introducing them to area events, fun activities, joining them at military social engagements, sharing holidays and traditions and helping them to make new contacts.

Each officer that comes to Fort Leavenworth arrives with a new class of officers in the spring or summer semester to attend twelve-month training program at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Many officers have their families join them for their time here. The sponsorship webpage states that “Sponsorship” does not involve financial support, but does include the commitment to develop and nurture a personal relationship with officers and their families. Simply put, sponsorship is spending time with officers as their time allows and extending hospitality to their families.

What’s in it for you?

I have found sponsorship to be very rewarding and I have made many life-long friends over the last several years. My own kids have gained new friendships and though each family is only here for a year we always have a great time getting to know each new family. As a sponsor you have the opportunity to make a request for countries that you are interested in sponsoring. There are 120 countries to choose from and some are more popular than others. Our family has sponsored those from Bulgaria, Morocco, Pakistan, Ukraine, Mexico to name a few.  If you are not particular, those from the Middle East sometimes have a more difficult time getting sponsorship due to the stigma associated with them. I encourage you to help sponsor this coming Spring or Summer. Be sure to get your application in early if you have a preference for a particular country. Applications and requests are first come, first serve.

How can you get involved?

Go online to learn more information on becoming an International Sponsor. Becoming a member of the Greater Kansas City People to People Program is free and only takes a bit of your time to get started. Once you have become a sponsor and assigned to an officer or a few if you choose, then you will have an orientation meeting to discuss your responsibilities based upon your role and during the year there are a few events that you can attend with your officer. It is a great program!

From iFamily to Yours,


Your Guide to Holiday Lights in Kansas City: 2017 Edition!

Happy December, Kansas City! If you’re in the market for family fun for the holidays, we’ve got your yearly round-up for fun holiday lights and winter activities right here on the blog. Whether you’re looking for fantastic family photo opportunities around Kansas City or you’re looking to pop the family in the car and drive around to take in KC area light displays, you can find details here. This guide is broken up into different sections, so no matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Take a look…

Here’s how the guide is made:

Our team here at iFamilyKC has been working hard to bring you all the details on the beautiful Christmas lights in Kansas City that your family can enjoy. We’re crowdsourcing (and we need YOUR HELP!) to find the best and the brightest displays around town. Keep in mind that we can’t drive around to each and every location to verify that the lights are on this season, if someone sends us a spot to add to the list, we’ll do it and what some people find worth the drive, others might not so please understand this as you head out this season.

**Spots with a double asterisk are verified locations meaning that either an iFamilyKC team member or friend of an iFamilyKC team member has seen the lights with their own eyes this year.

Spots with no asterisk have not been verified this year but have previously had displays. If you’ve been to one of these spots, let us know so we can keep this post updated!

Do you know of a great spot in the KC area that we can add to this list?! Drop us a comment and let us know so we can add it in! 

light displays around kansas city

 

Where to see Christmas Lights around Kansas City {2017 Edition}

Christmas Lights Driving Map with 60 Christmas Light locations and growing:

Holiday Trees

#1 **Legends Christmas Tree:

When: Now thru Christmas

Where: 1843 Village West Parkway, KCK

legends Outlets near the Kansas Motor Speedway and Sporting Kansas City offers a fabulous 45-foot tree that features lights synchronized to holiday music. It’s the perfect backdrop for a fun photo by the tree!

#2 **Lee’s Summit Magic Tree

When: Daily 5:00pm-1:00am now thru Christmas

Where: i470 and View High Dr.

The Lee’s Summit Magic Tree is the ideal complement to your visit through the park and makes for wonderful photo opportunities for the family. Lit with glowing lights in an assortment of colors, the tree is a fun way to celebrate the holidays. Donations collected during the season go to support local families in need.

#3 Deanna Rose Ultimate Holiday Tree

When: Daily 5:00pm-10:00pm now thru January 5th

Where: Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park

Animation, effects, and fun holiday messages are all in store for you when you visit The Ultimate Holiday Tree at Deanna Rose this year. This flat panel “tree” is a 30-minute light display that your whole family will enjoy.

#4 **Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center

When: Now thru Christmas

Where: 2450 Grand Blvd KCMO

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center is a beautiful sight to see. Standing at nearly 100 feet tall, the tree is the perfect spot to grab pictures for the holiday season. And – bonus – your kiddos are going to LOVE the sweet wooden playground at the base!

Drive Around Light Displays

#5 **Plaza Lights

When: Now thru the Middle of January

Where:  Country Club Plaza

Songs have been written about the beauty of the holiday lights at Country Club Plaza and now it’s time o see them for yourself. Drive through and see them now through the middle of January and be sure to stop and shop or eat while you’re there.

#6 Zona Rosa

When: Throughout the holidays

Where: i29 & Barry Road

Now through Christmas, you can see the lights at Zona Rosa while you shop and dine in the outdoor shopping mall.

#7 Liberty Lights

When: Now through January 1st

Where: 1600 N. 291 in Liberty

Enjoy the free light display with synchronized music from Pleasant Valley Church.

 #8 Stagecoach Park

When: Daily 5:30-10:00pm (Friday-Sunday they’re open an extra HOUR!)

Where: 1205 E Kansas City Road in Olathe

Drive through an animated light show at Stagecoach Park in Olathe.

#9 **Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake Park

When: Daily 5:30-10pm (Open late, until 11pm, Friday & Saturday)

Where: i470 & View High Drive

Christmas in the Park is one of the most anticipated holiday lights displays in Kansas City each year. Your family can drive through the park and take in the beautiful light show this year.

#10 Vince & Associates Lights

When: Now thru Christmas

Where: 101st & Metcalf in Overland Park

Don’t miss the Vince & Associates annual lights display. They put on a fantastic display of animated lights which are set to fun holiday music.

Walk Around Light Displays in KC

 #11 **Winterfest at World’s of Fun

When: Now through December 30th

Where: World’s of Fun

Live shows, sparkling lights, tons of activities are all in store for you at Worlds of Fun this year for Winterfest. You have GOT to check out all that’s in store for you this year!

 #11 Festival of Lights

When: Weekends through January 7th

Where: Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens combines fantastic lights with beautiful botanical themes to create a fun Christmas festival of lights.

#12 **Holiday Luminary Walk

When: December 9th & 10th

Where: Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

With over 2 miles of candlelit paths and light displays, your family is going to love the Holiday Luminary Walk at the Overland Park Arboretum this year. Plus, you can enjoy special music, wagon rides, and a visit with Santa at the Depot.

#13 Winter Solstice Hike

When: December 13th 5-6:30pm

Where: George Owens Nature Park in Independence, MO

Enjoy a hike down a beautiful woodland path lit by torches at the Winter Solstice celebration. Bring your cameras for photo shoots by the ice sleigh and enjoy the winter evening.

#14 Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park

When: Now through January 8th

Where: 14907 W 87th St. Pkwy, Lenexa

Lenexa’s Sar-Ko-Par park offers a dazzling lights display each season with fun lights around the Rose Pond.

Neighborhood Light Displays:

Johnson County:

Overland Park- 

  • 13800 Switzer Road, Overland Park, KS 66221
  • 11308 Mackey Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66210
  • 8911 W 131st Place, Overland Park, Kansas 66213
  • 11619 Lucille street, Overland Park, Kansas 66210
  • 8500 West 129th Terrace, Overland Park, Kansas 66213
  • 12253 W 105th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66215
  • 7515 Hemlock Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66203
  • 9508 West 117th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66212
  • 9606 West 117th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66212
  • 13812 Bradshaw, Overland Park, Kansas 66221
  • 7716 West 98th Terrace, Overland Park, Kansas 66212
  • 9319 Goddard Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66214
  • 9622 West 117th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66212
  • 7608 West 115th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66210

Shawnee-

  • 21324 West 58th Street, Shawnee, Kansas 66218
  • 6321 Millbrook Avenue, Shawnee, Kansas 66218
  • 6800 Maurer Road, Shawnee, Kansas 66217
  • 12612 West 70th Terrace, Shawnee, Kansas 66216
  • 13089 W 70th Terrace, Shawnee, Kansas 66216

Leawood-

  • 13020 Ash Street, Leawood, Kansas 66209
  • 2801 West 127th Street, Leawood, Kansas 66209
  • 9717 Lee Boulevard, Leawood, Kansas 66206
  • 13201 Granada Drive, Leawood, Kansas 66209

Lenexa-

  • 9025 Alden Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66220
  • 8358 Oakview Circle, Lenexa, Kansas 66215
  • 14907 West 87th Street Pkwy, Lenexa, Kansas 66215
  • 10150 Walker Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66220
  • 8007 West Haskins Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66215
  • 13916 W 110th Terrace, Lenexa, Kansas 66215

KCK-

  • 2309 South 49th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66106
  • 2303 South 48th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66106
  • 5806 Quiver Road, Shawnee, KS 66216

Gardner-

  • 215 North Center, Gardner, Kansas 66030
  • 6007 East Richard’s Drive, Shawnee, Kansas 66216
  • 5536 County Line Rd, Kansas City, Kansas 66106

Merriam-

  • 9900 Johnson Drive, Merriam, Kansas 66203

Prairie Village-

  • 7900 Outlook Lane, Prairie Village, Kansas 66208

Olathe-

  • 15904 West 152nd Place, Olathe, Kansas 66062
  • 1533 West Dartmouth Street, Olathe, Kansas 66061
  • 16617 Indian Creek Parkway, Olathe, Kansas 66062
  • West of Mur-Len at 162nd Street Olathe, KS 66062
  • 1549 West Dartmouth Street, Olathe, Kansas 66061

Jackson County:

Blue Springs-

  • **S Bradford Ln, Blue Springs, MO 64015

Independence-

  • **Hiram Young Park, Independence MO 64050
  • **3510 S. Crysler Avenue Independence MO

Platte County:

Clay County:

  • **N Bellaire Ave & NE Gunn Ave, Kansas City, MO 64119

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, get out and enjoy the beautiful Christmas scenery!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Winter Break is nearly here and our iFamily Squad has got some fun things planned!  Take a look at this great holiday fun guide from Erin!…

winter break

Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Before we know it, the kids will be home from school for 10+ days!  If you’re like me, you are already trying to figure out what to do during winter break and planning fun stuff to do when bored at home!  Here’s a list of 10 fun things to do at home to beat the winter blues!  What’s on your winter bucket list?  Be sure to let us know in the comments what winter break activities your family has planned!

#1 Pajama & Movie Party

Put on your coziest pair of pjs, pop some popcorn, and watch family Christmas movies! We’ve got your holiday movie guide, broken down by age group, ready to go for you so be sure to check that out as you plan to watch your favorite family Christmas movies this season.

#2 Bake cookies!

Before Christmas, I love to get my kids together and bake cut out sugar cookies and decorate them!  They never turn out “magazine perfect” but my kids LOVE doing it and they are perfect in my eyes!  Here’s the recipe I use to our Christmas cut out cookies:

  • 1cup butter softened
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1large egg
  • 1/2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2tablespoons orange juice
  • 1tablespoon vanilla
  • 1teaspoon baking powder

Combine 1 cup butter, sugar, and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until well mixed. Divide dough into thirds; wrap in each plastic food wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

#3 Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

I hear we are supposed to get around 2 feet of total snow in KC this year! If the forecast rings true, it sounds like we’ll have plenty of opportunity to get out and play in the snow! Sledding, snowboarding, snowball fights, and snowman building are all things I’m going to add to our winter to do list!  Snow ice cream, anyone?  Check out this simple recipe for snow ice cream:

10-12 cups of snow

1 tsp of vanilla extract

10 oz of condensed milk

Mix together and enjoy!

#4 Host a Classic Board Game Night

Invite some friends over and bring out the classic family board games and compete against each other! Our Squad loves to host game nights at home and we’ve got your guide for fun games the whole family can enjoy. Let us know what your favorites are!

#5 Start a Book Series

Start a new book series to read aloud with your kids! Choose a series above their reading level to challenge them a bit!

#6 Make Your Own Fun

Make slime/goop/floam! There are so many recipes out there so the possibilities are endless!  Here’s a recipe we made recently called “Frozen Silly Putty”

1 bottle of Clear School Glue (147ml)

The same amount of water (147 ml)

1/2 teaspoon of Borax

1/2 cup hot water

A few sprinkles of silver & blue glitter

A few drops of blue food coloring

#7 Make Ornaments 

Homemade ornaments are such a wonderful gift idea for parents and grandparents. We made some super cute trees out of salt dough with food coloring and dipped their fingers in shiny paint to resemble lights on the tree!  You could also do handprint salt dough ornaments.

#8 Make a Winter “I Spy”

Create your own winter themed “I Spy” sheet with clip art images that the kids can find inside or outside the house!  See who can complete their list the fastest!

#9 Declutter the House

Make room for new toys and clothes and clean out closets/rooms.  Donate unused toys and clothes to charity.

#10 Get a Head Start on 2018

Work on your “Summer Family Bucket list” and come up with a list of ideas to do when school is out for the summer!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Save BIG on Monster Jam Kansas City Tickets!

It’s time to get LOUD, KC! Are you looking for family fun in Kansas City this winter?! We’ve got the scoop! The highlighly anticipated Monster Jam Triple Threat is COMING to Sprint Center January 12th thru the 14th and you can unlock major savings using our exclusive code iFamilyKC on your ticket purchase! Details are below, take a look…

Monster Jam Kansas City

Save BIG on Monster Jam Kansas City Tickets!

$5 OFF* Each Ticket w/ the code iFamilyKC

Curious about all the fun in store for your family this year?! Check out our Monster Jam recap

Kansas City Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series

January 12-14, 2018

 Witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor using customized high-powered vehicles!

$5 OFF* WITH CODE: iFAMILYKC

With four performances to choose from, your family is going to LOVE this year’s Monster Jam Kansas City show! Come see your favorite world-class athletes compete while driving Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks. Seats fill up quickly so get tickets to Monster Jam early before they sell out!

Athletes vying to be the Monster Jam Kansas City champion:

Hometown: Lafayette, LA

Date of Birth: July 19, 1990

Started competing in Monster Jam: 2016

Hometown: Oskaloosa, Iowa

Date of Birth: July 1, 1997

Started competing in Monster Jam: 2016

Hometown: Paxton, Illinois

Date of Birth: March 2, 1996

Started Competing in Monster Jam: 2014

Hometown: Deltona, Florida

Date of Birth: September 15, 1988

Started Competing in Monster Jam: 2014

  • Monster Mutt Rottweiler driven by Jack Brown

Jack Brown is a driver who will drive Monster Mutt Rottweiler in 2018 as the teammate to Buddy Tompkins’ Megalodon.

Hometown: Daveport, Iowa

Date of Birth: February 18, 1991

Started competing in Monster Jam: 2016

Driver: Tony Ochs

Engine size:  540 CI

Transmission:  Coan 2-Speed

Tires: BKT

Hometown: Cleveland Ohio

Date of Birth: November 6, 1980

Started competing in Monster Jam: 2010

We are so excited for you to experience Monster Jam Kansas City next month! Hurry to grab your tickets before they’re gone!

*Valid on up to 6 tickets. Valid on the $20 ticket. No double discounts. Additional fees may apply.
From iFamily to Yours,
Your iFamilyKC Team


Christmas Morning Breakfast: Healthy and Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones

These healthy and gluten free cranberry orange scones are full of sweet orange flavors and tangy cranberries leaving you wanting more!  Take a look!

Christmas Morning Breakfast:

Healthy and Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones

These scrumptious scones are ready in just a quick 30 minutes!  Make them in addition to your Christmas brunch recipes or healthy brunch recipes all year long.

Ingredients: Makes 8 scones

  • 1 ½ cups (180g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp (7g) orange zest (about 1 large orange)
  • 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) honey
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (82g) fresh cranberries, diced
  • 2 tsp nonfat milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the orange zest. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the Greek yogurt, honey, orange juice, and vanilla. Fold in the diced cranberries with a spatula.
  3. Using a spatula, shape the dough into a ¾” tall circle on the prepared baking sheet, and brush with the milk. Slice the circle into 8 triangular segments with a sharp knife. Bake at 425°F for 18-21 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes.

Notes: Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour.

For a gluten-free version: 1 cup (120g) millet flour, ¼ cup (30g) tapioca flour, ¼ cup (30g) brown rice flour, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends will work as well, if they’re measured like this. And any milk will work in place of the nonfat milk.  Pure maple syrup or agave may be substituted in place of the honey.

Coconut oil may be substituted for the butter, but the texture of the scones may be affected. Cold butter is required to achieve the tender texture, and since coconut oil melts at a much lower temperature, the results will not be the same.

It’s important to dice the cranberries finely or use frozen and thawed cranberries to ensure that the scones bake evenly. You are sure to be left with a scrumptious breakfast treat to share with your friends and family for your Christmas morning breakfast!

Enjoy!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


10 Cool Tech Gifts for Everyone on Your List!

If you’re on the hunt for the best new tech gadgets on the market look no further!  Burton, iFamily’s resident tech expert, has put together a list of 10 cool tech gifts for everyone on your list!  Take a look…

tech gifts

10 Cool Tech Gifts for Everyone on Your List!

It happens every year.  The Holiday season creeps up and the panic of trying to find the right gift for your loved one sets in.  Cool gadgets and techy gifts are always appreciated, but with so many new devices hitting the market this time of year, it’s hard to keep up with which piece of technology will make the perfect gift.  One of the challenges I face, is finding innovative gifts that won’t become dated by the time the New Year rolls around.  I know everyone reading this wants to get cool-tech that will be enjoyed long after Christmas day is over.  Fear not. To save you some frustration, I put together a list of 10 tech gadgets I know that are hot this season and that are sure to be enjoyed for the months to come for every member of your family.

Gifts for Kids:

Amazon Fire Kids Edition

Yes, it’s another tablet and who needs one right? The great thing about the latest Amazon Kids tablet is you get a two-year worry-free guarantee.  If your kid breaks it, Amazon will replace it for free for up to two years. So, feel free to add it to your Amazon Christmas list this year!

The Nintendo Switch

Since the Switch was released in March, it’s been almost impossible to find one in stock. The best feature about the Switch is that it’s a hybrid portable home console. Which means you can play it on your HD TV at home and take it with you and enjoy games on the built-in HD display. Our boys have had one from the start and they say it’s the best console they’ve played with.

Gifts for Her:

Fitbit Flex 2 Bangle

It’s an activity tracker, but it’s also a beautiful piece of jewelry. You have all of the great features of a Fitbit, but now keep up with your daily activity in style.

Everpurse Kate Spade Small Harmony Tote

A good black tote bag that will hold a 13-inch laptop and has a charging dock for a smartphone is a cool thing for Christmas for most women. The bag will even recharge by placing it on a charging mat.

Gifts for Men:

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera

Drones are all the rage now, but the best ones are not cheap. Not everyone needs to spend thousands of dollars on a device you might end up smashing into a tree. The DJI Phantom is a great all-purpose drone and one of the best tech gifts for men.  I got one as a birthday gift this year and I can’t put it down.

Samsung UHD TV Curved Screen Smart TV

The Samsung is one of the best TVs on the Market and one of the best gifts for tech guys.  Hands Down. The Samsung Smart UHD TV is hard to beat.  Beautiful curved screen, tons of built in apps and a picture that’s hard to take your eyes away from.

Gifts for Everyone:

The Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo made the list for popular gifts for techies last year, it’s hot again this holiday season.  You can get everything from the Echo, theDot, the Spot and the Look.  All great products that will transform any standard home to a smart home.

Google Home Smart Speaker

This is Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo,it can control the same smart home accessories as Amazon’s smart speaker, in addition to members of the Google Chromecast family. The bonus with this device is you have access to Google’s data base for information.

Apple Airpods

Get rid of those messy cables with AirPods. The AirPods connect with any iPhone or iPad over Bluetooth.

Philips Hue Bulbs

Perennially popular, Philips’ Hue bulbs are many people’s first smart home accessory. Since smart homes are becoming more common, there’s a good chance these bulbs will become harder to find than usual this season.

The Google Pixel 2 Smartphone

The Pixel is Google’s response to the iPhone running the Android OS. If you don’t like the iPhone, check this out.

The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X

All three of these cool gadgets support fast charging, wireless charging, have improved internal components (especially the camera), and run iOS 11 out of the box. The iPhone X has a new design, better camera system, and a pair of front-facing cameras, which are used to unlock the phone using facial recognition.

The Amazon Fire Tablet

The Fire Tablet is the ultimate choice for casual tablet users. You can use it to read ebooks, browse the web, watch Netflix, or play light games. It’s not the most powerful or capable tablet on the market, but it’s definitely the best choice under $50.

The Sonos One Smart Speaker

The Sonos One is an updated version of the audio company’s popular PLAY: 1 speaker. It sounds better, has the intelligence of Amazon’s Alexa baked into it, the One will also work with your current Sonos system without requiring a new app or hub. Whether you’re already a Sonos fan, or want to start your collection, this is the right time and place.

Nest Smart Home Products

With the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarm and Nest Cam security camera, Nest is creating a home that’s better than smart.

Want to keep up with the latest tech tips and cyber security alerts? Subscribe to my YouTube channel ‘Burton Kelso’ There are hundreds of videos designed to help you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or business.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


Moving To Kansas City? 5 Things You Need To Know

Happy holiday season, Kansas City! When I think about the upcoming new year, I think about the opportunity it brings for new experiences. Sometimes, for a family that has recently experienced moving cross country, the turn of the calendar can mean adjusting to a new year in a new place. This guide is dedicated to you, the brand-new Kansas City family! Welcome!

Moving to Kansas City

Moving To Kansas City? 5 Things You Need To Know

A little back story about meI was born and raised in the metro area until I graduated from high school. Afterwards, I relocated to Texas and lived there for several years before experiencing cross country moving once again back to KC. I’d been gone so long that I’d forgotten everything about the city I grew up in. I couldn’t remember street names, areas I’d once known, and wasn’t able to find my local Chick-Fil-A without using GPS to help me. I honestly felt like a stranger in the town I’d spent the first 18 years of my life.

When I moved back to Kansas City with my family, I wanted to find everything that we could do together in the metro area. We had kids on the move and wanted them to experience life in their new home. So, to save you (the newcomers and even those who are coming back and trying to adjust) the time and hassle of trying to figure it all out on your own, I’ve put together a few tricks that I learned as I was finding my way back into Kansas City life.

#1 iFamilyKC 

Ok yes, I am a #MOMSQUAD ambassador so I am a little biased.  But seriously, this little magazine (website, blog, and group) have really helped my family and I get out and see what Kansas City has to offer! I never knew that so many new and fun places existed. Not to mention, moving across states can cost a lot of money so I was always looking for deals on family activities. iFamilyKC was, and is still is, the first place I look for discounted fun and cool family events.

#2 Instagram 

Instagram has become the norm for finding new and exciting things around the world. All you have to do is search a hashtag and tons of info, pictures and opinions will pop up. When we first came back, my husband and I were obsessed with finding a great taco place! We asked friends on facebook and family members that still lived in KC but they all suggested the same places. Once I took to instagram, I was able to find all those hidden gems that we were craving! I suggest looking up #kcfoodie, #kcblogger and #kclife to find a few hotspots. Plus, you can always just search #kansascity.

#3 Online Groups 

These days, it is pretty much easier to just meet new friends online. To avoid that awkward “mom dating” I joined a ton of Facebook groups (like the iFamilyKC Parents Group!) to find other families in the area. Moving to a new city, whether you know a lot of people or not can be stressful and at times disheartening. You are now living a new life with an unknown path and it can be downright lonely. Finding friends in KC is definitely a way to get you out and experiencing what KC has to offer.

 #4 Be a Tourist 

YES, YES and YES! I don’t know what it is, but everyone loves to meet “out of towners”. Don’t be shy to let people know where you are from and that you are new in town. KC natives and long timers love to tell you the inside scoop on restaurants, events and local hangouts for the family or mom and dad’s night out. Next time you are at the gas station or store, don’t be afraid to ask the person assisting you what some of their favorite things are to do. I think for the first 5 months of being back, I asked EVERYONE!

#5 The Local Library 

For a while, the kiddos and I spent almost every day at the library. They always had some type of event going on and it was great seeing them meet new kids. We met a lot of other homeschooling families through our library. They helped me adjust to the laws in Kansas City and other places that my kids would love. The library was really an unexpected source for me!

Pro-Tip: Mid-Continent Public Library has tons and tons of valuable resources for children and families. 

There you have it – Five easy tips that will help you adjust to moving to KC in no time! I really hope that these tips help you as much as they have helped me this past year. Kansas City has changed so much from the time I had left and it is still changing and growing. Being a blogger myself, I was able to really connect quickly with locals and experience a whole new side of Kansas City! All you have to do is get out there!

Want to stay ahead of the loop and know the scoop, check out our iFamilyKC Parents Group!

From iFamily to Yours,