United States of Motherhood

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Tech & Gamer Family Alert: Linksys Wireless AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router @BestBuy @linksys #ad

Woot!!  Look what the mailman brought us to test drive thank to Best Buy!!

 Awww it's a bouncing baby Linksys Wireless AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router sent for me to review from Best Buy.

Of course, I put our rather enthusiastic resident computer geek to work installing...and then PB and I were off to take senior pics in the front yard.

Sneak Preview Alert

 Less than an hour later, we came back to seamless new Internet connection.

From my guy’s notes, there were many high notes to this new router.

First up were major bonus point for super fast and east installation.  CG was impressed also with the easy customization, parental controls and guest WiFi.   My daughter will appreciate the no less than FOUR antennas that are tilt-able considering her room usually ends up in a wifi dead zone.   No bueno when it comes to data overages on her phone. The range on this baby will definitely help that.
My hands-down personal favorite though is that is has a super fast eSATA port to plug in one of my external storage hard drives plus a USB.  Hello backing up as we sleep!  No more tragic lost data stories for me!! The only improvement we could see was that it tested a razor thin 4% slower wired than our current router, but honestly that could have been a fluke. Close enough! Where is shines is it's blazing fast wireless and ability to handle all the devices our family throws at it.
So now we are off check out the map of our network! It's already working, to our late on a school night gamers' chagrin? Hahah parental blocks when we need them. Luckily, he'll forgive us with the crazy fast gaming on the week-end!!

In the meantime, here's some techy stuff for you techy people. Check it out: The WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Gigabit Wi-Fi Router is powered by Tri-Stream 160 technology, which doubles the bandwidth on all spatial streams for the fastest dual-band router on the market. It is a great fit for PC Gamers and those who need speed and performance in a router.
Get ready for the one and only WRT.
The WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Gigabit Wi-Fi Router is powered by Tri-Stream 160 technology, which doubles the bandwidth on all spatial streams for the fastest dual-band router on the market.  Gain access to restricted DFS channels at full bandwidth for the clearest Wi-Fi not available to most other routers. The WRT3200ACM also boasts:
  • 1.8 GHz CPU for high-powered performance
  • MU-MIMO technology for high-speed Wi-Fi to multiple devices at the same time, same speed. MU-MIMO gives every compatible device its own dedicated full-speed Wi-Fi connection, so that multiple devices can connect at the same time without slowing down the network.
  • Open-source ready with OpenWrt and DD-WRT® for complete flexibility and customization of functions
  • Upgraded Smart Wi-Fi app to manage and monitor your home Wi-Fi from a mobile device, anytime, anywhere
  •  256MB Flash plus 512MB of RAM Memory promotes optimal performance.
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports offers a high-speed wired network connection.

Compatible with 802.11ac

Backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n networks, so you can easily upgrade.

1 USB 2.0 / eSATA and 1 USB 3.0 ports

Allow you to connect a printer and enjoy 3G and 4G file sharing

Built-in media server

Allows you to play music and video and view photos.

Complies with a variety of standards

Including ICES-003, RSS-210, FCC and LVD.

Auto detecting and auto sensing

To simplify device connectivity.

LED indicators

Make it easy to monitor the status of your network.


Includes AES and WPA2 to keep your network secure.

Plug-and-play operation
Makes setup simple.

 reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

For The Phone Challenged: Check out AT&T's Store of the Future & the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Active smartphone

Ya'll know I am phone challenged right?  In fact, most of our family is.  I cannot tell you how many cracked screens, bricked and lost phones we have dealt with...that mostly have not been backed up.


So I was excited to be invited with CG to AT&T unveiling event for the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Active smartphone at its store of the future at Lincoln Square Mall in Bellevue on June 6th. I received hands-on demonstrations with the AT&T exclusive ruggedized, water- and shatter-resistant device before it became available to the public on June 10th and was given my very own S7 Active so I could check it out and tell y'all about it.

First let's talk about this store of the future!!

My friends, I am always default to buying the same ol' newest iteration of the phone I had before and so never really branched out. 

This store gives you just that opportunity to check out ALL the latest phones, touch them, play with them...and already I was seeing my loyalty to a certain brand may have been misplaced.

Heheh!  Creature of habit I am!

I obviously needed to branch out!

This store of the future was pretty cool!!  My friends, I am the classic default,  buy the same ol' newest iteration of the phone I had before and so never really branched out.  This store gives you just that opportunity to check out the phones, touch them, play with them...and already I was seeing my loyalty to a certain brand may have been misplaced. Heheh! 

Creature of habit I was no more!

Sooooo AT&T’s retail store at Lincoln Square Mall in Bellevue was a great location for the event. The wireless carrier’s retail store offered an immersive product experience and engaging merchandising displays that feature everything a customer needs to support their mobile lifestyle.

The design has an open, lofty and high tech atmosphere, yet feels personal and intimate with three distinct, but interconnected zones - The Connected Experience Zone, The Community Zone, and The Explore Zone. Flexible design and open layout gave us room to explore and discover.

The "Connected Experience Zone" uses "Experience Pavilions," to create immersive experiences showcasing AT&T's connected products and services. 

 At the heart of the store is the Community Zone. It includes two large "Community Tables" that encourage customers to shop, interact and play in an open, active atmosphere. They create a place for customers and reps to gather, learn and share. 

The "Explore Walls" of the Explore Zone features the entire device line up, enhanced with visual accessory presentations.  This area connects customers to brands and inspires interaction through integrated digital monitors.

Best of all?  

Customers will no longer see the traditional retail “cash-register” counters. Instead, they’ll find round café-style “learning tables” that allow for personal interactions with the AT&T retail consultant to ask questions or learn about a product or service.

Basically the exact opposite of the impersonal Big Box experience.

Now that said, what I was really there for was the phone, riiight??

Stay tuned for my detailed review, but for now, here are the important parts to know:

AT&T is bringing customers the toughest Galaxy S device for the fourth summer in a row. The water- and shatter-resistant Samsung Galaxy S7 active is available exclusively at AT&T.

Beginning on Friday, June 10, you can purchase the Galaxy S7 active at www.att.com/galaxys7active or at AT&T stores in Sandy Gold, Titanium Gray, and Camo Green.

So go check it out at the store of the future!!

Disclosure: I was invited to the AT&T unveiling and was provided a Samsung S7 .  As always, all opinion are my own and I only tell you guys about stuff I LOVE!!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

On Time Flying at Lightening Speed: PB takes her SAT today

This little girl I took to pre-school I swear just yesterday??
She is taking the SAT today.
Good luck, PB!!

You got this!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Captain America Civil War: What Team Are You On?

 “If we can’t accept limitations, we’re no better than the bad guys.”—Tony Stark

“That’s not the way I see it.”—Steve Rogers

Hey guys!!  Remember me?  It's been a while, I know. Heh.  Honestly, it takes something BIG to lure me from the comfort of Instagram back to my old blogging stomping grounds....

...and Iron Man and Captain America are BIG!

It was with great pleasure when I was invited by Disney to preview their latest blockbuster that I was able to take my Eldest -- now a college SOPHOMORE -- with me.  I earned some BIG mom cred there already.  He showed up in his Iron Man socks and his Marvel T-shirt ready to take in the glory.

And glory it was.  We were able to watch it at Seattle's  Pacific Science Center in it's huge IMAX 3D glory.  Yes, I was ducking and dodging through the whole movie. 3D is a MUST for this one and the technology must have improved because this was the most realistic 3D that I have ever experienced!

I won't spill the beans since I am a no spoiler girl, but I will just say I started #TeamIronMan and was shocked to find myself #TEAMCAPTAINAMERICA by the end.

Team Cap?  Me??  Yeah, this is what civil wars do to you.

So, my friends, go.  Go. Go.

Look deeply into those playboy Downey Jr. eyes and then betray him by wanting to hold goody-two-shoes Cap's hand.

You'll be confused I guarantee it.  Honestly though, you can't go wrong with either team.

So go!  It opens today, May 6th so what are you waiting for???

PS And don't you dare leave until the END of credits.  Yes, the very end or you'll miss TWO fun extra scenes!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Heath eXpress & The GREAT Pinkeye Epidemic of '04 #ad #HealtheXpress

Gather round, my friends.  Let me tell you a story.  Yes, a story about the RAINES GREAT PINKEYE EPIDEMIC of '04!

Yeah, I said it.

Pink Eye!

I watched a friend's kids that summer and they brought the dreaded creepy crawlies... and oh my lawd, it never left.  It bounced from my three kids to her two kids and back to my three kids ALL Summer long.

SIX weeks of non-stop PINKEYE!!

Pink!!  Oh wait, I meant PINK EYE!

Know what's not fun to do with five kids??  

Going the doctor's office.  Yep, I dreaded it.

Adding insult to injury, you know what the prognosis is, but you still needed to take each of them in to get the prescription...and oh yeah they need to touchy-touchy touch their wittle hands to EVERY germy toy in the doctor's office so we can pick up another freaking kid'demic of diarrhea or head lice and then touch you. Then back to the doctor's office.  Sicko Round Robin!!!

Ha!!  Fun times, my friends.  Fun times!!

Cute Little Vectors, Weren't They?

They got used to me saying at the pediatrician, "Touch Nothing!!" 

And we won't even whisper about the times when you could not get an appointment or the office was closed.  Arrrrrrgh!!!

So those glory days of walking up hill, both ways to get pink eye drops are over mostly over for this mom ...knock on FREAKING WOOD!!   But we still get the swimmer's ear, the eczema, and the rest.  It never ends.

However, lucky for us and you,  I  have recently come upon a crazy cool solution for those going through lice explosions, RASH-tastrophes, as well as your every day coughs, colds, and flus from our vermin...ahem I mean kiddos.

You get pink eye!  And you! And you! (cue Oprah)  EVERYBODY gets to go home with PINK EYE! 

If you live in Oregon or Washington, YOU can have a face-to-face conversation with a health care provider without ever leaving the house! Holy crap!!  Eureka!!

Health eXpress is a LIVE, on-demand virtual health care visit using secure video and audio for children (and us adults) powered by Swedish and Providence. Before you say it, NOOOO you do not even have to be a patient of Swedish or Providence to use it  and your visit can easily be shared with your primary care provider.

Bonus: If you're current patient of either network, the Health eXpress provider will be able to access your past patient information.

So why should you check Health eXpress out?


No appointment needed!  With a wait time often around  5 minutes, it's perfect for those too busy to take time off of work or have screaming kids and fires to put out...or both if you were a work from home mom like me!

With hours Monday through Friday 8 AM to 8 PM and Sat AND Sun 9am to 5pm PST??  Ummm hello!  Dreamy! Doctor's appointment on Sunday that does not include an urgent care co-pay??  I'm in!!

Health eXpress has both nurse practitioners and doctors to serve you during your virtual appointment. Diagnosis, treatment recommendation and even a prescription if needed?  BAM! Done!  All from the comfort of your couch or the playroom as toys get aimed at your head.

Yes, even when you are hiding out in the bathrooms from the creatures claiming mommy needs alone time.  I said, "Mommy NEEDS alone time."  Mommy wants to potty in PEACE...and talk to a provider about an dang UTI!

Yes, my friends, NOOOOO MORE leaving the house with a sick child or a sick mom and five kids in the rain!  Sit on your dang couch in front of the fire with a glass of wine and chat with a provider after you put the kids to bed? Double woot!


Health eXpress is super accessible on most devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops using HIPAA-compliant technology! You can even get a text message on your phone when the provider is ready to start their visit!

  • Create your FREE account. 
  • Wait as little as five minutes.  FIVE?! Yeah when was the last time you waited less than 15 minutes in a doctor's office? Nope.  Me neither! I do remember 45-60+ minute waits though..


Ready for this?  Health eXpress is affordable. A visit is only $39 and can be billed to your insurance. No more $75 urgent care for rashes on the week-end.Currently Providence Health Plan and Premera are accepted and can be billed directly at the time of visit,  but the list of insurance providers is growing.

More importantly?  If Health eXpress can’t treat your condition, you aren’t charged.

Another savings? You can even use Health eXpress if you’re traveling for business or on vacation! No need to use an out of network provider.

And for the record, this works out fabulous for those times you feel too sick, too contagious to leave the house.  Think cold, cough, flu, allergies,sinus infections,rashes, skin issues, joint pain, urinary tract infections...  you know ALL the FUN stuff!! Heh!

So what are you waiting for??  Go check out www.HealtheXpress.com BEFORE the next dreaded PINKEYE or UTI outbreak to learn more and create your account! Be ready when sick happens!


This is a sponsored post, but you know me.  I don't do anything I don't believe in.  Imma stubborn, NOT SO BASIC mom like that. Everything I write is 100 FREAKING percent my opinion. Got it?  Heh.  Good!

And hey, you're welcome!

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