New Features on DISH’s Hopper

Our family has been enjoying DISH for a while now, and I have to say that it’s the best television service we’ve ever had. There are SO MANY features on it, especially on the Hopper DVR, that we haven’t even used them all!

This week they’ve rolled out new software with three new features that I want to share with you.

First, Watch From the Beginning.

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This might be the best thing that’s happened to televisions since the remote control. The name pretty much says it all – you can watch a show from the beginning, even if you turned the tv on when the show was halfway over.

Game changer.

Secondly, Binge-Watching Made Easier.

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Now, I am not the binge watcher in our household, but there are a couple of them who live with me. Not naming any names, but they rhyme with Handy and Late. Hopper’s new feature will make their habits even easier, because now when they finish watching a DVR’d or on-demand episode, a pop up screen will show four subsequent episodes in the series that are available. “Just one more…”

Finally, Closed Captioning can now be turned on with the touch of a button.

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CC is generally hidden somewhere in the settings menu, making it a challenge to remember how to turn it off and on. Now, all we have to do is press the green button on our Hopper remote.

For more information on DISH and Hopper, visit them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

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#Kwilting

Managing my mess of digital pictures is a source of anxiety for me. I’ve written about it before… asked for advice and gotten great suggestions… but I’ve yet to put anything into place. I have pictures all over – multiple places in the cloud, facebook, my phone, Andy’s phone, various computers. I never know where to find the picture I’m looking for.

It’s a mess, and it stresses me out.

Enter Kwilt.

Kwilt™ Logo

Kwilt is the first mobile app to automatically create a personal and complete live digital photo stream by gathering users’ digital images from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google+, Google Drive, Dropbox, DLNA Certified® servers, iPhones and iPads. Kwilt reconnects users with their personal photos – often scattered across the web – by bringing them together in one beautifully designed hyper-fast streaming media platform.

Kwilt connects to Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google+, Google Drive, Dropbox, DLNA Certified servers, and iPhones/iPads. It streams all your pictures into one place, and puts them in a – very lovely – sequence chronologically, by location, or by theme.

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You can also make custom albums and share them on social media. You can even display them on your television using Airplay, Chromecase, Roku, LG or Panasonic. And, you can hide pictures you don’t want to show up, which is handy – I take pictures of lists and papers and things that I wouldn’t want to see in a Kwilt!

After connecting all my accounts to Kwilt and seeing my pictures pop up in a beautiful, organized display, I sent an email to the Kwilt team that said “This app is what I’ve been waiting for my entire life!”

See for yourself – download it here.

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This post was written in partnership with Kwilt and TheMotherhood.com, but, as always, opinions are my own.

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#ViaStories – Small Businesses We Love (and a $50 Visa Card giveaway!)

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Regardless of where we end up, we all come from somewhere via someone or something. Whether you’re a maker, small business owner, a blogger, or all three, The UPS Store truly believes that your story has the potential to make a positive impact on someone’s life. We see it every day in our stores: small business owners who are inspired by others like themselves, and learn that they’re not alone in their struggle.viastories.theUPSstore.com

Small businesses are the fabric of our communities – they are the backbone of our economy, and are emblematic of American individualism and entrepreneurship. Jenny and I feel strongly about supporting small businesses, and we’re excited to highlight a few of our favorites today. All of them are amazing at what they do, and beyond that, they’re genuinely good people who want to do their best for their families, communities, and customers. They inspire us!

The Chiropractic Health and Wellness Center of Dayton
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Founded in 1998 by Dr. Patrick Prikkel, The Chiropractic Health and Wellness Center of Dayton is the ideal place for those who seek compassionate, custom-tailored health care. They pride themselves on providing the finest staff and customer service, exceptional doctor-patient interaction, quality, affordable care, and individually prescribed exercise programs. They rely on a word-of-mouth marketing approach, and patients spread the word that the staff seeks to exceed expectations every step of the way. Dr. Prikkel credits his mentors with encouraging him to “do the right thing, not the easy thing,” as his business grew.

Scooter Media
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In 2012 Shannan Boyer hung up her own shingle and opened Scooter Media, a public relations and social media agency in Covington, KY. The agency serves a wide-range of small to mid-size clients, with a roster that includes Fidelity Investments, REACH USA, Vision 2015, The Carnegie, Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar, UpTech, Pinnacle Orthopaedics and Izzy’s Restaurant. In just 2.5 years the agency has expanded to a new, larger office, hired two full time employees and two contractors and has served more than 30 local, regional and national clients. Shannan credits her husband Marty with encouraging her to open her own business, and says he was very vocal in encouraging her to follow her dreams. “I’m inspired by working with clients that are making our region a better place to live, and knowing that the work I’m doing makes a difference,” she says.

Dabble Creative Studio
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Dabble Creative Studio is an art education resource for students of any age to share, play, and explore art through its history and materials. They offer camps, classes, open workshops, and private parties for kids and adults. Their mission is to have fun through creative exercise and our hope is to inspire learning, innovation, and community collaboration. Dabble Creative Studio began in 2012, when owner Angie Riner moved back to her hometown (Germantown, OH – holla!). A trained art educator, Angie quickly discovered that there were no teaching positions open for her to even apply for. “Art is a program that quickly gets cut from schools on a tight budget, so I sought out to create my own teaching position and get kids back in the art room,” she says.

My kids took part in Dabble's day camps last spring. This is the float they created for our local 4th of July parade. Kate and Sam LOVE Dabble!

My kids took part in Dabble’s day camps last spring. This is the float they created for our local 4th of July parade. Kate and Sam LOVE Dabble!

There you have it – a few of our favorite small businesses! We want to hear about your favorites as well.

Enter to win a $50 Visa Card by leaving a comment that tells your #ViaStories – how a small business has impacted your life. For extra entries, share your stories on social media using #ViaStories and leave a separate comment here telling us you did so. Comments will be closed and a winner will be chosen on November 30. Good luck, and let’s hear some #ViaStories!

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This post was sponsored by The UPS Store and TheMotherhood.com. Opinions are my own (but they are correct, and you should totally patronize all of these businesses).

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