Reading with U.S. Cellular

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.

Did you know that March is National Reading Month…Yahoo!!  A whole month is set aside to one of my favorite hobbies.

Many of people enjoy reading, and smartphones put books, magazines and preschool reading lessons right into their pockets.  In a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 90 percent of smartphone users said they never or rarely leave their device at home, which means they can always have a book on them.  Access to a nationwide network means customers can read best-selling novels, trending articles and the latest local news whenever and wherever they want.

This is totally me.  I take my phone everywhere but for me, I have audio books stored on mine.  I don’t listen to the car radio anymore…it’s audio books for me.

During National Reading Month, U.S. Cellular encourages smartphone and tablet users to check out the latest reading apps and dig into a library of reading material at their fingertips.

Image result for audio books images


What are some of the most popular reading apps?
Flipboard is an Apple App Store and Google Play Essential. It lets users personalize their news experience by selecting publications and topics they care about.  Barnes & Noble’s award-winning NOOK eBook app gives users access to more than 4 million books, graphic novels, comics and magazines.


What reading apps do you recommend for kids?
Apps like Homer and Hooked On Phonics use games and videos to help kids learn to read and cultivate a lifelong love of learning.  The NOOK catalog also offers up books, graphic novels and comics that young readers know and love.


What tips do you have for making the reading experience more enjoyable on a smartphone or tablet?

Adjust brightness settings so the screen isn’t too bright in a dark room, or too dim in daylight.  Take breaks to avoid eyestrain, just like reading a book.  Check settings to prevent the screen from dimming while reading.  Make sure to download any reading material before putting your device in airplane mode while traveling.

I’ve told you before for audio listening I’ve given up my MP3 player and now exclusively listen either on my phone or my tablet.  I love not having to wear headphones.  I use my phone for so many things now days.  I’d like to think that I could go back to a regular phone, but I’d miss my smart phone and all it does for me…especially the option that allows me to be a reader on the go.


Back to School with U.S. Cellular

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S6 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.  If you have a kid or grand kid with a smart phone you might want to check out this parent child agreement on cell phone use.  I think it would be very useful when opening a discussion on phone safety with your children. You can find that here.

It’s that time of year again…school is about to start.

It seems that being I don’t have children living with me at home, the school calendar shouldn’t be a big part of my life but it still is.  Our daughter Kayla is a teacher.  Our son Karl is going to be a teacher and is at college.  Our daughter Kelli and Kalissa are continuing their nursing education…all are on a school calendar year and me…I have childcare kiddos that keep me interested in the school calendar.

It seems that one of the big back to school purchases now days is a cell phone.  I’m a little naive and that wasn’t one of the first things that came to mind for me…I’m thinking shoes, back packs, school supplies and the like..but not cell phones.  But in a recent U.S. Cellular survey, respondents said the average age of children getting their own cellphone from a parent is 11, whereas five years ago this age was 14. That same survey showed that safety was the primary reason. The appropriate time varies from family to family, and parents can be challenged with how best to introduce their child to their first phone. Back in the “stone age” when our kids got phones we were a “when you have your license” you can get a phone family.

Here is something that would have been handy if it was around when our kids were younger, U.S. Cellular’s Vehicle Monitoring System.  It is a new device that can be installed in your teen’s car. Parents can use the app on their 4G LTE iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S7 or any tablet, to check a vehicle’s location on a map, as well as decipher engine codes to be aware of any mechanical issues. You’ll know where your teenager is at any time of day, and whether the car needs servicing like an oil change.

I know, as a teacher, that our daughter Kayla has struggled with cell phone use in the classroom. Phones and tablets are being used in the classroom in a variety of ways. At first she really fought with them but now she has started to embrace them.  When she was in a high school setting truly-every student had a phone.  She would often set up review quiz type activities where the kids buzzed in with answers using their phones.  It’s amazing to see all the things phones can be used for now days.  Who ever thought?

If you are a parent or grandparent and you have someone in your life getting a new phone at the start of the new school year I HIGHLY recommend and encourage that parents set up cellphone guidelines for their teen using U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child Agreement. While accessories such as Bluetooth headsets are helpful, it’s important that drivers remain focused on the road and let calls go to voicemail and texts get answered once the car is parked. I think it’s sad the often the reason parents want their children to have a phone is to keep them safe then they forget to teach phone safety.

Happy wishes to all on a bright new school year….for me the school year starts on the 23rd…back to work starts the 22nd.  It’s going to be a big week for me.



U.S. Cellular’s Big Country

Each month I team up with U.S. Cellular to share some news about the company and my cell phone.  Today is one of those days.

I am not much of a traveler.  I have been a few places…seen a few things but for me home is best.  We have friends that love to travel and get away each winter to go somewhere warm for a week.  They are always trying to convince us to go with them…but we have no desire to go.  We’re just home bodies and love home.  It’s worse than ever since we moved to the new house.  Some people say they don’t like to travel yet have never really done it.

I have been to Washington D.C. three times, to Gettysburg, to Fort Lauderdale, to San Diego and to places in the states bordering Iowa….that enough for me.  If I do travel, I don’t want to ever go to an “inclusive resort”.  I want to see a part of history or learn something.  Beach time and me just don’t mix.  Hubby and I have talked about someday going to Mount Rushmore but honestly, I think that’s all the traveling I ever want to do.

I know it’s not that way for most people though.  I know many long to travel.

Lucky for them, U.S. Cellular had a new five-part digital series, “Big Country”, that gives five U.S. Cellular customers the opportunity to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience with award-winning television personality, chef and food writer Andrew Zimmern. Better yet, there is also an exciting opportunity for blog readers to nominate a U.S. Cellular customer to star in the fifth episode and travel to a new destination with Zimmern.

Andrew Zimmern

“Big Country,” is a five-episode digital series where the mobile carrier and Zimmern find deserving customers from across the U.S. and take them to places they’ve always wanted to visit, including New York City, Portland, Maine, Bend, Ore. and San Francisco.

(Hey wait, they said Oregon!  I could be persuaded to travel there if I am promised a chance to finally meet my blog friend Michelle from Michelle’s Romantic Tangle in person)..enough about me.  You might be one who wants to travel so let me finish telling you the details.

“Big Country” began July 20 online at, as well as on, and Edited vignettes will air on Food Network and Travel Channel.  The series features U.S. Cellular customers who have lacked the time and opportunity to travel far from home. Participants were selected via nominations from friends and family encouraging them to enjoy the travel experience. Their stories include overcoming the fear of flying and seeing the New York City skyline via a helicopter tour.

U.S. Cellular is searching for one more hopeful explorer to star in the fifth and final episode of “Big Country.” You can apply or nominate others HERE, now until August 10 for the opportunity to travel with Andrew Zimmern. This opportunity is only opened for U.S. Cellular customers.

Are you someone who love this opportunity?  I’d love to see one of my blog readers as the featured person in “Big Country’s” final episode.

Shopping with Your Smartphone

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S8 Smart Phone. This is one of those posts.

Lucky for me most of my Christmas shopping is done and most of it is already wrapped.  I always have a thing or two that I need to do.  Often I forgot something or need Hubby’s help to decide on a gift but most of my shopping is done.  I, of course, have an idea to do a last minute gift but if it doesn’t happen, that’s no bid deal.  It’s an added extra thing that I can always give as a Valentines goodie.


U. S. Cellular put together some great shopping advice for those of you who aren’t finished.

The 2016 online shopping season was one of the biggest yet, with $91.7 billion spent – an 11 percent increase from the previous year.

During this busy time smartphones can be utilized to simplify and enhance lives while also maximizing time and budgets when holiday shopping.  According to U.S. Cellular’s annual consumer survey, nearly 60 percent of smartphone users have shopped online on their phones.  I know our children do this all of the time!

Smartphones give us the opportunity to do our holiday shopping anywhere and everywhere. Whether in-store, at home, or on-the-go, our devices are utilized in every aspect of the process, from researching the right gift to making the final purchase.


Many people research before purchasing. Gone are the days of thumbing through thick catalogs for ideas. Smartphones make researching online and accessing customer reviews easy while on-the-go. Many apps offer rich visuals, videos and content for brainstorming. For example, Amazon has millions of product reviews, or users can search and create gift idea lists on Pinterest.

Avoid long check-out lines. The mobility of smartphones is one of their key benefits. Many consumers want to physically see and touch what they’re going to purchase, so visit stores to find a product, but actually make the purchase online to avoid long check-out lines. Many stores even allow for an item to be purchased online then picked up at the store for free.

Keep great lists. Nearly 70 percent of people are totally undecided or considering multiple gift options when starting holiday shopping, according to a 2016 Google Consumer Survey. To be more organized while out browsing, utilize the notes feature on your device or take photos of what you want to purchase for a loved one.

I’m off to bug Hubby about a gift that he has to make the decision on.  If we are going to order it, I want to order it yet tonight.  The clock is ticking and Christmas isn’t far away!!

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