8/27/2013

Five Web-Comics to Check Out

In earlier years, comic book readers depended on independently released zines and compilations to see new artists and authors working in the medium. But with the growth of the internet, web-comics have become a new way for creators to directly engage their audience and gain attention for their work. This growth has also meant an overwhelming number of choices that can be hard to sort through.

To help you find your new favorite character or creator, here are five great web-comics that you need to check out. Make sure to leave your suggestions in the comments!





1. Anu-Anulan and Yir’s Daughter by Emily Carroll A beautifully drawn and written love story, this folk tale isn't long but may send you down the rabbit hole of exploring Emily Carroll's other pieces of work. Carroll's story about a goddess who falls in love with the silvery braids of a mortal feels ageless and ancient all at the same time.





2. Help Us Great Warrior by Madéleine Flores
Quick and quirky strips, Help Us Great Warrior is the story of the most fabulous and brave warrior who knows the importance of both eyeliner and selflessness.  Each strip is giggle inducing and addictive, once you
start reading, you will find yourself at the start of the archive before you know it.




3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Nimona
needs to have her own movie or television show or any other way for me to get to see her more often. While an upcoming book is in the work, the web-comic will need to satiate my needs for now. An often endearing and always entertaining series, Nimona is about a supervillain and his shape-shifting sidekick traveling, getting into fights, and showing thatthe good guys aren't always the heroes.





4. Doctor Cat  by Sarah Sobole
Not all comics need to be serious or have a message beyond stuff that is great like a cat who is a doctor. Literally about an adorable cat who practices medicine, readers are able to see his co-workers at the
hospital, how cute his patients find him, and his buddy lawyer cat.





5. Strong Female Protagonist written by Brennan Lee Mulligan and drawn by Molly Ostertag
The only superhero comic on the list, Strong Female Protagonist is the book that you need to find on the shelf when you realized that your comic book shop pull list is lady deficient. About a female superhero who
retires from fighting super-villains to go to college and learn what real world heroism is, Mulligan and Ostertag have created a character that feels honest and relatable to comic book readers.

8/16/2013

Tech Support - Special Parental Unit Edition

Welcome to this week's special edition Tech Support! Our favorite links of the week for parents, future parents, and people who love little kid stuff!









Apartment Therapy ran a great round up of nerdy books perfect for your baby. Including the adorably named, CSS for Babies.





Lego continues to make childhood awesome with a new architecture set, designed for the future architect in your life, the little one who wants a blank canvas to create, or yourself. All adults should have at least one Lego set.



 Don't let him creep you out, he's here to help out your kids with some tech support.


BBC launches CBeebies Playtime App for Apple, Kindle and Android. Read all about the new playtime app here via Engadget.





How cool is this R2D2 LEGO? I'm sure to most parents aren't crazy about losing a piece or two and finding them embedded to the skin of their bottom foot, but how fun are they? It took a few hours but Diana got it done! Check it out here.


Gadchick writers who are moms-to-be already have our names picked out for baby, but if I didn't have a family name yet, I would have loved to own this book, Sci Fi Baby Names.
 




BrightNest is one of my favorite current iPhone apps and one of my most awaited push notification each week.  After learning more about your interests and needs as a homeowner or renter, BrightNest provides quick weekly suggestions and DIYs on how to have the best house ever. These articles are also available online and many deal closely with the needs of parents. Check out a few like Help Your Kids Go Green, Kid-Proof Your Kitchen, or 11 Ways To Use Baby Wipes Around The House.





There is very little to say besides that this is one of the simplest and best DIYs of all time and makes me want to do this adult-sized one morning.



RedBubble is a great place for adorably nerdy and tiny clothes. From tech-friendly and very hungry caterpillars to your own little vault dweller, there are a ton of options by small designers to ensure your child is the most fashionable geek in their playgroup.

8/15/2013

Baby's First IPad - Kid-Appropriate Gadgets

Every generation's youth are residents of the future, or at least you would assume that by how quickly they understand new technology.  Children of all ages show a huge understanding and excitement about technology, and recent studies have even shown that on average children start using the internet at the age of 3.
However, for many of us gadget fans, we can remember fondly our own childhood of first CD players and brick-sized Game Boys. Part of our future love of technology came from that early exposure and if you have children in your life, you can help inspire that same love by choosing the best gadgets to expose them to. Luckily as our children slowly take over our tablets and smartphones, new kid-focused gadgets and technology stores have come out to let you take back (or kid-proof) your tools.





Maker Shed is a technology and DIYers dream store. From robot kits to circuit boards, there are options for soldering newbies and McGyvers of all levels. For kids, they have numerous projects that could be perfect for your little engineer.  The Squishy Circuits Kit is a great example of an introductory project, using dough and LEDs to teach children about circuits. Another great option is the Sound Kaleidoscope Kit that walks you through building a speaker and microphone to explore frequencies and, using colored sand, display sound waves.


For many of us, our first gadget was a Nintendo product. You can recount your first Zelda game or the color of your first Game Boy, even tracing back your constant love of Tetris on long car rides (or that may just be me). For today's kids, the Nintendo 3DS is a great hand-held device with tons of family-friendly games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf.




Robots are just cool. While we still wait for our own housekeeping maid, we may be able to inspire the future inventor of it with a neat robot kit. There are numerous great ones on the market from the adorable Tin Can Robot to your child's first J.A.R.V.I.S..






Sometimes, the best gadget for your kid is the gadget that is already in your house. But while they may be able to beat your Angry Birds score, they may not be able to hold on tightly to your phone or tablet. Luckily some great cases designed to take a beating are coming from companies like Fisher Price to protect your gadgets while letting your children explore.

8/14/2013

Best Apps for Future, Soon-to-Be, and Current Moms

Entry into parenthood comes with a new world of responsibilities and questions, and mobile apps have quickly come to fill the need for alerts, tools, and references for that new world. For each stage, from those planning future motherhood to parents in the middle of a toddler tantrum, here are a few great apps to check out.

Mothers-to-Be 





Period Tracker (Free, on iOS and Android, pro version available)
This app dedicated to tracking your monthly period goes beyond being just useful to expectant moms. Instead, it allows all women to learn more about their cycle and health. I highly recommend it for a great UI, accurate calendar tools, and trend reporting.

Hypermunes Pregnancy Wheel (Free, on iOS)
Wondering about your due date? This app will help you estimate when the special day could come and is similar to a tool used in your doctor's office.

Expecting Mothers







WebMD Pregnancy (Free, on iOS)
I've discussed my love of WebMD's apps before and their pregnancy app is no exception. With support for expectant moms, articles to answer your questions, and support when you need it most, this app will be indispensable during your pregnancy.

Peaceful Nursery (1.99, on iOS)
As you start to plan for your baby's arrival and stock your home, Peaceful Nursery provides you helpful shopping lists, tips for greening their room, and what to avoid.

 
New Moms






Baby Connect (4.99, iOS/Kindle/Android/Web Application)
In the first year of parenthood, it can be difficult to keep all of your information straight. From feedings to appointments to naps, Baby Connect serves as one app to track all vital information about your child. Combining functionality like bottle/diaper tracking, milestone tracking, and reminders, Baby Connect replaces the need for several apps and gives you the peace of mind that you are remembering all moments from the first year.

WebMD Baby
(Free, iOS/Android)
Another WebMD app that I"m happy to gush about. The first year of parenthood is plagued with questions such as, "Is it normal?" Or, "Should I worry?" This app helps placate your nerves and answer anything that might spring to mind during your 3 am feeding.


Parents




Toddler Flashcards (Free, on iOS and Android, pro version available)
It is never too soon to learn the word for dog in multiple languages. This app is a great tool for learning with your child in a quick, easily accessible format.

Family Organizer (Free, on iOS and Android)
Every family requires their own Martha Stewart, someone to track the calendar, ensure delicious meals, and guarantee they are living the most organized life possible. However, while you may not have your own staff of managers, chefs, and landscapers to manage this, you can have a great app like Family Organizer to track your family's vital information.

8/13/2013

Gadchick Demo's Orbit G2 Car Seat Base

As a mom to be, I wanted the safest and best car seat on the market. After much research, the Orbit G2 Car Seat and Base was the winner, we researched and talked to close friends who owned the product. It's so easy to add to a seat, we're thinking of buying an extra base for grandparent's if needed. Watch the video below for our demo! 



8/12/2013

Gadchick Mom Week + a Giveaway

Technically for mom's who read our blog, every week is mom week. This week is special on Gadchick because we are dedicating it to the tech loving readers who are moms!  Everything from apps, gadgets to make mom life easier, and resources. A big thank you to Beth, our editor, for putting it all together.
My favorite part of this week? Our baby photos. I had so much fun putting them together, we're giving away a $25 iTunes gift card to buy your favorite kid apps. Some rules to apply-







+ Match up the numbers to Emily, Mandy, Diana, Aline, Beth and Marisa to their baby pics (you can cheat a little by checking out our About Page)
+ Opened to international readers
+ Share Mom Week on Twitter, FB or your blog. Share the link with us in the comments below. Good luck! Winner will be announced at the end of Mom Week. 

8/07/2013

August Wish List

Gadgets are constantly updating, and so is our wish list. Here is the best of what we searched for April.




+ Beth
Summer makes me think of long days at the beach, warm weather, and cool desserts. I've been looking out for the perfect shaved ice machine since the temperature began to rise and this one is currently the front runner.
+ Mandy 
I hate the sound of a regular doorbell. I know that hate is a strong word, but when I lived in a house with one a few years ago, the sound of it ringing started to give me anxiety attacks. Now that I live in an apartment, I don't have to deal with the dreaded noise, but the fact that I can get a customizable MP3-enabled version from Swann makes me seriously reconsider my hatred. (Would it be weird to have a doorbell in an apartment complex?)
+ Marisa 
If all goes as planned, I will be having my first baby next month and I'm already freaking out. I just know I will do that "let me check she is still breathing" thing even if I'm ready to pass out due to lack of sleep. I just ordered this baby monitor that not only comes with the normal sound monitor but also a movement monitor. If baby hasn't moved for 20 seconds, an alarm will sound. Knowing I have this makes me feel baby is safer and may even help me catch some more precious Z's.
+ Emily
One of my best friends introduced me to the traditional version of Settlers of Catan back in my freshman year of college and it's been a favorite ever since. When I first glimpsed the Star Trek version in an Instagram photo on my feed, I knew it was wish-list worthy! I'd love to add Star Trek Catan to my collection of geeky merchandise one day.
 + Katie 
I have loved Francesca Lia Block's book since Weetzie Bat in high school. This new work by her is a dystopian reimagining of the Odyssey. Very exciting!
+ Aline 
It is no secret that I am a Harry Potter-phile and I'll be darned if I don't get these special edition, newly designed cover paperbacks.
+ Diana
My soon to be son's nursery is already decorated as a robot/space fusion room and this would be perfect for his first night light from Jerseymaids.

 FTC Blogger Disclosure- For our wish lists, we use affiliates. It's a small tiny amount to pay for our issues and keep giving you awesome content. Thanks for the support!

8/05/2013

San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Recap - Part 2

As the Summer convention season chugs on with PAX Prime, Dragon*Con, and GenCon all in upcoming weeks, I’m still busy recovering and unpacking my San Diego Comic-Con dreams, memories, and swag. Last week, we took a look at the growing video game presence and a tip for what panels to check out. This week, we’re taking a look at childhood glee and how to enjoy Comic-Con even if you don’t have a badge:

Place Most Likely To Make Your Inner Child Happy
Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland





Like many of my fellow Gadchicks, I love all things kawaii. For fans of cute things, SDCC is full of adorable plush toys, fetching gothic lolita costumes, and all sorts of tiny figurines for sale. However, this year Sanrio made a huge splash with the Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland which was as much fun to visit as it is to say aloud. Featuring a Hello Kitty nail art tent, Hello Kitty inspired lolitas, and a roving truck driving around San Diego asking you to visit, it was hard to miss their colorful corner and their outside appearance only built on what you could see on the Convention floor which included visits from Tokyo-based Sanrio illustrators.

Best Place To Hang Out Without A SDCC Badge
Nerd HQ

In its third year, Zachary Levi’s Nerd HQ has become the best geek clubhouse in San Diego each year that doesn’t required a Comic-Con golden ticket to enter. Supporting Operation Smile, Nerd HQ runs intimate panels with nerd luminaries and provides a lounge area for attendees featuring photo booths, video games, and parties each night. The panels are then broadcast over the internet for everyone to get an opportunity to participate and create gifs to post all over Tumblr. 
This was my first year attending a Nerd HQ panel and it was a truly special experience. While SDCC panels are a great opportunity to see your favorite actors, authors, and artists in person, they are usually experience with a few thousands of your dearest friends. Nerd HQ panels are limited to under 300 people and this year featured stadium seating, allowing for a more relaxed environment. I highly recommend trying out one of these events even if you aren’t attending SDCC and just live in Southern California.
Every year when I leave San Diego Comic-Con, I swear that this will be my last year and that there are other nerd conventions out there to explore. Every year, two weeks after leaving San Diego Comic-Con, I’m already plotting for my next trip and wondering who will be in attendance.
Readers, what does 2014 have in store for SDCC? Will it be the first glimpses at the new Star Wars? Will it be a look inside who will be taking over the cowl when Batman and Superman team up? Leave your predictions and your 2013 highlights in the comments.