Friday, 15 August 2014

Still time for an August Adventure! Let @Netflix_CA #Streamteam inspire you!

We are here already! and like every other year when we reach the half way point in the month of August panic begins to grip me. The summer vacation that seemed so long at the beginning of July is almost over! There are subtle changes like the nights are cooler and the days are shorter.
 SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER! 
There is a short window of opportunity left to fit in all the summer fun and adventures August has to offer! I swear the saying "So much to do, so little time." was written about August. We still have a road trip, and family visits, one last trip to a water park, that long bike ride we have been talking about, and renting a paddle boat or canoe, not to mention sleeping in a tent, even if only in our backyard.

Of course adventure doesn't mean you have to leave Netflix behind. Here are some great shows and movies to watch on your mobile device, or just while you dream of your next action packed adventure. 



For the little ones:





Dora the Explorer






For the bigger kids:  




The Adventures of Tintin





Adventures can be anywhere, even in your own backyard! Why not plan a backyard adventure of your own such as a scavenger hunt, an obstacle race, or even Survivor!

Survivor Instructions and Rules:
  • No items other than what is provided in the Tribe Survivor Kit and what can be scrounged outside may be used. Tribe Members may not go indoors and get items. 
  • Each tribe must establish how the tribe will be run and what duties will be assigned to which tribe members. All tribe members must have duties. (Must be written down)
  • Each tribe must make a sign that includes their Logo, Tribe Name and Tribe Motto.
  • Each tribe must make a shelter for the tribe.
  • Each tribe must figure out how the snacks/rations will be divided and used, and how they will share the limited food resources such as forks and bowls.
  • Each tribe will be judged (Judges are adults/parents) on all of the above categories and the judges' rulings are final!
Tribe Survivor Kit should include:
A piece of material that can be cut into strips to either tie around arms or head to establish who is in what tribe. (each tribe's material should be a different colour), a bucket, work gloves, rope, scissors, duct tape, a tarp, clothes pegs, a cardboard box, paper (a least one large piece), plastic grocery bags, newspaper, and markers. Tribes can make seats or sit-upons by folding newspaper into the desired size, placing them into a grocery bag and taping the sides. 
Each tribe kit should also include a cooler bag containing snacks, a jug of water, 2 plates, 1 bowl, 2 forks, a spoon, and instructions on How to Fold a Cup from a Sheet of Paper via WikiHow

Whatever your adventure be sure to make time for a kitchen adventure first to make your own snacks and rations. These Adventure Vegetable or Fruit Spring Rolls via Netflix & SPC would be perfect to survive on while on any adventure!



Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about Netflix Stream Team.

Note: As part of the Netflix Stream Team I receive Netflix and a streaming device free of cost for the purpose of my Stream Team reviews and posts. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Family Road Trip to @DestinyUSA So much more than shopping! #ShopPlayStay #familytravel #travel

For years now my girlfriend and I hit the road twice a year for a shopping weekend at Destiny USA, and as you can see Girls Getaway Shopping Weekends Make Me Happy. It is the perfect destination for such a getaway, but this summer I decided to try something different, and I planned a weekend road trip to Destiny USA with my family to celebrate my son’s birthday. It was a completely different experience but equally as great, and such a fun way to celebrate my son's birthday! With all the options and activities available, there was something to keep all of us happy and entertained, and in my opinion makes it a perfect family destination.

Destiny USA is a great shopping destination with its more than 200 retail stores, an outlet shopping section, and lots of dining options. What you may not have realized is the number of attractions, activities and entertainment options you will find under the Destiny USA roof, including Pole Position Raceway, Dave & Buster’s, and the Canyon Club Ropes Course to name a few. 



Pedestrian Bridge to Destiny USA 






Location:

  • Destiny USA is located at 9090 Destiny USA Drive, Syracuse, New York. Map and Directions and is approximately a 3 hour/ 300 km drive from Ottawa, Ontario (approximately 2 hour/ 200 km drive from Kingston, and 4 hours/ 400 km drive from the Greater Toronto Area - GTA)
  • You will find tons of free parking and a pedestrian bridge allowing for an easy and safe passage from parking lots.

Accommodations:


  • There are lots of hotel options in this area, but be sure to check out the hotels participating in Destiny USA Shop & Stay packages which include several treats such as $25 gift card, and reusable shopping bag.
Photo via Hilton Garden Inn Syracuse site.
Reusable Shopping Tote Bag











  • We stayed at the Hilton Gardens Inn - Syracuse located just minutes from Destiny USA and as you can see from my Hilton Garden Inn - Syracuse Review we found it to be a fantastic choice and recommend without hesitation. Every part of the stay from the rooms with a microwave, fridge and Keurig coffee makers to the staff and the service was outstanding. Be sure to take advantage of the pool, fitness centre and the 24 hour access business centre as well! 
  • At this particular location the Destiny USA Shop and Stay package includes a complimentary breakfast as well! Be sure to take a peak at the excellent value the Hilton Garden Inns Bed and Breakfast promotion offers! 

Food and Dining:


  • You will find dining options at every price point and taste at Destiny USA. We had a quick lunch at the food court (try Boston Market) and enjoyed a lovely birthday dinner at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant where my husband tried the Flight of Six beer sampler with his dinner. Tony at Guest Services recommended this restaurant to us and he was right it was exactly what we were looking for. 
  • We also had a meal at Ruby Tuesdays, and found the service and food to be very enjoyable. That has been our experience at all the locations we have been to. 
  • You will find Panera Bread (which I always enjoy) located near the Guest Services desk.
  • Bonus! I see that IHOP is opening soon!
  • For a delish snack give Auntie Annie’s Pretzels a try.
  • I have heard that the Texas De Brazil is excellent but it is definitely for the meat lover, and is not a budget priced restaurant.



Flight of 6 at Gordon Biersch Brewwery Restaurant



Shopping:


  • We found plenty of deals at both the retails stores and the outlet stores for everyone in the family, and my teens found lots of back to school items! 
  • I really love that the outlet stores are in the same location as my other shopping saving me the time, and gas  it would take to drive to the outlet mall. That time and money is better spent with and on my family!
  • I can’t think of a single store on my kids' list of favourite places to shop that we did not find here! Destiny USA Directory 
  • For current and upcoming sales and events be sure to check out Destiny USA site, and if you are a CAA or AAA member visit the Guest Services desk and get yourself a Passport of Saving for additional savings and deals. 




Attractions and Activities and Entertainment:
  • What I really enjoyed most about this trip was that it was more than just shopping. We had a full day of shopping, and then a full day of activities. We took advantage of all the fun with Destiny USA Summer Fun Day Passes, which allowed us to access and enjoy 4 entertainment venues for one price. I found that 4 activities was the perfect number to fit into a day. 



  • We decided on the Pole Position Kart Racing that was a TOTAL hit for all of us! Then off to Dave & Buster’s for some gaming fun which also included 5 free play games. We decided on a 5 Wits adventure for our third choice, and ended the day with Wonder Works before heading to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner. 
  • There are lots of Destiny USA Entertainment Options besides those included in the Summer Fun Day Passes, including a comedy club.

You can follow Destiny USA on facebook and Destiny USA on twitter for all the latest news! 

I have often found myself looking for ideas of what to do as a family for a mini vacation, or road trip. I can't believe I have never thought of this before. I can’t say enough how much fun we had both shopping and the activities! It really was a memorable, and my plan is to make this an annual road trip! 


Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about my destiny!


Note: Destiny USA was nice enough to provide me with a gift card and the treats normally included in the Shop & Stay package. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experience at Destiny USA both on this trip and the many times before I have been there. 

Friday, 8 August 2014

Old School or Hi- #Tech - JK to Grade 12 - Reading Lists still part of summer! @staplecanada #KindleFireHD

Maybe it's because I'm older now and my kids are teens that I find myself thinking and getting nostalgic about the past and all the firsts; first steps, first words, first day of kindergarten, middle school, and then high school. Soon my babies will be venturing out on their own and there will be other firsts such as driver’s licences, and college or university. There will be firsts for me as well, including celebrating adjusting to the fact they will move away and will only be back for visits. I like to think the lessons we have taught our kids will serve them well and prepare them for all life's firsts, adventures and journeys yet to come.

One such lesson is a love of reading. Both my husband and I are readers, and always felt it was important to read to our kids, for our kids to read, and for them to see us reading. Shortly after writing Summer Learning with a Forecast of a Bright Future I was given the opportunity thanks to Staples Canada to try the Kindle Fire HDproviding this old schooler her first experience using an e-reader or tablet for reading. Maybe my tech savvy kids have a thing or two to teach their mom after all.



When we were expecting our kids, it was a toss-up between Babar and Winnie-the-Pooh for the nursery. These books had meaning for my husband and I as kids, and the stories and messages stayed with us into adulthood. That is why we chose them as some of the first books to read to our kids. Reading and sharing the same stories we read as children always makes me nostalgic, and I love that I could share that our kids.  

SUMMER READING
HI-TECH KINDLE FIRE HD 
OLD SCHOOL 




From the time our kids were very young my husband read to them nightly, it was their "thing". The books he read were not typically considered young kids books, and the reading was always followed by a discussion about the ideas, themes and messages in the chapter he had read. These books were always ones he had read in his youth. While others were reading Harry Potter, he was reading The Old Man and the Sea, The Little Prince, Jungle Book (the original, not the Disney version), and Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men. I would overhear the kids saying “we can’t read Jungle Book tonight right Dad, because there is violence and we don’t have time to discuss it.”  


I feel like books and stories are one of the best ways to bridge the generation gap between ourselves, our parents and our kids. Stories play such an important role in our understanding relationships, lessons, and life. The Judy Blume books, To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Outsiders, Ender’s Game, The Hobbit, and Catcher in the Rye, all have applicable lessons and messages still relevant today.


My teens have read so many of the books my husband and I read in our teens or in high school. It is interesting to see how we interpret them second time around with life experience compared to our teens. How and why our kids respond in a certain way to those stories gives us insight and helps us to understand them and their points of views. Discussions about books can be a great way to segue into conversations that can be challenging topics for parents and teens to discuss, especially for the “non-verbal” teen boy. Today's teen struggles and challenges are still ultimately about relationships, school, career paths, life choices and morals.


Like their parents before them, both my kids have to research topics for school projects and essays, but they have the Internet rather than periodical indexes and microfiche (showing my age here). They read the same books but often on an e-reader or tablet. They can be excellent tools for school. This summer was filled with firsts. My youngest son (aka Thing 2) did his first Reach Ahead Course at Summer School; Grade 12 English. We were able to lighten the knapsack load by putting the assigned books onto a Kindle Fire HD. He was able to use the Kindle Fire HD to quickly search spelling and definitions, something we have always encouraged our kids to do. In the past even if they wrote the words down with the intention of looking them up later, by the time they got home it was often forgotten. I love that they there is no need to wait and they can look up words up as they read.   

NEW SCHOOL 
OLD SCHOOL


               VS









Summer vacation has always been a favourite time of year for me. As a child it meant a more relaxed schedule and spontaneous adventures. As a stay at home mom it has meant 18 more years of adventures with my kids, and a time to forget about school for a while, while still learning all summer long. My eldest (aka Thing 1) took the train by himself to visit his grandparents this summer, which was another first. He passed the time on the train by tackling some of his summer reading using the Kindle Fire HD. It is light weight, and made to handle the bumps a teen can dish out as well as life in and out of a knapsack. It's perfect to surf the web, watch a movie, or engage on social media. The battery life can easily handle a train ride, and it's so easy to use even "Mom" can figure it out. It really has been great and although it might be our first time trying the Kindle Fire HD you can be sure it won’t be the last. 


One last note about the Kindle Fire HD: I love that Amazon Free Time app  allows you to set up different profiles for each member of the family giving you parental control over what and for how long your kids access books versus games. I wish this had been an option when my kids were younger. I have always had my kids make summer reading lists. I set the number of books and reading schedule, they get to decide what they read. The Kindle Fire HD is perfect to load up all the summer reading so the kids can get some done in the car, waiting in line, or when you are out and about. It is small and easy to bring in a purse or knapsack, and can easily move back and forth between the kids. If they finish one book, they can just move on to the next. I can’t think of a better way to integrate reading into a family’s summer schedule and plans whatever they may be. 

On a personal note I would like to thank Staples Canada, not just for this opportunity but also for the outstanding service we have received over the years. They have been part of so many of my kid’s firsts such as back to school from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12, Science Fair boards, printing of yearbooks to name a few. They are generous and involved in our community, just as pleasant on social media, and it is a pleasure doing business with them!

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about firsts, back to school and summer reading.

Note: I received a Kindle Fire HD for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and reflect my personal and honest experience with this product.

EXTRA! EXTRA! #BPTurns50 Aug 12th @BostonPizza turns the BIG 5-0! #Giveaway CAN 08/29

♪  "We are family, I got all my sisters with me. 
We are family, Get up ev'rybody and sing! 
Ev'ryone can see we're together, As we walk in by. 
Fly! and we fly just like birds of a feather, I won't tell no lie.
All! all the people around us they say, Can they be that close.
Just let me state for the record, We're giving love in a family dose." 

My siblings and I have been known to regularly channel our Sister Sledge and belt out our rendition of ♫ "We Are Family". We are all about traditions and celebrating life's important events. This is not to say we're stuck in a timewarp, we are dynamic, ever changing and evolving. We add new traditions and retire old ones, always remembering where we came from and how far we have come. 

More times than not our family traditions involve food and maybe a rewriting of the lyrics of a few of our favourite songs to fit the mood or an event, and it is that which our fondest memories are made of. As I approach my 29th birthday for the 22nd time, I realize Boston Pizza has played a part in many of those celebrations and memories over the years. On August 12th Boston Pizza is celebrating 50 years of being part of Canadians' lives and traditions, and like my family they have grown and evolved adding new menu items, and retiring others, all the while maintaining a tradition of value and service. 

It feels like they are part of the family, whether meeting my childhood friend with our kids for dinner (Oakville), or where the family gets together when I am in town for a visit - yep up to 18 of us (Oakville). Maybe it is one of the several times a year my parents and I meet at the halfway point for a quick lunch and a visit, because our schedules won't allow for a multi-day visit and the 6 hour drive each way (Kingston). It is where we go for lunch after bowling (Ottawa), where I met Sarah's (Journeys of the Zoo) kids for the first time (Barrhaven), and where my family goes for dinner (Kanata).


Cheers! Boston Pizza!
Happy 50th Anniversary!
#BPTurns50

Join in the celebration including $5 Individual Size Pizzas on August 12th, and coupons for additional discounts. Don't forget to try the Anniversary menu items available until Aug 17th, 2014.
What's an anniversary celebration without a party? 
You can enter to win one of 50! yes you heard me correctly ... I said 50 Pizza Parties for you and 29 of your favourite people! (valued at $2500) You can find #BPPizzaParty details at BPPizzaParty.com

No doubt about it 1964 is an excellent year! If I wasn't turning 29 again this year I would pick that year to be born! Be sure to check out some highlights of Boston Pizza's 50 year history at Boston Pizza's big 5-0 via Strategy . While reading I noticed the quote below and although I don't see my name specifically mentioned, I'm pretty sure it's about me, my humour and my quirky personality, since we all know I'm a celeb that should be endorsed. At least that's how I interpret it ... Yep just me thinking out loud again.  
"Its survival amongst its competition (it has a market share of 3.7% in the full-service category), is in large part due to tapping humour and building a quirky personality with celeb endorsements and unique product offerings."  

So like that wasn't enough to celebrate ... you can also enter to win 1 of 4 $20 Boston Pizza gift cards to help you start your own Boston Pizza tradition and celebrate Boston Pizza turning 50! 
Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about turning 50! 

Note: I was not compensated for this post. I have a great relationship with Boston Pizza and so pleased they have generously sponsored this giveaway for my readers. All opinions are my own and reflect my personal experience with this brand.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

WHAT 2 WATCH WED #W2WW Recommendation #25 #EnoughSaid & #SalmonFishingintheYemen @Netflix_CA

I regularly have conversations on social media and in real life with friends and family about which TV shows, or movies are good to watch. So I thought why not share these recommendations on Cathy Thinking Out Loud once a week, on Wednesday (aka #W2WW). Please share yours in the comments section! This week's recommendations are a couple more rom coms I think will appeal to both him and her. You can find both of these on Netflix Canada



Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about what to watch.

Note: I have not been compensated for this post in any way. All opinions are my own, and the purpose of this post is merely to share with my readers.

@HiltonGardenInn #Syracuse #NewYork - Accommodating all your #familytravel needs! #Review

Each summer our family hits the road for at least one road trip, and this year was no exception. We decided on a trip to Syracuse and Destiny USA. Having stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn - Syracuse with my girlfriend on our twice a year Girls Shopping Weekend  I knew it was conveniently located and had all the amenities we needed, including a 24 hour accessible Business Center with a printer (Important for those back-to-school coupons and deals, or to print tickets for attractions).


Photo via Hilton Gardens Inn Syracuse site.

Nestled in a quiet East Syracuse location, that is close to local restaurants, shopping, attractions, and the airport, the Hilton Garden Inn Syracuse is about a 3 hour drive or 300 km from Ottawa, Ontario, (approx. 2 hours/200 km from Kingston, and 4 hours/400 km from the Greater Toronto Area - GTA). Check in time is 3 o'clock, but not worry if you need to check in later there always seems to be fresh coffee, tea, and cookies in the lobby to welcome you. I also appreciated the bottled water at checked in after the drive. Small attention to details like this can make a good experience a great one.


Photo via Hilton Garden Inn site.












The staff was friendly knowledgeable and professional both on the phone and in person, and overall I found the service to be outstanding! They truly seemed interested in making my stay the best experience possible ... and it was.

But that means nothing if the rooms are great. The rooms are clean and spacious with crisp white linens. Our room had a Herman Miller desk chair (I want one too!) free wi-fi, a flat screen TV, premium cable, a fridge, microwave, and wait for it ... an awesome Keurig machine with coffee and tea KCups! 
I love when a hotel has quality toiletries and the room is properly stocked. I know it's just a call to the front desk for extra towels, cups, or toiletries, but little things like it being there without asking says a lot about a hotel's culture, and how it is run and maintained. I can find no fault here! 

Forgot something, don't worry the reception 
desk can help you out with a complementary toothbrush or toothpaste. You will also find a selection of miscellaneous items, snacks, beverages, and small selection of frozen meals in the shop located in the lobby.   
For those trying to stay fit even when travelling you can exercise in the privacy of your room and borrow a "Say Fit Kit" from reception, swim laps in the pool, or take advantage of the Fitness Center. 


Photo via Hilton Garden Inn site.
If you are looking for something tasty to eat the Wild Goose Pub is on-site, as well as room service (available Mon-Thur 4:00 - 10:00 pm, and Fri and Sat 4:00 - 11:00 pm). For breakfast I highly recommend you take advantage of the Bed N Breakfast Deal , and enjoy a buffet style breakfast with the option of made to order omelettes and waffles at the Great American Grill. 

Tidbits, Tips & Info to Know:

  • If you are planning to visit Destiny USA be sure to check out the Hilton Garden Inn Syracuse Destiny Shop Stay Promotion which includes breakfast and a $25 gift card. 
  • Use your AAA or CAA membership card to take advantage of extra savings by picking up a Destiny Passport of Savings .
  • The Bed and Breakfast Promotion is great value so be sure to enquire about it!
  • Destiny USA is about more than shopping, so be sure to check out their Summer Fun Day Passes . It that might be perfect for your family summer getaway.
  • Be sure to give your Hilton HHonors Membership number when booking, or if you are not a member take a minute to sign up for this free loyalty program. 
  • Reminder about the "Stay Fit Kit" you can borrow to stay fit in the privacy of your own room.
  • Distance from Hilton Garden Inn Syracuse to: Syracuse airport - 7 miles, Destiny USA - 6 miles, downtown Syracuse - 5 miles.
  • TripAdvsor Reviews for Hilton Garden Inn - Syracuse
  • Be sure to check out Hilton Garden Inn Syracuse on Facebook. I'm sure you'll "Like" it!

Well that is it. There really is nothing else to say other than a huge thanks to the staff at the Hilton Garden Inn Syracuse for making our stay such a great one, and that we will be back soon! If you happen to have the pleasure to stay there please say hi for me and tell them Cathy sent you!


Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about accommodations that truly accommodate all your family travel needs!

Note: I was provided a complementary night's accommodation at the Hilton Garden Inn Syracuse for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and are my personal experience during my stay. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Teens, Tech & keeping my "Awesome Auntie" status: #Birthday Gift Ideas 4 #Tech Savvy Teens

I am the proud (ish) mother of two teen boys, and Auntie Cathy to a teen niece in University, and two teen nephews. I have an up and coming tween niece who also calls me Auntie. I work hard to keep my Awesome Auntie (and Mom) status with this discerning crowd. I would never want to exclude my two lovely 4 year old nephews, but this is not about them, because quite frankly they are easy to buy for at Birthday and Christmas time. For the younger kids opening the gift is almost as much fun as the actual gift, but not so for the teens. Teens have "opinions".

In order to keep my standing as "Awesome Auntie" it's important to keep up on what teens want and need; understanding there is a difference. Not to worry you won't find me twerking any time soon, but I do like to stay on top of the tech that is oh so popular with the teens in my life. My kids don't know the home phone numbers of most of their friends. They communicate in a completely different way than I did. The same holds true for school work, research, how they access news, and view media. 

Both my son and my nephew have birthdays in July and as I perused my favourite tech websites searching for clues and ideas for their birthday gifts, I decided to share some with you. I figured there must be other awesome aunties who might like to like to know what I came across on my teen tech birthday gift idea journey.

Just a note, clearly some of these are out of the Auntie gift budget even if I am awesome, but I often go together with my siblings to purchase larger more expensive items on the kid's wish lists. Or I get the accessories and let the parents buy the big ticket main event.




  • XBox One  ($399-$499 depending on package) plus there are accessories, games and Xbox Live Gift Cards that fit most budgets.
  • Play Station 4  ($449 - $469 depending on package) plus there are accessories, games and the Play Station Plus Gift Cards that fit most budgets.
  • Long Distance Gift Cards come in a variety of denominations and from a variety of providers.
  • Portable Back-Up Batteries or Chargers to recharge a phone or tablet. I have a Pocket Booster by NEXTEK Energy that I like ($40) but there are many on the market.
  • Apple iPad Mini (prices range between $319- $529 depending on the model) Don't forget that cases, keyboards, stands, Apple or iTunes gift cards are always big hits for those teens who are fans of the "fruit". 
  • Tablets have become very reasonable these days and a great gift for a teen. Your best bet is decide on a budget and then go in and speak with the staff at your favourite store. If a tablet doesn't fit your budget, accessories like cases, keyboards, stylus, and gift cards for the appropriate app store are available in a wide range of price points. Personally I'm a fan of the Samsung Tab 3. (But I must admit I have my eye on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3  for me NOT the teens).
  • Laptops are almost a necessity for school by the time kids reach their teens. Maybe a laptop is not in your budget (as an Auntie) but there are tons of great accessories and bags that might be. An External Hard Drive to back up and store all their "stuff" is a great option as well! I have a Dell Vostro and Hubby and one of my kids also have Dell laptops. We have owned several HP laptops and been very happy with those as well. 
  • Printers print copy and scan these days and are pretty much a must have for school. You can find printers that fit all budgets, but sometimes paying a bit more for the printer will save you in the long run on supplies. Remember paper and ink cartridges make great gifts too! We currently have 2 HP Canada wireless printers that are great and a Dell Canada colour laser printer.
  • Desk or task chair is a great investment. You can find a desk chair in all price ranges but I have found you get what you pay for when it comes to chairs. Consider how long the teen will sitting in the chair each day to help to guide your investment. My son has the Staples Hyken Technical Mesh Task Chair and loves it.
  • Headphones and Earphones come in all sorts of styles and colours and options. I find the kids tend to lose and break the earphones and my favourite based on price and feedback from the kids are the Sony EX Earbud Earphones at $29.99 they offer the best bang for our buck. Headphones can be very expensive and kids seem to want the name brands. I love my House of Marley Headphones which cost $70 but I redeemed some Aeroplan miles for mine.
  • Bluetooth Speakers are another favourite with the teens I know. These are available in a variety of sizes and price points. My son has the Monster Micro Clarity ($100) and he is very happy with it. 
  • Fitness Trackers like FitBit, Jawbone Up , Samsung Canada Gear and Nike Fuel are a few of the popular these days. The start at about $60 for the cheapest Fitbit and go up from there. My son likes his Jawbone Up and Hubby is happy with (my!) FitBit One. 
  • Ereaders such as the Kobo or Kindle are great to lighten the knapsack load, and for the avid teen reader. They are light weight, have good battery life and there are literally thousands of books available for an ereader. They start around $70 and go up from there. Again a good case and gift cards appropriate to the make of ereader are great gifts as well. 
  • Movies & Shows via Netflix Canada is $7.99 a month and perfect to use with a tablet, cell phone or TV. You can use the fancy XBox One and Play Station 4 to stream Netflix, or you can get a Roku starting at $60. I have the Roku 3 and I love that the kids can plug their headphones in to the remote and I don't have to listen to the show they are watching.  
  • Soda Stream ($90+) and Keurig ($70+) are both popular with those at University or Collage. Don't forget to top them up with supplies at Christmas. I am a big fan of Single Jo Coffee K-cup compatible and 35% less packaging. You can order it on-line and have it shipped directly to your favourite teen at Collage or University. They will need it for those all-nighters of studying.
Well that is my teen tech gift idea share. 

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about teens, tech, gifts and my Awesome Auntie status.

Note: I have not been compensated for this post in any way. All opinions are my own, and the purpose of this post is merely to share with my readers.