Blocking websites and adding restrictions to my kids iPads

Last Christmas, we bought both kids iPad minis. My husband set the up with backgrounds, apps, music and movies each kid would like before we wrapped them.

The kids were thrilled with their gift and quickly learned how to use them, including downloading new apps and watching YouTube.

Now when my husband said that he set them up, I assumed he had put safeguards and restrictions on them. Imagine my dismay when my mom reported to me that the video my 7-year-old mentioned the f-word.

A brief search online told me how to check/set-up restriction on their iPads (which I learned my husband hadn’t done.)

iPad-allow-changes_thumbYou basically got Settings -> Restrictions. It has you enter a four-number password, and then you can select the settings you want applied such as Movie ratings and age limit recommendation for the apps.

Now many of the sites talk about restricting access to many things – Safari (web browser), Facetime, iTunes, disable app downloading and even turning off Wifi. While I don’t think all these things need to be done for my kids (ages 7 and 10), I can see parents who might want to add these restrictions.

I however, want my kids to be able to use the Internet as Jase has used his iPad to do homework before. And both kids watch Netflix, so I wouldn’t want to turn off the Internet.

The setting changes I made that first day were quickly noticed by the kids as it deleted the YouTube app as that was now out of their age range. We installed the Kids YouTube app instead which is supposed to help restrict what material they can see.

In my search for adding restrictions/parental controls to their iPads, I also came across what sounded like a great app from McGruff that would filter and block specific types of websites in their Internet searches but sadly, it was no longer available.

iPhone_Portrait_mobicip_squaredThat is when we found Mobicip Safe Browser. With this, you disable the standard Safari browser that comes with iPads (and iPhones) and installs their browser. Now if the kids typed in a word to search such as sex, it tells them those websites are restricted. The same works on YouTube run through this browser. You do have the option with the premium version to decide which website to allow so you can allow them to do their research on sex education while being blocked from the porn sites.

We just installed this browser, so I don’t have a lot of feedback on it from the kids yet. With the premium version, you are supposed to also get reports on which sites they have viewed. We have not tried the premium version yet, but it is only $40 a year so might be worth at least trying the seven-day  free trial version.

I am feeling better about the safety controls we have added to their iPads and wish we had done them sooner. I know my kids are good but especially with YouTube had been worried that inappropriate videos might come up during a search. Now hopefully that won’t happen.

Today’s Featured Author – Inge H. Borg

Today I welcome Author Inge H. Borg to my blog where she is going to reveal the cover to her upcoming release, The Nile Conspiracy.

Cover Reveal

The Nile Conspiracy

(Book 5 – Legends of the Winged Scarab)

by Inge H. Borg 

Nile-BLUE -No Sub=1739x2509


Imagine the mighty Nile running dry due to human interference. Impossible? Only too soon, this very threat may become a devastating reality.

Riveting adventure and international intrigue find Naunet and Jonathan Wilkins back in Egypt where the completion of The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam portends a catastrophe of biblical proportions.

Amidst their struggle to save an ancient site, the archaeologists are caught up in a dangerous conspiracy. Their explorations become a death trap when the desperate Egyptians decide to turn a huge secret underground labyrinth into an emergency reservoir.

Will the combined recklessness of two governments explode into the annihilation of its people?

In The Nile Conspiracy, several characters, good and evil, from the preceding books of the series are once again pitted against each other, the elements, and time.

Borg captures the struggles of an economically depressed Egypt by skillfully combining the challenges of her post-apocalyptic world with the awe-inspiring legends of an ancient culture.

One can only hope that the terrifying events in this novel remain a figment of Borg’s imagination.

Books 1 – 4 of the Legends of the Winged Scarab

New 4-Book Masthead-Small

About the Author

Inge H. Borg, AuthorBorn and raised in Austria, Inge H. Borg left home at eighteen to study languages in London, Paris and Moscow. A job transfer from Vienna to Chicago led to becoming a US citizen in San Diego.

She now lives in a quiet lake community in Arkansas with her two rescued Maine Coon cats, devoting most of her time to writing.

So far, her “Legends of the Winged Scarab” series has four volumes with the fifth, “The Nile Conspiracy” to be published in December. In this series, she combines the myths of Ancient Egypt with modern action, adventure and suspense during the Arab Spring.

Other books include Shadow Love, an intriguing novella about love, loss, and dreams and two short parodies on that thing called love.

And then there is Pasha, From Animal Shelter to A Sheltered Life, an account of shelter animals and their rescues (more of a love letter to her cat, really).

As a staunch supporter of her Indie-writer colleagues, Borg frequently highlights their books on her two blogs: and (for writers and their pets)

You can find Inge’s books on Amazon.  And you can read an excerpt of The Nile Conspiracy here.




Many people to thank….

As has been my tradition for the past three years, I am taking today (Thanksgiving here in the United States) to thank some very important people.

Thank you…

to my readers. I hope you enjoy reading my books (or my blog) as much as I enjoy writing them.

Thank you…

to all the people who have written reviews, hosted me on their website, or sent out Tweets about my blog and books. I appreciate everyone of you!

Thank you…

to my family for the love and support in my writing career. I would not be able to do any of this without you!


Quote of the Week – November 25

If it’s so difficult for us as adults to always remain in control of our emotions, to always respond with kind words and patience, to always hold onto our self-contril when we’re tired or frustrated or disappointed or angry, can you imagine how much more difficult it must be for our children? And yet we expect them to forgive us when we “lose it” but punish them when they do the same. – LR Knost

#NewRelease – CYPATHIA by Teresa Clyne

This month, author Teresa Clyne released her chidren’s fantasy novel, Cypathia: The Secret Princess.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a law lecturer and forensic psychologist by profession, I have 4 Children, all grown up bar the baby, and she’s 17. I also have 5 grandchildren.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Ireland, in Co. Longford, having moved Countries over the years I am now back in Longford again.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

I have always loved writing, since a child I wrote stories and poems.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I started writing poems at approx. 14 years old.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

Kaia would have some of my stubbornness and logical approaches to problems.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

My next book will be part three of Cypathia, I am also working on several short stories which will deal with Kaia’s adjustments to Royal life.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I do not write full time, as I work full time and also study. I write when the words scream at me.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

Best advice was to self-publish, take control of my work, worst advice as also to self-publish (LOL)

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

The best thing about being a writer is the freedom to put your thoughts and feelings into words, to see them and put feeling into them, the worst is that when the words scream you must write, even if that’s at 3am.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?

The plots come from my imagination, the places in my writings and poems are there from childhood so I cannot quite remember where they came from.

What inspired you to write this book?

My childhood. I wrote my memoirs in 2009 and after reading them I remember thinking truth is stranger than fiction, and remembered the kingdom I reverted to as a child when I felt alone or scared. I started the process of turning my memoirs in a fiction novel for children based on the magic Kingdom.

How did you come up with the title?

This was the world I went to as a child, when the real work was too difficult emotionally for me, I do not remember naming Cypathia, I have always known its name.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

In some ways, yes, all of my characters were based on some people I would have known in my childhood although no particular people were chosen.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

Isadora is my favourite, such a sweet and caring person, putting the needs of others before herself. King Mordor is my least favourite as it was him who was the cause of the family splitting up in the beginning.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

This is part one with part two (Reunited) absolutely free, it is included in part one and is a free bonus for readers, part three is in the process at the moment.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

Banishing family back through the portal.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

Kaia, she went through so much and came out victorious.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

David Copperfield. This would be an amazing place and time to live.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I love to sit on my boat and write, the gentle swaying of the water is extremely relaxing and clears the mind.

What book are you reading right now?

King James Bible and the Quran.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

James Joyce as he had an amazing mind. The brilliance of his novels still astounds me. And Roddy Doyle, this man’s sense of humour is epic.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I love motorbikes, the sounds and smells of race bikes are amazing.

Book Blurb

CypathiaAfter an unfortunate twist of fate lands her in Herecia as a tiny baby, Princess Kaia finds herself growing up as a poor peasant girl. Unwanted by her family, poor Kaia spends most of her early childhood feeling unloved and worthless. Without a loving family and no friends, Kaia would have been entirely alone if it wasn’t for her family’s servant, Isadora and her faithful pet dragon Billow, who was never far from her side.


Isadora is guarding an enormous secret; one that will break apart the world as Kaia knows it. As the day of her 13thbirthday dawns, Kaia is unaware that she is about to embark on an amazing magical adventure with dragons, sorcerers and goblins that will see her defeat the evil King Mordor and claim back the Kingdom of Cypathia. With her twin brother Kolby at her side she discovers the love of her real family who she got separated from by accident 13 years ago.

About the Author 

teresaAn Irish writer of children’s fiction and adults academic books, born in 1969 in the Coombe Hospital Dublin, the 5th of 6 children to Joe and Angela Clyne… A Law lecturer and Forensic Psychologist by profession Teresa is as comfortable writing about magic, dragons and sorcerers as the Irish legal system.  Teresa is also a photojournalist having written for many local and national papers and magazines including the Mullingar Advertiser, Irish News Review and Emerald Road Racing.

Teresa Clyne is a fervent fan of writing, children’s fiction, dragons and magic. She loves to create worlds where children and dragons stand side by side in their desire to help make the world a better place. Her heroines often yield magic wands, but Teresa equally values their intelligence, wisdom and compassion.  She loves all of the characters in her book but Isadora stands out to her as a selfless and beautiful person, so giving and generous.

You can find out more about Teresa and her book on her blog.

You can purchase Cypathia: The Secret Princess on Amazon.



The necessity of Date Nights (or spending time together) for parents

Marriages take work. No one tells you that when you get married. There are compromises and fights along with the good times. And one thing that a couple needs to do – whether they have kids or not – is to continue dating.

OK, so maybe you don’t call it dating after you are married. But you spend time together much as you did when you were dating. You go to the Home and Garden show. You go out to lunch and a movie. You go shopping for new furniture. The point is you spend time together.

But too often when a couple has a child, gone are the hours spent alone together. A baby changes all of that as you adjust to life with this little creature who demands so much of your time.

In order to maintain your relationship as a spouse, you need to make time for your significant other. It is too easy to just get caught up in daily life and sometime neglect the connection you have with your spouse.

Before Jase was born, my husband and I could eat whenever (and wherever) we wanted. We could go to the store at the drop of a hat. But when Jase was born, some of that spontaneity was gone. No longer could we just jump in the car and go. There were supplies and a stroller to grab. And there was the baby’s eating and napping schedule to take into account.

As time progressed, we added Lexie to the mix. And while our spontaneity died down, we still made time for an occasional date night and let the grandparents watch the kids as we headed off to the holiday office party or a Spurs basketball game.

But now that the kids are in elementary school, more time is consumed with their activities, and evenings have given way to homework and bedtime schedules. And in this mix, it seems our date nights have been reduced to almost zero.

The need to spend time as a couple and nurture our relationship is of course just as important now. So my husband and I have become committed to actually planning some dates. Many times we meet for lunch while the kids are at school, and we don’t have to find a babysitter. But there is still the need to get away in the evenings or on the weekend.

Recently, we spent our time away from the kids researching some home-improvement projects we want to do to the house. No it wasn’t a romantic afternoon, but it was nice to be able to sit in a restaurant and talk without interruption.

I have been trying to keep my eyes open for events around town that we can try out – the comedy club, a weekend festival, a concert or convention that might interest us. In fact, we just bought tickets for a Broadway Across America show, Kinky Boots, that will be in San Antonio in January. We also plan to hit a few Spurs games in the next couple of months.

I definitely can see the benefit of spending time together. We get to reconnect and focus on our marriage. We get a break from our kids because as much as we love them, it is nice to have some time away from them even if it is only for an evening.

Today’s Featured Author – Tabitha Baumander

Today I welcome author Tabitha Baumander. Her book, The Fourth Wall, a collection of short stories, will be out soon.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m fifty five years old divorced with thirty year old twins. Toronto is a hyper expensive place to call home so my son and I share an apartment. My daughter lives elsewhere and visits often. I don’t have a lot of practical skills so I work in telephone sales/customer service. Yes I’m one of THOSE people.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

Toronto , Ontario, Canada

What or who inspired you to start writing?

I have a brain that just generates plot. It would do it if I didn’t write it down and in fact did it before I had the ability to write. When I was very young I drew pictures in sequence and for a time thought I would be a cartoonist. Then I got older and realized the pictures would never be up to standard and it was really the plot that interested me.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m one of those people that say if you write on a regular basis you are a writer however I think it probably took a good ten years of constant writing to get to a professional level. I’m still improving with every new project.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Technically speaking my current project isn’t a single story it’s a process. I use twitter and have begun doing stories –so far one original and one from one of my published novellas- in serialized form. I’m doing it in the interests of gaining followers and hopefully publicizing and reading my books.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

Job or no job if you want to do something you need to find the time to do it even if its ten minutes at the beginning of the day as in the time I’m spending doing this interview. I wrote the first draft of my first book when my twins were three years old and learned a sentence written or even rewritten is a step closer to writing THE END.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

I think one should think of any kind of advice as a guideline and use your common sense. What worked for one generation simply doesn’t for the next because the market and the whole nature of the business has in the mean time changed.

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

No matter how crap life can get at least I have that and it makes me a bit special. Oddly enough it also makes me SPECIAL as in thought of as a bit odd. Not to mention the fact that everyone thinks that all you have to do is “just go on breakfast television and plug it” to become successful. Someone literally said that to me yesterday and I almost exploded. People just don’t understand.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?

Things come to me in a lot of different ways then my brain chews them up and spits them out.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I generally have an outline in my head and know where I want to end up but sometimes there’s that big gap in the middle I have to mechanically crawl through using common sense and asking myself ok so how do we do this. Once or twice I have outlined in detail and a couple of times that outline took the form of a screen play (film script) which would give me a 100 page outline.

the foruth wallPlease tell us about your current release.

THE FOURTH WALL is my current release. It’s a book with short stories and two novellas. This is a volume many years in the making as I really don’t write very short that often. I have several slightly undersized books but actual short stories are rare.

What inspired you to write this book?

I think in this case pragmatic reasons come out on top. I don’t read them myself but I’m told people like short stories. SO I looked for a theme in my short stuff realized there was one and put the bits together to form a whole.

How did you come up with the title?

The fourth wall is a theatrical term that means the line between the reality the actors create on stage and the reality of the audience. In each of the stories there is a point where actual reality changes and becomes something else.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

In general I try and stay away from doing that people can get a bit touchy.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

The novella THE TROLL takes place in a real location in Toronto problem being it is envisioned as I remember it when I was a kid. The location itself is completely different now.

About the Author 

IMG_5226I am a novelist screenwriter and playwright with five books published and a lot more to come. At this point in my life I am divorced with adult twins. I live in Toronto Canada which I am currently populating with aliens, monsters and fairies. Because, well, why not.

You find more about Tabitha on her Facebook page. Her books can be found on Amazon.