The Best Online Backup Services for Backing Up Family Photos, Unfinished Novels, and More

online backup services for momsThese days, everyone has precious things on our computers: those family photos, that old voicemail from Nana you saved on your computer, the half-finished draft of your novel. Some of it you can save casually in the cloud, sure — but some of it, for sheer size alone, kind of has to live on a hard drive. How do you back up those hard drives? We looked into the best online backup services that keep your stuff safe — and don’t require a ton of effort or money on your part.

If it hasn’t happened to you personally, it’s definitely happened to a friend or family member: Your computer crashes and you lose everything … because you haven’t backed up your files. Backing up data is usually pretty tedious and time-consuming — and it’s so easy to forget to do — but online backup services make the process much easier and hands-off. Today we’re rounding up the 3 best online services for backing up files.

Pictured: The normal time everyone thinks about backing up their computer: when they see the blue screen of death. Credit: Flickr / Blondinrikard Fröberg

By the way, over at Corporette we’ve talked about Evernote and other note-keeping apps, the Morphine plugin for Chrome for limiting distractions, and apps for working women, and here at CorporetteMoms we’ve talked about how to organize family photos and make photo projects.

Here, we compare the popular and highly-rated online backup services Crashplan, Backblaze, and IDrive: 

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Dinnertime Fun: Making Separate Meals for Kids

Making Separate Meals for Kids: Working Moms Talk Dinner Strategy (and Giving In) | CorporetteMomsI will not make separate meals for kids. I, like every other new mother, told myself that frequently while my first kiddo was starting solid foods.  I am not going to be that mom! They can eat what WE eat, or else they don’t eat. I don’t have time to do dinosaur nuggets! I absolutely refuse to raise a child who only eats macaroni and cheese! 

Cut to five years later, and almost every night the boys get a separate meal from what we eat. Dinosaur nuggets, no, but they do get the Dr. Praeger fishies pretty often. On our very best nights, the boys eat disaggregated versions of what we eat. If we’re having Mediterranean Stew with stew meat, tomatoes, and zucchini, the boys may get a bowl of broth (strained so there are no “green pieces”), shredded stew meat, and — if I’m feeling really crazy — a zucchini or two on their plate, perhaps coated in cheese. (It’s a crutch, I know! I’ve started splurging on real Parmesan cheese after reading about how many wood chips are in the shelf-stable versions, though.) Another version of a “win” for me is when I can use the same oven temperature (and, dare to dream, time) for the boys’ food as for ours.

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This Working Mom’s Favorite Sippy Cups, Bowls, and Other Products for Feeding Your Toddler

My cousin’s daughter (the closest thing I have right now to a niece!) is turning one soon.  I wrote about the “baby head cold” gift I gave my cousin when her baby was born — and, because my cousin and her husband are both scientists (who are also kind of opposed to the pink/purple/princess/girly stuff), I’ve also been shipping them all of the science-themed boy clothes they might like for their daughter. But as their daughter’s first birthday approaches, I find myself wanting to get my cousin B a collection of some of the best cups and plates that we loved the best when the boys were in that stage — instead of a toy that may or may not get used. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent on Amazon and other baby stores buying products for feeding my toddler that looked like good ideas in theory but turned out to be duds! So: these were my favorite sippy cups, bowls, and more for the toddler years — which are/were yours? As working parents, what are/were your favorite products for feeding your toddlers? 

Pictured at top (random order) and discussed more thoroughly below: one / two / three / four / five / six

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The Mom Voice: On the Playground — and at the Office?

Today’s topic: the mom voice. Do you think you have a “mom voice”? Have you heard your friends’ mom voices — and did it bring you comfort or freak you out? Have you ever noticed your mom voice encroaching at the office — and was it welcome or unwelcome? 

A few weeks ago, an old friend who lives in a different city posted a video on Facebook of her three-year-old son. She was off-camera, with her little boy front and center, and my friend K was at first encouraging him, then scolding him when he started making a mess.

It was a cute video, but what I loved most surprised me: It was her MOM voice. It’s that distinct voice that we all found once we became parents to an unruly toddler — equal parts educator, disciplinarian, cheerleader, and perhaps world-weary battle warrior. It’s something I’ve often recognized in my own home videos (“GAH, is that what I really sound like? What a nag…”), but it was kind of AWESOME to hear my friend’s mom voice. I’m not sure if it was because I was so happy to hear it in someone else — a kind of validation, like, “Look, another previously cool chick has turned into a MOM!” — or if it was because we haven’t kept in touch and her voice tells me a lot about where she is in life, which I suspect is the same place I am. Like if we were to meet up on a playground or coffee shop we’d instantly fall back into that happy old rhythm of friends.

What was really interesting was how, after she posted the video, a LOT of people commented on how nice it was to hear her mom voice. So I’m not just a weirdo! (Nah, I totally am.)

So here are the questions, ladies: Do YOU have a mom voice that you recognize? (Did it start after you grew out of the POOPCUP stage of parenting?) Have you heard your friends’ mom voices — and did it bring you comfort, solidarity, or something else? (Have you found your mom voice encroaching at the office? I’ve definitely noticed that I’m less willing to take any BS these days in any circumstance, but I’d attribute that more to being a grownup and less to a mom — but I’m curious to hear your thoughts.)

Pictured: Pixabay.

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Activity Scheduling Tips for Moms: How to Easily Plan Summer Schedules and Beyond

activity scheduling tips for working momsSummer schedules are already starting to be released, so I thought it might be good today to talk about how you take care of activity scheduling for kids — what are your best activity scheduling tips for moms, dads, and other caregivers? Do you use an Excel spreadsheet to schedule your kids’ activities, like I do? In general, how do you find classes and camps for your little one? Share your best activity scheduling tips with us here, ladies!

My top activity scheduling tips for working moms (or other parental units/caregivers) include:

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How to Level Up Your Childcare/Personal Help (When Money is No Object)

how to level up your childcare | extended options for very busy momsIf you’re a busy working mom, good childcare is a must — but what happens when a nanny doesn’t even begin to cut it? How can you level up your childcare and household management? (Warning: this post is not terribly budget-friendly.)

I’ve wanted to talk about this ever since I read this post from Penelope Trunk (written in 2008 but I first read it more recently than that) about hiring a house manager — an entire position I never knew existed but would love to have if money and time allowed. So if you need more than a nanny, let’s review the “additional childcare options for very busy moms” that I know of (beyond, obviously, getting your husband to be an equal partner and sharing parenting duties)…

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