Monday, May 11, 2015

FaceTime vs. *Real Life* Facetime, plus a review of UrbanSitters, an awesome online/mobile app that helps you make time for real life facetime!

How many times have you found yourself nervously looking out the front window, checking your phone for texts?

Is she really going to make it? 

On time? 

Have you ever found yourself  kissing the kids goodbye and hoping, just hoping, that they won't burn down the home while you're out?

Let's face it: a good babysitter is hard to find. 
One that will have a Friday or Saturday night free in the first place. 

One that won't call or text - last minute - to say she's sick, can't make it, is still waiting for the Fullerton bus and won't be there for at least another half hour.

It's hard enough for me to carve out "me" time and arranging a babysitter is one of the main obstacles.

I was recently asked to test out a babysitting service: UrbanSitter
UrbanSitter is an online resource and mobile app you can easily find and book babysitters recommended by people you knowYou can also pay, review and recommend babysitters. 

Here's how it works: Download the app or log online, enter your requested date/time, and you'll be shown available babysitters. The profiles are comprehensive - some even feature videos - so you can find the best match for your kids. Each babysitter's profile features parent reviews too, and thanks to Facebook connect, you can even see friend reviews. 

With a few taps on my phone, I was able to confirm a babysitter. I saw that two of my friends had hired Danielle as a babysitter within the past few months, and seeing their reviews reassured me that this was a good fit. Danielle arrived on time, was professional and warm - my daughter was thrilled to spend some time with a college-age girl who liked to draw and color! Here's the kicker: Rates are reasonable on UrbanSitter: Daniel charged just $12 an hour. And best of all, upon return home, I didn't have to worry about having enough cash on hand. I just went back online to confirm payment, and my credit card was charged. 

This video best explains how UrbanSitter works: 

Meanwhile, I headed to a Chicago restaurant to catch up with a friend. We sipped mojitos and talked life. Both of us commiserated that despite being ultra-connected, we still can easily feel disconnected from our friends. 

Here's what I'm telling my friends: I might have seen a billion of your status updates but I want to see you, in face. I want FACEtime as in real-life, face to face time! Why? Because I love you!

My pal and I both agreed we'd make a point of meeting up more often, in person. And then another friend popped in over the weekend for some good old kitchen table chatting time over tea, reminding me yet again of the importance of taking time to reconnect with my girlfriends IRL. 

Seriously, kitchen table chat time trumps social media time any day. 

And if you need a babysitter, check out UrbanSitter. When I came home, my daughter was wearing her Supergirl costume and happily eating a popsicle with Danielle. (Remember how cool it was hanging out with your college aged babysitter back in the day??!). 

I ended up booking Danielle AGAIN the following week, and caught a silent movie with a friend. Sitting back, together with a friend, watching a silent movie with a live organ was again such a treat. Again, I feel recharged after taking time out to spend with friends. And you will too - I promise! To further encourage you, I have a promo code for a free month of membership, so you, too, can give UrbanSitter a try! Be sure to enter FORFREETRIAL when you create an UrbanSitter account. Enjoy! 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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