Father's Day, tech, gifts, best gifts, dad, optishot, Cambridge, speakers, Zepp

Can you believe that Father’s Day is in 4 days? Me, neither. The Big Guy is hard to buy for. He’s easy in the way that he is a complete tech nerd and loves all things gadget and tech related, especially if he doesn’t need it and especially if it’s out of the ordinary, extremely small or completely unnecessary. Don’t ask me why, he just likes things that are definitely out of the box. I’m pretty sure if he could pick any time period to live in, it would be the time of the Jetsons.

I made a list of all of the really cool tech that dad might like this Father’s Day.

From the obvious to the obscure, if you have a hard to buy for dad in your life who just loves to always have the latest and greatest tech gadgets, boy have I got a list for you for this Father’s Day.

For the Golfer Dad:

Father's Day, gifts, tech, best father's day tech, x project, mini projector,Grace audio, bookshelf speakers, soul electronics, run free pro, Cambridge, OptiSHot2, golf simulator

OptiShot2 Golf Simulator

OptiShot® Golf allows golfers from around the world to compete against each other on any of the 43 To-the-Tee™ exclusive and private championship course replicas in the OptiShot Golf Course library. Each course provides a realistic and fully immersive 3D environment for play or practice. With OptiShot2, users have the ability to play the same championship holes the top PGA pros are playing on TV, as well as compete in a tournament of their own with OptiShot Live.

With the new OptiShot Live feature, users can play 18 holes on the world’s most famous courses with friends, family and competitors all over the world without ever leaving the comfort of their home or office. This award-winning golf simulator uses the latest in analytic and shot tracer technology with an easy to use interface to create the ultimate real-world golf experience. Compact in size and cost, the OptiShot2 requires no elaborate setup, works with every club in your bag and is compatible with Mac and Windows. With the goal of providing the best real golf experience, OptiShot2 provides technology consistent with professional simulators in a package designed for consumers.

Optishot has launched the OptiShot Tour featuring weekly events and on-going competitions all played on To-the-Tee™ replicas of PGA Tour courses.  The PLAYERS Championship course is this week’s tour stop. Just login in to your OptiShot and play the corresponding course anytime from Thursday 12:00am EST – Monday 3:00am EST to be automatically entered for a chance to win free OptiShot Courses for life!

OptiShot Golf Simulator is available at premium golf retailers and online at

Father's Day, gifts, tech, best father's day tech, x project, mini projector,Grace audio, bookshelf speakers, soul electronics, run free pro, Cambridge

Zepp 3D Multi-Sport Motion Sensor and Platform

The Zepp 3D Multi-Sport Motion Sensor is wearable sensor that allows dad to review and replay his swing in 360º and HD video, while providing detailed analysis and trend reports sent straight to any iOS® or Android device so he can improve.

Users can review and replay their swing in 360 degrees and see their swing in HD Video.

Then they can compare their swings to pro athletes. The 3D motion sensor easily attaches to any bat, club, or racket using innovative sport-specific mounts. Sensor wirelessly transmits data to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth after every swing.

Your guys not into golf? No problem. The Zepp 3-D Multi-Sport motion sensor is for everyone.

Baseball: track bat speed, path, timing, angles at impact, trends and more

  • Golf:track speed, tempo, club plane, hand path, backswing position, hip rotation and more
  • Tennis:track shot type mix (serve, forehand, backhand, smash), power and spin (topspin, slice, flat) and more
  • Able to compare swings to pros and friends and share your swing data with others
  • Zeppapplication records critical data and provides analysis, personalized tips, drills and coaching

For the Audiophile Dad:

Father's Day, gifts, tech, best father's day tech, x project, mini projector,Grace audio, bookshelf speakers, soul electronics, run free pro, Cambridge
Cambridge Audio: TV5 – TV Speaker Base

We bought an awesome 55-inch television last Christmas to hang above our mantle, the only thing is the sound quality is awful. The picture is amazing but the sound is like it’s coming through a tunnel. If you have this situation going on why not have the best of both worlds?

Get room-filling home theater sound all from one cabinet and Bluetooth streaming speaker, the Cambridge Audio TV5 speaker base? It’s suitable for use with most flat-panel TVs up to 55 – 60”

It has 100 watt Class D digital amplifier with less than 0.5 watt standby power consumption.

The TV5 also features multiple audio modes for ultra-clear voice reproduction with movies and music and two 2.25” Balanced Mode Radiators (BMR) provide clear sound plus dual 6.5″ powered subwoofers are built-in for deep bass.

Torque Audio’s t103z Headphones

For the music lover looking for something new check out the t103z from Torque Audio. These fully customizable ear buds feature Passive Acoustic Valve Technology so you can swap out TorqueValves™ for a totally individualized listening experience. Use the deep valve for thumping lows, clear valve for crisp highs or the reference valve for a balanced sound.

Father's Day, gifts, tech, best father's day tech, x project, mini projector,Grace audio, bookshelf speakers, soul electronics, run free pro

SOUL Electronics: Run Free Pro

Bluetooth headphones appeal to fitness-enthusiasts with comfort and wireless fit. My husband is not a runner but he does walk and move around his office quite frequently and with these he canmove around without worrying about getting hung up or knocking stuff over with the cord.

The Run Free Pro headphones are guaranteed to stay on when active with the first interchangeable ear lock system for custom size and fit, so no more inconvenience of headphones popping out on the run. Wind noise reduction technology allows listeners to listen to music without wind interference while on the go. It also features a sporty and fashionable waterproof design with up to 8 hours of battery life.

The ergonomic remote control with integrated mic for music control and hands free taking make life super easy for dads on the go.

Father's Day, gifts, tech, best father's day tech, x project, mini projector,Grace audio, bookshelf speakers

Grace Digital: aptX™ Bluetooth 4.0 Bookshelf Speakers
The aptX Bluetooth 4.0 Bookshelf Speakers are perfect for the dad who just wants to rock out in his office while he “gets some work done.” Sure there may be some air guitar happening but these speakers are crafted with a sleek leatherette casing, modern, compact and lightweight Bluetooth bookshelf speakers that seamlessly stream room filling sound from any Bluetooth compatible device. Simply put, they are awesome.

Engineered for in-home use with full range, CD quality audio, providing a high-quality indoor music experience where portable/outdoor speakers typically fall short. You can pair up to 8 devices via Bluetooth 4.0, with a range of 30 ft

Bonus, while dad’s rocking out he can conveniently use the USB jack on the speakers to charge his mobile device, while still rocking out. It’s the perfect gift for the dad who loves music.

For the Photographer Dad:

Father's Day, gifts, tech, best father's day tech, x project, mini projector, power capsule

Large Power CapXule by Xsories

Summer is the perfect time for the photo-centric dad to get out and start shooting again. But who wants to have to cut their day short because of lost power? Not only will the Large Power CapXule from XSORIES comfortably hold and organize all your gear, the clever case comes with an on-board 2800mAh power bank to get your camera or phone charged in a pinch.


The New Dad:

Father's Day, gifts, tech, best father's day tech, x project, mini projector, Izon

Izon View Cam

Do you know a new papa who can’t stand being away from the little one while he is at work all day? Keep Dad connected to what matters most with the Izon View an app controlled home video monitor that enables dad to check in on the little ones from anywhere in the world. The Izon View is a great gift for fur parents too!

For the Dad who Loves the Newest and Coolest Tech Toys:

Father's Day, gifts, tech, best father's day tech, x project, mini projector

XSORIES: X-Project Wi-Fi

The X-Project WiFi Projector is a Wi-Fi enabled Pocket Projector that shares and displays HD Video from anywhere. It is a portable projector that’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It’s perfect for summer outdoor movie nights because you can wirelessly share HD videos and images directly from online sources, SD cards and/or USB sticks. With it’s 100-lumen LED it projects brilliant color and high-contrast images. Xsories took compact tech to the next level because the X-Project is certainly small but mighty and will bring a smile to your outdoorsy family man.

There are so many cool high tech gifts for dad this Father’s day but these are my tops for the Big Guy!

What will you getting the Fathers in your life this Father’s Day?

Disclosure: I was provided some of the product for review purposes but all opinions and love of tech for Father’s Day are my own.
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GoPro, LCD, Father's Day, tech, Best Buy

Do you have a GoPro? Father’s Day is coming up this weekend and some dads, like the Big Guy, are complete techies. He loves to have all the latest and greatest gadgets. Believe me when I say there is a list a mile long of great Father’s Day gifts that my husband would like to have but at the top of his list is the GoPro HERO+ LCD.

I have a GoPro HERO4 Black and I love it.

It’s been the best thing for documenting our family adventures since I got it. The only thing that I wish it had was an LCD screen. While the camera itself is amazing, I always wished that I could have the instant gratification of seeing what I was shooting as I was shooting it but I was willing to overlook it. The new GoPro HERO + LCD has everything, great quality and instant gratification.

GoPro, LCD, Father's Day, tech, Best Buy

We all know that Best Buy is the destination for the latest cameras and camcorders, and now that includes the new GoPro HERO+LCD arriving in stores just in time for this Father’s Day.

The new GoPro camera is perfect for capturing sweet family moments, long summer breaks and every journey that lies ahead. It is the perfect gift for the man who wants to capture incredible moments and relive them on the spot with the LCD display.

You can help dad capture his adventures and relive them with the new GoPro HERO+ LCD—featuring:

  1. 1080p60 video, 8MP photos and built-in Wi-Fi, plus the convenience of a touch display.
  2. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® connect to the GoPro App for shot preview, total camera control and easy content sharing to Instagram, Facebook, and more.

GoPro, LCD, Father's Day, tech, Best Buy

Great Father’s Day Offers include:

  • HERO+LCD (Sku 6954009) with free 32GB Extreme Plus memory card (Sku 9387066). Valid 6/14-6/20
  • Free $50 Best Buy Gift Card with purchase of the GoPro HERO4 Silver (Sku 8374096) or GoPro HERO4 Black (Sku 8374078). Valid 6/7-6/20

What’s at the top of your dad’s Father’s Day list?

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free but all opinions of the GoPro Hero+LCD are my own.



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SAMSung. SUHDTV. Best Buy
I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

As many of you may know, I am a little tech crazy. I always want the latest and greatest tech available. It’s a disease; I caught it from my husband. I swear, when I met him in college he practically had to pry my hands off of my word processor because, hello, who needs a computer when you could type all of your research papers on a state of the art word processor. However, that is no longer the case. I want all the newest tech gadgets and I want them now.

One of my favorite things about the evolution of hi tech is that it is about more than just new innovation Samsung SUHD TV. It’s about taking your television experience to the next level.

The 4K is more than just a television it is a viewing experience which is visible immediately if you’ve had the chance to  just go to a Best Buy and check it out for yourself.

Here are a few features that I think we could use to complete our vacation.

  • Reveal more colors and a brighter picture with Samsung 4K SUHD TV – all powered by a revolutionary panel featuring Nano-crystal technology.  The immersive curved screen portrays a greater sense of depth.  Easily access the content you love with the advanced Samsung Smart TV.
  • You can enjoy a brighter, more true-to-life picture with a wider range of colors
  • Peak Illuminator Pro for enhanced picture detail and color
  • Improved black levels and contrast for a greater sense of depth
  • 4 times the resolution of full HD

Do you love twitter parties? @BestBuy and Brand Ambassador @dodomesticdad will be hosting an SUHD Twitter Party on Thursday June 9th at 7:00pm CST. Feel free to join the twitter party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards.

If you shop at select 4K special events, you can even experience this amazing product in person in the store. Right now, you can see an exclusive sneak peek of Jurassic World in Samsung Entertainment Experience Shops inside Best Buy.

And don’t forget to register for our twitter party on June 9th, 2015 at 6/9 at 7PM CST. RSVP here:

I’ll be there, I hope you are too!



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Hp Envy, Best Buy

Are you in the market for a new laptop? I am. Have you ever considered the new AMD FX APU-HP Envy Laptop?

As a blogger, I spend a majority of my day working on my laptop so I need one that is up for the challenge. I won’t lie; I am a known Apple devotee because you know what they say, “Once you go Mac, you never go back” but my needs are not necessarily the needs of the Big Guy or my girls.

I use my laptop for social media, blogging and editing photos. I’ve been living in Mac world for so long that everything else just feels awkward to me. Not saying that I would never change, I have an open mind.

My husband and the girls use the computer more for playing games, doing homework and watching YouTube videos, which makes them, prime candidates to use the new AMD FX APU-HP Envy Laptop. The HP Envy Laptop is for users who are passionate about technology and PC gaming because this laptop provides extreme performance of AMD’s most powerful mobile processer and delivers an exceptional Gaming and Entertainment experience.

The HP Envy TouchSmart 15.6” touch screen laptop makes multitasking a breeze so you can spend more quality time with your family creating memories. I like to use YouTube videos in the kitchen for easy to follow instructions because I need the visuals. My girls have a knack for coming in and switching it to a Meghan Trainor video for impromptu kitchen dance parties. The HP Envy would be perfect for that.

The Quick AMD FX series processor is great for streaming movies or videos and provides great video quality for gaming or catching up on your favorite Netflix series after the kids go to bed. Cuddle up with your favorite late night treat (your husband, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s or both) and binge away.

When you are looking for a notebook, the AMD FX Special Edition APU will provide you with unbelievable performance, gaming, graphics and productivity. If you want a good laptop with top of the line graphics at an affordable price, the HP Envy TouchSmart would certainly be worth looking into.

When making your purchase at Best Buy free shipping is available on orders $35 and up and store pick-up is free. Also, you can pick up your order in as little as 45 minutes.

What’s the most important feature you look for when investing in a new laptop?

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free but all opinions are my own.
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blogger, blogging, midlife crisis

I’m Debi and I’m an old school blogger. I started blogging 6 years ago ( well, it will be on May 7th). I’ve seen blogging change a lot.

I’ve noticed a definite trend in blogging lately.I’m seeing blogger “midlife” (of the blog) crisis happening almost daily. Everything that is old is new again. Or at least this is what I’ve seen happening; quit blogging, start a new blog and then make a come back….when you never really left. I’m kind of missing the days of self contrived press releases about being lost in the dessert and rescued by your childhood boy scout leader.

I guess “quitting blogging” is a euphemism for “2 week hiatus” and “new blog” is what’s “on trend” these days. I’m not making light of the desire to quit blogging or feeling like you have stayed past your expiration date, the struggle is real, y’all. And of course it’s easier to start a shiny new blog than to try to restore the old one. That’s expensive and a lot of work.

Hell, I understand wanting a do over. Man, I started my blog way back before I knew bupkis about SEO. When I started blogging, I had one objective and that was to write. I wanted to share my stories with other moms so they knew they weren’t alone in this craziness that is motherhood (because, it is CRAZYTown all the way.)

blogger, blogging, midlife crisis

Then I made friends and built a community because I loved what I was doing. I was making connections by being me. Sure my photos were not professional caliber and I didn’t know shit about what sizes to use and this was way before Instagram, Vine or Pinterest existed.

It was me blogging alone at night after the babies went to sleep and in between constant wakings. Co-sleeping was simultaneously awesome and killing me( especially the random head-butts it the middle of the night). I didn’t sleep a lot in those days but I craved the human interaction that blogging brought into my solitude life of new motherhood. You guys kept me company for two entire years while my husband lived out of state for work. You ladies (and gentlemen) saved my sanity and probably my life. YOU made it all tolerable and I survived.

Back then, I used Twitter like a phone and those 140 characters were my battle cry to whoever would listen. It was my mom 911. I made so many amazing connections; personal and business. There were no concerns of tweeting out links. Hell, I never even considered it. That was absolutely shitting where you ate. I would never text my IRL friends my links 3x plus a day and I would certainly never talk over their tweets or hijack their hashtags for my own benefit. In my defense, I’m not an asshole nor did I know what the heck a hashtag was.

Facebook was for sharing my posts, if I remembered but mostly it was for connecting to my readers. It wasn’t me virtually shouting ,”Look at me! Read what I wrote! Validate me!” It was, “Hey, so-and-so did the baby sleep through the night? How is the potty training going? Hey, you, if you need me, I’m here!” It was fun. It meant something. It was something I looked forward to. It was definitely not bugging strangers to play Farm games, JAMBERRY and poking people. HOW RUDE! I took social media and applied all the rules of real life to it and it was a beautiful thing. It worked.

People commented. We had conversations. I commented. I cared. You cared. We were invested.I craved to know their stories; their real stories. They felt safe enough to say something more than, “True.” I devoured the struggles and the triumphs. When I commented, I felt that it meant something to the person on the receiving end other than just traffic. It felt like community and friendship.

Then money came into it. Money is good and getting paid to do what you love is probably the best job that you can get. For a long time, I was naïve. I still didn’t notice traffic like I should. Hell, I didn’t even know how to check my traffic until Jessica told me to put Statcounter on my site. I had Google Analytics but I had no idea how to use it.

Then more money came and more jobs! Oh the writing jobs. I couldn’t turn any down. I just couldn’t believe someone would pay me to do this. I got to stay home with my girls, write about it and get paid. What??????

More jobs came. Then traffic goals became a thing. My free time was no longer free and soon, I felt like in order to be a good blogger I was becoming a shitty mom and that brought guilt. I decided I couldn’t live with myself in that state. My priority is to be the best mom I can be to my girls and wife to my husband but I want to be fulfilled personally too and it shouldn’t all have to be exclusive. I want to be happy.

By this point, I depend on my money. More money, more problems and all that shite. I found myself having less and less time for conversations and engagement. I started scheduling social and realizing that all of those amazing women that had gotten me through the lean years began to fall through the cracks. I still craved the conversations, the connections; the friendship. I missed every single one of you.

Then I became one of those assholes who checked her numbers constantly. I tweeted links a lot. I shared links on Facebook, Instagram and Google+. I pinned my posts and shared to Tumbler and even Linkedin on occasion. To be fair, I’ve always shared other people’s stuff too but I just didn’t get to read and comment like I wanted to. I shared it so that I could come back to it. My intentions were good.

I was writing everywhere and I began to feel like the Truthful Mommy train was over saturating the market. I’m sure you all got sick of me and I know that you knew that you could find me anywhere so why bother coming to read me on my actual website. It was too much.

I lost touch with many of you because I had so many deadlines and not enough hours in the day. It wasn’t fun anymore, it was a job. I was working really hard to build something but I’m not quite sure what it was that I was trying to build. I lost myself in the middle of my journey.

I’m not quitting my blog to reinvent myself. I’m addicted. I’ve been doing some face-lifting. Last fall, I changed the website. It’s not The TRUTH about Motherhood anymore…it is now simply just The TRUTH (because it’s not been just about motherhood for a very long time) I’ve learned that I need to organize so that I can actually spend quality time really engaging again. I’ve realized there is no shame in admitting that my blog needs some work done under the hood. I also know that some things are worth the price, this is one of them.

I’m going to pass on the Blogger Midlife crisis. I like my husband a lot, I need to give my girls more of my time this summer and I want to keep focusing on my health journey. I want to get back to writing because I love it. I want to have conversations with you. I want to surround myself with my tribe and I want us to grow together. I want my posts to be to the point where sometimes you’ll read 1355 word post and not mind because it meant something. I want us all to get lost in our stories. Who’s with me?

Disclosure: SEO was not considered once while writing this post. This post will never go viral because people don’t share like they used to. I don’t care because I enjoyed “talking” to you this morning. Let’s do it again soon.



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water park, waterpark, great wolf lodge, wisconsin dells, travel, bloopers, gopro

Last weekend, I went to a Great Wolf Lodge Water park with my family and I took my GoPro HERO4 Black. I got it for my birthday last year and I know everyone was wondering what the heck a “mom” was going to do with that camera. I mean no one wants to see first person diaper changes, toddler tantrums or tween eye rolls, right? It’s not like I’m jumping off of cliffs or going to be skydiving anytime soon but still, I think being a mom is pretty exciting stuff so I started bringing it with me on trips.

Mostly, I’ve been using it for recording purposes, just like I would any other camera but when I made our reservations for the water park, I packed the GoPro and my new XSORIES: U-Float 100% waterproof and buoyant handheld camera mount because I thought I might catch some fun shots of the girls or capture a thrilling ride down a waterslide.

water park, waterpark, great wolf lodge, wisconsin dells, travel, bloopers, gopro

Oh, I caught something all right. I caught my entire family losing their minds on the Tornado waterslide. Unfortunately, my husband was the one recording so mostly you see my oldest daughter and I completely losing our minds. I like to think of it as my own personal Mom’s Gone Wild video, wild as in primitive, primal and out of control of her reactions.

This video is not normally something that I would share because well, I am definitely not showing my “best” side plus I’m in a bathing suit. But you know, life is short and I’m always honest with you about what my life really looks like so I’m sharing the video of what most people really look like when they ride terrifying waterslides. Nobody can keep their composure and be cute all the time and I have to say this crazy little video made my entire family laugh.

We will never forget our weekend at Great Wolf Lodge thanks to this water park video.

I know a lot of people share what they want you to know on social media; painting the picture of the perfect life. I don’t do that. My life is complicated, sometimes hard and crazy beautiful because even when life’s harder than hard, I have the 3 other people on this inner tube to laugh, cry and love with. I am blessed to be able to have these moments.

So, here I share it with you and I encourage you to share it with anyone you know who needs a good laugh because people being terrified as they are being thrilled is funny to watch. Just don’t judge me on my bathing suit body. I’m a work in progress. Aren’t we all?

What’s the best water park or adventure vacation you’ve ever taken your family on?

Disclosure: I was provided the Xsories U Float camera mount for review purposes but all opinions and water park mayhem are my own.

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Zayn Malik, One Direction, career, choose happiness, life choices

Zayn Malik QUIT One Direction!” her voice cracked as she spoke these words. There was no talk of “flabby arms” amongst the ballerinas tonight only distress that Zayn quit One Direction. My girls are too young to care. I like One Direction. They won me over with Little Things. But this situation made me think, would you leave a high paying career behind to be happy?

I know the thought is terrifying. It’s a giant leap and many of you are shaking your head with a resounding, “Hell, no!” Money isn’t everything but it certainly is important. I’m with Zayn Malik on this one, life’s too short. You’ve got to get your happy! That’s exactly why I started The TRUTH about Motherhood. This is easy for me to say because I already took the leap. It’s always easier to be brave when you’re safely looking up from the bottom of the cliff than standing at the top about to take that first leap into the unknown.

Why did  Zayn Malik quit?

He’s 22, he’s a millionaire and he just wants to be a regular guy. He wants to live while he’s young. I don’t blame him. Money can’t buy you happiness and fame will never get you privacy. I think he’s brave to choose happiness over money. I get that he’s an artist and from the outside looking in, he’s made it. He’s living the dream but maybe the fame part is too much to bear. Who knows, in a couple years, maybe he’ll come back as a solo artist. After all, he is only 22. Besides, there will still be a ONE DIRECTION, just minus Zayn.

Zayn Malik, One Direction, career, choose happiness, life choices

Would you quit the job you have now to follow your dreams and pursue your passions if you had no children or responsibilities like Zayn Malik? Would pursuing your passions make you happier than what you’re currently doing?

For me, it was simple, I’d rather spend the rest of my life doing what I love and working my tail off trying to succeed than make a lot of money doing something that doesn’t make me happy. To me, success is defined by doing something I love and being there to enjoy the moments with the people that I love without having to run out, miss things or not be there when they need me.

I am a writer. I’ll probably never be a millionaire but I don’t care. I want to be happy. I am happy. I am able to be here for my children and the Big Guy when they need me. I get to travel the world, meet interesting people and do things that the average person doesn’t get to do in their entire lifetime because I write. I get to tell stories, share my life with others and get to know wonderful people all over the world from all walks of life. So, would I choose to take the less traveled path….again? Hell yeah.

I’m lucky. I am blessed because every single day. I get to live life on my terms and that is what I want for my children. I have to lead by example. I’m really lucky because I have a husband who completely believes in me and supports my dreams. I’m even luckier that he has a career doing something he loves that actually pays well. We have family around to help out when I need to travel.

Outside of my husband and daughters, I don’t think that most of my family and friends really understand what I do or how I came to choose this path. It chose me. I was presented with options, my fork in the road, when I was pregnant with my daughter. It took me 2 years to choose which path to follow. I was scared, just like you. What if I chose wrong? It wasn’t just about me. It was about all of us.

Still, I’m with Zayn, when given the choice always choose happiness. Choose to follow your bliss. It might not be the popular choice but if it’s right for you, you can’t worry about popularity. Be brave. Be happy.

Do you think Zayn Malik is crazy or crazy smart to choose his happy over money and fame?

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WeAllGrow Summit the Must Attend Blog Conference for Latinas

Recently, I went to the WeAllGrow Summit held at the Line Hotel in Los Angeles put together by Ana Flores and the WAGLN crew. This was my first exclusively Latina conference and it was amazing. Actually, it was life changing.

the Line Hotel, Los Angeles, latina, influencer, #WeAllGrow, conference

WeALLGrow Summit exceeded all of my expectations.

Seriously. At this point in my blogging career, I have been to several conferences and I know that some are strictly for learning (though at this point, I’m finding that most conferences are teaching for beginners), others are for networking and some, well, some you are just paying a couple thousand dollars to hang out with your friends but not #WeAllGrow Summit. Ana Flores took this conference to the next level because there were no wasted days and each session I attended, I learned something new, even if it was just one thing.

When I arrived, I was a little nervous. Like I said, I’d never been to a conference exclusively for Latinos. The reason I was nervous? Well, while I know lots of bloggers (and they know me) I feel on the fringes as far as the Latina blogging community is concerned. It’s a really tight knit community and I knew very few Latina bloggers.

YouTube, latina, influencer, #WeAllGrow, conference, the Line Hotel, Los Angeles

I could count on one hand how many of the bloggers attending WeAllGrow Summit that I’d actually ever met in person and on two hands, those who I have known online. I believe there were around 300 in attendance. I loved the intimate size of it compared to larger conferences. I think I actually said hi, at least once, to most everyone.

WeAllGrow Summit was all about the sisterhood.

From the moment I arrived at LAX, I was welcomed with open arms, starting with my airport share ride buddy, Yoly Mason, who was sweet and kind (and did I mention that she is a SEO mastermind? I didn’t find that part out until she was speaking at the SEO session). She put me at ease without even knowing it.

When we arrived at the YouTube Pretreat, Yoly introduced me to MaríaJosé Ovalle whom I hit it off with immediately. You know those people you meet and you feel like you’ve been friends with forever? That’s Maria Jose. She is lovely, funny and down to earth plus she knows a whole lot about fashion and beauty!

Maria Jose Ovalle, YouTube, latina, influencer, #WeAllGrow, conference, the Line Hotel, Los Angeles

I’ve been wanting to step up my vlogging game and have no idea where to begin, so this pretreat was perfect and useful. As bloggers arrived, I met ladies that I had been talking to in the FB group for the past few months like Rocio Mora. One-by-one, we said hello. There were no awkward tensions where you found yourself face-to-face with someone you’d been talking online with only to have them look right through you in person.

WeAllGrow was a definite growing experience for me and I am so thankful for the women I met there.

I also met many bloggers that I had never known before like Liz Beth and each and every one said hello, had conversation and no one ever made me feel like they were looking for someone bigger. (You know what I’m talking about…the Tier 1 blog scan so many of us have seen in the eyes of fellow bloggers at conferences mid-conversation). Hell, Astrid Rivera even let me store my luggage in her car and she didn’t even know me. Everyone was so nice. I spent the day learning loads of helpful tips and meeting lots of interesting women. You can read all about how to make your YouTube channel rock over here.

YouTube, latina, influencer, #WeAllGrow, conference, the Line Hotel, Los Angeles, Claudia Krusch

I roomed with Claudia Krusch, who has been to several Latino conferences and it was nice to have such a positive person guiding me through my first experience. She knew everyone and if I hadn’t already met them, she introduced me. That was just day one!

And I made brand new friends like Cynthia Velasco and Claudia Rebecca Garcia Herrero better known as Becky Boriqua. Really once you cry with someone, you are friends for life.

The bottom line is that everyone I met, even for the first time, was kind and welcoming. The true spirit of the conference, the people and the culture, was palpable. We all know that if one of us grows ( succeeds) we all succeed and there is room enough for all of us. There is no need to knock or keep someone else down to feel better about ourselves or grow our blogs. I wish every conference could be this way but as we all know, that is not the way it is.

The community is what sets WeALLGrow apart from the rest and why I will be making this an annual conference to attend.

latina, influencer, #WeAllGrow, conference

I want to tell you more and share all the great tips I learned to improve your blog but I’m going to have to make this a series because I’m already at 733 words! To be continued…

If you are a Latina and you want to grow your blog and your community, WeAllGrow Summit should be at the top of your blogging bucket list.

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YouTube, YouTube Space L.A., L.A., California, WeAllGrow Summit, Latinas, build a better blog, tips for a better YouTube Channel

Have you ever been inside of YouTube Space L.A. ? Last week, I was in Los Angeles for the first time for the first annual #WeAllGrow Summit for Latinas. While there, I had the privilege of taking a tour inside of Youtube space LA. (I know I just said “Inside of YouTube Space LA” like that was not a big deal, but it so was!)

YouTube, YouTube Space L.A., L.A., California, WeAllGrow Summit, Latinas, build a better blog, tips for a better YouTube Channel

So, firstly, I’d like to say that Los Angeles was beautiful and the weather was marvelous. It was 67 when I arrived. I wore! Of course, I saw locals wearing parkas and boots and I giggled because hello, it was 3 degrees when I left the Midwest last week.

After a brief stint of being lost with the most geographically confused taxi cab driver in the world, we found our way. Or rather I should say that I found our way.

There we were, YouTube Space LA.

*insert choirs of angels What? Was I the only one who heard them?

YouTube, YouTube Space L.A., L.A., California, WeAllGrow Summit, Latinas, build a better blog, tips for a better YouTube Channel

Fun fact: Did you know that YouTube Space LA is located on what used to be the largest private airport. It belonged to Howard Hughes and the building itself was a hanger where The “Spruce Goose”, officially known as the Hughes H-4 Hercules, one of the largest planes was built. Pretty cool fact, right? You don’t care about any of that do you?

YouTube, YouTube Space L.A., L.A., California, WeAllGrow Summit, Latinas, build a better blog, tips for a better YouTube Channel

So let me tell you some things that you probably didn’t know about YouTube that you should:

Did you know that if you have a Youtube Channel,no matter how many subscribers, you can take online courses to help better your Youtube experience; allow you to do YouTube better, if you will.

If you have 10,000 subscribers and you’ve taken the required online YouTube courses, you can book time at YouTube Space LA, YouTube Space NYC, YouTube Space San Paolo, YouTube Space Tokyo…etc. You get the picture?

Shhhhh, little known fact, if you have at least 5000 subscribers, you can book YouTube Space LA. The place is super cool and so are all the people who work there. I had a blast on my tour last week.

That means that you can book the equipment, rooms to film, screening rooms and production to edit. WHAT? And it’s free.  FREE! Why do none of us know this? It does me no good because I don’t live anywhere near one but you, you can do this.

P.S. YouTube, how about a YouTube Space Chicago?

YouTube, YouTube Space L.A., L.A., California, WeAllGrow Summit, Latinas, build a better blog, tips for a better YouTube Channel

Some things you can do to make your YouTube channel rock?

  1. Customize your header.
  2. Customize your thumbnails.
  3. Make sure that thumbnails and title are not misleading.
  4. Customize your channel icon and channel banner.
  5. Make a welcome video.
  6. Customize your playlists to keep viewers watching your videos.
  7. Make sure that you use keywords when tagging in your description, include a call to action and, if possible, upload posts on a scheduled day to get subscribers looking forward to your vlogs.

YouTube, YouTube Space L.A., L.A., California, WeAllGrow Summit, Latinas, build a better blog, tips for a better YouTube Channel

The key to a great YouTube channel is regular engagement and interesting material. You need to treat your YouTube channel like it is it’s own entity. Think of it as a second blog not a part of the blog you already have. It takes a lot of hard work until you get the hang of it but if you keep at it, your YouTube channel can be a great platform to boost your blog’s traffic and vice versa.

Photos of YouTube: Robson Muzel & #WeAllGrow Summit


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CES, 2015, tech gadgets, tech

I can’t believe that a week ago, I was walking around Las Vegas completely enchanted by the lights and immersed in all the tech that CES had to offer. It was my first trip to Sin City and I wanted to take it all in. I have to admit Vegas is grandiose, vibrant and beautiful in a really overwhelming, surreal kind of way. The entire time I was there, I felt like I was walking around in a dream; a dream with Elvis taking Selfies and more amazing technology than I could ever imagine, but a dream all the same.

CES 2015, the Consumer Electronics Show, had some really cool things this year. Things that were genius, things that were Jetson-like and some things that were so technologically advanced that my brain nearly exploded right there in the convention center. Then there was the “ A-ha! I wish I would have thought of that!” gadgets and things that were so over the top and technologically advanced that it was downright creepy, Toshiba….I’m talking to you and your humanoid, but cooler than the flip-side of my pillow, nonetheless.

Here’s my list of favorite new tech gadgets at CES 2105:

CES, 2015, tech gadgets, tech, Las Vegas, Lenovo Vibe, sleep number, sleepPhones

SleepPhones Effortless: Headphones that are thin and comfortable enough to be worn while sleeping. Think of them as pajamas for your ears, only way cooler. The company aims for the headphones to provide music or ambient noise to users who need soothing sounds close by as they fall asleep. This is perfect for me because while I LOVE falling asleep to music (a bad habit from my teen years) my husband likes quiet…well, except for the roar of a fan. Finally, a compromise that will make us both happy. The best part, SleepPhones block out snoring.

SleepPhones Effortless are Bluetooth® enabled headphones inside a soft satin-thin headband, complete with induction charging technology for a completely wireless experience. In addition to its 100% wireless
design, the product was designed to provide the ultimate comfort .

The unique induction charging feature allows users to effortlessly charge the product’s lithium
ion battery by simply draping it across its charging stand, eliminating tangled wires and saving
time. Once charged, SleepPhones Effortless users can enjoy up to 14 hours of their music,
meditation sounds, or binaural beats all night, enhancing their sleep and general health.

CES, 2015, tech gadgets, tech, Las Vegas, Lenovo Vibe

Lenovo Vibe Xtension Selfie Flash: This is the ultimate accessory for anyone who takes Selfies and the mom who NEVER gets in the family photos. It’s pocket-sized flash plugs right into the headphone jack on your phone and casts an even, diffused light over a one meter radius to ensure that you get the perfect lighting for your selfies. The flash has eight white LED bulbs in a ring, claims to sync perfectly with your camera shutter, and can brighten up as many as 100 selfies on a single charge.
CES, 2015, tech gadgets, tech, Las Vegas, Lenovo Vibe

Acton RocketSkates: Perfect for urban cities, these skates let you explore the town without ever having to slow down, even allowing users to tip toe up stairs instead of taking them off. Perfect for the parent on the go who has a lot of things to do and not enough time in the day to get it done.

Tech Armor RetinaShield Blue Light Filter Screen Protectors: A screen protector that gets rid of the blue glare on phone /ipad that tricks our brain into thinking it’s day time, allowing the user to shut their brain down and go to sleep. It’s not going to do squat for that magic laundry list that appears every night the moment your head hits the pillow but it will help eliminate the computer as the culprit.

Polaroid Socialmatic: The best of both worlds, the Polaroid Socialmatic combines vintage Polaroid instant print cameras with the ability to share using the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi and Android™ interface. It’s like the Hipstamtic app in 3-D. I love it and it’s way more fun to play with than my DSLR. It’s perfect for the parent who wants to capture their child’s childhood memories but isn’t all hung up on the perception of perfection.

CES, 2015, tech gadgets, tech, Las Vegas, Lenovo Vibe

Sleep Number Kids Sleep IQ Bed: This amazing new smart bed knows when your kids are sleeping and when they’re awake. It even has a monster detection feature on the accompanying app, so kids feel safe from unwanted visitors. Now, only if it had an invisible force field to keep kids in bed, right?

This revolutionary new kid’s bed monitors sleep cycles and can help parents decipher if diet, stress or other activities throughout the day are impacting the quality of their day.

CES, 2015, tech gadgets, tech, Las Vegas, Lenovo Vibe, sleep number, sleep IQ for kids

A monster detector deciphers when under the bed is clear of even the scariest of boogie men. By hovering a smartphone or tablet in the direction of the bottom of the bed, a small monster icon will appear and determine if the coast is clear. This would have been amazing when Ella was having nightmares about chickens and lemurs under the bed!

The bed, equipped with tiny hidden sensors, uses digital-signal capture within the mattress and processing techniques to pick up on motion and pressure. It tracks a child’s breathing and heart rate throughout the night too, and blends that data with other factors to determine a SleepIQ score in the morning; the higher the number (based from 1 to 100), the better the quality of sleep.

CES, 2015, tech gadgets, tech, Las Vegas, Lenovo Vibe, sleep number, sleep IQ for kids

It’s also interactive. A sleep dashboard (available via an Android app or desktop) shows parents how well each child slept and alerts them in real-time if they need attention and are out of bed. The bed can also tilt if a child wants to read or has a stuffy nose from a head cold or allergies. Meanwhile, soft lights around the bed glow when kids get up or want to read and parents can turn them off remotely when it gets too late or little people nod off to slumber.

The bed is designed to grow with a child. Once they hit 10-years-old, they can manage their own SleepIQ score and see for themselves how exercise, sugar and TV time impact how they feel in the morning. This is intended to teach kids how to make better choices throughout the day.

SleepIQ Kids, which ships later this year, is priced at about $1,000 and will come in twin, full and queen size options.

These are a few of my favorite tech products for parents this year at CES 2105! There were so many great things that I just have to break it up into more than one post or I’ll be writing a pamphlet. Stay tuned for more must haves. I can’t wait to go back next year to see what the hottest new tech gadgets of 2016 will be at CES.

Disclosure: I attended CES 2015 with Sleep Number but all opinions and the love of all things high tech are my own.

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