Category:

Tech

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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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 sandals.in.February! 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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Las Vegas, Consumer Electronics Show, Vegas, Tech, CES, #CES2015

Last week, I attended CES! CES!!!! I feel like I’ve been waiting my entire life to attend. Just me and about 170,000 other tech junkies descended upon Las Vegas. It was my first time; I was a CES and a Vegas virgin. Talk about go big or go home? WOWZA!

I could go on for days, hell, weeks, writing about this experience but I will start by giving you the jist of what it feels like to attend CES, it’s like climaxing and then despite your better senses continuing on, in that crazed, hyper sensitive, overwhelming feeling of pleasure and pain overload but you still want more….more….more…THAT.IS.CES!

The next thing you know, your feet are on fire, you drank too much at some VIP event because you forgot you weren’t 21, you want all the tech, you’ve been up til 5:30 eastern time every night because you are so jet-lagged. You really don’t know what time it is anymore and then you find yourself so overwhelmed after 3 days of walking in the dessert of lights with that ginormous fucking badge that weighs twelve pounds that you hit a wall (figuratively not literally, though if you are tired enough you might do that too.)

You’ve seen more hookers than you ever have on HBO real sex and Taxi Cab confessions combined, been given directions by a Mexican Elvis who requests a selfie with you and seen and heard gadgets that have blown your mind.

Next thing you know, there you are crying, stranded in the airport in Dallas, your flight’s been cancelled because of “weather” and you were the dumb ass who “voluntarily” checked your carry on because some smiling flight attendant asked politely in Vegas and when you ask the flight attendant in Dallas to help you find your much needed luggage, she rolls her eyes at you (ROLLED.HER.EYES.AT.ME!!), scolds you and turns you into a sniveling, sleep deprived ball of snot in the middle of the Dallas/Fort Worth airport with TSA eyeballing you like you just smuggled in heroine ( or maybe it was that new Vibe selfie flash) in your anal cavity.

Speaking of strange and weird shit happening, as a stranded traveler living my own personal version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, I ended up in a shuttle with 1) a gentleman from California who happens to be the boss of one of our closest friends from college, who now lives in Colorado but originates from Chicago 2) an ex-lobbyist turned UCLA Poli Sci Professor who has a reoccurring roll on Hawaii 5.0. This trip was all about the surreal.

Finally, around 10 p.m. Texas time, there I was wearing my new scarf as a sarong, in 20-degree weather while washing my panties and yoga pants out in the sink so I had clean clothes to wear the next day. I did this all by hand. A friend told me that MANY people use the in room coffee makers to wash their unmentionables. I didn’t but think twice before you use those to make coffee. That “weird” taste might be someone else’s ass.

Anyways, aside from all the drama of the flight home, CES is awesome. Being that it was my first time there are some things that I wished I would have known going in, so I am sharing them here with you. Yes, I will get to all the really, cool shit I saw tomorrow.

 

  • Wear Comfortable shoes. Repeat after me…WEAR.COMFORTABLE. SHOES! Save your cute shoes for nighttime events. Wearing cute heels to CES means that you are either certifiable, dead from the waist down or a hooker. Go away, P.S. even TOMS can wreak havoc on the feet of sensitive soles. Let’s just say, I somehow managed a blister the size of my baby toe on top and on bottom of said baby toe. I was crippled, people. Gym Shoes, UGGs, Frye Boots, COMFORT PEOPLE but please NO CROCS ALLOWED. If you wear crocs the homeless people will make fun of you.
  • Register early to avoid fees.
  • Pick your badge up at the airport, the line is quicker than at the hotels. But if you are PRESS ( as I was) go to the PRESS kiosk or you may find that your badge was given to someone named Donald.
  • Cabs are expensive and traffic is horrible in Vegas. Take the shuttles. It’s $8 one way or $14 round trip. Very cost effective.
  • If you are a single woman who is looking for love with a nerdy, highly intelligent, somewhat wealthy, possibly a gamer, with a great BIG sexy brain… this is your heaven. The men outnumber the women about 9 to 1. STEM PEOPLE. This needs to be a priority with our girls.
  • Have a plan. Vegas is huge and there were 170,000 attendees and 3600 booths. You do the math. There is no way you can cover every booth in 5 days. It’s not possible. Make a plan.
  • Forget about passing out your cards. This is not a blog conference. Get cards. Give cards if asked or if there is a spot to leave them.
  • Network at events and smaller venues. You are not going to stand out at CES unless you are naked or wearing crocs. Wait, I stand corrected, you are not going to stand out at CES unless you are wearing crocs.
  • Walk the strip. You have to. It’s beautiful at night. Also, #Highroller. It’s bigger than the London eye and the view is not only natural it is fucking spectacular!
  • Schedule down time. I am serious, if you do not, you will hit a wall and end up in your room in the middle of the day in your pjs, eating a slice and taking a nap against your own will. P.S. It’s really hard to network when you are delirious from sleep deprivation.
  • Also, speaking of naps, get some sleep. I’m one of those people who physically get ill after a certain point of no sleep. I have insomnia so my threshold is pretty high but if I stay up past 3:30 a.m., I will literally get nauseated. I guess my body decides it’s had enough and it’s shutting down.
  • Don’t over schedule yourself. I made the rookie mistake of making lots of booth tour appointments. I was just so flattered to be asked but I will tell you, then you find yourself rushing around and not enjoying things. CES is all about flexibility; you need to be able to spend time where you find your interests.

My takeaway, have a plan but be flexible. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that you can stay comfortable in for 12 + hours. Be prepared to walk because I walked about 15,000 steps every day I was there. Be spontaneous. There are so many cool gadgets and tech and people that you never know where the day might take you and if you have the option, take a friend. Life’s never quite so overwhelming when you have someone with you to help you conquer the world.

If you love playing with gadgets like I do or just love being in the tech know, when given the chance attend CES. It is awesome. Come back tomorrow and I will tell you all about the great new tech gadgets coming out this year.

Were you at CES this year, if so what was your favorite new gadget?

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cameras, DSLR, Best Buy, Nikon, Canon, Samsung

I’ve got a secret; the number one thing that I want for Christmas is a new DSLR camera. Like most moms-to-be since the moment I knew I was pregnant, I knew I that I needed to capture every single moment of motherhood on “film”.

I started out shooting on a Nikon DSLR. It took fantastic photos but I missed the feel of hardcopies in hand of a 35 mm camera so I switched to a Canon 35 mm. It took amazing photos but I was averaging about a roll of film a day. My husband said that I was putting him in the poor house with my mammarazzi habit, so I switched back to a DSLR, this time a Canon. I’ve been shooting with that since 2005. Cameras have come a long way since then. It’s time for a new camera.

Best Buy Holiday Gift Center is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras and camcorders to capture those precious memories so of course that’s where I go when doing research on a new camera.

The three cameras from Nikon, Sony and Samsung I looked into, all come equipped with built-in Wi-Fi so you can share amazing photos with ease. There’s still time to upgrade your camera in time to capture precious holiday memories.

cameras, DSLR, Best Buy, Nikon, Canon, Samsung

Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens·

A DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi so you can capture high quality photos and share them instantly

This Nikon D5300 DSLR camera comes with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens that enables you to capture sharp photos and video footage. Optical image stabilization helps prevent blurring to ensure image clarity

cameras, DSLR, Best Buy, Nikon, Canon, Samsung

Also available in red or gray

cameras, DSLR, Best Buy, Nikon, Canon, Samsung

Sony 6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera·

A compact system camera with the World’s Fastest Autofocus

This Sony Alpha A6000 features a 24.3-megapixel, Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor that makes it easy to shoot scenes in stunning clarity. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you share stored content across devices.

cameras, DSLR, Best Buy, Nikon, Canon, Samsung

Also available in White or silver.

cameras, DSLR, Best Buy, Nikon, Canon, Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2·

A digital camera that allows you to shoot, share, and use Android Apps

This Samsung Galaxy 2 digital camera’s 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor allows you to capture sharp images and high-definition video footage. The 4.8″ touch screen simplifies operation, and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing stored files easy.

Visit the Best Buy Holiday Gift Center to see more great cameras, whether you’re giving as a gift or upgrading for yourself. (wink*wink*) Never miss a moment of your children’s life.

cameras, DSLR, Best Buy, Nikon, Canon, Samsung

Disclosure: 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

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stocking, stocking stuffers, best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla

We’re getting down to the wire and I’ve still not bought stocking stuffers. Why did I think it was cute to buy those humongous stockings? They are literally big enough to fit a small toddler in. Do you know how much stuff it takes to fill those stockings?

For the girls, I can fill it with a stuffed animal and some chocolate with proper placement but for the Big Guy, I need something to impress my techy, metro man. So I made a list of some things that would make the perfect stocking stuffers for him and any adult really because I’d love to see all of these in my stocking this year.

best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla, JBL, Stocking Stuffers, Stocking

JBL speakers

 

Not going to lie. I got the JBL Flip 2 as a gift. Never thought it was something I ever needed. I have surround sound in the house BUT this thing is portable and chargeable and syncs with my phone via Bluetooth and is perfect for random dance parties in the kitchen, in the backyard or in the shower. It’s one of my favorite things I own but I never knew that I needed it until I had it. Anyone on your Christmas list would be thrilled to have any of thee JBL products.

JBL Charge 2– Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.

JBL Flip 2– Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.

JBL Reflect Earbud headphones– Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic ear tips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.
best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla

Eyes by ToGoSpa

(Formerly known as Eyedews) are moisture packed collagen gel pads that provide instant, cooling relief for eyes suffering from dark circles, under-eye bags, fine lines, stress and fatigue, or to help you feel refreshed from a late night of too much fun, hangover, allergies or headache. They work, I use them all the time.

 

best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla, JBL, Stocking Stuffers, Stocking, veet, infini silk

Veet Infini’ Silk

Ok, so I am really into personal hygiene. I also would prefer not to grow hair from my eyebrows down, honestly. So,when I was asked to try out the Veet Infini’ Silk, it was like Santa and the universe got together and decided to give me something that I really needed. I was a little skeptical because I’m afraid of pain. Remember, I’m the girl who it takes ten minutes to remove the wax strip above my lip but if this thing worked it could be a game changer. Well, it didn’t hurt but it did startle me when it popped the first time. That’s totally normal.

Why not give your favorite girl or guy the experience of touchably smooth skin everyday with Veet Infini’Silk™, the FDA cleared IPL hair removal system for both women and men designed to help give you Veet’s longest lasting, smooth skin.  Veet Infini’Silk Light-Based IPL Hair Removal System for Home Use harnesses the same technology found in clinics and salons, so you can enjoy hair reduction results — in the comfort of your home.  Simply treat your skin with the intensive pulsed light IPL hair removal technology, which is different than laser hair removal, and promote results in as few as 4 – 5 treatments.

Veet Infini’Silk is ideal for your underarms, arms, stomach, bikini line, legs, back and chest.  You are only 5 easy steps away from full body hair reduction!

 best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla, JBL, Stocking Stuffers, Stocking

Garmin and TomTom

This is the perfect stocking stuffer for any person that drives. We used to move quite a bit and we still travel a lot so having a GPS system is imperative for us but to be completely honest, we’ve only lived here for two years and I use it just to get around town quite frequently. This stocking stuffer is especially nice for the man who has everything but no desire to ever ask for directions. He’ll be so excited about the new tech toy; he won’t even notice that he’s being given something useful.

The Tom Tom and Garmin also both feature bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates.  Lane assist, Lifetime traffic and map updates.   Voice Recognition Technology.

ShaveMob

Quality shaving at a low price delivered to your door with no shipping cost. Yes, this is the best invention since sliced bread, in my book. I get so busy that I often forget to buy new razors. ShaveMob solves that problem by shipping fresh, blades ( for men and women), handles, and cream to my door monthly. No more worry about getting flesh eating disease and it beats the hell out of the jelly of the month club.

One Night stay at a hotel

Who doesn’t love a night of uninterrupted sleep? I sleep best in a king-sized heavenly bed at the Westin. Just in case you were wondering what I’d like in my stocking this year? 😉

alex and ani,best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla, JBL, Stocking Stuffers, Stocking

Alex and Ani bracelets

Each bangle is expandable ensuring the perfect fit for every wrist. This completely original design allows everyone to have a piece of jewelry, which is truly customized. I love the look of Alex and Ani but more importantly I love the fact that each bangle was chosen with thought and love by someone who loves me. It’s more than a bracelet; it’s a testament to the relationship. They are very affordable, deeply meaningful and every woman deserves an Alex and Ani bracelet in her stocking this Christmas.

 

best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla

Go Pro Hero4 Black

The first thing everyone asks when you get a GoPro is,”where are you going to use it?” I got one, my answer, “Everywhere!” Life’s an adventure and who doesn’t want to remember every single moment of it from a first-person, candid viewpoint?

With stunning image quality and powerful new features, HERO4 cameras take Emmy Award-winning GoPro performance to a whole new level. The HERO4 Black has incredible high-resolution 4K30 and 2.7K50 video and high frame rate 1080p120 video.

 

best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla, JBL, Stocking Stuffers, Stocking

Joby GorillaPod Hybrid

For the photographer who wants to get those hard to get, one of a kind shots. With over two dozen leg joints you can set it up anywhere you want, the rubberized ring and foot joints give it great stability and the quick-release clip and bubble level make sure that you always get level shots.

best buy, gopro, togspa, eyes, joby, gorilla, JBL, Stocking Stuffers, Stocking, tory burch, fitbit

Tory Burch for FitBit in Rose Gold

Because everyone these days owns a fitbit but the rubber fitbit band is not the most fashion forward thing to wear, this may be my favorite thing to find in my stocking. Just because you’re trying to get healthy doesn’t mean that a grown woman should have to wear rubber with her cocktail dress, she also shouldn’t have to give up those steps!

These are just a few of my favorite stocking stuffers this holiday season, or anytime really. Think if I buy all of it, I can fill the giant stocking?

 

Disclosure: 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 but all opinions are mine.

 

 

 

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GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list

Can you believe it’s already almost Halloween? This weekend, we’re doing the city’s zombie walk at the girl’s request (because we are the coolest parents ever) and then it’s hay rides and pumpkin carving at the neighborhood fall festival. Before too long, I’ll be hosting Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Christmas??? I’m still dreaming of beaches and water parks! Where did summer go?

Every year, I know that I am going to get lost in all of our “obligations” that I purposely focus even harder on making sure the girls remember baking cookies with grandma, making fudge with daddy, singing carols and just a general feeling of warmth rather than the chaos. I try to make each holiday season fondly memorable even if that just means the four of us preparing brunch and watching Christmas vacation together. What I inevitably forget to do every year is give my family a list of what I’d like for Christmas.

Sure, I can say that all I really want is my family to be healthy, happy and together and that is true but of course, there are things that I would like but who ever has time to make a list. It feels so unimportant amongst everything else but really, it would be nice to actually get something that I’ve wanted. The thing with moms is that we are so busy taking care of others that we often forget to take care of ourselves and while we’ll bend over backwards to make our family happy, we just never seem to take the time to do the same for ourselves.

GoPro Hero4Black, GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list

Not this year. This year, I am not only making a list. I am making a pin board of all the stuff I’d be thrilled to have and a lot of it is tech toys like the GoPro HERO4 Black, an iPhone 6 Plus, a conference ticket or two and a few other tasty treats to kick my blog up a notch.

GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list, GoPro Hero4Black

 

GoPro has unveiled its new line of action cameras at Best Buy stores, just in time for the holidays. Best Buy will also have the latest accessories and mounts to help you capture immersive footage of the moments that matter most like skiing in Aspen,  ringing in the  New Year some place warm or maybe spring break at Disney World.

GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list, GoPro Hero4Black

GoPro cameras make the perfect holiday gift for everyone, my girls would love it to take action video while flipping on the trampoline. I’d love it to take stunning action photos for my blog. GoPro’s new line of cameras allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to your life.

GoPro has 3 new cameras out this holiday season:

  • GoPro HERO4 Black is the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.

GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list, GoPro Hero4Silver

  • GoPro HERO4 Silver is the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling The camera, playing back footage and adjusting settings is ultra-convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second, HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.

GoPro, tech, blogger, camera, photography, action photography, video, holiday wish list, GoPro Hero4

  • GoPro HERO: Featuring high‐quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.

It has 12x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates. This is action photography at its best. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

Well, I’d better get back to sorting my Blogger’s Wish list Pinterest pin board

Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.

 

 

I’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card , which I am putting towards buying myself the GoPro HERO4 Black.

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type-A conference,blogging, bloggers, We still blog awards

I am in the airport in Atlanta, coming off the high that is Type-A Conference. This was my first time attending the event and I loved the community. I’ve never felt so among “my people” as I did this weekend.

type-A conference,blogging, bloggers, We still blog awards, Atlanta Grand Hyatt Buckhead

The feel was casual and easy going and the people were fun, open and laid back. It just felt like we were all there to grow, not just a brand or as a writer but as people. I have never had so many ‘real’ hugs, real conversations and felt so at ease at a conference for that I thank you Kelby and I thank each and every one of you who I met, shook hands with, shared a meal with, a laugh or just a friendly, sincere hello.  You made this trip. I felt safe.  And I’m glad that I did because it came in handy on Sunday afternoon.

A few months ago, on a whim, I submitted a post to the We Still Blog Awards. I wasn’t going to win because, let’s face it. I drop a few too many f-bombs and sometimes can be a little too controversial for some people’s palate. I get that. I’m a bit of an acquired taste but I had to try because, well, if you don’t try, you fail. Imagine my shock and awe when I found out that I was to be a finalist. I mean, this was a big freaking deal to me to be one of 10 people chosen.for.my.writing. This was an honor and to be chosen by my peers, to have the honor of reading to my peers was indescribable. It was incredible.

type-A conference,blogging, bloggers, We still blog awards, Atlanta Grand Hyatt Buckhead

Just so you all know, I am an extrovert in every sense of the word BUT I get a little nervous when I have to speak in front of large groups, especially when the group is a bunch of talented writers/bloggers and even more so when the piece is something deeply personal.

One by one, phenomenal blogger after another approached the podium to read their post. They made me cry, then they made me laugh, then I cried and laughed again. Then Amanda Henson read and we all cried. All I kept thinking in my head was, “PLEASE GOD don’t let me go next. NO ONE can follow that!” Plus, I was sobbing and snotting all over the place. Every writer that took the stage, moved me. Words are powerful. They called the next name. It wasn’t me. WHEW!

That reader wasn’t there. Then, they called the next reader. IT.WAS.ME. I wiped my snot nose, tried to tidy up my mascara and made my way to the podium. I began to read, slowly because everything was feeling a but heavy and fuzzy and my voice started cracking and the eyes started leaking.

type-A conference,blogging, bloggers, We still blog awards, Atlanta Grand Hyatt Buckhead

I made it about two paragraphs in and then I just sobbed. I couldn’t speak. ME. I .WAS.SPEECHLESS.If you know me. have ever met me or been in my general vicinity, you KNOW that never happens. Cecily came to my rescue and I will always hold her in special place in my heart for doing that.

My heart broke, right there on stage. Right in front of everyone. I was surrounded by the only people in the world who could understand what that moment was like for me; the people who process life’s moments with words, by writing it out.

To all the attendees of Type-A, it was an honor to share my piece with you. To my table, my tribe, my cheering squad, tissue handing, nose wiping, hugging me as hard as I needed to be held and Cecily, helping read when I could not regain my voice….YOU ladies are more special than I can ever tell you. We came as friends, but we left as family.

type-A conference,blogging, bloggers, We still blog awards, Atlanta Grand Hyatt Buckhead

To the people who I was allowed the privilege of sharing the stage with that Sunday afternoon in September, your words touched my heart. You are what blogging is about for me; people connecting through words and shared experiences. Last but not least, Kelby, thank you for hosting such an amazing conference and the We Still Blog awards the honor of being a finalist is something that I will always hold dear.

Here are all the We Still Blog Nominees:

I urge you to take the time and read everyone of the written pieces above. Each one of those writers are a rock star.

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