Must Have Tech Toys

I own a few tech “toys” that make life so much easier (and funner!). The best tech are those items you don’t really know you need until AFTER you purchase, try it out for a few weeks, then start wondering how you survived without ‘that thing’ for so long. Here are my top tech gadgets/items of 2018 so far – I use them all DAILY!

Apple AirPods – Yes, I know these have been out forever; but, I literally JUST purchased them last month and OMG I have NO IDEA what took me so long to buy in. They are GREAT and well worth the price tag. My personal macbook (gold), work laptop and iPhone all have different connectors for the headphone jacks and it became super annoying to be somewhere (coffee shop, work, mall) and not have the right cord with you. #problemsolved with Apple’s AirPods. They are Bluetooth and can connect easily to all of my devices! Added bonus? The super slim case is also a charger and you can wear one AirPod at a time to extend the listening/talking time. #winning Purchase here.

Burberry Technical Pouch – Speaking of cords … even though I don’t need headphone cables anymore, I still like to carry my iPhone / laptop charger with me, and occasionally my Apple Mouse (another wireless gadget that connects to both my work and personal laptop with ease!). Where’s a girl to store these items?? Enter the Burberry Technical Pouch. It’s nylon, super sheek and holds ALOT (business cards, laptop chargers, iPhone charger, cleaning wipes, etc.). I had been eyeing this piece for a few months and am glad I finally made the purchase.  Transferring these items between my work bag and my favorite tote for the weekend is now a breeze. This pouch is PERFECT for those busy gals (or guys) who are aways on the go!

Pop Socket and iPhone Case for Spring – Must have for texters, selfie takers, web surfers… basically anyone who is on their phone all the time. Everything it says on the packaging is absolutely true: 1) Never drop your phone, 2) Take better selfies and 3) Prop your phone. Purchase a variety of Pop Sockets here and check out the #popsocketmovement on Instagram. Also, I have been rocking a black iPhone case for some time. Why? Because black is my color! For the Spring, I decided to get a light, airy case for #noreasonatall. iPhone cases here.

If you watched the video above (recommended!) and think Pop Sockets are a joke, think again! Per Forbes:

Barnett started by selling PopSockets out of his garage back in 2014. Now it is being sold at Amazon, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Walmart and a number of other stores. Barnett said that its sales went from 30,000 PopSockets in the U.S. in the first year to 35 million PopSockets across 40 countries last year. In the first year, revenue hit $240,000 and PopSockets grew 800% every year. This year, PopSockets is on track for manufacturing 70 million products. PopSockets started out with just one employee: Barnett himself. And now the company employs 120 people across Boulder, Colorado; San Francisco, California; Finland; and Singapore.

Enjoy!!!

The Ultimate Entertainment Package

Today I’m reviewing my ultimate entertainment package – a list of my must have services to keep you going while you wait, when you’re in between tasks or just when you need something to do! There are a lot of things I could have added, one-offs like TED Talks, but this list includes only things I do on a very regularly bases. In no particular order:

InstagramTHE best place to view (pretty) pictures. I mostly follow people who buy/display pretty things: handbags, shoes, jewelry, other accounts that post funny videos and travel-related things. I’m not on it to gain followers or friends. I also don’t care about likes.

TwitterMy goto for trending topics. At any given moment I can see the top 10 things the country/world is talking about. I also regularly use it when I’m watching shows/sporting events to see what other people are saying about the topic.

SpotifyMust have music streaming service. The music industry is becoming more and more fragmented everyday. From Beyonce (Tidal) to Drake (Apple Music), Chance the Rapper (Apple Music), Kanye (Tidal) and others – artists are striking deals that make their music available solely on one music service and not the others. But be patient grasshoppers, eventually their music will be available on your preferred music streaming service (usually ~2 weeks later) and you’ll be able to freely partake without spending more $. Until then, there’s always YouTube and VEVO. BTW: Mondays are for DiscoverWeekly and always Spotify while you shower.

Netflix – THE best movie streaming service. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and MANY more. There’s not much more to say other than it’s awesome. (I also have access to Amazon Prime Video; but that’s only an added bonus of my Prime membership).

Overcast – This one is fairly new for me; but, I’m loving it! It’s the very best way to listen to podcasts on your iPhone. So far I’m into: The Read, Keepin it 1600 and Watching Thrones. I’m sure I’ll add others over time. Listen while you cook, clean, work or commute!

HBO – I love HBO. OMG, I can’t tell you how many great shows, (original) series and documentaries they have. Game of Thrones, Real Time with Bill Mahr, Silicon Valley, …. I could go on and on! In the past few days I’ve even been thinking about buying some stock. 🤑

Feedly – I’ve told you about this one before. It’s basically a news aggregator of things I like to read. Instead of having multiple sites (Lifehacker, The Every Girl, Mashable, etc.) flood your inbox with emails everyday, you can subscribe to their articles/posts and read them using the Feedly app – on/at your own time. Feedly creates of a pull situation – I have to physically go retrieve items when I want to read them – vs. a push situation where you are automatically notified/sent updates. Now, I do like the push approach for music i.e. when artists I follow release a new album, just not for news.

I know some of you may be thinking Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook are missing but honestly I’m just not into those that much. I do use them, just not on a regular basis. Also chat services like GroupMe and What’s App are not on my list. Yes, I have accounts with those an the apps are on my phone; but, I honestly don’t use them that much and I’m NOT a fan of group texts. I also sometimes will check Pinterest and We Heart It but those have also worn off over time… do what works for you!

So, here’s the thing: all of the services on my list are super convenient, easy to access and very affordable. Feedly, Overcast, Instagram and Twitter are free and you can get Spotify, Netflix and HBO for about $10-$15/month each$35/month gets you all in. I’d never have cable if my husband didn’t pay for it. Actually the extent of my relationship with Comcast would be internet service (that is, until Google Fiber comes to town). Happy Entertaining!!!

My Home Screen = Most Important Screen

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What is a Hashtag?

Let me teach you about hashtags and how to use them! First, I Googled, “What is a hashtag?” in hopes that someone has already come up with an easy definition that I can relay to you in the simplest way possible. #wrong My primary problem is that the first few definitions I ran across don’t cover both sides of the equation. So here’s my definition:

A hashtag is a way for people to contribute to or search for a particular theme on social media.

All you need to do is to type the hash symbol (#) followed by a theme, i.e. #cat and you have made a hashtag. Congratulations! All social media outlets understand hashtags just like all people know how to count to 5 (duh). So for example, if you (let’s call you Tiffany – hey girl!) want to post/share a picture of you and your cat to Twitter, Instragram, Facebook, Tubmlr, Google+, We Heart It, Vine or Pinterest. In the comments section you may write, Love my #cat. You can even get fancy and write:

Love my #cat. #furryfriend #catlover #atlanta  #rescue #animalshelter #bestcatintheworld”

(bold letters for emphasis only) You can choose whatever theme/phrase you want and it can also be more than one word! You really would be amazed how long some people’s hashtags are and how many they use at one time. So that’s the contribution part.

Now, on to the search part, or what I like to call usage. Why do people use hashtags anyway? It must serve some purpose, right? This time, yes! Going back to our cat example above, let’s assume a guy, James, has just moved to Atlanta and wants to find other cat lovers in the area. How can he do that, leveraging hashtags? Well, James can open up any social media app / website and search to find exactly what he is looking for. For the search criteria he may type in “#lovemycat” or “#catlover” and guess what – he’ll see Tiffany’s post as well as anyone else who has used the hashtag. James opens your (I mean) Tiffany’s post, likes it. Tiffany notices how cute James is, sends him a DM (direct message), they go out on a date, then another one and they live happily every after. #kidding #tangent #itwasfunthough #lol

One more example – FASHION! Suppose you have a shiny new red skirt in your closet and you’re stumped about what to pair it with. Just hop on your favorite social media site, search for #redskirt and get tons of inspiration! Trust me when I say you will have no problem finding someone who has used this exact same hashtag. Some people post pictures of their outfits every day!

Here are the results of my #redskirt search on Instagram yesterday. It returned 20k+ pics. Happy hashtagging!!!

redskirt

Printstagram

Instagram has made just about everyone on the plant an instant photographer. Remember that amazing selfie you took – you know, the one where your hair was perfect and your makeup was flawless? What about that action photo you took of your best girlfriends? You’ve kept these fabulous pictures on your phone all this time, you look a them more often than you’d like to admit and maybe you’ve even posted them to your favorite social media site (Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter).

Newsflash: print is back! Printstagram is a free iPhone app, specifically designed to get those amazing photos from your phone to the printer in a few simple steps. Printstagram offers unique sizes: 2 38 x 2 38, 4×4, 2 18 x 2 38 and 4×6, all at reasonable prices.  You can turn your photos into greeting cards, large formats (11×14, 16×20, 20×30) and our favorite – stunning contact cards. (Hint: the smaller version makes for great gift tags) Download the app now and give it a shot!