Sol Republic Relays Giveaway Just in Time for Graduation!

Relays_PhotoMerge_SRlogo We are finally at the end of the school year and for some it is the end of an era. So this giveaway is in honor of graduation! But not just to honor graduates but the parents and loved ones who got them there! I am so grateful that SOL Republic is sponsoring a great way to relax in your chaos!

SOL Republic newest headphones at the Relays! We all know that graduation doesn’t rid you of the chaos so these are the perfect set for the person on the go. In addition to being lightweight and having great sound, these in-ear headphones are both sweat and water resistant. So they will wear well through the crazy summer heat. They also have what is called a universal fit which really means that they fit well and once they are in, they stay there! I am so stoked that SOL Republic is giving away a set of these fab headphones to one of you, my fabulous readers! a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I received product for myself from SOL Republic in exchange for this giveaway. But all words and thoughts are mine!)

A Little More Nokia Icon

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I recently got a chance to go to Seattle as part of a Champions Summit and it was fabulous! One of the things we got to do was have a little photography class! As many of you may know… Photography is not a natural (or existing) talent of mine. So I am always looking for tips.

I got to learn about the Nokia Pro app and how to use the tools that are built into the Nokia camera.

A couple things you don’t even really have to do anything for:
1)Turn off the flash.
2)Tell your camera what you want to take a picture of by tapping on your screen. Then give the camera a second and let it focus.
3)You can also slide to zoom and then tap to let it focus.
4)Always take your pictures with your camera turned wide ways.

Using the tools:
1)Pull your finger from right to left to reveal a dial with different circles. Play with them! All the pictures up top were taken with different options and zooms on that wheel! It can make a huge difference.
2)White balance has a huge effect. It can turn your pictures warmer or cooler. It can make your picture seem to have had more light.
3)You can also edit on your phone! The benefit of that is…. you will retain the image size! So crop in and it will save it for you but as a new image so you will also retain your original. (My favorite thing).

Those are the go to points that I came home with from the Windows Champions Summit’s photography session. What are your favorite tips?

Remember, just because Microsoft took me to Seattle all the thoughts and opinions are still mine!

Nokia Icon Camera


I am not known for good pictures. I’m just not. But I like to try;). And when I received the Nokia Lumia Icon I was very excited to see how much better it could make my pictures! I mean, this has about 5 mp more than my point and shoot camera! Of course I took the standard selfies and pictures of my kids but I thought the pictures from the car wash were note worthy! And these haven’t been altered at all!

I absolutely love how the camera caught the water streaking across the windshield.


This 2nd one was taken from the driver’s seat and is out the passenger window. No zoom or anything. I love how it still grabbed the drips and the light behind the twirling brush.


This is what effect the zoom has! I was surprised to see that the colors became more vibrant. Zooms on other phones and cameras seem to close in on an object but not really bring out a whole lot more detail but with the Icon 20 mp camera seems to find detail that I really didn’t even see with my bare eyes.

The zoom was super easy to control with just a finger slide! So it means that it is great in a real life situation that doesn’t allow you to stage a picture;).

I am going to sound old here but have some patience;). I can not believe that my phone has phenomenal camera!!! Not only do I remember the days before digital photography, I also remember the first digital cameras and just how bad they were.

I have been so impressed with the Nokia Lumia Icon and its camera. It isn’t just the 20 mp but also the Zeiss lenses and all the software build ins that maximize this fabulous hardware. So in addition to the actual smart phone being great, the camera just makes this a fabulous phone!

(I am a Verizon Ambassador and a Windows Champion. While I did receive the phone to write about, all opinions and thoughts are mine alone!)


A Quick Look at the Lenovo Yoga

As a member of the Windows Champions group I received a Lenovo Yoga to use this year. I am absolutely loving it! As with machine, there are a couple quirks but on the whole it is fabulous!

It is a convertible model that has a touch screen and can be used as a tablet. I think that makes it the perfect travel machine or even primary machine for students(or anyone that isn’t looking to do a lot of heavy processing).

I have already traveled with the machine and use it just about every evening. I highly recommend the Lenovo Yoga!

(Yes, I am writing about this because it was given to me but all thoughts are mine.)

HTC One, Twitter and More

There are few interesting headlines in the last couple of  days.


First up is the most expected announcement. Verizon  is going to exclusive carry the new HTC One M8 for 16 days. From what I have heard on the design they basically rejiggered the M7 adding the Duo camera system and a NFC SIM card. They are so excited about this that they are doing a buy 1 get one free deal…

Netflix is in the news. After all the mutual admiration with Comcast it seems Netflix isn’t quite so happy. Netflix CEO blogged that he would like the FCC to get more involved in the way the internet works. It will be interesting to see how this all works out…

I saw over on GigaOm that Twitter users on iPhones can now tag up to 10 people in a picture. I think that is fabulous but I would love to have that on Android and Windows phones as well. I think this is a functionality that has long been needed in order to regain their social media edge over Facebook!

Just a few stories that I heard and thought you might want to know!


First Glance at the Nokia Lumia Icon


I recently received a Nokia Lumia Icon to review and this was the first picture I took with it! The Icon brags a 20 megapixel camera so I couldn’t wait to try it. So when I saw this dandelion when I was getting the mail I had to try it out!

I am loving this phone over all! It is my first go on a Windows phone in a couple of years. They have come a long way! It runs faster and the apps are better! There are still some holes (like Hootsuite & Cozi) but over all they have just about everything I need now! Even Instagram!

This is a phone that is to rival the S4 and the iPhone and so far it is!!! I have been very impressed and am looking forward to diving in further!

(While this is a piece full of my own opinions, I was given the phone from Verizon. I am a Verizon Ambassador and a Windows Champions. But that doesn’t change my opinions just my subjects!

Panasonic Link2Cell & Saving Calls! (A Giveaway Too)

I know I am not alone with the modern issues of cell phones and home phones. I mean, first off I have too many separate phones to track! Secondly, I don’t get good cell reception everywhere in my house.

This was a huge issue when my dad was sick and when he died. I was getting calls from my step mom on my cell and in order to have a conversation I would have to go outside or kick all my kids out of the living room because that was the only way I could get a signal! But that is no longer my issue at home because technology (and Panasonic) has a solution.

I recently got a Link2Cell KX-TG7742S telephone from Panasonic to review and I love it! At first look it just seems like a standard home phone set up with a base and handsets but it is more than that. You can link your cell phone to it by Bluetooth and it enables all your cell phone calls to go through it. You don’t even have to have a home line to use it.

Set up was extremely easy! First you place the base near the magic spot in your house where you get the best cell reception and therefore where your cell it. You can tie it to up to 2 cells. You punch in a code to pair it to the 1st and then the 2nd while you also pair it from the cellphone side too. That was it. You can even charge your phone off the base if you are out of outlets.

I love that in between rings it will audibly tell you who is calling based on caller id. While I don’t have caller id on my home phone, I do on my cell! I love it because I don’t have to go get the handset to see who is calling. If I am just going to let it ring through to my voice mail I just leave it alone.

You can pick up this phone from Panasonic and see all their options. My set came with a base and 2 handsets. You can also win a Link2Cell phone system here!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: Panasonic gave me a review unit but all thoughts are my own. The prize is from Panasonic and they are responsible for all fulfillment.)

The New OneDrive is Launched


Microsoft has rebranded their great SkyDrive service as OneDrive and has just launched it!

SkyDrive was already a great cloud storage solution that was accessible from all your devices. It seems with this rebranding they kept everything we love. There are a few new features that have been announced with it that sound fabulous!

1) You can now back up your camera roll on all the mobile apps (iOs and Android, finally)
2) If you back up your camera roll with it you will receive an additional 3GB of storage for free!
3) Optical Character Recognition: So if you take a picture of something with words in it and later search for it with that word, OneDrive will find it!
4) You can display your videos and pictures as slide shows on the Xbox One.
5) And last but definitely not least, Co-authoring! So you can literally work on a document with someone else at the same time and it will save all the changes in real time!

I already loved SkyDrive and it seems as if OneDrive can do even more! So go grab your account where you will get 7GB of memory to begin with. Then add your camera roll and you will start with a total of 10GB!!!

(Disclosure: I am a #WindowsChampion so I do things with Microsoft but this post is my opinions and mine alone! There is also a referral link to help me get a little more cloud storage space;)

SimpleDeal Mobile App

SimpleDeal Screenshot 2When eating out we all want a deal but often you need to print out coupons or search around for deals that are only good at certain times. SimpleDeal mobile app is coming out to combat those problems.

This is a restaurant deals app will tell you all the great deals for the restaurant that you are at! You don’t have to have purchased a deal previously or jump through any hoops. Simply point your phone at the nearest restaurant and the deals will pop up (if they are on the service). If there aren’t any deals to be had, a list of nearby establishments will pop up along with their deals.

Restaurants do pay a minimal fee to list their establishments and their deals. But it is free for the diners to use!

Right now it is only being used in Long Beach but they are planning on widening their coverage soon. SimpleDeal was released on iOs January 10th and will be released on Android on January 17th.

(This is an informational post on a new app that is sponsored but all words are my own!)



Pre-CES 2014

Yes, you read that right. There really is a pre-CES here in Las Vegas and I am experiencing it all for the first time. Last night I attended CES Unveiled and the Start Up Debut hosted by Bitcoin. And I am already overwhelmed;).

These were both press only events to show us a bunch of products before the show even opens. There is the gambit of items from solar batteries to 3 D printing/manufacturing to top of the line pinball machines. I saw some great items that I will be covering in further detail later. But here is a collage of some of the interesting products I saw!

CES2014Unveiled Collage

Based on looks alone, what would you like to know more about????