The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Goes To Work. No, Really. - #VZWBuzz

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.
— J.K. Rowling

I am a member of the Verizon Wireless #VZWBuzz Influencer Team.All opinions are my own.

I’m writing this from my husband’s perspective because he hijacked this little vixen right out of the box.  He took my Verizon Insider bag and the Sony Xperia Tablet and the three of them have only been seen intermittently ever since!

Initially the Sony Xperia caught his attention because it was incredibly lightweight and the graphics were so dynamic!  He’s not one to like anything that has a major learning curve.  No patience!  This tablet is incredibly intuitive and fast!

I should have titled this post “My Husband and His Xperia Z2 Tablet” since he takes it everywhere!  In just the last month they’ve been to Indianapolis, Nashville and now work!  He is an owner/operator.  Some days he meets with clients and some days he's on a dusty, dirty jobsite.

A lead came in recently and he did the site survey.  Since they had been burned so many times in the past by other contractors, the contract status depended on how the first site completion went.  He had a plan and it included the Sony Xperia Z2.  He was on the jobsite all day shooting video as well as taking before and after shots as they worked.  This tablet powered through a long day with great stamina and performance.  Work was never delayed because the tablet was so efficient and easy to use.  Next up was a presentation for management.  Because there was no need to set up any equipment - he was able to do the presentation right there and then.  Gotta strike when the iron's hot, right?   Not only were they impressed with the work but also that he was able to present so quickly and easily.  The video was clear, the shots were vibrant and the tablet was a perfect size to show a small group of people.   The last step was to forward all the video and pictures via email.  He did it right there in front them.  Easy peasy!

Guess what?  The approvals for the balance of the contract came through the next day!  My husband did all the hard work but the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet totally made him shine! 

 

Click Here to Check Out 5 Features You’ll Love on the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Click Here to Learn More About Verizon Wireless Business Benefits

Click Here for Tips, How To’s and Inspiration From Speakers at the 2014 Dream Project Symposium

What ways has mobile technology helped you in your business?  Tell me about it!

Tech-Cessories : Great Fathers Day Gift Ideas Dads Will Love! #VZWBuzz

Fatherhood is the greatest education a man can ever receive.
— Asa Don Brown

I am a member of the Verizon Wireless #VZWBuzz Influencer Team.

This is a #vzwbuzz post about mobile technology and awesome Father's Day Gifts!

 

Did you know that Father’s Day is Sunday- June 15th?

Did you know that Father’s Day was actually inspired by Mother’s Day? (Monkey see, monkey do)

Did you know that Richard Nixon signed the proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday in 1972?

Did you know that Father’s Day is celebrated all over the world; sometimes called by different names and on different dates?

Did you know that Americans spend more than 1 billion dollars on Father’s Day gifts each year? And that most of them are never used (I actually added that second part).

And did you know that according to some online polls the gift dads want most this year is tech gear? (Aww shoot, that rhymes :O )

There is probably an app for that but you’re already here so check this out.   Four great Tech- Cessories that will make you the top gift giver this Father’s Day!

UP24 Bluetooth Fitness Band by Jawbone - The Jawbone up just got better with Bluetooth® Smart.  Syncs to your smartphone for real–time updates and notifications when you need them.  No more plugging and unplugging. Awesuuum!

UP24 Bluetooth Fitness Band by Jawbone - The Jawbone up just got better with Bluetooth® Smart.  Syncs to your smartphone for real–time updates and notifications when you need them.  No more plugging and unplugging. Awesuuum!

Motorola Roadster 2 Universal Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone - Make sure your hunkaburning love is safe and hands free while on the road.  Initiate and respond to calls and texts with voice controls.  Listen to music or calls through your car speakers. This puppy even remembers where you parked. Boom!

Motorola Roadster 2 Universal Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone - Make sure your hunkaburning love is safe and hands free while on the road.  Initiate and respond to calls and texts with voice controls.  Listen to music or calls through your car speakers. This puppy even remembers where you parked. Boom!

Nokia Treasure Tag Sensor – Uggh!  If I had a dollar for every time my guy lost his keys I could just buy a new car and forget about it!  Attach the Nokia Treasure Tag onto your important possessions, and it will notify you when you are about to leave them behind. *only compatible with windows 8, Bluetooth 4.0 or higher.

Nokia Treasure Tag Sensor – Uggh!  If I had a dollar for every time my guy lost his keys I could just buy a new car and forget about it!  Attach the Nokia Treasure Tag onto your important possessions, and it will notify you when you are about to leave them behind. *only compatible with windows 8, Bluetooth 4.0 or higher.

Era Bluetooth Headset by Jawbone- The smallest, lightest most comfortable headset eh-ver!  Eliminates background noise with military grade  NoiseAssassin®.  All they can hear on the other end is your voice!  The Era also has a built-in locator so you’ll never lose it.  And you can make it customizable for hands free control by programming Siri or Google Now.

Era Bluetooth Headset by Jawbone- The smallest, lightest most comfortable headset eh-ver!  Eliminates background noise with military grade  NoiseAssassin®.  All they can hear on the other end is your voice!  The Era also has a built-in locator so you’ll never lose it.  And you can make it customizable for hands free control by programming Siri or Google Now.

Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers in your life and in your heart.  Put your arms around their neck and give em a big ol' squeeze instead of a necktie!  ;)

Click here to check out more hip Father's Day Tech-Cessories

Click here to learn the history of Father's Day

Click here to check out tech to improve your batting, golf or tennis swing


A Mother's Day Present That Is Better Than Flowers - #VZWBuzz

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.
— Chinese Proverb

I am a member of the Verizon Wireless #VZWBuzz Influencer Team.

This is a #vzwbuzz post about mobile technology.

 

 

Mother's Day is May 11th!  Here is a fast and easy Mother's Day gift that you can do in 7 easy steps - even from your smartphone!  Personalized cards from the kids!

1.  Have the kid (s) draw a picture.

 

2. Take a picture of the drawing and save it to your smartphone gallery, computer or tablet.   Check out Verizon Cloud which allows you to store all your data in the cloud and easily sync across all your devices.

3.  Select pictures of your child with the person the card is for.  I take photographs all year long with grandmas, aunties, teachers and caregivers.  I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3- lets me take pictures like a pro!  Thank goodness for that because as you can see I'm NOT a very good drawer.  Nobody I know REALLY has a tail OR three legs!  MY "drawing" (using that term VERY loosely) was made using the scrapbook feature on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

4.  Upload the drawing and photograph to your favorite web-based photo printing / sharing service.  I use Walgreens photo service because it's quick and easy and I can pick up my cards in an hour!  Check out the app here.  The upload is fast n easy with 4GLTE from Verizon!

 

5.  Add some thoughtful text, a blurb about the photograph or use a general greeting.  It's a nice touch to add the year somewhere on the card.  I put the year on all my cards so that when we look back we know the timeline.

6.  Place your order.

7.  Pick up your cards or have your photo service mail them for you.  Many web-based photo services offer that for an additional charge.  I.e. Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc.

Life is about making memories.  And although flowers, chocolates and brunch are ALL thoughtful ideas - giving them a tangible memory will last a lifetime!

Wishing happy memories to all moms and the moms in your life or in your heart !

Click here to have Verizon Wireless help you find a great tech gift for mom!

Click here to check out and enter Verizon's Made For Mom Sweepstakes!

Click here to check out Ten Great Apps for Busy Moms!

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? Introducing Thrively.com

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands
— Anne Frank

In partnership with Online Mom Media and Thrively.com  this post is written to provide valuable resources and information for families with children.  All opinions are my own.

The most common question asked to children when getting to know them is “what do you want to be when you grow up”?    That’s a hard question!

Did you know that since 2010 colleges and universities have reported over 1500 academic programs to the Department of Education?  How about that on average 61% of college students change their major in their second year?

Some online studies show that American families spend an average of $800 per child for summer activities alone.  Year round we send our kids to camps, lessons and programs in hopes they discover a passion.  But what if there was another way?   What if there was a tool that could help parents to identify their child’s strengths, discover passions and interests or find new activities and get inspiration from what’s happening around the globe?   There’s one tool that has good start on that and it’s called Thrively!

The biggest question I get when I talk about Thrively is what is it?  In a nutshell Thrively is an online discovery tool that parents and children use together to find a child’s unique strengths and introduce them to activities and interests they may not have otherwise considered.

It’s an easy sign up and approximately 25 minutes of fun in an easy to answer questionnaire that the child completes by clicking through.  And guess what? They’re learning about themselves the whole way!  The online strength assessment was developed by two of California’s leading pediatric neuropsychologists which gave me peace of mind that I wasn’t going to end up with some silly personality reading from Facebook.  It’s real and useful information.

From there you can explore, discover and/or share activities in and around your area, online or anywhere in the U.S...  Maybe the kids are spending the summer with the other parent or grandparents.  Find a favorite activity anywhere!  Thrivers (that’s what I call ‘em) can also create “interest” boards (similar to that “p” word) where they can share cool activities, photos or inspirational videos.  Speaking of videos wouldn’t it be nice to have the kids watch a few videos of their peers doing cool things around the globe instead of weird cats on YouTube! 

I’m looking forward to sharing more with you about our experience with Thrively!  I hope you check it out, give it a go and share your thoughts here!

Click here to get started with Thrively!

Click here to learn more about the creators of Thrively and their vision.

Click here for an interesting article on sticker shocked parents from the Boston Globe.

Click here for wine.  (just kidding!)

Minted - A New Kind of Shop Built Around Artists

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
— Thomas Merton

You may already be familiar with Minted for their fine stationary and invitation/announcement products, paperie, gifts and party decor.  What has me buzzing lately is their new collection of wall art and limited art prints.

What's cool and unique about Minted is that their community discovers the work of great indie designers and artists from all over the world and creates a place for them to get exposure.  As consumers, we get to enjoy limited edition and true artisan wall art and limited art prints at affordable prices.

After a recent move -we still have a lot of painting and decorating to do but I'm looking forward to it with the help of my friends at Minted.  Check out why I love shopping at Minted as well as some of my picks below.

Easy search:

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Learn about the artist (my favorite part)

 

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Design and Arrangement Ideas (I totally needed this)

 

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Visual Size Options (thank gawd.  without a visual I'd be doomed)

 

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This one's going in the office


This one for the bedroom

These are going to make me the best guest ever at some upcoming baby christenings.  Registry Schmegistry!

Art prints are printed in limited edition and are available on your choice of museum quality cotton rag archival paper with archival ink or acid and lignin-free paper with deluxe pigment ink. Minted's wall art is available in a range of colorways and styles and available framed or unframed (7 framing styles to choose from). Each art print comes with an artist’s card containing the artist’s statement and certificate of authenticity (LOVE that) and shipped in an acid and lignin-free sleeve.

Click here to find out more about the Minted story

Click here to learn about submitting your own designs

Click here to check out Minted's featured photographers


Disclosure:  Thanks to my friends at Minted for my shopping credit.  No additional compensation was provided and there was no promise of positive feedback.  All opinions are my own. Oh!  And I am not responsible in any way if you become addicted to Minted.com or to pinning their awesomeness to your Pinterest boards!


Texting Has Never Been This Fun - Verizon Messages App Demo #VZWBuzz


You can’t just pick up the phone and try to talk to me like that. Don’t the tips of your fingers work?
— Ellen DeGeneres


Why send a boring old text message when you can take your texting to a whole new level using the FREE Verizon Messages app.  Texting has never been this fun!

You can sync real time across all your devices.  Locate, attach and send or receive pictures, audio clips, texts and more from your tablet and the web using your Verizon wireless phone number.   Take your conversation from your smartphone to your tablet to your desktop and never miss a thing!

Highlights:

Use a Wi-Fi connection to send and receive messages on your tablet or on a web browser if you're out of the country or outside your Verizon coverage area.

Get creative with custom backgrounds or enhanced pictures.  Make a collage with up to five pictures.  Resize, reposition, add captions or draw right on them with a swipe of your finger.

Girls' night out or family get together?  Use Glympse real time location to see where everyone's at and when they'll arrive.  You can view the text conversation and map view real time on a split screen!

Make grandparents weak in the knees and record an audio clip of the kids, attach it to your text and send it off in seconds!

Don't text and drive!  Using any device the auto reply features answers your incoming texts when you can't.  They receive your auto reply even if your phone is off or the battery is dead. 

Pop up notifications, custom signatures, custom backgrounds, emoticons, language choices so many options, so fun and so easy to use!

Below is a quick demo showing how easy it is to use Verizon Messages


Disclosure: I used my #Samsung Galaxy Note 3 courtesy of Verizon.  No additional compensation is provided and there is no promise of positive feedback.  All opinions are my own. #VZWBuzz

Diaries of a 5K Quest Quickie - No shortcuts Newbie!

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
— Beverly Sills

Diaries of a 5K Quest quickie.

My second training session with Fleet Feet sports.  Thank goodness for the mentor's email - she warned us it was going to be chilly and rainy and to remember reflective gear.  The pouring rain stopped before WE started!  Phew!

The mentors here are so helpful and encouraging.

Columbia waterproof, hooded jacket $59.99

Reflective Safety Vest $ 26.99

Someone right along side you telling you can do it  $ Priceless

 

Night time with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - trying my hand at a video that isn't a Vine.  Don't worry I kept it short and sweet.

 

Click here to learn more about Fleet Feet Sports

Click here for great tips about dressing for cool weather running

Click here to learn about why technical apparel matters

 

Disclosure: #Samsung Galaxy Note 3 courtesy of Verizon.  No additional compensation is provided and there is no promise of positive feedback.  All opinions are my own.

#VZWBuzz

Running Changes Everything - Diaries of A 5K Quest

As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning
— Criss Jami
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It all started with a pair of shoes.  I needed some good quality shoes.  A friend suggested Fleet Feet Sports and so the story goes...

I walked in feeling a little intimidated as it seemed to be a serious runner's store.  It wasn't long before I realized it was so much more.  More like a wellness experience.  I had fully expected to be thrown into some machine that would do all the work and spit out a ticket.  But I was pleasantly surprised at the personal attention.  They asked me questions and took the time to evaluate my walk and make recommendations.  At the end of my experience the associate asked me if I knew about their training programs and took the time to tell me about them.  Not just as an upsell but as an enthusiast.  As usual I was in a rush and quickly headed off into the sunset- shoes in hand.  It wasn't long before life got busy and I forgot about the conversation.  That is, until every time I put those dag gone shoes on....

Finally one random night I got online and looked up Fleet Feet Sports training programs.  They had a beginner program; methodical training for 5K runs.  I know it's only 3.1 miles but I'm not a runner.  In the weeks to follow I would talk myself in and out of trying this feat.  The yearning was not going away.  Not even when I became crazy sick with bronchitis and missed the orientation.  Not when I got worse and ended up in the E.R.  Not even when I missed the first session because I was too sick to be outside.

Finally, Saturday February 15th I put my big girl pants on, bundled up, stuffed my pockets with tissue and headed out to see if I could do this thing.  It may not have been the smartest idea for someone who has been sick for six weeks to go out and train in 17 degree weather in the snow.  In fact as I write that - it seems pretty stupid.  BUT had I not started, I may have never started.

I didn't have a coughing fit and I didn't die so all is well with my soul.  As a matter of fact it was GREAT for my soul.  Although I hate working out - something about it reignited my love for being outside and being active.  This could be the beginning of a new healthy lifestyle and putting "me" back on my agenda.

I don't know yet if running really does change everything but I'm determined to find out!

After the overwhelming support from my Facebook post this past weekend I'm feeling encouraged to share this journey and hopeful that something in here helps someone like me.  Stay tuned for the diaries of the 5K Quest..

 

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Working on My Fitness - Jawbone UP #VZWBuzz

Be a human “being”, not a human “doing
— Anonymous
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As a #VZWBuzz Verizon Influencer I get some pretty cool devices to check out and play with to see how they fit my lifestyle.  I was excited when I opened the latest package to find a Jawbone UP Band - Activity Tracker inside.

I don't do the whole New Year resolution thing.  By technical definition: a promise to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad.  Promises were made to be broken. I prefer a reset.  A reset of things I haven't gotten to.  Things I didn't finish before the timer went off.  Things I want to try.  Being healthier is one of those.

This device is NOT going to MAKE you healthier in as much as a treadmill you buy is going to hunt you down and make you run on it.  What it DOES do along with the APP is (after you enter some basic data) track and set goals for daily activity and sleep.  That information delivers insight designed to keep you moving toward a healthier lifestyle.

 

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Some FAQ's I get about the UP when people see me wearing it:

How does it track movement and sleep?

It uses a precision motion sensor that is located in the thick of the band.  Along with algorithms it passively tracks and quantifies steps, distance, calories, active time and idle time.  UP uses actigraphy to track sleep and monitor micro movements to determine whether you are awake or asleep.

What is it made of and is it waterproof?

It is encased in medical-grade, hypoallergenic rubber.

It is NOT waterproof.  It says you can shower with it - I do not.

Does it get funky - how do you clean it?

I wipe it down with a soft towel dampened with alcohol to keep it clean. 

In spite of some tech videos - you should NOT twist, turn and stretch it.  It has mechanics inside.  Duh!

It is flexible enough to slip on and off comfortably (if you sized it right).  No contorting required.

Color, sizes, models?

I have the original UP which is shown to come in five different colors.

The newer UP24 comes in two colors (AND is bluetooth).

They are both available in small, medium and large.  They have a how to measure chart on the site.  I wear a medium.

What do you like about it?

My favorite thing so far is the sleep tracker.  I'm determined to meet my goal percentage.   I discovered I'm a crappy sleeper and I KNOW how important sleep is.

It has definitely made me aware of my idle time.  I set an idle alert for 45 minutes.  My band vibrates if I haven't moved in that amount of time.  I get up and move around.  Particularly important for those of us at desk jobs.

I feel motivated to take more steps when I see my team buddies are kicking butt.

For me and so far, it has really helped keep me aware of what I'm doing - or not doing.


The one thing I was confused about was how to wear it.  Jawbone site always shows the metal parts on the bottom side of the wrist and the thick of the band on top.  I wear it the opposite way (pic on the right).  I just think it looks better and keeps it from catching or scraping stuff.   Also the instructions say to wear it on your non dominant hand.

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The metal piece that says "Jawbone" is a cap that comes off and reveals a headphone jack for syncing.  The smaller metal piece is the mode button.  

 

Click here to see the extended user guide.

Click here to see the UP device compatability list.

Click here to see all available sports and fitness accessories by Verizon .

Click here to see what the hell actigraphy means.

 

Disclosure:  As a member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I receive devices from Verizon.   No additional compensation is provided and there is no promise of positive feedback.  All opinions are my own.

#VZWBuzz

 

Put the Smackdown on Illiteracy - #WWEmoms

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
— Margaret Fuller
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Did you know?

*  Reading frequency declines after age 8 – and boys are more likely to be low frequency readers than girls.

*  Children learn an average of 4,000 to 12,000 new words each year as a result of book reading.

*  There is an estimated 774 million illiterate adults in the world.

It can be exhausting to battle a child who doesn't like to read.  So what can you do to encourage reading?  Here are some ideas I tried.

*Let them read about what they're interested in.  We went from Thomas the Train, to Ben10, to Legos and Captain Underpants.  It didn't matter to me as long as he was reading.

*Impose a quiet time.  (self-imposed Mommy/Daddy time out) Thirty minutes in your room.    No TV, no music, no electronics.  When I walked back in the room I would always find him reading a book or magazine.

* Let them choose.  Most schools have book fairs or utilize Scholastic book ordering. If they choose it, they may be more apt to read it.

* Reading challenges (local, regional or national). 

A reading challenge I recently learned about was the WWE 2014 WrestleMania Reading Challenge.  The WWE has a long-standing commitment to literacy initiatives through various partnerships (Pearson Foundation, Penguin, We Give Books, YALSA).  The WrestleMania Reading Challenge provides children aged 4-18 a unique opportunity to read books both online and in libraries.

Children between ages 4 and 12 can select a WWE Superstar Reading Buddy and read digital books to participate, while teens ages 13 to 18 can select a WWE Superstar Pen Pal, read a book and write an essay.  The Grand Prize Winner receives a visit to their school from a WWE Superstar while the First Prize winners get a trip to WrestleMania 30!  Pretty awesome!  

Click here to join the WWE WrestleMania Reading Challenge.

Click here for official rules.

Click here to take action and join the initiative.

Other reading resources to check out:

Scholastic

Raz Kids

The Children's Reading Foundation

Disclosure: I am an active participant in the #WWEmoms campaign through Online Mom Media.  All opinions are my own.