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Scaring up some fun with my Acer Tab 8 Tablet with Intel Inside

 

Looking up Halloween make up ideas on my Acer Tab 8 Tablet.

Looking up Halloween make up ideas on my Acer Tab 8 Tablet.

I love the holidays. I love everything about them. I love decorating, entertaining, trying out holiday related recipes and other fun and creative ideas.

I’m always looking online for inspiration. Pinterest is my “go to” place for great holiday and seasonal related ideas. I can literally spend hours on Pinterest.

I also like to Google things. If I have an idea I Google it to see if anything comes up.

Thank goodness for my Acer Tab 8 Tablet with Intel Inside. I can access the internet just about anywhere I am whether I’m at work or at home.

We have a lot of “down time” at work. That is when I appreciate my Acer Tab 8 Tablet with Intel Inside the most. Not only does it allow me to watch Netflix (we’re allowed to when there is nothing going on at work) I can also surf the Internet, reply to emails and play fun games.

Lately we’ve been watching Halloween related things off Netflix. :-)

Thanks to the Intel processor in my Acer I can watch videos with crystal clear quality and vibrant colors. After all, if I am going to watch Halloween movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and DreamWorks Spooky Stories (I like to keep it G/PG at work) I want excellent image quality.

I love creating holiday related recipes for my family. When there is nothing on television to watch I like to grab my Acer Tab Tablet and look up some yummy treats I can surprise my family with.

I've got to try and make these adorable pumpkin Rice Krispies treats!

I’ve got to try and make these adorable pumpkin Rice Krispies treats!

Sometimes I can sleep at night (maybe it’s all the ghouls and gobblins keeping me up at night). Rather than turn on the television and “scare” (pun intended) my husband, or log on to my lap top, I just have to reach over and grab my tablet. I can see what is happening on Facebook and Twitter, check out my friends photos on Instagram, or get some ideas for around my home.

I LOVE to decorate! I wish I had a house with a yard. I would go absolutely crazy decorating both inside and out – especially Halloween and Christmas!

Speaking of decorating… we have yet to cut our pumpkins! Yikes! I just remembered we have them. The are on our balcony.

I know my daughter wanted to try and use a stencil this year and cut out the pumpkin to look like something else (not a regular pumpkin). I best start looking up some ideas for her. I’m sure I can print out some stencils online.

Cute pumpkin ideas!

Cute pumpkin ideas!

Are you as excited about the holidays as I am? Do you love to surf the internet to look for ideas and inspiration? Is there a website you go to all the time for ideas? I would love to hear about it.

To you have a tablet? If you are in the market for Intel Tablets I love my Acer Tab 8. I haven’t had any issues with it.

If you are a fan of Intel you should join the Intel Advocate Experience.

 

Kimberly

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

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Eva-Dry – a simple solution to humidity problems

 

STOCK PHOTO! This is not our shower - Gross! No way!

STOCK PHOTO! This is not our shower – Gross! No way!

I cannot stand humidity. It’s the #1 thing I dislike about summer. I can deal with the heat for the most part. It’s the humidity that makes things unbearable. For that reason I could never live down South. I don’t think I would ever leave my home and the electric bill from the air conditioner would be astronomical.

Humidity is not something that occurs with weather – it can also be found in your home. Most especially places like your bathroom.

We live in a tiny condo and we only have one bathroom. The ventilation in that bathroom is non-existent. We have a small window in the bathroom but because our condo is on one side of the building and all the windows (except the bathroom window) all face the same direction, there is no cross-ventilation in our home. The humidity can really build up in our home.

My kids, for whatever reason, LOVE taking long, hot showers (even though they have been told time and time again to take shorter showers). Because there is no ventilation in your bathroom the heat and steam build up in the bathroom – so much so that the walls “sweat”.

Not only does it make going into the bathroom unbearable but it’s also encouraging the growth of mold that feeds off all the extra moisture. We are constantly trying to remedy that but it’s hard to keep up with it. It’s frustrating!

What we need in our bathroom is a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the atmosphere. It’s essentially sucks in the extra moisture in the air and traps the water into a holding tank.

Eve-Dry 1100

We don’t have much room in our bathroom so a traditional dehumidifier is out of the question. That is until I was sent an Eva-Dry 1100 Dehumidifier to review.

The Eva-Dry Electric Petite Dehumidifier uses Peltier Technology (no compressor) which makes it light and quiet. It is perfect for bathrooms, and small to mid-sized rooms where dampness and humidity are a problem. This unit is small enough to easily fit on your desk or workbench. It extracts the moisture from the air and stores it in a spill-proof reservoir. Just plug it in and it quietly dries the air. Features an automatic shut off switch to shut the unit off when the water reservoir is full. When this occurs a”full” indicator light will alert you when the reservoir needs to be emptied. Holds up to 16 oz.

As I already mentioned our bathroom is very small. The only space we have is a tiny amount around the sink and on the back of the toilet. There is no room for a regular dehumidifier. That is why I really like the Eva-Dry 1100 Dehumidifier. It’s very compact and measures only  6.5 x 5.3 x 8.5 inches.

We can’t fit this on the area around the sink (not to mention I’d worry about it being knocked into the sink) so what we do when we are going to use it is plug it in and rest it on the tile floor in front of the sink/cabinet. That way we don’t have to worry about one of the kids knocking it over.

We currently only use the Eva-Dry 1100 Dehumidifier when someone takes a shower or bath, so it’s not on all the time. However you could leave this unit on 24/7 if you needed to. If we had more space in our bathroom I probably would leave it on 24/7 because my kids keep forgetting to take it out of the closet and turning it on before they take their showers. Usually my husband or I have to plug it in after they have taken a shower when the bathroom is hot and sweaty already.

There is a little reservoir that collects the moisture that you’ll need to pour out when the indicator light tells you that it’s full and it shuts off. I really like that feature, especially for people like me who can be absent minded sometimes.

We remove the water before we put it back in the closet even if it’s not full. That way if someone accidentally knocks it in the closet there are no worries.

Condensation

I was very surprised by how much water it removes from the atmosphere in the bathroom. It also makes me think about how much moisture was being absorbed into the walls and floor prior to using it. It’s no wonder we have issues with mold developing in the shower area. I wish we thought to use a dehumidifier a long time ago, then we wouldn’t have the problems we have today.

I like that I can go into the bathroom after someone takes a shower and not feel that heavy, sticky, wet feeling in the air. It also helps that I don’t have to wipe down the walls, floor or mirrors.

This particular unit is good for small spaces. Eva-Dry has several other units (most are portable) in various sizes to accommodate different rooms in your home. They have ones for boats, closets and even one that can handle up to 4,000 square feet (my entire condo is only 900 square feet).

Unlike other dehumidifiers the Eva-Dry 1100 is not loud at all. I wouldn’t say it was “whisper quiet” but it’s certainly quiet enough. The only time we really hear it is when we are actually in the bathroom. When it’s on and we’re in another room in our tiny condo we don’t hear it at all. The sound of the shower and running water is much louder then the unit. It’s pretty quiet – thankfully. If it was loud and noisy I probably wouldn’t use it.

So far I am very pleased with the Eva-Dry 1100 Dehumidifier. I’m considering getting a couple of more (larger sizes) for different parts of our home (mostly the bedroom and living room – possibly the kitchen too).

If you would like more information about Eva-Dry products visit www.Eva-Dry.com. Eva-Dry can also be found on social media. All the links are found on the brand’s home page (bottom right).

Do you have a humidity problem in your home? Would you have a need for an Eva-Dry humidifier? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Eva-Dry Logo

 

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.  

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Avoid Group Therapy – Switch to Cortana Smartphone

 

 

 

Have you seen the Cortana commercial where the people are sitting around in group therapy? Just in case you haven’t I have posted it (above).

The commercial makes me laugh every time I watch it. They are so serious about things. LOL!

It’s just a spoof of course. Your phone’s assistant shouldn’t put you in group therapy. Although I do think it’s funny how disappointed the people are with Siri. I have an iPhone and I have used Siri from time to time. Thankfully she hasn’t made me require therapy… yet. (ha ha).

Siri does have it’s good points such as providing directions, helping you find nearby stores (Siri has helped me find some Dunkin Donuts and gas stations I didn’t know existed locally). She helps me to text or call people. And Siri can help me check the weather. Mostly the only thing I use her for is to find places or text someone.

Yesterday (October 19th) as my sister’s birthday. Sadly the only way I can remember it’s her birthday is because it falls on the day after my wedding anniversary (18 years and counting!).

When it comes to remembering things I’m really bad about it. I can remember something that happened when I was 8 years old but I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night. What is that? Is that old age or just the fact you tend to remember important things more so then trivial things.

My husband is better at remembering things then I am. I often tell HIM when my appointments are so he can remind me. He’s my personal assistant.

My iPhone has a calendar that I use often. Unfortunately I sometimes forgot to check it.

I recently received to review a Nokia Lumia 635 smartphone. The phone comes with a Windows 8.1 operating system. I’m an iPhone girl so getting used to the Microsoft platform is still foreign to me. I have Windows on both of my laptops and desktop too but I’m still not used to it entirely.

The Nokia Lumia 635 comes with Cortana. Cortana is Siri’s rival. She also rival’s Google Now, which I have no experience with.

C1

Sorry about the finger smudges

Cortana does a lot of the same things that Siri does. She can tell you where nearby stores are. She can give you directions and she can help you text or call someone on your contact list. The same things I use Siri for. However Cortana goes further then that.

Cortana actually gets to know your likes. She even asks you a few questions when you first use her about the types of things you like. She uses this information to supply you with things she thinks you’d like. For example, I follow entertainment news. When I open Cortana she’ll display current entertainment news for me. That saves me from having to check out the various entertainment sites I normally read. Cortana will give me all the current headlines and latest news as soon as I open her app. Siri doesn’t do that.

When you speak to Cortana she displays the words she hears, even making corrections, right there on the display. Plenty of times Siri has no idea what I am saying to her – even if I am pronouncing the words loudly and clearly. So far Cortana has not had any issues understanding me. I even asked her to help me say something in Punjabi – which is a language (a little boy in our care didn’t speak any English – he only spoke Punjabi). Although Cortana couldn’t retrieve the pronunciation for me, she was able to understand the word “Punjabi”. I was impressed by that.

Cortana has a really cool feature where she can alert you to traffic on your commute so you know if you need to leave a bit earlier. So far she hasn’t alerted me to anything, and I doubt she will. I work 10 minutes from home and take back roads mostly. I think Cortana can only pick up traffic alerts on major roadways. None the less it’s a great feature to have, especially if you are a commuter.

I asked Cortana how to make a tablescape and she pulled up this information for me.

I asked Cortana how to make a tablescape and she pulled up this information for me.

Cortana also knows where you are. It’s kind of creepy in a way. LOL! If you need to purchase something, such as cat food, you can tell Cortana to remind you to pick up cat food when you are at your selected store. Sure enough, when she senses you are at the store you listed a message will pop up to remind you to buy cat food.

I use Cortana to remind me to do things when I get home. When I am at work I often remember things I need to do but forget by the time I get home. If I tell Cortana what I need to do (call the doctor, turn on the oven, return library books…) she sends me messages alerting me to the things I need to do when I get home. I even had her alert me when my favorite show came on TV so I didn’t miss it.

Cortana recognizes things like your home and your job. She knows when you arrive at these places. It’s pretty cool.

You can even have Cortana remind you to do things like wish someone a Happy Birthday when you call them (which I should have done for my sister’s birthday). I haven’t tried that feature yet, only because I don’t use the phone much.

Unlike Siri, Cortana actually gets to know the phone owner and offers suggestions on their favorite things and gets to know the users patterns. “She” is very smart.

I am a long time iPhone user and as I mentioned earlier I rarely use Siri because she doesn’t provide much value to me. If my iPhone had Cortana I would the service all the time. I find the service very useful and helpful. It’s literally like having your own personal assistant in your phone.

C4

I have Cortana on my Nokia Lumia 635 phone. I really like this phone. I know it sounds weird but I like the way it feels. It’s a nice size and weight.

It has the Microsoft 8.1 operating system, which is how I am able to use Cortana.

It has a 5 mega pixel camera, so it takes decent pictures and video. The image quality of the photos and videos on the phone is really good. I’ve used the phone to watch Netflix at work during “down time”. I find the colors to be bright and the image quality crisp and sharp.

The sound quality for videos and music is good too.

So far we have not had any problems with this phone. My daughter is currently using this phone because she dropped her iPhone and cracked the screen AGAIN (twice in a matter of 3 months). We can’t afford to fix her phone right now. I also think my daughter is liking the Nokia Lumia 635 a bit too much because not once has she nagged us to get her other phone fixed. She seems content with this phone and coming from a teenager I take it as a compliment that she really likes the phone.

Have you had a chance to experience Cortana yet? What do you think about Cortana vs. Siri? Which system would you rather have? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Colorful tiles and display

Colorful tiles and display

Kimberly

*I received a free sample phone in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Charge your devices no matter where you go with BirkSun

 

Technology

Every where you go these days people are glued to their smartphones or tablets. Even little children have their own devices! Just the other day I had a four year old come into our classroom who owned her own Kindle. Her grandmother told me she loves to read books on it and play games. I’m all for kids reading whenever possible, but I personally prefer a tangible book to an electronic one.

My kids are typical teenagers. They are always on their smartphones. They are even allowed to use them at school to look things up and to help with math and language translation.

One of the biggest complaints I get from my kids is that their phones run out of their charge during school. They know to charge their devices, and they do have small portable chargers, but some how their phones still run out of power. Maybe if they actually charged their chargers this wouldn’t be a problem. How can you expect to charge your phone when your portable charger is out of “juice” too?

There is a rising trend in solar chargers now. I think that is a fabulous idea. Not only does it save on electricity, but the sun is almost always available to us. With solar chargers you can charge your devices just about anywhere, providing that the charger can get some sunlight.

A company called BirkSun has created a solar charger that is sure to be popular among college students, high schoolers, commuters and people who love to hike and be outdoors.

BirkSun Backpack

BirkSun makes solar charging backpacks. They look and feel like regular backpacks but with one small difference – they have a small solar panel that captures the sun’s rays and charges up the built in charging mechanism. When your phone or other device needs to be recharged and another charging source is unavailable, simply plug your phone into the charging mechanism in your BirkSun backpack and you’re phone will be functional again in now time.

The backpack doesn’t “store” the energy (for that you should have an external – which could also be charged by the BirkSun backpack). However it does charge as you are going about your day.

The backpack and charge in minimal sun which means my kids can simply make sure their BirkSun’s solar panel is close to a window with sunshine coming in so they can charge their phone during class.

If you are out and about, such as hiking or spending the day at the beach, the BirkSun will charge your device as you are doing your thing and having fun. You are not tied down to waiting around by an outlet or sitting in your car with the engine running just to get some time on your phone. Simply plug your device into the BirkSun’s charging unit and go on your merry way. In no time you’ll have plenty of “juice” to update your Facebook status, share images of Instagram and check your email.

BirkSun backpacks look and feel like regular backpacks. Even if you don’t need the charging aspect of it they are still quality made backpacks. They have plenty of pockets and can hold a lot of books, gear or anything else you need to tote around.

BirkSun products

This would be great to have when you are traveling. I see a lot of people who take backpacks to the airports with them. They are great “carry-ons”. If you are going to carry luggage why not carry something that can also help you charge our phone or devices. As someone who was stuck at an airport with a “dead” phone I can testify that having a back up charging device is a MUST.

BirkSun backpacks are available in different styles and colors so you are sure to find one that suits your needs and fashion style. The backpacks are available individually or you can get one of BirkSun’s charging kits which come with a cable and an external battery. The external battery the company sends you can be charged with the backpack and provide you with hours of portable energy for your phone and other devices.

Charging Kits with an external battery  run from $135 – $200. Backpacks alone go for between $100 – $175. BirkSun also carries other accessories. Shipping is FREE.

We have the Boost Air kit backpack. The Boost gives you a 20% charge on an hour of sunlight. The other styles – Connect Solar Messenger and Elevate backpack – provide you with a 30% charge for an hour of sunlight.

The Boost Air backpack is ideal for my son’ s needs. There are plenty of pockets – even ones for his phone. The interior is fleece and solar panel is waterproof. There is even a pocket for an iPad or tablet (not that he brings one to school with him).

Check out this great video that shows you a little more about this specific backpack. More product videos are available on the BirkSun website.

 

With the holiday season coming up the BirkSun backpacks would make a great gift.

Why be tied down to wall outlets when you can charge on the run with the BirkSun.

For more information visit BirkSun.com. You can also find them on the various social media sites.

What do you think about BirkSun? Feel free to share your thoughts.

BirkSun Air

BirkSun Air – This is the exact same backpack my son takes to school with him every day.

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

 

 

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KABOO – Where fashion meets technology

 

Technology

Technology – it’s everywhere! We can’t step outside our home without packing our smartphones and tablets. I see little kids with their own tablets or Kindles. Just today at work a 4 year old girl came in with her own Kindle in a cute little pink case. A four year old! I know some adults who don’t even own a Kindle or tablet.

With all this technology you need to make sure to protect them. It’s important to have protective cases on all your devices to keep them from being broken or destroyed in the event they are dropped.

We have several devices, most of which I keep at home. I do take two tablets to work with me every day. One tablet is for me so I can watch Netflix or surf the web on slow days. I also have a “kiddie” tablet which does not connect to the internet but it does have dozens of educational games on it. I keep this one handy in case we have a child at work who simply doesn’t want to play with any of our toys.

Toting both tablets back and forth to work, along with my smartphone, can be cumbersome. Often I have to carry my purse, water, snack/lunch and toys and books I am donating to our classroom. Sometimes my hands are full that it’s difficult to carry both tablets too. What I needed was a nice way to tote everything around.

I received to review a bag from a company called KABOO. It’s a beautiful and fashionable handbag. It has plenty of pockets for all my “stuff”. My KABOO bag also has a little secret – it’s also a protective tote for my tablets and other tech devices.

KABOO bags look like regular fashion forward handbags but inside they have a special pocket that fits your tablet/Kindle/iPad that protects it from drops as well as scratches and dents from the other items you keep in your bag (such as car keys).

Here is a brief video that tells you more about these great bags.

 

I’m not about to drop my KABOO bag off the roof to see how well it protects my tablets. I’ll take the company’s word for it. LOL!

KABOO is currently available in different colors and styles. They are a new company so they only have a small section at this moment in time. I am sure after they have been around for a few months they will introduce more bags.

Here are a few of the available bags.

Kaboo bags

They are beautiful.

I have the Jenna Bag in Watermelon (color). It’s more of a salmon color.

There are plenty of pockets to store my “stuff” including outside pockets and a generously sized interior pocket.

My bag holds a lot. In addition to two tablets and my smartphone it also holds my car keys, wallet, snacks for work, hand lotion, hand sanitizer and more.

Kaboo 1

Kaboo 2

Kaboo 3

Car keys, 2 tablets, make up case, cellphone…

In the above photo the blue thing with the black “dot” is the kiddie tablet. I had neglected to put it back in the protective pocket along with my other tablet. The protective pocket is the one towards the top of the phone with the “flap”. You an see the side of my other tablet in the pocket.

I like that this bag has both a strap and handles (I mostly use the strap).

It’s big and roomy both inside and out and exceptionally well made. I get a lot of compliments from people at work too.

I like having the ability to take my tablets to/from work and protect them at the same time in a fashionable way.

What do you think about KABOO bags? Do you like how they serve a purpose (protect your technology) while being fashionable too?

KABOO needs your help. In order to kick production into high gear they have set up a Kickstarter campaign. When you donate towards their campaign you are not only ensuring that Kaboo bags will be available but you’ll also get great “thank you” gifts from limited edition wood ear buds to two KABOO bags (depending on the donation level).

If you would like to learn more about this Kickstarter campaign please visit this link – KABOO iPad Designer Handbags.

If you are unsure of how Kickstarter works you should check out this informative page – How to pledge and pre-order.

I love my bag. I know if you have the opportunity to see a KABOO bag in person you’ll fall in love with it too – especially if you care about your electronic devices.

Blogger copy

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Learning Photoshop with a Tutor

 

owl-teacher

So you’ve decided to learn how to use Photoshop but aren’t sure how to go about it? Thankfully for you, there are MANY options to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. However, there is one option that doesn’t get as much attention as it should: using a Photoshop tutor.

Don’t get me wrong, watching tutorial videos, reading articles and simply figuring things out on your own all work very well. There are many Photoshop gurus out there who either learned on their own or made use of free resources. But sometimes using an expert, even for just an hour, can help clear up a lot of confusion and fast track your progress. The important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to use a tutor to learn Photoshop from the ground up. They are there to supplement your education: to point you in the right direction, to help you through some annoying roadblocks and to give you some tips you might not find elsewhere.

In fact, one of the best ways to learn Photoshop is to download a free trial of the product over at Adobe then read a few tutorials such as those over at www.PhotoshopEssentials.com and get your hands a little dirty playing around in Photoshop. Eventually you’ll run into some problems you can’t quite solve with tutorials and that’s when working with a Photoshop tutor makes sense. You can find some expert Photoshop tutors over at TutorGramsor you can ask around in your social circle for someone who knows his or her way around Photoshop. However! Make sure the tutor you work with knows what they’re talking about. Working with a reputable site like TutorGrams takes out a lot of the guesswork in this regard. If you do decide to work with a tutor, it’s very important that you prepare some questions and problems you’d like to cover.  Using a tutor can definitely save you time and some stress but it isn’t a magic bullet. You’ll get as much out of the lesson as you put in. The more prepared you are, the more information and help you can receive from your tutor in a short amount of time.

All this isn’t to say that working with a tutor is mandatory for learning Photoshop, of course it isn’t. Using a tutor is simply an option that many people don’t realize exists and is worth considering. Good luck with whatever method you choose and let us know how your progress is going.

TutorGrams logo

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are not necessarily my own. 

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