Staples iTunes Giftcard Giveaway

I was recently contacted by Staples to be a part of a summer fitness initiative, #StaplesFitClub, and was generously sent some amazing gadgets to test out. These products all work together to make getting fit and recording everything/tracking your goals a cinch, and I am having a blast so far!

The items I was sent include the iPad Mini, the FitBit One, and the FitBit aria scale with wifi. I was so giddy opening up the box, I love electronics, and I love fitness! Staples hit the nail on the head with this amazing combination!

Ok, so let’s talk about each item individually. First, the FitBit One. This little gadget attaches easily to your hip and tracks your steps, mileage, calories burned, and flights of stairs traveled. You can also wear it to bed to monitor your sleep activity which I found super cool. I put it on in the morning and forget it’s there, it’s really a no-fuss product. It really helps me to have mini goals for the day, like walk so many steps or climb so many flights of stairs. Being able to “check in” on myself right on the device during the day helps me to stay on track.

fitbit

I was also sent by far the coolest scale I have ever seen in my life! The fitbit Aria  has Wi-Fi, yall! It works in conjunction with the FitBit. Once you set up a profile with FitBit, the scale will recognize you when you step on, and tells you your weight, body fat %, and BMI. Them, the information is sent to your FitBit profile (privately) so you can easily keep track of your progress and even set goals for yourself.

ariascale

Then there is the iPad mini, which rounds out the group and brings it all together. I downloaded the FitBit app from the app store (free) and so when I open my app on my iPad, it shows my profile for how many steps I have walked that day, distance, stairs, etc. as well as my weigh in info form my scale, all together in one place, it’s seamless! The iPad I received has 16GB of space, a 7.9 inch backlit display and a 5MP camera with HD video recording. I will be doing lots of Facetiming with up to ten hours of battery life (that’s a lot of facetime!)

Not to mention I went to the app store and downloaded some fitness apps to my iPad to help me with my fitness goals. There are a ton to choose from, and the iPad and iTunes make it so simple to purchase and download right to your device instantly.

iPadmini

How would you like to win a $25 iTunes giftcard to help you on your fitness journey? Simply follow the rafflecoptor instructions below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: I was provided these products for free from Staples, however all opinions are my own

Monster Headphones Review and Giveaway

I was recently asked to review a pair of Monster’s headphones here on my blog. Confession time: I have never had a really nice set of headphones, and wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was really excited when they arrived, and I opened the box and found these beautiful N-Tune headphones in a super fun neon green color. 359 Turns out, they have FIVE colors to choose from. (Blue, green, purple, red, and tangerine). After getting over how adorable they were, I dove into the box to get some more information about these babies. N-Tune HD is an audio achievement that allows you to hear your music like never before (AKA these headphones produce amazing sound)! They has noise isolation that seals out other distractions so you can hear your music, and only your music and can tune out your surroundings. Another great feature of these headphones is that they are super durable. They are nearly indestructible, and are made of good quality materials. You can even twist the headphones, and they won’t break….I may have tried it out myself. They also come with tangle free cables, and a little bag to put everything in to keep it safe and all together in one place. They are also really comfortable on your head. I really don’t like when things are tight around my head, and I get headaches easily. Lucky for me, I had no problem wearing the Monster headphones and found them very comfortable on my ears. For more excellent product reviews visit Top9Rated.
361 In case you haven’t looked at your calendar recently, we are quickly approaching the holidays, and these headphones would make an amazing Christmas gift. Everyone is so into music these days, so why not give a fun gift (one that I had not thought to give before!) that someone in your family would enjoy. 362These headphones are also a great value, and can be found at Wal-Mart store for $150. Thee headphones also have an in-line mic with controls for tablets and other devices. Also, the included music share cable allows you to easily share your music with your friends. Would you like to win a pair of headphones? 25 sets of Monster headphones are being given away, valued at $150 each. It’s easy to enter, simply click over to the Monster Headphones page on Walmart.com and let us know which is your favorite NTunes color in the comments for a chance to win.  All comments left on my blog post will be combined with the other blogs reviewing the headphones, and 25 pairs will be awarded from those comments. so….. QOTD: What is your favorite color?

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  • Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  • Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  • Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
  • For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

The Official Rules are available here.

 

Weekend Ramblings: September Edition

It’s College football day! I will be spending the day in front of the television preparing for the LSU game. I can’t wait! I hope you all have a great weekend, here are a few random ramblings for you:

1.) Verizon sent me an external battery for my Blackberry, and it’s so convenient! It is especially great when I am out somewhere all day or on a trip and I am using my phone a lot. I hate doing the “conserve battery” thing so it lasts all day, and now I don’t have to, woo hoo! They sent me the Power Pack Slim 2000:

powerpack

2.) Bobby and I leave for another trip on Wednesday to run runDisney’s Tower of Terror ten miler, so we have been busy cleaning, packing, and doing last minute things like getting the mail held and checking in with the house and dog sitters. I think I am going to just start living out of my suitcase since I seem to do so anyway. If you aren’t following me on Instagram you will miss all my trip photos as they happen!

577987_764337759315_1370952889_n

(source)

3.) The winner of my Under Armour sports bra giveaway is Carol Couvillion Landry. Please email me at [email protected]ail.com to claim your prize! Don’t forget you can order things from UA by clicking the link on my right sidebar.

4.) I cooked potato soup last night and forgot how much I love it. (I just can’t stand cooking it in the summer when it is so stinkin hot). I have the recipe here, as well as some other good ones.

5.) I am in need of a handful of guest posts for next week. if you are interested please email me at [email protected]. Thanks in advance!

QOTD: What college football team do you root for?

Blackberry.

Disclosure: I am a Verizon Wireless ambassador and was given a phone, accessories, and free service. However, all opinions are my own.

Sociercise

Good morning! Today I wanted to share with you something that has been in the works for me. I have taken on the task of working with a great company called Sociercise. I will be running things for them on the social media and ambassador side of things, and wanted to share with you a little bit about them because it is an AWESOME concept and phone app!

2140_511084128902244_906412291_n

What is Sociercise?

Sociercise is a way to exercise socially or a form of social exercise. It consists of the website and the FREE Sociercise Real Time Running Races app for iPhone (Android coming soon) that allow individuals to compete in real time races and virtual charity races.

What does Sociercise Include?

*Real Time Running RacesUsers can run in a real time race against other users from any location. In these races participants can track their progress in real time against other real runners. They can hear audio prompts when they get passed and they can see their course through integrated Google Maps.

* Virtual Charity Races –  Through virtual charity races organizations can raise money through an athletic event without the risks, expenses, and difficulties associated with hosting a traditional 5K or fun-run. Plus the Virtual Charity Races on Sociercise allow participants to collect pledges for each mile that they complete as well as minimum and maximum donations through our Fun and Fair pledge process on our website. As an event occurs virtual charity race participants can run anytime, anywhere, and as often as they want to log miles using our iPhone app. At the conclusion of the multi-day racing period our system will calculate and process the donations based upon the pledges per mile and the distance completed by the runner. Also, there are PRIZES for different categories like most miles run and most money raised.

SKORA_FW13_FORM_M06_medial_mens (2)

Awesome running shoes are one of the prizes for the next race!

*Individual Workouts– So you aren’t in a competitive mood but you still want to run…No problem with Sociercise you can go for an individual workout, set your goal distance or do a free run and the app will track your time, pace, and distance as well as your course on a Google Map.

*Workout History and Goal Setting – What good is a great running app without the ability to set goals and track your progress?Sociercise created several ways to track your progress from graphs for each distance, a complete history log, and a goal setting process that allows you to set and track goals for time, distance, calories, and weight loss.

Want to know more? Here are some videos that show some more about Sociercise:

http://youtu.be/ANh1p2mGuoU

http://youtu.be/rxtgs9vcYds

As you can see, it’s a great concept and an easy way to raise money for charity without having to travel or worry about meeting super high minimums just to compete. You race from home over several days! The charity we are currently working with is the Wounded Warrior project. Won’t you come and support these soldiers? it’s easy to sign up and tell your friends about it via social media and collect pledges!

Want to follow Sociercise on Facebook and Twitter? We would love to hear from you!

QOTD: What are your thoughts on running a virtual race for charity via a phone app? Will you sign up and help us raise money?

Disney MagicBands Review

Last week when I was in Disney World for the Earmarked conference for authorized Disney vacation planners at Disney’s Contemporary resort convention center, I had the opportunity to test out the new MagicBands that are currently in the testing phase.

magic band pink

They work in conjunction with the My Disney experience phone app which I KNOW all of you have downloaded onto your phones. Smile You can also use your account on a PC if you don’t have a Droid or iPhone.

I have gotten several questions about the bands, what they can do, how they work, etc. so I am hoping to answer those questions here, and of course if you have a question that I don’t answer please ask in the comments, it may be a question someone else has, too!

1.) What do they cost?

Nothing! The magic bands will be standard issue for all Disney resort guests once they go live. You will receive a box in the mail with your customized bands once you order them through my Disney experience. You can customize them up to six days prior to your stay and get the customized bands at check in. Even if you don’t customize them, you can still get them at check in, but they will be grey bands.

magic band box

Beautiful box your bands come packaged in, straight to your house!

2.) What do they do?

Oh my friends, they question is what DON’T they do! You can attach your theme park tickets to your Disney MagicBands so you tap your band to get into a park, into your hotel room, through a fastpass line, or when paying for food or merchandise, it’s amazing! If you are using Disney’s Magical Express service, you will also use them to get on a bus to go to your resort. So convenient, but be sure to pack them in a carry on! Since the bands are still in the testing phase, I was also given a regular key to the world card as a backup to get into my room.

magicband

Me testing out the MagicBand at the earmarked conference

3.) You mentioned fastpasses….how does this work?

There is a new system called Fastpass+. You can go into your Disney account online and set up three fastpasses for the day at one park. No more running to the fastpass machines at park opening, or leaving your family in line for one ride while you go get fastpasses for another. You pick your rides and times online, and show up at your designated one hour window and tap your band to go through the fastpass line. Super easy! ***Edited to add that now once you use all 3 of your fastpasses that you schedule, you can go to any kiosk in the park or park hop to another park and add  more fastpasses one at a time!***

fastpass

Fastpass+ to get on Soarin.

4.) Shopping? Food? How! This seems so easy!

When you check in, you will be asked to enter in a pin code that you will use during your trip to make purchases on your account/credit card that you provide. When you go to a store, at checkout you simply tap your band and enter your pin, that’s it! Same thing at restaurants. Servers have a small portable device you tap your band against.

5.) Fastpass+ sounds awesome, are there other things you can use it for besides rides?

Yes! You can use fastpass+ for parade and fireworks viewing areas, as well as character meet and greets. Disney is going to be adding many more experiences to fastpass+ in time, so be on the lookout for these experiences. Also, I was able to attach my annual pass to my band so I can reuse it if I wanted to on my next trip.

photo (29)

Kelly using her MagicBand to enter EPCOT

6.) I saw you posted a photo on Instagram of some charm looking things on your band. What is this?

These are called bandits. Something fun for you to collect and personalize your band with. There are also fun covers called sliders, so many options and ways to personalize. Also a great way to tell bands apart if your kids order the same color (their names are also on the underside for identification if you customize ahead of time online). You can buy accessories at the resorts where the bands are being tested.

Disney MagicBands

disney magic bands1

photo (30)

photo (31)

7.) My family is really active, will we have to take the Disney MagicBands off to get in the pool or what if we get sweaty?

The bands are waterproof and do well in heat, so they won’t melt or die at the waterparks or in the pool. The only thing I noticed is I did get a little sweaty on my arm wearing mine on a hot day, but I imagine if I had a slider on it it would help.

8.) Fastpass+, customizing bands, this all seems overwhelming, HELP!

Absolutely! I would love to book your family vacation for you an walk you through this new process as it rolls out. You can email me at [email protected] for a free quote, or go to travelwiththemagic.com and request a quote. Just be sure to put my name on there so it goes to me. Smile

Want to see what resorts are being included in the testing? Check out this link on Travel With the Magic. 

QOTD: Thoughts on the Disney MagicBands? Any questions?

Weekend Happenings: I’m Going to Disney World!

Guess where I am going today? DISNEY WORLD! This time, I am going for work. There is a special travel agency conference every year and I was invited to go with my boss as a delegate, meaning I will be attending seminars and meetings. We are going a couple days early to have a little fun and do some research before the conference begins, but yup, work trip. Not that’ I’m complaining. Smile 

I will be staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge tonight and tomorrow night, and then will move to the Contemporary until Thursday. I am so excited, I have never stayed at the Contemporary before. I will also be attending Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween party, so stay tuned if you want to see my costume!

DSC_0713

I will have my laptop with me and will still be blogging and on social media thanks to my handy dandy Blackberry Q10 and it’s awesome mobile hotspot capabilities. My husband and I are pretty amazed at the internet speed coming from that little device. It’s super fast!

Speaking of little thing, we are also loving the Blackberry mini stereo speaker I received. Bobby clips it onto his shorts and listens to music from it when he is outside working in the yard of BBQ-ing. It has really good sound quality, much crisper and louder than coming straight out of a phone (especially one in a case).

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! Winner of my Raw Threads giveaway announced soon!

Blackberry.

QOTD: Do you use a special speaker or docking station for your phone? Headphones?

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”  #VZWA #VZWVoices

A Special Connection

Confession: I am a nerd. I love to learn, I love gadgets, and love to see really really “cool” things happening around me. I of course consider technology a REALLY, really cool thing. It moves super fast, there is SO much to learn, and my favorite thing about it: it helps us to connect people to each other.

sparklehearts

I use my smartphone to connect via text, email, video chat, and photos all day long!

True story: Some of my very best friends in the world I met online. Oh yes. Back in 2006 I was on a message board planning my honeymoon, and I ended up meeting some awesome people. Some of them I ended up staying in touch with, meeting with several times in real life, and now our families go on vacation together. How awesome it that? All because of the awesomeness of technology.

Unfortunately I don’t get to see my friends as often as I would like, but thanks to technology and amazing tools like smart phones, laptops, and video cameras, I am able to do more and we can talk to and “see” each other all the time. I live a good 15-20 minutes from “town” and am in a more isolated neighborhood. It has been hard for me to make as many local friends as I would like because of this, but I have no shortage of friends all over the world due to being connected via technology. Whenever I want to “chat” with someone I can hop on Twitter and see what’s going on around the world with my online buds, get on facetime or skype with a family member, or simply shoot an email to catch up with an old childhood friend. The opportunities are ENDLESS!

laptop

Constantly here. On the laptop.

Technology also helps connect me to my readers. I use my webcam on my laptop a lot so that I can post vlogs. It’s so funny when people say that after hearing my voice, they feel more connected to me and like I am a real person or a friend. It’s also nice to have an on the go video camera/camera so that I can capture things and upload them later for my friends, family, or blog community to see. I can’t wait to see what else is in store in the years to come, and I hope I can keep up, I love having these special connections.

QOTD: How has technology improved your life/made you feel connected to other people?

National Running Day 2013

Happy National running day! Will you be running? Timex is celebrating National Running Day on Wednesday, June 5 by asking YOU to tweet or post to Instagram with #IMARUNNER.

226739_10151532332056785_1760608344_n

Every time you do this, Timex will donate $5, up to $15,000, toward One Fund Boston which helps those individuals most affected by the tragic events of April 15, 2013. HOW GENEROUS and awesome of this company. Seriously. Also, there is something in it for YOU! Timex will also be giving away 60 Timex Ironman watches to runners who use the hashtag. Who knows, it could be you, right?

109141-017-027f

 

Ok, so how am I entered to win a watch? easy. For a chance to win a Timex Ironman watch simply submit your unique running story on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #IMARUNNER on June 5th. You can also enter by submitting a photo or story directly on the Timex Sports Facebook page “#IMARUNNER Tab” (http://bit.ly/12qH3Xb). Winners will be selected at random and official rules are located here: http://bit.ly/147ilKy.

I am a bit injured so I am going to run/walk today, at least it’s something! Good luck and happy running!

QOTD: Will you be running today? Do you want to win a watch?

It Can Wait

Is it really that important? Too many people are getting into deadly accident because they just HAD to check that text/text while driving. Most of the time, the text is something like “ok” or even something silly that doesn’t need an answer. Not earth shattering things that have to be addressed immediately yall. I consider myself a very safe driver, but there is absolutely nothing I can do if someone else out there driving decides to do something stupid. Over 100,000 crashes a year involve drivers who are texting!

Infographic.jpeg

I am asking you all to take the It Can Wait pledge with me to not text and drive. The pledge states “no text message, email, website or video is worth the risk of endangering my life or the lives of others on the road.” Amen.

If you go to the website, you will see it’s easy to take the pledge and you can even share a personal story if you would like. There is also a badge you can download and put on a blog, etc. You can also use the #itcanwait hashtag when sharing on Twitter that you made the pledge!

It Can Wait Pledge Logo

Take the pledge, then put the logo up on your site. I am pinning it so you can save it from Pinterest!

QOTD: Did you take the pledge? I would love to know!

*Di you know Fitfluential has a new phone app for Android and iOS phones? Check it out!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”  #VZWA #VZWVoices

Accessories for a Healthy Lifestyle

As a very “connected” people, we are always finding new ways for technology to help us improve our lives. One thing a lot of people have begun to do is use it for health and fitness, which I think is a fabulous idea. Verizon has a ton of accessories that can be helpful in achieving the fitness level you desire, and to also help you keep your weight on track. Check out some of my favorite cool accessories that Verizon offers:

Fitbit Zip: This is a simple tool to help keep you on track with how much you are moving during the day. It tracks your steps and your distance, as well as calories burned. I love mine! It easily clips onto your belt loop or shirt, and it doesn’t bother you at all during the day. (At least not me!) I have even heard people say they accidentally put it through the wash and it came out ok!

FitBit-Zip

Smart Scale: My favorite thing about this scale is that it updates your stats to your fitbit dashboard so you can keep track. It also measures body fat and BMI (honestly I hate BMI though, so don’t get me started.) This bad boy is wi-fi enabled for easy tracking and recording. Pretty nifty!

FitBit-Aria-Scale

MotoACTV Bike mount: I don’t really ride, but I know my husband would love this. It easily attaches to your handlebars so you can clearly see your stats as you go. It has a GPS in it, so you can track your training and also put it online on your personal training log. You can also sync this to your android phone and be alerted when you get texts, tweets, etc. I love that!

mot_activ_bike_mount

QOTD: Which of these three would you like to try?

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”  #VZWA #VZWVoices