Protein on the Go

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Premier Protein . The opinions and text are all mine.

I workout a lot, but for some reason I am constantly struggling to get enough protein in my diet. I don’t eat fish, so am limited to chicken and beef mainly, and well lets face it, that can get old after awhile and hard to eat at every meal. I am also the mom to a busy little girl, and our household is always on the move. A lot of days I just need something quick to eat or drink that requires little effort but is still healthy. Since it’s so hot in Florida for the better part of the year, I had taken to making smoothies a good bit for breakfast or lunch. While this is an easy on the go meal, it can still take a lot of time to prepare.

I was super stoked to see the Premier Protein shakes at Costco, and was shocked to see that the contained 30 grams of protein! That’s a LOT for a small container guys. They are only 160 calories, and have one gram of sugar. The three flavors are Chocolate, vanilla, and bananas and cream (my current fave.)

Even more exciting is that for a limited time you can get $5 off an 18 pack of shakes at Costco. Good nutrition and a good deal, now we are speaking my language.

I have been drinking 4-5 of these guys a week now and I can honestly say not only do they taste good, but they keep me full. Since I work from home, I am prone to snack a lot (confession, I know.) But after drinking one of these shakes I don’t even want to go neat the pantry because they fill me up.
Also, after a hard workout I often have a hard time stomaching most food for an hour or so, but KNOW it’s important that I refuel within the first 30 minutes to recover. The liquid nature of the drink is so much easier on my stomach and something I can drink right after a workout without problems.

For those days when I do have time to make a smoothie, I am always looking for new recipes. Check this fruity one out:

TROPICAL SUNRISE SMOOTHIE
INGREDIENTS OF MANGO SMOOTHIE:
• 1/2 cup Premier Protein Bananas & Cream shake
• 2 frozen bananas
• 1 cup frozen mango
• 1 sliced orange
INGREDIENTS OF BERRY SMOOTHIE:
• 1/2 cup Premier Protein Bananas & Cream shake
• 2 cups frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries)
• 1 frozen banana
DIRECTIONS:
1. Place all mango smoothie ingredients into blender.
2. Blend until smooth and pour into glass.
3. Rinse blender container.
4. Place berry ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.
5. Pour berry layer on top of mango smoothie. Enjoy!

Don’t forget, for a limited time you can get $5 off an 18 pack of Premier Protein shakes at Costco.

QOTD: What is your favorite type of protein smoothie? Recipe? 

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Premier Protein . The opinions and text are all mine.

New Mizuno Wave Sky


Disclosure: This post about the new Wave Sky is sponsored by Mizuno through Fitfluential. All opinions are my own.

If you have been reading my blog lately, you know I have been struggling with a quad/knee injury that sidelined me for around 8-9 weeks. Not running was no fun, but I knew I needed to be extra careful when I did come back to the sport. When I was asked to try out the new Mizuno Wave Sky, I was pumped as the timing was when I was coming back from my injury, and I couldn’t help but think maybe some new shoes would help my knee to not hurt.

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Well, I was absolutely right. Not only has my knee not hurt running in these new shoes, but I feel like I am running on a springboard. There is just something about running in new shoes that makes me run taller and faster. However, after five runs in the Wave Sky, that feeling has not gone away with the cloudwave technology in these shoes.

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This is a neutral shoe, but it has plenty of cushioning, and as someone who prefers a wider toe box, I am happy to same my toes have not gone numb like that have in other shoes. I also really like the new thicker premium sock liner for a better, more comfortable fit.

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This shoe comes in three great combos for the women, and you can check them out here. I have a feeling I will wear these out really quickly and will need a new pair, I’m digging the pink and want to get those next time!

QOTD: What do you look for in a new shoe? Have you tried Mizuno running shoes before? What is your favorite color combo on the new wave sky?

Add Color with SUBWAY

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of SUBWAY. All opinions are my own.

I’m a pretty busy person. I juggle my job and my blog as well as my house and my family. Cooking isn’t my absolute favorite, nor do I have a ton of time to do it. I know I need to get my fruit and vegetables in, especially to set a good example for my daughter. We have long relied on green smoothies, quick meals, and places like SUBWAY® to feed our family in a healthy way, and the new +color initiative makes us love it even more!

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Last September, the American Heart Association (AHA) along with SUBWAY launched an initiative called +color, focusing on the positive health impact of fruits and vegetables. Did you know that approximately 39,000 deaths could be prevented from stroke, diabetes and the like, AND $7.6 BILLION dollars in medical costs would be saved if Americans ate the appropriate amount of daily fruits and vegetables? Wow! Not to mention, certain cancers can be prevented by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

If you don’t eat the amount you are supposed to eat, it’s ok! There is no time like the present, so why not start now? I always talk about taking baby steps and making small changes to live a healthier lifestyle, and this would be a great one to start with. The AHA and Subway also want you to make this change, and add an extra cup of color to your diet.

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For someone busy like me, a fresh sandwich from SUBWAY makes it easy. There are so many different combinations of  yummy sandwiches to create, you can bet everyone in your family can find something they will like. SUBWAY offers 10 varieties of vegetables to its guests, and creating your own flavorful custom meal can add at least two extra servings of vegetables to your diet. Also, I don’t want to hear any excuses. With over 44,000 franchised locations, there is bound to be a SUBWAY near you!

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QOTD: What is your favorite sandwich to order from SUBWAY? What other ways do you sneak in vegetables during the day?

Motivation with Moto 360 Sport

Motivation can be such a tricky thing. Not everyone is motivated by the same things, and sometimes it can be hard to figure out what gets you going personally. I have had t try many different tactics to keep me motivated to stay fit and healthy, and honestly I have realized that it’s not just one thing for me.

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Wanting to set a good example for my daughter, having group accountability, and keeping track of progress are all good motivators for me. My toddler is a little to young to go run with me (haha) but I still try to get a good example by being active with her, going on walks, and playing outside. I joined a boot camp class for motivation in a group setting (it’s expensive so I go simply to not waste money, if nothing else), and I keep track of data like my steps walked, heart rate, calories burned, and run stats because seeing progress is definitely motivating.

I have used many different things in the past few years to help keep track of my stats, and the new Moto 360 Sport watch is by far the coolest thing!

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Right out of the box, I knew I was going to like this watch because it is a good size. I have other touch screen watches but the faces have been really big, so this guy is ahead of his time by having all the same technology but in a sleeker design. The flame orange is pretty awesome to me, but if it’s not your favorite, the Moto 360 Sport also comes in white and black.

So let’s start with the obvious for me, all about the numbers for this data and running geek. This watch gives it all to you without having to carry your phone. The top left number on the above photo is how many minutes I have moved that day, the bottom lest is my calorie burn, top right is steps walked, and bottom right is the second hand for the clock. The clock face I had my watch on is the “sport” one, and as you can see I can easily hit ONE BUTTON….START from the main screen and start my run. It will track all the stats of a regular GPS watch as well as heart rate and time spent in different heart rate zones, but that is just the beginning!

Music on the run? Sure! There are 4 GB of space and it is compatible with Spotify which is awesome (love the integration!) Oh, speaking of integration, it is also compatible with programs you may already use like FitBit, Map My Run, and Strava.

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Check out the cool charging dock, just set it inside the cradle. I have to charge it nightly because it has so many cool features always running, but that’s ok, it’s totally worth it!

I downloaded Android Wear™ which allowed me to sync up my watch so that I can check traffic, weather, get social media or email notifications, and even text messages!

The watch itself is very durable, make of silicone that doesn’t absorb sweat while ventilation channels keep you cool. The Motorola AnyLight display is really brilliant. It’s the world’s first hybrid screen and you can read the display even in bright sunlight because it adapts to the light level around it. So cool.

Another really cool aesthetic is the ability to change the watch face. There are tons to choose from, like this gorgeous blossom option.

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Now, I don’t know about you but I think that is MOTOvating! If you are a numbers + technology geek like me, then you should give this watch a shot. Maybe it could be a good motivator for you like is has been for me.

Whatever it may be, I hope you can find something that MOTOvates you to get and stay healthy. We all need a reason to keep on keeping on, it’s so important! Reading blogs and having people encourage me has also been a big help, so if any of you ever need a little motivational boost, I will be happy to help you out, so feel free to email me anytime. But for now, check out this awesome video that will tell you a little more about the Moto 360 Sport watch.

You can purchase your own watch at Motorola.com, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Amazon, Google Play, Verizon.com, and at the Moto Shop in downtown Chicago.

To help get you MOTOvated, Motorola is giving away FOUR watches! Simply follow the rafflecoptor instructions below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Motorola. The opinions and text are all mine.

Live KIND

Kindness makes the world a better place, and I think we could all agree on that. I am currently partnering with KIND Snacks and want to encourage you all (and myself) to Live KIND. every day™. How can we do this? Doing things for your taste buds, your body, and your world is a great start!Live KIND

As an athlete, I am KIND to my body by exercising, eating nutritious (and delicious) foods, taking rest days for my body, and my mind. I have been working really hard better myself physically by going to boot camp four days a week and running twice a week since the beginning of January. I don’t always feel like I am being KIND to myself in the middle of a tough workout (haha) but I know in the end that it will be worth it!

One thing I am always careful to do though is to take a rest day each week. Too many people think they need to push hard seven days a week, and for me personally that is not being KIND to my body. I need to recover and rest to get even stronger. I typically do my longest workout (my long run) on Saturday, so Sunday makes for a great rest day for me. I think it is also important to take a mental health break, whether it be going for a walk with your dog or taking a quick nap, sometimes we just need to think about nothing!

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A part of being KIND to my body is also what I am fueling it with. I have to eat healthy foods or my workouts aren’t as effective, I feel sluggish, and get really tired. I eat KIND snacks after a tough workout to refuel me and tide me over until my next meal. They are really easy to just throw into my gym bag or purse to eat on the go, which fits in well with my busy life. They are a solution for every day! My favorites are Almond and Coconut, and anything with chocolate.

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I also think it’s important to be KIND to your taste buds. I love to eat delicious food, and sometimes for this southern girl that means home cooked comfort food! But, those are treats, and for the most part we try to eat healthy, especially to teach my toddler good healthy eating habits. Anyone with a toddler can tell you that sometimes trying to get them to eat healthy foods is like trying to bathe a cat. We continually give her lots of greens (she loves green beans), protein like turkey and chicken, and healthy fats like avocados but sometimes she turns them away. I know it’s just a phase, but it can be frustrating at times! Mixing veggies in with foods she already likes helps as well. Also, she LOVES my KIND snacks! Anytime she hears me rip open a package from the pantry she comes running and holds her little hand out for a bite. It’s so cute, but I usually end up having to open a second bar so I get enough to eat!

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As much as I think it is important to be kind to yourself, it’s also important to be KIND to those around you. I grew up doing volunteer work though my church and was raised to always keep others and their needs in mind. We can always do more to help others, and I think doing first hand work with those less fortunate is something that is very eye opening. One such experience happened to me this time last year, and has still stuck with me. I had the opportunity to help out with a Feed the Children charity event in New Orleans in conjunction with the Run Rock n Roll Series. We spent the afternoon giving food and toiletries to needy families in the area, and it was such a blessing to me to get to chat with some of these people, hear their stories, and do a little something to brighten their day. I truly believe we need more KINDness in the world, and that if we can all do a little more, things could be amazing.

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QOTD: What are you doing to Live KIND. every day™ for your body, the world, and your taste buds?   Check out how we “Live KIND” on our blog, http://www.kindsnacks.com/blog/, and follow KIND snacks on  Twitter/Instagram/Facebook – @kindsnacks and chat with them using #LiveKIND.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of KIND.

5 Must Have Holiday Items from Lorna Jane

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Lorna Jane.

I have heard a lot about the brand Lorna Jane in the past few months, but had never owned any of their clothes myself. I can now tell you that I see what all of the buzz is about! I received a top and pair of tights/pants, and I am in love! The clothes are really well made and super comfortable.

Lorna Jane releases 70-100 new styles PER MONTH so there are always adorable new clothes to buy. Not only are there a plethora of outfits to choose from, but their outfits are very fashion forward. I would gladly wear their clothing line out and about and not just at the gym. Everything is so versatile! They have stores in CA, WA, OR, AZ, TX, NV, and are coming to the East Coast in 2015! You can Find your closest store or shop now on lornajane.com

I really think everyone should try them out, and so I thought it would be fun to share five items that I think should be on your wish list.

5 Must Have Holiday Items from Lorna Jane:

1.) Move Nourish Believe diary: (pictured below) Yall, this thing is awesome. I am such a planner, and for some reason I really like paper planners and have never liked having an online calendar. There is just something about writing things down on paper that helps me stay organized. Every year I am on the hunt for the perfect planner, and I think I have found one!

Not only does it have a monthly calendar and space to write in things week by week, but it has tons of motivation and inspiration like recipes, challenges to help you move, and more. I can’t wait to fill mine out!

2.) Felix hooded top: (pictured below) This top is really comfortable and keeps me warm! I especially love the hood and the pocket in front to stash my cell phone or keys. It has a waffle type patterned feel, and fits really well (I am wearing a medium). It’s great for workouts but also stylish enough to wear around town.

3.) Amy full length tights: (pictured below) Oh, how I love these, let me count the ways. These have become my favorite running tights for cold weather. These babies are so soft and really flattering. I’m still carrying around a few post pregnancy pounds but I feel confident in these tights. They are made of a great performance fabric that wicks sweat and helps keep you dry.

4.) Eccentric sports bra: Not only is this sports bra adorable, but it’s functional. It’s designed for maximum support and high impact sports. It also has removable padding and adjustable straps which is a must for me. I don’t own this product (yet haha) but it definitely belongs on my list.

5.) Dreamer Tank: I love the look of this tank top! I am all about flowy tops while I’m trying to get back into shape. It also doesn’t hurt that I love the saying on it (front and back!) It’s made from a lightweight fabric and has a very flattering neckline.

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Have you ever visited the Move Nourish Believe website? It is a great holiday resource on so many things. It has great “go to” articles to help you get through the holidays: think recipes, workout items to keep you in shape while eating all those yummy holiday meals, etc.

Some of my favorite articles are the fitness related ones, like this one about 5 ways to exercise when you are really busy, and the one that talks about misunderstood fitness secrets.

Be sure to follow Lorna Jane on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

QOTD: Do you like any of the 5 items I have picked for my holiday must have list? Is there anything you would add?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Lorna Jane.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post is sponsored by Mizuno and Fitfluential, however all opinions are my own.

I am pretty picky about my running shoes. I have tried a lot of different brands and models, but only a few actually “stick” with me long term. Mizuno is one of very few brands I have bought multiple pair of shoes from because they do ok with my oh so picky feet. I was really excited to try the new Wave Rider 18’s, and went for a walk the first day I got them.

mizuno wave rider

The colors are really cool, and not something you typically see.The official colors are Black/Silver/Florida Keys (Who else loves really unique color names?)

The shoe weights 7.8 oz with a 12 mm drop and provides a stable ride for an everyday running shoe. It is a neutral shoe, which means it can work for a wide range of runners. The Wave Rider 18 has a good blend of guidance and flexibility.

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Typically when a shoe has a bit of guidance and support, they are really heavy and clunky, but that’s not the case here. The Wave technology is really responsive and has just enough cushion for logging some serious miles.

This shoe retails for a reasonable $119.99, and comes in men’s and women’s styles.

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I found the Wave Rider 18 to be true to size. I have high arches and require a large toebox, so I did find the front area a bit more snug than other models, but it would be fine for most people (I have morton’s neuroma so need the extra wiggle room”).

If you would like more information be sure to visit Mizuno’s website, or follow along with #WaveRider18

QOTD: Do you run in a neutral or stability shoe? What do you look for in a running shoe? Are colors important?

Detour SMART Bar Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Detour Bar.

I am quite picky about my snacking. I don’t eat large meals, so I snack all. the. time. I carry a lot of bar type foods around in my purse as well, and am always on the lookout for what fuels me best and is healthy while still tasting good.

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I was sent two boxes of Detour’s SMART bars in Blueberry and Apple Cinnamon.

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The day I got these in the mail, my husband and I busted open a box and both tried one, and were pleasantly surprised! The greek yogurt drizzle is what put it over the top for me! I also like the soft texture.

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There are four total flavors: Blueberry, Apple Cinnamon, Cranberry Flax, and Peanut Butter Chocolate. I can only vouch for the two I was sent, but I will say both boxes are almost gone!

I know in the summer a lot of people tend to get lax on their healthy eating. There are tons of BBQ’s to go to, frozen treats to consume, and the heat makes you not want to workout. However, you don’t have to sacrifice your healthy lifestyle in the summer and can still snack smart!

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I am a numbers nerd, so I really enjoyed checking out this chart comparing Detour bars to other brands. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat and enjoy some of these other brands, but it is nice to know that Detour bars have the lowest amount of sugar and are very high up there in terms of protein!

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If you like high protein, healthy snacks, that give you energy through whole grain carbs and fiber, you should try a box of Detour SMART bars. You can find them at several locations or purchase online. For more information or to follow the brand on social media, be sure to check them out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

QOTD: What do you look for in a healthy snack bar? Taste? sugar? protein?

P.S. – Be on the lookout today on my Instagram account for a giveaway!

Under Armour Visit Part 1: Welcome to Baltimore

What a whirlwind of a week it has been! But, it has been an AMAZING one! I did something this week I have never done. I flew somewhere and then back the very next day. That “somewhere” wasn’t just anywhere, it was Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. I was a part of the What’s Beautiful competition through Fitfluential, and was chosen to go up for a visit. To say I was excited would be the understatement of the century.

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My day started off VERY early. I had a 6:00 flight because I wanted to maximize my time in Baltimore. This meant a 3:40 wake up call, and a 45 minute drive to the New Orleans airport, and a long walk from the parking garage with no coffee.

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My “why am I up so dadgum early” face.

I had a smooth and uneventful flight, and met my driver at baggage claim. I felt like a total dork, but I was super excited to have someone waiting for me with one of those little signs with my name on it. It’s the little things folks. My kind driver promptly took my bag and I thought I could certainly get used to this!

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As we stepped outside I immediately noticed the awesome weather. Low humidity and breezy. I could DEFINITELY get used to this! We took a quick drive to headquarters where I was dropped off at the front desk and immediately saw this on the giant TV above the reception area.

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I squealed and said “HEY THAT’S ME! Before snapping a photo. Poor girl at the front desk must have thought I was a loon. I then finally got to meet the fabulous Jami. I love this girl. She is so passionate about Under Armour and marrying real women/bloggers with fitness and health. Her enthusiasm is contagious! We walked through a gorgeous building with huge photos of athletes on the walls. I may have secretly wished one day it would be me up there!

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Electra had already arrived, so the first of many photos happened.

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We chatted and waited for the other girls Kasey and Tasha before heading over to the gym for a workout.

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We walked into the gym and each had an open locker with an outfit for our workout and an outfit to put on after our shower, plus some fun other things like a bag, water bottle, etc (AMAZING bag by the way, you all need one!) I instantly felt like a famous athlete with my own locker. Of course, we took pictures.

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We quickly changed and headed out to the lobby to learn all about Armour 39. Let me tell you folks, this thing is a beast, and so awesome. It is a performance monitoring system for athletes that does SO much and I can’t wait to tell you more about it very soon, but for now just know it’s pretty epic.

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Making sure I had the strap adjusted correctly before I put it on under my shirt.

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After getting all set up, it was time for our assessment to get the most accuracy out of Armour 39, so we did a quick treadmill run after meeting our trainer, Chris. After our assessment, we headed out to a gorgeous turf/field right on the water for our circuit training.

I am going to stop here for the day because I have SO many more photos to share and amazing experiences, and don’t want to make this post too long. Stay tuned! Here is a sneak peek of our workout. (Photos taken by the awesome Matt Ryb!)

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After I do my posts about the actual experience, I will be sure to recap what I learned and what this whole experience meant to me. I can’t wait to share!

QOTD: Do you own any UA gear? What is your favorite?

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.

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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!

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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?