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Adobe Photoshop & Premiere Elements 14 Review

Photography and video editing is a pretty crucial part of what I do. And honestly, it is seriously my LEAST favorite.  I love to be in front of the camera - but the editing and making it 'pretty'?

Yeah.  Not really where my strengths lie.  

But when it comes out something awesome?  There is such an amazing sense of pride that comes with being able to do it all yourself.  And in the era and world we live in now a days - where EVERYONE is an expert at phone-photography!  Plus the video editing programming that is out there?  Amazing.  

But one this is for sure - there is nothing better than Adobe Photoshop.  

When I was just starting out with this - I invested in two things.  Photoshop & Final Cut.  Now ask me which one did I actually use? NOT Final Cut!!!  It is soooo hard!  Ok, so I guess you just have to put in the time to learn it.  But still.  It's HARD.  Lynda.com only gets me so far. lol But Photoshop has always been a blast for me.  I used my original one for YEARS until this week!  

I am apart of the Best Buy Blogger Network & I love all the cool things they are opening my eyes to!  I recently got to download Adobe Photoshop & Premiere Elements 14 to review. Truth be told, I had to download it on my other computer because my mac is in OVERLOAD!  Makes me crazy!!!  (If you happen to have a clue how to fix the 'your start up disc is full' part - I'm all ears hahah!!)

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WHAT'S NEW: PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS & PREMIERE 14

*SIMPLICITY!!  Yes.  That's the biggest!  It's so simple to edit, share, organize now!  

*Another great addition is that the new programming makes it SO much easier for the 'newbie'!  Make quick edits, add cool effects and then share them so easily on all the social outlets!

*And they have great ways to perfect the selfie.  You can clear the camera haze from landscape shots and take the camera shake out of video selfies. 

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*4K is IN officially now!  I bought a 4K video camera a year ago from Best Buy and the whole 4K has just come to life in that time.  

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.  

Gift Giving with Best Buy

How many times are you pondering of what to get someone?  Gift giving pre-kids I was a rockstar at.  But since becoming a mom, I can't even remember my OWN kids' birthdays!!  With the Best Buy Git Giving Center they help you all along the way!  The Best Buy Gift Giving Center helps you pick out the best gift starting by the gift category.  From Birthdays, Anniversaries & more - Best Buy curated the best of the best at Best Buy for you to choose from. 

It's already difficult to make the ultimate choice on what you plan to give as a gift, but if you have extra time to make a list for those 'just in case' moments - then do it!  I think everyone should have a Best Buy Wish List.  You never know when you're moving or having a baby! 

The way I look at it...we put everything in the cloud nowadays, right?  Why not start a wishlist and keep adding to it as your kids grow older!  I mean, if anything - it's a great way to remember what they said they liked ya know?!?!

What is the #1 thing you'd have on your Best Buy Gift Center wish list?

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disclaimer:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Grab the LG G4 Smartphone at Best Buy

Best Phone for Cute Kid Pictures

Becoming a mom made me one crazy phone-photography lady for sure.  I have had the exact same phone brand since it first came out in 2007. In the past few months, I realized that it's TOTALLY time to shop for a new obsession!  So when the LGG4 Smartphone came out - It was like a crazy force field drawing me to it!  I honestly hit up the stores like 4 times just to play with it.  And this past week, I made buddies with the sales rep at Best Buy to the point where he knows me by name. HA.  

Sad, I know.  But I'm a DIGITAL INFLUENCER, people.  I gotta have the gadgets to do my job.  

I know.  I totally know what you're thinking. I do have every gadget known to man laying around my house and I def do have an obsession with gadgets... So after doing the Best Buy Trade In Program - mama got a brand new phone!  

I'm actually really embarrassed about my experience at Best Buy.  I snapped an awesome shot with my OLD PHONE of the LG G4, then started fooling around with the LG G4 - THEN bought their phone with trade in on my phone & an ipad - and I DON'T HAVE THE PICTURE BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE MY OLD PHONE!

So here are 5 thing about the LG G4 I LOVE:

1) The camera.  It's THE.BOMB.  The Mega Pixels on this thing is 16 MP on the forward cam and 8 MP on the back camera.  The auto focus is the best one I've seen on any phone. For.Sure.

2) The Design.  I love the leather design!!  It's very helpful with a toddler that likes to throw phones.  Ahem.  #JustSayin

3) Display.  Finally!!!  It's brighter, clearer and easier to see.  And as a novice photographer it's really great to SEE the images I take in the dark! ha

4) Get MONEY BACK if you buy it from Best Buy!  Guaranteed $100 Best Buy Gift Card!! $100 is a fab return on your investment, don't you think?

5) Size.  It fits in the palm of my hand.  My husband has one of the crazy huge phones and I can't even stand it.  No way can I handle one of those big phones.  But this one fits perfectly.  It's like the glass slipper! haha

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The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

CATCH THEM ON SOCIAL: @LGUSAMobile  @BestBuy #LGG4

Deck the Halls with Lumenplay™ App-Enabled Lights

 Lumenplay™ App-Enabled Lights

 Lumenplay™ App-Enabled Lights

There is something fun and special about decorating for the holidays. We have our traditional holiday “home garb” that we deck our halls with: various knick-knacks collected over the years interspersed with new contemporary finds that we add. I love the cozy feeling of holiday-themed candle scents wafting through my house, and watching my boys, in wonder, as they decorate our Christmas tree.


S4 is taking holiday decorating to a new level. This year, they are launching Lumenplay™ App-Enabled Lights, a line of Bluetooth-enabled light strings that are controlled via Android and iOS smart devices. The app is free, and, along with Bluetooth connection, you can let your holiday creative go to town!


With the Lumenplay™  app, you can customize light string colors, effects and visualize music. There is no “set-up” required. With one touch, the app instantly recognizes the lights and you can immediately start playing and customizing. Imagine having a holiday light show in the comfort of your home!  

You can find Lumenplay™ App-Enabled LIghts at the folllowing retailers: s4lights.com, 58 Apple stores and apple.com, amazon.com, 250 Brookstone stores and brookstone.com, balsamhill.com, gertens.com and bestbuy.com.

For more information on the these awesome lights, visit the Lumenplay™ website!
 

Real Mom Tech Gadgets: ASUS Transformer Book T100 2 in 1

When you travel as much as I do, you need a lot of tech gadgets to get you through your journey. From power wallets to phone to laptops to bluetooth keyboards, there's a lot you have to pack to make your work trip successful. 

Sometimes you have to condense and just not bring all the things with you. There were times I did this and then I wished I didn't. Maybe I really did need the tablet. Or the times I wasn't going to bring the laptop because I thought I wouldn't have any down time....only to have a 3 hour layover. 

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Now, I can condense and bring all the things! With the ASUS Transformer Book T100 2 in 1, I have a laptop and and tablet with me at all times. Light and handy, it works as either a laptop or a 10" tablet. I love being able to have the versatility with me when I am on the road. 

Some other cool specs?

  • Battery lasts up to 11 hours with one charge (amazing!)
  • Comfortable keyboard dock with multi-touch touchpad and USB 3.0 for productivity on-the-go
  • Windows 8.1 operating system 
  • Insanely light!

The only thing I seem to be having problems with are the little people trying to steal my new toy! What is it with kids and wanting all of our new devices? And what is it with them knowing how to use them before I learn how to use them? #RealMomProblems...I have them.

If you are tired of packing a million devices and cords on your trips, the ASUS Transformer Book T100 2 in 1 will have you ditching everything and making your bag a little lighter!

The ASUS Transformer Book T100 2 in 1 is available at Radio Shack for only $329.99! (Pricing may vary)

 

Real Mom Tech: Kodak PIXPRO 16 MP Smart Lens

Being a video blogger and a mom means a lot of my videos are done on the fly. Whenever the mood hits me, I just bust out my phone and shoot away. This is good because I have a lot of videos (but you already knew that, ahem). But the downside is that a lot of my videos are done on my phone. There's nothing wrong with that (my phone takes great video) but I am limited in the things I can do.  I have amazing video equipment for all my big-professional work I do.  But hey, this is 2014!  The iPhone is a great way to vlog and 90% of my vids are through there.

One of the things I love to do is test out the latest gadgets.  And of course as a mom we ALL try to be a 'professional photographer', right? ha  So, my latest Real Mom Tech is the Kodak PIXPRO 16 MP Smart Lens

Featuring 16.35MP sensor, it can record full-resolution still imagery in bursts up to 6 fps as well as full HD 1080p movies at 30 fps. Sensitivity to ISO 3200 makes it awesome in difficult lighting conditions. 

The Kodak PIXPRO 16MP Smart Lens clips onto your smartphone! Smart phone compatibility:

  • iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c, and 5s (iOS 6.0 and up)
  • iPad 1st - 4th generations (iOS 6.0 and up)
  • Android phones (version 2.3 and up)
  • Android tablets (version 3.0 and up)

Although it may be small, it's mighty! 

Real Mom Tech Gadgets: iWerkz Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard

Meetings are a big part of my life. And at most of my I need to be prepared to have take notes, share documents and have access to the internet. And while my smartphone is top-notch, it just doesn't cut it for a business meeting. The only problem? I often need something compact and travel-friendly, so my laptop isn't ideal. I can be pretty fumbley with the iPad touchscreen, but its the best choice for those meetings on-the-go. And I've found the perfect item to bridge the usability gap!

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The iWerkz Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard has become a saving grace for this working momma! This keyboard lightweight and folds up for easy portability. Thanks to bluetooth technology, it is compatible with most tablets and smartphones.The battery on the iWerkz keyboard is up to 44 hours - that's 2 or 3 days of work! Wahoo! The protective case also doubles as a stand. Some more information on the  iWerkz Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard:

  • Includes 44652 Bluetooth keyboard, protective case/stand, and charging cable
  • Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled tablets and smartphones; Android, iOS, and Windows devices
  • Docks device while in use
  • Up to?44-hour run/30-day standby time on full charge
  • Foldable design
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Measures approximately 7" x 5-3/8" x 1-1/16"
  • 90-day Limited Manufacturer's Warranty


The iWerkz Universal Portable Bluetooth Keyboard retails for $39.96 on QVC - that's a great deal! You'll also find this item on the 2014Real Mom Holiday Gift Guide - so start thinking of your tech-loving friends who would totally to find this in their stockings this holiday season!  

Real Mom Tech Gadgets: Power Wallet

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I'm a mom on the go, and in this technological world we now live in, my devices go with me.  I can't tell you how many times I've been at an important meeting or an event, and my much-needed devices fail me. My phone is a necessary item for these meetings and events, and it leaves me powerless (literally) when their batteries die on me!

But not any more!

I'm totally crushing on the Power Wallet. This stylish item fits easily into your purse looks super cute. But the best part? It has a rechargeable built-in battery that powers up most smartphones. How amazing is that? That means no more being left stranded with a dead, useless phone. How many moms could benefit from this? Here are the specs: 

  • Includes Power Wallet with built-in 3000mAh battery, micro USB cable, 30-pin adapter, and USB charging cable
  • Compatible with most micro USB and 30-pin smartphones
  • Side battery indicator
  • Interior card/cash pockets
  • Holds most smartphones
  • Polyurethane/cotton construction
  • Approximate measurements: Closed 4-1/2"L x 7-5/8"L x 3"D; Open 8-1/2"W x 7-3/4"L x 1-1/2"D

Bonus feature: it can be worn as a wristlet!

This item retails for $66 on QVC (but currently on sale for $49.86. The Power Wallet will also be featured in the 2014 Real Mom Holiday Gift Guide (so grab it now while it's on sale for those tech-savvy women in your life!)

VTech Baby Monitor #VTechSafeandSound

VTech Baby Monitor #VTechSafeandSound

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I'm busy.

Like, all the time busy. I'm a full-time mom, a full-time wife and I work (you guessed it) full-time. Waking up some mornings, it is a rush from one thing to the next. There is school, lessons, meetings, activities and sometimes we even manage to have a homecooked meal together!

Every parent laments the idea of "missing out" on their kids growing up. It's difficult - they grow so fast! But in the day-to-day, I've become more aware of missing out on the little moments - and sometimes that can be a safety issue!

With 2 boys (ie: Big Trouble and Little Trouble), I have to always be alert. It's amazing how quickly they get into things, make a mess or put themselves in a potentially harmful situation. Parents need multiple sets of eyes to keep track of their kids nowadays!

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While we may not actually have eyes in the back of our heads, we can embrace devices that help us keep an eye on our little ones. It really is amazing the products that has come along from my oldest to the youngest days!  From a 6 year old to a 15 month old - the technology is a LIFE SAVER!

I have been super impressed with theVTech Safe & Sound Pan and Tilt Baby Monitor   I have had the fortunate opportunity to review many baby products over the years and when i found out I was pregnant with Hudson, I knew that BABY MONITORS were the BIGGEST thing I needed to get right!

I was recently sent my major GO TO MONITOR that I am FOREVER going to have attached to my belt buckle.

This little camera does it ALL! The camera can pan 270 degrees side-to-side and tilt 124 degrees up and down. It can also zoom in. I love that you have the ability to adjust the camera position, whether the kids are playing or sleeping, to see exactly what you need to see.  I love this product so much that because we are on three levels in our townhome - I went out and got ANOTHER camera!!  I have one of them set up on the baby crib with the viewer by my bed. The other viewer is set up all the way to the very downstairs in our house so I can hear the baby when he wakes up from naps.  Otherwise, I have to drag the monitor all over the house.  It really has become a lifesaver.

Even better, the VTech system has a "multiple view option." What does that mean? It means you can support up to 4 cameras on one parent unit. So if you want to keep an eye on the bedrooms as well as the playroom, VTech has you covered (literally!).  And TRUST ME when I tell you - I LIVE by the dual views!!

Another huge addition to this product is that is has a great range to it.  I can step outside and grab my oldest from the school bus while the baby is napping!  I can play outside with the oldest and have the baby inside.  It allll works out and I do not have to run up and down 500 stairs!!  

VTech has never let me down and they have gone above and beyond with this baby monitor.  

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As part of a program I'm working on with Mom it Forward & VTech, I was sent this monitor for review.  

Pelican Pro Gear Protector

I have to admit it, my kid probably uses my cell phone and iPad more than I do! Whether it's too distract them while waiting for food at the restaurant or to keep them from a melt down while at the doctor's office, their little hands are all over my electronic devices. 

And when their little hands on them, bad things could happen if they weren't properly protected! You have to have case like Fort Knox on that puppy!

With the Pelican ProGear Protector Series for the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S4, you can protect your phone like you would protect your kids. Slimmer and lighter than other smartphone case designs, Pelican ProGear Protecter Series case offers two levels of protection. With a tough layer of protection on the outside and a soft lining, these cases deflect energy and cushions your phone preventing damage.

 

eZoom by Securus

Keeping Track of Kids

I love Halloween.  It's always a fun time in our neighborhood.  We have a little pizza party on our cul de sac then hit the pavement to load up on sugary treats.

As my son gets older - I often wonder when I'm going to let him go 'trick or treating' with the neighborhood kids alone.  Eh... not sure yet.  Afterall he is only 4.  I mean, maybe if they have an escort but I feel like I need some piece of mind.

Recently I was sent a product for review that really got me thinking.  I never let me kid play in the neighborhood or even in our circle alone.  I have to be outside with him or my  husband at all times.  We just live by those rules.  

The product is called eZoom and its through Securus.  

What's great about this product is that I feel like 'Momgyver'!  (Remember McGyver show?  Yeah.)

It's a small tracking device that you can throw in your kids pocket or even their loot bag.  And you can clearly see exactly where they are and where they are going!  

Not that I think I need to be all sneaky on him... but there is a definite piece of mind about knowing where they are!  Kind of like the 'Find my iPhone app'.  I never use the app-but the piece of mind is golden! lol 

And it works!  GREAT!

You can track online and on your mobile.  It's useful for so many things.  Not just the kids. lol.  Cars, bikes... you name it!  And if you use it for something that requires insurance, there is a good chance that you can get a discount on your insurance for doing so!

There is an alert button on the device that can alert you immediately and notifies you of their location.  You can also create 'safe spots' like their school or park and if your child leaves that spot you get alerts for it!  Talk about TOTAL peace of mind!!

Details on eZoom Tracking and Safety Locator

*$99 for the actual device

*$14 for the protective case

*Approx. $250 a year activation fee (includes activation)

PERSONAL OPINION:  Now, i would definitely buy the device, but the service charges are about $100 past my budget per year.  

What do you do to keep track of your kids?

 

 

iPad Case & Blue Bird Clutch

If you've never been to the website Uncommon Goods, then PREPARE YOURSELF! =)

 

This site has some of the coolest of all things ever.  Things you just don't find really anywhere else.  

 

The sent me this awesome iPad case (see all here) to review that was made out of an old Mailbag.  And I LOVE IT!  My son has his iPad all safe and secure but mine just flys around the house.  (Yes he's spoiled and yes mine has been cracked before.  Sigh)  So now it's nice to have it in a SAFER place.  Cute and trendy doesn't hurt either!  The iPad case costs $55. 

 

The little clutch is felt and so much fun.  It's great with summer colors but warm and cozy for winter, spring and fall too! It costs $32

 

Uncommon Goods has some great (like these!) a
and (like these!)  You MUST check them out!  

 

Happy Shopping!

 

 

Pocket Purifier

Pocket Purifier

How many times have you found yourself grossed out when your kids bring home their lunch boxes and you think "GERMS!!!"

Since I've become a mom I've found myself to be 1,000 times more anal aware of germs with my kid.

I also get freaked out when we travel or when I stay in hotels. And that is OFTEN in my world.  

This very cool product actually kills germs from the same UV-C light used to sterilize surgical instruments to elimnate 99.9% of germs that cause colds, flu, e-coli, salmonella, mold, fungus and MRSA staph!!!

EWWW.  Are you TOTALLY grossed out now?  I know I am.

Heck.  I just slather on disenfectant this is the HARD CORE killer of those nasty germs.

The Purely Products Pocket Purifier retails for $19.99 and is available in black and pink. For more information or to purchase the Pocket Purifier, please visit www.purelyproducts.com

Gelaskins: Macbook Pro

Gelaskins: Macbook Pro

I bet its been a few years, but I once did a review for Gelaskins on a slick for my iphone and LOVED it.

I got so many compliments on that great conversation piece!

Gelaskins reached out to me again to do another review and since I no longer have that old iphone-I JUMPED on the opportunity!

This time I wanted to put my company logo on it & get one for my laptop.

My Macbook Pro is only a year old and is totally struggling with scratches from being drug all over the countryside!!

I got this in the mail and quickly peeled it and added it to my computer. 

LOVE!  I of course had to put a couple fun images of my little dude.  

I'm a bit disappointed because I didn't look at the pixel quality with the leftside image... but it's not too bad.  

I love these things.  I need to spend some serious cash on their site wrapping up all of our electronics with style.

Check out Gelaskins for yourself.  www.Gelaskins.com

The Birthday Express Thomas & Friends

Birthday Express - Thomas & Friends

This is super exciting.

Boston is a DIE HARD Thomas fan...that's so for sure.

And with his birthday party in 2 weeks-what else can a little boy ask for?

Well... he didn't really ask for it.  Cause it's not even out yet.

BUT... he's gonna love it.

This super awesome movie comes out May 17, 2011... You can pre-order it though. 

It comes with a handy dandy wooden whistle.  PERFECT to annoy enjoy!  The packaged box also comes with 'The Birthday Express' game and a special Roary the Racking Car Bonus Episode!

Cost is about $10.

Michael Jackson The Experience XBox 360 Kinect

Everyone has at least ONE Michael Jackson song they love, right?  Well now you can jam the day away with this fab new much anticipated game!

MICHAEL JACKSON THE EXPERIENCE

After enjoying chart-topping success on Wii, Ubisoft's Michael Jackson: The Experience moonwalks over to the motion-sensing Kinect and PlayStation Move peripherals. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions offer ability to sing as well as dance, allowing users to create the complete concert experience. Other key features are specific to each platform. Kinect owners, for example, can see themselves directly within the game, with body motion tracking that lets players act like the former King of Pop across a number of music video-inspired environments. Both co-op and competitive modes are included for up to four players, and there are multiple difficulty settings as well as a practice mode. In addition to the soundtrack from the Wii version, the Xbox 360 game includes a number of exclusive tracks, from "Blood on the Dance Floor" to "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide

Michael Jackson The Experience