A Shared Journal · Gadgets · Reviews · Travel With Me

Travel organization for gadgets.

I’ve been knocking down through my “To Do” lists and so far I’ve gotten the things I need to redesign my studio.  I will be working on that this weekend as well as some special projects.

For now, I decided to get some equipment to prepare for my upcoming trips to the United States  My challenge is to fit as many of these items in one place.

tons of stuff

So.. here we have it:

2 External Hard Drives
1 camera
1 pair of headphones

PLUS:

accessories

4 memory cards (1 in camera)

1 emergency external battery charger
Hard Drive cords
Card readers and adapaters

This is what I ended up with:

IMG_0339

The top half is deep enough to comfortably hold my 2 hard drives side by side and has a divider between the two halves, with a velcro tab closure.

On the other half of the divider I placed the camera wall adapter, my camera and my microphone.

Going back to the top half of the camera case, I placed the accessories with my hard drives and secured it with the velcro tab.

IMG_0344

And voila! 🙂

Lowepro

Now, I know you’re probably wondering “what about my headphones?”  Well, I decided to just put them around my neck or throw them on top of my bag when the time arrives.  I usually listen to music between flight waits anyway.

tripod

Next, I purchased this tripod.  It is pretty easy to set up, packs perfectly in a suitcase and is really light weight.  It also came with a 5 year warranty which was a nice bonus.  I will be trying it out with all my equipment throughout the weekend so I hope to get some before and after shots of my renovated studio.

Until my next adventures…  Take care everyone!

SS

 

A Shared Journal · Travel With Me

Making things happen

Today marks a very important day for me, running arounds crossing my “t’s” and dotting my “i’s” have left me feeling like my mind is spinning… but in a GREAT way.

I will be finally ready to fly to my destinations by the end of this month, so I figured today would be a great day to start booking my flights.  With all the new sites and combo options available, I figured I’d go through my process in hopes it could help you.

I’ve been booking through Expedia.ca for a few years now and it has worked extremely well when booking flight and hotel stay.  I’ve also found great tickets through KAYAK etc.  However, now that my trip will be a multiple destination trip with 2 stops, I found that my Expedia quotation was rising really fast.

I decided to break up combos and search through the actual hotel and airlines individually.  It took a bit of work, but using the Expedia.ca recommendations I managed to save over $1900 of my travel budget.  Hmmm… these savings could definitely come in handy for my shopping budget!  😉

Hope this helps my fellow travellers!

SS

 

A Shared Journal · Beauty · Quick Tips & Tutorials · Reviews

How to: Nail care between salon appointments

Spring Perfect pink-tipped combo with OPI Nail Lacquer

This combo is what I came up with to cover up some of the regrowth from my gel nails to my natural nails.  The colours I used are O.P.I.’s “If You Moust You Moust”- from their Minnie Mouse line; and O.P.I.’s – “Princesses Rule!”.

My nail painting station.

Nail painting station

Here’s  what I have on my nail painting station:

a tall tumbler full of coffee 😉
regular nail polish remover
nail polish remover for natural nails
emery block with different finishes (a regular emery board is fine)
cotton pads with two textures
cotton balls
cosmetic scissors
cuticle trimmers
cosmetic cotton swabs with one flat and a point on each end
2 nail colours one light one dark
a natural nail base coat
a nail polish top coat

I place a couple sheets of paper towel over a hard surface, I normally use a hard covered notebook for painting my nails while watching a movie in bed.

Nail Prep

 

Nail preparations:

1) Saturate a cotton ball with the regular nail polish remover and hold it on your finger nail for 3-5 seconds while gently rubbing through the U.V. Gel top coat. When you notice that your nail has no more shine, repeat the steps for each other nail.

2) Use the coarse side of your emery board or emery block and start filing down the seam where the U.V. Gel meets your real nail. This won’t be hard to find because there usually is an awkward looking bump. Be patient and file down the nail evenly until it blends into your natural nail.

3) Shape your nail to fit your desired look. Mine were already filed into an almond shape at the salon, so I decided to shape them into a teardrop shape or a “stiletto” shape. The best way to keep things even is alternate shaping each side of your nail with the same pressure.

4) Once you’ve reached your desired shape, buff the entire nail with the finer side of your nail file for a smoother finish.

5) Next, using a textured cotton pad, wipe nails with the nail polish remover for natural nails this will help your nails to transition from your U.V. gels to your  natural nail while restoring your weakened nails. Most polish remover for natural nails usually contain Vitamin E which will promote healing and strengthening.

6) At this point, I clean up any hangnails or dry skin with the cuticle trimmers and cosmetic scissors where needed.

 

Time for the fun stuff!

 

Nail polish

1) Apply a base coat to each of your nails, most base coats don’t take long to dry so you can immediately start to paint.

2) Taking the darker of the 2 nail colours, in my case “If You Moust You Moust” by O.P.I. this colour is a solid pink with a slight blue undertone. I applied this colour to just the tips of my nails, it doesn’t have to be perfect as you will be layering the lighter colour over the entire nail which will hide imperfections. Try to get your tips a nice even solid colour.

If You Moust You Moust

3) Make sure the lighter colour is translucent. I chose “Princesses Rule!” by O.P.I. for it’s sparkles. 🙂 Apply the polish over the entire nail until you get the look you want.

Princesses Rule!

4) Paint a generous layer of top coat over your nails. If you want to add nail decorations, like gems or polymer clay art,  put them on and gently press them into the fresh layer of top coat where you would like your art to be, then add another layer of top coat over the nail and the gem(s) to seal the decorations in.

5) The best part is taking that tumbler, sitting down to relax and watch a movie while waiting until the painted finger tips are fully dry.

I hope you enjoyed my quick fix for the times when my schedule can’t allow a salon appointment, it’s important to give yourself the self-pampering session we all need.

If you try this out for yourself, please let me know how it went! I’d like to see what you created. You can also tag me in an Instagram pic at stilettosupermom so I can see what you’ve created.

Stay Sharp…and have fun!

SS

A Shared Journal · Gadgets · Reviews · Travel With Me

Ahhh..App Attack!

This morning I was looking through my phone amazed at all the Applications I have on my iPhone 5s. First, for a gadget, my iPhone has been the best gadget of the year for me, with my Canon Vixa Mini-X as a very close second.

Now, let’s get into just one portion of my apps, that are the Social Media Apps.

Here is what I currently have on my “Peeps n Shit” folder:

 

Peeps N' Shit

So here we have it…where I lose most of my day..BUT I’m connected! 😉

 

Vine App

The Vine app is where I go to laugh and watch creative 6 second videos. It’s amazing what some people can do in 6 seconds. If you have some free time try it out, you’ll have a blast! Setup is quick and easy.

 

Voxer App

The Voxer app. is a very diverse app.  You can message as well as leave voice messages like a walkie talkie. It also has an upgrade for business purposes where you can have group conversations. Another impressive feature for me is I can get a transcript of interviews (with mutual agreement of course) for more accuracy when reporting.  I could get a completely transcribed version of the interview session with the questions and answers available to add to my projects.

My mom is overseas and this has also kept us from ringing up our phone bills.

 

Viber App

The Viber app has messaging and phone calling capabilities which also saves on the phone bill. It has cute features like cartoon stickers to send to friends too, if you’re into that thing…guilty over here! 🙂

 

textPlus app

The textPlus app isn’t a perfect app, but it does provide you with a separate phone number you can text and call from which keeps your cell number private. *Note: if you’re in Canada this app will give you a phone number from the U.S. so I usually keep mine as a back up for texting and for outgoing calls only.

 

Skype and Skype WiFi apps

Skype app provides messaging, voice calling and video calling. I haven’t really had to use the Skype WiFi yet however it is used to find a WiFi hotspot. I use this predominantly for my radio show, but the last time I used it, the call dropped more than once…I’m working on a new plan to ensue that doesn’t happen again.

 

FaceBook Messenger app

FaceBook messenger has improved a lot over the years. I use it to connect with family, however I can see the possibilities to incorporate it for business as well.

 

kik app

The kik app is a

fun one to have. It has messaging, video messaging, built-in emojis (smiley faces). I’ve met really great people as well as some weirdos, but I’ll get to that later.

 

WhatsApp App

WhatsApp has messaging capabilities, I haven’t really had a chance to use this but when I did set this up the first time I used it, I loved personalizing it. My favourite feature is you can make up your own personal statuses which comes in handy for when I can’t check it as often.

Whew! Ok, before you get all app download crazy, know that these are best used with a good WiFi connection to prevent those extra charges on your cellphone bills. This is from personal experience… Now let’s address the reality of these social apps. Like most social settings, there’s the good and bad, as well as everything in between. Unwanted messages can get through, let’s face it there are weirdos in the world and they come in all forms, but the great part of each of these apps is the BLOCK button. Don’t let these unwanted weirdos scare you away from the fun and harmless meeting and connection between family, friends and colleagues. I’m happy to report I’ve only had a few bad “apples” but the problems were easily solved with a block, no harm done. 🙂

The apps are available at the App Store of your iPhone. I don’t have an Android, but I believe these are available in Android as well. If you do try these phone apps, I’d love to hear your thoughts or tips to get the most of these little gadget helpers.  Also, if you have any suggestions of some good apps, I’m willing to try the out!  If you can find me with one of these apps, I’d love to hear from you and enjoy a great conversation.

Time’s up… so back to the studio I go…

Stay Sharp 😉

SS

A Shared Journal

Compact Studio and Platform Shoes

I had a productive day and I’m exhausted. The appointment was tedious, but necessary and I was glad to be out as fast as I could. I was finishing up some final prep work for the show tomorrow. It’s officially my birthday and I honestly couldn’t be happier. I have a workload I can handle and I love what I do.

I bought a new microphone and so far I’m really impressed! The first test I did, I had the window down in the car as I recorded some ramblings and it caught every word, crisp and clear.

My studio set up is so easy and it’s portable. I will be able to bring everything I need in a tote sized bag. Now that I’ve pinpointed a date, city, and what we are going to do, the Texas trip is going forward. I can’t wait to let loose and have some fun.

I’m going to sink into my blanket, watch the seasons of Three’s Company until I pass out and dream of what bellbottoms look best with my platform shoes. 😉

Sweet dreams

SS

A Shared Journal

Turning to Mush

The kids are back in their school routines, which means I get to have some much needed alone time.   By “alone time”, I mean “I can get things done uninterrupted and without playing the referee”.

I decided to put myself out there and try a Q&A episode for the radio show.  The questions I’ve been getting have been hilarious, topics from hygiene to relationships.  I can’t wait!  What better way to bring in my birthday than with my cohost?!  We always have a great laugh together. 🙂

Tomorrow will be another jam-packed day, so at 3:21am, I’m going to actually log off my computer before my brain turns to mush!

Much love to you guys!

SS

A Shared Journal · Noms and Foods · Reviews

Local Fancy, but Flat.

I had to get so much done today but I managed to sneak in some food at a local pub I used to go to in my younger years.  It was completely renovated with the ambiance of a fine wine type restaurant, which I was completely underdressed for.    However, I was welcomed very professionally and seated right away.

I ordered the Coconut Shrimp as an appetizer… and wow!  The presentation was as yummy as it looks!  I’m not a huge fan of spicy sauces, but I tasted a bit of it and it wasn’t too spicy hot, but still too spicy for me haha.

IMG_0005

 

For the main course, I ordered the Chef’s Special Red Snapper on Grilled Lemons and Tomatoes with Rice and Black Beans.  This was a huge disappointment.  It’s my preference to have my main course on one plate so when they brought out these two dishes by two different servers… I was confused….one brought out this hot wood and iron plate.  I felt like I was getting served from an iron frying pan.  The next server brought out a bowl of white rice and black beans.  Yes, I was confused.  Like, why the great presentation?  I was waiting for a band or something to pop out of nowhere.  When I inspected the tomato dish it looked really good, but the fish was burned to the bottom of this “frying pan” platter, so of course the fish was dry and tasteless, basically it was dry fish on salsa.  I tasted a fork full of the rice which, you guessed it, it tasted like plain white rice and black beans.  I was completely underwhelmed.  Completely.

 

IMG_0006

 

On that note, the overall presentation was great but, damn…it seemed like such a waste.  I finished my iced tea and asked for the bill not even looking at the dessert menu.  It was a very confusing experience, but an experience nonetheless.  I probably won’t be coming back to this place anytime soon, but maybe I’ll give them another shot in a few more months.

Until the next restaurant…happy nom noms! 🙂