Tech, and travel, and chocolate! Oh my!

Last week I had the chance to go to the Hilton in downtown Salt Lake City for an event about tech and travel. We got to see some of the fun new technology for the home, and great ideas for the upcoming holidays too. We also learned some travel tips, toured the hotel, and watched a cooking demo. Our lunch was amazing, with one of the most delicious chocolate desserts I have had in a long time! Just look at how pretty it was too:

meltingchocolate

The event was hosted by Techlicious, Traveling Mom and the Consumer Technology Association. As I mentioned, the event was held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center. One thing about this hotel is they know that their guests love technology, there are even outlets in the furniture in the lobby! And the pool is so amazing, I wanted to jump right in. The location in the heart of the city can’t be beat either. They have some great deals too, so be sure to check out the website if you are coming to Salt Lake.

If you know me at all, you know I am a tech lover. This event showcased some great products for personal use and for the home. If you are looking to make your home into a “smart home” these are the products to put on your wishlist:

hometech

1. The Honeywell Lyric round Wi-Fi thermostat. Connect to your thermostat with your app and control the temperature in your home even when you aren’t home! Having this kind of control can be a real money saver since you can make sure you aren’t heating/cooling a house that no one is in.
2. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit. These neat light bulbs are controlled from an app or the dimmer switch. You can set up your lights to mimic a sunrise/sunset to help you ease into your days. It’s very cool.
3. Alarm.com lets you access and control your home security system and smart thermostats, HD video, locks and lights through a single screen.

Tech Stocking Stuffers:

JVC Gumy Bluetooth Headphones
They come in pink, blue, white and black. What I liked most about these headphones is unlike other earbud styles, these fit in my ears comfortably. They are shaped a bit differently than others. They also have a microphone and remote so you can accept calls, control volume, pause playback and skip forward and backward through tracks.

Griffin iTrip Clip
The iTrip Clip connects your favorite headphones wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth 4.1. Perfect for the newer iPhones that no longer have a headphone jack.

Otterbox universe Case System

The uniVERSE Case System is super cool, very protective case, that you can attach a variety of accessories from leading brands such as camera lenses, batteries, speaker, and much more.

Misfit Ray
This activity tracker is slim and sleek. It also has many options to personailze it, inluding the option to wear it as a necklace or on your wrist. The most interesting part is that it runs on batteries which only need to be changed every 6 months!

It was a fun event, and there is so much more to share but this post is getting so long! We all had a pretty good laugh at the top things people were searching for in 1996 (oh how far we have come from the days of VCRs and camcorders). Is there anything on your tech wishlist this year?

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Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls 18” Doll

*I received a doll in exchange for my review. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

I loved the Little House on the Prairie books when I was a little girl. I remember reading about her life, which was so very different than my own. Many times you could find me in our basement, with a little “house” all set up, pretending to be Laura in the cabin.

Then the TV series came out! Even now, as an adult, I love to watch when I find it on re-runs. There is just something so charming about the series, the characters, and yes, Laura herself.

I was pretty excited to learn that The Queen’s Treasures created a Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls doll.

lauraingelsdoll

The Laura Ingalls 18” Doll is available online at TheQueensTreasures.com and Target.com for $99.99. There are a lot of adorable accessories as well at the Queens Treasures, even a covered wagon.

The doll comes with her own doll, a quilt, and a pillow. The doll is very high quality, the hair is soft, and she even has sweet little freckles across her nose and cheeks. Her eyes open and shut, and her body is soft. A lovely doll for anyone who loves Little House on the Prairie.

Be sure to enter this amazing giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The prize pack includes the following:

  • One Laura Ingalls Doll by The Queen’s Treasures. Retail value $99.99
  • One Little House Wagon, one Little House Pony, and one Little House Pony w/Saddle by The Queen’s Treasures. Retail value $279.97
  • Jack the Brindle Bull Dog and Shaker Boxes, Cooking Set, Dishes Set, and Kitchen Tool Set. Retail value $195.95
  • Doll Clothing and Accessories by The Queen’s Treasures including: Child’s Apron & Cap, Prairie Dress Set, Little House Night Gown, and Little House Quilt & Basket. Retail value $89.96
  • One Complete Collection DVD Set of the original Little House on the Prairie television series. Retail Value $120
  • One DVD of the Little House on the Prairie: The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder documentary. Retail Value $19.95

To learn more about the real Laura Ingalls, be sure to visit this website for history, crafts, and recipes.

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November in the garden

This fall has been surprisingly warm. Generally we have our hard freeze in mid October, but here we are a few days into November and we still haven’t had it. Today was in the 60s, and it looks like the next week will be that nice too. This means a lot of things are still blooming in the garden that shouldn’t be.

cosmos

geraniums

The only downside is that we have had a nasty aphid infestation in our area. They won’t be killed off until the hard freeze comes. Just look at how many are covering our poor roses!

aphids

This nice weather also has made it hard to get in the holiday spirit… it’s hard to think of Thanksgiving and Christmas when there are still flip flops on my feet. I keep thinking it’s still summer.

This entry was posted in garden.

FitBit Blaze fitness tracker

As we get closer to the holiday season, I thought it might be fun to share with you some of my favorite things. These are things we own and love, that I think would make amazing gifts!

I had been using the Fitbit Flex for a few years and really loved it. However, I wanted to get a fitness tracker that had a heart monitor. I also really missed having a watch (the Flex is great, but it didn’t tell time). Luckily, my timing was great and the Fitbit Blaze was just coming out.

Like I mentioned, I really missed having a watch, and the Blaze has a watch face! This has become one of my favorite features, as I can easily look down to see the time and how I am doing on my step goal for the day.

Other features I like are the activity and sleep trackers. The main feature I wanted was the heart rate monitoring, which is also tracked all day so you can look at your app to get an idea of your regular resting range. This has been really great for me personally since I have a heart condition, but of course the heart rate monitoring is perfect for working out too!

The Blaze has call, text, and calendar notifications. Sometimes my Blaze will tell me about a text before my phone does!

Another feature that I have found to be VERY handy is the alarm which will vibrate on your wrist. I set one up to remind me of a pill I need to take at the same time each day, but you can set up single time alarms, or other recurring schedules too.

You can also control your music from the watch so you don’t have to pull out your phone while you are working out. This has been more useful than I originally thought it would be.

As for the style of the watch, the watch face is a little big if you have smaller wrists like I do. You can get different bands to change the style, but I have stayed with the basic black plastic it came with. I really have liked the traditional watch band versus the Flex band.

The battery life it pretty good considering all the things it is tracking. I find I need to recharge every 4-5 days.

I really love it though, and am so happy with the purchase. It would be an amazing gift for yourself or anyone else on your gift giving list!