Archive for February, 2012

De-Stress with 3 Handy Office Supplies

Do you feel a sense of panic when you look at the mountain of paperwork on your desk? Are the pink and yellow post-it’s piling up?

Not to worry – the first step to feeling more “Zen” at work is organizing! And I’m here to help you do that.

My organizational obsession began in 4th grade. When my awesome teacher, Mrs. Beeson, uttered the words, “a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind, she changed my life forever.

Decades later, I still swear by these words, fellow desk dwellers! When your desk is clean and organized, you’re ready to put your best foot forward.

So let’s get organized, my friends. It’s time to de-stress with these 3 handy office supplies!

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Bring Your Home Theater System into the 21st Century

Do you still have a DVD player – or worse, a VCR – in your media cabinet? What good is having a fancy flat-panel HDTV if it’s connected to archaic, cable ridden devices from the 90s?

If you’re anything like me, your TV is still connected to an old-school multichannel receiver that doesn’t have HDMI inputs. It’s time, my geeky friends, to upgrade your entire living room.

Are you afraid of your TV retaliating because it’s no longer the new kid on the block? Don’t worry, your TV will thank you for this upgrade

Wires Be Gone!

A huge part of this upgrade will be getting rid of wires. Everyone hates wires. They’re cumbersome, ugly, and most importantly, they crimp your modern style. If you still have component or composite cables collecting dust behind your TV, it’s time to upgrade.

The beauty of the “modern” home theater is its minimalistic design. Almost every new device after 2009 has an HDMI port.

HDMI Cables to the Rescue

For a neat freak like me, HDMI cables are one of the best inventions…ever. Connect one cable to your television, and it delivers both the video and audio streams. Say goodbye to matching colors or jamming cables in, since HDMI cords snap into place like a USB device.

But wait… there’s something better than HDMI cables. No cables! That’s right, wireless! Given most modern devices use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, there are a plethora of cordless home theater products out there. But they are still relatively pricey and aren’t mainstream…yet.

Minimalism Reigns Supreme

Having tons of set-top boxes in your cabinet creates clutter that collects dust. Since televisions connect to Netflix and cable boxes have built-in TiVos, there’s no need for multiple devices occupying your cabinetry. Continue Reading »

Hooray! It’s National Kahlua Day!

Kahlua, National Kahlua Day, alcohol holidays

So last week, we raised our glasses to the magnificent margarita. And thankfully, this week the alcohol-flavored holidays continue.

If you adore coffee … and if you adore the sweetness of vanilla and caramel … and if you adore alcoholic beverages, then this day was created with you in mind. For today, my friends, is National Kahlua Day.

Kahlua is a brilliant concoction coming out of Veracruz, Mexico. The yummy liqueur is made from two of Veracruz’s top-notch products: Arabica coffee and sugarcane.

Here’s a fancy little breakdown of how this delectable drink came to be:

In 1930, the Alvarez brothers of Veracruz harvested Arabica coffee beans and introduced them to a local businessman, Señor Blanco. The brothers suggested Blanco include the beans in a drink recipe.

In 1936, a chemist by the name of Montalvo Lara finally took the Alvarez brothers’ suggestion, adding their Arabica beans to a liqueur drink, thus creating the first Kahlua recipe.

In 1950, the world started falling in love with Kahlua, as global distribution began. But it wasn’t until 1962, that Kahlua was first exported to the United States, thus beginning the U.S.’s decades-long — and sure to be centuries-long — love affair with the coffee liqueur.

It is estimated that every year, some two million cases of Kahlua are sold in more than 150 countries. And because it’s so downright delicious, I don’t doubt those astounding stats for a second.

So now that I’ve been so sweet — some might say as sweet as vanilla and caramel — to enlighten you on the history of Kahlua, it’s time to get down to what’s really important … consuming it! And don’t think Kahlua only comes in liqueur form. Oh no, no, no, my dear friends. In fact, here are 5 Kahlua-inspired products to thoroughly enjoy: Continue Reading »

3 Pair of Shades that Won’t Break the Bank

Did you know that sunglasses were invented during prehistoric times?

According to the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Inuit peoples used to wear flattened walrus ivory “glasses,” long before Maui Jims and Ray-Bans hit the scene. With the help of these glasses, they looked through through narrow openings to block harmful rays reflected by the sun, as seen in the photo below. Genius!

In fact, both Roman Emperors and 12th century Chinese judges also found sunglasses useful. In Rome, Emperor Nero apparently enjoyed watching gladiator fights with emeralds over his eyes! And in China, judges put on the ultimate “poker face” long before Vegas gambling. They wore sunglasses to hide their facial expressions while questioning witnesses in court.

Atlantic City, New Jersey – Sunglasses for Sale!

It wasn’t until the 1900’s that wearing sunglasses became more popular among the movie stars, and then the masses. In 1929, Sam Foster began selling inexpensive sunglasses on the beaches of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shortly after, in 1936, Edwin H. Land invented polarized sunglasses, using his patented Polaroid filter.

So now that we’ve got a sense of how sunglasses came to be, it’s time to look at what the modern day shades market has to offer. It’s my belief that to get a good pair of sunglasses, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg.

Let’s take a look at 3 pair of sunglasses that won’t break the bank!

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Top 10 Cheap Android Tablets

Who says you have to spend half of your paycheck on a fancy new tablet??

It’s easy to be lured in by the iPad and Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, but there are a plethora of decent Android tablets that cost 50 percent less than an iPad.  Not everyone needs a shiny 9.7-inch screen, dual-core processor, or sturdy aluminum case.

Affordable Android tablets are a smart choice for budget conscious shoppers. Affordable tablets can perform most of the same tasks high end tablets can, but without the extra frill. Now, is that “extra frill” really worth spending another $200 to $300? Well, that part is up to you.

Manage Your Expectations

When considering an affordable tablet, it’s best to set your expectations relatively low, especially if you’re comparing it to an iPad. Here’s what you need to know about affordable tablets:

Affordable tablets thrive on plastic… and lots of it. You won’t find any Kevlar, metal, or other fancy material. Continue Reading »

3 Wacky Watches Under $150

I feel bad for watches.

Ever since the “cell phone” moved into the neighborhood, it seems like watches aren’t getting as much love as they used to in the good old days.

Instead of wearing a watch to tell time, we instinctually grab our cell phones, leaving our once beloved timepieces in the dust. How do you think this makes them feel? Not good my friends, not good.

Well, I’m here to bring back the love for the once coveted “watch.” And I’m adding a twist to reignite your watch wearing ways.

Feast your eyes on these 3 wacky watches under $150!

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The Rise of Mobile Gaming and the PlayStation Vita

Do you own a smartphone or tablet? Chances are you’ve downloaded at least one game, right?

While the PlayStation 3 isn’t going anywhere, more and more folks are taking their gaming to-go. As tablets and smartphones evolve and are able to do more, their gaming capabilities continue to improve.

Did You Know…

    The Mobile Entertainment Industry was worth $33 billion in 2010.

    Profits are expected to rise significantly in 2012

    Analysts predict the industry at large will reach an all-time high of $54 billion by 2015.

Compared to the $3.1 billion that was spent on digital music in 2010 and the estimated $8 billion spent on mobile gaming in 2011, mobile gaming is rapidly becoming the “next big thing.” Continue Reading »

5 Great Gifts for Animals

pet, love your pet day, pet products, pet supplies, dog treats, heated pet bed, cat window perch

Hooray … today is Love Your Pet Day!

Now I sincerely hope you don’t need a “holiday” to celebrate your furry or scaly family members. You best be showing them that they are the love of your life EVERY day.

They love you unconditionally, after all.

When it seems like you’re having the absolute worst day in the history of worst days, your animals are there to shower you with kisses, cuddles, and naps on your lap. I’m lucky enough to also receive “love digs” as I choose to affectionately (and deliriously) refer to them.

**Love digs are my sweet kitty cat, Kingston’s, way of informing me that I need to get up and feed him. This nonverbal cue comes by him digging his cute little claws into my head, hence the term “love dig”. But I prefer to think of these screams for attention as forms of affection.

But anyway, no matter how your animals show you love, today is the day to really pamper  ________. (Fill in the blank with appropriate pet name.) And here’s a list of 5 products to help you royally celebrate your pet: Continue Reading »

iOS Coming to a Mac Near You

On Thursday, Cupertino-based Apple Inc. announced a new version of their desktop operating system, dubbed “OS X Mountain Lion.” The update will be available this summer in the Mac App Store, the same way Lion was rolled out last year.

According to Apple, the new version contains over 100 new features, many of which were brought from their iOS devices.  During the announcement, Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, noted Macs have outsold PCs for 23 straight quarters. The update also signals a shift to rapid development, as Lion only debuted seven months ago.

Where’s the Mac?

Notice something missing from the name? There’s no Mac before OS X, as in previous versions, including Lion. This was first mentioned on the “About This Mac”page in the developer preview, and was later confirmed by Apple.

The company was quick to point out that removing the Mac moniker doesn’t de-emphasize their commitment to the Mac platform. Rather, it marks a historic, slow transformation that will perhaps someday unify the Mac and iOS platforms. As with Lion, Mountain Lion is expected to have extensive iOS-like functionality and interfaces.

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Burn Serious Calories with 3 Wii Video Games

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Working out. A part of me loves it, and a part of me loathes it.

As a former college athlete, I love the feeling of discipline and the massive endorphin rush you get after workin’ up a sweat.

But as a “washed up” former college athlete who enjoys my comfortable couch, these days, I would rather work up a sweat looking for the remote! Sorry Coach, I’m just too tired for 6am workouts.

Now here’s something that may just get my sedentary self off the couch: calorie-burning video games from Nintendo Wii! Whoever thought of this marvelous combination of being in your living room, playing a video game, and burning calories deserves a gold medal.

So let’s get right to it, fellow couch-dwellers: here are the top 3 calorie-burning video games to keep you in shape!

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