Microsoft 365 Review & Giveaway #GetItDone

With the holidays fast approaching getting things done and keep up with blogging can become a challenge. But I think that I might have a way to keep organized, make notes, and write blog posts on the go no matter which computer or device I’m using. Are you intrigued?

With Office 365 I can write a start a blog post on my phone while driving to to and fro (not me driving… that’d be unsafe!) and when I get home finish up on my computer (either the Mac or Windows computer). Once I have it all edited I can toss it into WordPress and be on my way to the next event… or bed… or work.

Or with One Note I can collaborate with my sister in Virginia on the menu for our family Thanksgiving this year. As well as make plans for our Black Friday shopping… where to shop, what we need, and of course mapping out all the coffee shops for my sister. Honestly, I don’t think that there isn’t much that we won’t be able to do with Office 365 to help us get through the holidays this year.

Office 365 lets you work while on the go. No matter where you are and when you save something to the cloud on your Sky Drive you can then access it on any device that you have Office 365 installed on. Life just got easier too, because with one subscription you can put Office on up to five PCs or Macs and five phones (iPhone or Android)!

I was a little sad when I saw that they didn’t have an app for my iPad but I have hope that they will soon.

This is especially useful since the 9 to 5 has blurred and today people need modern technology to find balance. From the home to the office, and especially on the go, people all around the world are working differently than the past. Even where I work more and more people are starting to work remotely and still collaborate on projects.

I find myself working on various documents, checking email, and making notes no matter what time of the day it is. Especially in the evening after the kids have gone off to bed for the night and it’s quiet. That’s when I can really make some progress!


Now for the giveaway part!

One winner will win a one-year subscription (US $99.99 value) of Office 365 Home Premium. Sorry… US readers only. Just use the Raffelcopter form below to enter.

Don’t forget the #GetItDone contest on Facebook where you can enter for the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip of a lifetime. Show Microsoft how you #GetItDone. You and a friend could win a trip to some of the most happening events anywhere. Get it done alongside the most accomplished athletes, filmmakers and musicians around—on a trip to NYC, a journey to Park City, Utah, or a musical voyage to Austin, Texas.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I participated in the Microsoft Office 365 campaign on behalf of One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own. 

Top 6 iPhone Apps!

We live in a world where the majority of people have smart phones and the iPhone is one of the top choices of the people. As a matter of fact I am an Apple Fan Girl and absolutely love my iPhone & iPad. You’d be hard pressed to get me to trade it for something else.

But it isn’t just the fact that the device is awesome, it’s the apps that really make it fun. I love finding new apps and what I love even more is when they’re free (I’m cheap…) and on occasion you can find the paid for apps free for a short time too.

top 6 iphone apps

So what are my favorites? What are the top 6 iPhone apps that I think everyone should have? Keep reading!

I should let you know that these are in no particular order. I love them all equally and narrowing it down to just 6 apps that I adore is hard! I spent a lot of time looking at my phone and iPad trying to decide which ones made the list.

Drumroll please….

Find my phone – I don’t know how many times my son has taken my phone and set it down somewhere and I can’t find it. I call it but it’s on silent, I ask him and he doesn’t know, and I’m left to search the entire house until I find it. This handy app eliminates all the searching. All you have to do is sign in on another iOS device with your Apple id and you can locate your phone, remotely lock your device, erase personal data, and more.

Instagram – I think that just about everyone knows what this app is. I love it though! I can share images from my life… my kids, my work, my travels, and of course my food. With filters and frames I can make my pictures look awesome. What I really like though is that it gives us a glimpse into our friends lives and the world around them.

Snapseed – This app is awesome for editing photos that you’ve taken with your iPhone. It took me a while to really figure out and how best to use it but once I did… wow! I had a couple amazing pictures and there was even one that a friend thought a professional photographer took.

top 6 iphone apps v2

Feedly – With Google Reader gone I’ve had to find another to keep up with all of my favorite blogs and Feedly is awesome for it!

Netflix – I have this app on every single device whether it’s iOS or not! I love to be able to watch some of my favorite shows even when everyone else is watching something else. It’s also handy to keep littles ones occupied when you’re out shopping or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

8tracks radio – I love this new way to listen to music and best of all it’s ad free (when listening there are some on the screen)! You select the type of music, mood, feeling, or whatever and then it’ll give you mixes based on those. You can also create your own mixes. I haven’t created one yet because there are so many  others that I like that I don’t have the need yet!

There you have it! 6 awesome iPhone apps that you must check out for your iOS device. Oh… and probably your Android too.

What are some of your favorite apps?

It’s Thursday and for something a little different and fun I’m linking up with Mama Kat for her Writer’s Workshop.

Brica Review & Giveaway!

Ever since my son toss my iPhone across Kohl’s and shattered the screen I’ve been looking for all sorts of ways to protect my precious iPhone. Of course he still wants to use it and play some of his favorite games and watch Dinosaur Train on the PBS app and every time he touches it I get a little nervous.

But now I don’t worry quite so much. Why? Well because I have Brica!


Brica creates great products that help us as parents make things just a little easier. They have products for the house, the car, the stroller, bath, and travel. One of those products that has helped me so much has been the phone pod. I LOVE this thing!

phone pod

At first I wasn’t sure how often I’d use it but it’s always on the stroller or bike! I use my phone to track how many miles I run/walk or bike and this thing is perfect for holding my phone while I’m on the go. I can also attach it to the front of the stroller so Andrew can play with the phone, but so far I’ve used it just for me. The only down side is that no matter how tight I get it after a while the pod turns and my phone ends up facing down towards the ground. Oh… just an FYI… it does not work if you have an iPhone in an Otter Box case. I switched cases and now have a LifeProof case and it works great.

brica products

The snack pod is pretty cool too! I clipped that thing to the car seat and my son thought that it was awesome that he could put his cup in  it and take it out whenever he wanted. Downside… he loves it so much that he brought it in the house and now I can’t find it. He claimed it as his…. I’m sure that it’s buried in with his toys somewhere in the house.

The snack pod can be attached to most anything just like the phone pod and to make it just a little bit better… it’s dishwasher safe.

Both of these are made of solid plastic that can’t be bent, dented, or otherwise (my toddler has tried!).

Interested in getting these two incredible products for yourself? Well, it’s your lucky day! I am giving away both the deluxe snack pod and the phone pod!

You can find these great products in Target, Babies R Us, Amazon and at!

Enter using Rafflecopter below!

I received both of the products mentioned above to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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When a toddler learns to use the iPhone camera

Cheese!! That’s what I kept hearing over and over again while Andrew was playing with my phone. I didn’t think much of it because I figured that he wouldn’t know how to work the camera or anything like that. Often he just looks at the phone and says cheese because he knows I use the camera to take pictures. No big deal…. he was just playing.

Well, guess what? I was wrong. Yup, you got it…. the toddler figured out how to open the camera app and then how to take a picture. When I looked there he was, face so close to the screen that the only pictures taken were of one eye or his forehead, taking picture after picture.

Andrew self portrait

From the grainy look of it and the fact that you can see about a quarter of his face you can guess how close he had the camera. But there is a definite smile on his adorable face.

Andrew & I

Once I figured out what he was doing I had to try and get in on the action. I thought that maybe I’d get one or two cute pictures of the two of us together. Nope… just a pic of his forehead (again) and me looking like a crazy lady.

Andrew. My favorite pic.

This one is my favorite and not only because you can see most of his face. What I love about it is how happy he looks, how it captures his pure joy, his fondness for having fun, and of course mischief. This picture captures the pure essence of Andrew. Could there be a better picture?

I’ll be honest… I did delete some but I kept a few just because they were cute and halfway decent. Most of all they’re memories that capture mere moments in time that are fun, special, and were a learning moment that made him happy.

Tell me…. have you found similar pictures on your phone or camera?

Of course it’s Wednesday and that means that I am linking up with Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies!

11 things, 11 questions, and 11 people

Alright! It’s time for a little fun… something lighthearted for a change. I was tagged by Kristy from Pampers & Pinot in the 11 random things and decided to play along!


Okay here are the rules (don’t worry they’re easy peasy)!

Post these rules
Post 11 random things about yourself
Answer the questions set for you in their post.
Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.

Random things about me….

  1. I hate feet… they’re gross. Except for little baby feet they’re cute & chubby.
  2. I was arrested once but not for anything fun & exciting… my cars tags had expired and I transferred the plate to my new car which was at my grandma’s house and I had to get to work. So yea…. I was stopped and given a warning or so I thought till I got a call.
  3. I hate reality tv shows. A lot.
  4. I love watching old cartoons. Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, and the Flintstones.
  5. I have a willpower of negative a zillion.
  6. This isn’t big news but I am head over heels in love with my iPhone.
  7. When I’m in the car I am an amazing singer. It must be the acoustics or something but when I get out something happens and my voice sounds terrible.
  8. I like musicals.
  9. My degree is in computer networking/system administration. I have yet to do something in that field.
  10. I’m slightly addicted to Once Upon a Time and Revenge. I never miss an episode of either show.
  11. I now drive like an old lady in the winter & am a huge chicken. This is the reason why.

Lame… maybe. But they are totally random thoughts about me.

Now on to the questions from Kristy.

1. What do you think is the funniest movie of all time?

Funniest movie of all time… I have a few that are pretty damn good. History of the World Part 1, Wedding Singer, and

2. What is your most frequent, daily worry?

I always worry that because I work outside the home that I’m not spending enough time with my kids, especially my youngest who is only 2. It’s hard because when my girls were younger I was able to be there with them half the time and their dad was with them the other half. Now my son… the poor kid is stuck going to the sitters house 40 hours a week. I feel guilty that he won’t have the same advantages that his sisters did. If I’m not there with him I won’t be able to teach him to read, write, use the potty, or anything that I feel is important.

3. Best travel destination?

Disney World 2009

I don’t travel a lot but I have to say that Disney World in Florida really is the happiest place on earth. I’ve only been there once and loved it… a lot. It was like a little kid all over again and I can’t wait until we can go back again.

4. Name one big adventure you would like to still accomplish.

I would love to go back to the Grand Canyon and hike through it and take a helicopter ride over it. That place is one of most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and to be honest pictures do not do the place justice. It really is a must see place.

5. What is your favorite weekend activity?


My favorite weekend activity… sitting around and doing nothing. Watching movies with my kids. Baking! Really, the list here is endless because there are so many things that I love doing and each weekend is different.

6. What could be a song on the soundtrack of your life?

What?!?! Seriously this is a hard question. The first thing that came to my mind is Crazy Train by Ozzy but I’m not sure that it’s the best choice. I’ll pass on this one.

7. When do you feel most energetic?

Normally this is a couple hours after I get up in the morning. So for me that time would be around 8am… by this time I’ve been up since 5:30am and have showered, gotten dressed and ready for the day, and have been at work for almost half an hour.

8. What book are you currently reading?

Ah! Finally, an easy question. I’m reading a few books.

The Midnight Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Quitter – Jon Acuff
Cooking Solves Everything – Mark Bittman

9. What would be your luxury item if you went on Survivor?

Umm… Survivor. A reality tv show… did you see #3 up there? I would never try out for that especially because I’m a wimp and would do all I could to get kicked off right away.

10. Biggest turn on in the opposite sex?

I love cologne. The good stuff too…. not that cheap body spray, Axe. Freshly showered, dressed to impress, and cologne.

11. Biggest turn off in the opposite sex?

I have this acute sense of smell and can’t stand body odor. Then again I don’t know who likes it! Sweaty = gross. Also, guys who are full of themselves and think that they’re the greatest thing on this plant are lame.

There ya have it! My answers and now 11 questions for some random friends.

  1. Favorite song of all time & why
  2. Left side of the bed, right side, or dead center?
  3. What is your favorite season?
  4. What is your guilty pleasure?
  5. Is white chocolate real chocolate?
  6. Ideal vacation spot?
  7. If you could change your name to something else what would it be?
  8. Wine or beer?
  9. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
  10. Are diamonds a girls best friend?
  11. What do you do to give back to your community?

Ladies…. consider yourself TAGGED!

Lauren from Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood
Jill from Single Mom on a Budget
Rusti from My Life as an Officers Wife
Liz from A Nut in a Nutshell
Angela from Tread Softly
Kir from The Kir Corner
Kmama from The Daily Dribbles
Jessica from The Unemployed Mom
Gigi from Kludgy Mom
Nicole from By Word of Mouth
Cori from Cori’s Big Mouth


How to unplug from social media…. or why I didn’t post Monday.

Every so often it’s nice to unplug from social media, blogging, and the internet in general. Then there are the times that we are forced to disconnect whether we want to or not and this is exactly what happened to me this past weekend.

Every so often throughout the summer we head up to the thumb region of Michigan where my parents spend their summer and we camp for the weekend with them. I love spending time up there with them relaxing and watching them interact with my kids (it’s amazing what they let them get away with). It really is a relaxing place to go since there isn’t a lot to do there and the closest city is about 45 minutes away.

I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with unplugging from social media and the internet. Well, this area of Michigan does not have 3G service and the service that I do get on my iPhone is so bad that I can barely use Tweetdeck, email, Instagram, or anything that requires data connection. Let me put it this way…. I posted 2 pictures on Instagram this weekend and one of them took me 2 days to successfully post! 2 days people! Checking my email was a challenge and half the time it wouldn’t pull in the new messages.

So because of the horrible service up there I didn’t post on Monday. I actually pondered it and was thinking that I could do it through my phone. But then as the weekend progressed and I fought to post a picture on Instagram I quickly lost faith that I’d be able to write a post with pictures and have it actually work for me.

What I did instead was use my phone as a camera for the rest of the weekend and was able to capture a few moments that are those that fond memories are made of.

Storm coming in off of Saginaw Bay

There was a storm coming in off of Saginaw Bay & Lake Huron that you could hear for at least an hour before the rain actually reached us. As a matter of fact Andrew and I were heading down to the channel to check it out and my step mom told me to not get caught by the rain and to hurry. So as you can guess we got caught in the rain the moment we got down there.

Playing with grandma

In between down pours Andrew and grandma played in the puddles.

Making cookies with grandma

And when the rain got really bad we went inside and the kids made chocolate chip cookies with grandma. This was the first time that Andrew got to help bake and he loved rolling the cookies into the ball shape with help from his sister.

riding his broom

Andrew has this new fascination with brooms and loves to play with them. So he quickly set aside his toys and grabbed the broom that my parents keep outside to sweep off the deck with and claimed it for his own. It became his new ride around the campground after he swept the road.

Meeting Ronald McDonald

Then we met a new friend, Ronald McDonald, and an old dear one, free wifi. I don’t know who enjoyed breakfast more… Andrew or I! I was over the top with joy with the fact that I could quickly check Instagram (I think I have a slight addiction)!

So if you’re in need of unplugging and really getting away for a while then find a place where there is crappy cell phone signal and no internet access. It’ll be hard that first day or so as you beg your phone to just let you upload one picture or send one tweet but eventually you’ll come to terms with it and sit back and enjoy the simple things.

How do you unplug? Do you ever do it?

I’m also linking up with Taming Insanity for iPhone Photo Phun since I took all these pics with my awesome iPhone!

Taming Insanity

iLove my iPhone – The Smart Phone Update

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

A while back I shared my lament with you about why I needed a real smart phone. You were all very supportive and it was great to see that everyone agreed with me needing one.

Well, best of all the husband heard and this time he really listened. And I am the extremely proud owner of a shiny, new iPhone.

Yes, my Windows husband has moved over to the dark side (where there are tasty cookies) and is slowly becoming an Apple FanBoy. This is truly a remarkable thing if you’ve ever heard him talk about Apple… Windows… etc.

Alright so lets go back a month or so. My husband came home from work and asks me why I didn’t answer my cell phone because he’d been calling. I replied to him that my phone had not rang once and I even had the volume turned up (I’m notorious for leaving it on silent/vibrate). So he grabs the phone and is looking at it, pushing buttons and all that “pretending” to see what’s wrong with it this time. Now here is where I forgot the words that anyone spoke because my daughter (his sidekick in this charade) held up the holy grail… the iPhone box.

My phone didn’t work because he had transferred the number to my brand new iPhone. It was like Christmas but 100 times better. I wanted to stop making dinner, let everyone fend for themselves, and run off to play with is. I restrained myself though and we ate dinner, and then later I played.

Ahh… happiness. Or so you would think. But alas this is not where the story ends.

I being the lucky person that I am was the proud owner of a Lemon. Not an Apple. A Lemon.

My iPhone sucked! Big time. I was sad to admit that my old Windows phone was better. I know you’re all gasping now and I’m sorry if I’ve caused you to spit out your coffee at the screen. But it was really a crappy phone.

Let me list a few if it’s issues.

  • Apps crashed all the time… like every time I tried to use one.
  • Battery life was barely a day
  • The phone constantly rebooted itself
  • It would randomly get stuck on the Apple logo screen and stay there till you did a hard reboot
  • When I was on a call it would reboot and within 2 seconds I’d be on the call again… yea, it never lost the call. Just cut out while it went to the Apple logo screen.

I could go on and on about all the trouble that I had but I won’t bore you with all that. Instead I will share with you the awesomeness of the Apple store. I made my appointment, went in, told them what the issue was, and they gave me a new phone. No hassle, no discussion, nothing… they just said we’ll give you a new one if that’s okay.

They took the Lemon and replaced it with an Apple. They moved all my apps and set it up for me before I even left the store.

Ahh… life is good and I love my iPhone. It’s beyond awesome and I have no idea how anyone could live without one.

And what makes it so awesome you ask…

  • Words with FriendsiPhone 4 & Box
  • Instagram
  • Tweetdeck
  • Kindle
  • Pandora
  • Blogging
  • The camera is awesome
  • PS Express
  • The video isn’t bad either
  • Face time
  • Skype
  • Multitasking
  • Oh.. and the TED app is pretty sweet too!

I’m sure that any of you who own an iPhone can attest to how great it is and the list would never ending, right?

I want to know what some of the best things are about your smartphone/iPhone! Let’s discuss!