Monday, June 20, 2011

Random Review-Tween Bling

I was at the pre-Oscar gifting suite, well, back just before the Oscars. There was a lot of stuff to look at, lots of people to meet and samples kindly offered to me. One sample that I’ve been meaning to review, just because it catches my fancy, is Tween Bling. I’m not a tween, nor do I have a tween. But let’s put that aside. The company, Smart Mom Jewelry, started out with baby teething products. Particularly pendants made of food-safe, phthalate-free, federally-approved silicone. So mom can wear a cute pendant and baby can grab it and teeth on it. Brilliant! One of my key rules for reviews: Must do more than one thing. I don’t have any teething people in the house at the moment, nor tweens, but there are really no rules. I like camo so I selected the camo heart Tween Bling. It’s soft, flexible, you can fiddle around with it, twirl it, whatever a tween (or adult blogger) MIGHT do with Tween Bling. Even stick it in your mouth…Not that I’m there on that, but if I were a tween girl…Maybe. The major feature of all the Smart Mom Jewelry is the safety of the “breakaway clasp”. If the necklace gets yanked, it pops open and off. Tween Bling is dishwasher safe and federally approved. It’s fun for tweens and yes, I do believe this mom can get away with wearing it too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Verizon FiOS Makes My Life Easier

I’ve often wondered what I would do if I didn’t have Verizon FiOS. I’m a mom of two toddlers, blogger and social media consultant among a multitude of other things. Having Verizon FiOS has made my life easier in so many ways. Firstly, let’s get something totally straight here: it’s TV. I love TV. I am a pop culture fanatic, information junkie and news addict. My home office is set up so I can turn my head ever so slightly from my desktop PC and see the TV. I keep the remote “holstered” near my mouse. While I’m running my FiOS 15/5 Mbps Internet on my desktop, I’ve got the modem with wireless router under my desk enabling me to have my laptop going simultaneously. (See picture) And if I need to move around the house (or yard) with my laptop, or iPod Touch, the WiFi has me covered


But, back to the TV. The multi-room DVR is the most brilliant piece of technology. We have three TVs. I’m a straight shooter: with my “previous provider” I was annoyed that I had to watch all my DVR’d programs on the TV with the DVR. It was a hiccup in my entertainment schemata. With Verizon FiOS and the multi-room DVR, you can watch recorded shows on any TV and watch different recorded shows simultaneously on different TVs. Are you with me? So, when it’s “witching hour” and the kids are going nuts about who is going to watch what, I suppress the urge to yell: “When I was a kid we didn’t have cable and we only had one TV and your uncle Dave and I watched the same thing!” and calmly direct Chip to a room of his choice to watch, his usual go to, “Phineas & Ferb” on Disney XD of which I have at least 5 episodes recorded at all times. Lulu is obsessed with “Little Bill” on Nick Jr. and I have that set on “series record”. Ah, peace. They can each watch exactly what they want. Lately, though, Chip has been throwing me a curve ball and requesting SpongeBob SquarePants which I don’t have set to record on the DVR. But, again FiOS saves me with their “On Demand” button! I press it and up pops hundreds (thousands?) of tv shows that each channel has made available on demand for free. Um, yay! There is no price tag that can be put on 15 minutes of time with the kids settled so I can DO SOMETHING I have to do. Then there is the “pause” feature. This is key. If Lulu needs to make a potty run, she chortles the demand “pause it!” and trusts I hear as she runs for the bathroom. Pause the show, for the princess’s convenience…Do I sound like a really old lady from the stone age when I mumble under my breath…”Back when I was a kid, the concept of pausing a show so I could grab a soda was as likely as going to the moon”? Then I also have to laugh about my parents talking about when TV first came out and realize it’s just technology and they will learn to appreciate it. I’ll make sure, with my fun stories from “when I was a kid”.

What else makes my life easier? I’ve covered TV and internet. What about the phone? I love my flat rate calling plan. I have friends and family in other countries and have an amazing international calling plan that keeps my bill at the same price every month. Voicemail, caller ID, caller ID with call waiting which is another amazingly awesome piece of technology. I recently had to tell someone I was talking to that I had to go because the Embassy of Qatar was on the other line. No joke, Washington, DC area code. Turns out they had the wrong number.EmbassyQatar Had to take a picture of that.

So, in closing, here are some of my favorite features: That I can log into my customer account from any computer and manage my DVR. Like when you smack yourself on the head because you forgot the Stanley Cup Finals were on tonight? Yeah, you can go for the save. Then there’s Flex View, you can buy, rent and watch on-demand video titles on your FiOS TV, on your computer or on your mobile phone. Find yourself stuck somewhere? Pick up that movie where you left off--on your phone. I must say, I have had VERY few technical issues. Just a few times I’ve had to reboot my DVR, which is easy to do. But, when I haven’t been sure what the problem is, I love that I can call customer service and “talk” to a virtual rep who can diagnose my problem, instruct me on what to do, fix it remotely OR pass me on to a live rep. I think I’ve only had to speak to a rep once. It’s much faster to interact with the virtual rep and I swear, they, er, it? Are super efficient and give you step by step instructions. Better than waiting on hold. If you don’t have Verizon FiOS in your area, I’m sad for you. If you do and you don’t have it…I don’t understand why? It really is life changing for busy, techy moms like me AND for anyone else who has a TV, computer or phone.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Verizon FiOS sponsored blogging program. Any views, opinions or experiences expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

National CPR Week June 1-7

Heart attacks. I know too many people who have died from a heart attack. My father the physician would say “myocardial infarction” and sometimes I say that too, because I am smart and might want to make sure you know I’m smart. I’m from Boston and NO, I don’t have the accent, but if you say “myocardial infarction” with a Boston accent—it adds to the awfulness in a twisted humor way. I also know too many people who know too many people who have died from a HEART ATTACK. Heart Disease is still the #1 killer in the US.

We are at the tail end of National CPR Week. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation AKA CPR. It could save a life. My mother the nurse was skiing in Vermont last year and saw a skier down and as she was going past she sensed something was wrong. She stopped below and yelled to another skier above to check on the downed skier. He needed CPR, the guy started on him, my mother fought her way up the hill, calling the ski patrol and joined in the chest compressions. Sadly, my mother later found out the man died, but both my mother and that other random skier KNEW CPR. Do you?

Did you know that nearly 300,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home? That means the life you save with CPR is most likely to be someone you know and really care about. which is part of The American Heart Association is asking women (and men) everywhere to watch the Official Hands-Only CPR instructional video to learn how to save a life. I have also inserted the video here:

In closing I would like to encourage everyone, men and women, to familiarize yourself with the signs of a heart attack. The symptoms for women can vary from those of men. It is therefore extremely important to know what you can do to keep yourself healthy, reduce your risk and of course recognize if you are having a cardiac episode. As you look through the site you will realize that you are never too young to have a heart attack. Go learn your hands only CPR! Much love and much health to all my readers, I heart you!!!