Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It Was One Of Those Days...

We went to the zoo. It was one of those mornings - you know what I'm talking about. Those mystery mornings most moms talk about but you never believe will ever happen to you, or you just tell yourself that they are lying. Well, I'm here to tell you THEY EXIST. And if I may be honest, they have been happening more frequently. It may be the age, or it may be my superb parenting skills (natch, but probably the former). They still have their moments that make me want to rip my hair out, but for now, THIS I will enjoy while it lasts.  They are finally enjoying each other, and like each other. And that makes me feel all warm and gooey inside.

It was a "perfect, polite, yes ma'am, no ma'am, of course Mommy, I love my sister, I love you Josh, I'll help you Mommy, Give me a kiss Mommy, Can I have a hug Josh, mind every word I say, love-bug fest".

Love these two pumpkins.

For example, this photo was completely without my assistance. Jules was sitting down, and Josh went to sit next to her, then she hugged him, then he kissed her, and then I "quick like a cat" snapped with my iphone, and proceeded to fall into a pile of goo.
 p.s. this was our first zoo outing of the year. And will not be our last. We love the zoo around here.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review - Great Father Day Gift!

Staples recently approached me to see if I would be interested in reviewing the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. I headed to the store to find out more information about it, to see if it was something that would fit my family's needs.

The staff there was super knowledgeable and know so much from phones, tablets, computers to printers, and were able to explain things to me in a way to help the "not-so-tech-savvy" understand (like moi). In our household, we have laptops, we have the ipad, and we have our phones. So, we are in the market for a smaller tablet that my 3-year-old twins can use to learn and play games, and Mama can read her books on.

 Enter the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. It is perfect for all these things, and it does so much more.

 First off, the size is perfect. It's much bigger than a smart phone, but not as big as some of the larger tablets - it measures 8.3" x 5.3". It's super lightweight at less than .8 pounds, but packs as much fun as a full computer, but in a slick, stylish way.

First off...oh the things that this can do! If you are a casual computer user like me, then you will love the ease of surfing the internet, checking email, and playing games. You can zoom in and out with ease. It's Android based, which is different from my apple systems that I'm used to, but it was really easy to navigate and find apps. I'm a big Google fan anyway, so this didn't bother me at all.

Get Organized and Creative: 
The one things that sets the Galaxy Note apart from an ipad or ipad mini is the S-Pen. You can write on this! It's so cool and super useful. There is no pixelization and it's as smooth as writing on paper. You can make out your grocery list, write meeting notes, (or school notes - I wish I had this in college!) write recipes, daily journal, dairy, etc. - the possibilities are endless. Its so small too, its easy to grab it from your purse and jot down a note or two. I am really excited to use this with my kids. This is going to be so great when they are learning to write. And I have already found some helpful apps.

The stylus is located on the bottom corner and discreetly fits into the tablet. - on the right, one of the cute ecards you can personalize. 

sample of the daily journal, and recipes you can play with and write on using your stylus. 

spot-on handwriting!

Read, read, read: 
If you are in the market for a Kindle, I think you will love the Note. It has night and day features (so cool!) and you can change the text size and download books until your heart's content. The storage on here is great.

day on the left, night mode on the right. 

Take pics and videos: 
It has a front and back camera and they are actually pretty great at 8.0 mega-pixels. It also has a video camera. What makes this great is its so small to keep in your purse,take it on trips as your mini-computer, and still take those quick snapshots of the kiddos instead of hauling your camera.

regular camera

front facing
Video sample from the installed camera:

Voice Recognition: 
If you like Siri for your iphone, you will love the voice recognition on the Samsung Galaxy Note. Siri always gives me grief (could it be my southern accent?) and never gets my questions right, but this was was spot on. You can write notes and messages by using your voice to transpose. You can even dictate recipes, blog posts, that book-in-progress, and it saves it with surprising accuracy.

The Samsung Galaxy Note really has it all - you can take pictures, videos, use it as a television remote, watch TV shows and movies, connect it to your security system and see who is at your front door, play in the internet, listen to music, read books, social media, and more. Oh, and play all those fun games that I do in my space time, haha (whats that again??)

If I had one critique it would be the auto correct on the keyboard. I feel like I make many more typing mistakes on this other than my iphone/ipad. I'm not sure why, but I do. I think it's a learning curve and a difference in Apple/Android.

Again, if you are in the market for a tablet I highly suggest heading to Staples and getting a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.

Staples graciously sent me this for review, but the thoughts and opinions are all my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of tablets online.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Kickoff with Kroger!

Yay, Yay, Yay! Summer is finally here! I love, love, love it!

The babes with one of our neighbors, Jacob

We started off the weekend with a cookout over at our house with our neighbors. I stopped by Kroger to get everything we need! Our menu consisted of burgers, hotdogs, baked beans, chips, cupcakes, and loads of fruit. 

What we also got, (and what often gets neglected) is the "other" stuff needed: Bounty paper towels, paper plates, Citronella candels, Tide to get those stains out, OFF spray, trashbags, etc. Ya know, the essentials you need but you often overlook because you get so excited about the good stuff! 
All those clean-up items are on sale this week when you load up your Kroger Card with digital coupons. 

That's what makes Kroger a good "one-stop" shop on Memorial Day or any get together. You can get your entertainment things, as well as the "other things" you need. 

This week Kroger has paper towels and trash bags on sale, and you can save $5 when you shop at Kroger between 5/26-6/1 and spend $25 in qualifying categories including paper towels and trash bags!- perfect for your get together!!

Check out all of Kroger's deals this week here. 

Also don't forget that its still time for 2X Fuel Points this summer!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. 

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Orange Beach Vaca - pt 3

In our last installment of the Orange Beach vacation (I promise its the last one!) we have some beach pics, and some phone pics. Yay!

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Orange beach vaca - Pt. 2 - All About Jules

I did a mini photo-shoot with Jules one morning at the beach. The sky was overcast, and perfect for taking photos. I meant to do the same with Josh, but my dang battery died that, without further adieu  here is Jules in all her preciousness, fabulous, and curly-headedness.

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