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  • How technology keeps us connected

    As some of you may know, we recently took a trip to San Francisco.  Flying across from coast to coast is no easy endeavor when you have two little ones in tow. Luckily for us, this wasn't the girls' first time flying.  But, it was still the longest "travel day" of their life.  When booking our flights, I decided it would be easier to fly out of Tampa even if it meant we'd have a layover sometime in between.  Again, since we were traveling with the girls, I figured the layover would give us enough time to "explore" a new airport, get something to eat and be on our way.

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    With all of the iphone upgrades, we've been lucky to keep two old iphones.  We decided to let the girls use them as an iTouch.  At home, they normally play cut the water or angry birds as well as more "age appropriate games" like Hair Salon and TeamUmi.  They also have access to our Netflix account which allows them to watch their favorite cartoons.  I think Scooby Doo is winning by a long shot.  While we were on our layover on our way to San Francisco, Zoe decided she was missing her babysitter.  I suggested she send a text.  Her eyes lit up at the thought that even though she was hundreds of miles away, she could still reach her.  They texted back and forth for a bit while we waited for our next airplane.  Happy kid = Happy mom.

     

    Last week, my cousin, who is almost a sister to me moved to South Korea to teach Spanish in an all English private school.  While the thought of visiting her in South Korea is very tempting, I'm pretty sure it is out of our budget.  Thanks to our iphones, we've been able to text almost daily to keep up.  We've also made plans to Skype.

    girls and grandma

    As much as people argue over the changes in Facebook, I'm glad it is still available.  I'm glad it allows me to connect with my family in Puerto Rico.  When I post pictures of the girls, I know my grandparents can see them.  It cracks me up every time I call her to tell her what we've been up to and her response is always, yeah, I saw it on Facebook.  This is my grandma, who was born in the 30s has a handheld smart phone that allows her to keep her family close even if we are separated by the Atlantic Ocean.

    pavementrunner

    Thanks to social sites such as Twitter, we are able to connect with people we would otherwise never meet.  Before our trip to San Francisco, I tweeted about going to the city.  A few people in the area reached out with recommendations and clothing advice (Thanks @hey_im_kate).  I was also contacted by another FitFluential Ambassador (@pavementrunner).  It was so awesome to meet up and run through the city with a new "friend" who without this technology would never have happened!

    How do you keep connected?

    Do you love Apple or Android products?

  • Food and Wine Conference, Orlando FL

    This past weekend I had the pleasure to join #SundaySupper host Isabel Laesing at the first ever Food and Wine Conference in Orlando Florida.  I first met Isabel at a Tampa Bay bloggers event at our market.  When she mentioned she was planning a conference, I was intrigued.  We kept in touch and decided to be an event sponsor.  After many requests for our strawberry cookies on Twitter, how could I not share the strawberry goodness? ;)  Loaded with our strawberry cookies, I headed to Orlando on Saturday.

    Parkesdale strawberry cookies

    Not sure what to expect, I arrived at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort Hotel.  The grounds surrounding the hotel were gorgeous.  I can only imagine what the rooms must have looked like.  I must say, I was surprised by the swag bag.  So many nationally recognized brands such as Idaho Potatoes, Dixie Crystals, Duda Farm Fresh Foods and Stonyfield Yogurt.  But my heart was happy when I saw so many local brands: Datz, Wish Farms and Mario Foods!  

     

    Food and Wine conference sponsors

     

    Some of the topics discussed at the Food and Wine Conference included SEO Best practices by Dan Cristo creator of Triberr and Nicole Cook from the Daily Dish Recipes.  I had heard of Triberr, but did not realize how powerful it can be for any blogger.  By joining, you can find other bloggers like yourself and share each other's content.  Another great panel was Writing that Gets Noticed by "The Media" with Janet Keeler (Tampa Bay Times), Jeff Houck (Tampa Tribune), Pam Settle (Good Living Magazine) and Gayle Guyardo (News Channel 8).

    Sara Moulton Food and Wine Conference

    I was lucky enough to meet Sara Moulton from Good Morning America.  She previously hosted "Sara's Secrets" on the Food Network.  She was part of the panel on The Process of Writing a Cookbook.  Unfortunately, I was unable to return on Sunday for her cooking demonstration.  :(  I sure look forward to next year's Food and Wine conference.  Isabel did an amazing job at selecting the location and the panelist topics.  As a brand blogger, this is one conference to come back to!

    Main take aways from the Food and Wine Conference for bloggers:

    1.  Find your passion and be authentic.  
    2.  Quality content trumps quantity content.  Be consistant, offer fresh content.
    3.  Join Triberr!

    Have you heard of Triberr? Are you on it?

    What other blogger conferences are you planning on attending this year?

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