Tricia

Tricia


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Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

Home page: http://streamdoubletrouble.com

Posts by Tricia
TechMom

TechMom Tuesday: Not Sold in Stores

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The TechTots and I recently loaded up the TechMom Mobile and headed south for a long weekend celebrating my father’s 70th birthday.

(We’ll call him PapaStavo – he doesn’t get a Tech moniker because he is clueless when it comes to all the newfangled gizmos and gadgets. You know, like the concept of computing. But I digress…)

In honor of seven decades gone by, I whipped up a video slideshow of the guest list in days of yore reminiscing key moments with the birthday boy. (I’ll give you an easy tutorial in the near future.) It was funny and tear jerking, sweet and tearful, all at the perfect moments. (Indulge me here, ok?) Alas, our beloved hosts did not own an Apple TV. And as it turns out, the latest and greatest entertainment systems do not hold a lot of love for DVD-Rs.

So it was off to the mall to procure an HDMI adaptor.

I remember this mall. I spent a good number of hours there as a teenager. (Native San Fernando Valley Girl at your service – like, omigawd totally.) Once upon a time it was a two-story shopping center; it was a giant oval. You’d walk the length, then ascend/descend to the other floor and walk back. Done and done.

Not Sold in StoresApparently in the decades I’ve been gone, immersing myself in the geekdom of Silicon Valley, Westfield Architects took to the structure and transformed it into Pan’s Labyrinth of shops. It is now big and scary – a million stores – none of which carry what I want.

You’ve likely heard the term “showrooming.” This is when people wander through a brick and mortar store before heading online to find the best deal. In turn, stores have reduced the number of goods actually available.

245 stores (minus the 25 “fine watch and jewelry establishments” – seriously, why are mall’s so obsessed with overpriced baubles). Most are now focused on clothing – either boutique-y throwbacks (Betsey Johnson the 80s have passed, let them rest in peace), or super high-end designers where the store features a maximum of two ensembles.

I know this because there’s a mall app.

However, I realize, all too often I’m frustrated by the lack of items I’m immediately searching for when in a physical environment. Customer service has gone by the wayside as knowledgeable individuals no longer staff big box stores – so any search is a crapshoot. And even if you do find what you’re looking for, no guarantee it’s the right size or color.

If you’re lucky, you’ll hear, “We can order that for you.”

photoBut I can do that myself now. Because there’s an app for that. A quick peek at my iPhone shows a whole folder dedicated to shopping. (Although to be fair, when you have twin TechTots you never want to go anywhere ever again – see the Great Target Tantrum for proof.)

I have apps for (as found in alphabetical order on my phone):

All the things
Amazon – Shop millions of products wherever you go.
Etsy – Discover over 17 million unique items from 800,000 sellers around the world.

Books and magazines
iBooks – An amazing way to download and read books.
Newsstand – Dedicated to downloading and displaying digital versions of newspapers and magazines.

Clothes
Nordstrom – The latest looks are always at your fingertips
ModCloth – Your go-to source for unique fashion, decor, & inspiration.
Zappos – Shoe shopping app does its darndest to deliver that WOW service customers have come to know and love.

Entertainment
AMC Theatres – The amazing place where movies want to play.
LiveNation – Brings you concerts, festivals, and tickets in one app, personalized just for you.
Ticketmaster – Get the tickets you want on the go with the Ticketmaster app.

Food
Instacart – Groceries delivered in an hour without a trip to the store.
Munchery – Reinventing the weeknight dinner, and making it ridiculously easy to put a delicious, high-quality meal on the table in just a few minutes.
Starbucks – Keeps you connected to your card, so you can just scan to pay.

Household goods
Casa.com – From everyday must-haves to specialty collections, Casa has over 45,000 products for every room in your home.
Soap.com – Remember that awesome time waiting in line at the drugstore? Yeah, we don’t either.

Makeup
Sephora – Faster, smarter & even more beautiful.

Music
iTunes

Sports
AfterSchool.com – Gear up your little star from head to toe with thousands of products for kids’ sports & activities.
At the Ballpark – Your favorite mobile companion when visiting your any Major League Baseball ballpark.

Technology
Apple Store – The best way to research, personalize, and buy products from Apple.

TechTot Supplies
Diapers.com – Get everything your baby needs in just 1-2 days.

Toys
Disney Store – Put magic in the palm of your hand.
Yoyo.com – Make shopping for toys fast, efficient and fun.

Additionally, along with instant access has come “instant buying.” I remember a time in the days of my youth when I would go to Blockbuster or Tower Records. I would meander, browse and mull my options. I would deeply consider whether or not I wanted to spend that $3.47 for a night with Titanic. I would hem and haw over how badly I liked the entirety of Filter’s album just to obtain the single “Take A Picture.”

These days? Shoes, coffee, movies or music, just to name a few – “That looks interesting” <click> – and you own it.

In our tricked-out tech world, what role do you think the physical store will continue to play?

PS. I acquired my cable at the Apple Store, promptly lost my cable at the birthday party and had to order a new one via my Apple Store app after I got home. Because the mall scares me.

PPS. Mall Rats and Empire Records, documentaries of the days gone by of brick and mortar, are both available via Apple TV.

Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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TechMom Tuesday: Let Them Eat Cake

It’s no secret that culinary prowess is not one of my many strengths. (I have a strong tendency to set things on fire. Except when I simply blow up the dish.)

This merely compounds the issues I face when trying to go grocery shopping with two TechTots in tow. Or coming up with intelligent produce ideas for TechDad before he goes off to the store.

Enter Munchery and Instacart. (Living in Silicon Valley has its perks. Apologies for all of you readers not in range of such wonders.)

Munchery IconMunchery
At some point, you’ve gotta figure out what’s for dinner. And when you’re too busy or tired to cook, it’s all too easy to just grab something fast on nights like these. But usually the easy option isn’t the best one for you.

If ever there was a blurb that could sell me on a service – this was it. The dishes to choose from were delectable! Entrees, sides, desserts and drinks – all of gourmet quality, “real” food – and the pricing was pretty on par with what you’d pay at a casual restaurant (approximately $10 a person).

Local chefs create the variety of dishes, which change each day. Deliveries are available on weekdays and each week you can peruse five days of drool-worthy dishes. Upon selection, you then choose a delivery time out of three one-hour slots. A driver will text you when they’re approximately 10 minutes out.

Meals are delivered chilled (not frozen, more of a pleasantly refrigerated cool), with instructions on how to heat via oven or microwave – both needing mere minutes before you look like a modern day Donna Reed with a delicious dinner on the table.

Of course, after I got my hopes up I discovered the delivery boundary ended two blocks from my house. So close!

Adapt and overcome. I ordered dinner to be delivered to my office. It arrived, I departed, I reheated. This is WAY better than fast food. And even easier than peanut butter and jelly.

Munchery is currently serving the San Francisco Bay area (San Francisco, East Bay, Marin and the Peninsula)

Munchery (Universal App) – Free – Download Now

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Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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TechMom Tuesday – Poor Unfortunate Phone (a LifeProof iPhone case story)

As Clinton considers the technology at his disposal to build a vessel that can hold all creatures of the world two-by-two amid the gale force deluge dumping upon the British Isles, California final got a sprinkling of moisture.

Of course, as the water situation becomes bleaker in one of the worst droughts seen by the golden state, any rain in the forecast brings about the emergency alerts: STORMWATCH 2014. (No joke, this was the leading nightly news story on the day we expected to receive 1/10th of an inch of rain – a mere quarter centimeter for all you metric people.)

Finally, this past week, we had a desperately needed downpour. By which I mean actual rain for the morning commute, which causes all the drivers forget how to operate a motor vehicle.

By the time lunchtime rolled around, I decided I was hungry enough to brave the elements in search of a sandwich (it was drizzling now). After procuring the necessary foodstuffs for storm survival, I returned to the office and darted across the parking lot into the building so as to not get too much mist on my hair.

It wasn’t until I got back to my desk that the feeling of utter nakedness descended upon me. My phone was not in my pocket.

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Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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TechMom Tuesday: The Next Generation

We recently had to register the TechTots for pre-K. For those of you reading this post as an interlude to arguments with your sullen teenager, you may not think pre-K sounds all that exciting. But for me – the sheer amount of technology it took to get us home from the neonatal hospital in the first place makes this feel as though I accidentally slept-walk into a time-traveling TARDIS.

As part of the pre-K preparation process, TechDad and I toured the preschool campus. Part of this expedition took us through the school computer lab, where a class of students was diligently typing away. Each student was seated at a laptop, engrossed in their task and removed from the reality around them via high-end headphones.

How far technology has taken us.

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Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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TechMomTuesday – He Who Controls the Remote Control Rules the World

The average Micky Mouse Clubhouse episode is precisely 24 minutes long.

This means, on the average Saturday morning, I have just under a half hour to get myself together just enough to make myself presentable to the world. (Clean sweatpants and a mismatched shirt totally counts.)

Freshly cleansed, I pulled back the shower curtain and wrapped a fluffy towel around myself. Simultaneously, the bathroom door slid open. A three-foot tall 3-year-old stood determinedly centered in the doorframe.

“I need more Mickey,” Destroy calmly informed me, wielding a tiny remote to punctuate his point.

Apparently I mistimed my morning. And the kids haven’t quite mastered the Apple TV, although they’re quite adept at lobbing demands via possession of the remote.

When you’re 3, your television viewing options are limited.

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Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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TechMom Tuesday: Santa’s Coming!


He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
Ohh! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

Santas Coming

But these days, as it turns out, you can keep track of Santa as well.

He’s been keeping an eye on us for 12 months now. He’ll be making his rounds with a sleighful of goodies and toys for the good little girls and boys in T-one week.

Are you ready?

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Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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TechMom Tuesday: The Christmas Card Conundrum

Time is once again upon us all for the annual extravaganza of holiday letters. I’ve faithfully (and excitedly) sent one out every year since we’ve been a family of four (six if you count the dogs).

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThere was a time when the annual Christmas letter was quite a thing. It was a way to keep those acquaintances up to date on your life – look how big the kids are getting! Time passed and friendships faded, but we didn’t want to completely lose touch with those once a larger part of life.

Households would happily await the notes from somebody that we used to know. We’d gather around the kitchen table mocking the tiny font prose about perfect children, perfect jobs and perfect lives alongside the cheesy family photograph documenting proof of the passage of time.

Technology has changed all that.

We keep in touch with former classmates via Facebook. We post status updates with pictures of the kids on each holiday throughout the year. In addition to documenting our daily meals, Instagram provides the means to prove the passage of time.

There’s Twitter where we connect with friends and strangers alike – in two sentence witty bursts – sharing crazy comments out of the mouths of babes (and Cheerios for breakfast).

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Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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A Red Hot Fairy Tale

 

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;

By God’s mercy he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Hulloa boys, Hulloa boys, let the bells ring.
Hulloa boys, hulloa boys, God save the King!

The above is a traditional English nursery rhyme.

Legend in short: In 1605 a disgruntled Catholic decided to make a statement by blowing the House of Lords sky high into a bajillion smithereens. It didn’t work. They killed him. Well actually, they were supposed to kill him – but he jumped off the execution stage and broke his neck, avoiding further torture and mutilation.

I can see how Hollywood jumped at this (V for Vendetta, 2005).

Perhaps a little too political and pyromanically focused for a fun children’s song? No matter, I’m about to be even more irreverent.

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Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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TechMom Tuesday – Review of NuuNest for iOS

Let me assure you – Mommy Brain is a thing. This is caused by the never-ending questions spewed at you stream of conscious style, which in turn makes your brain forget any and every piece of information relevant to managing your life while still being able to cite the entire Mickey Mouse Clubhouse introduction without fail.

Mommy Brain begins the moment you give birth. The stress of fluctuating hormones, sleepless nights and the general post-partum malaise of “what the hell do I do now,” makes tracking your newborn even more difficult. Congratulations. You now have a tiny person completely dependent on you for its every need in order to maintain life.

Rumor has it your new little darling will be bundled up and your newly enlarged family will be scuttled out the hospital with a ream of papers – legal documents, pamphlets, consent forms, tracking charts – all seemingly Xeroxed using ditto sheets and proffered to new millennium parents with all the faded purple ink glory they can muster.

You’ll probably have a lot of questions. Trust me when I tell you this. Write it down. Questions, data, life musings. You will not remember 30 seconds later. You are now your baby’s biggest advocate. Documenting your routines will alert you to any potential problem caused by a deviation or simply remind you what day it is.

Lucky for you, it’s now 2013. Ditch the paper charts; there’s an app for that.

imageNuuNest allows you to track your newborn’s development, your routines, as well as offering helpful info, advice and tips (452 age-based ones) – all provided in a clean and easy-to-use UI. This won’t make life easier per say, but it will certainly keep you organized and informed when the pediatrician asks you a litany of questions when you’re in the ER on a Friday night because baby has the sniffles (hypothetical TechTot case).

Disclaimer: NuuNest is fantabulous data tracker *IF* your baby is born term and healthy. Should you find yourself embroiled in the whirlwind roller coaster of prematurity and the NICU, immediately discard your “What to Expect” nonsense of paperbound and digital alike. Go download MyPreemie. Do not pass go (except to liberally apply the hand sanitizer).

NuuNest allows moms to detail the details of those foggy early days of parenthood – weight gain, diaper duty, and feeding. Sprinkled throughout are information and helpful tips about what to expect. These can be very reassuring as you wonder, “Is this normal?!”

The “All About Mom” section has more in-depth answers to the most common questions occurring directly after delivery. You may laugh and/or cringe now, but it’s pertinent information in the baby-making business!

image copyYou can customize your home screen to best suit your own needs. (I know, each child is unique – shocking.) There is also an option to receive notification if the data is not in alignment with developmental expectations (see above warning if you’re a preemie parent – nothing will be in alignment).

And yes! The app supports twins. (Some of the data entry can be a bit clunky or repetitive as you switch back and forth between profiles.)

The app boasts, “NuuNest provides answers in seconds as you settle in with your new baby. It’s like having an experienced baby nurse right at your fingertips, 24 hours a day.”

Do I recommend this app? Yes. If you’ve had a relatively uneventful pregnancy and are blessed with a take-home baby immediately after birth – download the app and start documenting. It may seem mundane, and way less adorable than other things you’re documenting, but the little things really do matter for your little ones.

NuuNest – Newborn Nurse Answers and Baby Tracking, $2.99

Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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TechMom Tuesday: Heads Up Seven Up

Remember that game we played back in grade school – when teachers needed something to calm the restless wilds stuck in the classroom over recess or lunch because it was a rare rainy day and the kids couldn’t go outside?

Heads up. Seven up.

Put your head down on your desk. Close your eyes and put your thumb up. The selected seven circle the room and randomly pick someone. If you were tapped, can you guess who picked you? Then do it all again in the next round.HeadsUp7Up

In related news, I upgraded all the iDevices in my household to the newly released iOS 7 this week. It was unleashed upon the general population last Wednesday. In one giant global game of technological Heads Up Seven Up.

Me: 10 min>
Clinton: I know…9…
Me: Should I try and update? Or should I wait? DECISIONS!
Clinton: I’m going to try to upgrade a couple devices but I suspect it will be sloooooow going.

Clinton: It’s live!
Me: Should I go for it?
Clinton: I CANNOT believe you are chickening out! PUSH. THE. BUTTON.
Me: Yeah, I already did.
Clinton: Let’s see if you were right. This download is SLOW. I’m one of a billion downloading it though.
Me: My first attempt just failed.
Clinton: My iPhone 4S is struggling trying to download it.
Me: I’m at an hour estimate right now.
Clinton: And mine just failed.

Do not ever underestimate my ability to repeatedly hit the TRY AGAIN button with every congested download hiccup or failure. I was dedicated. I can punch that touch screen error message with determined aplomb!

Basically traffic from overwhelming excitement to experience the new operating system killed the interwebs.

We were engaged in a worldwide game of Heads Up Seven Up. Would we hit the server with enough bandwidth? Would it let us download? And could we guess which device was going to run smoothly? Or would we be left with the error message, “Software update is not available”?

Five days later, three iPads, two iphones and one Mac in need of the latest version of iTunes, all TechMom household devices have been upgraded. And we’re ready for the next rainstorm.

Tricia

Corporate writer by day, mommy blogger by night, Tricia is raising twin toddlers – Search and Destroy. Instead of having one baby after 9 months, she had two after 6; she’s efficient like that. Tricia is a hybrid – running on coffee and chocolate. Tricia also rambles on her personal blog: Stream Of The Conscious.

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