If you're like me, you probably have taken thousands of photos with your phone and while some will definitely bring back incredible memories of a vacation getaway or that first time you adopted a puppy, the rest are just a complete blur. Which birthday was that photo taken from? Was it last year or three years ago?
Now that all our photos are stored on an imaginary cloud, keeping track of those milestones is getting harder and harder. Thankfully, there are apps like PicJoy that are making it easier for all of us amateur photographers to capture the moments and the memories in real time.
You can get a free download of thePicJoy App if you have an iPhone or Android device and once you do, the app automatically starts categorizing all your photos by date and year so that you know when you actually took those shots. Plus, you can also share a story to accompany all those special moments and share them immediately via social media or keep them stored so that you always remember the exact date your little one lost their front tooth or had to get braces (sadly, that would be my son in the next few weeks.)
There is something to be said about looking back at thousands of photos and actually being able to remember exactly what happened that date just by reading about it on PicJoy. PicJoy allows you to write your personal story, tag the people in the photo for easy organization plus everything else like sharing, deleting and posting.It's that easy!
So if you are looking for a great way to finally keep track of your photos and truly create memories that not only last a lifetime but will also be memorable since you shared a story behind that snapshot, then look no further than PicJoy. It's a fun and easy app and I'm loving it so much, I've gotta run and write 3999 more stories!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However, all my opinions and my love of great cellphone photos are 100% my own.
The running theme I found at Frenchman's Reef was that every restaurant, bar and hotel room has an incredible view. Whether you are dining on the beach at CoCo Joe's, enjoying a buffet brunch at Aqua Terra which has stunning island and harbor views, or spending the evening star gazing at the Rum Bar, the resort has incredible picture taking options wherever you turn -- and even has selfie stations where you can snap the ultimate photo. Or you can just sit on your balcony each morning, greet a bird and snap a photo. Just use the Twitter handle @FrenchmansReef #TravelBrilliantly if you'd like to share your photos while you're vacationing.
Favorite restaurant in St. Thomas: Havana Blue
The Marriott provides a free shuttle service that takes you to all of their properties and that definitely comes in handy after you've taken a long stroll to the beach and are too tired to walk back to your room. While we were able to dine at all the restaurants located near the hotel, our favorite was Havana Blue, an upscale latin inspired dining option with ocean views, a fabulous wine list, cocktails and desserts that were out of this world. The service was phenomenal, and the food was spectacular. My daughter couldn't get enough of the snapper special and I was partial to the s'mores cocktail. Just be prepared -- the prices at Havana Blue are incredibly expensive but if you're looking for an amazing dining experience, then it's a can't miss when visiting St. Thomas. Right below Havana Blue is the Sand Bar, a less expensive dining option for couples and families that's located right next to the beach and also offers a weekend brunch.
I have to say that the best part of our visit to St. Thomas were the excursions we took each day. Right in the lobby of Frenchman's Reef is the Adventure Center where you can pretty much book any type of tour, snorkeling trip and island hopping package to keep you on your toes throughout the week. While there are hundreds of activities to choose from, we opted for a snorkeling tour, a sunset sail, a visit to St. John, night kayaking, paddle board lessons and once my daughter was instantly hooked, she also tried paddle board yoga.
The dock for all our activities was conveniently located right near our hotel so all we needed to do was walk down a few flights of stairs and then hop on a catamaran or ferry boat to take us to our destination. You can also purchase ferry tickets at the Adventure Center too. A one way ferry ride is $7 per person.
Book all your St. Thomas excursions with the Adventure Center
Best Snorkeling Trip & Sunset Sail: The Cat
A trip to St. Thomas wouldn't be complete without a visit to the shops in town. We were pretty strategic with our trip. Since it costs between $6-8 per person to take a taxi into town, my husband and son decided to stay back at the hotel while we took a cab to the shops. We first strolled through an open air market where we could bargain our way to the best price on a knock off bag, beads, jewelry and more.
There are tons of jewelry stores in St. Thomas and you can get some really great deals on tanzanite. We managed to score a pair of tanzanite earrings, a necklace and a ring from a shopkeeper who actually had someone who directed us to his storefront since he was a little off the beaten path. We also picked up a few pairs of Laramar earrings -- another stone that's indigenous to St. Thomas and we even found some gorgeous paintings that we purchased that were created by a local artist.
While we had an awesome time aboard The Cat for our Sunset Sail, one of the best moments of the trip took place when we went night kayaking (sorry no photos since I was too busy getting freaked out by big fish under my boat). If you've never tried that before, it's pretty amazing. After you get a brief kayaking lesson on shore you hop into a boat with a glass bottom that glows in the dark. Once you're on the water, you can literally watch as sea turtles, stingrays and a host of other very large fish travel right under your kayak. I also loved that we paddled out to the home of the owner of the Bellagio Hotel which kicks off a light and cannon show every night for onlookers.
Can't Miss Evening Adventure: Night Kayaking
Spectacular Views & A Mouth Watering Menu: Mafolie
One of the most romantic restaurants in St. Thomas is Mafolie -- set high atop a mountain, the restaurant boasts fantastic views of the island and ocean, delicious Caribbean fare and a tasty wine and cocktail list too.
Another highlight of the trip was our ferry visit to St. John. While you can take a full tour of the island that includes a visit to a rum plantation and some time at the beach, we decided to hop aboard the ferry and spend the day on our own time. Luckily, we managed to find a very friendly taxi driver named Chris who directed us to a deli for breakfast and then took us to a more secluded beach, Cinnamon Bay where the kids got to paddle board again and I continued reading my book.
Breathtaking views & secluded beaches: St. John
While it is pretty hot and humid in St. Thomas in August, the good news is, wherever you look, there's the pool or the ocean and even a swim up bar if you don't want to get out of the water to enjoy a cocktail.
Listen in to our Blog Talk Radio Show and hear more about our St. Thomas adventure!
While there isn't one predominant cause of breast cancer, researchers have found certain links to the disease. Smoking, drinking, family history and race are risks that can't be changed, but they can increase a person's chances in its development. However, just because you have several of the risk factors associated with breast cancer doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get the disease.
Factors That You Can't Change
Exams, testing and fundraising methods can spread awareness and make it easier to catch at its early stages. However, there are certain risk factors that you can't change such as autisms link to certain cancer genes. Breast cancer is most common in women than it is in men. As a woman ages, their chances for breast cancer significantly increases, especially after you reach menopause. If you have a family history such as a grandmother, mother, aunt or other blood relative, you may be at heightened levels for the disease to occur. Caucasian women have a greater rate of developing breast cancer than African American women. However, African-American women are more likely to die from it. Breast radiation early in life, menstrual cycles that start before the age of 12 and menopause after the age of 55 can also increase a person's chances of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month and activities such as walks and runs can help bring awareness to the disease. Big companies such as Eggland's Best have become ambassadors to the cause. In addition to helping spread the word by displaying the "pink ribbon" of hope on their marketable products, they're also pledging donations to help with the cure. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help lessen your chances of breast cancer, but there aren't any guarantees. You can adopt certain changes and precautions by minimizing your consumption of alcohol. As little as one drink per day can significantly raise your risk. That's why it's best to limit your consumption. Obesity and weight gain after menopause are other contributing factors that can lead to breast cancer. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can aid in a healthier and cancer-free existence. Studies have also shown other lifestyle changes that can put a person at risk include taking hormone therapy after menopause and birth control pills. Research has also shown that breastfeeding between 1 and 2 years can slightly lower a woman's chances of developing breast cancer. With the many do's and don'ts, education, preventative maintenance and talking with your physician can prove helpful. If you fall ill to the disease, support groups, clinics and seminars can provide guidance, comfort, and the chance at a better life.
Disproven and Less Clear Risk Factors
There are considerable gaps when it comes to research and breast cancer. While studies are still sketchy about certain findings, they do raise some questions in regards to what causes it. One theory that falls into this category is antiperspirant. Deodorants work to help the body block certain pores that produce underarm sweat. The primary ingredient that gives researchers concerns is aluminum. Whether it's rolled, glided or sprayed, aluminum in antiperspirant may also prove harmful when absorbed.You can do your part by choosing something natural or organic. Breast cancer has also been thought to be linked to certain varying hormone levels. In addition to menopause and birth control, abortion can disrupt the body's functioning. Similar to cancer, autism can involve irregular cell growth. The gene found in those with autism may also increase a person's chances of kidney, brain and liver cancers. Other unclear risk factors include breast implants, bras and chemicals such as pesticides, cosmetics, plastics and products for personal hygiene.
*** This article was a sponsored post*****
When you grow up in a two bedroom apartment like I did in Queens NY, seldom are there opportunities for a kid to learn basic home improvement or repair tricks of the trade. Unless you were the son of the building's super, which I wasn't by the way, most apartment raised kids don't have a clue on how to fix anything. I have been a home owner in Westchester NY now for seventeen years and can shamefully, but honestly say, not once during that time, have I ever fixed, installed, repaired, refurbished, adjusted, tinkered with, or altered anything in my home myself. I wish that weren't the case and I know my wife wonders why she never put home competency on her checklist for requisite qualities in a man who she would ever marry. Screwing in light bulbs is literally the only thing I am capable of taking care of around the house. My biggest challenge on that front is replacing the bulbs for the recess lighting in our cathedral ceiling living room. And given my trepidation of a bulb slipping off the extension pole when I remove it, falling and shattering all over our floor, I usually put off doing it for as long as I possibly can.
I have even relinquished control of the simple task of changing the air filters inout house because the central unit is wedged toward the back of our attic which you have to army crawl through in order to access. So when my wife finally gets tired of choking on the dust and other allergens in our home, she will summon me to the stairway of our attic where we climb up together and I hold a flashlight pointed toward the unit for her to crawl to so that the she can replace the embarrassingly clogged filters. I'm always so proud of her when she completes the task even as she is mumbling several expletives during the journey. It isn't always clear to me what those four letter words spoken under her breath are, but I'm pretty sure love is not one of them. I know that as Beth inches along the attic floor and thinks about all of the other things in the house that need repair, she must not only wonder why her husband can't do diddly to fix anything but that there has to be an easier way of getting things done around the house affordably and quickly. Now, after all these years of being together, I can boastfully say that I have discovered a possible solution to our home repair needs and it's called Pro.com, an online resource that simplifies the effort needed to get a project done on you home. While this service won't absolve me from my handyman incompetence, it will allow me to find fast and cost effective solutions.
What I love most about this site is the fact that you can type in almost any type of home service improvement or repair into the search function and it will come back with an estimate of what the cost will be immediately. Unfortunately, the cost of the entire project is not available as the estimates do not include parts or materials. But it at least provides you with a reasonable starting point. I also like the fact that all of the contractors that come through the system have been vetted by Pro.com to make sure that they are adequate insured, bonded and have not had any serious business conduct issues. The site is very user friendly and is not cluttered with content that could be a distraction in figuring out what you need to do in order to get the estimates you need. You literally type in the project or repair you need, it give you an estimate and then asks you if you would like to add any additional items. Once that is done, you select 3 possible times for a Pro.com job manager to contact you to discuss the project and decide how to move forward from there. In the event that something is not going well with the project or contractor, Pro.com remains involved for you to call and help remedy whatever the situation might be. Almost everyone at some point in their life has had a bad experience with a contractor or repair technician so it is nice to know that you automatically have an advocate for yourself with Pro.com in the event that something ever does go wrong with a project.
So if you have a few things around the house that you have been meaning to get to but just didn't have the time or energy to follow up on, take a look at Pro.com for some help. And you can save an easy $50 off any project by simply texting your project and zip code to the phone number 206-745-3460 using the promo code RM50. Plus, we are also hosting a $200 giveaway to one lucky person who will receive credit towards home repair compliments of Pro.com. Enter below and we'll announce the winner on August 17!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Pro.com. However, all opinions and stories about my home improvement challenges, are entirely my own.
I bet that if someone would have told me 10 years ago when I first started blogging that I'd be featured in Costco Connection as a blogging expert, I would have said they were insane. But you see, that was before I logged my 10,000 hours as a blogger and learned a thing or two about cultivating online relationships, identifying bloggers who are genuine and talented and finding a home for me to share stories about the people and experiences in my life that I truly cherish.
So while Costco doesn't necessarily share my personal journey down the road of blogging, they do share my tips and a video too. Take a look, enjoy and the next time you head into Costco, tell them Beth at RoleMommy.com sent you! :)
|Look inside >|
Plus...here's the bonus video I shot for the online edition of the magazine!
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