1/1/12 - 2/1/12 | NESHEAHOLIC

Friday, January 27, 2012

What I'm loving on my iPhone: Viggle and Hero Academy



Two apps that I've recently downloaded have made me quite the happy iPhone user (as if I wasn't already). The first is the game Hero Academy. It trumps all of the GamesWithFriends that I play. It's a strategy based game that you play against actual people. It's a little like chess in that you have "pieces" that you have to split between offense and defense. Each type of character can move in different ways and has different powers just like chess. The animations are great, and it only takes a short time to get the hang of things.  If you download it start a game with me! Username is Nesheaholic (of course)

The second app, which I just got Wednesday night when it came out is Viggle. It's basically an incentive based program that gives you rewards for watching TV. You "check in" to a show by letting the app "listen" to your tv and then you get points for how long you watch the show. Those points can then be redeemed for small gift cards from the likes of Starbucks and Amazon. I think it's pretty cool. Get rewards for watching tv... I love TV and I love rewards, so this is a match made in heaven.

The app is so innovative. It's the first app I know since Shazam that utilizes the iPhones "listening" ability. From a marketing standpoint it's genius. Encouraging people to share what they are watching for points, offering points for watching movie trailers, they've got a good system that is obviously of interest to advertisers since there are a lot of businesses signed up in the rewards program. You can also set easy reminders in your iPhone to watch shows through Viggle.

What smart phone apps are YOU loving right now?
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Way Too Many GamesWithFriends

Games are supposed to be fun right?

It all started with Words with Friends. It was such an exciting concept, playing a live scrabble game with a friend I actually knew. It was a great time passer, and I even got my mom playing. After Words with Friends came Hanging with Friends. This was also an exciting venture. It's like hangman, but I can play it with my friends from afar, how cool, right? Now, upon having Words with Friends and Hanging with friends both going, my iPhone notifications of games awaiting me to take my turn increased. I think I constantly had at least one game awaiting my attention. It almost became a chore. I don't like having unchecked notifications on my iPhone screen, and leaving them there was driving me crazy lol. THEN, this week, enter Scramble with Friends. I also love this game, but there are just too many games! I get more game notifications on my phone than I do texts or calls lol. On top of the "with friends" games I'm also playing Hero Academy. What am I to do with all these games?! lol

My username on all the games are Nesheaholic, if you play and want to challenge me ;-)
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Blogger Spotlight: Cami of "First Day of My Life"

Hooray for my third edition of the Blogger Spotlight Series! Today, I introduce you to Cami of First Day of My Life. Christian and proud of it, Cami has a blog similar to mine, a compilation of likes, dislikes, and daily occurrences. She also keeps up with blog series' like Tasty Tuesdays and Wordless Wednesdays. If you are looking for some freelance design or social media work for your company, organization or website, she does that too!

How long have you been blogging? 
I started blogging summer of 2011 for First Day of My Life. I've been blogging for Baby Pickel's blog since May of 2010. (Baby Pickel helps single moms/families in need.)


What made you start a blog? 
I always enjoyed blogging for Baby Pickel. What I blogged about for Baby Pickel had to do with the families we were helping, ways God showed Himself to me, inspiration, motivation, etc. I enjoyed (and still enjoy!) it but wanted to start getting a little more personal - so I started First Day of My Life.


What was your vision when you first started blogging and how has that changed over time? 
My vision for blogging is to have a place to go to as a creative outlet, to connect with other bloggers, and really shine the light of Jesus to my readers.


You seem to have a nice blog following, what do you think contributes to that?
I visit those people's blogs that visit mine and leave me comments...I respond to comments. I try to build a relationship with my readers - I think that shows them that I care about them as a person (which I do!)


What advice do you have for the aspiring blogger?
Be real. Just like anything else - have fun. Don't try to be like someone else because they have a bunch of followers - just be yourself. Most importantly,  don't write for anyone but yourself.


Where on the internet outside of your blog can you be found?
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Thoughts on the SOPA/PIPA Internet Shutdown

First off, if you haven’t been keeping up with the events leading up to yesterday’s Internet Shutdown and what SOPA and PIPA are all about there is a FAQ below.

Now, my thoughts:

The whole movement kind of made me excited. I was excited to see a demonstration like I saw. Various websites (Reddit, Tumblr, Google, Wikipedia, etc.) allowed internet users to really get a piece of what our online lives could be like if bills like SOPA and PIPA passed. You go to look for/at something... and it’s just not there. Censored, blacked out, at the whim of companies or the government. I think we entirely take the freedom of the internet for granted. That freedom is threatened by SOPA and PIPA.

The first place I came across some anti-SOPA/PIPA action was Flickr. They gave users the option to black-out their hosted photos for the day. 




I also appreciated Tumblrs contribution. They gave users an option to black-out their Tumblr blogs for the day. So yesterday, if you happened to visit my tumblr you saw this: 




And there was Wikipedia, who blacked out their site for the day, and Google, who censored their logo.




Who was I disappointed with? Facebook and Twitter. I’m not saying they needed to shut down. I think they played an important part in getting the word out about action steps against SOPA and PIPA. But I feel like they could have done SOMETHING. Give users an easy option to black out their profile photos, have a SOPA pop-up box or something. How dare you be two of the largest social networking sites on the internet and not do something to take a stand for internet freedom?


FAQ (re-posted from Reddit.com’s black-out page)

 

What is the intent of SOPA/PROTECT IP?

The stated intent of the bills is to provide tools for law enforcement and copyright holders to protect their intellectual property rights.

What’s wrong with protecting copyrights?

Nothing! The devil, as they say, is in the details. PROTECT IP and SOPA will cause too much collateral damage, have a high potential for abuse, and won't even be that effective at stopping the crimes they target. Read alienth's examination of where these bills fail.


What are the differences between PROTECT IP and SOPA?

At a general level, the bills are very similar. SOPA, the "Stop Online Piracy Act," is from the House of Representatives, while the PROTECT IP Act is from the Senate. Either or both bills may pass a vote in their chamber of congress on their way to becoming law. Both must be defeated to end this threat. There have recently been more detailed explanations in an ELI5 thread and alienth's blog post.


More answers
Check out the /r/SOPA Community FAQ.

Learn more


Get Involved

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Funerals = Luxury + Tradition

The whole process of funerals is steeped in tradition. Funerals are expensive, and are pretty much luxury purchases. Of course, going to a funeral is NOT a luxury, but the money spent isn’t necessarily needed. The concept of “sending someone off with dignity” is built in tradition, not in any actual fact that a person’s passing will be made simpler based on their funeral. This isn’t new. This goes back as deep as the Egyptians who were buried with all their treasures and possessions, as well as their servants, because they believed those things would be with them in the afterlife.

Funerals are more for those left behind than they are for the dead. We want the tradition, we want a nice casket and processional. We want a nice service. We want a burial plot to go back to and visit, and leave flowers. These emotions are valid. There is some sort of sense of closure, or rather, the beginning of getting over the grief, that comes when you leave the funeral, or see the casket lowered. You feel like you’ve been given permission to begin to move on, however long that takes. These emotions and need for the tradition are valid, yet expensive.

The funeral business is a BUSINESS indeed, and a lucrative one, that plays off the emotions of grieving families. Wanna know a secret that's probably not surprising? There is a HEAVY mark-up on funeral items, just like everything else.

Average cost to purchase a casket for the business: $605
Average charge for a casket: $1,815

That’s a 3x mark-up.

This is the reality. A reality that many people don’t even realize until they are in the face of a loss and planning a funeral. There are pre-pay options for services, in which you lock-in a rate instead of paying whatever the going rate is 20 years down the road. But not many people know about this option or even take it because honestly, we don’t like to think about death and dying.

*cue happy music*
Well, that was morbid, but I had to get it out. I’ve been meaning to write this for a few months. Here, have three cute puppies yawning to make you feel better :-)



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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alcatraz: First Impressions



I love some good TV. I've been excited for the pilot of Alcatraz since I'd seen the commercials. I'm happy to report I wasn't disappointed by FOX's newest series. The basic premise is that 40ish years ago all the prisoners and guards of Alcatraz (LOL at me almost typing "Azkaban") prison disappeared, and are now returning in present day... only they haven't aged at all...and they are killing people.

I'm totally digging the "monster of the week" series format they're going with. In their case, the "monsters" are former Alcatraz inmates returning, not looking a day older than the day they disappeared 40ish years ago. The team's goal is to catch each prisoner before they kill, and lock them back up where they belong.




I really enjoyed the main team/pair. Visually they are an unlikely duo, and that makes me happy. Sarah Jones plays Rebecca Madsen, a fiery, blonde haired, blue eyed detective. I love her character so far. Jorge Garcia plays Diego Soto, a comic book loving historian. I can appreciate the duality of his character's smarts with his love for comic books and video games.

Of course the big questions of HOW these inmates have not aged in 40 years, WHERE they've been for 40 years and WHY they're returning now are all left to be answered. I'm really hoping these questions get answered throughout the season. Right now, I'm fine with not knowing, as things are just getting started. There seems to be a hint that maybe some medical experimentation was going on in Alcatraz. I don't need to know the answers to those questions right now, but I'll be sad if at the end of the season I feel like I did with Persons Unknown or The Killing, where no answers had been given, just more questions!

I give the pilot 2 thumbs up, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the series goes!
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Deal: Premium Wordpress Plugins

I'm a Blogger.com gal myself, as you can see. But for my readers who host on Wordpress here is a really good deal on a site that specializes in Wordpress plugins. Their tagline is "It's like having your own WordPress Developer, for a tiny fraction of the cost!"


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Birthday Thoughts

Guess what? I turned 26 yesterday lol.

My thoughts about turning 26?

I don't feel any older. I never FEEL any older on a birthday, but this was the first year that I actually felt that my age denoted getting older. I mean, 26, that's on the way to 30. Unmistakeably an adult, no longer "early 20s."

What did I do?


The special highlight of my birthday was a trip to The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant. I know, how fancy? lol I'll admit, in the beginning the hubby and I were a little skeptical. The prices were a little high, we'd never eaten fondue out, and... we were going to have to make our food OURSELVES. Our initial fears were unwarranted and we had a GREAT time. The food was delicious, and the cooking mechanism was really simple... throw your meat on a fondue scure, let it sit in the broth for 2 minutes, and wala... wonderfully cooked, shrimp, sausage and steak, with delicious dipping sauces. And of course the desert course was even better. Flambeed chocolate with marshmallow and oreo cookies on top. For dipping? Strawberries, cheesecake, rice krispy treats, pound cake, red velvet cake, marshmallows AND bananas! I wanted to do something that was more of an experience this year, not just your average trip to dinner, and I was very satisfied. Thanks to my wonderful hubby for the treat!





For all of my past birthday blog posts check out my birthday tag.
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Black AND Latino

I came across this video and I thought it was so phenomenal that I couldn't wait until next week to post it for YouTube Tuesday. This was produced by Mun2 and is such an interesting discussion on what it means to be Black AND Latino. I enjoyed hearing the perspectives of all those interviewed. We forget that issues of skin color and hair texture are not just limited to the context of African Americans in the U.S. It is a constant universal conversation. Check it out.


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Friday, January 13, 2012

Walgreens vs. Express Scripts

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am fortunate enough to not have ever needed a constant prescription until a few years ago, and even then, it's family planning prescriptions and not the result of an ailment. I learned early on the importance of a reliable and easily accessible pharmacy and pharmacist. And when I realized there was such thing as a DRIVE-THROUGH pharmacy, it was a happy day.

Currently, many Americans are having their usual pharmacy visit routine shaken up. With all the other things life requires I can't imagine, especially in a case where I had multiple prescriptions, having to seek out and move pharmacies. This very thing is happening to many people and families as a result of termination of contract between Walgreens and Express Scripts. The result of this is patients covered by an Express Scripts plan now find themselves not only having to change their pharmacists, but many are having to drive farther to get prescriptions filled at pharmacies with less convenient hours for their hectic schedules and no longer have access to Walgreens 24-hour and drive-thru pharmacies.

A specific segment of American's being directly affected by this is military personnel and their families, who use Tricare, which is a health and prescription program for military service men and women.  During negotiations, Walgreens attempted to protect the pricing and even contract separately for individuals with Tricare but no consensus was come to, leaving those individuals, who I'm sure have much more to think about than finding a new pharmacy, out of luck.

I am easily agitated when the people's needs are trampled on for the sake of greed or ill negotiation. Does it not make sense that a person should be able to fill a prescription at whatever pharmacy  is nearest and easiest for them to access? It's enough that people are paying sometimes insane prices for medication they NEED to survive, but to make them spend the extra time and gas money to relocate and drive to a new pharmacy makes matters even worse.

To try to help their customers in some way Walgreens if offering a special discount on all annual memberships for it's Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens

To keep up with Walgreens and the aftermath of the dispute:

Walgreens on Twitter

Walgreens on Facebook

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Deals, deals, deals...

Just a heads up to my lovely readers. You will occasionally start seeing deal posts. If you are familiar with GroupOn or LivingSocial or those type of sites they work like that, deep discounts on goods and services. First one up: Family Cookbook Project. I wish I would have seen this before the holidays, but it's still a good idea if you have someone's birthday coming up, or maybe in preparation for summer family reunions:


Happy Friday Folks!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Celebrities and Celebrity Culture

I can't for the life of me understand the public and the media's obsession with Beyonce's pregnancy and birth. People are going back and fourth debating her personal life like their livelihood depends on it - Was she really pregnant? Did she have a surrogate? Did she have a c-section? Those questions are so personal. I think people forget that celebrities are people too.

On the other hand, I sometimes think celebrities forget they are people. They expect worship from their fans and the public, and media coverage and money that they may or may not deserve because of "fame."

Celebrity culture is really something funny.

Celebrity doesn't necessarily equal talent. We live in a world where fame and celebrity trump talent when it comes to money, influence, and media coverage. This is easily exhibited by the world of reality TV stars. People who constantly work hard at their craft can't get a break, while Snooki can get endorsement deals and a best selling book. I'm not knocking her hustle, it just seems skewed to me.

It's our fault. Our being us, the people. If we didn't consume higher amounts of commercial entertainment than we did actual art things wouldn't be this way. We'll drop $150 on a pop music concert, but we'll say we can't afford a $25 ticket to support a talented local artist in performance. We put more value on celebrity culture than we do on fine arts and talent. We can SAY that isn't the case, but where we spend our money says otherwise. What we spend our time doing, watching, and talking about, says otherwise. 

I don't think there is anything wrong with pop music and reality tv, I listen to it, I watch it, and the people who produce it are working too, but I just wish the scales were a little more balanced when it came to hard working talented artists reaping from all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, they sow.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Kids these days?

I came across the video below and had a few different reactions. If you haven't seen, Jimmy Kimmel created YouTube challenge asking parents to give their kids horrible Christmas presents and film their reactions.



Now, I don't have kids, but I find it completely ABSURD when the children THREW the unwanted presents at their parents. Sure, it's not what you wanted, but as a child to have the audacity, and braveness to throw something at their parents! Should a child not have the discipline to not throw a pack of taco seasoning at their mom, even if they were expecting to open a Barbie doll?

Speaking of Barbie dolls, the reactions of the two boys who received Barbie dolls was SO EXTREME. You could see in their face that they felt like the world was laughing at their boyhood. Ingrained gender rolls strike again.

While I think it was a pretty cruel thing for the parents to do to their children, this is a clear example that the meaning of Christmas is still being lost. Kids want gifts, of course. But, we've got to teach them to be grateful for what they are given, regardless, even if they aren't at the age yet where we start teaching them that the season is about giving, not getting.
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

What do I want?

Sometimes it can get so frustrating to want so many different things, and overwhelming to actually figure out what needs to be done to jump-start getting what you want.

What do I want? My driver's license.
First step to obtaining it: Studying the driver's manual so I can take the driver's permit test.

What do I want? To increase blog visibility and traffic.
First step to obtaining it: I believe content is key, so I need to get my creative juices flowing and make time to post regularly.

What do I want? More steady acting work.
First step to obtaining it: Making myself make time to find auditions and audition more frequently.

What do I want? To make upgrades to my house.
First step to making it happen: Pick one of the many blog posts that I have stored away in the "Home Decor" tag in my Google reader and actually make the plan to tackle one of the projects.

What do YOU want?


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Monday, January 2, 2012

Pimp My Cube Contest

This post brought to you by Contest Factory. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Pimp My Cube Contest is looking for the worst, most pathetic, unorganized, dirty and dank cubicle, complete with outdated technology. If your work space is not conducive with actually getting work done, Contest Factory is looking for you.

Upload a video showing your cube/office/workspace and explain why it is horrible, and why you deserve for your cubicle to be "pimped out." Once your video is entered, you must encourage your your friends, family, coworkers, etc. to vote for your video.

The grand prize winner will be selected based on votes, most compelling story, and worst cube. Videos should be fun and witty – anything goes! The better the story, the funnier the video – better chances of winning. The grand prize value is approximately $1200. 

If you win, your office/workspace/cube will be updated with one of three prize packages: 

o New high end computer system
o New Desk, Chair and Decorations
o New Entertainment Package with high end stereo, espresso machine etc.

A second sweepstakes prize of a $200 gift card will be awarded to the registered user chosen by random drawing at the end of the contest period.

The contest period is running now through 1/31/12 at 12:00PM. Sample contest video below:

Visit Sponsor's Site

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imPRESS Press-on Manicure


I received the "Lil Drumr Girl" pattern of Broadway imPRESS nails in my latest Influenster VoxBox. Because of the snazzy print I wanted to wear them for a special occasion, so I applied them before my New Years eve festivities.

They were SUPER easy to apply. I was also very pleased with the length, they weren't too long. I will suggest that if you have some length to your natural nails that you file them down a bit to fit. These are a GREAT alternative to acrylics, as they are cheaper, safer, and much quicker to apply. None of these things sacrifice the quality however, since my friends thought they were acrylics! I can definitely see myself buying these for special occasions. I usually don't get my nail polish to last for more than a day before it begins to wear down, but even after washing dishes and cleaning the house, the Broadway imPRESS nails have kept the integrity and luster of the color, and are still on strong.


The brand is really easily accessible, you can pick them up at CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, KMart, Walgreens, and Walmart. If you aren't sure of what pattern or color will work for you, the website has an AWESOME try-on app.



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Sunday, January 1, 2012

ABCs of Fall/Winter: N is for NEW YEAR

2012. It's here!

I rang in the New Year with my closest friends from college over pizza, alcohol, and karaoke. It was great.

2011 had so many ups and down for me. The highest being buying my first home with my husband, the lowest being almost losing my grandmother.

I've seen a lot people leading up to the New Year say something along the lines of "Why wait until the new year to do things right or change, why not just change right now?" You know what? While that may be valid, it's always nice to have a jumping off point, a definitive time to say "change starts now" and I don't fault anyone who uses the new year to do that.

As far as resolutions go, I believe in making attainable goals. Last year my resolution was to put on lotion every day, and I succeeded. This year, my resolution is to wash my face each night (as opposed to just in the morning).

I wish all of you success, prosperity, love, focus, and happiness in this new year. :-D

How are you feeling about 2012 thus far?
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