Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web for Back to College!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Phones4School #CollectiveBias

There’s nothing like starting off the school year with new supplies – this year I’m not only headed to a new school, but I’ve also picked up a new phone that I just adore! I’ve been with Walmart Family Mobile for over a year now, and in my experience it has been the best cheap(est) wireless plan. So when I decided I was in need of a new phone for school, Walmart was the first place I looked. Luckily for me, I spotted the Nokia Lumia 521 on rollback for only $69.88 (down from $99.99)! With the price of textbooks already adding up, I was super excited to find an amazing looking smartphone at such a great price!

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The Nokia 521 has already become a crucial part of my routine. I desperately needed a phone that I could rely on to keep me organized and on point, and the Nokia is doing just that. It uses the same Windows Live Tiles that I have on my laptop and I’ve been able to sync much of the information that I need – which is essential for any student, I think. Speaking of needs, I do have to tell you the sound quality is quite good – I need something sharp and clear to wake me up on schooldays and this manages to do the job. I’m telling you I’ve slept through hurricanes (Sandy, Irene, I’m looking at you) – but I haven’t been able to sleep through the alarm on this!

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I love having the Lumia 521 near me at all times, it’s great for doing a quick search on the traffic conditions or looking up everything from definitions to concepts of chemistry. I even look up youtube videos of how to do a quick hairstyles in the morning when my hair looks awful and I’m running out of time. I think being back in school nowadays really demands a phone that can keep up with students – something fast and effective. And there’s definitely a need for an affordable wireless plan.
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That’s where Walmart Family Mobile comes in, with an Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web service plan for only $34.88 – you really can’t go wrong. I paid a crazy amount of money for textbooks this semester, I’m glad that I can go back to school in style with a sharp looking phone without having to break the bank!

Festive, Fun and Games with Forza 5!

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A couple weeks ago my brother and I were doing some early Christmas shopping downtown. The mall we were at was demoing the Forza Motorsport 5 and Xbox One system – any hope of getting him to walk around the store with me was soon abandoned. I left him testing out the system while I sorted through holiday sales. Suffice it to say that he is completely in love with the Forza 5 game and the Xbox One system. This Christmas I happen to know that he’s actually getting the Xbox One system from Santa (I know, how crazy lucky is he?), so I thought I’d head to Walmart and make his Christmas complete by picking up the Forza Motorsport 5 game for him!

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What’s really great is that Walmart and M&M’s have a Buy, Snap, Redeem offer going on that gives you a $10 eGift card to Walmart when you buy the Forza Motorsport 5 game and participating M&M’s products.

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That’s not where the fun ends – M&M’s is also running a Pixel Art instagram contest! I’ll include a link to all the details here, but essentially you’ll create your own pixel art using M&M’s, snap a pic and share on instagram using the #FueledByMM & #Contest hashtag’s and you’ll be entered to win an XBox One entertainment system! Check out what I came up with:

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Well, I may not be the very best artist, but it was extremely fun! I tried to go with a car theme here – if you have a chance, definitely check out the hashtag on instagram – some people are extremely talented!

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The M&M’s make great stocking stuffers (if I don’t eat them up before Christmas) and I can’t wait to for my brother to find his Forza Motorsport 5 underneath the tree! The game look’s amazing – with brilliant graphics, and the XBox One system is supposed to be fantastic! Oh, and I don’t want to brag or anything but I think that this gift pretty much solidifies my reputation as best sister ever ;) Happy holidays everybody!

My Kind of Mobile with Walmart Family Mobile!

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There’s something to be said about having a dependent mobile service. Nowadays things are uncertain, and are always changing. As a student, the cost of everything from books to tuition (never mind those loan rates) are on the rise. Having had a chance to test out Walmart’s Family Mobile unlimited plan, I can say that the certainty of receiving reliable service at an affordable rate is, well, invaluable.

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First off, my phone is pretty awesome – the LG Optimum L9 is easily my new favorite gadget. It’s super fast, and the screen resolution is on point. The camera has a 5 megapixel camera with 1080p Full HD video capture – which I’ve already used to take tons of pictures. It had a microSD slot with up to 32GB expandable memory. It’s super thin – but doesn’t feel breakable, definitely has a solid make. I purchased a new case (black and pink) and a screen protector – but the shipper sent me one for the iphone instead, as you might have noticed. I’m using it for now, but it is significantly smaller.

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Secondly, being able to know that at the end of the month my bill won’t exceed $40 gives me incredible peace of mind. The amount of money I’m saving means that I’ll be able to save for books next semester and possibly upgrading my camera!

Networking Event Essentials: Chapstick, Lipstick, Metrocard, Gum, Spare Ponytail, Pressed Powder, Business Cards, and Amazing Phone!

Networking Event Essentials: Chapstick, Lipstick, Metrocard, Gum, Cash, Spare Ponytail, Pressed Powder, Business Cards, and Amazing LG L9 Phone!

My old phone was too slow for me to tweet while at events (it would take me literally 20 minutes to tweet once). So I would end up carrying around my tablet – which isn’t the easiest thing to do because I would often have to carry a larger bag to carry said tablet in, carry the actual tablet, shake hands, and exchange business cards while also tweeting and taking photos – never mind the whole drink holding, mini cheeseburger eating business (I know, we bloggers lead such hard, miserable lives, lol!). With the LG L9 I carry it around in the smallest clutch, can easily tuck it away or take it out. I can tweet, instagram, and update my facebook profile within seconds thanks to Walmart’s T-Mobile service. I don’t have to juggle everything – and now I can finally enjoy those mini cheeseburgers!

For my generation, having a presence on social media and being connected is essential. We’re also pretty demanding about the services and products we love – Walmart’s Family Mobile unlimited plan combined with the LG Optimus L9 phone is a perfect match of excellent service and impressive product.

To check out Walmart’s Family Mobile plans click here, to read more about my experience click here – and be sure to check out what other bloggers have to say about Walmart’s mobile service by following along on twitter with #FamilyMobileSaves and #cbias!

Keeping Up with Walmart’s Family Mobile Unlimited Plan!

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I have a pretty darn busy lifestyle, and for years I have been trying to find the best wireless plan that will keep up with the demands of a city girl like me – without breaking the bank. As a blogger and NYC’er I’m constantly taking pictures and interacting on social media, and remaining in contact is crucial. Plus, I have a large family and with all of us spread out over the city doing different things (work, school, play) being able to check on each other and share our day is as vital as being able to do it in a cost-effective manner – which is why I’m completely excited about the Walmart Family Mobile Unlimited Pan!

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With Walmart’s Family Mobile Plan I’ll be able to have access to unlimited talk, text, and web at $40 a month – no contracts, no stupid extra “surprise fees” (more on that later). Also you can add an extra line (up to five lines) for an additional $35 a month. The great thing is that suppose you really love your phone – well in some cases you can keep your old phone, buy a starter kit (only $25) and use it with Walmart’s Family Mobile service. There was no love lost between me and my former phone, so I was more than happy to get my hands on the LG Optimus L9 smartphone, lol!

Check out my trip to Walmart and what I learned about Walmart's Family Mobile plan by clicking here!

Check out my trip to Walmart and what I learned about Walmart’s Family Mobile plan by clicking here!

Now about those “surprise fees” I was talking about, in the past three years I’ve went from being on contract to trying out MetroPCS’s unlimited plan, to using a prepaid cellphone. And let me tell you none of them were good – and until now I’ve been desperate to find a plan that can keep up with me. When I was on another unlimited plan I was told I had to pay a substantial fee (about half my bill then) for having a payment that was a day late (my only late payment, ever), and when I was on contract I had to pay a fee for canceling from my service providers sub-par service. For me, fees like this are the worst waste of money – which is why I decided to move to prepaid service, only prepaid service is just as expensive (minus the commitment of being on contract) and the actual service is awful, I mean reception is terrible and you are charged for everything. Once I had my phone in my pocket and I had accidentally somehow pressed the browser on, I didn’t notice until for about an hour – which had managed to deduct about $20 of airtime from my phone.

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That’s why Walmart’s Family Mobile unlimited plan is like a breath of fresh air – Walmart is upfront about what you’re being charged for and why. My family’s monthly bill for using limited prepaid service runs us about $500-600 right now. With Walmart Family Mobile we could be paying only $180, which is at least a $320 savings! And with access to unlimited talk, text, and web! Now that’s a plan that can keep up with a bunch of chatty NY’ers like us!

Walmart Family Mobile LG Optimus L9
The LG L9 Android has 4G & WiFi capability, a gorgeous 4.5″ qHD touchscreen – which is great for taking/viewing all those pictures I take, along with it’s 5 MP camera with flash. It’s definitely a model perfect for a person on the go, with connection needs like mine! I’m really excited about giving Walmart Family Mobile a try, and am in L-O-V-E with my new playa phone, lol! But seriously, the LG L9 is an excellent phone with a sleek exterior, and equally impressive speed – very professional and I definitely recommend it.

To read more about Walmart Family Mobile, click here! Or you could also follow the #cbias & #FamilyMobileSaves hastags on twitter to read about other peoples experiences with the Walmart Family Mobile Plan – and check out how Walmart Family Mobile stacks up against larger carriers!

The Most Magical of All Flash Drives!

Between BlogHer and Toy Fair I’ve collected tons of USB’s – for me, after I’ve gone through and made use of the information loaded on them, they’re more like souvenirs,  a reminder of brands and events that I’ve been to and loved. I collect them all in a drawer on my desk organizer and I recently received the most adorable, magical USB to add to my collection – a Twilight Sparkle Mimobot!

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When I was at Toy Fair, all every blogger could talk about was the Mimoco booth, having already been familiar with the brand (hello, where else can you get a flash drive that looks like R2D2?!) I was so excited to see what the brand had in store. While I did collect many many USB’s during the four whirlwind days of Toy Fair I didn’t manage to get my hands on one from Mimoco. Fast forward a couple months, and now I have an awesome My Little Pony USB of my own!

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Twilight Sparkle, glasses and awesome banner not included ;)

I’m addicted to the My Little Pony game, and have it on all the time on my tablet so naturally I was pretty excited about the USB. What’s really great about Mimobots flash drives is that they have “Digital Extras” stored on them, like in my case I had a selection of adorable My Little Pony icons, wallpapers, and avatars! Plus, not only does it stand out in my collection of memory storage options, but it also makes a great conversation starter on campus – everyone who sees Twilight Sparkle in all her 8GB glory has something to say (usually about how cute it is, and where I got her).

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Mimobot really has the coolest, and in this case, cutest, flash drives!

I’m definitely planning on getting my hands on some Star Trek and Star Wars Mimobots (yes, I belong to a family of nerds), as well as the rest of the My Little Pony series. Have you heard of Mimobot? Check out more Mimobot’s from Mimoco here! If you could have ANY Mimobot what would you choose?
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The Thing About College: Getting Some Answers with the Wells Fargo Community

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Thank you to Wells Fargo for sponsoring this post! To learn more about the Wells Fargo Community check out WellsFargoCommunity.com

If you’ve read the Talon, like me on Facebook, or follow my tweets – then you already know that I’m a student. I’m currently in college right now, going for my bachelor’s degree (probably in communication, a major I chose after I began blogging). The thing about college is that I love learning; however I hate dealing with the financial aspect of going to school. It’s a topic I approach with dread. College is not like going to public school. In college, your mistakes can cost you quite literally. And wading through financial aid applications and loan forms can be both overwhelming and daunting- trust me, I know.

Like your physical health, your financial health must be taken quite seriously. For me, this means having a lot of questions and attempting to stay informed. However, finding answers to my questions can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. And I have been in a situation more than once where a financial aid representative has flat out refused to answer my questions, or knew as little about the process as I did. The Wells Fargo Community provides an amazing source of support for any type of college student who is looking for answers to the financial aid questions that plague them.

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The Wells Fargo Community is an online forum where you can ask questions and share knowledge about financial topics. What’s great is that the Community is free – you do not need to be a Wells Fargo customer to join, and you don’t need to join to browse and learn! It’s a community that consists of students, parents, college counselors, and financial advisers – people with different backgrounds, and experiences which lends to constructive communication and a variety of perspectives.

It’s a place to get help and help others in a convenient and safe environment. I recently joined and have really enjoyed reading the discussions about financial aid and student loans. I was particularly interested in reading on whether or not student loan debt is considered a “good debt” – and whether or not it was actually credit building. It was great to see users interacting – advising on great places to find scholarships, while also warning about scholarship scams and how to spot them.

Personally, the Wells Fargo Community is an invaluable resource that I’m sure to frequent as I continue to pursue my degree. I love that there is a secure online community where I can have my educational planning questions answered – and I can also help somebody with their own questions. The thing about college is that figuring out how you’ll pay for it can be tough, but the Wells Fargo Community makes it a bit easier.

For more information about the Wells Fargo Community, please visit Wells Fargo Community’s site. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #WFCommunity #spon

Playing Football on Top of the World and Making it Epic : My Zamzee Review

This summer the whole family has spent a boatload of time being active outdoors. But getting out and about while the sun is blazing is never an easy task. In fact, most kids (and adults) would prefer to spend their time chilling in a room being blasted with air conditioner. But to get the kids- and by kids I mean my awesome younger sibs who will be hereafter known as Juliet and Shawn- excited about moving I turned to Zamzee!

What is Zamzee? The Zamzee is a meter that measures physical activity, and works with the website to monitor and provide kids with an interactive online experience that makes moving a fun and rewarding activity. Which basically means that your kids (or nieces, nephews, younger siblings, etc.) get a meter, join the Zamzee website, create a profile and avatar, wear their meter, track their progress, and can actually earn rewards towards cool prizes!

Juliet and Shawn were really excited about their Zamzee’s- and had a blast creating their avatar’s. Minutes after opening the package, we had their accounts successfully set up and their Zamzee’s fully running- which I was really pleased about. If you’ve ever struggled with removing a Barbie from her box on Christmas morning, or pulled out your hair over complicated packaging, start-up instructions, or a million get started steps, then you can understand how invaluable a really easy seamless set up is.

I really wish I had one of these as a kid! Juliet and Shawn insist all the time now for me to take them out to the library or park, and to sign them up for challenges, and upload their Zamz. They are determined to score something really cool from the Zamz store!

Zamzee was established in 2010 by HopeLab, a nonprofit research organization that uses the power and appeal of technology to improve the health of kids. The goal for Zamzee was to create a profitable business, while also achieving their social mission of getting kids and families moving more. Zamzee targets an audience of kids mainly between the ages of 9 to 15 – that rough spot where physical activity begins to decline, and kids are forming lifelong habits.

Click the image above for access to my Zamzee Britely book!

I really admire the idea of a company whose product is designed around an admirable social goal. I’ve found that the Zamzee’s appeal to the competitive and fun-seeking nature of kids. They want to run more, they want to go out, and they want to work towards their own goals. Here’s what Shawn and Juliet had to say about the Zamzee meters:

Juliet:

“I liked it because I got to customize my avatar, and when I exercise I’m working towards getting something. I also like that you can get awards and become “friends” with other kids on the Zamzee site- what can I say? I’m a social butterfly!”

Shawn:

“I like the rewards, it gives you something to work towards. I also like making Whamz whenever I upload my points- you can make really cool ones like ‘Football on top of the world and making it epic’.”

The Zamzee is definitely the most favorite accessory in my home right now. I would definitely recommend as a birthday, or Christmas present, or even as a tool to start getting your kids excited about moving!

For more information about the Zamzee, their history, and how it works – click here! You can also follow them on facebook or twitter. If you have any questions about the Zamzee or our experience with the Zamzee- feel free to leave a comment below, I promise I’ll answer ASAP!

Update: The super kind folks at Zamzee are now offering a discount code to my readers (that’s you!) that will take 25% off your Zamzee purchase on the website! Just use the code “LUVZZ2012″ at checkout!

*Disclaimer: I received two Zamzee’s to review. No other compensation was provided. My opinions are always my own, if I didn’t love it I would blog about it – for more info on that check out my PR tab above. Thank you!

Feed Your App-etite Verizon Crowdtap VIP Party Recap

I love throwing parties and recently I was lucky enough to be chosen to host via crowdtap, a Verizon VIP party. Focusing on the amazing apps available out there me and my party guests not only stuffed ourselves with snacks, but also bought new apps, talked about old ones, and played a few app-themed games.

Here are some images from the event:

These are some cupcakes that I made for the party- I stuck with the app theme and decorated my mini cupcakes with them. Everybody absolutely loved them- as seen in this next image! ;)

They, along with all the snacks, were gone in no time!

We also played games like “Which app am I?”- which you play by writing down three clues about each app on a piece of paper (8 1/2 x 11 inch is recommended). Then you  tape or pin them to the back of each guest as they arrive. Each guest has to ask other guests to read a clue off their sheet to guess which app they are. It’s actually quite fun to play- although this game has the potential to get really silly!

I also created menu’s, as per the theme of this party, exhibiting some great apps- some old familiar ones, and others- which we all tried and discussed. We also chatted about if we could create any app what would it do- and we came up with our own magical app. Our app would be a time altering app- a sort of time machine.

All in all, an excellent time was had by all- and special thanks to Verizon and Crowdtap for sponsoring this event!

To join crowdtap, or learn more- click here!

*I received a party pack from Verizon in order to host this party.

Ann I Am Giveaway! Express Yourself With a Mobilexpressions Cover!

Being a New Yorker, I usually wear the unofficial uniform of black. So I always look to accessories to brighten up my wardrobe and express myself. So I was thrilled to see fellow blogger Ann I Am hosting a totally awesome giveaway of a Mobilexpressions ipad, iphone, or kindle fire cover!

With accessories like this NY’er or not- your outfit will go from drab to fab!

Look at all their great designs!

And don’t forget to enter HERE!

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Bloggers Toolbox: Photography!

As a blogger, I know photography is an integral part of each and every post I write. I’ve discovered through other bloggers, personal searches, and trial and error which photography resources out there have worked the best for me. So I’ve created my version of a “toolbox” with recommendations for (free!) sites and software to use when looking for, and editing images – as well as sites that help hone your photo-taking skills!

 

This image is used by permission from Hobbies on a Budget and edited using pixlr

Editing Images- I edit quite a few of my photos, so being a student on a budget naturally means that I can only afford photo editing in the free price range. While an ipad, macbook, and photoshop languish on my perpetual wishlist here are the best photo editing sites that I’ve found and frequently use!

pixlr - I love this photo editor, it’s fast, free, and super easy to use. You can apply a few filters, or you can do serious hardcore editing with this online (no downloads or registration here!) program. They have so many unique, fun ways to play with your images- I could spend hours on here! They also came out with photo collages- so now you can make those on pixlr as well (I used it to create my facebook banner!).

picmonkey – This is another amazing (free) photo editing tool- also, no downloads required. What’s really great is that right now you can edit your pictures to completely (or partially) change the look of a person! Helloooo 70 pounds lighter me! This is a great tool for playing around with lighting, tones, and colors- definitely worth a try, you’ll love it! They also just came out with a “create a collage” option.

photovisi – I initially used this online tool as a way to make fast and easy collages. You can use the backgrounds and formats that they already created for you, and just upload your images into them – or you can choose your own formatting and play with things a little bit. If you’re looking to throw together a fast collage then this is the site for you.

Finding Free Images - Sometimes you might be working on a deadline, or can’t for some reason get a shot of what you’re looking for for your post. Here’s a few really great free photo resources for bloggers:

Hobbies on a Budget Blogger Resources - My blogger friend Sharon, not only runs a great blog, but she also put together some great blogging resources- including her own (taken by Hobbies on a Budget) free images for bloggers! They’re all %100 original and %100 free- in fact I grabbed one of her images to use as my featured image for this blog post! Thanks Sharon! She also has some great posts on how to take great photos- check them out here!

Flickr Creative Commons – A lot of people are utilizing flickr’s creative commons for excellent images, just make sure you read what kind of license the image your using operates under!

Becoming a Better Photographer - Looking to hone your photo-taking skills? Want to learn how to make all your shots “professional looking”? Well these sites can teach you everything you need or want to know about photography- free!

The American Museum of Photography – This virtual museum is a great resource for learning about the history and process of photography (think how cool you’ll sound saying things like “yo this filter I used made my photo look like a real daguerrotype!”). Also they’ve got links to loads of great sites for whatever your photography needs are!

Digital Photography School – Most amazing photography site ever. Loaded up with tips, tutorials, how-to’s, and tons of info on techniques and equipment. This site pretty much provides a free education in photography.

National Geographic – Want your images to start looking Nat Geo worthy? Then head right to the source! Nat Geo offers loads of tips, tutorials, articles, and naturally- inspiration!

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