Pinning Our Way Through the Holidays

We can’t believe Christmas Eve is tomorrow!!

Feels like Thanksgiving was just yesterday and we had all the time in the world to prepare for yet another grand holiday season. And now, ready or not, Christmas is here.

Never fails. Every single year it comes right down to the very last minute on Christmas Eve that we finish up my Christmas shopping and baking. We always have these great intentions of getting everything done a week before, but hey in this hectic, crazy thing we call life, we just can’t get everything done in a day.

So, if you’re anything like us and still need a few more things to make your holiday a smashing success, we have gathered a few Christmas-inspired pins:Melted Snowmen Oreo Balls

  • Melted Snowmen Oreo Balls — Seriously, how cute are these? Oreo balls are a must at our holiday parties, but usually never resembling snowmen. We typically just drizzle the chocolate over. Amazing how a little change in chocolate can go a long way!
  • DIY Sharpie Mugs — We’ve been seeing these all over Pinterest! They seem to be the new craze. Perfect for that last minute DIY Sharpie Mugsgift for a co-worker or friend. All you’ll need to begin is a mug and oil-based Sharpie paint markers as the plain old regular Sharpie markers do not work at all. The oil-based Sharpies don’t do so well in the dishwasher, but do just fine in soap and water. You could get real creative and add glitter. The possibilities are endless!
  • DIY Reindeer Thumbprint Ornaments — Looking for a new tradition or something fun to do with the kids? DIY Thumbprint Reindeer OrnamnetsThis could be perfect. All you’ll need to begin are a few ornaments (matte ones are recommended) brown craft paint (along with red if you want to create Rudolph), a black Sharpie, and of course little thumbs.

Speaking of pins, did you know one pin generates, on average, two website visits, six webpage views, and $.78 in sales (if you’re a business)? And 83% of Pinterest users said they’d follow a favorite brand over a favorite celebrity while 73% said they’d follow a favorite beauty products brand over a favorite makeup artist?

Want to increase your traffic using Pinterest? We can hook you up with an account when taking advantage of one of our many online marketing packages. Until then, we hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Legend of the Candy Cane

The Legend of the Candy Cane is one of our all time favorite Christmas stories. In fact, it got so many positive comments on another blog we manage, we thought we’d share it here too. Even though it’s not necessarily a techie story, we think it’s a beautiful reminder of what Christmas is really about.

Do you know the legend of the candy cane?

According to the legend, the candy cane was first created back in the 18th century. At that time, in certain areas of Europe, there was said to be a ban on public displays of Christianity. Christians were oppressed and no Bibles or crosses could be owned at the time. One man found this oppression distressing and wished he could share the love of Jesus and the joy of Christmas with the rest of the world. When Christmas came around, children didn’t get to see nativity scenes or enjoy learning about the truth of Christmas. As a candy maker, this man prayed to find a way that he could offer local children a Christmas gift that would allow him to communicate the real story of Christmas.

His prayer led to an idea — the candy cane.The Legend of the Candy Cane

  • The Shepherd’s Staff: He chose to make the candy cane in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. After all, Jesus is the shepherd to his followers and the Bible notes that the “sheep” would hear His voice and follow him.
  • The Letter J for Jesus: Not only was the candy cane in the shape of a staff, but when held upside down, it formed a “J,” which stood for Jesus.
  • He is A Rock: The candy maker chose hard candy for the candy cane, which was done to remind children that Jesus is our “rock,” dependable and strong.
  • By His Stripes: Wide red stripes were added to the candy cane, representative of the crucifixion and the blood Jesus shed for our sins.
  • The Color Red-His Blood: Through his blood, we are given salvation and life.
  • The Color White-Purification from Sin: There are also white stripes on the candy cane, which represents the holiness, and purity of Jesus, who was sinless.
  • Sweet Scent and Flavor: Peppermint was the flavor that the candy maker chose for the candy cane. Peppermint was very similar to hyssop, which was used for sacrifice and purification in the Old Testament, reminding us of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It also reminds us of the spices brought by the Wise Men when they came to visit Jesus.
  • Broken For Us: Of course, when the candy cane is eaten, it is often broken, which the candy maker meant as a reminder that when Jesus was crucified, his body was broken.
  • Love of Christ: The candy cane was also made to be given as a gift, representing the love of Jesus when he gave us the gift of salvation.

And that, my friends, is the best gift anyone could ever receive. Although, no one is quite sure if the legend of the candy cane is true, it serves as a wondrous reminder of what the season is really about — JESUS.

Forgot your garage door opener?

On more than one occasion, my car gets parked in the driveway for the night. By the time I pull up to the garage door, get out of my car to open it, get back in my car to pull in, and then get back out of my car to close it; opening the garage door just becomes an inconvenience. Yes, I have a garage door opener, but half the time certain family members ‘borrow’ it in their own vehicles. I never see it again.

This happens to you too?

Not for much longer. MyDoorOpener was developed so this wouldn’t happen to anyone ever again. It’s an iPhone app that allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere at any time using an Arduino controller. So if you forget to close your garage door and remember at work, one swipe will get it closed.

MyDoorOpener application works over the internet, accessing your home network allowing you to operate any number of doors from as many devices as you’d like to program. It’s password protected preventing signal theft and unauthorized entry, and can also be programmed to notify you when there’s any door activity.

MyDoorOpener

Interested? Read on!

After building and assembling the hardware, download and install the Arduino IDE on your computer. Then download and extract the MyDoorOpener controller application. Configure to suit your needs using the Arduino IDE, and upload to your Arduino controller via your computer’s USB port. Connect your Arduino controller to your home network router and configure you home router to have a specific port forwarded to the Arduino’s IP address. Download and install MyDoorOpener iPhone application from the Apple App Store. After launching the app on your phone, go to Settings and adjust the parameters to match your controller configuration. And wa-lah, you now have an iPhone operated garage door opener!

Android user? The iSmartGate app is for you. It’s very similar to MyDoorOpener.

And just like that, opening the garage door is no longer an inconvenience.

What are your thoughts on this mobile-friendly garage door opener? Oh and if you happen to crush your phone under the garage door, we can fix it! 🙂

Waterproof your Reading

Last week we dove into the water with all you aqua-loving fanatics equipped with a Waterproof iPod Shuffle and Headphones. This week we are going to relax in the hot tub, hit the sauna, and vacation on the beach with a Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite.

Similar to the Waterproof iPod Shuffle and Headphones, the Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite can be submerged 210 feet underwater and has 4GB to hold thousands of your favorite books. It has a front lit display for reading in the dark, along with a rechargeable battery life of eight weeks.

Waterproof Kindle PaperwhiteBut what makes these electronics different from other ‘waterproof’ devices?

The Dual Layer technology developed by Waterfi. This two-step comprehensive process completely waterproofs and corrosion-proofs electronics from the inside out.

Having worked on a lot of water damaged devices over the years, we are intrigued with how this technology works. Before the waterproofing process begins, empty space inside the device leaves the electronics exposed to potential environmental threats and water damage. Since most casings and coatings are not designed to completely protect the interior components, water eventually makes its way inside the device and short circuits the vital electronics.

But with two layers of protection, you’ll be able to take your Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite anywhere, as well as any other Waterfi electronic.

Waterfi Waterproof Technology

The first layer is a thick, rubbery, insulator that fills the entire interior of the device and forms a barrier around all of the sensitive electronic components. This barrier protects the device from exposure to water and other damaging elements.

The second layer adds an extra internal barrier that enhances the waterproofing protection and guards the device from corrosion caused by threatening environmental elements such as salt water, chlorine, heat, and steam.

This two-step comprehensive process works to eliminate air pockets and imperfection, giving you a durable, long-lasting, and trusted waterproof Kindle (among other things).

We’ve seen a few devices come in with shattered screens, and then found water damage on the inside. And the customer had no idea! Something as simple as dropping your device on the wet pavement, in a pile of snow, or resting on the bathroom counter while you’re in the shower, can all create water damage to some degree.

Do you have a Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite? If so, do you think Waterfi’s waterproofing technology works well?

Where water and terrific collide

Waterproof devices for your aqua workout.

The other day we had a customer, who just so happens to be a swimmer, comment on how she wished there were quality water-proof earbuds she could use while swimming. That she has seriously contemplated giving up swimming for the sole purpose of having the ability to listen to music much like her running/yoga exercising friends.

Well, we’re here to tell not only her, but any other aqua-exercise lovers, that there are in fact, many waterproof earbuds specifically designed for swimmers. Because according to a Speedo-sponsored study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, music can greatly improve a swimmer’s stamina. In the study, athletes swam three 200-meter freestyle races while listening to either motivational music, neutral music, or no-music control. Swimmers listening to music beat their non-music-listening times by three seconds. This may seem like only a slight improvement, but it’s easily the difference between first and fourth place in a competitive race.

Even though there are several options, we’ve gathered a few we think you may like:

Waterproof iPod Shuffle & Headphones

  • Waterproof iPod Shuffle — Developed by Waterfi, this iPod shuffle is designed to go down to 210 feet underwater. Being light and compact, it shouldn’t get in the way of your workout as you can clip it to your goggle strap, wetsuit, shirt, hat, or sunglasses. With 2GB of memory you can store approximately 500 of your fave songs, which can be easily downloaded through iTunes available both for Mac or PC users. With a single click you can quickly play and pause the current track, change songs and adjust volume without interrupting your workout. The rechargeable battery can last up to 15 hours.
  • Waterproof Short Cord Headphones — Also developed by Waterfi, these headphones come with the Waterproof iPod Shuffle and can be used as deep as 10 feet underwater. With an IPX rating of IP8, they meet all waterproofing standards. The cord should not get in your way as it is only 11 inches allowing enough length to connect to your iPod Shuffle without getting tangled anywhere else.
  • X-1 Surge Mini Waterproof Headphones — These headphones allow you to dive 12 feet underwater and still enjoy your favorite music. They’re 100 percent waterproof and are designed to stay in your ear on the go. With an IPX rating of IP8, they can be submerged for extended periods of time. However, if you plan on diving further than 12 feet underwater, be cautious as it could result in hearing damage.

To date these products have been used for surfing, kiteboarding, diving, training for marathons, triathlons, and many other sweat, dirt, and water filled activities, in addition to swimming.

What’s your favorite aqua activity? Will you be taking advantage of any techie waterproof gadgets? Or, do you already utilize these gadgets?