My tablet, my way

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

I’m really excited about today’s post! If you’ve been following my tablet life posts since the beginning (see all previous posts here), you’ll get an idea of how I’ve been integrating the tablet into my daily life. Intel gave some select people tablets (I think we all got different ones) back in early 2013 and the freedom to do whatever we wanted to do with them! It’s been really awesome to come home and tinker around with it most evenings, do blog work, listen to music, and my personal favorite READ BOOKS!

So with some help, I was able to shoot this video to share with you guys a quick zoom through of how I use the tablet! If you’re interested in specs about the tablet I use, the Acer Iconia w510, check it out on Amazon.

if you’d rather watch it on YouTube or in a larger size, click here!

Video: Jorge Novoa
Desktop backgrounds: DesignLoveFest
Nail polish: Butter London

If you use a Windows 8 tablet or OS, please please please share some of your favorite apps!!

A touch of red

This red blazer is one of my favorite things to wear BUT, it’s also one of the damn hardest to fit into any outfit. I have had so many moments where I’ve wanted to wear it, but decide not to last minute because it doesn’t seem like the right thing to wear (we all do this with one thing or another right?!) But I’m feeling super confident about how this outfit turned out WITH the blazer! I have a lot going on, but I like it.

Blazer: mine is vintage Nordstrom thrifted, but you can get a similar one here by Trina Turk. Sweater: Alexander Wang, thrifted. Pants: JBrand. Boots: Boutique 9, on sale!! And partially purchased with my Shopbop credit (they’re one of my sponsors). Scarf: Madewell, from a few years ago. Purse: Botkier. Gloves: vintage.

Thrift Eye, red blazer, boutique 9 isoke boots, botkier valentina purse

Thrift Eye, boutique 9 isoke boots,

Thrift Eye, red blazer, boutique 9 isoke boots, botkier valentina purse

I’m definitely loving the high/low mix that this outfit had going on :) Now, to find more ways to wear this blazer!

Gift guide for the responsible grown up

I feel like most wishlists I see floating around are more or less are things you’ll never really end up getting. I like to keep it super real on Christmas, and try to give people things I would enjoy receiving as well. The most expensive thing on here is probably the makeup or perfume. It doesn’t matter how much your presents cost, put some thought into making the receiver feel appreciated (like that one time I got a gift card to Hot Topic and I was like…..?)

All the items in guide are clickable! Hover over and click if you like!

holiday gift guide

–itunes gift card /google play gift card because they come in handy — A new book, reading is always good. This one is on my list — any Jo Malone perfume, they all smell like heaven — Urban Decay palette, maybe even the new coveted Naked 3! — Butter London nail polish because they are the best — anything Yes To Carrots — my favorite made in USA brand Splendid — Nars lip color –a fun pair of Happy Socks — best sleep ever, give a memory foam pillow — quirky Ikea bedding — beautiful Etsy prints, bonus points, give the frame too — Netflix subscriptions are always appreciated — useful and interesting magazine subscription — Gorjana jewelry which are always lovely and not crazy expensive — Moleskine notebooks to jot down ideas and dreams — Heifer International or Smile Train tribute gifts to help someone out in the world but also for those people who don’t need to receive another gift — CSA farm basket subscription, get local and fresh fruits and veggies — Rowan yarn for the crafter, the yarn to top all yarns — Govino “glasses” that are actually made of plastic but are awesome, I have two, and a few more would always come in handy for parties –

In the end, let go of the material world. I’m starting to see now that many of the best gifts are those that spark other ideas or cultivate interests you already have going on, but also valuable experiences that you’ll never forget, and some of those types of gifts don’t cost anything. Shoot, even offer to pay off someone’s library fines as a gift!

Revisiting the #tabletcrew

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing content, product, access or other forms of payment. 

You may remember not that long ago I partnered up with Intel to try out the Acer tablet (click here for my introduction post!) – I am now working with their team again as a follow up to working with the tablet as I have just upgraded to Windows 8.1 and as the holidays approach (for those of you still on the fence about getting a tablet for yourself or someone else). You can browse the different Intel running tablets here through this link – and find the one that fits your needs and lifestyle. So you may see some bloggers out there also approaching the subject, Intel only provided the tablets, but has given us free range to explore the world of being mobile; the good, bad and ugly.

Some previous photos I had taken of my tablet (you can view the whole set here)
Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

The upgrade to 8.1 eliminated a few annoying quirks – mainly the customization bits. It was really confusing on how to customize the start screen and home screens! You couldn’t even choose an image of your own. Now that’s possible. I also love that the Windows backgrounds behind the tiles are now have better customization and move with your swipes in a really pleasing way. It makes it kinda cool to swipe back and forth between the apps. But mainly, the upgrade has eliminated a lot of bugs that slowed down the whole thing. It runs much quicker than before. I think one of the main perks of having a Windows tablet is the ability to treat it as you would a laptop or PC with access to a desktop. You still don’t get the ability to pinch and zoom when using the desktop, which is slightly annoying after having an iPhone and using an iPad for work – but it’s a feature that Apple has patented, so I’m hoping that in the future there will be an alternative to this. In the meantime, I make the text larger when using the browser.

ONWARD!

Down the road, these are the ways I’ve found the tablet most useful

-Reading Books – to date, this year I’ve read 51 books (last year I read 95!!) no thanks to reading them mostly in ebook form. I’ve gone on non-stop telling people to use the Overdrive function almost all libraries use now! Click here to find if your local library uses Overdrive, and click over here if you want to download the free app. The best part about Overdrive is that once you have your books downloaded, you can always reach your books even without any wi-fi! And when your due date comes up, your books will return themselves, thus you avoid any overdue fees!! aka the best thing ever. I have two library cards (one where I work and one where I live) so my e-book collection instantly becomes doubled, basically all the books in the world and not enough time to read them!

Things have changed since I wrote this comparison review of using Overdrive between an iPad and Windows tablet. The main thing being that they have finally enabled a setting that lets you sinc your bookmarks across all devices. When I have this featured turned on I can read on my iPhone (which I do quite a bit when I’m waiting in line somewhere or in bed at night), and then if I open up the same book while I’m on my tablet on the couch or maybe at a coffee shop, it will ask me to move ahead to where I bookmarked it last (as long as there’s internet available).

-Browsing internet – I have a Chrome browser installed on mine, and when you sign into Chrome with your Google account, it saves your links and bookmarks across all interfaces. So the browser I see on my laptop is the same one I get on the tablet, no need to shuffle around looking for links or bookmarks! I took the tablet to my parent’s home with me over Thanksgiving break, and I had bookmarked a Dropbox link with lots of photos my boyfriend had taken of my sister’s wedding back in August. I was able to open the link up in Chrome through the tablet and share it with my mom instantly while we sat on the couch together. My mom grew up in another country and without computers and I was able to show her how to swipe to see all the pictures. Which is something I don’t think she could have accomplished if I had asked her to pull up to a computer and use a mouse to click on X,Y, Z…

-Drawing – as someone that loves using the regular old Paint feature that Windows offers, the ability to use Fresh Paint is AWESOME! Not too many people I know have ever gotten a chance to actually use it, but if you like to illustrate or even want to dabble in it, you may enjoy this quite a bit. If you think tablet illustration is for kids, think again – I recently saw the David Hockney exhibit at the DeYoung Museum here in San Francisco with a large collection of things he illustrated right on his iPad! And they were absolutely beautiful, I wouldn’t have realized they weren’t paintings had it not been pointed out. And blogger Justina Blakeney recently reviewed using Fresh Paint AND making prints from it on a Surface Pro, which is similar to the Acer I have. The results were also surprisingly very real painting like. Fresh Paint gives you access to a very detailed e-palette I don’t think I’ve seen on any other drawing apps.

-Entertainment – from using the free Spotify client on the desktop (which you have to pay to use on an Apple device) to browsing Instagram, there are quite a few entertainment features you can’t beat on a tablet. The best of which is watching TV and movies in bed or when someone else is hogging the TV ;) Our Netflix subscription comes in handy for this, we don’t have cable so we live by Netflix! We also recently switched out our Wii (where we previously accessed our Netflix on the TV) for a Roku 3 player, and I have just learned that I can possibly download the Roku app for the tablet! Which will be awesome because having the Roku lets you access many more channels to view videos, we’ve been enjoying catching up with a lot of PBS shows this way.

And some updated photos with the Windows 8.1
Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets, windows 8.1

How I want to better use the tablet in the upcoming future

-Mobile blogging – often, my ideas about new posts come while I’m away from the computer. I used to write these ideas down, but would often lose the paper or forget where I’d written these things down. I’ve found that if I start a draft post with my idea, I’m more likely able to come back to it – now I need to be better about doing this while on the go. This also means capturing more images with the built in camera, which should now be easier that Photoshop has released a mobile editor in the last year!

-Mobile librarian – I’m still trying to figure this one out, I want the libraries where I work to begin offering more tablets to our patrons. Maybe if I begin carrying one around more, I can convince them! I recently walked someone through downloading and using Overdrive (see above) while still in the library. Many libraries will let you borrow a laptop while you’re in the library, wouldn’t it be cool if the library had a cozy corner where you can use a tablet? Patrons could browse the internet, look at ebooks, make phone calls, and maybe even one day chat with others over Skype all while in the library similar to the browsing stations at the Apple store or at airport lounges.

-Part time laptop – I still want to find a keyboard dock for my tablet. It’s actually been pretty hard to find one. I have a USB keyboard the plugs in, but it’s not the same thing. Having the keyboard dock would make lots of the features I do and want to do listed above, much easier. I’ll probably have to turn to eBay or Amazon in this case.

So I’ll be checking in with you here and there with the tablet progress! But as always, I’d love to hear your ideas on how you like your tablet if you have one, why you’re on the fence or even refuse to get one!

exploring West Coast Craft!

This past weekend I was able to attend the West Coast Craft show that came to San Francisco for the weekend! It featured booths for artisans and makers living or working out of the West Coast. So it was an interesting collection of materials!

It inspired me to start creating again – and I picked up this embroidery project I’ve been contemplating for just about forever. I’ll be sharing it very soon. Many times, local or US made products can’t compete with big name stores and the little people often fall out of business. Seeing people who are making things are who we should be supporting and seeking inspiration from to make our own things.

Onto the show!

West Coast Craft

West Coast Craft

I don’t remember the name of this woman’s booth, but she was making her own yarn out of wool from sheep she raised herself, to make these beautiful tapestries/blankets.
West Coast Craft

A booth full of beautiful and fun knitwear by KKIBO
West Coast Craft, kkibo

I loved these very unique and pretty candles.
West Coast Craft, le feau de leau

Local to SF bag and leather goods team Joshu + Vela.
West Coast Craft, joshu vela

Every single piece of jewelry by Yellowsmith was absolutely something I’d wear!
West Coast Craft, yellowsmith

This poster by Book/Shop was made for me right?!
West Coast Craft, book/shop

West Coast Craft

West Coast Craft

West Coast Craft

West Coast Craft

Last but not least, the incredible booth, or should I say deli by Alite - making you a custom bag at their sandwich counter. You picked the parts and colors and they sewed it right then and there for you!
West Coast Craft, alite designs

It was definitely one of the more handmade craft fairs I’ve gone to – lots of knitwear and naturally dyed textiles. So it’s interesting to see people getting back into these lost arts. Have you ever been to something like this?