ZTE Tempo X Smartphone Giveaway

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Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Why yes, yes I am talking about the Tempo X once again today. Did you read the last post because if you didn't, you need to catch up!

I know cell phones make the holiday wish list every year. I also know that it's not always possible for us to spend all of our money on the latest and greatest trendy phone.

The Tempo X is a perfect solution! It's a solid smartphone without the high smartphone price. The motto for this phone is "Everything you need at a price you can afford" and I am here for it! 

The price point means that you can spread a little more phone cheer. It retails for $79.99 but there are holiday sales happening in December so you might be able to cop it for less.

The Specs:

This bad boy is powered by Android Nougat (I always want a snack after I say Nougat. Is it just me?!). You're also looking at LTE connectivity and a 2200 mAh removable battery.  The phone also has a quad-core chipset, 5 MP camera on the rear and 2 MP camera for all those selfies of smiles after their open their gifts. Round that out with a gig of RAM and 8 GB of storage and I ask you, what more do you need?!

Oh I know what you need! You need a giveaway! YASSSSSS!

Let me play Santa for a minute. I am going to give away not one but TWO phones to get you off to a good start during your holiday shopping season because if you're like me, you've just now realized it's actually December! Don't look at me like that! I see your face and hear your thoughts all the way from over here! Guess what...

Get some of this holiday magic, y'all! Let's see if you've been nice this year.

Answering the Call For a Phone

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Disclosure: this is a sponsored campaign. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own. "Mami, when can I have a phone? When I'm 30 maybe?" 

Yes, these questions have been asked time again in my home. Mostly when the Frog Princess wants to play a game on my phone or "give hearts" to my friends' pictures. We've recently changed that last question to "when I'm 16 like Negrita with Tumbao?" Negrita with Tumbao is our little heart and setting a bad example by not waiting til 30 to get a cell phone. But, I digress.

I know I'll need to get the kid a phone at some point. If I'm honest, we haven't yet decided the right time/circumstance for that to happen. It's a common conversation I've heard in my circles. The buzz around this conversation changes decibels around the holidays.

I know my BFF had this come up recently and now, I get to give her a ring and get to the "girl, yes! Let me tell you what you can get Little Miss Sunshine!" conversation. Did I mention I'm the cool Titi? I totally am. The kids love this auntie because I am here to check them when they're acting up and check out some cool gadgets on their behalf.

For Little Miss Sunshine (and the sunshine in your life, even if it's the one staring back at the mirror), I'm going to suggest we look at the ZTE Tempo X. I'm sure you know I'm an Android girl but if you didn't, now you know!

Don't let the smooth taste fool you, this phone packs a punch. Here are some of the features and specs that make this the go-to phone that MUST be gift wrapped and given to all those that have wished for it this holiday season!

  • 5" Touchscreen Display
  • 5MP Rear Facing Camera
  • 2MP Front Facing Camera
  • Talk time of 14.7 hours
  • Runs Android Nougat OS

If you check it out on Boost Mobile, you can sign up for the unlimited plan. For $50 a month (that includes taxes and fees, people!) you get unlimited data, talk & text, streaming, gaming and all that jazz.

I know this phone will be perfect for Little Miss Sunshine. I await the text messages sent from her new phone, the pictures of her mom doing things that teen girls think moms shouldn't do (like breathe too close near them), and the many, many messages of gratitude at finally helping her accomplish her goal of a cool new phone that will keep her connected to her family and friends at a price that her mom won't balk at. Win, win, I say!

And now for the age-old question: how old was your kid when you handed over a phone?

Tawanna Speaks: Ring Video Doorbell Security For Moms Home Alone

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I've been busy this summer tryna get us a home. Like a place where I don't have to worry about putting a nail in the wall and where I can keep the notches as the Frog Princess grows. Security is top of my list, of course. I wanted to share this post from my travel and tech guru Tawanna because...yassss! Don't we need this in our lives?


On a peaceful Saturday a couple of months ago, I really wished I had a Ring video doorbell security system. I was home alone with my boys, lounging around the house enjoying a lazy day. My husband was halfway across the world on a four-month deployment.

Ring Doorbell Security Mounted Ring doorbell in nickel finish, courtesy of Ring.

A quiet day all around, the kids and I were enjoying our down-time. My 8-year old son danced around the house with his iPad, happily enjoying the world of Handy Manny while my 12-year old and I swapped hero scenarios during the third episode of a Flash marathon binge fest.

Suddenly someone knocked on our door.

Mom, somebody’s at the door.”

Who is it?

I don’t know. Some strange man.

Okay, get out of the window. I’m not expecting anyone. They’ll go away.

Although I trust my mini security guard, I also needed to do a perimeter check. Peaking through a different window, I spotted a couple of strange young guys with clipboards in their hands.

Solicitors. Just as I had expected. I ignored the knock.

We resumed watching our show, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Two hours later another knock bellowed through the house. It was the same two guys. This time they’d switched knocking positions and t-shirts.

Hmm. Okayyy.

Peaking through the window again, I took a longer look at their faces. Just in case I’d need that information later.

I did what I had done the first time they knocked: I ignored the door.

The Third Time Is Not a Charm.

Thirty minutes later, a third knock. Are you kidding me?! At this point I was VERY annoyed. And anxious. I understand persistence but this was getting out of hand.

Ring Doorbell Security On Phone These aren’t the guys. Just a friendly model posing as a delivery guy courtesy of Ring.

Although the guys had clipboards and looked harmless enough, they were too persistent for my liking. What could they possibly be selling, that they believed with all their heart, I needed? (This is a rhetorical question by the way. Unless it was a jackpot check from Publisher’s Clearing House I wasn’t interested).

During a Flash break, I chatted with my sister. She wanted me to call the police. I didn’t think it was necessary.

As annoyed as I was that these guys were knocking on my door AGAIN, and as much as I wanted to share my annoyance with them, I still wasn’t willing to open the door. But I was torn. The only way I’d be able to speak to them to give them a piece of my mind was if I opened my door.

I didn’t want to open my door.

We Moms Have To Be Vigilant

Being home alone with 2 kids, I’m slow to give strangers the benefit of the doubt. It was at this moment that I knew I needed some type of video intercom system.

The 4th time that they knocked (YES chile, they knocked AGAIN!) I had lost my patience. Besides aggravated, I was HANGRY. It was dinner time and the pizza delivery guy rolled up at the same moment that they knocked.

Ring Helps You Avoid The Window

With Ring I wouldn’t have to peak out the front window.

I could see and hear through the window that the solicitors were questioning him.

Are you delivering to this house? Sure that they’re home cuz they’re not answering their door.

Excuse me? Why are you questioning the delivery guy? Unable to avoid the solicitors this time (because I needed my pizzas), I opened the door and gave them “an earful” before paying for my order.

Whatever you’re selling, I don’t want it! Don’t knock on my door again!” (<- This would be the edited version). Read more...


Tawanna_Browne_SmithTawanna Browne-Smith is the Managing Director of MGTTravel Media as well as the Editor In Chief of MomsGuideToTravel.com. She's built an online business centered around travel and digital marketing and has written for popular online travel publications such as the Travel Channel, 10Best USA Today, and Trip Advisor to name a few.

Holiday Wishlist with Straight Talk

Disclosure: I am a Straight Talk Ambassador. All thoughts, opinions and holiday spirit are purely my own. Christmas is in the air! In the air conditioner at my house. Thanks global warming! Regardless of the temperature, I’m excited!

Soon I will have a house full of family and friends to share my time with. This year has been interesting in that my focus has really been about the reason for the season and focusing on myself and my family.

Presents aren’t my priority. In reality, they never have been. I have great memories of amazing parties when I was a kid. I’ll probably never be able to recreate them. But that feeling of family? That deep joy that came from being together? That, I can do!

My holiday wish list is peppered with family-centered activities. From cooking a great meal to creating one-of-a-kind artwork. And I can save myself time and money by shopping for it all at Walmart.

The Gift of Food We are working on the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) menu. Right now I’m thinking slow cooked pork in a spicy guava sauce for starters. Of course, this means I get to do lots of research as I seek all of the ingredients and the perfect combination of recipes on the internet.

My phone is everything during this time because I can keep my carbon footprint low by not printing any recipes.

Straight Talk Wish List

Crafts Galore! I plan on having an ornament making table for our family to create their own. So super simple. Some clear plastic ornaments, glitter, stickers, and lots of holiday spirit! Once we are done, I plan on taking pictures of all of them and creating a collage that I will upload to Walmart.com and get printed. Because the best gifts are those that have a piece of us within them, right?

Straight Talk Wish List

Being able to drop into one store during this busy season and still keep contact with my family is paramount. Am I the only one that gets 50,000 text messages and phone calls with the “and one more thing” message? People! Stop calling to add to my shopping list!

I can’t get too mad at them though. Because the Straight Talk Wireless unlimited plan,* is only $45 a month. So while I might have to worry about how many ornaments I’m picking up for our craft project, I don’t have to worry about going over my minutes or text or data.

I am so looking forward to the best part of Christmas: spending time with my family and friends. I get to stay in touch with them throughout the year thanks to my handy dandy phone. I am looking forward to using that same phone to capture memories that will live in our hearts for years to come.

What’s on your #StraightTalkWishList?

DISCLAIMER: *Includes unlimited talk, text and data with the first 5 GB of data at high speed per 30 day cycle. After 5 GB, data speed will be reduced to as low as 2G for the remainder of the 30 day cycle. At 2G speeds, the functionality of some data applications such as streaming video or audio may be affected. All currently active Straight Talk BYOP customers will also receive the first 5 GB Data at High Speeds at the start of their next 30 day cycle. Please refer always to the Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com.

4 Things I'm Thankful For

Disclosure: I am a Straight Talk Tester. This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own. This month I am thankful for many things. I think it’s important to keep a little gratitude in your back pocket as you go about your life. Don’t you?

Here are 4 things I’m thankful for. Do these sound familiar?

My Tribe:

I mean it when I say, my tribe is better than yours. It’s like the middle of the night and by the power of different time zones, I have one person or another reaching out to me via text and chat. It might be Yanira, who wants me to look over a wireframe for Little Luxe List or maybe it's Robiaun who is driving me nuts because I showed her how to use Periscope and she’s now consistently calling it “Peri”. You never know what you’re going to get. I can also reach out to them for whatever emergency is happening at the moment. It’s comforting knowing that even though they are not in the same city as me, they are always a call or text away.

My Organizer:

Why yes, this is my very own organizer. I’m thankful for it because I can’t keep things straight in my head. I blame The Mamihood but, I’m sure other factors contribute to it.

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I also get to use my OneNote to keep me straight and in order, including during the holidays. Which brings me to…

The Holidays:

I try hard not to do any decorating or setting up prior to the Frog Princess’s birthday. But, it’s hard y’all. Because she’s been bringing me Christmas books to read for the last 2 weeks. I’m grateful for this time because it means I get to spend it not just with her but with my siblings. This was also Mami’s favorite time of the year so I always feel closer to her.

My Data Plan:

How can I not be grateful?! You can pay $45 for Straight Talk Wireless unlimited plan,*. This means that I can entertain the foolishness that happens behind texts and chats, keep in touch with my sister and have our famous bed meetings and generally keep up with all things Mamihood for one low price. Because let’s face it, this big Thanksgiving dinner won’t just come on its own and saving money on the phone bill helps during the holidays!

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What are you thankful for? How’s your plan treating you?

DISCLAIMER: *Includes unlimited talk, text and data with the first 5 GB of data at high speed per 30 day cycle. After 5 GB, data speed will be reduced to as low as 2G for the remainder of the 30 day cycle. At 2G speeds, the functionality of some data applications such as streaming video or audio may be affected. All currently active Straight Talk BYOP customers will also receive the first 5 GB Data at High Speeds at the start of their next 30 day cycle. Please refer always to the Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com

Staying Straight While Traveling

Disclosure: I am a Straight Talk Tester. This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own. Nothing brings me more pleasure than traveling. I like to travel and I especially like doing it with the kid. What can I say? She makes it easy on me.

We both love “hanging out” with one another especially when we are on a road trip. This past week, I had the pleasure of driving up to Atlanta for the Type A Parent Conference. It was fantastic!

You know what wasn’t fantastic? Me calling the hotel to let them know that I’d be arriving late on my check in day and them telling me that my reservation was for the NEXT day! So, what should’ve been a relaxing 6-7 hour trip with my girl turned into a tad bit of a frenzy.

Though I was glad to have been in a car with Bluetooth cell phone action, I was even GLADDER that I had my Straight Talk phone. Though I initially thought “okay, it’ll be great to have this phone on this trip to see how it works while I’m traveling” I didn’t think it would make such a big difference.

Let’s face it, calls get dropped especially when driving through remote areas, right? Setting that aside, though, I was able to reach my BFF after several attempts on my other phone through the mamiPhone on Straight Talk wireless. It made all the difference in the world.

Traveling with Straight Talk

Why? Because my girl recently moved to Atlanta and while she was supposed to be traveling that week, it just so happened that she was home that night and I found myself a warm bed to crash on when I made it in to Atlanta at around 11:30 p.m. And it meant that the last couple of hours on the trip were relaxing as I jammed to some old school music while the Frog Princess slept.

I loved having coverage while I traveled. And for $45 on the unlimited plan,* it’s something you can’t beat.

Have you had issues staying connected while traveling?

Because Straight Talk is awesome, they sent me a lil swag. I meant to share these with you during my Blogoversary but, it was not meant to be. Well, that’s okay because this prize pack will help YOUR next road trip be awesome. Sign up for your very own traveling pack featuring: 2 pairs of sunglasses, 2 travel mugs, 2 water bottles, a pair of head phones, a few keychains and a $60 Straight Talk international service card!

DISCLAIMER: *Includes unlimited talk, text and data with the first 5 GB of data at high speed per 30 day cycle. After 5 GB, data speed will be reduced to as low as 2G for the remainder of the 30 day cycle. At 2G speeds, the functionality of some data applications such as streaming video or audio may be affected. All currently active Straight Talk BYOP customers will also receive the first 5 GB Data at High Speeds at the start of their next 30 day cycle. Please refer always to the Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com.

Disclosure: I am a Straight Talk Tester. This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own.

Staying Organized On the Go

Disclosure: I am a Straight Talk Tester. This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own. It is September! Can you believe we have less than 14 Fridays til Christmas?! Pretty nuts, eh?

I am always threatened by the possibility of disorganization during this time. Getting used to the routine after summer break can take a toll on my organizational skills.

Thankfully, I am well on my way to maintaining some semblance of sanity! Not only do I have Organizada to keep me company but my Straight Talk plan keeps me connected to all things that align to keep me organized.

Whether its meetings, conferences or sitting in carpool, I can count on my 5 GB* of high speed data to keep me connected without the wait of the lag (yes, the $45 unlimited plan gives me that much data every 30 days. Can you believe it?).

I have an iPhone 6 and have the pleasure of being able to connect to my OneNote files directly from my phone while I’m on the run.

Staying organized and connected while on the go.

I also have access to my documents from my phone which means if I decide to escape and head over to the coffee shop for a quick break and get inspiration, I can write at will! I don’t know about you but sometimes inspiration strikes at the most inopportune moments. Which is why I am even more grateful for the great connectivity I get on the mamiPhone. Sure, I can write on a napkin but half the time I can’t remember where I left off which is why having access and great connectivity to my files is imperative.

I don’t have to wait to get home, I don’t have to bring my Surface with me, I organize on the run! This is how I flow these days.

I am grateful to be able to have the tools in-hand to keep my ducks in a row. How do you use your phone to stay organized?

DISCLAIMER: *At 2G speeds, the functionality of some data applications such as streaming video or audio may be affected. All currently active Straight Talk BYOP customers will also receive the first 5 GB Data at High Speeds at the start of their next 30 day cycle. Please refer always to the Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com

Getting It Straight For Back To School

[alert type="success" close="false"]Disclosure: I am a Straight Talk Tester. This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own.[/alert] It is back to school time and I have good news! I am now a Straight Talk Tester! What does that mean? It means I have me a great phone whose phone plan costs less than other plans, that’s what. Which translates to me saving my dollars for important things like dance lessons, gym shorts and fudge brownies.

I get to not only test the network, but it comes in the form of an iPhone 6. Who said you can’t have nice things at a low price? Certainly not Straight Talk!

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One of the exciting things is that I get to share this info with you just as some of your kids return to school and you’re looking at getting them a phone that won’t break your bank. I don’t see how you’d pick anything else. Check out some of the plans available to you:

  • $45 Unlimited* Plan: includes unlimited talk and text with 5 GB of high speed data per 30 day cycle. After 5 GB, data speed will be reduced to as low as 2G for the remainder of the 30 day cycle.
  • $30 All-You-Need Plan: Includes 1,500 minutes, unlimited texting, and 100 MB high speed data.
  • $60 International Plan: Includes unlimited* nationwide & international minutes, unlimited* nationwide texting, and unlimited* high speed data.

If you’re saying “Sili! My kids already have their own devices. I don’t want to spend money on more equipment just to get them on a plan.” Well, then these options are for you!

  • Bring-Your-Own Phone Plan (BYOP): For people who love their phones but hate expensive contracts, it’s easy to Bring Your Own Phone to Straight Talk.
  • Bring-Your-Own Tablet Plan (BYOT): Keep everything you love and choose a data plan that works for you, all without a contract.

I don’t know about you but I love the idea of being able to save money and still continue with a great network.

I’m looking forward to chatting with you about some awesomeness in the near future. Tell me, are you ready to save some money? When you get a Straight Talk Wireless plan for you and your kid(s) be sure to tell them I accept thank you gifts.

 

[alert type="info" close="false"]DISCLAIMER: *At 2G speeds, the functionality of some data applications such as streaming video or audio may be affected. All currently active Straight Talk BYOP customers will also receive the first 5 GB Data at High Speeds at the start of their next 30 day cycle. Please refer always to the Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com[/alert]

Imagine...This!

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Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Office ambassador. I was provided transportation and lodging in order to cover this event. All thoughts, opinion and massive amounts of jet lag were purely my own. I recently had the great pleasure of attending the Microsoft Imagine Cup finals in Redmond. I was more than blown away by all of the participants and their technological creativity. Here's a little of what I learned.

What is The Imagine Cup?

It is the world's premier student technology competition. Microsoft invites all eligible students to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution in one of our competitions and challenges. You have to be 16 and up. This is also a team competition so each team must have a minimum of 4 people.

What can you create? 

Whatever your mind can conceive. That's what I love about this. There are three main categories which keeps things interesting: Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship. The teams have to create an original technology project from beginning to end. Idea, plans, building, submission, marketing and everything in between.  The technology stipulation is that it needs to use either Windows, Windows Phone, or Windows Azure.

Who participates?

Kids from around the world compete in their countries and then, compete with one another in their category. The semifinals happen in Redmond and from those 3 category winners, one team takes home the cup.

These teams present to judges throughout the week (and those of us lucky enough to be able to sit in the rooms). They talk about their inventions, the marketing, the money behind it, it's like a nicer, more creative version of Shark Tank. 

I was really impressed by the semifinalists and what they brought to the table. Check them out...

I don't know about you but these were amazing products! I may or may not have these on my devices because...support the young people, folks!

My eyeballs got a little sweaty during the presentations. Why, you ask? I kept thinking about those kids. How hard they'd worked to get there. I also thought that the collective creativity and brain power in that one room would've probably solved many of the world's problems.

I was not envying the judges because out of those 3 awesome teams, one had to be the winner of the Imagine Cup. The winner took home $50,000 and bragging rights. That cup is sitting in Brazil at this moment with eFitFashion!

The Brazilian team eFitFashion cheers their victory in Microsoft's Imagine Cup for their idea to create custom fit clothing using technology that will make tailored-fit clothes more widely available.  CEO Satya Nadella presented the winners of the company's Imagine Cup the competition's top prize Friday, July 21, 2015 at the Washington State Convention Center.  (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

I was proud to have witnessed so much innovation and awesome coming from these kids. I got a chance to hang out with some awesome folks AND a group of ladies I'll tell you about later.

Imagine_Cup_Bloggers

I may or may not have been plotting for ways to get back to NYC when I was 16. Meanwhile, these kids are out here changing the world. I see you, kids. I see you!