All Posts in Gadgets

Gadgets, Technology, Tips+Tricks

iRobot Roomba 980 Review

For Christmas, my brother-in-law bought himself an iRobot Roomba 980. Priced at $899.00, the autonomous robotic vacuum has wheels and rotating brushes that cleans floors, and, well, lives. Upon seeing it, I was skeptical because I am old-school and like to use sweeping/cleaning as therapy...also, I was raised in a home where cleaning is a rite of passage, so I deeply value the cultural tradition that comes with a clean home. Thus, you can understand my skepticism. However, after seeing it in action I was enthralled and charmed by the little robot cleaner.  Read more

Gadgets, Random Musings, Technology

My First Experience With Virtual Reality

I’ve never been into video games or known much about how they work. I’ve seen my little brother become obsessed with games whose names I can’t pronounce, while staying up late just to finish one last battle. With that being said, I wouldn’t call myself a gamer. But after using a virtual reality headset, I can say that I am a bit obsessed with this new world -- so much that it compelled me to write about my experience.

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Apps, Gadgets, Technology, Tips+Tricks

Is it Time to Eat? Fun Food Inspiration for Home Chefs

I’ve always been one of those people who is constantly thinking about and counting down to my next meal. For me, food isn’t just a way to keep my engine running -- it’s a way to celebrate the best of what life has to offer. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes, cookbooks, Instagram accounts and food blogs to follow in my quest to be a better home chef. Here are a few I recommend if you’re looking for culinary inspiration.

Instacart

Instacart is one of our clients, and we love ordering our snacks for Cutline (in San Francisco and New York City!) through the website and app. One fun Instacart feature I’ve started using in my personal time is Lists & Recipes on Instacart.com. They have tons of delicious ideas, like this healthy frappuccino, and better yet, you can easily add the ingredients to your cart and order them for delivery in as little as one hour. How’s that for convenience!

Ambitious Kitchen

This food blog is described as “Wholesome, clean eating focused food blog with beautiful, creative recipes and feel good inspiration.” True, true and true! I love this blog. I’m all about indulging and I love things like french fries and nacho cheese as much as the next gal, but I also am a big fan of healthy spins on indulgences. Take these quinoa flour pancakes -- we tried these the other weekend and my husband said, “these taste healthy.” What a compliment! And with these, you won’t feel like your blood sugar crashes an hour after eating and turns you into a raging lunatic. Also, for some cookies that won’t leave you with a sugar hangover, these two-ingredient delights are a winner. You’ll love them!

Photo credit: Ambitious Kitchen

Whole30 Instagram

I was encouraged to try the Whole30 diet from Erin’s adventures, and even though I didn’t make it to day 30, I continue to follow their Instagram account. They frequently have food bloggers “take over” their account, sharing recipes that will make you drool.

Bon Appetit

I have to give a nod to this classic standard in culinary treasures. Bon Appetit is a great magazine with tips on cool restaurants, kitchen gear, cooking advice and of course, mouth watering recipes that actually aren’t that complicated. What’s more, the email newsletter offers extra bang for your buck with a “recipe of the day” along with similar recipes to try out. I’m anxious to give this Cast Iron Pizza a whirl. Such a cool idea.

Photo credit: Bon Apetit

And there you have it. Time to hit the kitchen!

 

Apps, Gadgets

Selfie Queen

I know 2014 was declared the year of the selfie, but I still can’t get over this trend. (If someone could please buy me the LuMee - that would be greatly appreciated.) I’m not embarrassed to say that 90 percent of my Instagram pictures are pics of myself, but I think that I just chalk it up to mean I have a healthy sense of self love.

Because of my obsession with the perfect selfie, I’m always down to try a new photo editing app… but below are my three favorites. Happy to hear what apps you all use! Tweet me and let me know!

Faded
Favorite Filter / Made with: Angel Island
$.99

Color Pop
$.99

VSCO
Favorite Filter / Made with: G3
FREE

P.S. If I don’t have time to actually use an app, I ALWAYS use the Ludwig filter on Instagram. #Ludwig4Life

Gadgets, Technology

The Perfect Camera for Every Kind of Pet Parent

I recently adopted a cat from the SF SPCA, named “Guinevere”, a.k.a “Guinney” or “The Queen.” She’s the first cat I’ve ever owned (I’m generally more of a dog person), but I was sold the moment I saw her. She’s spunky, fierce, stubborn, funny, talkative, curious, protective, and I’m completely obsessed.

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Here at Cutline, we’re fans of furry, four-legged friends, as well as the tech that improves our connected care for them. I’m always curious about what she’s up to when we’re away at work, so I like to check on her every once in awhile through a live stream. Check out what I currently use for Guinney, as well as some other awesome cameras to creep on your cats and canines!

iCam ($4.99) + iCamSource ($4.99); ($7.99 for a bundle)
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I adopted Guinney spontaneously, so I wasn’t fully prepared with supplies right away, including a pet cam. This was the perfect app bundle to get started with. I set up iCamSource on my mounted iPad at home, and I was able to keep an eye on her with the iCam app on my phone while away at work.

Piper ($199)
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After a few days, I was ready to invest in a decent camera. I was directed to Piper from the store associate and agreed to take it home. It has an awesome wide view, which allows me to zoom and adjust where I want to look, as well as two-way communication so I can talk to her directly from my phone when I’m away. Sometimes Guinney hides in the oddest places. If motion or loud sounds are detected, I have the option to get notified right away. Piper also acts as a hub and can connect with other smarthome tech products I can purchase in the future.

PetCube ($199)
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The built-in laser is what fascinates and interests me the most, because it allows me to entertain her from afar. There’s also a social network within the PetCube App, and you can get updates from public and shared PetCube users.

Dropcam ($199-$259)
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Our Cutliner, Esther, has two pooches and a chatty catty to come home to. When she hooked up her Dropcam, she said, “This is how I discovered it was Max, not Oatie, peeing inside.” #caught

Nest Cam ($199)
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Nest recently acquired DropCam, but DropCam users can still use their camera with the Nest software. Cutliner, Erin, uses Nest Cam and can tell when Baxter and Lucy’s dog walkers show up. She also claims Nest Cam showed her how Lucy is able to jump up onto the counter and steal treats!

Petzi ($169)
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I came across this device online and was super interested to know that our Cutliner, Katie, has one at home to keep an eye on her cuddly Corgi, Laya. She can see her, speak to her, and even dispense treats to her. Life-changing!

Gadgets, Holiday, Technology

Super-Techie Stocking Stuffers!

It’s that time of year again: the season of holiday shopping procrastination and discovery of the quirkiest gifts. Here’s are some awesome stocking stuffers -- Cutline Style!

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 12.17.50 PMAutomatic Wine Preserver

Talk about the best present for your parents. Mine LOVE wine, which is why this would be a perfect gift for them. This wine preserver pumps air out of the bottle to preserve flavor and prevent oxidation. It also shows what temperature would be best for storage. Wine, dine, repeat.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 3.18.50 PMHDMX Hangtime Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

My boyfriend just received this as a White Elephant gift, and he’s obsessed. He’s fascinated with clipping it to his pant loops (he’s itching to clip it to the shower head) and blasting music wherever he goes. Sync it up to your phone through bluetooth, and you’re good to go.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 12.19.50 PMCarBots Micro RC Cars

During the holidays, my cousins and I would race our Hot Wheels cars along my Lola’s coffee table. These babies are basically the modern, tech version -- and I can’t wait to try it out! When you’ve downloaded the app to your smartphone, you can control the CarBots through your device. Race, perform tricks, navigate mazes and battle other CarBots. Let’s take it for a spin!

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 12.19.59 PMGoPro Fetch Dog Harness

Ever wondered what life would look like through a dog’s eyes? Well, now you can look through a dog’s ears! Hook up your GoPro to this harness and put it on your pooch. I can’t wait to see what a day in the life of my dog, Mocha would look like.

 

Gadgets

Q&A: What We Love About Amazon Echo

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a tech savvy loved-one? (Or for what to tell your loved ones to get you as their tech savvy friend?) Then we’ve got you covered with the tech gear that’s changed Cutliner’s lives: the Amazon Echo. Check out what we love about it most below!

Q: How long have you had your Echo?

Nena: I’ve had it about two months.

Erin: I bought mine the day my friend Steve Kovach at Business Insider (now Tech Insider) told me he was trying it out. We were grabbing drinks in Manhattan and I ordered it on the spot. That was soon after it was released, I believe. I don’t remember. I’m old.

Q: What feature were you most excited about when you got the Echo?

Nena: I was really excited about being able to start almost any music immediately with the Prime library! I love jamming to music and it makes it so easy to play anything without worrying about my phone battery, if I can hear it, etc.

Erin: ALL THE QUESTIONS. Mostly I love waking up and yelling at the top of my lungs from my bed “Alexa, what is the weather?!” And then I like asking for my Flash briefing which is a recap of the day’s news (based on my preferences / settings).

Q: What are your favorite features now that you’ve been using it?

Nena: Definitely the music, but the instant kitchen conversions while I cook are a lifesaver. That, and being able to ask the weather while I’m tangled in sweaters or check what time it is mid-eyeliner application. It makes my mornings so much speedier. Plus, surprising friends by suddenly asking Alexa a question never gets old. I’ve recently discovered I can ask her about nearby restaurants and now I can’t stop asking where the closest Chinese food and sushi is. #priorities

Erin: Let’s see. I use it to: check the weather, hear the news, listen to music, check on my Detroit Lions (womp womp), figure out conversions in the kitchen, tell me jokes, make to-do lists, make grocery lists, set timers (like when I color my hair or make meatballs; you know, things that muck your hands up), set alarms, and order stuff from Prime. I use the Alexa so much when I’m at home that I find myself sometimes wanting to call out “Alexa…” when I’m not at home and have a question.

Q. What’s a feature you want to try out?

Nena: I want to test out more the Seven Minute Workout!

Erin: I am stealing Nena’s answer here. And if Alexa could actually *do* the workout too I think she would be the most perfect thing ever invented.

Q. How would you describe the Amazon Echo in just a few words?

Nena: The perfect smart device whether your home is smart or dumb.

Erin: Life-changing. Go buy one now.

Gadgets, Technology

Technology for the Z’s

I’ve never been a great sleeper. My mind never quiets down when it’s bedtime, and waking up on time is #astruggle. But luckily, there’s a world of technology to help. Here’s the tech that I’m either using or hoping to start using soon to see if I can make a proper sleep schedule happen.

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SunRise Clock: I got this as a gift and have to say, hello lifesaver. My room doesn’t have a lot of natural light, so waking up sometimes feels like it’s 4 a.m. when it’s really way too close to 7:30. With this light, I can set it to start slowly lighting up my room half an hour before I want to be awake, and then have a light beeper go off when the official moment arrives. Waking up feels so much more natural with my body responding to the artificial sunrise.

Capsule.fm: The sound one wakes up to can make a big difference for everyone. I’m not a big fan of a blaring alarm, and have tried various soothing alarms to help me start my day. But the app I’ve got my eye on is Capsule.fm: it's a personal radio service that wakes you up with a voice telling you it’s time to get up, sharing the weather and news, etc. Basically it’s like having Samantha from Her, minus ScarJo’s voice. You can customize what kind of updates you get in the morning, and even tell the app to call you “sexy” when it tells you to wake up. Downside: it does need to be left on and ideally plugged in at night to work.

Luna: Because nearly everything else is smart these days, so why not your bed? Luna is a smart bed cover that learns your sleep schedule and uses heat and connecting to other devices in your house to improve your sleep schedule. Yes, that means it’ll warm up the bed before bedtime - #dreamcometrue. It will track your sleep and wake you at an optimal time, and if you have a Wi-Fi connected coffee machine, Luna will get the coffee started as soon as you get up. Did I already say dream come true?

Gadgets, Technology

Love Having a Second Computer Screen? Now You Can Have a Second Phone Screen!

Imagine this: You’re at the airport with tons of luggage, an antsy child, and a ringing phone, all while trying to get through security, check the status of your flight and get on your way. But of course, that never happens easily. Now you’ve lost your boarding pass on the way from check-in to security. Thankfully, technology is your friend and it’s here to help you.

We all need phone cases to protect our phone, but now that phone case could actually be useful in other ways! The popSLATE case gives you an extra screen (yes, we said EXTRA SCREEN) for when you don’t have time (or brain power!) to scroll through all your apps and tabs.

The tech-savvy iPhone case has an e-ink screen on the back that you can customize with anything you want (think: today’s to-do list, that mobile boarding pass, or even cute family pictures!) The best part? It does not use up your phone’s battery. The downside? It is a bit pricey for a phone case, but convenience comes at a price!

Photo Credit