I'm cheating on my laptop... Google Nexus 7 Tablet {Review}


Say hello to my new little friend. Okay, it's not that little.

This is the Google Nexus 7 tablet, second generation. Ain't she a beaut?


I couldn't wait to get my hands on this gorgeous seven inch tablet. I, in all honesty, expected it to be smaller. Instead I was pleasantly surprised that my expectations were blown out of the water.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what I love about the Nexus 7, let's talk about the specifications & product info, you know, all that technical mumbo jumbo.


The Google Nexus 7 II tablet has a brilliantly bright 7" 1920x1200 IPS LCD high-resolution display with a 10-finger capacitive touch screen. It is said to have up to 10 hours of battery life for web browsing, video playback or reading with the 4.2V1 Li-Pllyner battery. It comes in both a 16GB & 32GB. The Google Nexus 7 II is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 8064 1.5GHz processor & Android™ 4.3, Jelly Bean Operating System. It has two cameras, a 1.2MP front facing camera and 5MP rear camera that shoots photos and video. It comes with 802.11 a/b/g/n (that's wifi) and Bluetooth v4.0 built in. It comes pre-loaded with Google Search by Voice 2.1, Gmail, Contact Sync, Calendar Sync, Talk, Maps, Street View, News & Weather, YouTube, Movie Studio, & of course the Android Market. It also has a built-in microphone, SlimPort, headphone jack, & two high quality stereo speakers. The accessories included are an adapter & power plug, user manual and warranty card. When purchasing the Google Nexus 7 tablet from Staples.com it comes with a 1 year MFR limited parts and labor warranty.

For more of the technical & specific mumbo jumbo, please visit Staples.com.

I was very impressed with the Google Nexus 7 tablet as I removed it from it's vibrant covered box. As I removed it from it's packaging, I was a bit curious as to why there wasn't an owners manual. But I quickly left my curiosity behind as I pressed & held the power button to boot up the tablet.
The screen is absolutely beautiful. All I could keep saying to the Mister is how pretty the darn thing was. On initial startup, it prompts you to select the language you wish to continue in. From there it takes you to your wifi set up. 

Don't mind the dust. My house has issues. lol.
 Here is where I ran into an issue. I could not for the life of me get my pretty new friend to connect to my wifi. After trying for over an hour & a half working with my wifi settings & having no joy, I decided to wait & take it to McDonalds in the morning where I know they have free wifi. In the mean time I decided to google to see if people have had similar issues with wifi connection & I was over whelmed by just how many people were having the same, if not similar issue as me. Not wanting to get to discouraged, I decided to just wait it out.

At McDonalds, while sipping down my $1 iced coffee, I got the tablet to connect right away to the free wifi. Once it connected to the wifi, it prompted me to sign into my Google account. From there I went in to the system settings & updated the tablet. Completely hoping that the update would fix whatever it was that was keeping it from connecting to my home wifi.

I arrived home & instantly attempted to connect to the wifi. No joy, again. So back into my modem/wifi settings it was. After reading everything I could about how to fix this issue, I nearly gave up. I decided that I didn't really have anything to lose, so I went into my own modem settings & restored the entire thing back to factory settings. BINGO. That worked. My tablet connected no problem. Apparently something in my own modem settings was keeping me from connecting. So it really had nothing to do with the Nexus 7 tablet at all! So anyone who finds this post, because you are having issues connecting your new friend to your current wifi, try resetting your wifi settings by accessing your modem through your ip address. It worked for me!

Once I was in & connected. I found the owners manual, Guidebook. Guess where it was!?! On the tablet itself. It made sense once I thought about it. Ha! (See how brilliant that screen is!)


The tablet came with a few things installed. A lot of Google apps were already installed. Gmail, Google Play & Google Maps to name a few. I do believe I had to install Facebook on my own, but it wasn't hard to do. I easily was able to download all my favorite Google apps. Those who have never had a Android, might take some time to get used to it. I've never owned an Apple product to be able to compare the play stores

The buttons on the Tablet seem to be pretty comparable to any standard smart phone. Headphone jack, volume buttons, power button, charging port, & a camera on both the front & the rear.

I found it extremely easy to type in portrait mode. For me it was not so easy in landscape. Either way the buttons are perfect. I have fairly large fingers & I don't think the buttons are too small, or spaced awkwardly.


Although I wasn't really too impressed with the camera on the Nexus 7. The video camera wasn't too bad.  Here is a short clip of Odin playing fetch to give you an idea. Make sure you change it to 720pHD.


I also found that you can get quite nice pictures with the Nexus, if you download a different camera app from the Google Play store. My first Play store purchase, when I first got into this Smart Phone Android business was the Pro HDR Camera. The greatest part, you buy the app once & it is good for all compatible Android devices.

Nexus 7 with the Standard Camera
Nexus 7 with Pro HDR Camera












Gaming is fun on the large screen. Yes, my fellow Candy Crush addicts... You can play Candy Crush on this beautiful tablet! 


I downloaded Candy Crush almost right away. Along with Triple Town, I love this game. I actually paid the $3.99 to unlock all levels! Bubble Witch Saga & Bejeweled Blitz were two more I had to have. I had these on my HTC Evo, but I could only have one or two at a time because of space issues. With this 16GB tablet I have all the space I could ever need!


And because you have all that space... You can take advantage of all the books & magazines that Google Play store has to offer. I currently have my eye on Crochet Today! magazine. I downloaded a few freebies to get started. Catching Fire, The Time Machine, & Pride & Prejudice are just a couple of the free books that have made their way to my Tablet. Eat that Kindle! ;) You can also watch movies from the Google play store or your Netflix Queue. Not to mention clips on YouTube or music on Pandora. 

There is so much you can do with this beautiful 7 inch tablet. I know I use the word beautiful a lot in this review, but I really feel that word best describes it! Battery use is pretty decent. I am able to use the tablet most of the day without needing to charge it. And when it does charge, it doesn't seem to take very long at all. 

I'm quite fond of my new friend. I've had it for over a week now & I've honestly been neglecting both my laptop & my HTC Evo. But I don't feel too bad about it, being that I can do tons more on my Nexus. I've replied to emails, checked Facebook, played games, pinned on Pinterest, shared photos on Instagram, commented on blogs through Bloglovin, watched movies on Netflix, listened to music on Pandora, Googled recipes, checked the weather, used a calculator, & have even looked up actors & movies on IMDb.


It was love at first tap.

Do you have a tablet, kindle, or maybe an ipad?  What's your must have app?

To learn more about the Google Nexus 7 Tablet & other items carried, visit Staples.com

*Disclaimer: The awesome people at Staples &/or Staples PR Team sent me a product to review for my expressed interest in their company. I was in no way paid for my opinions. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and were in no way influenced by the company providing the product.

Still sewing in tails...

So, I am still sewing in tails... but I have finally finished my large granny square blanket! This is the largest crochet project I have ever finished. I love it! Though, next time I will remember to sew in the tails as I go. Seriously. What a pain.


Anyway, it is the first time I have ever tried the Continuous Join Method & I don't see that I will ever try to sew them together again. It was so easy once you got the first couple rows done. :) The best part is, it lays completely flat. Unlike ruffles, it has no ridges! ;)

Now I have to find another project to start... perhaps I will give knitting another go. Tis' the season!

Fast Faves: Italian Sausage & Peppers


Italian Sausage & Peppers has pretty much been a staple in our home this month. Some days, we get busy, we've been running around or just trying to accomplish things, & I just do not want to cook. This is my favorite, I don't want to cook meal. It is so simple & delicious. I really is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Mr. B loves it & that works for me!


What you need. Sausage. Any type would be fine I am sure. We use Premio brand sausage that we buy in bulk at Costco. We switch between the sweet Italian & the hot. You also need, Bell Peppers, an Onion, Olive Oil & Sandwich Rolls.


Remove skin/casings from sausage. To do this you just simply slice lightly into the sausage top & peel off casing. Heat on medium about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add sausage to pan & brown both sides, two to three minutes each side.


Once sausage is browned on both sides & is mostly cooked. Add sliced onions & peppers to pan. For heat I like to throw in sliced fresh jalapenos & garden salsa hot peppers from my garden. I cook peppers & onion until al dente. We like our peppers to still have a crisp to them, if you don't, cook them until desired.

Easy peasy, right?

I then serve the sausages on steak rolls. I top them with the peppers/onions & we usually add a bit of ketchup on top. It's a huge hit here at home, & many times Mr. B & I have thought about making them without the sausage. Though, we have not tried it yet. ;)

We are having them again for dinner tonight. ♥ What are you having?

Time Flies + September's Final Aloha Friday

Ever look at the calendar & realize that not only has an entire week passed, but the month has flown on by as well? That is totally what has happened to me this month. If there ever was a month for phone calls, it would be this September for me. With the Mister's injury & dealing with his companies HR center, as well as Workers Comp, I would bet that I was on the phone more this month, than I have been all year. 

The Mister was supposed to be home for quite a few more weeks. He wasn't supposed to be back until December first. But after seeing the doctor that our Workers Comp case worker sent us to, he has already been returned to work. Mr. B is not a happy camper. He started back on Tuesday & after arriving home, he is miserable & in so much pain. I feel so bad for him & I am so extremely angry that he was not given enough time to heal. 

I am trying to keep a positive look on things. I am happy to have had three & a half weeks with him home. I honestly thought that I would have been excited for him to go back to work. Instead, I cried. And then I felt stupid for crying. But I couldn't help it. I was not ready for him to go back to work. I almost think that I took it harder than he did. 

The worst part is watching Odin wait at the door when the Mister leaves for work in the morning. After three weeks of his Daddy being home, he's not sure what to make of him leaving. He waits by the door for quite a while before eventually moving on to doing what dogs do. It's heartbreaking, really.

But, life must go on. If only that winning lottery ticket would find it's way into my pocket, so that the Mister would never have to return back to work & he can stay home with us. Dream big, eh?

So with it being September's final Friday, let's get hoppin' with my final Aloha Friday! It's been great linking up with all you wonderful people this month. I apologize for being so quite this month. As you can see, we've been quite busy in the Mister & Me household. 

Don't forget to leave a comment to say you were here so I can follow you back! :)

Happy Friday!

 
Happy Aloha Friday!
Your hosts
Hey there people and a very Happy Aloha Friday to you all! Welcome to the most hoppingest of all hops - The Aloha Friday Hop :) This week we have a special welcome to say - welcome to our new host Angie :)
Co Hosts
Our September team are a fantastic bunch of bloggers - they are so enthusiastic about the hop! I know you're going to love them. Just don't forget to head down to the linky to click and follow them when you link up your own lovely blogs :) Our hosts and co-hosts links are always the first you will see, so it's easy for you to click and follow.
Aloha Hoapili Grab a button and link up below! If you'd like a different sized button click here.
Don't worry if you already have Jean's lovely Aloha buttons on your blogs - switch if you'd like to. Or choose one of Jean's buttons here.
The rules are the same as before and are posted below. The Aloha Hop is one of the most hoppingest hops of the week, attracting over lots of linkups on the regular. Let's keep that blogging tradition going people!
If you'd like to host future Aloha Hops with us then please get in touch at our swanky new email address alohahop@gmail.com
We're all set for October and November with lots of lovely co-hosts but feel free to get in touch about December onwards.
The rules
If you'd like to spread the love even more, why not tweet and twitter all about it? Just click the pic below :)
Tweet this Hop
Here's the extra special addition to our lovely hop. It's an oh-so-easy opportunity for you lovely participants of the Aloha Friday Blog hop to get some exposure to your blogs!!  What do  you have to do to enter?  Just link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop Below!! It's that easy!!  No extra forms or hassle, just link up!  Each week we will pick a linker to featured at random and invite you all to say ...
Aloha Hoapili Grab a button if you were featured this week!
Aloha Hoapili translates as Hello Close Friend. So, without further ado let me introduce you to this week's featured friend ...
Danielle at Kalamity Jane
Danielle blogs all about makeup, beauty and day to day calamities. Want a little taste of her blog? Check out these posts to find out what you've been missing:
Now let's start hoppin'! Click on the links in the linky to visit some lovely bloggers and make new friends. Oh, and don't forget to link up yourselves!
Aloha and have a great day people!
get the InLinkz code

Aloha! It's Friday, let's hop!

Happy Aloha Friday!
Your hosts
Hey there people and a very Happy Aloha Friday to you all! Welcome to the most hoppingest of all hops - The Aloha Friday Hop :) This week we have a special welcome to say - welcome to our new host Angie :)
Co Hosts
Our September team are a fantastic bunch of bloggers - they are so enthusiastic about the hop! I know you're going to love them. Just don't forget to head down to the linky to click and follow them when you link up your own lovely blogs :) Our hosts and co-hosts links are always the first you will see, so it's easy for you to click and follow.
Aloha Hoapili Grab a button and link up below! If you'd like a different sized button click here.
Don't worry if you already have Jean's lovely Aloha buttons on your blogs - switch if you'd like to. Or choose one of Jean's buttons here.
The rules are the same as before and are posted below. The Aloha Hop is one of the most hoppingest hops of the week, attracting over lots of linkups on the regular. Let's keep that blogging tradition going people!
If you'd like to host future Aloha Hops with us then please get in touch at our swanky new email address alohahop@gmail.com
We're all set for October and November with lots of lovely co-hosts but feel free to get in touch about December onwards.
The rules
If you'd like to spread the love even more, why not tweet and twitter all about it? Just click the pic below :)
Tweet this Hop
Here's the extra special addition to our lovely hop. It's an oh-so-easy opportunity for you lovely participants of the Aloha Friday Blog hop to get some exposure to your blogs!!  What do  you have to do to enter?  Just link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop Below!! It's that easy!!  No extra forms or hassle, just link up!  Each week we will pick a linker to featured at random and invite you all to say ...
Aloha Hoapili Grab a button if you were featured this week!
Aloha Hoapili translates as Hello Close Friend. So, without further ado let me introduce you to this week's featured friend ...
Sue at Act 17 Verse 28
Sue blogs all about funny kitties, life and cooking adventures. Want a little taste of her blog? Check out these posts to find out what you've been missing: Kaiser Rolls     Funnies     Dragonfly Photos
Now let's start hoppin'! Click on the links in the linky to visit some lovely bloggers and make new friends. Oh, and don't forget to link up yourselves!
Aloha and have a great day people!
get the InLinkz code

Netflix-ing

Did anyone else notice that the ninth season of the best show ever, Grey's Anatomy, was added onto Netflix. Of course it was added the first week of twelve that Mr. B will be home, because of this. Figures. Luckily Mr. B actually likes the show & has agreed to watch it with me. Though, because he clearly has a life job, he hasn't seen very many of the episodes. Which leaves me wanting to pause the show every five minutes to explain why April Kepner is so angry, or why my eyes get all glassy when they mention McSteamy Mark Sloan.

We are about half way through. So no spoilers, as I am sure those who follow Grey's have already seen season 9. Unlike, us poor folk who rely on Netflix & only Netflix for our television entertainment. Hopefully, that will be changing soon as Comcast is charging us way too much for the terrible, down right shitty service we receive. Plus the fact we can have basic channels, phone & internet all for the same amount of money we are spending on cable internet alone. Talk about a rip off! But oh, how I would love to be up to date with all my favorite shows. We are still many seasons behind on Dexter, which is both Mr. B's & my own absolute favorite.

Because of Mr. B being home, we are giving good ol' Netflix a run for it's money, as it is slowly becoming our only source of entertainment while the Mr. B's bones heal. Currently we are switching between Grey's Anatomy, Fringe & Battlestar Galactica. When we run out of those, who knows where we will go. I am hoping by then they will add Doctor Who, Supernatural & Warehouse 13 seasons. It is almost fall, which is usually when season premiers start on television. So my fingers are strongly crossed for that.

What are your favorite shows? Any fellow Netflixers out there with suggestions on what to watch while Mr. B is on the mend?

Sweet 16 + Cardstore Review

The Mister & Me, with the Noland girls. (His Nieces) Last X-Mas
Today, the Mister & I are off to Mr. B's niece's sweet 16 birthday party. I am totally excited because I get to finally give her the gift I have spent the past two weeks knitting! And let me tell you, knitting in August/September is not that fun. Haha.

Her birthday was actually yesterday, ooohh Friday the 13th! So I decided to go ahead & send her birthday card along before her actual party so that she has something from us to open on her birthday. With such perfect timing, I was actually contacted by Lauren from Cardstore.com to do a review this week!

I am so glad that Lauren told me about Cardstore.com as I am completely in love with this site! Cardstore is a great way to customize a greeting card. You can be as creative as you want with different colors & fonts to choose from. Not to mention they have the cutest selection of cards I have ever seen!

I can't explain it any better than the site does itself, so I will use their words here:

With Cardstore, it's all about you. Cardstore blends the very best of design and messaging into a top notch, ready-to-mail product that's stamped with your own personal touch. Now you can create and send the perfect card that expresses exactly what's on your mind, whenever the occasion (or inspiration!) strikes.

Customizing couldn't be easier. Upload a picture. Type a quick message. Finish with a signature. Or, simply choose a card, enter the address, and hit send. Your greeting is printed, stamped and mailed in a few days flat (and you never even set foot in a store)!

With a Cardstore account, you can...
  • Browse our card collections, then save your favorites for later
  • The choice is yours - have your cards sent directly to your recipients or hand-deliver yourself
  • Design anytime, then schedule to mail in advance
  • Import addresses to make every order a breeze
  • Track the status of your order from print house to mailbox
Picking out a card was the hardest part! There are way too many adorable cards to choose from.  Some of my favorites include, Birthday Balloons, Happy Birthday Flowers, & the Manatee Angel. After flipping back & forth between quite a few different cards, I eventually settled on the Mushy Gushy Sixteenth birthday card. To me, it just fit perfectly for Sierra, as she is not the mushy type.


Customizing was a snap! Just click Make Your Card. The editable portions of the card are selected. You then can type what you wish in the box & even select the color & font of the text. Here I typed in Sierra's first & middle name. I then chose the Wild Bill font as it believe it looked best & I left the font white. When finished you click done, & you can move on to the inside of the card.

Once again, customizing the card on the inside was a breeze. Just click on the portion of the card which you want to edit. Here, I was editing the signature line of text. I kept it to a simple short & sweet message, & changed the font to my desired look. 

You have many options once you get to the inside of the card. You can add more blocks of text & even images! The possibilities are endless really! Once I had accomplished the look I wanted, I clicked done & moved on to the back of the card.

You have options on the back of the card as well! However, I kept it simple & moved on to the preview. I made sure everything was spelt correctly & how I wanted it set. Then I clicked, Save.

Here is what is really awesome about the Cardstore. You can have the card sent right out to your loved one! No trip to the post office. Sweet! You can also have it shipped to yourself if you feel more comfortable mailing it yourself. Since time was an issue for me, I wanted to make sure she received it as soon as possible. So I had my new friends at Cardstore send it out for me.

The best part, if I had to choose only one, is the price. Most of the cards actually cost less than the ones you find in the store. AND they are custom! It really is a no brainer here. I plan on using Cardstore for all of my future birthday card purchases. Plus, with Christmas being right around the corner... I have half a mind to use them for my yearly Christmas cards as well. 

Cardstore has many products & occasions to choose from, Birthday, Anniversary, Holiday, Invitations, Stationary & more! So what are you waiting for? Do you have a loved one with a birthday coming up? Or how about just wanting to send a little something to let them know you were thinking of them? I would give Cardstore a try!

Have you already used Cardstore? How do you like it? Are you a fan yet on their Facebook page? If not, click here!

*Disclaimer: The awesome people at Cardstore.com &/or Cardstore.com's PR Team sent me a promo code for my expressed interest in their company. I was in no way paid for my opinions. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and were in no way influenced by the company providing the product.

The Aloha Hop!

So I am way late on posting this! So sorry! Sometimes, things get lost in the mail. (Even in cyberspace!) But it is up now! And next weeks will be on time, I promise! ♥


Happy Aloha Friday!
Your hosts

Hey there people and a very Happy Aloha Friday to you all! Welcome to the most hoppingest of all hops - The Aloha Friday Hop :) This week we have a special welcome to say - welcome to our new host Angie :)

Co Hosts


Our September team are a fantastic bunch of bloggers - they are so enthusiastic about the hop! I know you're going to love them. Just don't forget to head down to the linky to click and follow them when you link up your own lovely blogs :) Our hosts and co-hosts links are always the first you will see, so it's easy for you to click and follow.


Aloha Hoapili
Grab a button and link up below! If you'd like a different sized button click here.


Don't worry if you already have Jean's lovely Aloha buttons on your blogs - switch if you'd like to. Or choose one of Jean's buttons here.

The rules are the same as before and are posted below. The Aloha Hop is one of the most hoppingest hops of the week, attracting over lots of linkups on the regular. Let's keep that blogging tradition going people!

If you'd like to host future Aloha Hops with us then please get in touch at our swanky new email address alohahop@gmail.com

We're all set for October with lots of lovely co-hosts but feel free to get in touch about November onwards.

The rules
If you'd like to spread the love even more, why not tweet and twitter all about it? Just click the pic below :)

Tweet this Hop

Here's the extra special addition to our lovely hop. It's an oh-so-easy opportunity for you lovely participants of the Aloha Friday Blog hop to get some exposure to your blogs!!  What do  you have to do to enter?  Just link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop Below!! It's that easy!!  No extra forms or hassle, just link up!  Each week we will pick a linker to featured at random and invite you all to say ...

Aloha Hoapili
Grab a button if you were featured this week!


Aloha Hoapili translates as Hello Close Friend. So, without further ado let me introduce you to this week's featured friend ...


Clairity at Hip 2b Mom


Clairity blogs all about raising a family, cooking up a storm and everything in between. Want a little taste of her blog? Check out these posts to find out what you've been missing:

Accidental Apple Tarts     Hip to be a mom     Cajun Chicken


Now let's start hoppin'! Click on the links in the linky to visit some lovely bloggers and make new friends. Oh, and don't forget to link up yourselves!


Aloha and have a great day people!


get the InLinkz code
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