FiftyThree is blowing my mind away right now!

Great ideas start on paper!

Fifty-Three-App-Pencil6

Meet FiftyThree, the team which introduced mobile whiteboarding at the speed of thought!

Whether you’re sketching out a new product, a kitchen remodel, or a business plan, FiftyThree’s iPad tool kit helps you capture new ideas quickly and beautifully.

It’s as easy as diagram, fill and cut.

You don’t have to be an artist or someone with serious drawing skills to get started. Let their technology allow you your freedom of expression at the speed of thought.

Confused? I was as well when I first came across it. But start by watching the two videos below and then downloading the app for free on iTunes.

This is one wicked app!!! And a great gift for an art-loving friend!!! You don’t win the award for App Of The Year for a simple reason…

Seriously??! I want these NOW!!!

I’d like to present to you one of the BEST (soon-to-be) inventions of our times – Fondue Slippers!!!

Fondue Slippers

Inspired by the draping effect of fondue cheese, Tokyo-based designer Satsuki Ohata came up with idea of “Fondue Slippers”—a moldable footwear that gives the users the feeling of walking around barefoot (of course a Japanese…I’m not surprised! They’re just brilliant!) He named it “Fondue Slippers” because the production process is similar to that of cheese fondue. Here’s how these slippers will work (mind you this is Satsuki’s concept as of now and is currently undergoing production. But when these suckers come out, you damn well know I am visiting Japan all over again just to get my hands on these!):

You just dip your foot and then let it dry. That’s it!

fondueIllust

This is NOT cheese!

fondue00

Once dried, you can use the kit to develop as many slippers as your heart desires:

fondue1 (1)

Wear them while doing your mundane house chores: (no more dirty socks!)

fondue3

Wear them while relaxing, having a cup of tea and watching your favorite shows on DVR:

fondue5

Hell even go to work wearing them:

fondue7

Customize as you like: (put your creative genes to action!)

fondue12

And wash them as many times as you like:

fondue13

The best part is they fit to your feet, perfectly!

fondue15

Here’s my future kit:

fondue11

umm hmmmh you can thank me later!

Best of the Best Travel Apps for Travel Junkies

BestTravelApps

My recent trip to Japan elevated my respect for technology to a new level. The information I could obtain back in 2009 using 7 hard copies of Rick Steve’s guides crumbled up in my purse can now be accessed with a single click on the phone. With the right apps to address your needs on-the-go, you can optimize your convenience and comfort on the road at the same time alleviate the every-day hassles which tend to slow you down. In my Japan Guide 101 published a couple of weeks ago, I highlighted a number of apps such as Waygo which made our communication in Japan so much easier. After my trip, I set out on a task to uncover as many travel apps I could possibly find to ease the load off but more importantly, add a thick layer of excitement to my future travel plans! I was amazed at what & how much is out there I wasn’t aware of. But first I needed to be sure these apps were (1) reputable, and (2) user-friendly, hence making them (3) download worthy. After a thorough selection process, I chose several to share with you. Hopefully you weren’t as clueless as I was!

The Booking Phase

Hopper (via BGR) – Hopper uses historical data to try to tell you when you should book your flight. It also provides a timeline of exactly how to expect prices to trend. Other similar apps to try are Airfarewatchdog and Yapta.

But If Shit Happens…

Roomer (via Buzzfeed) – What do you do when you run into last minute change of plans or an emergency to attend to but your hotel booking is non-refundable? You pay cancellation fees! But if you use Roomer, you can list your room and wait to hear from someone who wants to take over your reservation — so no extra fees out of your pocket!

The Planning Phase

Google Calendar (via Fast Company) – Google Calendar‘s redesigned functionality automatically sucks in upcoming flights, concerts or reservations from your email into your schedule. Other similar apps are TripCase and Tripit.

CityMaps2Go (via Buzzfeed) – If you’re traveling outside your country and have to depend on Wi-Fi for internet, it’s smart to download all the maps you’ll need in advance at CityMaps2Go. They’re stored offline so you’ll avoid roaming charges. Other similar apps are Citymapper and Maplets.

The “Painful” Packing Phase

PackPoint (via Quaintrelleoquist) – PackPoint is a free packing list app which helps you organize what you need to pack based on length of travel, weather of your destination, and any activities planned during your trip. Their motto: Never forget your _____ again!

The Airport Phase

My TSA (via Buzzfeed) – My TSA allows you to look up how long the security wait times are at your airport so you’ll be sure to arrive early enough to make your flight. For help on navigating the airport, also check out GateGuru and Flight Aware.

LoungeBuddy (via Tom’s Guide) – Whether you’re traveling Economy or First Class, LoungeBuddy helps you find airport lounges in any of more than 500 airports worldwide for free or one-time fee.

Time-To-Hit-The-Road Phase

Roadtrippers (via Buzzfeed) – Roadtrippers is a must-have for anyone planning a road trip in the United States. You enter where you want to go, make selections depending on what you want to see (natural wonders! weird stuff!), and the app will create a customized map for you. Similar apps include WunderWalk, AroundMe and Fieldtripper.

iExit (via Baltimore) – iExit pinpoints your location/direction via GPS, it tells you what lies ahead exit by exit (up to 100 of them) so you can plan gas stops, bathroom breaks, meals, lodging, and other road-tripping necessities.

Gas Buddy (via iGeeksBlog) – For avid road trippers, Gas Buddy is your best buddy on the road when it comes to finding cheap gas in your vicinity using Google Maps.

Postagram (via Time) – Postagram lets you upload a vacation picture, type in a greeting, print out the card and send it through snail mail for 99 cents in the U.S. and $1.99 worldwide.

Track My Tour (via Buzzfeed) – Track My Tour allows your loved ones to “join” you on a trip from the comfort of their homes. They “follow a breadcrumb trail of your tour by visiting the link you sent them,” while you document the most exciting spots you visit as you go. What3Words app delivers a slightly similar experience.

Parkopedia (via Rough Guides) – With the help of Parkopedia, locate parking spaces near you using GPS services, see parking availability in real-time and check prices, payment methods and opening times – before you even get behind the wheel.

But If Shit Happens…

Rain Alarm (via Telegraph) – Rain Alarm app warns you against approaching precipitation like rain or snow within your selected radius using (almost) real-time data. A useful assistant for everything outdoors like cycling, biking, hiking, gardening, BBQ, picnics, dog walking, home improvement and more.

Wi-Fi Finder (via pcmag) – With 320,000 locations in 140 countries worldwide, Wi-Fi Finder does just what it says, helps users find nearby Wi-Fi locations. And thankfully, locations can be downloaded for use when you’re not online, smart!

Pocket (via Rough Guides) – Pocket is a hugely useful app that lets you save web articles and videos to your your device for offline reading at a later date – perfect for that long train journey or 12-hour flight. The best part is that it’s compatible across devices, meaning your saved articles will synchronize across all of them when connected to the internet.

LogMeIn (via Buzzfeed) – It’s a horrible moment when you realize that you need a file stored on your home computer when you’re 700 (or even just 30) miles away from it. LogMeIn allows you to access (and control) your home computer from anywhere.

Lookout (via Telegraph) – Lookout app scans downloads for viruses and other malware, and allows you to track or remotely wipe a phone if it is lost or stolen.

The Wine-n-Dine Phase

OpenTable (via Baltimore) – OpenTable is your mobile concierge to help you make dinner reservations anywhere. Search for restaurants by location or name, browse top and trendy dining spots, and then let OpenTable search for available dates and times. When you’ve chosen one, book it with one tap. The app instantly confirms the reservation, sends you a reminder in advance and invites your friends on your behalf. To enhance your dining or other city-cruising experiences, be sure to check out TV Food Maps (guide to restaurants featured on Chopped and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives), FlavourUnlike, 12hrs, Spotted By Locals and Trover.

The Language-Disconnect Phase

Google Translate (via Time) – Google Translate recently launched “Conversation mode.” Simply open the app, hold the mobile device between two people speaking a different language, and listen as it translates a conversation live. Other awesome apps to kill the language barrier are Waygo, iTranslate and TripLingo.

The Facebook-Status-Update Phase

Hyperlapse (via uncrate) – Hyperlapse from Instagram lets you shoot time lapse videos that can be played back at up to 12 times the speed you shot it, allowing you to show a day’s worth of action in just 30 seconds or less.

Shift (via appadvice) – Shift by Pixite just took photo editing to a whole new level. It gives you complete freedom to make your own personalized photo filters. In other words, when it comes to photo editing, the sky is the limit. Here’s how the app works. Time to give oldies like Vibrance, VSCO Cam, Litely and Camera+ a break.

The Track-Your-Expenses Phase

Expensify (via Tom’s Guide) – If you’re a business traveler then Expensify is your Bestie for life! It allows you to manually track your expenses. You can photograph your receipts, have it read by computer and automatically generate as an expense. In addition to receipt scanning, Expensify offers input options for travel mileage, time and rate based expenses, as well as automatic currency conversion.

Cost Split (via Rough Guides) – Cost Split lets you set up a budget for each trip with the names of the people splitting the costs, so you can keep track of who spends what. When you’re ready to settle your debts at the end of your trip, you can run a report which tells you who should pay what to whom. Splitwise is a similar app to try.

The Back-To-Reality Phase

Dude Where’s My Car? (via Buzzfeed) – The last thing you want to do when you get back from a trip is wander around the airport parking garage for 30 minutes, exasperatedly searching for your vehicle. Dude Where’s My Car keeps track of *exactly* where you parked and will guide you back to that spot. Plus, it also helps you find parking.

 

The Bragging Phrase

Been (via Rough Guides) – How well-travelled are you? Track your globetrotting progress with Been, the app that lets you select all the countries you’ve visited and will calculate what percentage of each continent, and the entire world, you have covered on your travels.

 

…And If You Are Planning A Trip To Disney Land…

My Disney Experience (via Buzzfeed) – With the help of My Disney Experience, you can access real-time wait times, make dining reservations, look up parade showtimes, and more.

What To Expect In 2015

Bluesmart (via Telegraph) – Bluesmart is going to be World’s first smart connected luggage. The app will allow you to lock and unlock your luggage, weigh it, track its location and be notified if you are leaving it behind. You can also charge your phone 6 times over with a built-in battery. No more lost luggage!

Some Creative Product Designs

…that may have slipped your radar!

Wooden Camera iPhone Case – $7.99

wooden camera iphone case

Retro Pointer Finger Cursor Icon Pixel Mouse – $18.42

mouse

Zombie Cookie Jar Head – $39.95

zombie cookie jar

Pick Your Nose Party Cups – $9.00

pick your nose

Grandfather’s Ice Tray – $6.99

ice tray

Collapsible Bucket – $29.99 (I need about a dozen of these!)

collapsible bucket

Macbook Air Cover Decal – $19.94

macbook cover

Glass Cream Carton – $24.99

glass carton

Coke Can Glass – $6.77 (pack of 4)

coke can glass

Twist Whisk – $10.00

whisk

Really Cool Rolling Pins – prices vary, via the Etsy Shop

cool rolling pins

rolling pin1 rolling pin2

iPhone Keyboard Dock – $9.99

iphone keyboard

Tetris Sticky Notes – $9.26

sticky notes

Head Tissue Box Cover – $17.95

head tissue box

iPad Arcade Cabinet – $59.99

iPad arcade

Digital Peephole Viewer – $88.84

Digital peephole viewer

Mini Shopping Cart Organizer – $3.19

mini shopping cart organizer

Salt n Pepper Switch Dispenser – $10.89

salt n pepper

Kate Spade Salt & Pepper Phone Dispenser – $26.99

kate spade salt pepper

Best of the Web

Let’s jump right into it!

1. These metallic flash tattoos offered by stores like Flash Tattoos and iamu are bound to become a popular trend again this summer. Famous Instagrammers are already donning these jewelry-inspired temporary tattoos to compliment their beach, music fest or street styles. Even Queen Bee sported one on her Instagram page! I think I might buy a pair to compliment by summer bikini look!

FlashTattoos1

2. Etsy shop Sparkly Pony is just simply adorable! If you’re an animal lover or simply, love the idea of cute stuff around the house, conversation starters, be sure to check out this store with close to 4,500 sales and over 11,000 admirers! My personal favorite: (which btw has nothing to do with animals)

Your own tiny boyfriend in a bottle!

Your own tiny boyfriend in a bottle!

3. Wishbone is a tiny portable thermometer you can easily insert into your iPhone’s or Android’s phone jack to measure temperature of the environment, an object or body on-the-go without any physical contact. Definitely a “smart” investment for new parents for only $39.99!

wishbone1 Wishbone2

Best of the Web

Missy

Happy Monday, Yo!

1. Missy The Elliott is exactly how I feel when I look at The Wooden Boombox collection. It brings the 80s out in me! Intricately designed and extremely well-crafted, these boomboxes are available in a number of different styles. And they measure high on the performance scale as much as they do on the aesthetic scale. These awesome boomboxes are yours for only $199.00!!! (via The Coolector)

I was Hot in the 80s The side Turn it up

2. 360Fly is the revolutionary panoramic video camera like no other in the market designed to capture everything around and above us with it’s 360 technology. This water-proof, crystal-shaped camera can easily be planted on any equipment such as a helmet, bike, surfboard or skateboard. Check out the video, it’s pretty cool! And pre-order yours before it’s released!

360fly

360fly in water

3. I’m personally obsessed with maps and globes. I’m also aware not everyone else is. You may have a few friends who love to travel and live in NYC or who may love to travel and love NYC or who may love to travel and love maps! If you ever find yourself visiting any of them wondering what to take for them as a gift, then consider these no-ordinary hand drawn maps by Jenni Sparks. Visually appealing and meticulously drawn, these engaging geographical pieces of art work will be the conversation starter at your next party for a price of $112 (approx.)! (via The Coolector)

new york map

Liberty Island

East Village Greenwich

Best of the Web

vacation

There’s no better feeling than being on a vacation and celebrating just yourself and all the hard work you’ve accomplished leading up to it. Not meaning to sound cliche but honestly, even a few hours within a day to unwind and be alone with your mind can me magically therapeutic. I have been doing some research into meditation practices but the irony of it is finding enough time to sit alone and do nothing! So I figured instead of going all Deepak Chopra on myself which frankly speaking won’t happen, I’m just going to spend an hour or 3, here and there, just staring into space and smiling. I may look like I inhaled some illegal stuff to anyone who walks in on me but inside, I’m at peace!

Funny thing following my moment of peace is trying to get my head back on track which sometimes feels like this…

thinking

yep…a complete brain fart…

I brush it off and call it a reboot!

1. A month ago I wrote a post on how sitting down for prolonged hours can be damaging to our health, and in it, I shared the adjustable Varidesk which my Manager had so graciously offered to purchase for the betterment of my physical health. It’s funny what you can find on the Internet once you’re looking for it. I came across Kinetic Desk created by California-based company Stir. A smart desk which can transform from a sitting to a standing desk offers a built-in touchscreen which allows you to let the smart desk know when you would like to be sitting or standing during the day, and it would remind you to do so at the specific times. And after you’ve been seated for a while, it nudges you to move your feet and get up to stretch. It comes with a hefty price tag of $2,990 but honestly, I can’t stop talking about these smart desks for one reason only – how important they are for our lifestyle. After working on a Varidesk for a couple of months now, I can tell you how relaxed & relieved my back, neck and shoulders feel. You don’t have to dish a load of benjamins. There are plenty of smart desk options suited for your budget. You just have to find one! (via Zuri, Digital Guru)

Kinetic Desk by Stir

2. I’m loving this Drizzona clutch bag from Aldo for only $60!

DRIZZONA

3. Check out abstract art shop on Etsy created by Destiny Womack or Wostudios if you’re looking to spice up your living room with a touch of colorful modern art.

4. Anther Etsy seller Graficaitalia adds to my travel gear a collection of vintage luggage labels (for only $2 a piece), digitally available for an easy download. You can use these retro printouts for scrap booking, art projects, jewelry, cards or as tags for suitcases.

5. If you haven’t heard of moving paper then you must be living under a rock! Japanese designer Ugoita T has created for your visual pleasure a flock of synchronized dancing origami cranes on an electromagnetic stage.

dancing origamis

People just come up with the most oddly interesting ideas!

some images reblogged from A la folie

If you can travel with style, why not!

I’m the traveler with my sweat pants, tank top, sweatshirt and knit cap on. My hair is usually tied up in a bun and a lipstick on the lip means I got lucky I had time that day to look presentable. I’m as boring as they come! Days of looking cute on the jet plane are long gone. Nowadays, comfort wins the prize! I’m envious of girls who can rock it on the airport runway. The other day I saw a woman run across the terminal in high heels. Thumbs up! If I attempt that, it’ll look something like this:

Failed catwalk

But I still think you gotta bring some style you know some kick to the airport. Airports are boring and depressing enough to begin with. People are in a rush or are tired, sleepy, sad. The place deserves an “X” factor to perk up the moods! Like the lady I saw the other day at the airport with some kuuyoooooooot luggage. I was like yeah, I would love to have that at my disposal! She made heads do the 180; people waiting in the United queue were all like whispering about her luggage & whatnot, and I’m like hmmmh

So…I say if you can’t wear hip, “carry” hip!

Like I would totally love to invest in a few of these iCandy luggage for my next travel adventure:

TURQUOISE LUGGAGE by J.C. Florance

TURQUOISE LUGGAGE by J.C. Florance

Psychic Factory - traveling with a closet (for the savvy & frequent business traveler)

Psychic Factory – traveling with a closet (for the savvy & frequent business traveler)

In the end, if my luggage collection looks anything like this…

Travelgasm

and I look anything like this…

classy

…I’m a happy camper at the airport!

Wish the old travelin’ days would make a comeback where the classy lady waited for her lover at the train station!

rock the runway

“I’ve always believed one could live many lives through the way we dress and the places we travel to, even if just in our imagination. The world is open to us, and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves.”

~Ralph Lauren~

Bon Voyage!

Images via Classy in the City

Don’t just sit there!

An average person spends 20% of their time sitting down each day.

An average American spends 9.3 hours sitting down each day.

We are slowly becoming a physically stagnant nation blinded with hopes that 3 – 4 hours of exercise each week is enough to save our physiology when it certainly is not. Yet not realizing as we grow older, it is imperative we take caution of our health even more so then we did before.

Sitting down for extended periods of time can be damaging for our health in many ways. The inactivity resulting from it impacts our metabolism and cardiovascular health and aids muscle degeneration which can have negative prolonged effects on or around the spine region as well as hip and thigh joints.

Consequently, more and more studies are coming out on how you can break this cycle of lethargy by making conscious decisions to stand, stretch and walk multiple times during the day to help boost energy levels, burn extra calories, improve posture and blood flow circulation.

Now…I spend or I can easily spend up to 10 hours a day sitting down because that is what my job entails. I’m a researcher by nature so a typical day for me at work is spent staring at my desktop for extended periods of time with minimal physical movement. Sometimes, my butt officially numbs out which is often a cue for me to get up and take a walk. Years of neglecting an unhealthy lifestyle has exacerbated muscle tension throughout my body especially around the neck, back, hip and knees. I’ve been to four Orthopedic surgeons in the last 2 years. I sound like I’m 65 but I really am not and quite far from it. I’m just simply not taking care of my body as I should be. Remember, your body is a temple! No wait! Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. (quoted: Anthony Bourdain)

The other day my lovely Massage Therapist “M” whose hands I keep very busy every 5 weeks sent me this picture recently published in the Washington Post (I think!)

The Health Hazards of Sitting Down

I printed it out and since then, have been making a conscious effort to get up and stretch every couple of hours. If things couldn’t get any better, my wonderful kind Boss ordered me a VARIDESK for work which has been the most awesome prop in my office the last two weeks. These are height-adjustable standing desks designed specifically for your work space. I tell you, standing up and working away, soooooooooooooo much more fun!

This is what my workstation looks like now!

VARIDESK

Okay, that’s really not my workstation, I stole this off Varidesk’s site!

Now all I’m missing is a treadmill because I want my workstation to look something like this…

treadmill desk

I’m not kidding! This treadmill desk is fo real yo! I mean why stand and work when you can walk and work! A new study reveals that treadmill desks, in addition to having health benefits for workers, can also be beneficial for businesses by enhancing workforce performance.

My next Mission Possible is hoping I look as cool as this in my office…

treadmill desk

and hopefully nothing like this

sitting-treadmill

which means I’d have to rid my wardrobe of some serious heels fo sure

heels on wheels

and hope to God I don’t become an HR nightmare!

never caught a break

Like I said, don’t just sit there yo! Move!

Best of the Web

A funny feeling I experience from time to time…

do nothing

Guess it’s just me…

Anyhow, Happy Monday!

Moving on to our Best of the Web for this week dedicated to the geeks…

Thou shalt not be offended. For I’m a geek too! For music! And this is my fetish…

recordoftheyear

1. Keys-To-Go is the new portable keyboard by Logitech. It comes with Bluetooth wireless connectivity but the totally rad (so speaks the geek in me!) part is it’s water-proof and features a battery that provides up to 3 months of use on a full charge.

2. Many times I’ve wished I could pick up my home entertainment system and carry it with me anywhere I go. Although I have a list of wishes I wish to be granted but this one may have made itself heard! The Archt One Speaker, practically shaped like a thermos/rocket launcher, comes with a built-in sub-woofer delivering sound array technology. What that means is no matter where you’re sitting in the room, it’s designed to sound acoustically perfect unlike your traditional home entertainment systems where speakers are directional by nature – they sound best depending on where you’re situated in the room. It comes with a hefty price tag ($600) but if you’re a music geek, it’s pocket change!

3. But if $600 is not pocket change for you then the Amazon Echo may be the better bet at $199 ($99 for Amazon Prime members)! Another Bluetooth wireless speaker with omni-directional audio but this one offers hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn or streams from Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora.

4. Get into the zone with this LG Ultra-Wide Monitor. At $1,300, it is world’s first 21:9 curved monitor! It allows you to divide your screen into four sections, prioritize windows and …  a lot of other cool stuff .. check out more here.

5. For those who travel for work, this 11+ World Clock maybe a helpful accessory on a night-stand in your hotel. It can display up to 24 different time zones with a single touch of a finger.