Let’s face it — the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
which is held every year in Las Vegas, can be a dizzying experience. I’ve been going for about 25 years, almost always repping a product and sometimes more than one, from kids education software and the world’s best speech recognition system in my younger days to a myriad of startup innovations ever since. I tend to find the product recaps predominantly male; in other words, most of the top picks tend to center around early adopter products and they tend to fall in the following categories: video, cars, audio, and big screen TV’s. While these categories impact all of us, especially car technology, I tend to look at unique designs, products and services which also appeal to women and solutions that help travelers on the road, either be more productive, or have more fun.
I’ve curated a list of 25 products in several categories and some of the factors that I looked at when making the cut include originality, innovation, design, and whether it is or can look at the bigger picture and solve a need beyond what it is doing today. I include wellness, because that matters to me…
Let’s face it — indoor Air Pollution
is dangerous and climbing at alarming rates.
Air pollution in general rise worldwide, killing more than 3.3 million and one study says it could double by 2050. Given that we spend nearly 90% of our time indoors (some research says more) and indoor air pollution is slated to be from 3 to 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution, it’s no wonder that that cases of Asthma and Allergies are climbing and at an all-time high. In addition to seasonal allergens, many also suffer from dust and chemicals from cleaning products, paints and other residues at home, work and school.
Photo credit: Air Filters for Clean Air
Think Your Indoor Air is Safe? Think Again!
When we think of air pollution, we tend to think of outdoor air pollution and that we’re safe inside where we spend most of our time. If you think that all the places where you OR your kids spend time is at safe levels, think again. Studies show that 50%
of America’s schools have problems linked to indoor air quality
and an issue in 6 out of 10 homes worldwide. Indoor…
Top picks is a new thing for us starting this year and we’re excited to be adding it into our editorial coverage. What does Top Picks mean exactly? Based on our experiences over the course of the year, we have identified our favorites in the following categories: Hotels & Resorts, Food & Wine, Style & Fashion, Products and Wellness, the latter being a growing focus for us. Moving forward, we hope to expand the picks for the year and incorporate feedback from other We Blog the World contributors as well.
HOTELS & RESORTS
In the hotel category this year, we have two favorites: Chateau Mcely in the Czech Republic and Castle Hill Inn in Newport Rhode Island. Let’s start with the exquisite Eastern European chateau. Smack in the middle of the Czech Republic
countryside only about an hour outside of magical Prague
is the magical Chateau Mcely
, an elegant and luxurious five-star castle/eco-chic hotel. To get there, you’ll drive through rural Czech countryside and small villages, with old stone barns that look like they haven’t been renovated since they were built.
The interior is furnished a bit like a castle but using…
It’s that time of year again and with December comes holiday soirees, cocktail gatherings, family celebrations and whether you have kids or not, it’s the season of giving. It’s the time we give of ourselves just a little more and buy gifts for loved ones which come in all shapes, prices, categories and colors. If you check out last year’s holiday gift guide
, you’ll see that we tend to discover fun finds across the board, from food/wine, entertainment, technology, kitchenware and accessories to beauty, wellness, perfumes, bags, clothing, shoes and jewelry. When it comes to gear and wear, we try to pick items that match a frequent traveler’s lifestyle and I personally look for design, elegance, creativity, value, style, comfort and of course functionality.
Our favorite pick of the year goes to the iRobot Roomba 980
, (it’s under our technology category below)
and we also reviewed it earlier this year
. While it’s not a new product on the market, it saves me so much time and helps to keep our home dust-free. Two thumbs up for the Grillbot
as well, which is a bit like an iRobot for your grill. What can I…
When you’re traveling with friends or even family, chances are someone may pick up the bill for something where you’re sharing the costs, such as train tickets, dinner or activities. Many people I know use PayPal for this kind of quick transaction between friends but fees for transferring cash between each other exists and they’re annoying — after all, it’s a digital transaction and your money — why should you have to pay for something that should be free? With Square Cash, you can transfer cash quickly and seamlessly and yup, there’s no fee.
Available for both Android and iPhone, it’s simple and quick to do in real time while you’re on the road. Square Cash on-the-go makes it easy for one person to book a group’s flights, hotels or other activities at a destination and be immediately reimbursed without having to deal with it later. If you’re traveling with family, the same thing applies, whether you’re using it to transfer cash to a family member while on a trip or at home for a product or service you took care of for a parent or relative.
Also think about the same scenario for that
I love finding companies with products that are creative and fun especially with an interesting founder and story behind it. Magic Carpet Yoga Mats
Founder and Designer Sophie Leininger grew up in California and Hawaii and apparently loves talking to the moon at night. Sophie now wanders the globe collecting stories and carpets to paint and weave into your daily yoga practice. Her hand-painted designs range from palatial Persian carpets to hand-woven tent coverings and each have their own story. She uses sustainable printing technologies and you’ll be thrilled to know that each mat is tested latex, phthalate, lead free, and is child safe — they even offer yoga mats for kids.
Another important point to note is that their mats are printed with very durable eco-friendly inks and don’t ever run so can be used for Bikram/Hot Yoga without having to worry about color bleeds. And, the designs are ever so colorful and ever so fabulous — have a look!
Each one speaks to you in different ways, and there are so many choices, it’s hard to choose – they’re all so incredibly beautiful!
Magic Carpet Yoga Mats…
If you read our site regularly, you know that I’ve become a big fan of Buick cars over the last few years. We’ve tested various models, such as Buick LaCrosse
we drove in New England in February during the dead of winter and last year’s Enclave model
which we took to the Adirondacks last summer. I’ve had the great pleasure of being able to drive them on some of our family travel
escapes, so we were thrilled to be able to test out the latest and greatest from Buick – their 2017 Buick Enclave
, one of the best choices in their line for families in the luxury category.
The above shot was taken during our tour of the Finger Lakes in August in upstate New York
This mid-sized SUV can actually fit up to 8 people although we only needed it for four on this particular trip. That said, the extra space was a godsend for all the luggage we had on our summer getaway, which covered upstate New York, New Hampshire and finally Newport. The first thing you’ll feel in the even more spacious 2017 Enclave is a sense of openness,…
Meet the ecbc Hercules
high quality laptop backpack, which is crafted with nearly very tough Kodra nylon, a great choice if you have fragile gear, including laptops and camera gear. We were keen to take a look at this backpack, largely because of its endless pockets and sub-pockets, which if your’e an avid traveler who has a lot of tech gear, is a MUST! Need I say more?
Toughness and durability is equally important, especially if you do have tech gear — keeping it organized is increasingly a challenge and I’ve tried a number of packs out. With so many compartments, I am now wishing these guys would come out with a slightly bigger pack (not by much)
with those fabulous swivel wheels on the bottom that all of our favorite luggage now has (we love you Briggs & Riley
Frequent flyers take note: the high quality Hercules backpack features the ecbc FastPass System allowing you to unzip the specialized electronics compartment, lay the bag flat on the security conveyer and go through TSA without having to unpack your laptop, tablet and cables. It can store laptops up to 17” and features self-repairing YKK zippers, high density protective foam pockets…
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