Thursday, December 10, 2015

Verizon Tech Bites Luncheon

If you know me at all, you know that I am not the most tech savvy but I do my best. Well, my technology knowledge increased a couple points last week when I attended an awesome event put on by Verizon and the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America. During the event, Verizon showcased a number of fantastic products available that would make great additions to any household and would also make great gifts for the holidays or any occasion! 

The event started out at the Verizon Destination Store at the Mall of America. I was immediately wow'ed by the space and the helpfulness and knowledge of the team that was at the ready with all of our questions. I was in awe with the huge selection of products that were available from all types of phone cases to lightbulbs for your home that change color to "smart" thermostats. I was really surprised at all the different products that were available - Verizon is definitely not just about phones! Many of the products can be tested in the store and the staff is ready and willing to assist with recommendations or training. 

Once we had a chance to check out the store, the next stop was lunch at the beautiful Firelake Restaurant at the Radisson Blu. What a fabulous place to have date night or a night out with girlfriends or even a family dinner for a special occasion. I will definitely be back. I do want to also mentioned that not only was the space lovely, the food was outstanding from flavors to presentation, it was very much a meal that I would like to repeat. 

Allison Kaplan, Senior Editor of Shopping and Style for Mpls. St Paul Magazine started off the lunch with an introduction and lead us through the structure of the lunch which would be to pair each course with technology, what fun! 

The first piece of technology that was highlighted was a collection of different types of Bluetooth enabled speakers such as the Ultimate Ears ROLL speaker. I could think of a hundred different uses for these speakers, from using them around the house to bringing them to the cabin to having them on your boat. Great quality sound, very mobile - these are a wonderful gift idea for anyone! 

The next demo was a highlight of different types of products for the home such as the Kevo door lock and the Nest thermostat. I personally am obsessed with the Kevo door lock - what a great addition to any home. With options such as remote access and unique identifiers that would allow the homeowner to know who is using the lock and when, this would really benefit any homeowner. One of the attendees mentioned that the lock would also be great to use if you rented your home out for something like AirBnb. 

The main course demo highlighted wearable technology like the Moto360 smartwatch and the GizoGadget by LG. I had the chance to play around with the GizoGadget and was really impressed with all of the different types of functionality that was included with it. I'm not a watch wearer typically but I could see where one could be very handy especially possibly for kids that might be too young for other types of technology. 

Last but not least, our last demo of the day was a fun demo of the shatterproof screen of the Droid Turbo 2. I will admit - I was very nervous when they dropped the phone onto the marble countertop! But it survived without even a scratch - very impressive! 

At the end of the meal, Verizon announced this week that through Jan. 6, current and new Verizon customers can receive 2 GB of data free every month for life when you upgrade your phone, or upgrade on XL or XXL plans. That's a pretty great chunk of data! Go to: for full details or visit a Verizon store and speak to one of the Verizon team members about all of the different options available.

Huge Thank You to Verizon and Radisson Blu for a wonderful event and sharing some great information! It was really fun learning about all the products that were available and I was very impressed with the store itself and the helpfulness of the staff. 

See below for photos from the event. Cheers! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Worst Blogger Ever?

Hello there! 

My name is Rachel and my last blog post was 9 months ago. 
I'm not sure that I'm the worst blogger ever but I definitely know I'm probably up for some type of terrible blogger award. 

Anyway, life has been crazy since my last post. This has been a very weird year. 

Life Updates: 

Dating Life: 
Full-on Hiatus mode since July. And by hiatus, I mean I have gone on ZERO dates. I've still been off and on Tinder but there is slim pickins' as far as the quality matches I've had. 
This is by far the longest time in YEARS that I've gone without going on any dates. 
I had a relationship from April to July that ended sort of amicably but sort of not and I decided I needed to take a break and figure out some things. I'm not sure I've actually accomplished what I set out to do but it has at least done my heart some good to heal a bit from a series of being the in-betweener girl. 

To refresh your memory, of the last three relationships I've had: 1) Engaged to the girl that he started dating right after we broke up; 2) Having a baby in two months with his "best friend" that he started dating shortly after we broke up (a year ago); and 3) Seriously dating the woman that he met while we were still dating and assured me that he would not start dating right away when we broke up - except that's exactly what I knew he would do and exactly what he did. 

There is something strange about the haves and have nots when it comes to relationships. There is definitely a distinct group of relationship people and non-relationship people. 
I appear to be in the non-relationship camp but I haven't really nailed down the difference yet. All I know is that there are a ton of awesome, smart, successful and beautiful women in the Twin Cities that can't seem to find a fella with similar qualities. 

Anyway, I will probably start tip-toeing back into dating after the holidays - or not. 
My philosophy right now is to be happy and live my life and just to be open if the right person comes along. 

Other life stuff: 
Apparently 38 years old is the year that your body starts falling apart - at least for me. 

I was hospitalized in July for iron deficiency anemia and then ended up having to get intravenous iron infusions for a couple months to resolve that issue. Expensive and all-around inconvenient and not fun. 

Then in September, I had a bout of Bells Palsy which is facial paralysis. 
The entire left side of my face was paralyzed - I couldn't close my eye all the way, I couldn't raise my eyebrow or forehead and I couldn't smile. 
There is no known cause other than its typically related to some type of virus or viral infection that affects the cranial nerve. 
It was extremely scary and awful experience and made me realize a bit how much a persons face is a part of their entire identity. I use my face a ton and without being able to use expressions it was very depressing. 
Thankfully, I have recovered fully although I feel like I can still tell a little bit but I can smile again which definitely has helped my psyche. 

The other main thing that I've been up to since my last post is this little venture called: MNCommunity but this blog post is long enough already so that's a story for a different day. 

Cheers to a wonderful holiday season! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Online Dating Chronicles

Online Dating. 
Tinder, Match, Eharmony, Okcupid, J-Date, Christian Mingle...the list goes on and on. 
Does anyone meet organically anymore in this era of e-everything? 
My last relationship ended almost a year ago - since then I've had some variety of involvements, all of which have been initiated primarily by Tinder. 

Tinder is a very simple and efficient way to make connections and find people that you may want to have a date with...or perhaps something else. Some may even say that it's no different than Twitter or other forms of social media. 

Well after being back on Tinder since December or so, I'm calling it quits...or maybe more specifically, I'm going to stop trying and use it for entertainment only. Tinder for me has been a good tool to meet dudes that are not emotionally or otherwise available - I think the efficiency of it lends itself to the pervasiveness of those types of folks using it. 

So, I'm changing things up a bit and decided to join eHarmony so I could do a little compare and contrast. It's no secret I'm in the market for a relationship - I've done the "casual" thing long enough and it's exhausting. 
I'm curious to find out what might be different about using a paid service versus a free site. 

I will be posting my observations and commentary here - feel free to follow along. 



Hello friends - 

I just re-read my last blog post and realized I'm in a better place than that now so that's a positive! 

Not often do I have to admit failure fortunately but I do want to report that my attempt at going back to school his semester failed miserably and I had to drop the class I was taking. I was trying to do an online class (which I should know better) and got too far behind to catch back up. 

I couldn't dedicate the time I needed to and also put in the necessary time at work and have a social life. I wasn't compelled by the class material which also gave me the realization that I'm not passionate about the subject matter. All of this pondering made me realize that I need to re-evaluate the whole Masters degree program I'm in and whether I should change to a different program. 

I have not settled on an answer yet to any of the above. 
Is 37 too young to be having a mid-life crisis? 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Night

Last week was rough. 
So many sources of, school, landlord from hell. 
I hope this week is better and I can cope with the stress better. 

One other fantastic as a social community is that I have and as awesome as being single can be, slogging through the challenges of life by yourself can be exhausting. 
I'm so tired of being single. 

My personal life misery index is indicating that I might be approaching a major life event - perhaps a big move. 

Stay tuned. Have a great week friends.

Monday, March 2, 2015

San Francisco!

Two blog posts in one week....wait, what???!? 

Current status: Flying back to Minneapolis from San Francisco - on board wifi is the best thing.

Just a quick post regarding my little vacation in San Francisco - three incredibly busy days filled with sightseeing, food and coffee. 

The city is truly incredible - my favorite places that we visited were Muir Woods, the Ferry Building and the Golden Gate Bridge look-out. 

The city feels like a sunnier and brighter New York City. So many incredible neighborhoods - I felt safe every minute and could definitely see myself living there. 

Definitely want to put it on the short list of places that I would like to spend more time in. 


P.S. For some strange reason, I have been missing Nebraska guy like crazy lately, but what to do about that? 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February Funk

I have decided that I am fairly horrible at this blog writing thing.
I just realized that I haven't blogged since December so apparently nothing interesting has happened since then? Or I've been too busy to blog - little bit of both I suppose.

I've thought of a number of things I wanted to blog about and then promptly forgot them and onto other things.
Part of it is that I am notoriously in a funk with the majority of the rest of MN at least for a good chunk of Jan and especially Feb - this is the point in winter where no one remembers what it feels like to be warm and its freezing and mostly miserable outside and Spring isn't quite visible yet.

Well, I think we've made it past that point - and as I write this, I'm on a plane to visit the San Francisco area for the first time which I'm quite excited about so hopefully when I get back to MN next week, the worst of the winter funk will be behind me and I can be energized thinking of the renewing properties of Spring.

One thing that I keep thinking about recently is what is my passion, what do I like doing, and how can I turn that into a career. I like my job most days and it pays the bills but sort of fell into it and I'm not sure its what I want to do for the rest of my life. Throughout my entire career, I have been very fortunate in the opportunities that have been afforded to me and that I have been able to take advantage of. I am in my core, an ambitious person but I am getting to that point in my career where I need to decide what the end game looks like and I don't know that I want to do what I'm doing, even at a higher level for the next 20-30 years. I need to explore this more. I need to decide what risks that I am willing to take and how to I make things happen.

Relationship status: Meh. Not much more to say than that. Some flirtations and some dates but nothing to write home about. I think I am still working out what happened with Nebraska guy and can't say that I'm not still bummed that didn't work out. I don't know what's next but what I do know is that I'm not going to waste energy worrying about it. What will be will be.

As I say with each blog post, I will try to blog more. There is some catharsis in blogging that I enjoy.

Cheers to Spring and Warm Weather ahead!