Apple

Long Flight Essentials

After 6+ months of planning, we are off to Japan in just two short days!  I couldn’t be more excited for my dream trip, but I’m not terribly excited about the 13 hour flight we’re taking to get there.  I’ve prepared myself the best I can, and today I want so share some ideas to make long flights as painless as possible!

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Kindle | This trip is the reason I bought my Kindle.  The fact that I’m absolutely in love with it is a fortunate by-product.  I entertain myself by reading and find myself bringing at least 2 books on normal trips.  With such a long flight, I knew I needed a lot of reading material!  My Kindle is preloaded with a handful of books to make the hours fly by! [I recommend this one.]

Juice Pack | You’ve got to have a fully charged phone when you’re going to be out & about for a while.  While I always hope planes will have somewhere for me to recharge my devices, this has yet to be the case.  It’s great to have an extra charge on hand!  [I’ve used this one before.]

Headphones (or earbuds!) | This one I learned from my fiancé who always has a pair of headphone handy when we travel.  I happen to think that noise canceling headphones are completely worth the investment– you’ll take care of them instead of letting them get tangled in the bottom of your bag, plus you won’t have to deal with the plane’s excess noise.  Of course, if you’re packing lighter, earbuds will do!  [Try these or these.]

Lip Balm | This is another one I picked up from Matt.  Plane travel will leave you dehydrated feeling and in need of moisturizer.  It’s good to have a lip balm handy (This is my favorite, but I also recommend these guys!)  to feel a little more human.  On a shorter trip, I recommend grabbing a water bottle to fill once you’re past security! [Currently obsessed with this one— and dachshunds!]

Snacks | A 13-hour flight guarantees we’ll be getting some food on board, but since we’ll be landing in a time zone with a 12-hour difference, there’s no guarantee we’ll be getting food when we want it.  We’re big on snacks!  [Try a Quest bar for something substantial!]

Hoodie | Literally, this is my number 1 must-have on a plane.  It’s always so cold, or suddenly so warm.  You need to layer, and a hoodie is my favorite way to do this.  Past flights have also had me reaching for Matt’s coat as a blanket, so a blanket scarf is a great idea if you’re flying when into/out of appropriate weather!  [Please tell me you have one, but just in case.]

What’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on?  How did you keep yourself busy?

Casetify

If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed I have an awesome, adorable new iPhone case.

I was in turmoil when I changed out my first iPhone, a 4, in favor of a 5.  So much so that I bought the exact same case.  I knew this feeling was coming as I upgraded to the 6.  Thankfully, my friend Julia had my back providing me with a dachshund drinking Starbucks case in time for the switch.

As I’d switched from the space gray to the gold, I still wanted something that you could see the gold through.  And let’s be real, I missed a Nintendo theme.  I designed my starter pokémon pattern case on Casetify!

Simply visit the Casetify website and make a couple of choices– I chose the frosted clear plastic snap case, but there are some fancier options as well.  Next, chose layout, and upload/select your pictures.  Note: you must select a picture for each designated square in the layout.

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I pulled these sprites off of Bulbapedia.  I feared they might be too small, but I wanted the look to be somewhat pixel-y, like a Gameboy!  The preview shows exactly what the phone case will look like when it arrives.  I can attest to that having received mine!

All and all, the case arrived in about two weeks.  I absolutely love it!

Here's my preview.

Here’s my preview.

Here's a goofy mirror selfie & a dark photo with my old iPhone 5

Here’s the finished product!

I love pokémon theme and the fact that you can see the gold through!  I also couldn’t use my 30-pin to 8-pin adapter with my old case on… I carry it in my purse so I can charge both my iPad (30 pin) and my iPhone (8 pin) on the go.  This case can stay on while I plug in now!

If you want to create a case of your own, use my code and save some money! PKC5N6

Let me know if you try it out and be sure to share your cool designs!

Links For a New World [07]

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Wow, that first week back at work after a vacation is rough!  I slept way in yesterday, and have enjoyed a wine and cheese filled weekend to compensate.  But, lots of things to share this week!

  • The Grace Helbig Project | My spirit animal, Grace Helbig, is getting her own show on E!  Save the date, Grace is coming to E in April.
  • Penguins gaming | For some reason, some people gave an iPad to penguins and apparently some of them are obsessed with a mobile game.  I love that.
  • TV Timeline | Roku actually posted this Mashable link– a timeline of television!  Not shows, television and like, how we watch it.  So interesting!
  • Tina, Gillian, & Netflix | Netflix posted this: “Why Tina Fey and Gillian Anderson are on Netflix.”  I love both of them and am so looking forward to more of The Fall and all of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!
  • Game of Thrones | We finally get a release ate for Game of Thrones season 5!  April 12 on HBO.  91 days to go!
  • CES & Doctor Who | CES brought us some important things, like this Doctor Who speakers (pictured above) from Massive Audio.  I probably need these.
  • Koalas Need Mittens | Finally, a very serious plea.  Reading this article absolutely broke my heart.  Outbreaks of brush fires have left a lot of kaola burn victims who are in desperate need of cotton mittens.  If you can, please help by making some mittens and sending them to Australia.

See ya, September!

I can’t believe it’s already October!  I think this month is going to be a great one for me.  I’m looking forward to autumn weather, Boston College football, more pumpkin-flavored goodies, and a trip to see one of my best friends in Philadelphia later in the month!  Though I took on September rather begrudgingly, when I look back, I think it was a great month too.  Let’s say goodbye now, shall we?

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[1] I’m cheating already ’cause this photo was taken in August… but it’s a September activity for Bostonians!  This is what I wore to help my friend move.  This adorable hoodie is from So So Happy!  [2]  Sangria was my drink of September!  Here I am drinking that with my friends Chelsea, Sarah, and Carissa at Sarah’s new place.   See?  More moving!  [3]  It’s definitely been an indian summer and I haven’t been able to wear any of the adorable fall sweaters and vests I’ve bought.  At least I found the opportunity to rock my camo jacket!  [4] The iPhone 6 came out!  I can’t have one until February, sadly.  Luckily, I’m friends with the IT guy at the office who was upgraded to the six for work purposes and let me play with it. [5]  I searched through my baby book to verify exactly what time I was born for astrological purposes, obviously.  I found this adorable picture of bb Nicole and her daddy.  [6] Hyrule Warriors came out!  I’ve been playing a lot, but not as much as I’d like to.  Hopefully I’ll get some more quality time with my Wii U soon.  [7]  My eyeliner game is so strong now, you guys.  This selfie is from a lovely walk down Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue– one of my favorite streets to walk down in any season!  [8]  What did I tell you about the Sangria?  This one is made from boxed wine and hard cider with cranberries, oranges, and apples!  [9]  After moving comes housewarming parties!  The aforementioned sangria is from my friend Julia’s.  Here I am with Jill and Julia celebrating her new digs!

Friday Favorites: Welcome to Night Vale

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If you don’t listen to Welcome to Night Vale, you should be doing so.  If you don’t follow @NightValeRadio on twitter, start now.

This twice-per-month podcast is unique, quirky, amazingly engaging, and hilarious.  Described as NPR meets the Twilight Zone, Welcome to Night Vale is a fictional radio show from a fictional town in Nevada.  Things are a little bit different in Night Vale…  Out host, Cecil, takes us through Night Vale’s news in a soothing radio voice.  Other residents of this desert town are featured as well, from the faceless old woman who lives in your house (played by Matilda former-acress Maura Wilson) to Intern Dana, who occasionally makes cell phone calls from another plane of exisitance (Jasika Nicole who played Astrid on Fringe).  If your interests are anything like mine, you will absolutely love this strange and macabre podcast.

This tweet is from last week, but I’m absolutely in love with it.  The twitter feed is a perfect example of the kind of humor you’ll hear from this show.

Hey Night Vale fans– what are your favorite quotes?  I tragically can’t remember which one used to be my twitter bio, so I really need your help!

 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

What Are You Doing Here?

Hey guys!  I’m sadly back from vacation but happy to get back to blogging.  Today, I have a brand new feature for you!  Welcome to What Are You Doing Here?: A Roadmap of Sorts!  The below bolded statements are actual search terms that led people to nikkisee.com.  I thought it might be fun to address some of them, for various reasons.  Yeah, that’s all I’m going to say.  Let’s keep it vague.  Onward!

 

gamecube tekken sarah michelle gellar anywhere but here zen lemmings

This was searched not once, but twice to get to my blog! I don’t know what you’re getting at here, but I think I like it. I like GameCube, and Tekken, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Zen lemmings? Not sure what they are, but I don’t hate it.

 

weeping angel in new orleans cemetery

Obviously you were brought here because of my love for “Blink,” the Doctor Who episode, and Top Chef: New Orleans.   If there is indeed a weeping angel in a New Orleans cemetery, I would like to investigate with you! Call me maybe?

 

amazing race i hate mallory

WHY? Mallory is a joy. All Stars didn’t do her justice; watch her on the other two seasons she was on with her dad.

 

why not put hollindaise on swordfish?

This was searched a few times in various formats, so I think it’s fair to address it. I’m going to be honest with you, readers: I might consider putting hollandaise on swordfish. I consider putting hollandaise on everything. I don’t think the texture of swordfish would go well with this buttery sauce, though. I’m glad I’m not the only one who asks Google questions like it’s my friend, though.

 

who did.holly marie.combs bring with her to hells kitchen?

I don’t know, but I do know you’re an iPhone user! I do the same thing with the periods everytime I search on my iPhone.

 

phi mu judges names hell’s kitchen

Stalker. Y’all were big fans of Kayla, eh?

 

flustrated hells kitchen 2014

I’m so glad somebody else is having a problem with what I’m assuming is an accidental portmanteau. I heard “flustrated” again on Toddlers & Tiaras, and now I’m wondering if it’s common (and by that, I mean a common mistake) in the south. Let me know if you have any insight.

 

welsh y sipsi nikkisee

For some reason, I knew transcribing this poem would be of interest to others. This Welsh poem featured on Amazing Race was searched in many, many forms, and the recap post featuring it is probably my most viewed blog post. The fact that someone was actually searching for my blog by name blows me away! I’m honored to be your resident Welsh gypsy poem transcriber.

 

did hell’s kitchen make a mistake on the croque monsuier

I really think they did. I don’t understand this, but maybe they were trying to be colloquial. This is another thing that got searched several times in a couple formats. Clearly, I’m not the only one who noticed.

 

lets eat viki

I understand this, and I would search this… well, something similar. I’m a stickler for apostrophes! It just reminds me of those jokes about the necessity of the Oxford comma. Let’s eat, Grandma v. Let’s eat Grandma. It makes me giggle.

 

how to beat yoshis new island last level

Golden Flutter Wings. If you are having enough trouble to freakin’ Google that, it sounds like you need ’em.

 

youtube

If my blog came up every time someone searched for Youtube, I think I’d have a lot more traffic. It apparently worked for one of you, though.

 

Keep on Googling weird stuff so we can have some more What Are You Doing Here? fun!  And hey, thank you so much for reading!!

Weekend Recap in Beauty, Shopping, Fitness, and Food

I’ve measured many a weekend in terms of shopping.  I love to go away and come back with more than I left with.  Truthfully, I escaped the city this weekend so I could avoid spending money.  It didn’t work.  I went to the beach house to lay low and get some reading in.  I accomplished both of these things.  I’m currently reading The Weird Sisters and obviously sunburnt my legs doing so on the beach.  Has anyone else read it?  I’m enjoying it quite a bit so far, especially its connection to Shakespeare’s works.

Anyway, back to the weekend.  Whenever I’m away from my natural habitat, dependent as I usually am on public transportation, I try to hit up the stores I can’t get to a normal basis.  When I go home, I hit up Target.  Since I was in Rhode Island, I found a treasure at our local Walmart.

First of all, I had forgotten my iphone charger, and I was able to pick up a lightening to USB cable here, yay!  I also love to browse the make-up section and found Ecotools brushes!  I never find this brand in my local drug stores, so when I saw this 5 brush set for $15, I jumped.  This set includes a flat concealer brush, buffing concealer brush, precision foundation brush, complexion blending brush, and full powder brush.  They’re mini, which makes them very portable.  This should save me from finger painting my face with liquid foundation, yeah?

I've been looking for four out of five of these, so I was psyched to pick up this set!

I’ve been looking for four out of five of these, so I was psyched to pick up this set!

With my make-up collection ever-expanding, my travel make-up bag doesn’t do the trick.  This is the reason I forgot eyeshadow the weekend of Stacie’s wedding… I simply can’t fit it in my current make-up bag!  I have the Vera Bradley medium cosmetic bag, and I needed to upgrade to the large.  Luckily, there’s an adorable store nearby the beach house with tons of Vera Bradley.  I found a large cosmetic bag in the pattern Lola.  I love it!  I can fit a whole shadow palette in here, and my hair donut too!

Lola is the newest pattern in my collection.  I tend to love browns.  My smaller cosmetic case is Mocha Rouge!

Lola is the newest pattern in my collection. I tend to love browns. My smaller cosmetic case and my iPad case are in Mocha Rouge, and my travel duffle is Java Blue.

This should make packing for next weekend easier!  I failed at the whole not-spending-money thing, but I succeeded in another weekend goal: getting my butt back into running!  It had literally been months since I ran, but I brought my sneakers and some running clothes just for the occasion.  It was rough, but I ran .8 miles, and I’m happy about it.  I also did some biking.  I literally hadn’t been on a bike in years.  The last time I remember going on a bike ride was in ninth grade… so at least 10 years ago?  Eeesh.  Adding a 3.7 mile bike ride to the run made me feel a lot better about myself.  Hopefully I can accomplish even more next weekend!

Finally, I did get a couple great meals in!  It was nice to taste my mom’s home cooking on Friday night, and Rhode Island style calamari on Saturday.  Fried calamari with banana peppers and black olives is the perfect summer light dinner.  To go along with it, I jumped at the opportunity to try Narragansett’s Shandy made with Dell’s Lemonade!  Oh my gosh, it was absolutely delicious!

Two of my summer favorites together!  This shandy is lemony and refreshing.

Two of my summer favorites together! This shandy is lemony and refreshing.

Did you get up to anything fun this weekend?

I heart streaming television

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On Thursday, amidst the Amazon Fire TV buzz, I read this Mashable piece about its 8 Greatest Competitors. If you didn’t know, I kicked DirecTV to the curb last year and now rely entirely on the internet for TV. My building isn’t wired for cable, so my options are limited. I get by with Netflix, Hulu, and a few select things on my iTunes and Amazon Instant. I also benefit from a Comcast subscription (thanks, Dad!) but am limited to its streaming content only. I have a lot of interest in products like Amazon Fire TV, so I thought I’d share with you how this cable-less girl is still a TV-freak.

 

Roku 2

My brother bought me my Roku 2 for Christmas last year, and I love it. I got the accompanying TV for my birthday, and thus have a new set up in my bedroom that’s basically changed my life. Roku streams Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and a selection of channels. For example, Lifetime has a channel on Roku, so instead of watching Dance Moms on my laptop, I can watch it on a TV! The Roku itself is not a monthly subscription, you just register and account and you’re off. Some channels are free (like Lifetime, PBS, stuff like that) and some you need a subscription for— Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go. Unfortunately, HBO Go doesn’t steam on my Roku… it’s backed by Comcast and Comcast HBO accounts are not good to go for Roku.

Xbox 360

My original TV machine and the reason I felt confident enough to get rid of cable, Xbox Live Gold keeps me watching Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Youtube! My Xbox sits in my living room on my big TV and thus acts as my main source of visual content. My internet connection is a bit rough (I have Clear as a service, because again, no wires in my building) so it tends to blink off occasionally interrupting my shows. That’s a bummer, and the reason I don’t play Xbox Live ever— I’d be impossible to get through a game! Xbox Live Gold service is necessary to stream and it’s a costly service itself.

iPad

I’m slightly in love with my iPad. I’m still in the market for a portable keyboard so I can take it to the beach house for blogging purposes this summer— the touch screen doesn’t make for easy typing! I bring my iPad most places in lieu of a laptop. It is everything I need for an overnight trip to my parents’ or a weekend stay at a friend’s. The following apps make this a lovable machine: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Comcast Xfinity, and Viki. The great thing is that every service has an app, so the iPad is the most universal of my devices. While there are some things I can watch only on certain devices/TVs, I can watch pretty much everything on the iPad! I sleep with it. It’s normal.

Wii/Wii U

I mention these because the article mentions Wii U. You all know that I just bought a Wii U, and I could certainly steam Netflix and such on this guy. It sits on the shelf below my Roku, so I don’t need it for those purposes. The same goes with my Wii, which sits in my living room next to the Xbox. I’m pretty sure it streams Netflix too, but I’ve never used it as such. My Nintendo devices are only for gaming, I guess. Does anybody know if there’s a subscription services to be able to stream on these babies? Perhaps it’s something to consider.

 

So it’s obvious why I’m interested in devices like Amazon Fire TV, but it’s also pretty evident that I don’t need any more TV streaming devices! As an Apple user, I am, however, still pretty interested in the Apple TV… we have them at work and they seem awesome. I don’t see an Amazon Fire TV in my future, but the price is low and the product does great things. Has anybody picked one up yet? I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Wishlist: Gadgets & Gizmos

I absolutely love to shop.  With both Christmas and my birthday behind me, I’ve got a couple extra bucks just burning a hole in my pocket… or iphone, which thanks to mobile banking is where I imagine my money lives. With their big price tags, tech gadgets are the perfect splurge items.  Here’s my list of tech goodies that I absolutely don’t need, but I’m thinking about impulsively purchasing.

WiiU [Retail: $299.00]

IMG_4777This is probably the least practical purchase I could make, but arguably the most likely.  I’m a Nintendo girl, raised with a Super NES in my bedroom.  Aside from the original Nintendo Entertainment System, which came out before I was born, I’ve owned every system Nintendo has put out.  WiiU, although a commercial failure, might just be par for the course with me.  Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is absolutely calling my name.  The straw that will certainly break the camel’s back is the Legend of Zelda franchise:  if a new Zelda title comes out exclusively for WiiU, the system is mine.

Jawbone UP [Retail: $129.00]

IMG_4778I’m desperately trying to be a more active, healthier person.  I just love to eat so much.  I also hate to run so much, but I made a big effort in 2013 to change that and hope to continue that this year.  I’ve been eyeing the Jawbone UP for years, inspired by my favorite Youtuber iJustine, who reviewed one in 2011.  Jawbone UP appeals to me as the sleekest of all wearable fitness bands.  The newer, UP24 offers wireless syncing through bluetooth for $20 more, but I’d be afraid that would drain my battery.  I could totally rock a Jawbone UP, and getting to pick a color is always a bonus!

iPad Wireless Keyboard [Retail: $129.00]

IMG_4780I love my iPad, and often bring it with me in lieu of a laptop for weekend trips and overnight stays.  While I typically use it to stream Netflix or Hulu, I’d love to be able to do some writing on it as well.  I purchased the Pages app as soon as I got my iPad so I could write on the go, but the touchscreen keyboard is just not conducive to long form writing.  The wireless keyboard would effectively turn my iPad into the word processor I crave.  A kid in my grad school class a couple years ago had one of these and seeing the way he used his iPad to take notes was enough to convince me that this is a necessity!

Olloclip [Retail: $69.00]

IMG_4784Another iJ-inspired addition to my wishlist, the Olloclip attaches to your iPhone and turns your camera into either a macro, fisheye, or wide angle.  I absolutely love photography, and tend to use my iPhone more than my camera simply out of convenience.  The Olloclip is much less expensive than purchasing a fish eye lens for my camera.  This gadget sure could help me step up my instagram game!  I’ve been looking at the original 3-in-1 design.  There’s a newer 4-in-1 option as well that offers an additional macro lens… for apparently the same price?  That warrants further investigation.

 

new iPod [Retail: $149.00 – $249.00]

IMG_4779This one is tricky territory.  A new iPod has been in my thoughts for a while, but I’m just not which model makes sense.  I have a functional, 80 GB iPod Classic.  I mean, won’t play video for some reason, but I don’t really need it to.  It’s kind of scratched and the click wheel is a little cracked, but whatever.  I’ve been eyeing the new iPod nano for a while– I’ve never had a colorful iPod before!  It’s cute, super portable, and has a touchscreen for simpler scrolling.  The downside is at 16 GB, I’d have to be very selective with what I put on there.  My other option is a new iPod Classic– a newer, thinner version of what I have now.  I mean, it is basically the same thing I have now, click wheel and everything, but at 160 GB, I never have to worry about filling that baby up!

So, lots of options!  With rent due soon, there’s no guarantee I’ll indulge my whims and pick up anything on this list, but a girl can dream.  You tell me: is there anything on this list I absolutely have to have?  Is there anything missing from this list that I should be lusting after?  I’ll keep you posted on any big gadget purchases!