5 Must-Haves For Surviving The Fall & Winter Season

must haves

I’ve finally accepted that Summer is over and Fall is here. Yup, I literally had to wait until I had bare trees in my yard to accept this whole “autumn” thing. It’s my least favorite time of year (except for the one week that the fall foliage is gorgeous here in New Hampshire). For me, summer living is easy. Come Fall though, I have a hard time functioning and keeping up. I don’t feel like exercising anymore, I don’t feel like eating healthy things like salads and I start packing on the carbs with apple cider donuts and homemade breads and I don’t feel like waking up in the morning because it’s still dark out when I want to get up!

So I put together a list of my 5 favorite things that help me get through the Fall and Winter season in hopes that it might help some of you to make it through the next few months too!


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5 Reasons To Get a Windows 8 Tablet

I’ve been using the Acer Iconia W510 Intel Tablet as part of the Intel #tabletcrew for almost 3 months now. This tablet has become a part of my daily life and I can’t even imagine how I ever got by without it.

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Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Intel.

I started by Getting Acquainted with my Intel Windows 8 Tablet and was absolutely over-the-moon when I discovered that Windows 8 still has a DESKTOP! *choir of angels sing*

Within a couple weeks I realized that there were many Productive Windows 8 Apps On My Intel Tablet and I am downloading more apps all the time. (Continue reading for a list of my favs!)

I’m not just having fun on my tablet though, I am getting work done on it too and being quite productive! I downloaded and browsed a Windows 8 App called “House & Home” to find an inspiration room for my Spring Bedroom Makeover!

Overall, I’m loving my tablet! Here are 5 reasons why I think YOU should get a Windows 8 Tablet and how it could improve your life.

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Intel.

1. Convenient

It’s the perfect size to just throw it in my purse (it even fits in my clutch!) and go out the door. So if I need to run out the door with the kids for whatever reason and I also need to meet a deadline, I know I have a reliable device I can depend on to get my work done. I can get caught up on emails while I’m in a waiting room, read a book while I’m in the car (with someone else driving obviously!) or keep my almost 6 year old entertained with some of the cool apps for kids on Windows 8. (Almost all of the apps we downloaded for the kids were free!)

2. Powerful

Don’t let it’s size fool you, this thing is powerful. It’s packed with an Intel Atom Dual Core Z2760 Processor 1.5 GHz (1 MB Cache), 64 GB Internal Memory, 2 GB RAM Memory. You can even run big programs on this thing like Adobe Photoshop.

3. Battery Life

It also has an amazing battery life of 9 hours of continuous use and up to 3 weeks of standby time! Need more? You can get up to 18 hours of battery life with the detachable Keyboard Dock.

4. Great Camera

I had a Droid phone for 4 years and all I ever did was complain about how horrible the camera was. I mean, that is, if it actually loaded, didn’t crash the phone and took a picture… Thank goodness for the amazing camera in this tablet! The 8MP rear-facing camera and front-facing camera take amazingly clear, lifelike images and then I can edit and crop the images right on the tablet before uploading to Facebook, Pinterest or whatever. I also figured out that you can do high-quality face-to-face chats with Windows 8 Apps like Skype.

5. Windows 8 Apps

I never saw it coming, but I find myself hooked on Windows 8. *insert shocked-looking face here* I know it, I was like everyone else thinking that Windows 8 was going to be a flop but boy was I wrong. It’s not only expertly designed, but it’s fast, intuitive and useful. The app I use the most is probably Mercury so I can stay in touch with gtalk and yahoo friends. I use Allrecipes weekly to find recipes I can make with the ingredients I already have laying around. My favorite shopping app is most definitely Amazon. I use it constantly! Last but not least, my daughter’s favorite app is Flow Free – a neat little game that is great for young and old alike.

Intel Tablet - Acer Iconia #tabletcrew #inteltablets

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Dress Up The Season – Spring Bedroom Makeover

Target.comI teamed up with Target to show you how easy it is to makeover a room in your house with their Threshold Collection for around $200!

I browsed the Threshold Collection on Target.com and was amazed at the huge variety of items to choose from! Gorgeous bathroom collections, amazing curtains and lighting, too-many-beautiful-dishes-to-pick-from in the kitchen department and whenever I got to the bedroom collections, I fell in love… Decor overload!

I decided my bedroom was definitely going to be the room to get the makeover! I had redecorated my bedroom around 4 years ago when I went from a light blue/beachy, Cape Cod style theme to a more dramatic and elegant Damask and Stripes theme that was comprised of a dark red and brown color scheme. I absolutely loved it when it was finished and it’s probably my favorite room in the house, but… it is very dark and wintery feeling. So I decided a Spring Makeover was exactly what my bedroom needed.

Then I headed to Pinterest and searched for the type of bedroom decor that I had in mind. I quickly pinned a few ideas I liked and then I found my inspiration room…

gray yellow inspiration bedroom

I picked out all the items I wanted to create my perfect spring bedroom on Target.com. I originally had planned to order online, but some of the items I wanted were only available in stores. I stayed up till nearly 1am making a list of the items I was going to get and the next day, my mom and I headed to my local Target with my two toddlers in tow.

Upon entering the Home department, I was sooooo distracted looking at all the other items in the Threshold collection that it made me want to makeover every room in my entire house!! Everything was even more amazing and tempting in person than it was on the website. I swooned over lamps, kitchen items, decor and the wide array of curtains.

Lucky my mom went with me or I would have left with half the store in my cart! She helped me keep to my list and get only the items I needed for my Spring Bedroom Makeover. I filled 2 carts up with the items I wanted and headed for the checkout. I got everything for just a little over $200. Can you believe it?!

On the way home, I found a brand new Goodwill store and stopped to check it out. I found a couple more items to go with my new bedroom decor that I picked up for less than $10! WINNING!!

Here is my wintery, dark bedroom before the spring bedroom makeover…


* Pictures taken with Acer Iconia W510 thanks to #tabletcrew #inteltablets

And here is my gorgeous, summery bedroom after it’s Threshold makeover…

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Productive Windows 8 Apps On My Intel Tablet

As you know, I’ve partnered with Intel to promote their brand new Acer Iconia W510 Intel Tablet. I was unsure how I would feel about the tablet because I had heard awful things about Windows 8, but I said it last week and I’ll say it again… I love Windows 8 now.

Windows 8 Tiles ScreenI hate it when they make a new version of Windows and change the user interface and functions… BUT for the first time since Windows XP, I actually appreciate and am embracing the changes. There are a few things about Windows 8 that annoys me, but the advantages way outweigh the annoyances for me at this point. I am ADDICTED to the Windows 8 apps! The addiction is so great at this point, that I’m unsure as to whether I want to get an iPhone or a Windows phone. There are so many useful apps and they are so much more convenient than bulky programs.

It’s like they married the convenience and fun of an iPad with the genius and power of Windows and created the most addictive piece of electronics I’ve ever owned.

Here are just a few things I love about the Intel Acer Iconia tablet…


  1. Windows 8 Apps: Easy, convenient, safe and FUN! I’ll show you some of my fav apps below.
  2. Long Battery Life: The Iconia boasts 9 hours of battery life with up to 3 weeks of standby time. Get up to 18 hours of battery life if you get the Keyboard Dock with the Tablet.
  3. Convenient Size: Slides easily into most of my handbags so I can take it with me wherever I go.
  4. Crystal Clear Display: It’s easy to see pictures, text and movies on this amazing screen.
  5. Power and Speed: Need I say more? This thing is more powerful than my big Toshiba laptop!
  6. FUN: It’s fun to use because of the touch screen and the endless amount of games are exciting to sort through!

I had a hard time finding a leather case that was specifically designed for my model tablet. I didn’t want just a standard case for a 10″ tablet. I was looking for one that would act like a book cover as well as transform into a stand. I found the KattWolf Slim Stand Leather Case for Acer Iconia W510 Tablet (With Stylus Loop and Elastic Handstrap) for $8.95 on Amazon.com

windows 8 lock screen

windows 8 lock screen wallpaper

I was happy that it had all the right openings to allow easy access for charging it, adjusting the volume, etc. For the price, I was extremely happy with this purchase. It’s not perfect and it’s not ideal, but it works and will protect my little gem.

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Getting Acquainted with Intel Windows 8 Tablet

Just last week my brand new Acer Iconia W510 Intel Tablet arrived in the mail. To say I was a little bit excited would be an understatement. All shiny and new, it booted right up and was easy to set up and customize to my preferences. I was absolutely over the moon to find that Windows 8 still has a DESKTOP! OMG!

Honestly, I thought Windows 8 was kind of a letdown after spending a few hours fooling around with the Nokia Lumia 920 but upon cruising the Intel Tablet for a few minutes, I realized that the tablet version of Windows 8 is much more versatile than the phone version. And I love it. Love. It.

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Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Intel.

The tablet is powerful because of the Intel® Atomâ„¢ processor Z2760 which is found in all the new Windows 8 based tablets. This new processor delivers the fastest and most responsive performance available which means I can cruise the web, watch movies, listen to music and more without any lag. It’s fast, reliable and the touch screen is amazing. I feel so efficient when I’m using it to quickly browse recipes when preparing dinner or reading books for my Doula studies. (More on this later!)

I’m still getting used to Windows 8 and all the apps you can download but I think I’m getting the hang of things pretty quick. The interface is pretty user-friendly, there is a surprisingly large number of apps available to download – free and paid. Best of all, it’s slim and compact so I can throw it in the diaper bag to run errands or curl up in front of my fireplace and read in the evenings. I feel like I don’t even need a smartphone anymore because everything I would do with my smartphone, I’m doing with this tablet. It even has a 2 megapixel front facing camera, and a primary 8 megapixel rear camera that takes amazingly crisp photos.


There are a wide range of colorful and artistic backgrounds to choose from, options to customize the colors, the arrangements of the tiles are easy to change and it’s easy to personalize to my specific tastes and needs.

I can see this unit completely replacing my laptop. The tablet I received did not come with the all-in-one docking station with keyboard, but if I was able to get that, I would never need my laptop again and I would take this on business trips and vacations with me instead of my heavy laptop. My only quibble is that I’m actually afraid of dropping it. The only frustration I’ve had regarding this unit so far is the inability to find a silicone cover / case for it. I’ve searched high and low, even from the acer website, but I can’t find a silicone protective case for this specific model. At this point, I don’t even care if I have to pay $50+ for one, I just want a dang case for it so it’s not so slippery and apt to slide around.

Tablet Shown With Docking Station

Apple listed this tablet as a competitor so you know it’s gotta be good! Of course I haven’t even bothered using our iPad since I got this tablet, but that’s mostly because my two year old has it with one episode after another of Doc Mcstuffins. There was a time when I did get to use it but I never got addicted to it like I have with this Intel Tablet. The tablet is just so much more grown up.

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