New Year’s Resolution Fail: 3 Devices and Apps that will Help You Get Back on Track

ny resolutions failure

According to University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology via Statistic Brain, 24% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions fail to meet them. You may have been one of these persons last year.  But this year will be different, don’t be part of the statistic! This is the year you are going to make a difference, you’re going to quit smoking, lose weight, or even manage finances more intelligently. This is the year you will succeed. However, like many people, you may have gotten discouraged and reverted back to your old ways.


Fear not! It’s not too late to start again and make this year a memorable and fulfilling one, technology is here to help! Here are 3 devices and apps that will help you get back on track:


Fitbit Zip

Over the past year so many fitness tracking apps, gadgets, and wristbands have been released in an attempt to help fitness buffs start and track their workouts. Some have proved to be a great success while others have to failed deliver as advertised. Fitbit Zip’s original Fitness Tracker was one of the first gadgets of its kind to give regular people a way of tracking their activity throughout the day. However, Fitbit has changed its game a little by redesigning its first product to the tough and slim One and the budget Zip, a souped-up pedometer, with a face.

 fitbit zip

The Zip is a rather basic option in comparison to the brand’s previous gizmos, but you don’t need to spend a fortune and have something strapped to your body at all times to get moving. Now, this is not just your regular pedometer because it’s been built solely for those who want to not only just count their steps throughout the day, but keep an eye on their calorie intake and take a closer look at their daily data via the comprehensive Fitbit app or web dashboard with sharing and gaming features too.


cessation nationCessation Nation

Is quitting smoking one of your New Year’s Resolutions? If you answer is yes, but you’ve found yourself backsliding, then the Cessation Nation app may help you get back on track. The app allows users to set a quit date, and then tracks their progress on the road to becoming a non-smoker. Need some motivation? Users can see how much money they’ll save by not purchasing cigarettes and they can view the immediate health benefits gained every day by not smoking. Cessation Nation even features distracting mini games that users can boot up to keep their cravings at bay.




ixpenseitNo one is perfect at money management, but there are always small things users can do to keep their finances in check. This app may be a bit on the costly side, but you will soon discover that it may just be worth it. iXpenseIt simplifies your money matters with daily expense tracking and monthly budgeting. Whether for personal or business use, its intuitive reporting provides insight to where your money went and identifies new ways to save. It also gives you the ability to input expense data anywhere, anytime within seconds and even allows you to store photos of receipts. Saving money is hard, but this app can help users visualize the process and track progress, which in turn can make managing money a New Year’s resolution that is easy to keep.


Remember, change of any kind can seem daunting at first. The key to success is to having the right mindset, a solid support group and a concrete plan will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals and be successful with your New Year’s resolutions.



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Do You Need an Intervention? Apple Snobs Need to Answer These 5 Questions

apple fanboy

More than a nuclear war, the Mayan calendar, or acidification of our oceans —an Apple fan turned Apple snob is, really, the demise of the world. Are you one? Let’s hope not.


1. Does an Apple bumper sticker adorn your car?

apple bumper sticker

The backside of a car has been the designated space to make passive aggressive statements or outward proclamations since 1927 when the Ford Model A was introduced as the first vehicle to be built with a bumper. “Google Search: Bumper Sticker Wikipedia” also informs that bumper stickers first made their historic debut as flag-like stickers attached to bumpers by wires before World War II, as well as promotional “See Rock City” cardboard signs advertising the tourist spot Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.


Now that the history lesson is over, evaluate that Apple decal plastered to the backside of your car. Fellow drivers have to unwillingly acknowledge that you, along with 50 percent of the U.S. population, (proudly) own an Apple product.


Recovery Tip: Remove Apple sticker, along with your 26.2 and Greek letter stickers while you’re at it. Then restore your car’s integrity with with Goo Gone!


2. Have you camped out in front of an Apple store?

apple store campers

In 2013, die-hard Apple fans were photographed at a two-week campsite outside the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. A seemingly unemployed camper in a powder blue Under Armour polo and khakis embarked on a publicity quest to await the rumored September 20 release of the next generation iPhone. The event even unfolded on social media as fans took to Twitter to publicize their Apple experience.


9to5Mac shared how it got real, real fast, on Twitter that fall:


“Hey @9to5mac we are camped out waiting for the new iPhone. Retweet and spread the word to follow @SYMJustin and myself along our journey!” Jon Murphy (@SYM_Jon) September 6, 2013.


“Finally camped outside the apple store with @sym_jon now the real adventure begins” Justin (@SYMJustin) September 6, 2013.


Recovery Tip: Use the online pre-ordering option and get a job.


3. Are protective device cases for amateurs?

apple otter box

Apple products are lauded not only for slick functionality, but a stunning design. The iPhone 6 is built with technological perfection and feels like lightweight luxury in the palm of your hand. Any true Apple connoisseur realizes what shame it is to mask the beautiful design of an iPhone with a clunky plastic case. You believe in the expert craftsmanship and aesthetic elegance of the iOS.


Recovery Tip: If your Apple pride keeps you from protecting it with a massive Otterbox case, pick up an iphone 6 protection plan. You’ll be grateful you have it for when you crack the screen or drop it in the loo.


4. Is the green text bubble a dating dealbreaker?

apple green bubble iphone

You know who you are. You just broke into texting territory with your latest Tinder interest and now texts come through as green bubbles. Green text bubbles are an abomination, which means the quintessential Apple snob regrets not swiping left. But people who text green bubbles are human too. Beyond the green bubble text message could be a good heart, compassionate soul and intelligent mind.


Recovery Tip: Remember, there’s more to a person than the color of their bubble.


5. Do you see the world as “iPhone vs. Android”?

apple vs android

You’re either team iPhone or stupid. And if someone dares to be pro-Android, you might as well drive to a cliff and catapult yourself off of it. If the ongoing iPhone vs. Android debate is as big of a conflict in your life as House of Starks vs. House Lannister or Lindsay Lohan vs. Sobriety, you’re more than just an Apple snob. Apple shouldn’t bring out the worst in you. Be a happy Apple user! That’s what Steve Jobs would have wanted—a world of happy and open-minded Apple device fans and users who can peacefully coexist with fans and users of other brands.


Recovery Tip: Find peace and harmony by befriending an Android user to resolve your Android aggression.



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2015 Tax Season Begins: Identity Theft Scams on the Rise

tax scams

It’s that time of the year again. As we prepare our tax returns, the IRS and other government officials are preparing for an increase in tax refund identity theft. While you’re dreading and worrying about your 1040′s, identity theft scammers are gleefully scheming of ways to steal your private information. Last year, the Internal Revenue Service paid out an estimated $5.2 billion in fraudulent tax refunds.


These thieves regularly pretend to be employees of the IRS in an attempt to convince taxpayers that their e-mails you receive are “official” communication solicitations. When you open the email, victims are tricked into revealing personal and financial information. Undoubtedly, the priority of these scammers is to try and get your credit card and bank account numbers, passwords, or your Social Security number. Armed with this type of information, these thieves will use this personal data to steal from your financial accounts, rack up charges on your credit cards, or open new loans under your name.


tax identity theft

How do you know if your tax return or records have been affected? Taxpayers only discover they’re victims of tax refund identity theft when they attempt to file a legitimate return. The IRS will reject the tax return and typically sends a notification stating that:


  • More than one tax return has already been filed
  • There is a balance due or collection actions have been taken for unfiled tax returns
  • The IRS has realized you’ve received wages from employers that you don’t know

With the prevalence of identity theft scams heading into the 2015 tax filing season, here are some tips taxpayers could follow to protect themselves, including:


  • File electronically. The IRS suggests that consumers should file their taxes electronically.
  • Lock your mailbox. Most thieves are also known to target your mailbox. With employers sending sensitive information like W-2s and other personal documents, consumers could lock their mailboxes to prevent thieves from accessing this mail.
  • Sign up for fraud alerts. Placing a fraud alert on your credit report can help prevent your accounts from being used for fraud. Identity theft protection services offer such round-the-clock monitoring.
  • Check your credit report. If you feel that you are a victim of identity theft, review your credit history to determine whether or not an identity thief has used your identity to conduct fraudulent activities.
  • Avoid unsolicited calls. Remember that taxpayers will not be asked to reveal their personal in unsolicited calls. If you’re being solicited for personal information, listen to the alarm bells ringing in your head.

Scam artists are highly creative people. If you have doubts or suspect you’ve become a victim of identity theft, the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit is available for people to contact. Pick up the phone and call the agency.




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The Coolest Tech Revealed at CES 2015

CES 2015

Every year, Las Vegas plays host to the world’s largest Consumer Electronics Show or CES, an event where tech companies from all over the globe come to show off their latest prototypes, products, and services. There were several top-notch products and accessories that overwhelmed us. But there were only a few that stood out. Here are some of the coolest techs revealed at CES 2015:


LG G Flex 2

lg g flex 2

LG has officially launched the successor to its G Flex smartphone in the form of the G Flex 2. LG’s new G Flex 2 improves on the faults of the earlier model and delivers a solid all-around package that will interest the average consumer. It’s essentially a curved version of the LG G3, a curved smartphone with a 5.5-inch plastic OLED screen. The G Flex 2’s screen is stronger and sharper when compared to its predecessor’s, and its self-healing rear has been improved so that minor scratches disappear in 10 seconds instead of three minutes.


Dell XPS 13

dell xps 13

The Dell XPS 13 is everything a Windows user could possibly want in an ultra-book. It not only sports a better design, but it is essentially a MacBook Air with 15 hours of battery life and an optional touchscreen. What really makes this standout is the price point. Why? Dedicated Windows users are getting a high-end, premium laptop that for just $799 before any discounts. Compared to other notebooks in its class, that is definitely a great price.


Toyota’s 5,680 Fuel Cell Patents


Toyota made moves this CES 2015 that border on selflessness. In an effort to increase the proliferation of hydrogen-fuel cars on the roads, the company is to grant royalty-free use of 5,680 global patents related to the technology from now until 2020. This very well encourages other manufacturers to start investigating and using fuel cell tech. Toyota plans to launch the first hydrogen fuel cell car the Mirai in 2015.


Panasonic’s 4K Blu-ray Player

panasonic 4k blu ray player

Panasonic showed off the first 4K Blu-ray player prototype at CES 2015. It’s a sleek brushed-metal box expected to go on sale towards the end of the year. Panasonic has revealed it will support High Dynamic Range video quality.


Dish Sling TV

dish sling tv

Sling TV is a $20 a month subscription service that gives you access to watch a number of premium channels, including ESPN, TNT, HGTV, Cartoon Network & more on your Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, and more premium stations without a traditional cable subscription.  TV will never be the same!


There were hundreds of products unveiled in this year’s CES and the ones listed above were just some of the standouts of the event. All tech lovers can look forward to what the technology world has to offer this year.


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Scenic Road Trip Destinations You Can Take this Winter

scenic winter

The annual migration of winter vacationers to the world-class ski resorts in the California’s Sierra Nevada and the Colorado Rockies is bound to keep highways busy. Although winter is a good time for “cocooning,” the months between November and March represent one of the heaviest road trip times of the year. Some travelers are on the road to warmer climes while others are headed for winter playgrounds. For your convenience, we’ve listed 3 of the most popular scenic road trip destinations you and your family can take this winter.


mt rainierAshford, WA – Mt. Rainier National Park


Hidden amongst towering fir and cedar trees at the foothills of Mt. Rainier National Park, Ashford is a popular destination for those venturing deep into the Cascade Mountain Region of Central Washington. Mt. Rainier National Park is a popular place to enjoy winter activities. The mountain receives abundant snowfall and the scenery is spectacular. In winter, recreational opportunities are numerous. A winter visit to Mt. Rainier can include ranger-guided snowshoe walks, Paradise snowplay, camping, snowboarding, and skiing. Adjacent to Ashford you’ll find the small town of Elbe, where you can board the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, which is by far one of most relaxed ways to take in the secluded backcountry of Mt. Rainier National Park.


wellsboro paNorth Central Pennsylvania – Wellsboro


Located along scenic Route 6 in North Central Pennsylvania, Wellsboro and the surrounding area offers a unique vacation beginning with a natural wonder over six-million-years-old. Also known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, this breathtaking terrain is the result of melting prehistoric ice glaciers. Undoubtedly, a great road trip destination as every winter, traffic on Wellsboro’s Main Street is halted as the town thoroughfare is magically transformed into a remarkable Victorian market.  The Wellsboro Dickens of A Christmas showcases an impressive collection of theatre, music, history, shopping, and food.


oregon coastOregon Coast


Most travelers tend to overlook the Oregon Coast during winter, contemplating only the snow-capped Cascades and the high, dry deserts beyond. But did you know that the Oregon Coast’s cities and towns save some of their best festivals for winter when the weather is sometimes rough but the provisions and company remain superb. Winter festivals take place along the length of the Oregon Coast, offering up food, music, natural treasures and hospitality. Just take the Oregon Truffle Festival as an example. The festival includes the truffle talent of local chefs with special meals and wine pairings as well as tastings, cooking classes, and demonstrations. This festival itself is worth traveling for!


Nothing is more freeing than the open road! For generations, travelers have enjoyed the wind in their hair traveling from one destination to another seeking romance and adventure. Hop in that rental car, pick a destination, and you’re in for a memorable road trip.



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