Trendy Techie

Toronto-to-Halifax lifestyle blog about being a fashionable girl working and learning in the tech world.


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Six Countries in 24 Hours

I’M BACK ON THE GRID! After a week in Italy with no internet connection (in possibly the worst time not to have one, at the end of the school semester), I’m finally back in Halifax – for two days, that is, before heading out to Seattle with Microsoft for the student partner summit and Imagine Cup world finals!

Last week was not at all the trip we were expecting. We thought we’d be going to Italy via Toronto, not via Toronto, London, Paris, and Munich! This was my first time being turned away from a flight, and what started out as a normal vacation turned into the biggest, most fast-paced adventure of my life.

We made every connection by minutes, relying on the goodwill of people and travelers’ luck to carry us through on zero hours of sleep and what felt like an eternity of uncertainty. Watch the video below to get the full story and find out why I was turned away from my flight!

As mentioned in the video, there are more posts from Italy coming up soon! I’m off to the airport now to fly to Seattle with Microsoft! Follow me on Twitter @theTrendyTechie and with the hashtag #MSPsummit to get the full coverage of the Imagine Cup world finals news!

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Top 5 Travel Gadgets (My First Vlog!)

Hey techies! Today is an exciting day for me because I’m hopping on a plane to Italy! This will be the first of eight flights in the next two weeks as I fly from Halifax to Italy to Toronto to Seattle, back to Halifax, on my epic two-week summer trip. In honor of the week I’ve spent packing, I decided to change it up a bit with my first ever Trendy Techie video! Here I share my five favourite gadgets to bring on a trip, so grab some peanuts (do they still serve those on airplanes?) and check it out!

Here are the gadgets I feature in this video:

Lenovo Yoga Taptop

Microsoft Arc Mouse

Swarovski USB Bracelet Cuff

Volkswagen Portable Brick Charger

Sony NEX-5R

My next post will be from Italy – Ciao for now!

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Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

For years I’ve been curious about hair extensions, so I was excited when Irresistible Me offered me the opportunity to review their clip in extensions! Based in the Fashion District in New York, Irresistible Me offers 100% Remy human hair extensions, preprocessed and dyed to a range of natural shades. Remy extensions are the highest quality human hair extensions because they look the most natural and full.  The images below show my before and after wearing Irresistible Me’s Remy extensions in Silky Natural Black, 20 inches long and weighing 200g.

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The difference is clear from the front, my hair not only looks thicker, but longer too! Without extensions it falls just past my ribcage, but with the extensions it brushes my waist, past the end of my crop top. The clip-in extensions are so easy to put in, and the whole transformation takes less than five minutes. They are fully stylable and washable, and can be worn over and over with proper care.

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From the side you can see the increased thickness of my hair, from a ponytail of a few centimeters in diameter to a few inches!

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Finally, the difference the extensions make from the back view is just amazing. It looks so thick and luscious, like a Disney princess!

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Look at Jasmine’s blissful face, that’s how I feel wearing these irresistible extensions. You can check out Irresistible Me at their website, and see more reviews of their gorgeous extensions on their Facebook page!

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Midsummer Trendy Techie Guide to Techsessories

Looking for the perfect gift for that special person’s birthday (or the perfect summer techsessory for yourself)? Look no further! I’ve curated this list of awesome Trendy Techie gadgets to take you through the rest of this hot, hot summer and into the fall in style.

1. Audio Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff x Stelle Audio

This designer clutch contains a speaker that connects to your phone via bluetooth to play your tunes easily and on the go. Its compact real silver and genuine stingray leather frame packs a punch with a 15-hour battery life (of continuous use) and built-in microphone for speakerphone calls.

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2. Flash Drive Cufflinks by Ravi Ratan

Remember my hidden USB bracelet cuff by Swarovski? Here’s the perfect complement for your guy (or anyone who wears cufflinks)! The 2GB drives are hidden neatly into these sleek and stylish cufflinks, available in silver, yellow, green and more.

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3. Wired Series Headphone Sweatshirts by Rusty

This mini feat of engineering puts headphones into the hoodie pulls of these sweatshirts by Rusty. Fully waterproof and machine-washable, you’ll never leave the house without your music again! Available in a range of femme/masc/unisex styles including rain jackets and Green Day branded sweatshirts, Rusty has created a stylish way to wear your music all day, every day.

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4. Playable Electronic Drum Kit Shirt by ThinkGeek

Be the life of the party with this playable drum kit shirt! All seven drums/cymbals can be played by tapping them. Check it out, this video shows it off pretty well!

5. Classic Arcade Watch

I’m a lover of unique watches and old arcade games, so this watch just tugs at my heartstrings! Not only is it super cute and functional, its lighting pushes it over the edge into the cool zone. And it’s only $49.99!

6. Glowing Crystal Cube Necklace

In the noise of all these statement necklaces lately, this necklace certainly holds its own as a talking piece. Available in four colours, it lights up in the dark – the perfect complement to your clubbing outfit!


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Gift on, party on, trendy techies!

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Moto 360, the Wearable to Watch

“In the future, your watch will be able to give you directions, play you music, and show you your text messages without you ever having to touch your phone.” If you’d told me that seven years ago when I still had my old flip phone and iPod Nano, I would have thought these magical watches were decades away. But in the past two years the tech market has been flooded with smartwatches, and now a new announcement from Google I/O promises to change the smartwatch industry and bring to it a whole lot more accessibility, functionality and magic.

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Android Wear, Google’s extension of Android OS for use on wearable devices, gives developers the ability to develop apps for wearables using an adaptation of the Android platform. Wearables running AW will benefit from notifications synced with other mobile devices, data transfer between wearables and handhelds, and voice actions that open up a wealth of possibilities for hands-free interaction.

In all the buzz around the release of Android Wear, the wearable that stands out of the crowd is Moto 360. Motorola’s smartwatch is the first watch using Android Wear with a round face, making it the first smartwatch to actually look the way we want it to while performing all the functions we dream of.

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With the classic clean exterior of a wristwatch and a powerful Android brain, Moto 360 looks almost too perfect to be real, like a toy. Its large face spans rim to rim, except for a small piece on the bottom, which is where the drivers are housed. The beautiful default face simulates a classic, clean analog wristwatch, completely at home within the round shell. According to The Verge‘s report of the Moto 360, the watch’s round design was decided when executives asked children to draw a watch – they all drew round ones, and the shape was decided.

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This beautiful watch is set to be released later this summer, and Android Wear APIs are currently available for developers to play around with. I can’t wait to get one and get building!

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#EskaQuest App Scavenger Hunt Toronto

It’s not everyday you get to use an app and social media as an integral part of a social event, but this is exactly what EskaQuest is aiming to do in Toronto this coming July! A great opportunity for the whole family, this digital scavenger hunt will have Torontonians searching the city for ESKA-themed tiles with QR codes that connect to interactive smartphone challenges. Each completed challenge earns you points that can help you win one of 10 iPad minis!

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“Our smartphones often close us off from the world around us,” says Jim Delsnyder, President and CEO of Eaux Vives Water  Inc. “Eskaquest marries the online and offline world to encourage people to get outside, take in your surroundings, and really see our amazing city.” This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a non-tech company cite smartphones as a limiting distraction – remember FOCUS, the unexpected fashion line by Trident Gum? But the difference is, where Trident shut our phones out, ESKA is embracing and changing the distraction to make it an integral part of the experience.

There are two ways to play EskaQuest: Solo and Clues. Solo participants can compete throughout July by viewing the map at eskaquest.com, which shows the area where tiles are hidden. In the Clues competition, clues about the locations will be revealed throughout July on ESKA Water’s social media feeds: Facebook, Twitter (@ESKA_Water) and Instagram (@ESKAWater). Both ways to play last for all of July and use the app for challenges, which is free for download on eskaquest.com and on the Apple and Android app stores. What a great way to integrate technology, activity and summer!

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Diane von Furstenberg Google Glass Available for Purchase on Net-a-Porter + Bonus Top Apps

It feels like just a few months ago that Google Glass made its controversial splash as the first “everyday” augmented reality eyewear to hit the market, and now it has not only been given a (much-needed) high-fashion facelift by renowned designer Diane von Furstenberg, but it is also available for anyone to purchase on Net-a-Porter! Anyone willing to shell out $1800, that is.

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The frames, which come with attachable sunglass shades, allow you to augment your life with the number of Glass apps available on the market. Social sharing, interaction with people and objects, and navigation are some of the everyday actions that have been simplified by Glass. Here are my top three Glass apps that are actually useful (not just cool, pretty or vision-cluttering):

1. AR Wikipedia for Google Glass

AR (Augmented Reality) Wikipedia implements the most basic and useful of Google Glass concepts: it provides you with information about your surroundings, populated from Wikipedia. Really useful for travelers and for those moving to new cities!

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2. Watch Me Talk

Watch Me Talk provides live captioning of conversations to help the hearing impaired converse with others in real time. Watch Me Talk is currently in beta, and promises some amazing upcoming features including live translation for travelers conversing in different languages! This app will make it a lot easier for people to travel, and so much easier for the hearing impaired to live in our sound-based world.

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3. Glossaic

Photosharing for Glass – a social network complete with competitions that displays Glass photos from around the world in one beautiful collage. Basically like Instagram for your glasses.

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So what do you think, will you buy them? I think I will…once they come down in price. I’m dying to get my hands on a pair so I can develop on them! They use the Android OS, as expected since they’re made by Google, so it shouldn’t be too hard with the SDK!

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