Thursday, May 20, 2010

That's Incredible...

So a few weeks ago I got one of those PR emails…you know the ones…
I have something I think you’ll totally love! Check out this awesome product….

Well, I get a lot of those – but a lot of those just don’t fit in over here at the Gust Gab. I’m not one of those totally cool review/give-away blogger types…Not that I wouldn’t want to be one…I just want to keep the premise of this here blog what it originally started out to do…chronicle the lives of our family, so that our kids will have a record of their lives…and so that family and friends far and wide can keep up on what we are up to (at their convenience.)
Talking about/offering give aways for things that fit right in with our lives - AWESOME!

Paying me to link up to an auto body shop in Arizona that I've never been to or heard of? Not awesome!

So…when I was offered the chance to utilize Verizon’s brand spankin’ new HTC Incredible phone in exchange for my thoughts, I’ll be honest. I hesitated. Big time. What would I want to do that for? I have had no desire for an iPhone, and while I contemplated a blackberry some time back, the added data package ($29.99) a month completely turned me off of that.
Life is expensive enough!
But, Albert (the PR guy) thought it would be worth my time to check out the camera on Verizon’s Incredible, seeing as how I was just having the point and shoot debate with myself! With an 8 mega pixel camera built right into the Incredible, does a person really need to carry around a point and shoot camera?
I would soon find out…


So…when I first got my hands on the Incredible, I was all thumbs. A touch screen with cute little buttons I thought oh boy, I will NOT be able to navigate this thing. And I'll be honest - the sheer number of options scared me. Well, that didn’t last long. A few hours later I was quickly accessing the Internet via our home wi-fi connection.
You don't NEED wi fi but it sure makes it nice! Super fast connections, clear screen, easy to navigate...intuitive? Both the hubs and I have been overwhelmed by our friends' crackberrys...but this phone...even novice phone folks like us could use it with no issues!
And it was...gasp...FUN!

As someone who desperately needs wants to stay connected, using this phone couldn't of made that any easier. I have Internet access on my current phone, but let's be honest. The phone I have now is no match for a 3G phone like the Incredible.
I can clunk my way around the interwebs but I cannot stay on top of things or connected like this new phone allows.

Albert was right - the 8 mega pixel camera was pretty awesome. I took a few crystal clear Caterpillar shots - and you'd be hard pressed to tell which ones were from my camera and which were from this phone -

Stay tuned for video - I'm going to whip that out when myself and 50+ other bloggers converge on Nye's Polonaise on Thursday night!

I didn't try out too many apps...but there are thousands and thousands of apps to choose from, many of them FREE.
There's a pretty slick calendar for adding things in that I tested a little bit. Can it really be THAT easy? (I'm a paper planner in my purse kind of gal yet.)
With a simple touch of the main screen - I had access to FM Radio...HELLO! How AWESOME! Working in an office where you want to drown out the sound (yes, I know about Pandora & hello folks! This phone does that too!) Or out for a walk or a couch to 5k run and don't want to carry your phone AND your ipod? Well, ta dah! Now you are carrying one less device!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

In fact, I love love love this phone.

What I don't love ~ If you use this phone to access the Internet (and why on earth wouldn't you if you have it?) the battery needs to be charged daily. My google research tells me that that is common for smart phones, so while it's common, it's a big adjustment for us in our house, as we're used to our phones holding a charge for close to a week...(we aren't big phone talkers over here)
I also don't love that Verizon offers this phone to those signing up for a NEW contract for just $199.00 - but if I were to get this phone - my price is $529.00. I've been a Verizon customer for the last 16 or so years...Shouldn't loyal customers get the same specials they woo new customers in with?

I can justify the additional monthly charges, because with my current plan - it would be an additional $15.00 a month for me - an extra $30 a month for the hubs...Easily worth the extra .50 a day to play with this phone for me, and be able to stay quickly and easily connected...I don't have the hubs convinced that he needs one yet - though I'd gladly share mine with him for app usage, connecting to the web on the go, etc etc...

Seriously...SUCH a time saver.
While I love social networking - let's be honest - it can be a real time suck! Being able to check in here and there so FAST sure makes it less so!
No more sitting down with the lap top at bedtime trying to see what I might have missed...and realizing two hours have passed!

So...I guess here you have it - Three weeks ago you couldn't of paid me to upgrade to a smart phone...now, I'm wondering how I'm going to live without one.

Seriously, it's INCREDIBLE!

(And if you don't believe my lay man's review - just google the phone for yourself - there are plenty of techie reviews out there agreeing about the incredible-ness of this phone!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We have Butterflies...and so will...

So I know you've all been dying for an update on our little caterpiller friends right?

Well, three of these babies hurried up and made chrysalides...and two took a little longer - but D and I got to watch one transform RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES!!
Literally, this little caterpiller guy was hanging upside down wiggling like crazy...and then VIOLA!
He was all tucked up cozy inside his little cocoon like his friends!

And again - the picture quality from the Verizon HTC Incredible phone? Ah-MAZING! I don't know if I'm going to be able to give back this promo phone...and seeing as how this phone will cost me $529 plus an upgraded monthly plan...I don't see how I'm going to get it otherwise! GASP!


But the REAL moment you've all been waiting for...



And the winner is...

Comment #2 - Unplanned Cookin' - Jennifer!
Congrats!
Shoot me an email with your address so Kurt over at Insect Lore can ship you your very own Live Butterfly Garden! I hope you your kids love it as much as I mine do!
I was soo nervous to transfer these guys to their new home - to await their arrival as Painted Lady Butterflies...
thankfully, watching a video on the Insect Lore website a few times reassured me that I could do this...though on the website -they have this perfectly round piece of paper that their chrysalides were attached to - our little friends appeared to have eaten half of it???
::shrugs::
whatever...now, we wait!


I'd say by the weekend we should be the proud parents of 5 new butterfly friends!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Butterfly Kits from Insect Lore...A Give Away!!

So...it's no secret I've got this thing about spring...

I just love the renewed sense of life that one has when the snow all disappears and new life starts popping up all around us...
I'm learning to garden, little by little...and absolutely loving it...

I don't do food (yet) unless you count an occasional pumpkin -
but oh how I love the flowers ~ for with the flowers, come the butterflies. We looove our butterflies...and we even put special treats out for them...see how we kept them happy last year??

The kids get just as excited as I do about our butterfly friends...they are soo beautiful to look at...
So, you can imagine how awesome I thought these butterfly kits were that we saw on tv, from a pretty neat company called Insect Lore. H asked me a few times if we could get that...and I'll admit...I was thinking - that cannot be for real...can it?

So...I thought I'd find out for myself by contacting the company.

Not five days later...I came home to a package on my doorstep, courtesy of Insect Lore. I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't as excited about this as my kids are! ok, truth be told, I might even be more excited...

In said package? An awesome poster showing the life cycle of a Painted Lady Butterfly - which is already hanging on D's bedroom wall per his insistence,

Lifecycle Stages Figures that the kids are absolutely fighting over -



and...get this you guys...LIVE BUTTERFLY LARVAE!


I am sooo. beyond. excited.

We have this cup with little teeny tiny larvae in it and we are having soo much fun watching them hang out and eat...

What an amazing experience to be able to watch this life cycle transpire right before our eyes!

Thanks to Kurt and the kind folks at Insect Lore - my kids are enjoying this experience, and not only that -

one of my readers also has the opportunity to win
the VERY. SAME. PRIZE PACKAGE! EEK!
SOOO EXCITING!!

That's right folks! Kurt at Insect Lore has offered to ship the same great things to one of you awesome readers...
What do you have to do?

Simply leave me a comment HERE ON THIS VERY SAME POST but over on my main blog telling me what you like about spring, or what other products from Insect Lore you think are cool, or that you think I'm awesome...or all of the above. Or none of the above... but seriously. That's it. Just leave a comment. I'm not going to give away extra entries for becoming my fan on facebook or following me on twitter, though I'm happy to have you along for the ride over there if you want and would love to have you share this super cool experiment with your friends...

If you want to follow along with Insect Lore on Twitter - do that too! But it's not required!!

Are you as excited as I am about our new found friends residing on our kitchen counter?

Go ahead...tell me how cool it is via my comments and you too might be able to play along with your very own kit should you be the comment that random.org selects! Comments will be closed on May 14th at midnight with a winner to be drawn shortly after that!

Can't wait?
Visit insectlore.com to order up your own today!
These words are my own. I was not compensated to talk about the Butterfly Kit, however my family was given the above mentioned items to review in exchange for my honest feedback/opinion.

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