Have at least 2 backups for your photos: one on an external hard drive and one in a cloud account (like Google Photos, which offer free, unlimited storage.)
Encrypt your photos before backing them up.
Organize your photos by year or location or whatever suits your needs. You can go light and quick on organizing with a year and subfolders or you might consider also tagging your photos to make themes, categories of topics easier to find.
Keep your backups up to date. (Enough said!)
Don’t rely on Facebook to protect and store your photos for you. Facebook makes a lot of changes and you never know what change they will make next. Also, keep your private photos PRIVATE by not oversharing on FB and other social media.
Source: Heimdal Security
My favorite Christmas gift last year was a Canon camera. I wanted one for a really, really long time and it's taken my almost a year to get in to the groove of using it. It took me awhile to figure out I needed a new camera strap, a flexible tripod for stability and a lense bumper
The camera package came with a handy-dandy (read: kinda cheap and ugly) branded camera strap that was too short to be comfortable. I don't like heavy necklaces let along carrying equipment around my neck so with my a new Amazon Prime account, I was able to find a great deal on an over the shoulder camera strap that was way more comfortable and functional. Holding a camera on your side is much more comfortable because the weight is distributed across your torso rather than around your neck. The hip length strap is especially comfortable for hiking or for those occassions where you are walking all day. I also like that when you are not using, the camera is out of your way - you just have to watch out for not bumping your camera on a corner or a boulder. The strap is very comfortable to wear and to carry your camera on and there's a tiny pocket to store either a battery, cloth or card. The material is strong and well-constructed and it was easy to adjust. Further, there is a safety tether and a screw mount as a double safety measure that your camera won't part from the strap and crash and burn. There's a 3-year warrantly. The Hi Guy Camera Strap is only $14.95 and for that price - wow!
I like the fact that this tripod is easily packable and light weight and yet very well-made and durable. It is made for DSLRs so can handle weight up to 6 lbs. The legs are super long to wrap around trees, poles, and bend the legs to get just the perspective you want. The legs have rubber around the balls to keep the tripod secure.
I know that tons of Youtubers like to use this tripod for vlogging. Another great feature ishe ballhead. It's super easy to rotate to the angle you want and to secure it in place. You can buy an later model for nearly double the price if you want to spend the extra money. This Joby Tripod used to sell for close to $90 but now you can get it on Amazon for less than $40. I'd rather save the money. This is super function. Highly recommend. If you are a newbie like me, you can use this to experiment with time-lapse photography which is pretty sweet!
This set includes both a rubber lens hood and tulip hood that gives you extra protection from accidental bumps and scratches. I was scrambling up some hiking path and my new Canon hit a boulder which really was a wake up call that I need to protect my new equipment better. The rubber acts like a shock absorber and in addition to protecting your lense, the hood helps prevent those annoying flares. Flares are those circles of bright light that occur in your image when the light source is outside the frame. Another plus is that these hoods collapse for easy packing and compact storage. The cleaning cloth is a nice bonus. Sells for $10.99 on Amazon. (67MM Lens Hood Set (Tulip Flower + Rubber Lens Hood)
As Editor of the Wellness Travel Journal, here are my top picks for 5 functional products you won't want to be without. This quick round-up covers health, wellness, beauty and tech! Enjoy!
Don't you love the name? Being that I have natural curls - I had to try this product because my natural locks can be a challenge, especially during the summer when hair can look wilted or frizzy. This product does what it says - it helps create bouncy curls with a soft finish (not crunchy sticky or oily like so many other curl cremes.) This product is fragrance, sulfate and paraben free so it's a healthy choice - and as an added bonus it is packaged in a 3 ounce BPA-free tube so you can pack in your carry on bag for touch ups on long haul flights. This is for all the girls and women with curly hair. Retails for $16.99
Being that I am active in the summer with hiking, water sports and all sorts of unexpected adventures, I like the fact that with Green Goo, ou can replace 5 products for 1 of Green Goo's all natural, therapeutic ingredients in their First Aid product for cuts, scrapes, blisters, sunburns and even poison ivy. The salve will help calm itchy mosquito bites too. Green Goo is a family owned and operated company that's got your back for all your summer camping needs.They also have a specific product, Poison Ivy Care, made from a blend of essential oils (rosemary, lavender and calendula) that tackles poison oak and sumac rashes. Green Goo has travel sized, eco-friendly products that come in tins and sticks. Heck, they even have created a deoderant travel pack! You can find their products at Target or you can buy online.
One of my favorite hats in the Wallaroo Hat Company collection is the Catalina Cowboy. It's comfy, lightweight and has some stylish spunk. I like that it's made from natural material and is very light weight and breathable. Wallaroo is smart in their approach, understanding that people are more likely to protect themselves from the sun when they look good doing it. Here's a company that found a way to make skin cancer prevention fashionable with their cool collection of hats, most of which provide UPF 50 + sun-protection, shielding the wearer from 97.5% of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Trendy and functional, the hats are crushable and machine washable, which makes them a protective accessory to take anywhere.
SunScreen: SunWhip SPF 25 & SPF 30
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Most everyone knows how important it is to use sunscreen but a recent report by the Environmental Working Group looked at 880 sunscreens and found that 73 percent of them were ineffective or contained dangerous ingredients like oxybenzone and retinal palmitate, which can cause hormone issues and can potentially increase the risk of skin cancer. That's why I was interested to learn about cyberderm's sunwhip with certified organic zinc oxide in a hydrating olive oil base that make application smooth and transparent without an unflattering shiny finish. The SunWhip SPF 25 is designed for daily use while the SPF 30 adds more protection and is good for those with pigmentation issue, sensitive or aging skin.
The Charge Hub
Having your batteries run out while traveling is a very frustrating experience. The ChargeHub X3 is a supercharger that charges up to 3 USB devices simultaneously in one central location which helps avoid the frustration of charging in multiple places and tangle cables. Personally I like that it is compact and very packable so it is good at home and great on the road, when often outlets are at a premium. There is a soft blue LED power indicator light shows the ChargeHub X3 is on and functional. It also has several safety certifications which means you don't have to worry about frying your devices.
Disclosure: I was invited to review these products and only write about products I like and believe in.
There's nothing like feeling a cold wind or draft on your neck. It can make your feel downright miserable. Volt Resistance is a company that has created a complete line of heated clothing from jackets and vests, socks and slippers to gloves and scarves. The line provides a solution to people who suffer from the cold when their bodies are not able to provide the warmth and comfort they need.
While the Volt HeatedScarf is probably intended for snow adventurers and brave-hearts, I thought it would be a perfect item for my mother who lives on the East Coast, where the winters can be harsh. She's forever cold as her circulation has slowed down with age. I received the Volt HeadScarf in exchange for this review.
How the scarf works: Position the heating system where you want to be warm and press a button. It's that easy. There are pockets at the end of the scarf which you can use to hold a cell phone. The scarf is machine washable. The product comes with a USB cable and 5 volt battery pack.
Volt Resistance heated clothing uses heating technology that is patented called Zero Layer® which allows you to manage your thermal comfort regardless of the temperature.
Disclosure: The author received a product sample for review.
Computer Bag Black Leather Flap
When I was invited to review this bag, quite frankly, it was like Christmas. Having just purchased a 15-inch Mac Book Pro, I was in need of a stylish, contemporary bag and I wanted something a bit edgy and yet also classic. This is it!
The leather is absolutely of the highest quality -- soft and supple -- and utterly luxurious. Well-constructed and designed, I especially like the simple design and minimalist approach. Open up the flap and there is a zippered pouch. On the backside of the bag there is another zipper compartment for larger items.
The hardware is silver and the inside of the bag is lined in black - not some awful pattern or colored lining that I have seen in other bags. The shoulder strap is thick and hefty enough to help distribute weight. You can wear the bag across your body or over should with the adjustable strap.
Interestingly enough, when you go to Beckman US website, there is no product description of "Computer Bag Black Leather Flap" - only that the material is made of cowhide leather. This is such an awesome bag, I would like to see it given justice on their website! This bag retails for $110.
About Beckman of Norway
Beckman of Norway is the oldest and largest brand of backpacks for school children in 1948. Started in 1948, by Olav Beckmann, the brand focuses on design and functionality.
Olav wanted others to feel good, and he participated in projects that benefited society. Beckmann still carries this vision and supports two major projects including Bertines House - a home for disadvantaged mothers in Ukraine and Speed School. Beckman also sends an intensive education for children who have missed out on school in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Beckmann also supplies to children all around the world. To learn more about Social Responsibility at Beckmann click here.
Beckmann's goal is "to make you a happy customer" -- and with me, they have succeeded on several levels. I am both happy to have such a glorious bag and to know that this company has a sincere mission to improve lives.
Always on the look-out for a stylish and sporty bag to carry my MacBook, I was invited to try ecbc's messenger bag. This is a brand I know, like and trust because they are well-designed and made with high-quality nylon fabrics, self-repairing zippers and dense padding to protect laptops. One of my favorite ecbc products is their Hercules backpack which I have taken to South Korea, Thailand, Germany and with me on most of my travels around the United States. It has served me really well.
Now the reason I chose a different style and opted for the Zeus messenger bag is the styling and color. While both bags you can take across the globe or across campus, I was interested in a versatile bag that would work well for conferences and meeting. I love that this bag comes in linen and looks more feminine that typical and boring black and weights only 2.2 lbs. It is lighter than other ecbc messenger bags and that was another deciding factor. Laptops, paper, water bottles and other items all add up in weight so I don't want to start with a heavy bag and feel bogged down.
Here's what I like:
The handle is super-padded so it feels good when you grip it
The should strap adjusts and is also padded (so it won't dig into your shoulder)
The nylon is water resistant so you don't have to worry about rain, sleet or snow
The zippers are self-repairing
The pocket for your water bottle is zippered so it won't fall out if the bag tips over
There are multiple compartments to stay organized.
There's a quick access front pocket which comes in handy for your boarding pass, passport, lip balm, scarf or what ever you want to grab easily.
As mentioned I like the color and the fact that it is light weight.
The Zeus messenger bag by ecbc is stylish, fresh and smartly designed. It retails for $119 and comes in a variety of colors including black but also berry, blue and green.
For more info: http://www.ec-bc.com/
Asked to give Ridgemont's "The Monty Hi" a try for a review the product, I was happy to comply. These were perfect for my 7 day hiking vacation at WellFit Malibu.
Here's what I like about this particular boot:
What took a little getting used to:
For hiking tips, click here from WellFit, click here.
To read my review on WellFit Malibu click here.
To read about Damon Botsford, Hiking Manager at WellFit, click here.
When you hear compression socks, you might think of those unfashionable medical socks worn by older folks for a variety of ailments. Here's a line of compression socks that are fashionable and functional with health benefits for travelers of all ages. Graduated compression provide support to tired achey legs for for everyone from road warriors to pregnant women to driven athletes.
Here's the backstory: Kelsey Minarik founded RejuvaHealth after a blood clot after a long flight. She was only 22 years old at the time. Here's some info on deep vein thrombosis. It's no joke. Check out the info below courtesy of http://www.medicinenet.com.
Invited to review any one of the laptop messenger bags, laptop backpacks or carry-on luggage choices from a company called ecbc, I was interested to accept after reading about their TSA "FastPass System." You may be wondering what does that mean?
ecbc bags's TSA Friendly FastPass technology refers to a section of the bag designed specifically for electronic devices. The FastPass design means you simply unzip your bag at TSA checkpoints so that your bag is into two sections laying flat. Your electronics are protected in one half while the other half of the bag protects your privacy. This system allows you luggage to pass through the conveyer belt neatly without showing your clothes and other items packed.
I chose the Hercules backpack in berry. Black or blue seems too ordinary and tan seemed like it would show dirt quickly so I opted for a berry. It was more purplish than red than I thought but still a nice color.
The construction and material are high quality with lots of padding in the shoulder straps which is great, especially if the bag contains heavy items. The back panel features moisture wicking material which will be especially useful when traveling to muggy climates like my upcoming trip to Thailand. The padding used for the technology compartment is made of high density protective foam - nothing flimsy here which was good news for my Mac laptop.
I liked to be organized when I travel so having lots of well-designed, well-placed compartments is a big plus . There's a side section to stow away a water bottle, lots of pockets for phones, pens, cords etc but I also really like the easy to access ticket pocket at the very top of the bag. No need to go digging through a bag to find your ticket (or phone) when the gate agent is trying to herd masses.
The Hercules model weighs 2.7 lbs - that's another reason why I chose this model. I light to travel light.
All of ecbc's rolling luggage comes with a portable power pack which is an interesting perk and very smart of ebc to include as a way of helping their customer's devices stay charged and their customers connected and stress-free.
The luggage options fit pretty much any need from back to school, to business or overnight as a leisure traveler.
In essence my Hercules backpack is a good looking bag, well-made and while don't have to use ecbc's FastPast system because I paid for the Global Entry program, it's a bag I will definitely use and would recommend to others.
For more info go to ecbc.com
I have been wanting to get a pair of wireless headphones for awhile now and was invited to do a product review on SOL REPUBLIC's "Tracks Air" first wireless Bluetooth headphones.
First, the packaging - wow - it was so well presented that opening up the components felt like an early Christmas gift - lots of anticipation. The directions for syncing were super easy. When I connected to my IPhone I was giddy at the quality of sound emanating from these stylish headphones.
I played my favorite tunes and soon my Fitbit was buzzing at 10,000 steps before I knew it. I absolutely love the freedom to move about. (These headphones were also super helpful when tree trimmers down the street started with their chainsaws.)
I found that the syncing with my IPhone was a lot better than syncing with my MacAir. I had to change the settings so my laptop would not fall asleep and disrupt music flow and it also seemed that my IPhone had a much better signal and I could literally roam from room to room without disruption. I also love that the battery life is long. The website says 15 hours. I am just happy I haven't had to recharge yet and I've been using the headphones to play Christmas music while I do my wrapping.
The headphones come with a 100-Day Money Back Guarantee which is pretty darn awesome if for some reason you are not satisfied.
The other cool design feature I read about -- is you can switch out the colors of the actual ear piece if you want. Mine came in white on white and I love the look. The headphones also come with a jack if you want to connect the old fashion way and there is also a nice black travel bag to put everything in when you travel.
You can purchase on their website or Radio Shack
They retail for $199.00 and come in blue, white, red or black.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.