Last week I went to the National Home Show as a guest of Best Buy Canada to check out smart home accessories. After CES and the Interior Design Show this year I’ve become obsessed with making our home more efficient with smart things. Upgrading appliances in your space can help save energy (thermostats/appliances), make things more comfortable (lighting), and keep you safe (security camera).

For the National Home Show, Best Buy partnered with designer Christine Dovey to design a fully stocked smart home pop-up where you could see all kinds ways to pimp your place with technology. I left dreaming about new appliances for the whole house complete with a super skinny & smart Samsung QLED tv.



I was obsessed with the Samsung ‘Family Hub’ fridge, this thing is totally from THE FUTURE. It’s got a wifi touchscreen and three inside cameras that take a photo every time the fridge closes. Then, you can check your phone to see what’s inside, it also knows what’s inside, it make recipes, it can track expiration dates. Kinda hard to wrap the old brain around!  I LOVE THE FUTURE.


When I was at CES in Vegas this year, one of the award winning new products was the Nanoleaf Aurora light panel.All the lights connect to my iPhone and can change a zillion colours and different shades of white (warm vs cool).  I was so excited to order this for our house! I would love to say I went for the cool lights knowing Emily (9) would love them but they were totally for me too.

We had guests over this weekend and I set the Nanoleaf up on a table in our living room and it was so awesome. I set the lights to slowly go through colours of the rainbow (this gif is fast so you can see). The 9 little triangles can be moved around to any shape as long as they’re connected. I plan to put them on the wall eventually.

Two other things I ordered from Best Buy) were a set of Philips Hue A19 Smart Wireless bulbs and the little Hue Go Portable Smart LED Light. They both can all be controlled by my phone and adjusted to encourage moods or be programmed to timers.


My mum stayed over the other day and this works as a great little night light. I easily fits on your hand, isn’t to bright, and is super light.

Phillips wireless HUE light in action


By changing a couple lights in the house to smart bulbs we’re saving energy and changing the way it feels. These were all pretty simple to set up but you can always have someone from the Best Buy Geek Squad help you out.

Learn about the wide variety of Smart Home products available and determine what fits your home and lifestyle by visiting your local Best Buy or BestBuy.ca

 

This post in is in partnership with Best Buy Canada and the National Home Show. In exchange, I received perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my very own! Thank you for reading!
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Last nights @meetDITTO event was really great. I was super tired before getting there, ate a sub and felt  gross, the day was long and busy. On my way to the event I picked up a card for Natalie (organizer) as a thank you and bought her some patches for her jacket (FIMINIST/BOSS WITCH).

Got a last minute coffee before it stared and bought one for Carolyn too. HUGE thanks to Nataliegh and Avery for bringing us all together to learn and celebrate.

Stories the other women shared were so inspiring. Gave me so much energy. Don’t forget…

We’re all just out here hustling and making things up as we go. Nobody knows wtf they are doing. 


I talked to a fab young woman who’s been following the ol’ bloggy since 2009. How cool is that? She was telling me how she wants to create but wants also it to be perfect, so she hasn’t been making things. I told her she’ll wait forever with that attitude. Don’t wait.

You need to create in order to make mistakes, to learn.
You have to work hard to get to the next level.

So, make as much shit as you can and do it fast. Learn faster.

Don’t sit there tinkering, put your hands together and make something!


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Some of my favourite tech things right now for SPRING.

This is Sacha (above) and we work together on Telus. I’ve been partnered with the Telus team since 2009, my longest relationship! Working together has brought us closer as friends and every time we meet to ‘work‘ it hardly feels like we’re doing a ‘job’. I’m smiling as I write this thinking of all the LOLs we had last week at the Eaton Centre Telus Store. Don’t know if you’ve been in a Telus store recently but there’s HEAPS of home, audio, fitness, and fashion tech, aside from phones.

I cruised the store picking out some tech things I love, to share with you. Here’s a few of my favourites right now and why I love them.


JBL Clip 2 – Travel & Party On with This Loud Lil’ Thing

I was sent to CES (Consumer electronics Show, Vegas) in January with Harman, the parent company of JBL. This little speaker packs major power and the 2017 version is waterproof not just water resistant. At CES they had them planing tunes in the water.  Last year at the cottage I used this little buddy so much and it’s my go-to travel speaker for hotel room dance parties. It’s surprisingly LOUD for it’s size.


Lose your stuff all the time? Me too! Get a Tile!

I backed Tile when it was a Kickstarter a bunch years ago. It’s a little plastic thing with Bluetooth that connects to an app on your phone.  You put them on your stuff to track it and the device makes a noise when activated. I can not tell you how many damn times I have lost my keys in the house, in a purse, in a jacket, in the couch, behind the couch, in the blankets, in a drawer, or in the pantry (yes).  Turn on the app, locate keys, listen for sound, then rush to your Uber before he drives away. Life saver. The new Tiles are also super small.


DON’T BREAK YOUR PHONE (again 😩)

I love my iPhone so much but for SOME REASON I can’t take care of it like a grown up. Up until Sacha and I hung out last week, I was going around without a screen protector on my new iPhone 7+.  WHAT WAS I THINKING. I picked one up that day and high recommend you don’t leave home or the mall without one.

* I dropped my phone the following day and it must have been a sign because I would have for sure cracked my screen. I recommend one that’s glass and something that goes edge-to-edge. A good one can be $30-50 but think how much cheaper that is than getting your screen repaired. Right? Exactly. Grab a case while you’re at it. 


I can’t force you to protect your phone, stop you from losing your keys, or make a party happen (ok that I can do) but I can suggest you peek your head in, and take a stroll at your local Telus store. I think you’ll be happily surprised!

Over the past few years through my work with the company, I’ve helped out in community projects, raised money for the Make a Wish Foundation, taken Emily to WE Day, supported WWF, donated electronics, and more. I’ve always loved their commitment to communities, people, and the environment. We’re planning some more things for this year and I’m really looking forward to it.

They recently brought back the ‘Future is Friendly‘ slogan and this commercial shows how they do so much more than just phones.

 

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Behind the Scenes w/ @OccupiedVR + VICE @CreatorsProject

I popped into Wallace Studios during this shoot to see Sean and the Occupied VR team at work. I love catching him in his element! Occupied VR is the *new-ish* company created by the 1188 Films Inc. partners created to focus on VR, 360, etc. work. They recently did the VICELAND CUT-OFF documentary w/ Justin Trudeau.

It was so awesome to see how this VR experience was created. Screens were setup to watch the super-slow motion shots in real-time, inside the VR experience. I’m really not the best person to explain!


Check out this behind the scenes video by VICE Creators Project


Both 1188 and Occupied VR have done some reallllly awesome projects, visit occupiedvr.com or weare1188.com to check them out.

If you’re interested in creating something, send me an email at the office!

casie stewart, toronto, blogger, speaker, influencer, "this is my life"

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2017 Canadian International AutoShow w/ @VWCanada

Recently I went to the AutoShow with VW to check out what’s new for 2018. It was a PA day so people were invited to bring kids and pets along for the special event. I documented it all with my Snapchat Spectacles and they were a hit. You know how much I love tech and these things are rad, watch the video here. I’ve always loved cars, we spent heaps of time in the garage and hot rod workshop w/ dad growing up . It’s incredible how far car tech has come!

Volkswagen is known for great performance, reliability, and safety, ‘a good German car’ as I’ve heard so many times. We were looking at the 2018 Tiguan Redesign, 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, and 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf. There was also another little one I just loved, scroll down to see!

The event was hosted by Amber Mac, George Pimentel, Afiya Francisco, and Heather Davis. Amber of course talked tech aspects of the new cars, George took photos, Afiya talked about style and how your car fits your lifestyle and aesthetic. Heather is a family road trip expert and she shared how the 2018 Atlas was a great family car for travel, seats 7!

2017 VW AutoShow Event Hosts

The 2018 Tiguan Redesign is a great car for people who like adventure.  I like the aesthetic of this car, it’s sleek but tough, you can tow a set of seadoos or boat (up to 5500 pounds) and pack all kinds of stuff in the boot. Perfect for #cottagelife

New Kate Spade Boots, Ted Baker scarf, jacket from Venice Beach, and Spectacles of course!

My fav was the VW Beetle Dune. A few people said this was a perfect car for me. I love a cute little convertible! It’s actually quite spacious with 4 seats and enough room for a couple suitcases in the trunk.

Ready for a road trip? I AM!

One of the cool new things they launched at the AutoShow was the 2017 Volkswagen eGolf. This a 100% electric car, perfect for someone who loves technology and sustainability.

It’s got a fully-digital cockpit and all the fun of the OG Golf without the gas. There’s also an option for 12.3-inch digital display behind the steering wheel. This baby can go up to 150KM/hr (but don’t) and almost 200km on a single charge.

The future is HERE. 

All-New 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Virtual Casie, in Virtual Reality!

The VR experience was very cool. It was my first time wearing a sub pack and the gloves for wireless movement and touch in VR. I touched long grass, threw snowballs, and stacked rocks to make an inukshuk all in virtual reality. Well done on this guys!

The AutoShow is on right now until Feb 26th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

There’s heaps of rad cars at the show but I definitely recommend popping by the VW booth in the North Building to see what’s new for yourself. The VR experience is totally worth trying. It’s a glimpse into the future!

For past adventures at the Toronto International AutoShow or the Detroit International AutoShow go here.

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I Got 3D Scanned by Telus at Sherway Gardens, it was COOL.

Been to a Telus store lately? They’ve got heaps of new tech and accessories, you can find a Fitbit (I have the Alta!), pick up a Nest for home, treat yourself to wireless headphones, and all kinds of other great accessories. I mentioned a few of mine of the holidays here.

Well,  in their constant pursuit of innovation they’ve set up a 3D scanning booth setup outside the Telus store at Sherway Gardens. You can pop by and get yourself scanned! Telus will send you a digital avatar you can control with an emoji keyboard. I went to test it out IRL and broadcast my session on Facebook Live. Sherway Gardens is a hella nice mall btw, whoa. It’s been ages since I went there.

PRESS PLAY TO WATCH THE VIDEO 👇🏼

 

Getting 3D scanned w/ Telus hiiiiiii

Posted by Casie Stewart on Friday, February 3, 2017


I love working with Telus bc they’re always doing cool things in the community and topping up my life with great tech. 💚

Wanna get scanned in 3D? Swing by Sherway Gardens before February 14th to experience the 3D scan.

The booth is set up right outside the Telus store. And, if you’re not near the GTA, have no fear, more locations will be added soon. I’ll let you know when I know. 😎✌️

 

 

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2017 Tech Trends from from @WeAreWearables & #CES2017

Last week I was on a panel at We Are Wearbles TO Meetup. Five journalists took the stage on a panel to talk tech trends from CES 2017 earlier this month. I was at the conference in Vegas and there was definitely lots to see.  If you’ve not been to CES, IT IS HUGE.  Imagine Toronto’s MTCC x 10 with other demo areas set up in massive hotels (ex. Aria).

During the panel we talked about trends and products we saw on the CES floor. Mostly sensors, wearables, VR/AR, fashion, hearables, & smartwatches.

A really cool sensor I saw at CES was the Corning ‘Glassie’  a smart mirror class that has a camera in it and can take your photo. Perfect for those OOTS amirite?!

I learned about the Nex Band that has 5 customizable buttons unlike any other smart watch wearable. The Nex band is ‘a smart band that lets you create custom hacks in seconds, with no coding required!”. Very cool, like to try one of these out.  [👋🏽 waves hiiiiii!]

Lowdown Focus is the latest from Interaxion, makers of the Muse Headband. I wrote about using the Muse here. The glasses are packed with sensors including EEG, EOG and EMG technology, they also have a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyro, 3-axis magnetometer, UV sensor (UVA and UVB), temperature gauge and a pressure sensor. Pretty incredible considering they look like a totally normal pair of glasses.

The Lowdown Focus is the brain-child of Safilo, the Italian eyewear giant that produces sunglasses, sports eyewear, and helmets under its five house brands, including Smith Optics and 22 licensed brands like Dior and Fendi- read more on BetaKit

If you’re curious about any other stuff we talked about at WWTO pop by their website so see what’s hot in wearables and tech. If you’re keen to attend the next meetup, sign up here for a free ticket.

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TRAVEL | Vegas, Baby! #CES2017

First trip of 2017 starts bright and early tomorrow morning. I’m heading to LAS VEGAS!

I’ll be joining a bunch of journalists + influencers from North America for CES and my trip is sponsored by Harman Kardon (JBL, Bang & Olufsen etc). They’re hosting us at the Hard Rock Hotel and on Friday night they’ve got STING playing a concert in the hotel bar.

I AM SO EXCITED. 

Aside from my set itinerary, I’ll be exploring the conference floor, attending talks, and rounding up all the hottest tech trends.

▶︎ Later this month I’m speaking on a panel at WeAreWearables Toronto about tech trends from CES. Get a ticket for it here! I’m also checking out VR stuff for Sean’s company Occupied VR.

I can’t wait. CES is so freaking exciting. I went a couple years ago, tech heaven! It’s also a bit warmer there than Toronto. I’m also hoping to check out the Neon Sign Museum and maybe do a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon.

After Vegas, I’m driving to LA with a friend and staying in Venice Beach for the week. I can’t wait to document this trip.

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Talking Influencer Marketing on the #UrbanizeTHIS Podcast

This week I was a guest on the final episode of the UrbanizeTHIS Podcast with Matthew Slutsky & Ara Mamouran. We had a blast recording and a bunch of laughs before and after. I chatted about the web, influencer marketing, social media, and real estate.

Click the play button below to listen! 


I got to try on my first pair of Spectacles from Snapchat since Ara has a pair. I AM SO JEALZ OMG. I didn’t connect my Snapchat to test out recording but they felt cool. These glasses allow you to handsfree record videos and post directly to Snapchat. FOLLOW ME ON SNAP: CASIE STEWART

 

I am hoping to try and track down a par at CES in January! I’ll also be in LA so if the Snapchat Bot is anywhere near, I WILL FIND IT!

Subscribe to the UrbanizeTHIS podcast here. I you have a topic suggestion or guests you’d like to hear from Tweet @aramammo or @iSlutsky. (Yes that’s his REAL NAME! 😜)

 

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Visiting the Google Shop within a Shop + $250 Best Buy Giveaway

About a week ago I was out the door bright and early one morning for the media preview grand opening of the first Google shop in North America at Best Buy in Mississauga.

I love going to this type of event! Ever since I was a little kid, my dad used to take us to stroll around Future Shop, look at all the gadgets, test stereos and TVs. I think I have him to thank for my lifelong love of tech.

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The new Google shop at Best Buy, Heartland Town Centre

Google Shop is a ‘shop within a shop’ that’s got all kinds of Google goodies and product demos. I visited one of my favourite beaches in new Zealand via the Portal, tried Fantastic Beasts in w/ Google Daydream VR, and was sent home with Google Chrome.

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Amber Mac testing out Google Daydream VR

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My new Chromecast! Set it up as CasieCast 🤓

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🎅🏼 I thought this was a neat thing to do over the holidays! Hangout with Santa in the Google shop. Select your city at g.co/instore to find your closest location.

Before touring the store I chatted Best Buy’s Angela Scardillo, VP Marketing & Communications. The main thing I learned from her was how they’re really trying to make tech approachable. Their new round of ‘experience stores’ have a more immersive experience where you can touch, feel, test things.

The new store design has raised access flooring that expands and contracts expand so they can actually move the store around and change the shopping experience.

The new flagship Google shops are now open at Best Buy locations in Mississauga, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

Angela also showed off her Google Pixel phone and I really want to try one. It takes great photos and organizes them in your phone like Google Images. I’m still thinking about it days later…

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To celebrate the new Googley space at Best Buy, we’ve giving away a $250 gift certificate.  To enter leave a comment, visit FB, follow us on Twitter, or send a tweet. You have to be in Canada to win and sorry no Quebec.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Partnered with Best Buy and Google Canada to bring you this post. I love them both! Yay. Remember when I blogged about Google as my BF? 
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A couple weeks ago at the Enactus World Cup with Capital One Canada I did a survey to see what type of leader I was. I love doing these types of tests. (I have a tattoo based on a personality test I did a few times in high school & university.)

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What I love about the Enactus program is how it’s helping create young leaders around the world collaborate, implement, and celebrate, ideas. Their businesses are having an impact on global food, water, and sustainability. These leaders are socials conscious innovators, who take matters into their own hands, they look at the world and think ‘how can I make a difference?’

Aside from being super inspired by this experience, it was also awesome that Canada WON the competition on home soil in Toronto. Read about their innovative hydroponics system that’s bringing fresh produce to Canadian communities HERE.

My first result in the Capital One Survey survey was ‘Visionary Leader’ but I think there’s characteristics of all the different types I can identify with. What kind of leader are you? Take the survey below to find out!


My Test Result – Visionary Leader: Big goals + big picture = big payoff!

“The dreamer who likes to operate at 30,000 feet. You have a vision of what the world will be like in the future and you set about to make things happen. There’s no idea too big for you to tackle.”

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I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. In primary school there was a rule implemented where you needed a gym bag to put your clothes in for class. So, I went home that night and made a bunch of drawstring bags on the sewing machine with mum. The next day I had three sizes and sold them to kids at school.

In grade 9 I wrote a book and stared a publishing company.  In grade 12, someone from Conestoga College came to my school to do a presentation, that night I came home and said to mum ‘I’m not going to university anymore, I’m going to college for Marketing and I start in September“.  I took marketing because I KNEW if I honed in on those skills, combined with  my natural abilities, I could work anywhere in any industry.

I think this result resonated me because I believe in not following the grain, setting big goals, and innovating to make them a reality. If you look  at the last 10 years I had a vision of my blog and what I would be doing one day. I had NO CLUE know how big social media become, but I knew a decade ago, there was a shift happening.


One of my fav leadership quotes in innovation is this one by Henry Ford about ‘faster horses’. I’ve stressed the importance of innovation for years. Remember this episode?

Capital One conducted a leadership study and these are key results to note: 

  • * 1/3 of Canadians wouldn’t consider working for a company that didn’t have a social responsibility (charitable) program
  • * 3/4 Canadians believe socially conscious business leaders are the most effective
  • * 80% of Canadians feel it’s important the company they work for is involved in the community
  • * 84% of Canadians think it’s important for a company’s leaders to show that they are giving back to the community

Working with Capital One Canada and learning about Enactus made me really think about creating more and focussing on the big picture. If you’re keen to learn more about the Enactus program or get inspired through teams involved, visit enactus.org. Capital One Canada believes in education and supports several community investment partnerships, learn more hereCapital One Canada sponsored this post but the stories are mine, all mine! 😊

Time to get crackin’ on that big idea! 

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If you haven’t seen my tweets over the last few days I’ve been kinda obsessed with Amazon Prime. I forgot to cancel the ‘Free Trial’ and got charged the full ~$100 Amazon Prime amount for the year. Yeah duh. Whatever. I’ve decided to embrace it and tbh it’s amazing. [This post sponsored my bank account.] 

I ordered a whole bunch of things this week including a big ring light, tripod, studio backdrop, citric acid, and an iPhone ring light. The acid is for making bath bombs! It was $5 for a small canister at Bulk Barn yesterday so I checked Amazon and bought 2 pounds for $10 AND it arrives today.

A couple people asked me about my little baby ring light for my iPhone. It was from Amazon and is on SALE FOR $14.99 ($16.99 CA). The package was all in Japanese (?) and it came with batteries.

ORDER →  Universal Camera Ring Flash

Took photos in this post with it. Last night I was speaking on a panel about ‘Aging Gracefully’ with an event for Restylane/Galmerma. [I got a couple fillers this year if you missed that post.]

CASIESTEWART, IPHONE, SELFIE, RING LIGHT, BEAUTIFUL, BLONDE

SELFIE / PRODUCT SHOT

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IPHONE SELFIE W/ RING LIGHT + SNAPCHAT

I got a few other things this week but I haven’t opened them yet. Thinking about using them to make a video but idk so, no promises. That’s all for today.

THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING. DO YOU LIKE THE NEW LAYOUT????

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Tech | The FUTURE is HERE: Siri Can Now Send Money via PayPal

Last week I met up w/ Jen aka @jennandthecity for after work drinks, we’ve been meaning to hang out for ages and our schedules finally aligned. It was my first time checking out Bar Reyna in Yorkville which has a gorgeous back patio that feels like an escape from the city.

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I picked up the tab bc we were in a bit of a hurry and a couple days later, Jenn sent me money via PayPal using Siri. I’ve had PayPal for ages and it’s my fav way to shop online, this new integration makes sending money to friends super easy. If you’ve ever had to pay someone back or been waiting for someone to pay you back, it can be super awkward and/or annoying. Luckily your girl Siri makes it super easy. 

Starting November 10th, for the first time in Canada, iPhone users can tell Siri to send or request money through an integration with the PayPal app.


Once you’ve got the PayPal app [download here if you don’t have it yet!] and your phone is on iOS 10, you’re ready to roll. Wake up Siri and ask him/her to send money to a friend.  Contacts who match the name will pop up, select the person, and voila, Siri will send it.

You can 100% send money to someone who isn’t on iPhone and if they person doesn’t have a PayPal account, they’ll be prompted to set one up.

Lending money to friends can end bad, on average PayPal found that 30% of Canadians have lost a friend over an IOU. Been there? Me too.

In the PayPal Money Habits Study by Koski Research, they found more than 53% of us Canadians find it awkward to ask friends or fam to pay us back. It’s probably because we’re so nice.

‘Sorry but can you pay me back the money you borrowed? 💁🏼’ – me


To give PayPal integration a go, download the app from the Apple Store and make sure you’re on the new iOS 10. If you have any questions about using PayPal with Siri, visit the Help Center. Here’s a look at Jenn’s first go using it.

PayPal, is always looking for ways to make it easier for us to manage or move our money. This new Siri integration now is avail in 30 countries and in a variety of languages. No reason not to pay your friends back now!

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*Post sponsored by PayPal Canada but opinions all mine. I was stoked to know about this coming to iPhone be I legit love PayPal and use it all the time. 

*PayPal Money Habits Study conducted by Koski Research, 2015. Between May 14, 2015 and June 25, 2015, over 4,000 participants from the U.S., Canada, Germany and Australia participated in the 14-minute online study. Additionally, a five-minute online study was conducted by Koski Research between June 22 and June 28, 2015 to over 4,000 participants from the U.S., Canada, Germany and Australia.

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On my travels last month I was in Miami for a short visit so I took a tour of the Wynwood Art District. I’ve been dying to go there and check out the walls.

Telus hooked me up with with the new iPhone 7 Plus before my trip to the Florida Keys so I left my DSLR at home and went iPhone only. Telus has been rated the BEST National Carrier for iPhone and has  a variety of plans avail to make sure you get the phone you want. You might be looking to upgrade after all my travel photos! For info about the iPhone 7 Plus or awesome features of iOS 10, visit telus.com.

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TBH this phone camera is the absolute BEST I’ve ever had. I strolled around Wynwood for about hour taking photos of walls, doors, various alleys, and art in alleys. When I got to the airport I edited them all using Camera and no apps or filters. I am so impressed with this little thing! 

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The sky was a little crazy this day because Hurricane Matthew was passing by, it made for a good street art backdrop though.  The iPhone 7 Plus has 2 lenses 1 is a reg iPhone camera and the second lens is a telephoto. With the iOS 10.1, Apple released Portrait Mode which uses the telephoto lens to isolate the subject like a professional camera (DSLR). It’s incredible. Works amazing to take photos of friends but also is killer for close up shots of products, nature, just about anything with dimension.

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Lots of photos in this post so have the short version here, click below for like 20 more!

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