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Review: AfterShokz – Trekz Air, Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones

A few weeks ago I was looking for wireless headphones, I wanted something to wear to the gym but I wasn’t sure if I wanted noise cancelling or something else. There was a whole debate about what’s better on my Facebook page and I ended up ordering a pair of noise cancelling but they made everything…too quiet! I’m rarely in a situation where I want to silence everything, I feel safer when I can hear. I like to know what’s going on around me when I’m walking around outside, working out, or in transit.

Then something great happened! I got asked to review AfterShokz headphones with bone conduction technology in a program with PTPA. Over the next 4 months, I’ll be testing out the headphones in my daily life and sharing my experience. I was really keen to try how bone-conducting headphones work and the technology behind them.


First Impression

I can tell you right now that my first day I was pretty blown away. The cool thing is, since AfterShokz headphones don’t go IN your ear, you can still hear your music, a podcast, an emergency siren, or someone calling your name in the office. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m really quite into them, plus you can hardly notice when they’re on. [Don’t mind my hair it’s so wild right now!]

Comfort

Comfort is a big factor for me and these are small and lightweight, you can hardly feel you’re wearing them. I’m not that into earbuds, I’ve found most of them uncomfortable in the past. I feel like a bit of a dork telling you this but there’s been a few times I’ve had them on, forgot I was wearing them, then wondered where the music was coming from. Ha! They come with a handy carrying case for easy transport when you’re not wearing them but to be honest, you can wear them all the time with ease.

I love being able to hear what’s going on around me but also have a soundtrack to my life. 

Me on Day 1 w/ AfterShokz

How Does Bone Conduction Work?

The sound is a little bit hard to explain but I like it, it feels futuristic. You can turn up the volume so you hardly hear anything around you, or keep it low and be fully tuned in to your surroundings. They also come with ear plugs if you want a noise cancelling effect but I don’t think I’ll be using those.

According to Aftershokz:

“Bone conduction is a natural part of the hearing process—sound travels through our eardrums and bones simultaneously. We’ve taken the concept to the next level through development of a suite of proprietary audio technologies and design patents. The result: headphones that deliver unrivaled situational awareness and comfort.

via aftershokz.ca


In my next post, I’ll be sharing how they are for working out now that my shoulder is better. They repel sweat and I’m gonna put that to the test. I love that you can wear them cycling or running and still feel safe and alert to sounds around you. I also have a giveaway with a pair for a lucky reader so stay tuned for that! Any questions about the sound or bone conduction technology, leave a comment or Tweet me!

Follow #ShokzSquadCAN to see what the rest of the review team is saying. 😊

casiestewart, blog, blogger, toronto, canada, travel, tech
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Over the next 4 months, I'm reviewing AfterShokz headphones in a paid partnership with PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved). All opinions experiences are my own and I get to keep them!


 

Review: Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum

Over the past 45 days, I’ve been testing the Roomba i7+ from iRobot. Overall, awesome vacuum, especially great for bungalows, love the self-cleaning feature.

casie stewart, roomba, toronto, review, tech, blogger

I’ve wanted a Roomba or years and talked about it on Twitter back in 2012. Hello, who wouldn’t’ want a little cleaning robot?!

We have quite a few stairs at home, so I decided Roomba would live at the 1188 office. Honestly, it’s been such a hit with everyone, they were all so excited when the big box arrived, it would be interesting to find out what is best robot vacuums to try out. It feels like we have an office pet again! This works for the floors, but for the rest of the Office Cleaning we do still hire a specialist cleaning team, as the Roomba can’t clean walls, fridges, technology, and other office items!

casie stewart, pridyct review, roomba, roomba i7, tech, toronto, blogger
Welcome to our lives little guy!

I would say the only downfall about the Roomba Robot Vacuum is that it can’t do stairs, yet! It does have Cliff Detect so it won’t fall down or take a tumble should you have some stairs around.

Once I got everything set up, it was really quick to download the app and connect the device. The Roomba i7+ is the smartest robot vacuum yet. It has a cleaning dock to empty itself plus an app that lets you control it and see where it’s cleaned.

You can see it was super quick to set up. I snapped these screenshots all in the same minute! My favourite part aside from clean office floors is the app (by the way, this is the perfect vacuum for wooden floors). I’m able to see if there’s an issue, what’s been cleaned, or set it to clean at any specific time.

Cleaning

Two features that make this an amazing machine are 1) Dirt Detect™ Technology and 2) The Edge-Sweeping Brush. Dirt Detect gets to know areas that need more cleaning like high traffic spots and prompts the robot to be more thorough when cleaning there. The magical Edge Sweeping brush gets into the edges and corners. I found this quite useful in the kitchen and around office chairs.

Self Cleaning

This is a handy feature. The robot cleaned 4h 57minutes before needing to be emptied. This feature means you don’t have to worry about emptying the little robot once it’s full saving you time and energy. It’s really easy and not messy to take out the full bag, toss, and put a new one in. The vacuum set comes with 2 bags and it was about a month before I needed to empty the bin. You can order new bags from the iRobot shop.


Smart Mapping

I love this feature. Some people mentioned it’s ‘kinda creepy‘ that it makes a map of your space but honestly, that doesn’t really concern me when I arrive at the office and the floor is tidy.

The Roomba i7+ robot uses Imprint™ Smart Mapping technology to learn the floor plan and it gets better over time. You can set it to just clean certain areas, pick specific times, or set to a schedule. Watch the video below to see how it works.

Another really cool thing is that the Roomba connects to Alexa enabled devices or Google Assistant. The joy of saying “Alexa, run the vacuum” makes me so excited for the robot future.

Great vacuum. Highly recommend.

casie stewart, roomba, toronto, review, tech, blogger

Also, this is my favourite comment from Sean about the new Roomba, haha.

“I dropped some chips so I woke up the Roomba”

casie stewart

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Disclaimer: iRobot sent this for me to review in exchange for my honest opinion and that's exactly what you've got here! 

Unpopular Opinion: I Like The New WordPress 5.0

Ashley Longshore, NOLA, Louisiana, painter, magazine street, travel, pink, bright colours, artist, casie stewart, blogger, travel blogger

I installed the new WP 5.0 that came out last week right away. I like to be the first to try things out. I’ve always been an early adopter. There are a few glitches but I believe this is the start of a new, modern, flexible WordPress. It gives you so much more customization in the way your work is displayed, photos, galleries, quotes.


I ran into an issue when I first installed WP 5.0 where it reverted me back to the Classic Editor. I lost Gutenberg when I installed 5.0 then I installed the Classic Editor and couldn’t get Gutenberg back. I searched a whole bunch of WP developer forums and it was VERY CLEAR, people HATE Gutenberg and they HATE Blocks. To fix it I disabled the Classic Editor plugin, and deleted, reinstalled the Gutenberg editor. I also disabled Page Builder (Site Origin) and a couple other plugins that I wasn’t using and probably weren’t updated for WP 5.0.

I blogged about my fav parts of the new Gutenberg Editor back in August when it was released here.


One of my favourite things in the new editor is how you can display images wide across the page. I love the way galleries look stretched out instead of just within the pixel width of your blog text. So pretty. These photos are from Ashley Longshore gallery in New Orleans, LA.

What are your thoughts on the new WordPress, do you love it or do you hate it?

Comments open!

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TELUS Friendly Future Foundation: Helping Youth & Communities Across Canada

telus, future friendly, partner, blogger, tech, foundation

Across Canada, 1.5 million children go hungry without access to nutritious food every single day, 30K Canadians are homeless (mostly young people), and 40% of low-income families don’t have internet access putting kids at risk for falling behind in school. We can all do something to help and this year Telus launched the Friendly Future Foundation putting $120 million into addressing the social and economic challenges facing Canadian youth.  I am proud to work with Telus and have been a #TeamTelus partner for the last 8 years.  


The Foundation will give grants to grassroots charities in communities across Canada who really know their community and how to help. By partnering with smaller charities, they’re able to help out groups that might be missed by huge corporate donors and make a big impact in small communities. I think this is an amazing approach. I work with Brands For Canada, an organization that provides new clothing & basic needs supplies to people across Canada and this method of working with local charities has worked great for them. 

The Friendly Future Foundation funding will help kids build up digital literacy skills, get basic healthcare and mental health support to the homeless, and open up other educational opportunities. Here’s an example of doing good in a community not too far from us, Telus donated $20K to the Women’s Shelter in Barrie.


casie stewart, telus, give where we live, toronto, charity, donations

The $120 million TELUS has provided for the Friendly Future Foundation is the largest donation made by a publicly traded Canadian company in history and one of the largest ever in North America. Way to go team!

Over the past two decades, TELUS, team members and retirees have contributed more than $1 billion of value to Canadians, through $530 million in financial support and 1.21 million days of volunteerism. Last year alone they (we!) volunteered 1 million hours. 

I’m continuously impressed by how Telus gives in communities where they live. I’ve had the opportunity to do some giving back of my own through volunteer programs and they have made over $21,000 in charity donations on my behalf. This year my donation went to Cambridge Montessori (where I went!) and last year my donation went to SKETCH, an art based program for kids in the GTA.  I’m hoping to do more with Telus and local programs for 2019.


Have a project that could use some help? You can APPLY for funding here. The deadline for Toronto applications is January with different deadlines across Canada. So, if you want to make a difference, learn more about community grants here and get on it.

casie stewart, telus, give where we live, toronto, charity, donations

For more information about the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation visit friendlyfuture.com/en/foundation. And for some inspirational stories about people Telus has already helped, check these out.


This post is part of my long-term partnership with Telus sharing great stuff the brand is doing, my favourite things about being a customer, and tech gadgets I love (or want!).

Instant camera photos of children faces in heart-shaped pile

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