Tap to Pay with ISIS Mobile Wallet

More than likely, the smartphone you carry around with you is more than just smart... it's a work horse! It's a camera, a personal assistant, a clock, a computer, a sketchbook, a game player/babysitter…

And now, it's a wallet.

Introducing: ISIS Mobile Wallet!

ISIS Mobile Wallet tap at terminal.jpg

With just a tap your smartphone, ISIS Mobile Wallet (available on all three major carriers: AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon) lets you pay for items at your favorite shops just by tapping your phone at the terminal. Participating vendors include places like Jamba Juice, Whole Foods, Macy's, Subway, Starbucks, and even Coca-Cola vending machines.

There are a few things you’ll need to have in order to go completely mobile pay. First of all, you’ll need an Android smartphone (sorry, iPhone users) that supports Near Field Communication, or NFC (like the new LG G2 or Samsung Galaxy s4) and secure SIM capabilities. You’ll also need to get an enhanced SIM card from your provider. Once you have the phone and the enhanced SIM card, you just download the ISIS Mobile Wallet app from Google Play.

Loading Cards into ISIS Mobile Wallet is Easy!

Loading your credit cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover) is pretty simple, as this video will demonstrate:

What if my phone gets lost or stolen? How secure is ISIS Mobile Wallet?

One thing I was worried about was security. What if my phone got into the wrong hands? Although I have a password lock on my phone, I want to make sure that someone can't just go shopping on my dime. I found out that if I lose my phone, I can easily lock my wallet at paywithisis.com. It's a lot faster and more secure than calling each credit card company, one at a time.

So what do you think? Will you be trying the new ISIS Mobile Wallet? 

So... What do you DO?

Eventually, all conversations lead to the question, "What do you do?" It's not an easy question for a blogger to answer when among the uninitiated. I always want to put another title out there so that I don't get labeled in someone's mind before they get to really know me. I want them to think that I'm fabulous, not that I live in my mom's basement and wear sweats all day. Well... I do wear sweats mostly all day, but that's not the point!

It's always a relief to be among other bloggers that don't ask that question. But last week, when I attended a San Diego Blogger gathering where everyone in the group understands that we're not writing a bunch of crap from a basement, I still found myself answering that question but on a deeper level. Since there were plenty of new bloggers at the meet up that were not yet aware of my fabulosity (said with only the slightest touch of sarcasm), I had to answer THIS question a lot:

What do you blog about?

It's an awkward question for a lifestyle blogger to answer because we can blog about whatever we want. Sometimes, we'll throw in the names of companies we've done campaigns for just for street cred (and to elicit ooohs and aaaahhhs), but they still want to know what we actually do to merit such campaigns.

Since bloggers love to take lots of pretty pictures, I thought I'd answer the question visually.

We share our food... on Facebook. Sexy Roll - sushi


We go to awesome grocery store openings. Whole Foods Del Mar preview night


We get to play games. Nintendo WiiU


We show off our shopping finds. Turquoise Earrings


Some of us homeschool our kids at local cafes. Classroom at the Cafe


We share restaurants with fellow foodies. Soleil interior


We try to keep our kids entertained. Kids on Trampoline


We eat cupcakes. LOTS and LOTS of cupcakes. Pretty Vanilla Cupcake


And every now and then, we actually blog. Sugar Jones hand on keyboard

 So yeah. That's what a fabulous lifestyle blogger does.



All images captured and shared with the new Samsung Galaxy Camera, connected on Verizon Wireless.

I received a complimentary Samsung Galaxy Camera as part of a Verizon Wireless campaign.

It's what I do.

Getting Lost and Found

Back when I was a LOT younger, I used to ride my mountain bike everywhere. It was a Diamond Back that I bought after saving up a week's worth of tips. I used to make mad cash as a hot 20-something waitress. Those were the days...

When I moved into working in sales in hotels, I didn't have a functioning car. That job, although more respectable according to my parents, didn't pay as well as serving drinks. I took a bus for a while, but then OCTD decided to knock out half of the buses on the busiest line in Orange County, so rather than squeeze myself between the masses, I began riding my bike to work. It was a mostly picturesque seven miles each way, going along the Newport Coast and then through beautiful Back Bay. The ride was a great way to decompress after work.

Between rides to work, I would ride the coast on Saturday mornings. Newport, Laguna, Dana Point... the more I rode, the stronger I got, and the healthier I felt, mentally and physically. It was great feeling the wind and the sun on my skin. Whatever was happening in my life, good or bad, I always had a ride to look forward to.

Fast forward to my forties.

I still have the same Diamond Back and I still love it just as much. Unfortunately, I don't take it out nearly enough. In fact, until this morning, I hadn't taken my mountain bike out for about two years. So when I planned a ride with my husband for this morning, I checked out the local trails that would ease me back into riding. I found a trail that was perfect for getting back into shape, with just enough texture to the trail to make it fun.

Bikes on the Trail

When we got to the parking lot, we weren't really sure which trail head to enter. My husband, being a man and not one to ask for directions, lead us down a narrow trail and quickly landed on his ass. I'm not really sure how I was able to turn my bike back around, but I was soon back out of that trail and pulling out my Nokia Lumia 822 to look up the notes on Yelp to find the right trailhead.

Apparently, we were on the wrong side of the lake.

Once we crossed a bridge and got to the other side of the lake, we knew to take the trail to the left, and where we'd find some turns, rocky terrain, areas where there were some deep ruts from recent rains, and a stream that we were going to enjoy checking out. After about an hour, we had to turn back to go back and pick up the kids. We had just enough time to drive around to the way other side of the lake.

Hubs and I love taking drives and getting lost, but I don't quite love it so much when we have to be somewhere on time. Still, I was enjoying being beyond the boundaries of our regular day, so I didn't resist. Eventually, we came up on a small cantina that we recognized. We had been to it on a poker run once about ten years ago, so we sort of knew where we were.

Hernandez Hideaway

We figured we had just enough time to go in to split a machaca plate before heading back out to pick up The Boy. Since we were going to need to be efficient with our time to get to my son on time, I pulled out my Nokia Lumia 822 to find the quickest way home. I opened up my favorite driving app, Nokia Drive... only to find that we were outside of cell coverage.

Okay, for real... that almost NEVER happens!

We rarely venture out to any places that don't have coverage. So after my initial irrational panic, I thought maybe we could ask the waitress how to get back fastest. But before she even came back, I remembered that I could pull up my downloaded maps from Nokia Maps. We were able to pull that up just to refresh our memories as to where we were and to plan our route for the quickest drive back. That route took us past an old reservoir that I'd been wanting to ride around, so I pulled up Nokia Lens to see information on the different trails. Hubs and I made a plan to return later in the week, weather permitting.

After all the getting lost in the back roads of San Diego, we eventually got back to the real world just in time to get The Boy. I thought about how different life is now. There's so much more to deal with in life, but thankfully, there are lots of ways to simplify it in order to get back to the things that we put to the side when life gets too busy.

It's ironic how much I use technology to enjoy unplugging for a while. :)


Images captured with my Verizon Nokia Lumia 822.

Verizon Home Phone Connect - Twitter Chat and a Chance to WIN!

Over the last several months, I've been using Verizon's Home Phone Connect. I've told you a little about the features; why, in this day of cell phones, I still need a home phone; and that it's going to be my cost-effective lifeline to my daughter in Mexico. Now, I can tell you why I'm going to be keeping the Huaweii device and Verizon HPC service.

Battery Back Up

Last year, we had a major black out throughout the county of San Diego. Thankfully, we had a solar powered generator that kept us going, but once the power was back on, we started looking around the Sugar Shack for ways that we could better be prepared for another outage. The Huaweii device has a battery back up in the event of power outages, whereas we would be unable to use our previous device on our cable phone service.

Take It or Leave It

In the event that we decide to move, we can take our service and number with us. And if we go on an extended road trip, we would be able to take our home phone with us. I know what you're going to ask. "Why not use your cell phone?" Well, as I mentioned before, not everyone in my life gets my cell phone number any more, but there are calls that I have to take while I'm away. Taking my home phone with me would simplify things.

Sounds Good

Finally, there's the phone quality. Calls on our Verizon Home Phone Connect service are so clear! I've even done test calls with friends to make sure it wasn't just me. They mentioned that the tone of the calls were better on the HPC line.

Verizon Home Phone Connect Contest

So now, I get to give you the chance to win a Verizon Home Phone Connect system and trial service! The Huaweii base is a $129.99 value. Winner will not have to sign up for any term contract. You can just try it for a month and see if they like the service and savings.

Here's what you need to do to win:

Leave a comment telling me why you would still need home phone service. Tweet about this post and contest using the hashtag #VZWBuzz. Post about this contest on Facebook.

FYI: The Livefyre commenting system I use allows you to share your comment via Twitter and Facebook, which makes winning this system super duper easy, don't you think?

Twitter Chat

The Verizon Home Phone Connect team will be chatting about the service on during our regular Verizon Mobile Lifestyle chats every Friday at 12:00PM, Pacific. We'll be giving away a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and an LG Tone Bluetooth Headset. Sign up to win at The Online Mom and follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #VZWBuzz.

What Other Bloggers are Saying

Want to hear what other bloggers have to say about Verizon Home Phone Connect? Check out the page that Verizon set up for all of our posts: "Get Plugged Into the Buzz about Home Phone Connect"

Disclaimer: As a member of the Verizon Home Phone Connect Blogger Team, I received a Huaweii device and three months of complimentary service.

Introducing the Yummy New HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE!

Recently, Verizon sent me the new HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE to try out. Since my husband was dealing with an older clunkier version, I decided to let him try it out for me. The latest version of the Incredible comes with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, boosted and abetted by the HTC Sense 4.0 user interface. I'm not talking about the creamy frozen dessert

but this delicious little bit of technology:

Within a few minutes of handing over the new Droid, I regretted my self decision.

The first thing I noticed (and envied) was the bigger, brighter, sharper looking screen. The 4-inch Super LCD screen is bigger than the iPhone 4S display, but it's still smaller than the recent Android Mr. Jones had been carrying. The screen colors are so bright and vibrant. I just wanted to keep touching the shiny device.

The Incredible 4G LTE comes with a rich selection of media choices, including Verizon Video, HTC’s own Watch video store, a combined Music app and the Beats Audio package, and the 8 megapixel camera is back but this time accompanied by a VGA front-facing camera and all the latest photo options and editing tools.

The new Incredible 4G LTE also includes additional built-in apps include VZ Navigator, Amazon Kindle, My Verizon Mobile and many more.

But the biggest different from the version that Mr. Jones was carrying around (and from the most recent version two years ago) is the addition of the super fast Verizon 4G LTE network. This is where I really wish I would've received a His & Her's set. I am INCREDIBLY impatient when it comes to downloads, but Mr. Jones, having the older clunkier version, didn't ever download anything. He couldn't fully appreciate this, could he? I mean, the phone should really go to someone that downloads more stuff, right?

I saw how fast the device downloaded music and movies, just a fraction of the time that my phone downloads, and the consistently lag-free web browsing response, even on video... plans to trick him out of the phone flickered through my mind at lightning speed, too! But then he looked over at me with big puppy dog eyes, a glimmer of a tear in the corner of his eye as though he had just discovered something miraculous, and exclaimed,

"It plays movies! The phone plays movies!"

How can I deprive my poor husband of the amazing technology that is the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE?


And that's why I'll just have to go get my own.



The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE costs $149.99 after a $50 online discount and requires a two-year contract. It is available exclusively through Verizon Wireless.