Cousins Reunion!

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Our cousin’s reunion took place this past weekend in North West New Jersey.  Our cousins Mary Catherine and husband Bob were our hosts.

We all knew we needed to bring our appetites because Mary Catherine had been cooking and baking all week posting all her creations on Instagram and Facebook.  She is a culinary pied piper in our family.

Mary Catherine has a deep love for keeping old Italian family recipes and traditions alive, as well as starting new cherished ones. She loves creating meals that are  simple and delicious while bringing family and friends together to her table.

Creating a welcoming atmosphere is another gift Mary Catherine possesses.  We used to call her our Martha Stewart but we now believe she has far surpassed Martha.  We all have encouraged her to finish writing her cookbook and share with the world her fine taste and hospitality.

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How food is experienced has everything to do with the decor, with the rituals surrounding the meal, with the company, and with the experience.  Food is drama, the table the stage, and the cook is the tamer and hero.

When we finally settled down to the table the conversations were all over the map literally! We come from all walks of life and continents.  Lots of laughing, story telling and catching up.

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Katie Shea Design Images were all shot with a Verizon MotoZ Smartphone.

Disclosure: I’m so excited I received a MotoZ Smartphone and three Moto Mods as part of my relationship with Verizon. Thanks Verizon for letting me play with this amazing smartphone technology!! #Droid #MotoZ from @Verizon #VZWBuzz #ad .

 

Choosing a Mother-Son Dance Song

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Choosing a Mother-Son Dance Song has been a long process for me.

I did not realize that the process of choosing a special song to dance to with my son on his wedding day was going to conjure up so many memories of our mother/son lifelong journey.

He is our oldest son and the second one of our children to be wed.  The process of a son planning a wedding vs a daughter is a completely different experience.

I never knew how much time I would be putting into choosing a special song until I started listening with a very intentional ear to many Mother-Son Dance Song lists.

The whole process became very emotional for me as I sat listening to each song trying to pair the song’s lyrics somehow with my son, and our mother/son relationship all through the years.

Our relationship began during the nine months carrying him in my womb.  We connected in a very special way in addition to actually being attached umbilically during my pregnancy LOL!

My first look at my son was me seeing a scowl on his face.  I would soon learn that scowl was when his comfort was disturbed otherwise he always wore a smile.

He smiled so much that his football coach had to tell him not to smile while he was tackling someone on the football field!  Both Memories are so carved out in my long term memory.

Certain words in many of the songs provoked some deeply buried, cherished memories to resurface while clutching a box of tissues. I am wondering how many mothers of the groom have experienced this flood of emotion as I have.

I had many song sessions that brought me down memory lane and each time I narrowed my selections more and more.

I had a song chosen months ago but somehow I did not feel it was perfect for my son and myself  to dance to.  Back to square one using a fresh ear revisiting some of the sites I used already.  I thought I was past the emotional responses the music invoked in me. Nope, not only did I cry like a baby, but so did my husband when I had him listen to my new and final selection for my Mother-Son Dance Song.

My husband and I have prayed all of his life for him to find someone to share his life with.  I know that he is counting the days to marry his best friend!!

What song did I choose for our Mother-Son Dance?

November 5th, 2016 is the wedding so stay tuned!

These are some of the sites I used to review potential song selections for our Mother-Son Dance:

Mother – Son Dance Songs

Mother-Son Wedding Song Ideas

Wedding Music Ideas For the Mother-Son Dance

Top 100 Mother/Groom Dance Songs

I used my Verizon MotoZ smartphone with the JBL SoundBoost Speaker Mod to hear each song very clearly whenever and wherever I had some downtime.  What is great about my MotoZ smartphone and the JBL SoundBoost Speaker Mod is I am able to access instantly a powerful stereo sound and it’s features of a kickstand, a built-in battery for 10 hours of playtime and speakerphone capabilities.

Disclosure: I’m so excited I received a MotoZ Smartphone and three Moto Mods as part of my relationship with Verizon. Thanks Verizon for letting me play with this amazing smartphone technology!! #Droid #MotoZ from @Verizon #VZWBuzz #ad .

Happy Anniversary With MotoZ Moto Mods

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A few weeks ago I became a grateful recipient of the new MotoZ Droid Smartphone with three amazing Moto Mod accessories and a storage case!

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Most intriguing to me was the idea of having a projector in my pocket that could project videos and photos up to 70 inches wide onto any flat surface! The concept of having the capacity at a moment’s notice to present a project, idea, document, image, video or view a movie with one or more people was exploding my mind!

I wanted to use the projector for something very special.  I decided to produce a 33rd wedding anniversary video for my husband.

While editing my anniversary video I used the JBL Soundbooth Speaker to play the video through for a preview before surprising my husband.

I played the video on our bedroom ceiling for our 33rd Wedding Anniversary with my Moto Insta-Share Moto Mod projector.

Preparing all the images for this very special video spent lots of battery time. Editing images for hours really tested the MotoZ’s Moto Mod Power Pack Battery life. I went for almost a whole day without having to charge up my smartphone.

I have more creative ideas to use my MotoZ’s Moto Mods in my work and my everyday life.  Stay Tuned!!!

Disclosure: I’m so excited I received a MotoZ Smartphone and three Moto Mods as part of my relationship with Verizon. Thanks Verizon for letting me play with this amazing smartphone technology!! #Droid #MotoZ from @Verizon #VZWBuzz #ad .

 

Travel Made Easy With My Smartphone

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How many people would love to explore a new city but feel directionally challenged like me?

I found this wonderful smartphone app CityMaps2Go that can be a constant companion for directions, dining, shopping, transportation and sightseeing! There is a free version available and paid versions as well.

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You can confidently plan your travel by downloading maps for cities or countries prior to your trip.  You can use the maps even when you do not have wifi.  I love that this app tracks my position on the map so I know exactly where I am.  Make sure you download the maps while you have a WiFi connection.

Having a reliable wireless connection is a priority for me especially while traveling.  I am a Verizon Wireless User and take full advantage of their International Trip Planner Tool.  This Planner Tool helps me find the best compatible International Plan and also helps me know which networks I can access on my trip: 4G LTE, 3G, and 2G data.

You can view some Verizon Wireless International Travel FAQs HERE

If you are not already a Verizon Wireless User and want more information about their plans or how to switch over to Verizon Wireless, please visit this link.

Having a currency converter on your smartphone when traveling to multiple countries makes travel much easier.  I find the Currency App to be the most up to the minute for currency conversions.  Before you start out from your hotel with wifi availability calculate your currency so you can make the conversion without using data.

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I like having things in one place so I do not waste precious time searching all over the internet.  I love using the Trivago App that gives me all my hotel options with the lowest available prices.

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While I am traveling in the USA I take full advantage of my Verizon FiOS TV Service by using the FiOS Mobile App.  The past two weeks I have been on and off traveling and did not want to miss either of the conventions.  I was able to set up my DVR on the road to record what I could not watch live with my app.

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When I was finally home I took my iPad out on my patio and hopped on Verizon FiOS App to enjoy watching the convention poolside.

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Image shot with Samsung Galaxy Note5 #VZWBuzz

Disclosure: **I am a member of both #LifeOnFiOS and #VZWBuzz Ambassador Teams–  selected teams of influencers for Verizon FiOS and Verizon Wireless who love the FiOS and Wireless service. Compensation was provided and opinions are, as always my own.

 

Commuting With Fitbit to NYC

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Commuters are happiest if they walk, bike, or take the train.

People who commute in these three ways are more satisfied with their commutes than people who drive, take the bus, or take the subway, according to a McGill University survey of 3,377 commuters in Montreal.

I received a Fitbit from Verizon a number of weeks ago.  My husband received his Fitbit the day after me.  He is using his Fitbit to gauge his daily commute into NYC.

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I thought his progress would give a great insight into how much ground is covered when traveling from North Jersey to NYC.

My husband is a very competitive man and having this on his wrist is challenging him every day to beat his miles, maintain his heart rate and burn those calories!

Here is a glimpse of his statistics for a four-day commute into NYC with his Fitbit on his wrist.

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To make wearing the Fitbit even more competitive you can earn badges to mark your activity accomplished.

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I hope to be able to get into the competition and pass my husband’s Statistics but I have a lot of ground to make up.  He is off and running with his Fitbit!!

Disclosure: As a member of a very cool team of influencers for Verizon Wireless I received compensation to think of this story from my life and write about it.

Images snapped by Kathleen DeCosmo of Katie Shea Design with a Samsung Galaxy Note5.

Chipping My Yorkie With A Tile! Thanks Verizon.

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My Yorkie cannot resist an open door or gate. She loves to run down the hill from my home and sometimes stops in to visit a neighbor. I never know which neighbor.  Now with this tiny Bluetooth tracker the #Tile, I just grab my Note5 smartphone, bring up my #Tile App and tap “Find”.  The little square tile that I attached to my Yorkie’s collar can now help me locate the little feline socialite without having to walk around the neighborhood calling her name. The music you will hear on this Video is emitting from the Tile on her collar. You can attach the Tile to anything you want to find and keep track of.

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How the Tile Works:

Ring Your Things
Ring lost items just like you’d call a lost phone. If your Tile is within the 100-foot Bluetooth range, it will play a loud tune until you find it.

Ring Your Phone
Can’t find your phone? Press any one of your Tiles to make your lost phone ring—even if it’s on silent.
Tiny speakers let out a 90-decibel melody that’s easy to hear—even if it’s under something or in another room.

If you lost your phone far away, finding it is still easy.  Log into the Tile website app to see its last known location, to make it ring, or to send a lock-screen message to the friendly folks who might find it.  Expand your search using all Tile apps in the Tile Community.  This feature is 100% private, so no one knows you’re looking for a lost item but you.

Thanks Verizon for sending me a #Tile that fits my lifestyle! More About the #Tile I received from @verizon read HERE

Disclosure: As a member of a very cool team of influencers for Verizon Wireless I received compensation to think of this story from my life and write about it.

Images snapped by Kathleen DeCosmo of Katie Shea Design with a Samsung Galaxy Note5.