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CCFA & Gi Montitor App – Almost 35 & Alive!

by on February 22nd, 2015

upsidedown take step WalkThis year in July I turn 35, a date that scared me after I got diagnosed with Pan Ulcerative Colitis in 2010. Before I got diagnosed I was frail, 30 lbs less then I am now, and due to malnutrition I was rushed to the ER because I was on the verge of having a heart attack (at 30). When I got formally diagnosed by my gastroenterologist he said something that terrified me: (BTW Doc, is it mandatory to say worst case scenarios?)

“By the age of 35 you will more than likely have colon cancer.”

Take Steps 4When the news was given the look on my mom’s and Marco’s face broke my heart. My mom has Crohn’s and now her daughter has the sister disease. For years I was scared until last year when they removed polyps and my gastro said that though once severe your case is now very mild, Congratulations!

I’m excited to say “I’m almost 35 and alive!”

  • I’m an active member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (ccfa.org) and Team Nincompoops has not 10362032_10152215422609125_109556575_oonly raised money to find an answer to these IBD’s but one of the most humorous teams (no shocker there). I’m blessed that I have had so many friends and famCrohns3ily to do the Take Steps Walk and this year I hope to have an epic team to walk with me and raise awareness. Though CCFA.org supplied great information I wanted more besides the Take Steps app and something that can track my daily activity. As most of you know with Crohn’s or Colitis our check ups you are in charge of tracking your health but also when you have an attack. I found an AWESOME app called GI Monitor which tracks:
  • BMs (I know gross but hey we all do it) this allows you to not only track your BM’s but also it asks if it disturbed your sleep and pain level
  • Stress Level Barometer
  • Pain Level BarometerCrohns2
  • Meals
    • Not only is it a food log (which helps us figure out what trigger foods cause an attack); it has a barometer on how you think your next meal will effect you.
  • Weight (apparently I lost 3lbs and wouldn’t have known it unless I had this app)
  • Custom Symptoms
  • Questions for the Doc
  • Photo Therapy
  • Daily logs

CrohnsWhen I registered I was asked a series of questions so they knew what type of IBD I have along with weight, height, age, and year diagnosed.  I find this app to be very useful for those with Crohn’s and Colitis plus gives you insight on what foods trigger your attack. If your struggling with an IBD or just diagnosed check out CCFA.org and download the GI monitor app- I promise this will help you through being diagnosed or battling with it for years, it has definitely helped me (remember you are not alone). Team Nincompoops will be walking in Austin this year at The Quarries on May 2nd at 5pm. As usual we will have my team shirts and brunch beforehand. Walk with me, raise awareness, support those that battle these diseases, and also it would be pretty lame for me to walk alone:-). My team page is here if you want to donate, if you want to walk with the Nincompoops send me an email! My goal is and has always been to educate people about IBD, though there isn’t a cure yet I’m certain in my life time there will be.

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MTV Movie Awards Promo with Amy Schumer

by on February 19th, 2015


The MTV Movie Awards to me is one of the best awards shows simply because it more entertaining. This year Amy Schumer will be hosting the MTV Movie Awards that are held on April 12 @7:00 EDT/ @8:00 CDT. I am VERY excited she is hosting. If you live under a rock and don’t know comedian, Amy Schummer, check out her youtube here (My personal fav is “2nd Job in Austin”).

Amy Schumer and Bill Hader created the first promo for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards and it is hilarious. The theme this year is “Winning is Everything” and I’m sure that people will be joking about this during the show especially if they get in award.

To check out the promo video click here and also below that is the nominee list. To view the television categories, click here.

Continue Reading…

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Press Release: Sixth Annual “National Day of Unplugging”

by on February 12th, 2015

Families encouraged to take a break from technology March 6-7, 2015!

NEW YORK (February 10, 2015) – In celebration of the sixth-annual National Day of Unplugging (NDU) from sundown Friday, March 6 to sundown, Saturday, March 7, the nonprofit Reboot is asking individuals and families to put down their smartphones, tablets and computers for 24 hours to experience life unplugged.

Parenting experts warn that pervasive digital distractions are harming interpersonal relationships, hindering youth from developing face-to-face communication skills and teaching children that disappearing into digital devices for endless hours is an appropriate pastime.

A 2014 study by UCLA researchers found that sixth graders who spent five days screen-free were better at reading facial expressions and nonverbal cues of human emotion at the end of the period than classmates who used smartphones and watched television or other digital screens.

The National Day of Unplugging recognizes the value and importance of technology in today’s world with the goal of encouraging people to be more mindful of their technology use. The day is not intended to be a one-off, but rather a starting point to encourage people to set aside unplugged time regularly. Continue Reading…

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Review: SPINE Eyewear

by on February 10th, 2015

photo 1 (1)Normally I write about electronics and rarely fashion that doesn’t have some aspect of tech however I am making an exception for SPINE Eyewear.  

What is SPINE Eyewear you ask?

Inspired by the interaction between vertebrae, SPINE Eyeweais crafted with continual flexibility and will morph to fit any face shape or head size. SPINE Eyewear is constructed with patented micro injected metal (MiM) hinges, there are no screws used in the working mechanism of SPSpine 2INE. The spun wire cable is at the heart of the SPINE hinge, providing smooth dual action pulling power. The 5 SPINE vertebrae interact with each other to create fluid movement without “flicking.” The temples of the sunglasses shut automatically when removed from the face.*

I received a sample to test out and was pretty impressed. Truth be told I stopped buying expensive sunglasses because either:

A) Lost the battle in my purse since I never put them in their case and the lenses are scratched

B) An arm breaks off (I honestly don’t know how this happens but this happens the most)

C) The Lake Travis gods took them as a summer offering (Ie: I jumped in the lake and lost my shades) Continue Reading…

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Crunchies 2015

by on January 29th, 2015

The Crunchies are cCrunchiesoming on February 5th! TechCrunch for the past 8 years has their Annual Crunchies Award Ceremony in DT San Francisco. The Crunchies are an awards ceremony recognizing start-ups and technology innovations of the year. Basically an evening of geeks appreciating geeks! I unfortunately can’t make it this year (last year was so much fun) but I am getting press updates of the awards ceremony.

Below are the categories:

Best Technology Achievement
Apple Pay (Related posts)
The Blockchain (Related posts)
Rosetta Mission’s Comet Landing (Related posts)
SpaceX Lateral Booster (Related posts)
Stella Solar-Powered Car (Related posts)

Best On-Demand Service
Hotel Tonight (Related posts)
Lyft (Related posts)
Postmates (Related posts)
Shyp (Related posts)
Uber (Related posts) Continue Reading…

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by on January 26th, 2015

SxSWI can’t believe almost a year ago I relocated to Austin and within a week had a day job DT and was covering SXSW for cutegeek. I have completed my press application for the interactive portion (March 13-17th) and hopefully they will also let me in for gaming as well.

If I don’t get my press pass I will get the guest pass and wing it- why not I live within walking distance from most places?!

This year I am excited to attend as an Austinite; I’ve definitely learned a thing or two since last year:-). For those attending SXSW and out of towners here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  1. People in Austin for the most part aren’t the best drivers; combine that with out of towners and downtown is a nightmare. Trying to find parking is worse. I suggest doing Taxi or public transportation
  2. The petty cabs do not go past Congress and Riverside…I learned this the hard way however I was happy to see Homeslice still open after that up hill hike
  3. Doing meet ups or events with clients outside the SXSW DT area will be your best bet when looking for a venue (SoCO/SoLa)
  4. Eat before- lines are ridiculous
  5. The weather always changes here- layers and maybe even an umbrella!

Follow me @nrpena for up to minute updates or those wanting to set up meetings with me while at SXSW please fill out this contact form.

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CES 2015 Recap

by on January 20th, 2015

OllioIt’s over a week later and I still haven’t recovered from the CES cold or the back lash of emails “It was nice meeting you…I’d like to discuss a new business opportunity.” I HOWEVER truly had an amazing experience viewing new technology and geeking out! AND this was my first year attending Pepcom’s Digital Experience!!! In no particular order here are my favorite products of the all shows.

I attended a Sphero event to check out the Ollie the app-controlled robot driven by adrenaline. Much like my driving skills (I wouldn’t say I’m the best of the worst or the worst of the best) but I had my fun with the Ollie. As a proud Aunt I want my niece Journey to test this out (she is 6) since the tagline is “Programming isn’t easy, but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to give kids a strong foundation. All you need is a Sphero.”Miposaur

Wowwee introduced the MiPosaur T-Rex interactive robot that has GestureSense technology and comes with an interactive TrackBall equipped with BeaconSense technology. I had fun throwing the trackball around and watching to two MiPs interact with it. As of now I am told there is Q3 2015 release and roughly just under $120.00 each. Click here for a video of me trying to play fetch with the robots!

10918511_10152741730269125_401527962_o (1)Short Circuit was one of my favorite movies as a kid (and the only time Steve Guttenburg was cool). When I met the Meccanoid G15 KS personal robot/ friend I wanted to take it home with meJ.  The Meccanoid G15 KS is a robot erector set that is an advanced open source Robotic Building platform from Meccano. Meccanoid can recognize more than 100 pre-programmed Voice Commands, says thousands of phrases, including: Jokes, Fun Facts, and Questions. It also plays games, initiates conversations—and it’ll even remembers your birthday- the list goes on and on!* To see the youtube video click here.

I always love a Kickstarter success story and for all the pet owners out there introducing the Petcube (one of the the most petcubesuccessful crowdfunding pet products in history)! Petcube keeps people connected with their pets via mobile app and also a Petcube Camera with an interactive pet monitor. I love my dog, Chloe the wonder dog, but I recently seem to be traveling and working more. I haven’t tried it yet but they are on their next batch coming in February 2015 for $199.00.

When I lived in SF I would see Google testing the self-driving car on highway 101. At the show Audi opens up their tag line a “new chapter” for the company introducing driver assistance systems in the new 2016 Audi Q7. The Audi Q7 has Predictive Efficiency Assistant and adaptive cruise control including congestion assistant and points the way towards upcoming piloted driving technology. A new Audi tablet is available that can be mounted onto the back of the driver and passenger seats respectively for rear seat entertainment as well as to operate MMI functions. It also has a new 3D sound experience offered by the available Bang & Olufson and Bose Surround Sound systems.**IMG_6568

DRONES! I didn’t get to play with any drones sadly but Parrot did have a strong presence and this little guy seemed to follow me around the showroom. I’m wondering if the guy flying it was checking out girls cleavage?

My all-time favorite product and for anyone that knows me won’t be shocked the Altec Lansing iMW575 LifeJacket Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. The LifeJacket ha10901548_10152741731574125_894090933_o (1)s voice confirmation, caller ID and an onboard microphone. The LifeJacket is IP67 Waterproof / Dustproof / Shockproof rated and wait for it…it floats! When we go to Lake Travis it never fails – the lake gods steal something every year (usually it’s my sunglasses). I honestly wonder how many sunglasses, cell phones, wedding rings, and anything else detachable is at the bottom of Lake Travis. A floating speaker is a dream come true for all us lake goers. But wait it gets better it has 16 hours of battery life and power bank capability you can remotely charge your smartphone anywhere. This is a summer must have and I hope to review it soon!

Unfortunately I had to cut my trip short and never made it to the LVCC showroom but to be fair all the best products were at Pepcom, Showstoppers and Unveiled. Stay tuned for more product reviews for 2015, I already have a few on the way!

*Specs Per the Meccano site

**Specs Per Audi site

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CES Unveiled 2015

by on January 12th, 2015

10927252_10152737502609125_1512138727_oThe 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show was in Las Vegas and happened January 6-9th. CES 2015 was indeed more innovative than I have seen in previous years and I believe it was the biggest turn out thus far! What a start to 2015! Go Geeks!

I arrived to Vegas on Sunday to attend the CES Unveiled and Start-up Debut press events. CES Unveiled is the official media event that has booths and demos of products before the show including 2015 CES Innovation Awards Honorees.stove

As I walked the event floor I was overwhelmed by the different types of electronics. Someone said I had a perma-smile while walking in-like a kid in a candy store!


  • Dacor and I had a funny introduction in 2013; after the Napa Valley Film Festival IQ Wall Oven I got texts all day that my food was ready from the Discovery™ iQ Oven. At Unveiled Dacor introduced the voice activation feature of their Discovery™ iQ series with a fully integrated Android tablet. Starting spring 2015, users will be able to control their Discovery™ iQ appliances through voice command on the Dacor iQ Remote App, remotely from anywhere they are connected. It also has the Discovery iQ Recipe Box which stores your online recipes directly to the range.

Smart Bracelet:

  • TyiaTyia blends a jewelry design with technology to create a useful but elegant accessory for all us women who need to stay connected 24/7. We have all been in a meeting or class which answering a text/call is inconsiderate to peers unless it’s an emergency. The Tyia bracelet synchronizes with the mobile app that helps you to stay on top of your calls, messages, calendar items, and reminders. The Tyia lets you increase the intensity and pattern of the vibration or color to know how important a notification is. Tyia wearers can decide what is important based on your personal settings.

Fitness Tracker:10911358_900326703320226_5931677187028003324_o

  • I got my first Misfit Shine activity tracker last March when I met the Misfit team at SXSW and immediately loved it! Since then they have introduced different colors for the shine, an array of sport and leather bands, and various other accessories. Misfit introduced their partnership with Swarovski with two new products: the clear Swarovski Shine with a brilliant crystal face and a violet Swarovski Shine which uses a patented “energy crystal” technology to power itself. This is the world’s first wireless activity and sleep monitor that utilizes an energy harvesting technology to enable it to never require charging or replacing of batteries. I hope to review this in 2015!

Smart Sports:

  • Since its basketball season (Go Spurs Go!) the 94Fifty SmaIMG_6513rt Sensor Basketball intrigued me. The 94Fifty Basketball is the world’s first smart basketball that measures any forces applied to it, full 360 degree view of the ball, and the player that moves it. I didn’t get a demo of this product so I hope to review this before NBA season is over!




  • Anything that levitates catches my attention; I still wish there was a legit hover board like Back to the Future. The Axxess Air 2 is a Levitating BluetoothIMG_6518 Speaker that plays for 5 hours long, uses a USB charger, connectable via Bluetooth 4.0, hands free calling system, attachable to your refrigerator via magnet and 10m transmission distance. I’m not sure when it comes to market but definitely in 2015.


  • IMG_6486Urbanears unveiled it’s the first pair of wireless headphones; the Plattan ADV. It comes with a built in microphone, a swipe interface on the ear cup, bluetooth playback that will last roughly eight hours on a charge and recalls the last eight devices that have been paired. The headband is actually machine washable and the complete headphones are fully collapsible. The Plattan were pretty comfortable to try on and perfect if you wear your headphones daily.


Mobile Accessories:

  • What if your car runs out of batteries and don’t have someone to help you jump start your car? As a woman I fear that…The Cobra JumPackTM with a starting current of 200A and 400A peak current has enough power to jump start most cars on a single charge. This compact portable power pack also contains a 7,500 mAh battery with a 2.1 Amp USB output to rapidly charge any mobile deviceIMG_6493 from smart phones to tablets to digital cameras, making it the ideal emergency battery pack for a home, office, vehicle or the outdoors. The Cobra JumPack has a built-in LED flashlight with a strobe and S.O.S function for emergencies.

Though there were countless of amazing products at CES Unveiled these are the ones I enjoyed the most and I hope you do too! Stay tuned for Pepcom and Showstoppers recaps!!

Happy New Year!

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Back home from CES 2015

by on January 8th, 2015

10906746_10152739271419125_325465136_o10918882_10152740849734125_2019028579_o10906666_10152744392594125_1767620577_oI am back home in ATX after being at CES, Unveiled, Pepcom Digital Experience and Showstoppers in Vegas since Sunday! Needless to say I am thrilled to be out of Vegas and able to get online…and make a call on my cell phone.

I saw some amazing products and will be sharing my experience after I get some rest- it’s true you do not really sleep in Vegas…or eat! My favorite products hands down were the drones, audio, and robots! In true Nina style I was drawn to the LifeJacket from Altec lansing.

To keep all you cutegeekers intrigued here are some pics and videos from CES, Unveiled, Pepcom Digital Experience and Showstoppers. Stay tuned for my full review of the show including my CES, Unveiled, Pepcom Digital Experience and Showstoppers.


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CES 2015: Nina’s Plan of Attack

by on January 2nd, 2015

MemeHappy New Year Cutegeekers! IT’S CES TIME! Truth be told I’m not a Vegas person but for a couple years at cutegeek I have gone to CES (Consumer Electronic Show), Unveiled, and Showstoppers. CES is one of the largest Tech events that happen right after the New Year in Vegas. For years it was also during the AVN awards which made being a young women in tech at CES an awkward moment at times. When it paralleled with CES I was asked what movie I was in and not the nice kind. Fortunately for me (maybe not for some) it is no longer scheduled during CES.

This year I am very excited to be apart of so many events that I have not attended in previous years like Pepcom Digital Experience and Start Up Debut among other industry events.  It’s fascinating to see how much over one year technology has changed and what’s coming out in 2015!

Below is just a small list of companies or booths I plan to visit during CES, Unveiled, Pepcom Digital Experience and Showstoppers.

  • Lamborghini’s 88 Tauri
  • Audi
  • HP
  • Phillips w/ Nvidia
  • Logitech
  • Skechers
  • Shure
  • Toshiba
  • Whirlpool
  • Martian Smartwatches/ Guess
  • Dacor
  • Altec Lansing
  • And many more

Wearable technology also continues to expand and I am looking forward to the Wearable Fashion Show (we all know I love fashion) hosted by Project Runway’s Nick Verreos on the CES floor Wednesday.

Like previous years I will be tweeting all day at @nrpena (#cutegeekatces, #cutegeek, #ces2015), instagraming some at @nrcpena, posting on cutegeek.com and also posting videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/nrcpena of my journey during CES 2015!

I leave on Sunday so if you want to give me more CES requests on products to see please fill at the below form before Sunday! Wish me luck cutegeekers-  may the force be with me especially if I decide to wear heals again!




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