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Happy World Wide IBD Day & Apps that can help US with IBD!

by on May 19th, 2015

CCFA NinaHappy World Wide IBD Day! I’ll never forget my first IBD attack; I was 13 and begging god to make the pain to go away in the fetal position on the bathroom floor helpless. Till this day there is no resolution but only speculation of possibly genetics that causes IBD. I have watched my mom suffer with Crohns since I was a child and the hardest thing is when my doctor told my mom I’m sick with Pan Ulcerative Colitis and Colon Cancer by 35…no mom wants to hear that. Worldwide, five million people live with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). World IBD Day is marked on 19 May each year. World IBD Day is led by patient organisation representing 35 countries on four continents from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, 28 European nations through the umbrella organisation EFCCA, Israel, Japan, New Zealand to the United States of America. This year’s efforts center around a global video campaign encouraging anyone impacted by IBD to share their story in a short video with the unifying theme of  “United We Stand.” So here is my video… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOI33xLkScI

Currently I’m out of remission and my last road trip for a family emergency made me think. I have to find a few apps for those with IBD especially traveling (let’s face it some gas stations restrooms are shady). In search for IBD solutions I found the below apps that help you all find a restroom near you or when you are traveling.

  • Charmin Sit or Squat App helps you find clean bathrooms and available on the App store or the Google play store for free. This seems to be the best app so far.Charmin
  • Flush Toilet Finder- by rustonapps- This app has had great reviews and a simple way of finding a public bathroom or restroom. It works on Apple devices and Google
  • Where to Wee lets you find and rate restrooms worldwide this however also works on IOS.
  • Toilet Finder and unfortunately again this only works on iOS 6.0 and later
  • WC-Finder- The free big world toilet finder.

For anyone suffering with IBD, Crohns or Colitis I have found CCFA.org to be a great resource. We are not alone (which sometimes it feels that way- how could anyone know the amount of pain you are in and anxiety daily?). For 4 years Team Nincompoops walks for Take Steps in support of CCFA.org and it’s humbling to see children with the same disease. What is better is seeing all these kids that have friends and families to give them strength and support. I believe we have made some progress in educating youth (back in my day I got made fun of). Though I continue to have flair ups I do mentor and help friends who have IBD (Crohn’s or Colitis). It’s sad how many people are inconsiderate for something all of us with IBD have no control of (unless we take a crap load of pills which isn’t me nor do I believe is the answer). United we stand! I will not rest till there is a cure; I want people to be aware this is a serious disease.

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SWATCH: AUSTIN My Pet and Me Launch

by on May 11th, 2015

sWATCH GROUPI went to the Swatch My Pet and Me with Mrs. Sizzle event in downtown Austin last week at the Swatch store.

Swatch’s quote for the new My Pet and Me line is: “The love of my life is a beastly thing: a feathery, furried, four-legged frog, a cat by day and a dog by night—a creature of my dreams, you see. We’re a happy couple, my beast and me, free to think and free to be.”

I couldn’t agree more as owner to Chloe the Wonder Dog! The new My Pet and Me line is obviously influenced by our best friends…our pets!sWATCH LINE

It was a great event that allowed dogs to partake in the festivities at the launch of the My Pet and Me collection. There were doggies treats galore and pretzel doggie bone for us humans. Not only was the new collection very cute I met some amazing doggies! One in particular who’s eyes were cut out and he is now blind; fortunately he has good parents who adopted him.

The Swatch new My Pet and Me line included the 1, 2, 3 SOLEIL, TIERGARTEN, CATTITUDE, ANDY BABY, WILD TOTEM, and CHOUPINOU that start at $60.00 and can be purchased here!

Thank you Swatch for the invite; as a dog lover I enjoyed the event and the launch of your new line of My Pet and Me.

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Check out the New Ginx App by Gerome Sapp (Former NFL Star) launched!

by on May 6th, 2015

Ginx 5Ginx3Gerome 1SXSW each year grows immensely and I think 2015  technology had a huge presence than the past (though the rain sucked).

This year my favorite app was GINX;  a new app that former NFL Star Gerome Sapp launched while there.

A year ago I met Gerome Sapp while he was introducing his vision of GINX at SXSW 2014.

For the longest time I thought he must have changed his name to Gerome’s App but that is a HUGE negative. I embarrassing may have asked him that after an adult beverage….but it’s truly is Gerome Sapp (though if he did that would  be a hilarious branding concept).photo (11)

SO What’s GINX?!?!

Glad you asked! Like my day job I created bullet points:

  • Every community is focused around the hashtag initiative and its ideas, interests, and passions.
  • Like flashmobs, these communities expire after a certain amount of time.
  • Participants vote on each other’s images to determine the best represention of the hashtag.
  • When the time expires, the participant with the most community votes for their image is crowned STAR of that hashtag and could win big rewards!
  • When adding an asterisk in front of your hashtag in Instagram it’s called “Ginx’ing.” (I got to stay current with the social media lingo or this cutegeek will turn into old geek).

If you are still confused on what the GINX app is this video can help guide you on  how to utilize GINX with social media:

GINX  is available on iPhones and Androids. Start Ginx’ing with me cutegeek fans! While my profile is not fully done on GINX during SXSW I used the asterisks  in front of the the hashtag  allot to find hot topics.

To check out my Q&A with Gerome Sapp & GINX on examiner.com click here. Happy Ginx’ing cutegeek fans!

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ACL 2015 Line up and Ticket information

by on May 5th, 2015

One of the perks of moving back to Austin is ACL and SXSW (and sometimes not with our horrible driving skills and traffic).

What is the ACL (Austin City Limits) Festival? Only the best outdoor music festival that happens in Austin annually in October at Zilker Park. The ACL Music Festival has eight stages where musical groups from genres including rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and hip hop perform for fans. Approximately 75,000 people attend the festival each day. In addition to the music performances, there are food and drinks, an art market, a kids area forACL 2015 families, and other activities for attendees.*

This year the line up is fierce! The main headliners are Foo Fighters, Drake ,The Weekend and The Strokes… WHAT?! I have loved Dave Grohl since I was in high school and “Learn to Fly” dropped.  Ever since then I have gone to a few concerts including being in the mosh pit (along with a little hearing lose). I have never seen the Strokes or Drake so I will be at those stages or at the beer booth. Here is official ACL line up for both weekends and you can buy your tickets here.

nina acl1Also if you plan to attend sign up for the ACL E-List. Being a member of the ACL Festival E-List gives you some sweet perks. You’ll get official updates throughout the year, super-special deals, the inside line on Official Late Night Shows, contests, artist giveaways and much, much more.**

I’m sure you are wondering what does tech and ACL have in common? Simple there are usually tech  booths all over the park and allot of tech goes into each stage set-up plus while the concert is going on (and don’t forget the massive social media going on). If you would like to keep up with the festival I will be tweeting at https://twitter.com/nrpena throughout the events.

Hope to see some of my cutegeek fan there and my friends as well. This year looks like it will be Epic…CAN’T WAIT!

*Per Wikipedia

**Per ACL site

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SXSW 2015 Music Recap

by on April 6th, 2015

11081419_10152891791107655_247616705761933161_nI know this is latephoto (8) (been under the weather) but better late than never! The SXSW music portion has always been my passion and this year was amazing for those with the free Guest Pass wristband! I’ll start with my favorite SXSW event with Spoon at Auditorium Shores (walking distance from the condo). It was a fantastic show with Spoon; not only did they have an amazing show they had an epic fireworks show in true Texas style.

Continue Reading…

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Where’s the Nina? When’s the next post?

by on April 2nd, 2015

SpursWatching the Spurs win chillin with Willie Nelson, LOL kidding!

Well after 2 weeks of SXSW of poor eating, going a 100 miles a minute, late nights and lack of sleep I’m out of remission and my Pan Ulcerative Colitis is back in black. We also had a family emergency so my posts are behind but never fear!

I have several drafted and will be posting Music/ Film SXSW recap, new products reviews, and new apps to check out throughout today and tomorrow.

Can’t nobody take my pride. Can’t nobody hold me down, Oh no. I got to keep on movin’! Stay tuned cutegeek fans.

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MORE SXSW Interactive & Gaming Expo

by on March 26th, 2015

AuditoriumThe SXSW Interactive Gaming Expo is my favorite event (besides Auditorium Shores Concerts). It combines developers, manufacturers and fans of the gaming culture with its diverse range of events of geek culture with the cross-console video game world.  It’s held at Palmer auditorium in Austin (walking distance from my casa) and is kid friendly. The most adorable thing about this is to see little kids geek out on games like my little brothers and I use to back in the day.

There was allot to see and explore at the SXSW Gaming Expo so I am going to highlight what I found the most interesting.

Plotagon is the creative animation app that develops students’ skills in critical thinking, creatiphotovity and writing. The Plotagon character creator lets students create themselves, famous and notable people, or characters and then the creative writing takes off from there. When I wrote my first play (at 12) I wish I had this app (though in my day we had beepers…not smartphones). I’m so jealous yet excited of kid’s technology now a days! Definitely check out Plotagon especially if you are a teacher; I believe getting kids engaged with creative writing and technology is brilliant!

DelorianRoad’s? Where we’re going we don’t need roads!” That quote seems more relevant now than back then because during SXSW the AeroMobil flying car that transforms in seconds from an automobile to an airplane was introduced. AeroMobil is a flying car that perfectly makes use of existing infrastructure created for automobiles and planes, and opens doors to real door-to-door travel. As a car it fits into any standard parking space, uses regular gasoline, and can be used in road traffic just like any other car. As a plane it can use any airport in the world, but can also take off and land using any grass strip or paved surface just a few hundred meters long.* Continue Reading…

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Press Release: Former NFL Star Releases New Social Media App at SXSW

by on March 19th, 2015

Former NFL Star Created New Technology/App that Connects Millions of social media users around a Shared #Hashtag Interest

Many are calling it the evolution of the #hashtag. The new GINX App allows social media users and brands the ability to now derive real tangible value out of using a #hashtag.

Las Vegas, NV – March 17, 2015 – Today the new GINX iOS and Android App announced its availability to the public. The App will officially launch during the Music portion of South By South West in Austin, TX (March 17-22) and the company will have a noticeable presence at this historic festival.  The new GINX App created a new patent pending technology around the utilization of  an ( * ) in front of #hashtag’d images (ex. *#SneakerHead) within Instagram, to allow millions of social media users the ability to now connect into real-time flash (i.e.expiring) photo-based communities around their #hashtag’d images. Social media users now have the ability to be visually social with larger communities of people using or interested in the same #hashtag during set time frames. Similar to a flashmob, but virtual and around #hashtag’d images. Participants in these #hashtag themed visual communities can then up-vote or down-vote images that other users have ‘Ginx’d’ (i.e. added the * to) to determine who best visually represented the #hashtag. When the time expires in these communities the user with the most community votes around their image is crowned “Star” of that #hashtag. Being voted “Star” of a #hashtag is similar to earning a MAYOR badge on Foursquare, only this social achievement is determined by a community vote and it revolves around a #hashtag. Brands/Events/Marketers can engage with and reward the “Stars” of their brand’s #hashtag. Continue Reading…

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Day 1 of SXSW Interactive

by on March 18th, 2015

IMG_7466   I’m a Texan; born in San Antonio (Go Spurs) and moved to Austin when I was a teenager in the 90’s when SXSW was not this huge. Now SXSW is a massive explosion of amazing tech innovations, new music and film in my own backyard.

This was my first year to have a free interactive badge (after applying for a press pass for years). If you have never been to SXSW Interactive the scene is not only comical but a great place to network and meet fellow tech geeks. I ran into guys dressed as Ninja Turtles, a dude with a blinking globe on his head for Simplify, and this random lady before entering the Austin Convention Center panel sessions. The first day at SXSW I spent a majority of my time at the Convention center and events around that vicinity. I also made random people do monster face with me throughout SXSW Interactive. IMG_7469

The only panel I attended was the panel with Jimmy Kimmel. I’ve been a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel live and the Man Show. I got distracted during the panel with the mention of the “I’m F*@#ing Ben Affleck” youtube video (after all these years it’s still hilarious). During the panel Jimmy Kimmel discussed his Obama interview, tweeting, and Kanye West (who will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live at SXSW on Friday). To view some of the videos from this panel click here and for the second one click here.

After the panel I went to the Pepsi booth who partnered with Fast Company on the SOUNDBOARD intiative. Pepsi is engaging the SXSW community to record inspiration that will help them design the #Futureofthefest. Each person would walk into a photo/video booth and submit what you want to see at the next festival (of course I submitted mine).

When I got into the show room I wasn’t that impressed. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I know it’s not that.

IMG_7406Next I attended the PayPal Event where I ran into an old buddy of mine from Edelman. This year they had the PayPal Duel which sent two entrepreneurs to Austin for the chance to pitch investor and star of ABC’s Shark Tank Daymond John on their small businesses. Peanut Butter Americano—offering the best in gourmet nut butters with a side of social justice—faced off against Earhoox—the ultimate cure for earbuds that just won’t stay put. In the end the winner of the first-ever PayPal Duel was Earhoox.*

The last event I attended was the Startup Oasis Party which had 10 start-ups on each floor. Unfortunately by the time I got there my brain had already hit capacity and I was on autopilot. I did run into my old friend Jeffery Powers from Geekazine (every tech event I attend I always run into him) and take a photo. Stay tuned for my recap of the SXSW Interactive Gaming Expo. Happy SXSW and you can follow me @nrpena for SXSW tweets.

*Per PayPal.com

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Nina’s SXSW Bound!

by on March 14th, 2015

SXSWI will be covering SXSW for cutegeek and SF examiner. In fact I have my badge and ready to tackle the SXSW Circus.

To follow me my twitter handle is @nrpena or follow posts I publish on cutegeek.

If you are attending DM me on my twitter @nrpena or  if interested in doing a product review with cutegeek.

Happy SXSW 2015 and let the games begin!

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