Elago TripShell World Travel Adapter Written Review

The TripShell World Travel Adapter by elago is a must have this summer for travellers like me! The TripShell is an extremely useful, yet compact and affordable piece of kit designed by the folks at elago in California. Even better, elago include a free carrying case for the adapter to ensure that it remains safe and also that it does not damage any other things that you may have packed!

The compact design allows the unit to be easily slipped into your hand luggage when travelling, and again the carrying case ensures it does not get damaged during your travel or damage any other items in your bag. However the main feature of this travel adapter is its ability to charge up your electronic devices wherever you are! TripShell supports over 150 countries with US, UK, European, and Australian/New Zealand plugs. The plugs are easily deployed for action using the sliders on the side of the unit, simply slide down your required plug and it will lock into place. To return the adapter to its normal state simply press the release button on the side and slide the slider back down to move the plug back inside the travel adapter, it couldn’t be easier!

On the opposite end of the travel adapter there is a handy dual USB accessory, which can be used to charge two USB devices at once, for example your iPhone and iPad. The LED indicator ring around this USB hub indicates whether the device is function properly or if there is an issue. The accessory can be easily unplugged from the travel adapter, allowing you to use the TripShell as simply a travel adapter with any socket you require. You can even use the USB accessory alone without the need of the travel adapter as it is attached using a US plug, so it can be simply plugged into a US socket, and you can use the travel adapter to power something else! Even better for those who live in the US, you can benefit from this handy little device even when you’re not on holiday!

Elago helpfully include a spare 6.3A fuse, ensuring you will never be left stranded without a working adapter! Simply slide the cover off and it reveals a handy compartment containing the additional fuse. The fuse for the adapter itself is located amongst the plugs and can be easily accessed at all times in case it needs to be swapped. The world travel adapter by elago also comes with a built-in child safety shutter to ensure you children don’t get an electric shock!

I highly recommend this product, alongside all of Elago’s other products of which I have reviewed in the past. They all consist of premium quality, and each inherit additional small features and functions which demonstrate the time and care that goes into designing and manufacturing each of their products! If you would like to check out this product on elago please click here!

Welcome To The World

It’s been over a month since I last posted here, thank you for all the lovely comments and emails checking that I am okay. I’m absolutely great, on the 14th May at 22.15pm I gave birth to our little boy Stefan Elijah. I have spent the time since adjusting to life as a new parent and learning how to respond to my conditions postnatally.


I was extremely lucky during labour as my body behaved far better than I expected it to and my seizures never reared their ugly head. Despite my original concerns about an epidural I requested one, my labour was induced via a hormone drip which meant my contractions were rather literally constant which I didn’t cope well with. Whilst the epidural didn’t work fully (I could still move my legs and feel a lot of pain despite several top ups) it took the edge off and between it and gas and air I was able to cope far better. I went from saying I couldnt cope anymore to having my inner geek come out and compare labour to an Orc trying to get through a hobbit hole! I have no idea how long my labour lasted, at 6.30ish pm I was only 3cm, so I was not classed as being in established labour, yet less than 4 hours later our little boy was here.

Since the birth my pain levels have dropped dramatically, I think mainly due the fact that he is no longer able to dislocate my ribs! Whilst I’m counting down to my botox injections, I’m thrilled knowing the appointment is in the post, I’m managing my jaw and other spasms rather well. I no longer push myself to get through any plans I had for the day if my spasms are on the more painful side, as it’s not worth risking having a seizure. Doing this has meant that I’m not wearing my body out and am needing less medication.

My Ehlers Danlos is causing a few issues at the moment. During birth I obtained a 2nd degree tear. Despite being stitched up at the time my body isn’t healing, so almost a month on I still have an open wound. Whilst I wait for a plan of action to resolve this I’m resting and on regular antibiotics to help.

All in all I am extremely thankful that the birth was so straightforward and I am loving life as a new mum. My partner is a fantastic dad and is great at helping me out and letting me grab some more sleep. I’m aiming to get back to blogging more frequently over the next few weeks, so check back for updates.

19024817_222489381595982_436403004_oFiled under: Archive, June 2017

THE ORIGINAL: “5 Crazy Things I Do That Are Normal in Dog World”

*Originally posted on Sarah Leaps on 3.26.12*Working from home means I get to spend a lot of time with my dogs, which is one of the things I looked forward to most when I startedand so far, I havent been disappointed.  Granted, they often require more attention than Id prefer: someone always needs to go out, or get refereed, or sit on my lap, or fart in my face.  It never fails that Ill get them all fed, peed out, tucked in for a nap and be tiptoeing back to my computer when one of them  pops her eye open and its all over.  Makes me wonder how parents of kidsyou know, the human kindever manage to stay sane, let alone prevent a household from being condemned and get a hot dinner on the table.

But still, ten times out of ten, my dogs win.  No matter what deadline looms or how much housework glares, I will always take a hand (sometimes both) off the keyboard to lay it on a belly or scratch behind a ear.  Ill shove over on the couch so someone can breathe hot doggie breath on my cheek.  Why?  I love them.  And one day they will be gone.  One day, Ill wish for their noses jabbing at my elbow, and they wont be there.  So while theyre here, they win.  Thator maybe Im lazy.  Or easily distracted.

Whatever the case, Im around them pretty much 24/7, and that has exacerbated my pre-disposed crazy dog lady tendencies.  I know I do things that are weird to people who dont have dogs.  The only people they arent weird to are other dog people.  As a way of auditing how in touch with reality I still am, Ive started a list called Crazy Things I Do That Are Normal Because I Have Dogs, and figure that as long as I can still come up with things to add to the list, Im not totally bonkers.

Ive got ten on the list and have illustrated only five, but man, I gotta stop for now.  I have tons of other (aka paying client) work that I need to get done before they all wake up again.


Shower with the door open:

Carry on conversations with poo in my hand:

Make up nicknames and songs to go with themand then perform for the dogs:

Stretch out on the dog bed to watch TV: 

Have my superpower in the form of baby gates: 


A wedding is a very personal occasion, and no two brides are exactly alike, but all are obsessed with our own dress form, length veil, and the height of the shoe. And because women from all continents embrace the ancient traditions of their families and cultures, each celebration is beautiful and unique in its own way.

Therefore, if you have ever wondered what a bride around the world might look like, this is your chance to take a look at how women around the world dress saying their I dos. You will be amazed by the magnificent details that unite them, and the most remarkable youve never seen before.



To combat the cold, a bride in Russia wearing a white fur shawl over her wedding dress.



In Cambodia, a bride wore a dress and matching headpiece of bright yellow.



In Ukraine, it is traditional for a bride to wear a crown of myrtle or periwinkle.



An Ethiopian bride wore a white wedding dress and veil, while a matching flower girl sat beside her.



In Turkmenistan, a bride traditionally wears a red dress and an ornate headdress. Talismans and a veil looking forward are intended to protect against the forces of evil.



A bride wore a long veil and tiara flowers headdress with white and gold separates long necklace.



For her wedding day, one English bride wore a long silk dress with hooded top.



The color red is considered a symbol of prosperity and love and traditional dresses in China often come in red with silver or gold embroidery.

Sri Lanka


In the tradition of Sri Lanka, brides wear a gold. Red or cream sari and wedding jewelry, as well as a hair ornament. The groom wears a mul anduma, draping an ornate costume can take more than 30 minutes to put on.



In Spain, a bride accessories with a fan as a nod to the tradition of flamenco.



A Parisian bride and groom wore traditional Western black-and-white looks for their big day.



During a wedding ceremony in Thailand, brides dressed in traditional costumes of Thailand based on one of six different periods of Thai history.



Malaysia Many couples choose to wear the traditional Malay dress to their wedding. Often the clothes are made from a hand-woven songket fabric called.



At a Brazilian beach wedding, the bride chose to go barefoot.



A brides long veil and trail danced behind her on the streets of Sicily.



If a couple chooses a Shinto ceremony, the bride and groom wearing traditional kimonos. In this ceremony, the bride wore all white and wore a white headdress known as tsunokakushi.



A bride wearing a traditional red dress with silver coins and gold ropes tied around the waist and gold silk and hand-sewn at all times. Keeping the Macedonian tradition, the bride looked through her wedding ring for the groom.



While dresses vary greatly according to regional tradition, most brides wear heavily embroidered brightly colored costumes.



In many parts of India, it is tradition for a bride to wear a red sari because the color is auspicious.

Father’s Day Special – Gift Ideas For The Best Dad In The World

There is something strikingly masculine about leather. That rough surface that is durable and tough, and the fine lines that creates irregular but beautiful patterns, leather is indeed one of the finest materials in fashion. So for the greatest dad in the world, a gift made of leather is truly fitting. Perfect gifts for dads can be leather brief cases, leather wallets, leather jackets, or even a simple leather clip board.

But with so many different kinds of leather products, and not to mention that so many of them look ravishing and tempting, how do you choose the right one for your dad? You do want this to be a very special gift right? So to really make your dad the happiest dad in the world on Father’s Day, make sure to give this a lot of thought.

Now, some folks might tell you that it does not matter what you give him. Just go to the store, stop by at the leather’s section, pick anything out, and whatever looks fine would do perfectly. And to defend their statement, they would say, ‘it is the thought that counts anyway.’

Well of course it is the thought that counts! That is exactly why you need to give it a lot of thought! No pun intended, but if you really put everything into choosing the perfect gift, it is going to show and your daddy is going to appreciate the effort. Just imagine someone going through great lengths just to know what you would want. Does it not make you feel flattered and loved?

But the ‘thinking work’ might not come so easy especially if you are not really into leather products and know close to nothing about it. So to help you out, you will find in this article some useful tips. Here is a list leather gifts you can choose from and when and under what situation they would make a better gift than the others:

Leather Desk Accessories

For the dad who already has everything, leather desk accessories will surely make a striking and memorable gift, why? Well, if your dad is in some big business, sits behind a desk, and can probably afford anything he wants whenever, he mostly likely already have all the basics like a briefcase, a wallet, a portfolio, jackets, and shoes.

But since busy dads have no more time for extras, and because most men do not really bother with accessories, he most likely does not have desk accessories yet. You can go for this one! Go and find useful leather desk accessories such as pencil holders, coasters, desk blotter, and business card holders.

Leather Briefcases

Now, even if your dad is the ‘dad who already has everything’, one thing he might not have is ‘time’. Yes, you know how busy dads can be. So without them noticing, sometimes, their leather briefcases get left out by decades with cracks and discolorations to prove it. And even so, he still will not notice it.

So do your hardworking dad a favor and get the replacement yourself. Only when he is presented with a brand new one that he may finally realize how ancient his old briefcase has become. Imagine just how happy this will make him, after getting a sleek and brand new one.

Leather Portfolios

Does daddy always seem to be having trouble with papers and documents and always having a hard time sifting through thick pages of paper tucked in his briefcase? Well maybe you can help him out and give him a leather portfolio this coming Father’s Day.

Probably more than the first impression that more lofty gifts have, a leather portfolio will help your dad out in organizing his documents – that is you showing how much you care. But do not underestimate the humble little portfolio. When it comes in leather, it can be very stylish and trendy.

Leather Wallets

This is a classic idea. And you do know how classic ideas are – they usually never ever fail. Think of it as a fail safe choice. If you are not sure what else to give, a new wallet is a sure hit. And getting into the mindset of most men, a wallet is something which they consider a necessity, but find it so hard to spend on a new one. You are doing him a great favor by giving him a fine leather wallet as a gift.

When going for wallets, make sure that it is not only aesthetically perfect for him, but also great in terms of functionality. For example, if you know that your dad always carries a lot of cards, consider wallets with more card sockets.

Retirement Gifts

Fathers that are enjoying their retirement have so much to enjoy in life. They can now live comfortably and wisely spending their retirement pension and hard earned savings. So this coming Father’s Day, make him happy with leather gifts that will aid him in his retirement vacations.

For example, a leather golf shoe bag would be perfect for fathers that like play golf on weekends. And if your dad likes to go on vacations and adventures, he will surely love to have leather backpacks for men. You can check here for more fathers’ day leather gift ideas.

Why Plan a Deluxe Walt Disney World Vacation?

Why plan a deluxe Walt Disney World vacation?  Why not? Our vacation memories are some of the strongest memories of our lives.  It’s hard to put a value on these once-in-a-lifetime experiences and Disney offers unmatched service that is not easily found anywhere else.  If you’re dreaming of a relaxed, unforgettable vacation, a Disney World Deluxe vacation is something that you should certainly consider.  Maybe you are an experienced Disney World traveler; a deluxe vacation with added tours might offer new experiences for your stay.  Deluxe vacations come with many different price tags depending on the options that you choose.My definition of a Deluxe Disney vacation is as follows…

Grand_Flordian_BuildingThe top features of a Deluxe Disney Vacation Package are:

• a stay in a Disney owned deluxe resort• minimum 5 night stay• minimum 4 day park tickets• Disney Dining Plan or Deluxe Dining Plan• possible added tours and parties• possibly a land/sea vacation

Your Resort

A Deluxe vacation usually includes a stay in a Disney owned, deluxe resort for a minimum of 5 nights or longer.  There are rooms that might be considered ‘deluxe’ at some of the other Disney Resorts including the specialty rooms at some of the moderate resorts and the suites at Disney’s Art of Animation.

Grand_Flordian_LobbyWhy stay in a Deluxe Resort?

Deluxe resorts offer beautiful theming and outstanding lobbies and all of the rooms open to inside corridors.  The food is outstanding with table service restaurants and at least one upscale option as well as savory quick service dining.  Each resort has a main feature pool with a water slide and other quiet pools throughout the resort.  Every deluxe resort includes non-bus access to at least one park with the exception of Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Most of the deluxe resorts can accommodate 5 people in a standard room and they all offer on-site gyms, salons valet parking is available.  These amazing resorts will really make you feel like royalty.

Animal_Kingdom_Lodge_Kidani_pool-3Park Tickets

Deluxe vacations include a minimum of a 4 day park ticket.  If you want to fully experience Disney, stay a few extra days for some relaxation time.  Added days and nights offer extra options such as a second day in your favorite park/s as well as time to experience places like Disney Springs, the Disney water parks, golf, spas, fishing, mini-golf or a wide range of other personalized experiences, recreation tours that Disney offers.  Adding extra days or nights to your trip for relaxation, pool time and other non-park activities always makes your vacation feel more relaxed.

Dining Plan

A deluxe Disney vacation should also include a Disney dining plan and possibly the Deluxe Disney dining plan with 3 table service meals per person, per night of your stay.  Disney Dining Plans give your vacation package a more all-inclusive feel; there are several options, which you can discuss with your travel agent in order to figure out the best fit for your family.  The Deluxe dining plan combined with proper planning, will allow you to enjoy some of the famous, sought after signature restaurants around Disney property, without the stress of paying a large bill at the end of every meal.

Be_Our_Guest_CeilingAdditional Activities, Tours and Options

Some options that can be included and planned for your Deluxe Disney vacation are backstage tours in the parks or resorts; examples are the Star Wars tour in Hollywood Studios, Wild Africa Trek in Animal Kingdom, Behind the Seeds Tour in Epcot and Family Magic Tour in Magic Kingdom to name just a few.  You can also add an amazing dessert experience that offers mouthwatering treats and VIP seating for the fireworks shows in the parks.  From September through December special holiday parties are offered in the Magic Kingdom; these parties are extra ticketed events and are not included with park admission.  If you are looking for something extra special, there are VIP experiences that you can reserve with a VIP guide.  The sky is the limit for private parties, as long as the budget allows we can set up numerous custom options for your family or group.

Animal_Kingdom_Lodge_Jambo_House-Lobby4Land / Sea Vacation

For a truly Deluxe Walt Disney World vacation, add a cruise to the end of your park package for some time to relax and let down.  I’m speaking from personal experience when I say that there is no better Disney vacation than one that goes from the Disney World parks to a Disney Cruise experience.  Disney Cruise Line currently has 4 ships and I have been on all of them.  Most itineraries out of Port Canaveral include a stop at Castaway Cay, Disneys own private island.  This island paradise is by far the best, private cruise line island anywhere.

disney_magic_castaway_cayOnce-in-a-lifetime Events

Deluxe Disney vacations are perfect for those lifetime events that only happen once.  Disney is an expert at creating those perfect, unforgettable moments. Examples are weddings, honeymoons, Birthdays, graduations, babymoons, bar bat mitzvahs, quinceaneras, business events and countless other celebrations that everyone will remember forever.

Grand_Flordian_Cinderella_CarriageA Travel Agent

An invaluable piece of your Disney Deluxe vacation is an experienced and knowledgeable travel agent.  Your travel agent can help you put together all the pieces including dining reservations, fastpasses, tours, events and more.

The sky is the limit when you plan a Disney vacation and its never too early to start dreaming, saving and planning.

Why use a Travel Agent for your next Disney Vacation?

My name is Melissa and I am a Disney fanatic; I am also a travel agent. You will find me in the parks with my family almost every weekend, exploring new experiences so I can help my guests plan the perfect vacation.  When you book your Disney Deluxe vacation through me, you get my planning services FREE of charge.  You read that right; it costs exactly the same for you to book your vacation through me as it does to book directly through Disney and you get dedicated, personalized planning assistance based on countless hours of personal experience.  I’m here to answer any and all questions that you have and if I don’t have an answer, I will get one.For my deluxe guests I always send Walt Disney World autograph books to the kids and even Disney gift cards for a special treat while you enjoy your vacation.Melissa Mathies, Travel Designer Destination Expertwww.PixieDustAdventures.comMelissa@PixieDustAdventures.comHeadShot-fix  clia_acc_logo-black



.Net Core Hello World Console App (in Ubuntu 16.04)

Because every new framework needs another Hello World!

Ive been forcing myself to try and learn this new .Net Core and in the past Ive wrote about writing C# code on Windows and running it in Linux using the Mono framework and recently I wrote about using .Net Core with Yeoman to start an MVC application.

This however is a much simpler example to start understanding the .Net Core framework.

Here are the dependencies for this example:

Visual Studio Code (Download Link)https://code.visualstudio.comInstall .Net Core SDKInstructions: https://www.microsoft.com/net/core

Now lets open a terminal and run a few commands:

mkdir hwapp
cd hwapp
dotnet new

Ok go ahead and run your new application:

dotnet restore
dotnet run

Hello World C# in Ubuntu Terminal

For those of you who read instructions you may have seen these instructions already on Microsofts page for installing the .Net Core Framework but what is happening when you run these commands?


First .Net Core is creating some files inside of the hwapp folder when you run dotnet new.


Lets look first at the contents of Project.json

“version”: “1.0.0-*”,
“buildOptions”: {
“debugType”: “portable”,
“emitEntryPoint”: true
“dependencies”: {},
“frameworks”: {
“netcoreapp1.0”: {
“dependencies”: {
“Microsoft.NETCore.App”: {
“type”: “platform”,
“version”: “1.0.0”
“imports”: “dnxcore50”

Above version is the version of our application which starts at 1.0.0.

Under that we have dependencies. This is where .Net Core gets interesting because it only provides the bare minimums by default (resulting in better performance) and then requires you to add dependencies for everything else you want in your application (MVC, Entity Framework, Identity, IIS Integration, etc.). These dependencies are then added to the project via Nuget when you run dotnet restore In this case this is only dependent on .Net Core 1.0 but its worth noting that even this dependency can be replaced with net46 for .Net 4.6 on Windows or even the Mono Framework.

Now lets look at Program.csusing System;

namespace ConsoleApplication
public class Program
public static void Main(string[] args)
Console.WriteLine(“Hello World!”);

If youve ever seen a C# Hello World Console Application this is nothing new. We can even make it slightly more interesting and add some variables:

using System;

namespace ConsoleApplication
public class Program
public static void Main(string[] args)
var hw = “Hello”;
hw += ” “;
hw += “World!”;

var question = “What is 1 + 1?”;
var math = 1+1;
var answer = “Answer: 1 + 1 is equal to “;

answer = String.Concat(answer,math);


Heres what it looks like in Visual Studio Code with the C# extension installed:


and here is what that code looks like when its running:


Hopefully this helps with a basic understanding of what this new cross platform framework can do and how it runs. I think its excellent that I was able to do this all in Linux on Ubuntu 16.04 which has now become my main OS on my home laptop and Im excited to see more from Microsoft.

If you have any questions or comments please drop them below and feel free to share this post!


view of the world from bedford avenue

If you live in Brooklyn, NY like we do, then you might especially like this print.

Starting tomorrow (July 18th) at 10am, my graphic artist friend, Koren Shadmi will be selling his recent creation a limited edition print titled View of the World from Bedford Avenue

an homage  to the classic New Yorker cover from 1976 by the great Saul Steinberg. The original cover was a visual observation of how New Yorkers see the rest of the world; miniaturized by the grandeur and solipsism of Manhattan, the unofficial center of the world. Some (including me) would argue that the new center of the world is now Brooklyn.

Isnt it awesome? You can buy it here (starting Wednesday).

Jason Isbell takes our country to task on new song “White Man’s World” — listen

Photo by Danny Clinch

Jason Isbell has a new album on the way called The Nashville Sound. Written and recorded with his backing band The 400 Unit, the record finds the Grammy-winning musician whos been openly critical of President Trump and his sad excuse of an administration ruminating on our nations chaotic cultural and political landscape.

Case in point: The latest preview of the Something More Than Free follow-up, White Mans World, takes direct aim at one of the most contentious topics gripping modern America. With stinging guitars and stomping drums on hand, the alt-country rocker shines a bright light on our countrys ugly race and gender inequality problems.

I’m a white man living in a white man’s world/ Under our roof is a baby girl/ And I thought this world could be hers one day/ But her mama knew better, sings Isbell in the songs opening, his voice taut with twang as well as twinges of disappointment. Later, he acknowledges the damage caused by his own white privilege, saying, I’m a white man living on a white man’s street/ Got the bones of the red man under my feet.

The song discusses my perspective on race and gender, Isbell tells Consequence of Sound. I think its inspiration should be pretty obvious these days. I think my job is to constantly evaluate my role in the human struggle for equality without feeling guilt or shame for things I can’t control.

Hear it down below.

The Nashville Sound, which was produced by Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton), arrives in stores June 16th through Isbells own Southeastern Records. Pre-orders are ongoing.

The Nashville Sound Album Artwork:

jason isbell Jason Isbell takes our country to task on new song White Mans World    listen

The Nashville Sound Tracklist:01. Last of My Kind02. Cumberland Gap03. Tupelo04. White Mans World05. If We Were Vampires06. Anxiety07. Molotov08. Chaos and Clothes09. Hope the High Road10. Something to Love