Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Traveling Abroad With Your iPhone? Check Out My Tips & Tricks.

Okay, first IMPORTANT question...what carrier do you have? Hopefully it's AT&T...if not, if it's Sprint or Verizon, your iPhone won't work :( AT&T's iPhone is the only one that has a global GSM built in (for now), so it works around the world.  Verizon and Sprint's iPhone's network doesn't have that.

Anyways, so hoping that you have AT&T, here's what you'll need to do (I've tried to take screenshots of each "step" so you can easily follow along on your iPhone :)

1. iMessage (when your texts are blue not green) is free--it uses MINIMAL data, but as long as you are iMessaging, you can text for free. I probably send a thousand (not kidding!) iMessages (because 98% of everyone I know is an iMessage iPhone user! woo hoo!) and I didn't pay "per text" as I would have with texting anyone who was green.



2. Purchase a data package.  I was in London for a week and am a heavy data user, so I bought the 275MB one for $99.99. Remember, if you're on wifi, this does NOT use any of your purchased data, so if you can be on wifi a lot you won't need a lot of data.  I would definitely buy SOME data for when you go, so you can still check your email, update foursquare (oodles of good badges in London!), and such.  If you download the myAT&T app you can buy international data directly through the "My Services" link.



3. Buy 50 text messages (or more, but 50 was good for me since most people I text are iMessage).  This is good for the random incoming text messages from non-iPhone people so you're not paying $0.50 a text message.  I think it's $10 for 50, and it was good to have in case I got texts or wanted to text my few non iPhone friends.  Again, you can buy this through the "My Services" link on MyAT&T app.



4. Under settings >> general, make sure you have your cellular data AND data roaming turned ON.  This will allow you to access whatever UK network you pick up and allow you to get online.  If you do NOT want to use any data, make sure these are turned OFF.  (I left mine one the entire time, but turned off all of my notifications so I had to manually check my email, facebook, instagram, etc... I didn't get automatic "push" updates like I do here in the US...see number 6)



5. Under settings >> mail, contact, calendars select "fetch new data" and turn push OFF and then turn fetch option to manually.  what takes up so much data is your phone constantly having new emails "pushed" to your phone.  If you turn this option off when abroad you only check your email when you select the mail app and hit the little refresh thingy in the bottom left of the mail app.  This saves you a ton of data so you're only checking your mail when you actually ask to do it.



6. under settings >> notifications, go unselect EVERYTHING in your notification center and turn it all off (everything except phone and messages).  select the app and just turn off every option.  Again, this eats a lot of data when notifications are constantly being "pushed" to your phone, so if you have it off you only get your notifications when you actually select the app.




7. Download Skype, and buy $10 of skype credit.  Use Skype to call people...it's like $0.03 a minute to call the US--$10 is PLENTY for that.  It's SUPER expensive to call from your regular number AS WELL AS answer calls, even if you buy the discounted roaming rates.  I just didn't answer any calls from anyone, and just called them back through skype.  To call from skype takes minimal data usage (and remember, if you're on wifi it doesn't use any of yours!), so I would talk to people back in the US for HOURS and I barely spent more than $7 total the whole week I was there!

8. FaceTime is free over Wifi...so if you have wifi, you can FaceTime anyone for free.  I used this a lot too--I couldn't go a whole week without seeing Scooter :)

Anyways, those are my suggestions.  I couldn't LIVE without my phone for a week, so I did some serious research before I left as to the cheapest option for me to be able to use my phone overseas.  I think all in all it cost me $110--$100 for the data and $10 for the 50 text messages.  Well worth it for me to still have my phone and still use it excessively as I normally do here :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sunrises and Sunsets.

Golly, I just love a good one of these. And I'm proud to say all of these pics were snapped with my iPhone 4S camera, most on my own street. Hope you enjoy them as much as me!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How We Prepare...

To watch the Puppy Bowl!! That's what Scoots and I care about on this glorious Sunday...any other "bowl" thing is irrelevant to us.

We prepared by playing outside and running around, very similar to what the puppies do in the bowl.

Then, to cap off our prep work, we had a photo shoot, as all celebrities do before a big event.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Little Gentleman.

Scooter is such a good helper. He helped us sew up the bow ties and even modeled the finish product. Such a little gentleman.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Talented.

that's what my kids are.  seriously, they're amazing. check out these documentaries they made for C-SPAN's StudentCam competition.  enjoy.  and check out my teaching blog for more details on the project if you're interested.


STL Ski Trip 2012

First off, I suck, I know.  I haven't blogged in a lonnnnnnnng time, and I'm sorry about that.  Sheesh, things have been super busy!!  I know that's a horrible excuse, because it takes me like maybe 10 minutes totally to write a blog post, so I guess I'll chalk it up to laziness.  Anyways, I'm really going to try and get better about posting more!

Alrighty, so last weekend we went--for the third time--up to Devil's Head Ski Resort in Merrimac, Wisconsin with the STL Ski Trip crew.  Once again we had a blast enjoying a long weekend with 10 of our buddies.  Here are some pics from this fun-filled weekend.  Golly, I just love skiing!!  Mike and I really want to get out to Colorado someday soon and hit the big slopes!!

We had coordinating Muppet hats: Animal for Mike, Beaker for me.


Lauren's first (& probably last) time skiing.  To keep it short, she HATED it.


I like to snap pictures as I'm mid-descent down a slope...









Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mr. Snuggles

First off, let me apologize for the lack of posts this past month...wowza, it sure has been a busy one!  Taking 9 grad school hours PLUS full time teaching wears a gal out.  So, without me harking too much on how busy I've been, I'll stop now and continue with my intended post :)

Most of you who know me know my pup Scooter is the center of my world...and most know I tend to call him by his nickname "Mr. Snuggles" more than his actual name.  Anyways, as I was looking back through my posts, I realized I have never done a tribute post to Scooter and my favorite pictures of him!  AHHHH! I couldn't believe it!

So since it's the holidays, I felt like I'd give you a little treat with sharing some of my favorite photos of my beloved pooch.  Enjoy! :)











































































































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