Hey y'all! I'm Taryn, a blogger, editor, trivia buff and aspiring foodie who hails from Atlanta, Georgia. I've been holding things down for Unplggd and Apartment Therapy here in The South for almost 4 years now. I'm a hardcore Apple addict who loves playing games, reading magazines and I'm currently in the beginning stages of a love affair with photography. My favorite gear is the stuff that keeps me busy, whether that's getting active with a workout or getting lazy with a book. I also turn to tech to keep me organized and streamlined on everything from storing recipes to finding a better way to carry my DSLR camera.
Apple TV: This is the newest addition to my tech family, but it's already becoming a favorite. We wired up this device to our bedroom TV, bringing new life (and lots of new shows) to lazy Sundays in bed. I love how easy it is to play web videos from my phone, and my other half loves being able to watch his hometown hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings, all the way from Georgia with an NHL subscription.
XBOX 360 Kinect + Workout Games:
I'll admit I've never been the go-for-a-run-outside type. I prefer my workouts to take place indoors on a treadmill, stationery bike or, now thanks to Kinect, in my living room. With a bunch of game titles to keep me active like The Biggest Loser and Kinect Sports, the "gym" is right outside my bedroom. No excuses.
Barnes & Noble Nook Color:
I'm a magazine junkie and, much to my coffee table's dismay, was once subscribed to 14 monthly magazine titles at the same time. These days, my little IKEA table can take a load off thanks to the Nook Color e-reader tablet from Barnes & Noble. I carry this device in my purse wherever I go, filling up empty moments in queue or waiting for a train with words and photographs from my favorite books and periodicals (oh, and lots of Angry Birds). Plus, Barnes & Noble just released a software update for Nook Color, so now I'll be able to stream movies and TV shows from my Netflix account.
Despite the resounding "meh" from the tech blogosphere at the iPhone 4S' announcement, I was at the Apple Store on Day 1 to buy this year's iPhone iteration. My iPhone 3GS
was looking worn and battery-weary, so I was eager to trade up—and now so thankful I did. Siri is great, sure. But I'm repeatedly taken aback by the detail and quality of the iPhone 4S camera. I've ditched my point-and-shoot for good.
Instagram for iPhone:
The best part about the iPhone 4S' stellar pictures is being able to share them, so I've gotten caught up in the free Instagram iPhone app. I check my Instagram feed full of friends' and colleagues' daily cameraphone snapshots before I check Facebook or Twitter in the morning. Plus the Instagram photos filters can make even a blurry shot look great.
Evernote for Mac:
This one is another free application I get daily use out of. As I browse the web on my phone or the MacBook Pro
at home, I save tons of recipes and project ideas for my entertaining and lifestyle blog, Formal Fringe
. Evernote is the best way to keep it all in one place. Whether I save a link or a cameraphone snapshot, Evernote easily saves it and syncs the note to all my devices (including my Nook Color). And my library of notes is a cinch to search; Evernote even searches through words and text included in images.
iStubz iPhone Sync Cable:
Since I do so much on my iPhone, I need to sync and charge it frequently. This little stubby cord keeps desk clutter to a minimum, wiring up my Phone to the USB port on my Mac without taking over the whole desk. Plus it's small enough to keep stashed in my purse for battery charge emergencies.
Lowel Ego Digital Imaging Light + Lowel Ego Sweep Backdrop:
As an at-home blogger, my apartment also needs to double as a photo studio on some days. That's why I've got this tabletop rig set up in a guest bedroom. The Lowel Ego light (and its companion backdrop) helps out on cloudy days and nights. It's bright and soft, and does a pretty good job of simulating natural light for my indoor digital shoots.
JOBY GorillaPod SLR-Zoom:
I love the versatility of this tripod. It does great on a tabletop or kitchen counter, where I take most of my photos. But it's also compact and light enough to take along on a trip. When I wrap the ductile legs of the GorillaPod around a stair railing or fence post, I trust that I've left my pricey DSLR in good, bendable hands.
Camera Strap Buddy:
This is the least expensive "thing" on my Tech Top 10, but it might also be the most appreciated. For months, I was lugging my Canon camera by wrapping its strap around my neck and shoulder, like most people. Unfortunately, that technique leaves your expensive lens to jut out from your hip and bump walls and doors as you walk. I bought this little $15 accessory and re-routed one end of my camera strap to the tripod mount at the base of my camera body. It's a small adjustment that's totally changed the way I carry my gear.