From the moment I wake up to the time I go to bed, my days are hectic and scheduled with meetings and events back-to-back. And living in Los Angeles, those events and meetings can have me rushing from one corner to the city to another – taking up a lot of time and energy, every single day.
This is why UberX has been a god-send to me ever since I started using it in 2012. The UberX app has enabled me to lead a productive work-week in a way that has not been previously possible. I can schedule rides beforehand and/or have rides linked to my smartphone’s calendar (so that my meetings’ destinations automatically appear in the app when I open it up to get a ride).
Of course, having someone else drive enables me to focus on other things like having phone calls or even catching up on work during the periods between Meeting A and Meeting B.
Being able to put my commute-time to good use (as a way to refocus and re-energize myself) for my next meeting or event in a busy work day has enabled me to give 110% percent to my team and to my audience.
A studio session recording a live video-webinar talking to an audience of about 1000 people.
Recently, Uber came up with a sister app called Uber Eats which basically enables me to order great food from a number of excellent restaurants/cafes in my area and have an Uber driver to deliver it to me.
Driving and following directions are not my best skill-set, so having an Uber driver get me from one destination to the other easily has been crucial to enable me to have a great work-day.
I also love that I can easily pull up my trip history on my smartphone or computer to keep track of my work expenses.
Having someone drive me goes beyond convenience – it feels like the smart and sane thing to do. Not having to deal with navigation and finding parking and instead using the time to re-energize myself in between meetings and events has enabled me to lead my life the way I want – from dawn till dusk.
Photography by Sabrina Hill
I love eBay with a passion. Friends and family members know that my eBay app is probably one the top 5 apps that I use on my smartphone. And the reason is quite simple – I love the thrill of shopping for fashion steals – from mundane basics like tweezers ( found a rose gold one for $9 a week ago ) to runway-ready pieces at incredible deals. Because hey, who doesn’t like a good bargain?
So when the eBay people approached me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would like to collaborate with them to talk about their new eBay ShopBot – it was an easy YES. I use eBay almost daily… and when my boyfriend heard my latest collaboration was with eBay, he was slightly apprehensive.
BF: So eBay …. just made an app called ShopBot .. that makes using eBay easier?
BF: You can search and bid blindfolded using their current app. I don’t know if I want it to be easier.
But it is easier. Case in point – I was looking for a white wool coat to add to my collection of coats and was browsing the website of a very fancy department store and found the coat of my dreams… and it was $6000. I did not want to spend $6000 on a coat so I took a photo of the coat while using eBay’s ShopBot.
Using eBay ShopBot, you can search either by typing exact search terms i.e “White Wool Coat” and follow the prompts given to refine the search, or take a photo of a similar item to the one you’re looking for like I did.
As soon as you see the item you want – just click “Buy”. eBay ShopBot will prompt you for your PayPal or credit card details the first time you use it. You can then opt to store this information so you won’t have to enter the information again in the future.
So back to my white coat. I found it and bought it using eBay ShopBot and a few days later:
Tadaa! Gorgeous coat for a fraction of the price (and time.)
The eBay ShopBot is still in beta, so they’re still adding and refining the app as we speak. But it is an amazing addition to eBay (and shopping as a whole.) So if you’re looking for a personal shopping assistant that could help you sort out bargains easily – I’d love for you to try it.
You can download and use eBay ShopBot by typing “eBay ShopBot” into Facebook messenger, adding it as a friend, and click “start shopping”.
Photography: Sabrina Hill
Location: The District by Hannah An, Beverly Hills
If you did not know by now, I’m a major app girl. Every major function of my work and personal life is made easier due to one app or another. And so when two weeks ago I was approached by PRIV to try out and review their new beauty on-demand app ( and get my grooming done at home so I can do more work at the same time?!), to say I was enthusiastic was an understatement.
I know there are a whole bunch of beauty service apps out there now – but I can safely say this is by far the most comprehensive. Here are the services provided by Priv in a nutshell:
Fitness – Personal Training, Yoga & Kickboxing
Massage – All Kinds of Massage including Prenatal Massage
Makeup – Brow Shaping, Makeup Application, Countouring, Airbrushing & Makeup Lessons
Hair Services – Haircuts, Blowouts, Updos, Braids and Dry Styling, Children Haircuts
Spray Tans – Airbrush Tan from the comfort of your home.
Men’s Grooming – Haircuts, Haircut with Upper Body Grooming, Mustache and/or Beard Trim & Style, MENicures
The best thing about Priv is that for most of the services, you can book a group service – so if you ever want to schedule a girl’s night in with some beauty treatments scheduled in, Priv is your go-to app. Sounds exciting yes? I also heard that there are plans to have at-home lash extension services.
So for my review, I decided to go with a spa manipedi. My nail specialist is the lovely Teresa Nguyen who showed up with loads of these Deborah Lipmann polishes (she swears by them) and all the tools needed for a nail service in her wheelie.
My spa manipedi service was $90 flat because all tip and gratuities are included which is another great feature of Priv. All their services range from $50 to $350 all in, and when I consider the time that I save not having to go out, drive, get parking, drive back etc. I think the price point is very reasonable.
The Priv app is really simple to use. All you have to do is:
Enter your deets aka Your Name, Address and Credit Card Information.
Pick the service(s) you want.
Schedule A Service. ( Note : Don’t get confused when you see your provider being available only for one time slot. Click on his or her profile and you can see other time slots available.)
You will get an email confirmation from Priv.
On the day of service, there is no need to tip or pay via cash. Everything is done by your service provider via Priv.
Take a photo and/or give feedback about your service provider by the app. Service providers with higher ratings naturally will get booked more/often.
Repeat as needed.
This is a sponsored post courtesy of Priv, but all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.
What are you waiting for?
Get a $20 credit when you download and use Priv for your next beauty service.
Getting paid to shop from the comfort of your living room while lounging in your silk pajamas is no longer a pipe dream. Presenting Cosign. An app that pays you for your selfies, food porn and the new Pradas you just splurged on. Really.
When I was first approached to review this app I was quite intrigued – The fittingly named app lets you endorse products you post on all the major social media platforms , rewarding you with cash every time followers purchase something you’ve shared. However, the appeal of Cosign lies in its broad spectrum of items. Anything from the #ootd you shared on Twitter ( as yet, Instagram is not supported) to the new desk chairs you bought for the office are up for grabs. This is a huge move toward embracing the “every day” consumer — not just fashionistas (hello!) and self-proclaimed foodies.
It helps that joining the growing movement is effortless, simply create a username, upload a photo, tag your products and share via social media, email or text.
So here’s how :
First, I made an account. Easy peasy… so far.
Second, I uploaded a photo to “Camera.”
Oh hey, just my Tory Burch Fitbit, aka the constant reminder for me to
skip the donut and head to the gym. Ugh.
Next, I looked up the item in the search tool and tagged it with the “Cosign” button.
Finally, sent a tweet out to my fellow Ambitionistas.
Psst: Peek how I wear the Fitbit here.
The social platforms available include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr, to name a few. When followers hover over the image, details on price and where to buy it conveniently pop up. There’s even the option to text links, which brings Cosign to a more personal, private level — uncharted territory for retail apps.
So far, Cosign has caught the attention of Russel Simmons, who livestreamed his ArgyleCulture’s Spring/Summer 2015 menswear collection via the app, and Laquan Smith, a Kardashian favorite, who’s T-shirt pop-up line was inspired by the platform.
Personally, I’m a fan of the app’s interface and sheer simplicity. A big plus when you’re trying to do a zillion things at once. Also, getting paid to text your girlfriends photos of your new Hermès clutch? Yes, please.
PSST: All NY Ambitionistas are invited to attend the Cosign Launch Party on Feb 11th. Meet the creators and enjoy complimentary drinks & hors d’oeuvres. More deets here.
Massages fall into the category of things that sound like a good idea but you never get around to actually doing–like going to the gym (and all those other terribly ambitious new year’s resolutions).
After a long day of furiously typing away at my computer or after an especially long business flight, my shoulders tend to carry all the tension of the last 24 hours. At times, it even hurts to touch them. While I love an excellent massage as much as the next Ambitionista, I never end up making that much-needed appointment. So, when the good folks over at Soothe asked me to review their massage-on-the-go app, it was an easy decision.
The service delivers massages to your door, with the same (if not better) professional experience you’d get at a brick and mortar spa. To schedule an in-home appointment, simply choose the type of massage you’d like–deep tissue, Swedish, sports, couples–and the how long you’d like the massage to be. The times and prices range from 1 hour for $99 to 2 hours for $169.
After downloading the app, you have to input some basic stuff – your name, address and a valid credit card number. You also will be able to specify your preference in terms of:
1. Masseuse – male or female.
2. Massage lubricant – oil or lotion.
3. Type of massage – swedish, deep tissue, sports or couples, and
4. Once you found a favorite masseuse, you can request to book him or her again.
So after the easy set-up, I requested my massage for 9:40 pm on a Tuesday and right on the dot at 9:30 a pleasant lady called (surprise) Sande shows up.
She set up her portable massage bed, asked me what kind of music I liked ( I think we had Pandora decide for us), played it on her little bluetooth speaker and went to the bathroom to wash her hands (which was cue for me to get onto the massage bed).
Apparently her most frequent clients are moms who have babies and small children – it’s convenient and they feel more at ease with the little ones in the next room over.
Once the massage was done, all I had to do was wrap myself in a cozy robe, thank her and then prepare myself… to go to sleep.
What’s not to like?
Since then, I’ve used the app several more times, and referred quite a few of my friends.?
At the moment, Soothe is only available in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Miami, but there’s word that they’ll be expanding to San Francisco, Phoenix-Scottsdale and New York. Fingers crossed.
Protip: just make sure you have enough space for the therapist to set up a massage table and move around. You don’t want the poor masseuse stumbling over your Jimmy Choos.
Soothe is “open” 7 days a week, from 9am to midnight. These hours are perfect for us ladies working late hours.
Gratuity is on the house, as tip is already added in. So no need to worry about digging through the
dark abyss your purse.
Saves you time spent on driving, traffic and parking after an already exhausting day at the office.
We’re just a few days in to 2015 and I can’t help but think how the gym will be packed during the first weeks in January which is why you won’t find me there well until the end of the month (one of my New Year’s resolutions is to not make resolutions I can’t keep).
I am aware that I still need to
divulge my clothing sizes to a lot of PR people stay healthy and get some exercise and so I make it to a point to walk a lot. And keeping track of how much walking I do is part of the ‘ stay healthy’ bit. weekly is a great way to make sure I ca Still, it would be helpful if we all had a little helper to keep track of how much exercise we’re getting in a day.
I mean, let’s face it – if you’re as driven by your career/business as any other Ambitionistas out there – between the early commute to work, the team meetings, the late nights hammering away at the computer, and finally dragging yourself home exhausted back home late at night – walking is probably the only exercise you can really incorporate into your life. By 9pm, the thought of going to the gym is the last thing on your mind and all you want to do is sink into bed while watching Downton Abbey on your iPad. New Year’s resolutions be damned.
I like that the Tory Burch FitBit bracelet looks just like an elegant piece of jewelry.
So back to the walking. Walking to Starbucks for lunch doesn’t count, or at least – it doesn’t count if that’s the only thing you do. You need to cumulatively walk about 10,000 steps a day or 70,000 steps a week to be considered moderately active. Enter the FitBit. I actually got a basic one when David Sedaris (one of my favorite writers BTW) divulged at a UCLA Speakers event that he used it to maniacally make sure he walked a certain amount every day and eventually lost some weight because of this.
Well, my plain black FitBit was okay but I hated how it clashed with my outfits – like wearing gym clothes at smart cocktail party. So when I found out about Tory Burch for Fitbit I almost wrote Ms. Burch a big THANK YOU email. She even had the forethought to make these arm candies in 3 types of metals – gold, rose and classic silver:
With a simple double tap you can peek at your progress against your daily goals and perhaps the most pleasant part of it all — at least for me — is that the Tory Burch x Fitbit keeps monitors your sleep cycle and through silent alarms, helps teach you how to sleep more efficiently. Here’s how it looks like on me with a couple of other outfits:
More details of this outfit coming soon.
My only critique: If you type a lot, you may find yourself removing the bracelet to avoid the persistent click clack of metal against your keyboard and desk. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to slip off the bangle if I am typing furiously at my computer. A more practical option might be the pendant necklace (also in gold and rose) with an open fretwork design.
PS: Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself walking to
the Starbucks a whopping five blocks further. Just for kicks.