Vitaly Gelato – My Favorite Ice Cream in Orange County

I enjoy going to different ice cream shops whenever I get a chance. For a very long time my number one place in Orange County has been Vitaly Gelato in Costa Mesa. The only flavor I eat at Vitaly Gelato is the Pistachio, and I consider it one of the best in the world. I talked to the owner of Vitaly Gelato few years ago and asked him about the Pistachio gelato. He said that we buy the highest quality pistachios from Italy, and the pistachio ice cream is our best seller.

Whenever you pass by Orange County, try out the Pistachio Gelato at Vitaly.

 

Amazon Prime Day – An Addiction That I Can’t Stop

OK so this year I didn’t want to spend a single dollar on Amazon Prime Day. Why ? because I don’t want to buy things I don’t need at all. When Prime Day started I was holding myself, and I was resisting for few hours. My friends started talking about all the deals and they were sharing what they were buying on WhatsApp. I decided to visit Amazon.com just to see the offers and not buy anything. The moment I landed on Amazon page and saw the deals, I said why not buy one thing only. I saw a 256gb flash drive from SanDisk for $40. I looked at my flash drive which is 128gb, I said yeah that needs an upgrade. After buying the flash drive, I ended up buying tablets, kindle, flash drives, smart switches, echo dot, and charging cables. This is what I bought

Nest Cam – Simple Yet Limited

Nest is one of my very favorite companies, because of simplicity and user-friendliness. I started to use Nest when I first installed Nest thermostat to control via their app. Then I ended up needing to install cameras in both of my homes, so under my account there are 2 homes. A friend of mine saw what I have at home and asked me if he can use it for all his restaurants. I thought it was possible, but he wasn’t so sure. He talked to Nest customer service, and sadly they limit each account to 2 places where you can install the cameras. Meaning if I buy a third house, I won’t be able to add it to my Nest account because I already have 2 homes. Sadly small businesses would have benefited from Nest because they can install Nest cam in each branch or store.

Nest should capitalize on small businesses, because small businesses want to use Nest cam due to the simplicity of the product. If Nest don’t take an action, another company will. Amazon Ring might be a competitor, so there will be a first mover advantage.

Earth Class Mail – Turn Your Physical Mail Into an Email

I have been using Earth Class Mail for more than a year and it all started when I needed to turn my mails into emails. I knew such service exist, but I never knew it is that effective. All I did was forwarding my mails through USPS to my address in Earth Class Mail. I chose Los Angeles as the location to forward my mails to, and they have a lot of other locations. Now all I have to do is login at Earth Class Mail and decide which mails to recycle, and which mails to ship to my home. Sometimes I need the important mails such as credit cards and driver license. Once you recycle a mail, you can keep a PDF copy for reference, which makes the service extremely convenient. I pay around $100 a month for the service, and I believe that it is totally worth it.

Gogogate 2 – Turn Your Existing Garage Into a Smart One

Back in 2015, I was searching for products to turn my home into a smart one. It was really easy finding a smart thermostat and smart door locks, but when it came to smart garages it was really difficult. I spent few days searching the internet of how to turn your garage into a smart one, and I came across Gogogate 2. The price was $134 including the wireless sensor, so I had my doubt about the product. I didn’t find many articles talking about the product, so I decided to take the risk and try it out. Installation was very simple that I did everything by myself. The product changed my life, and it is one of the products that i highly recommend to anyone. Even my friends in San Diego were wondering how did I turn my garage into a smart one with such a small device. Days later, I bought Gogogate 2 for all my Airbnb homes, so I no longer wait for the guests to arrive. All of my guests loved it, and they started to buy Gogogate 2 for their garages. I just wish that there is automatic integration with Airbnb where whenever someone book, automatically they get the user name and password instead of me creating users for each guest and then delete it once the guest check out. The only time I faced a challenge is when I bought Gogogate 2 for one of my homes and it had a different type of garage button. When I clicked the button, it turns on then automatically disconnect. I contacted Gogogate support and they replied with a solution immediately, and their solution required soldering. They attached a sketch of the points I should solder, and it was really easy to understand even for non engineers. I opened the garage door button and soldered the points, and it started working. The beauty about Gogogate 2 is that it is a very easy to use and the applications on both iOS and Android are very user-friendly. Now whenever someone arrives at my home before I do, I just give them access and they get in. My life is so much easier with Gogogate 2. Now I am waiting for the next release if there is one to upgrade all my homes to Gogogate 3.

 

 

 

 

Project Fi – A Service That Changed My Life

Project Fi is one of the services that completely changed my life. I was invited to Project Fi back in August 2015, and back then I was using At&t. I decided to give it a shot and try Google’s latest service. The service was great, but it had some limitations. The main limitation I faced was not being able to have my Whatsapp calls while driving on the 5 or 405 freeways. The connection used to disconnect every 30 seconds and then reconnect again. I ended up going back to At&t for a while, and 6 months later when my schedule was packed with trips outside the US. I joined Project Fi one more time and it completely changed my life. It is such a convenience when I land in each country and turn on my phone while I am on the plane and get internet connection instantly. The only country I didn’t get internet connection was Lebanon, so I had to buy a sim card from one of the local telecom companies. Last time I used Whatsapp calls on the 5 and 405 freeways in Socal, I saw major improvement. The call disconnect every now and then, but I can live with that. Whatsapp calls on Project Fi is’t as reliable as At&t or Verizon, but I believe Google will eventually get there. The beauty about Google is that they always push to improve their services, and they always keep everything very simple. Now most of my family switched to Project Fi, and all of us are really happy with the service. Can’t wait to see Project Fi having internet connection in every single country around the world.

Mercedes Benz is No Longer The Same Company

Mercedes Benz was my favorite company for a very long time, but few years ago, I felt that the company has changed so much in a bad way. In the past I can name every single car from their lineup. Now I can’t even name 60% of their lineup, because every year they add new ones. In the past I loved the CLS, and the moment it came out back in 2004, I bought one. Few years ago, I saw the CLS, but it was much smaller. It appeared that it was one of the new cars called CLA. I started to be confused when I see their cars rather than appreciate their designs. I feel Mercedes isn’t focusing on their cars as they used to, and now most of them look very similar to each other. I feel creating tons of SUV’s such as GLA, GLC, GLK and god knows what is so confusing. In the past it was so focused on G and ML. Even the interior is not as great in most of their cars, and S Class will always be an exception. My favorite dealer in Southern California is Fletcher Jones, I really love their branch in Newport Beach, CA. Their customer service is superior, but it will be bad for them if Mercedes continue to dilute their brand by pumping lots of cars into the lineup.

It is better to have low quantity with high quality rather than high quantity and lower quality. The reason Steve Jobs was very successful is because of focus, he cut down Apple product lines to be so little so he can perfect each one of them.

Fannie May Pixies | My Favorite Chocolate in The US

It has always been a struggle for me to find delicious chocolate in the US, and I am not talking about chocolate bars like Snickers or Twix. I am talking about the type of chocolates that comes in boxes. My favorite ones in the US are Godiva, See’s Candies, and Fannie May. Living in Southern California made my life easy, because I have Godiva and See’s Candies in all of the good shopping malls. In South Coast Plaza, I buy chocolate strawberries from Godiva, then get Vanilla Pecans from See’s Candies. Now my favorite chocolate in the US is Pixies from Fannie May. The quality of pecans is always impressive, and the caramel is extremely fresh. The sustained their quality for a very long time, and not even once I ate their chocolate and got disappointed. I used to compare them with Turtles by Nestle, but the quality isn’t consistent, because sometimes it last on the shelves for a long time. Fannie May, ship their chocolates when you submit an order online and this what creates all the difference.

Try Fannie May Pixies and let me know what you think.