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Yoga and Happy Hour at Grey Dolphin

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northern liberties grey dolphin

champagne grey dolphinFrom having mobile yoga events in New York City to a beautiful modern boutique in Philadelphia, Grey Dolphin is redefining fitness and wellness for the community in the Northern Liberties area through its lifestyle boutique concept. Walking through the family friendly neighborhood and passing by several hipster cafés, you’ll suddenly find Grey Dolphin standing out between all the homes and shops. The large windows give you a sneak peek at what’s inside. This boutique has a simple sleek aesthetic with clean white interiors and hardwood floors. An entire wall is dedicated to mirrors that is perfect for barre classes. The potential for this space is great, and instructors should be excited to hold their classes in this beautiful space.

One thing is for certain, Grey Dolphin is not a gym. Because of its location, their customers are the immediate neighborhood. With classes like “Daddy & Baby” and “Yoga & Brunch”, Grey Dolphin is family friendly, serving a millennial demographic that is in the process of settling down. “Group fitness is a big deal right now,” says their General Manager, Michelle. They provide specialty items for their clients like champagne during events and a complimentary scented towel at each class. The experience is extremely personalized and luxurious. The space has been used for several events including “Happy Hour Yoga”.  You can also find a  Turbo Kick class to step up your cardio routine. Each client is special and leaves feeling refreshed.

yoga grey dolphinThe most important part about growing Grey Dolphin is being mindful about the community and connecting with their audience. Michelle Nelson and Abby Stevens, Grey Dolphin’s Marketing and Event Planner, are constantly checking in with the public and creating buzz about personal wellness. The key to their success has been knowing how to speak to their audience, whether it is by social media or answering inquiries. An establishment like this is still fairly new in Philadelphia, and they are trying to stay authentic to what they do best.

Grey Dolphin’s boutique features prestigious instructors like Fabiana, who has featured a “FAB w/ Fabiana” class.  Grey Dolphin is doing something that is very refreshing for Philly. The fitness classes are small with limited access, having no more than 8 attendees. Clients are getting something very specific with each service, based on the experience of the instructors. Grey Dolphin has also partnered with Alex and Kim of The Styles Chronicles Blog, a Philadelphia based lifestyle blog. Their “Yoga and Brunch” events are a relaxing way to meet new friends with a little bit of exercise. As you can see, Philly’s fitness culture is embedded in the heart of Grey Dolphin.

There is much more to be excited for in this little gem in the heart of Northern Liberties. With regular yoga events and exciting partnerships like PAWS for “Cats On Mats”, there is a field of possibilities for the space. As a true entrepreneur, Michelle tells us, “We are here to create. Life can be so much about competition. Focus on yourself and your work. We are grateful to have the opportunity, because there could be no opportunity at all.” Philadelphia is transforming with fresh startups all the time, and with a space like this, it is a great place to develop lasting relationships while feeling refreshed. If you are looking for a more personal wellness and fitness experiences, Grey Dolphin is the place to be.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

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Lifestyle

Tech Traveler Must Haves

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Constant travel makes packing difficult, but these products can make your on-the-go lifestyle much more efficient. You know you’re a tech traveler when your dongles are spilling out of your suitcase. Sometimes it may even be difficult to find a place to plug in these dongles. We compiled a list of products that ensures that your tech traveler lifestyle is up to par as well as enhances your experience, wherever you may be.

Memobottle

Memobottle is a water bottle designed to fit perfectly between your books or laying flat against your laptop. This rectangular, flat bottle design is sleek and is sure to spark some conversation. Slide your bottle into your briefcase or laptop bag without having your bag become bulky, which is a lifesaver when you’re a fellow tech traveler. Memobottle is a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic water bottles. It is stylish and durable, making it an essential for everyday use.

 

Nomand USB charging hub

Because of our need to be connected, we may need to charge a bunch of different devices at the same time. The Nomad USB Charging Hub is sleek in design and fits perfectly into your environment. The charging hub is perfect for every tech traveler. You can charge up to five devices in one place, relieving you of the stress of searching for multiple outlets. The flat surface allows you to rest your phone or iPad on top. The Charging Hub also has an ambient light sensor that dims the LED indicator in the dark, allowing you to sleep peacefully.

 

Raden Suitcase

What makes the Raden suitcase unique is the technology they integrated into the suitcase. Think about some of the basic fears we now have when flying: losing our suitcase, having to pay extra fees, or running out of batteries on our phone with no outlet available nearby. The Raden suitcase solves these three concerns with their app. We may be able to fit everything we need into a conventional suitcase but usually forget about the weight. Well, the Raden suitcase is its own scale. After connecting the suitcase to the app, lift the handle of the suitcase to find out the weight and avoid overweight fees. With bluetooth technology, the app will notify you when your suitcase is nearby. No more fighting with other travelers for space circling the carousel watching as each bag falls down from the entrance. Stand back and let your suitcase tell you when it is coming.

Running out of batteries has become one of our biggest fears – especially if being connected is a part of our job. Well, the Raden suitcase is here to save you if you miss your connection or spent too much time playing games on your phone and now need a charge. There is a built in USB charger port right behind the handlebar that can completely charge up to four phones. Plug the charging wire into the battery without removing it to charge up the suitcase or remove the battery, charge it and used as a portal changer once you have reached your destination. This suitcase is a combination of old and new. The Raden suitcase has four 360 degree wheels. Their use of polycarbonate shell allows the suitcase to be durable against TSA throwing your suitcase around, but at the same time is lightweight and smooth. The zipper is reversed, making it water resistance, great for keeping your belongings secure and dry when traveling to rainy destinations.

 

Lexdray Laptop Case

As we become more dependent on technology, besides a cell phone, a laptop is the next most important device to keep us connected and get our work done – especially those in the technology field. A prime investment for our previous laptops is the Lexdray laptop case. The case is “ultra paddled” with fleece lining for their main compartment as well as the two side compartments for chargers and other essentials.  The water repellent zippers are great for running from house to car, car to building, building to restaurant without worrying about our electrics getting wet.

Zest Tea

To get that boost of energy and focus you are craving for without the crash, try Zest Tea. They currently offer four flavors from something simple like earl gray black tea to something bold like pomegranate mojito green tea. Each flavor of Zest Tea is highly fragrant, and drinking it leaves you feeling instantly refreshed. This is especially important for the tech traveler who is awake at all hours of the day, going from place to place.

Once you hit a certain age, highly caffeinated beverages are your best friends when we need a bit of extra energy. It becomes a necessity. You get the energy boost you are looking for but it comes with a consequence. You become jittery, especially when you are lacking the drink, and you crash once the caffeine wears off. Zest Tea gives you the energy you need without the uncomfortable side effects.

 

Happiness Planner

Technology has consumed our lives for better and for worst. Before smart phones and social media became such an essential part of our lives. Going back to the old school way of pen and paper allows us to disconnect from the world and have a moment to ourselves: right here, right now. The Happiness Planner is laid out in a way to help you take a step back from technology and focus on simpler things in life that makes us happy. 

Each morning, start off by thinking about what excited and inspires you. A positive mindset will set your day in a good direction. As you are writing, more ideas will come to you and before you know it, you are have the right attitude to conquer any difficult task that may come your way. At the end of the day, reflect on all the good things that happened that day. You will realize that this world isn’t as bad as the news makes it seem.

 

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Moment Lens : The Perfect Accessory For the Casual Photographer In All Of Us

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Moment phone lens

Moment is aware of mobile photography’s significance in today’s world and has created what I think are some of the best mobile lens attachments on the market. The newest iterations of the Moment lens and case, dubbed the Moment 2.0 or V2 is what I’ve tested vigorously, almost cruelly (my phone died about 8 times during a city wide photo run), but with a great, guiltless pleasure. We live in a time where mobile photography has become an integral part of our daily lives. Personally, I can’t remember a day where I don’t stop to take a photo, which leads me to say that life is, well ironically, full of rare, snappable moments. Though professional cameras still have a dominating spot in the expanding world of photography, mobile cameras are rapidly improving. We carry phones everywhere we go, its versatility is unparalleled, and the fact that we can whip it out to take a picture or record with unprecedented speed makes me feel that mobile cameras might just be more important. The phone is the instrument of choice for the casual photographer in all of us.

Moment has done a fantastic job with these lenses. The size and quality makes it a perfect accessory for the traveler, but also for the everyday person stumbling onto or looking for any photo opportunity. Moment now has a battery case as well, also equipped with its new mounting system, because phones do deplete when you’re on a photo run. They also offer external shutter buttons, travel cases, and other accessories all on their website. As of this “moment” (get it), I’ve yet to see any other mobile lenses on the market that’s been made with such attention to detail, and really I have to say again, the craftsmanship on each Moment lens is masterful. If you’re looking to spice up your Instagram page, add to your repertoire, or get your feet wet in the glorious art of photography, these lenses are beautiful, valuable options.

We’ll take a look at all four of their lenses and compare photos I’ve taken using them. Please note, unless stated, all of these photos were taken with an iPhone 7 Plus, and are completely unaltered and unfiltered in any way. Results will vary depending on your mobile device.

First Impressions

During the unboxing, I picked up one of the microfiber pouches at random, and when I dropped the Moment lens onto my hand, I was immediately impressed. There is a solidness to them. The glass lens themselves were huge and attractive. The weight felt really nice and professional. Taking a few shots with the lens mounted were fine. The weight wasn’t noticeable at all. But, I felt they had to be removed once you put your phone away, lest you wanted a big ole glass eye protruding from your pocket. The rubber lens caps are sturdy and easy to keep clean. Cheap rubber attracts dust and hair, but these were stress free. Also, the pouches that the lenses come in doubles as a microfiber wipe for the lenses themselves. I thought that was really cool. It’s all in the details!

The Case and Mounting Surface

The new lenses have a completely redesigned mounting interface. Whereas the previous Moment lenses attached via a mounting clip, these new lenses twist 180 degrees onto Moment’s lens interface found only on their new (and gorgeous) photo cases. This allows a few things to happen. For one, there is zero chance of user error. There is no need to attach a mounting plate, like with the Olloclip or Insignia clip on lenses, nor is there the adjustment issue you find often with said clip ons. Personally, I find the clip on lenses to be a bit frustrating in getting them to sit right and still, and because they are universal, there is a noticeable lack in photo quality. But Moment’s mounting system is super thin, yet rigid, so there’s no lens movement or shifting, resulting in no distortion, vignetting or corner cropping. It is an airtight system, and also allows for easy lens swaps to fit the nature of your photo.

18mm Wide Lens

This is marketed as their bestseller. It allows the camera a wider angle without distorting the shapes. I found this to be the easiest and most versatile Moment lens to use, great for landscapes, narrow spaces, foodie photos, and everything in between. The wide angle gives it just enough of an edge to capture everything I wanted in a photo while retaining the same vision I had for the photo. This lens also underwent the most redesign for the 2.0 lineup, sporting new aspherical glass with the intent being to eliminate distortion and clipped corners. I realized very early on that this was going to be my daily driver, my bread and butter, my go-to for photos. I love that the Moment lens is so subtle, but it adds depth and power, traits of a well taken photo. A wise friend said in the simplest way, “I like the wide lens. It takes the same picture, but wide.” See for yourself!

Moment lens

Taken with the Moment 18mm Wide Lens of the historic Delancey St. in Society Hill, Philadelphia, PA.

Delancey St. in Philadelphia taken from an iPhone 7 Plus without a lens.

No lens shot of a shelf of pickled tomatoes at The Twisted Tail, Philadelphia, PA

Moment lens

Taken with the Wide Lens 18mm. Notice that it is at the same position and distance, but there is an extra jar. I thought it was a subtle, but demonstrative nod to what the lens does.

 

Philadelphia

No lens shot of The Twisted Tail, Philadelphia, PA

Moment wide lens shot

Taken from the same position with the Moment Wide Lens 18mm

25mm Macro Lens

Moment’s Macro lens 25mm definitely has the most limitations, and is the hardest to use, but it is my personal favorite. This Moment lens lets you take photos of small objects with amazing clarity and with an almost artistic result. But, because the lens has to be so close to the subject that it’s touching, its usability is mostly limited to stationary objects under good lighting. But the results are fantastic. As pictured, the details captured, unseen by the naked eye, adds great texture to these photos. It isn’t a lens I’d use every day, but it’s one that’s just quirky enough that I always have fun when I do.

Moment lens

Get up close and personal with the Macro 25mm lens! This is a super close up of a morning glory flower, which was about the size of a nickel.

60mm Tele Photo Lens

This lens is used mainly for portrait photos. It provides a natural 2x zoom without any loss of picture quality, which is important for phones because they operate on digital zooms (as opposed to the more powerful optical zooms found on many professional cameras). Similar to the portrait mode function on the iPhone 7 Plus, the Telephoto is used for focusing onto a subject while leaving the background soft. If you have an iPhone 7 Plus, you could choose to forego the Telephoto Lens, but what the lens does is it allows you to further zoom in, while portrait mode does not, and you can record videos. If those are important to you, then this is a good lens to have! If you don’t own a phone with a portrait mode, then the Tele Photo lens is a great lens to have!

moment lens

The Twisted Tail, Philadelphia, PA taken with a 60mm Moment Lens

No lens shot of the entrance to the Centre Square in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Same shot with the Moment Telephoto 2x Lens

170 degree Superfish Lens

The Superfish lens is perfect for capturing a lot of detail in small spaces due to its unique distortion quality, granting it a 170 degree field of vision. What I found to be most impressive about this particular fisheye lens is that it completely eliminates vignetting, which occurred on virtually every other fisheye lens I’ve tried to date. Also, because of the new mounting system, photo quality remains constant throughout the entire photo. On other lenses, there would be blurring as it gets closer to the edges. The Superfish lens really stands out in these aspects, so snap one on and take those big group selfies and sunsets! Photos taken by Vu Do.

national wildlife refuge

Marshes at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge without the Superfish lens.

Moment Superfish lens shot

Marshes at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge taken with the Superfish lens

 

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Memobottle Raises Over $30,000 On Kickstarter In Under 10 Hours

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Memobottle

Jesse Leeworthy and Jonathan Byrt, the entrepreneurs behind Memobottle, designed a reusable plastic water bottle with a mission to decrease the use of disposable plastic water bottles and create a more sustainable society. Growing up in Melbourne, Australia they often saw heaps of disposable water bottles littering the beach. They decided to create a beautiful and reusable alternative to these disposable bottles. Their creations feature stylish design and durable construction to make them a solid accessory for everyday use.

The Memobottle features a flat, flask-like design that fits in pockets, bags, and purses. The bottles are made of durable Tritan plastic, are BPA free, and dishwasher friendly. They are suitable for hot or cold liquids, and are freezer safe. Coming in three different sizes, Memobottle is a convenient and sustainable alternative to plastic water bottles. Their Kickstarter campaign’s success enabled them to sell the bottles in two new sizes. The slim Memobottle is a tall, elegant addition to a bag or purse. It holds 15 fluid ounces of water. The A7 Memobottle is the most compact. It holds 6 ounces of water and is perfect for kids and people on the go. Their existing A5 bottle holds 25 fl oz and retails for $36.

Memobottle also has fun accessories like desk stands, lids, wrist straps and cases. Desk stands come in two dimensions and are copper plated. Lids come in matte black, copper, and stainless steel. Wrist straps and cases are made of leather.

Their Kickstarter campaign is donating 1% of the money to a charity called water.org that seeks to increase access to clean drinking water in parts of the developing world. 1 in 9 people do not  have access to clean drinking water, and in developing countries without access to safe water and sanitation, women and girls spend an average of 6 hours a day collecting water. They are unable to attend school and stay trapped in a cycle of poverty. Water.org provides small loans to these families to enable them to access water easily and break the cycle of poverty.

The mission, philosophy, and high quality products have made the Memobottle Kickstarter a resounding success with it raising over $45,000 of its initial $30,000 goal in just a few hours.

 

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