Happy (Almost) Birthday Elsie Marie!

Dear Elsie,

November 14th 2009 started off like any other day, it was a Saturday and I was sleeping until well after 11 AM. I don’t remember what I ate for breakfast or even lunch, I remember going for a long walk with my cousin and just waiting for Uncle Tom to text me and tell me you’d arrived.

I don’t remember much of the trivial things which occurred that day, I know Uncle Tom had steak with your Pop that night and I know my Mommy (Mrs. H) made macaroni and meat sauce which I ate so fast I felt like I had a rock in my stomach afterwards. I do remember your Dad responding “beggars can’t be choosers” when I asked for updates on your big entrance into this world. These are snapshots of an ordinary day that would become extraordinary.

What I do remember is the first time I saw you, held you in my arms and watched you fall asleep on Uncle Tom’s chest. I remember from that moment on you had us wrapped around your little chubby fingers. I remember you taking your first steps, and before I knew it you were taking Uncle Tom’s wallet and running around the whole downstairs with it. I remember you saying your first words before talking in sentences about how much you LOVED trains. I remember you picking up your first crayon, how your scribbles made way to some truly creative and imaginative pictures you drew of everyone and everything.

I remember Uncle Tom and I taking you for dinner and ice cream, to parks and dance classes. I remember watching you dance in your very first recital and feeling so proud of you.

When did our adorable little baby niece become such a beautiful, smart and creative young lady? I’m not quite sure why time moves so quickly but I do know our lives have been changed for good because you are a part of it. You are a wonderful sister, niece, friend, and student. You brighten the lives of everybody who knows you. Your sense of humor and laughter is infectious, (except for Aunt Britt and Uncle Tom’s friend you call old man Jenkins).

Your selflessness and always helping a friend in need always makes our hearts swell with pride. I hope in life: our beautiful, brilliant niece that you never settle for anything less than you deserve. I hope you always stay humble and kind. Mostly, I hope you know just how much we all love, support and will stand by you no matter what life throws at you. I hope you know you’re never ever alone.

November 14, 2009 started off like any ordinary day but it ended in an extraordinary way because it gave us YOU. In the nine years since you arrived Elsie Marie, you taught Uncle Tom and I how to be a great Aunt and Uncle. You inspired us to be the best versions of ourselves in order to set a good example for you to follow. All the while, you have brought so much love, happiness, and laughter to our lives.

We hope you know how much we love you with all our hearts, our precious little Diva. May God bless you, keep you safe and may all your dreams come true now and for always.

Love you. Mean it. Always.

Aunt Britt and Uncle Tom

Xoxo

My Life ISN’T One Large Date Night: An Open Letter to Julia Pelly of Scary Mommy

Dear Julia Pelly,

Hey there! I know you don’t think it’s possible that I’m just as busy as you are, but please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Brittany. I am a full-time working, wife and dog Mom who happens to have a blog on the side. Most days, I’m so exhausted after work that I barely have time to write but I’m committed and so even if I post late, I always post. After one such exhausting day, while surfing Facebook mindlessly I stumbled upon your article When You Don’t Have Kids, Every Night is Date Night. While I am not a parent myself, I decided the title was catch worthy enough to give it a shot. The beginning of the article made me chuckle as you addressed your audience as your “childless friends”.

Just a strong FYI while my husband and I are childfree by choice, we have two nieces and a nephew that we absolutely adore and would do anything for. Parenthood and opting out of it is a polarizing topic for most people. I have a wide variety of friends who are single, married, engaged, parents and non-parents. This diversity allows me to have an open mind in most situations. God gave us two ears to listen and one mouth to speak right? So therefore I always to listen to all sides of an argument, even if I’m not inclined to agree. I am rather intrigued to understand how others might relate to this. I’ve read articles plenty of articles addressing the childfree from the prospective of a parent, and while most have a condescending undertone I do my very best to understand. I think I succeed in understanding a good 96% percent of the time because let’s face it none of us are perfect and there’s always a margin of error to take into consideration.

My mindset for this article was no different. After reading though, I did feel the need to address this claim that ‘every night is date night for you’ regarding the childless and childfree.

Julia, the thing you might not realize, is that it’s kind of a bold assumption to claim the thing you didn’t realize before you had your son, “is that when you don’t have kids, your whole life is a date night.”

Are you really prepared to back this statement up against every childfree couple (with different job and financial situations) in America? If you are, allow me to let you in on a little secret your childless friends are probably too busy biting their tongues to say to you. This is NOT the case at all…

My husband and I both work full-time, spending five days a week, eight hours a day, at our jobs. My husband’s schedule is 3:30-11:30 with at least three days a week spent from 8:15-1:15 at his second job. My schedule is 9-5 four days a week and 9-1 on Fridays. I see my husband for 15 minutes a night for dinner four days a week. Once a week on Saturdays, we also attend a religious service together. That does not include our involvement within the church community outside of weekly mass. Most of my weeknights, are spent alone writing content for my own blog and caring for my fur baby Draco. This is all, of course, in addition to commuting through traffic, cooking dinner, and doing the necessary cleaning up that comes with it all the while my husband is at work. Sounds like a great date night, huh?

Saturday’s are spent immersed in the church community and Sundays are spent with family (either mine or my husband’s). See, since we don’t have kids, we do not get the luxury of NOT racing around between our families on holidays and weekends.

Most nights (usually early Saturday AM like 12-1 AM) I force myself to stay awake so we could plop down on the couch and watch an episode or two of This Is Us and Total Divas. Most of the time, we’re catching up on the highs and lows of each other’s week during commercial breaks. Do you understand why I’m hesitant to call these “date nights”?

You claim all that’s required to call something a date is that you’re spending one-on-one time with the one you love.

I agree with statement, to an extent. A date doesn’t need to be elaborate in order to be considered a date. But again, consider sitting down with your husband after a long week of work and busy weekend days to mindlessly watch reality tv. It’s something small that we don’t have a luxury to do together like most couples do during the week. Let me beat the dead horse as I reiterate: I am alone for five out of seven days a week. The time I am granted with my husband’s presence does not constitute as a date of any kind. Even on nights during the week where I am lucky to have my husband home with me watching a television program, I can’t call something a date that we’d both probably be doing separately if not for the convenience that we both happened to be home that night. Once again that’s not a date!

You claim that going out for pizza because you’re too tired to cook and grabbing frozen yogurt on the way home from dinner with friends is a date night and well I tend to disagree. While I will admit one of the perks of being childfree is freedom, childfree couples, like my husband and I, actually are not so free that our entire lives are one giant date night. That’s a joke and not even even a funny one.

While I can’t honestly speak for every childfree person and couple out there, MOST of us wake up early for work, have pets we wouldn’t dream of leaving alone overnight, and have a host of other commitments that prevent us from driving and vacationing where ever we want just because we don’t have kids. We have student loans from college, and some of us who’d like to complete projects in our homes even work two or more jobs to make enough money to afford things like a renovated kitchen. Yes, we can afford things like eating out, the newest Apple gadgets, and vacations once a year without worrying about a child’s school or sports schedule but that doesn’t mean we don’t save our pennies. That doesn’t mean we don’t have just as many responsibilities to ourselves, our families, friends and religious communities.

Brittany from the Rinky-Dink Life sums this up perfectly when she states: “You no doubt converse with your coworkers on a daily basis, but you wouldn’t consider these conversations on par with a work conference, even though you’re essentially being paid the same amount for both. I look at shoveling pizza into my mouth while laughing at Larry David in the same sense. It’s just not a date.”

I believe in date nights, I believe spending meaningful one-on-one time with your spouse is key in any relationship if you want it to last forever. These dates don’t have to be over the top, they can be simple and executed on a whim. It is my opinion, though, that even spontaneous dates should be intentional, deliberate and meaningful. That said, it should consist of your focus being set on one another. Not with your phones out texting the sitter the whole time making sure your kid ate all their Mac and cheese. Before you were Mom and Dad, you were Husband and Wife and it’s important to remember that even amidst the throes of parenthood.

Can I give you a tip Julia? Maybe, instead of looking at how rested and happy your childless friends are you can look at your relationship and see what it is you and your spouse need to be that happy. Maybe as parents you and your husband need to make date night a weekly priority instead of something that takes weeks, months and days to plan here and there.

Spending time in the same general area doesn’t count as a date. Tom and I go to our tax appointment together. We also go grocery shopping together and schedule our annual eye exam for the same date and time. I think you’d agree that it would be quite a stretch to call it a date.

While you made a very valid point that having kids is hard, how tired it makes you and mostly how you just don’t have the same freedom you did pre-baby, here the kicker to that one: you chose to bring that child into the world not anyone else but you and your spouse and unfortunately it comes with the territory.

You also acknowledge how tiring it is to raise kids and how tired the childfree are of hearing about it. But here’s the thing: we’re not just tired from hearing about it. We’re tired in general. Once again, Brittany from the Rinky Dink Life puts it perfectly when she says: “Everyone everywhere is tired. I have yet to meet a well-rested human being ever, and it really didn’t matter if they married or not, working full-time or not, raising a family or very much not; To be tired is to be human.” I can wholeheartedly get on board with this statement to be tired is to be human. We’re all busy and tired, with or without kids.

To say my life is one large, spontaneous date night is not only wrong but assuming. To say I can’t know what it means to be tired until I’m a Mother is laughable. Maybe you wrote your article out of jealousy for the lives your childfree friends lead or maybe because part of you wishes for a day or two back in the “good ol’ days” which consisted of just you and your husband. To be honest, Julia, if your husband doesn’t work two jobs, including evenings and you have him to talk to each night after you put your kids to bed then you’re actually afforded a luxury I do not have during the week. The luxury of having your husband home with you.

Therefore I close this open letter to you, as I sit here alone on a Friday night eating Low Carb vanilla ice cream, to remind you that regardless of the motivation behind this article, watching television at night with your husband is not a date night. My entire life is NOT a date night, but my free moments (when I have them) are precious to me and I DO go on weekly dates with my husband (usually on Saturday nights we’re not too tired after church), kids don’t fit into the equation that is my life and I’m perfectly alright with that. Call my life whatever you wish from the outside looking in but please don’t call it one large date night.

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

Bonus:

Read Julia’s article here: https://www.scarymommy.com/when-you-dont-have-kids-every-night-is-date-night/

Support a Fellow Brittany’s Site Here: http://therinkydinklife.com

The Night Owl (2017)

I think my obsession with owls originated with the 80s cult classic The Labyrinth. Ever since then, everything from the way they looked to the way they hunted at night fascinated me to no end but whenever I see an owl I think of David Bowie’s eccentric, antihero character Jareth, The Goblin King.

I was actually watching the movie the night I created this piece and reminiscing quite literally about when “the world fell down”. It had only been one year and four months since we’d lost the beloved rock and roll icon and I still remember the day that I heard the news. I was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on my honeymoon eating a burrito when the little television they had on in the quaint beachside Mexican restaurant announced that David Bowie had passed.

First I was shocked, I remember walking back to our hotel that night with the warm Florida breeze caressing my cheek looking up at the moon and thinking ‘how could it be at such a relatively young age, that one of the most beloved rock ‘n’ roll icons has died?’ David Bowie seemed nearly immortal, a myth that seemed valid given his stellar cinema resume. While naturally death is a part of life, as my father used to say ‘Brittany, nobody’s getting out of this world alive‘ , I couldn’t help but wonder was it that his death had affected me so deeply that I begin to think of my own mortality as the cars went rushing by? Could it be as simple as anything could change in the blink of an eye? Or was it deeper than that?

I had seen this meme floating around on the Internet around the time that David Bowie had passed and it made me realize that perhaps it was deeper than just realizing how short life is. I have always been sympathetic to the villains in just about every fairytale I have read, something I probably wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t been empathetically able to sense just how lonely David Bowie’s anti-hero, antagonist of a character Jareth in The Labyrinth. Coming across this meme really made my feelings much more pronounced, I wasn’t just sad we lost a rock ‘n’ roll icon, I was sad that I lost someone who actually made me look at villains in a totally different light from that point in time when I saw that movie forward.

From the time I was 10 years old and first watched The Labyrinth (in my friend Kristen’s bedroom on her tiny little TV that was probably only a little bit bigger than the size of my old iPad but bulky all the same) I was able to feel bad for the bad guy and realize villains are sometimes much more multidimensional (which is a lesson a writer that I treasure). In teaching me at such a young age the meaning of empathy for the antagonist Jareth I learned a very valuable lesson about being a writer that sometimes things aren’t so black and white.

One of my favorite authors of all time, JK Rowling, has built a very successful brand for herself with the Harry Potter series, (I myself am an avid fan and also named my fur baby Draco after one of her antagonistic characters) but admittedly she is also a one dimensional writer. The entire series is told from Harry’s point of view which often leads us to have a very negative views of some of the other Hogwarts houses, namely Slytherin (which I always identified as and Pottermore even sorted me into). The downside of Rowling only writing from Harry’s point of view is that we miss things that are important to the plot, that she reveals later on. One of these such things is Snape and his love for Harry’s mother Lily, which led to him becoming a double agent for Dumbledore. In fact, most of the supporting characters around Harry including the beloved half-giant Hagrid often says “there wasn’t a witch or wizard that went bad that wasn’t in Slytherin” of course, we later learn this is NOT the case as they were plenty other characters from other houses that “went bad”. While I will always love the story of Harry Potter from start to finish I must say as a writer myself J. K. Rowling writes from very limited perspectives. As to whether or not it’s done on purpose or not can be argued both ways, I tend to think that it was on purpose that she does this to kind of reveal things towards the end at her own discretion. That said, I also believe that the one dimensional view is limiting the reader on the ability to see things from both sides of the proverbial coin.

David Bowie’s character Jareth taught me as a writer to write from several characters perspectives. In one of my several projects that I have ongoing within ‘My Documents’ each chapter is written from a different character’s perspective so that way the audience can really look at the situation at hand from many different perspectives and can form their own opinion of it. I personally think that makes the writer more well-rounded both as a writer and and empathizer. As a writer, if you can get your audience to sympathize with the antagonist as well as the protagonist you’re bringing a whole new element to your tale that makes it much more memorable. I am forever grateful to David Bowie for that.

The owl in this piece is both symbolic in Harry Potter and The Labyrinth and I sketched it as a reminder that perspective in terms of creating a meaningful and engaging story is always key in keeping your audience involved in the plot.

What are some of your favorite novels? Have you Ever sympathized with the villain? Leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you!

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

Brittany’s Booze Reviews

Today I reviewed: Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer.

Overview: When you’re watching your figure and find yourself at a party getting peer pressured to have a drink but you really don’t want to drink but you don’t want to be a party pooper either. I give you a happy medium!

Backstory: This spiked sparkling seltzer was perfect for low carb living without feeling left out of a night out with friends. Some hard seltzers, such as White Claw, have a very prominent flavor that can either make or break your experience drinking it BUT with Smirnoff it’s subtle enough to not be overbearing and very refreshing. I will say to chill it first because instead of waiting for it to chill I was anxious, I grabbed my first can (watermelon nonetheless) and dove right in. It only comes in a variety pack: berry lemonade, cranberry lime, raspberry rosé, and watermelon all of which are delicious! Each can is only 1 net grams of carbs per serving so you can have a can once a week and not worry about the added sugars so you can save those calories for Thanksgiving dinner!

My favorite flavors by far out of the variety pack were berry lemonade and raspberry rosé, although the cranberry lime and watermelon weren’t unenjoyable. It’s got 4.5% alcohol-by-volume pick-me-up so much like the wine I reviewed this summer, don’t expect it to get you buzzed right away. It’s one of those drinks you feel the effects after you drank like four of them and then you’re giggling at absolutely nothing on your living room floor earning itself a A for just being so accommodating to different taste buds and low carb/sugar.

 

I Gave It A Grade Of A: A+

Typical Drinkers: People who’ve cut back on drinking to drop some pounds and who just occasionally like a drink without consequence.

User Comments:

“Oh wow, this has alcohol?”

“0 grams of sugar, sweet deal!”

“Only 2 grams of carbs for two glasses!? Sign me up!”

*takes sip and speaks in British accented voice voice* “it’s cool, crisp, hydrating and delicious!”

What Your Family Would Say if They Saw You Drinking This: “you seriously drank my entire variety pack, what’s wrong with you?”

An Apt Anagram and Song Parody of “Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer”: Flavors of the world 
Spiked Seltzer up your life 
Every boy and every girl 
Spiked Seltzer up your life 
People of the world 
Spiked Seltzer up your life 
Aah

You’ll Like This if You: Hate the taste of beer and prefer the taste of something much lighter that doesn’t compromise taste.

Food Pairing Suggestion: Some low carb pizza and fresh mozzarella cheese slices dipped in marinara.

What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage ? Leave a comment below!

Love You. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

Compelling Feature Number 3 On the iPhone XS Max: Low Battery Mode

One of the most common issues on my iPhone 7 was I couldn’t get through a full day under moderate to heavy use without re-charging my phone about a quarter of the way through the day. I think most smartphone users can agree that despite the fact that our smartphones have so much abilities packed into our devices the battery power after a year or so starts to diminish. However, Apple has technology out now to where you can utilize your battery to the fullest and charge MUCH less often especially on the go.

Many iPhone users are familiar I’m certain with the “Low Power Mode”, which you’ll be prompted to activate it when your phone reaches 20% battery. However, on your iPhone XS Max you can also enable Low Power Mode manually before your phone gets to that point and it will certainly help stretch your battery life further. Here’s how it works.

While in Low Power Mode, your iPhone automatically disables settings like mail fetch, Hey Siri, and other things that people commonly change when they want to make their iPhones live longer between charges. For whatever reason, Low Power Mode is only available on iPhones, not  iPads which definitely stinks because I’d love to see how far I could stretch my iPad mini which can go a day and half between charges. Beginning with iOS 11, you can now enable Low Power Mode right from the Control Center.

Usually once your iPhone reaches 20 percent battery power left, you’ll see a “Low Power Mode” prompt appear. Your iPhone will inform you what features will be temporarily disabled, and you can choose to “Continue” and enable Low Power Mode or “Cancel” and not enable Low Power Mode. Low Power Mode can reportedly give you anywhere from one to three hours more time before your iPhone dies but it really depends on what you’re doing with your iPhone.

You can also enable Low Power Mode whenever you like. For example, let’s say it’s the start of a long day and you know you’ll be away from an outlet for a long while.

1. Kindly, tap on battery and drag it down on your new iPhone to utilize your control center.

2. Tap on the battery icon to enable ‘Low Battery mode’

So while I genuinely never personally endorse something I haven’t tried and was surprised that only reviewer seems to have done this. So I took up the mantle myself to give it a try. I don’t have any standardized battery tests that I can do, so I simply spent the last 2 weeks alternating between using Low Power Mode all day, and not using it at all and comparing the differences. My findings are rather remarkable. I decided to put this claim to the test with my iPhone this week and here are my results.

Monday (Regular battery use):

7:15 AM-100%

5:00 PM-65%

11:00 PM-20%

Tuesday (Low Battery Mode)

7:15 AM-100%

5:00 PM-75%

11:00 PM-40%

Wednesday (heavy texting/gaming, regular battery):

7:15 AM- 100%

5:00 PM-55%

11:00 PM-15%

Thursday (heavy texting/gaming low battery mode):

7:15 AM-100%

5:00 PM-68%

11:00 PM-39%

Friday (Low battery mode NORMAL use)

7:15 AM-100%

5:00 PM-72%

11:00 PM 48%

Just a general disclaimer: These were the results of MY findings. The individual findings may be different depending on WiFi availability, and individual phone usage. HOWEVER, I did find that the use of low power mode drastically improved my battery life. As a bonus I left my phone OFF the charger Thursday night into Friday of this past week and left it on Low battery mode. I had a 93% batter at 7 AM when I woke and had a 58% battery by 2 PM, so even with less than a full charge to start my day with I still haven’t even chewed through HALF my battery yet.

In my experiment based on my findings I’d say it most certainly pays to use Low battery mode at all times as there’s a 20-30% difference in battery left over at the end of the day especially if you don’t have constant access to a charger. If you don’t have the newest iPhone don’t despair either-you can manually toggle on your Low battery mode by accessing settings➡️battery➡️Low battery mode and switch it to ON as long as you have iOS 9 or later.

Which features have been your favorite so far? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think!

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

Compelling Feature #2 of the iPhone XS Max

It has been one week since I bought my iPhone XS Max and the compelling features just keep piling up! Not only is this smartphone incredible in and of itself with so many features, it’s also great for people like me, who love to game on their phone. What I am going to walk you through today is definitely compelling feature number two for anyone who is playing a game on their iPhone and would like to record their game time to share with friends.

Have you ever had an instance where your Friend, Brother, or Mother are stuck on a level of Candy Crush that you beat and you want to be able to show them how to beat it? Now, in the past you would probably have to wait until you saw them to walk them through the level or Google ‘how to’ videos on YouTube but those days are over. What if I told you that you can walk them through it yourself now if you know how to beat the level? You would probably tell me to stop talking about the compelling feature number two and simply show you!

So today I’m going trying things just a little bit differently, I’m going to be putting a video in this thread on how to utilize the screen record button on your iPhone XS max! In order to do that though I’m going to give you directions on where to find this amazing feature!

1. Tap and slide down the battery icon on your new iPhone XS max.

So now as you notice there’s a few different features which I will be walking you through the next couple weeks including what they do, and why they are special. Today, however you are going to look for the Bullseye looking icon which I’ve kindly pointed out with the arrow I drew in the screenshot of my features bar. Once you’ve found this you’re ready to begin!

**Update: the video doesn’t seem to be working on here but if you go to Are You There Friday it’s Me Brittany in Facebook you’ll be able to see it along with this post.**

Ta-da! So there you have it now you know how to record your screen if you ever get the urge to make an impromptu ‘How to Video’ right from your iPhone. This feature also comes in handy when you want to walk somebody through how to access a new feature on their iPhone, I have used it to show some of my friends different features and it does come in handy because I can literally show them with the tap of the button rather than try to explain it over the phone or wait till I see them.

I really hope that you enjoyed this compelling feature number two. As some of you may have noticed I had low battery mode on with 98% battery, there’s a method to my madness as I will be discussing the importance of utilizing low battery mode even when you have a full battery next week and how much longer time you get out of your battery throughout the day by utilizing it.

I really hope you enjoyed this blog post and video! What is your favorite feature that I have shown you so far? Leave a comment below and let’s chat!

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo

Compelling Feature Number 1 Of The iPhone XS Max

I have a confession: Hi, my name is Brittany and I am a closet tech buff. I remember back in 2008 when my husband and I first started dating that was the first time he saw my tech side. We were browsing the Verizon store and I was rattling off facts about different phones pros and cons that impressed even the sales people. More than that my husband was impressed.

He asked me how I knew so much about phones and I explained to him how much technology (particularly Apple products) meant to me. Ever since I received my first iPod when I was 16 in 2005, (the picture you see above) I was an Apple connoisseur. Flash forward now to 2018 at 29 years old I guess you could say I’m pretty knowledgeable at working my way around any type of Apple phone.

I was perhaps just a little anxious to receive my new iPhone XS Max with its absence of the home button and generally much larger screen then I opted for in the past but it was love at first sight. I also adjusted magnificently to the key differences between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone XS Max. I found that it was very user-friendly and simple to navigate. Of course, I could talk for ages about how much I love this phone and how I couldn’t recommend it more highly to anyone but I would rather discuss how there’s a lot more beauty to this magnificent device that actually meets the eye. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to walk you through one hidden feature a week that I found to be helpful and that I think everybody should activate when using their new iPhone.

It’s amazing how far technology has come in the last decade alone! I remember being no older than 13 years old, I had been walking around my Grandmother’s neighborhood with my cousin. We took nature walks and recorded miniature videos on my very first LG flip phone. About halfway through our walk I had realized that we were being followed by a truck and a strange man in it. I was very cautious about this, so obviously when the man pulled up and try to get us to come into his slate grey pick-up truck to help him “find his dog” I immediately saw through the guise. I remember how I yelled no, grabbed my cousin’s wrist and ran. This was the early 2000’s and while my cousin (who was and still is a total sucker for animals) was inclined to believe him I was able to see through this rouse and got us out quickly.

I think about that time in my life, especially now in the age of advanced smartphone technology. I remember trying to snap a picture of the back of his truck on my mediocre camera as I ran only to find it was blurring out the details of the license plate and the truck itself (I mean, I was running for my life after all). It’s a sketchy world nowadays and so this first feature I’m going to discuss is something I am really glad the iPhone has and is something that everybody should have set up but hopefully never have to use.

I’m talking of course of Emergency SOS. You can access the Emergency SOS part of your iPhone XS Max by going into ‘Settings’ (for me I keep all of my apps in a neat little folder customized to my needs).

As you can see it looks like a gear (for those new to iPhone in general) so be sure click it to access the steps on HOW to turn on this feature that could save your life. Once you are IN your settings scroll down until you see the feature marked ‘Emergency SOS’ you can find it highlighted in the picture below.

You’ll find it between ‘Face ID & Passcode‘ and ‘Battery‘, so once you find it go on and click it. Now , once you’re in that feature click the toggle ON to activate ‘Call With Side Button’ as demonstrated below:

What this amazing feature does is if you rapidly press the side button along with the volume button rapidly five times it will immediately (and silently) call emergency services. This feature is obviously being spoken about first because (while hopefully you’ll never have to use it) it could also save your life if there’s a situation in which you cannot swipe to call emergency services.

It is something you should encourage your family and friends to do in the event of an Emergency. Had this feature existed when I was 13 in the early 2002, perhaps we would have caught the guy who tried to lure my cousin and I into his truck. It is something you should immediately activate as a parent on your children’s iPhones (if you purchase it for your teenager or allow your younger child access to your iPhone on short walks to the park or around the neighborhood).

Furthermore, if you look below the set up to activate ‘Call With Side Button‘, You will see that I have my emergency contacts set up. Emergency contacts are essential to set up especially in case of an emergency where you are not conscious. In the Health app which is included on your new iPhone you can set up your personal profile and emergency contacts.

This is what your Health app will look like.

This way, emergency service personnel will be able to access your emergency contacts and call them from your phone even if it’s locked to alert them if something has happened to you. Setting them up is easy and also setting up a profile for yourself (which includes name, date of birth, blood type, weight and list of any medical conditions and allergies you may suffer from) is just as easy as well and I encourage you to do it because it gives emergency services responders key information that can help save your life quicker. Most to all of the new iPhone models will walk you through what to do the first time you access it so I really don’t have to post directions here.

Go into Health, click on Medical ID located on the bottom right (highlighted by the square box in the picture below) of the app to fill out your profile and set up emergency contacts. Once you have both in place, you will be able to see your Emergency Contacts in the Emergency SOS settings of your iPhone like mine is in the picture above.

I cannot stress enough for taking precautionary measures which could save you or a loved one’s life in the event of an emergency and strongly suggest you take the five minutes out of your day and set this amazing feature up.

On next Friday, we will be discussing how to record your screen activity on your iPhone. This is really fantastic for gamers who want to do tutorials that can now do this straight from their phone. I will show you how to set it up and access it! So be sure to stick around for compelling feature number 2 on the iPhone XS Max.

Are you, or someone you know, interested in getting an iPhone XS or XS Max? Is there another hidden feature that you found that you’d like me to talk about over the next couple weeks? Leave a comment below, I LOVE to hear from you all!

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo