*Disclosure: I was contacted by the folks at Microsoft Devices and offered a Lumia smartphone and holiday party planning gift package to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% mine.
I was recently challenged by the folks at Microsoft Devices to participate in their Holidays Made Brighter with #MoreLumia program and of course I was thrilled because it involves two things that I love: holiday planning and organization. This was all made possible (the planning and organization) by the Nokia Lumia 830 smartphone and a handy dandy app called Cortana. Cortana is basically a personal digital assistant. Cortana can help with your party prep by reminding you to pick up dinner ingredients when you’re near the store, track flights to let you know when family has arrived to town, and more. With tons of music, recipe, and photo apps, the Lumia smartphone is the complete package for holiday hosting.
I am always up for help of any kind, but especially when it comes to things that make my crazy mama life easier. Cortana to the rescue, and let me tell you…we became fast friends!
Here are some of Cortana’s awesome features:
*Daily Glance: Shows helpful info like travel time from work to home and alerts you to leave early if traffic is bad (really!!)
*Weather forecast: Helps you to keep an eye on the forecast so that nothing rains on your parade!
*Notebook: Store your interests, friends, routines. So basically…your brains. Cortana keeps your life on track and is the ONLY personal digital assistant with people based reminders. So yes, while you are caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle and all of that party planning, she will make sure that you don’t miss a thing, even that important lunch with your mom!
*Lists: Give Cortana your “I need” lists and she will make sure that the next time that you go to the store, you won’t come home without the toilet paper. No worries, she has you covered! Birthdays, meetings times, she will remember those too … just let her know. Again, she kind of becomes your brains.
*Your interests: Tell Cortana what you love, and she will find you related news articles on the Web.
*Personality: We all need a friend now and then and guess what? You don’t need to talk to yourself anymore! Cortana is there and she cares! She was designed to have a personality and she can chit chat with you and will amuse you with her opinions and stories. Hey, don’t knock it until you have tried it, she’s kind of a blast! And, she takes care of you — she will even screen your calls and texts when you need some alone and quiet time.
Here is how my first interaction with Cortana went:
Once she knew me by name (and she even pronounced it for me to make sure that she was saying my name right!) then we moved on to the more personal questions:
She listens, she really listens!! So fun! Once I got her all set up and shared with her some of my favorite activities and interests, she has actually recommended some awesome things to me! She is kind of like a BFF that can fit in your purse!
I was thrilled to use Cortana and some other helpful apps on the Lumia 830 to put together the perfect plan for our upcoming holiday festivities. I was actually shocked at how many awesome apps come with the windows software on the Lumia:
First of all, I scored a wonderful new cookie recipe from BigOven:
I am using the Evernote app to make my lists (both shopping and gift lists — it has been so helpful!!) My party table is coming together nicely with the help of the party favors that was sent as part of this holiday hosting challenge, and I am really excited about how things are falling into place:
I can’t believe how many ways the Lumia 830 is able to contribute to something as chaotic and crazy as planning a party, but there are so many apps to make the entire process go smoothly and stress free!
There are so many helpful apps that come loaded on the Nokia Lumia 830 smartphone:
Evernote will help you keep track of your growing to do lists – type in quick notes on the go and set reminders to stay organized!
MixRadio is a streaming music service that brings you FREE personalized music with NO advertising (yay!)
Capture holiday moments with Microsoft’s latest video app, Movie Creator Beta!
Need a little help with dinner prep before your big holiday party? Check out BigOven, where you can find over 300,000 recipes right on your windows phone.
Set the mood! Cozy up next to a virtual Fireplace and enjoy the wood burning sound. Play it for you guests and enjoy the holiday ambiance while you dine and gather.
For the finishing touches: Edit your favorite holiday pictures with Afterlight — the perfect image editing app with powerful and snappy tools that will give you the look that you want in seconds!
Whew!! Now YOU can be ready for your holiday hosting too! I can’t afford a REAL personal assistant, but I have to say… having Cortana around, sure makes me feel like I have one! *she even laughs at my jokes, which a REAL personal assistant probably wouldn’t do! lol.
The creative and frugal mind behind She Saved for almost 12 years now, Keri Lyn shares her adventures in parenting along with her love for family travel, country living and brand marketing. A self-proclaimed “brand loyalist”, Keri Lyn is known for her strong and enthusiastic voice when it comes to the products and brands that she loves. Passionate about family and the challenge of raising good humans (through the teen years, no less!) Keri Lyn has also served as a brand ambassador to many brands including her time as a Hilton Mom Voyage travel writer and currently an O Mag Insider for O, The Oprah Magazine and the 2019 recipient the O-verall Contribution O-ward.