Lifestyle

How to get McDonald’s new MacCoin currency

The hunt is on!

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You may have heard about the Big Mac Index, but how about the first fully food-backed global currency called the MacCoin?

The iconic Big Mac celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018 and McDonald’s marks this milestone by introducing the limited edition MacCoin across the United States and more than 50 other participating countries including China, Indonesia, and South Korea. (Here’s a full list.)

The MacCoin comes in five unique designs, each representing a decade of the Big Mac.

One MacCoin highlighting the 1970s showcases the decade’s Flower Power, and the 1980s token features pop art. Abstract shapes are reserved for the 1990s MacCoin design, and the coin representing the 2000s shows technology that was hip back then. The 2010s MacCoin celebrates the past 10 years and the evolution of modern communication by displaying emoji. Additionally, the seven languages featured across the various designs are Arabic, English, Indonesian, Mandarin, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

In the US, you can get a MacCoin for every Big Mac meal. If you want to collect all five designs, you better have a big appetite for the Big Mac and a deep wallet, because five Big Mac meals will cost you more than US$ 42 (including tax) and they are going fast! This will also leave you with a bigger belly after more than 5,000 calories — double that if you redeem your MacCoins for free Big Macs before the end of the year.

The promotion started August 2, which would have been the 100th birthday of the founder of the Big Mac, the late Jim Delligatti. Some countries have different ways for you to get your hands on a MacCoin. In China, for example, you can get a MacCoin by singing the birthday song for the Big Mac starting August 6.

What is the value of the burger currency, you may ask? You can either keep the MacCoin, give it away or trade it in for a free Big Mac until the end of 2018. Redeemed coins won’t be brought back into circulation. Therefore, each coin will be for one-time use only. On the other hand, eBay turned into a flourishing marketplace for the coins, trading as high as $35 per coin and prices will likely go up from here.

So, how has it been hunting for MacCoins in Chicago, the home of the global headquarters of McDonald’s? Four days into it and stores are running out of the coins. It didn’t help that Chicago hosted Lollapalooza — a music festival attended by hundreds of thousands of music fans — from August 2 to 5, and the Big Mac would have made a perfect midnight snack after each day of dancing and partying.

I did manage to get my hands on a couple: the 1990s coin with all its abstract and geometric shapes, and the 2000s coin showing a tech bubble design.

Image credit: Kimmee Rae Pineda

I spent a good 15 minutes walking to the first store (burning maybe two percent of the would be gazillion “Big Mac and Fries” calories I’d eat), lining up along with the lunch-hour crowd and being told they are all out. So, I put my general knowledge of McDonald’s locations in Chicago Loop to good use (I can name the cross streets of each branch without needing a map!) and googled the phone numbers to find the closest store with MacCoins left.

After a few tries, I found one with some left and promptly raced over, placed my order, and patiently waited for my food and coin. I learned that you had to specifically ask for the coin after getting your food, and the branch manager personally hands you your hard-earned — or shall we say digested — MacCoin after checking your receipt. Also, you can’t just order five meals and get all five coins at once. I know, because I tried to save myself the trouble and just throw a Big Mac party for anyone who’s hungry so I get to complete the collection before they run out. We all have to do it the old fashioned way: ballooning with one Big Mac at a time.

All that remains to be said: Happy birthday, Big Mac! You don’t look a day over 50 and are as yummy as you always have been.

Need more burgers in your life? Watch this experimental video:


This article was contributed by Kimmee Rae Pineda.

Her GadgetMatch

Google Pixel 3 Top Shot: The Instagram boyfriend you never had

How to get those perfect IG photos

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We’ve all been there. You’re at a beautiful place wearing beautiful clothes, the lighting is just right and you wish you could capture it in a photo — the makings of a perfect travel #OOTD photo!

Except, the photo came out bad and you totally looked awkward. Whether it be because of your lack of an IG boyfriend, or just a boyfriend, a friend, or a stranger tasked to take the pic with a lack of IG skills, it happens. And as you sulk in regret at that wasted photo opportunity and the knowledge that that picture you had in your head will never grace your IG feed, know that there is a feature that can remedy this.

Remember the Google Pixel 3? Yes, the smartphone that came in Not Pink.

In the process of reviewing the phone, I came upon a glorious realization: The Top Shot feature is exactly what I never knew I needed for my travel #OOTDS.

Let’s backtrack. Google’s Top Shot is a feature that automatically takes a number of photos to ensure you don’t miss the actual moment.

But, what it’s also good for is making sure you get that perfect Instagram shot. You’ll never have to ask someone to take your photo and insist they just keep tapping the shutter hoping one photo comes out good enough. Top Shot goes as far as recommending you the good takes. It’s the Instagram boyfriend you always wished you had!

This feature also works wonders for awkward posers like myself. I just have someone take a photo, make sure I move around during the shoot, and pick out the best candid-looking one.

The results? Photos that are good enough for your feed! Here are some samples from my recent trip to Paris.

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I assure you, none of those looked that good in the initial photos but Top Shot came to my rescue.

Ladies, you’re welcome. Enjoy your prettier Instagram feed!

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Apps

6 apps that help make travel stress-free

Don’t leave home without these!

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Photo by Ross Sneddon

In this crazy-busy world we live in, we often find ourselves in need of an escape. Travel provides that for me. Going away for a bit of a break is an absolute necessity. There’s nothing like coming back refreshed and ready to take on the stress brought by daily life — both the challenging and the mundane parts of it. Sometimes, however, the thing that’s supposed to help you destress can be the cause of it too. Planning and the actual journey just to get to your destination (and even coming home) can be pretty stressful.  

Years of traveling has taught me a couple of things to make trips like this easier both on my wallet and my stress levels. In a previous article, we discussed how to save money while traveling (link). This time, we’ll be talking about apps that help keep the stress away. Being ready and planning ahead is half the battle for any journey. Having these six apps on your phone will make sure you’re more than ready for it.

PackPoint

I’ve been using PackPoint since 2015. Back when we were still living in Kuala Lumpur, one of my friends who traveled often recommended it to me and it has been part of my life ever since. At that time, my husband and I were about to go visit my family in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Malmö with side trips to Paris, London, and Geneva. It was a three-week trip and I was going nuts with planning what to bring.

That friend saved me by introducing me to this app that comes up with a digital packing list that you can consult on the go. All you have to do is enter the place you’re going to along with the dates. It will then ask you what the trip is for (business or leisure?) and a few other basic questions. It will then give you your personalized packing list — from clothing to your electronics. Packpoint just figures everything out for you, making those days before a trip a little less stressful.

Spotted by Locals

When visiting a new place, we often make time to see the historical highlights. But what happens when you’re done with those? I always make sure I visit an interesting establishment, a café, or even a restaurant that’s local-approved. More authenticity, less overpriced. I often consult Spotted by Locals for this.

The app collates recommendations from locals in the city you’re visiting — from places to grab food in to interesting and alternative sites to see. Even though I live in Berlin, I make it to a point to look through this app for some recommendations here and it never disappoints. I often find something that piques my interest, like this GDR Cinema I plan to visit next week.

Google Maps

What I see on Spotted by Locals, I always save here on Google Maps. The option to save places on different lists such as “Favorites” or “Want to Go” is such a blessing for people like me who need to organize absolutely everything — even my thoughts and my eating plans. Whenever I feel hungry and I don’t know where to go, I just open it up and see the places that I’ve saved on my “Want to Go” list and pick the ones nearest to me. It solves the problem of having to keep going back and forth with your friends, deciding where to eat.

City Mapper

 

While Google Maps can already provide you with transportation options to get to where you want to go, City Mapper is an app I keep for more options. You get your usual routes via walking, taking the train and bus, or even driving there, but you also get ride-sharing options. It even tells you where the nearest Mobike (bike-sharing app) is so you can exercise a bit by cycling your way there.

Flio

I absolutely hate signing up for Wi-Fi in airports. The questionnaires just seem to go on forever, I end up wondering whether they will be asking me for my medical history next. Flio lets me sign in hassle-free. It also keeps my flight information, helping me keep track of my schedule and making sure I never miss a flight while browsing the Duty Free makeup aisle.

Flio also tells you which restaurants and shops are at the airport while giving you vouchers for them. We all know dining in airports can be pretty expensive so a discount is always welcome. Your phone’s battery running low? It also tells you where you can charge within the airport so you can keep posting stories on Instagram.

Google Translate

Save yourself the trouble of miming your way to get information. This app can translate a conversation as you go. Another fun feature is the camera which lets you snap a photo of signs and labels. It will then scan the photo for words and all you have to do is highlight the ones you need translated and press on the blue arrow. Et voila! You now know the flavor of jam you have inside that jar. This is such a lifesaver when grocery shopping abroad or looking at posters and announcements in a foreign language.

Got favorites of your own? Share them in the comments below! Would love to discover new apps that I can use in my next trips!

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Hands-On

Dyson Airwrap hair tutorial and real-life hold test

Is it hard to use? Does it really work?

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The Dyson Airwrap, ever since its announcement, has been the stuff of hairstyle dreams and legends. The high-tech curling iron revolutionizes the way we do our hair!

But, does it really work? Can a normal girl like myself actually get her hair to look as fab with this new-fangled hair gadget? I put it to the test.

In the video above, you see me doing my hair and the final looks. I try a total of two styles — curly and straight — and take my ‘do out and about to see if my hair would hold. And yes folks, this was only the second time I used the Airwrap on myself, ever.

The results impressed!

If you’re having trouble viewing this video, click HERE to watch

Stay tuned for the full review of the Dyson Airwrap on Her GadgetMatch. For similar topics and features, visit the website here.

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