Archive for the ‘ Apps ’ Category

Do you like me – I mean really “Like” me?

If you’re anything like me, you may follow different people or companies through a variety of avenues-  twitter,  RSSfeed, direct email or facebook. In case your main way of connecting with Life Simplified is something other than facebook, I wanted to share a few links with you that I had recently posted ‘over there’ as I’d hate for you to miss any great shortcuts, suggestions or solutions.

Surprising Statistics on Sunscreen

Pools are open in this part of the country so before the kids and I hit the water, I started to dig around about the best sunscreens for our brood. The latest information from Environmental Working Group (EWG)  unearthed troubling facts that might tempt you to give up on sunscreens altogether. That’s not the right answer – despite the unknowns about their efficacy, public health agencies still recommend using sunscreens, just not as your first line of defense against the sun.  Use sunscreens, but look for shade, wear protective clothing and avoid the noontime sun before you smear on the cream. Here are EWG’s surprising sunscreen facts:

1. There’s no consensus on whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer.
2. There’s some evidence that sunscreens might increase the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer for some people.
3. There are more high SPF products than ever before, but no proof that they’re better.
4. Too little sun might be harmful, reducing the body’s vitamin D levels.
5. The common sunscreen ingredient vitamin A may speed the development of cancer.
6. Free radicals and other skin-damaging byproducts of sunscreen. Read the rest of this entry

Daily Deals – are you missing out?

Lately I’ve gotten a few questions from friends about sites that are similar to Groupon as I don’t show up anywhere for anything without a coupon anymore. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

  1. Groupon – The first one on the scene to offer great deals – sign up for other cities if you are traveling. Great app.
  2. Living Social – You can get a family or escape edition of deals in addition to their daily ones. Great app.
  3. Eversave – My latest find & I’m loving their daily deals.
  4. City Steal – Great local steals.
  5. Scout Mob – The coupon is free. If you see an offer you like, just click a button to receive the coupon via text message or e-mail. You’ll only pay when you show up – only in a few cities right now but growing!
  6. St. Louis Daily Fix – Outstanding deals at local restaurants, salons, spas and more in St. Louis.
  7. Care 2 Daily Deals – Organic, green, good-for-you, good-for-the-planet products at up to 70% off.
  8. 8 Coupons – Lists all the deals from the top sites (including Groupon, Tippr, BuyWithMe and others) & lets you search via map or zip code.
  9. Buy With Me – Like many other sites, if 3 friends buy from your referral, yours is free.
  10. Daily Candy Deals – Offers limited number of coupons so you’re not fighting with hundreds of other purchasers, but limited cities currently.
  11. Spa Finder – Only in NYC, LA, Boston, Philly & Miami

Others I’m missing? Let me know!

Say Cheese!

Below are my favorite photo apps for the iphone but I’d love to hear your hints and suggestions as well:

A few weeks ago at Sundance Film Festival (#13 on my lifetime list) , I was shooting some photos through Hipstamatic and got this great shot of singer Janelle Monae at the bing bar. I was using the John S lens, Ina’s 1969 film with the flash off. $1.99 for standard equipment

My friend Sarah Truckey (in photo below) turned me onto the Pocketbooth. Pocketbooth perfectly replicates the intimacy, spontaneity, and hilarity of a traditional photobooth and is only $0.99 for a limited time.

The third and final is Instagram. It’s a FREE simple photo-taking and photo-sharing app that is filling Twitter with fun, cute photographs.  New York Times Magazine contributing writer  Clive Thompson explained how the photo sharing app Instagram had changed his life in this video and explains how it can help writers escape the tunnel vision of mobile devices and see the world around them in a more artistic way. Social media guru, Patrick Powers, is also a big fan of Instagram.

A few others that were recommended in Budget Travel this past year, but  I have not tested, are:

Selecting Safe Sustenance

If you are resolving to make better health and food choices this year, I’ve found 2 great articles that offer simple,  straight forward directives on making these decisions a little easier. Planet Green has listed 15 Foods To Banish From Your Kitchen which include:

Pasteurized Homogenized Milk, White Bread, Vegetable Oils,  Mac & Cheese Box, Canned SoupsPeanut Butter with additives, Breakfast Cereal, Refined White Flour, Velveeta Cheese, Enriched Pasta, Coffee, Chicken Eggs, Instant Grains, Frozen Dinners & White Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners.

Now I will still enjoy  my daily cup of joe, my kids will still eat  mac & cheese and eggs are a constant in our lives but the article gives sound background on why organic may be important for some of these items and suggested alternatives.

In addition, as we work to add more seafood in our lives, it’s hard to remember which is safest and most ethical. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a handy Seafood Watch Pocket Guide that is perfect to take along on your next shopping trip or I downloaded the Seafood Watch app for my iphone. It helps you choose safe seafood as well as ocean friendly restaurants and stores. The newest version, with Project FishMap, lets you share the locations of restaurants and markets where you’ve found sustainable seafood. As the map grows, you’ll also be able to see what others have found near you.

Lighten your Load

If you are tired of carrying multiple reward/loyalty cards around in your wallet or on your key chain, there are a few new apps around that can lighten your load… and save you money.  The CardStar App lets you easily store, manage and quickly retrieve your reward, club, and loyalty cards on your Smartphone, where they can be scanned directly from your screen at most merchants. If you are like me and have yet to upgrade to a Smartphone, get the CardStar Card which enables you to combine up to six cardmobilimembership and reward cards on one printed card. Also, receive coupons and deals to all your local and national merchants, at no cost to you!

Key Ring uses also bar code scanner technology to create a digital copy of all your loyalty cards and stores them on your phone; retailers simply scan the bar code from the screen. Key Ring also provides and easy way to collect and redeem special offers from your favorite retailers. Last but not least is Cardmobili which does everything these two do and has gotten some of the strongest reviews.

Click You Tube Key Ring App to see the app in action!