All Posts Tagged ‘Technology

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eight quick things.

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Hey there kiddies, I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. Easter was pretty low key over here in my corner of Brooklyn, but it was nice to take some time for reflection and to enjoy the burgeoning, almost, pretty close to, just about Spring weather. Hey, if I don’t have to suit up in my head to toe Winter garb, it’s a win.

I’m headed all the way over to Idaho to see the parents this weekend, so there’ll be lots of cooking and recipes and pretty pictures of good food in the near future, but in the mean time, I thought I’d share a few things that are keeping me entertained these days. Some food-related, some not, but all good things that I want to share with all of you good people. Enjoy and feel free to add to the list!

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD

1. This food delivery service: yes, this is overly specific to my life of (sometimes) excess in a major metropolitan area, but I. LOVE. MUNCHERY. At it’s core, it’s basically a fancy on-demand food delivery service, but it’s also a great way to try new dishes that you may not want to cook yourself. Everything I’ve ordered has been fantastic, and I dig the business model (and their snazzy packaging). If you live in New York or San Francisco and want to give ‘em a try, use this referral code and both of us will get $20 off!

2. This revolutionary change to grocery shopping: INSTACART! Where have you been all my life. I choose my store (from the likes of Whole Foods, Fairway, and my local favorite, The Green Grape), enter in my list, and someone goes and does the shopping for me, then delivers it to my door at the time of my choosing. Excessive? Most likely. But you talk to me after you’ve lugged too many bags of groceries up and down the stairs of the L train and then tell me if it’s excessive. I’d rather use the term ‘exceedingly convenient’ or perhaps, ‘one of life’s core necessities’.

3. This English Muffin recipe: when my coworker told me about Model Bakery English Muffins, I was a little skeptical. English muffins are already great, how much better could these be? And then I found the recipe online and I thought, why not? Let’s see what’s what. And HOOOOO BOY, are they good. Yes it takes two days to make them, but they are bonkers good and totally worth the elbow grease. They’re also huge. English muffins on really delicious steroids.

4. This cooking vacation in the Loire Valley in France: currently sitting in the #1 position on my bucket list. It sounds simply magical and I will make this happen soon (fingers crossed).

OTHER GLORIOUS THINGS

5. This Instagram account: Commander Scott Kelly is spending a year living on the International Space Station and documenting his time there via his very entertaining Instagram account. I mean, who doesn’t want to see what Australia looks like from space?!

6. This story about a guy, his stolen cell phone, and how he became a minor celebrity in China. Nuff said.

7. This app: Duolingo is SO much fun! Whether you’re a casual language learner or looking to seriously up your game, this is a great way to learn. And it’s free! I’m currently using it to brush up my French for an upcoming business trip to Paris. ‘Il n’y a rien dans ce sac,’ I say (that means ‘there’s nothing in this bag’ and I find it hilarious that, a) I know how to say this very random thing, and b) it’s the thing I remember most clearly so far).

8. This documentary: if you’re even remotely curious about religion (whether you choose to adopt a belief system or not), HBO’s documentary ‘Going Clear’ is a fascinating and unsettling picture of modern Scientology. Like a ‘jaw on the floor, can this actually be real’ picture. Well worth the cost of an HBO subscription. Well worth it (especially with today’s release of HBO Now).

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quick tip: my new favorite things.

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My brain is all over the place this week and all of a sudden it’s Wednesday. Seriously, what is going on? Maybe I’m excited that it’s finally starting to feel like Spring, maybe I’m overloading my brain with too many to-dos, maybe I’m just a crazy person. Whatever it is, in the spirit of scattered thoughts, now seems like the perfect time to do a bit of a round up of my favorite things of late. Ranging from food to beauty to tech, these are the products/services/activities that I’m excited to talk about with others.

Primp: Dior Nail Glow

dior nail glowAs much as I would love to have a live-in manicurist who tended to my every cuticle need, I am a normal human being who has neither the space nor the bankroll to have a ‘staff’ (yet, people, YET). I do my best to squeeze in bi-weekly manicures, but when my schedule is a-hoppin’ and I’m in a bind, I head straight for my Dior Nail Glow. This was a recommendation from a friend at work (thanks Amy!) and I was in love with it from the very first coat. It gives your nails this gorgeous natural sheen and is somehow totally better than plain ol’ top coat. The shine also lasts a good amount of time, so I don’t feel the need to reapply. A great bridge product between manis or if you’re looking for a slightly enhanced natural nail.

Cook: Plated

platedGrocery shopping in New York City can be, shall we say, a challenging activity. It’s not like I can fire up my station wagon and head to the supermarket down the way. Everything has to fit in one bag that I can carry over my shoulder on a packed subway car. Preferably, it also doesn’t weigh 97 pounds (#citylifeproblems). This is where Plated (or its business model cousin, Blue Apron) comes in handy. You log in to their site, choose the menu options you’d like to eat, and everything is delivered to you in the exact portions you need it — they even throw in a step by step recipe card to help you pull it all together. They offer a wide variety of dishes that change regularly and have a good balance of meat/fish/vegetarian cuisine. Everything that I’ve cooked so far has been fresh and delicious and it’s been a really fun way to try new recipes without having to buy a ton of new ingredients.

Play: Classpass

classpassI don’t know about you, but sometimes my workout routine gets to be so boring. This is a major problem motivation-wise because then all of a sudden a House of Cards marathon on my couch with my best friend ice cream sounds real nice. This is why Classpass (a recommendation from my very talented friend, Jaime, over at The Prepary) is genius. For $99 per month, I can take up to 10 classes at gyms and studios across the city. If I feel like yoga one day and spin the next, I can do that. And I can also do weight training and pilates and pure barre…they have it all. I also love the flexibility of being able to take a class near my office in the city during the week but sticking to Brooklyn locations on the weekend. So far so good, and it keeps me excited about my workout, which in turn keeps me away from the ice cream (most of the time).

Create: VSCO Cam

vscoIf you like creating pretty pictures as much as I do, VSCO Cam is your jam. This isn’t really ‘new’ to me, as I’ve been using this very slick app for about a year now, but I find myself relying on it more and more as I develop my photography skills for the blog. This app makes it so easy to turn out really beautiful, high quality pictures and enables you to get as obsessive, or not, about your edits. You can either choose from their pre-designed filters or you can edit and tweak using their standard tools…or both. The app itself is well-designed (I like my apps pretty, what can I say?) and it has easy integration with all of the relevant social platforms.

What are your favorite new things of late? Do you have a product or service that you’re excited about? Share in the comments below. 

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quick tip: how to find what you need wherever you are.

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Having lived in my current neighborhood for several years now, I’ve got a pretty good handle on my local resources. I have my grocery store, I have my nail salon, I have my Duane Reade. However, given that I don’t confine my life to the six-block radius surrounding my apartment (oh, if wishing made it so), I sometimes find myself in neighborhoods and/or cities where I’m not as hip to what local resources are available and how to find them.

photo 1Enter the Around Me app.

I discovered this app quite awhile ago when I had first moved to California, and it was an absolutely invaluable resource for orienting me to my new San Francisco neighborhood. Using your current location, it shows you resources that are located close to you in list, map, or visual form (similar to Yelp’s Monocle feature) — anything from ATMs to restaurants to hospitals. The app is organized into categories so you can narrow your search focus, or you can use the search function if you have a specific location in mind. Google Maps and Foursquare are also integrated into the app, so once you find the place you’re looking for, you can quickly access directions to get from here to there and see any Foursquare tips related to that location.

Pretty neat, huh? It’s definitely helped me several times (mostly when I’m in dire need of either cash or coffee), and it’s a great tool to use when traveling to a new city.

Around Me is available for iPhone for free in the App Store; an ad-free premium version is available for $2.99.

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quick tip: poncho personalized weather forecast.

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Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 9.28.46 PMAsk me what my new favorite thing is lately and I’ll tell you it’s Poncho. Poncho is a new service available for residents of NYC (with ambition to expand to other cities) that provides personalized weather information to you at different times throughout the day. Through a series of simple questions like what time you wake up, how you commute to work, do you have pets, etc., it creates a weather forecast that is either texted or emailed to you at times you specify. The interface is slick and pretty, and it never feels bothersome or intrusive since it only notifies you when you want it to about the things you want to know about.

Right now, I have Poncho set to text me when I wake up in the morning and just before I leave work at night. It’s simple, it’s witty, and it’s saved me several times when I was about to not be prepared for what’s happening out of doors. It’s like having a really thoughtful friend who knows your schedule and is obsessed with the weather and just wants to make sure you wear your warmer coat because it feels like 10 degrees outside.

I’m a big fan of supporting start ups that exist to make life easier, so check ’em out over at http://www.poncho.is. With the type of winter we’re experiencing in the Northeast (dear God, when is Spring coming), it never hurts to be prepared!