I encountered an interesting quandary this year when my little cousin gave up girl scouts in favor of 4-H. Can I blame her? No, horses are cool. But where was I going to get my samoas and do-si-dos this year? Handily for me, a friend’s co-worker had a bit of an ordering snafu that led to her needing to offload 100 cases of cookies instead of 100 boxes. But some people don’t have my luck, and are forced to cruise by elementary schools and grocery stores hoping to see a little girl in uniform setting up shop to find their cookies. Until now, that is. Kellogg has come up with an easy way to avoid looking like a potential predator, and still get your cookies. It’s called the Girl Scout Cookie Locator, and it’s a free app from the iTunes store. I downloaded the app, even though I already have my cookies this year, just to test it out.
It works by using the GPS in your phone, or by searching on an entered City/State or Zip Code. You can look for cookies on sale today if you need them right away, this weekend, over the next week, or if you’re really desperate, ANY COOKIES AT ALL NEAR YOU. After your results come up, you can sory by Date, Proximity, Name or view all results on a map. But the app doesn’t stop there, there are fun quizzes that will tell you your cookie personality, and recipes of things you can make using all the cookies you just bought. And if you know you are going to polish off your 4 boxes in one sitting (just don’t look at the nutrition info they have listed first) and need more soon, you can set up alerts for when the cookies go on sale near you.
As a writer and former English major, I mispronounce words more often than I’d like to admit. I blame it on ignoring phonics, and learning to read through memorization, and studying Spanish instead of French or Italian in school. And while it comforts me that other bloggers do it too, if I can avoid an embarrassing verbal blunder, I’d like to!
I don’t know about you, but often my favorite fashion designers are what get me into the most trouble. I only learned the correct pronunciation of Yves Saint Laurent when I had a coworker named Yves, and for many designers out there even after years of loving their products, I have no idea how to say their names out loud. Luckily Oprah cleared up how to say Christian Louboutin and Hermès for me years ago, but there are loads of other brands out there that still baffle me. Now, just in time for fashion month, there’s an app to the rescue. Called Speak Chic, for $1.99, you can banish your fears of saying tongue twisters like Audemars Piguet or Proenza Schouler (hint: this one sounds like “Skooler”) out loud and totally botching it. Download it, and talk about all your favorite shows and Fall looks, confidently and mis-pronuciation-free.
Sick of all the music you have on your iPhone, and not sure what to listen to next? There’s an app for that! The WhoSampled app will look at the music you have, and suggest tracks to listen to based on what you already like. It gives you access to a library of music through YouTube, Daily Motion and SoundCloud that samples, remixes, or covers the songs in your library. A whole new take on song recommendations all for $2.99.
I don’t know about you guys, but I organize my life primarily with my Google Calendar. I don’t know how I used to plan social events and remember to attend them now without it. And yes, that means I am the annoying friend who will blow up your inbox with Google invites to the concert we’re going to, so sorry (I’m not sorry) if my organized approach to maximum fun offends you. I have been emailing out lists of activities I want to do in the summer with Google invites since I discovered the Vanity Fair summer guide in 2011. But currently, I am in a weird limbo period where I have really given up using a paper calendar, except for work purposes and my Cute Overload tear-away-a-day, and haven’t gone to the trouble of transferring people’s birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates over into my digital calendar.
Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, I don’t have to! Cue, a free app designed to be your personal assistant, will organize your digital life for you into easily digestible days of activities. It syncs with your Google calendar, contacts, Facebook, twitter, Gmail and AOL accounts then connects all of that info together in a useful way. It allows you to see any event tagged for the day in a central place, and (hopefully) will stop me from forgetting my loved one’s birthdays when I just haven’t signed into Facebook recently. It checks your email for flight, travel confirmations, and automatically puts them in your events, and (!) a feature I haven’t yet tried, but read is pretty amazing is that if you have a dinner you are running late to with contacts logged in your phone, you can use the app to automatically and centrally text or email everyone you tagged as attending so you don’t have to while you’re rushing to get there!
Finally (finally!), there is a digital solution to my magazine feature hoarding. As some of you may recall, I subscribe to around 10 magazines monthly, and usually there is at least one article I want to pass along/recipe I want to cook/item I want to buy from each magazine I read. To avoid becoming one of those sad new stories where a woman is crushed to death by her massive pile of old newspapers caving in on her, I recycle my magazines every month. I either pass them along to others, or drop them in the appropriate bin in my building. Those stacks would build up way too quickly with that many magazines! To avoid losing the features I wanted to go back to, I have a complex system of organization I use when reading. When I see something I like, I fold the page in half (or if I am reading Lucky, I use one of these neat stickers), then go back and tear out the pages I want when I’ve finished the issue. The loose pages go into one of 2 folders: recipes and other, and sometimes spend some time laying around on my floor or dresser before I get the folders out. Then when I am finished with the article, I toss the loose pages. Genius right?
Well, now the wonders of technology have come to my rescue with an infinitely better system called NetPage. It’s an app that integrates with the camera on your iphone, and certain magazines (I’m looking at you Marie Claire for introducing me to it!). All you do is launch the app, point the camera at the item you like, and it stores a clipping of it in your NetPage favorites for you to go back to. It even offers suggestions of editor’s clips of the same feature that might be less blurry/more cleanly cropped than your own – especially handy if you’re taking the picture on the treadmill like me, where I do most of my magazine reading. Then you can access your favorites from the app or your web browser whenever you please, and share easily using email or most social media platforms without all the clutter of lose/poorly torn pages. I am saying sayonara to my folders and giving a big welcome to online organization! Yippee!