Category Archives: iPhone

Stress: There’s An App For That

You looked stressed. In all fairness… don’t we all? Even the most zen among us can’t claim they’re stress free. Where they differ from those of us who find ourselves practically pulling our hair out on the regular is in how they deal with their stress. Me? I go mobile. Believe it or not, there are some great stress management apps out there. 

Recently I embarked on a new professional (and personal) adventure. After over a decade of owning my own consulting business – working mostly from home or far-flung exotic locales like, Dublin and Detroit- I’m back in an office, working for someone else. Part of my new gig entails teaching people what a big role stress plays in our over all health and wellness. 

To be honest, I could be the poster girl for the ill effects of stress. Hair loss? Been there, lost that.  Insomnia? There aren’t sheep enough for all the counting I’ve done. Weight gain? Yeah, we aren’t even going there. This new job has forced be to stare stress right in the baggy, dark-circled eyes and deal with it so I can help others do the same. 

great-stress-managment-appsMy top advice? Find apps that make it easier to coral the cortisol. After all if you’ve got to stress about how to deal with stress you’re sort of doing this whole thing wrong… really wrong. 

Stress: There IS an App for That! 

Headspace – This app is by far my absolute favorite – and not only because I love the cute British man-voice. Headspace is sort of like a gym for your brain. In daily 10-minute guided meditations you’re guided through ways quite and focus the mind. I find that squeezing in a session or two during the work day really helps renew my energy and stave off that afternoon slump in creativity. (If you want to know more, I wrote a full post and review of Headspace over at (cool) progeny)

Mood Panda – When I was young I carried around a beat up old diary with a lock I’m sure my brothers would never have dreamed of picking. I’d pour every unedited thought into those pages as though I were at confession. For a lonely word-nerd that diary was about as close to a BFF as it got.

Mood Panda may not be a trusty, old-school diary but it is a good app for recording your feelings, literally.  Knowing how you’re feeling/felt, when and where you were can be a key step to unlocking the patterns in your stress. From there you can put in some work in avoiding or dealing with those issues in a new way.  Plus… pandas!

Attitudes of Gratitude – A while back my side kick and the brilliant brain responsible for keeping The Nuggs up and running – Cameron of Daddy Bookins fame – had a pretty terrifying health scare. In the midst of going through that he started to do daily posts sharing gratitude for things big and small. It was an exercise in grounding. Be thankful for each day, try not to let stress take that away. 

If you’re not necessarily into public declarations of thankfulness, this could be the app for you. Record at least one daily moment of gratitude. In doing that, you force stress to loosen it’s grip on your day. 

Bright Side Up – I’ve only used this app a few times, but my daughter loves it. Swiping away the clouds and seeing the bright side is something we could all use. 

Just click the clouds to whisk them away and bring out a fresh, original BrightUp written by Amy Spencer that can shift how you feel by suggesting something to do, think or try. Use these BrightUps on their own or as a companion to the book Bright Side Up, full of strategies for looking at your life in an entirely new way.  

I’ll confess that I find myself singing Always Look at the Bright Side of Life from Monty Python’s Life of Brian when I see this app. Don’t judge, laughter is a stress release after all!

Kick the Stress by Playing

Zen Koi – Have you ever spent time in a Japanese garden with a Koi pond? Isn’t there something inherently calming in just being in a place like that? Would that we could all have a Koi pond in our homes, offices or in line at the DMV, eh? While this app may not be the next best thing it certainly is calming.

I’m not much of a gamer but there is something about guiding virtual Koi around this pond, watching them evolve and chilling out to the zen background music that forces you to relax. Stress falls away as you let go and just play. Play is a great way to manage stress. Go ahead, try it.

These are just a few apps I personally like. The beauty of living a mobile lifestyle is you can find the app, vibe and time that suites you. No need to stress about it, just explore!

Disclosure: As a member of a very cool team of influencers for Verizon Wireless I sometimes receive compensation, cool gadgets to test drive, or get attend special events. All opinions entirely my own, based on my experiences, because you deserve nothing less! 

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Cool Photo Apps – Yarn

I take too many pictures. Really. My whole family is trained not to take a bite of any meal until I’ve snapped a pic. DropBox might just have to invent a whole new category of storage just for me. Thing is, many of them just sit around collecting digital dust. Enter the cool photo apps like – Yarn. Cool Photo Apps Yarn
I’ve been playing around with Yarn like a cat who’s been hitting the nip… hard.  The app accesses your photos and groups them into collages based on relationship.  For example, I took about 2,457 photos {okay, maybe a few less… maybe} at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter over a three day visit.

Culling through all those snaps would have snapped my attention span in about fifteen minutes. Those photos would just sit there in Dropbox until my kids dug them out for my 50th birthday or something. Yarn weaved some of the best into a collage that I could easily share on social media, text to my mom -who is always bugging me for photos– or even embed it into a blog post.

Diagon Alley Universal Studios Waring: Once you’ve figured out how to use Yarn it might be hard to stop playing with it. Your cat may judge you for this – just so you know.

Mad props to the developers of this app. They built a great tutorial into it that is simple and intuitive.  If you don’t “get it” on the first try you can just go back and run it all over again.

Pull down on your screen to “grab” a Yarn. The app pulls images into the collage for you and tells you when they were taken.

Yarn App

Like it? Add your own title and notes, say something about the photos, then save them in a “book.” It’s like micro blogging and visual storytelling had a baby – or a kitten.

cool photo apps - YarnLove it lots? Share it. Yarn will build you a link for sharing or share to apps on your phone that you’ve given it permission to access. Don’t dig it all that much? Remove it to the trash can with just a swipe.

Yarn reminds you to bask in the awesomeness of the photos you’ve captured with a daily Yarn in your inbox. It’s been fun to forward that to the hubs for giggles, and/or bribery. I’m sure there are a ton of things I’ve yet to discover about this app, but so far I’m loving it.

Do you have a favorite app for sharing all those pics that languish in your smartphone? I’d love recommendations for apps that can help free up storage space for more photos. Nothing like a little codependent  kvetching, eh? 

Cool Photo Apps: Yarn

Did I mention it’s a free app? BONUS!
iTunes Store
Google Play

 

As a member of a very cool team of influencers for Verizon Wireless I sometimes receive compensation, cool gadgets to test drive, or get attend special events. This post was inspired by weekly #VZWbuzz chats that often feature apps. I found this app on my own and it is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Verizon Wireless.  All opinions entirely my own, based on my experiences, because you deserve nothing less! 

 

Smart Phones Are Taking Over The WORLD!

My “smart” –or evil genius in waiting– phone can help me find my way out of that paper sack I’m always lost in. It can babysit my kids (hello Angry Birds). The mother-in-law gets her own ring tone. I call it the “off” button. I can shoot video, send email, take pictures… just like every other schmuck out there. All that and until today I thought it was my friend. I now know that it’s just waiting for me to fall asleep so it can turn on the Chevy Traverse I’ve been driving for almost a month now as one of the Baltimore Chevy Girls and proceed with it’s diabolical plan for world domination.

Okay so I might be suffering from a little Invader Zim-itus there, but this video will explain the roots of my paranoia inspiration.

Chevy: There Is An App For That from Baltimore Chevy Girls on Vimeo.

The word of the day.. MOOHLAH

*skipping in singing* All I want for Christmas is a friggin’  iPhone, a friggin’ iPhone, oh a friggin-crazy-expensive iPhone 

<——-like this one, $299 SMACKERS! Glup

Okay so it’s super cool. With this puppy I can shoot embarrassing professional quality vlog posts! I can stalk tweet stars, like Gary Oldham (don’t judge). It even has a digital compass app so I I’ll never get lost in my own basement again.
THE PROBLEM.  Not only are them suckers pricey, you’ve got to take out a loan to pay for the TWO YEAR service contract!
So WHAT is a girl to do? I’m thinking——>
OH I think I’ll start with my pal Shanon’s contest over at For The Mommas, where I can win $100 of the bank I need in the form of a Target card. But I don’t want YOU doing that, that lessens my chances of getting said iPhone! Oh alright go ahead and enter. And hey while you’re there you’ll also learn about Shop At Home. No it’s not some crazy HSN thing. It’s actually really cool. I don’t know HOW they do it but they pay you to shop. You earn a percentage of your purchase price back by shopping at their participating stores. A great example is 10% back at OLD NAVY! This works much like Ebates.com. I got over $100 back last year after my on-line holiday shopping! Today  you can get a FREE $10 gift card for places like Target and Sephora for joining FREE! Tell em I sent ya!
Another great way to make a little cash to get that iPhone or more likely buy those I-have-to-have-this-or-the-world-is-going-to-implode toys is She Trades. It’s a bit like eBay only without the high fees and WITH lots of designer stuff! Sell yours or pick yourself up a great little number for that holiday party!
There is MOOHLAH out there waiting to be made… and hey you could always show your Nuggetier pride and say BUY ME AN iPhone for Christmas, that would totally RAWK—————–>