Spotlight On: Favorite Apps 2nd Edition

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Even with thousands of apps out there, I only end up using a select few on a regular basis.  After sharing some of my favorites I wanted to add some others that have been topping the list lately.

Tripit: This app syncs with your email account to make travel much more seamless.  It logs all your reservations/flights/hotels and any other type of confirmation that comes into your inbox into an organized list and it will also automatically update any changes in your reservations.  With a busy year coming up with lots of events to keep track of, this app is a dutiful assistant.

justWink: I love snail mail and handwritten cards more than most but sometimes in a pinch you need to send a forgotten birthday message or last minute good luck wishes, this app has a selection of e-cards that can be texted or emailed on the go.  You can also upload your own photos before you send off that instant love note or congratulations!

Mint: this site and app has completely altered the way I look at spending since I signed up three months ago.  It links to all of your accounts (bank, credit cards, loans, 401k) and tracks them all.  You can set budgets for different categories and even create your own then it will alert you when you are approaching or over budget in individual categories.  The “ordering in”, “weekday breakfast” and “clothing” budgets were the ones that I hadn’t realized how much all the little things add up and it has really curbed my spending in those as well as other areas.

What are you some of your favorites?

Spotlight On: Favorite Apps

faveappsThere are several apps I use on a daily basis and many are the usual suspects: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the Weather Channel (far better than the Apple weather app!), but there are also some others that are new favorites and one that’s been around for a while.

Timehop: a recent recommendation that has become a new favorite.  Timehop links to the social media accounts and photo libraries of your choosing and sends you a notification each day of any pictures or posts that you made on that same date in years past.  Some days there aren’t any updates but others I have had pictures from one, two, three, four, five and six years ago.  It’s fun to take a quick walk down memory lane everyday without doing any of the legwork.

Songza: I have been a longtime fan of Songza as opposed to using Spotify or Pandora.  Songza has pre-made playlists you can choose from based on your mood (waking up happy), current activity (singing in the shower) or you can also search a genre or artist.  Songza is a road trip must have and some favorite playlists include: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, 90s Crowd Pleasing Hits and The Ultimate Oldies Party.  In NYC you can usually get 3 or 4 songs after you head down into the subway so it’s a great city commute option as well.

QuizUp: As Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit fans, Andy and I love challenging each other in this quick, live quiz game.  We’ve also both roped in several family members as other opponents and it’s fun way to connect without having to dedicate yourself to a week long game of Words With Friends.

Heads Up!: If you don’t know this app, go look it up now.  It will be the most entertaining 99 cents you spend, guaranteed.

Groovebook: I recently discovered this app last week on Shark Tank so I haven’t received the product yet but I’m sure it will stay a longtime favorite.  Their premise is you spend $2.99/month and they send you a photobook of 4×6 pictures, pre-perforated for easy removal of up to 100 photos.  That’s right, just $2.99 for 100 including shipping!  I am excited to finally get consistent copies of the countless pictures on my phone that never make it anywhere aside to iPhoto.

What are some of your favorites?

Super Bowl Snacks

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The Super Bowl is always a great excuse to eat delicious treats and forget about the gym or your diet for a day. I also always love a theme or some reason to get creative with a party. As guests this year, I chose to bring an old fan favorite of mine and also try a new spin on chocolate covered strawberries that I saw on Pinterest. Both were a hit and there were no leftovers to bring home afterwards.

Chocolate Covered Football Strawberries

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These were very simple to make, the hardest part was getting the top off of the white icing tube. I used chocolate discs and melted them in the microwave. The box recommended that the strawberries be dry for the chocolate to stick better. After washing them, I then dried each with a paper towel. Following the directions from the package, I microwaved them in 30 second increments, stirring in between each round.

Once the consistency was very smooth, I dipped each strawberry in the chocolate and placed them on a plate. If I were to have read the instructions at the store, I would’ve bought wax paper, but of course that didn’t happen. (but definitely do so if you are planning to make these!) Once all the strawberries are covered, place them in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to harden.

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After the 15 minutes, I used Cake Mate Writing Gel icing to create my laces on the “footballs”.   I first made the vertical line on each followed by the horizontal lines. All in all this treat took minimal effort, time and skill to pull off but were the hit of the party!

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Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

My godmother always makes these for special holidays and they have been my favorite for as long as I can remember.  They are tedious to make, but the steps are worth it!

1lb. bacon

24 cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup mayonaise

1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

1. Remove stems from tomatoes

2. Place tomatoes stem side on cutting board and cute a thin slice around the top

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3. With a small spoon (I used a melon baller ) scoop out the inside

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4. Place upside on paper towel for 3o minutes to drain

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5. Dice and fry bacon

6. Drain and cool on paper towels

7.  In a bowl mix mayonaise, bacon and green onions

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8. Fill tomatoes with mixture

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9. Refridgerate for several hours before serving