There’s an App For That…or a Website

I’m always on the lookout for a cool app or website to make life a bit easier or more fun.  Below are my latest findings.

thyme kitchen app

My husband is the chef of the household.  He is a natural when it comes to cooking – something I am NOT.  I can cook, and I do like to, but I am the type of person that needs a recipe (at least for the first time around with a dish) and needs to have everything timed out perfectly.  In the past I would use the timer on the oven as well as the timer on the microwave.  The microwave in our new house for some reason doesn’t have a timer – or at least one that I can find.  So odd.  This is where Thyme comes in perfectly!

Pick the burner on the app that you are cooking on, set the timer.  Pick the second burner you are using – do the same.  So simple, so great!  It’s available on both iTunes and Google Play.  $0.99

GoodMouth toothbrushes You know how it is important to change out your toothbrush every few months – even more if you have gotten over a cold, etc.?  I just read about this great subscription, called GoodMouth, that takes the task of reminding to refresh your toothbrushes!  For a family of 4, it costs $13.95 (free shipping) to receive new brushes every 3 months, and with every subscription they donate 2 brushes to someone in need through Giving Goodness.  You complete a simple survey, asking basic questions and you’re all set!  I ordered my first set and can’t wait to get them!  Check out GoodMouth… you can update or cancel at any time.

Free Prints - screenshot

Want to get free prints of your favorite smartphone shots?  Introducing an app that will send you up to 85 free 4×6 prints per month.  You do have to pay for shipping and handling, which ranges from $1.99 – $9.99 depending on the size of the order.  I haven’t tried it just yet, but the app is downloaded on my phone.  I just need to get some time to actually pick out which pictures to print!

Are you a magazine junkie like me?  Enter Next Issue - an app/website that offers unlimited access to over 140 magazines for a small monthly fee.  You can try it out for free for the first 30 days and cancel at any time.  There are two membership levels – one is $9.99/month and the other is $14.99/mont which includes weeklies.  I still like to hold the physical magazine, turn the pages, rip out the ones with items I am interested in or articles that peek my interest.  Check it out….tell me what you think.

 

 

learn a new language

I am so excited for this next website – Duolingo.  You can learn a bunch of different languages FOR FREE!  Choose the language you want to learn, create a profile and voila!  You can work along with friends via Facebook too!  Although I have Rosetta Stone for Spanish and have yet to use it (bad me…it is on my bucket list for this year and the year is not yet over!), I am going to try Duolingo for Spanish and see how it goes!  What language do you want to learn?  If you sign up, tell me and we can watch each other’s progress!

 

Five for Friday – August 8

5 for friday

I totally missed last Friday’s Five for Friday and I am so sad about that.  I hope this one makes up for it!

number 1

It’s hot – very hot – and on hot days I love to cool down with ice cream or popsicles BUT most store-bought popsicles are filled with sugar.  If you have ever seen my little one on a sugar high, you will know why I am adamant about trying my darnedest to remove this attitude-changing, crazy-making item from his life.  Now I know that fruits contain sugars, but by making my own frozen treats, I can manage how much sugar is actually in them.

number 2

I subscribe to the Blogilates Youtube channel.  I love Cassie’s enthusiasm…and now I am actually doing her videos (it took me a year, but better late than never!)  Check out her video below entitled Lower Belly Flattener and tell me what you think!

number 3

I was so surprised when I found out that Twizzlers have gluten in them – boo.  BUT when I came across this article, it made my day.  6 Surprising Foods You Never Knew Were Gluten-Free!  Love you French Macarons!

number 4

I really enjoyed reading and connected with the author of Maxed Out: Moms on the Brink.  I think my review of the book says it all!

number 5

If you are a fellow blogger, you may like this article on 5 Facebook mistakes that can cause your blog traffic.  I learned some great tidbits and hope they are helpful for you too!

I hope you have a great weekend! What are your plans?

Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink – Book Review


I started reading Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink as part of a book club; one of which I (sadly) infrequent due to life getting in the way.  I still like to read the books along with the other members, even if I can’t join in the post-reading festivities of food, wine, gossip and eventual chat about the designated book.

Unlike other books I have read in the past, I was compelled to highlight certain sections of the book, feeling that I needed to share these tidbits with you.  Please note that I am one of the fortunate ones whom works for a company that embraces career enhancement along with family life and flexibility.  It just amazes me that there are companies out there in this day and age that are so NOT like that.

Ever hear of the “Mommy Track”?  Coined by Felice Schwartz, a career consultant, the mommy track is defined in a New York Times article as:

…a phenomenon in which women with family responsibilities are shunted into dead end, lower paying jobs.

Schwartz recommended that companies separate their female employees into two groups.  Group 1 would be composed of the female employees that were willing to work the longer hours, have the flexibility to travel whenever needed – basically not letting anything personal get “in the way” of their career.  Group 2 would be the female employees who are OK with taking the lower-end, less paying jobs in exchange for flexibility when they needed to take an impromptu day off should their child get sick, etc.  Do you find this fair and “modern”?  Thankfully, I as do a lot of my working moms are employed by companies that are flexible and supportive of our career track.  This mommy track just threw me for a loop.

In an interview with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, she stated that all of the years that mothers spend raising their children help them in the future with interpersonal and diplomacy skills.  I completely agree!  Think about it…all of the times you had to be the referee in a confrontation between your kids – pointing out key points of the argument and how to come to an agreement.  I believe that alone has helped me with working with my teams, along with the interpersonal skills of knowing how to work with different personalities.  BTW – Pelosi was a stay-at-home mom to 5 children before running for Congress.

Maternity leave – a very heated topic amongst Americans today.  Did you know that the United States is one of the handful of countries that doesn’t have paid maternity leave?  What are your thoughts on that?  I can dedicate an entire post to that topic alone.

A great tip I took from the book was that sometimes you need to create a project plan for your family life, just as you would for a new project at work.  I know it sounds very sterile, but to me it is very helpful!  There may come a time that there are so many things going on at once – whether it is after school sports, play dates, household chores, coupled with work events – that a project plan, or something as simple as a list, will clear your mind and help you prioritize and conquer everything sanely.

Ever hear of Results-Only Work Environments (ROWE)?  It is new to me, but I found it quite interesting.  Basically employees are evaluated by their work and not by the number of hours they work or the amount of face time.  Its the theory that as long as you get your work done, and it is completed to the expected standards that are initially set forth, then you are adhering to the ROWE and can have “unlimited paid time off”.  This puts the project ownership, accountability and full responsibility on the employee.  A company that has implemented ROWE, Gap Inc., has reported that quality and productivity has increased, while turnover has decreased by 50%.  Nice!

Ever wonder why, at times, we are super stressed and not as happy as we remember our moms were?  Alcorn points out that

Our lives have changed dramatically since the ’60s, but the institutions around us – government, workplace and marriage – have not kept up.  Mothers today are on the front lines of a deep dysfunction in society, trying to make up for the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that is now expected of us.

Makes a lot of sense, right?

Above are just a few points that resonated with me – there was a lot of great reading going on with this book.  I highly recommend it for my working mama readers as well as my stay-at-home mamas – I feel that you all may assimilate with what the author is saying.  Here’s an Amazon link to grab a copy (digital or print):

Please note that the opinions in this review are 100% my own.  I was not asked to review this book but thought it was interesting and a good read for you!

 

 

 

Summer Beach Reading Party!

Your invited to our Summer Beach Reading Party!
Come on over, & pour yourself a drink, relax and enjoy these great Summer reads!

After a hard day at work, caring for children, or gardening, you deserve a night of pleasure!
Open your Kindle or turn the pages of these great books for summer.
Whether you’re enjoying the sun on the beach reading or simply curled up in your favorite chair – let us tempt you with these awesome summer reads…

beach ball

Young Adult Summer Reads

fledgling
(FLEDGLING IS CURRENTLY FREE)

into the light  the girl who swam to atlantis  entertaining angels

dolphin
Hot Summer Romance Books

Sisters in Love  Lovers at Heart
(SISTERS IN LOVE / LOVERS AT HEART ARE CURRENTLY FREE)

whole latte love  home again  the curvy girls club  Game of Love  Taken By Love

surfing
Thriller / Adventure Beach Reads

the collector of dying breaths  the stream

These awesome authors have come together to offer
a super combined giveaway

summer beach reading

Check out the prize packs you could win below!

Ending on Friday 1st August at 11.59 pm EST

Enter Below & Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1st Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton
The Stream by A. R. Silverberry
The Curvy Girls Club by Michele Gorman
The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
Return to Love by Kathleen Shoop
Taming Romeo by Rachelle Ayala
Into the Light by Amy Manemann
Game of Love by Melissa Foster
Taken by Love by Melissa Foster
Entertaining Angels by Emerald Barnes
Prodigy by Natasha Brown (book 2 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)
Emergent by Natasha Brown (book 3 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)

2nd Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton
The Stream by A. R. Silverberry
The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
Return to Love by Kathleen Shoop
Taming Romeo by Rachelle Ayala
Into the Light by Amy Manemann
Game of Love by Melissa Foster
Taken by Love by Melissa Foster
Entertaining Angels by Emerald Barnes
Prodigy by Natasha Brown (book 2 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)
Emergent by Natasha Brown (book 3 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)

3rd Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton
The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
Return to Love by Kathleen shoop
Taming Romeo by Rachelle Ayala
Game of Love by Melissa Foster
Taken by Love by Melissa Foster
Prodigy by Natasha Brown (book 2 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)
Emergent by Natasha Brown (book 3 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)

4th & 5th Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton
Prodigy by Natasha Brown (book 2 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)
Emergent by Natasha Brown (book 3 of the Shapeshifter chronicles)

6th – 10th Prize
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis by Elle Thornton

Enjoy your reads !!

 

Five for Friday – June 27

five for friday

It’s the last Five for Friday for June.  Now that I think of it, that is a bit scary…where did June go???  Before we know it, it will be Christmas time (gasp).  Not to get ahead of myself, we haven’t even hit the Fourth of July!  Do you have plans for the 4th?  In the meantime, check out my latest favorite links and such from this week.

1

I have this thing for magazines – I get at least one daily in my mailbox.  A few years ago I stumbled upon a digital magazine, Matchbook, and didn’t know how I would like it – almost like the debate over e-book vs traditional “hold in your hand and physically turn the pages” book.  I actually liked the e-magazine.  To my husband’s despair, if I found something highlighted in the e-magazine, I could click on it and it would take me to where I can find that “coveted scarf” or “shoes I HAD to have”.  The closest thing to instant gratification.  I came across Cupcake this week.  Check them out if you get a chance!

2

I love dogs!  Here is an article about 11 dog breeds you may not have heard of.  I’d like one of each please!

3

I about cracked up when I read this article Cosmopolitan printed in 1970 of things to do with your hands that men like.  Now don’t get all dirty on me…this was from 1970.  OK maybe some of the items are a bit “sexy” as they put it…so funny though.  Feed him grapes.  Suurrreeeee…..

4

I want to learn to curl my hair (I think I may need more hair though).  It is amazing how many YouTube videos you can find on this topic.  Here is the one I am going to try to emulate this weekend.

I just need her hair.

5

I’m totally a visual person so this article on 18 helpful diagrams to solve all of your clothing woes is a favorite!  This one made laugh:

Or like one of your very favorite characters.

 

Happy Friday!!

My 2014 Reading List – UPDATED!

medium_3587804365

Last year, I listed all of the books I wanted to read in 2013.  I made a dent, but not as much as I wanted to.  Although, come to think of it, there were books that I read that weren’t on my initial list – two being the Divergent series!  Here’s my list for 2014.  (Note: a New Year resolution I really need to keep to this year, is to NOT BUY ANY MORE BOOKS until I read the gazillion I have in paperback or downloaded on my Kindle.)

  1. Orphan Train – COMPLETED 1/15/14
  2. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  3. The Holiday by Jane Green
  4. A Walk in the Park by Jane Green
  5. The Girls in 3B by Valerie Taylor
  6. Over You by Emma McLaughlin
  7. Bared to You by Sylvia Day
  8. Swim by Jennifer Wiener
  9. Paris Without End by Gioia Diliberto
  10. Paris in Love by Eloisa James
  11. The Fallback Plan by Leign Stein
  12. Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb
  13. Prep, a novel by Curtis Sittenfield
  14. The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
  15. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  16. Pearl of China by Anchee Min
  17. Womenomics by Claire Shipman
  18. The Weighing of the Heart by Jane Thynne
  19. Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie LaCava
  20. The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
  21. The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Phillipa Gregory
  22. Motherland by Amy Shone
  23. A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel
  24. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  25. The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  26. Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly
  27. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
  28. The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay
  29. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
  30. Smut: Stories by Alan Bennett
  31. Girl Land by Caitlin Flanagan
  32. The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar
  33. A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay
  34. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
  35. Saving Ceecee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman – COMPLETED 7/14
  36. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  37. The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain
  38. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
  39. Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs
  40. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
  41. Promises to Keep by Jane Green
  42. The Summer We Met Gatsby by Danielle Ganek…and one for good luck -
  43. Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

Do you have any good book recommendations?  I’d love to hear!

BOOKS I READ THAT ARE NOT ON THE LIST!

  1. The Chaperone – COMPLETED 1/14
  2. No, Seriously – (audiobook) COMPLETED 1/14
  3. On the Inside – COMPLETED 1/14
  4. Orphan Train – COMPLETED 4/14
  5. Wedding Night – (audiobook) Sophie Kinsella – COMPLETED 2/14
  6. Spelling it Like it is (audiobook) – COMPLETED 3/14
  7. Have You Found Her? – COMPLETED 4/14
  8. Brunette Ambitions (Lea Michele – audiobook) – COMPLETED 5/14
  9. Maxed Out – American Moms on the Brink – COMPLETED 6/14
  10. The American Heiress – COMPLETED 7/14
  11. The Book of Life – COMPLETED 8/10

 

photo

 

BOOK TOUR – Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey

Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes AudreyBook Tour: Meeting the man of your dreams, falling in love and getting married. It sounds like every woman’s dream. But what if you suddenly found out that your husband self-identified as and wanted to become a woman? That’s exactly what happened to Connecticut-based reporter Alexandra Bogdanovic.

As the daughter of music and television icons, Sonny and Cher, Chastity Bono grew up in the public eye. So it was shocking to people everywhere when she became Chaz. Her decision to “become” a man made headlines around the world, but Bono is not alone. Transgender men and women frequently appear on television talk shows and reality programs to share their stories. In doing so, they inevitably get the attention they seek; although it may not always be the kind of attention they want.

While many come forth in an effort to promote tolerance, acceptance and understanding in mainstream society, their decision to live as – or in some cases have surgery to become – the opposite gender often sparks curiosity and visceral reactions born from ignorance.

Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey, a new book from author Alexandra Bogdanovic, tells the other side of the story. Part tragedy, part comedy, part love story, the book tells the story of the author’s real life experience of meeting a man, falling in love, getting married and finding out her husband wanted to become a woman. This book is the story of what happened after she learned the truth.

MY BOOK REVIEW:  The main reason why I accepted this book review (including complimentary copy of the book) by Beck Valley Books was because I was somewhat curious as to how someone would conclude that they are transgender and how that would affect their loved ones.  Telling the story of the author’s husband’s sex change must have been hard, but was very well written and intriguing to read.  It broke my heart that she was in love with a man who wanted so badly to be a woman, and that she was trapped in a way she could not know when she got married.

Buy the book from……

Author’s Website; Amazon.com; Amazon.co.uk; Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Image of Alexandra BogdanovicAlexandra Bogdanovic was born in Bronxville, N.Y. and grew up in Greenwich, Conn. She knew she wanted to be a reporter at age 12, and received her first byline in the Greenwich Time when she was a high school freshman. By the time she graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart in 1987, she’d been covering high school sports for a daily newspaper for four years.

In 1991, Bogdanovic graduated from Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing. She officially began her journalism career as an editorial assistant at The Advocate in Stamford, Conn., soon after graduation.

She then decided to devote her efforts to community journalism in order to have a more direct and meaningful impact in the towns and villages where she worked. One of her greatest challenges while working in Rye was covering the mutual aid response and local reaction to the Terrorist Attacks of September 11.

The veteran reporter is now a freelance writer. She enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, chilling with her cat, Eli and watching and photographing high-goal polo.

Follow the Author…..

Website; Twitter; Goodreads; Amazon

Follow the Book Tour

Photobucket I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY

 

5 LUCKY WINNERS will each receive a signed book from the author

 

Open Worldwide Ending on Thursday 20th March at 11.59pm EST

 

Enter Below and Good Luck !!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway