This Thanksgiving App Could be Quite Helpful Year-Round

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 7.42.03 PM“Butterball” is practically a synonym for “turkey.”

Therefore, when I stumbled across this app, I was quite sure it would contain turkey recipes. And yes, it does. But it also has much more, and since the price is FREE, it is well worth the download.

This app has hundreds of recipes represented by delicious looking photographs. Recipes that will be helpful all year round, not just at Thanksgiving.




It also gives you some TOOLS, including a very large substitution chart. I often seem to be missing just one ingredient, so I’m anticipating using this pretty-darn-inclusive list (a lot!).



Butterball Cookbook Plus is available FREE for both the iPad and iPhone in the iTunes store

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Apple’s App Store Adds a New Category …… Shopping!

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 6.19.21 AMI’m actually surprised it took so long for Apple to make “shopping” its own category. Until now, any shopping app was buried within the Lifestyle group….. but no longer.

I’m pleased. There are actually several of these apps that I wanted to try (but I forgot) and now, with their own category, I see them and I’ll be downloading a few before the day is over. (And of course, if I find something share-able, I’ll post it, here.)



When I look at myself as an ordinary-person example, I would have to say that on-line shopping has greatly increased over the last decade. Last year, when the holiday season was over, I surprised myself when I realized that a major portion of my shopping was on-line. A quick google search this morning showed me that the e-commerce continues to gain traction year after year, all over the world.

On-line retailers continue to make the deliveries quicker and the returns easier. Someday it’s likely that this trend of on-line shopping will level off, but for now, it continues to grow. Many of these retailers offer special perks, such as free one-day shipping, percentages off your purchase and/or free merchandise.

I use Amazon a lot, but there are many other sites that I enjoy using, as well. I’ll share a few over the next several weeks. How about you? Do you have any favorites? I’d love to know. :)

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BookBub: Another Source for Free and Reduced Price E-Books

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 6.55.31 AM Yay!! BookBub makes me happy. I LOVE to explore sources for free and reduced price e-books.

For long time readers of this blog, you might remember several other eBook websites that I have gushed about in the past. Among them are Book Gorilla, Early Bird books, and my all time favorite, eReaderIQ.

Noticing that the dates on those posts are as old as TWO years ago, I am happy to report that they are all still very active websites, and ….. personally….. I visit them EVERY day. My Kindle is full of books (great books!) that I’ve gotten for free or greatly reduced prices, and the thrill of the ‘find’ never gets old. :)

And now I’ve added another website to my list of daily book-browsing stops. BookBub

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Once you sign up (it’s free), you will have the opportunity to refine your choices. Are you interested in mystery books? nonfiction? literary fiction? Once you make your selections, BookBub will direct you to the best deals for your interests.

You can also just browse. (ahhhh…. what a pleasure!) and you can also opt in to get emails each day with the most recent deals.

Although I participate in several websites like this, it is always surprising to me that the book choices presented are not usually the same. Yes, there is often some overlap, but in general each website is suggesting a different crop of books. Pure e-book browsing pleasure!!

I’m delighted to have added BookBub to my daily e-book browsing.

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Stickyboard 2 on Sale for …… FREE for your iPad

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 6.06.51 AM FREE is good!

FREE is now ……. but I have no idea how long this sale is going to last. Regular price: $9.99.

The reviews for this app are excellent, and so I downloaded it onto my iPad to look it over.

And I’m delighted!

Imagine a big white board and magic sticky notes at your fingertips.

It’s so easy to use. Just double tap the white board to add a new note. Slide them around with your fingers. Move the entire board with 2 fingers.

You can color code your notes, easily arrange them, even email entire boards.

An awesome tool for all kinds of planning.

When you first download it, you’ll get this screen, full of tips on “how to”. Within minutes you’ll be posting your notes.


I like to plan and organize and arrange my thoughts, so I intend to give this app quite a workout. I thank the developers for making it FREE. :)

Stickyboard 2 is FREE in the iTunes Store (for your iPad)

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YouTube w/o Ads …. for a Fee. Meet YouTube Red

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 7.47.42 AMOn October 28, Google will be launching YouTube Red for your iPhone and iPad. YouTube Red will cost you $12.99 a month. ($9.99 for Android devices)

So what is YouTube Red? Here is what you’ll get:

* Ad Free YouTube videos. (Those ads are pesky …. but is it worth $12.99 to eliminate them? Not for me.)

* The ability to download videos and watch offline. (Now, THAT is quite excellent. But still… $12.99?)

* The ability to have YouTube videos run in the background while you use other apps.

* Included is free access to Google Play Music.

Learn all the details, here, on the YouTube Red Faq page.

Apparently, Google is also planning some of their own programming for release on YouTube (following the winning examples of Netflix and Amazon).

It will be interesting to see if this takes off. It sounds expensive to me (compare Amazon Prime at $99 a year to this Google service which will cost you $158.99 a year).

Personally, I have Prime, and love it. YouTube Red does not tempt me even a tiny bit.

But I’ve been very wrong before:
(conversation with son in the late 80’s:
“look Mom, I can leave a message on the internet and someone will answer it.”
Me: “why on earth would anyone want to do THAT?”
) :shock:

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Reminder: Occasionally Close your Apps …. Completely!

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 7.07.32 AMYou’d think that since I write this “tech” blog for us everyday folks that I would be a do-er of the things that I recommend.

You’d think that.

But I don’t. :shock:

A great example happened this weekend, and when I was told to do this in a chat with tech support (for another device) …… I felt more than a little foolish.

Although this didn’t solve my problem, it was an action that I should have done before I contacted tech support. Actually I should do this regularly. As I have suggested that you do. But…. I forgot.


So here’s OUR reminder:

Occasionally CLOSE all your apps on your iPhone. If you used them…. they are still running in the background. You need to shut them down.

To force-close your apps, double-click the home button.

The screen that appears after your double-click will show you your open apps. Move to the left and right to see all the open apps.


To close each app, put your finger on its screenshot and flip it up. Whoosh! Gone.

Keep flipping. If you haven’t done this in a while (like me) you’ll probably have a bunch of open apps.

Doing this regularly will keep your iPhone running smoothly. (and prevent embarrassment when talking with a young tech-support helper) :roll:

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Identify the Autumn Leaves with Leafsnap

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.02.03 PMI love this time of year. Crisp mornings and long walks among colorful trees.

But as I walk, I wonder. What kind of a tree is that? The one that makes bright yellow leaves? and …… What kind of a tree is the one over there with bright red leaves?

This app, Leafsnap, helps answer those questions. It’s not perfect, but the price is right (FREE) and it’s not b-a-d, so……

This app was developed by Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. It contains a few games to help you learn (matching leaves to names of plants) and a pretty significant database of leaves (pictures of leaves and names of plants/trees).

It also gives you the opportunity to take a picture of a leaf (hence the name, “Leafsnap” :) ) and upload this picture to get the name of the tree. (This feature is not well-received, and I didn’t have any luck with it myself, but it’s a great idea that hopefully some day will be improved.)

I’ve primarily used this app to confirm what I think a leaf might be. But I’ve also played the game a few times and came away just a wee bit smarter.

Leafsnap for the iPhone or iPad is FREE in the iTunes store.

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