Find Safe, Healthy and Socially Responsible Products with Good Guide

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 8.23.48 AMThis app was promoted on our latest Earth Day. I learned about it then, and downloaded it immediately.

I’m delighted!

With a massive database of over 210,000 products, this app rates them on a scale of 1 to 10 on health, environmental and social impact.

You can search for a product or you can browse through categories such as pet products, oral care, food, household cleaners and more. I especially like seeing the ingredients listed with ratings on EACH ingredient about its safety (or not). You can even scan the barcode of a product while you are shopping.

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I searched for several products that I use regularly and was surprised to see a very low rating for one in particular that I use all the time (oh my ….. a change will happen.:) ).

This app has been featured in the NY Times, USA Today, TIME, Oprah, InStyle, Newsweek, TechCrunch, ABC, CBS, and more. Truly a valuable resource at your fingertips.

Good Guide is FREE in the iTunes store.

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Use the “Near” Feature on Google Maps to Find What you Want

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.05.37 PMNot a day goes by that I don’t click on Google Maps. I use it ALL the time.

I use it for directions, of course, and daily for traffic. I use it to look for shortcuts, and I use it for street view so that I can recognize my destination when I get there.

Another great feature of Google Maps is the “near” feature. I was not very familiar with it, but now that I’m using it …… well, it’s simply invaluable.

Let’s say you are standing in Manhattan, near the Empire State Building. You want to visit a book store, but you have no clue of the name of any local book store let alone where one might be.

Google maps to the rescue.

Simply search for “book stores near (your location)” In this example case, I searched for “book stores near the Empire State Building” and the map below shows the result of that search. A bunch of book stores to explore!

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This is obviously a great feature to have when you’re away from home, but lately I find myself using this trick at home, too, to discover unknown-to-me restaurants and other places.

Just search using your own address (or “me” if Google maps knows your home address):
“Mexican restaurants near me,” for example, and, poof! All kinds of new places to explore.:)

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Weekend Distraction: Daily Celebrity Crossword

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 7.37.58 AMFinally! A crossword puzzle I can complete! (translation: very very easy)

Notice that in the title it says “celebrity” ……. I actually found that off-putting, since I am not one who knows much about actors, sports figures etc.

BUT, to my delight, the celebrity part is usually only two or three clues throughout the entire puzzle, and completely solvable with the cross-clues.

I really enjoy doing crossword puzzles. But I’m also REALLY bad at it. I’ve tried so many, and it’s so discouraging. I love that I can almost always complete this one. I know it’s easy, but that’s ok with me. I still get a happy feeling when I get my completed star and digital confetti as I type in the last word.:)

There is absolutely no learning curve to complete the puzzle. The clue is highlighted along with the blocks you have to fill. Just tap and type. (there are some other nuances. You earn coins when solving, and you can use these coins to buy hints, etc. This is something I’ve never needed to do, so I just ignore the whole coin thing. I just do the basic puzzle. Perfect in its simplicity.)

You get ONE puzzle per day. Just one. At first I craved more, but over time I’ve found that one is just enough. This way I don’t over-do and it keeps my interest.

Occasionally you’ll get a bonus free puzzle. As I type this, I noticed that the app is offering a free bonus puzzle for Valentine’s day. So today I’ll do two. Yay!

Daily Celebrity Crossword is FREE in the iTunes store.

Sample puzzle page:

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In Case of an Emergency……………… (If you have an iPhone, you should definitely do THIS. It could save your life.)

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.28.28 AMYears (and years) ago, I remember putting the contact “ICE” (in case of emergency) in my contact list. I thought this was so clever. In an emergency, a health care person could find this on my phone and know who to contact……

Duh. Now our phones are locked. Although my ICE contact is still listed, in an emergency the professional who picks up my phone will find nothing but a lock screen.

HOWEVER ……

There is an emergency “work around” and this is far better than the mere ICE contact.
(and I thank dear friend Trudi for bringing this to my attention).

By setting up your Medical ID information in the “Health” app on your phone, you will give medical professionals the opportunity to see your emergency contact and any health info that you would want them to know in case of an emergency.

All you need to do is:

1. open your health app, and add the medical information that you would want known.

That’s it!

In case of an emergency, this information will be accessible on your locked iPhone.

To access this medical information from the locked numeric code screen, just tap “Emergency”

and then, “medical ID”

Click on this link to see this laid out, step by step:
Hospital Employee Shares iPhone Tip That Could Save Your Life In An Emergency

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You have a Level in your Pocket ….. twice

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 4.41.05 PMApple included a level on their iPhones way back when. But if you don’t need it often, you might forget that it’s even there. Or if you remember, and need it ….. you might forget where to find it. (It is part of the “compass” app on your iPhone. Open the compass, and swipe the screen to the right, and you’ll find the level.)

But thanks to my DDL, I’ve learned of another level. I actually prefer using this new one, after a situation where I was holding up a rather heavy item and while doing so, tried to access my iPhone level. To the horror of my balancing arm, I was forced to ‘recalibrate’ my compass before I could even access the level, and the heavy item won the battle with gravity.😯

So here is a quicker way to summon a level, thanks to Google (and my DDL).

Just bring up your search engine on your iPhone. (I prefer google, but this works with Safari, too.)

Type in the words: bubble level

and …….

there you have it!

A bubble level. Just ask and you shall receive…..:)

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Happy New Year!

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It’s Ba-a-a-ck! Serial, Season Two

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Last year, Serial took the podcast world by storm.

I listened to Season One, and I was immediately hooked. This original Serial, a spinoff of This American Life, tells the story of a murder in Baltimore, Maryland, back in 1999. The story unfolds in “serial” form (hence, the title:) ), drawing the listener in, week by week. The first season of Serial was wildly successful with 2.2 million listeners per week. . It was the first podcast to achieve a record 5 million downloads on iTunes.

Because of the gi-normous success of Season One, the Serial folks promised more. Season Two begins a new story, following the same serial format of unfolding a bit more week after week.

And now, much to the delight of, literally, millions of fans, Season Two has begun. You can listen to it as a podcast, downloaded it to your computer or stream it directly from the website, here.

The story this year: (copied from the Serial website)

In May 2014, a U.S. Special Operations team in a Black Hawk helicopter landed in the hills of Afghanistan. Waiting for them were more than a dozen Taliban fighters and a tall American, who looked pale and out of sorts: Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier, had been a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly five years, and now he was going home.

President Obama announced Bergdahl’s return in the Rose Garden, with the soldier’s parents at his side. Bergdahl’s hometown of Hailey, Idaho, planned a big celebration to welcome him back. But then, within days—within hours of his rescue, in fact—public reaction to his return flipped. People started saying Bergdahl shouldn’t be celebrated. Some of the soldiers from his unit called him a deserter, a traitor. They said he had deliberately walked off their small outpost in eastern Afghanistan and into hostile territory.

Hailey canceled its celebration. The army launched an investigation. Finally, in March, the military charged Bergdahl with two crimes, one of which carries the possibility of a life sentence. Through all of this, Bergdahl has been quiet. He hasn’t spoken to the press or done any interviews on TV. He’s been like a ghost at the center of a raucous fight.

Now, in Season Two, we get to hear what he has to say.

For this season, Sarah Koenig teams up with filmmaker Mark Boal and Page 1 to find out why one idiosyncratic guy decided to walk away, into Afghanistan, and how the consequences of that decision have spun out wider and wider. It’s a story that has played out in unexpected ways from the start. And it’s a story that’s still going on.

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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.

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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!).

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

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