Top 10 Apps

I know I'm not alone when I confess to spending entirely too much time on my iphone. Sometimes I think it's become such a part of my everyday life that I couldn't exactly function without it! When I had jury duty a few weeks back, we had to hand over our phones and sit for hours on end in an empty jury room without them. I'm telling you- it was torture! We have totally forgotten how to just sit idol and wait without a phone or some kind of device to keep us company. I felt so disconnected from the world! Between calls, texts and constant email access, we are ever-accessible and connected to anyone who might want or need us. Brilliant!

So, this isn't going to be your typical "I'm going to spend less time with my nose in my phone and more time out in the 'real world'" posts (although it should be). I simply can't see myself sticking to that one. Instead, I've decided to direct this post at my fellow phone-aholics and discuss some of my favorite Free Apps (in no particular order)...

1) Facebook. Yep, I'm one of those. I check it first thing in the morning, before I close my eyes at night and a few times throughout the day in between. I admit, it's an addiction, and some days it's a true problem. However, I love the connection it gives me to old friends I probably never would have heard from again and family I hardly ever get to see. It's a great place to keep up with current events (I hardly ever watch or read the news anymore) and share things about me and my family that I wouldn't usually be able to share with so many. Not to mention what Facebook has done for my business. Without social networking & word of mouth, my business would never have came to be!

2) Instagram. After FB, I do tend to spend the most phone time on Instagram. But can you blame me considering the photo-freak that I am? Quickie filters and other new customizations allow you to take a mundane pic and fancy it up before sharing it with your friends. I used this app to keep track of my entire Project 365 last year instead of posting them to a blog and praying people actually went to look at it. It offered better exposure, and heck, it's just fun!

3) Pinterest. This is another addiction of mine. Pretty much anyone I know who uses it regularly is totally and hopelessly hooked. There's just something about filling boards with awesome ideas, yummy recipes and all the things, clothes, home decor, and gadgets you could ever want. I know people who have their entire weddings planned with ideas on Pinterest and they haven't even met their forever mate yet! It's become such a big thing for a lot of ladies that it's actually something I ask potential bride clients of mine. Do you have Pinterest? Do you mind if I follow you to get an idea of your style? Speaking of my biz, it's also my go-to place to grab pose and prop ideas prior to just about every session I'm headed to.

4) YouTube. I love YouTube. It's not just the funny animal videos or catchy music videos that get me either. I LOVE vlogs (Video-blogs). I would totally have one of my own if I could stand to edit my own face on a computer monitor all the time. Oh, and if I had half-way interesting things to talk about. I'm much more comfortable typing out these ramblings... Anywho... There are a handful of vlogs that I (and K) have been following for a while now. They are so entertaining! Like little windows into these people's lives. I love watching how other people live. Call me nosey.

5) Goodreads. If you love to read, you'll love Goodreads. It keeps track of all the books you've read, are reading and want to read, and allows you to rate them to your liking! It recommends books to you based on what you've read and liked. It's also a social thing, so you can connect with your other bookworm friends to compare your books, what you thought, and comment on each other's choices. What a great idea!

6) Shazam. Speaking of great ideas, this little app allows you to "listen" to any song that's playing and will recognize it! It'll give you the title, singer, album, lyrics, whatever. And then it gives you a link to itunes to buy it if you're really in love. It also keeps on file everything you've "Shazamed" so you can go back through it later and get the songs all at once if that's what you'd prefer. It's great for those "who the heck sings this song?!" moments. :)

7) OurGroceries. A new discover of mine, this is a great app for couples or people who live together to keep track of the grocery list. You both download the app and log in to the same account. You can both add items to the grocery list at any time, so whenever one of you makes it to the store, you have the entire list right there on hand. You can check the list off as you pick up items and then once you check out, you can simply clear the list and start all over. This has been awesome for me and hubby. He uses the last of the milk, adds it to the list and I just check the app before I leave work so I can pick some up on the way home. Handy!

8) Mapquest. There are a bunch of navigational apps out there, including imaps that comes right with your iphone. However, for ease of use and the least chance of getting lost (thanks google maps!), I always rely on Mapquest. I need navigation quite a bit to find clients houses, wedding venues, etc, so it really comes in handy. It also has the feature to look for hotels, food, gas, etc. along your way, and even shows you where the heaviest traffic is on your route. It's also been the best of the ones I've tried to estimate what time you'll be arriving at your destination.

 9) FlightAware. Speaking of travel, I don't do much flying (like any, ever. I'm not kidding, I've never flown.), but I do have family and friends who do, and this is a great app to keep track of their flights, if they're delayed, where they are in the air, when they're scheduled to depart and land. So, when my mom went to Hawaii last year, I watched all her flights, and knew just when to text her "Aloha!" :)

 10) MyFitnessPal. This app has been much-used lately, and I've already lost 5 lbs! You put in your weight, height, activity level, etc. and what your goal weight is and it tells you how many calories you should eat a day to achieve your goal. I am allowed 1200 calories per day, and let me tell you - at first it was really hard! However, it made me choose all zero-calorie drinks, better food choices all-around. It also tracks your water intake, exercise (and adds the calories you burn right back to your food balance! -- motivation to move = more food!) and weight loss progress. 

11) C25K. This stands for "Couch to 5k". Supposedly, it takes you slowly from a sedentary life to the point of being able to run a 5k. I say "supposedly" because I've gotten to week 3 a couple of times now and couldn't get any further. I guess I may be a bit more sedentary then most? I am really out of shape though. The way it works is you do it 3x a week and it has a whole program planned out to how long you walk, then run, then walk, then run repeatedly, slowly changing to less walking time and more running time over a period of weeks. As soon as the sidewalks aren't covered in snow anymore, I'm gonna give this one another shot. It's a great app, I'm just a difficult subject!

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