My Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens… Happy Friday!! Today I’m sharing a few of my Friday favorite things:

Electricity. Sometimes, it’s the little things… On Tuesday, our power went out just before 1:30 in the afternoon. A power outage is never ideal, but because we have well water, it means basically means we lose our water supply. (A small amount of cold water remains in the tank, so I could at least wash my hands when I needed to.) Most power outages are pretty brief – an hour or two, at most. But on Tuesday, the power remained off until almost 8:00, for a total of 6.5 hours!!! In addition to being without access to anything that requires electricity – hello, A/C! – and a normal water supply, my car was in the garage. Despite watching a few YouTube videos about how to manually open an automatic garage door (shout out to my sister for suggesting this), I was unable to open the door and leave my house. This was unfortunate, because I was supposed to pick my daughter up from camp at 4:00. Thankfully, my husband was able to leave work early and get her. While I was waiting for them to come home, all of the smoke detectors in our house starting going off, presumably because the batteries had been drained. To escape the deafening noise, I went outside and sat on our front steps. While there, I looked to the side and noticed a very large bees’ next in the ground next to the steps. It was an all-around, banner afternoon! But the power finally came back on, my husband showed me how to manually open our garage door, we replaced the batteries in the smoke detectors, and I’ve been enjoying my hot showers since then with a renewed appreciation for electricity.

cookbook

This cookbook. While the power was out on Tuesday, I randomly grabbed the Real Simple: Easy, Delicious Meals cookbook from my collection, and started paging through it. I quickly realized that I was in possession of the best. cookbook. ever, and couldn’t believe I’d never realized this before! (A big thank you to my husband, who I’m pretty sure gave me this book for my birthday, about five years ago!)

I do not enjoy cooking in the least, so I try to keep the meals I make as simple as possible, while still feeding my family reasonably healthy and tasty food. This cookbook is made for people like me. The ingredient lists are short and include store-bought shortcuts, like puff pastry; the directions are simple and clear; and the food looks delicious! Some of my favorite recipes include Easy Ice Cream Cake (made with ice cream sandwiches – genius!!), Curried Rice with Shrimp, and Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti. I can’t wait to try the recipes in this book!!

2017-us-weather-map-768x512

The seasons. My sister shared the frightening image above with me this week, and if it’s correct, winter is going to be back with a vengeance this year. I dread almost everything about winter – the cold, the darkness, the ice – but I still love the change of seasons. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for a little over a year, and I really missed the changing seasons. Having lived in the Northeast virtually all of my life, seasonal change is inextricably linked with the passage of time for me. In the Bay Area, everything always looked pretty much the same – no autumn leaves, no glistening snow, no return to life in the spring. So while you’ll hear me complaining about winter from November through March, I know couldn’t live without it.

What are some of your favorites today?

This post contains affiliate links, which help support my blog. Thank you!

There’s an App for That!

I’m definitely not an early adopter of technology. My first smartphone was an iPhone 4S, and I used it for over three years!. (That’s definitely not a record, since my father is still using his iPhone 4!) Similarly, I shied away from downloading and using apps until fairly recently, but now I’m hooked! In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, my husband was looking at my phone and commented, “You have a ton of apps!” I have social media apps, news apps, money-saving apps, and selling apps. I’m always amazed at all the number and variety of apps available! These are some of my current favorites:

Social Media Apps

  • Facebook. I check Facebook several times every day, it’s just a part of life. I first see most news headlines there, and I love that I can keep up with people from lots of different times and places in my life. I have a personal page, as well as one for this blog. (hint, hint)
  • Instagram. I’m not much of a photographer myself, but I love looking at other people’s pictures. I tend to follow others whose posts fall under the headings of food porn, flower porn, and/or scenery pron. I don’t have a personal Instagram account, but I do have one for this blog. (hint, hint, again)

Money-Saving Apps

  • Savingstar. I’ve been using this app for several years, and have received over $243 in cash back. I especially love this app, because once it’s set up, it’s basically effortless to use. As long as I scan my loyalty card at stores like Hannaford, CVS, Price Chopper, and Rite Aid, I receive cash back on my eligible purchases. If I want to work a little harder and scan my receipt, I can get cash back on my Target purchases, too.
  • Ibotta. This one requires a little more work, so I don’t use it quite as religiously. Still, it’s a pretty easy way to get a little cash back on my groceries every week. (Thinking of signing up? Use referral code rbkhnjf to get your $10!)
  • Checkout 51. This one is my least favorite, since there aren’t many offers on products I purchase. However, I typically get a $0.25 credit every week for my produce purchases with this one.

News Apps

  • NPR News. I’m a bit of a podcast junkie, and I can access all of the NPR apps from here, as well as recent news stories.
  • NPR Planet Money. I like that I can choose individual financial news stories to listen to.
  • WAMC. This is my local public radio station, and they have some great programming that I can listen to here. I especially love The Roundtable, Vox Pop, and The Media Project.

Selling Apps

  • eBay. I go through phases of selling things on eBay, and then feeling like it’s too much work. I’m currently in a selling phase, and the app is really handy.
  • Kidizen. I’m dabbling in selling some of my daughter’s outgrown clothes with this one. In my opinion, the fees are fairly high, but I’ve had a couple of sales
  • Fam Styled Child. This is another one I’m trying out for selling my daughter’s outgrown clothes. The fees aren’t bad, but it’s a pretty basic app. I’ve had one sale since I started using it a few weeks ago.

How many apps do you have on your phone? What are some of your favorites?

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog!