Replacement for Google Reader - MixTab

I was sad to find out that Google is closing the Google Reader site.  It' been something I've used for years to read all the blogs I follow.  Having a reader is so much easier than clicking blog to blog to blog especially if you follow many blogs like I do.

I follow my friends, I follow cooking blogs, I follow scrapbooking manufacturers and designers, I follow stamping sites, and other stuff just to keep up on all the latest happenings.

So, since I operate on a Mac, and I have an IPhone, I checked apps that were available for both.  I found one called MixTab which so far has been pretty cool.

First you set categories, and as you add the blogs, you add them into a particular category.  I have categories for my friends, cooking, scrapbooking, etc.

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Once you bring up a category, you see posts starting with the most recent, and you see a brief version of what's on the new page and even better a picture (if the page has one).

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If you want to look at a particular blog up close, or if you prefer to see the whole read just click on the tab and it brings you to the full page.  From here you can just hit next and it takes you to the next blog post in the category.

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There are tabs at the top, where you can tweet the post, or you can email it to someone, or you can view the original to see comments.  You can also "star" items as favorites which is something that google also had.

So that being said, there are a couple of things that I don't particularly like, one of which is adding the blog you want to follow to the site.  You have to locate the feed link on the particular blog then add it to your category.  With blogger, you just entered in the blog address and it "found"the feed. Now, finding the feed is not too terribly hard, it's on most pages as a link, however, I have had a problem finding the link on some blogs.  So ... if you own a blog, and you want people to follow your blog, make sure the link to the feed is clearly visable.

The other thing that's different, but not in a bad way, is the pages, don't "disappear" or archive like with the google reader, so you just click through the blogs until you get to one you've seen.

I'm still playing around, but so far, I really like it.  


Schedules and Scheduling

Do you keep busy.

Do you have to keep track of your schedule, your husbands schedule, and maybe even some kids ?

Do you have a smart phone ?

If you do there is a very cool app called Cozi.

It's a Calendar/Schedule.  It's a To Do List.  It sorts by person.  It sends you message alerts.  You can keep your shopping list on it - in fact, several shopping lists.  You can work from your phone, or work online.  If you do FlyLady (it's a housecleaning thing), you can import your FlyLady Zone tasks and create daily lists.

I've been working with it for several months now.  I don't remember how I found it, I might of been playing around and downloading apps just because they sounded cool.  It doesn't really matter.  If you coordinate lots of appointments and schedules for yourself and or your family then check it out.  

Right now I've got the scrapbooking weekend crops for 2012 loaded (just the ones I'm pretty sure I can attend), plus birthdays, holidays, doctor appts, pretty much everything I need (although I haven't added daily work stuff yet).  I've always worked with a planner, so it's taken me some time to transition from paper to smartphone, but it's almost the same and now I don't have to carry my day planner with me.  

Check it out - the best part ...it's a free app.  (you can upgrade later if you want)

( for the record, I'm in no way getting paid for this - these are unsolicited comments - I like the product, it works for me, so for what it's worth, I pass the information on to my family and friends.)


Hopefully an end to printing stuff

I have a new addiction ... Pinterest.

In the past, I've been known to print off all sorts of things from recipes to craft ideas, to cards and scrapbook layouts I like to craft tutorials.  Plus the assorted pages from catalogs that spur ideas for creative projects.

Now with Pinterest, I don't have to print the stuff off which is saving the trees as well as preventing a paper clutter build up at home.  You just "Pin" the link to the item on boards that are also shared with anyone following you.

Here's the link in case you want to follow what I "pin".  The cool part about it, is if you can follow only the boards you have an interest in, so if you don't care about scrapbook layouts, you don't have to follow that board.

Follow Me on Pinterest

It's loads of fun and I'm a bit addicted to pinning.


Cricut Cake Launch

Tonight was the world release of the Cricut Cake.  For those of you not into scrapbooking a very simplistic explanation of the Cricut is that it's a machine that uses a cartridge to cut designs out of paper that you can use on a page or card.  The Cricut Cake uses those same cartridges, but cuts designs out of fondant or icing sheets that you can use to decorate a cake (or other baked goods).

Cricutcake I don't know why this product intrigues me so.  If you really know me, you would know that I haven't had a working oven for over 15 years.  I have a couple of burners on the stove, a microwave, and my toaster oven.  (Almost anything you can cook in a regular oven, you can cook in a toaster oven, you just need to add a little bit of time to the recipe).  Anyway, I digress.  They launched the product at midnight and were present on Twitter, Facebook, the Cricut Message boards, and a live chat.  It was a lot of fun.  I don't know how many people were on the live chat but it was hoppin'.  I hung out for a little over 2 hours and I think they hit over 2000 sold in that time frame.  Whoever is in charge of their marketing is doing an excellent job of creating buzz.  They really have their pulse on the many channels of communication used today.  I received an email about the launch, I saw the product previously on the Ultimate Challenge, they're on Facebook and tonight they tied it all together and we had a lot of fun.

Now ... I really, really want one.  I have a regular cricut for scrapbooking, and I'd love one of these for baking.  I'm thinking how cool would it be to have my deserts look like they were made by a professional.  I'm serious, noone would believe they came from me.

By the way ... I do have an oven now.  I just got it at the end of March from my sister (who wanted to go back to a gas stove).  It's not installed yet but is on the "honey do" list.  My anniversary is next week so I've got my fingers crossed.

Tomorrow (or actually in about an hour) they'll be at it again.


Atlantis

This link takes you to a holiday card for Atlantis Resorts.  The little girl in the picture is the daughter of a friend/coworker of mine.  I've know her since she was an infant.

If you can help her out she is also in a contest - you can vote here.

 

She is in two places (right now on page 1 and page 2) - her name is Tristen of Ft. Lauderdale.  You can vote for more than one child and you can vote daily.


Organize Magazine

Organize_premiere_2_thumb5b35d_1I stumbled across this while surfing and I think I can really use this magazine.  From the website it looks l ike CK and AMM are some of the advertisers, plus there is an interview with Peter Walsh of TLC's Clean Sweep.  One of the things I like is a section called "Neat Things" which are cool orgainzing products.  I've emailed them to find out what stores will carry the premeire issue, but I will more than likely subscribe regardless.  It really looks like a great magazine.


Grilled Cheese is GReat!

I got a Cuisinart GR-4 griddlB0001xaswq_01_pt01__aa280_sclzzzzzzz_v11_3er for Christmas.  And I just love it.  So far I've made grilled cheese, grilled turkey and cheese, Chicken Quesadillas, and more grilled cheese.   I made a special trip out to the store to buy bread and cheese, just so I could play around some.  This thing has two different plates - ridged and flat and changing them out is so easy - it also has a hinged top that expands with the size of the sandwich, so piling up a sandwich is not a problem. 

When I was growing up, mom had a waffle iron/griddle and we'd make grilled sandwiches on the griddle side.  My sandwich tonight really brought back some of those fond memories - the added bonus is that it's so easy to clean, even I can do it (if you know me, you know that I am domestically challenged).

Tonight I made grilled turkey, cheese and bacon on sour dough bread. Yum.  I meant to take a picture, but it looked too good, and I must have been hungry because I forgot.  I think I'm going to get adventurous this weekend and try grilling something a little more fancy like maybe fish or chicken or maybe I'll try making pancakes.  I'll try to take a picture if I do.


Single Cup Coffee Makers

Last January, I was at a scrapbooking retreat in North Florida, and the hosts had a Keurig coffee maker which uses little cups (rather than pods) to brew coffee (and tea) from.  Well I liked it so much I bought one for my husband for Valentines day.  He loves it!  No more running out to the local convenience store on the weekend.  Even though I don't like coffee, I still love it too because it also brews a perfect cup of tea.  We're in the process of trying all of the available flavors, but I love the Chai Tea.

Today was the Cauley Square car show - which was fun.  We arrived just a little late and the place was already filled.  We ended up parking in what we refer to as the "dust bowl".  A parking area of stones and rocks which is pretty dusty - now we'll have to detail the car again before the show next week.  Doesn't matter though - we had fun!