Sunday, August 22, 2010

Manic Mondays: My Best Recommendations

Today, I'd like to recommend some good stuff to you.

Glee Soundtracks...I now have four. Yes, I am addicted to Glee and I plan on using some of the songs for a music project in one of my classes next month. I am really excited about it!

I still listen to Paperclipping Roundtable and The Digi Show, both of which are about scrapbooking and are produced by the same people (Noell from and her husband Izzy from

Izzy recently started a new podcast with a guy named Tim Conley. This one is called Foolish Adventure. It's all about starting your own web business, and like most podcasts, it is FREE. I really recommend this one if you have any inkling at all of turning your passion into a career. Izzy no longer works for corporate America because he makes more than enough to support his family on his web business. (His wife earns her share with her scrapbook web site!) This is a great way to get the information you need all in one place.

Other podcast gems I found recently:
The Guy's Perspective - this is basically a group of dads who sit around talking about marriage and families. It's funny and clever, and for female listeners, we can glean lots of useful information from it.

The Moth - If you like listening to good and moving stories, this is the perfect podcast for you. Actually, the Moth seems to be a membership community of people who enjoy honing their storytelling skills, and the Moth provides a stage and an audience for them to do so. Many are professional storytellers of one sort or another, but others are just starting out. Each week, they feature one or two stories on their free podcast. If you want more, you have to pay for a membership to get access. Very tempting.

Annoying Orange - Just a funny video podcast about an orange and his encounters with other foods. My students loved it. You can see Annoying Orange on video podcast or free or you can just check him out on YouTube.

Blogs into Books
Finally, would you pay $84 for a book? What if the book was written by yourself? I recently took my old blog Mande's J-Life and put it through a web site called Shared Book - Blogs2Books, just to see what my book would look like. It would look awesome!!!! But, it is 234 pages and would cost a pretty penny. I am going to look at other sites and compare prices. My other idea is to put all of my columns from "Surviving Japan", published in the AFWJ Journal since 2005, into one blog and then have it made into a book. I think that would be an even better Xmas present to myself, since I am planning to officially retire this column in the December 2010 issue!

iPhone Apps
Aren't free Apps fun? Here are the ones I have so far.
Fun Ones
Shazam - the best ever. When you are driving in the car or watching a movie and you hear a song that you like, you can turn on your Shazam App. Shazam will listen to it for a minute or so, send it in to their database, and analyze it. Then they send back the info to you - name of song, artist, album, exactly where and when you tagged it. It is awesomely addicting. On my 5th tag, it alerted me that I am only allowed 5 tags per month! Five tags! I was already addicted. It asked if I would like to buy Shazam to get unlimited's $4.99, but for a music-lover, I think it's worth it.

Movies - lets you see the trailers of movies and then gives you theater schedule information. It doesn't go as far as Japan, but I do like to know what is coming out in theaters.

Baby Flash Cards - something for the kids to play with when they are bored.

Everyday Useful Ones
Evernote - You need to have opened your own free account on to then use this app. Evernote allows you to save all your ideas, web pages you like, notes, etc into one place, and you can create folders according to project or topic. The mobile version allows you to photograph, type up notes, or voice-record things you need on the spot and then saves them into your evernote folders.

Weight Watchers Mobile - Again, you'll need to open your own account online to use the mobile version, but you can track your meals and activities on the go throughout the day and it immediate syncs up with your online account.

Relish Relish - Once again, you'll need to have opened your own account online, but you can access your recipes and weekly shopping list on the go. Shopping just got a whole lot easier.

Healthy Recipes by SparkPeople - Another great source for recipes, so if you are in the store and have no idea what to buy and make for dinner, you can easily access recipes through this app.

Time Wasters
Facebook - just as much of a time waster on the go as it is when you are sitting at your computer, but this App makes it very easy to check up on your friends.

Twitter - I have not used Twitter much yet, but I do have an account. I made an account mainly to follow some of my favorite scrapbooking icons, but once in a while I do post a sentence. Having it on my iPhone means that I could potentially post while traveling and then have something to scrapbook about when I get home. How easy it is to forget all those random thoughts you have while on the road.

Skype - I used Skype mobile for the first time the other day to talk with Louise, who is currently in New Zealand for the summer break. I didn't have a good wi-fi connection so we kept getting cut off, but I can see the potential for this. International phone calls would be free and I could call while on the go or at work...this means that those nasty time differences would not be such an obstacle. Mom, Shannon, Amy, et al - get hooked up on skype, please!

1 comment:

D. N. said...

Hi Amanda,
I just now discovered your blog! What a great blog! You have a great style of writing!