By Winnie Yu
From Completely You
Not long ago, I didn't even own a cell phone. All I had was a small disposable phone that I kept buried in my purse in the event of an emergency. It was too embarrassing to even take out, as my daughter liked to tell me.
Then I got smart and got a smartphone -- an iPhone to be exact. And now there's apps I can't live without. My favorites:
1. All Recipes Dinner Spinner, free
Tonight I'm in the mood to make a soup that includes chicken, and I've got only 20 minutes to make it. Rather than rifle through my unwieldy folder of recipes, I can turn to All Recipes Finder, plug in my requirements -- type of food, main ingredient, time available -- into a spinner. The app then spits out a list of possible recipes that match my needs.
It takes the guesswork out of the age old question, "What's for dinner, mom?"
2. Mindfulness Meditation, $1.99
All moms need a few minutes of clarity, and that's what I love about this app. It has a soothing male voice that talks you through a simple meditation, first by focusing on your breath, then by paying attention to your other senses. You can use it for as little as five minutes or as much as 30 minutes.
3. Coupon Sherpa, free
This handy app lets me peek at coupons from stores throughout the area. For example, I know there's a 20-percent-off coupon at Aeropostale, and a free mini-candle with the purchase of $10 or more at Bath & Body Works.
4. Yelp Mobile, free
So I'm out of town, and I need to find a restaurant. Enter Yelp, the restaurant app that locates restaurants, bars, drugstores and gas stations as well as auto repair shops and other local businesses.
A search under "Everything" even turns up local vets and the country club. But my favorite feature, of course, is the restaurant locator, which helps me even when I'm home.
5. Showtimes, free
As a movie aficionado, I love this app. It tells me which movies are playing at local theaters and when, and it lets me make movie dates while I'm on the go.
So if my friend texts me, telling me she wants to see a movie, I can tell her instantly where we can see it and what time it starts, without digging through newspapers or combing the Internet. You also get a movie trailer and movie reviews with each film, too.
Winnie Yu is Completely You's mom blogger. She has two daughters (Samantha, 14, and Annie, 12) and is the author of seven books, including New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman's Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention andWebMD.com.
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