The Best of August

I love when others share their favorite recent finds!  Often I find that it is the small things that can make a huge difference in brightening my day: an app that helps manage my to-do lists, a special cup of coffee, the fresh herbs that thrive in the warmer months.  Here are some of my favorites from August.

1.  The Skimm newsletter

On days when I don't want to watch or read the news first thing in the morning, I appreciate having the Skimm delivered directly to my inbox.  Some news stories we care about following; other stories (Brad and Angelina's wedding, anyone?) we don't.  The Skimm provides a rundown on all of the major headlines for the day with links to articles with details.  I like making sure I have a grasp on everything that has happened in the previous twenty-four hours, and the Skimm makes the effort painless and streamlined.



2.  Alter Eco quinoa chocolate

Quinoa in chocolate seemed so weird--until I tried it.  The small pearls of quinoa taste like rice crispies!  And it's totally healthy, right?  Try a bar if you see one.  The quinoa adds a nice crunch, which perfectly complements the smooth and rich chocolate.

3.  IExit app

This app was so handy for our road trips this summer.  It tells you which restaurants, gas stations, and rest stops are nearby.  Dan and I prefer to stop at truck stops to fill up our gas tank since they tend to be cleaner, and knowing when we could find a Luv's or Pilot allowed us to skip other options. 



4.  Uber app

We're a little late to the party on this one, but we, too, like most of the nation, are head over heals in love with Uber.  The prices are incredibly competitive and the convenience cannot be beat.  I have had spotty experiences reserving cabs in the past, but Uber's almost-instantaneous arrival takes the pain out of waiting.  There have been some unsettling reports on Uber's practices, so I'm reluctant to give unqualified praise, but I appreciate how Uber has made a dreaded necessity--getting a taxi--effortless.

5.  The Choosing Raw Cookbook

One of my favorite vegan bloggers released her cookbook this summer.  Author Gena Hamshaw is articulate, thoughtful, measured, and accessible.  If you are interested in learning more about vegan or raw food, this book is a great entre. 



This is another application that has been around for quite some time, but Dan and I continue to discover the depths of what it can do.  Mint makes budgeting a breeze and tracks all sorts of data.  You can separate out almost any information your heart desires.  I like it also because I have a hard time spending money solely on myself (when it comes to things for the house or purchases that more than just I can use, it's another story).  Tracking my personal budget helps me give myself permission to indulge in occasional treats like books and jewelry.