Browsing Category: Recommendations

Saving Memories

vhs tapesDoes anyone else have an archive of family videos that are sitting sadly in a box somewhere, waiting for the day they see new life and can be easily enjoyed again? I know my parents have so many tapes of themselves pre-kids, and my sisters and I when we were younger that rarely get watched because it involves a long setup, followed by fast-forwarding through minutes of tape that have no footage on them.

All this to say, I just found out about a company called Southtree and I am so impressed. They accept any type of video tape, as well as film, photos, and audio to be converted to digital files. They even clean up poor sound quality caused by age, and can create separate tracks to be easily sorted through.

My first objective is to track down the cassette tape of my Dad singing from when I was younger (or maybe even before me! He was a professional musician in his early years). I’ve been meaning to transfer it to a digital copy practically since I got my hands on it, as the recording is not longer perfect, and being without a cassette player I can’t listen to it anymore.

The whole experience looks beautiful too, with a really simple website to get pricing, and then a user account where you can track the progress of your order. Can’t all user experiences be so simple? 🙂

For anyone who’s interested, I have a coupon code for 25% off any order. Just enter ‘blog25’ and use it by July 15th.

This post was created in partnership with eAccountable. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Estate possible.

My Recommendation from the Best Pictures Nominees

philomenaNow that Awards Season is over, what did you think of the nominees? Konrad and I made a point of watching all the films nominated for Best Picture this year, and it felt awesome watching the Oscars having seen everything. I hesitate to even pick one to recommend, because they were all great movies, but the one that lingered with me the longest was Philomena. It’s based on the true story of a women who was forced to give up her child while living in a convent, and her journey to track him down. It’s a very moving story and the film most definitely did it justice.

My Favorite New iPhone App

umano appEarlier this week, I downloaded the app Umano, and have been thoroughly enjoying it. Umano allows you to subscribe to a variety of news sources, blogs, and content categories, and will provide you with articles that are read to you by humans (vs. a Siri type reader). The articles are added to a playlist which you can then listen to during your commute, workout, or (in my case) while you clean the house. I’ve never been into books on tape, but the 5-10 minute segments speak to me (hah!), so maybe I should reconsider. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, I highly recommend you try Umano out – it’s free! Listening to a great playlist is the perfect lazy Sunday activity.

Recent Read: The Bone Season

The Bone Season by Samantha ShannonOne of my gifts from Konrad this Christmas was The Bone Season, a book I had put on my Amazon Wish List without any thought, like I usually do when someone recommends a book but I don’t have time to investigate it. I just finished it over the weekend, in a last-half-of-the-book, can’t-stop-turning-the-page marathon.

The Bone Season is sort of dystopian 1984 meets the current supernatural trend. If you had any interest in the The Hunger Games, I think you would like this book. Without going into too much detail, it opens in a future London, which is now a totalitarian state. Much of the government focus is on ridding the population of anyone showing clairvoyant powers, of which the main character, Paige, does. She has found a place for herself amongst other “unnaturals,” but her world is rocked when she is arrested and taken to a secret colony where the race of the Rephaim rule.

As soon as I finished I went straight to Google to see if there are any plans for a movie. Usually a book I love being brought to life on film is a nightmare, but in this case I think it would translate well. Plus there are a few characters I’d like to swoon over in human form.

As it turns out, the movie rights have already been acquired by 20th Century Fox. Not only that, but the author (who is only 22!) has plans to write six more books in the series. All good news aside from the waiting game for more books!

Have you read anything good lately? I could use some suggestions!

My Current Favorite Way to Learn French

Duolingo: Free Language LearningOne of my “resolutions” this year was to spend a little time each day learning French. I’ve faded in and out of language learning for the past 15 years, and this is finally the year I put my foot down. I’ve been using Duolingo to study daily. It’s a free website with a number of available languages, goes quite in-depth topic wise, and has a great user interface. I’d highly recommend it! Now I just need a few French pen-pals.

How to Cycle Supplements to Clear Hormonal Acne

Cycle supplements to clear up hormonal acneLast month I did a roundup of my Top 3 Holy Grail Products for Acne Prone Skin. I would love to follow that up by sharing what I take to improve hormones internally. With all the plastics, toxins and birth control most women are exposed to in the modern age, many of us are left with hormones that are completely out of whack. I made a choice to stop taking the pill in an effort to reduce the amount of synthetic hormones in my body, but it did take its toll on my skin. I’m not bluffing when I say that adding these two supplements to my daily routine cleared up my skin dramatically. I went from “why me??” to THERE’S A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL in a matter of weeks. Here’s the trick:

Alternate between fish oil and evening primrose oil based on your menstrual cycle. Here’s how:

DAYS 1-14: Day 1 is when you start your period. Take fish oil daily for the next two weeks.
DAY 15-28: Switch over to evening primrose oil. Take every day until you are back to Day 1.

That’s it! This system truly changed the health of my skin, and I even experience less PMS as well.

My preferred brand is Nordic Naturals – I take the Ultimate Omega Fish Oil and Omega Woman Evening Primrose Oil. They’re both high-quality, and have lemon to discourage the fishy after-taste (I haven’t had any problems with it!)

If you’re suffering from hormonal breakouts, I definitely encourage you to give this a try. Good luck!

Give Yourself the Best Free Early Christmas Gift

Momentum Chrome ExtensionFor anyone who’s a Chrome user, I have the best suggestion for you to download right now. The Momentum extension replaces the standard Chrome home/empty tab page and replaces it with a beautiful living breathing homepage. The image changes everyday, along with a quote, and updated weather info. You also get a little to do list and the “What is your focus today?” prompt which I honestly appreciate seeing every morning. It’s a small change that makes your world a little brighter.

Download it here.