Top 5 Picks for the Week, July 27, 2012

Olympic Apps, 5 minute Videos, Frozen Yogurt, Tip Junkies, and Acoustic Music

1. London 2012 Olympics App

Photo Credit: play.google.com

Photo Credit: play.google.com

Today’s the day, it’s finally here, opening ceremonies for the London 2012 Summer Olympics kick off tonight.  With weeks worth of games and hundreds of competitions, keeping up with the action, results, and schedules is no small feat.  So of course, this day and age, they have created an app.  Developers have fashioned several of them, actually.  NBC has their own as does the BBC, there is also a general Olympic Medal Alert app.  However, the most comprehensive and user-friendly one I have found is London 2012 free for both Android and iOS.  This application provides live updates, news, calendars, athlete profiles, and the ability to customize the settings for your country, time zone, as well as set reminders for when your particular events are occurring.  You can browse through information by sport, country, or particular competitor.  Enhanced with professional photography and editorial interviews, London 2012 will help you stay connected and cheer on your favorite teams.

2. 5min Life Videopedia

Photo Credit: 5minlife.com

Photo Credit: 5minlife.com

I don’t want to come across as lazy, but when I have the choice to read detailed instructions or watch an informative video, I choose the video every time.  I’ll chalk it up to being a “visual learner”.  But there is a difference from being told what to do and actually seeing someone else do it.  5min is an online resource for videos covering almost every subject imaginable.  For specific tasks and inquiries, I generally prefer this to the open source of  YouTube.  The media is concise and well monitored; so when you search for, let’s say, how to fix a leaky toilet, you get just that with information you can trust.  They have 23 different categories with thousands of clips covering everything from automotive maintenance to bridal fashion.  Their free educational tutorials presented in under 5 minutes will help you complete projects yourself, saving you time and money.

3. Frozen Yogurt

Photo Credit: Yophoric.com

Photo Credit: Yophoric.com

Frozen yogurt is nothing new, but lately shops have been popping up all over.  It seems like here on the East Coast we can’t go a month without hearing about a new franchise opening in our area.  Trying to stay healthy, frozen yogurt has become the dessert of choice over traditional ice cream.  We feel like we still get a little something sweet without completely ruining the diet; and of course there are health benefits with the live cultures in yogurt, so we can actually convince ourselves that indulging is good for us.  A far cry from what you find in the freezer section at the grocery store, soft serve frozen yogurt first started becoming mainstream in the 1980’s with the introduction of TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt) chain.  From just a few flavors, things have now exploded into a million dollar industry with shops offering multiple yogurt options and dozens of toppings.  Red Mango is quickly moving to the front of the leader board.  My personal favorite, however, is a new business in Chester, New Jersey, Yophoric.  Similar to the set up and flow of larger franchises, Yophoric goes above and beyond with not only a better atmosphere and environment, but also a superior product all around.  Their flavors and add-ons are the best I have tasted so far.

4. Tip Junkie

Photo Credit: TipJunkie.com

Photo Credit: TipJunkie.com

The name pretty much says it all.  Tip Junkie is a website that I can always go to for inspiration, new ideas, and helpful suggestions.  They focus on creative projects supplemented with free printablesrecipesgiveaways, and gifts.  Catering to the stay-at-home parent, Tip Junkie also provides blogging tips, links for work-at-home options, and “Mom-preneur” shops.  To get more involved you can sign up for a free membership.  This will allow you to organize your favorite activities and share your own crafts and project ideas (even without having your own website or blog).  You can also become a part of their listings to help promote your products.  Tip Junkie is a great professional site for adding joy to your crafting and bringing that dream of staying at home closer to a reality.

5. Marie Digby

Photo Credit: MarieDigbymusic.com

Photo Credit: MarieDigbymusic.com

A beautiful voice complemented by beautiful features, Marie Digby is best known for her acoustic renderings of popular songs.  She came on the scene thanks to the popularity of her self-posted videos on YouTube.  I was unaware of her internet success, but became intrigued after hearing her unplugged version of Linkin Park’s hit “What I’ve Done“.  Her musical skills are fantastic and recent albums have started showcasing her songwriting capabilities, as well.  Compared to Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat, Digby’s lyrical style shines through her unadorned videos and honest performances.  Her most recent album, Your Love, was released last fall.  Hopefully, she will continue to explore her writing abilities and entertain us with new songs and videos in the near future.

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