Quick Tech 411: ‘Way-Nee-Loh’

Unknown-1 WANELO has all the things we Want, Need & Love!

WANT: A social network that gathers millions of products you want from over 350,000 stores worldwide-bringing them to you, the future WANELOer (trust us, you want to be one!) on your phone, tablet or desktop.

x200NEED: WANELO was founded by Deena Varshavskaya who simply wanted an easier way to shop online.  She spent two years and her savings to develop the site and persevered through 40 rejections for funding before officially launching in San Francisco in 2012. Deena represents what we need: more women entrepreneurs, more women in tech, more women taking risks, more women leading and more women following their passion!

LOVE: Clean, crisp and a pleasure to navigate, the WANELO site (for both men and women) is quickly customized  by you! The site is populated by curators, products and shops that you choose to follow based upon interest and you collect products as well through searches.  Similar in concept to collecting goodies and following pinners on Pinterest you then have the option to purchase the items you save.  Items you save, will generate similar or related products which will appear in your MAGIC feed, and, magically, we adore everything that has materialized there.

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We are just getting started in fact, feel free to send anything on our “Things I Want as Gifts” List! Happy shopping!

Full House

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 2.12.27 PMThe arrival of the holiday season most often means the arrival of house guests.  Whether you relish having them in your home or not, smooth visits begin by welcoming your guests with a thoughtfully appointed guest room or space.*

When planning a guest room experience, think about the elements you enjoy when in house at a luxury hotel or when a houseguest yourself. We have streamlined our list of ABSOLUTES to just five:

1. A Place to Rest Their Suitcase

If you have space for guests to unpack, that’s lovely, and a luggage rack eases the process. If their suitcase will also double as a closet/dresser an elevated rack is key. A dedicated place for the suitcase ensures the luggage, which has been out and about in public collecting dirt and germs, stays off the bed.

2. The Fresh, Allergy-Free Bed

The Claritin down alternatives pillows and comforters are an easy way to accommodate all guests comfortable, including those with allergies, and alleviate the need for keeping extra sets of pillows/duvets. Beside, who doesn’t’ want protection from dust mites, pollen and other allergens? A water carafe or bottled water bedside is handy too.

3. The Charging Station & Access

Almost everyone needs a power source for phones, tablets and laptops-so make power easy and accessible. The Jackery Giant is a sleek, charger that blends seamlessly with any decor and will win over even the most particular of guests. A printed card or note with the house wireless network name and password is a nod to our favorite hotels that include access for guests free of charge.

4. The Full-Service Bath

If the guest bath still features supplies from last year, it’s time! Fresh shampoos, soap, toothpaste tubes, extra toothbrush, pain reliever, tums, disposable razor and bandaids make all the difference. Once a quarter, rotate your guest room supplies into a bathroom in use daily to use up and replenish. Don’t forget the extra tp and plunger-no guest wants to have to ask a host for those items-and the girl products too!

5. A Touch of Welcome

Whether you choose a few books or magazines or display a meaningful photo for your guest, leave a small gift on their bed or simply a hand written note-these are the touches that will start the visit off on the right foot!

*Actually, welcoming guests begins at the door!  Try shopwelcome for a fresh take on the welcome mat!

Twist on a Twenty-First

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We love this fresh take on a 21st birthday celebration-a champagne brunch complete with lawn games, vintage touches and a relaxed vibe.  

 IMG_4633A birthday girl with a love for Sundays -“It’s my favorite day of the week” – Sara set her sights on a sophisticated morning to celebrate with her college friends, rather than the traditional ‘bar-crawl” usually associated with this birthday.

Guests were greeted with a vintage typewriter for sharing notes and strict instructions from the birthday girl to turn off cell phones and plug into the moment.

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 Cornhole and oversized Jenga sets provided just enough activity, and the pool and garden were a welcome change from spending the afternoon in the library studying.

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Breakfast was a hearty brunch served family style, with plenty of mimosas, bloody mary’s and champagne to toast the day, but first, coffee!

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No strangers to having every moment of their lives captured, this group was content to pose for dozens of group photos before boarding the party bus back to school.

 Happy Birthday, Sara, it was wonderful to be a part of your special day!

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Hey, Pumpkin!

IMG_4796It finally feels like fall is in the air and that means the return of all things pumpkin.  

From gracing our doorstep in heaps to taking center stage at dessert time, this seasonal signature squash brings a bold spot of color to our decor as well as remarkable health benefits.  An excellent source of fiber, vitamin A and potassium, pumpkin can boost eyesight, aid in weightless and refuel the body post workout. It is naturally rich in phytosterols, which has been shown to reduce LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, as well as the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, which may play a part in cancer prevention.  Pumpkin is hydrating, at 90% water, can boost your mood and is beneficial in keeping skin smooth and wrinkle-free.

The average American will reportedly consume five pounds of pumpkin this year, but it may be that Americans love pumpkin-flavored foods and beverages even more. Pumpkin beer now accounts for two-thirds of all fall beer sales, according to Nielsen and Starbucks’ early release of their Pumpkin Spice Lattes felt like a national holiday. (As an said, we tend to agree with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s take on this spiced drink, that “the coffee that tastes like a candle.”)

But back to the task at hand: sharing our favorite pumpkin-inspired foods.  If you have the time, bake The GREAT Pumpkin Bread because it’s amazing and nothing tastes more like fall. If you are slim on time, we have to admit that Trader Joe’s offers a good alternative when baking from scratch isn’t always accessible.  Their boxed pumpkin mix, with its prep time of four minutes flat, is causing us to stockpile our pantry for the months ahead, like a squirrel gathering acorns.

Equally as delicious is another new favorite: Pumpkin Pancakes, also from Trader Joe’s. This light and delicious breakfast treat is irresistible when topped with melted butter and paired with crispy bacon and charmed ever the most seasoned pancake connoisseur.

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If you want to add a little pumpkin to your body regime, try a moisturizing pumpkin body mask (1/2 cup each of pumpkin puree and cold-pressed coconut oil with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon).  Massage into skin, wait 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

For the extreme pumpkin experience, head to the World Pumpkin Capital in Half Moon Bay, California for the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival to “pay homage to the great and almighty gourd.” Complete with a pumpkin parade, art & crafts, a $30,000 pumpkin weigh off and “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands” competing on three stages, there is plenty to celebrate at this world-famous annual event.  So raise your Jack-o-tini and toast the arrival of Orange October.

 How are you enjoying this seasonal favorite?

Quick Tech 411-Good Eggs

Spend just two minutes on the  Good Eggs site and you’ll either pop in an order right away or send them an email begging they come to your community next.  At the heart of this tech company is a genuine desire to connect small food producers with consumers who value local grown and artisanal food products.

Good Eggs Order-Tues
Currently available in the Bay Area, Brooklyn, LA and New Orleans, GoodEggs provides a wide range of groceries-from produce to dairy to fish to snacks-from local farmers and producers.
 Customers select their groceries, (gluten-free, vegan or other specialty products abound) choose either pick up or free delivery (yes, free delivery) and Good Eggs handles the rest.  Their network of providers receive an email by midnight with orders for the next day, which they then deliver to the Good Eggs warehouse.  Orders are packed (reusable ice packs and insulated sleeves are part of the “lending library” which you return or leave for pick up with the next order) and sent on their way.

It’s local, it’s simple and it’s like magic when your order simply appears at your front door.  There is also the added bonus of supporting small food businesses, farmers, entrepreneurs-like the Good Eggs motto: “Better Food, More Heart.”

Here’s how to give it a try:IMG_4242

1. Visit Good Eggs and select exactly what you want

2. Choose either pick up or free delivery

3. Enjoy!

 

*Top snapshot  shows order placed in one minute on the site this morning, for delivery on  Thursday. Lower photo is last week’s delivery.

Quick Tech 411 – Nextdoor

IMG_4237Think of Nextdoor as the modern day neighborhood roster, the watchful neighbor and the community bulletin board, rolled into one.

For anyone who has ever struggled to remember that neighbor’s name, Nextdoor is the app for you!  It is a free private online social network that connects you and your neighbors, allowing you to send messages, share resources and build a friendlier, safer community.

Members sign up using their real name and only those with a verified address can join and access the password protected neighborhood Nextdoor website.  There are guidelines for “neighborly behavior” as well as safety and privacy policies to ensure the power of technology is fostering better relationships.  Members have the ability to control the influx of information, use on a mobile device, view the map of members (our favorite feature) and set up emergency alerts.

Whether you want to sell an outgrown bike (hello $60), discover your street is being fogged for West Nile Virus (twice), be on the lookout for a lost pet (Ginger was returned to her owners) or find an amazing teammate to help launch your new LiveWell by SLD site (yep, we found Lindsay in our own neighborhood) Nextdoor is giving us the confidence to smile, wave & say “Hello, Tito!”

1. Visit nextdoor.com and enter the required information.IMG_4238

2. If your neighborhood is one of the  40,000+ established U.S. Nextdoor neighborhoods, you’ll be directed to the private website, if not, you can opt to create one.

3. With a verified address, out rolls the welcome mat!

If you still aren’t sold, check out this Wall Street Journal video on the important of knowing your neighbors in a disaster situation.