Author Archives: Ashley

Discovered via episode #93 

Postagram is a free app available for iPhone and Android from Sincerely.

This app is such a great idea.  Once you sign up for a free account, the app will allow you to use the photos on your phone and you also have the ability to sync to your Instagram account and Facebook for additional photo options.  You choose a picture, customize the message, add a recipient, and for .99 the company will print and mail your postcard.

The really great part of these postcards is the ability to pop the picture out of the card and keep it.  You can put it in a photo album or hang it up on the wall, fridge (with magnet), in your office, at home … wherever.  The idea is you have a printed photo of a digital photo.  Now this of course is not something new, you can make prints of digital photos just about everywhere and for less than .99 a photo.  The unique part of this is the postcard mailing.  It’s just nice to get things in the actual mail these days and for .99 a piece this is a pretty fun way to make that happen.

Pros: It’s a unique way to get a physical copy of a photo taken on the iPhone, or from facebook and Instagram.  It’s very quick and easy to choose the photo, edit the message, and send, all for .99 a piece.

Cons: I wish there was an easy way through the app to view past orders.  I sent three postagrams the first night I downloaded the app, and there was no easy way for me to show my friends later.  I like to show apps to the people I work with and couldn’t find a way to show them past orders on the app.

If your goal is to create a physical copy of a digital photo, this isn’t the best choice.  If your goal is to send a unique item to friends and family this is a pretty great way to do it.


I love this app. It’s one of several that I access almost daily on both iPad and iPhone. They also recently announced a new android app. Best news ….. It’s FREE!! Gotta love that.

Zite is a personalized magazine. You choose the topics you are interested in, either from the list provided or type in your own categories. You can also add your twitter and google reader accounts. The app then searches the web and brings information you are interested in to you. It is a great way to find new content, new ideas, new people or sites to follow. Flipboard, a similar magazine style reader, is excellent for viewing content you are already subscribed to via your twitter account, Facebook, instagram etc, but Zite excels at bringing you content you may not see elsewhere.


As you read articles you have the option to thumbs up or down, click to get more articles similar to a particular topic, and one click access to sharing to other networks. I use the instapaper, Facebook, twitter, and email options all the time. The truly great behind the scenes aspect is how Zite learns what you like in order to improve the content they deliver. I highly recommend taking the extra second or two to thumbs up or down articles.



App: Zite by Zite, Inc

I love the internet!!!  I found my new music this week from Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl fame.  She has been posting a Friday Mixtape for the last few months as she strives to reach her Life List goal of listening to 1000 new songs (she’s up to 362!).  Most of the artists she highlights are people I’ve never heard of before, some I like, some are interesting but not quite my cup of tea.  I was therefore a bit surprised to see Eddie Vedder highlighted today.

I clicked through to the video and discovered that Eddie sings the soundtrack to “Into the Wild”.  Now, Into the Wild is a book that I’ve had on my to-be-read shelf for about 2 years.  I haven’t read the book yet, and haven’t seen the movie, although after reading the description on iTunes for the soundtrack, and watching the first video clip below, I now know the story line.

I absolutely love this music, and I have the feeling the book will jump to the top of the stack to be read.  I usually like to read the book before watching the movie.   After listening to this music I’m dying to watch the movie and see how it interrelates.  Therefore – I foresee some reading in my future this weekend!

Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun (Into the Wild soundtrack)

Eddie Vedder – Society (Into the Wild soundtrack

I’m creating an iTunes playlist of my 101 favorite songs….

This is very different from my other favorites I’ve posted here.  I think I first saw this concert video at my parents house.  My daughter fell in love with it and watched it over and over again.  The absolutely stunning backdrop of Slane Castle just adds to the beauty of the whole thing.  I wish the youtube video was a little better, but if you want to see the entire concert, Amazon sells it here.  After many years of research, my mom’s family tracked our ancestry back to Ireland, and then tracked that branch of the family tree forward to the current generation.  Two years ago, my mom and uncle went to visit some of our distant cousins there.  It turns out two of them were at this concert.   We haven’t found them in the crowd shots yet, but my daughter keeps looking!

We were able to see them in concert during a trip to Florida last year.  The universe brought everything in line to allow my brother and his girlfriend, the kids and I, our mom & dad, and Aunt & Uncle to all be at my parents house in Florida at the same time Celtic Women had a concert in Tampa.  We drove up for the concert, and with the exception of my son, everyone really enjoyed it.  Their voices are amazing!

Celtic Woman: Caledonia

I love the Fourth of July, it’s one of my favorite holidays.  We have a family tradition of heading to my aunt’s house (formerly Grandma’s) to walk to the parade route, have dinner, then watch the fireworks.  She has one of the best lawns in town to watch them.

She always invites a bunch of people who all bring some kind of food to munch on.  This year, she made homemade gumbo which was awesome.  Her friend Jamie brought a sweet onion pie that was to die for … seriously amazing!

The weather was perfect this year (last year was foggy and cold – fireworks bombed big time).  The video below was shot from my Aunt’s front deck – filmed by Eric Davis.  It’s best to view it from YouTube directly – HD and full screen.  Beautiful!

Here’s a random assortment of pictures, in hindsight, I didn’t take nearly enough!

1. My baby boy, who’s not so much a baby anymore (daughter decided to watch the parade with friends across the street).  2. It’s not often you see a snow groomer at a Fourth of July parade.  3. Beautiful float from my favorite farmer’s market. 4. And a very sleepy puppy!

Wow!  It’s Friday already – where did the week go??

I’m scrambling a bit trying to find some new music for this week.  I’m still obsessed with Mumford & Sons from last week.  Add to that the recent downloads of Jack Johnson and Jakob Dylan and I find I’ve been listening to a lot of already posted New Music this week.

All that being said, I’m choosing something a little different this week.  I’ve heard this song before (actually I own it already), but I haven’t seen the video before – so it’s kind of a New Video Friday instead.

Michael Tolcher: Speed Feels Better

During my YouTube searching, I found this video – which is pretty darn cool.   If you click through to YouTube to watch it, the uploader says this was a “private little show for my 21st b-day back in 2006.”  Can you say totally jealous?   I haven’t heard this song by him before, but I’m trying to track it down for my library.  Love it!  (hey what do you know – it is a New Music Friday!!)

Michael Tolcher: Give Me Your Hand

Update: I found it – it’s available on iTunes on his See You Soon – EP – released August 05, 2008

I am an iPhone fangirl, no doubt about it.  I’ve had a 3G phone for almost two years now and use it constantly.   All that being said, this post is not about how the iPhone is better than your particular mobile phone.  The items I think are fantastic about the iPhone may be available on other phones as well … so no comments about why the iPhone isn’t all that, and the HTC is so much better!

1. The new Retina display is GORGEOUS!  I never thought my previous phone had a bad display, or was unclear or blurry, but the crisp sharpness of the new display is unbelievable.  This picture doesn’t even remotely do it justice, but the subject is pretty darn cute. 🙂

2.  Voice Control – I don’t know if this is new with the 4.0 or if it was new with the 3GS, all I know is I didn’t have the ability to do this before on the 3G (and if I did and just didn’t know about it, please don’t tell me – I would be devastated!).  I played around with this feature last night.  “Call Robyn” and the phone says back “call Robyn Rakoniewski” (and even pronounced it correctly …. almost), then asked me if I wanted to dial the home, mobile or work numbers and I said mobile, and it started the call.  I may have played with it a few too many times since Robyn’s no longer answering my calls (whoops!).  It also recognizes the music I have on the phone.  “Play songs by Jack Johnson” and sure enough, Jack Johnson music starts playing.  Pretty darn slick!

3. Multitasking – I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy this aspect of the 4.  It hit home last night as I was flipping back and forth between a safari webpage and my wordpress app.  Before, anytime I quit safari I would have to wait for the page to reload when I opened it up again.  Not anymore!  There’s also the ability to listen to Pandora while surfing the web, or working on a blog post etc. All very good.

4. Camera – There are a few items to the Camera that are pretty cool.  First, there’s now a flash so I can actually see pictures I take in low light situations!  Second, HD Video!!  I now have a video camera in my phone – no more porting around the Flip, or forgetting to bring the Flip, or forgetting I actually did bring it and have it in my purse but not realizing it, therefore no video.  I haven’t played around with it very much, but I imagine it will be a big hit with the kids.  The Facetime application is pretty intriguing.  It won’t be of a lot of use to me until more people I know get iPhone 4’s.  And it’s limited to wifi use only (not over cellular).

5. iOS4 – I love the upgrade to the operating system.  I downloaded iOS4 on my 3G phone so have been playing around with the Folders feature, and ability to sync multiple exchange accounts.  My google calendar is now available on the actual calendar!  I’m intruiged with the iBooks app, although I can’t see it replacing my Kindle app.  I have too many books on Kindle that are available in too many places, to limit myself to just reading on the iPhone.  Since I was on a 3G previously, I wasn’t able to take advantage of the multi tasking, or background wallpapers.

My old phone was also getting …. well… old.  It seemed very slow switching between applications.  There was a huge pause each time I opened Safari, or Tweetdeck, or Facebook, or just about anything.  That pause is gone on the new phone.  Everything seems to work much faster which makes me very happy!

I’m very pleased with my new phone.  I haven’t noticed the dreaded yellow dots that have been mentioned online.  I also haven’t noticed the bar drop issue when the phone is held a certain way (and I tried to make the bars drop).  That being said, I’ve had it for less than 24 hours so we’ll see how it all turns out.