Chatbooks. This is an app a friend told me about. I have long struggled with regularly connecting with my grandmother. She lives in Washington state, and phone conversations are difficult. She doesn’t hear very well, so often answers a question I didn’t ask, which I then just go with, but she knows she’s missing something, and she’ll usually bid me adieu–Sara, it’s so nice to hear your voice; I’d better let you go!–within two point five seconds. For a while, I tried to remember emailing her pictures, but more often than not didn’t… But then my friend turned me on to Chatbooks. And it’s perfect. This app connects to your instagram account and once you hit 60 photos, automatically prints them, binds them into a little photobook, and sends it to whomever you’ve designated as the recipient. I imagine most people have it sent to themselves, to have a record of all those beautiful snaps. But I have it sent to my grandmother! Now, when I first signed up, I thought that the app would compile my archive of photos, 60 at a time, into photobooks and send them monthly to my grandmother, concurrently with the latest 60 pics. I figured she’d get two books a month until the archive had been exhausted. I was wrong. For several months, she was receiving only the archived photos. We had just brought Lydia home when I started this, so my grandma was wondering why she wasn’t seeing any pics of her newest grandchild. Each book was full of pic after pic of her grandson’s smiling mug, starting around age 1. Once I realized this was the case (she calls me upon receipt of each book; it’s a great connection, even if it lasts only two point five seconds), I corrected my subscription and had all the archived photos sent to her at once. How surprised was she to get 11 photobooks in the mail one day! Her bingo ladies I’m sure got an eyeful. But now she’s getting pics of both her grandkids.
She Reads Truth. This is an online community of women who are reading the Bible together every day. A group of women put together study plans available for purchase through the eponymous app or paper study books (which are full of beautiful art–and are higher priced). Each day includes the Bible reading and a blog post written by a well known Christian woman. I bought the book for the Lent study and really enjoyed it, and now I’m using the app for the current study (which includes an image for sharing on Instagram, so my grandma gets to follow along with my reading plan) and awaiting delivery of the next study guide, which will cover the life of Moses.
Vi Bella jewelry. This Lent, I gave up Facebook…which just meant I scrolled through my Instagram feed more…but through that increased exploration I came across Vi Bella, a company that provides work for poor women in Haiti, Mexico, and even the US. Their jewelry is beautiful. I bought one necklace/bracelet set and got another as a gift for my birthday. I love finding jewelry I like that supports a good cause. And each piece comes with a card bearing the name of its maker.
My preschooler reading to my toddler. I wish I had a picture of this, because it just melts my heart. But it only happens when I’m sitting with them, which makes documentation hard. Lydia is finally able to sit still for a book, and Teddy can read her books now. It’s priceless.
Wunderlist. Because I’m all about these apps, ’bout these apps, not paper. And this app is way better than paper. It allows you to make a list for anything, and I currently have 19 going, several for the different grocery stores I shop at. It also allows you to share with someone else, so my hubby can add things to our shared lists. I really don’t have an excuse to ever forget anything…unless I forget to add it to the appropriate list
Mason jar salads. Another friend recently introduced me to these. She even organized a little mason jar salad party, where three of us brought ingredients and we each made enough salads for the week. I discovered a delicious new recipe for a roasted cauliflower salad with a spiced vinaigrette.