Why taking time off is exhausting — and great apps to help out!

I’m planning to take next week. Getting to that point has exhausted me. I can tell I’m not alone. I’ve had numerous conversations this week with people who seem completely crazed.

Is it worth it? Ask me next week. In the meantime, I wanted to share some apps that might help you make it through the holidays with less stress.

  • Preparing for the feast: ZipList, the universal digital recipe box and meal planner, has a mobile app that will help you save time and money at the grocery store. The app syncs seamlessly to every device and more than 8000 food websites to make sure you never forget anything on your trips to the store. It even sends users personalized recipe and shopping list
    recommendations based on their eating preferences.
  • Better yet, the new Grocery Deals function on ZipList can send in-store specials straight to your phone – no coupons needed!  Now when you look at your list as you head to the grocer, you’ll see where to save on meats and fresh produce, the aisles where you can’t find
    coupon savings and the items that make up the bulk of your bill!
  • Best-in-show recipes: Epicurious is the gold standard for online recipes, but accessing said recipes when you need them the most (i.e. elbow deep in a turkey) can be tricky. The Epicurious mobile app, available on nearly every tablet and mobile phone, keeps your go-to’s and ambitious holiday recipes closer at hand.
  • Cooking like a pro: You’re armed with recipes, but now you want to make sure to get that pumpkin creme brulee just right. The Professional Chef by the Culinary Institute of America is a cooking school within an app, providing step-by-step video instruction on everything from
    basic knife skills to perfecting your signature coq au vin.
  • Setting the scene: Holiday decorating can easily get out of control. Keep it simple yet festive with tasteful tips and inspiration from the free Martha Stewart Living iPad app.
  • Feeling the burn: Once the holiday cheer wears off, the Lose It! app can help you get back in gear by helping you meet your health and wellness goals. Aside from weight loss,  the app marks goals for sleep, nutritional concerns, and other things that can easily go off-track during the holidays.

Working Mother Magazine also has a list of shopping apps I found helpful. Here are a few:

  • Finding the best value is a snap with Barcode Reader. Just take a photo of the product’s barcode and the app will show you the lowest prices in local stores and online (free, itunes.com).
  • Speed up bargain hunting with Pic2Shop. Point the camera at a product’s barcode and instantly find thousands of online and local store prices, plus user reviews and product info (free, itunes.com)
  • Get the holiday food-shopping haul done faster with this app, which stores grocery lists on your phone, checks off items with a scan and categorizes them by aisle. It can even sync with your spouse’s phone to get the list tackled faster (free, itunes.com).
  • Head to the mall without a paper list this year. This app conveniently keeps track of all the info you need, including the gift, recipient, price, date and store, all while updating your set budget (free, itunes.com).



The Work/Life Balancing Act

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1 Comment

  1. Heather Shaw January 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    You should qualify “why taking time off at Christmas is exhausting”. All your tips were cooking related. Any other time of year that I take off is not spent cooking?


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