3 Cool Things: Chatbooks, The Skimm & Two Grand

The Internet is awesome.  I’ve been meaning to write about the first two of these for a while but just haven’t gotten in in the schedule. And the third, Chris and I recently discovered but are both loving it.

Chatbooks – I’m pretty sure this was originally a Monica find and I saw them on her Instagram.  They are a subscription service where they turn your Instagram pictures into adorable small photo books.  There are 60 pictures in each book and they are currently $6 each, though I think the price might be raising soon.  What’s even better is you can go back and get all of your previous photos made into books – and what’s more, you don’t have to order them all at once. I decided to go the slow route and just get one book delivered per month until I’m caught up with my current photos. I think I’m on volume 6 delivered while already up to 14 in real time.   Once I’m caught up then they’ll just ship a new book every time I get to 60 photos. When it's time to print a volume, they give you 3 days to edit which photos you want to include and which cover photo you want and then it’s on it’s way to you! In this age of digital memory keeping, I really like being able to have hard copies of photos in this way.  PS - If you use this referral code: NNMYYZ9Q, you’ll get your first chatbook free and I’ll get a referral credit.  Win-win!

Of course my cover photos are mostly Bert and Clare.

Of course my cover photos are mostly Bert and Clare.

The Skimm – I think I first heard about The Skimm from Amy.  I absolutely love them!  They send you an email every morning around 3am with several of the days top news stories. They do always do write the email in a funny, quippy and completely unbiased manner.  They link to relevant articles with each story, usually begin with a quote about something going on in the world, and sometimes they even have book recommendations at the bottom.  And as we near election season they’ve been doing “get to know your candidate” sections every once in a while.  As a busy working mom, I have zero time to be reading through long articles or watching the news on T.V. so by reading The Skimm every morning, I’m up on all the relevant news within just a few minutes.  And if I want to know more about any of the stories, I can just click through to all the links, which I sometimes do.  It is now my routine to read every morning while I’m drying my hair.  I even emailed them last year to get “The Skimm” for the day Clare was born to put in her baby book. 

Two Grand (Now You Food) – Chris and I have been using this for the last 2 months. Two Grand is basically Instagram for keeping track of the food you eat and your other health goals. Absolutely no calorie counting, nutrient tracking and the like.  We simply take a picture of what we are eating, or write it down if you forget to take a picture.  You can also list exercise and there are various other health goals that you can “check-in” to.  It matches you with others who have similar profiles, dietary needs, weight goals, etc. and you can choose to follow their progress for inspiration and motivation.  I’ve lost 3 lbs in the last 6 weeks or so.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering I haven’t changed anything except for tracking, it’s pretty cool.  Gretchin Rubin talks about this ‘monitoring’ technique in her most recent habits book.  It makes sense.  I’m less likely to have that 3rd piece of pizza or that 4th piece of chocolate if I know that I’m going to have to log it on Two Grand.  It makes me pause and decide whether I really do want to eat what I’m about to eat or if I’m even really hungry.  Definitely helps me see my eating patterns. It also really helps to have a spouse to be accountable with. (A friend or other loved one would work too.)  If you do decide to follow me on there, you can expect 2-3 pictures of cups of coffee per day and my fair share of chocolate! 

Are there any cool apps/things that you’ve been loving lately? Share in the comments!