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Favorite Time Killing Apps

Well, Summer is officially here. The kids are out of school, family vacations are in full swing, and the heat has arrived here in Southern California. Business hasn’t slowed down like it usually does, but maybe the economy is finally making a comeback.

To commemorate the beginning of summer, and the endless hours you’ll spend in cars, airports, boats and trains (?), I’m reviewing some of my favorite time killing apps for the summer.

Now mind you, I am not an “Angry Birds” kind of girl. I don’t like to chop fruit, or run through temples, and I don’t care where my water is! I like those casual, non-stressful, mind joggling games, and Apps that contribute to my brain power.

WWFWords with Friends
Experience for yourself why millions of players are addicted to the word building, triple score seeking, chat bubble game. It’s just like scrabble, and I love this time killing game because it’s played casually amongst your friends. Sometimes it takes 2 weeks to finish a game because people play. . .when they have time to kill!

pinterest app

Pinterest
Pinterest is a tool to find your inspiration and share it with others. Use it to collect things you love, organize your boards to share with others. Lots of brain power here.

word seekWord Seek
This classic word search game sharpens your mind, and expands your vocabulary. Find as many words as possible by yourself or live online against your friends in this board game! Although I love this app, it’s been very difficult for me to expand my seeking of words over 4 letters. I think the timer makes me quickly find whatever I can, which ends up being mostly 4 letter words. It just means a lower score, but it has potential. It can be very addicting.

spelltowerSpell Tower
It’s a cross between a word find, and Bejeweled. The bigger the word, the more area around the word is dropped until you get to the very bottom. I try to beat my own score!

skeeballSkee Ball 2
If you ventured into an arcade during their heyday throughout the 80′s and 90′s, you probably remember the different games which allowed you to earn tickets that could then be exchanged for cheap, sometimes-lame prizes. Chief among these– seemingly a staple of just about any such arcade or amusement park gameroom– was skee-ball!!  It’s one of my favorite physical arcade games. This graphics in this game are amazingly real. The acoustics of the wooden balls thrown up the ramp and pinging off the plastic targets in very authentic. Your able to tilt your phone to help assist the ball in. You can even purchase stupid toys as you collect tickets. You’re definitely trapped in time while you kill time here!

mza_5136386870055124396.175x175-75Flow Free
Flow Free is a simple yet addictive puzzle game. Connect matching colors dots with pipes to create a flow. Pair all colors, and cover the entire board to solve each puzzle. The game starts off with only a few colors and as you move through the levels, there are more colors and more area coverage. There are several options to play casual and relaxed, or with a time clock. I ended up buying this app because the ads took up alot of battery! It was worth the expense. One of my favorite time killers.

supermindSuperMind
Remember the well-known game from the 80’s called Master Mind? Well, SuperMind is the app equivalent. Behind a cover there is a secret code consisting of four colors. To detect it, you need a little bit luck and good combination skill. Great time killer, and oh so nostalgic!

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How I use my iPad

  1. Surf on the Couch. Let’s start with the most obvious use for the iPad. Have you ever been watching TV and wondered where you’d seen a particular actor before? Having IMDB, Wikipedia and the rest of the web at your fingertips from the comfort of your couch can be a wonderful thing
  2. Word Games. I’m not much of a gamer, but I do enjoy word games, so I play Word with Friends, and SpellTower casually to clear my mind. It’s also fun having a social relationship with old friends and family just by playing a simple game.
  3. Blogging. I use my iPad to write articles for my blog. WordPress has a nice app for posting and editing articles. The iPad is great for surfing the net for research and handles photo storage and export through Dropbox nicely.
  4. Say Goodbye to Premium Cable. Have you ever wanted to ditch premium cable? The ability to stream Netflix and Hulu Plus directly to your HDTV via Apple’s Digital AV Adapter means you can replace your premium channels without being forced to watch movies on a smaller screen. And considering the amount of television available on those two services, some people could dump cable completely.How to Connect the iPad to Your TV. I haven’t taken the full plunge yet, but accessing Direct TV on my iPad is a great option right now.

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Preparing for the Empty Nest

In just a few weeks thousands of young people will head off to college including my daughter who will start her freshman year. Excitement and a bit of anxiety fill the air as we see her off to prepare for the next chapter of her life.

While my daughter is preparing to leave for college, I am embarking on my own new phase in life. . .the empty nest. We have been married for 23 years, and most of those years have been with children.  Although we still have a high school student in the home, both of us are looking forward to spending more time together.

Anticipating the empty nest makes a lot of parents very nervous asking questions like, ‘What will I do with my time?’ ‘How will my role as a parent change?’ ‘I’ll be so board, ‘Do I remember how to cook for two?’

As I find myself in this new season of life, I’m not only beginning to make a few changes, but I’m also beginning to examine how my parenting role will be different. My daughter will still need us, but in a different way.

Summer time is usually slow for my graphic design business, so I’m taking this opportunity to start some new projects. I designed a blog for my friend back in May, and her blog inspired me, so I began my own blog a few months ago, and I’m loving it! It’s another way for me to be personally creative, and it’s very much therapeutic. My daughter is the one who always chimed in “MOM BLOG!” when I was sharing too much information with her! So here I am!

I have joined Pinterest! I was hesitant at first… just one more thing to keep me on my iPad right? Well, Pinterest has been very inspirational. It has allowed me to really take a look at myself, and to re-evaluate what is important to me, and the things that I like. It’s also been very therapeutic! I also really enjoy sharing, and getting ideas from others. Since joining Pinterest, I was inspired to reorganize my pantry, but I will blog that another day.

My husband and I have begun beach evenings on Fridays, grabbing a gourmet dinner-to-go at Gelson’s and eating, reading and watching the sun go down!

And so my journey begins. . .

Here are a few suggestions to parents who are just beginning this journey:

  • When dropping off your child leave them with a positive experience.  Shed your tears in the car!
  • Instead of focusing on what you are losing, consider what you are gaining – time together, new hobbies and activities
  • As hard as it may be, let them have their space.  Let them be the one to make the first call.  It is crucial to recognize they are on their own.
  • What you are feeling is not unique.  It doesn’t hurt to reach out to someone who has already walked that road.
  • Discover new things that you would like to accomplish and make it happen.
  • Recognize that men and woman deal with the empty nest differently.  It takes time to work through it.
  • Celebrate! Parenting takes a lot of time and energy.  Your goal for the past 18 years has been to get your child to this place.  Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate.