08 Jan
2016

Kirsten Campbell

By

Whoever came up with the idea to pick a resolution for the coming year while you’re drunk on champagne at a party is either an idiot or an huge optimist. I stopped making New Year’s resolutions when I was a teenager (there were easier ways to fail at life) but I’m constantly amazed by the amount of people who continue to do so. January is a horrible wasteland because everyone is broke, hungover/sober, tired and cold. No one wants to go out or do anything that requires effort or money (I will spare you the woes of a January birthday). As such, my mobile app January survival guide includes things the real you will actually do, not the New Year’s resolution version of you. Let the sloth and TV binge watching begin!

Dust off the Snuggie and the Remote

Since in December we spent all our money on merriment and gifts for others (mostly ourselves), everyone will be staying home. Coincidentally, January is when all the new TV shows start up! It’s almost like they planned it… TV Guide Mobile and Netflix iOS or Android will become your new best friends. If you want to be able to tell people you don’t watch TV, I suggest Goodreads iOS or Android for storing your books and seeing friend’s book recommendations. Goodreads has finally fixed a bunch of bugs and design flaws so if you were like me and hated the old app, this one will be way less rage inducing. You may actually enjoy it.

Slice, Slice Baby

The holidays have ended but we still have to eat and drink. Instead of counting pennies or going to McDonald’s (again), bust out the Epicurious app. I tried a new crock pot recipe this week and it was a failure so I welcomed testing this new mobile app. This app is actually better than the desktop site because you don’t need to sign up to browse recipes. There’s a huge selection of food and I picked the ‘Tonnarelli a Cacio e Pepe’ because of the simplicity and delicious looking photo (true story: friend of a friend’s wife had a baby and he told me they named it Pepe to which I replied that my car is named Pepe. The dude hasn’t spoken to me since). The pasta turned out better than that social interaction. Plus, cooking at home will satisfy your empty wallet and desire to wear pajamas while eating.

Everyone says they’ll stop drinking after the holidays but let’s be real- the post holiday misery slump is the reason TO drink. With the Vivino app, you can find the perfect intersection of super cheap but not vinegar. Think of the possibilities to look snooty while at a restaurant! This app is very simple to use and has stopped me from standing around the liquor store inspecting labels trying to remember what I got last time.

Wine is win with an e

Wine is win with an e

Do You Even Lift, Bro?

Since I’m on the lookout for the slightest reason to skip the gym, my most relevant excuse is that it’s too crowded with all the new year’s resolution folks hogging the machines. However, there has been an exciting new addition to the clueless gym attendees- the Instagram generation! These gym goers dress up in sparkly, hilarious outfits and stand in front of the mirror taking pictures of themselves for their social media profiles. Naturally, I ‘accidentally’ stand in their frame or mock them internally (it burns calories) trying to bet on the exact day they’ll stop showing up. So, in two weeks, when everyone stops going to the gym, I’ve got the solution. There are some great apps that you can use at home for when you don’t feel like seeing your butt in stretchy pants or working out next to some guy flexing in the mirror. There’s the Daily Workouts app which lets you pick what area you want to work on and set the increment (5, 8 or 10 minutes). I like to do a few 5 minute rotations so when I’m done I can congratulate myself on how hard I worked out (4 sets! I’m a hero!). I downloaded the app to review it but I got sucked in and enjoyed it way too much. I’ve even kept it on my phone which is high praise for a new mobile app about exercise. You can even watch horrible TV while you do your workouts (not that I know from personal experience).

Leaving on a Jetplane

For us Vancouverites, we are pretty used to the rain, but by mid to late February we start looking to flee to warmer climates. If you’re lucky like me, as soon as you book something, the price drops. With the Hopper mobile app, this won’t be me anymore! You can put a date range and destination in the app if you want it to ‘watch’ for the cheapest flight so it’ll notify you. If you aren’t sure, you can just put a date range in and look at the map to see the price fluctuations. Hopper removes the need to go check flights everyday and it saves you money. If that wasn’t enough for you, Apple voted Hopper the best travel app of 2015!

Honorable Mentions:

Be My Tinderella

Were you Bridget Jonesing it this holiday season? Are all your old high school ‘friends’ that you secretly creep on Facebook married with a baby on the way? If this matters to you, then it’s time to try online dating- it’s not just for perverts anymore, everyone is doing it! January is a great time to give online dating a try because it’s a solid amount of time before the forced ‘what are we?’ awkwardness of Valentine’s Day, plus it’s a good excuse to participate in Dine Out Vancouver (and skip a workout).

The newest online dating app that has everyone buzzing is Hinge because it’s supposedly like having a ‘good host’ introduce people at a cocktail party. There are cards with questions that you answer then it matches you up. It doesn’t sound terribly original but it’ll keep you away from the cesspool of Tinder. I particularly enjoyed the list of things most people are likely to bond and not bond over and one question included asking if you’d ever been to Burning Man. I laughed about that one because these days it’s like asking a hipster if he or she owns vinyl records (sidenote to Hinge: I’d suggest adding a timeframe when Burning Man was truly underground and kids weren’t being dropped off in their parent’s BMWs). You’ve got nothing to lose except your grandma’s disapproving stare, so give it a whirl from the comfort of your couch.

New matches in the new year

New matches in the new year

Let It Snow

OnTheSnow Ski and Snow Report app is highly rated by the interwebs and perfect for snow bunnies. It shows detailed weather conditions for ski resorts around the world. The information is pulled from weather stations and first hand ski reports. I love that it’s essentially the Yelp of skiing.

A new year brings new apps to your phone. With these mobile apps, you’ll be ready to hunker down and ride out the horror of January with food, good TV, questionable wine and meeting people online. The best shows I’ve seen over the holiday are Making a Murderer and the Seven Five which were shocking, exciting and alarming. Give them a whirl while doing your exercises and then reward yourself with wine. The snow on the Vancouver mountains has been great this season so when you can’t scream at the TV anymore, check the conditions and head on up the mountain!