Streamline Your Shopping With These 5 Helpful Apps

With our busy lives, sometimes even a trip to the mall is too hard to fit into the schedule. Thanks to our smartphones and the internet, we don't even need to leave our homes to find the best discounts on all our needs. Here are five of our favorite shopping apps:

Members post items (dresses, furniture, handbags, etc.) on the website. Users can search through item after item and purchase what they want. Each picture will take you the actual item so you can buy it. Buy items on the spot or save them for later. Search through everything or follow users and stores you like. Available for iOS and Android.

No time to cut coupons? This handy app helps you find the best price on items you need. Just type in what you're looking for and stores in your area with the best prices will pop up. The app will even alert you when your favorite items are on sale. Available for iOS and Android.

Amazon is great for buying just about anything you need, from books and technology to apparel and household essentials. Comparison shopping? The mobile app, available for Android and iOS, lets you scan a barcode to see if you can find it for a better price on Amazon.

This app does all the work of bargain shopping for you. Just scan the barcode of a product you want and ShopSavvy will show you the best prices in the area and online along with user reviews of the product. Available for iOS and Android.

Earn rewards for shopping. The app recognizes your location and gives you rewards for visiting stores like Old Navy, Target, Macy's, and even gas stations like Exxon and Mobil. Save up your rewards to earn free coffee or coupons for items you need like jeans and sneakers. Available for iOS and Android.

How and What to Pack for a Sightseeing Trip

After months of saving, you finally booked that sightseeing trip that you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you’re backpacking across Europe or taking a car trip through South America, you’ll need to know what to pack before you go. Packing these four items will help you be prepared for your sightseeing adventure.

  1. A sturdy backpack. This is an essential for long days of sightseeing as it enables you to tote your belongings around without straining your arms. Choose one with a large main pocket for clothing and supplies and smaller inner pockets to stow away money, your passport, and other essential items.
  2. Maps and guides. Maps are important in areas where you don’t have reliable cell phone service, and they cut down on the time you spend asking for directions. If you’re traveling to an area where you don’t speak the language, it’s also smart to bring along a foreign language dictionary.
  3. Proper clothes. Bring a rain jacket if you’re traveling to rainy London, and wear layers that you can easily remove if you’re in steamy Vietnam. Be sure to look up the climate beforehand to avoid clothing discomfort.
  4. A camera. Although a camera isn’t exactly an essential item, you’ll surely want to remember your trip for years to come!

Travel Tips and Packing Lists [Eagle Creek]
15 Things to Pack for Sightseeing [Sue’s Travel Tips]
How to Pack for a Sightseeing Vacation [Independent Traveler]

The Drink of the Summer

Cucumber-Lemonade Chiller

3 large cucumbers
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
1 cup water
6 oz (3/4 cup) gin
½ cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp agave syrup

If you are looking for more delicious drink recipes click here.

6 Fat Blasting Foods

Trying to cut calories? Put these 6 fat blasting foods in your diet!

1. Avocado
2. Oatmeal
3. Greek Yogurt
4. Almonds
5. Hummus
6. Kale

Best Books of the Summer by The NY Post

Looking for a good summer book? Here is a list of some of the top summer reads for 2014…

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
The One & Only by Emily Giffin
The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings
The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

You can find the full list here

7 Summery Brunch Cocktails

Looking for a new summer cocktail? You should try one of these 7 unique and refreshing drinks!

1. Watermelon Sangria
2. Sour Cherry-Yuzu Bellinis
3. Blackberry-Mint Julep
4. Paloma Italiana
5. Fresh Tomato Bloody Marys
6. Peach Donkey
7. Strawberry-Lemon Mojitos

Get the full recipes by clicking here

Love to Fish? Check Out These Websites!

There’s nothing quite like packing up your tackle box for a quiet day out on the lake, and it only gets better if you come home with a great fish story to tell. These great websites offer a wealth of knowledge for the avid fisherman or -woman, and they include some helpful hints for finding the best fishing holes in your area.

National Fisherman
The popular magazine’s website includes just as many interesting articles and stunning wildlife photos as the print version, as well as a number of fishing blogs that provide personal stories from fishermen all across the country. National Fisherman also offers classified ads for fellow fishing enthusiasts to buy, sell, and trade equipment, and the recipes section will show you the best ways to prepare your catch of the day.

The entire In-Fisherman website is separated by type of fish, making it easy for you to read only articles based on the fish you’re interested in catching. Browse by bass, walleye, panfish, catfish, and many others, or even search by your location to see which fish are in season. In-Fisherman Timely Features section also offers tips, tricks, and product reviews to help you catch more fish than ever before.

Cooking 101: Fail-Proof Recipes for Pasta Sauce

Making your own pasta sauce may seem like something reserved for only the most skilled chefs, but you’d be surprised to know how simple it really is. Forgoing the store-bought sauces in favor of making your own is also beneficial to your health, as it eliminates the added sugars and preservatives that are often found in jarred pasta sauces. If you want to try your hand at preparing a zesty, flavorful sauce at home, here are three fail-proof recipes.

World’s Best Pasta Sauce!
This traditional pasta sauce is a versatile option that you can use for years to come. It includes the staple ingredients like tomato paste and a variety of Italian meats, plus flavorful spices ranging from dried basil to fennel seed. Once the ingredients are blended together, everything gets cooked slowly in a large Dutch oven.

Great Grandma’s Pasta Sauce
If your own grandmother wasn’t much of a sauce maker, feel free to adopt this tasty recipe as your own. It uses simple ground beef, tomatoes, and Italian spices to give it a hearty texture that tastes straight out of the old country.

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
If you want to create a sauce that tastes like gourmet without the gourmet cooking skills, this recipe is the one to use. Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse shares his unique recipe that includes unexpected ingredients like hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, and an impressive amount of garlic.

Three Tart and Sweet Lemonade Recipes

The combination of tart and sweet is what gives lemonade its beloved flavor, and this classic beverage is a cool, refreshing staple all summer long. If you want to make your lemonade taste great from June to August, it’s best to incorporate some other unexpected flavors as well. Here are three great lemonade recipes to try on the next hot day.

Raspberry Lemonade [Martha Stewart]
This recipe takes the plumpest, juiciest raspberries you can find and blends them with traditional lemonade to give the beverage a lovely pink color and a bright, fruity flavor. Garnishing with mint is a wonderful addition, as is a splash of tequila if you’re feeling extra bold!

Roasted Peach Lemonade [The Naptime Chef]
This down-home lemonade is best sipped on a big front porch, but since that’s not in the cards for most people, near a breezy window will also do. Roasted peaches give this drink a sweet Southern flair, and they take just 25 minutes in the oven and a reliable blender to make.

Refreshing Watermelon Lemonade [Babble]
To round out the fruity lemonade trifecta, this watermelon option is one that even the little ones are sure to love. Simply puree a seedless watermelon with some fresh lemon juice, sugar, and water and pour it all over ice for an cold treat at the end of a long day.

First Day of Summer!

It may feel like summer started last week, but today is officially the first day of summer! There's a ton to do in the DC metro area, so make sure to take advantage of some of the free activities this summer. has a great list of activities in their article "100 Free (& Almost Free) Things to Do in DC" (click here ) including visiting the Rock Creek Park Planetarium, the National Arboretum, or the Mexican Cultural Institute. Do something new this summer, and explore all there is to do right outside our door step!