New Apps and Gadgets Review: Lumo and Anki

I probably could have waited until I shared my five favorite things for fall to share two new apps that I’ve been playing around with, but I just couldn’t wait that long.
I really enjoy trying out new apps and gadgets when they come out on the market (and if they’re open-source, even better!) but there are very few that I actually incorporate into my day-to-day life. So you know that these two are pretty good since they both made the cut.

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The Other Side of Mindfulness

mindfulness

The word “mindfulness” gets thrown around a lot when talking about minimalism. Mindfulness is this general catch-all word that can mean different things to different people, but for me it just means taking a moment to step outside of our own heads and personal assumptions. While this can mean the cliche “truly experience and savor the now without filtering it” advice that we’ve all heard, another important facet that I think gets ignored is how mindfulness can contribute to the ability to examine our actions and habits in a critical way.

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The Reading List: loved, hated and currently reading

I have actually been really lucky with books lately and had a string of really good recommendations. Don’t you love it when that happens? So not too many books in the “hate” category this time. Here’s a list of all the books I’ve been reading over the past few months, the good, the bad, and the currently reading.

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Five Piece French Wardrobe: Update #8

summer-fpfw

If you haven’t been following along with my FPFW, you can always check out all my past posts right here. Otherwise, here’s a quick update on my five pieces that I bought for the spring/summer season! I didn’t do much shopping these past six months because honestly, beyond getting rid of a few old things on Ebay, craigslist, and freecycle, I’ve been so busy I just haven’t been focusing much on shopping (which is always a good thing).

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How to Look Professional and Stylish in Extreme Weather

Complaining about the weather is a time-honored tradition around here, considering that we deal with temps from -10 to 102 °F. To make things worse, since everyone takes public transport we are more exposed to the elements than in suburbia where you only have to worry about that ten feet from the door to your car.

So at this point I really shouldn’t be shocked, but every year around July/August and again in January/February everyone around here just goes into full-on survival mode and completely forgets about putting themselves together.

I get it, it’s disgustingly hot or cold, but that’s no excuse to stroll into the office looking like you’re either came from the beach or a polar expedition. Thankfully, after years of practice I have a few tips on how to look like a human being even if mother nature is being simply inhumane. And of course, while I’d love it if you used these tips all the time, what you look like on the weekend is your own damn business 😉

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Component-based vs. Utility-class CSS Paradigm

Currently I’m working on rebuilding our front-end to be able to support enterprise clients, as well as giving it a fresh coat of paint while we’re at it. It’s definitely a blue-sky kind of project, which are always my favorites.

Of course, before you start tearing apart a site to rebuild it, you need to spend some time in the old code-base to see what we can re-use and any lessons learned that you need to take into account for the new site. It’s always interesting to get dumped into a new code-base. It’s a lot like living in someone-else’s house or driving someone-else’s car. You get to see all the little quirks and routines that make perfect sense to the actual owner, but just look incredibly strange to an outsider until their reasoning is explained.

One of the little quirks that I ran into was the utility-class CSS structure that was being used, as opposed to the component-based CSS structure that I’m personally used to. I had read about utility classes, but I had never actually seen them used in the wild before. But like anything new, I gave it a month or two to prove itself, but in the end I really disliked working with them so we’re going forward with component-based CSS for the new site.

But don’t just take my word for it. Read through the list of pros and cons that we considered, and do your own research before you choose one paradigm over another.

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Style Remix: Sleeveless Button-down Shirt

I’m a big believer in the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Since I basically live in button-down shirts during the fall, winter and spring, of course my go-to topper is a sleeveless button down shirt for the summer. My favorites are from Everlane, J.Crew and Modcloth. Here’s a few ways that I’m remixing my button-downs this summer for work, play and everything in-between.

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Summer Sun Protection PSA

Summer is finally here! It’s so cold and dark for most of the year here in the Northeast that everyone gets slightly hysterical the moment warmer weather comes around. I’m so excited for lots of trips to beaches and parks, rooftop drinking, and Sunday afternoon field hockey games.

I’m definitely not much of a sun worshiper, but since all my favorite things to do during the summer involve being outside I do try to protect myself. Especially since my family has a history of skin cancer, and I’ve had about five questionable freckles removed since I was sixteen. So sun protection is a subject that I can be a little evangelical about.

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