3 precautions to take in the app store

I’m sort of known as the app queen. I love looking for apps that promise to keep you organized (even though it’s difficult to help an already organized person.) It’s an obsession, and one that can get you into more trouble than you bargained for – if you don’t protect yourself. There are loads of viruses and other maladies out there, so, before you download, put these practical protection practices in place from Transunion.

Apps are everywhere. And so are app stores. Whether it’s Google Play or iTunes, Amazon or Samsung, there are so many choices and so much to try. Though app stores make efforts to weed out the bad apps — ones phishing for personal information, installing viruses/malware, or otherwise engaging in criminal behavior — risks may remain. So before you download new apps, consider these 3 precautions.

Stick with familiar brands.

Exploring new apps isn’t just a great way to, well, find new apps. It’s also a great way to discover new companies, services, entertainment sources, media, games and the like. But if you haven’t heard of the company listed as the maker of an app, pay extra careful attention.

Read the descriptions.

Another thing you can do, whether or not an app’s brand is familiar to you, is to carefully read the app description. If it’s written in broken English or has spelling errors and typos, that’s a major red flag.

When in doubt, start at the site.

If you’re not sure whether an app is the real one produced by a brand you’re already familiar with, consider going to that brand’s website first. Often, brands will include buttons for direct links to app store sites leading right to their app’s page. What to do if you’re still in doubt about an app? As with websites, emails and a whole host areas, it’s safest not to chance it and simply go without.

Enjoy a safe holiday!

iPhone – have you locked out your emergency contact?

I am a person who always seem to be one step ahead; as in never in the current moment! I see the big picture. I think ahead. I am normally prepared for most things that may never happen. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me, I have an app that created a lock screen photo that contains my emergency information because goodness knows I have nightmares about someone making decisions for me that should not be. That is why I am sharing an app that I just downloaded to my iPhone; an app that will allow emergency personnel to contact your designated emergency person even with your phone locked – and my phone is always locked.

Even before I came across this app, I had as my screen saver a picture of me (“Hey, look! That lady forgot her phone!) and a notation that if my phone was found (if lost) to call a certain number (my hubby’s phone). That information alone would help to identify me and give a contact name and number in case of an emergency.

Provided you know how to access the Medical ID on a locked iPhone, you can also access pertinent information via swiping the locked screen. Having the information on the screen is a sure thing. You know – so someone you do not want making decisions for you doesn’t.

This new app, “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) is a great app. If I remember correctly, the cost was $1.99.  It was easy to set up – I did it in a matter of minutes (it took me that long because I kept pressing the wrong buttons). It has my hubby’s name and phone number to contact in case of emergency. It also has my photo and my medical information that I considered to be important – my blood disorders, blood type, and allergies. It is all saved very prettily on my locked screen. No worries that my phone contacts (and how would a police officer know who to call if he doesn’t know who I am) cannot be accessed.

ice app

There are a number of other apps on the market (for all phones), some for free, but this is the one that appealed to me. It is the complete package and well worth the $1.99.

You can also achieve this effect by using a photo of your own choosing and an app that allows you to put a message on the photo. Just be careful that the information is not obscured by the date and time and it contains the information you deem important.

I would love to hear your input on this topic. Do you use an iPhone (or other) and have you taken any steps to help emergency personnel to identify you, and to be able to contact your emergency person?

One last bit of information – you can add more than one contact person to the screen.

Just leave your comments and thoughts in the comment section! Thanks!

How secure have you made your phone?

Not a great, catchy title, but it did grab your interest enough to bring you here. I have been meaning to write a post on this very subject for some time, but you know how that is. Life just kind of gets in the way!

I saw a post on Facebook this morning which spurred me into action – a high school friend was contacting someone on Facebook because his phone had been stolen. My first thought was oh, how sad. My second was, I wonder if he had a password on his phone. My third was, why isn’t he private messaging? (But that’s just me.)

Another friend and I were visiting at a convention a couple of years ago and she had just purchased an iPhone and was learning how to use it. I asked if she had set her passcode and set the lock on her phone. She said she had not, but would soon. A few hours later, we met up again and she was on the hunt for her phone. She was in a meeting and had set it to silence (then forget it on the table) so calling the phone was not an option. I asked if she had set her passcode and she said she had not. The phone was never returned to her, but even if someone had wanted to, how would they know who it belonged to? (Read on to find out how you know my phone belongs to me.)

With so many “itchy” fingers and identify theft going on, there really is no excuse to take a few moments of your time to protect yourself. Hackers may still hack, but we don’t have to make it easy for them!

I have an iPhone. The first thing I did was take advantage of the password protection it offered. To use my phone, you must enter the passcode. I also set the phone to lock after two minutes. If you manage to get past my passcode, each app on my phone that offers a passcode/password protection feature has been set up – AND NOT WITH THE SAME PASSCODE! Hopefully, this will deter anyone from going further. At the least, I hope to have noticed that my phone is missing and by this point, disabled it from another phone. The iPhone (I am not familiar with other phones) also has a feature “Find my Phone” and you can actually set off an alarm or verbal message such as “This phone is stolen” to sound off.

On my locked screen, I put a snapshot of myself. Not because I like my face, although I do use it to remind my hair stylist of the cut and color (it can come in handy!), but for the purpose of having my phone returned to me by an honest person should I leave it on a table in a restaurant or store, etc. In the event, they can’t find me, I also have the message on the picture to please call a number, which is my husband’s phone. Fortunately, I haven’t forgotten my phone anywhere, but being a “Lucy” there’s always a first time. I am a very conscientious person, so this is less of an issue with me than some of my friends. I am also a very paranoid cautious person.


Getting back to the phone, which I use as a computer – which it is. I think folks forget that we actually have these little mini computers that we hold in our hands and talk on, and do business with. We have gotten so blaze’ with technology that we forget about what our phones do. I take care of banking on my phone. I do business transactions. I handle emails and a myriad of other personal things. I am an Evernote premium customer – that should give you an idea! I want to protect my information as much as I possibly can.

I know that passwords/passcodes can be a real pain at times, but it is just so easy to protect yourself, so why not take those few minutes? In the long run, it will no way equal the time you will spend trying to get your identity back.

If you are anything like me, you do not remember all the passwords you are using. I am a huge fan of Dashlane (and I am also a premium member) for storing my passwords/passcodes. Dashlane will also let you know when it is time to change a password if it’s been a while since you’ve done so. And, not only will it remind you, it will choose one for you! Gotta luv that! Being lazy just got easier! As well as being able to track all of your passwords in Dashlane, you can also store your credit card information. Dashlane syncs across all of your devices and automatically logs you in on your computer. It’s great for autofill when you are shopping and about a gazillion other things.

I hope that after you read this post, you will be motivated to take a few moments and protect your information; even if you only put the passcode on your phone. I will be doing a few other posts on some of the apps I am quite fond of and why I love them so much.

Do you take advantage of passcodes/passwords? Please take a moment and weigh in. Let me know your favorite apps. Thanks!

Comparison between the Zink hAppy and LG pocket printer and Do we ever use a bag for it's original purpose?

My answer would have to be no.  I am always multi-purposing bags.Image (2) These two pictures are perfect examples. Both were originally intended to be cosmetic bags. I, of course, found better uses. The green bag is an Orla Kiely bag from Target. I love her products and actually do have one of her cosmetic cases that does in fact house my cosmetics. This green bag, however, was the perfect size for my Zink hAppy printer. There are two zip compartments on this bag. One that is about 1.5″ in depth on top and then the larger bottom compartment. The top houses the recharging cord perfectly. The bottom compartment houses the Zink hAppy and two of the 2″ wide rolls of film. The case will protect them while traveling. (The extra little photo at the upper right is a thank you note that I recently sent to someone who so thoughtfully gave me a plant. No one really wants to ask the recipient exactly what the florist sent, but at the same time, you’d like to know that it was as nice as what was described. This is when one of the little printers comes in handy. I snapped an photo and added some thank you text to the it and printed it. I then adhered it to stationary and mailed it. This would be especially nice to do for those holiday gifts that were mailed to you or your child.) Image (4)The second photo shows a little bag I purchased from Talbots online this fall. I love the pink and blue combination; very feminine. It is just large enough to house the LG photo printer and its charging cord. It also has space to add a pack of extra film. While the Zink hAppy is much to large and bulky to tote around on a daily basis, this handy little LG is the perfect size to tuck into my tote bag. While I enjoy using both products, I have to admit that I like the convenience of the LG’s size. Both products offer several of the same amenities: collage of photos and adding text. The LG offers printing with adhesive and non-adhesive backing, while the Zink hAppy prints on sticker paper. Both products use the same type of film. A cool feature of the Zink hAppy is the ability to print a long stream of photos rather than individual photos. I like to take the strip to my desk and peel and stick the photos. They stay in order and the strip prints much quicker than the individual pictures from the LG. I keep a travel journal and using the printers allow me to print and stick my photos alongside my commentary of the trip. I use an iPhone 5 and each printer has its own app that makes printing a snap. The Zink hAppy communicates via wireless and the LG uses Bluetooth. The Zink hAppy allows you the option of printing using several different size widths from 1/2″ up to 2″ and I think up to 18″ long. You can also make a banner using this device. When printing from my phone’s photo album I was actually able to print a number of photos without stopping. The photos are automatically clipped so when I cut the long thread, all I need to do is peel each individual print off of the backing and place it on my book pages. These are options not offered by the LG. Your prints are 2×3″. The quality of the printers is actually amazing for little printers. The photos from each of these two devices is comparable, although the Zink hAppy does a slightly better job, so either would be a good purchase. Both use Zero ink technology. The prices are comparable. The Zink hAppy did cost more because I purchased a battery so I did not have to rely on plugging the device in. The print paper is approximately the same for both. The packages contain different amounts of film. The jury is still out on the LG battery life. The Zink hAppy’s battery life last a very long time. I’m not sure if I charged the internal battery on the LG long enough – the light was green – or if it died quickly. The instructions are in another language with no English offered so I’m figuring out this printer with no help. It also does not have a designated on/off button per say; the Zink hAppy does. You definitely know when the printer is on and off. *Note here – I just watched several You-Tube videos on this little stinker and it turns out the little lock/unlock button on the side is the on/off. I thought it meant that the device locked to insure the lid did not open. *July 18, 2015 – after using both devices for many months, I can definitely say that I feel the hAppy prints a better quality photo and the battery life far exceeds that of the LG printer. My recommendation if I were to only purchase one would be the Zink hAppy. The Zink hAppy can be dressed up with different colored skins (purchased separately). The LG comes in white, yellow, and pink. I purchased both of these products and the above opinions are my own. If you have questions, please comment below and I’ll try to answer them from my own experience. I purchased my printers from Amazon. These are the links. ZINK hAppy Smart App Printer ZINK 2 inch zRoll ZINK hAppy Rechargeable Battery LG PoPo Pocket Photo 2 PD239 Zink Media Photo Paper My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Technology Thursday – Wunderlist

Wunderlist iPad
Wunderlist iPad (Photo credit: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta)

It’s Thursday again and that means revealing another one of my favorite apps!

Wunderlist is one of my all time favorite apps for list making – next to Evernote that is, and the one that I am featuring today! (You can find more apps under The Write Plan tab.)

Like Evernote, it syncs across my devices so if I am on the computer and need to jot down a note or add to my grocery list, it’s just a click away.

Wunderlist iPad
Wunderlist iPad (Photo credit: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta)

I downloaded and tried many different list apps before deciding on Wunderlist. I have been referred to as the app Queen by a couple of my friends – and I think I’ve earned every bit of the name calling in this case! Haven’t decided if that’s good or bad yet.

While I had to upgrade to Evernote Pro – that’s how much I love it – I have not upgraded to the paid version of Wunderlist. With the free version I can upload three docs or photos a day and I find that is enough for me.

2012 09 11 10.52.23 e1347375350407   Wunderlist   The Best To Do List Application On The iPhone [iOS]

I am a list maker. I’m a pro at making lists. Did I mention how much I love lists? Wunderlist is great for making lists. I have a list for me, a list for Hubby, a grocery list, a to do list, and an errand list. I love that the lists are checklists. We list makers LOVE checking things off. We do not want to delete our tasks until we can visually see that all the tasks have been accomplished. Wunderlist gives me the freedom to do this. It allows me to flag important items on my lists and with a swipe, delete items. I enjoy being able to add sub-lists (in the form of check-lists) to my lists and with a simple movement/drag re-order them.

Wunderlist App
Wunderlist has an extremely high number of 5-star ratings. The app allows you to organize your life and your business all in one place. You can add important details – pictures, documents, notes, reminders, due dates and subtasks to your lists. You can share your list with any of your contacts and access your information from anywhere – iPhone, Android, PC, iPad, etc.  Wunderlist Pro is $4.99 a month and allows even more sharing as well as making comments. When you think of the cost of paper and the number of list you hand write and toss out, I would say that is quite a bargain.

2012 09 11 10.52.42 e1347375421915   Wunderlist   The Best To Do List Application On The iPhone [iOS]

It is important to remember that your phone isn’t just a phone, it’s a computer and should be utilized as such. Our phones are such amazing little creatures and can help us stay organized. Do you use Wunderlist? What is your take on it?

Wunderlist iPad


She's b-a-c-k…from life's distractions, family drama, medical appointments, and shopping

I’ve been kind of missing in action lately, but I’m back. Hope there is someone out there that noticed, after all, we all like to know we’ve been missed.

My husband has been suffering with a neck injury with different diagnosis coming in from a chiropractor, a PCP, a doctor of physical medicine, and now a physical therapist. One was insistent that cracking the neck and back was going to fix it. While I didn’t agree with the method, I was willing to support my husband’s choice to try non-evasive first (although in my opinion, that constitutes evasive). With that treatment ending and the symptoms worsening, we then took it to the next level and medical doctors. We know there is arthritis in his neck, but none of this was explaining the numbness and pain radiating down his arm.

After x-rays and an MRI, we are now in physical therapy and at least things are beginning to make sense. The therapist was able to isolate the nerve causing the pain and some interesting things have begun to happen. Hopefully, improvements will follow. Seems between the two of us, we’ve been making a few too many trips into New Orleans to Ochsner.

Physical therapy is proving to be quite the interesting journey. Luckily, we found a wonderful therapist who doesn’t mind being asked questions and explaining everything going on. I have been known to irritate even the nicest of doctors with my questions. I never left the “why” stage behind. She would do something and I’d ask what she was doing, why she was doing it, and what she hoped the outcome would be. I was very impressed because she is very open with us. She is also confident that the nerve is not permanently damaged and she can restore what has been damaged through treatment. After three months of horrible pain, it is nice to see Hubby finding some relief. The physical therapist also uses dry needling and that is interesting.

I only have one comment. If that is how women act when they are PMSing, geez, no wonder we get on everyone’s last nerve!

Our latest trip into New Orleans this week was for follow-up blood work and an ultra-sound for me. The numbers having to do with my liver and gall bladder were elevated. I have two rare blood disorders and have blood work done every six months to monitor my elevated red cell count and platelet count. Those numbers are elevated, but within the same high range they have been for a year. I have to admit that if I get another tech that hurts me the way this one did, I’m calling for someone new. I have a huge bruise on my arm. She stuck me and then moved the needle around for a while (which, by the way I could feel) before she managed to hit the vein. I don’t watch, but I could feel it and it hurt. I told Hubby he needs to be my advocate next time and instead of watching, needs to stop them. He said had she moved it one more time, he had decided that he was going to stop her and call for someone new.

On the bright side, I did a little shopping this month and bought some cool stuff. I’ll be sharing those goodies throughout the week. First up are my little books from May Designs. I have recently returned to journaling and a pretty book is always enticing and I love these. I also have one for the Facebook group 360/30. The group gives a month’s worth of thought-provoking prompts at the beginning of each month. And I use the third for my medical records.

Don’t you just love them?


And where do you put such pretty little books? Well – in a pretty little pouch. I found these cute Hadaki bags on-line. It came in a set of two, one of which was the perfect size for my little books, along with a pretty colored pen for each book. You’ll come to notice I’m more than a little obsessed with pretty pouches. I have amassed quite a collection through the years and I love mixing them up and using them for different purposes. One can never have too much pretty pretty.

photo 1 (3) photo 3 (3) photo 4

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I even received a cute pink lollipop!
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I decided to leave the pretty green ribbon that held them together. I cut it and tied a piece to each zipper.
photo 2 (3)
The colors are so bright and cheerful.
photo 1
I even used the pretty pink envelope that came inside. I hole punched it to fit my planner and then used one of my Martha Stewart punches to make the cute top design, then added stickers.
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Even the inside lining is pretty.

I recently found a couple of shopping apps and I’ve been trying them out. You receive a list of items each week and if you purchase any of them, you can earn money back. It isn’t always items I use, but I’ve managed to rack up about $4 for just buying what I already buy. One is Checkout 51 and the second is Ibotta. I think they are available for both iPhone and Android.

I also use Grocery IQ as my grocery list app. It is connected with Coupon.com and I was able to utilize a few coupons there as well. One was for antiperspirants. It’s no secret that I love my Secret – unscented that is. When I sweat I do not want to smell like baby powder sweat, or citrus sweat. Anyone else with me? Well, being Southern I suspect that if I am invited on a picnic – and sweat – those in attendance will sniffing the air to see who smells like the Ambrosia (with a twist of sweat.) My new deodorant, thanks to a coupon, is Secret Citrus (I kid you not!) I truly just do NOT want to smell like something when I sweat. The best case scenario would be to not smell, but do you really want to smell like Spring – with a touch of sweat? Who thinks up these fragrances? We truly need to have a sit down with them – and soon.

We had a little family drama this week as well. If you follow my blog, you know that I adore my German shepherds. Ryka never darts out in front of the truck when we come through the gate, but this time she did. I had just closed one gate after Hubby came through and was starting to close the second when I looked up and saw Ryka start to cross in front of him. It happened so fast. The truck bumper hit and flipped her and then she rolled to a stop as Hubby did, right against the tire.

I did what any good Southern lady would do. I let out a blood curdling scream. Jamie Curtis in Halloween doesn’t have anything on me! I think I frightened Ryka more than getting hit by the truck did, but thankfully, she got up and walked away. I still shudder when I think about it. I was quite upset the entire afternoon and that night I spent about an hour just cuddling and playing and rubbing them before I came inside.

I was always concerned about Calypso because she insists on running down the drive in front of the truck and escorting us to the garage. Before the truck, we had a suburban and we could at least see her ears as she galloped along. The truck is so high, she would have to be a horse to be seen. Ryka always lagged behind and this was completely out of character for her. As they say, “All’s good in Hollywood,” at least momentarily.

There were loads more adventures and family drama this week, but I’ll save that for another day. As always, thanks for taking the time to visit here and I wish you a wonderful weekend. I have a book giveaway, so if you love a good romance, be sure and leave a comment there. The book is Waiting on You and the link is: https://mylifeonestoryatatime.com/2014/04/05/waiting-on-you-by-kristan-higgins-review-giveaway/

Thanks for visiting!



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