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Shopgirl: Are you the only one not using these apps?

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The pasta guide from designer Stefan Petur Solveigarson comes in plastic or steel.  Special
Special
The pasta guide from designer Stefan Petur Solveigarson comes in plastic or steel.

iTunes released its App of the Year and runners-up, and if you haven’t tried all of them it’s worth taking a look to see whether you can benefit from what millions of others have enjoyed.

If you have an iPhone and haven’t downloaded Instagram, you are the exception. Fifteen million users have downloaded the photo-editing and sharing app that lets you tweak your photos before showing your followers what you’re seeing and where you are. Kind of a photo-twitter, Instagram was the most popular app download of 2011.

Smartphones are fun, of course, but most of us pretend we need them because they make our lives so much more organized and streamlined. Orchestra To-Do was one of the top productivity app downloads of 2011, and LifeHacker named it the top to-do app available for iPhone.

Orchestra helps you with all the things you need to do, ranging from grocery lists to wedding planning. It also allows you to delegate tasks to people through messaging, even if they don’t use Orchestra. Sophisticated voice-recognition technology and automatic syncing to your desktop are just a few of the free app’s other features.

WHAT’S TRENDY

Glasses are everywhere, with and without prescription lenses. The “nerd chic” look is getting a little old in my opinion, but the fact that glasses are cool means more options for those of us who were four-eyes before this trend.

A new way to buy glasses has popped up over the Internet. Warby Parker, BonLook and Classic Specs are the best-known brands who sell prescription eyeglasses for under $100. Warby Parker and Classic Specs will even ship you sample frames to give a whirl before you commit.

I just sent back five sample frames from Warby Parker, and I was so impressed by the quality and the easy home try-on process. I selected five frames, gave them my credit card for security (even though they didn’t charge me a dime), and the frames came in two days. After I tried them on and decided which ones to order, I just slapped the prepaid shipping label on the box and dropped it off at the UPS store.

WHAT’S AFFORDABLE

It can be difficult to look at handfuls of dry spaghetti and eyeball how much a pot of sauce will need.

Icelandic designer Stefan Petur Solveigarson has created a spaghetti ruler of sorts where little cutouts help you to determine how much pasta you will need to cook. No more waste and no more awkward scraping of the pot.

You can get the pasta guide at reykjavikcornerstore.com for $15.90, and it comes in green or white plastic or steel.


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