Be the Reviewer

I have gotten several announcements lately about services I wish I could try out. I usually only cover things here that I’ve tried and like. But I’m curious about these and — for one reason or another — can’t test them. Maybe you would like to try them and report in the comments?

Here they are:

Woman practicing yoga at sunrise The idea here is that you buy a yoga gift card – good at lots of studios – for someone who likes yoga and is shopping for a place to do it. Or, I suppose, you buy it for yourself for the same reason or for someone you think should do yoga and needs a push in the right direction. It works only in big-ish cities so I couldn’t try it out in the little backwater where I live. And, honestly, I’m not into yoga. I have a good excuse: carpal tunnel injury in my wrists (down dog = bad kind of pain) but also because I would be sort of like Jason Segel’s character in (the unrated version of) Forgetting Sarah Marshal, without the booze and cussing of course. (Here is the scene if you haven’t seen that movie. But be warned, there is cussing.) Yoga people? What do you think?

salad This is an online menu planner that serves up a reasonable selection of quick-to-make recipes you pick from to create a week of meals. Then it hands you a shopping list and sends you to the store to buy exactly what you need to implement your new plan. I’m an advocate of menu planning. It definitely saves time and money over “hope for the best” methods of getting dinner on the table. It saves money on groceries because you only buy what you need. And it saves all the time you normally spend staring into the fridge wondering what to make. This site didn’t work for me. But only because I already have a system for this. But maybe would work for one of you? It costs $21 a month for a three-month subscription. (It’s cheaper by the month if you buy more months.) But here’s an offer from to readers: “We’d like to offer free silicone grilling tongs ($12 value) for everyone who signs up for a 6 or 12 month subscription. Just enter TONGS at checkout on” I just lived through several weeks of end-of-school-year party planning, requests for volunteers to help proctor EOGs at my kids’ school, and fundraiser requests from the kids themselves. I don’t mind volunteering or donating to these things. But keeping up with the email strings and figuring out what’s needed and when and what I should donate takes it out of me. (For one party alone, the email string was 50 messages long. I simply didn’t have time to sort it out. Imagine what a hell that was for the organizer!) I already have a pretty full plate. I just want to know what to do and when. And that’s what this site aims to do: Organize all the people and their willingness to volunteer without burying everyone in slips of paper, emails, and phone trees. I didn’t have time to try it though because I was already buried. And now the school year is almost over. (Yay!) Is anyone still in the middle of volunteer season? Want to take it for a spin and tell us what you think?


Spafinder iPhone app. I don’t have an iPhone and at the moment I really don’t have time to hit the spa. But it sounds so nice: While driving to your vacation destination, you realize it would be great to get a mani-pedi and a massage when you arrive. So when you pull into a rest stop, out comes the iPhone. Locate a spa nearby (or near your destination) and book an appointment. Can I trade my upcoming week in for this imaginary one? Or maybe one of you is already living large and needs an app to make that large living just a tad more convenient?

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(A word about the ads and product reviews on this site.)