A now for something completely different!


I’m old enough to remember the days when we all bought answering machines!  Today, there is an entire generation or two who has never experienced the humiliation of a caller’s voice booming out loud over the answering machine.

I also remember when we all bought VCR machines.  Those are those big clunky machines that we used to watch and tape movies on.  Remember the days when on Saturday nights we would race to the nearby video store and stack up on a few new movies to watch over the weekend?  Remember:  be sure to “rewind” before you take the tape back.  Remember late fees???

Remember BetaMax versus VHS?



I remember when we didn’t have computers.  And then suddenly there was a “Personal Computer.”  But, back then there was no Internet on the computers.   The Houston radio talk show host, Alvin Van Black, who was a local precursor to Rush Limbaugh, used to rant and scream about PCs.  “Why do we need those?  To balance our check books?  For what?  What good are they?  They’ll never last.  Don’t waste your money on a PC.”  Infamous last words.


And then, there were cell phones.  Remember when we used cell phones just to call somebody to talk?  Today, they are our lifeline to the world, our way to connect to a myriad of ways to make our lives easier. 

Remember when none of us knew what an App was or why we needed to know about them?

Apps – or applications - are the new link to the world.  It’s becoming increasingly harder to live without using apps, just as the oldest of us are becoming active on social media.   Apps are written by both companies and individuals.  Some are free, some aren’t, but their usual cost is rather low.  

There are 1,000s and 1,000s of different types of apps, which you download on your Iphone.  The problem is – how do you know about popular apps?  How do you know which are the good ones?  Having a millennium in the family is, of course, the best way to discover new apps.

But if you aren’t related to a 25 year old, how might you learn about the latest useful app?  I remember last year when my hairdresser introduced me to an app that I now use weekly.   Sometimes a catchy news story will inform me of an app I can’t live without.   Sometimes I just go the Apps link and hit ‘search.’

But still…I worry about all the apps out there that I don’t know about and don’t use.   Am I unaware of an app that would change my life for the better????

I thought today I would tell you my favorite apps and hopefully you, in turn, will leave a comment telling us what YOUR favorite app is and together we will become invincible!!



#1  Instacart

We use Instacart instead of going to the grocery store.  Have you be in a grocery store and noticed all the people shopping in T-shirts that say “Instacart?”  They are taking over our grocery stores.  Sometimes there are more Instacart Shoppers than real shoppers.

Once you download the Instacart app, you put in your zip code which lets you know your shopping choices.  Mr. Slippersocks Man and I are lucky enough to have fabulous choices:  HEB, Whole Foods, Costco(!), Central Market, Petco & Specs. 


Today when I checked my Instacart app - there were 542 coupons available to redeem!

Instacart remembers your orders so if you get the same items every week, it becomes very easy to navigate.


The groceries can come within a hour or you can schedule them for later.  Be prepared to get texts from your instacarter if the store is out of something you ordered.  The shopper will ask you for a substitute item. 

The cost is $5.95 a trip and your tip can be automatically applied to the charge – usually around 15%. 

Instacart has exploded in certain cities like NYC and San Francisco and Instacart has made changes in the way they operate.  Before, the shoppers just picked up the package at the curb – but now in some cities the Instacarter does it all from shopping to being the checker. 

Next time you are shopping at HEB or Whole Foods, look around and see if you notice anyone in a green Instacart T-Shirt. 

This app is probably my #1, tied with my next one:



#2  Door Dash


OK – Door Dash and Instacart share #1 as my favorite apps.  Door Dash is my life saver.   Again, you put in your zip code and up pops all the restaurants that your Dasher will go to.  You pick out what you want to eat, type in any special instructions (like NO EGGS IN FRIED RICE!!!) (I always use many exclamation points in my eggs message!!!!)  - and viola.  You have dinner at your door in a half hour.  Again, the fee is included in the tab, along with the size of the tip you specify.  Door Dash saves your orders and this makes it easy to reorder the same thing, night after night after night.  Right now, I’m hooked on – yes- Fried Rice from P.F. Changs.  The fee varies. 


You will get updates from your driver as he picks up your order and as he approaches your house.  I can’t recommend Door Dash enough!!



With the success of Door Dash and Instacart, there are a plethora of different apps that deliver all kinds of things to the house.  They all have different fees and tips – and they work in different cities and go to different stores.  So, play around until you find the one that satisfies your needs.

I love Favor.  It’s exactly what it says.  Someone does you a Favor!  If you don’t feel well and need your meds from CVS or Walgreens, call Favor!! 



Favor is based out of Austin and the cool thing about them is they really will go anywhere, even if it isn’t listed.  Just ask.  You talk directly to your Favor runner and they will bend over backwards to get whatever you want.

In a world where delivery apps have exploded, Favor broke out ahead of the pack and is now very popular.  There are no mark-ups on the goods.  You pay a small delivery and service fee plus a tip.

Try them, they are great!



Postmates is another delivery service in a host of cities – many, many cities.  You might try them if you live where others apps aren’t.  They have deals to places like $3.99 to 49 places from drive-thrus like Starbucks to restaurants to Walgreens to grocery stores.


#5 grubHub 

Grubhub has been around a long time and is now in over 1,000 cities – including London.  For food deliveries. 



Everyone probably knows about Uber and probably uses it too.  Sometimes I think I should just sell my car and use Uber – it’s so easy and reliable.  Uber takes the place of a taxi service, except they use their own regular car.   Uber has been watching apps like Instacart deliver groceries and dinners and thought, hmm, we have all these cars and drivers, why not?  So…we now have:



The same as most other food delivery apps, Uber Eats is all over the world including Australia and Canada and in cities like Dubai and Amsterdam.  It will probably eventually be the largest food app since they already have such a running start. 

Now that you never have to leave your house to shop for groceries, pick up coffee and prescriptions, or go out to dinner – what about the bank?


#8 Bank of America

I bank at Bank of America and I’m always using their app to bank at home.  All my checks get scanned in my phone, saving me that long line in my car!  It’s so convenient! I’m totally addicted to it.   I use to hang onto to birthday checks forever – and my mom & dad would call, “did you ever cash that check we gave you for your birthday?  It’s messing up our bank statement!!” 

Now, I just scan in my checks immediately. 

And it’s wonderful to keep up with your bank balance 24/7 – well, maybe that is NOT so wonderful!   But with a few swipes of my phone, I know exactly what my bank account is up to. 


#9 PayPal

I’ve used PayPal since I started to make internet purchases.  It’s an online bank.  If someone owes you money from another city, they can just deposit it into your PayPal account.   Now, with the PayPal app, it alerts me every time an automatic payment goes out, like to Netflix or to the NYTimes Online.  With the phone app, I’m kept up to date on all those payments either coming in or going out, so I can act on them immediately. 


#10 kindle

Don’t even get me started on kindle!  Remember when we used to have to have a dedicated kindle Reader?  Then we all got Ipads.  Now I just read my kindle books on either my computer or my phone.  And…I LOVE the feature where you can listen to the book!!   I just turn on my kindle app on my phone when I drive and listen to the latest Outlander Book I’m reading. (Still!)  Sigh.  No more REAL books for me, only kindle ones.  The only ones I buy these days are Decor books.  It’s sad to realize that books are going to be a thing of the past one day soon.

And then there are magazines.


#11 zinio



I subscribe to all my magazines via the internet through zinio.  I have the phone app which alerts me when a new issue is delivered.  Many times I’ll look at it quickly on my phone.  Many times I’ll never go back to look at it again.  Have you noticed that the magazine’s free blogs are sometimes so much better than the magazines????

Let’s see…of course you know all about social media apps like – Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  For a while I was seriously hooked on Snapchat, but how many times can you watch Kylie Jenner put her new lipstick line on her wrist???  I’m done with it.


#12 Walgreens 

The Walgreen’s App is a huge, huge time saver.  It keeps up with all your pills and lets you know when you are due a refill.  To order a prescription, you can just scan the bottle into your phone, or type in the number.  It lets you know when to come pick it up.  With someone like Mr. Slippersocks Man who takes about 30 pills a day – he is addicted, not to the medicine, but to our Walgreen’s App!!



And then there is the Houston Area App.  I can’t live without this one.  See a cute house for sale?  Just swipe the app on and it tells you all the details, including showing the pictures of the house you just passed!   I love it and use it all the time when I’m driving around Houston. 


#14 My Fitness Pal

There are a number of other apps I use, but some, not as much.  My Fitness Pal is great if you are dieting.  It keeps up with all the steps you take, along with calories, etc.  I loved using it with my diet…

that lasted all of one week! 

Winking smile


#15 Daily Mail


I LOVE Daily Mail for quick Hollywood Gossip and for general news.  They have two sections.  It’s not the New York Times, but for a quick recap of national news and Hollywood – it’s the best.


#16 Zillow


There are a lot of Apps for Interior Design, but for the phone, I haven’t found many at all that are really useful.  Most seem gimmicky.   I’m very curious to know if anyone of you have found any apps that are good for the design business.  Zillow is good for a paint app.  You take a picture and then it turns the walls a different color of Sherwin Williams paint.


For instance – here is my living room with dark blue paint instead of gray.  The application doesn’t work perfectly – but it does give you a good idea of how it might look.  Hmmm!!!  I kind of like it!!!



#17 OKA

                                                                                                Lastly, I adore One King’s Lane.  It is a great way to find furniture and accessories for clients and myself.  It has the best sales.  And they do wonderful stories of people’s houses, mostly in the design business – so the houses are great.  Their personal garage sales of celebrities are the best!!   I’m always on this App during the day.


Now, tell me your favorite Apps!  What are the ones you are always on and use all the time? 


We spend Thanksgiving at my sister Cathy’s house each year.  Her table from last year with tulips.


A VERY Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!!!!!   This year, we have a lot to be thankful for,  mainly that the election is finally over and we don’t have to face it again for four more years!  Thankfully!!!

Have a wonderful day with your families and don’t eat too much!!!!!




OKL is having a cute Christmas Decor sale HERE.


Along with a sale on Chandeliers and Lamps – classic and contemporary!!!



  1. These will help keep older people in their homes longer. Pure blessing for that fact alone.

    Love the list, you probably knew, most new to me.

    Have a great Thanksgiving !

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  2. Last year Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston announced an App that will allow physicians to diagnose Cancer using a Smart Phone. Washington State University is in the process of setting up a lab to do the same thing with results from a Smart Phone.

    All pathogenic (disease causing) organisms have unique DNA signatures. The technology exists now, so it won't be long before you will use your cell phone to identify the correct virus, bacteria or fungus that is making you ill. Just send results to the doctor via the app and he or she will prescribe treatment over the phone.

    Just think! No more killing time in the waiting room when you would rather be in bed. No more catching something else from the sick person next to you.

    For Designers: Someone needs to create an app that scans a piece of furniture or other decorative item you might like to buy. Then, if you have a 3-D printer you could print a tiny 3 D replica to see if you really like it. You could also zoom in on a small part to print out just that part of the surface texture to see if the hardware, patina, crackling, etc. appeal to you. This would be a great way for long-distance antique buyers to verify that the piece that arrives at their door-step is the one they bought.

    Brave New World!

  3. I live in a small town and the delivery app services are not available here. We do have Uber so I will have to check out UberEats. The Zillow app that has the paint feature is Zillow Diggs which I had to download separately. It is a neat app! We have used a banking app for a year or more, so convenient and most banks have an app. I have several that I use constantly: WeatherBug is a great weather app, a local convenience store/gas station (Cumberland Farms) has a great, easy to use app for all purchases and if you use it when buying gas you get .10 discount per gallon and lots of free stuff like coffee and sodas, I love bird-watching and IBird is a great birding app, there are lots of travel apps that I use especially the airline apps for boarding passes and staying up to dates on flights, we also control lights and doors in our home with apps like RingCentral and Nest and I listen to podcasts daily. Wow, I didn't realize what a difference my smart phone has made to my life!

    1. I want that doorbell app. I keep forgetting about it!

  4. For magazines, I pay a flat fee of $15 a month and get ALL the magazines I want ... app is called Texture. They even have architectural digest, rolling stone, dwell. You can search and find the latest interviews. Love it!

    1. My library has Zineo free for members. They have the magazines above and hundreds more. Check out your library or one in your system.

  5. my favorite app is "Postagram" which allows you to create a postcard from a photo you take and send it to someone for only 99 cents -total! that includes printing and postage. I sometimes send myself postagrams so I can have a high quality print of an image I take! I also use it as a thank you note when I'm at someone's house or out to dinner - take a snap of a cute vignette in their house, or of them -and then send it to them later that night hard copy. Getting mail is cool again ;-) Takes about a week from the time you place the order to the time they receive the card. Can't recommend it more highly; postagram!

    1. never heard of this one - what a great idea !!!! i'm going to try it now.

  6. Mosaic is an app where you select 20 of your favorite iPhone photos and a week later, in the mail, you receive a beautiful little hardcover book containing quality prints of your snaps. I have a stack of them on my coffee table. I love it- no more memories lost in the Cloud.

  7. To anyone who truly loves books, please buy books this year for those on your Christmas list. Lots of people love real books!
    Please buy them, if you can, at locally owned, small business bookstores.
    Please help keep our local small businesses of all types and bookstores in business. They need YOUR patronage.
    Thank you.

  8. Wow - these apps, incredible what people are coming up with. Such an interesting read! Here in Australia we have none of them (aside from Uber eats), so I can see how great this would be to have people doing your grocery shopping etc for you off an app and delivered quickly. Our closest things for groceries are just website based, and you have to put in an order for the next day, not same day let alone an hour later. Definitely nothing around for picking up pharmacy supplies etc.
    But a comment on books - book sales went up and kindle sales stalled over the past two years. They think that the kindle is at saturation point in the market, and that there's a segment that won't read online, and always buy books. Plus others that are turning back to actual physical books. Personally I hate reading on a screen and don't retain information in the same way (I read a lot of magazines on my iPad, and definitely don't take it in the same way as a hard copy). So it's books for me, and for most of my family it is the same - I did my Christmas shopping on Monday at a local independent bookstore and ticked off most of the presents for family that way.

    1. Yay, Heidi! Thank you for buying books and for your comments on physical books.

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  10. I just found out about Venmo, which is a Paypal product. It's a money transfer/digital wallet app and doesn't charge any fees. I am increasingly being asked if I have it, and now I do. I can transfer money from Venmo to my bank account seamlessly.

  11. Instacart, wow - but I like going to the grocery store!!!....however, I suspect sending someone with my list, even with trip charge and fees I would save money, and it is my biggest time suck and my only impulse buys. I love the concept. Thanks for all the intel, Joni, this was fun and informative.

  12. I like Bloglovin', which is a cross between a subscription service and Pinterest. I certainly prefer it to Pinterest for recipes.
    And yes, I would be devastated without podcasts, which make exercise and housework (even driving) far more palatable.

  13. My suggestion is not an app but a new way to use the ones you already love. Amazon echo, aka Alexa, has become a welcome addition to my household. I can order an uber, get groceries ordered (and delivered), turn on lights, and lots of other things. Its a nice way to free oneself from being tethered to a smart phone. It does require a bit of set up, esp to use features like smart light bulbs or If This Then That technology but it is not too difficult.
    I do not use ebooks as I prefer the tactile pleasure of real books. However, my new bedtime ritual is to have my echo read me a chapter from my Audible book (before she plays me some music and turns off the lights). Its like having someone read me a bedtime story!

  14. I will try some of these new ones! I LOVE Walmart Grocery, you can use their app or do it online. You reserve your pick up time, place your order, pull into the reserved parking spots, call them and they bring your bagged groceries out and load the groceries in your car. And best of all, it is for Walmart prices and with no fees! I also use Waze (free GPS app), Rachio (phone control of your sprinkler system, but have to buy the box too), WiOn (iPhone controlled plugs for turning things on/off), Cartwheel (Target's in store discount/coupon app), PediaQ (get a nurse visit to your house for kids in the evening or weekends), iRobot (which I use to control my Roomba vacuum), Favado (most of the mentioned stores are included, they do you a "favor" by picking things up for you), NPR News (you can listen to all NPR programs not just news, cleaner interface than podcasts), the silly FindCookies app (use during Girl Scout cookie season to find cookie booth), CBT-I Coach (the cognitive behavioral training for insomnia app produced by the VA), the Spark lightning detector app inside of WeatherBug is essential if you own a pool to get the kids out when lighting is around, ISS Spotter (great for kids to track where the international space station is at any moment and tell you when it is overhead), AppsGoneFree (highlights different apps each day that are free for one day only, fun way to find new apps for no cost), FlightTrack (track where any flight is to find actual arrival time, great for if kids are flying alone or to know if hubby will be home late), and the iPhone Health app to tell me when I need to get off my boogie and get some exercise!

  15. I use Instacart and DoorDash frequently and have been *mostly* happy with both. I typically go to their websites on my desktop for ease of ordering/larger screen, though.

    Had a horrible first experience with UberEats. Did you know they can unilaterally cancel your order (even if you have been waiting an hour or more) if no driver elects to stop by the restaurant and pick up your food? Yep.

    Living in a large Southern city with horrible traffic, I use the Waze app daily. 100 times better than the navigation system in my car since it is real-time crowd-sourced. Have lived in my city for 20 years and am finding new cool shortcuts thanks to Waze. I highly, highly recommend Waze!!!

    I love using Paypal to receive payments when I sell stuff on Craigslist or Next Door (neighborhood message board). I build up a balance in Paypal by getting rid of crap around my house that my neighbors are willing to pay me for, and then I use my Paypal balance to buy something fun for myself online! Win win.

    On my iPad, I love the Longform app. Curated collection of longform essays/interesting articles from a variety of periodicals. I always end up reading the most interesting stories, often from magazines like Outside that I might not otherwise subscribe to.

  16. Paprika is my favorite app. You put your favorite recipes in it. You can download recipes from the internet or type in recipes, and you carry all of your recipes with you. So, you can access them from the grocery store on the go. It also includes a great shopping list.

  17. I am going to have to try Paprika. We use the Nest for our lake house and love it. We can turn on the heat or air before we get there which is wonderful. I am going to have to up my game and try a few of the others mentioned. Great topic for discussion! Your readers are the best!!