post off: what role does technology play in your life?

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I’m getting a smart phone. There, I said it. To be clear, I have nothing against them; they’re proven lifesavers when you need to consult a map or simulate a light saber duel. My issue is with me. I’m not averse to technology, I’m slightly obsessed with it. Recently, I’ve been making an effort to “unplug” after work instead of constantly doing eighty miles per hour on the information superhighway, and I’ve resisted the allure of a smart phone knowing it certainly won’t help with that. But it also makes sense to upgrade, and I’m embracing my high-tech life knowing that I can still “power down” to relax, and that having a smart phone might actually (gasp!) make things easier. I’m counting the days until I can download Real Simple’s To-Do List app, but what about you? Do gadgets play a big role in your everyday, or would you rather go without, or with less? — Sarah C.

Photo by Flickr member Panduka Senaka

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site we’re psyched about: pinterest.com

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For me, nothing incites a swoonfest faster than a great organizational tool, and this month, that tool is Pinterest.com. Another visual bookmarking site, Pinterest allows users to save images they love from all over the web and organize them into albums, or ‘pinboards’, that can be shared with friends. Members can ‘follow’ the pinnings of other users and even ‘repin’ images they love to their own boards. The site is still in private beta, so it’s not open to the public yet, but in the meantime, sign up for the invite waitlist, follow creator Ben Silbermann on twitter for updates or explore a few pinboards here.

Bonus: Glean inspiration while you wait by browsing through Pin-It-Forward, the home-themed blogger mashup hosted by sfgirlbybay and Pinterest. Each day for a month the site will feature a pinboard by each of ten bloggers in response to the question ‘What does home mean to you?’ Each blogger will also answer the question on their respective blogs. View the lineup and stop by sfgirlbybay blogger Victoria’s inaugural post here. Prepare to be inspired! — Sarah C.

via oh joy!

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kinda genius: portable phone charging shelf

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Recently, I won tickets to a cage fight in St. Louis (seriously), so I packed my bags, hopped on Amtrak, and played house guest at a friend’s place. It’s a little thing, but I usually end up plugging my phone charger into the first available place and letting the cord and phone pool on the floor, hoping it won’t get stepped on or mistaken for a chew toy. No longer, fellow couch surfers! The Mobile Device Charging Holder from Driinn, $10, has quickly gone to the top of my travel essentials list. It’s a simple idea that turns any wall socket into a convenient, mess-free charging station. — Katie D.

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post off: how do you feel about yard sales?

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Growing up, I don’t remember ever going to a yard sale, at least not until I was in high school — and by then I was at the age where I hated going with my Mom to look through other people’s stuff. (Ironic, given my love for antiques.) What I do remember, however, were farm auctions: fields full of tools, equipment, old harnesses, generations of accumulated furniture, linens, and magazines, all of which served as perfect mazes to run through with my siblings and friends. While I haven’t been to a farm auction in ages, I have finally become an official suburbanite after staging my first yard sale. It was a ton of effort, but by following tips from the Yard Sale Queen, we got rid of most everything. Plus we taught the kids another way to practice the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). I’m just not ready to do it again for at least another 10 years. What about you? Are you planning a yard sale this year? — Sarah L.

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steal this idea: organize your desktop with images

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I try to be an organized person. Really, I do, but most days, my desktop looks like it’s on the verge of a digital mutiny lead by a mishmash of uncategorized jpegs and hastily saved documents. Happily, all that is about to change thanks to this ingenious organizational how-to from Shelterpop. My fave tip? Organize with images. Simply download a desktop image, like this minimalist option from ExitCreative, and move your icons into their designated areas, or create your own, like the post’s author Erin Loechner did with her to-do list grid. For more background templates and non-visual desktop organizing tips click here. – Sarah C.

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