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Keeping everyone in a Circle with Life360

standard September 25, 2013 Leave a response

My husband is an attorney. 90% of the time he spends his days sitting at his desk in his office. The rest of the time he’s off at depositions, at mediations, at client meetings, or even in trial. Sometimes he can text me to tell me when to expect him home, sometimes he can’t.

For the most part not knowing is fine. He’s almost always home around 5:30, almost always warns me when he won’t be. And then, once in a while, a deposition runs late, the office team goes out for a drink, or something else comes up and delays him.

I admit, I worry. I can’t help it.

And yes, some night, like last night, it’s annoying to not know. Like, when I’ve gone out of my way to make dinner for the whole family (what the kids call Family Love Dinner) and I get a call just as the spaghetti is done, telling me that he’s just now heading home and he’s three towns over.

I didn’t freak. There was nothing to be done. I served the kids their dinner and put ours aside to be warmed up later, but it would have been nice to know. I would have saved Family Love Dinner for tonight.

As I mentioned, it’s not a question of intent on my husband’s part. If he hasn’t called or texted it’s because he truly can’t. I get that. And with the Life360 app I can check to see where he is, to see if he’s on the road or still at work.

I love it. And now, with the new Circles update, I can expand my use of the app to my friends.

The Circles feature allows you to create different groupings of people so you can easily message a whole group of people or check on everyone at once.

  • Do you have a group of close friends? Create a Circle and let everyone know when you’re heading to the park or out to lunch.
  • Do you have a carpool you rely on for getting the kids to and fro? Create a Circle and always know when your kids are almost home.
  • Going on vacation with your extended family? Create a Circle and let everyone know about dinner plans.
  • Heading to a blogging or work conference? Create a Circle for the people you want to spend the most time with and let everyone know where to assemble.

Circles can be created as easily as they can be erased. They can be temporary or long lasting. They can have just two people in them or as many as you might want. And they make it just so easy to keep everything and everyone nicely connected.

The Life360 app has so much more to offer, but I’ll let you play with it yourself. It’s free to download to either your Android or iOS device. The subscription service gives you access to even more options. Trust me, you want to check it out.

Please note: Life360 is a Splash Creative Media client and, as such, has compensated me to write this post and spread the love about their app. The opinions and stories here are mine and mine alone.

The Annual Christmas Sneak-up

standard December 13, 2010 2 responses

You would think that working in a company that is intensely focused on the holidays that I would have it all under control.

I don’t.

I didn’t order my holiday cards until last week and I’m ashamed to admit this, but I’ve only bought two Christmas presents. Both are for my husband.

No, really. We leave for Chicago in 10 days and I have bought exactly… nothing.

Even worse, I have barely perused the lists that have been sent to me.

Hi, my name is Jessica. I sell Christmas cards for a living, but I am failing at Christmas.

Now who wants to bet that the credit card company gives me a call later this week because they’re concerned about the increased activity on the card? Because, without getting off my couch, I’m going to attempt to work my way through all the lists and through all the awesome gift ideas I have. Here’s hoping that the weather in Chicago doesn’t throw a wrench in all the last minute shipping I’ll be doing.

Seriously, sometime in early November next year someone remind me that this happens to me every single year? K? Thanks.

See? I really do sell cards! You can see me hard at work in this ABC 7 news clip!

A cleaning spree

standard November 22, 2010 2 responses

Two nights ago I had a fantastic dream. I don’t remember the gist of the action or the characters involved, all I remembered when I woke up was how delightfully clean the house was in the dream.

To say that it was a rude awakening is putting it lightly.

As always piles of stuff greeted me when I got up. I stopped by the girls’ room to say hello and was greeted my more chaos. I closed my eyes for a second to revisit my delightful dream and without thinking I started cleaning up.

Hours later each doll was in its place, each block in its bin. The shelves were stocked with rows of toys and the floor was amazingly clear of clutter and toys. I had even unearthed the Command picture hanging strips that were given to me at BlogHer to hang some coat hooks on the back of the door. Outgrown shoes were either chucked or tucked away for posterity, toy strollers finally found a home on a ribbon I strung across the closet door, and the books all faced the same way and were easy to pull off the shelf.

We spent the rest of the day sitting in their clean room enjoying the calm and serenity of the organized space. Then I went to bed in the utter chaos of our own room.

This morning I woke up determined to turn our room into the same haven of peace that the girls enjoyed all weekend.

The main culprit in our room was the armchair and ottoman – both covered in clothes. Clothes that really should have been in the closet that was also overflowing and terrifyingly unorganized.

Four, yes, four trash bags of outgrown and out of date clothes later there was enough room in the closet for the chair to be cleared. We purged everything – pre-baby clothing I’ve finally admitted will never fit again, college clothes that might never have been in style, things we just never wear, things we’ve never worn (with tags still on!). I took all the too big clothing that I might need one day should we ever have another child, but definitely don’t need now and stashed it in the girls’ closet.

Tonight the armchair and ottoman are completely clear. The AC unit has been removed from the window. A painting that has been sitting on the floor for months is now hanging (Thanks again Command!). Random bags have been removed. The half empty suitcase has been emptied and put away. And finally, finally, the room is pleasant to be in. 

Another weekend and I could make it positively delightful, but for now, this will have to do.

Operation Unsubscribe

standard June 7, 2010 4 responses

On any given day I receive over 400 emails between my four different email accounts. One account I never check, so we can ignore the truly unsolicited emails over there. The other 350 have been to some extent or another requested – store mailing lists, list-serves, group emails, etc, etc, etc.

For the longest time I’ve just dealt with doing a mass delete every week, making my email show me everything that’s unread and going click-happy with the delete key. That was fine as long as the email only cluttered my email in box, but since I got a BlackBerry last year, it’s also cluttered my phone, causing it to vibrate every few minutes when a new email comes in.

I’m tired of reacting to my phone only to discover that yet another Pottery Barn email has come in. I’m tired of spending hours deleting emails I have no interest in opening. So I’m doing something about it.

I kicked off Operation Unsubscribe at the end of last week and I’ve been steadily working my way back through my email, unsubscribing to everything I wouldn’t regularly open.

I’ve discovered
– that I’ve been subscribed to some newsletters for well over 8 years.
– I never read those newsletters.
– Some are quite interesting and I probably should read them.
– I signed up for some newsletters two careers ago.
– Oddly enough the marketing ones are once again pertinent.
– I get store newsletters I never signed up for, for stores I’ve never heard of. Not sure how that happened.
– That it can take up to 10 days to be unsubscribed from a list. Why?
– As soon as you unsubscribe they send you a TON of emails. Why again?
– Email newsletter unsubscribe pages were written by Jewish moms. It’s all “No, I NEVER want to receive another email from you.” The guilt factor is high.

Taking control of my inbox is unbelievably empowering. It’s like organization light. I have zero control over the chaos in my house, but my email is going to be sleek and organized any time now. I just know it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I just saw an email come in that I have no desire to read and every desire to cancel.