What to download: Parqer

1403026087905There are two things I’ve completely lost the ability to do since moving out of Los Angeles: carry cash and parallel park. It’s like I left both of these skills – yes, consistently carrying cash in the age of plastic is most definitely a learned skill – somewhere in the desert between Palm Springs and El Paso. Better those than my sanity, which is quite easy to forfeit on that particular mindless, drab, dreary, BORING drive. There is one stretch of I-10 (or The 10 for you people out left) in New Mexico that I swear is how and where all horror movies ultimately begin.

I could go on for potentially 16 posts about how bad parking sucks balls in LA. It’s no secret. And as Dallas continues this freakish growth phase, it’s certainly no better. Henderson. Katy Trail. Uptown. Downtown. Lowest Greenville. Northpark on the weekends. All nightmares. If it wasn’t for Uber my girlfriends and I might never leave our houses. However, as much as we all love us some Uber, it’s not always a necessity. (Read: you don’t necessarily plan on drinking that much). Nor is it always an option. Maybe you’re headed straight from the office to a dinner meeting, office happy hour or an early date you’re super anxious to get to (it happens, I hear). It’s 5:30 p.m., 75 is a disaster (shocking!) , you’re beyond irritated and in need of a cold, frosty beverage. You pull up to the Ice House and there is of course no parking to be found this side of Cedar Springs and you have exactly 62 cents in your cup holder.

We have all been there. It’s the worst. But just like Uber has saved the cashless from avoiding taxi rides like the plague, Parqer is now rescuing the non-cash-carrying-hopeless from avoiding valet or having to park six blocks away and most likely illegally.

Parqer, a Dallas-based organization (and in full disclosure, founded by a friend) has partnered with three area valet companies and numerous trendy spots including the Katy Trail Ice House, Three Sheets and Northpark Center, to offer their brilliant cashless valet option. Once users download the app to their smartphones and store payment info, they need only open it up upon checkout and select the location at which they’re participating and confirm the charges. It works for valet fees + tips or tips only. Easy breezy.

Though Parqer is currently available in DFW only, have patience dear friends, it’s expanding to Austin and Houston soon. And from there? In my personal, yet biased, opinion, I see this expanding to all the places in all the country.

The app for my increasingly crappy parallel parking skills, much like my bug killing abilities, is called Find A Husband. Good luck with that, Nikki.





What to download: Happier

logo_round_largeI really don’t remember how I came across this app, perhaps an ad. Or it must have just been a funny little gift from the Universe. It’s well published on here how I try to find little things each and every day to make those around me and myself happier. That’s the entire point of this blog after all. So when I did stumble upon Happier, it was perfectly fitting.

Stealing the quote from Elibates straight from the Happier site (something tells me they won’t mind), Happier is “a delightful antidote to the relentlessly ironic snark of other social sites. And it does actually make you start noticing more of what makes you happier as you go through your day.”  After having really used it now (getting acquainted with the interaction took some time, as with all new social media wonders) I have to say it’s probably the most used app on my phone along with Facebook and Instagram . Next to Instagram, Happier is actually my favorite. And there’s a huge, rather obvious reason for that. Much like the Elibates quote says, it’s the antithesis of what most mainstream social media has become: a cesspool of negativity.

I’ve recently made a conscious effort to not post anything negative via my own statuses or comments on others’. It’s harder than you think; but well worth the effort. I follow a lot of celebs across all social media channels and I cannot believe the venom that spews on their posts. I understand they’re public figures and open themselves up to increased scrutiny, but come on. If you don’t like them, why even bother to follow them? That’s the part I don’t understand. There’s a difference between stating your opinion and being an ass.

Happier is now the escape from all of that. As the site states and we all know, expressing gratitude on a regular basis increases both happiness and health. Happier allows you to “keep a fun, social gratitude journal”, “Be inspired to make others smile” and “feel uplifted by [their] awesome community.” I agree with these statements 300%. Those I follow on there and everyone who follows me, they’re all complete strangers to me. That has made getting to know and appreciating the app actually much more intriguing. But I did want to share it with those of you, even those I DO know, who haven’t discovered it yet!

If you try it, let me know what you think!

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up! – Mark Twain

Xo, Nikki