This page will have all the things that I love and highly recommend*:
** For Leisure Travel **
I found out about GetGoing (a YC company) in Fall of 2012 when one of my investors told me about them. I waited about a month to get invited into their beta. It was also around the same time our company’s official 2-year anniversary (from incorporation date: Aug 2010) so we decided to take a working trip somewhere warm. Upon searching “beach locations,” we saw a couple of Hawaii destinations and decided to pick two: Kauai and Honolulu. The round-trip prices of these two locations were super incredible, at about $222 per person! Bear in mind that we’re buying our tickets 3 days prior to flight time. All other hipmunk or kayak searches yieled prices that were at least $200-$300 more per person. So we booked it and ended up with Kauai. Not a bad deal at all.
GetGoing gets really cheap rates because airlines know they mostly only make money from “business” travelers or travelers who have to go to a specific location at a specific time. If they manage to identify you as a “leisure” traveler who are price-sensitive and don’t really care where you go, they’re willing to offer you a much steeper discount. That’s why the GetGoing model works. It’s quite a genius idea, actually.
The site is currently still under beta, so the only way to get instant access it if you were to sign up via my link above. In addition, you get a $25 travel credit through my referral. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
** For Instant Groceries in the Bay Area **
I found out about Instacart around the same time I discovered GetGoing, through their TechCrunch launch in August 2012. Being in the coupon / grocery industry, this obviously intrigued me, so I signed up for it. I didn’t really start using it until November or December (when I finally found a place to stay in San Francisco that wasn’t a couch) and have been a pretty frequent user ever since, ordering at least once every 1-2 weeks.
For me, the feature I like best is the 1-3 hour delivery (they are literally instant!). Even if I ordered on Amazon or Soap or Vine, it will take at least 1 day for the items to get to me. Granted, you pay a bit of a higher price for the groceries than buying online, it’s still worth it if you’ve decided to cook up a last minute dinner (which I did over Christmas eve), or if you just realized that you’re running out of toilet paper and dishwashing liquid and you don’t want to haul it all the way home. Here’s a screenshot of some of the stuff I’ve previously ordered from Instacart.
One of the coolest thing they’ve done in 2013 is to add Trader Joes to the list of vendors they shop from! I love Trader Joes! Although Safeway is just around the corner from my apartment. Another caveat is that they’re only available in San Francisco, Mountain View & Palo Alto at the moment. I’m hoping that they’ll find a way to scale profitably across the US, especially to NYC where this service would be pretty useful (I used to use Fresh Direct once in a while in NYC but still found it inconvenient to schedule ahead of time). And then eventually, allow users to add coupons to save money! Anyway, give it a shot here… use my coupon code: CYEOH to get a $10 credit on groceries (yes, $10 to spend on groceries – that’s basically free money) or click on this link to sign up.
** For Organic & Farm Fresh Groceries in the Bay Area **
I signed up for my first box of “Farm Fresh To You” and have since increased my order size and frequency. Every other week, I look forward to receiving my new box of organic, farm fresh vegetables and fruits, and I just can’t wait to cook them! Varies from $25/box to $85/box, depending on how much you wish to consume. You can also select “all fruits,” “all veggies,” “mixed,” “no cooking” options, and edit the type of produce you want to exclude from your box for each delivery. I got the “Regular Mixed” for $31.50 once every two weeks and find that that’s the right cadence for me (see photos of my cooking below).
Aside from being really confident that you’re consuming the freshest and most sustainable ingredients, I really like the fact that the owner, Thaddeus takes the time to write a very personal letter that accompanies each box, letting their customers know what’s in season right now (leeks, fennels, kales, chards), their current farming challenges (storms flooding the fields, weather too cold & wet), and what they’re planting now to harvest in Summer time (tomatoes, melons). At the back of the letter, he includes some recipes that pairs up with what’s being delivered. Again, I love this because it encourages me to try new recipes and I have no excuses when I have the ingredients right in front of me!
Anyway, if you’re interested in subscribing to this wonderful box, please click on the banner below (or go to this URL: http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/) and sign up using the promo code 6164 and share my first & last name: Cheryl Yeoh to get $10 off your first order. Or you can click here to get a printable coupon. Enjoy your boxes!!
** For Measuring Sleep Quality **
I’m a huge “quantified self” person and have been tracking data about myself since 2006. I was probably one of the earliest user of the Body Bugg but have since advanced to FitBit and other tools. One particular app that I discovered last year is a sleep tracking app call Sleep Cycle. Unlike path or fitbit, I will never forget to track my sleep because Sleep Cycle is also an alarm clock! Best thing is that it wakes you up within a 30-min time frame when you’re in light sleep (as opposed to in deep REM, so you don’t wake up groggy!).
I’m a big believer that productivity apps should be created to fit into people’s daily routines and lifestyles, otherwise usage will eventually wane off. Since I set an alarm every day, it’s easy to turn the tracker on, as well as take notes on certain activities during the day (i.e. drank coffee or tea, worked out, ate late, meditated, etc). This app has made me more self aware about how my daily habits affect my sleep quality; for example, I now consciously try not to be after 8pm and not eat a heavy dinner because these has the highest negative correlation to my sleep quality. I also know that drinking tea and working out yields the highest positive correlation to my sleep quality. Even though this sounds intuitive, it’s actually nice to see real data supporting notions that tea & working out improves sleep quality! Oh, and I also love the oscillating alarm clock & sleep aid tunes. Go give it a try!