Upgrade your random act of kindness

Deed is an app that connects organizations with volunteers who want to give back. It makes volunteering easy, social, and fun by planning and curating a list of high-impact opportunities to help out in your local community. The company is based in New York City and plans to launch the app in 15 other cities within the next year.

Upon downloading the app, users can scroll through various volunteer activities and sign up for the time that best fits your schedule. Popular options include reading to children, walking dogs at the local animal shelter, playing bingo with seniors, and serving meals to the homeless.

Users are able to see if any of their Facebook friends have also signed up for the same community service event by clicking into the event page. And if no friends are currently attending, they have the opportunity to invite people or meet new like-minded individuals who are determined to “do something good today.”

In the past, Deed has also hosted unique and exciting events such as Project Makeover, when they brought 12 women who were living in transitional housing to have their hair, nails, and makeup done by professionals from Sephora and Maybelline. Find a community service event that matches your interests and get involved by downloading the Deed app here.


Upgrade the way you pay monthly bills

Plastiq makes it possible for you to use your credit or debit card as a form of payment for nearly anything. That includes phone bills, rent, tuition, and medical bills among other charges.

As checkbooks become more antiquated, Plastiq’s intuitive app and website makes it easy to pay bills in seconds. To pay, enter the person or business’s name, address, and email or phone number. Then select the card you’d like to use to make the payment. You can also set reminders for when the next payment is due.

One of the biggest perks of Plastiq is that your payment is sent in whatever form your recipient accepts. Hence, no more digging around for cash or writing every line item expense into your checkbook — even for businesses that don’t accept Visa/Amex.

Upgrade your favorite pair of leggings

The Girlfriend Collective launched last April with an alluring pitch: get a free pair of leggings, just pay shipping. So we said why not?

When these babies arrived in the mail and we slipped them on for the first time, we wanted to live in them forever. Not only do they hug your curves in all the right ways, but they are also made of a sleek and smooth material that is thick enough to cover your bum. I know, girl.

We wore them to the gym, to the supermarket, to the BF’s, and it was perfect for every occasion. What made us fall in love with the Girlfriend Collective even more was that we found out the company has an eco-friendly edge. Would you ever have guessed that these leggings were made out of water bottles?!

Upgrade your corporate dinner stipend

Seamless / Grubhub is the mother hen that essentially birthed the food delivery space and is one of the corporates’ favorites to partner with. The service offers a selection from a myriad of local restaurants that range from your hole-in-the-wall gem to chains like Chop’t. Menu items are affordably priced between $-$$.

Upgrade your next city apartment search

Listings Project sends out a friendly weekly newsletter of available spaces to your inbox. What originally started as a bulletin board for artists has since evolved into a curated community to search for housing and/or creative spaces. If you find a listing you like, simply reach out to the contact provided.

Upgrade your living room furniture

Interior define makes custom sofas, chairs, sectionals, chaises, and sleepers. AKA their specialty is seating that can be tailored to the color, size, and fabric of your choice. Prices can range from $800 for a velvet chair to $5,500 for a leather sectional. The best part? They offer free white glove delivery service and 365 day returns.

Upgrade your traditional gym membership

ClassPass provides members with access to a variety of classes at different studios. The name of the game is that you pay $75/month to attend 5 classes of your choice, but never one class more than two times. Sign up for classes that fit your schedule like Pure Barre on Sunday at 11am or Monster Cycle after work on Wednesday.

Physique 57 spills its secret to getting a ballerina body

Physique 57 is the place where you can satisfy your barre craving. The new fitness craze even boasts celebrity clients including Kelly Ripa, Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba.

If you’ve ever dreamed of having a beautiful lean sculpted ballerina bod, a barre workout will take you through choreography including muscle-defining arm exercises, intense thigh and seat sequences, waist-chiseling ab moves, and fluid stretches.

Here are 8 moves Physique 57 recommends:

  1. Washing Machine Push-Ups
  2. Triceps Can-Can
  3. Triceps Pretzel Extension
  4. Thigh-Dancing Windmill
  5. Waistline Whittler
  6. Curtsy With a Twist
  7. Collapsible Clam With a Twist
  8. Scorpion Plank

Head over to Pop Sugar for instructional videos on how to do each move or to your first class at their studios located in New York, LA, Bangkok and Dubai.

Check out some other fitness trends >>

What to expect from today’s hottest food delivery services

Our desire for tasty meals on demand has created a competitive marketplace for your lunch money and corporate dinner stipends. Here’s our rundown of the food delivery space. Also come back to check out our rundown on grocery delivery services and meal kits (coming soon!).

Seamless / Grubhub: is the mother hen that has the most local restaurant chickadees under her wing. Options range from your hole-in-the-wall gem to chains like Chop’t and menu items are affordably priced within $-$$

Caviar: is the bougie sister that delivers dishes from restaurants where you would typically have a sit-down meal and are probably Zagat-rated so you can expect to pay a pretty penny

Postmates: is the friend that’s always on trend. In addition to filters by cuisine, it feels like the company can read our minds with their curated lists called “new vegan places” or “late night cravings.”

UberEats: is Uber’s attempt to get in the food delivery game. But contrary to the name, drivers who deliver food are not the same drivers found on the ride-share app we’ve all come to know. UberEats boasts an average delivery time of 30 minutes.

Maple: if you like consistency, each time you order from Maple, you can expect a professional chef-approved entree that comes with two sides and will be delivered within 30 minutes in the company’s signature yellow packaging for $12 flat during lunchtime and $15 during dinnertime. The lunch and dinner menus vary day to day.

An engaged couple’s take on the app that brought them together: a Bumble story

An edited excerpt from Cosmopolitan about using the dating app Bumble:

I had always thought dating apps were for people who only wanted to hook up, and that wasn’t what I was looking for. My thinking was that I’m not going to meet anyone that is driven and has good morals online. Besides, I was working crazy hours and had no time to go out on dates anyway. But over a few glasses of wine one night, my friend convinced me that I needed to meet someone and go out, so I signed up for Bumble.

I was on it for a month before I met James. A big part of the reason that I swiped his profile was because we had so many friends in common. I thought he was attractive, obviously, and I could also tell from his pictures he loved to travel, which is something I love too. It was especially nice to have the chance to do a little more digging around with mutual friends before we started talking. I figured he had to be somewhat of a solid guy if we both had the same friends, right?

We started texting on a weekend and then he called me on the following Tuesday to ask me out for dinner. We ended up talking for 2 1/2 hours. My job is a little bit nuts, so I had to push our dinner off until the Monday after. That Thursday though, he texted me: “Hey, I know you can’t do dinner until Monday, but would you want to meet me for a drink at least after work tonight? I’ll come to your part of town so that you don’t have to worry about driving late. It can be quick, just a drink, but I would just love to meet you before Monday.

I don’t usually get nervous before dates because I just expect them to not work out. But this was different — I was actually excited about it. At the time, I lived in this condo that had gable fences, and when he picked me up, he said it was like a fairy tale. He was like, “You waved out of your window on the second story and then you came running out of this iron gate.” I just remember seeing him and being relieved that he actually looked like his pictures! And it just felt comfortable.

Our first few dates after that, we were spending three to four hours just talking. We talked about big stuff because we had dated a lot and were tired of games. On that first phone conversation, we both said, ‘This is either going to work or it’s not. And no hard feelings if it doesn’t, but I’m not going to stay with you to be comfortable.’

The proposal was a surprise. He told me we were going to dinner with some friends and we went walking on the beach before dinner. It was really pretty because there were only the trees and the ocean. At the end of the boardwalk, I saw something set up and I thought, Oh, this is someone’s engagement or an anniversary. I was trying to drag him toward the water so we didn’t interrupt anything, and meanwhile he was trying to drag me toward it! Finally, I was like, “This is for us, isn’t it?”