Recommendations

I created this page to efficiently list my recommended companies, products and services I use and stand by.

This page contains affiliate links, which are a great way to support your favorite bloggers and fund their lives a little bit. Instead of giving money to big corporations, you can give it to big (and small) companies who then give money to the bloggers you love!

Feel welcome to bookmark this page, Tweet it out, share it with a friend—whatever floats your boat. What floats my boat is Boston cream pie-flavored yogurt. 😋

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Blog-related

Domains & hosting

I love Name.com for domain registrations, but I always check NameCheap and namecheapcoupons.com for better deals. Name.com has that small business vibe I prefer and a cozy, foolproof user interface. A big positive to NameCheap that Name.com doesn’t offer is free WHOIS protection forever. In recent registrations, I’ve regret not registering new domains with WHOIS protection due to increased spam (emails, snail mail, phone calls).

As for hosting, I’m hosted at OfBlue. They were there for me when I needed hosting in a pinch, have that small business vibe going on, and have been more helpful than I’ve previously experienced! (If you choose to sign up with them, please mention me if it’s not too much!)

Plugins & third-parties

Boomerang allows me to schedule email replies I prepare at night to send during “office hours”, which allows me to adhere to a specific set of hours and create boundaries in that an area I once failed. In other words, an email I type out at 3am will be scheduled for 9:30am or so, and the receiver’s none the wiser.

Instead of installing another WordPress plugin, I use a cookie consent tool from Silktide. I just select the desired theme, input my desired text (optional), copy the code, and paste before </body> and save.

I created a site-specific plugin for Janepedia, which includes an email cloak to avoid spam and a limit of four saved revisions at any time.

Other plugins I use:

  • Classic Editor – because F the Gutenberg Editor
  • Footnotes – codes the footnotes so I don’t have to; I’d like to eventually do them manually, just because I know how to code them and don’t use this plugin as often anymore; it’s just a matter of time and patience
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com – great for sitemaps and other catch-all ish 🤷
  • NG Comment Reply – sends email notifications for comment replies
  • Pretty Links (free) – prevents me from having to change various links (e.g. referral links) all over and just use a prettier one, e.g. janepedia.com/r/namecom
  • Spam Destroyer – compliant with GDPR and works great; set it and forget about it
  • Wordfence Security – security ish

I use IFTTT to automate a lot of things (like to my Tumblr) and occasionally schedule posts in Buffer. A Color Story (app) is what I use to edit my photos for Instagram, rather than using Instagram’s provided filters (except for “Moon” and “Willow”).

Games (all apps)

MergeDragons!

I saw MergeDragons! in app ads and decided to give it a shot. Basically, you create new combinations of resources and dragons by merging three for one or five for two. It’s a good challenge, and I like that I can stop playing it for a week or two and nothing change. The downside is that the dragons don’t do anything (e.g. harvest resources), nor do life flower seedlings turn into sprouts, when you’re away.

MergeDragons! screenshot of level screen, focused on the location of "Camp"

Currently, I’m stumped at Challenge 22 and have been for months, so I’ve been replaying previous levels to continue collecting treasure chests and rewards necessary for me to progress at “camp”, the home base of the player’s dragon life.

The Sims Mobile

I can’t have The Sims on my current laptop due to storage issues, but then also because of money! I love how The Sims Mobile is mobile, allowing me to play it on-the-go. I can set my Sims up with a shift at work or practicing a hobby and go on about my own day, but I can also play them (if they have energy) to make them finish those sessions quicker, too.

While I do believe The Sims Mobile falls short in some departments, it’s one of my favorite games. I fear I might even like it more than I enjoyed The Sims 3. In a Twitter thread, I tracked my game progress for awhile.

Toon Blast

Neopets Destruct-O-Match III was my favorite game. Like, I played Neopets for mostly that game in my youth. Of all the games I’ve looked at, I’ve never found anything even remotely similar to it—and then I saw Toon Blast.

Learning languages

A general umbrella of language learning tools, that I know of, are Drops (app) and Duolingo (app + web).

I’ve exclusively been focusing on Japanese, and Drops is my primary source of education. I love its repetition and the way it’s formatted; it doesn’t rush me and teaches me how to write the kana.

Blog-wise, I like Lindsay Does Languages. She’s also a blogger, and she just gets it, re: the yearning to learn a new language and probably not even stopping there. (Next, I intend to learn Korean or Chinese, because those web comics? LOVE.)

Save money

Google Opinion Rewards (app)

If you have use Google products, you need this app! Every now and then are surveys about you and how you use Google’s products. While not every survey results in payment, those especially related to marketing are. The money you earn via Google Rewards is added to your Google Balance, which you can use towards anything Google Play-related.

I’ve used mine to pay for one month of Pandora, various purchases in-game (usually to support the developer and stop seeing ads), one movie, and a book.

Ibotta (app + some web)

I don’t use this app to its fullest potential, because I don’t buy a lot of the products required for the deals, but when I do, I’m keen to take advantage of getting some money back, because not much effort is required on my part. If you use my referral code/link, tedosuw, you’ll get $5 for signing up and using Ibotta! There are are also special rewards and deals for newbies, so make sure you check them out and try to take advantage of them while they last, if you can!

Receipt Hog (app)

I love Receipt Hog. I feed a pig (and it grows) by snapping pictures of receipts and earn coins, which I can then exchange for money via PayPal, or an Amazon or VISA gift card. I always choose PayPal. It takes a while to earn enough to exchange money, but I’ve exchanged for $5 twice already and used the money towards my web hosting bill.