published Friday, November 25th, 2011

The Strip

ATTENTION BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS

Today, get live deals, updates, traffic reports and shopping tips all in one place: timesfreepress.com/blackfriday. Also, post photos and updates from your Black Friday experience.

THINGS I WISH MY KIDS WOULD ASK ME

Editor's note: Barry Courter has a 22-year-old son who recently graduated from college and an 18-year-old daughter who is a senior in high school.

Q: Dad, we always seem to have a good time when the family gets together, but it's rarely the same lineup or time and place each holiday. Why?

A: Like with a lot of families, situations change. People get married. They have babies. They have work issues. They have other families to visit with. We are actually pretty lucky that most of us are close enough to make it work somehow, some way. The important thing is to make the best of it and enjoy the time we do have together.

-- By Barry Courter

TRACK RECEIPTS

iOS/Android: Keeping track of receipts can be a pain, but Lemon simplifu to scan in receipts and track your purchases from your phone or online. It has a simplified interface geared more toward personal tracking of finances and expenses on the go. You can scan in any receipts from your Android or iOS phone and review detailed information about your purchases directly from the app or online. You can also link multiple phones to one account if you're tracking receipts for more than one person. The service breaks down your receipts by the purchase price, tax rate and expense type. You can view a simple graph of your purchases by month from the Web app or your phone. If you're looking for an app to keep track of receipts and nothing else, it works well and it's free.

RELAXATION APP

Android/iOS: If you've thought about meditating to relieve stress but didn't know how to get started, Buddhify is a new app for iOS and Android phones that teaches you in short, easy steps, how to relax, be present and be mindful of the moment so you can think clearly and let go of your sdhify works best in the relative quiet or calm of your home, but the app is interesting because it also has ways you can relax and meditate when you're traveling on the train or bus, walking from place to place, or working out at the gym with your headphones in. It lets you select from four meditation styles and the text size you want on-screen, and then the app will walk you through an audio and visual meditation session best suited for where you are at the time. $2.99 in the iTunes App Store and $2.49 in the Android App Market.

-- McClatchy Newspapers

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