Ever read one of those magazine articles that promises to dramatically change your life if you “just follow these few little, easy-to-implement tips?” Well-written ‘how to’ articles are like some sort of crack for mild-Martha-Stewart-closet-wannabes. Your heart beats a little faster, you feel more empowered. Of course! Why didn’t it occur to ME that I could be a happier, saner, more centered being if I just spent 10 minutes each day cleaning the grout in my tub? Over the course of the year, that will save me 365 minutes of bathroom cleaning! Imagine what I could accomplish with 365 more minutes each year!?

Well, if you’ve read our Sponsor Spotlight about Green Healthy Cleaning, you already know I don’t clean the grout in my tub. And YES — I am a saner, happier person because of that.

I do, however, have some fantastic little iPhone apps that help me stay grounded. That is, they help me be more productive so I have ten minutes to wind down the post-bath-bottle-bedtime routine with a glass of wine. I find that’s a LOT more soothing than grout cleaning. Thought you might like in on these little gems, too!

{{Disclaimer}}: I am by no means promising a more fulfilling life through your iPhone and these apps. I am, however, suggesting they could be your new favorite “mommy’s” or “daddy’s” little helper.

iVents Baltimore
We let our Facebook Fans know about this handy little tool when it debuted last week. Hats off to Visit Baltimore and Liquid Plastic Apps for creating this nifty app – – it’s definitely our new favorite. No need to scour websites to plan your family’s next urban adventure downtown. Just fire up the iVent Baltimore app and see what’s going on! There’s a new featured iVent every time you launch the application on your iPhone (it’s available for Blackberry, too). You can browse by featured events, category (yepp, there’s a kid friendly category), recently updated, or today’s highlights. Find a cool event? Email it, tweet it, post it to your facebook wall, geolocate it or add it to your bookmarks. Our favorite feature? The search by date or keyword. Haven’t had it flake out on us either like some other popular apps – – and we both have first gen iPhones. FREE.

Can’t decide what to make for dinner? Go out! And find a great restaurant on Urbanspoon. Urbanspoon on the iPhone like a Magic 8 Ball mashed up with a slot machine. You shake your phone and it finds a good nearby restaurant for you. Keep shaking it until it comes back with something you want to try. Here are some of the other features that make this app worth shaking: it uses GPS to find a restaurant near you; you can search by neighborhood, cuisine, or price; you can scan local restaurants; you can check out ratings and reviews from newspapers, bloggers and fellow eaters. FREE.

Like iVent Baltimore, Goby helps you find things to do wherever you are. The great thing is it isn’t Charm City specific. The app determines your geographic location and then gives you the option of finding cool stuff happening right then and there, finding weekend activities, or exploring a different location. Like iVent, you can search by categories (you’ll find “family fun” under ‘things to do’ and “family and kids” under ‘events’). You can sort your search results by relevance, date, distance and price. Next time your exploring a new place, create your own adventure with goby. FREE.

All Recipes.com Dinner Spinner
You’ve got eggs, tuna, cucumbers, and cherries in the fridge. And you need a main course. STAT. All Recipes.com Dinner Spinner to the rescue! Just select the type of dish, you main ingredient, the cooking time and SPIN. Thousands of recipes. Add winning combinations to your favorites list, or search popular recipe titles. You can also browse featured recipes. Recipes are all rated and reviewed by other self identified foodies. The Pro Version ($4.99) also features a recipe box, shopping lists and the ability to change the serving sizes on any of the recipes. FREE.

WMAR ABC News.com on-the-go
Get the latest area news, traffic and weather on-the-go with WMAR’s mobile app. You can even share stories or submit news. I like the breaking news alerts — but you can configure these in the settings if they start to get annoying. What better way to people-watch the Otakon conference without actually having the travel downtown? As the Twitterverse tweeted on Friday – – Otakon people watching never disappoints. Oh yeah. You get the serious stuff right at your fingertips, too. FREE.

What’s your favorite, sanity-saving app? (And if you’re looking for one to entertain your tot, check out our review of Kneebouncers. LOVE THEM!)