Love It: Apple Watch

Back in October I finally caved in and bought the Apple Watch. I had been on the fence for a while, and until that point had tried several different Fitbits, the last being the Fitbit Surge. The part I really liked was the motivation to move – while I consider myself active, my “day job” has me at a desk where it’s easy to spend a little too much time staring at the computer and not enough time moving.

First off, here’s a look at my watch:


I went with the 38mm watch face (the smaller one), which is perfect for my little wrist. I chose my signature color, blue, for the band. This is one of the first things that’s pretty cool – you can remove and change the watch bands.

I absolutely LOVE how seamlessly it works with my iPhone… once they were connected, everything just worked. Most of the apps on my phone have a watch version – basically a pared down skeleton version. It’s awesome to be able to check the weather or pull up maps without having to get my phone out of my purse.

Apple also did a great job on the customization options – there are 12 different watch faces that you can choose from, and within each of those are color and app customization options. My favorite is the big one in the middle – I like being able to access the apps from the home screen.


At first I was worried about battery life… but have no fear – even with using the apps to track exercise and throughout the day, I haven’t yet had the battery die on me. I do charge it every night.

Here are some of the features that I absolutely love:

  • Phone calls: Yes, I know I look like a dork talking to my wrist. It’s definitely not ideal (the caller is on speaker), but having the ability to take a quick call from your wrist is pretty cool.
  • Text messages: This is probably one of my favorite features. I love being able to read and reply to messages from my watch.
  • Fitness Apps: There are two the come with the watch – Activity and Workouts
    • Activity: This is the app shows you your “rings” for the day and your goal is to close them all buy the end of the day. There are three “rings” that you try to close each day:
      • Red: Move – this goal is changeable. This is the number of calories burned throughout the day
      • Green: Exercise – your goal is 30 minutes of exercise a day. This is not just working out – this includes walking and all general movement.
      • Blue: Stand – this one is really cool. The idea is that you stand for at least one minute in twelve different hours during the day.
    • Workouts: This app tracks your specific workouts – Indoor Running, Indoor Walking, Outdoor Running, Outdoor Walking, Elliptical, Rower, Stair Stepper, and Other to catch the rest of your exercises. You’ll capture more detail about the specific workout you’re doing.IMG_1550
  • Apps: Love them. CNN actually sends news alerts to my wrist. I can check my exercise trending for the day. I can check my Starbucks card balance and even PAY for my coffee with Apple Pay.

Here are some of the things I wish the Apple Watch would do:

  • Function without my iPhone. Let me caveat this one – it works without my phone. I just wish that all of the features worked when I didn’t have my phone nearby – like text messages and phone calls. Some of the apps require your phone as well.
  • Be waterproof! This is what ultimately killed my Fitbit Surge – giving Sue a bath. I wish they made one that was more the just splash resistant!

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a fun, functional, motivational timepiece, the Apple Watch is the watch for you! I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Love It: Erin Condren Life Planner

It’s official… I’m OBSESSED with my Erin Condren Life Planner. Let me kick off this post by saying that I am in no way getting paid to review this planner… just sharing my love for it with the world! I spent the last few months of 2014 looking for a new way to stay organized in 2015. Historically, I’m a paper planner kind of girl… I’ve tried, but the digital stuff just doesn’t work for me. I had seen review after glowing review on the ECLP… people just gushing about it and my sister’s sister-in-law showed me hers. I was sold and decided to give it a go.

The Arrival

After what seems like the longest two or so weeks of my life, the planner finally showed up at my door. The box was beautiful and I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing when I opened it. There’s something to be said for pretty packaging!

The Box
The Box

Inside was all of the awesome stuff I ordered – the planner, coil clips (to clip stuff like invitations into the planner), note pads, bands to hold the planner closed, and a pen holder. It was amazing and absolutely beautiful!

The Opening of the Box
The Opening of the Box

I chose the seahorse theme for this year and kept it pretty simple, adding only my name. My sister did a polka dot theme with her name on the front cover and picture of Chloe on the back. There are seriously a zillion options, all customizable, and to make things even better, the covers are removable and interchangeable!

My Planner!
My Planner!

The Accessories

Here’s where the cost of the planner can really start to add up. Not only does the Erin Condren site itself offer accessories, but there’s a whole world of planner decoration stuff out there that I never knew existed. Washi tape, laundry stickers, running stickers, meal planning stickers, even riding lesson stickers! You name it, and someone on Etsy has created a sticker to represent it (or will custom make them!).

The Obsession Begins
The Obsession Begins

The Planning

Planners are made for planning, right? Now that I’m two weeks in, I feel more than qualified to tell you about the usage (even though in my stalking studying of other planners on Instagram, Facebook, etc I’m learning there are so many things to track that I had never thought of!).

The thing that made me nervous about the ECLP was the weekly breakouts. I like my planners to have a monthly view (where I track appointments, lessons, commitments, etc) and a weekly layout (which I’ve used as a to do list). The ECLP layout breaks each of the weekly sections into “morning”, “day”, and “night”… something I wasn’t sure I was going to like. I’ve found it was pretty easy to get used to and, in fact, helped me focus on my daily tasks. The weekly portion is part to do list, part journal, part diary… it’s great!

Another thing I’ve done is made use of the back notes pages… so far I’m using three of them – one called “Sue’s Page” that tracks his worming, shoeing, and vaccines, one called “Random Acts of Kindness” that tracks people I will be sending love to throughout the year, and one called “Read, Watch, Listen” that tracks books I’d like to read, movies I want to see, and music I want to listen to. All decorated with washi tape and all sorts of fun colors.

Well, that’s about all I have to say about that. I definitely love this thing! I feel like I’ve sucked at decorating the first few weeks as I get my creative juices flowing… perhaps I’ll share some peeks once I get going! Ok, maybe ONE peek now:

Full Week!
Full Week!

If you’d like to order your own ECLP, click here for $10 off! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine!

Love It: La Crosse Wireless Weather Station

Just a heads up, I’m totally about to geek out on you. A few months back I purchased the  La Crosse Wireless Weather Station. I’ve had several different rainfall/temperature taking type machines, but they’ve always failed. I gave up on the digital rain measurement and now go the old fashioned way of a little glass beaker mounted on the deck. I still wanted something that would help out with the temperature and found this guy on Amazon:

LaCrosse Weather Station
LaCrosse Weather Station

I love that it shows both indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, but I also love that it shows pressure. I sometimes get headaches when the weather changes and this will definitely be a help! If you’re looking for something fun, colorful, and that works well (clearly this post is late as the date in the picture is September 19th), this is the weather station for you! This definitely goes into the love it category!

Why I Went Old School

About a year ago I made the switch from an iPhone 4 to a Samsung Galaxy S4. I loved it. I raved about it. I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. I convinced my friends and family to switch.

I was wrong. As time went on, I became less and less enamored with my Galaxy – it began to have issues ranging from the vibrate feature breaking (makes it hard to have my phone in meetings when it’s all or nothing) to some serious software issues (apparently answering calls was no longer an option). 

About a week ago, I was completely fed up. So fed up that I took my old school iPhone 4 back to the AT&T store and asked them to make it work again. And let me tell you, I’ve missed Apple. I missed how easy it is to find things. How quickly it responds. How clean the font, formats, and functions are. I’m so happy to be back!

Love It: EOS Lip Balm

For my birthday this year a friend gave me a gift with the Sweet Mint EOS Lip Balm attached. EOS stands for Evolution of Smooth and they have a whole line of skin and lip care. I have seen these colorful little balls everywhere and have always wondered exactly what they were and if they were any good.

It did take a little getting used to – I’m very much a Chapstick kind of girl, and it’s a bit weird to rub a sphere across your lips, but it’s well worth it. I find this lasts longer than Chapstick and feels much smoother. I can’t wait to try some of the other flavors (honeysuckle honeydew and lemon drop)!

EOS Lip Balm

Love It: Boogie Wipes

Normally snot is not something that I would talk about on my blog. But let’s be real, we all deal with it. And let’s also be real about the fact that I am a self-professed oversharer (remember this post about losing my toenails?).

Boogie Wipes are just about the best thing ever to happen to my nose. I’ve had a cold off and on over the last month or so and by chance grabbed one of Chloe’s Boogie Wipes because there was nothing else around. My best friend had recommended this a long time ago. Seriously, if you have any nose blowing to do, these things are amazing. They’re gentle and keep you from actually getting too raw.

You can use them as is from the package (they make a great big package as well as purse/diaper bag versions) which is cooling or you can warm them up. With cold and flu season upon us, I highly recommend these lifesavers!


Fitbit One

In preparation for my second marathon in December, I decided to take my training and eating (and general fitness) a little more seriously. A few days ago I invested in a Fitbit One… a cool little wireless device that helps track all sorts of fitness metrics. Here are some of the things it tracks:

Sleep: This is probably one of the coolest features in my opinion. When you go to bed (after you’re done reading, watching TV, etc) you press a button on the Fitbit and it starts timing your sleep. Through the magic of modern technology it tracks how many times you wake up during the night as well as how many times you were restless (but not necessarily awake). In the morning, you push the button again and it stops tracking sleep and goes back to steps (although if you get up in the middle of the night, it keeps track of steps too). You can then sync up with your computer or smart phone to see how long it took you to fall asleep and how effective your sleep was.

Steps: The Fitbit keeps track of steps similar to a traditional pedometer, but with an internet and smart phone interface. Your standard daily goal is ten thousand steps (recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle) which is roughly five miles. You can update this goal if you find you’re more active and too easily hitting the daily target.

Mileage: The Fitbit also keeps track of mileage – the goal is five miles per day, but again, you can change that if you’re more active.

Calories: The Fitbit tracks calories throughout the day, including the calories you burn sleeping, sitting, etc. If you’re looking to lose weight, this is a great tool to better understand calories in vs. calories out.

Flights of Stairs: The Fitbit also tracks how many flights of stairs you climb each day.

The online and smart phone tools also have some input areas – you can track things like body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, water intake, blood glucose, and food. I’m using the food tracker to better understand what helps or hurts my running… I’m terrible about remembering those sorts of things (especially over the eighteen week training program), so it will help me identify any trends. I’ve noticed that I have no concept at all of calories (or protein or sodium, for that matter) and looking at them is helping me to make healthier, more informed choices!

I am so excited about this… being a data geek, I love something that gives me data to analyze! It costs $99 (available on Amazon, at Target, or direct from Fitbit) and is well worth it if you’re looking to improve your lifestyle!

Love It: PRO Compression Marathon Socks

I read SkinnyRunner almost every day and she’s a big fan of the compression sock. I’ve heard about them time and time again – I decided to give them a try when I saw there was a promo going on (see below for details). I love them. A lot. To me they feel like a hug for my legs. Here’s how they work (from the PRO Compression website):

PRO Compression socks are designed specifically to deliver both maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood.  The moment you put these socks on your feet and incorporate them into your game, you will feel and understand the difference.

PRO Compression socks are noticeably tight and require more effort to put on than standard socks in your drawer. But it’s that extra effort and much-needed compression that make all the difference. Be patient and your feet will thank you.

So far I’ve only worn them after my workouts. Here’s the bummer… they’re expensive. I am willing to pay more for my running socks because I’ve learned it’s super important to take care of your feet, but $50 for a single pair of socks is pushing it a little bit for me. That said, I now own three pairs (pink, purple, and blue) – they run various promos (like 40% off and free shipping) that I took advantage of. Love them!

Pink Socks On My Chunky Legs
Pink Socks On My Chunky Legs

Love It: Vanilla Mint Chapstick

For years and years I have tried to become a lipstick girl. Most of the time I hate how it makes my lips feel (dry, chapped, and peely). At best, I can get on board with lip gloss, but even that gets sticky and all over everything. I always end up reverting back to what’s easy and feels good – Chapstick.

A few weeks ago I decided to get crazy and try the Vanilla Mint Chapstick. I love, love, love it. Not only does it smell amazing, but it’s the moisturizing line and has 15 SPF. This stuff is seriously great – I highly recommend it if you like something with a little flavor, but not too sweet!

Vanilla Mint Chapstick
Vanilla Mint Chapstick