Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: FitBit One {Wireless Activity & Sleep Tracker}

I really don't know where to start with this post. There is a lot to say! I'll try and start at the beginning...

I started the year (as I do most years) on a bit of a health kick and as part of my motivation this year I signed up for the Move More, Eat Well 2.0 class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. (I'm guessing it sounds weird to take an online scrapbooking class to be healthier but I'm hoping combining my health and fitness goals with a favourite hobby will provide inspiration and motivation!).
The class has active message boards and as I was reading messages from all over the world I kept seeing mention of "FitBit". I had no idea what it was to begin with but a few people explained it (a wireless sleep and activity tracker which syncs with your phone via bluetooth) and so I decided to do a bit of research to find out more and see if it was available in New Zealand.

The great news is that it is! And even better I was lucky enough to be sent a a FitBit for review purposes :-)
The FitBit One arrived in a cute little box...

The FitBit One is the bit in the middle at the top. Also in the box (hidden away) were a USB to FitBit cable for charging and linking up, a wrist strap to use for monitoring your sleep and a silicon cover and clip for wearing your FitBit during the day.

Setting up an account and linking up my FitBit was easy. The FitBit website has a great help section which answers every question possible!
It was also easy to access simple data via the FitBit itself and more detailed information via the iPhone app and on my laptop online.

It was great to get started and track my sleep and activity. 
I was quite disheartened by my lack of steps and activity on some days but checking my progress during the day was definitely a motivation for parking the car a little further from the shops and running up and down the stairs if there was something needing to be taken down (rather than leaving it at the top until next time I was on my way out).

The display is easy to read and shows steps, flights of stairs climbed, distance and calories burned. It also displays the time which was rather handy for someone like me who doesn't wear a watch!

And I loved watching the little flower grow as the day went on and I clocked up more steps and stairs :-)
Here it is below tucked inside the wrist strap. This is how you wear it at night to monitor your sleep activity. You set a timer when you go to sleep and stop it when you wake up. As well as tracking the length of time you've been in bed it also shows you a little graph on the website of how restful/active you were while asleep.
Sidenote: during the day I usually wore the FitBit on my bra strap - easy to check quickly but very discreet and most people wouldn't even know it was there!

Another motivating aspect was the badges you can collect - when I synced up I would sometimes be emailed a badge I had achieved such as "walked 50km" and "climbed 10 flights of stairs in 1 day". You can see all these badges when you log in on your profile/dashboard on the FitBit website.

I was rather chuffed on the days I reached 10,000 steps or more (every day we were in Auckland last week because we were walking so much!).
The only downsides to the FitBit were of my own making. I was really keen to wear it for AMI Round the Bays on the 16th February but I hadn't worn it to sleep the night before and we were in such a rush heading out that morning organising our race numbers and timing chips that I completely forgot it (resulting in a few swear words when we reached town and I realised I'd forgotten!) The good thing is I ended up walking over 7km's in Auckland so I got to know how many steps that got me anyway!
The other downside was when it run out of charge. The charge on it is AMAZING (it lasted well over a week at a time between charges) - and the only reason it ran out was because I didn't think to pack the cable to take to Auckland to charge it.
The way I would get round this in future is making a habit of charging it at the same time each week.

All in all this is a great product which I have found to be very motivating for my health and fitness levels. On the most part I would say my activity levels are up since I've been wearing it and I've found it fantastic to not only be monitoring steps but also distance, flights of stairs and sleep patterns!
I would recommend the FitBit One to anyone keen to monitor and improve their sleep and activity levels.

 The Fitbit One is available from Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman, JB Hifi, Rebel Sport and at It retails at $159.95(NZ).
There are other FitBit products available as well so head over to the website to find out more!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Trip to Auckland (including bloggy meet-ups and seeing the sights)

Last week we spent a few days in Auckland. My Mum arrived there from the UK so we flew up to meet her and had a wee holiday there. It was a nice break and good fun to play tourists.
Here's a few snippets of what we got up to...

On the first afternoon after a wander to Queen Street we decided to do the Sky Tower...

 We were lucky enough to see some people doing the Sky Jump. Mr Mischief was enthralled and kept asking for "more jumping" - I sense he will be a daredevil when he's older!

 And we were very brave and all stood on the glass floor and looked down at the street 186 metres below us

On the next day was a visit to Auckland Zoo. We have a very similar shot of me when I first arrived in New Zealand in June 2005.

We saw Burma the elephant giving herself a sand shower then her keeper gave her a shower!

And I was ecstatic to see the tiger right beside the glass. I've never been so close to a tiger before and it was great to see all the markings and huge paws up close... 

That evening we took the ferry over to Devonport and had dinner there. This shot was taken at the Wharf while we waited for our ferry back... 

And I loved seeing the amazing yarn-bombing in Devonport. There was a part of the main street that had each pole/post covered in yarn in various colours and patterns with different adornments.
(in the middle photo below the post is covered in lips!)

(here we have flowers, fish and frogs)

The next day we took it easy after a busy few days. We took a stroll to Albert Park and were lucky enough to see them setting up for the Chinese New Year Lantern festival 

That night I met up with Cat from Catalina's Cottage and Leonie from Sunshine x 3 for dinner. It was great fun meeting some fellow bloggers and will be lovely to see them again in Christchurch in a couple of months!

And on our last day we headed to the airport to check-in then went out to Butterfly Creek. It was definitely worth a visit and a great way to spend the few hours between hotel check out and our afternoon flight. We got to stroke a baby crocodile...

And Mr Mischief held a 9 week old rabbit :-) (Wondering if I should make Easter cards this year with one of these shots!)

And that was us...a great, exhausting, rather warm and busy few days.
Thanks Auckland - you were awesome!

Today I'm linking up with Meghan for Things I'm Loving.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Emma Makes Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to tallshortandtiny for winning the Emma Makes giveaway! (I've emailed you for your information.)
Thanks to everyone who entered - I love all the different ideas of what Emma should consider putting on a notebook cover.
And many thanks to Emma for offering up the goodies (and sending me some too!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Project Life :: 2013 (Weeks 5 and 6)

I'm still up to date with this project - it's a miracle! It'll be interesting to see if I can stay up to date while my Mum is here (on one hand I will have a babysitter on-site! but on the other hand I'll probably want to be chatting and out doing things with Mum instead of sitting down to make my pages!)

Here's a look at Week 5 and 6...

Week 5 Left side featuring my Emma Makes Giveaway, submitting and winning a tender on a property and Mr Mischief getting his photo taken with a fire engine!

Week 5 Right side featuring an online job site I've been trying to find some extra work on, a night out farewelling someone at work that transferred to another location (the Who, What, Where, When and Why journalling card was great for this), and then some lovely scenic photos and lots of text about how the tender didn't work out and our disappointment about that :-( It was actually quite therapeutic to get it down on paper and I think will be good to look back on further on down the track (even if it's still a little raw still now)

Week 5 double spread

Week 6 featuring a visit from our friends (which cheered me up after house woes and getting sick), the paua shell decorations near Scorch-o-Rama at Scorching Bay, Mr Mischief enjoying Starbucks and a summary of what he's doing, saying and loving at 2 years and 6 months

I got brave for the Week 6 Right hand side and changed up my page protectors to Design D. Here we have a lovely photo I took of Mr Mischief, Rhett watching Eight Below (dog film!), the view from the kennels, the start of a crochet blanket, Mr Mischief riding a cool car at Westfield and a visit to the bakery amongst open home appointments!

Week 6 double spread

In January I also participated in the StickyGram photo-a-day challenge. I printed all the photos I took for the challenge as 2x2 (I fit 6 on each 6x4 print) and trimmed them down and added them to a coin protector page. The coin protector holds 40 coins so I filled it with my 31 photos and had some room leftover to explain what the photos were for!

This coin protector page will be slot into the last week of January when my album arrives (hopefully soon!)

You can see all of my Project Life pages here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Document 2012 :: October & November

My 2012 album is so close to being complete! I had wanted it finished by the end of January and it was pretty much done then - I just had a couple of the December pages still to do.
These October and November pages have been done for a while. It's funny how this already seems so long ago. October was our first month in Wellington.

October pockets featuring my photo-a-day mosaics, exploring Wellington including the beach, the farmer markets and a show at Capital E (which is sadly closed at the moment), me getting a job and celebrating! And the big white box is a wedding photo of our lovely friends who got married in Vegas! (*waves to K!*)

I've had this scribbly background paper for a ridiculously long time. It's Love, Elsie paper and I was saving it for something special. I'm glad it made it's way into my 2012 album on this feature page of Mr Mischief at 2 years, 2 months.

My other feature page is pretty simple. It was my 31st birthday in October so it's a picture of me and Mr Mischief at the zoo on my birthday as well as my 31 things about me list - I thought this will be great to look back on in years to come! The tape measure paper has also been stashed for a very long time. I thought all the numbers were a good match for a numbered list.

My final pocket pages for October feature our change of address cards, baking, our Operation Christmas Child box, settling Mr Mischief into kindy, a visit from coffee group friends and one of the local school fairs (where I won a hamper in the raffle!)

And onto November (so close to the end!)...

Here we have photo a day mosaics, celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary, Craft 2.0 goodies, more beaches and views, watching the Fireworks display livestream, a bump on the head for Mr Mischief and our Christmas card photoshoot!

Mr Mischief at 2 years, 3 months enjoying lots of sunshine :-)

I love the feature page for November - all about being in the Middle of Middle Earth for the Hobbit Premiere!

And more pockets featuring the Royal visit, baking, yummy chocolate, sandcastle building, Christmas ornament making and Mr Mischief getting in the Christmas spirit (including his daycare Christmas show!)

You can see the rest of my Document 2012 pages here. And I hope to be back real soon with the December pages and the finishing touches to my album.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Reminder - Emma Makes Giveaway closes on Friday

This is just a quick reminder that the Emma Makes Giveaway competition ends later this week on Friday.
If you haven't entered yet why not head over to the post to see what goodies are up for grabs and enter?
Good luck :-)

And to everyone that's already entered - I'm loving your suggestions of what you'd like to see on a notebook!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Project Life :: 2013 (Weeks 3 and 4)

I'm keeping up with Project Life so far. (Even Week 5 is done but the photos I took are too blurry so I will blog those pages with the Week 6 ones once I get decent photos!

My Project Life system involves making a few notes as the week goes by about photos I want to use and what we got up to. Sometimes I write a few journalling cards as the week happens. Then on a Sunday night I copy all the photos from my phone to the laptop and load my photos for the week on my flashdrive. At this time I sit down and look at my pages and plan where everything will go. And usually complete the journalling cards too.
I usually print the photos on a Monday lunchtime then try and complete the pages that day or early in the week. This involves writing on the photos as it seems I can't have a photo with "white space" without writing all over it!

Here are my pages for Weeks 3 and 4...

Week 3 left hand side featuring a scrapbooking day, den building and my fitbit (review and more info to follow soon!). The flower sticker on the title card and the Oh how lovely sticker are both Amy Tangerine.

Week 3 right hand side featuring a (tired) family photo, a ride on the Thomas train at the mall, more train tracks, snoozing at open homes and a visit to Chocolate Fish.

Week 3 double spread

Week 4 left hand side featuring naps, blankets, cafe visits and I even grabbed a card from Gasworks where we had lunch on Wellington Anniversary and stapled it to a journalling card

Week 4 featuring a yummy blueberry & lemon loaf I made, the Hobbit plane we won from the Air NZ Fairy on Twitter, Mr Mischief playing football in a cape and some water play on a sunny Sunday afternoon

Week 4 double spread

To be honest the hardest thing about Project Life is photographing the pages to post here! I will keep trying different times of day and different locations until I can get decent shots.

You can see all my Project Life pages here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Crochet Brooch

It was my Mum's birthday earlier this week. She's headed this way soon (the countdown is on and we can't wait to see her!) and we're planning to have a belated cake when she gets here and treat her but I couldn't not send her a wee something in the post for the actual day :-)

I decided to make her a brooch with some lovely pink yarn that she sent me!

I used the Attic 24 May Rose pattern for both the rose and the leaves. Where would I be without Lucy and her easy to read and understand crochet patterns?!
Once the rose and leaves were made a sewed a small circle of felt on the back with a safety pin attached so she could pin it on. I decided not to show a photo of that as my sewing can only be described as messy!

I found a wee kraft coloured gift box that was the perfect size to keep it safe on it's journey to the UK...

And I couldn't resist adding some washi tape and bakers twine to fancy the package up a little!

Mum said she loves it and it's currently pinned to the Buzzy Bee canvas bag I also sent her (which I thought would be handy for her upcoming holiday!)

I'm linking up with Show and Tell this week. 
Why not head over and see what everyone else has been making lately?


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