Fitbit Charge 2 Review

Hi friends! So we are in vacation down in Virginia! I meant to write this two days ago, but Monday ended up being a pretty lazy (much needed!) day so now I am finally getting around to it.

I’ll probably try to get a vacation post up sometime next week with all the pictures, but for now, I have a review of my new Fitbit Charge 2! I got this about a week ago, and I absolutely love it. I got one of the special edition colors, lavender and rose gold, which are two of my favorite colors/color combination. I am very glad that I went ahead and spent the little bit of extra money to get this color.

I have been charging it every other night, but it could probably go every three nights before needing to be charged.

Things that it measures: 

  • time
  • steps
  • heart rate
  • miles traveled
  • flights of stairs climbed
  • active minutes per day
  • sleep
  • water intake

Other features:

  • tracks exercise/different kind of exercise
  • stopwatch
  • guided breathing
  • “silent” alarms
  • bluetooth connection to your phone

 

This is what the app’s home screen looks like. It’s very user friendly.

Screenshot_20170614-120601

I don’t know what it’s thinking with the weight tracker. I haven’t put my weight in…

 

Okay, so I think I will walk through each of these features and give a run down of sorts about what I like about it and what I wish would be different.

Starting with the time…the Fitbit app gives me several different options for how the clock face can look. This is how I chose to have mine:

20170614_134128

Since my “main goal” is steps, that is what appears on my clock screen. That number “48” is the number of steps per hour. Maybe I should get up now if I’ve only walked that in 45 minutes:)

One thing I really like about this Fitbit is that one of your goals is to get 250+ steps every hour. I have mine set to send me reminders if I haven’t reached that goal 10 minutes before the hour. And it sends reminders from 9am-6pm. You can change both of those settings, but I have found that it really works for me like this. Right now, my goal is 8,000 steps every day. I haven’t reached that goal yet, but I’m hoping that once I get home from vacation, I’ll start hitting it most days. I know that I will for sure get over 10,000 every day at camp and once I get to college I will also be doing a ton of walking.

Like most Fitbits, it also measures heart rate. In the app, I can see my averages for just sitting and also working out. I’m pretty sure that it uses heart rate to calculate my “cardio fitness” a.k.a. how fit I am.

I am still trying to figure out how/what Fitbit counts as a flight of stairs. For instance, it doesn’t count me going down a flight of stairs, which makes sense. But sometimes it doesn’t count me going up the stairs either. I have to figure out how to move my arms in order for it to count the stairs I guess. I have my goal set to 14 flights each day right now, and I have been reaching that goal most days!

The active minutes per day. It counts the minutes that you are “moderately active for more than 10 minutes at a time.” My goal right now is 30 minutes every day which is the recommended amount. This is fairly simple to reach the goal every day for me. If I do a 30 minute workout along with a warm up and cool down, I’m easily at 40 minutes every day.

This is probably the coolest part of the Charge 2. It measures sleep! Every morning I wake up and look at my stats from the night. I set my goals: 8 hrs of sleep every night, bedtime 11pm, wake up 7am. I also set it to send me a “bedtime” reminder at 10 pm every night. It shows me how much sleep I got, time awake, time in REM, time in light sleep, and time in deep sleep. It also tells me if I met the sleep goals that I have set. Here are my stats from last night.

Screenshot_20170614-132909

I had a Fitbit Charge HR before the Charge 2 and from what I can remember, the Charge HR didn’t have an easy to use button for tracking workouts. With the Charge 2, I scroll to the workout screen and tap through the options such as “running, elliptical, biking, intervals, or treadmill” to name a few. I just have to press and hold for the workout timer to start. I can click the button once to take a rest, and press and hold again to stop it. By doing this, it will track the time, the steps, and the calories I burned for that workout. Then when my Fitbit syncs to the app, I can see charts with all of that information.

The guided breathing is pretty cool! Options for 2 minutes or 5 minutes. Once it “recognizes your breath” you have to inhale and exhale along with a circle that gets bigger and smaller. When you breathe to the right rhythm, you get sparkles! If you don’t breathe to the rhythm, you don’t get sparkles….and I love my sparkles:) I haven’t used this yet (except to test it out), but I think that it will be very helpful when my life starts to get stressful again.

The silent alarm option just means that it vibrates on your wrist so it won’t wake anyone else up. I loved this with my Charge HR, and I love it with the Charge 2. I don’t know about you, but hearing that same song come on my phone every morning gets obnoxious very fast. It’s loud and repetitive. If you’re like me and leave it on snooze and then leave your phone upstairs, it is frustrating to go find your phone to turn it off. Anyway, I love the vibrating alarm!

When I had a Charge HR, I didn’t have a smartphone so I’m not sure if it had bluetooth, but now I have one so I connected my Charge 2 to my phone. It gives options for everything. You can turn on/off whether you want calls, messages, and calendar events individually. For instance, I have messaging and calls connected, but I decided that I didn’t want calendar events coming to my Fitbit. With the messages, I can choose from getting notifications of my text messages, hangouts (not even sure what that is), or Facebook messenger. I chose my text messages since that is my main communication.

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I also started playing around with the community part of this today. You can add friends for a little competition and join groups of all different kinds. For example there are weight loss groups, healthy sleep groups, and healthy eating groups. There are also groups in the major cities like Chicago, NYC, Sacramento, etc. So many options!

One more thing. The Fitbit actually detaches from the wrist band to charge which also means that I can get other fun bands!

20170614_134814

Overall, I would definitely recommend this Fitbit to a friend. It is perfect for me, and how I want to use it.

Here is the one that I bought from Amazon. I got it in a size large. I have pretty small wrists, but I wear it comfortably on the first hole.

Have a good Wednesday friends!

 

 

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Churro Waffles

Now how can you not make those??? I planned on making these yesterday morning with my friend, but we ended up making her favorite: French toast. I decided to share this recipe anyway and try it later. (I found this recipe on the Chica Choclatina blog.)

Churro Waffles
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Becca Rychener
Those delightful, buttery sticks of goodness. Those yummy, fluffy cakes of goodness. Put them together and what have you got? Magic.
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 shakes of cinnamon
  • For the churro topping-
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cinnamon (depending upon how much you love cinnamon!)
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside. Also mix your churro topping and set it aside. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in three shakes of cinnamon and beat until blended
  3. Melt your 1/2 cup of butter used to pour over waffles. Next generously spray your waffle iron with no stick cooking spray. Fill your preheated waffle iron as usual. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Once fully cooked immediately pour melted butter on each side of the waffle and then dip each buttered side into your cinnamon/sugar churro mixture.
  4. Devour as soon as you make each waffle.
  5. Oh and if you know me, I have a huge sweet tooth! So you can also drizzle your waffles with maple syrup. Either way tastes amazing.
  6. Enjoy:)

 

I do plan on making these ASAP:)

We just arrived in Virginia. I finished unpacking and just getting settled in our hotel room. Pizza is in the oven and TV on. I am convinced that it is the only way to spend the first night in your hotel room. It is really hot here, close to 90 degrees, but our room is very comfortable:)

I have still been doing the yoga challenge. I thought that I would give you a little update! I have missed a few days so far, but I made them up as quickly as I could. I am a little behind right now, but I plan on catching up soon. I also plan on doing yoga during vacation as well!

I have loved the videos that they have sent me. You can choose between beginner and advanced, and they are very clear that the beginner level does not mean ‘easier’. 🙂 And they are right! The moves stretch me and make me really work, which feels great! Again, allow me to say how much I love yoga. I highly recommend My Yoga Works. To have full access to the site, you have to pay, but there are certain videos that are free. Head on over there and check it out.

So there is a little update on things. Hope you have a great Thursday evening.

 

End of School and SUMMER

School, technically, ended last Wednesday. I still have a few things I need to get done: French, Lit, and history.

Overall, this should be a relaxing summer and I am already enjoying it very much! I took a lot of pictures with people for lots of great memories as this is my last year at my school after 11 years. *Sniff* 😦

As Wednesday was the last day of school, our P.E. teacher, Coach, set up an outstanding field day themed ‘Down on the Farm’. She asked me to man the ‘Pig Out’ table. And of course…once the students were all finished I just had to try it! So I asked one of the teachers, going by the name Genevieve Elizabeth o’Shinseki (just for the blog!) to face me.

unnamed (8)

On your marks…get set…

 

Go!

Go!

 

And the result

And the result

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t mind our hair…in any of these pictures…

Noni came to watch the events. We had a wonderful time! unnamed (24) 

Me, Mom, Noni, Kaitlyn

Me, Mom, Noni, Kaitlyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is our friend, Katy. She is going to public school next year so we won’t see her every day, but we still will see each other at church on Sundays! unnamed (29)

 

 

 

 

 

These next two pictures are with Miss Horner and Coach. Miss Horner is another teacher at school (3rd and 4th grade). I had her as my 1st grade teacher. I will miss both of them tremendously.

Miss Horner

Miss Horner

Coach

Coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally…my beloved Chemistry teacher (she is the RRT that I followed.)

LOVE HER

LOVE HER

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now you have faces to put with names! As to this summer, I am taking my driving road test on Wednesday! Pray that I pass the first time!!

I have summer camp later this summer, our VA trip with Noni in June, just swimming with friends and reading. OF COURSE, tons of CILT work to do before camp, but that’s fun…right?

Yesterday was the first day of the yoga challenge. Is anyone signed up to do it? I got the first email yesterday. I’ll post about that soon as well. Tell me about your summer plans.

Presidential Physical Fitness Test…and more

So I finally took the test that I have been preparing for! Just as a refresher…in order to receive the Presidential award (as a 16 year old) you must do 1 pull-up, 45 sit ups in a minute, run the shuttle run in 10.1 seconds, run a mile in 8:33, sit and reach– 42 cm (that’s about halfway to the end of the box in the picture). Yesterday, we did the pull ups, sit and reach, sit ups, and shuttle run. I met all the requirement except for the sit and reach. I will have to redo it tomorrow when we run the mile. But, so far I am very excited that I have been able to meet the highest requirements.

On Monday, I received an email from my online writing school, the Circe Institute. A few weeks ago, I entered their annual essay contest. My age group, ages 16-18, had to write on the issue ‘whether Achilleus should have returned to battle’ from the book the Iliad. I decided to write my essay on ‘Achilleus should have returned to battle’. Well, I came in third place! I was really surprised. Not that this is the only reason that I am excited…but that can go on my college resume too!

Also, yesterday, I talked to my friend, and she told me that she is going to the same university branch that I am next year! We went to school together from Kindergarten to the 5th grade, then she went to public school. I never thought that we would go to school together again. Happy times!!

What have you all been doing?

Just another Saturday

Hello! Just a short post today.

I have been very busy today:) This morning, I went with my mom to her Bible study and did some work for my camp Bible study. I went with her to grocery shop afterwards, and I bought a pair of sandals to go with my Easter outfit.

Exciting news! I ran an 8:33 mile today! I completely surprised myself. I just about passed out afterwards, but I am so happy. I just have to cut off 30 seconds and I will be good for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. And I also have to work on my flexibility and pull ups:) But I will dwell on the good from today!

And then, we cleaned. An intense whole house clean:) We cleaned for about two hours and then relaxed for the rest of the day so we went over to Noni’s house. My traditional Easter dish, I guess, is some form of Jello. This year, I made a peach layer Jello in a Bundt pan. I plan on giving you the recipe along with pictures either tomorrow or Monday. Probably Monday:)

On Monday, we get to head on over to Indianapolis to visit my aunt, uncle, and two younger cousins. Noni already went over so we get to see her too!! I scheduled two college visits in Indi while we are there, so you can expect two more posts in my College Visit series, Butler University and IUPUI.

I am getting excited for my camp’s spring weekend next weekend. My sister, friend and I are all going. I will be able to see some of my CILT and counselor friends as well! It will be a fun weekend.

Well, that is all for this post. I am ready for bed…almost. Have a very Happy Easter!

He is risen…

He is risen indeed!

Questions: What are your Easter plans this year? Do you have any favorite dishes that you make? Do you have any family traditions?

Strawberry Cream Pie

I promised you the strawberry pie recipe I made and here it is. Before we get to that though, I would like to update you on my workout status. I am currently caught up with the 30 day challenge. I have to admit, though, I slacked off for a couple of days. Last night, I had a long workout ending with 20 minutes of yoga. Pheww! I’m back:)

Little workout tip for you that I developed last night. Ok, if any of you do jumping jacks as a regular workout, do you get dizzy just by watching the world go up and down? I do! I figured out that if I watch myself in a mirror, I don’t get sick! Its because the thing-me- that I am watching is moving with me. The wall stays in place so it is like getting car sick. So next time you do jumping jacks, watch yourself in the mirror. I would love to see how it works for other people. As a bonus, you can see if you are jumping in the right form:)

And now onto the incredibly unhealthy strawberry cream pie complete with pictures. I love it though:)

1 quart strawberries sliced –I couldn’t find fresh berries so I used 1 1/2 can strawberry pie filling)
1 (13.5 oz) package strawberry glaze –if you use pie filling, you don’t need the glaze
1 (4 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Stir strawberries with glaze in a bowl and place in refrigerator to chill.

 

 

 

Stir strawberries with glaze in a bowl and place in refrigerator to chill.

 

 

 

 

Stir cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract together in a bowl.

 

 

 

Stir cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract together in a bowl.

 

 

 

Not sure if it is supposed to ball up...I started with a fork and resorted to using my hands!

Not sure if it is supposed to ball up…I started with a fork and resorted to using my hands!

 

Beat cream in a separate bowl with an electric mixer just until it begins to thicken

 

 

 

Beat cream in a separate bowl with an electric mixer just until it begins to thicken

 

 

 

 

add cream cheese mixture and continue beating until thick

 

 

 

add cream cheese mixture and continue beating until thick

 

 

 

 

IMG_20150312_221448_419

 

 

Pour cream mixture into baked pie crust

 

 

 

 

I think I already used this picture...

I think I already used this picture…

 

 

 

Top with strawberry mixture. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

 

 

 

 

And there you go! My yummy strawberry cream pie recipe:) Enjoy.

Questions: I would love to know if you get the same feeling when you do jumping jacks. I mean, I would not love it if you did, but I would still like to know. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Day one of the 30 day challenge

Today was my first day of the 30 day challenge! I actually just finished. 10 pushups, 10 sit ups, 10 air squats. x5. I really liked it today. I didn’t do full pushups all the way through, but that’s ok. It was a noiseless workout. No bouncing around finding every single little squeak the floor can possibly have!!

chocolate

Hershey Bliss Raspberry meltaway

And chocolate…you should probably know that chocolate is the number one thing that I am craving right now. Its an awful craving to have because you can never have enough. You eat one little fun sized chocolate and then another and you have to physically restrain yourself from having the whole bag. Needless to say, I found a really great kind of chocolate. It is a great little piece of creamy goodness. This is one of the few fruit center chocolates that I enjoy.

Here is how I feel about snow…and incidentally about chocolate. 🙂

Lovin' the snow

That was a very hard picture to take…snow hitting my face, sun in my eyes…I had a few like that that just looked like I was in pain.

snow 3

I was told to do whatever pose…this is what happened.

snow 1

Spinning in the snow

snow 4

The spin complete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is just a post about what is making me happy at the moment. I am feeling very giddy and I don’t know why! You all get the fruit of my giddiness- pictures!

I’ll finish this post off with something productive and beneficial to you, a recipe. It is a kind of a rainy day here in Ohio. There is still snow on the ground, but it is windy and snow-raining. It is more rain than snow. It is very beautiful- to me. Pretty sure my friends don’t like this weather…I do. I love any kind of rain:) This recipe is called Cherry pretzel dessert. It is not the same as pretzel salad, though. This is a church potluck favorite:)

 

Ingredients:

3/4 sugar
2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 melted butter
1 Tsp vanilla
2 packets Dream Whip
1 cup milk
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 can pie filling of choice

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine pretzels, sugar and butter; set aside 1/2 cup for topping. Press remaining mixture into an ungreased 13×9-in. dish.
  • In a large bowl, beat the whipped topping mix, milk and vanilla on high speed 4 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth.
  • Spread half over crust. Top with pie filling and remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with reserved pretzel mixture. Refrigerate overnight. Yield: 16 servings.

Enjoy!

 

Question: How are you doing on the weekly challenge?

 

30 Day Workout Challenge

Happy Monday all:)

This morning for breakfast, I had eggs with sausage and strawberries with milk. If you have never put strawberries in a bowl of milk, go try it. It could be a dessert if you wanted to! Or breakfast. Breakfast works too:) That breakfast kept me full until lunch. I was very surprised. Usually I get hungry mid-morning. Maybe it was a one time thing, but I am doing the same thing tomorrow!

My mom found a new yogurt when she was out grocery shopping this weekend. If you know me, then you know that I love yogurt! It is my go to snack. This one is from Chobani. It is chocolate hazelnut flavored. YUM. I love it!

Sorry for the blur...my phone doesn't take very good pics:)

Sorry for the blur…my phone doesn’t take very good pics:)

 

I wanted to find a fun sort of workout to do. I don’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over and eventually getting bored with it. So I pinterested (new verb guys!) ‘fun workouts’. I found a neat 30 day challenge from Shanti Landon’s Life Made Full blog. I am definitely a level one! Even level one looks challenging! But I am going to give it my  best shot. I’m not sure if I am able to copy  the challenge here legally so this is the direct link to her post. Go check it out!

Do any of you know if it is legal to copy paste something from another blog (not a picture) without their permission, as long as I provide a link? I know I can link to another blog with no permission.

 

Questions: What is your favorite snack food? What breakfast do you eat to keep you full until lunch?