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.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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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Music Monday *All the Feels*

It is still Monday for 12 more minutes so I’m taking advantage of it! I wanted to give you a look into the music that I listen to. I decided to start with one of my Spotify playlists called “all the feels:)” Weird name? Maybe. But it perfectly describes the type of songs I have on it. Enjoy!

*Update: my internet decided to take a nap and it posted literally right as it turned June 6th. I’m still going with Music Monday though*

Paint the Town Green- The Script

Castle on the Hill- Ed Sheeran

Lord, I Need you- Matt Maher

Hall of Fame- The Script

Hey Pretty Girl- Kip Moore

Hallelujah- Pentatonix

One Call Away- Charlie Puth

All of Me- John Legend

Story of My Life- One Direction

Messiah/You’re Beautiful- Phil Wickham

CCP- Senioritis

First of all, I changed my site tagline from “high school senior” to “college freshman”. !!!! So if you’re reading this in your email then head on over to the actual website and check it out! (It’s the little things that make me happy.)


sen·ior·i·tis
ˌsēnyəˈrīdəs/
noun

humorous
 1. A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.

2. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation. -Urban Dictionary


 

Senioritis is real. Even for good students. And it is awful. However, I am convinced that something similar happens to everyone at the end of the school year. The difference here (I am sure that is is worse for college seniors) is that seniors are at the end of something. They don’t have next year to come back to. They have something new coming, huge changes, they get to/have to leave. And that’s hard for most people. They have been working HARD for the past 4 years to get into “that” college or get “that” job, and now that they are accepted to “that” college. Do the last few months of senior year even matter?? It is hard to find motivation to finish out the school year when it has hardly any impact on their future plans. Cue the Pinterest and Instagram..


 

And then once we realize the quotes aren’t really helping we decide to open our books to study.

HA actually that’s not how it works.

Once we finally close that Pinterest app, we probably go and annoy our friends/family or whatever unfortunate soul happens to be around us by complaining about all of the work we have to do. Once they banish us from their presence, this is where the tears come in. Or the chocolate. OR BOTH.

If we ever finally sit down with our work, we’ll probably proceed to make at least 10 to-do lists about the things that we have to do and two separate count downs to the end of the year. Now, to outsiders, this may look like we are being productive and organized. Au contraire. This is the oldest trick in the book for a procrastinator, which all seniors seem to be.

Once we realize that there are no more to-do lists to be made *gasp* we’ll tackle that first (and probably easiest) item on our list. After finishing that, we’ll think “YOU ARE AN AMAZING PERSON. YOU DESERVE MORE CHOCOLATE AND A NICE LOOONNG BREAK FROM THE WORK THAT YOU JUST CONQUERED.” When, in reality, we just set out our notes and made our desk look pretty and took a picture of it all.

Okay, okay this may (or may not) be an exaggeration of the events that actually take place during one’s senior year. But now that I have lived through this (that makes it sound like the worst thing ever, which I’m sure it’s not:D) I have a few tips to give soon-to-be seniors.

  1. Get the “Forest” app for studying. It works wonders. You basically set a timer for how long you want to study. If you close out of the app, you get a dead tree. But if you stay in the app for the entire time, you get a healthy tree added to your forest. They also have white rain sounds (city, rainforest, etc.) for you to use. *Tip- don’t answer phone calls because it will kill your tree:D* You can also set a “break timer” so that you can get in that Pinterest time in order that you don’t go crazy. This was the biggest way for me to stay focused during finals week.
  2. Take study breaks to exercise or eat (good food). Don’t try to eat while studying. You’ll just get distracted, trust me.
  3. When you’re hard core studying, don’t listen to music that you could sing along with. Keep the throw-back songs (:D) for when you’re just copying notes or making flashcards. Pandora has study music stations. I’m sure youtube and Spotify do as well. Or use a white-noise app. (OR THE FOREST APP). My favorite way to study though is with The Strive Studies on YouTube. Go check her out,. It’s amazing how helpful it can be to “study with another person”.
  4. Enjoy life. You only get high school senior year once. Go to homecoming and prom. Go see your last sports games. Hang out with friends and do absolutely nothing or go out for a fancy-ish dinner on Saturday night. Eat pizza. Wear sweatpants to school. This is your last year.
  5. But do say no to some fun things. If you know that you have a big test the next day, don’t go out with friends that particular night/don’t watch the newest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Everyone is going to find ways that work for them. But you have to work to find those ways. My biggest tip for any student is this: TREAT EVERY TEST OR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT LIKE IT MATTERS TO YOUR FINAL GRADE. Because it really does. The first test at the beginning of the semester will set the tone for the rest of the class. If you do well on it, you’ll give yourself a cushion for when the material becomes harder. Start each semester with a good work ethic, and you’ll do fine. But don’t slack just because the material is easy now, because (especially for you CCP students) it will get 10x harder within the next week. Trust me.

Okay, longer post than normal, but those are some of my thoughts on senioritis. It can be a challenging time for most people, it definitely was for me. Please, please, please don’t beat yourself up about it. This goes for you straight-A students. Don’t feel like you’re a failure for not wanting to do the work anymore. But even if you don’t want to do it, do it anyway.

The last few months of senior year still matter. Your college gets to see your final transcript.  Show them that you are the student they think you are. Work hard, and then enjoy your summer. Time does pass. Before you know it, you’ll be graduated and at college. Don’t waste senior year complaining about it. Enjoy it.

Life Flies By

Happy late Friday night! Well, I am FINISHED with my classes. I have finished high school. Eep!! I took my last final (Econ, bleh) yesterday *I had a window seat, and it was raining, and the curtain was open, and it was great* I think my finals went pretty well, but I will get all of my grades by next Wednesday.

I can’t even put into words how happy I am to be done with this part of my schooling career. Just…well…15 more years minimum. >4 years undergrad (at Albion College!), 4 years of med school, 5 years of general surgery residency, and 2 years of pediatric surgery fellowship< That’s my plan for now at least.

So here’s a picture from the beginning of finals week…

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If I look exhausted…it’s because I was

And a picture from the end of finals…

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#treatyourself

 

This morning, I was super lazy and watched TV all morning before I had to venture out into the down pour to go volunteer at the hospital. But it’s okay because I haven’t done that (well at least guilt free) for awhile. Starting Monday, I have A LOT to do, at least it feels that way.

Let’s see…finish Albion placement tests, schedule out some blog posts and *hopefully* get some written, clean my room, organize all my school stuff from the last four years, clean out my clothes and see what I need to get, make a college supply list…

Okay, okay that’s not all happening on Monday, thank goodness. But I do feel like I need to get it all down on paper and really organize it in my mind to see what I need to get done this summer. I am also really excited to be able to workout consistently now that school is done. That should feel good.

Even though I have finished my classes, I have to wait until June 3rd to graduate. Oh! That brings a whole other list of things I have to work on: plan decorations for grad party, find dress for graduation, plan food for party, finish learning my piano pieces for my senior recital.

So yes, I will probably be just as busy if not more than when I was in school, but I love, love, love this kind of stuff so I am ready to get started!! Also, it has been raining almost nonstop for the last two days and is supposed to keep raining the entire weekend. IT’S PERFECT!!!

Also (final “also”, I promise), I wanted to say congratulations to my cousin who graduated from college today!! (Even though he doesn’t read this:D)

Have a safe weekend, friends ❤

 

Just the Beginning

Today I had my first cadaver lab! It was one of the best experiences I have had in school so far. I am starting to feel like a pre-med student!

Speaking of pre-med…I scheduled my classes for next semester:

*Physics
*Pre-calculus
*Anatomy & physiology II

=12 credit hours

I am excited to be taking ALL math and science. However, I had previously told myself that I would NOT take a math class in the spring OR an 8am class…I am taking both of those (A&P is the 8am).

I know it will be a heavy load, but I’m ready for it, and it could always be worse! And this is just the beginning of my many years of science classes 😀

(Oh, and it’s raining. So cadaver lab + scheduling classes + rainy night=perfect day.)

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Cuddle in and enjoy your night! I’m off to watch Dancing With the Stars<3

Purdue University: College Visit #7

Happy Tuesday to you all! I have been meaning to write this post for several days, and I am just now getting around to it:) A few weeks ago, I think I mentioned this, I visited my friend at Purdue. It was just supposed to be a “friend trip”, but…I ended up loving the school itself…for a lot of reasons, but most importantly, it seems to have almost everything I love about all my other schools. Before I looked into Purdue, I wished that I could find a school that had every aspect I was looking for, and in came Purdue.

Things I loved:

  1. Equestrian team
  2. Renowned biological sciences department
  3. Variety of biology majors
  4. Big school (it’s Big10)
  5. Quaint college town
  6. Football (and other sports)
  7. Close to Indianapolis (!)

Things I didn’t love:

  1. Not a big city like Indi or Columbus or Chicago

I really can’t think of things that I didn’t like about Purdue…if I think of anything, I’ll add it:)

Also a bonus but not completely reasons to go here:

  1. My friend Megan is a student
  2. My friend Heather is also applying (potential roommate…!!)
  3. The honors dorms are brand new and feel like a hotel 😀

I applied a now I just have to wait for a decision! Not sure when they come out though.

I had an amazing visit with Heather and Megan, and now I just miss them more:)

 

 

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We were in camp mode: no makeup, no doing hair 😀

 

And then I came home and had a fun visit with Aunt Emily and Phil and celebrating Noni’s birthday.

So I have applied to all the schools on my list: Purdue, Albion, BGSU, OSU, Wittenberg, Butler, Hope, UChicago. I decided to apply to UChicago because it does offer me a lot, and I liked the school when I visited. The only reason I didn’t want to apply at first was because I didn’t think I could get in with my ACT score–>which is NOT a good reason, ha ha.

In other college news, I’ve been accepted to Albion as well!!!! I couldn’t believe it when I got the letter. I actually got home from Purdue and found it in the mailbox. That is the best thing to come home to after a long, sleepy drive. Three decisions in, five more to go.

In A&P we are learning all of the muscles. We just finished all of the bones and bony landmarks/muscle and nervous tissue. Now we are onto the muscles and nerves and joints. In two weeks, we get to take a trip to the cadaver lab! My friend and I can’t wait for that.

It’s just another week of school–45 days to go!

 

Albion College: College Visit #6

Happy Saturday! This is just a quick post today.

This is the college where I attended Camp Med back in June. Some key highlights of Albion:

  1. Equestrian team
  2. outstanding pre-med advisors
  3. comfortable campus
  4. liberal arts

Some things I didn’t enjoy:

  1. Not near a city per se
  2. small
  3. does not have a church near by

Albion is also an amazing school–academics, students, faculty. Not much I can say against it. One of the biggest draws is their equestrian team.

Albion and Hope are similar in size and academics. I am not sure which I would choose between the two.

Right now, I am really considering if I want small vs. big, urban vs. rural, state vs. private. Every school has its pros and cons. Do I want to go to a state school in Ohio and graduate almost two years early using my CCP credits? Is it worth it to go out of state for four years instead? There are arguments for both. Money and time…

I am not making any decisions now. I’m waiting for all of my decisions to come out and then the financial aid packages before I set my heart on one particular school. Of course, I have a school that comes out on top when I consider my options, but that school has changed several times in the last few months, so I won’t say it now. I have a lot to think about. Quite honestly I would be happy to go to any school on my list: OSU, BGSU, Wittenberg University, Butler University, Albion College, and Hope College. All have strong academics, inviting campuses, close to home, encouraging faculty. It will be a hard decision to make in the end:)

That’s all for now!

Girl’s Weekend

Sorry that I missed my post last week! Nothing too crazy happened, so you didn’t miss much:)

This past weekend we had our ‘Girl’s Weekend’. We–meaning Kaitlyn, Katy, another friend, and I– do these occasionally, especially now that we don’t go to the same school. What do we do?? We eat junk, play games, and watch movies. I have a few ‘junk food’ recipes for you and some fun pictures:)

We started the weekend off by going to ‘our’ school’s Harvest Party. Then we went home and kind of just crashed. The next day, I headed over to my school for a Tutor Fest. I got some help in stats and talked to my history teacher for about 21/2 hours about lots of different things but with the focus on my big research assignment. I finally decided that I am going to do a paper on five things we don’t really know about the Constitution. It sounds interesting so we will see where that goes.

While I was gone, Katy and Kaitlyn and Hannah went shopping for our food. (By the way, Saturday was rainy and cold! Perfect day for this.)

When I got home, we started making food. First we made caramel grapes.

grapeI thought they would be SO GROSS, but they aren’t!

First, wash your grapes and dry. 

Next, chop up peanuts.

Then, melt your caramel.

Finally, stick each grape with a toothpick, dip each grape halfway in caramel, and roll in the peanuts.

Voila!

Then we made Soda Cracker Candy.

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First, line a baking sheet (with foil and spray it) with a single layer of saltine crackers.

Second, partially melt 2 cubed sticks of butter in a saucepan.

Next, before it is all melted, add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir constantly. When it comes to a boil, let boil for 2-3 minutes.

Next, when finished boiling, pour it over the crackers and spread evenly.

Then, take the foil off of the pan, and set it outside (if cold enough) or in the freezer to harden.

Once hardened, break the candy up into pieces.

(You can also spread chocolate on the cracker before the butter mixture. Even better!)

Enjoy!

 

The last thing that we made was Koolaid Meringues.

I just had to catch our first expressions with a picture.

"It tastes like playdoh."

“It tastes like playdoh.”

I was the only one who was disgusted by these:)

I was the only one who was disgusted by these:)

Here is what you do…

(Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.)

First, put four egg whites into a bowl and beat them until they are frothy.

Second, slowly add 1 cup of sugar.

Once mixed, add 1 tsp of cream of tarter.

Then, beat the mixture until stiff–like for a lemon meringue pie. We had to add a little bit more cream of tarter to get the meringue to stiffen. It will take awhile though!

Next, split your mixture into as many bowls as flavors that you want.

Add 1 tsp of each Koolaid flavoring and stir.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture about an inch apart. (I am just guessing here…not really sure.) The smaller the better.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Eat! (Wayy to sweet and sugary for me, so I can’t say ‘enjoy’  :D)

 

We watched some movies as well–Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Correction–they watched the movies. I basically stayed in my room and watched Castle. 🙂

And so ends our weekend. It is back to school today. I have a guidance appointment today to schedule my classes for next semester. Yay!! Can’t believe that I have almost made it to midterms of my first year at ‘college’.

Have a wonderful week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Catch-up

Happy Sunday morning all!

I will be going to church in about an hour, but I thought I would just pop in this morning. I start school tomorrow. My first day of ‘college’! (I love calling it that:) )

Yesterday we shopped for clothes and school supplies. I finally figured out how I am going to organize myself with binders and notebooks etc. I Googled it and Pinterested it, and I used a lot of different ways to create my own way. I will be posting this week about that. I want to make sure that it works for me first! I think that it will though.

I’m getting really nervous about school tomorrow. Yesterday, I walked my class route and picked up my final book from the campus bookstore. I have no idea what to expect and everything is new and that makes me very excited. Yet still nervous:) I’m praying that I will just figure it out and have a lot of fun.

 

My Easter Weekend

Hello to you all!

We are here! We made it to my Aunt Ann’s house today a few hours ago. I spent the afternoon playing with my little cousin Claire and listening to my mom, aunt, and Noni talk:) So on to the weekend recap.

Sunday morning, my mom gave us each an Easter present. She got Kaitlyn Dracula and Sherlock Holmes. She got me the book Gray’s Anatomy. I was so excited! I sat there and read and looked…and read and looked at it some more:)

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While I was reading, my mom baked some homemade strawberry muffins. She found the recipe in one of her mystery books, and oh my goodness, they were delicious!

Delicious

Delicious

Then we went to church and my friend, Katy, and sister, Kaitlyn, and I got Katy’s sister, Ada, to take some pictures of us in our new Easter outfits:)

Katy (Left) Me (Center) Kaitlyn (Right)

Katy (Left) Me (Center) Kaitlyn (Right)

Before we left for church, we had set our oven to cook the roast at 11:00. When we got home at 12:30, the oven was cold! It hadn’t turned on. It was ok though because it was ready to eat when my dad got home later that day. (He drives trucks long haul through the week.) So we had roast with onions and potatoes, rolls, asparagus, Jello, and a goat cheese and cracker plate. We got to use my mom’s china and a pottery platter that I made last year. This picture sums it all up.

Mmmmm

Mmmmm

And my mom took pictures of  my dad and sister and me.

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That evening, we went over to my grandparent’s house and had pizza with one of my aunts and uncles and cousin.

It was a fun, full day:) And tomorrow you will get the Jello recipe. Tomorrow I also have my first college visit here. I have the second one on Wednesday. We have a very eventful week here in Indi:) Have a good evening!