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Thursday, 28 January 2016

3 Weeks with the Jawbone UP 2 Activity Tracker

up by jawbone

If you have an outstanding memory you may recall that I got this Jawbone Up wristband for Christmas. I'd been looking at an activity tracker for ages and couldn't really decide which one to get so thought now I've had some time to wear it, it would be helpful to share my thoughts on it. 

Week 1
I can't wait to get going with my new fitness tracker. From opening the box, I had to charge it up for around 80 minutes using a little magnetic charging USB stick. The lights flash whilst its charging, but when they turn constant your good to go. The great thing about it is that it only has to be charged once a week too! After downloading the Jawbone app onto my iPhone I quickly got everything sync'ed up and I was ready to roll. 

Since getting my band, the only time I've taken it off is to have a shower or bath and it's so light and discrete I don't even notice that I'm wearing it. The activity tracker seems quite accurate but it doesn't register some activities such as workouts and especially those more sedentary like cycling or weights. Never fear though, these movements can be entered in manually easy enough. I was actually worried it was going to pick up my typing at work, but it looks like everything fine. For the sleep tracker, it works so so. It seems quite accurate, but not great in telling if your in a light sleep or have woken up. On the night I slept the worst and only managed to get an hour or two, it registered that I hadn't woken up at all. Maybe I just don't move when I wake up?!

I've really enjoyed using the app as it's quite visual. You can customise all the settings from a Smart alarm, idle alerts and activity alerts. There's even a handy stopwatch that you can time workouts that wouldn't necessarily be picked up by the system. You can also record you meals on it but I've found the ones on the database are mainly American, which throws everything off slightly if you're this side of the pond. Another plus is that it can also be used alongside other apps so you can link everything up.

Week 2
I had a complete disaster with my bracelet this week. I had it on my wrist in the car on the way to work, but as I was sat at my desk I realised it was gone. Tracing my footsteps, I couldn't find it anywhere.  That's the problem with it being so light and discrete, you don't notice when it slips off your wrist. I thought it was gone for good when I remembered there's a tracking feature on the app similar to the one for your iPhone. 

I quickly tapped away, only to find out that it would only show where my jawbone band was when it was last synced to the app, and not in real time. It wouldn't sync from my office to home because of the distance. Not much help there. Luckily it was at home. Panic over, but now I feel paranoid, checking it's on my wrist constantly in fear that I leave somewhere. 

Week 3
This week I think I've finally realised how I'm going to use my up bracelet. Rather than inputting all my food, I'm just going to focus on the activity tracking side. I'm keeping up with the sleep tracking but taking the results with a pinch of salt. 

I've definitely become more aware about how much I'm moving. I have a desk job, and its only just sunk in how inactive I am during the day. If I needed some extra motivation to get moving in my free time, this up band has provided it.

Overall I'm really happy with the Jawbone UP 2 and would recommend someone to try it out. It's not an all singing all dancing activity tracker like some high end Garmin models, but it does the job and is at quite a reasonable price of around £49. Do I think I'd upgrade? Well I want to get into running in spring/summer so if I manage to get into a routine, I may upgrade to one that tracks route and times better. Until then though, this is perfect fro what I need and great motivation to keep moving.

Do you have an activity tracker? How are you find it?

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Body Shop's Bath Brew

body shop natural bath
I hate Green tea. I can't stand the taste, and no I will not learn to grow to like it if I keep trying. But , rather weirdly, I do love the smell. While you all might prefer to have a cuppa to chill out after a stressful day, I prefer to get my pamper on. I've already talked about the lovely facial goodies from Sephora, but thought it was only fair to let you know about another alternative. My cuppa is bigger than yours. Just saying. 

Rather than the drink, The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Bath Tea aims to help you relax from the outside in. Sourced from Mount Fuji, Japan, it's made with real green tea leaves to help de-stress both your mind and body. The antioxidants are also supposed to work their magic on your skin, making it both softer and smoother for a  healthier feeling. 

Fun concept, but what's it like in practice? There's actually two ways that you can use this product. You can either pour it into a warm bath and wait 5 minutes for the bath soak to infuse, or you can use the matching Bath Tea infuser, said to give a mess free experience.

First thing to point out about the product is that it's heavily fragranced. If you don't like the smell of Green Tea, avoid this like the plague. Seriously, it's potent. Also, It's a mixture of bath salts and green tea so if you prefer your bath products to completely dissolve, give this one a pass. If this is still your thing, well then you are in for a treat. The product works perfectly and you feel like you've had a spa treatment after using it. Your skin is soft for days and you feel completely relaxed. Wonderful right?

Now this is the bit that has divided me; both ways of using it has flaws. Pretty big ones too. If you opt for the straight pour method, your relaxing experience will only last as long as your bath does. As soon as you get out of the bath, you're going to need to rinse down to get rid of those little green tea leaves.  Once you've cleaned up, you're then going to have to spend a good 10 minutes sorting out your bath. Think of a Lush bath bomb with glitter. Times 10.  

So use the Bath Infuser I hear you cry? Well I would if it fitted round any bath without an exposed water drain. Not a problem I thought, I'd attached it to the tap or somewhere else, but nope, it just slips completely off. OK so I'll attach it to the little wire rack on the wall. The chain isn't long enough. I will point out that this isn't The Body Shop's fault, but I think they should make it a bit clearer that it won't work for every bath. Now, unless I fancy holding the chain for the Infuser, I've let £5 go down the drain. Literally. 

It doesn't help that the price point isn't great. £12.00 a jar seems quite reasonable, until you realise that it takes quite a lot to have any effect. With a big bath like mine, you'd be lucky if you got 3 baths.  You could pay more for Lush, but then Lush wouldn't be so frustrating to use.

So would I buy this again? No. Would I recommend this for someone else? Maybe. If you are more into green tea than me, and have a open bath drain, then this would be a lot more appealing and would make such a cute, novelty gift. for a tea lover. Sadly it's wasted on me, and won't be in my caddy anytime soon.

What do you think? Is this you cup of tea (couldn't resist)?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

5 Books in 5 Words #4

5 books in 5 words book review

I haven't done one of these posts in so long, so I wouldn't blame you on if you had no idea how they worked. Whilst I adore reading, I hate writing books reviews and find myself flashing back to English lessons at school. To save us all from that pain, and from me giving away any spoilers, I figured 5 words was just enough for me to give you my opinion.

And before I begin, yes I know there are only four books up in the picture. 2 books are on my kindle, but alas the kindle can only show one cover at once. Let's just pretend yeah?

Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes
Disappointing history in modern world.

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
Chick Lit genius strikes again

Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella
Becky Bloomwood all grown up

An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington by Karl Pilkington
Hilarious travel inspiration must read.

The Further Adventures of An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington (not shown)
Just as funny as first.

Have you read any of these? I'd love to know what you thought?
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