Jawbone

 

Jawbone UP 24

I treated myself a little sumthin’ today! I got a Jawbone UP 24 and I am really excited to use it!! As you all know, I have been on a mission to lose weight lately, and I was considering a FitBit, but when Sam got a Jawbone for his birthday I instantly knew I wanted one. I consider this an early birthday gift to myself   :)

For those of you who don’t know the Jawbone is a wearable device that tracks your sleep,  movement, workouts, and calories. You can even input what you eat into the app. I wore it for a bit today and so far I am absolutely loving it! I will have a full review in a few weeks once I have had a little more time to play with it.

Erin Condren 2015 Planner Review

So here it is! The post I know a lot of you were anxiously waiting for – my 2015 Erin Condren Life planner review!

After a few months of having my 2014 planner, I convinced my friend Meghan to get on board, and she loved her planner. She is a PhD student so between her social life, her classes, being at TA and her part-time job, she has a lot to keep track of. Certainly more than I do! Two of my co-workers also began lusting after my planner, so when I went to re-order I made sure to check with them to see if they wanted in on it. This really helped to lower the $50 shipping cost, and made the price, one of my main complaints from last year, a little more bearable.

Once again, the planners were shipped in an adorable little box.

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Opening it up you see more beautiful packaging and a little catalog of all of the beautiful Erin Condren products. There was also a $10 gift card in the catalog, but it expires on October 31, 2014 which was a total bummer. With $50 for shipping there is absolutely NO way I am ordering anything more than once a  year. Sorry, Erin! Really, this is a complaint I had last year and I am going to keep bringing it up because in this day it is a little ridiculous to charge so much for shipping from California to Canada. It really feels like a money grab, and I would have to say, I am thankful that the products are so high quality and that I was able to find some friends to share the cost with, otherwise I wouldn’t purchase this product. Erin, if you are listening, you  really, really need to find a way to lower that shipping cost.

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Here are the four planners we ordered. The top one is Meghan’s, on the right is my co-worker Amy’s chevron planner, mine is on the bottom and my co-worker Heidi’s is on the left. She is the only one of us who chose to get one of the new quote planners.

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My planner up close. I chose the Scales planner in sea foam. I didn’t customize anything other than my name, because honestly I just loved the design the way I saw it online. My last planner was really colourful, and this is a little more subdued. I love the colour, its feminine but not traditional pink or purple.

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Inside, not much has changed from the last year, there are still monthly layouts, lots of space on the weekly views, and on the side between the Goals & Notes is a design that I think is a little nod to all of us who use washi tape to decorate or denote time. The stickers are almost exactly the same as last year. There are ones for doctors, hair appointments, vacation, games etc. The colours on the blank stickers are a little different than last year, which I appreciate. Maybe the biggest change, and certainly my favourite, is that the stickers are removable. This is SO handy! Last year I sometimes put stickers in the wrong place, or wanted to reuse a certain sticker and they were really difficult to remove. I ruined a few. Since this new planner needs to last me from now until the end of 2015, I may need to move some of those stickers throughout the year.

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Lots of great pockets just like last year. The clear zippy pouch where I keep stamps and coupons, and the folder pouch where I keep documents and notes I need.

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Lots of lined and blank pages to keep notes. I use these for lists of movies I want to see, blog post ideas, motivational quotes, and a huge list of things I needed to do for the big move this year.

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So what is different? One of the biggest changes is that the perpetual calendar that was in the beginning of last years planner, and the contacts section that was in the back has been removed and put in this removable book. Handy because next year I wont need to re-write all the birthdays of the people in my life, and the odd contact number I keep in my planner. The not so great part is that it’s a loose book that could fall out and get lost.

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The other big change is that the page marker is clear this year, allowing you to see what is written on the Wednesday or Thursday it would previously hide. The page marker is sturdier too, but so far my experience is that it is just more difficult to remove.

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So, as you can see there were a few little changes, some more significant than others, but certainly there weren’t as many changes from 2014 as there were from 2013 to 2014. One of the big changes that I didn’t really touch on yet is the removable cover. This change kind of seems like a cheap ploy to get people to buy more product. The covers are already completely personal and can be designed by the consumer, I really don’t see the need for more than one cover. If you get so terribly bored with your cover that you feel the need to pay $60 for a new one, well then…..you have some real first world problems.

What would I like to see change for next year? Great question!

  • The shipping cost to Canada! Not to beat a dead horse, but this is such a stumbling block for a lot of potential Canadian customers. $50 is just too much for shipping. Lowering this or even providing options for slower shipping at a lower cost could really open the market to more Canucks!
  • The option for the consumer to choose between Canadian vs. American holidays. I love a soldier, but I don’t care when Veteran’s Day is. Sorry, Yanks!
  • For the perpetual calendar/contacts booklet to be removable, not loose. With the introduction of the removable covers and coil clips this year it would be nice if we either got one free coil clip or if there was a coil clip attached to the booklet so it doesn’t get lost.

So, there it is. My review on this years Erin Condren Life Planner. If you have any questions or would like to know more about my experience, please feel free to leave a comment!

Something To Think About

I haven’t posted anything about the death of Robin Williams mostly because I didn’t know the man, and part of me gets annoyed when people go on and on about celebrity deaths. Sure, they touched our lives, but there are millions of others out there dying that never get our thoughts or prayers just because they weren’t famous, and that feels cruel to me. Still, I found this while I was surfing the web yesterday and it really suck with me. I have had a lot of personal experience with depression and even suicide (not me, but family members) and the following really hit home with me.

“If someone were to die at the age of 63 after a lifelong battle with MS or Sickle Cell, we’d all say they were a “fighter” or an “inspiration.” But when someone dies after a lifelong battle with severe mental illness and drug addiction, we say it was a tragedy and tell everyone “don’t be like him, please seek help.” That’s bullshit. Robin Williams sought help his entire life. He saw a psychiatrist. He quit drinking. He went to rehab. He did this for decades. That’s HOW he made it to 63. For some people, 63 is a fucking miracle. I know several people who didn’t make it past 23 and I’d do anything to have 40 more years with them.”

 – anonymous reader on The Dish

Lessons from Bachelor In Paradise

Okay, so I don’t really watch The Bachelor. I think its pathetic, exploitative, and I just cannot bear to hear 22-year-old waitress/models complain about being single. I have seen a few seasons because we used to watch it at Judgy Monday, but unless I am with a group of people actively mocking the show it just seems sad. With that being said I somehow got talked into watching Bachelor In Paradise.

Bachelor In Paradise

For those not familiar, it’s  essentially sexual musical chairs. Each week couples go on dates and at the end of the week one gender gives out roses to the other gender (it switches each week). The catch is that there are not enough roses for all the men or women and those left without a rose in their hand are sent home. Obviously this breeds panic as the week progresses and certain people couple off while others are left unattached. This panic is exacerbated when new singles show up throughout the week and throw the numbers off again. Basically, it’s a hot mess. And yes, it is still exploitative and pathetic, but at least in this iteration of the series some of the cast members seem in on the joke. They say they are there for love, but seem aware that they may not find love but at least they will be on tv! Also – for those left wondering, most of these singles know each other well before the filming begins. The bachelor casts are notorious for hooking up with one another at wrap parties, social mixers and other engagements, so if they do find love (or herpes) with one another, it had nothing to do with the show you are currently watching.

Anyway, last night I was that crazy girl yelling at my TV while watching Bachelor in Paradise. I want to shake these girls! They are SO stupid. At first I thought, “huh, maybe these are just the craziest girls they could find” but then I realized that they are not that different from some (one specific) girls I know in real life. Then I got angry at the Bachelor producers for perpetuating certain lies girls believe as truth. Let’s review some of these…

  • Following a guy on Instagram (or Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.) is not the same as dating him.
  • Telling a guy you want him to meet your family before you have had your first date is going to weird a guy out. Actually, it’s going to terrify him
  • Sleeping with a guy does not make him your boyfriend. Even if you let him do really, really dirty stuff to you. You may wake up thinking, “awesome! That secures our relationship!” but he wakes up thinking, “awesome! I barely had to talk her into any of that!”
  • Eyelash extensions just accentuate crazy eyes.
  • A man is not your silver lining, your rainbow or your solution. If all it takes to change your life is a boyfriend, you need therapy, not sex.
  • Sure, you may only have one arm and feel lost in a sea of pretty, seemingly perfect girls but we all feel insecure and not good enough. Keep in mind, it’s better to be sane than pretty (and for the record, Sarah is beautiful, regardless of how many arms she has)
  • Sequined string bikinis – in case being almost naked isn’t getting you the attention you want.

See? With a bit of effort we can even find some education in The Bachelor! I wish I could tell you that I wont be tuning in next week, but it’s a “groundbreaking two night Bachelor event of the season!” Advertisements have promised me that I “wont want to miss the most dramatic night in Bachelor history”. How can I resist?

Frustration

I have been focusing a lot on my weight lately. I have been doing my best to eat well and exercise more, and I honestly, thought I was doing a good job.

Then I weighed myself this morning.

I was up a pound and a half. Now, I know it’s not that much, but this is another pound on top of the twenty or so that I have already put on in the past year, and at a time when I am actively trying to lose weight. I have been eating better, and getting to the gym more often.

A typical work day diet looks like this -

  • natural peanut butter on a whole wheat english muffin for breakfast
  • grapefruit cup for snack
  • salad for lunch – romaine with veggies and ground turkey in taco seasoning, cherry tomatoes and chickpeas with basil and balsamic over romaine, or, this week it was this chickpea and cucumber salad
  • humus and pita chips for snack
  • meat, starch and veg for dinner

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Fairly balanced, no? I have a cup or two of coffee a day with soy milk, and I try to only drink on weekends, but sometimes I will have a glass mid-week. I do not drink juice or soda.

I try to get to the gym three times a week, and I will walk/jog for a half hour, but lately I have only been going twice a week. Still, its more than I was doing 3 months ago (nothing!), and before I moved I was eating out for lunch about 3-4 times a week either at a restaurant or in our office cafeteria. I really thought the changes I have made would be helping to take some pounds off, or at least keep my weight stable, so seeing the increase was really discouraging. I have always been pretty loose on weekends, realizing that this is when I usually go out with friends and have dinner or drinks, but I think I will need to be more regimented about my weekend and take advantage of the time to make healthier meals and get more active.

I’m really trying to keep a positive spirit, and recognize my faults. Hopefully I will have some good news to report soon.

New Erin Condren Planner

I did it again! Ordered a ridiculously expensive Erin Condren Life Planner. I couldn’t help myself. I love my old one and use it all the time, which obviously justifies the $50 expense. Also, I ordered with a few other girls, which helped cut the $50 shipping cost.

Anyway, since last year’s review is easily one of my most popular posts, I will be posting a review of this years planner as well. Until then…

The waiting is the hardest part.

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