Change Is In the Air

September is here, which means that fall is just around the corner. Or maybe you count Labor Day as the last day of summer, and are already considering it fall. I’ll soak up the last days of summer as long as can, but I’m also ready for the changes that fall will bring. There will be a lot this year!

For one, a car that’s healed.

Jordan and I got into an accident on Saturday, a first for both of us. We were on our way  to the last minor league baseball game of the season when someone turned out in front us, hitting the passenger side of our car. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and my Escape can be fixed. It was upsetting, though, because the other car was most likely totaled. It wasn’t our fault, but we still felt bad.

Also this fall, my day to day schedule is changing.

After a lull in job opportunities, everything came at once. I accepted a job offer last week! It was difficult to tell the family I nanny that I’m leaving, but I’m excited for the opportunity to work in my field of study.

We also have three weddings to attend this fall, one being my sister’s, and there will be a lot more talk of babies amongst my friends — my friend Kelli and her husband just found out that they’re expecting their first baby!

It’s an exciting time, and I’m ready to see what else the new season brings!

Are you expecting any changes in your life this fall?

What are you looking forward to this fall?

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My Thoughts on the Fitbit Flex

I’ve had my Fitbit Flex for over a month now. I’m not affiliated with the company (I received the Flex for my birthday), but I had some requests for a review, so I thought it’d be a good time to share my thoughts. I’ve been wearing it nearly everyday, and so far, I really like it!

The Fitbit Flex is a wireless activity and sleep wristband. It connects to my phone through Bluetooth, sending information to the app and to the website’s dashboard, if I choose to view my stats on my laptop.

When I put the Fitbit Flex on my birthday list, I was most interested in learning more about my sleep patterns. Over the past month, though, I’ve learned so much more!

Physical Activity

This is what the iPhone app looks like. Throughout the day, I’m able to check the amount of steps I’ve taken, the amount of miles I’ve covered, how many calories I’ve burned, and how active I’ve been. During the setup process, it tells you that the longer you wear the Fitbit, the more accurate the numbers will get. The calorie burn is mainly based on weight, which is entered at the beginning, but the Fitbit also starts to gauge typical activity level over time.

During the first couple of weeks, I was amazed at how hard I needed to work to reach my daily goal, 10,000 steps. Unless I go for a long walk or run, it doesn’t happen. I wish that I lived in a walkable city! With that being said, it has encouraged me to go for walks in addition to my usual workouts. If I go for an hour in the morning or after dinner, I’m able to reach my goal.

Another aspect of the activity tracking is the ability to enter workouts other than walking and running. Since I’m in the middle of the PiYo challenge, I’ve been entering those workouts into the app manually. You can also use the app as a tracking device while walking or running (similar to RunKeeper). The app will estimate the amount of calories burned during the workouts, but if you use a heart rate monitor and want to change it, you can do that also.

The best part is, if I don’t want to be attached to my phone or computer all day, I can check my progress simply by tapping the band twice. The band will light up with dots, each dot representing 20% of my daily goal. When I’ve reached 10,000 steps, my band will light up with five dots and vibrate, letting me know that I’ve achieved my goal. I look forward to that everyday!

Sleep

Like I said, this was the part I was most interested in before getting my Flex. To track my sleep, I tap the band quickly five times before I fall asleep. This puts the band in sleep mode, tracking my movements throughout the night. When I wake up in the morning, I tap the band five times again, and it knows that I’m awake.

The only downside to this feature is that you have to remember to tap the band before falling asleep. If you forget, it won’t track anything. Also, I’m not sure how accurate it is for wake ups. I wake up in the middle of the night occasionally, and it always records it as “restless” rather than “awake.” Other than that, though, it’s great for a general idea of sleep patterns.

Nutrition

This is the part that needs to be entered manually, although it does give you a suggested number of calories to be eaten, based on activity levels that day. I really like this feature!

I can enter my food and water intake manually, although I don’t do this anymore. I drink a ridiculous amount of water to begin with, and I don’t like to count calories. I did use this feature during the first week out of curiosity, and it was interesting to see how my actual calorie intake compared to my suggested calorie intake.

Overall, I would recommend the Fitbit Flex! It retails for around $100, but if you’re looking for something less expensive, the Fitbit Zip is $60 and clips right onto your clothing. Oh, and if its sporty look is not for you, Tory Burch now has an exclusive Fitbit line. Talk about fancy! Right now, my lime green band is just fine :) .

Do you wear an activity or sleep tracker?

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One of The Best

This past weekend was one of my favorites of the summer. 

After work on Friday, my sister Molly and I left for the Jesse McCartney concert in Indianapolis. Basically, my 13-year-old dream come true.

We didn’t have time to eat dinner beforehand, so we decided to get ice cream before walking over to the venue. Not the healthiest option, but so, so good! Sub Zero is my favorite place to get ice cream in the city.

There was no line to get in by the time that we arrived, so we were able to walk right in. I was surprised to see how small the actual room was, but it meant that there was no bad view!

For sentimental reasons, this was the best concert that I’ve ever been to — even better than Hanson, although it could be because I managed not to faint at this one. When he played ‘Beautiful Soul,’ it brought me right back to the year that I turned 16. It’s crazy to think that it’s been a whole decade since then!

The next morning, Jordan and I got up nice and early for the Color in Motion 5k Run. Probably not my best idea after a late night, but it ended up being fun! The race wasn’t was too crowded and it was well-organized — I even liked it better than The Color Run.

It was hot, so we ended up doing jog/walk intervals, but still finished in a decent time.

Later that night, we had friends and family over for a cookout. Plans changed a little because of thunderstorms, but thank goodness for George Foreman grills ;) .

We spent the night eating, talking and playingHeads Up!on the iPad. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, you should. It’s so entertaining! Also, while our house was all cleaned up, I took the time to take some pictures. I might be sharing them in a house tour later this week!

After a busy Friday and Saturday, Sunday was spent doing a lot of nothing, and it was just what I needed.

This week is going to be busy with Labor Day plans, but I’m excited to enjoy the last bit of summer. Have a great week!

How was your weekend?
Who was your teenage celebrity crush?

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Friday Facts

1. I completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last night (you can watch my video on Instagram). I think it’s so cool that so much money (and awareness) has been raised because of this social media campaign!

2. Tonight, my sister and I are going to go see my teenage crush in person. The funny thing is, I would’ve spent a hundred dollars to see him in concert then, and for this concert, I only paid $15. It’ll be interesting to see what the crowd’s like! The only thing that will be missing is my cousin, Lauren! We were both sort of obsessed.

3. Jordan and I are having friends over for our first barbeque of the summer on Saturday. Don’t mind the fact that summer’s almost over… our weekends got away from us!

4. Speaking of barbequing, I have been marinating chicken in Olive Garden’s Italian Dressing this summer, and it’s so good! They sell it in stores now — I found it at Meijer.

5. I am two weeks into the PiYo challenge and loving it so far! I’m going to do a full review soon, but as of right now, I’d recommend it to anyone. The workouts were created for all ages and abilities, and Chalene Johnson is very relaxed and relatable.

6. My bridesmaid dress came in the mail yesterday, and reality hit — my sister is getting married in two months! We are going to my favorite island for her bachelorette weekend, and I’m so excited!

7. And with that, it’s time for me to get to work. Have a great weekend!

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We Are More Than These Words

Lately, in the blog world, I’ve seen a lot of apology posts — a lot of lengthy explanations. A lot of, “Let me explain why I make money from this blog…,” “Let me tell you why I have a new job…,” “Let me tell you why I talk about my [family, faith, spouse, eating habits] so much…” etc., etc.

I’ll admit, I’ve been tempted to write one of my own. Bullying is a problem in these spaces of ours. Although it’s to be expected when you put personal thoughts in a public space, it doesn’t make it much easier, and I think that a natural reaction is to get a little defensive. I want to applaud the bloggers who have the courage to explain themselves (I love this one in response to negative feedback on sponsored posts) while remaining poised, and at the same time, I want to look away. While it makes us feel better to explain ourselves, I don’t think that an explanation is ever owed. 

I think it’s important to remember that we — bloggers and blog readers alike — are so much more than the things that we post in these spaces. In this space, I write about things that I enjoy and I share personal stories, but by no means do I share everything. And, I can only hope that the people who write mean comments and waste time on “that hate site that bashes bloggers,” are kinder in person than they are on the internet. Sure, we might become braver when hiding behind a computer screen, but the things that we post online are only snippets of our lives.

Sometimes, you see the not-so-great, much more vulnerable snippets. In my case, those posts are more for me than they are for you, but they allow me to vent, and I always hope that someone can relate. And sometimes, you see the great snippets. I shared my wedding planning process on this blog because it was one of the most fun years of my life thus far, and I want to be able to look back on those memories.

Many times, though, I keep personal things out of this space, and I know that every other blogger does too. Whether it looks like a blogger lives a life of luxury or it looks like they are going through a really tough time, you will never really know the full story.

We are so much more than these words. We should try not to judge so quickly.

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