Thursday, October 30, 2014

Omron Alvita Pedometer

Recently, I was looking through a "fitness inspiration" Instagram profile, something I rarely do because I don't even have that app.  Long ago, I wanted to be that kind of inspiration (through this blog), but as life and body changes have reduced my long-run selfies to hardly existent walks, I have to remember that every great thing begins with a simple step.

I was contacted to review the Omron Alvita Pedometer, which is a notch above other pedometers you may have used over the years.  Most of them register up-and-down movement only, but the Alvita can detect steps on three axes (axis-es?).  This is really cool, because unlike other pedometers, you won't hear clicking or anything when you walk.

The other great thing about it is that it automatically resets itself at midnight each day.  It is also really light to clip or strap to yourself.

Believe it or not, that's me lounging with a huge, huge bump.

I shamefully don't log many steps these days, but I was actually surprised that even while resting at home for a couple of hours, I was able to log in about 100 steps.  I guess those frequent restroom trips will do that!

Also, you have to love that Oprah introduced these as an empowerment tool for young girls.  I think it's important to teach young people the benefits of staying active, particularly because being young is often as stressful as being, well, not-so-young!

As for me, I'm sure having this around will encourage me to be on my feet more than I have been.  To get back to those long runs, I gotta start somewhere!

From their representative:

Education has always been the number one focus for Oprah at her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. After a visit in August 2014, she decided that, along with exercising the girls’ minds, exercising their bodies was important as well. Oprah decided to give a boost to a school initiative that had begun on her birthday earlier in the year – The Fittest School Challenge – to encourage the girls to become more active and physical throughout the day.

While encouraging activity, Oprah also wanted a way to keep the girls and faculty motivated over time. That’s when Oprah invited Omron to join the challenge by donating Alvita Ultimate Pedometers to each student and staff member. She believed the pedometers would be a fun way to track activities daily, while motivating the girls to improve and walk more over time.  

Thanks to Omron, the girls at the Leadership Academy are on their way to meeting their goal of 10,000 steps per day.  

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided a sample of this product to try but was not otherwise compensated to provide a particular opinion on it.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Major #firstworldproblems here, but my iPhone 4S had been broken for six entire months.  I knew this because it would remind me weekly that I haven't uploaded to iCloud, which was a direct result of the WiFi chip burning out when I downloaded an iOS update.

Finally, sometime after the "iCloud not updated for 24 weeks" message, I got with the times and upgraded to the iPhone 5.  Now, my smartphone is fully functional again...

...which is just in time for me to work out some sort of baby tracking on there...

...which means I have to keep my phone on me at all times.  Actually, this is already something that "The Ukrainian" tells me if I mention something like taking a stroll around our very safe neighborhood.  I'm pretty sure I can round a few corners if the baby decides to arrive, but I guess it's better to be prepared.

That's where the Armpocket comes in, which is a line of armbands that can hold not only smart phones but keys as well, things that inevitably have to come with you on a walk or run.  It keeps your phone protected while out and about while still allowing you to use the screen, and yes, it has a hole for the headphones.

"The Ukrainian" has been running with this and says it does stay put.  Of course, it's still a sensation to get used to either way.  My phone has to come out of its massive protective case in order to fit, so that's kind of the only downside and will vary based on what case you have.  In preparation for baby and sleeplessness, I just happen to have a very thick one.  Still, I will definitely be using this on my post-baby runs/walks!

This would be perfect for everyday gym use, as well.  They also have models for the new iPhone 6, models that light up, and models for the non-iPhone inclined.  It's also eco-friendly!


FTC Disclaimer: I was provided a sample of this product and was not compensated to provide a positive review.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Nursery and Other Things

We've reached October 20-something (today's my half-birthday, though that doesn't mean much!), which means the November 20-somethings are coming up, and I am definitely ready for that time to arrive.

Unfortunately, I still have a few weeks left at work, and as you can imagine, I haven't really been up to it lately even though things are kind of winding down and holiday festivities are sort of beginning.  My co-workers were so sweet in throwing me a baby shower, which "The Ukrainian" was able to attend.

In particular, I keep waking up drained and have actually been nauseated in the same way as earlier in the pregnancy, except I don't think I can justify comforting myself with bland carbs anymore.  So when I see random things like vegan cheese pop up, I give in:

Fortunately, I guess I hit a "nesting" phase in the past two weeks, so I washed everything and even packed my bag for the big day, even though it is (or just seems) SO far away.  Here are a couple of glances at the baby's room.  We have a two-bedroom, and unfortunately, the two rooms are almost the same size, so the baby has a huge room for its size.

I subsequently put the sheet cover on the crib mattress, LOL.

Those bears on the left were my childhood loves!

A lot of the items in the second picture are hand-me-downs (not the car seat, of course!), which are extremely appreciated.  We've been really lucky in that a lot of people just had babies this and last year.  We also recycled some of our other baby shower decorations for now.  In the coming weeks, I want to get my store club cards and discount stuff in order, because I'm a coupon-clipper and know I won't have as much time to keep track of pennies in the flurry of stuff.

Also, as ridiculous as it sounds, I already have the pack-n-play beside my bed so that I get used to not bumping into it at night.  It's also functioning as leverage for me when I have a hard time getting up in the middle of the night, which is understandably more often than I would like.

My main focus now is really to relax, because I am not naive and know it will be rough for a good while.  Kind of like tapering, I guess.