Shine On

Santa brought me a Misfit Shine, aka the prettiest wearable on the block. How does it stack up against my beloved FitBit?

I’d been coveting a Shine ever since I saw that it can be worn as a necklace. My main problem with most wearables is that they’re worn around the wrist, and I hate having things on my wrists. The FitBit, of course, can be clipped to waistbands or bra straps, but it still kind of always seemed to be in the way. Also, I was constantly worried that I’d forget to unclip it and put it through the wash – or (as was often the case) I’d carefully remove it and then forget to put it back on before my next outing.

misfit shine on a necklaceA necklace, though – that I can do. I originally had my eye on the Sport Necklace accessory, but it turns out the magnetic “clip” works just perfectly with a plain leather necklace threaded through it. It’s pretty cute, too, and it doesn’t scream FITNESS WEARABLE.

At night I do wear it on my wrist to track my sleep; the rubber sport band isn’t too uncomfortable and I mostly don’t notice it. By morning I’m usually wanting to take it off, though, which actually is a good thing because it means I don’t forget to put it on the necklace.

As far as tracking data goes, the Shine is a lot more limited than the FitBit. It shows your steps and an activity graph, but doesn’t track elevation or activity type; the most detailed view shows activity blocks rated by levels of exertion (pretty active, kinda active, etc – I’ve yet to get very active, so I’m not sure what the exact phrasing is for that one) with a graphic of a little exercising dude. Cute, but not super useful. There doesn’t seem to be a way to see daily or weekly totals.

The sleep tracker is also less detailed than the FitBit, with no readily available guide to the difference between “sleep” and “restful sleep.” Sleep time seems pretty accurate. I can clearly see periods of non-sleep that correspond to nighttime wakeups (yay, babies who don’t sleep through the night). Again, I wish there were more details, but I’m satisfied with what it shows.

The Shine does sync with the iPhone Health app, but it only syncs step data, not sleep. (I’m pretty sure the Misfit Beddit syncs sleep data with the Health app, though.) That’s the biggest thing on my wishlist for future updates, but I’m not holding my breath.

All in all I’ve been really happy with the Misfit. It hits a nice balance between fashion accessory and fitness tracker and does a good job of feeding my hunger for stats. And there are some seriously cute new accessories coming out soon, too!

Oh Hey, Influenster Perk: Reese’s Spread

So the latest Influenster perk? Reese’s spread. Chocolate and peanut butter in frosting spreadable form. It’s like they plucked the idea directly out of my head.

2015/01/img_9851.jpgThe spread is a lot like Nutella, but with a definite peanut butter kick. It’s a little bit saltier, too, which makes it a lot easier to “accidentally” eat way more than you planned to.

I had it on toast, and it was pretty good. Not as good as Nutella, but not bad.

2015-01-21 13.09.51Then I had it on a spoon. And it was HEAVEN.

There are tiny bits of peanut (like in the inside of a Reese’s peanut butter cup) blended in with the chocolate. Seriously, it’s like nomming a spoonful of melted candy, without having to go to all the trouble of melting it and stirring it together and having people look at you funny. I could eat this ALL DAY.

(I may or may not have finished the whole jar entirely by spoonful. IT IS JUST THAT GOOD.)

THANK YOU, Influenster, for giving me Reese’s goodness in exchange for a review. You can do that again ANY TIME.

Book Review: You Should Have Known

you should have knownCan you really miss all the signs, even if you’re looking for them?

Therapist Grace Reinhart Sachs makes her living telling people where they’ve gone wrong. She believes that there’s always a moment, usually early in the relationship, when you can see the truth about the other person – a truth you then “forget,” burying it in excuses and desires. In fact, Grace has written a book on the subject, called You Should Have Known.

Her own life seems to hold up under scrutiny: she has a loving marriage, a wonderful son. (She’s also materialistic and judgmental and clearly unaware of just how good she has it, but that’s a whole other thing.)

Then a woman Grace knows only vaguely is murdered, and her perfect husband has disappeared. As her life begins to unravel, Grace keeps asking herself: should she have known?

Unfortunately, it’s not a question the book really answers. (Mild spoilers to follow.)

Continue reading Book Review: You Should Have Known

Book Review: The Last Winter of Dani Lancing

the last winter of dani lancingI love a good ghost story.

On the surface, The Last Winter of Dani Lancing is a murder mystery, and a study of how different people react to grief. Twenty years ago, college student Dani Lancing was brutally murdered. The killer was never found. Her mother becomes consumed with the need for vengeance. Her father has conversations with Dani’s ghost. Her old beau, Tom Bevans, still pines for the girl he lost.

Naturally, they all have secrets, and each of them knows things about Dani that the others don’t. Can they come together somehow and solve a decades-old murder without losing each other in the process? Or is there a reason everyone has something to hide?

The ghost story aspect is fun, and not terribly overdone, though by the end you may find that it has a bit of a saccharine aftertaste. The mystery is a good one, and the ending didn’t feel like a deus ex machina, which can be difficult with a book like this. I’m interested enough to read more from this author.

Tee-struction

I’ve been on a big Pinterest kick lately. I’ve also been sick to death of my wardrobe. You know what that means: EXPERIMENTS IN REPURPOSING.

First, I chopped up an old shirt of Matt’s, because why not? It turned out pretty cute.

Sliced tee
It’s a play on words, because I DAT(E) A NERD. (Also I am a nerd.)

Then I had all these tee-shirt bits, so I made them into a headband for the baby using this tutorial. Easy peasy!

Headband

(I should have used wider strips! It would have been a lot cuter.)

I also made one for me out of a shirt that had holes in it. (Side note: why do all my shirts get holes in them? It’s super annoying.) I like mine a lot, although I got lazy and just tied the ends together rather than finishing them out as per the tutorial. It’s fine – who do I have to impress? – but probably would have been cuter if I’d done it right.

Headband

Next up: busting out the sewing machine to make some dresses for the little. Let’s see if I can remember how to thread a bobbin…

The Dreaded Growing-Out

You’d think, considering how often I chop off all my hair, that I’d be an expert at the whole growing-out thing by now. You’d think that I’d have more tools in my hairstyling arsenal than hats and despair.

Trust me, this is as good as it was going to get.
Trust me, this is as good as it was going to get.

I loved, loved, loved the extensions I got for Mother’s Day, but they’re long gone now and I’m left with…well, this:

In the absence of an on-call hairstylist, I did what any girl in my situation would do: trolled Pinterest for ideas about how to grow out a pixie cut without wanting to jam scissors into my eye.

Pinterest had many good ideas, most of which seemed to presuppose that the natural disposition of one’s hair was somewhat more tractable than mine. I did notice a couple of themes in all the growing-out posts: curling irons are our friends, and the hair over one’s ears is not.

Ignore the dire face.
Ignore the dire face. It’s just my face.

So I curled. Yes, I curled. Then I got bored of curling and busted out the scissors instead. I trimmed my sideburns and the horrible tufts over my ears, and thinned out my bangs a little. And the result is…pretty good, I think!

I’m much happier with it and may actually go outside without a hat sometime in the nearish future. Possibly. Especially now that Rory unraveled my favorite hat.

Here is an animated gif to memorialize the transition. You’re welcome.

If this GIF does not play it's because of science or something.
If this GIF does not play it’s because of science or something. Also the cleavage is not deliberate; I’m a nursing mama and boy does it show. ::clutches pearls::

Relocation: Complete

2014-06-08 21.31.41Ah, moving. That magical time when you look at all your belongings and say “How did I end up with so much crap?”

We got rid of so much stuff this time. Houses worth of stuff. More stuff than I thought we owned. And yet! We still have so much of it left! All in boxes! Including, apparently, my iPad charger, so clearly the situation is dire.

The actual relocation process was a comedy of errors: the moving truck that broke down, the elevator that of course stopped working right when loading the heavy stuff, the cat who freaked out in the carrier and peed all over everything. (Bright side: I finally got the new stroller I wanted! Well, used. On craigslist. But it’s super swank and doesn’t smell at all like cat pee.)

Yesterday I finally got out to the old place and did all the last-pass cleaning. I hate scrubbing down an empty house I used to love. It makes me feel so sad. I really thought that was going to be the place we stayed all through Ellison’s elementary school years – he’d be riding his bike around the neighborhood while Rory learned to walk and scooted after him on her tricycle. Now I’m having to shift gears back to being a city mom, all playdates and parks. I loved being a city mom when Ellison was little, and I’m sure I’ll love it again. It’s just different. Different, and not what I expected.

But now we’re officially moved. Done. And I can sit in our living room and watch the city lights at night through our floor to ceiling windows, and it seems like maybe this isn’t so bad.

Now if I could just find the box where I packed the baby…