Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Tracker

I bought The Spark from SparkPeople last year, and it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t do everything I was hoping it would do, plus it’s a little buggy. For example, it doesn’t always recognize what exercise I am doing. I bought a bicycle trainer and would ride my bike on it, and sometimes it logged it as general exercise, while other times it would log it as cycling. When I ride the bike to the gym it logs it as general exercise, and when I walk on the treadmill it logs it as a walk event.

I was going to go with one that has the little dots that spin around to show you your progress, but I want actual real-time numbers displayed on a screen. I already have The Spark from SparkPeople, which has the little dots, I’m not looking to get another one like that. And the Spark doesn’t sync with Noom or Planet Fitness. It’s a nice little doohickey, but I want something that will do more for me since I don’t constantly wear my shoes. I want a watch to wear full time 24/7.

This Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband is exactly what I had in mind. It does everything that I need it to do, and it will sync on my computer, not just my phone. It’s about $146 on Amazon, and I will buy it using Amazon Smile to help the charity of my choice, which is the Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield. Here are all of the things that it does.

  • Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
  • Track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps
  • Monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm
  • See call notifications, daily stats and time of day on the OLED display
  • Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones
  • Utilize the sizing tool in Product Details below to ensure proper fit.

This has more features, and it should sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app. At least I hope it will lol. Do you have one of these? Do you know if it syncs up with those apps? I would love to know before I buy this watch. Please leave a comment to let me know.

Update: I forgot something. When I say sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app, I mean that you can link your Fitbit account with Noom and Planet Fitness. So when I ask if it will sync up, I mean if it’s linked up to Noom and Planet Fitness apps, will it automatically transfer all of the exercise events with the link.

I checked the Noom app and it only connects with Google Fit and Misfit. Planet Fitness connects with more apps, but it doesn’t connect with Google Fit or Misfit. So I guess I have to choose which app is more important.

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UNIFUN® 10400mAh USB External Travel Battery

20150811_100328The last couple of months have been very difficult. I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals with a dead phone. My phone keeps a charge for several hours when I’m at home on the Wi-Fi, but as soon as it switches over to 3G/4G, the battery drains fast. I bring my charger with me, but I may not be lucky enough to get a seat next to a outlet to plug it in, so I have to just deal with my phone dying.

I saw a battery at a store 6 months or so ago, but it was too expensive and I didn’t really need it then. I started to regret not buying it when I actually needed it. I recently went on Amazon to look for a battery and discovered there are many different kinds. I’m actually glad I didn’t buy that one all those months ago, because it may not have been as awesome as the one I found.

I discovered there are many batteries with different capacities. There are 3200mAh up to 20000mAh and I’m sure higher. I chose the UNIFUN® 10400mAh USB External Travel Battery based on the price, the fact that it has a light and that it’s waterproof. I’m really clumsy. I also chose it based on some of the reviews. One reviewer said they were able to charge their phone 3 times with this battery. I too have charged my phone 3 times on 1 single charge, and there was still some power left in the travel battery charger. Our power went out and I had to grab this battery for its light, and boy did it perform better than I expected it to, and it charged my phone while I was using the flashlight.

There are many purchases that I have regretted because I didn’t do research and/or didn’t read the reviews, and I do not regret this purchase at all. It was only $20 with free shipping since my cart was over $35. I think if you need something like this to charge not just one, but 2 devices, and have a light and have it be waterproof, well, this is the portable battery for you.

Time for a new cell phone

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Call me an excited nerd, because I am so beyond freaking excited to be getting a new cell phone lol.

Today I woke up, got the mail and saw a flier on our screen door for “MetroPCS.” The ad was $29 for 4G phones, and in the picture are the Alcatel One Touch Fierce 2, LG Optimus L70 and Hydro Life by Kyocera. The small writing at the bottom of that side says:

“Phone Instant Rebate Offer: Limited time offer, while supplies last. Requires new line activation or a phone upgrade. Between February 11, 2015 and April 30, 2015 at participating MetroPCS stores purchase and Alcatel ONETOUCH Fierce 2 phone, an LG Optimus L70 phone, or a Kyocera Hydro LIFE phone and receive an instant $120 rebate off of regular price.”

Ok, I’ll bite… The other side of the flier says our best deal ever. $30. Unlimited data, talk, text on the nationwide T-mobile Network. So that means if I went to MetroPCS today and bought a $29 phone, I would say goodbye to Virgin Mobile. Well, I was ready to say goodbye to Virgin because all these years that I’ve had my HTC One V phone has been a living nightmare of only being able to actually access a website or use an app using the Sprint network about 10% of the time. Yes, 90% of the time I have tried using my phone has been a complete failure. I was so ready to leave Virgin and go back to T-Mobile, which used to be what I had when I was using my old Nokia 3390 phone.

I went to their website and typed in the LG Optimus L70 and found that it only has 1.3GB of hard drive space, meaning I would be right back to where I am with my HTC One V which is a 1GB phone, and what a nightmare that has been having to deal with constantly having to clear the cache every time an app wants to do an update. While I was at the MetroPCS website I noticed that they give you an instant $70 rebate, but then you have to fill out paperwork and wait for a $50 mail in rebate. So instead of only being able to pay $29 for a phone, I’m paying $79 and I have to wait, I’m guessing 3 months for the $50 rebate. So basically the flier lied to me, even in the small print. The website specifically saying “In store only” so that means that if I went in the store, I’d get screwed. I can see how the conversation would be, “but your flier specifically says I get a $120 instant rebate” then they make up some kind of excuse as to why I have to pay the $79 and wait for the $50 rebate. No! Screw that!

I remembered that Nomorerack had a sale on their Samsung Galaxy S3 Snapdragon MSM8960 for only $99 and it has 16GB hard drive installed, and I got free shipping. Yes, by me saying “got free shipping” that says that I did buy it lol. So that’s what you see in the image above. My HTC One V on the left and the new Samsung Galaxy SIII on the right. The phone I got says it is CDMA unlocked & refurbished. It’s unlocked meaning I can go to the Virgin Mobile website and add the serial number to swap phones. I’m not sure I will have to worry about any fees, I hope note, but if I do then life’s a bitch and then you die lol.

The thing I am most excited about is the front facing camera. I will finally be able to use some apps I haven’t been able to use because I didn’t have that camera. I’ll now be able to Skype with people who never want to Skype with me and I’ll now be able to take selfies without having to delete about 20 because I couldn’t find the button and ended up taking a blurry picture of my forehead.

What was wrong with my old HTC One V you ask? Well, what wasn’t wrong with it is the better question. It was constantly rebooting on its own. Whenever I would call someone, or that very rare occasion when someone called me, the speaker was so messed up that it sounded like Kanye West trying to sing with auto tune. It sounded horrible, just awful, and so did the phone calls. I couldn’t stand it, but at the same time, I was stuck with it because I didn’t have the money to upgrade to a better phone because they were always like $300 or more.

My HTC One V was nice to have for the first year or 2, but then it just started getting frustrating. I mean, literally, frustrating. I find myself going UGH every time I heard it reboot. There were times I left it at home because it was pointless to bring it anywhere since I could never get it to work right. Oh and don’t get me started on the apps constantly crashing. I have an app where I scan barcodes and have to submit my grocery list every time I go to the grocery store for points to buy prizes, but practically every time I go to use it, I have to reboot my phone and wait for it to allow me to load the app to use it. I do that so it is a fresh reboot, so I don’t have to worry about it rebooting or crashing, but it still does it anyway.

So thank you MetroPCS for your flier and thank you for being so dishonest in your advertising that you drove me to buying a new phone somewhere else and staying with Virgin Mobile.

No PS4 for Christmas

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Well, I am a bit sad and disappointed tonight. My dream of getting a PlayStation 4 for Christmas has been squashed. It’s at its lowest price, $399 with FREE shipping on Amazon for Black Friday, but unfortunately, there is no money for it. I highly doubt it will be this cheap for the rest of the month, but it wouldn’t matter anyway because we just don’t have the money for it. I was considering putting it on my credit card, but I don’t want to end up having to pay for the interest. The credit card that I have doesn’t charge interest for 3 months. I could pay $100 off every month, but as it is I already have $200 charged and my limit is only $500. It was a nice dream, but it will have to be put on hold for another time. Perhaps next Christmas.

black friday couponIf for some reason people feel like buying some of my jewelry and/or keychains in My Etsy Shop, then perhaps I might be able to buy it. I have a coupon code for Black Friday for 35% off which is TGIBlackFriday with a minimum purchase of $10. I will have a new holiday coupon available soon.

I have some really good quality items and they are not too expensive. Everything I make is made with love and most everything is custom-made, so it is made however you want it to be made. Think of me as the crafter version of Burger King. Have it YOUR way! It’s not made until you order it, unless it’s already made, and in that case it will be easier for me.

So help a fellow gamer out. All of my shop items make great stocking stuffers, and there is something for everyone. My stud earrings are plastic, so anyone can wear them because plastic is hypoallergenic. My hook earrings (dangle or hoops) are surgical steel hypoallergenic. I’ve tested them out on myself to make absolutely 100% sure they are safe for everyone. I have really bad metal allergies, so if it doesn’t make me break out, then I feel comfortable selling them.

So for now, I will just continue playing with my PSP games. There are still a few I want to buy. I have my PSP Wish List on Amazon and I found out that the digital download versions are cheaper, and I don’t even have to wait for them. For anyone wondering, if I have a PSP, why would I want a PS4? Well, the PSP is nice for playing with on the bicycle trainer and for trips, but I would also love to play the games on my TV. I’ve never owned a TV console. I mean, I had an Atari 2600 in my bedroom when I was 13 in 1983, but that technically was a loan from my parents, and I didn’t have it for very long. I would love to have my very own TV console gaming system to play games in higher definition and to be able to play games with other people. I don’t need it, it’s just something that I wanted because it’s a cool thing.

PS4 for Christmas

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My partner saw a commercial for Xbox One and asked if that’s what I want for Christmas. I told him I don’t want you to buy me an Xbox because they are way too expensive. He asked if I would play it and I said hell yes, but I don’t want you to buy it for me.

Up until that point it never even occurred to me that I might want a video game system for my TV. I mean, I’ve thought about it every now and then, but when I saw how expensive they were, the thoughts faded away. But now I can’t stop thinking about it.

This weekend is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They are at least 23% off, but even still, they are way too expensive for me. The regular price of a PS4 is $520 and right now they are on sale for $400. That’s a lot of money to save, but $400 is also a lot of money to spend.

And I settled on PlayStation 4 because I already have PSP and they have much different selection than Xbox. For example Xbox doesn’t have Little Big Planet. I have some games that I love for my PSP that they don’t have anywhere else, like Jak and Daxter & Ratchet and Clank. It’s a brand, like Nintendo has Mario and Zelda and you can’t play those anywhere else. This particular game system has the Little Big Planet and Lego Batman 3. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE either Xbox One or PS4. I would be more than happy with either one of them.

Another reason I settled on the PS4 rather than Xbox One is because of the camera. I checked and the Xbox Kinect is $100 to $200. The PS4 camera is only $40. Huge difference in price. The only reason I would want the camera is so that I could use it for the dance games, which burn calories because it is cardio exercise. The Xbox One Kinect is more than just for exercise, in fact you can control your TV from what I understand, but I would probably never use that. In fact, if I did have that, every time I talked, Chip would ask me who I was talking to, so it’s better that I don’t have a game to talk to lol.

It’s a nice thing to think about, and I even created a Amazon wishlist for PS4, but I highly doubt I will ever be able to buy anything from that wishlist. Maybe one day, but probably not this day, or any time soon. If Santa “made” one for me, and it happened to be under the tree on Christmas morning, then I would be the happiest 44 year-old child the world has ever seen, but I highly doubt that would happen.

The Spark Activity Tracker

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Diet and exercise are very important to me. Since I have Scoliosis, I prefer cycling over any other form of cardio exercise that might hurt my back. I have a mountain bike on a bicycle trainer in our patio and I have a bicycle computer connected to the back wheel. I also use the Noom app on my Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet to log my diet and exercise.

The Noom app added a new feature that allows you to connect your Google Fit account so it can copy all of the cardio information from your Google Fit tracker. I didn’t have a Google Fit tracker, so I went looking for one, however they are very expensive. I went looking for an alternative and found The Spark Activity Tracker from Spark People for only $29.95. It attaches to your shoe or your belt or wherever you want to attach it. It logs your steps and all of your cardio from walking, jogging, running, cycling, elliptical and even when you are just working or shopping. It comes with a USB Wireless Sync Point that allows The Spark to sync when you are in range of your computer where it is plugged in. Once it syncs up with your SparkPeople account, you can then see your progress. It shows daily steps, activity minutes, calories burned and distance covered.

imageUnfortunately The Spark doesn’t connect to the Noom app, but I will be able to use the information from SparkPeople to log my activity to Noom. Perhaps this will be more accurate since it is much newer than my bicycle computer. If The Spark is permanently attached to my shoe, I will never forget it, and the battery will last for a year, so no worries about having to keep it charged. I can also edit the steps in the Noom app so they are the same as in the SparkPeople website.

What I was not expecting was to receive a SparkPeople Exercise DVD that will give me complete weekly workouts for beginners, intermediate and advanced. I am considering buying some weights to go with these workouts. I watched a few of them and they aren’t bad either. I don’t have a lot of space in my bedroom, but I might have just enough to do these workouts.

I was curious to see if The Spark would know the difference between walking and riding my bicycle, and it knew exactly what I was doing because it logged 22 minutes on the bike as “Cycling”. Although, the 2nd day I used it, it logged it as general exercise. I had to reclassify it, and that also affected my steps on the SparkPeople website and app, which gave me more steps. A little strange that I had to do that, but that’s fine.

It’s also interesting how The Spark works. You tap it 5 times and it will show lights to show you how you are doing. If it only has 1 light on the top, you haven’t done anything yet, if it shows half, then you know you’ve still got a ways to go. If all the lights come on, and they blink, then you still have a few minutes of exercise to go. You know you’re finished when all the lights glow and they don’t blink. That’s when you can sigh and say I’m done! And if you meet your goal for the day, the week or the month, you get a trophy. The image at the top of this paragraph is my first trophy which says I met my goal of 6000 steps. I got the same trophy on my 2nd day using it. The trophies are a fun way to encourage you to meet all of your goals. Although, you don’t get an actual trophy, but if you do all of the work and eat right, you get a flat tummy, and isn’t that worth all the trophies in the world?

I was motivated by the Noom and SparkPeople apps, and I was motivated by my bicycle and the bicycle trainer, but even though I had all of those things, I wasn’t 100% motivated. I do feel that this Spark will light a spark under my ass and get me back to work so I can lose this weight. I hope it does.

10 Sizes Bamboo Handle Alumina Head Crochet Hooks Needles 1-6mm

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I bought a pack of 10 sizes bamboo handle alumina head crochet hooks needles ranging from 1mm to 6mm on August 16, 2014 and they shipped from China Post and arrived in less than 2 weeks. I received them on August 29, 2014. I am very surprised they arrived so fast because according to the delivery estimate, I should receive them from September 11, 2014 to September 29, 2014.

These are numbered in millimeter and I had to find out from Google what it was that I had. 5 of them are for Filet crochet and 5 of them are for yarn. Although 2 of them are really too small for yarn, but they are too big for filet. The 3 largest sizes are G, H and I which are what I am most interested in anyway. I never do filet crochet because of how difficult that can be, but I was curious to see just how easy or difficult it would be to use them.

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The coaster on the left was made using a size G hook and the one on the right was made with 1.5mm crochet hook. It is about the size of a silver dollar, well, maybe a bit bigger than a silver dollar. It is cute and if it were to be used as a coaster, it would only work for a shot glass, and come on, who uses a shot glass long enough to use a coaster? A friend has already claimed it for herself, in fact, she wants me to make a duplicate and turn them into a pair of earrings lol. Someone else suggested Christmas tree ornament. I have seen several Christmas crochet projects like Christmas trees and Candy Canes, so perhaps that is a good idea to make with filet crochet with embroidery floss and turn them into earrings.

20140829_184500_AndroidI made another coaster with a size I hook, which is the biggest hook they sent me. It’s the same pattern as the peppermint candy, but it’s not peppermint because I didn’t use the white and red, I used tan and Painted Desert. It is a good size bigger than the red and white one and it feels so much softer. I really like the bigger size, but my partner told me that he thinks they should be the smaller ones with the G hook.

How do they feel?

They are really nice to hold. I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so when I crochet, the nerves in my palm pinches and it hurts. My hands get numb whether I’m using regular or ergonomic crochet hooks, so that didn’t change. When I was crocheting with these hooks I wasn’t feeling any pain or pinching but then again I also wasn’t crocheting for a few hours either. I don’t know if using these for an extended period of time will cause the pinching, but I don’t intend on finding out because I won’t go crazy crocheting everything in sight.

So it was a good purchase. I paid $6.23 and got free shipping. I bought them on Smile.Amazon.com and a donation went to DoSomething.org.