Fitbit Charge Review

Fitbit Charge Review

As promised on Instagram, I’ve been putting two fitness trackers to the test. The Fitbit Charge and the Garmin Vivofit.

fitness tracker fitbit vs garmin

Before I get down to business, I thought I’d review the Fitbit Charge on it’s own first. {You can read my review of the Vivofit here.}

Just for the record, I received this Fitbit from VerizonWireless & Fitfluential. Without further ramblings, here are the details:

Fitbit Charge Review

*The Charge is one of many Fitbits available. This one displays information directly on the band as well as through an app, and does not have interchangable wrists bands. This is the one I have –>> Fitbit Charge, small, slate $125.

Pros

Displays information directly on the wrist band. Pushing a button reveals time, steps taken, calories burned, miles covered, and flights of stairs climbed,

Numbers are lit {aka you can see them in the dark}

Syncs to app wirelessly through Bluetooth quickly

Tracks sleep according to number of wake ups and number of restless minutes. I find this method of reporting information more useful than other versions. {Although one time I sat reading a book so long it thought I was asleep. Oops.}

Tracks “active minutes”. Let’s you get an idea how much was “exercise” vs daily movement {to some extent}.

App is user-friendly, attractive, and full of information. I really, really like the Fitbit app. You can see trends, averages, integrate with MyFitnessPal, etc. It also has different challenges you can do to help with motivation & interact with friends.

Cons

Wide wristband. It doesn’t appear super bulky {although it’s wide} but I do notice it a lot. The part of the wristband that isn’t flexible {the technology part} takes up a good amount of the band, making it not move or sit super well on my smaller wrist.

Comes sized, with one band. Some trackers come with multiple wristbands in the same box, including the Flex. This one doesn’t – you have to pick a size upfront. This may not matter to most, but it means I can’t share with my husband.

Limited color selection. Similar to above, you get what you get. You can’t swap out sizes or colors. I’m not a fan of the odd blue color {aka “slate”} I have, and there isn’t a big selection of other colors anyway. Maybe this will change down the road? {Anybody know??}

Have to push button on side of wristband to view display. I’d rather just see the number staring back at my face, or at least be able to choose which reading shows up first instead of clicking through.

Battery needs charging. This goes somewhere between pro and con, really. The Charge needs to be plugged in to charge the battery, meaning you have to take it off to do so {and not count steps}. However, it charges quickly and the battery lasts awhile – at least a week/week and a half. If you charge it while you’re sitting anyways, you don’t miss much.

 

Do you where a fitness tracker? Which kind? Have you tried the Fitbit Charge? {If you have a Fitbit find me at heather @ sideofsneakers . com!}

Tweet: Check out this @Fitbit review from @sideofsneakers #connectedlife http://ctt.ec/PY7pN+

AMRAP {Giveaway}

If you’ve been reading for the past year or so, you’ve probably heard me belabor about finding snacks and easy meals that fit our relatively new eating parameters: dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.

Most of the time it’s pretty easy now that we’ve gotten used to it, but finding snacks on the go and things to eat when I haven’t had time to plan gets a little hairy. I had a chance to try some snack bars that met our list of requirements, plus are Paleo, non-GMO, and artificial-anything-free. Meet AMRAP bars:

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{You might recognize “AMRAP” from Crossfit lingo – “as many rounds as possible”. These are bars are perfect for Crossfit athletes and more.}

They have 13-21g of protein per bar too. Not too shabby.

It’s no fun if I get to try something new and you don’t, so here’s your chance to try out these new bars and their fun flavors: Cashew & Vanilla, Almond & Honey, and Fig & Cacao.

Enter for a chance to win a variety box {THREE winners!}

**Leave a comment below for each of the above things you did so I can randomly pick a winner by Sept 16.**

You can also pre-order a box starting today; the first 2,500 customers will be entered to win up to $300 in prizes.

NatureBox: Easy Back to School Snacks

It’s really, really easy to get in a snack rut. Especially when you have three different allergies to deal with. I’m pretty ok with a little repetition, but for my toddler that snacks 4,503 times a day, it’s harder to be creative.

With back-to-school around the corner {Tuesday – eeee!} it’s even more important for me to start thinking outside the box since somebody will be judging what I pack him. I mean, er, noticing? Teachers would never judge. Winking smile

This year KB is in the two-year old class, meaning parents rotate bringing in snacks for the class. Since KB has allergies, that means I still need to make sure he has a safe snack everyday. That means something that can stay in his classroom in case the snack of the day is off limits for him. Meaning fresh fruits and veggies are off the table unless it’s the day KB is in charge of bringing snack.

I try to save granola bars and pouches for home since they can be $$, so that leaves things like raisins, veggie straws, and gluten-free crackers. That will get old pretttttty quick.

Enter NatureBox: a service that delivers a box of snacks to your door every month. Normally I shy away from subscription boxes that include food since you never know what you’re going to get {and what we’ll actually be able to eat}, but Nature Box not only has tons of allergy-friendly options, you also get a say in what you pick.

nature box back to school snacks (500x500)

I was able to search the NatureBox snack catalog by allergy, so I could easily see what options would work for K. I was pretty surprised with the number of results that showed up. I selected 5, as well as reported his allergies in case they needed to pick an alternative snack.

Here’s what we got in our box:

  • Sweet Blueberry Almonds
  • Praline Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pistachio Power Clusters
  • Sunshine Chips {veggie chips}
  • Mighty Mix

nature box back to school snacks (4) (375x500)

The blueberry almonds and praline pumpkin seeds are easily my two favorite. I mixed them together and stashed a couple resusable snack bags full in my car, purse, and computer bag. I had to hide them before KB ate them all. Winking smile

Speaking of K, he loves them all. I had to put the bags out of reach so he wouldn’t devour them all in one sitting. The sunshine chips aren’t my favorite, but KB likes them at it’s a fun way to have him like eating veggies that actually look like veggies.

These snacks are a great way to get kids to try new foods – if open a surprise box to see what’s inside doesn’t get you excited about trying snacks, I don’t know what will – plus it’s a fun twist on snacks I wouldn’t think of to make or serve myself.

nature box back to school snacks (1) (500x500)

If you want to try NatureBox, they’re currently running a promo for half off your first box:

nature box back to school snacks (2) (500x500)

Click here to get 50% off your first month’s NatureBox delivery! ($10 value) using promo code: SNACKTOSCHOOL
Fine Crumbs: Promotion is good for 50% off your first month to month box or $10 off your first box in your first prepaid subscription. New and US subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Have you tried Nature Box? What are your favorite back-to-school snacks?

Albion Fit {Giveaway}

**UPDATE: The winner is Kortney, comment #15. Send me an email!**

 

If you haven’t caught on by now, I pretty much live in workout clothes. I shouldn’t admit this, but it’s not only when I don’t have time to change after the gym. Sometimes I put them on first thing in the morning {or half way through the day} with no intention of any kind of workout. I’m at the point, and have been for an embarrassingly long time, that putting on jeans is officially “dressing up”.

This tells you two things. Ok more than two, but two that matter in this post:

a) I love getting new workout clothes

b) I’m a pretty experienced critic

albion fit giveaway

Factor number one was taken care of when Albion Fit sent me some new workout clothing to try out. Point number two was up to me, and judge them I did, both from a workout standpoint and a just-wearing-around-today view.

Here’s what I tried out and what I thought:

1. Go Long Crew with Thumbholes.

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Don’t tell me you don’t love thumbholes. You know you do. As do I. This shirt is super soft and light. It’s the perfect wear-to-the-gym-but-take-off-before-you-start-to-sweat-shirt. It’s also “normal” enough looking that it’s not a dead giveaway that I’m wearing workout clothes. Much like the racks at Target, my closet is currently full of bright, obnoxious colors, so I’m really loving this more subdued, subtle tone.

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long sleeve workout shirtgo_long_BALLETPINK

 

2. Optimum Capris

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I’m addicted to workout leggings, especially capri form. They’re good whether it’s warm or cold, and they don’t make your ankles look weird with big sneakers the way long leggings do. My drawers are stuffed with dark bottoms, so this light gray shade is a nice change. I love the white waistband and the little hidden feminine pattern at the bottom. My biggest pet peeve with form-fitting pants is seams digging into all the wrong places, which these pants don’t do.

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{Excuse my I-haven’t-showered-brushed-my-hair-or-glanced-in-a-mirror bedraggled look- it’s kind of my go-to look these days.}

3. Gown Suit

gown bathing suit

Surprise! Albion Fit makes women’s fitness AND swimwear. I love that it’s not skimpy and revealing. Kind of a throw back to the 40s. Pools don’t open here for another 2 weeks, so I’ve yet to give this the tried-and-true test run, but it’s nice to have an option besides a string bikini in my arsenal. {Although this momma is not ‘fraid of the 2 piece.}

I’m actually really loving this new arrival, perhaps because I’m a sucker for black & white stripes.

black white strripe bathing suit

And does this hoodie not look insanely cozy?

albion fit hoodie

Now that I’ve yammered on about clothing I have and you don’t, don’t you want to know what’s in it for you? Of course you do… it’s your very own go long crew shirt with thumbholes, any color.

Here’s the dealio:

1. “Like” AlbionFit on Facebook.

2. Pin something you like from their collection on Pinterest.

3. Leave a comment letting me know you did, included the link to your pin.

4. Have a party.

Open to US/CA residents only. Giveaway ends 10/13 at midnight-ish.

Not one to chance your luck with a giveaway? Use coupon code sideofsneakers15 to get $15 of a $50 purchase.

Happy virtual shopping. Winking smile

Surprise Talents

Do you have one? {A surprise talent.}

I don’t.

I’m kind of bummed about it.

I just received some of Green Giant’s new Veggie Chips to try out, along with a prompt asking to share a surprise talent. Odd quirks I have. Secret talents? Not so much.

green giant veggie chips snack surprise talent

Do you have a surprise talent?

Hey, at least I have some chips to munch on to make me feel better about not having one. I like Green Giant. I regularly buy their frozen veggie packs. I seriously stock up when they go on sale. They make for an easy, healthy snack or meal starter. {My favorites are the broccoli/pepper mix, the green beans with almonds, and the lima beans. I’m obsessed with the lima beans, I don’t know why.}

Anyways, now they have chips. Not just chips- chips made with veggies and whole grains.

green giant veggie chips snack review

I tried the Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips: Sea Salt and the Roasted Veggie Chips: Zesty Cheddar. Now, let’s fully disclose that I only ate one Zesty Cheddar chip. They contain dairy, which I don’t eat because of the little man’s allergy, but I had to eat one– in the name of research. Winking smile I wish I could’ve had more because man, were they good. Packed full of flavor and super crunchy, like a chip should be.

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Let’s talk about the sweet potato chips instead. Mmm. {They’re already gone, by the way.} I was expecting something like a traditional, plain Jane, potato chip, but sweet. Instead, they’re more like sweet potato tortilla chips, but not quite as hard. {Does that even make sense?} Surprisingly addictive.

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The ingredient list gets fairly long on the Veggie Snack Chips, owing mostly to the flavoring. The Sweet Potato Chips’ ingredients list is shorter and sweeter {bad pun intended}.

green giant veggie chips nutrition infogreen giant sweet potato chips nutrition info

These chips make me hesitate a little. Any time something not-so-healthy {like chips} masquerades as something healthy {like veggies}, it puts up a red flag. The Sweet Potato Chips don’t concern me so much here. The Roasted Veggie Chips are just a little imposterish though. It’s like they’re trying to be a popular brand of cheese-flavored chips, but made of veggies. That could get confusing to kids- why is one “healthy” and one isn’t? But regardless, anytime you can make a choice in a better direction is a bonus in my book.

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Have you tried veggie chips before? What do you think? What do you think about the message they send? And of course: do you have a hidden talent?!

Psst… get a coupon for Green Giant’s Veggie Snack Chips on FB too!

green giant veggie chips coupon

Thank you to The Green Giant™ for being a sponsor. Show the Giant your surprise talent: Green Giant on Facebook

Meet Ellie

Last week I posted this picture on Instagram, with the following caption:

ellie workout gear instagram

“Guys, I tried to hate it, I really did. But I don’t. Actually, I love it. Like lots.”

So what is it? And why did I want to hate it?

And mostly…why do I love it?

 

***Edit: This company is no longer in business. wahhhh.***

What It Is

It’s Ellie, the new fashion-focused, super comfortable line of workout gear for women.

Ellie February Collection

Why I Wanted to Hate It

Ellie is the reincarnation of pv.body, the company that hand-picked luxury workout gear and made it magically appear on your doorstep every month. {Read why I wasn’t a fan of pv.body.} To say the company had some hiccups is an understatement. There were issues with returns, customer service, and the biggest of all: the mysterious switch from popular brands of workout gear to their own brand new clothing line. I felt it was sketchy, to say the least.

Why I Tried It

After having some issues with promotion codes not working and receiving the same outfit twice, I’d almost given up on customer service helping me out. Then I found Hope, who was more than helpful and extremely apologetic. She sent a replacement outfit, and without me asking, also sent me a sample from Ellie’s first collection of fitness clothing.

Why I Love It

So here’s the deal. I wanted to hate it. I wanted to hate the company. But when I tore open that signature shiny pink package, the clothes looked cute; they looked comfy; they felt divine. I had to put them on. They were calling to me: weaaaarrrrr meeeeeeeee!

Guys. SO comfortable. Like more comfortable than the Lulu that everyone obsesses over. And cute. AND fit. Perfectly.

I wore my outfit 3 days in a row. {Seriously, ask anyone that saw me at the gym or picking the little man up from school. Not ashamed.} It was in the name of testing it out, I promise. Winking smile

Ellie workout gear (4)Ellie workout gear (5)Ellie workout gear (6)

What I Got

The Bottoms

I got the New Obsession Leggings. They’re dark grey, full-length leggings. Seamless. Waistband-less. Yeah, that’s a thing and I love it- no, they don’t fall down and they don’t pinch either. These leggings are skin-hugging without being too tight, especially behind the knees {a weird pet peeve of mine}. The subtle two-tone pattern makes your legs look badass too- like you have awesome calves & quads.

Workout leggings Ellie my new obsession

 

The Top

Catch Me If You Can Longsleeve top. Charcoal gray with black accents. Luxuriously soft. Lose, but form-fitting. Water & wind resistant. Thumb holes. Roll over hand covers. Enough said. Did I mention soft? I wish they made baby clothes this soft.

longsleeve workout top Ellie Catch Me if You Can

Meet Ellie

So what’s the deal?

There are 2 ways to get Ellie.

Ellie Fit Fashionista Club

1. Buy it. See a piece you like? Purchase it or anything else. No other details or requirements. Just normal shopping.

2. Be a Fit Fashionista. Join the Ellie club and go the subscription-based route. You pay $49.95 for any 2 Ellie pieces- 2 tops, 2 bottoms, or 1 of each. It’s a subscription, but you can pause or skip any month, any time. Plus you get free shipping, free exchanges, and first-serve access {pieces are limited time only}.

That’s about $25 per piece. Considering the prices of the items, I’d say that’s a good deal. {Feb: $34.95-$69.95; March: $34.95-$64.95}. Plus, right now you can get 20% off, which makes it less than $20 per item.

Each month, a new collection of 24 pieces debut. Right now you can shop from the February collection {the one my pieces were from} or from the just-released March lineup, the “Little Black Collection”.

Ellie March Collection Little Black

 

So while the company got off to a rocky start and I’m still a little unsure about the whole “let’s switch to our own brand thing”, so far I think it’s a good thing. I MUCH prefer the Ellie clothes to the other items I got. We’ll see, right?!ellie coupon code 20% discount

Have you tried Ellie yet? I’ve seen some awesome pictures on Instagram- I love the electric blue capris and the loose white tank. Would you try Ellie after the whole pv.body debacle?

 

Psst… I’m revealing my secret life as a human tissue on tiny sneakers today. Head over and tell me your best natural cold remedy secret!