Category Archives: Reviews

My Little Weight Loss Pal

My Little Weight Loss Pal

I love fitness trackers–they’re such cool little gadgets. I like to know how far I’ve walked (or didn’t walk) and how many calories I’ve burned today. Or need to burn today. Whatever. I’m not actually a big athlete, so I need all the help I can get. I need a digital pal, a fitness friend that I can’t ditch because I’m playing too much Minecraft today.

I could really use a Garmin Vivosmart Wristband.

Garmin Vivosmart Wristband

Verizon let me borrow this little cutie for a couple weeks and give it a spin. You can pick up your own Garmin Vivosmart Wristband at the Verizon website.

You wear a Vivosmart like a bracelet, and if you’re feeling particularly dedicated, you can leave it on All. The. Time. Yes, it will even monitor your sleep for you. And it has a seven day battery, so you really can wear it non-stop for a week at a time. Mine lasted a good six days before I freaked out and charged it up.

If you’re going to get a high tech tracker, I think the wristband model is the way to go. My last tracker was a clip on model that took one too many trips through the washing machine. Oops! That one also had a tendency to pop off my waistband, so I lost it several times. Once I had to back track through half of Walmart before I found it again. That’s not a problem you need to worry about with a Vivosmart–it’s on your wrist and it’s not going anywhere without you. In fact, I took the Vivosmart camping and it proved itself to be a rugged little piece of tech with a super tight clasp. Waterproof too, which is a good thing, because I splash a lot when kayaking. Even if you’re not planning on a weekend of watersports (it’s good to a depth of 50 meters) the fact that it’s waterproof means you don’t need to take it off for a shower or worry about it when washing your hands.

I did have a little trouble getting used to the stiff band, but I think the review sample was too big for my tiny wrists. Eventually, I just loosened up the band and allowed it to float on my arm like a bangle, and we got along fine. There are two sizes of Vivosmart, so pick the one that suits you. 

The Garmin Vivosmart does all the things you’d expect a high tech tracker to do: clock your steps, your mileage, your calories. But what I really liked was that it REMINDED me to get my butt moving–if it noticed that I hadn’t moved in a hour, it would vibrate and put move it alert on the screen. Sometimes you need a reminder that you’ve been on the computer too long and need to walk around a bit!

It also wants to help you with your goals. When you set up your Vivosmart, you load up a companion app on your mobile device or computer. After a couple simple questions, the Vivosmart determines a good starting point tailored to your fitness ability. I’m not active enough, so the device started me with a 7000 step-a-day goal, rather than jumping in with the typical 10,000. It rewarded me with a happy GOAL! message when hit 7000 steps each day and slowly upped my goal, little by little. 

So why get a Garmin Vivosmart? And why is Verizon selling these babies? Because the real fun starts when you connect it to your smart phone! The wristband has Bluetooth, so it keeps in touch with your phone if you set up. It can show you the lastest emails and texts from your phone, and alerts you when you have a call!

There’s no buttons on the Vivosmart–it’s all touch screen. Now this is pretty dang slick when you’re checking stats–just swipe the band to see all the numbers it’s keeping for you. But it’s not so great if you just want to tell the time. See, the band goes dark when you’re not interacting with it, so telling time means slapping your wrist a couple times…I didn’t realize how often I check the time by just glancing at my wrist! 

The plain black band works pretty well for a casual gal like myself too. I paired it with black beaded bracelet and it looked pretty nice. Maybe this wouldn’t work for evening wear, but then again…. I just found this article from the Wall Street Journal on how fitness trackers are so trendy, they’re fashionable!

“I think it makes a statement that someone actually cares about themselves and their fitness, and that they have balance in their life,” he said. “What’s more impressive, a fancy watch or a wearable? Being healthy, that is my style.” ~WSJ

 

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~Denise

Karaoke Your Way to Margaritaville

Karaoke Your Way to Margaritaville

Jimmy Buffett is coming to St. Louis on June 4, and he’s bring along a tour bus full of fun for St. Louis Parrotheads! He’s teamed up with Tradewinds to sip and sing your way to paradise with cold delicious bottles of Tradewinds Jimmy Buffett’s Island Tea. You’re gonna love it! I got a chance to sample…Continue Reading

Hot Spot in your Pocket

Hot Spot in your Pocket

Do you ever wish you could take your wi-fi with you? You can with a hot spot, like this Verizon Mi-Fi. (Please note: Verizon let me play with their MiFi for 20 days, and data was on the house. However, they didn’t pay me for a sponsored post…my opinions are my own!) I got to try…Continue Reading

How do you Treat your dog?

How do you Treat your dog?

I’d like you to meet the four-legged member of our family, Mousse. He’s a rescue dog that we scoured the internet for and drove 100 miles to pick up in Columbia, at the Humane Society shelter. Actually, it was more like 400 miles because we had to drive out to Columbia twice–once to look him…Continue Reading

Explore with the Space Scouts

Explore with the Space Scouts

Mitch and I got a chance to review Space Scouts, a fun subscription service for kids that get’s them learning about space exploration and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This post is sponsored by Space Scouts, but our opinions are our own! First impression: Cool! I told Mitch he had a package, which always makes his eyes…Continue Reading

Fix It Here at Radio Shack

Fix It Here at Radio Shack

Oh no! I dropped my iPad! Ouch. It wasn’t the kids. Or the hubby. Not even the dog. I. Dropped. My. Ipad. AAAARRRGGG! (This post is sponsored by Radio Shack and their Fix It Here service.) I dropped my one month old iPad Mini on the kitchen tile one evening in November. And guess what? It was…Continue Reading

Anheuser-Busch Holiday Lights: 2014

Anheuser-Busch Holiday Lights: 2014

Take your family to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Holiday Lights display! It has everything: holiday cheer, Clydesdales, s’mores, food, beer tasting and tons of fun. Believe it or not, it’s even better than last year! It’s totally family friendly. And it’s free. Holiday Lights started on Nov. 20 and continues every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from…Continue Reading