A woman’s review of the FitBit Alt HR

If you missed it check out my review of the Apple watch here.

After thinking of getting a new phone other than the new overpriced iPhone, I started looking into fitness trackers that I could use with a different operating software. Here’s my review of the Fitbit Alt HR after trying it for a week.

IMG_5319Key Features:

Fitness tracker – auto tracks most cardio workouts.

Sleep tracker – auto tracks.

Nutrition tracking on the easy to use app

Why I did I choose it?

Having looked at the huge range of fitness trackers available on the market now, I narrowed it down to a few criteria’s. I wanted a watch with a face that would show the time, track my fitness when I do a workout and sync to an Android phone. The bonus is if it tracks my sleep too, as I’ve always wanted to try it out.

In the end I chose the Fitbit Alt HR model because of the physical customisation capabilities. It is the newer model of it’s fashionable counter part; the Fitbit Charge that is also waterproof, and you can pop the tracker out of it’s band and hang it around a necklace accessory or bling bracelet (separately purchased) It loses it’s waterproof properties and possibly does not track any workouts as well with it being looser from the body. But for the intentions of it looking great, it’s perfect to jazz up to wear for an evening outfit but still be able to track your steps as you boogie away! The Charge does not have a screen, so I finally decided on the Alt HR but the Charge was a close second.

The great thing about the Fitbit I have found is that you don’t have to manually select anything to tell it when to track your workout or sleep. With the Fitbit it automatically senses you’re working out at the gym after an adjustable amount of time and cleverly knows when your sleeping or awake.

All of the data that it collects periodically syncs to the app on your phone when it is close by, making it so that you don’t have to have your phone on you at all times. Apple has jumped on this feature in the new iWatches but you need a cellular connection to make it entirely independent to the phone. The Fitbit app is super easy to use and the layout and user experience is a delight. It clearly displays my activities, water hydration tracking, and nutrition in neat tiles. The nutrition tracking has a vast database to chose from with barcode scanning abilities to easily add what you’ve eaten for the day. Unfortunately, the barcode scanning only worked 1 of the few times that I tried scanning my food, and most Chinese dishes aren’t ready available. However, you can manually input the food data, but I did not use this feature because you need an idea of the weight of each portion you ate so it was more hassle.

Another great feature was that it automatically tracks your sleep and gives you a brilliant graph of the different sleep stages that you had; deep, light and REM sleep. This is great if you’re looking to improve your sleep and it’s interesting seeing the quality of sleep that you get each night.

What did I think of the Fitbit after trying it for a week?

Honestly, if I had any other phone it would be my go to fitness tracking wearable. However, as an iPhone user Apple knows their market and how to keep their customers happy in their eco system. All of their products works in perfect sync and harmonies together when you own more than one of their devices. For example, I can use enabled fitness apps on my series 1 iWatch such as the AutoSleep App that syncs with the app on my phone to see all of the details that my watch has tracked. This is typical of most fitness trackers, but the information available on the watch is more detailed than the limited 8-bit like Fitbit screen. I love the personalisation available for the Fitbit, the Tom Ford accessories collection calls my name! The prices of them are similar to the lower budget iWatches, but I would be more inclined to spend the money on gold Fitbit hardware than a different colored strap. Ultimately, being the tech giant that Apple is, there is always an app for everything. Although it wont be all in one place, they all work with each other and I can connect them all up. So I will stick with my iWatch for now whilst I still have my iPhone and maybe I will end up unwilling shelling out the extra dosh for an upgrade, so all of my devices are more personalised.

Do you have a fitness tracker? Let me know all of your favourite ones in the comments!

Check out my review of the Apple Watch 1st Series here and see all my wearable tech posts here.

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A woman’s review of the FitBit Alt HR

First cruise with P&O review

I ventured out on my first cruise with my mother as a birthday present. Here’s my experience and my top tips that I took away from the trip.

Our cruise was around the Greek Islands with P&O cruises on the Oceana ship at mid-June time.

It’s hard to miss the size of a full cruise ship. The P&O Oceana is a Sun-class cruise that holds up to 2272 people with 11 floors to explore. The size standing next to it at port just took my breath away, but nothing prepared me for what the interior was like. I was in awe of the décor and it literally felt like a three story building when you step into the foyer. You almost completely forget you are on a ship until you venture out on to the deck where there’s enough room to share sun bathing space with all the other sun worshippers on board. There was even a small shopping mall inside with several shops! I was a regular at the jewelry store that stocked local finds wherever we docked. They had all of the latest designs at amazingly affordable prices.

 

I would definitely recommend paying an extra £100 pp for a twin bed room for a port window, especially if you’re nervous about sea sickness and also for a first time cruise. I wanted to be able to see the sights when we were moving or docked, even if it was just sea for two of the days in a row! My mother is a natural at sea and rarely ever gets sea sick, but having felt it myself before. I didn’t chance it and packed sea/motion sickness tablets with me just in case. Thankfully I did because the seas were quite rocky for two of the nights!

Food

There’s an all day buffet available that serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and always has something different each day. My favorite was the occasional BBQ they had outside when we were at sea and even included entertainment by the pools whilst you feasted! For the last night we indulged and paid extra for a Italian dinner at Café Jadin.

 

Sports and Spa

I highly recommend adding on the option of a realigning Pilates class or relaxing yoga class followed by a spa package whilst you’re cruising away. I adds a luxury touch to your cruise experience and I took advantage of the spa exclusive packages when they had a talk where we were able to trial all of the stocked Elemis products.

Themed Dinners

Every night is a different themed night and adds a splash of fun to your evening dinners. For the black tie night, we glammed up and chose to share a table to meet others on the ship. We met some wonderful people and shared the tastiest food! I think people are almost forced to be overtly friendly not only because you’re stuck with them for the whole trip but also the crew on the ship that you interact with everyday always have their customer service A game. So it highly influencing, but makes for a wonderful atmosphere. It made it a lot easier being on a floating island for a few days!

 

Top tips for next time

It’s easy to over pack for all of the themed nights and exploration attire. But if you can, board from a port rather than taking a plane out. This way you have a lot more or even limitless luggage allowance, always check with your agent first!

I couldn’t live without sunscreen and my facial mist from Garnier with SPF 30 in it. The sun was out every day (except for Mykonos! Which I vow I will give another chance!) and it was a lot easier to burn when you’re sunbathing at sea.

Pre book excursions in advance. You can take advantage of the savings and even if the excursion doesn’t go ahead on the day, you get the money refunded back to you.

If you can, bring some bottles of your own water or take advantage of the water bottle package on the first night. Although there is a water dispenser you are able to use at the buffet, due to hygiene reasons, you should not use this to refill your bottles! Hygiene is important on board and hand sanitizers are available at the entrance of all food areas. Tummy bugs are easily spread in a close environment, so don’t chance it!

 

Spending can get away from you sometimes as drinks are extras and hitting the on board boutiques makes you feel like you’re not spending any money when you just sign your room number! Everything is charged at the end of your cruise and you get the long bill to pay either by card or cash.

There are many other great tips and helpful advice about on board tipping digressions and health and safety, including emergency information and drills. Always be in the know of these and it will make your cruise more relaxing.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at sea and at the Greek islands of Mykonos, Athens, Sarande and Katakolon! I would definitely have loved to explore Malta more than just the airport and port next time, but I’m already looking at a Caribbean cruise for my next trip! Cruises are a great way of getting a feel and quick overview of different locations. It was a great insight of the Greek islands and now I know which islands I would like to go back to holiday at for longer, like Sarande and it’s cosy village! With the wonderful crew service and daily activities, I can see why it’s a potential retirement plan!

First cruise with P&O review

Wearable Tech Fashion | Colour Sensor Flower Accessory

IMG_20170525_133844-2After a bit of a break from delivering wearable tech workshops, I got back into the groove and created more wearable tech fashion projects! This time, I made a colour sensor flower accessory!

Women of Wearables co-founder, Michelle Hua had experience with a colour sensor by making the Adafruit Chameleon Scarf so we came up with the idea of making a detachable colour sensor flower accessory!

The brooch involves a colour sensor and two LEDs. After applying code to the flora microcontroller, I chose my favourite colour (red) and placed it on top of the sensor to pick up the colour. After three seconds, the exact colour transferred to the LEDs!

 

Having worked with Adafruit’s kit before, I knew to make sure the arrows all pointed the right way, away from the Flora microcontroller and all the connections were correctly sewn. Using the skills I picked up from my previous wearable tech fashion projects, I had to make sure all the conductive thread connections must not overlap and short circuit. This knowledge also helped me lay out the circuitry before starting to make it as compact as possible because the colour sensor is very small. And, a good little space saving trick was tucking the battery behind the Flora and ensuring the battery could be removed to be recharged.

We wanted to make the flower accessory as versatile as possible because as fashionable women, we love to accessorise! What can be a brooch could be attached to a belt, a bag, your hair or even your wrist! The sky is the limit when you want to be creative and personalise your wardrobe to make it as stylish as possible.

The best thing about the colour sensor is that you can change the colour of the LEDs to match your outfit!

 

 

Challenges

I found that the primary colours tend to be the brightest, ensuring we get the right lighting and shade when scanning the colour. This is due to the RGB nature of an LED, as it uses red, green and blue lights to create it’s colours. However, this makes experimenting with the colours more fun! You can enhance the brightness by using more kit however that would mean buying more electronics.  So, we diffused the light with fabric instead. After testing different fabrics, we found that the more polyester content the better because the shiny properties of a polyester fabric would reflect the light a lot more, making it look brighter!

I’ve styled it up for a wedding attire, but you can also dress it up or down, and decorate it however you like!  We are exploring ideas for our next project of an interactive light up skirt to complete our wearable tech fashion outfit!

You can check out all our projects including a light up bracelet, self lighting bag, UV sensor hat and our light up shoes here!

If you would like to learn how to create your own wearable tech projects, contact us at hello@womenofwearables.com.

This post was originally posted on www.womenofwearables.com and featured on www.madewithglove.co.uk and www.adafruit.com 

Wearable Tech Fashion | Colour Sensor Flower Accessory

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny

I’m a self confessed gymbunny because I aim to go to the gym daily and I bloody love it. Even when I’m away from my home gym I hunt down the closest chain and pop in after a days work. So here a few things I’ve picked up after almost half a year of enjoying a healthier lifestyle.

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny1) Gymbunnies sweat – so you gotta wash everything more reguarly. This includes your hair! All that talk about stripping your hair of its natural oils go out the window. When you work out you sweat from every pore, even more so from your scalp because of all of that hair. So avoid the hairline pimples and give it a clean!

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym2) You need two yoga mats – the gym floors tend to be super hard being solid floorboards, so double up your yoga mat. It gets uncomfortable real quick if your rolling on your back in Pilates or holding poses that put a lot of pressure on your knees/arm joints, so a little extra padding goes a long way. You can concentrate more on the routine at hand than the pain going through your knees during a Sun Salutation.

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym3) Always have a hair tie handy – There’s nothing chic about sweaty hair for a gymbunny! I throw a few extras in my gym bag for the days I forget, but a large hair clip doesn’t quite do it when you’re jumping around. I normally use a huge clamp clip to avoid the kinks when I whack my hair back, but it doesnt hold your hair when you’re doing a stint of cardio or hanging onto the barre in body barre.

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym4) Keep the flip flops handy – the thought of walking around barefoot around the pool and shower areas grosses me out, so reduce your chances of getting a varruca and keep a pair of flip flops handy. I wear mine and leave them with my towel by the pool when I fancy a swim.

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym5) You probably need to take a step further back for lunges – I started off quite meek with my strides for my lunges and realised I wasn’t working the right muscles and just putting pressure on my knees. So now I always keep a check on my form and take a bigger stride. If they’re not at 90 deg when you bend down, you’re not doing it right!

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym6) If it hurts, stop – a work out should be challenging and tiring, not painful in the sense that you’re hurting. That means you could be doing something wrong or you need to take it easy. Tune in with how your body is before you start a workout, are your joints feeling okay today? If not take it easy, you don’t want to aggravate an injury.

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym7) It’s okay to miss a day – motivation is hard at first but you need to make it easier for yourself to love the gym in the first place, check out my last gym post for a pep talk here. If I’m not feeling it one day because a favourite class isn’t on that day and the thought of running brings tears to my eyes, I just say I’ll take that day off. Simple as! There’s always another class I can choose to go to the next day thankfully.

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym8) But don’t be a lazy gymbunny – take a rest when you need one, but don’t make excuses. If you’re down and out with the flu then recover before you smash it at the gym again!

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym9) Cheat your brain into running for longer – when I’ve missed the cardio classes for the week I’d have to bribe myself to have a quick run by watching a Youtube video. Distracting your attention from just starting at the gym wall  when you run will make you focus less on how boring it is and make you more likely to run for a little bit longer.

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny exercise workout fun motivation self help top tips lifestyle rinniboo love health healthy blog blogger lblogger manchester gym10) Have fun – another way of gathering some motivation to hit the gym is to enjoy your workouts. Everyone has their own little fun bits in the day so make it yours!

 

I also tried to subtly get that Easter bunny in there, could you tell??

Let your inner gymbunny shine!

-Rinniboo

 

Do you have any great tips and advice for enjoying the gym more? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter @RinnibooUK

10 Confessions of a Gymbunny

How Women of Wearables won funding to deliver wearable tech workshops

This was my first time pitching for funding that I found after we were approached by Debbie to host a wearables workshop for her students! I hope you pick up some great tips of confidence for speaking to a crowd and pitching.

Original post By Michelle Hua @MadeWithGlove on www.womenofwearables.com

CEO, Debbie Edwards of FDisrupters, a start-up in Liverpool approached Women of Wearables to deliver our wearable tech workshop. The goal was to inspire 11 young girls aged 14-18 in her 14 week pilot program of workshops on confidence, self belief and tech skills.

As with most challenges start-ups face, Debbie was waiting for funding to enable us to deliver our workshops.

Our Wearable Tech Assistant, Rachael Yeung from Liverpool used her initiative and discovered a funding avenue through Awesome Liverpool.

Awesome Liverpool Logo

Awesome Liverpool is a chapter of the Awesome Foundation.  It is an ever-growing worldwide community devoted to forwarding the interest of awesome globally. Established in 2009 in Boston, the Foundation distributes $1000 grants to projects and creators.

In the UK, it is £500 and the money comes from 10 local Trustees who each put in £50 in a kitty for allocation each month.

There are 87 chapters in 20 countries world wide and disappointingly, there is only 1 chapter in the UK. But that’s why I think it’s fittingly called Awesome Liverpool.

After we secretly submitted an online form answering a series of questions about the brief on delivering a wearable tech workshop for FDisrupters and ensured that it fit the criteria of:

1.     Solves a problem

2.     Has a budget

3.     Keeping it local and most importantly,

4.     Bringing joy

we were shortlisted in the top 3 after 70 applicants had submitted!

Read the whole blog post on the Women of Wearables website here!

How Women of Wearables won funding to deliver wearable tech workshops

Current obsession: Cheap eating! 5 top tips for saving money on your grocery shop

Hello 2017! Happy year year everyone and thank you for tuning in once again. So here’s my current obsession that I’ve been getting a little crazy about this month: Saving money by shopping savvy on your grocery shop!

Whilst everyone is getting on the ‘new year new me’ gym wagon. I’ve been there and got the tshirt, you can check out my fun gym post here. Instead I have been thinking of ways I can be more savvy with my savings and knuckle down on my finances by saving a few pennies on my grocery shop. If you’re anything like me and find yourself without a penny at the end of the month, saving a few pounds a month on your grocery shop will add up. These few top tips might help!

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester

1. Brands brands brands!

I’m a self confessed brand snob and I will prefer a bag of Birds Eye petite pois over the supermarkets own. Which is fair enough because their grades are a lot higher (if you know how they’re picked, they are in fact, a lot fresher! Which means tastier!) So to counteract that I tend to buy them when they have a special offer on. Afterall peas are handy to have in the freezer for any burns and scalds that can happen in the house as well as on the plate!

Sometimes even the supermarkets own brands are super tasty! I’ve found Tesco cheese are the best!

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester
2. It’s still fresh!

‘Best before’ and ‘sell by’ dates are general guidelines that the supermarket has to adhere to as a regulation of their stock. That doesn’t meant it’s necessarily inedible! Sure some stuff can go off a little faster due to faults in the packaging etc, but some things are still good for a few more days. My general rule is: if it smells funny, don’t chance it! (Especially when it comes to chicken!) And if it’s fruit or a fresh produce but the package has expanded, it’s probably gone foul and I’d avoid it.

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester 3. Supermarket crazy reduction hours

Each supermarket will have a time when they have to put a final reduction price onto produce that they have to quickly get rid of before they have to officially remove them from their shelves. Asda even price everything at a measly 10p! I’ve managed to bag a steak and fries meal for two for less than £3 each with this crazy offer. That’s saving almost over £40 compared to eating out!

Here are some of my favourite supermarkets and their final reduction times:

  •  Asda – 7pm Everything 10p!
  • Tesco – 8pm Final reductions up to 75%+ off
  • M&S – 9pm get in there fast!
  • Co-op – 7pm for the cheapest before it’s removed from the shelves!

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester 5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester

4. Reduce food waste

I’ve touched on the subject in my post about being more sustainable here. It’s not only great for your purse but also better for the planet if you plan your meals properly and only buy what you need. You’ll literally be throwing money away if you bin food!

5 top tips to save money on food and grocery healthy eating money savvy lifestyle blog blogger rinniboo UK Manchester

5. Ask for a doggie bag

When you’ve finished your meal at a restaurant and still have enough on your table for another meal, don’t be afraid to ask for it to be packed up so you can take it home with you! The chef with appreciate not having his hard work go to waste and you’ll have another great meal to enjoy again without you having to cook as much! Just pop it in the oven, heat it in a pan or shove it in the microwave.

Struggle with the grocery shop? Do not fear! You can get recipes and the exact amounts of food needed to make them from Hello Fresh. It seems like an ingenious idea for the days when you can’t decide what to eat, so I was thinking of trying it out. Have you tried it before? Let me know how you found it! Get 28.75% off your online purchases there with TopCashback anytime, and I know they give out some vouchers here and there with selected retailers.

What do you think of my top tips on saving money when doing your grocery shop? Do you have any great ones to add to the list? Let me know contact@rinniboo.com or leave a comment in the box below!

Eat savvy.

-Rinniboo

Current obsession: Cheap eating! 5 top tips for saving money on your grocery shop

All that glitters might be gold – Sparkle outfits for the holidays

I love a little (or a lot!) of sparkles for the holiday season! After browsing through the new Selfridges app in hope of being on the list to be notified of the pre Christmas sales, I found Jenny Peckham that does a few amazing sparkle dresses for all body types! Check these out and chose the one that suits you.

For the Daring Sparkle

JENNY PACKHAM Sleeveless crystal-embellished gown dressing for the holidays christmas new years help outfits OOTD OOTN how to wear glitter sparkle ideas
JENNY PACKHAM
Sleeveless crystal-embellished gown

It’s possibly going to be in minus degrees outside, but you love the sheer trend and if Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé and rock it. So can you! Wear with a bit of sass and turn the heat up in this tulle beauty.

For the Classy sparkle

JENNY PACKHAM Sequin-embellished silk gown dressing for the holidays christmas new years help outfits OOTD OOTN how to wear glitter sparkle ideas
JENNY PACKHAM
Sequin-embellished silk gown

Do you have a fancy Christmas gala or theatre to attend? Be the belle of the ball in this beautiful silk gown! All eyes will be on you in this masterpiece.

For the Sassy Sparkle

JENNY PACKHAM Sequin-embellished silk dress dressing for the holidays christmas new years help outfits OOTD OOTN how to wear glitter sparkle ideas
JENNY PACKHAM
Sequin-embellished silk dress

This dress seems quite understated compared to the previous, but this can be versatile with the length! Style under a skirt to change it up, and it’s the perfect length if you’re petite like me!

Pair all outfits with some plain shoes and minimal accessories to keep you from looking like a walking party! (Or go all out.. you wild thing, you!)

Let us know which dress is your favourite and which sparkle are you??

Too much glitz for your taste? Don’t worry, you can always jazz up a plain outfit with a sparkle in our next blog post ‘Holiday glitz shoes that you need right now!’

Feeling Festive!

-Rinniboo

All that glitters might be gold – Sparkle outfits for the holidays