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

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

Black Friday deals you need to know

It’s Black Friday tomorrow and some retailers have already started and are stretching out over this weekend up to Cyber Monday! Here’s some tips, tricks and discount codes that you NEED to take advantage of!

Selfridges Christmas Comes Early

Selfridges annual crazy sale has started today! Aside from Boxing day, this is something you NEED to take advantage of. Use the discount code ‘SELFCCE‘ for 20% off online or screen grab the barcode here to use it in store. Valid from 24th Nov – 27th. Unfortunately, not all brands are covered and it’s only 10% off beauty. Check out the excluded list here. It’s mostly the luxury brands that aren’t included e.g. Chanel, LV, Gucci etc.

VIPs get a notification a day early. But if you download the Selfridges app or follow them on social media you’ll be the first of the masses to know!

Here’s some great gift ideas for her, him, and me:

 

If you are looking for discounts on luxury designer brands then you need…

Black Friday at Flannels.com

Flannels is known as the shop on the high street that stocks only luxury designers, but online you can get 20% off everything with the discount code ‘BF20‘ and get an extra £40 off when you spend over £200! Here you can snap up a pair of classic coloured Jimmy Choos, or the latest Gucci wear.

Gift ideas for yourself (Classic investment piece), for her, and for me:

The best for beauty…

Harvey Nichols

Rewards member exclusive preview finished at 8pm today but the offer of 25% off extends to this weekend for everyone! You can get 10% off beauty and free shipping off everything on their website. Their loyalty card is a great way to earn points and get seasonal rewards if you love their exclusive brands.

Gift ideas for you (a lust purchase… party shoes?!), for her and him:

Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet

What’s better than Black Friday sales? Black Friday sales ON TOP of outlet prices! I signed up for the VIP card and also the invitation for the Black Friday offers pre sales, and one hour I was there was NOT enough! Unfortunately, there wasn’t any Black Friday offers that I was interested in but the sales they already had there already was amazing! 50% off everything on top of outlet prices at All Saints Outlet and 25% off everything at Radley Outlet, I couldn’t pass up some leather cleaning products that keep your leather in tip top condition! The Kooples outlet has just opened last Friday, and the cuts are just the prefect shape for my body.

 

Why don’t you ever see prestigious brands on sale like Chanel and Christian Louboutin?

Because their in such demand that they tend to sell out before much of it can make it to a sale. Also, their brand is so well known and their clientele is the rich, so they wouldn’t ever put a sale price on any items. Chanel tend to put everything away in the back, so if a customer requests anything they can bring it out right away.

Get cash back during your online shop

Save more shopping the sales from the comfort of your own home with TopCashBack. You shop through their website and receive cash back straight to your account! Unfortunately, it can take up to a month to receive the money and the majority of the time you cannot use it in conjunction with any other offers. It’s great if you’re renewing your insurance anytime soon or buying a new phone/Sky/broadband line.

Use this referral link here and receive a £5 amazon gift card!

https://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/ryeung

Do you know of any great deals of shopping the Black Friday sale tips? Let us know in the comments below!

Happy bargain hunting!

-Rinniboo

 

 

Black Friday deals you need to know

Travel Tips – North Italy in a week?!

Hello! Long time no post, I’ve been busy inspiration searching and that involved travelling! In my usual ‘two-birds-with-one-stone’ fashion, it was also a birthday trip curtesy of ma madré (big thank you mum!) But Italy was also on her bucket list!! So let get stuck right into it!

So I like to squeeze in as much as I can when I go on holiday to a new destination, check out the Singapore in a weekend blog here. So when we went to stay in Milan for 6 nights we squeezed in day trips all around the north of Italy to experience lots of snippets from each place.

Travel blog - Italy in a week Milan Switzerland Lake Como Venice blog blogger Foxtown outlet shopping where to eat where to go day trips easy jet lastminute.com package holidays planning flying
Flying past the Swiss Alps

Packing

Always check the airline that you’re flying with for luggage restrictions. We flew with Easy Jet so they have a policy for one small hand luggage and an option to add one checked 20kg luggage bag. We originally were not going to even add a suitcase! But we ended up sharing one, thank god because we forgot to factor in shopping and souvenirs! I always pack heavier and bulkier things when the weather is cooler, so it helps to check the weather at the destination before you pack.

I tried to plan for a few outfit photos so I packed a heel boot… that I didn’t even wear! So I recommend just packing flats and comfortable shoes if you plan on doing a lot of walking like we did.

I also found that I could contact the hotel before hand and check what amenities they already had there so I could probably pack less i.e. shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion, cotton pads, slippers etc. So it would’ve been handy if I didn’t need to carry a bottle of body wash, but anything that I’m picky about I just took a travel size version.

Travel blog - Italy in a week Milan Switzerland Lake Como Venice blog blogger Foxtown outlet shopping where to eat where to go day trips easy jet lastminute.com package holidays planning flying
One of the grand hotels in Milan

Hotel

We chose a hotel and flight package on lastminute.com but we booked at like 1am in the morning (never do that!) so we only had photographs of the hotel to go on. Thankfully it was the most beautiful hotel, Starhotel E.C.H.O. It’s super eco friendly with all the heating sourced etc. They even had sustainable tips on a card in each room to help. Even their restaurant locally sources their ingredients! You can check out their video explaining the E.C.H.O here.

Travel blog - Italy in a week Milan Switzerland Lake Como Venice blog blogger Foxtown outlet shopping where to eat where to go day trips easy jet lastminute.com package holidays planning flying
Getting around Milan is pretty easy

Getting around Milan

I got the heads up that public transport will go on strike with little notice before hand, and with my luck they really did whilst we were there! But we still managed to suss out how to use the Metro which is the public underground train. It’s a lot less complicated than the London tube as you only need to know the two stops at either end of the three lines, and you could probably work it all out from there. We mostly used the green line which went through the main Centerale FS station which had an abundance of newsagents. All sold the majority of the tickets for bus, Metro and tram,  along with all of the different ticket machines.

Most people spoke english being the big city centre that it is, and you could even chose the preferred language on the ticket machines once you located the right one! The most popular Metro lines tend to run from 6am – midnight, so outside of these times I would recommend taking a local taxi. Bare in mind a taxi can take around 10mins to arrive or you can find a taxi rank nearby any main station or just outside the famous Duomo cathedral.

I did find having a tube map helped, but I also love these apps whenever I travel anywhere:

  • City Mapper – although it’s not the best for Italy, you can see routes from A to B!
  • Google Maps – the good old map pal
  • SpeakEasy Italian – Unfortunately I didn’t get to exercise my Italian much (or lack of) but it was handy if you ever need help as it does not need internet connection to work.

If you can arrange for internet roaming abroad with your network provider it will help if you get lost in this digital age.

Day Trips

On the first day we needed to know our surroundings so we booked in at our hotel recommended travel agent Zani Viaggi for the Grande Tour de Milano, which was a great morning trip to the most famous landmarks.

Travel blog - Italy in a week Milan Switzerland Lake Como Venice blog blogger Foxtown outlet shopping where to eat where to go day trips easy jet lastminute.com package holidays planning flying
Milan is a big city!

Day 2 was the public transport strike so we had to hop on a taxi to the meeting point to catch the coach. Being in the capital city of fashion you HAVE to go to a shopping outlet! Unfortunately, Serravalle shopping outlet seemed too similar to the Cheshire Oaks shopping outlet (they’re owned by the same company) that’s local to me back in the UK so I decided on FoxTown.

Little did I know it was in Switzerland! It was a great experience having found a YSL and Versace outlet that had prices up to 70% off! But even then most items were still around £500+! I did manage to find a leather skirt I liked but they only had one faulty one left! I would like to go back to Switzerland for a romantic cliché ski holiday with a cheese fondue in front of a fire (and shopping!)

Travel blog - Italy in a week Milan Switzerland Lake Como Venice blog blogger Foxtown outlet shopping where to eat where to go day trips easy jet lastminute.com package holidays planning flying
The views of Lake Como were breathtaking!

A visit to lake Como was planned for day 3 as all of the tickets for Florence was sold out for that morning, however both places are exceptionally beautiful! I took a good 70% of my 1000+ photos around the lake because it was just that picturesque! We did find the famous Seta (silk) shop in Como, but I only managed to check out half of the shop before we were rushed onto the boat to Bellagio! But that just means I will have to go back again to see the other half of the shop!

Travel blog - Italy in a week Milan Switzerland Lake Como Venice blog blogger Foxtown outlet shopping where to eat where to go day trips easy jet lastminute.com package holidays planning flying
Venice and their well-known gondolas

For the last full day in Italy we had pre-booked a Venice day trip because it was only available on the Sunday during the 6 days we went for, and it was the one place that I really wanted to visit! Venice is such a different city, which was made apparent when we had to get off the coach at a manmade island (built mostly for all of the tourists parking!) to then take a boat over to the district.

Unfortunately, most shops are closed on Sunday but all of the tourist places were open. This meant that it was HEAVING with tourists, and it didn’t help that there was a marathon going on at the same time! The trip was a great quick overview of Venice, as I would recommend a little educational show around by a local guide for the first time there. You learn a lot from locals, but I think the beauty of visiting Venice is getting lost in the labyrinth of streets and leisurely discovering new ‘calle’ (street/s)! As my mum experienced (she got confused with all of the guides having the same flags and got lost for a few minutes!) This is definitely on my list of places to revisit as the 6 hours we spent there was not nearly enough!

Travel blog - Italy in a week Milan Switzerland Lake Como Venice blog blogger Foxtown outlet shopping where to eat where to go day trips easy jet lastminute.com package holidays planning flying hotel landmarks
We HAD to try the local gelato!

Eating Out and About

I love to try all of the local food wherever I go, but having been on mostly tourist trips to the usual tourist places we paid the inflated prices! I always like to wonder around for a few minutes to compare the prices, since most of the restaurants have the same popular Italian dishes. I tried to visit the recommended restaurants, but when you’re doing so much exploring you get tired and just want to eat anything that’s close by! I did thankfully try local risotto, fish & meats, traditional stone baked pizza and gelato! It’s true that the gelato tastes amazing in Italy because they make it fresh and the flavour is mind blowing!

Travel blog - Italy in a week Milan Switzerland Lake Como Venice blog blogger Foxtown outlet shopping where to eat where to go day trips easy jet lastminute.com package holidays planning flying hotel landmarks
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II opened in 1877 and is the worlds oldest shopping mall!

Can you do north Italy in a week?

You definitely can if you are fit and able to zip from place to place to get a quick taste of each city/country (mum got tried very easily). I definitely recommend going for longer so you can really savour and enjoy each place. I like leaving something to do and explore in places I would like to revisit. I definitely learnt a lot on this trip, especially about the Duomo and Last Supper painting. I didn’t know the colour of the Duomo varies because it’s made of pink marble, and that the Last Supper was painted on a kitchen wall! Although, the staple food in Italy isn’t my favourite (pizza and pasta isn’t my first choice) as I prefer a lighter meals i.e. veggies and fruit. I absolutely LOVE the pastries and antipasti options there! Everything Italian always tastes better in Italy!

Check out the travel vlog here.

Ciao!

-Rinniboo

Travel Tips – North Italy in a week?!

OOTD: Floral Bloom

Nothing gets me more into the mood of summer than a beautiful floral print! Here’s one that I stitched together recently….

Rinniboo Skirt outfit photo half OOTD outfit styling fashion floral print skirt how to
OOTD: Floral bloom https://rinniboo.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/ootd-floral-bloom/

I can be a right good procrastinator when it comes to completing tasks with no deadlines! So I picked out this beautiful floral print fabric that I really liked from Abakhan, and went straight back home to get cutting and sewing.

DIY Floral Skirt

Coming from a surface design background I’m quite picky with my prints, but this had the right sized florals and a beautiful selection of colours. It even had a beautiful brushed cotton texture to it!

So I googled a simple box pleat skirt pattern, eyeballed the right size and started cutting (I recommend using a pattern or taking some time to really work out the right size to include the extra width for the pleats!) Here’s a great tutorial I found later that includes a pocket!

I chose a box pleat skirt over a standard a-line as I was inspired by the recent Ted Baker full skirts.

Rinniboo Skirt outfit photo half OOTD outfit styling fashion floral print skirt how to

Styling the OOTD

Here I’ve styled it with a white drape back top and nude heels with my Apple iWatch.

Check out my iWatch review here!

I’ve had this drape back top from Topshop for a while now, but now there’s all sorts of drape tops available! Keeping the rest of the outfit simple by styling the skirt with plain tops is a fool proof way of working floral print into any outfit.

I also found these super comfy nude heels from M&S. Unfortunately, they were part of a limited edition range of real leather classics, but I have found a similar pair at Aldo Shoes. I always go to M&S for comfortable shoes as their shapes are perfect for my feet, and most shoes have a soft padding inside to give you that ‘walking on cushions’ feeling. I fell in love with the shape of the heels as they not only give your feet the most appealing angle of heel height, but they look really similar to Louboutins!

Check out how I made this simple skirt in my vlog here:

Start from 2:16! Source – https://youtu.be/nCRzinbRej0?t=2m16s

-Rinniboo.

OOTD: Floral Bloom

OOTD: City Chic

This outfit revolves around one of my most chic investment jacket! I think everyone needs that one jacket that they love and will wear to death. So not only will you get your moneys worth, but you’ll look so chic doing it!

OOTD City Chic blog title Fashion, Outfit of the day how to style a smart blazer and pop with snake affect heels shoes
Ted Baker Eni Jacket (Similar here), H&M V Neck T-shirt, Topshop Ripped Jamie Jeans, Hermit Bag (Similar here), River Island Heels (Similar here).

Throwing in some texture to an outfit will bring plainer pieces to life and style it up. You can make a super casual outfit instantly chic and sophisticated by adding a structured jacket.

Doesn’t this Ted Baker jacket give you the Coco Chanel vibes??

OOTD City Chic blog title Fashion, Outfit of the day how to style a smart blazer and pop with snake affect heels shoes
Adding a pop of colour or mixing textures makes you stand out from the crowd. Just make sure you keep the colour pallet simple!

To stand out from the crowd I’ve team it with some faux snake River Island strappy sandals. These are super comfy with padded soles and support your feet in all of the right places!

OOTD City Chic blog title Fashion, Outfit of the day how to style a smart blazer and pop with snake affect heels shoes
Adding textures adds depth to an outfit. See how the jacket smartens up a simple jeans and t-shirt combo?

This is style with my £30 ‘Hermes’ Bag, we’ve now donned names for replica/inspired pieces that have come from unfortunate fumbles of online shopping. So this bag will now be called ‘Hermit’ Check out the full list of donned names here, and add your own!

Check out more OOTD posts here.

Rinniboo.

OOTD: City Chic