FitBit Charge HR – Full Review

So like many of us who have the desire to be a little more healthy with this new year upon us, what have you been doing to work towards that goal? Here’s what mine has looked like so far:

 

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FitBit Charge HR: (Heart Rate Monitor Version)

A preface to this post is that this is not my first fitness band. I was a previous user of the Nike Fuel+ Band, however my work does not allow certain devices in the building so I was not able to continue using that particular brand I had to find one that had been on our approved list.

Pros:

  • The Silent Alarm is perfect for waking up without an angry startled mess. It vibrates your wrist gently but with enough power to wake you up.
  • The Intuitive App is great, with all the dashboards of your current stats, plus food tracker, water tracker, and exercise trackers it has a lot of great info
  • The Adjustable Band is great for comfort vs. the Nike Fuel ‘fixed’ sizing, works similar to an adjustable watch band
  • The Sleep Tracker helps me keep a better eye on how bad my sleep actually is, (it’s really interesting to see everything in an easy to read layout.
  • The Heart Rate Monitor is actually helpful to me in a number of different ways, I am an individual that struggles with anxiety from time to time and having a clear view how badly it is effecting me at the time, helps me focus on bringing my heart rate back down to normal, as well as during exercises I can make sure that I keep my heart rate applicable to the exercise I’m doing.
  • LOTS of compatible Apps are available on the app store that sync with your FitBit including their partner

Cons:

  • NOT being Waterproof is a big grievance, as honestly I prefer to just keep it on during showers, and having to take it off and on each time is a little time consuming
  • Not the most comfortable for people with small wrists. I have very small wrists and the flat edge of the top can be very uncomfortable in certain positions (mostly while sleeping) as it digs into my bone.
  • No option for starting low energy exercises from the FitBit the HR has the option for detecting exercises like running, walking, cycling and more however things like Yoga, or stretching, or other low energy/low impact workouts it does not automatically pick up
  • Customization Could be better in terms of being able to adjust the face a little more. (It does have customization however wish it was a little more diverse) to include some options such as maybe custom colors, adding alarm options, toggle exercise options and more.

All in all I am satisfied with my FitBit and I look forward to continuing to discover some interesting new features.

What is your go-to Fitness Accessory? Do you all use a FitBit? Post your opinions below!

-L

5 Tactics for Tackling Night Shift

No matter the job that puts you in the position of staying up all night working, it’s rarely a pleasant time. Especially if you are just getting started with the new shift. These tactics are what I use to make the night shift a little more bearable. Stride into work not looking like the Day Sleeper Zombie.

  • Set a Schedule!

    • The important thing to remember is that this shift, is like any other. It’s important to plan a set schedule. Understand how long it will take you to get up and ready for your ‘day’. Wake up at the same time, go to bed at the same time. For Example: If I begin work at 9pm, I wake up every night at 7pm to give me time to get dressed, eat my ‘breakfast’ dinner and leave for work. Plan for your bedtime and wind down time as well. 10/11am – 7pm is my usual sleep schedule when working nights. It’s really important to stay on a schedule or the days will begin to run you over! (See #3)
  • Prepare your room for ‘Day Sleeping’

    • Granted my bedroom is a little makeshift at the moment as I’m still getting settled into my apartment. But this is very important if you are a light sleeper. Daylight is the Day Sleeper’s nightmare. Get yourself some blackout curtains if you work nights often. These things will blackout your room and make it feel like you are sleeping in a warm, cozy, dark cave. This is optimal for tricking your mind that it’s time to sleep. I’m in the process of getting around to ordering my own, However, I have a cheap little fleece blanket from walmart that I’ve tucked around my window in the meantime acting like my broke person’s blackout curtains.
  • Don’t forget to Eat Regular Meals

    • This is a win/lose battle with me. On my days off, staying up all night I typically will end up missing my “lunch” or “dinner” before I go to bed. However, when I’m working I fall victim of the habitual snacking. Planning your meals are a huge thing to help alleviate some of the stress of night shift.  I always pack my lunch before I head to bed, usually consisting of my leftovers from the previous nights “breakfast dinner“. It’s hard for me to wake up and cook a big dinner, so thankfully crockpots have been perfect for this. I’ll drop a pot roast in the crockpot and leave out some pasta to boil while I’m getting ready and I have an easy meal with a ton of leftovers.  I have noticed that my “dinner breakfasts” are relatively small since I eat a big meal when I wake up. Usually just a bowl of cereal or oatmeal something light before bed.
  • Stay on schedule on your Days off

    • There are a lot of struggles with this if you live in a household with more than just you. Especially when the rest of the house is sleeping while you need to be awake. However, it is vital to stay on schedule to keep your body tuned. Switching back and forth will wreak havoc on your body, mind, and spirit. So even though it’s a little lonesome. Stay awake! Read that book you haven’t had the time to sit down and read. Curl up with an ipad and some headphones and catch up on your netflix (if you house is full of light sleepers) or if you have a staggered floorplan house, stay on the other side of the house and find productive things to accomplish.
  • Find something you like about the shift and remember it!

    • The hardest thing in my opinion of Night Shift Work is getting over the mindset. Feeling lonely and watching the rest of your mentally fall and tumble down the hill into hating your job/shift. Find at least one thing positive about night shift and hold on to it for dear life!  For me, working night shift has been incredibly productive for my side job on Fiverr as a freelance voiceover artist. My upstairs apartment neighbors are asleep and not creaking our ceilings ruining my recordings. I can have all night gaming marathons. (I may or may not be a video game geek on the side) or just curling up with the cats and reading a great book.

How to be Debt Free: Dave Ramsey Style

Living life paying off one debt at a time. This is the breakdown of the method I personally use to move my life into the #DebtFree Life!

As many of you know there is a man out there by the name of Dave Ramsey. Dave has a very specific way of paying off debt, and building a foundation to start becoming wealthy. The amazing thing about the wealth, is that it isn’t just about money.

Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps

  1. Start an Emergency Fund of $1,000.00
  2. Pay off all Debt minus the Mortgage by utilizing the Snowball Method
  3. Fully Fund your Emergency Fund (3-6 months of EXPENSES)
  4. Invest 15% of your income into Retirement (Roth Preferred)
  5. Save for Children’s College (Skip this Step if no children)
  6. Pay off your Home early
  7. Build Wealth & Give!

 

These steps outline the Ramsey way of getting on the right foot with finance and getting on your way to financial freedom. Some general notes, that have made this process a little easier.

  • If you have over $1k in your savings, it is important to drop down to $1k and pay off your debt. (This was extremely challenging for me as I saw my money as a safety net but it was liberating to see that first debt disappear!)
  • Pay off your smallest debt first our mind works in funny ways, and satisfaction sooner than later keeps us motivated. So pay off that small credit card or loan you have and feel the gratification when it disappears.
  • The snowball method is incredibly powerful. There are many websites you can use for the snowball method. http://www.powerpay.com or just bing/google ‘Snowball’ payment just make sure you put ‘smallest balance first’
  • USE A BUDGET! One of the most important things to do is know how much money you have..and WHERE it’s going! What I realized is that I spent over $500 a month just randomly swiping my card. EveryDollar Budgeting is the app by Dave Ramsey. It has been extremely valuable in helping to keep myself on track. I identified the areas that I was overspending, and put a cap on it. Thanks to this app I was able to thrown over $1,000 towards debt on top of minimum payments.
  • If you can and are able, Take a Second Job Part Time. I personally work on Fiverr where I work as a freelancer when I’m not on duty.

Thanks to Dave Ramsey I’ve paid off $4500 for a student loan & $8000 so far of my Car Payment = $12,500 in 2 months (draining my savings account down to the $1,000)

I love talking about this because it works! May 15th 2016 I will be debt free 100%. By this date I’ll have paid off $20,000 in debt in 7 months (Nov 2015 start date)

Get started on the path to financial freedom today!

Dave has a daily podcast every weekday 3 hours where you can learn more about the Financial Peace Revolution. Start 2016 vowing to be debt free. And WE can help!

 

2016: The Year of Success

Now, I know it’s cliche to begin thinking about all of the New Year’s Resolutions that I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. However this is going to be one of those cliche posts that will just have to happen.

Many of you have seen post “Augusta Bucket List” and the “30 Before 30” Posts I have made this year. This post will be similar in nature, but with specific short term goals (less than 1 year). 2015 has been a dramatic year for changes for me. I’ve moved 3 times, (military), completed an Associates Degree in a foreign language, dramatically changed my financial thinking with finding Dave Ramsey. Paid off my student loan, and a plethora of other wonderful things.

So, why not keep up the strong momentum and continue.

2016: Goals by Year End

  • Pass at least 6 college courses/CLEPs/Dantes for my BS
  • Obtain my third AA Degree
  • Pay off my 2012 Optima ($7,000 Remaining)
  • Be completely Debt Free by May 2016
  • Restart my Roth IRA & Roth TSP with 15% of my income
  • Test for Promotion
  • Find a more suitable place to live (Townhouse, Single Family Home)
  • Pass my annual Physical Fitness Exam with a 90% or higher
  • Build my Emergency Fund of 3-6 Months of Expenses

I am looking forward to a successful and fulfilling year. And I’d love to help others become DEBT FREE in 2016 & I hope that others can follow suit.

Let the new year be YOUR year!

-L

 

UBER: What I’ve learned as an UBER driver

Unscriptedly - Uber

Now I’ve been driving with Uber for a few weeks now. Only part time, as to make some extra money to fulfill my goal of paying off my 14k car within the next 12 months. But I’ve had a some insightful pieces of information I wanted to share with those who have been thinking about it.

Interested in driving with Uber? Get started and drive now Click here to get started!

Looking to get a free ride to check out Uber? Use our code to get a free ride up to $15 http://www.uber.com and use code “uberCREVLM”

  • Use the Passenger Uber App

This actually is my number one piece of advice for uber drivers. If you utilize the passenger app, you will get a lot of very important information. You will be able to view where the other drivers in your city are located to see whether or not the location you are currently sitting at is overly populated with drivers and not passengers.

  • Don’t drive around waiting for fares

This is a huge tip, if you drive around just waiting for a ping you’ll waste gas and time. What I’ve found that works the best is utilize the last tip, the passenger app to find an area where there aren’t a flood of other drivers but still in a populated area.

  • Don’t always expect to have fares

This is a big one, if you think of uber as a side job or income generator that is perfectly fine. If you depend on this as a full time income it can be disappointing when you have a bad day if you have a household relying on you. I get excited when I get a ping from a rider, so I see it as an opportunity rather than a necessity.

  • Find a network to share information with

I myself am apart of a drivers group in the city that I drive in where I get great daily tips from our moderator, information on events and surges going on in the city, driver meet ups (because hey we like to be social too!) and other great information

  • Keep track of your mileage

This is super important, as with your taxes at the end of the year you can write off mileage you’ve used for uber purposes. This can add up to a significant amount. I personally use an application called Everlance it’s a great tool that notices your drives and allows you to swipe one way for personal driving and the other for business driving! Save some money!

Uber on! And I look forward to seeing some new drivers on the streets. If you have any questions feel free to comment below.

-L

DragonCon 2015 – Day 1

After a last minute four day weekend announcement I hurried and booked my last minute trip two hours west to Atlanta Georgia for the one and only DragonCon. Now I have to premise this by the fact that I have never been to any sort of convention before. So let’s just say I’ve got some catching up to do!

Here is what we’ve encountered so far:

  • At the door badge purchase

So since we ended up with a last minute “let’s go to DragonCon!” Syndrome so naturally we were worried about same day purchase lines being insane. However we got there at the perfect time today. We arrived around 1:30pm and there was no line whatsoever! Most die hard 4 day pass holders arrive Thursday to pick up their badges and most won’t be able to show up till tomorrow (Saturday Sep 5th) thanks to their 9-5 jobs. So if you are going to pick up your badges do it on Friday around 12pm-1pm.

  • Dealers Room

So if you are a fan of wide open spaces and have a slight fear of being cramped you might want to take a Xanax before you go. But if you have never been to a convention before your mouth will need to be picked up off the floor and someone to push your eyeballs back in their sockets. The room is packed to the brim on two floors with vendors of all sorts of wonderful geekdom. From Buster Swords to Kawaii Toys, and Doctor Who to Vikings. There is a good chance you’ll find some things you want.

  • Today’s Cosplay Finds

   

  

   
So many more great cosplay finds but the festivities are not over yet. On to DragonCon Friday night festivities. 

If you are at DragonCon 2015 comment below! Would love to see your cosplay or Con Selfie!

Happy Cosplay Everyone!

-L

A Shift in Scenery & Augusta Bucket List!

Picking up and moving is always going to be one of the hardest things I ever put myself through. However, over the years it has gotten significantly less stressful. In the last 2 years I have gone from the east coast to the west coast, to getting lost in the middle of the desert of west Texas. Finally I’m back on the east coast in a more stable environment.

It’s been a stressful few years, but it’s nice to put my feet down and know that soil will be there for a few years. One of the things I’m known to do is get myself too wrapped up in work and other things that keep me too cramped in my own bubble. So when I arrived here in July, I decided to make an “Augusta Bucket List” when I first got here, I labeled all of the things I wanted to do to help me get acclimated to my new city.

Come September 4th I’ll have been here for 2 months and my list is already just about halfway completed. Once I have everything marked off, I’ll get a re-do set up with some more great goals to help me further my goal of not being a hermit.  Here’s what I had when I first moved here:

  • Explore all of the Suburb Areas of my new city [ x ]
  • Find a Korean Restaurant [ x ]
  • Go to a local sporting event [ x ] – Augusta Greenjackets Baseball!
  • Find 2 Restaurants to be a regular at
  • Find an apartment [ x ]
  • Start going back to college [ x ] – AMU Fall Semester!
  • Schedule CLEP / DSST Exams to help offset college costs [ x ]
  • Volunteer
  • Explore Nearby Cities ( Columbia, Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston )
  • Study Languages (Have to keep my job in mind 🙂 )
  • Find a Farmers Market
  • Visit an Orchard
  • Find a Zoo
  • Find a Spa

Have you recently moved? Or are looking to rediscover what makes your city/town/village great? Consider making a location specific bucket list. Because let’s face it. Everyone loves a bucket list.

Happy Bucket Kicking!

~L

3 Things to Remember When Life Happens

Have you had one of those days, where it flashes by you in an instant? It’s been one of those weeks, where it feels like my days aren’t days. My weeks have just become a lucid figment of my own imagination. So much that we clearly see but not anything seems to stick long enough to process. I know that I haven’t really stepped back and focused on the things in my life, that have gotten me where I am today. So today, I’m doing my step back and share them.

1. Your Friends

One of the things, that I try to keep at the forefront of my mind is those that are fighting with me. I grew up being one of those kids who had a few friends, but only a rare few understood everything. After years, I can say there are only about one person who knows everything possible thing about me..through the worst of it, to the best of it. 12 years adds up quick when you look back on it. So many tears, but much more smiles, laughs, and pride to be able to share life with someone who cares about you. From funerals to graduations, and vacations sprinkled in between.

It doesn’t matter the number of friends you end up with in life. If you have at least one you can open up to, you’re ahead of the game. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to someone. Being able to have that person you can talk to in any setting or forum helps relieve stress, build relationships, and share in the ups and downs of life. Thankfully, being in the military I’ve gained what feels like not just friends, but brothers and sisters that I would have never had the chance to meet otherwise.

2. Your Family

Coming from a smaller family, I learned quite a bit growing up from a single parent. And I learned a lot more about how life works when you lose a parent before you even understand what it means to grow up. There is a whole new aspect to growing up. When losing my mother from a long term battle with cancer, I lost a lot of myself. And I saw the same thing happen to everyone in my family, immediate and extended. So growing up, rebellion is a normal thing, but it certainly gets amplified when you go through certain situations in life. So I wasn’t the easiest child to deal with.

Though, now growing up. Like many stubborn children I still fight with my family. But what I care about more is doing the right thing and having them proud of me. Unless something out of their control has happened, I can pretty much count on my Dad and my brothers to be there for me, and I hope I can do the same for them when the time comes. Keeping family in mind when you deal with life, helps keeps things in perspective. And it doesn’t hurt to talk to them, if you’re the baby of the family you can learn something from your older siblings, and your parents.

3. YOU!

Now, you may wonder why this wasn’t my first option. I think we often get too caught up in life happening to us, that we don’t realize that we are often our strongest tool. What we get out of life is what we put into it. Everything that happens to us in life, has reactions from us. When you hit a setback in your life, we often run for help from others. But, you hold more strength within yourself than you give yourself credit for. If you know the end result of what you want to achieve, getting yourself in the mindset to live a good life and make it through whatever it is you are getting through is the battle.

Growing up, I had issues with self confidence, and self love. That had to have been the hardest thing I had to work through being a young adult. Surrounding myself with good people, learning more about myself and what I wanted from life, and finding positive influences on my life were key. Keep in mind that when life happens… it’s you who will get through it.

You’ve got this!

-L

Unscriptedly: The Untold Story

What is Unscriptedly?

One of my favorite thing about businesses, blogs, and companies is the name that the hold foundation stands on. I’ve been a mini business guru since I was young. With 6-7 different fun names for the work I was doing. From my Voice Artist Companies, to my Teaching Companies, and now to this blog. To me the hardest, but most rewarding part of the whole process was figuring what to call this brain child. I’ve always loved writing, whether it be in my own personal journal growing up, to the plethora of online resources like livejournal and others. And with Unscriptedly I’ve found the platform I’ve wanted for so long.

Why “Unscriptedly”?

I’m notorious about planning my day, almost to the point where I have to schedule some relaxation time. When playing with ideas, I wanted to keep the goal in mind with the name. I want a blog that isn’t just for one type of person. I wanted to build a resource that people could use to learn something new, share great experiences, and network and meet new people. All things that happen often when you don’t script your life.

One of the main things I hope to achieve is to learn to have a little spontaneity. And what better way than to call my blog the one thing I hope to achieve. A life that is truly unscripted.

What got you into blogging? What is the one thing that keeps you motivated as a blogger?

Until Next Time..

-L-