Archives for February 2013

HoF Win!

Oh, hello. Sorry about the quietness around here lately – I took a week off work, and ended up taking time off from the blog! I wasn’t completely lazy though, I hope to reveal all soon on the little project I’ve been bashing at my keyboard for!

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One of the most popular posts on this blog was the blog post that I wrote about an employee at House of Fraser leaving a rude comment on my blog about their work from a work computer (which you can read here). In the email conversation that came after that with someone with the grand job title of executive brand director, there was a part where we discussed that they were recruiting at the time for a social media manager (I honestly can’t remember if they did any sort of tweeting at the time) – and it is good to see that a few years on, they are not only responding to queries, but proactively seeking them out.

Last week, I ordered a top from House of Fraser. It was the last one in my size, so I ordered it to go to the store (because that’s cheaper and easier than delivering to my home!) I picked it up on Friday, took it home and went to try it on and got a bit stuck. As regular readers will know, I have dropped a few dress sizes recently and while I can almost get away with a size 14 (depending on the store, of course), I ordered a size 16 so it was a bit more comfy. Getting the top stuck across my boobs, I couldn’t help thinking “I know I’ve been a little lazy on the fitness front since moving away from the gym, but this is a little ridiculous – what’s gone wrong with my diet!”

I took the top off, and looked at the label, just to double check. The label in the top was a size 12, but the one attached to the top (the price tag) was a size 16. I may have sighed in relief, then tweeted about it – not even including their Twitter name, just writing the actual name. They picked it up within 20 minutes (late on a Friday afternoon as well!) and asked for my order number. Within an hour, I had a email waiting for me, giving me a £10 e-voucher (which when the top was only about £15, was quite surprising!) because it was the last one in stock.

I know it’s the done thing to complain about a bad company, but I do like to say when a company has done something awesome (like when 34SP revived this site and when Jimmys Iced Coffee sent me a flipping amazing portrait of a pony) – talking about the good things companies do will hopefully get others to be just as awesome!

Review: Fitbit

I’ve already blogged previously about using my Fitbit to encourage me to exercise more, but I thought I would do a more detailed review of why the Fitbit is so useful.

There are two parts to Fitbit. The first, physical, part is the Fitbit tracker, which you wear on your body and which tracks your movements – counting your steps, counting how many floors you go up and down and how intensive your movement is. I have had the Fitbit Ultra* for about a year now, and it is still working perfectly well. I clip the Ultra to the middle of my bra (because I find I get more accurate data there, and it’s pretty well hidden). The Fitbit Ultra syncs and charges via a USB dock that I have connected to my desktop computer, and now costs about £55 since it is an older model. Alex was recently given the Fitbit One* (£80) which is the newer model, which charges via a USB cable, but syncs with your phone via Bluetooth, which gives better statistics as you want them. (Sometimes I don’t use my desktop computer for a few days, so my stats just stay stuck on my Ultra!). The new, basic model is the Fitbit Zip* (£50), which has a replaceable battery and again, syncs via Bluetooth. (There is a third Fitbit tracker that is due to come out in Spring called Flex – this one is a wristband style tracker, much like the Nike Fuelband)

The second part to Fitbit is Fitbit.com, which is where the data starts to get interesting (Well, to me anyway. Remember, stats nerd?) Once the Fitbit tracker has synced with Fitbit.com, it allows you to see how many steps have been taken in the day, and how many floors you’ve travelled up and down. Here’s my stats for yesterday:

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(yay! I hit the 10,000 step goal for the day!)

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This is the graph that I like looking at more though. The red lines show that in that five minute period, I did what is counted as very active movement. The yellow is “fairly active”, the blue – “lightly active” and the grey is me sitting on my butt…I mean, sedentary. I find it interesting to see the “very active” parts – usually when I’m rushing to and from work!

Fitbit.com isn’t just about the movements, etc. It can also log your weight automatically (We have the Withings scale* but there is a Fitbit made one* available) but you can also manually log it if you don’t have a wifi enabled set of scales. It can also work out your calorie intake (again, using the built in data or one of their partners)

Something I really like about Fitbit is that there are so many apps that can send data to Fitbit, so you can use the program you prefer. For instance, I find that MyFitnessPal is better for logging UK foods – the iPhone app has a barcode scanner, and it seems to have a lot of UK supermarket branded food already entered in. You can also sync things like Nike+, MapMyRun, sites that will tell you when to go to bed to make sure you get enough sleep, sites that will show you how to do exercises at your desk – basically, anything that helps you get more active!

Finally, Fitbit allows you to be competitive, if that’s a motivator for you. In the weekly summary email you receive  it will tell you how many steps you’ve done, etc, but also how you stack up against your friends. My profile can be found here, and I can’t help feeling a little smug when I see that I’ve done better than a friend that day/week!

That’s all I can say about the Fitbit, but if you have any questions, let me know!

Not a sponsored post, nothing has been received for this post. I just really love my Fitbit, and I think they’re pretty damn awesome!

Review: LensWay Glasses

So, way back when (before Christmas, which makes me a terrible blogger), I was contacted by LensWay who asked if I would like to trial some glasses. The post that I was asked to write can be found here (it’s about matching up these frames with specific outfits) but I thought it would be a good idea to review them separately as well.

I was sent three pairs of glasses – I tried to choose totally different frames to my usual style. In the post I did about outfits that would go with the different frames, I said that I’d never ordered glasses online – but whilst moving house, I found I was wrong! I had ordered two pairs of glasses from Glasses Direct, after they had a Groupon deal (I think something like £19 for £49 to spend on the site) and I had some credit that I just couldn’t find anything to spend it on from writing posts for their blog. Maybe it was me, maybe it was Glasses Direct, but I used the same prescription as I used for the LensWay glasses, yet I can barely wear the glasses for more than 10 minutes.

Anyway. To the photos! (Apologies in advance for them – I’ve still not found the right spot in the house for photos. Total blogger problems.)

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These are the Derek Cardigan 7019 frames which I said in my previous post that I’d been looking for a similar style for ages. These are definitely my favourite pair to wear for work – perhaps I just want to go for that sexy secretary kinda look? (I don’t really do sexy anything tbf)

I love the tiny details that you might miss otherwise on these glasses – in the top outer corners, there’s a little colon and a semicolon on either side.

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Next up are the Calvin Klein 7759 which were my “safe” choice. These look fairly similar to the first pair of glasses I bought in this style (waaaaay way back in 2004) and there isn’t really anything exciting that I can say about these glasses.

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Finally, the ridiculous choice. These Derek Cardigan 7017 wouldn’t normally have been on my list of styles to try – even for a laugh – but the original email offering me the glasses from LensWay suggested them as an ideal pair and I thought, “well, why not?”

Again with the tiny details, in the corners are a multiplication sign and a division sign, then on either side on the arms, an equals sign. Maths nerds ahoy! I tend to wear these at the weekend more because I find it a bit easier to dress them up with my home clothes rather my work wardrobe.

In terms of ordering the glasses, it couldn’t have been easier. I have a recent prescription, and it’s pretty obvious when looking at the prescription and the website on where the details should go. The only thing that can be a little more difficult is working out your PD – pupillary distance, or how far apart your eyes are. I sent off for a plastic frame thing a year or so ago and forgot about it until now which helps you to measure your PD – you can get one from eBay or by following the instructions on LensWays FAQ’s. Delivery was quick, with my parcel appearing to come from the US.

Whenever I’ve bought glasses in a shop, when they have those “2 for £X” deals on, I’ve felt like I’ve had to go for them, and have ended up with two pairs of glasses that are very similar – which meant that I rarely wore the second pair. LensWay had a much better selection of frames available so I feel like I have a much better choice for different outfits!

Is it possible to have a glasses wardrobe…?

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