Monday, January 27, 2014

Toys to help me on my way and a giveaway!!

I am the first to admit that I like gadgets and gimmicks, and I often find that these types of things help me to stay motivated on my various goals. Maybe I just haven't grown up, and still need some sort of toys in my life!! I thought today I would share with you some of the things that I am using on my journey to a new year, improved me.

Thermomix



This kitchen gadget has become indispensable to me, and I use it on a daily basis! What I love about my Thermomix is that it is so much more than just a blender. I use it to make snacks for the kids, to get dinner on the table, it makes the yummiest all-fruit sorbets, and the best mashed potato and risotto that you will ever try. For busy mums, the best thing is being able to put together a meal in 5 minutes or less, then let it sit and do its thing while you get on with helping the kids with their homework, etc. It is a serious investment (clocking in at just under $2000), but I can honestly say that I more than got my money back in savings after about a year.

Fitbit Flex



There are a lot of fitness trackers in the market, at various price points, and I ended up choosing the Flex for a combination of form and function. I liked that it was simple - it measures steps (in actual steps, unlike the Nike fuelband), distance and calories burned, activity levels and your sleep patterns,  which is just what I need. I also looks nice (it's not too bulky) and comes in great colours (I have the teal band above). It is also waterproof, so I can wear it swimming or at aqua aerobics, and because I wear it right next to my watch (unlike, say, a standard pedometer), I find that I check my progress quite frequently, and then that usually inspires me to get a bit more activity if it doesn't look like I am close to my goal of 10000 steps a day. Fitbit has a really nice web based dashboard, and syncs with my iPhone throughout the day. It also syncs nicely with My Fitness Pal, which I am using as my calorie counter app. I already had the Fitbit scale, so it was a bonus to keep it all in the family!

Fitbit Aria scale



I wanted a new scale, it was on sale, and I love it! It looks really nice and sleek with its glossy glass surface, and the fact that it syncs via wifi with my computer, keeping track of my weight loss for me, is wonderful when you are seriously trying to lose weight and are the type of person who responds well to graphs. What can I say, I am such a visual person! The Aria scale measures weight, body fat % and BMI (you need to enter your stats when you set it up) and it can recognise up to 8 different people. (Hubby and I are very different weights - I am not sure how this would work if you were It also syncs with my Fitbit app and My Fitness Pal automatically. I did get a shock when I first started using it as it weighs me almost a full kilo heavier than my previous one!

My Fitness Pal



This is an all-round health and fitness tracker, (and even better it is completely free!) that can be used to track food intake, exercise, and count calories. The reason I love this app is the accountability it gives me. Documenting everything I eat keeps me on track and so far has saved me from any major blowouts. It also syncs seamlessly with my Fitbit products and it lists dozens of other apps and fitness trackers that it works with as well if you use something other than the Fitbit.

Home Routines



Home Routines is based on the zone cleaning system, a la Flylady, which I really like. I just get a real sense of achievement when a room is completely and utterly clean and sparkling. It is fully customizable, so you can set up how many zones you want, what is in each zone, and when they reset. You can choose to have a zone a day, or do what I do and have a zone a week. It also allows you to have morning, afternoon, and evening routines, (I have found having a solid morning and evening routine indispensable so far this year) and the app will send a reminder to your phone if that is what you want. Again, if you are a visual or result orientated type personality, you will love this app, as the opening screen shows you what you have achieved over the course of the day.

Motivated Moms



This comes either as an app or a PDF print out version. Working in the basis of doing a little something every day, tasks are spread out over the week and the year. I use the app version since I always have my phone with me and I love checking things off on a list! It also includes daily tasks and a biblical reading which can be switched on or off based on your preference. What I find the most useful about this system is that it includes random things that I would always forget to do, like cleaning the air con filters or watering the indoor plants. While both the Home Routines and the Motivated Moms apps are totally self contained and you really only need one or the other, I have to admit that I like using both! I prefer Home Routines for my day-to-day cleaning (and this may simply be because I started using this first, and it is so similar to FlyLady's set-up), and rely on Motivated Moms for keeping on top of all the deeper cleaning tasks.


Now to the giveaway! I have a copy of the PDF print out version of Motivated Moms to giveaway. Maybe you need to start a homekeeping routine from scratch, of maybe it just needs some finesse, but either way, I think you will find it useful! All you need to do is leave a comment with your best housekeeping tip! I will draw a random entry on Monday 3 February.


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