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Feb 25, 2013

NS Nation - 10lbs down with Nutrisystem!

I've been meaning to write this post a lot sooner but we have had so much going on in the past few weeks.  The worst was having to attend a funeral for a 7 year old child -- no one should ever have to go through that experience.  It's hard enough when the funeral is for an adult, but when you see your own daughter so upset about having to attend a child's funeral it makes it even worse.  It was the most emotional funeral I have ever been to, it was just terrible.  On top of that we have had our fair share of being sick around the house, Alayna was sick for the longest and she was just absolutely miserable.  Though, through it all I actually feel like Nutrisystem helped me from emotionally overeating, which is what I usually do during hard times.

Nutrisystem has been helping me for almost an entire month now and on the plan itself I lost 10 lbs. (And 10 lbs prior to that doing this on my own.)  Let's take a look at the two ways I had been losing weight since January.  From January to February I did it completely on my own and from February to March (almost) I've been on Nutrisystem.

Cost & Preparation:  Nutrisystem is actually fairly low in price, if you really think about how much you actually spend on healthy food each month.  Consider buying produce (which is almost never on sale), meats, cereals, etc...  From Jan-Feb when I did this on my own I spent a total of $489 on healthy food.  That's quite a bit.  On top of that, I had to take the time (between my two jobs) to actually figure out what to make and prepare the foods that I purchased.  Many times that actually made me late for my second job and absolutely exhausted. With Nutrisystem EVERYTHING is prepacakged for you.  The only thought process you have to use is to pick what foods you want to eat that day.  It's practically effortless.  All of the foods are quick to prepare (45 seconds to 2 minutes at the max) and you have a quick and easy breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert at your fingertips.

Taste:  I was on Nutrisystem once before in 2007 and the food wasn't bad at all, however I did feel like I had to doctor it up to make it taste a little better.  I'm actually very pleasantly surprised now (with their new programs & formulas) with the food.  It's absolutely delicious and needs little (or no) doctoring up at all.  The frozen foods on the program need no doctoring up at all -- they're amazing.  My favorite lunch foods are:

  • The frozen flatbreads
  • Chicken Soup
  • Mexican Tortilla Soup
And my favorite dinners are:
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Risotto
  • Frozen Pizza
I do have photos & reviews to post about these foods, this will start this coming week. I have much more detailed reviews to write about this program but due to everything that went on in the past month I haven't had the chance to post them.  They will be scheduled and posted this week, so keep your eyes peeled or subscribe to our RSS feed, twitter, facebook, etc...  to keep up to date with my journey.

So far I'm 21 lbs down and going strong. :)

Feb 12, 2013

iPhone Homescreen Addicts Anonymous

So, I'm sort of addicted to the way my iPhone 5's homescreen looks and I'm constantly changing it to see what works better for me.  I use my phone for two functions; 1. Personal and 2. Business -- I don't really play games on my phone and hardly use it as an actual phone.  It's more a text communication device, actually.  So I do need it to serve the functions that it needs to. 

Currently I'm using this adorable bird background with a very plain main homescreen.  The main homescreen is blank, as to showcase my wallpaper, with two icons on the bottom -- Launch Center Pro and Dashboard Pro.  Let's get to why I chose what I chose and what I'm trying to accomplish. 

          Second Screen:
I'm currently trying to cut down on apps by seeing what apps I use on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and what apps I don't use at all.  It's hard to choose those on first glance because I love  my apps and hate to part with any of them.  So I uncategorized most of my apps and placed them in color coordinating folders on the top of the second screen.  Why?  Because they're all there when I do need something and at the end of my month trial I can weed through the apps I do use and delete those that I do not use.  

The second row are apps that I do use quite a bit.

Yahoo Messenger - I use both for communication with co-workers/clients as well as friends and family.  I'm usually invisible on Yahoo, but I'm almost always on anyway.  I prefer Yahoo over AIM for some reason, I could never really get into AIM.

Dialvetica - I'm actually playing around with the idea of getting this off the homepage.  The only people I really call are my mom, my grandmother, 2 friends and toll free numbers for cable, AT&T, etc...  I don't use it too often that I need it right on my homepage -- but that might change.  Who knows.

Messages - This has to be on here as I text almost all the time.  I've tried it in a folder, on another page, etc...  but I can't stand not being able to see when and if I have a message.  My sounds are off 80% of the time so it's so convenient to know when I have messages visually. 

Yahoo Mail - I used Sparrow for such a long time but I currently only use my Yahoo e-mail account with Sparrow and decided that I didn't like that Sparrow still doesn't have push notifications.  I decided, for now, to put Sparrow into a folder and use Yahoo Mail until I either 1. Get tired of it or 2. Sparrow incorporates push notifications. :)  I like the app for now, the interface is great and it gets the job done.

Third row, I use these apps too, but not every single minute of every day.

SongPop - I'm a SongPop addict! If you want to play me, go ahead! RKrissy is my user name and I'm pretty damn good at the game too. :)  This has to be on my homepage because I use it quite a few times a day.  It seems like whenever I get a notification that someone played, I have to play as soon as I can. :)

MyFitnessPal - This is the best app for dieting.  Yes, I'm on Nutrisystem and yes I do have the Nutrisystem app but for some reason this app really suits me and my needs better.  I can easily scan the foods I eat to keep track of how many calories I'm consuming, I can change my caloric/carb/fat/etc... goals to suit my diet plan and I can easily add exercises to log as well!  I just love this app.  I've used it for years (when I'm on a diet) and it just keeps getting better and better.

QuickCal - Ok, so I had a post all set on another Calendar app I found that I was using but I found this the other day and love it even more.  It's so easy to quickly add an event to your calendar without having to search for the right month, day, year, etc...  All you do is enter your information into the bar at the top and it adds it for you.  Such as "H&R Block at 5pm on Friday February 15th, 2013."  Just that quick phrase (you can even use your voice to input the event) will get you all set up without having to manually input everything. I absolutely love this Calendar, it saves a lot of time and the interface/look is great too!

Evernote - I've had Evernote downloaded for about a year now but just recently got into it's greatness in December.  I knew the basic idea of it but never knew just how powerful it was.  I now use this for everything -- notes, my writing, blog ideas, blog drafts, planning a trip/party/event, things I want to purchase, quick reminders, etc...  This app is so amazing and powerful.  I actually couldn't live without it now.

           Third Screen:
The third screen is apps that I use quite a bit but don't need immediate access to at all times.  These would be apps that I use once a day or even once a week but don't mind scrolling over a page to find.

Calculator - I use this mostly when I go to dinner with friends to split a check or at work (H&R Block) when I need to calculate the cash drawer at the end of the day.  I do use this app quite a bit but it's not urgent that I get to it A.S.A.P.

Instagram - Honestly, I used to use this a lot more than I do now.  It used to be my primary camera when now I use it when I want to make something look pretty.  I think it's partnership with Facebook and the fact that it makes it a little more difficult to post on Twitter really turned me off a bit...I still use it, but not every single day.  I'm still a big lover of Instagram though.

Settings - I'm going to say this -- I wish Apple would incorporate a "utilities" dock onto the top/bottom of this phone like Android offers.  Why?  I'd like to be able to turn Bluetooth or WiFi off much easier than I currently can and wish I had quicker access to the screen brightness.  However, until they decide to incorporate something like that, I have to have quick access to settings to change these options.

Optimum - We have Optimum Cable/Online in our area and since my kids always steal my remotes, I need to be able to access the Optimum app to use as my remote occasionally.  I originally had this app in the blue folder yesterday but as I was fumbling around in my room to find my remote, I realized that I needed this app at close hand so I don't have to get even more frustrated looking for the app when I need a remote.

Clear - I use Clear as a quick  tasks app while I do have another tasks app for more in depth tasks.  This is basically for things I want to download or things I need to pick up, add to a more in depth list in the future, etc...  I love the interface of this app, the colors and the ease of use.  I just wish I knew how to get the "banner" in the corner with the amount of tasks that I have left.  That, at least, makes me want to click on it more often!

Rise - Amazing, simple and beautiful alarm clock.  I love it.  There's not much else to say other than that!  I don't like the fact that I can't set multiple alarms to turn on/off on certain days but I use the stock "clock" app for that anyway.  This is mainly just to wake me up in the morning for work, allow me to change the time quickly and easily and to see how many more hours I have to sleep.

Solar - Love, Love, Love, Love, Love this weather app.  I use this for a quick glance at what's going on outside  what's going to happen in the near future and just to look at pretty colors when I'm bored. (I'm not kidding...I really am that easily distracted.)

Reeder - I'm frequently reading my RSS feed during the day and while I really want to keep this on the front homescreen, I know it would distract me too much.  If I kept it on the front homescreen I would constantly be reading my RSS feed and not doing anything else.  I wish they would incorporate push notifications too, though.  It would be so much easier if it would notify me the second a blog is posted so I don't have to have 200+ posts to read all at once.

More apps will be added to this page as I realize what apps I  use the most.  This is just the beginnings of what I know I need on there. :)

             Last Page:
More folders!  These are basically for apps that didn't fit into the color coordinated folders, apps I really don't use too much or apps that are in Dashboard/Launch Center.  I have my stock apps, apps I'm testing, some stores that I shop at that have apps, music and entertainment apps, my diet/exercise apps and some social networks that I need to make more use of but currently don't.  I'll probably be moving more apps into here in the future but right now this is about it.

I got rid of Newsstand and a few other stock apps that I never use with a simple hack I found by Googling, so I don't have to worry too much about those but there are some stock apps that I do use, so they're staying in a folder all the way back here.

I would love to have just one or two pages but I'm too much of an app-addict for that.  I'm constantly searching and downloading new apps that may make my life, work and business easier.  We'll see what makes the cut and what doesn't when the end of the month comes! (Mid-March!)

I know a lot of people are going to be asking me the same question I have been hearing for weeks now, "What's Launch Center Pro and Dashboard Pro?" Simple answer!  They are an extension of your Springboard.

Launch Center Pro is an amazing app that adds 15 more apps "shortcuts" to your Springboard.  I currently have the following on my LCP Springboard for quick access:

  • Stock "Phone" App
  • TweetBot (LOVE this Twitter app)
  • Google Chrome (Best browser EVER!)
  • Camera+
  • Evernote
  • Facebook
  • Contacts
  • "Music" Folder (Containing some music apps that I use often.)
  • "Favorite Apps" Folder (May get rid of this one.)
  • DayOne
  • Clear
  • Pocket (Best "read it later" App)
  • Rise
  • Dark Sky (My favorite Weather app)
  • Reeder
I know there are some duplicates like Evernote, Clear and Reeder -- I have to figure out what to put in place of those on LCP.  I'll figure that out once I find out what apps I use a lot and what I don't...this is just a basis of how I want to organize my phone when I learn that information.

Dashboard Pro is a similar app but has "tiles" that looks like the Windows phones.  I currently have many different shortcuts to contacts to easily text or call, I have a shortcut to my text messages, shortcut to Pandora (Which I listen to at work), Weather tile, Notes tile, Flashlight tile and Settings tile.  I'll have to screencap this and LCP one day to show how exactly it works but for now these deserve a space on my dock since they're vital apps. :)

How do you organize your phone?