Map My Walk Review And Power Walk Accessories!

Walking is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get yourself moving and get some exercise. I say it all the time but it's true. Plus when you work in an office all day long, or at home by yourself with the temptation to procrastinate and not get any exercise, taking a walk is an effective way of clearing the mind, getting fresh air and keeping yourself well. In fact recent headlines have stated that walking just 25 minutes a day can extend your life by 7 years and significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

Map My Walk App

I pretty much walk everyday thanks to my four-legged friend. Somedays, especially when I'm particularly hectic, I will walk for a short time and other days for up to two hours. However recently, in order to get the heart rate up a little higher, I've taken to hitting the streets for an extra walk, solo, at a very fast pace with my music pounding and breaking into a proper sweat!

Now I don't know about you but I'm a bit of a 'track my progress' type of person. I love to know how far I've gone, what I've achieved and to see the results in front of me to show that I have (or haven't) managed to reach my fitness goals for the week. This might make me sound like I'm mega fit, that's not the case!  However, I am now very consciously putting effort into getting out there and getting on with it! So today I wanted to talk about the app Map My Walk. How it has really helped me to get moving properly and on a regular basis, and how it might be able to help you too.

Walking Accessories

Map My Walk is a free app that does pretty much exactly what is says on the tin - maps, records and help you plan your walks. Helping you to improve on your overall fitness.

You can sign in with your Facebook account or sign up with an email address. If you want to you can find your friends and track their progress against your own. Take part in worldwide fitness challenges and record your progress and achievements.

Working on a GPS system, you select a workout like 'power walk' for example, press 'start workout' and go on your way. The app will record the route you have taken, the date, duration, number of steps and the distance. It also enables you to log your food if you wish to do so (although I don't use this function), set goals and record your favourite local routes.

For my own power walking fun I've also invested in a couple of other items that have really helped make the experience more enjoyable. Namely an armband to hold my phone and some sports earphones that clip over the old ears so that I can listen to some heart-thumping tunes to get me in the mood!

Oh and I've also gone old school and got my hands on some sweatbands for my wrists. Why? Well I'm weird and I hate the feeling of sweat when I work out (hence my usual aversion to exercise) so these really help as I can mop my over-heated forehead and feel better in an instant. I do however draw the line at an actual sweat related headband!

Nike Sweatbands
Sony Headphones

The art of the power walk has really helped in my pledge to get moving again and the app is a very effective tool for helping to incentivise and track progress. My only complaint is that sometimes it looses GPS signal out in the countryside! This can be annoying when you know you've been pacing it out for ages and you look at your phone to find it's only recorded 3 minutes, but all in all it's very helpful. Plus it sends you useful weekly email digests that summarise your workouts for the week and a monthly workout summary reminding you to fist pump away to your success. So that's always nice!

If you need to get that heart racing once again, grab yourself a couple of purse friendly but very useful accessories, download the free app and get out there asap. Walking is free, easy and simple to do yet really very useful and effective.

Recently I've also progressed onto Map My Run. I can't believe I'm running but I am so wonders may never cease! As soon as I logged into Map My Run it downloaded all of my walk info as well so it all syncs up really easily and nicely. If you're going to be both running and walking straight away then I suggest getting Map My Run instead. It's basically the same but with running options and challenges as well.

I hope this helps inspire those of you looking for a little extra activity in your life and if you decide to give the app a go let me know what you think.

What are you favourite fitness apps for tracking progress and staying motivated?

Louise

 


The Great Gadget Clean Up: Cyber Clean Review

Recently and to my great surprise, I've kind of been enjoying watching Channel 4's Gadget Man! I'm not hugely into gadgets and technology, not enough to seek out TV shows and reviews on a regular basis, however the last couple of episodes have been office related and have lead me to make a couple of particularly useful purchases for cleaning and freshening up all of the gadget and computer delights that we all seem to have lying around everywhere these days. So if your keyboard is a little grimy and your touch screen is in need of a clean then listen up to today's Cyber Clean review.

Cyber Clean

The Cyber Clean range offer a selection of products designed to help with home and office cleaning. In particular I wanted to try out the touch screen cleaning pen as well as the putty that promises to effectively remove dirt from those difficult to reach places on your computer keyboards. Unfortunately I couldn't get onto the Cyber Clean UK site as recommended on the programme no matter how hard or on what device I tried, so I hunted down similar alternatives on, well yes you guessed it, Amazon. 

So let's begin with a look at the Cyber Clean Stylus Cleaning Pen. Designed to clean up your finger printed, sticky touch screens this comes in handy for all devices, phones, tablets, laptops and main computer screens. I even used this on the touch screen on my camera.

It's basically a small pen like product with a spongy cleaning side, a spray head and a stylus function that you actually use with your touch screen instead of your finger. It comes with 3 refills of antiseptic cleaning solution that you can easily insert into the pen, plus is already full and ready to go. You also get a clip with which to attach it to your gadget, although I'm not sure I will actually use that.

Cyber Clean Stylus Pro

This is my favourite of the two products. Really easy to use and very effective. You just spray onto the screen and then use the sponge side to wipe clean the surface. It doesn't smear at all, which is a problem I've always had in the past, and it does exactly what it says on the tin so to speak. I thought at first that the £10 price tag (plus postage) seemed a little steep but having been so pleased with it and how easy and affective it was, plus given that you get 3 refills, I think it's worth the money. If you suffer with sticky, smeary screens then this is something well worth adding to your desk drawer for those moments when you're in need of a little spring clean.

Cyber Clean Stylus Pro
Cyber Clean Stylus Demonstration.jpg
Cyber Clean Stylus Pro Refills

I also purchased the Cyber Clean Cleaning Compound to tidy up my laptop and main computer keyboards that were looking a little worse for wear. This can also be used for various other things including ventilation grills, remote controls, crumb ridden hard to get areas in your car - all sorts.

It's basically a maleable gel like putty (mine smells very nice and minty, bonus!) that you can use to pull out all those tricky bits of dust, pet hair, crisp crumbs or whatever else you may have going on in your office. The gel like formula allows it to penetrate the little teeny crevices and all the little nasties stick to it and get removed. It's not horribly sticky though, just enough to pick things up without leaving anything behind.

I found this pretty effective and it definitely did pull out the surface dust and niggly particles hanging around on my keyboard. For around £6 it's not a bad purchase and is totally reusable so it will certainly get a good innings! I think the stylus is my favourite but this comes a close second and is more effective than the usual duster and frustration technique that I frequently applied before buying this product.

Cyber Clean Putty Cleaning Compound.jpg

If you've been looking for some office gadget cleaning solutions then I think you'll find the Cyber Clean range pretty useful. These products would definitely be useful for people sharing laptops and hot-desking at work especially if there's an office bug going around. Or if you're heading into a presentation and want to smarten up your equipment then whip these little beauties out for a quick swipe and you'll be golden! Plus those of you with young children, with sticky hands, that share your gadgets will, I'm sure find the stylus particularly useful.

Cyber clean also do a number of other bits and bobs that I might well try in the future. For now I'm happily typing away on a clean keyboard with a shiny screen and that's enough for me on the gadget front this month!

I hope you find this helpful and have a great weekend everyone.

Louise

 


What's On My Desk? Getting Ready For Summer

Hello everyone and welcome to the merry summer month of June! I thought with the dawning of the new month and in the spirit of getting back to business after a bit of holiday time here on the blog recently, today would be a good day to run through some new items that will be gracing my desk and helping me navigate the upcoming summer months. So today I have for you an updated What's On My Desk?

What's On my Desk Summer

First I'm going to begin with a recent purchase that I think is ideal to mention at the beginning of June, half way through the year, the Daily Greatness Business Planner.

I personally really need to get my working life back on track after taking a little step back to reflect over the last six weeks or so. I'm trying to get involved in more freelance projects which need me to be mega organised and set targets and goals in order to ensure I'm actually getting somewhere. Plus I really want to spend the next six months looking at what I'm doing with this blog and upping my game, organising my content a little better and reaching out to more people in order to collaborate, interview and generally grow this little corner of the internet for the better (I hope).

I've mentioned before my passion for old fashioned paper and pen, and whilst I use my laptop, phone and various apps to organise my life on the go, I was still craving a place to really be able to lay out my thoughts, goals and actions in one place.

Daily Greatness Business Planner

I can't wait to get stuck into using this planner. It isn't dated, hence why starting it midway through the year is going to be completely fine, but it will help me organise my thoughts in a much more practical way than I currently seem to be doing.

With weekly, monthly and quarterly checklists, a place to write out your business plan, budgeting sections, prompts for weekly goals and general positive action points, quotes and ideas running throughout, I just know this is going to become my working life bible over the next few months. I'm so glad I finally decided to purchase one after a few months of pondering!

Daily Greatness Business Planner

Next up, when last having a browse around Rymans wondering what new stationery I could justify buying as I do on a regular basis, I decided to pick up this simple Acrylic Smart Phone Holder (link to similar) to keep by my side when actually sitting at my desk. 

At times I keep my phone on silent when I'm working in order to avoid being too distracted, especially if I have a lot to get done. I wanted to get something simple like this to prop up my phone so that I can still glimpse out of the corner of my eye if anything major happens in terms of phone calls. This is exactly what I needed, a no frills little stand that's just the ticket!

Phone Holder

Anyone who follows me on Instagram may have noticed a number of food posts coming their way recently. You may have read my previous post, Healthy Foodie Inspiration where I mention a couple of my favourite recipe books. Well, I'm still completely loving those but have recently added Get The Glow by Madeleine Shaw to my collection and have to say this is turning out to be a real winner.

Get The Glow Madeleine Shaw

The recipes are all incredibly delicious plus they don't really involve a whole lot of odd sounding and confusing ingredients, nor a great deal of time that you just don't have in the week in order to make delicious healthy meals.

I have so many favourite recipes from this book so far but a special mention has to go to the Ginger Beef Kebabs so simple and ridiculously delicious. As well as the Thai Chicken Soup with Toasted Peanuts (pictured below). We used unsalted cashews and added some wholewheat soba noodles to take it from a lighter lunch dish to a more substantial evening meal, but it was so good, so simple and definitely something we will be making on a regular basis. 

Thai Chicken Soup Get The Glow

On the subject of trying to maintain a healthier diet, for my next item I wanted to mention something I've taken to snacking on at my desk and on the go - the gluten free cereal bars from Nakd. My favourite flavour being Apple Pie as pictured below.

I've been making lots of my own healthy snack bites from the aforementioned cook books and having tried out a number of varied recipes. I will save my tales of homemade snack balls for another post! However if I'm out and about or just haven't had the time to make a fresh batch of my own snacks then I think that reaching for these Nakd bars is the next best thing.

Many such bars on the market are of course full of lots of added sugars and other nasties that take them quickly from the promise of a healthy to snack to something even worse than chowing down on a bar of chocolate. However I was recently watching nutritionist Ameila Freer discuss how if you must reach for something on the run then you want to look for snacks with the least ingredients. Therefore being as natural as possible and hopefully not so bad for you. 

The Nakd bars have very few ingredients, are cold-pressed and never baked therefore maintaining much more of their nutritional value and have no added sugars or syrups. Maybe not quite nutritionally perfect but they're pretty good as well as being blooming tasty too. Apple Pie is great - I also love the Banana Bread and the Cocoa Delight. Good to keep in your desk drawer or your work bag for any in between meeting emergencies.

Nakd Snack Bar

At the end of this month I'll be braving the Glastonbury Festival again for the first time in six years! So I wanted to invest in a portable mobile phone charger as I thought it would come in useful when on the go in general as well as hopefully provide a little extra power during the festival season.

I've opted to give the Anker Astro Mini a try as it sounds like a pretty useful piece of kit, is a nice compact size and well to be honest it was reduced from £39.99 to £9.99 so seemed like a worthwhile purchase for my particular purposes. I'm a bit cheeky including this here I guess as I haven't actually given it a proper test run yet but I thought I'd add it in then report back in a few weeks to let you know how I get on. Hopefully it will do the trick and provide enough extra power to render itself useful - I'm feeling optimistic!

Anker Mobile Charger

No edition of What's On My Desk would be complete without including a little notebook love! This time in the form of these three cute little paperbacks by Liberty from Waterstones (similar here). Bright and summery I couldn't resist these and they will play an important part in my summer note taking and planning. One is lined, one has squares (no excuse not to keep a note of my finances now) and one is simply pretty and plain with pastel coloured pages. Easy to carry with you, cute and perfectly formed. I'm looking forward to using these and feeling colourful and inspired as I do so.

Liberty Notebooks

Last but not least is the Orico Jazzy Moisturising Body Wash* that I was lucky to receive in a goody bag at a recent event and have really enjoyed using. Ok so body wash as part of a desk based post might seem a little odd. However, if you're someone who likes to take a trip to the gym or go for a run in your lunch break and are looking for something to really freshen and reawaken you before you head back to your desk in the afternoon, then this might be something worth keeping in your gym bag or desk drawer for such an occasion. 

The scent is fresh and revitalising - jazzy is certainly the right word here! It isn't drying in any way and will wake you up with a burst of fruity goodness from the Mandarin and Orange essential oils. It is also a certified organic and cruelty free product and is generally just delightful.

Orico Body Wash.jpg

 

So there we have my personal summer favourites and I hope some useful recommendations and ideas for you if you're after anything similar to the ideas above.

What are your summer work and desk side essentials? Have you tried out any of the above or do you have any suggestions or ideas you think I might like to try out? Do let me know, I love to hear new thoughts and hear your personal experiences with the same or similar products.

Bye for now everyone and see you again soon. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Louise

 


Making Time For Music

We all have many things in life that we love doing but that we rarely get the time to focus, sit down and devote time to. This Sunday I've decided to prompt you to take back a little time in your lives, find something that you never get time to enjoy and spend a little time rediscovering this joy whatever it may be.

Music

For me one of my great passions is music. It makes me feel alive and if I really connect with a song or particular piece of music it can unleash all sorts of emotions - happiness and elation, of course sometimes sadness and reflection as well as provide absolute excitement and complete motivation.

I'm not a music expert by any means, I like what I like and that can range from the incredibly mainstream to the downright obscure. To me it really doesn't matter about being cool or following trends - all that matters is the way it makes you feel. It occurred to me recently that I very rarely really get the chance to really listen to an artist that I like, or enjoy music for longer than just a snippet of background noise as I go about my daily life.

So my one thing this month that I will be making more time for is music. I'm going to make a conscious effort to listen and enjoy it on a far more regular basis and return to the music loving, toe tapping person that I once used to be!

I encourage you to have a think today about something you have neglected over the past year or so and perhaps spend a little time this afternoon getting back some of the enthusiasm that you used to have for your particular choice.

What is the one thing this month that you could do with making more time for?

In the meantime my personal picks for this afternoons listening inspiration can be heard below. Enjoy the rest of this weekend and do let me know how you get on re-connecting with whatever it is that you decide to make more time for this month.

 

In the picture - Bowers & Wilkins P3 Foldable Headphones and Moo Mini Business Cards.