Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

Dawnie's Life

Dawnie's Life

Life, running, fitness, weight loss, recipes and healthy living!

Recent Posts

Being Brave and Facing the Dreaded Weigh In

Being Brave and Facing the Dreaded Weigh In

Today marked two weeks since my last weigh in, when I walked into the bathroom today the scale seemed to be all I could focus on. I will admit I was hesitant at first to step on the scale, knowing that my hard work may or may not be showing on the scale yet, that fear did not stop me, I did step onto that scale! I closed my eyes while the numbers moved a bit and settled into my actual weight being shown on the display, when I opened my eyes and looked down the number 164 was what was shining back up at me. Okay, I can handle that! That was a 3 lb weight loss over the course of 2 weeks (I was 167 last weigh in). When I started back up with my weight loss 3 weeks ago I weighed in at 169.4, so in 3 weeks time I have lost 5.4 lbs, not too bad.

I have to admit when I weigh in now no matter what the number is, I am still not quite 100% happy with myself. Knowing that I was down to 144 at the beginning of 2012 and knowing I had less than 20 lbs left to lose before I hit my goal weight and then I started regaining the weight makes it hard to completely be happy with the numbers this time around.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of myself, trust me I am proud of my hard work and of the choices I have been making in order to not only to lose the weight but also to get back to a fitness level I am also proud of. But I just hate that I was so far along in my journey and then I just slipped back into old habits (given a lot of things came up during that time that I have blogged about previously – I battled through a horrible bout of depression, we had some major life altering changes occur in our life, including bringing home an infant unexpectedly becoming parents over night – but I always call things like that “excuses” for weight gain).

But for now I have to embrace where I am in my journey, there are ups and downs, this is a lifelong lifestyle change I am making and it will take time. Mistakes and setbacks happen, I believe how a person handles them and bounce back from them really define that person.

Choosing Your Weed Wacker Straight Shaft or Curved

Choosing Your Weed Wacker Straight Shaft or Curved

When you’re choosing the best weed eater for your needs you’ll probably be considering whether an electric, cordless, gas or propane weed eater will do the job. There’s also the question of whether to get one with a straight shaft or a curved one.

The straight shaft weed eater is perhaps the more traditional model. Historically the larger, more expensive professional models are straight shaft. If you’ve always used a straight shaft weed wacker you might wonder what the curved ones are for.

The straight shaft weed eater is usually available with more accessories: like heavy-duty cutting blades and other attachments. Curved shaft weed eaters are shorter, and to be honest I’m not sure I’d want a hard steel blade doing several hundred rpm that close to me – even if it was available!

In fact the real difference is simply one of comfort. The two Hitachi 2 stroke weed eaters pictured above have exactly the same motor, they weight just about the same (the curved shaft is slightly shorter so slightly lighter) – so the only difference is the length of that shaft. Taller people tend to prefer the straight shaft and shorter people the curved shaft – although that’s by no means an absolute.

You could claim the string angle to the ground is closer to parallel and so more natural with a curved shaft – although I’ve never had any problems with my straight shaft model. You could argue that the short shaft is more maneuverable in tight spaces – but most times that’s not really a issue. If you’re working in a small area you’re unlikely to find the really dense undergrowth that professional weed eaters are designed to tackle so a smaller, lightweight electric weed wacker will probably be your choice.

The right power and accessories for the jobs you’ll be doing are the more important factors. If your chosen weed eater has straight and curved shaft options, that’s a bonus.

Running to Obtain Clarity

Running to Obtain Clarity

My goal was to add the finishing touches to my blog over the weekend, but that didn’t quite happen. I am hoping that I get the chance to work on it today. There has just been a lot going on in my life right now and I have shifted a great deal of my attention so I can focus on it.

I have also been continuing my running training. Concentrating on my running has also been allowing me to clear my head, gain a bit of clarity and just really remind myself that I am stronger than I think I am. I have friends that always say that running is cheaper than therapy and that running is their source of therapy, I totally get it now. When I run I can choose to focus completely on my run or I can choose to sort through my life and emotions in my mind. I usually do a little of both during my runs.

On Thursday I went on a run with the jogging stroller, Tyler actually stayed awake during our run, he was busy looking at the river and the geese. I discovered on that run -a little over half way through it- that the handle on the stroller is adjustable and I was able to lower it down to my level. I then immediately realized why my shoulders/chest and back had been hurting so much recently, then I felt like an idiot for not thinking of that before. I ran a 5K distance with him Thursday, I also ran on a path that is a bit more hilly than I am used to running.

On Sunday, Tiffany was home to stay with Tyler while I ventured out on a solo run, the first outside run I have been able to take alone in quite some time. I went to the same path that I ran on Thursday, I figured I need to get used to occasional hills if I want to run in any race that may be a bit hilly in the future. At first it was a bit odd to be by myself running, I quickly found myself zoned out and focusing on my run. I ran over three miles before I remembered that I had to run back to where I started to get to my car. I wasn’t ready to turn around, I wanted to keep running, but I knew that I would already have to run, or walk another three miles back to my car. So, I turned around and ran for another 2 miles. Those 2 miles were not as comfortable as the first 3, the first 3 miles I had been running with the wind, when I turned around I was running against strong winds for 2 miles! Then I realized that I had just ran 5 miles! I haven’t ran that distance since last year around this time! I was proud of myself. I probably could have ran that last last mile back to my car and made it 6 miles for my run, but remembering that I was already pushing it with my distance increase (this was my first run over 5k distance since I started running again), I decided it wasn’t worth the risk of overdoing it. So I reluctantly walked a mile back to my car. It was the smart decision to make.

Today my body can feel those extra miles I put into my run. I’m not feeling injured or hurting in any terrible way, but just slight muscle soreness. I will do some extra stretching today, I will see how I am feeling tomorrow, if my body feels up to it I will go on a short 1 or 2 mile easy run. But I am not going to push it, I am trying to listen to my body this time around.

Other than focusing on my running I have just been trying to enjoy the last little bit of fall that is left, before winter takes over (my least favorite season of the year). So on the days that allow I have been going to various parks with Tyler, he likes to play with the leaves, I enjoy watching him and just being outside (when it isn’t freezing out). There is something about  being outside in nature that is relaxing and really helps me sort through some of the clutter in my mind.

Do you find yourself running to obtain clarity? Or if you do not run, what helps you obtain clarity?

I Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym Today

I Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym Today

Some days I just do not feel like going to the gym. Getting myself ready for the gym, then getting Tyler ready for the gym (if he is willing to cooperate with me that is), dealing with the dogs, driving there, lugging this heavy (but oh so adorable) baby inside – usually from the very back of the parking lot, getting him settled in child watch (then worrying the whole time if he is being good and is doing okay), then working out – usually for around an hour or so. Sometimes it seems like such a daunting task for an hour of gym time – when I look over what I just wrote, it really sounds like I am being ridiculous! Most days I feel it is totally worth it and it is not a big deal (especially those days when Tyler isn’t grumpy)! But there are some days that I really just don’t want to leave the house! Some days I tell myself that Tyler also wants to stay in his pajamas (which are always cuter than mine) all day, besides, the dogs totally want our company at home!

Luckily I do not feel like that the majority of the time, but there are certainly days I just feel too drained in general and spend the afternoon on the couch and on the floor playing with Tyler. Most of the time when I just don’t feel like going to the gym, because it usually isn’t when I am feeling lazy, I find another way to fit some exercise in. For example, yesterday I spent the majority of the day cleaning, cleaning and cleaning. Of course in between the cleaning I was playing with Tyler, feeding Tyler, feeding myself and then cooking dinner. I did stay in my pajamas yesterday, but I would hardly call my day a lazy day! It was hard work!

Then there are days where I just dread running on a treadmill that goes nowhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love the treadmill on most days, and the treadmill is much kinder to my knees than the pavement outside, so I try to do some of my running inside, but lets be honest, the treadmill does not provide the scenery that an outside run provides! So when the weather permits I also like to get out with Tyler with the jogging stroller and fitting in some running that way! But again, weather permitting!

So really, even when I don’t get to the gym, regardless of the reason, I usually fit in some form of exercise.

What do YOU do to fit in exercise when you can’t or really don’t want to go to the gym?

I Used to be Skinny : A Fifteen Pound Confession

I Used to be Skinny : A Fifteen Pound Confession

I have a confession to make, I have gained 15.8 lbs in a relatively short period of time.

I tried to think of a way to lead into that confession. A way to justify the weight gain. I mean I started a new medication, that could be it, right? I battled through depression this winter, that makes it completely acceptable, doesn’t it? I hurt my knee (in the early winter time), so that justifies why I am (still) not exercising like I should, right?

Okay, so really there are no excuses to use, because they are just that, excuses, not really what happened. I am not going to blame those things. The truth is, yes I did hurt my knee which is why my exercise decreased – AT FIRST – I then stayed lazy after it healed. Another truth is I did battle depression over the winter and spring – but even after my moods stabilized – my eating habits did not stabilize.

The biggest truth of them all is the simple fact that my weight gain was caused by two factors: 1. Extreme increase in calorie consumption and 2. Extreme decrease in physical activity. Plain and simple that is HOW I gained the weight.

So it is what it is. I gained 15.8 pounds. I noticed when I gained 5 lbs. That seemed like “no big deal”, because of course your body can fluctuate up and down 5 lbs anyway, I didn’t quite take into account that meant it would also fluctuate down as well (my weight did not). At 10 lbs, I thought to myself, that isn’t “THAT bad”, thinking I had lost a great deal of weight anyway, so ten lbs wasn’t the end of the world. Now sitting at 15.8 lbs gained, I am thinking “Why in the world did I let this happen”.

Feelings of embarrassment, shame, guilt and frustration with myself swirl around in my head.  Some of my friends will probably wonder why in the world I am posting for the world to see that I gained some of the weight I lost back, but I find it to be necessary in continuing my weight loss journey. I started my weight loss journey publicly and I will continue on it, through the ups and the downs, publicly. Not only do I hope that my blogging  helps others, I also blog to hold myself accountable – and that is obviously something that I need at the moment.

So let the journey continue, but this time in the right direction.

Southwest Sweet Potato Sauté

Southwest Sweet Potato Sauté

I have been gaining courage in the kitchen lately and decided to finally cook on the stove. This may seem normal for most people, but I have always been more of a television dinner kind of girl, so I am sort of just learning as I go, but I am actually enjoying creating new dishes in our kitchen, so expect more recipes in the future!

Southwest Sweet Potato Sauté


1. Whole Kernel Sweet Corn – 2 cups

2. Cooked Black Beans – 2 cups

3. Yellow Onion – 1 cup chopped

4. Sweet Potatoes – 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 TBSP

6. Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle Season Blend Salt-Free – 1 1/2 TSP


1. Pour 2 TBSP Olive Oil and 1 1/2 TSP seasoning onto a pan over medium high heat, until it evenly spreads onto the pan.

2. Add the corn, black beans, onion and sweet potatoes in the pan

3. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes or until potatoes are completely cooked

This recipe serves 4. Each serving is 314 calories.

I was very happy with how it turned out and it was super simple to make. I used it as a side dish when we made spicy black bean veggie burgers and it was the perfect addition to our meal!

October Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

October Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

I have been waiting to post about my first experience with trying out the Foodie Penpals exchange! It is finally the end of the month so it is now time for me to reveal the goodies I received and to recap a bit about my first experience with the exchange.

I really love the concept of Foodie Penpals, it is really exciting to receive fun new foods in the mail (and actually just as fun to shop for someone else)! For the record, the person that you send items to and the person that sends you items are two different people!

My experience with the Foodie Penpal I was assigned to send goodies to:

I had a ton of fun shopping for my penpal, I put a lot of effort into picking items that I thought she would like and that were unique to my area and that were tailored around her dietary restrictions. I put a note on each item explaining why I sent it each one. I was very excited for my penpal to receive her goodies so I could hear what she thought about them, so I even sent the package out priority mail to get it to her quickly. Well, I never heard from her, I never received an email from her, not even a quick “thank you”, it honestly bummed me out. I didn’t really expect her to thank me over and over again or anything, but just a simple “thank you” would have been nice to hear.

My experience with the Foodie Penpal who was assigned to send me goodies:

Carrie (her blog is Aunt on the Run ) was super prompt with emailing me to find out my information and she was very quick with getting my goodies sent out to me! I was her first Foodie Penpal so I thought that was neat, since it was also my first month trying it out! Here is what Carrie sent me:

Carrie sent me the following: A jar of PB2 (I actually love this stuff so it was a great pick), an almond & sea salt in dark chocolate candy bar (this was devoured seconds after this picture was taken, delicious!), a Thunderbird bar (I was skeptical of this, I was a bit nervous that I would hate it, but I was actually very pleasantly surprised, it was great), a local blend of coffee from her area (I haven’t tried this yet, I rarely drink coffee at home, but it will be great for a cold winter day), a box of couscous (I haven’t used yet because of calorie restrictions in my diet, but will be great on a cheat day/high calorie day) and The Salt Lick BBQ sauce that is from a local place in her town (I haven’t tried it yet, again because of calorie restrictions, but I am actually really excited to get the chance to try it)! Carrie also included a great recipe for couscous with shrimp that I look forward to trying and a super nice card (also very festive for the month of October)! Carrie was a great Foodie Penpal! I am lucky to have had someone so excited about the exchange as well!

Overall it was fun to try out the Food Penpals, I had an OKAY overall experience. I had fun shopping, I received a great package, but I didn’t get any feedback or thank you from who I sent to.

Will I be participating in the Foodie Penpals again? Possibly. I have a lot going on in my life at the moment, so I may not participate in the month of November, I haven’t quite decided yet. But there is a very good chance that I will give it another go in the future!

Tips on How to Grow a Vegetable Garden

Tips on How to Grow a Vegetable Garden

Want to have fresh and organic vegetables grown in your own garden? There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own vegetables. They taste delicious and much healthier than any organic vegetable you get from the store. You are sure to be bowled over by the juicy, sweet flavor and lively textures of home grown vegetables.

Backyard Garden Tomatoes on VineBut not many people try their hand at growing a vegetable garden because they think it is an overwhelming task. This is not true.

Here are some essential tips that will make the entire process from choosing the right location and vegetables to getting a good yield an effortless task. These tips will show you can definitely grow your own vegetable garden easily.

Begin small

When you are just starting out, it is wise to confine the gardening to a small space. Don’t go overboard with the planting and end up with more than you can eat or need.

A favorable size for beginners would be around 16 by 10 feet. This size can easily feed four persons for the summer and leave you plenty behind for freezing and canning or for giving away.

Start with 11 rows with each of the rows being 10 feet in length. To get the full effect of sunlight make sure the rows are in the north south direction.

Vegetables to start with

If you want to get adept at gardening, it is best to start with vegetables that need very little attention but give a good yield like beets, carrots, cabbage, beans, radishes, lettuce, turnips and spinach. These give you multiple crops in a single season.

Planting tips

Sunny space: Choose an area that receives sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day.

Soil:  Soft soil lets the roots penetrate easily. So, choose loamy soil and enrich it with compost. Ensure there is proper drainage of water.

Compost: Spread compost in late fall season after harvesting, cover with winter mulch like chopped leaves or hay. In spring, the compost would be ripe to work for you. Apply twice a week before planting as it needs adequate time to stabilize and integrate with the soil.

Pest free soil: Plants such as onions, garlic, chrysanthemums and chives repel insects. Grow such plants to repel insects. Healthy soil can easily resist disease and pests, and you can avoid harmful pesticides. Use soil amendments and organic fertilizers, which earthworms love. These are very good for vegetable growth.

Choosing the right vegetables and plants

Opt for plants that grow well in your locality and are suited to the area. Started plants are better than seeds as the harvest time is shorter. If you are partial to vining vegetables grow your cucumbers, squash and melons on a fence or vertical trellis. This is space saving and looks appealing too.

Start on the peas indoors to increase the germination rate. You will get healthier seedlings that are resistant to disease and pests. Try companion planting which keeps the plants with sufficient nutrients and even wards off pests effectively.

When you plan it appropriately, a stunning garden brimming with healthy vegetables will be much easier than you had ever imagined. You will not have to toil for hours to get the results. By combining flowers and vegetables, you can also make the landscape a potential beauty to behold.

Enjoying the Fall Season and Beginning a Journey of Self-Reflection

Enjoying the Fall Season and Beginning a Journey of Self-Reflection

I know I haven’t posted in a few days, but no worries, I am still around! I have been working on transferring my blog over from to self-hosted and using wordpress software. If you were subscribed by email to receive my updates, please resubscribe on the right hand side of this page, when I switched over I lost that list!

Other than trying to be tech savvy (really I am not at all), I have been spending some time enjoying the season. I love fall, the colors, the smells, the slightly cool air.

Tyler and I went to Hueston Woods State Park yesterday, to drive through and admire the colorful leaves on the trees (and the ground). My grammy always took me to Hueston Woods when I was a child, especially during the fall season, I have so many fond memories that were created in that park. Yesterday seemed like the perfect day to make the drive there, it was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect. Tyler loved playing with the leaves and crunching them in his little hands, I loved watching the expressions on his face as he played with the leaves. I also spent a great deal of time reflecting upon my life and reminiscing about my childhood and time spent with my grammy, she was a remarkable woman, I miss her a great deal, and I especially missed her yesterday.

Today I spent more time enjoying the season. The weather has been amazing, I opted out of going to the gym today and instead strapped Tyler into the jogging stroller and took my run outside.

On my run today I saw red, orange and yellow leaves falling off of the trees and they landed all around me, I felt a slight cool breeze on my face , I heard the sounds of leaves crunching as I ran over them with my feet, I admired the yards adorned with pumpkins and other autumn decorations, I thought about the good in my life and the things that could be improved with the right amount of effort, I allowed myself to realize that I am stronger than I think I am and that it is okay to be perfectly imperfect.

Self-reflection and enjoying the season seem to be the current themes of my life at the moment. I think that is a very positive thing. I can not grow as an individual without taking an honest look at myself and my life.

My blog will continue to be focused on running, weight loss, fitness and health – as those are aspects of my life that are very important  – but I do plan on incorporating more self-reflection and tying in more bits of my life as a whole into my blog as well.

Are you enjoying the fall season? What is fall like where you live?

Deciding on a Running Training Program

Deciding on a Running Training Program

I have never really set a training plan for my running before, I think it is about time to do so. I really want to hold myself accountable, stick to a plan and stay consistent and see improvements. I have always just ran until I felt like I couldn’t anymore which isn’t the smartest way to do things, I need more structure. I need to set goals. I need to cross train, I need to get serious and do things right this time around.

So what I am I currently running? Where is my progress with that?

My longest run of the week is currently 3.1 miles and has been for two weeks now. I run that on Saturdays. September 29th I completed my 3.1 mi run in 42:46 and then a week later on October 6th I completed the 3.1 mi run in 39:38. I was proud of the time I shaved off in just one week. Other than my Saturday 3.1 mi runs I have been running 2 to 3 other days a week and run between 1 mi and 2.5 mi on those days. I have also been cross training using the elliptical and a bit of walking here and there.

As I have said over and over again I plan on running a 5k race on the 10th of November (the same one I ran last year). I am playing around with the idea of running a 5k race on a Saturday before then as well, but haven’t picked a race yet. I also would love, love, love to be ready to run a 10k on Thanksgiving Day, but I am not positive I will be ready, so I haven’t made up my mind on that yet.

I know by late Spring at the very least I would like to be able to run a half. But late Spring is quite a while away, so maybe I could train for a longer distance slowly. I have been looking around at different training program. I have been looking at the Hal Higdon training programs and I am not sure which training plan to follow. I need the structure of a plan, it is just picking the right one for me. I can’t decide if I want to use one of the half marathon training programs or if because I have so much time before I want to run that distance if I might as well use the novice supreme marathon training program, which is a 30 week plan. I am not positive I want to run a marathon in 30 weeks, but with the training being so long it may be feasible, but I am open to other distances, originally I wanted to train for a half for May of next year, but I have a lot of time to train.. I am still debating what program to pick and what distance and I am open to suggestions. Actually I would appreciate them.

What training program did you use for your last race? What training program do you recommend? Any suggestions for me?

My Current Battle: Avoiding the Scale and Weighing In

My Current Battle: Avoiding the Scale and Weighing In

Tomorrow I hit the 2 week mark since I last stepped on the scale to weigh myself. I will admit this time around I have been avoiding the scale, when I see it on the bathroom floor, I make myself look away! The last time I was as serious about getting healthy, losing weight, concentrating on my fitness as I am now, I obsessively weighed myself most of the time. Sometimes multiple times a day. I would get upset seeing a slight fluctuation with the number on the scale. I know that is silly and ridiculous, but it is the truth.

This time around I have been paying more attention to the quality of my foods, making sure I get the nutrition I need to fuel my body for working out, with a handful of indulgences here and there, but nothing unreasonable. I have been really sticking to my running training and cross training. I know that I am making the healthy choices I need to make and that the excess weight I gained back and then what I had left to lose will be shed in time, and hopefully muscle mass will be gained (thinking long term).

So in a way it is silly to get on the scale, but on the other hand it is one way to measure progress. I am really curious to see what the scale says, I am ready to see the number drop down a bit to remind me that even if I can’t see it yet in the mirror I am on the right track. But I am also terrified of stepping on the scale and it not budging or being disappointed by the number the display shows.

I will most likely be weighing myself within the next couple of days, but I have to keep reminding myself that the number on the display only tells a portion of the story, that the improvement in my fitness tells a portion, the changes I have made in my daily food choices is another portion and so on.

I have to remember that the number on the scale is a helpful tool to measure my progress and to stay on track and make sure I don’t need to switch things up, but I need to remember now and in months from now that the number on the scale does not define me and may not always reflect my changes and hard work right away.

An Honest and Detailed BodyMedia Fit Armband Review

An Honest and Detailed BodyMedia Fit Armband Review

I received a BodyMedia Fit armband in a little over two months ago. I mentioned my armband briefly in a past blog entry of mine. I have to say as the days and weeks go by, I keep loving this armband more and more! So I wanted to share with my readers a little information about my BodyMedia Fit armband, since I am asked so many questions about what it is, what it does and if it is worth buying.

The BodyMedia Fit Armband is a compact armband that the user wears on their left arm on a daily basis (about 23 hours a day). This armband tracks how many calories your body burns each day and also tracks your sleep. In addition to that the armband also counts the steps you take each day and records how long you are lying down down. In addition to that, there is an online tracking system that you can enter your calories consumed each day, so you can come up with your calorie deficit each day. This device is highly accurate and intuitive and it becomes more and more precise the longer you wear it.

Calories Burned details on activity manager


Physical Activity details on activity manager

So how do you actually get the information? I wondered the same thing before I got my armband. I quickly learned that it was not very complicated to get the information. I have the BodyMedia Fitarmband without the display. I also do not have the blue tooth enabled version (my phone at the time of order was not compatible). With my model of the armband I wear the armband and then when I want to sync it with my computer to get information (calories burned, time slept, etc) I simply plug the armband up to my computer using the USB that is included with the purchase of the armband.

Sleep Activity details on activity manager

It then pulls up the Body Media software (you must make a small download to your computer when you connect for the very first time). When your armband connects and you log in to the BodyMedia activity manager you will get to see all kinds of awesome and detailed information about your daily activity.

Downloadable Detailed Reports

If the user wants more information about a certain time period when it comes to average calories burned, consumer, etc then there is a great feature that lets you pick 7 days, two weeks or a month of information to download and view at your own leisure. I really love this feature of the activity manager. I am a huge information junkie so it helps a lot!

As I mentioned previously, I have the version of the BodyMedia Fit armband that has to be plugged in each time to see the calorie burn, steps and other information. They do sell display units so the user can see what their current daily burn is! I do not have one of the display units so I am unable to review that option. Also if you purchase a blue tooth enabled version of the BodyMedia Fit armband you are able to see your current burn when you use blue tooth to link it up to a compatible phone. The phones that are capable of this are some Android phones and iPhones. Also some iPod touches are able to be used with the blue tooth enabled armband. There is a list on the BodyMedia website of which phones are compatible and have been tested. Again, I do not have the blue tooth enabled device, so I am not able to give a fair review of all of the features, although it is the same when it comes to accuracy as the non blue tooth model! Although I do know that the blue tooth model does have a shorter battery life (you charge your armband by the USB included in purchase by plugging it up to your computer)!

Even if you have a non blue tooth enabled armband you are still able to download an app on your android or iPhone that will let you view some of your activity information that has already been uploaded to your computer. I like having this feature. With the blue tooth enabled armband the user is able to get more up to the minute information.

There is also a new model of the armband out that just became available. Accuracy wise it is the same. It is not blue tooth enabled. So it is a smaller and sleeker version of the armband I have. It is called the CORE armband. It is a great deal more petite! I have never felt that my armband was too large, but after seeing the new CORE armband, I have found myself really liking the look of the smaller armband! Again, I can not give a full review on this specific armband, because I do not have one to review. But I did want to let readers who may be put off by size or appearance that a newer, slimmer version has been released!

Overall, I have been extremely happy with my BodyMedia Fit armband. It provides accurate information that has really been helping me understand more about my body during my weight loss journey. The information that the armband provides the user with could be helpful not only for weight loss but also for help with maintaining a current weight or even gaining weight. It is a very versatile item when it comes to what the user uses the information collected for! The only thing that I think could use improvement is the food diary portion, it is user friendly, but I am partial to using MyFitnessPal for logging my calories, I just feel it is easier to log my foods as so much is already in the database. So I do copy my calorie count from MyFitnessPal each day and enter it into my BodyMedia Fit activity logs. With that said, it is a personal preference, I know many people that love the BodyMedia Fit food database. I think that I am biased because I used MyFitnessPal to log food intake for eight months before I got the armband!

Just a few other thoughts… One thing I would recommend is buying an extra strap for your armband, as it is nice to have an extra after an super sweaty workout! There are skins you can buy and even design from your own picture to place over the armband display to make it look more like “your own”. Keep in mind that when you receive the armband the online activity manager is free for a trial period but after that the use of the online activity manager does cost on a monthly basis. With that said, the information you collect is invaluable and the subscription price is very reasonable. The customer service reps that staff BodyMedia Fit’s Facebook page and Twitter account are very helpful and nice whenever you have a question. They also run contests from time to time!

The BodyMedia Fit armband is a great tool when it comes to weight loss, weight maintenance or even just for the person who likes to know more information about their body, calorie wise, activity wise and sleep wise! I have found this weight loss item to be invaluable in terms of weight loss success. Sure, weight loss can be accomplished without this device and by putting it on your arm does not mean you will magically lose weight, but the information the device provides certainly takes a lot of guess work out of the process!

Embroidery Machine – Quilting in the hoop

Embroidery Machine – Quilting in the hoop

The art of quilting has been around for ever. Whether it is a blanket or a wearable, quilting remains a favorite throughout the world. One of my pursuits in the machine embroidery world is to create designs for quilting in the hoop. The quest has been to complete the block, front and back, in the hoop, and then join together with other blocks via the sewing machine. I’ve tried a variety of ways which have been very successful so far….but there was always something in the back of my mind urging me to try even better.

One of the most easiest blocks to create is the Drunkard’s Path. This was one of the first curved piecing blocks that I learned in my earlier days of quilt learning. Thanks to a dear friend, Carolyn, for her suggestion, the block has a new name: Feathered Trails. Feathered Trails collection has taken a long time to be released. As the collection goes, it has been completed for a very long while, but the light bulb to achieve my quest didn’t materialize until just a month ago. The Island Sampler was my first attempt at trying to create quilt blocks completed in the hoop and joined together using the strip method on the sewing machine. It is a great way to quickly make quilts, but I had a “nag” in my head urging me to do even better. So, needless to say….I believe the quest is completed.

The method is so simple and easy that I was kicking myself in not thinking of it earlier. As quilts go, they are a combination of three components…top, batting and backing. The top and the batting can be easily joined together in the hoop while stitching out the design…it was the backing which always eluded me. If the backing is joined in the hoop, then the question is how to join two blocks together with the raw edges. To show what I mean, the completed block on the left looks complete with the piecing and the quilting. The block top is created directly on the embroidery machine, coupled with the batting and the backing is slipped underneath the hoop, right before the final quilting. The quarter inch seam all around allows for the block to be joined with others…and this is where the question comes in…how does one hide the raw 1/4″ seams?  The block has stippling and a feathered quilt motif, which is directly in the center. It is this feathered quilt motif which becomes the key in joining the front and back side of the block together. On the right is the picture of the back side of the block…which is minus the stippling.

Aha! Did the light bulb go on? If you look carefully at the picture of the front of the block, you will see that the feathered quilt motif is approximately 1/2″ away from the seam line. That is the answer to my quest! Okay, I see this puzzled look. Not to worry, I will explain. The quilt backing fabric for the block is slipped in after the stippling is completed, and the machine then stitches out the feathered quilt motif, leaving a 1/2″ space to the seam line. This 1/2″ is  helpful in stitching two blocks together without showing the raw edges.  The front sides of the blocks are joined leaving the backing free, which is folded onto itself and a stitch in the ditch, or a fancy stitch then joins the top and the back together!

Electric Tankless Water Heaters Guide

Electric Tankless Water Heaters Guide

Electric Tankless Water Heater Systems are usually smaller compared to gas fired ones, and are usually installed at the point of use as augmentation to conventional boilers or as the only source of hot water.

The image below describes a typical electric tankless water heater system. As can be seen, water is heated as they flow thru piping sounded by electric heating element. There are no special ventilation requirements.

Electrical requirements change according to the heater’s size. Electrical wiring and circuit breaker should fit the heater’s Amperage requirements, and may require replacement. You should consult a qualified licensed electrician.

There are several reasons for preferring an electric tankless hot water heater system over gas fired one:

  • System size – electric tankless hot water heaters are smaller than gas fired ones.
  • Ventilation – tankless electric water heater require no ventilation and can be installed indoors, inside a cabinet etc.
  • Gas piping – not all homes are equipped with gas, however all homes are connected to the power grid. Electric tankless water heater is suited for both.
  • Operating Costs – depending where you live, tankless electric water heaters may be cheaper to operate due to gas vs. electricity pricing differences.
  • Environmentalism – while burning gas produces green-house gases, electricity may come from a clean source, making tankless electric hot water heater the preferred choice.

Although most electric tankless hot water heaters may be too small to be installed as a whole house system, they may be connected in parallel to form a bigger unit, as can be seen below.

Despite the fact that all electric tankless water heaters are based on the same core concept of heating water as they flow through an electric heating element, there is a huge variation in technologies available, ranging from rudimentary on/off models, to heaters that offer automatic thermostatic control regardless of flow rates and the incoming water temperature.
Accordingly, there are big differences in performance too.

There are four types of tankless water heater electric systems you may come across, and it’s worth getting to know the right terminology.

Single Point
The most basic type and often the cheapest one, the term “single point” or “single point application” refers to a small tankless electric water heater which is connected to one fixture only. Usually these heaters have only on/off capability.

Here are some examples of Single Point Electric Tankless Water Heaters:
Eemax Single Point Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Stiebel Eltron Single Point Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Thermostatic tankless electric water heaters factor in the incoming water temperature and heat only as needed in order to reach the desired outgoing water temperature.

They are suited to handle both cold and warm input feeds, and therefore typically serve as boosters for temperature loss from long pipe runs or as augmentation/backup for solar water heating systems.

They are also good for applications where precise temperature control is essential such as schools, hospitals and laboratories.

Most thermostatic units are capable of:

  • Maintaining +/-0.5°F accuracy.
  • Achieving full, pre-selected outlet temperature within 10 seconds after activation.
  • Maintaining consistent temperature.

Here are some examples of Thermostatic Electric Tankless Hot Water Heaters:
Eemax Thermostatic Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Stiebel Eltron DHC-E 8 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Stiebel Eltron DHC-E 10 Electric Tankless Water Heater

Flow Controlled
The “Flow Controlled” range of electric water heaters are ideally suited to serve two points like two sinks, or a sink and a shower in close proximity, and are recommended only for cold water feeds.

The “Flow Controlled” feature basically means that once the heater reached its full heating capability, any increase in demand (e.g. another faucet is opened) will trigger the heater to restrict its flow rate so the output temperature does not drop below the desired setting.

This means that instead of providing colder water the system provides less hot water but maintains that water’s temperature.

Here are some examples of Flow Controlled Electric Tankless Water Heaters:
Eemax flow controlled Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Type Two
“Type Two” (nowadays, Type Three is being introduced) simply refers to the bigger, newer more sophisticated units, ideally suited for residential showers, entire bathrooms, smaller houses, condos, summer cabins and apartments.

They are most likely thermostatically controlled, and often have also a flow control restricting feature as well.

They will also accommodate industrial boosters, higher flow rate applications such as wash down stations and higher flow rate accurate temperature control applications such as photo labs.

Here is an example of Eemax Series Two Tankless Water Heater Electric:
Eemax Series Two Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Buying an Ergonomic Office Chair

Buying an Ergonomic Office Chair

How many times have you heard that you need to sit straight and keep your head up? This piece of common wisdom is not to be disregarded. The only way for you to remain in a perfect sitting position is to keep your feet flat on the floor, your back straight and your head up. No slouching! Easier said than done, I can almost hear you say, especially if you’re grinding 9-5. Fortunately, there is a way to keep the proper posture for longer periods of time. If you take regular breaks to stretch and choose a quality office chair, your posture will improve dramatically.

A good chair often comes at a hefty price, but there are inexpensive gems to be found. What you need to be looking for is that all of the critical components of the chair be fully adjustable i.e. the seat can be raised or lowered, the tilt also and you should be able to slide it back and forward.

Another thing to consider is the armrests.  If your chair has them, they should be fully customizable; you should be able to move them out of the way, lower or raise them.  The critical part of the chair, and one that you should pay attention to the most, is the back of the chair. It has to be adjustable in order to suit your figure perfectly. It should be tilted forward at the bottom to provide the necessary lumbar support.

One more thing to consider is the length of your legs. You should adjust the seat so that your feet are flat on the floor. If your workstation is too high, I suggest getting a decent footrest. There should also be a couple of inches worth of space between your calves and the edge of the seat.

Finally, it is hard to remember to take a break every hour or so. What you can do is install a timer on your desktop or use a cool little application called stretch break. It will work wonders for your productivity.

What To Consider When You Want To Buy a Ceiling Fan

What To Consider When You Want To Buy a Ceiling Fan

Bladeless Ceiling Fan Design Types

Bladeless Ceiling Fan Design Types

When summer arrives, many people wish they had something to shield them from the heat. People are usually grateful for any whiff of breeze that blows their way. In their homes, people use various methods to keep their rooms cool. Some people use air conditioning and others use ceiling fans. If you want your ceiling fan to serve you well, you should buy the best that the market can offer. When you want to buy ceiling fan, you must consider many things to ensure that you get the best.

Buying a ceiling fan involves thinking about the safety of anyone who uses the fan. For this reason, you would hesitate to buy a propeller fan because of its revolving blades. If your ceiling is very high, you should have no fear about the fan. However, if the ceiling is too low, consider using other means of cooling yourself other than a ceiling fan. Alternatively, you can mount a bladeless fan if you have to buy ceiling fan.

A ceiling fan can efficiently keep your room cool but it can cause you to pay high power bills. The electric power that runs a fan can be consumed more than usual especially if you leave the fan on for a long time. Running a fan continuously during summer is a normal thing in many households. Therefore, you should consider buying a fan that is energy efficient. The amount of energy a fan uses is usually written on the label or package that comes with it. If you are not sure about doing a correct comparison between the fans, you should ask the shop attendant to assist you.

You should also buy ceiling fan that will not cause health issues. Some fans not only provide cool air but also blow dust within the room. If you inhale the dust, you could be in danger of contracting respiratory diseases. These diseases are caused by microscopic organisms present in dust. You therefore need to buy a fan that blows as little dust as possible. Experts believe that bladeless fans are the more preferable option to propeller fans.

A ceiling fan should also improve the appearance of your home, particularly the ceiling. Some ceiling fans are designed with the aesthetic appeal of your home in mind. Traditional fans had the appearance of a helicopter propeller on your ceiling. Some fans like the bladeless ones can even be mistaken for other objects. Sometimes, you could pass them without noticing that you have a fan on your ceiling.

The ability of bladeless fans to blend nicely with the background of the ceiling makes it a preferable choice for many homeowners. When you decide to buy ceiling fan, ensure that it is able to serve the whole room. Some fans produce hot and cold spots because their effect cannot reach the whole room.

If you want to ensure that you will get value for your money when you buy ceiling fan, you should consider buying a fan that has a warranty. In that way, you can get a replacement if the ceiling fan breaks down or does not work well.

Cycling – The Best Way to Get Around

Cycling – The Best Way to Get Around

Most urban dwellers like myself have numerous options for how to get around. Many have their own cars, motorcycles, or scooters. And a lot of people take public transportation such as the bus, the subway, or tramlines. All of these are viable modes of transportation, but cycling has a number of special benefits that make it the best form of transportation.

One benefit of cycling is that you can get exercise. Exercising several times a week is essential for good long term health, but most people make excuses and ways to avoid exercising. Many people will buy a gym membership and stop going. Others will play sports but fail to schedule times with the other players. Many people go jogging but take a day off. Then the next day they take another day off. And the next day they take another off.

The problem here is that these people intend to exercise, but they need to incorporate exercise into their routine so it is unavoidable and impossible to resist. Commuting to work by bicycle is the perfect way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Because there are no excuses. If you are tired after work, you still have to ride home. You can’t escape the exercise you have committed to.

Another reason to cycle around town is that it’s affordable. You don’t have to pay for gas, and in this day and age of high oil prices that is a huge benefit. You generally don’t have to pay for parking either. This depends on the city, but in many cities you can just lock up your bike on the strike or a bike rack for free. The key to affordability is to avoid having your bike stolen, so I recommend you invest in a good bike lock.

Another benefit of bike riding is flexibility. If you want to ride along the beach to work, you can. If you want to take a shortcut through a park or narrow lane, you can. You can walk your bicycle on the sidewalk. You can’t do those things with a car, and of course not on public transportation. Sometimes that variety and flexibility of taking whatever route you want can take some of the stress out of your daily commute.

I own a car because I like to take road trips and head up into the mountains. But when getting around the city, my bike is so much more convenient and enjoyable than all of the other transportation methods. So if you don’t have a bike, make sure to get one and start enjoying your commute.

Buying a Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet

Buying a Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet

buying a bluetooth motorcycle helmet

If you are an experienced biker or even a new biker, you may need to buy a new and protective helmet. Buying a new motorcycle helmet, the helmet selections for you to choose from would be overwhelming. There are many details that are important to look for before buying it. Buying a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet becomes quite popular recently. It’s related to the usage of technology for this helmet. Moreover, you need to look for the D.O.T certification when buying the helmet. This sticker indicates the safety standard of the product. It must be able to absorb certain impact’s force to the head.


Buying the Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet – What to Consider

When Buying a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet, you must choose the one that can prevent penetration. It should also have the fastening system that can deal with impacts when crashing. The next detail would be the ability of your helmet to stay on the head. Wearing a comfortable and fit helmet is important, but you need to choose the helmet that can stay on your head in accident event. You can find out about its safety by fastening the chinstrap. Later, you should give the push on the chin. If the helmet still comes off and your chin hurts, keep choosing for different helmets.

Checking for Its Quality

If you shop for Bluetooth Motorcycle helmet, then you should pay attention about the comfort. It can make the difference in the future. Buying a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet is a daunting task. Therefore, you must be attentive before spending any money on particular product. Your friends, family, or others would give recommendation about the choices of comfortable helmets. Each of helmets affects differently to people’s head. There’s a comfortable product for everyone. You need to try different choices of helmet before picking the one to purchase. It requires profound attention before buying particular product that you need.

When Buying a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet, fit is important to pay attention as well. It should stay on your head. It is perhaps a little bit tight when you pull it on. If you feel that the helmet is easily pull on, it won’t fit and can be noisy as it should. The interior part of this helm will compress and settle to mold on your head. Therefore, you must choose a helmet that’s little bit tighter than too loose. Another thing that you should consider when buying motorcycle helmet with Bluetooth is about the distortion. If you find troublesome problems of the face shield, you should look for alternatives.

Hawk H500 Flat Black Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet

bluetooth motorcycle helmetAre you someone who likes to take a long ride on a motorcycle? If you are, then you must have heard about Bluetooth-integrated helmets. This new kind of motorcycle helmets is combining wireless technologies sported by smart phones and tablets with the conventional head protector for motorcycle riders. Even though it sounds not too sophisticated compared with other wearable gadgets such as smart watches, Bluetooth helmets can become a great companion in taking your bike to the highway. There are more than a few products of Bluetooth helmet, but we recommend you the H500 Bluetooth Motorcycle helmet by Hawk.

Main Feature

Why do we recommend you this particular Bluetooth motorcycle helmet? Hawk H500 Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet  is a great deal for those who want to have a full mobility and convenience in enjoying the long road to the middle of nowhere to have a heartwarming campfire. Alone or together with others, the wearer of this helmet can utilize the Bluetooth 2.0 technology inside it to do a lot of commands with a simple and easy to use control. If it is disconnected from your mobile device, you can use the Bluetooth intercom with others who also wear a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet. With 100 foot of range availability, you and other riders do not have to ride side by side.

Even when you are riding alone, you will not be bored since Hawk H500 Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet  is just like a wireless headset. Connect it to your mobile phone and enjoy some accompaniment music or even listen to road directions provided by GPS or maps applications. Not to forget, you can pick up calls on your phone without having to pull over and take your helmet off. The battery would be lasting enough to accommodate 8 hours of total talk time and 110 hours of standby time.


  • DOT standard helmet
  • Hawk helmets are already approved by DOT standard, so their quality and safety is not doubted at all.
  • Anti-scratch and anti-fog
  • Unless having a hard impact, the material used for Hawk H500’s visor is scratch-resistant. Its mechanism also allows the helmet’s users to see the road clearly without being annoyed by fogging caused by the steam from their breath.
  • Removable and washable inner lining – Say goodbye to the days when you complain about your helmet’s smell. Hawk H500’s inner lining can be taken off and washed properly.

Reviews and conclusion

In case you like to hear what people said about products before you buy them, these are some uttered opinions of those who have purchased Hawk H500 Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet . Some happily stated that both of the audio input and output works just well since the tested phone call quality is does not have any significant distortions except from the microphone, which makes the wearer sounds like driving in a tunnel. Meanwhile, some also complained on the brand’s return policy since it only accepts delivered products in unused state. However, the overall of the helmet is just fine, so you should purchase Hawk H500 Bluetooth Motorcycle helmet which is available for $99.95 in Amazon.

O’Neal Fastrack II Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet

bluetooth motorcycle helmetWho says digital technology cannot get along with biking? Bluetooth motorcycle helmet is the proof that you can migrate some functions of your mobile devices, be it a smart phone or a tablet, into your head protector. Say goodbye to those times when you put your earphones on beneath your helmet just to listen to some music for a company. With Bluetooth-enabled helmets, you don’t need to buy any headset or Bluetooth earpiece because both of them are already integrated inside the helmets. Since there are many manufacturers that sell Bluetooth motorcycle helmet, you might be confused in choosing one. For that reason, we will introduce you to O’Neal Fastrack II Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet , which is already famous because of its manufacturer.

Main Feature

O’Neal Fastrack II is the second Bluetooth helmet series from O’Neal and it comes with the BLINC Bluetooth system which uses A2DP connection. Other than general Bluetooth functions, O’Neal Fastrack II can be utilized as a one-to-one intercom as well. Even though it is not like other Bluetooth helmets that can make a group call with up to 16 users at the same time, O’Neal Fastrac II’s BLINC system has an ability to control all audio streaming during connection with a Bluetooth-enabled device or another helmet. For example, when you pick up a call when an audio file is being played, it will automatically pause and resume at the same point after you close the call.

If both the driver and the passenger use O’Neal Fastrack II, they can talk through the intercom while none of their personal audio stream is synced with one another’s helmet. This way, both can listen to their own music files without interrupting others’. Apart from calls and listening to music, you can also use your GPS application in the audio mode; enabling you to listen to turn-by-turn road directions and perform voice command.


  • Fiberglass shell
  • O’Neal Fastrack II is constructed with fiberglass, which makes it sturdy yet light at the same time to provide security and comfort
  • DOT approval
  • The quality of its security is undoubted
  • Removable fabric interior
  • The paddings inside the helmet can be removed and washed to maintain its cleanliness
  • Tuned Spoilers -The helmet’s spoiler is a bit bigger than any other spoilers in order to reduce certain airflow at the back of the helmet that usually causes excessive noise in the interior

Reviews and Conclusion

O’Neal is a famous helmet manufacturer, but if you are not familiar with it, you might wonder why people choose to use O’Neal helmets; particularly Fastrack II. The main satisfaction of customers is addressed to the convenience of BLINC Bluetooth system. Others also stated that the design is great and the anti-fog visor really works like what is said in the promotion. However, there are also complaints about its spoiler that does not give the quietness that is promised. Because of that, there is also a complaint on its poor audio volume. However, the overall is still good; and if you are interested to try it by yourself, O’Neal Fastrack II Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet is available in Amazon for $ 163.05.

Hawk H510 Black Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet

bluetooth motorcycle helmetTechnology never ceases to improve, and in these modern days, technologies that are used to only exist in mobile devices and personal computers also reach out to other everyday utilities. There are already smart house appliances, smart cars, and smart watches. Combining digital technology with things that people use or wear every day is not impossible and it obviously brings a lot of change into how people live and do their activities. Bluetooth motorcycle helmet might not be something that is not completely new, but it is still uncommon for many people.

Physically, there is nothing different from Bluetooth motorcycle helmet, but it is equipped with a Bluetooth unit; enabling you to connect with other devices with the same capability. Hawk H510 Black helmet is one of the most famous Bluetooth-enabled helmets in the market, and we are going to introduce it to you.

Main Feature

Hawk H510 Bluetooth Motorcycle helmet is equipped with the standard Bluetooth 2.0 with an intercom capability to communicate between drivers with the same ability. Users can utilize the intercom up to 100 feet, which is a huge benefit for those who like to drive in groups. If the intercom communication is not far enough, the Bluetooth unit in Hawk H510 can transform it into a hands free headset for your mobile device. Any actions, including picking up calls and controlling the Bluetooth connection, only need one button on the left side of the helmet’s chin strap.

The Bluetooth unit in Hawk H510 is powerful enough to have an 8-hour long call and it can stay alive until 110 hours in standby mode. As an addition to the phone call connecting ability, you can stream any sound from your mobile device into the high-quality speakers inside the helmet. Sharing music or voice directions from your phone’s GPS application with your road companies will definitely give an experience that you have never had before.


  • DOT certified
  • Hawk H510 helmet products are already tested and approved for its quality
  • Multi Density EPS construction
  • Apart from its powerful thermoplastic material, Hawk H510 is also shock-resistant in order to protect your head from concussion if there is an accident
  • Anti-scratch and anti-fog visor
  • Your vision through the visor will always be clear from little scratches or steam caused by your breath
  • Removable lining -The comfort paddings can be removed and washed so that your helmet is always clean and does not stink

Reviews and Conclusion

You are intrigued by the features that Hawk H510 Bluetooth Motorcycle helmet has, but maybe you would like to hear what people say about this convenient product on the internet. Many customers expressed how much they are satisfied with this helmet. The most common compliments are about the quality of the Bluetooth connection and audio from the speaker. While some found that the manual book is not very complete and the interior is a bit tight for their size, Hawk H510’s overall performance is deemed superb. Grab it now in Amazon for $99.95!

IV2 Model 953 Helmet + SENA SMH5 Bluetooth Unit

bluetooth motorcycle helmetThese days, we are in a world full of wireless digital technologies. These technologies are not just bound to be implemented in mobile communication devices or personal computers anymore, but in many other things such as home appliances and wearable utilities as well. For those who live to ride and ride to live, Bluetooth technology is now available on motorcycle helmets. This combination of daily head protector and wireless data transfer creates a great breakthrough in riding experience. If choosing one is confusing for you, we would like to introduce IV2 Model 953, a high-quality casual & sport helmet that comes with SENA SMH5 Bluetooth device.

Main Feature

As a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet, IV2 Model 953 comes with leading qualities that cannot be found in the same products from other manufacturers, both in its safety and convenience. While many others still implement Bluetooth 2.0 in their helmets, IV2 uses Bluetooth 3.0 that is faster and can be used from a further distance. SENA SMH5 unit enables the wearer to communicate with other Bluetooth motorcycle helmet from up to 400 meters away and can make a simultaneous intercom call for up to 4 users. This feature is a big advantage if you and your friends or family often hit the road for a trip.

Obviously, the SENA SMH5 unit can also pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices other than helmets. Just connect it with any smart phones or tablets and you will be able to answer or make calls, listen to some tunes, and get dictated road directions from GPS. Since you can pair up to 4 other helmets, you can share whatever you listen to inside your helmet. Not only on the road, IV2 Model 953 also fit for those riding on snowmobiles. A separate anti-fog visor is available to be purchased. This visor enables you to see everything clearly without any of your breathing steam.


  • DOT certified
  • IV2 Model 953’s quality is already tested for it safety
  • One hand flip-up system
  • Detaching the chin strap and converting the helmet into open-face is made easier
  • Retractable anti-scratch sun visor
  • Driving on sunny days is comfortable for your eyes
  • Washable paddings
  • The inner lining can be removed and washed in a proper method
  • Advanced ventilation system
  • There are 10 points of air vents, which will reduce the heat inside the helmet during hot days

Reviews and Conclusion

The features and specifications that are already mentioned sound great and intriguing. However, you might want to know what others feel after using the helmet. There are not much words about this product, but some mention its comfort; especially from the 10 point air vents and its lightness, while at the same time its thermoplastic sturdiness is ready to give protection at any moment. There are only some complaints about the anti-fog visor that does not work properly and the fact that the product does not come with its hook, thus it is unable to be left on the bike with security. If you feel that this is a right helmet for you, it is available for $99.95 in Amazon.

HJC CL-MAXBT II Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet

hjcTaking a long drive on a motorcycle can be an activity that is fun and boring at the same time. First, it can be fun if the road is fairly empty and you enjoy the view; especially if you are passing by natural sceneries that you do not see every day in the city. However, it can be boring if you feel alone or the road is not enjoyable at all when you are driving on busy hour through the downtown. Thanks to technology development, Bluetooth motorcycle helmets are not just some science-fiction movies fantasy now, and you can actually get one for yourself. If you are not sure which product will give the best quality, we recommend you to try HJC CL-MAXBT II Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet.

Main Feature

HJC CL-MAXBT II Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet comes with ChatterBox XBI2-H Plus Wireless Intercom which is empowered with A2DP Bluetooth 2.0. This intercom device is at its best advantage if you have some driving companions who wear any Bluetooth headsets with the capability that is not too far from ChatterBox; since it enables you to talk with up to 16 people simultaneously from half a mile away between each other. It also features noise-suppression microphone for a better audio output quality.

Not a fan of going on a trip together? ChatterBox XBI2-H Plus also serves as a wireless hands free headset, which means that you can use it with your mobile devices. When you are in that regular Sunday drive to relieve your job stress, just connect your phone to ChatterBox and shuffle the tracks to accompany you. Looking for an address you are not familiar with or a traffic-free route does not require you to keep an eye on the screen since you can use voice dictated GPS.


  • Flexible chin bar
  • HJC CL-MAXBT II helmets’ chin bar is fully adjustable and can be released easily
  • Advanced Channelling Ventilation System -A front-to-back air ventilations that completely extinguish heat and humidity inside the helmet; especially during sunny days
  • Bioceramic Nylex interior – The helmet’s interior is very comfortable and can be removed for cleaning purpose
  • DOT certification
  • HJC CL-MAXBT II helmets’ safety and quality is approved
  • QuickSlide system – The face shield can be detached quickly and easily without any tools
  • Advanced Injection Molded Lightweight Polycarbonate Shell
  • HJC CL-MAXBT II helmets boast a great durability with a light material

Reviews and Conclusion

In order to complete your consideration about the helmet after reading all of those interesting features, you might want to know how good it is in the eyes of its customers. Many compliments are addressed to the helmet’s structure and ventilation system. Some stated that HJC CL-MAXBT II’s interior is really quiet because of its noise reduction. From outside, the ventilations seem to be insignificant, but the coolness can be felt during the usage. However, there are also some who complained that it is not truly lightweight. If you decide to buy it, HJC CL-MAXBT II Bluetooth motorcycle helmet is available for $149.99 in Amazon.