Thursday, April 24, 2014

Get things done with Any.DO

This post is in NO way sponsored.  I found and fell for this app all on my own, and want to share the love with you:

As the self-proclaimed Queen of To-Do Lists, I've sampled my share of productivity apps (only to serve as long-term lists. I still use handwritten lists for short-term to-do's!).  I had been using Clear for a while and liked how simple it was, but wanted something new for the New Year.   I downloaded a few and tried out Any.DO and fell. in. love.  Four months later, I'm still in the honeymoon phase. This is the real deal.

Image from

"Make thinks happen" with this to-do list app!

The app is simple enough that it can stay super simple, but also has some useful features for those who want an added layer of organization to their list.  You can sort tasks by either due date or by category.

Due date is optional and set by you.  It comes with four built in timelines: today, tomorrow, upcoming, and someday, and you can easily drag and drop an item from one section to the next if you change your mind on when a task should be completed.  You can also choose to set a more specific due date, like "January 17th at 6:45pm," or even a due location by enabling GPS.  What's unique is that, each day, the items shift to where they belong.  "Tomorrow" becomes "Today", and sometimes even "upcoming" becomes "tomorrow", and so on.

To sort by category, you can choose to file each task into a "folder," like "Personal" or "Work."  You can create your own, as well. Those are the only two folders I have right now, because I'm more excited about the timeline feature than the folder feature.  Doesn't matter what category it is, to me.  It all has to get done,  anyway!

And with, it does.  Each morning, the app reminds you to "Take a moment to plan your day," which is fun.  You can pull this up at any point in the day, too, by clicking the little dots in the lower right corner.  It will present you with each task on your list, one at a time, and you can respond whether it's been completed already, whether it is urgent, or if you need to postpone it to a later date.

You can also make recurring tasks and set a schedule for their repetition.  This is great for establishing new healthy habits!  For example, you could set a daily task to flossWrite Three Good Things, fill up your water bottle, or stretch. You could also set a weekly task and reminder to do something like clean your makeup brushes.

While I do love a good hand-written list (each day, really), it's nice for my long-term task list to be fluid, to let me change the order and update as needed.  It's simply to re-arrange the list to suit your needs.  It's also SO convenient that it's with me on my phone, wherever I go, so the minute something comes up, I can add it to my list.  Then, I can cross off one thing at a time, and move on to what's next.  The joy of swiping a task completed motivates me to get it all done!

When you complete a task, the app keeps track of how many completed tasks you check off, and you can earn "Kiip Rewards" (real coupons/discount codes) for completing tasks! Win!

If you're looking for a good productivity app, I highly recommend Any.DO!  

How do YOU get your "to-do" list done?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Drink Water

As someone who carries around water with her at all moments of the day, I'm surprised I haven't shared this dare sooner.

Dare you to drink (more) water.  Water is, literally, a primary element of life, and proper hydration is the key to health.  Interestingly, this is one piece of advice that seems to be unanimously agreed upon, no matter what type of health professional you ask.  It's almost too obvious; of course you want to drink water!  Of course it's good for you.  Of course it's pretty much all you need to be drinking.

If you're already a water fiend like I am, then ditch this post and go down your bottle.  If you're not a fan of water, or think you could benefit from drinking more water, read on:

Why?  There are plenty of benefits to drinking water:
  • Hydration. Duh.  Our bodies--which are 60% water--are constantly losing that water, so it's important to replace replace replace!
  • Increased energy. Our cells require water to function, and thus so do we. Drink up!
  • Natural detoxification. Water enables our bodies to remove waste via urination, perspiration, and defecation.  Similarly...
  • Improved complexion.  This may be related to the detox factor, but however it works, water helps keep our skin looking great!
  • Digestion. From top to bottom, water makes it all possible, from top (water-based saliva) to bottom (helps digest soluble fiber, which makes stools easier to pass)
  • Weight loss.  This is partially a side effect of all of the other benefits--increased energy, improved digestion, etc.  Plus, there's the bonus of not mistaking thirst for hunger.  
  • FREE. Water is FREE!  How awesome does it feel to not have to pay for a drink (soft, hard, caffeinated, or otherwise)?  Pretty awesome.

Based on my personal experience, water keeps things working and helps relieve whatever isn't.  
There's a reason that any cold or flu diagnosis is followed by "drink plenty of fluids."  Similarly, whenever I feel a headache coming on, my first line of defense is to drink more water.  It's that simple.  My headaches usually only come when I haven't had any water for an extended period of time.  You may notice that drinking water helps relieve some of your trouble spots, no medication needed!

Water can also provide a boost of energy.  When you're feeling sluggish, try reaching for a glass of water!  Instant energy, sans caffeine or sugar.

How much water?  What's the sweet spot for water consumption?

Most sources seem to recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but more folks are beginning to advise a more personalized approach.  If you're already eating tons of water-dense foods, then maybe you won't be so thirsty.  If you're working out intensely on a daily basis, then you may be need more water to replace what you sweat out.  We're all unique, and so are our water needs.

So test it out and don't worry about easing in.  Drink when thirsty, and don't when full.  If you're like my father who barely drank any water at all, follow his lead and ease in with a single glass at a time.  Swap just one soda for one water.  Take it one glass and one day at a time.

How?  Tips for increasing your daily intake of water:
  • Keep a glass by your desk
  • Keep a filtered water bottle in your bag (I love [this one by Camelbak]) -- a filter makes it easy to refill anywhere, anytime
  • Set reminders in your phone to refill that glass/bottle and drink up!
  • Keep a glass on your nightstand to drink first thing in the morning
  • Make a rule to have a glass of water before any other drink (before, say, an alcoholic beverage or a soda with lunch) 

Are you one of those people who "doesn't like the taste of water"?  (Which I always found ridiculous, because those same people often claim water has no taste...)

More Tricks: If you're NOT a big fan of water, try these ways to consume water in disguise:
  • Tea (hot or cold) 
  • Infused water, or simply sprinkled with a fruit of some kind 
  • Carbonated water.  You can make your own at home with this. 
  • Water/ice in a smoothie 
  • Fruits and vegetables have high water content; yes, that counts! 
Women's Health Magazine has other tips--10 Ways to Drink More Water--to help you up your water intake, including recommendations for useful reminder apps and cool filters.

So go ahead!  Pour yourself a glass!  

How do YOU maintain proper hydration? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Features

Ah, as I forewarned at New Year's, this would be a stressful, BUSY spring for me!  Still popping in to share some things that have caught my attention, and I dare you to read:


This break-up letter to Trader Joe's expresses exactly the same reasons
I stopped shopping there.  I used to love the adventure, but really can't
justify eating most of their products anymore.

The MS Society broadens its scope by investing $29 million
in new research regarding nutrition and lifestyle factors
in MS development.  Learn more [here].

Carla Birnberg asks, "When is okay to lie to your child?"
As always, Carla's parenting inspires me. [Read here]

Are YOU a healthy woman?
Stefani Ruper offers "10 Signs You're a Healthy Woman".
Dare you to see if you pass the test - and consider what to
improve if something seems off!

I've been eyeing this "100 Happy Days" website and challenge, 
and I'm totally into it. Dare you to. 

Jim Gaffigan's rant on health trends on Conan is pretty hilarious.
He picks on kale first, but then I especially like the cyclical
milk-rant he goes on beginning at 2:42.
Click here to watch in full or just watch the milk bit below:

Cannot wait for this movie to come out:


In other news, I've been doing BODYPUMP (click for full review) a few times over the past couple weeks, and I still really like it! As always, the instructors vary, but I always walk away having fatigued my muscles with a full-body workout.  Doing this once or twice each week will keep me going for a while, after taking most of the Jan-March season off from intense strength training.  BODYPUMP is the perfect way to get back to it!

And... what else?  I've been reading; follow along on GoodReads.  Been oil cleansing.  Been oil pulling.  Been getting outside.

Happy almost-sorta-back-and-forth-spring!