So, here it goes. My first review of a baby product.
What is it?
The Owlet Smart Sock 2 is the second version of a sock that measures a babies heart rate, oxygen levels, and tracks their sleep. I was a little hesitant to put a lot of faith into a device such as this, but I will tell you right off the bat, I can’t imagine not having it.
At first, I didn’t think our newborn would care for having a device strapped to his foot all night long. And for all I know, he may not..he still isn’t talking to us at three-weeks-old. Weird.
But he really doesn’t fight it. It took a few nights to get it strapped on right, but after a couple of times, you get the hang of it.
The sock has a washable-fabric outer layer with a bulge from the heart rate sensor.
Who is it for?
In the box, it comes with three sizes of socks which are very easy to switch out as your baby grows. The socks are made to fit babies from 6 pounds to 25 pounds and up to 18-months in age. Out of the box, in our first week home, we had to go up to the second size. So, if it feels like it is too small for your baby, it probably is.
Base and Battery
Also in the box, is a base station. This is what communicates with the sock through bluetooth. The bluetooth range is up to 100 feet. I could not verify that distance but I think it is safe to say, it is correct.
One downside with the base is the light. The light has a purpose but boy is it annoying. When all is well, the base station lights up green. ALL NIGHT LONG. There is no option to turn this light off. I was wrong. Thanks to a couple of readers, you can dim the light by pressing and holding the base’s button. The reason for the lights is to notify you if there is an issue with heart rate, oxygen level, or disconnection. Along with the light, are the sounds. The sound I completely understand. It is ear-piercing and will wake you out of your sleep. I would really like if you could at least dim the light. Again, I was wrong on this.
The base is also how you charge the sock. In the box, you receive a micro-USB cable. To charge the sock, just plug it in every morning after taking it off of your baby and you’ll never have to worry about a dead battery. Owlet does say that you’ll get 18 hours of battery, which is nice to know.
How it works
Here is where the “smarts” come in. Of course this sock has an app. The Owlet Care app, which works for iOS and Android, is where you will see all of your babies readings. From there, you can see their heart rate, oxygen levels and the sock’s battery.
If the sock detects that your babies oxygen levels drop below 80%, the base and app will notify you. Also, if your babies heart rate rises above 220 beats per minute (BPM) or drops below 60 BPM, it will notify you.
To dismiss any readings, the base has a button on the top that you can press. The only readings we have gotten so far is from a “disconnection”. This is usually when me or my wife are in the process of changing or feeding him in the middle of the night and when he is wiggling like a wild man.
Something Owlet also advertises is sleep tracking. I’m not impressed by it too much. It is nice to see when you put the sock on and roughly when he woke up. But with all of the intermittent “naps” throughout the night, it kind of renders this useless. Maybe once he is waking once or twice a night this will be a handy feature. Three weeks in, it isn’t a selling feature.
My wife and I can’t imagine not having the Owlet Smart Sock in our lives so far. It allows us to get some sleep when he is sleeping. And we need it. We are still learning this whole parenting thing and this is not a substitute to pay attention to your child’s needs. So please, use common sense.
Disclaimer from Owlet : *The Smart Sock is an information-gathering product intended to assist in tracking the well-being of healthy babies from 6 to 25 pounds and up to 18 months of age. It is not a medical monitor or other medical device and is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, alleviate or prevent any disease or health condition or investigate, replace or modify anatomy or any physiological process. You should always follow pediatrician-recommended safe sleep practices when using the Smart Sock.
Disclaimer – Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.
But what I’m here to tell you about is the drop in price of the Apple Watch Series 3. Yes, this watch is now two years old but it is also only $199. For everything that the Apple Watch does, $199 is an amazing deal.
Fitbit just released their Fitbit Versa 2 smart watch. It starts at $199 as well but when comparing features and quality of materials, the Apple Watch is the winner.
Some of the benefits that the Fitbit has is the amazing battery life, the newly-updated app, and the sharing with friends. Just like Apple keeps us in their eco-system, Fitbit has been around for so long that there are and always will be the Fitbit faithful.
With all that said, the Apple Watch gives you a top-notch build and features that go beyond just your normal step-tracker. And yes, it does that too.
My wife, mom, and sister all have the Series 3 and they dont have signs of slowing down. For $199, the Apple Watch Series 3 gets you a great smartwatch, an extremely accurate fitness device and a potential life-saver.
When I started this blog I never thought I would be writing about an Apple credit card. But, here we are. I have been using the newly-released Apple Card over the last week and a half all without using a physical card.
With that being said, I love the software part of this “card”. I haven’t even activated the physical titanium card yet. I have solely been using my phone via Apple Pay when using the Apple Card.
The layout within the Wallet app on the iPhone is very cool. It breaks down where you have been spending money and also changes the color of the virtual card based on your spending habits. To no one’s surprise, my entire card is an orangish color because it is all mainly food…anyways…when you pay off the card it will go back to its crisp white color within your Wallet app.
Apple’s goal with the Apple Card is to make the user more aware of how credit cards work. Now, during the introduction, Apple said there would be no fees associated with the card, which is great. But that doesn’t mean you are free from interest rates. Depending on your credit, Apple will attach an appropriate interest rate to your card.
The reason everyone should be okay with using this card is because of the privacy that this card offers. I can take pictures all day and no one would know my card number. Only the user of the card can access the card number within their Wallet app on their iPhone. Even then, if you want a new card number, you can simply request a new one. As a reminder, when you use Apple Pay, your cards are protected even if the merchant has been compromised. I can confidently say that the Apple Card is the most secure credit card you can find.
Now, some disclaimers:
Do you have credit card debt? If so, do not apply for this card.
Do you keep a balance on your credit cards and pay interest? If so, do not apply for this card.
Are you an impulse shopper? If so, do not apply for this card. Especially for how easy it is to have a new credit line at your fingertips in minutes.
Do you already have a credit card that gives you points or cash back? Compare the points and see how you can manipulate each card for the most cash back and see if it is worth it to you.
Do you pay your balance on your credit card every month and love Apple? Do it! You will get 3% back on all Apple purchases through Apple. This also includes apps and your Apple Music subscription.
Alright folks, this is a credit card. Nothing more. Of course I love Apple and knew I was applying for this as soon as Apple announced it. This is not my primary card but I will only be using it for my Apple and Apple Pay purchases to maximize my cash back. I have another credit card that gives me similar or better cash back depending on the type of purchase.
Just be responsible. One day I will publish my draft talking bout debts and credit cards that has been sitting there since May. Until then, be smart about your credit and debts. To put it simply, if you can’t afford it, don’t buy.
It took me a little bit to wrap my mind around this one because I wasn’t satisfied with the news. Last week, Apple announced a new iPod touch. The iPod hasn’t been updated since 2015…and it shows.
The biggest updates are a new processor (the same A10 chip from the iPhone 7), new colors and updated storage options. Not very exciting.
I was so bullish on it at first because it is not for me.
But, this is the cheapest option to get someone into the Apple and iOS ecosystem. At $199, this allows kids, Android users, developers and those who are curious, join in the Apple fun. Also, as a designated music player, it isnt a bad idea to have something this small. With a 4-inch screen and super slim body, I can see the benefit of going out for a run with something like this.
Obviously previous generations of the iPod touch were selling enough for Apple to put out a new one. Just because I dont have a use for it, doesn’t mean that it is a lame product. So, there is a use for the new iPod touch.
Do you have any intentions on buying the new iPod touch? Let me know on twitter and Instagram!
It is unbelievable that this thing is 30 years old today.
I can’t remember at what age I got my Nintendo Game Boy but this was my introduction to the video game world.
Tetris, Mario, Ninja Turtles and Pokémon were just a couple of the games that I remember playing with my cousins. I remember my cousin bringing over the Game Boy camera and different friends sharing different accessories. It is amazing how far we have come.
This led me to the path of Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo Switch.
While I’m not a hardcore gamer, nor am I any good (ask my wife), I have always had video games in my life. So cheers Nintendo! And happy birthday Game Boy! Thanks for the memories.
I have seen people I follow and consider my peers gain success in their own ways and I can’t help be get a little jealous and envious of them for growing while I am not growing fast enough to my liking. This kind of thinking is how you get discouraged and throw in the towel. It isn’t healthy to always be looking how well others are doing and comparing yourself to them. If anything it will drive you insane.
Like Jeff, it is hard not to keep checking your growth on different platforms and comparing yourself to others. I think you have to ask yourself why you are doing something. What is your goal? When I had more time and just started the blog, I would reach out to individuals on twitter who had questions about products that I wrote about. I got a lot of clicks that way, made some more money and provided tons of value to people looking for answers. But that was also a lot of work. With work, comes results.
26 books may not sound like a lot to some readers but recently I heard, on a couple of different podcasts, that people struggle to even complete two books a year. Some people have a goal of 12 books a year and that was my starting point.
Reading 12 books was my overall goal for 2018. I committed to read 20 pages a day for the year. That comes out to around 600 pages a month which, depending on the book, varies how many books you will actually complete. I think most of the books I read were around 350 pages. So I was knocking out a book and a half to two books easily.
I kept a daily log, in Apple Notes, that showed how many pages I was behind or ahead as of the current date.
If I missed a day of reading, I would simply add 20 to my count that needed to be read. If I read over my 20 pages, I would subtract the difference from my total count that needed to be read. It was a simple way to keep track everyday.
2018 was a busy year. So I often got behind. In all honesty, I didn’t catch up on my reading until the beginning of December.
Making this something you have to do everyday may seem like a chore for some people. If that is the case, do not follow it because you will not enjoy what you are reading. You should want to read what you are reading or you are just wasting your time.
When my wife and I went on our honeymoon, our goal was to relax. We didn’t want to go on excursions or be too busy exploring. We wanted to chill. And that is what we did.
While in Jamaica, we both read a lot. Drinking some frozen vodka lemonades or Rum and Cokes by the pool and reading our next book was truly relaxing and we knocked out a lot of reading. With all of the time that goes into getting married, I was already behind on my reading. So this free week of doing nothing was a great way to catch up. Again, I’m not saying to spend your entire vacation reading but if it is something you enjoy doing, that is what vacation is for!
For 2019, I started using this app called Strides. It is a habit tracking app. After I do my reading for the day, I check off that I did it. It keeps track of how many days in a row that I have completed those specific task. I also have it set up to remind me at 8 PM every night if I have not completed the tasks that I have put in there. In the short amount of time that I have used it this year, I find it very useful.
People will often say that they do not have time to read (or whatever other thing you WANT to start). But if you really want to start with something, you have to make the time. It sounds cliche, but it is the truth. When I was getting behind on my reading in December, I woke up a little bit earlier to make sure I did my reading. Or if I knew my evening was booked, I made sure to wake up earlier to compensate for the lost time in the evenings. The biggest thing is, is that you have to want to do what you are attempting to do. With no motivation, nothing will ever get done.
All of this might sound silly and unnecessary, but it worked for me and kept me on track. The best thing I can tell you is to find a way that works for you, modify it as needed, then stick to it. Carve out that time to read what you have been planning to read for years. You got this!
Over the past month, I have been testing out the Gravity Lift wireless charger from the company [Fuse] Chicken. I have never used their products before but after using this wireless charger, they have made me a fan.