Omron Alvita Wireless Activity Tracker [Review]

I like wearable tech… I think that’s abundantly obvious if you follow me on any social channels. Or have read this site. Or know me in person. Or all of the above. So when I was asked if I wanted to receive an Omron Alvita to review I was excited to take a look!


So this tracker is a small device that you can clip on to yourself, or simply drop it in your pocket. It doesn’t require you to wear it on your wrist like many trackers out there. But it’s also very simple, it doesn’t track sleep like some devices. No notifications or extra bells/whistles. This is essentially a souped-up pedometer.


That’s not to say it doesn’t do that well… it functions very well in that regard. It gathers your steps as you move about your day. It resets itself each night so you don’t have to push any buttons to clear out the previous day. And it uses Bluetooth to talk with an app on your phone where you can store charts/graphs of your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly progress. It gives you an estimate of calories burned and distance traveled while wearing it.

It comes with the battery and two different back covers. One cover has a clip and the other is just smooth for carrying it in your pocket. The backs are very easy to change out as needed.


And I would definitely recommend changing it out if you’re not clipping it on to yourself. The device is small, but the clip is huge. At least, it feels huge in relationship to the actual tracker. And it is a little uncomfortable if you catch the clip at the wrong angle. Another downside of the clip is that it doesn’t seem to open very wide so clipping it on is a little tough on denim or thicker fabrics.


The other quirk was getting the screen to display your steps taken. The instructions tell you to shake it 2-3 times, but it kind of takes a good violent shaking to get the screen to wake up. Once it’s awake it’s easy to just tap on the screen to cycle through your steps, calories, distance and time of day. If you just leave it alone the screen will turn off after about 20 seconds, but you can just rest your finger on the screen for 2-3 seconds and that will turn off the display.

It syncs to the OmronFitness app and that performed reliably in all of my testing. I tapped sync in the app and it connected right away. Using the app you can keep all of your historical data… unlimited amounts of data. The tracker itself only holds 14 days of data, but combined with the app you can see a broad range of how you are moving over time.

Don’t judge, I forgot to put it on before I ran that morning and remembered to put it on for a productive day of sitting at a desk!

Tapping on any of the measurements in the app will open up an option to set a goal for it. So I tweaked this day and said my goal was 2000 steps just to see what it would do. Every step beyond the goal level was highlighted as yellow and I had a little medal hanging from the top as my reward for surpassing the goal. Hooray!

Wait… did I just advocate fudging your numbers?


I’d like to see the clip overhauled on future versions of this device, but I like the simplicity of the device. It works well and isn’t trying to deliver on too much. I think this would be a cool gift for someone who wants to move a little more and has a smartphone but isn’t necessarily a gadget-fiend. For a real data nerd or techie, it might be too basic to suit their taste!

Prices are all over the place online, on Omron’s own site it says the device is $45, but on Amazon you can snag it for $23. You can also find it in Walgreens stores.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Bombas socks

A few weeks ago I was sent some Bombas socks to review on the site. I was drawn to accept the offer for a few reasons: a) fun colors! and b) quality construction details and c) the awesome business model.


Let’s get the frivolity out of the way first… the colors. They have a collection called brights and the socks are… well… bright. I feel like I have a tendency to dress like Rainbow Bright when I run. I will wear an insanely bright sports bra, with a bright top, sometimes-bright shorts, and bright shoes. May as well have bright socks too, right? Sometimes things I’m wearing even match!

But for those of you who might want a little more subdued approach, they do have those options too. [Bombas women’s socksBombas men’s socks – Bombas kids’ socks]


According to their size chart, my foot was right on the cusp between sizes. I was sent both S and M to test, I think I actually preferred the S a little bit. But since I was right there on the edge, both worked!

The socks are comfy, I’ve had no problems with them bunching up or rubbing. In fact, I wore them for my half marathon last weekend and my feet came through fine. There are a lot of thoughtful features in these socks and the time spent to figure out how to make them great is evident when you see them.

The socks will run you about $11 a pair, but if you buy a multi-pack then you get a discount. The price point is on par with many premium sport socks. But here’s where the dollar value becomes worth so much more.


For every sock purchased, a sock is donated. Socks are the most requested item by homeless shelters! I was kind of surprised by that, but when you think about how hard we can be on socks and if you only had one pair… it’s going to be worn out pretty fast.

What’s even cooler is the donation sock gets a lot of attention too. It’s not like they just pass off a crappy tube sock and say, “Check! Sock donated!” Nope. And it’s not the same sock that we as the consumer are buying. They’ve crafted something better. As their website states:

we engineered a sock to specifically meet the needs of people who don’t have the luxury of a clean pair of socks every day.

The donation sock is dark in color so it doesn’t show dirt and wear as easily. It’s treated with a powerful anti-microbial to prevent fungus from growing in situations where washing often isn’t a viable option. The seams are stronger. Just reading all of those features makes me feel a little soft and mushy inside. (I’m going to admit, that I feel a little sentimental and sappy much easier since I had a child. Feel free to tease me.)

So while they did send me some socks for free to test, I’m super impressed with this Bombas. They make good socks that anyone would be happy with for their athletic or lounging around activities and they are doing something good. Because of that I’m going to sing their praises. 

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Cedar Half Marathon 2015 [Race Report]

This past Saturday I ran the Cedar Half Marathon in southern Utah. The race starts at nearly 8300 ft elevation and drops to 5800 feet. Meaning… fast, fun, downhill run!

Elevation profile for the Cedar Half Marathon

So of course, two days before the event I start to come down with a cold. Not a severe cold, a cold that was just annoying enough to need a decongestant so I can breathe, a slightly scratchy throat and a headache.

On Friday, I drove north with my kid in tow. It was our “girls trip” and I’m pretty sure she thought I was her personal request-line DJ. This cute little voice in the backseat kept piping up, “Play Let It Go now!” and then “First Time Forever please!” I kept trying to tell her we need to listen to the soundtrack straight through; I can’t switch that much while driving. But she didn’t agree with that. “You can do it, Mommy!”

We arrived in Cedar City, picked up my packet and then went over to the Relay for Life event happening in town to see my mom and her husband. We walked a few laps around the track and looked at the luminarias that were lining the track for those who have battled cancer. And my daughter got up her courage to try a big bounce-house-slide. It was pretty steep and tall for someone as little as her… it took about five attempts walking up to the slide before she did it!

Saturday morning I woke up at 4:30 AM… that’s 3:30 AM my time! I ate a Yummari bar, ate an applesauce pouch. Those two things have been pretty bulletproof for me for two races and all long runs for several months now. Then I took my mom’s car and drove to the finish line to catch a school bus to the start line.

It was chilly in town, even colder up the mountain. There were several fire pits around for runners to stand around and stay warm. I immediately hit the porta potty line, because that’s what you do at races! I milled about, shivered a little as the sun came up, before the group started to make their way up the canyon road a little ways to the official start line. I took my sweatshirt off, they told us all to GO, and we were off. I carried my sweatshirt with me for a little ways until I got back to the ranch where we hung out with the fires so it was easy for volunteers to grab and take away with them to donate.

I love this race; I’ve run it once before. I was supposed to run it last year, but flash flooding washed out part of the interstate between here and there and it would have more than doubled my drive time, and I wasn’t doing that. So I missed last year’s race, and I was eager to run the race again. But in the days leading up to the event I had a bad attitude. I was annoyed I caught a cold, I was annoyed thinking about what a hassle it is to do a race out of town and the associated arrangement. But it was fine. In fact, it was a better mommy/daughter road trip than any other I’ve done with her, and she loves the opportunity to play with her grandma.

A few weeks ago an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls aired, where he took James Marsden up a canyon. This is the canyon where the episode was shot. So sometimes you can see the road we ran down in that episode!




The race went pretty well. I ran smoothly; fueling was fine. The only trouble is that I was soooo…… thirsty…. the…. whole…. time…. A side effect of cold meds, they’re dehydrating. And the extra drinking made me require two pee breaks. That kind of sucked!

I crossed the finish line about 30 seconds slower than I ran the Parowan Half Marathon a month ago. It’s a good time; I should be happy with it but I just keep thinking the “What if I didn’t have a cold? What if I didn’t have to pee so much?” I hate that “What if” brain. So overall I am happy with it. And I just hope that someday the stars will align or everything will click or it will all come up smelling like roses or whatever cliche fits here… but someday I will have the perfect race.

Or I won’t, and this is the universe’s way of messing with my perfectionist’s brain and giving me a big HA HA!

The weeks leading up to this race I was feeling “Okay, just get through this race and you can take a break.” and I finished feeling like “More! Give me more! When’s the next one?!”

My child was happy to see me at the end, but she wasn’t that interested in staying around to snap photos!


Fall Wardrobe Wishing

I am terrible at dressing myself. Well, I’m perfectly capable of putting clothes on myself. But I never feel as put together as I perceive other people, especially when I venture into public. Telecommuting for a decade has turned me into a slob! I aspire to not look messy, but I also can’t put a polished look together. There’s also this part of my brain that gets confused… seeing dresses and skirts that I love but then I realize I’m not going to reach for those in my closet by default. And it would take a lot of reprogramming to change my brain in that regard.

I received a catalog for Eddie Bauer recently and I found myself flagging lots of items as potential fall wardrobe items. I just need fall weather, lots of $$ and discipline to actually put together an “outfit” as opposed to “just some clothes.” I think that involves accessorizing. 😛

Women’s Sweatshirt Crewneck Sweater – Stripe • Eddie Bauer • $60–70
Women’s Textured Knit Pullover • Eddie Bauer • $50
Women’s Novelty Crochet T-Shirt • Eddie Bauer • $40–45
Women’s Myriad Jogger Pants • Eddie Bauer • $80
Women’s Voyager II Pants – Curvy • Eddie Bauer • $90
Women’s Adventurer® Boyfriend Slim Ripstop Pants – Print • Eddie Bauer • $80
Women’s Boyfriend Slim Leg Cords • Eddie Bauer • $70–80
Women’s Tranquil Cargo Jogger Pants • Eddie Bauer • $29.99
Women’s Eddie Bauer Leather Moc • Eddie Bauer • $100
Women’s Eddie Bauer Ellensburg • Eddie Bauer • $100

You can probably tell that I also seriously lean toward comfy and cozy as my “look”.

Fall weather is on the horizon… Well, fall weather for the Las Vegas area. This morning I woke up to 70-degree temps! And most of the overnight lows in the foreseeable forecast have temps in the low 70’s and even a couple in the upper 60’s! And the predicted high is not a triple digit, and possibly we could be done with them for the year. (There is 97 in the forecast… but that is much better than 104 or 113!)

This weekend I ran a half marathon in southern Utah and it started up a canyon. I was actually shivering and wishing I had gloves. And that was actually really refreshing!

Is it feeling fall-ish where you are?

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