Tag Archives: 31 Days

Spotlight: 31 Days to a Better Understanding of Football

31 Days Series Spotlight

31 Days to a Better Understanding of Football

Kirsten – of My Cracked Conclusion – is writing a fun, well-thought-out look at the nuts and bolts of football for her 31 Days series. In addition, there are plenty of diagrams and graphics to demonstrate and add to the written explanations.

What I Have Learned

High school and college footballs have a white stripe across each end and pro footballs do not. Jersey numbers traditionally reflect the player’s position.

Favorite Post(s) So Far

The Running and Passing and Receiving posts are both full of explanations and diagrams of running and passing plays. Someone new to football would do well to bookmark these two for reference while watching a game (or study them ahead of time).

IMG_3327

Who Would Enjoy This Series

Kristen’s series is especially for people with little to no practical understanding of football. Her practical, easy-to-read explanations will not have readers drowning in jargon.

31 Days Blog Cheerleader

Disclaimer

In my self-designated role of unofficial 31 Days cheerleader, I am spotlighting some of my favorite series. The opinions shared are entirely my own and do not represent the bloggers I highlight. Also, I only know what the bloggers have posted thus far and am not responsible if the series takes a strange or unseemly turn. I am doing this series merely to encourage bloggers who are working hard to keep up with the challenge of posting every day in October.

 

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Spotlight: 31 Days of Growing Up in Malaysia

 

31 Days Series Spotlight

31 Days of Growing Up in Malaysia

Rachel – of The Random Writings of Rachel – is sharing delightfully funny stories about growing up in Malaysia for her 31 Days series.

Favorite Post(s) So Far

“Can I Have Your Number?” and “Breaking and Entering” posts have made me laugh the most.

 Cola_Fascinating Stories

Who Would Enjoy This Series

Rachel’s stories are short, entertaining reads for anyone who likes a good story. Check out all the posts in 31 Days of Growing Up in Malaysia and let me know which is your favorite.

31 Days Blog Cheerleader

Disclaimer

In my self-designated role of unofficial 31 Days cheerleader, I am spotlighting some of my favorite series. The opinions shared are entirely my own and do not represent the bloggers I highlight. Also, I only know what the bloggers have posted thus far and am not responsible if the series takes a strange or unseemly turn. I am doing this series merely to encourage bloggers who are working hard to keep up with the challenge of posting every day in October.

 

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Blog Cheerleader Update

31 Days Blog Cheerleader

Cheerleading at Warp Speed

I have been loving the 31 Days series I am following and, wow, is it hard to keep up with my optimistically-overloaded RSS feed! I am doing my best to click over to blogs, read, and comment. If you want to remind me about yours or invite me to visit for the first time, please leave a comment.

Lessons Learned

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I’m a 31 Days Rule-Breaker

31 Days Blog Cheerleader

Happy October!

Every year since 2011, I have seen my blog feed and social media explode on October 1 with the beautiful, crazy, sometimes-messy 31 Days kickoff. This year, I am breaking the rules of participation and not setting out to blog every day with all the other lovely, dedicated bloggers.

Instead, my goal is to be an ardent cheerleader, reading and commenting on the posts that others are working so diligently on. Both times I have participated in 31 Days, I wished I had more time for reading posts and leaving encouraging comments. This year, that is exactly what I am going to do. You won’t see daily posts here, but I do hope to share links to some of my favorite 31 Days series so that you can follow some of these amazing people, too.

Help Wanted

If you want me to check out your 31 Days series or want to rave about another blogger’s series, leave me a comment and I will check it out!

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Lows & Highs: 31 Days & a Purse Remake

Welcome to Lows & Highs, a Stories from the Stairs weekly-ish feature! Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs from the week in the comments or by posting a link to your own lows and highs blog post.

 

Low

If you have not noticed, I took an abrupt break from my 31 Days series, Abby’s Apps. I honestly lost interest in writing about apps every day and life got busy. After what I thought would be a one-day hiatus, I decided to stop altogether because I had other projects needing my attention. Instead, I plan to start writing about apps or other tech tips once a week.

 

High

I had a long weekend, thanks to parent-teacher conferences and teacher inservice days where school staff like me do not have to go to work. I spent most of the weekend sewing and cooking. I am thrilled to have finished my first purse refashion and my Halloween costume. The original purse was made of buttery-soft leather with heavy hardware; I loved the former but the latter kept me from enjoying it regularly. I removed the hardware and the leather that had holes from the hardware and remade the top and straps with this gray chevron/zig-zag fabric. In the end, I eliminated over half the original weight!

Refashioned Leather Purse |StairStories.com

I am not posting photos of my costume yet because Brian and I are keeping them secret from our college students until Friday. You can, however, see photos of our previous costumes: Waldo and Carmen Sandiego (2012), Mayhem and Flo (2013).

 

What craft or sewing projects have you been working on lately?

 

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Abby’s Apps: RunKeeper

RunKeeper App Review

App Title

RunKeeper

Cost

Free for iOS and Android

What It Does

RunKeeper tracks walking and running workouts via GPS, recording distance, time, and speed. It also offers workouts for experienced or beginning runners.

RunKeeper App Review RunKeeper App Review

RunKeeper App Review

My Opinion

I like having periodic audio updates about my statistics during a workout; it helps me regulate my speed and gauge how much further to go.

What are your favorite health-related apps?

Disclaimer: I don’t own or have any vested interest in this or any other apps nor am I responsible for how you or anyone else choose to use them. Do your own research and make wise decisions!

Reviews of iOS Apps | Abby's Apps at StairStories.com #31Days

This is a part of my 31 Days series, Abby’s Apps, linked up here.

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Abby’s Apps: Breeze [the one I wish I liked]

Today’s app was on my list of apps to share this month and I almost decided against it because the more I use it, the more I dislike it. But I concluded that this series does not have to be only reviews of apps I love. This is one have fallen out of “like” with.

 Breeze: an app I wish I liked | StairStories.com

App Title

Breeze

Cost

Free for iOS

What It Does

The app claims to monitor your activity and to help “effortlessly improve your fitness by giving you guidance and motivation to be more active every day.”

Breeze: an app I wish I liked | StairStories.com

Breeze: an app I wish I liked | StairStories.com

Breeze: an app I wish I liked | StairStories.com

 


 

 

My Opinion

From my perspective, it is a pretty, sleek pedometer for iOS. The app must stay open, running in the background, but does not seem to drain my phone battery more than normal. Breeze has issues refreshing the data when I return to it after using other apps. In addition, the constant notifications are annoying. The app acts like a needy friend with all its reminders and alerts. I wish there were a way to dial back the notifications instead of all on or all off. Furthermore, I dislike the arbitrarily assigned goals for my activity level each day.

Breeze: an app I wish I liked | StairStories.com
 Breeze: an app I wish I liked | StairStories.com


Breeze: an app I wish I liked | StairStories.com

Ultimately, the pedometer in the Health app that comes standard with iOS8 may be a good replacement for Breeze but I have not used it enough to know. Breeze is okay if you like the reminders and interface and getting assigned a “spirit animal.” I have not completely given up on my relationship with Breeze but I am looking for a replacement and will keep you posted.

Do you have a pedometer app that you love? Tell me in the comments.

Disclaimer: I don’t own or have any vested interest in this or any other apps nor am I responsible for how you or anyone else choose to use them. Do your own research and make wise decisions!

Reviews of iOS Apps | Abby's Apps at StairStories.com #31Days

This is a part of my 31 Days series, Abby’s Apps, linked up here.

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Abby’s Apps: WebMD

WebMD: Good App, just not for Hypochondriacs!

App Title

WebMD

Cost

Free for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire.

What It Does

Users can look up symptoms, attempt self-diagnosis (for the purpose of knowing when to seek medical attention, of course), find first aid advice, read descriptions of medical tests and procedures, peruse descriptions of medicines or conditions, and more.

WebMD: Good App, just not for Hypochondriacs!

WebMD: Good App, just not for Hypochondriacs!


WebMD: Good App, just not for Hypochondriacs!

What I Like

Having WebMD on my phone is like having a medical reference book on hand at all times. Sure, it is possible to scare of gross yourself out if you misuse it, but I avoid that. When I had a minor cuticle infection, the WebMD app gave me at-home treatments to try and it cleared up before I went to the doctor.

WebMD: Good App, just not for Hypochondriacs!

WebMD: Good App, just not for Hypochondriacs!

WebMD: Good App, just not for Hypochondriacs!

WebMD: Good App, just not for Hypochondriacs!

What I Dislike

Having this app easily accessible on one’s phone could lead to compulsive symptom checking and chronic misdiagnosis for hypochondriacs (like a few of my friends). If this is you, please do not download WebMD. It is an excellent app for everyone else.

Disclaimer: I don’t own or have any vested interest in this or any other apps nor am I responsible for how you or anyone else choose to use them. Do your own research and make wise decisions!

Reviews of iOS Apps | Abby's Apps at StairStories.com #31Days
This is a part of my 31 Days series, Abby’s Apps, linked up here.


 

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Abby’s Apps: Lose It!

Lose It! App for making healthy choices & losing weight | StairStories.com

App Title

Lose It!

Cost

Free for iOS and Android and on the official website.

What It Does

Users can set goals to lose, gain, or maintain weight. Based on the goal, the app sets a daily calorie budget. After that, users add foods and exercises as they go. Adding most foods and exercises is quick and it is simple to add recipes or foods that are not already in the Lose It database.

What I Like

Whenever I use this app consistently, it feels a bit like a game and encourages me to be strategic about my food and exercise choices. For instance, one of my favorite indulgences is a cinnamon chip scone from Panera Bread and, at 530 calories, is enough to wreck a day of healthy eating! On rare occasions when get to indulge, I ask for the scone to be cut in half (either to share or have the rest on a different day). Later, I add a nice, long walk to my day to balance out my treat.

Exercise counts as negative calories!

The bar code scanner is by far the easiest way to add foods when I still have food package.

What I Dislike

I wish the app would stop suggesting I invite my friends to connect with me on the Lose It network. I really do not want to.

Disclaimer: I don’t own or have any vested interest in this or any other apps nor am I responsible for how you or anyone else choose to use them. Do your own research and make wise decisions!

Reviews of iOS Apps | Abby's Apps at StairStories.com #31Days
This is a part of my 31 Days series, Abby’s Apps, linked up here.

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Abby’s Apps: White Noise & Dog Training

Happy Saturday! Today Brian and I are replacing gutters on our house, so I am trying to keep this short. This is the first of my favorite health-related apps in the 31 Days of Abby’s Apps series.
 
Using a white noise app to train yourself & your dog | StairStories.com

App Title 

Ambiance and Ambiance Lite

Cost 

What It Does

Ambiance is basically a background or white noise player. It lets users choose from thousands of free sounds, record their own sounds, or combine sounds to create their own custom blend. The Lite version only allows users to download three sounds.

What I Like

I sleep best with a white noise in the background to muffle any small, middle-of-the-night noises. My favorites are rain, brook, vacuuming, or fan sounds. I looooove sleeping while it rains!

Puppy Training

I also have a furnace sound downloaded on my kitchen iPod and we play it for Cola, our puppy when she is supposed to be in bed sleeping. We have used the same sound since we brought her home and now she is trained or conditioned to it. When we let her out for the last time before bed, we turn on Ambiance and she runs right to her kennel when she comes back inside.

What I Dislike

It would be nice if the Premium version were free, but I do not mind supporting a quality app that I use daily.
 
Disclaimer: I don’t own or have any vested interest in this or any other apps nor am I responsible for how you or anyone else choose to use them. Do your own research and make wise decisions!
Reviews of iOS Apps | Abby's Apps at StairStories.com #31Days
This is a part of my 31 Days series, Abby’s Apps, linked up here.

 

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