Apple Watch: Was It Worth It? || My Experience 

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When the first day of college classes finally came to an end, I face-planted down on my bed and thought, "oh my word I feel like I just walked 200 miles." This was the minute I realized college life would be a constant cycle of walking to class with a heavy backpack, and climbing many flights of stairs only to walk back 50-minutes later. I called my mom and jokingly said, "I need a pedometer." I started looking into Apple Watches but didn't really think that I'd wear one that much. After all, they really didn't go with many of my outfits ;) When I got home this summer, started babysitting again, and was no longer a broke college student, I had this major desire for the watch. So, after a few days of going into every Apple store that I passed just to try it on, I decided to get one. I thought I'd post about why I'm so in love with the watch, and the features that made it so worth it.

Which model?

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I ended up with the Apple Watch Series 2, 38mm silver aluminum case with a white sport band. I never thought I would end up with a silver watch since I typically wear gold jewelry. Trying the silver one on in the store is what made me love it so much. The white and silver looked amazing together. I also jumped on Pinterest and searched "apple watch" so that I could see how others have styled theirs!

The other aspect that I contemplated for a while was whether or not I should spend the extra $100 for the series 2 watch or just stick with series 1. After using the "compare models" feature on Apple's site (check it out here) I knew I needed the series 2.

Questions I had:

  • Will the watch increase my data usage?Nope, not at all. The watch basically mirrors your iPhone, so the amount of data you use on your phone will be the same as on your watch.
  • How much are extra bands?Standard bands are $50 and come in tons of colors. I'm actually about to grab another one as autumn is quickly approaching. I honestly think $50 is pretty reasonable for an interchangeable band considering Apple's typical prices.
  • Will the white band get dirty quickly?I have had absolutely zero issues with my watch getting dirty, and this was one of my biggest concerns. The material is amazing. I just run the band under warm water and rub any marks right off. To get anything tough off, use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
  • What's the deal with the battery life?I've had a really great experience with the battery so far. I usually only charge it while I'm in the shower, eating a meal, or working on the computer. I wear it all day long, and sleep with it as well. The best thing is that for me, it can be fully charged in less than an hour.

My favorite features:

  • Sleep TrackerThe "Sleep Watch" app is one of the most exciting parts of this watch that I had no idea would be a feature that was included. I've always wanted a FitBit to track my sleep, but there's something about it that I didn't like. The "Sleep Watch" app is around $5 but I promise it is worth it. All you do is wear the watch at night and it tracks the following:
    • Total sleep time
    • Sleep Activity- how often you woke up, when you were restless and when you were in a deep sleep
    • Total restful sleep time
    • Sleeping heart rate dip percentage
    • Average sleeping heart rate
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  • GPSWhen you use the GPS on your iPhone, the directions mirror on your watch. The watch vibrates when you're coming up on a turn, which if you think about it, it's a pretty cool safety feature. When I'm on the road, the watch is right in front of me on the steering wheel instead of how I usually have to look down at my phone directions.
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  • "Hey Siri"

Siri can do everything that she can on your phone. The other night I was down on the dock with my dad fishing, and my phone was connected to our Bluetooth speaker. I kept changing the music right from my watch and didn't have to put my rod down! #convenient

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  • Heart Rate Sensor

I have no idea why, but ever since this watch came into my life I have been fascinated by watching my heart rate. It's so cool to see it change throughout the day especially when it changes due to some of the things I'm facing that day.

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  • Exercise 

I'm not going to lie, before I did my research regarding what the Apple Watch could measure, I thought purchasing it was a mistake. I was under the impression that it would only be able to track obvious cardio workouts (running, walking, biking) but then one day I was out kayaking and I decided to see if it could measure the workout. I went to my watch and chose the "other" category on the watch and it started an open-ended workout! Then, at the end, it gave me TONS of other workout options to use to label- including paddling. Now I can also use the watch to track my favorite strength training workout, [solidcore] read about it here!

In my eyes, purchasing the Apple Watch was an investment. It pushes me to get outside and exercise every day even when I don't want to. It encourages me to value restful sleep and my mental health. I'm so excited head back to school and see just how much I walk around that huge campus.

Overall, the Apple Watch gets a 10/10 from me!

My High School Graduation Party || Photos and DIY Ideas

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One of my favorite moments of my senior year of high school was my graduation party. My mom and I spent almost the whole year planning it, and it was a dream. On that day in June, I realized that joy and bliss came in the form of my backyard being full of all the people I cherish. I spent the afternoon with some of my high school friends, but most importantly with my family and the kiddos that I babysit. Since Making Joy and Bliss didn't exist last year, I couldn't do a post on it! I thought I'd still share some photos of the day for inspiration if you're planning an upcoming party!

Sweet Treats

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I absolutely adore candy bars, and when my mom suggested we had one ready for when the guests left, I was so excited. We ordered all of the candy in bulk, off of Amazon. We also made a trip to Party City to check out the colored candy to match our theme.

A quick little D.I.Y. project we did was ordered stickers with the letter "M" on them for the bottom of the Hershey Kisses. Yes, we peeled each sticker and placed it on the Kiss, but it was worth the tedious job because it was adorable. You can do the same thing here!

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One day I mentioned how amazing it would be to have cotton candy at the party. I believe that cotton candy has the ability to make anyone who likes sweets instantly happy. I mean, how can you not smile while holding delicious pink fluff? My mom ended up finding a company to send someone out to the house to make the cotton candy at the party and it was a hit! Have I mentioned how photogenic cotton candy is too?

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Entertain the Kiddos

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Since the majority of my guests were families of the kids that I babysit for, I knew there would be tons of little ones running around the party. My mom and I wanted to make sure that there were kid-friendly snacks and things for them to do so that the parents could enjoy as well. The bubbles were a last minute idea, and it was a great one. Some of the kids ended up taking them home as well.

D.I.Y.

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At one point, this was just a plain old bulletin board, but I wanted to spice it up since my momma wanted to pin a ton of old photos of me on it. A little embarrassing, some were cringe-worthy, but oh well.

I grabbed some basic acrylic paint and used a few coats. If you decide to tackle this project, be sure to sand the frame of the board to get rid of the wood sealant before painting so it doesn't just peel off! I learned this the hard way :)

The flowers were bought from a craft store, and simply super glued!

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These painted frames were one of my favorite D.I.Y. projects I've ever done. We grabbed the frames at our local craft store and simply painted them with acrylic paint. It was an inexpensive way to add some fun to the trees, and the photos were adorable. We hung them with tulle from the craft store as well. Make sure you paint both sides of the frames as they will sway in the wind when they're not being used! Here's a link to a few frame options! Only $4! 

Give the pool some love

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When my mom first suggested filling the pool with beach balls, I thought she was crazy. I also worried that they would just sit in one section in the pool and never spread, but boy was I wrong. I think the most important thing when it comes to doing this for a party is that you have a ton of different sized balls. We even had some teeny tiny ones and they were just plain cute. And, you know the swan was the star of the show. The balls came from, you guessed it, beachballs.com! And the swan you can grab on Amazon.

Simple tables

We used Mason jars for everything. This included the centerpieces and it was just so cute. The flowers were from the grocery store. I know, hard to believe. My mom arranged them the day before, and they were so simple and pretty. The house was full of flowers for days after the party.

These beautiful cream plates with gold trim are from Party City! How adorable are the scallops? The quality was awesome.

Refreshments

I feel like it can be pretty difficult to find drink dispensers that are cute and that actually get the job done. They're either too small for entertaining and you up constantly filling them up, or they dispense at a snail pace.

These Mason jar-like beverage dispensers are perfectWe've even used them multiple times post graduation party. And they came with the little chalkboard signs that hang on the front. My mom tied the tulle and the faux flowers around the top for a sweet touch.

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Buy these beauties here!

We found that buying Mason jars from Walmart (12 for $10) was the least expensive option!

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I hope this post brought you some joy and inspiration for your next celebration! Let me know in the comments some of your must-do's when it comes to planning parties! And to all you seniors out there who are graduating this May and June, congratulations!