SleepTown App

Another week, another app post for you all (I say this like I do it all the time when in reality I’ve done like one…)! Sleep Town is developed by the same people who developed Forest: Stay Focused, which I’ve written about before, and which I use daily. Sleep Town is an app I discovered and started using back in October last year, and have been using almost nightly since then!

Like Forest, Sleep Town is designed to keep you off of your phone in order to do other things. While Forest aims to keep you focused on the tasks you need to do during the day, Sleep Town aims to keep you off your phone during the night in order to create and maintain healthy sleep cycles (which again will help you focus during the day).

When you’ve been using the app for a while, this is what a Sleep Town looks like. I think you can create multiple towns, but I don’t know why I would do that, because I like seeing the town grow, and even though I have some duplicates of for example banks and schools, that’s realistic even for a real city, so it doesn’t bother me that much.

When you open the app, this is what it looks like (picture below). You set your bedtime and wake-up goals, as you can see mine are 1am and 9am. The reason for this is that you can put your town to sleep for up to 2 hours before your set bedtime goal, and you can wake up your town for up to 2 hours before your wake-up time goal. So I can start my town anywhere from 11pm until 1am, and wake it up anywhere between 7am and 9am, which are realistic times for me in my current situation, for both weekends and weekdays. You can reset the goals at any time, but you will lose your building streak by doing so – because the goal is to set and maintain a healthy sleep cycle, which means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

That is not to say that you cannot wake up earlier than this though! You can set the in-app alarm clock to whatever time you want. For example, I had to get up before 6am one morning as I was going away and would have to leave at 7.15, so I set the alarm to 5.45am, was able to turn it off, but the building for the night was still being built, so I left my phone alone until just after 7, hit the wake-up button, and then saw my building for the day and could use my phone as normal!

One more thing worth mentioning about this app at the beginning, is that if you want to leave the app and stop the building after it has started, you physically have to choose “yes” when asked the question “do you want to demolish your building and leave the app”, and then you will have a demolished building in your town forever!! …unless you use your coins to delete it, like I’ve done once, hahah. If you try to leave the app without demolishing your building, it will go back to the app in a fraction of a second, and the time seems to get shorter and shorter every time, as I tried to do it once, to get into my audiobook app after I’d put my town to sleep, which I was eventually able to do, but I had to do it in very slow steps and it took me about 7 times to get what I wanted as SleepTown kept reopening faster and faster each time I exited it (I achieved my sleep goal AND was able to listen to my audio book, but it’s not how this app is supposed to work). This app also does not have a whitelist function like Forest does, but if you want to put on music or an audiobook on a timer before you start the construction of your building, I’ve never had any issues with that at all.

You can see your weekly town by clicking on the button “town” in the menu, and scroll through your weeks to see what you built and when. The weekly towns will look like the pictures below, which are two consecutive weeks in my town from this month. You see the times when your phone was asleep in the diagram below it, and you can click on each individual night to see what building was constructed that night.

When you click on “the big town”, you can see all the buildings you’ve constructed over time in that town! If you’ve noticed the picture below being slightly different from the first picture of this blog post, it’s because the buildings move around every night, so your town is constantly changing.

Let’s talk about what we see on the right hand side of this picture. The top box, that says 589, that’s how many coins I get for completing my sleep goal every night. Each building collects revenue, from 1 to 20, of the buildings I’ve constructed, and all together my buildings add up to 589 coins per night. And the +85%? That’s a bonus for keeping up my streak for the past 85 days. So I get an additional 85% of the 589 coins for the next night! And of course, these numbers change every night as you complete another night and add another building with a new value (compare to the top image of this post where I had 549 coins per night and a 76 day streak). The box below it that says 114, that’s just the number of buildings I have in my town, so I’ve achieved my sleep goals for a total of 114 nights since I started using the app, but only the past 85 have been consecutive, meaning I either did not start construction of a building before 1am, or I demolished a building after I’d started it, 86 days ago. At the bottom you can see my current coin count, which is 46,985. We’ll get back to how we can spend the coins in a little bit.

Every 7 days you successfully achieve your sleep goal and build a building, you get a ticket (this is not dependent on a streak, so even if you break the streak every couple of nights you’ll still get this when you’ve built 7 buildings, it doesn’t have to 7 days in a row). When you redeem the ticket, you get a higher chance of getting a rare building the following night. I use mine as soon as I get them, as there are no bonuses to saving them up (other than, I guess, if you want to spend a week trying to build rarer houses in one go, but even then, the ticket doesn’t guarantee a rare building, it just increases your chances of getting one).

Like with Forest, there are achievements in this game; the screenshot below shows off a few. Some of them, like the bus stop, cake shop, and water park, are ones you just have to be patient and wait for, as there is no way to actively make these appear. Then you have the streak ones, which are 7, 30, and 100 days; for those you just have to actively achieve your bedtime and wake-up goals, and not fail or miss out on days. And obviously, the more you use the app, the more buildings you will get and the more coins you will get, which are the achievements at the bottom, the last of which I am currently working towards reaching, while simultaneously working on reaching 100 days in a row of successful building – just 15 more days to go, woooh!

Speaking of streaks – it is possible to give yourself 1 or 2 nights off per week, where you can fail to meet your goals, but not lose your streak! I’ve set mine to Friday and Saturday, meaning Friday evening I don’t have to start constructing a building before 1am, and same Saturday night, and it doesn’t affect my streak. It’s pretty nice for if you’re going out or something and you don’t want to have to put your phone to sleep when you might need to use it later! You can change these days later, but that again will reset your streak to 0.

I mentioned earlier about getting back to how you can spend the money your town earns every night, and that time is now: you can spend your hard earned coins on choosing your next building! However, there is a catch: you can only choose the buildings which already exist in your town. So when you keep building random buildings, the new ones will get added to your buildex, eventually, which you can see in the app, and it looks like the pictures below. The coloured buildings are the ones I have in my town, and the grey shadows are buildings which I don’t yet have.

On any given night, I can choose whether I want my phone to construct a random building, or if I want to redeem a ticket (which as I said earlier I always do as soon as I get them), or if I want to pick a building to be built, so that it’s not a surprise when I wake up to see what has been constructed. By clicking the little pointy finger in the picture below, I am taken to a screen where I can scroll through the options for buildings I can choose, and see how much they cost. The more revenue a building will get me once successfully constructed, the more coins it costs me to choose that building to construct. So you can use it as a way to continue to earn more money per night, but personally I’ve only tried it a couple of times to see how it works. I prefer to use the random option, as one of the things that makes this app so addictive is the fact that I want to get all the buildings into the buildex! And that won’t happen unless I continue to construct random buildings. Even though, sometimes, it feels like there are buildings I’m just never supposed to get! But hopefully, we’ll get there in the end… hopefully by the end of this year! To set a goal that should be achievable, even though I have no control over it…

There is one more feature to this app that I’ve not yet talked about, which was added only towards the end of last year: The Circle. The Circle works in the way that you gather friends who have the app (they will need to have paid for premium, I believe, which is about £2 or something like that), and then you sort of challenge each other to achieve your sleep goals! When you succeed, you contribute with “energy” which helps construct Wonders of the World. The ongoing progress of constructing a Wonder looks something like this (it’s different for each one) – which is my 2nd wonder, as I don’t have any progress pictures for my first one:

As time goes on, and you continue to achieve your sleep goals, you will get closer and closer to the finished Wonder of the World. The more people are in the circle, the faster the Wonder will build, but it is possible to get there with fewer people too. As you can see, I am in a circle with just one other person, and it took us a few weeks to construct the first wonder, as each successful night only gave us 100 energy each, and we needed 10,000, and we didn’t both complete our sleep goals every night, so it took us a while. On this second one, however, we’re getting 250 energy per successful night, so it’s going a lot quicker. Plus, leftover energy from the previous Wonder transfers to the next one! Which is why, even though we both have achieved our sleep goals every night since starting this Wonder, one person has contributed with 100 more energy than the other.

Little by little, it all comes together and voila! Our first Wonder of the World was the Taj Mahal! I’m excited to see what the next one will be – this one took us over 50 nights to build, but the next one should only take 20, and we’re 100 energy away from being halfway there!

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This will probably be the last app review / tutorial I write for a while. I mostly use my phone for social media, and these are the two apps that I have found for time management  that I really enjoy, because they don’t block stuff off your phone / create a blacklist, but you’re actually rewarded in the form of a house or a tree, which to me is the reason I want to keep using the apps. You can read my previous entries about Forest by clicking the links below:

2018 in trees
A Very Satisfying Forest

Thank you for reading! Let’s talk in the comments – let me know if you find your phone distracting, if you’ve used any apps or programs to keep you from using your phone or specific websites or apps, and how you found them!

xoxo

Julie

 

7 Days of Extra Spice

I have loved makeup for as long as I can remember. Once, when I was very young, I found a red lipstick belonging to my mum, and decided to colour with in on the wall and the door of the wardrobe. I’m pretty sure I got yelled at for doing so… but that’s my earliest memory of makeup. When I was in primary school, my mother decorated a shoe box with purple wrapping paper for me, so I could store all my playtime makeup in it – I had several of those kids’ makeup sets, and my mum gave me some of her old stuff from the late 80s/early 90s to play with as well, and also samples she got that she didn’t like. I still had makeup in this box into my early teens when I started wearing makeup to school. At first, a friend would let me borrow her eyeliner and mascara, and I’d hurry to take it off at home before my parents could see me. I was a few months into my 13th year of life when my mum took me to buy my own makeup for the first time – I’d received a black pencil eyeliner from a friend for Christmas, and mum took me to an H&M in the city when I had a dentist appointment and I got my first mascara (not counting the old dried out one in the set of stuff my mum gave me to play with). I had plenty of lip glosses that had come in all those different magazines, and that’s basically what I wore. I gradually got some more things, and started to spend some of my pocket money on makeup as well, throughout my teen years.

I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m 26. I’ve gone through all of school (13 years), a year of photo school, and 6 years of university studies. But I’ve continued to love makeup throughout these different stages of my life. I’ve always watched tutorials on youtube, and followed people like Tati Westbrook (glamlifeguru) and Marlena Stell (Make Up Geek). The threshold for being a makeup youtuber has changed a lot over the year, there are a lot of makeup enthusiasts and lovers on the platform now, some really talented, in addition to people who have gone to school to become makeup artists. And in the world we live in today, where Influencer is a profession, a lot of these people have released their own products, either through starting their own companies, or working with makeup brands. One of these people, is Sophie from Sophdoesnails, who has collaborated with Revolution (Makeup Revolution), and has released two eye shadow palettes, a highlighter palette, and three lipsticks with them. I have everything except the highlighter palette (simply because I can’t imagine needing all 8 different shades in there, and because I am in love with different products at the moment), and my most recent acquisition was her 2nd palette, the Extra Spice palette, which looks like this:

Tati from Glamlifeguru said in a video not long ago, that in addition to doing first impression videos of products, she also enjoys playing around with them before filming, and really  “getting to know a palette”. I think this is a really good idea, to explore the potential of the palette you’ve just bought, and not just do one or two different looks using the same shades over and over. Of course, there are some shades that will be used more than others, for example for me, a light brown transition shade is in almost all my looks, whereas a black shadow is something I hardly ever use. However, I wanted to put this palette to the test and really see what it can do, because it has a lot of potential. So here is what I did:

I created 7 different eye shadow looks, over 7 different days, and throughout this week I’ve dipped into every. single. shade. in the Soph x Revolution Extra Spice eye shadow palette.

Of course, these are not the only looks you can do, and there are almost infinite amounts of ways you can combine these shadows to create looks, depending on how many different shades you use in one look and what sort of colours you put together. But these are 7 looks that I either came up with on my own or took inspiration from other people for. Some are very “me”, others are quite far out of my comfort zone. I’ve written a little bit about each look, which shadows I used and where, and I hope you enjoy this post!

Also: I decided to include pictures both with and without glasses, as I wear glasses on a daily basis, but I CAN also wear contacts if I want to. I have myopia (I am near-sighted), which means that my eyes through the glasses look smaller than they actually are, which again means that for makeup to really show up I need to make it more dramatic without glasses for it to look the way I want when I wear glasses, so I just thought I’d show you the comparison of these shadows with and without glasses on!

Also also: None of these pictures are edited in any way. I took them using the selfie camera on my OnePlus 6, uploaded them to a cloud server, and added them to this entry from that server, and that’s all. I tried to use as much natural light as possible, standing by the window when doing my makeup and also using the window light when taking the pictures.

The first thing I did with this palette, naturally, was swatch it. Using my fingers and my arm, just rubbing the shadow on in a back and forth motion, this is what the shadows look like:

Picture 1, from the top: Dreams, Cookie Dough, Cheesecake, Infinity, Running Late, Everyday

Picture 2, from the top: Lakes, Enchanted, Romance, Twenty One, Sweet n Sour, Vitamin C

Picture 3, from the top: Reputation, Aurora, LA sun, Mulled Wine, Chocolate Orange, Brownies.

If you want to see the video Sophie made talking about the palette, shade names, and her own swatches, you can click this link here!

Two things I want to say about these shades: They are pigmented, and they are buildable! These swatches are of dry colours on dry skin, so if you think they don’t show up well, such as Everyday and Dreams, remember how you would put them on your eye: probably on top of primer, or concealer, wet or powdered, and maybe even using a brush sprayed with some setting spray, and not just straight onto skin that has nothing on it already.

My most memorable moment from these swatches was after the black shade, the last one I swatched. It went on my arm SO black, and my finger was still completely black too, it looked like when I’d been drawing with charcoal in art class in school! So I was really impressed by that shade, but also quite intimidated, which is why I didn’t use it until my 7th and last look of this experiment.

Day 1: Burgundy Silver

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For my first look, I wanted to use shades that were COMPLETELY different from the shades in Soph’s first palette, which I’ve had since August 2018, and I was immediately drawn to the burgundy purple shades. For this look, I used Mulled Wine in the crease, deepened the colour with Enchanted, cut the crease, used Infinity on the lid, and for my lower lash line I went back to Mulled Wine and Enchanted, and also added a tiny bit of Romance although I don’t think it shows in the pictures, and also Infinity on the lower inner corner. A bit of white eyeliner on my waterline and mascara, and this is the finished look! I also used Soph’s lipstick in the shade Cake for this!

Oh and I actually forgot to take pictures with my glasses on for this look… but I have them for every other look!

Day 2: Subtle Daytime

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Warm tones have been “in” for quite some time now, and Soph is quite into warm toned looks herself, as she has said multiple times on her channel, so these shades were no surprise to this palette. For this more simple, faster, wearable daytime look, which really just adds some colour and dimension to your face, I started off with Running Late all over my eyelid and into my crease. To deepen it a little bit, I then used Sweet n Sour on the outer corner, blending it inwards. I used both shades on my lower lash line as well. Then I added a tiny bit of Everyday to the centre of my eyelid, and the inner part of my lower lash line, as well as on my brow bone. Also wearing Soph’s lipstick in Syrup with this look. And I remembered to take pictures with my glasses on!

Day 3: Dramatic Sunset

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This look is a little more out of my comfort zone than the previous two, and I think the main reason for that is that sunset looks have been SO popular lately and it’s very easy to  get intimidated by the immensely beautiful looks created by both professionals and amateur makeup artists out there. For this look I started out with Vitamin C in the crease, and I was a bit disappointed at first, but as I kept blending and building I did get the colour to be what I wanted it to be. I alternated between adding Vitamin C and Running Late over and over, and then deepened with Sweet n Sour, and then Twenty One on the centre and outer part of my mobile lid. Used all the same colours on my lower lash line as well, and also added some LA Sun to my inner corner instead of a highlighter shade, as I thought it went well with this look. For this look, I think you can really see how much difference the glasses make for my look, the shadows are a lot more intense and in-your-face without my glasses on. Lipstick is Soph’s in the shade Fudge.

Day 4: Smokey Brown

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On the 4th day, I actually decided to pick my lipstick first and match my eye shadow to it, instead of the other way around. I was going out for a meal in the evening, and I wanted to wear MAC Ruby Woo which is a retro matte formula that I know stays put through food and drinks. A more smokey brown look would go well with this lip colour, I thought, and therefore my choices fell on Cookie dough for my crease, Cheesecake to deepen it, a tiny bit of Brownies just on the outer corner and along my lower lash line (smoked out with the other colours), and then I also added a bit of Dreams to the inner part of my eyelid for some shimmer to this otherwise very matte look. This was much more within my comfort zone, and more like the eye looks I would do when working in the reception at a museum when I lived in Trondheim!

Day 5: Lakes and Aurora

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Staying more within my comfort zone still, I did another smokey look for day 5, but this time using green tones. I have done similar looks using other palettes before, including Soph’s original palette, and Jordan Lipscombe’s Trooper palette, but I wanted to see what these shadows could do. I believe I used Cookie Dough in my crease again first, before using a lot of Lakes across my crease and also on the outer and inner corners of my eye. I didn’t want to do a cut crease, but I used Aurora wet on the centre of my eyelid for this look; not cutting the crease made the colours blend into each other more, and the Aurora shade doesn’t stand out as much as it would have if I’d cut the crease, which I could have done, but I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like it on this day I guess. The highlighter around my inner corner was whatever I used on my face that day (so, not an eye shadow from this palette) and I used the Fudge lipstick again for this look.

Day 6: Pop the Blue

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I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like all of these looks have made my eyes pop and look extra blue. Or maybe it’s the lighting? Hard to say. However, according to the colour wheel, orange is the opposite of blue. When I was a teenager, I read in a magazine that most people wouldn’t put orange eye shadow on their eyes however, and it recommended brown tones. In this look, I’ve used a little bit of everything that’s supposed to make blue eyes pop: orange, yellow, and brown shades. I started with Chocolate Orange  creating the outer V, and into the crease, and used Sweet n Sour to soften it up.Then I used three different shades on my lid, starting from the outer corner with Brownies, then Vitamin C on the inner corner, and Running late to kind of blend them together without making the yellow muddy in the middle. On the inner corner of my bottom lash line I added some LA sun for some shimmer as well. I was trying to kind of recreate a look I saw once on youtube for this, but I don’t remember who made the look or if I recreated it correctly, as I wasn’t actively following the tutorial for this look, I just went off memory. And for my lips, yes, you guessed it: Soph’s lipstick in Fudge again today!

Day 7: Silver and Black for Prom

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By day 7, there was only one shade left to use, and it was the one that scared me the most: Reputation, the deep charcoal black shadow that emo me would have loved back when I couldn’t find a black shade that was black enough. For this look, I tried to recreate a look Soph did herself (video here), using browns, black, and silver to create a dramatic look that would look good with any dress colour for prom, for example. I used Cookie Dough and Brownies in the crease first, before going in with Reputation to create that black to brown transition. I cut my crease for this one, and used Infinity on top of the wet concealer across my lid, and went back with Reputation and Brownies again to smooth out the edges. Mine and Soph’s looks are different, her cut crease is a lot neater than mine, and I think there is less of the brown and black visible above after she does the cut crease, and more on the outer corner, but she does makeup for a living and I just wanted to try this look which is something I normally wouldn’t do at all, at least not anymore. A few years ago, yes. I also used a black kohl liner in my waterline, which is something I used to do a few years ago when I did a lot of silver/grey/black eye makeup, as well as when I first started out with makeup which was 10+ years ago! #2009v2019 right? Actually, that was more like 2006-2008, now that I think about it… Anyway! On my lips I wore a L’Oreal matte lipstick in the shade Mon Jules with this look.

So there we have it! 7 Days of wearing the Extra Spice palette from Soph x Revolution! I did a final count, to make sure I definitely had used all the shades, and this is how it looked:

Everyday: used in 1 look
Running Late: used in 3 looks
Infinity: used in 2 looks
Cheesecake: used in 1 look
Cookie Dough: used in 3 looks
Dreams: used in 1 look
Vitamin C: used in 2 looks
Sweet n Sour: used in 3 looks
Twenty One: used in 1 look
Romance: used in 1 look (barely, but it was used!)
Enchanted: used in 1 look
Lakes: used in 1 look
Brownies: used in 3 looks
Chocolate Orange: used in 1 look
Mulled Wine: used in 1 look
LA Sun: used in 2 looks
Aurora: used in 1 look
Reputation: used in 1 look

Final thoughts: I love this palette! I will definitely keep using this palette to do similar looks and different looks, and I want to mix this palette with Soph’s original palette as well. And also, these shadows stay put! I have a MAC duo shadow which I wore not long ago, just the two shades, and I’d done the rest of my makeup as usual, and in less than 5 hours, the shadows had creased and my eyelids were streaky with the colour. It was a horrible surprise to see it in the mirror on my way out the door. The black and silver look, however, which I did this weekend, was done around noon, and I wore it until bedtime, which was after midnight, and I didn’t see any creases on my eyelids at all when I went to take my makeup off for the night! If you want good drug store eye shadows, I definitely recommend both of Soph’s palettes with Revolution! I haven’t tried any other palettes from Revolution, but I can with certainty say that these to palettes are DEFINITELY WORTH IT (they’re only £10. How are they only £10?! I don’t even mind that Extra Spice has “only” 18 shadows and each shadow is 0.8g while her other palette has 1.1g per shadow and 24 of them – they’re just that good!)!

Question for you: You’ve made it to the end of this post! So can I assume you enjoyed this type of a blog post that’s more of a project I worked on over time? If you enjoyed this, would you like to see more posts like this, where I challenge myself to create multiple different looks using the same palette? I have Soph’s original palette, I have all 3 of Jordan Lipscombe’s palettes with Beauty Bay (swatches and thoughts in this entry here), I have two of Urban Decay’s Naked palettes (3 and Heat)… Let me know down below if you have any requests!

xoxo

Julie

Fields

A few weeks ago, actually it was over two months ago now, I wrote a blog post about passion where I mentioned photography being one of mine. In that entry, I also mentioned that I wanted to post some pictures on this blog, something I then never got around to doing. Until today. Today is the day! Bit dramatic, aren’t I…

My hometown consists of a large portion of fields. There is the actual town with a street of shops and a shopping centre and the schools and the church, and there is the air force base, but there are also a lot of fields. Before the air force  base, fishing and farming was what people did where I’m from. Of course, that was decades before my time. I’ve only ever known the time of the air force base being a corner stone in our community. My father is a major in the RNoAF, which I’ve also mentioned before. The fields was my playground as a child though. We had some very close to my house, not ones that grew grain, although there were those too, but the ones in which we played hide and seek and made imaginary houses, those were mainly just grass and straw and weeds. I can’t imagine moving back there to live full time. I love my family, and the place has grown on me after moving away from it and just being back in the summers and for weekends and such. It is quite lovely, actually. Just not where I want to live. You know? You can love a place but not imagine living there.

One day last summer, I felt really bad. I was not in a good place mentally or emotionally, I felt like I was really close to having a breakdown, I didn’t want to around my parents, and it was a lovely evening with what looked like it would be a beautiful sunset. I told my mum I’m going for a walk, I took my camera and phone and headphones, and I listened to music, and I took pictures until my memory card ran out. That was my bad, for not bringing another or using a bigger one, which I have, but that’s okay. I got some really nice shots. Pictures are worth more than words, and I’ve written many. Now I just want to leave you with some shots from my hometown and hope you like them. Let me know below if you like posts like this, I can do many more, I have lots of pictures!

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Thank you for reading my 100th post on this blog! Hope to see you soon,

xoxo

Julie

Related posts: Regarding Passion // Photography Category Here

2018 in trees

2018 was the year I really got into using the app Forest: Stay Focused. You can read about it on their website here, but I’m also going to tell you what this app is about and how I have been using it over the past year.

The whole point of the app, as evident from the name, is to keep you off your phone so you can do your work, and rewarding you with trees and money to buy more trees, so you can grow a forest. It’s good for anyone who needs to do anything in life really, but I particularly found it good as a student who needed to stay off my phone, away from facebook and twitter and instagram, and focus on my course work. It’s also good for people working who want or need to stay off their phones for the same reason, or people struggling with phone addictions. I’ve used it to stay off my phone during movies, during lectures, and also to time things like laundry and other chores around the house. I’ll get back to this later, with pictures, so I can show you.

Firstly, how Forest works, is you set a timer, anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours, and then you don’t touch your phone in that time, and it grows a tree or a bush for you. If you exit the app or try to use your phone to go on other apps, your bush or tree dies. Bushes grow when you set the time to 10, 15, or 20 minutes, while trees grow when you set the time to anything longer than that. Up to 55 minutes, you grow one tree. At 1 hour, you grow two trees. At 90 minutes, you grow three trees, and at the longest time setting of 2 hours, you grow four trees, each one a little more advanced and fancy looking than the previous one.

When you start out, you have one tree and one bush available. As you continue to grow trees, you get coins that you can use in the shop and buy different types of bushes and trees. The first one you buy costs 500 coins, the next 600, then 700, 800, 900, and 1000, but once you reach that, every other tree or bush remains 1000 coins as well. Use the “watch ad to double coins” feature to earn coins faster. For 2 hours, you get 43 coins, so 86 if you watch an ad and double it. If you buy the premium version, you can unlock achievements that give you more coins, you can turn off the ad feature, or you can choose to keep it on to keep earning more coins. You can also donate your coins, meaning you use them to plant a real tree in the world, it costs 2500 coins. Personally I have not done this, but I’m planning to do so as I’ve now saved up a lot of coins and there are no more trees, bushes, or sounds for me to buy in the shop at this moment. Oh yes, you can also choose to have sounds, such as forest rain, cafe noises, thunder storm, times square, and beach waves, if you like these kinds of sound in the background when working.

 

The picture above shows the whole forest I grew in 2018, with a graph. 3858 living trees and bushes, 60 that I’ve had to kill because I needed my phone for some reason. 1929 hours, that’s about 80.3 days, so that’s something like 2.5 months of time that I’ve spent growing my forest over the course of one year!

So, I didn’t really get into using the app in January, at all. I had used it before, for a few days one month in 2017, because someone told me about it, but as you can see, I kind of forgot the app existed.

In February, I started using the app in the last half of the month. This was a time period where I went to visit my boyfriend in England, and I used the trees when we were watching things together to stay off my phone, and the sunflower which was probably the first bush I spent money on, was from me reading a book that was kind of boring and slow to read, so I did 20 minutes at a time and tried to get through as much as possible. But this was my beginning!

In March, things started to pick up. At the beginning, I was just using random trees and planting whatever I felt like, but later on in the month I realised I could use different trees for different things, and I started colour coding, or should I say tree coding, my subjects. I gave my different subjects a tree each, so 4 trees for 4 classes, and I started growing trees during lectures to stay off my phone, and used the same codes for when I was studying the different subjects outside of class as well.

I changed up my codes once, I believe, and I added more trees as well. I had the four trees for my classes, but I also had a tree for free time/me time, and I kept buying bushes and using them for shorter things, like when I needed a timer for 10 minutes or having a shower, those kinds of things.

I’m not entirely sure why I planted less trees in May than I did in April, to be honest. It doesn’t make sense, because I had exams for the majority of the month – home exams and school exams. You can see that one of the classes was majorly prioritised, and I think that was because I had a home exam stretching 2.5 weeks, then one day of break, a school exam, one day break, another school exam, and on that same day, another one week home exam starting as well.

June has less trees because I finished my studies at the university this month. I finished up my exams in the beginning of the year, and the green trees are me having free time and me time, and I also started growing trees when I went to bed. This was when I started to get annoyed that you could only grow them for 2 hours max, because I’d usually sleep 7-8, and would have liked to have grown trees the whole night. How hard would it be to extend the focus time from 2 hours to 6 hours right? And you’d get 12 trees out of it? Would also be good for anyone not allowed their phone at work, or during an exam… My school exams were 4 hours long, but I have had 6 hour ones in the past, and I did grow trees during the exams this spring, but as with the sleeping trees, I could only plant that one 2-hour tree, which was a bit annoying. It’s safe to say I was getting a bit addicted to growing trees by this point, I’d grow one for anything I could think of.

By June, the cherry trees changed function for me. While they’d previously been for one of my classes, I changed it for work during my summer job. We weren’t allowed phones, had to leave them in our lockers, and because we had specific break times I’d calculate the time so I could use my phone on my lunch break, so I grew trees before and after.

Not much changed for me during the summer, I kept using Forest in the same way throughout July and August as well.

In August, my summer job finished and on the 23rd I moved, which is why I have less trees grown towards the end of the month, only really the night time trees, maybe a few for some movies.

In September, I went ahead and bought all the remaining trees and bushes. A few new ones were released throughout the autumn months as well. I even bought AND USED one I never thought I would – the cotton candy tree. That was for my birthday. Other than that, I grew lemon trees during the day, and the blue night sky and space ship trees at night, just to give my forest some variation. As you can see from the time, I started using the app more, and that’s not because I was using my phone less. By this time, I was no longer a student, and no longer working my summer job, I had no need to stay off my phone to focus, so I started taking advantage of the whitelisting feature the app offers. Basically, you can select apps you want to be able to use without killing your tree, and I’ve selected some, like google, twitter, and instagram, while kept others blacklisted, like facebook, which annoys me to pieces. I had no need to grow trees at this point, but it almost turned into a game of trying to see how many trees I can grow in a day, how big can I grow my forest. It’s satisfying, and it’s addictive.

For October, I changed the colours again. Now I wanted to go for a more autumnal theme. I had red and yellow trees, and I wanted to use both, and since November is also a mostly autumnal month, I went with yellow for October, and red for November, as you can see below, and also switched my night time tree to a new one they brought out, with a moon and a sleeping bunny. Oh and the ghost bush came out for halloween, I barely remembered it, so I only have a few that I grew really late on the 31st, which is why they show up in both months. Previously, when you started growing a tree before midnight, it would only appear in that day’s forest, even if it was past midnight when it finished. This was changed in the autumn, and now, if a 2 hour tree is started even just 5 minutes before midnight, all four trees show up on both days.

For December, Forest brought out a Christmas theme. Basically, this was something you could turn on in your settings, and you’d get a white ground, snow across the screen, and all the trees and bushes were decorated for the holidays. From the graph of the first picture, you can see that December was my best month for growing trees. This was largely because I wanted to make sure I grew every single type of tree and bush during the month, which you can see from the picture. For the first half of the month I only grew the different pine and spruce trees, because they are very Christmassy, but then I started to grow other trees on travel days and the days I spent with my family over the holidays. On one day, I grew only bushes, all the bushes, three times each. Candy trees for Christmas and New Year’s Eve…. and on some days I tried to stick to themes or shapes, so for example “only the round looking trees” or “only the oddly shaped ones” or “only the colourful ones” or “only green ones”. I made it through all of the trees and bushes. And the theme stayed on, so even though the month is over, when I go back to December on my phone those trees are still in Christmas mode.

So that was my year in growing trees in 2018! I hope you enjoyed this entry, I might blog more about this app in the future, or similar apps. I definitely recommend trying it, it’s very easy to use and highly addictive – it sounds contradictory, but being addicted to an app that keeps you off your phone can’t be a bad thing surely?

xoxo

Julie

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