App review: Plant Nanny

Image via Google Play
 What’s this now? She’s doing app reviews? Yes, yes, I am. Plant Nanny is this excellent free health application (iOS and Android) that encourages you to drink enough water for the day, taking two factors into account: your weight and level of activity. I used to lug a 1L bottle with me, two of those would set me right for a day. Alas, I didn’t keep it up. Coffee and lemonade (fresh) is basically what I ran on but it’s a good thing I’d quit on soda. 

And honestly, I’m amazed how after all the “water is important” lectures we get from that health obsessed friend, some of us don’t seem to grasp at the fact.

Water is needed by all the cells and organs in the body in order for them to function properly. It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, regulate body temperature and assist the passage of food through the intestines.

Although some of the water required by the body is obtained through foods with a high water content – soups, tomatoes, oranges – the majority is gained through drinking water and other beverages.

During normal everyday functioning, water is lost by the body, and this needs to be replaced. It is noticeable that we lose water through activities such as sweating and urination, but water is even lost when breathing.

Drinking water, be it from the tap or a bottle, is the best source of fluid for the body. Beverages such as milk and juices are also decent sources of water, but beverages containing alcohol and caffeine, such as soft drinks, coffee and beer, are less than ideal due to having diuretic properties, meaning that they cause the body to release water

–  Medical News Today

Shrubbery? Cheering on water consumption? Yes! The thing is that there’s no simple boring reminder alert but these little cartoon plants, adorably drawn, and there’s a variety to choose from. You input the amount of water you drink throughout the day by choosing from a range of cups, glasses and bottles to which you can assign a designated amount of water.

To feed your seedling just hold down on the cup/glass/bottle icon for a few seconds and you’re on your way to having a happy plant and healthy body. Be warned though, fail to drink and input makes your plant sad at first, keep it up and it will die. As you drink, your plant is growing and every time it levels up it’s transformed into the next stage until it’s an adult, after which the plant gets transferred to the garden. This brings me to the next feature.

I’m all grown up , so I live in the garden now.

Plant Nanny offers in-app purchases. There’s a shop where you can buy fantastic new and strange plants, beautiful pots and backgrounds, water of life (boosts growth and revives dead plants), and most importantly: seeds.

How you get them:

  • You need seeds to have seeds in the first place to buy anything but you get around 10 free ones when you start.
  • Get a single free one when you volunteer to watch an add.
  • Coming back to what I said earlier, when your adult plant moves to the garden, they begin to produce seeds for you, one each every day.
  • You can buy the seeds. They come in three sized: packet (has 100), a bag (600) and a box (3000).

I’ve had it for about two weeks now, with one fully grown Devil’s Ivy (oh, and you have the option to rename them) and right now I have a Dandelion (lv. 3). It’s so satisfying to see them change! The app accomplishes its aim of getting me to drink more water via emotional blackmail. Do you want to see these little buggers suffer and die?

I am still a smol cutie patootie.

No. You don’t. Naturally, I give Plant Nanny 5 Stars and I highly reccommend you give it a try.

About this blog: Direction

Dearest Reader,

This is a letter to you. I’ve done something to this effect before, and in those missives I thanked you for your following – though I suspect many had even forgotten that they had in the first place (and I don’t blame you). So I’ll do that again. Thank you. So much. Really, I’m continuously baffled that new  people still manage to stumble over here amidst the inactivity.

In the fever of my first blogging adventures I practically lived at HC&B. Churning out two to three posts a day, some of which I cringe to think about now, and lots in which I surprised myself with. I’d been about eighteen at the time I made this website, my first one. Today, I sit here at twenty-two. These days make me yearn for high school, where I’d rather do homework than be an adult. And ladies and gentlemen, that is saying something!

To get to the point, I feel guilty on two fronts: 1) to the blog itself that gave me a chance to explore the internet with even more curiosity, to doors revealing insights and opportunities to learn from this community. I shouldn’t give up on this education.

2) to you my followers, to those who have stuck it out with me and my pretty much random content. And to the new folks who decided to give this a chance.

Look. I know I might be over dramatizing this a bit. I mean, it only takes a second to click and follow and about five minutes to forget? Still, I think it’s important.

Concerning direction, I’ve never decided on specific content matter but what I wrote about included books, poetry, creative writing, some vaguely personal insights and a smattering of miscellany. I’m seriously considering writing about shows I’m watching and the languages I’m trying to learn.

Time has always stayed the same after everything else has changed, so I can’t mint any minutes or hours, but I’ll try to get gears turning again. For me, and for those who’d taken that second to click, and those of you who come to just window shop.





He watched as if from afar as his fingers stab and stab away at the keyboard. Surely they couldn’t be his. Neatly trimmed, they look vicious and and unmerciful but yet so graceful in their ministrations.

The sigh that ripples out his chest sucks him back into his body. Surely he must be in purgatory. This knowing he’s not working hard enough, accomplishing less than he possibly could in a workday. But no matter, no matter how hard and long he abused the keyboard he get distracted and plays truant. Ruled by his own impulses. He disgusted himself.

At the end of the long day of doing mostly nothing, the tiredness that swamps him is partly shame and part anger. Tomorrow, he knows, with be identical to today, as the day before that was.

And the day before that.

Bloody hell and damnation. He snatches his hands from the device as if the thing grew teeth. Ah, the small respite from sluggish ruminations hit him like a slap, and he’s grateful. Here, hope dares to bloom and his mind whirs to life as if it had been off the whole time.

I can move forward. I can do this. Plan. I need a plan. The thoughts came in fast now. His mind is clear but it wont last for long. He had learned to move quick to climb up a new rung of the ladder. When his head would become heavy again, he’d be stuck on a new level.

Up up and up.

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffry Cranor

via Goodreads

Rated it: 3 stars

Read in: April

Note to people who’ve never listened to to podcast: I will not tell you that you can only enjoy this book if you listen to the episodes, though it would help.  From what I understand it’s marketed as a stand alone. Personally, I don’t mind if you disliked it. Only too easy to be confused and feel like an outsider. It’s a poor reflection of the podcast so please don’t let this discourage you from listening.


When I say that I felt my mind bend several times throughout the book, I am not kidding. For some reason I still can’t put a finger on, I was skeptical about the entire thing. I could suppose that I was so trained to the podcast format that the setup for novel approach was … puzzling. Who am I kidding? Honestly it fell flat for me. There. I said it.

However, I am now satisfied in several respects with regards to the plots of certain episodes. For instance I can now file the away the speculation that The Man In The Tan Jacket is not actually Cecil’s long forgotten brother.

Thanks to The Man and his stupid note, Jackie’s become irritatingly aware of the oddness of her existence. Particularly pissed because because her boring routine life has been unashamedly demolished. The order and the peace of mind it brought, gone. It should be a damn crime.

Diane is more complicated. A single mother having to try communicate with an ever distant teenage shape-shifting son is nothing at all to sneeze at. Between that growing divide is the pothole of all potholes, his father Troy.

Continue reading “Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffry Cranor”

The ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ novel is mine!

I can’t read this right now but it’s not stopping me from showing off. I’ve been a listener for about three years now and to hold this in my hands is a wonder. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about Welcome to Night Vale is a free, bi-monthly podcast available on iTunes and YouTube and lots more places. It’s totally weird fiction that’s not very far from real. A place to get lost in.

Check. This. Thing. Out.


I ran like the horses, swift and wild, because I am my father’s child. My breath fogs the air in fluffy puffs, feet barely touching the ground. I feel the ocean to my left, beating a deep bass pulse like my own heartbeat. ‘Mr. Brunner’ said I’d feel better now that we know where I belonged at camp, more like in the hierarchy of things. The pain will stop, he said. And it has, I suppose. But it never really does, does it?

Thrusted into the limelight, I stick out like a barnacle on a ship. Now, I just let the dawn air pierce my lungs; my legs starting to burn a little, getting too hot. That’s okay, though. With a thought, I willed a slight chill over my skin and the clouds of my breath grew denser. I could do this because I am my mother’s daughter.

Continue reading “Runner”

Tiger Lily

Hey folks, things are pretty hectic right now, or at least on the inside and, believe me, I miss writing. There’ll be time soon enough though. Anyway, here’s my newest poem😉

Poet's Corner

… she sits so still but seems so fluid

Peering out from those Egyptian eyes

Her green gaze prowls and warns

Smelling like an old book,

and then slaps you with citrus

Let her alone, let her be

Tiger Lily will stare holes

Into your soul

You won’t like what she’ll see

© Devina S.

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Some things I’ve learned

Before you go further, I’d like to thank all those people who recently followed me. I mean, why? I’ve been active as a sloth in the summer (not sure how accurate that is, I know they are creepy looking and slow beyond comprehension). What I am try to say is this: thank you so much!

It’s not easy to communicate the way we feel especially to a person we trust. We worry about their opinion about us, because let’s face it it’s easy to say that ‘it doesn’t matter what people say’. I treat it as a blanket phrase. It matters when it’s someone we value, because they matter. I don’t know why I ever thought that writing about my problems should be any easier. I’ve started countless times only to scrap an entire post because I feel ridiculous and I realize just how much of a private person I am. I have read blogs where writers bare a good portion of their souls to perfect strangers and I think it’s both stupid and brave.

These days I’m hounding the scent of inspiration. It is what drives us, not only a good cause will be enough to stick to a goal; be it studying, to put in volunteer work, to work two jobs even if you don’t have to but because you think it will prove beneficial in the long run; to make your parents proud; to prove a point. We need the motivation, some of us need it as incentive to live another day, to not give up on ourselves. Let me share this quote I found:

People often say that motivation doesn’t last well. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily” – Anon

I don’t admire the girl I was for the past five or six years ago, if I could I would slap her silly and tell her to grow up fast. The quicker she learned that time is running out, how very far she’s yet to go, how much she’ll suffer in her own hands; I wish I was more aware of my mortality and (ironically?) my own indifference or obliviousness, or both if it’s not already the same thing. I’m thankful that I did, at any rate. At the same time I heeded the timeless advice of learning from my mistakes, most of the time anyway. That’s progress.  Continue reading “Some things I’ve learned”

The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read The Mark of Athena as yet, please don’t go any further.

via Goodreads

Rated it: ★★★★★

GR Blurb

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

Okay. I don’t know what exactly to say (oh but I do), other than that events have certainly heated up, so to speak. The House of Hades is the darkest installment yet, it had me on the edge of my seat and in an almost dire state of emotional crisis. While The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune introduced the new players and had healthy plots; The Mark of Athena saw all of the seven finally assembled aboard the Argo II as well as decent character advancement, this fourth book I observed a greater sense of growth in all of them though at varying degrees, most of all Frank (as anticipated) and Leo (I’m going to relapse in feels). AND ANNABETH AND PERCY ARE IN TARTARUS FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE.

I particularly appreciated how as the  story progressed the meaning of the prophesy takes on newer, more clearer and curiously personal meanings, completely different from what I thought before. Hazel is tested on her newfound abilities and after days of seasickness and worry we see her stepping up to the plate as she’s faced with decisions at crossroads and a farting polecat.

Piper really takes charge of her life, with her training and less focus on Jason and I gotta say I’m most pleased with her better sense of self, not as itchy in her role in the seven and as a daughter of Aphrodite. A certain snow bitch goddess didn’t know what she was stirring up.

We finally get a good feel for Jason‘s character, we see him shaping his identity against some of the traditional Roman values he was instilled with, and becoming more of his own man if you can understand that, instead of the guy they think he is and how how he should be. Palpably no longer the man he used to be. Am I happy? Bet your butts I am. 

His and Nico‘s relationship (not that kind, shippers I’m looking at you) is especially interesting. No one knew what to make of the son of Hades, the wild card, even his sister. So Jason, understandably apprehensive of the guy, having little choice but to “split” from the crew for a while with Nico had sort of … an education. Continue reading “The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan”

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan

via Goodreads

Rated it: 4.5 stars

This was satisfying. Was that an understatement? Probably. We’ve got the POVs of Annabeth, Leo, Percy and Piper; I think Rick did a good job with their individual voices but I feel as if each were lacking the intensity when I compare The Heroes of Olympus to Percy’s in first five books, overall though it was well done.

I am so so happy to see more of Annabeth! I mean after all those years of Percy and here’s the brains of the operations; in wanted in her brains. Wish granted! I can appreciate her fears, not only about who and what she must face on her quest (and the gods know it’s terrifying), it’s the fact that she must do this alone and she hadn’t been that way since she was seven and on the run. Her intelligence and bravery are her knives and shield and she’s got a healthy dose of self doubt to temper her metal.

The Leo, Hazel and Frank dynamic was interesting. I recall a reviewer wondering why Frank, having understood how Sammy played into Hazel’s past, is still at odds with Leo. Okay, the fire thing aside, that Frank should give McShizzle a break. I agree. Thing is, I believe Frank’s intimidated with Leo’s loud personality, his energy and some of the jibes unintentionally that more often than not hit some sensitive spots. Leo is the opposite of Frank and while that may have problems they can prove to compliment each other.

Hazel. I love love love Hazel Levesque. Out of the seven she’s the most intriguing, for obvious reasons, Continue reading “The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan”