Sunday, 28 August 2016

Spotify Playlists For Every Mood

Music. The one thing that has the power to change even the foulest of moods. I love music, I mean who doesn't? I've always been driven by music, and it has affected my life in many different ways over the years. Learning to play different instruments, touring Europe with a full band and choir, playing the triangle in primary school christmas concerts (very well I might add), blasting the radio in the car, etc - it's always been a part of me, and it always will. Now I've always been told that I have a great taste in music (except for when my family complains when I blast The Smiths at 8am on a Sunday morning). In college, we were always allowed to listen to music during art, and almost every single day my iPod was hooked up to the classroom speakers. Anyways (I was starting to go off on a bit of a tangent soz), over the last year or two I've really been getting into Spotify. I've always used it, but I was never addicted to it. But now I've been contemplating upgrading to Spotify Premium (do I do it? Do I? Help!) because I have been listening to it virtually non-stop for months. So I thought I'd share some of my favourite playlists with you!

Radio 1 Playlist (BBC) // Honest to God this is my most played playlist ever. I nearly always listen to BBC Radio 1 when I am driving around, but for times when I'm not chauffeuring my friends and family around I like to pop my headphones and listen to this playlist on shuffle. I love that it's updated on a weekly basis, because it gives the opportunity to discover new artists whilst being able to nosey at what's currently in the charts. 

Songs to Sing in The Shower // I flippin' love this playlist, and not just for when I'm in the shower. It is jam packed full of hits and one of those playlists where you know every single word to every single song. With the likes of the Spice Girls, NSYNC, and ABBA how could you not want to murder these songs in the shower. 

Dance Workout // This is probably the only playlist I listen to when working out. I used to make my own playlists (which I occasionally still listen to), but the effort of regularly updating the list made me want to cry. I love this because it's full of upbeat songs that get you excited to workout (yes I actually just said that - AND I MEANT IT).

Hits From The Movies // If you know me at all, you'll know that I'm a massive fan of musicals. So obviously I had to include a movie based playlist in my little roundup. There is something about a big musical number that can automatically put you in a good mood. So this is my playlist for when I'm in a bad mood. 

Sweet Soul Sunday // This is my go to Sunday morning playlist - the one that I listen to whilst rustling up some breakfast in a big cosy dressing gown. It is just the perfect feel good, easy listening playlist. It really does set me up for a great Sunday!

All Out 90's // Can you even say that you're 90s baby if you don't include a 90s playlist in your roundup? HELL NO. Music from my youth is my guilty pleasure, it takes me back to living it large at school discos, sipping on Panda Pops, and trying to dress like the Olsen twins. Plus a playlist with TLC on it is my kinda playlist #justsaying

What is your favourite playlist?


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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Finding The Right Diary

As all of my fellow organisational freaks will know, it's extrememly hard to find a diary that completely works for you. After years of hunting down the perfect planner, I finally found it last year. The design wasn't pretty, but the inside was perfect and was the best practical choice for what I wanted to use it for. This year, I got there earlier and managed to get my hands on the same diary, with a much prettier design. For those wanting to get your hands on this particular diary (I mean come on, it's gorgeous) it's the Busy B Academic Diary. They have a couple of different designs, and even have family diaries and planners (amongst much more) if you're in the market for any of those.  
For many, diaries are a life saving tool when it comes to making sure we have everything done, or getting ourselves to the right place at the right time. Whether it's handing in assignments, remembering doctors appointments, or even just for seeing when someone's birthday is coming up - a diary can play a fundamental part in the running of day to day life. I love this particular diary as it cleverly has each week printed twice over adjacent pages, allowing you to combine two different schedules, and manage your life more effectively. Personally, I use one for side for university and the other side for life in general (appointments, birthdays, etc). Being able to balance two lives at once is an absolute lifesaver, and means I know exactly what needs to be done and when. I especially love how there is a memo section down the side of each page, so you can write a mini to-do list of all the things you want to achieve over the space of the week. The Busy B diary runs from August-August (13 months) so is perfect for students and those looking for a more academic diary. 

Between rushing to lectures, making sure assignments are submitted on time, and managing everyday tasks, it can be easy to forget something (usually to eat, breath, sleep etc.). But I find a mid-year diary incredibly useful for keeping on top of the academic year. Many of them are slim and lightweight making them perfect for traipsing all over in your bag. In this particular diary, there is a handy little storage pocket after every quarter, for you to put receipts, reminders are whatever you want in. There are even blank timetables, contact pages, and a calendar where you can view the whole year. And what's more it has a beautiful floral patterned cover (there's also a blue spotty one if flowers aren't your thing!) and an elastic closure to keep everything secure! 

What do you look for in a diary?



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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Making The Most Of Your Phone Camera

I take, and have always taken all of my blog photos on a DSLR camera. But unlike me, there are many bloggers and even non-bloggers out there who don't have the privilege of owning a camera. Few people will probably agree with me here, but it isn't necessary to have a fancy camera or a DSLR to take good quality photographs. Nowadays the majority of people own some sort of smartphone, and most of them come equipped with a decent built in camera. Some of you may argue that photos taken on a phone aren't exactly high quality, but at second glance you can achieve some cracking images! So with this post I hope to show you how to get best use out of the different functions, to create some incredible photos. 

Tap to focus // This one is possible the best and most useful thing to remember when using your phone's camera. It may seem a bit obvious to most of you, but there are some people that don't even know how to use the basic camera settings - heck some people don't even know how to open the camera app! No matter how still you think you can hold your phone, you are always shakier than you think - otherwise we would all be experts at applying winged liner. Simply tap the screen once and everything will come into focus, or tap and hold on a specific area/subject to bring that into focus. 

HDR // HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. This setting takes three different photos at three different exposures, and then merges them together to create a more vibrant image. It is a function that doesn't necessarily work for closeups and portraits, but is great for things like landscapes. 

Timer // Apple have fairly recently brought in a timer function on the iPhone camera. The timer can be extremely helpful when taking images of yourself, or of a subject that requires less camera shake. It is really simple to use, and you can see in the above picture that the third icon in from the left depicts a little clock - this is how you use the timer function. 

Remote // There are many ways of taking images 'hand free' if you will. With the recent selfie stick craze fizzling out, I thought it a good idea to mention an alternative method using the same principles. If you plug in a pair of earphones into an iPhone (it may work with other phones too but I'm not sure) and then open up the camera app, you can use the volume controls to release the camera shutter. 

Exposure // By tapping the screen on an iPhone, it brings up a yellow box with a little sun at the side. By sliding your finger up and down the screen you can adjust the exposure. By sliding your finger up the photo becomes brighter and in some cases, overexposed. By sliding your finger downwards, it darkens the image and underexposes it. 

Editing // Even if your photo isn't exactly how you want it to look, there are various apps on the app store that will enable you to enhance your images. I prefer to use VSCO, even though the recent update has caused uproar amongst the blogging community, I like it because it has the effects that I like the most. 

Have you got any tips?


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