Sunday, 30 March 2014

What's on my iPhone!!

I've seen quite a lot of these videos from people I watch on YouTube recently, and I find it fascinating to see how different people use and organise their phone so I thought I'd do one of my own.

My iPhone is a fairly new addition to my life (previously I had a 2 year old Samsung that wasn't even capable of internet access...)- I purchased it from my boyfriend when his contract was about to end, so he now has a shiny new gold 5s and I have his old 4s- it is already a 2 years old but it's in great condition (Dale frequently uses his phone in the bath, so I have no idea how he went 2 years without dropping it in!!!) and I'm much happier only paying £170 for it than saving to buy a brand new phone!

As an aside: if you live in the UK I highly recommend using GiffGaff  for a sim only plan- I get unlimited texts and data and 250 minutes a month for £12- they also have various other options for less data etc. (though I watch YouTube videos at work - during lunch!- all the time so I use around 2GB of data a month anyway!) GiffGaff uses the O2 network and I've always had awesome signal and internet strength :)

First of all I thought I'd show you what's ON my iPhone:

I love the idea of custom cases, so I bought a clear case (eBay for 99p) and cut out a piece of fabric (found in my 'junk fabric' box) to the shape of my phone, including a camera hole. I love the material and I have had compliments on it, plus I can change it at any time! I think I might find something more light coloured and spring-like soon.

My lock screen is actually a picture of unstirred paint- I found a whole redditdevoted to pictures of paint cans which have not been mixed yet (there's a subreddit for everything!!) and this one looks like a galaxy!

First page:

My background picture is just a rather boring purple background that came with my phone- I prefer to have a very simple background though as my eyes get kinda confused if there's a busy background as well as all those apps- I just feel like it's easier to read this way.

Naturally the first page has most of my most-used apps. On the top two rows I have useful apps, and the bottom two have social media apps. I love love love Wunderlist- it's a great list making app which allows you to write several separate lists, include sub-lists for details and tick off or delete items once complete. I love lists, and this is the perfect alternative to the hundreds of scraps of paper I used to use...

I'm a little disappointed by the Blogger app- I wish I could see stats, find older posts easier and reply to comments easier. Although I do love that I can now start composting new posts wherever I happen to be- I've started to just start new posts whenever I get an idea, rather than having to wait until later and my inspiration might be gone. If you use reddit I recommend Alien Blue- although to be honest I've not used an alternative. And I think anyone with an iPhone needs to have Google Maps rather than the Apple Maps app....

Apparently the bottom row is actually called the 'Dock'- don't say I never teach you anything. So in my 'Dock' I have what I consider to be the essentials- Messages, Phone, Email and Safari. I have considered replacing Email with something like Twitter or YouTube, but I couldn't decide which I would rather have, so Email it is!

I spent a really long time working out how to create these little folders- but I'm glad I did, even though I only have a few. My first one is for picture related apps- Photos, Camera and Snapseed, which is a great little picture editing app created by Google+. It has tonnes of different editing options, as well as filters and even a tilt-shift option. Lots of fun to play with, and has everything I actually want to edit a picture. 

I also have a little folder for my music apps- obviously I have the standard iPhone music app, but I also love Jango (which is like a UK friendly Pandora- it's awesome!) and TuneIn Radio- I'm not sure if this is UK only, but it allows me to stream any radio station (literally any channel in the UK, even if they're internet only etc.) to my phone- it does sometimes take a while to buffer, but I like the radio when I'm not sure what I want to listen to!

This is my second page of apps- which is mainly TV and more practical things. The IMDB app might be my most used app from this page- I'm really really good at remembering faces, but not so good at placing them- so in almost everything I watch there's at least one person I need to look up! I like a bit of catch-up TV (passes the time during my lunch break if it's raining outside) and I love SideReel to keep track of when various shows are on (mainly US shows)

I really must use Goodreads more, I'm sure all my shelves are way outdated... Epicurious is a nice recipe app (I don't think I've used a single recipe from it, but I like it for inspiration at least!) and I still love Pinterest- I go through phases of using it every day, then not at all...

I bank with HSBC and their app is really handy, I can transfer money from my savings to my current account and I like to be able to see my balance wherever I am (mainly to help me decide if I can afford a purchase or not!) Countdown+ is another recent favourite of mine- I love counting down to things (I get easily excited) and this app allows me to enter many dates to count down to :)

Sketch Pad is a fun little app too- it's kinda the iPhone equivalent of a basic Microsoft Paint- Dale and I draw silly pictures for each other, and play a kind of pictionary on it :)

This 'Extras' folder is like a junk drawer of things I either don't want, but can't delete, or use very infrequently. The exception to this is the Calculator- I actually find myself using it quite a lot. Units Plus is an awesome app to have- it will convert almost anything into anything else- it does Area, Currency (every one you could possibly need) Length, Speed, Temperature, Weight, Volume etc.- I mainly use it for converting US recipes into UK measurements, but I've used it quite a bit actually :)

Does anyone actually ever use: Weather, Newsstand, Stocks or Passbook? It annoys me that I can't actually delete them!

Page 3 is my games- I don't have that many, and I don't tend to play games all that often- again I go through phases with them. 

Candy Crush and SongPop are my most played- I'm totally addicted to both! Tapped out and Sims FreePlay are really fun- though I sometimes neglect them for weeks...Sudoku Free and Jigty Puzzles are nice, more relaxing games- I often do them in bed if I'm struggling to sleep. 

My last page is mainly shopping apps- and a couple of 'lifestyle' ones. I like all of these shop apps- the Ikea one lets me make a shopping list (which I really appreciate, it's often really hard to find things again with Ikea's crazy names) The eBay app is particularly good- I think it's very similar to the website- just as easy to navigate and make a purchase :)

The 7M Workout is a lot better than I anticipated, I like the custom workout settings (but I hate that I can't avoid push ups, they totally destroy my wrists- so I have to improv some other exercise whilst they're on) and even lazy lazy me can squeeze in 10 minutes of exercise most days.

Appy couple is a wedding website app that my friend is using for her wedding- it has all the things a wedding website usually has, but on the day everyone with the app can take and upload pictures, which is rather cool :) The Period Tracker app would probably be a lot more useful if I remembered to use it more- I may delete it soon.

So that's what's on my iPhone- I tag everyone to show me what's on yours!


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Photography Challenge #2 - Flowers

This week has almost made me believe that Spring might finally be on it's way- although I LOVE Christmas I really do hate the cold weather and pretty much everything else about Winter- it's cold and dark and miserable! This week the weather seems to have brightened up (I was totally drenched on the way home from work at least 3 days out of 5 last week, but it was at least warmer and a little bit sunny!), and the spring flowers are definitely making an appearance so I thought that the Flower theme for my Photography Challenge would be rather appropriate.

I have a love/hate relationship with flowers really: they're very pretty, and fresh flowers really brighten up a room, however I do get really awful hay fever (people have started cutting grass along my route to work and it's started already) plus I have to agree with Phoebe from Friends- it's really sad to have flowers in your house and just watch them slowly wilting and dying...

Anyway, outside Dales flat there is quite a selection of planted flowers, and the daffodils have been making their lovely appearance in the past couple of weeks :)



As much as I don't necessarily like real flowers in my house, I do have quite a lot of clothes and scarves etc. with floral patterns on (that and butterflies, I have SO many butterfly print things!!!) This the floral pattern on a dress I bought yesterday (a very simple £8 dress from primark)


Are you a fan of fresh flowers or you tend to leave them outside like me?


Sunday, 16 March 2014

If money were no object (# 10) plus a more realistic shopping list!

It's been quite a long time since I've written one of these posts- in fact it's been so long I've actually purchased a couple of my most previous wish list items (beautiful Helmer storage, a kindle, an iPhone and rather a lot of nail polishes!) but I can assure you I've certainly bit stopped dreaming about things I cannot afford!

First up is something quite practical- my poor PC is getting rather old and doddery, I got it just over 6 years ago now and it has been well used. I think part of the problem might be that my hard drive is stuffed full (perhaps a new external hard drive might be a good investment) but it takes a long time to load and cant cope with running several applications at a time (it also totally fails at loading Sims 3 which I'm sad about) 

This brings me nicely onto the next thing on my wish list- I've played a fair amount of Sims 3 in the past 6 months, I had the Sims 3 base game, Late Night and High End Loft Stuff (which I got together in a bundle for about £4 on Origin) and then I got Seasons, Pets and University expansions for £10 each on sale. I'm a little disappointed by The University expansion (I think the one for Sims 2 was better in many ways) I do still love all of the ways expansions make the game so much interesting and varied. Unfortunately the expansions are expensive, and there are so many I'd love to have (let's face it, I pretty much want them all!!!!)

There are a couple of things that are slightly more achievable for me in the near future- my boyfriend Dale is moving in with me in May (my current housemate is moving to the US) so I'll be swapping rooms (to an en suite bathroom, yay!!!) and we'll be rearranging almost everything in the flat so that everything is just as we want it :)

I'd love to have a coat rack in the hall- we have a nice wide hall, and I hate having dead space, plus it means our coats wont be hanging on the end of our bed (which tends to happen now, and it annoys me!) I love this one from Ikea, my dad has the same one in his house and it's a great size for our two coats, my gigantic scarf collection ( I must show you that sometime, I love scarves!) and anything else we might want to store. It's only £25, and I love going to Ikea- I'd quite happily go for the day even if I couldn't buy anything at all.

Ikea Portis Hat & Coat Stand

I've also got my eye on some cord holders for bedside tables and desks- since I have got myself an iPhone both me and Dale have phones to charge every night, and with the charger cables, headphones, my glasses, water and lots books on my bedside table everything becomes a big tangled mess! When everything moves around we will have a bedside table each, but I think some of these colourful cord holders will keep things a bit tidier :)

Cord holders- £1.49 on eBay

And lastly, what would a post like this be without some make up and nail related wish list items!

I've been intrigued by Mavala Scientifique for a while now, since the lovely BognaW uploaded her nail care routine video. I'm somewhat torn about it as it contains Formaldehyde (which is a carcinogen, and therefore surely can't be great for my nails) but it does seem to have great results on strengthening nails- which I definitely need!

It is pretty expensive, but I've spotted it on Amazon for about £5, I just need to decide if I want to use it or if I'm too scared! Anyone got any experience with it?

Mavala Scientifique

Another potential eBay purchase is some magnetic tape, so that I can depot a few eye shadows (probably my natural collection shadows) into my e.l.f. elements compact- which is currently sitting unused in my drawer.

Magnetic Tape- £1.25 for 1M on eBay

So what's on your wish list at the moment?


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Photography challenge #1 - Your Shoes

As I said in my original photography challenge post I'm not planning on posting these themes in the same order as the list I'm following, and in fact this first post actually uses day 18's theme; Your Shoes.

This photo was actually one I took before I found the challenge list I picked out- I was standing on the street after work waiting for Dale to meet me, when I happened to look down and see that my feet had lined up nicely with the brick pattern on the floor. 

I like that this picture makes my feet look tiny (they kinda are- I'm usually a size 3/4) and that you're seeing them from my perspective - as if you were looking down and seeing my shoes instead of your own.
I took a couple more photos of my boots once I decided upon this challenge:

This one took a little creative camera holding- I bent double with my legs straight and held my camera facing towards me (took a few tries before I was happy with the shot as I couldn't see my screen when I took them!)


And here is a picture of the shoes themselves- I love these boots, they were around £22-24 from New Look last autumn (I think I bought them in October) and although they have a heel they are so comfy; I've worn then to work for weeks on end (which is a 15 min walk each way, then a lot of walking around at work- even though I work in an office!) and the only time I find them hurting is when my weak ankles are causing me problems (which happens in almost all shoes, my ankles are very pathetic)

I hope it's not somehow cheating that I selected three photographs to post for one theme- but I guess I've already edited the rules a bit already, I'll just go with what I want to do!

Sorry I didn't get around I posting a non-photography post here as I planned this week, I've got a few ideas line up for next week though :)


Sunday, 2 March 2014

The '30 Days' of Photography Challenge

I love taking pictures, and photography has always been something of a fascination for me (my dad is the same, we always used to berate him for never taking pictures of people on family holidays- but he'd take what felt like 1000s of beautiful pictures of scenery and interesting landmarks) I did a City and Guilds course in black and white photography at college (it was awesome- I learned how to properly use an SLR camera and develop my own film rolls) but I've never really practised photography since- aside from lots of pictures whilst travelling or out with friends and products for blog posts.

There is a saying (attributed to various people) that says 'The best camera you have is the one in your hand' which I think probably goes a long way to explaining why I've not been in the habit of taking photos, I never had a camera  with me! But now I've joined the iPhone owners club I have a fairly good quality camera with me at all times, which really leaves me with no excuse!

I think I mentioned in my first post of this year that I'd been thinking about doing a photography challenge, I wanted to force myself to take more pictures, and to get into a habit of pulling out my camera. I also hope it would be interesting for you guys to see- as I'll be doing a blog post for each theme.

I won't be doing the challenge in the 30 days- I don't want to commit to posting every day again, it makes me all stressed! Plus I'd like to be able to make sure each picture theme I post is well thought-out and I have time to explain the story behind it :) I also probably won't do then in the same order as the picture below- I think I'll just see where my moods takes me!

Anyway- here are the 30 day challenge themes I will be doing: 


It took me a while to find one that I liked (there are lots and lots of options out there if you're interested) and I did consider cobbling together my own 30 themes; many of them focus on pictures of yourself, which I didn't particularly want, and lots more were designed for people with beautiful, fancy DSLR camera that can take clever technical pictures by using a long exposure etc (one day I will own one of my own) but this one seemed right for me, I like every single one of the themes!

Have any of you done a photography challenge?