An extended break.

You may or may not have noticed that it’s been a while since I posted.

It turns out that the hiatus has been longer than I’d planned, or wanted, but I don’t have it in me to write this blog at the moment. To cut a long story short I’m currently fighting the black dog that is depression and anxiety/PTSD.

I don’t feel that I can subjectively post my opinions on things, when my perception is as skewed as it is, which is a disservice to everyone. Nor, at the moment, do I want to write about the reality of living with this.  The good news is that I am getting help with it – with the help of my GP we are looking at medications to help and also CBT.

I’m aware this will mean that I’ll likely have to start from scratch when I do return, which I do plan to, but at this time I think this is for the best. I do hope that you understand, and hope to see you when I emerge towards the other side.

Sara

Information !!

I  just wanted to give you a quick heads up that this blog will most likely disappear for a couple of days in the very near future whilst it’s undergoing an overhaul (try saying that 5 times quickly!) but will be back, and the first post on there, after saying I’m back, will be reporting on the Bloggers Funday that’s happening TOMORROW!

I’ve not been that active on anything the last week or so, due to a cold, and life happening but I am very much looking forwards to this, and have been for a while! I’d hoped to get everything sorted in time for it this week, but I’ll be pleased to say that all the prep work is complete now….

Still alive!!

Hi everyone,

I’m not going to apologise for not posting anything – see my earlier posts for why, but I did want to let you know that I haven’t yet fallen off the face of the earth, just still having a downwards dip and I’ve gone back to work and all kinds of fun stuff, and thanks to some pesky white stuff, I still haven’t gotten home, so things are slightly delayed. Rehab for my leg is going about as well as it can be expected to I guess, but I’ll know more when I’ve been to see the consultant.

BUT I can share with you that I will be moving to my own domain pretty soon with a shiny new design! So while I’ve been quiet, I haven’t been neglecting everything!!

I’m currently testing it and finding out what works well, and what doesn’t and even have a logo that’s very slowly taking shape!

I’m hoping to have it all done in time for the Sheffield Blogger meet on 21st February, which I am very much looking forwards to. No promises though, as I really need to be back on my big PC for that!

Catching up on the end of 2014 and an apology for absence

First up apologies for not posting much over the last month or so. I got hit pretty badly with my SAD, and it wasn’t fair on anyone to try and post when I’d got no enthusiasm for anything. Thankfully I’m coming out of the other side of that now, so it’s time to play catchup and move forwards! So here’s a bit of what you can expect coming up!

Coming up over this month, you can expect the lowdown on the Plus Sized blogger meet-up from last month at Meadowhall, a review on Christmas Lights, TWO book reviews, which brings me up to date, and then you can expect my first clothing reviews, and something that arrived in the post for consideration today. So things certainly haven’t stopped!

I’m also preparing to move to my own domain as well soon, something I was going to look into doing for the New Year, but I got caught away from home in the snow that hit on Boxing Day and then being stuck for a week until it cleared and I was allowed out again. I’m going back to work next week as well, which I’m quite looking forwards to, but will obviously impact on my time now, but I’ve already planned for that, and hopefully you’ll hear from me two or three times a week.

I’ve also got a couple of events lined up already for this year, which seems really organised, the first of which is two weekends away, and I’ll be there with my new camera as well to catch all the action with at least one or two other blogger friends.

So there you go, the ice has been broken (quite literally) and you’ll be hearing from me again soon.

Sara x

Photo Calendars by Snapfish and a new camera!

Well, I finally have my new camera and can say that I am now the proud owner of a Fujifilm Finepix S1, thanks to a lightning deal on Amazon and some birthday pennies… so soon I will be back to going out and taking pictures, and everything else I did with it before my old one was stolen! Expect a review of it to come up soon, as there are a few new things to explore with it!

However, that doesn’t mean I’m neglecting my old photos, oh no!! Snapfish were kind enough to get in touch with me to invite me to review their photo calendars in the run up to Christmas, basically by sending me a voucher** and telling me to go crazy! Who am I to turn that down? Nothing ventured and all that!! So, I hopped on over to their site and had a look – there are several different ones to choose from, from poster style, through to desk calendars and wall calendars, so I made a mix and match and ordered several, and began to work through the design process.

This in itself can be as simple or as involved as you want to make it – for the more traditional ‘page a month’ calendars, you choose the style you want, which will dictate the backgrounds and text etc, and then you can choose for the site to automatically assign your pictures to a month, or you can work through month by month if you want a more curated display. You’re also able to add special dates to give it that even more personalised touch. If I’d been using photos of people/family then I would have been tempted to go with the easy option, but I’d got some specific photos I wanted on specific months, so went with the more involved option. It’s also possible to change the layout of the monthly page – which did take a bit of working out how to do, but once I’d worked it out was pretty simple.  I opted from these to make a two wall calendars, and a desk calendar, and I was really pleased with how they came out. Enough space to put on dates and days for the recipients, and also really liked the finish on them. I’m confident that they won’t smudge, despite having a slightly glossed finish (but more satin than high gloss) The photos came out fine; I deliberately chose a mix of high definition images and normal, and was given a warning when the images might have been distorted for being too low resolution, making it pretty foolproof!

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I also opted for a poster calendar, which was really really simple – I uploaded my images for the project, and it automatically will arrange them into a collage – if you don’t like it, then click refresh and it’ll do it again. I clicked this a fair few times, and was a little disappointed that the algorithms meant that I had a lot of clicks before two images I didn’t want together ended up far enough apart for me to be happy with, so my advice here is definitely to just keep clicking and it will eventually happen. Try changing the order they’re added into the project as well, as that seemed to help for me.

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Once all of this was done, all I had to do was wait for my items to arrive, and they arrived quickly! I was expecting something else that day, (which didn’t turn up) but instead was cheered up by these, as they all looked great! The paper quality is really good, and as I mentioned before has a lovely finish on it. The exception was the poster collage calendar, which had a high gloss finish on it, which whilst it does look great, won’t make writing on it that easy, so if you don’t write on your calendar, that’s fine, but if you’re like me, it might drive you a bit nuts, but nothing a post it note won’t solve (and if you’re being really thrifty, you can always cut the dates off at the end of the year, and you have a photo collage poster left!)

Having experienced the process, I’d definitely consider these as presents for birthdays/Christmas (you don’t have to go from January to December with them) as they come out lovely, and even if they aren’t home made in the traditional sense, they’ve had thought and love put into them. I’ve used Snapfish in the past for other prints, and always had good service from them, and a whole bunch of sometimes very generous offers, so you can often get what you’re looking for at really reasonable prices – so go and check them out, and if you make a calendar, I’d love to see it!

Sara

x

**voucher received from Snapfish in return for a post about their photo calendars, however all content and viewpoints remain my own.

Coming up!

This is just a really quick post mostly to let you know what’s coming up in the next couple of days!

I ended up having a nightmare with some photos (and ended up having to go and hunt a new batch converter and all sorts of things) which took up a couple of days of my time, and hospital appointments a chunk more – but I have a new cast now (and understand why it won’t stay properly as my leg is completely deformed at the moment!) as well as a poorly foster cat so it’s meant my time has not been there to spend, wisely or not!

However, I’ve got two orders I need to sort out for some reviews I’m involved in (to be revealed soon!) and then I can finish off the goodie bag from  the #SheffieldBBloggers event post (silver lining: every time I come back to it I’ve tried more of it!) as well as post about the book that I’m reading, and also the event I went to last night… so a fair bit arriving!

#SheffieldBBloggers Part 2!

So, this one is a little later than expected, but as per my last post, I’m not going to apologise for that – real life wins all ties, y’know?

However, it does mean that I can post up a bit more than I’d planned to.

So, you’ll remember from my last post about the event I’d talked about the fact that we were raising money on the day for the charity Look Good Feel Better – helping cancer sufferers deal with the practicalities of their condition as well as providing a Confidence kit of make-up and skincare that’s suitable for sensitive and damaged skin. Well, after the wonderful spread put on for us by Maveli, raffle ticket sales were underway for some absolutely amazing prizes – seriously the companies involved were so generous! Everyone dug deep, and I was only too happy to stick in some cash, especially as being stuck in hospital for a month earlier this year and being mostly housebound since, meant I’d not bought tea or coffee out, so I stuck in what I’d have spent in the month if I’d been on my feet. Below is the list of what was up for grabs so you’ll see why it was causing such a fuss, and helped us raise around £250 for a wonderful cause!

I think every one was covered in one way or another with something to covet in this list!

In the Hair and Beauty department, Argan Dew sent over some of their Hair Oil and Mask Samples, Balm UK sent over a LOAD of goodies, which we split into two prizes because they were so popular!  The Furless Cosmetics Brush Set was another highly coveted prize, Fruition Hair in Sheffield donated a BTX Hair Treatment, and Kim at Boudoir Salon was going to give one lucky recipient a full HD Brows Treatment.

Plenty for those looking for skincare and the like as well, with donations of bundles from Passion for Natural, Bee Good, Cocoa Brown, Only Naturals, La Roche-Posay, and  Nourish, as well as  a personalised donation from Trusted Health Products.

The Handmade Burger Company sent some vouchers for meals for 2, and Fragrance Direct sent 6, yes SIX perfumes!

And finally, but not least, we had contributions from Colorstiq, with an OPI Nail Varnish Gift Set, Candy Rocks donated a necklace, Taupe & Pearl also donated jewellery,  Jewel Candle donated 2 of their candles (very cool premise)  Sunglasses Shop offered a pair of London Retro Sunglasses of the winner’s choosing, and last but not least (although I think the most coveted of all), were FOUR Vivienne Westwood rings donated by Silvertree Jewellery.

 

So now, you know why EVERYONE was so excited! A huge thank you goes out to all the brands who donated and helped us to raise this amount of money for such a wonderful cause! I was thrilled to win three prizes in the raffle, being the Candy Rocks Necklace, one of the bundles of The Balm makeup, and the La Roche-Posay gift set! Lucky lucky me – I’d been talking about wanting to revamp my skincare routine at the start of that week, so that was brilliant!

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Whilst this was going on, we had Kim (mentioned above) who’s Sheffield’s top HD Brow Trainer was giving consultations and treatments out, and there was plenty of chance for networking, and talking about how much fun we were having!

As the afternoon drew towards a close there was one last surprise planned for us, which was the arrival of Costello’s Cakeaway. All I can tell you about this is to go and check them out and try them. They deliver cake. I’ll say that again so it sinks in, they deliver CAKE. To your DOOR. They brought lots of samples, and the room was the quietest it had been all day after their arrival! I didn’t get a picture of the yummy goodness, due to being in the chair, but I did get to try a bit of the Mango and Passionfruit cheesecake which was divine. We did make a delivery order a few days later, and I’m surprised we lasted that long!!

After this, the event wound down, but there was one last surprise, in Flurt – the frozen yoghurt shop I’ve been wanting to try for sometime, had brought us all some haribo and vouchers, just as we were saying goodbye and going our separate ways, so they are definitely on my to-do list and expect the review soon!

All that remains now, is once again to say a huge thank you to Georgina, Ashleigh and Heather for organising this meetup – it was immense fun, and to everyone who came and helped on the day, and contributed, and of course, to write up the goodie bag! I’ll leave you with a sneak peak of the contents though for now…

 

a sneak preview...

a sneak preview…

 

Sara