Archive | April 2017

Review – Kindle Paperwhite 2

I own the Kindle Paperwhite 2 and have for a good couple of years now. I’ve had it probably since around 2014 and since then I have used it a fair bit. It’s something I keep going back to because of how portable it is. I own a lot of physical copies of books, and sometimes I find it much easier to have copies of these books on my Kindle so it is easier for me to carry them around. I take it on long journeys, to school and I use it at home a lot, just recently I finished Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray and I found it much easier to read on my Kindle than on the physical copy because I’m able to change the font size to something my eyes can handle easier. I will also mention now that my Kindle has a magnetic case on it and I highly recommend these. Not only are they protective for both the front and back of the Kindle, but when you open the case, it automatically turns on the Kindle, saving a little bit of time and effort for you.

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The reason I got the Kindle Paperwhite is because of the light feature. I had an older Kindle but I couldn’t see it very well in certain lighting, so the fact that the Paperwhite had this light feature so I could read books both in the dark and in sunlight was amazing, and so useful to me.  I remember a trip I went on a good couple of years ago and I wanted to read a book to pass the time during the journey, but I wasn’t able to read anything on my old kindle because it was so dark, so the fact that the Paperwhite has a light built into it has really benefited me and allowed me to read in multiple situations.

Something else I completely and utterly adore about Kindles in general is that Amazon has such a wide variety of eBooks available, and quite a lot of them from various genres are free. As someone who loves classics, I adored that Amazon had so many classics from authors such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens available for free, and I have most definitely reached into reading classics more often because of this. I also love that if you have downloaded eBooks from elsewhere or even have a PDF file, you can send them to your Kindle wirelessly. I own a Chromebook, so I only have simple features available to me on a laptop, so having the ability to convert eBooks and send them wirelessly was amazing to me and something I have found very useful.

Overall, would I recommend a Kindle Paperwhite? Absolutely! Not only is it so good for reading in various different lighting situations, but they’re so easy to use and the battery is absolutely fantastic. I tend to use my Kindle a fair bit and use it from full to empty without a charge in between and the battery lasts for absolutely ages, but this may be shorter or longer depending on how heavily you use it and what else you do with it. I obviously do not know much about other features on it such as Goodreads, or even how easy it is to purchase eBooks straight from the Kindle, as I tend to use my phone or the Amazon website to do that, but as a basic eReader with a light built into it, it is absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend one of these to someone who either is a heavy book reader, or even someone who doesn’t read as often, but would like the portability of the Kindle.

-Laura

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iPhone Photo Editing Apps

As someone who both loves photography and loves her iPhone, I frequently try to edit photos for my photography Instagram @laurakcald_photography. For that Instagram account I use 2 apps, 1 for editing and 1 for the watermark. The editing app is called ‘Snapseed’ and the watermark app is called ‘Watermark Maker’. I absolutely love these two apps and they do the job I want them to do perfectly.

So, Snapseed has quite a few different editing options which is nice and it has the basics on there which is all I tend to use, as well as a couple of filters. It’s made by Google and can link up to the camera roll on your phone. With saving your images, you have 3 options, you can either save it (which means the edited version overrides the original), save it as a copy or export it (which I don’t use so have no idea what that does). The app gives me this ability to edit my images to make them exactly how I wanted them to look straight from my phone and the best part of the app is that it’s free. I got recommended this app by a friend and it’s all I ever use for photography now.

With Watermark Maker, it’s pretty simple. You can either take a photo or open one from your phone and you have 5 options. With Text, it’s the simplest watermark, you just put in text in whatever font you like from their choices, change the colour and transparency of it and place it on your image. The image option, you can place a square box of another image and place it onto your photo. The watermark option involves templates, and I tend to never use them as they’re not subtle watermarks at all. The QR code option I have also never used but assume means you can place an image of a QR code onto your photo and lastly is the sticker option. It’s similar to photo but with mainly ‘Sale’ type stickers. I only ever use the text option as I have it made perfectly for what I need it to do.

So those are the apps I love using for editing my photos. If you have any free recommendations for editing apps, please let me know. Thank you for reading

-Laura

My Top 10 Books of All Time

As someone who loves reading, I love being recommended amazing books and I love giving my opinions on books and telling people about books I’ve loved. Now that I have and use this blog, I felt inspired to tell you all about my favourite books of all time. They’re from a variety of genres and I hope you guys are interested enough to read some of them, or if you have, let me know what you thought! The only order of this is that the last one is my favourite book of all time. So here we go…

  1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I love this book because it is such a beautiful story and so well written. It really did make me emotional and I loved it to pieces and enjoyed it so much I had to watch the film (which I also loved) and had to read the sequel to it.
  2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This is such a cute little book filled with relatable characters and it’s just thoroughly enjoyable, and I’m pretty sure anyone who reads into the YA genre will have read this book as it’s very popular.
  3. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. I adore Carrie Fisher and managed to get hold of this book (after wanting it for a little while) just after she died, and if anything it made me enjoy it more. It focuses more on her life and affair with Harrison Ford during the first Star Wars film and focuses in on a lot of Carrie’s poetry. It’s absolutely beautiful and written by an amazing woman who definitely impacted my life when I was little (all because of Princess Leia <3) who will most definitely be missed in this world.
  4. The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. I read this a couple of years ago and it was a lovely book filled with such emotion and I think the way the book is written and the strong, emotional story behind it just made it so beautiful.
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This is a lovely book by Jane Austen and is a very well loved classic. I love classics and I just found this to be beautiful. I don’t think much explanation is needed.
  6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A beautiful book of a difficult topic of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. It’s handled very well and is different being from the perspective of death. The film as well is fantastic but you really can’t beat the book. It’s amazing and it’s something I believe everyone should read.
  7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. This is something more recent and is the first book of a trilogy which absolutely is amazing. It’s just really interesting and mixes the real world with angels and other creatures and it’s amazing.
  8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Again, another classic which I found beautiful, I don’t think it needs much explanation.
  9. Skellig by David Almond. This may seem like a strange one to people who have read it, but this book is great. I read it at primary school with my teacher at the time (who even to this day probably about 10 years later is still my absolute favourite teacher ever!) and to me that just made it more interesting. The way he read it made it really exciting and it’s basically my childhood favourites and will always have a special place in my heart. The book basically helped me get into reading.
  10. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Another classic and my all time most favourite book ever. I loved the story of this and it’s been a part of me since I was little. I was also completely obsessed with the Oliver musical film from 1968. In general, I love the story and love Charles Dickens.

So, those are my favourite books and why. Please let me know your favourite books as a comment 🙂

-Laura

Review – Polaroid ZIP

The Polaroid ZIP is a tiny portable printer that links via Bluetooth to your phone. It prints the image in the perfect wallet size, just like a little Polaroid camera, and requires no ink whatsoever, as the ink is built into the paper itself. It uses this paper called ZINK Photo Paper, which I assume means ‘zero ink’ and can sometimes be a bit expensive depending on where you get the paper from. To print the photos, you load them up in the Polaroid ZIP app, and from there your phone will connect via Bluetooth to the printer and print your image onto the ZINK paper.

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I got my Polaroid ZIP in Argos about a year or so ago and it’s something I’ve used on and
off. As someone who loves photography, I have printed a few of my favourite photos onto these little bits of paper before and have them in a photo album made specifically for Polaroid sized images. I do absolutely love the thing and it has become very useful. The paper itself is even a sticker, you just peel off the back and stick it to whatever you want. I have used them as stickers before, back when I used a Filofax for my organisation.

I personally think these little portable printers are better than getting a Polaroid camera, as it means we can take full advantage of the camera quality on our phones, and it means we can record the moment instantly, and worry about printing later. It also means that a single photo can be printed multiple times. For example, with a Polaroid-style camera, if you were with your friends and took a photo together, for everyone to have a copy, you’d have to try to take that same photo multiple times, but with the ZIP, you can just take the photo on your phone as usual and print it multiple times whenever and wherever you want. The actual device itself is a little shorter than the iPhone 6/6S but a lot thicker, so it still is portable.

In all, if you’re someone who likes the size of Polaroid photos, but do not want to get a camera, I fully recommend one of these. You can use this for so many things, like making stickers for your Filofax, printing memories out to keep in an album or even using it to create little bits for a scrapbook. It may seem expensive, as it is currently £119.99 in Argos and varying in price on Amazon, but it is most definitely worth it and a handy little gadget for photography lovers or even just a wide variety of people.

-Laura

Why I Love Photography

Photography is something that I absolutely adore, in case you couldn’t tell by the title. It’s something I have gotten into properly over the last couple of years, stemming really from GCSE art where I focused on photography for the exam project. However, it has been something that I’ve had a love for ever since I was little.

When I was small, I did own a little camera and it wasn’t great yet I used it as much as possible. I took pictures of my old cat, of my grandparents old dog and of random things around the house and flowers in my grandparents garden. When I got a smartphone for the first time in I think 2011, that was great. Ever since then, I’ve had iPhones and I have loved the cameras on them, and I have taken pictures on them a lot, some of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken have been from my current iPhone (6S) and previous phones. More recently however I got the Panasonic Lumix G1, and although, yes it is an old camera, I absolutely love it. I have taken it on so many days out and taken it to take photos of my cats and other pets in my family.

But why do I love photography so much? Well, that is because it’s just amazing in general. You can record these memories of things, such as with days out or with pets and you have them forever. You can print them and have physical copies (I occasionally print out photos with my polaroid zip) or you can keep them on your phone or computer or memory stick forever. You can look at things such as flowers or the sky and just capture this beautiful moment and capture how beautiful certain things in nature are, or even how beautiful man-made things like architecture are. It’s a way of making the world seem a little bit more beautiful and a way of capturing memories and being able to keep them forever. It’s truly one of the best things.

If you’re into photography, please comment why you love it and thank you guys for reading 🙂

-Laura

@laurakcald_photography on instagram

An Introduction

Hi everyone,

I thought I’d write a little introduction to this blog, and give you an opportunity to get to know the person behind it, and what sorts of things will be posted on here. I want to use this blog as something that gives me a chance to put down my thoughts on things such as technology, books and photography, and even maybe give some helpful hints into things.

I really really love photography, reading and techy stuff, so these will be the 3 main things that get mentioned on here. I may do reviews on bits of technology that have had an impact on my life, or things that may be useful for other things that I own, which could benefit other people. With books, I will most likely post my thoughts about certain books that have really gotten to me in one way or another and with photography, I’m not sure what I would post but it’ll most definitely get incorporated into this blog.

Anyway, getting to know me. I’ll most likely publish an ‘about’ page on here, but my here’s a few things about me. My name is Laura and I’m 18 and from Kent. I’m a September baby and as of right now, I’m doing 3 A-Levels and an EPQ (extended project qualification). My 3 A-Levels are Religious Studies, English Literature and Film Studies, so as you can tell, I do enjoy writing things, as these are 3 essay subjects. My favourite things are photography, reading, casual games, technology and animals, and more recently I have just loved going outside on walks, and that’s thanks to my boyfriend. I’m not the sort of girl who is really into makeup, as honestly, even though I own some, I never wear any, and the only time I do is on special occasions. I tend to only wear lipstick or tinted lip balms semi-regularly, so that’ll be something that will most likely never appear on here.

Considering that I love writing things, I sometimes do not know what to say or how to end things. So, if anyone is reading this, thank you so much for reading and I look forward to posting more on here in the future 🙂

-Laura