Archive | April 2017

Video Game Consoles – what do I own & love?

Ever since I was little, I have honestly loved video games, but the company that has always stood out to me most has been Nintendo, because they have such a wide variety of games available for a wide variety of ages and there is always something for everyone. Of course I do have other companies that I love, like Xbox (Microsoft) and I do enjoy a bit of what Sony (PlayStation) put out, but that is mainly the handhelds.

So over my life I have owned a variety of consoles, and right now I have a total of 9. This includes both home and handheld consoles. For home ones, I own an Xbox One and a Wii U. I did used to own an Xbox 360 but I sold it. With handhelds, I have old and new ones, my older ones are things like the PSP, Gameboy Colour, DS Lite, Dsi XL & the Gameboy Advance SP, whereas with newer ones I have the New 3DS and the PS Vita.

 

With my Nintendo consoles, I really love Mario games and with the 3DS in particular I absolutely adore Animal Crossing New Leaf. With my 3DS I tend to stick with games you can dip in and out of whenever and much cuter games, but with my Vita, I kinda prefer fighting games. I love fighting games, like Mortal Kombat and Super Street Fighter, and I really wanna try out games like Injustice, and in general I wanna try some JRPGs with my PS Vita, as I’ve had recommendations for those by a friend.

My Xbox One and Wii U are two consoles I use for a variety of things other than gaming. I tend to just play games with my boyfriend on those, and the Wii U is a particular favourite as I love Mario Kart 8, but I tend to use them more for YouTube. I like watching videos on my TV and it’s just easier to watch when with my boyfriend as we don’t have to sit with the screen on our laps, making it easier when eating, or multitasking and playing on my 3DS!

If I have to pick a favourite console in both the home and handheld categories, I think I have the easy choice with the handheld category at least. For my favourite handheld, it has to be my 3DS, I play that thing so much and am slowly working on building up a good collection of games. With the home consoles though, I’m not too sure. I love both the Xbox One and Wii U equally, but I’d probably have to pick Wii U because I go on it more, and I have a huge love for Nintendo. I’d love to know what your favourite console is and even favourite games, so please let me know! 🙂

-Laura

Ps. this is not bragging, but a post about something I love

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

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

Review – Mini Elite Transport Case (Nintendo 3DS)

I am a huge fan of the New 3DS. I have the normal sized one with pink and white stripe cover plates and I use it a lot, mainly for Animal Crossing New Leaf and Happy Home Designer, and about a year ago I wanted something to put the 3DS in, but also carry around a lot of games and spare bits and pieces. So, when I saw the Mini Elite Transporter case for £7.99 on Amazon, I had to get it and try it out.

81tg4j6fiql-_sy445_The case as 3 sections. A little pocket at the front (which I store my AR cards in), the main pocket which has a pouch for the 3DS and has bits to put spare styluses in and enough room to put other bits and bobs in. The third section is very thin, and contains slots to put your games in. You can normally fit 12 games in it, but I’ve discovered you are able to put 2 games in each slot since the slot is elasticated. Meaning in total you can try to carry 24 games if you want to.

It is a bit of a bulky case however, and it doesn’t always fit in my handbag, which is why I’m now considering buying a thinner case for travelling, but still use this case for storing the games and accessories that I don’t want to take with me. I do love this case and it does feel very sturdy, and it is an official Nintendo product, so you’re getting high quality and value for your money. This case isn’t really that costly, for £7.99 you’re getting something that you can carry pretty much everything in for your 3DS. The only issue for UK people however is that we won’t be able to get our chargers in there, unless it’s a USB cable and a separate adapter plug that can fold in, but I assume Americans wouldn’t have the same issue we do.

As a whole, although this case isn’t perfect for me, as it is quite bulky and doesn’t fit in my bag, when my 3DS is in there, I feel like it is being protected and it’s nice to have somewhere to put all of my games and accessories. I think if you carry around a bigger bag, or even if you just carry this around, it’ll be great for you, and I do highly recommend it. It’s a great price and amazing quality and is more spacious on the inside than you may initially think. As much as I love it, I will probably only use it for storage purposes and I will most likely get a different case to put my 3DS in when travelling. If you have this case, please let me know what you think of it.

-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 – Rose Gold Milanese Watch Strap (from eBay)

The minute I got the Apple Watch (which I will do a review on soon) I knew I had to get a milanese loop strap. I saw the look of them on multiple websites in silver and thought they looked beautiful. But, as I have the rose gold watch, I wanted a rose gold band. After looking on the official Apple website, I not only discovered that these bands were £149 each, but there was no rose gold! So away I went to eBay and Amazon and for £7.99 I found a rose gold milanese strap. I fell in love and ordered it as soon as I could.

Now, I absolutely adore my Apple Watch, and I do love the sports band that comes with it, but I really did want to get one of these simply for variety and because it’ll make the watch look a little bit more classy when in more formal settings, especially as I know soon I’ll be going to a Christening, and I don’t really want to be wearing an informal looking sporty watch strap to that!

I ordered the strap on the 6th of April and it arrived on the 8th of April, and tried it a couple of times and here’s what I think. It’s a great quality watch band and for £7.99, it is an absolutely amazing price. Now unfortunately I can’t link anyone to it, as the listing has recently been taken down for some reason, but you can find ones similar for a pound or two more expensive which I still think is a great price for this. Now, as I don’t own an official milanese strap, I can’t compare the two, but what I can say is the quality of this band is what I imagine Apple’s official one to feel like. The metal is comfortable and feels breathable and also feels very strong and sturdy. The magnet is very strong and I had absolutely no worries about it coming loose or anything. I let my boyfriend try it too and he noticed that it didn’t snag on any arm hairs, but when I was wearing it, the only issue I found is that the edges of the band kept getting caught on my hair band, but that problem is easily fixed by simply moving my hair band slightly further away (I always wear one on my wrist). I have very tiny wrists, somewhere between 13 to 15cm if I remember correctly, so the magnet has to touch the very tip of the other side of the band, which is fine, but I want to put that out there as a warning for anyone with tiny wrists.

Overall, this band is amazing quality from what I can tell, and is an absolutely amazing price and available in a wide variety of colours, more than Apple’s official range of these bands! This is definitely something that would be a lot more classy than the sports band, and is perfect for more formal occasions, but also looks great in a casual look. It’s definitely worth the money and if you can get your hands on one for roughly this price of even just a tad more expensive, you’ll be getting a great deal and it’s so totally worth it. I’m just hoping this band lasts a long time, and considering how strong the magnet is, I feel like it’ll last. I highly recommend one of these bands!

-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