Sunday, 11 March 2018

Lifestyle || HP Sprocket Review

I have always had a love for photography, infact my very first blogpost was a review of the Fugifilm Instax camera, so it was probably about time that this smart little device made it's way into my life and then onto this blog too! I had been dreaming of owning the Sprocket for such a long time but never got around to purchasing it myself, so when I opened it on Christmas day last year I was over the moon! 

If you have never heard of this nifty little pocket printer before and are into photography, crafts or generally printing out your photographs then this is the device for you. The sprocket is honestly the pocket printer that you never knew you needed, but are kind of glad you own! I won't lie, the prints aren't always the best, but it works perfectly for my needs and I enjoy the simplicity of setting it up to connect with a mobile device! 

The Sprocket that I was lucky to receive was the rose gold gift set. As well as receiving the white and rose sprocket printer, the gift set also included a cute little photo album, rose gold Sprocket case and a pack of photo paper. I love the sleek, smooth design of the Sprocket and the rose gold features on my printer add a really pretty and delicate touch. (This is the gift set that I received, but there are many other ways that you can purchase the Sprocket on it's own too! -

One of the best features about the Sprocket, and probably a reason why I am now favouring this over my Instax camera, is the ability to edit and decide what images you want to print. Gone are the days where you have to use up all 10 films to capture one image. Using the Sprocket is so easy which makes the whole process quite enjoyable! After downloading the Sprocket app, and connecting your phone to the Sprocket's bluetooth network, the Sprocket is ready to go! The app itself has been designed really well too. As you open the app you are greeted with your phones camera roll. You select the image you want to 'edit' and begin the printing process.  

Editing the images is one of the best parts of the whole process. You can, obviously, print the image as it is straight from the phone making it more of a natural shot. Alternatively you can edit the colours, add a pretty filter or pop on some stickers before clicking the printer icon to have it sent to your sprocket device via bluetooth. Sprocket update the stickers that you can select quite often so if your for example celebrating Christmas, you can add lots of borders and stickers to reflect this in your images - honestly, it's much cooler than I am making it out to be! 

As you can see from the image above the printer quality isn't always the best, but it isn't rubbish and it does a great job of making the print as true to your edit as possible. 

I am sure that there are other printers on the market which would work better than the Sprocket, but for me it's just the device I wanted. One of the main downsides of owning the Sprocket, and probably the same downside of owning any device of this kind, is the price it takes to refill the paper. Although the paper is on offer a lot of the time on Amazon, it is still quite pricey for only 10/20/50 images. With that being said though, it makes you really decide on the photos that you want to have printed which can only be a good thing! 

So what can you use the Sprocket for I hear you ask? Well... there are many many uses for your prints thanks to the sticky back paper. For me, I wanted to use the Sprocket to document and journal. Instead of keeping all of my images in the little photo album all the time, I have purchased a small sketchbook from Paperchase that I have been using to put the prints in at the end of each month. Perhaps at some point I will share that on here too! 

Hope you've enjoyed today's post! 
Until next time, 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Lifestyle || Steps I've Taken To Up My Photography

Taking photographs for my blog is probably one of my favourite steps in the whole blogging process. I love trying different things, using different props and generally experimenting when I shoot. As much as I love photography, it does at times become quite stressful. I can picture how I want images to look in my mind but it doesn’t always translate on the camera. I’ve been changing a couple of things up recently which, in my opinion, has helped me to take better photographs.

1.    Planning
I already kind of mentioned this above, but I find planning out what photographs I want to take before taking them helps a lot. This obviously changes depending on what I am photographing. I plan in a couple of ways. Simply searching flat lay ideas on Pinterest or scrolling through Instagram is a good way of researching ideas. Another way of planning, which works mainly with makeup photography, is physically looking at products to see which angle they will photograph best. Do they have anything special on their containers that’s worth photographing?

2.    Props
I’m a big fan of props, especially ones that can be used for a multiple of pictures! As well as my Marble backdrop board that I created as the perfect backdrop, I also use diaries, ribbons and confetti to scatter in the background of images. More recently, and probably thanks to the Christmas season, I have been using fairy lights to add a bit of ‘background’ to my images. You might have noticed a gorgeous light pink faux fur rug in a couple of recent Instagram photos? – That’s my comfy Zara Gilet. So you can truly use anything as a prop for your images! I have listed below a couple of ‘Blogger’ favourite’s that always look pretty when photographed.

-       Light Box (I’m yet to use mine in photos, but they look great!)
-       Other Products – This is a great idea when photographing products from the same brand.
-       Candles – Always look pretty when photographed from above, just be careful not to have them lit as this can damage your camera!
-       Jewellery – There’s something about jewelry that looks pretty when laid out.
-       Rugs – Faux fur, brightly coloured or monochrome. Rugs are always a great addition to a photo, and they extend your frame too if your running out of space on a surface!

Both ribbon and shredded paper that came with my Glossybox made a great photo prop!

Fairy lights and Christmas garland aren't just for Christmas!

Blurred out, the fairy lights and garland look pretty and make the background interesting.

Marble board, fairy lights and my trusty faux fur body warmer!

3.    Looking back at images
This is a step that I have been doing a lot recently, especially with the changing of weather and light when taking my images. Although I now own two studio lights, it’s still tricky to control the outcome of my photographs. So looking back over them when there’s time to change the finishing product is a great step to take. This can be annoying, especially if your using a tripod as you have to take everything apart before continuing with your images, but it’s worth doing trust me. It makes the editing step a lot easier, as you’re kind of taking out the middle man.

4.    Angles
I read a great post the other week (I am so annoyed I now can’t find the post or the blogger!) about changing up the angles of which you take your photographs. I agreed with every point that the blogger made about taking photographs for you, and following your own instinct when it comes to blogging photos. Since starting my blog I have been a firm fan of the flat lay, and don’t get me wrong I still am, but I have enjoyed switching the angle slightly and changing up my lenses to photograph in a fresh profile style way.

5.    Have fun!
This isn’t really a step, or a tip, but something that’s taken me a while to truly grasp. Photography is such a fun thing to do, and half the time we stress out so much about it the enjoyment is taken away. I try to combat this by photographing when I want to, rather than when I need to. This does mean I tend to plan my posts in advance, which can be annoying, but it also gives me time to come up with ideas for Instagram posts as well as for my blog. Things don't always go right either and that's ok too! As you can tell from the next set of photographs, taking photos AND owning cats brings up it's own problems!

Hope some of my tips have helped in some way. Photography is truly all about how you want to do it, no rules and no guidelines. I think that’s probably what I like about it the most! I was going to go into tips on shooting OOTD’s or fashion posts on your own, but think that’s worth a post all of its own! Let me know if that’s of any interest!

Until next time,

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Lifestyle || My February Favourites

Why is it that January always seem's to be about 8 years long, but February goes by in the blink of an eye? Considering that February is my birthday month, it's just not fair! Anyway enough of my moaning and onto the meaning of this weeks post... my February favourites. This month I have discovered a few fashion secrets, that aren't so much of a secret, continued my love for my newest eyeshadow palette and fallen back in love with reading. Lets dive into the post...

Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette
This palette has slowly become one of my most used this month. The shades work so well together, and I have really enjoyed feeling a little bit braver by using the cranberry tone in the outer corner of the eye. There are so many looks I am yet to try from this palette and I can't wait to use the gorgeous purple and cranberry shade together... will I be brave enough to document this on Instagram? Only time can tell! 

Zara Kids
Yep, you read that right...Zara Kids. To be even more exact, Zara Kids SALE.Since Christmas I have lost quite a bit of weight which has allowed me to actually enjoy shopping again. At the beginning of February I went shopping in my nearest Zara where I accidentally tried on a couple of T-shirts which were placed within the TRF section. To my surprise, they fitted nicely and were extremely comfortable, not to mention the fact they were both £2.99! Since then I have actually started to look more in the children departments of stores, because why not. The clothes that are on offer for children at the moment are equally as fashionable and at half the price.    

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
It's been a long time since I've been excited about reading so I am so eager to share this little beauty. On a completely spontaneous trip to Waterstones at the beginning of the month I noticed this book as being the 'pick of the week' and was really intrigued. After reading the synopsis I knew it was for me and I've been hooked ever since. The storyline is about a lady called Eleanor Oliphant who lives a pretty routined life. That is until she meets her 'love at first sight' musician on a night out and makes it her mission to change herself to be 'perfect' for him. I am currently half way through the book so can't give it a full review, but know this is going to be a feature on this very blog when it's done. 

HP Sprocket
I was extremely lucky to have been gifted the HP Sprocket, Rose Gold Limited Edition set as a Christmas present and have loved it ever since. I enjoy photography, and have enjoyed using my Instax camera. However one of the minuses, and at times positives, about the Instax camera is the 'rawness' of taking photos. You can often take 2/3 Instax shots if your trying to capture something perfectly which ends up being quite expensive. With the Sprocket you're able to edit the photographs before printing giving you the ability to double check you're happy with them. I love that you can add writing and stickers to images but also love the 'polaroid' factor to printing. -I've got a whole post coming on this soon so stay tuned! 

Nike Internationalist Premium Trainers
Can we just spend a moment or two to look at how pretty these trainers are... I mean, rose gold/pink trainers are everything! I've never really been a trainer person and would much rather pop on a pair of boots or flats to wear in a casual setting. After noticing this space in my wardrobe I started my hunt for the perfect ones. That sounds more dramatic than it was, I literally searched on Nike for about an hour to find these, but as soon as I saw these I fell in love with them and have worn them so much. 

There are just a few of my favourite things that I have been loving throughout the month of February! Let me know if you've been enjoying any of the same things!

Until next time,

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Beauty || Glossybox February 2018

I was over the moon when I spotted the February edition of Glossybox arrive on my doorstep at the beginning of the week. As sad as it sounds I rarely make online beauty orders any more, so I always really look forward to the arrival of my Glossybox every month. I had seen so many cute photographs gracing my Instagram feed of this month's box design, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on it to photograph it for myself. The pictures truly don't do it enough justice! 

This month's box theme is 'Galentines', so going along with the love theme, the box was full of pink and red toned products as well as a stunning eyeshadow palette. 

Depending on the way you have filled out your online Glossybox beauty profile, you receive 5 gorgeous beauty products. For me, I received the following: 

  • Ciate London Geology mini nail varnish in shade Mistress
  • Steve Laurent Lip Gloss in shade Nude Pop
  • Studio 10 Makeup Mist Glow-plexion
  • Icona Milano Emotion Allowed Mascara
  • Sleek Makeup Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Storm

I feel like I am constantly saying this in my Glossybox posts, but this month's box might just be my favourite yet! Ciate is a brand that I am already a big fan of and one that I would go out and purchase products from myself anyway. The new gel formula polish is interesting to me and I loved how easy it was to apply. The red shade is also a great pick for me as I don't actually own a lot of red polishes. Steve Laurent is a brand that was introduced to me through Glossybox and one that I have enjoyed using. This particular product is a lipgloss. Now, I don't often wear lip glosses but I did give this a little road test. I will be honest, it's not for me. As much as I like the shade, and think it would look pretty tapped lightly onto a darker shade of lipstick, I'm just not a fan of the pot application. I just find it messy and annoying! This product will be going straight into my mums collection as I know she will love it more than I do. The next product was the Studio 10 face mist. I am still yet to try this so can't really give my opinions yet. However, I love the sound of using it as a setting spray that hydrates and primes the skin. Next up is the Icona Milano Emotion Allowed mascara. This mascara is more of a creamy formula that builds volume and lasts for a long period of time. Another plus is that it's cruelty free, and I for one am really pleased about that factor. Finally, I was excited to see the Sleek eyeshadow palette in Storm. All of the shades are so creamy and super pigmented. They are also colours that I would have chosen for myself as they can work together to create both natural and dramatic looks.  

Overall this month's box has been perfect, and just what I needed after the disaster of last month! (I hated January's box so much I didn't actually bother writing about it or sharing it anyway - Sorry!). 

What do you think about this month's box? I would be interested to know if you received anything different if you're a subscriber?!

Until next time,