Art Supplies · Art/Crafts · DIY/Tutorials · Uncategorized

DIY: Washi Duck Tape tabs

ducktape_washi

I’m awful at the whole regular blogging thing. Sorry not sorry. I promised myself I wouldn’t force anything when it came to my new blog, that includes imposing a schedule on myself. I’ve got plenty to write about, lots more to post, but I’m only going to do it when I feel up to it. In the meantime, I have lots of notes and thoughts and stuff that I keep in a notebook. It’s really helpful to be able to mark or tab things to help organise my thoughts, and while I use a notebook with two ribbon markers and have an index, it’s not quite enough for me. So what do I do? Washi tape tabs!

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This stuff is really simple guys, and I absolutely love it. Anyone who follows me on twitter will likely know that I am addicted to duck tape. No, really. This is basically me. (not to scale, both horizontally and vertically.)

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Well, a while back, I saw Hobbycraft started stocking duck brand washi tape, so I had to get some. Washi tape is endlessly useful, especially if you like to be organised, but today, I’m gonna share a few ways I use the stuff in my notebook to help sort of “file” my ideas. I used to hate the idea of working on several things in one notebook and fear the blank page, but thanks to numbered pages, an index and washi page tabs, it’s no longer an issue for me.. mostly.

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First, I’ll start with the easiest to move/remove. Paperclips! Paperclips are great to not only hold you pages together, but make little flag markers too. Simply put a small piece of washi tape through the clip, fold it over and trim the end in to whatever shape your heart desires. Personally, I cut mine to look kinda like ribbons. So useful!

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Next are tabs for your actual notebook. Like I said before; these are all super easy! Just cut a piece of washi tape and attach it to your page, fold it over either just on itself or to the back side of the page. Personally, I choose to do it to the back side of the page, it feels sturdier when flipping to it.

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Lastly, two types of page edging! This is great if you want to mark pages or sections, but don’t want anything sticking out of your notebook. Simply put a length of washi tape along the page and fold it over. Or, as shown above, you can do a smaller length piece.

All of these are nice and easy, simple and effective. What I love is that they’re also really easy to remove and replace or whatever you need to do. You can also write on them, use the tape to cover mistakes, wrap cords, tag stuff, wrap boring stationery and so much more.

I hope some of you may find this helpful! Do you already use Washi tape? What do you use it for? I’d love to hear your uses for it!

 

*Some of the Duck Tape Washi Tapes featured in this post were gifted to me from the brand*

disability · Health · Life · Reading · Uncategorized

Why Kindle is superior to the Paperback

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Ooo, that’s right, I said it, I went there! Kindle > Paperbacks.

For many moons, or well, just the one moon, technically, but, it’s been a while; people have argued that paperbacks are, and will always be superior when compared to the sinful e-book. Okay, so I’ll admit, I hands down prefer having a physical form of book, the delight of a paperback in my hands, over my e-reader. There’s the weight, the feel of the pages, the sound when you turn them, that book smell and just… there’s a beauty to it, I’m sure you know what I mean. However, my Kindle is far superior – for some reasons, you may not have even considered.

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There are some obvious perks to an e-reader. They save space, they allow you to take an entire library while traveling while occupying only a sliver of the space, e-books are often cheaper, have 99p/introductory offers or some are even free. There are also some less obvious perks. After discussing this with numerous friends, they admitted they’d not really thought about them.

One word. Accessibility. Yeah, paperbacks are great. When was the last time you saw a large print version of a new release by your favourite author? That’s right. Large print books are often more expensive and have far less variety and availability compared to a standard print edition. An e-reader eliminates this worry because not only can a kindle books font size be increased, but the font can be changed to one of a variety that a visually impaired person may find easier to view and at no further cost to them.

Speaking of fonts; what about Dyslexia? Some dyslexic people find it very difficult to try and read a book. An e-reader helps in many ways. As well as being able to adjust the font size, margins and line spacing can be adjusted to change the format of a page which someone with dyslexia, cognitive dysfunction, a learning disability or other impairment may find incredibly beneficial. As well as this, I can’t speak for other e-readers, but the newer versions of Kindle have a font available called OpenDyslexic. This is a special font that adds weight to the bottom of lettering in an attempt to help ease some of the difficulties someone with dyslexia may experience while trying to read.

All these options make reading more accessible to those who may not ordinarily be able to read, or experience great difficulty in doing so. I adore reading, there is nothing like diving in to a book and immersing yourself in an entirely different world, but when your brain isn’t keeping up, it can be really difficult. Okay, so it’s not traditional and it doesn’t have the same charm as a paperback, but what’s the point in all that charm if you can’t enjoy it?

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So, reconsider an e-reader. Users of e-readers may love books just as much as you do, maybe even more so. If you love books that much, surely you want as many people as possible to enjoy the books you love. If an e-reader helps them do that, then surely that’s a wonderful thing?

What do you think? Do you use an e-reader? Physical books only? Have I changed how you perceive e-readers? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Life · Uncategorized

Facts and Favourites tag

Oh shush, auto-correct thingy. I’m British. Favourites has a “U” in it.
Ahem. I mean, hi! The beautiful Cait tagged me on twitter to do this tag, I thought, why not. I have plenty of things planned over here, but I’m currently having some laptop issues – sadface! So, if this post is a bit janky, that’s why. I tag… anyone who wants to do this.

hi

What is your middle name?
I actually have two middle names, but I’m not gonna share those here :3

What is your Favourite drink?
I’m not sure I have one, if I’m honest! I’m quite partial to a hibiscus peach iced tea from starbucks. I love a strawberry and creamy cooler from Costa too – but I’m lactose intolerant so I strike that for the obvious reasons.

What is your favourite song at the moment?
Nero – In to the Night. Kinda, I love basically the entire Between II Worlds album. I’m not really sure if it’s my favourite as such right now, but it’s one I’ve been listening to a fair bit.

What would you (or have you) name your children?
Claudia, Olivia, Finn.. some others, maybe. I used to think about this sort of thing a lot, but not in more recent years.

Have you participated in any sport?
Loads, in my youth! Netball, Hockey, Football, Trampolining, Badminton, Rounders, Karate, Judo.. I’m probably forgetting some.

What is your favourite book?
I don’t think I have one. I have loads of favourites, I’m a book worm and if you’re interested in what I’m reading, or wanna keep track of your own books, I’m over here at Goodreads.

What is your favourite colour?
A more turquoise shade of blue.

What is your favourite animal?
Hrnnng, hard. Cats. Probably. But I also adore bears, sloths, bunnies (whom I deem all to be named “flopsy”), cows and hedgehogs.

What is your favourite perfume?
Flash by Jimmy Choo, that’s my “signature scent”. People always say I smell nice. Yay.

Where is your favourite place to holiday?
I don’t go on holidays very often. I recently went away for the first time in 8 years. Prior to that, the only regular holiday I am old enough to remember going on is to Ibiza in my teens and tweens. So, I’ve yet to find a favourite I suppose?

On a scale from 1 – 10, rate your childhood.
Probably like a 8. Ask me that question a decade ago and the number would probably be a lot lower. It’ll probably go up a bit as I’m older.

Do you speak any different languages?
I learned French in school, but I can’t remember anything. I did speak very basic, introductory/conversational Swedish, Korean and Mandarin at one point, but that fell out of my brain. I know a small amount of Spanish and I have decent comprehension of Japanese.

Do you have any siblings?
I do! I have a brother who is 5 years my senior. When it’s my birthday in October, that becomes 4 years until his in December.

What is your favourite clothes shop?
New Look, probably. I buy most of my clothes at ASDA if I’m honest.

What are some of your favourite TV shows?
Currently, my favourite TV show is Orphan Black – sad it’s ending soon! A couple of classic favourite of mine are Fringe, House and 30 Rock.

PC or Mac?
PC, for sure. I’ve used a macbook before, in fact, I own a 2006 macbook and it had some perks, but nothing that outweighed my windows laptop.

What phone do you have?
I have a Motorola G3.

How tall are you?
I’m around 5’5″

Do you have any pets?
I have a beautiful white and tortie cat! Her name is Mitzeee and I adore her endlessly. There are also two cats at my parents’ house, Gemma and Bisto. Also white and tortie, Bisto is the less saturated kind and largely white, I forget what they call that. Generally white and tortie cats are female because it’s a specific genetic trait. When male cats are tortie and white, they have a less saturated tortie colour. Gemma is really small and long furred, so I like to call her Basil (Brush). I’m young enough to consider the family cats “mine” as well, right?

 

#cat

A post shared by Liz 😺 (@lizzumsbb) on May 8, 2017 at 9:08am PDT

Beauty · make-up · Uncategorized

Free Make-up brushes (Offer over)

Do you want some FREE make-up brushes? If you have Amazon Prime, you can get yourself this pretty set of ten, instagrammable brushes for absolutely free, delivered next day! I was searching to see if Amazon had the new Real Techniques brushes but instead, stumbled upon these!

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What’s the catch? There isn’t one. Unless you count Prime as a catch. If you don’t have Prime, you can still get them free, you just pay for postage, but that’s basically the cost of the brushes – unless you do the minimum spend of £20 for free delivery.

Anyhow, here’s how you get your free brushes!
Go to the amazon page for the Free Make-up Brushes.
See the promotion on the page that is shown in the screenshot below? Click it and hit “Redeem”. The brushes are the same cost as the discount, making them cost £0.00!

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Add the brushes to your cart.
In the cart, the price will not show the discount, but it does at checkout!
Before confirming, check, it should say discounts applied -£4.99, then hit checkout.

I was going to add a screenshot, but this is limited to one per person, you only get the offer for one set of brushes. I already tried and made the purchase myself, so I can’t purchase any more.

All that’s left to do is to wait for your free brushes to arrive. Enjoy! Get ’em fast, I’ve no idea how long this will be available for, it could have been an error or may only be while stocks last. I’d appreciate it if you would share this if you found it useful!

Blogging · Life · Uncategorized

The Blogger Excuse

The Blogger Excuse. Do you know what I’m referring to? You do, don’t you? I think everyone with a niche topic blog is probably guilty of this at some point or another.

blogger excuse

So, what is “The Blogger Excuse”? The blogger excuse is using your blog as an excuse to indulge. Many of us have blogs on topics that we’re passionate and interested in. We can use the blog as an excuse to indulge ourselves and purchase something that we wouldn’t otherwise get if we were blogless – all in the name of content. It’s often a costless and actually fairly pointless activity but we justify it with “oh, but I can blog about it” when in actual fact, we could wait for other reviews which inevitably are written on new releases, wait for 3 for 2 deals and other offers for a product we don’t REALLY need.

So. You have a blog, you follow all of your favourite related brands and their PRs, follow them on twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest, their own newsletters, the whole lot. You hear of a new product release and you can not wait to get your hands on it… to review on your blog. Not because you need another x/y/z product in your life, but because you fancy it and your blog is the perfect excuse. It’s okay, right? So, you spend a fortune on products that you probably don’t need but they’ve just come out and of course, you’re not alone in this, because as you upload your post, you realise… in come hundreds of posts on the exact same product to the bloggosphere.

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I ask you this. What makes your blog, your post unique? What makes it stand out above all of the other posts of identical nature and often, identical format. (Big, popular blogger does x with their blog, many follow suit because it’s what a successful person does/has?) What makes The Blogger Excuse actually worth it? IS it actually worth it? Or could you actually refrain, save money and create more unique content?

What do you think? Are you guilty of using the Blogger Excuse? I know I sure have been.

Art Supplies · Art/Crafts · Subscription Boxes · Uncategorized

ScrawlrBox (March Contents)

scrawlrbox

ScrawlrBox is a monthly art supply subscription box which I have grown to love. The first time I ever got the box, admittedly, I didn’t rate it and immediately unsubscribed. However, I kept an eye on the boxes since then and decided to give it another go as every other box I had seen, I thought looked really good. Since re-subscribing, ScrawlrBox has failed to disappoint, in so far as products go at least.

scrawlrbox_packaging

As you can see, the packaging is less than exciting, and for March’s box, it was inadequate; more on that in a moment.
One of the upsides about this box, is that it’s a slim box that fits perfectly through the letterbox, so no waiting around for the postie. Each box’s contents are wrapped in tissue paper with a sticker. As for the contents themselves, well, every box has the same sort of format. You get a few art supplies, a print with some info about the artist on the reverse, a couple of sheets of paper that are perfect to use with the tools you received, a scrawlrbox sticker, a sweet treat and lastly, a bookmark sized card with a run down of what you received with an art prompt on the reverse.

scrawlrbox_march

All of these goodies cost £15, including delivery. I’ve explained the packaging to you, and as the image shows, the art tools sent for March were chalk pastels. Usually the tools are pens and markers an such so no worries on those, but the packaging resulted in a lot of people receiving dusty and broken art supplies. Mine were dusty, but that’s no issue, I cleaned them up for the photograph and only one pastel was broken and still fine to use. No big deal, but others received boxes in a worse state. Thankfully, the company took this feedback on board, at least appear so. The box received since then was packaged in the same way, but it was products that would ensure just fine when mailed in such a way.

If you like the look of Scrawlrbox, you can sign up, or, alternatively, they even have the option to buy previous boxes if you missed out. I’ve found it a great way to top up my supplies and try new products!

Have you ever tried ScrawlrBox or another art subscription box? I’d love to hear what you think or if you have any recommendations for other affordable art boxes!

Health · Uncategorized

Cervical Comb-over

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So, I had my very first smear test, or cervical cancer screening test. Yeah, it was weird and I decided I wanted to share the experience with you, start to finish, because I know many young women are apprehensive about having the procedure.

So, first thing is first. Booking the test? Well, you get a letter in the post. I got mine earlier on in the year, even though I was still 24. I kept putting off booking my test because I needed to see a nurse for bloods and a pill check as well anyway. I decided I would do it when I got back from a trip away. I actually got a second letter, this one had a leaflet with more information about the procedure, what happens afterwards, and requirements prior. You start getting invited around the age of 25. It is worth noting that you do NOT have to have the test if you don’t want to. It’s ultimately your decision, but please don’t use embarrassment or anxiousness as a reason to avoid it.

To book the procedure, you just call up and book in with the nurse once you’ve had the invite – the letter does tell you all this, but I’ll tell my experience regardless so you know what you can expect. Now, when I booked in, the receptionist didn’t actually tell me about the things you need to do before-hand (or rather, the things you need to NOT do). They ask that you book the test for the middle of your cycle, basically, it’s better if you’re not on your period for the test as they can get a clearer reading. They also say to not have a bath the day before and to avoid sex the night before – specifically to not use spermicide, lube or a barrier method of contraception. It’s probably just better to avoid it all together to save having to maybe need the test re-doing. If the sample is inadequate, they will call you back in three months time to take another sample. The test itself? The only thing you need to do is undress your lower half. If you wear a lose skirt, you can keep that on. The test itself only takes a few minutes.

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The nurse will ask you to lay down on the bed – I was given some of that paper stuff to put over my lap. You go spread-eagle and she (or he! you can request that a female perform the test when booking if you’re concerned) will insert a lubed up, scary looking contraption in to your fanjo. It’s called a speculum and it’s not actually scary. This basically dilates your vagina, opening it up so the nurse can see the cervix. Then she uses a little brush like pictured above to swab some cells from the cervix. This is what is sent off for testing. For me, the opening of the speculum was uncomfortable, a little painful in fact. The tenser you are, the harder it is for them to get on up there but if you’re anxious, tell your nurse. If it hurts, tell your nurse. They’re happy to take their time or to stop if you need it. It only takes a moment to collect the cells. While the speculum itself was weird and uncomfortable for me, I honestly couldn’t feel the brush. I dunno if it was because I was focused on the fact there was this woman all up in my junk and the pressure kinda made me feel like I need the loo or if it’s something you genuinely can’t feel but that was it. Brushy brushy, then she gets on out of there and you can put your junk away.The nurse advises that I may experience some spotting later on and if it happens, to not be concerned. Personally, I didn’t get any, but my ladyparts did feel a little weird for a while.

A little embarrassing? Perhaps, but it’s worth it to monitor your cervical health and potentially reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

Once the sample is taken, you will get a letter back after about two weeks with the results. If the sample was adequate and completely clear, you’ll get called back again in three years. If the sample was not adequate, you will get recalled in a few months – there are loads of reasons the sample might not be adequate so don’t worry about it. Anything else? They’ll tell you in the letter what will happen. I’ve not had my results yet or anything so I cant really speak on that part.

If you want some more technical information, you can check out the NHS page on Cervical Screening. This post was a bit longer than intended but I hope it puts some of you at ease about the test.