I caved and bought a blog planner.

For the last few months I’ve been using my personal diary to plan my blog posts. It started off well enough but recently I’ve been moving a lot of posts around. It’s meant that my personal diary is super messy. That week I received an email from Dot Creates that they had a couple of slightly damaged blog planners. Seeing as I had meant to buy one earlier in the month I snapped one up. Was it a good idea?

It’s all in the details

Dot creates state on their website that

Our all-in-one A5 blog planner is the perfect way to keep both your daily life and blog content organised. Small enough to carry in your bag and easy to write on. And with daily diary space, loads of post planning pages, upcoming event, sponsored content space, AND notes pages. This is the only planner you will ever need.

The planner contains:

  • 12 month (undated) planner

  • 192 post planning pages! (split into months)

  • Daily diary space

  • Hand-drawn quotes

  • Upcoming events section

  • Sponsored content section

  • Monthly stats recorder

  • Extra sponsored content pages

  • Notes pages

The Design

I love the design of this planner. It’s A5 which is the perfect size and it’s spiral bound so it’s easy to use. I like the clear cover to help protect the diary and the paper is really good quality. But the detail I really love is that it’s not numbered. It means that you can use the planner at any time of the year with no wasted pages. Brilliant. The cover is gorgeous too. I was tempted by the peach but the blue/grey pipped it to the post.

It’s what’s on the inside

The inside is perfect. There are pages for sponsored content if that’s your thing and space to write in upcoming events. The pages for planning blog posts are really well designed. There’s space to tick whether you’ve finished words/photographs, which is very helpful for me. I tend to write my posts during the week and then photograph on Saturday’s when the light is good. I think this is definitely going to help me keep up-to-date.

You Go Doll

I love the inspiring quotes throughout the planner. Blogging can be a lonely world so it’s nice to have a pick-me up every 15 or so pages. The type-font is gorgeous and I’m half tempted to rip these out and frame them. Or just buy prints from Dot Creates.

It’s purse friendly

I don’t think I will use this for every post I do. I want to use it for longer posts, or series posts. But I love how weighty it is. This will last me at least a year, probably more. The planner I bought was £7 because of slight marks on the cover but these sell for £12.50 which is, ridiculous. For such a high quality product it’s a steal.

Better Content

I really think this is going to help me improve my content. I’ve recently really upped my game with my photos and SEO. I think it’s going to help me improve what I’m posting and keeping an eye on my stats and the like. I’m really excited to get stuck in.

Should you invest?

Yes, yes, yes. It’s a fantastic planner, with a great price-point and a stunning cover. Big fan. I lave it.

Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner

Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner

Dot Creates Ultimate Blog Planner

 

In horrible news my old Kindle died. 

I went to charge it up and it took 6.5 hours to charge to 30%. Thinking it was being glitchy, I left it overnight. 12 hours later it was still at 30%. Ergh. Oddly, a twitter conversation later, I found out that the new(ish) Amazon Fire 7 inch was selling for £35. So I bought another, using vouchers from leaving my old job, and then managed to get freeeee Amazon Prime delivery. My new Kindle all in all cost me £5. Bang on. Plus it’s tangerine in colour. Gah it’s gorgeous. Is it worth investing in? Read on.

Specifications

Beautiful 7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600). Available in four colours.

Fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and rear- and front-facing cameras.

Amazon Underground: All-new, one-of-a-kind app store experience where thousands of apps, games, books etc. 

Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video and listening to music

Stay connected with fast web browsing, e-mail and calendar support

115 x 191 x 10.6 mm

313g

First Thoughts

I love how thick and chunky this Fire tablet feels. It has a weight, is sturdy and is covered in a textured (tangerine) plastic. Weighing 313g it feels weighty in my hand. Apparently it’s twice as durable as a Apple iPad Air 2. I believe that, but it is a lot, (lot) smaller in size.

Is it my eyes?

The 7in screen isn’t HD. The resolution is only 1024 x 600 pixels, so it can be a little blurry. But, the screen is pretty bright, and although the blacks are a little grey and it’s not as crisp as an Ipad it’s a 6th of the price. Plus for reading (which I’m mainly using it for) it’s brilliant.

Lag?

I’ve played numerous games on my new fire and I really love it. Although a little slow sometimes to load, all the games I’ve played, have been lag-free. SimCityBuilder (definitely worth a download) played seamlessly and Doodle Jump also. Switching between apps can be sluggish but not frustrating.

Battery lasts around 5 hours when just watching Video playback with maximum brightness. Obviously will last longer when dimmed. Charging takes a while but I just charge it overnight. (No biggie.)

Shall we go shopping?

Yes you only have access to the Amazon store but all main apps are available including video streaming services (I.e Netfix.) The camera is poor as like my old Kindle. Don’t bother downloading camera editing software use your phone instead. (I have an Iphone 5S and it is four times as good – maybe.)

Final Thoughts

Definitely worth buying. It’s not an incredible tablet and to be honest that’s not why I purchased it. The screen resolution isn’t incredibly high and moving between apps can be clunky but for reading it’s fantastic. Yes the battery isn’t crazy strong and yes it might be a little chunky (which I really like.) But I love this not only for the price but for  the colour. Oh my life – the tangerine colour is lit.

(+ it’s so good to photograph.)

 

Realllllly loving these book haul posts. I’m an obsessive buyer of books and bookish bits. But it’s only since 2017 that I’ve been sharing them. Why? I don’t know, but they feel like a blogging revelation. (For me, I know everyone’s been doing them for 385908593959 years.) Not only do they give me a list of books to attempt to read that month, but they also steer my blogging for the month. To attempt (ATTEMPT) to blog around said books. Enough babbling. The April Book Haul.

April Book Haul

The Haul

Mona by Dan Sehlberg

T and I spent a Sunday trawling Halcyon Books in Greenwich. I am going to be utterly gutted when it shuts. Books are still a pound – post and pictures to come soon. T picked this out for me because strangely I like cyber-attack type books. It’s described as a technothriller and that sounded pretty cool. It’s based on the hacking of Mind Surf: a thought-controlled system that allows people with disabilities to browse the web. Super kl.

A suspenseful and highly original technothriller based on breathtaking developments in the field of thought-controlled systems and cyber warfare.

The Yard by Alex Grecian

Wanted to read a Sherlock Holmes style novel. Picked up The Yard by Alex Grecian. It was the cover that really struck me. I adore the silhouette on the spine and I’m still looking for Holmes style book that I really love. Like really love.

Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives—known as “The Murder Squad”—to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own . . . one of the twelve . .

April Book Haul

The Book of Dave by Will Self

I picked this out mainly because of the title. The idea of a book of Dave amused me. I’ve also wanted to read a lot more books based on/around London. Since moving here certain things have intrigued me. Cab drivers and their stories are one of said things. I’ll let you know how it goes.

When cabdriver Dave Rudman’s wife of five years deserts him for another man, taking their only child with her, he is thrown into a tailspin of doubt and discontent. Fearing his son will never know his father, Dave pens a gripping text part memoir, part deranged philosophical treatise, and part handbook of “the Knowledge” learned by all London cab drivers.

The Romantics by Barbara Gowdy

I wanted something – cute to read. A bit of romance  without picking up something written by Marian Keyes. Grown-up romantic. The cover again looked gorgeous and I love a good white loose-cover. So classy. So sophisticated.

“Louise Kirk learns about love and loss at an early age. When she is nine years old, her former beauty queen mother disappears, leaving a note that reads only – and incorrectly – “Louise knows how to work the washing machine.”

Separations are followed by reunions, but with every turn of their fractured relationship, Louise discovers that she cannot get Abel to love her as fiercely and exclusively as she loves him.

April Book Haul

There’s my April book haul. Knowing me I won’t get round to allll of them but imma going to try. Have you read any of these? What are you reading this April?

PS. Ty T for picking up these tasty mini Freddos. They look kinda gross but were fabby.

I love stationary.

Bloggers and stationary go hand in hand. Especially book bloggers. I think we’re born with an internal magnet for gorgeous stationery. Notebooks for TBR’s, post-its for noting beautiful passages. I stumbled upon Jemma’s Etsy shop after joining in with a #TheGirlGang chat. Later that week I was trawling twitter and saw Mel had made an order. Checking the bank balance, crossing my fingers I wouldn’t want everything and searching for the Dorkface Etsy shop a short while later I clicked order. This is what I picked.

Let’s get lost

The first thing I clicked was this gorgeous A5 print. Jemma’s artwork is very unique but eye-catching to boot. Cartoonish, girly, cute images all perfectly pastel. However, this print was a little different. T and I constantly have a travel bug biting us and Canada is one of my all-time-wants to visit. The phrase ‘Let’s Get Lost’ and image definitely reverberated with me. I’ve ordered a frame for it (which is yet to appear.) But this is going to sit pride of place on our bookshelf.

Blue Blogging Stickers

My next choice were some of Jemma’s stickers. I don’t have a separate blogging diary so things can get, messy. I picked out a selection of Jemma’s blogging stickers. Blue in colour and covered in helpful phrases. These include phrases like comment on blogs, writing posts and twitter chats. I am forever forgetting when twitter chats are live so these will help stash the times/days in my memory. The stickers are a really lovely quality and I received lots more than I thought. They will last me quite a while and when they do get used up I’m sure to make another order.

Cute Candy Stickers

The final set was a selection of the cute candy stickers. I wanted these to decorate my ideas notebooks. I was really tempted by the bookish set but I’ve started to stray into more travel/lifestyle posts. I’m a book blogger by heart but I couldn’t resist these. Jemma has a really wide selection of sticker sets; from travel adventures to cute doughnuts and milk cartons there’s something for the blogger in everyone. There are also stickers and a notebook covered in the words ‘nasty woman’ which are helping to raise money towards planned parenthood. (Planned Parenthood.org.) They are on my ‘order soon list.’

I would definitely recommend Jemma’s products. There is a wide range of designs/products and they’re all really high quality. I will 100% be using my discount code very soon to order more prints. Jemma also regularly runs twitter giveaways/codes/releases new products. Her twitter is full to the brim with her love of blogging and bloggers, inspiring and promoting happiness, self-love but also how to cope when things take a wobble. I’ll link ya and share the love.

Which small businesses do you support? Oh and have you bought anything from Dorkface yet?

 

Hello March. (Which is just around the corner.)

I might have picked too many books to read in my February  and got myself stressed about reading them all. I’ve always had that problem. I used to stumble out of the library with a pile of books the length of my arm. Then I would have continually renew them online. Note to self: make attainable reading goals. This month I’ve cut it down to only three books. But they are brilliant brilliant books. Oh, and you should definitely add these to your Waterstone’s basket.

March Book Haul

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami

T loves Murakami. I’ve read 1Q84  but it put me off a little. The writing was stunning, the plot was intriguing but the ending. I thought it was left unfulfilled.  However I’ve been persuaded to try again. I’ve picked Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.

March Book Haul

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac

Apparently upon asking the question should you read this book? To quote Jack Kerouac himself, “I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t make any difference.” I’ve not read Kerouac but I’ve heard that On The Road isn’t that great. (S O R R Y.) But, T bought this for me when we lived long distance. We had a habit of buying books with covers we liked. The idea was that when we moved in, we would have a collection of sublime books – which we do. Now, I need to read this one.

Big Sur’s humane, precise account of the extraordinary ravages of alcohol delirium tremens on Kerouac, a superior novelist who had strength to complete his poetic narrative, a task few scribes so afflicted have accomplished—others crack up. Here we meet San Francisco’s poets & recognize hero Dean Moriarty ten years after On the Road.

March Book Haul

The Syme Papers by Benjamin Markovits 

It was the cover of this book that really drew my attention. I’m thinking this year I want to focus my attention on more nitty-gritty books. Reviews have  commented whether the book discusses the narrowness of academic research. Or whether it reflects on scientific knowledge changes. Either way I want to learn more.

Teeming with comic detail and fierce intelligence, The Syme Papers recreates a time when to question the world and the origin of creation was the greatest project a scientist could undertake. It is a novel of genius and failure; of a man who thought he could prove the world was hollow, and in the glorious process of discover, broke his own heart.

Have read any of these tales? Let me know in the comments. Oh, and what should I add to my April haul?