Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Scrapbooking - A Great Hobby!


If you've found yourself with a little more spare time than normal, then you might be thinking about what sort of craft hobbies you can take up. As a teenager I loved keeping diaries and scrapbooks and would love to dabble in this once again. I think bullet journals and scrapbooks are a really fun way to document what is happening and pass some time, so definitely worth considering if you’re looking for something new to do!

What is a Scrapbook?

A scrapbook is a way to document what is happening at any time. Rather than it being a straight up written diary it is generally made up of quotes, photos, drawn pictures, things cut out of magazines, written paragraphs and much more. To be honest, a scrapbook is a personal thing and everyone will make their differently – which is part of the fun! Whether you’re making a scrapbook to remember a specific event or as a gift for someone else will affect how you design it. Remember, there is no right or wrong because it’s entirely up to you how you design your own scrapbook!

What Scrapbooking Supplies Do I Need?

This depends on how you’re making your scrapbook; you have options to make it both digitally and physically. If you’re making it digitally you’ll want to look at online templates and software to make this happen. If you’re making one out of physical paper then you’ll want paper, card, scissors and coloured pens to start! You could also look at investing in stickers, glue, glitter and everything else you think could be needed to make your scrapbook as pretty as you like.

Scrapbook Set Light | Make Your Own Scrapbook - myphotobook UK

Where to Start With Scrapbooking

There is no right or wrong, you can learn as you go and this is perfectly fine. You might even start a scrapbook, realise it isn’t exactly how you like it and start again! Part of the job of crafting is learning as you go along and expanding your skills. All of this is okay. Why not start with some scrapbook research? Have a look for scrapbook designs online – this is a great way to research what is out there & how you might like to design your very own scrapbook(s)

Getting Ideas and Inspiration

If you haven’t scrapbooked before, you might not have an idea of how you want your scrapbook to look. Places like Design Bundles are a great place to look up things such as background patterns and templates for scrapbooking. Design Bundles actually have pages to help with all sorts of crafting hobbies, not just scrapbooking. They can help with different fonts, images for blog posts and much more! If you’re someone that is interested in starting some sort of crafting hobby then I would recommend a visit to Design Bundles before you get started.

Why I Stopped Scrapbooking

I scrapbooked lots as a teenager – I would cut out pages from Smash Hits magazine and glue them in with a date and page number of the magazine in question, mostly about my favourite boyband at the time. I still have the scrapbooks now and when I moved home recently rediscovered them and enjoyed having a read through. I am not sure why I stopped scrapbooking – lack of time and perhaps boredom? What I do know is that when you have a look online for scrapbooking inspiration, there is loads to keep you motivated and change up what you’re doing.

What Could You Scrapbook?

Honestly, you can scrapbook about pretty much anything you want! I know schools are encouraging students to keep diaries of the lockdown times they’re experiencing so these can be looked at in the future. If they find the idea of keeping a diary boring, maybe a scrapbook could help keep them motivated? It doesn’t have to be anything extensive, some newspaper clippings of headlines and their own thoughts would be a good start. Especially if you team this up with the Design Bundles website to get ideas and inspiration on what your scrapbook could look like.
I know lots of people are finding it hard to start motivated during lockdown, and for teenagers I imagine it’s even tougher! A gentle project like scrapbooking that the whole family could do together could be a place to start? You could design pages together, or design a page each and stick them together to finish your project when everyone is done.

Are you crafting at the moment? What hobbies are you undertaking to spend your time during 
lockdown?

Stay Safe.

Debz x

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Grow Your Blog or Small Business During Lockdown


Although the world is slowly returning to normal and it has recently been announced that non-essential retail companies can open up once again, the recent lockdown of businesses has had an effect on many. If you’re a blogger or small business owner then you may wish to look at ways you can start to grow your business, ready for when things return to normal completely.

Social Media

With more people at home than ever, it means that the number of people browsing social media each day is growing. As a business, now is a great time to capture this audience and use it to your advantage. Spend some time tidying up your social media and ensuring it looks the best possible. After this, have a look at what hashtags you could use to grow your audience. See what similar businesses are using and what could work for you and your social media. Remember that people will only follow or like your page if you give them content worth following, so ensure you put out high-quality content. Think about what you are putting on your social media channels and how you can encourage people to engage with you and your page!

Newsletter Growing

One great way to connect with people interested in your business is to set-up a newsletter & give them helpful, regular updates. You should ensure that the content you’re putting out there via your newsletter is worthy & something that they want to read – people are likely to then share this with their friends & help your business grow!

Premium Bundles Of Fonts | Font Bundles

The layout of your newsletter is essential too! Places like Font Bundle offer free fonts which can really help to give your newsletter the edge. You’ll stand out from the crowd if you use some fonts which are clear & eye-catching and Font Bundle makes that really easy to do! Whether you want fancy fonts, large fonts or something else, their design bundles will help you create the perfect newsletter with no hassle!

Connecting Locally

Connecting with people who have an interest in your business is essential too. This could be via hashtags if you’re a blogger or local Facebook groups if you’re a local business. This doesn’t always have to be to directly promote your business or blog. Instead, interact with others, answer questions and get involved. This will put you as an expert in the field you’re in and this will bring your business without even trying.

Spend this time investing in your business. This doesn’t always have to be with direct marketing or advertising. Instead spend some time thinking about what your customers might want, especially in the future. By putting yourself in their shoes you can picture what they really want and help to ensure that your business really caters to their needs. Offering exactly what your customers want is the best way to grow your business, so research this and work out the best way to make that happen!


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Thursday, 14 May 2020

Ways To Pass The Time in Lock-down: Dating Edition

I have been in a fully-functioning, grownup relationship for 20 months now - I know, I can't believe it either! That is a fact that has definitely made lockdown life a little easier for me, so I can understand if this time has led to you considering getting a new partner. 

You might think that being on lockdown and most social places being closed will make dating impossible, but there are definitely some alternative ways you can look for a new mate.

Online Dating

As someone who has done online dating, and found a partner that way it is something I would recommend. Online dating during this time certainly means the pressure is off because you couldn't meet up even if you wanted to. This allows you to make the most of this time and really get to know someone before you take the plunge to meet.



Speed Dating

Websites like DateinaDash are a really fun way to meet someone too! Think speed dating, but from the comfort of your own home. If you have a look at the website you'll see lots of different events taking place, so there should be something to suit you!

Pub Quizzes & Online Socialising

Local pubs are getting more adventurous and many have set up online quiz events. Why not join in with one and see how you get on? Not only will you have fun and pass the time answering questions, but you may find that someone you chat to on the quiz you spark with and you could start to get to know them better! You could even have a go at arranging your own and ask your friends to invite their friends, they could play matchmaker without even knowing!

What tips do you have for passing the time during lock-down?

Debz x

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Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Meeting New People in Lockdown


I don't really want to talk about how tough lockdown is, because I know you can read about that anywhere. We're all living it so we already know what that is like! Instead, I have been giving some thought to how to meet new people.

I moved to Hampshire nearly a year ago now - can you believe it? Although I didn't sign up to The Birmingham Dating Site, I definitely was a girl living in Birmingham using online dating. It's bought me a very happy relationship so how can I not recommend it?

One of the things I found when using online dating is that lots of people were in a rush to meet. They wanted to chat one day and invite you to their house the next day. Now, there is nothing wrong with this if both parties are happy but personally I wanted something a bit slower paced. If there is a benefit to online dating during lockdown it is that everyone has to move at the same pace, and that can online be a good thing!

Getting To Know Someone

Of course, not everyone is home all day, every day currently as many people have to go out to work etc. still. However, this is a great time to get to know people online. There is no pressure to meet because no one can go out dating, so you can take your time and get to know people slowly. Sign up to something such as The Belfast Dating Site (there will be ones local to you) and see who is local and fancies a chat.

Another bonus is that this can be a great distraction. If you are someone that is at home for most of lockdown then finding new ways to spend your time is probably something you’re keen on. Chatting to new people, finding out about their interests and talking about things different to what you would usually do is a great distraction. This is especially true if you meet someone that you get on with and spend a few hours a day chatting – such fun!

Chat, Video & More

One of the things I have learned during these unusual times is how many different ways there are to communicate online. You can video chat, set up quizzes for each other and even watch the same event online if you wish. I know that none of this is a real substitute for the real thing but it is a fantastic and novel way of getting to know someone before you take the plunge to meet them.

It is important to know that there is no right or wrong with all of this. If you’re single don’t feel pressured into talking to lots of people or spending lots of time. The best thing to do is go at your own pace and what you feel comfortable with, as this will mean you enjoy it more!

What tips do you have for people who want to online date?

Debz

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Booking Dinner For Plus Size People


I am quite a sociable person and love getting together with friends and family for dinner and drinks. In the past I have been involved in arranging groups of plus size people to get together and enjoy some social time. It seems like a really easy thing to do, but actually there are some things to take into consideration to ensure as many people are comfortable as possible.

I know a time when we can dine out seems like it might never return, but I have to hold onto the fact it will. I need an all-day breakfast, a Sunday carvery or and a Wetherspoons Curry Club and pronto.

See the source image

One of the things I have realised with booking for big groups of people is that it isn't always possible to please everyone and sometimes people will need to make compromises if they wish to attend. Try to think about what is able to be compromised on and what isn't when thinking about what to book and where to book.

Book in Advance

I would always recommend booking in advance if you can. There are websites like Squaremeal that make it really easy, click here to check them out. They have a really handy booking system and show things like hygiene ratings, which makes it much easier when trying to decide where to eat. If you are attending a venue that you have been to before then don't be afraid to ask for seats in a certain area if you know that is what is going to be best.

Think Seating

If you're not plus-size, or are on the smaller end of plus-size then seating might not be something that you give consideration to, but it should be. Remember that larger bodies take up more room, so it is important to consider this when booking. Booths can be tricky and if there are some seats available without arms then this is a bonus too! Google images and company websites are a great way of getting an idea of what type of seating and space is available.

Accessibility

Accessibility is important and make sure you head to places such as Georgina Grogans social media as she is a disabled person that talks openly about this and I have learned lots from her. Discuss the needs of people with them and if they are up to it ask for their help in finding somewhere that works. As a non-disabled person I haven't always got this right and venues aren't always as accessible as they should be. However by thinking about everyone's needs and doing a little research it isn't hard to find somewhere that works.

Comfort

Try to think about the venue if you can and what will make people the most comfortable. Are the toilets up lots of stairs? Is the venue likely to be cramped? Just think about what will make sure everyone can relax and have a nice time as possible. 

Ask!

Don't be afraid to speak to the venue and discuss your needs. Remember you're going to be spending money there, so they should be able to help you and ensure that everyone in your party is as comfortable as possible. They know the venue better than anyone else, so they're in the best possible to answer any questions you have!

What tips do you have for eating out comfortably?

Debz x

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Thursday, 16 April 2020

Moving House - How To Be Organised

Firstly, I hope you're all doing well. I know the world is a little different currently and it is taking some getting used to. Be sure that whatever you're doing to cope, as long as it isn't picnicking in the park with 20 of your closest friends you're doing okay!

I've certainly fallen into the trap of feeling like I'm not doing enough during this time & that is no good for anyone. It's just fine if you're doing nothing and it's just fine if you're doing lots, just don't compare yourself to others and think whatever you're doing to cope is wrong - it isn't.

Moving House

If you're planning to move house in the future, now is the ideal time to get organised if you have the mental capacity and time to do so. Personally, I love writing lists and getting myself organised that way, so that could be a good way to get started.

Why not write a list of the things you'll need to organised before you start. Think about what you want to achieve - packing, moving the stuff, utilities and doing everything cost-effectively. You'll then have a good starting point to get going with - and you'll probably feel better for getting started, one less thing to worry about! Do you need a man and a van? You could spend this time researching the best companies to use and getting some quotes. It's a good idea to know what to expect & how much it will cost so you can start to budget ready for when you do want to move house.

Get Rid of What You Don’t Need

If you are someone that has some unexpected spare time on their hands, could you use this time to declutter? I know I have gotten rid of a few black bags worth of old clothes and clutter from my house over the past few weeks and it feels really good. Now might not be the ideal time to sell things on Facebook or eBay, but there's no harm in keeping them to one side until you're ready to sell them. You might even raise enough money to pay towards your man and van moving costs, which can only be a good thing!

Have A Sort Out

Even if you don't have lots that you want to throw away, there's no harm in having a bit of a sort out ready to move house. For example, if you're planning to move this summer why not pack a few boxes of your winter clothes up? Stack these somewhere out of the way and you'll also free up some room in your house, handy for when moving starts! I bet if you look around your house there are things that you can pack away now that you're not likely to need before you move house so why not start there?

A lot of hints depend on when you're planning to move & how soon that is. That said if you are planning a move when life returns a bit more to normal there is no harm in doing what you can now to get things organised. It is a good way to keep busy if you're stuck at home currently and you're making life easier for future you, which is something that can only be a bonus!

What hints and tips would you share with others for moving house?

Debz

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Monday, 6 April 2020

Virtual Reality Slot Games

Due to intense competition, companies are always trying to find new ways to attract and retain slots customers. And over the past decade or so, we’ve been introduced to innovative new genres like multiple-ways-to-win slots and progressive slots. But make no mistake about it: virtual reality (VR) is the next big thing in slots - click to visit.

What is VR?

VR is a computer-simulated reality experienced through senses such as sight, touch and hearing. And to enter this new world, you need to wear a virtual reality gadget like a headset. Of course, the great thing about VR is you aren’t just a spectator in your new environment; you can interact with it, too. Therefore, it feels real and can be even more fun than real life at times.

Why are Slot Companies All Over It?

Slot companies have no problem attracting Baby Boomers and Generation X players, yet they struggle to attract the more tech-oriented Millennials. So even though business is booming now, the slot industry will shrink in 20 years – when the Boomers start to retire – unless games can appeal to the younger generations. Thus, it’s no surprise that slot companies are investing heavily in VR.

Opportunities for Slots

New Pub Entertainment

Given the popularity of combining boozing and gambling, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if VR emerges as essential pub entertainment. In fact, the BBC suggested as much in 2017 in an article about VR darts. Of course, VR dart games are appealing because they can protect us from stray darts. But if VR slots boast exciting gameplay and great prizes, they could be at the forefront of this revolution as slots have always been one of the most popular forms of entertainment in pubs.

Get Healthy with Slots!

Though it had worse graphics and a slower processor than its rivals,  the Nintendo Wii games console was a game-changer (please excuse the pun) as it introduced motion-sensor gaming to the masses. And VR slots could enjoy similar levels of success by demanding physical activity such as running because you could improve your health as you play.

More Connections

VR slots will not only make it possible for us to play slots with other people, they’ll also allow us to have physical contact with them. In other words, we’ll be able to talk, laugh and even shake people’s hands during a game. Consequently, this should bring us new friends.

Increased Variety of Games

When slot companies start to take advantage of the technology, VR will not only boast existing slot genres; it will also be home to many new genres. Therefore, you’ll be able to play more games than ever.

Final Thoughts


VR offers slot developers a golden opportunity to revolutionize the slots world as we know it. And if they play their cards right, VR slots could become a pub staple, keep us healthy, improve our social lives and give us more games than we could ever dream of. So, get ready for change!

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