Another Apple Watch Review

Every review I’ve read so far about the Apple Watch has been written by a bloke who works in technology. That’s great, but as a woman who works in finance, it’s not always relevant to how I would use a product.

I knew I wanted an Apple Watch from the first rumours that went round. I was off work on the day of preorders, so I bounced out of bed and had my laptop open at 7.59 to try and buy it through my company discount link (annoyingly that didn’t work!) and I had my iPhone open to the Apple Store app to buy the Watch I had saved in my favourites, which is how I ended up with a 38mm Watch with classic buckle.

I had it delivered to my office, and when it arrived, I had to put it on my colleagues desk on the other side of the office until lunchtime because I felt like I would be like this minion wanting to eat the banana in his lunchbox:

As soon as 1pm hit, I strapped the watch on and we headed to our favourite sandwich shop. It’s super easy to set up – turn it on, and use the Watch app on your iPhone to take a pic. By the time I had ordered a delicious and over filled sandwich, my Watch was ready to go. Except I had no idea what to do!

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Now I’ve had it for about a month now, it’s not a distraction at all. I have it on silent most of the time, so I just get haptic feedback for notifications (which is like vibrations). It’s useful for notifications, like reading a text message while I’m cooking dinner without having to put everything down to find my phone.

I went for the 38mm, while Alex went for the 42mm. It doesn’t sound like a huge difference in size, but I’m glad I went for the smaller one because it’s the right size for my wrist. If you’re considering one, go to an Apple store to try it on. I did (after placing the preorder) which was an interesting experience. The way it was dealt with was unlike anything I’ve experienced at an Apple Store, and more like buying a watch at a jewellery shop. 

I read a review recently where someone said they were asked about the watch and felt like they were disappointing others when they said it wasn’t life changing. I’ve come across that as well, people want you to say THIS IS AMAZING! IT CAN DO ALL THESE THINGS! It’s cool, don’t get me wrong. I’d still buy one, even after trialing it. I’ve only had one day where the battery died in the middle of the day – still havent worked out why, but it’s not a normal occurrence. I like being able to pay for my Starbucks with a flick of the wrist (wait that sounds wrong) and when we get Apple Pay in the UK, it will be awesome to pay for things. 

So. Apple Watch. Get one if you want one. Don’t bother if you aren’t that bothered.

I’m a great reviewer.

Crafting with Laura Ashley

It’s been a while since I did much crafting, so when I received an invite from Laura Ashley to spend a Sunday afternoon at At Bristol crafting with some of their fabrics and wallpapers and spending time with some of my favourite bloggers, it was easy to reply “Yes yes yes!”

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First, we covered a notebook with some fabric, and then put some wallpaper on the inside covers. We had the Crafty Hen on hand to show us how to do these little projects.

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There was a bit of a scramble as everyone rushed to pick their favourite combinations!

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After a yum lunch, we were then shown how to make suffolk puffs. We were given access to lots of different fabrics and accessories and things to attach things to yourself – hairbands and hairclips and brooches and lots of other things! I made a hair clip with a bit of mesh

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You can see more details and photos over on the Laura Ashley blog as well!

First three pictures taken with the Samsung Galaxy S6 I was borrowing that week, and the last two taken by Joe Blogs

Are Blog Conferences Over?

OK, so that’s a bit overdramatic. Perhaps I should say “Why I don’t plan to hold a conference or go to one this year”

Blogging is a huge business, there’s no denying that. While some go down the route of blog advice books, some for blog advice sites (for those who don’t know, my blog advice site, Bonjour, Blogger! came out of the book I put together of things I have learnt in the years I have been blogging.), the growing trend to appeal to bloggers both new and established is to hold a conference.

I have been to a few blog conferences – hell, I even spoke at one last year! I was honoured to be asked to speak at Blognix by Elizabeth and not only  would I recommend it to anyone, I’d pay to go myself.

So, if you’ve never been to a blogging conference, here’s the typical plan. Before the event, you’ll try to find others who are going so you’re not left standing in a corner of the room alone. You’ll need to travel to the venue (usually in London, of course), and when you get there, there’s lots of interesting talks, a little (awkward – “hi, I follow you on the internet and know everything about you, but have never met you”) socialising, and (well, for me!) pressure to make sure you get all the information that’s being put out, tweet about how great the event is and Instagram everything all at the same time. And that’s not bringing the monetary cost of it all into it. Conference ticket, travel, any loss of earnings (if you would normally work on that day), it all adds up.

That’s not to say that it’s pointless. Just that the learning part of things can be done more effectively online (although I’m biased – that’s the way I work best) but the most valuable part of any event – the socialisation – is best done face to face. Sophie and I created #blogclub so people could get together with no pressure to learn something specific (although recent events have been more specific teaching one topic – not a bad thing though!). One of the things that makes me really happy about #blogclub is that it’s built up a lovely community in Bristol of amazing bloggers who are more likely to be able to make plans with each other now!

So are blog conferences over? I don’t think so – there’s definitely a place for them, but I think that they need to be more specialised – I believe that bloggers will want to go to an event to specifically learn about photography for your blog, or how to write more bettererer. I was asked to speak at an event this year about my blogging history, and I turned it down because I felt like I would be annoyed if I went to an event and had someone tell me about how they started on Livejournal, blah blah blah. With so many events in the blog calendar, your event needs to be different and valuable to the attendee.

Oh, such a ramble! In the age old tradition of blogging – I’ll finish with a question. What do you think? Are blog conferences still useful? Do you prefer the socialising part, or the learning part of an event?