Archives for June 2012

Blogging and iPads

I am always tweaking how I can keep blogging while away from my computer. This is how I was posting about a year ago and this image shows what I was carrying around in February (when I took the photo, uploaded it for a blog post and then never motivated myself to post it. Oops. In the photo is a copy of Blogging 2.0, the latest Company magazine, two notebooks (one of which I still haven’t even written in) and my purse of pens.)

Since then, however, I have been bought a new iPad (I know, I am spoilt – an unexpected gift from Alex’s ridiculous trip to the US when they came out. Just to make it more silly, it has a pink leather Smart Cover* and pink Speck shell case* for the back.) and I want to use it as much as I can.

So here’s what I’m currently lugging around with me in the hope that I can keep to my personal set schedule for posting (unlikely)

My iPad, along with this little Bluetooth keyboard. Sometimes a physical keyboard is much nicer to write on. And for £13.95 delivered on Amazon Prime, this keyboard may be cheap*, but it works! The keyboard is meant to act as a cover for your iPad, but it doesn’t work with the cases I already have, so I just throw it in my bag. It’s not amazing, but for £14 for something I don’t use all the time, it does the job.

Of course I have my iPhone with me at all times, and most of the apps I list below are ones that work on both iPad and iPhone, and sync between the two.

Oh, and tea, because I like tea.

While I love my iPad, sometimes, I find it easier to write down what I need to (and sometimes its much less awkward to pull out a notebook than to pull out an iPad). I wanted something that I could keep organised. I picked up this personal sized Filofax leather Finsbury on eBay for £7.50 with no inserts. I then went to WH Smiths and bought a huge notebook for the Filofax, and some dividers (WH Smith sell own brand inserts for Filofaxes, which are much cheaper than the branded stuff. I mean, its just paper. Who cares if it says Filofax on or not?)

I think every blogger has a Canon SLR (well, except Sarah, but I still talk to her.) and probably has this little lens* on there. MY SLR is the Canon 400D, and cost about £600 when I bought it new in 2007 (before tbis blog even began!) and I picked up this remote* for it a few months later. The remote clips on to the strap, which is so handy.

The white square is actually part of the camera connection kit from Apple*. When Alex first bought his first iPad, he asked me to stop in town on the way home and pick up the camera connection kit. It comes with two adaptors – one for SD cards, and one for USB connections, which I claimed. This means I can connect any camera to my iPad, and while there may be cheaper alternatives, sometimes, its just easier to buy the official version.The black cable is from my little compact Sony camera, but is so useful, because it detaches from the Sony adaptor to become a mini USB cable, which means I can connect my SLR to the iPad.

Obviously though, the iPad (and iPhone) have a lot of apps that make things easier – here’s a few that make blogging easier for me.

Echofon* and Echofon Pro* (£2.99) are my favourite apps for Twitter – I bought Echofon Pro a while ago, and it has most things I want in a Twitter app – most importantly, the ability to mute people and hashtags! Twitter has been quite important in blogging for me, which is why I included this app.

Office² HD* (£5.49) is more for documents and spreadsheets, but it syncs with my Google Docs account, which means I can look at the bloggers map easily. I quite like using this to write blog posts as well.

Another text program that I use to blog in is PlainText* (free, but in app purchase of £1.49 to remove ads) In previous versions, I used to have problems with the WordPress app crashing out when I’d written something and it would lose the text. PlainText is available on iPad and iPhone, and syncs .txt files to my Dropbox account, which makes it easy to access the files on my desktop. It’s pretty basic, but sometimes, that’s all you need!

Reminders – this is actually already on your iPhone or iPad. I have two lists for blogging – one full of blog ideas, and one of things I need to do for the blog (emails to send, things to install, etc)

Snapseed* (£2.99) was free in the 12 days of Christmas promo that iTunes does every year, and is a great photo editing app. The only complaint I have about it is that I can’t resize photos on it, which can cause problems when uploading in WordPress.

I’m a WordPress (free) user, so obviously, I use the official app. It’s on both iPad and iPhone (unlike the official Blogger (free) app, which is only on iPhones) and is useful for quick additions, moderating comments, and – like I’m doing right now! – for full posts.
(I’ve heard good things about Blogsy* (£2.99) for those Blogger users with iPads, but haven’t needed to use it, obviously!)

What’s your blogging set up like? Show me photos (or if you post about it, link me up!)

iFabbo London Conference 2012

Photo from the iFabbo Facebook page by Three Little Buhos

An ashamedly long time ago (ok, about a month, but still, faaaar too long in terms of blogging), I headed over to London at a time that shouldn’t really exist on a Saturday for the first iFabbo bloggers conference. For those of you who don’t know, iFabbo is an organisation for beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers. They’re a pretty international organisation, which is good to see where other blogger organisations seem to forget that things happen outside of the US. (in much the same way that PR’s seem to forget that theres a whole country outside of Zone 1 in London.) This was their first international, and I think first overall, conference.

This was my first blogger conference as well, since the IFB one last September was cancelled last minute. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, although the schedule was all online, and almost didn’t go, since I wasn’t sure I could justify spending so much money on a ticket and train if I was about to become unemployed. I mentioned this on Twitter, and amazingly, Sinead from iFabbo offered to buy a ticket for me. Yay for random acts of kindness! (I managed to get my train ticket even cheaper too by exchanging some of my Tesco Clubcard vouchers for RedSpottedHanky vouchers, which meant it cost about £15 return when it should have been closer to £40.)

The conference was at Kettners, a beautiful venue that reminded me slightly of Goldbrick House. The room we were in was lovely and dark, but unfortunately, the air con couldn’t quite cope with so many bodies on one of the hottest days of the year!

The talks covered things like how to monetize your blog, with affiliate links making up the biggest part of it. Perhaps this was because of who the main sponsor was, but it was interesting to hear the different ways, like RewardStyle and Skimlinks, that people can use these sort of links. (I’ve blogged here previously about what I think about affiliate links, and at the end, about Skimlinks.)

Other talks included building relationships with PR’s (something I’ve never been keen to do, because I don’t like the pushy side of blogging, but I’ve realised that I need to get the bloggers map more known, and to do that, I need to promote myself. Any tips on that?), how to turn your blog into a full time thing (I’m not sure I’d ever want to do that, even if I could, because I love working in finance! Nerd.), using social media to promote yourself and photography, which unfortunately was a bit too much about Instagram. (to me, Instagram is just for snaps, not promotion or anything else!)

I tried to force myself to talk to people, but I still feel like I should have met more bloggers! I must stop hiding away.

Overall, it was a really useful event. I have a notebook full of ideas and notes, and I’d love to see more events like this, especially around the country next time! Thank you so much Sinead for inviting me :)

HtCC: Bank Party Dresses

If I had my way, I’d wear sparkly, flouncy, twirly dresses all. the. time. Unfortunately, thats just not practical. Sparkles are just a bit too much for work, tutus just don’t fit in bus seats, and while full circle and skater style dresses are pretty (and my favourite style), they do make a girl want to twirl about until she voms. Which is not a good look on ANYONE.

I’ve mentioned it before though – I love to dress up. Give me an excuse to wear a pretty party dress, and I’ll be covered in sparkles and ruffles quicker than you can say “wait, why are you wearing a fascinator to Tesco?”

Little Mistress Lizzie One Shoulder Prom Dress // Little Mistress Lauren Nautical Stripe Skater Dress // Lipsy Lace Body Dress // Glamorous Dip Hem Dress // Little Mistress 3D Flower Embellished Prom Dress // Glamorous Lace Tie Dress

Perhaps I’ll pop on a sparkly dress tomorrow just because I can.

This post was written in collaboration with Bank – but since when did I need a reason to waffle on about dresses?

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