To buy Books or to E-read, A continuous debate!

Over the past few months, I have grown an increasing love for reading. I mean getting lost in another world, what’s there not to love?
If you read my May round-up post, as warned, I Maybe talking books a lot more on the blog, so what a way to start. There is nothing better to pass the time then getting deeply involved with a good book.
Whether its a fantasy tale that has me on the edge of my chair in a constant daydream of what is happening, to self-help, empowering ride, by someone with a strong mentality wanting there story and advice to be heard, if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’ve been lost in so many different stories recently.

I had noticed an ongoing dispute amongst many people on twitter recently, what is better, a real book or an electronic copy. Many saying that an electronic copy of a book is nothing compared to the original. So… To book or to E-read that is the question!?

well, it got me thinking since there is there’s pretty much 2 ways of reading a story, which one is better? or are they just as good as each other?  personally, I feel that they both have pros and cons equally.

books
Img src: Photofy

Why I love Paper books…

honestly, what is there not to love about a good quality book. Whether it is a brand new copy or a much loved preowned. There is nothing quite like the feel of sitting cosy, flicking through the pages and that book smell, alongside a cup of coffee, sounds lush right? exactly, I honestly believe you cant actually beat a true copy of a book.
I love being able to keep my eye out in a charity shop for a few more books every now and then, And who can complain when you are buying a book at 25p? Seriously?

Why I love E-books…

So they may be lacking in the same warm feeling as the physical book. Admittedly they don’t have the loving book smell that every book seems to have. But, I actually think that E-books have so many pros to them as well.
How can you honestly fault the ability to hold thousands of books to read all in one place?
I don’t have a lot of space in our room for hundreds of physical books. My tablet gives me so much freedom on being able to download.
E-books to me, are very convenient. I can carry a book with me 24/7 for an emergency by having the app on my smart devices. great!
I will admit one thing! If I love a book that I have read electronically, so much. I will most likely by the physical book as well for me to own.

I mean e-Readers are still relatively new. They are never really gonna have the same feel to the real thing. As a reader, you should be focusing on the quality of the experience as well. Being able to lose yourself in the tablet reading as can compare to the pages of a book.

It’s an equal draw for me…

That’s right, I could probably argue with myself all day on what is the best format but I choose to love both formats! Both have there own pros and cons, but it is personal to me, which is what a book should really be. Even though an E-reader does not have the same feel, it is pretty convenient for me to use half the time. Plus I love the access to so many free books.
What do you guys think? Do you prefer a physical book to read, or are you happy to read electronically?

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Why I blog?

I’ve seen lately a lot of bloggers talking about why they blog. I thought it would be a good opportunity for a post about what has inspired me. including why I’m part of the blogging community.

My first time writing a blog…

My passion for keeping a blog started back when I was in college and studying A level photography. During my studies, I came across a photographer/Blogger on the blogger website called Katie running the blog Color me Katie.

I’d been really inspired by Katie at the time and based some of my photography finals on inspiration from her work. within a few weeks, I began a blog for my photography studies and ran this as a hobby. I stopped that back ages ago.

the blogger recognition award

after a while, I remembered a few years ago how much I enjoyed the blogging side of photography. It got me researching other bloggers before I eventually took the leap and opened my AlexCsparkles blog. Which I later turned to AlexaJade domain. But we’re in the same place.
My first blog post is here.

One of the things that got me back into blogging is having the space to be creative. A space to share all my thoughts and leave my own footprint on the massive world of the web. Which I think I am achieving slowly, anyway

How I blog…

Although I had experimented with other blogging platforms in the past I had chosen WordPress for my blogging adventure. I knew straight away that I was gonna self-host, no question about it. The reason I prefer self-hosting my blog is I feel there is so much more freedom in the way I run and use my blog. It does mean I am paying for hosting, as well as my domain and varies securities and extras. But it has been worth every penny so far.

I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for my MacBook and iPad. I’m constantly on them doing something towards the blog.

To keep a blog is a real hobby…

I think when you have a natural passion for something you automatically give your all to this without question. There is no postponement, no fear. Just leaps of faith all round. If your hobbies are painting then you would need to buy paints and art supplies. So what’s the difference when your hobby is blogging there is no difference. Minnie, I’m saying that and have a million other hobbies in the background as well, so a lot of my money goes on hobbies.

blog

The community is so amazing …

The blogging community is amazing, and I’ve never seen such a big community anywhere else. I have joined various Facebook groups that have provided support and chat for the past few months. However, when I think of blogging community I automatically go straight to twitter where I have made so many friends, been inspired by so many, and spend a lot of my time lately.

When I’m chatting to other people about blogging it’s really easy to build connections with them. The community is probably one of my favourite things because I have just learnt so much through other bloggers, it’s unreal.

With such a supportive and respectful community my confidence has grown so much.

Blogging has given me so many goals to reach…

A bit like when I was talking about blogging being a hobby. When you are doing something it kinda becomes human nature to improve on what you are doing. So I’m the same when it comes to my blog.

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May 19’ round-up

Happy June guys! I really can’t believe that we are officially 6 months into the year! where has this year gone, and where was I when it went? I haven’t done a life update in a long time, so this month felt like the perfect time to round up life so far this year.

Still poorly…

Ok so it has now been 4 months, and I have been off work and needing rest the whole time. I finally had surgery, a few days ago. The surgery went well, but I’m still super sore and finding my feet again. I am very lucky to have my Emma look after me, she is gonna need a holiday after this one lol.

It’s definitely been a challenge the last few days. I already suffer from polycystic ovaries and had fears that I may have had something more serious. However, the surgeon was able to open me up to find that it’s my tubes causing the issues. They’ve been sorted for now so fingers crossed that the problem doesn’t come back.

round up

Setting new goals…

I have had so much time to think whilst I have been off work. whilst being stuck doing nothing, I have also had the time to set new goals and ambitions for the future, I really want to start setting my blogging and craft goals a lot higher. Obviously my first goal for now, is getting back on my feet. getting my health sorted, and back to some kind of normality, but after that, I want to get myself more outside. I want to win the fight with my weight loss battle, and start getting the camera out a lot more then I do now! So thats my goals round-up.

Books are becoming a new passion!

I’ve always been a book lover but over the years stopped reading. Recently I’m really into my reading again! and I have a passion for shopping for a good book! In the past month I have brought so many so I officially have a reading list and plan to review some of the books I’ve been reading here on the blog, yay.

 







Wedding plans round up

So it’s now been a few weeks since we paid the deposit on our wedding venue. I am so excited to be having our wedding at the Botleigh Grange Hotel. Eeeeeek. This time next year there will be meer 9 weeks to go. How exciting is that??? Time to just start planning all the little things towards the wedding. Did I mention the weight loss plan right?

I’ve started CBT.

With my health being crap, it has taken a massive toll on my mental health. So I have been referred for CBT therapy. So I’m gonna be doing a review soon on how it’s gone.

With the fact my healths been bad, that is it, my main updates on me for now but I promise to start updating you all on what’s new more regularly.

How about reading 27 things I have learnt in 27 years here.

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27 things I’ve learnt in 27 years

Happy June everyone. I can’t believe we are already there. How has this year gone so fast.

So yesterday I spent the day in the hospital having surgery. So today recovering has been very boring. So I thought I would have a go at writing my own list of what I’ve learnt for how many years I’ve been alive. To be honest I’ve learnt so much in my life already so I’ve focused on the things that are really general.

Life is a serious of challenges. You face a new challenge everyday. If not more then one. 

If you don’t work towards your dreams your never get any closer to them. 

Not everyone is your friend. But a true friend will be there when it matters. 

Nothing in life is free. 

Friends is the best tv show ever. 

I wake up so much quicker with coffee in front of me.

You should never settle for being second best. 

Face your fears. Even if that does mean throwing yourself off a 100 ft tower, for charity of course. 

You don’t need designer labels to be some one. 

Letting go and Learning to love your curves is a big learn.

Education is so valuable. Grab every opportunity with 2 hands. 

Organisation is key. 

Being creative is so much fun. 

Practising something helps you improve. Stop giving up. 

I take too many photos. They are a nightmare to sort.

Having faith can get you through so many hard times. 

Sunflowers make me happy. 

You can never own enough stationary, ever. 

Autumn and spring are the best seasons. 

It’s really easy to be more eco friendly. 

I hate maths. 

Self care is so important for my mental health. 

I hate adulting stuff. 

Your never too old to like childish stuff. 

Being closer to 30, sucks. 

We shouldn’t take our countryside for granted. 

My parents, family, and fiancé are my world. 




			
			

Love triangle – The truth & my real story.

We now live in a day and age of woman empowerment and how we should be striving to be a better person. In the past few years, I can finally say that I am so happy. I have a perfect life, with the perfect woman. I feel grateful to say that I have found my fairy tale ending. To be honest, if none of this had happened, we would never have found each other. So Im grateful for this.
But life has not always been so perfect.

love triangle

My Story…

I remember the day it all started as if it was yesterday. My phone went off. It was early and way before my shift at work was due to start. We arranged to meet at the back of my work. This would be my first encounter with her. That morning I went into my sleeping parent’s room and said I needed to leave for work early. I was going to buy some paracetamol for a headache before work. This was my first lie told to my parents, and it wasn’t the last.

A year must of arguments and confusion had gone by before I found out the truth. I wasn’t the only girl in her life. Feeling humiliated, I felt hurt. I was still so young, and very nieve, at the age of 19. It is not something you wanna hear at that point, but really a teen, still a child, whether you can legally drink or not. I felt like I was mature enough to hold my own decisions and I was so wrong. Why didn’t I walk away that day?
Instead, I let myself become more and more involved in a web of lies, debt and complications.

When you are in a relationship you are covered by a cloud of mist, your world is perfect and they love you no matter what, and it does not matter. But the truth of it is. It was all lies. Not just from her. The family and friends. They were all speaking constant lies for her. But why? other than the fact I was being used and hurt in a triangle of love and lies.

Being brave and carrying on in a love triangle.

It took me years and years to understand where I was. Falling deeper and deeper into a web of lies, lying to myself saying that everything was ok, and I was fine, I wasn’t. I wish I had listened to the words from my own family and friends telling me to get out. I can tell you now when you are stuck in a hole, you will not listen, because of the fear. There is so much fear behind everything. I would have saved myself some friendships and been a lot happier from walking away, but it just was not happening. But who knows. Like I said I wouldn’t be where I am today if I did. Instead, I was to busy listening to instructions from her, following whatever she said, being twisted to keep as a dirty little secret, and not understanding or valuing myself or my own worth.

Ripping off the plaster scared me.

I even went away to work. 2 years in a different part of the country. I admit at first this was my way of getting away, escaping. I was gonna stand on my own 2 feet finally. That didn’t work either. Little did I know, my phone would be my worst enemy for being kept, and still controlled. Instead, we ended up living together, a few years later and it only lasted 9 months. it got worse and worse. Until one day the plaster finally got ripped off, and I was finally away.

love triangle

Now that time has passed, I am more than honest with myself, I made so many mistakes and told so many lies but it wasn’t my fault. I know that now. I was being controlled. A narcissist. Wow, that’s a strong word but when I looked up the definition it was all there. All the controlling behaviours, the manipulating, the lies told, and the money-grabbing.
There were so many things happening that shouldn’t have been. I tried dropping her in it so many times because I thought it would set us free. It wasn’t us that I wanted free though. It was just me.

I hope by me telling my story that it really does inspire someone else. Be different, and do not put up with the shit that another person has no right to inflict on you. You don’t deserve the abuse, to be lied to, cheated on and used for nothing more than money. Not like me.

Mental health is so important, How about reading my post on body image here.

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Photograph ideas you need for your blog

So you have finally finished writing that amazing piece, you have spent hours on this, and its all ready to go. well, the words are ready, but what about the photos? What are you using to catch the attention of your readers? Remember as bloggers we are all still learning all the time.

Your media is as important as your words!

We all know that your writing content is the most important, however, As much as your writing is so important when it comes to posting your blog post, photographs are just as important. Especially images that are relevant to the subject you are talking about. I mean would you really have photos of food when your talking of fashion? or anything else that’s a complete opposite to what your writing about.

Planning is important

What should I be using to take my Photograph?

Firstly if you are under the impression that you need a fancy camera before you are able to take a decent photo, you are literally incredibly wrong. I mean in this day and age all you need is your phone or your tablet. Your smart device is the perfect tool you can use, to be able to take pictures on. Let us face it. who doesn’t have their phone pretty much 24 hours of the day?

Personally, I own both a DSLR and an iPhone, I am happy to admit that I use both.

If you are lucky enough to own a DSLR camera (because I know they can be really expensive to get your hands on). You may prefer the photograph this takes. One of the reasons I use both, however, is it is not always practical to carry a bulky camera 24/7. However, if I’m staging my own photographs at home. I’ll be on my Nikon.

photograph

So what can I use as a prop?

There are so many things that you can use as props, Below is a list of just some ideas:

Gift wrap
Wallpaper
Postcards
Confetti
Washi tape
Stationery
Mugs
Drinks
Sequins
Foam Shapes
Photos
Notebooks
Flowers
Fairy lights
Phone case
Candles
Books
Leaves
Coasters
Keyboard
Cards
Magazines
Plants

Did I mention there is a lot of things that you can use to set up photos for your blog? Hopefully, this list will be able to inspire you to think of more ideas!

There are always more ways to find the perfect Photograph:

Don’t forget not all blog media needs to be staged either. I’m a constant photo taker. I can’t help it. It’s like taking photos is just in my blood.

My favourite pots have pens on them.

I’ve started learning how to create my own blog images as much as I can. But don’t forget there are still so many amazing websites that you can find free stock photographs from, and you won’t have to worry about copyright issues with these.

All you need to do, a simple google search for free stock images and tons of useful sites come up. Plus if you are using canava, their image library is huge! a lot of phone editing apps will have the same things.

I would love to hear, what your photo process is, and how you set up your photos. If you found this post helpful check our 7 must-have apps for bloggers, here.

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Mental health week – Talking body image

If you didn’t already know. It’s mental health awareness week. This year’s theme is all about body image. You can read more about the Mental Health Foundation here

Mental health
Body Image

What is mental health?

Mental health has always been something that is really close to my heart as I face my own struggles and challenges alongside many of my friends and family. Mental health is defined as a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being. Did you know that one in four adults in the UK is likely to have a mental health problem at some stage in their lifetime, that’s what the experts say. That’s a lot of people. So not one of us should ever feel that we are alone or no one will understand, there will always be someone that will understand how you are feeling and maybe experiencing the same things.

My battle with negative body image

It is crazy to think that finally in 2019 the world is finally acknowledging that not everyone is a size, zero picture-perfect models. Magazines and companies are finally beginning to embrace our curves and imperfections. No longer do we have to flip through magazines to think we could never get away with their image because it’s being broadcast more and more to embrace yourself.

But let’s face it. It hasn’t always been this way! My school years were a prime example. I grew up with twisted hips which meant I walked differently to everyone else. I needed corrective surgery to set my legs straight, but now when I look back was the surgery more a cosmetic thing? So I could be the norm. Whatever that is?

Not just my legs, I’ve never been stick thin whether and I have always struggled to keep weight off. I get anxiety when I get dressed in the morning because I want to look perfect all the time. It’s so much pressure. Nothing ever feels just right.

Talking is so IMPORTANT.

It is so important that as individuals we talk to each other more than we are now. I am not gonna lie it is not always easy to open up, but it is so worth it. I often can’t bring myself to share my own negativity but one thing I do know, I am not the only one who hates her curves and wishes that I could have better skin. There’s always been so much judgement in this world. It is so easy to let negativity win and then we become depressed, lonely, and affected by the perfect image instead of embracing who we are and what we have. Anyone who tells you that they are 100% happy with their own body image, they are lying. There’s nothing wrong in trying to improve ourselves, buying new clothes and improving the way we look as long as it is you that is happy with yourself and that you are improving for no one other than yourself.

This is me, I am not perfect, I’m not skinny, I love to hide behind my make up. But it is me, and there is only one me.

What we can do to be more body positive?

Remember that not everybody is the same

It is time to stop comparing yourself to other people. Each and every one of us has our whether insecurities but it’s time to embrace yourself and learn to be unique in a positive manner.

acknowledge yourself and any low self-esteem you have

It’s not always easy and like I just said we are all different and we deal with things in different ways but this is such an important step in a journey to being body positive and learning your own self-worth.

Face your biggest critic. Yourself.

My dad has always had a famous quote to me, ‘you are your worst enemy’ and do you know what? he is right. It is natrual that you are your worst critique, so its important to learn to stop being so hard on yourself, and I know myself how hard of a challenge that really is.

Realise how beautiful you really are

Write a list of positive things that you like about yourself and whenever you are feeling low, read your list and remember why you love yourself

Practice self-care

It’s so important that we look after the most important person in your life. Yourself. There is one you and you need to take care of you. whether it is being more healthy to have a little pamper evening, make sure you are doing things for you.

Set yourself reasonable targets

Don’t set yourself goals that you know you are not going to be able to stick too. If you set yourself unrealistic targets then you are allowing yourself opportunities to be negative.

I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings on body image and how this affects you, how do you keep yourself positive when you don’t feel so confident?

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