Tag Archives: Tips

The Best Hiking Boots for All Terrain?

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A long time ago I wrote about choosing the best hiking boots – and now I’m going to admit whether or not all my tips worked.

Following my own sage advice (and…you know… the highly skilled adviser at Ellis Brigham) I chose the Salomon GTX 4D-2 boot in size 7.5 (I normally take a 6) and here’s how I’ve gotten on with them in the past few months.

The Salomon GTX 4 2 are high-cut boots which promise to be waterproof, offer great ankle support and have a superior stay-cool technology.  A gusseted tongue boasts that grit will not enter the boots during walks, which is an important promise to keep, in my opinion. Ever had a stone in your shoe?

I was annoyed at first, because I don’t like having big feet, so buying almost 2 sizes bigger than I normally take was somewhat of a tough pill to swallow. I let it slide, though – they might save my life (or at least my feet) in the outdoors, I can forgive them for being snug.

Trying them on, I was impressed to find them light but sturdy, with a nice chunky sole that I expect will protect me from all kinds of rubble. I like the slate grey and greenish tones, they “go with everything” which is obviously the most important thing when hiking…

Now lets talk about how they performed.

 First Wear – Peel Tower, Ramsbottom
The first wear is the most indicative of whether your boots will work for you. We got up super early and walked the 6 mile loop from Ramsbottom through Peel Tower and Pilgrims Cross, in a sticky 20 degree heat. I wore leggings like an idiot, and spent the first 30 minutes overheating profusely. But my feet stayed cool.

The hike is mixed terrain – some dirt paths, some hills and rough pasture, some road. I didn’t notice a difference in comfort for any of the areas, and the boots remained comfortable, supportive and, most importantly cool throughout.

My only niggle was during a particularly steep downhill section, where the “high-cut profile” began to rub my lower shin on either side of the tongue. It wasn’t excruciating, and could potentially be solved by thicker socks, but I quietly hope that they will soften in time (and curse myself for skimping on socks).

Overall, though, after walk 1 I’m pleased. I didn’t have to stop once to remove small stones from my boots, which is a godsend. Somehow, though, my toes are still dirty when I get home.
It’s a mystery I don’t feel compelled to solve.



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3 Tips for Taking Better Photos

Tips for taking better photos

Whether you take photos for your business, to record happy memories or for your blog, most of us want them to be visually pleasing. I recently took an intensive photography course and thought it’d be fun to share a few quick fix tips for taking better photographs and getting out of the “Auto” mode. If you’ve ever looked at a digital camera and been totally baffled then keep reading, because these 3 tips should help!

1. Read your Handbook

I know it’s completely unheard of to actually read through a handbook, but your camera instructions are full of handy tips about specific shooting modes and functions. They’ll give you an idea of the range your camera has, how to activate special settings and whether there are any handy add-ons you can buy to enhance your work. For SLR cameras you’ll read terms like Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO – these might sound daunting but they can all have a great impact on your photos. I’ll share some tips for using those functions next time!

Play with Focus

Focus and depth of field can really make an impact on how a photo looks. If you’ve read your handbook ,you’ll know how to adjust focus! If not, most cameras will auto-focus. To refocus on a different point, usually you can half-press the shoot button and the lens will readjust to pick another subject. Play around with this function until you get the effect you want – whether that be deep focus or some blurs. This is obviously difficult with moving subjects, but for stills it’s really useful.

Think about Colour

The eye is naturally drawn to areas with high contrast of light and dark. Think about this when you’re snapping. More visually pleasing images have at least a point of high contrast which draws the eye. Similarly, colour saturation is really important – rich, bold colours are more pleasing than faded or darkened shades. This obviously makes taking photos in darker lighting situations quite difficult, but ISO adjustments can help with that (come back next time to find out how). In darker situations select specific shooting modes like nighttime or indoors modes to help your camera compensate for the type of light.

I’ll share another tutorial next week which will delve into the basics of aperture, shutter speed and ISO priorities, so stay tuned if you want to get a little more technical and move out of “auto” mode.

Do you have any great tips for photo improvement? Are there any aspects you struggle with?


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Home | How to REALLY use Pinterest to Style your Home

How to use Pinterest to style your home

When it comes to decorating your home, it can be a total nightmare just to get your style vision clear. I’m the sort of person who mentally styles any room I have control over frantically in my head for months before I’m let loose with a paintbrush.

I don’t even know what kind of house I’m going to end up in, but I already know I want subway tile on the bottom half of the bathroom, and chalky green to the top. My preparedness is half attributed to loving interior design, and another half attributed to having a Pinterest addiction.

Despite its tendency to promote lifestyle envy, Pinterest is an amazing resource for collecting ideas and clarifying decor plans for your whole house. However, with so much material at your fingertips, it can be hard to put it into practise. This post is designed to help, so without further ado here are 3 ways you can use Pinterest to style your home!

Source DIY Guides

Pinterest has tons of hacks and how-to guides for pretty much everything, and home decor is no exception. The majority of looks you’ll find on pinterest link to content on recreating that look. So while you’re curating styles you love, you can also research how to achieve them without contracting a squillion handypeople.
I particulary like the Ikea Hacks type  guides like these which help you transform budget furniture into high-end dupes!

How to use Pinterest to Style your home

Sleep on Big Changes

That hand painted chevron statement floor or ombre dipped chandelier might feel like a great idea whilst you’re looking at it, but you could be caught up in the moment. Pin the wackier ideas together so you can give them proper consideration. If you still love the gold leaf rendered fireplace in a month then it’s time to invest the time and effort into a dramatic transformation. For this reason, Pinterest is one of your best pals when it comes to avoiding big decor fails.
And hey, if you still like it, why not just get the pin printed and frame it? See tip 1 for help finding a statement photo wall to display it!

How to use Pinterest to Style your Home

Colour Scheme Confidence

When Mr K and I first moved into our house over a year ago, I was so set on painting one lounge wall purple, another navy and laying a monochrome ikat rug. Everyone I described it to struggled to see my vision, assuming I’d lost my marbles. I’d pinned similar looks, though, so I was confident it would work in a folky, bohemian kind of way but without looking super hipster. In the end I was right, and it’s because of Pinterest I had the confidence to take a risk instead of opting for failsafe cream.

So those are my tips on how to really use Pinterest to add some oomph to your decorating. It’s basically the Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen of the 21st Century.

Do you have any great tips for home decor perfection? Please share them!



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