3 Years of Blogging

Monday, 15 January 2018

I thought today to check when I had published my first post on this blog and it's three years ago this January! It wasn't something I had really been keeping track of, but since I noticed, I thought why not talk a bit about what I've learned from three years of sporadic blogging.

Creative Space

Having a space to create and share my own media content is really cool, no matter how many platforms I can do this with, there is something more intentional about creating content here. I put a lot of thought and effort into what I produce and I don't have to pay so much attention to silly social media fads here, I just write whatever I want.

Lovely People

I have connected with people from all over the world through this blog and it's great to feel a part of something much bigger.

Cool Opportunities

As a result of producing my own content here I have be gifted with some amazing opportunities that have helped me and my blog to grow.

Jack Of All Trades

Blogging actively means you're constantly trying to improve your skills in a wide range of areas, this means you learn a lot! You're a photographer, writer, researcher, editor, sometimes coder/tech, geek and social media manager. Blogging consistently good content is a very demanding job!

What are some things you have learned from your time blogging?

Other places to find me  | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube |

Photo credit: wuestenigel 2018 Calendar with Pen and Laptrop via photopin (license)

Free Printable 2018 Calendars

Monday, 8 January 2018
Here are a collection of pretty printable calendars to help you stay organised in 2018.

Bold and minimal from Camilla Rumph

Download a free printable 2018 calendar that was lettered by hand! Put it in a clipboard and display it on your desk or give away as a gift. Click here to download.

Simple but colourful from Clementine Creative

This super simple one from A Piece of Rainbow

Elegant font from Paper Trail Design

2018 floral flower calendars

Pretty florals from FTD by Design

Free Printable 2018 Minimal Calendar - Modern Calendar - Minimalist Calendar - Clean White Calendar 2018 - #2018Calendar #FreePrintable #Calendar #minimalist #modern #simple

Clean digits from Dear Crissy

2018 calendars

Flowing font from Paper Scribbles Co.

I hope you have a wonderful year!

Other places to find me  | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube |

Things I Learned in 30 Days Studying Abroad - Hamburg, Germany

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Public Transport Really Is Amazing
I have already grown accustomed to only having to wait a maximum of 4 minutes most days, (usually 2) for the underground (called the U-Bahn here) And I am not as hopeless with directions as I previously thought. With the HVV app, it's pretty easy to figure out where you need to go, and central Hamburg is really quite small!

Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall)
Try & Learn The Language Before Arriving
If you're coming to Germany, you can get by with no German, if you speak English, but you're life will be a lot easier if you take the time to learn the basics of German before arriving. I have realised the huge part signs and texts play in my everyday life because here I can't understand so many of them!

The Supermarkets
They are really different here, there is a very distinct German-ness to stores like Aldi and Lidl here. While we have these stores back home and I thought they would be familiar, the stores back in Ireland have been carefully tailored to the Irish market, the first few weeks I found it very hard to get anything I was looking for. It wasn't helped by not being able to read German though! But here there is chocolate, gingerbread style cookies, Nutella, and marzipan, absolutely everywhere!

The Sunday Apocalypse
Everything is completely shut on Sundays. You get used to it but in the first few weeks it was a shock, I had to make sure to go shopping on Saturday for anything I was going to need on Sunday. There are some restaurants open Sundays. but pretty much everything else is completely closed. Also, stores tend to close earlier here than what I am used to. Even fast food joints don't stay open very late on week days so you need to remember to be prepared for that!

Don't Come Here Looking To Shop
Well, at least not on a student budget! Coffee, pastries and ice-cream may be more a little more affordable in most places, but everything else most certainly is not!
You may be shocked upon visiting even a thrift store to find that they really very aren't cheap at all! In general the prices here for clothing and shoes for example are extremely expensive.
You could get lucky with a bargain at a flea market here if you can haggle, but otherwise you'll be lucky to get new clothing or shoes for less than an absolute minimum of €30 here. (Unless you go to Primark maybe, they do have it here.)

Trees & Lakes
Hamburg is a very green city, there are lot's of parks and trees and waterways. You can get a bike and cycle around the Alster, Hamburg is definitely very easy on the eyes.

Traffic Regulations
Do not j-walk. I repeat, do not j-walk.  Traffic rules are taken very seriously here. Also, you must work to avoid being flattened by a bike, I've had some close shaves. Bikes have right of way over pedestrians on the footpath. Usually there is a separate path for the bikes, normally a pink or grey colour, but they don't have to stay on it so watch out!

People Look Up, Not Down #nosmartphonesjustsmartpeople
Here in Germany the amount of mobile data people get on the average phone plan is quite small from what I hear, and maybe this plays into something I noticed right away here, and that is that you don't really see people the same volume of people on their phones. You will get filthy looks while trying to text and walk. Especially while crossing a road, even if it's the green man! And the reason you get stared at so much on the underground is people aren't staring at their phone, so they stare at you instead haha!

The World Is Really Big
Meeting people from all over the globe who have come to study in Hamburg has been a really enriching experience and made me realise the nuances and layers of culture and language in places I would have previously thought of as just one country or area! If you can study abroad, do it!!

The World Is Really Small
We are all so well connected now it's a little scary! Social media means we can connect with strangers and people we've only just met so instantly. It's not like I haven't always known that but it's been reinforced by meeting so many new people in a such a short space of time.
Also, friends and family back home can keep really close tabs on you and there is a good chance you know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who knows you! Even worldwide there are only a varying number of degrees of separation between all of us!

Time Flies!
I've already been here for two months as I publish this! It's gone by so fast and I want to make the most of it! And I definitely want to travel so much more now, sadly my budget isn't doesn't stretch to all the trips I wanted to make since I arrived here, but look out for some other posts I have planned on places to eat and things to do here in Hamburg!


You can also follow me on Instagram @sadiyahearts to see what I'm up to!

Other places to find me - | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube |

Hello October | Autumn Scented Candles

Thursday, 5 October 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written any blog content, I’m currently on Erasmus in Hamburg. I’ve been here for over a month now and I can’t believe it’s been that long already. I’ve just been exploring and getting used to the new culture and city here, as well as taking classes in a new place. Also, battling flu, which is kinda inevitable for some unfortunate people each autumn/winter.

Anyway, as all blog posts seem to become an ode to autumn/fall at this time of year, (going off my twitter feed here) this is one trend I can get on board with. Sept-Dec is definitely my favourite time of the year. I hope I can keep some fresh posts coming, to get back to posting I think I’d like to get a nice autumn theme going.

Here are some different autumnal scents candles.

1. Vibrant Saffron Medium Jar, Yankee Candle
2. Escape To Wonderland Scented Candle, Max Benjamin
3. Warm Cashmere Medium Jar, Yankee Candle
4. White Wood & Amaryllis, Celtic Candles
5. Fireside, Field Day
6. Earth Collection #wood, Candella

Other places to find me  | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube |

Blogging Seriously

Saturday, 24 June 2017
I've been considering for a while making the step from blogging here on blogger, to moving over to a self hosted WordPress blog. It's a really confusing thing to navigate when you've never done it before or if you're not particularly tech savvy, but you can do it.

You probably won't even know what I'm talking about here unless you have actually attempted to start your own website, or already have your own website, but choosing a hosting service is the first most difficult thing to navigate, there are so may out there and as a beginner you don't always really know what the right choice is for your needs. It can also be pricy too, if you're not blogging for business, you need to consider whether or not you want to invest in your blog and if you are, by how much.

As I was trying to navigate through this area myself, Reviews.com reached out and asked me to share their article for bloggers deciding on a web host, so I've decided to share it as it's actually relevant to me at the moment and to many other bloggers who are also trying to decide on a web host for them. You can also check out these hosting reviews too.

People don't realise that blogging seriously is actually a very demanding job and is forever a learning curve for a beginner because you do need very specific knowledge!

Are you thinking of moving from blogger yourself?
Do you have a self-hosted WordPress blog?
Which host do you use?
Share you thoughts and advice below!

How I Edit Instagram Photos

Monday, 29 May 2017

I'm always curious about how other people edit their photos so today I'm sharing how I edit my Instagram photos. There's no right or wrong way to do it, but these are the steps I follow and the apps I use.

1.      I import the image into VSCO and apply my usual filter.

You can copy & past edits in VSCO, I paste the filter I always use.

2. Next I share the image to the Snapseed app and make further changes, mainly using the brush tool. I generally brighten and darken certain areas using the dodge and burn brush. I also use the saturation brush to bring out the colours of certain areas that I want to pop a little bit and that have been drained out by my filter. I like to experiment with different changes to see what works.

Editing Interface in Snapseed

3. Depending on whether I think I need to, I might increase brightness and contrast or sharpen the image.

Snapseed Tools
4. Once I’m happy with my edits, I open the UNUM app and import the image to check how it appears visually with the other photos on my account. UNUM lets you see what your photos look like next the images you have already uploaded. This means you can better visually plan your feed. Once I’ve done this, the image is ready to upload.

5. I don’t do this much, but sometimes I will tune up an image further using Instagram, mostly just changing brightness and contrast levels before posting.

Other IG Tips

🔼When you’re shooting images for Instagram, frame them up into a square. What I did was actually change the image size on my camera to a 1:1 ratio which is the right size for Instagram. It makes it easier to frame up images without having to crop anything out later. It means I can capture collections of images with Instagram in mind and then drip feed them to my account after I’ve edited them without worrying that they won’t fit well and having to crop them.

🔼Using the same filter keeps my feed looking consistent. To get ideas for VSCO themes check out Pinterest (just search "VSCO themes") or VSCO’s feed.

🔼To be at the top of your IG game and make sure you’re posting regularly, try using Later to schedule your posts.

What are some of your Instagram photo editing tips?

Other places to find me  | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube |

The Unicorn Makeup Brushes

Saturday, 27 May 2017
Unicorn brushes, lightinthebox.com

I had to share these makeup brushes, which I finally got my hands on. They arrived about three months after I ordered them so note that if you're thinking of purchasing! I normally go for really minimal understated styles so to find these so appealing was different, I just think they're really fun and sparkly.  They're also beautifully soft and are great for blending out shadows other powder products. I think they brighten up your makeup routine.

Do you like novelty brushes?
Other places to find me  | Bloglovin' | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube |