Matt Asks Me Weird Things

You know what’s a really incredible thing? Loving and living with your absolute best friend in the world.

After 5 and a half years – or, almost 2000 days (I don’t know why I Googled that) – being asked weird questions by my better half, Matthew, has become the norm. We have the strangest conversations, like everyone else, but Matt in particular comes up with the most ridiculous things. Tonight, I was thinking about this one particular memory, and I suddenly remembered that I noted down a few of the weird questions he asked me, just for, I don’t know, future notice, I guess.  We went on a summer hike in the middle of nowhere, and periodically throughout the walk, he’d turn to me and ask a question. As if the beautiful walk, rolling hills, and blazing sunshine wasn’t enough, this made for a super special memory.

For all you lucky people that do live with your best friend, especially if that best friend of yours is a massive, random weirdo, you’re probably gonna relate with me a little here! If not, admire a few of the weird and wonderful things that Matthew thought to ask me throughout the duration of one hour.

Green Landscape Trees

If you had a horse, what would you name him?

Frasier, Dougie, Ezekiel, Felix. I think I love Ezekiel the most, but I can imagine my fictional, beautiful, shiny stallion with all of the above names.

What mythical animal would you most love to find in the wild?

To clarify, he also meant “to find and have as a per”. This was easy for me. I’d want to find a domesticated unicorn or Pegasus or Rapidash (do Pokémon count?). As you probably already guessed, I’m pretty obsessed with horses – but, alas, I do not own a horse. I did also consider a Phoenix because 1) it’s beautiful, 2) you won’t be sad when it dies, because it will come back to life 3) they have the ability to heal with their tears.

Would you chop off your own arm if you could replace it with a mechanical one?

Basically, no. We debated this one for a while because, yes, the mechanical arm has countless advantages but I can’t imagine any of those advantages outweighing the unimaginable pain of having to cut your own arm off. I also like the idea of, at least for now, being completely human. If you were offering a deal more like “would you chop of your pinkie to become a bionic human, or human 2.0, with massively improved cognitive functions?” then I might say yes.

divider

What do you think?

signature

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

You can read my previous post here.

9 Cute Wallpapers For Your Phone

I don’t know about you but I love regularly changing my phone’s wallpaper. It always makes me feel like I’ve got a completely new phone – pair this with a quick reorganise of my apps and folders and I’m a happy bunny. I recently thought about creating my own wallpapers so they’re more personal to me. It’s pretty easy to turn drawings and paintings into digital copies if you have a mobile phone or a scanner. That was the idea but it didn’t quite go to plan. I’ll get there eventually.

In the meantime, I decided to scour the beautiful world of Pinterest. I knew I wanted something colourful but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to grab myself a cute and simple wallpaper or something relating to one of my many fandoms. I couldn’t make a decision so I saved lots of wallpapers for future use instead, allowing me to swap and choose when ever I like.

What type of friend would I be if I didn’t share these gorgeous wallpapers with you, eh? You have been warned, I’m going through a pastel ‘phase’ and I just can’t get enough.


9 Cute Wallpapers For Your Phone

Cactus Wallpaper | Doctor Who Wallpaper | Strawberry Wallpaper

I am loving all three of these but, come on, you know that pastel pink TARDIS is my favourite. Combining pastel pink and Doctor Who gets a giant thumbs up from me.

9 Cute Wallpapers For Your Phone

Gotta love the turtles. I’m loving that green and metallic gold combination too.

Flowers Wallpaper | Flamingo Wallpaper | Turtle Wallpaper

9 Cute Wallpapers For Your Phone

Obviously, I just had to include something Disney related. Even more importantly, I had to include an Aristocats wallpaper. Look at those grumpy little kitten faces! Fun fact: When I found this wallpaper, I went off on a one hour tangent looking at The Aristocats merchandise (include Halloween outfits… and yes, I found an adorable Marie costume).

Lemon Wallpaper | The Aristocats Wallpaper | Geometric Wallpaper

Divider

Which one is your favourite?

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

How Technology Has Changed the Way We Enjoy Books

As a massive fan of both books and technology, the physical versus digital debate is something I always consider before starting a new book. Generally, I have a physical and a digital copy of the books I read, so which one do I choose? For me, that depends on what I plan on doing! If I’m planning to travel a lot, then a digital copy will be way handier – I can open up the Kindle app on my phone and it takes up no extra space. If I’m cosy at home, then I’ll always read a physical copy. There’s nothing like it.

Cassie, who writes at Cultural Coverage, has written and shared a guest post which delves deeper into how technology has changed the way we enjoy books. With us both sharing a love for technology, entertainment and all things books, it’s a pleasure to have Cassie on the blog!

How Technology Has Changed the Way We Enjoy Books

Divider

Aside from the obvious screen time versus page time, there are major ways book lovers benefit from how the technology age has transformed the written word.

From tablets to apps, there are more ways than ever to make books enjoyable, and armed with a little tech advancement and a few tools, these five points are sure to convert even a hard-copy-only reader into a digital lover.

  1. A Variety of E-readers Means a Choice of Features

The world went wild when Amazon’s Kindle released. Would this be the end of hardcover books? Are our eyes going to suffer from all the screen time? Is it really possible to download whatever we want to read instantaneously?

While the answers didn’t upend the publishing world completely, they did change things. Now instant access to literature is possible, our eyes have learned to adjust, and there are still plenty of hardcovers out there for the masses. E-readers have branched out considerably. Some are waterproof, such as the B&N Nook GlowLight Plus. Some are incredibly lightweight and easy to travel with, such as the Amazon Kindle Oasis. Others have new features like ad-free reading, integrated lights and a streamlined design.

  1. Indie Writers Get Exposure

The internet and all its book lovers have really made the indie writer huge in the last twenty years. From chapter-by-chapter writers such as Hugh Howey and his book “Wool” to global best-sellers such as E.L. James and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the day of the publishing-house-only rule is long gone. Now writers can self-publish online, and readers can discover them even if they’ve never signed a book deal.

Websites such as Blurb help writers of travel, cookbooks and even magazines self-publish and then provide the books for sale on their site in the staff picks section. Blogosphere platforms such as Tumblr and Reddit are also great places to discover the next up-and-coming talent, all for free.

  1. Audiobooks Offer More Entertainment

While the audiobook is nothing new—CDs and cassettes have long been in rotation—they have become more convenient and accessible. From Audible to Amazon, there are a million choices for readers who are looking to listen their way through the next great classic.

Not only do the voiceovers offer endless entertainment—Harry Potter is even more popular since Jim Dale took to reading the series—they can also enthrall readers who are commuting or who are too tired to stare at a page by giving them new ways to become a part of the story.

  1. Apps and Online Tools Enhance the Reading Experience

New tools also help to discover new books and authors, keep track of old books and transfer downloads from one device to the next, so here’s the shortlist of must-haves for the avid book lover.

  • Goodreads: It’s all in the title. This huge online resource for book reviews is number one in letting you express your opinion on your last read and get started with your next one.
  • Shelfie: This app works like an online library where you can organize books you have and even download free (or reduced price) e-books to carry around in your pocket.
  • Scribd: Scribd is for the reader who is spending more than $10 a month on new reads. At $8.99 a month, the app has over a million titles to choose from and unlimited access to them. It’s perfect for on-the-go readers and digital nomads.
  • Camp NaNoWriMo: This online program is great for not just book lovers but writers as well. The name “camp” harkens back to childhood summers, and this online guide to getting your first work into print offers the same kind of fun with daily writing goals. Well-paced and full of resources, Camp NanoWriMo is the go-to for budding novelists.
  • ExpressVPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is great for readers who love their devices and download e-books a lot. From protecting your reading device—be it tablet or e-reader—from security breaches to allowing you to navigate international texts even if they have a geo-location block, VPNs like ExpressVPN are the perfect aid to any online reader.
  1. Free Books Mean Greater Accessibility

It’s no secret the book industry is an expensive one, but since websites have discovered the beauty of self-publishing and the end of copyright, many books are available to the masses completely free of charge.

Websites such as Project Gutenberg provide free e-books for download, and Google Books provides titles on their website e-reader free of charge (with the added help of Google Play, where those inclined can peruse their buyable titles), which means you can get going on a new book without a visit to the library (although I still encourage you to do that!).

From great applications that organize books we’ve read to devices that allow us to take whole libraries on the go, technology has had a major impact on the way we read, and the good news is it means great reads aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So tech up, and go consume great works of art!


About the author: Cassie is a self-diagnosed bibliophile and tech guru always on the search for ways to get written words out into the world and especially into her ear. Working on a novel of her own, she hopes one day to publish and join the ranks of the great like Twain, Gaiman and Morrison. She wishes you happy reading!

Divider

What do you think? Do you prefer physical or digital copies? Either way, there’s no denying that technology has absolutely revolutionised the way we enjoy books.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

5 Old-School Websites I Used To Love

My childhood had a fantastic combination of playing outside, building forts, getting mucky and staying out until the street lights came on alongside the sudden boom and growth of the internet. It wasn’t just the internet though, technology practically blew up overnight. Well, that’s how it seemed.

As I got older, and the outdoor play started to fizzle away into the category of “that’s for babies” (only for a while, I promise), I ventured onto our family computer. That giant, grey block was a fortress of fun things to do. It blew my mind. Originally, I’d play games that didn’t require the internet… We’re talking Solitaire, Chuckie Egg and Minesweeper. You’d probably also catch me drawing messy squiggles on Microsoft Paint, and then using the paint bucket to fill in all of the shapes. I still can’t believe how entertaining I used to find that.

When I finally found myself on the internet, I was still using my family computer – it wasn’t until a lot later on that I actually had a PC in my own room. I was allowed an hour, then my brother was allowed an hour. The thought of having limited internet is somewhat baffling to me today, but that’s how it was for me!

Dail-up Gif

There are some sites, from this period of my life, that just stuck with me. Before they were deleted or changed beyond recognition, I often used to pop onto these sites to relive my childhood. Have you ever done that?

Divider

5 old-school websites that I used to love:

1. Miniclip

Old-school Websites Miniclip

Miniclip is a nostalgic gamers goldmine. It’s full of old-school, low budget, somewhat stupid and sometimes hilarious games. I think it’s changed a little now, but a lot of the old games that me and my school friends used to play are all still there.

Whilst some of these games were definitely inappropriate, the majority were just silly. I can remember one game pretty well actually. It was a reproductive rabbit game where you dragged the rabbits on top of each other to breed, and then make sure they didn’t go anywhere near the electric fence or they’d die. That’s all… Fun!

2. Piczo

Hello darkness, my old friend… Rest in peace, Piczo.

I’m afraid my good old friend is long gone. It was shut down in 2012, along with all 5 of my websites. This was, back then, what WordPress is like now, I guess. It was a super simple way to create your own website, and then you could fill it with your own pages, mess about with layouts, backgrounds, colours and fonts. Piczo was the first time I actually encountered a gif, but I didn’t know what these sparkly moving images were at the time… No colours ever matched. All backgrounds were too busy. The pages themselves were full to the brim with crap. Honestly, these sites were a load of rubbish, but it was our rubbish.

Uploading garish, seizure-inducing gifs were all the rage too, and don’t even get me started on the scrolling/moving/bouncing text… what were we all thinking?

3. Neopets

Old-school Websites Neopets

Oh, my heart. Neopets was such a big deal. The only way I can think to describe this game is like a grown-up, colourful, more detailed and more social Tamagotchi. You’d create your pet, which were colourful fantasy creatures, and then you looked after them.

On top of the whole simulated pet thing was the community. You could play games, buy treats for your pets with in-game coins, chat with other plays and explore the world. I kind of felt like I had my own Pokémon – I think that’s why I loved it so much.

4. Myspace

You all know what Myspace is. Before Facebook was “cool” (and then not cool again), before Twitter was cool, every kid and aspiring musician had a Myspace account. It’s simply a social network, but old.

The most notable thing about it, for me, had to be the toxic way we had to choose our “top six” friends and then order them! You can’t even imagine as a young teenager what chaos could grow from something as simple as this. Myspace was also full of emo kids… come on, you know that’s true.

5. Club Penguin

Old-school Websites Club Penguin

Describing Club Penguin is a pretty hard thing to do, if you want to keep up appearances that you’re sane. Basically, it’s an online multi-player game that lets kids play games and interact with each other. But, you’re a penguin. That’s your persona.

I began this game when online chat room games were all the rage. As dangerous as it sounds now, they were a fun way to chat to other kids from all over the world. I wasn’t ever informed that my new American 9-year old online friend could be a 40-year old man in disguise – I’m not even sure if was common knowledge that something like that could happen!

Hey, it was fun though.

Divider

Have you ever played around with any of these sites?

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

How To Organise Your Wire Drawer

If you own any electric device at all, I’m pretty sure you’ve got one of these drawers somewhere in your house. Generally, they’re a big old, tangled, unorganised mess too. Or is that just me?

The wire drawer is a secret that people don’t talk about, yet it’s constantly lingering over us with its mystery cables and unknown wires from phones you owned in 2005. You want to find a USB charger for your Samsung phone, but instead you end up with a Poundshop knock-off that broke last year. You search for your printer plug, but you instead you end up with the charger for your keyboard, that’s gathering dust somewhere in the loft… Yeah, the wire drawer can be a bit of a chaotic place if you haven’t tidied it up in the last decade or so.

I’ve always liked to think of myself as a hugely organised and efficient kind of gal, yet somehow my wire drawer has slipped through the net. It’s about time that changed, and I’ve got a fantastic little life-hack for you today.

You’ll never have to go rooting through your drawer searching for a lost wire ever again.

DIY Organise Your Wire Drawer Life Hack

Divider

So, how can you try this yourself?

Materials you’ll need:

  • A light coloured washi tape
  • A dark coloured pen or permanent marker
  • Scissors

DIY Organise Your Wire Drawer Life Hack

1. Cut off a section of washi tape, approximately 10cm long. It needs to be long enough to be folded in half and still have enough room to write the wire’s use on it.

2. Lay the tape sticky side up on a surface, and place your wire in the middle.

3. Fold the two sides of the washi tape around the wire, sticking them together.

4. Using your dark coloured pen, write down what that wire is for.

5. Wrap up the wire neatly, and store it back in your (newly organised!) wire drawer.

Tip: Like me, if you’re a bit unsure what that very important and very familiar wire is for, just stick “unknown” on it. If, one day, you remember then the washi tape is super easy to remove so you can replace it’s label.

DIY Organise Your Wire Drawer Life HackDIY Organise Your Wire Drawer Life HackDIY Organise Your Wire Drawer Life Hack

Divider

I hope this helps if you ever feel like tidying up your secret unorganised wire drawer!

What do you think?

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.

Neko Atsume (Kitty Collector)

I recently discovered the sweetest of games, where practically nothing at all happens yet it’s completely addictive. The premise is of Neko Atsume is simple: collect all the cats, buy them fancy treats and toys, but the cats will only show up once you close the app. It’s supposed to fit in to your daily life, without taking up too much of your time, such as that 2 minute break in a lift, or a 30 second peek in the morning.

The unique thing about this game is how little you can actually do in one go. When you spot a new cat in your garden, you get to photograph it but that’s about it. Whenever you reopen the game, you can buy new treats, rearrange the garden, rephotograph your regular visitors and pretty much just coo all over the cute kitties. If your cats learn to like you, they’ll bring you a memento. It seems that the aim of the game, if any, is to collect all the cats, including all of the super rare ones, and collect all their mementos.

I’ve got such a sweet spot for this game. I’ve learnt the regular kitties’ names simply, even though they all look very similar. I think it’s perfect little game for cat ladies (or cat dudes) who have a few minutes of spare time each day. Seriously, what’s not to love? It’s full of tiny little cats.

Divider

You can find it download it for your Android phone here, or your iPhone here.

-Morgan

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Read my previous post here.

5 Brilliant Apps Guaranteed To Boost Productivity

I recently bought a diary to help me balance my work life, home life and blog life a bit easier, knowing that words on paper would burn into my memory a lot more than keeping digital notes. My insanely over-the-top love for stationary also played a huge part in this decision, because now I can colour code all entries in the diary, and that’s just

s u p e r.

Organised

Even though this diary will be my new best friend, I began to realise potential that digital organisation has to offer when it comes to productivity – especially for me. My diary (sadly) can’t fulfil everything I need it to, so I’ll have to fill my boots elsewhere.

Mobile phone apps are, like it or not, a big part of daily life for a lot of people. They’re not just used for posting pictures of your lunch or sharing selfies on Instagram. We have the ability to carry around our work in our pockets. We can ask our little digital friends to remind us of dates, events and even when nearing particular shops. They’re useful, without a doubt.

Divider

Here are five widely available apps that are sure to boost your day to day productivity, helping you can get more done.

Productive

Outlook:

outlook-logo

Outlook is primarily known for email, but did you know it offers some pretty powerful online calendar tools too? If your day-to-day life includes sorting, reading and organising emails alongside following a busy schedule, then Outlook is your new friend.

Wunderlist:

wunderlist logo

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I’m completely list crazy. I think I mention it in every other blog post… Really though, lists are brilliant and Wunderlist (as you can tell for the name) is the queen of list apps. On top of lists, you can also set yourself reminders that will notify you when you are overdue etc.

It’s absolutely perfect for student life, speaking from experience, when you have deadlines around every corner.

Spotify:

spotify logo

I’m sure this isn’t something specific to me, but I work like a dream when I’m listening to classical music. Music blocks out the irritations of the office, the noisy neighbours or the messy web of thoughts that won’t shut up. I think it’s completely necessary for productivity.

Pocket:

Pocket-logo

Pocket allows you to save articles and videos for later, which gives you absolutely no reason to procrastinate at work, telling yourself “only one more video”.

CamScanner:

CamScanner logo

I found CamScanner in my first year of university during a programming module. I needed to explain an algorithm I was using and drawing it seemed sensible. This was a pain to do on a computer – I couldn’t add enough detail. So, I drew it instead, but was then I was stuck with a digital report and paper diagram…

I needed a mobile scanner, and this is what I found. Absolute perfection. It works like a dream. I also used this app to digitalise my signature for online forms and submissions, which is a huge time saver.

Divider

Have you used any of these apps before? If not, I hope you’ve found this useful!

-Morgan

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads