A Lifestyle, Grooming & Technology Blog

Friday, 6 September 2019

Quell Freelance Boredom And Keep Focus


There are many, many perks of being a freelancer. You can sleep in late, pick and choose work, pick and choose when you work. You can work in your undies or in a suit and have as many toilet and tea breaks as you want without worrying that your hypothetical boss is going to leave you out of the next pay rise. But, there's also the downfalls. It can get lonely working at home on your own and hard when you're trying to motivate yourself to get your workpieces done before the deadline, plus it can also get a bit dull. Fear not! It doesn't need to be this way! See for yourself below, how you can defeat freelance boredom and keep focused on what you've gotta do.

Switch it up

Maybe what you don't need is to write about the same topic all day every day none stop. Perhaps your brain is bored with designing the same website design templates with little variation over and over again. Can you really blame your mind for getting bored with the monotony of your work life when there's no variation? Stimulation - that's what you need. Something where your brain requires more than autopilot mode. So add some diversity in the mix. Take on a new writing job that pushes you out of your comfort zone, play moto x3m 4 or go outside and take some photos for your blog for a little while. Changing what tasks you're doing will help you re-energize and be ready when you need to get on with your other work.

Take a walk

The outdoors is just the other side of your front door, use it! You're a freelancer, and flexible to do what you want (within reason). So whether rain or shine, if you're on a quest to banish boredom, you need to get out of your PJs pull on some regular clothes and take a walk. Exercise, fresh air, and a different environment will stimulate your mind, and remove the dullness of your regular freelance working day.

Reward yourself

This step is kind of like how you would train a puppy or child to get something done. Positive reinforcement apparently works, so why not try and incentivize yourself. It may go something like this; "ill give myself a cookie (okay half a pack of cookies) every time I finish a logo". Or perhaps you might want to push the boat out, and treat yourself to some vinyls or new fancy pants from TK Maxx. The gift is within your power to choose. Incentivizing yourself to do something that can make your freelance job decision seem more worthwhile. Otherwise, you're likely to get bored of feeling like you're on a never-ending treadmill putting out work with nothing fun to show for it.

Freelance boredom is the devil that can destroy your creativity, leaving you with little to no thinking space and focus left to get the work you need to do doe. And so, take note of some of the tips above. You have more freedom than a 9-5 office person, so use it to your advantage, stretch your legs whenever you can play a game in your break times, and eat all of those cookies. You've got this.
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Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Tips For Buying A Second Hand Car ( Without Blowing Your Budget)


Dreaming of buying a second-hand car? When buying a used car from a dealership or a classified ad it may be difficult to make your mind up. With tons of paperwork, hidden extras and fake ads, it's difficult to know where to turn for advice. So we’ve put together a few tips, tricks and expert advice to help you as you take the steps towards car ownership.

There are pros and cons of buying from a reputable dealership or are buying from a private sale, and both can sometimes make buying a secondhand car more hassle than it’s worth. So have a look at our comprehensive car purchasing guide to make you feel more at ease.

Many new cars are not bought outright with cash and are bought using finance or credit. To encourage drivers to take cars on finance; dealerships often incentivise them by offering deals. These deals often expire with three years and therefore this is a very common time for nearly new vehicles to be returned to the dealership in favour of a new model. As mentioned, it's also a great way to protect your wallet from car value depreciation hits as well as costly repairs once the car is more than five years' old. You also save yourself from any large depreciation hits and costly repairs.

The Basics

Make sure that you get the basics right or it might cost you dearly in the long run. You could find yourself shelling out for costly repairs, extortionate insurance and much more. Here are some general tips to consider when choosing and checking that second-hand motor.

Make Sure Your Finances Are In Order

The state of your finances could be the difference between you leaving the dealership with the car of your dreams or going home on the bus. Set aside some time to lay out your planned budget and expenditure and your ideal monthly repayment amount. Try and stick to it as best as you can as you don't want to be left with car payments that you can't afford and a big knock to your credit score. Use the internet to research the best way for you to personally finance your car- there are a multitude of options. From asking friends and family, to taking out a loan or even saving up stacks of cash from your side hustle, there's bound to be a way. Don't forget to include your down payment deposit, insurance and road tax costs in your calculations too.

Know Your Market

One of the easiest ways to keep up to date and knowledgeable about what's happening in the used car market is to get online and have a look. Head online and have a look for a Free Used Car Online Valuation to help you have all the information that you need. Hopefully, you’re now equipped with everything you will need to buy the used car of your dreams.


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Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Turn Gaming Into An Income



Always wondered if you could make money playing video games? Gaming is nothing more than a pastime for many of us – but for others it’s a livelihood. Turning gaming into an income isn’t easy. Such work is competitive and you may need a high level of skill. However, if you’re dedicated enough, you could get to make money doing the thing you love. Here are just several ways to turn gaming into an income.
Play online casino games
Online casino games are hugely popular. Earning money through these games is largely down to chance, but there are strategies to reduce the risk and lower your losses. Some casino sites offer free rounds and bonuses to new players. Using free slot machines with bonus rounds, you may be able to minimise your losses and potentially win more. Some players have earnt huge amounts simply by making use of these freebies and keeping to this strategy.  
Write video game reviews
Video game reviewers are paid to play and write critiques of video games. This can be a great job for gaming enthusiasts that also love writing. Having an English or Journalism qualification could help when trying to land a job at a publication. Most game reviewers spend many years first doing small gigs at lesser known gaming blogs and magazines. There’s also the option of starting your own gaming blog and building this up until you earn money through it (although this is no easy task).  
Create Youtube ‘Let’s play’ videos
Many of us watch ‘Let’s play’ videos on YouTube. Some YouTubers have made millions of dollars out of these videos. However, this involves getting millions of views and subscribers. To build up a successful channel, you need to have engaging content. Fortunately, starting a YouTube channel is easy – investing in a good quality microphone and editing software could be worthwhile, but you likely won’t need anything else.
Test video games
Another way to make money playing video games is to get into video game testing. Game developers often hire testers to help iron out bugs before releasing games to the general public. To become a video games tester, you’ll generally need a degree in computing or software development. An understanding of programming is often needed when looking for ways to find and fix bugs.
Become a professional gamer
There’s also money to be made by taking part in gaming tournaments. If you’re up for the challenge, it could be worth finding a tournament online and signing up. The bigger the tournament, the bigger the prize – although you can bet that most of the bigger tournaments will be made up of some of the world’s most highly skilled players.


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Fun Ways To Supplement Your Income As A Blogger




If you’re a blogger, you’ll be all too aware of how difficult it can be to make money. It takes time to grow your blog enough to make money, let alone an income. However, with consistency and determination, it can be done! 
That being said, you might still have weeks or months where you’re not making a lot, so it could be a good idea to look into ways you can supplement your income. Below, you’ll find some fun ways to supplement your income as a blogger. Take a look and see if you can make more money! 

  1. Sell A Skill
Do you have a skill? Maybe you’re a talented artist, or you can write copy. You could potentially sell your skills using an online platform such as Fiverr or People Per Hour. It’s really easy to get started. Alternatively, you could sell your crafts using your own website, although setting up a real side hustle will take a substantial amount of time and this might stop you from focusing on your blog. 

2. Create An Online Course
Creating an online course to go on a site like Udemy can take time, but once it’s done, you can make money from it time and time again. You could create a course based on anything: tell others how to blog or write well, show people how to knit cardigans, whatever you like! 

3. Write An Ebook 
If you have knowledge around a certain subject, you could write an Ebook on it. Again, this is something you can put the work into once and then make money from multiple times. Some people even like to write numerous Ebooks so they can keep on making passive income. You could write a fictional Ebook if you wanted, but it can be much harder to sell these. Either way, marketing your Ebook will be important. 

4. Use Cashback Sites Cashback sites are a really simple way to have more money. Simply sign up and use them each time you go to buy something online and you can let the funds build up until you feel like withdrawing them.



5. Consider Matched Betting
Now, stay with me here. It sounds too good to be true, and so people automatically assume that it is. Matched betting can be tough to understand at first, but there are sites like Profit Accumulator that can walk you through it step by step - you can even sign up for free and make some money so you can see for yourself that it isn't a con. Of course there are drawbacks, and you do need to put time and effort into it. However, you can take advantage of free bets and make a decent amount of money when you do it right.

6. Make A YouTube Channel To Go With Your Blog
If you haven’t already got a YouTube channel, this could be a great way to make some money along side your blog. You will need to grow your YouTube channel and make regular videos, but once you monetise them you have the potential to make money from them forever.



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Tuesday, 26 February 2019

NEW ASA GUIDELINES - WHAT BLOGGERS NEED TO KNOW


Back in September of last year, the ASA issued this document called 'An Influencer's Guide to Making Clear that Ads are Ads'. It's only become a thing on social media over the past month or so because a number of high profile celebrities were called out for lack of disclosure but it's a case of better late than never as there is much uncertainty out there around influencer content and how exactly it should be represented to readers.


Today, I'm going to do a bit of an deep-dive into what these changes mean for us bloggers and influencers, what we need to be aware of and how we can ensure we're following them, as well as going a little into the background of why these guidelines have been put in place. I hope this is useful and if you have any other questions or concerns - please do let me know in the comments.

So it's all about making it absolutely clear to readers if a brand is driving content, either through payment or gifting or both. It also covers the usage of affiliate links, where the brand knows if a sale has come to them via an influencer and will pay said influencer a commission (typically 3-5%) through a third party, if the customer keeps that item.

Up until this, almost all bloggers would have used the word AD to indicate that a piece of content was being paid for. If an item had been gifted however, the guidelines were not clear about using the word AD. Nor was it clear in the case of affiliate links. It was always just good practice and fair disclosure to indicate gifting and affiliate links and most bloggers did this using words at the foot of the post or in the body of the text.

The guidelines aim to create a clear and consistent approach so it is clear when influencers are working with brands and on what basis. This means that consumers will know what to look for and will be informed right off the bat if they're consuming content that is a brand promotion or sponsorship. As many of us like to incorporate brand content seamlessly into non-branded content so it feels authentic to us, this makes it even more important to be clear on when consumers are being advertised to.


So what should you do? Well step one is to update or create a disclosure page for your blog, which allows you the space to explain the guidelines and how you will be complying with them. I personally also link this at the bottom of my posts that contain gifted items or contain paid-for content - it just directs people to more information without having to put paragraphs of text under each post! Even my own disclosure page needs work - I want to make everything clear and cover off any concerns or questions readers may have, but I'm not sure if my desire to address everything makes it messy and difficult to digest... It's definitely something I plan on revisiting regularly to ensure it's as clear and concise as possible.
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Saturday, 23 February 2019

Vinyl Arrivals #4


Welcome back to my Vinyl Arrivals series! It's been a while but I've picked up some new records lately so wanted to share my thoughts on them. Most of them are from Amazon, as are 99% of the purchases in my life, which means they're all brand new but I really want to get into the habit of buying them second hand from places like Ebay or Depop. Somehow they just sound better once they've been played loads,  you really get that awesome vinyl crackle.

I also got a new record player for my birthday not long ago, which has inspired me to start shopping again (oops). The sound is great as it came with bluetooth speakers which have a much warmer tone than the stereo set that were in my previous set up. Ok let's get into what I've picked up over the past few weeks..

Eric Clapton - Unplugged (1992)

I'm a massive fan of acoustic blues and it doesn't get much more authentic than this album from Eric Clapton. Recorded in front of a live audience, it's a super stripped back sample of some of his greatest  songs. It's also on 180g meaning the sound is even richer than on previous recordings. My favourites are Layla and Tears in Heaven.

John Mayer - The Search For Everything (2017)

What can I say about John Mayer? He's the reason I got into playing guitar and his songs always feel like they're so personal and speak to you on so many levels. This album is so different, and in many ways shows his maturity from early pop-rock into full on soulful melodic blues. It's impossible for me to pick a favourite track from this album, but if you're unsure on whether to give it a listen then just go for it. A must for any blues collector in my mind.










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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

(AD) Dinner at The Red Lion - Stoke Green

(AD - GIFTED) - This is a sponsored post. The Red Lion were kind enough to gift the meal, however all opinions shared within this post are my own.

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend the press night for the re-opening of The Red Lion, located in Stoke Green just a stones throw from Slough. It re-opened on Saturday 9th Feb with a stunning revamped dining and bar area.

When we arrived we were greeted by the team and taken over to the bar area, where we were invited to create our own gin cocktails. Not a bad start to the evening! We got to choose from all kinds of toppings and ingredients and it was super interesting getting tips from the bar staff on creating the perfect drink.


Once we picked up our drinks, we had a quick mooch around the newly refurbished restaurant before heading into the main dining area to take our seats. There were so many cosy nooks and air chairs located all around in front of roaring fires. It was super stylish but also comfortable enough to bring the family for a Sunday roast. 




Where do I start with the food? The menu was incredibly vast, I was worried that the huge selection would lead to a reduction in quality. You know those places that do a few dishes but really well? It was hard to imagine how they could deliver so much and do it all well. But I was thrilled to be proven wrong when the food made it's way out! There was even an extensive Vegan menu, which we didn't sample but was once again filled with delicious sounding starters and mains.

For my main course I went with the roasted Lamb, served with aubergine, roasted sweet peppers, potato dauphinoise, and red wine Jus (£21.95). Check out the pic below. I had to hurry because I couldn't wait to get stuck into it..

I ordered the meat medium rare and it was prepared to absolute perfection; the meat was served on the bone and was perfectly tender and was complimented beautifully with a hint of mint, which gave the dish that traditional Sunday roast taste.

My girlfriend went with the Salmon fillet on Chorizo mash, tenderstem broccoli and Bouillabaisse sauce (£15.50). I was reliably informed that it was just as delicious as it looks! 

Despite being incredibly full already, we managed to find some room (as always) for a quick peek at the desserts menu. Again, I couldn't believe how vast the menu was. There were so many choices it was almost impossible to choose between them! I went for the Mango, Berry and Coconut Meringue Mess and it was super sweet but delicious. It was their take on the classic Eton mess with a twist and really worked. 


Honestly I really couldn't fault the service at The Red Lion. Not a single mistake was made. The staff were extremely attentive, but not overbearing. We had a fantastic waitress who was able to explain the menu to us and answer any questions we had. The food came out really quickly and we ended up being extremely jealous of what other guests had chosen as it all looked so tasty.



Are you in the Berkshire area and looking for a great date night spot or Sunday roast? Why not try the newly refurbished Red Lion. You won't regret it, I know i'll certainly be taking a trip back there very soon.

Looking for more local restaurants to visit? Check out my review of The Warren, Wokingham here


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