Monday, 21 November 2016

Tech Wishlist

Fitbit Blaze

I've liked the idea of these for a while now and would love to finally own one of them. They are such a useful gadget that can be worn anytime as it doesn't scream fitness monitor but still provides you with all the stats you need to monitor things such as your steps and heart rate, without the need for a separate band around your chest. I noticed that they recently released a gun metal version of the blaze which looks really slick and smart so could be worn for work too. I seem to keep saying this but I'd like to try to get back into running and the Fitbit would be great as it provides real time run stats when connected to your phone's GPS which would be really handy.

GoPole Reach

Myself and Laura are starting to make more videos for our YouTube channel and I've been looking for ways to improve the content we put up on there. I've been toying with the idea of an extension pole for the GoPro for a while now and have finally decided it would be a great accessory to have. It can extend from 14 to 40 inches which would give a completely different angle to shoot from and would mean we could film ourselves a little more without having a camera right up in our faces. You could also capture more of the surroundings using this. Using the pole for filming what we are seeing which provide a more stable mount so that the shots look smoother.

4K TV

This is something a little more on the luxury side but they are starting to come down in price now as they are becoming more popular. I've recently bought a PS4 Pro which can output 4K resolution depending on the game, so it would be interesting to see the detail of this. At the minute there don't seem to be too many games that can play in this high res, but in the future this should become more common. TV shows and films are also starting to be produced in 4K so watching these on a big screen would be impressive. My GoPro can also capture footage capable of playing back on this kind of TV so it would look amazing to see my travels in crisp detail.

GoPro Smart Remote

Another accessory for the GoPro would be the wireless remote so that I could have more freedom and practicality when taking photos and video. It has an impressive wireless range and can clipped onto things such as the GoPole reach to make taking shots easier. You can also use it to trigger the camera to record at certain points, whether this is when you are coming into shot or when it's set up somewhere out the way. It's so small and compact that it can be slipped in your pocket or kit bag to be taken anywhere with you. 

GoPro The Frame

Okay I promise this is the last accessory for the GoPro on my list, but it will improve the quality our our videos. The frame would provide easy access to all of the ports so you wouldn't have to keep taking it out the housing to plug it in. A huge benefit of this mount is the improved audio quality as it does not get hindered by the case at all. It also gives a lower profile option for mounting the camera to make it slightly less bulky.


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Monday, 14 November 2016

5 Of The Best Places To Eat In Liverpool

Red's True BBQ - Hanover Street

Serves: American style such as Donut Burger, Pitmaster Meat Tray and steaks 
I recently went here for my birthday and was really impressed with what was on offer. The meat trays are something different to your standard meal as you can have a variety of different meats in one dish. The Pitmaster Tray contains: St Louis ribs, Black Angus brisket, Red's pulled pork and smoked cheese & jalapeno sausage. If burgers are more you thing then they have an interesting range of options including a huge Pit Burger to the Donut Burger. And yes that is a burger with glazed donuts as your bun. You can also choose from other items such as sandwiches to steak with these ranging anything from £5 to roughly £20, so pretty similar to other restaurants out there.

Crust - Bold Street

Serves: Pizza, Pasta, Beer
I'm not going to lie, pizza is my weakness so whenever I go out for a meal this is always on my list. You might be wondering what makes this place different to any other pizza restaurant. Here you choose the crust (hence the name) first to decide what you want it baking on. You get to choose between: original, five grain, organic and black dough which you then choose your pizza or make your own from the toppings available. If this doesn't take your fancy then they have a number of pasta options and a few things on the grill menu. If you're needing something to wash it down with then a substantial list of cocktails or Italian beers and local ales might just do the job. Prices here range from £5 up to the £15 mark. If you want to find out a little more I did a full review.

Viva Brazil - Castle Street

Serves: Brazilian BBQ meats with a fresh salad bar
Another restaurant that is something different to loads of others out there. Depending which option you go for, you either have the seven or fifteen meats and they range from £9.95 to £24.95 depending which day you go on and whether you have the lunch or dinner menu. After choosing whatever you want from the salad bar, the waiters come round to your table with a different meat on each skewer and then they calf you some off onto your plate. If you do go for the seven different meats options (which I did and it was still very filling) then you get a sheet and mark off the seven you want.

Jamie's Italian - Paradise Street

Serves: Pizza, Pasta, Burgers and more
I think this has to one of my favourite chain restaurants as you get amazing fresh food for a very reasonable price. If you ever want to go to Jamie's it's definitely worth signing up to be part of the Gold Club. You get free tasters on every visit plus other offers such as money off your bill and free drinks. The best part - it's free to join with no catches. The food consists of pasta, salads, pizza, steaks and some great sides and desserts. Prices for meals start at around £5.50 for the lunch options up to £22.95 for your 35-day sirloin steak. You can really taste the different flavours in the food and know it's fresh (you can even see the pasta being made in front of you if you're sat upstairs). You can see more of Jamie's from when I reviewed their Evening Menu.

TGI Friday's - Liverpool ONE, Paradise Street

Serves: American Burgers, Hot Dogs, Steaks and Chicken
Another chain one here but the food they offer is great. You get so much for your money and it's flavoured so well. My current favourite is the Chicken Fingers or Jack Daniel's Sesame Chicken Strips, although they have amazing ribs and an impressive lineup of burgers that I can also vouch for. They also have a good range of cocktails which would be a nice addition. Prices here range from around £7 to £24 depending on your choice, but there is a good choice of options in between this.

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Friday, 11 November 2016

Tips For Choosing A Student House | Uni Series

Start Looking Early

The last thing you want to do is end up with whatever house is left that nobody else wanted because it's either miles away or it's in a poor condition. One thing to think about is who you will want to live with - you may be signing for a house that you won't be moving into for around 10 months so just have a think whether you will still be happy to live with who you might sign with.

How Many Is Too Many

You need to work out how many people you actually want to live with. There will be a complete range of sizes when it comes to student houses, from a two bed to anything 10 plus. This is probably going to be too many for a lot of people so you are best to stick to a lower number. Generally the more people you live with, the messier it will get and the longer you will have to wait for things such as the bathroom and kitchen. If there are a lot of you that do want to live together, look into properties that are being let next door or just down the street from each other. You could then split into multiple houses so you have more space but are still really close to each other. 

Don't Jump At The First One

I know it could be tempting to want to sign for a house as soon as you see one that looks okay. Unless you really like the first one you look at it's probably worth having a look round a few as you could end up with a nicer house for the same rent, especially if you use different estate agents and landlords. 

Deposit Protection Scheme

This is something important to make sure your landlord has as it will mean your deposit it safe even if your letting agent or landlord gets into financial difficulty. It is required by law to be held in ones of these schemes so you have every right to check and ask for confirmation of this when you pay your deposit. Your university will often have an approved list of landlords and letting agents which should ensure all of this stuff is in place. 

Location

Research the areas around your uni to see what's popular with current students. Ideally you want somewhere that won't take you ages to get into uni and could be a walkable distance so you don't have to spend money on travel. If you do live further away so that your rent is cheaper, be sure to check that there are good transport links so you don't get stuck with a longer journey to uni.

Check Contracts Carefully

There are a few things you need to look for when reading through your contracts. Don't just assume things about what will be in the contract. It won't take you long to read over it, and it's legally binding once you've signed it. It's much better to clear things up before signing so you are completely happy with what you are agreeing to. Items to look out for are: whether bills are included, the dates for when the lease starts and ends, any rules about living there and whether it comes with white goods such as a fridge and washing machine (most will do be it's worth double checking so you don't end up out of pocket.


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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Win A Cinematic Lightbox


So it's recently been my 2 Year Blogging Anniversary and I wanted to do a giveaway to celebrate. I was trying to think of a prize that everyone would love and after many different thoughts I've decided to go for this Cinematic Lightbox. We have recently got one of these as a present and they are a different way of displaying something. This is something that could be used by loads of different people, either for decoration or a more practical option for bloggers to display their post titles.


Terms and Conditions
UK entries only. Ends 4th December 2016. Must follow and retweet the tweet to enter. Winner will be notified on Twitter. No cash alternative. Winner will receive one Locomocean A4 Cinematic Lightbox which will be posted out within a week of the giveaway closing.

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

How To Search & Apply For A Graduate Job | Uni Series


I applied for quite a few graduate jobs in my final year of uni and wish I'd have had some kind of useful guide to use so I could get some advice about where to look and what to do when applying. It can often be quite daunting when you are finishing uni and somehow you have to get into the world of work. Competing with so many others to get a graduate job can be difficult and I know it was disheartening feeling like you are getting nowhere when applying for jobs. These are some of the key bits of advice that I would give anyone looking for a graduate job. 

Make Use Of Job Sites

There are numerous sites out there where you can search for jobs and there is no way I could list them all. There are a few main ones that I searched on including: Indeed, Graduate Jobs, LinkedIn, Milkround, Guardian Jobs and my Uni Job site. You can tailor what type of job you want to look for and view ones from many different employers all in the same place. You will probably come across jobs you never knew existed never mind thought of applying for so it can open up doors into other options. Don't just stick to one site as some employers list jobs on one site and not others so you need to use a few to different ones to be sure to find all opportunities. 

Be Careful When Using Search Parameters

On a lot of these sites, you can narrow your search down by which area of the country or which field you want to see jobs for. Sometimes these filters aren't always 100% accurate so experiment with with other key search words or a wider geographical area to make sure you see all that could be suitable. Be wary that some companies tag numerous locations to their job advertisement but it may only be for one area, for example London, so double check this in the detail. Before spending ages searching for jobs, set yourself realistic areas that you want to go into as there is no point applying for jobs just because you might be qualified for it that you will never be happy in. 

Research The Company

I can't stress how important this is when you are applying for a job. So many people will just have blanket CV and cover letter than barely gets changed for each application. When recruiters are looking through these, any that haven't spent the time to find out about that company, your application will go straight in the bin. Even if you get through the first stage, you may often get caught out at later stages such as your interview, so spend that bit of time to give yourself the best chance. 

Draw On All Your Experience

It's sometimes hard trying to justify why you should be picked for a job and when it comes to experience, graduates often have a limited amount purely because of their age. Any experience you have can be good experience, you just need to make sure you show why this is. Like myself, a lot of you may well have had a part time job prior to and during uni and it may seem so irrelevant to the position you are applying for. There will be key things in all previous experience that can be transferred into the new role, so find out what they are looking for and justify where you have gained or used these skills in the past.

When Looking, Think Outside The Box

You might not realise that some places do graduate jobs or schemes and it can be easy to overlook these. For example, you might really want to work in retail but wonder how you can get into it. Places that you might shop in every week such as Tesco and Boots offer Graduate Schemes and give you the opportunity to get experience all round the business which may be something you hadn't initially considered. At the start of uni I never thought that the type of company I work for would offer a Graduate Scheme so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across it. 

Keep Your LinkedIn Profile & CV Up To Date

Some sites will let you apply or fill in some of your application using LinkedIn so it's always worth keeping this up to date with your details and experience so you aren't wasting time doing this instead of concentrating on the more detailed sections of the application. I mentioned about not using a generic CV earlier, so the advice I would give here is to keep this general one constantly updated then you can spend time adjusting the important parts to match your application. 

Don't Get Put Down

Lastly, one thing I would say is to stay positive and keep going as it will be worth it in the end. I can be very easy to get disheartened if you don't here anything back or get rejected for numerous jobs. When I was applying, I'd set myself on the company I really wanted to work for and I had applied for the Grad Scheme the year before but not got on, applied for a couple of other positions within the company and then ended up getting a position when I applied for the Grad Scheme second time round. I'm not saying that you will have to do this for every job you apply for, but any time you aren't successful, make sure you take something from every situation to improve your next application and give yourself that better chance.


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