Sunday, May 22, 2016

Let's Talk About Tech, Baby

I've been meaning to do a tech equipment based post for ages, and here it finally is! With this post I want to show you the tools I use to make this blog happen. I am not in any way bragging about any of my equipment, and also it's definitely possible to create great content without expensive cameras. At the end of the day it is about creativity and working with what you have. 

I wanted to start with the hero of my blog. Without my laptop it wouldn't be possible to maintain it and edit all my images. I got my Mac Air back in 2012 for high school graduation, and I'm really glad I've been able to keep it working this long. Recently I got this cute laptop case from Snupped, which has been helping me heaps with my daily library visits and lectures. My favourite feature is the elastic bands that keep it in place when I want to work on the go, which you can add to customize your chosen design. Snupped offers custom made laptop and phone cases, but they also have a great selection of designs, which is where I found mine. I've sorted out a 30% discount code for you guys, it's Kristiana30 and is valid until 31st May, so hurry!!!

Speaking of phone cases, I also got these two Snupped gel cases to protect my phone. One of them matches the laptop case and the other one was just too gorgeous to skip. Am I the only one who goes crazy when I see people walking around with unprotected phones? Seriously, one fall and say goodbye to the smooth glass screen, girl. Similarly to the laptop case, you can also customize the phone cases with your own design, but I found so many cute pre-made designs that I couldn't only choose one! If you place an order, don't forget to use the code Kristiana30 for 30% off. 

Now onto my photography tools... This is the newest addition to the family. My dear Olympus Pen. It came to me at a time when I had lost motivation to blog and didn't want to carry my Nikon around with me all day. It was kindly gifted to me by my family and my boyfriend on my 22nd birthday. It came as such a surprise and I think it's one of the best gifts that I've ever received, as it sparked new-found creativity in me, and I am now taking photos on a daily basis. It weighs close to nothing, and it delivers perfectly bright and sharp photos, which is basically the blogger dream. And also, can we talk about this selfie screen?!

I also ordered the classic 45mm blogger lens for my Olympus Pen, however I wouldn't say it's my favourite thing to use. Using this lens means having to step back quite a bit, and it seems to find it difficult dealing with high exposure. This means that if it's quite bright outside, I'd rather use the standard 18-42mm lens for outfit shots, which is quite annoying as that one doesn't have the blur that I want. For that reason, I use the standard lens every day, and the 45mm lens only sometimes. 

This is my trustworthy Nikon D5100, which I got for my birthday when I was probably 17 or something. This camera has been through everything (including a mango juice spillage!), but it still gives me the best quality shots. A couple of years ago I upgraded to the 35mm lens, as that gives me the much needed blur for outfit shots, and you can stand very close to the person/object, unlike my old 50mm lens which meant having to step back a significant amount to get everything on screen. 

My Nikon is the camera I use only for my outfit shots, as it is not the most practical thing to carry around. Because of the issues I've had when using my Olympus for outfit shots, I am thinking of using this camera again, as it was a fail safe way to get really good photos.

I hope this post helped you and hopefully answered some of your questions. I'm really lucky to have been gifted most of my tech tools, and as you can see I have made them last for years. While creativity is the most essential factor in producing great content, my experience has shown me that the right equipment can significantly facilitate that creativity. Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Making Pure Cranberry Juice Taste (Really) Good

Pure cranberry juice smoothie
I thought I'd do a slightly different post today, as I struggled to find any recipes I liked online. I used to hate cranberry juice, until I found the ridiculously sweet versions of packaged juice and started pumping them in. The problem is that those are made with concentrate and are probably as full of processed sugar as Coke. Now, if you are female, chances are you may have had instances in your life where you were required to drink lots of cranberry juice for medical reasons...hey, just keeping it real here! If you have bladder infection, one of the worst things you can do is drink typical supermarket cranberry juice, as the sugar actually attracts more bacteria and will make your condition worse. Furthermore, the reason cranberry juice is recommended for these infections is because it contains d-mannose, which sticks to your bladder cells and combats the bacteria that tries to come close. Juice made of concentrate will, no doubt, have close to none of the benefits as its natural predecessor. For this reason, please do yourself a favour and only drink 100% pure pressed cranberry juice. They are more expensive, but they combat that bacteria like there's no tomorrow. Apart from this, cranberry juice is so beneficial for your health, so it's great to get it in any way you can. 

I went to my favourite Guildford health shop Food For Thought and found this cranberry juice from a brand called Rabenhorst. It was just above £7 for 750ml, which I thought is expensive, but just imagine how many kilograms of cranberries would be needed to squeeze that amount, right?! Upon tasting the juice at home, it was immediately clear to me that this juice is one of the most sour things I have ever tried. I challenge you to drink it without making a face. It's impossible. So how was I meant to get through 750ml of it, when I struggled just drinking a sip? I knew I had to make a smoothie with it. And smoothie I made. And it was the best thing ever. 

How to make cranberry juice taste good

I use bananas as a base for all my smoothies as they create that creamy and filling texture. The key here was to balance out the sourness with sweet things. I used about 400ml pure cranberry juice, 3 ripe bananas (normally my smoothies contain only 1-2), 5 big sweet dates, and a couple of drops vanilla extract and maple syrup. I want to emphasise that I normally go for natural sweeteners like dates, however I was experimenting, and, well, the juice was really sour. Next time I'll probably skip the sweeteners and use more dates, because natural sugar is always better. The smoothie turned out p-e-r-f-e-c-t. It had a great balance or sweet and sour, and I finished it within minutes. I would suggest having this as your breakfast smoothie, because fruit is always best eaten on an empty stomach, and it will keep you full for at least 2 hours. 

Cranberry juice smoothie ideas and recipes

Do you like my food posts? Do you want to see more food in general? Lucky for you, I created a separate Instagram account for my food, as I want to keep my main one still fashion focused. Give me a follow there! XO