SAAL Design Photo book

I was recently offered a voucher by Saal Digital for a substantial discount to use on one of their “Professional Line” Photobooks. I thought this would be a great way to showcase some of the photos I have enjoyed taking over the last few years, including my experiences going to the World Scout Jamboree last year.

I chose the 21 x 21 Photobook Professional Line book and chose glossy paper with a leather titanium cover surface. This photobook came with a gorgeous acrylic cover.

I found it very easy to design the inside of my photobook and used the free design software they provided – “Saal Design Software UK” – however, you were able to upload a PDF or use their app instead. I downloaded the software and was greeted with a screen to select your chosen photobook design – I believe you could change the photobook design later if you changed your mind. Once I chose the Design Professional Line Photobook, I selected the 21 x 21 size before opting for the leather titanium cover surface and the glossy paper.

From here, I was given the option to use the software completely from scratch, use the One Minute function or to use their Auto Layout function. I opted for the One Minute function as I was able to add photos, use the auto layout feature and still make changes to my photo layouts: comparatively, the auto layout function was mostly automated with not as much customisation.

I then started to add my different photos into the software making sure to frequently save my photo book. It was very easy and simple to use – I could drag photos onto the page or select images from my folders. The software told me the quality of each image which ranged from poor to very good as I zoomed in and out of different images. Overall, my photo book used multiple designs; from one double page containing 1 single photo, to a gallery of 18 images, to 3/4 images per a page. On the more crowded pages, the images were still clear and of high quality.

In the end, it took me around 6 hours to design and sort. I spend a few hours over the course of a few days sorting and designing each page – if I were to create a similar photo book again, I would definitely recommend having all your selected photos in one selected folder to make it easier to add your photos. Once you have used one photo, the software shows a tick in it’s top right corner to show that you have inserted that image.

Once I was happy with my finalised photo book, I added in some text before uploading my book and pressing ‘save and pay’. This led me to a screen confirming I was happy with everything before it prompted me with payment and shipping options. I got free shipping and it came in just over a week. Below are some photos of my photo book:

As you can see from the images, the photo book is beautiful. The quality is stunning and the images are of very high quality. The 21 x 21 size is perfect to have placed on a coffee table or showcased on a shelf. I would highly recommend purchasing one of these books to be used as a holiday album, wedding album, as a birthday gift or just as a simple photo book.

Overall, my ratings are as follows:

SAAL Design Software UK: 9/10 – this was very efficient and easy to use however, to improve I would add a few more different auto layout designs for 5+ photos

Shipping: 10/10 – this was quick and it was not damaged when it arrived

Quality of photo book: 10/10 – it was breath taking to look at and flip through each page

Price: 8/10 – it can be a bit expensive however, it is definitely worth the price (I got a £100 off voucher but they are frequently doing £15 off vouchers to decrease the price of purchase)

In conclusion, I am sure I will purchase more products from them again. Let me know in the comments what you think and if you would like more reviews from me.

If you would like to check out their products visit:

https://www.saal-digital.co.uk/

Goldfish Ratings

Goldfish are one of my favourite American snacks (not real goldfish!). Since it has now been over a year since I returned home from America and Canada, I am reminiscing this snack so today’s blog, I will rate each goldfish flavour.

Goldfish flavours I have tried:

Cheddar – 9/10 a classic snack which I always 100% will go to

Colours – 10/10 these are the cheddar flavour but in colours of red, blue, green and the classic orange: what’s not more to love

Baby Cheddar – 99/10 these are so so cute and are a smaller version of the Cheddar snack (by the way they don’t taste of babies)

Extra Cheddar – 5/10 these did not live to the high standard of the classic cheddar flavour

Pizza – -4/10 my dad84 first brought me these back from the states and I can still imagine the horror of them

Goldfish flavours I have not tried (once Pepperidge Farm sponsor me I will be able to give better ratings – please sponsor me):

Original – I have heard these are just plain goldfish and do not know what to do with this information 7/10?

Whole Grain Cheddar – the thought of whole grain sounds too healthy 2/10

Whole Grain Pretzel – similar to the above they sound healthy but may taste better than the Cheddar version so 4/10

Parmesan – a mix on the classic cheddar 3/10

Cheese Trio – a pic a mix but with cheese goldfish sounds funky 7/10

Pretzel – dad84 has tried and gives them a 7/10, “nice and pretzely but weird cause they were goldfish”

Ranch – I do not like ranch so I do not have high hopes but will give them a shot 2/10

Grahams (inc. honey, cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, s’mores, hot cocoa, vanilla cupcake, cookie ‘n cream, chocolate chip, french toast, strawberry cheesecake and honey bun) – some of these flavours sound amazing, the next time I spot some of these flavours I will give them a try 9/10

Nacho – Similar to ranch, I am not entirely sure what these will taste like so 6/10

Queso Fiesta – I think these are cheesy and spicy so if there is a good balance they should be nice 7/10

White Cheddar – I have tried white cheddar popcorn and did not really like the flavour 3/10

Sour Cream and Onion & the Salt and Vinegar flavours – I do not like these flavour normally so, I do not think I will like this as goldfish 1/10

BBQ – all BBQ flavour snack taste good so I expect good expectations from Pepperidge Farm in this goldfish variation 8/10

Cupcake and Fudge Brownie flavours – these sound amazing to try 10/10

mixed versions (inc. pretzel & xtra cheddar, pretzel &honey mustard,. chocolate mint pretzel~) – due to these being a mix they all sound fairly nice 7/10

puffs (inc. cheddar bacon, mega cheese, salsa con queso, buffalo wing, twisted grilled cheese, sizzlin’ hot wings, BBQ) – some of these flavours sound really good and others not as much so on average a 6/10

Cheeseburger, Seasme & Mac and Cheese flavours – these sound interesting to try and might be similar to the pizza flavor I’ve tried 7/10

x-treme zingy chilli lime and x-treme screamin’ hot flavors – these both also sound interesting and spicy hot with the zingy chilli lime flavour reminding me of a sauce which might be a Nandos so 8/10

Christmas, Co-world Treasures, Space Adventures, Beach Ball, Princess, Cars 3 and Mickey Mouse – these area all different shapes and colours of the cheddar flavour (I believe) so a 12/10 as different shapes are really cute

Last day of year 12

Two weeks ago, I went back to school again for my last official day at school in year 12. I got mini lessons from each of my subjects where we discussed some of the work we completed over the past few months as well as completing some practice questions. The day was slightly similar to the week before when we went into school, keeping 2 metres apart etc. However, the timings of the school day were slightly different. Sis84 also got to spend an hour at school on the same day I went in, she thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of her friends.

Since going into school, I have completed an online Cyber Course where I learnt skills such as Penetration testing, Encryption, Open Source Intelligence and Digital Forensics. It was a virtual course across the country and at the end of the course we got to do some ‘Capture the Flag’ activities which my team did not do very well in. Overall, I learnt many new skills and am inspired to look into Cyber Security in the future.

Finally, I have also completed my EPQ project on left-handedness. In the last official week of year 12, I completed my presentation (again virtually) as well as handing in my final essay.

All this concluded my year 12 and I am looking forward to seeing how year 13 turns out!

Microwavable mug-cakes

The final result

This week at Beavers we learnt ‘virtually’ how to make mug cakes. Here is the recipe we used.

Ingredients (dry)

  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Ingredients (wet)

  • 1/4 cup + tablespoon of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Ingredients (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

1/ place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together

2/ add wet ingredients into the same bowl and mix until smooth

3/ place into a microwavable mug (you may have to scrape sides of bowl to get all mixture into mug)

4/ sprinkle chocolate chips (or extra ingredients) onto top middle of mixture – no need to stir them in

5/ with a microwave of 950W place into microwave for 70 seconds or for an 850W microwave place in for 80 seconds etc.

The final result

6/ take care when removing mug from microwave as it’ll be hot

7/ if your cake does not feel ‘cakey/spongy’ place in microwave for an extra 10 seconds

8/ wait for cake to cool down before eating

10 things to do in Quarantine

Hi,

Its Sis84 here and today I’m going to share some hacks and things to do to beat lockdown boredom wherever you are.

1 – Binge watch your favourite movies or series. This could be on Netflix, freeform, Disney+ or BBC iPlayer.

2 – Learn the lyrics to your favourite songs whether it is Disney or rap.

3 – Re-read your favourite series of individual book. This could be audio books, kindle or paperback.

4 – Improve your drawing or painting skills, to come out of lockdown a brilliant artist.

5 – Have an indoor photoshoot or take pictures of your garden. You can use family members or pets as models.

6 – Why not write a short story or play. If it’s a play why not act it out.

7 – Learn some new card games for you and your family to play or become a cunning magician.

8 – Play some boardgames with your family.

9 – Play some outdoor games in your garden.

10 – Facetime or chat with your friends on WhatsApp, house party or zoom.

These are just some ideas to keep you free form boredom during lockdown.

Remember keep safe and wash your hands!

Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate International Women’s Day I am going to tell you about some of my role models. So in no particular order:

1. Emily Pankhurst – she was an English political activist and is know for organising the UK suffragette movement

2. Emily Davidson – she was an martyr for the suffragette movement in order to get the rights for women’s votes within England

3. Rosa Parks – she fought for equal rights in America for refusing to give up her seat during the Montgomery bus boycott

4. Katherine Johnson – she was an American mathematician who helped to calculate the orbital mechanics for NASA in order to complete the success of the first US crewed spaceflight

5. Malala Yousafzai – she helps to fight for human rights especially for women and children’s education from the Taliban

6. all the women in my family including my Mum, my Grandma and my Nan (who’s birthday is today – Happy Birthday Nanny!)

Happy Founders Day!

Today across the world we celebrate Founder Day. Robert Baden Powell was born on February 22nd 1857. However, previously I have celebrated World Thinking Day – which is the Guiding version of Founders Day after, Robert Baden Powell’s wife, Olave – whom also has the same birthday just in 1889.

I like to spend today thinking about my fellow Scouts and Guides from around the World. Having had the opportunity to attend WSJ2019 I feel honoured to be part of such a giant group of people.