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This year marks twelve years that I have been blogging under the ‘ananyah’ pseudonym, an extremely long time in the blogging world, in any world really. I’ve had my ups and downs since starting this blog back in 2003 and I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Through this blog, I’ve documented my thoughts, feelings, expectations and inspirations, letting you all into a part of my life. Ananyah evolved from a personal blog that I started while at University in Aberdeen into the Food & Lifestyle blog it is today. 

On the run up to Christmas, I made the effort NOT to go shopping on the high street for the bulk of my gifts. I hate the mass crowds, pushing, shoving and fighting over the best items on the shelves. Instead, I shop online from the comfort of my own home (or in the office, but we won’t tell my manager that!), in my PJ’s (definitely not at work!), sipping coffee and I can relax in the knowing that I didn’t have to shove any old ladies out of the way to get what I wanted.

This is where StreetHub comes in. Collaborating with Independent home and fashion boutiques in London and Brighton, StreetHub aims to help you discover unique products using geo-location technology. With a live inventory data system, you are able to see what is in-stock, available instantly for a click or collection service or home delivery.

Users can simply select their chosen neighbourhood (in London or Brighton only at the moment) and then browse local homeware and fashion shops from their mobile, tablet or laptop. Based on your location from the boutique of your choice, you can get an item delivered to your home within as little as 90 minutes. If you live a little further afield, like myself, you can get items delivered UK wide within 3-5 days by a vast majority of the boutiques.

While taking a look around StreetHub, I instantly verged towards the Home section and in particular, Kitchenware. I’m a sucker for crockery, bowls, baking dishes and well… anything. My kitchen is overflowing with casserole dishes but I just can’t get enough. The site is extremely easy to navigate, the design is very clean and they have a brilliant collection of products. On this occasion, I was on the hunt for some nice bowls that could be used during the festive season for little nibbles and ones that I could use as portion controlling at dinner time.

I came across a boutique in Brighton called Lavender Room and I fell in love with a set of four Hand Painted Bohemian Ceramic Bowls at just under £30. At approximately 6cm tall and a diameter of 11cm, these were the perfect size for me. Along with being dishwasher & microwave safe, the boutique delivered to Glasgow. Bonus!

Bohemian Bowls
Photo Credit: Lavender Room

StreetHub is great for introducing you to places you never knew about and perfect if you’re looking for a unique gift that you cannot get anywhere else.

Do you online shop? Have you ever shopped using StreetHub before? If so, what has been your experience?

Disclaimer: I was asked to check out StreetHub in return for a review. Whilst my shopping experience was complimentary, I was under no obligation to write a positive review.

At noon today, a new home on the internet will be created, the .scot domain name arrives giving individuals and businesses the chance to snap up the much coveted .scot name instead of existing options such as .com and .co.uk which seem rather passé now compared to the new edition on the scene and the fight for the best name starts! The new domain is one of a number of new domains that are becoming available this year, alongside many others representing specific communities like .wales, .london, .berlin, .paris and .NYC. Within Scotland, over 50 “pioneers” have already signed up to be the first to lead the way. They include the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland, PR firm Weber Shandwick, Scottish Bakers, Clan Wallace, Yes Scotland and Better Together. The .scot domain has been a long nine year journey for the non profit company ‘Dot Scot Registry’ and it’s Director Gavin McCutcheon. Any surpluses raised by the selling of .scot names is being planned to be ploughed into digital skills training in the coming years. The independent non profit status of the company was a deliberate policy decision, backed by the Scottish Government, to ensure that the .scot domain does not operate as a privately-controlled commercial product but instead benefits the community. Gavin McCutcheon says:

“This is a fantastic day for Scotland online and gives our nation a chance to stand out, and be seen as the digital pioneer that many know it to be. Owning a .scot domain will allow people and organisations a new unique way to express their identity online.  It’s a community domain intended for everybody who lives and works in Scotland, and for the 50 million people around the globe who are part of Scotland’s diaspora. It’s a chance for people here in Scotland, and for Scottish communities abroad, to allow build cultural and economic links as well as providing a strong Unique Selling Point for brands.” “After such a long campaign to secure the new .scot domain we’re delighted that we can launch when the eyes of the world are on Scotland, with the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow next week. I also particularly pleased that among our pioneers domains is www.legacy2014.scot which highlights the legacy that the Games will offer to Scotland.“

For the next 60 days only Pioneers will be allowed to use the .Scot TLD  but others are invited to register interest via http://nic.scot. After September 23 2014, the domain will be open to all to purchase names and use them as they see fit. A high amount of interest has been noticed by Richard Stevenson of 1&1 Internet Ltd, Europe’s largest domain name registrar. He states that:

“A brand new study of 2000 UK consumers, commissioned by Fasthosts Internet Ltd  finds the strongest demand for regional web identity across the British Isles is from Scottish consumers, with 71 per cent admitting they are more likely to buy from a firm that used a .SCOT web address.  The same proportion agreed that Scottish firms should adopt a Scottish web address promptly.”

Some of the domain names already registered are:

yes.scot Yes Scotland
bettertogether.scot Better Together
wow.scot Johnston Press
today.scot Johnston Press
goodmoves.scot SCVO
getinvolved.scot SCVO
clanwallace.scot The Clan Wallace Society Worldwide
Enterprise.scot Scottish Enterprise
Global.scot Scottish Enterprise
welcome.scot Scottish Government
legacy2014.scot Scottish Government
nhsinform.scot Scottish Government
mygov.scot Scottish Government
one.scot Scottish Government
university.scot University of the Highlands and Islands

Do you think having a .scot domain name is a good idea? Will you register one? If so, what would you call it? Have you already snapped one up? Let me know your thoughts on not only the new .scot domain but also the upcoming homes such as .london, .paris and .NYC.

As much as I love my Macbook Pro, one thing I dislike is the default folder icons when you create folders on your desktop or sub-folders. The first thing I did when I got my Mac was to learn how to change the default icons to something more “me” in which I’d be able to recognise the folders with greater ease, plus they look better!

Now you can too with my YouTube tutorial on how to change them as well as detailed instructions below. I get my icons from PixelGirlPresents or DeviantART. You can really get them from any website that designs icons as long as the file extension is .icns

Instructions:

  1. Open the folder where your icons are stored
  2. Right click on the folder whose icon you’d like to change, selecting Get Info
  3. Click on the upper-left icon until it highlights and drag & drop your preferred icon to the highlighted area to replace the default icon
  4. To remove the icon if you don’t like it, click on the upper-left icon within the Get Info window and press the backspace button.

A longer version without dragging & dropping icons is:

  1. Copy the icon you’d like (edit > copy)
  2. In the Finder window, select the item you want to have a different icon
  3. From the File menu, choose Get Info
  4. Click on the upper-left icon of the Get Info window to select it
  5. From the Edit menu, choose Paste to replace the default icon

I never wanted to like Instagram. In fact I tried so hard not to convert to the image sharing application even though everyone was telling me it was a “must”. After my friends (in particular Jacqui!) bugged me like crazy, I finally joined Instagram using my online alias @ananyah and I’m now hooked. I’ve become one of those people. I Instagram my life. Well… as much as I want to share with everyone.

Recently, Instagram introduced Web Embed which means websites (in particular bloggers) now have an easy way to add photos and videos to their posts rather than duplicating images all over the internet.

Now, when you visit an Instagram photo or video page on your desktop web browser, you’ll see a new share button on the right side of your photo (just under the comments button). Click the button to see the embed code. Copy the block of text it gives you and paste it into your blog, website or article. When you hit publish, the photo or video will appear.

One thing I like about the newly added feature is that it could possibly help curb copyright issues as the embed feature will include your Instagram name and link. I know a lot of people online who have had their photos stolen, I guess those who steal photographs are so unhappy in their own lives that they feel the need to steal others. Unfortunately, it will never stop those who screen capture. Sigh.

You can only grab the new embed code via your web browser by going to your dedicated Instagram webpage, such as instagram.com/ananyah then clicking on the […] button next to “Leave A Comment”. Once you’ve selected embed, you will get the iFrame code which you should enter into your blog posts HTML format.

embed

& once you’ve published your post, it will look like this as my first video Instagram will show….

Pretty snazzy if you ask me! Will you be using the embed feature on your blog? If you’re on Instagram, leave me your usernames so I can add you and of course, feel free to add me!

Phew! It’s finally finished. If I have to look at another piece of PHP or CSS coding in the near future, I shall scream (or poke my eyes out).

It’s been a VERY long time coming for this revamp. In fact, I think I had my old theme for a good 3/4 years (albeit with constant tweaks!) and even though it was pretty, I always wanted something MORE.

This is MORE. It’s more minimal than my old theme, more grown up, easier to navigate, more quicker & more me. It also has lots of snazzy features which I’ll highlight in the coming days 🙂

This time around I didn’t fully hand code the theme. I used a premade theme by Boost Developers & heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) hacked it to pieces to become what you see in front of you. I love it & I hope you do too!

I started blogging in 1999 but it wasn’t until 2003 that Ananyah was born. Yes, my website is 10 years old this year. That is why I thought it was time for a complete overhaul!

Over the 10 years: I’ve been hacked, deleted years of posts in a rage, quit for a few months, had a hate website created about me, became popular (& not so), met fellow bloggers, my identity was outed to my family & I carved a direction for myself.

Gone were the truly personal blog posts that sometimes I wish I could still write & hello to lifestyle blog posts which now define me as a person. I am my blog. My blog is me. It’s been a huge part of my life for 10 years & I do not see that changing anytime soon.

Let me know what you think!

Earlier this evening, I received a text message (which I instantly tweeted) from Vodafone UK instructing me not to upgrade to iOS 6.1 on my iPhone, if I hadn’t already done so. The text message was specific to me owning an iPhone4S so I am unaware if customers with iPhone 5’s received a similar message.

The reasoning? 3G Performance Issues.

Since being released to the public on January 28th, I’ve read a lot of complaints about the latest iOS ranging from lack of 3G signal, battery draining more than it should as well as iPhones not connecting to WIFI. It also doesn’t seem to be carrier specific although Vodafone UK seems to be the first publicly voicing their concerns.

My original tweet has been heavily retweeted (& posted on various tech websites) since I posted it and Vodafone UK themselves responded to my tweet with some additional information:

The link takes you to the official forum in which Phil with the Vodafone Tech Team added a statement regarding the issue, confirming potential issues.

iOS 6.1 Update
Hi everyone,

We’re aware of an issue caused by Apple iPhone 4s handsets that have been upgraded to iOS 6.1 which impacts performance on 3G.

Some customers may occasionally experience difficulty in connecting to the network to make or receive calls or texts or to connect to the Internet. Apple is working on a solution to their software issue. These connection problems are intermittent.

While Apple’s investigations continue, we would recommend that anyone who has not yet installed iOS 6.1 on their iPhone 4s should delay doing so until Apple has confirmed that their problem has been fixed.

Thanks,

Phil

So it looks like I’ll be holding off for now! Have you installed iOS6.1? Any issues?

Short Term Fix?

If the issue is affecting you, a fix would be to restore your phone back to your last known working backup point via iTunes. To do this: click on Restore Backup & select your backup point which should downgrade you. The only issue with that is, you lose any changes you’ve made since that backup.

restore

There is a longer way to downgrade back to iOS 6.0.1 by downloading the IPSW file but it’s rather long winded to explain, especially for those who are not so technical minded. If you want to know how to do it, google is your best friend… or you can always tweet me.

Update 11/2/2013: Apple have just released iOS 6.1.1 for iPhone 4S users only. Get updating!

As much as I hated my old job, the one thing I miss the most is discovering and killing computer viruses. It was my favourite part of the job. Seeing the first signs of a virus, detecting a new virus never seen before, figuring out how to disinfect it from a computer and then sharing the virus knowledge with the rest of the team. I loved being a super duper virus killing ninja.

virus

Is it strange I get excited seeing the signs of a computer virus and working out how to fix it?

A few years ago I wrote about The Security Tool Virus & steps on how to fix it. It was a virus which was pretty new at the time & 60% of my working day was spent fixing it. I found that the computers were usually infected via p0rn sites, which of course was denied by the users involved. Unluckily for them, we had a tool to know exactly what websites they visited which left them rather red faced.

I miss that. Unfortunately, in my current job; viruses are dealt with the Operational Security Team and I never get to see any. I want to be in that team. It interests me and something I want to be involved in. I just need to figure out how to get my toes in the door. All part of my master plan….

Rewind to late last year and screams from my mother “The police have taken over my computer, they say there’s been illegal activity, they want £100 to unlock my computer. What have I done?”. As soon as I saw her laptop, I knew it was a virus. However, at the time I didn’t really know much about it after being out of the loop of Virus Killing.

This virus is aimed to scare people:

Attention! Illegal activity was revealed!

Your operational system is locked as a result of Great Britain law violation!

The following violations were revealed: your IP address (lists your actual IP) was detected on illegal pornographic sites including child pornography, zoophilia and violent scenes with children! Pornographic video with elements of violence and child pornography were revealed on your PC!

This lockout is intended to eliminate possible distribution of the above materials from your PC in the Internet.

For your PC to be unlocked you have to pay penalty equal to £100! The penalty is to be paid 24 hours from the moment when your PC was locked! If the penalty is not paid all the data will be removed from your PC!

The problem with this is that scaring people works right into their hands, my mother included. The page they show looks legit to those who don’t know much about computers and many people have no doubt fallen for it. £100 is a lot of money, but I have an incline that’s just the beginning.

If you couldn’t already tell… I love food. I love eating out. I love trying out new places and exploring what this city has to offer. So, when Peroni contacted me to try out their new free Vivi In Stile iPhone (& Android) app and explore Glasgow based on their suggestions, how could I say no?

The app showcases Food, Drinks, Design, Fashion & Events pin-pointing your location and providing you with a list of venues to “discover your city’s stylish side”. Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Bristol are featured within the Vivi In Stile Esplorare Tab enabling you to explore these cities… great if you are visiting one of these cities for the first time and have no idea what to do and where to go. As well as showcasing the above, you can read articles on Fashion, Design & Food focusing on Italian Culture and way of life. A great read!

peroni2

After an afternoon’s Christmas Shopping, I opened the app and explored what was under “Food” to help the indecisive me pick somewhere for dinner. I was in the City Centre so wanted somewhere close by. The app tells you how far away the venues are as well as giving you a Map to hunt it down! Along with the name of the venue, a description tells you more about the place to help you decide.

peroni3

After a few minutes of exploring the app, Rogano popped up. I was close by and decided it was about time I finally tried this infamous restaurant. The app described Rogano as “the very definition of luxury since 1935. Rogano is a Glasgow institution. With seafood at the forefront of their menu, it’s famed for classic food. Art Deco interiors and a never-ending passion over the past 77 years”.

When we got the menu, I had no idea what to order. I could have honestly ordered near enough everything on the entire menu. I settled on getting a main course of Chargrilled Venison Medallions with Fondant Potato, Haggis Pave & Sweet Garlic Jus. My mom who I brought along with me had the Grilled 28 Day Mature Fillet Of Beef with Pont Neuf Potatoes, Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Béarnaise sauce. Delicious! For dessert, I got a selection of Small Chocolate Desserts (Rich Chocolate Tart, White Chocolate Mousse & Chocolate Ice Cream… I think!) and my mom got Clootie Dumpling With Drambuie Custard.

Everything was so good and gave me a great introduction to Rogano. My parents have been to Rogano numerous times. My dad goes to the Restaurant & Oyster Bar a lot when he is over from Paris, both with my mom or with Oil/Shipping Clients. I can already hear the Venison calling my name back again! I’ll review the Restaurant in greater details soon, especially since I’m going to be at Rogano on Christmas Day as well!

rogano

After Dinner, we popped into another find within the app, a place I have been to a good few times, Sloans for a quick Digestif before popping into the car & heading back home. A great night!

I’m going to start using the Vivi In Stile app a lot more… there are a bunch of Restaurants and Bars I haven’t actually heard of so I think it’s about time I explore this city! You can download Peroni Vivi In Stile Free for iPhone and Android so you can start exploring yourselves!

I wonder where it will take me next…

A month or so ago, I was sent BassBuds to review and if I’m honest… I tried them for around 10 minutes when I first got them, then work and illness got in the way and I still didn’t properly try them out.

My first thought when I tried them for those short few minutes were “wow my ears don’t hurt” and “ooh they look hot!”. Two good factors which are also rather important ones. Who would buy ugly headphones? No one, right? And who would buy a pair of headphones that kill your ears? I’d hope no one would.

Instant initial thumbs up!

My mom on the other hand, decided to test them while watching some TV Shows on her laptop. Her old pair of headphones broke and she needed to borrow a pair. My mom has always hated the in-ear headphones because 9 times out of 10, they hurt her ears and she ends up tossing them into a drawer never to be seen again. She has tried my iPhone headphones and hates them, I do agree with her on that one though… after wearing Apple headphones for a while, your inner ear starts to hurt. This coming from an all-things Apple lover. Think I could get done for Apple treason? Shhhh don’t tell them!

So, she wore them. After 5 minutes, she shouted, yes and I mean shouted “THESE ARE COMFY!”. The shouted part of this sentence is rather important. Why? Well… the headphones are noise cancelling. That means you are pretty much oblivious to your surroundings unless someone screams at you and/or someone pulls your headphones out of your ears.

After hearing her shout her thoughts about the headphones to me, I motioned for her to take them off to get some proper feedback (she wasn’t happy about pausing Bones!). The main thing she liked about the headphones were the fact she could wear from for 1+ hour at a time and her ears did not hurt, she didn’t feel the need to take them out to give her ears a break, the sound was good and they didn’t drop out of her ears like a lot of in-ear headphones do.

This coming from a woman who swore she’d never use in-ear headphones? They must be good.

It wasn’t until a 5 hour Road Trip from Glasgow to the Highlands on Saturday that I had a proper chance to try them out. Listening to the Radio and my Parents chat away for that length of time isn’t my idea of fun LOL. So to accompany me on the trip were Frank Ocean, Alex Clare, Usher, Adele, Emeli Sande and a mix of Old School Hip-Hop.

My initial thoughts were proven once again when I was able to wear the headphones without my ears hurting, in fact, it didn’t even feel like I was wearing headphones and I didn’t have to worry about them dropping out of my ears and having to fight to put them back in. The sound was crystal clear turned up high with an amazing bass and treble (a must for Hip Hop!). With some headphones, as stated on www.lightningcans.com/headphones-reviewed/, the bass is rather OTT and drowns out the music but this wasn’t the case with BassBuds. I couldn’t hear anything around me courtesy of the noise cancelling feature (pretty much like ear plugs to help you sleep!), maybe not a good thing on a Road Trip as I didn’t hear the offer of food first time around (& I like food!).

So BassBuds are a must! If you can convert my mother, you’re onto a winner! Currently priced at £34.95 with over 20 different styles and colours along with Swarovski Crystals to make them pretty (ok it’s for Crystal-tonics High Performance Sound Technology as well!), they are worth every penny (& no I’m not just saying that because I was sent them to review, I do actually mean it!). If you’re looking for a good quality affordable pair of in-ear headphones on par with Beats by Dre, I’d highly recommend BassBuds.

Features:
6 pairs of silicone (small, med., large) earbuds in both black and white colours
3 pairs of black memory foam comfort earbuds
Compatible with all Smartphones
MP3 Controller w/ play/pause and next/prev track
Answer/end calls as well as voice control
Anti-tangle, durable, double wrapped cable
High-quality, light weight aluminum housing
Crystaltonics high performance sound technology
Gold Plated 3.5mm jack
BassBag; protective phone/MP3 & bassbuds carrying case
Made with Swarovski elements

If you’re feeling really lucky, you can also be in with the chance to win discounts or pairs of in-ear headphones (including the limited edition White ones that I was given) by playing with BassBud Mini-Game. Playing the game, you must swiftly move, dodge and above all survive against the “bad earphones” moving your mouse long enough to guarantee your special discount code and make it to the top of the leaderboard! I only managed 16 seconds, because quite frankly, I was shit at it LOL

To find out more, check out BassBuds Website | Facebook | Twitter

IT is a crazy industry. I learnt that during Day 1 at University studying my BSc in Computer Science & Business with E-Commerce. There are so many areas you can specialise in but how on earth are you supposed to know the area of IT you want to get into when you haven’t been exposed to the industry yet or have experience?

That is one of the biggest hurdles I have faced. An Undergraduate BSc and an MSc at Graduate School later, I can honestly say that it wasn’t until a good 3 years ago that I knew exactly what I wanted to do within the IT Industry.

While at University, I was lucky enough to have an internship with a huge worldwide Engineering company. In fact, I was the only one put forward for it by my University. It was during that time that I really started thinking about what direction I wanted to take. I did Software & Hardware IT Support for the entire site; slaved hard drives, replaced broken computer components, fixed software issues, helped with network ports, designed websites… I pretty much did it all. I loved it. However, at the end of the internship, I still had no clue what I *really* wanted to do.

After I graduated, I couldn’t find an IT job at all. Most companies wanted more work experience in IT rather than a fresh graduate. So I went in a completely different direction. I started working on Bids & Tenders for an Oil Company. Even though I loved my job, I was a Computer Geek at heart so I decided to do my Masters. I quit my job, moved cities and went back to school.

By this time I decided that I loved the mixture of IT & Business so I did my Masters in Information Management with the aim of eventually getting into IT Project Management or Consultancy after specialising in Desktop Support. Hard for someone with pretty much no hands on IT experience, but at least it was finally an aim!

Then I graduated…

The job market crumbled.

I applied for pretty much every IT job going even if I was under qualified for it. Money wasn’t important, I just wanted the experience. I did temporary agency work doing Audio Typing or basic Admin work just to get some work experience even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do. When I was applying for jobs, I was told I was either too over qualified education wise for the job or I was too under qualified work experience wise for the job. Now, how is a fresh University graduate supposed to get work experience if they are deemed too educated? It’s a Catch 22 situation which affects near enough everyone, no matter what degree they studied.

Over a year later, I finally got the golden phone call. I got my first proper IT job. It was nothing like I expected it to be. Everything I learnt at University doing my undergraduate and graduate courses was thrown out the window. Everything I had learnt was no longer relevant. It was all about experience, common sense & figuring it out for yourself. The job? Remote Accessing users machines to resolve software issues. I dealt with everything and anything you could think of, from users who didn’t know how to set up an email account to users with nasty viruses from visiting dodgy websites. It was then I finally realised what I loved about IT. Fixing things, problem solving & learning new things every single day.

After nearly 2 years of working at that company, I was headhunted by a huge IT company to work within a new department they were setting up here. Talking to the HR Team & a Technical IT interview later, I realised that this was my dream IT job. It was exactly what I wanted to do and the job was mine! It’s now been 7 months since working for the company & I love it. Once again, everything that I studied at University has never once been used. I was trained up for 2 months on the various systems, the ins & outs of the role then set loose. A lot of what I do is from my own knowledge of IT and fixing things, things I learnt in my old role but a good 60% is new things that I constantly discover & learn about.

Knowledge, Discovery & Constant Learning are key to working in IT. IT is extremely fast paced and as a now Infrastructure Systems Administrator, I have a constant need to keep up to date with all the latest trends in IT. I need to keep learning new skills, increase my knowledge on a variety of different aspects and of course, share the knowledge with my co-workers. That is one of the biggest elements of team work after all.

Was University a waste? Not at all. I doubt that if I hadn’t been as educated as I am, that I’d end up where I am today. I came to realise that even though I may have had less work experience than others in my old job, I was actually paid much more than my co-workers purely based on the fact of my education. Do I think being female in a male dominated field hinders me? No. Sure IT is pretty much male dominated but slowly but surely more women are getting into the industry. Salary differences between the sexes? I got paid much more than 90% of the men in my old job. I don’t think being female has put me at a disadvantage. I think it has actually helped break into the market, opened a lot of doors for me career wise, even if I still get odd looks from men when I tell them what I do for a living.

You need to keep yourself educated within IT & that is why I am hopefully going to eventually do some direct learning courses to get more Microsoft Certifications under my belt. Due to the fact IT is so competitive, it’s a must these days. The good thing about my current job is that we have an online learning portal where we can access pretty much every single IT certification study guide online, do mock tests and learn about different subjects for free. The only thing we’d need to pay for are the actual exams.

So those of you expecting to stop studying, learning & sitting exams when you leave school are sadly mistaken.

It’s a never ending battle! A battle to better yourself and I wouldn’t swap it for anything.

Now that the weather in Scotland has decided to behave and it’s been really sunny, I’ve decided that it’s about time that I got my butt into gear and finally learn how to use my new digital camera that I bought a few months ago. I haven’t really had time to play around with all the settings because I’ve been too caught up with work and other things, but I’m now making the time.

I bought a book called Digital Photography Step By Step which gives you great information about Exposure, Aperture and Shutter Speed. But to be honest, I’m a little like a deer in the headlights at the moment. With my previous camera, a normal compact digital camera, I only had to point & shoot. Sure, I played around with the limited settings, perfected them and looking at my Flickr account, my old trusty Sony did me well!

But it’s time to grow up! If my budget had allowed it, I would have bought a Canon Camera, especially since one of my childhood best friends is a professional photographer and swears by them. Unfortunately, my bank card would have cried and set itself on fire if I did buy one so I bought a camera with great reviews ‘Panasonic Lumix FZ45 14.1MP’ within my budget & I’m happy with it.

Now the hard work begins! I no longer want to use auto settings or point and shoot. I want to be able to play with the Exposure, Aperture and Shutter Speed and take great photos. I love photography. I love taking photos of buildings, animals and nature, finding the time to take them is one thing, finding the time to take photos and learn how on earth to use all the settings is another thing!

I know that Exposure, Aperture and Shutter Speed mean, I get them. What I don’t get it what the numbers *should* be, what are the perfect settings? I’m sure it will take time to get them right but I’m a very stubborn person and get really annoyed if I can’t figure it out fast enough!

That’s where you come in, yes you! To save me from beating myself up, what are your perfect settings for taking photographs? (Auto is a no no!) What kind of photos do you like taking? What camera do you have?