Specsavers Review


I have been putting off going to the opticians for a while, mainly because I am so indecisive that I have a massive problem when it comes to choosing new frames!

When Specsavers offered me a free eye test and a voucher towards some new glasses I took it as a sign and booked in for a sight check.

Everyone I dealt with in store was really helpful, they talked me through everything they did and what was going to happen next, which for someone who has anxiety was fantastic.

While I waited for my checkup one of the staff took a digital photo of each of my eyes and then went off to see what prescription I had in my current glasses.

I waited for about 90 seconds then I was whisked in for my actual appointment. It was a standard check, wearing daft specs while you read from a chart.

I told the optician about the headaches I’d been having so she used the slit lamp to look at the very back of my eye and let me know everything was fine.

There were a couple more standard tests and the optician showed me the digital photo of the back of my eye which was cool, I’ve never seen that before and it helped me understand a bit better which bits she was talking about.

My prescription hadn’t changed, but there was something about my astigmatism that had altered so I decided that was a good excuse for a new pair of specs and went outside to choose my frames.

The woman who helped me choose was fantastic, I really believed her when she told me a pair looked good because she was refreshingly honest when a pair looked terrible!

I knew I wanted a change from the narrow metal frames I usually wear but that they should be black so as not to clash with whatever colour my hair happens to be!

I am not known for my decisiveness and so spent ages umming and ahhing over which frames to go with, eventually narrowing it down to two choices.

The assistant was fantastic, she was really patient, she took photos so I could see myself in both pairs from various angles and helped me finally pick my favourites.

She then talked me through my lens options and made sure I understood everything available to me.

My lenses weren’t held in stock with the anti-glare coating so I went back 4 days later to collect my glasses, a thoroughly painless and speedy process.

Here are the ones I went for.

Specsavers Review | Quiksilver 55 Frames | snowingindors.com

They’re made by Quiksilver and have flexible hinges so are really easy to put on and take off. They’re black with dark brown arms and a carved design at the end.

I’m really happy with them, they’re light and because the lenses are larger than my previous pair I feel like my peripheral vision has expanded!

Specsavers have lots of great offers, the 2for1 deal on designer frames in particular is a fab one, and the fact that you can often choose your frames and then take them home the same day is amazing.

I will certainly be heading back in 18 months for my next checkup.

Posted in category: Review


Random Ramblings


Life is ticking along well enough in my neck of the woods, homework is being done with minimal fuss, lunch boxes are coming home empty, I’m getting out of bed each morning despite the lack of light and there is generally no drama.

While this lack of drama is lovely it leads to rather boring blog posts like these ones!

I’ve just bought Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman on the Kindle and it’s hilarious, as well as insightful.

Thanks to my slightly obsessive watching and re-watching of Parks and Rec however I can’t help but read it in the voice of Ron Swanson!

Yesterday morning the thing we’ve been dreading finally happened, the conker trees on the playground at school were empty and that makes me feel a wee bit sad.

It’s been fun rushing school the past couple of weeks so the kids could stuff their pockets full of conkers.

 | snowingindoors.com

I have been way too lax with Ezra’s behaviour of late to the point where I got called into preschool on Monday because when he didn’t like what one of the ladies was telling him, he told her he would, ‘shoot your nipples off’!

I am officially the Mum of that child, or at least I was. On Monday afternoon we had a long talk, introduced a new behaviour chart and since then he’s been a well behaved, helpful, polite and happy child.

Train track under bed | snowingindoors.com

I am already getting excited about Christmas, I’ve got the kiddo’s stockings pretty much sorted, bought the festive PJs and have half of Annie’s main gift done too, I’m on fire!

Are you ready for Christmas?!
What’s the most embarrassing thing your kiddo has said to someone in public?
Did you collect many conkers this year?

Posted in category: general life

Getting Started With Lightroom


It’s very easy to forget the terror the first time you open up a photo editing and storage programme like Lightroom. That feeling of, ‘oh my gosh, I’m never going to get the hang of this‘.

The sheer number of sliders, panels and options can look overwhelming but I am here to tell you that it really isn’t as scary as it appears at first.

Today I will walk you through my whole Lightroom process, beginning to end.

Lightroom For Beginners | Lightroom The Basics | snowingindoors.com

Import Your Images

Open up Lightroom, click on Import in the left hand panel or in the File Menu. Choose your source, the camera, card or location you want to import your images from.

At this point you can add keywords or copyright information, but I choose do it at a later date as I use very fine grain keywords.

Cull Your Images

Now I go through and get rid of photos I don’t want.

I do this by selecting the first image, making it full screen, by hitting the space bar, and then putting Caps Lock on, this automatically moves onto the next photo when you’ve made a change (such as rating etc) giving you a massive speed boost.

If I want to keep a photo I press P (for pick) and to mark it for deletion I click X. This will change the colour of the flag, white for keep and black for cull.

When you’ve moved through all of the images press cmd and backspace (on a Mac) to delete the rejected photos.


Keywords in Lightroom |snowingindoors.com

At this stage I add my keywords, and I use fine grain ones so I can find specific photos with ease.

I name the people in the photo, which room of the house they’re in, what toy they’re holding, if Annie is in school uniform or a, ‘crazy outfit/fancy dress’, the town we’re in, if it’s a review photo etc.

This way I can find all photos of Ez holding Mr Dinosaur in the garden, without pulling up any of him and Mr Dinosaur in the car.

Basic Edits

Basic Edit Bar in Lightroom | snowingindoors.com

Open up the Develop Module, either using the top bar or by pressing the D button.

The panel on the right hand side is where you’ll find your editing tools and you work through them from top to bottom.

Above the Basic box is the tool strip where you can crop and straighten images, remove dust spots and apply adjustments to specific parts of the photo.

The Basic section is just that, where you correct the basics of the photo.

Firstly correct your white balance if needed, for this you can use either the sliders or the eye dropper tool, or both!

Next move onto the Tone section and correct the image either by eye, or with Auto Tone.

Finally adjust Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation as required.

Further Edits

The boxes below Basic can be used to totally change the look of your photo, and these are best learnt through practice and trying to emulate a specific style.

There are lots of walkthroughs on YouTube that can help you do this or you can reverse engineer it by using a Preset and then noticing what settings it changes, and how, in these boxes.


Presets in Lightroom | snowingindoors.com

I’ve written briefly about LR Presets before, but I want to go into a bit more detail.

A Develop Preset is a file that stores various photo settings so you can instantly change the way a photo looks.

You can buy presets, download them for free (I have a black and white one you can download here), you can make them yourself from scratch or you can edit one you already have and save the edited version.

Presets are super easy to install, simply download them and then double click on the file.

My favourite Presets are made by VSCO Film and I edit most of my photos with them. I also have a folder of presets that are VSCO ones, but altered so they suit my photos better.

The wonderful thing about Lightroom is that it’s non-destructive. Any changes you make can always be undone, so you can play with your images without worrying.

Rate Your Photos

When I’ve got my pictures looking like I want them to I press G to leave the Develop Module and return to the Library.

I select the first image from my latest import, press the space bar to go full screen on that image, press Caps Lock to zip through the images and then rate my photos.

To do this simply press on a number key, 1 to 5 and your photo will receive that many stars. As soon as you’ve rated your photo LR will move onto the next image automatically.

The reason to rate your photos is so you can instantly find your favourite images (those with 5 stars) to print or share on your blog for example.

I rate between 3 and 5 for personal photos, and delete any 2 star or lower photos to make sure I only keep the very best photos.

Library Module in Lightroom | snowingindoors.com


My final step is to export any photos that I might want to share on the blog.

I select the ones I want, by clicking and holding down the cmd button on my mac, then right click and select Export.

I have a collection of export presets, so blog images are 800 pixels on the longest size, 92dpi and have my watermark applied and are saved in my ‘blog’ folder, whereas photos I want to print are exported at 300dpi, full size and sharpened for print and then saved in my ‘to print’ folder.

Lightroom also comes with presets you can use and you can make changes in the dialogue box.


If you have just upgraded your Lightroom you might have noticed that it keeps crashing. The workaround for this until the next update is to open up the LR preferences and on the General Tab uncheck the Show ‘Add Photo’ Screen check box. This worked for me and Adobe should provide a proper fix soon.

And there you have it, a quick look at the very basics of Lightroom. I hope if you’re new to LR you found this helpful and if you have any questions at all just leave it in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help out.

Schleich Dragons Review


Our love of Schleich toys is no secret, they’re always beautifully crafted with gorgeous hand painting.

Ezra’s face when two Schleich Dragons arrived in the post was one of shock and wonder!

The toy dragons are quite large scale, about 20-25 cm long, and packed full of detail.

As always the painting is perfect and it creates a really life like figure.

We received The Dragon Fighter, the strongest and fiercest of all the dragons. He looks scary, there are rips and tears from previous battles in his wings and his face is actually kind of terrifying!

Schleich Dragons Review | SNOWINGINDOORS.COM (1)Schleich Dragons Review | SNOWINGINDOORS.COM (4)

We were also sent The Runner, a speedy dragon who attacks and then dashes off in the blink of an eye. His pose is that of a runner, crouched low with muscled legs and wings pulled back.

Schleich Dragons Review | SNOWINGINDOORS.COM (2)Schleich Dragons Review | SNOWINGINDOORS.COM (3)

Both dragons have textured skins that look like scales, their claws and teeth look ferocious and the painted details are outstanding.

I wondered if Ez might be a bit scared by the dragons when he actually held them, but of course, he loves them.

The dragons come from the mythical world of Eldrador, a place of castles, fiery volcanoes and dragons.

I was doubly impressed to discover that Schleich have a whole website dedicated to Eldrador with loads of information on all the characters, dragons and even a story to read with the kids.

Both dragons have sharp pointy tails and wings and do hurt a bit when you get jabbed in the arm or face by one (thanks Ez!). They’re really made and have stood up to all the extreme playing Ezra has put them through.

I’d never really looked into this range from Schleich before, but I think we will probably end up with a collection of dragons and dragon riders before the year is out!

Are you a Schleich fan too?

Posted in category: Review

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Blog On Winchester


Saturday saw me heading off to the Blog On Conference in Winchester with the lovely Dom from Playing Parent.

I’d never attended a Blog On before, but I can say with confidence that it will not be my last!

As soon as we arrived we found the breakfast & drinks table and I grabbed a raspberry yoghurt before heading into the room to meet up with Aby, Katy and Clare.

I had promised myself I’d take more photos than normal and I did, but not nearly enough.

After the introduction from Laura there was a chat about social media then it was off to Annie’s photography talk on finding your style.

I’ve heard Annie talk before, she’s always really inspirational, funny and says things in such a way that it leaves you going, ‘oh yeah, it’s so obvious when you put it like that‘!

Also she said some lovely things about my photography which made my whole day, hearing a photographer you really admire say she likes your work too is the biggest compliment ever :)

The best thing about the whole talk was finally getting Aby to agree to buy Lightroom, there’s nothing like a little peer pressure ;-)

The talk on working with brands was really helpful and it was great to hear from Michelle Bates from Evolution PR give her views from the ‘other side’ of blogging.

I loved the ‘No Such Thing As A Stupid Question’ session, it highlighted just how much more relaxed this was than other conferences I’ve been to. It was really informative as well as being lighthearted and fun.

The whole event was really chilled, there was no blogger cliqueyness, everyone happily chatted to everyone else and there were loads of brands in attendance.

It occurred to me on the way home that other conferences often feel like ‘work’, they’re bigger, intimidating and take themselves more seriously but Blog On felt like a day out with friends.

I had fun, met up with mates I don’t get to see often enough, won on the tombola, learnt some great bits and got the best goodie bag of any event ever!

As always I promised myself I’d take loads of photos, and I took a grand total of 5, 2 of which are so dreadful I deleted them immediately! So please enjoy the 2 photos I took in Annie’s session and a selfie with the wonderful Aby.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I did eat more than one of those sweets, I’m a sucker for a foam banana, what can I say?!

Blog On Winchester | snowingindoors.com (4)Blog On Winchester | snowingindoors.com (5)Blog On Winchester | snowingindoors.com (1)


Posted in category: general life, Point & Shoot

Point + Shoot 06.10.2015


Thank you to everyone who joined in with Point + Shoot last week.

My post this week is about the amazing time I had at Blog On Winchester this weekend.

Our winning post from last week comes from Vix over at Another Mum in London. I just love the excitement in Violet’s face!


I am very happy to announce that our favourite post each week will receive an awesome colour bright photo mug from the lovely peeps over at Photobox.

You don’t have to play every week, just drop by when you have something to share. You don’t need a fancy DSLR either, a phone camera works just as well.

As for the photos, they can be absolutely anything. If you saw it, or did it, at the weekend, then photograph it and link up.


Posted in category: Point & Shoot