The Beauty of Breaks

21st August 2015 · by Clare

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Working all day, without breaks, can cause us more harm than anything else. You may be stressed to meet a deadline or want to get your business off the ground, but working 24/7 can cause burnout. This can stop you working all together and to avoid it, breaks are essential.

It is so hard for us to work intensely hour after hour, but just a 10-15 minute break in an hour can be a brilliant outlet for gaining more creativity and productivity throughout the day. One of the best ways to remember to take a break is through the Pomodoro technique.

The Pomodoro Technique is a wonderful work system that consists of 25 minutes of intense work time, and a 5 minute break. This technique makes use of short bursts of creativity without checking social media every 5 minutes or getting distracted. It’s amazing how much work can be done in just 25 minutes alone. Apps such Tomighty (Mac & Windows) helps track your breaks but a traditional kitchen timer also works brilliantly.

It is easy to think “I have a deadline coming up so I can’t take a break”, right? However, that 5 minute break could be the best thing your brain needs. If you take time for breaks, you may even complete your project earlier, rather than facing burnout due to overworking yourself. It happens to us all but it is only when you really take breaks do you see the difference it makes.

But what can I do in my breaks? If you spend all your time in front of the computer, the best thing is to take your eyes away from the screen. Go for a walk, read a book, grab a snack/water or meditate are just a few examples of what you can do.

For me, I struggled taking breaks, simply because as freelancers, we think we need to work all the time to earn money, but really, there is always time for a break. As soon as I started taking small 5 minute breaks, my productivity increased and I was far more relaxed. If you use a Mac, I highly recommend “Time out Free” to force you away from the computer screen for 5 minutes or longer.

Do you take breaks regularly? What do you do in your breaks?

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Collaboration: Online code editor – Cloud 9

11th August 2015 · by Christer

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When working on big projects, having a good workflow makes a huge difference. As both of us do equal amounts of coding, coding in the cloud seemed right up our alley.

We often switch from Mac to Windows and to our laptop and desktop computers, so coding and syncing our work space can be tricky. Sometimes being a little too time consuming. Having it all online, we only needed to worry about having the right username and password, and we erased the problem of conflicting files! At long last!

Last year, for “Sommerles 2014″, we used Sublime Text. It was a wonderful tool to work with and it was hard to let go of it. However, as two people developing together, it was a hinderance having to wait for our files to sync (via Dropbox and FTP) and having to be careful not to edit the same file at the same time. So for “Sommerles 2015″, we jumped into the cloud and tested out Cloud9.

What is Cloud9?

Cloud9 is the Google Docs version for developers. Everything stays in sync, you can gain access to your files from any computer and you can work on the same file simultaneously! Hooking Cloud9 up to our Ubuntu Azure VPS via SSH unleashed Cloud9’s true potential. We could compile SASS and JS directly on the server and we could drag and drop design files straight into Cloud9, without the need of a FTP file manager anymore.

Cloud9 is great for teams

So Cloud9 became our editor of choice as we could collaborate fluidly, write code together in the same documents and help each other out. It was a time saver and it was so simple to use. It was fun seeing Sommerles 2015 come together in Cloud9 and seeing a little coloured cursor flying around the code whilst I was typing at the same time.

We couldn’t find any cons to using Cloud9 for us, during an intensive 4 months of working with it, so we would definitely recommend Cloud9 to teams, big and small. However, those who work offline will find Cloud9 isn’t as ideal for offline use.

With the internet being available almost everywhere, it’s finally the time to code anywhere. How does your development workflow look? What code editor do you use?


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Snuti Engagement photos

7th August 2015 · by Clare

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A few weeks before our wedding, we took a trip to Cardiff to take engagements photos with the amazing, Sheetal Varsani. I’ve known Sheetal for many years, and she has always been a close and amazing friend. As soon as we were engaged, I hit up Facebook and messaged her straight away to ask if she could be the one, well the one wedding photographer at least, and we couldn’t have chosen anyone better! :D

For our session, we went on a lovely trip to one of my favourite places in Cardiff, St Fagans. Famous for it’s historical buildings and delicious home made bread!

Sheetal took amazing photos of who we really are! Yes, we are crazy and a little bit weird :P She was so compassionate, and she took the photos we truly wanted. We even managed to steal her camera for a bit and take photos of us all together.

As our wedding was last Saturday (bit late with this blog post), Sheetal is currently editing the photos of our special day and we can’t wait to share them with you all :) Thank you, Sheetal! If you want to see more of her work, just take a peek here: Sheetal Varsani Photography

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Snuti-made wedding rings

16th July 2015 · by Snuti

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We are a big fan of personal designs, and after designing our bird necklaces, we really wanted to design our own wedding rings. When we looked at wedding rings in town, they were expensive and completely void of creativity, so we thought, why not make them ourselves?

Our first render looked great, but there is a great difference between seeing the 3D render on the screen and touching the real object. Our challenge was that it was hard to gauge the size and proportions of the ring, so our first print was way too thin, and the heart shape was not very visible. So we took some measuring tools and used them to help us get the right proportions for our next iteration.

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After final adjustments, getting the right size and tweaking the design to be stronger and more streamlined, we had the silver rings cast. It was amazing to see the plastic prints, but it’s a whole different level when you see the final real product. They fit perfectly and we absolutely love them to bits!

So what is our next little adventure with 3D printing? We are looking into making custom designs for other people, so if you are interested in some of our designs, get in contact with us :)

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Life in Norway: Boat trip

12th July 2015 · by Clare

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Norway is a beautiful land, full of fjords, forests and nature. As a welsh lass living in Norway, it has been my source of inspiration daily, with a view of the Oslo fjord to wake up to every morning. It’s now been three years and it has been an amazing time, but if you live in Norway you have to at least go on a sleepover boat trip, and yesterday was my first time. :)

Yesterday afternoon, we left for our little adventure, with our friends, Anna and Frank and their two, cute children. It was promised to be good weather, and it was more than amazing (to the point of becoming sunburnt!). Christer and I enjoyed the sea air on the front of the boat, and some funny selfies :P

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We arrived to a small island called “Vakersholmen” and docked there to grill pølser (sausages) and relax before taking a trip around the island, to find the highest vantage point. Of course, with an amazing view of the fjords, you can’t say no, even if you have to go through a thousand pine needles to get there. From the top, we could see over to Tjøme and a shipwrecked ship, called Silvestre, from before the war. After a long day, we all sat down to watch the sunset and have a good time.

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First time sleeping in a boat was quite calming and nice, hearing all the sea sounds and the waves lashing up against the boat. We woke up early and saw two swans who came to say good morning, looking for breakfast. We went for another trip around the island with the kids, and had a great time. It is something about norwegian forest and trips which is something that is truly breathtaking and amazing!

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It was a great trip and was great being with amazing company and friends!! Now that it is summer, what are you guys up to? Visiting beaches or rural villages?


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