Categories
Social Media

Lessons Learned By Taking A Break From Social Media

Taking a break from social media had been something that I had been thinking about for a while. I had actually first thought about having a break from social media over a year ago. Each time I tried though, I seemed to get drawn back into this modern day addiction. It took a series of issues with my computer and my mobile phone to force me to stop checking all of my accounts for a while.

A Social Media Obsession

As a blogger, social media is an important part of my everyday life. Promoting blog posts, finding blog posts from others to read and interacting on all of my social media pages is enjoyable but very time consuming. It is so easy to get sucked into reading lots of social media updates and articles online. All sorts of articles grab my attention. One moment, I will reading about how to decorate a birthday cake the next I find myself watching a hair tutorial. Before I know it, I’ve read about politics, Disney Land, how to save money, the 50 best slow cooker recipes, how to pack a suitcase effectively, what the cast of neighbours from 1989 all look like now, I have looked at a lot of photos from the 1900s on a local history page and have watched some of the build up to the birth of a giraffe. What ever did I do before social media?

A Forced Break from Social Media

I spent some time in the countryside, where internet is very limited and broadband is the stuff of dreams. This was the beginning of my social media break. After two days of pointlessly trying to connect to the internet via my mobile phone, I gave up. There definitely was no signal, no matter how much I wished for one. My phone was overheating and it was making me feel annoyed. I spent a few days with my phone stuffed at the bottom of my bag, ignoring it because I was in a bit of a huff with it, to be honest.

No Internet? No Problem.

I was able to get on with doing other things that I had not paid enough attention to doing for a while. I spent some time in the garden, watched a film (after not watching films for many months) and spoke to actual people without being distracted by my beeping phone. Once I arrived home, my broadband provider was having some issues with the line so I was unable to go on the internet for a further four days. Just after this, my mobile phone decided to give up too. By this point, I had been without the internet and social media for almost two weeks. It was wonderful! Truly, truly wonderful!

Enjoying Life without Social Media

Having albeit a forced break from social media and the internet made me really think about how much I had let it take over my life. It is easy to get into the habit of checking social media apps many, many times per day and night. For me, I love reading and I love learning new things. Social media is something that provides me with little nuggets of new knowledge that I seem to crave. Social media can be very useful and very helpful at times. Life away from the internet was so much more relaxed. I found that I could think more clearly. I slept better. My thirst for knowledge was still there but I was able to find this information from elsewhere. And quite frankly, some of it from more reliable sources. I also found that I worried less.

Question Everything

I began to question things that I had read recently. At school and university, I was always taught to question everything. Accepting blindly what you are told is not always the best way to go. Years ago, if something was written in print, it was there because it had been checked by editors, publishers and often written by experts in their field. I was under the impression that facts were checked and supported by evidence, even though bias could still be a factor. Overall, print was something that could be, generally, trusted.

Fast forward a few years and the whole of the internet is in print. Anyone can contribute to this print. The notion that print can be trusted is still in our psyches. Alas, this is not always the case. It is so easy to get sucked in to wondering if an article is fact, angrily voice opinion or sensationalist rubbish written as if it were fact. There is a ridiculous amount of easily accessible information out there. Some of it really makes you think and other parts of it make you wonder what you should believe. Questioning everything and finding real evidence to back up ideas is the only way to understand which articles are credible.

Emotional Rollercoaster

When spending time scrolling through endless social media posts, I find that I am on an absolute emotional rollercoaster. It is exhausting! One moment, I can be reading about or watching a video about a happy couple getting engaged and the next, videos are automatically being played where someone is injured or has died. My tears of joy turn to tears of sadness within a matter of seconds. I read posts that attempt to motivate me to be a better person, a better mother and then I read other posts that urge me to get rid of ‘toxic’ or negative people from my life, how I should not be doing that thing I do otherwise I am a terrible mother, a terrible person.

These brief statements, telling me what to do, how to be and how I should be feeling make me question my own actions. A toxic person isn’t defined, am I a toxic person? I had a down day today, does that make me one of these negative people that others should avoid for the sake of their own mental wellbeing? Should we really be happy all of the time? Am I a bad mother because I am a single parent? How do those people afford to go on so many holidays per month, let alone per year, when I can only afford one holiday every one to two years?

Information Overload in a Short Space of Time

So much information enters my head as I scroll through the updates from different people and timelines. My emotions flick from happy to sad, from envy to pride and from self-doubt to reassurance that I am doing what society expects of me. I feel guilt, I feel disconnected yet I also feel motivated to tidy my house and to buy some pretty lights. I have solutions to problems that I didn’t know I even had.

By the time I’ve finally managed to put down this handheld device that has bombarded me with the myth of the ideal, my mind is buzzing. It is hard to switch off and sleep is delayed. I feel slightly more like a zombie and somehow feel the need to pick up the device again to see what new information there is to consider. There is always new information. My mind is full, all the time. I feel exhausted by everything I am now thinking about after it has been brought the forefront of my mind by a mere status update or article.

Social or Socially Disconnected – The Paradox of Social Media

In my online world, I have lots of fantastic friends that I chat to regularly. They are great, supportive people and I am so glad that I know them. I have not met several of them in real life but they are my online social circle. I don’t feel lonely chatting to them. On the other hand, there are many people that I have met online and others that I have known for years in real life (I’m still unsure whether social media is real life). For a few of them, social media was a way to keep in contact, no matter where in the world we were.

I realised not so long ago that I do not directly chat to many of these any more. In my mind, I do. In actual fact, I read their status updates and see that they are ok but actually contacting them directly is starting to become a thing of the past. When I see some of my friends outside of the online world, there is sometimes less to talk about because I’ve already processed what they have been documenting on social media each day. I can’t ask, “So, what have you been up to lately?” as I already know and have seen the photographs. Social media has been my social lifeline but that it has also been totally disconnecting me from people too. It is confusing to feel like I am connecting to people yet disconnecting at the same time.

Questioning Myself

After and during my break from social media, I started to think differently about the time I spend online. The first thing I pondered was why I was spending so much time looking at it, passively taking in a multitude of stories. I also wondered how I could break the addition of checking my social media apps as regularly. Why was I checking them several times per hour? What did I think I was missing? I also wondered whether checking social media meant that I could escape real life for a bit.

Anxiety and Social Media

I noticed that when I was feeling anxious about something, I would look online to find some kind of reassurance that I was doing what I should be doing. Most of the time, I would find the odd article that made me feel better about my situation. Generally though, I would find articles or statements that made me feel like I had not made the right choice. Not only that but I would come away with information that made me feel like I had more problems than I actually started with. The thing that I was worried about was compounded and I often came away worrying more.

Trusting your Instincts

For many situations, I feel that being able to trust your own instincts is now something that is difficult to achieve. Everybody online has an opinion and they voice it very loudly. Many also voice it very authoritatively and very angrily too. Their opinion matters and they will be heard. Even if their opinion is made up nonsense and is just being said to start an argument.

Trusting your own instincts seems difficult to do at times. Everyday, social media users are bombarded with so many things that they should be doing that trusting your own instincts is increasingly hard to do. There are so many warning stories and worst case scenarios shared that you start to believe these kinds of stories are the norm, rather than a rarer event. It can make you feel as if you shouldn’t do what you wanted to, in case that bad thing happens to you too. Since having a break from social media, I have been trusting my instincts more and I have the belief that I am actually doing the right thing in doing so. It shouldn’t matter what someone on the internet thinks I should be doing. They are not in my exact situation. I am. I get to decide what works best for me.

How Having a Break from Social Media has Changed My Outlook

Since putting my phone down for those two weeks, I am much more aware of the time I spend online. I am also much more wary of the articles I read. Trusting my instincts more is something that I feel I am getting better at too. Some of the things I felt anxious about are no longer an issue. I have put limits on the amount of time I spend on social media now. As a result, I feel like I have so much more free time. The emotional rollercoaster is not as apparent any more. I feel more free, emotionally and physically.

Breaking the Addiction

Breaking the habit of picking up my phone to look at apps is difficult so I have simply not installed social media apps on my new phone yet. I’m not sure I will at all. I only allow myself to look at the social media sites when I am on my laptop now. Slowly but surely, I feel like I am breaking the habit of constantly having my phone in my hand waiting for more information to read. Social media is addictive but it does not have to take over your life as much as it feels like it has taken over mine. I

t slowly crept up on me but now I have had time to reflect and to think about the effect it is having on how I think, feel and act, I will continue to limit my time online. Social media can be both amazing and absolutely draining all at the same time. It suits me and my lifestyle much better to be limited so that I don’t get sucked into it again. In the time that I have freed up by not looking at social media, I have read several books, tidied the whole of my house, started crocheting and have met up with more friends for a cuppa and a chat. The Spring sun started shining today and I can hear the garden calling me. Much better than watching a video or reading about it instead of getting out there and doing it.

Categories
Karcher Pressure Washer

Karcher Pressure Washer From FFX Review

FFX sent us vouchers to purchase a Karcher K2 240v 100 bar compact pressure washer and other products for the purposes of this review. FFX is a large, independent supplier of tools, construction consumables and many other products and is based in Folkestone, Kent. This year, I have been determined to buy a pressure washer to clean my driveway and the paths around our house. Luckily, FFX asked if I would like to choose an item from their website to review so I immediately started looking at the pressure washers on their website. FFX sells a wide range of tools, hardware and consumables, clothing and protection as well as garden and outdoors products.

Pressure Washers on the FFX Website

The FFX website has a good choice of pressure washers for several brands. I was pleased to see that there were a range of prices too. My shed is not the largest so I looked for a more compact pressure washer. I have had a pressure washer before and it was quite bulky and very noisy. FFX have details of their products that are quite detailed, from the weight of the products to the frequency. I found these details very useful when thinking about which pressure washer was the right one for our needs. I chose a Karcher K2 240v 100 bar compact pressure washer as it is lightweight and quieter than some of the other I perused.

Setting Up the Karcher K2 Compact Pressure Washer

Getting the Karcher K2 Compact pressure washer set up was a very simple process. Sometimes I buy a new product and have to ask for help setting things up but not with this pressure washer. I was able to put this together quickly and easily as it all just slotted together. My Dad helped by demonstrating how to put this together for these photographs.

How Well Did the Pressure Washer Clean my Driveway, Walls and Paths?

I would say very well! I was extremely impressed with this cleaning tool. It came with two nozzles including the dirt blaster which fits onto the trigger gun. It was immediately obvious that the pressure washer was doing a great job of cleaning the paths, wall and driveway. I even ended up cleaning the gas and electricity boxes as well as the bins at the bottom of my driveway. I’ve received several compliments about how clean my driveway looks now. After years of dirt build up, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this Karcher compact tool worked.

Overall Verdict

This cleaning tool was reasonably priced for the efficient job it did. Easy to put together and lightweight, this product is compact enough to sit tidily in my shed. I was very pleased that this machine worked quietly; compared to other pressure washers I’ve tried before. As I dropped the trigger gun for my last pressure washer and cracked it, I was very pleased that this model is impact resistant. My driveway and paths are very clean now, which is exactly what I wanted. This product is all I expected and more.

Although there was a delay with delivery, due to stock levels, FFX informed me via email of the issues, explained the problem and informed me of a new delivery date. We have ordered products before and after this review and have had no issues with delivery on these occasions. The wide range of products on the FFX website are certainly worth checking out. Have you tried any products from the Karcher range? You should spend some time browsing the FFX website for high quality tools, fixings and building supplies.

Categories
Horses

Too Many Horses

We Brits are famous for our love of horses. When the horse meat scandal hit not long ago, when we discovered that we had been inadvertently been consuming animals that we consider pets, we were rightly outraged. But we are an island of finite space and resources and it would seem – from the number of horses awaiting adoption through legitimate charities such as the RSPCA and countless adverts for cheap or free horses on social media – that we have more horses than we can house.

If you see an advert for a horse that is being sold for a nominal fee or given ‘free to a good home’ you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Why is it being given away?
  • Who owns it?
  • What condition is it in at the moment?
  • What is its history?

Many horses that are being given away by private individuals may be living in poor conditions; they may be lame or old; they may be unsuitable for riding. All horses are expensive to own (once you take into account bedding, food, stable fees, farrier costs and vet fees to name but a few expenses) and a horse’s current owners may be desperate to pass it on simply because they can no longer afford to care for it. But how will you know that you can give it a better home, without knowing its past and current health and temperament?

It is far better to adopt through a legitimate adoption service run by a charity such as the RSPCA, which has plenty of horses for you to choose from. The RSPCA ‘Rehome a horse’ online help staff to know which of their horses would suit your individual circumstances (such as, which horses would be happy to be kept in a paddock with other horses and which would need to be stabled separately). They will also be able to tell you the health condition of any of their horses. The horses will have been treated for parasites and given all appropriate medical treatment to get them to a standard whereby they can be safely adopted. The RSPCA will also have all the necessary paperwork to enable you to legally own your horse.

Many private sales or ‘adoptions’ go through without horse passports ever being produced or verified, meaning that the sale is not legal and that the buyer could face hefty fines and prosecution. The trouble is that people will continue to allow their horses to breed. Whilst thoroughbreds and race horses may fetch a decent price, other horses are practically worthless and if their current owners cannot look after them they are just another horse without a home. This is such a sad situation and the only way to stop it is to educate people about the importance of not buying or adopting horses privately and of not allowing their horses to breed indiscriminately. This will take time and meanwhile you can do your part – adopt through the RSPCA if you want a horse and know that you can care for it for the rest of its life.

Categories
Syria’s Children

How You Can Help To Save Syria’s Children

After seeing the shocking photographs of little Aylan Kurdi in the media, I have joined with some other bloggers to think about how we can help save Syria’s children. Wars are complicated affairs and affect many millions of people in the countries involved. Many of these people are ordinary civilians, like us. If you would like to find out more about this crisis you can look at Mercy Corps website for some quick but important facts about the Syria crisis. The photo of that poor boy on the beach has made me think a lot lately and I went through a range of emotions. My initial thoughts were how unbelievably devastating and how unfair it is that this poor boy, his family and many, many others like him, had to suffer like this. My second thought was outrage that a photograph of a dead child was there for all to see.

How awful with regards to dignity in death, the feelings of his family and for anyone viewing the photograph. The photo was shared many times, cartoons were drawn and many opinions were given about who should help. The overriding thought I had was that I had no idea how I could help. What difference would I make? Anyway, how I would I even go about helping? At one point, I couldn’t look at these news stories and Facebook posts any more. I know that if you don’t look, then these awful things are still happening but I just couldn’t look at that picture without thinking, what if that had happened to me and my family?

So, how can any of us help to save Syria’s children?

1. Five practical ways to help are outlined by The Independent here.

2. You can also donate to Save the Children (please be aware of the Terms and Conditions): TEXT 70008 and the word SYRIA to donate £5 or donate via the website. 

3. You can make a care package. Please see the CalAid Facebook Page for more information.

A final note

My hope is that many countries all around the world will support these people in their time of need. Many individuals working towards this will make a huge difference to these people. Even just raising awareness by sharing this post or any of the many, many wonderful blog posts by other bloggers using the #SaveSyriasChildren hashtag on all social media channels will help.

Categories
Kitchen Designs

How To Update The Hub Of The Home Easy Kitchen Updates

Our kitchen is the busiest room in the home and is in much need of some easy kitchen updates. We have been thinking about what we can do to keep our kitchen looking fresh and loved. As a busy parent, it can be challenging to keep the kitchen looking beautiful. Dirty dishes and messy play don’t always mean that you can’t enjoy having a stunning kitchen. Is your house in need of some easy kitchen update ideas?

Kitchen Flooring

A durable and safe kitchen floor is an absolute must in our home. Being practical and hardwearing doesn’t necessary mean that it need to look dull though. You can get some inspiration from the discount flooring depot website for some great looking flooring options. Other stunning flooring can include painted floorboards, geometric patterns and so, so many more. The possibilities are endless.

Painting Your Cabinets

A kitchen can be transformed by simply painting your kitchen cabinets. This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to create a new look. It can be a good idea to paint them with a cream background so that the latest colours can be used to add to and freshen up the appearance of your kitchen.

Installing New Worktops

Existing worktops can be replaced to dramatically change the look of your kitchen. One of the cheaper options would be to purchase some laminate to change the appearance of your worktops. Added extras could include adding heat rods to fit to the surface for a permanent pan stand or by installing a built in draining board.

Considering Storage Options

I often spend hours re-organising my kitchen cupboards to make sure my everyday items are at the front of the lowest shelves. Putting the foods that you use every day in a more accessible place can make using the kitchen so much easier. Additionally, clearing worktops can free up space so that you can use the worktops more efficiently. Sometimes, extra storage systems may be needed, such as pull-out drawers in a cupboard, so that the space can be used to its full potential.

Changing Cabinet Doors and Handles

A few years ago, my Grandparents decided that they wanted a new kitchen. As they already had a good, solid basic kitchen structure that was in good condition, they decided to only change the cabinet doors and handles. It was a much cheaper and very effective solution for them. It looked great and we all thought that they had bought a whole new kitchen. There are many different types of doors that you can buy nowadays. From the inexpensive wooden or distressed doors to give a country look to the room; to the sleek white doors and handles that can give more of a modern look to your kitchen. Mixing and matching can be a brilliant option too.

Treat Yourself to Some New Appliances

Adding or replacing appliances can change the look and feel of your kitchen, without having to change the cabinets. As long as you measure to make sure that the new appliances are able to fit into the space, these appliances can make the space look fresh and clean. When buying new appliances, it is a good idea to look out for the more energy efficient models. This will help you to save money on electricity in the long run.

Choosing Wall Art

Wall art can add more of your own personality into your kitchen. Displaying wall art against a cool white backdrop and using bolder colours in the artwork can complement the accessories in your kitchen, that are of a matching colour. It can also help the wall art stand out much more. Primary shades can work well for this idea.

Categories
Parenting

How To Survive Being As A Single Parent

I have been researching how to survive being ill as a single parent.  I say ‘researching,’ I mean that I have been very ill lately, with the flu first followed by an awful sickness bug, and thought I’d share some of the ways that I have, and am still trying to, get through it.  Here are my top tips on surviving when you are feeling really rubbish.

How to Survive Being Ill as a Single Parent: Getting Help

Accept help when it is offered and ask for help if you need it.  It is wonderful when someone offers to help and if you are feeling very ill, it’s great to agree to it.  It’s lovely to get help with the housework, child care and making the meals when you are feeling rotten.  If you have someone that you can ask to help you, even for short while or even to just keep you company for a short amount of time, this can help you to feel better. Help like this, dependent on your circumstances, can be hard to come by.  If you have no body to offer or ask for help, just make sure you rest lots to help yourself to feel better.  It is important not to do too much.  Realise that you can’t do what you usually would do and that you need to take time for yourself to recover from your illness.

How to Survive Being Ill as a Single Parent: Don’t Feel Guilty

Don’t worry about the housework, it can definitely wait.  I always feel like I ‘should’ be doing something.  Making things as easy for yourself while you are ill is the best thing you can do.  I always cook meals from scratch, due to our food intolerances.  We all have slightly different intolerances though so when I didn’t feel like eating much or cooking, I made the children quick meals like scrambled eggs on toast, beans, porridge, pizza, chips and sandwiches. Internet shopping was wonderful when I couldn’t get out to the shops.  Buying in foods that were easier to prepare helped a lot.  S and H even helped to make sandwiches and other foods.

How to Survive Being Ill as a Single Parent: Visit your doctor

Rest as much as you are able to but if you find that you are feeling too poorly, make sure you ring or visit your doctor.  I often just try to carry on and only see the doctor when it is absolutely necessary.  I always find that talking to the doctor for advice, even if it is a telephone appointment, helps.  Avoiding the doctor when feeling absolutely rubbish has never worked out well for me.  I used to see it as admitting defeat, showing weakness or being a sign that I can’t cope.  I was wrong and it took me years to realise.  If you are ill, seeing the doctor will help you to feel better as they will generally help, even if it to only say that the illness should only last a couple of more days.

Find some quiet activities for your children

My children are usually very helpful when I am ill.  Generally, they take it in turns to have the illness while I look after them then I am the last to succumb.  At times, my daughter has been loud and has misbehaved while she is still  feeling ill.  I find that giving them quiet activities to do helps a lot. Drawing, reading and watching films are favourites in our house during these times.  Explaining to your children that you are ill also helps them, if they don’t quite understand what is happening.  Talking to them to tell them how you expect them to behave can also help.  It is amazing how responsive children can be and how caring they are when they see that you get ill too.

Categories
Education During

How To Support Your Child’s Education During The Summer Holidays

I am often asked how parents can support their child’s education during the summer holidays.  Academically, most children slip back a couple of levels over the summer holidays and take some time to get back into the swing of the new term in September.  There are things that you can do to support you child over the summer holidays, including some of the ideas below.

1. Read with your children.

Reading with you child everyday is a great way to support your child’s education over the summer holidays.  You could read with them at bedtime, during your time at the beach, in the garden, anywhere.  You could also have a family reading time.  Half an hour set aside each day for everyone to read by themselves or together does amazing thing to a child’s imagination and supports them in their reading skills.  Any reading is fantastic, you don’t have to limit it to just books.  Magazines, articles on the internet, the Argos catalogue, Reading Eggs, reading games apps or reading the instructions for a craft you will make, recipe instructions, how to put together a bathroom cabinet with Granddad, anything with words and/or pictures on is perfect.

2. Practice times tables with related division facts.

Even if this is one fact asked once per day for seven days, it will help.  Children need to learn their times tables facts up to 12 x 12 as early as possible in their school career.  Asking them 6×7 on Monday, 42 divided by 7 on Tuesday, 42 divided by 6 on Wednesday, 7×6 on Thursday, a question related to real life on Friday (Each box has 6 eggs in it. How many eggs will there be in 7 boxes?), writing 6 x ? = 42 on Saturday for them to find the missing number and asking on Sunday, “I have 42 grapes altogether. If I share them equally between 7 children, how many grapes will they have each?” will actually help them lots.  Even if you ask just one of these, repeatedly, it will help.  Maybe ask your child which facts they find particularly tricky and work on those first.

3. Practice number bonds.

It is surprising how many children struggle with their number bonds.  If they know their number bonds, then it makes it easier to concentrate on working out harder calculations due to not having to worry about their number bond facts.  Your child could make a poster of number bonds to 10, 20, 50 and 100 and it could be stuck onto the kitchen wall for them to look at while eating their dinner each day.

4. Don’t put too much pressure on your child – have fun!

The holidays are for relaxing, resting and having experiences other than the experiences they gain in school.  Any academic-type activities you do with them in the holidays should be fun and not stressful.  There is much incidental learning can be found in many everyday activities, for example, baking involves all sorts of skills from reading instructions, to weighing and reading scales, to finding out how food change as they are cooked.

5. Keep talking and help them to be bored sometimes.

Discussing new ideas, old ideas and giving your child time to be bored are great ways to help them over the holidays.  You are an adult and you know an awful lot of stuff.  Tell your child something that interests you/a skill that you are great at and the chances are your child will want to learn about that interest/practice that skill with you.  You also need time to let them be bored.  They need time to think of how to figure out problems themselves, how to think of their own activities that they would like to take part in and this will help their creative minds to develop.

Over to you.

I hope that these 5 points will help to give you some ideas of how to support your child’s education during the long summer holidays.  I have written some more posts on other ways to support children during the summer with my EdPlace Review, The Dreaded Four Times Table, Five Ways to Make Spelling Homework More Fun or you could play games such as Bananagrams, Appleletters or Pairs in Pears to help.

Categories
Digital Legacy

How To Protect Your Digital Legacy

As a person living in this digital age, I often wonder what will happen to my digital legacy when I pass away. Here are some thoughts on our online lives and what we can do to protect our online estate in the weeks, months and possibly years after we die.

A Life Online

Many people nowadays depend on many services online. From utilities to shopping to banking and so many more. Photographs and videos are shared online to social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. There are so many special memories shared online, which amount to many pieces of our lives over the years.

What Happens to Your Digital Legacy when you Die?

It is important to plan for what might happen to your online information when you pass away. You may have written a Will to give you peace of mind for when the inevitable does happen. Your assets will be dealt with in the way you wish them to be. Now that people have many assets and precious memories online in this modern age, what happens to this digital information in the event of your death? How can you communicate your wishes for your online life? This is something I have been wondering lately.

What Happens to Passwords, Accounts and Recorded Memories?

Most people have a ridiculous amount of password protected sites that they need to visit on a regular basis. To make any changes to online utilities accounts, you usually need passwords and security codes to do so. After you have passed away, a trusted family member will probably need to make sure all of your accounts are closed and that the different companies you make payments to each month, are informed.

Without knowing passwords and security answers, this can be a difficult task to say the least. Social media profiles, filled with memories that your family will cherish will need to be accessed. Maybe you have worked for years on an online journal or blog and have shared more snippets of your life that will be of comfort to friends and family. Some loved ones may want to save the moments you have shared during the years online. Accounts may also need to be closed or friends contacted to be informed of your death.

How to Protect Your Digital Legacy

To protect your digital legacy online, Vivala.me can be a great solution. It has an easy to use system for all ages and is available 24/7. You are able to assign between 1 and 50 named trustees of your choice to have access to your account, dependent on the payment plan you choose.

Having all of your important documents and ways for loved ones to access your online world when you have passed, can be incredibly useful. Times like this are difficult so if everything is in one place and easy to access, this can make things much easier to sort out. It is important to protect your online legacy. A service like Vivala.me seems to offer a solution to the question of what happens to your online accounts when you die. It is certainly something to consider.

Categories
Family

How To Preserve Family Memories

I started this blog as a type of online scrap book of family memories, with an aim to remember as much as I can about my children, as they are growing up.  I am also very interested in recording the memories of other members of our family too.  I spent as much time as I could, recording the memories that my Grandad talked to me about, before his passing.  I have continued to visit my Gran to record her memories too.

We have found the Dear Grandma… and Dear Granddad… books very useful to help these memories to come flooding back.  Gran even bought me a Dear Mum… book for me to fill in my memories and pass down to my children one day. Gran and Grandad told me that they had some old photographs that they wanted to look at again to help them to remember times gone by.  Unfortunately, Grandad did not feel like looking at them when he came home from hospital for the last time.  We did continue to talk about his memories but he was too poorly to think about looking at his photographs.  Since his passing, I’ve been chatting with my Gran and Mum about their memories. 

We’ve got the huge box of photographs from her loft and we’ve started looking through them. It is wonderful to hear Gran’s stories and to see photographs of the people that were big influences on Gran’s and Grandad’s lives from a young age.  I knew my Great Granny, who left us at almost 102 years old.  It was amazing to see photographs of her as a child and young woman.  We even found her ‘Brushwork Book’ from 1910, from when she was at school.  It was a fantastic find, with many beautiful nature paintings in as well as some of her handwriting.

I would certainly recommend chatting with any members of your family about their memories of times gone by.  I am very lucky to have known my grandparents and Great Granny, as I know many people have never had that opportunity.  Chatting to your parents to reminisce about their younger years is a wonderful way to get to know them better.  I’ve certainly learned many, many things about the family members I’ve chatted to so far.  They all had such happy family memories and many had the photographs to go with them. Over the Easter holidays, we are going to sit down and watch more photographs on the projector.  Both S and H are excited about seeing them and Gran is really looking forward to telling us the family memories that are behind these photographs.

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Dog Safe

How To Keep Your Dog Safe This Winter

It is important to think about how to keep your dog safe this winter, especially with the many events and gatherings throughout Christmas time. Petplan have made this short video to help dog owners think about how to make Christmas a safer, more enjoyable time for dogs.

How to keep your dog safe this Christmas – Decorations

We love our Floppy dog very much but from the moment we put our Christmas decorations up, there have been a few problems that we have had to tackle.  Firstly, when putting up the decorations on our tree, Floppy spent quite some time stealing the decorations from the box.  She loved playing this game!  We, however, found it quite annoying and the poor fairy’s wings have never been the same since.  H made sure that the fairy was higher up in the tree after that horrific episode. As mentioned in the Petplan video, tinsel can be particularly harmful to dogs so I am glad Floppy didn’t get any of that.

How to keep your dog safe this Christmas – Food

One thing that surprised me in the video was the how to keep your dog safe with Christmas food.  Several foods from our traditional Christmas dinner are harmful for dogs.  It is important for  your dog to keep to his or her usual diet during the festive period.  You can see the video for more details but the ones that I was unaware of before include: cheese, chocolate, grapes, garlic, onion and mince pies. We always make sure Floppy has her usual food at the usual times.  Last year, we gave her some cooked rib bones to eat as a treat.  Or so we thought.  She only had two but proceeded to be very sick afterwards.  I have always believed that giving dogs cooked bones were good for dogs.  This was a misconception for us and I am sure that other dog owners are unaware of this too.

Each Christmas, we make sure we visit Grandparents.  We are very lucky that they live in the countryside, with lots of fields we are allowed to walk in.  After all the visitors and the massive amount of fuss she gets from each one of them, Floppy often goes a bit crazy.  She gets too excited and starts running around at full speed.  With small children and older adults about, this can be dangerous as she doesn’t seem to care who or what she runs into.  That half an hour or so of peace and quiet as we go for a family walk down the fields is just what we all need and is a good example of how to keep your dog safe at Christmas time (and everyone else!