Share Printed Photos with Your Loved Ones with Neveo #ad

Disclaimer: “Share printed photos with your loved ones” is a collaborative article written in paid partnership with Neveo. For my full disclosure policy, please click here

Do you share printed photos with the older members of your family? If the answer is no, but you would like to start doing so, then I can highly recommend checking out Neveo. This unique site allows you to upload photos from your devices, add comments if you wish, and create a monthly newspaper which is then posted to your nominated family member(s).

share printed photos

Digital photos are great, but printed ones are so much better

I love printed photos. I’ve painstakingly printed out our family pics over the years, and diligently put them into albums. I honestly think keepsakes like this are slowly disappearing, and one day my stack of albums will be a proper family heirloom (or relic of the past!) They’re precious though, and would never leave the house.

When my husband’s grandparents were alive, I’d print a selection of recent photos and post them in cards, or take them when we visited. Had Neveo been around back then, it would have been so much more convenient.

You might be wondering how Neveo works?

The first step is to quickly set up a Neveo account, and choose whether you’ll be uploading 50 or 100 photos per month. You’ll also need to nominate the loved one(s) who will be on the receiving end of the monthly paper.

You can upload your photos as and when you please, and each month you’ll get a new allocation of uploads. At the end of each month Neveo will take care of the editing and put your newspaper together, then send it off for you. It’s literally as simple as that. Your photos are 100% safe, and worldwide delivery is included in the price.

50 photos will set you back £9.99 a month, and 100 is £14.99. You can cancel your membership at any time, and if you sign up using this link you’ll get the first month for just 99p! The ability to share printed photos with our loved ones has never been easier. Check out this video which explains the concept in detail.

Some wise words from Neveo CEO Simon Desbarax

1. Is there an inspirational story behind Neveo?
We started when we were finding solutions to help our own grandparents to stay in touch. We wanted to launch the easiest / easy to use communication solution on the market. We didn’t want them having to learn something new or complicated.

2. How did you choose the name?
Neve (snow that lasts on the mountains)
Neo (new)
Neveo = new generation of “elderly” at the top of the mountain

3. What is most important to you about being a business owner?
Freedom.

4. Do you have any funny anecdotes from the earliest days?
We were laying them out one by one with our own hands (before the automated process). It took us nights to do the first 100!

5. Where do you see the business going in five years time?
Our aim is to reconnect all the families that have difficulties staying in touch with their loved ones. We will expand to other countries (86 for the moment).

6. Do you have any words of wisdom for would-be entrepreneurs?
Everything starts with a first step. Act!

Follow Neveo on social media:
Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Polly Tries: Best Fluffy Slime Ever Made by The Davis Kids (Step by Step Instructions and Real Time YouTube Video)

Hello everyone, Polly here. I absolutely love slime and have been making the best fluffy slime lately, so I thought I would write a blog about the recipe. You can see my other blogs by clicking here. If you want to know I am 9 years old so it is not a surprise that I absolutely love slime. Plus I am autistic so it is a great fiddle toy and so squishy, and so nice.  So if you are autistic or you have a child that is autistic they will or you will love it.

Slime can get a bit messy but I don’t really care, because it is such a good activity and this is a lovely soft slime. I have to warn you though it is a bit sticky, but so nice to play with. The easiest way to resolve it is to give your hands a good scrub under the sink with soap. Normally I make butter slime but my mum bought me some other ingredients to make fluffy slime cause I wanted to try it out because, my mum knows how much I love slime.

To me slime is a great fiddle toy and lovely to play and make stuff. This recipe makes a decent amount of slime. It’s good for kids aged from 4 to probably about 14, but if their obsession is slime then even longer. This is my favourite slime ever! Let’s get slimy! (Normally I would say let’s get started but because it is a slime video I said let’s get slimy.)

best fluffy slime

Ingredients

  • White PVA Glue
  • Contact Lens Solution
  • Shaving Foam 
  • Food Colouring 

Method

  • Mix together 200ml of glue
  • Add a couple of drops of food colour
  • Add shaving cream bit by bit and mix
  • Add contact solution bit by bit as well
  • Mix well
  • Mix until it’s not sticky anymore
  • There you go enjoy the feeling! 

Tips for making the best fluffy slime EVER

  • If it is sticky then carry on working it and it should get less sticky
  • Do not put too much contact solution in your slime
  • Don’t put too much shaving cream in your slime either
  • I prefer not to choose a dark colour for my slime (I like sky blue)

Guest Post: Will You Give a Life Changing Gift? #DontWasteXmas

#DontWasteXmas

The UK are set to waste a whopping 60 million presents this Christmas. International development charity Send a Cow are encouraging shoppers to buy life-changing, meaningful gifts instead of pointless ones.

A new survey from YouGov* has found that over half (57%) of Brits who celebrate Christmas receive at least one unwanted gift on average at this time of year, with 37% claiming they would be happy to receive a charitable donation as a present.

#DontWasteXmasIf the money spent on the 60 million unwanted gifts received each year* was redirected to charities like Send a Cow, it could support millions of families living in the poorest parts of Africa.

The survey revealed that at least £380 million is spent on unwanted Christmas presents for friends, which could support 11 million African families by providing them each with a goat*. Priced at £33 each, a dairy goat provides families with nutritious milk to drink and sell – providing a vital income – and manure to improve crop yields. Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed admitted they struggle to find good presents for family and friends, and bath products topped the given list of the nation’s least loved presents.

Top unwanted Christmas gifts

1. Bath products (38%)
2. Film / box set (18%)
3. Candles (16%)
4. Chocolate (16%)
5. Socks (14%)

Send a Cow ambassador, actor and star of ‘Our Girl’, Ben Aldridge said:

“I was lucky enough to visit a Send a Cow project earlier this year and was amazed by the life-changing work they are doing in rural Africa. This Christmas, we are calling on people everywhere to donate to charities like Send a Cow instead of spending their money on unwanted Christmas presents. My family is abolishing present giving between the adults in favour of redirecting that money towards causes that really need it. I don’t need any more novelty socks or cheap stocking fillers! The money wasted on those things could actually make a huge impact elsewhere.”

#DontWasteXmasInstead of resorting to festive bath bombs or Christmas candles, shoppers can purchase life-changing virtual gifts ranging from goats and tools to allotments and beehives on the Send a Cow online shop where prices start from just £5.

You simply select your chosen gift, such as a chicken or a goat, and your loved one will receive a Christmas gift pack telling them all about the item you’ve bought in their name and the impact it will have on families in Africa.

Send a Cow, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, gives African farming families the tools, training and livestock to thrive. The charity has worked with over two million people and wants to keep on growing so more African families can lift themselves out of poverty for good.

CEO of Send a Cow, Paul Stuart, commented:

“Buying a Send a Cow virtual gift for a loved one has a double impact and goes far beyond your typical gift of socks or smellies which often end up in the bin. The person receiving the gift feels good knowing that a donation has been made with them in mind and a struggling family in Africa receives vital support to help them transform their lives. It’s a gift which feels good and does good; what could be better than that?’’

The average person spends between £10 – £20 on unwanted Christmas presents for friends and loved ones. Instead they could buy:

  • Two chickens that can provide malnourished families with eggs to eat and sell (£16)
  • Garden tools for two families so they can grow their own vegetables (£14)
  • Fruit trees to help people establish their own orchards (£20)

#DontWasteXmasWith nearly half of shoppers admitting they struggle to find good presents for loved ones, charity gifts could be the way forward for a less wasteful and more meaningful Christmas this year.

Spread the word and visit #DontWasteXmas on the Send a Cow website.

*1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,182 adults, of which 1,965 celebrate Christmas. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 st – 2 nd November 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
2. Based on findings of YouGov survey when extrapolated to the GB population of 50,644,094 million people, 90% of which celebrate Christmas and 94% of whom gave an opinion. The survey found that, on average, Brits who celebrate Christmas received 1.4 unwanted presents in an average Christmas – 59,982,864 overall.
3. Based on findings of YouGov survey when extrapolated to the GB population of 50,644,094 million people, 90% of which celebrate Christmas and 97% of whom gave an opinion. The survey found that, on average, Brits who celebrate Christmas and give Christmas presents to friends spent £18.31 – £380,477,739 on a Christmas present for a friend. Calculations by Greenhouse PR.

**Disclaimer: this is a guest post from Greenhouse PR, I have not been incentivised.

If You’re Not Angry, You’re Not Awake or Everything I’ve Learnt about Anger

Pointless wars creating unprecedented amounts of refugees, whilst fat cats get richer. Homelessness. Food Poverty. Period Poverty. Brexit. Trump. If I allow my mind to spiral, the injustices of the world make me seethe. I went through a stage of ranting at pretty much everyone I knew. My favourite line was: “if you’re not angry, you’re not awake!” Usually said after a few drinks. Much more vehemently after too many drinks.

not angry not awake

My anger was making my mental health suffer. I felt helpless and useless and pointless. Then one day, I woke up and realised my anger had put me on a fast track route to nowhereville. Instead of yelling at people, trying to recruit them to become as angry as I was, I took a different stance. Before I launch into that…

A little bit about me

Mental health has been a big part of my life forever. My step-father was bi-polar as well as an alcoholic, and I grew up living with the fallout of his highs and lows. I don’t know if she was ever officially diagnosed, but I’d hazard a guess and say that my mother was depressed for most of my upbringing. It was too easy for me to slip into the “it’s all in my genes/environment I grew up in…” rhetoric. Which I did for many years.

After I left home (at 15), it took a full decade of hardcore partying, self-destructive behaviour, depression and two mental breakdowns before hitting rock bottom. This is when I made vital changes to the way I was living my life, in order to turn it around for the long term. My self-help book Become the Best You was written for others facing similar battles. Life can be hard. Really hard. Especially when we have the all-consuming responsibility of raising children to contend with. Which is why being angry at the world simply adds no value to anything.

What I do when I don’t feel okay

It should go without saying that our kids absolutely have to come first. Because if life inside our own four walls is failing everyone miserably, it really doesn’t matter what’s going on in the wider world. We become totally unable to help anyone. Including ourselves.

not angry not awakeAs tough as it can be to carve out ‘me time’ in the midst of tending to the needs of the family, recharging our tired batteries is vital if we are to cope with every day life. As a mum, certainly in my house anyway, the things I want to do are at the very bottom of a long to-do list. It took me six and a half years of parenting before I took 24 hours off for good behaviour. That was almost three years ago, and since then I have not felt guilty – in the slightest – for the odd long lunch or weekend away with friends. A little bit of separation from our darlings does everyone the world of good. Even if it feels counter intuitive.

Self-care goes way deeper than painting my nails or taking a bubble bath. My mental health gets replenished by feeling proud of my achievements, and helping others. Time spent working on my blog or books provides a fantastic boost. In the great words of Carrie Fisher, I’ve been turning my broken heart into art.

Three projects keeping me sane

I’m working with the very talented Maddy Bennett, to turn a blog post about my daughter’s autism into a kids picture book. The book is aimed to help siblings understand their autistic sister, and we’ve had brilliant feedback on it so far.

I took on my first piece of campaign management work for a company who make beautiful personalised books. The bloggers who were involved loved Librio as much as I do, and the CEO was super happy with our efforts. Rather than being only about their bottom line, this gorgeous company have good ethics by the bucketload. They’re building a brand to be truly aspired to, and it was a privilege working with them.

My novel When the Stars Weep – which is about motherhood, mental health, love and loss – is being submitted to would-be agents and publishers. Everyone who reads this book relates in some way, and enjoys it. I keep telling myself that JK Rowling got rejected around thirty times before finding an agent who believed in Harry Potter. It will happen, I just have to have faith.

By channelling my anger into my projects, I feel like I’m being useful again. Stories have the power to bring so much comfort to others, and ultimately that’s all us writers want to do.

Other ways to be not quite so angry anymore

Back to the wider world. Homelessness and poverty are very real issues for too many (approx four million working families here in the UK are affected). Where does being angry with our shambolic government – who lets face it, don’t give a flying fuck, otherwise it wouldn’t be a problem in the first place! – get us? Back to nowhereville.

not angry not awake

Although I hate the fact that food banks and hygiene banks have to exist, at least I can afford to donate to them. Yes I’d much rather see them close down because they weren’t needed any more, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon.

In a society that’s becoming more polarised by the day, the very least we can do is recognise our privilege. I appreciate that many of us are operating at almost full capacity, and it can feel like there’s no space left for anything but our daily grind. However, I don’t think it’s healthy to seek out kindling to fuel our anger. Surely, it’s better instead to find worthy causes to get behind? I’ve created an A-Z of UK grass roots charities if you’re in need of inspiration.

I’ve watched anger get the better of good people, and slay them

It’s scary and sad how quickly people spiral. How fast it happens to me if I let it. In the three days I’ve been writing this blog I’ve had a complete crisis of confidence, and deleted all the social media apps from my phone. They’re the first thing to go when the chips are down, and I find a one week break is a great way of pressing the reset button. I learnt long ago that too much Face-agram is not good for my exhausted soul.

In order to keep my own head above water I have promised myself a few things. Instead of falling down rabbit holes writing blogs comparing #45 with Pol Pot (still in draft, probably won’t see the light of day). Or being furious about the lack of school funding for SEND kids in my area (just not worth my anger). Or trying to figure out how anyone could possibly think Brexit would be good for the economy (can. not. go. there). Or a myriad other things that boil my blood, I’m going to breathe deeply.

And remind myself again and again that anger gets us nowhere, so I can try to help in any constructive way I can.

Gut Health and Fermented Foods Course: 31st March 2019 #ad

**Disclaimer: I am co-hosting this gut health and fermented foods course, which is why I am declaring it an ad. For my full disclosure policy, click here.**

Do you have a plan to keep healthy, especially over the colder months? If the answer is no, and you know deep down your diet could do with a bit of a kick up the bum, then I think you need my top three tips.

gut health and fermented foods

Eat mostly real food

Real foods are ingredients in their natural state – fruit, veggies, meat, fish, eggs, unprocessed dairy and plenty of probiotic rich fermented food and drink (more on that in point three). A real food diet essentially means making your own meals from scratch. I understand how daunting this sounds to many, but if you want to eat your way to better health, it’s absolutely non-negotiable.

Mark Sisson, author of the Primal Blueprint and phenomenally successful website Mark’s Daily Apple, advocates eating like a saint for 80% of the time and allowing ourselves 20% leeway. I started coming away from processed food and refined sugar in 2007, went paleo in 2012, and followed the gut healing GAPS diet in 2014. Nowadays I run at around 90% awesome diet, 10% leeway. As I’m insulin resistant, because of my PCOS, this works really well for my body. Everyone is different of course, and for many people 80/20 is optimum.

Be honest about your relationship with sugar

gut health and fermented foods

I don’t have all the answers, just my own personal experience. It took me going through the GAPS Intro Diet to properly ditch my sugar cravings, and I can now go an entire week without having anything sweet. No fruit, no chocolate, no naturally sweetened puddings, nothing. If we’re entertaining, or going to friends for lunch, I’ll make dessert (such as these brownies, or this caramel slice), but I don’t feel the need to eat sweet things every day like I did prior to 2014.

None of us are able to, or are going to want to, eat perfectly, which is fine, because none of us are perfect. We do, however, have a massive problem with the way society views food in the main. We were duped, and sold the idea that fat was bad. We were told for many years that we should be eating low fat foods because they were healthy. In actual fact, they are full of sugar and sweeteners, because when you remove the fat from food you also take away most of the flavour.

Of course, now we know that sugar consumption contributes to a whole host of health problems, but largely society is addicted to the stuff. So what is the solution?

Bombard your gut with fermented foods to help the good bacteria flourish 

The only way to know exactly what we’re putting into our bodies, is by getting in the kitchen and making our own food. There is no quick fix, but the good news is we can wholeheartedly reverse the damage caused by a poor diet with a great one. The way to make it enjoyable is to get into the right frame of mind.

gut health and fermented foods

Even when we are as time poor as most of us are, there are plenty of ways to incorporate healthy food into our busy schedules. They don’t get better than home made probiotics in the form of fermented veggies, kefir and kombucha.

In her fascinating book Cultured Food for Health, Donna Schwenk talks about the incredible health benefits to be gained by adding these three fermented food and drinks to our daily diets. Working in harmony with each other, they create billions of beneficial bacteria, and help with a multitude of ailments. These include: constipation, diarrhoea, acne, acid reflux, sleep issues, liver cleansing, adrenal support, candida, inflammation and food intolerance.

Knowing where to start when it comes to gut health and fermented foods can be overwhelming. Which is why myself and my very good friend Trish have created our comprehensive one day course. By the end of the day with us you’ll have learnt how to make kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, sour cream and a sourdough bread starter. We’ll feed you a nourishing, home cooked lunch, and there will even be the chance to sample home made cider from foraged apples.

Check out the flyer below for all the info, and email us to secure your place on the course. Spaces are limited and getting booked up fast! 

gut health and fermented foods

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