Monday, 27 April 2015

Daydreaming About £100

Bloggers were encouraged to write about what they would spend an extra £100 on to coincide with the maximum interest you can earn in a year from the TSB Plus Account being £100 AER (you can find more information on the TSB Bank Accounts page).  It’s a novelty having spare cash in our family; usually every penny is accounted for so I was quite keen to get involved because I do so enjoy daydreaming!!!  It’s a lovely pastime as hubbie keeps a tight reign on our actual bank account normally, think scrooge and your not far off... (although at least he had money!).

If I had that spare cash in my life I would probably share it out, treats are a wonderful pick me up and I would like to think all of us would benefit in some way, rather than me hogging it all for myself.  I would get the puppy a really tough dog chew (£10) that would keep her out of mischief for a while, hopefully protecting the boys soft toys and hubbie’s socks for that bit longer…

Then I would treat us to a day out, nothing too flashy just a chance to make memories.  Perhaps a visit to a farm park with a picnic in tow (£50 budget), leaving the smart phones at home so we focus entirely on the children.  Otherwise I am drawn to social media like a moth to light and getting hubbie’s attention when he is playing Candy Crush is tricky at best!!!  We could feed the animals, have a tractor ride, give the rabbits a cuddle and not worry about the entrance cost.

Then I would get my mum a big bunch of flowers (£30) and my dad a couple of his favourite old ales (£10) to show them how much we care, I need to keep them sweet seeing as they are our official dog babysitters if we go on holiday, so I am not entirely selfless haha.

Seeing as interest is one thing that gets better over time (until you reach the capped amount anyway!) TSB decided to make an infographic of what else can improve. 

My favourite is wine, not that it would have a chance to age if I were honest.  Although I would disagree about jeans mine do not improve over time; they just get bigger and bigger holes in the knees!!!  But I love the personal level aspect, apparently we gain more wisdom and self awareness as we age so that’s something to look forward to, it certainly is more optimistic than focusing on the creaking joints, aching muscles and delightful false teeth in a cup on the side of the bed!!!

Ideas on How to Document your Family’s Summer

Personally, summer is my favourite time of the year. Spending time with the family in the great outdoors, going away for a week or two, spending evenings in the garden; I love it. 

The problem with summer is that, like all the best times throughout the year, it is over way to soon. In order to cherish the season this year, why not document it. Knowing that you are documenting each activity puts pressure on you to make the most of the summer and the documents you produce will give you something to look back on. 

Create a Memory Box or Scrap Book 

Keeping mementos from your days out is a great way to refresh your memory in years to come. The kids will love collecting tickets, trinkets and knick-knacks from their activities and sticking them in a scrap book. If you would prefer a memory box this enables you to accumulate bigger items such as key rings from gift shops or leaves collected from forest floors.

Go For a Photo Shoot 

Getting a professional family portrait from somewhere like Venture studios gives you a fantastic souvenir to remind you of the summer. A professional photographer can bring out the personalities of the individuals in your family. You could also get the picture themed around the season. 

Do a 1 Second Everyday Film 

The 1 Second Everyday app is catching on fast with people recording a moment from their day everyday and editing them together into one film. It is a great way to see a long period of time in which you’ve taken in a wide range of experience in one short burst of film. This is a fun activity for the family as anyone could take the role of camera operator for the day and the kids will always be thinking of what they can capture. 

Do a Doodle a Day 

The publisher Usborne have a special Doodle a Day book in their range but it is not necessarily needed for this activity. All you need is a pencil and paper and perhaps rotate around the family setting the task of drawing their days in under 5 minutes. Creating the doodle on the day in question adds context to the document for when you look back at the summer’s events. 

Make a Summer Bucket List 

To make sure that you make the most of this summer, why not draw up a bucket list of things you want to do and achieve. By making such loose plans you can choose something to do each week according to the weather forecast and know that you are fulfilling your goals.

Keep a Diary 

The classic way to document personal experiences is to keep a diary. You could turn this into a family activity by all contributing to the entry at the end of each day. Encouraging the kids to think back on their days and writing about it is a very healthy habit to get them into.

Remember a Dog is for Life

Yes Summer can be a little terror especially at the moment, she has chewed through her lead and harness, she will occasionally wee in her bed (even though she is trained!) if she is not impressed with going into her crate when I have to nip out and she will given half the chance destroy ALL the boys soft toys.  

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on

But regardless she is very much loved and a key member of our little family.  We would be lost without her, with that endless wagging tail, those adoring eyes that close in contentment when you give her fuss and her general energy and enthusiasm for life!  We could not ask for a more loyal and loving companion.

I love puppy cuddles! x

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on

I was sad to read some of the reasons dogs were given to the Dogs Trust, obviously there will be rare occasions when dogs might need to be re-homed, the owner might be in hospital or circumstances do sadly change.  It does not always work out, but some of the reasons were quite shocking to read:

“He looked different after we walked him in the rain”

“He wags his tail too much”

“All the puppy did was sleep.  We wanted a dog we could play with”

“He was too loving and needed too much attention”

“He’s too playful – we haven’t sat down since we got him”

“He kept coughing in the night and work me up”

Seriously it makes me want to tell these people to get a grip.  I think “I’m worried our toddler will copy him and poo in the garden!” has to be my favourite #epicfail, obviously the parents did not think the fact they used a toilet might give the child a clear lead on toileting!  I have never once worried the boys will follow suit, we had an older dog before Summer and my then toddlers never felt compelled to go to toilet in the garden.  The boys had friends who would wee in the garden and those children had no dog in residence to blame, children can be perfectly feral on their own it’s a bit mean to blame a dog…

Puppies can he a handful there will be times you might be frustrated but all that training will pay off, it’s a wonderful feeling when you finally toilet train your dog and as for all the sleeping, I was exceptionally grateful when Summer had her nap (heaven help anyone who tried to knock on the door or make a phone call in that previous hour!), those sleepy days soon pass and she is up and active these days but slightly less manic!

“My dog is old and going to die soon” this one breaks my heart; surely at the end of its life your doggy companion deserves to be with you.  Yes it can be expensive paying for vet treatment but your dog has earnt that right.  They have been by your side for years it is sad to give up on them at the end, I wanted to be around our old dog till the very last moment, it crushed me when she passed on, but she had a long and full life surrounded by everyone who loved her.

Please hang in there through the trickier times, with training you can pretty much correct anything and that bond with your dog makes everything worthwhile!  We will just be placing soft toys and leads out of reach.

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on