Friday, 31 October 2014

Protecting Yourself From Fraud

We do a lot of online shopping its hard not to we live miles from the proper shops and what I call “civilisation”.  In the sticks we have a few cute gift shops, the usual tat shops the boys love and a couple of places for food shopping other than that we need to rely on the Internet or face a considerable drive.

I was eager to learn some tips to protect myself from online fraud.  I use my computer a lot if I am not blogging; I am browsing online for deals and bargains for the boys Christmas lists.  I am familiar with the scam emails you can get declaring you have won a spectacular lottery prize or some beneficiary has died and left you with a small fortune if you conveniently hand over your bank details!  But the fraudsters have to be more and more sophisticated with their efforts, as people are better educated not to fall for their tricks!

Natwest have created this useful infographic to arm you with tactics to keep safe.  It makes for an interesting read and means you’re hopefully less likely to be a victim of fraud.

Incredibly online shopping fraud costs £163.3M a year, more than any of the other types of fraud!  It’s almost enough to put you off using the World Wide Web to get your presents on order.  Fortunately Natwest have some useful suggestions so you can protect yourself. 

It’s important to check your using a secure website, I always look for the change to https when I get to the payment screen.  Never open suspicious attachments on emails as they can contain viruses and spyware.  Stick to ordering from a computer you trust or be trebly sure you have logged out properly of public ones others will use after you.

With smartphones being logged automatically onto more sites with these fancy apps (mobile banking and so fourth) its vital you keep your phone to hand.  If it does get stolen notify the bank immediately so they can take preventive measures.

There is plenty more to learn, so I will be absorbing all the details to protect my family.

What we will miss if we travel abroad?

I have been prompted by to think about I cannot bear to leave behind when holidaying in the UK.  We have only taken the boys on one holiday abroad and what luggage to take was a sore subject!

Packing to go abroad is always tricky, you have a set baggage allowance and everything else just has to be left behind!  When your travelling with children this is easier said then done, they want to bring books for night time reading, soft toys to cuddle and acquaint with a new location and of course heaps of games and other entertainment!  You should see just how many bags they pack for an overnight sleepover with my mum and dad just down the road!  They have small figures to play with, a torch, slippers, dressing gowns and a zoo worth of soft cuddlies.

So its quite easy to see that before you know it you have met your allocated weight and have none of the actual essentials likes clothes for the holiday!!!  On top of that with children you also need to be extra clothes because you can pretty much guarantee they will cover themselves in their own dinner a few times or manage to find a muddy puddle or two to fall into!  In a car you can fit so much more in and even invest in a roof rack for even more space to fill!  Then you can bring along all the beach items like a body board and buckets and spades and not have to buy more of these things when you arrive on holiday.  It can be expensive doing that and you always feel reluctant having to leave your holiday buys behind when you come home.

But what we would miss most of all now is our gorgeous new puppy!  Just look at those eyes and ears.  I would feel awful not brining her along on our trips away the boys love having her to cuddle and play with.  She likes sniffing out adventure so would be keen to come with us to our destination.  Plus we would have none of the stress of finding a kennel good enough for our little princess.

This is my entry into the must-haves competition

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Creating a Garden Room

I have always craved patio doors, just because it’s a lovely idea having a room opening straight out onto the garden.  You can enjoy a breeze if its getting too hot inside and you can easily keep an eye on the children as they play safely under your watchful eye.  But why stop at patio doors when you can go that step further and create a garden room.

Having seen what offers I would be quite happy going the whole hog and having an entire side of the house folding open!  In the picture on their site they actually seem to open fully and completely so you can walk freely into the garden and back indoors again.  You can find out how much uPVC bi fold doors cost to see if it’s an option worth pursuing.

I love the choice of materials the folding doors come in, but personally I would avoid timber at the moment seeing as our house had an infestation of woodworm when we moved in.  Hubbie had to go around the house in a special suit spraying the place with a special solution to get rid of the pesky things so I am all about upvc for the low maintenance side of things.  Although reading this article on the Telegraph I think we might have got a little carried away, it seems that the special treatment is more of a hard sell and the problem can go away on its own if a house is heated and vented appropriately!

I want a beautiful space for my family to enjoy that encourages them to appreciate the outdoors.  You want to keep the room light and natural.  I like the idea of adding nature inspired wallpaper (like this one from B&Q) to bring the indoor and outdoors space together, it comes across as quite tranquil and peaceful.

Woven or cane furniture can be used indoors then spill outdoors when needed.  Perfect for entertaining!

I think I might create a mood board and entice hubbie with my plan!