Take My Advice – Protect Your Tech! {AD-SPONSORED}

Take My Advice – Protect Your Tech!  <font size="3">{AD-SPONSORED}</font>

The other day I wanted to show Ben some photos of the cats when they were kittens, only for me to remember they’re stored on my old laptop. My old laptop that died a death. It’s utterly heartbreaking to think you’ve lost your photos, those little moments of time captured gone forever.




I’m sure there must be a way for me to get those photos back and I intend to take the laptop to an IT specialist some time in the New Year, but it’s made me realise how important it is to look after your tech in order to avoid this happening again. If I was to lose photographs of everything I’ve been up to this year I’d be absolutely gutted.


So in a bid to lengthen the life of my gadgets and to protect the memories and information stored within, I’ve gathered the most popular tips together:


Use Cases
If you’re buying the latest tech, you’ll notice it isn’t as big and bulky as it used to be and although they’re capable of doing so much more these days, they’re vulnerable as ever. Back in the days of owning a Nokia 3210 the battery lasted for pretty much forever and you could drop them on the floor without worrying they’d be damaged; these days you drop your smart phone and are flooded with dread as you realise there’s a strong chance the screen has smashed. Buy a good case and put a screen cover on and it’ll add a little extra protection when it’s needed (you can see more about that online).


Don’t Jailbreak
You might have heard of jailbreaking – it’s a techy term that basically means that you mess around with the software on your device in an attempt to make it better. Although it’s tempting to personalise your phone in this way it’s potentially more trouble than it’s worth as if you jailbreak a device it will actually void the warranty as it’s against the licensing. So, if you jailbreak your phone and something goes wrong with it, you won’t be able to get coverage for a repair – in my mind, it’s just not worth the hassle!


Back Up
This is so important – back up, back up, back up! The best way to do this is by backing up to a cloud as hard-drives will have a lifespan and, when they die, you’ll lose everything you had stored on them. I’ve always found the thought of having all my photos stored on a cloud – somewhere I can’t see, floating about – a little odd, but Ben uses it for his photos and swears by it being the best way and, as much as it pains me to say it, he’s probably right…


Do you have any tips for how to protect your tech?



Penny xx


Connect With Me!
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


* In Association With Brand *


Simple But Effective Ideas For Protecting Your Home {AD-SPONSORED}

As we are both wannabe avid travellers, we are often away from our house for medium to long periods of time. I’ll be honest; we don’t think much about home security when we are on our trips away. But, there is a moment just before we get home that we always wonder if something might have happened.


The truth is, we should all probably take out home security a lot more seriously – especially when we get older. Although burglary figures are down overall, there are some places the UK that are far worse than others. So, I thought I would look into some simple ways of ensuring there are no break-ins into our home, whether we are there or not. Here’s what I found.


Watch Your Keys
There have been plenty of stories about people being targeted for their cars recently. Organised criminals will follow you home, find out where you live, and wait for you to go to bed. Then it’s a case of unhooking your keys from the key hook with a long stick or instrument and driving off with your vehicle. You can read this article for more details. Scary stuff, right?

So, if you have your key hooks close to the doorway, move them around a corner so they can’t be seen. Also, if you ever lose your keys, how sure are you that they haven’t been stolen? Always hire a locksmith if you can’t find your keys. You will need your locks changed, as soon as possible, because you just never know where they might have gone.


Understand How Burglars Work
Most burglaries are opportunistic. It will be someone walking by your home, and they spot an open window they can get through. It can happen just like that, and they can be in and out in the space of a couple of minutes. It is very unlikely that someone will target you – and you would be unlucky to have a professional thief enter your home.

So, the key to avoiding the vast majority of burglaries is to make sure you are aware of all your entry points. Close your windows – even if you are just leaving a room. Fix good locks onto everything, and also remember to keep your garden clear of tools. Ask any police officer and they will tell you that the sight of a garden spade or heavy object in your garden can be enticing for a burglar.


Night Safety
Burglars hate two things: light and noise. So, get some motion sensor lights for your garden, first of all. It might be irritating for a short while, as they tend to go off every time the cat goes out on a prowl! But, as soon as someone approaches the house, those bright lights will scare even the hardiest burglar away.

Also, think about having soft gravel put down on your driveway.You won’t even notice the noise it makes during the day, but at night? Every footstep can sound like a thunderclap to a burglar. Of course, a good alarm system will also ward off most burglars. Getting one installed is a great way of feeling more secure when you go to bed and hit the lights.


OK, so there are my simple home security tips. None of them are particularly costly, but they are all effective. What about you? Anything to share?



* In Association With Brand *


Shopping For Blinds – In Store or Online? {AD-SPONSORED}

When I moved into my current home, I was glad to see that my Landlord was leaving the curtains behind as I didn’t particularly want to live somewhere with naked windows. The thought of someone glancing in and seeing me slumped on the sofa in my jogging bottoms watching back-to-back episodes of Catfish filled me with horror, so luckily this little issue was avoided.


However, now Ben and I are turning this into our first home, rather than it being a house-share, and we’re going to be decorating (albeit very slowly over the next few months), getting window coverings that match the style of our rooms is something we are starting to think about. When it comes to curtains there’s a huge range of choice out there and an array of styles and colours, but I’ve always had a little more trouble when it’s come to thinking about blinds; there’s some rooms where blinds are really the best option due to the nature of their use – the kitchen and bathroom for example.


So, rather handily, Blinds UK have put together this little infographic and guide to give you a bit of a helping hand when it comes to finding the right blinds for your needs.




There are pros and cons when it comes to comparing the process of buying blinds online or going into a high street store. In-store you can see what the blinds look like and check their quality, whereas online you can view and compare a huge range of different products without having to leave the house. It’s important though, whether you decide to shop on the internet or venture out in person, to make sure there are suitable guarantees with whatever you purchase, because if something goes wrong you need to make sure you’re able to get your money back or a replacement.


For the moment, until we work out what we want the house to look like we’ll be keeping our plain white blinds, but I’ll definitely be using some of Blinds UK’s tips when the time comes that we want to buy something a bit more ‘us’.


Penny xx


Connect With Me!
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


* In Association with Brand *


Enjoy Your Garden In All Weathers {AD-GIFTED}

Enjoy Your Garden In All Weathers  <font size="3">{AD-GIFTED}</font>

As you know, at the moment, Ben and I are in the process of doing up our little home. We are decorating top-to-bottom (after a rather disastrous attempt by my previous housemate left 75% of the place in need of TLC, eek!) but as well as the inside, we also need to do some work to the outside space – ie the front and back gardens.


Having been thinking our little postage-stamp-sized piece of the world, I began to think about how under utilised it can be during the summer – I mean, this year I think I have probably spent no more than 4 hours in total out there. Not only because the good old British weather means it’s often too damp, but also because it’s mostly paved and has lots of bushes in it, it doesn’t feel like the sort of space you can sit down and relax in. However, with my Penny The Planner head on, I’ve begun to think about what we can do to make it a more enjoyable space for when the sun comes back out in 2016.


Invest In A Parasol
We have a garden table and chairs, but we don’t own a parasol as yet – something definitely on the To Buy list! Parasols are a great investment because they are so versatile; you can use them to shade you from the hot summer sun or, more than likely in good ol’ Blighty, to protect you from the rain! Depending on the space available there are quite a few different kinds you can buy – floor-standing, wall-hanging, classic, modern, plain or a bit fancy-pants. As we’re in rented accommodation we’ll have to stick with a floor-standing one… we’ll just need to work out where we can store it…


Keep Warm
Once the cold evenings come rolling in, it can be a little bit painful to spend time outdoors, but with a garden heater, a nice big jumper and some cosy blankets, you and your guests can still enjoy your outdoor space without fear of hypothermia. There’s something quite special about being all snug outside while the air around you is cold.


Find Plants That Will Survive All Weathers
I have absolutely no knowledge about plants. None. Nada.  Not a clue. However, I do know that there are some hardy plants out there that can live the whole year round – these all-weather plants will keep your garden looking loved and alive all year round. I’ve got the black trough style planter shown below that I’m yet to find a use for; any suggestions welcome!




Think Carefully About Your Furniture
span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Living outdoors is hard work whether you’re man, beast or furniture, so you need to make sure you buy furniture that is designed for outdoor use and isn’t going to be ruined by a bit of cold, wet or warmth. Plastic furniture suffers in sunlight, cushions can become damp and turn mouldy before you know it, and wood can be come weather-beaten and worn. We’ve got a metal and glass table but even that has suffered from it’s life outside, with a little bit of rust and water marks on the class. Once you’ve decided what sort of furniture you want, research how you can best protect it to give it a longer life and keep it looking better for longer.


Get Yourself A Shed
Our garden doesn’t have space for a shed, but we do have a little waist-high storage unit which is handy for keeping the garden chairs and Poppy’s paddling pool (which she hates!) in. There’s also the potential to turn a shed into a little extra space, whether that be a She-Shed or a Man-Cave.


I hate gardening with a passion, but I’m looking forward to making my little part of the world look good. Roll on Springtime!



Penny xx


Connect With Me!
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


* In Association with Brand *

Enjoy Your Garden In All Weathers


Want To Make A Success Of Communal Living? Read This {AD-SPONSORED}

There are a number of reasons why you might be reading this. Maybe you’re about to start university. Or maybe you’re moving in with your in laws or new work colleagues? Whatever the reason communal living can be a big adjustment if you’ve never done it before. Moving out is stressful enough as it is, without having to worry about living with others. These tips will ensure that you’ll be a great flat or housemate regardless of who you’re living with.


Get To Know Your Housemates
To live in a relaxing environment, it’s important that you get to know your housemates. Even if you are moving in with friends, it’s unlikely that you know what it’s fully like to live with them. Make a special effort and cook a meal you can all enjoy or invite them out for a drink. First impressions are important but remember that it can take time for some people to adjust. Don’t be disheartened if your new housemates don’t become your best friends straight away. Ask them questions and give them your full attention. This will show them that you respect them and care about their answers.


Be Respectful
There is nothing wrong with playing music. But keep it at a suitable volume to avoid annoying your housemates. If you share a communal living area also consider not everyone will like the same shows or films that you do. Take it in turns to use the TV or do something else you all enjoy instead. Also keep your things neat and organised to respect other people’s space. It’s all about being considerate.


Deal With Issues Directly
If there are particular problems causing difficulty or tension in your new home, it’s wise to get them sorted as soon as possible. It’s easy for people to get annoyed and irritated by each other when living in close proximity. If you are getting frustrated with someone you live with, the best thing to do is talk to them in a non threatening manner. Do this sooner rather than later as these problems can escalate and greatly affect your relationship. It can be an uncomfortable thing to do, but they will respect you tackling the problem head on. It’s likely that they do not realise they are annoying you and by highlighting it they can alter their ways. They may find something you do irritating too. Don’t be offended if they use this opportunity to bring this up. Listen to what they have to say and consider changing how you do things too.


If the issue is with rent or technical issues with the internet or TV, take control. If left these problems can escalate and making your living situation very uncomfortable. Contact your landlord about rent issues you may be having in advance. Try to warn them of any delays in payment or work out a more efficient payment plan. Contact your internet and TV provider if you are having frequent problems. If you live in a flat and are using communal aerial systems, they might need updating. Talk to your neighbours to see if they are suffering similar issues before ringing for a technician. Your housemates will appreciate you going above and beyond to making your home more comfortable.
These steps will put you in great stead when living communally. You’ll get to know your housemates better in no time and you’ll be a model tenant for any landlord.



* In Association With Brand *


A Penny For Them uses affiliate links occasionally. Affiliate links means that sometimes if you click through to a website and register or purchase something, I get a commission from that sale at no extra cost to you. However, rest assured that all opinions and reviews are 100% honest, open and entirely my own.