Tag Archives: technology

This Old Thing

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This Old Thing

Hello!! A fun fact about me that shocks many people is that, at almost twenty-seven years old, I have never owned a smartphone. Rather, I have been steadily rocking a slide up or flip phone for the past thirteen or so years. This is pretty uncommon for someone who works in the social media field but I have stood by my signature catchphrase of “when keyboard phones are no longer made, you can call me on the landline” for over a decade. As you can see, I am pretty old school and this is my current model:

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My whole reasoning behind never owning a smartphone is that I fail to see the point of having immediate internet access wherever I go. Pre-pandemic, I would gain inspiration for my daily blog posts by being out and about and seeing what catches my eye and that would be hard to do if I were scrolling through social media instead of observing and enjoying my surroundings. I also never want to be the friend who is constantly on my phone when I am hanging out with someone. My phone allows me to call and text and that is really all I have ever needed especially because all of my blog pictures are just taken using my iPod Touch.

I have always had a low maintenance “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach to technology. However, I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be nice to have a better camera and an Instagram! I just discovered that if I wanted to use the Like To Know It program for my viewers to shop my outfits that I would need an Insta if I don’t want to upgrade to a business plan on WordPress. I am super interested in Like To Know It and don’t necessarily want to change my current plan on WordPress so a smartphone might be the next logical move.

For now, I am fine with the phone that I have had since I was like fourteen lol and I enjoy the novelty of having an actual keyboard to text with. It’s actually a major step for me to even consider wanting a smartphone but I will definitely think more about it if any of you would be interested in shopping my style! So please let me know in the comments and I will stay using Johnny’s phone for OOTD pictures in the meantime. 🙂

What kind of phone do you have? What is your approach when it comes to technology? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & (Video) Games Pt. 2

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Fun & (Video) Games Pt. 2

Hi! For one of my Christmas gifts, Johnny let me pick out a game on the Nintendo Switch store for myself since I haven’t had much to play since beating Paper Mario: The Origami King, which he got me for our one year anniversary. I have always enjoyed playing Mario games and ever since playing the new Paper Mario, I have been in a huge Mario mood. Let me just say Mario one more time… MARIO. 😀

Anyways, for my Christmas gift, I decided to go with a three pack of Mario games that included Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Sunshine. I was most looking forward to playing Super Mario Sunshine, as I can remember always being excited to play it at the Target video game section while running errands with my mom whenever I was younger.

Unfortunately, Super Mario Sunshine was a complete bust and, despite having Johnny help me, we had trouble completing even the first few levels. The catch with Super Mario Sunshine is that there is no traditional jump and punch fighting – you are spraying everything with water! The controls were dodgy and the fact that it wasn’t like a classic Mario game in the slightest were definitely grounds to try a different game so I scrapped Sunshine and went with playing Super Mario Galaxy, instead. And, let me tell you, I am SO glad I did!

Super Mario Galaxy was an absolute blast and I finally beat it this past week. It was so much fun because it was such a completely different version of Mario thanks to the outer space setting. Because of gravity, not only could you explore the top part of the platforms but you could also run about on its bottom and sides without fear of falling off. It made each level thrilling because there was so much to do as there was a lot of space to cover.

In Galaxy, it always felt like something new was happening – a new galaxy or planet being discovered, a letter from Luigi, or the opportunity for different powers like turning into a bee or a bouncy spring. From scaling giant honey combs to exploring underwater caverns, no two levels were alike and it was impossible to beat one level without seeing which the next one (or two, or three) would be like.

The best part of playing Super Mario Galaxy, though, was when Johnny would help me beat the levels I was stuck on. There were a lot of tricky aspects to the game that involved motion, as it was originally for the Wii. Levels that involved rolling around on a ball or surfing on an eel always left me calling for him for help and he would drop whatever he was doing to give it a try. So sweet!

We delighted in beating levels together and even on the ones we couldn’t beat, it was still fun to keep trying until our lives ran out. After beating the game, I found out you could unlock a new world if you beat every single level and, unfortunately, that’s just not going to happen. Lol, so I plan on playing Super Mario 64 next!

What video game are you currently playing? What is your favorite Mario game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Buyer’s Guide When Purchasing Plastic Access Panels

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Buyer’s Guide When Purchasing Plastic Access Panels

Access panels are used in an assortment of projects. They typically have the function of providing people with access to services for maintenance purposes, such as valves, fuses, and switches. Regardless of why you need this item, there is a lot to take into account to ensure you purchase the right plastic access panels for your needs specifically. Keeping that in mind, read on to discover everything you need to consider:

Wall or Ceiling: 

There is only one place to begin and this is by deciding where the access panel is going to be used. This will decipher whether you are going to purchase a wall or ceiling access panel. For example, if you’re looking for plastic panels for your electric fuse box, this will determine what you’re going to need from your access panels. Needless to say, the local electrician will be the best person to turn to for advice on things like this.

Size:

Size is, undoubtedly, a pivotal factor. You need to meet the right balance, because if you go for an access panel that is too small, you might not even benefit from its easy access. However, you don’t want to go for something too big that is going to take over the entire ceiling or wall. From 300 x 300 mm to 550 mm x 1200 mm to bespoke sizes, the options are endless.

Frames:

You also have a choice of different frames. Generally speaking you can choose between a plaster frame, a picture frame, and a beaded frame. A plaster frame is used when access panels are going to be installed into walls to be plastered. A picture from is used where supporting construction is already built. It is worth noting that you will be able to see the frame once it has been installed. Finally, a beaded frame is used in a new-build where the board is skim finished or taped and jointed.

Fire Rating: 

There are various performance benefits you are able to get from your plastic access panels and one of these is in regards to fire. Whilst a lot of access panels are not fire rated you can get those that are one hour or two hour fire rated.

Lock:

On a final note, you should also take the locking system into mind. If you need to benefit from high levels of security this is particularly important, with a lot of people going for a three-point locking system in this instance. Alternatively, you can select an access panel that is tamper proof or has a touch catch system. Budget access panels typically have a very low level of security. You can, of course, have a bespoke system created if you so wish.

There is a lot to consider when buying plastic access panels for your home. Keep the factors above in mind to find the ideal solution for your needs.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

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Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. Pre-pandemic, I was lucky if I could get a four or five day streak of practice going with a busy work and social schedule. Now, I am proud to say that I am on an over ONE HUNDRED day streak of practicing all five languages and I am honestly blown away by it. I also don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

For the past one hundred plus days, I have been dedicated to doing one to two lessons per language daily with Duo and it’s exciting for me because I can definitely tell that I have made great improvements. I consider myself to be quite fluent in French (I took it throughout high school and college) and I think I have made huge gains, as I can understand a majority of the French shows and movies I watch without subtitles now. I have found that my Spanish and Italian is much smoother and my vocabulary in both German and Czech has made good progress too.

I know people have talked about their hobbies to NO END during the COVID-19 pandemic but it is just so cool to me to notice substantial gains from just one hundred days of practicing for a half hour. Everything from work to social lives seems to be on a stand still right now with not much to look forward to. However, I look forward to working on my languages every day now so my skill set can continue to blossom.

Learning a different language opens up a whole new world. New friendships, new skills, new entertainment, new dream locations to travel to. Duolingo is a free app and if you find yourself overwhelmed by all of the free time we now have, then I highly recommend giving it a download. You can even treat yourself to Duolingo Plus, which will give you unlimited hearts! Learning something new is exhilarating and incorporating Duolingo into your life could be just what you need to shake some blahs away until things get back to normal. ❤

Do you know a different language? How do you practice? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Virtual Game Night: Planning The Ultimate Night In

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Virtual Game Night: Planning The Ultimate Night In

Right now, with the state of the world and the pandemic that continues to rage around us, it’s not possible to see our friends and family as much as we might like. Life is complicated, things are complex, and it’s difficult to spend as much time with those we care about the most, which can leave you craving social interaction in a normal way. Enter Zoom, FaceTime, and every other video chat app that’s taken the world by storm.

These video chatting apps have made virtual get togethers with friends and loved ones doable, and have meant that while we cannot be physically close, we can still spend time with those who mean the most to us, which is amazing. If you’re getting bored of virtual quizzes, then perhaps you might like to plan a virtual game night for you and a group of your friends. The great thing about virtual game nights is that they’re fairly easy to organize and can be a lot of fun for everyone involved.

Wondering what it takes to plan the perfect virtual game night? Below are a few tips and ideas for how you can get started:

Do your research:

A great way to make planning a virtual games night a little easier is to take the time to do your research to make your night a success. You don’t want your event to be stale or boring so that everyone has a great time from start to finish. Resources like Pinterest have lots of ideas available, so it might be worth taking the time to have a browse of those for inspiration as well as finding out everyone’s favorite games to possibly incorporate.

Send out kits to everyone:

Don’t just rely on technology to make your game night amazing, get creative with the games that you play. Yes, utilizing resources like Jackbox TV which can be played via smartphones is a great idea, as there are various digital games to choose from, but it’s always fun to try something different. If you plan on organizing a more traditional game, make sure to send out kits along with dice from skullsplitterdice.com for everyone to use during the evening. Make the kits fun and exciting; you could even opt to theme them if you’re having a themed games night, such as a murder mystery event. The more creative you can be, the better.

Incorporate drinks and snacks:

Don’t forget to incorporate drinks and snacks into your games night, just like you would have on a face-to-face hang out. Send off snack packs to all of your guests and if you really want to go all out, incorporate the ingredients to a signature cocktail for everyone to enjoy.

Seeing your friends and family over the computer screen is not the same as real life but it’s sure better than not seeing them at all! A weekly or monthly virtual game night will be the perfect way to keep in touch until it’s safer to meet in person.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Improving Your Staff’s Work From Home Experience

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Improving Your Staff’s Work From Home Experience

Working from home has become the new norm amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While some have taken to it like a fish to water, others are still struggling with not being at the office every day. If you are managing a staff that is working from home, it’s important to do what you can to keep their overall work experience a positive one. You could start with the following:

IT support:

Working from home can turn into a nightmare if one of the programs that you use crashes. Having the best IT support for your staff is a must so that your employee’s can get their tech problems solved quickly and stress free. It also might be a good idea to offer tutorial videos for new programs and updates for those who are not super tech savvy.

Checking in:

Remember the good old days when you could simply pop into an employee’s office to give them updates or shoot the breeze? It’s definitely not the same over email and instant messaging but it’s important to continue a rapport with each of your employees. They are looking to you for guidance during these unsettling times and it will be nice for them to know that they can still come to you for help or just a quick chat!

Offering for staff to continue to work from home:

So many of my friends would love to continue working from home post pandemic and I am sure that countless others feel the same way. A lot of employees have found that they are much more productive and comfortable when they are doing their job in their own space. If some of your staff is interested in continuing to work from home, giving them that option might be a good thing to consider.

A weekly just for fun meeting:

It is probably really difficult for some of your employees to not be around their coworkers when they are on break or have a spare minute. It’s a wonder what a little social time can do to improve your mood during a work day! Break up the day to day routine by offering a a fifteen or so minute Zoom meeting just for fun. Your employees will enjoy hearing updates from all of their work friends and will be in a much better mood for the rest of the day.

Hate it or love it, working from home is here to stay for a while longer. Use the tips above to continue to help your employees succeed and feel their best during these crazy times.

FaceTime Fun

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FaceTime Fun

Hi! This seems like a resounding theme on all of my posts but in my neck of the woods, we are currently in threat level PURPLE for COVID-19. Not to be confused with Threat Level: Midnight from The Office. Those of us that get the severity of COVID and are taking it extremely seriously are hunkered down hardcore right now. Johnny and I have not seen any of our friends in at least a month at this point and it’s lonely and it sucks. I think I would honestly go crazy if I didn’t have my Johnny with me and, thankfully, I’ve had technology on my side too.

I have become a FaceTime/Skype/Zoom/phone call addict so that I can still keep in touch with my nearest and dearest. I love having scheduled chit chat “dates” and it gives me something to look forward to. Being able to “see” my friends even through the computer or phone screen helps put a renewed pep in my step and it’s the next best thing I have right now to actually hanging out. I have wholeheartedly embraced this form of contact and I highly recommend that my readers/social media friends follow suit… Especially if COVID is as bad in your area as it is in mine.

A very special bestie in my life has added an extra ray of sunshine to my blah quarantine existence by our weekly or biweekly FaceTime chats. For those of you who don’t know, Johnny and I chose to sit out on Thanksgiving with our family this year. So, believe me when I say, I was completely touched when my darling Kate of Live In The Nautical suggested that we FaceTime on Thanksgiving day.

Kate has been one of my best friends since lifewithlilred began. It’s crazy, because we’ve only met each other in real life once but I feel like I can tell her absolutely anything through our constant back and forth via our blogs, social media, texting, and FaceTime. I am so thankful to her because she knew how shitty I was feeling on Thanksgiving and she took time out of her celebrations to talk to me. It meant so much and I really do treasure the times that we have to see each other and catch up.

I wish that I could see my friends right now and I know that a lot of you do too. Is a video chat the most ideal way to see them? In normal times, no. But things are far from normal right now so I’d say video chatting is friggen perfect. It’s hard to feel so isolated but Johnny and I have been doing our damnedest to stay safe since March. FaceTiming has helped with the loneliness and if you are feeling down, then schedule a chat with one of your besties. It can only help and I think you will feel much better after. I know I did. 🙂 ❤

How do you keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic? What do you miss the most about “normal” life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Steps To More Success: Helping Your Children Learn From Home

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4 Steps To More Success: Helping Your Children Learn From Home

As a parent, tutoring is automatically an additional responsibility once your kids are school age. Whether you are helping with homework or teaching them how to do basic research, you are engaging in some form of tutoring. With the COVID-19 pandemic still a real threat, many parents have taken on tutoring their kids full-time to keep up with the schoolwork they may be missing. Other parents have decided to co-tutor with teachers online using the various available technologies. This is the best time for you to step up your game as a tutor so keep on reading for our tips to help you improve:

Incorporate technology:

Technology is driving education, and you must find ways to incorporate it into your teaching. Students of all ages now have access to at least a mobile phone or a laptop – even if it belongs to their parents. There are tons of apps out there that can help you to deliver any conceivable topic from history, science, math, and English tutoring, the choice is yours. You can use these apps for your professional development or you may be able to introduce these apps to your kids as a fun way to learn and explore the subject area.

Be adaptable:

No two students are the same, so you must be adaptable and quick to realize your child’s learning style. Find a method that he or she identifies with and use that to teach them to increase their participation. Some students prefer to know the subject matter and prepare before the actual class. Others learn best when the teaching is interlaced with some activities that improve their retention. Another thing to improve upon is speaking in terms that will be understood and always encouraging questions when things aren’t clear.

Be patient:

Patience is key to understanding your child and finding ways to make learning easier and more fun for them. While some students are quick to understand certain concepts, others are not. Do not get flustered or impatient. Instead, take your time to explain and break down the idea so that they can grasp it. Other students have problems with retention, and this is quite common. If you do have a student that struggles with information retention, employ the use of memory retention techniques such as mind maps and acronyms, which can be helpful in such a situation.

Seek your child’s feedback:

If your child is struggling, ask for their feedback on what you can do to make things easier. It could be that he or she is not learning in a style that best suits them. Ask them how they feel about your teaching style or approach to a topic when you are helping with homework. You can also ask them how you can make the lessons more exciting or beneficial to them. This will help you improve your teaching methods while giving your kids the opportunity to voice their feelings and have a hands on experience with their education.

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Pixabay Image

2020 has brought parents directly into the classroom with at home learning. Help them be successful with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

5 Top Learning Apps For Kindergarten & Pre-School

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5 Top Learning Apps For Kindergarten & Pre-School

As a parent, you’ll want to help your kids with their education as much as you can. When you’re teaching them at home, it can be hard to know which resources are the best. There are many educational apps which can be used as learning aids at home. To get you started with a few of the best, try these five:

1. Teach Your Monster To Read

This fun-filled app is the perfect tool to teach your kids to read. It’s both simple to use and engaging. Teach Your Monster To Read was created based on the early phonics curriculum, so you can be sure that they are learning everything they need. It’s an award-winning game which takes your children on an exciting journey (with plenty of monster friends)! Kids get to match letters and sounds, blend, segment, master tricky words, and work towards making full sentences. The app is the perfect after school activity for a little extra learning!

2. Moose Math:

With the Moose Math app, your kids can learn all about geometry, sorting, subtraction, addition, and counting to 100. The activities make sure that learning about math is super fun! Your kids get to run their own juice shop, search the lost and found box, and meet plenty of cute and kooky characters. Your kids will just love the ‘pet bingo’ game and ‘paint pet’. Here they’ll learn plenty of skills, including:

  • Using algebraic thinking to solve word puzzles
  • Practice their pattern recognition skills
  • Recognize and identify shapes
  • Compare different lengths

3. Busy Shapes & Colors:

With the Busy Shapes & Colors app, learning colors and shapes has never been more fun. Here you’ll find plenty of cute penguin characters to entertain your children through the process! It’s a simple app to help little ones improve their fine motor skills. Each level brings a new challenge so your kids will never get bored! Further features of the app include four different play modes; the choice of fifteen languages; color and shape ‘makers’; multi-touch play and more!

4. Hungry Caterpillar Pre-School:

Based on the famous book by Eric Carle, this app is the perfect tool for preschoolers. The activities guide kids through math concepts, language, and literature too. Here your kids will learn about phonics and build their confidence over time. There are science topics, puzzles and reasoning, and plenty of fun songs!

5. ABCmouse:

ABCmouse is a fantastic learning program which covers music, art, reading and more. The app was designed for 2-8-year-olds, and is based on the pre-school and school curriculum. With so many fun activities your kids will have tons of options! Using the app, you’ll boost your child’s development across all their subjects, giving them a great head start.

All of these apps follow a pre-school and kindergarten curriculum. Choosing the right kindergarten is an important part of your child’s learning journey. If you’re looking for a top-quality kindergarten, be sure to check out jennys kindergarten and early learning. Ready, get set, and learn!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Fun & (Video) Games

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Fun & (Video) Games

Hi! Johnny and I celebrated our one year anniversary on September first – hurray! Pre-Johnny, I never played video games too often. Of course, I played my fair share of Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. back in the day. I was also addicted to Diablo II on the ol’ desktop computer. Besides from those, that’s about as far as my video game expertise goes. Until Johnny and I started dating that is! Before, all I had was a lowly GameCube and Wii – now we collectively have a Switch and a PlayStation 3.

In recent quarantine times, I developed a huge taste for Animal Crossing and try to check in on my island at least every other day. I also love playing throwback Mario games on the Switch’s Super Nintendo Arcade. Other than that, though? Nothing really. Until Johnny and I exchanged gifts for our one year that is!

For part of my gift (Tune in later for more on our celebration!), Johnny ceremonially turned the Switch on and displayed on the screen was both Paper Mario: The Origami King and Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls. I absolutely LOVE the Paper Mario games and have been telling Johnny I want to try The Origami King for the past few months now. I also haven’t played Diablo III in over half a decade so that was just the cherry on top of a perfect gift.

Johnny and I recently watched an excellent documentary on Netflix called High Score. The series was about seven or eight episodes long and it discussed the evolution of video games from the old school arcades to present day. I think the video game bug definitely bit the both of us while we bingewatched High Score and I can see it reflected in my anniversary gift – I’m so not mad about it though!

In fact, I think I shall dub our one year as the Fun & Games anniversary because I, too, got something entertainment based for Johnny. That’s right, I got him the Millennium Falcon LEGO set from Star Wars. No, not the crazy expensive sets – however, we decided our five year will be the Upgrade the Millennium Falcon anniversary! Johnny put his space craft together in one evening and I am already looking forward to more time with Paper Mario and Diablo, lol. I’m looking forward to more time with my MAN the most and here’s to our one year together. ❤

Which anniversary did you and your partner celebrate this year? How did you celebrate? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah