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Ask any little girl what they want for their birthday or Christmas present and there’s a good chance they’ll say a pony. Beautiful, exciting and fun, ponies and horses hold a special fascination for girls (and boys) of all ages.

Though a good old hobby horse will suffice for the first few years of their love for all things equine, there comes a time when the only thing that will do is a ride on the real thing.

So if your child is fast outgrowing their hobbyhorse and you’re thinking of moving them up to a real-life pony, here are some things to think about when deciding to adopt a horse.

Owning a horse

The ultimate dream of most little girls is to have a pony of their very own. And if you’re thinking about buying a horse of your own, there are some factors you need to consider to ensure you care for it properly.

For example, you’ll need to commit yourself to mucking out its stable on a regular basis, keeping its hooves clean and clear of debris and grooming it ideally on a daily basis.

Having enough space for your horse to exercise and taking it for regular rides are also very important in ensuring your equine addition stays happy and healthy.

Riding lessons

The best place to start your equine education is with riding lessons. By taking your little girl for regular lessons she’ll get a feel for what horses are like in real life, learn how to ride properly and learn the basics of equine care.

There are riding schools across the country, even in towns and cities, so contact your local centre and book in some sessions.

Horse sharing

If your daughter enjoys the lessons and wants to become more involved with horses, sharing a horse or pony is a good way to progress.

More affordable than outright ownership, horse sharing allows you many of the advantages of owning a horse without all of the associated costs.

However, you will have more restricted access to the horse and may be limited as to when you can go for rides.
For further advice and welfare in helping you to make the right decision to adopt a horse, visit the RSPCA horse information page.

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5 Signs You’re Turning into an Adult

What does it mean to be an adult? You may have more responsibilities, less time for staying in bed, and have the opportunity to watch films for viewing by adults only. In many parts of the world, getting a driver’s licence to drive a car is one of the signs of growing up. Learning to drive is a milestone indeed, but to feel like a “proper” grown up, you have to be able to do more than that. With age comes not only wisdom, but practicality and common sense as well, and you find yourself making decisions, especially financial ones, after only weighing in all the factors.

Here are five of the major signs that you’ve entered the zany yet fulfilling world of adult living.

You can drive and maintain your own car. Driving by yourself is a sign of confidence and independence, two things that will make you go a long way in adulthood. Apart from driving, being able to maintain your car also reflects how responsible you are. You take it to be serviced whenever possible, and you can also do basic troubleshooting should your car suddenly decide to die on you in the middle of nowhere.

You don’t rely on mum and dad to make your financial decisions for you. You’re probably earning your own money by now, or have some saved up. When it’s time to make a financial decision, you ask your parents for their advice but the final say rests entirely on you. Being responsible for yourself is something to be proud of—you may make a few mistakes here and there, but it’s all part of the learning process of being a true-blue grown up.

You are building your own nest and can change your own light bulbs. It’s not just renting a house or room we’re talking about here; building your own nest implies settling down, whether with a partner or on your own. Living by yourself by investing on your own flat or small property is a big step and one that will mark you as an adult. Signs of nesting include buying your own furniture, having “best” towels in addition to everyday ones, changing sheets as often as you can, and getting new light bulbs when the old ones conk out.

Independent living also entails paying for mortgage and utilities, maintaining a garden, and keeping a clean, welcoming house.

You can cook a meal from scratch and clean up after yourself. Similarly, you’re turning into an adult when you are able to cook a meal and clean up afterwards. No, none of those ready-to-eat shenanigans and fry-until-it’s-dry things you can buy at convenience stores. We’re talking about a real meal; something you cook from scratch with fresh meat or fish and vegetables. Keep practising and perhaps you can even make your own signature dish! Cleaning up afterwards can be a real chore, but it’s the right—and adult—thing to do.

You budget every month and have invested in life insurance. You’re not getting younger, you may be taking more risks, and you may also have your own family now. Saving up, making a monthly budget, and investing in a life insurance policy isn’t just for you; it’s for your family as well. Through proper budgeting you’ll be able to cut back on unnecessary expenses so you can have savings to tide you over should anything unfortunate happen. By having insurance, you can be sure that your loved ones will be well taken care of even when you’re not around anymore.

Being an adult doesn’t just mean surpassing a set age; it also means having the right perspective and sense of accountability in everything you do. Enjoy your journey!


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Home Theater on Steroids: Curved Screens Create an Exciting Viewing Experience

Different is other. “Better” or “worse” is to be determined by a given market. Samsung enjoys a history of doing different and new things, notable mentions being thin LED televisions and online app stores. Additionally, the electronics brand continues the trend, planning to release curved-screen televisions.

Will something ‘new’ necessarily be better? Samsung hopes so, but a firsthand experience has some wondering.

Movie Emulation
Many ‘home theater’ attempts seek to emulate movie theater experiences, replete with surround sound, crisp images and an all­encompassing ambiance. Bose and other manufacturers of speakers do well in providing sound, and no one can dismiss the improvement in image quality over the years, yet Samsung wants to bring consumers in more, offering a curved lens, theoretically enveloping a watcher’s field of view like a theater screen.

In theory, the ode to movie ambiances seems like a sound idea, yet some think it limits viewing experience.

As touched upon above, the curved lens limits great viewing angles for multiple viewing parties. Moreover, the curvature of the screen also creates awkward experiences depending on one’s viewing position in regard to height. Additionally, due to regulations, the screen is tilted backward to avoid tipping, which (also) creates awkward angles for viewers.

Advocates of flat screens celebrate the ability to see perfectly from a number of angles as well as the ability to fix screens flush against a surface for mounting.

Multiple Screens
It’s no secret to television manufacturers that viewers are subscribing to multiple screens for entertainment, handling iPhones, iPads and a number of other mobile devices. Theoretically, if one has a decently sized computer monitor, a traditional ‘television’ is obsolete, having the ability to get news, movies and other great content. Using software like Vuze which includes a search feature is a great place to start when sourcing things to watch on you new screen.

Are Samsung and other manufacturers conjuring ‘new’ ways to watch television, a fading product?
Some manufacturers, such as Apple, are already creating ways to assimilate brands into the digital age.

Revenue Flat Line
As mentioned above, flat­screen televisions are popular alternatives to curved televisions. More engaging for consumers are the exceedingly lowering prices. A quality, flat screen can come in at under $1,000 for well­informed consumers. Samsung and competitors, meeting demand yet needing to temper prices, lose money on the products, compared to years ago.

Curved televisions introduce a new revenue stream. And, since price projections exceed that of flat­screen models, presents a luxury­item­sized stream.

With the right targeting, Samsung could have a quality winner. Even if the television is ‘optimal’ for one or two parties viewing, that places many viewers within target. Consider how many bachelors, teens with televisions in their rooms, and dads and husbands with ‘man lairs’ in their homes who may be interested in a television that creates a greater ambiance. It could be enough for a big success.

Price is not a deterrent for those who seek luxury items, those who buy Lexus, Gucci, and Rolex.
For those brands, price does not matter as much as value of offered product. Therefore, Samsung may do well in distinguishing the curved televisions as ‘luxury televisions.’

Richard Miller is a technology enthusiast. He greatly enjoys discovering innovations for improved entertainment experiences through equipment, software capabilities, and usability.

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My Single Friend’s Romantic Rendezvous Blogger Competition.

Let’s just start this post with this sentence – £150 worth of ASOS vouchers up for grabs! Think of all the bikinis you could get with that, if you were going on a holiday this year…… {let’s not get me started on that}

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is write a post about your most romantic moment. It can be absolutely anything you want it to be (as long as it’s true and happened to you, Pretty Woman doesn’t count) Maybe from when you were young and had your first kiss, to the wedding proposal – anything you like! Use your own pictures, music, extracts from letters, the more romantic the better! Be creative, and have fun with it! (make sure you link to My Single Friend)

There are three prizes for the lucky winners,  the first prize is £150 worth of ASOS vouchers, second prize a £75 ASOS voucher, and the third prize a £50 ASOS voucher.

If you’re interested in taking part, just drop Debbie an email debbiefletcher90@gmail.com and she will give you all the details and the t&c’s.

Entries close on 28th July – so get writing!

If you win, let me know what you buy!


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Creating an outdoor play area for the kids.

Do you spend a lot of your time worrying about how to keep the kids happy when they aren’t at school? Are you, like many parents, quite old fashioned in your beliefs that children should spend as much time outside as they can rather than being cooped up indoors?

While kids do usually love playing out in the garden, they can get easily bored and try to return to their video games indoors. So, why not create a play area that will keep them engaged, occupied and entertained?

Here are some tips on creating the perfect outdoor play area; it’s actually a lot simpler than you think!

Creating a safe environment

Before you go out and buy anything for the play area, you first need to ensure its safe. Try and look at the area from a child’s point of view. With falls and accidents a probability, it’s important to make sure the area has a soft floor. If your garden is currently made up of paving slabs, there are a few materials you can buy that will help to make the area safer – rubber flooring, synthetic turf and soft bark are all fantastic options.

It’s also a good idea to provide shade in the hot summer months. Consider installing an exterior awning for added sun protection. Not only will it keep your kids safe, it will also look fantastic too.

Let your imagination take over

Designing your kids play area is the perfect opportunity to release your inner child. There are endless possibilities which you could try and you could even ask for your kids for their input in order to create something truly special that the whole family will love.

Obviously your budget will play a part in what you can do, but there’s something out there to suit all price ranges. If you are lucky enough to have large trees in your garden, an off the ground den could be a great idea, or how about a built-in trampoline? This may be a little costly but it will be a great crowd-pleaser at children’s parties and summer barbeques and will also ensure older children can enjoy the new outdoor play area as much as their younger siblings.

Outdoor chalk boards, sand pits and swings are some of the other pieces equipment you might want to consider and might be more affordable than you realised.

There really is something to suit all budgets and preferences –all you have to do is let your imagination run wild!

This is a guest post, please see my disclosure policy for all the boring stuff. 

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How can you make the most of your evening once the kids are in bed?

It is the belief of many parents that they must place their child’s needs first before anything else. This is a noble idea in theory but in order for parents to be best able to deal with their kids, they also must allow time to relax in order to take care of themselves not only physically but mentally as well. For this reason, it is important that parents find some time to enjoy activities they enjoy. For many parents an ideal time to do this is after the kids are in bed as there is often a nice slot of time until parent must go to bed themselves. There is a wide range of activities in which parents can engage.

Some parents find that this is a great time to get caught up keeping in touch with friends and family which can be done through a number of ways including social media. Some parents enjoy spending time catching up on other people’s activities as well as reporting their own. This can be done via Facebook or Twitter but some people also find they enjoy chatting real time using Skype, this gives parents a chance to visit with other adults without having to leave home.

Gaming is another activity that many parents find both relaxing and engaging. For instance, online casinos such as www.i-phonecasino.co.uk provide a wide range of casinos games for the novice player as well as the expert and couples may choose to play certain games together. For instance, craps and roulette are fun group games in the casino and can be just as fun at home. With bonuses offered, it is possible to get some free play in while at the online casino.

A third option for parents would be to catch up one reading, this could be: a book, newspaper or magazine and electronic readers are quite popular but the important thing to remember is that the reading should be for pleasure and not work-related. Reading is a past-time that is slowly disappearing from children’s lives which is quite a travesty; this particular choice could be the one you would like to pass onto your children when they wake.


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