Competitions

Rescue Your Videotapes – A Giveaway

Anyone who has precious memories saved on video tape will know that as the years go by, those tapes become even more delicate. It would be a tragedy if the tapes were to break, leaving you without your mementos of births, birthdays, graduations and all of those other wonderful occasions that we like to watch over and over.

Here at Mum’s the Word, we have 5 copies of ‘Rescue Your Videotapes v4.0’ to give away, each worth almost £50, which gives you everything you need to convert your VHS to watch on your PC, DVD or Blu-ray disc. Just fill in the entries below to give you up to 4 chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mental Health · Opinion · Personal

Mental Health Awareness Week

Today I learned through Jo Middleton’s blog Slummy Single Mummy that today is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. We’re all aware that ‘mental health’ or mental health issues exist, so what does this really mean? Raising awareness for something that we all already know about?

But, how much do you really know, and how much of it is an assumption?

If I said to you that someone was a paranoid schizophrenic, you may assume that said person was dangerous to be around. Did you know that, actually, people with paranoid schizophrenia are actually extremely unlikely to be violent to either themselves or others?

If I told you that I knew a person with severe post-natal depression or even post-natal post traumatic stress disorder, you’d probably assume, through no fault of your own, that I was talking about a woman. Did you know that it’s estimated that up to 25% of new dads experience some form of PND or PTSD?

Did you know that, despite certain terms being bandied about and used as common language, true cases of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder actually only account for between 2-7% of the population, whilst people with bipolar are around 0.9% and 2.1% of the adult population?

For me, Mental Health Week is not about making us aware that metal health problems exist, it’s about educating ourselves, smashing the stigma and the stereotypes and trying harder to be compassionate to others. It’s so easy to label people, put them into a box and write them off as ‘mental’ or ‘mad’, but have you ever stopped to think what it’s like to live with these afflictions? NO-ONE would choose to live with these illnesses, people who seriously self-harm don’t do it for attention. I guarantee you, the people who self-harm because they are mentally compelled to are the ones you’d never know about, not the silly school girls comparing chicken scratches on their arms.

Take the time to educate yourselves and perhaps suicide rates, which are higher in the UK than anywhere else in the EU, would drop.

Or don’t. It’s up to you. Just know that no-one is immune to mental illness and knowing how to help someone you love could make all the difference. If you’re struggling please connect with a therapist near you.

Cybher · Personal · Review

Cybher – The Mum’s the Word Run Down Pt. 2

So, this is the second part of my Cybher debrief and the last post ended just before lunch…

Sian To, interviewing Zoe Margolis.

Lunch was…well, how do I put this? I found the food to be pretty mediocre. Some bland sandwiches, crisps in jars and not much else. The sandwiches were okay but  they didn’t seem all that fresh and I was all that keen on eating crisps out of a jar that literally hundreds of other people had put their hand in. I know it’s not about the food, but I had hoped for better, given the price of the ticket. 

During lunch, I had a mill about, got myself measured by the ladies at Freya and spoke to some people, as well as getting a sneaky peek at the rooms of the hotel, thanks to the lovely Laura (The Mummy Life), who let me use her loo and charge my phone! We were late down to the next sessions, which wasn’t too much of a problem as I wasn’t that into any of the sessions on offer straight after lunch. We went back into the main room and did a bit more milling (as well as me, furiously picking the brain of Jax, who is my new guru, about homeschooling!

I noticed, at various points throughout the day that the atmosphere at Cybher seemed very subdued compared to the atmosphere at last years Cybermummy and I do have a theory about why this was. Last year, from the moment we arrived, we had dozens of brands, vying for our attention, giving away freebies. People (myself included, to an extent) seemed to go into a bit of a frenzy for seeing how much loot they could collect, most of us had to decant things into smaller bags or leave things with the coat check to enable us to carry on. I also know several people who went to barely any sessions because they were too busy being courted by PRs.

This is by no means a criticism of either CybHer or the attendees, I would hazard a guess that Sian’s exact intention was to strip away the commercial maelstrom of last year and focus on content, which I admire greatly, but it did seem to affect the atmosphere. The content of the sessions was a vast improvement over last year but people didn’t seem as excited as they did at Cybermummy. Everyone loves a freebie, I guess.

As I said, I managed to miss the session straight after lunch, but for session 4 I attended ‘Is There a Book in Your Blog?’, which I found really informative, I love hearing about Violet Fenn’s site and thinking about niche writing. The final session was ‘Revamp Your Blog for Under £50’ with Peggy Poyser, which I think was my favourite session of all (did anyone else find it really cute they way she said about three sentences then said “Oh, I’m French, by the way. That’s what the accent is”!). Peggy gave us some brilliant tips and I think I’ve thought about the content of her session the most since the day, spending ages looking at complimentary colour swatches and background patterns!

All in all, I’m glad I went to Cybher, it was a great day which had far more positives than negatives and the whole Cybher team did an amazing job. When I got home, I told Husband that I probably wouldn’t be going to any more blogging conferences, as I didn’t think I had anything more that I could get from them…until I got my hands on a ticket for BlogCamp London that is!

(Technorati claim code 6ETC6N6E7UUR)

All About ME!

The Best Advice I Can Give…

Don’t ever go glasses shopping by yourself. It is HARD and you will fill up your photo stream and bankrupt yourself by sending dozens of MMS’s to anyone who can help. You will spend over an hour in your local Specsavers, trying on the same dozen pairs of glasses, over and over and over again. You will get very frustrated and start asking bewildered strangers “Does my face look too big for these frames?!”.

(Just FYI, I didn’t actually end up buying any of these styles!)