As part of my promotion of diverse charities throughout June 2012, here is a guest post from Scrapstores UK.

Let’s start an epidemic and make creativity is contagious

There is an exciting epidemic sweeping across Britain and its called Scrapstore syndrome. Closely related to make-do-and-mend-alitis the symptoms are known to be highly contagious on account of the enormous amount of fun people have when they are exposed to scrap.
The source of the syndrome can be traced back to 90 specific scrapstore locations across the UK.  First documented in the United States and Australia in the 1970’s; a rogue strain was brought to the UK by backpackers who had been exposed to the phenomenon on their travels.


The first known UK outbreak occurred in Hackney; London where it is still flourishing. The idea quickly spread and continues to grow thanks to a dedicated band of volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure this highly infectious idea reaches up to 74,000 community groups so that millions of people are able to enjoy scraptasticly fun activities.
The outbreak is being transmitted by word of mouth, press and social media. People involved in arts, crafts and play are particularly susceptible to being entranced by the shiny textures and bright colours.

Be warned; the known effects are:

  • Excessive smiling, laughing and wellbeing
  • Talking and sharing of ideas and projects
  • Making friends and enjoying yourself
  • A compulsion to experiment and be creative
  • Sensory overload from the variety of scrap
  • Withdrawal when unable to visit the scrapstore

 

There is no known cure however those affected are encouraged to talk about their experiences and upload photos of their creations when under the influence of Scrapstore syndrome to the scrapstoresUK website and Facebook page.

An alternative treatment is to simply give in completely and become a Volunteer in a scrapstore.

How do scrapstores work?

A scrapstore receives clean, dry and non-toxic materials from local industry and/or businesses that would otherwise be disposed of either in land fill or incineration. Most scrapstores have a membership scheme where you pay an annual subscription and a nominal charge for materials, some are funded to be able to offer  resources free to ‘paid up’ members.  
Who uses scrapstores?

Children’s centres, Early years settings, Registered Childminders, Out-of-school clubs, Activity Clubs, Scouts, Brownies, Cadets, Respite Carers, Arts and Crafts Clubs, Mainstream and Specialist Educators, Home Educators, Art and Design Student Groups, Family Support Groups, Day and Residential Care Centres, Adult Further Education Settings, Families, Artists, Schools and Pre-Schools.

Every scrapstore, no matter the size, is independent, run by a small but committed group of staff, many or all of which are often volunteers. ScrapstoresUK is the national charity created by the scrapstore community to support and represent them, to be a common voice with the media and national businesses and to be a facilitator to share the knowledge spread out across the scrapstore community.  ScrapstoresUK has a board of Trustees, the majority of whom run scrapstores.

If you have not yet been affected by Scrapstore Syndrome please visit www.scrapstoresuk.org website to find your nearest scrapstore or to donate to our charity so we can help more scrapstores.

 Main scrapstoresUK helpline:           0844 997 8000     

Website: www.scrapstoresuk.org    

Email: info@scrapstoresuk.org   

Twitter: @scrapstoresUK  
Head Office Address: Unit 14, Gilsea Park, Mona Close, Swansea Enterprise Park, Swansea. SA6 8RJ
scrapstoresUK registered charity number: 1126044 company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, number: 07864468.

Life is getting back to normal after the Jubilee and so if it is Thursday, it is time to list my reasons to be Jubilee.

1. I am cheerful about living in a community that puts on so many events and where the business supports them so that they are rather fabulous.  Arts and crafts event for children, art exhibition, quiz, carnival and so much more.

2. I am happy that whether everyone appreciated it or not I did put on a good show for the Jubilee decorating the house and making lovely tea parties for days on end complete with special plates, tablecloths etc (of the luxury paper variety).

3. I am smiling about enjoying the good telly bits of the Jubilee.  For me, this was most of it.  I am not a Royalist but I enjoy the history, the fashion and the soap opera involved in us having a Royal Family.

4. I am relieved that I have finally sat down and worked out the logistics about going to BritMums Live.  That email about it being only 2 weeks away was a bit of a wake-up call.  Childcare is sorted so the next step is to arrange an outfit or two and a haircut.

5. I am indulging in the joys of Half Term making things with the children and sleeping it a little bit.

6. My Dad arrived home yesterday and announced he is taking me and the children out to a pub lunch today. 

7.  More people are signing up to ensure money goes to their charity of choice every time they shop online at no extra cost to themselves.  I am encouraging folks to support Tommy’s the baby charity but you can sign up and choose a charity of your choice to benefit here http://www.give.as/savingbabieslives   The more people sign up, the more money goes to good causes and that makes me very cheerful.

8. My very independent cat lay on my knee for hours last night.  Such a good feeling.

 

Dogs are great companions for people of all ages and sizes. They’re goofy, lovable and give you sweet licks when you’re feeling down. Even more, there are breeds that are absolutely great with kids!

Still, when it comes to our youngs, they need a few guiding lessons to interact the proper way with dogs. And, as a parent, it’s your duty to teach your child to love animals and be comfortable around them. You want to teach your child how to be safe around dogs including those they know and don’t know. That way, they can grow up to really appreciate dogs to the fullest.

Given the fact that even parents need guiding from time to time, we put together a small guide to walk you through the process.

 

Make sure you supervise each interaction

If this is your family dog, then you won’t necessarily have to be there for every moment your child is around them. In fact, you’ll want to focus on teaching you child from a young age on how to interact with the family dog. However, if your child is around your friend’s dog or an unknown dog, then you’ll want to supervise the interaction.

 

Always ask for permission

Kids easily get excited when they see a dog, so they’ll run up to it and try to pet it. This is a big no-no. They may intimidate the dog or make it feel that it needs to protect itself. So, if your child wants to approach the dog, always ask the owner for permission. If the owner isn’t around, do not allow your child to pet it as the dog may feel the need to protect its territory.

 

Approach slowly

Your child needs to approach the dog in a calm and slow manner. With a closed hand, they can extend it out to allow the dog to sniff them. If everything goes well, which it usually does, the dog can be patted under their chest or under the chin. You don’t want to let your child pat them on the head as the having a hand reaching over their head may make the dog nervous.

 

Play the tree game

You want to have your child comfortable around dogs. If they’re jumping around or if they’re yelling, this is going to make the dog scared which could lead to your child getting nipped – especially if the dog is not your family pet. So, teach your child how to act around dogs by playing the tree game. When an unknown dog comes up to your child, they should be standing still like a tree. Their arms should be by their side with their eyes down, without making any noise. You can pretend to be the dog while you crawl around them, sniffing them.

 

Let your child give them treats

What dog doesn’t love treats? Exactly! Let your dog build a positive association with your child by letting them feed the dog treats. If the dog is unknown or a new family pet, you want to show that your child isn’t a threat but rather a part of your pack.

 

No hugging

Children love to give hugs which in any other situation, is great. However, the same doesn’t apply to dogs, especially unknown dogs. Though many people think dogs like to be hugged, they don’t. Hugging a dog can make them feel uncomfortable placing them in possibly a threatening state. This could lead to the dog becoming scared enough to nip or bite which is an issue since the head is very close to the dog’s mouth.

 

Show them what makes a dog angry

Dogs aren’t that different from humans. Do we like it when someone puts their hand on our dinner plate while we’re eating? No. Of course, dogs don’t like having their ears and tail pulled, being yelled at, disturbed while sleeping, and having their toys stolen from them. You’ll want to make the connection that your child and dog are similar in that sense so that they understand what they shouldn’t do.

 

Show them positive and negative body language

You want your child to know the difference between a happy dog and an annoyed dog. This will be useful for both unknown dogs and your family pet.

 

Positive body language

  • Natural or wagging tail
  • Relaxed facial expression
  • Isn’t holding eye contact with you
  • “Smiling” mouth
  • Relaxed, floppy earsNegative body language
  • Intense, direct eye contact
  • Lips pulled back, exposing teeth
  • Growling, aggressive barking
  • Ears are pulled back
  • Tail tucked in between their hind legs
  • Hunched and/or tensed body
  • Pacing
  • Raised hair down their backs or shoulders

Include your child in activities with your dog

If you want to ensure that there’s a bond developed between your child and the family dog, then you’re going to have to make sure you include your child in day-to-day activities. Go on family walks, let your child give them water (you should be the one to feed your dog), and allow your child to be a part of grooming. Now, if your dog isn’t a happy pooch when bath time rolls around then it’s best your child isn’t there. However, if your dog likes to get shampooed and massaged then let your child join in but make sure you’re using the best dog shampoo that’s safe for dogs.

 

Is your child not following the rules?

If your child isn’t following anything you’re saying and disobeying these very important rules, then you need to remove your child from the dog. Give them a clear reason why they’re being removed from the dog so that they understand that these rules are in place for a reason. If they follow the rules, give them positive reinforcement to show that they’re doing a great job! Your child has to learn that dogs and all other animals are living creatures that are emotional just like you and me.

 

Now that you know what you need to do to have your child comfortable around dogs, the sooner you introduce this, the better! Depending on your child, they make need some time to warm up to dogs and get used to being around them. Also, your dog may need some time to get acquainted with their new tiny friend! Make sure your child knows the rules and that you supervise a positive friendship developing between your child and their dog.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed. She also helps curate contents for DogsAholic.com

I was sent some Nail Glitter by GOSH.

How do you feel about nail decoration?

My feeling is that if you are going to do it, you might as well as the wow factor.

Gosh Nail Glitter delivers that in heaps with sparkly and vibrant colours – Turquoise, Topaz Lavender, Rose Quartz and Silver.

It is easy to apply.  You put on some clear lacquer and as it dries, you dip your nail in the glitter of your choice.  Brush off any excess glitter and glamour puss status is yours.

GOSH Nail Glitters £3.99, exclusively from Superdrug

Choose from 10 beautiful glitter shades of lilac, purple, aqua, blue, light lilac, silver, gold, dark silver, pink, rose

GOSH Nail Glitters £3.99 are available exclusively from Superdrug stores nationwide or from http://www.superdrug.com.

 

 

De-stress instantly in 3 minutes!

 

Do it at the your own comfort zone!
Stress is an everyday story. Trying to juggle between work, home and kids can all leave you feeling anxious and stressed out. In such case, it becomes important to de-stress and feel free and relaxed to continue with a happy life.

 

Which is why, we’ve got an instant 3-minute solution that will help you de-stress in a fun way.

 

Its online bingo!!

 

Online bingo is a game that you will love to play. We say an instant 3-minute solution because that’s what it is! Bingo is a game that will help you de-stress and it’s a proven fact. According to researches, playing bingo releases happy hormones that in turn helps relieve stress.

 

Online bingo UK is a game of luck, where prime importance is given to the social aspect and winning or losing becomes the secondary part of the game. Sites like GameVillage have an amazing social community that let’s people share everyday things and life stories with one other across the world.

 

Coming to the games, an online bingo game session is just about 3 minutes and that is where instant gratification comes from! You can find as many as 5 bingo variants on sites like Bingo Magix that you can choose from and play. All you need to do is buy the tickets and let the auto-daub feature do its job for the next 3 minutes. In the meantime, you can relax with a cup of tea or just try out slot games alongside the bingo session you’re on!

 

Its a fun and entertaining way to de-stress yourself. So, you now know where to head to to relax yourself.