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GoCustomized Review

GoCustomized Review
I'm one of those annoying people who always has their phone with them and has to check it every five minutes. Why? Who knows. Maybe I'm worried someone might need to urgently contact me, or I might miss a really hilarious tweet someone's done if I don't refresh my feed 400 times. I used to always have really bad luck with phones, and by bad luck, I mean I'm horribly clumsy. My first ever iPhone had an unfortunate accident when it was dropped on the floor resulting in a bad cracked screen. So since then I've always made sure my phone has a phone case in the hope of protecting it a little more. 

Recently I was contacted by GoCustomized to see if I would like to review one of their phone cases. They are a Dutch company who offer personalised phone cases for a variety of different phones and tablets. Using a design module you can create a design using one of your favourite images, patterns, or pre-made designs and text which will then be printed straight onto your chosen phone or tablet case. 

After playing around with the designs for a while, I decided to use my favourite photo of my kitty Jeff. While I love personalised stuff, when it comes to personalising my own I really struggle to coming up with ideas so I usually panic and use a photo of my cat, I mean look at him, he's rather adorable. 

It was really easy to make your own phone case, you just upload the phone you wanted to use, and then you could play around with the design and voila! You could also zoom in and crop the image you wanted to use, and pick the outside colour of the case, and for mine and decided to chose black as I thought it went quite well with the image I wanted to use. Once I'd created my design, it was easy to order it and the case arrived within a matter of days which is a great turnaround time! Sure the case itself looks pretty, but does it do the job I need it to do? Well I've not broken my phone yet, which is probably a new personal best for me. I find this case fits my phone perfectly, and it's easy to remove if needed.  

Overall I'm really impressed with the quality of this phone case, as well as the service from GoCustomized, and I'd definitely use them again in the future. I think it would also make a great gift for friends and family, so I might be making a couple of these at Christmas time!

*PR sample
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Raising Money For Stroke Association

Raising Money For Stroke Association
Stroke is something that has completely changed my life twice, in 2002 when my Nan had one aged 70, and in 2014 when my Mum had one aged 48. Both strokes couldn't have been more different, but both have had a huge impact on my families lives. Very fortunately (or unfortunately really) I've been around and witnessed both strokes happen, so I've been there to be able to act quickly to make sure minimal damage is done.

My Nan's stroke is probably the more traditional image you have of a stroke, someone older, and a right side stroke which has affected her mobility and speech. Since Nan's stroke she's been unable to use her left arm, and now has a wheelchair and to be honest, it can be really hard to understand what she's trying to say at times. It was a difficult adjustment for my grandparents, who had to suddenly had to put a ramp on their house for Nan's wheelchair, as well as putting bars up for her to hold onto in the bathroom etc. Now when we visit them we have to make sure we can take them somewhere that's okay for Nan's wheelchair, especially around restaurants etc. 

Nearly two years ago now in 2014, mum had her stroke, but it was completely different. Hers started one Sunday afternoon as a 'thunderclap headache' that came on suddenly and left Mum with a migraine for a week before it became a bleed on the brain which caused her stroke. Mum's was a left side stroke, which means it hasn't affected her mobility, but it has left her with a lot of problems with her eyesight, confusion and memory problems. Similar to my Nan's stroke we've had to make adjustments to our family life since the stroke, although not making the house wheelchair friendly, we've had to help Mum when she gets confused or upset. It was a big adjustment to make, and even nearly 2 years later we still sometimes have challenges with Mums stroke recovery. 

Recently a lovely lady called Anna got in touch with me as she was raising money for the Stroke Association with a burlesque show and would I be interested in helping her out to spread the word? Well of course I said I would, raising awareness and help for stroke already means the world to me, but then I read Anna's story about her own stroke too. On Christmas day in 2004 after recently giving birth to her son, Anna had a stroke that's left her partially disabled and partially blind, and of course it's changed her life as well.

Despite all this, and what amazed me about Anna's story, she found herself through burlesque dancing, and became mobile and reclaimed her body. Not only that, but Anna now puts together burlesque shows to raise money for the Stroke Association and has one coming up on the 24th September in Bishops Stortford. 

The night Anna emailed me about this, we spent hours emailing each other and talking about strokes and how they've affected us differently. Something Anna said to me really stuck; "Strokes are my passion they keep me alive. Everything happens for a reason and mine was to raise awareness." I'm completely in awe of Anna and how she's reclaimed her life since her stroke, and of course I want to do my best to help her raise money for such a fantastic cause.

If you'd be interested in coming to Anna's show you can buy tickets here, and you can find out more information about her other shows here. Likewise I'd really appreciate if you could share this with anyone you'd think would be interested in coming along! 

* I haven't received any payment for this post, this is just a cause that means a lot to me

Looking After Your Kitties*

Looking After Your Kitties*
Hi I'm Lisa, and I like cats. But we know that by now don't we?

If you're a long-term reader of my blog you might have seen two kitties pop up now and then, Jeff and Victor. Both of my boys are rescue cats, and both have had not the nicest of starts to life. These little guys are more than just kitties to me, their my two furry children, and I don't know how I could cope if anything ever happened to them. And to make sure (touch wood) bad happens to them, there's a few steps I take to look after them.

First things first, I keep them as indoor kitties. I know keeping cats indoors isn't for everyone, but for my two it's essential. Jeff is completely deaf, and for him to go outside wondering could be pretty dangerous, especially as we live near a few busy roads. While Victor can hear, we keep him as an indoor kitty too, just because he doesn't want to go outside. Victor is an incredibly nervous kitty due to his sad start in life, and he can get very stressed which makes him unwell, so giving him a safe inside space is important to him. It's not that they're unhappy stuck inside, we're lucky to have a little balcony on our flat so they've got a small outside space they can sit on.

It's not just keeping them inside, and looking after them when their ill, looking after them also means making sure their neutered. As my kitties came from shelters, the shelter they were from neutered them both before we adopted them, but even if that wasn't the case I would have had them both say goodbye to their manly parts anyway. Neutering (and spaying) cats is really important as not only can it help them to behave, but it can stop them from giving birth to too many little ones. While kittens are adorable, there's a lot of problems with unwanted kittens, which sadly both Jeff and Victor were. 

I volunteer at the cat shelter I adopted the boys from, and the amount of kittens we rescue and take into care that have just been abandoned is shocking. Even worse when owners bring in their cats with kittens because they no longer want them, all because they didn't get their cats neutered. It's honestly heartbreaking, and something that could easily be avoided.

Whiskas have put together a series of funny cat videos, called Kitten Kollege, showing adorable kittens learning about things in life. In this particular video their learning about the importance of neutering kittens, and as that's something I really believe in, I thought I'd share this video.

Although I'm glad I have Jeff and Victor, I'm sad that they had to come from unwanted cat pregnancies. If you have any cats please ensure that they're neutered! 

*Collaboration post