Dating & Relationships | My Story

The dating scene has changed so much since I got together with Steve nine years ago. I see my friends navigating the dating scene, some bemoaning the men and women they are meeting and others having great success. One of my friends is now married to the man she met on a dating site and others haven’t had any success at all.

It has been many years since I’ve used a dating site such as Match Me Happy although I can distinctly remember signing up to a few in my friend’s bedroom with her and having a laugh and a joke as we exchanged messages with possible suitors. I remember me writing up her profile and her writing up mine as neither of us wanted to write our own – I find that it can be so easy to put yourself down when it comes to writing a bio and dating profiles are exactly like that. Our friends see the best in us when we struggle too so why not get your best friend to write your bio for you? Sometimes she will know you better than you know yourself – my friend certainly did – she knew I liked someone in the past before I’d even realised it myself and found out somehow that he liked me – so of course, she played matchmaker. It didn’t pan out (and made mine and his friendship weird for a while) but she knew me better than I knew myself!

My relationships have been quite boring, if I am quite honest. Not in the sense that the relationships themselves were boring – far from it – but I’ve only had two ‘proper’ relationships, I’d probably consider anything else as ‘seeing someone’ or a fling. The first relationship was for 6 months when I was 15/16 and then the NINE years I have been with Steve since I was 19. There were a few guys in between, some I met in real life, some I met originally on the internet on a free dating site – but nothing lasted.

My first proper relationship was with one of my friends. We were originally just friends but I ended up introducing my best friend to his best friend – they got on like a house on fire and were actually together for quite a while (she’s now married to the guy that she met on the dating site) and we inevitably ended up together. As with all teenage relationships, it crashed and burned quite quickly and our friendship was never quite the same afterwards which was a shame however there was still some sort of a semblance of a friendship. He even congratulated me when I announced I was pregnant with Jack – right in the middle of my workplace! Some of my work colleagues couldn’t understand why an ex would congratulate their ex – shows what some people think of relationships, right.

After him I was single for quite a while without even seeing anyone – I spent the summer having fun with friends, made some fab new friends and generally just had a good time. Then I got a job in the local pub. This lead to a few different ‘flings’ as I would call them before I eventually got together with Steve who worked in the pub next door. A couple of the short term things were friends – will I ever learn? – and some I lost as friends but some I still talk to quite regularly which I think is nice. Some people ask if Steve gets annoyed or jealous – but he was friends with a couple before we even got together so he can’t say too much! Would you fall out with your friends for it? Exactly! It’s silly!

Whilst I didn’t meet Steve on a dating site, I did meet a few people who I became friends with and also encouraged my friends to sign up – and some as I mentioned have had great success. Whilst it seems I was destined to get together with Steve (trust me – there is so much freaky stuff that connects us!), I do sometimes wonder where I’d be relationship wise if I wasn’t with him. Would any of those flings have panned out? Would I have headed back to the dating site to see what men were out there for me?

I now live vicariously through my friends – hearing the success stories and the sometimes failures is pretty amusing and interesting from the other side. I also follow some fab bloggers and love to read all about their dating exploits. My relationship journey has been pretty simple but some of my friends have been anything but – and the same could be said for some of the bloggers I read! I love seeing their paths to happiness though, it is so nice to see them on their journey!

What was your dating journey like?

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What You Need To Know About Life Insurance

Whole of Life vs Term-Based Life Insurance

Generally speaking, life insurance is term-based, meaning when a policy is taken out, you are covered for a specified length of time.

Premiums are paid each month during this set term and if you (the policyholder) die before the policy expires, a payout is issued to your beneficiaries.

Term-based life insurance comes in 2 common forms, level term and decreasing term.

Decreasing term life insurance – here the cover amount reduces over time, usually to mirror/cover a repayment mortgage balance.

Level term – here the cover amount remains fixed (or level) throughout the policy. Regardless of when you die, as long as it is during the term, the payout sum remains the same.

A less well-known option is whole of life insurance. This involves paying premiums for the rest of your life, however, when you die a payout is guaranteed for your loved ones.

As a result of a payout being guaranteed, whole of life premiums tend to be much more expensive for a similar level of cover.

Whole of life is a form of life assurance. In short, life assurance pays out when you die, whereas life insurance pays out if you die.

The obvious benefit of whole of life is that a payout is guaranteed. However, depending on your age when the policy starts and the age at which you die, it is possible to end up paying more in, than your beneficiaries will receive in the payout.

Despite the differences between whole of life and traditional life insurance, there are also some key similarities:

    • Medical information is required on application
    • Premiums must be kept up to ensure cover protection
    • The younger you are, the cheaper your premium
    • Smoking will impact the cost of your policy.

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How to get the cheapest monthly premiums

Upon expiration of term-based cover, you can either renew your policy or risk being uncovered. The renewal is likely to bring with it higher premiums, due to your increased age.

Whilst this may initially make a whole of life policy more appealing, it is important to realise premium payments here can also change over time.

Some whole of life policies come with reviewable premiums. This means that after a certain period, usually 10 years, the premium can be reviewed by the insurer and potentially increase.

This is the most common complaint made to the Financial Ombudsman with regards whole of life. Therefore, it is important to review premium terms and opt for an insurer who provides fixed premiums. These may be more expensive at first, but are normally more cost-effective in the long run.

Generally, if you are young and in good health a term-based life insurance will offer the most cost-effective cover. This protection could cover a mortgage, as well as meet future living costs, if the worst were to happen.

Usually, the policy term will run until the house is paid off and/or the children are financially independent.

As you age, you are more likely to benefit from whole of life insurance, especially if you are in good health, as the payout is guaranteed. You may want to cover funeral expenses (average funeral cost £4,078, and the total cost of dying is £8,905) or leave an inheritance.

If you are 50 or older, but in poor health, an over 50s plan is probably more suitable, as it will guarantee acceptance (aged 50 -85) and there are no medical questions.

So which policy to choose?

Choosing between term-based and whole of life cover will always be subjective, as no one can see how long they will live or what the future may hold. Therefore, it is important to consider all of the factors and make an informed decision.

Think about your age, your health, your available budget and what it is you want to protect.

Remember, the best way to ensure you get the right policy at the best price is to compare multiple quotes.

You could do this yourself online. Alternatively, you can use an FCA registered life insurance broker, like Reassured, who will find you the cheapest quotes and never charge a fee.

This is a collaborative guest post.

What to tell cold callers

In Britain, we’re subjected to 4,200 cold calls and text every minute. That’s 2.2 billion cold calls in the last year alone, says research reported by The Times. And the vast majority of these calls are simply a scam.

It’s no wonder then that 57% of people in the UK say that cold calls and nuisance messages are the worst part of owning a phone. So, to help you get rid of cold callers, we’re working with True Solicitors LLP so you can know what to tell cold callers to get them to leave you alone.

Common cold calls

Firstly, let’s explore the most common types of cold call.

With 6 million calls and messages from PPI (payment protection insurance), pension, and insurance cold calls every day, these make up the most common types of cold call according to studies.

Calls and texts from companies claiming to be experts in holiday sickness claims or injury claims totalled 895 million calls and texts. Don’t accept these calls; if you need one, seek a proper accident at work solicitor! Those over the age of 65 found themselves experiencing the majority of the calls — posing the question: are companies like this preying on older people who are likely to be more vulnerable? Here are a few tricks you can use to combat cold-calling…

Waste their time instead!

With strict time averages to hit, salespeople hate it when a customer wastes their time. They call to get you instantly on board with some product or service that they’re selling, but telling them you’re not interested at the start of the call won’t achieve anything. They will first mention the product that they are selling and you must act interested at the start, they’ll start their sales patter and after they’ve put the effort into doing that — just admit that you’re not really interested and admit that you were just wasting their time. Remember that they have targets — they’ll not want to ring your number again!

Calls may be recorded from both sides

Here’s a useful script to keep handy next time you get a cold call. Say something along the lines of: “Hello, just to let you know that I will be recording this phone call as you’re not complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations of 2003. This legislation has been put in place to help restrict marketing methods through cold-calling, unsolicited texts, emails, and faxes”. The good thing about this trick is that they’ve probably ended the call after the first sentence. Don’t be afraid to try this one!


The goal of every cold call is to get your money. Tell them that you’re an undischarged bankrupt and they will put the phone done quicker than you could imagine. By saying this, you’re telling them that you are unable to obtain credit beyond a certain limit without informing the creditor of your status. Of course, this does not exist in your case — but they don’t know that.

Inform them that you’re a criminal

This is a good one for different reasons. If the scammer is telling you you’ve won a free holiday, tell them you’ve got a travel injunction and your passport has been revoked. Or, tell them you’re awaiting your trial and plan to plead guilty.

Speak a different language entirely

Chances are, the cold caller is expecting to hear English. Don’t conform to what they want! If you can speak another language, try doing that, and as they won’t be able to understand what you’re saying, they will hang up. If you don’t know another language, make it up and this will leave them even more confused than what they originally were.

Enjoy a home free of cold calls! It’s also a good decision to block their phone number, however as they change frequently — this not be a viable option. Some phones have the ability to put callers through an answer machine first, where they have to notify the person they are ringing who they are and then press several buttons. Cold-callers will not want to go through this much effort.

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Why Wedding Themes Carry The Romantic Story

Many people have their own image of what a wedding should look like. However, when they’re coming up with ideas for their own wedding, that’s when the pressure is on. It’s much easier to think freely and blend around sporadically, all the things that you believe would go well together. Ultimately, when it’s your wedding you are planning, you become very specific. So what actually drives you to be this way? You can bet your bottom dollar that somewhere along the line in our life, we will be influenced by something heavily that will bend us in the direction of a certain style of wedding. Themes are the steely roots that shoot through the middle of the aisle, in among all the chaos and fervor, that keep your wedding planted firmly in your romantic ideal. It could be something about the Spanish aristocracy, their dress code, the colors, the historical power that influences your wedding to take on their theme. Maybe it has something to do with the Royal Family of the UK, and how their dress is traditional yet incredibly intricate and bold that makes you want a classic British wedding. Themes hold so much power because they have survived to become their own distinct culture.

The tale of the dress

Look around at a wedding, the guests, the food, music, the location and venue, the transport and the ceremony are all linked together to create the atmosphere you want on your special day. However we all know, there’s one thing, just one thing that has an insurmountable importance for a wedding, and that’s the wedding dress. It and you will be the star of the show. It will be the gleaming light that will transform you into a figure of breathtaking beauty. So surely you can’t just rely on marriage and bride magazines to influence your decision just because something is in style at the time right?

Wedding dresses have gone through transformations in style and design over the many decades. The theme of the dress can be asserted to one such time period, that joins with your soul. The recent history of these themes is easy to follow and understand. The vintage wedding dress is post-war and namely occupies the 1950s and 60s mainly. These would be incorporating a lot of lace. The floral designs that were slightly subdued but localized around the shoulders and neck area, as well as the hemline. Modern wedding dresses are in the post-period. They are largely influenced by ball gowns with large skirts the have a vertical ruffle effect due to the many folds. As you may be able to see, the theme of the dress harbors the power of history and lineage of design.

Leave no illusions

Themes must start from the beginning. As you progress further and further they will start to assume their own natural feeling. Start with your invitation with Paper Themes that hold true to your chosen theme. If you’re planning to hold your wedding deep into the countryside, among generations of farmers and people who toil the land to feed the nation they love, then the Rustic Foiled wedding invitation will instantly inform guests of the type of wedding you’re having. If you are going to have an upper-class wedding that is true to your family name, your standing or your cultural heritage, then the Natural Charm wedding invitation in its deep purple and gold design, and with a white chiffon ribbon, is a great choice.

The decorative dragon

Like a swirling dragon, that flies and slithers through all of your weddings, your decorative theme is going to carry the romantic story. Yes, your location surrounds your guests and they can see with their own eyes the beauty of the hills, fields, buildings and everything else. The venue is tangible, they’re inside it, they can touch the walls and be eye to eye with the interior design, taking in the splendid decor. However, minds get lost in the wedding itself. They are looking at you taking your vows, they’re also going to be seated at tables and enjoying your menu. They’ll also get up to dance and mingle. So you don’t want them to forget just exactly what you have chosen as your theme. In other words, you don’t want your important day to descend into just being another generic party that people will forget.

The centerpiece of each table should be in the themed colors, style, designs and taste. Whether it is a bouquet of flowers or a handcrafted figurine, it has to stay within the theme you have chosen. It reminds people of the period, historical importance and or overall ambiance of your theme. Even the seating itself can be in the style of your theme by way of its design, i.e. the curves, the height, the backrest contours, the broad or delicate legs and of course the material such as wood, copper and or fabrics. This goes on further to the chinaware that you pick. Again will the theme be carried onto the plates and the cutlery? The little details on the forks and knives will be charming, and the encompassing intricacies of the china plates is a stamp of the unique experience you offer your guests as they dine with you.

Micheile Henderson
Involving nature

The location and the venue will be the hallmarks of your theme. They are the big spires that lift up and raise your wedding to what it shall be overall. However, some people like to involve nature in their wedding. For example, some people want to complete their Mediterranean wedding by getting married at dawn just as the piercing bronze sun is peering out from under the clouds. For a Catholic Italian Wedding, you might want the midday church bells to be ringing so you choose a day where the sky will be clear and the time of the middle of the day to get the effect you want.

The theme of a wedding is the lifeblood of your day. It will be the single most important thing because it has an effect on everything you can think of. This is why knowing your history, the importance of a certain style, those that came before you and had something similar, all matter in your decision-making.

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Assure Safe Social Media Use By Kids With This Parental Control App

There is no surprise that if your kid uses the social media without any supervision or direction, it could be dangerous. There are a number of issues parents might face because kids are growing up in a tech-saturated world with a variety of options available at their disposal. Almost all these gadgets help them connect with the web in no time and this is the reason parents feel reluctant to buy their young kids a smartphone. There is talk of a parental control app, to monitor their social media activities and this is why I’m writing this article to explain it better to you.

They might share too much

To expand their social circle and to have large friends lists on Facebook, many kids have given out their personal information to those they don’t know. The matter could get worse if they share their photos and physical appearance on the Web to unknowns. Another terrible trend is posting mean and embarrassing information and pictures about others, be alert because it’s likely that someone is doing this to your kid or your kid is doing the same.

With such kind of immature attempts to look cool, kids can get into real trouble like kidnapping, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, physical harassment, violence, etc. Social exposure is a must for their development but development at the cost of compromising their wellbeing is not something any of us can accept. Kids mostly use social media through their cell phone, so monitoring them with a parental control app is the handiest option.

How can you help?

With the use of smart apps it is quite simple to take responsibility for kids’ social presence and safety. Whether it’s a threat of cyberbullying or physical harm, you can protect your kid by keeping an eye on them, and how can you do it? With just a single app!

Apps like FamilyTime help a lot in monitoring. Parents who are not so familiar with the latest technology can also make use of some of these apps such as FamilyTime that offer user friendly interface and simple functionalities.

The app offers a list of valuable features that can help parents monitor their kids better and from a distance. With the app in hand, they can:

  • Check the list of installed apps
  • Track usage frequency
  • Blacklist unwanted apps
  • Allow specific time for an app usage
  • Track internet usage & web-history
  • Monitor bookmarks
  • Allocate specific hours for the device usage on a weekly or daily basis
  • Schedule auto screen locks
  • Remotely locking the phone

These are only a few features of the app that lets you monitor and control digital consumption of your kids. There are many others related to the location tracking, alerts, family communication and Speed limit for driving, etc. To try these features yourself, give FamilyTime app a free try.

All-in-one solution for kids’ digital safety

With the use of this parental control app you can check kids’ Web behavior all around the clock. I would suggest you check out the FamilyTime app because it could be even more convenient to stay in touch with an expense of just a dollar or two. Check all of their Web history and most visited sites and stop their exposure to the sites you think are harmful.

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