Protecting yourself from data transfer hacks

Protecting yourself from data transfer hacks

If you have visited my blog recently, you may have unexpectedly stumbled upon a disturbing blog post; it wasn’t my doing, Stacey in the Sticks had been hacked! I wasn’t alone in this; many fellow bloggers suffered the same fate, with very similar posts. I won’t lie, it was very scary and panic inducing. I thought I had lost a whole post that had taken me a while to prepare and write; but any post written would have had the same effect.

To know that somebody had immersed themselves into my world, potentially stolen my data, and imposed their beliefs on my blog and my readers; it was horrible. By imposing their beliefs, this is what I mean (apologies for the unsavoury language, but I wanted a clear picture of exactly what happened):

Hacked blog post
Credit to Zara at www.mojoblogs.co.uk for the screenshot

Not nice, right? When you have taken years of hard work to build up your brand, and then this happens. I cannot stress enough how much it stressed me out. Luckily enough, this was a simple fix to get my original post back. There are obviously many other ways and means that hackers work, and this is just in the minority; though it’s the first time I’ve ever been a victim of hacking. It did get me wondering though, am I protecting myself enough?

There are many ways in which you protect yourself from data transfer hacks and Data Label have put together this handy guide with some steps you can take to make sure your data is kept secure. Admittedly I don’t do all of these already, but I did immediately change all of my passwords again; something which I do regularly anyway. I make sure I back up my blog every month too, and continually save drafts as I am writing; luckily I was able to retrieve my blog post this way!

Taking these steps may not completely stop data transfer hacks, but they will go a way to helping you retrieve your data if you are ever unlucky enough for it to happen.

Have you ever been a victim of hacking in any way?

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Musings of a Slimming World target member | #1

Musings of a Slimming World target member #1

It’s been a few months now since I reached target; just over three of them, in fact. It does actually feel like it’s been longer to be honest. I haven’t shared an update since becoming a target member so I thought it was about time I got my thoughts down on paper; well, virtual paper! I was going to say, I can’t remember the last time I went to weigh in dreading getting on the scales, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. The truth is, I’ve been really struggling for most of the year already, and it’s almost March!

When I first reached target, I found it quite easy to stay on track. It was great being allowed to have extra healthy extras, so I didn’t even feel the urge to eat things I shouldn’t really have been eating. Though, Slimming World’ers know we can eat almost anything, so I guess I mean things that would have taken me right out of my syn allowance. I could have my regular porridge for my breakfast, and I could also have bread products or Hi fi bars without feeling “guilty” and having to syn them, so I still had room for that bar of chocolate or bag of crisps if I wanted.

I was managing well being a target member and I adjusted quite easily to managing to maintain my weight. In fact, for the first couple of weeks I was still losing weight, even though I was eating (what I thought was) more! At one point I even managed to get down to half a pound from the bottom range of target, and received my 4 stone award which I was ecstatic about.

Being a target member over the festive season

And then, ChristmasThat hit me right in the face. I had vowed to myself that after gaining almost half a stone over the previous festive season, I wouldn’t let it happen again. Even though, I did reach the bottom end of target right before Christmas so I did have that extra room. But, I also knew how long it took me to lose that extra weight the previous year as it was hard to get back into the swing of things. And this time around, there would have been that extra shame put upon on myself if I had continued to gain and gone out of target, so soon after reaching it.

But; I managed to repeat my syns (excuse the pun) of the previous year. I gained 6lb again over the Christmas and New Year period and ended up being half a pound over target. Pretty much the only time I was on plan over the festive period, was my Christmas dinner!

Our favourite five - Christmas dinner

I kind of did that a bit backwards, didn’t I? I just have no idea why I couldn’t manage it for the rest of the time; the temptation of sumptuous food was obviously too much! But I have nobody else but myself to blame, as it was me who bought it.

I think that’s one of the most important things of this journey; taking responsibility for my own actions.

Getting back on plan

This time around though I found it easier to get back into the swing of things. It did take a couple of weeks, but I was back into target quite quickly. Since then my weight hasn’t been a constant; I haven’t quite been managing to maintain my weight, but I have been managing to stay in target range. Until the last couple of weeks, that is. My head just hasn’t been in the right place and I’ve been eating more synful things than I should be, and have yet again gone out of target.

I know I shouldn’t, and nobody else has made me feel it; but I felt so ashamed and had to hold back tears at group when my consultant came to me during IMAGE Therapy. I mean, I was voted Woman of the Year and Miss Slinky last year; what kind of example am I setting, that I can’t even manage to stay in target? We all know life gets in the way sometimes and we have lives to live as well, but that’s what the 3lb either side of target is for; and I can’t even manage to stay in that.

Being a target member is so much harder than I imagined it to be; I’m not going to lie! 

Stacey

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A family feast with Chicago Town – #NotJustForDinner

Chicago Town #notjustfordinner

Pizza. One of the most popular dishes for meal times in our house. I don’t have a favourite topping, I’m always changing my mind with what I fancy; but as long as it has plenty of cheese on it, I’m good! It’s usually my go to choice for family gatherings too; Jacob’s birthday last year involved pizza, and it’s also our traditional Christmas Eve dinner choice. We like to be different! 😉

And so do Chicago Town, which is why they have a challenge running at the moment daring people to use their pizza #NotJustForDinner! The Deep Dish pizzas are so versatile, they can be eaten in a whole variety of situations; just some of the entries so far include eating while playing family games, skateboarding, and even window cleaning!

Unfortunately, I’m not very inventive and the best I could come up with was digging some from the freezer for an impromptu family gathering. The Deep Dish range is known in the Chicago Town family as the little superhero in the freezer, and it certainly turned out to be in this case. With a huge choice of flavours, it was just a case of deciding which ones would go down well with all of us! In the end I went with classic flavours of four cheese, ham & pineapple, and pepperoni.

Chicago Town Deep Dish pizzas. Ham & pineapple. Pepperoni. Four cheese

I served with some dough balls and chips, and voilà, a wonderful pizza feast that the whole family loved!

Chicago Town #notjustfordinner

One of the best things about the Deep Dish range is the cheesy oozy goodness – mmm!

Chicago Town four cheese Deep Dish

They certainly put a huge smile on Jacob’s face! 😉

Chicago Town pizza smile

You can find out all about the Chicago Town #NotJustForDinner challenge over here. Be in it to win it for the chance at bagging a GoPro Hero5black, limited edition t-shirts, and a year’s supply of pizza vouchers – awesome!

Have you used your Deep Dish #NotJustForDinner yet?

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January Degustabox | Subscription Box Review

January Degustabox

It seems like ages since I last welcomed a Degustabox into my house. I think it’s because the Christmas one arrived a bit earlier than usual and this one a little later; not that I’m complaining, I always love the arrival of a new Degustabox!

  • Enjoy 10 to 15 surprise products, many are completely new to the market!
  • Receive your Degustabox every month filled with goodies.
  • All for much less than you would pay in the shops!

January’s box included quite a few brands I had never heard of, with some I will certainly buy again. I did enjoy everything in it though.

So what was inside the January Degustabox?

January Degustabox

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Our favourite five – January | Bags, bake club, and a book signing

Our favourite five - January

Now I’ve got back into the swing of things with blogging again, I’m going to try and be a bit more timely with our favourite five updates! January has gone by in a bit of a blur if I’m honest; though we didn’t really have a lot on, but time seems to go by so quick these days.

Jacob started back at school; Barney really found his place in our home; I had a little trip away at the end of the month with my book blog partner in crime, to a multi author book signing in Birmingham; and when I came home I had a new neighbour in the form of my brother-in-law!
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Frozen inspired biscuits | We Bake with Dr Oetker

Frozen inspired biscuits - We Bake with Dr Oetker

I revealed a while ago that I had been asked to become a founding member of the Dr Oetker We Bake community, and I was over the moon to accept! I’m so happy to see the delicious looking bakes on the site; there are so many talented, creative bakers in the We Bake community! My latest Dr Oetker bake is my contribution to our most recent bake club meet, with the theme of Frozen or snow; so I used a combination of both to come up with two different designs.

The biscuits themselves are crumbly, and easy to make; easy enough for the children to get involved too. The same goes for decorating them; I did the snowflakes on these myself using a coffee design template “thing”, but the kids can of course have fun creating their own snowflake design!

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Our favourite five – December | Barney, riverside walks, and Christmas

Our favourite five - December

Okay, I know, I know; it’s almost February and I’m only just sharing our favourite five from December now! Since I’ve taken a little step back from the blog for the time being, I’ve not really been forcing myself to write, as such. So I have been meaning to write this, but only just gotten around to it.

Anyway, as with most people, December was quite a hectic month for us! We had a new addition, which I mentioned in November’s favourite five, and then the Elf came to stay again, we had an advent countdown, we were hosting Christmas Day so i had that to prepare for, it was half term, and so on!

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New Year Health on a Budget

New Year Health on a Budget

January; the most popular month of the year for people to decide they want to lose weight, or to get a bit fitter and healthier. I certainly know that was the case for me a couple of years ago when I decided to join Slimming World; but, my main focus at that time was just to lose weight.

During my weight loss journey I haven’t really exercised; with the exception of taking up running for a few weeks and then life got in the way, and I haven’t really done any since. This year though, I want to focus on getting fitter. I pretty much have the healthy eating down to a tee now; most of the time, anyway! We all want need to let go once in a while, right?

New Year Health on a Budget

MyVoucherCodes have produced this rather cute little video; it contains a whole bunch of handy tips for your new year health on a budget!

I’m pretty happy that I actually carry out most of these already; except for cold showers right now, I certainly don’t fancy one of those in the winter – brr! One thing I am planning on getting my (still wobbly) bum into gear and doing soon, is some exercise and toning up. Everybody watches YouTube so much these days, that it’s one of the first places I will be heading to look for some videos. Since losing weight though, my fitness gear no longer fits me (!) so I need to buy some more. I will probably be visiting Sports Direct for this as I have some trainers from there which have lasted me a while, so I know they sell affordable but quality items.

Another vow I have made to myself for this year – which I am yet to start – is to try a new healthy but delicious meal or recipe every week. My friend Zara from Mojo Blogs has recently been posting some gorgeous looking meals from Hello Fresh on her Instagram; I am so tempted to order some for myself! I have actually just ordered a free trial of recipe kits from Simply Cook; so I am looking forward to trying these and sharing them with you.

You can also take a look here for more information from MyVoucherCodes on your new year health on a budget.

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Slow cooker smoky gammon stew | Recipe (Slimming World friendly)

Slow cooker smoky gammon stew

I do love my slow cooker but admittedly, I don’t use it as often as I mean to. One of my favourite dishes that I always make in the slow cooker is a stew. I’ve been fancying something a bit different to a beef and vegetable stew, so I bought a gammon joint, and then just randomly chucked loads of ingredients in to make this smoky gammon stew; it turned out lovely! Perfect for a cold winter day. It’s also completely syn free on Slimming World!

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Children’s healthy (and favourite) breakfasts

Children's healthy (and favourite) breakfasts

Anjanette Fraser is a Director of The Natural Alternative Health & Wellbeing Ltd educating companies and their employees on the importance of nutrition in health – both corporate and personal. Since the company inception over 10 years ago its national coverage has been hugely beneficial working with large and small organisations over multiple locations. Anjanette is currently studying a MSc in Nutritional Medicine ensuring the information clients receive is scientific, current, and user friendly. For more information please visit www.natural-alternative.co.uk

Worryingly, children’s breakfasts contain at least half of their recommended daily sugar intake according to Public Health England; that’s before school has even started! Breakfast manufacturers use a combination of sugar and clever marketing to keep enticing children and parents back to their brands, and often under the illusion that their breakfast products are healthy. A survey found that 84% of parents thought they were giving their children a healthy start to the day.

Nearly 20% of children are obese by the time they leave primary school, and 25% of five year olds have tooth decay. A lot of this is due to sugar. A survey of 200 parents with children aged between four and 10 years old found kids were eating more than 11g sugar (3 sugar cubes) for breakfast. It’s not just cereals (some contain up to equivalent of two sugar cubes); chocolate spread (three sugar cubes) and fruit juices (five sugar cubes) are also culprits. Read more

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