Home and DIY

Remento- Family Storytelling Platform

I was recently introduced to Remento which is a family storytelling platform app. This platform seeks to change the way we document the lives and experiences of our loved ones.

Like a lot of you family is important to me. Having a loved one with dementia and Alzheimer’s it is especially important to me to be able to document memories and moments with them. I had been trying for awhile to write down comments and memories when they came up, but the conversations were never fluid. I also, often didn’t have paper or a pen with me when they would start talking about things.

If I left to go get pen and paper my loved one was often distracted and stopped talking about the memory and went to something else or got quiet all together. I had been looking for something to help me on my quest to document these important moment. I needed something that didn’t interrupt or distract them like I did writing or typing. I was recently introduced to Remento which is a family storytelling platform.

This platform seeks to change the way we document the lives and experiences of our loved ones. The app allows the user to create a way of documenting memories, stories and events in a whole new way. I like that the app gives prompts and templates, but also, allows one to start from scratch and create one’s own ideas. Remento helps to facilitate the conversations about family memories and makes it less intimidating. They don’t sell or monetize your data or content and they can’t see what you create as it is all stored privately on your device.

These pictures of old boats wouldn’t mean anything to someone browsing through the photo album. No marking or writing were given to identify them and no ideas of the story behind them. Using Remento changed that!

I had seen pictures of old boats in the photo album and they no markings or writing were given to identify them and no idea of the story behind them. Using the Remento photo prompts I showed the pictures and asked about them. I was then able to record a story about the boats and find out that this was the family’s first fishing boats. I can now share these with other family members. These photos took on a new meaning and now the story is preserved for generations to come.

Being able to have these conversations and capture these stories that might otherwise be lost is priceless. The best part about Remento is you can download the app for free! The app is only available on ios right now, but the android version is coming soon. I am so thankful for the Remento app and the ability store these memories forever and to download and share them with my family.

The Remento app is full of prompts to help you facilitate a dialogue and document memories right on the app,

Tips on working with a family member that has dementia or Alzheimer’s

Working with a family member that has dementia or Alzheimer’s can be difficult. Some of the pointers I found helpful using the app was:

1. Exploring recent events (weeks, months, years) are often harder to recall than past ones (decades ago). Remembering teenage years and early 20s was easier for my family member. I choose questions from this time period and asked about moments or pup culture (music, movies, books) from this period to ease my loved one into their memories.

2. Since this is my family member, I know a little bit about their life which will helped me when asking questions. The more specific my questions were, the easier it was for them to answer. When I was choosing the questions I’d like to ask, I edited them directly in the app with details. For example, a pre-written question might be generic like “Tell me about your brothers.” I edited that to: “Did you and your brother Norb ever fight when you were young?” And then followed that up with more detailed questions to help them unlock the story.

3. Photos and Music are very powerful triggers for memory recollection. Knowing what years/decades my loved one was a a teen, I was able to look up songs that were popular then and play them. I asked them what their favorite songs was, played them, and then asked what memories and people come to mind – “When did you first hear this? Why is it special to you? What were you doing when you first heard it?”

4. I found spreading spread the conversations out over time and asking 4- 5 questions in a sitting to keep it from feeling overwhelming.

Making the dialogue as natural as possible and not forcing it is important. I felt like using the app didn’t distract my loved one from speaking with me and sharing. They also, liked seeing what I was documenting, especially when I would have a family picture of my phone.

Remento has really assisted me in documenting important memories with my aging loved one.

Everyone’s situation is different, but Remento has really assisted me in documenting important memories with my aging loved one. Remento isn’t just for talking to elderly or in my situation a loved one with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Remento can be used to document your own memories and stories as well. I can’t say enough positive things about Remento.

Home and DIY

Holiday Gifting-Think Outside the Gift Box

It always amazes me this time of the year how many different brands and even individual blogs will come out with a huge holiday gift guide. Some mean well, but many come off with the attitude that if we all don’t buy the newest and most expensive items out our friends and family will sure to be disappointed in us. I find gifting to be very personal and specifically tailored to who I am giving the gift to and try to steer away from the typical gifts.

I think sometimes we get too caught up on the commercial and materialistic side of the holiday forgetting about the true meaning of the holiday. Many forget about simple exchanges of kindness like sharing love and light with others. Buying material things shouldn’t be the sole focus of the holiday season. Going into debt to try to impress people for the holiday isn’t worth the effort and it will cost later.

This holiday season I want to encourage you to think outside the gift box. There are many things you can gift to family and friends that won’t fit in a traditional gift box or break the bank. These gifts however may mean even more though than something to be set up on a shelf. Some of these types of gifts are free or low cost, yet carry worth and value to the one you’ve gifted it to.

Ideas for Free Holiday Gifts

There are many templates and ideas online for making paper gifts like coupons or vouchers.

Doing something for someone out kindness can be both rewarding and valuable. Making a coupon/voucher to give to someone as a gift is a great example of a free gift to give. For example, someone with children might appreciate a coupon/voucher for a night of free child sitting. This would cost the giver nothing, but their time and a night out could be priceless for a busy Mom or Dad.

Other coupon ideas could include: washing a car, cleaning up a yard, cutting someone’s grass, helping them with a household task, feeding a pet for them and many others. These coupons/vouchers can be added into a holiday card or given on their own.

The Gift of Food

Cookie exchanges are very popular this time of year and new friends can be made at these types of events .

Giving the gift of food can be a relatively low cost gift. Making cookies, soup, bread or even a full meal and delivering it to a friend or family member can speak volumes of love and kindness. Some say nothing says loving like something from the oven! I know I personally appreciate when someone takes the time out to bake something for me.

Colorful packaging like holiday food bags or ziplocks can add to this type of gift and make it festive. Mason jars make the perfect storage for soup gifting and cake/cookie mixes for example. Sharing a favorite recipe with someone in the process so they can remake the item or a story/history about the food item can add to the originality of the gift.

Handmade Gifts

Handmade gifts don’t have to be perfect. The uniqueness of this gift is in the imperfections.

If you’re the crafty type you might already have the perfect gift ingredients on hand. From painting a picture, calligraphy on a card, writing down a poem, beading/jewelry making, needle point, crochet, quilting and crafts these types of handmade gifts are super unique and typically cost friendly. A simple idea would be making a mask cover. Many places still require them so grabbing up some scrap fabric and making someone a mask cover is still a good handmade gift idea.

If you’re not the crafty type with these types of supplies already in your home there are kits even at the Dollar Store to make little sun catchers, ornaments, cards and other small items. This type of gift might cost you a few dollars, but you’ll often have materials to spare and make more than one. A dollar picture frame with a favorite photo plus a few stickers or some writing is another easy craft to make. Remember handmade gifts don’t have to be perfect. The uniqueness of this gift is in the imperfections.

Give an Experience

Sometimes the most simple and quiet moments are the ones that make the best memories.

One of my favorite gifts to give personally is an experience. This type of gift won’t fit into a gift box with a pretty bow, but the love and memories will wrap themselves around and last forever. Something as simple as planning a picnic for a loved one in their favorite spot could be magical and cost effective. In addition if you know a museum, sporting event or place they would like to go check online and sometimes free or low cost tickets can be found.

Depending on the choice of location or events this gift can cost as little or as much as you’re wanting to spend. Traveling to a new or exotic place can be both memorable and exciting, but sometimes the most simple and quiet moments are the ones that make for the best memories. A gift of time to a loved one can make a huge impact and be very meaningful.

Support Local Businesses with Holiday Gifting

At the holiday season many people deep clean their houses and rearrange for incoming guests.Moving services from ★Star City Services★ offer great options. This could make for a great gift for the person that seems to have everything

Arranging for a service that someone might need could make for the perfect holiday gift and also, help support a local business. Many business would be happy to work together to make a special gift for your friends and family. Business often offer specials and discounts during the holiday which could make this type of gift cost effective.

At the holiday season many people deep clean their houses and rearrange for incoming guests. Depending on how many family and friends stay over during the holidays freeing up extra space could be an invaluable gift to many. One specific service that could be purchased to aid in this would be with a moving services to help move around the heavy furniture. I speak from experience moving things like a piano, hot tub or pool table isn’t for the faint of heart.

Star City Services★ could make for a great gift and leave the heavy lifting to the professionals.

Moving services from ★Star City Services★ offer great options like packing/unpacking, storage of furniture, disassembly/reassembly and much more. This could make for a great gift for the person that seems to have everything and encourage your friends and family to leave the heavy lifting to the professionals. In addition if your friend or family member has a business and is in need of moving around things in it or moving to a new location giving them a gift from Roanoke Commercial moving services might be ideal. The gift of moving services might be extremely beneficial to a senior citizen or a family member that lives far away too.

Thinking outside the gift box this holiday season may help to make this the most memorable holiday season yet for your family and friends. Remember acts of kindness can be free to give and come in a variety of forms. The ideas given in this blog are just a small sample of the many options available for gifts that won’t go under the tree, but instead will be held in the hearts of those that receive them. Have a Happy Holiday and may kindness return to you ten folds.

Home and DIY

Spring is a Great Opportunity for DIY

One of the many beautiful hardwood options available at the Brazilian Wood Depot

|Sponsored|Spring for many means time for spring cleaning and sprucing thing up. In the past year many of us have spent more time at home than ever before. I know I have used the extra time in the past year for many at home projects. There are many things that a person can do to their home themselves to make a big different. Sometimes I surprise people by saying I’m a big do-it-yourselfer, but I really enjoy home remodel projects.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

For under $100 I transformed this room for a friend. Nothing major was done to this old den except changing the paint scheme which helped turn it into the perfect cozy farm kitchenette.

A fresh coat of paint or a new color scheme in a room can do wonders for it. Painting is really one of the easiest changes you can make. Recently in my colonial farmhouse remodel for example, we opted for painting and adding a chair rail instead of spending the money to rip out the walls and sheetrock. Painting can be a tedious task depending on the space, but it is a relatively easy and cost effective task.

Flooring Changes-The Benefits of Hardwood

Removing the title and carpet in this outdated kitchen and kitchenette and adding in hardwood made for a cozy vibe in this farmhouse kitchen.

Another easy change to make in a room or space is to add new flooring. I am a big fan of hardwood and I can’t say enough good things about hardwood or the benefits of removing carpet from your home, especially if you have allergies. Adding hardwood to your home is an investment and will give you a beautiful option that lasts. As a material hardwood is relatively easy to work with and there are many videos available to show you how to correctly install it.

Depending on the age of your home you may be surprised what is under your carpet. Many older home have hardwood hiding under the carpet. There are many products on the market today to help restore floors like these 100 year old floors.

Depending on the age of your home you may be surprised that many older home have existing hardwood that has been covered over. When I bought our farmhouse I was lucky that many of the original 100 year old floors had been covered by carpet and were in relatively great shape only needing sanding and stain. For the flooring in the kitchen and den I knew I wanted to continue with wood and invest in new hardwood. It was also, a no brainer when we bought our beach house that the first changes we would make would be to add in hardwood to the kitchenette, kitchen and master bedroom.

Paneling can look dated, but adding some paint, chair rail and changing to wood flooring in this room made a beautiful and cost effective remodel.

Tips for Buying Hardwood

The Brazilian Wood Depot has a vast selection of wood for your projects both inside and out.

Buying hardwood may seen a bit daunting with all the many choices and a good company is essential to making your hardwood purchase easy. The Brazilian Wood Depot (BWD), for example is a great choice with many options. BWD has wood for siding (including Ipe wood siding which is milled to order), tongue and grove, decking, as well as many accessories. The BWD is located in Atlanta, Ga and provides some of the most competitive rates for both shipping and materials. The best part about BWD to me is they promote the protection and stewardship of our natural forests.

Some of the many accessories available at the Brazilian Wood Depot to help you get your DIY job done!

Not everyone is comfortable with DIY projects, but working with a good company can really help with tips and tutorials to make the process easy. DIY projects in my opinion are fun and it is very rewarding to sit back and see the efforts of one’s hard work. I wouldn’t trade the feeling of satisfaction Ive had remodeling for myself or others. My biggest tip for starting a DIY project on your home or outdoor space is to start small and give yourself ample time to work on the project.