Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Singer, Bobby Vee, has passed away

Bobby Vee has died, aged 73. 

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011.

Love this kitschy music video of his 1962 hit song, The Night Has A Thousand Eyes.

He also sung, Rubber Ball and another one of my favourites, Take Good Care Of My Baby.

Let's Get Cookin' - Modern Updates For A Busy Family Kitchen

I’m sure that the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms for all families. It’s the perfect place where you can all come together and enjoy delicious, healthy meals. So as you will all be spending so much time in your kitchen, you should make sure that your kitchen is not only comfortable, but also highly practical. This way, you will love spending time in the heart of your home! Are you looking for ways to update your kitchen? Here are some modern updates that are perfect for a buy family kitchen.

Sort Out The Decor

The best way to update your kitchen is to completely redo the decor. Many old kitchens will have been made with materials that were in vogue decades ago. If your kitchen still has some  outdated materials in it, they will be making it look very old and tired. However, new kitchens are made with stylish materials such as chrome and stainless steel. Replace any old fashioned materials in the decor with these contemporary ones for an instant update that will improve any kitchen! If your kitchen looks totally dated, think about treating yourself to a completely new one.

Lose Upper Cabinets

Upper cabinets and cupboards attached high onto walls were very fashionable back in the 1980s and 1990s. But these days, the trend is for a sleeker kitchen. And that means trying to keep all distractions down to a minimum. And that means freeing up space in the top half of your kitchen. Getting rid of high cabinets will free up your walls, which can help create an illusion of space. It also means you can paint bold walls without any storage units getting in the way.

Invest In Energy Efficient Appliances

Why keep struggling with large energy bills when you could reduce them by investing in energy efficient appliances? Not only will this help you save on your bills, but a reduced energy consumption also means that your home will be a lot more eco friendly. You might also find that energy efficient appliances work better as well. Especially dishwashers and washing machines.

Improve Your Lighting

You will be amazed at the difference great lighting makes to your kitchen. Getting the lighting right can make the room feel a lot larger. The best way to do this is to make sure blinds and curtains are always fully open. This way, natural light will flood into the room. If you don’t get much natural light through your windows, you just need to place your lights and lamps strategically. For the best effect, buy some low-hanging lamps that hang in the centre of the room.

Go Open-Plan

Do you want to really add the wow-factor to your kitchen? Then knock down the walls and go open plan! This will open it out into your living room or dining room. Large, open rooms are very on-trend right now. And going open-plan will help your home look very contemporary and make it feel a whole lot bigger!

Suffering from an old-fashioned kitchen? Hopefully, this blog will have given you ideas to remedy it!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Things Everyone Must Try Before They're 30

If you’re in your twenties or know people who are, then you may be aware of a strange phenomenon that’s sprung up lately. I’m referring to the “pre-mid-life-crisis”. This is where happy, healthy people suddenly stumble on a defeatist attitude, and think that they’ve wasted the best years of their lives. I’m writing this to tell you that this certainly isn’t true, and there’s still plenty of time to fill your life with rich experience. Here are just a few things I think every person should try in their twenties.
Credit: Flickr

First of all, travelling alone. The millennial generation has a unique privilege that a lot of people seem to take for granted. Travel is now more accessible than ever, and you’ve probably seen far more of the world in your childhood than your great-grandfather did in his lifetime. While holidays with friends and family can be wonderful, travelling alone will teach you a lot more about yourself, and open your eyes to facets of life you never knew about. You can find some great places to travel alone at Rough Guides.

Joining a team, club or society is another thing you should do while you’re young. By now, I’m sure you have some idea of your main passions; the things that really stimulate your mind, wherever you come across them. Joining a club or society and mingling with people who share your passion is a truly wonderful experience, and can be the start of relationships that will last you a lifetime. Whether it’s volleyball, painting, gardening, history or anything else, you can be sure that there’s a community somewhere out there for you. Pin one down and jump in!

Finally, have crazy, impulsive nights with your friends. Though it’s my last point, this is perhaps the most important one on the whole list. I hate to break it to you, but your relationships with your friends aren’t going to stay like this forever. As you move out of your twenties and towards middle age, you’ll all become more absorbed with your individual careers and families, and all those crazy nights will become much harder to squeeze in. This unique freedom is here one day and gone the next, so make the most of it! Call up some friends for a spontaneous camping or road trip, have another barbecue on a beach, or hit all the local bars you’ve never been to before.

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Coolest Yard Ideas For The Hottest Summer

If this year proves to be a hotty, you will be glad of a yard that provides all the breeze and shade you need to keep cool. Air conditioning is so expensive to run. It’s best to leave it to those sweaty nights to save cash. So what can you do during the day to stay cool? There are plenty of great ideas that will help you maximise your outdoor space without exposing yourself to too much sun.

Most houses with a pool find that the summer months are busy. Neighbours, friends and family will all be making excuses to come over! It’s certainly a good way to keep your social life busy. But it is also a useful way to stay cool and have fun when the sun is hot. It’s important to make sure your pool is properly fenced and gated. This stops small children and pets having accidents. Choose a company like Smoothline Fences that specialises in safe fencing solutions. You’ll also need to make sure your boundary fence is secure so nobody sneaks in to use your pool!

Gazebos come in all shapes and sizes. Some are temporary canvas or fabric coverings. Others are sturdy wood structures that stay up all year. Generally speaking, you can place them anywhere that suits you. You might want to consider the direction of the breeze and the proximity to your dining space. Gazebos are ideal for covering your eating area. And they’re also great for some outdoor Yoga or Tai Chi. If you’re looking to create shade, a gazebo may be a good option for you.

Trees and Planting
Trees can create a shady area in your yard or garden. High planting like bamboo or climbers can achieve the same. They may need some trellis or poles to climb up, though. This kind of natural shading suits any garden. Choose your species wisely. If you’re prone to extra dry conditions where you are, it could be difficult to care for some of the thirstier varieties. Artificial options could work, but you may not be keen on their appearance up close. They do little to provide habitat for insects.

Outdoor Dining And Kitchen
Some houses have a sheltered space that could easily be roofed. This will make the perfect, covered dining space. You’ll suffer fewer insects while you eat, and the sun will be kept off too. Because it’s open, you’ll get that lovely breeze without the burn of being in the open. You can grill or barbeque here, set up a dining table, and even light the area for use in the evening. Even on the hottest evenings, you could enjoy that soft summer breeze that makes it all so bearable.

Summer is set to be a scorcher, and most of us are looking forward to enjoying it. There are several different ways to create shade. Direction is everything if you want to maximise the breeze so get yourself oriented before you design anything. And if you are playing out in the sun this summer, be safe.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Is The Original Always The Best? Answer: Yes!

There are certain times in life where the original is just better. I know I’m probably preaching to the choir for some of my readers on this one but go with me on this. I’m sure there are a few readers who love the new Star Wars movies or think that iPhones are great. Well in my humble opinion, you guys are just wrong. Here are a few examples.

Movie Remakes

Let’s start with the one that Hollywood seems to be obsessed with right now. They keep remaking and repackaging our favourite films and TV shows. Or favourite films as new tv shows. Or favourite TV shows as new films! It honestly makes my head skin and ignoring the obvious answer I have one question. Why? Very few new remakes have added anything to the original.

The only notable exception I can think of as of late being Pete’s Dragon. Disney’s 2016 Pete’s Dragon is definitely worth checking out even if you loved the original and hold it dearly to your heart. The new film is a wonderful delight and has that old Disney magic. But that’s the exception, not the rule. While The Jungle Book was visually impressive, it didn’t add that much to the story. The list seems never ending with more remakes on the horizon.

Is nothing sacred? When they announce a remake for Grease, that’s when I will have truly lost faith in Hollywood. Although I guess unofficially that was High School Musical.

Music Players

Yes, it’s useful to be able to have all your music in one place and listen to it on the go. I love it, I know you do too. I couldn’t go running without some fantastic songs blasting with my feet hitting the footpath. I get it, I do, but are we really saying that the sound quality is better than vinyl? Really? Come on now guys, if anyone thinks that, they’ve never listened to their favourite album on a state of the art record player table. The music is so beautifully crisp and untouched that it just sounds perfect. This is probably my bias for retro shining through but for me, there’s no comparison.

Chocolate And Sweets

They’ve taken out the colours, the chemicals, the sugar and basically everything that made them taste and look good. I don’t know about you, but I hate seeing that foreboding ‘now with natural flavours’ on sweet packages. If I wanted natural flavours, I would eat a banana or pear. I wouldn’t even be in the sweets section. I know the argument here. They're bad for you, and that means you shouldn’t be eating them. They are only bad for you if you eat them to excess. A little salt is good for the bones, but if you consume a bag of it, that’s going to kill you.

Madonna, Britney And Any Other Has Been Pop Icons

I love you all I do, but please stop releasing new music. You have gone past your prime and should have left the industry with a bang. Now, every year you release a new album with worse songs than before and terrible levels of autotune. Brit, you couldn’t even be bothered to sing in car karaoke so why are you still releasing new music?

There, rant over. I hope I’ve shown you that sometimes that the original really is the best.

Celebrate Good Times: How to Do It as a Busy Mum

When you're a super busy mum, finding the time for fun isn't always easy. The fun you do have usually involves running around after the kids. While it's enjoyable, it's also exhausting. It's not always easy to have time to celebrate the important things in life. Maybe you enjoy birthday celebrations, or you like taking the time to celebrate your anniversary. If you've got kids to look after, plus a career or business and other commitments, it can be a struggle. But it's important to celebrate various things in life, whether you're celebrating yourself or others. Make sure you can find the time with these tips.

Keep a Calendar of Important Events

Most busy people already have a calendar or diary with upcoming events and projects. If you don't have one, you need one ASAP. Or perhaps you do have one, but you haven't put any personal events in it. It's a good idea to have birthdays and anniversaries mixed in with work and obligations. It helps you remember there are fun things coming up and reasons to celebrate. As well as having important dates, giving yourself reminders makes sure you have lots of time to prepare. This is where online calendars or smartphone apps can come in handy.

Plan Celebrations in Advance

If you want to have any hope of getting anything done, you know you have to start planning in advance. Not much gets done when you're a mum if you leave it until the last minute. You have too many other things to do and only a limited amount of time. You might be able to cobble something together in a day or two, but it won't be much if you want to celebrate properly. If you're doing anything more than a nice meal out, make sure you start preparing earlier.

Go All Out for Select Occasions

There's no need to go big for every special occasion. However, there are some events that deserve a big party. Maybe it's a special birthday for someone, for example. This is the sort of thing you need at least a couple of months to plan. Perhaps you want to throw a kids' birthday party, with entertainers, jumping castles and plenty of food. This sort of celebration is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. It might be just about all the celebrating you can handle for a while.

Make Time for Little Celebrations

When you celebrate any event, it doesn't have to be a big affair. Sometimes just a small celebration is enough to bring your family together. The event itself doesn't have to be anything that significant either. Maybe you want to find time to celebrate World Book Day by reading everyone's favourite book before bedtime. You might have a special meal or just take a trip to the park. The best way to find time for celebrating is often to focus on small things instead of planning huge events.

Finding time to do anything when you're a busy mum is hard. But you can do whatever you want if you make an effort to prioritise what's important.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Feeling Fancy: Ideas For Retro Inspired Fancy Dress Costumes

With October and Halloween just around the corner, you might be thinking about a costume to dress up as. Obviously, I have a penchant for the retro style of clothes, so I think it would make a perfect costume for someone to dress up in. It is a fun style that will make you look ultra glamorous. But who could you be dressed up as, rather than just a 40s or 50s pin up? Here are a few ideas for you. Hope they give you some inspiration for any fancy dress events you have coming up.


Marilyn Monroe

This is a classic idea for a costume. If you go for the iconic floaty white halter dress, everyone at the party will know exactly who you have dressed up as. Team with some dark red lipstick and a platinum blonde curly wig (unless you have blonde hair yourself of course). Some heels will complete the look. Think of a strappy pair or high heeled t-bar shoes and you’re there. It is a safe and easy to put together outfit. You might already have everything in for this at home.


Mary Poppins

You might not think of this as a particular retro outfit, but then you break all the components down, it really is. If you have a white blouse with a high neck and frilly collar, then you are not too far away. A brooch on the blouse works well too, in the centre of the collar. Then just add a dark blazer and skirt, and you are nearly there. A fancy umbrella and a vintage carpet bag and the look is complete; even better if you have got a dark boat hat. A full face of retro inspired makeup would look really good with the outfit too. Then you can just style your hair in a neat little bun. It is a classic look that everyone will instantly recognise.


Alice in Wonderland

This is probably one of the most popular costumes when it comes to mainstream and store bought costumes. But Alice is a great idea that would look fantastic mixed up for a vintage look. Most people go for the Disney equivalent of the costume, so you just need to do something a little different. A light blue dress would look good, rather than the typical bright blue option. I would choose a rather frilly shirt and apron for the outfit too. Then have some cute little Mary-Jane heels, with a bow in your hair. If you have a vintage handbag that has a clock on it, then even better.

Audrey Hepburn

Like Marilyn Monroe, the Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s look that is instantly recognisable. You would hardly need to buy anything for it too. If you have got a sleeveless black dress, then that is most of the outfit. Some long dark gloves are a must too, as well as lots of bling around your neck. Some round sunglasses and a long cigarette holder and you can just pose all night long.