Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Feeling In The Party Mood? Then Why Not Make It A Garden Party?

Whether you hold parties regularly or only once in a while, when it comes to the summer there is nothing quite like a garden party to bring a cheer to everyone’s lips. It may sound risky in this day and age of the haphazard unpredictable British summer, but really, for most people, a little bit of rain on a summer’s day is neither here nor there. It’s the people that matter and you can always revert back to indoors if it really is a wash-out.

So why bother with a garden party?

Well there are two very good reasons – firstly a garden party is a bit different from your normal household party; it exudes a bit of class and sophistication. After all, it’s what the Queen does so famously at Buck Pal!

And it is that sense of uniqueness that can be transferred to a garden party you might hold because it allows one to create a theme for the party. For instance, you could make it a Brazilian festival party with the accent on Brazilian music and foods (and of course beer!) It’s a great excuse to dress up in not very much, get the conga going and basically have a wickedly fun time dancing, drinking and eating great nosh.

Secondly, though linked to the above, is the fact that because it is a garden party it is one that will be seen as special by those you invite. It will be treated almost like a royal occasion, which is why you need to organise it as such. That means sending out invitations to notify your friends and family that this is going to be a grand, but certainly fun, event. It also gives you a chance to be sure of the numbers attending as this will be important for the actual planning stage nearer garden party time.

In other words, don’t forget to put RSVP on the invite!

Once they have been sent out and you have the bulk of the replies, you can then start thinking about the party proper, how you are going to decorate the scene, getting the music sorted, maybe have a marquee just in case it rains, and of course, plan the food and drink.

If you are going to have a theme, then you will need to properly consider all the little details that will make the theme work as that will only add to the occasion and create the perfect atmosphere.

Before you know it, your party will be a great success, you will be feted as much as the Queen and be holding a garden party every year!

By Mitch Wicking

A journalist and reporter for many years Mitch enjoys investigating Life's little wonders such as coloured crystal glasses and many other topics and domains. Click here to find out more.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

You’ve Bought The House, Now It’s Time For Some Fun!

Buying your first home is fraught with high-emotions and stress and is often regarded as one of the most intense and nervy experiences anyone goes through in their lifetime.

It’s hard to disagree with that, but once all the paperwork, waiting for mortgage approval, dealing with solicitors and estate agents, and of course getting used to committing to such expense is out of the way, not to mention the move itself well, it’s time to relax and start having fun.

And that begins virtually straight away because with your new kitchen will no doubt come some new kitchenware, especially if you are starting a life together with a partner. New home, new start, new furnishings are required!

Of course, you may have your favourite mug or cereal bowl, and that’s fine, but one of the great pleasures of creating a new home is filling it with new stuff that will go with your new habitat.

If you are totally starting off from scratch, then you will want to make a list of all the basics implements you may need as it’s very easy to forget many items you take for granted.

Plates and bowls are obvious, but you may want to remember there are different types of plates and bowls – side plates, dinner plates, large pizza plates, dessert bowls, and soup bowls; little dishes and bowls for snacks and crisps, ceramic or plastic?

It’s not as easy as you think.

Pans and cooking utensils are just as important of course, and you will want to make sure you have a variety of sizes to cater for all eventualities. You’ll want baking tins and roasting tins, pots with lids for oven-cooking, and saucepans and frying pans, again with lids, for hob work. There are different coatings too, copper lined or enamel? Non-stick is usually well worth it.

When it comes to glassware, well this is where you can perhaps start choosing some items that are a little more interesting to look at. You will want some general purpose tumblers and tall glasses of course, but if you haven’t got anything to toast your new home with, then something a little classier in the way of coloured wine glasses or champagne flutes might be something to keep in mind when you start shopping. They will of course be useful for other celebrations, parties or anniversaries, so spending time choosing some nice glassware, maybe crystal, needs a little extra consideration.  

But of course, don’t forget all the little extras, because you just know you can’t do without them when the occasion arises – the salt/pepper pots, storage containers, pizza cutter, grater, sieve, colander, coasters…and oh yes, cutlery!

Speaking from experience, it’s so very easy to miss something out, so make a list if you don’t want to make umpteen visits to your local store or online retailer.

By Mitch Wicking

A journalist and reporter for many years Mitch enjoys investigating Life's little wonders for, Gurasu crystal and many other topics and domains. Born and bred in London, father-of-three Mitch now lives and works aboard a beautiful narrow boat on a peaceful marina in the heart of England which he shares with his Leicester “duck”/muse.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Three Questions To Ask A Personal Trainer Before Signing Up

You’d be forgiven for assuming that each and every professional working in the health and fitness industry today was of the same calibre, but you’d also be very wrong indeed. In reality, the differences can be night and day which for clients and customers can mean the difference between fast results and no results at all.

So with this in mind, here are three questions anyone would be wise to ask a prospective personal trainer before signing up to any contract or package:

What Qualifications do You Possess?

Qualifications often amount to no more than words on paper, but in this instance it is vital to look into how qualified they are in field for the sake of your health and safety. After all, there’s really no other way of finding out whether they are in fact a personal training professional, or just a person with an interest in fitness looking to make money through a pretty website. If in doubt of any of the qualifications shown, do a little research online as any leading trainer shouldn’t be looking to rush you into any kind of decision.

Do You Have Any Success Stories to Share?

Any trainer can sing his or her own praises, but do they have any genuine examples or case studies to back up their claims to fame? This is where it pays to look a little deeper than the surface as while they may be able to tell you that they helped Mr. X lose 65lb in the space of 12 months, it’s up to you to verify this. Any pro trainer should be happy to share client feedback or even put you in touch with prior clients to get a better insight, assuming they have nothing to hide.

What Guarantees do You Offer?

And finally, they can’t promise the world overnight but any trainer working in 2013 should be able to offer at least some guarantee of success – assuming their teachings are followed to the letter. If not, it’s again worth asking yourself why exactly they aren’t willing to back their promises in such a way, given that there are so many others across the industry that insist in doing so every time.

By Lisa Morton

Lisa Morton has a seasoned North London personal trainer who has worked for a number of elite agencies and now runs his own private business from his home in Wimbledon. Find out more about Lisa through her Google Plus account.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Three Essential Tips for Cleaner Crystal – Keeping it Gleaming

Ever wondered if there’s a secret to keeping fine crystal glassware gleaming for the long-term? Well, the truth is there are actually hundreds of them, but with the following three essentials you’ll be well on your way to sparkling results every time:

Dishwasher Disasters

Never, under any circumstances no matter how much of a rush you might be in put your crystal glasses in the dishwasher. The trouble here is that even the most advanced dishwashers that claim to have the gentlest setting for these kind of products can get up to God knows what away from view and once the damage is done there’s no going back. Dishwashers are notorious for destroying the finish of crystal glassware and it’s really not worth taking the chance when you can clean them yourself in no more than a minute or two. Seriously…don’t do it.

Mild Temperatures

Next up, don’t be tempted to use really hot water to helm get the glasses shining and never use ice-cold water to rinse them either. Crystal might be durable, but temperature changes cause natural expansion and contraction of the glass which can lead to cracks, chips and breakages. Instead, opt for lukewarm water for both washing and drying with only an approved detergent. Or better still, try polishing crystal items with a weak mixture of water and vinegar for a superb shine without streaks.

Drip Drying

Last up, you might think it’s best to let nature take its course and dry your glasses for you, but it isn’t. As the water dries up and evaporates, it will inevitably leave calcium deposits all over the place which not only look a mess from the start but can permanently damage the finish of crystal. Always dry by hand immediately after washing but remember that you should never, ever hold a wine or champagne glass by its delicate stem while drying…for obvious reasons. Instead, hold it by the bowl and use the gentlest drying action possible with a soft, dry and spotlessly clean cloth/towel.

By Lisa Morton

Lisa Morton is a full-time blogger who also loves well-designed coloured crystal champagne glasses and likes to share her findings with the UK public.