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02/03/2015

Lifestyle | Summertime Special: Six Fantastic Things To Do In The Sun

Okay, so the weather might not be warm just yet, but wait a couple of months, and the sun will be back to stay. I've already started to plan what I am going to do this year, and so I wanted to share some inspirational ideas with you. I just love the summer months, because there are loads of things to do and, of course, it is festival season. Read these six fantastic things to do and see if you can add some to the list as well.

1. Start making ice cream 

If you love ice cream (and, who doesn't like ice cream?), you should try making some for yourself. You can pick up an ice cream maker on eBay or Amazon for around £30. You will quickly make your money back, though because you can make tasty treats for yourself all summer long. It would be a fun idea to experiment with different flavours and make some bizarre concoctions. Why not try a jelly baby and chocolate mix? Or maybe, strawberries and fudge? Go on, you know you want to.

2. Plan a romantic picnic 

If you want to spend some quality time with your partner, now is your chance to do so. A picnic is always romantic, and so you don't have to try all that hard to make this activity special. You should pack a lunch for the two of you in a wicker basket. Take two plastic wine glasses and a bottle of the finest vino with you as well. If you head to a local park, you can sit down and enjoy the summer sun in peace.

3. Have a water fight 

Sometimes, it is hard to act like an adult all day every day. Don't you want to be a kid again? Of course, you do, and you can. When there is a hot day this year, you have the perfect excuse to get out a water pistol and start a full-on water fight with people. If you happen to have housemates or a (willing) boyfriend, you can challenge them to a water fight in the garden.

Mike Towber
4. Ride a roller coaster

Are you a thrill seeker? If you love white-knuckle rides, you should take a look at some of the incredible theme parks around the country. Most of the time, you can get attraction tickets online before you visit the park. That way, you don't have to spend hours queuing for tickets when you get there. Simple.

5. Plan a summer outfit 

Summer fashion is always fun to design. If you want to give yourself a little makeover, there has never been a better time to do so. When the weather is hot, you can afford to experiment a bit with your sense of style. That means that you can try a few different things out and see what suits you. Hit the high street and see whether you can get some summer bargains this year.

6. Go to a festival!

As you know, I can't wait to get tickets for Download Festival this year so that I can see Kiss. It doesn't matter what type of music you listen to, you can bet that there is a festival to suit your taste. If Download sounds a little heavy, you might want to try Leeds and Reading or Glastonbury. Some of the festivals have already begun to release the lineups. That means that you can check out which bands are playing which festivals and choose one to suit you.

These ideas should inspire you if you are not sure what to do in summer 2015. If you have any fun ideas for the sun, don't forget to leave a comment!


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01/03/2015

LIFESTYLE| Organizing The Party Of The Year? Your Essential Guide To A Stylish Event At Home


I know I am a bit premature speaking about this, but in August I am going to be 30. This, in my family, means a big party at my mums, which also means loads of planning! If you fancy giving a party and trying your hand at being the party organizer, I will give you some great tips to keep it chic, stylish, and the perfect opportunity to show off that dress.

Organization
To throw a party to remember, you need to get really organized. You can hire a party planner, or you can have a go at managing everything yourself. If you can pull it off, you may even have a future career in it! Get yourself a good event planner. On it should be all the basics like decoration, food, music and drinks. Once you have decided how many people you need to cater for, you can start working out how much booze and nibblies you need.

Alcohol
 Pouring straight from the bottle or drinking beer from a can is not going to cut it if you want to throw the ultimate party. Hire a cocktail bartender and agree a good menu of great drinks. Make sure you have plenty of supplies of ice, umbrellas, olives, cherries and strawberries. Provide good quality brands of drinks, and glassware to go with it. Make sure there are also plenty of bottles of water available.

Food
Hire a caterer to either serve at the party or at least deliver some of the best gourmet nibbles you can come up with. Make sure everything truly is finger food, especially if you can’t supply everyone with a table and cutlery! Be sure to bring in some exotic dishes to set tongues fluttering.

Decor - Your party planner, if you have hired one, can usually provide some great decorations. If you are having a go at this yourself, get hold of some good suppliers of table coverings, helium balloons, table decorations and sofa coverings. You should also hire or buy some good quality lighting to set the mood. Strings of LEDs work great in your garden, but you may want something a little more chic for indoors.

Music
Neighbors can be a complete nuisance when it comes to accepting your volume levels. Make sure they are invited to avoid conflict. Hire a DJ or set up your iPhone with some great tracks to play through your speaker system. Hiring a band or even a high-profile musician to entertain your guests would certainly create some buzz in your social circles. But professionals are incredibly expensive. Choose where you apply your budget carefully.


Party dress photo from Flickr.com

Help
While you may be a party planner extraordinaire, nobody can do it alone. Get some help in from the girls or family. If nothing else, the after-party clean-up is definitely more than one girl can handle. Then you can sit back and catch up with Twitter.

Do you live for party planning or are you more of an invitee?

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28/02/2015

Lifestyle | Leaning Spanish With Flash Sticks



I have been trying to learn Spanish for years. I did a one year Spanish GCSE when I was at college, I passed it and was sort of happy, but then never really put it to use despite going to Spain at least once a year since.

Whilst at University I worked in Spain for a summer - in my grandads office, where everyone could speak English, so yet again I didn't really need to use my poor linguistic skills. Don't get me wrong, I know enough to get by, and in the situation words come into my head, but conversations are beyond me.

I've never been good at languages - my father is Iranian and tried to teach me Farsi when I was younger, but I never picked it up and eventually he gave up. At school both French and German were my worst subjects. I had to take a modern language at GCSE and learnt French, which I managed to pass - this surprised my teacher so much she almost fell over!

Anyway, here I am again trying to learn Spanish - with Joe using Flash Sicks. I think the concept is great, you basically get coloured sticky notes with different words on, to stick around the house, or wherever you like to help you learn. The notes are colour-coded the yellow ones are verbs and adjectives, the pink feminine nouns and predictably blue for masculine nouns. In total, there are 100 words in the beginners set. You can then download the app, scan your note, the will app identify the word and plays you a short video of someone pronouncing the word.

So far, I have stuck them on my bedroom wall as a prompt to go over them in the morning and evening. I've remembered the first 20 and am working on my the pronunciations.

Can you speak another language? Would you like to?


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