How to Throw the Perfect Party at Home

Has it been a while since you’ve caught up with your close friends and family? Do you have a special occasion that’s worthy of celebration? Then what are you waiting for? Throw a party at home and prepare to have the time of your life! To help you plan the perfect at-home party, here are five tips that will help you put on a party that you and your guests will enjoy immensely.

Prepare, Prepare, and Prepare!

You know that age-old adage “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? Well, this universal principle holds true even when it comes to throwing the perfect house party. Start thinking about the overall theme of your party, as well as the menu, at least a few weeks before the big day. Google home party ideas and let these ideas rest in your mind for a while; sometimes it can take a few days for you to come up with the perfect theme or menu. Also, contact your neighbors and let them know of your plans to put on a party. It’s the respectful thing to do and it should prevent any bad blood forming between you and them.

Send Out Invites ASAP

As soon as you have settled on a date for your big party, send out the invitations (either by email or snail mail) and start confirming attendees. It’s important that you give your guests as much notice as possible if you want your party to be a complete success. This will help build the excitement before the big day. Try and personalise each invite you send out and stay away from bulk mail outs; no one wants to feel like just a number. Also, make sure you have accurately assessed your space and don’t invite too many people. This will just make it uncomfortable for everyone.

Have the Right Outdoor Furniture

If you plan on throwing your party during the warmer months, then make sure you have the right furniture for outside. Furniture made from aluminium and hard wood are best for outdoor environments as these are durable and require less ongoing maintenance. Check out the range of outdoor furniture available on the websites of home décor specialists like Super A-Mart and prepare to get inspired!

Hire a DJ or Create the Ultimate Party Playlist

A party is not a party without killer music. Consider hiring a DJ to take care of the music for the night. Ask around for recommendations and choose a DJ that has a good reputation. If you’d rather take care of the music yourself, then spend some time creating the perfect playlist. But remember: the music you choose will need to appeal to your guests and not just yourself. So choose songs that everyone knows and don’t be musically selfish!

Introduce Your Guests to Each Other

Finally, don’t forget to introduce your guests to each other. A perfect party is one where everyone is talking and mingling with each other. Make an effort to do this at the beginning of the night and no doubt your party will be a complete success!

Do you have any other tips for throwing the perfect party at home? What are they? Leave your ideas below and help others put on the party of a lifetime.

By |January 29th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Getting a good night’s sleep leaves you alert, switched on and ready to go in the morning. Research shows that missing even 20 minutes sleep can lead to a big decline in performance the next day; but many of us struggle to get even close to the 8 hours recommended by doctors!

Well first things first it turns out that the 8 hour guideline is outdated. Long term research conducted by Arizona State University has shown that the healthiest people sleep between 6.5 and 7.4 hours a night, a little less than the guidelines – but still unattainable for some.

Long term sleep deprivation can have permanent effects on your brain’s ability to store and organise information and is also linked with stress, diabetes and heart disease. Sleep isn’t something you can afford to cut down on – missing it persistently will make you groggy, not to mention ill.

Even if you do have enough time for a good night’s sleep interruptions and insomnia can make the night uncomfortable and only minimally restful. There are some easy ways to improve your sleep, starting with your mattress. Memory foam mattresses adjust to your natural sleeping position and can minimise aches and pains. Even if you don’t want to shell out for that, a mattress without broken springs, which supports your back properly, can do wonders.

Consider buying bed and mattress sets together, to prevent overhang or sagging which can ruin your posture, and Bedstar are currently offering a sale on a lovely range of upholstered Ottoman beds, with plenty of storage space underneath.

Plenty of food and drink is also known to promote sleep, and including some in your diet has been shown to boost natural sleep. On the other hand alcohol (particularly red wine), caffeine and spicy foods can all inhibit sleep.

Tart cherry juice is a very rich source of an amino acid named tryptophan and a hormone, melatonin. Both of these act to promote sleep and recent studies have shown drinking a glass a day can boost sleep by almost an hour per night. Many other fruits and nuts like walnuts, almonds, pineapples and many dark vegetables contain melatonin which is also naturally synthesised by your body when it is dark.

Seafood is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid which promotes brain health and is linked with more regular sleeping patterns. If omega-3 supplements aren’t to your taste a nice cup of herbal tea might help you get settled for bed – valerian tea has naturally sedative properties.

Finally, though it might go without saying, try to block extraneous light and sound from your room. If you live near a road, or are disturbed by the sunrise, consider getting some heavy duty blinds to stop the later part of your sleep being disturbed. Sleeping in a cooler (but not cold) room is also shown to be most effective for deep sleep, so try adjusting accordingly.

By |January 27th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

De-cluttering after Christmas

Is your house currently packed with toys, new clothes and gadgets after Christmas? If that sounds like you then you’re not alone. Trying to find space for everything after Christmas can be a struggle and having a de-clutter is one option to finding space for the new items and making some extra money at the same time.

I usually have a clear out before Christmas of items I haven’t used in the last couple of months. If the items I no longer want are in good shape then I will often sell them on ebay or local Facebook selling pages, it gives me some extra money and also gives me some much needed space back (which is usually filled pretty quickly again!). I did this before Christmas but it turns out I still have quite a lot of things which I don’t use and I’m still lacking space so I’m now doing a second de-clutter.

If you’re looking to de-clutter or make some extra money then selling unwanted items is definitely an easy way to do this. It can be time consuming but you could try selling some items one week and others the next week to break it into manageable chunks.

I recently noticed you can choose to accept international bids on Ebay which is great as it means there are more people who might potentially bid on your items which means you might make more money from your item. If you sell an item internationally you will have to arrange international parcel delivery, there are a few companies out there who provide international shipping at reasonable prices so don’t be put off selling internationally. Do make sure you work out the correct postage cost before listing the item as you don’t want to arrange delivery then find out you have underestimated the cost and end up out of pocket.

Below are a few tips that you might find helpful when selling your unwanted items.

  • If you are selling locally and arrange to meet someone always meet in a public place, take someone with you if you can or let someone know where you are going and when you should be back.
  • Take photographs of the items you have for sale. Try taking the photos in natural light and take a couple so potential buyers can see the whole item.
  • Be honest. If there are any imperfections with an item make sure you make that obvious in the listing as you don’t want to have items sent back and have to issue refunds.
  • Try to ensure items are well packaged for shipping, especially if items are being sent internationally as they can easily be damaged. If an item is fragile it’s a good idea to write this on all sides of the box so the courier can see to handle the item with care.
  • Do your research. Look at items which are the same or similar to what you are selling so you can get an idea of how much they sell for and decide what you would be happy to accept.
  • If your item doesn’t sell the first time round try again, your item just has to be seen by the right people and this doesn’t always happen on the first listing.
By |January 26th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

5 Fun Alternatives to the Gym

Ice skating

One of my New Years Resolutions is to lose weight and be healthier and this is something I’m determined to do. It’s something I have struggled with as I’m not a huge fan of the gym and struggle to find alternative ways to exercise that are enjoyable. If you’re struggling for ideas on ways you can get fit without hitting the gym then take a look at the 5 fun alternative to the gym below.

The great thing about the suggestions below is the fact they can be done with friends or children as they are fun for all ages.

Go for a swim

Swimming is a great way to keep fit, especially if you have an injury. It helps strengthen and tone muscles It’s something you can do all year round and if you’re able to go during off peak times it’s usually reasonably priced too. Swimming is something you can do alone or as a family so everyone can have fun.

A leisurely 60 minute swim can burn around 440 calories.

Roller skating

I loved roller skating as a child and I still enjoy it as an adult. We’re quite lucky as we have regular roller discos at our local hall. If you fancy giving roller skating a go but don’t have any roller skates don’t fret, you can usually hire skates at the venue. If you plan on it becoming a regular thing then investing in your own pair is definitely a good idea, you can pick up roller skates and fun roller derby clothing online or in sport shops. Roller skating is great if you have children as it’s fun for all ages.

Roller skating can burn around 500 calories per 60 minutes.

Horse Riding

Horseback riding is great fun and you can burn a surprising amount of calories. If you’ve never ridden before you can try a beginners lesson, try your hand at jumping if you’re a bit more advanced or if you’re used to horses you could head out on a hack to explore. The only down side to horse riding is the expense, it can cost £40+ for an hour which isn’t cheap.

Horseback riding for an hour can burn around 300 calories.

Ice skating

My personal favourite is ice skating, I have always loved ice skating and it’s not only a lot of fun but a great workout as it works the upper and lower body. Like with roller skating you can take your own skates or hire them when you are there, it varies in price depending on when you go.

Ice skating can burn around 500 calories per 60 minutes.

Bike riding

If you have a bike that’s just gathering dust in the shed get it out and go on a bike ride. We are fast approaching the better weather and there’s no better time to enjoy the crisp fresh air and beautiful scenery. What’s more it’s free and you could even save money by biking to work rather than driving.

60 minutes of moderate bike riding can burn around 600 calories.

By |January 22nd, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Creamy Hot Chocolate with Hans Sloane

hanssloane

During the cold Autumn/Winter months there’s nothing better than making a delicious hot chocolate to enjoy. I’m not a huge hot drinks lover but when it’s really cold and I need something to warm me up I always reach for hot chocolate – yummy!

I normally use powdered hot chocolate which is nice depending on which one you buy, however I do find you can often be left with lumps or a grainy taste which isn’t so enjoyable. I was recently introduced to hot chocolate in bead form, something that I hadn’t seen before and was eager to try. It’s used in the same way as powder, you simply add the beads to milk, stir and enjoy.

The Hans Sloane London Drinking Chocolate is a top choice for luxurious hot chocolate that will not only give your chocolate cravings a hit but will also warm you up on cold winter mornings or evenings. The packaging is different from the norm, it comes in a cute coffee shop style package which makes me love it that little bit more. It’s definitely nicer than the usual can which most hot chocolate comes in.

The great thing about the range of drinking chocolate from Hans Sloane is the fact it comes in a variety of flavours, so there’s something for everyone, even me – I’m pretty fussy! There’s Smooth Milk, Rich Dark, Natural Honey, Madagascar 67% and Ecuador 70%. I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate so I decided to give the Natural Honey a try and it was delicious.

creamyhotchocolate

To make your own creamy hot chocolate, you’ll need:

  • Hans Sloane Drinking Beads
  • Milk
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate for grating

For the perfect hot chocolate melt 3 tablespoons of chocolate beads in 200ml of hot milk and stir until dissolved. Pour into a glass, add a heaped tablespoon of cream, grate over some chocolate and enjoy! You can add marshmallows, cinnamon, ginger or any other topping you fancy. Enjoy!

*sample

By |January 15th, 2015|Categories: Food|Tags: |0 Comments