Thursday, 29 October 2015

From Online Gaming, To Goal-Setting, To Extreme Organisation: Ways To Make Working From Home More Bearable


From online gaming, to goal-setting, to extreme organisation: ways to make working from home more bearable.

Although working from home is often hectic, there are tiny chunks of time in each day that are left empty. Whether you’re ahead of schedule, waiting for an email or you’ve simply finished everything on your to-do list for now, you can use these little breaks to do anything you like no matter how small they are. Everyone works differently and may prefer some more than others, but here are some little activities you can indulge in throughout those short breaks.

Have Fun


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Although having fun in your spare time may not seem productive, it may actually help you to create better work. If you’ve ever played The Sims, you’ll know that they need fun to be able to do serious work, and so do you! In these precious moments you can sing along to your favourite song, dance around, read, write a short story, play online bingo games at bgo.com or jackpotjoy, go got a coffee or anything else in the world as long as you enjoy yourself. Then, when you return to work you’ll feel completely refreshed.

Organise Your Inbox

If you’re working from home, chances are you’re receiving a lot of emails. When you get an extra five or ten minutes, it’ll be very beneficial for you to organize your inbox. It may not sound fun but I guarantee that having an empty inbox is one of the best feelings an email can evoke.

Make Phone Calls

You’re probably also having to make and receive a lot of phone calls whilst working from home, but getting into long conversations or being stuck on hold whilst you have other tasks to do just isn’t productive. Whilst working on other tasks, make a note of everyone you need to call, and then when you get a break you can give them a short call.

Create Goals & Ideas

Place a note pad next to or on your workstation so that every time you get a break you can brainstorm ideas and list everything you want to achieve that day. By constantly adding to your goals list and jotting down ideas you will never run out of inspiration.

Take A Walk


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 Sitting at your desk is not a healthy activity, so during your free time you may want to get up and go for a work. If you don’t have a lot of time, a simple stroll around your home will be enough to get your circulation going and stretch your legs.

Prepare For An Upcoming Project

If your short burst of free time occurs between one project and the next, it may be a good idea to prepare for your next task. Research, outline, plan and list what it is you have to do so that future you has far less work to contend with and you have a far more structured idea. For example, if you're intending to have some fun with online games as suggested about, you could trial online bingo games at bgo.com, unibet or singbingo to first get a better understanding.

Clear Your Desk


Throughout the day your desk may become cluttered, creating an extremely unproductive environment. Whenever you get a minute, try to ensure that everything around you is in place, creating harmonious atmosphere.


Awesome Ways Your Mum Can Help with Your Wedding



Watching her daughter get married is a big day for any mother. And the run up to the event can be just as exciting too. Many mums will want to help out in any way they can, but brides can be a little reluctant to let them get involved. While they might want to hear their mum's opinion, they don't want them trying to take over the proceeds. If you want to help your mum feel included by giving her something to do, there are a few tasks she could be a big help with. Preparing for the wedding can be a little less stressful with some assistance from your mum.

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Help Out with Booking

The initial stages of planning your wedding can be pretty hectic. You need to book a venue first, for both the ceremony and reception. Then you need to start finding contractors for everything from flowers to photography. You might never have had to plan an event this size before, or any event at all. If you need some help, mums can be perfect for this. Ask her to help out with finding somewhere to host the wedding, but make sure you give her some idea of what to look for. She could even be the main point of contact for some of the professionals you'll be working with. But remember that's a lot of work, so only suggest that if you think she has time.

Help with the Guest List

Deciding who to invite to the wedding can be troublesome. You might be trying to keep it small, but there are lots of distant relatives expecting an invitation. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but spending more to accommodate everybody doesn't make sense. Your mum can help you decide who is a must on the guest list from your side of the family. She can even suggest people who might like an invite, but realistically can't come. She could also communicate with the groom's family to make sure you can include who they want to invite too.

Offer Fashion Advice

Getting your mum's opinion on some of the big decisions can help to give you some perspective. Sometimes it's that if mum likes it, it must be good, and sometimes it's the opposite. Either way, asking what she thinks about the wedding outfits can be helpful. And, of course, it's her job to choose her own outfit. It's up to her to find something appropriate for your wedding. But it's also a nice thing to do together. Even if you don't live close, you can buy mother of the bride dresses online. You can trade links and have a look at each other's choices for your outfits.

Turn Up to Pre-wedding Events

Invite your mum to some of the pre-wedding proceeds too. She might not want to come to the hen party, but some brides have a more sedate bridal shower. And, of course, she'll be coming to the rehearsal dinner if you have one. She could also help to plan these events if you need some backup.

Your mum will love the chance to be involved in your wedding plans. If you want to take it a step further, give her a special role at the wedding or ask her to make a speech.


Friday, 23 October 2015

Ideal Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Married Friends



Not many people buy gifts for their friends’ wedding anniversaries every year. But if it’s a landmark anniversary, such as 5 or 10 years, it’s nice to buy them something. And here are some ideal wedding anniversary gifts.

Household Items

Buying items that are useful around the house are always useful when you’re looking for gifts for married couples. They will always be able to make use of a new set of sheets for the bed or some new cushions. These make great gifts because they’re simple and useful, and that’s exactly what a good wedding anniversary gift should be. You should pick the items that are most interesting and a little different to the dull and boring items that everybody is likely to buy for the couple.

A Night Out Together

Sometimes, giving a couple some time to spend with each other is the best kind of gift you can give. Of course, you shouldn’t go along with them! You just need to book a table for them and tell them where to go and what time to get there. This is the kind of gift that’s really thoughtful, and it will go down great with them. It’s an especially good gift if the couple you’re buying the gift for are always busy and don’t manage to get out much because of work or family commitments.

Framed Photo

This is a very simple type of gift to get for your friends, but it can be a great gift too. All you have to do is buy a nice frame. You can visit http://www.giftsfromhandpicked.co.uk/ to find photo frames. You can then get hold of a photo of the couple and put it in the frame. Alternatively, you could simply give them the frame and allow them to choose which photograph they want to fill the frame with. Whichever of these two options you choose, it’s a great gift, and one you should definitely consider.

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A Wine and Cheese Gift Basket

There’s nothing better than food and alcohol when you’re stuck for gift ideas. Wine and cheese is a classic combination, and it never fails to satisfy the recipients. There’s no need to spend too much on it. You could put together your own basket by buying a couple of bottles of wine and some nice cheeses. It’s a simple idea, but one that always works. So, if you don’t know what to buy, don’t be afraid to fall back on this classic idea; it’ll go down wonderfully. You can put together the basket by following the guide at http://www.streetdirectory.com.

A Short Break

If it’s a big anniversary, like 25 years, and the couple are very long and close friends, you might want to opt for a bigger gift. One gift that requires you to splash out a lot is buying a short break for them. Paying for a weekend away is not cheap, but it’ll be the best gift they get, that’s for sure. It’s the kind of gift that really shows that you care about the couple and value their friendship immensely. You can buy spa breaks or weekend adventure breaks. What kind you choose should depend on what they like to do.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

How to Organise a Great Halloween Party for the Kids



Halloween is just around the corner, so why not put on a party for your kids and their school friends?

Choose the Date and Time Wisely

The first thing to consider is when the party will take place. You need to think carefully about this. You don’t want to put the part on an evening when there’s school the next day because parents might not let their kids attend. So, a Friday or Saturday night just before or just after the 31st of October is the best time to hold the party. If your children are small, you could hold the party during the day on the Saturday. Planning the time of the party is important, and largely dependent on the age of the children.

Send Out the Invites

You then need to decide who is going to be coming to the party. You obviously need to ask your kids who they want to invite, but you should also be realistic with the numbers. You don’t want to invite so many people that you can’t keep control and look after them all. When you’ve finally decided on the list of invitees, design some cool Halloween invites with your children. Or find templates at http://www.greetingsisland.com. Then they can give out the invites when they get to school the next day. If people drop out or can’t come, you can invite other people.

Plan the Fun Activities

To keep the kids entertained once they come over, you’ll have to have some fun activities planned for the evening. There are lots of different types of party games that will keep them occupied, but it’s all about the preparation. You could do some spooky tricks for the kids, for example. Visit http://www.magicnevin.com/ to discover more about things that will help you perform your own tricks. One fun game for Halloween is a donut eating race. You make the kids put their hands behind their backs and then dangle a donut in front of them. The aim is to see who eats theirs first.

Decorate the Home

The party simply won’t be as good as it could be if you haven’t given the home a Halloween-themed makeover for the occasion. You could put up a banner with “Happy Halloween” written across it. And you could add lots of spooky fake cobwebs and plastic creepy crawlies to give the kids a gentle fright. Of course, this will all depend on the age of the children. If they’re very young, you won’t want to scare them too much, so keep this in mind when decorating.

Prepare Some Food

If you’re inviting over a load of excitable kids, they’re going to expect to be fed at some point during the evening, so you need to make some food. You can put out the classic kid’s party options. But you can also give the food a bit of a Halloween twist if you want to as well. You could make some cakes and cover them with ghostly pictures and lots of orange and black icing. Toffee apples are also great options for Halloween. Don’t worry about it too much though, because they’ll be stuffing it in their mouths before they’ve much of a chance to look at it!

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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Blogger Interview Tag




I've seen this tag floating around for a couple of weeks now and then out of the blue, the lovely Danielle tagged me to do it! So let's crack on...

How did you get into blogging?
I started a blog when i was 14 for a strange reason. I had a friend who had been writing a diary for as long as i had known her and she said it was nice to look back on things that had happened, dreams she had etc and the idea really appealed to me but because i was still at school and did enough writing on a daily basis with never ending coursework, i thought typing would be a good alternative. So i started a little blogging journal and i really enjoyed it but then i had my daughter in 2003 and i just didn't have the time. Then 9 years later, i met and fell in love with Carl but i also had to accept his love of fishing which took up the majority of his weekends. I no longer danced and i thought to myself 'i want a hobby' and then i remembered my little blog all those years ago and in October 2013, i created Pieces Of Kate and the rest as they say is history.

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?
The best advice i would give is to not compare yourself to other bloggers. Blogging is like learning to drive a car, we all get in it for the first time and we don't have a clue what we're doing. But in time and with a little guidance, we start to learn and improve and before you know it, you're a natural. There are too many bloggers out there that rip off others by stealing content, design and sometimes even word for word posts but you should never do this. If you want any kind of respect from the blogging world, be yourself and don't immitate others. You may see a blogger who has a really big following and is working with brands at every opportunity but they didn't get to where they are overnight, it's hard work and we all have to start at the bottom. Keep your expectations at a minimum because then the rewards you get from your hard work make all of it worthwhile.



What would be your dream campaign?
I have three that have been at the forefront of my mind for a long time now. The first would be anything to do with shoes. My shoe obsession is well known and documented so having the opportunity to work with a shoe brand would be a dream come true. The second is something to do with Alice in Wonderland, again this is my obsession shining through and thirdly, i would love to be involved in a campaign around a Leukemia charity. My best friend Sully was diagnosed with
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and it took his life 26 months later. I watched him suffer knowing there was practically nothing i could do to help him so i would love to be involved in a campaign that could raise awareness and money to find a cure.

Do you have a plan for your blog?
I guess i have the same plan as every other blogger and that's to just keep on improving. We all want to be up there with the big names and be invited to red carpet events and have the opportunity to work with some really big brands but frankly, all i want to do is keep on improving my content and creating posts my readers enjoy.

What do you think about rankings?
I absolutely detest anything competitive. School sports days are the worst but rankings are a close second. A bloggers worth should not be based on rankings alone and i can't stand companies or blogging platforms that expect you to have sky high rankings before the work with you. I don't pay any interest to where i rank in the scheme of things because i am not in a competition. I blog because i enjoy it and i will not be dictated to because of a random set of numbers.


Thanks again to Danielle for tagging me to do this, i'm tagging my girls to give it a go themselves.


Monday, 19 October 2015

50 Films To Watch Before You Die :: Part 4



Stand By Me
There's no film ever made or ever will be made that sums up friendships more than Stand By Me. 4 friends learn the general location of a body and go looking for it but along the way, they learn about what friendship is really all about. One of the most iconic films ever made in my opinion.


The Kings Speech
Colin Firth is one of my favourite actors (for obvious reasons) but his portrayal of King George VI is fantastic. The film is based on the struggle the King had with his stutter and the help he got to control it from the amazing Lionel Logue. An inspiring movie.

Last Vegas
4 friends who haven't seen each other in years come together for one of their stag do's. Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro & Kevin Kline in one place..it's perfection. This film will leave you howling with laughter and make you appreciate that friendships can withstand the test of time.

Don't Say A Word
If you enjoy a good thriller movie, this is worth watching. The late Brittany Murphy plays a disturbed girl who is keeping a specific set of numbers secret from the gang of men that killed her father. Michael Douglas as a psychiatrist has to penetrate the depths of her mind to retrieve it in order to get back his daughter before the gang kill her.


The Witches
A Roald Dahl classic that was turned into an equally amazing film. I still get a shiver down my spine when the little girl disappears from the painting. Don't expect broomsticks and cauldrons from this movie but be ready for one of the best films you've ever seen, trust me.


Jumanji
Jumanji deserves so much more credit for being one of Robin Williams' best films. Imagine playing a game and every move you make has consequences such as giant spiders, a hunter out to kill you and a stampede. And on top of that, none of it will go away until someone wins, that's Jumanji.


Drop Dead Fred
I find it very hard to believe that there is anyone in the English speaking world that hasn't seen Drop Dead Fred. But if you are one of those crazy people, WATCH THIS FILM! An imaginary friend has never been so much fun! 

Mrs Doubtfire
Robin Williams has never made me laugh more, than when he played Mrs Doubtfire. If you are ever in one of those moods where you feel like life is weighing down on you and the only thing that will make you feel better is a funny, lighthearted film then this is perfect for you.


Quartet
A retirement home for musicians is hosting it's annual gala and the stars of the show are the Quartet, Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly & Pauline Collins. British actors, British sense of humour, an overall brilliantly British film.


Notting Hill 
One of the greatest love stories to come out of the cinema and once again, it comes from the UK. Now don't get me wrong, pay attention to the whole film, but pay specific attention to Spike, he will have you laughing until your ribs hurt.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

50 Films To Watch Before You Die :: Part 3



Sleepy Hollow
I'm not just indulging in my obsession with Johnny Depp, Sleepy Hollow genuinely is a brilliant film that you must see before you die. Everyone has heard the story of the headless horseman and that's what this is based on. 


Hansel & Gretel
Again, another story everyone has heard of but this is more than just a couple of kids eating candy from a witch's house. Hansel & Gretel become witch hunters after killing the witch in the candy house. I was surprised by how good this film was actually. If you enjoy Van Helsing, you will love this.


Rocky 4
Easily my favourite of the franchise. Apollo is killed by Ivan Drago ( a heavyweight Russian boxer) and Rocky wants revenge. If you can't be bothered with the other Rocky's, please watch this one. It's inspiring.


Case 39
The beginning of the film makes you believe that the character is innocent but you soon find out you're wrong. A social worker takes in a child whose parents are trying to kill her, she soon discovers they have a very good reason to.

Law Abiding Citizen
Another film where the viewer is led to believe a character is innocent. A man  who wants justice for the death of his wife and daughter may seem like an innocent prospect but you'd be wrong to believe he is as innocent as he makes himself out to be.


The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
A word of warning, this film is incredibly upsetting. The son of a nazi discovers the fence of a concentration camp and befriends a small jewish boy on the other side. Like i said, this film is VERY upsetting but the acting and storyline is absolutely brilliant so it's worth watching simply to enjoy the brilliance of the acting.


Hook
Peter Pan is a story that everyone knows but Hook is the story of how Peter has forgotten who he really is and he must go back to Neverland to not only rescue his kids who have been kidnapped by Hook, but to remember that he is the boy who never grows old. Robin Williams' acting is perfect and is a perfect mixture of comedy and serious. You really need to watch this film no matter what your age.


Finding Neverland
People forget that it wasn't Disney who created Peter Pan, it was J.M Barrie and Finding Neverland follows his journey and the influences behind the characters. Johnny Depp & Kate Winslet work brilliantly together and make the film really magical. Another film that you will definitely shed a tear or two while watching.


Carrie
The daughter of a deeply religious mother discovers she can control things with her mind. A social outcast and figure of hate at her high school turns her into a killing machine. A remake was made of this a few years ago but i advise you watch the original with Sissy Spacek, it's not your typical horror film.

 Airplane
The biggest slapstick movie i have ever seen and one that the whole family will love no matter what their age. My daughter watched this when she was 9 and she was crying from laughter. I can't begin to tell you how silly it is but it's a classic and should be watched asap!


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Style The Fendi Monster With Farfetch



When i was asked to Style The Fendi Monster for Halloween, i got excited because i love a good challenge. 

After having a really good browse of the site, i kept on going back to the Shourouk Embellished Monster Keyring and i knew that this would be the perfect starting point for style the Fendi Monster. I love the chinese dragon/new year vibe it has so this gave me plenty of ideas of where to go clothing wise.



I love this Lamb Fur Gilet in white, (let's face it, it's October and the Fendi Monster needs to be kept warm!) It looks so cosy and gilets are a key trend at the moment. The Ribbed Skater Dress will create a monochrome look and it will work perfectly with the crisp white gilet. Every monster needs a decent handbag and the Fendi monster is no exception so i picked out this beautiful 3jours Tote in black to compliment the monochrome vibe. A simple yet classic pair of black pumps will work alongside the rest of the design and i absolutely adore these Plateau pumps with the platform. To finish off the entire look, this stunning pair of Gentle Monster Square Frame Sunglasses because the Fendi Monster is so fabulous, she's the type who wears her sunglasses indoors and outdoors.

Big thankyou to Lauren from Farfetch for givin me the opportunity to get involved, it was good fun putting the look together.





50 Films To Watch Before You Die :: Part 2


Titanic
Oh Leo...Ahem, James Cameron's Titanic was the biggest film of the 90s. There are so many films about the infamous ship but this was is the best. You will cry i promise you that.


Inception
This is one of those films that you should watch twice to fully understand what's going on but it's worth doing. If you are fascinated by dreams and lucid dreaming, this is spot on. And as an added bonus, it has Leo Dicaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Tom Hardy in it..yummy!!


Four Weddings & A Funeral
When the brits make a film, we do it perfectly. Four Weddings & A Funeral centres around a group of friends who are invited to weddings and none of them are married themselves. This leads to the ultimate question 'Does true love really exist'? It's an incredibly funny film and you will be able to relate to at least one of the characters.


Maze Runner
I actually ended up watching this on a whim and i was so happy that i did. This film (and i'm assuming the book) is fantastic. I won't get into too much detail because it will ruin it but trust me, this film will have you on the edge of your seat.

The Money Pit
A couple buy a house for a bargain price but then discover why it's so cheap. An exploding turkey, a hole in the floor and a disappearing staircase are just a few of the problems they face. This is one of Tom Hanks' best films and is one that will have you laughing out loud everytime you watch it.



Father Of The Bride
Another oldie but such a good one. A father discovers his daughter is getting married and he is struggling to cope with the fact his little girl is growing up. Steve Martin was absolutely perfect to be cast as George, the over protective parent. Funny and heart warming, you don't need anything else.


The Exorcist
The most terrifying film ever made. So much so that it was banned in many countries and once the laws were loosened, people were leaving the cinema vomiting, passing out and were genuinely terrified. I personally don't find it scary but if Horror films bother you, this will completely destroy you but you really have to see it just to say you were brave enough!


Inner Space
Scientists have created a way to shrink a man enough to inject him inside a rabbit for research, but when the lab gets raided, he ends up being injected into the body of a paranoid supermarket worker! A very funny film and a must see.


Indiana Jones :: The Last Crusade
My favourite of the trilogy but all of them are fantastic. Indiana and his dad are on the hunt for the Holy Grail all the while being chased by Nazi's who want it for themselves. It's very far fetched but everyone loves the Indiana Jones movies enough to look past that.

Jaws
I have always hated the sea and after watching Jaws for the first time, i hate it even more. This film about a giant Great White Shark terrorising and killing people will really have you questioning your actions the next time you go to the beach.






Friday, 16 October 2015

50 Films To Watch Before You Die :: Part 1


I've lost count of the number of films i've watched in my time and everyone has an all time favourite, but i thought i would put together posts of the top 50 films i recommend you should watch before you die. A movie bucket list if you like...

The Goonies
If you've never seen or even heard of this film, you can never call yourself a child of the 80s. This classic film is about a group of children trying to find the treasure ship of the pirate One Eyed Willy (i was an adult before i realised the filthy humour behind his name) so that they can get the money together to stop their houses being torn down. It's scary, funny, intense and moving and one of the best films ever made.

Beetlejuice
A case of don't judge a film by it's box cover. This may look like a horror but it's actually more of a comedy. A disgraced exorcist that has been banished from the underworld because he is basically a trouble causing pain in the arse is now living in a model village. The couple who made it were killed in a crash and now haunt their old house and try everything to evict the new occupants until they eventually have to ask for help from Beetlejuice. An incredibly funny film.

Dirty Dancing
This film needs no explaining as i'm sure everyone has heard the immortal line " No one puts baby in the corner " and sang along to 'I had the time of my life' at a karaoke night. What may be classed as a girly rom com is actually a film men do enjoy aswell.

Rosemary's Baby
A horror/thriller movie from the 70s, back when horror films were more about the devil rather than ripping the guts from someone. Rosemary and her actor husband move into a new apartment and soon become familiar with their neighbours. After waking from a strange nightmare where she believes she was being sexually assaulted by the devil himself, she discovers she is pregnant but the pregnancy is far from normal and her neighbours are behind it all. It might sound messed up but trust me, this film is brilliant and one of Roman Polanski's best scripts by far.

Gone With The Wind
Don't be fooled by the age of this film. It was made in 1939 but it really has withstood the test of time. A lot of movies these days are really badly written and acted but Gone With The Wind is a beautiful story of romance, betrayal and it has the best one liner of all time.. " Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".

Ghost
The iconic scene where they make a clay pot together is one of those moments we all swoon over, unless of course you've never seen it! The makers of Ghost got it so right; there is happiness, tears, comedy and suspense but it's not overdone and it all blends in so well together. I love Whoopi Goldberg as Odame Brown, i laugh every time.

Paperhouse
One of the most terrifying psychological thrillers i have ever seen. A young girl falls ill and while bedridden, she draws a house and every night when she falls asleep, she ends up at this house and when she wakes, she adds more and more to the drawing including a young boy. It may sound harmless but this film terrified me as a kid and still scares me now i'm an adult.

The Godfather
An absolute must see. It's actually a trilogy but the first one is my personal favourite. I'm not going to say too much about it because it needs to be seen to be believed but this is another classic movie and once you've seen it, you will be hooked and watch it over and over again.

Misery
One of Stephen King's best books was made into a film and it's absolutely brilliant. A famous writer is involved in a car crash and he is taken in by his 'biggest fan' Annie Wilkes who nurses him back to health. Sounds heroic? She won't let him leave until he re-writes his book to how she likes it and will do whatever it takes to keep him there. Not so heroic now! Kathy Bates is brilliant as Annie and she absolutely terrifies me.

Return To Oz
Everyone has seen The Wizard of Oz but Return to Oz is equally as brilliant. Dorothy returns to Oz to find everything has gone wrong and Queen Ozma is being held prisoner in the mirrors of Princess Mombi. My daughter watched this and she was scared silly by the Wheelers. Never heard of the Wheelers? Watch this film and you'll soon meet them.