Unique Ways to Celebrate Your Engagement

Getting engaged is an incredibly exciting time. You’ll want to shout it from the rooftops! So, congratulations and now it’s time to think of great ways to celebrate the news with your family and friends. Here are some fun and romantic ideas to inspire your engagement celebrations:

Have your first date again

If possible, revisit and recreate where you spent your first date together. If you’re no longer in the same area, try to recreate it in a similar venue. Order the same meal, see the same movie or anything else you first did together. Even if the date was a disaster for some reason, look back and smile about it. You’re still together and it’s all part of your unique story as a couple.

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Crack open the champagne

There aren’t too many life events that require champagne, but this is definitely one of them. No engagement announcement is complete with corks flying! Whether it’s an intimate drink with just the two of you or you are with friends and family, open a bottle of your favourite bubbly. Don’t like champagne? Substitute with whatever you fancy – cider or tequila!

Plan some pampering

Planning a wedding is busy and often stressful, so schedule in some celebratory pampering time. All eyes will be on you and your ring over the next few weeks, so look and feel your best with a trip to the spa or salon. To get your Diamond Rings, visit comparethediamond formerly Diamond Geezer. A couple’s massage is a nice idea for some alone time, or for girlie gossip with your besties – a mani-pedi is a great option.

Take a celebratory holiday

It doesn’t matter whether you jet across the globe or escape a few miles away in a romantic B&B, after the excitement of announcing your upcoming nuptials, why not spoil yourselves with an intimate holiday? Tune out, turn devices off and just enjoy being together in a relaxed environment. Life will soon get busy and stress again, so just soak up the peace and freedom while you can.

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Photoshoot for newly-engaged

Gone are the days when wedding photos was all you got. These days you can organise a ‘just engaged’ photoshoot. You can even hire a photographer to appear at the moment of proposal if you’re feeling confident. This is a great way of documenting the whole journey and not just the culmination at the wedding day. You’ll have loads of wonderful memories and can even use the photos on your wedding invitations!

Changes in Men’s Shoe Fashions

So, it seems our ancestors weren’t necessarily barefoot. Even though during the Medieval period, only the wealthy elite wore new shoes, the poor masses would still have worn some kind of protective foot covering. There was a widespread practice of repairing and remaking footwear that would have been made from leather and any other available cloth. They weren’t all tottering around on heels either, most men’s shoes were flat. The high heeled ‘poulaines’ of the 14th and 15th centuries with pointy toes and 4” heels were strictly for the aristocracy.

Shoes took a fancier turn in the 17th century under the reign of James I. Large bows or rosettes formed part of the shoe decoration with an arched sole and slight heel. Again, the ornate designs remained the preserve of the wealthy. Following the Civil War, leather military-style boots became increasingly popular, both in Britain and Europe. Even the practical designs for walking and riding would still be embellished with some kind of elegant decoration.

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By the late 18th century, shoes were becoming more available for middle class families as well thanks to income rises and more manufacturing sites producing ready-made pairs of shoes. Following the Enlightenment Movement and the French Revolution of the 18th century, the taste in shoe design become much plainer. Laced walking shoes, flat evening footwear, jockey boot, Wellington boot and ankle boots all became popular items of footwear during the early part of the 19th century.

It was this century that saw the emergence of the Oxford and the Derby design of men’s footwear, designs which remain with us today and are as popular as ever. These styles were worn extensively in the 20th century, along with the brogue which has retained its timeless elegance.

The manufacture of footwear became more mechanised and by 1900, most shoes were being made in large factories and sold via retailers as opposed to a hand-made cottage industry. Soon, the middle classes were demanding a much greater range of styles as they took up sports like golf, cycling and tennis – they needed suitable footwear to match. The very best shoemakers still survive today though, especially top-class bespoke shoemakers in London, for example.

From the mid-20th century onwards, the most significant event in men’s shoe fashion has been the huge diversification in styles available. Fashion means that there is now a quicker turnover in fashionable and sought-after designs, greater ranges of pricing and a lot more experimentation in colours and styles. For a truly modern pair of 21st century shoes, check out Mens Rieker Shoes.

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Since the 1970s sneakers or trainers have become universally popular as another style of footwear for men to choose. Fashion is a lot more informal than it used to be and this is represented by increased comfort. Originating in the U.S, sneakers as common footwear was inspired by the basketball and skating subcultures of the 1970s and 80s. Since then, trainers have become much-loved and ubiquitous footwear for boys and men all over the world.

Five tips for wet-weather camping

Most people’s idea of a fantastic camping trip is sitting in the sun with cold drinks and great food. Wet weather need not ruin your camping trip though, and in fact, some forward planning and minor alterations will ensure you still have a great time. Here are some great tips for camping in rainy weather.

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Buy an air mattress

The last thing you want is to lie on a damp floor. Air mattresses are essential to take on wet-weather camping trips. There are many available, and finding the right one for you will ensure a dry, peaceful sleep.

Clothing

Weather conditions can vary, so it’s important to bring a variety of clothes. Avoid a heavy travel bag by mixing heavy and light clothes. A variety of t-shirts and hoodies is a great way to go, because they’re light to carry, but also provide warmth in cold weather. Jeans also offer comfort and warmth. Take sturdy footwear that will handle muddy conditions, but also provide comfort.

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Update your survival skills

The best thing about camping is that it tests your survival skills. You need to know how to light a fire and keep it burning in wet conditions. Fires also ward away animals from entering your campsite. If you’re planning on catching your own food to eat, then it’s important to have the right fishing equipment. If you’re planning on hunting, then make sure the area you’re staying in allows you to. Before you leave for your trip, go to an outdoor survival store such as https://www.angloforro.co.uk/ to get advice on which items to take with you.

Plastic bags

Pack plastic bags of different sizes to store your items. Larger plastic bags will stop your laundry from becoming wet and will cover your backpack. You’ll also need to protect your phone and other valuable items. Matches can be protected with zip-lock bags and they need to remain dry or you won’t be able to light a fire.

Pitch your tent on level ground

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to pitch your tent on level ground. An uneven surface will leave gaps for cold air to get through, and you’ll inevitably be visited by some pesky critters. You can also put a blanket or water-resistant mat on the floor to absorb condensation.

The beautiful but fragile wings of a butterfly

It is getting close to that time of year again where our gardens will be filled with caterpillars, cocoons and beautiful butterflies. The sunlight shining off a butterfly’s wings is definitely a sight to see. The light seems to reflect the beauty of these insects even more. Similar to how light reflects and refracts through the glass of Chandeliers UK products like those from http://roccoborghese.com/

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Here are some of the more common butterflies that you may see in your garden this summer:

  1. Peacock – One of the most numerous and unthreatened species of European butterflies. It has a very distinctive red colour, but the most striking thing is the black and white eye that is thought to ward off predators. This may explain the non-threatened status. It starts to appear in the spring through the summer.
  2. Speckled Wood – As suggested by the name, these butterflies are located near woodland. The can easily be spotted as the are covered by an orange and brown appearance. The speckling is black and gives the butterfly a spotty appearance.
  3. Common Blue – This beautiful blue butterfly is unfortunately now not so common. Its habitat has been slowly eroded away seeing a drop of ninety six percent in its numbers making it very threatened. Improvements and sanctuaries have been made though and the numbers appear to have stabilised. The problem is that the plants that host mating and larva and cocoons are being systematically destroyed as we lose grassland and woodlands. Special conservation measures have been taken to provide a more stable environment where these butterflies can safely breed has ben in place for many years. The male is a complete pale blue whereas the female is a darker blue with red mottling around the edges of the wings.
  4. Tortoiseshell – Once one of the most numerous and common of Britain’s butterfly’s it was an affirmation that Summer was here when one saw a gathering of this species. Environmentalists see it’s decline as an example of Global warming. It was strongest between 1975 and 1995 when the summer began wet and moved into a warm period. Scientists can find no solid reason for the decline other than this factor as the species does not do well in drought but that is not a common feature of Western Europe where the numbers have decreased significantly. This decline seems to be continuing and unless our habits change this species is going to be in trouble. It is a very distinct colour of orange with a black and white strip in the top of it’s wing. Underneath it is black grey colour completely different from the top to aid in its camouflage.
  5. Red Admiral – This striking butterfly is all black with vivid slashes of Orange and White blobs across its wings. It is an extremely territorial creature that will refuse to mate with other butterflies of its type outside of its area. It is quite a common sight.

Into the Saddle – Things to Think About Before Buying a Horse

Are you considering getting a horse as a pet? Maybe you or your child have a keen interest in riding, or maybe this is something that you are just beginning to look into. If you love animals, you may be better off with bronze wildlife sculptures. Well before you do go ahead and get a horse, there are a few things to consider beforehand….

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Do you have a suitable place for your horse to live? Horses are large animals – they require exercise and a great deal of care. It is unfair to keep an animal cooped up in a place that is too small or not suitable for them. One of the most important requirements is space – the horse will need to have access to a field to exercise in on a daily basis, best if it is with other horses. They will also need somewhere to shelter from the weather – the heat of the sun or the cold wind, it is important that the horse has access to a good shelter.

The cost of owning a horse is a great deal more than buying it. You will need to think about daily requirements such as food and livery costs, as well as the cost of a veterinarian and a farrier. If you are going to be riding the horse, you will also need to buy other equipment that you need, such as saddles, stirrups and reins for example, as well as the correct attire for riding, like riding boots and hats. Research all of these things before you buy a horse, to make sure that you are able to look after the horse financially – remember that horses live into their 20s, you don’t just think about now!

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It is also important to remember that caring for a horse takes up a great amount of time. When you are looking into livery, think about the amount of time you will be able to devote to your horse and how much care that it takes.  As the horse gets older, it may develop health conditions that will require additional care, so think about this too. If you know any people that already own a horse chat to them – ask them how much time they put into caring for their horse and any other questions that you may have.

 

 

Could you Survive in the Wilderness?

In our modern-day lives, the majority of us probably don’t give a second thought to outdoor survival skills – why would we? We are constantly with our mobile phones, able to summon help to anywhere that we are if we should need to. We expect services always to be available to ensure that we are never in a situation that means that we have to fight for our survival in the wilderness. But have we become too reliant on technology as a species? Would you know what to do if there were a disaster or if you were stuck out in the wilderness with no communication with anyone else? Here are a few things to remember that may one day save your life….

First aid skills are one of the most important things that you can have when it comes to surviving on your own. Whatever has happened that leaves you stranded, you, or a member of your group if you are with others, may well have suffered injuries. If you do not have any first aid skills, you should get yourself on a first aid course and learn them! Always keep a first aid kit in your car as well as in your home, so that if disaster strikes, you are prepared for it.

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When you are stuck out of doors, you will need to build yourself a shelter if there is none available, this is a major priority, especially at night, as it will offer shelter from the weather and also any wild animals that may be on the prowl for their dinner (depending on where about you are stranded of course!) Fire is another important thing to have – learning to start your own fire is another important survival skill, as it will provide both heat and light a night. Having survival supplies that you know how to use such as Vanquest outdoor gear from http://www.angloforro.co.uk/product-category/brands/vanquest/, is another great idea to ensure that you are well prepared.

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Water is essential to human life, and we can’t get by for very long without it (approximately 2 days). Finding a source of water is one of the first things that you will need to do, and you will need to make sure that it is clean. You can get water purification tablets, but there are many other ways to clean water that will make it safer for drinking – you may not have water purification tablets on you, but you will probably have clothes which can also become a handy water filter! When it comes to food, it is a good idea to learn what is and isn’t poisonous in the natural world – if you get it wrong you could be in for a nasty bout of sickness, or even death.

5 top Formula 1 facts to know

Formula 1 is the most dangerous racing environment in the world, the most competitive and the most technologically advanced. It isn’t just a race between drivers but the rivalry between cars. To win Grand Prix races, you need discipline, money and attention to detail.

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Formula

The name ‘formula’ derives from a set of rules under which the car and participants must work, first used after World War 11 in 1946. The first race under this new name was held at Silverstone in 1950. A lot has changed over the ensuing 68 years with today’s cars costing anything from £6 to 8 million, but the competitive spirit and a love of speed have not changed.

Cars

Formula 1 cars are made up of about 80,000 components weighing in at 702kg including the driver, excluding the fuel. The 2017 cars are a little heavier at 722 kg and wider with an increase in speed of up to four seconds faster. This will significantly change the role of the driver and make the races more exciting.

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Locations

Formula 1 is definitely a rich person’s sport, travelling around the world to some of the most exotic locations, Monaco is probably the biggest race on the F1 calendar and as a spectator you could be truly spoiled at the famous Ermanno Palace https://edgeglobalevents.com/f1-hospitality/monaco/3rd-floor-ermanno-palace/ which have the best views of the F1 track.

Drivers

The 2018 season starts on March 25 when the drivers line up in Melbourne, Australia. The hot favourite to win his 5th driver’s title is Lewis Hamilton after winning the title by 46 points from rival Sebastian Vettel. The bookies will be keeping a close eye on the youngest F1 winner Max Verstappen who won a race last year in Spain and is only aged 18 years. He still has four seasons to take the title and become the world’s youngest F1 champion.

Laps

The winner of the race is not necessarily the one who goes around a lap in the fastest time. Sponsor DHL has defined a new standard of speed with the ‘DHL Fastest Lap Award’, the Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was one of the seven drivers to win this award in 2017.

Fans think Grand Prix racing has been more exciting, prestigious and competitive over the past two years. What will 2018 bring?

How to pack a box for van removals

Packing and moving all your precious belongings is one of the most stressful parts of moving house, it is, therefore, essential to get it right.

Boxes

It is important to have good strong boxes in various sizes, a quantity of bubble wrap, old newspapers and some tissue paper. When packing, put heavy objects in smaller boxes and keep the larger boxes for lighter items. This way you will prevent the boxes becoming too heavy to lift.

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Items

Think about what should go in each box; items that are used regularly should be packed together, so they are all available quickly when you get to your destination. Books and CD’s etc. can be packed up first as these are items not necessarily required immediately. Bedding and pillows can be used to fill gaps in boxes or around more precious items to give them added protection.

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Label

As you pack each box, label it or use a marker pen, so that you know what is in each box. This will be very useful when you are unpacking and you will be able to put the boxes in the relevant rooms before unpacking them.

Professionals

If you feel you don’t have the time to do your own packing, there are professional companies who will come and pack for you and move your belongings to your new home such as Slough man and van https://www.uk-tdl.com/man-van.html. Using a professional company will take most of the stress out of your move, giving you more energy to get on with the unpacking at the other end.

Declutter

As soon as you have made the decision to move house, you should start decluttering each room and get rid of broken or unused items. The worse areas will be the shed, garage and loft where all of us are guilty of storing items that we know we will never use again. Be brutal! You will then have a clear view as to which items you need to pack.

Essentials

Keep a box for all your paperwork and essential items which you can keep with you at all times. Toiletries and any medications, pet food and bowls, something to entertain the children, tea bags, coffee and milk and snacks to keep you going until you can cook your first meal in your new home.

Putting in an offer on a property

Buying a home can be a complicated process, so here are some handy tips in how to put in an offer and be successful.

Before you make an offer

When you first meet with an estate agent, state the amount you’re willing to spend at slightly lower than the reality. Agents tend to show you properties at the maximum end of what your budget is, so this will put in a good position right from the start when it comes to negotiation. For an Estate Agents Gloucester, visit http://www.tgres.co.uk/

Many people get overexcited and sentimental when it comes to finding a house they really love. Don’t be too obvious that you’ve had your head turned during viewing or the seller will know that you’ll be willing to pay more for it. Try to play it cool and ask lots of questions.

Keep a close eye on what’s happening in the property market in the area you want to buy. How much are home selling for and how quickly do they sell? If they sell slowly and for under the asking price, then you know you’re in a strong position to put in a lower offer.

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Putting in the offer

Notify your estate agent as by law they must pass on every offer they receive to the seller. It’s good practise to put the offer in writing too, an email following a phone call will suffice. If the seller is interested, then the negotiation process can begin through the estate agent. As the agent works for the seller, you might feel there’s nobody acting on your behalf. Often buyers will hire a buyer’s agent to help in the negotiation process.

A lower offer is more likely to be accepted when:

The property has been on the market for some considerable time

If the seller needs a quick move

You are the only person to show interest in a property

Your suggested completion date works well for the seller

If you are able to move quickly and have funds available right away

Bidding tactics

The bidding process can vary – open or sealed. Open negotiations are far more common.

With open negotiations, like any bidding process, start low. Perhaps think about offering 10% lower than the asking price. This is often expected by the seller, so they put their property on the market higher than they expect to receive.

You’ll normally be informed if another bid has topped yours, so you can bid again if it’s within your budget limit. Remember to stay cool and polite, keen but not desperate.

Sealed Bids involve writing down your offer and sealing it in an envelope from which the seller chooses the highest. This is more common in very high demand areas like London. It’s imperative to stick to what you can afford and don’t overbid, or you could find your mortgage company won’t cover it.

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After an offer has been accepted

Gazumping is a problem that around 1 in 10 have experienced. Even when an offer has been accepted, it is still not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged. Sellers have been known to pull out if they receive a higher offer, leaving many buyers out of pocket. There is not much to do apart from ‘counter-gazump’.

Sightings in Welsh Coast Campervans

Most people travel to different countries to see the beautiful sight of a dolphin in it’s natural environment. But many people in the UK are not aware that you can see these beautiful creatures just off the Welsh coast.

Once you have your transport and accommodation sorted (and for a combination of the two take a look at https://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/motorhomes/articles/general/parking-your-motorhome-in-wales ), the next most important thing is to figure out what you are going to do and what better way to spend your time on the coast that sight-seeing for Dolphins. This takes some patience but is an incredibly rewarding sight.

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Bottle-nosed dolphins are highly intelligent mammals and incredibly friendly and playful. Their sociability is also shown in the fact that they live in large groups which can be made up of same sex or mixed sex individuals. Their very survival relies on their ability to interact well with one another. They work together to hunt, give birth and raise their young and tend to one another when they are sick.

Dolphins are very playful, and they can often be seen rubbing up against each other and picking up small rocks or coral from the seabed and deliberately dropping it to watch it fall. This further confirms their intelligent nature. They often jump out of the water to look for the location of seabirds as this help to identify where the shoals of fish can be found.

Some interesting facts about these creatures include:

  • They are born with only one set of teeth to last them their entire lifetime
  • The females breathe whilst sleeping by lying on the water surface, but the males sleep under the surface and momentarily ‘bob’ up to the surface occasionally to breath as a reflex action.
  • Dolphins hunt fish in an organised manner, pushing the shoals into a dense mass causing the fish to become confused and try to escape.
  • A female pregnancy lasts for 10-12 months
  • When delivering the baby a mother will be surrounded by a number of ‘midwife’ dolphins to help protect both her and her new-born from predator attacks.
  • A dolphin can live for up to 50 years.
  • They use echo-location as a means of communication.

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Dolphin and humans have come into conflict for the same fish food source and numerous dolphins have been caught and died in fisherman’s nets. Some dolphins have also become beached on coastline. It is thought that this may be due to their echo-location being upset by ships depth sounders, causing them to become confused about their surroundings and then their distress calls draw other dolphins to them.

Although we are continually learning about these animals there is still much about their life we do not understand. Despite this a dolphin sighting is definitely something to add to your to do list.

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