Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Dublin as a Hen Party Destination - 6 Top Tips

This is a sponsored post but it's given me some brilliant inspiration for my hen do!

Without question, Dublin is one of the most popular destinations for hen parties and it’s not difficult to see why. From the famously warm welcome of its people to its fantastic nightlife, you’re almost guaranteed to have a great time as you experience the 'craic' first hand. If you’re thinking of having your own party there, our 6 top tips should help things go even more swimmingly!

1) Consider taking the ferry instead of the plane

When making their travel preparations, a lot of people won’t even consider anything other than flights. However, don’t rule the good old-fashioned ferry immediately. It’s not even that old fashioned any more, as the fast ferry can get you over the Irish Sea in a little over three hours. As well as being cheaper, it’s arguably a more pleasant experience, as you can move freely around the boat, and facilities such as cinemas and bars are available, so you can get the party going before you’ve even reached Ireland! It’s unlikely that you’ll be sad to miss all the airport security checks and there’s no limit on how much luggage you can take. Finally, if you have a designated driver, it saves the hassle and expense of renting a car. 

2) Ladies Day at the races can be great fun

In all likelihood, neither yourself nor anyone else in your party is an ardent horseracing fan. Even so, Ladies Day at the races is fantastic fun, even if you don’t fancy a flutter. The emphasis is on looking great and having fun, plus there is usually a prize on offer for the best dressed lady!

3) Rent a party bus

You want your hen party to be memorable, so why not do something unique that you’ll really remember, such as renting a party bus? A tour of the city is usually included as part of the rental package, and after that, your driver will be happy to chauffeur you to the nightspots of your choice. Alternatively, you can have your own private party on the bus itself! 

4) Plan your night out in advance

So, you’re all dressed up and looking great, but where are you going to go for a drink and dance? Save yourself the hassle and disappointment of ending up in an unsuitable or just plain rubbish venue by doing a bit of research in advance. Dublin has a great night life scene, so with a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to find something that’s perfect for your party. 

5) Consider adding a bit of adrenaline 

It might not be for everyone, but having a go at an exciting sport or activity can really spice up your hen party. There’s no shortage of options in and around Dublin, with everything from go karting to whitewater rafting available. A lot of the activities can be tailored to your party’s skill level and adrenaline threshold, so be sure to discuss your requirements with the organiser in advance.

6) Experience a bit of Gaelic culture

You’re in Ireland, after all, so it’s a great idea (and great fun!) to take in a bit of the unique Gaelic culture whilst you’re there. If you’re a sporty lot, there are companies offering introductory sessions in Gaelic games such as hurling and Gaelic football. If that’s not to your taste, then why not take an Irish dancing lesson? You’ll take some Riverdance skills home with you as well as some great memories!

About This Article: This article has been provided by Absolute Party Buses, a Dublin based party bus provider that specialises in stag nights, hen nights and wedding party transfers. Visit www.absolutepartybuses.ie for more information.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

National Wedding Show

So since the man proposed last week we've done nothing but talk weddings. We have an idea of how we want everything to be and all I want to do is go shopping.....pretty hard when it's still 10 days until payday!!

For some inspiration (and because I can't find a dress that I like that isn't ridiculously expensive!!) I was thinking that it would be a good idea to visit the National Wedding Show. Not only should they have plenty of dresses for me to peruse but I can also check out ideas for shoes, cakes and bridesmaid dresses. I'll let you know how I get on :-)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Monday, 21 January 2013

6 Weird and Wonderful Easter Traditions From Around The World

This is a sponsored post

Christmas has been and gone, but for many areas of the UK the cold spat is only just really beginning. While greenery and sunshine might seem a million miles away for us Brits in the wintry seasons, have no fear: in just a few months, spring will have thoroughly sprung and there will be chocolate eggs, blue skies, and Easter entertainment to enjoy. In anticipation, we’ve compiled a selection of the best - and bizarre-est! - Easter festivities from all over the globe. Who knows, you might even find some inspiration for a unique way to celebrate this year.
·       In the city of Haux in the south west of France, you’ll find the locals putting all their eggs not into one basket, but into one absolutely gigantic dish. Each Easter Monday chefs take over the town square and create an omelette of colossal proportions, capable of feeding up to 1000 people and made from between 4500 and 5000 eggs. Elsewhere across France (and French-speaking Belgium), the story goes that the Easter Bells fly from their steeples to visit Rome during the holiday, returning on the Sunday with chocolate eggs for the French children.
·       Chocolate isn’t the only way to overindulge at Easter in Papua New Guinea where some rather peculiar rituals take place. In many parts of the country, Easter Trees stand outside the churches. By the time Easter Sunday comes around, the trees are covered with distinctive decorations: hanging sticks of tobacco and packets of cigarettes. These are even handed out amongst the congregation after the Sunday church service! Afterwards, Papa New Guineans usually return home for a slightly more wholesome activity, and dine on the leftovers from Good Friday’s meal.
·       Easter has a Halloween feel in Sweden and Finland. Children often dress up as witches or dirty their faces with soot, carrying broomsticks and coffee pots while they go in hunt of sweets from local houses. In some areas of Finland it is traditional to hold a bonfire on Easter Saturday, as it was once believed that the blaze would ward off any witches or evil spirits who happened to be roaming around and causing trouble.
·       At midnight on Holy Saturday, Greece is filled with the sound of celebration: church bells ringing, horns blaring, and fireworks exploding. If you were to visit Corfu that morning, however, all you’d be able to hear is the sound of smashing crockery. At 11am in the city centre, the locals throw clay pots filled with water (known as ‘botides’) from their balconies! This custom came to Corfu from the Venetians, who celebrate the New Year by throwing old pots and other household items out of their windows.
·       We’re probably all familiar with Easter traditions celebrated in England (as well as other English-speaking regions of the world) such as the story of the Easter Bunny, the exchange of chocolate eggs, and mass consumption of hot cross buns. UK breaks away from home are a common way to relax during the springtime too. The origins of these customs are less well known. Easter eggs, for example, pre-date Christianity as they have always symbolised new life and are associated with spring.  Before chocolate eggs became popular, hard-boiled eggs would be used instead and painted in bright colours and patterns. The Easter Bunny might well descend from the pagan use of the rabbit as a symbol of fertility, but the first mentions of the Easter Bunny come from 16th century German writings, and the first edible bunnies, made from pastry, cropped up in Germany around 200 years ago. 
·       In Australia, however, the Easter Bunny isn’t such a welcome visitor, as rabbits are actually considered a pest with a reputation for destroying crops. Instead, a campaign was launched in the early 1990s by the Foundation For Rabbit-Free Australia to raise awareness of the problem. The Foundation aim was to have him replaced by the Easter Bilby, the bilby being a small indigenous rodent with soft rabbit-like ears. As a result, bilby-shaped confectionary and chocolate can be bought all over Australia.
Do you have any cherished Easter traditions in your family, or anything special planned for your Easter holidays this year?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Proposal..........

So my gorgeous boy proposed to me yesterday. It was lovely, romantic, snowy and absolutely freezing :-)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 a picture review

I have to be honest and say that I really haven't felt the Christmas and New Year festivities this year. I think maybe because both the man and girl were ill and we did a lot of travelling that it's all been a bit manic! When I think about it 2012 was an ok year but nothing special until I start looking back at my pictures and realise quite how much we went and saw this year......

January was obviously incredibly dull as I didn't take a single picture! Whoops! February saw one of my best friend's turn 30 and get engaged, birdwatching and hanging out with friends:

In March Chick went on a school trip:

So the man and I went to the Cotswolds:

In April, Chick and I went to Derbyshire for a couple of days:

May saw us in London for the Olympic Prepares series:

July and August were pretty sucky as I spent some time in hospital and then what seemed like ages recovering!

In September we jetted off to gay Paree:

October saw the very exciting arrival of my most beautiful Niece....

In November my little Chick turned 10 and the man baked her the most amazing cake:

December was obviously mainly about Christmas but we also had a side trip to Brighton and Choccywoccydoodah....yum!

What was the highlight of your year??