Easy face painting ideas

Make your face funny for money for Comic Relief

 

This Friday is Comic Relief – and I’ve had an email from school to say that kids should go in with a ‘funny face’! Mine has already got a funny face, but I’m not sure I can send her in just with instructions to gurn!

So I’ve been scouring the internet to find some easy funny face painting ideas that I can actually have a good crack at. I’m no Banksy or fine art student, so ambitious won’t be a word in my vocabulary come Friday morning!

In addition to the Comic Relief ‘Face Pack‘, these are some ideas I’ve found that I like the look of.

 

 

Easy face painting

 

Easy face painting.

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Good luck!

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs:

1. etsy.com/circus-tutu-dress-clown-tutu-dress
2. uk.pinterest.com
3. stylisheve.com/amazing-kids-face-painting-ideas-by-christy-lewis
4. uk.pinterest.com
5. uk.pinterest.com
6. hative.com/cool-face-painting-ideas-for-kids
7. uk.pinterest.com
8. kaleidoscopefacepainting.co.uk/gallery
9. uk.pinterest.com
10. flickr.com

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional children’s party ideas

Going back to basics

 

Children’s parties are a hot topic at the moment with the recent uproar and debate over the mum who invoiced a no-show.

It can be a pricey affair, so we asked our resident baking blogger and mum of four Alice from Alice’s Vintage Pantry to share with us some of her top tips for a traditional children’s party.

 

Over to you Alice ……

 

Alice's Vintage Pantry

 

Looking for something a bit different for your child’s birthday party? Why not go back to traditional kids parties that were common place before children’s entertainers and soft play venues were so popular.

There is something really lovely about organising a traditional kid’s party with traditional games and entertainment and a lovely homemade party tea.

At Alice’s Vintage Pantry we host lots of adult and children’s tea parties. We’ve put together a few tips and ideas to help you plan one of your own.

 

Choose a theme

 

First off decide on a theme for the party and use it to help you plan both the entertainment and the food.

Age dependent you could go for a Teddy Bears picnic, Princesses and Princes, Mad Hatters or Alice in Wonderland or maybe a Village Fete theme.

Invitations can be made with ease, just get yourself a pack of plain cards and get the kids decorating with stickers etc. Games food and entertainment can all be themed to match.

 
American Girl Doll Inspired Birthday Party by Anders Ruff

 

 

Food

 

Keep the food simple and small, nothing that is going to need cutlery.

Finger sandwiches, little cakes and bakes, cut up veg and fruit, cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks.

Perhaps get yourself some shaped biscuit cutters to suit the theme you have gone for and use them to make shaped sandwiches.

 

Blueberry cupcake

 

 

Drinks

 

Use china teapots, teacups and saucers for soft drinks. Kids love pouring their own!

If you are concerned about breakages there are lots of pretty paper cups available to buy, but in our experience very few breakages happen, and they love to use the proper cups and saucers.

 

Activities

 

Along with traditional games like ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’ (always goes down well!) and musical bumps, have a couple of organised activities planned to give the children a bit of sitting down time (and a moment of relative calm for you!).

Perhaps bake some vanilla cupcakes and get the kids to decorate them. Disposable icing bags are inexpensive, add a few ‘sprinkles’ or chopped chocolate to decorate, put a named cocktail stick flag in each and they can eat them with their party tea.

Or get some stiff card and cut our photo frame shapes, let the kids decorate them with glitter, coloured pens, feathers etc.

 

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Mackenzie's 2nd birthday party

 

 

Decoration

 

Consider strings of bunting and petals or beads sprinkled on the table, name place cards for the afternoon tea and fairy lights.

If you have a specific theme then browse the internet for decoration ideas to complement it, there are lots of ideas out there.

 

Cakes

 

Making your own birthday cake can seem a bit daunting but might not be as tricky as you think.

There are lots of simple design ideas available online for you to have a go at, most come with step by step guides, and, let’s face it – the cake is only on display for a few minutes, then cut, packed and wrapped to take home!

So not worth too much of a sweat!

 

 

 

Party bags

 

Paper bags can be bought online or in lots of the discount shops and supermarkets.

They are a great way to create personalised party bags that are a bit different to the norm. Get some stamps, stickers and coloured pens are decorate according to the theme. Stencil or write kids names on them and make sure they put the result of their craft activity in the bags before they go home.

 

Timing plan

 

It might sound a bit dull when you are talking about a kids party – but having an idea of what you are going to do and when can make a massive difference to how well it all goes, and how stressed you feel!

Have a couple of ‘group’ party games to get things going, something like pass the parcel or musical bumps. Break up the party games by scheduling in craft or baking activities.

When you serve the food will depend on the timing of the party, half way through normally works well, a bit more relative calm for you.

 

Be brave…give it a go and let us know how it goes!

 

Alice x

 

Photographs: Nathan Jones via Flickr Creative Commons, Anders Ruff via Flickr Creative Commons, Alice’s Vintage Pantry

 

 

Other articles by Alice ……

Easy chocolate cake recipe

Easy Valentine heart biscuits

The perfect Tiramisu recipe

Keeping Christmas cakes simple

Blueberry cheesecake cupcakes

Sticky toffee cupcake with salted caramel cream

Chocolate & chilli cupcake recipe

Introducing National Cupcake Week – top tips for baking the perfect cupcake

Creating the perfect vintage afternoon tea

Bake the perfect sponge cake

How to pack a healthy lunch box

Auntie Eva’s Parkin recipe

Keeping Christmas cakes simple

Mini strawberry shortcake recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween face painting tutorials

 A bit of Halloween inspiration

 

Halloween Witch face painting

 

While some children find Halloween a bit scary – others absolutely love it.

My Godboy Sam (6 years) can’t wait to carve out pumpkins and watch Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride (again)!

I’ve done a bit of Internet digging and there are literally thousands of scary and repulsive face painting tutorials out there.

 

 

However, I thought you might find these cute little tutorials from Woolworths the most helpful!

 

1. The Corpse Bride

 

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2. A little pumpkin

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3. Frankenstein

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4. Bony old skeleton

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5. Cute little witch

 

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I hope you find these useful.

Happy Halloween!

 

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photos: Pinterest (via craftgawker)

 

 

Other Halloween articles:

 

 

 

 

National Days May 2014

A mini celebration, or six, every day

 

Another jam-packed month of National days looms. Regular guest blogger Victoria has the low-down on the sublime and the ridiculous.

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

May is personally my favourite month of the year.

There’s lots to celebrate including the completion of my degree and a milestone birthday.

But for those without anything in particular to anticipate  (apart from two bank holidays- you lucky people!), you will be pleased to know that May has lots to offer.

 

Amongst others, it’s Inventors, Barbeque, Hamburger, Photo and Get Caught Reading Month.

 

Thursday 1st May

New Home Owners Day: Buying your first house, or a new house for that matter, is a stressful step in life. Celebrate your achievement by giving your house some TLC.

Lei Day: Lei is the flower symbolic of Hawaii and represents a love of colour, flowers, fragrance and laughter.

Mother Goose Day: Not actually referring to the terrifying birds, Mother Goose Day is actually about celebrating the nursery rhymes which have been passed down through generations and stood the test of time.

May Day: Dating back to pre-Christian centuries, May day is celebrated throughout Europe and North America.

Schools Principals’ Day: Or Head Teacher Day since we are in the UK. Today is all about recognising the challenging role head teachers have.

 

Friday 2nd May

International Tuba Day: Would you have a go at playing this massive instrument?

No Pants Day: Erm, wear no pants. I won’t be held responsible for any public indecency orders.

Baby Day: There’s no recollection of where this day originates from, but who cares? Let’s celebrate the innocence of new-borns and their adorable ways. Just don’t make me change a nappy.

 

Sleep Like A Baby

 

 

Saturday 3rd May

Lumpy Rug Day: Yes, there is a national day dedicated to rugs.

Two Different Coloured Shoes Day: If you’re forever leaving the house half asleep like me, you now have an excuse for that odd combo.

Garden Meditation Day: Ommm.

Free Comic Book Day: A celebration for the geeks and bargain hunters among us.

Join Hands Day: The bringing together of communities to respect what we can do to help each other out from time to time.

Paranormal Day: Find a cushion to befriend while watching a scary movie.

 

Sunday 4th May

Star Wars Day: May the fourth be with you!

Petite and Proud Day: It’s cool to be shorter than 5ft4, Kylie Minogue would agree!

Firefighters Day: From saving a cat stuck up a tree to rescuing families from burning buildings, firefighters face it all with true modesty and courage.

 

Monday 5th May

Cartoonists Day: The Yellow Kid was the first ever colour cartoon to be published in 1895.

Oyster Day: I personally couldn’t think of anything worse, but if you’re partial to seafood, why not have an Oyster dinner?

 

Tuesday 6th May

No Homework Day: The best and truly rare days at school!

No Diet Day: Diets are not always good; in fact dieting can be very dangerous.

World Asthma Day: The bronchial condition affects around 235 million people in the world.

Buddha Day: Celebrated on the birthday of Shakyamuni (Buddha).

 

Wednesday 7th May

School Nurse Day: Even if it was just an excuse to get you out of Maths class, the school nurse probably helped you out at one point in your lamb.

Roast Leg of Lamb Day: Is there any greater combination that rosemary and roast lamb?

 

Thursday 8th May

No Socks Day: Set your tootsies free at the misfortune of everyone else!

Iris Day: A beautiful flower- but have you got any in your garden?

Free Trade Day: It’s all about doing someone a favour free of charge, even if it’s as simple as changing your nan’s lightbulb.

 

Flag Iris, Scarborough

 

 

Friday 9th May

Lost Sock Memorial Day: So you took them off yesterday for No Socks Day and one’s gone missing. It’s time to mourn the loss of those socks that never return from the tumble drier.

Moscato Day: A sweet wine produced in North West Italy.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day: A respectful recognition for the spouses who have lost their loved ones while fighting for their country.

 

Saturday 10th May

Fair Trade Day: A campaign to improve the lives of international workers who are mistreated and underpaid. Celebrate by swapping your regular coffee or chocolate for a fair trade alternative.

Mother Ocean Day: Introduced only last year, this national day celebrates the beauty of the ocean.

Windmill Day: Now a very distant memory to most, the traditional windmill is a beautiful piece of architecture worth celebrating. Take the kids out to admire your nearest windmill.

World Lupus Day: Lupus is a disease that many of us are unfamiliar with. It essentially causes over activity of the immune system which has devastating effects on the body. There is currently no cure, so World Lupus Day is all about raising awareness for the condition which affects 5 million people.

Train Day: Dig your binoculars out and be a train spotter for the day!

Stay Up All Night Night: Love them or loathe them, sometimes an all–nighter is needed.

 

Sunday 11th May

Twilight Zone Day: A celebration of the spooky TV series which first aired in 1959.

Eat What You Want Day: I’ll have chocolate for breakfast, dinner and tea then please.

Root Canal Appreciation Day: As morbid of a celebration this sounds, it’s more about being thankful that we have these services available to relieve our toothache.

 

Monday 12th May

Nutty Fudge Day: If you can’t make it to Blackpool, why not have a go at making your own?

Limerick Day: Release the Irish in you.

Odometer Day: The odometer (that’s the little dial in your car) was created by William Clayton in 1847.

International Nurses Day: They put a lot of time and effort into making us better, but did you remember to say thank you?

 

Tuesday 13th May

Leprechaun Day: Will you find your own pot of gold today?

Frog Jumping Day: Practice your best leap frog.

 

Wednesday 14th May

Donate a Day’s Wages To Charity Day: Sacrifice a new pair of shoes and donate your day’s wages to a good cause. It’ll feel so much better than a pair of killer heels.

Chicken Dance Day: the traditional dance of many a party, it’s time to get some practice in ready for your next celebration.

Receptionists Day: Just think how hard it must be to smile for that long, no matter what demands and complaints receptionists face.

Third Shift Workers’ Day: This is for all the night owls who are busy slaving away while we’re tucked up in bed, snoring away.

 

Thursday 15th May

Chocolate Chip Day: Now what will you have them with? Cookies or fairy cakes perhaps?

Nylon Stockings Day: Play homage to Nora Batty.

Straw Hat Day: Summer’s just around the corner, so make sure you have a straw hat at the ready.

 

3 Hats

 

 

Friday 16th May

Bike To Work Day: It saves petrol, money and protects the environment all in one!

Endangered Species Day: Changing our behaviour and attitude towards endangered species can help to protect them in the future.

Pizza Party Day: Surely the best kind of party?

Biographers Day: Pick up a new biography to celebrate Biographers Day.

Sea Monkey Day: Whether they weird you out or find them adorable, it’s time to celebrate these curious creatures.

 

Saturday 17th May

Learn to Swim Day: Are you still a hopeless swimmer? Or maybe your children are thinking about starting their first swimming lessons, it’s a massive achievement worth celebrating.

World Hypertension Day: We should all be aware of the dangers of high blood pressure and how to prevent it.

World Telecommunications Day: Where would we be without our mobile phones and the internet? It’s hard to imagine how we used to communicate before these technologies existed.

Pack Rat Day: Hoarding is a terrible, yet addictive trait to have, but today it’s about thinking of throwing away things you no longer need or use.

 

Sunday 18th May

Visit Your Relatives Day: Even if they only live round the corner, you can never visit your relatives too often.

No Dirty Dishes Day: Washing up is probably the most hated chore- treat yourself to tea out so someone else has to do it.

Neighbour Day: Why not throw a street party to get to know your neighbours better?

Museum Day: How many museums can you get round in one day?

 

Monday 19th May

May Ray Day: Today is all about getting out and catching the rays; this may or may not require a flight out of Manchester…

Accounting Day: While we may avoid it at all costs, remember this is actually someone’s job!

 

Tuesday 20th May

Pick Strawberries Day: There’s no better feeling than being able to eat fruit you’ve grown yourself, so get down to the Garden Centre and start now.

Be A Millionaire Day: If only…

Weights and Measures Day: Celebrate by stepping onto the weighing scales, or for those who are less brave, weigh the cat, dog or rabbit.

 

Strawberry

 

 

Wednesday 21st May

Rapture Party Day: a rather depressing ‘celebration’ of the end of the world, whenever that may be.

I Need A Patch For That Day: Every single kind of patch, including nicotine and a patchwork quilt.

 

Thursday 22nd May

Maritime Day: Celebrated on the date of the first American steamship set sail from Georgia.

Goth Day: It’s time to put the fake tan away and pull out the black eye liner and reminisce on that crazy phase we all went through.

 

Friday 23rd May

Don’t Fry Day: No, you’re fine to have a fried breakfast, as Don’t Fry Day actually refers to an initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer.

Turtle Day: Learn more about friendly turtle and tortoises and learn how we can all help to protect them.

 

Saturday 24th May

Brother’s Day: Celebrating the special bond between brothers around the world.

Tiara Day: Female empowerment and female leaders are celebrated on Tiara Day.

Escargot Day: Sounds exotic, right? Well Escargot is actually French for edible snails. I’ll leave this one to be celebrated by someone else.

 

Sunday 25th May

Towel Day: Tribute to the late Douglas Adams, who wrote The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. In his honour, fans are persuaded to carry a towel with them all day. How many different uses can you find for it?

Tap Dance Day: Find some steel to hammer to your shoes and you’re all set for Tap Dancing Day.

 

Monday 26th May

Blueberry Cheesecake Day: Cheese and cake?

World Lindy Hop Day: Originating from Harlem in New York, this 1920s genre of dance is fun and energetic.

 

David and Lilian bought Blueberry Cheesecake

 

 

Tuesday 27th May

Sunscreen Day: The temperatures are rising, so make you’re armed with sun cream.

Cellophane Tape Day: cellotape was invented in 1930 by Richard Drew, a Minnesota Mining employee.

 

Wednesday 28th May

Hamburger Day: Would you like fries with that?

Amnesty International Day: It’s time to do your bit, whether that’s attending a meeting, signing a petition or making a donation to the human rights group.

Senior Health & Fitness Day: Get your gran into Zumba or your granddad playing Tennis.

 

Thursday 29th May

Learn About Composting Day: Should you really be putting that in the bin? Or could you add it to the compost pile?

Put A Pillow On Your Fridge Day: Apparently doing this will bring you luck, and maybe brain freeze.

 

Friday 30th May

Mint Julep Day: Known for being served in gold plated cups with silver straws and selling at $1000 a piece- you may be better making your own minty cocktail.

Loomis Day: Celebrating Mahlom Loomis’ breakthrough in his wireless telegraphing invention.

Water A Flower Day: Give your plants and flowers some extra TLC.

 

Saturday 31st May

No Tobacco Day: If you’re thinking about quitting, now’s the time to put thoughts into action.

Save Your Hearing Day: Turn the TV or radio down a few decibels and appreciate the quiet chirping of the birds in the trees.

Macaron Day: If you still haven’t tried a macaroon, now’s the time. You won’t regret it.

 

Macarons.

 

 

Which will you be celebrating?

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: All from Flickr under Creative Commons. Click on each image for more information.

 

Other related blogs:

National Days April

National Days March

National Days February

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 picnic spots

Child friendly picnics spots within easy reach of Manchester

 

We’ve got some more top tips for you from guest blogger Victoria. Today it’s our favourite picnic spots!

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

Nothing beats a picnic in the park when the weather is glorious; an al fresco feast of freshly made sandwiches and homemade cakes, with nothing between you and the grass but the stereotypical tartan blanket.

Here in Manchester, picnic weather can be a bit of a rarity, so we’ve taken advantage of the hint of summer for another in our 10 days out series.

 

To make it that little bit easier for you, here are our top 10 picnic locations in the Manchester area.

 

Picnic Hamper

 

10. Tatton Park

 

Kicking off the list is Tatton Park. This beautiful park situated in Knutsford, Cheshire, is home to a historic Tudor Old Hall and hundreds of acres of beautiful gardens.

 

Tatton house

 

With an adventure playground and rare-breed farm it is the perfect environment for a picnic with the kids. The park itself actually hosts Summer Picnic Concerts among many other events. Find out more at: tattonpark.org.uk

 

9. Promenade Park

 

Promenade Park

 

In contrast, Promenade Park which opened in 2012 is quite the opposite. This urban style park is located in Trafford Wharf (opposite The Lowry) and certainly doesn’t boast acres of greenery.

It does however have ‘The Cube’ - a children’s play area, natural sun loungers made from curved grass banks, eating areas and two great sculptures to admire. visitmanchester.com/promenadepark

 

8. Clifton Country Park

 

Easily accessible from the A666 is Clifton Country Park on the outskirts of Salford. In addition to being the perfect setting for a picnic, there are other activities on offer such as fishing, bird watching and orienteering to keep the little ones entertained for hours.  visitsalford.info/cliftoncountrypark

 

7. Heaton Park

 

Heaton Park

 

Heading back to the city of Manchester now for a mention of Heaton Park- perhaps one of our favourites. Following your picnic, take advantage of all the park has to offer including the Animal Centre, orienteering, or enjoy a relaxing row across the boating lake.  heatonpark.org.uk/HeatonPark

 

6. Macclesfield Forest

 

Macclesfield Forest

 

Macclesfield Forest in Cheshire is home to an array of outdoor activities such as horse riding, walks, cycling and fishing. Settle down in the picnic area which is surrounded by beautiful forestry and four active magnificent reservoirs owned by United Utilities used to supply water to the people of Macclesfield. macclesfield-forest.co.uk

 

5. Marbury Country Park

 

Take a historic trip through the ancient woodland of Marbury Country Park for our next destination before sitting down and enjoying a picnic amongst the acres of open parkland. This Cheshire located park also boasts a play area and hosts a range of events year round. northwichwoodlands.org.uk/marbury

 

4. Platt Fields Park

 

The next picnic destination is situated in Rusholme’s Platt Fields Park. The park dates back to Edwardian times so it is full of history including a sunken Shakespearean garden and the more contemporary ‘eco-garden’ used to educate children.

Take advantage of the hilly gardens for the perfect picnic and follow it with a game of tennis or be more adventurous and have a go at BMX biking. plattfields.org

 

3. Daisy Nook Country Park

 

Daisy Nook

 

Take a trip to Daisy Nook Country Park in Failsworth for a great wildlife adventure. You will be spoilt for choice with over 40 hectares of greenery within the Medlock Valley to choose from to set your hamper down. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the foxes, owls, squirrels and woodpeckers! oldham.gov.uk

 

2. Runway Visitor Centre

 

Runway Visitor Park Map

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Our penultimate picnic experience is one with a difference as we head to Manchester Airport to the Runway Visitor Centre. Sit back and tuck into your picnic as you admire the planes taking off and end your day out with a tour of the famous BA Concorde!

Summer holiday prices start at just £5.00. manchesterairport.co.uk/runwayvisitorpark

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1. Wythenshaw Park

 

Wythenshawe Hall

Ending our top 10 is the magnificent Wythenshawe Park in South Manchester. The park which is home to three Grade 2 Listing Buildings has received Green Flag Awards in both 2011 and 2012 making it the perfect destination for the perfect picnic. Check out their events page to make the most of your day out. manchester.gov.uk/wythenshawepark

 

We’re certainly keeping our fingers crossed for a rain-free time! There’s always a first for everything, right?!

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: WickerfurnitureDavid Smethurst via Wikipedia, Mark Buchan Jones,

 

Other articles by Victoria:

Top 10 places to go and see animals

Top 10 family adventure days out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Days April 2014

This month’s reasons to celebrate!

 

We’re back yet again with a jam-packed month of national celebrations. You truly will be spoilt for choice.

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

If you were to ask your children what they associate with April, two weeks off school and limitless chocolate eggs would probably be high on their agenda.

However if you’re looking for excuses to tear them away from the TV, this month has plenty in terms of National Days.

 

 

To get you started, April is Garden, Decorating, Couple Appreciation, Poetry, Straw Hat and Jazz Appreciation Month.

Which will you be celebrating?

 

Tuesday 1st April

Batman Day: Celebrate the anniversary of the character’s first ever appearance by going about your daily duties dressed up in full memorabilia.

Reading Is Funny Day: Trying to persuade children that reading is fun can be difficult, so buy them a joke book or impress them with riddles.

Fun At Work Day: Dress up silly, get the fancy dress out and have a laugh.

Sourdough Bread Day: There’s nothing better than fresh homemade bread, so why not try your hand at baking a batch of Sourdough?

Atheist Day: Related to a spoof story that went viral in 2003, gaining irony from the fact that it shares its national day with April fool’s Day.

 

Wednesday 2nd April

Reconciliation Day: An annual holiday celebrating black and white South Africans bonding.

Ferret Day: A strange animal to lend a day of celebration to.

Children’s Book Day: On the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, children are encouraged to pick up a book and enjoy reading.

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1000 Book Stare

 

Thursday 3rd April

Mule Day: This is celebrated with events loosely based around the animal and suitable for all the family.

World Party Day: An international celebration of everything that it is good in the world.

Find A Rainbow Day: With all those April showers, this should be a fun task to partake in.

Fish Fingers and Custard Day: WHAT? You don’t actually have to eat this. For all Doctor Who lovers, this is to mark the second anniversary of Matt Smith’s Fish Fingers and Custard scene.

Tweed Day: We all know that certain tweed person, but today is time to embrace the ‘trend’ for ourselves.

 

Friday 4th April

Walk To Work Day: It’s good for your body and also the environment.

World Rat Day: Fun fact- rats aren’t actually dirty, it’s only a myth!

Vitamin C Day: Grab an orange or two.

Deep Dish Pizza Day: Now to decide which toppings to choose…

 

Saturday 5th April

Tangible Karma Day: Those celebrating are urged to de-clutter their lives and give to those less fortunate.

Pillow Fight Day: If you’re sick of fighting the same duvet hogger, why not take part in an organised pillow fight event? Yes, they really do exist.

 

Sunday 6th April

Tartan Day: Embrace your inner Scot.

Army Day: Appreciate the army – fighting for Queen and country.

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~New converses~

 

Monday 7th April

No Housework Day: No questions asked.

Beer Day: The perfect excuse for an ice cold refreshment after work. It’s okay to pick lager instead, we won’t tell if you don’t.

Beaver Day: Appreciate the loveable bucked teeth furry mammal.

 

Tuesday 8th April

Be Kind To Lawyers Day: Today is apparently about injecting some law based fun into your day.

Draw A Picture Of A Bird Day: Have a doodle of the birds who swarm to your garden.

 

Wednesday 9th April

Winston Churchill Day: Today marks the anniversary of Churchill’s status as Honorary Citizen of America.

Cherish An Antique Day: Raid your loft and garage for what you think might be old bits of tat. Chances are you’ll find something of surprising financial or sentimental value.

 

Thursday 10th April

Sibling Day: An honorary day for the special bond between brothers and sisters.

International Safety Pin Day: You never know when you might need one.

 

Friday 11th April

Pet Day: Dog, cat, lizard or cockatoo, it’s time to show your pets just how much you love them.

Day of Silence: Could you manage a whole day?

Barbershop Quartet Day: Why not form your own for the day?

 

Saturday 12th April

Walk On Your Wild Side Day: It’s all about doing the unexpected. Scared of heights? Then why not try a bungee jump!

Liquorice Day: Love it or hate it?

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day: Everyone is a fan of a toastie.

 

Sunday 13th April

Thomas Jefferson Day: A celebration of the iconic inventor’s birthday.

Scrabble Day: Nothing passes the time of day quite like a game of Scrabble.

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Scrabble

 

 

Monday 14th April

Dolphin Day: To raise awareness for the severity of dolphin hunting with the aim to put a stop to it.

Look Up at the Sky Day: What shapes can you see in the clouds?

 

Tuesday 15th April

One Day Without Shoes Day: Could you go a whole day without wearing shoes? Thousands of children in developing countries have no choice but to do it every day.

Library Workers Day: Say thank you to your local librarian for their helpful service.

Take A Wild Guess Day: Don’t you just love that feeling of being a genius when you guess the answer to a question and get it right? Today is all about embracing that. Celebrate by putting a bet on a low odds race.

That Sucks Day: Held on the same day as the sinking of the titanic and and income tax pay day, it’s not surprising that today sucks.

Bicycle Day: Is yours sitting in the garage in a thick layer of dust? It’s time to get it out again.

 

Wednesday 16th April

Eggs Benedict Day: An excuse to have posh eggs on toast.

Bookmobile Day: A common sight at schools across the country, a mobile library can be a great thing for children. Why not find out where your local one will be?

Save The Elephant Day: Putting a stop to ivory poaching and the trafficking of these beautiful animals is a very good cause.

 

Thursday 17th April

Nothing Like a Dame Day: A celebration of the traditional pantomime dame. This calls for one thing: putting makeup on your other half.

Blah Blah Blah Day: Sick of hearing the same old criticism from friends or family? It’s acceptable to put your fingers in your ears and block it all out today.

Kickball Day: A combination of football and baseball, this fun game dates back to the 1900s.

Ford Mustang Day: The Ford Mustang was first introduced on this day in 1964.

Bat Appreciation Day: Most of us see them as freaky rodents that hang from the ceiling but bats have amazing talents including pest control as they are responsible for keeping mosquitos away.

Poem In Your Pocket Day: Set your children the fun task of creating their own poem that they can carry with them to impress their friends.

Haiku Poetry Day: Haiku poems originate from Japan are short and abide by a strict syllable pattern.

 

Friday 18th April

Wear Your Pyjamas To Work Day: This would just be bliss.

High Five Day: Surprisingly, this isn’t about the hand gesture, but actually about raising awareness for cancer. As two in five people will be affected by it at some point in their lives, so raise money by having a sponsored high five competition.

Columnists Day: Celebrating the journalists responsible for sourcing and writing articles for our local press.

Amateur Radio Day: A celebration of the start of the International Amateur Radio Union in 1925.

Pet Owners Independence Day: A hypothetical holiday where we swap lives with our pets for one day. The idea is that we stay home all day napping and chewing the carpet while our cats and dogs go to work for us. If only…

 

Saturday 19th April

Record Store Day: It may be an old fashioned concept now but today is all about commemorating the humble record store.

Garlic Day: You’ll be needing plenty of mouthwash tomorrow…

Hanging Out Day: Hang out your washing on the line instead of using the tumble drier in order to do your bit for the environment.

Auctioneers Day: Put the kettle on and settle down with an episode of Dickinson’s Real Deal.

 

Sunday 20th April

Easter: It’s happened every year since you can remember, so I don’t think this one needs explaining.

Chinese Language Day: Try your hand at Mandarin, even if it is to order your weekend takeaway.

.
Painted egg and Easter bunny

 

 

Monday 21st April

Kindergarten Day: The birthday of Friedrich Froebe who opened the first kindergarten in Germany in 1837.

Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day: Hug a bulldog and show it just how beautiful it is.

 

Tuesday 22nd April

Jelly Bean Day: You can’t surely have tried all 50 flavours?

Earth Day: Spend Earth Day exploring environmental issues to preserve our planet for generations to come.

 

Wednesday 23rd April

Administrative Professionals Day: They spend their lives organising us. Where would you be without your resident photocopier?

World Book Night: Turn off the television and get lost in a good book instead.

International Marconi Day: Held to celebrate the career of Guglielmo Marconi who established Italian wireless.

Talk Like Shakespeare Day: Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday by embracing his Old English terminology for the whole day.

 

Thursday 24th April

Teach Your Children To Save Day: Set them up for life by teaching them how to start saving money now. A simple piggy bank that they can put their unspent pocket money in is a good starting point.

Pig In A Blanket Day: No, not an actual pig wearing a blanket, as cute as that would be. This day refers to the festive roast dinner accompaniment of pigs in blankets.

.
Little piggy bank

 

 

Friday 25th April

Malaria Day: an international day of awareness to help put a complete stop to this terrible disease in the future.

Hug A Plumber Day: If you’ve ever been without hot water for more than one day, you’ll truly appreciate the work of a plumber in getting it back up and running.

Hairball Awareness Day: A day for pampering and grooming our pets to relieve them of the dreaded hairball.

DNA Day: The anniversary of the completion of The Human Genome Project in 2003.

 

Saturday 26th April

Hug An Australian Day: Any excuse for a round the world trip?

World Veterinarian Day: They make our poorly pets better and totally deserve a full 24 hours of appreciation.

Pretzel Day: Sweet or savoury?

Dance Day: Whether you’re a professional or amateur, today its time to lose your inhibitions and dance to your heart’s content.

Richter Scale Day: Celebrating everything about the Richter Scale on the birthday of the man responsible for creating it- Charles F Richter.

Sense Of Smell Day: Can you imagine having no sense of smell whatsoever?

Save The Frogs Day: Raising awareness for the declining number of these funny looking amphibians.

 

Sunday 27th April

Tell A Story Day: To encourage story telling everywhere.

Morse Code Day: Held on the birthday of the inventor, Samuel Morse.

Pinhole Photography Day: Put away your digital camera, and experiment by making your very own pinhole camera.

Prime Rib Day: Is there anything better than steak and chips?

 

Monday 28th April

Cubicle Day: No, not a toilet cubicle, an office cubicle! Today is about customising your office and making it your own.

Blueberry Pie Day: Tasty and good for you as blueberries contain antioxidants

International Astronomy Day: Celebrate with a spot of stargazing.

Workers’ Memorial Day: A commemoration for all who have lost their life while working and a campaign to make safer working conditions.

Biological Clock Day: Our biological clocks are very clever and amongst many things, they tell us when to wake up and when we need to eat. If you’ve had one too many late nights, take this opportunity to sort your sleeping pattern out.

 

Tuesday 29th April

International Dance Day: Getting everyone around the world dancing since 1982.

World Wish Day: This dates back to 1980 when Leukaemia sufferer Chris Greicius wished to become a police officer. The seven year old was granted his wish and worked with the police force for 24 hours. This prompted the formation of the Make A Wish charity.

Zipper Day: They keep the cold out on our jackets and secure our handbags, so show them a little appreciation.

 

Wednesday 30th April

International Guide Dogs Day: They are caring, loyal and loving and their work is admired by everyone.

International Jazz Day: A whole day of jazz events and festivals.

Honesty Day: Tell the truth, it’s as simple as that.

Oatmeal Cookie Day: This is regarded as the healthiest type of cookie, so all the reason to eat more than one.

.
Hokkaido Guide Dog Association

 

 

Now, I’ll be utterly amazed if your children complain of being bored this month!

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: All main photographs are from Flickr available under Creative Commons. Click on the images for further information.

 

Other related blogs:

National Days March

National Days February

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

 

 

How to Make Tissue Pom Poms

Easy, pretty paper pom poms to brighten up any room

 

I’ve seen many beautiful home and bridal photo shoots prettily decorated by cute and colourful pom poms, so with Mother’s Day just around the corner and Spring in the air, I’ve asked our regular craft blogger Hannah from My Craftea Day to put together a tutorial for us so we can all go pom pom crazy!

 

Over to you Hannah ……

Hannah Wells

 

I love that pretty pastels are so on trend this Spring / Summer, so much so that I have decorated my own craft room and the studio at the Craftelicious Craft Café with lots of pastel tissue paper pom poms!

They are so easy to make and are perfect for adding a bit of drama or prettiness to any space.

 

 

Hang them in your windows, from your ceilings or in front of a mirror.

 

Craftelicious Craft Studio

 

 

You will need

 

  • Tissue paper – each pom pom requires at least 10-12 layers.
  • Scissors.
  • Thread (you can use coloured thread or invisible thread if you don’t want it to be seen when hung).

 

 

Pom pom tutorial

 

2. Unfold the paper from the pack. Most packs have 5 or 6 sheets in them.

3. Cut the all sheets of paper in half in one go.

4. Place all the layers of paper on top of each other. Fold over about an inch of all of the the paper layers (along the shortest cut edge)

5. Turn the papers over holding onto the turned edge and turn the edge back on itself about an inch again. You are creating a concertina.

6. Continue to concertina the paper until it is all folded.

7 & 8. Take a long piece of thread. Wrap it around the centre of your concertina’d paper and tie it in a knot (you may want to repeat this a few times to ensure it is securely tied around as this is what holds the pom pom together and what you hang it with).

9 & 10. Cut a curve at both ends of the concertina through all the layers.

 

 

Pom pom tuturial

 

You could also cut your edges into a more pointy curve to give a different shape to your pom pom (see image 16.)

11. Carefully start to peel the layers away from themselves towards the thread at the centre of the concertina.

12 & 13. You’ll need to peel half of the layers one way then turn it all over and peel back the other half of the layers towards the centre on the other side.

14. Repeat this with the concertina’d layers on the opposite side until you create a round shape.

15. Carefully fluff up your pom pom

16 & 17. Have a go at making lots of different coloured pom poms! You could also make different sizes by not cutting the paper in half at the beginning but still remember that you need 10-12 sheets to make a good fluffy pom pom!

18. Add some fun and springtime colour to your interiors!

 

 

4MCRWomen's Pom Poms album on Photobucket

 

 

Enjoy your pom poms!

 

Hannah x

 

Photographs: Hannah Wells

You can find Hannah at mycrafteaday.co.uk

Why not pop along to Craftelicious in Chorlton on a Thursday evening and join Hannah at her weekly sewing bee. Details can be found here.

 

 

Other articles by Hannah:

Handmade Valentine Cards

Festive brown paper wrapping

How to make a padded Valentine Heart

 

 

 

 

 

Money saving tips for holidays

Helping to make your holiday money go even further

 

We’ve got Altrincham based money saving web site Watch My Wallet back on the blog again today with some top tips for keeping on top of your holiday finances.

I hate having to watch the pennies when I’m on holiday, but in the current economic climate, and with exchange rates less favourable than they used to be – all advice is gratefully received.

 

Over to you ‘Watch My Wallet’ Natalie ……

Going on holiday can be very exciting, but it can also be incredibly stressful if you’ve got a budget to stick too.

That’s why Watch My Wallet has created a guide to help you manage your money and get the most out of your holiday.

 

beach walk

 

Pick the Right Destination

 

Eastern Europe has some beautiful budget friendly destinations that are becoming increasingly popular amongst savvy tourists.

Countries such as Lithuania, Croatia and Bulgaria offer secluded beaches and beautiful scenery just a few hours flight away.

Not only are these countries cheap to fly to but your money stretches a lot further there too. You can grab a good meal and a pint of beer for under £10.00 which is a pretty good offer.

 

Dubronik

 

If you’re after a cheap city break, Prague and Budapest are great options. They have lots of free activities to keep you occupied during the day and the streets are filled with affordable restaurants to relax in at night.

 

All Inclusive Holiday

 

An all inclusive holiday can help you stick to a budget as it eliminates the need for additional spending. However, it’s only good value for money if you can pick a hotel that fits your specific needs.

Before you book, know what kind of holiday you want. Do you enjoy a glass of wine (or four) in an evening? If so, check to see how many drinks are included in the price. If you don’t drink, there’s no point paying for an unlimited bar tab so see what else is on offer or find a more suitable deal.

 

croatia

 

 

Flash Currency Sale

 

Get a good deal on your currency before you go away by taking advantage of a flash sale.

This type of deal typically lasts just a few hours but it means you can snap up currency for a heavily discounted price.

Keep up to date with currency flash sales here.

 

 

Cheap Travel Insurance

 

No-one wants to spend their money on something as boring as travel insurance, but it is important to have a policy in place before you go away.

When looking at travel insurance quotes, use a comparison website, such as Moneysupermarket.com, to find the best price.

It’s important to disclose any health issues you have. If you fall ill while abroad and it’s discovered that you weren’t entirely truthful on your insurance form, the policy could be declared invalid and you will be left holding a huge hospital bill.

Be sure to check the small print so you know exactly what is covered. Some basic activities may not be included and you may need to purchase additional insurance for certain sports.

 

snorkeling

 

 

Keep your eyes peeled for offers

 

There’s money to be saved if you keep your eyes peeled for time limited offers, like this one for Disneyland Paris.

 


Have a great holiday!

 

Natalie x

 

Natalie Vincent is feature writer and social media manager for Watchmywallet.co.uk

Photographs: Watch My Wallet

Disclosure

 

Other articles by Natalie:

Making money through the share economy

Affordable things to do February half term

Improving your money habits

How to have a thrifty Christmas

Ideas for pre Christmas breaks

How to avoid big phone bills abroad

Free things to do – New York

Free things to do – United Arab Emirates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Days March 2014

This month’s reasons to celebrate!

 

Which ones tickle your fancy?

 

Over to you Victoria ……

Victoria

 

So, the year marches on and with the new month, there also comes an even more bizarre array of National Days.

In March you can celebrate everything from false teeth to napping.

It’s also worth noting in your diary that March is Caffeine Awareness, Umbrella, International Ideas, Credit Education, Cheerleading Safety and Craft Month!

 

Saturday 1st March

St David’s Day: a day to embrace all things Welsh – Tom Jones, daffodils, roast lamb – thanks Wales!

Fruit Compote Day: a fun way of getting your five-a-day.

World Compliment Day: How easy is it to say something nice to a friend or work colleague? If you’re not usually the complimenting type, now’s your chance.

Plan A Solo Vacation Day: a terrifying prospect perhaps, but at least there’ll be no controversial decisions on where to visit and how to spend your holiday.

Pig Day: this national day dates back to 1972 to celebrate all things pig- from the delicious bacon sandwiches they provide us with, all the way to their intellectual prowess. Really?

 

Flying pig ornament

 


Sunday 2nd March

Banana Cream Pie Day: Or the humble Banoffee Pie to us Brits.

Namesake Day: Spend the day researching the origins of your name.

Dr. Seuss Day: Children and adults alike adore his poetic books. Today is about celebrating the life of Seuss Geisel.

Old Stuff Day: We all love to a bit of nostalgia now and again. Now’s your time to get all sentimental by flicking through old family photos.


Monday 3rd March

Mulled Wine Day: mulled wine in March?

National Anthem Day: if you sing one thing today, let it be the National Anthem.

Fun Facts About Names Day: learn exactly what your name means and trace it back to its historical roots.

What If Cats And Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day: the age-old question.

 

Tuesday 4th March

Pancake Day: Do we really need an explanation for this one?

 

Pancake

 

Unique Names Day: The whackier, the better. If you have a name like no other, take the time to celebrate it today.

Grammar Day: If you’re still left in a state of bemusement by apostrophes and semi colons, grab a dictionary and learn their true functions in celebration of Grammar Day.


Wednesday 5th March

Cheese Doodle Day: American for what we may call a cheesy Wotsit – the smelly, messy snack we can’t help to get our hands on.

Absinthe Day: It’s certainly an acquired taste, but one which has reportedly led to inspire acclaimed writers such as Oscar Wilde.


Thursday 6th March

World Book Day: Let’s all dress as hobbits and celebrate the magic of books.

Frozen Food Day: We all rely on frozen food after a long day in the office. Rejoice for the preserving saviour which saves us from hunger.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Day: Enough said.

Dentist’s Day: You may have nightmares about yours, but at the end of the day, they do save us from tooth decay and improve our overall oral health.


Friday 7th March

Doodle Day: Recognition for the creative sketches you make while you’re put on hold or bored in meetings.

Crown Roast of Pork Day: Why not have your Sunday Roast early this week?

Middle Name Pride Day: OK, so maybe your middle name is Mavis or Ethelred, but that’s no reason not to take pride in it. Hide your embarrassment, even if it is only for a day.

Cereal Day: A quick and easy breakfast favourite that keeps us going until lunch.

 

Saturday 8th March

Genealogy Day: Let the fun begin by retracing your ancestors.

Proof Reading Day: Even if it’s just the shopping list, re-read it for any errors to mark Proof Reading Day.

Peanut Cluster Day: Some would argue it to be one of the greatest combinations.

Women’s Day: Hurray! Today is all about raising awareness for gender equality.


Sunday 9th March

Check Your Batteries Day: An act which could potentially save your life. Check your smoke detector and replace the batteries if needed.

Get Over It Day: Still hung up on your ex? Longing for the gorgeous hunk across the road who clearly isn’t interested? It’s time to take a big step and get over it.

Panic Day: deadlines, bills to pay, jobs to do. Your life is probably just one big panic, and today is the time to take advantage. Yes that does permit you to have one public hissy fit.

Barbie Day: Everyone’s favourite doll.

 

Barbie

 


Monday 10th March

Pack Your Lunch Day: Lay off the butty wagon, walk away from the office cafeteria, a homemade lunch is a much healthier option.

Fill Our Staplers Day: I wonder how many staplers you would have to have to spend a whole day filling?

Napping Day: Doesn’t this just sound like bliss?

Dream Day: Combine this with napping day and you’re onto a winner.


Tuesday 11th March

Organise Your Home Office Day: If you can’t see your desk, that’s a hint that you need to tidy your office space.

World Plumbing Day: It’s the small things in life, like having clean, running water that we should be appreciating.


Wednesday 12th March

No Smoking Day: Encourages smokers to give up smoking.

World Maths Day: An annual event which encourages students from around the globe to ditch their text books in exchange for a more competitive style maths lesson.


Thursday 13th March

World Kidney Day: World Kidney Day aims to raise awareness for kidney disease and related health problems.

Ken Day: Ken’s got to have his day too and when better to celebrate the existence of Barbie’s romantic companion than on the date he made his first appearance back in 1961.

Earmuffs Day: It can be pretty chilly in March, so best to keep your ears protected from the cold.

Open An Umbrella Indoors Day: We’ve all been taught that doing such a thing brings bad luck – now’s your time to challenge the famous myth.

 

umbrellas

 


Friday 14th March

Pi Day: Sadly not the kind of pie we would all prefer.

International Ask A Question Day: Ask as many pointless or crazy questions as you can today. Google most probably has your answer.

Moth-er Day: No, I’ve not made a typo. Moth-er day is all about celebrating the moth.

Potato Chip Day: Crisps!


Saturday 15th March

Brutus Day: not exactly a chirpy national day, Brutus day ‘celebrates’ betrayal, backstabbing and immoral politics, recognising the fact that it’s not a new development.

True Confessions Day: it’s time to release your darkest secrets.

Quilting Day: a whole day dedicated to quilting, originally set up in 1991 by the National Quilting Association.

 

Quilting

 


Sunday 16th March

Freedom Of Information Day: raises all matters related to the Freedom Of Information Act.

Lips Appreciation Day: celebrate the day by trying out a new shade of lipstick.

 

Monday 17th March

Submarine Day: we all live in a yellow submarine…


Tuesday 18th March

Biodiesel Day: make a change to the more environmentally friendly fuel.

Awkward Moments Day: we all have them, choose to embrace them today.

Forgive Mum and Dad Day: even the best of parents make mistakes, accept their flaws and forgive them.


Wednesday 19th March

Chocolate Caramel Day: Can you think of a better combination?

Poultry Day: What chicken-based dish will you be cooking tonight?


Thursday 20th March

Ravioli Day: go all Italian and try your hand at some homemade ravioli.

World Storytelling Day: the first known Storytelling Day took part in Sweden in 1991.

Proposal Day: a whole day dedicated to popping the question!

French Bread Day: do we need an excuse to indulge on this French staple?

 

Friday 21st March

Single Parent’s Day: a celebration of those who look after their children single-handedly and do a brilliant job.

Memory Day: as unreliable as your memory is, celebrate it today, as it’s only going to get worse.

Common Courtesy Day: it’s as easy as saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

Puppy Day: this has got to be the best National Day EVER.

 

Chocolate Labrador Puppy

 


Saturday 22nd March

Goof Off Day: time to be silly and stop taking things seriously, even if it is just for one night.

As Young As You Feel Day: age is but a number, lose your inhibitions and plan a night on the tiles.


Sunday 23rd March

Near Miss Day: on March 23rd 1989, a large asteroid missed hitting planet earth by around 500,000 miles. Maybe not such a near miss, but celebrate the smaller near misses in your life today.


Monday 24th March

Tuberculosis Day: dedicated to raising awareness for TB and the risks.

Chocolate Covered Raisins Day: again, what a fabulous combination.

 

Tuesday 25th March

Waffle Day: sweet or savoury?

 

Waffles

 

Tolkien Reading Day: set up to encourage readers that there’s more to Tolkien’s talents than just Lord of The Rings.

Pecan Day: go nuts!


Wednesday 26th March

Go Birding Day: never has being a bird watcher been so cool.

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day: don’t fancy going into work today? Make up your own holiday!

Purple Day: purple day is all about raising awareness for epilepsy. The condition affects around 65million people worldwide.

Spinach Day: it’s not just for Popeye. Make spinach one of your five-a-day.


Thursday 27th March

Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day: well that isn’t half a mouthful.

Spanish Paella Day: if you can’t afford to jet off to Spain, plan a themed evening with your friends.


Friday 28th March

Something On A Stick Day: kebabs? Lolly?

Black Forest Cake Day: it’s a traditional dessert.


Saturday 29th March

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day: this is to celebrate the event in 1848 which saw Niagara falls come to a complete halt.

Lemon Chiffon Cake Day: sponge, icing and lemon. Mmm.

Smoke and Mirrors Day: celebrate with some harmless deception, like a visit to a magic show.

 
Sunday 30th March

Mothering Sunday: a day to spoil your mum rotten and to be spoiled by your kids.

Take A Walk In The Park Day: sometimes it’s the simple things in life.

Pencil Day: a much under-appreciated tool.


Monday 31st March

Bunsen Burner Day: the bunsen burner is the creation of German Chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen and today is a celebration of his birthday.

Eiffel Tower Day: today celebrates the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

Crayola Crayon Day: go back to your childhood with a colouring in session using some of the 400 shades of crayon available.

 

Eiffel Tower

 

I can’t wait to start this month’s calendar of events – which ones will you be celebrating?

 

Victoria x

 

Photographs: Michael Coghlan, Thomas Hawk, Travel Oriented, Erica Cherup, Ralph Daily, Franklin Hunting, Freddycat1, 23am.com under Creative Commons on Flickr

 

 

Other related blogs:

National Days February

National Days December

National Days November

National Days October

National Days September

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day on a budget

Save over £300 with our top tips!

 

February 14th is a lovely looking date – it’s so full of promise.

Of course I can’t promise you love, but what I can promise you is a very sorry looking bank balance if you get carried away celebrating Valentine’s Day.

No one wants to look like a skin flint on Cupid’s special day, but there are alternatives which will be just as well received and won’t break the bank.

 

 

Heart from Leaves

 

If you want to celebrate without the price tag, here are my top tips for Valentine’s Day on a budget. The trick is to retain all the traditional elements, but just do them smaller or with a twist!

 

 

Valentine Cards (£3.50 x 2 saved)

 

Embrace your inner crafter and make handmade Valentine cards. The time spent on making them will make the cards priceless.

 

Dalek Valentine Card

 

  • Make a cartoon out of your lip stick kiss.
  • Stick a ‘Love Heart’ sweet with a saucy message onto the front of a piece of card.
  • Take a photo of the pair of you, or a place or an object of special significance and cut it into a heart shape, then stick it onto a piece of card. Don’t forget to write inside where the photo was taken and why it is such a special memory.
  • Or there’s always humorous e-cards if that tickles your fancy.

 

 

 Flowers (£40 saved)

 

  • Instead of forking out for a dozen red roses, why not send one, elegant long stemmed rose – but deliver it with a handmade message attached. It could be an invitation for cocktails in your favourite bar or the promise of homemade Eggs Benedict.

 

Valentine red rose

 

  • A beautiful plant can cost a fraction of the price – but like your love, it will last much longer.
  • If either or both of you are into gardening, nip to the garden centre and say I love you with a selection of brassicas!
  • Why not swap the flowers for an exotic fruit basket of amazing tastes and smells.

 

 

 

Gifts and Experiences (£30.00+ x 2 saved)

 

When it comes to gifts, the key word is imagination. Draw on your skills to produce something which is homemade and personal or use a bit of lateral thinking!

 

Crate of valentine beer

 

  • Burn a CD of favourite tunes.
  • Give a gift that represents a memory – a bottle of beer from that microbrewery you discovered on holiday, or a snow globe with Empire State Building inside to remind you of your New York honeymoon.
  • Why not try ‘Treat Vouchers’? From a week’s worth of washing up, to the promise of a foot massage or even the night of your wildest dreams to be redeemed when you’re in the mood!

 

 

Dinner, Drinks and Cocktails (£45.00 x 2 saved)

 

It’s a thorny issue, but is it OK to use an offer for a Valentine dinner? I say yes! It gives you the opportunity to live it up and maybe visit somewhere that would normally be out of your price range. But don’t be surprised if the offers dry up come Feb 14th.

 

Valentine heart from candles

 

Alternatively you could turn your dining room into the classiest joint in town and dine-in! Make an effort, get dressed up, turn off the TV, turn on Gary Barlow and talk to one another. If you feel inspired crack open the latest Nigella cookery book, if you don’t then there are plenty of ‘Dine-In for Two’ offers at the supermarkets.

 

 

Night Away (£100 saved)

 

If you are determined to go away, then stay flexible and leave it as late as possible in the hope of picking up a bargain on somewhere like Laterooms.com.

Otherwise, if you’ve got one, why not go on holiday to your spare bedroom! Dress the room with candles, put the fizz on ice, run a lovely bubble bath and crank up Barry White! Waking up in a different bed – even if it is in the same house can put a spring in your step.

Or you could try a house swap with friends (children swap optional!)

 

Romantic Valentine bedroom

 

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day on a Different Date

 

Of course it’s lovely to celebrate on the actual day – but you can save significantly if you choose to celebrate on a different date.

 

Follow these tips and you could save around £300, keeping you out of Valentine red and firmly in the pink.

 

Our other Valentine blogs

 

As usual we’ve blogged Valentine’s Day to within an inch of it’s romantic ass! Check out our other Valentine blogs and make sure you’re fully tooled up for the big day!

 

 

Valentine montage

 

1. Sniff before you snog!

2. Handmade Valentine Cards

3. Easy Valentine heart cookies – recipe

4. Alternative Valentine’s Day ideas

5. Bespoke engagement rings & Valentine’s jewellery

6. How to make a fabric padded Valentine heart

 

 

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs: Michael Gil, anneheathen, blair 25, Sean Freese, Helena Jacoba, State Farm via Creative Commons on Flickr, Free Digital Photos, Alice’s Vintage Pantry, My Craftea Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

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