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We know it’s only April, but we’ve already played witness to bikinis in the park, sandals on feet and the faint wisps of smoke that suggest barbecues are happening. Anyway, the reason we’re banging on about this little insignificant moments is simple: summertime is around the corner and so is garden party season. Mmm hmmm. The living is about to get easy again. Woohoo.

 

Well, that’s if you are playing the role of Pimms-sipping guest. The story is somewhat different for anyone hoping to hostess the party of all garden parties. That’s when the living is stressful.

 

We know what you’re thinking – compared to a Trump administration and possible wars with both Russia and N. Korea, garden party problems are hardly worth worrying about, and you’re right. The difference is, we can solve the party problems.

 

So, without further ado, here are our top tips on how to host the perfect garden party and be forever known as the hostess with the mostess.

 

1. Weather Woes

Nothing is worse than kicking things off with a little dollop of doom and gloom but, unless you’re Halle Berry in X-Men, the weather is pretty much out of your control. That’s why you need to prepare for all weathers and that means having some stylish shelter people can nip into should a) it start to pour or b) they forget to smear on the sunscreen. Our advice: open the doors to your conservatory or invest in a gazebo (you can go as posh as you like on this front).

 

2. Luxury Loos

We know a lovely chap that used to organise movie premieres and he used to say the secret to a successful bash was making sure the loos were nice. It may sound weird, but we get his point. It’s that one place most people will head to a few times after a few glasses, and may well have to stand in line too. Our advice: go to www.superloo.co.nz/online/events_functions.csn and get yourself the most luxury portaloo in your budget. If nothing else, it will keep the rabble out of your house.

 

3. Warm Wants

You could be lucky enough to see your bash fall on the hottest day of the year, but even so, the temperature you were enjoying in the afternoon will fall away like a car off a cliff when the sun goes down. Our advice: invest in lots of outdoor heating. That could be gas fires (the kind you get in restaurant courtyards) or fire pits, it’s your call, just make sure everyone is warm. The other thing you could do is have a basket full of thick blankets people can help themselves too. Chic and practical.

 

4. Seating Please

Whether you’re having a cosy get together or bigger bash, ample seating is essential for a good time. No matter how much they want to dance or dive from one chit chat to another, everyone will want to sit down first and that’s because it takes a good couple of hours for any Dutch courage to kick in. That doesn’t have to mean chairs, though. Hammocks, bean bags, logs and tree stumps – all of these will add an extra bit of character to your garden party.

 

When you pull out an old clothing item that you haven’t worn for a while, it can be really disheartening when you pull it on to find that it doesn’t fit you in the way that is used to. It’s up to you to take action on this because you don’t have to simply feel sorry for yourself. But what you should you do? There are actually lots of options out there, and some of them could help you make use of your clothes in ways you never imagined, so read on to learn more.

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Make Them Into Something New

 

Turning your ill-fitting clothes into something completely new and different could definitely be a good idea for you. You could turn an old pair of jeans into some new shorts or maybe a vest. The options are pretty much limitless, and only your own creativity will limit you when deciding what to do.

 

Make a More Concerted Effort to Shift the Weight

 

Losing weight is one of the most obvious things you can do if your clothes aren’t fitting you as a result of some weight gain. We all tend to put on a little weight as we get older, so it might be time for you to find out the price of your gym, or at least get a liposuction price. Which you go for is in your hands! But getting in better shape will obviously improve many aspects of your life, including what you can wear.

 

Adapt Them So They Fit

 

Making a few simple adaptations to your clothes could make them usable once more. You can take in the seams if the clothing is too big or widen them if it’s too small. All you need is some basic sewing equipment and the right skills to get this done, and it won’t take you much time at all.

 

Replace Broken or Damaged Elements

 

If there are specific parts of the clothing that are broken or damaged, this could be why the clothes are not quite fitting you right. Buttons that have been stretched out of position and zips that aren’t functioning as they should can all stop you from wearing those clothing items, so replace and repair them.

 

Let Go of the Past and Invest in Something New

 

Sometimes, you just need to let go of the past and move into the future. This applies to your clothes and fashion choices as much as anything else. Maybe you’re clinging onto those old clothes that don’t fit you because you want to relive an element of your past, but that’s not necessarily healthy for you. Why not invest in some new items instead?


Whatever the reason is for your clothes no longer fitting you, there are plenty of things that you can do about it, so it’s time for you to take action. Doing so will allow you to make use of items that you loved, or maybe even move on from them if that’s the right thing for you to do right now.

Compared to many of Europe’s celebrated capital cities – Rome, Paris, Prague to name a few – Budapest still remains under-the-radar. But this is something that cannot continue forever. Not only is the city naturally beautiful, it is jam-packed with things to do and see. On top of all this, it is one the most affordable places to visit on the continent. What’s not to love? If you needed more convincing, here, we will look closer at a few of the reasons why you should seriously consider treating yourself and going to Budapest as your next holiday destination.

 

It is Architecturally Stunning
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Take a stroll through the old streets of Budapest, and you will appreciate the range of architectural styles contained in the city. Art Nouveau is a style which is particularly dominant in the city, though Gothic is also prominent as you can see most clearly in the striking Matthias Church. Architecture enthusiasts will also be able to spot Renaissance, Classicism and Baroque structures.

 

A Ruinous Nightlife

 

With bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs galore, Budapest is certainly a world-class nightlife destination. Where else can you go to a huge party at an outdoor thermal bath? Many of the best drinking spots in the city are known as ‘ruin pubs’ – buildings which were originally destroyed during the Second World War but have now been converted into uniquely decorated bars full of modern art. If you are looking to enjoy the nightlife at its most raucous, Szimpla is the most famous of the ruin pubs while Instant is one of the most celebrated nightclubs in the world.

 

A Diverse Culinary Offering

 

There is no doubt that the culinary offering in Budapest goes beyond the usual Eastern European fayre of meat and potatoes. Of course, you can still find plenty of these dishes, but with an edge like the paprika-spiced Hungarian Goulash. Budapest is also becoming a very international city, so you will find plenty of dishes from all over the world. And most of them are very reasonably priced indeed!

 

Panoramic Views are Everywhere
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Hike up into the hills of the Buda part of town and you will be rewarded with views across the Danube and down across Pest. The castle is a particularly attractive place to enjoy the beauty of the city in its full glory, but there are plenty of places which are a little more hidden and less tourist-overrun. There are lots of sights that you can easily pick out on the skyline including the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Chain Bridge. It is this mix of beauty which is starting to make Budapest a popular wedding destination. Check out here if you are planning an Indian Wedding in Budapest. You are bound to snap a picture or two that will provide you with fantastic memories for a lifetime.

 

Thermal Baths

 

Need we say more? The city is packed with beautiful thermal baths where you can – quite literally – sit back and soak in the atmosphere. The Széchenyi spa complex is the one that most people head to first (and it is also the location of the Sparty that we mentioned earlier). If you want to go to one that is a little more off the beaten path, check out Gellért Thermal Baths, which some people have said is like bathing inside a cathedral.

 

Long and Fascinating History

 

The first settlements were made in the area way back in Roman times, but it wasn’t until late in the 19th century that the city that you see today began to take shape – brought together by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Much of the 20th century history is marred by tragedy including the First and Second World Wars, as well as a long period behind the Iron Curtain. You can learn about much of this at the fascinating House of Terror Museum. But simply stroll around the city and you will discover so much. Even better, take one of the walking tours and an experienced guide can fill in the details and make history come to life.

 

Nature On Your Doorstep
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Many of the best cities in the world have done a great job in combining the man-made and the natural, and Budapest is no different. The rolling hills of Buda are only a short bus ride away from the city centre. But there are also plenty of large green areas in the heart of the city. Margaret Island and City Park are two such examples of excellent parks directly in the middle of Budapest, while Normafa is for those who are wanting to escape the confines of the city for a little while.

 

Free Sights

 

We have already talked about the affordability of Budapest as a city break, but if that wasn’t enough, there are also plenty of free sights to enjoy. The grand St Stephen’s Basilica is one which you can enter by just paying a donation of your choice. And you can also get some fantastic photographs of monuments like the Chain Bridge and the striking exterior of the Hungarian Parliament Building. And, of course, there are also the parks that we discussed in the previous section.

 

Fantastic Festivals

 

Time your visit well and you can enjoy one of the many festivals which take place during the course of the year. Choose the one that best suits your interests – whether you are looking for a food and drink festival, a film festival or a music festival like Sziget. While the summer festival is a major attraction during the warmer months of the year, there is also a magical Christmas market when the festive season rolls around.

 

As you can see, there is plenty to enjoy in Budapest and it is a world-class destination. Plan your visit soon as it is only likely to get busier and busier as time goes on! If you can, try to organise your trip away from the summer months which are baking hot and busy. Spring and autumn are both excellent times to visit.

There’s something really satisfying about being able to sit in our own homes and enjoy the hard work that we have put in to making it look and feel more homely. However, if you don’t own your home this can be a problem that many struggle to get around, especially if your landlord has strict instructions on no redecorating. What do you do in this situation? Many of us are still renting all over the world because we can’t afford to buy yet, or simply because we don’t want the responsibilities that comes with owning your own home. Either way, we should be able to make our homes more personal to us, and luckily you can. Here are some easy ways to make your home more homely, even if you don’t own it!

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First and foremost, make sure that you double check the rules on decorating in your rented home. It might state that the landlord wishes for there to be no changes to the interior, but sometimes this means structurally. Often, landlords don’t mind decorating as long as if when you move out, you put it back to how it was when you moved in. If your rental agreement isn’t clear, speak to your landlord and find out for definite. They may ask to see some plans of what you’d like to do before making a decision, but it’s definitely worth the try!

 

If you know for a fact that you’re not allowed to decorate, then don’t become disheartened! There are plenty of other ways in which you can make your home more personal to you and your family, without a drop of paint touching the walls! All it takes is a little creativity, and will more than likely be much cheaper than decorating anyway!

 

So, if you’re not allowed to paint the walls, it’s likely that they are a neutral colour like cream or white, which gives you a blank canvas to begin working around. This means that your choice of things to hang on the walls isn’t limited by what will match the walls. Here are some ideas on things that you could have on your walls that can instantly make your home feel more homely:

 

  • Mirrors are a great way of bringing a room together and creating a focal point too. They also make small rooms seem larger because of the reflection of light around the room. It’s now easier than ever to achieve the right kind of mirrored look too, as many homeware stores sell mirrors in all different shapes and sizes! Frames are customisable too, so whatever colour scheme you’re going for, you can match it with your mirror frame!
  • Unusual artwork is another way of completely changing the way that your home looks. If you have a colour scheme, you could choose artwork that will tie the scheme in nicely. If you’re going for a more wacky look, why not find the most unusual and eye catching piece for your home?
  • Pictures are also a great thing to hang on walls because they instantly make you feel at home. Hang pictures or canvases of the people you love and care about so that your home will instantly feel more like your own.

 

The next thing to think about is your colour scheme. While you might not be able to paint the walls in your colour(s) of choice, you can most definitely paint the furniture to the colour that you desire, or simply buy in furniture that’s already the colour of your choice. Why not consider upcycling your old furniture and giving it a fresh lick of paint rather than spending money on new furniture? It’s so simple to do and you are single handedly creating furniture that’s unique too!

 

It doesn’t have to stop at your furniture either, as you can get ornaments and trinkets that match your style of decoration. Consider hanging shelves around your home so that you can display your personal belongings and make it feel and look more homely. The great thing about this is that you can truly show off your styles and interests. From crystals to drinking horns, there’s no limitations on what you could display to make your home feel more comfortable to you!

 

Rugs are a fantastic way of bringing a room together, so if you’re also unable to change the carpets in your home you can use rugs to make it that little bit more like home. You can pick them up widely from many different stores and they aren’t expensive to buy either! Imagine sinking your feet into a plush rug each evening…perfect!

 

Potted plants are also a brilliant way of personalising your home. You could have different sized, shapes, smells and colours scattered all over your home to instantly add a splash of colour and homeliness. Another great thing about plants is that they release oxygen into the air which generally makes the air in your home nicer and fresher. They will literally be breathing a breath of fresh air into your home! Plants are also proven to make people happier, and can completely change the look and feel of a room!

 

Finally, another great way of personalising your home is by changing the type of lighting that you have around your home. Your home may have come with light shades, but they can soon be switched over to make your own statement. The same goes for lamps too, adding a few around your home can completely change the ambience of a room.

 

Even though it can be disheartening not having your home exactly how you want it, there are other easy and cheap ways of making your home more homely. Try these ideas and you’ll soon notice the different in how your home looks and feels!

 

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