Fancy dress doesn’t just have to be reserved for Halloween; there are loads of opportunities where you can experience all of the fun and creativity of the holiday without the spooky motif. In fact without the constraints usually in place on Halloween, as in, the theme of horror, you are open to a whole new world of costume fun!
If you don’t believe me, cast your eyes over these five examples of dress up occasions you may not have thought of!
1) Your birthday – This is a great opportunity to dress up and because it is your special day and you get to choose the theme! If you are also in charge of the guest list you can make sure that no one has the same costume idea as well, meaning your outfit will be a complete original!
2) Movie night – Got a favourite movie? Or perhaps there is a new movie coming out that you simply cannot wait for? If you are thinking of hitting up a premiere, you cannot be seen on the sides of the red carpet without a top of the range costume.
3) Fancy dress competitions – This is always fun and is best for if you are holding a house party. You can award the best dressed, the most daring costume or perhaps the most convincing costume in your group. Come up with your own areas of award and be as creative as possible.
4) Out in town – Sometimes on a night out you get split up from your friends and as the night wears on you find it harder to keep a hold of everyone. If you are all dressed in a group costume, something striking like Smurfs or in morph suits, you will be able to spot members of your group all night long. If you are at a loss for inspiration for group costumes fancydressball.co.uk has a lot of fancy dress costumes.
5) Fancy dress with kids – If you are a parent of young children or you have young children in the family you will know the fun that can be had when you get out the fancy dress box, to keep adding to the fun, replenish your costumes regularly.
I suddenly realised the other day that I hadn't really watched television for some time....
not any good television anyway, the kind where you cannot wait for the next episode.
Like most parents, evenings are spent in a round of homework, baths, discussions & keeping up with the events of the school day.
And, of course, when you have less time, you tend to be more particular about what you spend that time on.
I gave up watching soap operas years ago & I realised the other day that whilst we have more & more channels and therefore endless programmes to watch....I do prefer watching really good quality television - and sometimes, there just seems to be nothing worthwhile on.
It did get me thinking however about how great really good television can be & that actually there is something about getting totally caught up in it that I absolutely love.
"Homeland" was probably the most recent TV programme that I felt like that about....
I was a huge "24" fan & both shows had me glued to the television, at times watching through my fingertips, sitting on the edge of my seat, talking about it to friends - and desperate for the following week's episode.
Such is the power of a great show full of characters that you can empathise with, even if you can't always identify with them.
Jack Bauer in "24" was one such character....I loved every season of that show.
Even when he bent the rules, he was the hero that you rooted & felt for.
There is something about watching a TV series, any series sometimes....
something about watching in your own living room that connects you with it differently to going to the cinema.
Maybe it's the fact that the characters come into your home & you are able to almost develop a relationship with them, in your own mind anyway.
Most women could name you their favourite "Sex And The City" character
within seconds - as well as telling you which character they are most like.
(My answer to both questions would be Charlotte!)
The same, probably, with "Friends", we all instantly know who our favourite is (Ross).
Virtually impossible not to love & enjoy, "Friends" is a great example of the power of TV.
Who can't name a whole list of "favourite" episodes....it's a feel-good show that is always funny.
I've probably laughed, cried & can recite lines more from that show that any other show in my TV history.
I do think as well that certain TV shows connect you with particular times in your life, much like a song or a book does....they also connect you with people, you can bond over them.
Something I've got into over the last couple of years has been the TV boxset.
The number of evenings that I've stayed up way too late watching "just one more episode....".
It's a great, albeit it very intense, way of catching up on seasons that you've missed - my current favourites are "Private Practice" & "Grey's Anatomy".
I watched so much of both of those a couple of weeks ago, that by the time I'd finished, I had almost convinced myself that I was a doctor - or at least I could be one!!
A good TV show can comfort & inspire, distract & stir your emotions like nothing else....
the saddest & most emotional moment in "ER" wasn't when George Clooney left the show, it was when Dr Mark Greene died....
in Hawaii, listening to "Over the Rainbow" on the headphones his daughter had placed on his head.
The whole episode was brilliantly directed, incredibly moving & I sobbed inconsolably.
There is something unifying about watching TV....
whether it's the Olympics, a Royal Wedding or the final episode of "Downton Abbey".
Television connects people & when it's good TV, there's really nothing quite as powerful.
Ross & Rachel...."I got off the plane"....this still brings tears to my eyes!!
Do you want to enjoy your favourite series on brand new television set?
BrightHouse allows you to pay weekly for your TV, spreading the cost, so you can pay a little bit at a time. This is a sponsored post but all words, thoughts & opinions are my own. All images chosen by me.
When I read Misty's list over here the other day, I knew that I had to do a post on this myself.
In 1998 the AFI created a list of the 100 Greatest American Movies of all time, the list was updated in 2007 (just a couple of movies were changed) to produce the list below.
I love the movies, as I've mentioned before I go the cinema most weeks....
strangely though, I can't remember the last time I watched a movie at home.
I think it's the whole cinema experience I love....
although I possibly could have done without the experience of sitting next to two teenage girls last week who, every time the tiger in "Life of Pi" roared, cooed as if they were watching a cute kitten! Seriously?!!
Anyway, the list below is certainly a list of some really fantastic films.
I grew up watching a film most Sunday afternoons, so I know that many of these movies I watched years ago & I am going to endeavour to re-watch as many as I can.
I've seen 57 out of 100 on the list, what about you?
Do you have a particular favourite on the list?
1. Citizen Kane, 1941 2. The Godfather, 1972 3. Casablanca, 1942 4. Raging Bull, 1980 5. Singin' in the Rain, 1952 6. Gone With the Wind, 1939 7. Lawrence of Arabia, 1962 8. Schindler's List, 1993 9. Vertigo, 1958 10. The Wizard of Oz, 1939
11. City Lights, 1931 12. The Searchers, 1956 13. Star Wars, 1977 14. Psycho, 1960 15. 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968 16. Sunset Blvd., 1950 17. The Graduate, 1967 18. The General, 1927 19. On the Waterfront, 1954 20. It's a Wonderful Life, 1946
21. Chinatown, 1974 22. Some Like It Hot, 1959 23. The Grapes of Wrath, 1940 24. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982 25. To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962 26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939 27. High Noon, 1952 28. All About Eve, 1950 29. Double Indemnity, 1944 30. Apocalypse Now, 1979
31. The Maltese Falcon, 1941 32. The Godfather Part II, 1974 33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1975 34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937 35. Annie Hall, 1977 36. The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957 37. The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946 38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948 39. Dr. Strangelove, 1964
40. The Sound of Music, 1965 41. King Kong, 1933 42. Bonnie and Clyde, 1967 43. Midnight Cowboy, 1969 44. The Philadelphia Story, 1940 45. Shane, 1953 46. It Happened One Night, 1934 47. A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951 48. Rear Window, 1954 49. Intolerance, 1916 50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001
51. West Side Story, 1961 52. Taxi Driver, 1976 53. The Deer Hunter, 1978 54. M-A-S-H, 1970 55. North by Northwest, 1959 56. Jaws, 1975 57. Rocky, 1976 58. The Gold Rush, 1925 59. Nashville, 1975 60. Duck Soup, 1933
61. Sullivan's Travels, 1941 62. American Graffiti, 1973 63. Cabaret, 1972 64. Network, 1976 65. The African Queen, 1951 66. Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981 67. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1966 68. Unforgiven, 1992 69. Tootsie, 1982 70. A Clockwork Orange, 1971
71. Saving Private Ryan, 1998 72. The Shawshank Redemption, 1994 73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969 74. The Silence of the Lambs, 1991 75. In the Heat of the Night, 1967 76. Forrest Gump, 1994 77. All the President's Men, 1976 78. Modern Times, 1936 79. The Wild Bunch, 1969 80. The Apartment, 1960
81. Spartacus, 1960 82. Sunrise, 1927 83. Titanic, 1997 84. Easy Rider, 1969 85. A Night at the Opera, 1935 86. Platoon, 1986 87. 12 Angry Men, 1957 88. Bringing Up Baby, 1938 89. The Sixth Sense, 1999 90. Swing Time, 1936
91. Sophie's Choice, 1982 92. Goodfellas, 1990 93. The French Connection, 1971 94. Pulp Fiction, 1994 95. The Last Picture Show, 1971 96. Do the Right Thing, 1989 97. Blade Runner, 1982 98. Yankee Doodle Dandy, 1942 99. Toy Story, 1995 100. Ben-Hur, 1959
Julianne Moore was featured in yesterday's London Sunday Times talking about movies, family, the ageing process & life....
She's an actor that I'm a big fan of & I think she is more beautiful than ever.
She always seems so at ease & appears to be a woman who has her priorities right & her life in order....
"....her final piece of advice for feeling comfortable in your skin, no matter what your age?
"Appreciate where you are.
It was Nora Ephron who said that you'll hate yourself in a bikini now, but in 10 years you''ll look back and think, wow, I looked fantastic.
When you're a kid, you're always wishing you were older, and when you're old, you're always wishing you were younger.
The best thing is not to wish your life away at either end, because it's gone in a second."" Isn't that so true?
I have a photo of me standing next to a swimming pool, I must be about 8 or 9 years old....
I'm suntanned, smiling & totally carefree....
I look like a string bean, all long limbs.
There's so much I love about that photo....
Out of all the photos of me when I was a child, this one stands out to me.
I can close my eyes & remember I look at the photo & think that just about everything in it is perfect....
no traces of teenage awkwardness, no gawkiness, no wanting to be different.... just a young girl who looks completely happy.
I don't remember wishing I was prettier/cooler/taller/thinner when I was a teenager.
I was always a quiet & not very confident child....
I also had a mother who was extremely beautiful,
the kind of beauty that gives you a lifelong confidence & feeling of superiority.
It must be of some significance, and I say this without any feeling of self-pity whatsoever, that I don't ever remember her telling me that I was beautiful.
In fact she said just the opposite....
I'm not actually sure if she even realised that she was supposed to tell me that....
I think perhaps she was simply used to being the great beauty wherever she went, it was just the way it was.
Somehow though, I survived, it certainly wasn't the end of the world!!
My self-esteem somehow remained intact although it wasn't until my early 20s that I think my confidence truly arrived.
These days of course we all tell our children that they are the most beautiful creatures in the Whole Wide World, I know that I do.
I could certainly be slimmer, my hair is still searching for its perfect style, my face is not line free, I don't like having my photograph taken & when I say my age out loud to myself or have to write it down, I wonder how that happened & where those years went....
but actually, I like me. I am comfortable with myself &
I am going to endeavour to remind myself of that more often.
The jewelry world loves to show off new trends just like the fashion world does. These trends can come and go. Some are longer lasting than others. Add a tungsten ring, a cameo necklace, or a leaf brooch and you will be charmed.
Here are three rising jewelry trends that should be around for awhile:
Gold and silver are still popular when it comes to jewelry pieces. But, those with a modern sense are looking for something a bit different. Tungsten jewelry is one trend that shows no signs of disappearing. This metal offers a harder finish than either gold or silver. Plus, it is hypoallergenic so people who are sensitive to gold or silver can wear this metal without any problems. The metal resists scratching and looks great in a brushed finish. Because of its quality of strength and the simple less-ornate designs that usually surround it, many men are choosing a tungsten ring over gold or silver for a wedding band. Women are following suit for some of the same reasons but also because tungsten rings can offset colored gems wonderfully.
Vintage Inspired Pieces
With so many styles changing and taking on a modern twist, vintage-inspired pieces are becoming popular in reaction. Cameos are one trend that shows no sign of stopping. They are showing up in necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets. Facial profiles are the most popular, but the outline of natural items are also beginning to show up. Ornate filigree work is another vintage decoration showing up on pieces of all sorts. Many pieces showing up show style elements of the early twentieth century.
Textures and shapes from nature are starting to dominate some jewelry lines. You can find leaves and flowers in many pieces ranging from tulip gemstone holders on rings to leaf shaped brooches. With so many shapes available from the natural world, options are just about endless for inspiration. Another nature-inspired trend is in its textures and colors. Leopard spots and zebra stripes are just two of the textures showing up around the world, but natural stone or wood patterns are beautiful. They're becoming popular as designers get better at working them into their creations.
As each season passes new trends begin to show. These three trends though will be with us for the next few seasons in many shapes and forms. You should add some pieces to your collection to stay ahead of the other jewelry lovers in your life – and inspire them.