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Housewarming Party on a Budget

The excitement of purchasing and moving in to your first home as a first time buyer is huge, unfortunately it is a fair way off my radar! But for those of us not quite so adept at saving there is always renting, and living in a couple of homes this way has allowed me to organise and throw a few housewarming parties!

There is nothing better than gathering your friends and family to celebrate a new chapter in your life, within a new home. But with all the expense of moving itself, the legal fees and even the cost of that John Lewis sofa you must have or the Fortnum and Mason hamper basket that would make an oh-so-cute coffee table – throwing a party is an extra expense that isn’t always at the forefront of your mind.

But the event needn’t be expensive; your friends and family will be well aware of the money you have already spent to be in that position and won’t be expecting Champagne and caviar – well at least I would hope not… and if they are perhaps you can try new mobile bingo games and win a little extra for your party budget!

A great way to beat huge costs is to make the party BYOB or invite each guest to bring a food dish with them. Having guests bring food or alcohol with them means that you are spending less as everybody is contributing. Food and drink will be the main expense of your party so if you can negate those costs then you avoid splashing out.

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However, sometimes people can feel a little awkward about getting their guests to bring their own food. If this is you then do not fear as there are still other options that will allow you to provide for all your guests but not spend a fortune. Visit a supermarket or a chain store such as Iceland for party food. Usually costing just a few pounds per pack or on one offer or another these are easy ways to fill your table at low cost. Avoid employing a caterer for your event as the cost for this will be a lot more – plus you will be liable to pay for loss or damage to any plates, trays, etc you may hire.

Decorations! A key part of any party, but an unnaturally large expense a lot of the time. My number one destination for party decorations is eBay; they offer such a wide variety of balloons, banners and table decorations that you are bound to find something suitable and within budget.

If you’ve thrown a housewarming party before – do you have any advice on hosting it on a budget?

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Home Improvements

Since moving out from my parents and beginning to settle in to my new home I have been looking for easy ways to decorate – without spending too much!

At the moment my house is pretty plain and bland, the walls are white and door frames cream… which I admit wouldn’t be my choice but somebody obviously like it at one time. I have tried to add splashes of colour with bright statement pieces of furniture and canvases on the wall but I would really love to do a lot more.

I am not great at DIY but after browsing online and having a read of this eBook I reckon I could give it a try! If all fails half way through I am sure a decorator/my dad will come to my rescue! Chase construction can also help out if there are any construction issues.

My dream updates would be:

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Statement wallpaper in the living room: I love this one from B&Q, it is a gorgeous colour and would be perfect to brighten up the place. It also goes with my current purple colour scheme!
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Bingo Game

Bingo Night In

Everybody loves a night in spent with friends; it’s far cheaper to have a few drinks there than your local pub or bar. But do you find sometimes the evening is lacking something, perhaps an activity to keep you entertained? I thought this so recently decided to put on a bingo evening for my friends!

I know many people might think bingo is purely for the older generation but it is making a comeback and I know that many people my age frequent bingo halls or go for online bingo.

But what do you need for a bingo evening? Well primarily you need bingo balls and a way of distributing them! This bingo game from Amazon is the perfect starter kit and at only £5.49 it won’t break the bank. If like me you prefer the good old fashioned bingo marker instead you can always stock up cheaply on eBay.

Bingo Game

I like to offer little prizes for the winners of my games; usually I buy a range of better quality goodies from a pound shop or discount store. I buy them dependant on who is attending, so I will have some for girls and others for boys. This makes the evening a little more enjoyable, you could even reward the person with a couple of shots if you fancied it!

We had a really good time on our bingo evening, it was fun to see who would win and the prizes went down a treat too. If you host your own let me know how it goes!

Beyonce Engagement Ring

Celebrity Rings

I am sure you all sit fantasising about your dream engagement ring – will it be a big, sparkling Tiffany or a vintage coloured stone? With so much choice it is near impossible for the man in your life to choose, but I like the fact that when he does select that one special ring it will be the most gorgeous thing ever – because he bought it in celebration of you being together forever.

With this in mind I thought I would feature, leading UK diamond jewellery specialists,  Purely Diamonds rundown of the 10 most expensive Celebrity engagement rings.

Some of these prices are absolutely ridiculous – and that’s only number 10 and 9!

10 – Hillary Duff

How much? $1 million / approx. £653,000

Hillary Duff is at the ‘bottom’ of the list  with her stunning 14 carat diamond engagement ring given to her by now husband Mark Comrie.  The hockey player presented his future bride with the sparkling diamond engagement ring in 2010.

Show me!

Hilary Duff Engagement Ring

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Why you should be drinking coffee every day

We’ve been drinking it for six centuries, in countries all around the world, but it’s only recently that we’ve found out just how amazing coffee is.

Not only does it taste great and provide the perfect pick-up at the start of the day, it’s also remarkably good for your health.

As scientists explore its secrets, more and more unexpected benefits are emerging. Now it seems that drinking four to six cups a day could help you think more sharply, feel better and even live longer.

Mental benefits

The first thing most people think of when they think of coffee – apart from the flavour – is the sense of energy it can provide; but did you know that it can actually make you smarter? Research has shown that drinking coffee improves overall cognitive function and has particular benefits when it comes to vigilance, reaction times, logical reasoning, memory and mood. Moderate consumption could also reduce your risk of depression by as much as 20% and prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Even just the scent of coffee has been shown to relieve stress.

Physical benefits

Caffeine can be great for your general health, speeding up your metabolism, helping your body burn fat and reducing the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes – perhaps by as much as 67%. Because it breaks down fatty acids which then move into the bloodstream, it can improve athletic performance, as it makes that extra source of fuel available to hungry cells. Alongside these effects, it protects against cirrhosis of the liver and reduces the risk of stroke. It also seems to decrease the likelihood that you will develop liver cancer or colorectal cancer, along with skin cancer if you’re female, and some early research is suggesting that it could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It may also prevent or moderate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in susceptible individuals.

Getting your fix

There are many ways to consume coffee. It can be used in cakes, in biscuits, in liqueurs and tiramisu; it can be prepared black, white, or as a cappuccino, latte, espresso or frappé; it can be flavoured or used in mocha. When you want the perfect cup with minimal fuss, a Tassimo coffee machine can be a real boon. You can rely on it to produce the drink of your choice, brewed at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time. These stylish machines look great in your kitchen and they make life easy at the times when you need it most.

Although it’s still advisable to moderate your coffee consumption – four to six cups a day appears to be the optimum level for good health – it really is something you can benefit from drinking daily. It’s a great way to bring yourself to full wakefulness at breakfast time and its ideal at break times during the day, whenever you’re starting to flag. What’s more, on top of all these amazing improvements it can bring to your health, it is, of course, delicious.