Advertisement feature in association with Darégal.

Do you remember a while back when I had that revelation about frozen chopped onions? At the time I called it a ‘landmark in my culinary life’, which was a bold statement, but then judging by the tone of the rest of the post I was perhaps going through a bit of an intense time – there’s a slight manic quality to the way I try to get Belle involved in the risotto – perhaps frozen onions really did feel life changing?

It had come on the back of me discovering all of those unusual frozen foods I never knew existed, so I was probably still a bit hyped from that. One of the foods that made that list was frozen herbs, which is what I want to talk to you about today, so get comfy.

Picture the scene for a moment, if you will. You’re cooking a new recipe and it has a long list of ingredients – garlic, ginger, coriander maybe. You’re feeling unusually enthusiastic about cooking so you embrace it and buy a packet of fresh coriander. Maybe you get carried away and buy one of the more expensive plants, thinking it’s just what you need to inspire you to cook fresh curries every day.

‘This coriander plant is going to change my life,’ you think to yourself, ‘who knows what kind of person I can be with this on my kitchen windowsill! It will be like the frozen onions all over again!’

Fast forward a week and you’re eating chicken dippers and chucking the dead coriander plant in the bin, or scrapping the coriander mush out of the vegetable drawer of the fridge. Ah well. Next time.

Great news for you my culinary friend! You don’t have to be that person any more. You don’t have to skip over the herbs in recipes because of the shame of that moment in the future – you CAN have your coriander and eat it! You just need to buy FROZEN HERBS.

I had this frozen onion style moment of inspiration at a cooking even I went to last week with a French company called Darégal, who are the world experts in culinary herbs. You probably won’t have heard of them, and you don’t need to look out for them in the freezer section as in the UK they provide herbs to restaurants, manufacturers and supermarkets to use in their own meals and products, rather than being their own consumer brand. Go into pretty much any supermarket – Iceland, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda or M&S – and their frozen herbs with have come from Darégal.

They also make frozen garlic, chilli and ginger – all things that I end up either skipping in recipes because I can’t be faffed, or chucking away loads of a week later.

where to buy frozen herbs View Post

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One of my favourite times of the week is a weekend morning, when Belle is still asleep and I’m alone with the cats, pottering.

Pottering is great isn’t it? I get the Archers omnibus on and I potter about doing all the crappy jobs I’ve been putting off for weeks like recharging the hoover battery and finally dealing with the Christmas tree on the back patio. (This one is currently aspirational.)

This weekend I potted up the avocado stone I’ve FINALLY managed to get to sprout after about eight failed attempts over the course of several years, which was very satisfying, and then to balance it out I threw away two other dead plants. That’s the circle of life for you, right there.

I also like to do a bit of light cooking when I’m pottering – something that I can nibble while I do my jobs. One of my favourite things to make is my ‘whatever’s in the fridge frittatas‘, partly because they’re tasty but also because it’s a useful way to clean out the fridge, which is another one of my favourite pottering pastimes.

This weekend, once the avocado stone was settled in, I thought I’d make some frittatas as a way to use up the cauliflower I’d had in the fridge for ages. I bought it with good intentions but you know, sometimes it’s hard to get around to eating a whole cauliflower, however positive you may feel about it at the time. I had a similar situation going on with a bag of spinach, which I’d bought to stir into a sweet potato curry that never happened, so that went in too.

cauliflower cheese mini frittatas

On reflection, I think they needed something sweeter to balance the flavours a bit better, (I dipped them in BBQ sauce, which wasn’t ideal), so in the recipe I’ve added the option of peas or cherry tomatoes, which I think would lift the frittatas nicely. View Post

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The utilization of cabinet glass has evolved to be used for divergent purposes since they tend to serve a variety of functions at home. Cabinet glass is mainly acknowledged for their aesthetic and decorative purposes. Some cabinet glass is designed to be used in open shelves while others settle for closed shelves. The increased development and popularity of cabinet glass have influenced the development of the modern kitchen. The cabinet glass designs tend to continue the modern look that homeowners desire for their living and dining areas. The glass cabinets add a sleek and stylish appearance that makes them perfect options for using them in the kitchen. Glass kitchen cabinet doors are usually clear or frosted, which means that they reflect approximately 50% of their content. The glass cabinets safeguard plates, spoons and other utensils and also ensure easy monitoring of the utensils. Kitchen glass cabinet panes are also easy to install if you are willing to replace wood with glass. There are diverse options of kitchen glass cabinets that come in a range of different types including leaded glass, textured glass, sumiglass, and V-grooving.

Leaded Glass Cabinets

Leaded glass is also referred to as crystal glass due to its crystal-like look as seen in fig 1. Leaded glass cabinets are an ideal type to use in a modern kitchen. The leaded glass panes for kitchen cabinets are made by amalgamating several pieces of glass together, which makes the glasswork a unique choice for kitchen cabinets. Each piece of leaded glass used for kitchen cabinet windows assembles into a certain design pattern which you may desire to use for your kitchen. The typical thickness of the leaded glass is 1/8” to 3/16” thick. Leaded glass designs are shaped to ensemble any décor from modern to traditional in almost any shape or size.

Textured/Frosted Glass Cabinets 

Glass Cabinet comes in a range of textured patterns, which are imprinted on the glass surfaces at high temperatures. Patterned glass enables textured glass cabinets to be customized in your desired decorative patterns. Textured glass patterns are considered to be the best option of supplementing an artistic or aesthetic appearance in your kitchen space. Textured glass also has an immoderate capacity of light diffusion. Therefore, they are ideal for those who don’t wish to put their kitchen utensils on display. They may be opaque enough to hide any mess while still showing the aesthetic cabinet appearance. The best glass types for making frosted glass are the fab and mirror glass as well as the obscured glass. Unlike a standard cabinet wall, frosted glass insertions enable the kitchen to appear more spacious and open.

Sumiglass Cabinet Glass

Sumiglass cabinet panes are laminated glass which is certified to be safer than other types of cabinet glass. Their safety assurance makes them an ideal option for interior kitchen cabinet glass utilizations. Sumiglass types are made by constricting several materials into certain layers. The decorative layers consist of various materials of adhesive and two or more window panes of glass. The layers are interconnected together using advanced technology and equipment that ensures there is a long-lasting bond between the glass panes and layered materials. Users can use different colors to create fashionable designs of sumiglass on kitchen cabinets. Despite having a decorative and long-lasting capacity, sumiglass is mainly recommended for interior utilizations.

V-Grooving Glass Cabinets

V-grooving cabinet glass has custom engravings and is polished within various decorative designs as seen in fig 4. V-grooving on kitchen cabinet glass surfaces introduces an aesthetic appearance of your kitchen surroundings. V-grooving technique significantly reduces the glass thickness in places where the designs are engraved on the glass. The Fab Glass and Mirror have a wide variety of glass with various engraving designs. Despite being a good option for supplementing an aesthetic appearance, glass cabinets with v-grooving techniques are prone to early breakages due to the reduced thickness in engraved regions. Thus they require to be well maintained.

Conclusion

In conclusion, kitchen glass cabinets serve multipurpose options, they are suitable and well-designed and thus, they are a good choice to be used in kitchen cabinets. The glass cabinets are also easy to find in the market given that they have gained popularity. They offer a great option of displaying your kitchenware compared to open or closed shelving. They are also easy to clean, unlike the wooden kitchen cabinets. They are waterproof and do not stain easily. It is recommended to clean the kitchen cabinet glass with a glass cleaner before wiping it with a soft cloth to make the glass look clear. However, you should be aware of the fragile nature of the cabinet glass. They are prone to cracks and breakages and thus, you should handle them with great care.

 

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Kids need a good night’s sleep in order for their young bodies to be energized, which provides a more focused mind and attention the next morning. The quality of sleep your kid gets every night also plays a significant role in their physical and mental development. And, your kid will only experience all of the benefits of sleep if they get to sleep on a mattress that fits their preferences.

Thus, your child needs a comfortable mattress with good body support in order for them to enjoy a good night’s sleep. The mattress they use should also fit their height and weight, as well as their preferred sleeping position. In that way, your toddler will have proper growth and development.

In this post, you’ll learn the signs when your child needs a new mattress. This way, you’ll know when to switch to a bigger mattress, as well as you’ll be guided in choosing the best mattress for your little one.

Your Baby Is Now Getting Older

As soon as your baby turns one, they’re already considered a toddler. By this time, they will have different needs and start to reach important milestones in life. Everything your child experiences during this time can mold their personality and significantly affect their growth. This stage spans until age three.

Experts highly recommend bigger mattresses for toddlers that measure 38 (width) by 75 (length) inches. When your kid reaches this measurement, more often than not, they already have outgrown their cribs. They might still fit inside their cribs, but they will likely be uncomfortable and stiff when they’re inside it. As your kid starts to age, keep in mind that their bodies will also grow bigger. So, how do you know if your toddler is ready to move into a regular bed?

Here are some helpful tips when your little one is transitioning from a crib to a bigger mattress:

  • Usually, children can switch from crib to a toddler bed at 1 ½ to 3 ½.
  • The best time to upgrade your child’s mattress from a crib mattress to a bigger mattress is as soon as they’re closer to three years old. If possible, start scouting for options before your kid reaches three. In this way, you can easily prepare for the purchase and find the best mattress that fits your kid’s needs the moment they ask for it.
  • If your child is now too active or simply too big to sleep in a mattress, you can introduce and shop for the best twin mattress
  • Don’t rush on shopping for a new bed when you first see your toddler climbing out of the baby crib. Doing this will only put money down the drain and increase your kid’s susceptibility to accidents and injuries.

Climbing out of the crib is normal behavior for growing kids. Once you see your kid exhibit this behavior, lower the crib mattress with the side rails higher. Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t immediately introduce your kid to a bigger mattress the moment they learn how to climb out of their cribs.

You can also consider adding several pillows on the side of the crib to discourage your kid from climbing off of it. If this proves to be ineffective and you see that your kid still goes out of their crib on their own, then you can go and purchase a bigger mattress for them. You just have to make sure that the height of the mattress from the floor is appropriate for your kid’s height.

Your Child Shows Sudden Change In Behavior

If your little one is suddenly having regular tantrums or always irritable, it’s one sign that they may not be getting enough sleep. Sleep is important for every human being, most especially for kids, since their brains and bodies are still growing.

Sleep deprivation can weaken your kid’s immune system and can even impair their bodily functions. A sleep-deprived kid will likely grow to be sickly, making it challenging for them to excel in school and socialize with their peers. If you want to steer away from this direction, spend some time observing your child if they’re having trouble getting sleep at night.

If you start noticing the behavioral changes, the possible culprit is the mattress. Sleeping in a small or uncomfortable mattress will cause your kid to twist and turn throughout the entire night and can lead to sleep deprivation. Your kid’s inability to sleep can also take a toll on your own health. More often than not, your kid will wake you up in the middle of the night and inform you that they can’t sleep at all.

Don’t allow you and your child’s day to be ruined because of this problem. If you notice your kid has been losing sleep regularly or has been waking you up for several nights in a week already, it might be best if you invest in a new mattress for them.

Here are other signs that your child is not getting the right amount and quality of sleep at night:

  • Frequent tossing and turning
  • Their back is soaked in sweat
  • Frequently awakens at night to drink water or complains of increased thirst
  • Cries early morning for unknown reasons
  • Sleeps longer and better in the day

Your Child Is Already Toilet Trained

Your kid will have to visit the toilet several times during the night. Depending on their age and usual activities during the day, they will pee and poop when everyone else is sleeping. It is your role as a parent to wake up and help your kid do their business in the toilet. You don’t want to let your kid sleep in a wet or stinky crib, right?

But, if you’re one of the lucky parents who have successfully toilet trained their kid, it might be time to give them a new mattress. If they already have the discipline to wake up in the middle of the night and do their business in the toilet all by themselves, then you don’t have anything to worry about. When your kid is toilet trained, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your kid can sleep soundly even while in their own bedroom and on their own mattress.

It’ll also be easy to clean and maintain the condition of a bigger mattress if your kid is already toilet trained. You’ll also enjoy longer hours of uninterrupted sleep if your kid isn’t bothering you in the middle of the night because they want to pee.

Your Child Is Seemingly Not Happy Using the Mattress

Your little one might show and express discomfort using the mattress you’ve recently bought. As mentioned, sleeping on a wrong mattress may cause sleeping problems in your kid.

It could be something to do with the firmness or softness of the mattress. It might not be the right size or type of mattress for your child, or you probably need to find a new mattress with the best features that perfectly suit your toddler’s sleeping habits.

Here are some of the features you need to look for when buying a new and bigger mattress for your toddler:

  • Density: Choose a mattress that’s dense enough or one you cannot push easily when you press your hands at the sides of the bigger mattress. The density of the mattress is a subjective decision, so consider bringing your kid when you’re buying one. This will allow them to test the mattress and find the best mattress that suits their preferences.
  • Innerspring: Choose a bigger mattress with at least 150 coils made of steel for pressure support. This feature will support all of the pressure points of your kid’s body as well as all of their sleeping positions, making it easy for them to doze off and sleep soundly.
  • Waterproof: Expect your toddler to still poop, pee, spill liquids, and throw up on their mattress. Make sure to choose a waterproof mattress or buy a waterproof cover when buying a bigger mattress. Aside from having peace of mind knowing that your kid is sleeping in a clean environment, a waterproof mattress or cover will also save you a lot of time as you won’t have to change your mattress the moment your kid spills their milk on it.
  • Washable: Because mattresses, most especially those used by children, tend to accumulate dust mites due to frequent contact with spills and body secretions, it’s best to choose a washable mattress. A mattress that is easy to clean will likely encourage you to clean it as often as possible.
  • Eco-friendly Or Green Materials: For your child’s health and safety, make sure to choose a mattress that’s made of eco-friendly materials, meaning without harmful chemicals, like flame retardants, VOCs, phthalates, and polyurethane. Look for the accepted standard CertiPUR-US certification.

Conclusion

When your little one grows older, they might need to transition from a crib to a regular mattress. Toddlers may have problems getting sound sleep at night because their mattress feels uncomfortable.

The best mattress for toddlers is bigger mattresses because their size is perfect for children. Also, high-quality mattresses are equipped with the best features that are perfect for toddlers.

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Bread is one of the most popular foods in France. Baguette anyone?

When it comes to eating out in Europe, visitors are spoiled for choice. With so many countries famous for their cuisine, it can be difficult knowing where to go first. Whether you want to experience rustic local fare or high-end gastronomic food, an authentic meal while on vacation is a must. After all, we think with our stomachs more often than not! So, where are the best places to visit for the tastiest dish ever?

France

France is famous the world over for its mouth-watering cuisine, attracting visitors who want to sample the country’s incredible dishes in droves. The freshness of the ingredients, the wide variety of regional flavors, the authentic cooking methods and original recipes combine to create some of the most sought-after gastronomy on the planet. While the food in France can get very technical and fancy, one of the most iconic food is the humble baguette. Served solo or with almost every meal on offer in France, the baguette is eaten at ay time of the day. But if bread simply won’t suffice, head to Normandy to sample the moules marinières (mussels with cream, garlic, and herbs) or Burgundy to try the famous coq au vin (chicken in wine). Escargot (snails) are plentiful in Paris while the famous French pastries are available on just about every street corner that you find.

Poland

Poland might not be the first European country you think of when it comes to food, but Polish cuisine undoubtedly deserves a mention. From the very tasty ogórki kwaszone (pickled cucumbers) and the pierogi (Polish ravioli) to the twaróg ze szczypiorkiem (cottage cheese with spring onion), Poland has a unique and unconventional taste. The traditional ingredients that make up Polish cuisine, such as beets, apples, potatoes, and buckwheat pay homage to the country’s long agrarian tradition. Here, the food needs to last through the winter which means plenty of pickles, preserves, fermented goods and smoked fish and meat. Head to Silesia to try the large dumplings known as kluski or try the aromatic duck dishes in Wielkopolska. But for a real range of regional dishes, it’s essential to visit the Podhale at the foot of the Tatra mountains. Here you can find anything from kwaśnica (sauerkraut soup) to placki po góralsku (potato pancakes with goulash).

Malta 

Right off the southernmost tip of Italy, Malta understandably has plenty to offer in terms of gastronomic fare. A fine blend of influences from Italy, the North of Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region, Maltese cuisine has a flavor like no other. As it is an island, the food here is mainly season-based and rustic along with classic seafood recipes and Maltese stew. The traditional Maltese qubbajt, a sweet treat made with almonds and honey is available in most local shops and stalls, while the delectable Maltese pastizzi are abundant in the seaside town of St. Julian’s, along with fresh seafood and sumptuous pasta.

Italian pizza is famous the world over

Italy

Home of pasta and pizza, it is no surprise that Italy makes its way onto this list. But these two specialties are just a drop in the ocean compared with the full range of gastronomic fare available in this beautiful country. Whether you prefer to dine in the finest Michelin-star restaurants or a family-run rustic café, there are so many options here that visitors can feel overwhelmed with choice. Each place has its own delicacies and specialties, which means that traveling around in Italy can be very hard on the waistline! Try the fabled spaghetti in Rome, before heading to Venice to gorge on tiramisu. Sample the world-famous Margherita in Naples or try lavarello at the jaw-droppingly beautiful Lake Como.

While there are some obvious choices on the list, there are certainly a few European countries that you might not have immediately thought of for incredible food. So, the next time you book holidays, ask your stomach to choose where you go first!

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different parenting styles

A couple of weeks ago I published a post on Untold Stories from a mum who felt that having kids hadn’t been worth it. A lot of people left comments, (thank you!), and quite a few people messaged me directly to tell me how the post had affected them or resonated with their own story. Below is a copy of one of these emails.

There’s something about this story that really connected with me – that conflict between wanting to be everything for your older children and at the same time feeling powerless. I feel this a lot as a parent, especially with Belle as she doesn’t have a relationship with her father. I can often feel like I’m trying to be both this woman and her husband at the same time – good cop and bad cop – only I’m not sure what either cop is really meant to do.

This woman has the same sense of unfulfilled potential as the writer of the original post, but it’s something more too, something that feels like it’s tearing her in two different directions, leaving her broken in the middle. It was hard to read as the sadness is palpable, but I’m sure they’re not uncommon feelings. What I found especially sad was the idea that the very worst thing that could happen to her daughter was for her life to turn out just like her own.

Get in touch if you have any thoughts on this or other Untold Stories or if you have your own story you’d like to share about any aspect of parenting.

……

I just read the Untold Story about whether having children is worth it and it really resonated with me. I’ve also been a stay-at-home mum for twenty years and I am in the very same mental place as whoever wrote this Untold Story.

Lately, I find myself lying in bed, unable to sleep, wondering what my life would have been like had I not had my children. I have two – 20 and soon-to-be 18. Girls. My 20 year old has moved into a flat for her third year at uni, with her long-time boyfriend. My youngest daughter has got into the the uni of her choice and will be up and away by September.

The hardest part of parenting this age is that they still need you, but they want their independence. My eldest is struggling with her course, won’t let me help and often threatens to drop out. I’m utterly drained of trying to support an ‘adult child’ who wants to load everything on me, but doesn’t really want my advice. And now that she has moved out, she can easily ignore my calls or texts. My youngest is headstrong and desperate to leave the backwater where we live but I know I’ll still be needed in that begrudging way an older teen depends on.

I haven’t worked in 20 years. I have a good degree in history with honours, which has proven to be utterly useless to me. I spend every waking minute trying to make my husband and children happy, yet I feel totally unfulfilled, useless and that I have also squandered all of my potential. My husband takes a far more pragmatic approach to parenting our girls now – let them make their own mistakes and we’re there for them when the shit hits the fan. But I can see a car crash coming to my eldest if she doesn’t pull it together and try harder, because I can’t bear for her to either drop out or leave with a degree that’s of no use to her.

Because then she’ll have a life like mine – lost, unfulfilled and emotionally spent. View Post

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Sleep is incredibly important to me. I’m like a toddler – if I don’t get the sleep I need I just don’t function properly the next day. Lack of sleep makes me grumpy, I feel tired and my brain just doesn’t work as well. After 9pm my knees start to get twitchy and I’m really only staying up at this point because 9pm feels like too early a bedtime for a grown-up. Sometimes I sleep well, sometimes I thrash about having wild dreams, overheating or getting too cold. How to sleep better is a question never far from my mind.

When I moved house a couple of years ago I paid special attention to my bedroom. I decided the best way to sleep well would be to create a very tranquil, calm space that would be free from clutter and generally a chill place to sleep. It ended up being a bit like a minimalist hotel room, with just the bed and two side tables, (and the cats obviously), but I liked it. It definitely had the tranquil vibe I was looking for. It made me really appreciate how important it is in your bedroom to pay attention to details like temperature, lighting, colours and how to choose the best mattress and bed sheets.

flowers in the bedroom

If you always find yourself wondering how to sleep better then I’ve put together some tips for you to hopefully help you get a better night’s rest and not let lack of sleep spoil your days. View Post

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brunch club

A few weeks ago I had brunch with my friend Nicky at The Weir in French Weir Park. It was one of those beautiful January mornings where little droplets of cold snot form on the end of your nose as you walk and you can’t feel your feet but it’s worth it for the way the winter sun hangs low in the sky and the crisp air fills your lungs and lifts your spirits.

French Weir park Taunton

I’ve been to The Weir a few times before for coffee but never for food and I’ve been wanting to go ever since I saw that they do homemade baked beans on toast.

I have a bit of a soft spot for baked beans as it was pretty much impossible to visit my Gran and Grandad for any length of time and not be served them with slightly burnt toast and salty butter. If you got really lucky you’d get tinned beans and sausages with homemade crinkle cut chips. I don’t remember my Gran ever eating, just serving them to me and my Grandad, one tin between us, the eight sausages always divided out equally, never left to chance. View Post

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King’s cross, or king’s cross station, is a passenger railway terminus in London which is one of the busiest stations in the United Kingdom. Naturally, the busy nature of the station makes its surroundings attractive to passengers and tourists, resulting in numerous sites that are a joy to visit. There is something for everyone to do near King’s Cross:

   1. Have a night out

As expected, owing to the huge human traffic at King’s cross, there are plenty of sites near the station for those who love a fun night out with music, dancing, and cocktails. One such place is Camino King’s Cross. It is a Spanish bar and restaurant situated only 5 minutes away from King’s cross, and it is a place you would enjoy to visit and let loose for a night out. They also serve delicious meals, especially Spanish cuisines, and drinks, which will help you indulge in world-renowned Spanish culture. If Camino doesn’t fit your bill, then there’s also Scala Club. Scala is a club that holds fun events every year and it is also a nice place to visit. Situated only over half a kilometer away from King’s Cross, it is a club that you definitely ought to visit.

  1. Visit nature parks

Nature lovers will also not be disappointed when they visit King’s cross. There is a beautiful scenic natural park in Camley, Camley Street Natural Park, which hosts pond dipping and nature watching sessions for its visitors. Tourists can also just take a walk around and enjoy their surroundings. The park is only ten minutes away from King’s Cross station, on foot, and it is, therefore, a nice place to visit and relax while soaking up the sun. There is also a rather nice viewpoint, a floating platform down the canal near Camley Park. The viewpoint is also a nice place to visit and unwind, with a spectacular view of Regent’s Canal as a bonus.

  1. Visit famous sites

King’s cross has got plenty of fun places to visit. The most prominent one is Platform 9 ¾. This is a famous spot generally visited by Harry Potter fans from around the world, and if you are one, then you shouldn’t miss out. The spot has a sign and a battered luggage trolley, and it makes for a nice photo location. There is also a rather lovely outdoor sports pitch, near the House of Illustration, where you can get together with a couple of your friends for a nice and invigorating game of football or basketball. Luckily, there is also a place where you can store your luggage, at the King’s Cross luggage storage, which will let you have your fun without worries nor baggage.

  1. Visit the library

For those looking to unleash their book-loving side, fret not, there is something for you too at King’s Cross. The British Library is one of the most famous libraries in the United Kingdom, and there you can get to sample any copy of any book published in the UK. Additionally, entry is free in this prestigious library, so you can just go in and enjoy a good read.

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lifestyle cocktails

Does the idea of turning thirty terrify you? Well, it shouldn’t! We agree that your 20s are wild, exciting and new. It’s your first time out on your own, exploring the world, being an adult. 

But your 20s has this constant restlessness present. You are on the hunt for a better job, a better partner and an overall better life. And to be honest, the whole idea of your 20s being the best time of your life is complete bull propagated by anti-ageing brands. 

The best time of your life actually begins in your 30s. You’ve made peace with your likes and dislikes and that allows you to be more confident in your skin. And this deserves to be celebrated! Check out these party ideas to welcome your 30s in style.

 

  • Disco-Themed Party

 

Take a cue from HBO’s Big Little Lies and put together a disco-themed party for your thirtieth birthday. Big hair and incredible music, what’s not to love?

Apart from setting a retro dress code, you should definitely create a great disco playlist. You can go all out and hire a live band. 

 

  • Mini Masquerade Ball

 

Throw a Gossip Girl inspired masquerade ball for the big 3-0. You don’t necessarily have to book a grand venue for a masquerade ball. All you need is fabulous gowns and extravagant masks, and even your living room can become a ballroom. Remember to set up a photo booth to capture your epic outfits.

 

  • Casino Party

 

You don’t have to fly to Las Vegas to celebrate your dirty thirty. You can bring the casino to you. Yeah, you heard that right!

Plan a red, green, white and black casino themed party. You can get casino themed decor and treats. 

But what’s a casino party without gambling? Ditch the tedious task of putting up poker tables and slot machines and instead set up online casino games for your guests. It’s much easier yet equally fun. The best slot sites to pass time while you are at home are Mobile Casino Kings Slot Rush and many more can be found on the website. 

 

  • 90s Themed Party

 

Tiny sunglasses, low-waisted pants, lip liner- all the 90s trends are coming back. So why not make it the theme of your party? 

Take fashion inspiration from Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Lindsey Lohan. Don’t forget to curate a playlist with the best of the 90s including hits from TLC, Spice Girls, Mariah Carey, Madonna and Snoop Dog.

 

  • Black & White Gala

 

If you’re looking for a sophisticated option, go with a black and white theme. You can send out black and white invites and set a monochrome dress code. But make sure you incorporate at least one more in the decor pallet to keep things interesting. You can also get an old-school photo booth that prints black and white pictures.

 

  • ‘13 Going On 30’ Party

 

Take inspiration from the ultimate turning-thirty movie ‘13 Going On 30’. Your guests can dress up as thirteen or thirty-year-old characters from the movies. And the drinks menu must include Piña Coladas, not virgin of course. There’s no better way to be thirty, flirty and thriving.

 

  • Wine Tasting Party

 

Does the idea of hosting a rager for your thirtieth doesn’t appeal to you? For those looking for a more chilled option, put together a wine tasting party. Get a variety of wines and whip up a cheese board. End the night with a scrumptious sit-down dinner and cake. 

 

  • Childhood Heroes Party

 

Pop icon Taylor Swift comes to mind when you think of epic celebrations. A couple of years ago she threw a childhood heroes costume party. A-listers such as Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and more came dressed as their childhood favourites. You can go to town with this idea and have the time of your life.

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It’s almost Lá Fhéile Pádraig (better known to non-Gaelic speakers as St Patrick’s Day), so it’s time to get your Irish on! From Dublin to Dubai, annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations are everywhere, complete with marching bands, Irish music and quite a lot of people wearing green clothing. Not to mention green beer.

All of this hullabaloo started as a feast day commemorating the death of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, on 17 March, circa 460 AD. Born Maewyn Succat in Roman Britain sometime at the end of the fourth century, Patrick was captured at age 16 by Irish raiders and sold into slavery; he spent six years in captivity as a shepherd. During his servitude Patrick became deeply religious. He later reported that God spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland, so somehow he managed to escape and find his way back to Britain.

St Patrick's Day

God had more instructions for Patrick, recommending that he serve as a missionary to the Irish, so after years of religious training, he returned to the country of his bondage as a priest.

At the time there were a few Christians in Ireland, but most of the Irish were pagans who followed a nature-based religion. Patrick took up his cause enthusiastically, baptising and confirming the ‘heathens’ – not always a particularly popular thing to do, so he often found himself one step away from martyrdom. But, as scholar D. A. Binchy notes, the “moral and spiritual greatness of the man” won out: Patrick established monasteries, churches and schools across Ireland.

There are many popular misconceptions about St Patrick. The legend that he drove the snakes out of Ireland, for example, is really an allegory: instead of ‘snakes’, read ‘pagans’. He did, however, popularise the shamrock as particularly Irish, using the three-leaved plant to explain the Trinity to his converts. 

St Patrick’s Day in Ireland

Today St Patrick’s Day is celebrated boisterously in Eire and Northern Ireland, but this was not always the case. It was originally a solemn religious holiday. Celebrants did get relief from Lenten food restrictions, but until the 1970s, Irish pubs were closed by law on the feast day. 

It wasn’t until Irish expats took up the holiday and ran with it that Ireland truly awakened to the possibilities of St Patrick’s Day, both for the pleasure of the locals and to attract tourists. Now a bank holiday, St Paddy’s Day has become an all-out celebration of every aspect of Irish culture. And yes, the pubs are open!

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day All Around the World

Irish Americans took the lead in transforming a religious feast day into the rambunctious secular holiday we know today. To celebrate their ties to the Auld Sod, Americans of Irish descent held the first St Patrick’s Day parade in Boston in 1737. New York followed in 1762. In Chicago they’ve been dying the Chicago River green on St Patrick’s Day since 1962.

Chicago river St Patrick's Day

Other countries with large contingents of Irish men and women soon jumped on the party bandwagon: Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK; Birmingham hosts the world’s third-largest parade (after Dublin and New York).

Plenty of other countries, inspired by Irish immigrants, the desire for a good party or both, also celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style. You can put on something green and lift a pint of Guinness in Buenos Aires, Oslo, Tokyo, Istanbul, Zagreb, Mumbai, Moscow and Singapore.

Montserrat, the ‘Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’, takes it a step further: it’s the only country other than Ireland where St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday.

The UAE

In the United Arab Emirates you can enjoy all the Guinness (preferably dyed green), corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew and Irish coffee you want. The country goes all out on St Paddy’s Day, thanks to its large population of Irish immigrants. The party possibilities here are seemingly limitless. Many establishments helpfully add ‘Irish Pub’ to their names so there will be no confusion: McGettigan’s Irish Pub (Dubai), PJ O’Reilly’s Irish Pub (Abu Dhabi), Fado Irish Pub (Abu Dhabi), the Dublin Arms Irish Pub (Dubai). Other Irish-inspired establishments are equally obvious: the Irish Village, Fibber Magee’s and the Dubliner’s (all in Dubai). 

Black Tap has locations in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and here, if the luck of the Irish is with you, you can enjoy a unique concoction, the Lucky Charms Shake: a marvel in green adorned with cupcake icing, gold chocolate coins, Lucky Charms cereal, marshmallows and a crispy treat. 

Patrick's Day celebration

Maewyn Succat’s Day

St Patrick is an honorary saint only; he’s never been officially canonised by the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, he’s more popular than plenty of recognised saints, and we can see why. This St Paddy’s Day, wherever you are in the world, raise your Guinness and drink a toast to Maewyn Succat.

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Everyone loves a good meal. Better yet, everyone loves a delicious home-cooked meal. One common misconception is that many people believe that in order to make a great meal, one has to be an excellent cook. On the contrary, a good cook just needs their skills and a great set of cooking tools. Thanks to the advancement of kitchen tools each day, many of them can help you become a better cook instantly. However, many cooks swear by simplicity when it comes to choosing your cooking tools; it’s not a matter of the flashier, the better, but it’s a matter of what gets the job done efficiently. 

We’ve gathered some of these tools that will help you become a better chef in your own kitchen: 

A Cast-Iron Skillet 

To this day, no skillet can match the art and beauty that the cast-iron skillet has to offer. It’s an essential tool in anyone’s kitchen. With proper care and maintenance, it can last a lifetime. It’s versatile, as it can be used stove-top or in your oven, and you can use it for any savory meal or even homemade desserts! Whether you’re baking a cake or you’re searing steak or chicken, this pan is perfect. It’s also known to spread heat evenly so your meals will be cooked thoroughly. 

A Digital Thermometer

Cooking any kind of meat is rather tricky. You don’t want to overcook it and then your meat becomes dry, tasteless, and hard to eat, but you also don’t want to undercook it and get food poisoning. One of the best ways to make sure that you’re cooking your meat, turkeys, and poultry in a safe manner is by reading the reviews on how to get your own digital meat thermometers, which gives you an instant reading in a matter of seconds. Having a digital thermometer and knowing how to use it, you’ll be able to understand if your meat is ready to be consumed or not.

A Chef’s Knife 

No chef is complete with a good, reliable, and very sharp knife. You will definitely need a high-quality knife that will help you with chopping and slicing. Make sure you invest in a really good one that will give you control over what you’re cutting, especially if it’s any kind of meat. Ideally, a chef’s knife would be around 8-9 inches. It will even do you good if you learn some foolproof cutting methods that will instantly turn you into a pro. 

A Knife Sharpener 

Consider all those pesky moments when you’re preparing dinner and you find that your favorite knife is too dull to cut anything. Your knives will go a long away if you invest in your own knife sharpener. This will enable you to have sharp knives at all times and you’ll be armed and ready to slice anything and cook a great meal! 

An Instant Pot 

Some meals take ages to cook, like meat for example. However, an instant pot is every cook’s dream of getting the meal done fast, right, and perfect! One of its greatest features is the pressure cooking technique which will cook your meat in no time. It’s also great for yogurts, rice, and anything you’d like to simmer, braise, steam, or slow cook. The difference is that it will get it done faster. 

A Food Processor 

This tabletop appliance is a life-saver! While having a blender might feel enough for you, we’re here to say that the food processor takes it to the next level! Not only will you blend your food to make smoothies, sauces or soup, but you can also slice and dice vegetables, fruit or you can grate them. You can also use it to make cake batter or dough. 

A Stand Mixer 

If you’re more of a baker, then you definitely need a good, sturdy stand mixer. This device will help you cut down your preparation time in half; you’ll be able to prepare something else while it does one job for you. You can knead dough, whip egg whites, and cream butter. It will be the perfect addition to any baker’s kitchen. 

Measuring Tools

These items might be overlooked, but they’re quite essential. For starters, whether you’re a simple cook or an amateur baker, you need the right measuring cups and spoons to help you follow an exact recipe. You also need a digital kitchen scale to help weigh anything from meat to baking ingredients. 

Whether you’re new to the cooking game or you’d like to go the extra mile, just know that there’s always room for improvement and becoming better. While you may not need to spend a ton of money on fancy gadgets, simple ones will do the trick. Consider the aforementioned items and you’ll be a better cook in no time!

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