The Cheltenham Festival 2015


Horse Racing is all the rage nowadays- hundreds of thousands of spectators across the country regularly flock to racecourses located across the breadth of the nation, and it’s not just well established race days that are enjoying the massive influx of new custom. Ascot, Redcar, York, Warwick, Windsor and a host of other cities have their own racecourses, and as economic woes ease up, many are relishing the chance to dress up, kick back and place a couple of bets at these classy, exciting race days. One of these to look out for next year is the Cheltenham Festival, known throughout the country as one of the most entertaining, family friendly racing events of the year.

Also known as the National Hunt Meeting, the Cheltenham Festival is one of horse racing’s most long-established events, and the second largest in the UK in terms of visitor numbers. The one hundred and forty year-old festival also has the second-largest prize pot available in the racing circuit, just below Ascot, and this fact, paired with the sheer number of races that take place across the four day event; 29 fence and hurdle challenges in all; means that teams, owners, jockeys and even the steeds themselves will be viewing the festival with avid eyes!

Kicking off on the 10th of March and culminating on the 13th, the festival is geared towards providing entertainment for a variety of audiences. The 10th is the most eclectic day of the series and is suitably titled Champion Day, thanks to the Stan James Champion Hurdle Race (the most anticipated race of the early season) taking place on this day. Those that like to make their time at the races a little more exciting will want to make sure Coral’s mobile app is loaded on their smartphone before they arrive; with racing news, information on the various equine contenders, odds and even live streaming of races it’s a must-have!

Wednesday the 11th is Ladies Day, a day when gals can put on their favourite frocks and exquisite hats and enjoy a fanciful day of fun and frivolity, topped off with the excellent Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase! On Thursday 12th St. Patricks Day tears through the ground, and with all manner of food, music and, naturally, drink on offer, as well as some excellent races, this day looks to be a belter!

Finally, on Friday 13th of March Cheltenham’s Gold Cup Day takes place; a true day for racing aficionados, Cup Day is packed to the brim with exciting races, celebrations and the all important podium events! If this all sounds good to you, make sure to purchase your tickets in time for the festival!


Why do people buy Antique Rugs?

cImage via Flickr

One of the best items in the world that can give a great representation of life through the ages are Antique Rugs. Rugs can vary in size, colour and style. Although most of us use them as a decorative ornament, they are also displayed in museums as part of exhibits. These are a great insight into the way higher-class people lived back then. Truly antique rugs date back to before the 1800’s. The sheer variety of rugs and their craftsmanship is a testament to the skill of rug makers in centuries bygone.

The demand for antique rugs has risen considerably in the last couple of years. Artisans such as those throughout Central Asia have created specific kinds of rugs. These all have  rare, highly sought after designs. The very material of these rugs is also very expensive – some of them are made from silk or cotton, meaning they can even hold up to today’s standards. Their decorative charm is irresistible to rug collectors with their colourful, vivid designs.

There is a huge range of classifications for rugs. Oriental rugs in particular originated in and around Eastern Asia. Their unique designs and colours are easily distinguishable and are a trademark of their Chinese/Himalayan origin. Other types include European and Persian rugs or even antique Aubusson carpets. Much like Oriental rugs, Persian rugs are revered for their unique patterning and colour combinations. However, the maintenance of antique rugs can be quite difficult. Those who devote their time to the collection of rugs are very particular in their treatment. Some may hang them in a similar fashion to a museum! Although it sounds peculiar, it makes a lot of sense – the upkeep of antiques can be costly.

True antique rug collectors are very knowledgeable on rugs from particular time periods. They can easily recognise what designs originate from where and even verify their authenticity. With the modern technologies available today, it is fairly easy to reproduce fake antique pieces. Novice buyers can be easily fooled by the product in question and spend large amounts of money on something that is actually a fraction of the price. It can also be hard to track down these dealers due to their patterns of movement. Connoisseurs of antique rugs should be able to tell apart an authentic piece from a fake. A thorough inspection can reveal telltale signs of synthetic design.

Antique rugs remain a staple amongst collectors of high-end décor. Their designs and patterns are timeless. The one caveat with antique rugs is that there are only so many of them. As time passes, it’s likely that they will be found in a museum rather than a home. Their price and maintenance could well make it difficult to keep them as a household item. However this is unlikely to be a stopping point for true antique aficionados. They posses amazing craftsmanship and unique aging qualities that modern carpets lack. If they are there to be sought out, buyers won’t hesitate to travel wherever they may be!

DIY Tips to Create More Space in Your Small Home

Having a small home can be lovely and cosy, but sometimes you probably wish you had more space. If you ever feel cramped and claustrophobic in your house, these DIY tips are just perfect for you!


Paint Everything Light and Bright

Dark colours help to make a room appear more cosy, but they absorb light, making a room feel much smaller. If you paint everything light and bright, the room will reflect light and look larger. Your accessories don’t all have to be light though, so feel free to accessorise with those. Double check with the landlord if it’s ok to do this if you’re renting though. You don’t want to find the perfect 2 bedroom flat to rent in Sevenoaks only to realise the decor must stay the same!

 Add Lots of Mirrors

Mirrors are great reflectors and help to add the appearance of more space. Adding lots of mirrors to a space will instantly brighten it up. You can also add mirrored furniture, as well as clear furniture to add to this effect. Why not create a feature wall full of mirrors? This is my favourite part of home improvement; getting creative!

 Keep Things Minimal

Keep things as minimal as you can when decorating. Try not to pick too many items of furniture, as your space could appear too cluttered. Try to go for clean, crisp lines.

 Paint the Ceiling the Same Colour as The Walls

Painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls will elongate a room. You could also use a patterned wallpaper on the ceiling to draw the eye upwards.

 Pull Furniture Away from the Wall

Pulling the furniture away from the wall stops the place from feeling cramped. Those few extra inches behind your sofa can really make all the difference to the look of your home.

 Make Use of Hidden Storage

Hidden storage is a godsend, so use it in any way you can. If you can find sofas with storage, coffee tables with storage, and beds with storage, use them!

 Hang Shelves Closer to the Ceiling

Hanging shelves closer to the ceiling will not only give you a place to put certain ornaments, it’ll draw the eye upwards. This is an optical illusion creating the impression of a larger room.

 Use Statement Furniture

You might think that large pieces of statement furniture would have the opposite effect of what you want. However, choosing one large statement settee for a room rather than a few different pieces helps the minimalistic approach we should be taking. It doesn’t feel as cluttered either, which makes the room look bigger. Sofas with their legs showing instantly make a room look bigger too, rather than sofas that reach all the way to the floor.

 Paint a Work of Art

You can paint a work of art, commission a work of art, or buy a work of art from your local home improvement store. Whatever you do, add a large piece of art to the wall to make it look larger.

Your home will look bigger in a flash with these tips!

Photo Author

Essential Guide To Party Purses

Tis the season for lots of parties! With so many invites in our calendars, it is hard to fit them all in. Let’s be honest, we’re not going to turn any of them down! It could be time to think about packing a bag just for these occasions. Packing light is never easy, and keeping our purses from bursting open is a life-long challenge.

First things first, keep your cash light and your cards out of sight. It’s unusual for us to have to use a credit card for a party, but you might need cash to hand for a cab at the end of the night. Can you pack your party purse without a wallet? Absolutely, but having no ID on you is not advised. Minimise the contents in your wallet and you’ve probably saved a few ounces straight away!

Next, think about essential makeup. Can you buy a small makeup wallet that contains a couple of brushes and applicators with your eye shadow, blush and foundation? Having everything loose in the purse helps it fit in better, but it doesn’t help you find it all in a hurry when you need a touch-up. A travel brush or comb may not be enough if your hair is prone to frizz so you should pack a small flat iron. Have a look at paul mitchell flat iron reviews to see if you can find a spare one to suit.

If you have to use regular medication, keep a small amount in your party purse in case you end up staying somewhere overnight. Also keep a small bottle of water in there in case you are ill and need to rinse your mouth. There are chewing gums that act like toothbrushes you could pack if you don’t want to include a toothbrush and paste. Also pack a couple of headache tablets for that inevitable hangover!

Fresh pants are a good idea, if you can find somewhere in that purse to hide them discreetly. One of those tiny travel deodorants to hide the exertion of dancing the night away is also handy. Spare pantyhose are essential too. We always get a run when we’re having fun, right? Grab one of those small packs of foot blister relief too. The shoes have to look good, no matter what the pain!

Now you have everything for a party, save one compartment of your party purse for things that need to be in every purse you use. These include your cell phone, house keys, wallet with ID, and cab fare home.

elegant bow cheap cocktail dresses

Thanks to Flickr for pic

When you accept an invite to a party, be sure to let someone close to you know where you are going. If you plan on drinking alcohol, be sure you attend a party with someone you know well so they can let you know if you ought to go home. Most importantly lookout for each other, so nobody has an opportunity to take advantage of you while you are at your most vulnerable. Party safe for a happy night out.

Home Style Trends Of 2014


Like any fashion, interior design trends come and go. When it comes to decorating what are the home style trends of 2014? Read on to find out!

Industrial Beauty

Recent years have been all about the industrial look. It can be found everywhere at the moment. The hallmark of this style is oversized wooden furniture with heavy duty, engineered, metal finishes. It also includes polished concrete flooring and factory-influenced light fittings. The style is easy to emulate. Furniture stores such as Super A-Mart Australia have entire ranges of furniture reflecting the industrial look trend.

Black is Back

Black is all the rage at the moment when it comes to interior design. From black feature walls to black patterned furniture, using black is all about boldly embracing contrast. In its current resurgence, black is typically used against a stark white or pale grey. It can be used on walls, curtains or even flooring. Add a little interest with black and white patterns or team it up with single blocks of colour in vases, cushions or ornaments to provide a little bright relief.

Bold and Brassy

Bold patterns are also making a comeback with reference to the styling of the late 1960s. Think Aztec influenced prints in bold colours against light coloured, Danish-influenced furniture. The trick to this style is allowing the complex patterns to contrast against the simplicity of the furniture. A great way of embracing it is through pillows, throw rugs and floor cushions.

Wide Open Spaces

Flow-through, open plan living continues to be on trend. Kitchens overflow into dining rooms and living areas. This is all about easy entertaining and allowing interaction in the home. When it comes to styling , an open plan means that the old days of one theme for the kitchen and another for the lounge are long gone. The trick is to pick a style and stick to it by reflecting your colour palette and furniture styles throughout these common areas.

Natural and Neutral

Was there ever a time when neutral was out? This year it continues to provide the backbone of interior design. There’s a couple of truly effective ways to give neutrals a styling shebang. You can use them as your base and then contrast them with coloured highlights in cushions, ornaments or artworks. Alternatively, layer your shades of neutral to create a plush and sumptuous look. Add extra interest through wooden or steel lamp tables, dining tables and ornaments. The wood or steel adds texture against the neutral tones.

Whatever style you choose to embrace, it’s worth bearing in mind that styles come and go and you may still be living in this house in five years’ time. If you’re not inclined to totally redecorate every few years, then pick the easy to alter items such as cushions, rugs and lampshades when it comes to reflecting current trends. You can still have just as much fun, but it comes with a little less hard work.

10 Ways to Bring History to Life For Your Kids

There is no subject where the gap between how boring your kids think it is and how exciting you could make it is wider. There’s a wealth of opportunities out there to pique your little ones’ interest in lots of aspects of history. So if they are starting to roll their eyes at the thought studying Vikings or getting stuck for inspiration while reading about the Romans, use these handy tips to bring the subject to life.

 Get Crafty

If you are constantly looking for the opportunity, here is the perfect time to get the craft materials in. Websites such as George Weil sell all kinds of bits and pieces for you to start your own history project. From drawing Egyptian hieroglyphics to making a roman bracelet, there are hundreds of artsy activities for you and your little ones.

 Go to the Source

There are plenty of free history resources around to get your kids inspired. Take them to a museum or a National Trust property and let them see history first hand. Most museums run free activity programmes or alternatively, you can have fun designing your own programming for your family.


 Read in the right way

Books such as Horrible Histories put a unique spin on the subject and not only get your little one interested, but have you falling about laughing. As well as taking tips from the Horrible Histories team, it is a good idea to seize on any opportunity you get to read to your child about a subject, place or person who may pique their interest at any given time.

 Watch TV productively

It is great to make their screen time more productive by adding context to historical films such as Robin Hood or anything about dinosaurs. Combine other tips here with a movie to make a more holistic historic experience.


 Connect to the Past

A good way to have the past make more sense to young children is getting them to make connections between people’s lives then and their own life now. For example, a trip to a Victorian school house will throw out numerous opportunities to compare and contrast classrooms and lessons over a hundred years ago and what your children experience now.

 Talk to Relatives

For historians and young children alike, there is no better resource than living accounts of times gone by. Get them to engage with Grandma or Grandad and ask them about their childhoods. It’s a great bonding experience as well as a fun way to learn.


Get into Character

Historic re-enactments can be fun and immersive ways for your kids to learn about any era of the past. Take opportunities to dress up and live like a family of a different time period for a day.

 Cook up a Feast

A fun way to live like people used to in days gone by is to cook up a feast. There’s a host of recipes to try from Ancient Greece to NASA-approved nibbles in cookbooks such as this.

 Encourage Inquisitiveness

The most important tip is to encourage your children’s thirst for knowledge. If they ask difficult questions which you can’t answer make an effort to find the facts and show them how you have found them out.


How to Dress for a Wedding in The UK


Long gone are the days when everyone knew what to wear to a wedding – There are now so many options in terms of venue and style of ceremony that the dress options too have inevitably expanded. After all, what is the difference between formal and black tie? What on earth is white tie? The most important piece of advice though is that if you’re in doubt, check it out – If the invitation doesn’t make the dress code clear then simply ask the hosts or even fellow guests what to wear. Having said that, there are some general rules that you should familiarise yourself with.

Black/ White tie 

For ladies, there is no real difference between black and white tie. Both require some form of elegant gown or classy cocktail length dress. For men, it is a little more complicated. White tie is just about as formal as you will get and means that you should be wearing tails with a white shirt and bow tie. Black tie means wearing a regular tuxedo with black bow tie. However, things can get complicated for men if the invitation states “formal.” This can be interpreted as a black tie event, but at the very least wear a dark suit and tie.

Lounge/ Cocktail

Men should opt for a suit and shirt, but feel free to choose whether you prefer a light or dark suit. It’s a good idea to be guided by the time of day and the season. Dark colours are generally more suited to evening and winter weddings while a lighter colour is usually a good choice for an afternoon or summer occasion. Ladies are expected to wear a cocktail dress or formal suit for a lounge or cocktail wedding. Again, colours are dependent on the context. A sundress for example is a great option or the summer. There are some really stunning evening dresses for mature women available online.

Garden/ Beach formal

With so many great venues out there, garden and especially beach weddings are increasingly popular. There is a real temptation to dress casually when you receive an invitation to one of these events. However, think twice before you dress down. Just because the happy couple are getting married outdoors doesn’t mean that they want their guests to turn up in thongs. In fact, footwear is a serious business for ladies on these occasions. Think carefully about what will be comfortable on grass or in the sand while still looking classy – Stilettos on the beach are more trouble than they’re worth! Men may still need to wear a suit on the beach, but you can usually dispense with the tie. Choose something light if possible.


Resist the urge to wear your favourite jeans (even if they’re your best pair). A casual dress code is not an invitation to wear whatever you want – This is still a wedding after all. Think of it more as a smart casual dress code. For men, this most likely means dress pants with a button down or polo shirt. Smart trousers are also appropriate for women too in addition to a skirt and top combination. If unsure, it is always advisable to over dress rather than under dress.

In addition to these broad guidelines, you should always be aware of religious dress codes if the couple are getting married in a religious venue. On these occasions, be prepared to dress more modestly than you might do otherwise.

Five DIY Mistakes All First-Time Homeowners Make

by Russ

First-time homeowners will know that after the stress of scraping together a deposit and securing a mortgage, finding the perfect home and moving all of your belongings in, it’s very easy to overlook the home improvements which invariably crop up.

Unless you’re very lucky, something is likely to go wrong within the first few months. But never fear – we’ve put together these five common mistakes first-time homeowners make and how to avoid them:

by  Julie Jordan Scott

  1. Incorrect Door Installation/Reinstallation

When you move into a new home, there is a good chance you will have to remove some doors to move large pieces of furniture, or lay new carpet. You may even need to install new doors full stop! While the actual task of replacing a door is pretty simple, there are a few potential pitfalls.

When installing a door, make sure there are no obstacles which will interfere with its opening and closing (see picture) and ensure the door opens the correct way. Doors should always open into the room which will have the least footfall, to reduce the chance of accidental collisions.

by   Alan Cleaver

  1. Ill-Prepared Surfaces

Tasks like painting skirting boards can seem minor, but you should still prepare properly for them. This multi-surface masking tape can be attached to carpets and walls to protect them from dripping paint and accidental smudges.

  1. Insufficient Safety Procedures

Even small scale jobs can bring with them risk of injury. Always make sure you and your family are protected from potential hazards with the help of safety equipment and a healthy respect for safety. Manchester Safety Services stock professional-standard pieces of safety equipment – everything from googles to protective gloves.

  1. Inaccurate Measurements

When measuring something for a DIY job, make sure you check, double-check and triple check before starting work or buying a replacement. Inaccuracy of just a few millimetres can lead to disastrous results. You may be left with a patch of wall uncovered by wallpaper or a door which sticks when opening.

Precise measurements can help ensure accurate and effective DIY tasks. Don’t use the plastic tape measure you got in a Christmas cracker, invest in an accurate unit from a trusted, specialist store such as Measuring Lines.

  1. Poor Storage

After a long day of grafting in your new home, it can be tempting to put your feet up, crack open a beer and order a takeaway. However, it is important to thoroughly clean and properly store all of the materials and tools you have used whilst decorating.

Poorly stored materials and tools may not be usable next time you need them, and nobody wants to do a mad dash to the local DIY store on a Friday evening. Clean and dry all of the tools and materials thoroughly before storing in a dry place.

Top 10 Places to Visit in London


London enchants everyone who comes here. This is a place filled with fun and entertainment and it also has a history to bank on. Palaces, parks and museums are there in good number. So let us start our journey and explore London.

Tower of London: Located on the north bank of river Thames, this is marvelous palace to go for. Recently it has also been included in UNESCO world heritage list. Earlier this place was known for torture and great misery.

Buckingham Palace: Visit this place for the changing of guards. It is quite funny to look at the guards with big black hats. This place attracts millions of visitor every year.

St Paul’s Cathedral: Built in 1710, this is a beautiful church. St Paul’s Cathedral has awesome interiors and go to this place for men and women who risked their lives for its safety. Also look out for acoustics because it is very interesting.

West End: This is art capital of London and has many theatres. Enjoy plays and musical shows which run throughout the day. There is every chance of meeting your favourite actor because they are also regular visitor here.

Westminster Abbey: This place is one of the tourist attractions of London. There are many big names buried here. Visit this place for the architecture and rest assure about cherished memories you will carry home.

Trafalgar Square: This is a place once visited for feeding pigeons but that is not allowed these days. Go there for many monuments and you will not be disappointed.

Clock Tower: Often referred to as Big Ben this is one of the most pictured tower. Visit this place for having fun and taking snaps of the world largest four faced chimney clock. The whole experience will be amazing.

Harrods store: Any vacation is incomplete without shopping. Harrods store is world famous and you can get many things for near and dear ones back home.

London Eye: Take a ride of this London Eye and you will say why I did not come here earlier? London Eye gives you a panoramic view of London.

Hyde Park: Spread over more than 300 acres, this is one of the parks that give London a greener look. You can check this one and also since it is closer to many other attractions, this is a must for your London visit.

How To Dress Sleek For That Next Corporate Networking Function


If you want to get ahead in the corporate world, it’s important that you dress sleek and stylish. Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t just about who you know – you also have to look the part as well. Follow this handy guide to dress sleek for that next corporate networking function and enjoy the limited increase in salary and substantial increase in responsibility that come with the joys of corporate life.


Unless your corporate networking function is for a company that does children’s parties, it’d probably be the wrong idea to wear a bow tie or one of you novelty ties. On the other hand, if you find an understated business tie with a stylish base colour and a good material that complements the rest of your suit you can’t lose. Brands like Politix do base colours along with high quality fabrics really well; take a browse through their online store to see what’s currently available for men.


A European carryall might be taking it a little bit too far, but a little bit of time spent on your accessories can really make a big difference in the long run. Get a nice watch, some stylish cufflinks, and even a little bit of bling. They say you should dress for the job you want, but don’t go overboard with the bling otherwise it might look as though you want to be a pawnbroker from the eighties.


Consider your blazer as the statement piece of your outfit. A stylish blazer really shows your boss you look the part and implies that you’d be an asset to the company. Put your boss in a position where they could visualise you delivering the critical section of an important presentation to investors. You never know, that corporate gig you’ve been working your butt off for might just fall into your lap.

Classic Sweater

Unless it is Christmas and your boss has given you the all clear, that reindeer sweater should be considered a bad option. Choose a sweater that say, I’m not clinically insane; something that matches the rest of your outfit and adds an extra understated element without taking away from the whole.

Black Shoes and Belts

This is one of the most important elements of the outfit. If your shoes and belt aren’t matching, there really isn’t any point in showing up in the first place. This is one of those obligatory investments for men looking to be taken seriously in 2014, so make sure you take the time and effort to have a set of footwear and a nice belt that looks the part.

What do you think of this list? Do you have any other suggestions? Do you agree with everything on the list? Be sure to leave any comments, questions or suggestions in the section below. And head to sites like Politix to find a great selection of corporate wear for the eager professional. It might just give your professional career the kick it needs!