Holidays Category

Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns

Can you believe it’s been fifty-three years since the original Mary Poppins opened on our screens? I’m sure that Disney are hoping for Mary Poppins Returns to be ‘practically perfect in every way!’

The film isn’t in fact a re-make of the original, but a new movie, with a fresh story-line. To not ruin the surprise Disney haven’t actually revealed a lot about the plot.

Here’s what we do know about the film’s storyline

Jane and Michael – the grown-up Banks children are living in their parents’ original home at Cherry Tree Lane, the action is set twenty-five years later in 1935, and now Michael has children of his own.

At first you assume that Mary Poppins has returned to look after the children, but in fact she is there to help her original children – now adults, Jane and Michael. They are particularly in need of an injection of joy, after Michael suffers a personal loss leaving the whole family sad. (more…)

Angel Crafts

Angel CardsSchool holidays are in full swing, so ifyou have children at home and are doing some arts and crafts, why not join in the fun and create your own Angel Card deck.

Making the cards

  • Angel card decks vary in number from 34-48 cards.
  • You will need to cut pieces of card, all to the same size – you can base these on the size of playing cards; or go bigger if your shuffling abilities are not great, or you really want to go to town on the design of the cards!

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Top Tips for staying sane as you prepare to go on holiday!

HolidayAre you one of the few people that has packing a case and going on holiday down to a fine art; or does you house look like a whirlwind has rushed through it and like you are one step away from an almighty row with whoever gets in your way, including the family pets!

If it’s the latter, then perhaps our useful tips will get you on the road to a smoother journey this year.

Like many things in life, a little bit of planning goes a long way, and getting as many jobs out of the way early is the key to success:

  • Check that your passports and driving licences are in date (some countries require a certain number of months left on the passport in order to accept you). It is a good idea to either have copies of the documents, or at least the numbers – in the case of loss/theft.
  • Check if you need to apply for any visa’s, or documents such as DVLA documents for hiring a car.

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Chinese New Year 2018: The Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year: Year of the DogChinese New Year commences today on Friday 16th February 2018, bringing in the year of the Dog and saying goodbye to the year of the Rooster.

The Years

Those born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018 were born in Dog years. The next Dog year after 2018 will be 2030. The Dog is the eleventh position within the Chinese zodiac, following the Rooster and falling before the Pig.

Elements

China also works with element theory, so each zodiac sign is also associated with one of the five elements: Gold (metal), Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. The characteristics of a person are therefore impacted by both their animal sign and element. (more…)

Boost Your Immune System in Unexpected Ways

Immune SystemAt this time of year coughs and colds are prevalent, the stress of Christmas and sometimes burning the candle at both ends during the holiday season can leave your immune system a little under par.

Rather than turning to the medicine cabinet, why not try boosting your immune system in a more holistic way? You might be surprised at what works:

Mingle

It is easy to stay at home in-doors when the weather is wet and cold, but actually getting out, meeting with friends and family and having meaningful interactions reduces chronic stress, which in turn reduces negative impacts on your immune system. (more…)

Festive Offer + Avoid the Dreaded Christmas Weight Gain!

Weighing ScalesI am writing this article in October, but already the shops are filling up with holiday goodies – Mince Pies, Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding, Cheese Biscuits, Peanuts and of course the beloved Quality Street and Roses to name a few…

Research suggests that most people will put on just over two pounds in weight over the holiday period, but for many the weight increase is much higher, especially with bank holidays allowing for extended time away from work. The most worrying thing though is that often those few extra pounds stay on, and so gradually year on year we get a little bit bigger! (more…)

Seasonal Book Releases

At My Table by Nigella LawsonIf you are one of those people that does not like planning early for Christmas then look away NOW!

If, on the other hand you like gathering up some presents early, then it might be worth taking a look at the latest books that have been released or are due out soon.

There is literally a book to suit each loved one in your life!

Starting with our cover star Nigella’s latest book is called At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking, as the title suggests the book is supposed to be recipes that we can all cook at home using comforting ingredients that we are all familiar with. The book is not about having specialised equipment or making things over complicated, just good food that doesn’t require a lot of technical ability and can be shared with friends and family.

In November a 6-part series will run on BBC Two by way of accompanying the book.

Publisher: Chatto & Windus (more…)

Have a Spiritual Halloween

HalloweenI often think of Halloween as being a ‘festival’ that is highly celebrated in America, but according to statistics the UK spent in excess of £300 million in 2016 on things related to celebrating Halloween.

Perhaps it is not surprising as supermarkets and shops embrace the holiday and find new ways to entice us into buying fancy dress costumes and trick or treat chocolates and so on. No sooner have ‘back to school’ items been put away then the isles will be filled with a sea of witches’ hats, and all things black, orange and purple!

Of course if you have children you may need to embark on a few of these more commercial adventures, but perhaps you could also look at new and more spiritual ways to ring in All Hallow’s Eve, as many of the day’s origins are far more sacred in nature. (more…)

Superstitions: New Year

Happy New Year 2017New Year falls on different dates for different countries and religions. But in all cases there is a great significance on the fact that how it is started will be an omen for how the rest of the year will pan out. So not surprisingly there are a number of rituals that people follow at this time of year.

Do you do any of these?

  • Red envelopes are given to children in China as part of their New Year celebrations; the envelopes contain money and are seen as lucky. The activity is carried out to bring that child success and wealth in the coming year.
  • An old superstition is that something must come into the house before something leaves on New Year’s Day. This was often achieved by leaving a candle burning during New Year’s Eve until the next day. In those days the need for light, heat and cooking fuel for the whole year were paramount and so rituals focussed on achieving that.

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Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty Movie PosterUnusually for a big film with a star-studded cast there hasn’t been a huge amount of information released about the movie – Collateral Beauty, which is out in the UK on the 26th December, but from what I have read I think it is set to be a poignant tear-jerker.

Will Smith plays a once-successful businessman, having suffered a terribly personal tragedy; he falls into a deep depression. His friends played by Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Peña  rally around him, but even with their support and a passing of time he is unable to move forward. At this point with no clue as to what to do, he begins to write things down. He writes letters, but they are not too anybody, but are written in the abstract to things like ‘time’, ‘love’ and ‘death’.

The surprising twist in the film without giving too much away is that they write back! Helen Mirren plays death, Jacob Latimore is time and Keira Knightley stands for love… (more…)

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