Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Guest Post #2 Looking after your money is the new fashion fix by Russ

A few little tips about money here for you. Very relevant for me in face, since I have been over-indulging on purchases a little too much in May! 

Everyone's doing it. It's the latest fashion fix sweeping the world. What are we on about? Saving money of course!

It is a well known fact however, that no matter how hard you try to save money it is always going to be one of the hardest things in life to do. You can't stop bills coming in left, right and centre and you will always have to pay for food but all is not lost. There are some great tips and handy hints that can help get people through the most difficult of times.

A great tip before you even begin to start saving money is to break down your finances and look at where the majority of the money is going out. A great way to do this is to use a spreadsheet on a computer or write down weekly incomings and outgoings. This will help you balance your finances better and keep track on what needs to be curbed in order to get on to a more stable financial path. It's quite surprising how much money is spent each month but what is even more surprising is how much leaves your account on things that are unnecessary and can be reined in.

Another thing to remember is your right to complain. In these ever difficult times, if you have to purchase an item it is now more important than ever to complain if you are not happy with the quality you have received. There shouldn't be a promotion on complaining for the sake of it and you shouldn't do it for no reason because that isn't constructive and doesn't get anyone very far. However, if you are unhappy with something you have paid considerable amounts of money for, you have every right to demand your money back or a replacement. It is a tradition that if you are not happy with something it is better to just leave it and take the option of a quiet life. But it is now more important than ever to get value for money and it is a right that you should use if you are genuinely unhappy about a purchase you have made.

Another sad fact about the sorry state of financial affairs that everyone is in, is that one of the first things to be dropped from the budget are so-called luxuries such as haircuts and beauty make-overs. This is understandable but people still need to have little things like this because their self-esteem will be affected. A good way to get around this without paying salon prices is to visit local hairdressing schools and approach local colleges and offer to be a model for them to practice on. There is no real risk to doing this either because a trained hairdresser will always be on the look-out watching over them. It's a win-win situation that allows you to have a bit more glamour injected back into your life without paying over the odds.

Russ Beech is a money saving author from Mega.co.uk the travel offer discount website. He writes tips on frugal living and making the most of your money and is a frequently published web author.

Strange French art house film "Un Poison Violent" - Love Like Poison

I took a trip to the cinema in Brighton on Saturday night with a new female friend. We had decided to go to Duke of Yorks. the art house cinema, as we had been to the mainstream cinema quite a lot recently and fancied a cultural change.

I enjoyed 'Coco before Chanel' and wanted to explore the French film world further so when I saw that there was a subtitled French film with a nice title I thought we'd go for it. I had a brief look on-line and it sounded ok ish.

We arrived early as there is a nice little bar at the cinema, and both had a large coffee. (This was my master plan for staying awake whilst reading the subtitles) Thank goodness we had the coffee. The story line was slow, lots of pauses in the dialogue, and shaky camera work.

But most of  all the story was weird - about incest, a depressive mother, and a filthy grandfather. With teenage nudity. As the credits rolled at the end of the film we both turned and looked at each other and laughed, then walked out the cinema in shock about the strange 85 minutes we had just experienced! Oh well, it was a nice evening out and in bed before midnight none the less.

Brighton C x

Friday, 27 May 2011

Beauty product review - Aussie 3 minute miracle reconstructor conditioner

I really feel like I should be sharing this with everyone! Regular readers will know I've gone from brunette to blonde recently, and my poor over-bleached hair is feeling the strain. I knew that I needed to look after it so as soon as I had left the hairdresser's chair I went off to Boots to get a nourishing treatment. I've used Aussie products before and really like them and knew that they had some good leave in conditioners so I headed off to find them.

The 'reconstructor' caught my eye because that's exactly what I needed - new hair! I've used the conditioner 3 times now, and my hair has gone from splitting candyfloss frizz to feeling sleek and smooth, and looking better too. It's still not how it was when I was a brunette but I reckon if I keep using the reconstructor once a week it will be back to healthy sooner than ever. I haven't had any further breakage which is great, as my roots will be coming through soon! I rarely recommend products so surely but if you have damaged hair, spend £.4.80 on a large bottle of reconstructer, it's well worth it! If you've tried it, I'd love to hear your comments on this post :-)

Brighton C x

Monday, 23 May 2011

Santander say sorry

On my doorstep when I got home yesterday was a couple of big boxes. I thought Amazing boyfriend had been terribly romantic as one box had flowers all over it.... but I was wrong!

The biggest bunch of flowers I have had for a long time, and 6 bottles of wine were inside, with a little note from Santander to say sorry for all the bad service I've received. 8 wasted hours in their Brighton branches don't feel quite so bad now!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Guest post # 1- Pop Up Cinema: A Different way to watch films

I'm really pleased to introduce my first guest post - thanks Jonathan! I love the idea of pop-up cinema and having one in the sofa shop sounds like a great idea, if it wasn't in London I'd be straight down there...

Looking for an exclusive yet comfy way to experience classic and exciting films? Well, the continued rise of pop up cinemas could have the answer. Often found in exciting settings such as disused petrol stations, with sofas aplenty and an enthusiastic atmosphere, it's really worth checking one of these events out.
Located throughout the UK there's a whole host of different films and settings on offer - so from the hardened film nut to someone who fancies a night out that's a little different, there's sure to be an event to suit all tastes. Here's a couple of options.

Future Shorts ONE
In May 2011 Future Shorts, which is a world leading short film distribution network, is launching its worldwide film festival called ONE. It will feature short films from all over the world and the event's aim is to highlight the social experience of film.
In the UK this year's event will take place in a variety of locations including a collaboration with Museums at Night, where after hours, many of the UK's most well known museums will open their doors to allow the public to enjoy a wholly new perspective on some of the country's most famous buildings. Short films will be screened up and down the country.
Future Shorts has a sister company called Future Cinema, which is responsible for probably the most famous UK pop up cinema venture, the Secret Cinema. In the past this event has taken places ranging from streets, to parks, to theatres that have been specially prepared to mimic the style of the film in an attempt to enhance the film going experience.

For an even more intimate and definitely more comfy pop up cinema option, it could definitely be worth checking out sofa.com. The supplier of super comfy beds and sofas has been running a pop up cinema out of their HQ in Chelsea for a few months now, proving popular with attendees. Often there's a free cocktail bar and snacks with which to accompany the film, which, of course is watched from the comfort of one of their many sofas in their showroom. Entry to the evening is via a competition on their website - it should be quite easy to guess what it's called.

Edinburgh Film Festival
Having lost its director and a sizable chunk of funding - the future did not look good for this pioneering festival. However, for 2011 the organisers have promised an "innovative" and "experimental" festival. Aside from screening some exciting world premiers, pop up cinema is expected to feature prominently during the festival. A partnership between whiskey manufacturer Cutty Sark and the Centre for Moving Image will see pedal powered pop up screenings appearing all over the city during June.
Funding will also help emerging filmmakers get projects off the ground and even have the opportunity to showcase new work at the festival in 2012.
So, with ever more new and innovative ways of watching films on offer, there's no excuse for not getting out there an experiencing pop up cinema at its best.

Jonathan is a freelance writer who enjoys relaxing on his sofas and watching fabulous films

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Brighton mix is getting people socialising!

I'm so excited about Brighton Mix at the moment, it's going really well. I'm getting about 10 new members a week, with a minimal amount of marketing. In June I'll be doing a big push for new members and I've got a great person on board for some work experience, so I'm hoping we can really push the members levels and aim to start charging for membership in July.

The socials we've had so far have gone well, with more people signing up for future ones after they've met everyone so that's great! Everyone I have met through the site so far has been really nice and I've enjoyed the time out.

I've just started working on the discount scheme with local Brighton businesses, and that will be growing soon too. I've made a marketing plan for the next six weeks and can't wait to get working on it, now I just need to find the time!

Brighton C x

Monday, 2 May 2011

Racing for life

I've been neglecting my poor little blog recently in favour of my training for the Eastbourne Race for Life for Cancer Research. I've managed to raise sponsorship funds of £150 so far, which I'm absolutely delighted about.

My training consists of visiting the gym once a week for a jolly good run - 5km to be precise as this is the length of the race. I just don't have the time or energy at the moment to fit in more training but I'm proud of what I've achieved in a short time.

My favourite bit about training so far has been choosing my special charity running clothes! I got a nice pink sports vest from Peacocks for only £7 and its so comfy, with a donation of the cost going to Cancer Research.

Brighton C x