Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Celebrate a new start!

It might seems like a cliché, but the start of a new year really is the best time to make a new start in life! Instead of taking the same resolutions over and over and putting yourself under pressure because you failed to keep them last year, use this January to start things over and change your ways. Instead of just promising that you will spend less time moaning about how annoying is your boss, or spend more time with your family, make it your goal to change your way of thinking and seeing things.

Start over with a positive attitude

The fact is that most of our bad habits are the results of something that is wrong in our life and attacking the cause is more efficient than trying to change the consequences. So, take the opportunity of a new year to clean your slate and start over with a more positive attitude. This starts by seeing January as the dawn of your new life instead as a depressing month reminiscing about the past holidays. Celebrate this new start by acknowledging every little victories and trying to see things with new eyes.

Make significant changes


As much as we celebrate the birth of a baby, let's welcome the new year as a chance to change things for the best. If you think that you are smoking or drinking too much, look for signs that triggers these actions and act on them rather than getting obsessed by trying to stop smoking or drinking. If you want to be healthier, change your lifestyle instead of focusing only on your diet and on going to the gym.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

5 Spanish celebrations we should adopt

The Spanish year is punctuated by regular celebrations and festivities. Thanks largely to its Roman Catholic heritage, there are plenty of local saints’ days to provide excuses for fiestas and carousing.

The Spanish sure know how to do celebrations, and here are five that language students studying Spanish courses in Spain reckon could definitely brighten up dull periods in the year back home.

Las Fallas

Las Fallas, Valencia

This impressive festival takes place each March in Valencia. It’s a week-long assault on the senses, with fireworks, fanfare and famous effigies looming and booming through the town centre. Originally a tribute to Saint Joseph the patron saint of Valencia, this is now a pyromaniac’s delight. Only the best effigy is spared the flames whilst the rest blaze through the night illuminating the revellers below.

Semana Santa and La Feria de Abril, Seville

The beautiful historic and cultural centre of Seville is home to two of the biggest celebrations of the year, which follow hard on the heels of one another. Students from language school Clic Seville in Spain have returned with enthusiastic descriptions of both.

Semana Santa (which is our Holy Week or Easter) is a week of feasting and religious processions, featuring masked parades and enormous floats carrying Roman Catholic figures.

La Feria de Abril loses all sombre pretences and sees hundreds of tents and amusement park rides announcing the arrival of Seville's Feria. Everyone gets into the spirit, dressing in traditional clothes to eat, drink and be merry, whilst dancing the nights away with frenetic flamenco.

Fiesta de San Fermin, Pamplona

Fiesta de San Fermín

Mid-July sees the northern town of Pamplona literally overrun by this festival. The Running of the Bulls was publicised globally by Ernest Hemingway and still thrills intrepid locals and tourists each year. Thousands of locals and visitors brace themselves each morning as they stand in front of a stampeding herd of bulls and sprint through the city’s streets. Olé!

La Tomatina, Buñol

The last Wednesday in August sees one of the most bizarre celebrations in Spain. In Buñol tourists and locals gather for a tomato fight reminiscent of the custard-pie battle at the end of Bugsy Malone.

This surreal spectacle is the culmination of festivities to mark Buñol's patron saint, although its significance is no doubt long lost in the annals of history. The local government sponsors the event and graciously provides more than 88,000 pounds of tomatoes as ammunition.

La Tomatina

La Candelaria

Regional differences in Spain become apparent in the way towns and cities choose to celebrate. All over Spain, parades, feasts, and carousing mark, in their own way, the anniversary of the day Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem for purification, forty days after his birth. Candles symbolise the light of purification but there the similarities between festivities ends.

In Madrid clowns dressed as Andalusian farmers bring out wooden bulls to enact hilarious mock bullfights with outlandish matadors. Everyone drinks the sangria (or bull’s blood) that results. In A Pobra de Trives, Ourense, homemade roasted sausages are cooked on bonfires and passed around.

Horses and parades are used in other towns and, bizarrely, this day of the pure is marked in Almonacid del Marquesado, Cuenca, by hundreds of devils jumping and prancing through the streets.

Useful links

The Telegraph - La Tomatina

See the chaos of the world’s biggest tomato fight in pictures

YouTube - Fiesta de San Fermin

Watch how the city celebrates on its feet as the bulls head through town

Spanish fiestas

Find out more about Spanish celebrations

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cold Weather Solution: House Party!

Autumn and winter are very cold seasons. Snow, rain and wind seems to be one of the only things we can find on the streets. On top of all of this, the darkness falls very early. But please don’t worry about that, if you do not feel comfortable outside, prepare a flat party!

First, plan your party for when your parents are away from home. After that, call your friends and if your house is big enough, ask them to bring just one more person with them. But remember, do not let it get out of hand; don’t announce it by social networks!!

Meet with them to collect money to buy some important stuff (food, drinks, plastic plates and glasses, etc.). In these occasions the best food is ready meals and fast food; nice, easy and quick!

Later on, choose your favourite music and leave it in the computer you’re going to use. I recommend rock, pop and electro music because this tends to please anyone.

Move all furniture (or anything that makes dancing difficult) anything valuable that could be broken or stained.

And that’s it- call your friends to get to your house as soon as possible to start the party and just be concerned about enjoying your evening.

You can follow more tips on The House Party People, but do not get stuck too much!

My best advice is that if the party can be carried out in a friend’s house, it’s better than yours!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Five ways to celebrate the end of your residential IGCSE exams

Studying for any exam is tough enough but the IGCSE is widely recognised as one of the most rigorous methods of assessing the knowledge and understanding of 15-16 year olds that there is. This means it requires some serious revision.

Many schools with excellent academic reputations, particularly independent international schools, have already abandoned traditional GCSEs in favour of IGCSE exams. It is no surprise that the government’s recent response to growing criticism that GCSEs have become ‘too easy’ was to announce it will now pursue a model similar to the IGCSE.

If the IGCSE exam is tough it follows that students who have studied at a school offering residential IGCSE exams will have studied hard and therefore will know best how to celebrate when the stress and pressure is finished.

Former students of Alexander International School (www.alexandersschool.com) here offer the five best ways to celebrate the end of your exams.

1. Mementoes

Studying an IGCSE as a residential student is an intense experience but you make strong bonds with your peers and find friends for life. Several students commissioned or made mementoes to commemorate the end of their exams. These ranged from scrapbooks of collected signatures and witty aphorisms to photo collages of friends collated from everyone’s end of term pictures.

Other celebratory mementoes included specially printed t-shirts, group photos of everyone impersonating someone else in the gang and custom cups printed with ‘mug shots’ of classmates.

2. Experience days

A special day out with friends helps you spend time together while getting those thrills that revision has taken away from you. Theme parks provide plenty of adrenaline rushes and great opportunities to have a laugh at each other’s terrified looks and white knuckles.

Group bungee jumps are another option for a sharp rush of excitement, whereas overnight camping and makeover sessions or pamper days offer a more calming way to burn off that stress.

Rollercoaster ride

3. Nights out

Themed nights out were also popular, with a dress to impress code strictly adhered to and a stretch limo delivering friends to their favourite Italian restaurant for a slap-up celebratory meal and a chance to feel special. Others traded their trainers for bowling shoes and took out their pent up aggression and stress on those poor white skittles waiting at the end of the lane.


4. Nights in

Another way to celebrate was to have a night in with a difference. Three DVDs were chosen for a marathon movie session and everyone agreed to dress as a character from one of them before arriving to enjoy a night of popcorn, pizza and pals.

5. Festivals

How fortunate that the end of exams coincides with the start of music festival time in the UK. For all those music fans out there looking for a real celebration what could be better than checking out your favourite bands, camping in a field and enjoying the sun?

Of course the British weather may not always play ball, but you will cherish those snaps of you and your classmates in mud splattered wellies forever.

Resource box

Find out more about IGCSEs.

Choose from hundreds of wild day experiences to celebrate finishing your exams.

Make the celebration memorable with these personalised gifts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little Everyday Things to Celebrate

Why wait for milestones and events to have a celebration when we can have something to celebrate everyday? When we get buried in our daily routine, we forget the little things that make every day bearable and worth to be lived. These things should be celebrated, simply and without fuss, just to remind them to ourselves.

Every achievement is a victory



After all, we are all winners and this in itself is worth celebrating! It can help getting through a long day at work or forgetting it altogether to remind yourself of little achievements, even if you think they are meaningless. Any problem solved, whatever its importance, is a victory and can be simply celebrated with a fist in the air and a 'yes' whispered to yourself. Not much maybe, but still better than nothing. Acknowledging that you are making progress will simply help you to tackle the rest of the day.

Create your own celebration opportunity


There are no rules about what you can celebrate, so make your own! You like a certain type of food and it's now in season? Have a feast of it to welcome it. Have a dance to celebrate the win of your team, or listen to your favourite singer to mark the release of their new album. If you're happy, just say it, and why not baking a cake to celebrate? Life in itself is a celebration so don't stop celebrating every little things.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Best UK Events for the Winter Months

Just because it is winter does not mean that you have to stop entertaining employees and clients, especially because there is so much to do in London during these months. As long as you know what is happening in the city during the winter, you will have no problem coming up with a number of great winter activities for those within your organisation.

ATP World Tour Finals
The ATP World Tour Finals is a major tennis event that is held in November at the O2 Arena. Since the event is held indoors, you will not have any problems keeping your guests warm throughout the event. This event officially ends the ATP season, which means that many of the top players in professional tennis attend. The format of the ATP World Tour Finals is slightly different from traditional events, as only the top eight singles players and the top eight doubles teams are invited. These players then participate in a round-robin tournament, which means that you can watch the top players in the world multiple times.

Autumn Internationals
The QBE Rugby Internationals is another major event held in London during November, as a number of the top national rugby teams in the world challenge the English side. These matches, which are held at Twickenham Stadium, are considered hospitality matches, but they get ultra-competitive and are a great place to bring guests. Remember that these matches take place outside, so be sure to dress for the occasion.

London Bierfest
London Bierfest 2012 takes place during the first week of October. Although it is a little bit earlier than other winter events, it is a great place to bring employees because of its laidback atmosphere and affordable prices. This is similar to the Oktoberfest that is held in Germany, although it does include a distinct English flavour that you will not find at these events in any other country.

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland is a great place to bring your staff because there is so much to do there. Held at Hyde Park between the end of November and the first week in January, this festival features the largest outdoor ice rink in the world, markets, a Ferris wheel and all kinds of Christmas related scenery. This event is an especially memorable place if you have corporate clients visiting from another country, as they will be impressed by what the Winter Wonderland brings to London.

As you can see, London is a city with plenty to do in the winter, especially if you know where to look. Whether you want to take your guests to a sporting event or have them witness the outdoor spectacles that the residents of London already love, you can find the perfect retreat without leaving London's city limits.

The article was produced by supplier of autumn internationals 2012 tickets and hospitality - Keith Prowse.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Easy Meals for Big Parties

Throwing a successful dinner party is a major milestone of adulthood. It proves that the host has learned how to properly prepare a healthy meal. She will have cleaned and arranged her home so that her friends will be impressed by her station in life. Not everyone has the time, space and finances to host a large party, so being able to do so is a sign of high social status and career success. Even if the host is not hurting for money, she will still need to avoid spending too much money on food and drinks for her party.

Italian Family-style
Italian food is always a big hit at a party. Pasta is inexpensive and can be made in large amounts. Pasta can be upgraded if the host chooses a whole-grain variety and uses a unique sauce. For example, she can serve it with alfredo sauce or plain pesto. Another standard that always goes over well is a salad. A classic garden salad with Italian, ranch or vinaigrette dressing can be made in the minutes preceding the start of the party. If the host wants her salad to be the entree, she can make it more substantial with a few minor adjustments. Fruit and nuts can be added to mixtures of baby spinach leaves an other dark greens. A sweet salad can be tossed with apple cider vinegar or raspberry vinaigrette dressing. A basic Caesar salad is transformed into a full meal by simply adding chicken to it. Small pieces of cooked chicken can be placed in a dish next to the salad. This way, guests can add as much chicken as they want, and vegetarians will still be able to enjoy the salad.

Small Sandwiches
Small sandwiches are good for parties at which the guests will not be sitting down the entire time. The host can make three or four different kinds of sandwiches on different kinds of bread and cut them into quarters. The guests will be able to sample each kind. At least one type of sandwich should be meatless. Toasted bruschetta is a suitable appetizer.

Individual Desserts
Cupcakes and cookies are better than single large cakes when serving a standing group. Sticking with finger foods means that the host will not risk running out of clean silverware before everyone has finished eating. She can limit her flatware to small paper plates that she can just throw away. She should provide a few bottles of wine for her guests and advise them to bring anything else that they would like to drink.

This post was written by the event planning experts at ezCater.com. For more informationa nd to order Frederick catering among other locations visit ezCater.com.