Category Archives: Other Reviews

Skincare SOS! Simple Solutions For Winter Woes

Winter can be a troublesome time when it comes to your skin. The elements can take their toll and leave your skin looking dull and feeling dry and flaky. If you’re keen to prevent winter woes, here are simple skincare solutions.

Get your blood pumping

Exercise is usually linked to losing weight and gaining fitness. But it also offers incredible benefits for your skin. When your body is moving, your circulation increases. This enables important nutrients to reach your skin, and toxins to be removed from your body. When you’re working out, your skin may not look great. Many people feel self-conscious when they’re hot and sweaty. However, you should notice the benefits once you’ve cooled down. Your complexion should look clearer, brighter, and more youthful. Try and avoid the temptation of wearing makeup when you’re working out. This can clog your pores, and increase the risk of breakouts.

skinImage from https://pixabay.com/en/outdoor-sport-runner-exercise-1270804/

Go for a massage

Massage spa treatments are famed for their relaxation properties. However, they can also be hugely beneficial for your skin. When you have a massage, your therapist will often use creams and oils that nourish and hydrate your skin. The movements and actions they use also increase blood flow. There are lots of different types of massage, such as Swedish massage and hot stone massage. If you’re not sure which option to go for, do some research. The spa or therapist you choose will also be able to give you recommendations based on your needs or preferences. If you have back pain, for example, one type of massage may be more beneficial than another.

skin1Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/wellness-massage-sound-massage-285591/

Stay hydrated

When it’s warm outside, it’s easy to get through gallons of water. In the winter, it can be hard to stay hydrated. Your skin often shows the first signs of dehydration. You may notice that it feels dry or your complexion lacks radiance. Try and ensure that you drink enough water each day. Ideally, you should aim for at least 2 liters. If you don’t like plain water, add sugar-free cordial. If you find it hard to hit your daily target, make sure you carry a bottle of water around with you at all times.

skin2Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/aquamech-utah/24441559784

Moisturise frequently

Wind and rain can cause your skin to become dry and irritated. In the cooler months, it’s essential to pay due care and attention to moisturisation. You’ll need a thicker, heavier cream than you could use in the summer. Don’t just apply lotion to your face. Cover your whole body, including your hands. When it’s chilly outside, your hands can often become very dry. If you have sensitive skin, try and avoid perfumed products. Look out for creams that are specially designed for dry skin. Don’t forget to look after your lips. Use lip balm once or twice a day to keep chapped lips at bay.

skin3Image from https://pixabay.com/en/skin-care-cosmetics-natural-1309504/

Winter can be notoriously harsh on your skin. This winter, follow these simple steps to keep your skin nourished. If you’re prone to problems, and you can’t find a solution, see your doctor or a dermatologist. They will be able to recommend treatments and self-help tips.

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Perfect Perth

perthPicture Source

Perth not only enjoys wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and a laid back demeanor but there is more to this captivating city than the myriad of bars, restaurants and activities. Perth’s pristine parkland, nearby bush, and river and ocean beaches allow its visitors to spread out and enjoy what’s on offer.

The transport system is fabulous but to truly take advantage of all that’s on offer you may wish to hire a car. Burswood Car Rentals offers free delivery to all city hotels allowing you to explore further afield and visit some of the less well known yet spectacular spots that cost next to nothing. (Please note that costs may apply for some activities)

Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is accessible from Rockingham which is less than an hour’s drive south of Perth. Swarming with marine life including sea stars and urchins as well as a number of fish species flitting through the shipwrecks and makes for excellent diving, snorkeling and wildlife watching. While in the water you’ll probably run into a pod of bottle-nose dolphins and can swim with these on the regularly operated tours.

Penguin Island, a breeding colony for an array of perth1incredible birds, has Little Penguins which breed in the burrows and you can watch them being fed at the interactive center.

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If you have a dive permit, The Saxon Ranger, a 400 tonne former fishing vessel takes residence at the Park. The boat is first purpose sunk dive wreck in the Perth metropolitan area.

Just 20 minutes east of Perth, sample the divine fruits of the vineyards of Western Australia’s oldest wine region at the Swan Valley and Darling Range.  Here you may indulge on award-winning local produce, discover the incredible local heritage or simply relax in the stunning bush-land of the Darling Range. The antithesis of the bustle of city life, it can be reached via road or aboard a Swan River Cruise from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty.

Sharing a glass of red with the vineyard owners, they are happy to recount stories of the generations of their families who owned the vineyards before them, some dating back to the early European settlers.

With over 70 eateries to choose from you are spoiled for choice or pack a lunch enjoying the breathtaking views of your surroundings.

You can also partake in many activities including horse riding, cycling and Indigenous culture.

perth2If you fancy getting even closer to some furry friends, head to Caversham Wildlife Park –  where close encounters with kangaroos and koalas is order of the day.

Alternatively you could choose to drive along the Great Eastern Highway to the blissful tranquillity of the Avon Valley heritage town in under an hour and a half. One of the few towns in WA to hold ‘Historic Town’ status, the proud residents of York have taken great care over restoring its many Victorian and Federation buildings. Due to retaining its heritage charms, it remains Perth’s favourite country escape.

No wonder this area is a top spot for romantic weekends or family fun.

Want to Drive Sooner Rather than Later? Here Are the Keys to Success!

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When you’ve decided that you want to drive, the wait between the decision and actually getting your license can be torturous. Most learners just want to get on the road and start exercising their newfound vehicular freedom. Well, the key to doing that is to become a driving pro in as short a time as possible. Here are some essential suggestions for you.

Start the preparations now

If you’re reading this article, you might be on the verge of taking your driving test. But it’s also possible that you haven’t even applied for a provisional license yet! It’s important that you do this as soon as possible. One reason you may not have done this is that you haven’t reached the legal driving age yet. Depending on where you are or what you plan to drive, this is generally between 16 and 18. But you can usually apply for provisional licenses three months before you turn of legal driving age! You should also get together any other documents you’ll need.

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Thinking theoretically

A lot of people get stuck on the theory side of driving. One of the great things about theory is precisely that – it’s just theory! This means you can start getting practice in whenever you want. Some forward-thinking parents even have their kids study in a couple of years before they can legally drive. Get familiar with the various highway rules, as well as how the average driver behaves on the road. Start getting it in your head now!

Formal crash courses

One of the most popular ways of getting through this process quickly is by doing a crash course. I know that “crash” sounds bad in the context of driving, but it’s not about crashing. A crash course in driving offers you the required practice and learning hours within a week or two. It’s intense and fast, and requires a lot of spare time. It also tends to be quite expensive. Most people won’t have the time or the means to do it in this fashion. But the option is there!

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Longer lessons

Instead of going into full-on, intense crash courses, you could simply take longer lessons. Most learners will only take hour-long lessons at a time, maybe once a week or every two weeks. But as long as your driving instructor is able to do so, you can get lessons lasting two or three hours. This ensures that your required learning hours build up much faster. Of course, you need to be confident that you can absorb all the required information when you’re doing it this way!

Practice tests

You know what accounts for a surprisingly large amount of time during this process? Waiting to take your test once you’ve booked it. The people who oversee these tests are very busy. You may have to wait for just a few days, or you may have to wait several weeks. That, of course, is if you can even find a time that accommodates both of you in that period of time! Imagine how much time is lost when you have to take your test again. Your test is going to be very different from your lessons, and this surprises most learners. One of the best ways to tackle this is to take a practice test beforehand. Check this site out to find out more about practice tests.

Build up those practice hours

Lessons cost a lot of money. But aside from car running costs, practice hours are virtually free! It’s important that you get as many practice hours in as you can. These are the hours that you spend with a licensed driver overseeing some informal driving. You need to accumulate a large number of practice hours before you can take your test. But the key to quick success could be to take on even more practice hours than is required. You need to perfect those maneuvers and really get your head around the roads and codes. This will give you a big advantage when it comes to taking your test and passing it first time.

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Know your routes

Do you know where your test is going to take place? If so, then it’s vital you check this area out before the day. Spend some of your practice hours there. One of the most common reasons for failure during a test is that the learner is unfamiliar with the territory. Even seasoned drivers are a little more cautious in new areas. You should make sure you know the roads as well as possible. Consider using your practice hours to cover the five or so mile radius that comprises that territory.

Moel Famau Lovin

I must say,  I didn’t go mountain walking / climbing since my time in Conwy back in 2012, and I really did miss the challenge and the panoramic sights they tend to offer. Imagine, how excited I got when I was asked on going to a Moel Famau excursion!

A little bit of history about Moel Famau;
Some say, that Moel Famau is not a mountain but a hill, as it is not elevated enough – but being the highest of all Clywdian range (formerly known as Flintshire range)… I’d like to think that it gained mountain status at 555m up high! It is situated in a country park area near Loggerheads which is right between Mold and Ruthin in north Wales. The literal translation of the mountain name from Welsh to English is the Bare hill of mama.

moel

The experience itself was fabulous and lots of fun; must admit, there were moments that I did not think I will pull through, as I am not as fit as I was a couple of years ago; especially when it comes to walking uphill on wet terrain. It is a bit of a struggle!

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The views across the peak, the woodland  and the company of two Border Collies made everything all the more worthwhile. I admired the dogs running up hill and back to us, making sure we are always by their side.  At the very top of the mountain, there was a glimpse of snow on the ground, and the raindrops turned into snow flakes. It was magnificent, I was very happy! 🙂

More info here.

London Tea Exchange Review

I have always had a strong bond with tea, but always preferred teabags over loose tea leaves just because it is so much easier to make tea.  But when I opened my mind towards loose tea leaves, I realised how many more options I have at hand, and how much I can experiment with various flavours, even making my own flavour.

During my loose tea leaves discovery, I was in London, and this is where I came across London Tea Exchange. Right next to the tea shop door, there were various teas one could sample. And so I did…

Entering the shop was like I was in heaven. Everywhere I look, it was tea and more tea… Over a hundred choices, and I couldn’t be more excited.. and confused.

It was hard to just choose just the one flavour, but since I never had chocolate or coconut flavoured tea, I thought that I should opt for a black tea… with these two flavours. May I say that…. It is magnificent?

The tea was given in a golden packaging which made it safely from London to Malta.

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The tea itself looks something like the below… Although not cheap, it is very tasty and makes me feel all warm and tingly inside….

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When in London, I’d suggest you give this shop a try, if like me, you are a massive tea lover 😉

St. Paul’s Catacombs, Rabat Malta

The underground roman cemeteries are dated to be
used up until the 4th century AD. Since the roman law at the time, prohibited burials within the city, these are catacombs2found on the outskirt of the capital of Malta at the time; Mdina.

The name of the these catacombs derives from the widely known story which relates to St Paul’s Grotto. As such, these catacombs are a great example of Maltese underground architecture as well as it represents the earliest evidence of Christianity in Malta.

The site itself consists of two large areas, with a good number of burial chambers. During a talk with one of the curators, I was told that there were more than 30 underground burial chambers.

catacombs
Should you be interested to visit, the opening hours are 9:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.
Tickets cost €5.00 for adults, and €3.50 for youths

How to get there
– By Public Transport: From Valletta Routes 51, 52. From Bugibba Route X3 (Airport Route). The catacombs are situated in St. Agatha Street which is a narrow street running through much of the town’s core. Follow the signs to St. Paul’s Catacombs.
– By self-driven car: Drive towards Rabat and park close to the Domus Romana. The St. Paul’s Catacombs are around 5 minutes away by walk.

Not so “Gone Girl”

This blog post will include some spoilers and my point of view on the book/movie story line and this subject in general.

Finally I have got around reading the book and watching the movie. It is not that I have struggled to read the book, because it is very well written and it keeps you hooked on the story line. The problem is that I am no longer an avid reader as I keep getting distracted easily; with series, cooking, photography, cats and what not.gonegirl

I’d say that the movie was very appropriate and true to the story in the book especially since Gillian Flynn has actually written the screenplay herself. However, I feel it was very fitting to read the book beforehand as it has filled in some gaps and questions that the movie has left out. Case in point, the main reason why Nick has stayed with Amy after all she has done, was because she had further evidence to lock him up. Eventually he finds the evidence and throws it away and that is when Amy stepped the game up and got pregnant.

Psychologically, the plot is very effective, especially since the writer shows the two sides of the story. All the toying with the viewer has kept me curious and on the edge throughout. I do hope that they’d consider turning more of Gillian’s books into movies.

Favourite quote from Gone Girl:
“We have each other, and everything else is background noise.”
It is romantic as hell.

In truth,how many of us have pretended to be better than they actually are to impress someone who they have had a crush on? How many of us have kept the sharade going to salvage what is left of a relationship? In the end, reality catches with all of us, so I think it is better to fall for someone for who he/she truly is… I know, I wont settle for anything else…

Tattooed Footballers

While watching the Champion’s League final last week, seeing Juventus butchered against Barcelona, with a score of 1-3, I realised that a lot of the football players on the pitch sported tattoos, on their arms, legs and some on their chest. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, and I love tattoos, so this was heaven for me! But after seeing this, I got curious to see which footballers have the most tattoos.

David Beckham

David Beckham needs no introduction, especially to his career with Manchester United. Growing up, I remember that one of the footballers who started the tattoo-fashion was David Beckham. His tattoos are barely football related, bar the number ‘7’ which he claims is just for luck. Most of his tattoos are dedicated to the love of his life Victoria Beckham, and his children. He uses tattoos as a way to express himself and his feelings, for instance during the infamous allegations of his affair, he tattooed his upper right arm with an angel and the saying “In the Face of Adversity.”

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Sergio Ramos Garcia

sergio ramos 1Sergio Ramos Garcia is a professional Spanish footballer who plays with the national football team apart from playing with Real Madrid. His first tattoo was a goblin, which he got when he was 14 years of age. He explains how his father was very angry when he found out, Amongst his other tattoos, one would find his parents initials and on his left middle finger, he has the initials of his three siblings. His siblings also have the same tattoo. Sergio has a Nelson Mandela quote on his ribs and also a football related tattoo on his right calf; in fact this shows the World cup and the date 11-07-2010.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan is the captain of Sweden, which is his national team and he also plays for a French football club called Paris Saint-Germain. The almost two meters tall footballer claims to have 50 starving people’s names tattooed all over his body. He wants to make the world aware of the fact that 1 in 9 people suffer from hunger everyday. He is using his body as a tribute to them; whenever we see him, we see them. What a guy!!

epaselect epa04619436 Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Paris Saint Germain celebrates after scoring the 1-0 lead during the French Ligue 1 soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and SM Caen at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, 14 February 2015.  EPA/YOAN VALAT

Kevin Boateng

Boateng, born in Germany however plays iternationally with Ghana as well as FC Schalke 04. He is also known as Kevin-Prince by his shirt name. At the age of 28 he is already quite covered in tattoos. The ink in Chinese has always been my favourite from him, not because of the language chosen but its meaning; 家族, 健康, 愛, 成功, and 信任, meaning “family, health, love, success and trust”.

kevin boateng

Daniel Agger

daniel agger 2Daniel Agger is the team captain for the Danish national team and also part of a local Danish football club by the name of Brøndby IF. He is mostly famous while he was part of Liverpool’s team. So much so when he inked himself on his knuckles with the abbreviation ‘YWNWA’ which means You will never walk alone. He has done this to remember his long time serving this team, and living in Liverpool (2006 to 2012). His back is filled with a massive Viking tattoo of  Holger Danske which comes from a Danish folk legend. He has the names of his wife and his two sons as well as his siblings on his body which shows he is also a family oriented man. daniel agger

Tribute to Christopher Lee

I do not go ape-shit crazy over every famous legend, that passes away… But, Christopher Lee deserves a mention.

christopher leeWho is Christopher Lee?
– He is one of a kind.
He was born in 1922, in England and has died due to heart failure at the age of 93.
– He has been given credit for 281 acting jobs (movies and series).
– Out of all these films around 90% of the time he acted as a villain.
– He participated during World War II, where he served his country in the Royal Air Force and in British Intelligence.
– He is a very tall man; 1.96m.
– One of his movies is still to be released next year.

What is he mostly known for?
– Christopher Lee, is Saruman in Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit.
– Christopher Lee has portrayed three different characters in the Sherlock Holmes Series: Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft – Holmes and Sir Henry Baskerville.
– Christopher Lee has been Dracula several times.
– Christopher Lee is the voice of Count Dooku in Star Wars.
– Christopher Lee is also a singer and he has released his last mini-album at the age of 92.

Memories I will treasure forever:

From the Hobbit: The Battle of 5 Armies
Saruman: “Leave Sauron to me”



Christopher Lee singing “My Way”. Elvis’ cover version turned into heavy metal