3 articles Articles posted in Friendship

How to Organise an Amusing Hen Party

hen partyOrganising a UK hen party offers the bride-to-be all the choices needed to celebrate any forthcoming wedding and loss of single status in style and with panache. Future brides don’t have to opt for their typical downtown clubbing hen night or night out ogling male strippers as there are so many interesting venues and activities across the UK that are far more appealing to any independent woman and her group of female friends.

Booking a weekend break away with the girls is one way to celebrate in style and it’s often difficult to choose between some of the most scenic countryside cottages or country house hotels or busy boutique hotels in some of the lively city centres of the United Kingdom. Building in some serious pampering sessions to any hen party is one way to create the sort of intimate bonding sessions many women enjoy, and it’s not essential to book spa breaks to do this. There’s nothing more enjoyable after a long day out with the girls than coming back to a cozy cottage with crackling log fire and spending time having massage, facial, nail or pedicure services at home. Chilled wine and great music or films will make this pamper session a special event for any woman. 

Some women may wish to opt for group arts or crafting activities to celebrate their UK hen parties. It’s easy to find painting or drawing masterclasses in various parts of the UK, crafting activities like chocolate making, cake decorating, candle making, pottery classes or card making can all be booked for small groups and joint activities are a great way for diverse parties of women to interact with each other and build new rapport and friendships.

More active brides-to-be can consider the benefits of sporting weekends away or days out participating in some of the more challenging sports activities like surfing, rock climbing or sailing. A day out at a venue such as Go Ape, can be one way for a group of friends and acquaintances to enjoy a thrilling time out while challenging their bodies to the extreme. Alternatively, thrill seekers may well have a great day out at one of the UK’s brilliant theme parks.

Of course, in our modern era a woman’s hen party is not her final opportunity to spend quality time with the girls, but it is somehow different once the marriage has taken place. Girls that want to make their UK hen parties really special events will put as much time and thought into the hen party as they do for the wedding day itself. It’s impossible to cater to the likes and interests of every friend that’s likely to attend the hen party, so opting for a celebration that’s of real interest or concern to the future bride or creating a party centred around some weird, wonderful or zany event or activity is one way to ensure a great time out is enjoyed by all.

Off Limits Hen Weekends are UK events professionals and have decades of experience in designing the best hen weekends, hen nights and hen days out, with the most inspiring activities and exciting entertainments at venues around the UK. Anybody wanting to hostess the most memorable hen events in the UK will find the suggestions and programmes designed by Off Limits Hen take all the stress out of planning this major event, leaving the bride free to enjoy her day or weekend of pleasure with the girls. 

Ladies What Lunch – How Groupon Helped Two Mummies to Feel Yummy Again.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Groupon asking if I wanted to review their service and being the affable gal that I am, I said “ooh, yes please!”. They offered me an amount to spend on the site and off I went to look for a product or experience that I’d like to try. I browsed for a while before happening upon a spa experience for two that was in my local area. Trouble was, it was more expensive than the amount that Groupon had offered, so I went back and told them and they said “That’s fine!”, which was a lovely thing for them to do! I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of a spa day than my best friend, Jamillah, who as well as starting her new blog, Bare Beginnings this week, is a mum to three boys of three and under (who are just the scrummiest creatures) is studying for a degree and starting her own business!

The whole process was seriously simple. Groupon emailed me a voucher code, I went onto the site, purchased the deal I wanted with the voucher and waited for an email. Once the email arrived, I called the spa, set up the appointment and that was it! I didn’t even need to print the voucher off as I have the Groupon App on my iPhone, which shows ‘Your Groupons’ and allows you to extract the codes you need to give to the participating retailer.

This is actually the second time I’ve used Groupon, the first was a voucher that Husband bought for me for a massively reduced cut and colour at a local salon and I have to say, in terms of savings these vouchers work out really well. This package for the spa should have cost £170 but we got it for £46, which I think works out at 74% off. The vouchers would make a brilliant gift for Christmas as you could even book the appointment for the person and then just present them with an appointment card for their treatment.

The spa we chose is called Destination and is in the heart of Leigh Broadway, which is full of shops, cafes, bistros and bars, so there’s plenty of places in the close vicinity to make a real day of it. We handed in our coats and shoes and were given some cosy slippers to don, then walked through to the waiting area where we were sat down in comfy recliners with low lighting and gentle music while we filled in our treatment cards.

The treatment room itself, which we were then led through to, was beautiful; the ceiling was draped with purple fabric and the carpet was about a mile deep. There was a small fireplace which kept the room really toasty and even the treatment stations were in keeping with the relaxing atmosphere of the room, which earthy wooden bowls and interesting-looking brushes! We laid down and waited for the treatment to begin.

 Our therapists came in and started the treatments, a facial and massage, and both Jamillah and I were virgins on that front before this day. It’s hard to know what to say here without using the words ‘rubbing’, ‘oils’ and ‘OH MY WOW!’ but basically, the most relaxing 45 minutes of our lives ensued. One thing we both commented on was that the music in the rooms wasn’t your usual wishy-washy whale song type thing which just starts to sound awful after a while. It was calm and relaxing but in a contemporary kind of way and there was something a but autumnal about it too which was very nice.

Once our time was up, it took us both a while to come back into the land of the living – I don’t think I’ve ever actually been that relaxed before without being asleep and the feeling was just incredible. The oils smelled so rich and delightful and my skin looked better than it has in years. In fact, it still looks pretty good, a few weeks on.

All in all, I think I can recommend both Groupon and Destination wholeheartedly. Jamillah and I have vowed that we’re going to make a more regular thing of taking the time to pamper ourselves so we’ll be keeping a close eye on all of the Groupon deals on offer in the future. Being able to spend time with my best friend in a truly relaxing environment like that was a true gift and I can’t thank Groupon enough for the opportunity to do it.

 

We were given a £50 voucher to spend on Groupon for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are my own and it no way influenced by any products or services offered.

Mumsnet, a Hospital Visit and A Community-Sized Hug

This has been a funny old week in the Parent Blogging community. Saturday saw one of the years biggest blogging conferences, put on by Mumsnet, and for a while everyone was abuzz with chatter of what went on at the conference. Then, on Sunday, the Daily Mail printed an article by She Who Shall Not Be Named, a woman who apparently has no desire to endear herself to anyone, condemning us all as mindless drones who live only to serve their Husbands (who are obviously the only breadwinners in the house) and while away the time (which let’s face it, we have TONS of because parenting and looking after kids is such a doddle) with cupcake baking and crocheting.

I’m not even going to justify her pathetic jabs with any sort of specific rebuttal to the claims she’s made about us as a whole because I have another theory. This woman is well-documented as saying that she doesn’t have any friends and struggles with interpersonal relationships. I think her comments come from a sense of teeth-grindingly intense jealousy. When she attended BlogFest on Saturday, she will have seen hundreds of women, all from different places, all with different lives, different interests, with different amounts of money, different levels of education, coming together to spend time in a huge sisterhood. That’s gotta sting when you’re a friendless crone, right?

I came to this conclusion yesterday night. If you’ve read my previous post you’ll know that I spent a large chunk of yesterday in hospital. I came home and plugged my phone in (fucking iPhone battery, mutter mutter) to find texts, emails, wall posts, messages and group posts from no less than a dozen bloggers who I’ve come to know over the past two years. Offers of help, offers of ears to bend if I needed to. One of them even tried ringing the hospital I’d gone to, to see if they could find anything out, so worried they’d been at my unusual radio silence.

Friendship is something that a lot of us take for granted and although I’m not lucky enough to have all of these ladies living just around the corner from me, although I can’t pop round for a coffee if I have five minutes to spare, although I’ve never met a lot of them on a face to face basis, I know I have a community of women who are rooting for me. If I need a shoulder to cry on or a place to ask for a cheer of ‘good luck!’ before an interview, they’re there. I’ve seen my community do amazing things, help others out when they’re in genuine need and have nowhere else to turn and it’s a very nice feeling to know that they’d have my back if I needed them.

And that, as far as I’m concerned, is why the lonely She Who Shall Not Be Named has taken such umbridge. Jealousy, pure and simple. If only she’d been a bit nicer, she may have made some friends too.

Thanks everyone. You know who you are.