2 articles Tag costume

How to Throw a Costume Party on a Budget

Costume parties are great fun for all ages, instantly setting a mood of revelry and excitement. Yet adding costumes on top of other decorations, food, drink and games can really add up. Whether you’re thinking of throwing a themed birthday party or a Halloween bash, use our tips to save money on your next costume party.

1. Get the timing right.

No matter what type of party you’re throwing, if children are involved you should set the time during the magic hour between 2 and 5 in the afternoon. Why is this the magic time? It falls in between meals so that you don’t have to worry about full catering. Your guests will already be full from lunch, so a few snacks will suffice. However, if your guests are still young enough to take afternoon naps, you should shift this to the morning and provide coffee and treats instead.

2. Start planning early.

If possible, plan your party as early as you can. Shop around for supplies so that you have time to compare prices, rather than dashing out the night beforehand and panic-buying overpriced plastic plates. Ideally, your party supplies should include a mix of pre-used decorations and supplies you buy when they’re on sale. Keep this in mind now if you’re planning any holiday parties, as well!

3. Dip into your kid’s dress-up box.

Children love to play dress-up, so you can create a whole activity out of this for your next party. Set up a photo booth area in one corner of the home. This doesn’t have to cost very much money at all – all you need is an area with good natural lighting or a lamp, a simple sheet as a backdrop, and a handful of props and costumes. This is where the dress-up box comes in. From a power rangers costume to old princess tutus, all of these bits and pieces can be used by guests to create something silly and new. Snap digital photos and send them to the guests afterwards as a souvenir!

4. Turn decorating into an activity.

Invest in a few arts and crafts supplies for your costume party and you’ll be able to get DIY Decorations as well as a time-killing activity. For example, if you’re planning to throw a Halloween party, you could set up an area for your guests to decorate their own pumpkins when they come in the door. Put these on display and you’ll add to your ambience, no further decorations needed.

5. Go paperless.

Paper invitations look nice, but let’s face, how many of us end up chucking them in the bin as soon as we’ve RSVP’d? Don’t bother spending money on paper invitations and thank you notes. Instead, keep it digital and you’ll save money as well as a few trees in the process.

Make sure that your guests have a great time without going broke in the process by following these top tips, and you’ll throw a party to remember!

Next Swimwear Review

So, in my want to shape up, I’ve taken up swimming.

I know, no big deal, right?


This is a very big deal for two reasons:

1. I am scared of sharks. I am WELL aware of the fact that my local leisure centre isn’t in the habit of letting their pool be used by the local tiger shark swimming team nor am I under the illusion that a creature with gills could live in such heavily chlorinated water. I didn’t say it was a rational fear. But the fact is, although I am a decent enough swimmer, I panic in water and feel like there’s something chasing me, regardless of whether it’s an indoor Olympic training pool or not.

2. Swimming costumes. ACK.

I should probably elaborate on that last part.

If you’re overweight, the thought of donning what is essentially a very tight-fitting piece of shiny material doesn’t fill you with huge amounts of glee. If you have a bosom that’s so ample that the word ‘ample’ itself doesn’t even do it justice, as well as being overweight, then those two words – swimming costume – are enough to make you break out in a cold sweat. Which is not a good look when you’re wearing a swimming costume. SELF PERPETUATING NIGHTMARE.

I have a costume that I bought very cheaply last year so that I could take Sausage swimming but it’s not the most flattering garment. There’s zero support for boobage and it more or less makes me look like a mummy orca. So here’s what I did; I threw myself at the mercy of a few different clothing companies and asked if they could help. Next was the first to say yes and here’s the costume I chose (£34):

This isn’t me, but I look ALMOST identical to this in it…*ahem*

The material that the costume is made from is reassuringly good quality and the double-layered tummy control did a valiant job of holding in my paunch. There’s enough fabric covering your bottom that you don’t feel too exposed and the internal wired cups did a far better job of supporting my bust and keeping everything in place while I did my lengths. I felt confident in a swimsuit for the first time in years, which is no small achievement, and it felt nice enough to be worn on the beach or poolside, if you were looking for a flattering, well-covering suit for a holiday.

If I had a minor negative comment it would be that the halterneck, whilst flattering and pretty, meant that the full weight of my boobs were carried around my neck, but it’s one of those things that’s probably only an issue to me and let’s face it, the weight has to be distributed somewhere!

I’m thrilled with my new swimming costume and would definitely buy from Next again. Their E-G cup range is full of flattering suits and separates that offer comfort and style and they’re all reasonably priced too.


I received a free swimming costume for the purposes of this review, however all words and opinions here are honest and unbiased.