Crazy for Ice Cream*

I’ve always said that should I ever get married then my one requirement is that I can have an ice cream van at the reception. I’m an ice cream obsessive- although it’s only recently I’ve felt able to admit this (anorexia banned me from admitting to liking any type of food for far too many years). Childhood holidays are punctuated with memories of Mr Whippy, getting covered in ice cream and red sauce and laughing at my Nan as she inevitably was the first to spill hers down herself, so when this graphic about the evolution of the ice cream van came along courtesy of Van Monster I knew I had to share. Fellow ice cream fanatics read on…
I’m a bit of a history geek so it’s great to finally know the origins of one of the greatest inventions of all time, as well as how things differ around the world. It’s definitely true that there are far less vans on the streets these days, although where I live appears to have quite a dense population of them still- there’s always one parked up near work seemingly all year round!

What was/is your favourite thing to get from the ice cream van? For me it’s a 99 flake with a good squiggle of red sauce…I do recall a place in Cornwall that had a whole rainbow of different sauces though, that really ought to be a thing nationwide!

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The Pink Pumas

I’ve gone from wanting to collect all the pretty high heeled shoes in the world to being completely obsessed with trainers. I’ve built up quite the little collection and seem to live in them outside of work, but that doesn’t particularly justify why I felt the need to buy another pair a couple of weeks ago…my defence is simple, they were calling out to me (and on sale). It just had to be.

Dress: Pull&Bear (here) | Trainers (here)

Literally the day after I ordered these trainers they went back to full price, but hands down I’d pay it. They attracted a lot of attention on Instagram when I posted them and a few people wanted to know what the platform is like. In a word, subtle. The sole is a bit thicker than your average trainer but not obscenely so- the perfect hybrid trainer/platform in my eyes and they are so damn comfortable too.

This whole outfit/hair style combo feels a little bit 1990s to me. I never thought I liked the choker neck trend but since picking up this dress a month or so ago I might be converted. It was a bargain in pull&bear at £12.99 and it’s made in a really stretchy jersey so the neck doesn’t feel restrictive. I was a bit concerned I might feel too exposed- as I’ve explained before I’m not at my most body confident right now, but it drapes in the right places and actually manages to be vaguely flattering.

And body confidence does remain a big issue and a lot of the time it’s a real effort to wear anything but my baggiest clothes. Not that they are so baggy any more. Things are starting to fit me again, a blessing and a curse. Great I can suddenly wear half my wardrobe once more, a curse because it makes anorexia turn my brain in to even more of a battleground therefore taking a whole lot more energy and determination to power through. But there’s always a nap for that. I find naps are a great healer.

Despite this I’ve felt hugely positive lately, in a way I really haven’t before. Life suddenly feels exciting- I don’t want to be governed by my insecurities and control issues any more. There’s so much that I want to do an experience and there’s nothing going to get in the way of me doing that anymore. I’ve been my own worst enemy for half of my life, it’s about time I let this go. For good.

(Accidental tangent there, oops!)

Back on track- what do you think of this outfit? Anybody else a complete trainer fiend?

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Blink and You’ll Miss It: How to Film the Perfect Wedding Video*

Your big day is fast approaching and you and your partner can’t wait to tie the knot but truth be told you’re worried about all those small wedding details that could go wrong on the big day- things like the wedding video for example.
Following you and your partner throughout the day your wedding videographer captures those timeless moments that you can look back at fondly once your wedding day is over. There are however a few things that you can do to make sure your wedding video looks great for years to come… so that you’re not afraid to show the grandchildren (where they’re guaranteed to laugh at the by then outdated technology!)
Together with Get Film, specialists in wedding videos in Newcastle we provide you with a few helpful tips that ensure your videographer gets the best possible shots on the day.

(Photo by Anne Edgar on Unsplash)

Always communicate
Once you’ve picked a wedding videographer it would be a good idea to have a conversation with him or her as soon as possible. This gives you time to elaborate on what kind of video you would like- for example, should they be filming the light-hearted moments or should your video express the traditional aspects of a wedding and express the emotions you feel on the day?
Make sure they know each individual detail in advance; if the bride is wearing her grandmother’s earrings or the groom is wearing his father’s cufflinks these are aspects of the wedding day that the videographer can shoot so that your wedding has an individual and personal touch from the start.

Act natural and be yourself
Never pay attention to the camera, or your wedding videographer when they are around you. The essence of a wedding video is that it captures the true emotions of the day: laughter, tears, smiles and all.
Don’t get camera shy and remember, the wedding videographer is there to film not just you – but the whole day. If you know that the camera is going to affect the way you behave on the day then why not ask them to have the camera set at an angle to the direction of guests with the focus and camera settings set? This way everyone is still captured in the shot but it is not obvious that there is a camera pointing in their face.

Don’t rush the perfect shots
Even though you might want to turn your wedding video into a cinematic masterpiece it’s still important that the wedding videographer is there for those all-important moments like your first dance, cutting the cake and the vows.
Although your attention will be elsewhere on the day make sure that your videographer is hanging around for those important moments; to ensure the film maker catches the perfect shots of all those important moments throughout the day don’t go full speed ahead! When it comes to things like cutting the cake, putting the ring on and giving that all-important speech don’t rush it – not only will it savour the moment for you to enjoy it also allows the videographer to make sure they are in the right space and in focus to film the shot perfectly.

Practice makes perfect
As well as the big day make sure your videographer is at all of your rehearsals. This will help them make sure that there will be no problems with lighting, microphone placement and where they should stand so that their view isn’t blocked. This may cost a little bit more but trust us it will be worth it to ensure your day runs smoothly and the best footage is caught on camera.
This is also your last chance to consult with your videographer on any other requirements you have; remember, they can’t read your mind so it’s best to discuss any last-minute changes you have with them so that they’re always kept in the loop. Rehearsals also help you to understand where you will be in the shot on the day; knowing which way to walk in the church and in any other venues will help you look natural in your video without making any errors that may spoil the flow of the video.
Your wedding is the happiest day of your lives together so above anything else remember to have fun on the day, and your videographer will take care of the rest so that you can look over all the memories with a smile on your face.

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Fuelling your car using 3 unusual methods*

The UK government has revealed plans to ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars across the country from 2040 onwards. Should the proposals become a reality, car radiator repair experts Advanced Radiators has presented three unusual but potentially effective ways to fuel your car in the years to come:

(Photo by Gab Pili on Unsplash)

Use coffee
Coffee is fantastic when you need something to help you wake up or become more alert- it’s basically my fuel for instant human! Why can’t the ingredients that make up the drink also be used to power our cars too?
Martin Bacon may have had the same thought when the Brit looked into a system that used a charcoal stove, a modified gasoline engine capable of running hydrogen and a coffee bean byproduct. His invention was a system that used a boiler that transformed the coffee byproduct into a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, with the latter being fed into the motor. The result was a modified Ford P100 pick-up that was capable of hitting 65 miles per hour in tests.

Use algae
Due to it being a smelly green pond substance algae is far from the most appealing potential fuel source on our list. However, it has plenty of promise as an alternative fuel- there’s so much of it to be found in the sea, and it can also be grown in a tank very easily!
You can create a number of biofuels once you’ve got a hold of some algae. This is because the oil harvested from algae cells can be mixed together with other chemicals so to form a source of biodiesel.

Use air
Questions can be raised about how air can make for an alternative fuel source considering the fact it can’t be felt when you’re walking. However, pop your hand out of a window when travelling at 70mph and you will realise that we’re onto something.
The solution is compressed air as a fuel source. Indian car company Tata Motors has actually attempted this, whereby a tank that’s full of compressed carbon dioxide sprays out air when functioning. This air will drive a tiny piston engine, which results in a crankshaft being turned to drive the wheels of a lightweight car.

Out of all of these, to me coffee seems like the most plausible fuel but with another 23 years to perfect alternative fuels before they become an essential it’s anybodies guess what we’ll actually be filling our cars with!

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Should we return to the kitchen?*

How many meals per week are you eating away from home? Over the last few decades more and more people have been ordering takeaways as they become easier to access and more affordable. However research published by the John Hopkins School of Public Health has claimed that people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories. Thankfully (I think) for me I live in a very small town with few takeaways available meaning I’ve only caved to temptation perhaps twice in my life. Not going to lie though, I do feel like I’m missing out sometimes, especially when only a piping hot Dominos will do!

Join five-star kitchen splashbacks supplier The Plastic People as they explore just how popular eating out and ordering takeaways has become, as well as why we should consider putting the menus away and instead get back to cooking in our kitchens:

(Christopher Flowers)

Our love for takeaways
Digital takeaway specialists Just Eat previously shed light on how popular takeaways are for UK families when considering research commissioned to celebrate the launch of the 2015 British Takeaway Awards.
According to the study close to half of people aged under 35 years old will serve their families a takeaway meal for a get-together. Reasons for doing so included both parents having to work longer hours as well as trying to fit their children’s extra-curricular activities into the day.
The same piece of research also found that over 25% of survey respondents admit to passing off takeaway meals as their own food when inviting guests round. In this regard more than a half of those who admitted to doing this said that they simply didn’t have enough time to cook.
Just Eat’s Graham Corfield pointed out: “Modern lives are incredibly busy and often both parents work long hours. So increasingly people are looking for ways to be more effective with their time so that they can spend as much of the day as possible with their families and doing the things they love.”

A spotlight on Just Eat
Just Eat has marked it’s place as one of the main companies associated with the takeaway scene of the 21st century — with this particularly evident when looking at the firm’s 2016 full year results.
Founded in 2001, Just Eat completed last year with 17.6 million active customers — up 31% from the 13.4 million active customers in 2015 — who were connected to more than 68,500 restaurant partners. This huge group of customers also placed 136.4 million orders through Just Eat in 2016 which works out a 4.3 orders per second and is a considerable rise from the 96.2 million orders placed through the service in 2015.
The UK is Just Eat’s largest market, with the market for delivered takeaway food for this country expanding from £5.5 billion in 2015 to £6.1 billion last year and Just Eat finishing 2016 with 9.2 million active UK customers.

The case for home cooking
A study carried out by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has suggested that people should reconsider their eating habits going forward.
This is because after analysing data from the 2007/10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which involved over 9,000 participants aged 20 years old and over the researchers concluded that those who frequently cook meals at home eat more healthily and consume fewer calories than those who cook less. This conclusion was reached as…

48 per cent of participants cooked dinner between six and seven times a week and consumed 2,164 calories, 81 grams of fat and 119 grams of sugar on an average day.

Eight per cent of participants cooked dinner once or less a week and consumed 2,301 calories, 84 grams of fat and 135 grams of sugar on an average day.

Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and the study’s lead author pointed out: “When people cook most of their meals at home they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight.”
There was also a suggestion from the research that those who cooked at home six to seven nights a week also consumed fewer calories whenever they did decide to spend a night away from the kitchen and eating out instead.

Wolfson added: “The evidence shows people who cook at home eat a healthier diet. Moving forward it’s important to educate the public about the benefits of cooking at home, identify strategies that encourage and enable more cooking at home, and help everyone, regardless of how much they cook make healthier choices when eating out.”

Lucky for me both my boyfriend and I love to cook and find greater satisfaction in preparing something ourselves than order in, we’re also trying to save money so limit eating out to a couple of times a month no matter how great the temptation. I can see where the appeal lies though and personally I would like to see healthier takeaway options available (Pizza Hut for example don’t offer their delicious flat bread pizzas as a takeaway option) and better awareness/labelling of nutritional information to help people make informed choices.

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