East Park Brighton and Sheepcote Valley

East park Brighton is the perfect spot to escape the buzzing city centre.  It sits just behind the marina and is literally a stones throwaway from Lidl supermarket.  The park covers an impressive 60 acres. As well as wide open spaces, East park has a children’s playground, 2 tennis courts, 2 cricket fields , 2 football pitches and a pavilion cafe.

The shared road through East park provides access to the south downs national park, the Brighton caravan club, Brighton college sports facility as well as Whitehawk FC which is a semi-professional football club in the Sussex county league division one. The park is also used by South East coast ambulance service to land air ambulance emergencies for deliveries to the Royal Sussex hospital.

In the summer, take a picnic and do a spot of sunbathing. East Brighton park is the perfect getaway if you can’t afford to get away.

Continue walking through East Brighton Park and you will come to some steps and pathways that lead up to Sheepcote valley. Sheepcote Valley is a popular public open space covering 220 acres mostly in the South downs national park where it extends in to the city, including chalk downland, scrub and woodland.  Grazing has been re-introduced to the slopes and you will see plenty of sheep going about their daily business.

Camping is not permitted but you can use  Sheepcote valley caravan park

Sheepcote Valley is rich in plant life and attracts year round resident birds as well as seasonal visitors.  Keep a look out for birds of prey ­such as kestrels and sparrowhawks. In all seasons you will see green woodpeckers, meadow pipits, stonechats, blackbirds and all variety of common garden birds

Interested in the history of Sheepcote valley?  You can find out more right here

How to pin an image and URL from your business Facebook page to Pinterest

Wondering how to pin a post from your business Facebook page to Pinterest? If you have ever tried to pin an image from  your Facebook page to Pinterest you will have seen the following and no doubt given up!

facebook

How do other pinners manage to pin images with the URL or web address to their business Facebook page?

Here is a very easy and simple method you can use in order that Pinterest users will be taken to your business Facebook page when they click on the pinned image.  Here is a step by step guide:

1- From your PC or other device, upload the image you want to use.  Alternatively save the image direct from the Facebook post by right clicking on the mouse and then select ‘save image as’ by left clicking on the mouse.

facebook

2- Go to Pinterest and log into your account. Select ‘upload an image.’ 

upload-an-image-to-pinterest

3-You will be asked to upload a pin. Click on ‘Choose image’ and select the image you want to pin back to your Facebook business page post.  

Pinning an image to Pinterest.jpg

4-Once uploaded, write a description using any relevant key words and select the board that you want the image to be pinned to.

pinning-an-image-to-a-pinterest-board

5-Click on ‘save’

 

 

 

6-Now you need to go to Facebook and get the post URL  You can find the correct URL by clicking on the date and time the post went live. 

facebook-post-url

7-Head back to Pinterest, locate the image and ‘Edit this pin’.  Add the Facebook URL, click on ‘save ‘ and Hey presto.  From now on when anyone clicks on your pin they will be taken to your Facebook page and the relevant post. 

edit-a-pinterest-pin-and-add-a-link

Top 6 free things to do in Belfast

Looking for cheap things to do in Belfast?  Here are 6 fantastic attractions and best of all, they are FREE!

Botanic gardens and palm house

The botanic gardens and palm house were established in 1928 and are a pleasant way to while away a afternoon.  Established in 1828, the gardens have been enjoyed as a public park by the people of Belfast since 1895. Why not pick up a picnic en-route and join the students and locals who meet up in the gardens.  There is a Tesco Express on the Dublin road with a good selection of pre-packed salads and sandwiches and from there it is a mere 10 minute stroll to the Belfast botanic gardens

Ulster Museum

The Ulster museum is conveniently located in the botanic gardens.  It’s a brilliant free museum where you can come face to face with dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies and as well as learning about local history, including the troubles, there are art and natural science exhibits.  Well worth spending a few hours here.

Opening hours are: Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 17.00

Lagan towpath

After visiting the Ulster Museum, why not head on down the road and take a walk along the delightful Lagan towpath.  From the museum,  head to Stranmills by turning left out of the gates and onto Malone road.  Here are the Google map directions for you.

The Towpath winds along the river and canal system taking in a  variety of wildlife, wetlands, woodlands and riverside meadows. The canal system dates back to the late 18th century and many features give an insight into the majestic era of the lighter – which was the name given to the boats that originally travelled on the Lagan Canal. For detailed information about the towpath and walks, you can check out the official website right here.

If after your walk you have worked up an appetite or thirst, the Cutters wharf is a popular bar with riverfront tables and an upstairs restaurant serving a varied, modern menu. The bar and restaurant overlook the canal and you will have walked past it on your way to the towpath.

Belfast city hall tour

Belfast city hall, home of Belfast city council is located in Donegall Square, right in the heart of Belfast city centre.  Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. Construction began in 1898 under the supervision of architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas and was completed in 1906 at a cost of £369,000.

The guided tour is free and lasts about 45 minutes. You will have the chance to see some of the building’s finest features and various rooms including the Council Chamber, Robing Room, Reception Hall, Banqueting Hall and The Great Hall. Simply sign in at the main reception before the tour starts.  I popped in one morning and booked a place for one of the afternoon tours.

The Titanic Memorial Garden is situated on the east side of Belfast City Hall.

Check here for more information and tour times 

St Georges market

St George’s Market is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions having been built between 1890-1896. The undercover market is less than a 5 minute walk from city hall. It’s a buzzing market and as well as the stalls, you may well get to see some local bands playing live..

The variety market takes place every Friday between 6.00am -3.00pm.

On Saturdays there is the city food and craft market offering a huge range of local, continental and specialty foods including meat and fish, cheese, coffee beans, tapas and organic products. Opening hours are 9.00am-3.00pm

Taking place on Sundays is the aptly names Sunday market.  This market is a mixture of the Friday and Saturday markets with a special emphasis on local arts and crafts, offering more local craftspeople the opportunity to show off their talents.

St Georges market is a  lovely spot and definitely worth a visit.

The Dome at Victoria Square

The Dome offers panoramic views that stretch for miles across Belfast city, the iconic Dome is a must do and it’s a great place to take some stunning photographs. Climb to the top using the stairs or lift.

 

6 quick and easy party food ideas

Pigs in blankets (Looking terrified!) Substitute meat sausages for Quorn or veggie ones and wrap in ready made pasty before popping in the oven. These little piggies are sure to be a hit at Halloween as well as kids and grown up kids parties!

pigs-in-a-blanket

Cheese platter Party food doesn’t get much easier than this. Create a delicious and attractive spread with a selection of sliced cheeses.

Aged:Cheddar,  Goat Gouda, Gruyère de Comté or Comte
Soft:Bath Soft, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin
Firm: Manchego, Mimolette, Parmigiano-Reggiano
Blue: Gorgonzola Dolce, Valdeón, Stilton, Bleu d’Auvergne

cheese-plate

Potato plate top the cooked potatoes with diced red onion and spring onions.  Drizzle with olive oil and white wine vinegar or leave the condiments on the table so guests have the option.

potatoes

Fruit salad bowl Select a variety of fruits and prepare a colourful fruit bowl. This will go extremely well alongside the cheese plate.

Oranges, strawberries, grapes, kiwi fruit, blueberries, pineapple, bananas,

Check out this recipe for the perfect summer fruit salad

fruit-salad-bowl

No bake dessert  Slice strawberries and arrange in a bowl, cover with natural or Greek yogurt and finish off with an ample sprinkling on muesli.

dessert

Caprese salad is a simple Italian salad.  Arrange the sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh green basil on a plate.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

caprese-salad

 

The best anti ageing and anti wrinkle products.

Here is a handpicked selection of some of the most effective and affordable anti ageing and anti wrinkle products (that actually work) on the market today.  Best of all, they are available on the high street and start from as little as £3.00.

Balance Hyaluronic youth serum by Balance Active Formula has to top the list of anti ageing products price wise. For little over £3.00 you get a rich serum which will keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. Easy to apply and well absorbed, this product comes highly recommended especially if you are on a budget.

Anti ageing serum

Next, there is USkin.  The key ingredients in  USkin’s powerful  serum are vitamin C and hyaluronic Acid.  Hyaluronic has been called the ‘fountain of youth’ and is present in our skin tissues but with age diminishes which is why hyaluronic acid  as a supplement is so beneficial to ageing skin.

One of the key properties of hyaluronic acid is its ability to retain moisture, making the skin looks and feels softer, smoother, and plumper.  Because it fills out the skin, wrinkles are much less noticeable.  If you have ever looked into Botox or fillers, you will have noticed that hyaluronic fillers are used as a solution to wrinkles on the areas of mouth, marionette lines, lips and cheeks.

At less than £13.00 this uSkin anti ageing serum offers a great way to naturally rejuvenate your skin.

Anti ageing serum

 

 

Olay offer their own product by way of a combination of anti ageing day cream and serum. This multi-tasking product works to visibly reduce lines and wrinkles in just 14 days, while also helping firmer looking skin in 28 days.  At £4.10 Olay anti wrinkle firm and lift 2-in-1 day cream and firming serum is another beauty product which wont break the bank.

Play anti wrinkle serum

Don’t forget that hands need moisture too. Neutrogena have their own Norwegian formula anti-ageing hand cream. Containing SPF 25, the hand cream  protects your hands in two ways and effectively reduces the appearance of existing brown spots.

With patented active soy, its formula is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of brown spots. After 4 weeks of usage, 84 per cent of women reported a more uniform skin tone and 81 per cent said brown spots were visibly reduce.

This lasts ages at at only £3.55 is a must have.

Anti ageing hand cream

Finally, here are some great FREE tips to keep your skin looking younger naturally:

Drink lots of water throughout the day. One in five women drink less than the recommended daily intake of water which is 2 liters. (8 glasses)

Apply a rich moisturiser with SPF of 15 or higher every morning.

Take daily vitamin C supplements. 1000mg effervescent tablets dissolved in water once a day. Vitamin C is needed for the ­formation of collagen. Additionally, studies have shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photo-damage.

If your day time moisturiser doesn’t contain SPF. Always apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 throughout the year.

Exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating helps by removing the top, dead layer of skin – and speeds up the natural process of skin and collagen renewal.

Use a night time moisturiser before going to bed.

Woman

How to survive with a survival bracelet!

You may well ask “What are these survival bracelets all about’. Well if you go running, walking, or camping. OR indeed, just out and about and wear boots or shoes with laces, then you might, just have had a lace break.You can use one of the survival bracelet cords to replace your laces.

This functional bracelet has many other uses too:

Travel washing line.

Emergency dog lead.

To tie something up.

Keep things together.

It’s breaking strength is 190 kg which will comfortably take two average size people if the need arose.

At only £1.06 this bracelet is an absolute bargain.  What would you use yours for?

Survival bracelet