Annette’s Websites of the Week – Father’s Day Special.

June 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

As its Father’s Day on Sunday I thought I’d share some websites that will give you a helping hand in making this year’s Father’s Day extra special- for every type of dad!

Moonpig Cards – Personalised greeting cards are a lovely way to say Happy Father’s Day. If you visit an online customising site such as www.moonpig.com there is lots of variety, everything from comical cards, sentimental cards, sports themed cards and even photo cards. Each greeting card can be edited specifically for your dad to add that extra special touch.

Moonpig fathers day

Moonpig customised cards

I’ve used Moonpig in the past and was really happy with the whole experience. Picking a card is really simple- search the Father’s Day card selection (or whatever occasion you’re looking for) and edit accordingly. I like to pick cards which allow me to use lots of photographs but chose a design that suits you and your dad best.

My top tip when using Moonpig is to ensure that you spell check any text which you edit as once the card is printed it can’t be changed. Additionally save postage costs by delivering the card directly to your dad’s address- simply select this option in the delivery process.

Final delivery for Father’s Day cards from Moonpig is 2pm today!

Red Letter DaysIf you want to treat your dad to an extra special day out then head to www.redletterdays.co.uk. Here you can purchase all sorts of days out, which will be a brilliant surprise for Father’s Day.

Red Letter Days have something for everyone so if your dad’s a fan of sports why not buy a tour of Wembley Stadium or a master class golf lesson. If like my husband, Alan, your dad is a car fanatic, then check out the driving experiences where dads can drive at Silverstone in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and if your dad has a head for heights how about a Hot Air Balloon ride? The options are endless so it’s sure to be a Father’s Day gift that he won’t forget.

Red Letter Day

Red Letter Day

The best thing about a Red Letter Day gifts is that you don’t have to decide on a date when you purchase the experience. So you can give your dad his Red Letter Gift on Sunday and then organise a date to go motor facing, hot air balloon riding etc… whenever is convenient for both of you- most experiences let spectators go along and watch so you get a day out too.

Audible.co.uk –  Earlier in the week I blogged about audiobooks and how they have been revived thanks to modern technology. Now you can download audiobook onto smartphones and iPods which makes listening to stories easier than ever before.

Audible.co.uk

Audiobooks with http://www.audible.co.uk

If your dad loves to read but can’t because he’s too busy or finds reading text in a book too much of a strain then why not load your iPod or smartphone will a selection of audiobooks for Father’s Day. The website www.audible.co.uk has a huge selection of books (classics, new books and best sellers) which are affordable (around £3.99 each) and can be uploaded onto a device in seconds!

Using audiobooks as a gift is a great way of encourage dads to get back into literature, especially if he’s had to stop reading because of old age or poor eye sight. And it’s a fantastic way to get older dads to use gadgets such as iPods. I’d love to know if you like this idea so please do leave a comment below!

Annette’s Websites of the Week- Anthropologie, National Volunteer’s Week, The Lady Magazine

June 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Anthropologie – The internet is a great place to shop because you can find brands which may not have stores located in your hometown. Only yesterday I found a gorgeous American based fashion and lifestyle website www.anthropologie.com

Anthropologie sells clothing, accessories, shoes and bags and a whole host of interior ware; bedding, lamps, wallpaper, artwork and kitchen accessories which all have an artistic and free spirited feel and incorporate a huge range of wonderful colours which really brought my attention to the site.

anthropolgie website

Anthropologie has a grown up hippie approach (that’s my impression anyway) which is difficult to come across nowadays and I absolutely adore it. www.anthropologie.com is certainly a site I’ll be revisiting and storing in my favourites file. Even if you don’t make a purchase the site’s creative layout and beautiful garments are a real delight to look at.

National Volunteer’s Week- Did you know that this week has been host to National Volunteer’s Week? Running from 1st – 7th June 2012 National Volunteer’s Week has celebrated the thousands of people who volunteer their time and raised awareness of how you can lend a hand by volunteering.

Volunteers are crucial to charities and organisations who reply on the generosity of others, and it’s not just the charities that reap the benefits. People who choose to volunteer get an enormous sense of satisfaction and a feel-good feeling because they’ve made a difference to a cause they feel passionately about.

Volunteers Week 2012

Anyone can become a volunteer and the sectors of where to volunteer are endless. Schools, charities, hospitals, tea rooms, community centres, shops, local events… The trick is to pick something that you have a personal connection to or can offer practical help to.

I always think that volunteering is a great idea for elderly people and those who have recently retired. Often too much free time can lead to loneliness and in some cases depression. Volunteering a couple of hours a week will not only give you social interaction but keep your brain active and make you feel good!

For volunteering opportunities visit www.volunteering.org.uk or www.do-it.org.uk

The Lady Magazine- I’ve blogged about The Lady Magazine in the past because it’s one of my favourite weekly magazines. A fan of the magazine, I follow The Lady on Twitter, and often check out their website to read blogs and get daily updates from The Lady team.

The Lady Magazine website

In recent weeks www.lady.co.uk has been revamped. They’ve stuck with their bold and instantly recognisable logo but updated the layout making the Home Page a lot more visual with up to date graphs, quirky retro icons and beautiful images that definitely get you clicking through the site.

I really enjoy visiting The Lady online and think that it’s opened up a new readership to the iconic magazine. With fashion forward style pages, blogs from different ‘Lady’ readers and a range of features from, how to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and dressing for the Ascot Races, to dealing with Alzheimer’s, there is something for every Lady; however young or old.

Annette’s Websites of the Week- Love Food Hate Waste, Royal Horticultural Society, Olympic Torch Relay

May 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Love Food Hate Waste- This week I’ve been sharing some of my favourite veggie recipes for National Vegetarian Week. On the search for veggie dishes I visited the Love Food Hate Waste website which is packed full of handy ways to prevent food and drink waste with top tips and fantastic recipes that use up food you might have otherwise thrown away.

As someone who really enjoys food I’m conscious about trying to get the most out of my groceries so LFHW’s website is perfect for me. I like the recipe search tool which uses categories according to the ingredients you have and the type of meal you want to make- a quick breakfast, light lunch or a vegetarian evening meal etc…

Love Food Hate Waste Website

Love Food Hate Waste

You’ll discover a huge variety of beautiful dishes which can be made out of pantry essentials and leftover, helping you save money and use all the delicious ingredients that you bought at the supermarket/grocers.

Also check out LFHW’s tips on ways to make sure you don’t over stock your fridge and how to control the amount of food you’re cooking. I’ve found the ‘Perfect Portions’ tool really helpful for ingredients such as pasta and rice- I always make more than I need.

Royal Horticultural Society- This week Royal Horticultural Society have been busy hosting the annual Chelsea Flower Show and it’s fair to say that they chose the perfect week as the sun hasn’t stopped shining.

I wrote a blog earlier in the week about my favourite gardens featured at this year’s show and since the RHS have handed out awards to their favourite gardens and gardeners. You can view all of the winners and nominee at the Chelsea Flower Show 2012 section of RHS website along with a host of photographs of the gardens and video footage from this year’s event.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show website

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Whilst at www.rhs.org.uk  I also had a nosey around the site’s gardening section which has lots of information about how to tend your garden during the summer months. Including how to maintain a grow your own veggie patch, which is handy to read if your currently growing your own veggie, fruit and herbs like me.

This weekend is set to be a scorcher so why not try and get your grandchildren to help you around the garden. If they aren’t convinced read RHS’s top tips on gardening for the whole family where you’ll find fun garden tips aimed at children, but don’t forget the sunscreen.

Olympic Torch Relay- As I’m sure you already know the Olympic Torch Relay began its tour of the UK last weekend. The torch has already travelled from Land’s End to Worcester and is now en route to Cardiff before it tours Wales.

Throughout it’s week- long journey various famous people from the world of sport have carried the flame including Darren Campbell, Sharon Davies, Zara Phillips and Didier Drogba. Along with these sports personality’s people from local communities have also had the opportunity to carry the flame, which was saluted by two elephants at West midlands Safari Park yesterday.

BBC Olympic Torch Relay website

BBC Olympic Torch Relay

As the torch travels most people want to keep track of its whereabouts, including me. I’ve been tracking the torch via BBC News who has created a fantastic Torch Relay landing page that gives up to date coverage of the relay.

From here you can view a live video stream or read up to date reports of what’s happening on the relay. The page also includes an interactive map with the route highlighted and estimated times of arrival, plus pictures from the relay so far. A great resource which I’m sure I’ll be glued to next week when the torch arrived in Staffordshire.

Annette’s Websites of the Week: Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, BBC IPlayer and Talking Tables

May 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution- On Saturday 19th May Jamie Oliver is hosting the first ever international food revolution day. He wants people to join together and share their skills, knowledge and passion for food with the hope that together we champion healthy and notorious food.

Food Revolution Day logo

If you read my blog earlier this week you’ll know that I’m a real supporter of Jamie’s vision and I think that getting involved is something that everyone can do really easily by hosting a dinner party or spending an afternoon in the kitchen with grandchildren and getting them to do some of the cooking- you’ll be surprised by how eager they’ll be to get involved.

The Food Revolution Day website is a fantastic resource for anyone who is interested in finding out more about the campaign and how you can support Jamie and his army of foodies. Get ideas for events; register yours online or search for an FRD event in your local area. Alternatively use the website to find some delicious recipes– Jamie Oliver has even featured a special collection of his own.

 

Talking TablesYesterday I blogged about party accessories from Talking Tables after seeing their Jubilee Range of cake toppers and cupcake stands- the cupcake thrones are my favourite. Although the website currently features lots of Jubilee inspired items it also has a variety of other ranges which could come in handy for birthday parties and summer BBQ’s.

talking_tables_party ware

Specialising in everything from party ware for children’s parties, weddings, anniversaries and afternoon teas Talking Tables is a great site to keep bookmarked for inspiration when you’ve got an event to organise.

I think that the prices online are pretty pricy, however there is something for every occasion and some of the items really are show stoppers so you could mix and match stand out pieces alongside more affordable party basics from supermarkets etc… Overall a really lovely site that will get you into the party spirit.

 

BBC iPlayerI regularly use BBC’s iPlayer to catch up with TV programmes which I’ve missed or forgotten to record. Although I’m aware that lots of people use this online on-demand service I’m always a little surprised when I come across people who’ve not used iPlayer or don’t know what it is.

BBC IPlayer

So I decided to include BBC iPlayer into my recommendations this week because it’s a site which is incredibly easy to use (plus a great way to get started on the internet) and can be a handy tool if you’ve miss something which you’d have like to watched. I caught up with Chatsworth earlier this week after missing it on Monday evening which I’d recommend watching.

You can use the iPlayer to view programmes which have aired on BBC TV or Radio. Search the ‘Most Popular’ selection for shows or if you’re looking for something more specific then select the relevant channel and day it was aired (or search by A-Z). Once you’ve found the programme click and play- it’s worth noting that most programmes only stay online for a certain amount of time so be sure to check out how long you’ve got to watch to avoid disappointment.

Friends Reunited relaunch

March 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In the year 2000 Friends Reunited took the internet by storm as thousands of people registered with the website to reconnect with old school friends. It was hugely successful and possibly the first social networking site which the majority of people used. 

Despite being hugely popular in its prime; I remember lots of school reunions thanks to the site. Friends Reunited quickly became overturned by newer social networking sites such as Myspace and most notably, Facebook. Unable to keep up with its competitors Friends Reunited was sold in 2005.

Friends Reunited Home Page

The all new Friends Reunited website

After seven years Friend Reunited is back with a new image and unique concept that hopes to bring internet users back to the site. This time around Friend Reunited is focusing on nostalgia, allowing users to remember great memoires from the past and share them with friends online.

The new-look site has worked in conjunction with Press Association and the British Library to create a catalogue of public memories- jubilees, royal weddings, Olympic Games, music events, all variety of public events. Together they have assorted a collection of photographs, videos and news clippings which users can browse through and ‘keep’ if they remember. Anything which the user keeps is then sorted in the user’s personal online memory box.

From there users can add their own personal thoughts and images to their memory box- merging both personal and public memories together. Cleverly the site allows you to share your memory box with friends via Facebook or it can remain private on Friends Reunited it’s completely up to you.

Friends Reunited Home Page

Collect your memories in an online memory box

Having explored the site I like the idea of a memory box and the image stock which Friends Reunited has established is really impressive; this is definitely a selling point. But I’m not convinced that the site will be as popular as other social networking sites because it is so different from Facebook and Twitter.

The site has lots to offer but it’s not for everyone. Memory boxes are time consuming and take a lot of effort to create so it is definitely a site for older people rather than younger. Fingers crossed the theme of nostalgia will encourage more older people to use the site and get online- a definite recommended site if you’re helping someone take their first steps on the internet!

Annette’s Websites of the Week 12th-16th September 2011

September 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

NationalCupcakeWeek

www.nationalcupcakeweek.co.uk

We couldn’t ask for a better reason to eat delicious cupcakes this week as its National Cupcake Week.2011’s National Cupcake Week has been a great success with bakers up and down the country producing some of their finest sweet treats and even better donating a percentage of their sales to CLIC Sargent – a leading charity for children with cancer.

The official website has a selection of incredible photographs of cupcakes and information of local baker and cupcake experts from around the UK who have chosen to get involved with this week’s festivities. I’ve found some brilliant local cake makers who I wasn’t aware of.

I particularly like the ‘Recipe Inspiration’ section where talented bakers have shared their favourites, offering the perfect excuse to get into the kitchen and get baking this weekend. For more inspiration, ideas on decorating or information on how you can donate (maybe without eating cake) visit the National Cupcake Week website here.

 

rapberry cupcakes

Webcam 101 for seniors This week the Bruce and Esther Huffman have become internet sensations after their granddaughter posted a video of the couple of YouTube. The video captures Bruce and Esther struggling to get to grips with their new webcam.

It is a great snippet and provides a wonderful attitude to exploring the internet. Proving that it doesn’t matter if you don’t get using the internet 100% right the first time but simply trying is a great way to learn. Brilliant!

 

 

Hairy Bikers’ Meals on Wheels Yesterday I wrote a blog about the Hairy Bikers’ Meal on Wheels series which is currently airing on BBC two on Tuesday evenings.

Hairy Bikers Meals on Wheels

I’ve become extremely fond of the series as I believe that reinventing the Meals on Wheels service into one which is effective, well-staffed and supports elderly people here in the UK is essential.

The campaign to get more people involved and create tastier selection of food is also been documented on the BBC’s website. Including ways become a Meals on Wheels volunteer in your local community, more general information on Meals on Wheels and of course recipes which Si and Dave make and hope to include in their revitalised Meals on Wheels scheme.

The recipes work around the tight budgets and guidelines which Meals on Wheels endure meaning that they are cheap but great quality meal suggestions- perfect for family meals.

It’s a great campaign and one which I am certainly getting behind- for more information on volunteering in your local area click here.

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