Tag Archives: tips

gift

Five Christmas Games you HAVE to try!

In all the Christmas mahem it’s easy to forget to plan stuff to do to keep all the family entertained (especially when it’s day 4 and Uncle Geoff’s outstayed his welcome and the kids are beginning to get a bit annoying.)

 

So we’ve come up with a few alternative games, for when the sixth game of Monopoly is just one too many…

 

Candy Canes

Remember the good old days when Bowie was rocking and Bob Dylan was rolling? Well, if so you’ll have tried part of this game before. Take a Candy cane, perch it on your nose and see who can hold it the longest!

 

 

candy-canes-th

 

 

Christmas A-Z

Note the alphabet from A to Z down a sheet of paper. Ask everyone to fill in each letter with a Christmas themed word! Quickest to finish wins! Simple, but cheap and effective.

(You could maybe do with having a judge in case dad tries to cheat.)

 

 

Guess the Gift

Tell all your guests to bring a gift they would like to receive. Ideally keep the cost under a tenner. When everyone’s there, place the presents into a bag, mix them up and open them one by one. Now, let everyone guess who brought which gift.

 

 

present-free-to-use-clipart

 

 

Dunk the Bells

Don’t be surprised if this energetic holiday game vaguely reminds you of your teenage years. To play Jingle Bell Toss, you simply throw tiny jingle bells (or sweets) into your opponent’s plastic cups. You could even decorate the cups with marker pens and cotton wool to make your own mini Santa cups!

If you’re all adults, why not add a splash of eggnog…to add to the entertainment if nothing else.

 

 

jingle-bell-toss

 

 

Get Three in a Row

Those old wine corks can get the Frozen makeover for this wintry version of three in a row. The secret Frozen fan in all of us can enjoy this guilty pleasure!

 

tic-tac-toe

 

 

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badwrapping

Christmas wrapping like a pro

Do your friends and family know which presents are from you for all the wrong reasons?

Confuse and amaze them this year, with a couple of our tips that’ll have you wrapping better than an elf on Red Bull.

 

bad-wrapping

 

1. Always measure your wrapping paper first and trim off the extra bit. To know how much you need, especially if you’ve got a massive present and you don’t want to end up wrapping yourself.  Wrap a bit of string or tape measure around the gift, then lay the string on the gift wrap and trim it to the required length.

 

string
(note: Don’t buy anyone a pumpkin for Christmas. They won’t like it.)

 

2. If you have trouble cutting giftwrap in a straight line, mark the paper at the edge of the sheet and fold it – then just cut along the crease. We can all just about manage that.

 

cut

 

3. Keep all the off-cuts. Odd lengths of ribbon can come in handy to tie round the neck of a bottle – great for a quick and easy present for the neighbour you forgot.

 

bottle

 

4. If you’re half way through wrapping and run out of paper (we’ve all been there swearing profusely), make a ‘cheat pleat’ with another bit of paper. Pretend you meant for it to look like that by putting the pleat in the middle on top of the gift.

 

paper

 

5. When curling ribbon, remember to do it with scissors shut. Follow the natural curl of the ribbon when pulling it between your scissors and thumb. A bit of ribbon can help make a bad gift look like you’ve tried.

 

ribbon

 

Have you got any more tips up your sleeve?

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ways to wear a waistcoat

Ways to wear a waistcoat

You might have noticed we can’t get enough of fun and funky waistcoats here at Joe Browns!

 

But knowing how to wear it, dress it up or down and give it your own distinctive twist can be a bit tricky, so we nabbed our head buyer Caroline, to give us a few pointers…

 

caroline-head-buyer-at-joe-browns

 

For the ladies:

She said: “Waistcoats are so versatile, you can easily style them for a smart or casual look. They’re great for adding an extra layer of warmth without being too bulky, as well as making a fun yet sophisticated impact to your outfit.

 

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Heritage Herringbone Waistcoat

 

 

“My favourite from the new collection is the One Of a Kind Waistcoat because I love the stunning checked fabric teamed with funky buttons and a lace up back. It’s a really bold and bright look perfect for brightening up the cold dark nights to come!

 

waistcoat

 

“For a casual look you could pair it with an Understated Tie Neck Blouse with a lovely peter pan collar and ribbon tie – ideal for a trip to the shops or an impromptu coffee with friends.

 

waistcoat-lace-top

 

“For a slightly smarter look, maybe for the office or evening drinks, it looks great with a crisp white shirt – like the Ruffle Blouse.

 

waistcoat-riffle-blouse

 

Or if you want to go even smarter for a special occasion and want a real wow factor, it looks amazing with a contrasting textured jacket. I think Our Favourite Jacket sets it off perfectly.”

 

waistcoat-jacket

 

Here’s a few more pics from our last shoot at the North York Moors Railway Station that’ll hopefully inspire you to rock a waistcoat this season… (click on the pic to be taken to the waistcoat).

 

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For the guys:

 

This little beauty – the Charismatic Waistcoat – makes for the ultimate staple. In a quality wool mix with simple styling, it’s a great addition to pretty much any outfit.

 

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Want to keep it cas for daytime drinks with the boys, but fancy a funky twist that they’ll all envy? Wack it over the top of a graphic tee like this Wild Night T-Shirt for a laid back look.

 

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Go just that little bit further than a plain white shirt for a cool dapper style. The Tripple It Shirt has a few signature Joe Browns details, from the tripple collar to double contrast buttons and is spot on for date night or an evening out on the town.

 

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For a complete distinguished gent style add on this awesome contrasting Charismatic Blazer. A great check is given a funky twist with mix and match cuff buttons creating a distinctive look. It comes complete with a pull out chest pocket lining that doubles as a pocket square – The ideal statement for special occasions.

 

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Or what do you make of these looks?

 

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Have we tempted you?

 

 

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9 out of 10 of us will bring back unworn clothes we packed for our holiday

9 out of 10 of us will bring back unworn clothes we packed for our holiday

We spend countless hours planning our get-away, researching the best deals, shopping for our essentials and yet we still don’t seem to have mastered the art of packing what we actually want or need to take with us on our travels.

 

Overpacking

 

Our survey of over 3,000 people revealed 9 out of 10 of us – 93 per cent – are expected to bring back unworn clothes this summer that never make it out of the hotel wardrobe.

 

So we decided to put together 5 essential packing tips that will save you from wasting valuable space and weight in your suitcase with clothes that should have been left at home.

 

 

Swimwear

The survey revealed 32 per cent of women will pack more than three swimsuits or bikinis for a one week holiday.

Our head buyer Caroline spends much of the year jet–setting the globe looking for inspiration for next season’s collections and has mastered the art of packing like a pro.

She said: “As much as it would be great to have a different swimsuit everyday – most of us probably won’t have room. Two is plenty and you can rotate them around. These mix and match combos are perfect (http://bit.ly/1UHDrhW).

 

LP014A LP015B LP019A LP019B

 

 

Underwear

There’s nothing worse than pulling out your sexy summer dress you’ve been waiting all year to wear and then having to fold it back up because you packed every bra under the sun, but not the right one to be hidden under the dress.

Caroline suggests: “Pack a staple beige strapless – one you’re really comfortable in – and leave the rest at home. I love this one from Wonderbra at Debenhams .”

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Beach Dress

Most of us know we want a dress that takes us from beach to bar, but in reality it’s hard to find one that does this without leaning too much one way or another.

Caroline recommends: “This floaty and flirty beach dress can be thrown over your bikini during the day and its bold coloured print and handkerchief hem mean with a pair of wedges it creates a striking evening look. Two for the price of one and rolled up will even fit in a pair of your shoes!”

 

LD936A

 

 

Socks

It’s been ingrained on us since we were small to ‘pack as many pairs of socks and pants as there are days we’re away’ but on a hot holiday this doesn’t apply. Take the pair you’re wearing when you leave and only one extra pair for when you’re coming back.

Caroline says: “If you’re not convinced two pairs is enough a little pot of Dylon Travel Wash is only 99p from Waitrose.”

 

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Shoes

Our holiday footwear is very important to us, with nearly half of women saying if they had any space left in their suitcase – this is what they’d try and cram in some more of.

Caroline advises: “If you’re not one for massive killer heels in the UK you’re probably not going to wear them abroad either. Wedges  and flip-flops – enough said.”

 

LF511A  LF515A

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Tips for getting out of bed

Joe’s guide to make getting out of bed in the morning that little bit easier

 

  1. Drink Up

No we don’t mean get plastered the night before – even though some guys in the office might swear by it. We’re talking about the good stuff – water. Have enough so you need a wee in the morning, but not too much so you need to get out of the bed in the middle of the night.

 

water

 

 

  1. Open the curtains

Most people have a hard time sleeping when the room’s bright, so open your blinds/curtains/ towel that’s hanging up over the window the night before and let in some natural rays.

 

curtains

 

 

  1. Set your alarm clock to your favourite song

You know that feeling when someone’s phone rings and it’s the same sound of your alarm clock – it makes you feel a little bit sick? Avoid this and that sinking, negative feeling when you hear a horrible buzzing or chiming first thing in the morning. Get your alarm clock to play your favourite song – you never know you might end up dancing round the bedroom.

 

Young woman dancing on bed

 

 

  1. Leave your alarm clock away from the bed

Yes, this is a form of torture, but it works. The hardest bit about getting up is the getting out of bed bit. Once you’ve done that, you’re half way there and you’ll have more time to get ready cause you won’t have smashed the snooze button 9 times.

 

Hand under blanket reaching out for alarm clock, shallow depth of field focus on foreground

 

 

  1. Have a snack

Not a full on gorge fest – just a little one (that’s easy to digest like yoghurt, milk or nuts). Apparently one of the reasons we feel groggy in the morning is because we haven’t eaten in so long.

 

Snack before bed

 

 

  1. Eat again when you wake up

Not everyone can stomach it, but if you can manage a big breakfast – go for it. For the same reason above – your body’s hungry!

 

Mega breakfast

 

 

  1. COFFEE!!

Hold the front page. OK, so it’s not exactly the discovery of the century – but caffeine in the morning couldn’t not be on this list.

 

young happy business man holding a funny huge and oversized cup of black coffee in caffeine addiction concept isolated on even blackground

 

 

 

  1. Exercise

Great for getting the good old endorphins going! If you can’t quite muster up the energy for a spin class at the gym, some jumping jacks or sit ups are a great start.

 

Exercise

 

 

  1. Plan something fun

If you know you’re getting up to do something you love it’ll be loads easier – like when you’re going on holiday. Unless you’re Richard Branson, you’re probably not doing that every day, so you could read, play a video game,  make something or call and catch up with a mate – definitely arrange it first though or you could run out of friends to call pretty quick.

 

spring out of bed

 

 

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