Considerations For First Time Home Buyers

Getting on the property ladder can be both an exciting and tense journey. Your to-do list becomes endless, and it seems like finances are always on your mind. On the plus side, you get to experience the process of choosing a beautiful home that you can be proud of. There are plenty of considerations to be made before you embark upon this process. To help you get the ball rolling, consider these six-pointers.

1 . Pay back debts

When you’re looking to purchase a property for the first time, it’s vital to start paying off your debts. If you won’t realistically be able to pay them all off right now, at least start by paying them down. From here, check your credit score so that you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect when you start the buying process. Without a good credit score, you may struggle to get yourself a good interest rate. Potential buyers should bear this in mind; even if home buying is currently a distant future priority.

2. Save as much as possible

When you are approaching the home buying process, it’s a good plan to save as much as possible. It’s not just the down payment that you’ll need, but also money for moving costs, closing costs, potential maintenance and homeware. The bigger down payment that you can save up, the more financially comfortable you’ll feel when you start paying off the mortgage. To help you to save money, try a budgeting app, for example, ‘Mint’. Using the application, you can organize all of your debts, accounts and expenses in one place. Mint suggests viable budgets across different categories, from rent and bills to groceries. The app also offers a free credit check which is very handy for the first time buyer. Good Budget is another great app which is particularly handy for couples who are budgeting and saving together.

3. Pre-approved mortgage

With a mortgage pre-approval, you can gauge a fixed idea of your eligibility and how much you could manage to borrow. Gaining a pre-approved mortgage letter also helps communicate to sellers that you’re ready and in a good position to buy. When you are approaching this stage, it’s a good idea to have a solid budget in mind.  A fixed budget will help you to determine what you can comfortably afford. Remember that the max amount you are approved by a lender may still exceed your comfortable budget. It can be tempting to start looking based on the max amount, but remember that you’ll want to feel comfortable, plus be able to pay for other associated costs.

4. Mortgage length

Determine the duration of your mortgage based on your personal circumstances; there are options available to choose 15-year mortgages, 30-year mortgages, or something in between. Choosing a 15-year mortgage is advantageous because you’ll get a lower rate plus have your home paid off faster. Some buyers prefer a thirty-year mortgage because the monthly payments often end up being more affordable. It’s important to be completely sure that you won’t struggle with the repayments each month. Of course you’ll want the house of your dreams, but it’s not worth struggling and not being able to enjoy it.

5. It’s all about the location

Location is everything when it comes to choosing your first home. If you’re moving to a new and unfamiliar area, spend enough time exploring the neighbourhood. Check out the most desirable postcodes, eat in the restaurants and research the quality of the local schools. Remember, you are not just buying a house; you are essentially buying into a whole neighbourhood and lifestyle. Choosing an ‘up and coming’ location can mean that the value of your property increases as time goes by.

6. A reputable realtor 

Choosing yourself a reputable realtor is essential when you are looking to purchase a home. Invest in the services of an experienced company who can help you to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly. From your new buyer consultation to searching for properties and negotiating your offer, you need a company looking out for your best interests. For more information and plenty of luxury homes on sale, check out

Before you start viewing houses, make a list of must-haves and nice-to haves. Your must-haves are your non-negotiables which you simply can’t do without. This might be a garden, a modern kitchen, or a nearby station. Your nice-to haves are those things that you desire but can live without if the budget won’t stretch!

Pursuing A Career You Really Care About

Is your current job unfulfilling? Perhaps you’re getting tired of the daily grind? After a certain period in a career, it’s easy to start getting itchy feet and wanting to do more. So why not do something that matters to you? Switching careers or starting a new venture is a daunting process that takes a lot of work, but your drive and commitment will get you there. Choosing a career that you’re passionate about will soon feel less like work, and help you find the fulfillment you’ve been looking for.

Are you ready for a change? Here are some tips for pursuing a career that you really care about.

Turn your interests into a career

What are your hobbies and your interests? Is it possible to turn them into a career? Many people give up their jobs to pursue music, sell collectibles and more – doing the things they love and taking a chance. But there could be other ways to pursue your interest too, including finding jobs in the relevant industry. Think about the things you love and brainstorm different paths you could take to find out what excites you and what you could see yourself doing. Making a successful career change isn’t easy, but it helps when you find something you love to do.

Invest in a new passion project

What is your dream project? Perhaps there’s a store or a cafe you’ve always dreamed of owning or somewhere you like to visit as a kid? Could you turn your dream into a reality? Investing in a business can help you realize old ambitions, as well as make a difference in your community. This is what David Meinert has done with Seattle’s 5 Point Cafe, restoring an aging business and making it great again. Who knows where your vision could lead you?

Do something to help others

Being able to give back and contribute is important for your community, but your own self-growth too. You could try volunteering your time, or pursuing a venture that makes a difference to others. Once you’re no longer driven by money or the prestige of a job title, it’s amazing what you’ll be able to do to help others.

Not quite ready? Start a side hustle!

A career change can seem like an exciting new step, but it’s not easy if you have financial commitments, family and uncertainty to deal with too. You don’t have to make a career change overnight, you can do it bit by bit. A side hustle alongside your full-time job can help you see what’s out there, and could lead to a great new venture for your future.

Finding your dream career isn’t something that happens easily, which is why it can take time to figure out what you want to do. Finding something that you’re passionate about will make work much more enjoyable, helping you to have a long and happy working life.

Research Says There Are Eight Types Of Gamer. Which Are You?

Gaming is now a bigger industry than Hollywood, so it should come as no surprise that it attracts a range of personalities. The average gamer is no longer the greasy-haired teen, mashing buttons on his control pad, night after night. It’s all of us.

Recently, researchers at Newzoo decided to look at the makeup of gamers a little more closely, so see whether there were different “types.” Their research threw up some thought-provoking results. The vast majority of players fit into eight categories.

These categories are:

  • The time filler
  • The popcorn gamer
  • The hardware enthusiast
  • The conventional player
  • The cloud gamer
  • The all-around enthusiast
  • The backseat viewer
  • The ultimate gamer

You can probably guess what some of these gamers are like, but others will need a little explanation. According to Newzoo, the most common type of gamer is the time filler – people who don’t really care about gaming per se but use it to fill time, anyway. These are the people you see on the bus with their eyes hooked on Candy Crush and bitcoin casino games. They need something to divert their attention from the monotony of their situation.

The second most popular is the “cloud gamer.” As you might guess, these guys like getting their video games piped to them through the internet. They’re not bothered about having the best hardware or even a pleasant experience. All they want is to try the game in all its glory and enjoy it at a low price. This group of people is in luck. The launch of Google’s Stadia and other cloud streaming services means that gaming just got a lot cheaper.

The next most common gamer was the so-called “ultimate gamer,” comprising around 13 percent of the total population. These people dedicate their time, money, and energy to gaming. For them, it is not just a way to burn a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon, but a reason for living. After that came the popcorn gamer, also comprising 13 percent of the total population. These guys are a little different from regular gamers. Instead of playing games themselves, they prefer spectating. These are the people who are responsible for the growth of esports – competitive video game competitions.

The hardware gamer was the next on the list. These are the people who don’t mind going out and blowing $5,000 on the ultimate gaming rig. For them, nothing but the very best experience will do. Don’t be surprised if they drop more than $1,000 on a graphics card. The backseat gamer is the person who used to play a lot of video games but doesn’t do so as much anymore. They knew all the games ten years ago, but now they’ve been out of the loop for too long focusing on other priorities to be any good.

The all-around enthusiast is somebody who likes playing video games but has more of a balanced life than the ultimate gamer. They don’t mind seeing friends, whereas the latter sees it as a waste of time.

Chicken Pulao Recipe


(Serves 4)

1kg chicken on the bone, skinless and cut to medium pieces

250gms basmati rice

525mls water or stock

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

6 cloves

½ tsp black pepper

2” cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom pods

2 large white onions thinly sliced

2 green chillies slit lengthwise

5 garlic cloves

1” ginger

1 heaped tsp coriander powder

Salt to taste

20gms freshly chopped coriander

Juice of 1/2 a lime


  1. In a blender add the garlic and ginger with a splash of water and make a smooth paste. Set aside.
    In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil. Add the whole spices letting them sizzle and infuse their flavours for 30 seconds. Now add the white onions and fry on a low heat for 30-35 mins. They will soften and start to colour. Make sure to stir every few minutes making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. The quantity of onions for this dish is quite a lot so give it time to fry and retain a light brown colour.
  2. At this stage increase the heat to medium, add the green chillies and fry for a few seconds followed by the ginger and garlic paste. Fry for 2 minutes until the raw flavours from the paste cook through.
  3. Now add the chicken pieces along with the coriander powder stir well making sure the spices coat the chicken pieces sealing through for 8-10minutes. Add salt and continue to fry the chicken. Add half the water quantity and bring to a boil simmering with a lid on for 10 minutes. Stir half way through the cooking process. The chicken will nearly be done by this time.
  4. Now add the rice, little fresh coriander and the remaining water. Bring to a boil; simmer for 18-20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken & rice are tender.
  5. Add the remaining coriander at this stage. Cover the pulao and turn the heat off. Leave to rest for 10minutes to let the rice cool slightly before serving. Serve with some lime juice, salad and raita

Be Your Own Hero: Choosing A Noble Career

There are people in your lives that you class as a “superhero” but those people are just like you! And when we are bombarded with superheroes in pop culture sometimes we can start to think about how to be our own version of a superhero. No doubt some people will think this seems a bit trite, but if you are starting out in life or you just left education, you might want to start thinking about choosing a superhero career! But choosing a career that can help people is an incredibly diverse subject, it’s not just about being a firefighter! With this in mind, what are the best careers out there that can make a difference to other people’s lives?

A Builder

You wouldn’t consider this to be a career that is helpful in a stereotypical sense but it’s probably the closest thing to getting a solid workout in every single day. In the building industry, there are so many different components that will give you a massive physical workout. And we’ve got to remember that with companies like Ranger that provide rig and safety equipment that is providing a diverse service to every component of the building industry, you end up lifting a lot of equipment and getting a proper workout in. Who says you need to be Thor in order to be physically strong? And while you might think that it’s a job that doesn’t result in career progression, it’s actually a very well paid role when you start to work up the ladder!

Care Worker

Being a care worker is, in many ways, a combination of psychiatrist, psychologist, and a bodybuilder! Depending on the area you work in you’ve got to have a massive dose of physical strength on your side! But also when you start to work in supported living or residential care facilities each person has their own unique set of challenges. When you see people at work in care, they tend to be either incredibly caring in nature or are those people that are built like an ox and function on a few hours’ sleep! A care worker position is an incredibly rewarding one but you can’t underestimate just how challenging it is, mentally and physically!

A Teaching Assistant

When you want to make a difference to someone’s life education is one of the most obvious components but being a teaching assistant is somewhere between being a teacher and a care worker. You may accompany students to lectures or you could be working with younger children that struggle with education. It certainly is an eye-opening position and provides numerous rewards. Being a teaching assistant is a perfect stepping stone to being a teacher. If you want to work in education and inspire people it is an ideal starting point.

Choosing any sort of noble career is not just about what you want to get out of it but it’s about understanding how you can make a difference in people’s lives. There are so many different avenues to go down physically, mentally, and emotionally. What are you made of? What sort of superhero do you want to be?

Decorating Your Child’s Bedroom In Your New Home

If you are moving into a new home, one task you will need to tackle is decorating your children’s bedroom. Here are some tips for doing so…

Choosing children’s chairs

No playroom or children’s bedroom is complete without a place for your little one to sit, whether it is a beanbag for relaxing or a set of wooden chairs and a table for drawing. If you look online, you will see there is an extensive selection of children’s chairs for you choose from, ensuring you find the perfect chair for your requirements, the age of your child and your budget.

Look for a range of chairs that meet the perfect balance between being practical and playful. They are constructed to the highest levels of quality and they feature fun and exciting designs, which your children are guaranteed to love. This is important for your children when moving into a new home. With so many options to choose from, we know it can be difficult to narrow down your search.  Because of this, we have put together a step-by-step guide to give you a helping hand.

Step One: Choose a style of chair

There is a whole host of different styles of chairs for you to select from. This includes all of the following – armchairs, beanbags, wooden chairs, rocking chairs, tub chairs, wing chairs and much, much more. Think about your main purpose for purchasing the chair and that should help you to pick the best style.

Step Two: Make sure the chair is the right size for your child

Some companies make this step really easy, as they separate their chairs via age, which should make it much simpler when it comes to finding the right sized chair for your child.

Step Three: Determine a price range

It is always a good idea to determine a budget before you begin to shop. You can then narrow down your search in relation to the price range you have decided upon!

Step Four: Consider the design of the chair

Last but not least, you will want to take design aspects into consideration. What colour chair do you wish to purchase? Do you want something relatively simple in terms of design? Or do you want a chair that features a backrest that’s designed to look like a particular animal? Or what about an armchair with a fun fabric used?

Benefits of buying a divan bed

When buying a bed it is absolutely crucial that the person buying it goes for the right one. There are a lot of elements that go into the perfect bed, such as comfort, size and design. Unlike other furniture pieces, not one of these factors can be downplayed. After all, people spend approximately one-third of every single day sleeping, thus everyone must feel comfortable, snug, at ease and happy in the bed they have.

One of the key factors in picking the right bed is to go for a credible, well known and high-quality brand. This is something which is overlooked by a lot of individuals. However, when buying anything, not just a bed, the person buying should always do a bit of background research to discover whether previous customers have been left satisfied and consequently whether the company has a credible reputation or not.

At present, there has been a massive boom in the popularity of divan beds. The first reason why a lot of people tend to prefer divan beds is that they offer a much better support system. This is highly important because a lot of people suffer from a sore or stiff back when they sleep.  Unlike its competitors, such as wood beds, divan beds do not rely on a few slabs of material; they offer full support across the entire bed.

This point needs on to the next advantage – storage. Because the bed frame covers the entire base of the bed most divan beds come with draws fitted underneath. Not only is this great because it saves space and is cost-effective, but it also looks extremely sleek and stylish as well. You will have plenty of space to store your child’s toys!

A final reason why this type of bed is so popular is because of its versatility. It has a look which would be well suited in absolutely any bedroom. Thus no one should worry about not being able to find the right bed for them.

Adding some fun to the room

Pretend play shops are extremely popular with children and they present a whole host of benefits as well. Not only will your children have a lot of fun, but also they will learn about the concept of money, where food comes from, how much things cost and such like. Role-play also encourages interaction between children and thus helps them to develop their social skills and friendships.

From market stalls to theatres, there is a great selection of play shops for sale online. But, how do you choose the best?

Step One: Choose a shop type

The first thing you need to do is determine what type of shop to buy. This will largely be dependent on what you think your child will enjoy the most. Nonetheless, you can also think about what type of play shop is going to have the most educational value. From mobile markets to shops and theatres, you won’t be short of choice.

Step Two: Think about the size

You need to think about the size of the play shop for various reasons. Firstly, you need to be sure that you have enough space to accommodate it in your home or nursery. Secondly, you must determine how many kids you think are likely to play with the shop in question. If you have two young children, you will want to be sure they can both play with the shop with ease.

Step Three: Consider the age of your child

Last but not least, it is vital to make sure the play shop you purchase is the right age for your child specifically. Play shops have generally been designed for anyone between the age of three and six years old. However, you can find play shops for other ages.

Premier League & Other Sporting Events Suspended

Premier League football (soccer) matches have been suspended in England until April 3rd due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a group of the country’s major football bodies has announced. It comes on the same day UEFA announced that all Champions League and Europa League matches next week have been postponed. In addition to the Premier League, all other top level English fixtures have also been cancelled Sky News reports.

With Arsenal players in isolation due to being in close contact with infected Olypiakoas owner, this was bound to happen. Two high-profile cases of COVID-19 have been reported within the English footballing community, while Everton recently announced that its squad was in isolation because of the virus, Sky News notes. The Premier League says it’s hoping to reschedule any cancelled matches. The announcement comes as numerous sports fixtures around the world are being cancelled over the now-pandemic. In the US, the NBA and NHL have both suspended their seasons, while across Europe football leagues have been suspended in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Ireland, according to Sky News.

The Premier League said play will start on 4 April subject to “conditions at the time”. FA chairman Greg Clarke is known to have expressed his fear at Friday’s emergency meeting that the season may have to be abandoned. England’s international friendly matches against Italy on 27 March and Denmark four days later are off. The EFL, which hopes to resume play a day earlier than the Premier League on 3 April, said clubs were also advised to suspend “non-essential activities” such as “player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings”. The Euro 2020 play-offs have also moved closer to being postponed after Fifa recommended that all impending internationals should be called off. Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic are all scheduled to play their semi-finals on 26 March, with the finals five days later.

The suspension comes on a day of widespread sporting postponements worldwide.

  • The London Marathon has been moved from 26 April to 4 October, with the Manchester and Brighton Marathons also postponed.
  • Uefa has postponed next week’s Champions League and Europa League fixtures.
  • In rugby union, Saturday’s Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland has been postponed, as has Sunday’s Premiership Cup final between Sale and Harlequins.
  • Cycling’s Giro d’Italia, scheduled to start in Hungary in May, has been called off.
  • England’s Test cricket series in Sri Lanka has been cancelled.
  • Golf’s opening major of the year, the Masters, has been postponed.
  • Formula 1 has called off the Vietnam Grand Prix on 5 April.
  • Formula E is suspended for two months, affecting races in Paris, Seoul and Jakarta.

To My Cousin Before She Gets Wed

Dear Roshni,

On this last day before your wedding, I look upon the life, the joy & the pleasure that is your life. As the youngest amongst us cousins, you are special to us. As the innocent one, you are special. As the funny one, you are special. Your childhood exploits and gags were always the highlight of our evenings.

I remember how talkative you were – from a very young age. My then joke was that you started talking and saying ancient hymns at the tender age of 3 days old. An exaggeration no doubt but you could recite some play at the age of 3 or 4. The songs that you liked as a kid and sung to us are always gonna be special for us.Your comical dialogues, you wanting to change your name to Susan, you saying about “no daddys or mummies here”, you writing a sorry letter to your dad for your naughtiness (claiming that it is not something that you can control )your announcement about a certain E.T., etc etc etc too many funny things to state here, are all memory points for me and the rest.

But memories are what defines us. Like a great lyricist & drummer stated in a song from 1987

“I’m to borrow money not looking back
But I want to look around me now
Time stands still
See more of the people
And the places that surround me now
Time stands still
Freeze this moment
A little bit longer
Make each sensation
A little bit stronger
Summer’s going fast
Nights growing colder
Children growing up
Old friends growing older”

I saw that last night while your cousins, uncles and aunts celebrated your upcoming wedding. They danced and sang and we drank and ate but I wanted to go back in time and freeze you as a little girl who was so precious, precocious, intelligent, smart & hilarious who was the center of attention for all of us. But you have grown up and become a young, successful woman who is ready to start her own family life. Life just isn’t fair 

All the best for the wedding and for a wonderful & happy life ahead. Your cousins – Kannan, Arun, Rakesh, Raakhee, Sherine, Shalini, Subin, Suraj, Manoj, Sandy, Navin, Priya, Balakrishnan, Jayakrishnan, Shekhar, Shankar & myself – will be proudly watching you and feeling nostalgic – a little sad but mostly happy for you!


Celebrating My Baby Cousin’s Final Single Days

So it’s my baby cousin Roshni’s wedding this Sunday. Tonight we had a family gettogether at her parents house. I was the last to arrive since I wanted to buy her a gift and had left it till the last moment. So I went to Oberon mall and bought her a nice watch. I then quickly hightailed it out of there as my cousins were calling me.


I gave Roshni the watch and hugged and kissed her and joined my cousins, her dad and other uncles plus my dad in eating some beef and drinking. I had some vodka and we tried to all sit in the small bedroom with an ac that was the “bar” for the night.


After a couple of hours of this we were getting hungry for dinner and we ate some fried rice, porota, fried cauliflaur and chilly chicken. Then we had a lot of ice cream. By 11 am I booked an Ola for my dad, mom and me to come home.


4 Simple Ways To Cut The Cost Of Car Ownership

Owning a car is a big expense, but it’s not one that you can really avoid. Most of us rely on a car to get to and from work, and get around generally, so it’s a cost that you just have to deal with. However, most car owners spend more than they need to on their car and there are ways to save money each month. These are some of the best ways to cut the cost of car ownership.

Buy The Right Car

When you are buying a new car, you need to think about the running costs. If you pick a gas guzzler that needs to be filled up very often, you will waste a lot of money on fuel. But if you spend a bit more money on a newer model that is more economical, you can save yourself a lot of money. You should also look into the repairs costs of the car as well. An old model that is hard to get parts for will be a lot more expensive to fix than a common car with simple parts. Make sure to ask the car dealership all of these questions before you buy a new car and you will be able to reduce the cost of car ownership in a big way.

Avoid Accidents 

If you are regularly having accidents, you will pay out a lot in repair costs and your car insurance premiums will shoot up. Nobody means to have an accident, but you could be making simple mistakes that make crashes more likely. Distracted driving, for example, is a leading cause of car accidents, so make sure that you are not playing on your phone while driving, and always keep your eyes on the road. You should also stick to the rules of the road and the speed limits because they are there for a reason. If the roads are wet, reduce your speed because it can be very dangerous.

Shop Around For Insurance

Insurance is one of the big costs associated with car ownership, so if you can find ways to reduce it, that is always a bonus. Rising insurance premiums are one of the things that drivers need to be prepared for, so make sure that you check your policy on a regular basis. When it comes time to renew your car insurance, always shop around for better deals. Usually, you should be able to find a cheaper deal elsewhere.

Keep Up With Regular Maintenance

A lot of issues with your car could be avoided if you keep up with regular maintenance. But so many people ignore problems until they get worse and then they are forced to take the car to the mechanic and spend loads of money on repairs. Simple things like changing the oil and brake fluid, and inflating the tires can help you to avoid big issues and cut the cost of car maintenance.

These simple tips will cut the cost of car ownership and save you a lot of money each month.

Smart Ways to Improve Business Efficiency

In the competitive business world, it is increasingly essential for business professionals and entrepreneurs to create workable strategies that can help them to gain an added competitive advantage in the industry. Efficiency is an important aspect that every business owner should focus on. Perhaps it is crucial to note that the entire idea is providing your services in a peculiar way that pleases customers.

Clever Ways to Increase Business Efficiency

Invest in automation systems

In layman’s language, automation is a critical operational method every business should invest in when seeking to gain an added advantage over other brands. A company that aspires to be unique needs to consider automation. This can always simplify change while speeding everything within. Whether you are sending payouts to your teams or dispatching receipts to vendors, you can still automate what you can and when you can do it. Business automation should, therefore, not be a luxury.

Managing interruptions in business

Interruptions at work premises can be a barrier to time management and success. You should limit the occurrence by all means. Perhaps you can begin by thinking back on the last day you worked before considering the number of interruptions that interfered with regular communication and operation. You may have realized that there were phone calls and emails, or something else that demanded your attention. In doing so, you were distracted from the duties in line. Interruptions can limit your employee’s focus. That is why you should focus on controlling it. In this case, begin by understanding the nature of the disruptions at work.

Invest in task management software

Business management software refers to a set of different applications of programs that assist you in improving and supporting efficiency by automating processes. Typically, the software plays the role of eliminating various errors while completing tasks and enhancing reporting activities coupled with overall productivity. Your business management tool is created in a way that helps to meet the standard requirements of various business processes effectively. Some of the commonly used software includes asset management software, virtual compliance management, database software, and customer relationship management software.

Employee training is crucial

Employee training refers to a program that strengthens the skills of your workers while helping them to acquire new skills that can always assist them in improving different processes. You should implement an effective training system in your business since it allows workers to gain an extensive understanding of the market and the tasks that they are needed to handle. Employee training should also improve satisfaction while enhancing retention.

Foster open communication in business

If you want to lead a successful business, then you should create a safe environment with a platform that supports open communication. This strategy allows employees to remain more engaged while understanding what they are required to do in matters of business. Ensuring that your employees comprehend the whole concept, including the part they play in the success of your organization, is going to impact the decision-making process in the industry.

Final Thoughts

Efficiency at work is an aspect that can run hot or cold simultaneously. To prevent your business from stagnating, you should implement basic key concepts as outlined in this article. Consider hiring an expert-rated team to garner more market shares.

New To Anime? Give These A Watch

If you’ve never watched anime before, where have you been? In case you didn’t know, anime is the Japanese word for animation, and essentially refers to anything animated. This can be film, TV, comic books, graphic novels, etc. It tends to have a distinctive style of animation compared to, say, Disney. But anime is also very popular internationally, with many films and TV shows translated for a global audience to enjoy.

If you’re intrigued by anime and want to see what it’s all about, here are some suggestions to get you started.

Spirited Away

Spirited Away is one of the most well-known anime films, it was even nominated for an Oscar back at the 2003 Academy Awards. The story centers around a young girl named Chihiro, whose parents are turned into pigs by a witch, leaving the hero to get a job at the witch’s bathhouse to help free them. Highly rated and highly recommended, it’s a wonderful family watch that can ease you into the world of anime. Need further convincing? Read the Rotten Tomatoes reviews here.

Kite Liberator

Kite Liberator is an anime movie series that’s had people hooked for years. Available online, Kite Liberator is the second in the film series, set 10 years after the first one. Featuring a mixture of space and assassins, it’s a fast-paced adventure that will give you a fantastic introduction into the world of anime. Why not watch both movies back to back and make a movie night of it?

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle is a wonderful anime film that is very popular amongst children and adults. The English-language version of the film has an amazing cast that includes Christian Bale, Billy Crystal and Lauren Bacall, in case you need more of a reason to watch it. Featuring magic, war and a cute owl, the story focuses on Sophie, who is turned into an older woman and along her journey to be changed back, joins the resistance against the kingdom’s ruler. It’s the ideal movie to enjoy as a family and will show you just how great anime can be.

Vampire Knight

Want to enjoy something a bit grittier? Then Vampire Knight is a great series, especially if you love classic YA movies and TV like Twilight and Buffy. The series is set in a school which is attended by both vampire and humans, but the twist is that the humans are unaware that there are vampires – with the usual high school drama added in. A fun series to get into, you’ll soon be hooked!

Discovering new movies is fantastic, and if you can find a new genre that you love, then even better! Anime will open up a whole new world, introducing you to all kinds of exciting series and movies. Need further inspiration for your movie-watching? Take a look at this big list of movies to give you some ideas of things to watch today.

The 3 Perfect Snacks For Lunchtime Entertaining

So, you have guests over but it’s midday. You are not having a dinner party so much as a gathering for something. Maybe it’s to watch sports, to meet old friends that you plan on keeping for dinner. Maybe you’re meeting your boss from work to go over some plans for your future role. It could be for any reason, but whatever it is, having the best entertaining snacks is important to the mood and ambiance. Planning for dinner parties isn’t easy but it’s not tough either, as there are a colossal amount of options. But if your guests have arrived at lunchtime, what kind of snacks should you present to them? Anything but cheese and tomato sandwiches and you’re good.

A Mediterranean classic

If there is one culture on this planet that is known for making the best lunchtime snacks, it’s the Mediterranean culture. This laid back, sunny climate is full of excellent recipes of food that tastes great but doesn’t fill you up completely to the point you want to take a nap.

  • Flatbread specials: Buy some high-quality wholemeal flatbread. Toasting the flatbreads will get them to open up naturally. Pour some chili olive oil into them and allow the oil to soak into the bread. Then, serve half slices of flatbread aurora loan with Morrocan hummus, aubergine dip, spicy tzatziki sauce and perhaps a topping of chili cherry tomatoes, sprinkled with basil, oregano and Italian baby red chili.
  • Italian crown: One of the most-loved snack recipes is focaccia. It’s a thick bread that can be surface-stuffed with herbs and spices. Using a traditional olive focaccia bread, you can stuff fennel and black olives into the craters. Sprinkle some sea salt and paprika for an extra hit.

A German delight

Although the pretzel really achieved it’s true fame in America, in Germany it’s still one of the most popular snacks to date. It’s incredibly versatile as you can eat it as a dessert, for breakfast, and for lunch. These gourmet soft pretzels are some of the best in the world. After over 200 reviews from verified customers, they have a 5-star rating. These pretzel buns and sticks and rings can be sprinkled with a number of ingredients to maximize flavor. You have a chili-lime salt option, truffle salt, rosemary lemon salt and a blended spice pack. As you may know, you can also eat pretzels with certain dips such as garlic cheddar, honey mustard and chocolate hazelnut whip.

A full fat treat

British cuisine is world-renowned for having some of the best snacks in the culinary realm. If you want something that is fattening, sweet and unashamedly indulgent, then go with a classic raspberry cream scone. This is fresh dairy cream and concentrated raspberry jam in the middle of a buttery crumbling scone. You can make this recipe at home with just a few ingredients but you can find this at almost any British bakery near you.

When you have someone important over for lunch, you need to be creative and seek to impress them. These three snacks are gourmet yet they don’t fill you up until you feel tired and sleepy, which is great for long hours of conversation.

The Ritual

The Ritual is a 2017 British supernatural horror film directed by David Bruckner, written by Joe Barton, and starring Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, and Sam Troughton. The film is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Adam Nevill.

Five university friends—Phil, Dom, Hutch, Luke, and Rob—meet at a pub and discuss plans for a group trip. Rob suggests hiking in Sweden, but gets rebuffed. Afterward, Luke and Rob enter a shop for drinks, but interrupt a robbery in progress. Luke hides while Rob becomes frozen with fear as the thieves antagonize him for his valuables. Luke nearly intervenes, but decides against it before the thieves kill Rob for disobeying them. Six months later, the remaining four embark on a hiking trip along the Kungsleden in northern Sweden in Rob’s memory. Almost immediately, Dom injures his knee. Hutch suggests they cut through the forest rather than use the longer marked trail in the hopes of sparing Dom any further suffering.

Upon entering the forest however, the group encounters strange phenomena, including a gutted elk hanging from several branches and strange symbols carved in the trees. As night falls, a torrential rainstorm forces them to find shelter. They come upon an abandoned cabin, so they break in and stay for the night. Inside, they find necklaces bearing similar symbols and an effigy of a decapitated human torso with antlers for hands. The next morning, the group finds Luke’s chest covered in strange puncture wounds and Phil praying to the effigy. Freaked out, the group tries to find a way out. While discerning their location, Luke spots a large figure, but Dom doubts him. In their ensuing argument, Dom brings up the past, calling Luke a coward for letting Rob die to save himself.

Later that night, Luke is suddenly awakened by Hutch’s screams. While investigating, he finds Hutch’s tent empty and partially collapsed. The remaining three men rush deeper into the woods to search for him, but by dawn, they realize that they are lost and unable to locate their campsite. While continuing their search without their supplies, they find Hutch eviscerated and impaled on tree branches. After giving him an impromptu burial, Phil is suddenly loans no credit check direct lenders dragged away by an unseen creature. Despite realizing the creature’s been stalking them the entire time, Luke and Dom make a run for it, but the creature gives chase. They find a path lined with torches leading to a small settlement and rush into a cottage to hide. While barricading themselves inside, they’re knocked unconscious.

When they awake, they f letter of credit loan ind themselves restrained in a cellar. An elderly woman enters and inspects Luke’s puncture marks, revealing she bears a similar pattern. On her way out, she orders two men to take Dom upstairs. A younger woman enters and explains that preparations are being made for a sacrifice. Sometime later, a beaten Dom is returned to the basement. He tells Luke that he is to be sacrificed to the creature, urging him to find a way out and destroy the village before he’s taken outside. Amidst the ritual, Dom has a vision of his wife emerging from the forest, not realizing it’s the creature until it impales him on a nearby tree. Desperate to escape, Luke partially frees himself, but gets interrupted by the young woman. When he asks about the creature, she explains that it is a Jötunn, a bastard son of Loki and a god-like figure from Scandinavian mythology that the cult provides sacrifices to in return for immortality. Luke is to either submit to it or be killed.

After she leaves, Luke fully frees himself and ventures upstairs. Armed with a torch, he finds a twisted congregation of mummified worshipers. He sets them alight, burning the cabin and attracting the Jötunn. Luke finds a hunting rifle and heads downstairs, running into and killing a follower before taking his axe along the way. The enraged Jötunn kills the young woman while Luke shoots at it and escapes. It pursues him, crippling his mind with hallucinations before catching him and forcing him to his knees, offering him a chance to submit. Luke strikes it with the axe, briefly incapacitating it. Following rays of sunlight, he emerges in an open field. Unable to leave the forest, the Jötunn roars in anger while Luke screams back in triumph before heading towards a paved road.

An interesting and decently made horror movie that will surely have something for a lot of horror fans. It isn’t big on scares to be honest. I’d give this a 7.5 outta 10!

First Year Of Driving: Keeping An Eye On Your Children

So your child passed their test and you bought them a car. They’re off, out into the big wide world with their newfound freedom. But just because they passed a test they studied for, doesn’t mean they’re going to be great drivers out in the real world. They’re still young and they’re not experienced enough to know their own limits. They are in that age where testing the boundaries is like their full-time job. So during their first year of driving, you should keep an eye out for them and help them become better drivers. You should also be mindful of how they’re getting on if they are working and or living in another city. Here are a few things you can do.

Through the hills

Driving tests are supposed to give every learning driver a taste of the norm. They will, therefore, drive one road that most people use rather than those that most people may never drive on. This includes the countryside where there are more narrow roads, tough conditions, and less lighting. This is something of a test for your child and you should take them on a weekend driving trip to help them adjust to this style of driving. Pick out a section of winding roads in the countryside. Plan a small excursion through some hills so your child can be taught how to look ahead, anticipate corners, spot signs of loose roads, black ice and sudden gradient changes. Sit in the passenger seat after you have driven them along the route you want them to follow. Observe and correct them when they make a mistake.

Protection from a stereotype

It’s sad to admit, but many young sensible drivers are lumped in with the brash and trash young drivers. Many young people are excellent drivers, who take due diligence of their driving and know how important it is to follow the rules. If your son or daughter is involved in a crash, they might become overwhelmed and believe they made a mistake due to their inexperience. You should train your children to keep calm and not admit to anything if they ever get into a car crash. If your child phones you up and says they were in an accident, use this Accident Report service to find their exact incident. The police officer at the scene will have written a detailed report and if it exonerates your child, send a copy of the report to your lawyer to help your child get out of trouble. The other driver will be in deep water once your legal team is using the report to prove your child’s innocence.

Don’t belittle them

Your child is new to the road, so don’t belittle them and rid them of their confidence. Ask them to take you to the supermarket to do the weekly shop. Compliment them on their habits such as checking the mirrors and the blind spot. A parent should boost their child’s confidence behind the wheel as it is inherently a hazardous place.

The first year of your child driving on their own is going to be sketchy at times. But, with the right amount of encouragement and extra training, you can be certain they will become confident and excellent drivers.