The best gifts I have been given and received

I love hearing stories about special gifts that people have given one another, some of the ideas are absolutely astonishing and make you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. Everyone loves getting a unique and special present, especially on your birthday when it makes the day much more memorable.


I have been fortunate enough to have received some ridiculously thoughtful gifts, with out sounding too big headed I have also given some fantastic gifts too. What’s the best you have heard of? Let us all know by writing your tales down in the comment section below this article.

I’ll let you know my top 3 gift experiences which will hopefully give you some inspiration. If you need any extra inspiration then take a look at the great discounts groupon offer, there’s something there for everyone.

Surprising my sister

My sister cam over to Thailand to visit me for a holiday. We had a fantastic time which I had planned meticulously by calling in every favour I could from friends. The holiday was a blinding success and she loved every second. Then as we woke up by the beach on her penultimate day I gave her the biggest surprise of the trip, I asked her ‘how would you like to jump out of a plane today?’ She was struck with disbelief when I told her she was going sky diving in 2 hours!

Personalised CDs

When I was 20 my girlfriend at the time gave me a present which I have kept until this day. I was handed a very heavy present which I unwrapped to reveal a handmade and designed box. I opened the box up to find 50 cds which she had designed individually herself! That wasn’t the best part though because she had chosen her top 50 albums of all time to share with me. Amazing!

Treating the family

The last time I went bad to the UK I surprised my brother, father and uncle with surprise flights to Dublin, Ireland, to watch an international rugby match. We never spend time together as a group because of where we live so this special treat left every one smiling from ear to ear.

Whatever the occasion just make sure you put some real though in to it!

How to enjoy summer year round

Let’s all be honest for a minute. While we all love the holidays with all the gift giving, family time, extra calories, and even the music (admit it, you love it) it can become a lot to handle. Even though we may all dream of a white Christmas, come January, the snow sort of loses its appeal. The daylight disappearing at 4 PM starts to get old and the thought of having to scrape off another sheet of ice off the windshield is just deflating.


It’s moments like this when you start to remember summer. The longer sun soaked days of summer greet us like a cloak of smooth velvet and it makes want to pop open a Corona and float around in a pool. Unfortunately, it is still winter where you live and your galoshes do not pair well with a lime.

Fret not, there are some quick ways to beat the winter blues and they are a lot simpler than you think. First, work on that pasty skin of yours. If you live in a cold place like Denver, find a tanning salon nearby and give your skin a subtle sun kissed glow. Also, since you are more than likely stuck in doors 90% of the time and may still be carrying the holiday weight, you can start early on your summer body by working out and reaching those bikini goals by spring!

Another idea is to give yourself a fresh look. Winter is not only a time for hibernation, but it is also a time when shaving literally gets pushed to the bottom of the totem pole. Why even bother if your legs are covered by jeans 24-7? If you live in a place as cold as Milwaukee, shaving your legs won’t even be a factor in your daily grooming routine until mid June. Unless you want to spend your savings on razors come summer, try laser hair removal options.

Adding these few routines to your winter months will make summer feel closer and you can soon trade in that snowball in your hand for a margarita.

How to order the perfect martini (and where to score the best ones!)

Not everyone is a martini drinker, and that’s ok. Some of us prefer a fine glass of wine or perhaps just a dark beer will do. But, at one point in our drinking routines, we will come across this mysterious drink that is the martini. I say mysterious because, to be honest, I am not a martini drinker. I know nothing about them, or even how to order one properly.


Unless it’ a ladies night and martinis are on special, I stick with my whiskey or my wine. Even then do I order them the only way I know; extra dirty, which I think means with extra olive juice (I am still not even 100% sure). Anyways, it would be nice if I could just order a drink without hesitation or fear of sounding like a complete idiot. So, with that in mind, here are a few quick notes on how to order a martini.

  1. Gin vs Vodka – choose one
  2. Dry, perfect, or wet – Dry is less “dry” vermouth, wet is more “dry” vermouth, and perfect is equal parts of both
  3. Shaken or stirred
  4. Straight up or on the rocks
  5. With a twist- lemon or olive
  6. Dirty, Gibson, And Vesper Martinis – ask your bartender to explain

Now that you know how to order a martini like a pro, where can you go to practice your newly acquired skills? If you are in the Oak Forest, Illinois area, you are going to want to swing into The Linger Martini Bar. It is a very relaxing bar, specializing in your new area of expertise. Another place (sort of) nearby is Downtown Main Martini Bar and Grille in Brighton, Michigan. Also a great place to enjoy a steak, your martini will pair very well with your favorite cut of meat. Or, you can order from Peapod and practice right in your home


Go out and enjoy your first martini as a new martini connoisseur.

5 Fantastic Reasons to Visit Dubai

It is remarkable to see how Dubai has become one of the hottest holiday destinations on the planet. It’s not difficult to see why the industry for tourism has rapidly grown because Dubai is a superb place.


If you haven’t been to Dubai recently, then you really should consider and I suggest you hop on to the Emirates website in order to book your flight now. There are so many reasons to visit this thriving city and here are 5 reasons why I think everyone should visit Dubai at least once in their lifetime.


The Nightlife

Dubai is a cosmopolitan country with a real party spirit. With over one hundred nightclubs to choose from and a plethora of quality bars and restaurants, it is easy to find the party vibe that suits you. Your night will be made even more special if you’re lucky enough to be there when they conduct one of their famous firework shows.



If you love to shop, then Dubai is certainly the place where you can shop till you drop! It’s a shopping paradise! If you’ve got an eye for bargain, then you will love Dubai. Head to the famous gold market where you can find superb jewelry at some fantastic rates.


The Architecture

This is one aspect of Dubai which separates it from the rest of the world since Dubai is home to the world’s tallest buildings and hotels. You will see some of the most breathtaking architecture if you opt to holiday in Dubai.


The Beaches

Dubai houses amazing beaches but I can assure you that the beaches are some of the most remarkable on the planet. You can stroll along the picture perfect white sand and swim in the divine blue sea. It is the best place to unwind after a few days of exploring the city.


The Weather

The climate is absolutely perfect in Dubai and always makes for a great holiday. The sun shines all year round and in the summer months, the sun shines all day long. The winter months might bring about a shower of rain, on an occasional basis. During summers, the temperature can rise to over 50 degrees, so do not forget to carry your sunscreen.

The Most Relaxing Hobbies in the World


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It is a well known fact that fishing is the most relaxing hobby. I tend to disagree – the few occasions on which I’ve gone fishing I was cold, wet and stressed, but not relax. Of course, tastes differ. Some people find gardening to be relaxing – I personally hate weeding, fighting bugs and all the other chores it involves. But here are some of the activities – hobbies, if you like – that I consider to be the most relaxing of them all.


  1. Music


<a href=”Listening to music” target=”_blank”>Listening to music</a> can hardly be considered a hobby – although most people claim that it is – but it’s surely one of the most relaxing activities I can think of. And science backs these claims – studies have found that music reduces anxiety, decreases pain and improves cognitive health. Rhythmic music treats a range of neurological conditions and stimulates brain activity, while gentle music can reduce cortisol levels – the hormone responsible for stress.


  1. Gaming


Focusing on a game instead of your problems is one of the most relaxing things you can do at the end of the day. I usually find my evening relaxation in slot machines, a game I regularly play at the Royal Vegas Casino. The <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Royal Vegas online casino has hundreds of slot machines</a> that I can play with, with many of them also running on my smartphone. To sweeten the deal even more, Royal Vegas gives me a series of bonuses each week, and the chance to win amazing rewards each month. I personally find immersing myself in the colorful world of slot machines to be one of the most relaxing activities. But when I don’t – there are days when I don’t feel like idly spinning the reels – I can choose one of the other amazing games at Royal Vegas Casino. I can sit down to a card table, play blackjack or poker, throw the dice or watch the roulette wheel spin. And the experience can be even more immersive with the live dealer games the Royal Vegas Casino has to offer.


  1. Reading


Whatever takes your mind off your problems will help you to relax. It can be a game, a tune or a good book. Once again I’ve got science to prove my point – a University of Sussex study has showed that reading can reduce stress levels by almost 70%, even if it’s done for a time as short as 6 minutes. Reading slows down your heart rate, reduce muscle tension, and keep your mind off any problems you might have.


  1. Pets


Although sometimes it involves chores and even stress – when your cat scratches the furniture, or your dog chews on your shoes – living with pets has been shown to have a series of benefits, too. It reduces stress, improves mood, lowers blood pressure and even lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But keeping a pet is hardly just a hobby – if it is for you, you’re doing it wrong. Living with a pet involves responsibility and hard work – and should not be taken lightly.