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Five...

Five ways to spring clean in 2011

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It's around this time every year that we consider a spot of spring cleaning (OK, it's around this time of year I realise I've put 'spring' cleaning off for too long). Which, unless you're Monica from Friends, can be a dusty, dull and distracting task (is it just me that always manages to dig out old diaries?)

Thankfully, there are several tools now to help get organised and potentially earn a little money along the way.

Here are five of my favourites.

Music Magpie
Perfect for those that have a large pile of DVDs and CDs they want to shift, Music Magpie is an online recycling site that gives you cash for your unwanted discs. You can even pop your games on there too. It's free to use, and easy to upload your offerings, either by typing in the barcode or uploading an image. It'll save you a lot more money and time than auction sites like eBay too.

Clean up your Desktop

Dork Adore recently wrote a piece about giving your desktop a spring clean, which is fairly important considering the amount of time we spend at our desks. They suggest clearing out all those unneeded desktop shortcuts, clear away and organise documents and get rid of any programs and downloads you don't use.  

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Posted by Emma Cossey on June 7, 2011 8:16 AM in Five...
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Television

Five kids' shows that scared the hell out of me

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As time-sucks go, searching YouTube for retro TV themes is pretty high up on the list. While browsing through the themes, I came across a few shows that scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. 

Remember these creepy TV shows?

  • The Moomins: Floaty, expressionless hippo-like creatures and a small, slightly evil child? Just wrong. Plus you couldn't see them speak.
  • Round the Twist: This Australian program followed a family living in a lighthouse. Cute, right?  No. One storyline revolved around a green baby, found in a cabbage patch, that held it's breath and turned blue when taken away from the boy who found it. Cue a week of nightmares. 
  • Goosebumps: Based on the series of horror books for kids, Goosebumps was terrifying. I used to watch it with my sister, hiding behind a fort of pillows.
  • Are You Afraid Of The Dark?: Yes, petrified after watching this. 
  • Doctor Who: Two words - The Daleks.
According to Twitter, other shows that rated high on the creepy scale included The Demon Headmaster, Trapdoor, Teletubbies and Eerie Indiana.

What show scared you as a kid?
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Posted by Emma Cossey on June 1, 2011 8:30 AM in Five...| Television
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Five...

Five unusual festivals to go to in 2011

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Pull out your wellington boots, floral dresses and hand sanitisers - it's festival time!

Festivals don't have to be a muddy, rock music-filled affair though. A new wave of festivals are now around, joining a number of established alternative festivals, so there's someone out there for everyone.

Here's a few interesting ones that I've read about recently.

  • The Øya Festival is a festival based just outside Oslo, that currently boasts the title of the coolest and greenest festival in Europe. Acts include Pulp, Q-Tip and Fleet Foxes, and you can enjoy the beautiful countryside surroundings (including a refreshing lake) between acts.
  • I discovered the retro and incredibly cute Indie Tracks after reading about it on Domestic Sluttery recently. It's a more laid back festival, taking place in a railway museum in Derby. You can catch an intimate gig inside one of the retro trains, or enjoy an afternoon knitting with fellow crafters. 
  • Ok, it's not until October, but Iceland Airwaves is definitely worth considering for your festival schedule. It's the place to go to catch acts before they hit the big time, so you can have that smug "I heard of them aaaages ago" conversation when they grace the pages of Perez Hilton. 
  • Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. This one's a personal favourite, as I've been going for years. Taking place in early August, it boasts a huge array of creative balloons, along with an assortment of other entertainments during the day. One for the families. 
  • Notting Hill Carnival. Full of sounds, bright colours and delicious food, this is an experience you have to try if you're in the London area. Keep an eye out for it at the end of August.
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Posted by Emma Cossey on May 23, 2011 8:40 AM in Five...
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Shopping

Five sites for designer bargains

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Like designer clothing but hate the price tags? Have a look at some of these shopping sites to bag a bargain.

BrandAlley

BrandAlley is packed full of designer sales for clothing, jewellery, home and garden, covering a huge variety of brands like French Connection and DKNY. Items usually take a couple of weeks to arrive, but you can grab some amazing bargains.

Cocosa

Cocosa works in a similar way to BrandAlley, but they go for more exclusive brands, and only offer a few sales at a time. It's not unusual to see a Vivienne Westwood sale on there, along with Lulu Guiness and Alice by Temperley. 

Vente-Privee

Like Cocosa, Vente-Privee focuses on the higher end brands, with a section especially for the really special deals. Great brands, particularly for shoes and bags.

eBay Fashion Outlet

eBay isn't just the place to pick up a second hand bargain these days. They offer daily and weekly deals from high street outlets, as well as an eBay Fashion Outlet where you can buy designer clothing at a reduced price. Particularly good for bargains from Office and Very.co.uk. 

Girl Meets Dress

Want a designer dress for an event, but not the bank account blow? Girl Meets Dress allows you to rent designer dresses, like a £700 Marc Jacobs dress for £79. If you sign up to their newsletter, you'll get £10 off your first rental too. 

What's your favourite online spot for a designer bargain?

Posted by Emma Cossey on May 17, 2011 9:00 AM in Five...| Shopping
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Five...

Five of the best sites to save you money

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Who doesn't love a bargain eh? Saving money here and there means we can afford those Louboutins. Or grown up stuff like mortgage deposits. 

But saving can be a bit rubbish too. Giving up stuff is boring, and nobody wants to be the person who always says no to a night out.

So to help you on your way, here are five sites that can help you save money with very little effort (and you can still eat out and buy new things!)


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Posted by Emma Cossey on May 5, 2011 8:30 AM in Five...| Money
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Five...

Five iPhone apps every girl needs

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I'm app-dicted (sorry) to my iPhone, and it's currently groaning under the weight of far too many downloads. In the spirit of spring cleaning, I'm having a clear out session and keeping only the most essential apps on my phone.

After a good old root around, here are five apps I think every girl needs on her iPhone.

  • Instagram - Take a photo and share it easily on your favourite social networks. Simple enough, but it's all the effects you can add that convinced me to add this to the essential list. C'mon, we all look better in black or white, right? Or with that double chin carefully cropped out *ahem*.
  • Kindle - I used to throw a heavy book in my already bulging bag every time I jumped on a train, which did my back no favours. The Kindle app lets me download eBooks and read them without elbowing my commuting neighbour. Imagine the decrease in train rage if everyone had a Kindle/Kindle app (maybe).
  • Tweetdeck - Use Facebook? Use Twitter? Then get the Tweetdeck app. You can access all your accounts and send a status to both Facebook and Twitter at one time. Which gives you more time to think of the perfect witty tweet.
  • Qype - The best app for a girl about town. Check previous restaurant/club/pub/spa/anything reviews, add your own, find details and numbers and earn badges using the user-friendly app. Plus you'll get invited to free events when you start earning enough points.
  • Journey Pro - The best travel app I've ever used. Covers the trains, tubes, trams and even flights, so you can plan your journey with one click, rather than using several different apps.
What are your essential apps?
Posted by Emma Cossey on May 3, 2011 9:00 AM in Five...| Twitter
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Five...

Five beauty blogs you have to follow

I never buy a new cosmetic without reading up about it on various beauty blogs. The best beauty blogs are funny, honest and let you know exactly how well a product works (which either saves you money or gets your spending!)

If you're new to the world of beauty blogging, you might want to try some of these blogs.

  • Cosmetic Candy - If you like quirky reviews, unusual products and pure honesty, you'll love Cosmetic Candy. Also, she updates several times a day on top of a full time job. That's beauty dedication for you.
  • Lipglossiping - For lipstick tests, foundation swatches and nail varnish examples, Charlotte's your girl. Her blog has had a gorgeous new look too, so it's well worth a nosy. 
  • British Beauty Blogger - Want the beauty news and gossip from a true beauty insider? Head to BBB's blog for the latest in everything beauty and cosmetic-related.
  • Face Goop - Beauty reviews with a giant serving of satire is the dish of the day at Face Goop. Very, very funny, and very, very honest.
  • OSOGLAM and Kiss and Make Up - C'mon, we couldn't do a list of beauty blogs without mentioning our sister blogs! 
What's your favourite beauty blog?. Let us know in the comments section below.

Posted by Emma Cossey on April 27, 2011 9:00 AM in Five...
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Five...

Five...UK celebs you have to follow on Twitter

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Celebs on Twitter. Unless you're incredibly high brow, you probably follow a few celebs on the social networking site. What better way to have a nosy at their day-to-day life?

Just starting out on Twitter? Here's five celebs to follow (who actually do their own tweeting).

  • Stephen Fry. The big daddy of Twitter. Has almost 2.5 million followers. Follow him for general chit chat, political commentary and the odd pic.
  • Lily Allen. Approaching nearly 3 million followers! Used the C word liberally. Argues with Piers Morgan quite a bit. Touchingly honest and real.
  • Jonathan Ross. Another early adopter and twitteraholic. Has almost a million followers. Easy to forget he's a celeb with tweets like "orning. Beautiful day and I am off to the dentist how does that work..."
  • Philip Schofield. The king of daytime TV has a fairly decent following of over 700,000. Expect break time banter with Holly Willoughby, exclusive pics from behind the scenes, and the odd bit of very juicy gossip.
  • Alan Carr. An example to all comedians on Twitter etiquette. Nearly 900,000 followers. Very funny. Prone to TMI. Occasionally drunk tweets.
So, who would you recommend is worth a follow on Twitter?
Posted by Emma Cossey on April 21, 2011 11:37 AM in Celebrities| Five...| Twitter
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