From the monthly archives: November 2012

Flashdance and Captain Jack marching/dancing to the beat of their own drum…

I love music and have a soundtrack for life playing in my head most of the time.

I love musicians who throw their heart and soul into every note and moment, playing with guts and passion, so you get drawn into the moment.

Captain Jack (6 years) is with me, music literally moves him to tears and laughter.

Flashdance (5 years) acquired his nickname from his love of music and dancing, ALL the time, EVERY day, in everything he does. He doesn’t just march to the beat of his own drum, he grooves along to it.

So who better to help me choose the tracks for a super Saturday than our own boy wonders?

Here is our soundtrack for a SUPER Saturday:

  • Of  Monsters and Men: little talks. Check out the filmclip. AMAZING! Part ballad/war-song/folk-song, this cool bunch of Icelandic folk rock out in such quirky style you can’t help but sing along. Seriously, try not to caught up in this piece of Icelandic gold.
  • Foster the people: Pumped up Kicks.  Such a bunch of cool cats, check out this clip and their website. Try and catch them live (try youtube) , even the dude on the tambourine rocks on. Plus the dancing/grooving as they play.
  • FUN: Tonight. The whole tribe LOVES FUN! Bless his shorts pants and braces, the cool front-man is a groover! He belts out each and every note with every part of his being, and you want to belt it out along with him. Check our fave track out here.
  • Mumford and Sons: Lion Man. clichéd but true, I picked this CD up in the UK for a road-trip around Ireland.  In dire need of some cool tracks (the radio stations were AWFUL, I could not find a single one NOT filled with ads) for driving we picked up a selection in Limerick (the town not the type of poem), this was one awesome selection. God, the angst, passion, and soul packed into every track is amazing.  Sure there is some swearing, so maybe wait until the kids nod off, but by God, those boys can sing.

Enjoy xx

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How about a beach soirée? This Grand Life at Bunker Bay, Western Australia

The weather is warming up, and Christmas is creeping closer and as happens every year, we begin to try to catch up with EVERYONE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.


Honestly I have absolutely no idea why.

I mean, what happens after Christmas?  We are all still here, ready to catch up.  It’s highly likely we will need that glass of wine and a gossip even more after the drama and family shenanigans that Christmas can serve up.

And yet, we rush each year to catch up with everyone BEFORE Christmas.

Kind of crazy, but also a great opportunity to host a cocktail soirée (yes calling it a soirée definitely makes it more fancy).

The lovely Big A and I are huge fans of the cocktail soirée, and have hosted quite a few over the years, learning a whole lot of lessons along the way. Plus a few key tricks… So today as I plan a couple of soirées to catch up with everyone BEFORE Christmas (ahh, see, old habits die hard), I thought I’d share a couple of tricks and tips.

  • Hire a babysitter. If there are kidlets involved (yours or your friends/ family), this is a no-brainer if you are hosting at home.  Happy kids = happy host. Simple.
  • Seriously consider hosting away from home.  We have had some smashing successes over the years by playing away from home. Less fuss, less mess and surprisingly easy on the wallet (draw up a budget and you’ll see what I mean).
  • If you are at home, ask for help.  Whether it’s help on the set-up, serving, clean up, your friends and family will always pitch in (especially if there is a cold glass of champers/ beer on offer).  Just ask.
  • Keep it simple and classic. Champers in steel ice buckets, cold beer on ice for the lads, consider canapés off the BBQ/ grill (lads love their BBQs), tea-lights and lanterns to decorate and light the way.   Look here for more inspiration…
  • Lastly take the time to enjoy!  Don’t get so caught up in being the perfect host that you forget to have fun.  I know that sounds preachy, but the whole hosting gig can get leave you a little stressed, so make sure you try to relax, enjoy and have fun!

Have you got any tips for a great cocktail party, sorry, soirée ?

Enjoy xx

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A montage of cider recommended by This Grand Life

For many years now, the weather taking a turn for the warmer equalled tucking into a glass of rose (or two).

I think the times may be a changin’.

Cider, in all its sparkly fresh glory has stolen the crown as the king of spring drinks, and most likely summer too.

Have you sampled a cider lately?

There’s a super choice now, with a cider for everyone, even the littlest members of the tribe, not to mention my lovely preggo friends.  Here are some choice ciders to sample…

  • Monteiths Pear or Apple Cider. Delicious and crisp.
  • Rekorderlig Pear or Strawberry and Lime Cider. Sweet and a perfect sub for a cocktail!
  • Pipsqueak Best Cider. Fresh, bubbly and far too easy to drink.
  • Dr Pilkingtons makes the cut because it is Movember and we LOVE Movember!
  • Bickfords Applemaid Sparkling Applejuice (the littlies and preggo friends – non-alcoholic served in a wine glass)

 Do you love a good glass of cider? WHat is your favourite?

Enjoy xx

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