Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Woman’s Guide To Valentine’s Day: The DOs And DON’Ts

Let’s get one thing straight before we continue; men don’t really care about Valentine’s Day. Keep this in mind when deciding how to treat your man this year and you won’t go wrong. Please don’t complicate matters by creating some over-the-top, farcical of a day in an attempt to show your feelings or bring out his emotional side. It will just make him feel awkward, intimidated, slightly nauseous and probably very frightened. Men want simplicity. It’s as simple as that. By doing the ‘DOs’ listed below and avoiding the ‘DON’Ts’, you’ll create a Valentine’s Day that your man will truly appreciate as opposed to scaring him off and making him want to throw himself out of the nearest window.


Cook Meat

...and lots of it. Do you know the phrase ‘the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’? Well, a truer statement has never been uttered by a human mouth. Steak is a real winner on Valentine’s Day. Cook a fat T-bone steak and some chips and your man will be happier than a mouse at a cheese festival. If you look closely, you’ll probably notice a single tear fall from his eye as he tucks in. Remember to not over-cook the steak either! Men don’t want any of this ‘well-done’ nonsense.

NB: If your boyfriend or husband is vegetarian, then please, ignore this tip. It probably won’t go down very well.

Buy Beer

Your man is going to need something to wash down all the rich food you’ve cooked, and that something is beer. In an ideal world, you’ll go to the local pub, rob a few beer barrels from the cellar and then get some models to roll them into the living room as if some kind of glorious parade is taking place. Simpler and more realistic options might be to just get a crate of his favourite beer from the supermarket or get him a personalised ‘beers of the world’ gift set.


Get Gadgets

If you’re going to buy your man a gift for Valentine’s Day, then make sure it’s some kind of fancy gadget. If you’re stuck, then follow this simple snippet of philosophy: The more you don’t understand about a gadget, the better the gadget is.iPads, iPods, digital cameras, games consoles and surround sound systems are all fantastic gift ideas. Get him one of these and he’ll be eternally in your debt. Although, you shouldn’t be buying things with the intent of using them as future bargaining tools. You should be buying them out of love damn it.

iPad Mini


Don’t Buy Cutesy-Wutesy Nice Things

The last thing a man wants to do on Valentine’s Day is stand around sweeping his masculinity up off the floor after being handed a bunch of flowers or a teddy bear. Buy a man one of these and he’s likely to saw the head off the teddy or eat the flowers in some wild, testosterone fuelled display of manliness. Sweets and chocolates aren’t really acceptable either. Sure, they’re alright because you can eat them, but they’re still a bit too feminine for most men’s liking. The ‘nicest’ thing you should buy a man is a card. And even then you’re pushing it.

Don’t Buy Power Tools

There’s nothing passionate, romantic or sexy about a drill. In fact, if your man should ever get excited about receiving a power tool as a gift, then you should consider getting him sectioned. Seriously, I don’t care how much a man enjoys putting up shelves, power tools are not gifts. It’s also pretty darn selfish on the woman’s part to buy such a gift. You’re basically saying ‘Happy Valentine’s Day, now go and sand down the skirting board.’ As a Burnley fan, I’d rather receive a Blackburn Rovers season ticket than receive a power tool.

Don’t Over-complicate Things!

As I said at the beginning of this blog, keeping things simple is the key to creating a successful Valentine’s Day. A nice home-made meal with a few drinks is all that’s needed to make the majority of men happy. Don’t embarrass him by making some psychotic collage containing badly cut out photographs of the two of you over the years. And don’t hire some barbershop quartet to burst through the doors of his office and serenade him with a chorus of ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ by Stevie Wonder. It’s all a bit weird. Your man should just want to spend the day with you. What you actually do together shouldn’t matter, so just keep it simple.

Stevie Wonder

List of Gifts

If you’re struggling to find a suitable gift for the man in your life, then you might want to consider one of the following options:

Hopefully you'll now have some great Valentines Gift Ideas, so now it's time to shop! Shop today from our Valentines Day Gift Range

Valentines Day Gift Ideas

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Man’s Guide To Valentine’s Day: 5 Useful Tips

For many men, Valentine’s Day doesn't signify love, lust and happiness. Oh no. It signifies frustration, bankruptcy and a crushed soul. This isn't because women are evil or greedy, it’s simply because many men don’t know how to approach the day and don’t understand what a woman really wants. A simple solution to avoid all the hassle would be to dump your girlfriend or file for divorce. However, if you’re not willing to take such a huge step, then you can put the below tips into action and have a Valentine’s Day that you and your partner might actually enjoy.

1. Be Creative

If you only take one tip from this blog, then make sure it’s this one. Coming up with something original that nobody’s done before will score you some major points. I'm not going to tell you what these original ideas are because that would completely undermine my point, however, a poem, song or hand-made gift might be things to consider. Be warned though, some girls may find these ideas too soppy and end up laughing square in your face. Know your audience.

Stewie: Be Creative
Do not buy chocolates or flowers as the main gift. Sure, they make nice, little extras, but just buying these absolutely reeks of unoriginality. Your woman will not be impressed. The aim here is to sweep her away on a tide of imagination, not drown her in a sea of clich├ęs.

2. Don’t Buy Clothes

Please, think long and hard before buying your partner clothes for Valentine’s Day. Only do so if you’re 1,000,000% positive that you know their favourite colours, styles, brands and more importantly, make sure you've got the size right. Many a good man has fallen through buying clothes which are a size too big for their partner. It’s literally the worst thing you can do. If you have a death wish and are hell-bent on buying clothes, then make sure you keep the receipt, as she’ll probably want to return whatever you've bought. And don’t buy something which she can use to kill you in your sleep.


3. Take The Lead

Kiss The Cook
It’s important to not take a back seat and let your lady make all the Valentine’s Day plans. She wants her man to be a man, she wants to be told where to be and when to be there. It’s just more romantic that way. So make sure YOU book the restaurant if you’re going out for a meal and make sure YOU cook the food and tell her what time to be at yours if you’re staying in. However, don’t start barking out orders like some kind of psychopathic, demon headmaster. That won’t go down well and you’ll probably get a slap.

4. Spend Within Your Limits

Spend Contrary to popular belief, most women don’t actually want to be showered in extravagant gifts. Creative (there’s that word again), thoughtful and personal gifts are much more important to them. So save yourself some money and cook a nice meal and make her a card with your own bare hands. If you are going to splash out the cash then make sure you get something that speaks to her personality. Don’t spend a stupid amount of money just because you can. That won’t impress her all that much, unless she’s incredibly shallow.

5. Don’t Leave It Until The Last Minute

I know what you’re thinking. You’re going to nip into your local petrol station or corner shop on the evening of February the 13th and pick up some last-minute desperation gifts. But what exactly are you hoping to find in these places? A cheap, nasty bottle of wine? A box of milk tray? A Ginster’s pasty? All these gifts are fine if you hate your woman, but if you want to impress her and do something special then you’ll need adequate planning time. Remember, most decent restaurants get booked up pretty quickly in the run up to Valentine’s Day, so move fast or you might end up spending the evening in Burger King. Also, delivery times can be quite erratic on the run up to Valentine’s Day, so make sure you allow adequate time for gifts to be delivered.

Gift Ideas

If you’re really stuck for ideas and need a bit of inspiration, then have a look at the list of gifts below. These are all great ideas, but you should still try and come up with something original to complement them.

Hopefully you'll now have some great Valentines Gift Ideas, so now it's time to shop! Shop today from our Valentines Day Gift Range

Valentines Gift Ideas

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Who Fancies Winning Some Free Prizes!?

Introducing the 2013 24studio free prize give-away........a monthly draw that gives you the chance to win some sensational prizes.

We’re mixing things up a bit this year. Instead of just giving out a set cash amount each week, we’re offering a monthly prize that will literally blow the socks right off your feet. Yes, our prizes are that good.

All you need to enter is the desire to win! The winner will be drawn on the last Friday of every month and announced via our Facebook page.

Enter the Prize Draw today for your chance to win!

This year’s prizes include:

A One Night Deluxe Paris Break For 2 With A Seine River Cruise Included

*January Draw*

The perfect romantic getaway.Imagine the look on your partner’s face as you announce that you’re treating them to a trip to Paris.  Then imagine taking a relaxing cruise down the Seine, taking in all the incredible Parisian scenery with a glass of wine in hand. You don’t even need to mention to your partner that you didn’t pay for it. You could simply lie and say you fancied splashing out for a change!

January Prize Draw: A One Night Deluxe Paris Break For 2 With A Seine River Cruise Included
Image credit: James Whitesmith  

UGGs For All The Family (5 Pairs)

*February Draw*

A stomping prize worth a whopping £900! Keep your family’s feet cosy and comfortable this year with this fashionable set of season and gender proof UGG boots. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or whether you’re male or female, UGGs can be worn by whoever, whenever. Don’t believe me? Then check out our blog on UGG boots myths.

February Prize Draw: UGGS For All The Family

The Emerald Collection

*May and September Draws*

Have you ever wanted to drive an Aston Martin? Or sail a yacht? Or even take part in a parachute jump? You can do all this and more with Virgin Experience Days.

The Emerald Collection prize draw gives the winner a £500 voucher to use on whichever ‘emerald collection’ experience days they like. This might be the extra push you need to do something you’ve always dreamed of, but never had the courage or money to see through!

May And September Prize: The Emerald Collection

VIP Personal Shopper Experience At House Of Fraser

*April and November Draws*

Shop ‘till you drop...and then start shopping again. If your idea of the perfect day involves a mini-makeover, being given £200 to spend and having your own personal shopper on hand to tell you what looks good on you, then you need to enter this prize draw! You’ll even get free tea and coffee and a complimentary goody bag of samples to take home with you. It truly is a day to remember.

April And November Prizes: VIP Personal Shopper Experience

64GB Wi-Fi And Cellular White iPad Mini

*March and December Draws*

Tablets are the future and the most popular tablets are iPads. Their huge selection of apps coupled with their easy to use interface and stylish design, puts them miles ahead of the competition. If you’d like the chance to get your hands on an iPad Mini free of charge, then enter our March and December prize draws. The 64GB cellular model which we are offering is the highest specification of iPad available, meaning you’ll be able to do plenty of showing off should you win.

March And December Prize: 64GB Wi-Fi And Cellular White iPad Mini

So don't delay - enter our prize draw today!

Monday, 7 January 2013

UGG Boots: 5 Myths Dispelled!

Since their monumental rise to fame in the mid 2000s, UGG boots have had to ride a wave of constant criticism and stand by and watch as their name gets dragged mercilessly through the dirt. But have these attacks been justified? Absolutely not. The fact of the matter is, many people are too quick to jump on the bandwagon and bad-mouth a product which may they may not like the look of, but actually know nothing about.
Listed below are 5 of the most common myths surrounding UGG boots and the reasons why they simply aren't true.

UGGs Are Only Worn By Chavs And Scallies 
WRONG. UGG boots are worn universally by a wide range of social classes, including celebrities. If you don’t believe me, then check out this article from ‘The Fashion Spot’ which shows a number of high calibre celebs sporting their favourite pair of UGG boots. Just because a small proportion of the more undesirable members of society choose to wear a certain product, doesn't mean that the product should be instantly stigmatised and stereotyped.

UGGs Are Bad For Your Feet 
This is true IF you choose to purchase a pair of cheap, synthetic UGG boots from a phony Internet auction, back of a van or dodgy discount store. Rip-off UGGs are not made from the same material as the originals and are much less comfortable. The cheap material doesn't allow air to circulate, which causes a build up of moisture and bad odours inside the boot. Do you really want the deathly stench of moist feet bombarding your nostrils every time you take your UGGs off? Genuine UGGs are made from authentic sheepskin, which allows air to circulate freely and also provides a wealth of health benefits, such as:
  • Activating blood circulation and immune system 
  • Aiding the healing of sensitive skin or rashes
  • Dirt and bacteria resistant 
Put your mind at rest that the UGGs you are buying are genuine -  how to spot fake UGG boots,

UGGs Are Only Worn By Women
Another completely false statement. The original UGG boots, when released in the 1960s, were created by men for men. It’s only in recent times, with rising UGG popularity in Europe and the USA, that they have become more of a female-lead fashion statement. UGG boots are incredibly practical and comfortable and it would be unfair to let only one half of our species reap the benefits! 

UGGs Are For Winter 
People that make this kind of sweeping statement clearly have a profound misunderstanding about the history of UGG boots and the material they are made from. Yes, UGGs are fantastic in the colder months as the sheepskin fabric keeps your feet warm and don’t allow moisture in, but the inner lining also allows air to circulate freely in warmer conditions, which keeps your feet cool and sweat-free. Remember, the first UGG boots were made for Australian surfers! If you can’t imagine UGG boots on the sand, then pay a visit to an Australian or Californian beach. You’ll see plenty there, believe me!

You Can Wash UGGs In The Washing Machine 
This is false for the most part. It’s highly advisable to NOT put your UGGs in the washing machine as sheepskin is quite delicate and you run the risk of the fabric cracking and peeling. You should treat your UGG boots like delicate woollen jumpers and hand-wash or dry clean them. It may be more convenient and time-saving to just bung your UGG boots in the washing machine, but is it worth potentially destroying something that you’ve paid good money for? If you’re unsure about how to go about washing your UGGs, then have a look at this helpful YouTube tutorial on how to wash your UGG boots