Monday, 24 June 2013

Fancy dress. Love it or hate it?

You get the invite to a party and you're dying to go. But wait. It's fancy dress. If you love fancy dress, you're jumping for joy. If you hate it, you're jumping off the nearest cliff.

It's pretty much 50/50 that you either love or hate fancy dress. Naturally, if you hate dressing up you'll never host a dress up party. But if you hate wearing fancy dress and you get the invite to such a party, what can you do?

If you hate fancy dress, people who tell you it can be fun don't get that you hate it. And there are plenty of reasons why a person might hate dressing up in costume.
1. It's ridiculous, demeaning, silly... (insert any adjective that is the opposite of what other people consider fun).
2. Hiring a costumes cost money.
3. Making a costume at home takes talent and imagination.
3. How do you know that everyone else will dress up?
How do you know that everyone else will dress up?
The biggest insult to anyone dressing up for a fancy dress party is having nobody else dress up but you. Especially if you hate dressing up and you make the effort only to turn up to find that nobody else has. If you love dressing up it won't matter if you are the only one in costume. But if you hate it, what can you do?
Here are a few tips:
Stealth is necessary.
Dress up, but don't be the first to arrive. Well, maybe be the first to arrive but hide around the corner to make sure that you see people entering the party in costume. A perfect costume for this type of dress-up-shy person is a cat burglar or a secret agent. That way if anyone asks you what you're doing, you can get into character and tell them you're on the job.
Keep a normal outfit as backup.
If you're driving, keep a back up of normal clothes in the car. If you're getting dropped off, bring spare clothes in a bag and stash the bag in the garden. A good costume for this type of dress-up-shy person is a superhero. This way you can say you're sick of being Superman after a few hours and turn into Clark Kent. Just make sure you know your super hero character's alter ego name. Eg Wonder Woman's alter ego is Diana Prince.
Call the host to make sure they are dressing up.
This can prove helpful, unless of course the host is going to pull a "Carrie" on you and expose you to a practical joke. Not likely, but I have received a dress up invitation only to turn up to find that the host couldn't have been bothered to dress up. Why make the guests do something you're not. Anyway, call the host or even friends to make sure you're not the only one making the effort. The perfect costume for this type of dress-up-shy person is a real person such as Paris Hilton. This way you can wear whatever you want.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

What teenagers need to know about photography

Mark Seabury is a photography with a real eye for colour. His photos are absolutely amazing. Mark lives on the Australian east coast, more specially the northern beaches of NSW, and he says on his website: “I understand that as life goes by, our most enduring treasures are our memories and I hope to capture as many of these special moments as I possibly can.” Mark has won awards and his photos feature in magazines and more recently the above photo features of "Australia's" Facebook page on their Australia Day album. It is my pleasure today to invite Mark in for a virtual coffee chat.
InterestTeen: Weddings seem to be a staple part of any photographer’s portfolio. Would you say suggest to any teenager wanting a career in photography that they should learn wedding photography?

Mark Seabury: Wedding photography is challenging and rewarding, lots of skills are needed and lots can be gained from shooting weddings. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I would recommend every photographer at least give it a go.
InterestTeen: Are there professional courses a teenager can take in order to hone a hidden talent? Or do you think it’s more the case of you either have the talent or you don’t?

Mark Seabury: There are some good workshops about. I think if you have a real passion for photography, you will be keen to learn and then your talent will evolve.

InterestTeen: Writers come in the employed and self employed varieties as I imagine photographers do too. Do you think for a starting our photographer there are better opportunities for being freelance or employed?

Mark Seabury: A good setup is to have a stable job and do photography on the side. This way you have a steady income as you build up your photography and then hopefully in the near future you make the switch and start to make a living out of doing what you love.

InterestTeen: Are there any legal issues that teenagers should know about taking photographs? How mindful of culture and privacy do they need to be?

Mark Seabury: There are lots of issues here and being mindful is a good idea, balance is the key here.

InterestTeen: A writer knows they’re ready to be published when they continually receive positive rejection letters. Is this similar to submitting photographs to magazines or websites? Do you get a lot of rejection?

Mark Seabury: Yes rejection is a reality. Use it to your advantage, it's a good way of seeing what's in demand, what works and what doesn't. Keep plugging away and stay positive.

InterestTeen: Is there one thing in particular you would tell your teenage self about photography?

Mark Seabury: Read lots of photography magazines, look at influential photographs past and present, understand your camera, understand the rules of photography and know when to break them, travel, get out and shoot. Enjoy!

Want to learn more?:
For those budding photogrpahers who live in Sydney, Mark Seabury also runs a workshop comprising of two sessions:

Session one - a location shoot learning camera settings and shooting techniques.

Session two - Back at the studio learning all about downloading, software, editing and then printing and matting one of your photos to take home.

Contact details:
Mark Seabury Photography

Facebook  |    Website   |    Email  

Just a reminder that these photos are subject to copyright. They are available to purchase or to licence by contacing Mark Seabury.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Active holiday vs Laid back holiday

No matter where or how you spend your holidays, you can always find a way to make it as active or as laid back as you like. Everywhere you go, there is always something to do. Some of these activities don't even cost a cent. Here are just a few examples of things you can do, and if the place you're visiting doesn't have these options, you can always write about your holiday.

Photo: A beach at sunset
Learn to surf
Hire a kayak or canoe
Play beach volleyball
Catch a wave and body surf
Run the length of the beach
Photograph the sun setting or rising
Read a book
Take photos of shells and birdlife
Soak up the sun
Watch for whales
Photo: Rowing on the Rio Negro in Brazil
Go water skiing
Go fishing
Hire a jet ski
Take a canoe or kayak up river
Snorkel in the shallows
Have a picnic on the banks
Take a guided cruise
Walk along the river banks
Listen to the birdlife
Go non-stop shopping
Hunt down a game zone
See a live band
Most cities are on the water so take a jet boat ride
See a movie
Sit in a cafe
Stroll through a museum
Get a makeover
Take photos of the building
views of the border ranges on duck road lamington national park overlooking farmland showing typical australian bush background Stock Photo - 14391798
Go abseiling
Go horse riding
Take a 4WD tour
Hire a bicycle, 4 wheel bike
Go for a long hike
Photograph the scenery
Watch the birdlife
Have a picnic
Read a book under a tree
Mountain landscape Free Photo
Hit the slopes on skis
Slide through powder on a snowboard
Master the skills area, downhill runs and pipes
Hire a snow mobile
Go ice skating
Enjoy a gondola ride
Sip hot chocolate and watch the view
Walk through the snow
Go dog sledding
Catch snowflakes on your tongue
Colonial House Free Photo
Trim hedges and rake leaves
Help fix things around the house
Wash the car
Wash the dog
Go for a jog
Go to the sports fields 
Chop wood
Play old fashioned games like hide and seek or charades
Read a book
Watch DVDs
Bake cakes and biscuits
Listen to music
Go for walks
Tell stories

Saturday, 26 January 2013

WIN THIS BOOK - The Bird With The Broken Wing

WIN THIS BOOK. Author D L Richardson is holding a giveaway on Goodreads where one lucky reader will will a print copy of The Bird With The Broken Wing. 1 copy only up for grabs. Ends Feb 25, 2013. Will it be you? It might be, but only if you enter.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Bird with the Broken Wing by D.L. Richardson

The Bird with the Broken Wing

by D.L. Richardson

Giveaway ends February 25, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Top 50 quotes to be the best teen you can be

We can't help but look to quotes for inspiration, and it's likely this is because quotes inspire us to keep going when we feel as if we can't take anouther step. So here's a list of the top 50 quotes to motivate you to follow your dreams. to keep going when you think you can't, or to gain some perspective when you need it most. And who knows, you may find that becoming the best person you can be is all the inspiration you need to succeed and enjoy life.

I truly hope you like these quotes and that you refer back to them if you need a pick me up.

1. "I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong." - Benjamin Franklin

2. "I am only young once, who cares if I'm a goofball." - Ashton Kutcher

3. "Even the longest day has its end." - Irish saying

4. "Music isn't for the eyes, it's for the ears." - Adele

5. "As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it." - Andy Warhol

6. "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says it. 'I'm possible'. " - Audrey Hepburn

7. "Don’t break your shin on a stool that is not in your way." - Irish saying

8. "Maybe my fairy tale has a different ending than I dreamed it would. But that's OK."- Kim Kardashian

9. "You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough." - Mae West

10. "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Sir Winston Churchill

11. "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." - Chinese proverb

12.  "If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit

13. "Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching. and live like it’s heaven on earth." - Mark Twain

14. "Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well." - Josh Billings

15. "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
 - Maria Robinson

16. "To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it." - Confucius

17. "In three words I can sum up what I’ve learned about life: it goes on." - Robert Frost

18. "Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies, for example." - John Ruskin

19. "An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea." - Buddha

20. "Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place." unknown author

21.  "I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical." unknown suthor

22. "Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there."- Will Rogers

23. "A smile doesn't always mean a person is happy. Sometimes it means they are strong enough to face their problems." - unknown author

24. "I don't have time to hate people who hate me, because I'm too busy loving people who love me." - unknown author

25.  "An ounce of emotion is equal to a ton of facts."- John Junor

26. "If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed." - Chinese proverb

27. "If you have a roving eye, it’s no use having the other one fixed on Heaven." - Irish saying

28. "Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet." - Bob Marley

29. "A man for me is the cherry on the pie. But I'm the pie and my pie is good all by itself, even if I don't have a cherry." - Halle Berry

30. "Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you."- author unknown

31. "Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things."- Keanu Reeves

32. "If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself."- Norman Vincent Peale

33. "How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."- Wayne Dyer

34. "Realize that everything connects to everything else."- Leonardo DaVinci

35. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."- Eleanor Roosevelt

36. "Just because you know my name, doesn’t mean you know me." - unknown author

37. "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."- Charles A. Beard

38. "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William A. Ward

39. "If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one." - Russian Proverb

40. "Why wait for the weekend to have fun?" - Loesje

41. "I prefer an ugly truth to a pretty lie. If someone is telling me the truth that is when I will give my heart."-  Shakira

42. "So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground." - Oprah Winfrey

43. "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace." - John Lennon

44. "Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You’ll be criticized anyway." - Eleanor Roosevelt

45. "Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes." - Elvis Presley

46. "Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent." - L. Coleman

47. "If your love does not work with that person, it just means that someone else loves you more." - unknown author

48. "Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened." - Dr Seuss

49. "Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go." - unknown author

50. "To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are." - unknown author

Friday, 11 January 2013

What if it was the end of the world?

It's January 2013 so obviously the end of the world came and went. Here's a list of a few  things you would have missed if it really was the end of the world.

TV and Film
If it really was the end of the world they're be no more Sam, Dean and Cas saving humans from demons in Supernatural. There would be no more seasons of Once Upon A Time. And let's not forget those reality shows - Idol, Dance, etc.

If it really was the end we wouldn't have to sit through 9 hours of The Hobbit. The book is only 240 odd pages long. It takes less than 9 hours to read. Personally, I don't get it.

New Years Eve
If it really was the end of the world they're be no more spectacular fireworks. Dubai was top of the list this 2012/2013 for their effort of swirling fireworks and laser display.

If it really was the end of the world there would be no more new year's resolutions.

Shopping and Technology
If it really was the end of the world there would be no Boxing Day sales.

If it really was the end of the world Apple customers would not have reached more than 40 billion download of apps since July 2008, the company said on Monday, and that doesn't include re-downloads or updates.

If it really was the end of the world Australia wouldn't get the Ellen Degeneres show.

NASA plans to send a ship to the moon in 2019. Why? Apparently it's been too long between visits. Sounds to me like is a case of a nagging relative putting the guilt trip on.

If it really was the end of the world millions of Americans would not get to watch the NFL Super Bowl. All those packets of potato chips would go uneaten.

For those who like to watch the end of the world, here is list of films to get you prepared:
10 Apocolyptic Films:
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
28 Weeks Later (2007)
On the Beach (1959)
12 Monkeys (1995)
The Quiet Earth (1985)
Donnie Darko (2001)
The Terminator (1984)
The Omega Man (1971)
2012 (2009)
For those who'd rather read about the end of the world, here is a list of books you need to survive:
10 Apocolytpic Books
The Road (Cormac Macarthy)
Cell (Stephen King) (most of you would think The Stand, but I think Cell is a better book)
I Am Legend (Richard Matheson)
The Day of the Triffids (John Wyndham)
On The Beach (Nevil Shute)
The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
When The Wind Blows (Raymond Briggs)
How I Live Now (Meg Rosoff)
Childhood's End (Arthur C Clark)
Grey Dogs: Zombie Survival (Ian DG Sandusky)
And for those who like to listen to the end of the world, here is a list of 10 songs to play:
10 Apocolyptic Songs

End of the world (The Cure)
Eve of destruction (Barry McGuire)
It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (REM)
Judgement day (Van Halen)
Last night on Earth (Green Day)
Skyfall (Adele)
Stop the world (The Clash)
The last day on Earth (Marilyn Manson)
The final countrdown (Europe)
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades (Timbuk 3)

Stay safe kiddies until the next apocolypse.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

What's left or right about it?

Left handed, right handed, or even ambidextrous, there's no left or right about it. It just is. Studies reveal that 10 to 12 per cent of the general population is left handed. Why isn't this a higher percentage, considering that the odds should be 50 percent that a person with two arms would either write with their left or their right hand?

rocky - rocky photoThere are many sports where being left handed has the advantage. In boxing, the opponent is expecting jabs from the right, not from the left. Left handed boxers and baseballers are called 'southpaws'. The term Southpaw stems from baseball though it is most often herard in reference to boxing. Sylvester Stallone really put 'southpaws' on the map with his Rocky movies becuase the actor is left handed. Many cricketers bowl left handed and this adds a different spin to the ball, often critical in getting the batter out. Baseball is another sport where left handed pitching and batting causes a different shift in the way the ball swings. Babe Ruth is just one of hundereds of left handed baseballers. Fencing is also another sport where the opponent isn't used to playing against someone left handed.

It hasn't always been okay to be left handed. There has often been a fear against people who used their left hand, many were accused of withcraft. Centuries ago, the Catholic Church declared that left hand people were servants of the devil. And in some societies, eating with the left hand is considered a sin, or making a toast with the wine glass in the left hand will bring bad luck.

Left handed people get a rough deal when it comes to superstitions. Perhaps one superstition which goes a long way to explaining what scientists can't is the superstition that if a baby is nursed in the left arm of the mother, the baby will grow up right handed, and if a baby is nursed in the right arm, then it'll be left handed. Twins, Gloria and Glenn, are respectively left handed and right handed. Their father, Frank, was left handed growing up, but the nuns at his school used a ruler on him every time he wrote with his left hand so he learned to write with his right hand instead.

Tom Cruise at event of ValkyrieSome famous left handed people are Leonardo Di Vinci (though supposedly Da Vinci wrote with his left and right hand and sometimes simultaneously), Tom Cruise, Pierce Brosnan, David Bowie, Eminem, Neil Armstrong, Albert Einstein, and Prince William. The largest collective group of famous people who are left handed are actors, which leads credence to the theory that many left handed people are more creative, because they utilize the right side - the creative side - of the brain.

Most lefties are ambidextrous - they need to be because so many gadgets are designed and built for right handed people. Yet not all right handed people can use their left hand as capably as their right.

Kids who are left handed can suffer greatly in school because of right handed desks, scissors, and even the act of writing. Most languages are written from left to write, so left handed kids have to twist their hands and write in what is called a 'crab' style. Pens, pencil sharpeners, even the computer mouse which is on the right side of the computer...all these things can hinder a child's education, yet because the number of lefties is so small, 10 to 12 percent of the the general population, they slip through the cracks.

There are many shops these days that cater exclusively for left handed people. The most famous is the fictional store The Leftorium that Ned Flanders opened up during the third episode of The Simpsons. The reason it went out of business was due to a wish that Homer made, but there really are successful stores dedicated to providing products for lefties.