South West London Showroom Opening

showroom opening

Image above: Dream Doors Head Office Area Manager Bryn Jones, Dream Doors South West London showroom Owners Toby and Catherine Richardson, Dream Doors MD Troy Tappenden

Kitchen makeover franchise Dream Doors opened its newest showroom in South West London last week (17 November), giving the residents of South West London the opportunity for a fantastic kitchen makeover.

The ceremony saw Toby Richardson and his wife Catherine being joined by his business development manager Bryn as well as Dream Doors MD Troy Tappenden.

Dream Doors is the U.K.’s number 1 kitchen refurbishment company, and with the opening of the brand new South West London Showroom, they have brought high quality kitchen door replacement and other services to all local South West London areas.

Toby was attracted to Dream Doors as he had previous experience in property renovation and thought that the concept of Dream Doors was genius.

“Dream Doors is a fantastic concept- with the cost of moving nowadays a kitchen refit is always the best option. With our service, customers can have a completely new kitchen with less money. Equally importantly though is the time we save them; people are busy nowadays and long jobs can cause a lot of hassle.”

Dream Doors offers a unique service, replacing kitchen doors and worktops with bespoke, made to measure products, bringing a whole new look to a kitchen at the fraction of the price of a complete refit. Their services offer minimal disruption and can be completed within just 48 hours.

Troy Tappenden, MD of Dream Doors, is confident that Toby can exceed in his business, saying:


“Toby is a driven man with a lot of previous renovation experience. He was refitting customer’s kitchens even before his training with Dream Doors. Now he’s a master of the craft and is bound to bring many satisfied customers to the business.”

Interested? Toby’s brand new showroom is based at 10A Sunny Hill Road, Streatham in south west London.

Toby is incredibly pleased to be opening his very own showroom saying:

“I am really enjoying the Dream Doors life and looking forward to what new customers my showroom will bring in. Come in today and browse our products, there’s no pressure, any questions or queries I’ll be there to help!”

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Prepare for christmas

Welcome to our guide to tackling the holiday early. The John Lewis ad is out, which means it’s time…

prepare for christmas

Whether you want to talk about it or not there is no denying that Christmas is well on its way. It’s only natural that you want everything to go smoothly for you and your family on this incredible time of year.

We at Dream Doors want to help you make sure that there are no issues during your preparation for the holiday, we know it can be intense but with proper planning the daunting tasks will seem like a breeze.

As such we’ve devised a checklist to help you through the task. Simply check these tasks off one by one every now and then and bam, you’re ready for Santa’s arrival!

(also, don’t forget the cookies and milk!)

Make a guest plan

prepare for christmas

Yes, it’s Simple, although you would be surprised how many people leave it to the last minute and are then disappointed by a relative’s absence.

Start getting in contact with the people you want over at Christmas as soon as possible, if you have a large family you may want to reserve them before anyone else asks!

Remember to discuss the location, are you having Christmas at yours this year? Going to your close family or friends? Perhaps your even planning on going abroad? Make sure the venue is set in stone as soon as possible.

If you’re having people stay over for the night be sure to make their sleeping arrangements- don’t leave them to the last minute!

Organise the day

prepare for christmas

We cannot stress this enough, plan the day. You don’t want your guests sat around wondering what’s next, you’ve got to give them an idea of what will be happening over the event.

We’re not saying that every hour must be booked to a specific activity, or that you even should do anything apart from sitting around the T.V and feeling merry. just make sure that your family and guests know what they’re in for.

If you do want to create activities during the day separate to watching T.V, eating food and drinking your weight in mulled wine then consider a board game, a Christmas wander around town or maybe even a little dance and sing song!

Start shopping for presents now

preparing for christmas

There’s a simple reason for this. For the most part of December shops will be absolutely jam packed full of people looking for the biggest sale. Why not skip all that rigmarole by getting it done early?

Sure, many might think it too soon for present buying, although you’ll thank yourself when your sat cosy at home whilst everyone else is rushing left and right.

Consider ordering presents online, this saves you the hassle of going out and fighting for the greatest deals. Simply use websites like Amazon and eBay to order all your goods, they’re easy, reliable and offer good prices.

Choose your advent calendars

preparing for christmas

This can be a very important step; advent calendars can mean a lot to kids of a young age.

What sort will you go for? A normal plastic one with chocolate or one more stylish?

Why not go the extra mile and buy a fancy felt calendar in which you can put your own chocolates?

There are even unique advent calendars that you can buy which offer different things from chocolates, such as Lego!

If you want to give a personal touch create them yourself out of arts and crafts tools, making them something to remember for the little ones.

Help them look forward to every day of the calendar!

Update your holiday card list

prepare for christmas

Don’t have a holiday card list? Then start making one now. Be sure to include everyone, from close friends to distant family, cards are cheap so be sure to get one for everyone!

Making sure your list is up to date early means it won’t be so much of a hassle when you eventually get down to writing them. You just need to keep track of who you’re sending them to.

everyone likes Christmas cards and are bound to appreciate the kind gesture.

Decorate your home

prepare for christmas

It seems many people don’t like to decorate their homes nowadays although we encourage it. The more imaginative the better!

Sure, you could be happy with just some trailing fairy lights or a glowing snowman but why not get creative? Why not put a sled in the garden or have a blow-up Santa clinging to the side of your house?

The options for decorating are endless and great displays will be enjoyed by those who travel past, as well as the little nippers themselves.

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Fun in the Kitchen

kitchen activities

The kitchen has always been the heart of every home. We don’t only use this space for cooking and cleaning, we also use it to share memories and laugh with friends and family.

To celebrate our success as the number 1 kitchen door replacement service in the UK we have decided to bring to you some of the best kitchen-based activities. For those special days with your loved ones.

Murder Mystery

kitchen murder mystery

The game of murder mystery is a classic, and with good reason! What’s not to love about having to guess whom in your midst is the killer?

You can try to create your very own story and characters, although we recommend buying a pre-made boxset. Be sure to send all your guests their formal invitation, along with a description of their character, costume etc.

Once your guests arrive, enjoy a night of role-playing fun, trying to figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s telling porkies.

Remember to cook an appropriate feast! Some games require multiple courses in which scenes are acted out.

Murder mysteries can take place in any time at any place, whether it’s the past, present or distant future! your imagination is the limit!

Egg Hunt

kitchen activity

It doesn’t have to be Easter to have a good egg hunt! Kids love searching for things so this game is perfect!

Hide all your desired prizes (they don’t have to be eggs!) and have your little critters scour high and low to find them.

Health and safety comes first of course. So, make sure that anything that could harm your young ones are out the way, this includes cutlery, knives and cleaning products. Also, make sure that no climbing is involved in the hunt, as this can be dangerous.

Why not make it a competition? Who can find the most!

Playdoh Restaurant

kitchen activity

Grab some playdoh, print out some receipts and menus with interesting designs and put the kids to work making food for you to enjoy!

Go for the full kitchen experience, including having the kids dress and act like waiters, taking your order and delivering your food.

Go along with the role play but remember- don’t actually eat anything! Also-be sure to keep your eye on the children the whole time, don’t want them trying any of their “delicacies” for themselves and getting poorly!

Make a Recipe Book

kitchen activity

You can do this activity by yourself or, if you wish, involve other members of the family. Discover some great recipes and note them down.

Create the food each time, taking a photo of your progress and result, along with the ones involved in making it. Perhaps even rate the food, showing how much you like or dislike it.

This activity doubles up as a great bonding experience and could even be used as a present to family friends.

Make some exotic food that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise, this will help broaden your culinary palette.

There are many ways you can create the book, uploading it to the internet for printing or doing it the old-fashioned way with cutting and gluing.

Board Games

kitchen activity

Sometimes you don’t have to DIY to have a good time in the kitchen. Grab the family and find a good board game to play, a form of fun often lost in modern times due to technology.

If you have young kids then opt for a game like monopoly, Jenga or chain reaction. Something fun and visual yet not too challenging. You don’t want to beat them every time!

Feeling intelligent? Play some smart games such as scrabble, chess or perhaps even some good old poker.

If you have older children or want to play with older family friends then opt for funny, albeit, rude games such as “Cards Against Humanity”, “Would I Lie to You?” and “Bucket of Doom.”

Board games are always an option, no matter what age!

Ping Pong

kitchen activity

Everyone fancies a bit of a challenge sometimes, so why not create your own ping pong table to let off some of that competitive steam.

All you need is a table net, two ping pong rackets and multiple ping pong balls (in case you lose them!)

Make sure to move everything valuable out of the way so nothing get damaged or smashed.

If you have enough space why not try 2 on 2 games? Also, if there are adults why not add some brews into the mix? (you know what we’re saying)

Science Experiments

kitchen activity

Having fancy experiments in the kitchen is a sure way to entertain the kids, and maybe even the adults!

Go for something simple, we’re not trying to splice the atom here. Some simple experiments include:

• Building a potato battery.
• Creating a baking soda and Vinegar volcano.
• Playing with homemade slime.
• Seeing how Oobleck reacts to sound vibrations.
• Create homemade lightning.
• Dying plants with coloured water.
• Kid-friendly lava lamps.

WARNING- REMEMBER TO READ INSTRUCTIONS TO EACH EXPERIMENT CAREFULLY AND MAKE SURE THAT ANY HARMFUL SUBSTANCES ARE OUT OF KIDS REACH.

Fantasy Fun

kitchen activity

Why not redecorate your kitchen for the little ones and have an adventure inside it? Any time, country, or even world, can be emulated.

There’s a lot of different settings you can create with the help of a few decorations, such as:

A Pirate Ship- Use cardboard and a duvet to turn your table into a makeshift boat, maybe even treat the floor as water. Don’t forget to add some crocodiles or sharks in!

A Spaceship- Use glowing lamps in the dark to create that spacey feel. Hang planets from the ceiling and place glowing stars around the room.

A Rain forest- decorate with leaves, flowers, animal toys etc. Put on some atmospheric music and make vines and rivers out of crepe paper.

Theming your kitchen to different locations and cultures will not only be fun but also educational for your children.

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Bonfire Night- From Your Own Home

bonfire night

It’s that time of year again! The time of fireworks and joy for all the family. That’s right, its bonfire night!

What are your plans for the evening? Going to watch the firework show? Perhaps going to see some friends or family? Or maybe even spending the evening at your home, relishing in your own celebrations?

Well if you’re of the latter category then you’re in luck! We at Dream Doors love bonfire night and have decided to put together some of the best ways for you to celebrate the evening, from the comfort of your own home.

Slow Cooked Goodness

food bonfire night

Worried about your meal in the evening? The slow cooker is the perfect tool for your supper on bonfire night.

Simply leave it to do its magic whilst your out watching fireworks and when your back it’ll be ready and hot! Want something extra with it? Put some potatoes in the oven to be served alongside it.

The delicious broth reminds us of the times of old, like that of Guy Fawkes’.

Home Fireworks

You can’t have a bonfire night at home without some fireworks! Although nowadays there’s so many different types its hard to know what to buy. We’ve decided to create a list of the different types and the perfect places in which to use them:

bonfire night fireworks Rocket

The most commonly used firework on the market.

These little beauties propel into the air at high speeds climbing enormous heights.

Once at their peak they explode with a satisfying bang and a mesmerising light show.

bonfire firework Roman Candles

These are long tubes that, when lighted at one end, shoot out a volley of colourful orbs.

The shots can crackle, explode or flash.

DO NOT HOLD THESE WHILST THEY ARE FIRING.

fountain firework Fountain

A colourful sight without any of the noise.

These fireworks release a cascading shower of sparks upwards. bigger fireworks, bigger fountains.

Perfect entertainment for the little critters, who doesn’t like a light show?

catherine wheel firework Catherine Wheel

These intriguing wheels shoot out fireworks and propel themselves around in a circle.

the fiery display is sure to delight those of all ages.

These wheels are also often used to light subsequent fireworks.

mine firework Mine

The effect of these may be short-lived but are certainly epic.

The mine is shot from a mortal shell on the ground and shoots coloured stars of various flashes and bangs into the sky.

Mines are generally the loudest of all fireworks.

cake firework Cake

These consist of a group of fireworks that can be set off one after the other.

Cakes allow for a fully customised display to your exact needs.

Generally consisting of rockets and roman candles, these functional fireworks have an internal fuse, allowing for precise timing.

bonfire night sparkler Sparklers

Sparklers are small, handheld metal sticks which, when lit, emit a constant stream of sparks.

Modern varieties can be bigger and change colour!

These are safe to use and can be given to children.

WARNING- EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN USING FIREWORKS, DO NOT LET ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 HANDLE THEM UNSUPERVISED.

Bonfire Guide

bonfire night

Wouldn’t be a bonfire night without an actual bonfire! As such we’ve decided to include a guide here for making a simple garden bonfire. Remember to be wary of your surroundings.


1. Pick a suitable spot.

2. Grab some unwanted wood, dry twigs, leaves and sticks.

3. Dig a shallow pit in the size of the fire you want.

4. Surround your pit with bricks or stones (this prevents it from spreading)

5. Arrange the wood and twigs in a pyramid shape with leaves underneath.

6. Ignite the wood, we recommend using fire lighters.

7. Arrange some seating, such as camping chairs and blankets.

And there you have it! Why not add a cooler onto the mix for some nice cold beers (or soft drinks!)

Chants

These historical rhymes have become lost in modern times, although there’s nothing better than a chorus of friends and family all chanting together.

Although some lines may sound a bit morbid we’ve decided to bring you the best of the lot. Enjoy!

bonfire night chant

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10% Senior Discount for over 60’s

senior discount

We at Dream Doors value our customers above all else. Customer service is our number 1 concern, as reflected with our impeccable Checkatrade reviews, scoring an average of 9.7 nationwide!

We have huge respect for our senior citizens, they are most of our customers after all! As such we have decided it is time to reward those whom we care dearly for.

We’ve decided to give a 10% discount to anyone over the age of 60!

That’s right, so if you’re over 60 and considering a kitchen makeover there’s no better time to go with Dream Doors.

With over 70 showrooms across the UK (and growing) there’s bound to be a local branch close to you!

Simply use our kitchen showroom locator, then type in the first part of your postcode and you will be directed to the nearest showroom.

From here you can arrange your FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTATION. We will visit your home, discuss what you need, measure everything up and give you a price, all for free!

Need more convincing? Check out this testimony video:



Dream Doors have been performing expert kitchen makeovers for over 17 years with a precision and care that’s allowed the company to flourish.

Why Choose Us For a Kitchen Face-lift?

There are many benefits to replacing your kitchen doors and worktops with us, including:

  • Less Time- A kitchen makeover with Dream Doors only takes a day or two, compared to the weeks it takes for a full refit.
  • Less Money- On average a kitchen makeover with us costs 40% less than that of a full kitchen refit.
  • Less Hassle- Our professional fitters will tidy up after themselves at the end of every day, meaning that you’ll be able to use your kitchen, even if the job isn’t complete yet!

All of our doors and worktops and made-to-measure, specifically for you!

So don’t dawdle, contact your nearest showroom today and make your dream kitchen a reality.

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The origins of Halloween

Halloween- What does it mean?

Halloween is coming soon so get your masks, outfits and fake blood ready!

For good reason everyone, young and old, looks forward to the night of ghost, goblins and everything ghoulish.

But where did this tradition start? Don’t you think it’s a bit strange that for one night we celebrate everything that we fear on any other?

Interested? Then allow us to “treat” you with the knowledge of how this “tricky” holiday came to be.

Halloween history

Samhain- The Beginning

It is believed that Halloween first originated over 2,000 years ago. People in the area that is now known as Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France celebrated a Celtic festival known as “Samhain” (sow-in).

The people of this area decided to celebrate the New Year on November 1st as this day marked the end of summer and the harvest. This of course led to the beginning of the dark, cold winter. This time of year was often associated with human death and disease.

The night before the new year was believed to be special. Our world and the world of the dead would collide.

October 31st became Samhain, the time when ghosts came back to roam the earth and damage crops. Druids were thought to have stronger predictions during this time and many relied on these prophecies for the long winter days.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires where people would burn crops and animals as sacrifices o the Celtic gods. During the event people would wear costumes, typically of animal heads and attempted to read each other’s futures.

The change In Tradition

This tradition changed around 43 AD when the roman emperor had conquered most of the Celtic’s territory. Due to Roman imperialism Samhain was combined with two other traditions, Feralia, a day to commemorate the passing of the dead, and the honouring of Pomona, the Goddess of fruit and trees.

Later Christianity began to take hold and, starting as “All Martyrs day”, the holiday was changed to November 1st and eventually became “All souls day”, where many Celtic traditions, such as costumes and bonfires, were returned to the holiday. The night before it, traditionally the night of Samhain in the Celtic region, began to be called “All-hallows Eve” and, eventually, “Halloween”.

Soon as the world became more connected the holiday became known for its sense of community, family, games and celebrations that we know and love it for today.

Got it? There will be a test

Trick or Treating

Halloween history

As stated previously, Samhain involved the idea of the dead mingling with the world of the living. This superstition stated that visiting ghosts could disguise themselves as people and upsetting them would lead to dire consequences.

Another Celtic myth suggests that dressing up as a ghoul fooled the spirits into thinking you were one of them, leading to the much loved tradition of Halloween costumes.

The idea of sweets being handed out came as a response to radical vandalism and acted as a way of calming the public, focusing on a more positive element of society.

Mischief

halloween history

“Devil’s night” also has its fair share of troublemakers. It’s undeniable that teenage pranks have been a Halloween staple for a lot of the modern era. From egging to toilet-papering houses, there always seems to be some group of rebellious teens dedicated to peeving off the locals.

Samhain always had an element of light pranking associated with it, although by the 1920’s-30’s Halloween became synonymous with rioting and acts of vandalism, possibly due to the Great Depression. As noted above this violence was seemingly replaced by the tradition of trick or treating.

Jack-o-lanterns

Halloween history

For an activity so fun and joyous, the carving of jack o lanterns actually has a very sinister origin.

A Celtic fable tells of a drunken farmer named Jack whom, after successfully tricking the devil, is denied access to hell and heaven respectively.

Jack, trapped to wander purgatory, decided to craft a lantern from a turnip and a burning lump of coal from hell. It was believed that Jack used the lantern to guide his lost soul.

Replace the turnip with a pumpkin (due to shortages in the states) and you have the basis for the tradition. The lanterns are used to guide lost spirits home whilst their scary expressions are used to ward off evil entities.

Witches

Halloween history

Onto the beak nosed, wrinkly, broomstick holding women we’ve come to know as witches. In fact the image we’ve been fed of the typical “witch” actually stems from a pagan goddess known as “the crone”.

This deity, honoured during Samhain also went by the name of “earth mother” and “the old one”. She symbolized change, wisdom and the changing of the seasons.

It’s unfortunate that with the effect of time this symbol of kindness and prosperity has been morphed into the menacing and cackling guise of “the witch”.

The crone’s cauldron was believed to hold souls after death, she would stir the pot to allow old souls to become reincarnated whilst allowing new souls to enter.

As for the flying broomstick, back in the time when the elderly and introverted were accused of witchcraft, many of the implicated used brooms in the place of walking sticks, due to poverty. Folklore tells of multiple women rubbing a “flying” potion on their bodies, causing hallucinations and giving the illusion of flight.

Black cats

Halloween history

You’re more than likely to see at least one decoration this year which includes a black cat. These symbols of bad luck gained their reputation back in the times where witch hunts were commonplace, the Dark Ages.

During this time Elderly and solidary women were often accused of witchcraft which terrorized the land. The women’s cats were also often dragged into the mix, being known as “familiars”- demonic animals gifted by the devil himself.

A similar myth claims that he devil morphed into a cat to socialise with his minions.

Though nowadays, black cats aren’t always tied to bad luck, in fact some people in the world believe that crossing their path is a good omen. Which is it for you?

Bats

halloween history

Much like the black cats, bats were seen as bad omens and a companion to the dreaded witches. (Is it just coincidence they rhyme?) One myth stated that a bat circling above your house three times was a sign that someone within would die.

A different belief claimed that if a bat enters your house on Halloween then it’s a sign that ghouls had allowed it to enter. Perhaps this is linked to the old belief that vampires required invitation to a household to enter?

Spiders

halloween history

Perhaps the creepiest of our three animals so far, these common sources of fear have a fairly obvious reason for being included in the Halloween roster. Once again, these little critters were believed to have connections to the hags of old.

One superstition claims that if you saw a spider fall into a candle and burn up then witches were nearby whilst another theory claims that if you saw a spider on Halloween night it means the spirit of a loved one is looking over you.

A comforting thought for a change.

Colours

halloween history

The traditional Halloween colour palette of black and orange actually stemmed from the pagan celebration of autumn and the harvest.

The orange symbolizes the colours of the crops and the turning leaves, whilst black represents the “death” of summer and the changing season.

Over time other colours have joined the Halloween palette, these include: purple, yellow and green.

Old Traditions

halloween history

Many of the traditions associated to the ghostly holiday have been forgotten, whether that due to necessity or the public’s lack of spirituality is unknown.

For example, the whole concept of lost spirits finding their way home has been all but forgotten in contemporary times. People used to feel close to their dead relatives during the holiday and performed many actions to attract their attention, such as laying the table for them and leaving treats at the doorstop in case they passed by.

Surprisingly, a lot of Halloween’s old rituals involved young women trying to identify their future husbands and reassuring them that by next Halloween they would be married. Rituals for this included: burning nuts with men’s names and picking the one which burnt to ash instead of popping, as well as inducing the woman with a dream of her future husband with the help of a nutty concoction.

Other Versions

halloween history

Other versions of our scary holiday also exist, similar in some ways yet different in many others. Two Notable examples are:

“El Dia De Los Muertos” – (The day of the dead) this holiday among Spanish-speaking nations is full of joy and happiness, where people celebrate the lives of loved ones whom have pass away. Officially commemorated on November 2nd (all Saints Day), the three day celebration takes place on October 31st. Many families honour the dead by building altars and giving offerings such as photos and water. The holiday has a very bright and colourful theme juxtaposed with images of skulls. It’s worth noting that this holiday is typically celebrated during the day also.

“Obon Festival” – This Japanese and, traditionally Buddhist, holiday is dedicated to the spirits of ancestors. Special foods are prepared for the event and red lanterns are hung everywhere. Other lanterns are filled with a candle and then set afloat on rivers and seas. Memorial stones are cleaned and community dances are performed. This holiday, alternatively, takes place during July or August.

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Halloween Decorations to Get Your Skin Crawling

halloween decorations

Halloween is the time of year to celebrate everything spooky! We love this tradition for many reasons: The parties, the trick or treating and most of all- the decorations.

Many of us like to decorate our households with appropriate props and accessories, just to add to the atmosphere.

We at Dream Doors have decided to create a list of great Halloween decorations available this year, bound to send a shiver down any visitor’s spine!

From hanging skeletons to frightening food, there’s bound to be something here that appeals to your scary nature!

So without further ado let’s jump right into it. Buyer beware, you’re in for a scare….

Zombie Ground Prop

zombie decorationWhen passers-by notice the ghoulish features on this little guy they’re bound to get a scare!

Simply stick his arms and head in any position you like in front of the grave to give the illusion of him crawling out of it.

Want to add something extra? Perhaps put him in mud or try to hide him in a dark place to add to the scare.

Get it from HERE

Spider Webs

spider web decorationIf you want something spooky to fill out the house with then look no further than some good ol’ fake spider webs.

The best fake spider webs look authentic and add to the scary atmosphere, changing your contemporary house into that of a haunted Victorian manor.

Want more inspiration? Why not try thicker webs, dripping blood, police tape or perhaps even a calm mist?

Get it from HERE

Large Feathered Raven

raven decorationThis gorgeous feature can be an interesting addition to the household, greeting visitors and providing an initial shock due to its realness.

Gothic without being too spooky, this raven prop can fit into any Halloween themed house, maybe even after the holiday is over!

Get it from HERE

Large Black Cauldron

cauldron decorationThe prime alchemy appliance for a witch, the cauldron is an iconic Halloween decoration.

A bit typical? Sure but this prop is incredibly versatile and can have many uses!

Want to use it as a container for a nice drink? Or perhaps make a party game where people have to fish objects out of it. Either way, there’s plenty of toil and trouble to be had with a cauldron.

Get it from HERE

Light up Ghost

ghost decorationThis cute ghost with a smile on his face is the perfect decoration for a kid-friendly environment.

Hang him up on the ceiling so he’s looking down or get creative and hide him in someones room or outside in a tree.

This product comes with a colour changing light and an eerie flowing fabric. why not invite this guy to Halloween?

Get it from HERE

Eyeball Lights

eyeball decorationThey have their eye on you. if you want lighting and decoration in one then LOOK no further.

Hang these over a door or bannister and watch them glare down on your guests, creating a fun and spooky atmosphere for your Halloween event.

Why not double them up with the spider webs and have them poking out, perhaps place them in intriguing places people wouldn’t expect. There is a lot you can do with these!

Get it from HERE

Bloody Foot Prints and Splats

blood prints decorationNothing’s sure to creep your guests out more than bloody feet marks all over the place.

These decorations are sure to add mystery to your house. Other versions, such as hand prints, are also available.

Why be simple with it? Why not put some on the walls or ceiling, you never know what comes out to play on Halloween night…

Get it from HERE

Halloween Screaming Door Mat

scary decorationThis decoration, although hidden under your house mat, could be the freakiest of them all!

Managing to scare your guests before they’ve even entered your house is an accomplishment, one which this product can achieve.

With various scary sounds such as thunder, screaming and ominous warnings, this mat is sure to cause a shiver.

Get it from HERE.

Toilet Grabber

scary toilet decorationWant to give someone a scare where they least expect it? Then take a look at the toilet grabber.

This toilet seat cover effectively gives the impression that a zombie is crawling out of the toilet to get you!

Want some variety? there are clown and spider versions too!

Scary and gross, a perfect Halloween decoration.

Get it from HERE

Life Size Skeleton Decoration

skeleton decorationWe thought we’d end with a classic, the full size skeleton.

This particular decoration is timeless and can be utilised in incredible ways. Such as: Standing in the shower, hanging in a cupboard or even sitting on a seat.

Go wild with this one. The skeleton can be put into any position to try to maximise the spookiness or comedy.

Get it from HERE

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Best non-horror films to watch this Halloween

Halloween is the holiday dedicated to everything that can creep, crawl, jump and generally scare us. As such its only right that the films viewed on the occasion represents its traditions.

Although it’s true that Halloween films should involve the disturbing, mysterious and dark it can be argued that many take it to an extreme and uncomfortable area.

With the popularity of horror films in contemporary times there’s no questioning that a lot of people like to jump, shake and scream at a good horror film.

Nonetheless there’s the few of us that don’t want to watch these psychological gore-fests. Be this because of age, kids or just a general dislike for the horror genre.

So if you’re looking for a nice film to snuggle up to this Halloween that won’t jump in your face and give you nightmares then you’re in the right place!

With our combined film knowledge we’ve pulled together a list of must-see films for the spooky night. So sit down, relax and enjoy these masterpieces in cinema. In no particular order…

Halloweentown (1998)

Halloweentown film

Let’s start of light shall we? This lesser known Disney film depicts a family in which Halloween is firmly forbidden, much to the children’s dismay.

So what do they do? Run away with their Halloween loving grandma of course! Turns out she’s actually a witch from Halloweentown, an area perpetually in a state of spookiness.

Halloweentown is a surprisingly good film with fun for all the family. If you want to marathon something, it has 3 sequels!

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

edward scissorhands film

This movie is considered to be one of the greatest works of acclaimed director, Tim Burton.

This funny, creepy yet bittersweet tale stars a socially awkward man who himself seems like the perfect fit as a slasher villain. Although, Edward is in fact an incredibly endearing and generous character, the true horror of this film? The suffocation of social conformity.

Humorous yet deep, this film is a must watch, especially if you’re a fan of Tim Burton’s other works.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

nightmare before christmas film

Speaking of Time Burton, The nightmare before Christmas is yet another one of his most critically acclaimed projects. The film is produced by Disney and is a fantastic stop motion musical that continues to stand the test of time

But isn’t this a Christmas story? I hear you ask. Well, yes, but it is also a Halloween one! You see the story focuses on Jack Skellington, a literal skeleton whom is the “pumpkin king” in his homeland “Halloween town”. Not the same one as before!

Jack soon begins to bore of the consistent and dull celebrations of the spooky town and endeavours to find something new and exciting for their new Halloween. Here he accidentally stumbles into Christmas town and takes it upon himself to become the brand new “sandy claws”, get it?

Creepy, yet child friendly, this movie is a hidden gem within the host of other Disney films out there.

Beetlejuice (1998)

beetlejuice film

Now when I say non-horror I don’t mean that all these films are specifically kid friendly. In fact parents should be wary if they choose to let their young ones view this flick.

This movie focuses on a deceased couple, that’s right, ghosts eternally trapped in their home. Soon, new home owners move in and the couple begin to try to scare them away. Unsuccessful In their efforts they decide to hire the “bio-exorcist” Betelgeuse, a narcissistic and rude entity who proceeds to cause chaos.

Raunchy yet creepy at times this film is incredibly enjoyable for those of the right age.

The Addams Family (1991)

the addams family film

Let’s be honest for a moment. Who doesn’t love the Addams family? The original cartoon was a work of genius and the film follows up as a fantastic piece of comedy fantasy.

For those of you living under a rock, the Addams family is a film about a slightly….odd family, each possessing many of the stereotypical Halloween traits we’ve come to love. From the Frankenstein esque- uncle fester to the nosferatu-like butler, Lurch.

Although scary in appearance, the family are known for their hearts of gold and the comical mishaps of this film are bound to bring a smile to anyone’s face, young or old.

Ghostbusters (1984)

ghostbusters film

The original…..just to be clear.

Ghostbusters is a film ingrained into many of our childhoods, introducing us to scary concepts with wacky characters and incredibly action.

The film focuses on the exploits of an inept team of scientists who attempt to create a business of recording and catching paranormal activity. With big stars such as Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd at the reigns who couldn’t love it?

So sit down, grab the popcorn, you know who to call.

Any Harry Potter (2001-2011)

harry potter film

A bit of a cop out? Maybe. But in all honesty the Harry Potter films are fantastic. The first 2 can be seen as rather dated by today’s standard but the rest can provide solid entertainment.

I feel like there’s no reason to talk about who or what Harry Potter is as must likely you already know everything about it so instead I’ll go with my recommendation: The Goblet of Fire, a fantastic film that, in my mind, signalled the change in the series. Harry is no longer a child, he’s a man.

Where better to spend Halloween then the wizardry world of Hogwarts, full of witches, magic and wonder.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

the sixth sense film

Before you say it, it’s a thriller, not a horror! Nonetheless view this film at your own discretion as it may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

If you don’t know the ending to this film then you must be a literal hermit. The biggest twist discussion since “Luke I am your Father” (sorry spoilers!), the ending to this film was a shock to those who experienced it first-hand.

Not to discredit from the rest of the film which is tense and entertaining. It focuses on a boy whom can communicate with dead spirits who decides to enrol the help of a child psychologist.

Touching, thoughtful and thrilling. Prepare to see dead people.

Casper (1995)

casper film

A simple film for a simple night in. Casper is by far not the most polished, creative and stunning film, but it does have heart. So that makes it the perfect pick for the kiddies.

Who doesn’t know Casper the friendly ghost? In this live action adaptation Casper must ward of the evil harassing of his three uncles whilst finally making friends and conquering his fears.

Although a little dark at times, this film is the ideal thing to view in a family environment,

E.T (1982)

E.T poster

This timeless tale of sci-fi friendship holds a special place in many of our hearts. This film holds great cultural significance, beating out star wars at the box office the year it was released.

The movie depicts the tale of E.T, an alien whom has become stranded on earth and his subsequent bonding with a ten year boy named Elliot. Elliot has to endeavour to help E.T whilst keeping the alien’s existence hidden from his mother and the government.

Touching, sincere and a true classic, there’s no better time to watch E.T. It even has a Halloween part!

Hocus Pocus (1993)

hocus pocus film

This widely unknown film is yet another Disney hidden classic, gaining great critical reception and achieving cult status soon after its release.

This film follows a villainous trio of witches, who are inevitably resurrected by a male teenager in Salem, Massachusetts. Here, the teenager along with 3 friends, including an immortal cat, must try to foil the witches’ plans on Halloween night.

With talks of a sequel in the works and with its Halloween theme and kid friendly style, Hocus Pocus is a top pick for movie night.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

young frankenstein movie

Oh Gene Wilder, how you will be missed. This labour of love will forever stay in our hearts as fantastic piece of comedy parodying its earlier adaptions.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (grandson of victor- the original scientist) is content to prove he is nothing like his grandfather, although, after discovering his research notes, begins to grow a fascination with him.

Soon the young Frankenstein is performing the same experiments as he predecessor with humorous outcomes.

This film is a love letter to the old Frankenstein films of the 30’s and 40’s and nails it with its satirical nature.

Want something different and critically acclaimed? Here’s your story.

Carry on Screaming! (1966)

carry on screaming film

Why not end on a classic? This oldie but goldie puts the carry on cast into the horror genre. Its brilliant satire directly parodies that of hammer films which were a series of popular horror films around the time.

This comedy takes all the silliness, rudeness and double-entendre that makes the carry on films great and mixes it with a spooky atmosphere.

The film primarily focusing on the exploits of the sinister Dr Watt and he’s schemes involving kidnapping young women and turning them into mannequins. As a true piece of parody many of the greats of horror make an appearance, including Frankenstein and Dr.Jekly/ Mr. Hyde.

If you want a blast from the past or want to view comedy as it was back in the day then there’s nothing better to watch on Halloween night.

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Foods to keep you healthy during the winter

The sunny days are leaving and it is undeniable that winter has started to sink its cold teeth in.

After a gorgeous summer people often forget the importance of keeping warm and eating well during the cold months.

So, with our expertise on kitchens and all things culinary, we have decided to provide you with some healthy winter eating. Something to keep you full, warm and comfortable during the chill.

Pomegranates

Its more than likely that you’ve tasted pomegranate as a form of juice, and there’s good reason for that. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and potassium, providing great health benefits for your heart (even more than any other fruit juice).

In fact, it’s been discovered that just a cup a day could reap incredible results such as improving blood flow and helping lower cholesterol.

Research shows that pomegranates can also protect against many issues such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and dental plague.

pomegranate nutrition

Dark Leafy Greens

These unassuming greens which include Kale, collards and chard, thrive within the colder months whilst most other vegetation deteriorates.

Mysteriously, these little miracles are incredibly rich in vitamins A, C and K, which help the body in various ways. They can also attribute to lowered amounts of cholesterol as well as helping fuel your body.

These little beauties are also said to help prevent common eye diseases, such as cataracts and muscular degeneration, helping you to see clearly way into the future.

kale nutrition

Citrus Fruits

There are many common citrus fruits, including lemons, oranges and grapefruit. These juicy treats can be very beneficial for your health. (And not just for stopping scurvy!)

These fruits are in fact the juiciest during the dreary winter and are absolutely loaded with vitamin C- A single orange can provide 100% of your daily dose. There’s is also evidence that they can help prevent weight gain and protect against many health related issues such as stroke and cancer.

Bursting with flavour and packed with goodness, what’s not to love?

orange nutrition

Potatoes

People often mistakenly ignore potatoes due to their status as a “white starch”, the same category as other foods such as white rice and bread. Although, unlike its counterparts, potatoes are full of natural health benefits.

Potatoes are a fantastic source of two strong immunity boosters- vitamins B6 and C, giving you 29% and 25% of your daily needs per medium sized potato, not too shabby!

Got some purple potatoes on you? Then luck is on your side as these are rich in anthocyanins. These antioxidants provide a whole plethora of health benefits from quelling inflammation to helping prevent cancer.

potato nutrition

Winter Squash

Winter squash deserves its name due to it being one of the very best foods to keep you healthy during the cold months.

Squash aren’t just packed full of antioxidants. They can also provide blood sugar regulation with anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition they are also primarily cooked into a hot meal, essential to keeping you cosy and warm.

The seeds prevalent in these veg can also provide a lovely snack, much like pumpkin seeds. They can roasted and enjoyed entirely separate from the main bulk of the squash.

squash nutrition

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Dream Doors celebrates its 50,000th kitchen makeover

 

Dream Doors celebrates its 50,000 kitchen makeover and record financial figures

 

Kitchen makeover specialist Dream Doors is celebrating the sale of its 50,000th kitchen makeover, and also its best financial figures since it began trading in 1999.

 

dream doors 50000th kitchen makeover

Image above: Dream Doors Head Office Area Manager Darren Chadwick, 50,000th Dream Doors customers Mr and Mrs Hedges, Dream Doors Norfolk Owners Helen and Philip Mahon

 

The 50,000th sale was made by Helen and Philip Mahon, owners of the Dream Doors franchise in Norwich and was made to happy customers Mr and Mrs Hedges. Dream Doors only sold its 40,000th kitchen in August 2015, illustrating the rapid growth of the company and on-going demand for its kitchen makeover services.

 

Dream Doors’ financial figures up to and including Q3 2016 have also surpassed expectations. With turnover for 2016 projected at £40M, the overall group turnover (including HQ) to the end of September was already in excess of £28M, with the busiest period in the year still to come.

 

“2016 is going to be our best year ever, even better than we forecasted at the start of the year,” said Troy Tappenden, MD, Dream Doors. “For the entire network to sell 10,000 kitchen makeovers in around a year, shows the strength of our business model and the collective hard work across our franchisees, which now number more than 70. Kitchen makeovers are such a straightforward idea – we know our audience and what it is they want, and we give our franchisees the training, tools and support required to deliver that to their customers.”

 

BEFORE

 

Dream Doors 50000th kitchen  makeover

 

Dream Doors allows customers to completely overhaul their kitchen for a fraction of the cost of a full re-fit, by replacing work surfaces and doors to create a completely fresh look. All doors are made to measure in the UK, and are available in a massive range of colours, styles and materials.

 

Husband and wife team Helen and Philip Mahon and sellers of the 50,000th kitchen, have owned their Dream Doors showroom since 2007 and it has been one of the strongest performers in the Dream Doors network during that time. They feel the trust they can instil in their customers is vital to their on-going success.

 

AFTER

 

Dream Doors 50000th kitchen makeover

 

“To be the sellers of the 50,000th Dream Doors kitchen makeover is a landmark achievement and we are delighted to be a part of the company’s success” said Helen Mahon. “Our customers place a lot of trust in us – that’s what we hear time and time again as to why they buy here – and each and every sale is important to us.”

 

Mrs Hedges, buyer of Dream Doors’ 50,000th kitchen said: “We are so pleased that we used Dream Doors. From first contact with them, through to the completion of the kitchen, everything and everybody has been first class.”

 

Dream Doors’ emphasis on meeting its customers’ needs is illustrated by its recent award nomination by the British Franchise Association, for customer focus. Selected from hundreds of franchisors across the UK, Dream Doors made the final three at an awards ceremony in June.

 

The focus on service was further reflected in Dream Doors’ record-breaking Checkatrade results. The company achieved an average customer rating of 9.7 out of 10 and of all the feedback left on Dream Doors via Checkatrade, only one in every 187 jobs showed reasons for concern. The national average is 1 in 4, prompting Checkatrade.com boss, Kevin Byrne to describe Dream Doors’ figures as “nothing short of remarkable.”

 

“The support and training that we give our franchisees, allows them to deliver excellent service and win the customer’s trust that is so important in the kitchen industry,” continued Troy Tappenden. “We’ve all done extremely well to record such strong sales figures for 2016 and I look forward to continuing that success throughout the rest of the year.”

 

50000th kitchen makeover

 

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