49 THINGS TO DO IN MANCHESTER THIS MONTH

49 THINGS TO DO IN MANCHESTER THIS MONTH
40 THINGS TO DO IN MANCHESTER THIS MONTH

10 IDEAS TO KEEP YOU BUSY IN FEBRUARY

10 IDEAS TO KEEP YOU BUSY IN FEBRUARY
10 IDEAS TO KEEP YOU BUSY IN FEBRUARY

HERE AND NOW, THE STEPS MUSICAL

HERE AND NOW, THE STEPS MUSICAL
HERE AND NOW, THE STEPS MUSICAL

48 Things To Do In liverpool this month

48 Things To Do In liverpool this month
48 Things To Do In liverpool this month

4 Ways To Make Your Shipping Packages Stand Out

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As an e-commerce retailer, your product's packaging plays a crucial role in making a lasting impression on your consumers, fostering the creation of user-generated content, and enhancing your brand and reputation. Today, packaging is more than just a means to protect goods during transit; it is an integral part of an experience that can significantly benefit your brand and marketing presence.

But what makes a good packaging experience? If the aim of your packaging is to help you stand out, get featured in some creative unboxing videos, and make an impact upon delivery, then the following tips can help you do just that. The unique unboxing experience your packaging can create is not just about opening a box; it's about creating excitement and anticipation that consumers want to share with others.

woman posting a parcel


Custom Boxes

Firstly, to make the right impact with your packaging, you need to make sure that the box or package you use fits the product and isn’t too big or too small. After all, its primary function is to desire safe and secure products from A to B without damage. Custom boxes allow you to pack orders in a box or bag that removes any excess space and reduces unnecessary fillers so they sit nicely within the space and are air-protected. Sending out small items in huge boxes is a big no-no and will result in the wrong kind of attention. Make sure to look into your options for your products and get packaging that is the perfect fit.

Dress It Up

The unboxing experience isn't about simply opening the box. These days, consumers who produce this type of content want to see something shareable they can make nice content from. This means making your box as attractive as possible and enticing others to want to snap pictures, film reels and more to share with their audience. Think about adding your branding to the packaging, adding inserts into boxes, or using online sticker printing services to create custom stickers with your logo or other message to secure wrapping. All of these little tweaks combined can help you to create packaging that screams to be captured and shared with others.

Use Sustainable Materials

One thing that's becoming increasingly clear, especially from online opinions, is that more people prefer sustainable packaging options. The last thing they want to see is excessive use of non-recyclable or non-reusable materials in their orders. Opting for recycled packaging for shipping orders, using biodegradable products for packing inserts, or reusable materials for other purposes can significantly enhance your eco credentials and meet consumer demand for more sustainable materials and less waste.

Personalise It

We've discussed making the parcel fit your brand by tailoring the box size and custom elements to create an unboxing experience, but another thing you can do is make it personalised for the customer. Using inserts with their name on them, a little thank you note, a note to offer a discount for their next order or a loyalty card can make the purchase more personalised to the customer and ensure they feel valued and will return to shop with you again. This can form part of the overall unboxing experience and still be extremely impactful on its own.

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Michelle
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FAQs About Hair Transplants: Everything You Need to Know

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Hair transplants are gaining traction as a widely recognised solution for different levels of hair loss. With the procedure's increasing appeal, many individuals find themselves curious about its mechanics, effectiveness, and what one should anticipate before, during, and after undergoing a transplant. This article aims to tackle the most common inquiries regarding hair transplants, offering a detailed guide for those contemplating this treatment option.

top of a mans head





What is a Hair Transplant?

A hair transplant London is a surgical technique that transfers hair follicles from a part of the body (the 'donor site') to a balding or bald area, known as the 'recipient site.' This procedure is predominantly utilised to address male pattern baldness but is also versatile enough to restore hair in areas such as eyelashes, eyebrows, beard, chest, and even to cover scars from accidents or surgeries.

How Do Hair Transplants Work?

There are two main techniques for extracting and transplanting hair:

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): This method involves removing a small strip of tissue from the back of the head, from which thousands of follicular units are extracted. The area is then stitched up, leaving a linear scar.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): In FUE, individual hair follicles are directly extracted from the scalp using hundreds to thousands of tiny punch incisions. This method leaves no linear scar and is preferred by those who wear short haircuts.

Who Can Benefit from a Hair Transplant?

Hair transplants can benefit men and women with permanent baldness, typically resulting from genetics, age, or certain medical conditions. Candidates must have healthy hair growth at the back and sides of the head to serve as donor areas. A good candidate also has realistic expectations about what can be achieved with a transplant.

Are Hair Transplants Painful?

Most patients experience minimal or no pain during the procedure, thanks to the local anesthesia applied to the scalp. Any discomfort following the procedure is generally mild and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Some individuals may also feel a tight sensation in their scalp for a couple of days afterward.

How Long Does a Hair Transplant Last?

A hair transplant is considered a permanent solution to hair loss. The transplanted hair generally retains its own characteristics of growth and is not affected by the pattern of baldness. However, hair thinning may continue in other areas of your scalp, which could affect the overall appearance unless further transplants are conducted.

What is the Recovery Time?

This can vary; however, many people return to work within a few days following the surgery. Two-to-three weeks after the procedure, the transplanted hair will fall out, which is a normal and expected process. Visible growth in the transplanted areas typically begins after about three months. The final results are generally seen after a year.

Can Women Have Hair Transplants?

Yes, women can have hair transplants. While less common than in men, women with thinning hair or bald patches can benefit from hair transplant techniques.

What Should I Consider Before Deciding on a Hair Transplant?

It's crucial to have a consultation with a reputable hair restoration surgeon who can assess your hair loss pattern, discuss the best options for your case, and explain the realistic outcomes. Also, consider the financial investment and the potential need for future procedures if your hair loss continues.

Conclusion
A hair transplant can be a transformative procedure for those experiencing significant hair loss, offering a permanent solution that restores not only hair but also confidence and self-esteem. By understanding what the procedure involves, the expected outcomes, and the care required following the surgery, you can make a well-informed decision about whether it's the right path for you. Always consult with qualified professionals and consider all factors before proceeding with surgery.


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Michelle
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A Magical Experience: Reviewing Disney's Aladdin Musical Theatre Show

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Disclosure - We were invited to the press evening of Disney's Aladdin. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Being a massive Disney fan I have had the pleasure of growing up with timeless classics such as Beauty and The Beast, The Lion King and Mary Poppins. I have had the pleasure of watching these amazing tales being brought to life on stage in such a magical way like no other show. Last week I had the honour of visiting Manchester to see another Disney classic being transformed for the stage, Disney's Aladdin. From the opening scene I knew we were in for a magical and musical treat as the show  transported us into a world of magic, romance, and adventure.  

Aladdin is based on the beloved 1992 animated film. The stage adaptation brings to life the vibrant city of Agrabah, filled with captivating characters, stunning visuals, and unforgettable music. Whether you're a lifelong Disney fan or a newcomer to the story, Aladdin promises an evening of entertainment that you won't soon forget.

poster for Disney's Aladdin


A Dazzling Production
From the moment the curtain rises, Aladdin captivates with its breathtaking production design. The set and costumes are a visual feast, rich in colour and detail, reflecting the exotic Agrabah. The bustling marketplace, and the mystical Cave of Wonders are brought to life with elaborate backdrops and innovative staging techniques. The use of special effects, including the iconic flying carpet scene, adds a layer of magic that feels truly Disney.

Unforgettable Performances
The cast of Aladdin shine with their exceptional performances. The title character, Aladdin, played by Gavin Adams is portrayed with a perfect blend of charm and vulnerability, making the audience root for his journey from street rat to prince. It's hard to believe that this is his professional debut! 

Jasmine, played by Desmonda Cathabel portrays the spirited princess well, she has a powerful presence on stage, her independence and strength making her a modern-day heroine.

However, it is the Genie who truly steals the show. Yeukayi Ushe has boundless energy and charisma and delivers a performance that is both hilarious and heartwarming. The Genie’s musical number, "Friend Like Me," is a showstopper, filled with impressive choreography, dazzling effects, and infectious energy that leaves the audience cheering. This scene is by far the best scene I have ever witnessed in a stage show. 

aladdin and Jasmine flying on the magic carpet


Iconic Music and New Additions
The musical retains the beloved songs from the original film, including "A Whole New World," "Prince Ali," and "Friend Like Me," all composed by the legendary Alan Menken. These timeless tunes are brought to life with full orchestral arrangements and powerful vocal performances. Additionally, the stage adaptation introduces new songs that seamlessly blend into the story, enriching the narrative and providing deeper insight into the characters' motivations and emotions.

One standout new song is "Proud of Your Boy," a touching ballad sung by Aladdin that reveals his longing for his late mother’s approval. This addition adds emotional depth to Aladdin’s character and resonates strongly with the audience.

genie from aladdin surrounded by colourful scarves


Choreography and Direction
The choreography in Aladdin is a dazzling display of creativity and precision. Each dance number is meticulously crafted, blending traditional Middle Eastern dance styles with Broadway flair. The ensemble cast performs with infectious enthusiasm, their synchronised movements adding to the vibrant energy of the show.

Director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw masterfully balances the grand spectacle with intimate character moments, ensuring that the show is as emotionally engaging as it is visually stunning. His direction brings out the best in the cast, creating a seamless blend of humour, romance, and adventure.

A Family-Friendly Extravaganza
It was just John and I who went to see Aladdin however it is perfect for all the family as it offers something for everyone. The humour appeals to both children and adults, with clever jokes and witty references. The story's themes of love, friendship, and self-discovery are universal, resonating with audiences of all ages. The show’s pacing keeps young viewers engaged, while the rich storytelling and intricate production design captivate older theatre-goers.

aladdin rubbing the magic lamp


Book Your Tickets Today
Don't miss your chance to experience the magic of Disney's Aladdin musical theatre show. Perfect for families, couples, and theatre enthusiasts, this production is a dazzling celebration of one of Disney's most beloved stories. Book your tickets today and prepare to be enchanted by the magic of Aladdin!

Manchester Palace Theatre
Wednesday 22 May – Sunday 7 July 2024

Bristol Hippodrome 
Wednesday 10th July – Sunday 11 August 2024

Bradford Alhambra Theatre 
Wednesday 14 August – Sunday 1 September 2024

Southampton Mayflower Theatre
Thursday 5 September – Sunday 29 September 2024

Birmingham Hippodrome 
Wednesday 9 October – Sunday 3 November 2024

Glasgow Theatre Royal 
Wednesday 6 November – Saturday 30 November 2024

Liverpool Empire
Wednesday 11 December 2024 – Friday 5 January 2025

A Must-See Theatrical Experience
Disney's Aladdin musical theatre show is a must-see for anyone who loves magical storytelling, stunning visuals, and memorable music. It captures the essence of the original film while adding new dimensions that enhance the overall experience. From the dazzling production design to the stellar performances, every element of the show contributes to an unforgettable night at the theatre. Whether you're reliving a childhood favourite or discovering Aladdin for the first time, this production promises to transport you to a whole new world of wonder and delight.

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Michelle
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Lounge Luxury for Less: Top Tips for Budget-Friendly Travel Indulgence

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post

Travel days are considered to be the least enjoyable part of holidays. After visiting Disneyland Paris recently I can definitely agree. I do think it depends what time your flight departs especially if its an 'early morning flight'. One thing I have always wanted to do is book an airport lounge. Airport lounges are designed to make travel days pleasant for everyone. Before you rush to claim that access to these areas is costly, we have gathered the top tips to enjoy lounge luxury for less. In this article, you'll learn how to indulge in travel luxuries without breaking the bank. 

boy looking out a plane window


Join Lounge Programmes

We assume you're familiar with subscription services. More and more services follow that formula, and airport lounges are not a stranger to it. On the contrary, it is something that they have been utilising for years now. You can pay an annual flat subscription fee and gain access to an entire network of lounge areas in airports all around the world. Frequent travellers will definitely save money and have more relaxing travel days in this way. 

Become a Registered Frequent Flyer

In addition to the previous tip, airlines offer their own programmes with perks and benefits for travellers who use their services frequently and loyally. Besides the bonus air miles and priority passes, access to all of the airline’s lounge areas in every airport in the world is a common reward to frequent travellers. This means you've found an airline you trust and are satisfied with their services, from booking to flying. 

Buy a Day Pass

What about people who don’t travel that often but want to have a taste of lounge luxury for less? They can have a look at the available day passes. Even if you're unfamiliar with day passes, finding and evaluating affordable airport lounge deals on bookfhr.com is straightforward. Like any other comparison website, you'll find a comprehensive list of lounge offers at your chosen airport. You are provided with information about the services that are included in the specific lounge, for example buffets, internet connection, TV, and so on, so that you can effortlessly discover the lounge that matches your needs and you will have the most fun in. 

Check Your Travel Package

Inclusive holiday deals are still a popular travel choice. People get their money’s worth with package holidays as they not only complete many travel arrangements, such as flights and accommodation, at once but also are protected in case of something going wrong like a flight delay. If you're considering this option, enquire about packages that include airport lounge access. Since it will be part of the package, you will be granted this lounge luxury for less. 

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Michelle
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Top Tips for Planning a Good Birthday for Your Child

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Planning your child's birthday can be a challenge. All you want is for them to have fun. To help you on your journey, here are some top tips for planning a good birthday for your child. 

birthday cake


Consider What Your Child Likes 
It is easy to think that a standard birthday party is the best thing to do for your child’s birthday or buy the trending toy. However, you must tune into your child and consider what they like and especially what they don’t like. Some parents make the mistake of making assumptions based on trends or what other children are doing. Make some time to speak to your child to learn more about them and their current interests. Your child's interests will likely change regularly, which can make it difficult to plan. Listen to them, ask questions and even ask them straight up what they want for their birthday. This will make it a lot easier and ensure that you can make your child happy on their special day. 

Find The Perfect Gift 
Gifts play a key part of a birthday for children, so you must find the perfect gift. It is important to know as a parent that money shouldn’t matter. What matters is the gift itself. It can be very difficult with parents earning different money and having different values. Children don’t quite understand and it can be difficult when children are getting different valued presents for their birthday, and can leave your children asking for more or higher ticket items. It can be a good idea to speak to your children about money and gifts. It is also helpful to get personal and specific when it comes to gifts. This means that when your child opens the gift, they will be too excited about the present because it is something of interest to them, so the value of it does not matter. Think about their interests. For example, if your child enjoys football, then you may like to get them a mystery shirt in a box

Plan Something Fun
When you have considered what your child likes and does not like, you can use this information to plan something fun. For your child, this might be a themed birthday party where you invite all their friends and have a day of activities and games. For other children, this might be their worst nightmare. This is why you must do some digging and fact-finding first. The last thing you want to do is surprise your child with something they don’t want to do. If your child does not want a birthday party, then you may choose to set something more low-key up. This might be an experience day doing something they enjoy, for example, at a football stadium tour, with a mountain bike or at a science museum. Do some research on what your child enjoys and see what you can plan around it. 

Your child's birthday should be special. You don’t need loads of money to make it fun, you just need to know what your child likes and you can go from there. Follow these top tips to help you. 

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Michelle
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2:22 A Ghost Story - A Hauntingly Good Time

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Disclosure - We were invited along to the press night of 2:22 A Ghost Story

I have always enjoyed going to the theatre and I have mentioned before that although I love musicals we have been exploring different types of shows over the past few years including The Mouse Trap, Wish You Were Dead and Murder In The Dark. They have really opened our eyes to what the theatre can offer and we have really enjoyed the suspense these type of shows create. We recently went to see 2:22 A Ghost Story and had no idea what to expect as we try to avoid any reviews. If you do like to know a little about a show before watching then keep reading our review of 2:22 A Ghost Story at The Lowry.

a man holding up a 2:22 A ghost story theatre programme


Plot and Setting
Set in a modern-day home that feels both familiar and unsettlingly isolated, 2:22 A Ghost Story centres around Jenny and her husband Sam, who have recently moved into a new house. Jenny is convinced that the house is haunted, hearing strange noises every night at 2:22 AM. Sam, a skeptic, dismisses her fears as mere imagination. The tension between belief and skepticism is a central theme of the play.

One night the couple invites their friends Lauren and Ben over for dinner, the conversation inevitably turns to the paranormal. What begins as a casual evening of drinks and debates soon descends into a night of fear and revelation. The play's real-time format keeps the audience on edge, counting down to the 2:22 moment, building anticipation with every tick of the clock.

Characters and Performances
The strength of 2:22 A Ghost Story lies in its characters and the actors' performances. Jenny portrayed by Fiona Wade has a raw vulnerability that makes her fears more realistic. As a new mum it would be easy for the audience to assume she is suffering from lack of sleep however her terrified belief is compelling and believable.

Sam portrayed by George Rainsford is a rational thinker, everything can be explained and does make a good argument when trying to figure out exactly what is happening.  

Lauren and Ben, the couple’s friends, add layers of complexity to the narrative. Lauren portrayed by Vera Chok is more open to the supernatural and acts as an intermediary, bridging the gap between Jenny and Sam's polar beliefs. Ben portrayed by Jay McGuiness has his own experiences with the supernatural and does everything he can to prove Jenny is right. 

The dynamics between these four characters are electric, with sharp, witty dialogue that keeps the audience engaged. The actors' chemistry ensures that each emotional beat hits with full force, making their fear and tension feel immediate and real.

the stage setting for 2:22 A Ghost Story


Direction and Atmosphere
Under the deft direction of Matthew Dunster, the play’s atmosphere is one of constant unease. The set design is brilliantly claustrophobic, with shadows and dim lighting creating a sense of impending dread. Every creak and groan of the house is amplified, turning the setting into a character in its own right.

Sound plays a crucial role in building tension. The use of silence, punctuated by sudden, jarring noises, keeps the audience on edge. The countdown to 2:22 AM is particularly effective, with each passing minute heightening the sense of impending doom.

Our Thoughts
2:22 A Ghost Story explores the human need to make sense of the inexplicable. Jenny’s insistence on the house being haunted stems from a deeper need for answers, a way to rationalise her fears and anxieties. Sam’s refusal to believe is equally telling, a defence mechanism against the chaos that accepting the supernatural would bring into his orderly world.

The play is a masterful blend of psychological drama and supernatural thriller. It captivates with its well-drawn characters, sharp dialogue, and relentless tension. The play doesn’t just scare; it provokes thought, challenging the audience to question their own beliefs about the unknown.

Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, “2:22 A Ghost Story” will leave you questioning what you think you know and looking over your shoulder long after the final curtain falls. It’s a hauntingly good time that is not to be missed.


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Michelle
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