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Wizarding wonders – treats for a Harry Potter fan

Harry Potter books, a jar of every flavour beans. a lit candle in a bowl and a feather
Image by Natasha G from Pixabay
This is a collaborative post

Although it may have been many years since the last Harry Potter movie came out, and even more since the last novel, many people are still as enchanted with the franchise as ever. Due to this, your friend or family member may still want to spend time reliving their passion. If you are a Potter lover yourself, this could help to give others a few hints for that next special occasion. Likewise, parents may also be introducing the wizarding world to their children, so a themed gift or treat could help to get them involved.

A day at the studios

While there may be a number of places you can go to experience a bit of magic, they may pale in comparison to getting to go to the official Warner Brothers studios. Situated on the outskirts of London, this can be fairly easy to reach by public transport and car alike. Alongside featuring a number of different sets, props, and models from the series, visitors may also want to check out the souvenir shop, which has a wide range of Harry Potter related items, or even try their own glass of Butterbeer. This can take the whole day, so you may not want to plan anything else. 

A themed gift

Alongside the official merchandise, there are a number of Harry Potter related items out there, ranging from watch straps to decorative art pieces and Harry Potter board games. By looking at some of the most popular options you might be able to find something for your friend or relative. While you may also be able to commission pieces on sites such as Etsy, this may be somewhat of a grey area in terms of copyright, therefore it may be better to stick to official vendors for your purchase, as well as to ensure that the details are correct. When buying a physical gift, it may be worth discussing this with the recipient first, to make sure that they don’t already have that specific item, especially if they have somewhat of a collection already.

Personalised videos

Some websites may offer you the opportunity to have a known celebrity record a video message for a recipient. This can include those who were in the cast of the Harry Potter movies. However, it is important to note that prices can vary. You may be able to get a video of Sean Biggerstaff, who played Gryffindor Quidditch Captain Oliver Wood, for as little as £50. At the other end of the scale, Tom Felton, who was the notorious bad boy Draco Malfoy, can cost you upwards of £500. Keeping your budget in mind, as well as your friend’s favourite characters, could be useful here.

Regardless of age, many people across the world still love the Harry Potter franchise just as much as they did when they were first introduced to it. This can give you a range of options to make their next birthday, Christmas, or anniversary the most magical one yet.

FIFA world cup Qatar 2022 Predictions and Results

Football FIFA world cup 2022
Image by Alexander Fox | PlaNet Fox from Pixabay

On November 20, the host nation started the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 campaign. Following the group stage, games are going on for more than a week, with four games each day until December 3, when the qualifier stage will begin.

So, with a football performance in store for us, we’ve decided to predict every one of the 64 games in the Qatar World Cup 2022 and the recent outcomes.

Here are the forecasts using this new data for every game from November 20 through December 18. In Qatar 2022, some initial predictions and analyses will remain true, including the latest results.

Group A – Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal & Netherlands

Qatar vs Ecuador

Predicted – Qatar 1-2 Ecuador

Outcome – Qatar 0-2 Ecuador

Senegal vs Netherlands

Predicted – Senegal 0-2 Netherlands

Outcome – Senegal 0-2 Netherlands

Qatar vs Senegal

Predicted – Qatar 0-2 Senegal

Outcome – Qatar 1-3 Senegal

Netherlands vs Ecuador

Predicted – Netherlands 3-0 Ecuador

Outcome – Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador

Netherlands vs Qatar

Predicted – Netherlands 4-0 Qatar

Outcome – Netherlands 2-0 Qatar

Ecuador vs Senegal

Predicted – Ecuador 1-2 Senegal

Outcome – Ecuador 1-2 Senegal

Group B (England, Iran, USA & Wales)

England vs Iran

Predicted – England 3-0 Iran

Outcome – England 6-2 Iran

United States vs Wales

Predicted – USA 1-1 Wales

Outcome – USA 1-1 Wales

Wales vs Iran

Predicted – Wales 0-0 Iran

Outcome – Wales 0-2 Iran

England vs the United States

Predicted – England 2-1 USA

Outcome – England 0-0 USA

Wales vs England

Prediction – England 1-1 Wales

Outcome – England 3-0 Wales

Iran vs United States

Prediction – Iran 0-2 USA

Outcome – Iran 0-1 USA

Group C (Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico & Poland)

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia

Prediction – Argentina 5-0 Saudi Arabia

Outcome – Argentina 2-1 Saudi Arabia

Mexico vs Poland

Prediction – Mexico 2-0 Poland

Outcome – Mexico 0-0 Poland

Poland vs Saudi Arabia

Prediction – Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia

Outcome – Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia

Argentina vs Mexico

Prediction – Argentina 3-1 Mexico

Outcome – Argentina 2-0 Mexico

Poland vs Argentina

Prediction – Poland 1-2 Argentina

Outcome – Yet to play

Saudi Arabia vs Mexico

Prediction – Saudi Arabia 0-3 Mexico

Outcome – Yet to play

Group D (Denmark, Tunisia, France & Australia)

Denmark vs Tunisia

Prediction – Denmark 2-0 Tunisia

Outcome – Denmark 0-0 Tunisia

France vs Australia

Prediction – France 2-0 Australia

Outcome – France 4-1 Australia

Tunisia vs Australia

Prediction – Tunisia 0-0 Australia

Outcome – Tunisia 0-1 Australia

France vs Denmark

Prediction – France 1-2 Denmark

Outcome – France 2-1 Denmark

Tunisia vs France

Prediction – Tunisia 0-3 France

Outcome – Yet to play

Australia vs Denmark

Prediction – Denmark 1-0 Australia

Outcome – Yet to play

Group E (Germany, Japan, Spain & Costa Rica)

Germany vs Japan

Prediction – Germany 3-1 Japan

Outcome – Germany 1-2 Japan

Spain vs Costa Rica

Prediction – Spain 2-0 Costa Rica

Outcome – Spain 7-0 Costa Rica

Japan vs Costa Rica

Prediction – Japan 2-1 Costa Rica

Outcome – Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

Spain vs Germany

Prediction – Germany 2-2 Spain

Outcome – Germany 1-1 Spain

Japan vs Spain

Prediction – Japan 1-1 Spain

Outcome – Yet to play

Costa Rica vs. Germany

Prediction – Costa Rica 0-3 Germany

Outcome – Yet to play

Group F (Morocco, Croatia, Belgium & Canada)

Morocco vs Croatia

Prediction – Morocco 1-2 Croatia

Outcome – Morocco 0-0 Croatia

Belgium vs Canada

Prediction – Belgium 2-0 Canada

Outcome – Belgium 1-0 Canada

Belgium vs Morocco

Prediction – Belgium 1-1 Morocco

Outcome – Belgium 0-2 Morocco

Croatia vs Canada

Prediction – Croatia 3-0 Canada

Outcome – Croatia 4-1 Canada

Croatia vs Belgium

Prediction – Croatia 3-1 Belgium

Outcome – Yet to play

Canada vs Morocco

Prediction – Canada 0-0 Morocco

Outcome – Yet to play

Group G (Switzerland, Cameroon, Brazil & Serbia)

Switzerland vs Cameroon

Prediction – Switzerland 2-0 Cameroon

Outcome – Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon

Brazil vs Serbia

Prediction – Brazil 2-2 Serbia

Outcome – Brazil 2-0 Serbia

Cameroon vs Serbia

Prediction – Cameroon 0-2 Serbia

Outcome – Cameroon 3-3 Serbia

Brazil vs Switzerland

Prediction – Brazil 3-1 Switzerland

Outcome – Brazil 1-0 Switzerland

Serbia vs Switzerland

Prediction – Serbia 1-0 Switzerland

Outcome – Yet to play

Cameroon vs Brazil

Prediction – Brazil 4-0 Cameroon

Outcome – Yet to play

Group H (Uruguay, South Korea, Portugal & Ghana)

Uruguay vs South Korea

Prediction – Uruguay 2-0 South Korea

Outcome – Uruguay 0-0 South Korea

Portugal vs Ghana

Prediction – Portugal 1-1 Ghana

Outcome – Portugal 3-2 Ghana

South Korea vs Ghana

Prediction – South Korea 2-1 Ghana

Outcome – South Korea 2-3 Ghan

Portugal vs Uruguay

Prediction – Portugal 3-3 Uruguay

Outcome – Portugal 2-0 Uruguay

South Korea vs Portugal

Prediction – South Korea 0-2 Portugal

Outcome – Yet to play

Ghana vs Uruguay

Prediction – Ghana 0-1 Uruguay

Outcome – Yet to play

Qatar 2022, there are no guarantees during the single-elimination knockout stage, as any player or coach will tell you. Depending on the teams who qualify & where they finish in their group, some paths in the knockouts will be easier than others. Each Round of 16 matchups is predetermined, with teams grouped according to how they placed in their respective groups.

When a team wins its first match, it can set itself up for a deep run in Round 16. After that, the winning countries compete against the runners-up group.

Team Round Of 16 | FIFA world cup Qatar 2022

Following the second round of group matches, six additional teams joined France, who became the first group to qualify for the Round of 16 on November 26:

  1. France (Group D)
  2. Brazil (Group G)
  3. Portugal (Group H)
  4. Netherlands (Group A)
  5. Senegal (Group A)
  6. England (Group B)
  7. USA (Group B)

Following the conclusion of Groups A and B, the final four nations received confirmation of their group placing; the other three must wait until later in the week to learn whether they would proceed as the group champion or runner-up.

Teams Eliminated As of November 29 | Qatar world cup 2022



Iran Wales


Teams Qualified for Round of 16 as of November 29 | Qatar world cup 2022

Brazil, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Senegal, England, USA

Round of 16 World Cup matches

The Round of 16 pairings have already happened, and as clubs clinch 1st or second place in their respective groups, the bracket fills in.

Chances of the Rest of the Teams Qualifying for the Round of 16

Below predicted both team teams will decide the FIFA world cup Qatar 2022 finalist

  • Netherlands – Group A winner
  • USA – Group B runner-up
  • Group C – winner
  • Group D – runner-up
  • Group E – winner
  • Group F – runner-up
  • Group G – winner
  • Group H – runner-up
  • Senegal – Group A runner-up
  • England – Group B winner
  • Group C – runner-up
  • Group D – winner
  • Group E – runner-up
  • Group F – winner
  • Group G – runner-up
  • Group H – winner

How does the Round of 16 work in the World Cup? 

The knockout rounds, often known as the Round of 16, begin with this Round because every match after this is single elimination.

There are simply victors and losers; no standings or points are awarded.

Each Round of 16 matches and any following knockout round match must have a winner on the day. After 90 minutes of regulation time, if there is a tie between the teams, a 30-minute overtime phase is played.

The team that advances to the quarterfinals will be decided by a penalty shootout if the score remains tied after the additional 30 minutes of play.

The Round of 16 pairings will be determined prior to the World Cup draw. During the group stage, teams that finished first in their respective groups play those that finished second.

Qatar world cup 2022 | How teams advance in World Cup

After winning their respective regions’ qualifying matches, 32 teams make it to the World Cup.

Group Stage | Qatar world cup 2022

The group stage is the first challenge they will face once they get to the World Cup. After that, the 32 teams will divide into eight groups in 2022, each with four teams.

The round-robin format of the group stage sees each team playing the other three teams once. Each victory in the group stage is worth three points, a tie is worth one point, and a loss is worth zero points.

Each group’s top two teams continue to the knockout Round & the runners-up are placed in a pre-made bracket that begins with the Round of 16.

Knockout Rounds – FIFA world cup Qatar 2022

Every match, from the Round of 16 through the championship, is a single elimination. Teams advance to the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship games after Round 16.

As previously stated, if teams get tied after 90 minutes of regulation play, the teams play 30 minutes of overtime and then, if necessary, a penalty shootout.

Who will win the FIFA World Cup 2022?

Brazil is currently the overwhelming favourite to win the 2022 World Cup, and these predictions have increased dramatically over the previous week. However, it’s crucial to remember that Brazil’s results against most European nations have been inconsistent. While France’s chances of winning the World Cup have remained the same, Spain’s have increased.

Argentina, Spain, and France are well-positioned to challenge Brazil for the Qatar World Cup. However, according to the FIFA World Cup predictions, Brazil is still the favourite after one week. Portugal is rapidly growing.

Brazil is leading among Americans, but England is in the British people’s favour. Brazil leads among Indians, but Argentina and England are not far behind. In contrast to Bookmakers, Spain needs to be better liked by the general public.

A Guide to Smoking Shisha for Newbies

Hookah used for smoking shisha
Photo by Logistic Hookah on Unsplash
This is a collaborative post

Traditional ways of using tobacco are making a significant comeback, and hookah is among the most popular. More and more people are turning into hookah fans. In fact, people can often be found waiting in lines for shisha in London at Maya just to give a new flavour a try. 

With that said, if you’re completely new to using hookah to consume tobacco, then you might be a bit intimidated. Don’t worry though because most people who are not familiar with hookahs don’t know how to use one. The good news is we have thrown together this guide to help beginners like yourself. With that said, read on to learn more about using tobacco via hookah. 

Choosing The Best Shisha Flavor 

Shisha is smoked via a device called hookah. As for what the best flavour is, this is subjective. Generally speaking, you should opt for products that are produced by reliable brands. This will increase your chances of having a pleasant experience. 

Don’t Smoke On An Empty Stomach

Before you smoke, you should have a snack or better yet, a meal. Smoking can cause you to feel sick or lightheaded, so it’s a good idea to do it when you’ve eaten. This is especially true if you have never smoked shisha.  

man using a hookah to smoke shisha
Photo by Toni Frost on Unsplash

Ask An Employee If You Need Help

If you are going to a lounge bar for your smoking session, then ask an employee to help you with packing your bowl. You shouldn’t struggle, but asking someone for help will make things more pleasant. If you do end up doing it yourself, then make sure the bowl is packed in a fluffy way because air will be allowed to flow more evenly. Furthermore, use a disposable mouthpiece when it’s your turn to smoke. 


When you inhale for the first time, you might be excited. Don’t overdo it when you inhale. Instead, inhale lightly and inhale slowly. Doing this allows you to really get the full enjoyment of the flavour. 

Do Not Rush Things

When smoking via a hookah, it’s important to take your time. If your hookah has multiple hoses, then don’t draw smoke when someone else is drawing smoke. When more than one person is using a hookah at the same time, then the coal will end up burning to the point that the flavour will have a bitter taste. Not only that, but your smoking session will be shorter due to the tobacco burning faster. 

Relax And Chill Out

Hookah sessions are all about relaxing and all about relieving stress. A session should last for an hour, at the very least. When you take a puff, simply sit back and bask in the shisha’s sensations and taste. 

Hookah sessions are all about enjoying the experience, as well as bringing folk together. Smoking sessions are a great way to spend time with your loved ones and bask in their company. If you have never taken part in a hookah session, then you’re in for a treat. In fact, there’s a chance you might even catch a little bit of a buzz.

4 Great Present Ideas for Summer

pink present with gold ribbon and gold heart confetti
Photo by Ekaterina Shevchenko on Unsplash
This is a collaborative post

The summer is finally here and most of us are excited about the summer vacations, the new adventures, the new places that we are going to explore, and all the new people that we are going to meet. Summer is the perfect time of the year for someone to organize a successful beach party, an assembly, or even a nice wedding ceremony.

It’s pretty normal to be invited to one of these gatherings and it’s very exciting to be part of all these events. There is one small detail that you have to keep in mind and this detail is nothing else but picking a nice present.

Picking a nice present is always a tricky situation as you always want to make the right and perfect choice.

Keep reading and you will find out the perfect summer presents that fit every occasion.

  1. A luxury jewelry

The first gift that you can buy for someone and it’s very useful for the whole summer is a nice piece of jewelry by You can choose among different jewelry, such as a luxury pair of earrings, a nice bracelet, or a cute necklace. Before making your final choice you have to consider the tastes and the preferences of the people that the gift is meant for. A piece of jewelry is always the best accessory for creating the most stylish summer look.

Photo by on Unsplash

2.               A beautiful ornament

The second gift idea is the best choice if the present is for someone that you don’t know very well or is a nice present for a wedding. You can choose a beautiful ornament that can fit many different rooms, such as a nice mirror or an amazing vase. Another option is to buy a nice set of china because it is something that most people want but they don’t have.

green and white vase with pink flowers
Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash

3.               Something to wear

The third gift that you can give to someone is a nice set of clothes or an accessory that will upgrade the whole summer look. If the person who organizes the gathering is a close friend to you, you can buy him a nice swimsuit that you know that he/she is going to wear this summer. Also, a nice summer accessory is a nice bag that she/he will be able to put all the essentials on.

Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

4.               Skin products

Last but not least, another gift that you can make to this person is a set of skin products or a beautiful make-up set. On summer vacations we all need to take care of our skin and protect it from the sun, so a nice set of sunscreen (both face and body), can be a perfect choice. Of course, summer vacation is the time of the year that all of us prefer to look nice and jaunty, so a nice make-up product is a pretty good idea for your girlfriend.

How to Increase Your Chances of Winning at an Online Casino

neon casino sign
Photo by Ben Lambert on Unsplash
This is a collaborative post

If you don’t have much experience with casino slots online and other betting games, starting your journey into the online gambling world might feel quite intimidating. After all, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the abundance of choices that include countless available casinos and a massive selection of different games. However, if, besides having fun, your goal is also to make some money on the side, you need to have an effective strategy to help you win more.

As such, it’s crucial that you learn how to increase your chances of winning before you even sit down to play. And while it’s true that many casino games are mostly luck-dependent, there are some tips that will allow you to develop a solid strategy. They range from picking a trustworthy platform to practising with free games, learning the rules well, and setting a gambling budget to keep you in check. Want to lure Lady Luck on your side? Then continue reading this article and soak up the knowledge.

Choose a Reputable Casino

The first thing you will need to do before you sit down and play is to ensure that you are using a secure and trustworthy platform. These days, scammers can go to great lengths to trick their victims, and you have to be extra careful. When playing online games where real money is involved, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. For more information on reputable platforms, you can find reviews of the best online casinos here.

But what makes a good and reliable platform?

For starters, it needs to be secure. You can check the security measures by looking for the seal of a testing agency such as NMi, Gaming Associates, or eCOGRA. These independent bodies are there to check the fairness and security of online casinos.

Then, you can look for reviews left by independent users about platforms that interest you. You can do so by either googling phrases such as “Ignition Casino review” and checking the results or going on gambling forums like AskGamblers, where you can ask fellow gamblers about anything that concerns you.

In general, your best bet is to look for established casinos that have been operating online for a long time. Their websites should provide detailed information about their license and policies, a FAQ section to explain what banking methods they use, and provide customer support. Don’t settle for casinos you’re not 100% sure about because there are plenty of other reputable and safe platforms.

Practice With Free Games

slots at a casino
Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

Before gambling for real money, do your best to make sure that you’re not going to start without any skills. You can practice by playing in free modes of some of your favourite games, be it slots or blackjack. Alternatively, you could use the welcome bonus for new players that many online casinos offer before using your own.

However, before doing so, make sure you’re allowed to gamble for free – this is why you should always read the terms and conditions, as some platforms may require a deposit even if they let you play for free. Actual free bonuses are designed to help you start without having to deposit a single dime and are offered by many reputable casinos to bring in more players.

Set up a Budget

Whether you want to play for fun or make real money, you should set up a budget before sitting in front of your computer or mobile device. With a reasonable budget that you can stick to, it will be easier to know how much money you can afford to spend and when to take a step back.

The exact sum will differ from player to player and depends on your goals and preferences, but, just to give you an idea, a budget of $100 per month should allow you to have some fun and potentially make money. It’s also a good idea to look for casinos that have low wagering requirements, like this $5 minimum deposit casino nz, as this will give you the most chances to play and possibly win.

Having a gambling budget will leave you enough room to play with real money without risking losing your entire paycheck in one go.

Learn the Rules and Strategies

This one is pretty self-explanatory – if you want to have a higher chance of winning, make sure that you know the rules of the game inside out. This way, you will know your options and how to play to help your luck.

Besides learning the rules, it’s also a good idea to research popular strategies. While they may not guarantee a win, they will help you understand how to play smarter and more efficiently. Just remember that there is no magic bullet when it comes to gambling – even the most effective strategy won’t work all the time.

Stop When You’re Ahead

man with a pile of casino chips, playing cards
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Finally, one of the most important pieces of advice we can give you is to know when to stop. It can be tempting to try and win back the money you’ve lost or to keep playing when you’re on a lucky streak, but this is usually when players make careless decisions that can cost them dearly.

Whenever you feel like you’re not thinking straight or you’re no longer enjoying the game, it’s time to take a break. You can always come back later when you’ve had some time to clear your head and are ready to play again.


There’s no doubt that gambling can be a lot of fun – after all, many people like taking risks and trying their hand at something new every once in a while. However, even though most newcomers think they can easily turn gambling into a way of making some extra cash, it doesn’t always work out in reality.

If this is your goal and you want to try out some casino games for real money, make sure that you follow these tips to have an enjoyable and safe experience. Play only at reputable casinos, practice with free games to figure out what you actually like, always have a budget dedicated to online gambling, and remember the importance of learning the rules and strategies. Good luck and don’t forget to have fun!

Poker Vs Blackjack: a battle of the classic card games

poker vs blackjack
This is a collaborative post

For centuries, card games have been a popular pastime, with many dating back well before the first gaming establishment even opened its doors. Arguably two of the most famous – and beloved – card games of all time, Poker and Blackjack, both have early origins in 17th century France. The games spread through Europe before rising in popularity in America, where the versions and names of the games we know today were adapted.

In the modern-day, you can find both live Blackjack and live Poker at online casino sites, where you’ll be able to enjoy gameplay in real-time. This goes to show how well the games have evolved over time, with gameplay becoming popular even before land-based casinos existed, from thriving in these venues to now being catapulted into the excitement of modern-day technology. These advancements in technology now mean that you are able to replicate the authentic casino experience wherever you are, providing you with the ability to enjoy the casino atmosphere from the comfort of your own home.

But, with so much in common, we’re left with the question; what’s the difference between the classic card games, and most importantly: which is best?

Read on to find out more.


Some historians believe that games similar to Poker first made an appearance in the 10th century, but in Europe, Poker’s closest predecessor was a game called Poque, which caught on in France in the 17th century.

Gameplay is fairly straightforward. To start, a dealer deals each player two cards. Then, a small bet is placed, followed by a bigger bet. This enables the first round of betting to commence, where you should bet according to how confident you are with the cards in your hand, according to the value of the Poker hands.

Then, the dealer deals three face-up community cards, and the second round of betting begins. The dealer will then deal a fourth community card before the third round of betting begins, and this is followed by the dealer dealing a fifth community card, then the final round of betting begins. You can fold at any point, withdrawing your hand from the game and cutting your losses. If two or more players haven’t folded, the remaining players will show their cards, and the winner is whoever has the best hand according to the Poker hand rankings.

Of course, gameplay can vary slightly based on the variation of Poker you decide to play, and for a beginner, we recommend playing at an online casino so you can brush up on your Poker-face and knowledge of the hand rankings, before feeling the full-blown excitement and pressure of a real-life Poker table.


Blackjack is also a fairly simple game to play once you know-how. You can win by either drawing a hand value that’s higher than the dealers, by the dealer going ‘bust’ and drawing a hand that has a higher value of 21, or by drawing a hand value of 21 on your first two cards, and the dealer doesn’t. However, you’ll lose if your hand value exceeds 21, or if the dealer’s hand has a higher value than yours at the end of the round.

So, once you’ve purchased your chips and placed your wager, the dealer will then deal one face-up card to each player in a clockwise direction, and one face-down to themselves. Then, each player will receive another card face up, and the dealer will also receive a card facing upwards. In turn, you can then decide to ‘stand’ not receiving any more cards, ‘hit’, receive another card, ‘double down’, by doubling your initial wager and taking one more card, ‘split’, if you’re dealt a pair and you think playing two hands instead of one will give you an advantage, or ‘surrender’ and give up your hand, surrendering your original bet at the same time.

Once you’re happy with your decision, the dealer will play their hand, revealing who has won. Essentially, the aim is to get your value to, or as close to, 21 as possible.

Which is best?

Which game is best is entirely up to you! However, to help you make that decision, we recommend taking into consideration your gameplay style, the variety of bets you can place and the minimum and maximum bets at the table you’re playing at.

Both games are iconic in their own right, and offer unique, exciting gameplay for you to enjoy. If you fancy playing against other players, then Poker is the game for you, but if you’re in the mood to see if you can beat the dealer, then we recommend a game of Blackjack.

Jaques London Wooden Games Review

Jaques London packaged wooden chess set

Ant and I love old-style wooden toys and games so when Jaques London got in touch asking if we’d like to review some, we, of course, said yes.

I chose a wooden Chess Set and a game I’d heard of but never played, called Shut The Box.

Wooden Chess Set

The first thing that impressed me was the lovely way they were packaged. The ribbon on the outside gives it a special feel and inside the game is wrapped in thin paper that is printed with information about other games and old-style pictures.

There’s also a card showing who packed the game. Our Chess Set was packed by Daisy and I love how care has been taken to write the name of the packer. When you see a quality control card or sticker in other packages, the name is usually a scrawled initial so it’s lovely to see that care has been taken by Daisy 🙂

Jaques London - inside the box is lovely packaging paper

The Chessboard is of high quality and feels like it will last forever!

Wooden chess set

Learning To Play

Now, I don’t actually know how to play chess but apparently, when I was little, I used to play with my dad and he said I won once! I’m going to learn how to play again because I’ve always wanted to but never given it any time. I figure reviewing a chess set would make me sit and take time to learn!

Chess pieces stored inside the chessboard

All the pieces are stored inside the folding chessboard to keep everything together.

All I need now is to find YouTube tutorials to show me how to play!

Shut The Box

Shut the box game

As with the chess set, this Shut The Box game came with a lovely ribbon on the outside and was just as nicely packaged on the inside. It was also of the same high quality.

Ella used to be in the scouts and she’d help on the stalls when they had Christmas and Summer fayres. One of the popular games they had was Shut The Box and if I remember correctly, Ella and KayCee were quite good at it.

How To Play

The game comes with instructions and once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy to play. It’s also a little addictive and I found myself having ‘just one more go’ a number of times!

Shut the box instruction sheet

You can play on your own and try to beat each previous score or you can take it in turns with friends and family to see who can get the lowest score.

Shut the box

Ant really likes it and was very pleased when he was able to Shut The Box!

Thanks to Jaques London for sending the games. All reviews are my own, honest opinions.

10 Ways to Make Your Downtime More Entertaining

This is a collaborative post

Most of us are guilty of sitting in front of the TV for hours in the evening or on our days off. So if you are looking for some more productive and entertaining ways to spend your free time, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’ve got ten great ways for you to spend your leisure time, from setting goals to learning something new from a documentary. You might like to brush up on your roulette strategy if you’re going to spend your free time having a games night with your friends or practise your study skills if you plan to enrol for an online course!

Plan Something Fun

If you’re feeling a little stuck in a rut, planning some fun activities is one of the best ways to spend your downtime. It could be anything from a date night to a family day out or even a holiday. 

Or maybe you’re overdue a catch-up with your friends, in which case you might like to try planning out your next meet-up, perhaps a games night or visiting an attraction together.

Not only is making plans fun, but when it comes time to go on the trip or your planned day out, you can be sure you’re spending your free time relaxing and having fun. You can also use your free time to schedule any appointments you’ve been putting off – from haircuts to health check-ups.

Listen to a Podcast

Many of us turn to TV in our downtime, but podcasts are another great source of entertainment that is often overlooked in favour of TV. There are podcasts on just about everything nowadays. So, you might find something related to one of your favourite hobbies or one to help you learn more about the industry you work in. 

Listening to podcasts can be both entertaining and informative! 

Try a New Hobby

If you’ve been thinking about taking up a new activity for a while if you have some free time, why not use it to get started? You can spend some time reading up and watching tutorials on your chosen activity before buying any supplies you might need to get started. 

You might even find that your hobby can turn into a side hustle – things like blogging, photography, and crafting can all become extra sources of income once you have the skills and know-how.

 Visit a Museum or Gallery

dinosaur bones on display at a museum
Photo by Chris Nguyen on Unsplash

If you’re looking for something a little more stimulating than flopping in front of the TV on your day off, why not take a trip to your local museum? Many of us don’t think to visit museums and other tourist attractions in our local area, but you might be surprised by how enjoyable it is. 

Enrol in an Online Course

There are loads of sites offering free courses these days, so you can learn about almost anything from the comfort of your own home. This is perhaps one of the most entertaining and productive things you can do during your spare time. 

You can choose to learn about something you’ve always been interested in or take a course that will help you progress in your career. Whether you are looking to learn for fun or for personal development, the opportunities are endless. 

Watch a Documentary

Although Netflix is commonly used for binge-watching guilty pleasures and YouTube is most popular for looking up funny animal videos, both platforms offer a range of educational and interesting videos if you know where to look! 

Try checking Netflix for a nature or history documentary if you are looking for some guilt-free watching – you’re sure to learn something new about the world at the same time. Similarly, you can use YouTube to learn how to do just about anything! There are tutorials on everything from cake decorating to DIY jobs, so you can always pick up a new skill or two.

Set Goals

We’ve already mentioned planning appointments and day trips, but setting bigger goals is another excellent and productive way to spend your spare time. Your goals can focus on anything from career-related targets to where you see yourself living in the future. 

Use your spare time to plan out what steps you can take to meet these goals and start working towards them today! Having a plan is sure to make you more motivated and help you reach your goal sooner. 

Start Blogging

a person typing on a laptop
Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

If you’re interested in writing, starting a blog could be the perfect way to spend your leisure time. With your own blog, you are free to write about anything you wish – the possibilities are endless! From a hobby you are knowledgeable about to a guide to your local area, the choice is yours. 

As touched upon above, you might even be able to turn your blog into a profitable stream of passive income. However, if you don’t want to, that’s fine; it’s perfectly acceptable to keep your blog as a source of personal enjoyment, too. 

Try a Side Hustle

We’ve mentioned above how you can turn blogging and other hobbies into an additional source of income, but how do you go about doing this? 

Continuing with the theme of monetising your blog, there are several ways to do this. When you have a sufficient following, you can run sponsored posts in which you will be paid for promoting a product. You might also like to try your hand at affiliate marketing, another technique to earn you money by promoting products to your readers. 

If blogging isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other opportunities you can take. From renting out spare space in your home on Airbnb to teaching English online – you can try your hand at anything you think you might be good at. 

Read a Book

Woman sitting on a sofa and reading a book
Photo by Matias North on Unsplash

If all of the above sound too tiring and you want a more relaxing way to spend your downtime, try reading a book. It can be anything from the latest fiction to your favourite celebrity’s autobiography or even something to help with personal development. 

Reading can help you develop your skills as a writer – helpful if you are considering starting a blog after reading about it above. Reading can also help develop skills that will be useful both in your personal life and in the workplace, so what are you waiting for? Stop scrolling through social media and instead pick up a new book! 

Top Horse Races In Australia

horse races
Image by Clarence Alford from Pixabay
This is a collaborative post. 
Always gamble responsibly

Horse racing is a huge sport in Australia, with major events that take place all over the country throughout the year. Listed here are a few of the many exciting horse races that take place in Australia.

1. The Melbourne Cup

First run in 1861, ‘the race that stops the nation’ is the biggest horseracing event on the calendar. This 3200-metre turf race occurs during the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse and is run on the first Tuesday of November every year. The main race is at 3pm AEST, with thousands of people watching the race at the track and millions more around the world tuning in. It is one of the richest horse races in Australia with a total prize purse of $8,000,000. There are also fashion competitions held during the day, notable celebrities and plenty of great gourmet food and drink to be enjoyed.

2. The Birdsville Races

Birdsville in Queensland has horse racing at the Birdsville Race Club year-round, with the main event usually held every September. The Birdsville Races will be held in April 2022 due to a postponement of the event in 2021. The race distance is 1600 meters on a turf track and was first run in 1882. The nearby town of Quilpie hosts travellers who are heading westward to Birdsville to enjoy the two-day event when the population goes from 100 people to over 7000 people. 13 races in total take place over the two days, with the Birdsville Cup Open Handicap being the richest with a total prize purse of $40,000AUD. It is one of the Q150 iconic races of Queensland which it was awarded in 2009.

3. The Everest

The Everest race takes place during the Sydney Racing Carnival at the Royal Randwick Racecourse and is the richest race in Australia and the richest turf race in the world with a total prize purse of $15,000,000AUD. It is a relatively new race that was inaugurated in 2017. It is a right-handed 1200-meter race that was first won by Redzel and ridden by Jockey Kerrin McEvoy, who also won the race in 2018. Thoroughbred gelding Nature Strip ridden by jockey James McDonald was the latest winner in October 2021. 

4. Queen Elizabeth Stakes

This Group 1 thoroughbred race was inaugurated in 1851 and is the Sydney Autumn Carnival’s richest race with a total prize purse of $4,000,000AUD which was raised from $500,000 in 2014. The race is run at a distance of 2000 meters at the Royal Randwick Racecourse. There have been plenty of famous champion racehorses who have won the race multiple times including Tulloch in 1958, 1960 and 1961, Winx in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and Carbine back in 1889, 1890 and 1891. Thoroughbred Addeybb is the most recent winner who won twice in 2020 and 2021.

5. The Australian Oaks

This race was inaugurated in 1885 as the AJC Oaks and was won by Uralla. It is a right-handed Group 1 race that takes place at the Royal Randwick Racecourse at a distance of 2400 meters. It has a total prize purse of $1,000,000AUD and was most recently won by Hungry Heart in April 2021. There have also been many champions to win over the years including Light Fingers in 1965, Research in 1989, Surround in 1977, Leilani in 1974, and Evening Peal in 1956, and Verry Elleegant in 2019.

Ace Your Work Parties With These 9 Tips

work parties
Image by bridgesward from Pixabay
This is a collaborative post

Work parties come with a lot of pressure; whether you’re attending a team-building party or an end-of-year celebration. You want to have fun while maintaining your best image. 

Although at times they appear to be casual and mundane company events, they frequently provide actual economic benefits. They are therefore vital parts of overall career success. Here is how to ace your next work party:

1. Don’t Overindulge in Alcohol

If you know that you can’t handle your alcohol, don’t drink at all or restrict yourself to one cocktail. This is the first and most important rule of any corporate function. People have lost their jobs time and again, all because of failing to observe this golden rule.

Even if you don’t lose your job, you may have to endure months of humiliation in front of your coworkers and even lose valuable relationships. Imagine arguing with another department’s team leader, hitting on your boss’s spouse or dancing on the table kicking your colleagues’ drinks. Remember the golden rule: No matter what, stay sober — you’ll never regret not drinking enough.

2. Attending an Event Is a Must

Even if you don’t get along with your coworkers, that isn’t a justification to skip the corporate function. As a matter of fact, even if you despise your company, and routinely send your CV to other companies, make a point of attending the event. 

Your absence will be noted, which could harm your professional reputation. However, too much of something is also poisonous. Even if you adore your company, don’t linger too long at the party.

3. Dressing Like You’re Going to a Nightclub Isn’t a Good Idea

Even though it is a party, this is still a work-related event. As a result, you should never dress in a way that you wouldn’t wear to work. It’s not a good idea to wear short shorts or tight dress like you are going out with pals. If you want to brighten up your outfit visit Premier Glow for fun accessories.

However, don’t go overboard by wearing anything too boring or casual, such as simple blue jeans and a T-shirt. Because it’s a special occasion, you should dress up in an evening gown or suit. The greatest bets are classy and attractive designs.

4. If You’re Tagging Guests Along, Prepare Them Beforehand

The workplace policy generally permits you to bring a guest with you on important holidays like Christmas. However, before you go with your spouse or a close friend, make sure he or she understands how to behave and which topics to avoid when speaking with coworkers. Keep in mind that his or her actions will have an immediate impact on you.

5. Don’t Skip the Munchies

Of course, an open bar will excite guests far more than food, but you must strike a balance. If you drink, some toasts or fries will aid in your abstinence.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Communicate

It’s not an excuse to spend all night staring into your smartphone if you’re an introvert by nature or don’t have friendly ties with any of your coworkers. According to, coming out of your shell and chatting to individuals you know as well as strangers is a good idea. 

You’ll probably find it easier to communicate and improve relationships with individuals you work with within a relaxed environment. The ideal strategy is to speak with as many people as possible. The more people you interact with, the greater impact you can have on your career. As such, make an effort to be seen – but don’t be overbearing while speaking with your senior managers or boss.

7. Maintain a Cheerful Tone Throughout Your Talks

Spending the entire evening grumbling and complaining about the company policies, clients, and so on is a tried and true way to ruin a party. So, instead of ruining everyone’s day, focus on the positive. Politics and religion are also taboo topics since they can be controversial.

8. Don’t Flirt or Hit On Anyone

The office party, like the office, isn’t the best location for flirting. Avoid the desire to start hitting on your attractive coworker or even your boss and instead stick to nice small talk. Otherwise, your drunken flirtation could make you feel uneasy the next day at work, or possibly result in a sexual harassment claim against you.

9. Thank the Organizer/Planner

Another thing to remember is to thank the people who put the event together. Thank the host for a wonderful evening; not everyone will do so, thus your appreciation will be even more appreciated.

Wind Up

With these 9 vital tips, you can ace all your work parties. Also, remember to have fun and make merry!

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