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What Will You Give Up For Lent? Here Are 10 Ideas… Comments Off on What Will You Give Up For Lent? Here Are 10 Ideas…

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball


Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Lent is the 40-day period (excluding 6 Sundays, which don’t count) when we traditionally give something up. Although this is a Christian festival, and many Christians will fast during this time, it’s something that a lot of people who would not necessarily identify themselves as Christian, also take part in. So what will you give up for Lent? What do you think you could live without for the next 40 days?  Here are ten ideas to get you started…

1. Chocolate
This is the obvious one, since most of us love chocolate, and we’re all expecting an Easter egg on Easter Sunday at the end of Lent.

2. Social Media
This one is probably considerably more difficult for some of us, but the effects can be amazing. Imagine how many more conversations you would have, if you weren’t distracted by social media all the time! Go on, try it; we dare you!

3. Cutlery
With Chinese New Year running over the next few weeks, this is the perfect time to learn to use chopsticks… do you think you could eat all of your meals with chopsticks for the next few weeks? It’ll be fun to try… if a little messy…

4. Soaps
Do you really care what happens on the soaps? Whether it’s Eastenders, Emmerdale or Neighbours, you could probably manage a few weeks without them – and you might even find that without that daily dose of doom and gloom your mood picks up too!

5. Hair Products and Make Up
Are you one of those people who spend an hour in front of the mirror every morning? Imagine how much more time you would have, if you gave up primping and preening for Lent – you could set your alarm clock later and sleep longer!

6. Negative Self-Talk
This is something everyone could stand to do – but it’s really tricky as first you have to learn to recognise that the nasty little voice in your head telling you that you’re rubbish and you can’t do it is just that: a voice. Then you have to learn to tell it to shut up. Repeatedly. Another one that could lead to amazing things if you keep it up!

7. Distractions
This is probably the hardest one because again, it relies on us noticing something. How much more brilliant would your life be, if you were able to focus on just one thing at a time, without allowing yourself to be distracted by shiny things (or the TV, or the radio, or someone else’s conversation, or that person’s shoes…)

8. Ironic Hashtags
Or how about just giving up hashtags in general? The only people who understand what you’re doing are on Twitter and Instagram, and even they don’t care about half the hashtags you use. Go hashtag free, and see how your life can be improved by your friends not rolling their eyes at you!

9. Your New Year’s Resolution
What do you mean, you ditched it on January 15th?

10. Coffee
Calm down, we’re just kidding. Nobody’s that bonkers, right? Right?

Instead of giving something up for Lent, why not be proactive, and take something up instead? Here are five things you could take up for Lent that could make a genuine difference to your life by Easter:

1. Daily Exercise
Wait, wait, hear us out. Exercise is really good for you. Not just physically but also mentally. Even if you just say you’ll walk twice around the block each day, that’s a brilliant start!

2. Dressing up as a Ninja
Well ok, this one is probably unnecessary since you already do… don’t think we haven’t spotted you… You need to practise your ninja skillz!

3. Dressing up as a Pirate
Well, it’s one or the other isn’t it. Everyone knows that pirates and ninjas are mortal enemies.

4. Use the On Demand TV services
… rather than just plonking down in front of the TV, switching it on and seeing what comes up. Actively choose what you will watch. It’s amazing how picky you become when you see that this repeat of Robot Wars will take up 30 whole minutes of your time!

5. Dressing up as…
Well, we don’t care what you dress up as. But it’s scientifically* proven that wearing fancy dress clothes can brighten one’s day exponentially. Imagine how much more fun your life would be if your commute involved a Batman costume complete with cape? Or a furry onesie? Set up a Just Giving page, and dress up every day for Lent. You’ll love it. We promise.*


Did we miss anything? What are you giving up/taking up for Lent?


*not really unless you count our personal experience as scientific

*we don’t promise

Bonfire Night Costumes to Keep Warm Comments Off on Bonfire Night Costumes to Keep Warm

Posted on November 02, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

bonfire night costumes to keep warm

Halloween is over for this year… but Bonfire Night is just around the corner!

With all the blood and guts of Halloween cleared up and put away for another year, Bonfire Night is another fantastic opportunity to show your fancy dress capabilities. Where we tend to dress to scare on Halloween, Bonfire Night is more about just having fun – but also keeping warm!

If you’re going to a bonfire event, you’ll want to make sure you don’t freeze your toes off! We’ve our fingers crossed for a dry night, but it’s still likely to be fairly chilly!

Here are some ideas for costumes that will allow you to stay warm:

A Mummy!

You can wrap yourself up all warm and cosy, and then just wrap bandages (or toilet roll) around yourself on top. Warm and toasty all evening long!

A Pirate

Pirates sailed the seven seas in trousers, boots, pouffy white shirts (good for wearing layers underneath) and jackets! Perfect outfit for standing about for a bonfire event.

A Zombie

Everyone loves a zombie, right? The brilliant thing abou being a zombie is that a person might have wrapped up warm for an evening at a bonfire party, with gloves and everything – and then been bitten by a zombie and become one themselves!

A Doctor/Surgeon

Doctors tend to wear loose-fitting scrubs and/or a white coat – you can wear layers underneath to keep warm!

A Onesie

Ok, so a onesie is not technically a fancy dress costume – but most onesies are characters like a bear, a crocodile or a cow. If you have one in a larger size you can wear a layer or two underneath.

A Superhero

Superheroes tend to dress in skintight lycra outfits… but the thing about lycra is that it’s stretchy – so you can probably stretch it over a pair of tights and a thermal top!

If you’re dressing up for Bonfire Night events this week, don’t forget to share your photos on our Facebook page!



Yarrr! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day on Saturday! Comments Off on Yarrr! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day on Saturday!

Posted on September 16, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball



Arrrr you ready to being celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day?

We post about Talk Like a Pirate Day every year – because it’s such a brilliant day, me hearties!

This year, we’ve been reading about real historical pirates. Last year Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge and Captain Kidd’s Quedagh Merchant were both discovered and have allowed us to learn a lot about pirates and how they lived. They didn’t have sound recording equipment back in ye olden days though – so how do we know what pirates really sounded like?

Did a mumified parrot wake up from the dead shouting “piece of eight!”

We’ve love if that were true, but it’s not. Sorry.

In actual fact, Long John Silver in Treasure Island is probably where the idea comes from, that all pirates have an exagerrated Devonshire accent. The disappointing truth is that most pirates didn’t come from Devon. Or Cornwall. “Pirate” is not a nationality; pirates came from all corners of the globe and since they were all out for their own gains, they’re not likely to have got together and developed a “pirate” language.

But shh! We don’t care if all pirates didn’t have a hook for a hand, a peg leg and a parrot on their shoulders. We want to celebrate the idea that all pirates called everyone matey, wore an eye patch and drank rum for breakfast.

So first of all, use this handy chart to figure out what your pirate name is:




Then search through your cupboards for your pirate costume. Don’t pretend you don’t already have one; everyone has a pirate costume at the back of their wardrobe, don’t they? It’s right behind the Christmas elf costume usually…

Wait, you don’t have one?! Quick, order one from here and get ready!

Next, practise your pirate speak. Think lots of Arrrr and me hearties, walking the plank, bottles of rum, and so on. Check out our post from last year for a list of appropriate words and translations.

Next, watch all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to prepare for a full day of swashbuckling! Yarrrr!

Arrrrrrrrr! It Be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Comments Off on Arrrrrrrrr! It Be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Posted on September 08, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

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September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and we can’t wait.

The Day started out as a small celebration between a few friends with a bit of a pirate obsession (be honest – who doesn’t have a pirate obsession?), but quickly gained popularity and is now an international phenomenon. This year’s “TLAPD” is on a Friday, so it’s bound to be a fun one. Dust off your cutlass, track down that parrot, and let’s get going!

In celebration of this year’s Talk Like A Pirate Day, here are come fun pirate facts:

  • Pirates believed that wearing earrings would improve their eyesight. If you’re going all-out and dressing as well as talking like a pirate this year, you’d better find some big, shiny gold earrings to complete the outfit!
  • Pirates believed that whistling on a ship would cause bad weather. Ever heard of the saying, “whistling up a storm”? That’s where it comes from!
  • This site will tell you what your pirate name is!
  • According to historical documents, pirates probably did not have talking parrots… let’s just ignore that part though; we all want a talking parrot in our pirate costumes, don’t we?
  • Pirates have existed all over the world, across all centuries. The Vikings count as pirates too, since the definition of a pirate is anyone who commits crimes at sea. So if you’d rather wear a horned hat on the 19th, go right ahead!
  • The idea of a pirate having a peg leg probably came from Blackbeard, who lost one of his legs through diabetes.
  • In 1701, the famous pirate Captain Kidd was hanged for his crimes. His body was displayed in chains hanging above the River Thames to deter other would-be pirates. He stayed there for three years! So if you’re thinking of going as Captain Kidd, consider a zombie feel to your costume!
  • If you really want to immerse yourself in Talk Like A Pirate Day, you can change the language of your Facebook page to Pirate. Arrr!
  • Pirates drink grog, which was traditionally rum diluted with water or weak beer. Often sugar, lime juice or cinnamon were added to add some flavour. Worth bearing in mind if you’re thinking of hosting a pirate-themed party!

Here is some basic pirate chat, to get you started:

Ahoy! – hello

Avast! – Stop and have a look at this

Aye! – Yes, I agree

Aye aye! – Yes, sir.

Thar – There

Scurvy dog – the best insult ever

Some general guidelines to be going along with:

Drop all of your G’s. Rowin’, Sailin’. Fightin’.

Always speak in the present tense, but use “be” instead of “I.” I be, you be, they be.

Drop all of your Vs too: O’er, ne’er, e’er.

Start your sentences with Arrrr me hearty!

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