Dizzy Miss James - Travel / Food/ Lifestyle


Six of the Best Cities in the World To Discover

While being able to get away to the beach is much needed, a lot has to be said of a city break. The chance to explore, discover new sights and history, as well as indulge in some local treats and eateries can be a welcome change. But with so many choices of cities around the world, where is best to travel to? Here are some pretty underrated cities from all around the world that are worth a trip. Have you been to any of them before?

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago often referred to as the ‘second city’ in the US, makes everyone that visits fall in love. It has the perfect mix of tourist, as well as new and old. Locals often talk about their city’s bar scene, with its vibrant live music and culture, as well as its local neighbourhoods and its affordability. There is plenty for families too.

Porto, Portugal

Much like Chicago, it is the ‘second city’ of Portugal but doesn’t mean that it is second place, far from it. It is really affordable for travellers, especially for a night out. It is a really friendly city too with locals being helpful to tourists. It also helps when the beach is right by too; you can experience the best of both worlds.

Melbourne, Australia

The weather in Australia is enough to have Melbourne on the list! But the food scene, as well as great local neighborhoods puts it high up on the list of best places to visit. It is a great place if you like to be active and outside; the locals are among some of the fittest in the world.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton is a really vibrant city that deserves a place on the list too. Part of its unique charm that makes it unlike any other is that it’s so close to some pretty epic national parks. Elk Island National Park is less than an hour’s drive away, as well as the Jasper National Park a little further out. There are plenty of places to stay too, including somewhere like the Delta Hotels Edmonton South Conference Centre. Staying near the south means that you’re close by to an array of shopping, nightlife and entertainment options.

London, United Kingdom

The capital city of Britain is one of the best cities in the world. It is a hub for culture and history, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to eat at too. There are world-class shows and attractions for all of the family. The only downside is the cost; it can be pretty expensive.

Shanghai, China

The first Asian city on the list is Shanghai in China. It is the country’s financial hub and the country’s biggest city, but don’t let that put you off! The local residents' rate it's public transport as some of the best. It is a clean city, and a really safe city to be in too, with a very low crime.

Have you got a favourite city that you would add to the list? Tell me in the comments below.


Porch Ideas To Make Your Home More Welcoming

They say never judge a book by it’s cover, but when you enter a property for the first time the immediate impression you get will last a lifetime. If you’re lucky enough to have a porch in your home, then you’ve got the perfect opportunity to create a space that welcomes not only your guests, but you home after a long day at work. Not only will having your porch decorated to be more welcoming be lovely to come home to, but it will also increase the value of your home if you ever came to sell it. Here are some porch ideas to make your home more welcoming.

Wooden shutters

There’s something really homely about wooden shutters because when the light from inside shines through them it immediately creates a cozy look inside of your home. Not only that, it will stop people from being able to see directly into your home and see any valuables that are on display.


Speaking of items that are on display, it might be a good idea to get some CCTV installation on the exterior of your porch so that you can rest assured that your home is protected and deterring thieves from entering your home. You now don’t have to make it obvious either with a big camera on the outside of your home as you can now get covert CCTV which will disguise the camera as something else yet still serve a great purpose. Not only that, if you come to sell your home the installed CCTV will bump the price up a little.

Welcome matt and plaques

No home is truly complete without a welcome matt and some cute plaques on the wall that welcome people into your home. There are so many different designs to choose from, but if you’re feeling extra crafty you could always attempt making your own welcome plaque for the wall out of slate and picking your favourite welcoming quote. For your matt, why not get a personalised one that immediately shows your personality as soon as you walk through the door?

Somewhere to hang your coat

It might sound like an obvious point, but having somewhere that people can hang their coats will immediately make your home more welcoming for your guests because they can comfortably remove their coat without having to wait to be asked. There’s so many different styles to look at, so take a look and buy yourself one for your porch!

Air fresheners

Finally, your porch is likely to be a place where you remove your shoes too, meaning that the area can quickly become stinky. Add an air freshener or two in their to welcome your guests with a homely smell rather than a stinky one!


In Your 20s? Moving Abroad Could Be The Best Decision, Ever

When you’re in your twenties, you are nothing more than a baby. Sorry if that seems patronising because it is a compliment. Millennials have nothing to worry about and the pressure only grows as you age. Again, sorry if that was a downer! The idea of leaving home and moving to a new country, then, isn’t appealing. At least, it is but most of us think “I’ve got loads of time.” You may, for example, want to retire to a place in the sun and live out your golden years in peace. Sadly, fifty years later is too late to take advantage of a move abroad.

Saint Augustine said that the world is a book and those that don’t travel only read a page. He may not be Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, but his CV is pretty legit. Here are the reasons Augustine is right and why twenty-somethings should consider the opportunity if it arises.

It Boosts Career Chances

It’s safe to say the job market for young people in the UK isn’t great. In fact, that’s an understatement but let’s not kick the young and unemployed while they're down. Ever since the recession of ’10, growth has stagnated and employment opportunities have fallen. For anyone coming out of uni with a first-class degree, there are no guarantees. Look further afield, however, and you’ll find the grass is greener on the other side. Take Australia as an example. It’s a well-known fact “tradies” are paid ridiculous sums of money and have chances to progress up the corporate ladder. Those of you reading this who are involved in a trade may want to know the wages here are nothing compared to down under. But, it isn’t only tradesmen and women who are benefiting. One glance at the list the government publishes every year and you’ll see IT technicians are in vogue at the moment too. The same goes for accountants and medical professionals.

It Helps You Get On The Property Ladder

Where do you live in the United Kingdom? Chances are it doesn’t matter because the market for first-time buyers is extortionate. Without help from a loved one, investing in real estate is very difficult to do and not worth the hassle. Therefore, millions of young people are stuck in rental agreements they don’t want or are still living at home. Let’s face it; it wasn’t the lifestyle we imagined after we graduated from university. Again, foreign countries have better prospects for young people mainly because the market is cheap. New property in Malaysia is going to cost between £150,000 and £250,000 for a luxury condominium. Granted, the amount isn’t pocket change yet this is the top end of the scale. An average three-bed detached with a garden or a beach is going to cost considerably less. In general, the figures are nowhere near as high as at home and that makes a property easier to buy.

It’ll Make You Take Risks

The British are great at taking the path of least resistance and playing it safe along the way. No one should gamble with their future at a young age when there is plenty to come, but going steady isn’t the option either. To borrow an investment term, young people have to diversify their lives to find fulfilment. In simple terms, this means being prudent in certain areas of your life and taking risks in others. Without a gamble, there is no way to feel the thrill of the chase and the rush of adrenaline. And, it’s not a tip for adrenaline junkies because speculating is a huge part of life. Say you want a new job because you’re unhappy with the current one – do you wait for something to fall in your lap? Nope, you search listings, go to interviews, and dive headfirst into a new phase of your life. Staying at home doesn’t encourage this behaviour, but leaving home in your twenties will.

It Fosters Independence

Along the same lines of risk-taking is developing independence. As soon as we hit 18, the perception is that we are adults who can take care of themselves without help. The reality is a little different, and once it begins to set in, life can seem scarier. What with the inability to land a career job and get on the property ladder, it’s not hard to see why some kids latch on to others. For the most part, it is fine to ask for help, especially loved ones such as your parents. It’s their job and they’ll never stop being your rock. At some point, though, you have to break free and forge your path. Moving away from a support network is a bold move, and it will be difficult, yet you’ll transform into a new person. The things you used to rely on mum and dad for will seem trivial when you have a job, a house, and life in paradise.

You’ll Learn A Language

Unless we talk about Britons with ethnic backgrounds and heritage, the majority of the country speaks one language. Because it’s the tongue of the world, there is no need even to attempt to speak Spanish, French, etc. as everyone knows English. Sadly, there’s a stigma about the Brits which goes like this: they’re ignorant! Now, you may not care but it’s essential to make a good first impression and it’s hard with this attitude. Anyway, it’s not entirely true as it’s more about necessity than ignorance. While you’re in the country, there is zero temptation to enrol in classes and further your linguistic skills. Outside of the UK, a new language will surround you and you won’t be able to get away. Odds are you’ll pick up bits and pieces until it clicks one day and you become a fluent bilingual local. Apart from coming across well, it also helps you to understand English. Sure, you’re a native speaker, but how are your grammar and syntax? Most people don’t know what these are, which is the point.

It’s The Best Of Both Worlds

“I don’t want to settle down and be an adult. I want to be a twenty-something!” No one blames you for that because you’re only young once and it’s important to enjoy the time. Still, it’s worth noting you don’t have to do one or the other. For years, the debate has centred on whether young people should grow up sooner and contribute. Millennials have responded and said let’s have fun first and then buckle down later. However, moving abroad at an early age gives you the best of both worlds. Thanks to a great job and a nice home, you will certainly learn the ropes of adulthood. For instance, you’ll have to figure out how to pay the bills and budget carefully when money is tight. On the flip side, being in a foreign country is a perfect base for travelling. Considering you may not have seen the region properly, you can jump in a car and head off in any direction and soak up the sights. Lucky people get to travel and work at the same time – the Holy Grail of life.

It Isn’t Permanent

Remember the bit at the beginning which said you have loads of time because you’re young? Instead of using it as an excuse not to take a risk, you should do the opposite. Gamble and accept a job opportunity abroad and understand it isn’t permanent. You may hate every minute, yet you can come back home and start again. After all, you have your whole life ahead of you in your twenties.

How do you feel about the prospect of upping sticks and leaving home?


Increasing Your Homes Value!

If you’re coming up to a time in your life where you need to move home, you obviously want the one you’re already living in to sell for as much as possible. We’re going through a time where the housing marketing is constantly up and down, so a lot of how much your home is worth is down to what you do before you sell it. It is often the case that you have to try and spend thousands to gain thousands. People like modern, they like brand new, and they like space. That’s what we’re going to try and give you today. Increase the value of your home with the few steps we’ve got below.


It is a well-known fact that the bigger your home is, and the more space you have, the more your house is going to be worth. But before you start scrambling around the inside of the home, let us take your mind to the outside. The garden is usually so underappreciated, and there’s usually so much that can be done with it. Namely, you can create another little room out there that potential home buyers will love. The room can be converted into absolutely anything, it could even be used as a second garage, or a first if you don’t have one! There are plenty of companies out there that will do it for you, you just need to make sure they’re trusted by checking out previous work. For example, you can check out ArmstrongSteel.com reviews, they’re a trusted company with honest feedback! If you want to keep things indoors, but you don’t want to go into full-blown renovation and extension mode, then you could consider an open plan kitchen and diner. You won’t believe how much space it offers up until you actually do it. It is a very modern design, and if done right, can become the perfect space for family socialisation.


If you’re going modern, you’re going to have to get your decorating hands out. Firstly, you need to think about what modern is. Modern is fresh, it is trendy, and it isn’t hard to achieve. So for the purpose of this article, we’re going to show you how to make the main room in the house, the living room, more modern. First, you need to get rid of the old, and in with the new. We’re going to suggest you paint the walls white, or wallpaper with a nice light colour, maybe with a bit of pattern on it too. For the carpet, a thick and fluffy grey is what you need. Grey is the colour to have at the minute, and it contrasts the white perfectly. Then you need to get yourself a corner leather sofa suite, with a recliner separate single chair. We recommend a nice grey or even a cream set. Grey is easier to keep clean! Furnish the rest of the room with a lovely oak coffee table, and maybe even a feature wall with a painting.


Time To Tackle The Dreaded Drawer

We all have that one drawer we never think about. We seal it under lock and key and make every effort to forget it exists. That’s right; we’re talking about the unpaid bill drawer. As incredible as it is being a homeowner, it’s also fair to say that it’s a pretty costly undertaking. On top of which, you then face a wealth of bills which you can’t always afford to pay. Which is why we get into the unhealthy habit of hiding them in a drawer and hoping they’ll go away.

Sorry to spoil things, but bills don’t go away. In fact, they get larger as time goes by. So, you need to unlock the dreaded drawer and get to work clearing it. To help you, we’ve put together a few pointers.

Put all your bills in order

If you’ve left this situation unchecked, there’s a chance you have no idea which bills you’ve been ignoring. In most instance, you will have also received multiple notifications about first task should be to each. Companies do get quite insistent when you ignore them. As such, your organise those bills where possible. Work out which are duplicates and put them together. Work out, too, which ones have been outstanding for longest. You’ll need to pay those off first, so they should be top of your priorities. But, you also need to know what other bills need paying, and which dates you need to pay them by. So, go through each, and put it in its place. It may help to take notes as you do this. That way, you won’t need to rifle through the pile each time you want to refresh your memory.

Work out a repayment plan

This is the hardest part of all. You need to work out a repayment plan, and you probably need to do it pretty sharpish. If a particular bill has been outstanding for a long time, the company will want payment as soon as possible. In that instance, you may need to opt for something like a micro loan to see you through. This isn’t ideal, as it transfers your debts. But, the small size of such loans means that you can pay them back in a short space of time. For newer bills, you may be able to reach an agreement with the company in question. They want your money, after all. If that means taking a set amount for the next few months, then so be it.

Put a plan in place

Once you’ve tackled the bulk of those bills, it’s essential you plan how to stop this happening again. It’s not an ideal situation, so you need to avoid it if you can. You can do this by setting aside money when you get paid, and also by keeping track of your monthly expenses. It’s also worth bearing in mind that bills are generally higher in winter. So, it might be worth setting aside a little extra to cover that eventuality.    
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