Looking forward to the New Year is always fun. There are so many new possibilities that you can do at the start of a New Year and it is a really lovely way to renew yourself. Getting a new hobby is a nice way of adding something different to your life in 2014. Here are five surprising hobby ideas you might not have thought about before.

Portapennarelli1. DIY

Learning more about DIY can be a good way of saving some money and giving you plenty of fun things to do. There are so many things that you can tweak with some basic handyman skills.

You could do anything from small renovation projects at the house to making some new decorative pieces with your newly acquired skills.

The internet is also full of great DIY project guides that you can use as a starting point for your new hobby. DIY isn’t that expensive and you can save some money with it anyway since you don’t need to get a repairperson to help out every time something gets broken.

2. Improvisation

Improvisation can be a really good way of learning more about yourself and getting some more confidence, for instance. There are plenty of improvisation groups available and you can probably find one by looking for them in your location with Google.

Don’t be afraid of joining a group even if you don’t really have any previous experience. It is good for people with all levels of experience and you can really learn a lot more by just trying it.

3. Podcasting

Writing a blog is something very common these days and although it is really fun thing to do you might want to try something different. There is something a little similar to blogging that you could try and that is podcasting.

You could read a podcasting tutorial for beginners. You don’t really need any specific equipment in order to make these podcast recordings. It is a fun way to discuss topics that you care about and share your ideas with others.

4. Collecting

Collecting things is really fun and there are countless different things you can start collecting. Starting it is so easy and the good thing is that you can even use this hobby as an investment option for the future. Many old antiques might be really valuable in a few years time, for example.

Another great thing about collecting is the point that you can do it together with the whole family. You could consider starting a doll collection, for example. Old dolls are a good investment option and are really nice to look at. You can find out more about doll collection on the internet at A Girl For All Time’s website, for instance.

5. Robot Building

Something really fun and unusual to do as a hobby is to start robot building. It isn’t as hard as it might sound and there are plenty of good websites that can help you get started. Check out Society Of Robots, for example.

You can find robot kits on the internet as well. These will guide you through the starting hurdles. There are plenty of different things to do with the robots and you can even participate in the robot building championships.

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Mark loves to browse the internet for new ways to spend time. He likes to try out new things and he is a big fan of martial arts. He also recently got into toy collecting and is interested about old toy soldiers.

 
 

Are you one of those people who finds it a bit difficult to get going in the morning and who has trouble getting everything done by the time you must leave the house? If so then it is a good idea to try out these four simple tips that help you get ready faster, making sure that you start the day with a smile on your face.

morning tea

1. Get Straight Up

Try to ensure that you don’t keep hitting that snooze button in the morning by placing your alarm clock somewhere that requires you to get up from the bed.

This can end up putting you in a much better mood as well because you are guaranteed to wake up on time and you won’t have to start rushing through your morning routine.

Another great tip for an instant waking up is to prepare a glass of water on the nightstand that you can drink when you wake up. It will help wake up your body and give you some energy.

2. Skip The Shower

You don’t need to go for a morning shower if you want to use that time for either sleeping longer or doing something more productive. It can work just as well to have a shower in the evening and use dry shampoo in the morning, for instance.

Elle magazine shows a few good products that you can use in the morning to avoid having to wash the hair. Perhaps you want to have a quick shower without washing the hair, which can also save a few minutes in the morning.

3. Prepare Breakfast Items

It is really important to eat a good healthy breakfast in the morning but you also don’t want to be preparing for one for 30 minutes. Thus it is a good idea to prepare it all in advance.

For example, make a good berry smoothie the night before and then drink it while you are getting ready. This will give you a lot of good vitamins to get you ready for the day ahead and won’t take up a lot of your time. You can also opt for some quick and healthy options like yoghurt and muesli, which won’t take long to prepare either.

4. Prepare Your Clothes The Previous Night

It will save you a lot of time if you also prepare your clothes the previous night. This way you know what to wear and you won’t be staring at your wardrobe for five minutes trying to think this in the morning. It also saves you the stress of trying to make sure your clothes are clean and ironed.

Make sure you also get your accessories ready. For example, if you are looking for your pins and accessories for hijabs in the morning you can lose a lot of time. So make sure you organise your pins and other pieces of jewellery well to make it easy to find them in the morning. If you are looking for new pins you can check out online retailers like Aab Collection.

The above tips can guarantee your morning will be hassle free and you will get yourself ready in no time.

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Malia hates waking up in the morning and she is always trying to find new ways to make her mornings more organised and smooth. She is also a big fan of reading and usually stays up too late reading books.

 
 

There are plenty of myths around in the world and music is one of the subjects that have a lot of them. It is really easy to understand why myths are born and they can be very persistent things.Music

Here are five really big music myths that have been around for a long time now.

1. Music Makes You Smart

Now although music can have a lot of positive benefits to us humans it most certainly doesn’t make us smarter.

There has long been a rumour that listening to Mozart as a baby or even in the womb would somehow make you smarter.

Unfortunately this isn’t true and we just need to keep studying. But you should still enjoy music since it can affect your mood and energy positively.

2. A Boy Or A Girl

Musicians are under a really tight scrutiny and sometimes this has gotten some really invasive forms. There are many rumours regarding the gender of some of the most well known singers. For example, as this TruTV article points out Lady Gaga has been denying the rumour that she might be a man. There have also been rumours that Ciara was born as a man as well.

3. Murder In The House

Many myths surrounding the music business are also to do with murder. In many cases these rumours have probably been born out from the tragic loss of a great musicians and the fact that it is hard to understand the loss of a loved one.

The most famous murder suspicion is most likely the one involving the Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Cobain shot himself in the 1990s but the rumour has it that his wife Courtney Cobain got him killed instead.

4. Wild Rock Acts

There are plenty of myths surrounding rock bands. For example, one of the most persistent rock myths is the rumour that Ozzy Osbourne used to bite of heads of live bats on stage. This is untrue, although it is easy to understand why the rumour got started in the first place.

What happened once on stage was that Osbourne bit into a bat that he thought to be a rubber prob. Instead the bat bit back and he had to undergo rabies treatment. So it was an accident that turned into a myth.

5. Dead Or Alive

And lastly, there are plenty of myths in the music industry surrounding musicians who are either dead or alive. For instance, there are a lot of people that believe that Elvis is still alive and just faked his own death to get away from the public.

Perhaps more bizarrely there are plenty of rumours surrounding Paul McCartney, for instance. Now we all know that Paul McCartney is still alive but many people believe he died in a car crash in 1966.

The above myths have long lived in the music industry. It is also very likely that we will continue seeing these sort of rumours for a long time as that is very much what the human minds does.

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Tina is a big fan of music. She especially loves saxophone music and is always on the lookout for new high-definition saxophone lessons to improve her skills. When she isn’t playing or listening to music she likes to spend time with her friends.

 
 

Flamenco is an emotive and passionate style of music and dance which grew out of the Andalusian and Spannish gypsy (Gitano) cultures. Flamenco remains a popular art across the world and so you don’t have to travel to Spain to enjoy performances, festivals or indeed to learn how to dance yourself. Flamenco has its own terminology which may confuse newcomers to the style and so here is guide to what you need to know.

Flamenco

The word flamenco in Spanish originally meant “flame-coloured” and now refers to flamingo birds and also the Flemish language and culture. Its origins as a musical term may be connected to its use to describe the Flemish people. The natives of that area were considered to be flamboyant and brash and so were referred to as flamenco and the word became a general term for flamboyant behaviour which could be why it was used to describe Gitano performers. It has also been proposed that the term Flamenco has its roots in the Hispanic/Arabic phrase fellah mengu meaning expelled peasant as the music has its roots in Romani and Andalusian ethnic culture.

Cante

The cante is the Flamenco song and is considered to be the most important element of the art. A singer is a cantaor. Although it is the dancer who generally attracts all of the attention it is the music which is at the heart of a Flamenco performance.

Toque

The toque is the second principle element of the style and is the guitar playing technique which is distinctive to Flamenco. A guitar player is known as a tocaores. The Flamenco technique produces a more rasping and percussive sound than classical guitar playing. The instruments are similar but the flamenco guitar is lighter than a classical instrument and has a thinner top. Flamenco guitars produce a brighter sound with more resonance.

Baile

The third element of Flamenco is the baile or dance. The performance is characterised by intensity, emotion, expressive use of the arms and the dramatic and rhythmic stamping of the feet. The three elements of cante, toque and baile come together to produce a compelling and emotive performance that consumes the artists and draws in the audience.

Traje de Flamenca

The traje de Flamenco is the extravagant costume worn by female dancers. The dresses are adorned with several layers of ruffles called volantes to both the skirt and sleeves. The dresses are generally brightly coloured, often featuring polka dots and fall to the ankles. Dancers may also wear a bata de cola which is a skirt with a train of ruffles and is very difficult to manoeuvre when dancing.

Palmas

Palmas is the distinctive hand clapping which accompanies a Flamenco performance and accentuates the rhythm of the music. Practitioners are called palmistas and must master the art of both hard claps (fuertes) and soft claps (sordas).

Flamenco has a fascinating history and an exotic culture all of its own. More and more people are becoming interested in the music and dance and now you can talk with some confidence about the subject!

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Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her shop.