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Burns Night – How to illuminate your Burns Supper and Celebrations 2019

What is Burns Night?

Burns Night is a celebration held all over the world on or around 25th January to commemorate the life and works of the Scottish bard (poet) Robert Burns on the anniversary of his birthday in 1759.

There are a wide variety of celebrations that take place in Burns' honour; these may be informal or formal, but almost all include reciting the poetic works and lyrics in homage to Burns' contribution to Scottish culture and literature. Traditionally, and still commonplace today, the event encompasses the Burns Supper focusing on the national haggis meal. Formal suppers include a strict running order to include grace, toasts and readings of pieces written by Robert Burns at key intervals during the meal, where guests are greeted on arrival to the sound of bagpipes being played, and the evening is filled with all the allure of a high society dinner party. The pinnacle of the event is the presentation of the haggis which enters the dining room to the accompaniment of bagpipes. The haggis is welcomed to the table with a reading of "Address to a Haggis" written by Burns. At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins. To close the evening, all guests participate in the holding of hands and singing of "Auld Lang Syne".

Whilst not everyone adopts the formal tradition, the evening is richly celebrated, with many events being held including street parties, national landmark events and tributes which include musicians and circus acts open to the public. In recent years at George Square, you can experience the spectacular Burns Illuminated, a set of light projections and sound installations beaming all over City Chambers from the 23rd, and culminating in a star studded live performance on the 25th.

 

So, if you're out celebrating the legacy that Burns left behind after his untimely death, we have some great suggestions to join in with the illuminations.

In tribute to Burns, a special tartan was commissioned just for him in 1959 to mark his 200th birthday. Known as the Burns' Check, it is a popular cloth with a black check pattern, and is often worn this time of year. Since the 1930s, a Burns family tartan has also been produced, although this is much rarer.

If you plan on dressing up in the tartan as a personal appreciation, we recommend our LED Fredora Hat and either a Black LED Sequin Neck Tie or Bow Tie to compliment the Burns' Check - when the lights go down or you hit the street parties and illuminated entertainment, you can simply switch them on to glow along with the convivality. Equally, if you want to incorporate the Burns Family Tartan in your get up or your own dinner centrepieces and decor, opt for reds, greens and yellows. We supply the same sequin bow and neck ties in red, green and yellow, and our ever popular glow stick candles come in packs of yellow and would look great used in displays, to light pathways and lawns, and even carried.

If you're looking for something a bit more fun, or something for the kids, our new fibre optic headbands come in red and green, and we stock 4 inch and 6 inch glow stick lanyards in the same colours.

Alternatively, to honour the Scottish heritage, we recommend adopting a blue and white theme to your attire and decor.

We stock LED Balloons which are premium quality latex balloons containing an LED bulb which once activated lasts for hours to decorate your party venue or dining room. We have plain blue, plain white and white with a star design available in packs of 5. If balloons are your thing, we highly recommend our BalloonLite LED string lights to give your balloon displays the wow factor.

We also have pretty battery operated star lights in blue, which look stunning draped over a mantlelpiece, mirror or placed in a glass vase or fishbowl and displayed on the dining table or side table.

Again, our bow ties and neck ties are available in both blue and white, but if your're going for the casual look, then look no further than our new flashing baseball cap. The white high quality cotton cap has a bright blue LED light strip along the rim of the peak and will ensure you stand out.

If you're arranging a children's event then we've got the best glowing range in blues and whites. Our Foam Batons are soft and fun and are available with either white or blue LEDs. We also stock a spinning LED light up baton in blue as well as a pirate sword, and our glittering fibre optic star wands also come in blue too.

But if you really want to get into the spirit then proudly show your appreciation all over your face with our Neon UV Glowing Face Paint and Paint Sticks. Whether you opt for a small flag on your cheek, or you paint your whole face like the Saltire, you won't get a better effect than to wear this paint bright and bold by day, and ultraviolet luminescent at night.

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Christmas and New Year Deliveries 2018

Here at Glowtopia we’re remaining open over Christmas and New Year, giving you plenty of time to get orders in for any celebrations!

Please remember the following key information:

  • Our same day dispatch cut off is 2pm, however on Monday 24th December and Monday 31st December our cut off for Royal Mail orders will be 10:30am due to early collections. Cut off for DPD orders on these days is midday.
  • We are open on all working days over the festive period although if collecting from our warehouse please ensure you call us beforehand to arrange a collection time.
  • All delivery times are given assuming there are no delays outside of our control with the postal system/couriers. We always recommend getting orders placed as early as possible to allow for any possible disruption to delivery services, the postal system and couriers are very busy this time of year which can lead to unforeseen delays outside of our control!

Glowtopia Christmas Delivery Times 2018

  • Friday 21st December: Last date for Christmas deliveries, order by 2pm and select next working day courier at checkout for delivery on Monday 24th December.
  • Monday 24th December: Royal Mail dispatch cut off 10:30am. DPD order cut off midday. Any orders sent via DPD on Monday 24th December will be delivered Thursday 27th December.
  • Tuesday 25th December: No dispatch.
  • Wednesday 26th December: No dispatch.
  • Thursday 27th December: Dispatch as normal.
  • Friday 28th December: Last date for New Year deliveries, order by 2pm and select next working day courier at checkout for delivery on Monday 31st December.
  • Monday 31st December: Royal Mail dispatch cut off 10:30am. DPD order cut off midday. Any orders sent via DPD on Monday 31st December will be delivered Wednesday 2nd January (excluding Scotland which will be delivered Thursday 3rd January).
  • Tuesday 1st January: No dispatch.
  • Wednesday 2nd January: Dispatch as normal.

Last delivery dates before Christmas

Next Day Courier (DPD): Order by Friday 21st December before 2pm for delivery on Monday 24th December.

Any DPD orders placed after midday on Monday 24th December will be dispatched on Thursday 27th December.

Last delivery dates before New Year

Next Day Courier: Order by Friday 28th December before 2pm for delivery on Monday 31st December.

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DIY Light Up Wreath Tutorial

Here at Glowtopia HQ we have decided to get creative and hands on with some of our own DIY decorations and crafts to really get our office and warehouse beaming with Christmas spirit.

Our warehouse was the first place we targeted (after our desks of course!) and our very functional but not very festive, mobile safety steps were the first thing that needed a little Yuletide cheer. Now of course we know it looks nothing like a mantlepiece.... but you have to work with what you've got, so a Christmas garland was the unanimous decoration of choice! As with all things Glowtopia, if we are going to do something... we are going to do it BRIGHT!

So, whether you're curious what we've been up to, or you want to have a go yourselves, here is our quick Step by Step guide to get garland making!

So you've got your wreath and all the decorations you want... let's start with the basics.

Lay your wreath out, untangle it, stretch it out.... basically just get it ready to start adding your decorations!

Begin with adding the lights first.

Start at one end of the wreath and position the first bulb that is closest to the battery pack at wire base of the wreath (not the branch).

Using the branches either side of the central wire, cross them over and under the light string wire so they hold securely in place.
Follow the length of the wreath's central wire, alternating between crossing over the branches and weaving under and over the central wreath wire.
If using two light strings like us, once you run out of string lights, start the same process again from the other end of the wreath.

In a similar way, take the beading and ribbon garland(s) and thread them around the wreath.

Try to alternative from the lights, you may not need to entwine it in so many places. This will help to disguise the light wires and will add some pretty detail to the wreath.

Now that the lights and central beading is in place, you can go ahead and adjust the branches.

Arrange them to spread out and form an attractive shape to the garland, paying consideration to whether you intend the decorations to hang or be fixed, and in what positions you would like them.

Now my favourite bit... get decorating!

Attach and assemble the decorations you have chosen. Why not consider a symetrical design? Whatever you do, and whatever adornments you have chosen, remember to space them out evenly.

We opted for very simple decorations placed symetrically, however, you can go for a range of different items of all varying sizes. Perhaps a large central piece with berries and bows in the centre, which spreads into less and less decorations as it reaches the end?

Now that your wreath is done, attach it to your location and switch the lights on!

That's it!!

Happy wreath making!!

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Glowtopia’s Christmas Stocking Fillers

Glowtopia Christmas Stocking Fillers 2018

HOT HOT HOT!!!

We are definitely shouting HO HO HO as we go live with our exclusive
Santa's Special Stocking Filler Pack!
We've packed our best selling Christmas accessories with some brand new stock items and hit it with a flaming hot discount.
Pack includes: LED Santa Hat, LED tambourine, Flashing Snowman and our favourite accessories. Grab them now before they run out!
(once they're gone, they're gone)
BARGAIN!! £13.99 PER PACK!!!

LED Light Up Sonic Cyclone Spinner
Looking for the next craze? Then look no further than our light up cyclone spinners!
We've got the twin spinner and the quad spinner so you can master the
Twin Cyclone only £2.99

LED Quad Sonic Cyclone Spinner
skills and tricks of creating spectacular light shows, guaranteed to impress. It's really simple to master the technique of dazzling displays for kids of all ages.
Quad Cyclone only £3.99

Light Up Musical Reindeer Antlers

It’s not just Rudolph’s nose that glows red at Christmas!! We’ve got the ultimate light up LED Christmas Party antlers!
Great add on accessory for Christmas parties, Christmas dinner, meeting Santa and those traditional Christmas jumper photos.
Awesome Antlers for only £3.99

NEW!!! LIGHT UP USB CHRISTMAS TREE

Looking to decorate your work space this Christmas? Forget the tinsel and baubles and pick up our USB LED night light lamp. Perfect for filling up a space in the Christmas stocking or giving to your favourite colleague for Secret Santa.
Terrific Token for Just £3.99

BRAND NEW!! LED Decorations

Unicorn, Heart & Moon

Our new range of light up decorations include these shaped, wall mountable feature lights in adorable designs with warm LED lights to illuminate your room. They look beautiful in a nursery setting or children’s bedroom, to gently light up a special corner or shelf, or used as a calming night light.
Each one attractively boxed making it an ideal present this Christmas.

Wonderful and Whimsical and Only £4.99!

Pineapple Colour Changing Light
Bring a touch of the tropical to your Christmas Gift list with our perfectly picked Pineapple light - bang on trend and crazy kitsch!
Perfectly Priced at £6.99

LED Unicorn Colour Changing Light
Cute, chubby and colourful... what more could you ask for in a light up unicorn? These little guys are rainbow colour-changing wonders.
Utterly Unbelievable at £6.49

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November’s Newest Novelties!

We're at it again.....

The buyers at GLOWTOPIA have been back on the shopping train, busy looking for new products that we think you would like to see as the Christmas party season gets underway.
By the end of this month, we'll be busy supplying for corporate Christmas parties and branded client giveaways, but before we get our corporate product ranges out on the market, we thought we would look at some funky party accessories which we anticipate will be BIG sellers for Christmas parties and New Year's Eve celebrations.

Pack of 4 Neon Bangles

These offbeat accessories are perfect to jazz up your party outfits.
The Pack of 4 Neon Bangles
make for an awesome 80's or 90's themed party,
and would be ideal for New Year's Eve raves.
Each pack contains pink, orange, yellow and green 6.5cm bangles.
As Low as £1.29 per pack!!

Neon Gangster Hats

We sell our brand new Neon Gangster Hats in packs of 4 or 12 so you can kit out the whole gang in a choice of 4 shocking colours -
orange, green, pink and yellow.
Made from quality plastic with a matt but striking neon finish, they are going to be as hot as a mobster's mall this festive party season!
Just £4.99 for 4 or £8.99 for 12. WOW!!

Neon Coloured Whistles

Whether you're looking for a party bag filler or you just want to bring some attention your way
our brand new Neon Coloured Whistles are the answer!
Each whistle comes with a matching coloured lanyard and are available in 6 different colours. A great value, novelty item perfect for
Christmas and New Year's Eve!
Just £0.49 each

The Neon Woofer Blow Horns
are colour matched to our gangster hats and bangles, so if you need to make some noice this party season, you can coordinate your horn to your other accessories!
Super Loud and complete with matching coloured lanyards.
Only £3.99 each!!!

Our Air Horn Hand Pump
is a mega loud, hand held fog horn that requires no gas or refills!
If you're lucky enough to be celebrating New Year's Eve at one of the outdoor shindigs or experiencing the festivities at Hogmanay, this is a must!
Just £2.99 each

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Halloween Party Ideas for 2018

Hands down, Halloween is our favourite time of year here at Glowtopia!
Our office is transformed into an eerie lair and our warehouse is a rush with orders of glowing Halloween goodies to delight and decorate for the spookiest few days of the year.

But as always, we spend our time over the few months before the big scare, thinking outside the box to find new products and innovative ways to lend our current stock to the theme of the season, and Halloween is no exception!

Jack 'O' Lanterns & Jar Lanterns

The first thing we do here, is get the pumpkins ready!

We don't go for the traditional candle in the hollowed out body, oh no! Mainly because of the fire risk, and despite our spine-chilling and ominous mood this time of year, we still like to play it safe and conform to our health and safety regulations! But its certainly not as boring as it sounds.

Our traditionally carved pumpkins are set aglow with our special, glittery LED flickering tealights. They are just as effective as real candles, last longer, and we don't burn our fingers trying to put them inside the pumpkins... win win! But the real spectacular centerpiece of our office displays are our large, funky, unconventional carved pumpkins, which we fill with an assortment of coloured glow sticks. Then when we are done with the pumpkin carving, we start on the jars.... this is a simple, cheap but effective DIY decoration, where we decorate and fill whatever jars we have with spooky things, and pop in a glow stick, LED candle, or curl a glow stick bracelet at the bottom of the jar . Perfect for little fingers and safer than giving the little ones the carving tools, its a Halloween craft activity that the whole family can get involved in.

As you know, our Glow Sticks come in a range of colours and sizes that last for up to 12 hours, so we simply snap a few Halloween coloured sticks (green, orange, purple, red) and pop them inside. The effect is hair-raisingly awesome! We recommend our 6 inch regular and 4 inch regular glow sticks, as well as our 8 inch Glow Bracelets which come in a range of colours that can be purchased as single colours or mixed packs.

Glow In the Dark Makeup

No Halloween costume is complete without having ghoulish face paint or makeup to compliment the outfit. As with everything we do, we don't just settle for the standard face paints, fake blood and funky coloured makeup.... we go for glow!

We stock a range of professional grade face and body paint and make up, as used for special effects, and the best bit is that when the lights go down this makeup lights up, so you'll really stand out from the rest of the party goers and trick or treaters.

But, we are not just about the glow, the Glowtopia team are very conscientious, so the products we stock are cruelty free, non-toxic and hypo-allergenic, and conform to safety standards in the UK and EU, so you can rest assured, that whether you are looking for yourself or the kids, there's nothing creepy or sinister lurking in our make up range.

Check out our top picks for Halloween make up with the gory UV Fake Blood Gel and Blood Sticks. But don't worry if glowing blood isn't your thing, as we stock some Special FX Fake Blood Gel too!

Party Game Ideas

So now we've decorated the office illuminatingly eerie and painted ourselves as glowing ghoulies, we are ready to play some games... We are not the kind of company to be perturbed by "kids" games... if its fun, and we can add a glowing spin on it, we are in! The best thing about these games, is that they are absolutely ideal for all Halloween parties, whether its a kids party, a fund raising event, a Halloween Fayre or adults party, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.

First up, Pumpkin Patch and Cemetery Stomp!
Using our Halloween Balloons (24 pack), add a small prize into the balloons before blowing them up. For kids, we recommend small wrapped sweets, coins or tokens, or even play money and prize vouchers that can be redeemed against prizes at the end. For adults, we recommend truth or dare slips, task and challenges, or any small gift that can fit in the neck of the balloon. Set up two areas, the skull balloons make up the cemetery, and the carved pumpkin balloons make up the pumpkin patch. You can even cordon off both the areas with string on sticks if playing outside on the grass. When the game starts, the players have to stamp on the balloons to burst them to claim their prize.

A more competitive variation for older children and adults is to tie a balloon to your ankles, and this time, the object of the game is to burst other people's balloons whilst protecting your balloon from being burst. Once your balloon is burst, you're out the game, and the last one standing with their balloon intact wins the prize.

Witches' Hat Ring Toss!
Popping into the local pound store to pick up some cheap witches' hats or making some DIY paper versions and a tube of our 22 inch Glow Necklaces or our 8 inch Glow Bracelets are all you need for this simple game of Halloween Hoopla. Just the same as the traditional version, you toss the glow rings onto the hat targets. We stock some great, economical prizes for this game, where the nearest targets get the smaller 4 inch Glow Stick Lanyards, the middle targets get our Premium 6 inch Glow Stick Lanyards, and the toughest targets get our 12 inch Premium Mega Glow Sticks, which from £0.22 to £0.60 each make these an absolute bargain prize for the ghastly ghouls to spirit away!

Halloween Darts!

Ideally suited to older children and adults, it's a simple game to set up and an absolute winner at family Halloween parties so the older spooks can join in too. All you need is some darts and a simple board, we love the cork boards that you can pick up at the pound stores and bargain home stores (Top Tip: look out also for cork place mats!) or you can use a sheet of thick cardboard available from most craft stores. We think our Light up LED Pumpkin balloons  and LED Ghost Balloons make the most striking balloon dart boards, and if your party is at night or in a darkly lit hall, these will look just spook-tastic! Each player takes 3 darts, and has to pop a balloon for a prize. You could either have prize tokens inside the balloons, or offer a prize for each balloon that is burst, stepping up the level of prize the more balloons they burst.

Although this game is not suitable for young creepers due to the throwing of sharp pointed objects (never a good idea for small people), this game can be tweaked to suit younger kids, by giving them a baton and calling the game "Pumpkin Smash"or "Ghost Bash", you can then decide how many smash and bash attempts each child gets.

 

Kids Party Prizes and Resales!

We have some great options for party prizes and resale items for Halloween Kids Parties - so if you are organising a kid's event, if you're a school PTA, or are a stall holder at a local fayre or show, have a look at the ideas below. We offer discounts on bulk orders, and registered charities and school PTA organisations also get an extra discount, so its definitely worth considering what we have to offer.

Lucky dip Prizes
Lucky dips are always a sure fire, quick and easy way to raise some funds, as they offer even the smallest of children the opportunity to get involved and get a prize. For Halloween, we think that its a good idea to mix up a selection of unisex prizes including a variety of sweets (like packet chews or ready made sweet cones) and toys and treats in a large cauldron or bucket. Since it is usually around £1 a go, we have some great value Glow Stick options available in typically Halloween colours (orange, green, red, purple) that the kids will love, and will still leave enough margin to make a profit.

Check out our 4 inch Glow Stick pendants which come as a pack of 2 in individual foil wrapped bags, priced from just £0.50 each for a pack of 10 with discounts up to £0.22 per pack! Our 6 inch Premium Glow Sticks also come individually packed and complete with a lanyard, and prices start at £0.70 each and as little as £0.30 each for bulk quantities. Our favourite best selling little Flashing Star Pendants are super popular and on sale from just £0.89 each. Have a look at our Glow Glasses, which come in single units, individually wrapped, and like the Glow Sticks prices start at £0.70 each up to £0.37 each for the larger bulk orders. We also think our Glowing Spooky Eyes Decorations are also worth a look. Although these come in a box of 3, you can easily individually wrap each box and glow stick separately (an individual item price costing between £0.42 and £0.29 each depending on the number of packs sold).

Small Sized Prizes
For games where there are different levels of prizes, tombolas, or lower value games, we have great value options for boys and girls as well as the unisex lucky dip prizes which are also a great option.
For example, our Glow Glasses are unisex, especially if only Halloween themed colours are purchased, but we also do them in pink and blue, as well supplying Heart Glow Glasses in the same range of colours which are also individually wrapped and very cost competitive selling as low as £0.46 each! We also stock individually wrapped Glow Tiaras for the girls and Glow Stick Caps for the boys. These are great options where the children are able to pick a prize within different price bands so there is a good selection of boys and girls items on offer.

Middle Sized Prizes
If you're looking for middle range prizes, we have some great options around the £1 mark. Our first suggestion is our Glow Stick Wand which come in packs of 6 mixed colours, or you can buy them in individual colours, with our green and orange swords being the most popular this time of year. We have Glow In the Dark Balls from as low as £0.90, but you'll have to be quick with these as they are a hot buy this Halloween and our we are selling out super quick!! We also recommend our Glowing Spooky Eyes Decoration, again, because they come smartly boxed in Halloween packaging containing 3 packs of different shaped eyes and they are currently on sale. You can therefore get yourself a bargain prize at the discounted price of just £0.85 per box when purchasing 96 boxes (288 individual sets @ £81.60). We also have Halloween Window Stickers, Halloween Glow in the Dark Stickers and Glow in the Dark Moon and Stars all for just £0.99 each.  Our LED Flashing Spiky Bouncing Balls are also a top pick for prizes, they are squishy, softly spiky and come in bright colours which flash when the ball is bounced, these funky little toys are great fun for kids and from just £1.40 each they are a great value toy. Next on top pick list for prizes are our range of LED Light up Sticks and Swords, our best selling 18 inch LED Foam Baton is as low as £0.80 each, and we have LED 8 inch Glow Sticks from £0.99 and Premium Multicoloured LED Glow Sticks from just £1.05 as well as LED Fibre Optic Wands for as little as £1.35 each  - these really are fantastic value and must have game prizes as well as perfect resale items for stall holders at Halloween.

Premium Prizes
Our current range of premium goodies are the perfect stock for the bigger game prizes and resale stock products. We have added to our range this year, as well as keeping our classic favourites which will delight and excite children of all ages, and yet still offer unbeatable value, meaning that your event can generate maximum funds. We have the new premium Fibre Optic Wand with Star Handle from £1.55 each, our fresh stock of LED Light Swords from as low as £2.06 each, our brand new petrifying Pumpkin Wands starting at £1.68 and matching Halloween Headboppers from £1.81, and our Scary Eyes Headboppers starting at £1.75 each.

We have loads more ideas for prizes and resales which will be perfect for Halloween events, so if you want even more variety, check out our LED Light Up Novelties category online where we stock a great value range of items giving your stalls or games even greater options. We are confident you won't need to go anywhere else this Halloween to set your event as a glowing success that will be the talk of the graveyard!

Whatever you are up to or planning this Halloween, from everyone here at Glowtopia HQ, we wish you a spook-tactular, fang-tastic time. Keep safe!

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Freshers’ Week 2018 Survival Guide

Freshers' Week  is the initiation of student life and is muddled with feelings of excitement and apprehension.  Usually around the 19th September, it is literally nothing short of the most intense 7 days of your University career. You can expect a steep learning curve as you begin to juggle your finances, use a washing machine and cook for yourself, and moreover, learn your limits and test them with the notorious Freshers' Week parties. The friendships you forge this week will most likely be your uni crew and even your future flatmates. It is, undoubtedly, the most important social event of your entire University life, and with this in mind, we thought we'd share some tactical advice to survive the challenges.

1. Be prepared!! - There is no better single piece of advice that will get you through this week. Whether it be making sure you have your favourite hangover cure readily available, or leaving sticky notes around your new halls, make sure all the angles are covered, right down to clean underwear, tinned food, and freeze dried noodles and pasta!

Get yourself ahead of the game by writing lists of what you need to do before you get there, arrive early for registrations so you can beat the queue time, and do some research on student life and tips to make the most of it. You'll find there are lots of student discounts available so always have your student card with you, and sign up for deals and discount voucher sites. Get organised and come fully equipped to handle the copious amounts of admin, and get it done as early as possible in that week.

It may not be madcap adventure you are hoping for, but you'll be glad to have got it out the way when see you the last minute queues of hungover peers all trying to get it done at the last minute!

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS be prepared notes reminders
be prepared write a list student guide

2. Work out a Budget!! - No matter how excited you are, you will regret blowing all the money you have saved to get you through the week and beyond on the first night of shinanigans. Set yourself a daily budget, and stick to it. If you are lucky enough to not max yourself out each night, you'll have spare cash to carry over or see you further into the coming weeks. Its no fun being hungry or unable to participate after a few days because you splurged early on and left yourself short.

Its probably not a good idea to sign up to everything you fancy at the Freshers' Fair, especially if the ones that require fees and upfront costs, and more so if its not something you have done before! Put your name down but give yourself a few days before paying any fees. If you want to be super organised, draw up a budget planner.

Once you have worked out what activities you want to engage in, factor in the expected costs, and allocate separate funds to cover that and your food for the week, and make any important payments in advance so you are not left short as the week progresses. Try to be a bit sensible... of course there will be a lot alcohol for most this week, but set yourself a realistic limit and stick to it.

student budget

3. Sign up to Clubs & Societies!! - Throwing yourself into the extracurricular activities comes with a whole stack of rewards. It's a great way to meet new people with the same interests as you, as well as an excellent ice breaker when you introduce yourself to your course peers and room mates. Most unis offer hundreds of clubs covering a wide range of interests, so it is a good opportunity to develop on your existing skills and interests as well as exploring new ones.

What's more, when you have graduated and you embark on your career journey, your CV will be much more impressive as a member of clubs and societies, as you'll have more strings to your bow and it shows that you have the all important hobbies and interests that employers look for.

students meet new friends

4. Put yourself out there!! - The first week will be the busiest, you'll have admin, sign ups, unpacking, organising and of course partying and socialising. You can make the transition from solo to coterie a much easier journey by putting yourself out there and being accessible and approachable. Student Halls offer a great opportunity to show your welcoming and affable nature, so get there a few days early and you'll be likely to meet others who want to get a head start so you can introduce yourself and hang out before the major bustle begins.

Prop your door open and play some music while you unpack. Its a welcoming sign that you're open to introductions and will encourage people to come and say hi while you're doing the necessary tasks. Once you meet someone, go round together and knock on other doors to introduce yourself to your neighbours - its less daunting with a back up mate, and when you find yourself standing in line with someone, don't be afraid to be the first person to say "hello". Go to the Freshers' Fair, go to the parties and take part in as many of the activities this week as you can, and do it all with a smile. Yes, it may be daunting, but everyone is going to be in the same boat, and if you project an outgoing and friendly persona, people will naturally gravitate to you.

Just remember, to keep it up after the first week to keep the opportunity of making strong friendships as you embark on the beginning of your studies... you'll need the support of good friends as you settle into uni life with all the highs and lows the adventure brings.

5. Don't be "that" person!! - Freshers' Week is going to be messy, there's no denying it. However, there's always at least one person that goes beyond the point of no return. Remember, if you're the one that got so drunk that you're swinging punches; throw up yourself, others, and all over the halls; or get so messy you'll need medical intervention, you'll earn yourself a reputation that will stick to you your entire uni career. Potentially, all the hard work establishing yourself and new friends can be instantly undone by one night of carelessness, and at best, you'll be getting stick and the butt of countless jokes well beyond your university days!

This also applies to romantic pursuits - give yourself a chance to get to know people first, and settle in to your new surroundings. Remember, mud sticks, so please don't do anything that you are likely to regret.

6. Manage Homesickness - More people than not struggle with homesickness, so the first thing to remember is that if you're feeling touched by the blues this week (and beyond) you are not alone, and it is a normal reaction to adjusting to life away from home.

For the first few days you are likely to be on a high from your newfound independence and limitless expectations, but there is that inevitable crash that follows that can be triggered by hangovers, tiredness, shyness, loneliness, and even feelings of doubt and separation anxiety. The best way to combat low feelings is to keep busy, active and get out from your halls. There is no shortage of paperwork, registrations and things to sort out when you first get to campus, so if you're starting to struggle, write a list of things you need to do as it will give you focus and a sense of achievement once its completed. Make sure to go to the clubs and meetings you signed up for, as well as any other events, even if you want to hide under the duvet. Go for a walk and find somewhere to explore - gentle exercise is an excellent stress reliever, and walking will give you the opportunity to have a change of scene, gather your thoughts, and clear your mind of any negativity.

Often, lack of sleep or the sheer exhaustion of Freshers' Week can be held accountable, so listen to your body and take the chance for a siesta should you need one. Don't forget to have some of your home comforts with you, it will be your emotional security blanket, and if you're finding it hard to cope, speak to the university counselling service. Its important to call home and stay in touch, but don't use it as a crutch or it will become harder to move along independently. Arrange a visit home a few weeks after you have moved, and use calls to catch up with your news and check in that you are ok, and as times goes on try to decrease the frequency of the calls. Most importantly, give yourself time to adjust and don't be surprised if the feelings hit you much later in the term or the reoccur at intervals - its all perfectly normal.

students talking sharing problems homesickness

7. Stay Safe!! - It may sound like stating the obvious, but always make sure that someone knows where you are going and who with. Hopefully, by the time you are on your evening party plans you will have found a mate to be your tag team partner, but if you are in a position where you are venturing out for the first time alone, please make sure your room mate or someone knows where you are going or who you will be with.

Have a contact that you can put on speed dial and ensure you have enough credit and charge on your phone. Ask someone to call you or arrange to call someone yourself at certain times to check in that you are ok. Never leave your drink unattended. Ever. Always make sure you know how you are getting home before you go out, have taxi numbers saved in your phone contacts even if you are planning on returning by public transport... just in case plans change. Keep your address in your phone contacts in case you can't remember it.

And lastly, remember to eat before you go out drinking - carbs will be your best friend this week - and do drink water or a soft drink in between drinks - it will keep you hydrated, and I promise you will thank me in the morning!

8. Find yourself a Doctor and Dentist - self explanatory... its a given so get yourself registered as soon as possible! And while you're at it, invest in some vitamin C supplements. This will help support your immune system to resist the dreaded "Fresher's Flu", and is actually pretty helpful in defeating hangovers too!

9. STAND OUT IN THE CROWD!! - Check out our last blog on Freshers' Week ideas where we share our top tips to help you stand out this week and get noticed, as well as fun ideas to make your events glow!

Fresher Students Starting University Guide

10. Have Fun!! - Now all the grown up and sensible things are covered, let your hair down, be free and be you!! Take advantage of what will be the best week of your first year at university, and embrace all the freedom, chaos, and adventures that this momentous experience will bring. (Don't forget your camera!)

Have fun Make friends Student Life at Campus
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Fresh Ideas for Fresher’s Week

Fresher’s Week is just around the corner, so if you haven’t started your party planning yet, we’ve got some great ideas to kick start your imagination.
Moving away from home, often across the country, and embarking on the challenges of studying and juggling finances, can be a daunting prospect, but there really is no other experience quite like University life, and it all begins with Fresher’s week. This is a monumental time in your university career, as it will set the scene for the years to come, and offers the opportunity to break the ice with your peers, make lasting friendships and cement the relationships and attitude you will embrace. Being the most significant part of the start to your adventure, it deserves careful planning, unique ideas and a fresh take, so that this week will always be a week you will remember.

Freshers Glow in the Dark Present IdeaWhat better way to break the ice than to be put together in small groups of 4 or 5 to answer clues and partake in a bit of orienting to find the loot? We found that this gave students a great opportunity to make friends, polish up their social and team building skills, and explore the local area and campus. What’s more, instead of the usual evening based events, this one is a great daytime activity, to fill up that empty space while you are waiting for the sun to go down, and you’ll (probably) be sober, so you’ll have more chance of remembering the people you met.

It doesn’t even have to be expensive too. Clues can be written or printed, hidden or hung, and there are lots of cheap and easy ideas on the net to help you. There should always be a prize for the winning team, and depending on how many teams there are, you could have a first prize, second prize…. booby prize? We found the best way to manage this, was at the “X” spot, there would be pretend gold coins or other such token, these can be found cheaply online, in toy stores or home-made, and then the students cash in their tokens for their prize. Prizes don’t need to be expensive either, we offer a range of glow and party products, some come individually packaged, so they’ll be perfect to put together a little prize stash – items such as Glow Stick lanyards, necklaces, glasses and bunny ears, and our prices get cheaper the more you buy – we have even put together a discounted bundle especially for fresher’s week, so you could buy a few packs and split them up to make first second and third prizes.

 

If the weather permits (or even if it doesn’t…) another great, free, activity for the daytime is a water fight. You can add this to the Fresher’s Week Itinerary, and ask students to come prepared with their own water guns, bottles, water balloons etc…. All you will need to do is make sure that you have a big enough outdoor space, access to water such as an outdoor tap, and plenty of buckets to fill up so that the competitors can reload as and when they need to.

One of our biggest requests this time of year is for tonnes of glow sticks, necklaces, LED sticks and accessories. Glow Parties have been popular for many years, but there’s always room to improve. There is a great selection of UV body paints and make up, and we stock an increasing number of accessories to compliment any outfit and ensure that you’ll be seen. If your Student Union wants to raise some funds, you could mention on the program that you’ll have the stock on the evening to buy, or you could arrange a little market area earlier on that day to encourage sales and make some profit to put back into the expenses incurred. You can use a student hall, hire a local DJ or just the equipment if you have a volunteer, and you just need a plenty of lights to put on a good light show. For decorations, you can hang glow bracelets chains, LED balloons, make a glow stick drinks cooler, and make glow chandeliers. You could even use our LED batons to line the bar area, put out some LED windmills, and fill glasses with our glow sticks as decorations for tables etc. Sites like Pinterest always have loads of fresh ideas, so you can put on a unique Glow Party to remember. Check out out disco packs, we have got lots on offer at discounted prices, as well as our bulk discounts on glow bracelets and pendants to resell at a profit. For further ideas on resale, check out our resale blog or get in touch and we can talk you through it.

 

Instead of the typical club nights, bar crawls and student bar drink nights, why not add a theme to your evenings? A Carnival or Fun Fair themed party night is a fresh and funky way to add something different to your evening arrangements. If the budget allows, there are lots of companies that hire out traditional funfair games, rides and stalls; such as a bucking bronco/rodeo bull, inflatable obstacle course (think “It’s a knockout”), bungee run, tin can alley and coconut shy. We also offer a Glow Hoopla pack too!

But there’s not just the entertainment to consider. While you’re unpacking or mulling around the student halls, there’s plenty of ways to get breaking the ice, making friends and meeting those all important, potential future flat mates. Coventry University’s blog has some great icebreakers and it just wouldn’t be right not to share it!!

Plus why not check out our Fresher’s Week Glow Essentials Blog too, so you can make sure that you are well prepared to light up and stand out!

From everyone here at Glowtopia, we wish you an absolutely awesome fresher’s week, and a week you’ll always remember… or not!!

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Our Top 5 Fun Buys for the Bank Holiday Weekend

Our blog proved super popular with our followers, as we shared clever little tips and hacks to get the best out of camping with just a few simple glow sticks.
We wanted to share with you our top suggestions for products, as the bank holiday approaches, as it’s the last chance to get your orders in time for the weekend. Happy Camping!!

1. Use LED candles and fairy lights for gentle diffused light inside and outside the tent and to light up your evening tables

LED lighting used inside the tent gives a gentle glow, do not present a fire hazard, and not only do they look pretty, but are much softer than camping lanterns so they are perfect to use as night lights for children and those who prefer to have a little ambient light to sleep with. When fairy lights are used outside the tent, they can can be tied to guy ropes or draped over the top of the tent to make sure your tents can be easily found, as well as to be easily seen by passers-by who may otherwise trip on the ropes. LED candles come in a range of designs and are a really pretty accessory to place around the outside of your tent, and on your camping table. We especially love our candle stick decoration, it makes a lovely table centre piece, and doubles up as a carry along light up accessory, especially popular and cute for kids who want something other than a torch to light their way.

 

2. Add some real magic to the campfire with  Mystical Fire

The amazing Mystical Fire is our FAVOURITE camping accessory! This magical little super sachet turns an ordinary campfire, fire-pit or BBQ into a rainbow coloured wonder. Kids and adults will be equally mesmerised by the show, and you will be the talk of the campsite for sure! This product absolutely speaks for itself, so we’ll leave this right here…..

3. GLOW STICK, GLOW STICKS, GLOW STICKS!!

If you haven’t already checked our last Blog feature…. you absolutely MUST! There is just so much you can do with a Glow Stick…
As well as decorating yourself and kitting yourself up with a range of Glow Stick accessories and novelties, you can use it to jazz up your tent and camping space, plus liven up your drinks, lanterns and lots more. We have everything you need in our pre-packaged and discounted Glow Stick and Novelty Pack, because sometimes it’s just too hard to decide. Take a look, and try it out… you will not be disappointed that you did!

4. Don’t forget the kids with these LED Light up Toys and Novelties

If you are camping with the kids this bank holiday and beyond, there is one thing we recommend you just don’t leave off your shopping list…. Light Up Toys, novelties and accessories. Whether it be windmills, wands and swords, bouncing balls, flashing headgear or light up instruments, we guarantee that buying these in advance will make the camping experience a whole lot happier for the little people (and their grown ups). First of all, prices at festivals and events are notoriously more expensive than anywhere else (especially us, as we are notoriously cost competitive!), and we think its much more satisfying to see the children occupied and running around with toys which also double up as flashing beacons so we can easily spot them in the dark. There’ll be fewer tantrums and a whole lot more peace for you, as there will be no arguments about the cost and your kids will be ready to go as soon as the lights go down; saving you queue time, and the stress of trying to beat the crowd before the toy you want is sold out!! Check out our complete range of flashing novelties right here… and while you’re waiting for the page to load we’ve picked out our best sellers below.

5. Flashing novelties for the Grown Ups too…

It’s not just the kids who can have a little bit of fun with light up accessories! We want you to get on board the GLOW FUN camping train too, so why not treat yourself to some flashing novelties to light up your evenings. We stock a collection of dress up accessories which include LED flashing neckties and hats, as well as drinking accessories. We love our LED flashing bowler hat, perfect for festivals and parties, and just like the kids, you’ll be easy to spot in the dark so your little ones and friends won’t lose you in the crowds. What’s more, we think our LED Pint Cup is the perfect gadget for drinking by the campfire, with a choice of flashing modes and bright colours which glow bright and bold through your beverage.

 

 

 

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The Glowtopia Glow Stick Guide to Camping

We are MASSIVE fans of the GLOW STICK… but did you know just how cool they actually are for camping?
From lanterns to games, we give you our very own guide to the best hacks for GLOW STICKS when CAMPING.

GLOW STICK LANTERNS

   
Picture credit : http://www.creativegreenliving.com             Picture credit : https://glofx.com

Quick, safe and easy, this DIY lantern hack is a cheap and effective way of lighting up your camping space. Use an old mason or jam jar, or even use an empty bottle. We found that bracelets and necklaces produce the effect in these examples. The glass amplifies the glow, they will last for up to 12 hours, and they are perfect for inside a tent or outdoors.

GLOW IN THE DARK DRINKS COOLER


Picture credit : http://www.homedesigninspired.com

Always spot your drinks in the dark with this clever and simple hack. Just snap to activate, and shake up a few GLOW STICKS before throwing them in your cooler box or drinks bucket with lots of ice. And the best thing is that ice will keep your sticks lasting longer, so you’ll have no trouble finding your drinks from dusk to dawn.

PROTECT YOUR TENT FROM TRIPS

 

Dark campsites with guy ropes and awnings staked into the ground pose a tonne of trips and mishaps just waiting to happen! We have the solution… simply attach glow sticks and bracelets to your guy lines, and stake our long lasting 4″ or 6″ Glow sticks into the ground with the pegs to light up those hazards and prevent accidents!

LIGHT UP YOUR CAMP SPACE

Picture Credit : http://www.activedark.com
DIY glowing mushroom craft
Picture Credit : Pinterest
Picture Credit : Pinterest

 

 

In fact, you can light up the whole tent and surrounding space with Glow Sticks! Our favourite Glow Stick decorations for your tent include chandeliers, bracelet link chains, tent zip pulls, pathway stakes, walkways and boundaries, ensuring your tent will be lit up like a beacon so you won’t be wandering around for hours trying to find your pitch in the dark. Why not hide some spooky eyes around your tent too to scare away the things that go bump in the night!

CAMPING GAMES AT NIGHT

Picture Credit: http://www.craftsbyamanda.com
Picture Credit : Pinterest
Picture Credit : Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

We love the fact that ordinary daytime games can be transformed into night time activities using various sized Glow Sticks. Turn that daytime Frisbee into a glowing disk by simply attaching a glow stick necklace with strips of tape, and customise your hoola hoop with glow stick necklaces in the same way. You can make your own bowling game by filling empty plastic bottles with water and our regular 6″ glow sticks glow sticks. But our favourite camp games to play at night have to be Hoopla, with glow stick stakes and bracelet hoops; Glow in the Dark Limbo using a chain of glow stick necklaces; and Glow Stick Croquet or Golf, using premium sticks as stakes, and bracelets and necklaces to make putting holes or hoops embedded in the grass.

Outdoor Games Glow Stick Pack multicoloured glow in the dark hoopla game

Tip! Why not try our prepared packs for your party games? Our ready to go Hoopla Set contains everything you need, and our Outdoor Glow Pack would make the perfect glow in the dark golf or croquet kit.

Keep an eye out for our next camping blog featuring other glow products and ideas – coming soon!!