As-Salamu Alaykum – Peace Be Upon You

•January 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment
As-Salam Alaykum: Peace Be Upon You

Islam: A Short Documentary by Raechelle Dias

Islam: A Short Documentary by Raechelle Dias

In this short documentary I explore Islam post 9/11 in a documentary filmed in Australia. The moderate religious practice of Islam has been gravely overshadowed by ever growing Islamophobia. Where were all the Muslims before 9/11?  The religions message of peace and tolerance practiced by the great majority of Muslims has been missed by many non-Muslims exposed to the fear propagated in today’s mass media.

Explore the diverse academic, artistic, mathematical and cultural gifts Islam has leant to Western cultures and begin to understand the appeal of the world’s fastest growing religion. The Islamic conversion of one prominent Australian politician Silma Ihram in the face of growing Islamophobia is examined, as she discusses the liberty, peace, intellectual and academic merit one Western woman found in her conversion to Islam.

Make Money Selling your Hair

•January 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Ryan Schultz/Flickr

 

Make Money Selling your Hair

May 15th 2009

We all remember the scene in Little Women when Jo sells her hair because the family needs money.  While they all cry together over her lost locks, they’re all consoled by the much needed hard cash its gotten them.

But this is not just the stuff of fiction. Scientists have decoded DNA and cloned sheep, but still can’t cure baldness! As a result wigs, hair extensions, and hair pieces have never been so popular. If you’re willing to get a snip, you can make a pretty mint from those luscious tresses.

Start Growing and Grooming

First you’ll have to start growing and grooming before you can start trimming.  Most companies will want hair that has absolutely no chemical treatments so your hair can’t be coloured, permed, highlighted or tinted. You’ll also need plentyof it – at least six inches.

Hair must be clean, healthy and shiny. Cigarette smoke or traces of drugs taken will linger in your hair long after it’s washed.

Remember wig makers are hair experts, if they detect damaged hair they’ll toss it, and you’ll be sporting a crop without getting any cash.

Unusual natural hair colours are in for a treat, as they command the highest prices. The healthier your hair is in the more you can get for it.

Before you go for any snipping make sure to contact a wig seller and find out how much your hair type will earn you. This way, you can see whether it’s really worth chopping it all off.

Some tips for keeping your locks healthy:

  • Regular trims will keep broken and split ends away (trimming every 6-8 weeks is best, but remember not too much!)
  • Remember healthy body = healthy hair.  Make sure to get your calcium and protein for strong hair
  • Wash out all product from your hair at night, there are loads of chemicals in them that dry out your hair.
  • Give up your hair dryers, curling irons or flattening irons, hairspray and other styling products now! These dry hair out and cause hair breakage and split ends.
  • Instead of blow drying, towel dry
  • Braid your hair overnight and in the morning you’ll have lovely waves without any of the damage curling irons will cause.
  • Though you might be tempted, don’t brush your hair more than twice daily and use a high quality vent brush when you do.
  • Oils like rosemary oil, cedar wood oil, juniper berry oil, and lavender oil will help lock-in your hair’s moisture. At night apply the oil, braid your hair and you’ll be moisturising your hair. This way it won’t be breaking while you sleep.
  • Go au natural – Beer and egg whites make excellent hair conditioners.

 

Start Marketing

Market your new product online.  Hop on Gumtree and you’ll find lots of ads from wigmakers willing to pay your asking price for your hair.  If you’re going to post an ad on advertising your hair you’ll need to include:

  • Clear, accurate pictures (mostly of length)
  • Include a description of hair length, colour, quality, ethnic type of hair
  • Contact details

Keep it simple, there are already wigmakers advertising for hair on Gumtree, so you don’t need to waste too much time on writing your own ones. Responding to ads can be just as effective.

Remember – wigmakers aren’t the only ones looking for hair.  Market yourself in places that others haven’t yet thought of like hairstylists who work with extensions. Hair colleges will also need human hair supplies too.  (Even high quality paint brushes are made with human hair).

Go through your Yellow Pages and look up your local hair colleges, and hair salons.  Make some calls and find out what they’re willing to pay for your hair.  Remember that your advert details apply here too.  People want to know the condition, length, colour, quality, and ethnic type of your hair.  It may take some time to research but the pay off could be big.

How much can you expect to make?

Bloomsbury Wigs will pay up to £100 for your hair.  They’ll even cut it off on the spot for you.  Before you picture some mad scientist coming at you with clippers – they just cut off your ponytail.

The main hair buyer in the UK, Banbury Postiche (Wigs UK) pays £3 per ounce if your hair is 6-12″ long and £5 per ounce if it is more than 12″ long.

Get on Gumtree where several wigmakers are looking to buy hair and are open to negotiations.  Some are even willing to buy children’s hair, so you can even score some cash from your kids’ hair too.

Useful Links

 

 

 

Raechelle Dias

4 Comments on “Make Money by Selling your Hair”

    Jasmine Birtles says: July 24, 2009 at 12:38 pmI don’t know exactly but why not give Banbury Postiche a call and ask them. It’s a good idea to do it for charity – you could let your local paper know too as they would probably be interested. That way you could get some publicity for it and make more cash.Reply Sweksha says: July 23, 2009 at 7:16 pmMy hair is 25 inch long from my shoulder. It’s dark brown. I haven’t dyed or used any chemicals. I used to love long hair but now it’s quite troublesome as I don’t get much time to care for it. I want to cut my hair but not waste it. Do any of u know how much money would I get If i have a cut? coz i am organizing a charity event.Reply Margaret says: May 19, 2009 at 4:36 pmI have 8-9 inches to spare if thats any good? I used to be very blond but now it’s a mix of dark and light brown with blond streaks. Has never been dyed or had fancy straitners and whatnot on it. I tend to towel dry my hair and that is it.Haha! I’m in serious need of a haircut. I don’t feel like going to my local because they waste more time chatting than cutting. Anyone else get that with their local? Haha.Reply Dave says: April 22, 2009 at 8:56 pmI don’t suppose that anyof them would like to buy my beard…

Seven ways to make money from your garden

•November 11, 2009 • 1 Comment

Garden Image

Working the garden is great for your glutes, your tan and now this summer your wallet. We’ve got some great ideas to help you make the most of your plot this season.  No matter how small your garden may be, you can earn a sweet mint this summer with some of our clever money making plans.

From using the soil for growing saleable produce to renting your garden for private functions, there are loads of ways to earn pretty pounds from those lovely petals.

Growing money plants: edible flowers

 

Lots of restaurants, health food stores and gourmet food shops sell and use edible flowers for cooking. A rise in health-conscious home cooking means a sizeable market exists for selling edible yummies directly to consumers in their homes.  Remember ‘organic’ should be the watchword right at the artichoke-heart of your plans here.

Before you start pan-frying your pot plant to see what it tastes like in a pasta dish, let’s take a quick look at what’s edible, or more specifically – edible and saleable.

Be mindful certain flowers can only be used for decoration, such as daffodils, azaleas and rhododendrons. They are not safe to eat!

There are around one hundred different flower varieties deemed edible.  Your concern here is with flavour rather than fainting with hunger.  Some of these varieties can be shelved under the category of ‘bush food’. Roses, violets, pansies and daylilies are all popular and saleable edible plants you could grow.

That ever-present and robust rascal of the common lawn – the dandelion – is a great salad ingredient or used to make wine. Pesky weeds no longer, with the correct marketing and processing you can press pretty pounds out of those delicate petals.

Getting started

The good news is you don’t need a huge garden to grow them. To get started, you’ll just need:

  • Some varieties of popular edible flowers.
  • Organic pesticides and fungicides.
  • Designated plot in your garden.

Before you start planting consult your local plant nursery to find the best way of using insect deterrents to protect your plants without interfering with their taste. A compost pile is the perfect and safe enriched soil to use.

You are ready to plant.  Not to worry you don’t need a huge plot of land.  Just remember normal plant chemical agents cannot be used with edible flowers.

When harvesting your edible flowers make sure to do it whilst the temperature is cool, normally after the morning dew has evaporated. Remove all the pollen parts of the plant, and keep the long-stemmed flowers in water inside the fridge.

Place short-stemmed flowers between moist paper towels or keep them loose inside a plastic bag. That’s all it takes, your flowers will be good to eat fresh for about a week.

How to sell them

Approaching local restaurants or food stores is a good way to sell your flowers.  You’ll need to put together some photos, pricing and growing information. In order to trade directly to households, it’s a good idea to create a blog page, or place adverts on eBay.com, Gumtree or Craigslist.

You can buy edible plant seeds in packs of 50-100 seeds for about £1.50 to £2.50, depending on the type of flower. A mixed pack of 80 seeds would set you back around £2. It’s very easy to get them sent directly to you through the post. A good place to buy them readily and cheaply is through eBay.

Most retailers of edible flowers sell them as a punnet for around £12-15 each. A standard punnet is about 130mm x 170mm and can hold a few dozen small flowers and about a dozen larger ones.

Medicinal plant nursery

Just like growing edible plants in your garden, keeping a medicinal plant nursery as an income-generator requires very little comparable effort and maintenance.

In fact, a lot of the same edible plants can also be used and sold for medicinal purposes as well. You just need to add an extra step and dry your plants in order to increase their shelf life.

Stick to perennials that don’t require annual planting or germination. Medicinal herbs and plants are great because they can flourish in the shade or harsh sun, and require little water or attention.

Again, we come to our weed, the dandelion.  Its roots and flower-tops can be dried and sold as a tea or a body tincture. Dandelions are meant to aid liver and gastrointestinal detoxification, work as a digestive and as a diuretic and they also contain lots of antioxidants.

Another common weed with a stock of medicinal qualities is the plantain (not to be confused with the plantain fruit). Plantain is great for killing bacteria and reducing swelling on wounds and insect bites. It has been historically used as a combined bandage and antibacterial ointment in one.

Another perennial, lemon balm, belongs to the mint family and treats viral infections, shingles and cold sores. It’s perhaps best used as a tea to bolster the immune system in overcoming cold and flu symptoms.

How to sell them

The market for selling medicinal herbs is more likely to be a domestic one. Your knowledge of their use is just as important in selling the plants as the plants themselves. It’s therefore important to research well beforehand into all of the medicinal plants and herbs you’re interested in growing for sale and distribution.

People are more likely to buy from you, and continue to buy from you, if you’re confident and secure in the information you provide with the edible plants.

Remember: even though these plants are generally considered safe to use as a natural homeopathic medicine, you should always evaluate their risks and benefits to certain people and their illnesses, especially when used in conjunction with other prescribed medicines.

Getting started

You can buy medicinal herb and plant seeds in packs of 50-500 seeds for an average price of £1 to £2. Price varies greatly for some of the rarer seeds, so expect to pay at least an extra £1 for these.

It’s very easy to get them sent directly to you through the post. A good place to buy them readily and cheaply is through eBay.

A small fresh single plant from your garden can be sold with a 9cm pot for about £2-£3 depending on the seed variety you’re using. A small 50g bag of cut and dried dandelion root will sell for about £1.80.

Design and create little information labels you can stick on your plants describing its best usage and effects.

Starting an organic market garden

Feel like moving a stage further up the garden path? Establish your own garden as a market garden. This will require a lot more time, knowledge and money.  So this isn’t a great option if you don’t have seriously green fingers.

Staple and seasonal vegetables are a good entry point.  There is an ever growing demand for locally grown, organic food. Remember to stick to the basics first before you start attempting to grow more exotic foods.  Selecting produce that is in season and can easily be grown in your local conditions will be easier and require far fewer resources to grow.

It’s harder to grow more visually ‘perfect’ organic food but most people who regularly buy organic groceries will already be aware of this.

Advertise locally, with flyers and business cards that you may put up in other local shops and eateries.  Customers will be coming to your garden for the produce. It’s a good idea to hold weekly or monthly markets.

Come together

You don’t have to go it alone – you can’t grow everything you would ideally like to sell. Join forces with other local productive gardens in the area and turn a profit together. The success of your trade will depend on the quality of your goods, so be mindful of this if you are buying products from other producers to sell at your market.

Talk with neighbours and see if they are willing to grow some produce in their gardens.  If they are you could have a street market held monthly, cashing in on all your varying produce.

Running a market can require a lot of time investment (as will gardening all the produce). Be mindful of how large a market you can actually handle and how much time and money you have to invest.

Most of the tools you’ll need, you’ve already got some where in that shed.  So don’t get carried away and buy unnecessary things.

On the other hand, you should not hire any basic hand tools. Since you’re going to be using them regularly it’s cheaper to buy them. The occasional use of larger machinery should be hired. Look in your Yellow Pages, there are loads of local tool hire shops in there.

Because the ‘fruits of your labour’ will take several months to become available, working capital will be needed to finance supplies, living expenses, wages and organic certification fees.

When considering a market farm, you first need to consider the size of the project. A small garden farm will likely cost you several hundred pounds to initially set-up whilst a much larger one could run you several thousand pounds.

For an idea about evaluating assets and setting targets for the market, see the advice from Scott Kelland. For more information and advice from an established working garden market, visit Glebelands Market Garden.

You should be aware of the following statutory organic farming requirements:

EU Organic Regulation 2092/91

The Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (FEPA) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (COSHH)

 

 

Turn part of your garden into a hedge maze

If you’ve ever been inside Britain’s oldest hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace, you will know the fun and amazement these living puzzles can offer for all ages. If you have a big enough garden and have plenty of long-term vision to grow and maintain a maze – why not build one and hire it out? It should continue to attract visitors as both an exhibition and an activity long after the initial costs have been recouped.

The two maze design types are known as ‘branching mazes’ and ‘island mazes’.  Branching mazes are the ones where you must simply find your way in and finally out of it, with all of its connected walls in the way to confuse you.

Modern ‘island’ mazes have disconnecting walls and several path choices to the centre, which can make the puzzle more interesting. However, a bad island maze will have too many correct paths to the centre.

Have a go at designing your own computer-printable maze, or have a look at some established maze patterns and explore the history of famous mazes.

Here is more information on how to build your own maze. You can buy a 25-foot length of Green Beech or Golden Leylandii hedge for about £30. A mid-range hedge trimmer will cost you about £40.

To have a maze professional built in your garden by a landscaping company, visit:

Expect to pay an initial consultancy fee and then an hourly labour charge of about £80-100. If you don’t want to build a hedge maze, you can always rent one for your garden (although make sure you can recoup your costs otherwise it’s not worth it).

Garden parties

If your garden is big enough and you don’t mind the intrusion then why not hire it out for parties?

 

Save yourself a lot of hassle from the start and stick to hiring your garden out exclusively for children’s parties only. There’s no alcohol (and all the associated problems that can come from that – including getting a license) no late night noise pollution, and substantially less mess. Err, well, maybe a different type of mess.

You can even provide catering for kids (you can grill frozen fish fingers, can’t you?) and hire children’s entertainers (or do it yourself if you’re brave enough!). The whole party can come as a packaged deal in your own garden for a nice profit.

You’ll need to provide a marquee or gazebo in case it rains, and a BBQ is always useful.  Tables and chairs, games, and a music and PA system are initial financial outlays. If you’ve already built your garden maze then you can probably make do without any other games as this should keep them busy all afternoon. The evenings are all yours, as the kids have gone home covered in ice cream for their parents to clean up!

Be sure to get adequate insurance and liability cover – get some guide prices using our comparison service here. Also, kid-proof the garden and be mindful of health and safety considerations. Keep a comprehensive first-aid kit to hand, and it might be a good idea to keep Rover indoors too.

Marquee hire:

You probably don’t want more than thirty kids loose in your garden at any one time. The cost of catering for them and their parents (say 60 covers) will be about £180 (work on £3 per head). A children’s entertainer will charge about £130 for a 2-hour performance in the afternoon. Expect to pay more at weekends.

Working on an average cost of about £5 per person (parents and adults) you’ll also need to factor in provision of equipment (tables, chairs, plates and cups, music system and PA, games) including your time and any additional labour – damages, your insurance costs and cleaning up afterwards. You should expect to be asking about £800-£850 to cover your expenses, time and effort in order to make it worthwhile.

Here are a few basic tips on running a children’s party.  

 

For information and costs of supplies, see:

Propagating seedlings

Many don’t have the skills to nurture seeds into life and choose to skip this stage and buy already established seedlings. You can profit from this by doing the hard work for them.

What you need:

Good quality seed compost – normal soil won’t cut it as the physical structure just won’t be up to scratch and it will also be host to lots of pathogens, and potting compost has too many nutrients putting your seedlings at risk of fertiliser damage. A good soil-based seed compost is the answer for seedlings that are going to take a few weeks to germinate. For plants that grow rapidly, you can just use a soil-free organic mixture.

Seeds – Fresh seeds are key and will ensure that you grow the best quality seedlings possible. Make sure you do your research to get the best results.

A place for the seeds to grow– this means some seed trays, and somewhere warm and humid. This could be a greenhouse, a conservatory or even just a propagator (a seed tray with lid a bit like a fish tank), but your seedlings need to stay protected from the cold at all costs otherwise they will not make it.

Other stuff – you’ll also need a watering can. Some seedlings may need other special treatment, so make sure you read the seed packet carefully.

Getting started:

Different seeds need to be planted in different ways -factors to consider are how many seeds you want to sow, how far apart need to sow them, how deeply they need to be sown and whether you need to use any extra fertiliser or not.

All seedlings will need warmth, light and water but there should be other instructions on your seed packet or on websites such as the Royal Horticultural Society.

Seedlings can take between four and six weeks to grow their second set of leaves, which is when they will be ready to be sold. If you want to sell them as ready to plant outside, you’ll need to wean them off the warmth by putting them outside for longer and longer during the day to acclimatise them to the cold gradually. ]

This takes time and seeds are often not big enough to go outside until they have been re-potted anyway, so you need to choose which size seedlings you want to sell. You’ll probably get more money for bigger seedlings in individual pots, but this obviously will mean a bit more expense and more time.

How much does it pay?

You can make in the region of £600 a week by propagating seedlings, with just a few hours’ work a week. However, the work is seasonal – mostly between February and October. The amount you make also depends on how much space you have to grow the plants. The more space you have, the more you can grow and the more money you can make.

There are ways to improve your profits:

  • Pick the type of plants you are going to grow carefully. Some seeds cost £2.99 for six and some cost £2.99 for 1,500. You do the maths.
  • Try to get discounts on all your materials. For example, you can try and do a deal with your local garden centre to buy the pots that they would usually throw away for a discounted price, making your unit cost lower and your profits bigger.
  • Try selling to both business and individuals. Selling to a business will give you a steady income but the unit price will be lower. However you can get a higher unit price from selling to your friends and neighbours or even at a car boot sale. So by doing both, you can maximise your profit.

Rent out your garden as allotments

Hard-up people are starting to grow their own fruit and veg and if they haven’t got the space, they are looking for land on which to grow them. Enter you and your garden. Waiting lists for council lots are huge and if you’ve got the extra space you can make extra cash by renting it out to others.

Things to consider

First of all you need the space. You need to have enough to feel comfortable giving a proportion of it away.

Access is also a big issue. It is much more practical for people to be able to have access directly to your garden, rather than traipsing through your house all the time. If you do not have a side gate, think about whether you will be comfortable with your tenants accessing their plots through your home or if you can provide any alternative access.

Getting started

Mark off a part of the garden that you are happy to rent out and divide it into points. Ideally you’ll have a gate or access point close to this part of the garden.

Make sure that the access point to your garden is relatively secure – a solid gate that locks is a very good idea. Put up all the relevant contact details on the gate, so anyone seeking a plot can enquire and you’ll make some more money!

Let it be known all around your area that there are plots up for rent. You can do this through word-of-mouth or by putting up an advert in your local newsagent, library and don’t forget to post one online.

Once you’ve found someone who wants to use your garden, make sure you draw up a basic contract for all the tenants to sign – nothing complex just some straightforward rules stating exactly when the garden can be used, and for what purposes.

For loads more help and advice on exactly how to do this, get in touch with the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners. It’s also worth looking at the Communities and Local Government’s Plot Holder’s Guide. Although this is really designed for the tenants, it is full of useful information and will give you a great idea of exactly what’s expected of you as the landowner.

How much can you make?

OK, so it’s not going to make you a fortune, we’re really talking pocket money. On average, allotments in Britain cost between £10 and £30 a year. But you could get some free fruit and veg out of it and it’s a good way of meeting people.

If you live in London waiting lists are extreme which means you could charge more and still find keen tenants.

Some other ideas you may wish to consider to make money from your garden:

 

  • Small bird aviary or animal farm
  • Dog obedience school
  • Growing record-breaking vegetables for competitions
  • Renting garden space to craft schools
  • Teaching garden Feng Shui

 

 

 

By Raechelle Dias and Drew Tapley

 

Raechelle Dias

2 Comments on “Seven ways to make money from your garden”

    Cheries Dutton says: August 13, 2009 at 6:43 amGreat Article. We were looking for Marquee Hire London and found Charlesworth Marquee who were very professional & friendly in assisting us with the right Marquee for our party. Perhaps take some tips from them…Reply healthy says: June 10, 2009 at 3:38 pmWorking in your garden you will get money and peace,this article leads you to happy life

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Soaking up Some Surianne

•February 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

 

I get the feeling that it doesn’t matter what this girl sings, people jus t love her! I caught Surianne at a recent Carling Academy show and it was hectic, loads of fans were excitedly vying for the chance to get in and listen to this songstress. So much more than just music, people are enchanted because her performance exudes a warmth and charm that leaves you craving more.

 In fact, she played an encore after the crowd almost tore the house down cheering for more. Surianne’s music is as multi – faceted as her personality and almost impossible to pin down to one category. She appeared with her 3 piece band of two Spanish guitars and drums and their sounds soon filled this cosy venue.

 ‘Moving In’ is a smooth blend of Spanish rhythm and samba drum beat, but it isn’t classical Samba because Surianne’s vocals add a crisp and clean folksy sound. You also hear the eclectic influences of Eva Cassidy and Janis Joplin fused with Futuro Flamenco. Surianne blends al l her English influences like Alanis Morrissette, U2, Queen with her Spanish ancestry and influences like Mana. ‘She Flies’ really shows of f the purity of her vocals, untainted and clear. Her vocal reach interplays perfectly with the background of romantic Spanish guitars.

 Again, this isn’t your typical Spanish ballad, more a meeting between soulful funk and Spanish acoustic rifts with a dash of Flamenco, think Nikka Costa. It is impossible to place the sound which is what makes it so exciting, a truly unique listening experience. For her triumphant finale Surianne ignites the air and the crowd can’t get enough! Expect big things from Surianne! The combination of her warm smile, down to earth approach, and the beating drum easily whisk us away to a lazy day under the hot Spanish sun. All that’s missing is a cool Sangria.

 

Raechelle Dias

Fresh Sweet Sounding Daisy

•February 5, 2009 • 2 Comments

Daisy B – Review

Too often people with mediocre talent are prematurely labelled the ‘next big thing’, and yet manage to gain undeserved media attention. Daisyb is here to remind us all what good music sounds like, and how that makes us feel. This brilliant young artist emotes a sweet idealism we all once carried and may have forgotten.

Daisyb is a London based 24-year-old singer/songwriter from Derby who has gained a reputation for being the best live act In the Midlands. Recently she has done a nationwide tour supporting artists such as Liam Frost, The Howling Bells and Dawn Kinnard.

Daisy began her career busking on the underground, moving on to playing showcases in venues around Covent Garden, Notting Hill and Hoxton. Armed with her loop station and guitar she seems to be charming the difficult London crowd. Her lyrics are perceptive and perfectly delivered with emotion, raw vocals that move over a superfluous beat.

Her melodic tone is the perfect, genuine companion to honest lyrics. Disarming us with her music this girl and her guitar offer moving insight into the human experience with a wisdom that permeates beyond her years.

She’s had great success with her first two EP’s ‘Obsession’ and ‘Case of You’. Her newest EP ‘Sympathy’ is generating growing excitement and well-deserved attention. In a generation where music has been damaged by corporate greed resulting in contrived over produced images and sound – the purity of Daisyb’s music gives us hope and lots of delight.

Raechelle Dias

Fair Trading, Ethics and Music?

•February 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Danelle Harvey – Review

London’s own ‘Ethical Diva’, Danelle Harvey embodies her mantra, “Actively choose to be positive!” As the originator of Fair Trade Music, she’s to be commended for donating a percentage of her earnings to charity, but she’s also to be respected as a great musician. Her latest EP, Only Human is a fantastic fusion of acoustic soul coupled with meaningful lyrics. Danelle never preaches instead she lures you into her message with her soothing blend of smooth melody and her blessed deep voice genuinely emotes an inspiring and positive message. She isn’t interested in being self-righteous and instead gently reminds us to have a little bit of love for those in need.’ Her raw sincerity and organic approach brings Danelle closer to her goal of stirring our compassion and empathy towards other people’s suffering and pain.

Though her message remains constant her musical range is incredible. She fuses all sorts of musical influences and entertains with her acoustic guitar and Five + octave vocal range. Danelle has never been limited by convention and the ‘Only Human’ EP is no exception. ‘Muddy Water’ leaves you hypnotised by her comforting voice and acoustics. ‘Feelings’ travels between familiar R&B/soul beats and her unique blend of edgy rock and funky inspiring lyrics. Her energy radiates through each track particularly in ‘Love Revolution’ where Danelle raps/reggae style and really gets you grooving as she educates you on the plight of people suffering in warring nations. This girl is infectious and her raw emotive impact has been compared to legends like Janis Joplin and Tracey Chapman. Danelle doesn’t want you to just be inspired while you listen and warns us ‘what we give is what we’re absorbing back inside’. She invites us to take responsibility for the state of the world and listening to her upbeat music you begin to feel empowered to contribute. For full details on all the charities you can help Danelle support please visit her mayspace.

Her single ‘Only Human’- about Making Poverty History is currently available solely as a download from all major download stores. The track will be re-released with 2 exclusive remixes on a limited edition 5 track EP (both as CD and Download) from Monday 2nd June 2008. Check out her website for full tour details.

Raechelle Dias

The Friendly Mortgage Guide

•December 20, 2008 • 1 Comment

When I first graduated I swore that I would write for any publication with the exception for financial ones.  Of course, who hires me – a finance website?

The only reason I could accept was because my boss Jasmine Birtles was human and not some number loving bore talking about markets and projections.

A few weeks ago I completed the hardest task thus far of my writing career, so horrible in fact I thought my boss Jasmine Birtles was trying to get rid of me.  She asked me to write a Mortgage Guide.

Eeks, who wants to research Mortgages?  Not I but money is money.  It wasn’t a pretty site – the horror is over and the research is all here in plain English.  Why do they always make those mortgage booklets so boring?!?

Enjoy  The_Friendly_Mortgage_Guide_from_Moneymagpie and remember we’re in it together.