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Entertainment 2019-04-09

Our favourite Easter traditions

Easter is fast approaching, and many of you will be debating how to spend your bank holiday weekend. With an unprecedented four day weekend, you want to make sure you spend the time wisely, and we’re here to offer you some advice.

Entertainment 2019-01-08

Trying to get fit in 2019? Try ScS Sofacise!

New Year, new me has been ringing around for the past few days and now it’s time to actually put words into action. At ScS we understand not everyone has the luxury or time to go to the gym everyday due to work, family or financial constraints. But there’s no need to give up all hope just yet – you can still squeeze that important workout in without leaving your home, or even leaving your sofa in fact!

Utilise time wasted waiting for food to cook or make the most out of TV advert breaks by practising our ‘Sofacise’ exercises. These four fantastic moves have been created with the help of Shaun O’Brien, personal trainer at Fitternotfatter. All you need to get started is yourself, a lot of enthusiasm and a sofa. Practice each move three to four times every week and you’ll find your body will feel better in no time at all!

Squats

Ideal for: working quads, glutes and hamstrings

Reps: 10-20

Squat

How to: to start, sit on the edge of your sofa and place your feet firmly on the floor, hip-width apart. Stand up, then bend your knees until you feel your bum lightly touch the edge of the sofa. Repeat, making sure your back remains straight at all times.

Finding squats difficult? If you’re struggling to keep your balance, hold onto a nearby table or chair to help you keep steady.

Press Ups

Ideal for: working triceps and pecs

Reps: 10-20

press-ups

How to: use the sofa for balance, and place your hands on the edge of the seat, facing the floor. Keep your back straight and extend your legs so you’re resting on your toes. Press up and down, making sure to tighten your abs to fully engage the core.

Need some help? If a full press up is proving too difficult, do a half press by moving down onto your knees and repeating the action.s

Tricep Dips

Ideal for: working Triceps

Reps: 10-20

tricep-dips

How to: face away from the sofa and place your hands shoulder-width apart onto the arm. Stretch your legs out, feet flat on the floor, and bend your elbows to push up and down. Remember, it’s vital to keep your head up and your back straight!

Make things easier: bend your knee and do smaller dips if you’re finding things difficult. You’ll slowly build up your strength and be able to move onto the full tricep dip.

Knee Raises

Ideal for: working quads and stomach

Reps: 10-20

Knee-Raises

How to: sit on the edge of the sofa, legs outstretched. Keep your legs raised off the ground, and raise one knee to your chest. Return the leg to its original position and repeat with the other leg.

Remember: make sure you sit in a stable position. If you’re too close to the edge you risk falling forwards as you raise your knees.

A big thanks to our fitness expert, Shaun from Fitternotfatter, for helping us make the most out of our time on the sofa!  And don’t forget, you know your own body best. Shaun has reminded us about the importance of acknowledging your own limitations. Start out slow and steady, and build up your fitness routine over time.

If you do have any concerns or health issues that may affect your ability to exercise, make sure you consult a GP before exercising.

Entertainment 2018-12-28

Celebrate Good Times! Come On!

2018 is nearly over! However, there is still one big event left, New Year’s Eve! This exciting evening is full of fun and lots of partying! 

Deciding on what to do on New Year’s Eve can cause lots of dilemmas! Do you hit the town? Go to a party? Watch the fireworks? Or stay in and have a cosy night in with your loved ones on the sofa? Here at ScS we’re opting for the latter, and want to see 2019 in with a nice takeaway, a box set and a bottle of bubbly (or two…). 

When staying in on NYE there’s nothing better than cosying up on the couch and waiting for the countdown! This magical moment is the highlight of NYE and getting up and trying to recite the lyrics to ‘Auld Lang Syne’ always provides some laughs! 

Whatever you get up to this New Year’s Eve, make sure you spend it care free, stress free and with the people who really matter most to you!  

Let us know what you get up to tonight, and we wish you all the best for 2019! 

Entertainment 2018-12-27

New Years Resolutions

Now it’s a new year, it’s time to start all those things we’ve been trying to do the whole of 2018. In reality, we all know these resolutions won’t see February, but we can dream. 

The classic resolutions like start going to the gym, start eating healthier and to stop drinking are usually the first to fail at the first hurdle. Other resolutions such as stop eating chocolate, stop smoking and saving money usually start off strong, but again, rarely make it out of the first few weeks. 

According to a recent ComRes poll, the most common New Year’s resolutions in the UK include: 

  1. Exercise more (38 per cent)
  2. Lose weight (33 per cent)
  3. Eat more healthily (32 per cent)
  4. Take a more active approach to health (15 per cent) 
  5. Learn new skill or hobby (15 per cent) 
  6. Spend more time on personal wellbeing (12 per cent) 
  7. Spend more time with family and friends (12 per cent) 
  8. Drink less alcohol (12 per cent) 
  9. Stop smoking (9 per cent)
  10. Other (1 per cent)

Exercise based resolutions seem to be the most common new year’s resolutions with everyone trying to get that perfect bod for the summer holiday season only a few months away. However, for this year, I think we should all just agree to wear our wintery dad bods all year round and save ourselves the time and effort of the gruelling workouts we force ourselves to do. 

Another common resolution is to drink less alcohol. After a boozy Christmas period and New Year’s Eve, either a dry January or a promise to yourself to drink less is always appealing, and is also a great resolution to save money and get healthier. However, like many other resolutions, once dry January is over and you don’t have the full support of others, this resolution can quickly deteriorate. The parties start coming back around with more and more social gatherings, and a few nice glasses of wine becomes more appealing. 

Let us know your new year resolutions and we wish everyone the best of luck for their New Year’s Resolutions.  

Entertainment 2018-12-13

What’s on the Box this Christmas

With decorations up and festive songs blasting everywhere we go, it is fair to say Christmas 2018 is in full swing. During this wonderful time, there are hundreds of Christmas classics gracing our screens and it can be hard to make sure you watch them all.

That’s why at ScS we have asked our employees what their favourite TV shows and movies are to watch over Christmas. With a lot of dubious choices vetoed (I will forever refuse to accept Die Hard as a Christmas movie), it seems as though throughout ScS our favourite Christmas TV shows and movies vary massively.

The most popular movie, and one of my all-time Christmas favourites, is elf. The joy this wonderful charismatic man brings to our screen is second to none. Will Ferrell is a statement of comedy and this piece of genius will always be Christmas must.

For a Christmas TV series, the Vicar of Dibley Christmas special topped our list. Everyone loves a Christmas dinner, but four may be pushing it! I’m usually struggling to make room for dessert number one! But there’s something brilliant about watching the pain Geraldine goes through forcing the dinners down and perhaps it makes us feel less guilty about our over indulgences throughout the day!

Other Christmas classics making the list include:

Home alone series
Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special
Polar Express
The Holiday
The Royal Family Christmas Special
The Grinch
The Santa Claus
Love Actually
Deck the Halls
Miracle on 34thStreet
Christmas with the Kranks

Although there are already hundreds of Christmas movies and box sets available, every year there are some great new festive tv to keep an eye out for.

The new Christmas movie that is definitely worth a watch is the remake of a lot of people’s festive favourite, the Grinch. With a lot of sceptics out there to as whether it would as good as the original, they’d be right, but I think you’d still be pleasantly surprised with this heart-warming family friendly Christmas movie.

Michael McIntryre’s Big Christmas Show is on BBC one on Christmas Day and with live music and lots of laughs guaranteed, this looks like a show that’s not to be missed. Another show not to be missed is the new adaptation of Watership Down, which brings the very popular novel to life!

Let us know your thoughts on our Christmas lists and let us know your festive favourites in the comments!

Entertainment 2017-08-14

What is the most popular takeaway in your hometown?

A study of Britain’s takeaway food favourites has revealed that Brits eat their way through 1.7 billion takeaways each year – that’s 32 million takeaways ordered each week.

We surveyed 1,600 people to find out about their takeaway habits, and found that the average Brit will order 1,766 takeaways in their lifetime.

The research also found that more than half (54%) of Brits choose to enjoy their takeaways sat on the sofa with their families, however men are most likely to order when they’re alone, compared to women who tend to consider it more of a treat.

 

Takeaway Britain

Nationally, Chinese food was named the favourite takeaway cuisine, however pensioners stuck to tradition, with two out of three aged 65 or over favouring time-honoured fish and chips. And, it’s not just unhealthy choices being favoured, with sushi coming out top in the capital.

Looking at how often Brits reach for the menus, half of those surveyed admitted they get a takeaway at least once a week, with those aged 25 to 34 twice as likely as anyone else to order take-out every day.

London has been named as Britain’s takeaway capital, with 38% of Londoners claiming to order takeaway at least twice a week, and admitting they’re not picky about who they eat with; whether that’s with their partner (37%), with family (28%), on their own (23%), or with friends (12%).

At the other end of the scale, those living in the South West of England are least likely to order regularly, with 27% ordering less than once a month.

Lindsey Duncton, Marketing Manager at ScS, said: “Nothing beats curling up on the sofa with your favourite food. So it’s no surprise our survey revealed we’re a nation of takeaway food lovers, who enjoy nothing more than an evening in on the sofa with our family favourite take-out. However what’s really interesting is how our menu choices and foodie habits differ from city to city, and that takeaway doesn’t always have to mean unhealthy. There’s so much more choice available these days and take-out is ever more accessible, meaning dining in with your favourite can be just as much of a treat as dining out.”

Entertainment 2016-10-27

Make your own Snowdog ‘Sewdog’

At ScS we’re passionate about great upholstery and design that’s individual to you, just like the Great North Snowdogs pack each having their own look and personal design. We think these qualities are just as important when shopping for the home, something we know a thing or two about having been doing it expertly for over 100 years. So, our team thought it would be a great idea to show you how you can make your own Snowdog ‘Sewdog’ using spare materials and some basic upholstery techniques, which gives you the chance to show your creativity and design skills

This is a great activity for the whole family, as shown by our Upholstery Manager Neville Hender in our tutorial video below.
Alternatively you can follow our ‘paw by paw’ instructions to make your very own Snowdog ‘Sewdog’ or you can download instructions here: Download Instructions.

Paw-by-paw instructions (Download here)

What you will need

  • Scissors
  • A pen/pencil/chalk
  • Needle and thread
  • Two pieces of fabric (we suggest a felt-type fabric)
  • Stuffing (we suggest inside of a pillow, cotton wool, off cuts of fabric)
  • Fabric scraps, sequins, glitter, sparkles, beads, stickers, buttons and bows for decoration

Step 1

Make yourself a Snowdog Sewdog by downloading and cutting out the template here: Snowdog Template

Note: Young children will need help from an adult here.

Step 2

Find some spare fabrics big enough to cut out two of the Snowdog Sewdog shapes, be sure to get permission from an adult first. Once you’ve found your fabric, draw round the template using chalk or a pen.

Step 3

Now cut out the Snowdog Sewdog shape from the fabric.

Note: Again, young children will need help from an adult here.

Step 4

Repeat step 2 and 3 so you have two pieces of Snowdog Sewdog-shaped fabric.

Top tip: If you’re using a fabric with a pattern on one side or that has a front and back (like a cushion cover) you will need to turn the fabric over when drawing round the template a second time. This is to be sure you have two Snowdog faces that match up when placed back to back.

Step 5

You should now have two Snowdog Sewdog-shaped cuts outs. Place one on top of the other with the fronts facing outwards. Here is where you need a needle and thread. Sew around the fabric edges leaving a small gap, which will be needed later for stuffing.  Don’t worry if you can’t sew, why not try a fabric glue or get an adult to use an iron-on hemming tape.

Top tip: Young children will need help from an adult here. We suggest using a running or backstitch for best results (see our guide).

Next take your stuffing and fill your Snowdog Sewdog. You can use a blunt pencil or chopstick to make sure you get the stuffing up into its ears.

3 1

Step 7

Once it’s filled, now sew up the gap you left earlier.

Step 8

Now you should have one ‘paw-some’ Snowdog Sewdog ready and waiting to be decorated and embellished.

Top tip: Don’t hold back, make it your own individual design. Glitter, sparkles, buttons, beads, stickers, use your imagination and make it dog-tastic! Hint: why not dig out your old mis-matched socks for his ears.

Step 9

Tweet your pictures to @DogOnTheTyne.

Step 10

Above all else get creative and have fun! And, you don’t have to stop at one, you could make a whole family of Snowdog Sewdogs for your sofa at home.

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Entertainment 2016-06-07

The most iconic sofas on TV and the facts behind them

Over the years, a number of sofas have become so iconic within TV shows that they are almost as recognisable as the characters themselves. Here’s our top five, and the stories behind them:

You’re in my spot! Described as ‘the single point of consistency in an ever changing world’, Sheldon’s spot on the left of The Big Bang Theory’s iconic brown leather sofa has become so intertwined with his awkward personality, that the show could not function without it. But, it’s more than simple OCD, as Sheldon explains: “In the winter that seat is close enough to the radiator to remain warm, and yet not so close as to cause perspiration. In the summer it’s directly in the path of a cross breeze created by open windows there, and there. It faces the television at an angle that is neither direct, thus discouraging conversation, nor so far wide to create a parallax distortion.”

Can you imagine having a permanent reservation for the best seat in your favourite coffee shop? For over a decade that’s exactly what the Friends’ gang had in Central Perk as their social lives revolved around the iconic morhair orange couch. While the sofa always seemed conveniently free, especially for a central New York coffee shop, you may not have noticed, there was always a reserved sign on the sofa, especially for the gang!

The Simpsons’ sofa is arguably the most iconic cartoon sofa on TV, with the opening credits orientated around it in every episode. But, did you know, the scene plays a vital role in the length each ‘Simpsons’ episode. If an episode is shorter than usual, the couch scene is extended to fill time. Or, if an episode runs long, the scene is kept short.

Can you imagine listening sitting on the sofa for ten years listening to your dad telling the story of ‘How I Met Your Mother’? Penny and Luke Moseby spent a full decade on their black leather chesterfield sofa, listening to Ted’s story, but did you know, the scenes with the kids were filmed nine years before the finale because the actors would age and the producers wanted the children to look the same?

Dr Frasier Crane’s bachelor pad, overlooking the Seattle skyline, contains only the most carefully selected furniture, including his prized sofa, which is a copy of the one owned by Coco Chanel in Paris. Despite his hand-picked, exquisite furniture, it’s his father’s battered, striped armchair that steals the show!

As this list shows, your sofa says a lot about your personality, so make sure you take the time to pick the right one to suit you and your lifestyle. If you need some help, our sofa buying guide is full of useful hints and tips!

Entertainment 2015-03-06

Iconic Sofas and Chairs in Television

Iconic Sofas and Chairs in Television

Kitchens are often considered the heart of the home, where families and friends congregate together. But, our sofas are the place we spend a lot of free time; watching TV, catching up with loved ones and they can see us through many special occasions in our lives. Over the years sofas have become an inaugural part of sitcoms and shows, and we’ve rounded up some of the most famous sofas and chairs in television, which have gone on to become iconic pieces in popular culture.

The Royle Family

One of Britain’s best love sitcoms, The Royle Family is known for its dry British humour and throughout the show’s 25 episodes and eight year run; the sofa was the hub of all the action, even inspiring 2008 special ‘The New Sofa.’ The now iconic brown sofa and arm chair has set the scene for many funny conversations and is a staple in each episode, where the family spend time together and discuss what they’ve had for tea that day…

The Simpsons

Even after 26 seasons and 16 years on air, The Simpsons still manage to start every episode with the opening credits culminating in a ‘couch gag’ which has now become an integral part of the show. Featuring funny jokes involving the family’s infamous brown sofa, creators are always coming up with quirky and strange jokes. Some of the most notable couch gags include the family coming home to find The Flintstones on the sofa and more recently, Homer falling in love with the sofa before meeting Marge.

Big Brother

Since premiering on Channel 4 in 2000, Big Brother went on to become one of the most popular and talked about reality TV shows, spurning spin offs around the globe. Initially dubbed as a ‘social experiment,’ the show has become increasingly popular for the drama caused in the house. The oversized, plush diary room chair has become a staple in the show and undergone changes over recent years, but still is the heart of the house where housemates tell all.

Friends
Think of Friends and you instantly remember the iconic orange mohair sofa found in Central Perk, where the gang gather to spend time together and share funny moments. The sofa has set the scene for many integral plot lines and was featured in almost every episode of the show’s ten seasons. But, the Central Perk sofa isn’t the only piece of furniture that comes to mind… Joey’s La-Z-Boy reclining chair and a hilarious moment involving Ross and a saw, when he is struggling to fit a new couch into his apartment, deciding it would be easier to cut it in half first.


GMTV
Running for over 17 years from 1993 to 2010, GMTV started the day for many of us here in Britain with thousands of guests gracing the red sofa. Fronted by Eamonn Holmes and Anne Davies, the famous breakfast show was a mixture of news, features and entertainment. Although presenters may have changed over the years, one thing that always stayed the same was the show’s large red sofa, with some of the world’s biggest stars, even the Prime Minister gracing its seats.