Have you ever heard of the expression, short and sweet? Well, it turns out that it can be applied to many things in life – from films and stories, to recipes and travel. Whether it's because you don't have enough time to watch a full-length feature film or the budget to go on a week-long holiday, opting for the shorter version doesn't have to be a sacrifice. In fact, sometimes shorter really is better! From short stories to one-minute recipes, discover how terrific the tiny things in life can be...
1. Short and sweet desserts
We all love an intricate cake or elaborate pastry but sometimes you're craving something sweet and you just don't have the patience to wait! There's no need to reach for the nearest chocolate bar or biscuit packet when you can make a delicious dessert, from scratch, in under a minute! Especially when the quick version of the dessert recipe is so much easier than the original, like in this one-minute doughnut recipe. Chef Gemma Stafford is known for her quick and easy recipes that she posts on her blog, Bigger Bolder Baking, including the amazing Mugnut recipe as seen below (the mugnut recipe starts at 3 mins 35 seconds but her other mug recipes are worth a watch, too!)...
2. Short films
There's a reason why short films have their own category at the Oscars. Totally gripping and a real challenge for film makers, many short films have even been made into full length feature films. Did you know that sci-fi adventure tale 12 Monkeys, Hollywood classic Boogie Nights and crime film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, all started as short films? In fact, many short film directors get their big break by making their own short films. So next time you fancy watching a film, why not give a short film a go? You may learn more about a favourite director or find yourself totally immersed in a great story - without losing two hours of time! You can find all of these short versions on YouTube...
3. Short stories
There's nothing like curling up with a good book and immersing yourself in an entirely new world with captivating characters, evocative scenery and enthralling plot lines. But did you know that so many of the things you love about reading a great novel can be found in shorter versions, too? In fact, sometimes the shorter version can be even more gripping or entertaining than its longer form. Take for example, the classic fairy tale. Many of the original fairy tales have surprisingly dark origins – like earlier versions of The 3 Little Pigs that have the wolf eating the first and second piggies after he blows their straw and stick houses down! Or in Hans Christian Andersen’s original story where the little mermaid can walk but every step is excruciatingly painful and the prince ends up marrying another. The shorter versions of fairy tales certainly make for more child-friendly fun!
4. Fun and games
We've all been there – you sit down with friends or family for a fun games night only to discover that playing a single round will take all night long! Or how about when you assume that the giant jigsaw puzzle will be finished before dinner before realising that you now have nowhere to eat because the puzzle STILL isn't completed? Unless you want to spend hours on the same game, the shorter versions can be much better options. Junior Monopoly and the family-friendly version of Trivial Pursuit are speedier versions of the classic – but just as fun! Or why not opt for a mini puzzle instead of the 1000-piece challenge?
5. Trips and travel
Jetting across the world for a couple of months would be fabulous but honestly, who has the time or budget to do that? However that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy an amazing holiday – even if you've only got a weekend and you don't set foot on a plane. You really can experience the best the world has to offer – without going abroad! With stunning countryside, buzzing cities, sandy shores and beautiful stargazing spots right here at home, you can have the trip of a lifetime without having to step far from your front door. Don't believe us? Here are 23 bucket list-worthy places to visit in the UK that the whole family will enjoy!
For more short versions of the best things in life, try 'bookshots' by author James Patterson – pulse-pounding thrillers told in 150 pages or less.