Gourmet gift hampers

Gourmet gift hampers are a fun way to liven up the day of a special person. You can choose a gift basket containing the favorite foods of the recipient. Perfect for family, friends, loved ones, and coworkers, gourmet gift hampers are offered in a range of prices and sizes.

Here are some of the things that offer diversity in your choice of gift baskets.

Coffee –

If you are looking for a perfect gift for the coffee aficionado in your life, try this hamper. It is great for those who want to gift something out of the ordinary to their favorite person. Try hampers with flavored coffee beans, ranging from caramel and nuts to citrus and chocolates. You can’t go wrong with this one. It is also important to choose healthy food to put in your hamper – no good filling it up with sweets and sugar. Best to give the gift of health!

Baked goodies –

So you know someone who loves to hang around the bakery looking for sweet treats. Let them have a blast with these baked goods hampers, that offer precious delights such as shortbreads in flavors as exotic as Mexican, vanilla. You can choose brownie hampers too, to make the day special for the recipient.

Cheese –

If you know someone who loves cheese, then you can choose gift baskets containing an assortment of cheese. These hampers are perfect in that they offer a carefully selected assortment of cheese, so that you can be sure that the gift is perfect to your friend’s tastes.

Nuts –

Nuts are known for their health benefits, and they are a tasty, crunchy snack to munch on any time of the day. If you are planning a surprise for a health conscious person, a basket full of assortment of nuts, be it walnuts or cashew, or any other type, would be a perfect gift.

Snack –

Snack baskets are very popular, because they fulfill a basic need of customers. You often feel hungry between meals, and if you are placed in a situation where you cannot cook a meal immediately, you would want to have a standby. The snacks basket could contain any type of snacks, be they sweet jellybeans and candied fruits, flavored nuts or biscuit sticks. You can be sure that your loved one has something nice to munch on any time of the day, when they have received a gift basket from you.

Choose by occasion –

Some gift baskets are perfect for an occasion. Such as a not very expert cook is planning to prepare and elaborate Italian dinner, and is wondering how to go about it. You can help out by offering pasta hampers, filled with the right ingredients to make things easier for them. You can choose a hamper for the weekend, when you know the recipient might be looking for a lazy time in front of the tv, and would rather munch on light snacks than spend time in the kitchen.

There are as many options as there are occasions, so you can choose the perfect gift basket for just about any occasion. The gift basket, chosen with care will help you encourage, express thanks, and give regards to the recipient. The prices range from affordable to high priced, so you can choose a small gift to show appreciation, or splurge to celebrate a major milestone.

Below is a great gift basket Tutorial

What it takes to hold the perfect Australian cocktail wedding reception

brideFrom the period 2010 – 2016 – there has been an increase in the number of couples who would like to have cocktail weddings. This is an interesting twist from the traditional wedding setting where guests have to seat down and eat a three-course meal. The general idea in a cocktail wedding is basically more drinks, lots of snacks, no real meal, more dancing and of course no seats. Pulling off a perfect cocktail wedding can be a little tricky but with the right planning, everyone will be talking about your wedding for ages.

So, what does it take to hold the perfect cocktail wedding reception in Melbourne? Here are some excellent ideas and tips that will have your wedding day perfectly co-ordinated

1. Invitations

It is always important to inform your guests which kind of reception your wedding will have. You should clearly state in the invitation cards that you will have a cocktail reception. This way, your guests will come ready to party and of course, they will not be expecting any real meal.

2. Choosing the right venue

The beauty of a cocktail wedding is that they can be hosted anywhere. Whether it is a hotel, an art gallery or a historic house, just let your imagination run wild. When choosing a cocktail function venue, also provide chairs as some people (especially older guests) may need to sit down and rest at some stage.

3. The perfect décor

For cocktail weddings, simple décor is just fine. You should at least have flowers to make the venue lively. Have chairs in form of bar stools or stylish leather coaches that can cater for a third of the guests. You can also have a few table and chair groupings to cater for the older folks. During the reception, dimming the lights will flatter everyone and make the occasion more classic.

4. Dress code

Choosing a specific dress code will make life easier for both you and your guests. The dress code should be clearly spelt out in the wedding invitation. This will save your guests the agony of choosing what to wear by limiting their selection to what you want. It also gives a uniform look that will make everyone feel at ease and enjoy the party.

5. Music

Cocktail weddings without music can be rather dull. Choose the kind of music you want wisely. You can hire a professional DJ or a small ensemble to play some jazz. Whatever you choose, make sure it will keep your guests engaged and give them room for small talk. Also set out a section of the venue to be the dance floor.

6. Food and drinks

Since it is a cocktail reception, no full meal is served. Have a variety of snacks, pastries or candy in rotation during the party. You can also have small stands with displays of cheeses and even raw bars with shrimp, clam and oysters. The drinks should be in plenty. You can have a full bar or simply have a signature cocktail and champagne.

7. Cake and Dessert

You can go with the traditional tiered cake and have a well-documented cake cutting session. After this, slices of cake will be carried by servers to your guests. Serve additional desserts to go with the cake and a couple of milkshakes to energize the crowd. While winding down the evening, you could have the guests served with coffee and cake.

8. Time

A cocktail reception should take around three hours. They can be held in the afternoon if your reception is outdoors or in the evening if it is indoors. You should put into consideration that most of your guests will be standing the whole time. Plan all your activities to fit into the three hour schedule without leaving anything out. By sticking to the three hour schedule, you will be happy and your guests will thank you for it. However, if you plan to extend late into the night, it would be advisable to have some extra seats for your guests to rest their feet.

9. Convenience

Ensure that you have seats for about a third of your guests. This way, when a person gets tired, they can rest a bit. You should also have a cloakroom for guests to safely keep their jackets. This is due to the lack of chairs where guests can hang their jackets.

10. Closing the party

At the end of the night, you can give your guests a break from the dance floor action by serving some kind of snack. It can be hot dogs, bacon rolls, mini pizzas or even cake served with coffee. During this time, you will want your DJ or band to change the tone of the music to signal that the night is drawing to a close

DIY Rug Cleaning Tips 2015

Carpet and rug cleaning are some of the most dreaded chores in every home. Many people take rug cleaning to be a tedious and back-breaking task that shouldn’t be done in on a daily basis. Although vacuuming your carpet or rugs does reduce dirt and dust, the rugs should be cleaned intensively at least once in every 3 months or so. Should you fail to do this, the carpet accumulates dust, food particles, fungus, mold and animal hair, hence making your home unlivable. You can however hire a professional rug cleaner to help clean the rugs and carpets and restore its beauty and a fresher look. If you live in NSW and are looking for reliable rug cleaners sydney offers, then be sure to check out VIP – they are a class above and offer reasonable rates.

Discussed below are a few tips on how to keep your carpets and rugs clean for longer.
1. Vacuum the rug before cleaning it: There is more to cleaning a rug than just soaking it in water and scrubbing. Before you can start cleaning the rugs, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to get rid of dust, animal fur, and food materials before soaking it. This will not only reduce the dirt, but also preserve the rug’s fibers and color. By doing this, the rugs should retain their original color and glamor for longer.

2. Deal with spills immediately: Dealing with accidental spills right away is always recommended. Leaving juice, honey, beer or even wine spill to dry on your rugs will only make it harder to clean. Instead, use a soft cloth tissue paper or even cotton wool to blot is out. Blotting is the best way to deal with oil, juice or wine spillages on carpets and rugs as it soaks almost all the spilled liquid. You however should resist rubbing the spillage as it will only drive the liquid further.

3. Pre-treat deep stained rugs if possible: Pre-treating a stain before beginning on general cleaning is always recommended. Even professional carpet and rug cleaners do this. Pre-treating tough stains with the right solution makes cleaning these stained and heavily soiled areas much easier. The pretreatment solution helps break down the stain bonds thus making it easier to clean with cleaning detergents.

4. Never over-soak rugs: The first rule in rug cleaning is that, you should never soak rugs and carpets for too long. Soaking the rug makes cleaning harder as most stains will start spreading to other parts of the rug. In addition to this, the rug will take much longer to dry especially if it isn’t summer yet. It would therefore be advisable to use 3-4 wet strokes per area when cleaning carpets and rugs to avoid over soaking.

5. Rinse well after washing: Most carpet cleaners in the sydney or melbourne market today have a ‘rinse mode’ setting that dispenses plain water only. Rinsing helps remove dirt from stains as well as the cleaning detergent used. This leaves the rug clean and free from any toxic residue from the cleaning detergent.

Once the cleanup job is done, it would be advisable to leave it to dry completely. The fastest way to do this is by ensuring doors and windows are wide open during and after cleaning. You can alternatively avoid all this by calling a professional rug cleaner to help you with the job. (please note links removed above – outdated links)

House Painting Tips

Repainting your house in Melbourne can be tricky especially if you do not know the following important house painting tips:

1. Paint

Choosing the correct paint is very important because there are many types of paint available that give different surface finishes while others are designed for a particular application. Paint choosing may appear confusing at first, but when you know the theme you want for your house and sort out which job as well as the finishes you want, choosing will be easy.

Paints can be solvent-based or water-based. The oil-based paints usually dry slow and can take up to 24 hours. They are cleaned by using turpentine or a paint thinner. The solvent based dry very fast and are best cleaned by using soap and water. There are also special paints that have been innovated from different insights by the consumers as well as brilliant paint technology which allows specific paints for specific needs.

2. Use Of Primer

Before painting is done, it is also important to use a primer. The primer will help the paint adhere to the surface and provides it with a uniform appearance. Primers are necessary especially when painting over new wood, drywall, bare wood or when repainting over existing dark or bright colors.

3. Interior Painting tips

When doing interior painting, it is necessary to use paints which dry quickly and do not have a strong odor which lingers around the house. Interior house painting tips include:

> Getting ready with the necessary materials that include paints, paint brushes and rollers, paint tray, extension handles, paint stirrer, step ladder, drop cloths and painter’s tape.

> Always ensure that there is adequate ventilation and if it is not possible then a mask or a respirator can be used.

> The solvent or paint containers should be kept closed when not in use.

> The paint products should be kept out of the reach of children.

> As much furniture as possible should be removed from the room and the heavier fixtures as well as the delicate ones should be grouped together and covered with a drop cloth.

> There should be adequate lightning so that a good view of painting imperfections can be seen.

> The ceiling should be painted first and the light bulbs, fluorescent lights, chandeliers as well as fixture covers should be removed.

4. Look to hire reliable painters in melbourne to get your painting job done, whether it be exterior or interior, residential or commercial.

5. Exterior Painting

For exterior paints, it is important to buy paints that have essential characteristics like hiding power, chalk-resistance, color retention as well as blister resistance. The hiding power will come from the paint’s pigment and is usually affected by the thickness and manner of the application. Chalking resistance is what will prevent the white chalky powder from lightening the color of the paint and also forming on the surface.

Painting the exterior can be achieved by using tools like caulk, painter’s tape, sandpaper, rags, paper towels, power washer, garden hose, sponges as well as buckets for wash water, stepladder, spray nozzle, extension ladder, wire brush, paint scraper, putty knives and heat gun among others.

When painting the house, it is important to:

> Check the quality of the paint used, the amount of surface preparation as well as the location of the house.

> Choose the right finishes and colors. Very light colors are usually impractical and also get soiled very fast. The flat paint finishes are more porous and absorbent than the satin finishes. Some color shades can make your house appear featureless and flat while some bright hues can overwhelm the architecture of the house.

Monitoring child behavior – using charts to help discipline your children

To enhance the behavior of your child, magnetic behavior charts are an amazing instrument that can help. These charts can be used on students of all ages and are also used to change the way teenagers behave. The charts help the child to have fun when confirming accomplishments and the obtaining of rewards for the efforts put in.

Creating good learning charts makes all the difference when it comes to helping your child develop good habits as well as encouraging them to continue doing so. The following are steps that can be taken when developing a good chart:

boy shouting

> Think of the types of attitudes that you consider good and the ones that you consider bad. Outline these good behaviors which you want your children to implement. It is also important to outline the bad tendencies which you would like changed in your child. Consider the age of the child before you come up with this behavior outline. This is because a younger child will need more positive reinforcement.

> Once you establish the learning styles and patterns that you want in your child, come up with a rewards system that will be used to reward the child.

> Choose a system that will help you keep track of your child’s good manners. This can be a printable chart or a whiteboard . Choose a system that will be most effective and easy for you and the needs of your family.

> Discuss this chart with the child because the child needs to know what type of rewards and punishments will be there. Let this discussion be a pleasant one because most children are eager to try out opportunities which have rewards.

> Because of the initial eagerness of the child to use the charts, which may be short lived, make sure you do not at any point ignore the chart. Be consistent and let it be a part of the daily routine in the home.

The following are the various kinds of behavior charts that can be used:

> Single Behavior Chart

This is a chart that can be used when your child does a new job at a time.

> Chore Chart

This chart assists you to set up an assignment list for your child. This is helpful when your child has several assignments in a week.

> Multiple Chart

This is used for children who have problems with evening or morning chores or agendas. It is also appropriate for the children who want to do many-steps jobs like washing the garage.

> Homework Progress Chart

This chart is aimed at helping your child’s undertakings which are important to the homework.

> Reward Chart

This is a chart that rewards your child for accomplishing a task as well as inspiring him or her to work positively in the future.

When looking for the best chart, it is important to know that the behavior chart is only the first step towards making the behavior of your child better, it is important to use one particular chart instead of following multiple charts at the same time and your child must know how the chart is used and follow it under your guidance.

Finally, it is up to you as the parent to make the behavior charts successful. Getting bored with the chart will make the child discard it. The secret is to stay focused, keep encouraging the child and keep rewarding.

Planning a house move in Melbourne?

Are you planning a move soon? If you are a DIY person, what has always applied might not apply in this case- especially if you have never been involved in the removal. For many people, moving has never been easy, especially when there are a lot of items included. Imagine having to pack your belongings, loading into a truck or van, unloading and then unpacking- you will be extremely exhausted before you have achieved all this. What is more, with so much to accomplish besides the move, you must have less and less time on your sleeve.

So, what is the most practical way to approach a move? Ask someone who has used the services of removalists melbourne, and you will understand why it’s the easiest way to handle the move. For starters, you will be able to save a considerable amount of time. This means that, your whole world won’t have to come to a standstill just because you are relocating to a new house or office. Depending on what you agree with your removal company, they can handle everything, including sourcing the packing materials- and all the way until you are set in your new home or office technically.

Another important thing that removalists can help you achieve is the safety of your items. During the move, items are usually exposed to factors that can cause damage. When dealing with professionals, you are guaranteed that your belongings will be safe and sound. This is mainly because you will be dealing with expert packers and movers who understand all the do’s and don’ts of a removal. Besides, a reputable removal company should have the necessary insurance- this means that you will be compensated accordingly in case of any damage or loss during the move.

Hiring good movers provides you with a lot of conveniences, in terms of finances and the work involved. The only thing you will be required to do is to supervise as packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking is being done. Additionally, a good company will have the necessary equipment and transportation means depending on the type and nature of items being moved. The best part is that; you will also be able to save money. There are many removal companies in the market, which gives you bargaining power as a customer. However, it is advisable to be careful to avoid paying too little or too much for a move. Ensure to conduct a background research and determine the industry average cost of a removal. From there, you should be able to judge just how much is too little and how much is too much.

Selecting a moving company that’s right for you

Many people are faced with moving home at some point in their lives. Maybe you are one of them. And the more you consider the prospect of allowing strangers to come and load up all your possessions, the more anxious you feel! But with some common sense, and proactive action from your side you can reduce many of the risks you currently have floating around in your head right now.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you are dealing with a real, reputable company based in Brisbane. The last thing you need is having all the contents of your house driven off in a large truck which is then involved in a disaster such as a road accident or fire. And then finding out later your moving company does not have insurance! Or worse still, allowing a gang of criminals to load all your possessions onto their truck and to happily wave them, and your possessions goodbye forever! So it’s worthwhile asking your potential movers what insurance they have, and how it works to protect your goods. Also, make sure the furniture removals firm in brisbane you are considering is actually a company! Most will be a registered business, and have office premises.

After you have a list of potential moving companies in the Brisbane area, your next task is to get some references. If you don’t personally know people who have used them previously, ask the company themselves for a list of references. Call the people up and have a chat! Tell them you are considering using the company, and would like to hear about their experiences. Most reputable companies will have no problem providing you with such a list. If they refuse, it’s definitely alarm bells – because either they don’t have previous clients or they do, but they are upset!

And finally, just be sure you understand exactly what their service offers and what you are getting. Many movers don’t actually pack your possessions up – they simply come to collect the boxes you have already packed up. The same goes for your home, do they unpack your possessions when you get there, or do they simply unload their truck?

So as you can see, with a little common sense you can reduce your risks of allowing an unknown company to come and load up all your possessions! Just make sure they are reputable, with decent references and insurance in place. And then just make sure you know exactly what you are paying for, and what you can expect from them.