Monthly Archives: July 2014

Baby Shower Games: Prize Ideas That Won’t Burn Your Pockets

Porcelain tealight candle holder

Porcelain tealight candle holderBeing the event organizer for a baby shower, there are many things you need to take care of: attendees, RSVPs, theme, cake, food, drinks, and the most fun part of any shower – the games.

It will be easier to deal with the other relevant part of the shower, but finding prizes for the games can be a bit tricky. Yes, whether you like it or not, you will have to give prizes to keep the players motivated.

Here, are a few cool baby shower games prize ideas, which you can either make on your own or buy.  And yes, these ideas are cost-effective too!

Usable Items

One of the best prize ideas you can either create on your own or find from a baby shower games shop is an item that winners can use. Such items would include:

  • Candles, especially the huge, decorative, scented ones
  • Plants, normally the small, lush green ones that would work well indoors. You could even plant the seedlings a few weeks before the event to give it a personal touch.
  • Coffee mugs, which is perhaps the most cost-effective prize you can get. Get ones withcool messages and event-appropriate pictures to make the prize seem more special.
  • Bottle of wine that could be dressed up a bit. Even if the winner does not drink wine, they can always re-gift it to someone!

Lovely Stationery

Apart from these household nick-nacks, you can also think of giving away some lovely stationery as prize, such as:

  • A customized journal, which would seem particularly appropriate if the baby shower is held around the holiday season or New Year.
  • Some beautiful pens and ink pads
  • Entire stationery kits

Other Fabulous Ideas

A few other interesting baby shower games prize stuff would be-

  • Gift certificates for a local department store or a mani and pedi treat at the spa
  • Chocolate bars, which are an all-time favourite
  • Inexpensive and decorative photo frames
  • Some edibles such as slices of cake, a few special cookies, sugared nuts, etc.
  • Toiletries such as body or hand lotion, shower gel, night cream, etc.

The ideas for a baby shower game prize are almost endless. Just get your creative juices flowing. You will have plenty of these ideas without you needing to break the bank.

Taking Out a Home Improvement or Renovation Loan – Is it a Good Idea?

Home improvement

Home improvementHome improvement and renovation is something homeowners everywhere want to do. Thing is, pursuing such a project can be a costly affair. While most people hold off and wait until they can afford to get work done, others choose to apply for a home improvement loan from a local bank or lender.

Renovation loans are usually taken out for major repairs like a roof replacement, changing the central air conditioning unit, or even installing energy efficient windows. Those who take out loans, therefore, are constantly looking out for the best rates and easiest repayment terms.

Taking out a credit card loan or any other unsecured debt is not advisable, though, because of the high rates interest rates that come with it. Working with an accredited lender is always the best choice if you need a little help making your home improvement project in Perth a reality. Financing from such institutions carry relatively lower and more reasonable interest rates that you can pay back over a period of time. Choosing the right lender is of utmost importance.

Once repairs and renovations are complete, the value of your house will undoubtedly increase. On the flip side, a house in a dilapidated condition or in need of major repairs would attract lower prices in the real estate market, making it difficult to sell. Repairs in the right places and done properly makes sound economic sense.

Adding repair costs to your outstanding debt will not reduce its value. You may owe money alright to your lender, but at the same time, you also have a more creditable asset. These are just some of the biggest reasons why you should consider taking out a loan if you need a little more money to get your home renovated. It might seem like much, so make sure to pursue it only if you are financially capable. If not, it might be best to wait until you have a solid savings for it.

Why Property Development Should Be Your First Property Investment Choice

property developer

property developerThere are many ways to make money in the world of real estate. But, becoming a property developer offers the best return of investment potential. If you already have existing property with no large amount of debt tied to it, you can unlock profit making potential by developing it as commercial or residential property.

Here are some important reasons why becoming a property developer is the right investment option.

Excellent Profit Potential

If you are able to construct your own property, you can get more units at cost that you are free to sell for instant profit. You can either invest the money you earn to buy more properties or develop the ones you already have.

Use as a Deposit

Once your property starts earning, you can use the money here as deposit for your next investment venture.

Enjoy Capital Gain

As you got the property on cost, you are able to enjoy instant capital gains on it as opposed to retail like what many investors go through.

Competitive Rent

The fact that you are able to acquire and develop the property, you can dictate the rent and set it to offer the best rental yield for all your units.

Substantial Tax Benefits

Another advantage you can definitely enjoy is tax benefits. If you develop and keep your units, you are eligible to claim depreciation write offs and minimise or avoid the dreaded capital gains tax.

Better Return on your Capital

As you are leveraging the current equity on your assets, the result is that the upfront payment is much less than the return. Returns on the capital that you invested can be somewhere in the range of eighty to one hundred percent.

Expand your Portfolio

When you are able to get properties at cost, you can acquire more properties quicker and achieve an expanding portfolio of good investments.

Investing as a property developer is no easy task. It requires a lot of discipline, hard work, training and experience to tap into its full potential. By examining all its rewards, you can set your expectations in the right direction.

How to Taste Wine like a Sommelier

White wine

You sip, take a palate cleanser, and repeat. The process is simple yet so complex. For those who have no affinity for the finer things in life, wine-tasting may seem like a mundane and needless activity. Most likely, many of these naysayers prefer being drunk to experiencing the delicate and ensnaring wonders of the endeavour.

This is not the case if you’re a sommelier, or someone who has trained their taste buds to test the quality of wines. Sommeliers are usually employed by upscale hotels and restaurants, such as Park Hyatt and Vue De Monde. Some have undergone formal training at schools or institutions, such as the Australian Hotels Association.

Without a doubt, their profession is one of the most enviable in the world. More enviable still are the skills they have developed over the years. Now, if you feel like changing course and decide to taste the finer things in life, you might as well put wine-tasting on your list. Here are some tips on how you can do it like a pro.

White wine

How to Assess

Stand by the 3S: sight, smell, and swirl. The sight mainly refers to the colour or transparency of the wine, which gives you a lot of clues about how it’s crafted. The colour intensity will tell you how bold the taste may be, while the transparency or opacity will help you identify the age of the wine or the type of grape used.

The smell will help you enjoy the wine by reminding you of some things. You can use this criterion when determining its age and the type of fruit used. If the aroma doesn’t appeal to you, that’s when you swirl your goblet to release more smell. Finally, taste the wine. Tasting primarily involves paying attention to the taste’s evolution from the moment the wine hits your lips to the time you swallow it.

How to Pair the Wine with Food

A sommelier is trained to know how to pair a type of wine with the right food. If you want to impress your guests, don’t make the mistake of pairing a sweet white wine with fish or the sparkling wine with red meat. The key to proper pairing is to think about what complements each other in terms of the taste.

For instance, a light and dry wine complements green veggies and fish. Light red wines go well with hard cheese. Lighter dessert wines can go with smoked or deli meats and soft cheeses. You can make the most of full-bodied red wines if you pair them with red meats. The combinations are endless; you just have to learn how to complement, or in some cases, contrast.