Tips for Kids Parties

Kid’s parties have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an event that runs for only 2-3 hours. Being involved in the children’s party industry for 15 years, I have seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.

However, a child’s party doesn’t require a big budget or an event planner to be successful. Here are some sure-fire pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.

1. Stick with the familiar. Kids enjoy it when predictable elements appear, and if they’re overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you provide at least these three things, you have the basics of party.

2. Things for the kids to do. There are so many options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!

One or two structured games are more than enough. The fact is, children are already being expected to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you throw in entertainers, activities and games, the kids can easily be overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the kids having a chance to actually play.

3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Time for children to play, run about, talk and laugh with one another is golden. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and what’s more , it’s free!

4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This idea may seem like a no-brainer, however many parties can have children feeling bored or bewildered. For example, hiring a magician-clown for two-year olds left most of the children terrified. Another example is a bowling party for four-year olds. The kids had no interest in being competitive and after just a few bowls, the excitement had absolutely worn off. And even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies who are too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are having a party with mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.

5. Try to Relax! When planning a party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-sheet so that you don’t forget anything, like when to put the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.

And most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!

Best of luck!

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Ten Common Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling your home isn’t something that you do every day-unless you’re a real estate agent. Over the years I’ve honed my skills in learning what works when it comes to selling your home, as well as what doesn’t.

Fortunately, other people have made these mistakes so that you don’t have to!

1. Ignoring an estate agent’s style tips

We all develop personal connections to our homes, but sometimes those connections mean that it’s hard to see our home through the eyes of a potential buyer. An experienced agent should know how to present your home in a way that will maximise your home’s selling potential.

2. Underestimating the importance of street appeal

First impressions matter, and potential buyers driving past or inspecting your home will take notice of your property’s exterior. In my experience, people buy in the first five seconds and justify throughout the inspection. Make a good impression from the outset and keep up to date with the mowing and weeding!

3 Under-investing in marketing

A targeted, wide-ranging marketing campaign designed to reach as much as possible of your buying audience is essential. Buyers fall into different groups and demographics, and a high quality marketing campaign will reach out effectively to all of these.

4. Not being switched on about going online

In our office, it’s where about 90% of our buyer enquiry comes from. The more you invest here the better. Only a small percentage of buyers look beyond the first page of property search results!

5. Being afraid to commit to a sale price

Committing to a sale price isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that should be a much easier decision when you consider that almost half of all potential buyers will pass over properties with no listed price. Why? It seems too hard, or worse, they fear it will be out of their range. Take the plunge and name a figure.

6. Holding out for a better price

Though it can be tempting to wait for a better offer, the property market doesn’t play by the rules of Who Dares Wins, so think twice before rejecting that initial offer. In my experience, often the first offer is the highest we’ll receive, and almost every record price we achieve comes from an offer made within the first thirty days.

7. Taking offers personally

A low offer on your property is not a reflection on you, or even on your home. Instead, they’re representative of a willingness to commit to opening negotiations. I always encourage vendors to see a low offer as a starting point rather than a final figure.

8. Opting for appointment-only viewings

Although there is the odd exception, for the most part opening your home for inspection is essential to ensure it’s seen by as many potential buyers as possible. We get around 10 times the buyer traffic if it’s open for inspection as opposed to by appointment viewings.

9. Cutting costs when choosing a real estate agent

If you think the best agent is expensive, try hiring the second best & see how much that costs you!

10. Failing to keep up with property maintenance

It’s almost always cheaper to do it yourself than to let the buyer use it as leverage for a price reduction.

I recently sold a home in Aspley where the building and pest report identified multiple maintenance issues at an estimated repair cost of $15k! As expected, the buyer tired for a $15k price reduction. I intervened & re-quoted with a local trusted trade and they seller got the job done for $3k. Fortunately, I managed to salvage the deal without a price reduction. However this could have been avoided or worse the deal could have fallen through.

So call that plumper you’ve been avoiding! For real estate Aspley, contact Justin Watt of Watt Realty today.

Things to know before you buy night lights

Night Lights are small light resources that are kept on during the night. The intention behind using night lights is to help people find their way in the dark or to help individuals who are afraid of the dark. While choosing the best night lights for you, it is necessary to consider two things: how bright you want these lights to be and howimportant is energy efficiency to you.

What type of night lights are available on the market?

Incandescent Night Lights
The most common night lights use the traditional incandescent bulb. This type of bulb uses a wire filament for the production of light and is not much energy efficient. Most of the incandescent night lights come in the 5-10 watt range.

Fluorescent lights
A fluorescent night light uses almost the same amount of energy to provide a better light output. These lights use about 7 watts of power.

Neon lights
Neon Light offers an energy-efficient alternative by using just about 1 watts of energy. Neon lights carry a small amount of neon gas, which lights up when electricity goes through it. These lights are just outlet-mounted strips that have an electro-luminescent surface. Just like glow-in-the-dark paint or stickers, these night lights emit light while using a negligible amount of power, which is less than even .07 watts.

Things to consider before you buy night lights

The way these lights are powered
Most important thing to consider when buying a night light is how they are powered. Most of the lights are made to be plugged into a wall outlet. However, it is also possible to buy a design that is powered by a battery.

The type of bulb used
One important thing to consider when buying a night light is the kind of bulb used. Night lights that use incandescent bulbs are less energy efficient compared to other designs. Though night lights that use luminescent bulbs are less energy efficient, they produce a much brighter light. They’ll also last considerably longer than their incandescent counterparts will.

Features to look out for

Sensor
Some lights have photosensitive triggers in them that automatically turn off the light when there is an ambient light source present and when bigger overhead lights are on. This sensor also detects the darkness and turns on the light automatically. There are also lights available with sound sensors.

Power modes
Some manufacturers of lights and bulbs also make bulbs with two different modes. In their power mode, they act as a standard 60-watt bulb that gives off enough light to light up the room. In their second energy-saving mode, which may be reached by flipping the switch twice or after twenty minutes of waiting, the bulb automatically dims itself to a 7- W bulb, which is perfect for a night light.

Programmable
Buying a programmable night light will allow you to fix the number of hours for which the light will be operational. This makes these lights much more energy efficient.

Music
Some night lights also play music to assist you in falling asleep. There’re also designs available that have the ability to play specific music. With these kinds of night lights, it is best to select a model that comes with a timer so that it turns off automatically after ten or fifteen minutes.

These were just a few tips to help you make the right decision when you are out to buy night lights. If you want your night lights to be energy efficient, look for ones that use neon bulbs.

Why Choose Sushi for Your Event Menu – ask Sushi platters, Moorabbin

Sushi platters make great menus for events. They don’t need heating; they can be served cold as long as the fish is fresh. They are healthier than fried foods and other high calorie foods that may be served at corporate events and parties. They are delicious and can be a favorite lunchtime menu for office workers or high end delicacies for an event.

This food from East Asia is easy to eat, and though many people pick up their chopsticks to tackle sushi, they are traditionally finger foods! This makes sushi incredibly easy to serve and least messy to clean up afterwards. These are reasons enough to offer sushi platters at Moorabbin events.

Types of Sushi
Sushi is typically made of raw fish, vegetables and rice. These are combined together with different flavors and in different shapes to create the several varieties of sushi. There are also varieties of vegetarian sushi for those that don’t enjoy fish. The common ingredient across all of them is vinegar-flavored sushi rice. The toppings, fillings, condiments and preparation styles are what differentiate sushi varieties.

So, how do you choose what type of sushi platters to serve? Here’s a look at the varieties of sushi that are available.

Nigiri Sushi: Nigirizushi is typically a mound of rice pressed into a box with hands and topped with a dot of spicy wasabi and a cut of seafood draped over it, such as tuna, salmon, prawns etc.

Maki Sushi: Maki sushi is typically cylindrical sushi pieces created with the help of a bamboo mat. This variety takes its name from the Japanese name for the bamboo mat, makisu. They are typically wrapped in seaweed or other ingredients like soy paper, a thin omelette, perilla leaves or cucumber. The variety with seaweed wrapping and a single filling of cucumber or tuna is called hosomaki. Another seaweed-wrapped variety with multiple, complementary fillings is called futomaki. Other modern varieties are tune maki and salmon maki, with the fillings as suggested by the names.

Inari: Inari is typically made of fried tofu or beancurd pockets with sushi rice filling. It is named after the Shinto god Inari, who it is believed is fond of fried tofu. The beancurd pockets may also contain other condiments and toppings, or they can be eaten plain.

Sashimi: Sashimi consists of very thinly sliced, very fresh seafood served with a garnish such as Asian white daikon or radish, perilla leaves etc. It is typically served with a dipping sauce that is made of soy sauce, wasabi paste and other condiments like ginger. It’s also possible to order sashimi platters combined with nigiri sushi.

Western-Style Sushi: With the increasing popularity of sushi in the western world, there are variations in sushi with ingredients typically found in the west but not in Japan. These include the California roll, which usually contains a crab stick, avocado, tobiko and cucumber. This roll can also be made in the style of uramaki, which is rice on the outside and seaweed on the inside. Other variations can include mayo, prawns, salmon and other vegetables.

Health Benefits of Sushi
Scientists believe sushi is one of the reasons the Japanese are some of the healthiest people on the planet. A sushi diet typically contains 30 percent fat, compared with 40 percent of that in the Western world. Most of these fats are of the polyunsaturated variety.

A regular diet of sushi is known to keep the rate of heart diseases in Japan among the lowest in the world. Latest research has suggested that even smokers may be protected from lung cancer by including sushi more regularly in their diet. Raw fish contains circulation improving omega-3 fatty acids. Rice in sushi provides plenty of protein and energy. It can treat digestive disorders and even relieve diarrhea. Wasabi cleanses the palate, but it also may contain a chemical compound that can help to prevent tooth decay. Seaweed or nori has concentrated amounts of minerals like calcium, copper, iodine, magnesium and iodine. The condiment ginger aids digestion and may have therapeutic effects.

If you’re looking for suppliers of sushi platters, Moorabbin locals will direct you to Pop Asia Cafe, with its variety of sushi items for business and personal catering. Contact them and choose from traditional Asian varieties, western-style preparations and other items at affordable prices.

How to Soundproof Windows

Acoustic double glazing depends on the addition of a secondary glazing layer offset from an existing window, optimally by 100mm. Soundblock offer two solutions to double glaze windows for noise and thermal insulation – Magnetic Acrylic Double Glazing and Acoustic Aluminium Double Glazing. Article body:

What is Window Double Glazing?
Double glazing depends on the addition of a secondary glazing layer offset from an existing window optimally by 100mm. Add our acoustic double glazing to your windows or specify our solutions on new projects. Double glazed windows reduce noise transfer by up to 70% and eliminate heating costs by 35%.

Double Glazing System – Magnetic Acrylic Windows
Magnetic Window Soundproofing System functions very simply by installing a PVC sub frame on the inside of your window. This double glazing system greatly improves noise cancellation. The acrylic window is sealed in place, creating an air space with the existing window, thereby producing an insulating barrier.

Double Glazing System – Acoustic Aluminium Windows
This double glazing system reduces the transfer of noise from outside to inside. These sound proof windows can be specially manufactured to meet specific size requirements. The Soundblock Aluminium Window System is an add on glazing system, creating a double glazed unit to greatly reduce noise transmission through existing windows up to 70%. In Addition it provides extra safety and security to the property.

How to Soundproof Windows
To successfully soundproof your windows you will need to have a sufficient gap between your primary window and the edge of your internal window reveal. Ideally this gap is 100mm. This will allow an acoustic secondary window, either our Soundblock Acrylic Magnetic or Soundblock Aluminium windows, to be installed to effectively provide an overall sound reduction of 40-43db.

Noise reduction and soundproofing solutions
Established in 1999, Soundblock Solutions is a highly respected, privately-owned Australian creator of soundproofing products and solutions. We can help to create a quieter, more comfortable environment in any surroundings, whether it’s in the home, office, restaurants, marine, industrial or hotels.

Representing leading Australian manufacturers of acoustic products, Soundblock offers a huge range of double glazing and window sound insulation and noise control products for domestic and commercial use. We will determine your exact noise problems and supply and install the most effective product or combination of products for your specific situation. Talk to us for expert advice and a comprehensive, cost-effective solution for all of your soundproofing, double glazing, noise control and acoustic requirements.

Soundblock are the experts in noise reduction and have found using window double glazing systems, that noise can be reduced by up to 70% or 41dB. Soundblock offer two solutions to double glaze windows for noise and thermal insulation.