Tips for Having a Superb Destination Wedding

Tips for Having a Superb Destination Wedding

If you are looking for a way to cut some of the stress and expenses out of your forthcoming nuptials with your significant other, you may have decided to have a destination wedding.  Bell City is one of many places out there that offer a beautiful location and money saving package that includes all you could ever want to have the perfect wedding.  Perhaps you are a little nervous about organising your wedding in a foreign country.  If that is the case, you will find the following post of tips very useful.

Ensure You Have Enough Planning Time

The majority of destination weddings have to be booked far in advance of when you plan to have the big day, so start organising it as early as you can.  Be sure to send out Save the Date cards as soon as you possibly can so that your guests can book time off from work.  This will increase the likelihood of the guests you want to be there getting there.

Think Carefully About the Location

While you may have some luxurious and paradisiac location in mind for your wedding, you need to think about the needs of your guests.  There is no point inviting all your nearest and dearest to your big day at a gorgeous location if it is hard or too expensive for them to get to.  Check the flight connections and accommodations before booking a particular destination, to ensure as many of your guests that you want to be there have the chance to attend your wedding.

Pace Yourself

Most people think of destination weddings as being more relaxed and chilled than domestic ones, however, the reality is often further from the truth.  In the days leading up to your big day, the friends and relatives that are attending will want to spend as much time with you as they possibly can to share the experience.  This can be quite intimidating and tiring, so it is important to ensure that you and your significant other have enough time to chill before the stress and excitement of the actual wedding day.  It is also wise to leave the night before the wedding free of any social gatherings or trips.

Check the Legalities

It may sound like common sense, but it’s a good idea to check out the legalities of marrying in a foreign country before you head out there.  In some countries, such as Spain for instance, you are not able to get married unless you have been living in the country as a resident for at least 2 years or are Catholic and plan to marry in a church.  Often the resort you plan your destination wedding through will be able to help you understand and plan or the necessary legal sides of getting married in that particular country.

The above article is not meant to scare you out of booking that once in a lifetime destination wedding.  Rather, it is meant to help you ensure that your big day happens with as few issues or problems as possible.

Luxury Tips For Your Wedding Day

Luxury Tips For Your Wedding Day

When it comes to getting married, your big day has to be perfect. It has to be everything you’ve ever dreamed of. You are often restricted by budget but there are many ways to get around this. Don’t let your budget stop you from creating the ultimate luxury wedding. When it comes to luxury, the devil is in the details. It’s not about ice sculptures, string quartets or grand pianos (although that would be nice). It’s about the finishing touches.

Luxury and sophistication is rooted in simplicity. Simple features and elegant colours are key. You don’t need a huge budget for this, just a sharp eye for the finer details. It’s all about creating the overall impression of luxury and elegance. It’s less about ostentatious features.

Lighting

The right lighting will set the tone for your entire wedding. You don’t want harsh lights at your reception or the ceremony itself. You’ll want soft, delicate lighting. It should create a warm and cosy environment – which can be difficult when catering for hundreds. Lots of candles is the answer here. Place them on the tables and around the room. Try and keep them off the ground and out of reach for when things get a little wild later! Delicate fairy lights and lanterns are also perfect for a touch of luxury. Hang them around the room and hide the fittings with flowers.

Colours

You’ll want to keep a consistent colour palette running throughout the entire day. It’ll help the wedding feel connected as you move from the ceremony and the reception. The right colours set the tone for the entire day. Soft creams are a great starting point and build everything around it. Try to stay with soft pastel colours and make sure every colour fits into the same palette. You’ll want to run this colour scheme throughout the linens, the flowers, candles and the lighting. Even the suits and bridesmaids dresses should match the colour palette.

Arrive In Style

Whether you want a horse drawn carriage or a stylish limo, make sure you arrive in style. For those on the east coast, you’ll find limo services NJ here. Spend some time choosing the perfect car, everyone will be watching!

Food

The evening meal will be the last formal part of your wedding before the party can begin. Be sure to add the final touches of luxury here. Simplicity is your friend. Don’t have a large menu, just one or two options and ensure that it is tastefully presented. You’ll want small, elegant portions and the correct wine to accompany it. Test plenty of caterers and go to a wine tasting event before you decide. Then be sure to employ a waiting service with luxury credentials. Your guests deserve the best!

Finally, it’s time to dance. You can forget about the luxury and just enjoy yourself. Hopefully you’ve had the best day of your life and everyone will go home talking about how beautiful the wedding was. Take a breather and relax.

4523702955_309a606556_oThanks to Tyler Ingram for the image.

8 Benefits of Using a Letting Agent

8 Benefits of Using a Letting Agent

If you’re a landlord, you may have considered using a letting agent to help you in your venture. They aren’t compulsory, but they can make the process of letting a property a whole lot easier. There are both pros and cons of course, but this post is going to focus on 8 benefits you can enjoy from working with a letting agent:

They’ll Help You to Prepare Your Property

Your property needs to be properly prepared if you’re going to let it out. You need to have the proper checks in place, such as making sure there are no fire hazards due to furniture or electrical appliances. You should also have certificates in place to support this.

They’ll Sort Out Your Inventory

You’re likely to leave some things in the property, such as cabinets, carpets, and maybe a sofa. If you find a letting agent in Wolverhampton, they’ll more than likely have employees who specialise in taking inventory. This is very important, so you can make sure nothing is missing or damaged when your tenant moves out.

They’ll Take Care of the Deposit

In your tenancy agreement, you’ll require a deposit for any repairs and maintenance that need to be done when your tenant leaves. If the repairs are light wear and tear, your tenant will get the deposit back. If they haven’t looked after the house, you are entitled to keep the deposit for repairs. The letting agent will take care of all of this and keep it in a government scheme for you, as stated by law.

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photo source: Flickr

They’ll Check The Property Every So Often

Every so often, a good letting agent will check on the property and come back with home reports to make sure that your tenant isn’t having wild parties and trashing the place.

They’ll Take Care of Repairs

If repairs do need to be taken care of, and they more than likely will, your letting agent will do this for you too. It’ll be much nicer than you having a phone call at 4am, with your tenant frantically telling you they have a leak.

They’ll Get You a Tenant Quickly

Letting agents are likely to be able to get you a tenant much quicker than you can. Your property should be occupied in no time.

They’ll Vet Your Tenant

Although the letting agent will get your property occupied quickly, they won’t shove any old person in there. They will vet your tenant, doing all of the proper background checks to make sure that they are respectable.

They’ll Give You Peace of Mind

Do to everything a letting agent can do for you, you’ll have peace of mind that your property is well taken care of. I advise you meet your tenant at least once; perhaps when they look around the property for the first time. This way, you know who is taking care of your property.

People have different opinions on letting agents, but you can’t deny that they make a landlord’s life much easier!

Moving Up on the Property Ladder: Is Now the Time to Upgrade Your Home?

Moving Up on the Property Ladder: Is Now the Time to Upgrade Your Home?

With a growing brood and an ever-growing family, there never seems to be enough space in the home. Kids are not just kids. They come with toys, books, clothes and other stuff. As they get older, the problem seems to intensify! Children take up a lot of space in the family home. With this in mind, you may be considering moving house. A house with more space is always needed with an expanding family. The property market, in the UK, has slowly been recovering. This means that more and more people are keen to move house and upgrade to their dream family home.

But, is now the right time to move property? Let’s find out.

Moving Up the Property Ladder

Moving up onto your next property is a significant step. But, for expanding families, space is always welcome. It is needed, in fact. Whether this is your second home or your twelfth, you need to think about the implications, as well as the benefits, of moving house. After all, moving home is cited as the most stressful thing an adult can do.

When the credit crunch hit in 2008, some homeowners found themselves in the unfortunate position. Negative equity became the homeowner’s burden. With the inevitable rising costs of property, the consumer need for larger properties took a hit. But, the economy is rising once again. Now just is the perfect time to start afresh in an upgraded property.

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Check Your Property Prices

Having a substantive knowledge of the local property market will serve you well. You need to ensure that you have the money to fill the shortfall of your next property. It is said that the average cost of an upgrade is 32%. This means that you are likely to pay over £40,000 more for your next property. You need to ensure that you have the finances in place in order to move. What’s more, you need to consider whether now is the right time to move.

Value Your Home

Negative equity didn’t affect all homeowners. On the contrary, some people have profited from the credit crunch. With this in mind, you need to make sure that you are aware of the real and present costs of your property. A residential property search in Seaton, for example, can ensure that you are au fait with the local figures of housing. Of course, tailor this to your location accordingly for real costs. The best place to check your current valuation is on the online market. An estate agent will be able to assist you with this too.

Your New Mortgage: Money Matters

Buying a bigger property means that you need to assess your mortgage. You may have to put in for a larger loan. Ensure that you are checking out the latest deals. You don’t have to go with your current mortgage provider so that you can move. Interest rates are at an all time low. For those who are current homeowners, now is the perfect time to move. But, do factor in the additional costs of your mortgage into your budget. Fixed rate deals are perfect for those that want to upgrade and move up on the property ladder. You will also need a 10% deposit for your new home.

What to Look For When Viewing a Rental Property

What to Look For When Viewing a Rental Property

Viewing a rental property can be exciting and daunting in equal measure. There might be lots of people waiting to see the house or flat you’re interested in, and so you may have to make a quick decision. If you get this right, you could land the perfect pad. On the other hand, if you make a mistake, you may miss out on the ideal home or end up with the wrong property.

It’s important to know your rights as a renter and to have a clear head when you’re viewing homes. This brief guide will help ensure you know what to look for.

Check for maintenance issues

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When you’re walking around rental homes in Gorleston, make sure you look for any potential maintenance issues. Pay particular attention to details like bathroom and kitchen fixtures and fittings. It’s also worth having a look at gutters, windows and roofs to see if there are any obvious problems.

Make sure you run the taps, flush the toilet and test the shower to make sure they all work too, and try opening the windows.

The last thing you want to do is move into a property that’s falling apart. If you see potential problems, don’t be afraid to raise the issue with the owner or letting agent.

See how much storage there is

Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the property suits your style requirements. However, it’s also crucial to focus on practical points. For example, note how much storage there is. You don’t want to sign a lease only to realise you’ll have to ditch half your belongings to squeeze into your new place.

Bear in mind that you can add storage solutions like wardrobes and shelving, but you’ll need enough square footage to fit the items in.

Check heating and insulation

Heating and insulation are other key points to consider. Check to see if the property is double-glazed and ask about the age and condition of the boiler and central heating system. Bear in mind that this could have a major impact on your bills. If your rental property is drafty or suffers from inefficient heating, you could end up spending a fortune throughout the winter.

Make sure you feel secure

Another top tip when viewing properties is to check for any security measures. You’ll no doubt want good quality door locks and well-designed windows.

The surrounding area should feel safe too. Bear in mind that places can seem very different during the day than they do at night. With this in mind, it’s helpful to visit the area after sunset to see whether or not you feel safe there. This will have a big impact on your quality of life, so it’s worth making the extra effort.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the issues you need to look out for when you’re viewing rental properties, but it’s a good start. By taking advantage of the property advice available online, you can help ensure you choose the right home for you.

How To Turn Your Home Into A Fun Space For Your Child’s Birthday Party

How To Turn Your Home Into A Fun Space For Your Child’s Birthday Party

You children aren’t going to be young forever. Pretty soon they will fly the nest, and their youth will be gone. For that reason, it’s vitally important you make the most out of your time together. Birthdays are always going to be special, which is why we thought it might be a good idea to publish a post that gives you some great ideas about transforming your home. While some parents choose to make party bookings at activity centres and the like, that can cost a lot of money. Considering that, we think it’s much better to hold your child’s birthday celebrations at home.

Take a few moments to read through some of the ideas we’ve listed below, and organising the perfect party for your child should become far simpler. We’ve done our best to make things simple for you. The suggestions in this post could help to make your home a much more fun environment for everyone who attends. While you could give their room a makeover for the big day, it’s, usually, better to keep the activities downstairs.

Get lots of party decorations

You might not get too excited by having banners that say, “happy birthday” all over your front door, but your child is guaranteed to love it. You can also get these for the walls inside your home. Perhaps it might be wise to get some streamers and other items too? You see, it’s all about getting them excited about their special occasion.

Design some personalised balloons

While most parents simply purchase a cheap multi-pack of balloons for their child’s birthday party, you could go one step further. Why not get some personalised ones with their name on. You could even have their face put on the balloons if you think they would appreciate it. Ten years ago, you might have had to travel long distances to make that happen. However, thanks to www.balloonsgalore.co.uk and other similar websites, you can now have them delivered to your door.

Put on a nice spread

There is little point in cooking posh meals for the children attending your party. Most of them will have no interest in sitting down to eat when there are lots of fun activities going on. With that in mind, you should make a buffet so kids can eat as and when they feel like it. Just do some sandwiches and nibbles! Remember though, some children will have different dietary requirements, and so it might be wise to speak with their parents beforehand.

Select a suitable playlist

Most children listen to the radio these days, and so everyone at your party should be familiar with songs that are currently in the charts. Even so, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase a standard party CD. The hokey-cokey never gets old.

As you can clearly see, you have your work cut-out. Arranging a children’s party in your home is going to take a lot of time and careful preparation. However, everything should go to plan, so long as you start work straight away.

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My Kitchen Saviours: Don’t Cook Without These

My Kitchen Saviours: Don’t Cook Without These

If you love spending time in the kitchen, you should be interested in this post. I love spending time in the kitchen too, and over the years I’ve come across some gadgets I don’t think I could live without. The following items are my kitchen saviours…I won’t cook without them:

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Image Credit: Flickr

A Griddle Pan

The griddle pan is great for cooking just about anything. You can cook your bacon, chicken, steak; whatever meat you’re eating that day. The great thing about it, is that it locks in all of the flavour while getting rid of lots of the fat. This makes the meat much healthier than frying!

A Slow Cooker

The slow cooker is a great tool for days when you’re just too busy to cook. Simply throw everything into the slow cooker and later on you’ll have your meal ready made. There’s no need to do anything else. Simply enjoy the aromas filling the house and get on with your day.

A Sturdy Grater

Whatever you’re grating, whether it’s cheese, garlic or fruit; it needs to be a sturdy grater. I’ve had graters that snap when you apply the slightest bit of pressure.

Kitchen Scales

Kitchen scales make sure you aren’t going to cook too much and end up wasting perfectly good food. You’ll also make sure you get the amounts of your recipes perfect, so you can cook every dish down to a T.

A Great Set of Knives

With a great set of knives, you can chop through just about anything at lightening speed. Vegetables, meat, fruit…you name it. Blunt knives and regular knives that we eat with aren’t as sharp for a reason. They aren’t made for the job. You won’t regret treating yourself to a set of these!

A Herb and Spice Rack

The more herbs and spices you have in the house, the better! You can buy most if these complete with a rack too. Herbs and spices transform a boring dish into something spectacular.

A Hand Blender

Strong hand blenders can be hard to come by. However, it’s one of the most useful kitchen gadgets. If you can find one that has no trouble blending ice and frozen fruit, you’re on to a winner! Many of the cheap ones will get too hot when they are being used for this kind of job.

A Pestle and Mortar

The pestle and mortar not only looks great when displayed in the kitchen, it’s great for mashing up ingredients. When a recipe calls for crushing garlic, for example. It’s fun to do too!

Heavy Set Pans

Heavy set pans are quality pans. Cheap pans that feel flimsy and light won’t last a very long time and will become scratched easily. Not only that, they are never as ‘non stick’ as they claim. Real, heavy set pans are an amazing addition to any kitchen.

Now you know what you should have in your kitchen, here are some fantastic cooking tips. Let me know if there are any kitchen gadgets you couldn’t be without. Thanks!

Golfing Holiday in Italy

Golfing Holiday in Italy

Golfing holidays have been popular for a long time now, but if you are looking for something a little different than the average “golf by the sea” trip, you should really take a look at Castelfalfi.  Castelfalfi is 110 hectares of beautiful Tuscan countryside that features an 800 years old village within its borders.  The area had become something of a ghost town, as most of the residents left it and moved on in the 60s.  Since then and in the last decade or so there has been a great and inspirational renovation project to bring the area back to its former glory.

As well as being the perfect way to get a truly authentic experience of what Tuscan life is like; a stay at Castelfalfi will also give you the golfing holiday of your dreams.  As the area has a very balanced climate, it is ideal for golfers as you can play comfortably at almost any time of the year.  The courses within the estate have been built with the principles of sustainability firmly in mind, making it not only one of the most breath-taking places to play golf thanks to the views and landscape, but one of the most challenging places to play golf thanks to the way the courses have be devised.

There are a total of 27 holes across 2 courses and while expert golfers will find many challenges, beginners will also be able to hone their skills.  In addition to the 2 stunning courses, there is also a driving range where you can practice getting your swing just right, covered areas where golf clinics are often held and a small clubhouse with a terrace and a bar for when you need some refreshments after a game or 2.

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Both The Mountain Course and The Lake Course have been designed so that whether you want to play an 18-hole game or a 9-hole game, you always start and finish at the club house, meaning you can walk off the courses and into the bar for some refreshments.  The courses themselves have been designed by the award winning and renowned golf course designers Wilfried Moroder and Rainer Preissmann.

The Mountain Course

The 18-hole Mountain Course has been open for play since August 2010 and in a short time the 6.531 m course has become well known for the challenging game it offers players and the stunning views.  Beginners and experts are welcome on the course, which has a Par 72.  The course has been designed to naturally fit within the topography of the land in the estate and this provides natural obstacles and water hazards that you need to manoeuvre round.

This also means that each fairway for each hole has a very unique look and feel.  The 9th hole of The Mountain Course is one of the course’s highlights and is a particularly challenging par 3 that is set in a very green and scenic area of the course.

The Lake Course

The 9-hole Lake Course has been open for play since November 2011, so is a little newer than its mountain counterpart.  This particular course has been specifically designed with players of all levels of experience and handicaps in mind.

As you can see from the above, Castelfalfi offers golfers of any level and handicap a truly memorable and unique experience.

 

Reasons why you should look at investing in fine wine over shares

Reasons why you should look at investing in fine wine over shares

Investors know that it’s wise to diversify their portfolios, and many now seek to diversify beyond the standard stocks and bonds. One possibility which has gotten a lot of attention recently is investing in fine wines. If you’re willing to learn about the wine market, this asset class can definitely make a tempting investment.

Over the past 20 years, the demand for fine wine has escalated to a global degree. This aromatic beverage is no longer a mere object of enjoyment, and many see it as a viable investment commodity. Nonetheless, as a potential investor you must know that not all wines are investable. Only the best of the best will eventually bring extraordinary returns. Here are some things to consider about investing in fine wine:

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Tangible assets

The stock market has shown a lot of volatility, and that has made some investors seek tangible assets as an alternative. Investing in wine gives you a tangible asset with a finite supply that often does not move in sync with the stock market.

Strong returns

Fine wine can deliver some remarkable returns. During the years of 2009 to 2011, prices of fine wine, as tracked in the Liv-ex 100, the most popular industry benchmark index, skyrocketed. Of course that performance was exceptional, and like any investment class, prices can slump sometimes too. Nevertheless, these high returns showed what is possible.

Enjoying wine

Fine wine makes an ideal investment for people who enjoy good wine. If you like drinking wine, then you will enjoy the process of learning more about the industry and the wines you invest in. You may even choose to do some tasting of your investments, which can be a nice side benefit.

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How to invest in fine wine

Now that you’ve decided to invest in fine wine and give up shares, you must first adhere to some rule. Making money with wine is not that easy; always remember that any type of investment comes with risks. Here are some guidelines to help you make the decisions.

  • Use a wine merchant

Find a reputable wine merchant, who can sell you wines for investment. Be certain to use a well-established merchant with a stellar reputation. Otherwise, you may get someone who overcharges you for the wine you buy, or who steers you into making some bad investments because they make more profit on those. Wine merchants do not charge a fee or commission, because they already have a margin built into the prices of wine they sell. A good merchant will be able to give you some advice on what wines to purchase or avoid, but you should always do your own research and due diligence.

  • Wine funds

If you don’t want to do all the work to research, buy, store and sell your own wines, then you can invest via a wine fund. This is like a mutual fund for wines. A management team buys and sells the wines, making all of the decisions about what to purchase, and when to buy and sell different holdings. You buy shares in the wine fund, rather than owning the wine yourself directly.  One advantage is that this diversifies your wine holdings more than buying wine yourself. It is easier for you than handling research and transactions yourself. You also have wine experts making your decisions. On the downside, the fund management takes various fees for their services.

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  • Wine trading platforms

There are websites where you can buy and sell fine wines, such as Wine Owners and Caves. You can see pictures and videos of the wine before you buy, check price history, and monitor your portfolio. The pros are that it’s very flexible, and fees are low. The cons are that you need to do a lot of work yourself.

Wine investors should first and foremost buy wines with a track record. Just because you really liked a type it doesn’t mean its variety is good for business. First growth Bordeaux like Latour, Chateaux Lafite and others, have been offering great returns for decades. Start with those and move on with some other varieties as you gain experience. Don’t take unnecessary risks, and in time you will see that investment in wine can be more profitable than shares.

 

DIY – Why You Should Take Learning into Your Own Hands

DIY – Why You Should Take Learning into Your Own Hands

It may be something you have given thought to in the past, but ruled it out as being too difficult to organise and figure out; but, thanks to online learning, enhancing your current skillset or studying a completely new one has never been easier.  To help you decide whether or not an online course with a company like Computer Power Institute is right for you, in the article below we will briefly discuss 5 of the advantages of online learning.

Learning Online Is Usually Cheaper

In comparison to the price of similar courses at a physical education institute such as a college or university, you will find that most online courses are less expensive.  The downside, if you can even call it that, is that you may have to spend a much longer time studying on an online course than you would at a proper education centre.   All these factors will vary depending on what subject or type of course you want to enrol on.

Learning Online Are Orientated By Results

Unlike some courses that you may have attended or fear attending, where the lecturers and teachers run through pages of bland information and dry theory; online courses are usually devised in a way that you learn the things you need and want to know.  The majority of online course providers know that people are sending them money without meeting them, so it is important that they keep the structure and content of their classes and coursework aimed at helping you reach goals and have positive results.

Technology Enhances the Learning Experience

With online courses, you can say goodbye to those boring and dry 45 to 60 minute long lectures, as most online course providers try to keep lecture time to a minimum.  What you get instead is technology that can give you plenty of worksheets, access to discussion forums and interactive presentation which make learning easier and more far more enjoyable.

Classrooms Are Obviously More Comfortable

When you take an online course, you not only have access to all those resources that make effective use of modern technology; but also better seating.  Online courses, by definition, can be worked on form anywhere with an internet connection and a computer – including your bedroom, kitchen, dining room, living room or even garden!

You Get To Keep the Course Materials

If you sign up for an online course, you not only get full access to the advantages mentioned above, but you also get access to all your coursework and materials.  This is true even a long time after you have finished and passed it.  This is handy because you may need to refer to something to refresh your memory on a problem or issue you are working one.

We like to think of online courses, with this advantage in mind, as the gifts that keep giving.

As you can see from the above article, there are many good reasons why you should give serious consideration to enrolling on an online course.