June 2014 archive
If you love to host dinner parties for your friends/family, and feel a little like Monica Geller when they come over, you might make an amazing food caterer. Why not make a career out of a hobby that you love? You’ll need an entrepreneurial attitude, but your overheads will be low compared with other businesses, and you have the opportunity to turn this into a lucrative business.
Photo taken from Flickr
Find Your Niche
To find your niche, think about food that you love to make. You need to have a passion for the food you’re cooking, otherwise you won’t stick it out. You could specialise in lunch food, wedding receptions, desserts, or even starters. Decide whether you’d prefer to make quiches or cakes and you could find the perfect catering niche for you.
Make a Menu
If you make a menu first, you can figure out how much kitchen space you need, what appliances you need, and how much money you’ll expect to bring in finance wise. Try to have food to suit everyone, e.g. vegetarian options and spicy options. Make sure you’re menu is a manageable size for you so you don’t take on more than you can handle. You can even test your dishes on friends and family and tweak them until they’re perfect.
Set Up Your Kitchen
If you want to set up from home, you need to get your kitchen ready for your new catering business. You could consider renting out some premises, but this will be way more expensive and it’s not convenient. You’ll need the right equipment to start, so take a look at your menu and work out what you need.
Apply for Permits and Licenses
Apply for any permits, licenses and certificates you need. You may need different certificates and permits depending on where you set up, so make sure you do your research. You may even need kosher certification by Earth Kosher.
Buy Equipment to Transport Food
Once you’ve done everything listed above, as well as set your prices, you’ll need to buy a vehicle and other equipment suitable for transporting your food to the event you’re catering. It’ll need plenty of space, so a van is best.
Do You Need Staff?
If you need extra staff, you can always use a temp agency to start with until you’ve built your reputation. You’ll need to consider what type of uniforms you want your staff to wear, and train your employees up so they provide the right kind of service. However, when it’s time to hire more staff it may also be time to rent out bigger premises – are you and your staff going to fit in your kitchen?
Now all that’s left to do is market your business! Make sure you use both online and offline marketing techniques to target people in your area, and be consistent as you won’t experience overnight success. Let us know how your home catering business is doing in the comments!
With the long school, summer holidays fast approaching; many mums will be facing a dilemma for the next six weeks. It is an awfully long time to keep the kid’s entertained, but it can be done. While taking them out every day may not be viable, planning a trip out at least once a week will ensure that they are kept entertained and that your sanity remains intact! If you are struggling for awesome days out ideas, then you need not look any further. This guide will ensure that your little ones are kept thoroughly amused during the summer months:
Picnics in the Park
Taking the kids to the park can be seen as a little humdrum, but you can turn a boring day out into the adventure of a lifetime. Having a picnic in the park is lots of fun. Simply pack your favourite foods, grab your picnic blankets and dine alfresco. While we cannot promise that the weather will be glorious this summer, you can do this day out off the cuff, so you are not waiting around for the sun to come out. Your kids will love snacking outdoors, in between bouts of fun.
Embarking on a nature walk is a great way to inspire your kids with the plethora of wildlife around them. You can create your own maps and get the kids involved in the creating of the maps, as well as giving them a guide of objects to look out for. Think about what your local nature reserve is home to and then see what the kids can find on their adventure. If your local park is home to squirrels, then ensure that squirrels are one of the key animals to look out for. Incorporate it into their guides. Your children will love this kind of walk, what is more, it gives you the perfect opportunity to teach them all about the wildlife in their area. It is both fun and educational.
Theme parks are perfect for your mini-thrill seekers. If your kids love the idea of going wild on a theme park, then the summer holidays are the perfect time to take them. They will love going on the rides, getting wet on the log flume and running around like crazy. You can be on hand to ensure that they have someone to hold their coats and to supervise the proceedings. If you are more of a hands on parent, then you can go on the rides with them! Purchase photographs from the day, so that they can treasure the memories of their fun day out for a lifetime.
On the Beach
Kids love nothing more than building sand castles and playing in the sea. With that in mind, a day trip to the local seaside is sure to keep them entertained. You can cut the costs of a big day out by taking a packed lunch and buying buckets and spades beforehand. Simply pack up the car and away you go. Your kids are sure to fall asleep on the journey home after such a busy, fun filled day!
If you are planning on taking the kids away on a caravanning holiday this year, then there are a number of things that you will need to know in order to prepare you for your summer break. Taking the kids on holiday will need the preparation, and planning, of a military exercise, so you will need to be organised in order to have fun during your break. If you are unsure as to where to start when planning your caravanning holiday with the kids this year, then you need not look any further. This article will give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about caravan holidays and kids:
Safety is Paramount
Keeping your kids safe is of paramount importance, you will need to ensure that you have a first aid kit to hand for any nasty bumps, and scrapes, that your kids will undoubtedly get into. What is more, you will need to ensure that you have the right insurance for your holiday. Many people who have caravans fail to take out the appropriate insurance that is suitable for their vehicle. Take a look here for a guide to motorhome insurance security.
Organisation is Critical
If you fail to be organised on your trip, you will not have a good time. Due to the nature of caravan holidays, you will need to make sure that you have enough essential items with you, lest you be caught short of sufficient underwear! Make a checklist of everything that each family member needs and pack accordingly.
Keeping Costs Down
If you want to keep costs down during your caravanning holiday, then it is imperative that you do a food shop beforehand. The amount of food that you buy should be comparable to the length of your stay.
Choose a Family Friendly Caravan Park
So many parents fail to find out if the caravan park that they are staying on is family friendly. Many caravan parks operate on an adult only basis, so check before you travel to avoid disappointment. There is nothing worse than upset kids.
Check if the Caravan Site Has a Kids Club or Children’s Facilities
While being on holiday should be enough to entertain your brood, kids are prone to boredom at the most unexpected times. Check if your caravan park has children’s leisure facilities, such as a park or a fun club. This is sure to keep them entertained throughout your holiday. What is more, they will make new friends too.
You need to be prepared for any eventuality, so ensure that you have everything that you need within the confines of your caravan. Take medications, toys, games and lots of clothes to ensure that you, and your kids, have a great holiday.
The long drive to your holiday destination can be tedious for small children, so do remember to pack toys, games, books and portable gaming devices to keep them occupied on a long journey ahead. This should silence any cries of ‘are we there yet?’.
Playing an instrument can be one of the most rewarding hobbies ever, but learning to do it is difficult. They say that kids pick things up a lot faster than adults, which is why it’s a good idea to encourage your child to play an instrument from a young age. But what do you want them to play? Drums make a lot of noise, wind instruments aren’t always considered ‘cool’, and some can be very complicated. In my opinion, the guitar is the perfect instrument for children to learn how to play. Although it’s hard work, it makes a great sound and it always has, and always will, be considered ‘cool’. Here’s how to teach them:
Get Them into Music that Featuring Guitar
There’s plenty of music out there that features guitar, and it’s sure to get them interested in learning to play. Whether you go the hard rock option or the Britpop option, there’s something to interest every child. I find that songs by Oasis are very effective!
Buy Them a Suitable Guitar
Some guitars are way too big for children’s little hands, so they can’t reach the frets or strings. Make sure the size of the guitar you choose is suitable so that they can play it efficiently! You may also want to buy them a coloured guitar or a guitar with a pattern on it to interest them further. If this is the case, try searching online for new musical instruments for sale.
Show them Tutorials on Youtube
Tutorials on Youtube can be very helpful, and the best thing about them is that they’re free! Who needs an expensive music teacher when you have Youtube? They can learn pretty much any song they could ever want by doing a search on Youtube. They’ll love being able to play their favourite songs!
Encourage them to Practice Alone
Encourage your child to practice alone, thinking up new sounds and music on their own. They don’t always have to be practicing other bands songs – they could try to create their own! This will add another element of excitement for them.
Make it Fun for Them
The worst thing you can do is make learning an instrument boring for them. When I was a child, my dad bought me a guitar and sat me down in front of an old fashioned video designed to teach me the basics. I didn’t understand any of it; it was boring, uninspiring, and it put me off the idea altogether. I wish I’d stuck to playing the guitar, but it didn’t paint a very good picture for me at the time!
Make Sure You Don’t Make them Practice for Too Long
Forcing them to practice for too long can take all of the joy out of it. If they genuinely want to practice for longer then let them, but make sure they have regular breaks.
With these tips and tricks, your child is sure to love learning the guitar and could even end up becoming a pro soon enough!
As a mother, you are probably like me, and are always taking photos of your little one. You want to document their every move so that you don’t lose the time that you have with them. As any mum will attest, babies don’t stay that way forever, and before you know it, you have a rebellious teenager on your hands!
Photos are perfect; they allow you to recapture times that you have long forgotten. Photographs of your children are no different. If you are seeking the services of a portrait photographer, so that you can have amazing photos of your children, then there are some things that you need to know:
There is a Vast Amount of Choice
With so many photographers selling their services, it can be difficult to know where to start. Simply compile some basic internet research of photographers in your area, or those that are willing to travel. Ask your friends and family if they have used photographers in the area and ask for their recommendations. You need to establish your budget so that those whose services are a little more expensive that you anticipated can be dismissed. Checking out the style of the photographer is very important. You need to take a look at their portfolio and see what other family portraits they have done in the past. Ask your photographer what their passions and interests are, as this will give you a feel for the style of photography that they take.
Styles of Photography
While it is important to determine the style of your chosen photographer, it is equally as important to decide what style of photography that you like, to ensure that you obtain the dream photos that you have always wanted.
Think about the styles that are available. Do you want natural shots that capture the moment of your young children playing and laughing? Or do you want more formal shots that are staged? You could have a glorious mix of the two styles. The choice really is yours. Talking to your photographer about your requirements is important. What is more, their portfolio will be able to show you where your photographer’s talents lie.
A reputable photographer, such as vivaphotographers.com.au, will be happy to answer any of your queries.
Finding the Perfect Space
Should your photographer have their own studio, you may feel more comfortable having your family photos taken in their professional setting. However, getting your children to pose in a studio can be difficult. Ask your photographer if they do home visits and see what room in your home will accommodate your photographer’s equipment. Being comfortable during your shoot is imperative. If you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable on the photographs. After all, the camera never lies. You need to decide what location is best for your amazing family photos.
Determining your budget is important, as is the number of shots that you require. It is important to remember that the more shots that you decide you want, the more expensive your overall shoot is going to be. Your photographer may have different package options available, so ask them what they can do for you. They may even tailor a package to suit your budget.
If you’ve recently had your first child, the chances are you’re a little unsure about whether you have what it takes to be a good mother, right? Well, you shouldn’t be too concerned. This is something many people ask themselves after having kids, but the vast majority of them fill their boots perfectly. Even so, it’s sometimes a good idea to get some advice and information from someone who’s been there before. If nothing else, it might put your mind at rest and allow you to concentrate on looking after your child. Considering that, today I’m going to provide you with some essential tips that are sure to help you stand in good stead. At the end of the day, there are no right or wrong ways to be a good parent, and most of it simply comes down to your instincts.
I had my first little angel five years ago, so I’m past all that now, but I do remember how worried I felt for the first few months. With that in mind, I’ve written this post in the hope of helping others to avoid the same unwarranted feelings. So, take a quick read through all the points made below, and you should come away with a much more positive outlook on the road ahead.
Link for photo
Listen to the child
Your child will communicate and send identifiable signals to you even before they learn how to talk. Most new mothers struggle initially when it comes to working out what different noises might mean, but after a while it will become second nature. Your child will cry in different ways when they want feeding, need attention or require a bathroom break. So, just try to work out which is which and you’ll be fine.
Give your child enough attention
Failing to give your child enough attention during the first few months of their life could have drastic effects on their development and future personality. So, make sure you always spend as much time as possible playing with the baby when it arrives, and never leave it alone to cry in the cot. As a mother, you should have instincts that tell you all this, but some people do need a push in the right direction, so it’s worth paying attention to that point.
Seek help from the professionals
If you’re really struggling to do the right thing, there are plenty of experts at hand to help. You could visit your family doctor, speak with a parenting advice service or even get help from a life coach. All of this can be arranged online these days, so don’t worry about having to leave home with the baby. Just wait until he/she’s having a nap, switch the computer on and perform a simple search. I think you’ll be surprised to see the amount of help available to you. I know I was.
Well ladies, you should now feel a little less stressed about the next few months. I promise everything will fall into place eventually!
As homeowners’ and parents’ top priority, home security, or a lack thereof, is of major concern. There are simple, effective ways to bring home security into your house that take little time and money in order to keep your family safe.
Here are the top six:
1. Security System
A home security system is one of the best security tools, for the alarm alerts you, the alarm company, and the police that someone has broken into your home while alerting the burglar that the police are on their way. One of the best ways to find a great deal on a security system is to do an online keyword search such as security systems in Waltham or something of the like. You’ll find information on the best products, installation guides, and the best companie
Even if your dog wouldn’t actually hurt a fly, if it has a good bark, burglars will stay away. Dogs add a layer of protection to the home, because most burglars do not want to risk being attacked by a dog. To burglars, the home is not worth the hassle of having to fight a vicious dog. Some of the best friendly yet protective breeds are German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Saint Bernards.
3. Doors and Locks
Replace old or hollow-core doors, for they are easy to kick in or break through. Solid wood doors or metal-clad doors are a better option, for they are nearly impossible for someone to kick in. And, change the locks in your house, especially if you recently moved in. This ensures you and your family are the only ones with keys to your house.
4. Lock Your Doors
Now that you have a new door, lock it. It’s a simple concept, but when distracted it can be an easy habit to forget. Most burglars are looking for a quick and easy entrance into a home. Most robberies are not well thought out, and a burglar is looking for some quick cash or expensive items he or she can pawn off. If the doors are locked and the blinds are drawn at night, burglars will most likely skip to another house that is more accessible.
5. Join a Neighborhood Watch Program
Most neighborhoods have a program like this that helps to build a community-oriented neighborhood and reduce crime in the area. Often times neighbors notice something unusual happening at a neighbor’s house, but because they do not know the neighbor personally, they ignore it in order not to inconvenience anyone. Getting to know your neighbors can save your house from a break-in, especially while on vacation. Ask them to keep an eye out on your home, pick up your paper, or grab your mail.
6. Upgrade Your House Number
When there is an emergency, it’s important the police and fire department are able to see your home’s street number easily in the dark. Many fire departments, city, or county governments sell inexpensive reflective street numbers, which makes your house number much more obvious to officials.
Image Source: http://www.theguardian.com
Okay, so, the chances of anyone becoming the next Jimi Hendrix are slim to none, right? Even so, that doesn’t mean you can’t assist your child in becoming an axe wielding maniac of the musical kind. Not only does playing the guitar give kids something to keep them out of trouble, but it’s very good for their personal development and mental health too. While you might not realise it yet, music can have a significant impact on mood, and playing it yourself increased this impact tenfold. How do I know this? I’ve been playing the guitar for more than fifteen years now, and I still send myself into a meditative trance when I sit down with the instrument.
With all that in mind, I’m going to take a few moments out of my schedule this morning to explain how you should go about this endeavor. A lot of parents think that professional lessons are the way forward, but from my own experiences, I can tell you with all certainty that lessons are not the right way to go. If you want your son to become interested in the guitar, he needs to learn what he wants, when he wants. Tying him down to some kind of syllabus is never going to work.
Buy him a good guitar
I understand the reasons why some parents opt to get their son a cheap guitar at first, but that isn’t going to inspire him very much. For that reason, you should check out websites that list Rickenbacker, Fender, Gibson and Ibanez guitars for sale. While they might set you back a few hundred dollars, having a quality instrument is important if you want him to progress quickly and remain interested.
Play quality guitar music constantly
You son needs a burning desire inside of him for the guitar, and he’ll only get this when he fully appreciates what it can do. So, heading down to your local music shop or downloading some of the best albums from the internet is a good idea. You should look towards Eric Clapton, BB King, AC DC, Slade, Pink Floyd and any others you deem to be appropriate. Listen to them in the car on the way to school, provide him with a personal music player loaded with tracks for break times and start attending live music gigs together.
Help him start a band
No matter where your son goes to school, there will be at least one person with the skills needed to keep a beat on the drums, and so you should encourage your son to link up with him. Also, it can be difficult for kids to get gigs at music venues, so acting as their manager and helping them out with this is wise. Playing live is often what encourages musicians to continue with their trade. Each gig will provide him with a huge adrenaline rush he won’t ignore.
So long as you do all this, the chances of your son becoming a rock god will be vastly increased. Good luck with everything, and hopefully I’ll see him on the TV ripping licks like nobody’s business very soon!
Young children love camping, so make the most of it before they reach the teenage years. When they reach that age they lose all interest in the great outdoors and look, instead, to theme parks, amusement arcades, and anything else that costs a lot of money.
photo by studio ties
We find it hard to understand why they lose their enthusiasm for camping because we have forgotten how it feels to be that age. After all, being a teenager is all about looking fashionable and trying to attract a member of the opposite sex. Their best designer gear isn’t suited to muddy farmers fields or rugged countryside.
Younger children, on the other hand, can’t wait to get away from it all and rough it in the wilderness. They will help you prepare the caravan or motorhome and rush you on the day of departure. The journey is a fascinating one because they are very excited, and it isn’t long before you hear those dreaded words, “are we nearly there yet?”.
They are just a happy as you when you acquire your first touring vehicle from the Caravan & Camper Megastore because it opens up a summer of possibilities.
Try and remember what you enjoyed as a child and see if you can relate it to your kids today. Here are a few things they enjoy about camping.
- Adventure. They love to explore, so all of the new destinations you visit when touring offer them a different playground at every stop.
- Freedom. If you live in a busy town, you often cannot let your children play anywhere except in your garden. Imagine the delight they feel when they are allowed to roam, within reason, unaccompanied in the great outdoors.
- Sport. Many campsites are close to rivers; something your children may not experience very often, where they can spend the day fishing or paddling in the shallows; bliss. Never leave them alone near water.
- Fire. The campfire is one place where we allow our children to get close to the flames, and they are fascinated by them. Roasting marshmallows is a time-honoured tradition, so the kids eat lots of them.
- Nature. Camping puts them in the heart of the natural world where there is much to see. Whether they come across wild animals or those on a farm, kids enjoy seeing them.
- Family. Holidays of every variety are fantastic for bringing the family together for a week or two without the pressure of work. Camping is no different and young children are delighted to spend time doing exciting things with their parents.
- Seaside. There are many sites close to the sea, so they can step out of the tent or motorhome and be splashing about or building sandcastles in minutes. At night, they can hear the sound of the waves breaking and fog horns in the distance, reminding them of the adventures tomorrow has in store.
Well, I hope I have encouraged you to go camping while the kids are young. I am going to start packing now too. There is no time to waste. Happy trails!
With spring quickly on its way out and summer fast approaching, vacation season is just around the corner. As much as families love their vacation destination, the road getting there, especially if by a car, is long and boring.
Here are five ways to make the long, boring hours fly by with fun:
1. Movie Marathon
Whether the drive is a couple of hours or a couple of days, having a portable DVD player, laptop, or car with a built-in TV with streaming capabilities compatible with Direct TV Internet or companies of the like can quickly change an uneventful trip into something exciting. Bring a handful of choices or subscribe to Netflix or other streaming companies to have an endless supply of movies and TV shows to watch.
Some cars have built-in streaming capabilities that phones and tablets can hook up to, which is helpful if your family has teenagers. Often teen siblings don’t agree on what to watch, thus each one can watch a movie of their own choice on their phone or tablet.
If you have young children who are particularly interested in watching the same movie over and over again, invest in headphones your children can wear. They get to enjoy the movie, and you get to enjoy the silence.
Load up your phone, tablet, and kindle with games, books, and other entertaining apps. Look for apps with trivia quizzes that the whole family can participate in like naming movies or different songs heard from song clips. Or, to keep it more educational, look for trivia quizzes about geography, history, or literature. And, be sure to download a bunch of books. If the movies get old you can always read children’s books out loud.
3. Special Snacks
Road trips and vacation are usually the time most people splurge food wise. Make it a tradition to bring fun snacks that are otherwise not allowed on a regular basis like cookies, candy, donuts, or soda. In each town, stop at different local hotspots for milkshakes or great comfort food. Download apps like Roadfood, Food Network, or TV Food Maps. These apps can determine your location and provide you information on what food joints are near you. These food stops will give the kids something to look forward to, and will hopefully alleviate some of the “are we there yet?” questions.
Sometimes good old’ fashioned fun is the best way to go when on a road trip. Games like the ABC game, license plate game, “I Spy,” and slug bug game are always a crowd pleaser. Six degrees of celebrity separation or the celebrity name game can be a lot of fun, especially if you have older kids. But, there are plenty of road trip game books that offer hundreds of activities if the classics start to get boring.
A road trip just isn’t a road trip without tunes to cruise to. Make sure to load up your iPod before you leave.
Image Source: http://www.chefmom.sheknows.com