Don’t Let Repairs Keep You From Summer! Quick Tips For Household Maintenance

Flickr Photo At: Andrew Fysh
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No matter what time of year there are certain tasks that’ll need doing order to keep your home looking clean, shiny and in good condition. Every weekend we say we’ll tackle the gutters, paint garden furniture or cut back overhanging trees and invasive shrubs but often repairs get shelved for another time.. Don’t let excuses such as ‘the weather’s too hot’ ‘the kids wanted to go x,y or z’ and ‘it’s the wrong time of year for that’ stop you as household maintenance is critical to keep your home looking just as lovely outside as it does indoors. If you ignore little jobs now, they can quickly snowball into larger, more expensive problems later that may need specialist equipment.














Flickr Photo At: Francis Storr
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Check Your Timber

Now’s the time to get outside and give your property a good, thorough inspection while the weather’s hot, fine and sunny plus any chances of thunderstorms are minimal. Start at your house and don’t forget to include any barns, outbuildings and even aviaries or dog kennels. Look at all the wood sections carefully, making a note of if any of the sections are cracked, the paint’s begun to peel or if joining nails are rusty or broken.

Be aware of any signs of wood rot, holes in the wood and a spongy texture,  or if there are any signs of damp, woodworm or termites. Even though it's not currently termite season, these little blighters can strike at any time, and it’s always good to be prepared if you’ve had an infestation in the past. Neighbourhood Commercial Pest Control firms will be able to give you more information on protecting your property and annual inspections. Next, go ahead and patch up, replacing any rotting wood with new timber and sealing up small gaps to completely weatherproof your house.

Flickr Photo At: Thomas & Dianna Jones
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Jetwash Those Gutters

During the summer any leaves that have fallen into your gutters recently will be slowly turning to mulch and could easily block up your drains. Other debris that the wind or any animals may have blown onto your roof can fall into gutters; this can then loosen pipes from the wall and cause channels of water to form when it does rain. Grab a long hose or powerful jet washing machine and make sure all pipes, gutters and overflow tanks are clean, not forgetting that your down pipes are draining properly into storm water outlets. The last thing you want to be doing during a thunderstorm is unplugging your drain or worse waking up to find your driveway has turned into a lake overnight!






Flickr Photo At: EvanHahn
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Have Your Radiators Looked At

While you won’t even want to think about heating right now, you do need to get radiators, vents and any underfloor heating tunnels looked at sooner rather than later. Ensuring that your gas heater and appliances are working correctly as well as knowing there are no heat leaks is well worth your time. Either investigate these yourself, or better still, go ahead and take a morning or afternoon off work while a heating engineer comes out to your house to clean the vents and advise you of weather-proof heat tape you can use to keep things cosy.

Get Luxurious! These Investments Could Turn Your Life Around


When it comes to making really big bucks in the world of investment, a lot of people understand that you’ve probably got to enter the realm of investing in luxury items. The sort of things that people are going to end up paying in the millions for. Of course, just like any other investment pursuit, it’s hardly a walk in the park. But some people seem to think that luxury investment is as easy as buying anything with a six-figure price tag and waiting for a couple of years.

The fact is that not every luxury investment is a smart one. Seems like pretty obvious advice, right? In many ways, the cautionary advice for luxury investments don’t stray too far away from the advice you’ll hear with regards to other types of investments. The stakes tend to be a lot higher, of course, but a bad asset to invest in is usually still a bad investment regardless of its luxury or expensive status.


This being said, things certainly become a bit stricter and quality standards definitely become more refined. So it’s worth taking extra measures to arm yourself with the right knowledge if you’re going to start looking into investing at the high end of the luxury scale. Here are some of the luxury investments you should definitely be looking into - and the ones that you should probably avoid!

Great luxury investments

The most reliable form of luxury investment probably comes in the form of luxury properties. Not exactly a shocker, right? Of course, you have to be careful that the property you’re looking at can actually be called a luxury property. Just because a property happens to be incredibly expensive, it doesn’t mean that it actually meets the quality criteria that luxury shoppers are going to be looking for a bit later down the road. This is why you should consider working with an agency that specializes in luxury property. Meriton is one example.


Other luxury items that have seen big profits in recent years include art, jewelry, and booze. That’s right - the right bottle of whiskey can make you some serious profit in the future. Entrepreneurial interest had waned in these items for a few years, but things have been picking up since around 2014. Look into it!

Not-so-great luxury investment

Again, a bad investment at the lower end of the luxury scale is usually a bad investment even when it’s a luxurious one. So perhaps it’s quite obvious that luxury cars would be a bad investment, right? After all, pretty much all cars begin to lose value pretty much as soon as anyone so much as touches them.


But a lot of people still fall for cars as an investment once the word ‘luxury’ is thrown in. That’s because people associate luxury cars with classic cars. Classic cars have certainly made a few people seriously rich, but even they’re usually an incredibly unwise investment. My advice to you is that you ignore cars as a form of luxury investment. If you want to look into big investments, look into property. If you want something smaller, avoid cars and go to paintings, whiskey, wine, or jewelry!

Make Do And Mend: Fix, Don’t Replace Problem Areas In Your Home


When something goes wrong in the home, the knee-jerk reaction is to replace it. Sometimes this is necessary. However, there are lots of fixes we can apply ourselves if we’re in the know.

Spills

Your heart sinks as you spill that glass of red wine, mug of coffee, or plate of curry. It never happens in the kitchen where you can wipe away the stain from the linoleum. It’s always on the lounge carpet or settee. Stains like these seem impossible to remove, and it’s understandable that you feel you have no option to replace the affected area, which can be costly. However, the problem can be resolved quickly and simply by enlisting the help of a carpet stain removal specialist, and at a fraction of the cost. Your carpet and upholstery will look as good as new in no time at all, and will smell clean and fresh.

Peeling Wallpaper

Wallpaper that starts to peel at the edges can look unsightly and gives the impression that your home needs some TLC. Before dashing out to the DIY store and gathering sample books, try the following. All you need is a small tub of wallpaper paste and a clean sheet of plain paper. Apply some paste to the paper and slide it under the peeling edge. The paper is thin and can be pushed up and underneath the area coming away from the wall without tearing it. Gently remove the sheet of paper and smooth down the wallpaper to remove any bubbles. This will save you the time and money you would need to invest to repaper the whole are. So you can spend your money on the little luxuries that will make your home more comfortable.

Cushions And Pillows

Cushions and pillows don’t last forever. They become stained and lose their shape over time. If you opt for machine-washable versions, they can last a little longer. Remove coverings and wash the cushion/pillow insert according to instructions. The washing and drying process can leave them looking a little lumpy. To counteract this, place them in the dryer with dryer balls. The action of the balls will gently tease the pads back into shape and avoid that lumpy, uneven look. Clean tennis balls will also do the trick.

For cushions that don’t need washing, try leaving them in the sun for a couple of hours. This will dry any moisture that has seeped into them over time and leave them plump and fluffy.


Pet Hair On Curtains

Pet owners are familiar with the constant battle of keeping their homes free from the build-up of pet hair. Most of this can be vacuumed, but it’s not so simple when it comes to curtains and fabric blinds. You end up with something that looks like a tide mark around the base. Many curtains can’t be placed in the washing machine, and even if they can, it’s a real hassle to take them down, launder them, iron them, and rehang them. Sticky lint rollers don’t always pick up all of the fur. Fortunately, a simple device is all it takes to pick up the hairs and clean the area. It’s cheap and easy to use. Just rub gently across the fur to lift it off.

Adopt the make do and mend mentality in your home and breathe new life into furnishings. The money you save can be put to good use and spent on things you enjoy.

Goodbye Christmas - Hello Summer!

Now that Christmas is out of the way, it’s officially time to start looking towards the Summer. It’ll be here before you know it, and what better way to get prepared than to get your garden ready for some warm, lazy days?

It’s been no big surprise that more and more people are investing their time and money into their garden space. It is becoming a hobby that isn’t left up to parents or grandparents anymore – our generation want to take control and transform these outside areas into somewhere stylish, comfortable and a place to impress their friends. There is a wealth of information accessible online about the basics of gardening; the surroundings need to be set perfectly to be able to put these tips into practise. Starting to get ready now will free up all of your time to enjoy what you’ve created.

So how do we go about that now? Increasingly, and especially with new properties, garden areas are shrinking and many don’t have grass. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have a lot to work with, as you can let your imagination run wild!
Start with the basics. Pick out a theme for your garden and try to stick to it as best as you can. Obviously there is room for some deviation, but the more you stick to it, the more you can see what you have to do and where you’re going with it.

Flowers and plants are the staples in any garden, and even if you don’t have much to work with, they can brighten up the dullest of spaces. Try and go for something funky and modern – succulents are a big trend that show no signs of stopping any time soon, are easy to look after and come in hundreds of different varieties - and house them in a beautiful pot or terrarium. Decorations for gardens are a huge hit, and you can even DIY to make it more personal to your tastes.


If you’re outside, especially on the night, you’re going to have a problem with lighting. To set the mood, outside candles are a huge hit for a relaxing ambience and there is a good range of outdoor lighting at  amonson outdoor LED lighting for a brighter and more modern look. You can nestle any strip lighting between plants and along flowerbeds to create a focal point or have your outdoor lighting pointing at a group of plants. It’s much cosier to point the main light slightly away from where you will be sitting with friends, as a bright light can sometimes be too intrusive.


The main feature of any garden is the seating. If you want to go really comfy-cosy, you could consider purchasing some outdoor beanbags for you and your friends to slouch on, which are great as they are made from weatherproof material (still consider them putting them in a dry place after usage, though!). Or you could go traditional and buy some good, sturdy and stylish outdoor furniture to really set the place up. Remember that no decorations can go to waste on tables and chairs – cushions, tablecloths, pretty lamps and vases will never look out of place!

Now is the time to get into gear to make your perfect outdoor getaway. After all, who wants to be putting in the hard work when the weather turns good?  

A Guide To Organising A Conference

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Organising a conference can be a lot of responsibility. It’s not uncommon for businesses nowadays to organise video conferences and cut down on the stress. Of course, nothing quite beats the physical engagement of meeting in-person, allowing the opportunity for physical demonstrations and networking before and after the event. If you’re thinking of organising your own conference, here are some of main factors to consider.  

Set a budget

Conferences can swiftly become more expensive than you initially expected. The first thing you should do is set a budget. This should cover your venue, travel, transport of guests and any other costs. Depending on who you are inviting, how many people there are and the subject of the conference, this will all vary.

Decide a location

Your location should be an easy location that all attendants can get to. Your office may be suitable – in which case you can cut costs. Consider where all your guests are coming from and if your location is central enough. Make sure there is enough parking, that the area is big enough for all your guest and that is has adequate Wi-Fi or phone signal. Many hotels may have conference rooms – you can even allow travelling guests to stay here so that you don’t have to arrange separate accommodation and travel. Check that your venue has an equal space that can be used as a lobby or syndicate room for meeting and socialising before the conference.

Schedule a time

You’ll need to come up with a date that suits all your guests. Some venues will offer cheap rates at certain times, so shop around. Pose your date to your attendees and be flexible with it if important guests can’t make it. It pays to plan these events several months in advance to give everyone enough warning as if you were arranging a party.

Consider catering

Having a few snacks or drinks available can be a great way of making your guests feel welcome and breaking the ice. There are any catering companies that specialise in conferences (such as yourprivatechef.com.au). Make sure that you match the catering with the formality of the occasion and the status of your guests. There’s no need to splash out on champagne and oysters if most the attendees are low key, but if big businessmen or special spokespeople are attending, a simple coffee machine might not put you in good stead (and conferences after all are an opportunity for you to turn these people into acquaintances).

Market your conference

You may have a strict list of who you are inviting but to ensure they want to attend you’ll need to market it correctly. For big conferences of random guests, social media is key. Create a hashtag for your event and market on Twitter (you can also use Twitter during the conference so that attendees can interact in real time). For exclusive invites, use email marketing and LinkedIn. Advertise any other big guest or spokespeople that may be there. Sometimes it can be worth paying for someone important to attend so that you can build up hype.

Summer Jobs You Should Think About Doing Once Christmas Is Over

Looking after your home is one of those jobs that you need to do all year round. You can’t really take any time off from it over Christmas! After all, if you are planning on hosting family for Christmas dinner this year, you will already be wondering how you are going to keep your home as neat and clean as possible through all the chaos! Will you reach for the cleaning products as soon as the decorations are down and the festive period is over? Well, if you want to do a proper job you may want to do some home maintenance while you are at it! Here are some of the summer home maintenance jobs that you should consider doing once Christmas is done and dusted.


Sort Out Any Mould And Damp

All the heat over summer can encourage mould to develop and grow on the walls of your property. Especially down in dark and dingy basements. Thankfully, there is plenty you can do to combat this common problem. The first step you should take is to check your property’s exterior. If you notice any mould grown, simply washing the walls will get rid of it. Scrubbing with a bleach solution will prevent it from coming back. If you see mould and damp on the inside of your walls, you can always spray it with an anti-mould spray.

Paint Jobs

Now that the weather is good every day, you should get outside and do some jobs outside. One great outdoor job you could get on with is giving all the paintwork on the exterior or your property a quick lick of paint. If you have any outdoor furniture or decking in your garden, it will also be worth giving this a coat of water-resistant sealant. Now that the weather is nice and it hardly rains, it will be able to dry fully without being spoiled by bad weather.

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Get Your Air Conditioning System Serviced

Your air conditioning system may be working perfectly fine right now, but you have any idea how long it is going to last that way? That is why it is a good idea to get the system serviced. There are lots of specialist firms who specialise in air conditioning and will be able to take a look at your home’s system for you. If everything is fine, you have nothing to worry about. If the firm finds even the slightest of faults, they will be able to fix it straight away and prevent it becoming a huge problem that could cost hundreds to repair.

Check Your Gutters

Your gutters and guttering are mainly to catch all the fallen leaves during autumn and to prevent all the rain during winter from flowing down your walls. However, summer is the best time to make sure that they are in a good condition. If you need to replace some parts, you should do that now. If everything looks okay, it is still worth double checking to make sure none of it needs cleaning out.

The Little Luxurious That Will Make Your Home A Nicer Place To Live

Whether you’ve come into some money - either through a promotion or via inheritance - or have decided that your home deserves a makeover and want to dip into your savings, there are plenty of ways you can add a little luxury to your home and make it a nicer place to live. Obviously, when it comes to the design of your home, it is something that’s incredibly personal - we all have our own tastes and style preferences, so not all of the ideas may appeal to you. However, hopefully, some of them will do.

To add a little luxury to your home and make it a nicer place to live, have a read of the below tips, ideas, and suggestions. (Some of these ideas will even add value to your property.)

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Invest in underfloor heating

Most modern homes have central heating installed, which tends to work well. However, underfloor heating can often be more effective, and can also add value. So if you’ve come into some money or have decided to dip into your savings, it could be worth considering swapping your central heating for underfloor heating or combining both. Admittedly, it might come at a cost, but it’s something that’s worth the money, or at least for most of us it is.

There are many pros to underfloor heating; these range from being safer for children, as they are unable to burn themselves, to being more visually appealing, as you don’t have to have radiators situated around your home. Of course, one of the major pros of investing in underfloor heating is the fact that it can be a more effective form of heating your home, as well as a cheaper option. So if you want to heat your home for less, underfloor heating is definitely a luxury that’s worth considering.

Treat yourself to a hot tub

Do you have a sizeable garden? Have you always dreamed of having a hot tub? Then perhaps now could be the perfect time to invest in a hot tub for your home. You may think that a hot tub is an investment that’s not worth the money, but if it’s something that you and your family will get a lot of use out of, then it’s definitely worth the money. If you’re going to add little luxuries to your home, they should be things that you and your family actually want and will use, such as a hot tub.

Plus, if you should ever choose to sell your house and offer your hot tub with it, this should increase the value of the property. Especially if your garden is a nice space, and somewhere that offers everything that you could ever want in a garden. So don’t think of buying a hot tub as a waste of money, because if you’re going to get a lot of use out of it and it’s going to add value to your property, it’s worth investing in.

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Update your home’s air conditioning

If your home already has air conditioning in place, consider updating it with a more modern cooling solution. Every year new ways to improve how properties are kept cool are invented, so if your home’s air con is a few years old, perhaps now could be the perfect time to consider updating it or having parts of it serviced and updated. After all, you want to ensure that your air conditioning offers you the very best cooling solution for those warmer summer months.

So if your air conditioning isn’t up to scratch, now is the time to deal with it. Or, if you’re yet to invest in air conditioning for your home, now is the time to do so. One of the best methods is ducted cooling because it’s an incredibly effective method of cooling a property quickly. By installing quality air conditioning in your home, not only will you make it a nicer place to live, but you’ll also add value. So should you ever decide to sell, you should make a good profit on your property.

Create a smart home

The chances are that you’ve heard of how smart technology can be used in the home. If you’re yet to implement smart technology in your home, then perhaps now could be the perfect time to do so. The truth is that although expensive, smart technology can be highly beneficial in the home. Not only can it make daily life easier, but it can also save you a lot of money, so it’s something that it is definitely worth considering investing in.

The great thing about smart technology is how much simpler it can make life. Believe it or not, with just the touch of a button, you can control many areas of your home. To implement smart technology in your home, you need to invest in smart appliances that can be connected to your smartphone; then you can use your smartphone to control said appliances. The fantastic thing about smart technology is how many different appliances can use it, from washing machines and dishwashers to kettles.

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Then there’s the fact that smart technology can also be used to control your home’s thermostat and heating. Smart technology means that wherever you are, you can control your appliances. Say, for instance, you’re on your way home and want to preheat the oven, a smart over can be preheated from your smartphone. Or, say you have gone out without turning the heating off if you’ve got a smart thermostat you can use your phone to turn it off. This helps to prevent energy wastage and will also save you money on the cost of your energy bills.

So there you have it, a list of the little things that will make your home more luxurious, and in the process make it a nicer place to live. Admittedly, these might not all be suitable for your home, but hopefully, some of them will be and will allow you to make your home a more luxurious place, as well as somewhere that has a higher value.

Wonderful Engagement And Wedding Advice From Those That Have Gone Before You


Getting married is the most wonderful thing, but it is a big deal and a lot of hard work to organise. Unfortunately, it’s often the woman that gets landed with a lot of the preparation and ends up pulling her hair out to make the day perfect. But what you can do if you are planning your upcoming nuptials is listen to the advice of those that have already done it. Then you won't make the same mistake they did, and hopefully, the whole thing will run much more smoothly.

Emma, Brisbane

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“The problem that we had at our wedding is that the caterers weren’t very good. We had a cold buffet that had obviously been prepared well ahead of time. So by the time we got to eat it, it was stale, and the sandwiches were curling.”

“If I could do it all again, I would make sure I was very clear with caterers that everything had to be freshly prepared that day. I would also keep an eye on them, and make sure they kept it covered until just before we were all ready to eat. It's not much fun eating a curled up sandwich on your wedding day!”

Janny, Queensland

“When we got married I stressed too much about all the wedding favours. I spend ages deciding what they should be and then I made them myself too.  Me and my OH went down our favourite beach and collected sand, which we carefully decanted into bottles that we had decorated as a reminder of the day.”

“The problem is, that after everyone had a few drinks, no one really cared about the favours and most of them got left behind. I'd wasted all that time and effort for nothing!”

Terese, Sydney

“I wish that I had chosen my own engagement ring. I thought, at the time it was my OH job to do this, and it wouldn't be as romantic if I knew what I was getting. The problem was that I didn't factor in that there was a possibility that I wouldn't actually like the ring."

"When he presented me with it, I had to act all happy, when I was actually pretty disappointed. After accepting and plucking up the courage to tell him, we went to look at engagement rings together. But it could have all been so much simpler if we’d done that way in the first place.”

Sophia, Newcastle

“My wedding day was one of the happiest moments in my life. I had the dream venue, the best car, and all the guest were being treated to a hot three-course meal and plenty of wine. The icing on the cake is that I was marrying the man of my dreams.”


“But sometimes I wonder whether instead of spending so much money per head on our guests,  we should just have had more people come. There were people from my work that we couldn't fit on the list, and some of my OH’s distinct family that live aboard. They might not have come, but I can't help thinking it wouldn't have been nice to invite them.”