The Ultimate Kids Parties

The Ultimate Kids Parties

Planning the perfect celebration for your little one

 

You don’t need a celebrity budget to throw an entertaining and memorable child’s party that your little one will love.

 

There was a time when all you needed for a successful child’s party was a few balloons, some party games and the obligatory jelly and ice-cream. However, with the rise of celebrity culture and the prevalence of social media, many parents are now going all-out to throw the ultimate celebration, spending thousands of dollars on elaborate mega-parties in impressive locations with no expense spared.

 

While these parties may be fun to observe from afar, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t need to go to these lengths to throw a great party for your little one.

 

Preparation

When it comes to putting on a great event, preparation is absolutely key. Think about the type of party you want to throw and where you want to hold it. Popular event venues often get booked up far in advance, so if you have somewhere specific in mind be sure to book it in plenty of time. Now is also a good time to decide whether you want to throw a themed party. Parties with a theme, such as superheroes or under-the-sea for example, can be great fun and will also influence other aspects of the event such as décor, invitations and the birthday cake.

 

Décor

Wherever you decide to hold your party, clever decorations can help you to transform the space into something magical and memorable. Balloons are back in fashion in a big way, so fill your party room with lots of helium balloons in your child’s favourite colours and combine with bunting or paper lanterns for an impressive party space that doesn’t cost the earth.

 

Entertainment

The most important part of any party is, of course, the entertainment. Finding the right entertainment can make or break your party and, these days, a few rounds of musical chairs and pass the parcel, no longer cuts the mustard. For the ultimate kids’ party you need to put a bit more thought and effort into how you will keep your little guests entertained.

 

There are a lots of great options out there, from magicians and discos, to soft play and bouncy castles, and the one that will work best for your party depends on a number of factors, including the number and age of your guests, the location of your party and your budget.

 

Making sure that people are kept entertained for the duration of the party can be stressful, so you might want to take the pressure off by hiring a children’s entertainer. These can offer a whole array of services, including mini discos, party games and competitions, bubble machines, magic shows and even karaoke. A good entertainer will tailor their offering to the age group of your party, so you can be sure your guests will have a great time whether they’re toddlers or ‘tweenagers’.

 

Hiring a child’s entertainer is becoming an increasingly popular option, so if it’s something you’re considering, make sure you plan in advance. A popular kids’ party entertainer in Kent recommends booking your entertainment as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

 

Party bags

It’s traditional to thank guests for attending your party by presenting them with a goody bag as they leave. Often, these bags contain some plastic tat, a few sweets and a squashed piece of birthday cake, but that doesn’t have to be the case. For something a little more memorable, get crafty and make your own bag; fill it with home-made sweet treats, or a colouring book and pack of pencils for a sugar-free alternative. If this all seems like a little too much effort, you can always cheat by opting for convenient pre-filled party bags. We promise not to tell!

 

Every parent wants to make their child’s party as special as possible, whether it’s their first birthday or their sixteenth. With careful planning and a focus on great entertainment you can throw an amazing party that your little one will really love.

Five Corporate Team Building Activities to Boost Office Morale

Five Corporate Team Building Activities to Boost Office Morale

Motivate, inform and inspire your staff with these team building event ideas London. Not only will it boost the teams’ morale and turn the team into a tight knit group, but the business will reap the benefits of a more productive and upbeat team.

 

Here are five corporate team building activities guaranteed to boost office morale – as told by the experts Zing Events!

 

Cooking up a storm

This team cooking event is a fun, hands on cookery workshop where teams go head-to-head to produce outstanding Asian food. Each team will go ahead during the cooking event to compete for the title of top chef. Working with professional chefs, the group will learn a few tricks of the trade that the team can use at the next dinner party to impress their friends.

Crime scene investigation

If you’re looking for something challenging and testing for your team, the crime scene investigation team building event is for you. This is the most immersive and thrilling team building experience out there. The team will be put through a series of forensic challenges to give them the opportunity to solve cases through real-life methods employed by crime scene investigators.

GPS treasure hunt

The GPS treasure hunt is a fully interactive activity that provides a unique and interesting way to explore a location! Teams will work hard together to answer interactive questions and complete fun challenges on iPad’s. The GPS treasure hunt game has also been adapted into a city explorer tour, spy school and a pub crawl – so there’s something for everyone!

No ordinary quiz

‘No ordinary quiz’ is a corporate quiz team building activity for a fun interactive evening at a highly professional level. The quiz show will be made up of your selected rounds, featuring questions, video clips, audio clips and activities. There are dozens of rounds to choose from, including technology, sport, music, history and travel.

Crystal game show

The crystal game show is a mash up of Zing Events two most popular activities; the crystal challenge and game show style activities. The group will be divided into teams, sat at tables ready to entre each of the zones and complete as many tasks as possible in the allotted time.

 

There are so many ways in which team building events can be made extra special; all it takes is a little research and planning for a fun day. If you’re not up for the planning part, leave it to the professionals who will make sure the event delivers on every front.

A successful team outing will ensure team members return back to work with full gusto. The productivity will soar, and your business will reap the benefits of a happy team!

Learn to Sail Online

sailing a yacht

Can an Online Course Prepare you for Life on the Waves?

Sailing is one of the most visceral experiences you can have. Yet an online course can put you in good stead to hit the water running.

You can do most things over the internet these days, but even the most die-hard devotee of the virtual experience might think twice at the concept of learning to sail online.

Of course, there is no substitute for getting out on the water, and nobody is going to become adept at sailing by sitting in front of a computer screen. However, in the same way that a theory test does not teach you to drive but does prepare you for driving, the RYA online courses are an important prerequisite to achieving prowess as a sailor.

What courses are available?

Currently, the following RYA courses can be taken online:

  • Essential Navigation and Seamanship
  • VHF
  • Day Skipper Theory
  • Coastal / Yachtmaster Theory
  • Yachtmaster Ocean theory
  • CEVNI
  • PPR
  • Safe & Fun Safeguarding

Previews and free trials are available online, so that you can get a taste for what each course entails, approximately how long it will take and what you will get at the end of it.

Advantages of online study

There are two key advantages to taking courses like these online. The first is flexibility and the second is price. For example, the Essential Navigation and Seamanship course takes around six hours to complete online. As it is built up of course units, it is easy to break it up into bite sized pieces and fit studies around your other day to day commitments. You can complete the course from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace – and at a cost of £89.

Taking the course in a classroom setting takes around 16 hours, and is often offered as an intensive two-day course. Prices vary between centres, but of course, a two day course is going to be significantly more expensive than £89. You might also have to factor in the additional costs of travel and accommodation, as well as the inconvenience factor of dedicating two full days to taking the course.

Course formats

The YSA online courses are designed to be enjoyable as well as educational. Unlike some distance learning courses, they do not simply throw information at you on slides or videos. Instead, they consist of fully interactive features and animations that keep you engaged and involved throughout.

Quizzes help you to check your learning along the way, and the answers are provided on the spot, so you can be confident as to when you are ready to take the final assessment.

For complete flexibility, the courses are compatible with all browsers and can be accessed from your PC or Mac. The Day Skipper Theory course can even be accessed from mobile devices, so you can take your studies with you wherever you go!

Gaining your qualification

With all the online courses, the ultimate objective is to obtain the necessary qualification. You will have full access to a dedicated instructor throughout the course, meaning you have all the support that would be available in a classroom environment, but with all the advantages of studying at your own pace from the comfort of home.

How to Repair Minor Car Scrapes

sportscarMake Your Car Look Like New

If your car is looking a little battle scarred, you would be amazed at the results you can achieve with a little dedication and an afternoon’s work.

If you use your car every day, it is practically inevitable that however careful you are, it will start showing a few little signs of wear and tear before too long. Often it is not your fault, and you have no idea where these little blemishes came from – it is almost as if your pride and joy got into a disagreement with another car while it was parked and they ended up having a minor scuffle.

Of course, for major damage, you call the insurers, make a claim and get it repaired. That’s easy. It is those minor nicks, scrapes and grazes that are really the problem. This is not the sort of car repair that is worth taking to the professional bodyshop, so what do you do? Nine times out of ten, the answer is absolutely nothing, and the battle scars gradually mount up.

Most people do not realise that repairing a minor scrape is far easier than they might think, and you don’t need specialist tools, equipment or training to get a great result. Here’s how.

Swirls

Let’s start with the most minor blemishes. If you’ve just washed your car, you might see the sunlight playing across imperfections in the top coat of the paint. These are caused by particles of grit getting stuck to the cleaning cloths you used. Now the best thing here is prevention by using a grit guard in the bucket, but if it’s happened, don’t panic.

Run your fingernail over them and if they are too fine to feel, you will be able to polish them out with a fine cutting agent such as T-Cut. Use it sparingly, apply in a circular motion over the affected area, and it will look like new.

Don’t make a habit of using the T-Cut more than you have to, as what you are essentially doing is removing a layer of paint every time you use it.

Specialist car paint suppliers can supply a scratch remover that is precisely coloured to match your car according to its paint code. This serves not only to repair the scratches, but unlike the T-Cut it will boost rather than reduce the colour by adding paint instead of taking it away. These work best on solid colours as opposed to metallic.

Parking scrapes

A brush with a wall, post or another vehicle can leave damage that looks more serious, but there are still DIY solutions. If the top coat of paint has been damaged or there is bare metal or plastic exposed, you can buy a repair kit that comes with all the equipment you need to do an effective home repair.

Clean down the affected area, carefully apply the paint, allow it to dry and polish the whole area for a smooth finish. Again, you will need to know the car’s paint code, which is written on the chassis plate or can be found in the handbook.

Bear in mind, however, that if your car is getting on in years, you might need some manual assistance getting the match right. This is because the paint will have faded over time, so the colour according to the paint code might look substantially different to the colour of your car today.

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

choosing a wedding photographer

Choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will have to make in the run up to your big day. Wedding photographs will serve as a long-lasting memory of your big day; use Crondon’s wedding photography advice to ensure you choose your perfect wedding photographer.

 

Choose your style

 

Before you begin researching photographers for your big day, you first need to decide what type of photography style you prefer, as this will help you decide on the kind of photographer to look for.

 

Documentary style are candid or spontaneous shots of people, décor and action, as opposed to posing for a photo. Documentary style shots will often include guests digging into their food, family and friends dancing and bridesmaids with champagne in their hand. The photos will capture the moments exactly as they happen, in a discreet way too so people aren’t staring at the camera!

 

Portraiture focuses on traditional photography, with posed shots of family and friends in front of various backdrops. Some photographers will pose subjects in front of traditional spots like the lawn or the ceremony alter, whilst others may take photos in dramatic compositions, like the bride and groom lounging on the chairs in the reception.

 

Fine art is similar to documentary photography as they reflect reality, but they will be more dramatic and beautiful, with the appearance of being shot on a grainier, dreamier appearance.

 

Do your research

 

Read reviews from recent newlyweds and browse local listings, making an effort to carefully review potential photographers’ websites and blogs to see what their style is like. Make an effort to meet your potential photographers in person, and discuss the venue, wedding style and how you envision your photos to be.

 

See full wedding albums

 

Try not to base your decision purely on what you see in a photographer’s highlights album. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they’ve shot so you can have a better understanding of what your photos may look like.

 

 

Good luck hunting for your perfect wedding photographer!

Sewing Machine Buyers Guide

Janome sewing machine

There are many things to consider when choosing the perfect sewing machine. It can often be a confusing task, especially if you’re new to sewing or needle craft, or if you are looking to buy one as a gift for someone. We suggest trying out one from the Janome sewing machines range, here are some handy tips to help you.

Machines for Beginners

First of all, you need to establish whether the sewing machine is for a beginner or a more experienced sewist. A beginner will need a machine with a basic range of stitches, whereas an experienced sewer may require more features.

Sewing Projects

You need to have in mind what kind of projects you want to use the machine for, whether it be for dressmaking, repairs and alterations, home furnishings and upholstery, embroidery and quilting. A basic machine would be more suitable for those who want to do dressmaking, crafts, repairs and alterations. A machine with a wider range of stitches however would be better suited for projects such as embroidery, crafts, quilting and upholstery.

How Often Do You Sew?

Will the machine be used often? If the machine is for occasional use, then it wouldn’t be worth your time or money in investing in a large sewing machine with a large range of stitches and accessories, because they will never be needed.

For those who are looking to invest in a sewing machine that they know will be used regularly, it would be a good idea to look into ones that are sturdy with a metal frame inside.

Weight and Storage

Sewing machines can be bulky appliances, so you need to consider where you are planning on storing it. Will you put it away after each use, or will you be taking it to classes? Consider the weight and whether it’ll be too heavy to lift alone.

Many sewing machines come with accessories, so you need to consider where you can store them if you have limited space available.

Invest in a sewing machine that comes with a soft or hard cover to protect your machine from dust and dirt. The cover can keep the sewing machine safe and make it easy to transport.

Different Types of Sewing Machine

There are three different types of sewing machines; an electronic sewing machine, a computerised sewing machine and the overlockers.

An electronic one works by sending an electrical impulse into the needle from a single motor; you operate the machine via a foot pedal.

The computerised sewing machine is good for beginners and experienced sewers. You can manually control the functions of the machine, the speed and needle functions.

Overlockers are finishing machines, used to create hems and seams but can also have decorative stitching options. They’re great for sewing knitted fabrics too.

Confused by the Jargon?

There are plenty of technical terms that you’re bound to come across as a sewer, such as ‘bobbin’, ‘free arm’ and ‘feed dogs’. These technical terms can seem completely baffling but, we’ve found a list of sewing terms to help you understand them!

If you need any help with choosing the perfect sewing machine, what the machines functions mean and any general sewing queries, you can always speak to an expert – we recommend Franklins, who are always happy to help.