5 Things To Do Now To Make Christmas Easier!

christmas tips

Christmas is supposed to be about fun, spending time with family and eating lots of good food. The trouble is the effort required to get to that special day can be totally hectic.

For me work gets crazy, the social calendar gets full and this single mumma still has a household to run and mouths to feed. I need to try and make things as quick and easy as possible so that I don’t completely lose the plot.

Here are 5 things I do to make the countdown to Christmas as smooth and organised as possible.

No 1 – CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE & FREEZER

I always seem to end up with a collection of half used jars of goodness crap at the bottom of my fridge and things in my freezer that I can’t really identify any more.

Before a single thing for Christmas cooking is bought, it is time to make space for them. If things are passed use-by they go in the bin and those that are still good, get used up quickly with the help of a little creative menu planning.

No 2 – STOCKTAKE YOUR PANTRY

Each year I am in charge of the baking and dessert making at Christmas and one year I forgot to buy caster sugar! Never again!

Clear out all the stuff that has been taking up valuable space and do a stocktake on all the non-perishable items you will need this year.

If you have never tried online grocery shopping, now is the perfect time to do it. The shops are getting busier so why not have all this heavy stuff delivered to your kitchen bench instead. Think about all those heavy things like dog food, kitty litter, soft drink etc. that you wont have to lug around. Woolworths and Coles have free delivery on Wednesday if you spend $150.00 or more.

No 3 – MAKE A LIST (OR 10)

Grab a little note book or even a left over exercise book and start writing everything down. Keep that book with you at all times during the month of December so that you know exactly where your preparations are at. Some of things in my book include –

Present Buying (whom and what has been bought)

Greeting Cards/Emails

Recipes to make (which book/magazine/website it is in)

Budget

Things to buy (candles, serviettes, batteries etc.)

Social Events including what I have to take

Gifts received (can be handy if you ever want to re-gift

No 4 – MENU PLAN

To save time, money and calories on take-away meals during this hectic time create a simple 7 day menu plan each week in the lead up to Christmas.

Choose quick and easy meals that can be on the table in a flash or make a double batch and freeze half for use later in the month. You could also organise a meal swap with family or friends who live close by so you get a night off cooking and get to try something different.

No 5 – HAVE YOUR PRESENT SHOPPING DELIVERED TO YOUR FRONT DOOR

Spending hours battling the crowds looking for that perfect gift for someone is no fun! AND if you love a good bargain then you need to check out some of these great online stores that will deliver your purchases to your front door for $10.00.

K MART

CATCH OF THE DAY

OO

BUY INVITE

Just about every shop you like can deliver to your home or organise a click and collect where you place your order and then pick it up instore. Save your legs and time and let someone else do the walking for you.

I hope some of these tips will make your run up to Christmas Day a little easier.

What is your favourite way to stay on top of it all? I would love to know!

Sharing for #ArchiveLove at BloggersandBacon

How To Pack Light For Your Next Trip!

how to pack light for your next trip

Holidays are just around the corner and is so exciting to head off and leave routine and alarm clocks behind. One thing that can be very stressful is trying to decide what to wear whilst you are away as baggage restrictions will not let you take your whole wardrobe with you unfortunately. After spending 13 years as a corporate travel consultant I have learnt a few tricks about how to make a mini mobile wardrobe work hard so you can look stylish everyday!

Last weekend was an extra long one for me, in 5 days I had 3 hours of train travel to get from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast for a wedding, a flight from Maroochydore to Sydney, two different hotels in two nights and a flight home to Brisbane. I had to lug my suitcase everywhere myself so I was determined to make my smallest suitcase work so that I did not exceed the 15 kg weight limit nor break my back lifting and pulling it around the country!

CHOOSE CLOTHES THAT MIX AND MATCH

Work out what your favourite colours are and pick one or two to work with as a base. Ideally you want 2 or 3 tops that can be paired with one pair of pants, shorts or a skirt. I chose black and white as my base, as this classic combination always looks fresh and classy.

vivid international clothing

(Both tops and sheer black cardigan are from Vivid International and white cami from Big W.)

Consider pants with elastic waist bands as they are much more comfortable if your travel requires a lot of sitting and you don’t need to pack belts.

Don’t forget leggings for supreme comfort. They are light weight and can be worn under long pants if you are heading somewhere cold.

Select drip dry fabrics that can be quickly hand washed at night and hung up in the shower to dry ready for another wear.

Use jewellery to add pops of colour or to glam up at night.

Don’t pack shoes that are not super comfy or cannot be worn with multiple outfits as they take up too much space and are quite heavy.

Limit yourself to one cardigan or jacket in a neutral colour that will go with everything.

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SUITCASE SPACE

Roll each outfit into a tight sausage shape and wrap in cling wrap. This will not only keep clothes fresh, but you will not have to iron them.

Buy mini size toiletries or decant your favourites into small travel bottles.

Stuff socks into shoes to help them hold their shape.

Pack a small snap lock bag of washing powder for hand washing clothes mid trip.

Pack underwear into snap lock bags with the air expelled. Worn items can be put back into the bags until you get a chance to wash them.

Use a pretty cosmetic bag for your make-up that can double as an evening bag if needed.

Take medication out of the boxes and put the sheets into a small pouch.

****

Vivid International fashion

(Top from Vivid International and pants from W.Lane)

I was gifted a selection of the Spring/Summer range from Vivid International for editorial consideration. Each piece has been so comfortable to wear and they travelled beautifully. I am wearing size 16 and they are a generous fit. There are over 350 boutiques in Australia and New Zealand and you can find your closest one here.

What is your favourite packing tip?

Are you heading away for the holidays this year?

Sharing for #IBOT with Kylie Purtell.com

 

How To Fund More Fun Into Your Retirement!

Property investment for retirement

How many years do you have left before you can walk away from your job for the last time and enjoy life in retirement? More importantly, have you worked out how you are going to cope financially when those pay packets no longer land regularly into your bank account. The sooner you take action and work out how to fund more fun into your retirement the better off you will be. Relying on the age pension and your superannuation may simply not be enough to guarantee the freedom you would like in your golden years.

 

You can’t party on the pension!

Even if you own your home outright, life on the pension will not allow you much room for play. The current payment for a full pension is $436.00 per week for a single and $658.00 for a couple (eff. Nov 16) and at first glance that looks ok and you can definitely get a counter lunch or two at the local club with that. Prepare even the most basic of budgets and by the time you have allowed for major expenses like rates, insurance, health insurance, home repairs, food, electricity and motor vehicle expenses, there wont be much left for holidays or filling the fridge with Moet.

The introduction of compulsory superannuation has ensured that every working Australian will have something in their fund to use in retirement, but unless you have contributed additional funds personally or have an employer that has added more to your fund as part of your employment package, you could be very disappointed in how quickly your super is spent.

 

Create an additional income stream with real estate

 

The equity you have in your family home can be the key to lots more fun in retirement. In almost every part of Australia, real estate prices only go up. Purchasing an investment property sooner rather than later could provide you with an asset that continues to grow in value. Depending on your circumstances when you retire you could sell the property and enjoy the capital gain or continue to receive rental income. Throw in the tax benefits that can come with real estate investment and you could be on a real financial winner.

There are plenty of things to consider when choosing an investment property such as location, close access to important amenities such as public transport and schools, as well as current demand on properties in the areas that appeal to you.  Before you get excited about seeing ‘SOLD’ splashed across the ‘For Sale’ sign it is imperative that you do your homework and please get advice from experts in financial planning and real estate before you make large investment decisions.

 

Don’t sink your savings into a lemon

 

buying an investment property to fun retirement

 

It is very easy to get a little carried away when looking into buying an investment property. On the surface everything may look fresh and fabulous, but you need to be very wary of vendors and real estate agents that have only one goal in mind. Sell the property!

With the help of paint, fake walls and floors or new tiles, a myriad of problems can be hidden from sight. The last thing you want is to buy a ‘lemon’ that will require you to sink your savings into big ticket repairs and maintenance outlays. It is absolutely imperative that you have a thorough building inspection done buy an independent expert in preference to a company suggested to you by your agent that might not provide a completely accurate report.

Action Inspections are a fully accredited and compliant company that have been providing concise property inspections in my home town of Brisbane for 28 years. You will be amazed at the extent of detail that goes in to providing a Pre-purchase report. If you are anywhere else in Australia, a quick internet search will help you locate a suitable company in your area that could save you so much money in the long run. Don’t forget to ask friends and family for recommendations as well, they will know whether their report was accurate or not.

Retirement should be all about sleep ins, planning fun getaways or spending quality time with family and friends rather than a continual circle of stress about how to pay the bills. An investment property has the potential to help you fund more fun in your retirement. You have worked hard for all that you have, make sure you don’t jeopardise any of that by making choices without expert assistance.

* This is a sponsored post, all opinions and ideas are my own.

Have you made any plans for retirement other than superannuation?

 

How To Turn A Gourmet Food Hamper Into A Delicious Christmas Lunch.

how to turn a gourmet food hamper into a yummy christmas lunch

Every year without fail Christmas rolls around again and the hunt for perfect presents and planning luscious meals begins. If you are like me and don’t have hours spare battling the crowds at the shops or flipping through a pile of recipe books, I might just have the perfect solution for you! Last week I enjoyed an afternoon of taste testing beautiful products from a gourmet food hamper or ten that were provided by Australian Gourmet Gifts.

Whilst munching away on an amazing selection of goodies and sipping on a glass of wine, I was already ticking people off my present shopping list who I know would love a big dose of good food in their home this festive season. At the same time I was planning a menu that was easy to prepare but would taste fantastic and impress all those sharing the table on Christmas Day.

When only the best will do!

I come from a family of dedicated foodies that spent decades involved in restaurants and gourmet food shops. A BBQ chicken from the supermarket deli and a store bought pavlova just will not cut it with my clan. Putting a really nice meal together can be easy with the clever use of tasty ingredients with really fresh produce and choosing recipes that can be prepped well in advance so that you can spend the day relaxing and not slaving away in the kitchen.

With so many hampers to choose from, the hardest part was picking the best hamper to use as the base for creating the menu. In the end the Gourmet Connoisseur Hamper won out for its great blend of savoury and sweet inclusions and there will still be plenty of goodies left to enjoy in the new year.

gourmet hamper christmas lunch

 Image Credit – Australian Gourmet Gifts

 

Delicious Christmas Lunch Menu Ideas

EASY ENTREES

Plate Up A Platter – The easiest way to start off Christmas Day celebrations is with a platter of delectable nibbles. Take The Natural Nut Company – Entertaining Nut Platter and the Absolute Organic – Antipasto Organic Mixed Olives to get started. Add your favourite cheeses, dips or pate and a selection of savoury biscuits and chunks of fresh sourdough bread.

Pesto Puffs – Ready made puff pastry sheets can quickly be turned into yummy mini quiches that can be made the day before and reheated on the day or served cold. Simply add 1/2 teaspoon of Australian Country Gourmet – Sun Dried Tomato Pesto to each one before adding the egg mix from this recipe.

MAKE AHEAD MAINS

Ham It Up – A freshly baked ham will be a winner for you this year and any leftovers can be frozen in portions for use throughout the New Year. Place the whole ham on a chopping board and using a small sharp knife gently remove the rind leaving as much of the fat as possible. Score the fat in rows firstly across the ham and then from top to bottom. Spread a generous amount of Hank’s Jams – Fig & Cinnamon Jam all over the scored section and sprinkle with finely chopped macadamia nuts. Place the ham in a large baking dish lined with foil and baking paper. Sprinkle a little water into the pan before baking at 180C for 45 minutes, basting after each 15. Serve warm or cold with a big bowl of crisp salad.

Terrific Turkey – Instead of spending hours baking a whole turkey, why not try a turkey breast roll instead. Follow the roasting direction on the packet and when it is done remove from the pan, but don’t throw out the all the deliciousness remaining in the bottom. Scrape it all into a small saucepan and over gentle heat add 300ml of thickened cream and 1 heaped dessert spoon of Australian Country Gourmet – Chardonnay & Sage Creamy Mustard and bring to a gentle boil for 1 minute and you now have a super sauce to serve with your turkey. Bake a large tray of mixed vegetables at the same time as the turkey sprinkled with Maggie Beer – Extra Virgin Olive Oil and some fresh sage leaves.

DELECTABLE DESSERTS

Posh Pudding – A store bought plum pudding can be ready to eat after just a few minutes in the microwave. Have your guests begging for more by serving it with the best Brandy Cream. For the final touch grate a few pieces of Rinati – Elite Almond Hard Nougat to sprinkle over the top.

Individual Ice Creams – If you would prefer something cold for a hot Christmas day, why not make these little ice cream bombs. Into a large bowl add a tub of good quality vanilla ice cream and beat until softened. Add some crushed Ital Choc Hazelnut Biscotti and a handful of frozen raspberries. Spoon this mixture into bowls that have been lined with cling wrap for easy removal and place in the freezer until it is time to serve. Swirl a generous amount of Australian Country Gourmet – Rich Chocolate Sauce on to each plate before placing the ice cream on top.

creating an easy christmas day lunch

Image Credit – Grace and Co. Property Styling

Don’t forget to stock the fridge with plenty of Christmas cheer and make sure you add a bag or two of ice to the shopping list.

You can order all the Christmas hampers and gift baskets (including the really lovely ones that come delivered in the luxurious black metal cooler in the pic above) that you could ever need without stepping into a single shop from Australian Gourmet Gifts and free delivery is included, so it does not get any easier than that!

This is a sponsored post as I was a guest of Brand Meets Blog that organised this tasty get together on behalf of Australian Gourmet Gifts and all opinions and ideas are my own.

Which is your favourite gourmet food hamper?

Are you cooking Christmas Day lunch this year?

Sharing for #IBOT with KyliePurtell.com

Give A Bag Of Hope This Christmas! #itsinthebag

#itsithebag

#itsinthebag

Yesterday I bought my first Christmas magazine for the season, no doubt the first of many.

I am lucky to have family to spend this special time with, in fact its one of the few times a year we all get together as we are all so busy.

For many women, Christmas will just be another day, probably a very tough one.

Everyday the number of women who are homeless or have simply walked away with nothing from a domestic violence situation is growing.

The most basic necessities that we take for granted they just do not have.

When you are planning your celebrations this year, could you please add one more thing to your list.

A HANDBAG

You don’t have to go out and buy one, it can be one of yours that you just don’t use anymore.

I cleaned out my extensive handbag collection the other day and I have kept two that I am going to fill up. The others were showing signs of just too much wear and the idea of passing those on just did not sit well with me, so I binned them.

Or pop into your local Op shop and grab one that is in decent condition.

Fill the bag full of things that would put a smile on a ‘sisters’ face.

Practical things are great such as personal grooming items are perfect.

Pretty things like a notebook and pen or a piece of jewellery are ideal.

Share The Dignity will have collection points all around Australia where you can drop off your bag between 19 November and 3 December.

Together with charity organisations around the country these bags will be given to those ladies in real need in time for Christmas.

There is a list of suggested items on their site as well as a few things you are not allowed to pack in your bag for safety reasons.

You can join their mailing list to get updates on drop off locations in your state and they will be listed on the site closer to the date.

Christmas is the perfect time to share some generosity with others and this awesome idea will ensure that every dollar you spend is going directly to help shine some positivity and love where it is so desperately needed.

*****

** I was not asked or paid to write this post, it is a project that I am supporting and really hope that you will too.

xxx N

*****

Sharing for #IBOT with Kylie Purtell.com

Yummy and Healthy Avocado Hummus

Avocado and Hummus dip

This yummy dip was an accidental experiment that turned out to be really awesome.

I have never made my own hummus before and decided to give it a try when I had the family over for Fathers Day.

I wanted something easy and tasty for us to nibble on before lunch.

My original plan was to have a bowl of hummus and a bowl of guacamole, but when I opened the seemingly perfect avocados they were almost completely black!

I salvaged what I could and decided to throw it into the hummus, glad I did.

Thankfully there was a tub of marinated antipasto goodies in the fridge to add to the platter and save the day.

***

INGREDIENTS

1 avocado (skin and seed removed)

1 400gm can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

1 small clove garlic (finely diced)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

salt & pepper to taste

***

METHOD

Place all ingredients into a jug and blend together well with a stab blender until smooth or use a food processor if you prefer.

(I am just tooooo lazy to wash all the bits, so the stab blender is one of my favourite kitchen tools.)

The recipe is enough to fill two of the bowls shown in the picture.

***

You can make this a few hours in advance, cover tightly with cling wrap and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

Wholemeal pita bread makes a great accompaniment and are also very easy to make.

Slice a whole pita bread in half and they cut each half into wedges. Bake in a moderate oven for approximately 8 – 10 minutes until they are crispy.

If you want to make these in advance you can by allowing them to cool to room temperature and then seal in a freezer bag until required.

Enjoy!

Have you ever accidentally made something yummy?

Linking up with Kylie Purtell for #IBOT

Natural Ways To Ease Hay Fever!

Natural ways to ease hay fever

For so many people the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures is not cause for celebration but commiseration as it can mean that hay fever season has arrived!

Stuffy noses and sinus pain can cause so much pain and discomfort that resorting to taking anti-histamines daily seems like the only way to feel better.

Whilst these medications do a good job to alleviate the symptoms, they certainly put a big dent in your wallet each week.

There are plenty of natural things you can try to help you cope and are definitely worth trying.

(This is not medical advise and please consult your doctor before making changes to your current health plan)

****

Munch on some mint

Chewing on a few fresh mint leaves can help to clear nasal congestion and inhibits the release of histamines which cause all the uncomfortable symptoms of hay fever.

Inhale lavender pure essential oil

Place a drop or two of lavender essential oil on to a tissue and hold just below your nose. Breathe in through your nose until the fragrance has faded. This oil is well known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Time for a cuppa

Herbal teas are great to drink at any time of the day. Choose from nettle, peppermint or chamomile tea as these 3 will help to open up the nasal passage and relieve sinus pressure.

Sip on some cider

Not all apple cider vinegar’s are created equal. Before you start sipping make sure the one you have at home has the ‘mother’ included in the bottle. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1/2 a cup of room temperature water (or more if preferred) and sip it until its all gone. This is a great way to give your immune system a good boost and helps to break down mucus.

Peel a pineapple

Remove the peel off a fresh pineapple but don’t throw out the core. Pineapples have a high concentration of Bromelain that can really help to reduce your reaction to allergies whilst reducing swelling in the nose and sinus. The highest concentration is found in the core. If you can’t cope with eating the core, pop it in the blender with some other favourite fruits and make a smoothie.

Spice up your meals

There is nothing like a good curry to make your nose run, and that is exactly what you want to happen to ease congestion. Add chilli, garlic, onion, ginger, tumeric and cayenne pepper to your food to thin mucus for easy expulsion and pressure release.

****

All of these things are easy to purchase or you probably have most of them at home already.

Incorporating some of these into your daily routine is not hard and hopefully will bring you some relief.

Do you suffer badly from hay fever?

What works best for you to alleviate the discomfort?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

You Are Never Too Old To Try Something New!

Physie begginer ladies

For the past decade I have been your typical dance mum, ferrying my girls to Physie classes, waiting around during class time and getting home quite late and having dinner planned that was quick and easy.

As the competition time of the year arrived, I donned the red, white and black club colours and sat all day at a school hall bored out of my mind for most of it.

A couple of times I entertained the thought of actually doing Physie myself, but always came up with a myriad of excuses….I can’t afford it, I don’t have time, I am too old to start something new like this….etc.

At the end of the year break-up party last year, one of the mums said ‘we should be doing this too’.

She sewed the seed that stuck with me all Christmas break and on sign-up day, I put my name on the list.

OMG….what have I done?????

How can a 51 year old start something new like this?

BJP Physical Culture has classes from Tiny Tots all the way through to Beginner Ladies, so no matter what your age, you can join in.

At our club ladies classes are on Monday night, the one day of the week I usually work for about 10 hours on my feed all day and come home totally exhausted. Dragging myself to class has been difficult some weeks and my brain has felt like mush so learning the work has not been the easiest thing I have ever done.

BUT I have stuck with it, stretching and practicing the syllabus at home and finally last Saturday the first competition of the year arrived.

This required me to –

Make sure my  hair colour was done to cover the regrowth.

Exfoliate from top to toe.

Apply 3 coats of tan for a golden glow.

Redo my gel nails as bright red with gold glitter is not a good choice as it draws attention to your hands, so pastel pink with a hint of sparkle did the trick.

Pack a days worth of food.

Make sure I had my water bottle and energy drink chilling in the fridge.

Find all my red and white gear and pack a bag with thongs and active wear.

Go to sleep acknowledging the fact that I would have to display my far from perfect body in only a leotard and fishnet stockings in front of a packed school hall the next day.

And there is more..

physie hair

My hair had to be teased beyond recognition as I have such fine hair but it needed to look as though I did.

Physie hair poof and bun

At least I look as though I actually have a decent amount of hair.

Miss WW applied enough makeup to last through the day and beyond.

Waiting though more than half the day until it was my turn to be marshalled with all the other beginner ladies and trying to keep the nerves in check.

But miracles do happen, I actually managed to get through all the work without making a mistake and was rewarded with –

winning

2nd Place……..hell yeah!!!!!

The tears pouring down my daughters face with joy as I left the floor was worth more than anything!

The next competition is next week, guess I will be doing it all over again.

If there is something you would love to do, but you keep stopping yourself because you think you are to old, just do it!

What would you love to do?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

Easy Chorizo and Lentil Soup

get your colour on and change your life

Every now and then I crave a veggie fix and after a very long, hard day at work I was wondering around the supermarket trying to work out what we were going to have for dinner.

I remembered there was a recipe at home that I wanted to try, but that was not much good to me as I was not there.

I literally grabbed what thought might be in it and set to creating my own version without even checking the recipe.

The result was a really healthy but very tasty soup that I will definitely be making again.

I cooked this soup in my slow cooker as I have to go to Physie on Monday nights, but you could also make this just as easily in a normal saucepan.

INGREDIENTS

1 x Winter Vegetable Soup Pack or buy the vegetables individually –

1 brown onion

1 large carrot

1 swede

1 stick of celery

1 parsnip

1 x 1lt salt reduced chicken stock

1 x 400gm tin of crushed tomatoes

1 400gm tin of brown lentils

1 chorizo

5 fresh basil leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp mild paprika

METHOD

Turn your slow cooker on high and place the olive oil in to it.

Finely dice the peeled onion and chorizo and place into the slow cooker, allow them to brown lightly.

Meanwhile peel and finely dice all the other vegetables.

Add them into the slow cooker, together with the stock, lentils and the tin of tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper if you like, but I didn’t add any and it was really flavoursome without the addition of them.

Cook on high for 3 hours.

Service with crusty fresh bread.

Note – If you prefer a chunkier soup and you have time to cook it a little longer or would like to get the soup started in the morning before you go to work, follow all of the above steps and cook on low for up to 8 hours.

If you like things nice and spicy use hot paprika instead!

Enjoy!

Do you have a slow cooker?

Do you like experimenting with food?

Handy Photos You Should Take With Your Phone!

clever photo ideas for your phone

I am often grateful that Miss WW talked me into getting my iPhone with the bigger storage as I have so many photo’s. All my social media and blog pictures are taken with my phone as I am toooooo lazy to use my real camera, and remember to buy lithium batteries so that it works, and then plug it in to download them….you get the picture!

As we rarely go anywhere without our phones these days, unless we forget them, you can use your phone as a valuable reminder list without having to write a thing down, just take a photo!

Try adding some of these ideas to your photo stream instead of relying on your memory.

RECIPIES – Snap a pic of the recipe you want to try and you will have the ingredients list with you when you are shopping. Also handy if you are visiting a friend or are at the library and you just want a copy of a recipe.

WINE – If you taste a wine that you really like, take a pic of the label so you can buy some for yourself.

PRINTER CARTRIDGES – Keep a pic of your printer cartridges numeric code so you always buy the right ones.

CRAFT SUPPLIES – I have this thing for pink paint, and always seem to want to buy more. I now keep pictures of my tubes of craft paint so that I don’t buy another duplicate…or 10. This would work with beads, ribbon, wool, stickers, embroidery threads, needles, anything that you have multiple types of and could easily double up on unnecessarily.

PET ID – If your pet ever goes missing, having it’s ID details on hand could be useful.

SPICES – Snap the spice rack so you know what you actually have on hand.

MEDICATION – Pictures of your medication and required doses could be life saving to have easy access to.

MAKE UP – Handy to know what you have at home before buying a new colour.

GIFTS – When you buy gifts and hide them away and then forget you have them….yeah I have done that plenty of times.

The following could definitely come in handy but it would be advisable not to simply save them to your photo stream. Consider getting a secure app such as Locker to keep these from eyes that should not see them.

PASSPORT / DRIVERS LICENCE /CREDIT CARDS

JEWELLERY – In the event of theft or loss it can be hard proving ownership, especially if the pieces were gifts and you don’t have the receipt.

APPLIANCES – Take a photo of the serial number of all major appliances.

COLLECTIONS – If you collect stamps, models, swap cards…anything, keep a record of what you have.

*****

I have had plenty of ‘if only I could remember’ moments and so now I take photo’s or screen shots to help me.

What other things could be handy to add to this list?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace.com

How To Save For Your Dream Car

How to save for your dream car

How to save for your dream car and make it a reality!

 

Have you ever had that feeling that your paycheck seems to disappear miraculously the moment you receive it? You even start wondering whether or not you have a hidden pocket that eats away at the money from your wallet.

Truth be told, there are always some expenses that you need to take care of, which makes it difficult to save money for that car you’ve had your eyes on. Difficult, but not impossible. Here are some tips from Bad Credit Car Loans for you to successfully save some money for your dream car.

1. Set a weekly budget

This might be a good time to say no to new designer shoes and yes to your weekly savings. The first step would be to set some money aside for essentials, such as rent, food, living costs and the occasional weekend outing here and there (we’re just mere humans, aren’t we?).

Once you’ve chosen your dream car, set your goals: when do I want to buy it? How much do I have to save every week in order to get it? The more you save, the less you’ll have to pay for car loans, so keep track of your budget.

2. Open a savings account

A savings account with a high-interest rate would be one of the best ways to successfully save some money. You can set up a deposit that automatically saves from your salary, no matter if it’s weekly or monthly. If you don’t plan to buy the car very soon, you might want to opt for a term deposit; once you do that, you won’t be able to withdraw money during that period.

Just so you won’t be tempted, be sure that you open a savings account with limited access. That way, the money will build up, and before you know it, you’ll be on your wheels.

3. Look for second-hand deals

Buying a car that is a few years older can save you a lot of cash. New cars are usually all the vogue, so they’re bound to have a skyrocketing price. However, be careful of the cars whose prices seem too low than their average on the market. You might end up having to pay more for repairs and improvements than the actual value of the car.

4. Negotiate a good price

Once you finished saving for that car, start honing your negotiation skills. Get acquainted with the vehicle and approach your car seller with confidence and ease. If you already have an idea of what the vehicle is worth and how much you’re willing to pay, you might be able to get a good deal which will save you money.

If you learn how to save money properly, buying a car will be as easy as saying “hot wheels.” Just say no to some of the expensive night outs and designer products, and you will see at the end that it was worth it. Keep our advice in mind and start saving for that car right now!

What is your dream car?

(How to save for your dream car is a sponsored post brought to you by Bad Credit Car Loans.)

Margate Beach – The Perfect Family Beach Day Out In Brisbane!

When most Brisbane families think about spending the day at the beach, heading to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast would usually be their first choice.

The beautiful beaches on each coast are a big draw card, but it also means a long drive and the very probable chance of being caught in terrible traffic, which quickly turns a great day into a frustrating one.

A great alternative to battling the freeways is just north of the city at Margate!

Brisbane beaches for families

Soft sand and safe swimming is waiting for you.

There is plenty of parking right on the beachfront and if you arrive mid morning you will probably be able to score a nice shady spot up on the grass with a million dollar view and protection from the sun.

Unlike the more popular beaches close by like Redcliffe and Scarborough, it always seems to be relatively quiet at Margate Beach, but you don’t miss out on a single thing.

Pack a picnic, add a chilled bottle of wine and you will be set for the day.

If you love fish and chips or a great burger, Red Dolphin Seafoods is right on the main street facing the beach and has really good fresh food, coffee and ice creams.

Fresh fast food at Margate

#no filter needed!

Take a walk along the beach to the southern end and admire the lovely waterfront properties that have backyards the butt right on to the beach.

If you take some sturdy shoes with you, enjoy exploring the rock pools and take a fishing rod as well if you would like to try and catch your dinner.

There are BBQ facilities if you want to cook your catch straight away.

Explore the rock pools at Margate Beach

Margate Beach is 26 km North East of Brisbane City and offers beautiful views of Moreton Bay.

You can watch the planes fly in and out of Brisbane and you might ever see a cruise ship just sail on by.

Margate Village Shopping Centre is close by with a supermarket, chemist etc. incase you leave something important at home.

The next time the kids are driving you stir-crazy at home, pack up the family and head to the beach. No need to battle the traffic and you can leave the surf boards at home.

Let the kids swim and run to their hearts content and they are guaranteed to sleep well that night.

Do you ever go to local Brisbane beaches?

Which is your favourite?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess.com

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