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Throwing The Best Home Party – Here’s How

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Going out with your friends to a restaurant or bar can be an expensive affair. Also, don’t forget that customary 10-15% tip you have to pay to the waiter with the 12.5% service charge. Surely, it is getting expensive out there day by day with no guarantee that you will be satisfied with the service provided by restaurants. So, instead of paying hefty bills for the food and service you were able to enjoy only for a short amount of time, why not throw a party which lasts for a long time in the comfort of your home?

If you want some tips on how to throw the best home party, we have got you covered.

Calculating the Budget

First and foremost it is necessary that you calculate the budget so your pockets don’t run empty. Throwing a party won’t be cheap. Get a notepad and make a list of groceries and things you will need for the party. After making the list, estimate the total and see if you can afford it. If you are falling short on money, ask your friends whether they would like to make some contribution for this holy cause.

Finalising the Guest List

Usually, the general party rule is “The more, the merrier!” but before you everyone, do take a note of the space available in your home and think how many people can be accommodated comfortably. After making a general count, see how you can make arrangements for them. Also, while making the list, keep a note of who is having a tiff with whom if you don’t want ugly fights taking place in your home and get your things broken.

How to throw a good house party

Choosing a Date and Time

It is always nice to ask politely to your friends as to what date and time is suitable for them to attend your party. When everyone has given their consent, start planning for it. Also, send across a reminding email two days before the party to ensure that they don’t miss out on the fun and excitement.

Selecting a Theme

After you have got everything set, select a theme for the party. We suggest that you don’t make it a regular one, as the guests would have probably attended the same last weekend or the one before that. If you want to make it memorable for everyone, set a particular theme and let everybody know about it before they walk in wearing way too casual.

So, now you must be confused as to which themes can you set for the party? It can be anything really! Maybe everyone could be wear the same colour or particular type of clothes. You could have a lavish wine tasting session set up or perhaps a brain-wracking puzzle solving.  Mind you, superhero cosplays are all the rage right now for parties. Consider people’s likes and dislikes when you are setting a theme for the party.

Setting Ambiance

Now that you have got the date, theme and people planning out of the way, think about creating a good ambiance for the party. Instead of using regular lights, use dramatic ones which will set the moods and lift the spirits. You can also use a couple of new decorations for your house like new drapes, pillow covers or some bean bags if all the guests are not able to accommodate on that good old couch.

If you don’t want to buy anything new, you can work on some DIY decorations and while you are at it, fix your designer radiator so as to give your guests a warm welcome.

Food

Food is the heart and soul of a party and people are going to want to have something  to munch on obviously! Ask your friends if they have any preferences regarding the kind of finger foods they’d fancy. If your hands are too full with preparations of food for your friends; ask them whether they can lend a helping hand or if they can make something and bring it to the party. You will feel less stressed and you will get to have fun with all of them before the party even starts.

Drinks

Have an assortment of drinks ready, for your thirsty guests to gulp down as soon as they arrive. Keep those six packs of beer, shots of vodka and glasses of wine ready and give them a cheerful welcome. If some of them are not a fan of alcohol, you can make some mocktails or fruit juices which will also keep them in high mood.

Music

While you let your guests help themselves to food and drinks, set the mood by playing some good music. If you have a set an “80’s” theme play the classics which will surely bring out memories of music bands that everyone used to love. If your guests like trance or pop or rock play the music that will get their groove on and make the party lit!

We hope that by reading the above tips you must have got a good idea about how you can plan and throw the best home party and make it a memorable one for both you and your friends. After all, the best times are those which are spent with good company, food, music and ambiance.

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Lifestyle

Birthday Gift Ideas for Nieces From Aunts

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Birthday Gift Ideas for Nieces From Aunts

As young girls grow, it is important for them to have positive female role models. Mothers and grandmothers are perhaps the most important, but not far behind are the aunts, whether adopted or biological. One of the fun parts of being an aunt is spoiling your niece on her birthday, and there are lots of ways to do so.

Special Outing

Although kids love to unwrap presents, something they may love just as much or more is spending quality time with you. Take your niece on a special outing with just the two of you. A trip to the aquarium, zoo or amusement park could be a wonderful experience for both of you. Include a stop for lunch or ice cream and just about all her dreams will have come true by the end of the day.

Start a Collection 

Collectibles are a great way to start a fun tradition with your niece. She will love getting a new addition to her precious moments princess train set or a new purse every year for her birthday. Even though she may come to expect a certain type of gift, she can still look forward to adding something special to her collection.

Remember Her Interests 

Keep in mind what your niece is interested in. Does she love science, books or art? Try and find something that will help foster her interests and you may just watch her confidence grow along with her talents. As she gets older, these interests will change, but she will always remember her first science kit or that series of novels that her aunt introduced her to.

There are lots of ways to be a good aunt, not the least of which is spoiling your precious niece for her birthday. Choose a gift that shows her just how special she is. These gifts and experiences make wonderful memories that she can treasure for her whole life.

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Lifestyle

Basic Camera Care All Photographers Should Learn

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Camera maintenance, Camera care tips

Whether you are a seasoned business portrait photographer with several years of experience tucked under your belt, or just a newbie who has started dipping his toe in the hobby, one of the critical lessons that you need to learn and master by heart is camera care.

Knowing how to care for your camera correctly will not only allow you to take care of your investment. Proper attention can also ensure that your gear performs optimally, enabling you to make the most out of it, whether for business or fun.

Store Your Gear Correctly

Dust, moisture, and sunlight are the greatest enemies of your photography gear. This should be your guiding principle when storing your equipment.

Cameras and batteries are best placed in a cool area where any temperature fluctuation should be minimal. High temperatures can damage your camera’s central processing unit and sensor, while cold temperatures can pose serious harm to its LCD.

Make sure that your camera’s storage area is well-ventilated with a humidity of around 35 to 45 percent. Excessive humidity, coupled with moisture, will only invite mildew and rust. Extreme dryness, on the other hand, adversely affects the lubrication of different parts which can fast-track wear and tear.

Whether you are storing your camera and lenses in a box or a bag, put some silica gel inside to counter moisture.

Invest in a Good Camera Bag

An essential aspect of caring for your camera is using a camera bag.

Most cameras are susceptible to dust and scratches which can be easily avoided by storing them in a proper bag. Furthermore, water-resistant bags can shield your precious gear from rain.

Make it a Habit to Turn Off Your Camera

Turning off your camera allows you to conserve the power of your batteries and increase the overall lifespan of these.

But more than conserving battery juice, there is another reason to turn off your camera’s power – to protect it from damage.

Avoid leaving batteries inside your camera as much as possible, especially if you are storing your camera for an extended period. Batteries can corrode when stored in a moist area or if left completely drained off.

Whether you are changing your lenses or removing the memory card or attached cables, make it a habit to turn off the camera first. Changing lenses when the camera is still turned on increases the risk of dust getting into the sensor. On the other hand, there is a significant chance that you can damage your memory card by pulling it off from the camera when it is still running.

Clean Your Gear Right

First things first – before you schedule a cleanup for your camera, make sure that you have a special cleaning kit on hand. Under no circumstance should you touch your camera with ordinary household cleaning materials.

Go to a reputable camera shop and invest in a few brushes, a microfiber cloth, and specialized cleaning solutions.

Don’t waste your money on canned air. You might see a few people cleaning their gear with it, but you can seriously damage your camera and its accessories if you insist on using it.

Canned air contains chemicals which are harmful to your equipment. Instead of canned air, consider using a brush or a squeeze bulb for hard-to-reach areas.

Protect Your Lenses

It is relatively easy to damage lenses. And unless you are willing to cough up money over and over again, it is sensible to invest in lens protection.

A simple filter can prevent breakage, cracks, dents, and scratches. Additionally, filters offer a variety of uses, depending on the type you get, ranging from glare reduction to reduction of shutter speed.

Care for Your Memory Card

Memory cards are a vital item of photography gear that can be easily overlooked. If you want to get more out of your memory cards, you need to learn how to care for these properly.

First, invest in a protective case which will help keep your memory cards dust-free. Second, do not expose the cards to heat. Place these in a cool, dry place. Finally, never put your memory cards near magnetic sources.

Camera care is an essential skill that anyone can and should learn, whether you are a hobbyist or a professional photographer. From a financial standpoint, this vital skill can help you save a lot of money. And from a functional perspective, keeping your gear in good order can help your equipment perform optimally.


AUTHOR BIO: Stefanie Descheemaecker is the Studio Manager at Stu Williamson Photography at The Palm Jumeirah – Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. She has been with the company for almost 3 years and is the driving force behind the success of the business. A keen amateur photographer, Stef combines her natural creative eye with a strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.

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Fitness

How To Get In Shape While On Holiday

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Vacation. This is a word that can mean so many different things. Some people consider vacation as a time away from all the hassles of their daily work. Others look at it as a way to break away from routine and there are also those who just want to use up their vacation leave. Whatever your purpose is on your next holiday, there is one important thing that you need to make plans for – your fitness regimen.

how to stay in shape on vacation, gym while traveling, how to keep in shape on holiday, how to lose weight while traveling for work

Shopping – A Great Form of Exercise

Since a huge chunk of every vacation is one’s shopping spree, then you might as well use this opportunity to stay fit. Imagine walking all over the different malls that you can find. To add to this, you also get to carry the things that you buy so this is an effective way to work off on self-indulgence.

Do not just buy the first items that you find. Ask around first so that you get to find the best bargains on athleisure while you also spend more time (and more energy) going from one shop to the next. Also, make it a point not to use elevators or escalators, utilize the stairs so that you will burn more calories.

Utilize the Hotel Gym / Boot Camp It

Yet another part of any holiday is the need to stay in a hotel. Most hotels now have indoor gyms so it would be a waste if you do not use the exercise equipment there. Being on vacation is no excuse to stop your exercise regimen. What you need, though, is your strongest willpower and an activewear. Have the determination to continue exercising and you will surely reap the benefits later on.

Another fun way to get into shape is to go to a bootcamp. These prove to be a super fun way to burn excess pounds, test your body’s limits, and learn new and positive habits. Imagine how much better you’ll feel in that bikini after you’ve been sweating it out in a boot camp!

Pack Some Exercise Essentials

If it is impossible to hit the gym during your vacation, then you might as well take any of these with you – light weights, exercise band or a jump rope. Toning your muscles isn’t all about sweating in the gym. Sometimes, you just need to be disciplined enough to exercise on your own and make do with your packed resources while vacationing.

Steer Clear of Some Foods

One other thing that is equated to vacation is food, especially if this is your first time to visit a certain place. For instance, if it is your first time to go to Germany, you might be instantly tempted to try their different types of beers and fattening cuisine. If you do not curb your urges, you could end up trying every bit of food that you could lay your eyes on – and this is not good for your figure.

The secret is to try one, unique meal at a time and then to couple this with your usual fruits and vegetables; this way, you maintain your healthy diet while still getting to taste exotic cuisine.

Swim That Body Fat Away

If your destination for your holiday vacation is a beach resort, then make good use of the resource that you have right in front of you – the rolling waters! Swimming is an activity that can help you trim down while keeping your heart healthy – technically, you are hitting two birds with one stone. If your vacation does not involve any water activities, then plan for a lot of walking. Rather than ride a cab, it is best to walk and enjoy the scenery or architectural wonders around you. Tuck that pedometer and you’re just about ready to walk around a city!

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