Four smart places to invest your money

The financial market and the economy are now entering a new phase, full of new risks and opportunities for investors. It is evident enough that unemployment levels are declining and there is hope that inflation will start to pick up. As it is with economic transitions, this moment of change is creating new opportunities in the financial markets: the landscape is shifting and investors need to come up with smart ways to invest their money. Where should you invest your money? Here are the four areas you may consider:

Inflation-Protected Bonds (I-Bonds)

Inflation denies you the opportunity to reap from your investment in traditional fixed-income securities. This is because the money you earn through interest is not worth as it was during the initial investment. This phenomenon has prompted some financial institutions to come up with products which shield your investment from inflation. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are one way to go about this. TIPS come at fixed interest rates but the principal may fluctuate. You can also purchase I-bonds which are some form of savings bonds whose interest rates fluctuate while the principal remains constant.

Commodities

As the global economy recovers from the recession, the fear of deflation has been replaced with concerns about possible inflation. For some time now, the price of commodities such as oil, gold, land packages and agricultural products have been on an upsurge. Most businesses have not been able to pass down the high costs down to the consumer but there is a likelihood that all this will change. While some experts rule out the possibility of inflation being a major problem, you should not throw caution to the wind. Inflation cannot be ignored. Real assets such as commodities could provide protection for your investments in an inflationary environment. However, rather than trying to invest in the next ‘hot’ commodity, tap into an extended exchange-traded fund or a mutual fund and invest in a range of different commodities.

Municipal bonds

The municipal bond market is attracting more investors by the day. Most issuers are able to repay their obligations without any problem and the returns are good; a 10-year bond may yield about 4 % interest. The secret to success is simple: learn to protect yourself from weak issues.

Australian Dollars

Steve Persky, managing partner of the Dalton Investments was quoted saying, ‘One way to hedge it is with the Australian dollar.’ True enough, the Australian economy was unscathed by the global recession. It did not fall victim to the credit pressure, which faced much of Europe and the USA. So, if you want to invest, you now know where to put your money.

As is evident, there are many places in which you can invest your money. Keep in mind to involve a financial advisor to guide you. Share this content with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.

Things You can Make With A Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are capable of preparing much more recipes. Some of the recipes are:

  • Baked Potatoes

For a weeknight dinner solution you can make potatoes in the slow cooker. They can cook all day while you are handling other jobs in the house.

How to bake potato as a school food service.

Make potatoes and prepare the ingredients. Olive oil and salt are some of the things you require.

Put a square of aluminum foil on your surface and set a potato top. Prick the potato with a fork then rub it with teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the potato firmly and do the same for the remaining potatoes.

Arrange the potatoes in the slow cooker. If you are baking 1to 2 potatoes, put them in the center of the slow cooker and stock them in layers.

Cover the slow cooker and let it cook for 8 to 10 hours

  • Rotisserie Chicken

If you do not have time to tend roasted chicken in the oven and you like slow roasted chicken then slow cooker is an idea for you. Leftovers can be useful for making sandwiches in lunch boxes.

Other school food service may need to prepare this type of chicken once in a while. These are the procedures to follow:

Put the onion at the bottom of the slow cooker then put all the spices in a small bowl and put it aside.

Rub the mixture all over the outside of the chicken. Put the chicken breast side down but on top of the onions and cover the slow cooker.

Cook on low for about 7 hours till the chicken falls of from the bone then remove the chicken from the cooker and serve.

  • Roasted beef

You will need the following ingredients 31/2 pounds boneless Rump Roast, salt, pepper and olive oil. Meat thermometer will also be necessary. Some beef stock and corn starch.

School food service can apply the following procedure:

Using a sharp knife, cut small incisions around your roast, place one sliver of garlic on each incision. Put one table spoon of olive oil around your roast then sprinkle it with pepper and some salt. Place your roast on an oven rack, fatty side facing up and drip pan over a rack under the roast rack. Turning the roast will not be required this way. Let your roast brown at 375o F.

Remove the beef from the foil after 10 hour of cooking split and eat.

It still requires some hours cooking on slow cooker after it starts browning using your meat thermometer to check its temperature pull your roast once the temperature reaches 135 to 140oF place it in aluminum foil and serve

The above information will help you choose the lunch mob service for great recipes.

The Real Origins of Santa Claus

Ask that and you’ll get answers as varied as “Of course!” from children and the young at heart, to “Oh, don’t be silly.” from old Scrooges and young “free thinkers.”

There really was a Santa Claus, of course, and we all acknowledge that, even the Scrooges, young and old. Where did it all start, though? This jolly little fat man who rides an airborne sleigh and slips down a sometimes nonexistent chimney started out to be a serious young man born in Turkey.

Either his parents died of the plague when he was young and he went to live in a monastery… or his parents sent him to a monastery because they knew he was “special.”

Or not.

It’s possible that he became a priest at 17 years old, and that he was imprisoned by the anti – Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian. He could have been released by Emperor Constantine later. He no doubt attended the first council in Nicaea in 325 when the Nicene Creed was established.

He might have given money anonymously by throwing it down the chimney of a suddenly poor family so that the daughters could be married instead of going into prostitution, at a time when no man would marry a woman without a dowry.

A sea may have been miraculously calmed by his prayers.

Is it legend or history that has this Saint throwing gold down chimneys (or through windows)? No one knows for certain. That is to say that there is no written “proof” of any of it and since our modern minds require the written word as proof, Saint Nicolas’ life seems to be mysterious.

Having survived the lack of specifics in ancient writings, the over dramatization in the Age of Romanticism, the Puritan fear of pleasure and the unimaginative treatment by our present jaded spirits, it’s small wonder that the story of the life and faith of Saint Nicholas is relegated to the realm of mythology.

It is no myth. Saint Nicholas was a real person. He was the Bishop of Myra, now Demre, Turkey. He died in 343 AD and was buried there.

Over the years and through the cultures and story telling, this generous and faithful Saint Nicholas become Father Christmas and Papa Noel and Kris Kringle and Santa Claus and more.

Since so many of these (Think: North Pole and flying reindeer!) are obviously made up stories to entertain, titillate and encourage children to be good, the original story of Saint Nicholas is, of course, clouded with the same overtones.

How To Make The Most Of Your Vacation

If there is one thing most of us never seem to get enough of, it is vacation time. It’s like it ends before our bags are fully unpacked. However, these strategies can help you make the most of your time.

  1. Keep The Anticipation At Bay
    The thought of taking your vacation gets your adrenaline rushing. The numerous trips to choose from gets us all excited. Surprisingly, for some people, this excitement wears off soon after reaching the destination. To counter these drops in energy, it is advisable to plan the trip in advance so as to have ample time for anticipation.
  2.  
  3. Make A Plan To Suit Your Budget
    Once you know exactly how much you are willing to spend, you should come up with a plan on how to properly spend that money to make it worth your while. Of course we all go overboard sometimes and spend more than we had actually planned for. Still, if you can, stick to your budget to avoid unnecessary financial problems when you get back home.
  4. Prepare Well In Advance
    It is advisable to prepare yourself for the trip in advance. Do not let things like packing, plane tickets, visas or even vaccinations if required, wait until the last minute. Have a list of everything you should do before your trip and make the time to do it.
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  6. Keep A Sensible Schedule
    With a new environment and all, it is tempting to want to stretch ourselves to do as much as we can. This can actually be very stressing. Choose ample time to enjoy each activity as much as you can and leave the remainder for the next vacation.
  7. Relax.
    However tempting the idea of carrying your work with you may be, remember this is a vacation. This is your time to rest. It is good to inform your work associates of your trip in advance to avoid unnecessary communication during the trip.
    With the above pointers, we hope that in your next vacation and all thereafter, you will be able to make the most of it.

Holiday Hot Tips Every Parent Needs!

Here comes the long much-awaited December holidays! Every parent looks forward towards having a happy time while to others, it is the opposite! The long December holidays comes with great demand and attention needed especially when young and growing children are involved. However, the only key to succeeding towards achieving that requires lots of getting to know each other well and bonding for both the parents and the children. Children prefer spending the long December holidays with either parents, schoolmates, friends or guardians. Here are a few hot tips to grab along during the long December holidays as a parent or as a guardian to the children!

 
  • Provide a Friendly Environment

Find and create some time to get to know and learn the children well. Not all children have similar traits and personalities thus each need handling differently. For example, give the necessary care and support to that particular child, if need be a friendly environment also comes in handy. Provide and allow that same school type environment for the ones that need to catch up with their homework carried from school during the long December holidays.

  • Feeding and Eating Healthy

Feeding and Eating healthy comes handy too during the long December holidays for the children. Keep off both purchase and cooking of unhealthy junk-like foodstuff in the house. For example, children need to grow up eating healthy food, be aware of the benefits of healthy eating to prevent related illnesses and disorders such as obesity and malnutrition. Drinking a few glasses of clean treated water comes in handy too as this very vital body ingredient helps the blood to circulate in the body well, water also cools the body organs, refreshes the body and mind too. Not forgetting the essential daily exercises and healthy eating are a plus for a healthy growing mind and body!

 
  • Engaging in Parental Networking

Share and exchange notes by networking with other parents, attend and participate in various community and online parenting groups, online social media parental groups or pages and forums around that your home area or society at large. For example, engaging in outdoor games and activities help refresh minds. Allow the children to discover other outdoor talents during the long December holidays.

  • Follow Strict Planned Budgets

Stick to a daily routine program and strict planned budget to skip the common mistake of impulse buying, a habit most parents find hard to explain later when finances start drying up yet the holiday is still not over. For example, when going for shopping, avoid purchasing and stocking unwanted, unnecessary and uncalled of household supplies and food as this digs into the holiday’s budget thus cutting most expected expenses short.

Most families come together to spend that precious time and period during the long December holidays. A family that keeps themselves busy together and eats and drinks healthy will not realize that the holidays are over since the clock ticks faster! Each bright day brings along a different activity for each family member, sharing the love that comes with a sunny day is the key to a healthy happy family. Healthy eating and drinking clean treated water is one critical essential not to miss during these long December holidays. Happy Holidays To You All!

How to Financially Survive the Holiday Season and Keep Saving

Holidays are fun, and to celebrate the rare moments of entertainment, traveling and fun moments, we need to spend our hard earned money. The holiday spending will affect your savings if you do not plan ahead. This guide gives you several tips for planning your budget and spending wisely during the holidays so that it does not affect your savings.

 

Set a limit. Before you head to the malls, it is important to take some time and plan a holiday budget. Unplanned spending can hurt your pocket and leave you with heavy debts. You can use free online planning calculators to estimate your spending and keep track on your spending.

Plan ahead. Budgeting is not the end of the road while trying to spend wisely during the holidays. You have to plan ahead so that you can maximize on savings when shopping online or in physical stores. Here are some tips you can use to plan ahead:

 

Use online, in-store or newspaper coupons.

Never miss out on the free shipping advantage while shopping online.

Minimize costs by buying gifts throughout the year instead of just shopping during the holidays.

Manage your list. You can choose to trim your list so that it can fit in with your budget. You do not have to buy a gift for every member of the family; you can purchase a group gift for everyone. Remember, you don’t have to buy all gifts; you can make a nice family dessert or even offer service to a needy family member.

Shop wisely. Ideally, shopping wisely means shopping in inexpensive stores. Spare some time to research the cheap stores that offer gifts. You can go for consignment stores when purchasing kid’s gifts. You might be amazed by the great deals your local store can provide you.

In conclusion, the holiday seasons are special times to enjoy the company of friends and family. Financial strain can be stressful, and it can keep you away from enjoying this precious time. If you take the time to plan ahead, then you have no reason to be stressed. To keep saving, start planning now.

Fun activities to do during Christmas holiday

Season’s Greetings, Christmas is here with us! Christmas gives us time to slow down the hassles and bustles tempo and get down to a serious celebration. Apart from writing cards and wrapping presents, one has to think of fun ideas to do, and make the season memorable. Unfortunately, many people are either spoilt for choice in determining the ultimate fun ideas or are utmost clueless on the best fun activities. Here are just a few to consider this Christmas season.


Stage a Talent Show
A talent show knows no age; both kids and grownups can participate. Your family can show off its talents to your visitors, or better still dancing to their favorite songs. If you want the show to be elaborate, you can settle on sets, originals scripts, costumes and even a live band. It can as well be as casual, and as simple as possible. Only find out what works best for you and get the non-performers enjoy doing what fascinates them the most.


Christmas Scavenger Hunt outing
A successful Christmas scavenger hunt starts with first having a list of the things you intend to go in search of. You should consider finding a polar bear, three wise men, penguins, Santa on the sleigh, a native scene, a reindeer, etc. Scavenger hunting is a perfect activity especially if there is a prize for the winner.

 


Christmas camping
How about camping in front of your Christmas tree while reading holiday stories to your family? Christmas treats such as Christmas caramel popcorn, chocolate Christmas treats and more should be a must-have.


Winter Sports Check!
If you live near a winter recreation area, participating in some winter sports such as skiing, ice skating, snow tubing and sledding would probably be both easy and affordable. If you stay miles away, it would be exciting to take a drive to such areas to try out this Christmas fun activity.

3 Practical Steps to Planning a Thanksgiving Party for Kids

Are you planning to organize a Thanksgiving party for kids? Whether you are a parent, a schoolteacher, or a volunteer worker for children, you may want to consider throwing a simple Thanksgiving celebration that your kids will enjoy. It will not only enhance everyone’s social skills; it can also help little ones develop a deep sense of gratitude.

Planning a Thanksgiving party for kids may not be as easy as organizing a party for adults. Kids tend to be picky eaters and may easily get bored when there’s nothing in the party that makes them get excited. Thankfully there are four practical ways to organize a kids-only Thanksgiving party. Here’s what you can do:

  • Make a Guest List

As with organizing any other kind of party, making that guest list is always the first concrete step. Who do you plan to invite and how many? What would be their age range? Do most of the attendees know each other? Do they need to be accompanied by parents or guardians, or would you prefer that they be dropped off at the party venue? If you are organizing a Thanksgiving party for young children and teenagers, you may want to ask them to list down friends they’d want to bring along to the party. This way you can easily assess the type of games and food they might like. On the other hand, if you are organizing for toddlers and preschoolers, it may be wise to invite other children from the same school, neighborhood or day care. It is important to note that kids will enjoy going to a party where they can be with other kids who are related to them or of the same age or group.

 
  • Plan a Kid-Friendly Menu

Once you have finalized the guest list, you may want to start planning the Thanksgiving party menu. Now, it is easy to assume that the usual Thanksgiving menu would work out just fine. However, it may be wise to remember that many children tend to be picky eaters and may not appreciate traditional dishes served during this occasion. In most cases, kids tend to get too excited over play and party games that they hardly finish their meals. Consider serving a wide array of light and heavy snacks. This is to ensure that every kid can have food that he or she can actually consume. You may want to combine healthy snacks like salads and kid-friendly snacks like pizza.

  • Create Quick and Easy Party Games

What is a kiddie party without games? You may want to start off the party with a few games that younger children can easily enjoy. And before closing off, another round of fun games might be a good idea. There are so many ideas for party games on the Internet. Choose the ones that are easy to follow and may be related to Thanksgiving. You may also consider organizing a small crafts activity project for toddlers who like to keep their hands busy. Building kits are widely available at local department stores. Get the ones that both boys and girls can enjoy together.

When planning a Thanksgiving party for kids, keep in mind these three practical steps. Once you have fairly accomplished all, you will find that organizing a party for children may not be too complicated at all. Many options and ideas are available. The key is to plan ahead and to plan well to ensure that everyone will have a good time at Thanksgiving.

How to Organize a Halloween Costume Swap

How to Organize a Halloween Costume Swap

Does Halloween cost too much, and leave behind a mountain of garbage? Organizing a costume swap is a fun way to encourage a cheaper and cleaner holiday. You may wind up with a fabulous costume for free, and some new friends to eat your candy with.

Check your local library. Depending on where you live, your library may already be doing all the work for you. Many libraries across the country sponsor events in the fall where all you have to do is drop off the costumes you and your children wore last year, and show up for the swap event if you want to shop for replacements. Check the website, and ask your librarian if your community would be interested in joining the trend. Of course, it helps if you’re willing to volunteer.

Put on your own event. Organizing your own costume swap may be easier than you think. Decide if you can afford a paid venue or if you need free space. Good options may include local schools, churches, shopping malls, and community centers. On a smaller scale, you could even use your own garage or backyard. Gather the essential resources you’ll need including volunteers, clothing racks, tables, and chairs.

Cover the details. To encourage traffic, you’ll need some publicity and signage. Put up flyers and post notices on social media and community bulletin boards. Consider having additional activities to keep children amused like bobbing for apples or face painting booths. Announce any rules like requiring costumes to be in new or excellent used condition, and setting limits on how much each individual can take. You may also want to collect donations for a worthy charity, and donate any leftover costumes to local schools or amateur theaters.

Celebrate this Halloween with an economical and eco-friendly costume swap. A local Game of Thrones fan may love the homage to Hodor that you wore last year, and you’ll both feel good about creating less post-holiday waste.