4 Tips – Christmas Decorations on a Budget

XDWCWMThe Christmas tree is perhaps the most iconic image of Christmas. A decorated Christmas tree, lit up by Christmas lights and glittering with tinsels and beautiful Christmas ornament, is the go-to decoration in homes that celebrate Christmas around the world. But decorating a Christmas tree is not always a budget-friendly experience. Christmas ornaments can be expensive—and fragile!—while the electric bill from keeping Christmas lights on the tree can make some families dread the post-Christmas season.

However, decorating a Christmas tree does not have to be an expensive affair. There are many options for families on a budget that want to still have a beautiful Christmas tree taking centre stage in their home during the Christmas season. The following are some easy and budget-friendly tips for decorating a wonderful Christmas tree without breaking the piggy bank.

Tip #1: Buy your decorations early… very early!

If you know that you are likely going to be on a budget for non-essentials like holiday decorations, then plan ahead and buy your decorations early—very early! Shopping the post Christmas decoration sales for Christmas tree decorations will guarantee you the best and cheapest prices on many Christmas tree items. It is common to find pieces that are 50%-75% off! Stock up early and you will get great savings.

Tip #2: Think outside the Christmas box

If you aren’t able to plan ahead, don’t worry. There are still options for you! Naturally, Christmas decorations are going to be more expensive during the Christmas season. But who says you can only decorate your tree with holiday tinsel? Think outside the box and look for other items, like flower garlands, fake fruit wreaths, and other general decorative items, which are likely to be cheaper than expensive Christmas decorations.

Tip #3: Go for natural!

Natural decorations are budget-friendly—and often free, if you know where to look. Natural decorations like pine cones can make beautiful Christmas tree accessories if you jazz them up a bit. For example, you can take large pine cones and dip them in gold or silver paint; or a mixture of paint and glitter, to give them a beautiful, hand-crafted and expensive look all for the price of the paint and glitter! Other natural decorations like real flowers can be dried out during the Christmas season and added to your tree to give it a natural and unique look.

Tip #4: Use what you have!

Our final tip is this: use what you already have! If you just can’t afford to buy decorations, even off-season or general ones, then don’t worry. You can actually use items already in your home for Christmas decorations. For example, you can use Christmas cards that you receive in the mail. Just punch a hole in the top, secure them with some gold or silver wire, and place them on your tree.

Current Jewellery Trends – 2013

jg_eng_047Like fashion in general, trends in jewellery change with the season. Knowing the colours, designs, and materials that are getting the most applause can help you choose jewellery that garners attention and brings a lifetime of satisfaction. Whether you’re shopping for custom made engagement rings or cutting-edge cocktail pieces, something on this list is certain to catch your eye.

Jewellery Colours

-The colour of the year is emerald, and the ever-popular gemstone has been gaining in popularity over several fashion cycles. The breath-taking emerald looks fabulous alone, set in rings or graceful drop earrings, or in combination with diamonds and pearls for a truly lavish necklace.

-Always in season, the perennial popularity of black and white shows up in clothing and in this season’s trendiest jewellery. For black, choose onyx and black spinel. The most brilliant white, of course, is the radiant white diamond. Semi-precious options include quartz crystal and white topaz.

-Amber, the tawny, versatile Baltic newcomer, is becoming an addition to the jewellery palettes of a few high-end designers in Italy and Australia. Stand out from the crowd wearing an amber arm wrap, or dramatic cocktail ring. Speaking of semi-precious stones, Drusy turned up as a popular cast member in quite a few well-known collections. This stone has a natural, organic look and a wide colour range that could make it an accessory to watch for.

-With this year’s emphasis on casual chic, brass and bronze are important components of well-made costume jewellery. Popular designers of casual couture jewellery include Anndra Neen and Miriam Salat.

Jewellery Styles

-Petite drop earrings caused a stir at the 2012 Golden Globes, and will coordinate well with soft, romantic spring styles. The versatile, subtle cut of drop earrings make them a nice complement to a variety of silhouettes. Up the romantic quotient with a dainty pendant to coordinate with those drop earrings. A petite gold pendant with matte-finished gems will accent sweet spring necklines and broadcast this spring’s gentle aesthetic.

-Less costly and perfect for bold gemstones unsuitable for faceting, the cabochon cut is making a JG_EAR_001-150x150big comeback this year. As an accessory for denim, slouchy pants, and loose-fitting suits, the cabochon is a real winner.

If you pay attention to the Chinese calendar, you already know that 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In addition to the Serpenti collection by Bulgari, a number of independent designers are creating chic serpent and rattlesnake jewels.

-For youthful fun, this year’s fashion statement is hair adornment. Yes, this includes decorated headbands and barrettes. But for a truly daring and trendy accessory, try a tiara or even a crown. They’re fun and whimsical, and just the way to add a touch of fancy to your spring wardrobe.

-This spring’s jewellery trends feature a few old favourites and some exciting newcomers. From elegant to casual, bold to romantic, there’s something for every sensibility. Only Joseph George offers you the design expertise to realize your perfect spring pieces, whether they’re diamond wedding rings, cutting edge casual chic or even custom made eternity rings. Visit us to indulge your most extravagant spring fashion fantasy!


Great Wedding Locations in Melbourne

The modern wedding ceremony is a sacred occasion. Many couples work to create a memorable wedding day and look for the correct location to set the stage for the ceremony and the reception. Melbourne has quite a variety of unique locations for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Here are a few locations to consider.

Grand Caribbean Ballroom

If the classic ocean view wedding suits the style of the adoring couple, The Grand Caribbean Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront is available for gala receptions in Melbourne. The facility has room for 350 friends and family members with 10,000 square feet of space inside the ballroom 1along with another 6,000 square feet of gazebo and pool deck outside. Check with the office for more details.

Rivers Edge Events


Try Melbourne’s new waterfront development, WTC Wharf and take a tour of the new Rivers Edge Events in Melbourne’s CBD when planning the wedding reception. The river view complements the openness of the decor allowing the bride and grooms quite a lot of options for decorating the venue. The Yarra River and the surrounding cityscape offer a natural backdrop for the experience.

Melbourne Aquarium


Imagine saying “I do” while whales and dolphins look on in encouragement. The romance of the sea can be the theme as beautiful marine life dart around in the deep blue glow of the aquarium. The Melbourne Aquarium is available for weddings and receptions for those who love the sea and marine life. Think of the amazing possibilities for designing the reception decor.

The Centre Ivanhoe


The refined atmosphere and bold elegance of the 1920s and 1930s are fully reexamined in the Art Deco inspired rooms of this venue. The majestic ceilings and beautiful woodwork of the dance floors are just a few of the finishing touches applied to the upscale ambience. Choose from a variety of wedding menus for up to 500 guests in the fully catered event.

The Conservatory at the Pumphouse Hotel

This establishment is adorned with Victorian prints on the walls and a unique blend of old world elegance and contemporary styling. The facility handles catering for large and small events with ease; their experienced staff can provide everything needed for the reception. It is not unusual to see pictures of previous weddings on the walls.

Butleigh Wootton Receptions

An incredible Victorian estate showcasing unparalleled architectural mastery, including an impressive stairway to the grand ballroom. This is the kind of elegance that makes for a memorable wedding. The tranquil surroundings and stylish decor provide unparalleled sophistication; from the eye-catching flower arrangements to the exquisite fountains. The site offers full catering for groups of up to 120 guests.

Occasions at Williamstown

Gorgeous high ceilings, lavish chandeliers, brilliantly finished wood floors, amenable fire places produce the most magnificent wedding atmosphere. This unique 1853 property combines the splendor and beauty of earlier times with the elegant style of excellent Melbourne cuisine.
These are just a few of the many great locations around Melbourne that offer a unique, elegant and extraordinary occasion for couples to dedicate their lives to each other before their friends and family.


Party Ideas on the Move….

Tired of going to the local bar for a Saturday night drink-a-thon? There are quite a few exciting new party events on the scene these days and some are not so new but should be experienced more than once to get the most of the experience. Here are a few mobile party ideas to kick the fun up a few notches this weekend. Grab some friends, a camera and make a few new memories.

Booze cruise

The international meaning refers to the carefree time to be had on a sea-faring passenger vessel where you and your friends can party hearty in a safe setting. There is a famous trip down in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico that caters to nubile young women and willing young men on a non-stop party cruise. They get all the music, dancing and drinking they can handle in a sun and fun vacation setting. There are quite a few booze cruise packages to explore; if you love to party.

Mobile Bars

Another innovative idea that has caught on is the mobile bar; a bus that is fully decked out with a bartender, cocktail bar and hospitality staff ensure that the fun comes to you! The team sets up in various locations for outdoor events and often includes DJ music.
The mobile service offers full service refreshments and a professional bartender for the event. No need to try to calculate the quantity of liquor to serve the 100 + birthday guests, the mobile bar service will help to organize and budget for the event. Everything is professionally run, and the friendly staff of bartenders and wait staff are happy to serve.

Mobile game truck

Imagine that a 50 foot trailer pulls up to your door and you and 20 of your favorite friends are now seated in a swank mobile gaming theater complete with the latest games and consoles. The mobile game truck offers climate controlled gaming heaven for ages 6 and up who are into playing the Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft console games. The set-up is managed by an on-site game coach who can work with newbies to get them up to speed on any game or console operation. When the gaming is done, it’s time for ice cream and cake!

The Extreme Party Truck

Business performance has been a bit limp lately so you and your colleagues may need a bit of corporate motivation and this tricked out emergency response vehicle is just the thing to put the lead back in your pencil! The Extreme Party Truck is a fun filled wake up call to get the staff motivated with gags, gifts and music for up to a thousand people. The XPT mobile entertainment system is a completely tricked-out heavy rescue vehicle.
The friendly MC keeps the party going with music and merriment while the mobile bartender serves drinks. This fun machine has full size flat screen TVs, game consoles, karaoke machine and more. The re-enforced roof doubles as a stage and sky deck for live performers. The mobile party truck is a rolling fun machine waiting to serve your next function.

Yarra River Cruises

Travel along the Yarra River in style with a drink and a smile. Bring up to 120 of you closest friends and host a private party. Take the time to enjoy the company as you and your friends choose from a variety of menu items. There are several vessels that offer tours along the Yarra River such as Melbourne River Cruises and City River Cruises; each service offers its own amenities and operates on its own schedule. Check the websites for times and dates of operation. An excellent example of a Yarra River cruise tour is the dinner cruise of the Spirit of Melbourne Cruising Restaurant.

The Spirit of Melbourne Cruising Restaurant is a terrific way to impress a date, throw a party for your friends or celebrate an anniversary. The cityscape reflecting on the water makes the evening memorable, but the food, drinks and fun certainly make this boat trip worthwhile. The Spirit of Melbourne Cruising Restaurant leaves the dock promptly at 7:30 PM and gets back at 10:30 PM Thursday through Saturday. Cruises are available for birthday parties, office functions, Christmas parties, fundraisers and weddings.

Restaurant Trams

Melbourne is renowned for its Restaurant Trams. Since The Early 1980s, the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Company has operated the mobile eatery quite successfully. The site of the tramcar is still a delight especially for tourists or locals that have not yet experienced the food and drinks. The food comes complete with a tour; which makes it fun for the whole family or an enjoyable dinner for two. There is a definite route for the tram to follow and it operates on a regular schedule. This is a very popular tour for locals and visitors; therefore it is necessary to make reservations in advance to secure a date for this mobile fine dining experience.

Limo Party Bus

It may not be prudent or safe to drink and drive but with a party bus you can certainly drink and ride. This service is made up of stretched limo hire , modified buses and vans that are outfitted for grown up fun. These vehicles usually carry 10 or more revealers on a planned route or to and from an event. Some services offer built in bar, flat screen TV, 5.1 stereo sound system and even mood lighting. Limo party bus rides are a fantastic way to set up an event or get to one. Chauffeurs handle the driving chores for these commercial class vehicles and passengers handle the cocktails; there’s no better way to travel.

Adults need to take time to enjoy themselves especially when the normal routine calls for working long hours and putting a lot of stress on the body. These mobile party ideas are a perfect way to decompress and socialize in a safe way with friends and like-minded strangers. Get out and get going on a fun filled adventure.

Interesting And Fun Birthday Party Games For Kids

Lots of kids come away from their friend’s birthday party bored to tears. They sit around and while a party-clown makes balloon animals. They impatiently play on their hand-held game systems in hopes that the cake will soon be served. That should not be the way a kid’s birthday party should go!

Kids love action; they want to do things. Here are a few quick ideas for making the time go a lot faster and make the kids get some active play time. These ideas are fun and inexpensive ways to make a birthday party memorable. Give some of them a try.

Crazy-Sac Foot Race

To get the kids moving around and laugh like crazy, try this one. Get a few flour bags or potato sacks from a supply store or party store. Go ahead and decorate them ahead of time to suit the party theme. Each child can get a sack for the race. Line the birthday party guests on an open lawn ensuring that there are no hazardous obstacles in the way. Make a border on each side to make the race track.

Jungle Scavenger Hunt

If the birthday party is held in a field or park, a scavenger hunt can be a terrific event for the kids. Bring some costume jewelry and some small stuffed zoo animals. Make a set of lists that include the items that were purchased along with items that can be found naturally in the play area. Have the particular items hidden before the party starts. Set a time limit for the hunt. Offer props to the kids such as binoculars and butterfly nets to give the hunt a safari feels.

Kid’s Air Show

The kids will learn how to make paper airplanes that fly. They can color them with their personal designs. Once they are all done, line the kids up with a starting line and another line further up ahead where the planes will land. Once the flying planes land, the winning plane’s owner gets a prize.

Pool Hunt

A plastic wading pool filled with small beach balls, beach toys and a hidden treasure that does not float. Fill the inflatable pool with water and let a few children try to find the treasure among the inflatables. They can try the hunt with blind folds or swim goggles.

Angry Birds Launch

Recreate the fun of the popular video game with kids, cardboard blocks and a stuffed toy bird. Create the cardboard structures that can be stacked on one side of the lawn. On the other end, have the kids line up to toss the stuffed bird from a marked distance at the stacked pieces. Try this game blindfolded.

These games are easy to organize and fun for boys and girls alike. Go over each idea with the birthday child to ensure that they are interested in playing them. Have a plan to offer refreshments during downtime, between each game. Be creative and add personal touches to the games to make them even more fun.