Tips for Kids Parties

Parties for children have come a long way in the last decade due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an annual event that runs approximately 2-3 hours. Working in the kids party industry for over fifteen years, I have seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.

However, a child’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be wonderful. I have some sure-fire pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.

1. Stick with the familiar. Kids love it when predictable elements appear, and if they’re overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got at least these three things, you have a party.

2. Things for the kids to do. There are so many options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!

One or two entertainment events are more than enough. Remember, the kids will be expected to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you add entertainers, activities and games, the kids may easily be overwhelmed, and the party whizzes by without the children having the chance to actually play with abandonment.

3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Time for children to run about, play, talk and laugh with one another is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!

4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This tip may seem like a no-brainer, however many parties can have children feeling bored or bewildered. For example, hiring a magician-clown for two-year olds left most of the children terrified. Another example is a bowling party for four-year olds. The children had no interest in being competitive and after just a few bowls, the excitement had absolutely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are holding a party with mixed ages and genders, there is a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.

5. Relax! When planning a party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy the most. On the day have a mini run-sheet so you don’t forget anything, like when to put the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.

And most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!

All the best!

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WEB DESIGN USING GRID-BASED LAYOUT METHOD

With any beautiful design or structure, from architecture to painting, there lies beneath it a grid-based layout from which these creations were originally derived. It is, in essence, the unseen mathematical component of all design that, for many web designers, has become standard in the pursuit for the perfect web design.

To understand what a grid-based layout for web design is, we first need to understand why it is referred to as “grid-based.” A grid is a structure consisting of intersecting straight vertical and horizontal guidelines that are made up of margins, flow-lines, columns, rows, gutters, modules, and spatial zones. This potentially complex composition provides the perfect structural base that allows a web designer to create graphic elements from, or to organise content within. It is this reason that grid-based layout is used in web design.

By using grids in the website design a sense of uniformed structure is achieved for the overall website, this helps achieve better usability for website visitors as they are able to navigate and engage with the website much easily than if the content was simply thrown together without structure. Another reason grid-based layouts are used is efficiency. By designing to a grid, the actual design process is simplified because design guidelines are already in place, therefore making it easier to decide on design elements, such as width and height.

When using grid-based layouts in our web design, we can either create our own grid, or download a ready-made grid template. If we create our own grid, we will need to rely on what option works best for us and the web design project we are working on. It is therefore valuable to follow some simple guidelines when creating our own grids. These are:

• Use only enough columns as needed for the web design. In other words, if you are only going to use ten columns, then only create ten columns – and not twenty.
• Watch the spacing. As a general rule, columns should have the same number of pixels across as rows are high.
• Don’t box yourself in. If you need to move outside of the grid for specific graphic elements, then do so. A grid is only there for structural support, and is not the end product.

If creating your own grid-based layout isn’t appealing, or you simple do not have the time to invest in it, then downloading a pre-designed grid template is available. There are many online sources that provide such templates, and by downloading a grid template you can save on time and have, at your disposal, an effective grid template ready to use.

It is important to re-emphasise that grid-based layouts for web design should not be mistaken for a strict rule by which all graphic elements or content must adhere to. Naturally, when creating anything we can move beyond specific rules in order to achieve our creative goal, and grid-based layouts are no different. If we use grids as a structural guide in our web design, then we are better able to create amazing web designs that will not only appear organised on our web page, but will hopefully inspire and engage every website visitor. Article from, web developer brisbane Nets and Webs

Core Drilling Brisbane

DIY vs Hiring a Concrete Cutting Service – including a Step by Step Guide

There is a vast variety of concrete saws and equipment that can be hired to do that pesky DIY project that you have always wanted to get done. But when should you hire a professional and when should you just give it a crack? To do your concrete cutting or core drilling job properly and on budget you will need: the right equipment, the right type – wet or dry, the right protection for yourself and the environment, the right skills and the right value for money. There is lots to consider, but if you read on and follow this step by step guide we can explore this in a little more detail.

Step 1.Choose the right equipment: For gener slab cutting Brisbane you will need a Floor Saw or Kwik Cut Saw (Hand Saw). This process is used when reasonably level and flat surfaces have to be cut and includes cutting through reinforced concrete, precast concrete, and other structural materials.

These surfaces include floors, roofs, bridge decks and suspended slabs. The surfaces are usually cut to provide expansion joints, to make openings for ducts, elevators, stairwells, machine pads, trenching and for demolition purposes.

For wall sawing Brisbane you will need a Kwik Cut Saw (Hand Saw) or Ring Saw. This process is used for the cutting of openings in vertical surfaces and surfaces with slopes so great that floor saws cannot be used.

These surfaces are usually cut to provide for doors, windows, vaults, silos, chests, foundations, ducts or large diameter pipes, or to remove part or all of existing walls. For core drilling Brisbane through a floor or wall you will need a core drill. Core drills can usually drill holes from 25mm dia – 660mm dia. This process is used for the drilling of circular holes in reinforced concrete, precast concrete, asphalt, brick, cinderblock and other structural materials. Usually the holes are made for electrical, plumbing, heating, sewer and sprinkler installations. Other applications include holes to anchor bolts or lifting rods, to place explosive charges, to install load carrying devices, or for analysis of the structure of the rock.

Step 2. Wet or Dry cutting? I don’t mean to scare you here, but cutting concrete can be very messy. You can probably figure out that the dry cutting means cutting without water and should be less messy… hmm not so sure. Cutting without water means dust and lots of it. Very messy, minute particles of concrete will billow into a thick cloud of grey concrete dust or red brick dust and coat everything nearby you own. Personally I prefer the wet cutting machines. Even though the mess is wet grey or red slurry, it is much easier to clean up all the mess with a wetvac (wet and dry vacuum cleaner) and a wipe over with a damp cloth. Dust on the other hand can get absolutely everywhere.

Step 3. Protect yourself and the environment. Basic safety equipment you will need include goggles, ear plugs, safety boots/steel capped gumboots and gloves. If you have chosen a dry cutting machine you will also need to work with a dust mask on to protect your lungs, and sun protection and long sleeves if you are working outside.

Cutting concrete can be very noisy so be mindful of neighbors and nearby businesses in case of noise pollution and air pollution. Think about what is below you if you are cutting on a floor higher than ground floor. Sadly I have heard of some terrible injuries because of falling cores and no safety barriers. Protect the environment with plastic sheeting, extraction fans and a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. In many countries, letting waste such as concrete slurry go down the drain is against the law and you will be fined.

Step 4. Check if you have the right skills. There are many dangers associated with concrete cutting equipment. Even though this equipment can be readily hired, this equipment should only be operated by experienced personnel. You won’t need to google ‘saw injuries’ to imagine the dangers of operating such powerful equipment without the right know how and strength.

Step 5. Check out the cost. Believe it or not the cost to hire a skilled professional who has all the equipment needed and can get the job done with minimal fuss, is often not much more than hiring the equipment yourself. Aside from the safety risk, mistakes in concrete are expensive if you get it wrong. Before you go ahead with the hire, at least get an idea of price from a professional by obtaining a quote.

For example you may be surprised to know that at elliottandfyfe.com.au you can hire a Brisbane concrete cutting operator to do a basic job for about $150.00. That’s hardly more than the cost of hiring the concrete cutting equipment, and comes with a skilled operator to do the hard work. Might just be worth the call?

Shaun McCabe Elliott and Fyfe Concrete Cutting Service – Brisbane. For an obligation free quote on any job call 07 3806 9100 or 0411 554 737.

Spider Veins – Cause and Treatments

Sometimes, you may have noticed red and blue blood vessels visible through your skin. Have you been a little embarrassed or worried about them? Do you wonder what they are? They are called spider veins. Let’s discuss the causes and treatments of spider vein.

The causes of spider veins
Spider veins are a mild manifestation of venous reflux disease. They are small, tangled groups of blood vessels found just beneath the skin surface. The veins are slightly dilated, and resemble tree branches or spider webs, and generally spread out around the legs and feet.

What are the risk factors?
Spider vein risk factors are similar to those associated with varicose veins, including older age, obesity, occupations requiring extended periods of standing, hormonal changes and heredity factors (weak vessel walls). One can also experience this condition due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays or as a result of weak vessel walls.

From the risk factors, it is clear that some people are prone to this problem than others. For example, if you work as a surgeon, a teacher or a nurse, the chances are high that you may suffer from this condition. Similarly, for people with a family history of weak vein valves, the probability of developing spider veins is also high. The same applies to hormonal changes, which mainly occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

The exact cause of spider veins is yet to be established. The existing risk factors can be divided into two wide sub-divisions, i.e. congenital causes and acquired causes. In congenital causes, is port-wine stain, Maffucci’s syndrome and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (also known as osler-weber-rendu syndrome), among others. The acquired causes include acne rosacea, chemotherapy and lifestyle/occupation risk factors (as discussed above).

Spider vein symptoms
Spider veins are painful in some cases, with cramping and aching. They are also closely linked to heaviness in the legs, and burning, tingling or throbbing feelings. Also, other symptoms such as itching, swelling and fatigue can also be experienced. In advanced cases, this condition can establish large sores, phlebitis and ulcers. However, spider veins are noticed by their appearance in the majority of incidences.

Tests and Diagnosis
Doctors normally employ non-invasive diagnostic tests to diagnose this condition. These tests are perfectly safe and painless, with no needles, scalpels or medication needing to be involved. The entire procedure is normally very brief, and probably won’t take more than one hour.

There are three main questions that doctors seek to answer through these diagnostic tests. First, they wish to establish any evidence of deep vein blood clots. Secondly, they discover whether the veins are functioning properly. And lastly, they test the Greater Saphenous Vein (GSV) to determine if it is working well.

A competent vein specialist will always undertake this exercise before treating your condition. Some of the procedures that you can expect include:

*Color-flow Duplex Exam – This is used to evaluate the anatomy of the affected veins. It determines the direction of blood flow, openings and blockages. This procedure is also important in the process of vein mapping (done for skin deep problems).

*Bi-directional Doppler Exam – This is an ultrasound exam used to determine the speed of blood flow and whether it pauses during normal breathing. It also identifies whether your veins are working properly.

*Photoplethysmography – Phew! Don’t let this complicated medical term intimidate you. Photoplethysmography is basically a diagnostic procedure that is used to determine the efficiency of your calf muscle pump.

*Pressure Calf Exam – In performing this exam, you’ll lie facing upwards with legs lifted higher than your chest. This diagnostic procedure identifies vessel blockages.

Treatment
After establishing the specific nature of your problem, the doctor will then recommend the best treatment for you. There are several available options:

Sclerotherapy
This procedure involves the doctor injecting a saline solution into the affected veins. This solution then damages the affected vessel walls, causing them to swell and seal shut. Within several weeks the scar tissue will fade. The procedure takes about thirty minutes, and has only mild side-effects. Although the injection may be a bit painful, the stinging sensation is usually gone within a few minutes.

Laser & Intense Pulsed Light
This treatment option employs the use of a specialised device that focuses laser energy to the affected tissue. The whole procedure only takes 20 minutes, and has minimal side-effects.

Natural Remedies
Using natural remedies can mean the difference between undergoing medical procedures or not, and are valuable alongside medical treatment. Some of the recommended herbal remedies include:

*Horse Chestnut Seed – Studies show that this seed improves blood circulation in the legs thus strengthening the veins and capillaries.

*Bilberry Extract – This herbal extract is known to stimulate new capillary formation thus strengthening the capillary walls.

*Butchers Broom – This herb strengthens veins.

*Gotu Kola – A very effective extract in addressing venous insufficiency, foot swelling and water retention. It therefore provides a good solution to spider veins found on the legs.

*Distilled Witch Hazel – This is directly applied on the affected areas using a cotton ball. Numerous clinical studies have shown that this extract can help strengthen blood vessels.

Caution: For health safety purposes, do not start using any herbal remedies without consulting a qualified doctor.

Spider veins prevention
Two of the most important things regarding the prevention of spider veins are eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Eating a diet higher in fresh, raw fruits and vegetables than meat and convenience food is very important, and if your job requires you to stand for a long time, you should regularly shift your body weight from one leg to another as well as standing evenly balanced.

To sum things up, the procedure of a spider vein removal is chosen by several key factors. Your doctor will determine the optimum treatment options based on the results obtained from the diagnostic tests. We hope that this article will provide all the necessary guidance you need in addressing this problem.

For more information about spider veins Brisbane, contact the leg vein doctor Brisbane today.

Styrofoam: History, Properties and Building Applications

Styrofoam is a brand name for Polystyrene Thermal Insulation material (sometimes referred to as “extruded polystyrene foam”). It is a trademark of Dow Chemical and among the most popular plastics in use today. Styrofoam is manufactured in blue sheet foam. It is mostly used in building materials and pipe insulation. It was invented in during World War II by Ray McIntire as he sought to create a flexible electrical insulator. It is usually supplied to manufacturers in form of small foam beads. It can be molded and processed to fit different purposes. The word Styrofoam is inappropriately used in Canada and the United States to refer to expanded polystyrene foam such as cushioning material in packaging, coolers, and disposable coffee cups. These are made of expanded polystyrene beads, and not from the extruded polystyrene normally used in Styrofoam insulation. There is also a different form of Styrofoam used in craft applications which is green and white in color.

The Properties of Styrofoam

Chemical Representation
Styrofoam’s chemical representation comprises of a hydrocarbon chain linked with a phenol group to every single carbon group. Styrofoam’s chemical equation has a (Ph) with a C6H5 ring.

Polystyrene
Polystyrene’s density is 1050kg/m3 as compared to water which has a density of 1000kg/m3. Although it is denser than water, polystyrene floats and doesn’t sink. It can break down when combined with a strong acid.

Polymer and Thermoplastic
A polymer is a Styrofoam molecule. It is an extensive chain of recurring atoms through the connection of many molecules (monomers) derived from petroleum. Styrofoam is also a thermoplastic as it hardens when cooled and softens when heated. As a liquid, it can be easily molded which makes it suitable for various applications in different industries.

Shock Absorber and Lightweight
Styrofoam is an excellent shock absorber and extremely lightweight. It is composed of approximately 90 percent air. This is why expanded polystyrene is very popular as a cushioning material. Styrofoam is easy to transport as its shock-absorbing features keep it well protected from harm.

Insulator
It is a superb insulator that limits thermal transfer. This major aspect makes it a top insulating material as it effectively maintains a comfortable temperature indoors, regardless of the weather conditions outdoors.

The Uses of Styrofoam in Buildings

Insulation
Styrofoam is used by many builders as an insulating material. It has a closed cell structure which ensures its insulation has a high R-value (a material’s ability to conduct heat). The more value a material has, the more resistance it has to conducting heat. When a building is properly insulated, heat is not transferred out of a building or into it which reduces drafts and decreases cooling and heating costs. Styrofoam is used to insulate basement walls, underground walls, and above ground walls as it significantly reduces energy loss. It is cut into sheets that are attached to a building’s frame or installed in its outer foundation walls. The foam is afterwards covered with certain material to create a specific look, such as marble, stone, or stucco. Styrofoam is also used in insulating floors and roofs. On roofs, it is cut and positioned to provide the proper drainage. Plywood or other materials are placed over Styrofoam after it has been laid on ceiling material. Afterwards, shingles can be installed on top. Styrofoam is used on floors as it is an excellent load-bearing material for different types of floors. Its closed cell structure makes it very rigid and highly resistant to compression in load-bearing applications. Styrofoam is also used in commercial and industrial piping applications. It is used in low-temperature systems to prevent surface condensation and to minimize heat gain. It retains its main insulating properties in environments with high-moisture conditions, high humidity and in low-temperature applications.

Waterproofing
Styrofoam’s insulation structure leaves virtually no vacant space between the cells which makes it waterproof and strong. It has a natural resistance to water vapor, snow, and rain and retains its primary physical integrity and insulation performance in exposed conditions for a long time. Since the material is resistant to water, mold and mildew cannot grow on its surface.

Hygiene
Styrofoam has a low susceptibility to rot hence fungal and mold growth and reduced. The boards are odorless, clean and unaffected by dust. This ensures that a structure’s integrity is maintained and the occupants stay in a hygienic environment.