by Debbie Alford
I really should have called this post “the art of the surprise weekend away” because that is what it is about.
I know how hard you both work and how difficult it is to spend time together, let alone have a holiday. Hard work and neglect of each other can really damage your relationship and it’s one of the causes of some professional couples breaking up.
Relationships can get lost in the demands of dual careers and that is sad.
The time when you both have the same weekend free is probably rare so why not schedule it ahead of time? Book it out in your diaries and commit that weekend to yourselves.
Now that you know your dates, surprise your love by taking them away for the weekend. Can you imagine their face when you pick them up but don’t head home? Gradually the smile will spread across their face as they realise what is happening.
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful gift to your partner and to yourself?
I know you are busy so I can do the organising for you. All I need to know is where you’d like to go and what kind of weekend you would love to have. Do you like to laze around or do you prefer action? Do you like the beach or the hills? Do you prefer city or rural places?
I will find the perfect place and book it for you. I can arrange for champagne and flowers on arrival, or perhaps you’d enjoy chocolates. I can research local restaurants and book you a place for dinner. I will book you a hire car or, if you don’t want to drive, arrange a driver for you.
All you have to do is pack your bag (and one for your partner) and run away from the world for a magic couple of days.
Refresh your bodies and minds and rejuvenate your relationship. Weekends together are rare so make them memorable.
by Debbie Alford
Is your career causing your property value to drop?
We’ve all heard of the term “curbside appeal” and we know that is what draws potential buyers in to look through a house which is for sale. Did you know that a home with no curbside appeal is actually valued at a lower price?
One of the biggest turnoff’s for potential buyers is an overgrown garden.
An article called “7 Ways to Devalue Your Property” says “Letting your property fall into disrepair, such as having guttering falling off, unmowed grass, overgrown gardens, peeling paint and cupboard doors hanging off in kitchen will all detract from your home’s overall value.”
Now I know that you might not be planning to sell your home at the moment, but it is important that it is maintained regularly. Small jobs become big, expensive jobs if they are not tended to quickly.
When you open your front door, what do you see? If you see weeds and unweeded garden beds, then it’s time you did some work out there.
I know that you don’t have the time to work in the garden and, even if you did, that’s probably not the way you would choose to spend your day off.
A gardening and maintenance service can be worth its weight in gold. How good would it feel to arrive home after a long day at work and see a neatly mown garden waiting for you? In the warm weather you might even be able to test out that BBQ that was waiting patiently for you behind the overgrown plants.
Call me to organise the maintenance of your property. I find local, reliable tradesmen who will care for your property and make it look fabulous and I will supervise them as they do it.
Home maintenance is not just a lifestyle choice. It’s a sensible investment in the long term value of your property investment.
It probably comes as a bit of a shock when you realise that neither you nor your partner has an appointment that night. You will be able to spend some time together, at home, in total peace.
How long has it been since you enjoyed that luxury together?
Imagine sitting at home, curled up together on the couch, glass of wine in hand and music playing in the background…
It could be romantic and it will certainly be restful. As a busy professional couple you need to treat these rare times together as precious and not let anything interrupt them.
Turn off your mobiles. Unplug your landline. Turn off the computers. Turn off the TV.
Let nothing come between you and your partner for the night.
Time alone together is rare and the last thing you want to do is to spend hours in the kitchen cooking the evening meal, but there is something so routine about ordering takeaway that it doesn’t fit the mood of the night.
All you need is some carefully selected canned food stocked in your pantry and you can whip up something simple like this Thai Style Salmon & Noodles from John West.
Heat oil in a saucepan, add ginger, lemon grass and chilli; stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
Add frozen Birds Eye Garden Peas or Sliced Beans, drained John West Red Salmon and coconut milk; cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in cooked noodles, heat through for a further 1-2 minutes and serve.
Canned salmon and coconut milk, noodles in the pantry, frozen vegetables in the freezer and jars or tubes of herbs in the fridge – that’s all you need.
by Debbie Alford
I know a science professor who has commented that in the past, if her young son was invited to a birthday party, the present had to be bought from Safeway or 7eleven or it just didn’t happen.
You can’t get away with that for very long and you certainly won’t get away with it at Christmas time.
For all the fun that Christmas can be it brings with it a lot of stress. It is hard to find time to shop for food, and even harder to spare time for things which aren’t necessities. The problem is that Christmas gifts are necessities but they are troublesome about it.
I know that when I choose a gift I like to put a lot of thought into it so that I select something that is meaningful and that the recipient will love. When you have a long list of people to buy for it can take up a lot of time.
You probably have some idea of what you would like to buy your friends and family. Just give me your list. I will find prices, shop for the gifts, buy them, wrap them and even arrange their delivery.
You don’t have to battle with queues or fight over the last product on the display. You won’t have the sore feet and blisters that you usually end up with, nor will you have the huge headache when you get home.
Instead you can go home and mix yourself a Christmas cocktail and relax knowing that everything is being taken care of.
Just to make it even better, here is a little cocktail you might like to try. It is called the Chocolate Raspberry Martini and you are going to love it.
Chocolate Raspberry Martini
Chill your ingredients beforehand. Rub the rim of your chilled martini glass with cocoa then pour in the liquids and enjoy. Drop a fresh raspberry into the bottom of the glass, too, if you like. It will look as good as it tastes.
So what will it be? Queues, headaches and stress or home with your shoes off and chilled cocktail in hand? I know what I would choose.
Merry shopping–free Christmas to you!
by Debbie Alford
You know that your car has needed a service for some time now, but when do you find the time to do it? It’s a whole day you’re carless and trying to fit a carless day into a busy lifestyle is not exactly easy.
Until, of course, it gets to that point where warning lights are flashing and something either starts clunking and thumping or it stops working altogether. Then you’re left with no choice. Things have become urgent and if you don’t do something about it, you’ll be carless for longer than a day.
You sneak a look at your partner but you know he or she is struggling to meet deadlines at work, too. There won’t be any help there. In fact, their car probably needs a service.
Ah well, you will work something out. You’ll book the car in for a service when you get to work…..
The day passes in a blur of work and meetings, then suddenly it’s over and it’s too late to ring because the mechanic will be closed.
How fabulous would it be to handball this job to someone else? You have a personal assistant at work. Now you need a personal assistant at home.
A personal concierge can do it all for you, from making the booking, delivering the car to the mechanic and returning it back home for you. I will even make sure you stay on the road during the process, so it’s far less painless than it has ever been in the past.
Your time is too valuable to spend it twiddling your thumbs while you wait for the car to be serviced. Don’t waste your time. Use my time instead. Call me!
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