Romantic Gifts For Newlyweds

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Even though the honeymoon is over and the newlyweds are back home, does not mean the romance has to end. The right romantic gift now and then will keep the passion strong for a long time. Gifts that help to fan the flames are relatively easy to find, and help make those first months of marriage all the more memorable. Here are three ideas for simple but effective romantic gifts for newlyweds.

The vast majority of newlywed couples share one characteristic: they want to be alone. The gift that gives them an excuse to be alone will be appreciated a great deal. Try putting together a gift basket loaded with items designed to promote intimacy. Bubble baths, exotic massage oils, and maybe even a toy or two can be the perfect excuse to stay in for an evening.

If the idea of a naughty gift basket is not necessarily right for your newlywed couple, go with something that is likely to still afford them some private time alone. Arrange for the couple to enjoy a candlelight dinner at one of their favorite local restaurants. Prepay for the meal so all they have to do is show up and enjoy themselves. You may even want to arrange for a car and driver to take them to and from the bistro, providing them with even more time to pay undivided attention to one another.

You can also promote love and romance between the newlyweds by offering to take the kids for a weekend. With so many blended families these days, there is a good chance that one or both of the newlyweds brought a child into the marriage. Giving the newly married couple a couple of days to be free of the responsibilities of parenthood is a gift they will remember and appreciate for many years to come.

One important point to keep in mind is that whatever gift you choose, it should be to the taste of the newlyweds. The fact that you would enjoy the gifts is really not important. Identify potential gifts that will delight the couple and be something they can enjoy together, and your efforts are sure to be a big hit.

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a House Cleaning Service

Mistake #1: Choosing a cleaning service that is not a member of the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International. ARCSI is the only National Professional Association of Owners of Residential Cleaning Services. Membership in this organization demonstrates a commitment to the ethical standards of ARCSI and the most professional services possible.

Mistake #2: Choosing a cleaning service based on the lowest price. Low price can present you with two problems:

1) Low price can be the bait that attracts your phone call, but once the cleaner gets into your home, she pressures you into added services and thus a higher price.

2) Extremely low prices tend to be offered by individual cleaners who may have no insurance, are not bonded, have not been screened for background checks and typically do not have funds to replace an item they damage in your home. If you want to know a great and reliable cleaning service that offers good price, click here.

Mistake #3: Choosing a service that is not owner operated. Having the owner of the company involved increases accountability and ownership on the part of all employees.

Mistake #4: Choosing a cleaning service without asking if the company does personality testing or criminal background checks. The costly investment of personality testing and criminal background checks is only made by cleaning services that are serious about protecting their customers. Cleaning services that perform these forms of screening have a higher caliber of employees working in your home.

Mistake #5: Choosing a cleaning service that pays their cleaning technicians by commission. Ask whether the service pays its employees by the hour. It has been determined that you receive consistent, thorough cleanings when the cleaning technicians are paid an hourly wage.

Mistake #6: Choosing a cleaning service without being crystal clear about your expectations and determining that the service is comprehensive enough to meet all your needs. For example, ask these questions:

  • After the first cleaning, how often do you want to be cleaned on an ongoing basis?
  • Does the company offer the frequency or flexibility you desire? Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or the option to just call in for an appointment?
  • What equipment, supplies and cleaning solutions does the company provide?
  • If you are allergic to certain chemicals or if you have medical/health issues, does the company offer green cleaning chemicals?
  • Does the company offer guaranteed satisfaction?
  • Does the company offer other services, such as organizing, power washing, dry cleaning, etc.?

Crisis Control

Every brand’s gone through it. If yours hasn’t, it will sooner or later. I’m talking about a real brand crisis.

Let’s look at an obvious example. How’s the airline industry handling its current crisis? The Emirates’s site, until last week, replaced its home page with a document outlining the airline’s view on the war and its effects on the region.

Emirates may have weathered its crisis, but Hong Kong’s national carrier Cathay Pacific, voted the world’s best airline, is facing a crisis unlike anything the company’s encountered, according to its CEO. In contrast to Emirates’ outspoken response to a war-related crisis, Cathay’s home page does a very lackluster job defining current anxieties. Far from replacing the company’s home page with a full focus on SARS, Cathay Pacific’s site mentions the epidemic only incidentally.

Visit the Singapore Airlines Web site, and you’ll have trouble finding commentary on the SARS outbreak as well. You’ll have to look pretty hard to find a mention. Yet both Cathay and Singapore operate from regions among the most affected by the disease. Singapore Airlines was forced to ground over half its fleet, according to reports.

How should brands handle crises like SARS and military conflict? Crises that more often than not, are unpredictable and as life-threatening for the brands as for their customers? Who’s handled crisis well in the past, and what can today’s brands learn from past experience?

Asian airlines could have taken a lesson from their American counterparts. Following the September 11 attacks, most U.S. carriers hastened to post updated travel information for travelers dealing with security issues at airports and early arrival times, even offering packing advice. Online travel company Orbitz maintains a Travel Watch page with updated security and health advisories for travelers.

In any crisis situation, transparency and accountability are key. No matter what the crisis, your customers need information that’s as swift, direct, and accurate as circumstances permit.

At some point, your company is likely to face a crisis. It may not be as dramatic as war or an epidemic, but it may be serious enough to jeopardize your brand’s well-being.

Do your brand a favor and consider what crises you could reasonably expect to encounter. It’s not an easy set of hypotheses to construct, considering unpredictability is an inherent element of crisis. Yet research shows up to 80 percent of crises can be predicted. Generic issues include product misuse, unhappy associations that result in PR damage, a database error allowing confidential data to be shared with the world, and a hacker intruding on your server and victimizing your customers.

Some years ago, Coca-Cola faced a crisis when hundreds of kids in Belgium were hospitalized by a chemical reaction in the drink. It was rumored the company CEO was in the country, but left Europe for Atlanta when the brand was in dire PR straits. His evacuation from the crisis nerve center left a vacuum. The press could only speculate on why this apparently arrogant departure occurred.

It took Coca-Cola close to four weeks to publish a small item of advice on what consumers should do if affected by the problem. That small item was practically hidden on the Belgian Web site. In the meantime, Coca-Cola was banned in three European countries and the share price plummeted.

Never get too comfortable. Don’t catch yourself thinking, “Thank heavens I’m not Cathay Pacific, Nike, or Coca-Cola,” or any of the other brands that have dealt with image crises. Any day now, you could get a panicked call from your boss, demanding you handle some terrible situation. Your response will determine the life or death of your brand.

Use the time you have now. That calm atmosphere you’re enjoying may mean you’re already in the eye of a storm. Keep an eye on all those companies around the world, the majority of them in fact, that are called upon to handle local crises in their own ways. And ask yourself, as a consumer, how you would feel about their crisis management. Wipe your brow and be once again thankful you are not in the hot seat — yet! And invest in good branding and marketing for your brand!