Shopping Harrods in London

Shopping is one of the top things to do while visiting one of the major cities across the world. Each city has its own personal flair. New York has its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s and London has its Harrods. Harrods has been around since 1834 in London’s East End. It all started with Charles Henry Harrod, who opened up a grocery wholesale store selling his favorite merchandise which was tea, of course. Years later he decided to move from his inner city location and get a piece of the Great Exhibition action in 1851 and moved to a small shop in Knightsbridge near Hyde Park.

From the small shop, between 1851 and 1880, Mr. Harrod built his store from two assistance and a messenger boy to a large retail store selling the finest in all available things. Like many buildings in London, at one point or another, the store burned down in December of 1883. But that didn’t stop Mr. Harrod from delivering all of the promised Christmas deliveries, which brought in a record profit and funded the new building, in the same location.

His store and service extended some firsts for the industry with extending credit to his best customers like the British Royalty and other famous and wealthy. In 1898, the first moving staircase in England was in Harrods. This escalator was made of a woven leather conveyor belt an mahogany wood, silver plated and glass balustrade. Some of the customers were a nervous wreck by the time they made it to the top so they were offered brandy to calm them down.

Today, there are over 330 different departments in this historical building. All with their own style. There are 28 restaurants serving all types of cuisine. One can find a personal shopping assistant by appointment. There is also a beauty salon and day spa, a bank and pharmacy for when one needs a little something to accept how much money they have spent in the store. This store could take weeks to search through each area but if you don’t have a week, better give it a good full day. It is the definition of glamor.

How to Pick the Right Duvet Cover For Your Room and Lifestyle

If you are looking at duvets and duvet covers for the bedrooms in your home, knowing which ones to pick can be difficult. You want to make sure that they help establish the feel that you are trying to present in your bedrooms and also make sure that they will last and still look nice months or even years later. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind that will help you when it is time to make your selections.

The actual duvet will be much easier to pick than the cover will. The size you will pick will mostly be determined by the size of the bed it will go on. Some people like oversized duvets which hang down and give a very luxurious look. This is a matter of personal preference more than necessity. Always make sure that the duvet you pick is at least the size of the bed if not a little larger. The last thing you want is to pick one which is too small and which will leave you cold and uncovered in the middle of the night.

The fill is a little trickier. Basically, if you are allergic to feathers go with one which has synthetic or silk fill. Other than that, it depends on how insulating you want the duvet to be. Talking to employees or reading ratings can help you pick the kind of down you want to have in your duvet.

Once you have the duvet you need to look at the covers to go over it. The choice you make should depend on the age of the person who will be using it, the room it will go in and the personal preference of the person who have the duvet cover on their bed.

Some excellent and very washable choices for children would include denim, cotton and even microfiber. These materials wash well and are easy to clean if they get dirty. It is inevitable that a duvet cover which is used in a child’s room will need cleaning fairly frequently. When picking a pattern, do not go with something that is too childlike. A more adult pattern that is still fun will last them much longer than one which features cartoon characters or patterns for young children.

Adults also have a lot of choice. Formal bedrooms may call for a duvet cover made of silk or satin. More relaxed rooms can use duvet covers in any material and pattern. Even those materials suitable for children can make a great informal duvet cover for an adult bedroom.

There are so many different choices of duvet covers on the market. Looking on the internet and in stores and catalogues before you make your choice will help you find the perfect one for your bedroom.

How to Select the Best Modern Saree for You?

Nowadays, an Indian woman doesn’t want to keep the same traditional clothes, particularly the saree. She wants to bring something new and fresh.

Women want to look modern and contemporary, but also in the end be different and unique. However, we have to respect the traditional way because it’s part of Indian history and Indian women like it.

The saree is not just a long piece of fabric, it is a humble cloth that over the years has evolved. We can see it presented today with innovative and modern silhouettes and in different ways of draping.

In modern times, there are 4 different types of sarees: the dhoti saree, khadi saree, gown saree and the pre-stitched saree.

The Dhoti Saree

The Dhoti saree is a new look for the traditional silhouette. This is one of the sarees that has the most important western inspiration and contemporary look.

The modern dhoti saree of today attracts attention from many Indian fashion lovers. In the next few seasons, we have to be prepared to see such styles on the red carpet and on Bollywood stars as well.

The best colour palettes for the dhoti sarees are red, coral and blush tones of pink for the main ones, but the style can also be in powder blue and gold. What we can add to the dhoti saree is a delicate fine jewellery piece to have the perfect outfit.

The Khadi Saree

Khadi sarees are going to have a revolutionary impact in the fashion industry. However, khadi sarees are not for everyone, this style is for people who love Indian textiles, colour palettes and fabrics. These sarees are worn with silk blouses and delicate glitter or embroidery on the saree.

Khadi is an eco-friendly, handmade, natural and versatile fabric. When someone wears a khadi saree, the first impression is that’s very light and feels like a second skin.

Some of the best colours for a khadi saree are yellow, indigo blue, alizarin red and pomegranate.

The Gown Saree

Gown sarees are easy to fit, glamorous and feature an elegant silhouette. You just have to put on the outfit, almost as easily as wearing a dress, and you are ready to go!

For events such as cocktail events, weddings and card parties, there is an increasing demand for this kind of saree.

The most used fabrics for gown sarees are chiffons, brocade, georgettes, silk and lycra. With gown sarees, you can opt for solid colours and strong embroidery textures, since the style suits a more bold look.

And concerning the accessories, bangles and earrings are the best to complement this kind of saree.

The Pre-Stitched Saree

The pre-stitched sarees exists in different forms: we can have narrow pallus but also fixed pleats. To have a perfect look with this type of saree, add a textured trouser instead of an under-skirt.

And then, maybe you can play with the cuts of blouses to create an interesting and unique outfit. Concerning prints or textures, 3D embroidery on the saree will be perfect.

The Conclusion?

The style and type of saree you finally select depends on the event and what type of impression you want to create. Is there a specific type of saree you prefer?

What Are the New FHA Loan Programs and Do You Qualify?

Let me try and simplify the new FHA $300 billion “Hope” program and see if it works for you or someone you know. Let’s see what else the housing bill includes and offers.

The FHA mortgage relief bill is designed to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and forced short pays. By design it would write down a mortgage that is higher than the homes current market value and immediately give the homeowner a 10% equity stake and a new more affordable fixed rate loan through the FHA.

Additionally the bill includes a $7,500 tax credit for first time home buyers designed to help more people to own their own home. There are some additional provisions that permanently increase the loan limit to $625,000 to help in the more pricey areas. There is almost $4 billion in neighborhood grants to refurbish homes in blighted areas to avoid abandoned homes from bringing the neighborhood down. There is also $180 million for pre-foreclosure counseling assistance.

On the inner working side it overhauls the FHA that was basically designed in the depression era and now allows the Treasury to have virtually unlimited power to lend money to the FNMA and FHLMC through 2009 and gives the Treasury some control. The idea being that this will help support the housing market and the national economy.

As far as the new home loans, they can cut your loan balance by even 40% and give you instant 10% equity and a new more affordable fixed rate loan with the FHA. But, there are restrictions. To qualify your old loan needs to have been made from 1-05 to 6-07, you must live in the home, own no other rentals and must be spending at least 31% of your GMI. There are of course other regular FHA lending programs that require only 3% down without these restrictions. Ask your lender for more details.

For the lenders side, they need to agree to write down the current loan amount to just 90% of current appraised value – also known as a “hair-cut”. The appraisal must be performed by an FHA approved and licensed appraiser. They must agree to waive all fees and pre-payment penalties. They will also want to document that there is financial hardship. They must run their numbers to see if it’s beneficial to re-do the loan or foreclose.

For the new FHA loan, the borrower must agree to no equity loans for 5 years unless it’s for home maintenance or improvement. Borrower must agree to share the equity if the property increase at 100% of the profit the first year if sold and then 90% the second and then 10% down to 50%, that is the most unusual part of this program.

Bottom line is, there is help out there for some struggling homeowners but for this program there are restrictions and it’s not a free ride. The old lender must agree to a voluntary hair-cut and waive all fees and the new lender will get a piece of the appreciation – if there is any. The new FHA program is set to begin October 1, 2008 and the FHA programs could allow up to 1 to 2 million borrowers to participate.