Articles from: December 2016

Holiday’s Best Selling Consumer Electronics

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Shopping for the holiday season, you can never go wrong with gadgets! Here is a list of the top selling consumer electronics this holiday season.

The Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) is currently the most purchased gadget on the market. Not only can this device play games, you can also watch movies and listen to MP3’s anywhere, anytime. It also comes with WiFi technology, which allows you to link up with other players or browse the internet.

While the Sony PSP may be the big seller for the year, the iPod nano is expected to takeover the holiday market. This version of iPod is the middle child, between the iPod shuffle and full version of iPod. Available in 2 GB or 4 GB models, this device can store between 500 and 1,000 songs and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

Another gotta-have gadget this holiday season is the PalmOne Treo 650. One of the newest and most advanced smartphones on the market, this is a combination between a PDA and cell phone. No more carrying around two little lifesavers; now you can have everything you need in one convenient device.

The Toshiba Qosmio G25-AV513 is the latest in laptop multimedia technology. This machine combines DVD, DVR, TV, MP3, and games oh yeah, and it is also a computer! Not only does it come with an incredible 17″ monitor, but high end speakers and a remote control.

Possibly the most interesting of all of the holiday sellers is the Sling Media Slingbox. This amazing gadget is wanted by everyone and is becoming harder and harder to find. It allows you to remotely connect and view your home television from virtually any computer. You can even view recordings captured on your TiVo! For television enthusiasts, this is an ideal gift that will knock them off their feet.

Multimedia devices seem to be taking over the market. It should be no surprise, then, that the Archos Gmini 420 is high on Christmas lists this year. This miniature toy allows you to enjoy 10,000 songs, 80 hours of video or 200,000 photos. With a massive 20 GB capacity, it is astounding this machine weighs less than 6 ounces. More proof that mobility is becoming essential in all electronic equipment; this is a huge product for the holidays.

Also big in stores this season are the Sony Ericsson W800i, the Nokia N90, and the Motorola Ravr V3. Combining all the features typical of cell phones these days, these tout cameras, MP3 capabilities, and connectivity. However, they each have a unique feature, such as direct phone printing, FM radio, and a small size.

A river Shannon Boating Holiday in Ireland

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I have recently come back from what I can only describe as the most relaxing and interesting vacation I have ever been on. This year myself and my wife were looking at holiday options and based on a recommendation by some friends we thought that a trip to Ireland might give us a dose of culture and scenery. I had only ever heard good things about the country, so we started planing. We were informed that the best way to see the real Irish countryside was by boat, cruising on the river Shannon which runs through the center of the entire country. So we did our research and booked a cruiser from a little town called Banagher. We had never operated a boat before but we were given a brief class beforehand which made everything easy.

We booked the cruiser for three nights, we thought that this would allow us time to see the rest of the country and it did. The rest of the country was fantastic but the truth is I never wanted to leave that boat. The river is full of history covering three thousand years, the ruins of churches, abbeys, castles and towers are everywhere and free to explore. Not far from Banagher is the ruins of an ancient seventh century city which you can cruise right up to and walk around. It was all very extraordinary. You will never be cruising for long without meeting a lovely village and stopping in at a pub. One pub we visited was 350 years old and the old part of the bar was preserved from this time. Another small village had huge deserted stone buildings and military towers. A local told us this was in case Napoleon was to attack England by coming through Ireland. All of these structures still stand like ornaments on the landscape passed down through generations until there meaning has been eroded to just spectacular sites. Cruising by low lying green meadows to the sweet backing notes of wildlife all around really recharge my soul. As the famous Irish Poet Yeats said ‘Come with me oh Human Child, to the waters and the wild’ my natural human instincts for exploring, for the wild were satisfied and the scenic delights that crossed my eyes will never be forgotten. Until next year when I will return to the river Shannon.

There is a company called Discover the Shannon Link: which arrange holidays on the river and were really helpful with us.

Christmas Short Stories Reading Holiday Favorites Together

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Ready to start a fun new tradition using great Christmas short stories?

Most families have a Christmas tradition or two that they look forward to sharing together year after year. Traditions draw us closer together and allow us to slow down and enjoy the Christmas season; they’re also something special to share with future generations. If you don’t have a Christmas tradition, try reading Christmas short stories together this year! It’s free, meaningful and gives a slight pause to each day of the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday season.

Begin on December 1st and read a story each night until Christmas. You may want to plan ahead by having each family member pick out several of their favorite holiday stories to have on hand. You can borrow some from your local library, download them to your iPod (many can be downloaded free), or listen to audio stories. If you are stuck and don’t have enough favorites for each day, explore some new stories. We’ve created a list below to help get you started.

Make story time special by turning off the TV, computers, and iPods after dinner each night (unless of course, you’ve downloaded your Christmas short stories to your iPod). Light some candles, or gather the family around the lit Christmas tree. Make some apple cider or hot chocolate and have a small treat like a Christmas sugar cookie or shortbread to go with your hot drink. Then settle in to read, or listen to, your Christmas short stories.

You’ll be surprised at how much your family will look forward to this quiet time with each other and you may even have some wonderful conversations during or after reading these timeless Christmas short stories together. Story time is also a great way to wind everyone down before bed, both young and old.

Make this Christmas special and begin a tradition that your family will look forward to each year. Your kids will remember this tradition and may even pass it on to their kids someday!

Here are some stories to get you started. You can find many of these free online.

The Gift, by R. Louis Carroll
The Story of Babouska
T’was the Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore
The Christmas Story, the Bible – Matthew Chapters 1&2
The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry
The Little Match Seller, by Hans Christian Anderson
The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum
A Kidnapped Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum
The Cobbler and His Guest, by Anne McCollum Boyles
The Story of the Candy Cane

We hope that you enjoy reading them and continue the tradition for years to come.

Survey Provides Insights Into Travelers’ Needs

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While everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a “free lunch,” travelers do like to look for a free breakfast and will often select a hotel that offers one.

That’s just one finding from a recent survey-conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Best Western International. The survey findings offer some insight into what travelers of all ages look for when booking a hotel and what customer service means to them.

Here are some key highlights:

The top three considerations travelers indicated when choosing a hotel were price (78 percent), convenient location (64 percent) and free breakfast (49 percent).

Interestingly, travelers 55+ are more likely to choose a hotel based on convenience of location (70 percent) than younger travelers between the ages of 18 and 34 (56 percent), who don’t feel location is as important when booking a hotel.

On the other hand, younger travelers between the ages of 18 and 44 tend to book hotels that offer fitness centers and pools (45 percent).

Travelers of all ages agree that room service or a restaurant on-site is important when choosing a hotel (18-34: 31 percent and 55+: 31 percent).

Regarding customer service provided by hotels, U.S. adults who stay in hotels say that free parking (75 percent), the concept of feeling “at home” when they’re a guest (67 percent) and having a strong knowledge about the local area-and thus being able to share valuable tips and highlights (63 percent)-score highest when it comes to excelling at “customer care.”

Other top responses include offering free essential toiletries (beyond shampoo and soap) when they’re forgotten (63 percent), providing a free airport shuttle (54 percent), providing a free local newspaper or USA Today (51 percent), offering free products in the room (such as coffee, mouthwash or lotion) (35 percent) and providing a free bottle of water in the room at check-in (35 percent).

“For more than 60 years, Best Western has provided travelers with convenient locations and a range of amenities including breakfast and free high-speed Internet,” said Best Western’s Ric Leutwyler. “Guests who see the Best Western sign know that they can expect the same high level of customer care, comfort, service and value anywhere they go around the world.”

Post Holiday Blues

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Okay we ate to much. Junked out on sweets. Had a week maybe two of enjoying all those holiday foods we only make for holidays. So what now? Feeling tired, a little fatter then before, yeah, now we start rethinking about those diets and watching what we eat. Welcome back to reality!

Lets be smart about how we go about it. Don’t hit the gym hot and heavy. Work at a little slower pace, ease into it. Its known that if you have a weight issue that cutting back on the snacks an extra sugars will help you feel less bloated.

Make yourself drink plenty of water to help flush your system out. Plan ahead those meals as we all get back into the work habits of everyday life. If you think you need to diet then be smart and set reasonable goal for yourself. Cut back on your calorie intact and do some exercise.

I’m by far not an expert on diet or exercise either. But as an average person I do know and I do watch what I eat. I never miss a meal but watch what size portions I have and try to exercise a little every day. Funny studies show that people who keep food diaries tend to lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who don’t.

Now is because maybe they are more intense on losing that weight and keeping off or have less time to eat? I think although it might be true, you have to have the right reasons and mind set to do it. That’s no difference than life is.

Over the month of January I will post a few simple easy to fix type meals for those that just don’t have the time to eat a well balanced meal. Like all at the beginning of a new year things seem to take a mind of their own. Here’s to good health from Back to my Kitchen

Sandy Beaches Soften Feet

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Exfoliate Naturally With Sand

Beaches are a great way to relax while soaking in the sun at the same time. What could be better than reading a book, enjoying the sound of the ocean or engaging in water activities? The only downside about the beach is all that sand. It ends up in the folds of your bathing suit, tangled in your hair and in between your toes. When you’re frantically trying to remove all the sand from your feet at the end of the day, consider this. Beach sand is a natural way to soften the feet.

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells on the body’s surface revealing a new layer of skin underneath. This new layer of skin is softer and smoother because it has not been exposed to natural elements. Every time you walk on the beach with bare feet, you are reaping the benefits of exfoliation. This is because sand is coarse enough to help loosen the dry skin that builds up on your feet.

With exfoliation, you can:

Look Younger Your skin can tell someone a lot about your age. Wrinkled hands and feet, creases around the eyes and sagging skin are all signs of aged skin. Exfoliation reveals smooth, younger looking skin. If done on a regular basis, it can slow down the aging process.

Exude Radiance Have you ever wondered why models and actresses always seem to have a glow about them? Well, it is not all about just using makeup. Exfoliation gives skin a natural glow that you cannot get from makeup. If you suffer from dull, tired skin exfoliation is a great way to keep your skin glowing.

Feel Better, Literally You will notice a difference in the way your skin feels immediately. It will be soft to the touch and very smooth.

Be Healthy Exfoliation cleanses the skin and opens the skin’s pores. This helps to reduce breakouts and fade blemishes.

While exfoliation is beneficial, too much of it can actually dry or irritate the skin. Exfoliating once a week is a good place to start. Always follow up with a hydrating lotion to replace any moisture lost during the exfoliation process. So, if you are hitting the beach all the time, throw a bottle of lotion in your beach bag as well.

Most of us go to a salon for our foot care needs. That is probably because we do not know too much about taking care of our own feet. Being pampered at a pedicure salon can be fun, but it can also be very expensive and you probably find yourself hiding your feet in between pedicure sessions. For more on foot massagers and dry cracked feet, visit

Super Bowl hotel packages Get ready for the party of the year!

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The most exciting of all sports events, the Super Bowl will be held in Indianapolis (Indiana) on February 5th 2012. The Super Bowl is one of the grandest and most watched events of the entire sporting world. Because of this, the rush for tickets and hotels has already started.

The internet is crammed with offers for Super Bowl hotel packages and Super Bowl tickets to suit all tastes and wallets.

There are many hotels and inns offering attractive packages for accommodation in south-east Indianapolis. These packages include, among other things, a reserved upper level End zone Super Bowl tickets, cocktail parties on the day of the game with former NFL champions, roundtrip deluxe motor coach transfers to the stadium, shuttle service from the hotel to downtown Indianapolis, official Super Bowl XLVI Souvenirs and daily hot breakfast at the hotel.

To make these Super Bowl hotel offers more attractive, some hotels are offering attractions like visits to the huge Greenwood Park Mall, art and childrens museums, the zoo, spa treatments and organizing activities like boating and fishing, to keep the full family entertained.

A typical Super Bowl hotel package will include the following:
1.Super Bowl Tickets: A hotel reservation at the heart of the sporting action, but without tickets would be meaningless. So, every Super Bowl hotel package will include Super Bowl tickets which can be upgraded as the customer desires.
2.Accommodation: Searching for accommodation in Indianapolis at this time of the year would be a nightmare. The Super Bowl hotels provide comfortable accommodation. The rates will generally depend on the distance from the stadium.
3.Pre-game parties: These are a major attraction of the Super Bowl Hotel Packages. These parties include a premium bar and often a NFL hall of fame guest speaker.
4.Transportation: Most Super Bowl Tickets come with free transportation between the stadium and the Super Bowl hotel.
5.Concierge Assistant: The hotel concierge assistant is constantly with the guest to guide him through the sports event.

There are many websites which offer only Super Bowl tickets. Some claim to offer “the most comprehensive inventory of Super Bowl XLVI tickets on the secondary ticket market”. Since they are constantly buying new Super Bowl tickets, they can provide any kind of ticket. Groups and corporate accounts are also welcome.
The available tickets range from the cheapest “Terrace Level Endzone” for $2829, to the “Loge Level Endzone” for $3919 and the most expensive “Street Level 25yd Line to 50yd Line” for $9260.

But since not everybody is willing to fork out such impressive amounts of money, it is possible to find better deals on the internet through the Super Bowl hotel packages.

The Importance Of Travel Vaccination

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From time to time, we like to take time away from the normal routine of daily life in order to have fun and spend quality time away from the demands of work. Many people enjoy we all do the prospects of a holiday abroad. This is the perfect solution that once in a while helps us unwind from the tensions and stress associated with our professional engagements. However, there is one thing that nearly all of us tend to overlook or simply neglect when planning for holidays. This is nothing else but travel vaccination.

You might wonder whether or not it is necessary to be vaccinated before traveling to another country or region. One misconception that most of us have is that vaccination is meant for children and pets, and so you might wonder why you need to bother with this especially when you are going on holiday. The answer is simple where we end up conditions may not be similar to what we are used to way back at home. Certain infections are associated with some regions only, and so when we visit search places there are higher chances that we might get infected.

Imagine that horrors of being a victim of a strange disease just because you neglected to take a simple precaution! And suppose where you are, you cannot find the right medical facility to handle your case? You can guess the rest. As they say, prevention is better than cure, so it should not be too much trouble to have travel vaccination before setting off to any destination.

As part of conditions for visiting, some countries have legal requirements for a certificate showing that one has complied with immunization requirements. Probably this is meant to prevent the spread of deadly infections as well as ensuring that you do not pose a danger to your health and that of others. So next time you are planning a holiday to a far flung destination, do not forget to take this important step.

One thing you should be aware of is that this should be done by a qualified Doctor Jindalee physician who has intimate knowledge about travel vaccination and the right vaccines to use for every country. This should be done well in advance of the trip so that the medicine can take effect in the body. If you are wondering where to get this type of service, you can try a renowned facility for travel vaccination such as Western suburbs doctor Brisbane.

Benefits of Booking a Holiday Beach Resort Goa Near Candolim Beach

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Goa, one of the premier beach destinations is known for its sultry beaches, enchanting edifices and forts, dazzling sands and heartwarming cuisines. The Indian state, Goa is most popular for its Candolim Beach, which is located just a few kilometers away from Panjim, the capital city of Goa. The beach, with its pristine waters and closely located Aguada Fort, Church and lighthouse has become a prime tourist place of interest and features a number of hotels and private beach resorts in its vicinity. Here are some of the benefits that travelers can enjoy by booking a holiday beach resort Goa near Candolim Beach.

The first one is proximity, its closeness to the Candolim Beach, which ensures that travelers have stunning, panoramic views of the beach from their rooms or from the windows of their rooms. Moreover, the sound of the sea is enlightening and rejuvenating, which serves as one of the major perks of having a room in a hotel in Candolim beach Goa. A hotel in Candolim beach Goa is sure to have several perks and benefits.

That’s not all! Holiday beach resorts in Goa, which are located close to the Candolim Beach provide opulence served in the lap of nature. Whether one chooses a private beach resort hotel in Candolim beach Goa or opts for a regular room, they are sure to get a number of facilities and services that will invigorate their spirits. For instance, spa and body massages at Holiday beach resorts in Goa ensure that travelers rejuvenate their mind, body and spirit in the midst of beautiful surroundings.

The best part about booking a good hotel in Candolim beach Goa is that these hotels tend to have premier services, such as fitness centers, swimming pools, business centers for those who want to attend to work office details and Wi-Fi connectivity for those who wish to stay connected with the rest of the world. These hotels tend to have several benefits over others. For instance, these hotels have special rooms and suites, such as superior rooms and plaza rooms, wherein guests can have enchanting views of the beach and other beautiful rooms that may have facilities such as bathtubs and coffee makers, Wi-Fi systems and electronic safes. Another benefit that these hotels offer is that they have aesthetically appealing dcor that amalgamates the beauty of Goa is arts and architecture with modern, contemporary styles or designs. This is what gives them an edge over others.

And if you are thinking that these benefits and perks will burn a hole in your pocket, then you are wrong. Thanks to a wide range of deals and discounts available for these hotels, people can easily enjoy the advantages of staying in these hotels and resorts at affordable rates.

Gift Card rush Will Boost Holiday Sales Figures

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While online and retail holiday shopping sales have met or exceeded expectations for most retailers in 2005, there is another “rush” for all retailers to prepare for: gift card redemption.

According to Hitwise, an online intelligence service, the market share of U.S. Internet searches containing the words “gift card” was up 32% for the week ending December 10, 2005 as compared to the previous week. In fact, the National Retail Federation expects gift card sales to increase 6.6% this holiday season to 18.48 billion dollars, with consumers spending an average of $88 dollars on gift cards or 15.6% of their holiday shopping budget.

Gift certificates have always been a popular gift choice for the hard to please recipient or even for the lazy shopper. For the gift giver, it allows a quick purchase at whatever store or online merchant they select, with a dollar amount that fits their budget. For the recipient, they can select what they want from a particular merchant and for the most part use the card at their convenience.

But for some, giving a gift card is a cop-out, reasoning it is too impersonal and opting to hand pick a gift and selecting something special and unique for a loved one or friend. However, for some, the gift card is the ideal gift choice, with family or friends even suggesting the store or online merchant they prefer.

For the merchants, it has extended the holiday shopping season because they cannot record the sale until the recipient uses the gift card to make a purchase. This holds down sales figures in November and December, but provides a boost in January when most cards are redeemed. An additional boost is provided by the fact that most of the shoppers who redeem their gift cards typically spend 15% to 50% more than the face value of the card when they select their holiday gift.

There are some downsides to gift cards. Some retailers clear unused gift cards off the books by subtracting off of the face value of the card, an inactivity fee (usually $2.50 per month) after a certain amount of time. Some gift cards have an expiration date and others come with special conditions or restrictions. However, consumer outrage has prompted many states across the country to introduce legislation limiting or banning the fees. Additionally, there is no federal law on gift cards but, two Republican congressmen, Joe Barton of Texas and Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, have requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate the way retailers conduct their gift card programs.

Is giving a gift card too impersonal? Is it the best gift choice? That question is up for debate and is a personal preference. But with annual gift card sales projected to reach 90 billion dollars by 2007 (Ernst & Young 2005), the gift card is here to stay.

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