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The London Eye Attraction

The London Eye was formally opened on December 31, 1999, just in time for the celebration of the New Millennium. It is the world’s tallest observation wheel, offering panoramic views of London at a distance of 40 kilometres. Based on an original design pioneered by cave men, the London Eye was designed by no fewer than seven architects! Perhaps that was because its cantilevered, A-frame design was constructed lying flat just above the River Thames from individual sections that had been floated up the river.

Attached to the wheel are 32 climate-controlled, ovoid glass capsules that hold up to 25 people who are free to walk around to capture the best views, although seating is provided. The wheel turns slowly enough (0.6 metres per second) without needing to stop to allow passengers to board and disembark, although motion is suspended to permit elderly or disabled passengers to transfer safely. An entire revolution takes about 30 minutes.

Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and Big Ben are among the many sites visible on a daytime flight. For a totally different perspective, come at sunset for glorious sky views and watch the bright city lights as they come on.

Visitors may now enjoy the New 4D Experience, a pre-flight film in 3D complete with wind, snow and fireworks.

Tickets for this iconic London attraction are now available from AttractionTix.co.uk. A wide range of great packages are on offer:
London Eye Standard Ticket – Adult £19/Child £10
Valentines Champagne Flight – Includes Priority Boarding, luxury chocolates and a glass of bubbly. Available in mid February.
Valentines Champagne Cruise – Includes a 40-minute cruise with a glass of bubbly and commentary based on ‘Love in London.’ Available in mid February.
Cupid’s Capsule on the London Eye. Book a private capsule and dazzle your valentine with a bottle of champagne and a box of luxury chocolates. Available in mid February.
London Eye – Fast Track Ticket – Adult and child £26. Pay a little more and avoid the queue with Priority Boarding. Price includes a complimentary mini-guide and kid’s pack. Arrive at check-in 15 minutes prior to your scheduled flight time or 45 minutes ahead if you wish to see the 4D experience.
London Eye and River Cruise – Adult £29/Child £14. Enjoy a 30-minute flight on the London Eye and a 40-minute Thames cruise. Cruises run daily from 11:45 to 16:45.
London Eye Champagne Experience – Adult/Child £32. Enjoy a glass of bubbly along with your flight. Available daily from 12:00 to 20:00.

Payment is accepted by VISA, MasterCard, Maestro and PayPal.

Article publié pour la première fois le 15/03/2013

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Babies are fun, cute, cuddly and freaking expensive!  Before my son, I never felt so rich in my heart or so broke in my wallet.  From doctor visits to cribs, the bills start to pile up where your savings used to be.  So, in my infinite new-mom wisdom (ha!) I will give you a few money saving tips for what baby stuff to skip, whether you are about to become a parent or need a gift for one.

1.            Wipe Warmer.  This is a waste of money, space, and electricity.  Think about this: your baby is sitting in a hot, sticky, plastic-y, papery diaper all day and night, and you know the stuff filling up those diapers is also warm and sticky.   Don’t you think a cool clean wipe would feel good after all that?  Besides, your baby will have a lot ruder awakenings in the future than a cold wipe, he can tough it out.

2.            Crib-in-a-Bag Sets.  Ok, so you saw the pictures in the baby catalogue with the nursery all set up, a warm and cozy wonderland of fluff and cuteness.  And you thought “oooh, so sweet! But how will I afford it?”  Well, great news!  You won’t have to because the American Academy of Pediatrics has labeled this a SIDS deathtrap.  Bumpers, pillows, quilts, positioners, are some of the cute but unsafe items that come in bedding sets.  Some people buy all this just to take a picture, then they stuff most of it into a closet.  Big waste of money!  A crib needs a fitted sheet and a wearable blanket or light cotton blanket, that’s it.  Another waste item in these sets and also sold separately is the diaper stacker, a hanging fabric sack that holds diapers.  It’s cute in a matchy-matchy kind of way, but ultimately useless and annoying to keep refilling.  Put a stack of diapers on the changing table or fill a dresser drawer.

3.            Newborn Clothes and Shoes.  New babies sleep, …a lot. What they need for that are sleepers, not a ton of tiny jeans or frilly skirts or three piece suits.  It’s not like they wake up in the morning and get ready for a day at the office.  They get up to eat, then go right back to bed.  Also, they grow out of this size so quickly (if they ever fit into them at all).  Get a few “nice” outfits for pictures, coming home from the hospital, or special occasions like baby’s christening or blessing at church.  As for baby shoes: bottom line, babies don’t need shoes until they start walking. Before then, barefoot is better for muscle development and to allow growth and formation of feet. Get some socks to keep those piggies warm or crotchet some booties during that long third trimester.

4.            Drool Bibs.  You will need plenty of large bibs when your little one starts eating solids (those mashed peas get everywhere!), but you don’t need the tiny bibs designed for new babies to drool or spit up on.  They are even too small for doing that job well.

5.            Baby Monitor.  With audio and video night vision monitors you could drop a wad of cash on these, but the truth is you don’t need them.  Unless you live in a mansion or spend an inordinate amount of time in your garden or garage you will hear when your baby needs you.  Also, baby monitors can rob you of precious moments of sleep new parents are desperate for.  You hear every little squeak and wiggle the baby makes.  It continually wakes you up and turns you into a paranoid freak, anxiously listening to every breath the baby makes wondering, “Was that normal? …Was THAT normal??”  Get some rest, save your money.

Baby stores would love for you to buy one of everything in their inventory, and well-meaning friends and grandparents would love to buy them for you.  But you don’t need all of it, and what you really don’t need is a money crunch on top of the new-parent stress.  Friends of new parents, please don’t waste your money on something they will never use or use only once.  New parents are really grateful for help, so buy them necessities, not a bunch of “cute” junk to fill up their house. Diapers and wipes are always welcome and in a variety of sizes—my kid only wore one newborn diaper, in the operating room, fresh from the oven, and it looked like a bikini.  The nurse took one look and said, “That’s not going to work.” So all the packages of newborn diapers from my shower are in the back of the closet in hopes that baby #2 isn’t 10lbs and a week overdue.

Finally, to the baby gift searchers out there, when in doubt, ask the proud parents what they need.  And to those new moms and dads, good night, good luck, and happy savings.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 12/03/2012

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10 Websites For Savin’

I will concede that I am not the only, nor the most knowledgeable saver/personal-finance-lover on the block.

But if I know anything, I know a useful website when I see/use one.  Since I cannot justify  writing an entire post about any of these sites individually (nor do I want to), I’ve been saving them for the time when I had 10 exactly. 

Why?  Because I like multiples of 10 and I’d forget half of them by the time I got to 20.

So here they are, with a little something for everybody.   

 

For eBay-ers:

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It’s just like eBay.  But cheaper.

Yes, you will find some of the junk that you find in stores, perhaps even some of the junk that you yourself donated.  However, you will find some excellent deals sans the too-high price tags that people place on their, ahem, “heirlooms.” 

If you think Antique Roadshow is exciting, then you’ll love this. 

 

For Parentals:

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I’ve always wondered how children’s clothes could be so expensive when they require so much less raw materials than real people clothes.  Someone figure this out, it’s gonna drive me nuts. 

Here’s how they sum up the process

1. Pick – Pick a great new box of clothes for your child – just $5 + shipping.

2. List – Post a box of gently-worn clothes your child no longer wears.

3. Send – When another member picks your box, send it 100% free of charge. 

 

For Book Readers:

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It’s just like thredUP, but instead of pants and shirts, you trade books. There are no fees on this one, you just pay shipping for the books that you mail. 

Great idea for people who are running out of shelf space; which is basically everyone I know. 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 10/11/2010

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Looking toward tomorrow


Recently, I’ve noticed changes happening in my neighborhood. In a recession (is that what we are still calling this), there is always a ton of turnover in strip malls, no doubt. When inexperienced business owners set out to start a business, fail to gauge the market demand and only once they launch realize no one is buying, they shut down and the next dreamer steps in.

In a volatile market though, even when an experienced business owner sets his sights on a market niche, by the time a business gets started, by the time a product starts shipping, the market could have changed enough that no one wants the product anymore.

Certain strip malls around here turn over new shop owners like a checker in a grocery store, one after another after another businesses close up and a new one opens in it’s place.

The latest wave of stores to open up around here are quick or even 15 minute payday loans. We’ve got one sharing space with a new “We buy gold” storefront and another bunking with a wholesale mattress outlet, not five blocks away.

What does this mean? What does this say about the current state of the market?

Well, it says that there is a demand for this kind of shop. People are still struggling with money management and need a place to come to when money runs short, a place to help them make ends meet temporarily.

The fact that these are all walk-in places shows that as a nation, we are becoming more and more impatient and want things instantly. That’s nothing new, we’ve been like that for the past few years as a nation. This goes hand in hand with our inability to plan, save for and put off buying things until we have the money. As a culture living for today and a culture enamored with the cutting edge, we want the latest and greatest now and have no concept of the future.

Now, these shops don’t really bother me. Payday loans have their place like any other financial product. As for our national “gimmy now” mentality, that bothers me as does the constant pressure by technology companies to upgrade, them convincing us that what we have is no longer good enough, that the latest device will improve our life beyond our imaginations…

It’s about time we were satisfied with what we have and start looking toward tomorrow.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 03/03/2013

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Greatest Attractions in Siam Park, Tenerife

Siam Park is famous for its unique attractions that are designed to please all tourists, regardless of their age. As soon as you step into this incredible fun place located in Tenerife, the Canary Islands, you will never want to return home!

The first thing that catches the visitors’ eyes is the outstanding white sandy beach and the excitement that can be seen on the people’s faces. Surfers will certainly enjoy the huge wave pool located in the vicinity of the Wave Palace, while those who want to become surfers will be pleased to find out that Siam Park features a surf school. And where could you possibly learn more things about surf than in the largest water park from Europe, best known for the highest waves ever generated by a wave pool (about three meters high)?

Siam Park at AttractionTix is also known for its unique sculptures that represent mythical creatures, but also for the wide range of animals such as seahorses, monkeys or elephants, which have inspired the building process.

Other main attractions of Siam Park are its outstanding slides such as Jungle Snakes, The Naga Racer or The Dragon. Jungle Snakes consists of four winding slides that will certainly provide loads of fun for both children and adults. However, if you think you deserve something more thrilling, you can try experiencing another famous attraction called The Giant, which basically consists of two identical bowls where you’ll get to experience the force of a cyclone, thanks to the powerful centrifugal force.

Besides, you can have a great time drifting along the Mai Thai River and enjoying the amazing sights of the park, including the stunning aquarium, the waterfalls and the exotic islands.

In case you decide to take a break from the adrenaline pumping attractions and spend some quality moments with your friends or relatives, you can visit one of the restaurants and bars featured by Siam Park. The Tea House is located in the vicinity of the Sea Lion’s lake, and is a good choice whenever you want to have a snack or drink good tea or coffee. Besides, at the Beach Club Restaurant you have the opportunity to try some amazing dishes designed to please all tastes.

Once you visit this water park, you will certainly like to buy some souvenirs for your friends or relatives. Luckily for you, Siam Park features a floating market inspired from the Thai villages, where you can find a wide array of special gifts and many other items such as sunglasses or sun creams. What’s great about this floating market is that it was constructed with traditional Thai materials, such as bamboo.

Siam Park is one of the most appealing water parks, and its unique features turn it into a perfect holiday destination. Tourists will have the time of their life by discovering all the attractions from this park. Check out other great holiday destinations at AttractionTix.

Article publié pour la première fois le 04/04/2013

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15 Ways to Simplify Your Life

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

In terms of your to-do list: simple begets easy, easy begets accomplished, accomplished begets having time to do all of that other stuff you really wanted to do.  Here are some ideas to get you started saving that most precious commodity: time. 

1. Unsubscribe from junk emails.

It is easy to just hit the delete button, but that’s not solving the problem.  Just scroll to the bottom of the email and look for the tiny tiny unsubscribe button.  Save yourself the trouble of sifting through your junk box for an important email or switching addresses all together.

2. Set up automatic bill pay.

Living in small towns for the past 2 years has made me miss this one.  Pay your bills on time all the time?  Yes please.  If you like to know the exact moment your bill gets paid, many companies offer email notifications when the payment is drafted. 

3. Opt for electronic statements.

I feel like I’m getting more than just a bank statement nowadays.  I’m getting envelopes, return envelopes, fliers, advertisements, oh my!  Many banks are also starting to charge for paper statements.  Save your space and money.  Do it now. 

4. Adopt the 4+ Text Rule.

A friend suggested this one recently and it really does save you time.  If a text conversation requires more than 4 messages back and forth, just make the call.  Consider how much extra time is added to the conversation when you factor in typing and waiting for responses.   

5. Keep track of your budget automatically.

What’s the one thing that everyone’s worried about?  Money, duh.  Automate your budget and keep track of your spending using your computer.  Oh, off the top of my head, there’s Quicken ($35), Mint.com (free), and your bank may even offer some sort of expense tracking tool like the one at USAA (free). 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 27/07/2010

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