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Tag Archives: holiday

Holiday Travel Tips

16 Nov

 

The holiday season is upon us and with that comes time with friends and family, lots of food and of course travel. Traveling year round can be as stressful as it is enjoyable but add a holiday in the mix and it becomes that much more intense. I myself have done a good bit of traveling around holidays and here are a few tips I find serve me well:

 

  • Book early and look around- If you know you plan to travel start checking flights ASAP! Generally as the date draws closer, the cost of the flight exponentially increases as the demand is now high. I would recommend booking at least 6 weeks in advance if you can to ensure the best price. Also take some time to check different airlines and third party booking sites for the best deal.

 

  • Try avoiding peak days- When it comes to holidays, some of the busiest days are the two days before or the two days after the actual holiday, this means fares are up, delays are rampant and airport lines are long. Interestingly, the actual holiday is usually much quieter with lower fares to boot. To get a better idea, there are some websites that actually list the best and worst days to travel in terms of fare costs and how busy.

 

  • Avoid peak times- Travel early am or late at night. This is in the same vein as avoiding peak days. Very early or late flights tend to be more rare meaning shorter lines. Very early flights are less likely to be delayed as well. There are also websites that offer some insight as to the best times of day to travel.

 

  • Allow for connections- Many of us have to take connecting flights in order to get to our destination. This is definitely a source of travel induced stress. If the first flight is delayed or the immigration/customs/security lines are long, you can end up missing your next flight which can send the entire trip into a tailspin. Try to book your flights with enough time in between to allow for a smooth connection. This may require a little research into the airports you’ll be traveling through to understand the layout, get info on the wait times etc.

 

  • Plan ahead: check-in online, plan for ride pick up/drop off/ weigh luggage- All in an effort to achieve a nice smooth travel experience, check-in in advance, book rental cars or pick ups in advance and ensure that your luggage and its contents meet the security and airline requirements…IN ADVANCE!

 

  • Be early- They say that Timeliness is next to Godliness…or is it Cleanliness? Anyway, if you leave early you will at the very least arrive on time. I recently traveled out of LAX and LA is infamous for the actual worst traffic. What did I do? I got my Lyft ride to collect me 4 1/2 hours before my flight. I was so early there was no one to check in luggage and I sat at the check in desk for almost an hour, but that was okay I’d rather sit at the gate for two hours than sit anxiously in traffic, lose my mind while checking in and have to run through security and to my gate.

 

  • Pack smart- I try to avoid checking luggage whenever I can because that saves money as well as time (spent waiting for luggage to come off the conveyor belt) and hassle (when it mysteriously doesn’t come off the conveyor belt). If you can’t avoid having checked luggage, remember pack your essentials, versatile clothing and in keeping with baggage policies to avoid issues with overweight or oversize charges and customs hassles.

 

  • Eat well/Bring snacks- Travel can sometimes be long and arduous, you don’t need hangry-ness on top of that. I advise having a nutritious, filling meal before you begin your travels and pack along something to munch on while waiting in lines or on flight. You can of course eat at the numerous overpriced eateries available inside airport terminals , just make sure you stay well fed and hydrated.

 

  • Dress comfortably- I have mentioned this before in my post about dressing for travel,  but comfort is key when traveling. That, and being dressed to run to a gate it you have to. Wear comfortable well fitting clothing and shoes that are simple to remove and replace during security checks.

 

  • Be patient/Prepared for delays- Despite your best efforts to be prepared; on time, appropriately dressed, perfectly packed something can still go wrong. There could be a major delay or flight cancellation, lost luggage or nothing but terrible restaurants in your terminal. Just take a deep breath because this too shall pass.

Thanks for reading, have an awesome day and safe travels.

 

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FESTIVE DRINK -Spiced Apple Rum Punch

14 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 14

On the 14th day of Blogmas we continue with festive drinks. This one is a punch with rum as the base along with apple and spices

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WHAT YOU NEED
 

1) Brown rum– 16floz/500mL

2) Apple juice-32floz/1L

3) 1 large apple -or more if you like.

4) 2tbsp ground Cinnamon -or stick

5) 1 fruit teabag -I used a redfruits tea, you can use apricot, peach etc.

6) A punch bowl– I have none so I used a mixing bowl  (:

7) Glasses 

8) Yellow or orange sugar for rim.


Rum and apple juice



Sugar, apple, cinnamon, glass and bowl




WHAT TO DO 

PART 1- Prep the glass (es)

1) Choose a wide mouthed glass for easy filling with spoon.

2) Coat rim of glass with simple syrup  (white sugar dissolved in small amount of water) 

3)Coat rim with sugar– you can use orange or yellow  or even brown sugar. If you don’t have a specific colour, you can make it yourself using a bit of food dye and white sugar.

Syrup and sugar


Decorated rim

PART 2- “Spice the Rum”

1) Pour rum into microwave safe bowl or place in saucepan over low heat.

2) Add cinnamon-as much as you wish depending on how spiced you want it.


Rum and cinnamon 


3) Add apple slices and teabag

Added ingredients 


4) Heat for 3 minutes in microwave or simmer until apple slices are softened .

5) Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes . 


PART 3- Mix and garnish 

6) Pour apple juice into punch bowl adding cooled rum concoction to it and stirring to mix.

7) Cut an apple slice into quarters then make a slit wide enough to sit snug onto the edge of the glass.

8) Fill with punch and drink ! 


Finished drink




This drink is warm and comforting, the apple blends with the rum and the cinnamon and teabag add that extra flavour making it taste like no other rum punch you’ve ever had.

This is an ideal drink to serve at a party because its a real money saver. The priciest thing is the one or two bottles of rum you’ll use (depending on the size of your guest list or your penchant for rum!)

I also think this kind of punch could work well with cranberry or grape juice. What other spices and flavours would you add?

Thanks for reading, remember to always drink responsibly and have an awesome day ! 

How to Entertain on the Cheap

27 Nov

Signature cocktail and simple decor
Hello

The Holiday season is fast approaching and this means entertaining and lots of it . As someone who does her fair share of soirees I know it can run you ragged; physically , emotionally and of course financially . 
Often, what begins as an intimate gathering with close loved ones can snowball into an all out zoo scene and that cute budget you set goes up in proverbial smoke . 

Here are some tips I often consider when planning to entertain:

1) Plan a menu around items you already have

Don’t go out and spend a fortune on a massive turkey if you already have piece if lamb in the freezer. Decide what you make using whatever you have sitting in your cupboard . 

2) Make the most of your menu

Try to get as much out of the items you do buy. For example , if you buy a pumpkin, use it in as many dishes as you can; pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin pie etc. Do this rather than buying dozens of different items to make different dishes. 

3) Be selective with your invites

The way of the world of entertaining is such that some of the persons you invite won’t come while others will show up with extra guests. Be sure to invite reliable friends asking them to RSVP and make it clear whether or not they are allowed to bring guests.

4) Do potluck 

This is an oldie but a goodie. I am guilty of telling people not to bring anything when I entertain because I somehow feel it is in poor taste. It doesn’t have to be, we all have those friends who always offer to bring something so engage them. Also, people like to feel useful, why deprive your cousin of making his world famous sweet potato pie?

5) Make a punch/cocktail

It can be expensive to purchase multiple bottles of wine, vodka, brandy, scotch, rum and so on. It is far more cost effective to purchase one type of alcohol in bulk and make a punch or signature drink from it. 

6) Keep decorations simple

We all love our homes to look beautiful and festive. This means trees and wreaths and tablesscapes and railing and mantle piece decor, new curtains, new cushions… I could go on. The costs of these things really add up! Focus on a few things e.g the tree and tablesscapes. Chose items that can mix and match and be reused in the future.

I hope some of these tips help to allay the anxiety that can often come with entertaining, I also hope I listen to my own advice. Have an awesome day!

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