Preparing For The Holidays: Why Plus Size Women Should Plan Ahead

With September already with us and Halloween fast approaching, the long awaited for Christmas holiday season does not look so far away ahead. That is why we need to prepare in advance to make sure we have everything we need for this special season.

Plus size ladies especially, need to prepare ahead for such occasions, because let's face it, we do not always find the items we want right there waiting for us in our size. So, preparing ahead will make sure we have all we need to have our curves looking great during the holidays.

Shop around

Make good use of the extra time you are lending yourself, by shopping around thoroughly around your favorite shops, malls and even plus size online stores. Shopping around will widen your knowledge of what actually is available at the stores, so you can pick and choose comfortably and in advance. Knowing what's available here and there will also help you mix and match items from different stores easily. This way you can create your ideal holiday season outfit!

Wider selection of styles and sizes

By making time to shop around you will take advantage of a wider selection of styles. Most clothing stores bring in new stock on a weekly or fortnightly basis, so by giving yourself good time to shop around you can avail yourself of more styles. You will not be limited to just what's in store during the day you visit, if you do not find anything you like, so can easily re-visit the store in a couple of weeks to see what's new. And obviously you will also make sure most sizes as still available. When the Christmas holiday shopping rush creeps in, sizes are more limited.

Avoid the crowds!

This, for me, is by far the best reason, which encourages me to think ahead. As much as I love shopping, I despise long queues, especially when I'm in a hurry! Plan ahead and start your shopping early and you will surely save yourself some headaches by avoiding those mad crowds.

Bargain hunting

September is a great month for shopping! With all the bargains and sales going on, and new fashions coming out, September is really made to make shopping heaven. Besides taking advantage of some great sales, planning ahead enables you to conduct some comparison shopping. You can shop around to see what tickles your fancy, and also compare prices from store to store. You'll be sure to save yourself a few dollars.

At the end of the day, besides saving yourself some money and stress, planning ahead for the Christmas holiday season will ensure you have a much more fun and pleasant shopping experience. Shopping should not become a stressful chore, it should de-stress you, and planning ahead will do just that!



Source by Maya Matthews

Advantages and Disadvantages of City Breaks

The concept of going on city breaks has earned many fans in the recent years. There are people who prefer this kind of treat and have enjoyed it for quite some time now. But then it might be good to look at what city breaks could offer you in terms of advantages and disadvantages.

One of the advantages of city breaks is that it is relatively affordable. It is also a good alternative to get away from the hectic and stressful life that we have to deal with everyday. It is an ideal solution to release the pressure for few days or even for a weekend. It is a cheap choice compared to a long holiday packaged tour.

With city breaks, you would be able to get a lot more variety on your vacation. You are able to see different places, do fun activities and you feel energetic while doing them. You get exposure to a different climate and ambiance that could work well for your mental and physical well-being.

People say that a city break is good when you want to rejuvenate yourself and liberate yourself from the hassles of a daily routine. You feel refreshed and highly rejuvenated and you tackle your routine with more enthusiasm. This is certainly a good advantage and one that you should consider doing in the near future.

You can decide where you want your destination to be. You have to consider your time, budget and most of all your purpose for it. Surely, it is for the purpose of getting a break from work and a busy routine. Then you would think of a place where you can relax and just enjoy the view and whatever else there is to do.

As for the disadvantages, you may want more of the vacation time. Since city breaks are mostly just short and budgeted, you may want to see more, do more and perhaps extend your stay. If you could have thought of a holiday tour in the same destination where you are having your break, then you could have stayed longer and planned a longer vacation. So you are likely to spend more.

Many tour companies are offering city breaks to travelers as an option. There are those who want to travel long term and there are also others who just want short travel time. This is where city breaks come in; it is a good option for anyone who sees it as a practical and sometimes cost saving method of getting away from a stressful routine. It could be what they are looking for – short, affordable, convenient and a temporary retreat they can enjoy.

So it is still a matter of personal choice and it is really up to you how to take advantage of city breaks. If they make you feel rejuvenated and have done their purpose, then you made the right choice.



Source by Potko Potev

7 Safety Tips for Your Walking Holiday

Your walking holiday should be fun and exciting, but it is right to make a safety plan at the same time. Of course, there are a number of different steps that you can take to protect yourself on your next walking adventure and you can prepare these in advance. Here are 7 safety tips for your next walking holiday: –

Choose Your Trail for your walking holiday

Choose a suitable trail or route. What is the terrain like? Is it flat or hilly? Is it suitable for your level of experience? The level of difficulty needs to be determined so that it suits your experience. So trails are good for beginners but others require experience and expertise.

Research the Trail

Once you have decided which hiking trial you would like to hike on, you will want to take the time to fully familiarize yourself with the trail. Get a good map, like an Survey Survey map that covers the area and examine it closely.

You will want to know exactly where you are at all times, as well as how to get out of the area, in the event of an emergency. You can check the reports of other walkers who have used the route on their websites or blogs. And of course take the map with you.

You may find that a reputable walking tours organization covers this trail and provides guides. This may cost a bit more than a self-organized walk, but you may get more out of your walk as a whole.

Mobile Phone / GPS

These days you can be in touch with the outside world even when crossing the most remote regions. Check out emergency numbers for mountain rescue teams and other support groups for the area. Take your mobile phone and or a GPS system so you can be located in an emergency.

Food & Drink for your walking holiday

Some walking adventures last only a day or two. But it is important to be prepared by taking extra rations of water or high protein foods or chocolate. Inclement weather can cause unexpected delays so it makes sense to plan for any contingencies.

Walking Clothing

Make sure you have the correct clothing and footwear. Walking boots are especially important and should be chosen depending on the terrain you are crossing. Is it loose underfoot? Choose a firm walking boot. If it is relatively flat and firm ground, then a more flexible walking boots would be better. Make sure that your clothing will keep you warm and dry. Modern fabrics are breathable – they stop water penetrating your boots and jacket, but allow they allow the moisture that your body produces to be released.

Walking Equipment

We have mentioned mobile phone and GPS systems, but there are some other pieces of equipment that are useful to have. A good compass is essential. Trail poles, a good rucksack, a headlamp or a good torch and a camera or binoculars are all good pieces of equipment depending on your load factors.

Let Someone Know Where You Are Going on your walking holiday

If you are a member of a local walking club, let them know your itinerary. Or the local support groups in the area that you are walking. Or inform some family members or friends – let them know when you are leaving and when you plan to return.

These are just a few of the things that you can prepare to make your next walking holiday safe so that you can enjoy the experience



Source by Alan J Butler

The Best of the Three Valleys’ Festivities

As one of the largest ski areas in the world, the Three Valleys attracts a huge number of visitors over the festive period. If you’re looking for a novel way to ring in Christmas and the New Year, consider one of the last minute ski holidays to the Three Valleys, where you can enjoy a wide range of festive activities.

Courchevel

Courchevel is a perfect place to celebrate Christmas. Throughout the day and evening of the 24th, you’ll be able to watch festive parades and little ones can meet Father Christmas. There’s also a carol concert outside the tourist office, and a Christmas mass you can attend. Plenty of the local restaurants have a special festive menu on Christmas Eve, so if you book a table you’ll be able to treat yourself to a magnificent Christmas meal. Be aware that they may not frequently be heavily publicised in advance, so if in doubt, inquire over the phone as to whether they’ll be offering a special Christmas menu.

While you’re in Courchevel, don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the ‘Chamallow’ parties that run throughout the season, including a Boxing Day event. These festive parties have a great ambience and centre (as the name might suggest) on roasting marshmallows over a fire pit. They sometimes include local and visiting DJs spinning tunes.

Another great thing about Courchevel is that, unlike many resorts, the lifts and pistes do not close on Christmas Day. Last minute ski holidays are often restricted (due to ticket price and availability) to specific dates, but even if your holiday spans Christmas Day, you won’t lose out on any of skiing at Courchevel.

Meribel

The foodies may wish to consider a Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve dinner in Meribel. The high-end hotel and restaurant, Le Grand Coeur & Spa, offers a magnificent eight-course Christmas Eve meal, including truffles, traditional Savoyard cheeses, and top quality meats and seafood. On New Year’s Eve, the restaurant offers another, similarly opulent, eight-course meal, including scallops, foie gras de canard, veal and macarons. Just because, by their nature, last minute ski holidays may be organised in a rush, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve world-class cuisine! Call ahead and reserve a place so you won’t be disappointed, however.

Val Thorens

If you’re a devotee of apres-ski nightlife, look no further than Val Thorens. Every year, on New Year’s Eve, Val Thorens holds the party to end all parties. This year’s line-up is yet to be announced, but you can expect renowned DJs until 1am, along with fireworks at midnight. It’s a brilliant way for visitors to the Three Valleys to greet the New Year.

In short, even if you’re booking at the very last minute, ski holidays in the Three Valleys around the festive season offer plenty of fun and lively celebrations. You may find other events that pique your interest as well, to help you form the perfect festive ski holiday itinerary.



Source by Belinda Smythson

Celebrate the Holidays With Ripley's 5 Story Tall Musical Christmas Tree

Every year, as you set out on your quest for the perfect tree, the little ones chime in with one voice to declare, "Let's get a BIG one!" They feel the same way at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. In fact, Ripley's does big like nobody's business!

When you want a traditional, snow-capped Christmas filled with family values ​​and wholesome fun, the Smoky Mountains is the place to be. When you want a celebration that looks bigger than life, Ripley's Aquarium tops the list.

The sight of a 45-foot (5-story) tall tree would be breathtaking enough, but Christopher the Musical Tree also "sings" and twinkles. Adorned with over 16,000 lights, Christopher provides a dazzling display that instills the holiday spirit in all who attend.

Show Times & Dates

The Musical Tree is on display until January 1, 2010, with performances nightly. Two shows are held every evening Sunday through Thursday at 6 pm and 8 pm Friday and Saturday nights offer 3 shows at 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm

Each show consist of 3 songs performed in sync to a brilliant light show. Look around: you'll find yourself surrounded by the awestruck faces of adults and kids who are mesmerized. It's Christmas like you've never experienced it before.

Sweet Treats for Good Boys & Girls

Did you know Santa has a workshop set up in the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza? He does! And it's open during the nightly events for boys and girls (and their parents) to visit. Drop by to say hello and enjoy a few sweet treats, including scrumptious cookies (with milk, of course), traditional eggnog, rich fudge, warm apple cider and steaming hot chocolate.

Pictures with Santa Sharky

The evening would not be the same without a token to remember it by. Santa Sharky is making appearances nightly from 4 pm to 6 pm Have pictures made with the kids or the entire family for a great memento of your time at Ripley's.

Santa's Workshop visits and Santa Sharky photos are available until Christmas.

Viewing the Musical Christmas Tree is free of charge, so bundle up and plan to spend the evening at the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza during your stay. (There is a nominal charge for photos and refreshments.) While Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, you can enjoy the lights, music, family time and yummy trees. It's the perfect combination of everything that makes a traditional Christmas special.



Source by Bennie McCann

Christmas Traditions – Nutmeg Jim

'Hurry … Go Faster !!!'

This was a common phrase from my mouth each Thanksgiving morning as a young girl, pushing on my older sister's back to race up the stairs. I just could not wait to see what was in my shoes by the front door. Giddy with excitation I would usually find something I knew only Nutmeg Jim knew I wanted … fingernail polish in my favorite color, my first lip gloss, or a small art kit. Through the holiday season I remember getting notes on my bed … 'You did such a great job helping your mom with the dishes today. I noticed your smile while you helped. Love, Nutmeg Jim '… or' Be careful, the fight you picked with your sister was not necessary. Remember I am watching until Christmas. Love, Nutmeg Jim '.

Each note of praise or warning I took so seriously. I knew I had to be good because Nutmeg Jim was watching. Then Christmas morning at four o'clock in the morning I would sneak to my stocking to see what treasures my elf friend had left me. All day on Christmas there was a sense of excitement, but sadness knowing Nutmeg Jim was going to leave me for another year.

Christmas traditions create memories that last forever with our children. This is demonstrated because of the memories I had with Nutmeg Jim as a child. However, one of the smartest things my mom did was provide a Christmas tradition that also helped HER during the holiday season. Nothing motivated me to be 'nice' more than getting a reprimand from Nutmeg Jim. This was a life saver for my mom and dad, especially during a stressful time of year.

Let me explain exactly how he works and how you can also benefit from having 'Nutmeg Jim' in your home during the holiday season.

1. Nutmeg Jim is an 'elf' sent from 'Santa' to our home to make sure we are really ready for Christmas. He is 'assigned' to us through the year, but he actually comes and 'stays' with us from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

2. Each Thanksgiving Eve right before going to bed we would all put our Sunday shoes by the front door. Then Thanksgiving morning we would all receive a small gift and a note from 'Nutmeg Jim' indicating that he had entered our home.

3. From Thanksgiving to Christmas all the kids would receive weekly notes on our beds (sometimes more often) telling us what we are doing well and what we need to improve to be ready for Christmas. Sometimes we would get gifts as a family (like a $ 5 movie or game) from Nutmeg Jim on the table when we came out in the morning. Most of the time this reward came when we had been really 'nice'. One time 'Nutmeg Jim' left a piece of coal on the table for being 'naughty' because all the kids had been terrible to our mom the day before.

4. Each Christmas morning everything found in our stockings was from our elf. He left us a note telling us how much he enjoyed our company and could not wait to come next year.

5. There was an 'elf' that sat on a shelf in the living room that symbolized 'Nutmeg Jim'. Of course, he could not be seen, but the elf was there on Thanksgiving and gone each Christmas when he left with Santa.

Several people we know have adopted this tradition and it has been a life saver for them! There are various names you can choose and be creative with it! Here are a couple ideas:

Cinnamon Joe
Vanilla Jen
Spicy Jenny
Allspice Jack

You get the picture. Be creative and have fun with this! Remember, creating Christmas traditions will leave a legacy for your kids to remember you by. A tradition like 'Nutmeg Jim' will help your holiday season go smoother and happier. I promise!



Source by Andrea Kvarfordt Palmer

Switzerland Tour – Explore the Paradise on Earth

Welcome to land of beautiful landscape and everlasting tranquility – Switzerland. Truly named as the ‘Paradise on Earth’ Switzerland is one place where you can forget all your stress and sink in the freshness of the surrounding landscape. Book your Switzerland Tour – know the land famous for fascinating pocketknives, delicious range of chocolates and brilliant looking watches. Let the surrounding Alps add more beauty to your holiday in this splendid destination. Switzerland in Europe is one of the most famous tourist destinations. No matter what your interest is, you are sure to find your dream holiday here in Switzerland. Being beautifully located on a plateau and enveloped by high soaring Alps, Switzerland is one place which no nature lover should miss out.

Book your tour to Switzerland and let the breath taking natural beauty, the interesting cities and landscape, the refreshing greenery, the majestic Rocky Mountains, the thrilling adventurous snowy hills, the tranquilizing lakes, groovy and happening nightlife and the pleasant climate give you a wonderful holiday experience. Let the wide range of attractions in your Tour to Switzerland pamper you to the limit.

Travelers who want to spend some relaxed time away from the monotonous life Switzerland is the best option to be. Book a getaway to this part of the planet and collect some refreshing moments. The amazing landscape and the attractions of the town are enough to make you forget all your stress and rejuvenate your senses. Other trips that you may book are a honeymoon tour and an adventure spree. Switzerland Tour has something for every tourist. Few major attractions of Switzerland which one should not miss out are GoldenPass Panoramic Train, Glacier Express from St. Moritz – Zermatt, Chateau de Chillon, The Gruyère Region, Rhine Falls, Matterhorn, Jungfraujoch, Mount Rigi, Mount Pilatus, Swiss Transport Museum, Bern Historical Museum, Lake Geneva Switzerland, Lake Lucerne, Lake Lugano, Lake Thun and many more.

The best part is that each and every attraction in Switzerland has something unique to offer. Mother Nature has been too generous on this part of the world. Places like Zurich, Berne, Geneva, Lucerne and Interlaken are few cities which you should definitely visit.

Looking for some fun time or do you want to spend a romantic evening with your newly wed? Switzerland is the place for you to be. The amazing alpine peaks give you amazing option to click some amazing pictures as well as spend some romantic time with your beloved. Adventure aficionados should take a trip to Mt. Titlis where you can indulge in amazing as well as thrilling adventure activities that will let your adrenals rush. Few attractions that you may try out are Hiking, Ice climbing, Ski touring, Snow boarding, Deep-snow skiing, Heliskiing, Glacier walking, Cycling, Sailing, Water-skiing, Canoeing and Rowing. Also enjoy a ride on the cable car and watch the beauty of the nature from a bird’s eye view. With Switzerland Tour each and every traveler lives the best days of their lives!

Explore the beauty of nature at its best! Book a Tour to Switzerland and collect few amazing memories of your tour. Get bewildered by the picturesque beauty, indulge in break-neck adventure, walk hand in hand with your beloved in a romantic evening and take a break from the hotchpotch of the regular life. Let a Switzerland Tour give you the pleasure that you seek in a perfect holiday. A Holiday you will always cherish!



Source by Ankush Katiyar

Tasting Flavorful Dishes From Superb Restaurants

Food is always a vital part of every holiday. That is why Dartmouth holiday cottages are very attractive accommodations since they have self-catering facilities complete with kitchen facilities which enable you to cook and prepare your own meals. The furnishings and amenities in Dartmouth cottages are contemporary and of best quality. However, if you do not feel like cooking during your holidays, you can always go to the different restaurant and cafés near your Dartmouth holiday cottages. If you are in Dartmouth, there are many restaurants and food shops where you can celebrate and enjoy a delicious meal. From French, Italian, to authentic English cuisines, you can find them all in Dartmouth. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You must bring the whole family and share a special time trying out the different delicious cuisines in these restaurants. The Orestone Manor, The Le Gendarmerie, and the Old Bakery Restaurant are some of the popular places that you must go to.

The Orestone Manor

Spend some time to get the best classic meals at the Orestone Manor. The establishment boasts of their traditional and authentic English cuisines. The place is furnished in the conventional English style and is considered as one of the remarkable landmarks in South Devon. It enjoys a great location that is very near the well-appointed Dartmouth cottages making it a busy restaurant with many locals and tourists patronizing the place. To make sure that you get some guaranteed seats, making a prior reservation would be of great help. The restaurant specialties that everyone should try the Orestone fish cake served with a poached egg in chive sauce or the roast South Devon beef with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Make your meals complete with the yummy desserts such as the sweet tasting apple and rhubarb crumble. The place lives up to the standards of great dining and service because of their staff's impossible manners and excellent service.

The Le Gendarmerie

It's time to try some authentic French gastronomic delights right in central Dartmouth. French food that is served at the Le Gendarmerie Restaurant is one of the best French cuisines you can ever have. The delectable dishes are wonderfully prepared and cooked to perfection by highly skilled cooks. Beside serving flavorful food, the outstanding service of the friendly personnel entices the guests to try out this restaurant more than once. You can dine here and bring some food back to your Dartmouth holiday cottages .

The Old Bakery Restaurant

Get up from your comfortable Dartmouth holiday cottages and experience authentic Italian and French cuisines at the Old Bakery Restaurant. Some of the best dishes that you must try are the grilled aubergine, lamb rump, and parsnip skodalia. The restaurant is open from 9 am to 11 pm It is very accessible from the luxurious Dartmouth cottages.



Source by Mary Godago

Christmas Safety – Make Sure Your Holidays Are Hazard-Free

When someone says Christmas, the vast majority of people envision joy, family time, presents, snow or other pleasant things. But during this period we're also surrounded by a lot of decoration, lights and electronic devices that might cause unnecessary danger if we do not take a few simple precautions. To ensure a safe Christmas, read the following tips which will help to make your holidays pleasant and risk-free.

The Christmas tree

  • If you're buying a living tree, make sure it's fresh. You can test this by tapping the tree on the ground and see if green needles fall down.
  • Buy only artificial tree which are marked fire-resistant.
  • Keep the tree at least 3 meters away from all equipment and appliances producing heat.
  • If the tree is wobbly, take it from the stand and redo the screws and bolts. You should also secure it with wires to prevent it from tipping over.
  • Clean the tree stand before the holidays for improved water intake. Check water levels several times a day and refill if needed. Trees absorb a lot of water in heated rooms, and if there's not enough in the stand, they will dry out – and potentionally catch fire.
  • After the holidays are over, make sure you dispose the tree properly. Never, never try to burn the tree in the fireplace.

Ornaments

  • If you have kids, it's in your best interest to get larger ornaments where tiny parts can not fall off and swallow. Put smaller ornaments out of reach. Try to keep an eye on the kids when they're playing around the tree.

Christmas lights

  • Reccheck your light strings every year and discard the ones that do not work anymore.
  • It's a good idea to turn off the christmas lights while you're asleep and especially if you leave your home. You may use an automatic timer or even a motion detector that turns the electricity for the lights on and off.
  • In the outdoor areas, use only lights that were designed for exterior use.
  • Make sure the bulbs are fastened securely and that the socket is pointing down to avoid moisture build up. Unplug any lights before changing the bulbs.
  • Never use light strings on metal fake trees.
  • Wrap plastic bags around light strand connections and tie their ends with Teflon tape.

Electrical connectors

  • Keep outdoor electrical connectors above ground, especially out of puddles and snow.
  • Never use extension cords intended for interiors outside.
  • At Christmas, there are lots of extra electronic devices used. Avoid overloading wall outlets.

General safety

  • Recheck and put new batteries in your smoke detectors or install new ones.
  • Make sure that there's a working fire extenguisher in an easily accessible place.



Source by Julie Kinnear