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A Guide to Edinburgh: Edinburgh Uncovered

by admin on September 27, 2012

A Guide to Edinburgh: Edinburgh Uncovered

The capital of Scotland lies on the Forth Estuary, in the South East of the country. The city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 with good reason – the medieval architecture, history and beauty of the Old Town and the Neo-Classical Georgian New Town are magnificent. It is a great city to visit as it has something for everyone and is very tourist-friendly. Here we look at the stalwart attractions and the less known hidden gems that Edinburgh has to offer.

Festivals

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It is always great to fit in a festival on your travels and the Edinburgh calendar is jam packed with events, including Hogmanay (New Year’s), Burn’s Night, The Edinburgh Fringe and the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo. Book well ahead and expect a lot of fun!

The Must-Sees

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There are some places that you must visit whilst in Edinburgh. Namely, Edinburgh Castle – a medieval fortress. As Scotland’s number one tourist attraction, its setting on a craggy hilltop is dramatic at any time of the year. Make sure to be there at 1pm to hear the gun fired, a way of telling the time in ye olden days! Next door, is the Scotch Whiskey Experience. Need we say more?

Arthur’s Seat is one of seven hills in Edinburgh (bit like Rome). It is an extinct volcano and is a possible location for King Arthur’s Camelot, hence the name. Actually the name more likely comes from ‘Archers Seat’ as it was once the site of a hill fort. The hill is within Holyrood Park and is a great destination for keen walkers.

For traditional fare head to Dubh Prais or Stac Polly. Both offer old-fashioned classics such as haggis, calves liver or venison with a modern twist. To take away a taste of Scotland, Macsween’s haggis is arguably the best – and you can pick one up in any of the major supermarkets!

Unusual Experiences

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The 3D Loch Ness Experience holds everything you need or can know about the Loch Ness Monster – sightings, facts, photos and theories all under one roof. Edinburgh Dungeon is not for the faint hearted and is a gruesome insight into the city’s past. Cabaret Voltaire is an underground (literally) music venue where you can hear Scotland’s next big musician.

The best kept secret is The Real Mary King’s Close. Deep underground the Royal Mile is a time capsule of a street with a gripping story to tell. The tour lasts an hour and is hosted by one of the Close’s real residents from the 17th Century.

There are all the major hotel chains here, naturally, but for a truly unique and special stay, try The Witchery at the top of the Royal Mile. Time Out says, “Dark, gothic and thoroughly theatrical – if you can get a room the Witchery is the place to indulge yourself.” With rates of £350/night it is indulgent but worth every penny!

Getting Around

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Lothian buses have a flat rate of £1.40 (70p kids) per journey or £3.50 (£2 kids aged 5-15) for an all day pass. Car parking is reasonable enough for a city centre, depending where you park – between £1 and £2.80 an hour. Check out Edinburgh Council’s website for parking details. You could have even more fun and consider a car hire where you can travel at ease in your own time and park up anywhere you like, taking in the views of Edinburgh.

Getting Away

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If the hustle and bustle of city life gets too much, you can always explore other parts of Scotland from Edinburgh Airport. The Shetland Isles are just 1.5 hours away and offer rugged landscapes, little ponies, sweaters and varied wildlife. The Outer Hebrides is accessed through Stornoway Airport, less than an hour away from Edinburgh. These islands have fine shell beaches and great surfing. Callanish stone circle is older than Stonehenge and Highland Games during the summer.

Thank you to Sixt for putting together this informative travel guide to Edinburgh! It is a must see visit so board your plane and get visiting these beautiful places as soon as possible!

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Thinking Outside of the Cardboard Box

by admin on September 18, 2012

Thinking Outside of the Cardboard Box

You might think cardboard boxes are just plain and boring; you might also that they are used for boring purposes, such as storage and transportation when you are moving items or belongings to a different location. But there are actually many fun and creative ways of using cardboard boxes. Using them for creative purposes is fun and inexpensive. Cardboard boxes can be purchased from places, such as Davpack.co.uk. Also, because there are so many different types of cardboard boxes, it is easy to create different effects and items, for example, shoe boxes can be used for smaller creations and corrugated cardboard can be used for a different textural effect. How many different ways can you think of using cardboard effectively? Have a look at the following creative uses for cardboard boxes.

Playhouses and dollhouses

Instead of buying playhouses or dollhouses for your children, why not attempt making one with your children? They will enjoy making it and playing with it afterwards. You could even make furniture for dolls out of cardboard. This is a cheaper alternative to a bought playhouse or dollhouse and your children will have the opportunity to be creative with cardboard.

Cardboard city

This is another creative use for cardboard. There are no rules for these creations, so your children can make their cardboard city however they want to. For example, they may want to include skyscrapers and other buildings or maybe little cardboard cars. This creation is another one that can be played with after it has been made.

Costumes

One idea for a cardboard costume is a robot. A robot is a fairly simple creation and it can possibly be used as a Halloween costume. You could choose something even simpler, like a mask. If you feel like being imaginative, then try coming up with some of your own ideas for cardboard costumes.

Gift Tags

This one is a very simple creation. But again, no rules apply, so make them however you want to. Choose various different shapes and decorate them with glitter, sequins, or whatever else you can think of. Make them look pretty!

Decorative Boxes

Choose any sized box and decorate it. You could create nesting boxes, so have a bigger box and keep putting smaller boxes inside; they can all be decorated the same or vary the decorations. These boxes can be used for whatever you like, for example, you can make them gift boxes or you can make them pretty storage boxes.

Musical Instruments

A popular instrument created with cardboard is a box guitar. So have a go at creating a box guitar; you can start by using a tissue box, so the hole in the guitar is already in place, or you can start from scratch by a make each part yourself. Maybe you can think of some other instruments that you can make out of cardboard.

Pet Houses

One example is a dog house. Create a house for your pet and decorate it to suit your pet. You may have to measure up for this one, depending on how small or large your pet is. The good thing about cardboard is that it is fairly strong and durable so you do not have to worry about it falling apart.

Christmas Decorations

This idea is great for family time around Christmas. Try making cardboard Christmas trees or cardboard decorations for your tree. You could also attempt to create little cardboard ornaments that can be scattered around your house.

Cars and Boats

Your children will have fun with this one. Have a go at putting together a little car or a boat with your children, but make sure it is big enough for your child to sit in.

Photo Frame

This is another very simple creation, but it is also fun and creative for you children. The photo frame does not take too much effort to create, but, like all of the other creations, it gives your child a chance to be creative and decorate however they would like.

All of these creations are fun and not too expensive to make. Your kids will enjoy making them and they get to show their creative and imaginative side. Try coming up with your own ideas as well or let your children think of something they would like to create.

Terry has worked for Davpack for over fifteen years and knows all there is to know about their line of foam lined boxes. Click here for more information.

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Personal Touches For Your Wedding

by admin on September 17, 2012

There are so many ways to personalize your wedding that all the choices can become overwhelming.  Here are a few ideas for wedding favors that really wow.  People love a little something that they can take home with them and forever remember your big day by, so make it something special!

One way to really make an impression is with photo tile coasters.  These coasters can be ordered affordably online and can contain any image you can think of.  Add your engagement photo along with the date of your wedding.  Use the images off your invitations to help carry on the theme.  Or, simply have the word “love” in beautiful script letters in the center of each one.  If you are having a small gathering (or are really ambitious) gather a photo of each guest that will be attending and use the personalized coasters as place cards.  Be extra romantic and get a photo of other couples on their wedding days.  This is sure to tug on their heartstrings, and really help make your wedding all the more memorable, not to mention make for a great keepsake for them to remember your big day with.  Don’t forget cute mini-wine bottles to place on top of the coasters too!

Having a Themed Wedding? 

Personalize some favors that still match with the overall day.  If you are having a Las Vegas wedding with only your closest pals, then get personalized poker chips with your wedding date on them, or a deck of cards with the happy couple’s picture.  If you are having an outdoors wedding then give adorable potted plants with the guests’ names on the marker.  For outdoors wedding in spring or summer you could also give out beautiful feathered butterflies on clips, which can be pinned on jacket lapels or in hair, or sunglasses with your wedding date printed on the side.  Any of these options are sure to make for some very fun photos.  If you are having your wedding on Halloween then give out miniature customized trick or treat bags filled with goodies or small ceramic pumpkins with each guest’s name attached.

Sweet, Sweet Presents

Another very popular option today is that of homemade jams, jellies, preserves and honeys.  These are often given in adorably small jars with quotes attached to them.  Sweet light ones are great for weddings in the warmer months, but you can also give spiced versions for the cooler months too.  To make them extra sweet, don’t forget the fun sayings!

For example, on the jars of honey you could attach “Meant To Bee”, “Sweet As Honey”, “Love Is Buzzing”, “Life Is Sweet” or other cute quotes along with the wedding date.  On jelly, jam, or preserve jars you could attach a ribbon and a cheesy but adorable quote like “Spread The Love”, “Berry Happy Day”.  Of course, you can also simply have a label with the couple’s names and wedding date as well.  This same idea can be used for other food items, such as a specially brewed pack of coffee with “The Perfect Blend” and a picture of the couple on the label, or a ring pop with the words “With This Ring” on it.  Of course it doesn’t have to be food, you can use cute quotes on a book of matches such as “The Perfect Match”, on a pack of seeds “Sow-In Love”, well, you get the idea!

There are so many ways to personalize your wedding with favors that it can be hard to choose.  From custom tile coasters, to little jars of sweet jelly, we hope some of the above ideas have inspired you.  Find the perfect favors by looking over the rest of your wedding and using the theme, color scheme or even the time of year to help you make the right choice.

Hugh Parker is the owner of ZaZaGallery.com, a place where you can create personalized coasters and other personalized gifts.

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Tips to Shop Safely Online

by admin on April 20, 2012

Tips to shop safely online.

Relying on search results can lead you to malicious websites. Ignore suspicious offers from emails. Verify unbelievable offers.
Via: TrendMicro

Don’t let the cybercriminals and thiefs get you.

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