All posts by bandwidth-quotes

13

Season’s Favorite Holiday Cookies

I have two childhood memories that center around Christmas cookies. My Mom’s no-bake cookies and my Aunt’s sugar cookies. I can still see my Mom stirring the cocoa for the no-bakes and can still smell their savory, sweet, aroma. I remember being just barely tall enough to peek up at the waxed paper-lined kitchen counter to sneak me a cookie while they were still warm.

My Aunt made the best sugar cookies that I can remember. The shapes that I remember the most were the Christmas trees, the candy canes, and the wreaths. I like soft doughy cookies and my Aunt’s were the best. She lived just three blocks down from our house and I still remember walking to her house with my parents…visiting, and eating those cookies. Those were the good old days.

What are the cookies that you remember as a child? Which ones were your favorites?

If you’re like most people…you will come up with the following four

*Sugar Cookies

*Chocolate Chip Cookies

*Peanut Butter Cookies

*Gingerbread Cookies

These four kinds of cookies are America’s top pick when it comes to holiday cookies. There are many variations of each kind. But my favorite…other than the cookies I mentioned at the beginning of this article, is chocolate chip cookies. Every Christmas, my Sister-In-Law brings everyone in the family a big bag of them. It’s a tradition with her. She enjoys baking chocolate chip cookies for us all.

Below is my Sister-In-Law’s recipe

(It’s actually the same recipe that is in the Betty Crocker cookbook)

bettycrocker.com

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened

1/3 cup shortening

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

(The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup chopped nuts, my Sister-In-Law doesn’t include nuts)

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugars, margarine, shortening, egg and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

I look forward to these every year. I too, have made them many times and they don’t last long around our house. My Husband loves them.

Do you bake cookies for the holidays? Everyone has their personal favorites.

If you’re baking cookies this Christmas, don’t forget to leave Santa a special plate full of them.

Happy Holidays to all!

3

A Guide To Hotel Linen Sizes

Hotel quality bed linen, duvets and towels are a cut above the rest and thats why hotel rooms always have that sumptuous, luxurious feel. However, how do we know what the industry standards are to make your hotel room so comfortable?

Bed Linen:
Bed linen in hotel rooms has a lovely, luxurious feel and this is often down to the thread count of the linen itself. The higher the count of the threads in the item, the softer and more comfortable the bedding seems to be. The thread count is the number of fibres horizontally and vertically inside a square inch of the material and the higher this is, the better the quality. Hotel bed linen has a thread count of around 300-400 threads.

This then fits over the beds in the room, of which there are a number of different sizes. The exact measurements may differ slightly from one manufacturer to another.

UK Bed Measurements:

Single: Fitted Sheet – 90 x 190cm; Flat Sheet – 180 x 265cm; Duvet Cover – 137 x 203cm

Double: Fitted Sheet – 141 x 196cm; Flat Sheet – 230 x 275cm; Duvet Cover – 198 x 203cm

King size: Fitted Sheet – 152 x 200cm; Flat Sheet – 275 x 280cm; Duvet Cover – 244 x 234cm

Super king size: Fitted Sheet – 183 x 200cm; Flat Sheet – 305 x 305cm; Duvet Cover – 270 x 234cm

Towels:
Towels are also subject to specific requirements for hotels and the width of the cotton towel or its weight is usually measured in GSM, this is grams per square inch. Low quality towels can have a GSM of 200. However, towels in hotels generally have a GSM of at least 600 and up to 800. This ensures they are more absorbent and also softer as there is more cotton to absorb the liquid.

Bath towels in hotels usually come in four different sizes. Again, exact measurements may vary.

Types of Towels and Their Sizes:

Large towel – 100 x 178cm

Medium size bath towels – 70 x 137cm

Small size hand towels – 50 x 100cm

Smallest size towels – 33 x 33cm

Duvets:
The duvet in hotel rooms is usually made from quality natural materials. The tog is how the duvets insulation is measured, and doesnt signify the thickness of the duvet as many people think. This is because different fillings may have the same tog, but differ in thickness.

Togs generally come in six sizes 4, 7.5, 10, 10.5, 12 and 13.5.

Typically, a 4 tog duvet is used for the warmer summer months, whereas the 10.5 tog and 13.5 tog are used for winter months.

So, now you understand the different sizes, thicknesses and materials used by hotels you can buy all your linen, towels and duvets with confidence.

10

Cholamandalam Travel Insurance Plans

Indians are travelling like never before. Be it for leisure, business, further education or more, there is an estimated increase of 20% traffic travelling overseas every year. And a study shows that 80% of the travelers like to buy travel insurance policies online to ensure they are leaving their baggage of worries at home while they travel overseas.

There are many insurance companies offering travel insurance plans. Cholamandalam is one of the reliable travel insurance among these. Although most of the benefits arising out of Chola Travel Insurance are the same as others viz Medical Treatment, Repatriation of Remains, Dental Treatment, Checked Baggage Loss, Checked Baggage Delay, Passport Loss, Personal Liability, Hijack Relief Benefit, Hospital Daily Cash, Financial Emergency, Trip Cancellation, Trip Curtailment, Trip Delay, International Driving License Loss, Home Burglary, etc. However what sets Chola apart from others is:
Door-to-door Cover which means that your travel insurance starts the moment you leave your home for airport and ends when you return home from airport. Also it covers Personal Accident both overseas and domestic during your travel insurance validity.
Extensive network of hospitals and service providers all over the world.
Age Limit of family members starts from 3 months upto 80 years. No medical checkups are required for family members upto 65 years of age.
Pre-existing conditions are covered under life-saving unforeseen emergencies. Cholamandalam provides cover for any eventuality arising from a pre-existing condition.
Tie-up with I-SOS (the world-renowned International SOS) for Claims Processing and Assistance Services.

Besides the above listed benefits you get Toll-free phone numbers to contact the service provider from most frequently visited countries. The claims are settled fairly in a quick fashion. You just need to keep a copy of all the bills so that you can substantiate your claims and get timely reimbursement.

Cholamandalam insurance can be bought online at EIndiaInsurance. You can compare the insurance plan with other brands and can get a quote immediately. You can also speak to insurance agents on the phone to get complete information on the plan that you are interested in. Whenever buying an overseas travel insurance always remember to see what all is excluded and get complete clarity so that you know what you are paying for, what all it covers, what are its benefits and be sure if its worth your hard earned money or not. Last but not the least, do not just buy any travel insurance which is cheap coz you might have to shell money out of your pocket in the event of any unforeseen emergency which might not be covered under the cheap travel insurance plan. A few rupees more might just give you a complete peace of mind while you explore the other world. So travel, but with a good travel insurance plan in your backpack!

13

Hill Station Tour Packages In India

Mahabaleshwar Tour

Mahabaleshwar is a scenic city in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is about 4439 ft. above sea level. This place has immense historical importance which starts from the year 1215 when the King of Deogiri, King Singhan, built a temple as well as a water tank right at Krishna Rivers source. River Krishnas legendary source is from the mouth of a cows statue which is in the ancient temple of Lord Mahadev in Mahabaleshwar. Water from the rivers of Koyna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri also flows from this same spout. Mahabaleshwar is very popular for its points which are more than a dozen in number. The scenery witnessed from these points is breathtakingly beautiful. The most visited places in Mahabaleshwar tour include Kates Point, Pratapgad Fort, Wilson Point and Venna Lake. These and various other spots allow the tourists a host of activities like farm visits, horse riding, fishing, boating and trekking.

Tour Packages India

India is in the fifth position among the nations with a rapidly growing tourism sector. India is blessed with rich history and exceptional diversity in its culture and geography. Thus, Indians as well as foreigners find the Tour Packages India in and around India extremely fascinating. There are quite many tourist organizations that do a good job in designing tour packages in exploring India. Consumers can choose the packages based on one’s interest and suitability. There are packages which cover most religious places, places with historic importance, sightseeing, wildlife and many other likewise categories. Few of the places that one cannot afford to miss in their India tour are: The Tajmahal One of the Seven Wonders of the World. It has about 2.4 million visitors every year. The Golden temple of Amritsar, Lakes of Leh and Ladakh, Kanyakumari Temple in Kerala and The Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh.

Manali Tour Packages from Delhi

Amongst the tourist packages from Delhi, Manali in Himachal Pradesh is the most admired destination. Manali is a part of the Kullu district in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh and is about 5900 ft. above sea level. The climate of this place being primarily cool, most time of the year, attracts tourism in large numbers. Moving around the city is usually by bus or other private means of transportation. Manali has the most number of tourists who wish to witness the beauty and serenity of the Himalayas. The dangerous yet so marvelous Rohtang Pass is another tourist attraction. It gives an excellent panoramic view of the mountain ranges. Manali tour packages from Delhi let its tourists to experience the exquisite snowfall which is quite rare in other parts of the country.

19

Spending Christmas In A Holiday Lodge

The main benefit of being away from home is the wonderful fact of putting all chores on hold for the duration; a significant plus to anyone who has laboured mightily on Christmas Day, barely snatching ten minutes to listen to the Queens Speech before collapsing in an exhausted heap and going to bed before the children!

Amongst the drawbacks are that spending Christmas away from home can induce homesickness and the general unfamiliarity with foods and traditions can be a problem; even something as simple as knowing where the milk and sugar are for that necessary cup of tea! Sun-worshippers may like the idea of lying on a beach somewhere, sipping a tropical cocktail while snow and robins are the furthest thing from their minds; however many people prefer to stay in the United Kingdom for Christmas, if for no other reason than to have authentic Christmas weather, maybe even a snow flurry or two to create picturesque tableaux. Another drawback could be that family pets will need to be catered for, either at a boarding facility or having someone pet-sit for them.

Norfolk lends itself admirably to being the location for a holiday away from home; particularly one of the holiday lodges available in the area. Norfolk is absolutely beautiful; miles of flat countryside which should be dull but are not due to the wonderful diversity of plant, animal and birdlife to be found in the area. Rolling heaths interspersed with the occasional evergreen, windmill or church spire are plentifully watered by the many rivers and waterways that provide a vital ecosystem for the birds that flock here from all over the world. Coastal paths and the seaside do not have to be the property of summertime only; wintry walks will reveal a precious private shore life not hinted at in tourist-busy summer.

Many of the lodges come with a housekeeping service meaning that the family can go out for a lovely morning walk to explore the area or stock up on snacks and treats and come back to find everything beautifully clean and tidy. The lodge will provide sufficient privacy for everyone to relax and feel properly at home, in a way not always possible in a hotel or even at a relatives house. Imagine snuggling down in front of a genuine wood-fire on Christmas Eve, the flames sparkling off the tinsel and baubles, beautifully cosy while the frosty wind whistles outside what better setting for the best family Christmas ever? Some lodges may even have a provision for pets to accompany their owners; how wonderful to have the whole family all together for one of the best days of the year.

Norfolk holiday lodges at Christmas can provide a wonderful setting for a memorable holiday, a time of laughter, relaxation, family fun and giving magic!

2

The Perfect Vacation in Thailand

Go on and have the perfect vacation in Thailand. Don’t just go to Thailand following the trail of one of your friends who has already been there. Don’t also go to Thailand on the advice of your favorite Tour Operator or as per what you have just read in one of the Tour Guides or brochures. Be different. Go and do some volunteer work in Thailand instead. Mind you when you go as a volunteer in Thailand, you get more bangs for your bucks! You get to see the true Thailand, not the sanitized version that’s presented to millions of tourists who have visited Thailand before you. When you wish to go as a volunteer in Thailand the true Thailand will open up in front of you, the rural Thailand that’s unseen by the outside world unless some like you who go over to do volunteer work in Thailand.

So, what kind of volunteer work can you do in Thailand? Do you have to be a professional? Could just anyone go? Will you get adequate time off from your volunteer work in Thailand to be able to see the country and its villages? When you wish to sign up as a volunteer in Thailand you could take any of the several options that are open to you. You could take up teaching and be engaged with little children who could be taught English by you. You could participate in Thailand’s medical program or one in childcare. If you are interested in animals you would surely enjoy working for the welfare of gibbons or elephants besides sea turtles and rescued dogs. You need not be an architect or an engineer but you could participate in Thailand’s building activities and help in building a school, a home or a place for putting up destitute kids. You could also help in community activities such as in vegetable gardens or mini fish farms. Generally, you will need to work for only four days a week, leaving you with a long weeked to explore the countryside or the surrounding mountains. The perfect vacation in Thailand beckons.

Myself webmaster of Starfish Volunteers ( ) – a growing ‘not for profit’ volunteer and gap year organisation providing volunteer opportunities, volunteer Thailand, volunteer travel, community volunteering and volunteer work in Thailand.

20

Eastern Mangroves Hotel Complex In Abu Dhabi Is On Track For Completion This Year

The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has announced that the Eastern Mangroves complex in Abu Dhabi is on schedule and is expected to be fully operating by the end of 2012.

The new complex will feature a five-star hotel for tourists taking Abu Dhabi holidays, as well as a number of residential buildings and a 30-berth marina.

The TDIC is developing the complex and the first phrase the Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara – is due to be completed in June. The residential buildings and the marina are scheduled for completion in the last quarter of this year.

The Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara is set against the citys eastern mangroves and has 222 spacious rooms and suites. The rooms are equipped with modern amenities including air conditioning, in-room entertainment systems, flat screen televisions, and Wi-Fi internet, as well as bathrooms with rainforest showers, bath tubs, and Anantara bathroom products.

The Director of Operations Middle East for Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and the General Manager of Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, Michel Koopman, explained: “This is really about the quality, not the quantity. It’s about positioning and the quality of the restaurants and the spa. For me, it’s a hotel for a pampering weekend. It’s not a hotel for big tours or big MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] events. It’s not that.

“Our focus is on the quality of the experience and the long-term positioning of the hotel. Our focus is not to fill it up, but to make sure that we have the right clientele in.”

Facilities at the one of the newest Abu Dhabi hotels include the Pachaylen restaurant with Thai dishes; Ingredients, the all-day restaurant that offers international cuisine and two outdoor terraces; the two-level Mangroves Lounge where guests can relax and enjoy holidays in Abu Dhabi with a refreshing cocktail; and Impressions, the roof-top bar that offers comfortable sofas and views overlooking the city and mangroves.

During holidays to Abu Dhabi, guests can indulge in the Anantara Spa where they can enjoy a wide selection of signature Anantara treatments, a traditional Turkish hammam, steam and sauna facilities, and separate male and female areas.

The luxury Abu Dhabi hotel has an infinity pool and terrace, prayer rooms, a modern fitness centre, a business centre and Majlis, a ballroom, and a boutique shop.

10

Plan A Memorable Trip To The Exotic Andaman And Nicobar Islands

Indian tourism is appreciated a lot for its beauty and religious values, therefore tourists from different countries are attracted towards India. India has several beautiful tourist attractions and one of such beautiful places is Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This is a group of islands which are situated at the stage of Andaman Sea and The Bay Of Bengal. Surrounded by water and natural greenery, the Islands are considered as the Honeymoon paradise for newlywed couples. Moreover, these are the most sought after islands across the world and grabs attention of every traveler.

If you have planned an Andaman and Nicobar Islands tour, then the major attractions you must visit are as follows:

Port Blair: Port Blair is the capital city of Andaman as well as the entry and exit point of these islands. The most popular tourist attraction in this city is the Cellular Jail and its sound and light show. The jail is popular worldwide as it is associated with the struggle of Indian freedom fighters. Ross Island, Viper Island, JollyBuoy Island and North Bay Island are other places around the city where you can enjoy water sports and other adventures like snorkeling, scuba diving, etc.

Havelock Islands: If you want to enjoy the adorable beauty of nature like the limitless blue sky, fresh air, amusing climate, magnificent beaches, influential palm trees & green surroundings, then nothing can beat the exotic Havelock Islands. Known for its incomparable beauty, the island is a must to visit. The charm and beauty of gorgeous Radhanagar beach is unparalleled and hence it is favorite honeymoon sport for all newly married couples.

Neil Islands: Neil islands are other popular islands of Andaman. It is well-known for its green forests and sandy beaches. Laxmanpur, Bharatpur and Sitapur beaches are best tourist spot for all beach lovers. Moreover, you can also enjoy the beautiful sea full of amazing corals and fishes on these islands. The beautiful water surroundings magnetize the adventure sports lovers to take pleasure of snorkeling.

Nicobar Islands: Nicobar Islands are also popular tourist spot where people visit to know about the tribal people and their life. Most of the Nicobar Islands are occupied by the tribal and if you love to know about their lifestyle, then these are the ideal tourist spots.

So, if you have not yet planned a trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, then plan it now as there can nothing is as beautiful as these islands.

1

Holiday Decorating More Fun With Holiday Flowers

This year when you are deciding how to decorate your home or office for the holiday season, don’t you dare forget about Christmas flowers and other holiday flowers! Flowers make such a beautiful addition to any home or office, and at the holiday season, special holiday and Christmas flowers are even more appreciated than ever.

During the Christmas season, most of us spend a lot of money, time and effort cleaning our house and decorating it for the holidays. We entertain our friends and family, go to parties, and admire holiday decorations. For most people, the centerpiece of holiday decorations is the evergreen Christmas tree.

Use of evergreens has traditionally symbolized the rebirth of the new year. During the holiday season it is generally the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere. Not long after Christmas the days start to get longer. Traditionally evergreens were the only greenery available at this time of year, and decorating with them has always symbolized the ever-changing cycle of life.

But now we have many more options for holiday decorating, and flowers are among the most beautiful and cherished. Many flower decorating options exist for holiday decor around the house. Christmas themed floral decor brings brightness and color to your holiday decor. While most people opt for the vibrant colors of the poinsettia flower for their holiday decor, there are many flowers available to consider as possible choices for your holiday decorations.

It is easy to find local florists who sell holiday flowers. Arrangements of all sizes are available. Imagine a beautiful bouquet of red roses, white lilies, green leaves of holly, and baby’s breath as the centerpiece at Christmas dinner. Many florists use additional decorations such as ribbons, ornaments, and bells to add a little fun to the arrangement.

A thoughtful gift for the hostess of a holiday party is some Christmas flowers. This is a better option than searching for just the right bottle of wine because it will add to the seasonal decorations of the home. A bouquet of live flowers adds that special touch and lets the person know you care. There are many types of flowers that look great this time of year, like calla lilies and seasonal colored carnations. Tulips are also a nice option. Bring a gift everyone will like, and the other guests will also enjoy with pretty flowers.

If you’re looking to buy flowers, you can find them at local florists, supermarkets, and even from street vendors. Ordering flowers from your local florist in advance may result in a discount. You should also ask your florists about Christmas flowers. They know what flowers make beautiful holiday arrangements and can offer you seemingly endless options.

20

Waht About The Canary Islands

Located off the northwestern coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, especially with Europeans.

The seven main islands that make up the Canary Islands are well spaced out so that it is only a day’s sail between most of them. The Islands are part of Spain but they’re located much closer to Africa than the Spanish mainland.

Known to the ancient Greeks as The Fortunate Islands, the Canary Islands are indeed blessed with exuberantly green landscapes and a perfect temperate all year-round.

All the Canary Islands are like small isolated continents. These islands are best known for twelve months of glorious sunshine, making them an ideal destination for holidays throughout the year. Since the Canary Islands are a major European tourist destination, all the major islands have well-developed communication systems, airports, and ports.

Travelers should note that, although part of Spain, the Canary Islands are outside the EU trading zone.

Most people in the US have no idea where the Canary Islands are, and are afraid to show their ignorance by asking. They are part of Spain but they’re located much closer to the African cost than the cost of Spain.

Featuring approximately 26 species, the Canary Islands are one of the world’s best and most popular regions to watch whales and dolphins. Accepted history is, that the Canary Islands are named after the dogs, while the birds are named after the Canary Islands.

In recent years Gran Canaria has also emerged as an up and coming destination for a Canary Islands golf holiday.

Thinking of a holiday in Canary Islands? There are plenty of self-catering villas and apartments available for holiday and vacation rentals on the islands, all year round at very competitive prices.

Want to learn more about these amazing islands?

There are various kinds of maps of Canary Islands are available many of which are free for the asking from most travel agencies.

There are seven main islands that make up the Canary Islands, and there is only a day’s sail between most of them. Both the fruit and vegetables that are cultivated, and the fish caught in the coastal waters of the Canary Islands are found nowhere else in Spain.

The cuisine of the Canary Islands is much affected by tourism and of course mainland Spanish food. The Canary Islands are Spain’s tropical paradise and a fascinating holiday destination.