Monday, April 04, 2011

A visit from our friends to the North

Thank you guest blogger Julie Ovenell-Carter from for today's insighful travel tips...

Canada is a country so big that it takes almost eight hours to fly from one end to the other. As a frequent traveler, I know a thing or two about long-haul air travel. When you find yourself staring in disbelief at an itinerary that includes 15 uninterrupted hours in the sky (who knew planes could stay in the air that long?), you’ll want to remember these 10 tips. Trust me: you can do it my way—or the hard way…

Today's 10 Links a Day: 10 great travel tips!
  1. Start by traveling light. At the end of a long trip, the last thing you want to do is stand around waiting for your luggage—especially if you’re trying to clear customs and make a connecting flight. I’m a long-time fan of Heys carry-ons—light-weight, attractive and virtually indestructible.

  2. If you’re really disciplined with your packing, consider the surprisingly stylish ScotteVest clothing line which lets you carry almost all your travel essentials—including iPads and underwear—in cunningly placed coat pockets.

  3. And if you’re not disciplined about packing—and somehow there always seems to be a direct correlation between the length of your flight and the weight of your bags—save yourself time and humiliation at check-in by investing a few bucks in a hand-held Heys X-Scale so you can weigh your luggage before you leave for the airport.

  4. Don’t leave your seat to chance.  When booking, use SeatGuru to choose a seat that a.) reclines, b.) is located away from the toilet and galley and c.) doesn’t compromise leg room with under-seat electrical boxes or other weirdly placed utilities.

  5. Pre-order a “special” meal when you book your flight. It doesn’t really matter what you choose—vegetarian, Kosher, low-fat—you’ll get fed first, and often you’ll get fed better. AirlineMeals.Net will give you a glimpse of what to expect from various airlines.

  6. Carry your own water bottle—ideally one like the lightweight BHP-free Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle. You can’t drink enough water on a long-haul, especially if you plan to enjoy a free glass or wine or two en route. (Though you’ll feel better if you don’t.)

  7. Invest in a set of expensive-but-definitely-worth-it Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Or at least a 50-cent pair of earplugs.

  8. Consider packing along some little blue pills. (But not those pervy little blue pills that the guy in 16C with the hairy chest and gold neck chain has in his pocket.) I never travel without a mild prescription sleep aid that goes by the name Zopiclone in Canada—I get a dozen from my doctor at the start of each year and save them only for long-haul flights.  I can get about six hours of deep sleep sitting upright—without a nasty “hangover” feeling.  My American friends tell me Ambien has a similar effect. Ask your doc for advice.

  9. If prescription pills are a no-go for you, consider mitigating the damage of time travel with one of the naturopathic remedies currently on the market such as such as NoJetLag.

  10. Never board a plane without lubricating eye drops such as GenTeal, a small tube of hand lotion and a good lip balm.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Behind the Velvet Rope! Part 2

Last October we published a wildly popular list entitled: Behind the Velvet Rope!. Since then, our readers spoke up and we listened. Rejoice, the velvet rope comes down again and your entrance to the world of private shopping is ready to receive you. 

Today's 10 Links a Day: More Private Shopping Sites

  1. Swirl
    Buy clothes and accessories at up to 70% off from the designers you love and buzzworthy fashion-world newbies.

  2. One Kings Lane
    Private sales on home decor, accessories and gifts. Prices are up to 70% off every day.

  3. Sniqueaway
    Private sale travel experience with top brands and A-List accommodations at surprisingly affordable prices.

  4. Editor's Closet
    Private sale website offering exclusive limited time savings on men's, women's and children's fashion and luxury brands

  5. billion dollar babes
    Serving up top designers on a silver platter to a lucky few - at ridiculously discounted prices

  6. Beyond the Rack
    Private shopping club for women and men who want designer brand apparel and accessories at prices up to 70% off retail

  7. RowNine
    Shop for premium brands and services at awesome prices

    You can find the latest trends in apparel and accessories for women at discounted prices

  9. Luxury Link
    Travel site that has packages at the world's best places to stay, and the best part is that they're at exceptional values.

  10. Family Getaway
    Families seeking to create lifelong memories discover the best places to stay and exceptional values.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Does this look good on me?

    The future is here. Now you can upload a picture of yourself to various sites and preview how various items like clothes, makeovers and glasses look on you without the hassle of leaving your home. Take it one step further and some sites allow you to share it with your friends. Go on now, you know you want to try it...

    Today's 10 Links a Day: Virtual Try On Rooms

    1. Go try it on!
      Honest advice before you go out

    2. Polyvore
      Create a look

    3. Fashism
      "There must be a way to get an unbiased opinion using that internet everyone is talking about"

      Try on glasses with the framefiner

    5. Virtual Haircut-Makeover

    6. TAAZ
      Give yourself a makeover

    7. Seventeen Magazine
      Give yourself an instant makeover

    8. Daily Makeover

    9. Makeover
      Get a Hollywood makeover

    10. Uniquescan
      Get scanned and buy custom clothes

        Saturday, January 08, 2011

        New Year, New You...

        With the beginning of each new year, it’s natural for people to start thinking about living a healthier lifestyle. Some want to lose weight, others want to learn how to eat more healthy, still others just want to find balance and a sense of well-being. While there are plenty of so-called “wellness vacations” out there, some are, shall we say, more focused than others.

        Selected by the editorial team at, here are 10 recommended programs that are available now through the end of May
        1. Detox and renewal rule this program at Red Mountain Resort & Spa.

        2. The Chopra Center’s Perfect Health Panchakarma combines detoxification, cleansing and daily healthy lifestyle classes.

        3. Energy work is at the core of this unique retreat at Grail Springs .

        4. Never Diet Again. We like the sound of this weight loss and wellness program at Mohonk.

        5. Dr. Andrew Weil deals wellness from the perspective of managing stress.

        6. Love to hike? It’s the preferred way to trim those extra pounds at The New Life Hiking Spa.

        7. Nutrition, behavioral workshops, cooking classes and yoga make up this wellness retreat at The Bald Head Island Center for Wellness.

        8. At Cooper Wellness nutrition, fitness and lifestyle classes give you the tools and knowledge to live well.

        9. This guided retreat integrates meditation, breathing exercises and relaxation methods with lifestyle classes and a volunteer option. 

        10. Yoga, meditation, excursions to gardens, farms and plantations mix with nutrition talks on the island of St. Lucia

        Tuesday, January 04, 2011

        Saaaaay CHEEEEEEZE...

        How many times have you posed for a picture? Countless, right? Well, now you can do some really unique things with those perfect shots. The holidays are over and now you have a ton of pictures on your camera. Here is a few unique ideas to do with your with your shots.

        1. Try Pic Scatter and have the best Facebook profile picture out there. Here are some other clever ways to hack your Facebook Profile Picture.

        2. Enter your favorite photos into a contest.

        3. Send your pictures to outer space. Yes, I did say outer space.

        4. Ever feel like your life just flashed before your eyes? Now you can generate a video through your pictures. Try out Pummelvision.

        5. How about making a personalized jigsaw puzzle out of your pictures? Makes a nice gift idea.

        6. Can you say Flipbook?

        7. Update your IKEA furniture with your photos (we think this is super cool!)

        8. Digital photo frames are great!

        9. Don't forget to back them up!

        10. An oldie but goodie - Elf Yourself .

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