Season’s Favorite Holiday Cookies

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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)

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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!

Beaches Boscobel In Jamaica Offer Unique Dolphin touch Programme Pass For Families

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Following recent refurbishments, the Beaches Boscobel Resort and Golf Club in Jamaica is offering a fantastic experience for groups of families or friends who are planning to stay at the hotel this autumn.

Tourists booking Jamaica holidays between now and 29th February, 2012 (with travelling dates between late August and December 2012) will receive a free Dolphin Touch experience if they book five rooms or more for a minimum of three nights at any Beaches Resorts.

This exclusive offer is fantastic for families and groups of friends who are planning family holidays in Jamaica later this year.

The Dolphin Touch experience is led by Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours and families staying at Beaches Jamaica hotels will receive free Dolphin Cove admission for one child under the age of twelve, two free Dolphin Touch programme passes for children aged under five, and a free Dolphin Touch programme pass for one child aged between six and twelve.

One paying adult is required to accompany each free pass and the offer is valid between 26th August and 16th December, 2012.

The Dolphin Cove Touch programme enables visitors to get up close to the beautiful bottlenose dolphins where they can give them a special kiss and hug from a knee-deep water platform.

The Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club is the perfect place for family breaks in Jamaica with an idyllic location set upon 22 acres of land that is made up of lush tropical gardens and a private white sand beach.

During holidays in Jamaica, families can take advantage of the hotels facilities including three swimming pools and a scuba practice pool; Pirates Island, a huge 27,000 square foot water park with a Kids Zone and Aqua Play Area; five gourmet restaurants with a wide selection of international and local cuisine; an 18-hole golf course where children are also welcome; tennis courts; and a Red Lane Spa where adults can enjoying rejuvenating treatments while the little ones are looked after at Kids Camp or the X Box 360 Game Garage.

The resort has recently undergone renovations that include upgraded rooms and suites, expanded swimming pools and new cabanas, and expanded restaurants.

The Beaches brand is part of the Sandals Resorts group and features all inclusive Caribbean hotels and resorts in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos.

Holidaymakers who book at least five rooms at any of the collection of Beaches Resorts in Jamaica for three nights or more will also receive private check-in, a private group picnic, one group meal at a resort restaurant, a complimentary 15 minute group portrait session and one 5×7 photograph per room, a farewell cake, and exclusive group activities.

Virgin Islands Vacations can be exciting

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There are approximately sixty US Virgin Islands. These islands have a pleasant sub tropical temperature all year round. This aspect is usually due to their location in the Caribbean Sea. This sort of weather is glorious reports to anybody planning VIRGIN ISLAND VACATIONS. >

One can find an abundance of activities to enjoy. 16 of the islands are inhabited while the rest are empty. Getting around between the large islands isn’t that tricky. There is a great ferry system to handle that. If you want going to several of the smaller islands, you can hire a sailboat, yacht, of a speedboat.

There are rather far more ways to get around like taking an aerial tour. Leasing a vehicle can give you independent mobility and, there are always taxis. These islands may not have mass transit, but you can still find it quite straightforward to find your way around.

You may be wondering where to stay. The US Virgin Isles have a huge choice when talking about accommodations. The hotels offer all the conveniences of a top class hotel. If, you would like more privacy lease one of the villas that are all the islands. This way you can enjoy the island on your own terms.

The most modern of all the islands is Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The name means turtle dove. It has great white fantastic beaches where you can swim or sunbathe all day. If it is adventure you want, you can go snorkeling and explore the underwater caves or check out one of the swim up bars. You can enjoy these activities on one of the other preferred islands Virgin Gorda.

Virgin Gorda is the 3rd biggest of the islands which make the Brit Virgin Islands. Its name means, the fat virgin. This island has great deep sea fishing as well as diving experiences.

Another great island is Anegada Island. This islands name means the drowned land. It became the name because its highest point is only twenty-eight ft above sea level. Some minutes from Virgin Gorda, this island isn’t very populous. roughly 200 people live there. It has long areas of white golden beaches, the most stunning turquoise water, and the famous Anegada lobster, which is famous throughout all the islands.

There’s something for everybody. White beaches, beautifully clear water, all kinds of water activities and they have got a superb nightlife. All can be yours on VIRGIN ISLAND VACATIONS.

Helpful Hotel Information For Tourists

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The minute somebody travels away, they immediately think of their hotel. They wish to have a pleasurable yet safe and secure place to sleep in and most importantly, fit their travel allowance particularly if theyre on holiday. They have a need for all the travel and hotel recommendations they can have to get the most off their tour. So considering the hotel rooms nearby, which one should you stick with?

Area
Rent a location near public transportation or one that is in the central part of town. Often times, if youre lucky, the hotels may just be close to gorgeous tourist sites and close to the malls, markets, restaurants and coffee shops.

Hotel Price
Depending on your destination and your finances, you need to decide if you will settle in a posh or a low-priced accommodation. Regardless of your choice, you should try to book this during off seasons. So make a reservation beforehand. This could even give you a chance to acquire a discount for early reservations.

Amenities
Given that you will be on a vacation, identify what features your hotel offers. Most of the time, they have a swimming pool, a bar and a medical spa, occasionally even a gym.

Dogs And Young Kids
Another thing to give thought to is if you are taking along your kids and your pet or pets. If this is the actual situation, look for a hotel that is both children and pet friendly.

Occasion
What you also must reflect on is the occasion. So pick out your hotel lodging accordingly. If you are off to a honeymoon vacation, choose a place that is peaceful and soothing. If you are off for a holiday with your kids, most likely a hotel having a leisurely space would be a terrific choice. Now you can choose the ideal type of hotel for you using the internet or through your travel agent. Yet still, if you prefer to research online, then do it. After all, there are various things you can look for online.

Through the internet, you can get a hold of numerous things from products to services such as the top rated beauty products, personalized gifts, real estate, modern mobile phones and the ideal SEO Company for your business concerns. The SEO company that we have chosen for instance has link building services that are offered at very reasonable prices. Similar to finding a hotel, we can also select the services in accordance to whats near your preferences.

Dubai Tours a Top Holiday Destination Package

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Dubai, an emirate in the United Arab Emirates, has emerged as one of the most popular cities in the modern world. An ideal hub, both for professionals as well as tourists, it serves as the center of industrial and commercial trading in the Middle East. Over the years, this cosmopolitan city has grown to become one of the main centers of Persian commerce and trade. Historically, it had its economical base on the Oil industry, but with time, aviation, real-estate and tourism encouraged a number of foreign companies to make this city their base. Also, this location has become a must-visit center from enthusiastic tourists from round the globe. Famous tourist agencies have made Dubai tours a must in their package offers in recent years.

Burj Khalifa

One of the most famous attractions of Dubai is the Burj Khalifa. This is a gigantic building and is the tallest man-made structure in the world. The skyscraper has 163 floors, the highest in the world and is located along the Sheikh Zayed Road. It took nearly 7 years for the construction of this huge building. There is an Observation Deck on the 124th floor named At the Top. Visitors are allowed to view a magnificent glimpse of the landscape around from this tower in real-time. Also, previously saved images taken from this Observation Deck are on display here.

Palm Jumeirah

Also, a major tourist attraction, which should never be missed on Dubai holidays, is Palm Jumeirah. This is an artificial archipelago, brought into existence by a company owned by the Dubai government, Nakheel. Located in the coastal area of Jumeirah, Palm Jumeirah is one of the three of the planned islands called palm Islands. It is in the shape of a palm tree comprising a main trunk, from which, 16 outgrowths, 8 in either sides, make up the main structure. It is surrounded by a crescent-shaped island.

Gold Souk

For shopaholics, the urban city has Gold Souk, which is located in the business areas of the city in Deira. Around 300 retailers in this world famous market carry out their trade in jewelery items made from pure gold. According to rough estimation, approximately 10 metric tonnes of pure gold is always in this market at any given point of time. A surprising statistical study say, that India is the biggest buyer of this gold, accounting for nearly 23 per cent.

Dubai also excels in providing tourists with exceptional beaches, restaurants and other forms of entertainment like, desert safaris. Also, the culture and ethnicity of this famous location is mesmerizing and people from every nook and corner of the world come to spend their holidays in this beautiful place. The city flourishes in the urban lifestyle and offers visitors with mouth watering cuisines from around the world. Large shopping malls and markets are dotted in this posh metropolis making it an ideal place for shopping.

Fabulous January Holiday Destinations

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January remains one of the most favoured months for planning a winter getaway. With different parts of the world being under different climactic zones, there are plenty of places to escape to for a warm sunny winter far away from the somewhat brutal English cold. The Golden Triangle Tour of India, sightseeing in Egypt, and going on an odyssey to Thailand are just some of the ways for ensuring a pleasurable time during January.

Egypt

Planning ones January holidays in Egypt makes for a terrific idea. In fact, many travellers worldwide catch their flights to Egypt during January. The weather gods ensure that weather conditions dont play spoilsport for exploring all the seductive trappings of the destination such as the legendary Nile River cruises and the knock out sightseeing attractions. In simple words, January is one of the perfect times to revel in the wonders of Egypt like taking hot air balloon rides over Luxor and getting awed by the stunning monuments such as the pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum, the Coptic Quarter, and Hanging Church.

India

India, with its scores of tourist trappings, is another popular hot choice for a January winter holiday. Weather conditions are just about perfect for almost every imaginable activity such as exploring the tourist gems on the Golden Triangle Tour, visiting wildlife zones, getting high on the sun, sand, and surf experience of Goa and Kerala, and indulging in adrenalin pumping winter sports like skiing and rollerblading in the high altitude areas of Kufri, Auli, Manali, and Gulmarg. No small wonder that India is one of the perfect places in the world for a cheap winter sun destination.

Thailand

Most British visitors who escape to the land of smiles during the bone chilling cold of an English January find swear by the destination. The pristine beaches of Phuket, Koh Samui, and Krabi, as well as the seductive nightlife, shopping escapades, temples, and cuisines of Bangkok draw quite a few tourists during January. The country also bubbles with merry festivals such as Mekong Sunrise: The First Sunrise in Thailand, King Meng Rai Festival, and Bang Sai Folk Arts & Crafts Fair during January. In fact, reasons are aplenty for hunting down all inclusive holiday deals to Thailand during the month.

Mauritius

Mauritius tends to get somewhat hot, humid, and rainy during January. However, this very reason makes the country a good choice for seeking some cheap all inclusive holiday packages to. Careful planning can even go a long way in getting discounts on first as well as business class flights to the destination during January. Areas near the western coastline are best for a January visit as the rains here are comparatively less frequent than the other regions. Usually, temperatures range from 29C to 31C in the coastal regions and normally dont fall under 20 C in the higher regions.

Corporate Holiday Gifts – Sometimes A Small Token Goes A Long Way

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Corporate holiday gifts are usually gifts that the employer gives to employees and clients to show appreciation for the contribution to the business.

Cash tops the list for for employees, while trips are another great gift idea. A short weekend getaway to an area spa is a real nice to say thank you at the holidays.

No one wants a wreath either, a corporate holiday gifts list should not include any plant life or any use to be a plant gift either. Another bad idea is anything with the corporate logo blazoned across it. Employees do not need another pen with the company name on it. Food baskets are not the worst of the worst as presents to employees but food baskets should be sent to clients, and not given to employees that have helped to build the business throughout the year.

There have been some record breaking corporate gifts recorded over the years. There have been some gifts that were new cars, new homes, and all inclusive vacations to exotic locations. Large amounts of cash also made to the top recorded presents to employees.

Corporate holiday gifts are not only a show of holiday spirit but are also a nod to appreciation for a job well done. They should be well thought out or come in the form of a one size fits all cash gift. It really is the thought that counts and if there is no thought than it does not count.

If your employees have served you well throughout the year, you should reward them for it. Don’t give them anything insulting, like a simple wreath or pen with your company’s logo on it. Instead, give them a nice cash bonus or treat them to a vacation so they can come back to work well rested. If they have kids, consider getting them gifts in addition to your employee as well, to show that you pay attention to their family life.

Unforgettable Cruises to Greek Islands!

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Are you on a budget and you want to get a taste of Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea?
Here is the best choice for you!

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Join a short destination cruise to Mykonos and stroll at leisure through the whitewashed, flower-decked alleyways, climbing to the sculpture church of Paraportiani or along the waterfront of Little Venice to the well-known windmills. To Ephesus and witness the spectacular ruins where excavations still go on in this once great and important city. To Patmos, a beautiful and almost mysterious rocky island, where Apostle John was exiled and wrote the -Book of Revelations’. To Rhodes where in ancient times, the Colossus of Rhodes was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and since the afternoon is free it is a good chance to stroll around the medieval walled city, enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere, or spend some time at one of the elegant cafes . To Crete where in Knossos the capital of the once powerful Minoan civilization, and where the site of the legendary maize where Minotaur lived is located. See the ruins of the remarkable Palace and its extensive grounds. And finally in Santorini and witness its unique architecture its panoramic view of the sea and its breathtaking sunsets .

You want to know what are the advantages of joining such a short cruise? – No packing/unpacking at hotels as you would do on an island hoping tour. – No extra cost for accommodation on the islands. Your cabin is the only place for you overnight. – No extra cost for meals. All meals are included on board. – No worries about uncertain ferry schedules between the islands. Your cruise ship sails on scheduled dates and times!

Greece is renown for its natural beauty and I am sure that no traveler that ever decides to visit Greece will leave the country disappointed.

Country Vacations Mumbai

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We just got back from the week long Mumbai vacation. Although it was my third trip to Mumbai but it was my first vacation trip with my family. I am Deepak kapoor, marketing executive from Delhi. I am a happily satisfied member of country vacation. We are a family of three. Me, my wife and my daughter had planned well in advance for yearend Mumbai vacation.

Country vacation Membership gave me a chance to take my family for a wonderful trip to Mumbai. As it was my first vacation trip with my family I took no chance and booked the resort with country vacation well in advance. We reached Mumbai on 24th of December. As a valued member of Mumbai Country vacation we were received and welcomed by the representatives. Country vacations had our rooms booked in country club Andheri resort. At country club Andheri as the country vacations member we got number of mind boggling facilities. This resort is really on of the most happening place in Mumbai. Mumbai country vacation makes your vacation so comfortable that you will love to come here again and again. The exciting fun filled schedule of parties and celebrations is the highlight of the Mumbai country vacation. On 31st December night the country vacations resort was decorated like a bride and there was big bash organized with bollywood stars performances. Watching film stars performing for
Country vacation members is like special privilege.

Thanks to country vacations mumbai for this special treat on New Year eve. Country vacation organizes food festivals featuring multi cuisine delicacies are worth tasting. Children carnivals keeps your little ones busy and happy. My daughter just loved these carnivals. I enjoyed the ghazal evenings with renowned performers. Here at Mumbai country vacation Picnic and rain dance, fashion shows Dj nights and movie programs makes your vacation fun filled and exciting. In day to day life we never had enough time to sit back and relax but with country vacations I got chance to spend ample amount of time in massage parlor and health spa. My wife as usual went to beauty parlor. Mumbai country vacation is special for one more delicious reason.

At Country vacations restaurants I simply love the food, the authentic maharashtrian snacks. Small cold coffee, and milkshakes. In the evening we enjoyed playing tennis inside the resort. My wife and daughter tried their hands at squash. At this country vacation resort in andheri the whole atmosphere is like dream sequence of the typical bollywood masala films. But here in Mumbai country vacation everything is for real. Our vacation in Mumbai as a member of country vacation was quite an incredible experience; I can say it was altogether almost overwhelming in every way that one can imagine. I am looking forward to visit this beautiful city for vacation again. Thanks to country vacation Mumbai it made our trip memorable.

How to Strike a Good Hotel Deal

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Unlike what many people think, it does not have to be overly expensive to spend some time at a quality hotel. It does not matter how long you want to stay, you can always get a good hotel deal. There are always suitable deals for hotels but you might have to work a little hard to find yourself one. If you merely decide to call a hotel and accept the quoted rates from the comfort of your home, you will surely end up paying a lot of money for the hotel room you want. To get a good hotel deal you need to go beyond that, keep your options open, and hence get to save a few dollars.

First, you can get yourself a good deal by booking your hotel during the off-season. Few people are booking hotels at this time and consequently the prices are low. When the peak season comes, hotels charge very high rates but having booked earlier you will be free of these high rates. However, it is important to call the respective hotel first to know how much it usually charges. This is because you could be duped into paying the usual rates a hotel charges or even more in the name of a discount.

Many hotels have frequent guest programs. When guests visit they gain points and continue to accumulate them with more visits. This means that you can easily get cheaper room rates. If you belong to a special group that should enjoy special rates at hotels, always remember to make this known before you make the booking. Many hotels will give a good hotel deal to members of the military and students etc. and you will need to have the relevant documents to prove your status. Do not always take the first offer you are given but rather ask if you can get another room at a lower rate. You will be surprised to find that a room costs more because it has a facility you do not need while another room without the particular facility costs a lot less!

Remember that many hotels have extra charges that could spoil a seemingly good hotel deal; be wise and ask about them beforehand. If you have a car, ask if you will be charged parking fees. If you a tourist in a different country, it is possible that you will be charged tourist taxes and it is definitely something that you need prior knowledge of. Then there are the tips and everything else; you need to see how all these will fit into your budget to avoid frustrations.