Air Travel Tips For Children – Tips For Traveling With Kids

Dress the kids in comfortable clothes. Even if you are going to visit grandma and you want to impress her with your very best outfits, just carry these in your carry-on luggage and change after you arrive. It makes for a much less stressful trip if everyone is comfortable.Don’t forget to bring along an extra sweater or jacket as airplanes and airports can be cold. You may encounter an unexpected delay, better to be prepared. If you get stuck in an airport without a jacket and it is unusually cold, just purchase a sweatshirt in the gift shop. As you board the plane, grab pillows and blankets. They sometimes run short. Better yet, bring a travel blanket and pillow along if you have some space in your carry-on.Make sure your kids realize that the “bumps” they will feel in the air are normal and nothing to get upset over. For more air travel tips, children find the prospect of flying very exciting, so you can add some fun to the week before by counting down to the day of the trip using a calendar.Bring a few toys and/or books to keep your child occupied during the flight. If you have an iPod you can download audio books at places like and let them listen to a story during the flight. If you buy the unabridged versions these can be long enough to last the entire trip!Chewing some gum can help with the pressure build-up in the ears. Try to arrange nonstop flights if possible. Things can get hectic trying to get yourself and your kids off one plane and onto another. And a long layover will create boredom. Air travel with children doesn’t have to be stressful, just follow these tips and plan ahead, and you can have a safe and easy trip.

How to Hire and Manage Builders For Your Property Development Projects

Hiring and managing builders can sometimes be daunting. However, if you know the proper steps of hiring as well as the policies of managing, you will realize in the end that hiring and managing builders is as simple as entering into a relationship that you would have to maintain till the very end. Below are some of the things you may need to remember when you want to hire a builder and the things you have to do when you find the right one.1. RecommendationsAsk for any recommendation from experts and official bodies. This can be done by going through government and private institutions dealing with construction. Ask for the names of builders who are known for their quality of work. References can also be taken from friends or family members. You could also speak to contractors of buildings which are under construction within the community.2. Conduct phone interviewsOnce you have a shortlist of builders, conduct some inquiries. Inquiries can be made as to the types of project they accept and current projects they are working on. References should be obtained from past clients. If the builders are involved in subcontracting, the terms of employment should be obtained.
The acquired information should help determine the competency and ability of the builders to undertake your project.3. Meet the builders personallyFrom the interviews conducted, select three builders and meet them personally. They must be asked to provide estimates and completion timescales for your project. Their answers must be satisfactory and leave no room for doubt.4. Confirm the factsInterview previous clients of the builder to confirm everything he has told you. Ask specific questions regarding past projects in terms of quality, duration, timescales and prices. If the builder is currently working on a job, you may want to go and visit him on location. This will show you the work attitude of the workers towards the property and the quality of their work.5. Evaluate the bidsYou should ask the builders to give you a breakdown of the expenses covering the project. This way you will know exactly what costs what and where you can save money if need be.6. Make a systematic method of paymentThe method of payment employed will determine the contactor’s attitude with respect to finances and work. Don’t ever pay a builder all the monies prior to him starting the work. It is better to pay in stages as various components of the job are completed.7. Quality of the work and competency of the project must be the ultimate goals.These goals can be achieved through proper communication between the owner of the property and the builders. The competency of the builders must be proven in order to ensure the quality of the project. It must not be sacrificed in exchange for cheap labor cost.8. The terms and conditions of the agreement must be in a written contract.To avoid conflict, have a written contract drawn up with the builder. The following terms must be reflected in the contract; manner and method of payment, duration of the project, materials needed, and the security of the builders or contractors in case of non- payment of the owner after the completion of the project.

5 Future Trends for Education

The coming election in 2012 has brought up concerns about our educational system, and how it needs to revolutionized and transformed. The future of education is highly debatable, but five key trends remain. Read on to find out the five future trends for education in the upcoming years.

While many reports and surveys pretty much predict the same thing – the popularity and increasing acceptance of online education, the better employment rate, and the age of technology encouraging more access to education for all, there are some projections that have not been discussed as of late. Looking in depth and analyzing many factors contributing to the development of academic progress, we have aggregated 5 key trends to the future of education.

Year after year, America continues to be “#1″ in one sector – higher education. Though the American educational system is lagging behind those of Asia when tests are administered to primary and secondary school students, our Universities prove to be ranked at the top year after year. Higher Educational Universities are able to attract the best, the brightest, the most ambitious students from around the world for this reason – we outshine the global competition when it comes to higher education. The very idea and concept of an “Ivy League” School will continue to be a Staple of American Education, and in the future, will remain a unique sector of the American Educational System.

Secondly, with so many new emerging markets predicted to expand the economic system, more and more programs will be catered to new technology and entrepreneurial, as well as innovative programs. Top Universities and online colleges will have to face incorporating new classes that maximize on today’s current technological advances and issues that present themselves. This new coursework will better prepare students for real – life business operations and make the transition to employment smoother.

The third trend we predict for education is that there will be significantly higher number of graduates in 2012 who will find employment. Apparently the hiring rate is 9.5 percent higher, but in very specific sectors of employment. According to several news sources, the job industries that look the most promising and with high demands are called “STEM” fields, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Fourth, new teaching methods are being developed and improved. There has been emerging research on psychology, and how the brain learns and processes information. This new study will provide a framework for developing new ways of classroom interaction, and incorporating things like music and new study processes into the educational system.

Lastly, we all have predicted that education cannot be confined to the walls of a classroom, but rather expand to a digital classroom – even digital university, with access at our very fingertips. New accredited online colleges will open doors to education to many people who were not able to attend years before. With the help of public -private institutions and online prestigious colleges, new technological breakthroughs in education will provide a learning process that is on par and more flexible, affordable with the same reputation as traditional colleges. The future for education is looking grand and limitless.

What You Need to Know About Austin Education

If you have school children or kids nearing this period, then having good quality schools in your area is very important. When you’re searching for Austin real estate, you will find good quality schools throughout our town.

This is the following number of schools in Austin:

- Preschools – 385
- Elementary schools – 202
- Middle schools – 104
- High schools – 76
- Public schools – 215
- Private schools – 310

If you have college aged children or are considering school for yourself, you will discover that Austin has an excellent selection of higher learning institutions. The following is a list of colleges and universities located in Austin:

University of Texas at Austin: This public research university is also known as UT, UT Austin, and University of Texas.

It was founded in 1883 and has the fifth largest single campus enrollment in the country as of the fall 2010. It has 16 colleges and schools; along with two academic units.

In 2002, Sports Illustrated Magazine regarded UT as “America’s Best Sports College.”

Austin Community College (ACC): With eight campuses, ACC is the eighth largest college district in America. Opened since September 17, 1973, ACC offers over 180 academic programs.

Concordia University Texas: This is a private, co-ed institution that specializes in liberal arts and sciences. Concordia has satellite campuses in San Antonio, Fort Worth, Houston, and Fredericksburg.

Concordia was founded in 1926. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in 22 majors in the colleges of business, education, liberal arts, and science.

St. Edward’s University: A Roman Catholic institution founded in 1878, this private university concentrates on liberal arts.

U.S. News ranked St. Edward’s University as 21 in the list of best colleges. Forbes also gave it high rankings.

Since 1974, St. Edwards has offered equivalent bachelor’s degrees to adults age 24 and older through their New College Program. In addition, they have five bachelors and 11 master’s degree programs – both in over 50 areas.

Huston-Tilloston University: A historically black university, Huston-Tilloston is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Negro College Fund. It was founded in 1881.

Four year degrees are offered in business, education, humanities, natural and social sciences; and technology. Alternative teaching certificates as well as post-graduate degrees in law and medicine are also offered.

Austin Graduate School of Theology: A private Christian theological college, AGST was founded in 1917. It is associated with the Churches of Christ. It offers bachelor’s degrees in Biblical Studies in coordination with Abilene Christian University. It also awards master’s degrees.

Anyone looking to call Austin home will appreciate the good education that’s right in their own backyard. It makes your Austin home search so worth it!

Fitness Tips And Inspiration For The Spring

I have all kinds of tricks to get myself motivated before working out. There are some days where I just don’t feel like exercising, but the moment I add on a few things….all of a sudden there is fire and possibility in all that I do! I sense the empowerment and I feel alive again, to do whatever it takes to realize my fitness goals.Talk about real inspiration!!

At this point, I am reminded of my potential. I feel nothing is
standing in my way, with heavenly power running through my system.
That’s it folks-I’m so focused, I feel like running hard and then
retiring in a steam room- remember God gave us all a spirit of
courage, Amen!, You probably think I’m crazy, but guess what, that’s
what gets me going. I am naturally a very intense person. Talk about
the ” crushing through the system” mentality – don’t get me started!
I have a few ideas that I want you to consider.

Buckle up, and follow
these easy steps, and you may find yourself running on super jet fuel:

Number one, get into the habit of counting from the bottom
up-this takes off the ” usual” counting burden since the numbers
get reduced as you work your way through a set of exercises.

This goes hand in hand with the idea of doing
your least favorite sets first-then proceeding to your favorite

This has a powerful therapeutic effect, where you get to
concentrate on your weaker areas, before getting into the most
enjoyable part of your workout. I found this to be very useful for
during my college years, where I was struggling with squats and
other power lifts. After getting better with my squats, I got the
inspiration to try different fitness routines.

I can vividly remember that things started changing when I made the conscious decision of
doing the squats before getting to the arm curls, and shrugs.
I obviously switched things here and there to break the monotony.

Bottom line: it worked!

Thirdly add some spice to your regimen-this makes things fun, and it
breaks the monotony that checks in after 2 weeks of training. You could do some
circuit training, sprints, supersets, or even just go in and perform
some stomach routines, sprinkle some cardio and stretches and then
call it a day. My point is. . . . some days you just need to be the lazy
exerciser, just keep things short and sweet.

Fourthly, Given that most gyms have lots of traffic during certain
day hours, its important for you to always keep things moving!
If a machine is in use, don’t waste your time standing and waiting for
them to finish, move on to the next exercise, and go back to
the skipped exercise at a later time. This is where a program comes
in, without a program, everything is left to guesswork. But when you
have one in hand, then you have a list to refer to!

Next point is:Eat your proteins first, followed by your carbohydrates,

and then your fruit. I always encourage folks to vary their fruits,
get away from the habit of just having a banana 5 days of the week.
Have at least 3-4 different kinds of fruits lined up, that way your
body gets all the vitamins that it needs.

While still on the food issue,remember to eat fresh water fish-
farm raised produce contain very harmful chemical
compounds, and they don’t have the correct Omega 3-Omega 6 balance. I
once gave a lecture in Brooklyn, and one member of the congregation
said to me that she eats lots of fish, but she didn’t feel healthy.
I asked her what kind of fish she had, and you can guess the answer
that she gave me. Bottom line, she had eaten lots of fish over the
years, and the stuff had accumulated in her body! it just added more
inflammation to her already obese body. This toxicity alters your mood,
as well as negatively affecting your skin tone.

Lastly, stay away from highly processed produce, poultry and dairy.
Enough has already been said about their fat, sugar,and preservatives.
The more black folks understand that these foods aren’t
good for them, then as time goes by you’ll have a drop in cancer,
diabetes, high blood pressure and other preventable diseases.
Also remember to eat lots of vegetables, and an important word over
here is folks overcooking their vegetables. I’m not a big fan of
eating raw vegetables, I am big on cooking vegetables just enough
where you don’t destroy all the nutrients. If it means getting a
someone to teach you, maybe an Aunt or cousin whose a chef, just
do it. Bottom line, you need to know! Your inspiration to
workout and eat right will skyrocket.

3 Marketing Tips For Getting More Customers to Your Business

When starting a business, you should know that your results won’t come overnight. Growing a business takes time and dedication and these are both things that you need to keep in mind when marketing your products and services.

If you’re looking for new ways to get more leads and more customers for your business, then this article is for you. Inside of this article, you will learn little-known ways to get more new customers than you can handle. All of these marketing methods are tested and proven to work, so you can lay rest assured that they will work for you too. Let’s take a look at tip number 1.

1) Use lead generation

You want to use the lead generation method of marketing so that you can repeatedly follow up on customers and stay in front of them before they buy. Studies have shown that it takes a prospect around 7 times to view your message before they buy from you, so when you generate a lead, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to stay in front of this person so that they can keep you in mind when they’re ready to buy.

If you’re currently running an ad and aren’t seeing the desirable results that you are looking for, then maybe you should try the lead generation method instead. It may just prove to worth it for you to generate leads instead of selling directly to them. Let’s take a look at tip number 2.

2) Use niche marketing

You want to offer specific products to a specific kind of person. This is the best way to get your marketing message heard and to get people to respond to you. When you structure your marketing message to a specific person, you increase the chance of that person responding to your ad because they are so finely honed into your ad that they feel that it was written just for them.

When you operate in a niche, you also give yourself the opportunity to separate yourself from other business owners. Operating in a competition free zone is a great way to make your marketing efforts work for you and to decrease your marketing costs all at the same time. Let’s go on to tip number 3.

3) Give something for free

Giving a free offer is a great way to attract people to your business. When you give away something for free, you get to follow up on your prospects multiple times before they decide to buy. You will be first on their minds when they make their purchasing decision because you were one of the few people that offered more information about their particular problem.

When you use the free offer method, you’re setting yourself up for success because you are collecting a prospect’s name and contact address. This will allow you to follow up on them with more information. By enticing them with your free offer, you give them the chance to receive something for free, all while demonstrating your expertise at the same time.

All 3 of these marketing tips will prove to be helpful when marketing your products and services. Be sure to keep them in mind when trying to acquire new customers.

Marketing Your Business With Videos – 7 Tips To Video Marketing Online

As you likely know, marketing is all about getting your prospect to take the action you want him/her to take, whether that’s opting onto your list, following/liking your page, and/or purchasing your offer. To do this, you have to make sure to get his/her attention and convince him/her to do this. While text and audio can do this, your best bet in achieving this wanted action is via video marketing.

I hear you asking, “Why is video marketing more effective than text and audio?” The reason why is because, most humans prefer seeing something rather than reading or listening to something. Video is usually more engaging and can be more informative than text or audio.

This is all the more reason why most people will respond better to video than to text or audio. This is a major reason why many marketers are using video on their websites, especially when a prospect first visits a website.

Tips to video marketing:

Provide Value: One thing is that, you must be sure that the video provides value to your prospect. Don’t just put up a video so that you’ll have one on your website. While you may have the prospect’s attention at first, if it doesn’t provide value to your prospect, he/she is not staying on your website for long.

Keep It Interesting: Related to this, make sure to not just sell in your video either. It’s okay to present an offer or a request (such as signing up to your opt-in list to the side of the video in return for a free gift), but be sure to provide some useful information and some enthusiasm within the video. If you don’t, chances are that your prospect will lose interest and leave, likely to never return to your website again.

The length of your video: While video is more engaging and enticing than text and audio, this doesn’t mean you should have it play for more than a few minutes, as longer videos can drive prospects away.

Successful video marketing involves videos that get straight to the point with useful information and the requested action rather than filling them with fluff to make the videos longer.

Video quality: Additionally, it is vital that your videos play properly and play quickly. Ask yourself if you would stay on a website that takes forever for a video to load and play. Of course, you would answer “no.” After all, we are all busy, and time is something you cannot get back.

As a result, keep your videos to a minimum in terms of file size so that they load faster. You should also be sure that your Web hosting has enough bandwidth so that the videos you post onto your site can play without any pauses or issues.

Headline and video play: You can play your video immediately upon a prospect visiting your website so that your prospect knows something interesting and informative is on your website or you can set it up for manual play only.

You only have between one to three seconds to make an impression on your prospect to stay on your website or you risk him/her clicking away from your site.

Always have your benefit written headline clearly visible on the page with your video. If your video won’t load that quickly, your prospect will read an interesting headline and stay on your site to watch your video.

Place your video on YouTube: Keep in mind that your website is not the only place to place your videos. YouTube is the most popular and visited video site on the Internet. Video on YouTube can help you to drive traffic to your website.

Add in the fact that Google owns YouTube, and you can not only place higher in YouTube’s search engine by submitting quality, informative videos, but you can even rank higher in Google’s search engine via good videos that appeal to your target market.

Video on other social media sites: Putting videos on sites such as YouTube and other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.) is another option instead of directly on your website. Just point your prospects to your video links, and when they click on those links, they’ll be directed to the videos on those respective sites so they can see what you have to offer.

Therefore, don’t forget about video when you are thinking of and testing marketing strategies in your business. Text and audio certainly have their place, but tests have shown that video has the most conversions and results amongst all main media.

Video is more engaging and interactive, which is exactly what you want your prospects to do, whether that’s signing up to your list, liking/sharing your site, and/or purchasing your offers. Keep the above information in mind when you create videos, and your business is likely to greatly benefit from your video marketing efforts.

Shopping with Style – It’s Aberdeen City and Shire

If shopping tops the list of your favourite pastimes, then Aberdeen City and Shire won’t disappoint.

From designer boutiques to a host of high street names, you’ll find all the labels and top quality outlets you’d expect from a major city.

The city has for centuries been the main shopping destination for a huge catchment area, and a popular destination for European shoppers taking a weekend break. With its striking skyline, historical old town and impressive granite buildings this is a prosperous, cosmopolitan city.

The great range of excellent shopping centres ensures that you’ll always be able to find exactly what you’re looking for and if it’s something more exclusive or a little quirky that you’re after, one of Aberdeen’s independent retailers will be able to provide that too.

At a mile long, Aberdeen’s Union Street is Britain’s longest high street and is jam packed with a host of household names and high street favourites. At the upper end you’ll find the newly opened Hugo Boss, G -Star Raw and Cruise, along with premium stores like Jaeger and Jones the Bootmaker.

Cruise, which opened in the autumn of 2007, is one of the UK’s leading independent luxury retailers with a fantastic reputation not only for designer brands, but as a showcase for fresh cutting edge fashion. Brands currently available at Cruise include Gucci, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Dior, Hugo Boss, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Fendi, Chloe and Jimmy Choo to name a few.

At the bottom end of Union Street, just before it meets the historic Castlegate, is The Bon Accord St Nicholas Shopping Centre.

Right in the heart of the city it has a fabulous range of stores and is the prime retailing area in Aberdeen. The biggest shopping centre in the city, it is split into two buildings and has three floors extending to 630,000 sq ft over two levels. Built in a serpentine shape to maximise shop unit frontage, it is covered by a barrel vaulted glazed roof with a 90-ft high glazed dome.

Flagship stores include New Look and Monsoon, one of the largest in Scotland, a large Boots and Woolworths and shops such as The Body Shop, River Island, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Ortak and Oasis. A new Costa Coffee will revive the most weary shopper, while the restaurants within the Upper Mall, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer, located at either end of the Centre, remain a poplar rendezvous for a casual lunch and a catch-up with friends. And of course, there’s a Starbucks, with an outdoor sitting area, if you fancy a spot of cafe culture.
Just across from the city’s Union Terrace Gardens, The Mall Trinity is a great, one floor shopping centre with around 27 stores including Debenhams, Argos Extra, T-Mobile, HMV, Superdrug, Waterstones and a large Primark.

Cobbled Belmont Street, known for its trendy bars, cafes, and art house cinema, is also the location for The Academy shopping centre. Surrounding an Italianate style piazza, it has an excellent range of upmarket brands and individual shops, coffee shops, bars and restaurants, and the open-air piazza is often a focus for live entertainment throughout the summer months. Here the style conscious will find independent shops such as Attic, AB10 and Concept, which specialises in casual designer-ware for men. A true style leader in Aberdeen, Attic is constantly introducing new collections including U.A.R.M, Green Apple Tree and Six Pack. AB10 has everything from footwear to accessories, with many main stream brands including G-Star, Ted Baker, Miss Sixty, Replay, Firetrap and Gio-Goi.

Nicknamed ‘Little Chelsea’, the Thistle Street area of the city is the acknowledged style quarter of Aberdeen with a range of independent shops stocking everything from clothes, shoes and accessories, in addition to gift shops, delicatessens, French bakers, florists and art galleries. Bellino and Hamish Munro both have excellent ranges of shoes by continental designers, and if you need a dress for a big night out, try Frox – with everything from funky to formal, it’s evening wear with attitude. Esslemonts and Esslemonts 2 stock a stylish choice of menswear and women’s fashion from leading brands such as Camel Active, Tommy Hilfiger, Remus, Hobbs and Turnover.

Verdict, also on Thistle Street, stocks a wide range of really unusual designer clothing and accessories that are both wearable and glamorous. From contemporary evening wear and associated accessories through to casual jeans and edgy tops, Verdict was named by style guru Caryn Franklin as one of the top ten independents in Scotland.

For stylish, classic designs Kafka, just around the corner in Alford Place, has the latest from Armani, Burberry and Prada, while Kafka for men can be found on Rosemount Viaduct.

Aberdeen’s up and coming area, The Green, is home to a range of first class bistros and fine dining, and a number of trendsetting shops have also opened in the area, including Coco Violet, designs for the cool and trendy. It houses an eclectic collection of fashion for the woman that wants to stand out from the crowd, with stunning items you won’t find anywhere else in Aberdeen, let alone the UK. For shoes with a difference take a look at Fenner and Coburn at Netherkirkgate with an impressive collection of distinctive designs.

Meanwhile Zoomp, tucked away in Jopps Lane behind John Lewis, has a wide range of clothing covering everyday casual to Jimmy Choo and Matthew Williamson.

If it’s a retro feel you’re after, head to The Closet in Jopps Lane for quirky, vintage retro – an Aladdin’s cave of retro finds and one off pieces , or nearby Retrospect, which was recently featured in Vogue magazine, while Vintage Phoenix in Chattan Place will tailor your finds to fit.

Jewellery, art and antiques

Aberdeen is not known as the Silver City for nothing – the sparkling granite buildings that make up much of the city are testament to that – however the city is also the home of some independent jewellers who can design that signature piece to celebrate a very special occasion.

Family-owned Finnies the jewellers, has Scotland’s largest stock of diamond jewellery – and biggest collection of grandfather clocks. As well as over 26 watch brands, you’ll find unusual gifts including silver snooker chalk holders. Jamieson and Carry is another family firm, established in 1733. From pearls to pendants it’s a firm favourite with jewellery lovers. You can even commission a special piece to be individually designed and made in-house. Sandy Menzies Designer Jewellers present a constantly evolving range of contemporary jewellery. The design and production of commissioned pieces in precious metals and gemstones is also available, while George Kite on Holburn Street features a range of modern Scottish designers.

For antiques, head for the city’s West End, where you’ll find Elizabeth Watt on Thistle Street, specialising in ceramics, silver and jewellery while Rendezvous, on Forest Avenue, has great art deco finds as well as contemporary art. Thistle Antiques on Esslemont Avenue is the place to go for gorgeous antique mirrors and lamps, and Atholl Antiques on Great Western Road has quality furniture and paintings. For antique maps, go to Colin Wood on Rose Street, who carries a very fine range.

Gallery Heinzel specialises in contemporary Scottish art from its base in Aberdeen’s Thistle Street. The gallery hosts up to 10 exhibitions a year showcasing the work of established and emerging Scottish artists. The Carby Art Gallery, in a contemporary art space, offers a unique gallery experience. Resident artist Ian Carby, famed for his vibrant landscapes and shoreline scenes, exhibits alongside international and local artists with sculptures, ceramics, jewellery and photography

If you’re searching for that special gift that’s a little bit different from the run of the mill, Nova on Chapel Street has long been a favourite with Aberdonians. Its comprehensive gift selection ranges from the cool and funky to the classic while Annie Mo’s, on Holburn Street and the bottom end of Union Street, also stocks an unusual range of gifts along with some beautiful furniture.


Aberdeen’s Country Fair is a monthly market with over 30 stalls of fresh farm produce, local crafts, home-baking, food and drink. The main market takes place on the last Saturday of every month and there’s a smaller weekly version every Saturday at the Academy Shopping Centre. One of the largest markets in Scotland, it provides local farmers and crafters the opportunity to showcase their quality home-grown and handcrafted products. A typical Aberdeen Country Fair will feature everything from Aberdeen Angus beef, fish landed at Aberdeen and Peterhead Harbours, local fruit and vegetables, baking, cheeses, confectionary, Scottish whisky, wines and handmade

Three or four times throughout the year, and in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ll find Aberdeen’s popular International Market, one of the largest and most successful of its kind. The annual three-day event offers a wide range of European and British foods with 70 stalls including fresh French fruit and vegetables, French, Dutch, Scottish and English cheeses, hams from Spain, biscuits from Brittany, and a variety of French breads. You’ll also find an array of fine textiles, accessories, and arts and crafts on offer.

Shopping in the Shire

You don’t always need to visit the City for shopping, as Aberdeenshire also has a great range of shops. Quirky craft shops abound, and there are a number of stylish clothes shops that are well worth a visit. In Inverurie try Altro Designer Wear on North Street for D&G, Versace, Armani, Guess, Hugo Boss, and G-star. B’s Knees Too (and original B’s Knees in Oldmeldrum) carries a fabulous range of clothing and accessories from casual wear to exclusive evening wear and a wide range of bags, shoes and jewellery. A branch of Attic has recently opened in the town too.

Thirty minutes drive from Aberdeen City centre, Royal Deeside is a treasure trove of galleries, craft shops and exclusive outlets, many of them with Royal Warrants.
The royal village of Ballater has a good selection of individual shops and boutiques, many carrying the Royal seal of approval. There are a few surprises too, such as the Chocolate Box, which also sells Lulu Guinness handbags, and Foxy for an eclectic range of clothes, jewellery and furniture.

Future developments
Aberdeen will see huge changes in the next few years as part of the Bon-Accord Quarter Masterplan which will completely redevelop the city centre around the Bon Accord St Nicholas Shopping Centre, Marischal College and St Nicholas House. This will involve building a second floor on the single-storey St Nicholas Centre and then connecting it to the Bon Accord Centre via an enclosed bridge across Schoolhill. Further phases of the Bon Accord Quarter scheme will see the total retail space expand to in excess of 1million sq ft. The plans include a glass walkway to connect the Bon Accord St Nicholas centres and an improved link to the John Lewis department store, which will form an anchor at the far end of the shopping mall, with Marks and Spencer at the Union Street end. The scheme is expected to be completed by 2010.
The Bon Accord Centre will also see a new entrance being built at Gallowgate with another wing added to house more retail units. This is currently under construction and is due for completion next year, and will include a huge new Next, the largest in Scotland.
A new retail centre on the corner of Market Street/Union Street is also proposed. This will refurbish and reconfigure existing properties, including Aberdeen’s Indoor Market, to create modern retail space and it will also provide improved access to the historic Green area of the city.
Due to be completed in 2009, the Union Square project will provide Scotland’s second-largest shopping centre, complete with a multiplex cinema and links to a new transport hub at the nearby Aberdeen railway station and the Guild Street bus station.
The new developments are expected to bring a number of new stores to the city and will confirm Aberdeen’s position as the premier shopping centre in the North of Scotland.

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Working From Home is a Dream Come True

Working from home in your own business has to be one of the most commonly wished for things. It is a dream that for so many people simply stays a dream. But is it really as far fetched as you might think?Being able to work fewer hours, choosing when to work, choosing where to work, choosing your own environment and simply being able to be you! Those are just some of the benefits of working from home for yourself. Being your own boss, deciding what you do, leading yourself and developing your own projects, these too are all benefits of working from home.Being able to drop the children off at school and pick them up again, being able to do all your chores when it is convenient for you, being able to relax and read a book of your choosing and when you want. These too are more benefits. Being able to take long holidays in great locations, being able to drive the car of your dreams and live in the house you’ve always wished for. These too can be reality if you become very successful working from home.These are all part of our dreams. Millions of us just keep these images in our heads and simply accept, without really thinking about it, that it simply isn’t going to happen to us. These dreams are for others.But hang on. Is that really the case? What makes a successful home-based entrepreneur different from you or I? Nothing. Nothing at all, apart from one small fact. They dared to be different. They dared to live the dream. For them it worked out. It can for you too if you simply believe.There are a number of different ways you can earn money from home, many of which are quite frankly beyond me. What I know, and what worked for me was, and still is, home publishing. Before you start to think well I can’t write, don’t worry you don’t need to. You can actually earn money from home publishing without ever writing a single word! True! There are ways to either sell existing products, or get others to do the writing for you.Home based publishing is a very simple way to earn money from home. It has a huge future with electronic books and guides and it is highly profitable. The reason it is highly profitable is because it doesn’t cost much to produce. Indeed an electronic eBook costs nothing at all to produce!So the profit is potentially unlimited and a number of very successful individuals have certainly proven that over the years.Do seriously consider home based publishing as your way out of employed work and into self employment working from home. I couldn’t recommend anything more highly.