Friday, March 15, 2013

How to save for your family's dream vacation

(NC)—Whether your family likes to take smaller trips each year or you're planning the trip of a lifetime, travelling with a family can be expensive. The good news is there are several ways to make your dream vacation a reality. Stephen Menon, associate vice president, credit cards at TD Canada Trust provides simple tips to help you save for your next family getaway:

• Create a budget – Knowing how much to save starts with determining the full cost of your trip. Think about all the costs associated with your travel, from flights and car rentals to taxis and tips, to get an accurate idea of the total cost of your vacation. 

• Create a vacation savings plan – Once you know how much your trip will cost, it's time to start saving. To help you save, consider setting up an automatic transfer of a set amount at regular intervals into a tax-free savings account. Look for ways to cut back on other expenses and add that money to your vacation savings. Saving even a small amount on a regular basis will add up.

• Take advantage of rewards – If you have time before your next trip, use your travel rewards credit card to earn rewards that can help reduce travel expenses down the road. A good travel rewards credit card will allow you to redeem points for any costs associated with your travel, from hotel rooms and baggage fees to transportation and taxes. Just remember to pay the balance in full and on time each month. 

• Get the kids involved – Turning your vacation fund into a family project is a great way to teach kids financial responsibility. As kids are more likely to consider spending when the money is their own, encourage your kids to save a portion of their allowance for spending during the vacation.

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Wasaga Beach, Ontario CANADA - The longest freshwater beach in the world!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Go green at home on Earth Day

(NC)—Earth Day is a reminder about the importance of respecting our environment and doing all we can to protect our planet. Every year, over six million Canadians take part in Earth Day by doing simple things such as riding their bikes to work or using candles at night. This year show how important the environment is by pledging an act of green. 

Here, in your own home, are some ways to take part in the world's most celebrated environmental event. These tips are environmentally friendly and will save you money on your energy bills: 

• Cool down your house with a ceiling or electric fan and open up the windows at night. Ceiling fans cost about 1 cent for two hours of use, compared to 67 cents to a dollar for central air. Use your AC only when necessary and be sure to turn it off when you're going to be away from home long periods of time.

• Invest in a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature in your house, saving you energy while you're away or sleeping. 

• Use insulation with a high R-value, such as Roxul RockFill, which can be used to increase insulation in your attic. It will keep your house cool in the warm weather and take the stress off your air conditioning unit.

• Check the tightness of your refrigerator seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If it's held in place, the seal is still good, if not, it's time to replace the seal or fix the door's alignment. 

• Only do laundry when you have full loads. If you have smaller loads, make sure to use the correct settings and if you only have a couple of items, wait it out or wash them by hand.

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cultural Tourism and Public Art Wasaga Beach

It is no secret that I believe Wasaga Beach would benefit greatly from more public art, multi-purpose gardens and a cultural tourism strategy. (I still think our 'Marketplace' would have been more successful thus far if it had of been named 'Farmer's Market'....but that's a whole other topic!)

This morning I watched a segment on CBC about the newly unveiled lights on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.  It will bring 50 million visitors to the area in the next 2 years! The lights = 50 million tourists!

Yes, we are much, much (MUCH) smaller than this city.  Yes, we don't have the budget or population base they do. BUT! We have what they don't!

The world's longest freshwater beach!

What are some of the simple things we could do - solar lights on the blue bridges, Nancy Island? There are many ideas!

Let's urge our local council to make cultural tourism and priority. Let's create a Wasaga Beach Tourism campaign as good as or better than Newfoundland and Labrador!

Let's BOOST our public spaces and attractions!

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wasaga Beach Fine Art Gallery Shop

We are 'springing forward' - opening the windows - painting our rooms?  Needing new beach-inspired art? Here are some of my images/work.

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'.