Thursday, May 30, 2019

Up Stirling Castle And Peggy Scott's Restaurant

ON THE WAY BACK TO ABERDEEN.... we stopped at Stirling Castle.... needed lots of walking again and after that, we replenished with a scrumptious lunch....
Ascending up the road leading to Stirling Castle...
And finally after some puffing and huffing...
At the grounds...
Oh, it must be a sunny and hot weather in Stirling...
Saw something familiar at the parking grounds...
Subo?
Serious???
Lunch at Peggy Scott's Restaurant...

While waiting for our lunch...
We had Lentil soup and Panini...
One of us had this set...
Coronation Chicken... 
I like this set... it has raisins.... 
And Beef Pie.... 
And after our lunch, we proceeded to another Battlefield!!

Day Outing At Edinburgh Castle And National Museum Of Scotland

UP THE EDINBURGH CASTLE...

The next morning we had our energy recharged... after a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we took a tram to the town, it was just a 15 minute journey from Novatel hotel to town.  From there, we walked up to Edinburgh castle, stopping on the way to have lunch and ice cream!!  We spent nearly the whole day sight-seeing and stopping at the National Museum of Scotland.  Entrance is free of charge and we spent a couple of hours inside... In the evening, we checked in to another hotel, Courtyard Merriot for another night...

Up Edinburgh Castle...
Lunch and dessert time!
At the National Museum where we spent a couple of hours... 
A tiring day no doubt but well spent... 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

How to Make Savings in Your Home

There is so much to save for in life, from schooling, a mortgage, holidays, vehicles, elderly care, the list goes on! Your home can be one of the biggest drains on your finances, so it is important to take a close look at what you’re spending, and on what, to see if you can make any savings. Here, we run through some ideas on how to cut down on your monthly home expenditure.

Smart Home
Investing in smart home technology from a company like Crestron can really help you to make some savings. This technology is able to memorise your preferences and therefore ensure that you are only using your utilities when they are really needed. A smart thermostat will turn on and off and adjust temperatures itself, and you can control it remotely so you can turn it on before you get home, rather than leaving it on all day. Smart lights allow you to dim them to save energy, and make sure they’re switched off when not in use remotely. You can even use motion sensors to ensure this. This remote control is great for making sure any electrical devices are switched off when not in use, from one centralised point. Having total control over your energy usage helps you use it more efficiently and will help you to save a lot on your energy bills.

Usage
As well as installing smart technology in your home, you could take action to cut down on your normal usage. For example, getting more up to date appliances which are more energy efficient, for example your boiler, and using your heating only when it is very cold, instead putting on more layers. Investing in double glazing and draft-proofing can also help with this. Cutting back on the amount of times you boil the kettle, use your oven, and how long you spend in the shower are other effective techniques. Make sure you completely shut down appliances rather than leaving them on standby, try washing clothes on a lower temperature, and be more careful with your use of water for example running a bowl of water to wash dishes in rather than using running water.

Negotiate
Most utility contracts last 6 months and it is important to make sure that you don’t agree to any longer than this as it allows you to re-negotiate what you’re paying, on a regular basis. It is important to compare different companies and their energy deals, but make sure you contact them directly when it comes to setting up your account as you will have to cover a fee if you do it via a comparison site. It is also possible to re-negotiate your rent when you renew your tenancy agreement, if you have noticed changes in the market that could alter the value of your home. Plus, you can re-negotiate your mortgage at various points to free up some more money.

It is important to pay close attention to what you’re spending on your household bills, as if there is an opportunity to cut these costs, it can make a big difference to your overall financial security. For more money tips, take a look at reanaclaire.com.


Monday, May 27, 2019

Healthy Living And Supermarkets Shoppers



 
Supermarkets are complicated businesses, that people outside the trade often underestimate. From the color scheme to the lighting, from product grouping to aisle flow, every aspect of the modern supermarket is carefully planned to provide the best possible service to your shoppers. The amount of research that goes in to developing a supermarket layout would probably astound the average person popping in to just get milk and wondering why they’ve come out with half the store.
Although different brands might pay to ensure that they have pride of place or to be able to run marketing campaigns at the end of the aisles, it seems to be the grocery section that has been the focus of many supermarkets’ development plans in the last few years

Supermarket Layout Design

It is hardly surprising if you think about it, that the layout of supermarkets makes it so easy to find certain items, or that certain foods are grouped together. Putting the flour and sugar in the same baking goods aisle means people are more likely to suddenly remember that they are out of chocolate chips as well as being out of sugar for their coffee.
Many stores have played with different layouts and different product groupings to find the best (most profitable) system for their customers, and the range of socioeconomic groupings in an area produces a different target market for different products.

Presenting Produce

However, with the increasing awareness of healthy living, eating more fruit and vegetables, and our obesity epidemic are meaning that stores are increasingly looking how supermarket produce stands are not only placed within the shop, but how they are designed, and how they present the products to the customer.
As the prime source for the majority of food in our modern societies, supermarkets are at the front firing line for how they present food, and how they encourage healthy or unhealthy eating is becoming more of a concern not only to psychologists and health advocates, but to the consumers they serve.
This means that supermarkets put time and effort into ensuring that produce is always displayed to encourage customers to buy large amounts of fruit and vegetables, which not only encourages bigger spends but also encourages faster turnover of fresh food stock, which in turn minimises wastage – and reducing wastage also increases profits.

Healthy Eating, Wastage & Marketing

Movements to ensure that food is not wasted are gaining momentum around the world, with food rescue groups collecting food that supermarkets consider unfit to sell (but is still perfectly edible), and many supermarkets are starting to sell produce that is not quite perfect – often at a discount price. All of this provides an opportunity for supermarkets to influence the eating habits of their shoppers. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140919-the-mind-games-of-supermarkets
Of course, while they are influencing healthy eating habits of consumers, they are creating excellent marketing opportunities for themselves with promotion of their philanthropic activities. Although this may seem a little cynical, most people on the front line of the increasing number of the middleclass experiencing food poverty and those in the health arena that are increasingly treating people for obesity and diet related illnesses are generally happy that a supermarket gets a little extra marketing boost as a trade off for increasing healthy eating habits of shoppers.

Does Shelving Matter?

In short, yes! A dusty, poorly lit book or antique store may create an exciting adventure for treasure hunters, but it is not something people want to associate with their food. Research shows us that how high or low a product is placed influences shoppers about its perceived value, with products placed within easy reach being considered the most desirable.
However, shelves must be clean – a bag of sugar that has split and been spilled on the shelf lowers the desirability of the products in the area. Whether produce is displayed in solid plastic moulded stands or whether it is stored in transportation crates can also influence value versus freshness.

Emphasising Produce

Creating the idea that a supermarket is at the centre of family food and healthy living encourages shoppers to use supermarkets as their one stop shop rather than returning to specialist greengrocers or farmers markets. One of the ways that supermarkets have been doing this is by moving the produce section to be at the front of the store, so the first impression a customer gets is of fresh, healthy, fruit and vegetables.
There is a great movement that encourages children to take a piece of free fruit that is offered in a specially marked stand, and signage increases interest in the produce available by providing information about the nutritional rating, vitamin and mineral content, as well as the origin.
Other things that many supermarkets do to help increase their influence on shoppers eating and purchasing habits, is to provide free recipes that can be easily made from products purchased in store. Whether targeting the busy family that wants to be able to make a dinner in under 30 minutes, or the shared housing with friends living together who want to prepare cheap (but healthy and tasty) meals. The free recipes that are supplied have the ability to include fresh ingredients that encourage consumption of fruit and vegetables – and this can include deserts, lunchbox ideas and healthy snacks.

Other Influences for Shoppers

Another area that has been well researched is the influence that background music has on shopping habits (you can learn more about the research undertaken by clicking here). Although, as yet, there appears to be no research that specially looks at whether different types of music have any influence on the types of products purchased, we do know that within a supermarket situation, playing music that has a slower tempo encourages shoppers to take more time in making their selection. This usually results in consumers buying more, and spending more, but there is the possibility that slower music combined with more informative signage are two more aspects that can work together to encourage customers to linger longer in the produce aisle. 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Sightseeing, Food And Novatel In Edinburgh

EDINBURGH CITY...  It is all about walking up and down the roads, leading to Edinburgh Castle.  But halfway through, we changed our mind, we decided to visit the castle the next day, it is too much to cramp the sightseeing on the first day in Edinburgh....

By the time we walked to the car park, it was nearly dinner time.  Aaron recommended Imperial Palace for our dinner, they serve Asian Chinese food.  After our dinner, we checked in to Novatel Hotel which we stayed for one night before moving to another hotel the next day.   The room cost around 78 pounds for two persons in a room, very nice and comfortable, nothing to complain about... In fact the standard room can sleep 4 persons, there is a sofa bed which can accommodate 2.... next time we know... we just have to book one room for 4.  LOL.. The more, the merrier....
See the number of steps we had to walk?
We managed to somehow... 
Up and down... ascending and descending to the castle...
Halfway we turned back... that have to wait for the next day... 
We saw Indian cuisine... and we had a light lunch.... 
Ordered some Naan to go with some curry... 
I shared this with Aaron... 
Refreshing beer for the big man... 
At the Indian restaurant.... 
Lots of souvenir shops....
And desserts which caught my eyes...
Lots of photography taken... 
Lots of walking and stoppings to replenish the energy...
Dinner time at Imperial Palace...
Braised Beef..
Yong Tow Foo... 
And mixed vegetables... bill came to around 50plus pounds... 
my tired looks during the dinner... 
What I need is a good rest!
At Novatel Hotel where we spent a night.... 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Short Weekend Trip To Edinburgh

WEEKEND HERE AGAIN...

Two days after coming back from our London trip, we made another short trip again, this time to Edinburgh.  Edinburgh... how do I pronounce it?  "A-din-burgh"... but in actual fact, the locals here pronounced it as "A-din-bra"  Now only I know... :)

Back to my post, we started the journey early morning at 8am, Aaron drove to Edinburgh for a 11am appointment and dropped the three of us in town.  We walked along Princess Street, the main road where it is the busiest street in Edinburgh...
On a weekend... 
Tenners building... 
Leading to the museum... 
The Scott Monument.... 
The sun was out and yet I was so cold... 
Basking under the sun.... 
I really admire them... 
Hard to get such a nice weather during spring... 
No picnics.... just the sun is good enough... 
We ladies are all bundled up... 
Walking back to the car park after some "minor" shopping.... 


Three Crosses Church At Castro Valley, California

THREE TIMES NOW... My son took us to Three Crosses Church for three times consecutively on Sunday, it was a half hour drive and out of the t...