Are group buying vouchers the future?

Are group buying vouchers the future?

Advertorial.

Let me ask you a question.

Have you ever bought a voucher from one of those group voucher buying sites like Groupon?

How often have you purchased a voucher? Do you always use it?

Group voucher buying deals are not uncommon these days. In fact, more and more businesses are jumping onto this bandwagon in order to get their name out there and to bring more people through the door.

When I first started online shopping, there were no such things as group voucher buying deals. Nowadays, you can hardly go without them… there seems to be a coupon for everything! Multiple group voucher buying sites were popping up like mushrooms after a rain and I remember going a bit silly buying vouchers when the whole craze for vouchers started.

“Oh but this is so worth it.” tends to be the thought that runs through my head right before I click ‘buy’.

The thing is, as more and more businesses get into the whole coupon idea, the better and better the deals seem to get. I think my best deal so far, has been a voucher for Steer Bar and Grill in which I paid around 50 dollars for a 100 dollar value. Oh-so-worth-it, given how big a fan girl of Steer I am.

So what can you get from such deals? It can include dining experiences at well known (and not so well known) restaurants, massages and manicures at spas and nail salons, beauty treatments, travel, and so on. The list goes on! I do find that the deals are more readily available for the major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney while the deals we get in Adelaide are a bit lacklustre. The number of times I’ve seen deals about cars and massages only…..

I have to admit, you can get some pretty good deals this way. So it always pays to keep an eye on them. I like watching the sites that are essentially a RSS feed for all the different group voucher buying sites. They collect all the different voucher deals that are current and put them all in the one page or one newsletter. Handy.

So tell me, have you ever bought a groupon before and was it worth it?

Advertorial: Australian Geographic Magazine and me.

Advertorial: Australian Geographic Magazine and me.

I have long known of the National Geographic Magazine, but I’ll be the first to admit. I didn’t know Australia had a “Australian Geographic Magazine“. Whoops.

I know this advertorial doesn’t really relate with what we normally do around here, which is Eat. But it does have to do with what we do occasionally around here, which is travel. And while I’ve been reading about bloggers getting flak for advertorials that do not seem to fit into the scope of their blog, here’s my stance on it. My blog, I’ll blog what I want on it. And if I think it’s worth sharing, then it’s worth sharing. And after reading through the Australian Geographic, I assure you, it’s worth sharing.

Why is it worth sharing? Because I love to travel, and more importantly, I love to travel within Australia. Too many Australians just up and head overseas, but I have been taught since young that you travel around your own country first and when you are done with that, then you head overseas. (Of course, this works better if your country isn’t the size of USA, as that will take you a lifetime…) And the Australian Geographic really helped with widening my knowledge of Australia.

Take for example, in the latest issue, they discussed about the Great White Shark and the shark nursery found off Port Stephens in NSW. Now, this doesn’t exactly encourage me to go diving into the waters since I can’t swim and I don’t particularly want to say hi to sharks, but it does give me a fascinating insight to the Great White Shark populations. And as one who used to eat Shark Fins, it’s definitely an eye opener. I say used to because I haven’t had it in ages, not being home for Chinese new year, but as years go by, our version of the ever popular shark fin soup doesn’t seem to contain shark fin anyways.

There are other articles in here that perked my interest as well. The tales of an adventure couple who faced hypothermia and isolation, the beautiful photos of Australia’s raw natural beauty, and even the history of the Melbourne Races (of which it greatly distresses me that I don’t get a holiday for anymore). I didn’t think I’d be this taken by this magazine but I was. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by my love for this Science Magazine. After all, I’m a huge fan of National Geographic!

And you know what’s the best thing of all? This magazine shows you tour routes, and advertises for travel agencies. While I’m not a fan of travel agencies, I do like to browse through their ads to have an idea as to where to go to next. I’m already planning my next holiday!

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas present? Give your loved ones a magazine subscription this year and you can win a tropical escape to Hawaii with Magshop’s Christmas competition. Treat your family and friends to a magazine subscription today – it’s the gift that keeps on giving all year round!

Advertorial: The best travelling experience – gosh how do I pick?

Advertorial: The best travelling experience – gosh how do I pick?

I was recently asked : What is your best travelling experience?

I was stumped.

How exactly do you answer that? I’ve had so many holidays, so many experiences, all of them were good, some had bad bits, but I loved everyone of them because I love travelling. So how do you pick?

I looked through my photos and pondered. Maybe it was my first overseas experience when I visited China. Being able to see the Forbidden City up close and touch it was a dream come true. I adore ancient history like you wouldn’t believe and this was part of my dream. Or maybe it was when I stepped onto Japanese soil for the first time and felt the overwhelming feeling of being home at last. I loved every bit of my Japanese trip and wished it could have been longer. Or maybe it was when I first made my way over to Australia, all by my lonesome self.

After much thought, I decided that in recent years, my best travelling experience would have been my most recent trip to Tasmania. Why? Because it was the one trip in the last 8-10 years or so where the whole family had been together for a family holiday. *special*

So many people have asked why I love Tasmania. Or worse yet, they ask why I even bother going to Tasmania. I’ve had people tell me that Tasmania is boring. What they don’t seem to understand is just how beautiful Tasmania is. Tasmania is a work of art. The kind of beauty and tranquility that you cannot find anywhere else. It does take a bit more work to find good food as compared to Melbourne and my culinary experiences in Tassie has not been the best, but the visual feast? Second to none.

Many say Tassie is small. You haven’t seen small till you see Singapore, is what I think. There are many gems within Tassie, and Tassie is a smart one. She hides them for the true lovers, and the disbelievers will pass on by without seeing anything.

I remember with fondness, the memories I have of sitting on a makeshift wooden crate on Bruny Island, slurping oysters with my father. The beautiful and serene towns we drove through as made our way from Hobart to Launceston. I remember just how delighted I was at seeing a wombat in the wild….

Money can’t buy such experiences. It can get you there, to the very same spot. But if you don’t know how to appreciate the finer details of life, you will miss it.

I’m eager to make more memories. I’m eager to make the choice of ‘best travelling experience’ even harder for myself. I want to travel more of the world. My sister is heading to Taj Mahal next month and I am incredibly envious.

Peregrine can make those wishes come true. Book within the month of July and you will get 10% off all bookings made. The destinations they have under their belt is quite unique and really, who’s not up for new experiences?

The new culture, the new experiences, the new food, the new memories. If it were not for the fact that I’m home visiting my parents end of year and have a mate’s wedding to attend, I’d make the bookings myself and head off to a new exotic land.

Advertorial – Microsoft Office and me.

Advertorial – Microsoft Office and me.

Sponsored by Nuffnang

Many people say Microsoft Office for Mac is hard to use and a pain. Many say it’s clunky and overly complicated. I’m not sure what version of Office for Mac they use because I sure do like my version of it.

What do I use Mac Office for?

Gee, where do I even start…

At work, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Powerpoint play a vital role in my work. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to do reports, set assessment tasks, do up lecture style notes for teaching purposes… it’s hard to go wrong with these programs for a teacher!

But how about for blogging, cooking and recipe keeping?

 

An Offline Recipe Index for starters. I’m currently in the process of updating my index page. But while that is still in progress, I want to be able to find what recipes I have at a glance. So Microsoft Excel comes to the rescue and I am able to create a temporary ‘library’ that I can load up on my iPad and other devices for easy recipe access.

But what I really like about the new Microsoft Word is the new notebook layout. Perfect for taking notes and noting down recipes! Love the look too.

I have to admit. I’ve always been a fan of Mac Office but the new Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 takes the cake at amazing office software. I’m a fan of pretty, shiny things so this is right up my alley!

Nuffnang’s giving away Office for Mac, Arc Touch Mouse’ and Lifecam on their blog so you should check it out!

Advertorial: Magshop celebrates Mother’s Day

Advertorial: Magshop celebrates Mother’s Day

Sponsored by Nuffnang

Mum’s are always hard to give presents to. Or at least, my mum is. It’s not because she has everything. I could think of so many things she could use in her kitchen that she’d love for instance. But because it’s hard to decide what is good enough for her. It always seem that nothing is worthy enough of mum, so everytime Mother’s day rocks about, I’m stuck with a great big question and nothing to show for it.

And why should this year be any different? Absolutely no difference at all. Still a great big question and still nothing to show for it.

It wasn’t till I sat down to read my mags that I found my answer. I should also say thank you to K who heeded my constant whinges of “somebody buy me a gift mag subscription already” and got me a sub for Gourmet Traveller. Loving it!

But back to my topic at hand. A present for mum. To be honest, I wasn’t planning to hit upon inspiration through my usual mag readings. But sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places.

While I was reading this month’s issue of Gourmet Traveller, it occurred to me that mum’s knowledge of pasta is rather limited to Spaghetti Bolognese. When we were growing up, I thought pasta was just another word for Spaghetti. If dad said we were having pasta, that meant we were having Spaghetti. Who knew that within pasta there’d be such an amazing range of differences? Ranging from different pastas, shapes and textures, to sauces.. creamy, spicy, tomato based ones.. the list goes on! I only learnt of all these when I came to Australia some 9 years ago. I was living under a very big rock, I can assure you.

Image from Recipes by sam 

So I’ve decided that for this year’s mother’s day, I’m bringing my mum on the most incredible food crawl ever. It will be the ‘ultimate Italian experience’ and it will let mum experience all the different types of pasta and different sauces, and hopefully experience the other beautiful parts of Italian cuisine as well. After all, Italian cuisine isn’t just about pasta, right?

Or you know.. I could just fly her to Italy.

Ri-ight…?

Actually, I have a better idea. I’m just going to buy Mum her very own Gourmet Traveller subscription as then she’d stand the chance to win her own trip to Italy.

What do you think?

Here’s the official blurb for it:

A magazine subscription is the perfect Mother’s Day gift! Subscribe now to Woman’s Day or to Australian Gourmet Traveller and you could win a trip of a lifetime to Italy.

And to be honest, I’m always in favour of magazine subscriptions myself. I’m one of those folks who love love and absolutely love magazines but feel guilty buying a subscription for myself. But I’m very happy to buy them for others, and it doesn’t even break the bank! It’s the gift that keeps on giving every single month (until your subscription runs out that is…)

I mean, it doesn’t have to be a food magazine even. There are so many magazines these days, there’s gotta be something to suit your mum. So many different mags to choose from… don’t look at me. I want like 12 of them!

Don’t wait, do it now. Why? Because there’s discounts on selected titles, plus that trip to Italy to win. Did you think I was kidding? I wasn’t! Go, do it!