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Cheaper Tea at Starbucks

  

If you’ve ever ordered the "new" London Fog at Starbucks, next time, try ordering a Vanilla Earl Grey Misto. It’s the exact same drink, but if you insist on having a Tazo Tea Misto instead, you’ll save yourself a couple dollars because they’ll charge you for a tea instead of some fancy drink.

The difference and why they can charge you more for a London Fog? London Fogs are made with loose leaf tea, where as the tazo earl grey is not. Difference in taste? None.

Disneyland Tickets cheaper on-line!

  

If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, a good place to purchase your tickets is online at www.arestravel.com. Purchasing your tickets at the ticket booth in Disneyland will generally mean that you are paying way more than you have to!

Here you will find lower prices, and during low season, special deals such as 5 days for the price of 3… adults pay child’s price etc…

Purchase your tickets online, and print out your confirmation. Once you arrive in Disneyland, take your confirmation, picture ID and also the credit card that you purchased your ticket with to the ticket booth and they will give you your tickets!

This is a safe and secure site that I’ve used many many times. And even if no deals are being offered, you will still save some money -usually at least $5.00 per ticket. Which adds up if you are travelling with a group or family!  

 

Questions to ask to find Quality Childcare

  

Ask yourself…:

1. Is the center you are considering licensed?

2. Are the staff qualified? If so, you should see ECE certificates and/or Licenses’ to Practice posted. Also, First Aid certificates should be posted and updated.

3. Ask your childcare provider how often staff go for extra training and workshops – this ensures that the staff are keeping up to date and are interested in ensuring that new, creative techniques are being implemented.

4. What kind of snacks does the daycare provide if any. Are they nutritious, creative and diverse? Do they follow the Canadian Food Guide?

5. Does the daycare have an open door policy? Or do parents have to wait outside, or only come in during certain times. Some daycares do not allow parents to visit or pick up early, as this can interfere with the structure of the program. Other daycares allow parents to pop in to say hello or to see how their child is progressing. Keep in mind that most childcare centres will ask parents to not visit or pick up during rest/nap time as this can wake the other children.

6. Is the daycare equiped with fun and creative toys. Furniture that is child friendly? Areas for children to play together and also areas for children to be alone?

7. What activities are offered at the centre? Do these activities promote both social and emotional skills? Are there equal opportunities for gross motor and fine motor related play? 

8. What is the daycares children to staff ratio? Does this number reflect licensing regulations?

9. Are the staff warm, sensitive, caring and responsible?

10. Does the daycares philsophy on childcare and education match yours?

 

 

 

Lines in Disneyland

  

Many lines in Disneyland can go on for what seems like forever. But, if you know when to line up, you will save yourself a lot of time!

 

"Dumbo" : this ride is super busy during the day, but if you go on it at night, right before the fireworks show at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, you will find a short line up, as everyone is getting ready to watch the show on the other side of the castle.

"It’s a Small World" : The best time to go on this ride is during the beginning of the parade. For some reason, regardless of how long people have been waiting in line, as soon as the parade starts, everyone leaves the line-up to go watch. This is the perfect time to rush through and get on the ride without have to wait over an hour. Catch the parade either later on that day (summer hours), or the next day. It’s the same parade over and over again. 

 

"Peter Pan’s Flight" : This line up is never short. Even when the sign says that there is only a 25 minute wait – expect to wait at least 45. My best advice: grab some food and have lunch while waiting in line. You have lots of time. 

 

"Indian Jones" : Attempt to get on this ride earlier in the morning, as families usually haven’t made their way to this side of the park yet. Keep in mind, you have to walk for at least 5 minutes from the beginning of what you think is the entrance, to what is actually the ride.

 

"Matterhorn Bobsleds" : When there are two lines ups happening, keep in mind that the line up on the right side of the ride moves faster, yet the ride seems much slower. Whereas if you line up to the left of the mountain, you will find that the line isn’t that bad and you will have a more thrilling adventure! 

 

"Pirates of the Caribbean" : This line up is always long as well. Best time to go on would be during the "Fantasmic" show as everyone is too busy watching that. Again, its the same show everytime, so you can catch it the next day, or watch it later on that evening (two shows during the summer!) . 

 

"Space Mountain" : There’s no way of getting out of this line up, so fast pass it when you can. 

 

"Finding Nemo" : it may be different now, but for the past two years, this line up has been insanely long and my only advice is to attempt it late at night before the park closes. Either that or grab some breakfast and enjoy an earlier morning standing in line. 

 

"Splash Mountain" : This line up is usually really long during hot summer days, and not so bad later at night when it cools down. Fast Pass this ride if you can (fast pass is located on the other side of the mountain, near the Winne the Pooh ride), and if you see that the line up for the ride is close to the Haunted Mansion… be ready to wait over an hour… if not two! 

 

The rest of the rides will have long line ups, but they’re not as bad as you may anticipate. Keep hydrated and have fun!

Driving the Golden Gate in San Francisco

  

If you happen to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco whether it is to just say you did it, or to see the city from the other side, keep in mind that when you return back into the city, you will have to pay a toll to cross the bridge again.

However, if you are travelling with at least one other companion, make sure you take the HOV lane, as car pooling means you don’t have to pay the $5 (could be more now..). Yes, FREE! But, if you take the wrong toll lane, regardless of how many people are in your car, they will charge you the toll. 

So, don’t rush and look for the car pooling sign. It will save you money!

Childcare Waitlists

  

If you are planning to enroll your child in daycare sometime in the future, it would be a great idea to place their names on waitlists as soon as possible, as most daycares have waitlists so long, that the chances of you obtaining a spot immediately is very slim.

Even if you know that you will not be requiring childcare for a couple years, many daycares will still put you on their waitlist and contact you if a space becomes available closer to the date you have requested. 

In some instances, it may be benificial for families to accept and pay for daycare spots even if they are not required immediatly as this will prevent your child’s name to be pushed to the end of the list. So if you find yourself being offered a spot a couple months before you need it, take into consideration that another spot may not open for many months…

How to apply for childcare subsidy

  

Go to: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/application.htm.

Here you will find all the forms you need to complete in order to apply for subsidy. There are forms for parents to complete, and also a form that your childcare provider must complete and sign.

For families with children with special medical conditions and/or needs, do not forget to fill out the supplementary forms. 

To ensure that there are no delays to your application, make sure all forms are completed in full and signed! 

 

Emergency childcare, how to find it and keep it going. These are posts that relate to it.