Travel & Leisure

LiveMocha – Learn a new language or brush up on one

Posted on June 8, 2009. Filed under: Career & Work, Education, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized |

Livemocha is a free service that allows its members to become conversationally proficient in an ever-growing number of popular languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Icelandic, Italian, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Russian. Since launching in September 2007, the Livemocha community has already grown to over 2 million members, a clear indication of the growing demand for an engaging, collaborative approach to language learning.

The British Council estimated that there will be 2 billion people worldwide learning English as a foreign or second language by 2020, fueled by rapid globalization, immigration and travel. For more information about Livemocha, please visit www.livemocha.com.

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Meetup.com – Connect with Like-minded People

Posted on June 3, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Low Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Software & Technology, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Meetup.com is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face.  Meetup leverages online technology to allow like-minded people to self-organize to get together offline.

Meetup groups exist in over 4000 cities and 100 countries, making it a truly local and global phenomenon.  Other key statistics as of this posting:

  • Monthly visitors: 5 million
  • Members: 4.7 million
  • Monthly RSVPs: 1.7 million
  • Monthly Meetups: 102,000
  • Local groups: 46,315
  • Meetup Topics: 4,916

Meetup members are creating impact in their communities via activism, volunteerism, social interaction and just good clean fun.  Meetup is free to join and if you don’t see a group focused on what you’re interested in near where you live,  you can start one or join a waiting list.  Categories and example types of groups include:

  • Arts & Entertainment (Book Club, Dance, Movie Fans)
  • Business & Career (Networking, Entrepreneur, Small Business)
  • Community & Lifestyles (Personal Growth, Vegetarian)
  • Culture & Languages (Law  of Attraction, Spanish Language)
  • Health & Support (Meditation, Fitness)
  • Hobbies (Travel, Dining Out, Scrapbooking)
  • Internet  & Technology (Web Design, Digital Photography)
  • Parenting & Family (Stay at Home Moms, Play Groups)
  • Pets & Animals (Dog Rescue, Small Dog Breeds)
  • Religion & Beliefs  (Spirituality, Metaphysics)
  • Science (Alternative Energy, Consciousness)
  • Sports & Recreation (Adverturers, Hiking, Mountain Biking)

Depending on the nature or location, some group get togethers and activities might cost money, some are free.  For example, if you join a movie buff group, and the group is meeting to see a new film, you would be expected to pay your own admission at a theater.  If you join a Board Gamers group,  they may meet at a local restaurant (so there may be a minimum dollar order required for use of the space) or meet in a host’s livingroom  (where snacks or refreshments may or may not be served, BYO or something to share).  If you joined a local women’s clothing, shoe and accessories swap group, you’d have to bring gently used items or that NWT outfit, two sizes too small that you never wore to swap.  Gotta love that closet shopping.

Maybe I’ll see you at one of the Meetups!

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Smithsonian FREE Museum Day: Saturday, September 26, 2009

Posted on June 1, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, For Parents, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Save the date!

The participating museums around the country are not listed yet, but once again, Smithsonian is sponsoring a FREE museum day, on Saturday, September 26, 2009.  Check back here for more details and how to get your museum pass.

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Target sponsoring FREE Admission Passes to Museums Across U.S.

Posted on May 31, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Free Admission Passes To Museums Across The Country
Target is sponsoring free entry to select museums and activities on certain days in Arizona, California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington

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How My Friend Elyse Stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Jamaica for FREE by Teaching Yoga Classes

Posted on May 5, 2009. Filed under: Health & Beauty, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , |

I met my friend Elyse about 15 years ago at a health club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She was my aerobics instructor and we also became workout buddies.  Her warm, friendly personality clicked with mine and when I found out Elyse also had a career in high tech marketing, I knew we would become good friends. I was even a bridesmaid at her wedding.

Elyse has her own PR consultancy.  One of the things I have long admired about Elyse is her ability to juggle and balance all the aspects of her life – her busy career, her husband and two kids, her extended family and friendships, and time to take care of herself.   She is very organized and efficient so she finds ways to combine her lifestyle and interests whenever possible.  For example, she teaches yoga and spinning classes at her local healthclub in the suburbs a few days a week and her entire family of four enjoys a free club membership.

In February, Elyse went on a fabulous week long vacation to Jamaica with her family without spending a lot of money.  They were even able to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort in Rose Hall for free.  How, you ask?   Elyse signed up at a website called http://www.fitnessprotravel.com which facilitates the exchange of services between specialty professionals and numerous all-inclusive resorts and vacation destinations.  Resort locations currently include the Caribbean, Brazil and Mexico.

The website helped match her skills as a certified yoga and fitness instructor with resorts that offer teaching opportunities in exchange for a comped (i.e., free) room for Elyse and one guest (kids under 12 at no additional charge).  In this case, she also received a $150 daily food allowance which they usually used for dinners. Another way they saved money was by shopping at the local market and using the fridge in their room.  They were also able to use frequent flyer miles for 3 of the 4 tickets to Jamaica.

The teaching contract was for 3 one hour classes a day, 7 days, Sunday – Sunday. Elyse taught 2 classes each morning, a core training for abs and and back, and then a vinyasa flow yoga class and was done teaching by 10:00 am.  She also taught another yoga class at 5:00 pm.  She had the bulk of each day to spend with her family.  Elyse was able to swap classes with another visiting instructor to have a full afternoon free to go on a longer day trip, to  Ocho Rios and Dunn’s River Falls.  They saved money on the day trip by negotiating a flat fee with a local taxi driver and hired him for the day, which also gave them much greater flexibility over the tour bus option.

Elyse said it was one of their best family vacations  and the first one she has taken where she ate really well but didn’t gain any weight.  Click here to see photos of Elyse teaching her yoga class outside overlooking the beach and some from their vacation in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Kind of inspires me to want to go get certified in something.  You should register on the fitnessprotravel.com site if you are any of the following:

CEC Provider Chiropractor
Club/Studio Operator Dietician
Fitness Enthusiast GFI & Yoga Combo
Golf Pro Grp Fitness Inst.
Health/Fitness Biz Masseuse
Nurse Personal Trainer
Squash Pro Tennis Instructor
Yoga / Pilates
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Visit the Intel Museum – free admission and free classes for kids

Posted on April 29, 2009. Filed under: Education, Entertainment, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , , , |

Fun Filled Explorations at the Intel Museum

If you live in or are visiting the San Francisco Bay area or Silicon Valley, visit the kid friendly Intel Museum.

Explore what it’s like inside an ultra-clean, highly automated silicon chip fabrication facility (fab); travel through Intel silicon history from Intel’s first microprocessor, the 4004, to today’s processors based on Intel’s 45nm High-k silicon technology; write your name in binary code; “get digitized” by creating a digital postcard; and more!

Experience the exciting world of silicon technology at the Intel Museum. Explore binary code,circuits, robots and more with fun filled classes! After your class, take a self guided tour of the Intel Museum to learn how silicon is at the heart of an ever expanding, increasingly connected digital world, changing the way people work, learn, play, and communicate.

Participate in hands-on Saturday science classes designed especially for children such as:

  • Schematics, Switches, and Circuits (ages 9 and up) Learn to decode schematics and understand basic circuitry as you build items such as a cool doorbell chime or active burglar alarm.
  • Binary Beading (ages 7 and up) What is binary code and how do computers use it? You’ll find out and have a chance to code your initials in a beaded key chain.
  • Musical Greeting Card (ages 7 and up) Learn about open and closed circuits while making a musical greeting card you get to take home.
  • Build a Remote Control Rover (ages 9 and up) Successfully build a circuit and you’ll be able to test drive and race a remote control rover.

Class times (check website for updated info):
Tuesday and Thursday Sessions: 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Sessions: 10:30 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Space is limited, reservations required. To make a reservation, call (408) 765-0503 or send an e-mail to museum@intel.com. Include child’s name, age, and telephone number and date and time of the session you would like your child to attend. Reservations close 48 hours in advance of the class. Parents must remain in the museum during the class. Classes last approximately45 minutes.

Admission and parking are free.

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Sign up for Goldstar Events – get discount and free tickets to sporting events, theater, concerts, comedy clubs, spa treatments and more

Posted on January 28, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

It’s free to sign up for Goldstar to get email updates and access to first-rate live entertainment tickets at half-price or better in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Diego, Orange County, San Jose and more!

How does the Goldstar service work?
When you sign up and become a member of Goldstar, you will tell Goldstar what kinds of live entertainment you like and the areas where you live, work and play, or are traveling to, and they’ll deliver dozens (or even hundreds) of half-price offers to comedy, music, theatre, sports, spas and more.

Goldstar will then tell you about event offers that match your preferences. Members get a weekly email summary of events with Goldstar’s special pricing, and if you also sign up for email alerts, you get late-breaking event offers tailored to you.

It doesn’t cost anything to join, and you can do it in just a few seconds. You’ll be getting out to great live entertainment and having a good time with friends and family right away.

To give you an even better idea of how you can save money and do fun things by joining Goldstar, here are some examples of discount events that were included in my most recent email alert for where I live in the San Francisco Bay area:

– SAP Open: World-class Men’s Tennis Full Price: $48.00 – $62.00    Goldstar Price: $29.00 – $40.00
This year’s tournament features defending champion Andy Roddick, plus Juan Martin del Potro, James Blake, and more international tennis stars

Stars on Ice! Iceskating’s Superstars Full Price: $45.00 Goldstar Price: $25.00 See the best of skating from Olympic and World Champion skaters performing their best routines. Sasha Cohen, Todd Eldredge, Ilia Kulik and many more skating superstars

Giants baseball game tickets Full Price: $17.00 – $35.00   Goldstar Price: $10.00 – 20.00

FREE admission to acts at local comedy clubs instead of full price $12.00 – $17.00

Extranomical Adventures’ Wine Lover’s Tour:
Customizable Full-Day Wine Tasting
Full Price: $129.00    Goldstar Price: $64.50 Sample the wines of Napa and Sonoma Wine Country on a full-day tour. The Wine Lover’s Tour is a semi-private, semi-customizable tour, which will visit 4 to 6 wineries.

discounts on local spa services like massages and facials

half price tickets to various plays and concerts at multiple local and regional theater companies and venues.

If you like live entertainment but settle for a movie or DVD more often than you’d like, you might be interested in joining Goldstar Events. Join now for free today by clicking here and you’ll never say you’re bored and there is nothing to do again.

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eXerciseFriends.com – find a workout buddy or activity partner so you can keep your diet and fitness New Year’s resolution

Posted on December 29, 2008. Filed under: Health & Beauty, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

It’s that time of year.  If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to exercise more,  get in shape, improve your health, lose weight, expand your social network or meet new friends and activity partners, then this free to register site may be a good resource for you.

The eXerciseFriends.com Network is designed to help people from all across the United States & Canada find other people in their local area to exercise within any healthy activity.

Why Join?

  • You need to find a friend to exercise with you in your favorite activity!
  • A friend that will keep you motivated in a fun and positive way.
  • Friends challenge and push you to succeed no matter your skill level.
  • Connecting with friends in the eXerciseFriends.com Network is FREE.

Why Do I Need Exercise Friends?
The number one reason most people don’t start (or end up stopping) their exercise fitness clubs & gyms, people usually post a 3×5 card on a cork board in their gym describing their availability, fitness level and workout preferences. Finding a friend can be cumbersome, as your best friend could be waiting for you on a cork board in another gym routine is they lose motivation. One of the primary ways the fitness and health community suggest to stay motivated is to have friends that exercise with you. They help keep you motivated when you’re not (and vise versa). The eXerciseFriends.com Network is the easiest way to find a like minded friend to exercise with!

The eXerciseFriends.com Network makes it easy to see who wants to be contacted about working out and exercising. They are the leading online service that quickly and easily matches and introduces workout friends to each other based on activity, skill level, age, and personality.

  • Friends motivate! Once you’re there it is easy to exercise.
  • Find a workout / fitness partner on the eXerciseFriends.com Network.
  • Exercise friends will help to get you off the couch.
  • The eXerciseFriends.com Network is for every shape, every activity & every age. Basically, this eXerciseFriends.com Network is for everybody.
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CitySkoop.com – find local sales, specials and promotions,

Posted on November 19, 2008. Filed under: Bargain Shopping, Cooking and Eating, Entertainment, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Low Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , , |

CitySkoop.com

Shopping SalesRestaurant PromotionsSpa & Fitness Deals

Sign up for FREE to win a $400 gift card!

WHAT IS CITYSKOOP.COM? CitySkoop.com is your source for local sales, specials and promotions.

Find Clothing & Furniture sales up to 80% off, Restaurants offering half price wine and food nights, discounts on Spa & Fitness services, Hotel specials and much more!

WHY SIGN UP? Membership is FREE and gives you the following benefits:

  • Deal Alert Newsletter – be the first to hear about hot deals
  • Save listings to your private folder
  • Email listings to your friends and family
  • Chance to win a $400 Gift Card* to a local business
    • Currently your choice of Best Buy, Mastro’s Steakhouse, The Palm or Bloomingdale’s

WHAT YOU’LL FIND

  • Food & Drink Promotions – Half-off wine nights, special holiday meals, happy hour specials, drink specials, Restaurant Week menus and more!
  • Shopping Deals – Sample sales, trunk shows, warehouse sales, holiday sales and more for Women’s Clothing, Men’s Clothing, Kids & Toys, Sporting & Outdoor and Pets.
  • Body & Beauty Deals – Spa discounts, special spa packages, salon discounts, yoga and pilates deals, fitness center discounts and more!
  • Home & Garden – Furniture sales, floor sample sales, lighting discounts and home and garden decor deals.
  • Travel – Hotel and Resort discounts, airline deals and promotions.
  • Online Shopping Deals – Clothing sales, electronics discounts, sporting goods sales, shoe sales and more!

WHERE CITYSKOOP IS LOCATED Look for them in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and San Diego. Coming soon to Las Vegas, Boston, Miami and Atlanta.

Membership is FREE, so sign up today!!

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Petciety.com – find free petsitters

Posted on November 15, 2008. Filed under: Pets, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , |

Petciety is a website that facilitates the barter exchange of pet sitting services among it’s members. It’s free to register.

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