Once the sun begins to set on long summer days, we often look forward to lazy evenings out on the deck or in the backyard. Sometimes we want to host events at our dinner table or breakfast nook. And our entertainment budgets stretch as far as they can when we look to creative ways we can create ambiance without having to sacrifice our menus. Here are three creative ways to light your summer evenings:


· Seashells and votive candles. Martha Stewart shows one of best creative lighting options with large seashells nestled in a bed of sand with votive candles blinking from between the shells. The beach is brought onto your table in the sweetest way. Not only is this twinkling set-up easy for even the most design challenged host or hostess to bring to life, the cost is also reasonable.


· Holiday lights. Who says we have to wait for the winter holiday season to enjoy various strings of lights? Setting the mood for dinner out on the deck is easy when you forage through your holiday decorations and pull out the most festive of your lights. Not only are you repurposing items that would otherwise remain in the attic or garage, but you also bring a party mood to your meal.


· Tea lights. Buzzfeed shows darling little tea lights hanging from trees in dainty containers with brightly colored ribbons. Simply looking at these lights puts you in a good mood, and seeing how easily they’re constructed leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy your guests after you’re done.


How you bring light to the outdoors will go a long way towards how you will make your guests feel on those sultry summer nights as you talk, eat, and enjoy one another long into the evening. Give them a complete experience to talk about for years to come with creative and memorable lighting.


Sources:



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/diy-outdoor-lighting-ideas_n_3385548.html


http://www.marthastewart.com/275010/outdoor-lighting-ideas/@center/276985/outdoor-living#236095



http://www.buzzfeed.com/pippa/outdoor-lighting-diys-to-brighten-up-your-summer


This year Taylor Gifts offered a $1,000 scholarship. To receive the scholarship, one had to pick one of the following prompts and write an essay.


1. If you could create a device to better mankind’s quality of life, what would it be? Who would use it most?
2. Who do you consider to be history’s greatest entrepreneur or inventor? Why?
3. Do you consider yourself unconventional? When has it paid off?
4. Has there been a time in your life when you’ve felt guided by an entrepreneurial spirit? Did you act on it and take the initiative to achieve your goal? Explain.


We received over 50 entries and have narrowed it down to 4 choices.


Rachel Grace Siddons


Rayna Perry


Morgan Lynch


Eric Garrett


We need your help! Read them and vote for your favorite on the official scholarship page.


Click here to vote.

Thanks!

You’ve certainly waited long enough for spring weather to arrive. Now it’s time to spruce up your back yard and patio and begin inviting friends over for a welcome summer party.


Spruce Up the Garden


You’ll want the yard and garden to look especially nice for your guests, so spend some time there, weeding and making sure that your landscaping looks its best. You can plant using a patio garden kit that will grow your fruits and vegetables right next to your patio. Then, when you need them for salads and cooking, they will be nearby.


Lighting


LED spot lights work very well during the summer nights, to show off your landscaping and the exterior of your home. They are quite handy for entranceways, planted areas or for use as highlights for unique architectural features of your home.


Fresh Drinks for Summer


A frozen fruit drink maker is just the thing for preparing refreshing summer beverages. Use fresh fruits to make healthy desserts in just a few minutes, and you won’t have to add sugar or juice. The Swirlio™ frozen drink machine will allow you to create wonderful and tasty drinks without dairy fat or processed sugar. View a demonstration video below from Colt Sebastian Taylor.


Pour your drinks for family or friends using gingham glasses, or other types of glasses that create a colorful theme for your guests. You may serve smoothies, soda, or cocktails in summer glasses.


After Party Cleanup


Whoever is in charge of cleaning the grill will be pleased if you have foam grill cleaner on hand. This product has a cleansing, foaming action that loosens food and grease from grills, utensils, and racks. Just spray the surface and allow the foam to penetrate the toughest areas of food and grease buildup. Select a product with a pleasant scent, so that it’s easier to use.


Sources:


http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/patio_garden_kit/39201
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/25_led_spot_light/39559
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/swirlio_frozen_fruit_maker/40167
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/set_of_4_gingam_glasses_with_straws/40079
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/foam_grill_cleaner/40348

To one degree or another, everyone has the fear of having valuables like money, credit cards, expensive electronics or precious jewelry. While completely rational, such anxieties don’t have to be a source of stress of lack of sleep; by investing in simple yet effective products that will protect your valuables, you can breathe a little easier and prevent unwelcomed sets of hands from snatching your belongings.


Here are the top products that will help keep your money and valuables safe:


Store goods in the trunk with an organizer. If you’re a thief who is doing “smash and grab” for valuables in cars, the first thing you do is to peer through car windows to see if any valuables are visible. Secondly, you break the window and rummage about the car’s front compartment and perhaps underneath the seats. Where you don’t look is the trunk (especially if you’re rushing), so consider keeping your goods in the back; our car organizers will help you keep items neat instead of sloppily scattered about.


Safety deposit box. While staying at a hotel, take advantage of the safety deposit box that is usually in the closet. There you can lock up your money, jewelry, passport, or anything else that you deem valuable. This way, you aren’t forced to carry it with you – making it vulnerable to pickpockets – or leave it “out in the open” for nameless hotel staff to have easy reach to.


Fanny pack. If you’re out and about traveling in your local town or on vacation, purchase a fanny pack and keep your money and valuables in it at all times. This way your treasures are close to you and no one can grab it from you easily like they could a purse. If you aren’t a fan of this particular look, try to find a purse that rests flat against your body (making it harder to grab), and has sturdy handles that can’t be quickly snipped or ripped. Browse Taylor Gifts’ travel accessories to find many attractive and practical bags that fit this description.


Carry a dummy wallet. You can purchase an extra wallet, put a tiny bit of cash in it, and if you are approached by a burglar you can give him your dummy holder and run away, thus keeping your real wallet safe and sound. To find many attractive options, check out our selection of wallets found amongst our clothing and personal essentials products.


House valuables in inconspicuous containers. Whether they’re breaking into your house or car, thieves will hastily overlook discrete containers like water bottles or a lunch box, so go ahead and put your money and/or valuables inside a modest holder that will be overlooked.


Utilize a security box. Purchase a fireproof portable security with a lock box for cash, jewelry, and important documents. Keep the key with your car keys or hide it in a location no one will think to look. What’s nice about a portable box is that you can take it with you on vacation.


Wear a money belt. This handy accessory is a thin belt that is wrapped around your stomach and discretely housed below your shirt and outer layers. It’s impossible for slippery fingers to access your essentials without you noticing and, moreover, the discretion of a money belt will make it difficult to notice it in the first place.


Knowing that your valuables are secure can set you at ease so that you can go about your business. Take a look into these products that offer such security and utilize one or more. They also make wonderful gifts.


Your pets are a part of your family, and it’s great to have proper equipment to use if you want to take them along for car rides and family outings. Special products will allow you to spend more peaceful and relaxing time with your pet.


Pet Strollers


You can take your pet with you wherever you go with a pet stroller. A large compartment contains and protects your pet. It is set close to the ground, allowing your pet to enter easily. This stroller even has mesh, to allow for proper air circulation while it keeps annoying bugs away from your pet. The liner is removable and easily cleaned. This pet stroller has shock absorbers, giving Fido a smooth ride.


Faucet Waterers for Dogs


If your dog spends time with you in the yard, he may drink his water bowl dry in hot weather. A faucet waterer attaches easily to your garden hose or standard outdoor faucet, giving your dog fresh water whenever he needs it. The waterer works much like a water bottle that you use to hang on a dog crate. It’s easy for him to get a drink and the water flow stops when he is done.





Keep Pests Away from Your Dog


Sonic repellent collars repel fleas and ticks efficiently and safely. They provide an excellent way to keep your pets pest-free without using drugs, poisons or chemicals that could harm them. The collar is easily adjusted for various dog sizes.


Cats Need Fun Times, Too


Pamper your cats with a cat tree and lounger. This will keep them busy and off your furniture. Your cats will simply love leaping, playing with dangling toys, exploring and sleeping languidly. This cat tree engages your kitties in physical and mental activity, and has lounging platforms on which they can rest. Platforms have sturdy bamboo scratching posts, which your cats will also love to use.


Sources:


http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/pet_strollers/W40303
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/dog_faucet_waterer/40285
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/pest_repellar_collar/39895
http://www.taylorgifts.com/item/cat_tree_and_lounger/40299

You can read reviews all day long, but sometimes you need to get your hands dirty. Meet Colt Sebastian Taylor, your go to guide for various products at Taylor Gifts.



Check out some of Colt’s favorite products and some he has tested out himself by clicking here.

It’s easy for adults to become involved in Memorial Day activities, since we understand the importance of the holiday. It will help children to learn about the day if you use Memorial Day activities in which they can participate.


If your children are old enough, they will be more interested in the meaning of Memorial Day. They should be able to understand the sacrifice of our military members. With older children, you can discuss how countries act and react when there is conflict.


Children’s Memorial Day Activities


Even if your children don’t have a full grasp on Memorial Day, they can commemorate the day with you. Here are just a few things children can do with you:


Display the flag outside your home.
• Decorate the graves of family members who have passed with flags and flowers.
• Bring cookies or doughnuts to your local VA hospital.
• Participate in parades and other community events.
• Serve a red, white, and blue dessert after lunch.
• Wear red white, and blue.
• Make patriotic crafts and speak with your children as they are creating them.
• Read a patriotic story to your children.


Other Ways to Share Memorial Day


Before bedtime, have your child share a moment of silence with you, to remember people who have died. There is a National Moment of Remembrance in many areas.


If your children are old enough, go online with them and read names of military members who have passed away, says Enchanted Learning. Sadly, there are too many names to read them all, but at least your children will be able to understand that the people who died were protecting their country and your family.


If you take your children to a parade with you, teach them to stand respectfully as the US flag passes by, and to stand and applaud veterans as they march by.


Source:


http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/memorialday/

Cooking can be so much fun, as you can be as creative as you’d like and enjoy the delicious meals that come as a result. Introducing your children to home cooking is a brilliant way to bond, and it will provide them with a skill that they will build upon for the rest of their lives. Keep in mind though that there are several hazards to beware of in the kitchen, so be mindful of the environment to protect individuals both young and old.


It’s always a good idea to be aware of common kitchen injuries and how to avoid them, thus keeping you and your family safe.


Electrical burns or shock. One of the key hazards in the kitchen is electricity. Yes, items such as blenders and electric stoves are crucial for whipping up all of those delectable culinary treats and yet they can also present the occasional risk. A loose plug, bare wires sticking through the protective casing of a cable, and heated apparatuses can lead to burn. Avoid these injuries by switching off appliances like toasters when you are not using them. This is especially important when you have kids around who might start playing with them! Avoid placing metal objects like knives into toasters and plugs as well. To be extra safe, invest in some plastic plug guards to place in your sockets to cover up the holes. Have your kitchen appliances tested regularly for faults (you can do this at your local electrical or hardware store) and ensure that they are all fitted with the appropriate fuse to prevent them overheating or giving users electric shocks. If you need new cooking tools to replace faulty ones, we carry plenty of small kitchen appliances that range from juicers to Panini makers.


Burns on the stove. Hot items, like pans full of oil or boiling water, should always be placed far back on the stove. Turn the handles inward and away from you so that they cannot be accidentally tipped over by your elbows or curious children.


Cuts. Store all sharp utensils, like carving knives and skewers, in a cabinet high up with a child safe lock. Cuts are actually one of the most common kitchen injury, so be careful while you use knives and other sharp utensils and do not allow your children to use such. Also, be careful when using the blender, juicer or food processing machine. Furthermore, keep you knives sharp to prevent accidents, as a dull blade is more likely to erroneously slip.


Falls. We’ve all been guilty of balancing our weight on wobbly chairs as we reach towards the highest cupboard. Obviously, situations like these can lead to disaster, which is why a sturdy stepping stool is a necessity for the kitchen. Furthermore, keep your most commonly used foods and accessories without arm’s reach instead of buried in the back of your shelves. We offer plenty of food storage, and our stove and countertop section features plenty of attractive options for displaying your favorite spices that you’ll turn to time and time again. Another step that is paramount to preventing slips is to make sure that all spills and puddles are cleaned up immediately; check out our floor cleaning options to find mops and more.


Carbon monoxide poisoning. Beware of the dangers of carbon monoxide (which can be released from gas heaters) by having a carbon monoxide detector placed right next to the stove or beside the kitchen door. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, but can cause nausea, dizziness, and loss of consciousness within minutes.


Taking precaution in the kitchen will serve you and your family well, as it is always better to be safe than sorry. Teach children kitchen safety rules as well so they can grow up knowing how to avoid common kitchen injuries.


You probably envision your golden retirement as a time for you to travel and explore the world. After all, the working years tend to be overburdened with your career and putting children or loved ones first, so exploring this vast planet was something that was probably put off more than you would have liked. Retirement makes it possible to be free to roam about here and there, but do be sure to learn about how you can travel safely and prepare yourself for the bumps along the way.


Here are some great tips for seniors that are headed out on some fun travel adventures:


Planning the trip


When you’re retired, you can probably travel at any time of the year, which is most fortunate. It is best when planning for your trip that you choose a period that is not the peak season. When you book trips and travel during this time, you will find that rates are cheaper than during the most popular times of the year. You will also be privy to more personalized service, as the staff will not be too overwhelmed by the crowds. Moreover, there won’t be throngs of pushy people to shove you about, allowing you to take your time and really savor the views. Be sure to check the weather forecast for your area and pack accordingly.


Make sure your luggage is light


Too much luggage can be too cumbersome for you, especially during connecting flights or if you will be hopping from one destination to the next. It is advisable to pack light and to carry only the things you will need. You can look at the weather of your destination and see what items of clothing you will need. To lessen your load, consider packing clothing that will easily transition from day to night, as well as items that are easy to wash and have quickly dry (like cotton) to be worn multiple times throughout your adventure. Our travel accessories allow you to buy lightweight and compact bags and storage that won’t be too burdensome.


Wear Proper Footwear


Nothing will dampen your spirits quite like the buildup of blisters or aching soles. Therefore, make sure your shoes have proper treading and are designed for all-day wear (leave the heels at home). Furthermore, take a look at our foot care products to find pain relief aids, compression socks and more.


Take a GPS and cell phone


If you’ll be driving out and about to various destinations, be sure to take a GPS with you or download a GPS app on your mobile phone, as this will save you many headaches on your trip. Keep your cell phone with you at all times in the case of an emergency. Of course, phones have a way of losing their charge during the most important times, so make sure all important facts and addresses are written down as well.


Get a health checkup before you leave


Make sure you see your regular physician before you leave so that they can give you a go ahead on the state of your health. If you have any conditions such as diabetes, you can inquire about any health facilities in your holiday destination so that in case of any medical emergencies you will have an idea of where to go.


Don’t forget your medication


If you are on any regular medications for conditions such as arthritis and blood pressure, make sure you carry more than enough drugs for your trip just in case you choose to stay a little longer. Another important thing to remember is that you should always store your drugs on your carry-on bag and not your luggage. Just in case your luggage is misplaced or delayed, you will have your medication with you at all times.


Practice safety


Avoid wearing jewelry and expensive items so that you do not attract pick pockets. In addition, keep your bags and wallets safe; preferably in your front pocket to avoid them being snatch or stolen.


Traveling during retirement is a fantastic way to spend your golden years. The more adventures you take on, the more accustomed you will become to the ins and outs of it. After the first few times you’ll feel like a seasoned pro and learn many things along the way.


Everyone wants to develop a way to keep files organized more efficiently, but it’s such a boring task. It’s not difficult, though, once it’s implemented, and you can quickly retrieve any file you need in the future. Here are some tips that will help you to become better organized.


Store documents that are related, together. If you have specific projects going, store all graphics, notes, spreadsheets, reports and letters in one folder. This is instead of having one file for reports, one for letters, etc. If you remember the project, which you usually will, it will be easier to find any type of document or file.


Name your folders and files consistently. Mind Tools advises that you divide your main folder into sub-folders with one for each vendor, etc. You can use shortened names, too. Adding colors or other means to distinguish one project from another is helpful, too.


Don’t save unnecessary documents. You don’t need every scrap of paper and every receipt that you receive. Glance through your receipts and only save something if it’s relevant to save. Keeping too many documents makes clutter inevitable, and makes it harder to find the things you do need.


Separate completed months or years from ongoing projects. Perhaps you would find it easier to grab files you need if you keep ongoing work folders on your desk, and put completed files away. On a weekly or monthly basis, or whatever works for you, clean the unneeded files off your desk so that it’s easier to find what you do need.


Make digital copies with your scanner, of paper documents. Then you can archive or store the originals out of the way. Some documents with original signatures should be kept in the main file, so use your judgment on this one. You don’t want to get rid of any paper documents you could need in the near future, just enough to make extra room.


Source:


http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_85.htm