The holidays are here and that means plenty of festive parties and gatherings. Hostess gifts are an expected part of every event, yet bringing a bottle of wine every time gets boring for you and the hostess. This year, be prepared for all your holiday celebrations by choosing some useful and fun hostess gifts that your friends will really love. When you’re purchasing hostess gifts consider items in a price range of about $30 to $60 dollars. Never re-gift a hostess gift – if you didn’t like it, chances are nobody else will either.


Food items are nice, but they are becoming commonplace. Instead of baking a batch of brownies, choose a colorful baking dish and include the ingredients and recipe so the hostess can use the gift in her leisure. If you want to bring a bowl of delicious fruit, think about placing it in a stainless steel colander to make a gorgeous presentation along with a useful item the recipient can use over and over again. If the hostess enjoys baking, bring her a cookie making set or measuring set so she can make her own bakery to enjoy time and again.


Chances are many of the other guests will be bringing a bottle of wine. Rather than wine, consider a wine box set that comes with an opener and all the tools necessary to enjoy a good bottle of wine, all in a handsome storage case. If you really want to bring wine, place it in an insulated wine tote cooler so the wine can become a fun take-along picnic. Remember to think outside the box, and consider some ideas of gifts that you would enjoy receiving. Then, order a few different items to keep them on hand so you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice whenever a holiday party happens.


Sources:


http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/12/13/picking-a-thoughtful-hosthostess-gift/

The holidays are a festive time to have get-togethers with friends and family. One of the easiest gatherings to design is a wine and cheese party. This fun party only requires a little bit of planning to create an enjoyable evening for everyone. Use a large table to set up the wine and cheese bar. Start with a holiday tablecloth and use a roll of craft paper as a base for the wine and cheese. This allows you to write the names of the wines and cheese directly on the paper so people can easily identify pairings.


Gather a few items that you’ll need including some wood cheese cutting boards. Choose a cheese board set with a cheese slicer, fork-tipped knife, and cheese spreader to easily manage serving the various cheese options. You’ll need some wine glasses, small plates and napkins, which you can place on the table where guests can serve themselves buffet style. Slice the cheese ahead of time or provide the tools to let guests get their own. Purchase wine or ask guests to bring a bottle for sharing.


Plan on about a bottle of wine per guest and provide cheese pairings for each one. You can also use other items for pairing such as freshly cut apples. You’ll also want to serve some crusty bread, which you can slice and place into small baskets on the table. The bread helps to cleanse the palette. Be sure to have a set of wine tools available for easy use. Provide wine glass id tags so guests can easily keep track of their own glasses. Add some music from your favorite playlist and the party is ready to go. Keep some wine and cheese on hand throughout the holidays so you can easily whip up an impromptu party whenever guests drop by.


Sources:


http://www.tablespoon.com/posts/how-to-host-a-wine-and-cheese-party/db2245e7-19ed-494e-8971-245d2ae7f08c

If you’re like the average person, you may enjoy cooking, but at times it may feel like a chore. Home chefs are often tempted by gadgets, and some are more helpful than others. Kitchen gadgets are often promoted as something you can’t do without, and some of them do turn out to be very helpful.


Fruit is very healthy for you, although sometimes it’s a pain to do all the peeling and slicing that comes with eating right. A melon cutter can slice one melon into multiple slices with one motion, so it can save you lots of time. They are made from stainless steel, so they’re easy to clean.


You may have drawers full of kitchen must-have’s that you never use. You may reach, however, for peelers and knives more often. The best kitchen gadgets are the ones you know will do the job right whenever you use them. Some are electric and some are manual, according to the Guardian: Kitchen Gadgets.


Food processors have been in use for awhile now, and some cooks use them a lot, whereas others leave theirs sitting unused for weeks at a time. Ice cream makers sound like fun, but they can mean work, too. Juicers are useful tools if you want to get plenty of those healthy fruits in your diet.


Not all kitchen gadgets are made for healthy foods, of course. The French Fry Express makes up to 25 home fries at a time, and you can just pop it in the dishwasher when you’re done. Deep fryers make wonderful fries, although they are certainly not healthy enough to be a regular staple in your diet.


Chef’s baskets are great tools for your kitchen. You can use them to steam healthy veggies and to strain foods after you cook them. They are a handy alternative to the traditional colander, since they work inside the pan as well as outside.


Source:


http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/feb/20/kitchen-gadgets-matthew-fort

The evening air has a slight chill to it and the flowers are finishing up their colorful summer run. It’s time for baseball to wind down and for the football season to start.

Baseball has been played since the middle of the 1800’s, and watching adults in the Major Leagues isn’t a lot more fun than the joy of watching kids in sandlot games and Little League. In alleys and back yards, baseball has been a favorite for years. Sometimes it’s played with a stick and anything that resembles a ball.

When you head to the local park to watch the kids, you’ll enjoy sitting on a baseball themed sports chair. It has five positions for adjustable reclining and an adjustable strap so that you can easily carry it on your shoulder. You might have to get up now and then to fetch an errant fly ball, but otherwise, you’ll be very comfortable. For a sports chair with more options, you may want a folding sports chair with a pocket and side table.

When fall arrives, thoughts turn to football. The NFL has all the hot match-ups, but again, watching kids play flag football can be just as fun. Flag football is safe for youngsters because it’s not physical. They don’t tackle the opposing ball carrier – they pull off the flag attached to his belt or pants. That is flag football’s method of “tackling”, according to Kidzworld Football.

Flag football fields are typically not as long as regulation fields. Where NFL and college football fields are 100 yards in length, flag football fields may only be from 60 to 80 yards long, unless they’re using a high school field for their games. There are lots of flag football leagues across the United States, if you have a child who would enjoy playing on a regular team.

Get ready for football season with our wide variety of personalized signs and arm chair caddies. Click here to view all of our football related products.

Sources:

http://www.kidzworld.com/article/915-flag-football

Although summer has not yet officially ended, it’s almost time for schools to reopen and the raking of leaves to begin. This signifies the beginning of fall every year.

Before nature begins her brilliant display of autumn leaves, it’s time to think about the end of the warmer months. This includes checking your deck furniture covers for damage and cashing in on the end of summer sales online.

Summer is a favorite season with children, since school is out, and for adults, since the weather is mild in most places, and you won’t have to worry about shoveling snow for a long time to come.

There is still time to enjoy time spent outdoors, before the air gets chilly. A fiber optic solar gazing ball makes an excellent addition to your back yard, while there is still time this season to enjoy it.

This gazing ball welcomes night with light and color. It gives your yard an incandescent look during the day and illuminates the area beginning at dusk. The sun charges it during the day, so there are never batteries to change, and it turns off by itself at dawn. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the last warm evenings of the season.

When the air gets chillier, you’ll turn your thoughts to pumpkins and autumn leaves and adding a windbreaker or sweater to your outfit, as you head out the door, says Heart Light.

You may be adding more bedding, too, like comforters, quilts or extra blankets. Your favorite drink for the evening may be sun tea right now, but soon it will be warm herbal tea or cocoa, or perhaps hot apple cider.

Bonfires will be back soon, for those that don’t mess with them during evenings that are already too hot. Comfortable outdoor chairs are handy, especially if you can fold them up and take them back into the garage or house after the marshmallows have been toasted and eaten.

Source:

http://www.heartlight.org/articles/201110/20111018_applesinautumn.html

Novelty signs are original gifts for all occasions. You want people to remember the gifts they have received and think of you, and novelty signs help them to remember.

Not all novelty signs are humorous. One popular metal sign has a lovely message: “Be still and know that I am God”. Signs like this add inspiration to either your home or to another’s, if you give it as a gift. This sign uses a neutral palette mosaic that will blend seamlessly with any décor. Some signs, like this one, are made to look like weathered wood, but crafted from metal, so they’ll last longer.

The companies who make and market novelty signs have a wide selection, from which to make your choice, according to Build a Sign. They ship your sign out quickly after you order, so it will arrive in time for your friend or family member’s birthday, or any other special event for which you might be gifting a sign.

Neon signs are also quite popular, especially in home bars and game rooms. Some of them feature car logos, like a Chevy table top sign. You’re sure to find the type of car that your favorite friend drives represented, so that you can give him a unique sign for his birthday or for another occasion. Neon signs can have a solid or flashing illumination, and some have both.

Perhaps the most popular gifted sign is “Home, Sweet Home”. They can be made from any materials from wood to metal, and some are made cleverly with needlepoint samplers. These make wonderful housewarming gifts, or choose one for your own house. Some of these signs can be personalized, which makes them even more special.

Irish themed bar signs are popular for birthday or holiday gifts. They work so well in home bars. Their nostalgic look will make them a hit with whomever you give them to. Composite wood signs are popular and have an aged look, even though they are brand new.

Source:

http://www.buildasign.com/CustomSigns

Doormats do so much more than give you a place to wipe your feet. They can welcome people with pomp and circumstance or give guests a chuckle as they ring your doorbell. They come in so many trendy, cool styles that they serve their original purpose while adding unique décor to your home.

Seasonal novelty door mats are very popular today. At Christmas, you can have snowmen or Santa. For Halloween, use a pumpkin mat. They are easy to switch out, and so inexpensive that you can change them whenever you want to, states Ezine Articles.

Novelty doormats aren’t always inexpensive. Some holiday themed mats can carry a higher price tag. They may be more intricate, or be made from materials that will last longer, even when they are being used outside. The mats you want are water proof and durable, so you don’t have to throw them away when the season of the year is gone. You can always hose a mat off before you replace it with a different theme, too.

Classic novelty door mats are often made from natural coconut fiber, crafted into woven coir with a non-skid backing made from recycled rubber. Monogrammed mats have an eco-friendly construction and they look elegant and traditional in front of your door. They trap the dust and dirt before it can make its way into your house, so they are quite functional, in addition to being decorative.

Having your guests enjoy a smile at the door and then clean their feet means that your carpet or flooring doesn’t get exposed to as much of what they would otherwise track inside. Cleaning carpet or flooring can be expensive and time-consuming, and it makes good sense to stop dirt in its tracks, before it has a chance to enter your house.

Click here to view our entire selection of door mats.

Source: Novelty Door Mats Are Cute

When it’s time to enjoy the outdoors again, you’ll want to check out helpful garden accessories that make gardening more a hobby than a task. A portable sprinkler system is useful for spraying only the area that needs watering. These systems have three sprinkler heads and five various settings, so they can water even delicate, young plants. Of course, they also work great on sturdier shrubs and plants. They are easy for you to use, and disperse water evenly.

Pocket hoses are the answer to lugging out the long, heavy hoses you used to use. They come in a small shape that can fit in your hand, but they expand to three times the size when the water is turned on. You won’t have to worry about wasted time or kinked hoses. When you turn the water off, the pocket hose returns to its miniature size. It’s lightweight, yet durable for seasons of use.

If you love to garden, you may be tired of kneeling or stooping over to work with your plants. A green gardening chair with a folding seat and a detachable tote is quite handy to take out to the garden with you. The tote has zippered openings so that you can keep gardening tools in them. It comes with five metal gardening tools that are always ready to use.

Decorate your garden with the Solar Bird Garden Buddy. Birds Solar Garden Buddy He will add a whimsical look to your garden or deck. The belly of the bird is a solar orb, that charges during the daylight hours and glows at night. Textured metal makes this a sturdy visitor to your garden.

Some of your garden plants may grow better in a resin garden planter. You can sit these at a level where it’s more comfortable to care for your plants. This makes gardening less stressful on your back and your knees. It’s also a handy way to garden if you live in an apartment or condo and don’t have your own green space.

Novelty gifts have been around almost as long as gift-giving has been a tradition. It’s fun to see the smile on someone’s face when you give them a gift that brings humor to the occasion. One of the most popular current gag gifts is the singing toilet paper roller. It plays Christmas tunes, including We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town and Jingle Bells. It plays as the paper is pulled from the roll.

Life-like puppies are novelties that many people actually come to love. They are almost as adorable as real puppies, and they actually look like they’re breathing. It’s the best way to have a dog you won’t have to clean up after. The design is squeezably soft and the breathing sounds are so life-like. Each pup includes a collar, bed, adoption certificate and carrying case. They are especially nice gifts for seniors who miss the companionship of animals but who cannot have them where they live.

The Jenson 3 Speed Stereo is a way for you to rediscover music the way it was in your childhood. It’s a retro-design, stylish record player that has elegant wooden side panels. This piece will add an eclectic look to your home’s décor, allowing you to relive the memories of the songs you used to listen to, in the way they were recorded back then. This record player, one of the most usable novelty items, will play 78, 45 and 33 rpm records. It also has a built in radio for AM and FM music. Enjoy the music from two internal speakers, speaker outputs or headphone jack.

If you’re looking for funny gifts, here’s a certain green gecko that you may recognize. He doesn’t talk like the one that sells insurance on TV, but he sure looks like him. It’s a fun way to go green. He’ll cheer up your desk and brighten your mood. This 8” character will always leave you smiling.

If you’re busy with projects around your house, you probably never have enough table room. The Tablemate II will help to create extra table space, right where you need it most. Tables tend to be where people gather, but you also need workspace for some of your tasks and hobbies.


Tablemate II offers you an alternative to “TV tables”, and these are more customized to the way you sit at a couch or in a chair. Their legs slide right under your chair or couch, giving you instant access to table space, right where you need it.


Whether you’re having a snack in front of the TV or working on a novel, the Tablemate 2 has functionality crossed with mobility that you haven’t had before. The design gives various ways for the table to be set up. In total there are 18 ways that the table can be used, including three differing angles and six various heights.


Scrapbooking is a popular hobby, but there never seems to be enough room to set up for it. Now you can take your scrapbooking materials with you, wherever you’re sitting. You can leave projects set up in an out of the way place, too, until you’re ready to work on them again.
Older people love the Tablemate II design, too. They may use them for dinners when guests are over, so that food won’t need to be balanced on plates in laps. The table will adjust to the best height, for whatever you’re using it for, and the cup holder avoids messy spills. The design of each table even keeps silverware from sliding off on the floor.


If you enjoy sitting on a comfortable sofa when you eat dinner, the tablemate ii makes your life simpler and easier. You can slide the table back out of the way after you’ve cleaned up dishes, and it will be right there the next time you need it.