Valentine’s Day ideas can often be tough to come by, but when you’ve only been dating your boyfriend for a few months the issue is compounded. You want to show you care, of course, but you’d hate to overdo it and make for an awkward moment. Fortunately, there are plenty of gifts that will reflect your affection without going over the top. Keep reading for some examples.


To start, keep your costs to around $50. This is more than enough to get your boyfriend a gift he’ll appreciate without risking a situation where you went overboard. Guys generally expect to spend a bit more anyway, so this is a great dollar amount.


Fortunately, it leaves plenty of options. If your man appreciates a good beer, $50 is enough to take him on a tour of a local distillery. You can even set him up with his own craft beer kit if he’s mentioned an interest in the pursuit.


If his preferred poison comes in the way of red meat, consider any of a number of appliances that will help him enjoy a nice cut in the future. Barbeque kits are also a great idea if he owns a grill.


Just about every man has some kind of hobby. There are a ton of Valentine’s Day ideas that can take advantage of this without pushing your price over the limit. Best of all, it shows you’ve been paying attention to his interests and that you put some thought into your purchase.


Of course, one of the easiest options is to get him something related to his favorite team. While $50 isn’t enough for a jersey, it could be enough for tickets to a game or some other form of memorabilia he’ll enjoy.


When it comes to Valentine’s Day ideas for your new boyfriend, you have plenty of options that won’t fall short or go too far. Consider the $50 price tag, and any of the above options will hit the mark.


Source:


http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/01/30/valentines-day-gifts-new-boyfriend_n_4696369.html

Dogs are naturally playful, whether they are with you or by themselves. Playtime is important for dogs, since it helps them to exercise and stay healthy. When you play with your dog, you also give him bonding time and mental stimulation. Your dog should always have the proper types of toys for safe playtime. This means that you need to check your dog’s toys daily, to make sure that they are still safe and intact.


If you have a smaller dog, invite him to play with a toy that is just his size. You don’t want to give a German Shepherd-sized ball to a Toy Poodle. He wouldn’t know what to do with it, unless he could push it around with his nose. Toys should be in good condition, so that your pet won’t eat the squeaker from inside his squeaky toy. Small toys and squeakers could be a choking hazard for your dog.


Elastic bands, ribbons or string are quite interesting for your dog, according to Hills Pet. But you should not give them toys that have any of these things attached. They are simply not safe. Stuffed animals are also not suitable for dogs, since they may have plastic eyes or parts that could be chewed off and swallowed.


A good rule of thumb is that if you have any toy – even toys designed for dogs – that wears out, you should throw it out and get your dog a different toy.


Kong toys are among the best in safety and acceptance. You can fill the wobbler toy with treats, and as it rolls, wobbles and spins, he can only grab a treat here and there. It will keep your dog interested for hours, since there are yummy things inside. You can fill up the toy by unscrewing the top, and your dog won’t be able to gulp his treats so quickly. Some toys can even be healthy for your dog, such as a dog bone tooth brush.


Source:


http://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/choosing-dog-toys-adult.html

When you are hanging out with your football-loving friends, you know that snacks make the get-togethers much more enjoyable. If you are planning a full-blown party when the post-season starts, you may want more snacks and treats for your guests.


What do you place on the menu for your football party? Anyone can set out bowls of pretzels and chips and plates of cheese. Depending on the amount you have budgeted for your party, and how many people are invited, you could end up setting out quite a lot of food. Be sure you have enough serving trays and plates to accommodate your mountain of food.


The best snacks for the party-thrower, as far as convenience, are snacks that are easy to toss in a bowl or onto a plate. Kielbasa wedges are favorites with meat lovers, and most football fans love meat. Purchase a coil of kielbasa and cut up thick slices, then half those. You can serve these wedges with cheese or crackers.


Sweet & sour meatballs are a favorite with football fans. You can serve them with toothpicks, says StartCooking.com.
Garlic bread with cheese can be bought prepared or you can make it yourself. This will disappear very fast during your playoff party.


Chicken wings are a perennial game day favorite. Make them in your oven and serve them up. Watch them disappear. There are great sides to serve with wings, too, from hot sauce to blue cheese dressing and carrot sticks and celery. Stuffed mushroom caps will be popular with your football watchers, as well.


Grill some sausages to help quell the playoff-sized appetite of your fans and friends. Polish or Italian sausages can be cooked indoors or grilled outdoors, if you live in a moderate climate or don’t mind the snow. Shish kabobs are always a popular choice that offers a wide variety of flavors.


Stuffed potato skins can be put together before game day, so they are ready to bake. Set out the extras like grated cheese, bacon crumbles and sour cream.


Source:


http://startcooking.com/32-simple-snacks-for-football-fans

If you can’t get tickets to the big game, your big-screen TV and some good friends can bring the game to your house. When you’re the one hosting the party, your friends and family can have a wonderful time, too.


Arrange to have plenty of seating for all your fellow fans. Football games typically last three hours or more, and no one wants to spend those hours on folding chairs. Straight-backed dining chairs are not really comfortable for long-term seating, either, states My Home Ideas.


Is it time for new furniture in your family room or living room anyway? Use the excuse to get a sectional sofa so that everyone can watch TV in comfort. With extra pieces, you can mix them to create comfortable seating for all. A sectional with a chaise on the side will seat three or four adults quite comfortably.


Where will you place the food? There are plenty of options for storing and serving the foods you create for your playoff party. Standard TV trays are one option, but they don’t work as well as the new type of tray that has legs that slide under the couch. If you have a rowdy group, perhaps a single table in the corner will work best for setting up the food. Then use paper plates with sturdy holders under them for people who are snacking.


If your friends drink, be sure to have plenty of their favorite beverages on hand. Whether you’re stocking up on diet coke or light beer, you’ll want to have lots on hand. A cooler can be used in the room where your TV is located, to spare you from running to the refrigerator every time someone wants a drink.


Touchdowns and interceptions or fumble recoveries can cause plates to be turned over or drinks to be spilled. Cover your buffet or coffee table with a football-themed cover, so that cleanup will be easy. The better planned your party, the easier cleanup will be.


Source:


http://www.myhomeideas.com/entertaining/parties-occasions/football-party-guide-00415000069675/

Choosing the right storage solutions will make the difference between easily finding your holiday supplies next year and having a hassle getting prepared for the holidays when they next roll around. The most user-friendly storage containers for holiday wrappings and decorations may hang over doors, store under your bed or hang in a closet. Other containers may be stacked, which is as easy as stacking conventional boxes.


Under the bed storage organizers work well if you don’t have an attic or much closet space in which to store your supplies. The storage solution that you choose will depend on the amount of decorations or wrapping paper you have.


Organizing wrapping paper can be done in containers made for that purpose. You can keep rolls of wrapping paper from unwrapping through the use of rubber bands at the top and bottom. You can even cut a neat slit down an empty paper roll and slide it onto the new roll. This keeps the new rolls from tearing, unwrapping or becoming dog-eared.


Tissue paper and sheets of wrapping paper can be folded neatly and then laid out between two cardboard flats or two flat pieces of plastic. This will keep flat paper from crumpling or bending. They can be stored inside plastic containers that are clear, so that you can see what is stored inside.


Artificial trees are easily stored in bags that are designed just for this purpose. Some of these bags lay flat and some hang over a door. Some people store their artificial trees in the original boxes for a few years, but you’ll find that soft-sided carriers with reinforced handles that make the tree a lot easier to handle. If you’re storing your tree in an attic or basement, the handles will also allow you an easier time of going up and down stairs with the tree.


There are football party classics that will win you many kudos at your playoff day party this season. Football lends itself to finger foods, since fans will want to jump up and cheer when their team scores. Whether you are serving sandwiches, dips, hot wings or pizza, use sturdy football themed plates, cups and napkins to avoid messes.


It’s easy to prepare drinks for your party. Most football fans love beer, but always have other drinks on hand for the people who don’t enjoy beer. Use inflatable or standard football coolers to keep all your drinks cold and close to the action.
Chicken wings are a popular food at football parties. Using flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, chicken wings, oil, butter, hot sauce, black pepper and garlic, you can make some delicious wings, says All Recipes.


Mix together your flour and seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and place the chicken wings in a glass bowl, sprinkling the flour blend over them. Cover your bowl and then refrigerate your wings for an hour and a half.


Heat oil in your deep fryer until it’s 375 degrees. You’ll only need an inch, just to cover the wings. Combine your hot sauce, garlic powder, pepper and butter in a saucepan at low heat. Stir the mixture together and set it aside for serving time. When game time arrives, you can use festive football bowls or team bowls for the dipping sauce.


Fry your wings for 15 minutes or so, and then remove from heat. Place them in a football themed serving bowl, add your hot sauce and stir. Enjoy!


Buffalo chicken sandwiches are another game time favorite. These sandwiches are hearty and spicy and will please those fans who like buffalo chicken wings, too. The recipe is great for football parties and they can be topped with ranch or bleu cheese dressing. These great eats will be fan favorites at your playoff party.


Source:



http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Restaurant-Style-Buffalo-Chicken-Wings/Detail.aspx

Traditional football playoff party food is not usually healthy food. Greasy foods with melted cheese and sweet snacks often make up the football party menu. Healthy snacks may be surprisingly popular for your football fans.


Small versions of the best party foods make interesting finger foods that can be grabbed and eaten between plays. The smaller versions also allow guests to more easily control their portion sizes. Small “hamburgers” made from turkey are tasty, as are grilled chicken or turkey sandwiches. Serve them on football themed plates that are sturdy, to avoid messes.


There are plenty of other types of snacks to serve at your playoff party. Vegetables and low-fat dips and spreads can be used as garnish for mini sandwiches. You might also like to offer your guests mini tacos, mini pigs in blankets and mini turkey meatballs. There are many football themed serving plates you can use for your sandwiches.


Party dips often have a high percentage of dairy products in them, which means extra calories and fat. Consider using salsa, black bean dip and hummus, says Live Strong. You may be surprised at how well these will go over. As long as your party food is tasty, there’s no reason it can’t be healthy, too. Football bowls work very well for holding dips and salsa.


Munchies have always been a part of football parties. You can use a large bowl filled with air-popped popcorn as a healthy alternative to typical chips. If you want to add flavors, you can sprinkle on Italian seasoning or Parmesan cheese.


Nachos are not necessarily unhealthy. Whole-grain, baked tortilla chips on a football plate with a football bowl of low-fat cheese can be a tasty snack option for your party. You can also mix popcorn, dried fruit and nuts to create a trail mix that your crowd will love. Using turkey instead of ground beef in your game day recipes will help in giving your guests healthier choices.


Source:


http://www.livestrong.com/article/511230-healthy-snacks-for-a-football-game-party/


The festive holidays are here and it’s time to host some fun parties. You don’t need to break the bank to have a spectacular celebration. Some simple planning and easy organization will keep you on track so you and your guests will enjoy a great evening together. Entertaining is all about atmosphere. Start by decorating your home with warm and inviting holiday decorations including some lights and candles, and a Christmas tree. Set up a table that can be used as a buffet and bar area for guests. Use a festive Santa tablecloth on a round table where you can set up snacks or glasses. Scatter some ornaments on every table to add to the ambiance.


Food and drinks are essential to every successful holiday party. Keep the menu fast and easy with items you can make ahead of time. Choose a few different types of bite-size appetizers so guests can make small plates of many different tastes. Use platters to arrange food onto the buffet table. Provide stacks of small plates and napkins. Arrange food on one table and drinks on another to keep guests moving.


Designate a table specifically to be set up as a bar. A perfect option is the fold down bar that opens up to allow you to serve guests easily and professionally. When you aren’t using it you can fold the sides down and it can be placed against the wall where it won’t take up any room. Decide on the cocktail menu ahead of time. Make a signature drink to keep things easy or serve wine, which you can allow guests to pour in glasses as they choose. Make a list of everything you need so you have it on hand. Add some holiday party music and you and your friends will have a great time.


Sources:
http://www.hgtv.com/hosting-the-holidays/package/index.html

The holiday season is here and with it comes one of the most popular of all tasty treat – cookies. Holiday cookie baking won’t be difficult if you choose the right tools to help you. Professional bakers know that starting with high quality ingredients will help create the most delicious end products. There are two main types of cookies including drop cookies and rolled cookies. You can make drop cookies uniform with a cookie gun. It comes with various inserts that allow you to create a variety of shapes using soft cookie dough. Simply insert dough and pull the trigger to place them onto a prepared cookie sheet.


Rolled cookies can be made into shapes by using cookie cutters. Holiday shaped cookie cutters help you make cookies in festive shapes. Once the cookies are baked you can decorate them with frosting. Use a deluxe icing set to decorate cookies. The set has a selection of tips and bags so you can create professional looking cookies with ease. When making rolled cookies it is helpful to place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for a while before rolling it to prevent sticking and to make the shapes form properly. Bake cookies on an extendable baking sheet.


Holiday cooking can be a fun family project if you’re well organized. When baking with young children measure the ingredients and have everything ready before you begin. Allow the children to participate by giving them safe and easy tasks and keep them away from a hot oven. Let them assist in decorating cookies with as assortment of candies, sprinkles, and frosting they can use to make unique creations. Place cookies in bags or airtight containers to keep them fresh for up to a week. If the cookies are for a bake sale, place several cookies into each plastic package and tie with a colorful ribbon so they can be sold in small quantities.


Sources:


http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techniques/5-tips-for-baking-the-perfect-cookie4.htm

The holidays are here and it’s time to start thinking about gift giving. Of course your family and friends are on your gift list, but what about giving gifts to other people? You’ll need to consider giving gifts to people who provide regular service to you throughout the year including your children’s teachers, and your boss and work associates. Tipping is appropriate for some gifts such as your hairdresser or nail technician. Holiday tips should be about double a regular tip.


Parents need to purchase gifts for their children’s teachers but not all gifts are appropriate. Stay away from wine or related gifts and avoid gifts that are too personal. Opt instead for useful gifts that are unique. A cute print insulated lunch tote makes an ideal teacher gift and won’t break the bank. A metro cooler basket is another fun choice. When shopping for the boss, be sure to keep the gift professional. Consider a personalized gift but be sure to order in advance so you’ll have it in time for the holiday office party.


If you have a large office, consider conducting a secret Santa. Each person picks a name and buys a gift for that person. This allows you to buy only one gift rather than many. While it may be tempting to buy a funny gift, it’s better to choose a nice gift that the person can actually use. There is usually a set price limit (sometimes about $25) so you’ll have to get creative. For men, shop for sports related gifts or for hunters, consider gifts for the hunter. Other good choices are gardening, cooking, and pet related gifts so choose an option based on the person’s interests. When giving gifts, a good rule of thumb to follow is to give a gift that is something you’d love to receive. Keep your choices simple and have fun finding the right gift for everyone on your list.


Sources:



http://christmas.organizedhome.com/gifts-and-giving/understand-unwritten-rules-gift-giving
http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2012/12/top-10-dos-and-donts-of-teacher-holiday-gift-giving.html