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

With Christmas on the way, thoughts turn to holiday decorating. A fun project to try this year is to create a holiday tree for your deck or porch. Decorating an outdoor tree is the perfect way to spend some family time outdoors. Prepare for the project by selecting an artificial Christmas tree to fit the deck area. Take measurements so you are sure to purchase the right size tree. It’s best to choose an area that is located under an overhang if possible, to keep it sheltered from the weather. Place it next to your front door to create a warm and inviting festive look.


Use natural décor to trim the tree. Collect some pine cones, sticks, and leaves from the yard and use them as they are or paint them gold, silver, or white. Use natural burlap as garland. If tree doesn’t have lights, add some solar powered outdoor lights. They charge during the day and provide up to 8 hours of light. Choose from white or colored lights, depending on your own personal preference. Purchase some inexpensive plastic ornaments that can withstand the elements or tie plastic bows to the boughs. Get some artificial poinsettia picks and simply pop them in between the limbs.


Take the kids inside and make some home crafted ornaments out of natural materials for tree décor. Natural ornaments look great on an outdoor tree and the kids will be proud of the tree they adorned. Use twine to tie ornaments onto the branches. Decorate underneath the tree with some sisal gift boxes with clear lights. They come in three sizes and look exactly like wrapped gifts but are made for outdoor use. Once you create your outdoor tree you can easily use it over and over again, each year gathering new decorations from nature to make the deck tree a new holiday family tradition.


Sources:



http://www.hgtv.com/handmade/front-porch-christmas-tree/page-2.html

Usually when we post on this blog it is to suggest products to make your life easier or to highlight some of our new items. However, we’d like to share with you a comment made on a YouTube video about a product we carry:



Thanks for your product. My wife has colon cancer that has metastasized to her left breast. The chemo and meds killed her beautiful smile. Her dentist wanted to wait til after treatment because it was going to get worse. She stopped smiling and laughing. I found this and she is smiling again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 


We hope that anyone who purchases Imako Cosmetic Teeth has the same wonderful experience.


The holidays are just around the corner so it’s time to start thinking about family food get-togethers. According to the National Turkey Federation, Americans eat 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving. This equates to about 736 million total pounds of turkey making turkey the most popular meat item for the Thanksgiving holiday. Proper organization ahead of time will make holiday cooking a breeze. Using the correct roasting pan will ensure a bird that is cooked to perfection. Choose an oval roaster set with a rack so the turkey won’t rest directly on the bottom of the pan. This will provide the best heat distribution.


Roast the turkey without the lid for the first hour so the skin will get brown. Then, place the lid on the roaster or cover the turkey with foil to keep it from drying out or getting too crisp. Roast the turkey with the breast facing up in a 325° F. oven. The length of time needed to cook the turkey depends on the size of the bird as well as whether the turkey is stuffed. For example, a stuffed turkey that weighs 9 to 18 pounds will need to roast for 3 ¾ to 4 ½ hours. Use a fast read food digital thermometer to determine when the turkey is done. The temperature should be 165° F. in the breast or stuffing and 180° F. in the thigh.


Before carving the turkey, allow it to rest for about 30 minutes after taking it out of the oven. In the meantime, use the pan drippings to make delicious gravy. Remove the rack from the pan. Add some turkey or chicken stock to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Heat the gravy on the stove, adding flour and butter mixture to thicken it before serving.


Sources:



http://www.livescience.com/17161-thanksgiving-turkey-americans-eat.html
http://www.butterball.com/how-tos/roast-a-turkey

With Christmas on the way you’ll want to get ready as early as possible for the festivities. One of the most important parts of every holiday home is the Christmas trees. Real trees can be expensive, are difficult to transport, and lose needles all over your house. Instead, many people now prefer to put up an artificial tree. Artificial Christmas trees have come a long way in recent years and many of them now look just as nice as a real tree – without all the problems. There are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for artificial Christmas trees.


Choosing the right size tree is essential so begin by measuring the location where you want to place the tree. Check height as well as width to ensure the tree will fit. Keep in mind that if you’re going to be putting the tree up alone you may prefer a slightly shorter tree because these are easier for one person to manage. The most common sized trees range from 3 feet to about 9 feet in height with the average size about 7feet. Spruce, pine, and fir are popular types of Christmas trees.


Another consideration is whether to choose a prelit tree. Prelit Christmas trees feature miniature lights that are already applied to the tree so there is virtually no work for you to do. Full size trees should have a minimum of 400 lights to look good. If you live in an apartment you can choose from a variety of slim Christmas trees that will fit in almost any area. Artificial trees fit together easily and come with an integrated stand so there is nothing to do but pull the tree out of the box and put it together. Properly storing your tree after the holidays will ensure that it will last for many years to come.


Sources:


http://blog.hgtv.com/design/2012/11/27/home-survival-skills-put-up-your-christmas-tree/