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New Year’s Eve Ideas To Get The Party Rockin’

If there’s one night of the year that’s devoted to celebrating, then it has to be New Year’s Eve. It’s the time to feast on scrumptious food and sip on something with plenty of fizz. But aside from making sure your guests are well fed and watered, your home should be decorated in a festive style to set the tone for partying. Here’s how to get your party rockin’ this New Year’s Eve.

2015

Balloons

The staple ingredient for any celebration, balloons are a must-have feature at any New Year’s Eve party. Push the boat out and opt for some sparkly, shiny balloons, or buy some with Happy New Year on them. When the clock strikes midnight, release the balloons up into the sky!

Twinkly lights

If you’re trying to create a party atmosphere, then you need to get the lighting right. Harsh, bright lights are a big no-no, so instead opt for twinkly lights that can be draped from one corner of the room to another. Candles also make a great party mood setter.

Banners

Stick some banners up on your front door and throughout your house to set the party tone. There are lots of styles to choose from, but naturally for this one night, you’ll probably want to select ones that spell out Happy New Year.

Focus on gold and silver

Choose party decorations that focus heavily on gold, silver and other sparkly, glittery colors. It’s the one night of the year where you can go a little over the top with color themes and decorations. So, aside from decorating your house with gold and silver balloons, banners or lights, think gold and silver streamers, danglers, baubles, candles and tableware.

Confetti

Who said confetti was for weddings only? Confetti is a great addition for any party celebration, so scatter festive confetti throughout your home. It looks really stylish on a table, scattered around champagne flutes and bottles of fizz.

Make your own

Set your individual stamp on the festive feel of your home by making your own New Year’s Eve decorations. White paper snowflakes, for instance, are incredibly easy to make, and can be hung from the ceiling for a really stunning effect. Get the kids involved in making bunting, banners or a garland that will give your home a unique party style of its own.

Curled ribbon

Ribbon is widely available and inexpensive to buy, but makes a valuable contribution towards setting a party tone to your home. Even better, is to curl the ribbon, which is incredibly easy to do but creates a really stunning effect. Dot curled ribbon throughout your home and hang off doors, mirrors, picture frames, etc.

Shimmer door curtains

Shimmer door curtains create an instant party feel to a home, so add a few to get your New Year’s Eve party on the road. They’re really easy to attach and come in a range of colors, so you can mix and match with other colors or themes or just choose something vibrant and glitzy.

This article was written by Amy from Vivid Doors. Amy loves throwing parties and one of her favorite parts is the preparation and decoration. She put together these tips with the rest of the team at Vivid.

Why Every Woman Should Learn to Cook

Woman_cooking

I’m not talking about microwaving food either. That’s not cooking. I mean cooking from scratch and cooking on a stove top or oven. My dad and mom both taught me how to cook since I was in high school. A few months ago, I prepared a simple but delicious meal for the whole family. I’m almost out of the beginner stage of cooking. I believe everybody should know how to cook.

Everybody should learn to cook. I notice that ladies’ excuse for not cooking is because they don’t have enough time. Seriously, but you have enough time to go shopping and clubbing 24/7? I can understand if you’re a full-time college student who also has a part-time job. Stop with the excuses ladies.

One reason is because it’s obviously healthier to cook your own food. You know what is going into your body if you’re cooking from scratch. Most if not all of fast food is genetically modified and I’m sure most Americans have eaten something that is genetically modified.

Another reason is guys love it. Sure guys are cooking nowadays, but it’s still nice too cook for your man especially if it’s a potential life partner. Sometimes it does not have to just for your man. It could be for friends. If you end up being good at cooking, you might get brownie points when you bring your own food to a party or family event and everyone will go on about how good of a cook you are.

Cooking can be so much fun. It can be stressful at first because you might add too much salt, burn the chicken or under cook the pasta, but practice makes perfect and all the mistakes you make will pay off. Grab your apron and start cooking!

via Why Every Woman Should Learn to Cook. | Karelle Florentina.

Useful Kitchen Tips That Even Martha Stewart Doesn’t Know!

Move over Martha Stewart! This list of useful kitchen tips will impress even the most hardcore kitchen maestros. Even if you don’t consider yourself a master in the kitchen or even close to it, these helpful hints will leave you looking like a cooking veteran.

1)    During childhood years, we were always teased that the last person to do something was the rotten egg and we would hastily rush to be one of the first ones to finish. Now that we are all grown up, we still don’t want to be that rotten egg, nor do we want to use one in our cooking and spoil the whole recipe. There is a helpful way to test your eggs to see if they are still good; simply dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt in a cold cup of water, put the egg into the cup and if it sinks to the bottom, the egg is still good, but if it floats to the top, you can consider it a rotten egg.

2)    We all know that when guests come to visit, they usually congregate around the kitchen area, where the food and drinks are. The last thing you want is to be embarrassed by odors coming from your kitchen, in particularly, the garbage disposal. There is a simple way to knock out those odors and keep your sink area smelling fresh. You will need a lemon, white vinegar, and an ice cube tray. Cut the ends of the lemon off and dispose of them. Cut the lemon in half, and then each half into eighths, place one piece of lemon in each section of the ice cube tray, fill each section with the white vinegar, and place in the freezer. Once frozen, you can store in a plastic bag in the freezer. Use a few cubes at a time in the garbage disposal and run until they are dissolved. This can be done a few times a week or as often as needed to keep your sink smelling fresh.

happy-woman-cleaning-kitchen

3)    Preparing meals when you live alone often leaves you with leftover food, which often can go to waste. There is no need to worry about this happening if you use vacuum sealed bags to preserve your meals. Vacuum sealing reduces the amount of oxygen getting to the food by forming a hermetic seal, which preserves food for longer periods of time. This method can be used for dry, refrigerated, or frozen foods. This also comes in handy for families that buy in bulk or prepare meals ahead of time for easy use.

4)    We all know we shouldn’t cry over spilt milk, but how can we help but cry over a cut onion? Keeping an onion in the refrigerator before use can not only make it easier to chop, but will also cause fewer tears. Other methods for eliminating tears include chilling the onion for 10-15 minutes in the freezer before chopping or soaking it in water before chopping. So, stop the crying and get to chopping!

These are just a few useful tips that can help you around the kitchen. Not to mention, make you look brilliant. Your family and friends will think you are secretly running with the Martha Stewart’s of the world.

This article is provided courtesy of PAC FOOD Pty Ltd. Please visit http://www.PacFood.com.au for useful tips about food storage and using vacuum sealing bags to keep your food fresh for longer periods of time.

What To Eat And What To Avoid In These 6 Countries

They say travel expands your horizons, but it can also thicken your waistline. Here’s how to vacation in some of the most popular countries without piling on the pounds.

The aftermath of a holiday can be scary, but often it’s the prospect of going on vacation that fills us with fear. Away from our normal routines, we often worry about how we’re going to eat in a calorie-conscious way to avoid returning with an extra three pounds as a souvenir! If you go somewhere really remote and exotic, you might come back a stone lighter thanks to some nasty tummy bug, but otherwise, traveling and staying abroad is likely to trip up your diet plans.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go on holiday. You can’t put life, fun and new experiences on hold while you try to get to your target weight. The key is knowing your way around foreign menus, choosing dishes wisely, watching the portion sizes and going easy on the local beers, cocktails, vino, sangria and port or whatever other alcoholic temptations are on offer.

Grilled-Tex-Mex-Quinoa-Stuffed-Sweet-Potatoes-Skins-13

Here’s a whistle stop tour of popular holiday destinations and the pros and cons of local cuisine:

Spain

Go for: gazpacho, stuffed peppers, grilled fish, salads, paella, mussels, grilled chicken and rice, tortilla.
Skip: fried dishes and Hors D’oeuvres, whitebait (they’re cooked in batter, so it’s a snack with more than 300 calories), fish served with oily sauces, albondigas (fatty meatballs) and chorizo (a high fat sausage).

Greece

Go for: pitta bread, salads, baked fish, stuffed tomatoes, grilled fish, fresh fruit, seafood kebabs, lamb and pepper kebabs, tzatziki and hummus dips. When you order salad, ask for the dressing on the side.
Skip: baklava sweets, moussaka (a high-fat dish), meatballs, taramasalata (just a tablespoon is 50% fat and contains 200 calories), and spicy sausages.

Italy

Go for: fish dishes, thin-base pizzas with vegetable toppings, pasta with tomato, vegetable or seafood sauces, parma ham with melon, seafood salad, bread sticks, tuna and bean salad, and grilled chicken (ask for sauce on the side).
Skip: pasta with creamy or buttery sauces, pizza with salami, extra Parmesan, char-grilled vegetables (drenched in oil), pesto sauce. Avoid creamy sauces such as primavera, and Neapolitana.

France

Go for: consommé soup, grilled trout, ratatouille, salads, bouillabaisse, salad-filled baguettes, lower fat cheeses such as brie, camembert and goat’s cheese, and French onion soup (but don’t eat the floating cheese).
Skip: Creamy and buttery sauces such as béarnaise or à la Normandie, buttered vegetables, patisserie, croissants, and pain au chocolat.

USA

Go for: Tex mex – bean burritos, chicken fajitas, vegetable chilli tostadas, low-fat or fat-free muffins, yoghurts, ice-cream. In the USA you can get any variation on a menu, but you need to ask. The downside is the enormous portions they give you.
Skip: burgers, fries, cheesecake, brownies, potato skins, tortilla chips, fried steaks and Caesar salad, which seems healthy, but has a dressing that whacks up the fat and calories.

Thailand

Go for: fish cakes, prawn or green papaya salad, stir-fried vegetable dishes, soups (avoid those with coconut, a rich source of saturated fat), meat or seafood pad ka pau (stir-fried with garlic, basil and chilli), whole baked fish.
Skip: Curries (often swimming in coconut milk) and satay sauce (delicious, but a calorie colossus).

Olivia Winters is an avid food blogger and weight loss specialist. She is currently helping women in the SF Bay Area conquer their obsessions with unhealthy foods and lifestyle patterns. She also really loves swiss cheese chia seeds.

Dangerous Black Woman: Tangela Walker-Craft

Tangela with 4 GoPillows

My name is Tangela Walker-Craft.  I am a native of Lakeland, Florida. I’ve been married to my husband (Ernest Craft, III) for 21+ years. I’m a wife and homeschooling mother to my 11 year old daughter.  I’m also a patented inventor and business owner.

After my daughter was born, I breastfed her for two years.  Due to my own breastfeeding needs, I invented and patented the BEST multipurpose breastfeeding/travel product that a mom or caregiver could ever have –The GoPillow!  I had the idea for the GoPillow! because my daughter was born with a head full of black, silky hair.  Each time I would breastfeed her, the back of her neck along the hairline would perspire and my arm would be damp.  I decided that I needed an arm cover of some kind – not just for breastfeeding, but for cradling my baby.  I told my
husband about an idea that I had.  He and I began playing around with various versions of an arm pillow.  My husband drew a rough sketch of the pillow that I wanted and my aunt was able to sew a rough prototype for me.

The original intent of the pillow was for cradling babies for breast or bottle feedings.  I knew it would be an excellent travel pillow.  The idea for adding the privacy blanket came later.  It was added after I was caught in a crowded area during a rainstorm at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  My husband took off his shirt and gave it to me so that I could nurse my daughter more discreetly.  We realized that a privacy blanket or cover would separate my pillow from any other nursing pillow on the market.  The blanket turned the pillow into a multipurpose wonder!

I filed for a patent.  I went through prototyping, fabric sampling, packaging selection, etc. and finally incorporated my company and got the GoPillow! ready for market.  The pillows are professionally manufactured and packaged.  I founded Simply Necessary, Incorporated (simplynecessary.com) to market and distribute the GoPillow! via TheGoPillow.com.  I run Simply Necessary, Incorporated and take care of my daughter full-time.

In addition to marketing the GoPillow!, as a way to utilize my Creative Writing degree and share my ideas and experiences with other families, I became a Tampa Bay Parenting Examiner for Examiner.com, an online news outlet.  I currently write under four titles for Examiner.com.  I draw from my experiences as a wife, mother, business owner, and former Language Arts teacher for my articles.  I provide tips for helping families enjoy life.

Twitter:  @TangelaWCraft

Delicious Low Fat Breakfast Recipes

Are you bored of bland and uninspiring breakfast routines? Why don’t you add some creativity to your mornings with these yummy recipes?

Banana prune Muffins

 muffins

The banana prune muffins are great as a morning breakfast or as a snack. You only need 10 min for preparing them and 25 for cooking.

Ingredients

100gr caster sugar

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1egg

225g mashed banana

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

200gr plain flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

175 gr chopped pitted prunes

Method

Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and flour a muffin tin, or use paper muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil and egg. Beat until smooth. Blend in banana and vanilla. Mix together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon, and then stir into egg mixture until just moistened. Mix in the prunes. Spoon mixture into muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Asparagus soldiers with a soft-boiled egg

asparagus

I would say that this is an unusual breakfast, good for the ones who are sick of eating the classic cereals, toasts and biscuits every morning.

Ingredients

1-tablespoon olive oil

50g fine dry breadcrumbs

Pinch each chili and paprika

16-20 asparagus spears

4eggs

Method

Heat the oil in a pan, add the breadcrumbs, and then fry until crisp and golden. Season with spices and flaky sea salt, then leave to cool. Cook the asparagus in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3-5 min until tender. At the same time boil the eggs for 3-4 min

Breakfast Parfait

parfait

This is a very simple recipe made with low-fat yogurt or low-fat milk. You will spend only 10 min preparing it.

Ingredients

¾ cup low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat plain yogurt

1-cup strawberries chunks, papaya chunks or cling peaches

2 teaspoons toasted wheat germ

Method

Place the cottage cheese or yogurt in a small bowl. Top with fruit and sprinkle with wheat germ.

Cherries with Ricotta and Toasted Almonds

cherries

Another very easy recipe! If you like cherries and ricotta, you will fall in love with this healthy recipe.

Ingredients

¾ cups frozen pitted cherries

2-table spoons part-skim ricotta

1 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds

Method

Heat the cherries in the microwave on high or in a pot until they are warm; top the cherries with ricotta and almonds.

Blueberry Granola Coffee Cake

 cake

This is the best cake to accompany a warm coffee. A great goodie to bless the ones you love. The yogurt, the blueberries and whole flour make it a little healthier than the usual coffee cake.

Ingredients

1 cup granola cereal

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter (room temperature)

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup vanilla yogurt

11/4 cups blueberry

Method 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray 10 cup bundt pan with baking spray. Place on baking sheet.

Stir together the granola and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, ending with the flour, just until blended.

Sprinkle half the granola mixture and 1/4 cup blueberries into the bottom of the bundt pan. Spread half the batter over the granola. Sprinkle remaining granola over the batter in bundt pan. Mix the remaining 1 cup blueberries into the remaining batter. Top the granola layer with the blueberry/batter mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, then cover top loosely with foil to prevent overbrowning. Continue to bake another 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

Morning glory muffins

muffins

These muffins will glorify your mornings… they are made of carrots, chopped prunes and molasses among other yummy ingredients.

Ingredients

¼ cups all-purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup old5-fashioned or quick5-cooking oats, uncooked

1/3 cups nonfat skim milk

2/3 cups apple sauce, unsweetened

¼ cups packed brown sugar

¼ cups light molasses

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large egg

3 medium carrots, shredded

½ cups prunes, chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 12 standard muffin-pan cups or line cups with fluted paper liners.

In a large bowl, beater together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir in oats. In medium bowl, with fork, mix milk, applesauce, brown sugar, molasses, oil, and egg until blended; stir in carrots and prunes. Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture; stir just until flour is moistened.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin-pan cups. Bake 25 minutes. Immediately remove muffins from pan.

 Granola

 granola

United States is among the leaders in per capita consumption rate of cereal in the world. However, this breakfast has become famous in all around the planet. That’s definitely one of the best options if you are looking for low calories, high in fiber nutritious breakfast.

You can have a nutty, fruity wholesome goodness granola as breakfast by adding some almonds, cranberries, mixed seeds or any other dried fruits that you like. This is a must for oat lovers.

 

Laura is originally from Barcelona, Spain; she is currently living in London, where she moved two years ago to start a Marketing career.

My Stay-At-Home Wife Has It Harder Than I Do

50s-wife-list-11

By Matt Melone

A strong marriage is contingent on sharing the workload–not just in the house but everywhere. This past summer I worked as an intern at Google and had a long commute. I left at the crack of dawn most mornings and returned home around 7pm.

My wife, Rachel, on the other hand, is a stay-at-home mom. She took care of our 18-month-old each day. I think much of the “Lean In” thinking today would suggest Rachel perhaps had opted out of the workplace too young and taken an easier route. Those people have never stayed home with a toddler all day.. everyday.

Last month, I gave Rachel a weekend completely off parenting duties by going out of town with Jude. In those days, unsupported by any other caregiver, my son nearly broke me. He’s a fantastic kid, but he does get cranky, have trouble sleeping and can be as willful as any other 18-month-old. I was exhausted, and the experience gave me a newfound respect for all stay-at-home moms, and especially single parents (I don’t know how you do it!).

Get yourself a Fringed Burlap tablecloth!

My point is that this summer when I was working, Rachel had it WAY, WAY harder than me. Too many working dads (and working moms, for that matter) don’t fully appreciate the sheer exhaustion of watching a cranky child (let alone multiple children) day in and day out.

Conventional wisdom suggests my wife should be grateful to me for slaving long days at the office and permitting her to relax at home. We’ve largely internalized the 1950s portrait of a husband coming home to be greeted by his adoring wife and a roasted chicken dinner as something ideal and fair–if not something we routinely practice.

When I come home, I strive to give my wife the chance to put her feet up. Cleaning up diapers, preparing meals, cleaning and responding to the beck and call of our son is a full-time job with no coffee breaks or pauses to read the news or check email.

A large amount of hostility also comes from moms working outside the home. Being a parent is challenging enough without us disparaging each other. When husbands and our society in general better value the work stay-at-home-moms do, we are all better off. That respect helps improve relationships, makes the parenting work feel a little easier, facilitates more equitable household divisions of labor, and accords the proper level of appreciation to motherhood.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you know full well the pressures of raising kids without extended family or good friends around. My wife and I created familygroups.org to match moms to other parents in their communities and help them find local family activities, groups and cool places. If you ever wished you had more support as a parent, check it out.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matt_Melone
http://EzineArticles.com/?My-Stay-At-Home-Wife-Has-It-Harder-Than-I-Do&id=8160369

5 Ideas for Spending a Fun Winter Inside

Winter is here again and some have already started to grumble about it. But if one goes about it the right way, winter can be great fun even by just staying at home. There are plenty of things one can do to spice up the winter at home. Here are just a few suggestions!

black-couple-playing-video-game

Catch up on entertainment
Winter time is the time when all the television stations compete with each other to air the best shows. For some shows, September is the month when the new series begins and continues through winter. There are great new shows coming up this winter as well as new series of long running shows.

Food
Winter is a great time to try out new recipes. For those who enjoy eating and would like to try their hand at cooking, this is the perfect time. For one, people are stuck indoors and for another, one feels the need for nourishment when it’s cold. Apart from ordinary cooking, this is also a good time to try out new Christmas recipes. Or see how well a traditional recipe can be adapted to modern cooking. It can be great fun and a wonderful experience, especially if a nice wine is chosen along with the goodies. And then, spiced wine or mulled wine can also be made during this time. The choices are simply endless.

Exercise
To burn away all those calories one usually puts on during the holiday season, working out is necessary. Though a nice jog in the local park is out, there are plenty of indoor exercise options. Indoor sports facilities such as indoor squash, tennis or even more adventurous activities like rock climbing can be considered. There are also physical workouts one can do at home such as aerobics, skipping and dancing. Yoga is also an option for those who are interested in something different. And finally, there is no need to go out at all because all kinds of workouts are there on Youtube.

Prepare for Christmas
Christmas is the high point of the winter season, and there is plenty of preparation and shopping to do. Amazon and other sites have a variety of gift options at bargain prices. This means that the shopping can be finished while sitting at home. Getting fibre optic broadband options for swift online shopping is a good idea. There are more preparations to be done, such as cleaning the house, setting up a tree, finding long lost ornaments, recreating Christmas. Trying out some fresh decorations during this time is always challenging and enjoyable.

Games
Winter also happens to be the gaming season. With interesting new games like Assassin’s Creed IV and Deadfall Adventures being released, games aficionados are going to have a wonderful season trying out all the new games. For people who are not so much into video games, there are always the more traditional options like Scrabble, Chess and Monopoly.
Staying inside has never looked so good during the winter time.

Kirsty is a stay at home mum. In her spare time she likes to research latest technology trends and share her knowledge with the rest of the world by writing blogs.

Top Story: 8 Gift Ideas For Mom This Christmas

It has been said that a mother’s love knows no bounds. Yet when it comes time to select a gift for the most special woman in your life, you might come up empty. This Christmas, show Mom your appreciation with one of these gift ideas.

woman-opening-large-present

1. Her Signature Scent

Treat Mom to her favorite fragrance this year. She’ll think of you every time she puts it on. If Mom doesn’t wear fragrances regularly, consider assembling a basket of beauty supplies to help her pamper herself. Scented body washes and lotions will help her refresh whenever she needs recharging.

2. Designer Earrings

Exquisite jewelry can dress up even the simplest outfit. A pair of designer earrings in your mom’s personal style is sure to please. Designer studs add timeless elegance to any outfit. Playful dangles lend a touch of whimsy to the blandest clothing.

3. Updated Electronics

While electronics are touted as perfect gifts for dads, moms like their gadgets too. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-readers or even gaming consoles can bring a smile to Mom’s face on Christmas.

4. A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Subscriptions enable you to shower Mom with gifts all year long. Once relegated to magazines, it is now possible to send monthly deliveries of flower bouquets, beauty boxes brimming with hot new cosmetics, and wines or beer. For foodies, consider monthly food deliveries with gourmet treats or even a subscription to her local CSA for organic produce boxes.

5. Anything Cashmere

For many moms, nothing can compare to the feel of cashmere. The classic cashmere sweater adds luxury to Mom’s wardrobe. Now cashmere can be found in scarves and other items, for a truly special gift.

6. Spa Treatments

One thing most moms have in common is that they tend to put the needs of everyone else ahead of their own. A day at the spa can help your mom get the well-deserved relaxation and pampering she needs. Consider purchasing a massage package so she can receive several massages during the year. Gift certificates for manicures, facials or waxing are also gladly welcomed by many mothers.

7. Her Favorite Treats

Is Mom a chocoholic? A Starbucks junkie? You know Mom best. This gift can be as simple as a gift card to her favorite haunt or as elaborate as a beautiful basket stuffed to the brim with all of her favorite treats. She will be touched that you remembered all of her favorites and thrilled to be stocked up when her next craving hits.

8. The Gift of Time

Of all the things your mom loves, she loves you the most. Schedule some special uninterrupted time for the two of you to visit. A spa day together, a special meal or even a simple picnic is sure to bring a smile to her face. If your mom is getting on in years, perhaps she could use some help around the house. Maybe you could spend a day completing her tasks for her.

Let Mom know how much you love and appreciate her this Christmas by thinking of her favorite things when you hit the stores. A little forethought can help you make her holiday more special than ever this year.

Jill Sharp has worked in high-end retail stores for over 5 years and loves helping people chose gifts for their loved ones. For more great gift ideas, Jill recommends visiting thegiftinsider.com.

How To Throw a Memorable Holiday Party

holiday bar

The last quarter of 2013 is here which means it is party season! Yes, many of us throw parties throughout the year, but this time of year there is likely going to be many events filling up your social calendar. Not only is there a chance you may have a full schedule with invitations, but now is the time to decide whether you are going to host a party of your own.  Take advantage of the tools and ideas around you. In a historic city like Philadelphia there are many ideas available including renting a photo booth.

Time Management

One of the most important skills you need to possess while planning your get together is time management. If you are a natural at this then this step will be a breeze for you. However, if you are not then now is the time to start getting organized. Being able to keep yourself organized and on time will not only allow you to enjoy your party more, but it will also lessen the amount of stress you feel while planning. Look at your calendar and determine the date now. The earlier you can pick a date the better, especially if you are going to rent a location.

After you have picked the date for the party you can lay out a schedule that makes your to do list much more manageable. You may want to leave a little extra room just in case something unexpected happens.

Decide on a Theme

One of the first big decisions you may have to make is whether or not you are going to have a theme for your party. This could be fun if you are going to have a crowd made up of adults and children. It may also be an interesting twist to explore if you are having an adult only party.

Choose Your Activities

Whether you are going to have themed party or not, you are going to want something to entertain your guests. The activities you choose to do should be age appropriate. For instance, if you are going to have some younger party goes you may want to consider an inexpensive craft for them to take home.

If you are just inviting the adults, perhaps you can have a white elephant gift exchange or even a karaoke contest. Choose small prizes that could be fun or practical for the contest winner to enjoy once they leave. For many people nothing says the holidays like the smells coming from the kitchen. As one of the activities for your party, consider including a cookie exchange. Not only will your friends have fun tasting new treats, but they can also have the recipe for their favorites.

In Philadelphia you may even want to consider a photo booth rental for your party. Not only will your guests be able to make memories and share some laughs, but they can have the pictures to prove it.

Whether you are planning a party for children, adults or both make sure you leave yourself enough that you can actually enjoy the results of your hard work. Have fun!

Scrumptious Alternatives To Turkey This Thanksgiving and Christmas

Christmas dinner tends to be the same, year after year. There is the traditional turkey, along with all the trimmings, and then Christmas pud for dessert. Carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts, stuffing, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes- all the favorites are there. It certainly does sound delicious. However, don’t you sometimes wish you could have something different for the Christmas feast? If so, you are in luck. Whether you are a vegetarian or a carnivore, there are plenty of different options for you to choose from. So get ready to loosen your belt and prepare yourself to take a break from the Christmas turkey and pudding for a change, and try out some new tasty options.

ostridge

1. Fatten up the goose

Straight out of Dickens’ Christmas Carol, a roasted goose makes a delicious main entree for your Christmas feast. It will also look very impressive set out as the main centerpiece on your beautifully decorated dinner table. Some people think the goose is a bit too fatty. However, if you prick the skin well, it makes a very juicy and delicious meat.

2. Try ostrich for an exotic Christmas alternative

If you’d like to try something a bit more exotic and unusual for once, how does Ostrich Wellington sound to you? You may be wondering where you can possibly find one, but if you do a bit of searching there are farms that have them available for sale. One nice thing about preparing an ostrich is that it only requires a minimum amount of cooking. A 2kg ostrich tastes a lot like a nice beef fillet steak and can feed up to 8 people quite easily.

3. A vegetarian alternative

You don’t have to consume a nut roast every year. Even meat lovers have come to realize that there are delicious alternatives for Christmas dinner that don’t involve meat. One simple option is a Quorn roast. Stuffed butternut squash is another tasty alternative. For a very special vegetarian feast, try field mushrooms stuffed with chestnuts and garlic cheese. Top it off with pastry to come up with an amazing vegetarian dish fit for kings and queens.

4. Go international

If you really want to try something different, you could break out the barbie like the Aussies. Of course, this depends on the weather. Select your food of choice. Crabs, prawns and other meats are all delicious options.

5. Fish for the feast

If you have both fish-eating vegetarians and meat eaters coming for Christmas dinner and trying to find something safe to serve, how about salmon? You could even go for something a bit unusual and spicy. Whip up a tasty soy marinade made with soy sauce and hoisin, along with chopped red chili, Thai fish stock and herbs, crushed garlic, star anise and lemon as a garnish. Doesn’t that just make your mouth water? An entire side of salmon will feed 8 to 10 people. This simple option will definitely impress everyone at the dinner table.

6. Christmas pudding

Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the favorite Christmas pudding. For dessert, you can go for the tradition pud, or perhaps just a fruit salad. However, there are plenty of more options to try. Consider the Stollen Parfait. It features all of your favorite holiday flavors. Just slice and top with icing sugar along with glacé cherries for a delicious Christmas dessert. If you still are craving the traditional hot pud, consider a hot panettone pudding. This still provides you with the festive fix you are craving but provides you with a bit of a different taste that will finish your Christmas dinner off quite nicely.

By Geoff Roy

Geoff Roy raises awareness of charities selling Christmas charity cards on the Cards for Charity website.

Do’s And Dont’s Of Personal Finances

Looking after your own finances is really important part of living a successful life. If you want to achieve your dreams and live a financially secure lifestyle you need to make sure you are always on top of your own finances.

Here are some of the biggest do’s and dont’s of personal finances to get you on the right track.Finance

Dont’s Of Personal Finances

There are a lot of things you need to stop doing in order to get your finances on track. The biggest ‘don’t’ of personal finances is to wait for someone else to fix your situation.

If you are having a problem in your finances don’t just sit around and leave it for later. Act now and you can change your situation quickly and make sure your problems don’t become any bigger.

Don’t ever just keep repaying the minimum installments of your debt. The thing is that if you just pay the bare minimum you are playing for the profit of the lender and will lose out a lot. Thus it is essential that you always pay more than required, even if it is just a small amount.

Don’t spend more than you make because you will quickly find yourself in financial trouble. It is really important that you make sure you know how much money you have and only spend what you can actually afford.

Don’t buy items on debt, unless it is a mortgage for a house or a car that you need in order to go to work. If you can’t afford it find an alternative option or save money before buying.

Do’s Of Personal Finance

Luckily there are a lot of quick and simple things you can do to take care of your personal finances. The first and the biggest ‘do’ you should start with, is to make a budget for yourself. A personal budget can help you out a lot and guarantee you don’t end up doing the things on the don’t-list above.

Do start saving money as soon as possible, even if it is just a little bit at a time. It is really important to create yourself an emergency fund to guarantee you don’t get into trouble if unexpected things happen to you. You can find a lot of good tips on emergency funds, for instance, at the Money Crashers website and it is important to follow these tips.

You should also get yourself an accountant. It is a good idea to get an outside professional to guarantee you are taking care of your finances the right way and taking advantage of all the tax benefits you are entitled to as well. Look for accountancy companies in UK and contact different firms, such as Friendly Accountants for more information.

Do keep an eye on the costs of using certain service providers, such as energy and insurance, and make sure you swap around in case there are better deals available.

You should do this regularly and if you see you have a better deal available you can always contact your old provider first and let them know that there are more suitable options out there and see if they make you a good counteroffer. Thus staying alert with your finances is really important.

 

Roberta is into finances and wants to make sure people don’t make mistakes in their personal finances. When she isn’t browsing the internet for more financial tips she likes to spend time with her two grandchildren.

Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of April 2013

Top10

Welcome to April! I had a couple of good interviews, I was asked what I thought about religion and a Black athlete came out the closet! Other highlights of the month involve sex, boobs, ice cream and gold diggers. Enjoy!

  1. Ask Dangerous Lee: What’s your say on matters of religious delusion?
  2. I’ll Be Glad When Being Gay Isn’t “Groundbreaking”!
  3. Dangerous Lee Interview – Nicci Leigh Teaches Us To Love Our Skin
  4. Dangerous Lee Interviews Tamika Newhouse – Founder of Delphine Publications
  5. 10 Ways To Tell If He Is Committed To You
  6. The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Getting Bigger Boobs
  7. 5 Reasons Ice Cream Is Better Than A Boyfriend
  8. 6 Frugal Tips For A Single Mom
  9. 5 Ways Men Spot Gold Diggers
  10. 5 Dangerously Exciting Ways To Spice Up Your Love Life

Read more April 2013 content

Believe The End Of Times Are Near? 6 Supplies You Don’t Want To Be Without

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Worried about one or more earthquakes that are big enough to move mountains? Or maybe you’re concerned that a virus will cause an outbreak of zombies. Regardless of the exact cause, if you believe that life as we know it is going to end in the not too distant future, you don’t want to be caught with nothing when the world falls into chaos. Instead, you want to have the supplies needed to deal with any situation that may arise.

Since a disaster can last for a few days, a couple of weeks, several months or years on end, it’s definitely better to have more than less. That being said, you don’t want to simply start stockpiling random stuff around your home. Instead, because you do need to take your time and budget into consideration, it’s best to focus on the supplies that will help you the most.

To help you kick off your prepping in an organized manner, we’re going to cover several key categories of supplies, as well as the specific items within those categories that you should focus on acquiring and stockpiling:

 

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Water Purification

Adding barrels of water to your stockpile isn’t a bad idea. The only problem is those will only take you so far. If things get bad for a very long time, you’re going to need to purify your own water. To do so, you’ll want to have purification tablets and a rain barrel. You’ll also want coffee filters, bleach, propane stove, sand and charcoal. If you’re wondering what method of water purification is best, this post covers all the main methods in detail.

Food

This is a big one. In fact, if you plan on making prepping for a disaster an ongoing process, this is one area of your inventory that you’ll definitely want to continue expanding. But because you can’t realistically get years of food stockpiled at once, it’s best to get started by covering your basics. Since they’re all shelf stable, condiments, spices, canned goods, coffee, tea, cooking oil, lemon juice and vinegar are all worthwhile essentials. Additionally, don’t forget about sugar, honey, dry milk, beans, pasta, rice and wheat. You can also round out your essentials with salt, yeast, sprouting seeds and non-hybrid garden seeds.

First Aid

Even if you’re planning on staying in the same place, you never know when an accident may cause a minor or even more serious injury. The possibility of an injury occurring at any time is why it’s important to have a basic first aid kit. Since they’re the most commonly used items in a kit, it’s also a good idea to stock up on extra rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment and latex gloves.

Protection

By spending just a few minutes browsing through TradingPlacePawn.com, you’ll get a good idea of the types of guns and ammo you should add to your collection of supplies. And if you’re on the fence about whether or not you actually need to have protection for yourself, just remember that if things get bad, you’re going to want to have a way to protect both your family and all the supplies everyone with you requires for survival.

Hygiene

Although you may not be going out on a lot of dates if the world falls into a disaster scenario, basic hygiene is still very important for your health. That’s why you’ll want to have plenty of toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and floss. Other items that are highly recommended include shaving supplies, toilet paper, baby wipes, sunblock and feminine products.

Medications

These are supplies that you’ll probably want to keep near your first aid and hygiene supplies. In addition to any prescriptions you or your loved ones currently take, some of the basics you’ll want to acquire are pain relievers like Aspirin, antacid, cold medicine, allergy medication and constipation/diarrhea medication. It’s also worth having an ample supply of daily multivitamins.

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Stocking up on forty-eight different supplies may sound like a task that’s too difficult to undertake. However, the important thing to remember is you don’t need to get out and spend thousands of dollars on supplies tomorrow. Instead, use this post to create your own to-do list. Then you can keep an eye out both online and offline for great sales. When you see a sale on a supply you need, that’s the time to stock up on it. Taking this approach will allow you to acquire plenty of inventory without putting an excessive strain on your finances.

 

Kerri Castro has been working as a professional writer for the last eleven years. Due to its popularity in the media and her own personal belief in its importance, prepping for disaster is a topic she’s really dove into over the last couple of years.

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