It’s party time! I’ve always looked upon New Years as not only the dawning of a new calendar year, but as a time to let loose after the stressful holiday season. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, everyone is run ragged and some of us are hitting our heads against a wall now that the credit card bills are starting to roll in.
New Years is the perfect time to dance, have fun, play games, and count down to the beginning of a new year full of promise. And what better way to do that than to throw a party and invite friends to join you? All it takes is some decorations, plastic champagne flutes, plastic cups, plates, and food and drinks!
We play raffle-type games at some of our parties, where you can give away silly things like kisses at midnight, or babysitting services just to keep things lively. Kids chase balloons around, and adults that aren’t dancing play cards or gather to talk. It’s chaotic and noisy, but so much darn fun! It’s a warming feeling to be surrounded by those you love when the new year begins.
If you don’t have a party planned, or a party to go to, there is still time! Order some trays from the deli, pick up the necessary supplies, a little champagne or sparkling grape juice, some drink umbrellas to add a festive flair, and send out the invites! Bring in the new year with good cheer, loud music, friends, family, and food. And don’t forget your midnight kiss ;-)
There’s nothing like tearing open a Christmas gift and seeing that piece of technology that you always wanted. A TV, a camera, a computer tablet…whatever it is, you are excited! The first thing you want to do is hook it up, but then you realize you’re missing something.
When you get a game system or a new Blu-Ray player, you need an HDMI cord to bring out the best features, but these items don’t come with something as necessary as that – because obviously you need to spend more money to get the full effect! Or you get a Kindle or Nook, and the wall charger isn’t included. Lets not forget all the extra batteries you’ll need to buy for remotes and smaller electronics.
Let’s say you got a Playstation 3, which comes with one controller, but there is at least 4 people in the house that want to play at the same time. You need to get extra game controllers! So you spend Christmas day taking turns playing games. That’s no fun! You all want to play the games together! Also, you now have all of these devices that charge via USB but only a certain amount of ports on your computer, so now you need a multi-port USB charger.
With the majority of our electronics have touch screens or delicate LCD screens, you have to be able to maintain them, so you need screen protectors and cleaning cloths, so you don’t create static electricity and short-circuit them! In the end though, you have what you always wanted, and get to enjoy it!
Supposedly, the world is ending today, but other than the fact that it’s actually chilly here in South Florida today, I’m not seeing any evidence to a major catastrophe that will destroy the earth. Which makes me happy, but I’m sure there are still those of you who feel that maybe something is going to happen, and that’s okay!
What should you have on hand at the end of the world? Food, water, flashlights, batteries, etc? Well, it depends. If a mythical rogue planet is going to hit us, then it doesn’t matter what you have at your disposal. It’s pretty much sayonara, but the flip side is, you won’t know what happened. If it’s one of the natural disasters that people are talking about, then a basic hurricane/storm kit should do you fine. I’ve blogged about them before.
If we’re going to be inundated with solar flares and rays and other very hot things that have to do with the sun, SPF 50 won’t cut it. Actually, I really don’t know much that will, but you can always use a welding blanket! They’re made to withstand very high temperatures, and are fairly reasonable in price. One blanket should be able to cover you.
To be honest there are so many theories about what is supposed to happen today that I can’t keep them straight! Just remember that it’s always a smart thing to have a disaster kit handy, a safe water supply, and about three days’ worth of canned, non-perishable food on hand. Stay safe, and enjoy the day, no matter what it brings!
You’ve got your shopping done, having braved the malls and grocery store. The turkey and/or ham are safely ensconced in the freezer, ready to be thawed. You have all the ingredients you need for a spectacular dinner for friends and family. Now, you just have that obscenely large mountain of gifts to wrap. Why not settle down among the gift wrapping, gift bags, bows, tape, and tissue paper with a holiday cocktail for a little pep in your wrapping step? Below, I offer you some recipes for the holidays; two classics, and two fun and frivolous cocktails. Enjoy!
2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp superfine sugar
3 oz club soda
1 maraschino cherry
1 slice orange
In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a Collins glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice.
½ oz Cointreau
½ oz cranberry juice
1 Tsp lime juice
1 oz Vodka
Place all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a few frozen cranberries after pouring
1oz Campari Bitters
2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 twist lemon peel
Build Campari and sweet vermouth in a highball glass and fill with seltzer water. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
1 1/2 oz Creme de Menthe
1 oz cream
1 oz Peppermint Schnappes
Mix all ingredients over ice and shake well. Strain into a margarita or specialty cocktail glass. Finish by garnishing with a peppermint stick.
It’s starting to get cold outside and furnaces and fireplaces are firing up all over the country (pun intended), even here in Florida. Believe it or not, we do have fireplaces and whole-house heating systems in South Florida, but down here its too much trouble to get a fireplace going for a cold front that’ll last a minute, and turning on your heat uses just as much electricity as your air conditioner. Sometimes we want a break from astronomical electric bills!
That’s where portable heaters come in handy. You can heat one room, or many, at the fraction of the cost of whole-house systems. Most portable heaters are small and stylish, with plenty of safety features built in. You can put them in the bathroom, the kitchen, bedroom, and living room…any room that you can think of. And because they come in stylish options, they can blend in with your décor.
Of course, even with the built-in safety features, you still need to keep them away from fabric and any combustibles, but vigilance is a small price to pay for money savings. I have one heater that sits on a trivet on a side table, and another in my kitchen that sits out of the way but cranks out beautiful heat. We keep a chic radiator style heater in the living room that looks very retro in a trendy way. We like cold bedrooms so I don’t have any in them, but that’s one of the pluses to living in the Sunshine State!
Whether you just want to take the chill out of the air or keep your footsies warm, a portable heater is a fantastic option. With tons of options available, you should have no problem finding the perfect heater for your office or home that fits your budget and style. Keep warm this winter!
They are sounds we’re all familiar with this time of year- snuffling, sneezing coughing…and we all run in the opposite direction from where the sounds are emanating. That is definitely not something that you want to be around, and you find that you’re donning rubber gloves just to hand paperwork to your afflicted co-workers. That’s right folks, its flu season!
I’m not going to inundate you with statistics of how many fatalities are attributed to flu every year, or even how many people are diagnosed; you’ve been around the flu season block before and have heard it all at least once. As your friendly neighborhood blogger, I did want to mention a few things you can do to prevent getting the flu yourself. Which is just basic self-preservation at its base, right?
The flu shot is the first defense in your flu season arsenal. Second is hand sanitizer, but that one comes with a caution label – use too much, and you run the risk of catching EVERYTHING that comes down the pike because you’ve lost most of your natural resistance to bacteria and viruses. Next up is antibacterial soap and you really have to use it. A good rule of thumb to follow when washing your hands is to sing “Happy Birthday”. That gives enough time for the soap to work. Just make sure to sing it to yourself, not out loud or else you’ll get strange looks.
Other steps you can take are medical masks, over the counter immunity boosters, gloves, and hazmat suits…okay, well maybe not those. Carry tissues so that you don’t sneeze into the air, and as a handy catcher’s mit for those explosive coughs.Point is, do what you can to avoid getting sick, so that you don’t lose work, get your family or co-workers sick, or contribute to a world-wide pandemic of epic proportions.
Who doesn’t love a good pen? Even in today’s digital age, having a good pen in business is essential. Smooth writing, comfortable grip – those are marks of a great pen, and Cross pens exemplify those qualities. I remember when I was a little girl my father getting a Cross pen and pencil set as a gift, and he was so thrilled by them!
Even with the advent of gel pens, Cross ballpoints still manage to keep up with demand for a smooth writing instrument. There’s nothing like the feel of a Cross pen in your hand, the barrel smooth and weighty, and the ink gliding across the page. No skips or stutters, or blank spots in your writing with a Cross pen. They come in silver, gold, black or colors; ballpoints, rollerballs, or fountain pens; you can even get one with a stylus!
You can’t go wrong giving a Cross pen, pencil, or set as a gift! With all the choices available, you can find one that is perfect for the person you’re shopping for, and they will be thrilled to have a gift from you that will last indefinitely! I recently came across my father’s old Cross pen, the pencil having been lost years ago. I just popped a refill into the barrel, and it still works and looks as good as new…29 years later.
Kids (and a lot of moms too) love to make crafts. I don’t know any 6-year-old who doesn’t want to get finger paint everywhere or glue something together…most often their fingers, but moms know how to undo that catastrophe. Sitting down together with your kids and making something from bits of nothing is not only fun, but its bonding time too!
In today’s world, where ten-year-old’s have iPhones and iPads, and video games are in almost every bedroom, it’s hard to find things to do with your children. My son is glued to his phone and Playstation 3, but we do things together as a family to keep us talking and not disconnected. Crafting for younger children is an excellent way to do that, and even teenagers can get into it, as long as it’s something slightly attitude-y and cool.
Two of my favorite craft ideas at holiday time were always the paper plate wreath, and a holiday character made from craft sticks. I’ve made reindeer, snowmen, elves…you name it, I’ve painted wooden sticks to resemble it. Some with glitter, some with pipe cleaners…you get the picture.
The paper plate wreath was my favorite in school, and I was very excited when I graduated from construction paper to tissue paper. My earliest incarnations were heavy with glue and very weird color combinations, but hey, I got better. So this holiday season, pick up some craft supplies, sit down with your kids (you don’t really need the kids. I made stuff like this back when I was single), and have some family bonding time over holiday crafts!