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Saint Patrick’s Day By The Numbers!

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Holiday Traditions

Do you have some traditions your family celebrate every year or are you looking for fun new ones for your family to start? We’ve gathered a few of our favorites with even more below!

1.Advent Calendar

2. Gingerbread Houses

3. Caroling

4. Classic Christmas movies

5.White Elephant gift parties

Click here for fun food, community and gift traditions!

Holiday Candy is here!

Our holiday candy is here and it’s the perfect gift for office employees, customers, coworkers, family, and friends! This season we’re offering a little something for everyone. Delicious treats from Florence’s Exquisite Candies, Farr’s Candy, and Sweets will leave you wanting more all winter long! Click on the images below to
place your order today!

Sweet’s Treats

Cinnamon Santas $3.59 Orange Sticks $2.79 Raspberry Sticks $2.79

Farr’s Candy

Cherry Cordials $18.99 Idaho Spud Bars $18.99

Florence’s Equisite Chocolates

1/2 lb. box Nut & Caramel $10.79
1 lb. box Nut & Caramel $18.99
1/2 lb. box asst. Milk Chocolate $10.79
1 lb. box asst. Milk Chocolate $18.99

Holiday Recipes

Start to plan your Thanksgiving Meal with some of our favorite holiday recipes!

Shallot-Sage Accordion Potatoes

To prep ahead, bake through step 2. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate, up to 2 days. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour before proceeding as directed.

  • Prep Time 30 minutes
  • Total Time 1 3/4 hours
  • Yield Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make deep cuts into each potato, 1/4 inch apart, without completely cutting through. Place shallots in each cut (using about half the shallots) and season with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut sides down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Scatter remaining shallots around potatoes.
  2. Tightly cover dish with foil and bake until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Uncover and bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sage and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Top potatoes with sage butter; scoop up loose shallots and divide among potatoes, then bake until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 1 small lemon, sliced and seeded
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preparation

  1. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring often, 15 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat, and stir in sweetened dried cranberries. Cool. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Note: Mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

And now for the turkey….

Make the bird the way you like it: this step-by-step guide from Food Network Magazine leads to thousands of possibilities!

1. Pick a turkey

2. Thaw

3. Brine

4. Make a butter

5. Roast the bird

Click here for the full article including brining tips, butter recipes and more!

 

Summer Safety Tips

“Nearly 70 percent of Americans, according to the American Red Cross, have been involved in some kind of summer emergency, ranging from insect bites to heat stroke and other life-threatening situations.

But what can you do if you find yourself facing a summer emergency?

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton shared the tips below on how to keep your family safe and healthy all summer-long:

HOW TO HYDRATE
• Drink plenty of fluid. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
• If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour
• Avoid liquids with alcohol or sugar — they will cause you to lose more body fluid.
• Stay away from very cold drinks — they can cause stomach cramps.

Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours and wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Monitor young children and elderly people because they are more sensitive to the heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. A very important tip for summer health is to drink enough fluids — hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE HEAT STROKE
If they have a body temperature above 103 degrees Farenheit, red, hot dry skin, and there’s no sweating — which means that the body’s sweating mechanism is failing, and the body is unable to cool down. If the person has a rapid strong pulse, headache, dizziness or nausea — call 911 and get the victim to a shady area in the meantime. Try to cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can like spraying them with cool water from a hose.

SYMPTOMS
• Body temp > 103°F
• Red/hot/dry skin
• No sweating
• Rapid pulse
• Headache/dizziness/nausea

HOW TO ALLEVIATE SUNBURN
There’s no fast “cure” for sunburns — it may take days for your skin to heal. To treat the pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever and keep the area moisturized with aloe or other lotions. Keep the skin cool by using cold compresses or taking a cold bath. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” Unprotected sun exposure causes premature aging of the skin

HOW TO IDENTIFY POISONOUS PLANTS
A good rule of thumb is “leaves of three, let it be.” Poison oak and ivy usually are clustered in leaves of three. They contain an oil that when gets on your skin can cause an allergic reaction. You only need to be exposed to a very, very little of this poisonous oil — less than one grain of table salt — for it to develop a rash. If you do get it on your skin, immediately rinse skin with rubbing alcohol or a degreasing soap like dishwashing soap and lots of water. Rinse frequently so that wash solutions do not dry on the skin and further spread the urushiol. An antihistamine can be taken to help relieve itching.

BEST WAY TO REMOVE AN INSECT STINGER
NEVER squeeze the area or use tweezers because it may push more venom into the skin. Remove the stinger by either scraping your fingernail over the area or using a straight edge like a credit card. You want to wash the area with soap and water — if there’s swelling, apply ice. Try not to scratch because it may cause an infection.

LEARN CPR
Learn how to do Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR. This year marks the 50th anniversary of its invention. According to the American Heart Association, “about 80 percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in private residential settings,” so knowing how to perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death. It also can resuscitate someone who has suffers a near-drowning — and as we know, summertime means a lot of time at pools. You can find a class at your local American Heart Association chapter or the American Red Cross.”

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What’s on your Memorial Day BBQ menu?

We’re getting our list ready for this weekend and just to make sure you get the most out of your BBQ we have a checklist and the best recipes for you too!

IF it’s for a potluck BBQ at work on Friday, or a cookout with the family on Monday, make sure you’re well stocked with the essentials…

 

And now the BEST Memorial Day BBQ recipes!

Cedar Planked Salmon Grilled Jalapeno Poppers Whiskey Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Bacon Ranch Chicken Skewers Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Time to get away!

The weather is getting warmer in Southeast Idaho and Northern Utah and school will be out in just a few short weeks, so what’s on the calendar? If you’re looking to plan your family vacation we’re right there with ya! Check out the 10 best family vacations in 2012 from Family Vacation Critic

“Expecting a tax refund from Uncle Sam this spring? Use it to treat your family to a fabulous vacation at one of this year’s hottest vacation destinations! To compile our list, we read through many of your recommendations, researched, and drew from our own experiences and favorites to put together these family-friendly vacation ideas that are particularly worthy choices for 2012. Some will appeal to the budget-minded, while others are more tantalizingly extravagant. You’ll find something for adventurous thrill-seeking families, as well as for those who prefer to spend lazy days on the beach with a cocktail while the kids are happily entertained.

1. Boston

A topnotch aquarium, a famously cool science museum, as well as a rich history and sophisticated New England charm have long attracted families to Boston, and the city that always tops the travel lists promises not to disappoint in 2012.  In the summer, the new and improved Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is scheduled to reopen, 11 years after the original museum was struck by lightning and burned down in 2001. The new museum will have replicas of the three merchant ships: the Beaver, the Eleanor, and the Dartmouth, and new exhibits featuring Samuel Adams and King George III. For families with younger kids, the Boston Children’s Museum is a must.  Everyone will love the new “Remember When” exhibit (which runs through February) where you can dress up in vintage clothes and play with toys from the past.

2. San Francisco

Kids (and grownups) of all ages will get a thrill out of riding the cable cars through the hilly streets of San Francisco, watching performers along touristy Fisherman’s Wharf, chocolate-tasting at Ghirardelli Square, and taking a winding drive down famous Lombard Street. I dare anyone not to be impressed with the stunning vistas across the San Francisco Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge. The number of kid-friendly attractions (don’t forget the zoo, museums, Alcatraz and Union Square) are endless.

2012 marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge; and the tourist board didn’t pass up the opportunity to commemorate the occasion a variety of family-friendly events planned throughout the year. The highlight will be a two-day celebration at Golden Gate State Park in May, where there will be live music and entertainment, exhibits and bridge memorabilia on display. The celebration will go well beyond the park, where attractions like The Bay Area Discovery Museum and the Exploratorium have related events and exhibits planned, many of which will be free.

3. The Mediterranean

Caribbean cruises have grown steadily in popularity amongst families, and with good reason. They offer an affordable, convenient means of getting around the islands, with plenty of organized activities for kids and parents. Until recently, fewer families have opted to venture into Mediterranean waters, perhaps because they assume it’s going to be a budget-buster. In reality, many Mediterranean itineraries are comparably priced; it’s just the airfare that is expensive. But if you travel in shoulder-season and search out bargain airfares, it can be more affordable than you might think.

4. Belize

Central America’s only English-speaking country is a great destination for adventurous families who enjoy diving and snorkeling, as well as those interested in learning about the archeology and history of this culturally rich (and affordable) country. While probably not ideal for the youngest travelers, Belize has so much to offer older kids. Caving, tubing through the stalagmites of an underground river, or zip lining through the rainforest are memories your children will never forget.

5. Denver

A host of outdoor activities, public parks and incredible vistas in every direction make Denver a great choice for families. In winter, hit the slopes at several nearby mountains, and in summer visit the city’s Botanical Garden and let the kids wander down the Children’s Secret Path. The Children’s Museum of Denver and the World of Wonder Children’s Museum are tons of fun any time of year.

2012 is the perfect time to visit the Mile High City. The new and greatly anticipated Elephant Passage ($50 million in the making) exhibit at the Denver Zoo is set to open in the spring 2012. The Elephant Passage will be a 10-acre complex that will house several animals including Asian elephants, Indian rhinos and leopards. When it’s complete, it will be the largest bull elephant habitat in the world.

6. London
Set to host the 2012 summer games from July 27 to August 12 2012, London is an excitingly glitzy destination for families this year. Although most of the major events have already sold out, there are loads of free events and festivals scheduled around the city, including the triathlon and marathon races. If you’re determined to get event tickets, the 2012 ticket resale program starts on January 6. People who have already bought tickets that they are unable to use can sell them at face value. London promises to be teeming with excitement, celebrities and fun, but don’t expect any bargains. Hotels and flights will be expensive and hard to come by; if you haven’t started planning already, get going!

Outside of the Olympics, London has an amazing array of family-friendly sights. Take the kids for a ride on the London Eye — they’ll be able to see Big Ben and Parliament as they rotate 135 meters into the sky — awesome! (For great views of the London Eye, The Savoy hotel offers plenty, in a luxurious setting.) Older kids will enjoy a visit to the famous Madame Tusuad’s Wax Museum, and all ages will get a kick out of the double-decker bus tour and the changing of the guard. Hyde Park is an excellent place to spend a warm day with the family; there’s a great playground, ponds with paddle boats, and even a carousel.

7. Orlando

Think you’ve been there done that and seen it all in Orlando, think again, 2012 will bring several new attractions and events to the theme park capital of the world. Universal Studios, which has grown enormously in popularity amongst families since the addition of Harry Potter, will open a cool new attraction in 2012: Despicable Me. Despicable-Me riders will be transformed into the movie’s famous little minions and take a 3-D ride featuring Gru and his lair, the adorable orphans, and an interactive dance party.

8. Nova Scotia

I highly recommend sea-loving families visit this region of Canada. While you won’t find the shiny resorts and pre-packaged activities you will find in other popular family destinations, sometimes making your own fun is the way to go. Greater Halifax is a must; there’s a beautiful harbor, shops and cafes, as well as outdoor activities galore, including swimming, camping, hiking, sailing, and whale watching.

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking off the east coast of Canada.  There will be a marine-art festival, several concerts, a monument memorial on the waterfront, and a film festival with showings of Titanic movies. In March, The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic will host “Built in Belfast — Remembered in Halifax,” a guided tour which takes visitors through a history of events, and pays a visit to the graves of some of the 150 victims who are buried in Halifax cemeteries. The museum is also expanding its permanent Titanic exhibit this year. There’s another Titanic exhibit at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, which shows a model of what the wreck site looks like now.

9. Oahu

Hawaii’s third-largest island, Oahu, isn’t new to family “Best Of” lists, so seeing it here should be no surprise. But a recent arrival to the island makes it an even hotter destination for 2012. Last April, the kid-friendly Mecca welcomed the master of all things family: Disney! Aulani Resort is located on the west coast of Oahu, and is Disney’s first and only resort not connected to one of its theme parks.  Since it’s been open for several months now, they’ve had a chance to work out many of the kinks, making 2012 the perfect time to visit. Young families will love this beautiful 21-acre oceanfront resort, which has an awesome water park, complete with zero-entry pool and lazy river, as well as a super-cool snorkeling pool right on the property called Rainbow Reef. There’s also a kids’ club and a variety of family-centric activities scheduled day and night.

10. The Grand Canyon

The southwestern United States is home to one of the most awesome landscapes in the world: The Grand Canyon. For those who have yet to visit this spectacular national park, it’s located in the northwest corner of Arizona, close to the borders of Utah and Nevada.  It’s an area of the country you must see at least once in your lifetime, and it’s super family friendly. Like many of the country’s national parks, the Grand Canyon offers the Junior Ranger program for kids 4 to 14. Children can pick up an activity booklet at the visitor center and complete a series of activities and assignments to receive their very own Junior Ranger Badge at the end of their visit. For 17 days in 2012, admission to Grand Canyon National Park  will be free. The free days are: Jan. 14 to 16 April 21 to 29, June 9, Sept. 29,  and Nov. 10 to 12.”

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Hand made Valentine’s Day Card!

Get ready for Valentine’s Day next week with these perfect cards!

Start crafting and show us what you’ve made- we would loveto see your holiday crafts on our Facebook.

If you’re looking for ideas check out Kaboose for tutorials on holiday cards and decoration- like these here!

How to make it:

 

  1. Begin by cutting a piece of construction paper or card stock into four equal pieces.
  2. Fold quartered paper in half to make a card.
  3. For the easiest version, appropriate for preschoolers, use stickers to decorate or cut out hearts from a different color of construction paper or card stock to glue onto your cards. Experiment with different patterns, florals look great contrasted with stripes on a solid background.
  4. Younger children love glitter! Use a bottle of glue to “draw” on a heart or phrase (such as “Be Mine”). Sprinkle glue generously with pink, red or white glitter and let dry over night. Tap off excess glitter when completely dry.
  5. For the older set, let them use pinking sheers to cut out heart shapes and glue onto cards. Again, use contrasting patterns and colors to create a charming design.
  6. Once glue is dry, cards may curl up a little. Place cards between the pages of a heavy cookbook or phone book and leave over night.

Tips:

Finding the perfect paper. Card stock is available in literally hundreds of different designs. The scrap-booking aisle has individual sheets or pads of various colors and patterns. Construction paper is inexpensive and children love it just as much.

Ten ANTI-Resolutions For The New Year

New Years Resolutions are right around the corner and Larry Winget has given us the PERFET guidline to follow when planning out our goals for the next year with his ANTI-resolutions. It’s not about NOT making resolutions, but rather on making goals, and focusing on the end result. 

1. Last year is OVER – let it go. No good comes from dwelling on the past.

2. Don’t whine about the bad in your life. Whining prolongs the problem and irritates the rest of us.

3. Keep your problems to yourself. The tolerant are your enemy, not your friend.

4. Keep your dreams to yourself. Naysayers can destroy your dreams by shaking your confidence.

5. Never make resolutions- they don’t work. They are task focused, not end-result focused.

6. Start with the end in mind. Know EXACTLY what you want your life to look like and make a plan.

7. Write things down. Problems get smaller when written down, goals become more real.

8. Expect derailment. You will experience setbacks. Big deal. Get over it and move on.

9. Don’t stop – unless you need to stop. Sometimes you discover it was a bad goal, or you need to rest, or you need to start over completely – otherwise, stay focused and keep the momentum going.

10. Celebrate. Not just at the end, but all along the way.

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Didn’t quite get what you wanted? Enjoy the Gift of Organization!

“Your opportunity to wind down at the end of the year and relax with your family and friends is finally here! Here are just a handful of helpful organization hints to make it through the homestretch this year, and make it even easier on yourself next year. Go on and take a peek:

How to keep track of your family and friends (or, making room in your brain for other stuff)

It’s that time of year when it’s fun to check the mailbox and look for season’s greetings from family and friends. As you exchange holiday cards this time of year, keep track of information about family and friends with a simple spreadsheet. It’ll help you in more ways than one:

Update names and addresses. Whether the people in your life have moved, married, or welcomed a new addition to the family, you’ll have a place to keep the information current all year round.

Stay on top of the little ones’ ages and everyone’s hobbies and interests. Add a column to jot notes so you’ll have a reference to go to for gift ideas that are age-appropriate and practical.  

Create a mailing shortcut. Make it easier to send post-holiday “thank you” notes by mail merging your address list onto printable Avery Labels using the free Avery Design & Print Online program. Plus, you’ll be all set for next year when it comes time to address your holiday greetings again.

How to make the most of your kitchen-time (and focus on creating fabulous holiday foods)

How convenient—as the temperature drops outside, one of the best places to be is the warm and cozy kitchen inside! Whether you’re prepping to bake for school, gifts, and parties, or even planning an elaborate holiday meal for your loved ones, these little organization tips can help make your kitchen time run smoothly.

Flag the goodies and dishes you’ll make. Which recipes will make the cut this holiday? Mark your favorite items from your cookbooks and magazines with Avery NoteTabs®. These durable tabs make it easy to flip to pages, and they’re removable and repositionable so you can move them around from recipe to recipe as you finalize your list. The writeable surface also comes in handy so you can add notes, like when you need to double the recipe or substitute ingredients.

Get your grocery list “to go.” Now that you’ve got your holiday menu set, it’s time to get your ingredients. As you prepare your grocery shopping list, grab a ruled pad of Avery Perforated Sticky Notes. These lined pads were meant for people who like to be organized and make lists! You can choose to leave the adhesive strip on the note so you can attach it to your grocery cart or coupon binder, or tear off the strip for a non-sticky note that won’t collect odd bits and pieces from your purse.

Freeze now, bake later. In anticipation of the baking and cooking madness that’s to come, prep items such as cookie dough or soups early and store them in the freezer. Just mark your containers with freezer-safe Avery Durable I.D. Labels, and add the baking or reheating instructions to make it easier to whip them up later.

How to solve the holiday decorations mystery (or, what to do when the string of lights say, “let’s knot”)

Reuniting with your holiday decorations a year later can feel like a crash course in investigative work. Which box holds the tree topper? What ornaments survived from last year? And why does that tangled ball of lights get bigger (and harder to unravel) every time? Do yourself a favor with these nifty tips on getting them all organized this year, and thank yourself next year.

Control the crazed cord of lights. Face it, you’ve got incredible patience if you can get those holiday lights back in the box they came in. Try this instead: identify where each string of lights should go, such as the “tree,” “foyer,” or “stairway,” with customizable, heat-resistant Avery Printable Cord Tags. When it’s time to pack them up, just wrap the string around cardboard with slits on opposite sides so you can tuck in the ends, then pop each set into a bag or plastic container to keep them dry during the year.- Deck your decoration storage boxes. After your ornaments and decorations have worked hard this season, let them rest comfortably ‘til next winter. Use Avery Adhesive Pockets with Card Inserts to mark storage boxes so you’ll know what’s inside, and your ornaments won’t be disturbed during the year.  And when worn out ornaments are retired, just print a card listing the new arrivals and quickly update the same box.  

Save that thought. Like how your decorating endeavors turned out this year? Take a snapshot of your décor and place it in your holiday decorations box so you’ll have a jumping off point for next year.

A little organization can help you enjoy the holidays the way they’re meant to be enjoyed—happy and relaxed, not frazzled and exhausted. Make hectic holidays a thing of the past with a little help from Avery.”