Sunday

FREE Gift: 40 New Years Eve Appetizers Recipes


A FREE gift for my readers...
40 New Years Eve Appetizers Recipes

Here is just one of the great recipes you will find inside this FREE download:


Zesty Veggie Dipping Sauce

What You Need:

1 T brown mustard

2 T lemon juice

1 C prepared Ranch dressing

1/8 t Worcestershire sauce

1/4 t hot pepper sauce


How to Make It:


Place the mustard in a small mixing bowl.

Pour the lemon juice into the mustard.

Add the Ranch dressing and mix to combine the ingredients well.

Pour the Worcestershire sauce and the hot pepper sauce into the bowl.
Whisk until all the ingredients are incorporated together well.

Cover and refrigerate to chill completely through.


Serve this dip with cut vegetables, large pretzels or tortilla chips. It has a little bite but it's not overpowering.

Serving Size: 1 C

To download all 40 of the free recipes click here (or right click and save).

Happy New Year from my family to yours...Enjoy!



Wednesday

Wishing you...


and a Happy New Year!



5 Christmas Crafts for Kids

The kids are home for Christmas break and are bored already. The weather is cold, wet and nasty. What do you do? Keep them busy making something with their hands, instead of you tearing your hair out. Here are some fun ideas that kids will love.

1. Christmas cards are always a great craft.


Provide the kids supplies like construction paper, card stock, scissors, glue, glitter (the bottles of glitter/glue in one package are a very nice low-mess way to dress up a project), pencils, crayons or markers and old Christmas cards. Let the kids use their creative energy to make wonderful handmade cards that can be shared with family and friends. By cutting pictures out of old cards, even the younger children can make something really nice (and recycle at the same time).


2. Snow globes are a favorite.


If you want to make your own, gather glass or clear plastic containers, like baby food jars or mustard or mayonnaise jars. Wash and dry them completely. Gather small plastic Christmas or winter decorations. Try to find some that float. Winter themed stickers or small foam cutouts are also nice. Decorate the outside of the jar with stickers or glue a few of the foam pieces on it. Attach a couple of the floating pieces (things like snowflakes or stars work well) to string and glue a figure to the inside with the string underneath the figure to anchor it (which will become the base). Fill the jar with water and some glitter. Carefully glue the lid in place using waterproof glue and let dry. Once dry, shake it, set it lid down and watch the glitter swirl around.


3. Candy crafts can be fun, as well as a tasty gift.


A train can be a quick craft that can be used as a decoration or gift. Use a roll of hard candy (like Lifesavers) for the main part of the train. Use individually wrapped round candy, like peppermints for the wheels. For the front, glue a square candy, such as a caramel or a Starburst with a Hershey kiss on top. If you add a string, they can be used as a tree decoration. Experiment with other kinds of candy to create other things, like robots, animals or even angels.

4. Garland trees can be a great project for the kids, especially if there is limited room for a Christmas tree.

Take a large piece of green poster board and cut a circle, with a slit out to make a cone. Tape it with clear packing tape. Take an artificial pine garland and wrap it around the cone, completely covering it to create a small tree. Fasten the ends in place so it doesn't unwrap. The tree can be decorated with lightweight paper ornaments that the children can also make.


5. A cozy fireplace can warm up any room but not everyone has one.

Let the kids make one. Find a large cardboard box and cut an opening in the one side for the fireplace. Using sponges, paint bricks on the box, leaving space in between to be the mortar. Paint the inside black if you want. Paint flames on the inside back section of the box. Use paper towel rolls to stack up in the fireplace as logs. Decorate the top to look like a mantel.


Get creative and think up your own Christmas crafts as well. Children will love the fun involved in creating these crafts and so will you. You can even give the crafts as a gift which will warm even the scroogiest of hearts.


Recommended:



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Monday

Who Are You Mr. Claus?

Just about everyone in the world knows that jolly toy-bearing Christmas figure from the North Pole, but how much do we really know about him?

Here are a few quick trivia questions about our beloved Santa brought to you by www.247trivia.com.

Q: Where does the name Santa Claus come from?

A: The name Santa Claus was derived from Sinterklaas, the Dutch term for the ancient Christian figure of Saint Nicholas who was famous for his generosity to the poor (more about him later). The Dutch immigrants to America imported their gift-giving saint to New Amsterdam where he merged with his British counterpart, Father Christmas, to become America's own Santa Claus.

Q: Everyone knows that Santa lives in the North Pole, but where is the real St. Nicholas from?


A: St. Nicholas who many consider to be the inspiration for modern Santa Claus was born in Patara around 275AD. Patara is located in present day Turkey, on the Southern Mediterranean coast in what is today an international tourist resort area where visitors spend hours basking in the warm Mediterranean sun. Certainly not a place you would want to be wearing fur coats in.

Q: If you really wanted to find St. Nicholas today, where would you go looking?

A: You may enjoy a trip to the North Pole, but if you really want to honor St. Nicholas, you would do better by heading towards Italy, where the remains of St. Nicholas are stored in the basilica of St. Nicola in the city of Bari. They have been there since the 11 century when they were, uh… borrowed… from their previous resting place in Myra in present day Turkey.

Q: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and his companions take Santa on his rounds completely airborne. How is it that reindeer can fly?

A: Many people believe that the tale of flying reindeers (as well as other parts of the Santa story), originates from Lapland in modern day Finland. Some say that in Lapland reindeer had a habit of seeking out the hallucinogenic amanita mushrooms which they ate and then would prance around while under their influence. As these mushrooms are quite toxic, it was regular practice for local shamans to drink the urine of tripping reindeer for a "safe high" and then "fly" together with them. This could also explain the general cheerful disposition (with the "ho ho ho" and all), and the flushed red cheeks of today's Santa.

Q: Where did Santa get his unique outfit?

A: While it's no secret that the marketing people of Coca Cola have a lot to do with the modern image of Santa, some say the roots go way back. The same North European Shamans that liked to consume those red and white mushrooms with their reindeers used to wear quite a similar outfit when they went out to collect their pickings – red and white fur trimmed coats with long black boots. As implied above, it's quite certain that St. Nicholas was no inspiration for this outfit, as he lived in sunny south Turkey.

Q: Who was the first to create Santa's modern image?

A: Coca Cola still uses the iconic images of Santa which were hugely successful in the 30s, and created for it by the gifted artist Haddon Sundblom, an American of Swedish origin (does Northern Europe ring any bells here?). However the modern image of Santa was only finally standardized in his works, but had actually been developing for years before. Coca Cola wasn't even the first beverage company to make commercial use of every child's jolly toy bearing hero – a company called White Rock beverages used him to sell ginger ale and mineral water as early as 1915. However earlier versions wore a wide variety of colors. Coca Cola's Santa is the one the finally set the record straight, and since then Santa has been wearing nothing but Red and White.

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Wednesday

3 Tips on How to Keep your Cash Safe While Christmas Shopping

The interior of a typical Macy*s department store.Image via WikipediaDuring the Christmas holiday season, you will most likely make frequent visits to your local department stores. Here are some tips to keep your cash safe when shopping.

Let’s face it; we carry everything we own in our pocketbooks. But, during the Christmas holiday season, with the hoards of crowds invading most shopping malls and stores, it is advisable to utilize these tips to protect your cash and your personal information as well.

* Purchase either a neck pouch or money belt to wear when shopping. Carry the minimum amount of items such as car keys, license, cash and/or credit card.

There are a myriad of thieves who scour the stores just waiting for some unsuspecting man or woman to turn away, or bump into them to steal their wallet or the wallet out of their purse. Yes, they are that good!

By not bringing a purse or pocketbook, you are protecting not only the cash on hand but your personal information as well. Imagine if your purse was stolen and inside were your credit card, cash, license, even a copy of your social security number. The damage this can do to your financial life is immeasurable.

During the holidays, carry as little with you as possible. Try not to make it any easier for the thieves to carry out their plans using you as their victim.

* Always be aware of people around you. If you take money out of the ATM machines, cup one hand over the keyboard as you type in your account number. Check to make sure no one is standing behind you with a cell phone. This is how they steal your account number, by taking pictures as you punch in the numbers.

* If you are shopping during the peak holiday season, plan your route within each department of the store. Check out, beforehand, where the items are located and buy just those items and leave. Don’t stop to browse or look for items not on your list.

In the old days, our grandparents used to carry cash in a little pouch and use a safety pin to attach it to the inside of their clothing. Perhaps this is where the pouch belts used today first originated.

While it’s a sad commentary on our society that we have to stay ever vigilant during certain times of the year, it is nonetheless important to safeguard your cash, possessions, and your person.

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Sunday

Shopping Tips for Christmas 2008

With Christmas less than a month away, here are some shopping tips and suggestions that can save you money and help reduce the time you spend shopping.

Department Stores

* Before you shop, make your gift list.

* Assign a dollar value to each gift and stick to it.

* If you shop at department stores, plan on arriving early in the morning and at the beginning of the week.

* Go directly to the department where you’ll find your gift items.

* Try not to stray from your destination by browsing.

* Pay with cash whenever possible or use a debit card.

* If there are sales in any given week, arrange to arrive early and buy several of the same items in case you need an extra gift. Check your local newspapers daily.

* If you have to use a credit card, bring only one with you. Pay off the purchase when the bill is received.

* Give yourself two or three days to complete your holiday shopping.

Online Shopping

* Only shop on secure websites. Look for the lock at the bottom right hand corner of the website as well as the "https" in the URL on the payment page.

* Use one credit card only for all purchases.

* Go to coupon sites to check what merchandise is available with a discount.

* After you have placed your order, clear your history on the computer.

* Never leave your computer on after you have made purchases. Clear your cache, history, and shut it down. (This applies to cable modem users).

* Ensure that the website has an address and telephone and/or online communication in case there is a problem.

* Most well-known sites will send you an email immediately after purchase to confirm.

* Print out all purchases. Keep track of confirmation numbers as well as tracking numbers.

* Ensure that your computer has the most updated security software.

* Check your credit report in January. You are allowed free access annually.

If you carry cash, try carrying a pouch that you can wear either around your waist or around your neck. Never leave your purse open in a store and always keep your purse close to the front of your body. Make sure you leave the store with your credit card, and always be vigilant about the people around you, especially when retrieving money from an ATM machine.

These are just some tips and suggestions to think about during the Christmas holiday shopping season. You may have some other great ideas of your own that have offered you a pleasant shopping experience.

What are your some of your favorite tips for shopping for Christmas 2008?

Tuesday

5 Tips to Keep the Stress Out of Thanksgiving Dinner

Why do people always get stressed at the holidays? Is it the rush to get everything done? Is it wanting everything to be "perfect"? Is it having to deal with family members that know how to push our buttons? Most likely it is a little of each. So how do we have a stress free Thanksgiving dinner?

Here are a few simple tips to have a more enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner.

1. Plan ahead - While planning the Thanksgiving meal, do you plan who is going to help? Instead of doing it all yourself, recruit your family to help. Not only will the work go faster, it's more fun working together. Make a list of what needs done before everyone arrives. Give everyone something to do and assign things that are age appropriate to the children. Before you know it, the leftovers will be wrapped in foil and everyone will have had a great time.

2. Covered dish meal - If you are having a large group get together for Thanksgiving, divide the menu amongst all those attending. The host family can provide the main dish (turkey or ham) and the drinks. Each family brings a favorite side dish and dessert. If you want to make sure there is a variety, provide a menu and mark things off as people chose what they want to fix.

3. Simplify - Instead of having a huge feast, prepare a smaller meal. We all tend to overeat at Thanksgiving, so make an effort to make fewer dishes. Not only will the preparation be smaller, so will our waistlines. Another option is to prepare as much ahead of time as you can. Slow cookers can be used to make all kinds of foods, even desserts. Many things can also be made as "freezer meals" and stored for weeks before re-heating them. The less actual cooking you need to do on Thanksgiving, the lower your stress levels will be.

4. Family harmony - While you can't make everyone happy, there are ways to promote a peaceful, relaxing dinner. Use place cards to put the people who tend to bicker further away from each other during dinner. This will help alleviate some of the tensions.

5. Be thankful - Simply taking the time to be thankful for all your blessings can reduce your stress level. Before everyone arrives, take the time to list all that you're thankful for over the last year. Have everyone share their blessings before dinner. Having a better attitude will help everyone enjoy the day more.

Stress doesn't have to ruin the holidays. If you stop to smell the turkey, and plan ahead, you can have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Planning and organization, while not great fun, can help you enjoy things later once all the guests arrive.

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Monday

How to Make Thanksgiving Decorations : Tips on Decorating for Thanksgiving

From: expertvillage

Saturday

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in chopped pecans. Spoon batter into lightly greased or lined muffin tin and fill to 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for approximately 20 minutes or until golden and baked through. Cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes until removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Tuesday

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

Each year America celebrates a day in November that has taken on almost a religious reverence which we call Thanksgiving. We give this holiday so much honor that it ranks right along with Christmas and Easter as an important holiday in the hearts of families and as a nation. This holiday, so rich with tradition, has it origins in the earliest days of the founding of this nation.

The early years of the explorers who came to the American continent were difficult ones indeed. Those explorers, we now call The Pilgrims, faced harsh weather, unpredictable relations with the natives, disease and other challenges as they carved out homes from the wilderness they found here. Because their earliest homesteads were in the northeast, the winters were harsh and their ability to build houses that could keep them warm and to find sufficient food was a constant worry to the men and women trying to raises families in America.

So anytime they received help from the native population, it was viewed as a gift from God and accepted with the greatest of joy and celebration. A Native American chief by the name of Squanto saw the plight of these new neighbors and saw to it his tribe helped these young families to survive. Besides providing food and wisdom about how to build structures that could keep them safe in the winter, Squanto taught them to fish and how to farm.

This act of friendship was the origin of our revered holiday of Thanksgiving. The Virginia Colony established the tradition of holding a day of collective prayers of thanksgiving, and that tradition continues today. Except it is not just a day of thanksgiving for the kindness and generosity of Squanto to our forefathers. We take advantage of this day of reverence and thanksgiving to be grateful for all the good things that God has blessed this nation with.

The foods we use to celebrate Thanksgiving were ones that the pilgrim travelers found native to this country and the foods that, with the help of Native American teachers, they learned to capture, harvest and prepare to feed their families and prosper in their new home. Turkey was a game foul that was in ample supply to the pilgrims once Squanto showed them how to hunt the bird with reliable success.

The vegetables we love to have on our traditional menus also had their origins in the early lives of the pilgrims. Potatoes, cranberries, sweet potatoes, green beans and all the rest were vegetables that the pilgrims had to learn to harvest, farm and prepare from natives of the land. So in many ways, our modern holiday, despite the dominance of football games and the upcoming Christmas holiday, retains the atmosphere of those early celebrations.

And the meaning of the holiday, despite commercialization, has been retained. Americans have much to be thankful for. For most of us, it is a time to gather family and friends near and be thankful for our health, for the blessings of jobs and for the privilege all Americans share to be able to live in this great nation. The abundance of the land, a society that is free and to be able to encourage freedom in other cultures are just a few of the things we celebrate at this holiday time. All these are things and much more are truly worthy of giving thanks for.

Saturday

Fun Autumn Craft Ideas

Autumn is such a fun time. Leaves turn shades of golden orange and brown. Use this beautiful creation of nature to your advantage. Focus on leaves for inspiration with these fun autumn craft ideas.

Leaf Tracings

Fold 10 sheets of copy paper in half and crease in the center. Bind the booklet by punching two holes in the spine, threading yarn through the holes, and tying the ends. Take your kids to the park. Challenge them to find and trace as many unique leaves as possible.

Book of Leaves

Make a booklet, as described above. This time, have your child search for odd-looking leaves to collect and place in their book. Then give them an encyclopedia and let them research their leaves. Have them write down the name of each leaf and three interesting facts about the leaf.

Leaf Characters

Draw and copy different types of leaves onto thick construction paper. Let your kids cut out the leaves and apply glitter to add sparkle. Next, have them create leaf characters by gluing leaves together to create a face, body, and limbs. After the glue dries, they can draw faces on the leaves with markers.

Leaf Collage

Gather as many types of leaves as you can find. Glue the leaves in any kind of arrangement onto a piece of construction paper or cardboard. Alternatively, spread white school glue across an entire sheet of paper or piece of cardboard. Crumble leaves at random over the glue. When the glue dries, you will have an awesome leaf collage.

Friday

3 Creative Fall Place Mats To Make At Home

In the fall, you can find all sorts of seasonal table decorations at any home décor or discount store. There are lots of nice designs to choose from, but wouldn't you rather have something that fits your style perfectly? You can make your own fall place mats quickly, easily, and inexpensively, and they can brighten up your table in an instant. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Fabric Place Mats

If you have a sewing machine, it's easy to make your own fabric place mats. You can even sew them by hand if you like. All you need is two yards of fabric. Or if you'd like to have two looks in one, you could use a yard each of two coordinating fall colored fabrics.

To make a rectangular place mat, cut two pieces of fabric about 15 by 20 inches. Fold each edge under 1/2 inch toward the wrong side of the fabric, and iron those edges into place. Then place the wrong sides of the fabric pieces together, pin, and stitch 1/2 inch from the edge all the way around. Stitch again 1/8 inch from the edge, and you're done.

Laminated Fall Place Mats

Making laminated place mats is fun and easy. They also clean up nicely, requiring nothing more than a quick wipe with a damp cloth when soiled. Here's what you'll need to make them:

* Poster board
* Fall photos, kids' drawings, post cards, or any other flat paper or fabric items
* Glue
* Contact paper or laminating machine

Cut the poster board to the desired shape and size. Arrange the photos, post cards or drawings to your liking and glue them on. Let dry. Cover with contact paper, or laminate. Or if you prefer, you could take them to a local copy shop to have them laminated.

If you're into scrapbooking, you could use scrapbook paper instead of poster board and create the place mat just like you would a page. Create a layout, add photos and embellishments, and laminate, and you have a unique place mat that's guaranteed to be a conversation piece!

Painted Fall Place Mats

If you are an artist, you can easily make beautiful painted place mats! Simply cut canvas to the desired size, plus an extra half-inch. Turn the edges under 1/2 inch, crease, and secure them with glue. Then paint the canvas just like you normally would. Once the paint is dry, add two coats of polyurethane.

Why buy the same boring place mats everyone else has when you can create your own? With some inexpensive supplies and a little imagination, you can have great fall place mats that suit your tastes and dining room décor perfectly.

Saturday

Easy Homemade Fall Centerpieces

Fall is a season of inspiration for crafters and interior decorators. It's full of beautiful, vibrant colors that are unlike those of any other season. It's no wonder that so many people love to bring those colors indoors.

If you're looking for ideas for beautiful fall centerpieces, there's no need to look any further than your own garden and back yard. The leaves and plants that provide the natural beauty of the season will also look absolutely stunning on your table.

Here are some centerpiece ideas that your guests will love.

Mini-Pumpkin Candleholder Centerpiece

Gather up some miniature pumpkins, and cut a circle in the top of each that is large and deep enough to hold a tealight candle. Use as many or as few as you like. Arrange the pumpkins on a clear glass platter. Add silk fall leaves, small pinecones, and other items found in nature to create a quick but beautiful centerpiece.

Cornucopia

The cornucopia (also known as a horn of plenty) is a Thanksgiving decorating staple, but it makes a beautiful centerpiece throughout the fall. You can buy cornucopias at most craft stores in the fall in a variety of sizes. Simply add real or fake fall fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, corn, squash and berries. Silk leaves and ribbon in fall colors will complete the look.

Fall Basket Centerpiece

A basket full of fall beauty makes a lovely centerpiece. Sturdy, handmade baskets look great when filled with fall flowers, gourds or berries. Try arranging silk mums in floral foam, adding some moss and silk leaves for a finishing touch. Or jazz it up a bit with some beaded fruit and coordinating ribbon.

Pumpkin Flower Arrangement

Pumpkins and fall flowers go great together, so why not turn a pumpkin into a flowerpot? All you have to do is cut a circle out of the top of a large pumpkin and clean the inside out. Spraying some polyurethane on the outside will add shine and protection, but it's not necessary. Then you can add potting soil and plant some real flowers in there, or use styrofoam or florist clay to arrange silk flowers.

Canning Jar Centerpiece

You can use canning jars to create a variety of centerpieces. They make great containers for fall potpourri or floating candles. Or you could fill them with pinecones, silk leaves and berries. They also create a rustic look when used as flower vases.

These easy to make fall centerpieces can add lots of beauty to your kitchen table. And since you can find many of the materials in your garden or in nature, they are inexpensive to make. You can change them out every week or so if you like, without putting a strain on your budget.

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Thursday

Creative Father's Day Gifts Your Kids Can Make

by Alice Seba

Dads are special people. They are toy repairmen, givers of piggyback rides, and pitchers in backyard softball games. They provide for the family and keep the kids laughing. For all they do, they deserve something special for Father’s Day.

Of course Dad needs a card for his big day. Most kids love to make cards, so get them some construction paper, scissors, glue, and crayons or markers and let their imaginations run wild. They can also decorate the card with stickers. If you have some family pictures that they could cut out and glue on, they can add a great personal touch. The more creative they get, the more it will mean to Dad.

Hand decorated picture frames are an easy and thoughtful gift to make. There are many different ways to make these. You could buy a picture frame and let the kids paint it any way they wish, and maybe add stickers. Four craft sticks can also be glued in a square shape to make one completely from scratch. Then glue the edges of the picture to the back of the finished frame, and glue a cardboard back on if desired. For younger kids, a less messy option would be to cut out a frame from construction paper, then use crayons, markers, or stickers to decorate.

Custom t-shirts are a fun activity, and can make a great gift for Father’s Day. Light colored shirts work the best. If you would like to add a photo to Dad’s special shirt, you can do so easily with iron-on creator software, a printer, and iron-on transfer paper. Dad would surely love to have a shirt with a picture of his little angels on it. Let the kids pick out the picture and any graphics to go with it, then Mom can do the ironing. Fabric paints can add a decorative touch. Just make sure you cover the workspace with newspaper before turning the kids loose with them.

For business dads, a pencil holder would be an ideal gift. These can be made out of empty cake icing containers or old cups. Cover the container with felt or construction paper, and cut out designs from either material to glue on. Markers or stickers can also be used to decorate. If Dad is a sports fan, you could use his favorite sport as a theme.

Handmade gifts are a wonderful way to show Dad how much he is loved. They are also a great project for the kids. With a few inexpensive materials and some creativity, they can make Dad a Father’s Day gift that he will cherish for years to come.

Holiday Ideas for Moms is your source for less-stress and more fun year-round. Drop by for more holiday tips and Father’s Day Ideas for the whole family.

Article Source:
Lady Pens


Zemanta Pixie

Make Dinner For Dad This Father’s Day

A plate of Chocolate brownies.Image via Wikipediaby Susanne Myers

With the weather being nice and warm outside, why not let the kids help prepare dinner for dad on Father’s Day and make it a fun night out by the grill.

During the day, let the kids make decorations like handprints on a paper tablecloth, blow up balloons or make some simple paper lanterns. Then let them help you with dinner preparations. A great Father’s Day dinner from the grill includes delicious grilled steaks, pasta salad and Texas toast. Finish it all off with scrumptious brownies a la mode.

Start by making this simple pasta salad. Cook the pasta ahead of time, and then let the kids mix all the salad ingredients together. Chill the pasta salad for several hours before serving.

Pasta Salad Makes 5 servings

· 1 16-ounce package corkscrew pasta

· 1 cucumber

· 3 carrots

· 1 bunch broccoli

· 1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans

· 3 tablespoons salad supreme

· 1 16-fluid ounce bottle Italian herb dressing

Cook noodles and combine with everything else.



Now it’s time to prepare the marinade for the steaks.

Marinated Steaks Makes 4 servings

· 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

· 1/4 cup soy sauce

· 3 tablespoons garlic minced

· 2 tablespoons honey

· 2 tablespoons olive oil

· 2 tablespoons ground black pepper

· 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

· 1 teaspoon onion powder

· 1/2 teaspoon salt

· 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

· 1 pinch cayenne pepper

· 4 beef steaks - cut of your choice


1. In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, honey, olive oil, ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper.

2. Place steaks in a shallow glass dish with the marinade, and turn to coat. For optimum flavor, rub the liquid into the meat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or up to two days.


Now it’s time to cook those steaks on the grill. Of course Mom or Dad should be taking care of this.
3. Preheat grill for medium-high to high heat.

4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill steaks 7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.


Texas Toast

What would dinner be without some sort of bread? Dad is sure to love this hearty Texas Toast. Kids can help spread the butter and sprinkle the seasoned salt.

· 1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened

· 4 slices thick-cut white bread, about 1 inch thick

· 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt


1. Set oven control to broil.

2. Spread butter on both sides of bread slices. Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Place on rack in broiler pan.

3. Broil with tops 4 to 6 inches from heat 2 to 4 minutes, turning once, until lightly toasted. Cut each slice diagonally in half. Serve warm or cool.



Dessert

Help the kids mix up a boxed brownie mix and bake them just before you sit down for dinner. Allow the brownies to cool while you eat, then get the kids to make dessert by placing a piece of brownie in a bowl, top it with some vanilla ice cream. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the ice cream and dessert is ready.

There you have it…the perfect Father’s Day dinner that Dad is sure to love, especially since the kids were busy making most of it.

Want more family friendly recipes and crafts ideas? Visit
http://www.dinewithoutwhine.com/info for a sample weekly menu plan your entire family will love and http://www.kinderinfo.com/ for tons of craft and activity ideas that are sure to keep your little ones entertained.

Article Source:
Lady Pens

Zemanta Pixie

Special Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day

by EarTwiggle

The third Sunday in June is a special day that is set aside to honor our fathers and the other special men (stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, etc.) in our lives. You have probably heard the saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” This Father’s Day you can make that saying come true. Plan a barbecue and make and bottle some homemade barbecue sauce for dad. (Go to http://www.kidssoup.com/ for instructions) Invite family as well as friends who are close to your dad or just let it be you and your dad. For dessert, set up an ice cream sundae bar. No dessert could be simpler than the ice cream sundae—a scoop of ice cream, a sweet topping, a dollop of whipped cream, and a cherry at the top. Provide a variety of flavors of ice cream (make sure that Dad’s favorite flavor is there) and toppings (crushed cookies, small candies, sprinkles, nuts, crumbled candy bars fruit toppings, hot fudge, caramel topping, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries).

Things to Do with Dad

With children, make a list of things that they can do with their dads or other special men in their lives
(fly a kite, plant a vegetable garden, lie underneath the stars, build a birdhouse, play catch, make popcorn and watch a favorite video, pack a picnic, go for a bike ride, read a book or spend time on the computer together, etc.).

Treasure Hunt

Take a walk and pick up as many neat treasures as you can find while you are walking (like bottle caps and bits of wire). Make a picture with your findings and add some glue. Place it inside a frame with no glass.

Father’s Day Cards

If you’re having some trouble choosing a card, why not make one yourself? A handmade card or note from the heart speaks more of your feelings than the store bought variety. We have several card patterns from which to choose on our site.

Father’s Day Coupons

Make a book of tickets that Dad can redeem for things like “One board game with me” or “One free hug.” For a special presentation, wrap them up in a small box and tie with ribbon or yarn.

Games Day

Have a Games Day. Get together with a few other people and play games. Each person brings a favorite board game to share or picks an outdoor game everyone can have fun with like soccer or croquet.

Crown Dad King for the Day

Have children make Dad a crown. Get a big sheet of paper and draw a crown shape. Decorate it with glitter, yarn, ribbon, pom-poms, fancy buttons, sequins, or whatever you have on hand and staple it together.

To find other easy-to-make Father’s Day gift ideas, Father's Day poems or quotes visit
www.kidssoup.com.

Jolanda Garcia is a former teacher and educational content designer. Her goal is to provide parents and teachers with quality resources to promote their children's development and creativity. Visit her websites at:
Preschool activities and crafts , and Father's Day gift ideas

Article Source: Lady Pens


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Father's Day Gift Ideas

by Kate S

Father's Day is on the third Sunday in June. In 2008, Father's Day will be on June 15th. This article explores the origin of Father's Day in the United States and provides some ideas for selecting the perfect gift for your dad.

The origin of Father's Day is not clear. Some believe the first Father's Day service was conducted by Dr. Robert Webb in West Virginia in 1908. However, it was Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, who proposed in 1909 to have a church service dedicated to fathers on June 5th, her father's birthday. Mrs. Dodd's father, William Jackson Smart, was a civil War veteran. His wife died early in childbirth. He refused to remarry and single-handedly raised his 6 children. Mrs. Dodd wanted to recognize the sacrifices her father made in raising herself and her brothers, and to acknowledge fathers everywhere. However, since her minister needed more time to prepare for the sermon, the father's day service was conducted on June 19th, a couple of weeks later. The state of Washington celebrated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day from then on. However, Father's Day was not accepted quickly by the Congress as a day of observance. It was not until sixty-two years later, in 1972, that President Richard Nixon officially established Father's Day as a national day of observance.

Father's Day has been widely celebrated annually thereafter. There are so many ways you can show your appreciation to your dad on his special day, and sending your dad a gift is a small token of showing your appreciation. Among the popular gifts for dad are Father's Day gift baskets, desk caddy, fruit baskets, cookies jar, coffee gift baskets, golf gifts, and specialty gifts for fishing, poker, movies, and NASCAR.

A great way to show your gratitude to dad is to send him a Father's Day gift basket. These gift baskets are filled with chocolate truffles, summer sausage, shortbread, cookies, gourmet coffee, almonds, popcorn, along with an inspiration book about fathers. Your message of gratitude will be clearly expressed to dad while he reads the book and savors the treats. If your dad works in the office, you may want to send him a desk caddy or an excecutive truck gift filled with savory treats. The treats will ease the stress of the work day. Moreover, Your dad will proudly display the desk caddy or antique truck on his desk after the treats are long gone. If your dad does not work in an office, you may want to send him a lunch box that he can bring with him to work. The stylish lunch box is filled with sausage, stufed olives, cheese, chocolate truffles, and all other delicious treats that actually make him want to go to work. Similarly, you can send him a pail of treats that he can bring with him anywhere.

If you are going to visit your dad for Father's Day, you may want to send him a Fathers Day BBQ gift basket filled with BBQ brush, tong, turner, as well as tortilla chips, nacho cheese spread, Everlast high energy drink, and your dad's favorite beef jerky snack. Your dad will just have to take out the grill, and will be ready spend his special day for a family BBQ together. Alternatively, you can send him a fruit basket. Fruit baskets are healthy gifts for any occasion. They are also great gifts for Father's Day. Organic fruit baskets make even healthier choices, since they are free from pesticide residues.

You can also send gifts according to your dad's hobbies. If your dad is a movie buff, you may want to send a movie gift basket filled with popcorns and other treats, he can just settle down, watch movies and enjoy. If his passion is in golf, you can send him a golf gift basket. If his passion is in fishing, you can send him a fishing gift basket, or a fishing creel filled with cookies, or other treats. Specialty gifts for NASCAR and poker are also available to meet your dad's favorite hobby. Finally, coffee gift baskets are great gifts to help your dad to relax and enjoy. Let dad know he deserves a break with a coffee gift basket filled with chocolates, gourmet coffee, and scrumptious treats.

In conclusion, there are so many ways to show your appreciation to dad. You can send him a Father's Day gift basket, desk caddy, fruit basket, lunch box, coffee gift basket, or specialty gift basket. He will love any of these gifts, and your message of gratitude.

Resource: Kate S is the CEO of Gift Basket for All, LLC. You can shop at her website, http://www.giftbasketforall.com, for the
Fathers Day gifts mentioned in this article.

Article Source:
GreatArticlesforMoms.com

Father's Day - Celebrations and History

by Stephanie Davies

Father's Day, also known as "Not ANOTHER tie" day, comes to us each June as we celebrate the men in our lives who are fathers, grandfathers or fatherly-figures. This article will show you that not only mothers deserve our appreciation! There are many facts, myths, and history associated with Father's Day, and we are going to share those with you as well as giving you some creative celebration ideas.

Father's Day was first proposed as a holiday in 1909 from an idea from Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state.

It was after Mrs. Sonora Dodd became an adult that she realized the selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so with support from the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA, she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.

Then in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day. President Richard Nixon signed the law which finally made it permanent in 1972.

According to Hallmark, "Father’s Day is the fourth-largest card-sending occasion with nearly 95 million Father’s Day cards expected to be given this year [2006] in the United States."

Yet it is another statistic related to the day that is more impressive: While Mother's Day is the biggest holiday for phone calls, Father's Day is the busiest for collect calls. (The overall busiest day of the year for phone calls is the Monday after Thanksgiving.)

So what should you get dear old dad for Father's Day this year? Not a present from 1-800-COLLECT I hope! Actually, many polls have shown that neckties, cologne and underwear/socks were what they wanted the LEAST for Father's Day. Let's chalk that one up to "women not knowing what to buy for men". However what men DO want happens to be a pretty fascinating (if not a bit predictable) list.

Ranking number one on what men want for Father's Day is dinner out at their favorite restaurant - well they do have that saying, that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach! Second on the list is electronics items - no big surprise there, men love gadgets. Also ranking up there in the gifts department are "time to do what they want" and "sports related items".

Of course, every father figure in our lives is a unique individual, and as with every other holiday, it should always be the thought that counts. If you think that soap-on-a-rope best expresses your emotional fondness, caring, and joy for the man in your life, by all mean, soap-on-a-rope it shall be!


This Father's Day, make sure you take some time out to remember and thank that special father figure in your own life, and let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and love.

Stephanie Davies is a 28 year old work at home mom to a 9 year old boy in Mid-Missouri. Her hosting company, Hosting WAHMs at http://www.hostingwahms.com offers premium webhosting from $2 per month and up, with an easy to use sitebuilder! She also loves to knit, build websites, and talk to people.

Article Source:
Lady Pens

Sunday

Recipe for a Perfect Mother’s Day

Opium poppyImage via Wikipediaby Jill S

Ingredient #1: Let mom sleep in. This means being quiet on Mother’s Day morning. No loud TV or loud music before mom decides to get out of bed. No loud complaining of “Mom, I can’t find my shirt, pants [or any other article of clothing which mom is somehow magically supposed to, and surprisingly often does, know where it is].” Surely you can find something semi-clean to wear. :-) Better yet, just give mom some earplugs the night before so she can simply sleep through anything.

Ingredient #2: Let mom have breakfast in bed. In order to make sure this can actually happen, make sure you know where all of the ingredients, bowls, utensils, and other items you’ll need are in the kitchen. Make a list of everything you’ll need and make sure you know where all of it is the night before. I have included an easy breakfast recipe at the end of these “ingredients.” It has just 6 ingredients and all you need is an electric mixer, bowl, and two bread pans. Under no circumstances should you wake mom up in order to find out where something is. Improvise. If it doesn’t turn out, a nicely arranged bowl of cereal that she didn’t have to make is still a nice Mother’s Day breakfast.

Ingredient #3: Let mom have the day off. This means no cooking, cleaning, laundry, or running errands. Chances are pretty good that she does one or more of these things the other 364 days of the year. Let her have Mother’s Day off. If she starts doing one of those things, pleasantly surprise her and offer to do it yourself. And for you kids, I am going to invoke the right of all mothers, she endured X hours of labor in order to bring you into the world, certainly she deserves one day a year off.

Ingredient #4: Tell her “I love you” at least once on Mother’s Day. You know she loves to hear that sappy kind of stuff so indulge her. Telling mom you love her does not make you less cool, less of a rebel, less of a man, or any of the other things you might be worried about. Yes, I realize I have just dated myself but I am hoping that you still get my point. Mom loves you. Admitting that you love her too is okay. You can still be yourself and love your mom.

Ingredient #5: Give mom the gift of your day. Give her your attention for the day. Perhaps even have a meaningful talk about something important going on in your life. Moms love that kind of stuff. Let her choose what the family will do on Mother’s Day. In a world where we never seem to have enough time for each other anymore, let her have you all to herself that day. Who knows, you might even enjoy having that special time with her.

Here’s the easy breakfast recipe I promised.

Poppy Seed Bread

1 package yellow cake mix

1 package instant coconut cream pudding

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup oil

4 eggs

1/4 cup poppy seed


Put all of the above ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer on low speed for 4 minutes. Pour the mixture evenly into two bread pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. (A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.) Allow the bread to cool for about 30 minutes (it should be just slightly warm to the touch) and then carefully take a table knife and run it around the edge of the pan. Using the table knife or your fingers, gently loosen the bread from the bottom of the pan. Turn the pan upside down over a plate. The bread should slide out. If it doesn’t, gently tap the bottom of the pan to loosen it. Turn the bread right side up, slice it up and you are ready to serve it to mom.

Happy Baking and Happy Mother’s Day!

Jill Seader shares her favorite
breakfast recipes and other baking recipes along with her stories at http://www.YourBakingStory.com. She also invites you to share your own baking recipes and stories. Happy Baking!

Article Source:
Lady Pens

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Happy Mother's Day!

Disney Mothers - I Want A Mom That'll Last Forever

From: 6lionheart6

Thursday

A Frugal and Lovely Mother’s Day

A celebratory Mother's Day cookie cake.Image via Wikipediaby O Quinn

Has the Mother’s Day celebration become too expensive? In the past have you taken mom out to a costly dinner and shower her with expensive gifts? As we come upon Mother’s Day we still want to let mother’s know who special they are but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.

Ideas for a frugal Mother’s Day celebration are endless and you hampered only by your own imagination. In our family we hold an extended family celebration. Father’s and children prepare the meal and desserts while also cleaning up after the entire shindig. Gifts are exchanged father and child to mother and mother’s to each other. Gifts are very small and usually end up being good baskets that cost only a few dollars.

The first thing to think about when putting together a Mother’s Day is that this is a wonderful opportunity to make and create. Even though we are a in a buy buy society hand crafted gifts are much more memorable and meaningful.

Here are some ideas.

Make your Mother’s Day Meal from scratch -Taking mom out to dinner can be incredibly costly. Put together your own 5 star meal at home. Roasts are so much easier to prepare now that we have those great oven bags Just follow the directions and pop it in the oven for a never dried out cut of meat. Add some potatoes and a yummy salad. Make some of your menu items before hand such as desserts and appetizers. Bake a cake from scratch rather than buying one. If you’ve never baked a cake before buy a cake mix and a tub of frosting. It’s so easy it should be outlawed. You can also find complete meal recipes and instructions on the internet also. Just do a search under “Mother’s Day Menu”. If you are rather gourmet in your cooking ability search for special recipes in magazines like Cook’s Illustrated and back issues of Victoria Magazine. Get these issues from the library.

Make your Mother’s Day cards from scratch - Scrapbook your card or cards. Be extra frugal and use flower cut outs and sentiments from previous cards in your Mother’s Day card. Do you have a printer and some great ink? You can find tons of printable cards online. Just do a search and check out what you find. You still have time make a day of it with the kids. Pull out all the paper crafts and design an outstanding Mother’s Day card. Cut flowers from ready to toss magazines. Glue them onto card-stock. Make a border out of a scrap piece of lace. Pre-print the words on the front and add you own special sentiment inside.

Make Your Mother’s Day Gifts - What would mean more to mom than a bottle of expensive perfume? Probably a day or two without household worries or cares. A week’s worth of freezer meals. Can you sew? Make mom a fragrant lavender filled neck wrap. Fill it with rice and dried lavender.

Mother’s Day is a very special day but that does not mean it has to be very expensive. Let mom know you care because you took the extra time to make it by hand.

For complete checklists for home and life visit Household Notes and for information on organizing your home visit Homemaking Organized.

Article Source: GreatArticlesforMoms.com
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Monday

Four Homemade Mother's Day Cards to Make

Mother AlwaysImage by scrapbit via Flickrby Rachel Paxton

There is nothing as special or personal as a homemade Mother's Day card. Surprise your friends and family with your handmade creations. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Materials:

Four blank greeting cards (available at craft stores),

scrapbooking paper with floral pattern, coordinating solid piece

of scrapbooking paper, creme or white colored cardstock

(whichever matches other papers best), paper cutter, scissors,

glue stick, computer, printer, sewing machine.



Card #1:

For this card you will need a floral piece of scrapbooking paper, a coordinating piece of solid colored scrapbooking paper, and a piece of white or creme colored cardstock. Cut a piece of the solid colored paper to fit the front of the greeting card and glue it in place. Cut an approximately 2-inch strip of the floral paper and glue on lefthand side of card as a border. Use your sewing machine to stitch* along the righthand side of the floral border and around the outside edge of the card. Cut a large square out of creme colored or white card stock and glue to
the center of the card. Type "Happy Mother's Day" on your computer and print out on white or creme colored cardstock. Cut out the phrase (narrow strip) and glue to the bottom of the
square in the center of the card. Choose a flower from the floral paper and trim to fit in the center of the square on the front of the card. Glue in place.

* Stitching tips: If you have never used your sewing machine to make cards, it is easy! Just sew on the paper like you would on fabric. You might want to reserve a needle just for paper so you
don't dull the needle for your fabric projects. There are two ways you can include stitching in your card making projects. You can either stitch directly on the card, or you can stitch on a
separate piece of paper and then glue that piece to the card
(then the stitching won't show through the card).


Card #2:

This Mother's Day card is quick and easy. Cut a piece of the solid colored scrapbooking paper to fit three-quarters of the front of the card. Carefully tear along the righthand edge of the paper and glue the paper in place. Next cut a piece of floral paper to fit half of the front of the card. Carefully tear along the righthand edge of the paper and glue on top of the solid colored piece of paper. Type "Happy Mother's Day" on your computer and print it on white or cream colored paper. Mat the cut-out phrase first on a piece of the solid colored paper, then glue to front of card. Stitch around the outside of the card if you wish, but it isn't necessary.


Card #3:

This card will open horizontally. Cut three approximately 3-inch strips of paper to fit width of card: two floral and one solid colored. Tear bottom edges of each piece. Beginning at top of card overlap the three pieces with floral paper first and glue in place. Cut a large square from the cream or white colored paper and glue it in the center of the card. Cut a slightly smaller square of solid colored paper and glue in center of cream colored piece. Type "Happy Mother's Day" on your computer. Print on cream or white colored paper, trim, and glue in the center of solid colored square. Stitch around the edge of the card, if you wish.


Card #4:

This card will open horizontally. Tear a rectangle from the solid colored paper and glue near top of card. Type "Happy Mother's Day" on your computer and print on white or creme colored paper. Trim and glue to center of solid colored paper. Tear another piece of solid colored paper (larger than first) to glue across the bottom of the card. Cut a rectangle from floral paper and glue to center of bottom piece of solid colored paper. If you wish you can accent edges of floral rectangle with coordinating eyelets.

Notes: - The terms "card stock" and "paper" are used interchangably here, but it is up to you which kind of paper you use, depending on the look you are trying to achieve - A sewing machine isn't necessary for this project, it is just a nice added touch - You don't have to use your computer for this project, you can handwrite the words if you wish.

Happy Mother's Day!

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit http://www.crafty-moms.com . Photos of finished cards:
http://www.crafty-moms.com/cards/mothers-day-cards.shtml

Article Source: Lady Pens

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Sunday

Breakfast Ideas For Mother's Day

by Susanne Myers

Mother's Day is all about showing Mom how much you appreciate everything she does all year long. Why not start the day of right for her this year by surprising her with breakfast. It's one of the easiest meals to prepare and with a little help from Dad, even young kids can put together some delicious dishes for Mom to make her feel appreciated on this special day.

Keep it simple. You don't have to come up with anything fancy. A bowl of cereal with some fresh fruit cut up in it will do just fine. Of course there are a lot of other simple breakfast dishes you could try like pancakes or waffles. Serve either one of those with some fancy syrup, a little whipped cream and some fresh fruit.

Smoothies are another great simple breakfast item. Blend some vanilla yogurt along with some fresh or frozen fruit and a splash of orange juice. Serve in a fancy glass for a delicious and nutritious breakfast treat.

Of course a cup of coffee is a must. Check with Dad if there's a special blend mom loves and fix it for her. Warm her cup by running warm water in it before pouring the coffee. Don't forget to serve it with sugar and cream on the side. If you want to get fancy, dip a spoon in melted chocolate and let it cool on a piece of wax paper. The chocolate will melt and flavor her coffee when she uses the spoon to stir.

Buy some natural orange juice at the store, or squeeze your own. Pour the juice into a chilled glass and decorate it with a slice of orange.

Now it's time to figure out where you are going to serve this special Mother's Day breakfast. One option is of course to serve it to Mom in bed. Arrange everything on a tray and take it with you when you go to wake her up. Don't forget to bring a few napkins to keep crumbs off the bed.

If it is warm enough outside, you may want to set a table on the porch or in the backyard. Take some time to get everything ready and use a table cloth, plates and pretty flatware. Some fresh flowers in vase are also a nice touch. The same goes of course for the kitchen or dining room table if it is too cold to sit outside in the morning.

Don't forget to take care of the dishes after breakfast. After all, Mom shouldn't have to worry about clean up on Mother's Day.

With just a little bit of thought and effort, you can get Mom off to a great start with a special breakfast for Mother's Day. It's a nice way to show her how much you appreciate what she does for you any day of the year.

Surprise Mom this year with a subscription to the PareningZoo a new online parenting magazine and community site. She'll love the parenting tips, yummy recipes and fun crafts and activities. There's even a “Time For Mom” Section with book and movie reviews, pampering spa recipes and more. Join today at http://www.ParentingZoo.com

Article Source:
GreatArticlesforMoms.com

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