Make the Most Out of Remaining 2017

As the holidays roll around and the season settles in, most people begin reflecting on the past year and setting plans for the year to come. Thoughts about New Year’s resolutions occupy our attention span, while crowded malls are jam packed with shoppers searching for the best sale. This time of year can get so hectic and chaotic that it can be difficult to make the most out of the remaining year. Don’t let 2017 slip through your fingers; follow these suggestions for advice on how to take full advantage of the last days of the year.

Reconnect with a Friend You’ve Lost Touch With

Sometimes – despite how well-meaning our intentions may be – life gets in the way and causes us to lose touch with a friend or family member who matters to us. What better occasion to establish a reconnection than the holidays? Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, let them know you’re thinking about them, and wish them good fortune in the upcoming year.

Make a Clean Sweep

Everyone appreciates the new beginning provided to them on January 1st. Karma slates are wiped, consciences are cleared, and the New Year provides the opportunity to reinvent oneself. If you really want a fresh start, be sure to do a clean sweep of all the clutter that’s accumulated in the past year. Clear out your inbox by following up on unanswered emails, deleting spam, and organizing your folders to make life easier on yourself when it’s time to get back to work. Deep clean your home and concentrate on any unfinished projects to give yourself a sense of accomplishment. Pro tip: round up anything you don’t want anymore and send it off to an organization that can make better use of it. You’ll feel charitable, and your last minute donations will boost your tax deductions.

Have a Good Laugh

If you’re like most people, your December calendar is filled to the brim with holiday obligations. Office parties, charity events, and out of town visitors can make finding a quiet moment seem impossible. Don’t let the constant calendar reminders stress you out; find enjoyment during and in between your various events by keeping a lighthearted spirit. Don’t take anything too seriously; buy a women’s ugly Christmas sweater online and spontaneously wear it to work one morning. Spread the laughter and you’ll be sure to feel the cheer yourself.

Take Care of Your Health

By the end of the year, most people have fulfilled their health insurance deductibles. This means it’s the perfect time to tackle those health issues you would have needed to cover out of pocket. Take care of that dental work, or finally go get that yearly physical you’ve put off. You’ll save yourself some money, and ensure that you enter the New Year in the best health possible.

Make Short Term Goals

More often than not, resolutions are a complete waste of time. We set lofty resolutions which may inspire us, but are often unrealistic to fulfill. Not only that, but a resolution indicates a futuristic attitude; the change is something you should do and “will” do, even though you should be enacting these changes now. Instead, make short term, relatively attainable goals that you’re more likely to have success achieving, and start concentrating on them now – not after the ball drops.

Meditate for a Moment

Take a few moments to reflect on the past year: How have you grown? How have you changed? What new jobs have you started or promotions received? Consider jotting down these reflections in a journal to look back on in a year’s time. While it is important to think about what you might have done differently, don’t let your past mistakes or regrets consume you. Instead, concentrate on all of life’s accomplishments and how far you’ve come thus far. Celebrate moments in which you overcame adversity and prepare yourself to face new challenges with zeal.

Before you know it, you’ll blink and it’ll be the dawn of a New Year. Don’t get caught asking yourself where the time went. Practice mindfulness and appreciate every moment within this at-times turbulent season. Too many people get caught up in their eager anticipation for the New Year that they forget to tie up their remaining loose ends. Follow these steps to make the most out of the remaining year and set yourself up for success in 2018.

Perfect Apple Pie

From family dinners to spur-of-the-moment picnics, pies are easy to make and easy for family and friends to appreciate.

To save time in the kitchen, start with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts for a flaky, tender base. Just unroll it into your favorite pie plate or tart pan, spoon in a delicious fruit filling, bake and enjoy. Pillsbury has updated the packaging with a fresh, contemporary look and features a recipe for Perfect Apple Pie. For this recipe and more, go to culinary.net. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Pillsbury

Get in the Know About This Hidden, Dangerous Form of Bullying

Bullying is never acceptable, but food allergy bullying — which happens when children and teens living with life-threatening allergies (LTAs) are teased, ridiculed or even threatened or assaulted with food to which they are severely allergic — is especially dangerous. On the surface, when one child waves, say, peanut butter in the face of a student with a severe peanut allergy, it may seem like just another form of childhood teasing. But to a child with LTAs, incidents like this can make school feel unsafe and escalate from emotional to physical bullying — which can even be life-threatening.

Check out the interesting story in the November / December Issue of Teen InFluential.

New Baby? New Tech Can Make a Big Difference

Innovative gadgets that can make parenting easier

Welcoming a new baby to the family brings with it excitement, challenges and a lot of love. It is also a lot of work. But, there is help… sometimes at the touch of a button. Amy O’Malley, MSN, RN, mother of five and director of education and clinical services at Medela, has pulled together a few tips for navigating the first few months and how to incorporate some baby (and mom) friendly technology along the way!

How many wet diapers? How long did he nurse? Use an App for That!

It is useful to keep a log of what happened when. But do you need a paper and pen? There are now apps to help moms track their breastfeeding sessions, how many dirty diapers the baby has and how long he or she slept for. Apps also offer the ability to share information with your spouse, partner and health care professional. There are also a number of new on-demand services available through apps that allow real-time access to health care professionals that focus on pediatric care or lactation services. For example, breastfeeding moms can use their smartphones to access real-time video support from lactation consultants through Medela’s 24/7 LC service.

Give Yourself Some Range with a Great Monitor

A video monitor is a perfect addition to any new parent’s arsenal of gadgets. In addition to monitoring the baby, many units feature two-way speakers, night-viewing capabilities and a temperature gauge, and offer the ability to check in on baby while on-the-go through either a website login or smartphone application.

Pump Quieter and Smarter

If you’re breastfeeding or planning on breastfeeding, a high-performance breast pump is a tool that can help make the task simpler for moms and caregivers. Double electric breast pumps are the fastest and most effective way to support a mom’s breast milk supply.

“Breast pumps have changed quite a bit since I had my children,” O’Malley said. “While a double electric breast pump is your best bet, newer models go beyond the basics and connect with smartphones to track activity. Our tech-enabled and quietest pump, Sonata, is comfortable and pairs with the MyMedela app to automatically track pumping sessions and offer personalized tips to help you succeed and monitor your baby. This pump even has many adaptions to meet your needs anywhere and anytime. It has features to help you use it late at night and can adjust based on your changing body shape to give you an effective and consistent experience.”

Find more information at medelabreastfeedingus.com.

Make Temperature Checks a Breeze

Gone are the days of placing a thermometer in your child’s ear or under his or her tongue or armpit. Temporal thermometers allow parents to simply place the gadget against baby’s forehead to get an accurate reading. Other options, such as pacifiers that double as thermometers, can also be utilized to make this task less invasive and more efficient.

You’re not alone. There is tech to help and don’t forget to ask your pediatrician and other friends or family members too. It takes a village to bring a new baby into the world! (Family Features)

1548990 A 1117 © 2017 Medela 4550110

SOURCE:
Medela

Spoon Up Tradition

When cooler temperatures call for something to warm you up, good, old-fashioned soups and stews may be just what you need.

You can create delicious, steaming pots that taste like they’re straight out of mom’s kitchen with flavorful, convenient ingredients such as Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets and READ Salads to help streamline preparation. With these contemporary recipes, you’re in and out of the kitchen in under an hour without any long simmering required.

Find more recipes to warm yourself from the inside out at AuntNellies.com and READsalads.com.

German Potato Salad Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 1          cup chopped onion
  • 1          cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) READ German Potato Salad, chopped
  • 1          bottle (12 ounces) light beer
  • 3/4       cup reduced-sodium, fat- free chicken broth
  • 6          ounces (1 cup) diced ham, smoked turkey or sliced smoked sausage (optional)
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          tablespoon chopped parsley
  • rye croutons (optional)
  • crumbled bacon (optional)
  1. In Dutch oven or 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and bell pepper in oil until onion starts to brown, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add potato salad, beer, broth and meat, if desired, and stir to combine. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, if desired, pepper and parsley.
  3. Serve topped with rye croutons and bacon, if desired.

Rustic Vegetable Beet Soup

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets, drained
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2          medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1          medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2          large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          zucchinis (about 5 ounces each), coarsely chopped
  • 2          cans (about 14 ounces each) vegetable broth
  • 1          teaspoon seasoned salt (optional)
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Gremolata (optional)

Gremolata:

  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon grated lemon peel
  1. Coarsely chop beets; set aside.
  2. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add carrots, sweet potato and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add zucchini, broth and seasoned salt, if desired. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add chickpeas; heat through. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  4. To prepare Gremolata: In small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  5. Stir in parsley and dill. Stir in beets. Serve immediately; top with Gremolata, if desired.

Tex-Mex Bean and Butternut Squash Stew

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Stew:

  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad, divided
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2  teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1          clove garlic, chopped
  • 2          cups cubed or chopped butternut squash, fresh or frozen (about 1/2- 3/4-inch pieces)
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2    cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest, plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • Chipotle-Lime Crema
  • chopped cilantro (optional)

Chipotle-Lime Crema:

  • 1/4       cup plain nonfat yogurt or sour cream
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8       teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  1. To prepare stew: Place half of canned bean salad, cumin, chili powder and garlic into bowl of food processor. Puree until blended but still slightly chunky.
  2. Add remaining bean salad to large saucepan. Stir in butternut squash, tomatoes, broth, pureed bean salad mixture and lime zest. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until squash is tender and stew reaches desired thickness.
  3. To prepare crema: In small bowl, combine yogurt, lime zest and chili powder.
  4. Serve topped with Chipotle-Lime Crema, cilantro and lime zest, if desired.

Notes: If using frozen butternut squash, add to stew during last 2-3 minutes of cooking to prevent overcooking. Orange zest can be used instead of lime zest, if desired. Recipe can be doubled.

Bacon-Apple Red Cabbage Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 2          slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1          medium red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage, not drained
  • 2          cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1          medium apple, chopped (about 1 cup), plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
  • crumbled cooked bacon (optional)
  1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through and crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; reserve. Drain drippings; return 1 tablespoon to pan; discard remaining drippings.
  2. Add onion to pan. Cook about 2 minutes, until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook and stir about 30 seconds. Add red cabbage and liquid from jar, broth and chopped apple. Stir in cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time, if soup is too thick. Add bacon to pan. Continue simmering about 3-5 minutes, until apples are tender and soup reaches desired consistency.
  3. Spoon into bowl. Garnish with apples, yogurt and crumbled bacon, if desired. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Aunt Nellie’s

The Lincoln Center Theater Production Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I

Ambassador Theatre Group and NETworks Presentations, LLC announce a national tour of The Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I, will play Bass Concert Hall in Austin for a limited one-week engagement, December 12-17, 2017. Tickets on sale now.

Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

THE KING AND I directed by Tony Award® Winner Bartlett Sher won four 2015 Tony Awards® including Best Revival of a Musical.  The production is currently playing an open-ended Broadway run at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 West 65 Street).

Bartlett Sher is reunited with the award-winning creative team from South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza. THE KING AND I has sets by Michael Yeargan; costumes by Catherine Zuber; lights by Donald Holder (all three nominated for 2015 Tony Awards®); sound by Scott Lehrer (2015 Drama Desk Award nomination); and casting by Telsey + Company/Abbie Brady-Dalton, CSA. THE KING AND I features choreography by Christopher Gattelli based on the original choreography by Jerome Robbins.

Jose Llana as The King in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Jose Llana as The King in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance, I Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful. Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

Ticketes start at $30.Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.com, texasperformingarts.org, the Bass Concert Hall ticket office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060.  For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com

5 Tips to Start Your Own RV Adventure

If you’re looking for a way to get away without the hassle of planes, hotels and an exorbitant travel budget, a recreation vehicle may be just the answer.

Whether you’re traveling with family, your significant other or several generations of family and friends, these tips from world-renowned auto travel expert Alan Taylor can get you on your way to an unforgettable RV vacation adventure.

  1. Put style first. The first step to planning an RV getaway is deciding what works best for you: a motorhome or trailer. Motorhomes are built on a motorized chassis and are designed as temporary living quarters for camping, travel or seasonal use. Towable RVs or trailer RVs are towed by another vehicle to be moved from place to place. Many are designed to be lightweight, so even family vehicles like minivans or SUVs can tow them.
  1. Take time to plan ahead. Beyond the type of RV you need, think about how you’ll use it to understand what features you’ll want. What types of trips will you take? Who will be traveling with you? What’s your budget? There are hundreds of models, so how you answer these questions will guide your purchase.
  1. Try it before you buy it. There’s no better way to try before you buy than by renting an RV. Many people rent RVs simply for a change of pace by taking a trip to a special event or destination. You can rent near home and journey to your final destination or fly and pick up your RV at the other end. More than 460 national chain outlets and local RV dealerships rent RVs, including state-of-the-art, late-model-year units. A growing number of campgrounds offer on-site RV rentals, as well.

Most RV rental companies offer housekeeping packages (dishes, pots, pans, bed linens, etc.) for a fee, or you can bring your own. Even if you’re driving or towing an RV for the first time, features like automatic transmissions, power steering, large external mirrors and rearview cameras make it easy for inexperienced drivers to adjust to the difference in size, height and weight.

  1. Do your research. You’ll find plenty of information online, but another source of knowledge is any person who owns an RV or regularly rents one. One way to get the scoop and gather tips from experienced owners is to stay at a local campground and talk to your neighbors about their RVs. Ask questions about the space, key features, expenses, tricks they’ve learned and so on. Also be sure to ask about any problems they’ve encountered or any decisions they’d make differently if they could.
  1. Get practical. Unless you’re planning to make RVing a way of life, when the vacation is over and the real world beckons, you’ll have to do something with the RV. Before you buy, be sure you have plans for storage, be it a campground, in your garage or at a storage facility. Learn what’s involved in safely storing your investment while it’s not in use and take those needs into account when considering what type of RV you’d like to own.

As you work your way through the preparations, visit GoRVing.com to learn more about the different types of RVs, get ideas about what to do and find a wealth of information, including dealers near you, as well as campgrounds, manufacturers and rental companies. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Recreational Vehicle Industry Association

5 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Keep Customers Engaged

Entrepreneurs, it’s time to stop and give yourself a pat on the back. Small business owners know it’s a life that can be high stress and sometimes even uncertain. But here’s one encouraging fact: Small businesses are doing a lot to keep Americans employed and the economy humming.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, firms with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7 percent of all businesses in the U.S. And the SBA finds that 60 percent of new job creation comes from small businesses.

Still, one of the top challenges that small businesses face today is attracting new customers and keeping existing customers engaged. That’s what pays the bills, of course. Part of that solution is always looking ahead so you can capture their minds and hearts, so you can then capture the sales — with these five simple tips for small business success.

Be a joiner: If you haven’t already, become a member of your local chamber of commerce as well as neighborhood business groups. These often host special “Shop Local” events and promotions, which give you a way to participate and gain extra exposure from their marketing efforts. These groups also offer events and opportunities to network, help you to stay apprised of local trends and allow you to discover new opportunities to collaborate.

Cross-promote: Pair up with a second business in your neighborhood and find creative ways to work together. Collaborate on sales and special offers. Make your customers’ lives easier and put together gift baskets and share the proceeds. Or invite someone from a different business to teach an in-store class or workshop. Take the guerrilla marketing approach and host a joint scavenger hunt, with clues left around the community for a big prize. When you pool your ideas and resources, the possibilities are endless.

Market in-house: Getting the word out doesn’t stop at your doorstep. When customers enter your space, it’s a great time to tell them more about your services and products. “Digital signage” isn’t just for big companies. Deliver your message in vivid color and create an interactive experience with LG’s touch displays, perfect for menu selection and point-of-purchase. Commercial displays are better for businesses than a plain old consumer TV; they offer simple ways to post a warm welcome message with your business name and logo to create an inviting, personalized experience. Consider affordable options like “commercial lite” TVs from LG that have a USB Auto Playback feature, so you can build custom playlists to entertain and inform your customers. Things like an inspirational idea reel or quick tips and facts can position you as the trusted local expert.

Get social: Raise your presence on your social media accounts. Use this platform to inform and even entertain current and prospective customers, and they’ll turn to you as the expert. Turn on your smartphone’s video camera and give a rare peek behind the curtain. Increase traffic by announcing a flash sale or giveaway. And during big social media events, expand your reach and potentially your community by using hashtags.

Upgrade your tech: Sometimes, the busyness of life and running your own shop can mean we neglect the things that make a great impression. Take time for an objective critique of the appearance and functionality of your space. Get sleek and streamlined with a much-needed tech upgrade, with a new LCD desktop monitor like LG’s 32-inch 32MU99. Its show-stopping, vivid display offers true-to-life image rendering, thanks to the shadow detailing and richer colors. It also busts the clutter with its space-saving features, such as an ultra-thin panel and a single-cable delivery system that transfers audio, data and power. Upgraded tech with dazzling display is a sure way to make a favorable impression.

Small businesses have lots of technology options to enhance their business today. To learn more, visit http://www.lg.com/us/business. (BPT)

6 Hot Spots in Your House Where Critters and Creepy-crawlies Would Love to Spend the Winter

When temperatures cool, critters that were perfectly happy outdoors begin looking for somewhere warm to spend the winter. They may decide your house is the perfect location — unless you take steps to keep them out.

You can prepare by learning what’s trying to get into your house and where they would most like to hang out once inside. The National Pest Management Association offers some information on the most common household pests that can show up in the winter:

1) Showering with a cockroach: Arguably the pest that creeps people out the most, cockroaches just love the water, so your bathroom could be their winter playground. To keep cockroaches out, eliminate leaks and standing water in the bathroom. Wash the shower curtain and liner, clean out the medicine cabinet, and check under the sink and around the tub and toilet to ensure there’s no moisture from leaky pipes or faucets. Remember, despite the urban legend about roaches surviving a nuclear holocaust, they can only live a week without water!

2) Rodents in the attic: Dusty, stuffy, hot in summer and cold in winter, the attic may not be your favorite place to hang out, but rodents like rats, mice and squirrels would just love to spend the winter in yours! Once rodents are inside, they can cause serious and costly property damage by chewing through walls and baseboards. In fact, the NPMA estimates rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires every year by gnawing on electrical wires. To prevent a rodent infestation, secure everything you store in the attic (or basement) in sealed plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes, which are a favorite nesting spot. Keep the attic dry and well-ventilated. You can run a dehumidifier and install gutters and proper venting to keep moisture away from the attic and basement.

3) Party in the basement: Rodents also like basements, but they’re far from the only pests who will take up residence there. Spiders and a slew of other pests are happy to make their home in the dark corners and clutter that provide them plenty of places to hide. Deprive pests of their habitat by eliminating as much of the clutter in your basement as possible. Use plastic bins with secure lids for storage, rather than cardboard boxes. Pests can enter through cracks and crevices in walls and floors, so use a silicone-based caulk to seal fissures. Mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime, and other small insects need only a paper-thin crack to gain entry.

4) Ants in the kitchen: With a ready supply of food and water, your kitchen can be paradise for pests like ants. No one’s favorite picnic guests, ants are just as pesky in your kitchen where they enter through cracks and holes. To discourage ants, seal cracks or holes where pests might enter, particularly around stove and water pipes. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Clean up crumbs, spills and stickiness on counters, tables and floors right away and never leave overripe fruit sitting out on the countertop.

5) Pests in the pantry: Other pests like your kitchen area, too, and your pantry is especially awesome to them. Most pantry pests such as beetles and Indian meal moths hitch a ride into your home in paper grocery bags, cardboard or plastic bags. The next time you grocery shop, inspect packaging before you put an item in your shopping cart. If the package is opened or shows the smallest sign of damage, don’t buy it. To ensure your pantry and cabinets are pest-free, periodically remove everything and toss out anything stale, old or expired. Stale spices and outdated flour can attract pantry pests. Wipe down the inside of cabinets and pantry shelves, and install fresh shelf paper. Store opened dry goods in plastic or glass containers that seal tightly.

6) Bugs in the bedroom: Bed bugs rival cockroaches for ick factor. Bed bugs enter your home through secondhand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, or by hitching a ride on your luggage when you return home from a trip. Before bringing any secondhand furniture home, have a pest control professional inspect it for signs of bed bugs. After traveling, inspect suitcases outdoors before bringing them inside. Vacuum luggage before storing it or use a garment hand-steamer to help kill any bugs or eggs. Wash and dry all travel clothing, even items you didn’t wear, on hot settings. Store clothes that must be dry cleaned in sealed plastic bags until you can get them to the cleaners. Bed bugs are one pest you won’t be able to get rid of on your own, so if an infestation occurs despite your best efforts, find a qualified pest control professional at www.pestworld.org. (BPT)

8 Gift Ideas to Sink Your Teeth Into

When you’re shopping for someone who has everything he or she needs, finding the perfect gift can be a real challenge. Fortunately, there’s one type of gift that virtually everyone can appreciate: a kitchen gadget that answers their favorite food cravings. This guide offers some of this season’s most clever ideas, from the perfect cocktail mug to a vendor-style hot dog maker.

For the Home Entertainer

The Moscow Mule cocktail has been a beloved beverage for decades. This commemorated libation is so divinely delicious, it even has its own copper mug counterpart to bring out the drink’s smoothest, most refreshing flavors. The Mikasa Moscow Mule Mugis ideal for enjoying this famous drink – or any other cool, refreshing beverage – year-round. Available with either a hammered or smooth finish, each mug holds 16 fluid ounces and is handcrafted from solid copper with a food-safe, nickel-plated interior and a brass handle.

For the Home Chef

Sharp knives perform best in the kitchen, but many people don’t know how to properly sharpen their knives. Take out the guesswork with the Sabatier 12-Piece Edgekeeper Pro Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set. The set features five integrated sharpening slots with ceramic rods that hone the blade’s edge every time the knives are removed or placed back into the hardwood block. Each knife features an ergonomic, triple-riveted handle and the blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel, which is corrosion- and stain-resistant.

For the Cocktail Aficionado

This BarCraft 7-Piece Deluxe Wine Gift Setincludes all of the essential tools and accessories for opening, pouring, storing and enjoying a bottle of wine. The twist-action foil cutter makes it simple to quickly and easily remove the foil from nearly any bottle. The deluxe lever-arm corkscrew keeps the wine bottle in place with squeezable lever arms to remove the cork, and a wine pourer is ideal for spill-free pouring. The vacuum pump removes excess air from the bottle, helping prevent oxygenation and preserving freshness. Two included stoppers help keep wine bottles sealed tight.

For the Baker

Bake two different types of pies in one pan, or one traditional full-sized pie, in the Chicago Metallic Split Decision 9-Inch Pie Pan. The three-piece set includes a 9-inch pan and two inserts. One insert divides the pie in half, allowing two different types of pies to be baked at once. The second insert is for a full-sized pie. The lift-and-serve removable bottom allows you to push the baked pie up from underneath to easily remove the pie without wrecking the crust.

For the Foodie

Delight the foodie on your shopping list with a kitchen gadget that makes food preparation easier. The West Blade Large Flake Hand Grater features patented “tineless” blades, which enable effortless grating in both directions; perfect for rapidly shaving hard cheeses and creating delicate flakes of chocolate. The grater also comes with a hand guard attachment and a protective blade cover for storage.

For the Bagel Lover

The Hoan Bagel Guillotinemakes it easy to safely and effortlessly slice bagels in half. A cradle holds the bagel in place while two clear acrylic safety shields help keep fingers away from the bagel-piercing blade. It features precision ground serrated cutting edges and a Xylan-coated stainless steel blade for smooth slicing and durability.

For the Hot Dog Lover

Try a quick and easy way to make a perfectly cooked, vendor-style hot dog in the microwave with Hot Doglicious. This device cooks the hot dog and warms the bun at the same time for a ready-to-eat, in-the-bun hot dog in less than 55 seconds. The cooking chamber has unique ribs that pierce the dog’s casing, allowing it to grill and sear from the inside out, while the vent allows just the right amount of steam to escape to warm the bun for that delicious, concession stand-like taste.

For the Stocking

Preserve the freshness of leftover fruits and vegetables with Farberware Food Huggers, a set of four reusable silicone covers. Just push leftover produce down into the hugger that gives the snuggest fit and save it in the fridge. The food hugger creates a seal to hold in natural juices and prevent exposure to circulating air, which can cause food to spoil or dehydrate. Additionally, they’re dishwasher-, microwave- and freezer-safe. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Lifetime Brands