Valentine’s Day Activities with the Girls

Valentine’s Day is a special time to enjoy with those you love. If you don’t have a significant other, or if you are married and have young daughters, you might change your plans a little bit to include your girlfriends or daughters in your special plans on February 14. For a memorable time, consider these Valentine’s Day activities to enjoy with the girls.

Before you get started planning a day full of activities to enjoy on Valentine’s Day, keep your budget and availability in mind. You can plan a single short activity for Valentine’s Day with your girlfriends or daughters or you can come up with a whole itinerary for the day or even for the weekend. Consider these suggestions for things you can do with just the girls on Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s weekend.


•    Have a nail painting party.
Create your own lovely manicures and pedicures.

•    Enjoy spa treatments at home. Do your own facials, pedicures, and other fun treatments.

•    Plan some time at the spa. Actually set up appointments for massages, facials, or other treatments at your favorite local spa.

•    Do makeovers at home. Take turns applying makeup and styling each other’s hair at home.

•    Dig into pints of ice cream and watch some movies. Whether you choose chick flicks or another movie genre is up to you entirely!

•    Go out to dinner. Find a nice place where you can relax and enjoy some great food and drink. Consider a Spanish restaurant, Chinese food place, or delicious Italian bistro.

•    Plan a wine, cheese, and chocolate night.
As long as everyone in your group is old enough to drink, this should be a fun and festive way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

•    Bake Valentine cookies together.
You can also make handmade candies, pastries, or other special treats. Decorating is half the fun!

•    Make handmade valentines.
If you have young daughters, making cutout valentines may be one of the most fun and interesting crafts to do on or leading up to February 14. Help your girls make a special valentine for their daddy!

•    Make handmade jewelry. Whether you choose beads, embroidery floss for woven bracelets, shells, or something else entirely, making handmade jewelry can be great fun for the girls!

These are our top suggestions for things to do on Valentine’s Day with your girlfriends or daughters. If you have other ideas or suggestions, please share them in our comments below!

10 Ways to Help You Lose Weight in the New Year

Many people set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, improve their figure, and eat healthier. Some have very specific weight goals or shape goals. Others may have very vague goals related to weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle. Consider these tips to help you lose weight and change your appearance in the New Year.

A number of different factors play into a person’s ability to lose weight. As you plan your target weight loss goals for the New Year, keep in mind that you may have to seriously change your diet as well as your exercise routine. You might consider a balanced plan involving a healthier diet with smaller portions, strength training, cardio, and drinking more water to keep your body hydrated. If you stay focused on your goal you should be able to see results within the first few weeks of trying to lose weight and improve your shape.

Consider these different ways you can work out to lose weight and reach your ideal body. Be sure to speak with your doctor prior to beginning any new exercise routine.

•    Yoga – Yoga for weight loss is a popular style of this peaceful exercise application. Consider trying a variety of yoga workouts to find one that works best for you. You can try short and long yoga videos or find a yoga class local to your area.

•    Pilates – Pilates is well known for trimming and toning your core but giving you a beautiful body overall. Stick with your Pilates workout as you work toward your fitness goals and take note of your improved balance and flexibility. Mari Winsor’s Slimming Pilates Kit offers a wonderful workout with her signature piece of equipment, the accelerator, which combines the best of hand weights, resistance bands, and bars to help your body get a workout like no other. I received this kit by Mari Winsor and found the workout to be just challenging enough, with lasting results I could feel the next day.

•    Running – Running is a great way to burn calories and get your body in shape. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, so you can try to run on a treadmill if you can’t get outside for your running workouts. If you need to motivate yourself to stick to your running routine, consider picking out some new running clothes or running shoes to motivate you toward that finish line.

•    Strength Training – Weights and resistance bands can help you train your body and meet your fitness goals. Consider an excellent workout that combines strength training and cardio like the Lalofit workouts by Lalo Fuentes. You can also do a series of pushups, pull-ups, ab work, and other strength training exercises to help you reach your weight-loss goals.

•    P90X – The well-known P90X workout is a three-month regimen that allows exercisers to get lean, bulk up, or simply grow stronger with a variety of creative and diverse workouts and a highly effective nutrition plan.

•    Variety of Workout Videos – With a little research you can find the workout videos that work for you. Consider Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred for a motivational workout that keeps you moving until you’re done with three circuits that make the time fly. More than 2000 people have reviewed this workout video on Amazon with great remarks!

•    Belly Dancing – To tone and trim your middle, consider belly dancing as a fun way to shed some pounds and inches. You can also spice up your love life by learning some sexy moves to try at home. To get started, look for belly dancing classes near your home or check into instructional videos on belly dancing.

•    Ballet or Other Dance – Have you ever noticed how most dancers are in incredible shape? Try to find dance classes near your home or order some dance workout or instruction videos to try. You can also use the dance programs on video game systems like Just Dance and Dance Dance Revolution to help you lose some unwanted weight.

•    Video System Workouts – If you haven’t already, check out Wii Fit and other similar video game systems that encourage a healthier lifestyle and help you lose weight in the comfort of your home. Who wouldn’t love to lose weight playing video games with friends? The Wii Fit and other game systems also make a great gift idea for your loved ones.

•    Swim – If traditional exercise isn’t your style, or if you simply need a low-impact option for working out, consider swimming. You can take a class or sign up for a membership with your local YMCA or gym and take advantage of their pool and water workouts. Just don’t forget a lovely new swimsuit!

If you are looking to lose a relatively large amount of weight, say, 10 pounds, in a short amount of time (less than a week), you might consider the Amazing Weightloss Plan – “Lose 10lbs in Just 4 Days.” This program gives you a healthy meal plan with real food that you can use for four days only and see results pretty much immediately. It’s not a fad diet or anything unconventional, and numerous customers have provided testimonials stating they’ve lost 7 to 10 pounds in only 4 days and kept them off. You can use this diet only once a month and then you must wait until a month passes before using it again. You can read more about the Amazing Weightloss Plan Lose 10lbs in 4 Days or purchase it for only $14.95.

Remember, not every exercise routine works for everyone. The same goes for diets. Everyone’s body responds differently to exercise and diet, so you may have to experiment with a few different exercise types to find the one that works best for you. Share your successes and questions in our comments!

Exercise for a New You – Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2

If you want a challenging workout that pushes you to your limits and gives your body results you never knew possible, consider this intense workout from Lalo Fuentes. Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2, is the second exercise program offered on DVD from the fitness guru who works out hard with you during each movement and each rep. Give your body a challenge with this workout video that combines strength training, cardio, and high-rep, multi-muscle toning moves.

I received a copy of Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2 from Lalo Fuentes for the purpose of my review. I greatly enjoyed his original exercise program on DVD, Lalofit, and looked forward to trying out the next iteration. Volume 2 does not disappoint! His “freeze technique” reminds us to “take a second to connect” with our muscles rather than rushing through the moves. The workout lasts 55 minutes and features an onscreen timer and countdown for reps, ensuring your motivation and mental state carry you toward the end of each of the exercises. The last eight minutes are for cool-down and stretching, and you will be grateful when you realize you’ve reached this phase of the workout.

In terms of my workout challenges, my upper-body strength has always been lacking. I would rate the Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2 workout as a serious intermediate to advanced level workout purely due to the complicated pushup variations. I always struggle with the push-ups in both of Lalo’s workouts, but I am happy to report that I’ve been successful enough to get to 15 – 20 true pushups before switching to the variation from the knees. Lalofit v2 features a few different pushup moves than you might expect, including spider pushups and elbow-knee pushups, full rotation pushups, and jump-squat pushups. I don’t particularly like pushups, but some of these moves aren’t as difficult as others. You can also vary your pushup position to start from the knees if you have difficulty completing the moves.

The other moves work different muscle groups and some of the moves even work your entire body. On the first day I did this workout, I had not been working out regularly leading up to my first trial. I found myself sore for two or three days following the Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2 workout. Now, after a couple of months of working out four to six days a week, I am not experiencing any over-the-top soreness, but I do feel tighter and trimmer.

I’m a pretty busy person so I don’t always have as much time to exercise as I would like. I try to fit the 55-minute Lalofit v2 workout into my rotation about once a week. I alternate this intense exercise program with Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred and a series of 10-minute Pilates workouts. The Lalofit v2 program features six intervals and a warm-up and cool-down, with moves that work on just about every muscle in your body. Some key movements include various types of lunges, squats, pushups, jumping jacks, hops, plank, leg kicks and raises, and burpees, to name a few. I feel hardcore every time I get to the end of the Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2 DVD.

The workout features a number of 30-second breaks, and you may find yourself looking forward to them. This workout is going to challenge you. You will sweat. You will look forward to the end of the workout, but in the end, you will lose weight and tighten your body. I have. If you have any health issues or concerns about your ability to complete an intense workout, be sure you speak with your doctor before getting started.

For more information about the Lalofit workouts, the freeze technique, or Lalo Fuentes, check out http://www.lalofitness.com. You can order the original Lalofit DVD or Lalofit v2 at Amazon.com or as an autographed copy for $14.95 at Lalo Fitness.

 

Easy Home Fragrance Options: Candles, Warmers, Reed Diffusers, and More

Even if you don’t have pets, it can be a challenge to keep your home smelling fragrant and fresh. If you are looking for easy home fragrance options to keep your house and various rooms smelling great, consider candles, potpourri warmers, reed diffusers, air freshener jars, and more. These home fragrance products offer a super speedy way to freshen your home without a great expense or much effort.

Depending on your home décor and personal sense of style, you can choose from a wide variety of home fragrance goodies. Read on to find the best fit for your home.

 

Reed Diffusers for a Fresh Smelling Room
Reed diffusers are an elegant way to get your bedrooms, bathrooms, and common areas smelling great in no time. To use a reed diffuser, simply purchase one and remove it from the packaging. Remove the cap that keeps the fragrance liquid from spilling and place the reed sticks into the liquid. For a more intense aroma, you can flip the reeds upside-down so the saturated ends are exposed.

I received a Nectaire Reed Diffuser with an absolutely lovely lavender fragrance. This product immediately enhanced the scent of our home with the aromatic and organic scent of lavender. Nectaire’s lavender reed diffuser features a clear glass bottle with fragrance oil and 10 diffuser reeds to ensure appropriate distribution of your fragrance product. The bottle lasts between six and eight weeks, bringing pure fragrant pleasure to all who enter your home.

You can find reed diffusers at many local stores such as Wal-Mart, Ross, CVS, RiteAid, and Target, to name a few. You can also shop for them online if you wish to find a specific fragrance. To learn more about Nectaire products, please see www.nectaire.com.

Candles to Add to Your Atmosphere
Candles add a nice romance to your home or to a particular room, especially a bedroom, dining room, or even your eat-in kitchen. You can add a nice fragrance to your home based on the season, focusing on evergreens, cinnamon, and fresh baked cookies for the winter season, florals, rain scents, and fresh linen for the spring, fruits, beach fragrance, sea spray, and sweet scents for the summer, and pumpkin, apple, fallen leaves, or nutty scents for the fall.

Choose many white candles for a purely romantic effect or choose a single powerful scent to liven up the mood in your home. Whenever you burn candles, be sure to ensure the safety of your home, belongings, and family by placing your candle on a safe surface and away from any curtains or hanging items.

Potpourri Warmers / Wax Tart Warmers for a Festive Mood
Potpourri warmers and wax tart warmers like those offered by Scentsy and Yankee Candle are a great way to set off a lovely fragrance while also enhancing the mood and ambiance of your home. You can use these warmers as a lovely home accent in your family room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or other location. Coordinate colors with your existing furnishings for a lovely accent piece.

These items also make lovely gifts for housewarmings and for showers or just about any special occasion. When buying fragrance products like candles and warmers for friends and family, try to choose the gift recipient’s favorite scent if you know it. If you don’t know the best scent to select, try to stay away from anything very unusual and get a run-of-the-mill fragrance that isn’t too overpowering.

Air Freshener Jars and Plug-in Products for Fast Yet Lasting Results
If you are looking for a fast way to change the scent of a particular room without having to do much maintenance, like watching or extinguishing a candle, consider products like Glade Plug-ins and the Febreeze alternative. You can also find jars of fragrance pearls that gradually shrink over time as they release their aroma. Choose the product that works best for your lifestyle and the space that you need to freshen.

What are your favorite fragrances for your home this time of year?

The Best Lingerie Styles for Your Body Type

To most women, lingerie is an important wardrobe item regardless of body types.  As a woman, you should always select the best lingerie styles for your body type with your partner in mind. Put on a sexy intimate undergarment to please your partner and spice up your love life. You can find a wide variety of best lingerie styles for each body type if you check your favorite lingerie store or catalogue. Different types of lingerie can help you accentuate your best parts while concealing those features that are not as flattering.

Always aim at wearing the best lingerie styles for your body type to please yourself and your partner. It is advisable to consult the lingerie experts who will advise you on the best styles of lingerie based on your own body type, whether slim, athletic, curvy, etc.

Wearing sexy lingerie styles is not new in the clothing industry. It was there even before Lady Gaga and the scantily dressed women of “Lady Marmalade.” Madonna and her villainous cone-shaped bra revived many sexy lingerie styles. The best lingerie styles for your body type can be found anywhere from a department store to an online shop. From high-end designers such as Zac Posen and Cynthia Rowley to shopping malls and local boutiques, corsets, bodysuits, and bras are just the beginning.

Today’ woman is no longer wearing heavy taut contraptions with laces and pulleys. They have now opted for the sexy lingerie styles that are silky and lacy. There are many online retailers that stock sexy styles that ensure women feel confident, beautiful, and sexy in what they put on, not what they take off. One of these is Sophia’s Closet. Modern technologies have caused a turn around of the lingerie industry over the recent past. The lingerie experts are today putting more emphasis on the quality of fabrics, laces, embroideries, and many bold colors.

No matter what your body type is – the Athletic Body, Petite Body, Tall Body, Full on Top, Small on Top, or the one with Curvy Hips – there is something for you from bras and bustiers to camisoles and corsets. The lingerie conscious women have more options on style, design, and fabric today more than ever before. 

Women should always aim at adding a little more romance to the ordinary day regardless of their body types. Lingerie is no longer reserved for special occasions. It is now available in most women’s daily wardrobes.

“Some women wear sexy lingerie under their everyday clothes to give themselves that extra boost of confidence” says Joyce of Sophia’s Closet. “Women are beginning to rediscover their femininity and sensuality through lingerie. The stigma that lingerie is scandalous and seedy has been lifted. Our collection of intimates offers women styles that are beautiful, elegant, and sexy all in one.” 

Sophia’s Closet offers a wide variety of the best lingerie styles designed for each body type. Their sexy lingerie styles range from baby dolls to teddies and beyond. They also have many other styles to flatter different body shapes and sizes. 

The following are recommended sexy lingerie styles that are definitely suitable for every body type.  There are the best lingerie styles for the athletic body, lingerie styles for tall women, lingerie styles for petite body , lingerie styles for Full on Top women, lingerie styles for Small on Top women, and also sexy lingerie styles for women with curvy hips. There sexy lingerie styles help conceal the body’s “flaws” and accentuate its features.

Best Lingerie for the Athletic Body Type
A woman who has an athletic body should go for the best lingerie for that body type. This toned and slender figure will look stunning in bustiers, halters, and camisoles that show off sculpted bodies and enhance the bust line. The woman athlete should also invest in a number of slim necklines and padded bras that help boost the bust.

The sexy lace shorts in these flirty lingerie styles normally add definition to curves and also accentuate a great butt for the athletic woman. There is a wide variety of sexy lingerie styles for this woman ranging from the Stretch Lace Tie Front Halter Bra Top and Matching Stretch Lace Short, to Stretch Lace Halter and Shorts with Fringe Hem and Jewel Accents, to Microfiber Camisole with Matching Boy Shorts with Contrast Ruffle Detail, to the Pinstripe Mesh Camisole with Gold Appliqués and Matching Shorts. All these are ideal lingerie styles for the athletic body.

Best Lingerie for the Petite Body Type, Tall Body, Full on Top…


Travel Ideas for Mature Single Women

Traveling is the best reward that you can give to yourself for all the efforts that you have done in your life, from working hard to raising a family. Treat yourself by visiting the places that you have always wanted to see. Traveling alone is the most adventurous part of being a traveler. Unlike traveling with friends, when you travel by yourself, you can choose the places that you really want to see. Most of the time when traveling in groups, travelers may wait for their friends’ approval. If you travel alone, you have all the freedom that you want with no limitations at all.

Consider these amazing locations and travel ideas for mature single women who would like to travel on their own:

Stunning Singapore – Traveling in Singapore is can be exciting and memorable. This country has been awarded for being the cleanest and most green of all countries in Asia. Singapore is known for the famous Fountain of Wealth located in Suntec City. Everyone speaks English and it’s the safest location where single mature travelers won’t have to worry about walking all day long. Singapore is very convenient where the hotels, coffee shops and shopping malls are few minutes away. They have lots of tourist attractions suited for your single travel vacation needs. Museums, cultural shows, Singapore Zoo, Universal Studios, and countless other attractions await single female travelers.

•  Beautiful Venice – Everyone should go to Europe in their lifetime. The city of Venice is a truly amazing location to visit. Alleys, bridges, and waterways were interlinked all over for a totally spectacular view. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the elegant Venetian buildings and palaces that tower over the narrow streets and many canals.

•    Breathtaking Canada – Only few countries reveal  the number and range of natural wonders that Canada does. One of the best reasons to visit Canada is Niagara Falls, the endless flowing of falls that creates a gorgeous waterscape for your viewing pleasure. You can expect to see the natural beauty all around, from mountains and glaciers to forests and lakes. Canadas natural wonders will never disappoint you, and the shopping and wine tasting options give you other activities to enjoy during your stay.

•    Sultry Spa in Mandarin Oriental, Miami – For a relaxing trip by yourself, the Mandarin Oriental in Miami offers privacy and luxurious relaxation. Guests can book a private room with its own spa while enjoying relaxing  views and treatments from a spa specialist. Mature single women travelers may especially enjoy this kind of trip, where they can enjoy each activity at their own pace.

•    Chillax  in Chile – More and more people are discovering Chile as one of the hot tourist spot  today with it’s gorgeous city and diversified culture. Chile offers travelers an amazing landscape that can best be enjoyed in person. Easter Island is one of the world’s wonders, located in Chile. Huge stone like statues of an indigenous Chilean tribe greet travelers to this location. Chile is also the place of the Aquamarina Hot Spring Water Park where you can  relaxe in the natural hot spring water – a lovely treat for single mature females traveling to Chile.The hot springs are known to be the “fountain of youth,” which refreshes and regenerates your skin. What are you waiting for? Book now!

•    Find Inner Peace in Rome – Be prepared to take in the stunning architecture of Rome if you choose this singles travel destination. You will find the inner peace that you dream of by just looking of Rome’s  famous monuments and beaufiful  sculptures. Be sure to visit St. Peters Basilica and climb to the top of the dome where you can see the whole city of Rome. This vacation works great for single adult travel, especially for women looking for an amazing sightseeing adventure.

These are just a few suggestions for places mature single women may like to visit on their next solo vacation. Make the trip more exciting by inviting some girlfriends to join you on the trip! No matter what you decide, be sure to pack your camera so you can capture all the amazing sights and memories. Where else would you suggest for single woman’s travel?

Christmas Date Ideas – Romantic Activities with Your Sweetheart around the Holidays

Christmastime is here with us again. It can be the most magical time for anyone who wants to enjoy a special date around the holidays. Christmas can be one of the most romantic times of the year to have a fun outing with your special love. During the Christmas season, love is all around. With just a little time and creativity, you can find some great Christmas date ideas for your and your sweetheart to have fun around the holidays.

Holiday date ideas this time of year can range from dates on a shoestring budget to sky is the limit Christmas date ideas where cost is not an issue. There are all kinds of great wintertime date ideas for those lovers who want to either spend their Christmas Eve date indoor or enjoy their Christmas Day date in activities like Christmas concerts or shopping. You can also plan Christmas themed activities in the week or two following the holiday, as many people take off from work during this time.

 

Consider these suggestions for fun and romantic things you can do with your sweetheart around Christmastime.

Decorating Together – One of the top priorities of the holiday season for many people involve decorating the Christmas tree. You can spend some special time together decorating the tree, eating Christmas cookies, and sipping your favorite wine with Christmas music playing in the background.

Playing in the Snow – Some of the most fun wintertime date ideas remind you of your childhood. Have fun building a snowman together or even having a snowball fight. You can build a snow igloo or find other fun activities to do outside with your sweetheart. Snow adds an air of enthusiasm and excitement to your holiday date ideas.

Ride in a Horse-Drawn Carriage – Find a local place where you can enjoy a romantic ride in a horse-drawn carriage. This can make the bleak winter more memorable and adventurous for your special winter dates. Especially if you are just getting to know your date, the wintertime is a good opportunity to enjoy your privacy on a romantic date to see if any sparks fly. When you think of the holidays, do not just think about family, shopping, gifts, and parties. Try to make this holiday a great backdrop for romance.

Ice Skating – Another wintertime date ideas is to go ice skating together so you can exercise your hearts both physically and emotionally. There are many outdoor ice skating rinks all over the place for you and your winter date. While having fun with these great holiday date ideas you can also burn off the extra calories that you put in during the office party or Christmas Eve with your family.

Christmas Shopping – A useful and still enjoyable date idea for the Christmas season and the month of December is to go Christmas shopping with your sweetheart.

Enjoy the Holiday Lights – The holiday season inspires many families to decorate their homes with gorgeous, twinkling Christmas lights and decorations. Try going to the loveliest shops where you can enjoy the Christmas lights, adding some spice to your romance. Viewing the holiday light displays together can be very romantic indeed.

Go for a Winter Walk Together – Walk hand in hand with your winter date to enjoy some special time together. You can take a nice evening stroll with your sweetheart or start off the morning with a little outdoor exercise. Walking together holding hands is a wonderful way to get to know a new love interest or to enjoy special feelings with your longtime love.

Sing Christmas Carols Together – Singing carols is a fantastic Christmas Eve date idea or better still as a Christmas Day date activity. Remember “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger”? Magnificent Christmas carols remind everyone that it is Christmas again. You can spice it up by including family members and your neighborhood. Whether you walk around outside singing to your neighbors or if you prefer to sit inside around the piano, you can have a lot of fun with your sweetheart or even with your families and a group of friends. Don’t forget the hot cocoa and holiday cookies!

Snuggle up and Watch Christmas Movies – Consider renting some holiday movies or checking out what is playing on television. Snuggle up with your sweetheart under a blanket and enjoy some cookies and milk or cocoa. You can enjoy a bottle of wine or a bowl of popcorn with your sweetheart. You can also make a trip to the theatre for a big screen performance.

Do not just dream about a white Christmas with your sweetheart. Make your Christmas as special as can be by spending time together enjoying the holiday season. The list of romantic holiday date ideas is endless and limited only by your imagination and your budget. Bake Christmas cookies with your winter dates, or wrap gifts together with your Christmas Eve date.

Spending time relating in the holiday season is a wonderful stress reliever for you and your sweetheart. You can include great lighting and cool music in order to give you some great precious holiday memories. You can also have special holiday events in the park or better still make a tour to homes where you can share your love with the less fortunate members of our society.

New Year’s Eve Cards, Messages, Greetings, and Comments for Loved Ones

New Year's Eve Cards, Messages, Greetings, Thoughts, Wishes...New Year’s Eve is a special time to be with your sweetheart, family, and friends, celebrating the close of one year and the many new adventures in the year ahead. If you can’t be together with certain people, you can still show how much you care with special New Year’s Eve cards, messages, greetings, and comments for your loved ones. Share your feelings with your loved ones so even if you can’t be together, everyone still has a special connection across the miles.

Whether you choose to spend your holiday with friends, family, or just your significant other, there are surely people you will want to call and wish a Happy New Year. Make sure you let them know how much you care with these special thoughts about the New Year!

 

New Year’s Greeting Cards for Loved Ones and Friends
Consider sending special New Year’s greeting cards for family, friends, and loved ones. You can send a single New Year’s e-card to your entire contact list for a quick and easy way to let everyone know you care! Sending paper or printed greeting cards for the New Year may be a little old fashioned, but you can still have a lot of fun getting in touch with people. Your grandparents might especially appreciate a Hallmark card for the New Year’s holiday if you can swing it. If you weren’t able to get your Christmas cards together in time, consider sending out New Year’s greetings with special photo cards of your family or even just a standard letter that gives everyone the recap on your family’s latest happenings.

New Year’s Greetings for Mom, Dad, Stepmom, Stepdad, Mother-in-Law, and Father-in-Law
Be sure to let your parents know how much you care on New Year’s Eve or at least on New Year’s Day if you don’t think they will be awake long enough for your call. The phone call doesn’t have to last a long time. If you are spending the holiday together you can share hugs and kisses. If not, you can easily make a phone call or send an email wishing them a Happy New Year.

Consider these special New Year’s greetings for your mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad, mother-in-law, or father-in-law:
•    Happy New Year! Hope you had a wonderful evening. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
•    Love you so much! Happy New Year!
•    Sorry we couldn’t be together for the New Year, but looking forward to seeing you soon.
•    Hope this year is amazing for you!
•    Best wishes for a warm and wonderful New Year!

Special New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day Wishes for Grandmother and Grandfather
Grandparents love hearing from their grandchildren as often as possible. Make a special point to call or contact your grandparents for New Year’s. You can send a greeting card through the mail to grandmom and grandpop for a special touch.

Consider these suggestions for special New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day wishes for your grandmother or grandfather:
•    Wishing you all that is wonderful in the New Year!
•    Happy New Year! Hope we can see you soon!
•    Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
•    Sending our love and best wishes for a wonderful New Year!
•    Love you so very much! Hope the New Year brings good health and good cheer!

Heartfelt New Year’s Eve Sentiments for Husband or Wife, or Boyfriend or Girlfriend
If you are lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve with your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend, you should be sure to share that special kiss when the clock strikes midnight. Make sure you let your sweetheart know how much you care by whispering a little sweet nothing in his or her ear. Even if you can’t be together for the New Year’s Eve celebration, you can still share special thoughts and sentiments with your sweetheart.

Consider these suggestions for heartfelt things to say to your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend on New Year’s:

•    I love you more than anything. Happy New Year!
•    You are my perfect match. Can’t wait to spend another year with you!
•    Happy New Year Sweetheart. I am excited for all that is to come.
•    With each New Year, our love continues to grow. I love you!
•    Time flies when we’re together. I’m glad we have forever.

Friendly NYE Thoughts for Friends and Neighbors
If you have friends and neighbors who are special to you, be sure to reach out to them on New Year’s Eve in celebration. You should probably call your very best friends if you have the time and if they aren’t already celebrating with you in the same location. You can also get in touch with friends and neighbors much faster and easier than in the past – now you can wish everyone a Happy New Year through text messages and Facebook. Simply post a message on Facebook or send a bulk text message to wish everyone the best of the New Year. You can also greet your neighbors with “Happy New Year” the next time you see them.

NYE Comments and Messages for Anyone You Won’t See for the Holiday
If there are still others that you wish to greet on New Year’s Eve, perhaps coworkers and acquaintances, you can again send a text message or post a Facebook message on someone’s wall for the holiday. You can come up with your own creative comments and messages for the New Year so you can greet anyone you won’t see for the holiday.

Consider these NYE greetings and messages for your contact list this year:
•    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!
•    Hoping you had a great time ringing in the New Year! (And hope you still feel great in the morning!)
•    Happy New Year! Wishing you a year full of wonderful things!
•    Sending you best wishes for an amazing New Year!
•    Looking forward to catching up with you in the New Year!

Remember, it is almost always the thought that counts. Make a special effort to reach out and greet those you love around the holidays and you may find such a warm and fuzzy feeling moving you into the New Year. Share your best wishes with those you love and look forward to all that is to come!

Delicious Cheese Options for Your Holiday Festivities and Special Occasions

Cheese for any occasion, formal or casual!Few things go so well together as wine and cheese! Next time you are planning a party, like New Year’s Eve, a festive birthday, baby or bridal shower, or even a casual get-together, be sure to think about some nice and tasty cheese options to give your guests a delightful snack that pairs perfectly with the wine your serve. If interested, you can even plan your own wine tasting party or an easy-breezy night of movies, wine, and cheese with the girls.


Check out this wide variety of cheese products by Alouette that you can enjoy with your sweetheart, your family, or the next time you have guests or a party at your home. Alouette Cheese makes it easy to keep your party going with delicious snacks no matter what the occasion.

Simple Snacking with Cheese and Crackers
Alouette Cheese offers a wonderful variety of soft, spreadable cheeses that go oh-so perfectly with your favorite crackers for any occasion. If you are in the mood for simple snacking, you can enjoy one of the round 6.5-ounce tubs of soft spreadable cheese in flavors ranging from zesty to sweet, perfect as appetizers or even a subtle dessert type bite after your main meal concludes.

The Alouette tubs of soft spreadable cheese are available in a delightful range of flavors including the award winning Berries & Cream, limited edition Cheesecake, Spinach Artichoke, Sundried Tomato & Basil, Garlic & Herbs, and Pepper Medley, among others. I received a generous selection of these cheeses to taste and enjoy. I am a sucker for sweets and especially raspberries, but also enjoy a nice kick of garlic here and there.

These soft cheeses spread so nicely and evenly across your favorite crackers. As a helpful tip, be sure to choose a cracker that complements the signature flavors in each different variety of soft, spreadable cheese by Alouette. A buttery cracker goes nicely with the garlic and herbs while a neutral cracker on the sweeter side works well with dessert-style cheese. Don’t forget you can add toppers too, like fruit and berries to go with your cracker creations!

Elegant Entertaining Options with Alouette Cheese
If you are looking for more of a formal cheese display, look no further. Alouette offers a fine selection of brie, an ever-popular party staple. You can pair your brie with crackers, fruit, and nuts for the perfect bite-sized snack. I received a lovely selection to try, including Crème de Brie, Baby Brie, and Extra Creamy Brie, any of which would be a perfect complement to a Thanksgiving feast, Christmas dinner or brunch, or New Year’s party, not to mention wine nights, birthday gatherings, and showers. I am looking forward to enjoying the Extra Creamy Brie and double crème Baby Brie this weekend for New Year’s!

The Alouette brie products offer a fantastic creamy texture and a buttery taste that can’t be beat. I love the smooth flavor that works beautifully with different types of crackers, but pairs nicely with cranberries, walnuts, or a fruit and nut blend. Try the brie and crackers with wine and you might be surprised at how nicely they complement each other’s flavors. Alouette brie products make a great match for any day or evening of entertaining.

The Gourmet Spreadable Cheese Logs are another delicious way to enjoy your cheese and crackers. You can have mini appetizers made with Sundried Tomatoes & Garlic or Garlic & Herbs without going to any trouble at all beyond opening the packaging. These small cheese logs go a long way, giving your guests the option to enjoy as much or as little as they like. The cheese logs are packaged in a two-pack so the host or hostess can determine the right amount of cheese for the party. The flavorings and spices coating the outside of the cheese logs work beautifully with a nice variety of crackers and these cheese logs are so good you will keep coming back for more. I actually couldn’t decide which type was my favorite out of the two flavors of the gourmet spreadable logs. Maybe you will have better luck, but for now I am enjoying both!

Goat Cheese – A Gluten Free Option
Alouette has all their bases covered, offering those with Gluten allergies and Celiac’s Disease a nice option for snacking. I had never tried goat’s milk cheese until Alouette sent me a few varieties to try. At Thanksgiving, my uncle and I found it to be similar to cream cheese in texture and consistency. It still isn’t my favorite cheese of all, but I am more open to it and will consider baking with it in the future when I have time to experiment with new dishes.

Chavrie Goat’s Milk Cheese from the carton is very spreadable and works well as a salad topper while the traditional Chavrie Fresh Goat Cheese log can be used in a multitude of recipes. Consider swapping ricotta out for goat cheese in your next lasagna or consider a goat cheesecake. You can find countless recipes online if you are interested in trying goat cheese.

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No matter what your special occasion or preferred time of day for snacking, the cheeses offered by Alouette will not disappoint. There are so many flavors and styles to try – just get a little creative with your snacking and find your favorite combination!

For more information about Alouette Cheese, please see www.alouettecheese.com.

Holiday Decorating Tips for Your Apartment, Dorm, or Flat

Holiday decorating, whether you live in an apartment, dorm, or flat, is an old tradition that comes and goes each year during the festive winter season. With a little imagination and some planning, it is possible to put your place together without going over your decorating budget. Holiday apartment decorating makes it feel less temporary and more like home. Most importantly, sometimes decorating your apartment is what you really need to make the place festive for the holidays if you won’t be going home to celebrate with family. Avoid going overboard when you are decorating in a small space. You will enjoy the place with a few lovely holiday accents or a small Christmas tree.

With Christmas around the corner, everyone is excited about the old tradition of decorating a Christmas tree even if you live in an apartment, dorm, or flat. Most people learned this when they were young. The Christmas tree for your apartment, dorm, or flat is the main attraction during this holiday season.  You have a wide variety of Christmas trees to consider for your living space. However, when decorating your Christmas tree for your apartment, it is wise to change the way you did it when you were young. The Christmas tree should reflect the mood of the season.

Christmas is an occasion of fun, happiness, togetherness, blessings, and love.  The Christmas tree for your apartment or dorm should be beautifully and elegantly decorated.  A real Christmas tree should be measured according to the size of the location where you plan to place it. The size of Christmas tree is very important if you are decorating in a small space. When choosing a tree for your apartment, you should also consider the type of needles and especially if there are young children or pets in your home. The Christmas tree usually offers a pleasant smell to welcome your guests.

When embarking on holiday apartment decorating you should put away all other seasons’ decorations.  For example if you are decoration your apartment for Christmas you should put away all your Thanksgiving and fall décor. For holiday apartment decorating you can consider using lights, for example, along handrails or fireplace mantles.

Holiday decorating in smaller spaces should also include clearing all books from the coffee table and introducing a snow globe or cluster of holiday colored candles. You can also use Christmas stockings for your holiday apartment decorating or even ornaments scattered everywhere. Candles, candles, candles in clusters of three are an ideal style of holiday decorating for apartments and smaller living spaces. They give a warm and cozy holiday look. In your apartment decorating, do not forget the front door where you can hang a wreath or a dried bouquet of Christmas themed plants or flowers.

When decorating in a small space you should aim at creating what you have been dreaming of by making the most from your limited space. You can use the services of an interior designer or better still, search online. When decorating in a small space you should avoid putting too much in the limited space. When decorating your apartment you should have a focal point of each room. When decorating in a smaller space the big pieces like the bed or big couch should be your focal point. Use these to enhance the room and reflect the aura. Add a festive holiday throw or some holiday themed pillows.

When decorating your apartment, dorm, or flat, you should consider nice and warm colors on the walls. Consider using mirrors when decorating in a small space. They serve the same purpose with wall hangings by creating an illusion of additional space. Mirrors and the right colors give dimensions when decorating in a small space. Always keep it simple when decorating in cramped quarters because it is storage space you are most likely lacking here. When decorating your apartment, get pieces that express the same theme. Matching pieces will help draw your eye from area to area.

When decorating in a small space, consider bamboo furniture, which gives the impression of a wide place. Also suspend the curtains from a high point. Use built-in shelves and libraries whenever available. If you get stuck and can’t seem to find the right style for your holiday decorations, invite a few friends over for a glass of wine or some beer and put your minds together to come up with a more exciting holiday setting.

Secret Santas, Pollyannas, and Gift Swaps for the Holidays

The Christmas season is here with us. This is a great time to show love to your friends, family, and coworkers though gift swaps for the holidays. Make sure that this year’s holiday gift swap is the best ever. Holiday gift swaps and anonymous holiday gift exchanges are popular holiday traditions that work well for large groups when each person cannot buy for everyone in the group.

The name of your holiday gift swap is not really that important. Call it Secret Santa, Kris Kringle, White Elephant, or simply holiday gift exchange. This year, aim at bringing back the magic of the holiday season with a Pollyanna, Secret Santa, Secret Snowflake, or Kris Kringle gift exchange. You can also try anonymous gift swaps for the holidays among your group members if you like. No need to spend a fortune, simply because you have a large family and many friends.

Different people use different names for their holiday gift swap. For example one type of holiday gift exchange is known as Secret Santa in the U.S.A and Britain while the same thing is known as Kris Kindles and Kris Kringle in Australia and New Zealand. Secret Santas can be used to refer to both the game or to the people participating. You should start you Secret Santa gifts swap early enough to allow the participants enough time to get thoughtful gifts. Let your group to get excited when the gifts are being opened.  Let them know that the idea of the Secret Santa gift swap is to give exciting Secret Santas gifts regardless of the cost – your gift swap can be as cheap as you like, even $5 per person. Inspire creativity and also make sure that your participants can afford their Secret Santa. Secret Santa gifts can be exchanged anonymously or can be kept secret for a long time with the recipient learning of the gift giver at the last minute.

White Elephant is also a well-liked variation of the same game. The White Elephant is a gift exchange game that is very similar in style to the Yankee Swap gift exchange, although the emphasis in the White Elephant is to “steal” gifts from other participants rather than swap them. White Elephant is also known as Thieving Secret Santa. The participants wrap the holiday gift exchange in a manner that the recipient is not able to know what is inside. Once a person selects and opens a gift, the next person to choose a gift can select a new gift from the pile or may steal a gift from any of those who previously selected gifts.

There is also the Kris Kringle gift exchange where all the participants buy one another holiday gifts. You will only reveal your identity when the recipient has opened the gift.

There is also the Pollyanna gift exchange. In this type of holiday gift swap you limit the holiday gift exchange to making certain that every person in the group gives a Pollyanna. In the Pollyanna gift exchange, a price is set for what all the members should spend on their Pollyannas. The Pollyannas should be well wrapped so that the recipients will not know what is inside. The participants in the Pollyanna gift exchange game draw lots to decide who gets what Pollyanna. Alternatively the participants can draw lots to know who buys a Pollyannas for whom. Make it more exciting by asking each participant to guess the member who brought them the Pollyannas.

Another gift swap for the holidays is the Yankee Swap. In this holiday gift exchange game all the participants will each bring a gift. They will draw numbers from a bowl to determine what gift they will pick. They will then pick the gifts in order from number one onwards. Each participant can keep their Yankee gift or they can swap it with another member. This Yankee Swap holiday gift exchange game is funny because no one knows what they will pick.

Another holiday gift swap game is Lucky Bags. Here the members are given a name each of another member in the group, normally a month before the big day. You will then buy five presents each for a set price that is affordable to all. People buy gourmet foods, fragrant soaps and lotions, or others that may please almost everyone. Participants then set a day that everybody can attend.  Make sure that they know that this is an anonymous holiday gift exchange in your invite to keep an air of mystery.

Finally, a quick and easy holiday gift exchange is a gift card exchange. There may not be as much fun exchanging gift cards because they don’t require as much thought, effort, or time in selection. However, any gifts at the holidays are a sign of love and appreciation.

Wishing you the best in your holiday gift exchange!

Wine Lovers Gift Guide for Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas, and Hostess Gifts

Wine often makes the perfect gift for a loved one, family member, friend, neighbor, or acquaintance. No matter if your gift recipient prefers red wine or white wine you should still be able to find a very suitable and classy wine related gift. Consider this wine lovers’ gift guide to help you choose a great wine themed gift for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, your anniversary, Christmas, or even as a hostess gift.

Depending on the interests of your gift recipient, you can choose from wine themed books to wine gadgets to actual bottles of wine and everything in between. You can search for great wine themed gifts like fancy wine stoppers, wine aerators, corkscrews and specialty wine openers, and of course, new labels of wine to taste and enjoy.

Wine gifts can be a perfect fit for your parents or in-laws, friends, siblings, party hosts and hostesses, coworkers, neighbors, and just about anyone of drinking age who enjoys a little vino. Consider the following wine gifts to help you offer a lovely present to that special someone, no matter whom he or she may be.

Wine Lovers Gift Guide – Wine Gadgets and Accessories

Wine lovers and winos will really appreciate thoughtful gifts they can enjoy with a fine glass of wine. For the wine aficionado, consider corkscrews, wine aerators, wine charms, and more. You can find wine totes, wine buckets and wine chillers, and so much more. Consider these wine gadgets and accessories for your next wine themed gift:

Corkscrews – A good corkscrew gives you the peace of mind to know you won’t ever have to struggle opening a bottle of wine! Some popular and well-rated corkscrews are Screwpull by Le Creuset Table Model Corkscrew, Pulltap Double hinged Waiter Style Corkscrew, and Screwpull by Le Creuset Pocket Model Corkscrew. You might also consider something like the Oster FPSTBW8207-S Electric Wine-Bottle Opener for convenience and an even easier time opening the wine.

Wine Aerators – Wine aerators create a better bouquet, improve the flavors of your wine, and ensure a smoother finish. Aerators expose the wine to air, which in turn enhances the taste and also smoothes the acidity of younger wines. Using a wine aerator like the wildly popular Vinturi Deluxe 6-Piece Wine Aerator Set (or Vintori Essential Wine Aerator) allows you to send oxygen to the wine in only seconds. Wine aerators are one of the unsung wine accessories that may be a great fit for your wine fan friends and family members.

Wine Charms – Wine charms are a great way for guests to tell their glasses apart, and they also make a nice gift around the holidays, especially for a hostess gift. You can find countless shapes, styles, and themes of wine charms for a friend, loved one, or hostess. Consider those made with Swarovski crystal, blown glass, or pewter, for starters. You can find cool wine and cheese themed wine charms, gourmet food collection, nautical charms, holiday wine charms, animal wine charms, and countless others, such as wine charms in a variety of colors with no other theme. A wine charms set can be a nice touch for your holiday party, too!

Wine Varietals to Try…