7 Memorial Weekend Party Themes

Memorial Day weekend always sneaks up when time starts flying by faster and faster as the weather keeps getting nicer. If you are going to have a barbecue or outdoor party for Memorial Day, consider choosing from a few fun Memorial weekend party themes to give your event a special twist. You can keep your party casual or spice things up a bit, depending on your preferences. Consider these suggestions for Memorial weekend party themes you can use for your next Memorial Day gathering.

As a special precaution, keep in mind that Mother Nature can be a bit unpredictable, so it may pay off to have a backup plan for moving your party indoors if needed. You can consider an outdoor party tent or simply move your party inside the house if it looks like the weather may not cooperate. Regardless of the weather, here are some fun Memorial weekend party themes to consider.

•    Hawaiian Luau Party – pretty colors, hibiscus flowers on the deck, tropical drinks with little paper umbrellas, and food like pineapple chicken kabobs, rice, ham, and shrimp…

•    Memorial Day Potluck – Ask each of your guests to bring a covered dish, dessert, or snack. Once you know what people are bringing, you can fill in the gaps or simply make your favorite dishes.

•    Red, White, and Blue Party – Try to have as much food in red, white, and blue as possible, with at least a flag cake, and make a selection of red, white, and blue cocktails. Don’t forget to decorate in these patriotic colors, too!

•    Pool Party – If the pool is open, invite your guests over for a dip. Serve up some burgers and hotdogs, grilled chicken, and beer, as well as fruit salad, side salads, and ice pops.

•    Reggae Party – If money is no object, hire a reggae band to play at your party and decorate with reggae themed decorations. You can get away with beer and barbecue food or whatever you’d like to do, with the main focus on the music. As an alternative, make up a reggae playlist you can play on an iPod or stereo system.

•    Beach Party – Choose a few savory seafood items, decorate with some shells and beachy decorations, and play some fun tunes like the Beach Boys and anything with a steel drum band.

•    Basic Barbecue – Sometimes something simple is the easiest to plan, especially for a bigger group. If you are hosting a Memorial weekend party for many guests, consider keeping it a basic barbecue party with burgers, hotdogs, and all the usual sides, plus a few desserts and some beer and wine.

Your Memorial Day or Memorial weekend party can take on any theme you’d like – these are just a few examples of what might be nice for a warm weather party in late May. You can use these warm weather party themes as inspiration to help you find a theme that would be perfect for a Memorial weekend gathering of friends and family.


Bachelorette Weekend Camping Ideas

One last hurrah with the girls is a great way to close one chapter of life and usher in the start of the next. A bachelorette party is the perfect way for a bride to celebrate with her closest girlfriends before her wedding day arrives. The bridal party often plans a bachelorette party at a bar or similar venue, sometimes a winery or at a beach house or vacation retreat. A bachelorette weekend camping trip is another great way to celebrate with the girls. You can go rustic and camp out in a big tent with all the girls or rent an RV or cabin for a little bit of upscale camping fun. Here are some bachelorette weekend camping ideas to consider for the next bride to be with a sense of adventure.

These bachelorette camping ideas should give you a starting point in planning an exciting and adventurous girls’ weekend getaway in the great outdoors. Get together your favorite females and prepare for some fun and excitement away from home.

•    Decide if you want to go rugged or luxurious. Get a campsite with a fire ring or an RV or rustic cabin where you all have a bed or bunk instead of a sleeping bag.

•    Regardless of where you camp out, be sure to bring some supplies to make s’mores and other delicious campfire desserts.

•    Ask each girl to bring a recipe and ingredients for campfire cooking and a tasty alcoholic beverage to go with it. (Cocktails may be better, but beer is allowed!)

•    Plan some fun activities for your group of girls to enjoy – boating, fishing, hiking, exploring, kayaking, spelunking, or even something like paintball or a water balloon battle.

•    Have a scavenger hunt or play another outdoor game where you’re camping.

•    Bring lawn games like horseshoes, quoits, ladder ball, or even a volleyball and net to enjoy some fun competition with your ladies.

•    Bring a boom box or an iPod with good speakers so your group can enjoy some music and dancing if you like.

•    Don’t forget a camera and maybe a video camera like Flip Video (which can also be a great gift for the bride-to-be). You are going to make some amazing memories you’ll want to document… or maybe not!

These are some basic ideas to get your bachelorette camping weekend off to a great start. Please feel free to share any other ideas you have for camping with the girls in our comments below.


Couples’ Workout Weekend Getaway Ideas

Many couples enjoy working out together, whether it’s weightlifting, running, triathlons, or a slew of other workout activities. For those looking for the next great training excursion or a fun vacation idea with a healthy spin, consider these couples’ workout weekend getaway ideas for training activities. You and your significant other can cheer each other on and push each other to excel athletically in training or in competition with these fun fitness vacation ideas.

Before you get started in planning your couples’ workout weekend getaway, first think about your budget and how far you are willing to travel. You can choose a marathon or triathlon or other competitive event on the other side of the country or you can keep things closer to home if that works better for your budget and your schedule. Once you know any limitations in planning your exercise escape, consider these other tips to help you plan a great workout weekend!

Hiking, Running, or Biking Workout Weekend Getaway for Couples
For couples that love spending time in the great outdoors, breathing in the fresh air and exploring uncharted territory, a hiking, biking, or running weekend could be the perfect pick-me-up in a tired training routine. This kind of couples’ workout weekend getaway can take place close to home or hundreds of miles away. Use your imagination and find a fun location with trails to run or bike, forests to hike through, or beaches where you can jog to your heart’s content. Look for mountains with trails friendly for hikers or find a park with great bike paths you can enjoy. Do a little research and find your perfect place to spend your weekend working out together.

Racing Weekend for Couples
Look for a marathon, triathlon, or even a half-marathon or 5K race located at a destination you would like to visit. Schedule your trip far enough in advance so you and your sweetheart can train and prepare your bodies for the athletic demands. Train together leading up to the event and plan a nice dinner reservation for the night before your race so you can load up on carbs like a satisfying pasta dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Also, consider extending your workout weekend into a long weekend so you and your significant other have a chance to recover and relax before heading back home. You will appreciate the chance to have a bit of fun or soothing relaxation after a grueling workout.

Kayaking, Waterskiing, or Swimming Weekend
A weekend vacation to a nice mountain lake or other location allows the two of you to enjoy some kayaking, canoeing, or a little boating with the chance to go waterskiing or wakeboarding for a great water workout. Swimming is another wonderful activity you can enjoy for low-impact exercise that is enjoyable on your own or with a partner.

To make the most of any kayaking, canoeing, or boating that you do, consider bringing along a snack or a small picnic lunch to enjoy during your excursion.

Training Weekend for Couples
Sometimes you may not have a special workout theme in mind, but you know you want to work on your toning, endurance, and physical wellness. If this is the case, consider going somewhere you can enjoy a wide variety of workout activities like jogging, tennis, yoga, and swimming. Some hotels like the Westin Nova Scotian Halifax Hotel will provide guests with a selection of workout gear (shirts, shorts, sneakers, etc.) for use during their stays. The Westin Nova Scotian Halifax Hotel offers guests New Balance gear known as WestinWORKOUT gear that they can request in the correct sizes so their workout routines are not interrupted when traveling away from home. Upon checkout, guests simply leave the clothing and shoes in the mesh bag. Of course, if the primary reason for your trip is to enjoy a couples’ workout weekend getaway, it is highly likely you will remember all of your own workout gear in the first place, but it is a nice, new offering that several hotels are choosing to include.

No matter what you decide for your couples’ workout weekend vacation, you should be sure to keep up with your normal diet and fluid intake to keep your body healthy. What other ideas do you have for a fun couples’ workout getaway? Share your ideas or a quick recap of your favorite trip in our comments below!


What to Do – Baby Bottle Sterilizers and Other Options

With a little one on the way so many questions are swirling through my head. I recently asked some friends on Facebook what to do about the whole baby bottle sterilizer debacle. If you go on Amazon or Google and search for sterilizers, so many brands and styles are available that it becomes overwhelming to choose one that is right for your growing family. It also becomes difficult when thinking about different baby bottles – some are taller than others and the sterilizer information isn’t always clear about how tall the bottles can be.

I have seen both electric bottle sterilizers and microwave sterilizers for sale at all the major baby stores and other online retailers. It is hard to know which is better. When I asked my friends what they use and like, I got a wide variety of answers, so I have a feeling this is going to be a very personal decision based on our own preferences and what we’ve read and seen from others. I’m very grateful for the responses but I am still quite undecided on what I should do for our little one.

Here are the responses I got from friends when trying to figure out what to do about a baby bottle sterilizer:

•    Microwave Sterilizers – These sound convenient, affordable, and quick. I am tempted. The main thing I can’t get past is – aren’t you not supposed to put plastic in the microwave most times? Thoughts here are much appreciated!

•    Boiling Bottles in Hot Water – This makes sense. I think my mom used to do this sometimes, too. Although, I tend to keep myself busy and when I’m not overly busy, I get lazy. So, this one might be out. Also, what happens if you boil the plastic bottles?

•    Running Bottles through the Dishwasher – Again, what is the deal with plastic in the dishwasher – we usually don’t run our plastic items through, just plates, silverware, and glasses. I know you can, but is it safe and do the bottles break down sooner? Also, our dishwasher isn’t that great and it sometimes leaves a soapy residue, so that alone turns me away from this option….

•    Hot Soapy Water (after sterilizing once in boiling water) – This sounds right up my alley – just like washing dishes at home. I do like this idea but I just wonder about the initial sterilizing process.

I have been considering an electric sterilizer but didn’t know which brand to get or if it would fit the variety of bottle sizes we have. I may still consider it. I like the idea of an electric or microwave sterilizer, since they both can sterilize bottles in minutes instead of an hour and a half or whatever our dishwasher needs to run through the whole process.

So I guess I am back to where I started – do I get a bottle sterilizer or don’t I? If anyone can make a recommendation, I would be glad to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment with your own thoughts and experiences on baby bottle sterilizers! I’ll be glad to update this article with additional feedback as it comes through.


10 Places to Take Your Mom, Stepmom, or Mother-in-Law on Mother’s Day

Mother's Day activities and places to goSometimes it seems that we do the same thing over and over again every year for Mother’s Day, almost to the point that we can’t recall whose turn it is or what we did last year. Rather than getting stuck in a tired rut of the same old dinner out or dinner in, consider these fun ideas of 10 places to take your mom or mother-in-law on Mother’s Day.

Bear in mind that some of these ideas may be better suited for smaller groups while others may be suitable for larger groups. If necessary, you may want to tweak these ideas just a bit to suit your group size. In most cases, you should be able to enjoy these activities with your immediate family or even with both your family and your significant other’s family if you so desire.

Top Mother’s Day Activities
Consider these places you can take your mom or your mother-in-law to celebrate Mother’s Day.

1. Bowling – Have a friendly little bowling competition with mom and the family.

2. Winery Tour – Treat mom to a wine tasting, winery tour, and a bottle of wine or two.

3.    Miniature Golf – Spark a little competition in mini golf and treat mom to some ice cream or water ice.

4.    Zoo – If younger children are still in the picture (or grandchildren), a trip to the zoo might be the perfect Mother’s Day activity.

5.    Flower or Nature Conservatory – Check out some local botanical gardens, butterfly gardens, wildflower preserves, or other nature settings.

6.    Melting Pot (or other theme restaurant) – A fun restaurant with a unique twist, like tapas or fondue, can be a super memorable Mother’s Day experience for mom and all those involved. (The Melting Pot also has an amazing Yin-Yang martini cocktail!)

7.    Have a Picnic – Take mom and the family to the park for a nice picnic lunch, complete with your and her favorite things – fried chicken, shrimp cocktail, sandwiches, juice, wine, chocolate cake, the works!

8.    Visit the Local Shopping Outlets – Take mom out for a fun day of shopping if you have some good shopping outlets near you. Treat her to a gift or two from one of the stores.

9.    Spa – Get mom together with the girls in the family and take her out for a spa excursion, or treat her to a massage at the very least. You can also look into manicures and pedicures as a fun Mother’s Day excursion for the girls.

10.    Get a Family Portrait – Take Mom to a local portrait studio with the family to get a nice shot of everyone all dressed up. She will absolutely love this great keepsake photo of your family.

If you want a more low-key kind of Mother’s Day, you can invite your mom or mother-in-law over and cook for her and the family. You can also order takeout or go out to a nice restaurant nearby. If your mom or mom-in-law likes movies, you can also plan a movie night where you watch a movie on your own television or one where you all go out to the movies together.

What other ideas do you have for Mother’s Day? What is your favorite Mother’s Day of all time and why? Please share your feedback in our comments below!


Men’s Hockey Party Ideas for Playoff Hockey, Stanley Cup Finals, and More

The hockey playoffs are underway and teams are battling it out to see who advances and who goes home. Fans across the country are finding their own creative ways to enjoy the games, from scoring tickets to attend, tailgating, and hosting hockey parties at home or with friends. Consider these men’s hockey party ideas as a fun way to watch your favorite team vie for the most coveted trophy in hockey.

Before you get too far in planning, try to determine the location for your men’s hockey party. Consider hosting a hockey party at your home, in your man cave, or at a friend’s house. You can also have a tailgating party or gather at a party venue for a large scale event. For the purposes of this article, these tips will pertain mainly to a hockey party at someone’s home.

Men’s Hockey Party Ideas
Hosting a men’s hockey party can be a great time no matter if it’s a weeknight or a weekend. Here are some suggestions on how to host an awesome men’s hockey party at your home.

Simple and Easy Hockey Party Tips
•    Keep things simple by ordering takeout food or getting delivery. You can have your guys’ hockey party catered with your favorite foods and snacks – wings, nachos, pizza, and more.
•    Put out a few bags of your favorite snacks – chips, pretzels, Doritos, and whatever else you like.
•    Don’t forget the beer!

No Holds Barred Hockey Party
•    Fire up the grill and make some yummy (non-burnt) ‘hockey pucks’ with buns and all the fixins’ for your guests.
•    Order a key of your favorite beer in advance.
•    During intermissions, partake in some fun games to pass the time – beer pong, flip cup, or poker.
•    If your guests are staying over or have designated drivers, do a shot of your favorite spirit every time your team scores.

Of course, these men’s hockey party ideas can also work nicely for a mixed group of couples or guys and girls. Many women and children love hockey as well, so be sure to plan your party to include all the guests you would like to share in these exciting times.

What other ideas do you have for a men’s hockey party? Be sure to share your suggestions in our comments below. You can also add your favorite hockey team or which team you’re cheering on in the playoffs!


Top 10 Things to Do for Your First Mother’s Day as a New Mom

Mother’s Day is a special time of year every year, but you’ll only have one “first Mother’s Day.” It’s that special day when you are included in the Mother’s Day festivities as a mom yourself, instead of celebrating for your mom or your mother-in-law. Whether you plan your own Mother’s Day activities or rely on your husband to create a special first Mother’s Day for you, here are 10 things you can consider for your first Mother’s Day as a new mom.

Before you make any plans, though, think about whether you wish to include your mom and mother-in-law (or stepmom, etc.), so that you can make solid plans rather than tentative plans. You may want to spend your first Mother’s Day with all the maternal figures in your life or you may want to keep this holiday all to yourself. Whatever you decide, don’t feel selfish – you only have one first Mother’s Day!

10 Activities and Ideas for a First Mother’s Day
Consider these suggestions for what to do on your first Mother’s Day as a new mom:

1.    Go on a picnic in a local park with your husband and baby.

2.    Have your husband barbeque some lunch or dinner and you can relax on the deck or patio with the little one.

3.    Go to dinner with your parents and in-laws for a bigger celebration.

4.    Invite your parents and in-laws over for a group picnic or party. Ask everyone to bring a covered dish or dessert and have your husband man the grill so you don’t have to stress over cooking.

5.    Check out a local park, conservatory, museum, or other nearby attraction.

6.    Spend the daytime with your baby and husband and get a sitter for the evening so you can go out on a dinner date or dessert date.

7.    Play with the baby during the day and make dessert from scratch with your sweetheart at night.

8.    Take a day trip to the beach or the mountains with your hubby and baby.

9.    Take the day off – have hubby look after the baby so you can sleep in, stay in your jammies all day, and enjoy whatever he cooks for you (hopefully breakfast in bed!). Maybe even get yourself a mani/pedi!

10.    Stay home and watch movies that you both enjoy, or try new movies you haven’t seen yet. You can also watch home videos from before the baby if you have them (or your wedding video).

These ideas should give you a little inspiration for what you can do on your first Mother’s Day. If your baby happens to come close to Mother’s Day, you may still be in the hospital and your choices of first Mother’s Day activities may be limited. This can also be a very special and memorable first Mother’s Day, though, since your little one decided to come on or around that special day.

What are your ideas for a special first Mother’s Day activity? Please share your favorite first Mother’s Day ideas in our comments below.


Ideas for a Baby Shower Safari Theme

Choosing a baby shower theme can be lots of fun when you consider all the possibilities for each theme and color scheme. A baby shower safari theme is a popular baby shower motif that works wonderfully no matter if the mom-to-be is having a little girl, a little boy, or a surprise. You can find lots of fun ways to dress up a safari themed baby shower – consider these fun ideas to make the perfect shower from baby shower invitations and decorations to shower centerpieces, favors, and more.

As you plan your baby shower safari theme from start to finish, be sure to consider all the key aspects of a baby shower – invitations, decorations, centerpieces, food, drinks, cake, shower favors, and even baby shower games if you like.

Baby Shower Safari Theme for Girls
Hosting a safari theme baby shower for little girls on the way can be such an adorable affair. Consider decking out your baby shower venue in pink colors with animal print like zebra or leopard. Add in some cute safari animals throughout your decorations, centerpieces, and cake.  You can tie coordinating pink and animal printed balloons to a cute safari themed stuffed animal, like a lion, monkey, giraffe, and zebra. Also, check out these adorable zebra baby shower ideas for girls.

Baby Shower Safari Theme for Boys
Baby boys are a bit more rough and tumble, so you can get away with a less dainty safari baby shower theme if the parents-to-be are having a boy. Consider bold colors, like Crayola reds, blues, and greens, or keep it in a jungle to Sahara motif with earth tones and animal prints. You can do cute centerpieces of miniature cakes or cupcake tiers decorated in the safari theme, or stick to cool jungle-looking plants in color-coordinated flower pots. Get some balloons, banners, and other decorations. Don’t forget your khaki safari hat!

Neutral Baby Shower Safari Theme (Surprise!)
When the gender of the baby on the way is a surprise, you can still plan adorable showers with a baby shower safari theme, jungle theme, or similar. Stick to neutral colors like orange, yellow, and green or even earth tones of khaki and army green. Choose animal themed decorations, plates, balloons, and party favors. You can choose cute tropical flowers with lots of big leaves in vases or potted plants for centerpieces. Be sure to have a great cake decorated with a leafy tree or zebra print or miniature wild animals prancing around the tiers or sheet cake.

These are a few basic ideas for a baby shower safari theme, but you should try to plan a few months in advance and let your imagination run wild! You can have fun mixing animal print patterns and actual cutouts of jungle animals on garland and banners to announce best wishes for the baby on the way.

What other ideas do you have for a baby shower safari theme? Please share them in our comments below!


What to Pack in Your Overnight Hospital Bag When You’re Expecting

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for When the Baby ComesAs you near the end of your pregnancy, you’ve likely got a million things on your mind. If you’re like me, you may have quite a few loose ends to tie together – shopping for a bigger car, worrying over the baby furniture that you ordered that won’t be here till after the baby. The truth is, some things just can’t be helped. Most times it is best to worry about the things you can control rather than those that are out of your hands. With this in mind, I’ve polled some experts to help us remember some important things to pack in our hospital overnight bags for whenever the baby decides he or she is ready to make that grand appearance.

Packing to go anywhere – on a business trip, on vacation – can certainly be a stressful experience, so it helps to have a packing list – especially for something as big as having a baby. Here are some of the top things that women and doctors recommend packing in your emergency bag for when you go to the hospital to have your baby.

Experts at Philips AVENT recommend packing one bag for yourself and one for your baby if possible, to ensure you have all the necessities. Packing the bag by 36 weeks is generally a good time frame just in case you go into labor earlier than expected.

“The hospital bag can become a huge source of stress between couples because it never gets packed — until her water breaks, he’s hysterical in his own macho way, and the emotions cycle high into a fight over ‘the bag,’” says April Masini of AskApril.com. “So, my advice is always: Pack it early, and feel free to re-pack, add, or take away any items you want to at any time. But pack it. When? At the six month mark. I know this sounds crazy, but premature babies are born early. And they’re usually a surprise. They’re not that uncommon. Premature labor is stressful and nobody knows it’s ‘false’ labor until the hospital sends you home. Why add to your stress, and put extra pressure on your relationship with your husband, when you can alleviate so much of it by packing the bag early?”

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Mom
–    Your birth plan
–    List of people to call, as well as phone numbers
–    Slippers or cushy socks
–    Knee length cotton night-gowns (2 or 3) for labor and after (preferably not white!) with buttons down the front for breastfeeding or comfortable pajamas
–    Comfortable underwear and maternity pads (the hospital may also offer pads)
–    Nursing bras
–    Nipple cream and breast pads (NEW from Philips AVENT–both Day and Night Breast Pads and more soothing Breastcare Thermo Pads)
–    Standard toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap or body wash, face wash, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste)
–    Your razor (If you plan on nursing, you will appreciate being able to shave under your arms rather than worrying over stubble.)
–    Your own personal towel and pillow with a recognizable pattern
–    Snacks like energy bars, trail mix, granola bars, and fruit
–    Ear plugs (for you and your husband or partner)
–    Makeup
–    Lotion
–    Lip balm
–    Tissues
–    Prenatal vitamins
–    Glasses or contact lenses
–    Comfortable clothing to wear home (maternity clothes will be your best bet)
–    Plastic bag for dirty laundry
–    Magazines or a book to pass the time before baby comes
–    A notepad for gifts – “Visitors LOVE to bring you gifts while you’re in the hospital,” shares Dallas Louis, a mom of three and author of the upcoming The Mommy Diaries: How I’m Surviving Parenting without Killing Anyone (May 2012). “The trouble with this is the card will inevitably get separated from the gift during the transfer from the hospital to the house. If you have a notepad to quickly jot down who gave what, once the fog of just giving birth clears, your thank-you note process will be much easier if you wrote it down.”
–    A calling card, since you often can’t use a cell phone in your hospital room

“Be careful not to take anything valuable or very sentimental,” say the experts at Philips AVENT. “If you take your own pillows or towels, take patterned ones so they are less likely to disappear. It’s important that you are comfortable during labor and having your own pillow can be a real comfort.”

Nicole Atkinson of Push to Start, Inc. recommends bringing gourmet chocolates for the nurses who will be caring for you.

“I brought a few bags of Lindt truffles to give to the staff,” she recalls. “They appreciated the gesture and took great care of me. I’m sure they would have regardless, but I like to think it helped sweeten my care a bit more.”

She also suggests bringing your makeup to keep you looking like yourself.

“You may not want to put on a full face, but pictures will be taken and you don’t want to look like you were dragged by a train when you’re holding your new baby,” she says.

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Baby…


Creative Cocktails and Alcoholic Drinks for Easter Brunch

White Sangria for Easter brunchEaster brunch is a popular spin on hosting this springtime holiday for friends and family. From croissants with ham or turkey and egg to casseroles and quiche, the Easter brunch meal possibilities are almost endless. Don’t forget to dress up your Easter brunch with a few fun Easter cocktail ideas for your family and friends to enjoy. You can certainly enjoy Mimosas, but why settle for something so common when you can mix up some great alcoholic beverages for Easter!

Here are a few spring and Easter cocktails to try this year for your Easter brunch celebration.

Spring Melon

Spring Melon Cocktail for EasterIngredients:
2 ½ oz VOGA Sparkling
1 oz vodka
1 oz Midori melon liquor
Lime juice from 1 lime

1.    In a shaker, combine ice, vodka and lime juice.
2.    Stir gently and strain into a chilled rocks glass.
3.    Top with VOGA Sparkling and garnish with lemon or lime slice.

Sparkling Pineapple

Sparkling Pineapple Cocktail for EasterIngredients:
2 oz of vodka
4 oz VOGA Sparkling
Lime juice from 1 lime
Top with pineapple juice and fresh pineapple

1.    In a shaker, mix vodka and lime juice.
2.    Pour in glass and top with VOGA Sparkling, pineapple juice and fresh pineapple.

VOGA’s Easter Sangria

Easter Sangria for brunchIngredients:
2 bottles of VOGA Italia Moscato Wine
3 oz. Triple Sec
2 sliced cucumbers
2 cups of seedless green grapes
1 sliced Granny Smith apple
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced lime
1/2 liter club soda

1.    Pour wine in a pitcher or bowl and add sliced cucumber, apple, lemon and lime.
2.    Next add triple sec and stir gently.
3.    Cover and chill from 2-24 hours (the longer, the better!)
4.    Before serving, top with club soda.
5.    Stir gently and serve over ice.

Makes about 15 servings.

(Recipes courtesy of VOGA Italia Wine…)

Easter Punch Ideas
You can also try a traditional punch recipe that is alcoholic or even a nonalcoholic punch to satisfy your younger (or pregnant!) guests. Try mixing Sprite, 7Up or Ginger Ale with Hawaiian Punch and top with a few generous scoops of rainbow sherbet. This delicious nonalcoholic Easter punch recipe will be great for all the little ones and anyone who isn’t ready for a cocktail just yet.

If you wish to make a fancy Easter punch that is alcoholic, consider adding a fruity liquor like coconut rum, triple sec, or peach schnapps to the punch bowl. Be sure to label it so no little ones partake. You can also float slices of orange, maraschino cherries, and other yummy fruit pieces for a pretty and picture-perfect Easter punch.

What other cocktails do you enjoy around the Easter holiday? Please feel free to share any ideas in our comments below!


Tips and Tricks on Filling the Perfect Easter Basket

Easter basket ideas for kids, teens, preteens, adults, and grandkidsEaster comes along with the urge to enjoy lots of sweet treats amid pastel colors and lovely signs of nature. The perfect Easter basket may have representation from all three of these areas, even if only figuratively. No matter if you have young children, teenagers and preteens, or grown kids and even grandkids, you can find a nice array of treats, goodies, toys, and trinkets to include in the Easter baskets you create.

Remember, Easter baskets can be whatever you want them to be. You can include a lot of little items with lesser value or just a few items with one or two higher value gifts. You can also include different Easter basket fillings for different age groups. Consider these suggestions on filling the perfect Easter basket for your kids based on their age group.

Easter Basket Ideas for Little Ones
Young children will love the thrills of Easter, from finding the eggs to enjoying all the candy and special treats. The magic of the Easter Bunny and other spring traditions will become a favorite piece of this springtime holiday. Though you may not need to go to great lengths to impress your young ones, here are a few suggestions for things you can put in their Easter baskets.
•    Candy
•    Stuffed animals
•    Plastic Easter eggs filled with treats or toys
•    Easter books
•    Easter movies

Easter Basket Ideas for Preteens and Teenagers
Even your preteens and teenagers will appreciate a little something special on Easter. Depending on your budget, consider these Easter basket ideas for teens and preteens.
•    Candy, gum, and treats
•    Music, MP3 players, headphones, and other accessories
•    Perfume, cosmetics, nail polish, etc.
•    Gift cards to their favorite stores
•    Books, movies, and video games

Easter Basket Ideas for Grown Children / Adults
Grown children (think college students) and adults will still enjoy a special treat this holiday. You may not need to go as far above and beyond as you did in your earlier days, but consider these fun basket fillers for grown children and young adults around Easter time.
•    Candy, gum, and treats
•    Cash or gift cards
•    Photo albums
•    Movies, books, games, and gadgets
•    Wine, beer, or liquor
•    Cool items that match their hobbies – golf accessories, cooking gadgets, etc.

Easter Baskets for Grandkids
Filling up an Easter basket for your grandchildren can be so exciting but it can also be an expensive task, depending on the limits you set for yourself. Here are some suggestions on what you can include in an Easter basket for your grandchildren.
•    Stuffed animals
•    Cars and trucks
•    Playing cards or small games
•    Movies, books, puzzles, music CDs
•    Candy, cookies, and other treats
•    Fun crafts or activities to do as a family

These are just a few ideas for what you can use to fill up an Easter basket for your children or grandchildren, depending on their ages. You can also opt for a large ticket item like an MP3 player, handheld video game, a new smart phone, or some other expensive yet popular item.

Even adults can put together Easter baskets for each other. A husband may want to put a nice piece of jewelry as the centerpiece of an Easter basket for his wife, while the wife may find a nice watch or some cigars and cigar accessories for her husband. It all goes back to how well you know the person for whom you want to make the Easter basket. Good luck and Happy Easter!


Stonefire Authentic Tandoori Naan

Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads exclusively offer the only commercially available naan cooked in a Tandoor oven, an ancient method of cooking in high temperatures. Naan is a traditional teardrop shaped flatbread originally from Persia, but now popular in many places across the globe. Although this food is an often accompaniment to Indian cuisine, you don’t need to be eating this type of cooking in order to enjoy this product.

As a family owned bakery for more than 40 years, Stonefire Flatbreads focus on perfecting authentic and traditional recipes for its products. Stonefire Authentic Naan is made with all-natural ingredients, is hand stretched, and comes in three delicious flavors-Original, Garlic, and Whole Grain. Because there are no preservatives in Stonefire flatbread products, they should be used within 6 days or stored in the freezer.

I’ve received all three types of Stonefire Authentic Tandoori Naan to try out and all have my tastebuds’ approval! These flatbreads are perfect for creating a variety of meals, snacks, or sides from wraps, pizzas, and paninis to slicing it up and dipping it in hummus or guacamole.  Use two warmed naan to replace your basic slice of bread to create a Naanwich (TM). It’s also great just by itself to accompany any meal. As a huge bread fan I was happy just to snack on a warm soft piece out of the oven.

Stonefire Naan is quick and easy to prepare. Simple sprinkle on some water and heat in your oven or on your stovetop. I’ve used the convection oven setting on my microwave, which works perfectly as well. (The typical microwave setting is not recommended for heating of this product.)

Visit their website as well as on Facebook for more tasty recipe ideas, many of which were created and featured on the reality tv show, Hell’s Kitchen. Play the game at home and use your own imagination to create new recipes new meal or snack to your usual at home menu. If you’re not feeling adventurous with your diet, try melting cheese on the naan for a twist on the classic grilled cheese.