Easter Appetizers and Snacks to Make and Share

Easter appetizers and snacksWhat is Easter without a celebration? Of course, every family that celebrates Easter is one that knows how to treat candies, pastries, eggs, and other sweets. So for this occasion, if you’re bringing food for Easter Sunday, why not focus on Easter snacks and appetizers? Here are a few recipes and ideas.

Easter Cupcakes
This is a pretty simple thing to do and one which kids will enjoy making and eating. You can either bake the cupcakes yourself or buy them plain from a bakery. To make a basket, put a little icing on top and use jellybeans as mini Easter eggs. There are tons of candies that you can put in as well. Use a thin wicker rope or hemp for the handle and tie it with a ribbon. Another idea for this is to make Easter bunny cupcakes. Use a combination of marshmallows and round candies to make the bunny’s face. You can create tons of fancy things using cupcakes, icing, and candies, and all it takes is a little imagination.

Filled Easter Eggs
Here’s a healthier Easter appetizer. You can buy plastic eggs at craft stores or grocery stores. Fill them with crackers, peanuts, granola, pretzels, bread, dried fruit, and just about anything tiny that you can munch on. Upon sealing them, wrap a ribbon around the egg and decorate it. It’s a surprise that children would be eager to open.

Egg Salad
What’s Easter without the egg? Incorporate this novelty idea to your Easter appetizer recipes. You can use a variety of vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions for more flavor aside from the traditional mayonnaise. Here is an egg salad recipe you can try.

Veggies, Fruits, and Dip
Vegetarians will have a ball with this Easter snack and appetizer. Slice up a few vegetables and fruits such as celery, carrots, apples, and pears. Place them neatly (and decoratively) on a dish alongside a variety of dips. You can offer Nutella, peanut butter, hummus, ranch dressing, almond butter, cream cheese, and honey. The options are endless!

Bagels and Cream Cheese
Make this classic favorite into a delectable Easter snack by adding a little color to the cream cheese. Use a small bowl to mix food dye into the cream cheese spread. Serve the spread in different colors and different containers just beside bagels that are cut into small pieces. Kids will enjoy combining colors and adults will revel at the fact that your cream cheese is so colorful.

Carrot Croquettes
If you have plenty of time to spare, consider preparing croquettes for your Easter appetizer. It’s a different take on the traditional croquette. Shape the croquette into tiny carrots and stick on pieces of parsley sprigs. Make them small and bite size so that they are appealing to kids. This recipe has carrots, so if you’re having a difficult time feeding your kids vegetables, you should try it.

There are so many things that you could try out as Easter snacks and appetizers. The Internet is your cookbook, so flip through the pages for a tasty idea.


Top 10 Long Weekend Getaways for Couples

Top 10 Long Weekend Getaways for CouplesNo matter how serious your relationship is at the moment, long weekend getaways for couples can be just what the love doctor ordered. In a new relationship you can get to know the other person better, enjoying new things together and learning about each other’s favorite things. In an established relationship, you can enjoy some quality romantic time together, partaking in things you both love to do. No matter what, long weekend getaways for couples in either scenario should offer chances to relax and have a great time with your sweetheart.

Before you get started in planning any long weekend getaways for couples, first consider your budget, how far you are looking to travel, and any other prerequisites you may wish to consider in planning your long weekend away. Once you have a good idea of the requirements for your trip in terms of budget, distance, and theme or focus, you can consider a wide array of couples’ long weekend getaways.

Taking a long weekend away from work and the daily grind can be a great way to recharge and revitalize your body as well as your state of mind. Here are some long weekend getaways for couples to consider for your next excursion:

1.    Winery or Brewery – Get away for a tour and tasting at a nice winery or brewery. Make a long weekend of it by throwing in other activities or choosing a different vineyard or brewing company for another day. Ensure you plan a nice dinner and some time to relax.

2.    Spa and Golf Getaway – For couples who like time together as well as a little time apart, a golf and spa getaway could be the perfect compromise. Plan this trip with a few of your closest couples and make an excursion of it – they guys set up a tee time and the girls set up some spa time, and then everyone gets together for dinner or splits off in pairs for their own romantic evenings.

3.    Bed & Breakfast – Hide yourselves away in a romantic bed & breakfast setting where you can relax, sightsee, or just spend some quiet time together. Choose a quaint town like Cape May, NJ, or find a romantic bed & breakfast at just about any location of your choice.

4.    National or Historic Landmark – Feed your hunger for adventure by planning a long couple’s weekend at a national landmark or historic site. Set up a few tours or excursions or make up your own. Be sure to take along a camera and consider having a picnic or finding a nice place you can enjoy a casual meal outdoors.

5.    Beach or Lakeside Escape – Who doesn’t love the beach? Plan a fun beachside or lakeside escape to enjoy with your sweetheart. You can fill up your long weekend getaway with activities like swimming, miniature golf, water sports, beachcombing, fishing, and sightseeing. Don’t forget to take in as many of the local attractions as you can!

5 More Couples’ Long Weekend Getaways…

Adorable Easter Dessert Ideas to Enjoy or Share

Easter is a time of year that brings to mind wonderful, delicious sweets and treats – coconut Easter eggs, jelly beans, candy as far as the eye can see, cupcakes, pastries, decadent cakes in the shape of bunnies, and so many other yummy and adorable Easter desserts. No matter if you are hosting Easter yourself or looking to make something you can bring with you to someone’s home for the holiday, consider these fun and adorable Easter dessert ideas you can make yourself!

Before you get started, make sure you have the necessary supplies. If you are planning a few days to a week or two in advance, that should give you sufficient time to order or purchase any ingredients or materials you need to create your very own delicious Easter desserts and treats.

Coconut Easter Bunny Cake
This popular favorite Easter dessert gets better and better every year. Your kids and younger relatives will absolutely love this adorable bunny shaped cake!

Box of cake mix (or your own recipe)
Can of vanilla frosting
Shredded coconut
Jelly beans for eyes and nose
Shoestring licorice for whiskers
Fruit Rollups for Ears
One marshmallow for cotton tail
(Makes 2 bunny cakes)

1.    Bake a cake in two round pans.
2.    Remove from pans and allow cake to cool on cooling racks.
3.    Frost the top of one cake layer once cool.
4.    Put the second cake layer on top of the one you just frosted, as if you are making a traditional round cake.
5.    Cut the round cake in half and place each half on a plate, flat side down.
6.    Frost the cake with vanilla frosting and immediately coat the entire half-cake with shredded coconut.
7.    Using scissors or a steak knife over a cutting board, cut out two bunny ear shapes from the Fruit Rollups.
8.    Attach the Fruit Rollup Ears with frosting to the side of the cake where the head will be. (Usually where the cake is arcing upward is a good place for the ears, just before it levels out.)
9.    Add two of the same colored jelly beans for eyes and a pink or red one for a nose. Place them appropriately based on where your ears are located.
10.    Add a big white marshmallow or a dab of frosting and more coconut for a tail.
11.    Repeat steps 6 – 10 for the second bunny cake.

Tip: If you like, sprinkle jelly beans or other Easter candy around the platter where the bunny cake sits.

Alternative Shape for Bunny Cake: Easter Bunny Sheet Cake
If you like the idea of an Easter bunny cake but you don’t want to mess with the sideways positioning and cutting a cake in half and all that, you can make an Easter Bunny Sheet Cake instead. Make your cake as usual, and instead of frosting it all at once, keep one round cake intact and cut the other so that you have a bow-tie and two ears. Arrange the pieces of cake on a foiled board or platter and frost all pieces. Decorate with pink sugar crystals, jelly beans, and shoestring licorice for whiskers. This yummy bunny cake can be a delicious way to celebrate Easter!

Easter Basket Cupcakes
Sometimes cupcakes are easier for certain gatherings than a whole cake. If you prefer to make some adorable Easter basket cupcakes, try this fun and easy Easter dessert recipe.

Cake mix
Jelly beans, M&Ms or other Easter candy
Twizzlers or other licorice

1.    Bake cupcakes in cupcake wrappers according to instructions on packaging.
2.    Allow to cool and then frost each Easter basket cupcake as desired. You can use a cake decorating gun to make the frosting look like Easter basket grass that you put in the Easter baskets.
3.    Gently poke both ends of the licorice vine into the cupcake to make it look like a basket.
4.    Add jelly beans or M&Ms or any Easter candy you like to each Easter basket cupcake for decoration and additional sweetness.

Tip: Consider using different colors of frosting for a fun and varied look or all the same color so no one fights over the last pink one!

More Easter Desserts and Treats…

Easter Wishes, Messages, Greetings, and Sentiments for the Ones You Love

Easter wishes, messages, greetings, and sentimentsSending an Easter greeting card can be a great way to show you care, even if you can’t spend the holiday with someone close to you. Parents, in-laws, and grandparents will especially appreciate handwritten Easter cards where you include a little personal message along with the card’s existing sentiments. Share your Easter wishes and greetings with your immediate family, including brothers and sisters, as well as your dear friends, and of course, your significant other – husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

Getting in touch with special Easter messages doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. Depending on the person you are trying to reach, you can simply send a Happy Easter text message to your technology savvy family and friends. You can send snail mail Easter letters or Easter greeting cards to your older relatives, especially grandparents, and you can send Easter e-cards to your close friends and coworkers as appropriate.

Sometimes it is easier to make a phone call to deliver some special holiday greetings, especially at Easter. If this is the case for you, just pick up the phone and call your nearest and dearest, letting them know you’re thinking of them and wishing them a Happy Easter. Even if you don’t connect, you can still leave an Easter message on the voicemail to let them know they’re in your thoughts.

Here are a few sample Easter messages, greetings, wishes, and heartfelt Easter sentiments to consider for specific people in your life.

Easter Wishes for Parents and Grandparents
Your parents and grandparents have been a big part of your life for a long time. Be sure not to neglect their feelings on the Easter holiday. Simply put together a nice Easter greeting card or make a quick phone call to deliver a Happy Easter message. Here are a few examples of sweet Easter wishes you can share with your family.

•    Thinking of you on Easter and wishing we were celebrating together. Have a very Happy Easter!
•    You’re in our thoughts and our hearts this Easter holiday. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
•    Sending love and warm Easter wishes your way… Happy Easter!
•    It’s Easter time – the perfect time to remind you how special you are to us. We love you!

Easter Greetings for Brothers, Sisters, and Friends
No matter where your siblings and close friends live – near or far – it is a lovely gesture to take the time to let them know they’re in your thoughts, especially around a holiday. Here are some examples of things you can say in an Easter greeting or message to your brother, sister, or friends.

•    Wish we could be together celebrating like old times! Happy Easter to your family from ours!
•    Wishing you a wonderful Easter. Looking forward to catching up soon!
•    Happy Easter to the best [brother / sister / friend] a [girl / guy] could have!
•    Just wanted to send some love and blessings on Easter. Enjoy your holiday!

If you are particularly close to any of your coworkers, you can also share some Happy Easter wishes or greetings with them. Just be aware of any policies your company has related to religion and holidays.

Easter Sentiments for Your Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Husband, or Wife
At the very least, sharing your love and emotions on Easter with your significant other should be a prerequisite. From something as simple as “Happy Easter – I love you!” to a more complex action, such as penning a romantic Easter poem or love letter, you can choose to express your Easter sentiments with your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend in the way that best suits your relationship. Here are a few suggestions for Easter sentiments you can share with your sweetheart.

•    As each holiday rolls around, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have you. Happy Easter, sweetheart!
•    Happy Easter to the one I love. So glad we get to celebrate a lifetime of Easters together.
•    Easter time reminds me of all the things I love about you.
•    Happy Easter – I’m so in love with you.

These are just examples – you will certainly want to match the sentiment of the Easter message for your sweetheart to how you feel and how serious your relationship is.

Special Easter Messages and Ideas for Your Kids
Last but certainly not least, be sure to share some sweet Easter thoughts or ideas with your kiddos. Your children will definitely appreciate you taking the time to acknowledge the holiday and your relationship with them. No matter if you have a son, daughter, or a houseful of children, you can find a fun and sweet way to show how much you care on or leading up to Easter.

•    Happy Easter – Mommy and Daddy love you so much!
•    Wishing you the best Easter ever! XOXOXO
•    Just a little reminder how much you are loved today and always!

In addition to sweet Easter messages for your kids, consider fun activities you can enjoy together. Dye Easter eggs as a family, make homemade Easter cookies or Easter candy, or plant some flower seeds together. You can also color in Easter pictures or springtime coloring books, make Easter designs out of sculpting clay or Play-doh, or try your hand at another Easter craft idea.

What ideas do you have for sharing Easter greetings with the important people in your lives? Please share in the comments below!


Basic Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring Cleaning ChecklistSpringtime is finally just about here and there’s no better time to get your house cleaned up than right now. You can tackle a great number of spring cleaning tasks when the weather first gets nice, and some of the tasks you can even take care of on a rainy day. Here is a spring cleaning checklist we’ve prepared with some of our very favorite chores to tackle in the early spring.

Before you get started on your spring cleaning, you may want to make your own Spring Cleaning To-Do list and review it for any materials you may need to buy. Be sure you have plenty of paper towels and cleaners, household wipes, and other cleaning necessities.

To fully tackle your spring cleaning, you should make a specific list for each room. In the meantime, here are some of the top spring cleaning tasks you can focus on this spring:

•    Empty out your kitchen cabinets, wipe them down, and reorganize everything. Find better ways to put everything back in so you have a neater kitchen.

•    Clean the inside and outside of all your appliances. Clean out your fridge of any old foods or condiments and wipe down all the drawers and shelves. Clean your oven and stove top. Wipe down the microwave. You get the idea.

•    Go through your pantry and get rid of any expired food. Organize everything so that you can always find what you’re looking for – keep the pastas together, the canned goods, soups, snacks, drinks, and so forth.

•    Clean the windows. No one likes this job, but if you are going to let any fresh air in your home, you might as well do it through clean windows. Open each window and swap out the storm windows for screens if you have them. Wipe down all the trim and windowsills as well as the inside tracks of the windows. Use Windex to clean any glass surfaces. Don’t forget any sliders or French doors!

•    Give your tile and hardwood floors a good cleaning. You can really brighten up a room with a shiny, clean floor.

•    Vacuum, sweep, dust, and generally straighten all the rooms in your house. Take the time to ensure each room looks its best from top to bottom. Check the corners of the ceiling for any cobwebs and check underneath furniture for any dust bunnies.

•    Clean out and organize your garage, basement, attic, and/or shed. Springtime is a great time to organize, de-clutter, and put everything back together. You’ll feel so much better once your home is organized and neat.

•    Tackle some yard work. Whether you want to get your beds ready for flowers or this year’s plantings or if you simply want to clear away anything left from last fall or the winter, this is a great time of year to get your yard looking great. You can also clean off patio furniture, and clean your grill, for starters.

•    Wipe down cabinets, walls, baseboards, light fixtures, and other surfaces. These surfaces get dusty over time and they can even collect dust bunnies and bugs here and there. Consider unscrewing any dome-style light fixtures to clear out any dust or bugs that may have gotten inside.

Some other good tasks to do around the house in the springtime may require you to bring a contractor or service company to your home. You may want to look into getting your vents cleaned out and replacing air filters (especially if you have spring allergies – be sure to get an allergy specific filter for your home). These are just a few examples – speak with your family members to see what other tasks you may need to tackle this spring.

To ensure you hit all your bases, take a look at your house one room at a time. Some rooms will have special needs as compared to other rooms. Your kitchen and bathrooms may present the biggest challenges while bedrooms may be a simpler task overall. It really depends on where you want to focus and what cleaning and organizing needs you currently have.

Please feel free to share any tips or other suggestions in our comments below!


Top Spring Break Destinations for 2012

Top Spring Break Destinations for 2012Spring break is here! I could almost hear the students’ delighted “Yeah!”

It is time to set aside formulas, essays, and books for awhile, don sexy swimwear, and head for the beaches for the tan, the sun, and tons of fun. Cars and suitcases are packed, beaches are pinpointed on the map, and travellers are all set to enjoy some of the top spring break destinations for 2012.

Here are the places Yahoo pooled as top spring break destinations for this year. This could give you an idea on where to go to unwind and enjoy your free days during spring break 2012.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Though some vacationers say it is not as hot as Panama City Beach, Myrtle Beach is still a good destination for a vacation. You can enjoy quiet times on the beach, as there are not usually big crowds of spring breakers. If you are looking for a peaceful recluse away from the hustle and bustle with a little nightlife on the side, then this place may be perfect for you.

Panama City Beach
It is dubbed as one of the hottest destinations for out-of-towners, vacationing families, spring breakers and adventure-seekers. Not surprising, as its miles-long white shore and clear, emerald waters seem to beckon to all to come for a swim. And just recently, last March 6, 450 women in their bikinis in this same beach broke the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Bikini Parade.

Virginia Beach
This beach is listed as the longest pleasure beach of the world. One of Virginia Beach’s main attractions is its boardwalk, a three-mile long concrete path overlooking the ocean, lined with vast arrays of hotels, restaurants, museums, and landmarks. If you’re a person who loves sightseeing and leisure-walking, check this place out for spring break 2012.

Daytona Beach
This popular Florida destination boasts 23 miles of long, sandy beaches with spring break as a long running tradition. Daytona Beach also offers budget-friendly accommodations for students and it is quite accessible whether by land or by air.

Santa Cruz Beach
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the famed landmark in this place – an amusement park by the ocean, founded in 1907. It is California’s oldest and one of the few located along the shore in the West Coast territory, a worthy place to visit. But a simple swim in the sea is another story and only for the gutsy as the beach is characterized by huge waves, the likes fit for surfing.

Miami Beach
Want to spend your spring break meeting a lot of people, having a great time at the beach, with an overload of nightlife and a chance to bump into a few of those glamorous stars you only see on TV? Then Miami Beach is the place for you. Make your spring break 2012 vacation unforgettable with a trip to Miami and all its hotspots.

Huntington Beach
The place is dubbed as “Surf City, USA,” as the beach is nicely suited for surfing. The mild climate also prevails in the area, so spring breakers must expect a not-so-hot climate during their stay.

Clearwater Beach
This place is known for its Beach Walk, a pedestrian zone lined with hotels and condos as well as shops and restaurants. The walk was a beautification project recently finished in 2008. Great nightlife is something you can find in this beach, as well as the Philadelphia Phillies spring training camp or nearby Tampa for the Yankees if you are into baseball.

Cocoa Beach
This beach boasts of being the small wave capital of the world and is a good spot for those learning to surf. Cocoa Beach offers a lot of fun activities during spring break, such as trying on water sports and sightseeing through airboat rides. You can also enjoy a relaxing stroll, beachcombing, and sports in the sand.

Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach boasts of pristine beaches and awesome views as all of its beaches and coves are marine-protected areas. If you want to try surfing, diving, tide pooling, and skin boarding, then this is the perfect spring break 2012 destination.

The catch is, not only college students are looking to have a break this spring. Yahoo revealed that of those who have recently searched for spring break spots, 20% of these are men aged 45-54! All work and no play makes a dull life, so more people should take the initiative and get away for a nice break this spring.


Green Drinks for St. Patty’s Day – Healthy Options with Juicing

Green Drinks for St. Patrick's DaySt. Patty’s Day is right around the corner and green drinks are a great way to celebrate. Even if you don’t want to partake in alcoholic beverages, you can find fun and healthy, non-alcoholic green drinks for St. Patty’s Day that you can enjoy at home or with friends. Consider these healthful green drinks as a fruity supplement to your diet these next few days and especially on St. Patrick’s Day.

You won’t need food coloring to decorate these green drinks. The natural and healthy combination of ingredients lets you feel good about your beverage of choice, which gives you ample servings of fruits and vegetables in one glass. Juicing is a great way to get your nutrients without the preservatives you will find in most bottled drinks. Because juicing extracts the nutrients in greater quantities than the fruits and veggies themselves, you are able to consume more vitamins and healthy nutrients in one sitting.

Consider these green juice recipes from OMEGA Juicers:

The Ultimate Pot of Gold

Green Drinks for St. Patrick's DayIngredients:
Orange Apple Green Juice
2 stalks celery
1/2 cucumber
1 apple
2 oranges
3 big handfuls of sunflower sprouts
1 big handful of broccoli sprouts
3 leaves of kale
1 handful of spinach
1 handful dandelion greens
1 handful cilantro
1 handful beet greens
2 baby bok choy
juice of 1 lemon
1 inch of grated ginger

1.    Combine all ingredients in a juicer.
2.    Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy.

Green Drinks for St. Patrick's DayLuck of the Parsley

1 handful parsley
2 apples
1 handful spinach
1 cucumber
1 lemon
1-inch piece ginger

1.    Combine all ingredients in a juicer.
2.    Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy.

Green Drinks for St. Patrick's DayThe Crazy Dublin

3-4 leaves of Kale
5 large Romaine Lettuce leaves
1 Beet, 1/2 bunch of Cilantro
1 Lime, 2 cups fresh Spinach
1/2 Apple
Cherry tomatoes for garnish (optional)

1.    Combine all ingredients in a juicer.
2.    Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy.

Irish Twist

Green Drinks for St. Patrick's DayIngredients:
3 cups fresh baby Spinach
1 Lime, 1 large Tomato
2-3 Carrots and 1/2 Carrot top bunch
1/2 bunch Parsley
1 stalk Celery

1.    Combine all ingredients in a juicer.
2.    Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy.


Green Drinks for St. Patrick's DayGreen Morning

4-6 Carrots
4 stalks of Celery
1 Lemon
1 Macintosh or Yellow Apple

1.    Combine all ingredients in a juicer.
2.    Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy.

For more information about OMEGA Juicer products, please visit www.OmegaJuicers.com.


DIY Easter Egg Hunt at Home

DIY Easter Egg Hunt at HomeEaster time is sneaking up on us, along with the warmer weather and now even daylight savings time. Planning a DIY Easter egg hunt at home can be a great pastime for your family and especially for grandparents hosting their little grandsons and granddaughters. Your DIY Easter egg hunt can be custom designed to suit any budget and any number of egg hunters. Consider these tips to help you get started.

Before you get started on your Easter egg hunt with all the trimmings, first consider your guests of honor. You will need to choose appropriate Easter egg fillers like candy, money, small toys, chewing gum, and so forth, but you want to make sure you choose items that are age-appropriate, gender appropriate, and above all, safe. If you have a child with a peanut allergy or a chocolate allergy in attendance, it is best to avoid those allergens completely. No peanut butter cups, not even the Easter egg shaped ones. If you have young children attending who may still try to put things immediately in their mouths, you may want to avoid putting money in the eggs (quarters, etc.), as well as other small trinkets and toys.

Now that you have a good idea of who is coming and what kind of Easter egg prizes you should avoid, consider these tips to help you plan a fun and memorable Easter egg hunt at home.

•    Vary the sizes of the plastic Easter eggs to make it more interesting. Larger eggs can hold larger prizes, and smaller eggs can be fun because they can easily hide in smaller spaces. You can also hide really good prizes inside the smallest plastic eggs for a good trick on your egg hunt team.

•    Choose a selection of fun Easter egg fillers. To keep things interesting, you might want to include a variety of prizes, including candy, gum, money, small toys, and other trinkets. If you have older kids and still want to do the egg hunt, consider including items like lip balm or other makeup, gift cards, and other useful prizes.

•    Fill your plastic Easter eggs at least the night before your egg hunt. Filling the plastic eggs can be rather time consuming. Put on a good movie or cuddle up to watch your favorite show and fill up the Easter eggs at least one day before your hunt. If it is the night before your egg hunt, you can also hide the eggs as soon as you are comfortable doing so. That can also take some time – be sure to hide a few eggs in unlikely places, maybe inside the bathtub or the freezer.

•    Ensure fairness in groups. To keep things fair with multiple kids participating, give all participants the same number of eggs to find. It doesn’t have to matter if the eggs are big or small or a combination – simply encourage the kids to find exactly the right number of eggs so everyone gets the same number of prizes. If you want, you can award a separate prize for the person who gets done the egg hunt first.

•    Take lots of pictures. Once you’ve filled and hidden all the eggs and set the kids loose on the egg hunt, you can kick back, relax, and snap away as they romp through your home or outside if it’s nice enough.

In summary, the Easter egg hunt is a great tradition to enjoy with your family and extended family. Gather all the materials you’ll need – plastic eggs, candy, toys, trinkets, and money – and get all the pieces in place for your DIY Easter egg hunt. Your egg hunt is sure to become a great yearly or biyearly event the entire family can enjoy.


Spring Travel Ideas for the Family

Spring Travel Ideas for the FamilySearching for spring travel ideas for the family? If you live up north, then you would surely benefit from the idea of going south. Just like birds, your ideal climate for spring would be the sunny warmth of the beaches of Florida, San Diego California, or even Hawaii. The Caribbean, Mediterranean, Southeast Asian, and Latin American countries also have perfect climates to go swimming. Here are some ideas you might want to consider.

Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida has a variety of theme parks that kids, teens, and adults could all enjoy. There’s Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Orlando is your best bet if you have younger kids. They have this curiosity that the different activities in theme parks will satisfy.


Kauai Surf School, Hawaii
Surf, sun, and sand. Families with older kids on spring break can enroll in group sessions while grandparents have a relaxing read on the shore. For sure, learning to surf is something that your older kids would enjoy as well as seeing their parents getting wiped out.

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, Mexico
For those of you who want a laid back vacation, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo in Mexico can be the perfect place to go. It’s perfect for new parents who want to bring their toddlers along. You could go biking along the nature reserve or have your kids play with the dolphins at Delfiniti Hotel. Afterwards, you can grab a bite of real Mexican enchiladas.

Washington, DC
Drive with your kids to the nation’s capital where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom this season. In fact, if you’re lucky enough, your trip might just be highlighted by the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which commemorates the receipt of Washington of the thousands of cherry blossoms from Tokyo. This is a perfect opportunity for photography enthusiasts to take pictures of the colors of spring.

A cultural and historical tour of the city is also a must. It is rich with museums, monuments, and libraries. In fact, some government buildings like the White House provide guided tours to its visitors.

Club Med, Dominican Republic
Club Med makes it easy for parents to travel with a very young set of children. The oceanfront suites provide you with essentials like bath tubs, baby food, and strollers, and this is what makes the trip worthwhile. There are plenty activities for your pumpkin patch, such as camps and baby gyms where both kids and parents get to spend time with each other.

Liberty of the Seas, A Royal Caribbean Cruise
If you have the luxury of taking a long leave from work, then you should consider going on a cruise. In fact, you might want to take the Royal Caribbean Cruise if you have kids in the college bracket. The ship, Liberty of the Seas, is the largest one in the world and has plenty of athletic activities for them to do. Perhaps it could be your subtle way of telling them to lose a few pounds. Apart from the multitude of dining options, there is a water park, a theatre that offers lessons to the passengers, as well as a deck to lounge on.

Spring break may be tainted with images of wild American college students letting it loose thanks to MTV, but in fact, spring break is one such occasion that can bring a family closer together. Since schools from different states end at different times, not many people go on vacation all at the same time. This means that, compared to its summer and winter counterparts, spring breaks are conducive to sharing quality time with the family when travelling. These spring travel ideas for the family are just a few examples of the many out there. All you have to do is gather your kids, find a place to go, and book your flight.


Yummy St. Patrick’s Day Appetizers

St. Patrick's Day Food AppetizersSt. Patrick’s Day brings with it an inherent need to eat, drink, and be merry, all the while socializing with close friends and family or strangers alike. Some yummy St. Patrick’s Day appetizers can help to ensure your Irish festivities kick off without a hitch. Whether you love corned beef, potatoes, Guinness, or something else entirely, you can certainly find the right spread of Irish appetizers to suit your own preferences as well as tickling the taste buds of all your guests. Before it gets too close to March 17, check out these St. Patrick’s food appetizer ideas to get you started, and then you can worry about festive St. Patrick’s Day drinks to whet your appetite even more!

No matter if your group size is great or small you can put together a delicious selection of Irish apps to enjoy with your green beer or St. Patty’s cocktails. Here are a few fun ideas for delicious St. Patrick’s Day appetizers you can make and enjoy at home or bring with you to someone else’s festivities:

Warm Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl
Spinach dip is a great party staple and even more appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. This fun recipe for a spinach dip bread bowl whips up enough servings for 10 to 12 people, making it a great St. Patty’s Day appetizer choice for your Irish lunch or dinner party. Check out the Warm Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl recipe to ensure your guests have a fun and delicious Irish snack to enjoy at your party.

St. Patrick's Day Food AppetizersIrish Cheese Fondue
As far as interactive and fun St. Patrick’s Day appetizers, don’t forget about a festive Irish cheese fondue setup. You can dip potato wedges, raw veggies, and crusty bread into yummy melted cheese. If you wish, you can expand your Irish fondue experience to include chunks of chicken, beef, or shrimp. For great inspiration, check out this awesome post on Irish Cheese Fondue.

Paddy’s Reuben Dip
Just like the Reuben sandwich, this fun and festive St. Patrick’s Day appetizer features corned beef in a yummy dip that goes great with crackers or chips. Simply pop the ingredients in a slow cooker and serve it as a tasty appetizer or St. Patty’s Day snack. Check out the Paddy’s Reuben Dip recipe to make your own.

Beef & Guinness Stew
This Irish beef stew makes a wonderful addition to your spread of St. Patrick’s Day appetizers. Simmering in dark beer makes the beef and veggies tender and perfect. Cook up a pot of this traditional Irish appetizer for your St. Patty’s Day festivities. Try the recipe for Beef & Guinness Stew just in time for March 17!

Shepherd’s Pie Minis
For a fun spin on a traditional favorite, make your own mini Shepherd’s Pies for St. Patrick’s food appetizers at your next gathering. Simply use the same recipe for Shepherd’s Pie that you normally would and just change the baking dish. Make your Shepherd’s Pie minis in smaller oven-safe soufflé cups or in muffin tins for the perfect appetizer portions. If you use the muffin pans, be sure to put in the cupcake wrappers so your Shepherd’s Pies become mobile enough to move from pan to plate.

What other fun and delicious St. Patrick’s food, appetizers, and snacks do you enjoy this time of year? If you have any other suggestions or thoughts on these St. Patrick’s Day appetizer suggestions, please share your feedback and ideas in our comments below. Also, don’t forget to try some other St. Patrick’s Day cocktails and green drinks for even more fun.


Low Calorie and Low Effort Saint Patrick’s Day Cocktails

St Pat DrinksSaint Patrick’s Day cocktails are a must for your St. Pat’s celebration this year, especially since the feted holiday happens to fall on a weekend. Saturday, March 17 marks a favorite holiday for many people, with hues of green, aromas of corned beef and cabbage, and parades and Irish festivals spanning as far as the eye can see. Be sure your St. Patrick’s Day weekend is complete with fun St. Pat drinks that you can mix up at home minus the guilt.

No matter if you plan to spend St. Patty’s Day at home or out at a bar or club, you can still find time to enjoy a cocktail or two before your festivities kick off. Try these low-calorie St. Patrick’s Day cocktails and pre-made cocktail mixes as the main focus or an easy way to pregame and give your holiday weekend a special kick!

Fun and Festive St. Pat Drinks
Try these delightful low-calorie cocktails, just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick's Day CocktailsThe Ferguson

1.5 oz Voli lemon
.75 oz apple pucker
2 fresh lemon squeezes
Glass: Rocks

1.    Combine all ingredients.
2.    Top with soda.
3.    Add an apple slice for garnish.

Approximate Calories: 118 Calories

Luck of the Irish

Saint Patrick's Day Cocktails1.5 oz Voli Raspberry Cocoa
1 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz agave nectar
Glass: Highball

1.    In a mixing tin, add ice, Voli Raspberry Cocoa, lime juice, agave, and shake.
2.    Strain into a glass with ice.
3.    Garnish with mint sprig.

Approximate Calories: 120

Get Lucky

St Pat DrinksIngredients:
1.5 oz Voli LYTE or Voli Lemon
1/2 fresh lime
8 mint leaves
1 packet sweetener
Club soda
Glass: Highball

1.    Muddle lime, mint and sweetener.
2.    Add Voli, shake lightly, and pour all ingredients in a glass.
3.    Top with club soda.
4.    Add a mint sprig for garnish.

Approximate Calories: 85 calories

Tip – For a fun twist, consider adding fruits to this, such as blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, red berrie, or mango.

Pot of Gold

Saint Patrick's Day Cocktails MartiniIngredients:
2 oz Voli Lyte
.5 oz Elderflower syrup or liqueur
4 chunks cucumber (inch thick)
8 fresh mint leaves
Ginger beer
Glass: Martini

1.    Muddle cucumber and mint. Add Voli and elderflower.
2.    Shake and strain then top with ginger beer.
3.    Garnish with cucumber wheel and mint.

Approximate Calories: 178 calories

For more information about Voli Light Vodkas, please see http://www.volispirits.com.

VnC Cocktails “Leprechaun’s Gold”
St Patty's Day DrinksThis pre-made cocktail mix features premium New Zealand vodka, mint and lime juice – a fun Mojito Margarita combo that fits the bill for the festivities of St. Patty’s Day. VnC Cocktails are all natural, free from preservatives, and designed for the ultimate convenience without sacrificing taste. VnC Cocktails “Leprechaun’s Gold” has only 150 calories or less, making it a guilt-free choice for your St. Pat’s celebration. For more information, please see http://www.vnccocktails.com.

What other drinks do you enjoy for St. Patrick’s Day? Consider making your own St. Pat’s cocktails as a fun and festive tradition you can enjoy year after year. Here are a few additional St. Patrick’s Day drinks to consider. Please feel free to share any other ideas in our comments below.


Weekend Beauty Ideas to Enjoy at Home or Away

Weekend Beauty IdeasThe weekend is a wonderful time to enjoy some “me time,” whether it’s dabbling in weekend beauty ideas just by yourself or time shared with some of your best girl friends. Weekend beauty ideas can be quick and simple or daring and quite involved. Here is a list of fun beauty ideas you can try on the weekend, no matter if you are at home or wanting to go out for the day to enjoy some pampering.

Weekend beauty ideas can fit any budget, from a simple at-home manicure or pedicure to an extravagant, daylong visit to the spa with your best friends. Before you get too involved in your beauty plans, first determine a budget and stick to it. You can also ask your friends to bring various supplies to cut down on costs, if you plan to try your weekend beauty ideas at home.

At-Home Weekend Beauty Ideas
Consider these fun and relaxing weekend beauty ideas you can enjoy in the comfort of your home:
•    Enjoy an at-home mani / pedi with a foot spa or tub for a nice foot soak.
•    Do your own nail art for your nails and your friends.
•    Try facial mud masques for a great way to invigorate your skin. Don’t forget the cucumber slices!
•    Make your own facial masques using natural ingredients, fruits, vegetables, and the like.
•    Take turns giving each other makeovers using your favorite makeup products.
•    Try a bold and daring new hair color using a box of hair dye at home.

Extravagant Weekend Beauty Ideas
Check out these beauty ideas for a weekend at the spa or other fun location:
•    Head to the salon to get your nails done – mani / pedi or whatever you like.
•    Get your hair and makeup done with a few close friends before going out on the town for girls’ night!
•    Sign up for massages and then grab a bite to eat once you are finished and feeling great.
•    Try one of the other spa treatments like professional facials or a body wrap.
•    Get a new haircut, hair color, or other style you can enjoy.

In addition to the fun weekend beauty activities above, you can also take the time to ensure your hair and makeup look perfect for whatever your weekend plans have in store. Consider darker eyeliner, sparkly eye shadow, and mascara that makes no mistake about your long and luxurious lashes. Finish your look with some lip balm, lip gloss, or lipstick and voila – you are ready for a fun night out with the girls or with the guy of your dreams.

Weekends give you lots of time to primp and prep yourself for a fun evening or even a date with your sweetheart. If you are in the mood for some fun weekend beauty ideas, consider these above or share your favorite ideas in our comments below.