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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Father's Day is coming in a few short weeks. Here is a list of unique gift ideas for Dad that he might actually have on his bucket list!

1.) Glider Ride. Send him soaring through the clouds!

2.) Classes. Sign him up for any variety of classes such as cooking, art, foreign language, photography, Tai Chi, etc.

3.) Car Detailing Kit. For the man who loves his car as much as he loves you!

4.) Car washes for a year. See #3.

5.) Tickets to a concert, show, play, exhibit, etc.


Here are a few great ideas from our test kitchen in Colchester!

- Eww, what's that smell? Don't overpay for a pricey bar of stainless steel "soap" scent remover. You can rub your hands on any stainless steel object (serving spoon, pan, etc) you have lying around the kitchen to remove the lingering garlic or onion smell from your hands. We also heard a dollop of toothpaste also works wonders!

-Do you find yourself making a mess when refilling your salt and pepper shakers? You know the ones that you have to turn over and fill from the bottom? Next time you have to refill them, place a piece of tape (any kind works) over the holes, and flip over the shakers! TADA no mess!

-Hard brown sugar? Toss a few marshmallows in the bag before you reseal it. They will keep the sugar moist for weeks!

-Want the perfectly frosted cake? Next time you are frosting a cake, place the cake on a cardboard round the same diameter as your cake and then place that on top of a large over turned bowl. Raising the cake up with out obstructing the sides allows you to frost all the way to the bottom of the cake with ease!


Next time you can't get a thread through the eye of your needle, try spraying the thread with hairspray! The end will stiffen, allowing you to thread with ease. If you are working with yarn, try a dab of glue for the same effect!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gifts Most Hosts Will Toast!

Hurray, Hurray, it's Spring time and that means PARTIES!!! From graduations to the first neighborhood cookouts to weddings, here are some hostess gifts that go the distance!

-Fancy, breakfast syrup (Not maple, that's boring!)
-Set of drink coasters to help protect the heirloom coffee tables.
-Personalized Note Cards.
-6-pack of annauls or perennials to plant
-Compostable Picnic Kit (Biodegradble bag, untensils, etc.)
-Gourmet goodies like Indian simmer sauce, curry powder, etc. plus a recipe
-Tea Towels
-Gourmet Coffee or tea.
-Gourmet popcorn and a movie rental gift certificate. Look for gourmet popcorn

You Said Whaaaat?! 1.0

There is no doubt you are being swamped with graduation party invites! Here are some things NOT to say to the lucky grad.

DON'T SAY: "What can you do with that degree?"
WHY: It's insulting and it invalidates his/her hard work.
INSTEAD SAY: "Tell me about the class that inspired you to dive into that major?"

DON'T SAY: "You should go to law school."
WHY: Not everyone wants to be a lawyer.
INSTEAD SAY: "Are you thinking of grad school?"

DON'T SAY: "Do you have a job lined up?"
WHY: It is embrassing if the grad says "No".
INSTEAD SAY: "So what are your plans for the summer?"

DON'T SAY: "The economy has been bad before, you'll get through it."
WHY: That is not encouraging at all. It is a total downer.
INSTEAD SAY: "Maybe I can help you network!"

DON'T SAY: "Your cousin/sister/best friend/neighbor just got out of school and is doing well.
WHY: You are rubbing the grad's nose in the fact he/she does not have anything lined up.
INSTEAD SAY: "Your cousin/sister/best friend/neighbor landed a job at (insert place of employment here), would you like them to check to see if there are any openings?

You Said Whatttttt?! 2.0

Here is a list of what NOT to say in conversation as you make the rounds at your Spring social events.

DON'T SAY: "You look tired."
WHY: It implies he/she doesn't look so hot.
INSTEAD SAY: "Is everything ok?"

DON'T SAY: "Wow, you lost a lot of weight!"
WHY: It implies that they previously looked unattractive.
INSTEAD SAY: "Wow, you look FIERCE!"

DON'T SAY: "You look good for your age!"
WHY: It implies that you are amazed that they still have all their teeth and haven't been put in a home.
INSTEAD SAY: "You look terrific!"

DON'T SAY: "I could never wear that!"
WHY: It implies that the outfit they're wearing is ugly, slutty, dated, etc.
INSTEAD SAY: "You can really pull off ass-less chaps!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So when we said we'd be back next week, we obviously meant we'd be back next month! Oops, our bad. Now we are back in action with part two of Michael and Arik's wedding hints.

Why carry a poesy when you can carry a pinwheel? We decided that we wanted a fun, modern take on the traditional bouquet and boutonniere so we decided to use paper pinwheels that we are making ourselves to match our color scheme! The "grooms" maids will be wearing pinwheel fascinators and holding oversized pinwheels in place of bouquets. The groomsmen will be wearing pinwheel boutonnieres! Fun, right?! These pinwheels are easy to create using 12x12 scrapbooking paper, dowels, and some hardware. We will feature step-by-step instructions in a future post!

Centerpieces for Peanuts!

You don't have to spend a fortune to get professional looking centerpeices at your reception!

-Here are a few inexpensive ideas to add a reflective touch to your tables. Try running a "behind the door" mirror down the center of a long table to help anchor several smaller arrangements. Another great idea is to use blank CDs turned upside down for a cheap alternative to candle mirrors. Using mirrored surfaces can help you to "double" your flowers without doubling the price.

-Instead of vases try using a collection of teapots which you can arrange yourself with a few large blossoms and greenery.

-For an edgy, modern look try filling a cylinder vase with monochromatic stones and arrange an array of painted dowels to match your color scheme as you would flowers.

- Try making "birds nests" using small straw wreathes, moss, small branches, wooden eggs, and faux birds for a fun whimsical touch!

Is That A Lump In Your Throat or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Are you afraid you are going to choke up as you walk down the aisle? We've got a tip for you! The lump is actually caused by your glottis (which is the opening in your throat that carries air to your lungs) which opens at the same time your air passage opens. This is simply triggered by your nervous system and what you are feeling is tension in your throat. Take deep breathes concentrating on relaxing your throat and try and think of "happy" thoughts!

Take A Break For Your Waistline's Sake

Need to shed a few pounds before your big day (or any reason for that matter)? Try this low effort idea. At lunch time, take a break away from your desk at work. Studies show that people who ate while using their computer ate twice as much as those who took a break. They also reported not feeling as full after eating and in some cases not remembering what they even ate!