Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Leftovers

A typical tradition of Thanksgiving is to have leftovers of Turkey; however, most people don't want the usual turkey and gravy day after day, so I have listed some ideas below and here to keep you from getting bored.

The possibilities are endless!
Continue to be thankful for all you have, I sure am!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black Friday Deals

Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States. This day marks the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. Many retailers open extremely early, with most of the retailers typically opening at 5AM or even earlier.  Upon opening, retailers offer doorbuster deals and some even provide freebies for the first hundred or so shoppers.  This draws people to their stores.

Although Black Friday has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924; the term "Black Friday" has been traced back only to the late 1960's. This term was also originally used on the East Coast, in Philadelphia, in reference to the heavy traffic on that day but more recently, merchants and the media have used it to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being in the black (i.e., turning a profit).

Now that everyone has had their history lesson on Black Friday, I wanted to send you all a few links to get prepared for your shopping experience.  Here is a great link to get you started to see what deals are out there for your favorite stores.  These sites show you what sales are going on for Friday and possibly even on Thursday.  So, check these out before you head out.

If you want to get started even sooner, go to these websites and get their Black Friday or special Thanksgiving deals online.
  • Amazon (already begun)
  • Dell (already begun)
  • MacMall (already begun)
  • Newegg, sale starts at 6:00 pm EST tonight (Wednesday)
  • Sears starts at 9:00 pm EST (Wednesday)
  • Sam's Club starts at 11:00 pm EST (Wednesday)
  • Toys R Us Black Friday deals starts at 12:01 am EST (Thanksgiving)
  • Office Max Black Friday deals starts at 8:00 am EST (Thanksgiving)
  • Walmart Thanksgiving day specials starts at 3:00 am EST (Thanksgiving)
  • Walmart Black Friday starts at 3:00 am EST (Black Friday)
  • Target, Kohls, JC Penney and other Black Friday deals will begin on Thanksgiving morning (doesn't hurt to check out your favorite store's website to see if their sales have already begun)
Happy deal finding!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Centerpieces & Crafts

Thanksgiving is upon us once again and I wish you all a wonderful day and week ahead to spend with your family and friends.  Enjoy those around you!

Here are some ideas for centerpieces and crafts to enjoy this Thanksgiving.

  • Add a beautiful fall colored table runner to your table.
  • Have a bowl and a pad of paper on or near the table.  Ask your guests to write down what they are thankful for and to fold it and put it in the bowl.  Before it is time to eat, have random guests open and read them. 
  •  A cornucopia basket or vase dressed up with small pumpkins, apples, pears, gourds, squash and chestnuts will add a pretty appearance to your table.
  • Take the same fruits and vegetables listed above and arrange them around a row of candles that vary in height.  Add different colored leaves from outside to the table for a pop of color (please make sure to wash them, so no bugs end up on your food and pick them from outside that same day, so they don't wilt).
  • If you want a floral centerpiece, Chrysanthemums (also known as Mums), yellow or orange Lilies, as well as other Fall colored flowers are great to add to your table.  Put them in a nice vase or pot and place them in the center or all around your home to add some beauty and extra fragrance.

Make sure to have things for the kids to do.  If you don't want the younger crowd watching TV or playing video games, provide them with things to do together as a group, so they are involved and engaged.

This site, this site, and this site too can provide you with countless craft ideas. Also, keep some coloring books or plain white paper along with colored pencils, crayons or markers out for the kids so they can create their own drawings and maybe put on paper what they are thankful for this year.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Keeping Area Rugs in Place

Many of us have area rugs either on hardwood, tile or on top of carpeting.  Rugs can give dimension and color to your room. The problem sometimes is keeping your rug from moving and bunching up.  I have listed some items that can help keep your rugs in place.

On Hard Flooring:
  • Rug pads do the trick for rugs on top of ceramic and hardwood floors.  If the pad is too big, make sure to cut it so that it is just slightly smaller than the actual rug itself.
  • Double sided sticky tape can be put on the back of rugs; once placed, make sure to put some weight on them when you have them where they should be placed so that they will keep from moving. 
  • Some are labeled as carpet tape but the double sided tape works just as well on hard floors.
  • Duct tape can be used if you don't have a pad to place underneath.
  • I have also tried the rubber drawer liners that are usually used for kitchen cabinets underneath rugs and it has worked just as well with no bunching or moving.
  • I have also heard that velcro strips work but I have never seen that before.
On Soft Sufaces (i.e. Carpet)
Conventional rug pads do not work for rugs that are placed on top of carpets; the piles (the actual carpet "hair") will simply shift whenever someone walks on it and it will bunch up and never stay in place. There are not many solutions for this, but some ideas are listed below. 

  • Try those hard plastic floor mats that are used under office chairs and then place a rug pad or any of the items that I have listed in the first section, on top of the mat and then place your rug on top of that. The mat will act as hard flooring. Vinyl mats also work.
  • Heavy rugs work better than lighter weight rugs and won't easily bunch and create rolls.
  • You can try to place heavy furniture (sofa, chairs, etc.) on the edges of the rug to anchor the rug down.
  • I contacted a carpet store to see if they know of any item that would work and I was told that any local store that sells area rugs should be able to help.  So, if you are desparately in need of something that works and the above solutions didn't help, try this one out.  These stores can sell you a special pad that has net on the back of it which stops the rug from moving on top of carpeting. Not sure how expensive it would be but it's certainly worth a shot.
I hope these solutions help!

Have a wonderful week. 


Monday, November 9, 2009

Getting Involved & Helping Others

Have you ever thought of doing something nice for someone else - whether they are less fortunate or not - but you really just don't know where to begin?

Here are some ways that you can help, both big and small.
  • Have you ever seen someone when you are driving in the rain and they have no umbrella and are getting drenched? Well, I have and I have always wanted to just give my umbrella in the car to them, but I never time, I will make a bigger effort to do so, you can do that as well (the same thing goes with gloves, scarves, etc).

  • Give someone that you know that has lost a loved one or is going through a hard time and give them a card, bake some cookies, provide some food, maybe get them a book to help them deal with their loss or struggle - anything to let them know that someone cares.

  • Running marathons for a favorite charity, is always helpful in raising funds for further research to eradicate certain diseases besides getting you in better shape. To those of you that have run a marathon...and I know many that have...I am in awe of your determination, stamina and desire to go through this.

  • Another way to do something nice for others is to recycle - you are doing something nice for more than one person by doing this. Even if you start by recycling one plastic container at a time, this could be better than what you did yesterday and that is still better than doing nothing at all.

  • Become involved in a Big Brother/Big Sister programs and mentor a child.

  • Join Best Buddies, where you can develop friendships (become a pen pal or an e-Buddy), or donate money to provide employment and leadership opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • Habitat for Humanity is a great organization where they seek to "eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action." If you can't help in the building process, you can certainly help by donating funds to them.

  • You can help donate money to Miracle Flights for Kids, which is a nonprofit that flies seriously ill children and their parents to specialists across the country.

  • Another great organization for children is the Ronald McDonald House, in operation since 1974. Ronald McDonald Houses are located around the world and help families by providing them with a place to stay when their children are receiving treatment for a serious illness or injury. These homes are close in proximity to the hospital or treatment center and allows the family to be comfortable and cared for during their stay.

Just remember that no matter how big or small your deed is, just knowing that you have gone out of your way to do something nice for another human being is priceless!

Continue your random acts of kindness!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Leftovers from Halloween

What do you do with leftover candy (that you don't want the kids to eat or that you don't like yourself) from Halloween or any other event? Here are some ideas of what to do with leftover candy and pumpkins.

  • Chop up the chocolate candy or candy corn that you did not hand out on Halloween and use them in your cookie recipes.

  • Use the leftover candy for the gingerbread house that you will make around the Christmas holidays.

  • Save the candy for Christmas treats for guests.

  • Save the candy for a child's goody bag that might be near the holidays.

  • Save the candy and put them in a pinata for the holidays, who says that pinatas are only for birthdays?

  • Take the candy in to work, so others can enjoy it.

  • Take the candy in to a homeless shelter, there are kids and adults there that would appreciate it.

  • Melt the chocolate bars for chocolate-covered strawberries.

  • Melt the chocolate bars and make chocolate fondue.

  • Use the pulp from the pumpkin and make pumpkin pies, soups and breads.

  • Clean out the pumpkin and use it as a vase to put flowers in.

  • Wash the pumpkin seeds and roast them for a nutritious snack.

  • Pumpkins can be used in the compost for use as a fertilizer.

  • If you have a garden, bury the pumpkin in it, it will enrich the soil.

I hope these tips were useful and I hope that everyone had a great Halloween!


Whatever It Takes