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home : cannon falls lifestyles : holidays
December 15, 2017

The hidden benefits of winter road maintenance
(BPT) - More than 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in areas affected by snow and ice. Each winter the average driver in these areas will see more than 5 inches of snow on the roads. And when the snow is falling, there are few things more comforting than the sight of snowplows and salt trucks... More >>


5 tips to savor, not splurge during the holidays
(BPT) - What do we say about the holiday season? It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Amidst the wonder of the season that includes plenty of shopping and celebrating, spending can get out of control. Before we know it, bills come due and suddenly things really aren’t so wonderful ... More >>


The most wonderful (and stressful) time of year. Could you be suffering from seasonal anxiety? Find out how to cope.
(BPT) - Hot cocoa by a crackling fire. The sounds of family and friends’ laughter heard throughout the house. Your favorite holiday movies on the television. This is the idyllic holiday scene. But what’s the reality? Statistics show us that the holiday season, portrayed as the most wond... More >>


Avoid a #HolidayFail this Season [Infographic]
(BPT) - Tired of burning holiday cookies? Working in the kitchen while your guests enjoy the party? The holidays are here and so are common mishaps. With tips from Cook Beautiful author Athena Calderone and interior designer Nate Berkus, have a #HolidayFail Proof season! ... More >>


3 simple tips to get delicious, balanced weeknight meals on the table
(BPT) - Weekday schedules get crazy, which is why the first casualty of all that chaos is the family dinner.While most families say eating together is a high priority, day-to-day reality is different. According to a 2013 poll by NPR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, only half of children in t... More >>


Tips to protect yourself from online shopping scams this holiday season
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Inspired last-minute gifts for everyone on your list
(BPT) - The holiday season is a time of year when you want to show how much you care with your generosity and thoughtfulness. But as expected, searching for holiday gifts can bring the longest shopping sprees (and lines) of the year. Not only do you have to find the right gift for the right person,... More >>


5 simple steps to make your own gourmet gift basket for less
(BPT) - Birthday, anniversary, holiday or "just because" — gift baskets are the perfect way to show you care. Filled with gourmet goodies, they are customizable delights no matter the person's age or personality.This great gift idea does have one downfall: They can be expensive. Fortunately, ... More >>


Senior guest? How to prepare your home for older visitors
(BPT) - Whether it's for a special occasion or just because, hosting an older adult in your home can be a wonderful experience with lots of memory-making potential. However, for a safe and successful visit, you may want to make a few adjustments to your home before they arrive to make it more senio... More >>


5 helpers for hassle-free holiday hosting
(BPT) - While hosting the holidays can be a nerve-wracking experience, it doesn’t have to completely derail the rest of the joy of the season. The truth is even the most veteran holiday hosts feel some anxiety leading up to the big day. There’s a ton to do and remembering it all can be ... More >>


New survey unwraps holiday photo-taking insights among U.S. families
(BPT) - A photo with family and friends — ugly sweaters and all — is a holiday tradition. But getting everyone posed in front of the fireplace is just the first step. From selecting the right settings, to taking the photo, to sending it to our loved ones, so much goes into capturing the... More >>


4 steps for a foolproof guide to holiday preparation
(BPT) - Although there is plenty of love circulating around the holiday season, the thought of entertaining in the comforts of your home can be a stressful factor that often feels like a massive responsibility. Luckily, culinary and design guru Athena Calderone of the popular lifestyle blog EyeSwoo... More >>


Black hole, begone: 5 tips for curating your treasured photos
(BPT) - Are you one of those dedicated people who snap great photos at every meaningful moment of your life? And do most of those shots end up in virtual memory, filed away in a sea of unsorted images?If so, you’re far from alone. Analysts say a whopping 1.2 trillion photos will be taken acro... More >>


5 pro tips for a hassle-free Christmas tree
(BPT) - Decking the halls for Christmas takes a lot of effort and planning. Whether you’re the type to go all in or opt for a minimalist approach, there's nothing like a Christmas tree to create a festive focal point in any room.As beautiful as they are, though, Christmas trees, both fresh an... More >>


Need a vacation where it's warm? How about a quick weekend escape to this sunny coastal getaway?
(BPT) - Step outside. Is it cold, windy and gray? Snowy even? Yep, those are sure signs winter is upon us. The bright leaves of autumn have faded, the pumpkin-flavored beverages are starting to wane, and the kids already are developing a serious case of cabin fever. But there’s a remedy for a... More >>


Simple ways to give back all year long
(BPT) - The old saying, “It is better to give than receive,” is never better illustrated than during the holiday season when gift giving is at its peak. But, how often does the purpose of giving get lost in the rush of shopping and deadlines?It’s easy to forget that there are many... More >>


8 gifts to enjoy all year long
(BPT) - With the holiday season in full swing, many people are heading to a local department store, or their favorite website, to tick off their holiday shopping lists. While some gifts are fun for the instant gratification they provide, it is nice to give goods that can be enjoyed for months, and ... More >>


Save energy and money this holiday season
(BPT) - The holidays are a wonderful time of year to gather and celebrate with family and friends. This time of year is also when expenses can soar, especially your utility bills. Thankfully, Chip Wade, HGTV(R) expert, has some advice on how you can save energy, and, ultimately, money, this holiday... More >>


The hidden dangers of oversharing on social media
(BPT) - Locking doors and windows and leaving a light on used to deter criminals from breaking into homes when you were away on vacation, but our obsession with sharing photos and experiences in real time on social media has created a whole new security risk for travelers. According to Mercury Insu... More >>


5 simple ways to survive the holiday season
(BPT) - For most of us, the holidays are the busiest time of year. From finding the best deals to stuffing stockings, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and forget the spirit of the season. Instead of enjoying valuable time with family and friends, the holidays are often defined b... More >>


5 tips for staying healthy this holiday season
(BPT) - As the holiday season approaches, it is as important as ever to stay healthy.With holiday parties and family gatherings, illnesses like the flu can spread easily — and you don’t want to miss out on the festivities.As the largest provider of influenza vaccine to the U.S., Sanofi ... More >>


Thoughtful Gifts For Colleagues: 4 Easy Steps to Create Delight
(BPT) - It’s that time of year when employees are seeking meaningful and appropriate holiday gifts for their coworkers and clients.While the process should be fun, because such gifts can inadvertently send unspoken messages to their recipients, making the right choice at the right time can be... More >>


6 fast fixes for a fresh, cozy home
(BPT) - As temperatures drop, you and your family will be spending more time living indoors — working, playing, relaxing and staying warm. More time indoors means it's more important to keep your home fresh by staying ahead of the continual buildup of dirt, dust and allergens. Plus, taking a ... More >>


5 steps for a successful holiday gathering
(BPT) - The holiday season is about spending quality time with family and friends. Many people will host gatherings and parties during this time of year. Keep stress levels at an all-time low by taking some seamless shortcuts to pull off a get together of any size – whether a football watch p... More >>


Entertaining tips: Worry-free ways to clean before your guests arrive
(BPT) - For many of us, this is the best time of the year to spend with friends, family and lots of food. The weather has turned colder, the clocks have shifted back and we’re ready to invite guests over to eat, laugh and make new memories for the new year.Let’s face it, because you spe... More >>


3 essential tips for traveling with a pet during the holidays
(BPT) - The holidays mean different things to different people. Every family seems to have its own set of traditions, but one thing seems to be common among Americans during this time of year, and that’s traveling.Like Santa Claus making that long journey from the North Pole, it’s estim... More >>


4 great gifts for your green-living friend
(BPT) - Here’s a stat for you: More than 145 million Americans report being alarmed or concerned about climate change, according to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.Yes, over 145 million. That’s more than a third of the nation’s total population. Are you one o... More >>


Coasting while hosting: 5 ways to keep your holiday spirit at your next party
(BPT) - Many of us are already looking forward to hosting holiday gatherings this year — decorating our homes, whipping up festive foods, planning fun activities and surrounding ourselves with the warmth of family and friends.In fact, one recent survey found 67 percent of U.S. consumers host ... More >>


6 tech tips to make the most of your holidays
(BPT) - When you think of the holidays and what is most important, it invariably comes back to the people. They are the ones you travel hundreds of miles — or just a few steps! — to see. They are the friends and family who help make memories and celebrate the season.However, when it com... More >>


5 hacks to save time and money during the holidays
(BPT) - The holidays are a wonderful time of year to spend with family and friends, and to reconnect with those you may not often see. However, the festive season can also be a busy and expensive time. By January, many are left feeling exhausted physically, emotionally and financially. But don&rsqu... More >>


'Tis the season to give
(BPT) - It’s that time of year again! Lights are being strung, mistletoe is being hung and your favorite holiday jingle can likely be found on nearly every radio station. The holiday season has officially arrived and — between spending time with friends and families and taking time to g... More >>


Squash the pests, not your holiday spirit, with these pest-prevention tips
(BPT) - The holiday season and guests go together like twinkling lights and fir trees, or peppermint and chocolate. However, while you might be eager to welcome family and friends to your home, you’ll probably be less excited to receive a visit from another all-too-common type of holiday &ldq... More >>


Meet the Winemaker: Q&A with Jacob's Creek's Ben Bryant
(BPT) - Behind every bottle of wine stands a winemaker with the enviable position of shepherding the wine from grapes to final taste. Ben Bryant holds that coveted role for Australia’s leading winery, Jacob’s Creek. Bryant shares his journey on the road to winemaker and the passions tha... More >>


Go from vacation deprivation to vacation inspiration
(BPT) - Pop quiz: When was the last time you took a vacation? A real vacation, not one of those staycations where you stuck around town to finish a project at your home? Do you even remember your last vacation? If you don’t, then you are officially vacation deprived.And you’re not alone... More >>


3 things you should know about BPA this holiday season [Infographic]
(BPT) - Before you make your holiday preparations, here are three facts you may not know about bisphenol-A (BPA), a common chemical used in many of the popular products we use during the holiday season.... More >>


America's stocking stuffer traditions: Revealed [Infographic]
(BPT) - Even when it comes down to last-minute shopping, the yearly trip to purchase stocking stuffers is not achieved without strategy. A recent survey by Arm & Hammer Spinbrush uncovers Americans’ habits when it comes to this holiday tradition.... More >>


Mastering the art of hosting the holidays [Infographic]
(BPT) - ... More >>


Seize the holidays with 4 festive twists on decadent desserts
(BPT) - It’s no secret that the holidays are a time for indulgence. Nearly four out of five Americans (79 percent) say dessert is one of their favorite parts of holiday dinners and celebrations, and 94 percent like pie, according to an Edwards(R) desserts survey conducted online by Harris Po... More >>


5 ways the '90s are back and bigger than ever
-(BPT) - The '90s were the years of dial-up internet connections and transparent phones, grunge music and boy bands, Biggie and Tupac, overalls and high-top sneakers, guys with frosted hair and girls with “The Rachel” cut.We could go on and on — and whether you raised your own vir... More >>


Debunking the Myths Behind the Real vs. Artificial Christmas Tree Debate [Infographic]
(BPT) - Here comes Santa Claus … and a sleigh full of confusion about Christmas trees. Popular myths are that real trees are bad for the environment, artificial trees make smarter financial sense and real trees are a hassle, but read on for the truth and visit Facebook.com/ItsChristmasKeepIt... More >>


5 things you may not know about beloved holiday traditions
(BPT) - Without a doubt, the holidays are definitely a nostalgic time of year, a chance to slow down and savor the things that make us feel happy and close to our loved ones.While the flavors and rituals that make our holidays happy have roots that run deep into the past, they weren’t always ... More >>


Cocktail party quantity guide [Infographic]
(BPT) - Whether your gathering is designed to be more intimate with a few guests or something livelier of a much larger scale, follow these guidelines from the Chinet brand for how much food and drink to have on hand for a cocktail party.Save... More >>


Yule tools: 5 tips for dodging a holiday credit hangover
(BPT) - All the glitz, glamour, gatherings and good tidings over the holidays can easily make you forget your disposable income has limits.Who wants to think about overspending when the jingle bells are rocking, the mistletoe is beckoning, peace and goodwill to men abound and the gifts are flowing ... More >>


Stress-busting speed-cleaning tips for the holidays
(BPT) - It’s no secret the holiday season can be one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. What is one of the biggest sources of stress? It’s cleaning on a deadline, especially while guests are on their way.But with the right plan in place, even last-minute pre-entertainm... More >>


In the spirit of holiday giving, national food donation partnership feeds needy, not landfills
(BPT) - With the holiday season upon us, Americans are gathering for traditional celebrations and family meals. Even after leftovers have been devoured for days, the amount of uneaten food and overall food waste is overwhelming.According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), during the ... More >>


3 easy ways to revamp the go-to chip and dip
(BPT) - Savvy hosts and hostesses know that the keys to a successful holiday soiree are when the room is filled with laughter and guests leave satisfied from all the yummy treats served. If you’re hosting a holiday get together or special event with friends and family, impress and delight you... More >>


5 tips for scoring the best Black Friday electronics
(BPT) - If you’re already looking forward to scouting out the best Black Friday deals, you’re clearly far from alone. Each year, many Americans look forward to the thrill of the hunt when it comes to securing the best bargains retailers can offer.That’s especially true when it com... More >>


The perfect gift for animal lovers: Becoming a wildlife hero
(BPT) - As people come together to celebrate the holidays and share their hopes for the future, the environment often comes up in conversation. Threats to animals and the planet have never been greater; more than 25 percent of the world’s mammals — such as elephants, polar bears and lem... More >>


5 quick-and-easy tips for taking the hassle out of holiday entertaining
(BPT) - 'Tis the season for entertaining, meaning the hustle and bustle of the holidays are already upon us. Fortunately, being named “hostess (or host) with the mostest” is well within your reach if you follow these tips guaranteed to keep the holiday cheer flowing throughout this seas... More >>


Foodie gifts for creative beverage concoctions
(BPT) - Chocolate, butterscotch, nutmeg, rosemary, pomegranate, oranges, mulled wine and more — celebrate the flavors of the holidays with creative beverage concoctions. Here are tips and tools for making the most of holiday drinks.* The Capresso froth Control is the first automatic milk frot... More >>


Simple ways to savor the holidays
(BPT) - The season of tinsel, mistletoe, roasts, bake-offs, parties and countless shopping trips is upon us. Yes, the holidays are here! It’s a wonderful time of year to revive old traditions and start new ones, but amid all the planning, preparation and spreading of that holiday cheer, somet... More >>


Don't let asthma ruin the holidays
(BPT) - With colder months arriving, there are a few things on everybody’s minds: festive treats, gift shopping and of course, time spent with family and friends. As many people look forward to the holiday season, asthma sufferers need to be aware and prepared for all the triggers this time o... More >>


Tips for staying sane while planning your next family event
(BPT) - Ah, the family get-together. A time to throw courtesy to the wind and gather together a bunch of people who aren’t afraid to share their opinions.It’s great, isn’t it? You get to fill up on conspiracy theories courtesy of your cousin Henry, listen in on how to make the wor... More >>


5 ways gift cards can come to your rescue this holiday season
(BPT) - We all have hard-to-buy-for people on our shopping list — from a friend who has everything, to long-distance relatives and those who seem tough to please. So, what’s the best gift to get them this holiday season? For the 11th consecutive year, the National Retail Federation has ... More >>


10 tips for efficient, effective home appliances
(BPT) - Today’s typical family home is a buzzing hub of activity where meals are cooked, homework is done and family game nights are contested. In the background of it all: the home appliances that keep life moving along. Focusing on a few maintenance tasks can keep appliances efficient and e... More >>


6 home cleaning tips for pet owners
(BPT) - Having a pet may seem like the beginning of a never-ending mess, but the key to living with furry friends is preparation. Whether combating odor, keeping surfaces free of dirt and fur or removing pesky stains, taking preventative measures and using the right products can turn any mess into ... More >>


Lose yourself in one of the 10 best books of the year
(BPT) - When you open the covers of a book, you enter another world — a world of thought and experience. If the narrative engages your mind and emotions, making the time fly, reading a great book can change you and your outlook on the world, even if just a little.If you’re looking to ad... More >>


Step-by-step game plan to save the most on Black Friday
(BPT) - Pretty much every American knows that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are big days for sales. But for many, Black Friday is more than just a chance to save big; it’s a tradition in its own right.And this isn’t a trend that’s going away anytime soon.In fact, the age group tha... More >>


Hacks for healthier holiday entertaining
(BPT) - Decadent meals are often part of celebrations, but for those looking for a healthier holiday, it can feel like you must choose between your nutrition goals and the foods you love.Swearing off your favorite seasonal foods could make you feel like a Scrooge, but a few simple cooking and enter... More >>


Savvy season's greetings: 5 steps toward smart holiday spending
(BPT) - If you’re already thinking practically about funding your gift giving and other expenses this holiday season, you’re not alone. Sixty-five percent of U.S. adults say they’re establishing budgets in preparation, according to a recent Coinstar survey.That said, the majority ... More >>


Focus on fun: 5 easy tips for a relaxed Thanksgiving
(BPT) - While Thanksgiving is supposed to be a heartwarming time for appreciating family and friends, it’s no secret the traditionally food-filled holiday can be less than relaxing for those making the preparations.In fact, studies show 71 percent of Americans feel stressed rather than overjo... More >>


Top tips for selecting unique decor gifts for everyone on your list
(BPT) - As you strive for a happy holiday, do all your gift ideas seem ho-hum at best?It’s a common holiday conundrum: You want to show all your friends and family that you care, but finding the right present seems impossible. If you feel stuck, look for gifts that will enhance the home, beca... More >>


Tips for setting the perfect holiday table
(BPT) - Every holiday season, you invest hours planning and preparing the perfect menu for each celebration you host. While easy and fun may be the name of the game for buffet-style events, when it’s a sit-down soiree, the delightful cuisine you produce deserves a presentation worthy of your ... More >>


6 healthy reasons to enjoy a slice of sweet cherry pie this holiday season
(BPT) - The holidays are just around the corner, and for most of us that means time to indulge in some favorite treats. Fortunately, healthy doesn’t have to mean less delicious! If you’re looking for a good-for-you holiday dessert that can please even the most critical sweet tooth, a na... More >>


Tips to help your pet have a happy and healthy holiday
(BPT) - The holidays are upon us, and so is the chillier weather. As you bundle up and get cozy with your cocoa, Dr. Jeff Werber, Emmy award-winning celebrity veterinarian, has some tips and tricks on how to ensure your pet has a healthy and happy holiday season.Baby, it’s cold outside:Keepin... More >>


5 nutritionist-approved tips for better holiday baking
(BPT) - ‘Tis the season for sweet and savory treats. The holidays bring loads of goodies, but the problem is these temptations can put a big strain on your nutrition goals.If you’re whipping up some tasty holiday dishes this season, you don't have to choose between your health and favor... More >>


4 DIY tips to save money and get your home ready for winter
(BPT) - Many people look forward to the cooler weather. The brisk autumn winds and colorful leaves signal that once again it’s time to take out the sweaters and scarves. There are the hot soups and pumpkin-flavored drinks to keep one warm as the weather gets cooler, but for the conscientious ... More >>


5 tips for planning memorable holiday travel
(BPT) - The holiday season can be the perfect time to travel. With school and work days off, it's a special way to reconnect with family and friends as you get to bask in that cheerful holiday spirit.Planning a holiday-themed trip is easier than you think, if you keep a few tips in mind. Follow the... More >>


Try these stress-busting strategies to get the feast on the table
(BPT) - The date is circled in red: the day of the big feast. This year, everyone’s coming over to your house for the big event. But just the thought of getting ready raises your pulse and sends a surge of stress through your system.This time, bring a new mindset to your holiday gathering. Yo... More >>


Embrace life's simple pleasures - like home-cooked meals
(BPT) - As temperatures continue to drop, it’s time to embrace all the simple and cozy pleasures the season offers: gatherings with friends, fuzzy socks, hanging strings of lights to bring ambiance to those early evenings.Of course, the season can also bring on some serious cravings for warm ... More >>


Prepare the perfect turkey for your holiday meal
(BPT) - Think of the holiday season and answer this question: The holidays are the only time of year I do … what?Maybe it’s the only time of year you set up a Christmas tree, hang mistletoe or travel to a certain destination. For many, the holidays are also the only time of year that y... More >>


Holiday havoc? Consider it handled
(BPT) - The holiday season is full of magic and wonder - until your flight gets cancelled, your budget is blown and you fall ill at the worst possible time. Fortunately, staying merry despite common holiday conundrums is easier than you think with the right attitude and a few simple steps.Here are ... More >>


Don't let stress dull the holiday sparkle
(BPT) - For many, the pressure of the holiday season can be enough to wear away the glitter and magic.Some 62 percent of American adults define their stress as “very or somewhat” elevated over the holidays, says research cited by Harvard Medical School's Department of Neurobiology.But t... More >>


Healthy eating at holiday parties? It's possible
(BPT) - The holidays bring a lot of temptations from every direction if dieting or watching your weight. Holiday parties and get-togethers can be a healthful-eating challenge. Caught up in conversation among friends and family, surrounded by tasty food and drinks, it’s easy to lose track of w... More >>


Throw a holiday party like a professional
(BPT) - As much as holidays are about tradition, many have an insatiable drive to outdo the festivities of years past and make this holiday season the most memorable yet.How can you outshine yourself this holiday season? The answer is simple: Think big. Don’t be confined to the party supplies... More >>


Five tips for staying on budget and keeping the holidays jolly
(BPT) - If you’re one of those savvy consumers already strategizing how to best fund gifts and other expenses this holiday season, you’re not alone. Sixty-five percent of U.S. adults who give holiday presents establish a budget for these purchases, according to a recent Coinstar survey.... More >>


Quick tips to prepare your home for holiday guests
(BPT) - As the holidays approach, the decorator in us gets excited about how to deck the halls and drape the tinsel to create a festive home for the season. Social media is full of inspiration, but before you embark on decorating projects, the following are a few easy ideas to ensure your home is a... More >>


Barn doors go indoors: An ideal winter project
(BPT) - Known for their versatility, barn doors have been popping up in homes across the country — in contemporary and rustic designs. Read on to discover why adding a barn door is an ideal winter home-improvement project.Transitions in open floor plansAs homeowners seek more open floor plans... More >>


Grilled cheese options take comfort food to the next level
(BPT) - It's time to turn our thoughts to all the good things that come with the season, including the warm comfort food.A longtime cool-weather favorite is the classic grilled cheese sandwich in all its crisp, meltingly gooey varieties. These days, restaurants and at-home chefs are serving up the ... More >>


Ready, set, guests: 3 paint projects for fall entertaining
(BPT) - “Despite the hectic chaos that comes with the back-to-school season and adapting our family schedules, I find fall to be the perfect time to tackle my home to-do list,” explains Cyndy Aldred, the do-it-yourself paint blogger behind The Creativity Exchange. “It’s perf... More >>


Real vs artificial? Some facts to counter 3 Christmas tree myths
(BPT) - Here comes Santa Claus … and a sleigh full of confusion about Christmas trees. Better to buy real or better to buy artificial? Popular myths are that real trees are bad for the environment, artificial trees make more financial sense and real trees are just a hassle, but read on for s... More >>


5 tips to keep sniffles and sneezes out of your holiday plans
(BPT) - With the holidays upon us, there’s a lot to look forward to: seeing old friends, eating too much, wearing ugly sweaters; the list goes on. Likewise, there are a lot of things that might make you sigh: awkward questions from your aunts, arguing about politics and of course, how you&rsq... More >>


Inspirational tips for autumn outdoor entertaining
(BPT) - The days are shorter, the temperatures are cooler and kids are back in school. You've said goodbye to summer socials, but that doesn't mean it's time to put away your apron and stow the patio furniture. Autumn is one of the best times of the year for outdoor entertaining, and with a few sma... More >>



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