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Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Kids

One of the most exciting times of the holiday season is seeing kids’ faces light up with joy as they unwrap all the exciting goodies and presents. But sometimes figuring out what exactly to get the little ones can be a challenging task! We’ve rounded up the top stocking stuffer ideas for kids of all ages this season.

Sunprint Paper

Kids can put an object (like a pretty leaf or flower) on this photosensitive paper and expose it to the sun for a cool piece of keepsake art.

Star Wars Wind Up Toys

These little windup toys ($25) fit perfectly in stockings.

iPhone Charger Sticker Sets

With every teen sporting an iPhone this year, the easiest way to avoid losing identical chargers after sleepovers is to differentiate their charger with a cool sticker set ($13).

The Next Obsession

Fidget Spinners are so yesterday. Drop a Tumblstix into each stocking, and your kids will out of your hair learning new tricks for the rest of vacation. This new gadget challenges kids to use their balancing acts while giving them a serious hand-eye coordination workout. Bonus points for the light-up special effects.

Make a Match

This mini memory match game has 12 pairs of adorable illustrations of animals from all different kinds of habitats including farm, woodland, and safari—all on circular game pieces. Tucked away neatly in a little box, it’s a perfect stocking stuffer.

Finger Friends

This fingernail kit comes with 25 animal stickers that are perfectly sized for little digits. Look for tigers, pandas, monkeys and more!

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Recipe of the Week: The easiest Brunch Eggs EVER

Whether you’re prepping brunch for a group or cooking ahead for breakfasts for the workweek, you can never go wrong with a good old-fashioned egg! This Brunch Eggs recipe is super easy, delicious and will definitely satisfy your appetite!

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • shredded Munster cheese(Or your favorite cheese)
  • ground sweet sausage or links

Directions:

  1. brown sausage until cooked through in a non-stick pan
  2. Get an aluminum pan that is 9×12 or a Casserole dish
  3. crack a dozen eggs into the pan
  4. spoon on sausage over the raw eggs. distribute evenly ( you can also use chopped bacon)
  5. Sprinkle Munster cheese liberally over raw eggs and sausage.
  6. Bake at 375 for 10-15 min until set.

Serves 6-8

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Cool Stocking Stuffers for Dads

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to begin checking off all the people on your list.  This year, we’ve rounded up a few stocking-sized gift ideas to help you put a big smile on your dad’s face!

Even though stocking stuffers are small, it’s a great way to show someone you love how much you care. They can be a nod to a funny inside joke, a unique habit or a hobby. And while their size can lead them to being overlooked, stocking stuffers can pack a surprising amount of sentimental value.  Check out our favorites below:

Paracord Survival Bracelet

Anything “survival” themed is a hot item this Christmas, and this paracord survival bracelet is a great gift for any dad who loves outdoor activities like hiking, biking, hunting or rock climbing. It features heavy duty rope for the toughest situations, a compass, even an extra loud whistle. This bracelet comes in orange/grey or purple/grey color combinations and is super lightweight, so dad can take it on any adventure.

Beer Chill Sticks

There is nothing worse than a warm beer, and dads love gifts that help them keep their beers cold. Beer coozies are the usual go-to for stocking stuffers, but why not spoil dad with something even better? Chill Sticks are freezable inserts that replace a beer cap and keep any long neck beer bottle nice and cold while you are drinking it. The cap fits long necked bottles perfectly so that your beer will not go flat either.

ParasomEarhook Bluetooth Earbuds

These small, lightweight sports headphones would make a great stocking stuffer for any dad. They are designed with bluetooth connectivity for wireless access while dad is running, walking, biking or doing any other activity where he would not want pesky cords getting in the way. They have an adjustable ear hook for a custom fit and have amazing sound quality. These come in three color combos – solid black, black and green or black and yellow.

For the sports nut dad

Get your husband a pair of tickets to see his favorite team play. Encourage him to take your son or daughter to share his love of sports. Tickets range in price from $10 to several hundred dollars. Buy a pair of reasonably priced seats, or get cheap seats for the whole family. Available at Ticketmaster.com (price varies).

For the expecting dad

Slip the book The Expectant Father into his stocking. This is a complete month-by-month guide to help him through your pregnancy. It also includes facts, tips and advice for the daddy-to-be. Available at Amazon.com

For the Cigar Connoisseur

Besides ammo, cigars and mini bottles of booze topped the list of reader suggestions. If you know a guy who enjoys a good stogie every now and then, a few of his favorite cigars placed in his stocking will catapult you to number one friend/son/brother/nephew. You can usually buy cigars individually at your local cigar shop. $3-$10 for one cigar

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Best Coats for Winter

Check out these winter coat trends that are sure to warm you up this season!

The ubiquitous gray checked blazer of the season transforms into full-length menswear-inspired coats for an editor-approved way to top off any look.

A leopard faux fur remains the ultimate jacket to make any look instantly luxe.

This season’s hottest color continues to dominate every article of clothing, with a sweeping red duster jacket ranking as the perfect transitional topper.

Faux fur coats get a colorful upgrade this season in pretty pastels and candy colored hues.

A fur or shearling-lined parka makes for a timeless way to keep cozy.

Teddy coats are back and softer than ever. When you need a change from your plush, faux fur jackets, these achieve the same look in a more subtle fashion.

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Best Down Vests To Invest in This Fall

As the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to start breaking out the cold weather gear. From wool hats to down jackets to thermal underwear, the key to staying warm in the winter is layering. A down vest is a great option to keep your core warm. But how do you find the best down vest for you?

Calia Women’s Ruched Knit Vest

Fit this layer perfectly to your body by adjusting the drawstrings on both sides. It’s a great piece to throw on before you head out to the gym, and let the bodyBREEZE wicking technology do its job. We particularly love that it even has a hood for added warmth.

Lolë Brooklyn Vest

Where Brooklyn at? This vest gets its name because of its stylish, quilted, two-toned look. If your neck’s feeling cold, pop the collar and enjoy its fuzzy inner lining. Plus, two zippered pockets keep small essentials at hand like your gum, or cash for an impromptu hot cocoa break.

Athleta Altitude Down Vest

Ibex Wool Air Vest

The filling in this number? Merino wool, which is bound to keep you warm as a mid-layer while you’re on top of any ski mountain. It has a slimmer fit so it will look flattering even on smaller body types.

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Delicious Side Dishes to Bring To A Thanksgiving Dinner

Not hosting Thanksgiving this year? Sounds like a plan. But if you’re still looking to bring something that will make a splash at Friendsgiving or at your in-laws’, look no further. We’ve pulled together a few of our crowd-pleasing sides and apps to ensure your contribution to the Thanksgiving spread is an absolute win.

Roasted Red Pepper &Marcona Almond Dip

Bring the flavors of Spanish cuisine to the pre-dinner hours of Thanksgiving with a smoky paprika-infused dip of blended roasted red peppers and rich and buttery Marcona almonds. Serve it as an accompaniment to a crudité platter or with your favorite hearty crackers. Add a bottle of Spanish red wine for the complete package.

Stovetop Brussels Sprouts Hash with Crispy Sage and Walnuts

Whether you bring along all the ingredients to make this on location or whip it up before leaving the house, this stovetop hash made with crispy sage and walnuts frees up any crowding of the oven. Your host will appreciate the thinking ahead.

Modern Green Bean Casserole

With the addition of deeply savory shiitake mushrooms and the playful topping of sesame sticks, this updated green bean casserole is a delightful homage to the green bean casserole we know from way back when. But our favorite part? It loves to share the spotlight with the original. What a team player!

Potato Gratin with Pancetta and Gruyere

More potatoes at Thanksgiving are hardly ever a problem, and this gratin — infused with the nutty flavors of Gruyere cheese and salty flecks on pancetta — will be a much-welcomed addition.

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Hostess Gifts For Your Thanksgiving Host

Being the host for Thanksgiving dinner is no small undertaking – it takes a lot of thought, preparation, and sometimes a good chunk of money. If you’re not immediate family or close extended family, I think it’s nice to bring a small gift that either helps the host with the dinner, or is something special for him or her.

There’s a lot of things to consider – do you have to travel a long distance to for Thanksgiving, and if so, will you have access to your own transportation when you’re there? And do you ask the host what you should bring, or do you surprise them with something? The obvious answers that I can think of for gifts are a good bottle of wine or flowers, but something more creative would also be nice.

Wine Charms


A set of wine charms, like these colorful cat onescan be used on Thanksgiving and at many parties to come.

Wine Chiller


Need to quickly chill a bottle of white? Come to your hostess’s rescue with a Corkcicle Wine Chiller.

Bella Pantry Recipe Book


Divided into seven sections, this pretty hardcover book is ideal for preserving passed-down family recipes. It’s also bound with an interior spiral so the pages lay flat—making it easy for the multitasking chef to jot down notes while stirring dinner on the stove.

Mulling Spices


Here’s a gift that gives new meaning to the term “housewarming”: When simmered with apple cider or red wine, this blend of spices will fill your host’s home with the heady aroma of cinnamon, cloves, whole allspice berries, and orange peel. What could be more cozy?

Cheese Knives


These elegant knives will add sparkle and shine to a holiday cheese course.  They come as a set of three so you don’t have to use the same knife for the Cheddar and the Brie. Pair with a cheese board, or a selection of your own favorite cheeses, and you’ve got a hostess gift that’s anything but cheesy.

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Good Wine Choices For Your Thanksgiving Day

One of the most important parts of the Thanksgiving feast is the wine choice. With so many different flavors on the menu—and some that you only make once a year, selecting wines to partner up with all of the flavors might be made easier by a little advice.Keep in mind that whether you are hosting five or 50 guests this Thanksgiving, you don’t have to drop a bundle to offer a lovely selection of wines. There are many well-received, well-rated value wines that you can obtain for an affordable price.

2014 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir

People like to tout pinot as the one, perfect Thanksgiving wine, but pinots vary in style, from big and rich to delicate and spicy and everything in between. The good ones usually cost more than my self-imposed price limit, but this delicious example from Oregon’s Willamette Valley shows red cherry, berry, and spice flavors at a reasonable price.

2015 Pierre Chermette Beaujolais

Before it became like cotton candy and crashed and burned, the ideal turkey wine used to be Beaujolais Nouveau. Now gamay (the grape from which Beaujolais is made) is fashionable again, especially among wine geeks, who rightly see examples from top producers as major bargains. This one has the right tart, juicy, cherry and pomegranate fruitiness to pair with the bird.

Sauvignon Blanc:This crisp white wine is known for its citrus-based flavors that can be surrounded by herb or mineral undertones, making it a prime pairing candidate for turkey and mashed potatoes.

Zinfandel: A fuller bodied red wine that ups the intensity from a pinot noir but still maintain a balancing effect on many traditional Thanksgiving side dishes. This would be a great wine pick for those looking for a heartier red wine with the capacity to accommodate spice, bitter and sweet flavor profiles.

Pinot Noir: This red wine is a traditional favorite for Thanksgiving. Pinot Noir’s subtle earthy undertones and often mushroom-inspired flavors surround the fruit features of the wine and tend to show well with the traditional flavors of turkey and stuffing.

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Elegant Thanksgiving Table Decorations Ideas

It’s hard to believe that it is time for holiday season mayhem and Thanksgiving is weeks away! Thanksgiving is always fun to create an extra-special holiday atmosphere for family gathering with a festive Thanksgiving table. Did you prepare for Thanksgiving? Have you been assigned to prepare the table this year? Counting down the days to show off your decorating prowess, or fearfully hoping for a stylish miracle? Here are Elegant and Easy Thanksgiving Table Decorations Ideas to inspire you!
If You Have White Dishes…

Think light, cheery, and mostly monochrome—with pops of one quirky, energizing color. Layer a white patterned runner over a plain tablecloth. Place a low white pumpkin in the center of the table and flank it with loose bunches of fresh sage in footed glass vases (the scent will complement rather than compete with the complex fragrances of dinner). Chartreuse napkins are the surprise hit here (magenta or turquoise would also work); classic in detail but edgy in color, they marry the folksy and sleek aspects of the table.
If You Have Gilded China…

Go dark and moody, with an undone autumnal centerpiece and a liberal dose of gold. Almost everything on this table begs to be touched, down to the rich cotton-velvet tablecloth. Velvet may seem impractical as a dining surface, but cotton velvet is quite resilient—you can throw it in the washer and dryer. At the fabric store, ask for a piece 20 inches longer and 20 inches wider than your table; leave the edges raw or have them finished. To create the “spilled-out” (harmless) cornucopia here, cluster like vegetables in threes and fours and place a small pillar candle, safely behind glass, at either end of the display. Any fork looks dramatic against a black napkin, but brushed-gold flatware has an undeniable shock-and-awe effect. Gold-trimmed water glasses are a subtle touch by day, but once the candles are lit, they add significant sparkle. You can use white gilded china for this setting, too; the result will be brighter but still luxe.
If You Have a Vintage Mishmash…

Roll with it, using every beautiful pattern at once. The trick is to clarify the chaos (and turn down the granny factor) with a neat, crisp canvas: Plain white linens let you indulge your eclectic tendencies and show off all your favorites. If you happen to have a collection of mismatched goblets, throw them in, too—they look logical if the shapes and sizes are similar. For decoration, try a row of tiny cabbages in small glasses down the middle of the table. Add a personal item (here, a jade bust) to play up the found-treasures charm of the scene.
If You Have Blue-and-White China…

Create French-country enchantment, pairing casual glasses with fancy dishes around a glitzy centerpiece. Alternating two complementary china patterns promotes a loose but still pulled-together vibe. A nubby linen cloth in chocolate brown is unexpected against fine china and feels relaxed—no one has to worry about spilling gravy. Soft napkins (they almost look like chambray) host everyday stainless flatware. Goblets are chunky and homey, making this setup sweet and inviting, and not the least bit intimidating. And gold-leaf fruit inspires oohs and aahs.

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Thanksgiving Menu Planning Guide

To pull off the perfect Thanksgiving feast, you need a plan.  Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time or just looking for a better way to plan, our day-to-day Thanksgiving dinner checklist will help you throw a fabulous party with ease.

Three weeks ahead:

  • Prepare your guest list; confirm how many people will be there.
  • Find out if your guests have any special dietary needs.
  • Place a rental order, if necessary, for tables, chairs, glasses, plates and flatware.

Two weeks ahead:

  • Decide on your final menu and collect the recipes you’ll need. Select some dishes that taste good at room temperature, so you won’t have to worry about your hot entree getting cold, or your cold dessert melting.
  • Assign cooking projects to family members who offer to help.
  • Order your fresh turkey, or buy your frozen turkey and put it in the freezer. If buying a whole turkey, plan on one pound per person. If you’re buying just the bone-in breast, plan on 3/4 pound per person.

One week ahead:

  • Shop for heartier vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, parsnips and turnips.
  • Buy heavy cream now; it’s hard to find right before Thanksgiving.
  • If necessary, wash and iron linen or polish silver. Dig out your turkey roaster and platter and any serving dishes hidden away in closets or high shelves.

Three days ahead:

  • If you have a frozen turkey, clear a space in your fridge and put the bird in now to defrost.
  • Clean the house, or put non-cooking household members in charge.
  • If you’re having a lot of guests, you may want to set up the table(s) and make sure you have enough space and chairs.

Two days ahead:

  • Make pumpkin pies or pumpkin cheesecake, rolls, breads and cornbread for stuffing. Refrigerate pies; you can always warm things up again before serving. Apple or pecan pies don’t do well in advance, though; the crust doesn’t stay flaky and crisp.
  • Make things that can sit for two days in the fridge, like soups and cranberry sauce.
  • Assemble casseroles (like sweet potato or green bean); they can be stored uncooked in the fridge and baked on Thanksgiving.
  • Order or pick up alcohol and other beverages, or delegate this to your non-cooking guests. Keep in mind that a bottle of wine contains about five glasses and always have non-alcoholic drink choices on hand.
  • Shop for non-perishable goods now. You can buy flour, sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, canned pumpkin, packaged stuffing and cornbread mixes, rice, and fresh or frozen cranberries, all before the crowds descend.

One day ahead:

  • Set the table now so you won’t have to worry about it later.
  • Set up a coat rack with extra hangers.
  • Do any remaining baking, including apple or pecan pies.
  • Buy your salad greens and perishable vegetables. Wash lettuce leaves now, dry well, and store by packing them in paper towels in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up from the butcher.
  • Calculate your cooking time (and cooking order) for tomorrow.
  • Figure out what can’t be cooked along with the turkey in the oven, either in terms of temperature or space. Plan to cook those things before or after the turkey is done, or on the stovetop while it’s cooking; better still, make them today.

Thanksgiving Day:

  • Prepare stuffing for the turkey (if you’re stuffing the turkey) and/or the dressing to cook on the side.
  • Prepare your vegetables for cooking-clean, peel and chop. Cover the ready-to-go vegetables and put them in the refrigerator. Boil potatoes and mash them; they can be reheated just before serving.
  • Stuff the turkey and get it in the oven according to the schedule you calculated yesterday.

Then:

  • After the turkey is in the oven, you should have a little time to relax away from the kitchen.
  • Just before the turkey’s done, begin cooking fresh vegetables, and get anything else that needs to go into the oven ready (stuffing, storebought rolls, etc.)

While the cooked turkey is resting:

  • Put a foil tent over the turkey. You now have about an hour to do the remaining cooking.
  • If you have a pan of stuffing/dressing on the side to bake, put it in now.
  • Warm whatever needs to be warmed, including mashed potatoes, rolls, soups and casseroles.
  • Cook frozen vegetables.
  • Make the gravy.
  • Put all the food on the table or buffet. Don’t hesitate to press guests into service to put food in bowls, open wine bottles, fill glasses and dish up the cranberry sauce.
  • ENJOY!