December 2014
  • Upcoming Holidays

    • Authors

    Subscribe to our RSS feed through one of these services:
    Search This Blog:
    RSS Feeds:

    How to Travel Like a Pro This Holiday

    December 19th, 2014 admin

    GiftTree Presents #holidayknowhows—How to Travel Like a Pro This Holiday

    Did anyone else see the map the New York Times published this past November showing the most googled Thanksgiving recipes for each state? From pumpkin whoopie pies in Maine to smoked salmon dip in Washington to something called frog eye salad in Wyoming (no actual frogs involved), it was a multi-flavored reminder of why so many of us travel during the holidays: we travel to be home, to reconnect with that unique blend of family tradition, nostalgia, and regional character that can only be found in the places we’re from. If you’re one of those holiday wayfarers who will be flying across state lines or international borders for a big helping of family and tradition this December, check out these helpful holiday travel tips for a smooth trip.


    Holiday Travel Tip #1: Notify

    Before you embark, consider notifying one key party: your credit card company. As a safeguard against identity theft many credit card providers have automatic triggers that will freeze an account when an irregular purchasing pattern is detected. Fantastic news if someone is trying to spend your hard earned cash on a jet-ski in South Florida while you’re actually in North Dakota, but not so great if a combination of your last minute gift purchases and holiday travel expenses freezes your account right as you’re trying to buy a Cinnabon in an airport. To prevent anything coming between you and your Cinnabon, just make a quick call to the customer service number on the back of your credit card before leaving and let them know the dates of your trip.


    Holiday Travel Tip #2: Subdivide

    The key to a perfectly packed suitcase is as simple as a trip to the store to buy a package of gallon-size Ziploc bags. Use the bags to subdivide your belongings into small, logical groups—socks in one, electronics in another, etc.—and then vacuum seal the bags by sucking the air out with good old fashioned lung power before quickly zipping them shut. Sure, you’ll get a mouth full of t-shirt air, but the super-compact packages are easy to stack and rearrange into the ideal packing configuration, and the categorization makes it simple to find what you need when you arrive at your destination.

    Geeking out my luggage by gorriti, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  gorriti 


    Holiday Travel Tip #3: Personalize

    Classic black roller bags and trendy leather totes are all well and good, but when it comes to the luggage carousel, standing out from the crowd is a virtue. If you can find a way to personalize your bag the benefits are twofold: it’s much easier for you to spot your bag quickly, and it’s much less likely that someone will mistake it for their own bag and walk away from the airport with it. The personalization doesn’t have to be permanent, it just has to be bold enough to spot immediately from a distance. Try tying a piece of bright ribbon around the handle or placing a large X of colored tape on the top.

    travel light [explore] by ** RCB **, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  ** RCB ** 


    Holiday Travel Tip #4: Strategize

    Your hydration, that is. Dry re-circulated air, salty airport food, and even complimentary on-board drinks can all leave you dehydrated after a day of traveling, which worsens the effects of jet lag and makes you more susceptible to Grinch-like symptoms such as growling and muttering. Fight back by ensuring you have plenty of access to water throughout your journey. The best way to do this is by bringing a large EMPTY water bottle with you to the airport. If you bring a full one, you’ll just have to empty it out in line at security while trying to take off your shoes and hold your passport in your mouth at the same time, which will just make you sweat more, which is counterproductive to the hydration mission. Instead, bring an empty bottle; then, as soon as you get through security, find a water fountain and fill it up. Thankfully, many airports now feature handy water-bottle filling attachments on their fountains for this very purpose.

    Water bottle refill fountain by raludwick, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  raludwick 


    Holiday Travel Tip #5: Surprise

    If you’re flying with kids, you will probably run into a rough spot or three. Plan ahead by packing a bag full of toys, games, and snacks to help distract the little ones when they get fussy. But—and here’s where the element of surprise comes in—the key is to not tip the kids off to what you have stored up. If they know, then they’ll want it all right away and nothing less will suffice. Instead, keep those goods tucked safely away; treat them like a magic horn only to be blown in time of greatest need. If little Garret develops a chronic case of the wiggles right when Lydia starts trying to play tag with the beverage cart? BAWOOOOO! That’s when you summon those emergency supplies.

    One final holiday travel tip: save luggage space, your back, and some peace of mind this year by shipping your gifts direct to your destination instead of packing them yourself. GiftTree offers luxury wine gifts, one-of-a-kind personalized items, and more, all guaranteed to arrive pristine and ready to open wherever you’re headed—Washington, Maine, and everywhere in between.

    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    How to Slow the Holiday Rush

    December 15th, 2014 admin

    GiftTree Presents #holidayknowhows – How to Slow the Holiday Rush


    ’Tis the season by Benson Kua, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Benson Kua 


    It’s no secret that the holidays can be a busy time. People are running around shopping, cooking elaborate meals, assembling trees and toys, and tacking up lights. I remember once, when I was eight years old, my parents got so preoccupied with the bustle of a holiday trip to France that they accidentally left me behind! They got halfway across the Atlantic before they even realized that I was missing. No, I’m kidding; that’s the plot of Home Alone I just described. But the fact that I had you going there for a second is probably a good indication that we all need to make a conscious effort to slow down this year. Here are three “sayings” that will help bring your sleigh ride of a holiday season down from a careening gallop to a pleasant trot.

    2011 Horse and Sleigh Festival - Woodbur by pmarkham, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  pmarkham 


    Say “Hi” to Someone

    The holidays can be harsh on personal relationships: family drama, financial woes, and even the weather can all put a strain on couples. At one point took a poll of singles that showed 76% of them had gone through a holiday adjacent break-up. Yikes! It may seem simple, but take a moment each day this December to turn to someone you care about and say, “Hi.” Don’t schedule a trip. Don’t plan a holiday party. Just say hello and maybe have a cup of cocoa together. You’ll find that minute or two of face time goes a long way towards keeping you both sane.


    Say “Bye” to Something

    In the words of comedian John Mulaney, “It is 100% easier to not do things than to do them.” Much of our stress comes from the premise that we have to partake in every aspect of every holiday. Instead, take Mulaney’s wise words to heart and consider simply deciding to not do something this year. Make a list of all the activities, commitments, and projects you are planning—whether it’s baking those labor-intensive cookies you make every year, or building a light display for the roof of your neighbor’s doghouse—and pick at least one to bid adieu to. Summon your inner Scrooge and say, “Bah humbug! I’m not doing ­­_____ this year.” You probably won’t miss _____ in the end, and you’ll certainly enjoy everything else on the list a lot more if you don’t have the yuletide stress sweats.


    Say “Nothing”

    Whisper it softly to yourself as you find a comfortable chair in a quiet place, maybe tucked behind the tree or a pile of presents. Say it again as you ease into the chair, and again as you set a gentle timer on your phone for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing as you think “nothing” on the inhale and “nothing” on the exhale. Nothing in. Nothing out. Nothing in. Nothing out. Repeat this mantra—being careful to return your mind to your breathing any time it wanders—until the timer sounds. Voila! You just meditated, my friend (or took a nap, depending on how comfortable the chair was). Specifically, you practiced mindfulness meditation, and, if the experts are right, doing that simple exercise regularly can lead to a whole slew of benefits including improved mood, better sleep, and lower blood pressure. What better way to slow the holiday rush?

    Holiday Bokeh by LenDog64, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  LenDog64 


    Send a little moment of peace to someone you care about this holiday season. GiftTree’s personalized spa collections feature relaxation essentials such as organic scrubs, soothing natural oils, reflection journals, and more.


    Honey-Spa-Treatment Luxury-Spa-Treatment-Gift-Set

    Bath-Body-Invigoration stress-Relief-Spa-Retreat-Gift-Set

    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    How to Savor That Holiday Chocolate

    December 8th, 2014 admin

    GiftTree Presents #holidayknowhows – How to Savor That Holiday Chocolate

    Have you ever caught yourself, mid-December, dipping a chocolate Santa into a mug of peppermint hot chocolate while eyeing a recently unwrapped box of chocolates? Do you ever wonder to yourself, guiltily, “Am I eating too much chocolate?” Well, we’re here to say, “Nonsense!” Chocolate is a delicious holiday miracle that should be savored with aplomb. If pesky old guilt gets in the way of you doing so, just repeat these (mostly true) factoids about the life-giving powers of the cacao bean to yourself until you feel up to having another truffle.


    San Blas, Kuna Yala, Panama (102) by benkucinski, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  benkucinski 

    Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure

    We have the Kuna people of the tiny San Blas Islands to thank for this revelation. Their impressive cocoa habit of 3-4 cups a day has been linked to their uniquely healthy blood pressure levels. Researchers have noted that when Kuna people move off the islands and consume less cocoa they are just as susceptible to hypertension as a typical Westerner, but when they stay on the islands and keep up their cocoa-chugging ways they maintain remarkably low blood pressure levels. Scientists attribute this effect to compounds called flavanols which are found in raw or lightly processed cacao beans and may help relax blood vessel walls by facilitating the formation of nitric acid in the body.

    Run!!! by @Tuncay, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  @Tuncay 

    Chocolate Improves Muscle Function

    Speaking of flavanols, there’s a particular one in cacao beans, called epicatechin, that has middle-aged mice hitting their exercise wheels with newfound vigor. When researchers gave epicatechin to a group of older mice they were able to outpace their chocolate-deprived peers on a fitness test by almost 50%. Now, admittedly, there are only trace amounts of epicatechin — possibly none, depending on the processing method — in your average Hershey’s bar, but it does make you wonder: what if high quality dark chocolate pairs just as well with running shoes as it does with raspberries? Better eat some and then go for a jog to test the theory.

    Chocolate Is a Multivitamin

    Ok, multivitamin may be a bit of a stretch, but technically there are multiple vitamins and minerals in dark chocolate: iron, magnesium, copper, and potassium to name a few. Of those, iron is the most significant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists iron deficiency as a serious problem in the US, one that can lead to health issues such as a lack of red blood cells. Luckily for us, 100 grams of dark chocolate (an average bar size) can contain up to half the recommended daily value of iron. One for me, one for my red blood cells.

    Fresh Cacao from São Tomé & Príncipe by EverJean, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  EverJean 

    Now, these facts are all good and fun, but before you start trying to stave off anemia with bonbons remember that most of these benefits are derived from flavanols found in raw cacao beans. By the time the beans are processed and combined with other ingredients to make commercial chocolate, most of the benefits have disappeared. So don’t go trading your blood pressure meds for chocolate syrup this holiday season. But do indulge responsibly, and maybe use these tidbits to feel a little less guilty as you savor! And, while you’re at it, why not send a package of the so-called “food of the gods” to someone you love? GiftTree has a complete line of designer chocolate collections ready to impress and delight, like The Godiva Chocolatier Collection, complete with some cacao-rich dark chocolate.

    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    How to Ace Your Company Party

    December 1st, 2014 admin

    GiftTree Presents #holidayknowhows – How to Ace Your Company Party

    Adding a Little more Flair by jdsmith1021, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  jdsmith1021 


    Holiday parties are back, America! According to executive search firm Battalia Winston’s annual survey, 96 percent of companies had a holiday bash in 2013, the highest percentage since the boom year of 1996. This only a few years after the same survey recorded a Recession-prompted record low of 74 percent in 2011.

    So whether it’s due to actual rising profit margins or just a newfound sense of optimism, it’s looking likely that you’ll be climbing aboard a corporate party train of one form or another this December. If you’re one of those poor souls who hasn’t punched your office-party ticket since “Macarena” was topping the charts in 1996, then you might want brush up a little first. These three simple strategies will ensure you get the most out of the experience:

    Make sure to plan ahead – The president of Toastmasters International, John Lau, has this to say about office parties: “Preparation is the key to making a good impression. Identify ways you can connect with others in a meaningful, honest exchange.”

    We couldn’t agree more. If you know you’re going to be talking to a certain executive you’d like to impress, do some research ahead of time to see if you can come up with any clues as to what a good topic of conversation might be. Something as simple as knowing that they’re an avid hiker might be the difference between an awkward silence competition and a genuinely enjoyable conversation.

    Master those names – Funny thing about humans: we love to hear our own names. It literally lights up our brain — the frontal cortex, temporal cortex, and cuneus, in fact — and infants as young as 5 months old have been shown to respond actively to their names. Yet, somehow, we’re almost universally terrible at remembering the names of new acquaintances. The problem is that new names go straight to our short-term memory instead of the more reliable long-term storage areas of the brain.

    One trick to circumvent this problem is to immediately link the new name with an old name that already exists in your long-term memory. For example, if you meet someone named Bill, immediately find a way to associate them with your long-term memory of Bill Clinton. Maybe new Bill has a reedy voice. Think to yourself, saxophones have reeds –> Bill Clinton plays the saxophone. And BOOM! You’ve created a long-term link for new Bill, and he is no longer at risk of falling out of your short-term memory.

    Mix it up – No, not your drink. In fact, it’s best to go easy on those; experts recommend limiting your consumption to one an hour. We mean mix up your social circle. It may be more comfortable to only talk to co-workers that you interact with on a daily basis, but a holiday party is the perfect time to expand your network.

    Go mingle! Make it a goal to meet at least one new person from each department in the company. It may be more difficult in the short term, but by the end of the party you will feel as though you’ve accomplished something worthwhile. And next time you need to reach out to IT or Design or Accounting, you might just find that you have a friend who’s happy to help.

    Oh, and remember, have fun!


    Need corporate gifts, presents for co-workers, or maybe a personalized piece for your boss? GiftTree is here with ideas, know-how, and guaranteed holiday shipping to make company giving as easy as doing the Macarena.

    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    How to Find the Perfect Thanksgiving Wine

    November 24th, 2014 admin

    GiftTree Presents #holidayknowhows – How To Find The Perfect Thanksgiving Wine

    It’s practically a holiday tradition: standing in front of a wall of bottles, knit cap in hand, nose tingling a little after stepping from the crisp November street into the warmth of a heated wine shop, asking yourself “What wine should I bring to Thanksgiving?”

    Imhoff Wine Shop by Blyzz, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  Blyzz 


    The Pilgrims are no help in answering that annual question. There’s very little documentation of that original meal, and the evidence we do have points to hard cider, not wine, as the likely beverage of choice.
    Now, hard cider, that’s not a bad idea. It’s Autumnal, simple, and easy to choose. Can’t we just re-brand it as Puritan Apple Wine and call it a day?
    Maybe, but Thanksgiving is all about tradition, and for many of us a good bottle of wine at the Thanksgiving table is one of them. Puritan Apple Wine just wouldn’t be quite the same. So the quest for a genuine vino that will please both relative and friend, a wine that will flex acrobatically through culinary extremes of salty gravy, sour cranberry, and sweet potato pie continues.
    It may be impossible to find a single wine that can really do all that perfectly, but here’s three excellent GiftTree contenders that will certainly shine with a Thanksgiving feast. Best of all, they’re ready to ship in handsome pine wine crates to friends, family, colleagues — anyone you want to thank with a turkey-ready bottle.

    Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir has long been heralded as the ideal Thanksgiving varietal and with good reason. The inherent earthiness of the grape agrees with herby stuffing and mushroom gravy, while its red berry characteristics complement turkey in much the same way cranberry sauce does. Unlike many Pinots, Meiomi is blended from a range of vineyards along the California coast, giving it a versatile balanced presence that introduces itself with a bouquet of candied apple and fresh cranberry scents. Pass the stuffing, please!



    Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay

    Chardonnay is a much trickier beast: too much oak, and it overpowers the bird; too dry, and it disappears next to the rich side dishes. But this Napa Valley Chardonnay seems to tread the narrow path with ease. Crisp enough to cleanse the palate, but with a buttery hint of brioche that complements the meal like a golden dinner roll. Thanks to the oak aging, there’s even a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg spice leftover for dessert.


    Argyle Brut Sparkling Wine

    Now being Pacific Northwesterners we may be biased, but this feisty little sparkler from Oregon’s Willamette Valley is getting pretty close to Thanksgiving perfection. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, the Argyle Brut bubbles with poached pear, honeysuckle, and a palate-cleansing nip of sourdough that cuts right through the gravy. Plus, you have to admit there’s just something festive about the *pop* of a cork before the big meal. Cheers!



    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    How to Talk Like a Cheese Connoisseur

    November 17th, 2014 admin


    GiftTree Presents #holidayknowhows — How to Talk Like a Cheese Connoisseur

    Let’s face it: you’re going to sidle up to a cheese platter or two this holiday season. Whether it’s a homely plate of toothpicked Cheddar cubes at Aunt Karen’s sweater-fest or a stately platter of Beaufort d’Ete at a regal Christmas gala, chances are you’re going to have a chance to chat about cheese with someone. Here’s four vocab words that will help you sound like a real cheese wiz, even if you usually only eat Cheese Whiz.


    Rind – Simply put, the rind is the exterior of the cheese. Think of cheese as fruit and the rind as the skin of the fruit. Some fruits — grapes, berries — have tasty edible skin that adds to their flavor and nutritional content; other fruits, like kiwis, have to be peeled unless you want a mouthful of hair. Then there are apples: some people peel them, some don’t — it’s really a matter of taste. Same with cheese. Wax or cloth sealed cheeses are the kiwis of the cheese world; you’re never going to eat their rind. But the majority of cheeses are in apple territory; whether or not you eat the rind is totally up to you. One such cheese you’ll inevitably encounter during the holidays is Brie. Brie has what’s called a bloomy rind, meaning it’s covered in a snowy white layer of cultures. These cultures impart an earthy, mushroom-like flavor to the cheese. Next time you’re at a holiday party give the rind of the Brie a nibble (put it on your plate first, you barbarian) and see if you like it. If you do, then eat away!


    cheese wheel by sarae, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  sarae 

    Paste – The interior of the cheese is called the paste. You might think of it as the center or the flesh of the cheese. The paste can be luxuriously soft and creamy — as it is with Brie, and with fresh cheeses such as Mozzarella — or it can be dense, hard, and packed with wonderful sharp flavor, as in the case of a pressed cheese such as Manchego.

    Pro tip: The paste can sometimes give you a clue as to what kind of milk the cheese is made from. Is the paste a brilliant, bright white? You are probably looking at a cheese made from goat milk, which lacks some of the yellowing components present in cow and sheep milk. Let out your best bleat, grab a handful of figs, and enjoy the interplay of sweet fruit and tangy, creamy cheese!


    Affineur — An affineur is not a what, it’s a who. Affineurs are the patient men and women who age cheeses. Much of a cheese’s flavor is dictated by the duration and conditions of its aging, or affinage. For example, in it’s 12-14 month aging period Comte has the potential to transition from a simple white cheese into a rich caramel-colored wheel with complex notes of toffee, fruit, and nuts. During this time Affineurs will employ everything from cedar planks to caves in a quest to get just the right blend of atmosphere and temperature to make the flavor magic happen. So, if you fall in love with a wedge of perfectly aged Comte at your company party this year, be sure to send a wedding invitation to the affineur.

    Comte by Mr Moss, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Mr Moss 


    Umami — Pronounced oo-mah-me, this word is incredibly useful when it comes to cheese, because it describes that elusive fifth taste somewhere between salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. Sometimes described as meaty or brothy, umami is that satisfying, hearty sensation you get when you bite into a curl of shaved Parmesan cheese or a slice of good sharp cheddar. In fact, Parmesan has some of the highest levels of naturally occurring glutamate, which is the amino acid responsible for umami flavor. Along with words like earthy, fruity, nutty, grassy, and — yes — funky, umami really comes in handy when you’re trying to express to someone just how great the cheese you’re eating is and why. Just beaming with pleasure and gesticulating wildly is always acceptable too.

    Parmesan by cyclonebill, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  cyclonebill 

    No doubt, cheese is a world of its own. If you’re interested in venturing further, or sending someone on an expedition of their own, GiftTree has created a passport to the world of cheese with fine food gifts that combine world-class cheese collections, heritage charcuterie, tailored isothermic coolers, and artisan tasting boards. What better way to explore?

    18710 18706

    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Thanksgiving Centerpieces

    November 14th, 2014 Alicia

    During this time of year, we all look forward to the festive decorations at the Holiday table. The red and golden hues of the season are brought indoors, and although it’s cold outside, the colorful decorations, seasonal feast and gathering of family bring feelings of warmth and comfort. But, have you ever wondered where we get the idea of using fruits and vegetables as decoration instead of part of the meal?

    Most of us know that the “First” Thanksgiving was a banquet between the pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621 as a celebration of a bountiful harvest, and you may know that President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. What you may not know is that the cornucopias, or “horns of plenty,” that we still adorn our tables with today, date back to the 5th century B.C. Many cultures around the globe used these decorations as symbols of abundance, plentiful harvest, and fertility during autumn feasts.

    Fall flowers are another great way to bring the spirit of the season inside to the dinner table. Orange, red, and yellow represent the colorful foliage outside that can only be seen this time of year. GiftTree’s Classic Cornucopia and Harvest Home Cornucopia are perfect examples of these festive colors.


    corncopia19243a_Harvest-Home-Cornucopia (1)


    Most of us have fond memories of previous holidays with family and friends, and we want to honor the timeless traditions that helped create those memories. Fortunately, This doesn’t mean you can’t put your own unique spin on things and create new traditions in your own home. Try surrounding your floral cornucopia with small white pumpkins and gourds (the white will contrast against the darker shades and create a brighter and more modern look). You can take this idea up a notch by carving designs or small holes into the gourds and inserting a tea-light candle for an inviting dining atmosphere. Also, don’t hesitate to expand your bountiful spread by adding succulent plants to the centerpiece or placing them around the table. Carving out the tops of pumpkins and using them as planters for the succulents is another great way to feature traditional décor while adding a unique, modern touch. More ideas and inspiration can be found online on our Pinterest board Thanksgiving & Fall to help you create a timeless yet unique holiday atmosphere that the whole family will be thankful for.



    Follow GiftTree’s board Thanksgiving & Fall  on Pinterest.

    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Halloween 2014 Costume Contest

    October 31st, 2014 Alicia

    Halloween 2014 Costume Contest

    With the Christmas and New Years rush coming up quickly, at GiftTree we like to squeeze in as much Halloween fun as we can in one day! Specifically we host an annual costume contest with prizes for both the best individual costume and also the best department/group costumes. We have had all sorts of entries over the years ranging from the truly terrifying to hilariously funny and our dogs join in too!

    We also end up with an enormous variety of tasty treats both of the homemade and store bought, and plenty of sugar rush to go around.


    Happy Halloween From GiftTree!

    Collage (2)Collage copy


    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Top Ten Carved Pumpkins (Rated 1-10)

    October 25th, 2014 Alicia

    Top Ten (Mind Blowing) Pumpkin Carvings (Rated 1-10)



    1. This pumpkin features a portrait of one of America’s favorite celebrities, and her hair is exquisite.


    2. Iron Man has never looked this good. well… maybe.



    3. This individual replicated Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” using various carving tools.

    4. I think everyone has seen this movie or read the books at one point in time. Afterall it’s the Hunger Games! Bonus: Lesson Included at the link below.


    5. This is a classic movie, that still has appeal in todays’ society.


    6.  Will Star Wars ever go out of style? Not for pumpkin carving… Check out the link below for more complicated Star Wars Ideas.


    7. Pumpkin carving is a form of artistry, even Especially creepy things.


    8. Pumpkin carving is fun for storytelling too!


     9. Or use it to show Brand Pride.

    10. Or if you run out of ideas. Disguise your pumpkin… Sesame/Pumpkin seeds. Clever.


    Posted in Gift Ideas | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Halloween Party Guide: Tricks and Treats

    October 23rd, 2014 admin

    Halloween Party Guide: Tricks and Treats

     Are you haunted by the ghosts of Halloween parties past? The time Uncle Dave cornered your guests and lectured them about honoring the spirit of The Great Pumpkin? The Halloween bash you attended where the only thing to eat was “brains” made of uncooked ramen noodles? Well fear no more, our Halloween Party Guide is here with tricks and treats to ensure both guests and hosts are just the right amount of scared. Check out these Halloween gifts and party tips:

    Halloween by greger.ravik, on Flickr

    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  greger.ravik 


    Tricks for Hosts

    The trick for really getting your guests into the Halloween spirit is to set the atmosphere—literally. We’re talking about frozen carbon dioxide, a.k.a. dry ice. Typically used to keep food cold during shipping, dry ice evaporates into a gas as it melts, creating a spooky mist perfect for Halloween party decoration. Dry ice can be purchased at several major grocery chains including Walmart and Safeway. BUT BE WARNED: Dry ice is so cold that it will burn your skin if you touch it in its solid state. Use caution and place it well out of the reach of children and pets. Never consume dry ice or use it for beverages.


    dry ice is fun by Herkie, on Flickr
    Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Herkie 


    Treats for Guests

    Themed treats are all well and good, but you want to make sure the food just looks, not tastes, scary. Cold spaghetti is great for making a pot of “guts,” but the problem is no one actually wants to eat it. Instead, give your guests a Halloween gift that is delicious AND festive, like these Halloween Cake Pops:



    Tricks for Guests

    The worst faux pas you can make at a Halloween party is to not dress up, or to be lazy about it (I’m looking at you, wears-a-suit-and-calls-himself-a-businessman guy). So here’s a trick: go the extra mile by adding a unique sense element to your ensemble. Dressed as an apple pie? Spray yourself with apple cinnamon air freshener, or tuck a satchel of cinnamon potpourri beneath your crust. Going as a penguin? Bring a bucket of ice to fling at people (trust us; they’ll love it). Even better, if you have a sociable pet—and the host is ok with it—dress them up and bring them along too.

    dog dressed like pirate by, on Flickr


    Treats for Hosts

    Don’t show up to a party empty-handed (unless you’re trick-or-treating, of course). Always bring a beverage and a Halloween gift for your gracious hosts. Pumpkin spice beer or a nice freshly-pressed apple cider are great choice for Halloween beverages. For the Halloween gift, consider a Halloween-themed arrangement.

    Flower Bouquets: Bouquet on Haunted Hill


    Posted in Gift Ideas, Gifting Etiquette | Permalink | No Comments »

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button