4th of July: Fireworks Safety Tips

fireworksThis weekend we celebrate our nation’s birth with all the pomp and circumstance our Founding Fathers imagined we would. They specifically called for fireworks to mark the annual party, but with all the fireworks comes a lot of potential for problems. Here are 5 fireworks safety tips for your 4th of July celebration.

Designated Lighter The authorities encourage people out for a night on the town to have a designated driver who doesn’t drink for the night and can safely get revelers home, but this applies to fireworks as well. When you’re lighting explosives, your mind should be clear and attentive — those handling fireworks need to be in total control to reduce injury risks with an already dangerous activity. If drinking is an important part of your celebration, leave the fireworks to the professionals or crack open a cold one after the fireworks display.fireworks

Pause Between Displays When you’re playing with fire, you don’t have to get burned if you’re careful. Make sure each explosive gets your full attention. Read the directions carefully before any fuses are lit and light them one at a time. Fireworks are designed to get your attention, but if you have too many going off at one time, it increases your risk of danger.

Dispose of Explosives Carefully Once you’re done making the sky sparkle, soak your spent explosives in water before putting them in the garbage. Even if your fireworks look like ash, there may be some lingering coals waiting to start a big fire. Reduce the risk of fire by getting the explosives wet and placing them in a metal receptacle away from any buildings or homes so you can sleep easy.

Caution with Kids Never let young children handle any fireworks — even sparklers. Sparklers don’t explode, but they get dangerously hot; they can reach temperatures of up to 2,000℉ — that’s considerably hotter than the hot 95℉ air temperature we expect on a sunny July day. If older children want to set off fireworks, make sure they have adult supervision and all directions are followed precisely.fireworks

Open Air Keep your fireworks in plain sight — don’t carry them in your pockets or in packages in which you can’t see them. They are explosives and therefore very volatile. They can go off at any moment, you’ll be better prepared to handle the potential risks if you can see the fireworks.
The Lakeside Collection has ideas and products to make the most of every holiday. Have a fun and safe 4th of July and check back with us to make your next big event memorable!

June Pinteresting Picks

We can’t believe July is here! It’s been a fabulous summer so-far and our Pinterest followers are taking advantage of the nice weather! They’re staying organized, having plenty of parties and soaking up the sun — and you can tell by what they were pinning in June. Here are our June Pinteresting Picks.shot-glass-display

Party’s Past Shot Glass Display Shelf organizes your collection with ease. It holds up to 36 shot glasses for all to see. Some simple assembly required; assembly hardware included. window-tie

Let the Sun Shine In A Set of 2 Window Tie-Backs creates a different look for your existing curtains. The design features a circle with a coordinating stick. Gather the curtain in one hand, lay the circle over the front, then push the stick in on one side, behind the curtain and out the other side. Works with any type of fabric without damaging it.

raised-garden-bedGreener Pastures An attractive Raised Garden Bed is an easy way to grow vegetables or flowers. It’s lightweight and weather resistant. The Solar choice features 4 solar-powered lanterns that fasten into the corners. It glows with white light for up to 8 hours on a full charge. On/off switch. Solar, 49-1/4″ sq. x 5-7/8″H. Solar lanterns, 2″ dia. x 3-5/8″H, including 5/8″H stem, each. The Frog choice has decorative corner accents. The Brick choice features a red painted brick look.decorative-metal-coffee-collection

Pick-Me-Up Caffeinate your home with the mocha tones of the Decorative Metal Coffee Collection. The Set of 3 Coffee Cups  are labeled Mocha, Latte and Java.  All pieces come ready to hang.

address-stakeLight Up the Night Make sure that your house number is visible from the street with this 24″ Solar Address Stake. Powered by the sun, the bright LED light shines from the inside, drawing attention to your address. Use the included 5 sets of numerals from 0-9 to put your house number of up to 5 spaces in the stake.

Shop The Lakeside Collection for all your home decor needs. Indoors and outdoors, Lakeside has what you need to make your house beautiful!

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for a Staycation

portable-loungerWe are approaching the middle of summer and we need to appreciate every minute of it! Not all of us are taking off for a beach vacation but that doesn’t mean we won’t be taking it easy. A staycation may be in the works and there are few must-have items to make it as relaxing and fun as possible. Here is this week’s Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for a Staycation.

Backyard Lounging  Portable Folding Lounger provides comfort on all your outdoor adventures. Perfect for relaxing by the pool, at the beach, on a camping trip and more. Setup takes seconds: just unfold, and stretch out on the durable lounger with breathable mesh inserts. Includes a carrying bag with shoulder strap for easy portability.

sprinkler-ballWater Fun Beat the heat this summer with a Giant Sprinkler Beach Ball. Just inflate the colorful ball, attach the hose and you’re ready to play. The water sprays out from 3 places on the ball to ensure you have 360° of fun. Has a fast deflate valve.


Summer Reading Enjoy summer outdoor reading with these Fashion Sunglass Readers with Case. You get the convenience of reading glasses and shades, plus a handy case to help prevent scratches. Fashion print handles will make you look great as you read on the beach, poolside, at the park, or just in your own backyard.

bubble-makerBubble Bliss Create hundreds of bubbles in seconds with the Bubble Maker with Mini Bubbles. The handled bubble machine comes with 2 oz. of bubble solution to get started.

plate-holdersColorful Cookout Use this Set of 16 Paper Plate Holders for picnics in the park and BBQs in your own backyard. The holders add strength and stability to disposable paper plates. They also secure the plates to prevent them from flying away in a breeze. Three slits on the rim hold the plate in place.

Look to The Lakeside Collection to make the most of your summer. From ideas to pull off the perfect cookout to products to make a day a the beach a blast, shop Lakeside for practical products at practical prices.

Summer Boredom Fixes

summer-funAs adults, we’d give just about anything to have the summer off just like our kids. They have so much time for all sorts of fun activities — yet they still get bored mid-summer. It’s hard to be responsible for entertaining them all summer long when you have work, errands and chores to do, but The Lakeside Collection has a few ideas to get you started. Here are 7 quick and easy boredom fixes for those mid-summer lulls.

DIY Ice Treats It’s hard to keep your freezer full of cool treats in the summer, but on a day your kids are out of ideas for activities, you can put them to work replenishing your supply with an old school treat. Have your kids stir together their favorite drink mix with sugar and water (a little less water than the directions call for). Pour it into an ice cube tray and cover it with plastic wrap. In the center of each cube, poke toothpicks through the plastic — the plastic helps the toothpicks stand up in the liquid. Place it in the freezer and wait for three to four hours for the cubes to freeze. When they’re frozen, you’ll have miniature ice pops to while away a hot summer day.

kitchen-twineObstacle Course This one requires a little bit of imagination from your kids. Using items from the garage and the house, have them build an obstacle course. It doesn’t have to be elaborate like the ones you might find at a military boot camp — it can be as simple as laying out a two-by-four to use as a balance beam or using a hula hoop to hop through. It can even involve crafting a bracelet out of kitchen twine — have them use their brains! When they have everything in order, they can race each other to see who can finish the course first.

DIY Container Garden A container garden is an upcycling craft to last the whole summer! Have your kids look for an interesting container from the house that you no longer need. Coffee cans, tea cans, old plastic storage containers that no longer have lids all work as planters. With a few seeds, soil and sunshine, your kids can care for and document the growth of their plants or flowers as they sprout and become greenery. A few weeks or a few months, it’s an activity to keep the kids occupied long-term.

DIY Spray Paint There’s so much you can do with empty spray bottles, it’s a shame to save them solely for cleaning! This project is pretty easy — all you have to do is dilute tempera paint with water and pour the different colors into spray bottles. Your kids can spritz a few paintings (outside, of course, to save yourself serious cleanup time) and create a backyard masterpiece to add to your refrigerator art gallery.

bubbleBubble Brilliance Have extra bubble wrap you don’t have plans for? While your kids’ first instincts might be to pop every bubble one-by-one, help them resist the temptation so they can make cheerful paintings! With a little bit of tempera paint, your kids can get creative with colors and shapes — they can even get creative with the applications — check out how Mess for Less stomped out a few bubble wrap paintings.

Ice Cube Racing This activity requires a hot slide — if you don’t have one in your backyard, the one at the park works just fine. Have the kids take a cooler of ice cubes to the top of the slide. On “go” have them each set an ice cube on the slide and watch it melt all the way to the bottom. The first cube to make it to the end of the slide without completely melting, wins. If you want to make it more colorful, make ice cubes the night before with a drop of food coloring for each cube.

Balloon Ping Pong With a couple of paper plates, tongue depressors and a balloon, your backyard will get more face-time with your kids than you might want. All you do is staple or glue the tongue depressors to the paper plate to create your paddle and blow up the balloon as a ping pong ball substitute. It may not be an official summer sport, but it’ll get the kids moving. Plus, it’s easy, inexpensive and addictive!

At The Lakeside Collection we have ideas and products to make the most of you summer and keep your kids from getting bored. Keep checking back with us until the 4th of July and throughout the summer for more inspiration!

5 Outdoor Summer Date Ideas

Whether there’s someone new in your life or you want some quality time with a long-time love, summer lovin’ is definitely in the air. Being romantic is easy, but executing the perfect outdoor date night requires some thought and planning. Here are 5 outdoor summer date ideas.farmers-market

Farmer’s Pride Planned or off the cuff, a date to the farmer’s market does not disappoint. If you want to plan it out, research a few recipes with seasonal fruits and vegetables to pick up at the market. You and your partner can take them home to make a spectacular summer meal. If you like to be spontaneous, pick up a few items that are foreign to you and make something you’ve never tried before for dinner. If cooking is not your thing, just going to the market to sample, browse and chat with local farmers can be an adventure in itself.

Game of Love Even if you and your partner aren’t athletically inclined, a game of tennis is a fun way to pass an afternoon. It’s a face-to-face game that requires engagement from both sides of the net. It takes a little bit of effort, but in the summer when all you want to do is be outside, it’s a refreshing activity to get your muscles moving and your heart pumping. At the end of your game, hit the pub for a hearty meal and beverage to close out a summer day.

starsSparkling Sky Take advantage of a clear night and go stargazing! It’s both romantic and educational. Pack a blanket, snacks and beverages and head out to a quiet part of town where there isn’t much light pollution. Spread out your blanket and take turns naming the different constellations. If it’s been awhile since you’ve thought about stars, brush up on your astronomical knowledge with a night sky guide.

Second Hand Date For DIY couples or couples who like to entertain the idea of DIY, make a day of hitting the flea markets and garage sales. You can go about this date in a few different ways: 1) have an idea what you want to buy, repurpose or upcycle and make the day about finding that piece — it can turn into an adventure date! 2) let the sales inspire you for a backyard project 3) drive around and see where the yard sale signs lead you. Anyway you do it, it’s a bonding experience to make a summer day memorable.

botanic-gardenStop to Smell the Flowers A trip to the botanic gardens is romantic and relaxing. With reds, purples and pinks lining your paths and the sweet scent of blossoms in the air, one-on-one time with your significant other at the gardens stimulates all of your senses. Just walking through the green ways may delight you, but a lot of botanic gardens host events all summer long — cooking, movies, music; they’re all activities to keep you and your date interested.

We celebrate every season here at The Lakeside Collection! From summer date ideas to making a magical holiday party, look to Lakeside for great products at practical prices.

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for Camping

Mother Nature is following through on her warm weather promises. There’s no better time to experience her splendor and there’s no better way to do that than a night in the great outdoors. At The Lakeside Collection, we’re picking out what we’re taking on our next camping trip. Here is this week’s Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for Camping.lounger

Get Comfortable Portable Folding Lounger provides comfort on all your outdoor adventures. Perfect for relaxing by the pool, at the beach, on a camping trip and more. Setup takes seconds: just unfold, and stretch out on the durable lounger with breathable mesh inserts. Includes a carrying bag with shoulder strap for easy portability.sleeping-bag

Sleep Tight Favorite Character Sleeping Bag keeps your child warm during a sleepover, camp out or while relaxing at home. Fully lined, this sleeping bag will help your child stay comfortable all through the night. Triloft II Performance insulation provides extra coziness and durability. Its zip-around closure with full-length, self-repairing zipper is easy to use. The sleeping bag rolls up for storage in the matching round zippered bag.

camp-cookbookCook Right Create delicious home-cooked meals with help from a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook. Simple Shortcut Recipes has over 225 recipes and time-saving tips to help you cook meals using shortcut ingredients. The perfect cookbook for any busy cook. 221 pages. Make meals that you can enjoy year ’round with the Grilling and Campfire Cooking book. This collection brings you over 250 recipes and tips for making meals indoors or out.

hot-dog-reelOutdoor Treats Turn the crank of the Marshmallow & Hot Dog Reel Roaster, and the skewer rotates to cook all sides evenly. Kids and adults will love to make meals and snacks over an open flame with the Reel Roaster. The stainless steel skewer is easier to use than traditional skewers and cleaner than cooking on a stick. The skewer is telescopic and the roaster extends from 16-3/4″ to 34″L, so you can control the distance you stand from the fire. Cleanup is fast and easy–simply remove the skewer from the reel to wash. Get several for your next camping trip, cookout or BBQ. The easy way to evenly roast a hot dog or create perfect s’mores.

waterproof-pouchExtra Protection Protect your gadget from water, snow, sand and dirt with a Spektrum Waterproof Electronic Device Case. The specially designed waterproof pouch has a built-in external 3.5mm audio input jack so you can listen to music while the device is secured inside. Includes an adjustable strap to wear it around your neck. Secures with a fabric-magic closure and two zip lock closures.

The Lakeside Collection makes the most of every season! From products to get you going on your summer road trip to decorating for your fall festival, shop Lakeside for fun products at practical prices.

A Brief History of Our Favorite 4th of July Food

hamburgerFood is a big part of any celebration. When we think of food for the 4th of July, hamburgers, hot dogs and fried chicken come to mind, but they weren’t part of the original 4th of July festivities. Our Founding Fathers couldn’t declare our independence on an empty stomach, but what we think of as a 4th of July menu didn’t become standard until much, much later than 1776. Here’s a brief history of our favorite 4th of July food.

Hamburgers Our Founding Fathers didn’t have our most cherished fare for 4th of July at their Independence Day celebration. The hamburger didn’t become part of popular culture until the late 1800s, but where, exactly, it was first cooked up is debatable. Residents of Hamburg, NY claim the hamburger was named for the town at the county fair when sausage vendors ran out of sausage and put ground beef on a bun. But Wisconsinites say it was teenager selling meatballs at the county fair who should get credit. He put the meat on bread to make it easy to walk and eat. Local historians say he named the sandwich “hamburger” after Hamburg steak. Either way, summer was the season in which the hamburger was born.

Hot dogHot Dogs It is possible there were hot dogs at the first Independence Day party. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, the frankfurter — a smaller version of common European sausage — was created in Europe (possibly Germany or Austria) in the 1600s. As European immigrants made their way to the United States, so did the frankfurter. Frankfurters gained popularity for the convenience in the late 1800s with the 1893 Colombian Exposition in Chicago. 1893 was also the year hot dogs became a standard at ballparks. Like hamburgers, it’s easy to see why it’s outdoor party food.

Potato Salad According to foodtimeline.org, potato salad was created as early as 1597 but it wasn’t until the late 1800s (much like hamburgers and hot dogs) that it was popularized (likely by German immigrants) in the United States. But German potato salad is made up of bacon, onion and vinegar — no mayonnaise was in the original recipe. Who came up with putting mayo in the potato salad we love to bring to 4th of July barbecues is a mystery, but its first mention in a cookbook was in the 1946 edition of The Joy of Cooking.

cherry-piePie Pie was likely served at the first Independence Day feast — both sweet and savory. Putting fruit or meat inside of pastry and baked can be traced as far back as 160 B.C. It was a way to preserve food to make it last for long journeys as well as portable. It’s no surprise that tradition dictates cherry or blueberry pie for our Independence Day parties — berries are in season on the 4th of July and they’re perfectly portable for a party.

We love all of our 4th of July traditions no matter where or when they started. And while like to keep tradition alive, there’s no reason we can’t start new traditions! Whether it’s a new side dish or an unconventional pie, you have the freedom to make up your own 4th of July recipes. It’s what our Founding Fathers wanted.

Go Fishing Day: Tips for Rookie Anglers

go-fishing-dayFather’s Day is this weekend and, coincidentally or not, so is Go Fishing Day. Fishing is one of those bonding activities worthy of a father-child tradition, but it’s an activity that requires a certain amount of planning. If you have plans for fishing on Go Fishing Day or Father’s Day, here’s what you need to know before you cast your line.

License Every state has different rules and regulations for fishing. They’re put in place to protect our land and water and to keep nature balanced. Most, if not all, states require a fishing license. It’s only a matter of purchasing the license at a retail store that provides them or online, but each state may have different requirements for different ages and purposes. Contact your state’s Department of Natural Resources or Fish and Wildlife department for the specifics.

When Figuring out when you can fish may be tricky. You may be able to fish year-round, but you may not be able to pluck out any fish, anywhere to take home. In places like Minnesota, there are certain periods in which you can catch certain fish. For instance, you can fish for largemouth bass from May 23 to February 28, but only from south and west of Highway 53 between Duluth to International Falls, but not in Pelican Lake or Ash Lake. It can be very complicated, so know what you can fish, when and where you can do that.go-fishing-day

Size You have to pay attention to the size of the fish you’re pulling out of the water — if you want to take them home. Each state has restrictions of the size of the fish you can keep. On the Hudson River in New York, you can take home one striped bass per day if it’s 18” to 28” or one fish that’s less than 40”. Do your homework before you start planning your summer barbecue menu.

You Don’t Have to Take Fish Home If you’re just interested in having a bonding experience with dad rather than a fish fry, you can always partake in catch and release. However, catch and release is meant to keep fish alive and healthy, so you have to be careful: 1) make sure you’re not releasing a fish from the top of a bridge so it has to survive a 30 foot drop 2) be aware of the hooks you’re using. Single hooks are better for a fish’s survival than a treble hook and use hooks that don’t have barbs — you can file them down or bend them with pliers 3) Use needle nose pliers to remove hooks from the fish you couldn’t remove with your hands. 4) keep them in the water — they need it to stay alive!

go-fishing-dayIf you’re going fishing for the first time, it may seem a little complicated, but it’s worth the trip out to the lake for an outdoor adventure. All you really need are a rod, reel, line, bait, and something to sit on for a few hours. It’s a summer adventure you should try at least once in your life — and it’ll be all the more better with dad.

Whether you go fishing with dad on Father’s Day or you have an extraordinary cookout planned, shop The Lakeside Collection for all your summer fun essentials.

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice for Road Trip Essentials

It’s finally time to break out the road maps and take a trip somewhere new! The summer road trip is one of the best parts of the season — if you do it right. We’ve put together a list of things we think you need on your next out-of-town adventure. Here is this week’s Lakeside Selection: Our Choice for Road Trip Essentials.maxi-dress

Effortless Attire The effortless style of this Women’s Jersey Knit Maxi Dress can be dressed up or down for wearing day and night. The flowing dress features a flattering empire waist and wide shoulder straps. It has a V-neck in both the front and the back. It’s super soft, comfortable and easy to wear. Length is 55″ from the top of the shoulder.dual-car-charger

Emergency Effects XTREME® Dual Port USB Charger gives you double the convenience. It charges any device that uses a USB cable (just provide your own cable). Recharge cell phones, smartphones, music players, e-readers and tablets–two at a time. The lightweight Car Charger (2-1/2″ x 1-1/4″ dia.) creates 2 USB ports in any vehicle, and it connects to any standard car plug. Also, it’s safe to use your devices while they charge, making this ideal for a GPS. Has LED indicator light.animal-print-luggage-set

Trendy Travels 3-Pc. Animal Print Luggage Set has plenty of storage for the jetsetter or traveler. Each bag has a zippered closure for safe storage when traveling. The duffel bag has a 13-1/2″ telescoping handle that collapses into a zippered pouch. It has a single zippered front pocket, 2 carry handles and 2 easy-glide wheels. The double-handled tote has a zippered pocket on front. The toiletry bag fits inside the tote, which fits inside the duffel for compact storage.gps-visor-clip

Travel Tools Keep your phone or GPS in sight with this clever visor clip. The device holder has soft gripper arms that expand with a push of a button to secure most devices from 2″ to 4″ wide. You can rotate it 360° to suit your desired viewing angle. Installs in seconds by simply clipping it to most standard visorsCalm-Coat.

Pet Prerequisites AKC Calmcoat is the easy-to-wear anti-anxiety and calming coat for your dog. Whether it’s anxiety when owners are away from home or just a general nervousness, this coat calms dogs in stressful times. The patent-pending design from American Kennel Club(TM) applies a gentle but constant pressure on a dog’s torso that has an effect similar to that of swaddling an infant. The comfortable cotton and spandex coat secures with fabric-magic straps. Easy-to-follow fitting instructions are included.

The Lakeside Collection has ideas and products to make every season more fun! From Christmas cocktail parties to summer road trips, shop Lakeside for great products and unbeatable prices.

National Adopt a Cat Month: Our Favorite Cats of the Internet

June is National Adopt a Cat Month! At The Lakeside Collection, we love our pets and we do our best to take care of them as a member of the family, but we can always make our families a little bigger! We don’t need any convincing to adopt a cat, but for people wavering on whether or not to take a new furry friend home, we have a few things to share. Here are our favorite cats of the internet to persuade you to bring home a new friend for life.

Cole and Marmalade
Here are Cole and Marmalade — they’re “celebrity cats” and you’ll see why they were elevated to celebrity status after their lesson on how cats say “I love you.” They’re frisky and lovable rescue cats who are always doing something interesting for the camera.

Jasper will make your heart swell! This little guy didn’t see his best friend for ten days and boy did he miss him! Jasper gave him his best hello hug and you can bet he won’t let go for ten days ever again!

Cold Canadian snow would give anyone the chills, but cats are curious creatures so it’s hard to hold them back from something as fascinating as snow. Plume the cat’s inquisitive inspection after a storm got him stuck outside. But cats are also masters of getting themselves out of the messes they get themselves in… and Plume’s homecoming was certainly masterful.

This is the appropriately named Lucifur and his buddy Honey Boo Boo. Everyone knows to be aware of attack cats — but Honey Boo Boo let down his guard at just the wrong moment…

Here’s a familiar summer scene for many humans — we go after a cool treat with a little too much enthusiasm and BAM! We get hit with the sweetest headache summer can deliver. Napo the cat captures this feeling perfectly with a spoonful of ice cream.

The Lakeside Collection wants to make every home happy and healthy for every member of the family. Whether you already have a furry friend or you’re thinking about adopting a new shaggy chum, Lakeside has products and ideas to make your home a little happier.