NFL Preview: Fun Facts, Game-Day Tips & Holiday Gifts

Football fans have been waiting many months for the 2016-2017 season. There’s only one more week of preseason match-ups to go before the NFL regular season schedule gets underway. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to start catching up on the storylines you missed this summer, plan your game-day parties and get your home decorated with your team’s gear. Get excited about football with this fun NFL preview.

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NFL Spotlight: Storylines to Keep Your Eye On this Season
The NFL’s popularity continues to rise. For every die-hard fan counting down the days until kickoff and rearranging their fantasy football lineup on a daily basis, there are several more casual game-day viewers who haven’t been following every storyline since the Broncos hoisted the Lombardi Trophy last February. Before the season gets going, get the scoop on some of the bigger stories that were going on this summer.

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Prepare Your Game-Watching Room for Football Season
Diehard football fans know there aren’t any substitutes waiting in the next room to give them a break when it comes to cheering on their squad. Fans watch their team compete in different ways, but everybody needs a few things around the room to show their allegiance and keep them pumped up until the clock winds down. Learn how to prepare your game-watching room for the first kickoff with these NFL home decor suggestions.

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Tips for Hosting a Spectacular Game-Day Party
Fall is here, but before you have a chance to put up your Halloween or Thanksgiving decorations, put on your football jersey and cheer on your favorite team! We can’t make it to all the fall football games for tailgating parties, but just because we’re not in a stadium parking lot doesn’t mean we can’t have a great bash. Help get your game-day party going at home with these spectacular tips for football-friendly hosts.

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Holiday Gift Inspiration for Sports Fanatics
Just about everyone has a loved one who loves sports. However, if you aren’t a sports fan yourself, knowing what to get the die-hard football or baseball fans in your life for the holidays can be a challenge. Whether you’re shopping for the sports fan who has everything, the occasional viewer or the youngster just getting involved in sports, take a look at these how-to tips and holiday gift inspiration for sports fanatics of all ages.

Autumn Organization Ideas: Home Office to Home School

Summer is on its way out. Fall is on its way in. Vacations are pretty much in the rearview and school is back in session. Families are starting to swap sunny days at the waterpark with after-school activities. Afternoons are accompanied by homework assignments and bed time starts sneaking up toward twilight. Parents need organization more than ever in the fall season. Whether it’s for the home office or preparing your kids’ study space, we’ve assembled some of our autumn organization ideas to simplify your summer-to-fall transition.

Home Office Favorites for Fall

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Keep all your important documents sorted in the Chic File Organizer. With a sturdy construction and a faux-leather design, it features a bold color with contrasting top-stitching and double handles for easy carrying.

The Internet Address & Password Logbook gives you a place to record all your important info from the web. The spiral-bound hardcover notebook includes tabbed alphabetical pages and an elastic band closure.

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Turn your home work area into an efficient office space with the Computer Monitor Organizer. It raises your computer monitor 4-inches for comfortable viewing while adding great storage on all sides and underneath.

The 5-Compartment Desktop File Organizer keeps your documents and office supplies in order. It has five compartments for sorting files and a sleek metal design that doesn’t take up too much space on your desk.

Home School Classroom Creativity

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Get your home-schooling calendar organized with the Classroom Project Idea Book. With adorable crafts, activities and ready-to-use templates for Pre-K through 3rd grade, it’s the perfect complement to curriculum.

The Amelia Bedelia or Flat Stanley Chapter Book Set introduces your new, independent reader to fantastic characters and funny situations. Short, fast-paced chapters and illustrations are perfect for young readers.

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Your little artist will love drawing, painting and creating with the 3-In-1 Deluxe Easel with Accessories. It has a blackboard, magnetic white board, a roll of paper, magnetic math blocks and a handy tray for art supplies.

The 52-Pc. Gel Pens with Case is great for drawing, scrap-booking and so much more. The metal carrying case has a slot for each pen. The nontoxic gel ink flows and glides with ease while adding beautiful color.

Back-to-School Tips from Studying to Sports

If your kids aren’t already waiting at bus stops and stressing over early homework assignments then the time is very near when they will be. Transitioning back to studying, sports and school activities can be tough after a long, relaxing summer. From first graders to college kids, it can take a few weeks to settle into the reality of the new semester. As parents, it always helps to have a few new tricks up your sleeve to make sure kids are adapting to school and its responsibilities. Get started with these back-to-school tips from studying to sports.

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Back to School: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Reading
For the last few months, the kids have been reading young-adult novels and flipping through picture books, but school is back in session and their reading experience is about to change. Kids look at school books a little differently than the ones they read for pleasure. Here are some tips to make sure they’re reading right.

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Dorm Decor: Lighting Tips for Better Study Sessions
Sometimes the library is packed with students, the weather isn’t ideal for working outside, or you just don’t feel like making the trip to your favorite study spot. In many cases, the dorm room is the premier place for getting your schoolwork done. Optimize your space with these dorm lighting tips for better study sessions.

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Back to School: Choosing the Right Sports for Your Kids
Participating in a sport is great for team building, staying active, and teaching resilience, and this interest should be encouraged. It can be a challenge figuring out the best sport for your child, and the first sports they pick may not be winners. Here are some ideas to help children explore the variety of sports out there.

Cat Gifts & Supplies for the Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer. National Dog Day. Dogs get plenty of attention during the summer months. What about cats? True, there is a National Cat Day coming up on October 29th, right before Halloween. But that’s just too far away for some cat owners to wait. It might be the dog days, but it’s time to give cats their share of the spotlight. Take a look at these cat gifts and cat supplies to keep you covered until October rolls around.

Toys to Keep Them Entertained

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The 3-Pc. Kitty Fun Bopper Set will keep your cat happy for hours. Each has a foam ball with a flashing LED light inside that activates when tapped. The unique design makes it bounce at random when it hits the floor.

The 4-Ft. Multilevel Cat Tower with Scratchers gives your feline friend an impressive place to perch, scratch and nap. It has 7 sisal-wrapped surfaces for scratching and cleaning claws, and plush perches for lounging.

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Entertain your cat with an entirely new toy with the Triple-Tiered Cat Chaser. Your cat will go wild batting at the brightly colored balls that roll round and round the tracks. Balls can be popped out and moved around.

Shaped like a cozy cave, the Pet Snuggle Bed gives your cat a new favorite retreat. Perfect for felines that like to burrow and hide, it features a removable cushion inside and a top that secures with fabric-magic.

Cat Home Care Collection

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The Open Top Litter Box with Shield is the perfect way to contain and manage your cat’s mess. The easy-to-clean litter box has a 3-sided shield to prevent spills and provide privacy. The scoop simplifies cleanup.

The cat Treat Jar is the perfect place to store some of their favorite snacks. The 48-oz. jar adds a modern look and a cute cat-themed design to your countertop, complete with a fish-shaped handle and fish bones.

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The Sentiment Pet Food Pail is a convenient way to keep your cat’s treats or toys stored in style. The front features a sweet sentiment. The pail has handles for carrying, an easy lid and a 3.5-oz. scoop on the side.

Prevent your furry friend from going hungry or being overfed with the Pet Daily Reminder Chart. When you put food in their bowl, simply flip the tag for that day of the week to let everyone know the chore is finished.

Seasonal Harvest Decor that Also Works for Halloween

The holiday season is one of the most wonderful times of the year. But it can also be difficult if you’re trying to decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving back to back. As long as you’re not dedicated to transforming your home into a haunted nightmare, it’s easy to find seasonal harvest decor that also works for Halloween. Check out some of our best harvest ensembles for the front porch, bathroom, living room and dining room.

Front Porch Favorites

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Harvest Porch Decor can be displayed during the entire autumn season. Get a Pumpkin Door Hanger and Wooden Pumpkins to liven up your porch for fall, and flip around the Set of 3 Pillows for a Halloween theme.

Add beautiful accent light to your porch with the Hanging Star Candleholder. The glass panels feature an etched design and the perfect color for fall. It opens in the center to reveal a holder for your tea light candle.

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The Seasonal Porch Sitter Planter will look great on your front steps all season long. The cute character is holding a planter box. Add your favorite flowers or fall plant to the box for a display your guests won’t forget.

Easily stay festive no matter what the season with the 9-Pc. Interchangeable Seasonal Yard Stake. With a variety of seasonal greetings to keep you covered all year, it has what you need to get through the holidays.

Autumn Interior Decorating Ideas

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The Pumpkin & Stars Bathroom Collection brings a warm, seasonal autumn touch to your bathroom space. Get a wide range of useful items to cover your entire bathroom with pumpkins, country stars and fall leaves.

Decorate your living room with family-friendly Halloween decor using a Primitive Country Halloween Pillow. The harvest colors and symbols are ideal for autumn, and the Halloween elements are simple and innocent.

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The Primitive Country Stuffed Pumpkins add a simple, stylish touch to your harvest display nearly anywhere in your home, even as a dining room centerpiece. Each features a patchwork design with traditional colors.

Create an autumn display for your kitchen or dining room table with a 4-Pc. Ceramic Pumpkin Centerpiece. Each pumpkin has a removable lid and a spacious interior for holding Halloween candy or random goodies.

Discover Your New Look in the Lakeside Artist Studio

The Lakeside Artist Studio features articles from expert artists working in the fashion world and home decor fields. This week, two of our artists share some advice, as well as their original designs available right now!

Debra Shepard
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Debra Shepard began designing jewelry while enrolled at the California College of Arts & Crafts in 1972. It was here where she first created her original threader earrings, seeking to achieve a new design that would make earrings lighter and more comfortable. After a successful career as an art director, Debra was inspired to return to her innovative jewelry ideas and build her signature brand, which has grown rapidly since 2002.

In the Spotlight: Designing Jewelry for the Red Carpet
“I want women to feel pretty, playful and feminine–with a genuine sense of ease and comfort.”

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Marla Rae
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Marla Rae is not just an artist. She is a woman who wears many hats. She’s been in the gift industry for 30 years, founded and sold an international candle company with her husband, Brian, and also started a Barn Festival on their property featuring vendors from across the country. When she’s not designing beautiful art for Penny Lane Publishing, Marla also teaches string art classes at her daughter’s “Art Bar” in Nebraska.

Where is Your Happy Place?
“Keep inspirational messages in the forefront. It’s amazing how much we are influenced by words alone.”

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Trick-or-Treat: Halloween Sneak Peek

Halloween kicks off over two full months of holiday fun. The holidays are only stressful if you don’t start preparing early. Take a look at Lakeside’s Halloween sneak peek to get ideas and learn some fun facts.

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Transforming Your Front Porch to Frighten Trick-or-Treaters
Halloween can be just as fun for adults. You might not get to trick-or-treat like you used to, but you can still fill an important role in the Halloween world by turning your front porch into a haunting spot to frighten trick-or-treaters. Get into the holiday spirit by transforming your front porch to frighten the neighborhood.

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Halloween Costumes that Never Go Out of Style
Costume parties always feature fresh, funny takes on current events, never-before-seen group ensembles and new approaches to classic favorites. It’s fun to think up new ideas, but hard to beat classic characters. Check out this list of spooky costumes that never go out of style and get inspired to update an old favorite.

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5 Foods from Around the Globe that Freak Out Most Americans
Every country in the world has local foods that just don’t make sense to tourists. The truth is, more than a few of these taboo foods are nightmares for most Americans who aren’t accustomed to local tastes and customs. Take a trip to every corner of the globe and learn about these five foods that are likely to freak you out.

Family Olympics: Backyard Games and Couch Comfort

The Olympics can be a fun time for the entire family. Get your kids active in the yard by starting your own family Olympics, then kick back on the couch with some snacks to watch your favorite events in comfort.

Backyard Olympics on the Lawn

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Start up some friendly competition in the backyard with the Giddy Up Racing Horse Hopper. Each hopper has a handle for your kid to hold. You get two hoppers in the set, and kids will love racing to the finish line.

Make any kid-sized Olympic competition even more fun with the Set of 2 Bumper Balls. The inflatable balls are made of heavy-duty PVC and constructed to keep kids protected while enjoying a friendly competition.

Watch Athletes Compete in Comfort

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Kick back and watch some of your favorite sports this summer in the All-Around Sherpa Cushion. It turns the chair of your choice into an extra-cozy comfort zone, hugging you with a plush design while you watch TV.

Multitask while you watch the Olympics with the uniquely shaped 5-In-1 Memory Foam Pillow. It works as a laptop desk, knee support, lumbar support, footrest or neck pillow, and even has a slot to hold your remote.

Most Memorable Olympic Opening Ceremonies

As with any tradition stretched over more than a century, the Olympic opening ceremony has changed quite a bit. The modern Olympic Games have taken place in three consecutive centuries. Over that time, athletes have tested the limitations of the human body, sports apparel has evolved beyond recognition and aspiring cities have spent millions of dollars transforming their infrastructure in record times to impress the world. So much has changed, but the Olympics are overflowing with tradition, none more impressive than the Olympic opening ceremonies. Here are some of the most memorable and the moments that made them so special.

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The Panathenaic Stadium in Athens was the site of the first modern Olympics in 1896. It is also where the Olympic flame is finally passed to the host nation to start the Olympic Torch Relay.

1896 – Athens, Greece
It’s hard not to start our list with the first modern Olympics. The Olympics were revived in Athens, setting the standard for many traditions that are still in motion to this day. Athens drew on more than a thousand years of ancient Olympic history for the revival, organizing an opening ceremony which included an introductory speech by the organizer of the Olympic committee followed by a brief welcome by the Head of State. After the words came the music, which was an Olympic hymn accompanied by words from the then current poet Kostis Palamas. It wasn’t until 1920 that other ancient traditions started becoming a part of the ceremonies, such as the oath of sportsmanship taken by the athletes and the lighting of the Olympic flame.

1948 – London, England
The Olympics were postponed for twelve years following the 1936 Olympics because of World War II, and returned in spectacular fashion. However, these Games are not remembered for expensive pageantry. In fact, they quickly became known as the Austerity Games due to the fact that little money was spent creating new stadiums and other accommodations, which became typical leading up to the 1936 Olympics. Rather, the return of the Olympics in a rebuilding London stood as a symbol of Allied victory in World War II. It was as reflective as it was moving, an example of the world returning to some long-awaited sense of normality. International broadcasting didn’t occur until 1956, but the 1948 Games were televised locally in London.

1964 – Tokyo, Japan
Unable to participate in the 1948 Olympics in London, the Japanese were eventually awarded the Games in 1964. It was the first Olympics to be broadcast live around the world, the first to be broadcast in color and one of the first to hold the Games in the fall to avoid the sweltering heat. Although Japan participated in the 1952 Olympics following their ban in 1948, hosting the Olympics presented an opportunity to illustrate their own tribute to the horror of World War II, the humility of a nation and the resiliency of the human spirit. Born on the day the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima in 1945, 19-year-old Yoshinori Sakai was given the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron with the Olympic torch, symbolizing Japan’s commitment to peace.

1992 – Barcelona, Spain
The opening ceremony at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles are remembered as being a bit over the top or altogether underwhelming given the exorbitant cost. Some critics believe that it marked the beginning of the overzealous opening ceremonies. On the contrary, the 1988 Olympics in Seoul might have rectified matters if not for several of the doves that were released being torched by the Olympic cauldron. 1992 presented an opportunity to restore the quality of the opening ceremony and get back to the traditional Olympic roots, and it didn’t disappoint. One of the most memorable moments was when Spanish archer, Antonio Rebollo, lit his arrow from the Olympic torch and took aim at the cauldron atop the stadium. The dramatic moment might’ve been outdone in 1996 when Muhammad Ali fought his way to the Olympic cauldron, but cannot be ignored.

2008 – Beijing, China
The Olympic opening ceremonies continued to evolve and expand into the twenty-first century, growing into one of the largest live spectacles ever assembled and always trying to top the previous host nation. China’s to thank for setting the present day standard for the opening ceremony. It’s no surprise that London fell a bit short in 2012, and Rio isn’t expected to outperform what occurred in Beijing on the warm early August night. Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, along with top choreographers and composers, undertook the weighty task of capturing China’s rich cultural history in a beautiful narrative with one thrilling act after another until the torch was finally lit in spectacular fashion. The only drawback was the production cost — $100 million.

Olympic-Inspired Crafts, Games & Home Decor Tips

The Summer Olympics only happen once every four years. It’s an exciting time for Americans to cheer on all kinds of aspiring athletes. Celebrate the American way with Olympic-inspired crafts, games and decor tips.

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Design Tips to Make Your Living Room Scream USA!
There’s no better time to add some star-spangled style to your living space. For two weeks every four years, the Summer Games inspire excitement and national pride that can disappear as soon as the competition ends. Maintain your love of country even after the medals are won by giving your home an American look.

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Creative Olympic Crafts for Kids
Even with the summer Olympics right around the corner, most of the younger children in your family are probably more interested in their own games than the events in Rio. If you can”t spark their interest in the Olympics by turning on the TV, you can get them excited about the events with these fun home crafts.

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Ideas to Make Backyard Sports Safer for Kids
If you’re like most parents, you’re interested in anything that gets your kids off the couch. Playing sports in the backyard might be just the ticket. Backyard sports are a pressure-free way for kids to practice their skills without a coach glaring over their shoulders. Make your backyard a safe place to practice with these tips.

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Animal Olympics: Fun Games to Play with Your Dog
Watching the Olympics inspires many of us to get outside. Playing sports with the family is great, as long as you don’t forget to include your canine friend. If your dog is sitting on the sidelines and begging to be a part of the action, use a few of these dog-friendly ideas to put together an animal Olympics in your backyard.