Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

wine glasses frostedToday’s post is our weekly roundup, which is always fun because that means it is Friday! We think weekends should be enjoyed in their entirety, so we’ve decided to compile a list of items that will help you make the most of your weekend. We all see different things when we look to the weekend; some of us can’t wait for Friday afternoon happy hour, while others are planning a date with their couch and a good book, and still others have big plans for 18-mile marathon training runs. Whatever kind of weekend you’ve got planned, here are a few items to make it awesome.

Frosted Stemless Wine Glasses

Let’s be honest here for a second, the number one best thing about Friday is the wine that normally comes along with it. Whether you’re enjoying happy hour with your coworkers or enjoying a few glasses of wine at home with your spouse, Friday and wine go hand in hand. Which is why we think every home deserves a set of these great Frosted Stemless Wine Glasses! With fun phrases like, “Conserve water, drink wine,” you will get a kick out of these trendy fun additions to your home bar.

 Garage Grip Area Mat

We know plenty of you men (and women) like to spend your weekends tucked away in the garage on solitary projects for your home. Unfortunately, shed, garage, and man-cave concrete floors are hard on your back, legs, and feet, requiring breaks and causing fatigue. If you’re a big fan of do-it-yourself projects, then invest in this great grip area mat for your garage, workshop, or shed and never worry about those aches and pains again! This nonstick mat is also grease and oil resistant so you can get some of those house and auto projects done! Take this weekend to teach your kids a thing or two about cars, or show your teens how to safely use power tools.

Divided Food Storage Containers

It’s picnic time! It is March, and lots of you are experiencing your first warm-weather days of the year. Take advantage of the sun with a little hike and outdoor picnic. Work up a sweat to stay comfortable, and then enjoy fresh fruit, salad, and sandwiches from these great divided food storage containers. Check out some fun walks and hikes in your area and go enjoy the great outdoors! You can pack up the kids and the dog and enjoy a fun and relaxing afternoon hike with a break for healthy picnic snacks!

Active Wear

For some people, weekends mean more time to exercise, enjoy the weather, and train for a Marathon, Triathlon, or Couch-to-5K program! We all know it’s a great idea to get moving on the weekends, which is why we love these plus-size sporty coordinates and women’s active wear leggings. Run in style, and really earn Sunday’s endless mimosa brunch with these great apparel items.

Instant Spouts

In addition to training runs and brunches, Sundays are for cooking and baking. Whether you’re busting out the slow cooker for your weekly meals or not, we still think you should spend a little time whipping up a few muffins or cupcakes for a fun and delicious treat. We love these silicone instant spouts for making cakes, muffins, brownies, pancakes, and waffles without making such a mess. No need to drip all over the counter or get endless ice cream scoopers dirty, just attach the spout and pour the batter. Now you can go enjoy a book on the couch while your goodies bake away!

The History of Mardi Gras: More Than Just Colorful Beads

Mardi Gras MaskMardi Gras is primarily thought of as a time to party and get crazy in New Orleans. The holiday conjures up images of huge parties on Bourbon Street, strewn with purple, yellow, and green beads. There’s more to this holiday than drinks, parades, and creative masks. Translated from French to “Fat Tuesday” in English, Mardi Gras is based on history and traditions, both old and new. Here are a few things to know about this holiday before you go crazy with your parties this evening!

Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday

As many people know, Ash Wednesday is a religious day that recognizes the first day of the forty days of Lent. Lent is traditionally a time to abstain, as Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent, and many people of Christianity give up sweets, chocolate, bread, or other treats. Fat Tuesday is the day many people get their fill of the soon-to-be forbidden treats, and in the U.K. this day is sometimes called Pancake Day. (Might we suggest a tool for that?) Others choose to confess their sins on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is why it is sometimes called “Shrove Tuesday.” (From the word shrive, which means to confess.) This last chance for outrageous behavior is contributes to the crazy partying of Mardi Gras.

Celebrate in style with traditional Mardi Gras treats and New Orleans cuisine:

Mistick Krewe

The Roman Catholic Creole community put on the original carnival celebrations, but the parades were poorly organized, and primarily confined to the Catholic Creole community. In 1856, business owners of New Orleans got together to create the Mistick Krewe of Comus, which put on highly organized, and sometimes-elegant celebrations for carnival season. Legend has it that the invitations to Comus festivities, including the ball, were highly guarded secrets, and may have contributed to the tradition of wearing masks at the Mardi Gras parades.

Colorful Beads

The story behind the colorful beads all started with Rex, the King of the first carnival in 1872. He chose the royal colors for the celebration (legend has it that he was actually Russian royalty), with purple representing justice, green for faith, and gold for power. Apparently the idea was for people on parades to throw the beads to those who resembled these traits. The original beads were made of glass, which wasn’t very conducive to throwing, but today’s loot consists of plastic beads and coins in varying colors. Green, purple, and gold are still essential to Mardi Gras celebrations.

Mardi Gras Masks

What Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without colorful and creative masks? Masks offered individuals the opportunity to truly enjoy themselves without class constraints; for a couple of days they could be whoever they wanted to be. The tradition continues today, and all who attend the parades show up in highly decorated masks.

Torch Throwers

Finally, you might notice very talented flamethrowers leading the parade floats, which you might consider a more modern addition. However, those traditional torches were simply a way to light the streets so the revelers could enjoy the parades and festivities after dark. Attendees would often throw coins to the torchbearers in appreciation.

Pinteresting Picks for February

Out with February and in with March! Another month is upon us, and it’s time for our monthly pin round up. The majority of our pinners are more than ready to put the cold days in the past, and we’re all looking forward to springtime activities, eating lighter, and planning our gardens. Here’s a quick list of pins that everyone loved in February.

Whimsical Boot Planters

ladybug boot planters

Spring is fewer than three weeks away, which means garden season is right around the corner! Before you know it you’ll have gigantic zucchini squash and beautiful herbs and tomatoes popping up in your garden. What garden is complete without a few fun accessories? We’d say that’s why these whimsical boot planters were popular last month, and just look at how cute they are! Every garden deserves a little aesthetic facelift, and these great ladybug boot planters are a great way to bring a little nature inside your home while you wait out the rest of winter.

Ceramic Chip N’ Dip Bowls

chip n dip bowls

Party planning never takes a vacation, and this set of chip and dip bowls is the perfect addition to your St. Patrick’s Day spread. The polka dot exterior is perfect for Easter, while the green interior keeps it festive for St. Patrick’s Day. This is the best color scheme for springtime celebrations, which is why our pinners love it! Try out new recipes for spinach-artichoke dip, Tzatziki sauce, hummus, and more for your Irish festivities this month!

Lavender Wreaths and Garlands

spring wreath garland

Wreaths and garlands aren’t just for fall and winter, and these great spring floral wreath designs show you just how versatile they can be. Purple might just be the color of the year, which is why this lavender wreath and garland set is one of our top pins for February. Welcome spring in style with these great décor additions to your home!

Giant Chalk Pencil With Sharpener

chalk pencil

Families everywhere are trying to avoid cabin fever with their little ones, and we’re all looking forward to more time outside. This fun giant chalk pencil is perfect for creative kids who like to doodle, and it even comes with its own sharpener! If you’ve got kids, or even if you babysit your nieces and nephews, this is a great way to keep them entertained. There are three different colors of chalk, which are loaded into the jumbo pencil for a fun afternoon on the sidewalk. This giant chalk pencil is a great way to keep your kids entertained on springtime afternoons; stock up and prepare your arsenal of fun outdoor activities while you wait out the last couple of weeks of winter.

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items For The Week

fleece footed men

It’s Friday, but it’s also the very last day of February. It’s hard to believe we’re already two full months into January, but here we are! Even though spring is just a few weeks away, many of us across the country are still looking at another week or more of sleet, snow, and ice! We’ve decided to highlight some of our sale items that will keep you cozy and comfortable as you wait out the rest of this crazy winter!

Microfleece Sheet Sets

The last thing you want to do during cold winter days is, well, anything! So we say snuggle up with these soft microfleece sheets with your little ones and enjoy a little warm relaxation in bed. You’ll never have to worry about freezing while you try to sleep, and you can even lower your heating bill by turning down the heater during the night. And, if the power goes out and you’re house is running on a generator, at least you’ll have these sheets to help keep you warm!

 

Women’s Boatneck Poncho Sweater

We love this cozy boat-neck poncho sweater for indoor and outdoor use. It’s perfect for those extra-cold days that don’t seem to be going away anytime soon! This is a great fashionable poncho that can be worn to work, over workout clothes, or while lounging around the house watching movies with the kids. Everyone needs a loose, soft, warm sweater for daily use!

Women’s Fun Print Slippers

These bootie slippers are great for indoor wear, as well as running outside to grab the mail or bring in the trashcan. The insoles are super soft, keeping your feet warm and cozy as you wait out this endless winter! Made from polyester with rubber soles, they’re sure to last more than one season, and make the perfect colorful addition to any at-home lounging. Check out the great colors, patterns, and pom-poms!

Men’s Fleece Footed Pajamas

When footie pajamas first came back on the scene – for adults, not just kids – there were skeptics, there was laughter, but then, there was a whole lot of warmth. Now footie pajamas are mainstream comfort, and keep adults and kids happy all around the year! We love these NFL men’s footie pajamas for wintery days and nights, and especially for stepping outside to put the kids on the bus or grab the mail. You can even wear these super-warm footie pajamas under your snow coats, pants, and boots to stay extra-warm while you shovel snow!

Spring Is Almost Here – Get Your Garden Ready Now!

Planter

Planning can make all the difference between a garden that blooms and one that falls flat. Check out these great tips to jumpstart your spring and summer garden to enjoy produce and flowers all season long!

Start Composting

The first step for any garden begins with the soil. Soil quality is the single most important aspect of any garden, especially organic home vegetable gardens. You can easily upgrade your soil quality with a little homemade compost, and it is virtually free! All you need is a big trashcan, yard waste, and food waste from the kitchen. Make sure this combination has plenty of air, warmth, and is regularly mixed.

Make a Blueprint

Remember what you did last year? Did it work? Did you like how it looked? Draw up a blueprint of what you did last year and make appropriate and necessary changes for this season. Figure out the best way your flowers, bushes, vegetables, and fruits grow in your designated area by looking at last year’s notes and doing a little research online. Once you’ve compiled all the information, you can create a final blueprint for this year’s garden!

Add Garden Accessories

What garden is complete without garden accessories? Stock up on wind chimes, garden statues, benches, and more to really spruce up your garden this year. Tuck a funny little garden gnome in between bushes, or place a cute statue in the center of your flowerbed. Find fun and interesting accessories you love and place them creatively around your outdoor area!

Start Plants Indoors

If you really want to kick-start your spring 2014 garden, check out which of your planned plants can be started indoors. Some plant perform best when started in a pot indoors, while others need a lot of space for roots to take hold. You can start small with herbs, lettuces, and peppers, and see what other produce and flowers you can fit inside before the season officially begins.

Upgrade Your Gear 

One of the most excited parts of any project is the chance to upgrade some of your older tools and outfits! Now is the time to start thinking about those new gardening gloves, that old leaky hose, and the rusted wheelbarrow. Take inventory of your tools and gear and start looking for replacements for items that won’t last another season. Treat yourself to comfort items like kneepads and waterproof gardening pants, and consider upgrading from your old baseball cap to a full-coverage sun hat to keep sunburn at bay!

Revamp Your Bedroom With These Quick Changes

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your bedroom feel different. We’ve got a great list of quick changes that can transform your bedroom into a completely new relaxing room.

artistic headboard

Incorporate Big Artistic Pieces 

If you want to make sure your upgrades are noticed, revamp with large pieces of art or a new artistic headboard. A big mirror can be nice for small spaces, and matches more designs, which is great for future changes.

Put Colors in Accessories

There’s no need to paint your entire room bright orange if you want a pop of color. Rather than coloring your walls, bring in colorful accessories like a patterned headboard and new accent pillows. You can always reupholster chairs and fabric headboards to get the exact pattern you want.

Wallpaper Your Shades

Transform your vinyl window shades from plain white or tan to a more exciting pattern. Grab a few pieces of wallpaper that matches your décor and wallpaper the shades for a fun little upgrade that only takes a few minutes. You can also frame wallpaper for added color, or use it as the backdrop for photos on canvas.

Incorporate Nature

With the right houseplants, you can actually feel the difference that cleaner air brings to your bedroom. Find an area out of the way for a large houseplant that brings just enough color and nature to your bedroom. Make sure it’s not going to drape over the bed or take up space near your desk, but let it function as more of a background piece. You can also add small potted plants to nightstands and end tables.

New Lampshades

Make quick small, but noticeable upgrades by changing out your lamps or lampshades for a new style. You can grab plain flat shades and wallpaper them, or find a new design that matches your new artwork.

Reorganize Your Bookshelf

Bookshelves and display shelves can get very cluttered; take a few minutes to reorganize them. You can re-cover some favorite classics with new designs, and incorporate knickknacks and candles that match the décor. Be sure to bring the spines to the front edge of the shelves and intermingle frames pictures or antique bowls for accessories.

Streamline “Getting Ready”

While you’re making small décor changes, be sure to consider your closet, armoire, and vanity area. If you’re most likely to get ready for the day in your bedroom, try to organize all your necessary items in a sensible way. Then you’re less likely to toss accessories and outfits on the bed or floor when you are trying to decide what to wear. Keeping everything streamlined and organized is one of the best ways to keep your bedroom looking fresh.

4 Tricks to Stay Warm in Sub-Zero Temperatures

 

spirit fingersThis winter has been harsh, and many of us are living in temperatures we never knew could exist outside of Antarctica. To make sure we all stay warm, here are a few quick tips to combat the cold. You’ve only got a few weeks left of these record low temperatures, so bundle up and get through it!

1) Draft Stopper

Wooden doors tend to swell in summer and shrink in winter, leaving small gaps of space that let in big drafts. One small door draft stopper (door snake) can be the difference between a freezing cold draft and a warm and cozy home. You can find a decorative snake to shove under your door, or find one that attaches to the base of the door to make sure there’s no gap letting in cold air.

2) Heated Blankets

One of the more underrated home accessories, heated blankets are a life saver! When you’re watching TV on the couch, you really don’t need to heat the entire house, and electric blankets are warm enough to keep several people cozy while watching movies and catching up on the Olympics. Rather than cranking the heat, invest in a few heated blankets instead. You can even remove your duvet and place them directly on your bed for about 10 minutes to warm up your sheets and mattress before climbing in at night!

3) Hand & Feet Warmers

Trudging through the cold weather is best left to Alaskan wilderness explorers, but sometimes we find ourselves in similar situations while simply trying to get to work! If you have to wait for public transportation, or if your car takes a long time to get warm, consider stocking up on a few reusable or disposable hand warmers. We like putting them in our socks and boots and shoving them in our mittens when we’re riding the train to work! Pair that with a hot cup of tea or coffee and you’ll be warm before you know it!

4) Cover All Gaps

Much like insulating your home, the gaps of skin you leave uncovered can let lots of heat escape. You should wear gloves that cover your shirtsleeves, or that can be tucked into your sweater. Leggings may not be the warmest gear of all, but when you wear them under your jeans or work pants, or over your tights, they can make a huge difference! If you have to walk more than 20 feet outside in sub-zero temperatures, leggings and insulated activewear will keep you warm. It’s also important to wear long socks that reach about midway up your calf, and if you’re wearing leggings, tuck them into the socks to keep all the heat inside!

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

minnie mickey kissHere at The Lakeside Collection we’ve been busy with office Olympics, but we still make time for the holiday of love! We hope that you’ve already stocked up on jewelry, wine, chocolates, flowers, beer, and anything else you need to make today or tonight a huge success for you and yours. We’re highlighting our favorite fun Valentine’s Day gift items in honor of the holiday. Here are some of the items we’re gifting to our loved ones today.

Disney Salt & Pepper Shakers

This is such an adorable gift; everyone will love these cute Disney salt and pepper shakers. Although they’re meant for the kitchen or dining room table, you can also gift them to kids to play with or fill with glitter. We love having these happy little Disney characters on the table, and since they’re not your standard salt and pepper shakers, you never get confused about which is salt and which is pepper. We will definitely be dining with these adorable little shakers this evening. They’re a perfect pair for sweet and sentimental cards, or fun and goofy notes for your Valentine.

Shoe Wine Bottle Holders

What better way to present a bottle of wine to the shoe-lover in your life than in a wine bottle holder shaped like a shoe? Grab your lady’s absolute favorite bottle of wine and present it in this cute wine holder. We think it’s a fun way to display wine for date night, but also a great gift to the single lady in your life who still has plenty of girls’ nights.

LED Light String With Timer

Need another centerpiece for your table? This LED light is the perfect partner for a Valentine’s Day bouquet. We’ve got another month or so until daylight savings, so it’s still pretty dark in the morning and early evenings. With the warm white LED light, we can light up our flower arrangements, centerpieces, houseplants and more, without resorting to open flames. They will look great on the front table paired with roses, wine, and two glasses tonight. No other lights necessary!

Men’s NFL Watches

The NFL season might have come to an end, but a true fan’s loyalty never leaves. These NFL watches are going fast, but we’ve found them to be the perfect piece of memorabilia for a true football fan. They’re an excellent Valentine’s gift for budding relationships because they’re not too expensive, but not meaningless or cliché. Watches are a great gift because they’re stylish and practical – you always need to know the time! These NFL watches are actually perfect for daily use and high movement activities like running and biking because they’re water resistant and contain an adjustable nylon band for comfort.

Enjoy your day of love with treats, sweets, drinks, and enjoyment. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Five Fun DIY Valentines

We all know it’s really the thought that counts. So whether you’re 3 or 33, you should put a little extra thought into your Valentine’s Day gifts this year with DIY Valentines! We’ve got great ideas for adults and kids. Make cute and clever Valentines with your kids, or create the perfect DIY card to pair with the perfect gift for your Valentine.

I’m Bananas For You

you make me bananas

This is a great party favor for kids to take to their class. Instead of the traditional Valentines with candy, send your kids off with a clever little pun and a healthy treat. Using a small banana (or a snack bag with banana chips), attach a red heart with the saying, “I’m bananas for you,” to the front. With a real banana, you can also help them etch little hearts in the peel the night before. They’ll darken overnight and show up the next day at school!

Image Source: Dream a Little Bigger

I Mustache You: Will You Be Mine?

mustache-valentine-printable

Playing off the popularity of mustaches these days, you can use a picture of your kid with a fake mustache, mustache stickers, or mustache-shaped lollipops to make this fun Valentine! Just attach your awesome mustache prop to a card that says something like: “I mustache you a question: Will you be my Valentine?”

Image Source: Design Dazzle

Hole-Punch Confetti Cards

DIY-Valentine-confetti

This is a good card for any age, and it’s easy enough for anyone! Head over to the craft store and get a few different colors of paper, regular glue (not a stick) and a heart-shaped hole-puncher (look in the kids or crafts sections). Simply punch out a bunch of different colored heart-shaped holes and mix them together. Then draw a design on a blank card or sheet of paper with the glue, and sprinkle the heart-shaped confetti over the card! Shake off the excess and let the glue dry. You can also follow this beautiful how-to for more tips!

Image Source: Design Improvised 

Light Of My Life

This is a cutesy idea that’s best for adults, since candles aren’t always allowed in schools. Grab a candle with your significant other’s favorite scent, and decorate it with a little washi tape or ribbon and affix the message, “You light up my life,” or even, “You’re the flame of my heart.”

Main Squeeze

main squeeze

Finally, we LOVE this adorable idea for another healthy school treat for the kids to take instead of candy. Using squeezable applesauce pouches, simply tie a note with each student’s name and the message, “You’re my main SQUEEZE.”  You can also use refillable smoothie pouches or an individual pouch of peanut, almond, or sun butter with an apple or banana.

Image Source: The Gifting Experts

Pinteresting Picks for January

cosmetic bagsJanuary has ended, and just when we were all recovering from the holidays and thinking about those resolutions, we had a busy week preparing for yesterday’s big game! Now that things are settling down again here at The Lakeside Collection, we’re taking a look at some of the most popular Pinterest pins from January. Let’s see what you’ve all been enjoying over the past month.

Gifts Under $20 – Allegro Quilted Cosmetic Bags

Christmas may be over, but giving gifts is a year-round affair. With one of the most popular resolutions being “save more, spend less” it’s no surprise that gifts for under $20, such as this cosmetic bag, were popular pins last month. We’ve got lots of great gift ideas for $20 and under, so check them all out!

Spoon Rest and Utensil Set

spoon rest Another big hit in January, these attractive spoon and utensil rest sets are the perfect solution to messy counters and oven, and they’re especially perfect when you’re making sauces or cooking with oil. The bowls at the bottom catch all the drips, while the vertical style is attractive, easy, and much cleaner than standard spoon rests!

Footprint Stepping Stones (Set of Four)

Most of us are still experiencing blizzards, but in the southern corners of the country, we know it’s almost time to start planting for spring, which is probably why these adorable footprint stepping stones are growing in popularity! January is a great time to start thinking about what you want to do with your garden this year, and the perfect time to get your compost pile started!

 

twist roller rideTwist Roller Ride On

Who is ready to play outside with the kids? Apparently lots of you are, and you’re preparing with fun outdoor toys like this Twist Roller Ride On, which is great outdoor fun for kids 3 and up. It uses all the basics of physics – centrifugal force, gravity, and aerodynamics – to give your kids and fun and effortless ride around the driveway, sidewalk, blacktop, or other smooth surface. Pedals aren’t even necessary! Definitely put this one on your list for spring and summer fun.

Perfect Pancake Pan

Another fun pin, we love the perfect pancake fan, and so do pinners! We thing everyone should use it to make these cinnamon roll pancakes  – are so decadent and delicious, no wonder everyone kept re-pinning them too. We think they’re the perfect treat for your sweet this Valentine’s Day! And, with the Perfect Pancake Pan, making them for your sweetheart will be a piece of cake!