Fall Football: 5 Dips to Get Your Football Party Started

football-traditionsFall means many things, but to sports fans, it means football! Football season is here and we’re all busy putting together tailgate and game viewing parties. Saturdays and Sundays from now until January we have an excuse to overindulge in some of the richest foods out there. To help you plan your football party menu, we put together a few of our favorite snacks. Here are 5 dips to get your football party started.

corn-jalapeno-dipSomething Spicy If your guests like a little bit of spice, try jalapeño corn dip. This one comes from Holly’s Cheat Day and it’s packed with all sorts of cheesy goodness broken up by bits of spicy jalapeño and kernels of sweet corn. It’s the perfect antidote for a chilly fall day out in a stadium parking lot.warm-bacon-dip

Bacon Bites Who can turn down warm bacon dip? Wait, let’s rephrase that: who can turn down gooey, cheesy, warm bacon dip? Not many and that’s why we had to include Kitchen Meets Girl’s formula for yummy. There are only five ingredients and the directions are as simple as mixing them all together and throwing it all in the oven. It doesn’t get more delicious and easy than that!beer-cheese-dip

Beer is More Than a Beverage Beer is a must-have for any football party, but after you try this hot beer cheese dip from Cook the Story it will become standard at your tailgate party as well. It’s a little more complicated than the other dips, but it pays for your efforts in smiles and yummy noises.green-chili-dip

Taste of Tacos If you want all the flavor of tacos without having to put in the effort of making them, make them in the form of dip! That’s what Memories by the Mile did. Basically, the only things you have to do are buy the ingredients, brown some meat and throw everything in the slow cooker and let it go!  It gives you a chance to enjoy the game while your guests enjoy your food.red-pepper-dip

Refined Red Pepper If you have guests with a more refined palate, here’s a recipe that’s a little more sophisticated but easy to make. Host the Toast whipped this one up with feta, a little cream cheese to cut the salt, and added roasted red pepper for sweetness, with chipotle for a bit of a kick. Serve it with anything from vegetables to pita chips — it’s a versatile dip that just about everyone loves.

Every day is a good day for a get together at The Lakeside Collection. Whether you’re having ladies over for your book club or you’re planning a holiday cocktail party, Lakeside has ideas and products to make your party dazzle.

Dog-Friendly Destinations for Labor Day

girl-with-dogThat cool breeze you felt this morning is a sign that Labor Day is almost here — but so is National Dog Day. Since we know you don’t like to leave town without your furry friend, we came up with a list to honor both Dog Day and Labor Day. Here are 5 dog-friendly destinations for Labor Day.

Columbus, OH Warm and friendly in the summertime, Columbus, OH isn’t just a break in the cornfields, it’s also a place your pup feels at home. With more than fifty pet-friendly hotels, finding a place to stay with your dog is easy. When you’re out and about there are several dog parks where your dog can run around and do what dogs do best — play! The Scioto Audubon Dog Park offers a sand pit for dogs to dig as well as an agility course. There are also a couple of trails where you can explore the green space with your pup. Big Walnut Dog Park has a swimming pond for your pooch, but if you just want to go on a walk, the Olentangy Greenway is a good place for a jaunt.

dog-runningSan Diego, CA If your sights are set on California, head down to San Diego. Not only is it an awesome place for the family to visit, but it’s a place where your pup can fall in love. Not only are there more than 100 pet-friendly hotels, but it’s the home of The Original Dog Beach where dogs can jump waves and scamper in the sand leash-free. Fiesta Island also has an off leash dog park where your dog can romp around on the shores. If the water isn’t your dog’s thing, take your dog to Cowles Mountain for a hike or take a stroll through the Cabrillo Tide Pools Trail, but you’ll need a leash.

San Antonio, TX Deep in the heart of Texas is a special place dogs can call their temporary home: San Antonio. With more than 150 pet-friendly hotels, making this a Labor Day destination for the whole family should be easy. There are also many off-leash dog parks  to choose from. It gets hot in Texas, so most of the dog parks have places for pups to rinse off with plenty of drinking water. The Tom Slick Dog Park and Pearsall Dog Park have picnic tables and fountains for the whole family to enjoy while your pup plays.

Lancaster, PA When we think of Lancaster, PA, we think of covered bridges, horse drawn buggies and the Amish experience, but it’s also a great place to get away with your dog. There are about fifteen pet-friendly hotels and it has more than a few dog-friendly spots to nosh. You can even bring your dog shopping! At Stoudtburg Village, there are several pet-friendly stores will occasional pet-friendly events. For play, Beau’s Dream Dog Park is like a resort for dogs with splash pads, a tennis ball tree and plenty of drinking water.dogs-on-a-beach

Key West, FL If your your Labor Day plans mean a trip to the Keys, make sure to bring your dog with you! There are more than 200 pet-friendly hotels to choose from and more than 30 dog-friendly restaurants. But that’s just the practical part — the fun includes kayaking with your pup at Lazy Dog Kayak or dolphin watching with your dog at Wild About Dolphins. If you need solid ground, you can take your dog to Higgs Beach Dog Park to frolic in the sand.

Every day is National Dog Day at The Lakeside Collection. From ideas to give your dog a little more love to products to keep them comfortable year-round, shop Lakeside for great products at practical prices.

Kid-friendly Barbecue Ideas for Labor Day

bbq-familyJust two weeks until Labor Day — our last long weekend of summer to enjoy with the kids. While we’re getting the grill ready for spectacular burgers and filling the cooler with adult beverages, the kids deserve a little culinary attention, too. To make it a family friendly, we put together a list of  kid-friendly barbecue ideas for Labor Day.

Hobo Hack Hobo dinners are fun for camping, but you can do them in your backyard, too! You may choose to get a burger off the grill, but there’s something about having an individual meal wrapped and cooked on its own that intrigues kids. It makes things easy for you, as well — they’re easy to make ahead and cleanup is a snap! There are many meals you can make in a foil packet — check out a few ideas from The Art of Manliness.

Tortilla Temptations There aren’t many kids who can turn down a quesadilla — cheese wit or without chicken, the quesadilla is a solution for the picky eater and the eager grill master. They’re as easy to throw on the grill as they are to throw on a skillet. Quick tip: to make sure the cheese and chicken stay intact, assemble and fold them in the kitchen and microwave the for about 20 seconds — just enough time to make everything stick together so they won’t fall apart before they hit the grill.

pizza#1 Nosh Pizza is the cure-all for any kids’ meal and there’s no reason they can’t have it for a cookout. Pre-baked crusts is the best way to execute — top it with tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni, slide it on the grill and cover it until the cheese is bubbly. Quick tip: make sure to lightly oil the grill before you put the pizza on.

Farm Fave You can’t have a cookout without summer sweet corn! It’s a favorite for kids and adults alike and that you don’t have to heat up the kitchen to enjoy it makes it an entertainer’s favorite as well.

Scrumptious Sides Using the idea of a hobo dinner, make those French fries your kids beg for! Take frozen fries, toss them with a little bit of vegetable oil and salt. Then, using aluminum foil, make a little bowl to hold them and throw on the grill. It takes about a half-hour to get them crispy, but it’s worth the wait. If your kids need a little extra flavor, throw some cheese on top of the fries for the last five or so minutes of cooking.bbq-collection

Summer Sweets A Labor Day cookout isn’t complete without a peach dish! But you don’t have to make a pie or cobbler for your kids to enjoy them; throwing them on the grill gives you all the peachy goodness they need. All you have to do is slice them in half, remove the pits and put them cut-side-down on the grill. When they have grill marks, they’re ready for a scoop of ice cream in the middle to serve as a mini-peach sundae.

The Lakeside Collection has ideas and products for any season and any occasion. From Labor Day cookout tips to holiday decor, shop Lakeside to make your celebration magical.

Ideas for your Labor Day Staycation

staycationWe’re just a few weeks away from Labor Day — with school starting, this may be a good holiday to take it easy and stay home. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Here are 5 ideas to make your Labor Day staycation memorable.

Garden Gala Make the last weekend of summer magical for your kids with a backyard carnival! For their friends who are in town, it gives them one last hurrah before they have to hit the books. Get their parents involved to rent a bouncy house, and put together stations for face painting, crafts or cookie decorating. Setup or cleanup aren’t tough tasks if you keep it simple.

Outdoor Observations Stargazing is dazzling any time of the year, but Labor Day weekend happens to be the weekend of International Observe the Moon Night. Events are set up across the country to stargaze and look at the moon while it’s still warm enough to be outside at night. Though the moon is the focus on Saturday, September 6, Mars and Saturn should be visible, too.

campfire-cookoutA Convenient Campfire Forget camping and forget a barbecue — fuze the two into a campfire cookout! It’s much more fun than a barbecue and much more convenient than actually going camping. Put together a fire pit similar to a campfire and make all the things you would on a camping trip — only when you’re done with your hobo meals, hot dogs and s’mores, retire to your bedroom rather than a tent! You’ll probably still smell like campfire, but it’s worth the temporary odious odors for a good time.

Open-Air Morning Munchies Soon, mornings will be too dark to enjoy outdoors; to make sure you take advantage of them while you can, have a picnic breakfast in the park on this last weekend of summer! It doesn’t have to be elaborate — juice, a thermos of coffee, muffins — just enough to get you out of the house to enjoy the beauty of a summer morning.drive-in

Alfresco Flicks Many communities host movies in the park, but not many communities still have a drive-in theater. If you live in one of those fortunate communities, go on an outdoor adventure to see a movie from the comfort of your car with the convenience of theater concession stands! Even if there’s not a drive-in theater in your city or town, there may be one nearby. A little bit of driving takes you to a whole lot of fun!

The Lakeside Collection has everything you need for every vacation and every season. Whether you need blankets to snuggle in while you’re stargazing or you’re looking for kitchen gadgets to perfect your Christmas dinner side dishes, shop Lakeside for great products at discount prices.

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for the First Day of School

The first day of school is upon us! Just a few more weeks and the kids will be getting up with you to get their breakfast and catch the bus. We’re never as prepared as we’d like to be, but the first day of school doesn’t have to be a disaster. We put together a list of must-have products to make it a little easier on you. Here is this week’s The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for the First Day of School.camo-hoodie-kid

Signature Style He’ll be nice and warm wearing this Boys’ Camouflage Fleece Hooded Jacket. The full-zip jacket features the Highland Timber(TM) camo print. The fabric is designed for maximum breathability, with an anti-pill finish that makes the jacket durable and long lasting. Has two front slit pockets. college-fight-song-alarm-clock

Wake-up Call Wake up to your school’s fight song with a Collegiate Fight Song Alarm Clock! Instead of waking you with an annoying buzzing sound, this clock plays the familiar rousing song and flashes lights to the rhythm of the music. The face of the clock features your school’s logo. Has glow-in-the-dark hands and a 4-minute snooze button on top. girls-quilted-backpack

Travel Flair Girls’ Quilted Patch Backpack is great for travel, school or trips to grandma’s house. It features an embroidered apliqué design, made from a variety of solid and patterned fabrics, and embellished with buttons. It’s fully lined and has a roomy interior for all her things. The top closes with a drawstring, and a fold-over flap with a magnetic snap keeps it secure. She can carry it with the top handle, or with the adjustable 9″-18″ shoulder straps. girls-cotton-skirt

Inaugural Outfit She’ll enjoy twirling around in a Girls’ Embroidered Cotton Skirt. The pretty skirt features lace and embroidered sequin trim with a crocheted hem. It has a smocked and elastic drawstring waistband for a secure, comfortable fit. Imported.frozen-socks

Stylish Socks Keep your toes cozy in chilly weather with the 3-Pair Frozen Knee-High Socks. Each pair features colorful images of your favorite characters. Wear these socks while lounging at home or layer with leggings or tights.

For the first day of school, the last day of school and every day in between, shop The Lakeside Collection for a variety of products at practical prices for everyday needs.


Relaxation Day: 5 Ways to Relax Before School Starts

August 15 is Relaxation Day — and with the start of the school year, this day couldn’t come at a better time! It’s a great reminder to take a little bit of time to take it easy. In honor of the day, we put together a list of ways to relax before school starts.mom-daughter-play

Play Time Play time is the obvious relaxation solution for kids, but it can be just as relaxing for you — and there’s research to prove it! Researchers at Kansas State University did a study on how mothers interact with their children. They found the more mothers engaged with their children, the less overwhelmed they felt. Keep that in mind the next time you have a pile of dishes to do and a stack of bills to pay with no time to do it all — just a few minutes with the kids and your problems won’t seem like big problems.massage-ball

Gentle Hugs Taking time to relax doesn’t mean you have to stop what you’re doing to meditate (though it can be very relaxing) — just getting or giving a hug can ease a lot of tension and aggression you may be experiencing as the school year nears. Hugs and general touching releases the hormone oxytocin — the “cuddle hormone.” Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences found that getting a dose of oxytocin lowers blood pressure as well as lowers stress hormones. A good hug isn’t such a bad way to introduce relaxation into your schedule. If you want to take it a step further with a massage, there’s analysis to back that up as a stress-reliever, too. Australian researchers found massage reduces stress and anxiety almost immediately. If you don’t have time to go to a spa, neck massagers or massage balls are reasonable substitutions.

foodA Good Nosh There are a few ways eating can be relaxing — shoving a handful of cereal in your mouth on your way out the door is not one of them. Try planning out a sit down meal for the family to get everyone in one place, be present and shut out all external distractions. For one hour, ignore work and electronics to eat and enjoy a meal with the family. If that doesn’t help you relax, end the meal with chocolate! Dark chocolate in particular helps you relax. Dark chocolate contains the essential amino acid Tryptophan which aids in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for boosting your mood and improving your sleep. If chocolate isn’t a favorite, Tryptophan is found in other foods like honey, duck and eggs.

exercise-outfitGet Active Some people like to exercise more than others. If you’re one of the others, relaxation may be an incentive to get start a workout routine. Aerobic exercise lowers stress hormone levels and releases the feel-good chemical endorphins. Not only does it release endorphins but, researchers from Princeton University found aerobic exercise restructures your brain to protect it from stress. It seems toning up is just a bonus to being more relaxed.

The Lakeside Collection has your back as the school year approaches. Whether you need ideas on how to relax or you need supplies to make the transition a little easier, look to The Lakeside Collection for inspiring products at affordable prices.

5 Ways to Be Lazy and Still be Productive on Lazy Day

lazyAugust 10 is Lazy Day! Not only does it land in the summer when we want to do nothing but sit around the pool drinking tropical cocktails with umbrellas, but this year it falls on a Monday — the day we dread doing work the most. While it’s easy to be lazy, it makes getting things done later very difficult. But there are ways around that. Here are 5 ways to be lazy and still be productive on Lazy Day.

Listen to a Podcast There are hundreds of podcasts to download and listen to when you don’t feel like doing much. A lot of them are fun as well as informative. Check out 99% Invisible, Radio Lab or Dinner Party Download — they always have fascinating stories that involve history, science and even etiquette. It’s impossible to listen to any of them without learning something new.

napTake a Nap Naps can recharge you to be more productive. However, you have to nap the right way. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best time for napping is mid-afternoon because you regain the energy the morning sapped from you and it’s a time that is least likely to affect nighttime sleep. So don’t feel guilty if you go out to your car for an afternoon nap — it improves your mood, alertness and performance.

Delegate If there’s something you need to get done, you can ask someone to help you with it. If there’s something you need done at work, ask a fellow team member to help you with it. You don’t have to be coy, just let them know you need to share the load for the day. Chances are, they’ll need to share their load in the very near future.

smartphoneDownload a Few Apps There are dozens of apps to help us be more productive. From tracking our exercise performance to paying our bills and grocery shopping, there’s no end to what apps can help us with. It takes no more energy than pushing a button — and it can be entertaining to explore all the different ways our smartphones help us navigate our lives.

christmas-shoppingStart Your Christmas Shopping Online Sitting in front of your computer scrolling through Facebook and Twitter is our default distraction, but it’s seldom productive. Instead of checking out what other people are doing, start your Christmas shopping online. You get to shop! Not only do you get to indulge in one of your favorite leisure activities, but if you’re doing your Christmas shopping, you’re reducing potential stress around the holidays. That means no scrambling for last minute ideas or hoping packages arrive in time to wrap.

Perhaps if Lazy Day were every day — we’d all be a little more productive. Since it’s not, look to The Lakeside Collection for ideas and products to make every day productive.

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for Labor Day

We have just a few weeks left before Labor Day arrives. We’re doing everything we can to make the most of the waning days of summer! But, of course, we want to end it on a high note so we need to start planning Labor Day weekend now. Whether you’re spending it on the beach or in the back yard, we have hundreds of products to help you live it up on your last weekend of summer. Here is this week’s The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week for Labor Day.camo-luggage

Trendy Traveler 3-Pc. Luggage Set comes with different bags to suit your traveling needs. Fun, vibrant prints make sure that your luggage is easily recognizable. The rolling bag features a handle that extends up to 15″, the duffel has sturdy double handles and the carry-on tote has a 14″ strap. trunk-organizer

Travel Companion This collapsible organizer helps you sort everything in your trunk and also comes with a removable cooler. Use all 3 compartments to store maps, emergency supplies, shopping bags and more. Or, use one of the compartments to hold the removable cooler. Fully insulated, the cooler has room for snacks and drinks, a full-zip closure and a handle. The organizer has pockets on both ends. Both the organizer and cooler fold for compact storage.gourmet-gift-set

Summer Spice Unleash your inner chef with the Gourmet Kitchen Gift Sets. The 5-Pc. Bread Dipping Set includes 4 decorated saucers and a 4-compartment plastic jar packed with seasonings. All you add is a loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of olive oil for a delicious treat everyone will love. Each saucer (4″ dia.) features an olive branch design and raised edges to keep your oil from spilling. The seasoning jar includes Sicilian, Parmesan, Tuscany and Rosa Maria blends (0.6 oz., each). Plates, melamine. Dishwasher safe. Use a 4-Pc. Gourmet Set to spice up your favorite meal, as a marinade, or to add a creative twist to your cooking. Just mix the flavors in! novelty-spatula

Cookout Contraptions Have more fun at your next backyard barbecue using a cleverly-shaped Stainless Steel Novelty BBQ Spatula. With a serrated edge along one side, each spatula is strong and sturdy to allow you to place your food on the grill. Bonus bottle opener at the top of the handle, so you can stay refreshed as you cook. disney-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.

5 Good Plants for Droughts

russian-sageFor anyone with a yard, a drought can be a bummer. For anyone with a garden, a drought can be devastating. There is no way around a water shortage, but for gardeners, keeping up with the hobby is manageable. With the right plants, you can have your thriving garden without the worry of drought-shaming from neighbors. Here are 5 good plants for droughts.

Russian Sage Russian sage is a beautiful wispy plant with tiny purple flowers to give your drought-tolerant garden a little color from spring all the way through fall. It prefers well-drained soil with full sun. Initially, they’ll need water to get growing, but once the roots have claimed their soil they do very well in hot, dry conditions.

Blackeyed-susanBlack-eyed Susan Black-eyed Susans are yellow wildflowers that are native to North America. Not only do they practically care for themselves, but as a decorative plant, they’re ideal as they bloom from June to October. Even though they are drought tolerant, black-eyed Susans do need fertile soil and prefer full sun, but partial sun is OK, too.

YarrowYarrow Yarrow is a very low-maintenance plant with blooms that come in yellow, red, white, and pink. They can grow to be quite tall — up to four feet — but its delicate flowers make it approachable. In addition to its drought tolerance, easy care and subtle beauty, it also has medicinal value. It can be used in tea to soothe allergies and congestion as well as used externally to reduce skin irritation and rashes.

lambs-earLamb’s Ear Lamb’s ear is a native plant to Iran and Turkey, which means lamb’s ear not only tolerates a hot dry climate, it thrives in it. It’s named for its fuzzy leaves but it flowers in late spring and early summer in shades of pink or white. It needs very well-drained soil — too much moisture may create a problem as they can be invasive like mint. But it’s easy to grow and transplants well.

voodoo-stonecropVoodoo Stonecrop Voodoo Stonecrop makes an elegant red ground cover. It’s a succulent and blooms mid-summer so it needs full sun. It doesn’t like cold weather, so it needs to be protected from frost, but it is generally a low-maintenance plant. It’s good for both a garden accent or as an element in a container garden.

We take gardening seriously at The Lakeside Collection! From ideas for what to plant during a drought to yard decorations to keep your lawn pretty year-round, look to Lakeside for all your gardening needs.

July Pinteresting Picks

It seems like winter just ended, but our Pinterest followers are already starting to make the transition from summer to fall. From easy ideas to spruce up the kitchen to cute winter accessories, you can tell by what they pin that they’re excited about every season. Here are our July Pinteresting Picks.country-check-tablecloth

Country Chic This check tablecloth adds quaint country style to your dining room or breakfast nook while offering durability for everyday use. The top has a large checkered pattern with a small checkered border.emergency-candle

Emergency Essentials The Emergency Candle Set is an invaluable tool to have on hand in a power outage. The metal base has a storage drawer with nine 4″ wax candles inside and a handle for easy carrying. The glass chimney keeps the flame contained. Serves as a decorative accent when not in use.

window-tieLet There Be Light 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. bootie-cutiesEasily let the sunlight in when you want it, and let it loose when you need a little extra insulation at night.

Cozy & Cute This pair of bootie cuties gives your favorite boots a playful look with adorable animal cuffs. Featuring knit construction with embroidered details, these critters play peek-a-boo when you fold the cuff over the top of your boots. slim-can-storageThey add a little bit of cheer to every snowy step you take!

Compact Convenience Slim Can and Spice Rack gives you much more storage while taking up very little room. Almost 3 feet tall, it’s also extremely slim (3-1/2″ wide), so you can place it in between appliances, cabinets and other narrow spaces. It’s on wheels, so you can use the silver pull handle on the side to access it whenever you need it. Open shelves are made to securely hold soda cans, spice jars and other small items.