Treat Yourself to an Early Christmas in Fall

The busy Christmas shopping season is getting closer and closer. And with Lakeside’s Christmas Catalog for 2016 now online, it’s easy to get a jumpstart on all your holiday shopping. But you don’t have to wrap up everything and save it for the holidays. Here are some sweet treats for Christmas, family activities for some fun this fall, as well as some gift ideas to treat yourself right now so you don’t have to wait until the holidays.

Sweet Treats You Have to Try
assorted-gourmet-pretzel-tubchocolate-chip-cookie-milk-tinsmarshmallow-madness-tub

Assorted Gourmet Pretzel Tub
An irresistible combination of salty and sweet, gourmet pretzel rods are a tasty treat. Each tub contains 20 pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and chocolate swirls, dusted in cocoa or sprinkled with chocolate candy.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Tins
This milk tin is filled with bite-sized versions of chocolate chip cookies. A lovely seasonal image adorns the milk tin, which can be reused for storage or decor when the cookies are gone. Contains 12 oz. of cookies.
Marshmallow Madness Tub
The marshmallow tub is filled with rich and delicious chocolate-covered marshmallows. It has approximately 30 oversized pieces coated in chocolate, topped with candy-coated pieces and drizzled in white chocolate.

Something Special Just for You
cozy-sock-and-lotion-gift-boxed-setsbirthstone-floating-charm-locket-necklacespersonalized-stainless-steel-mugs

Cozy Sock and Lotion Gift-Boxed Sets
With this super cozy sock and lotion gift-boxed set, your feet will stay comfortably soft and moisturized. The feminine set features a revitalizing scented foot moisturizer and a pair of ultra-soft socks tied with a bow.
Birthstone Floating Charm Locket Necklaces
This silvertone, heart-shaped locket is outlined in crystals, with a see-through window and floating charms. Locket has a magnetic closure to add or remove charms. Hangs on a ball chain with a lobster claw clasp.
Personalized Stainless Steel Mug
This mug is a cute and customized way to sip your morning coffee. The trendy pattern wraps around the 16-oz. insulated design. The mouth opening slides open and closed, and the top is airtight yet easily removed.

Family Gifts for a Fun-Filled Fall
licensed-trivia-boxes1000-Piece-Seasonal-Leaf-Shaped-Puzzlefarkel-game-set-with-dice-rolling-tray

Licensed Trivia Boxes
Get together with your family and test your knowledge of the facts with this Licensed Trivia Box. It contains hundreds of trivia questions, as well as character cards or game cards, perfect for a fall family game night.
1,000-Pc. Seasonal Leaf-Shaped Puzzles
Unlike traditional puzzles, this 1,000-Pc. Seasonal Leaf-Shaped Puzzle has a unique silhouette in the spirit of the season. It’s also filled with detailed artwork from one of the four seasons. Perfect for fall and winter.
Farkel Game Set with Dice Rolling Tray
This classic, high-scoring dice game is great for a family game night. The set includes a dice rolling tray with scoring combinations printed in the center of the felt cloth and a dice collection alley along the outside edge.

How to Treat Yourself for Valentine’s Day

ValentineValentine’s Day is a day we set aside for honoring our sweethearts. It feels good to do something thoughtful for the ones we love, but it’s nice to do something nice for ourselves occasionally. This Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid to indulge! Here are 5 ideas to treat yourself for Valentine’s Day.

Eat Chocolate. We love chocolate. It’s the best! Not only does it taste awesome, but, if you get the dark chocolate, it’s good for your health, too! Chocolate has antioxidant properties that reduce the risk of heart disease — among other benefits. While you’re losing yourself in that sweet, velvety chocolate bar, you’re also undoing any damage you might have done with that bag of potato chips.

Entertain Your Guilty Pleasures. Read the tabloids. Find out who’s wearing what to the Oscars. Listen to boy bands, Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande. Dance and get silly. Watch romantic comedies and get lost in the boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-chases-girl-and-wins-her-back-with-a sugary-sweet-fairy-tale-ending. Do the things no one else knows you like to do (and that you’re a little embarrassed about).mask

Take Five. Shut off your brain and relax. Meditation sounds corny and a little new age-y, but there are real benefits from getting complete silence for a few minutes. You can even meditate while giving yourself a facial treatment. According to the Mayo Clinic, it reduces stress, helps you focus on the present and reduces negative emotions. Who wants to feel anxious and angry on Valentine’s Day?

Make Something. Crafting and artistic challenges are not only fun, they also have psychological benefits. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, making art helps people focus on positive experiences and increases self-worth. Not only will you be creating a one-of-a-kind keepsake, but you’ll feel better about yourself while you’re making it.

Pet-ThrowCuddle Up with a Furry Friend. While we love having our pets for companionship, having them around actually has health benefits. According to the American Heart Association, owning a pet reduces the risk of heart disease and can even lower your cholesterol. Cats and dogs are a lot of work to take care of, but they’re worth the love, affection and long life they provide.

While you’re planning Valentine’s Day for your sweetie, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Remember what Samantha Jones told Smith Jerrod: “I love you, but I love me more.” If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

valentine-coupleOn Valentine’s Day, chocolate and flowers are what we expect, but not everyone needs more sweets or flowers in a vase. Every valentine wants or needs something different — even if it’s a practical gift, it can be a thoughtful gift. Here are 5 Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

Treats If you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, try making a treat from scratch. You’ll have to spend time putting something together and baking it — that you went outside of your comfort zone to make something with your own hands is a gift that will melt your valentine’s heart.

maskSpa Day A gift of relaxation is appreciated by just about anyone, but doing the treatment yourself is priceless. Wrap up spa-wear, body scrubs and facial kits to package your gift and let your sweetheart choose a day to cash in on cupid’s coupon.

Flowers… That Take Root Anyone and everyone loves to get a bouquet of flowers — but they never last as long as we want them to. For a gardener, give the gift of flowers your sweetheart can plant that will sprout, grow and bloom beyond February. It’ll be a gift to remind your sweetheart of your love for months rather than days.

A Day Off Between running the kids to and from school and getting to work on time, life is tough to keep up with. Give your beloved the gift of a day off  to show your appreciation. For one day, take over all the errands, chores and cooking your honey does in a day. Sometimes the best gift if the gift of “nothing.”

Clean-houseA Clean House Having a clean house is not only lifting the burden of doing housework, but it can also be quite relaxing. Removing clutter from your field of vision and not having chores hang over your head can ease some of the daily anxiety adults get bogged down with. Whether you take on the responsibility yourself by organizing each room and scrubbing everything from top to bottom or you hire someone to do it for you, your partner will be grateful for such a thoughtful Valentine’s Day Gift.

Valentine’s Day is a day to show your appreciation to the person you love. You don’t have to give chocolates or cards to let your dear know he or she is special — sometimes thoughtful Valentine’s Day treats are nothing more than making your sweetheart’s life a little easier.

Fascinating Facts About Valentine’s Day

valentines-dayValentine’s Day is coming up — we hope you’re prepared to treat your sweetheart! Though it’s never a surprise — it’s on the same day every year — some of the history behind the holiday is surprising. Here are 8 fascinating facts about Valentine’s Day.

  1. In the third century, under Claudius the Cruel, soldiers were forbidden to marry because they were thought to fight better unattached. He did, however, encourage temporary relationships. According to the Smithsonian, during a yearly festival, each man would draw the name of a woman who would become his companion for the year. He would then wear her name on his sleeve for a week. This is one of the theories of how we get the term “wear your heart on your sleeve.”
  2. During that period under Claudius the Cruel, a Roman priest we now know as St. Valentine allegedly performed marriages of soldiers in secret. He was jailed for this.valentines-day
  3. As the legend goes, St. Valentine wrote a love letter to his jailer’s daughter signed “Your Valentine.” That’s when the valentine as we know it was born.
  4. During the mid-to-late 1800’s in England, it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.
  5. Today, about 1 BILLION Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year.
  6. In the United States, Richard Cadbury is popular for his Easter chocolate cream eggs, but he is the man who is credited (though the company lays no claim to Valentine’s Day boxes) for the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. That was in the mid-1800s — today, about 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine’s Day every year.
  7. Venus, the Roman goddess of love preferred the red rose. Today it’s the most popular flower given on Valentine’s Day — more than 50 million roses are bought for the holiday every year.valentines-day
  8. On Valentine’s Day 1876, Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone. His invention has evolved considerably and today it’s keeping sweethearts connected across states, countries, continents and oceans.

Though Valentine’s Day has a grim history, it’s a holiday that brings out the love in most of us even if we don’t have sweethearts. Whether you’re sharing your heart with your one-and-only, your family or your favorite furry friend, anyone can appreciate the sentiments of Valentine’s Day.

4 Tips for Throwing a Midsummer Ice Cream Social

Ice-cream-2We don’t get weather hot enough to eat ice cream all the time, so we should make the most of it while we can. But how can you make something as exciting as ice cream more exciting? By making a party of it! Here are 4 tips for throwing a Midsummer Ice Cream Social for adults and kids alike.

ice-cream-3Flavors
For the ice cream itself, keep it simple and keep it classic. Everyone likes either chocolate or vanilla, so include those and a sorbet or Italian ice as a non-dairy option. Make sure to keep the serving scoops separate to prevent any cross contamination — if your guests want to mix up the flavors, let them do it with their own spoons. With three ice cream flavors, you can leave the excitement for the toppings – that’s where you and your guests can go nuts.

Ice-cream-1Toppings
Make the toppings as elaborate and simple as you want. There’s nothing wrong with serving the basics – fudge, caramel, sprinkles, whipped cream and nuts; your guests can design their sundaes with mixed and matched toppings. If you really want to go the extra mile, crush up cookies, add some candy bar pieces, slice berries, spoon out marshmallow fluff – go wherever your imagination takes you.

Keep it Cold
It’s ice cream; by definition it’s cold and you want it to stay cold. For serving, fill a deep serving tray or large bowl with ice to hold your ice cream in the room but well below room temperature. For ice cream packaged in cardboard containers, place them in a plastic tub to go on top of the ice so the containers don’t get soggy. Until serving time, keep your ice cream dishes and spoons in the freezers so the ice cream doesn’t melt as your guests top their sweet treats.

Keep it Neat
Ice cream is full of sugar and when it melts, it’s sticky. To prevent too much mess, put a vinyl or oil cloth table cloth down for the serving area with a small bucket of warm water and a towel for immediate cleanup.

With the Fourth of July behind us, we only have a few weeks left to enjoy hot weather and cold treats — let’s make every day count!

Inspiring Quotes About… Chocolate!

Chocolate-Bar

Image Source: John Loo via Flickr

It’s Chocolate Day — No other food sparks such guilt and pleasure — that silky, cocoa morsel deserves a day to call its own. Here are some of the best and most inspiring quotes about chocolate.

“Chocolate is the first luxury. It has so many things wrapped up in it: Deliciousness in the moment, childhood memories, and that grin-inducing feeling of getting a reward for being good.”  –Mariska Hargitay

“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.” — Katharine Hepburn

“If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going.”   — Jane Seabrook, Furry Logic Laugh at Life

Chocolate-cupcake

Image Source: Shemille Laine via Flickr

“After about 20 years of marriage, I’m finally starting to scratch the surface of what women want. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate.”  –Mel Gibson

“Mom always said too much chocolate is like having too much love—you can’t get enough.”  ― Geraldine Solon, Chocolicious

“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate.”  ― Sandra Boynton

“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” –Audrey Hepburn

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”  ― Charles M. Schulz

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”  ― Linda Grayson

“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”  ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Box-of-chocolate

Image Source: Ulterior Epicure via Flickr

“Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”  ― Judith Viorst, Love & Guilt & The Meaning Of Life, Etc

“Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain.”  ― Dave Barry

You don’t need a reason to eat chocolate, but Chocolate Day is as good an excuse as any to indulge in the world’s favorite sweet treat. Happy Chocolate Day!

 

 

5 Items You Need for Easter

It feels like we just survived the holidays and New Years and it’s almost time for Easter! With the date being so early this year, many of us are playing catch up. Try not to stress too much, there is still plenty of time to get all the Easter goodies you want. Check out some of our Easter products below.

 

Seasonal-Dishwasher-Magnet-Art

Seasonal Dishwasher Magnet Art makes sure your dishwasher is festively dressed for the holiday. Order each design individually or save and buy them all as a 4-piece set. Magnet backing makes them easy to switch as each new holiday approaches.

 

LED-Lighted-Bunnies

Cute Set of 5 LED Lighted Bunnies glows in color-changing springtime pastels. The bunnies make a charming decorative accent when displayed on shelves or scattered around a room.

 

Easter-Lighted-Seasonal-Block

Cheerful seasonal designs from artist Tina Ledbetter highlight these decorative lighted blocks. Diffused lighting emanates from inside the glass for an appealing look.

 

Springtime-Easter-Yard-Stakes

Greet friends, family and neighbors with the friendly rabbits on these Springtime Easter Yard Stakes. Adorable yard decor is sure to make your holiday complete. Order them separately, or get the 3-pc. set and save!

 

Milk-Chocolate-Dinosaur-Eggs

Milk Chocolate Dinosaur Egg is a fresh take on the Easter egg. The egg is loaded with 6 solid milk chocolate baby dinosaurs: 2 each of T-Rex, Triceratops and Stegosaurus.

Secret Products: Dark Chocolate Wine Sticks

Did you know some of Lakeside Collection’s best products are not in the catalog?  Today I will feature one such hidden gem, Dark Chocolate Wine Sticks.  These delectable candies are made with a soft center that embodies the essence of the wine flavor, though the alcohol has been cooked off.  This sweet indulgence is the perfect post-dinner treat whether it’s accenting ice cream or being paired with coffee.

Choose from Cabernet, Champagne or Port flavors.  Right now these secret products are on special for just $4.95 (save 50%).  For the holidays, Dark Chocolate Wine Sticks make a wonderfully unique present for wine aficionados and candy lovers alike.