House Cleaning Tips

Keeping our house clean can be a pain, but having a clean house is amazing. Since the space often doesn’t clean itself, you are probably always on the lookout for some house cleaning tips on how to accomplish this job quickly and easily. No one wants to spend a lot of time doing this chore, so here are some ways on how to clean house fast and easy.

Get Rid of Clutter

The first step when it comes to how to clean house is to get rid of clutter. Piles of papers and other items can make your home look dirtier than it really is, and it also makes it look smaller. Getting things organized is imperative, and there are several things that can help with this task, including adding a mail basket to your countertop. This will keep small items contained and organized.

There are other organizers you can add to other rooms in your house, including shelves or baskets. Either of these options will ensure that your belongings have a place and are easy to find, as well as assist when it comes to keeping your house sparkling.

Dust and Then Vacuum

If you are wondering how to clean house fast and easy, it’s a good idea to dust first and then vacuum. That way, you can knock all of the dirt onto the floor, and then the vacuum can take care of the rest. Pretty much every surface in your home will need to be dusted, and using a flat flexible duster will ensure that you get into every nook and cranny.

For those high to reach places, such as ceiling fans, use a ceiling fan duster. This will make it quick and easy to get rid of dust and other debris on the fan blades, and you won’t have to drag out a step stool or ladder to accomplish the task.To remove the dust once it has settled into the carpeting, you need a vacuum that is powerful but lightweight. This will make it easier to move it where it is needed, as well as increase your cleaning speed. The Bissell FeatherWeight is a great option for this job and will make vacuuming a breeze.

Wipe Down Counters and Then Mop

When it comes to cleaning tips, working from top to bottom is your best option to get the job done quickly and effectively. Thus, when it comes to cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, the first thing you’ll want to do is wipe down the counters and then mop.

On kitchen and bathroom counters, this is when those sponges in your caddy will come in handy. You’ll also want the right type of cleaner, and Twinkle Countertop Cleaner is a deep cleaning solution that can be used on granite, stone or laminate countertops in both your kitchen and your bathroom.

When it comes to cleaning the bathroom, one of the challenges you have to face is cleaning the tub and shower. Since it can be hard to reach certain areas, you should consider using a telescopic tub and tile scrubber. This will make cleaning the tub and shower from floor to ceiling incredibly easy, and the bristles on this item are strong and durable. The head also swivels, so you can get into hard-to-reach places to remove filth.

When it comes to how to clean house, after you have cleaned the high surfaces, you can then focus on the floors. In the kitchen and bathroom, you’ll need to sweep up any debris, and then you can run a mop over the surface. To make this task fast, consider using a microfiber cleaning spray mop.

While using a mop and bucket is a great way to deep clean your hard floors, when you are trying to get through the cleaning process quickly, using a spray mop is your best option. You won’t waste any time getting cleaning product onto your floors, and it is easy to move this item from one room to another.

There are certain things that are guaranteed to happen in life, and your home getting dirty is one of them. When trying to figure out how to clean house fast and easy, there are some tips and tricks you can follow. The first is to keep it picked up and clutter-free. After that, all it involves is having the right tools

Keep Cleaning Supplies Together

When it comes to how to clean your house fast, not only should you get rid of clutter, but you also need to keep all of your cleaning supplies together. This will save you time and effort searching for what you need, as well as make it easy to transport these items from one room to another.

Items that you should include in your cleaning caddy include a microfiber dusting glove, to make removing debris from various surfaces quick and easy, as well as numerous cleaning sponges that can be used on a variety of different surfaces. When it comes to how to clean your house, having the right supplies is necessary.

Top 3 Christmas Tree Decorating Decisions

Did you know that the tradition of decorating Christmas trees began in northern Europe, and particularly Germany, during the early 16th century? At that time, devout Christians started bringing embellished trees into their homes at Christmastime. Some built pyramid-type structures from wood, and used evergreen boughs and candles to decorate them if wood was hard to find. The story goes that 16th century Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first to add lights to a Christmas tree. Purportedly walking home one evening, composing a sermon, he looked up and caught a glimpse of stars twinkling behind some pine tree boughs. Struck by the beauty of this sight and wishing to re-create it for his family, he erected a pine tree in the main room of his residence and attached lit candles to its boughs with wire.

Hopefully this amazing story will make you want to create a holiday tree that will inspire your family with its splendor. Since the early days, Christmas tree decorating ideas have, without doubt, skyrocketed in elaborateness and options. With all the choices for tree-trimming these days, the ways of going about it are as varied as the people who put up a tree.

1. Real or Artificial?

Before tree-trimming can even begin, of course, the basic choice between using a real or fake tree must be confronted. Nowadays, sustainability is a factor influencing this decision for many families. According to an article published by the National Christmas Tree Association, natural tree sales in the U.S. have remained relatively flat over the past 15 years, with about 27 – 33 million trees sold annually. During that same period, however, artificial tree sales have more than doubled, going from approximately 9 million trees in 2004 to 21 million in 2017.

In spite of the argument that fake trees, composed of PVC and steel, are less sustainable, USA Today reported the findings of an actual sustainability consulting company, which considered such things as greenhouse gas emissions, and water and energy use of real versus artificial trees. On a one-to-one basis, the consultants stated, live trees are more environmentally preferable; however, considering that most artificial trees are used for several years, the fake ones are more sustainable.

Less quantifiable are the intangible factors relating to Christmas trees, such as love for the smell of fresh pine throughout your living room, the value of personal family traditions around Christmas and the holidays, or the romance of trekking out to a rural field or Christmas tree lot to pick the “perfect” pine.

2. Thematic or Eclectic?

Yet another Christmas tree conundrum is the desire to make your tree a reflection of elegance and aesthetic appeal, versus a still-lovely-yet-less-contrived tree decorated with anything and everything that suits your fancy. Again, this is a matter of individual taste and opinion. Some would argue that every Christmas tree, even Charlie Brown’s, is a thing of beauty.

Trees with planned themes can be more challenging and costly to construct, depending on the idea in mind. The simplest are based on color schemes of up to no more than three or four colors, using ornaments such as monochromatic glass balls of varying sizes, metallic bells (to the right), shiny ribbons, garlands and tree picks, which come in all sorts of styles and colors.

More complex themes might include nostalgic, sports, or toys. It can be challenging — yet entertaining and satisfying — to carefully pick out and choose Christmas ornaments that fit a particular idea. For people who love to collect, a theme-based tree can be an impressive reflection of their passion for and skill at this hobby.

Most families who have young children or who prefer a simpler approach will opt for a non-theme tree-trimming style. Most parents hang their children’s handmade ornaments with love and pride, positively encouraging their children to create and participate in holiday festivities. Unlimited types of delightful ornaments, even more meaningful when personalized, can have meaning and significance that brings more joy than “designer-type” decorations. Regardless whether Christmas tree decorations are theme-based or “homestyle,” however, they bring joy to the trimmer and to those who enjoy viewing it during the holiday season.

3. Angel or Star?

Angels have traditionally been placed on the top of a Christmas tree to represent their role at Jesus’ birth. In the nativity story, a “host of angels” appeared in the sky above Bethlehem to announce the birth of Christ. Angels were also involved when Gabriel, the archangel of revelation, revealed to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus; and angels showed up in Joseph’s dreams to inform him that he would be Jesus’ earthly father.

Stars used to top a Christmas tree symbolize the famed Star of Bethlehem (also called the Christmas Star), which led the wise men, or magi, to the exact spot where Jesus was born. Similarly, star ornaments (to the left) anywhere on your tree bring this special meaning to mind, inspiring us to ponder the religious meaning of the holiday.The act of decorating a Christmas can be a tradition in and of itself, with many people having tree-trimming parties to bring holiday festivity to this happy event. The fun of picking out and hanging ornaments can be an important opportunity for fellowship and bonding among family or friends. All the lovely choices we have available today help make our Christmas tree a reminder of the spirit of light and love surrounding the holiday season.

Comfy Loungewear and Sleepwear for Lazy Days

When you’re planning to spend the day at home, you go about picking your outfit a little differently. Comfort takes on a bigger priority, but looking good is still nice, too — even if your roommate is the only one who will see you. Comfortable loungewear and sleepwear are something every adult should have in their chest, dresser or closet. It’s the perfect attire to study for midterms in your dorm room, play videogames on the couch or unwind after a tough day at the office.

Better yet, adult loungewear has become outdoor clothing, too. The right lazy day clothes are now an acceptable choice for walking the dog, running a few errands or even going to casual nightclubs. That means setting aside the stained T-shirts, ripped pants and runny leggings for something more fashionable. Miles Kimball is here with recommendations of the best loungewear for men and women so you can treat yourself well even when you’re relaxing. Buy lounge clothing from our online store to get unique apparel at affordable prices!

Lounge Robes

Sometimes you just want to wake up, throw something on, and call it a day clothing-wise. A comfortable lounge robe is the solution for times when you want to dress simple but feel luxurious. They’re commonly known as bathrobes because many adults wear them between getting out of the shower and putting on their regular clothes. Lounger robes are also a good way to cover up and dry off at the beach. And now stylish apparel such as snap-front fleece robes and embroidered robes are accepted morning and nighttime wear around the house, too.

When you’re not planning to leave the house (except to go to the beach), loungewear robes allow you to get dressed in seconds. You can get short robes or long robes in classic, kimono, gown and hooded styles. Materials include terry cloth, cotton waffle, microfiber and plush micro-fleece for the ultimate stay-at-home comfort. Personalize your robe and make it a go-to on truly casual days.

Lounge Pants

When the goal is to be comfy, the last thing you need is tight denim jeans or khakis squeezing your legs like a tourniquet. The most comfortable lounge pants are made of softer materials that are looser and have some stretch. They should also be warm for those cold autumn and winter mornings.

The most common choices for lounge bottoms are sweatpants, track pants and joggers. This athletic attire is also incredibly comfortable casual-wear for all ages and genders. The differences are as follows:

  • Sweatpants are made of a heavy material that’s nice and warm with a baggy, loose fit.
  • Track pants are made of a lightweight nylon material that is more form-fitting and provides more ease of movement.
  • Joggers are “dressed-up” sweatpants with a better fit and large elastic cuffs at the ankles.

Any of these pants will be great loungewear options. Leggings and yoga pants are also a strong loungewear choice for women. These provide a form-fitting look with spandex and other stretchy materials so you can still move freely.

One-Piece Loungers & Caftans

Now we’re getting into the ultimate combination of simplicity, comfort and style. Loungers and caftan dresses are one-piece woman’s outfits with versatility for various occasions. Both are everyday variations on the robe or tunic that have been worn for thousands of years around the world, making them timeless loungewear.

Generally speaking, a woman’s lounger is longer and has a more form-fitting dress-like shape. Caftans are often shorter and have a looser, less defined fit. Both are available in a variety of styles for various levels of casual. For example, a floral front zip lounger or blue scroll caftan is fine outdoor summer-wear, while a flannel lounger is a cozy stay-at-home winter outfit. Ladies will certainly find something they’re comfortable in and is easy to slip into on a Saturday morning!

Sleepwear

You don’t just need lazy day clothes for when you’re awake — comfortable sleepwear is important, too. You spend a third of your life sleeping, so why not be cozy while you’re at it? Generally speaking, you’ll want something lightweight and loose-fitting while you snuggle under the covers. For both men and women, knit pajama shirts and pants (or shorts) offer affordable comfort. When temperatures cool down, microfleece pants and flannel pants should be your go-to. Get bottoms with an elastic or drawstring waist to avoid squeezing your hips.

If ladies prefer a one-piece outfit, a rib terry gown or silky chemise robe adds some sophistication to your nightwear. People with long hair — even the guys — should also consider a sleep cap. They’ll keep your locks contained as you slumber so you don’t wake up to tangles, frizz and hours of hair clean-up.

Comfortable Shirts

You don’t need to think too hard about what top to wear on a lazy Sunday. For a good loungewear shirt, nothing beats the classic T-shirt. Throw on a cotton T-shirt or an athletic polyester T-shirt and you’ll be good for the day. We recommend ordering one size up from your normal shirts for a fit that’s loose but not frumpy. Graphic tees are fun to keep in the drawer and will be a true friend. Need to step outside to get the mail or pick up milk? Make sure you have a few cozy sweatshirts, sweaters or hoodies on-hand if it’s cool or rainy.

Must Have Gadgets for Quick and Easy Meal Prep

Whether you are cooking for your family or expecting guests, food is the best way to show others how much you care. While spending all day in the kitchen making an elaborate meal can definitely let people know you value and appreciate them, you probably don’t have that much time. Thus, easy meal prep is necessary, and you are probably always on the lookout for easy meal prep ideas.

When it comes to making meals quick and easy, you need to have the right food prep tools. There are many gadgets in the world that can help you accomplish a variety of tasks, but below are some of the meal prep must haves that you should add to your list.

Easy Twist Jar Opener

One of the most frustrating parts of cooking is not being able to open your supplies. This can add time to the meal prep, and may make you consider making a completely new dish. To make things easier, you need an easy twist jar opener. This tool has the ability to help you open a variety of different sized jars quickly and easy. Whether it’s a jar of pickles, sandwich spread or another item, you won’t have to worry about hurting yourself or asking for help after adding this tool to your kitchen.

Bamboo Expandable Cutlery Drawer Organizer

When it comes to easy meal prep, one of the best ways to make food quick and easy is to be organized. When you know where everything is, you can grab it and get to work. To save yourself precious time digging through drawers to find your meal prep tools, get the bamboo expandable cutlery drawer organizer and always know where your utensils are.

Multi-Function Turkey & Barbeque Baster Set

Getting together with friends and family for holidays or other special occasions can be a lot of fun. When it comes to meal prep tools that make feeding the crowd quick and easy, you’ll want to get the Multi Function Turkey & Barbeque Baster Set.

These food prep tools can be used for a variety of different chores and are good at Thanksgiving and for the 4th of July—as well as any time in between. Once you add these to your kitchen accessories, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. The set comes with a baster, brusher and infuser, so you can add spices and injections to any food you might be cooking.

Bamboo Rooster Cutting Board

When it comes to tools to make meal prep easy, having a cutting board is imperative. It protects your countertops from damage and contains messes to an easy to clean surface. Of course, you don’t have to pick a boring cutting board. If you want to add some style and whimsy to your kitchen, then you should consider getting a bamboo rooster cutting board.

Once you are done using this item, you won’t to hide it away in a cupboard. It is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing, so when it’s not in use, you can use it as a decoration. Since it is constructed of bamboo, you can rest assured knowing it is mold- and mildew-resistant, as well as incredibly durable and strong. It is also made from a renewable resource, so you can feel good that you are doing something nice for the environment.

Rolling Meat Tenderizer

Every so often, the meals you decide to make for your family needs some extra attention. However, that doesn’t mean it should take more time to prepare. If you have meat that needs some tenderizing, then you need the rolling meat tenderizer.

This gadget is made from stainless steel and has a jagged surface and the right amount of weight to make steaks, pork chops or chicken nice and tender for you and your family’s eating pleasure. The long handle keeps your fingers away from the sharp edges, and the fact that it rolls means you won’t have to overexert yourself to create a delicious meal.

Stainless Steel Cake Server

If you enjoy having guests over, then you probably enjoy serving cake. To ensure that every slice is the same size and the cake doesn’t fall apart during the cutting process, you need the stainless steel cake server. This useful gadget can also lift the cake away from the plate for you. This utensil will add style and sophistication to any get together, include birthday parties, holidays, anniversaries and more!

You enjoy cooking for friends and family, but you don’t want to spend the entire day in the kitchen. If you’re always looking for easy meal prep ideas, then you are looking for ways to make the process faster. There are tools to make meal prep easy, and investing in them is worth the time and effort.

Spice Measuring Spoons

Letting your family and friends know you love them through food means adding the right amount of spice. When it comes to meal prep must haves, you should look into getting spice measuring spoons.

These measuring spoons are designed with smaller spice bottles in mind, and the narrow shape makes it possible for even the tablespoon to fit into a spice jar. They are constructed from stainless steel and are dishwasher safe. Not only do they make meal prep quick and easy, but cleaning them is also a breeze.

Storage & Organization Ideas for Small Spaces

No matter where you live, whether you own your home or rent, it doesn’t take long for you to acquire a bunch of stuff. If you’re like most people and don’t have the option of having a large home, then you need to find a way to organize your belongings in the space that you have. Keeping all of these items organized and your house clutter-free can become an issue, and it may have you wondering how to organize a small space.

While dealing with stuff can be stressful and frustrating, don’t let it get to you. There are small space storage ideas that can keep your house clean and your belongings right where you need them. Below are some ideas on how to organize small spaces with lots of stuff.

Add Some Shelves

No matter how small your space is, there is always room for shelves. Since these come in a variety of different sizes, you have the ability to add them to any room in your home, as well as place them in cupboards and closets. When it comes to a small space storage solution, shelves have got it covered.

In your kitchen, adding shelves under your kitchen sink can keep your cleaning supplies and other items organized. This is probably one of the smallest cabinets in your kitchen, but with the right small space storage ideas, you can give sponges, brushes and other items their own place and keep your sink area free from clutter.

For that cupboard in your kitchen that is always cluttered with pots and pans, you can add a frying pan organizer. This gadget will keep your pans in their own place, as well as neatly stacked and easy to access. No longer will you have to make a lot of noise getting out the pan you need, and your cupboard will have more space for other cooking implements.

Should you find that your bathroom space is lacking and you are wondering how to organize the small space, you can also add shelves into this room. Whether it is a 3-tier bath tower with open wire shelves or a new bathroom cabinet, either of these will give you the extra space and ability to keep your bathroom products together and organized.

When it comes to adding shelves to your living room, you want something that is both functional and adds style to the room. Getting four tier wicker and metal shelves can accomplish both of those goals. You can store a lot on these shelves, including books, plants and decorative items, among other things. No matter what your small space storage needs, these shelves can give you the extra space you’re looking for to keep items neat and organized.

You can also add a wooden shoe rack by the front door to keep footwear out of the way and in a place where it can be easily found. This shelf is not only functional, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing. No matter what kind of décor you have in your home, this rack is sure to match it, as well as keep the entrance to your home free from trip hazards.

Add Some Pockets

When it comes to small space organization in a closet, you can add a hanging 5-section organizer. This item can be used for a variety of different items, including shoes, sweaters, ties or anything else that will fit into the pockets. It will add more space to your closet so that you can reduce clutter and know where all of your belongings are located.

While shelves are a great small space storage solution that can be used in a variety of rooms throughout your home, adding pockets can also help with your organizational endeavors. Some pockets you might consider adding to your home include an armrest organizer, which will keep your remotes and other items within arm’s reach while you are relaxing in your living room.

Think Outside Your Home

Of course, your home isn’t the only place that needs small space storage ideas. Your car is also a place that could benefit from clutter reduction. If you’re looking for a small space storage solution for your vehicle, you might consider adding a trunk organizer with cooler. Placing this in the back of your car will keep things from rolling around, as well as be a great place to keep your groceries and other items cool until you reach your destination.

Top 10 Favorite Candies

There are certain times throughout the year when candy becomes an incredibly important part of life. This often occurs at Halloween, but Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas are other times when indulging your sweet tooth is acceptable.

However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to these specific times of year when it comes to enjoying your favorite candies. Live a little and consume these delicacies whenever you want. Below are some of the top 10 candies that you should consider eating whenever the cravings strike.

1. Candies from Childhood

If you’re like most people, then your love of candy developed when you were a child. Your first taste of the sugary sweetness opened up a whole new world of flavors that you didn’t know existed. You would do anything for that candy, including finishing all of your dinner.

Every generation has candy that defines them, and you probably have great memories of those flavors. When it comes to your candy favorites, it’s possible to find the items you enjoyed as a child. You can find top candies from the 1950s all the way up to the 1990s, including the decades in between. Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the sweets that got you started on candy in the first place.

2. Fruity Candies

Fruity candies have the ability to add some elegance and variable flavors to any candy dish. They are great to set out for guests to enjoy. They are also a great way to finish off any meal or as a snack during the middle of the day. If fruity candies are some of your favorite candies, then you need to try some Italian candies that have been delighting people for generations.

3. Peanut Butter and Chocolate

If there is a classic combination of candy that is hard to resist, it’s peanut butter and chocolate. It was like these two items were made to go together, and many people have this item in their top 10 candies.

There are so many different types of peanut butter and chocolate candies to choose from, but some of the best include Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pillows. They are melt-in-your-mouth soft and perfectly balance the chocolate and peanut butter flavors. Indulge your taste buds with this classic and delectable candy favorite.

4. Hard Candies

For many, when eating their favorite candies, they want the flavor to last. They want to enjoy the taste sensation for as long as possible, so they turn their sights to hard candies. These treats come in a variety of different flavors and forms, and they have the ability to last for a long time. Whether you are looking for smaller candies or Old Fashioned Candy Sticks, there is a hard candy that will make you happy.

5. Sugar-Free Candies

If you are unable to eat sugar for whatever reason, then sugar-free candies are probably high on your favorites list. If you’re looking for a way to indulge your sweet tooth and bring back memories from your childhood, then you’ll want to get the Sugar-Free Nostalgic Candy Tin. With five different types of candy, you’ll be able to enjoy the flavors from yesteryear and not feel guilty about eating them.

6. Candies with Nuts

If you enjoy candy that has a bit of texture and indulgent flavors, then some of your top candies probably include those with nuts. Whether it is chocolate with pecan pralines or a soft almond nougat bar, there are many options that are full of rich flavors and indulgent.

7. Advent Calendar

Most of the candies on this list are things you can enjoy throughout the entire year. You are more than likely not going to be buying a Chocolate Advent Calendar in July, but you should consider getting one in December. Not only is this a delicious way to count down the days until Christmas, but it’s a favorite among kids and adults alike. Start or continue a holiday tradition by adding this to your festivities.

8. Fancy Candies

Many people have sophisticated taste buds, and they want to satisfy their sugar cravings with something on the fancy side. Luckily, there are candies that can accomplish this task. One of the most favorite fancy candies includes cherry cordials.

Combining cherries in decadent, rich syrup and surrounding them with milk and dark chocolate makes these candies irresistible and luxurious. Whether you are throwing a party and trying to impress your guests or just want something after a long day, these candies can help you accomplish your goals.

9. Saltwater Taffy

People from all walks of life enjoy the variety of flavors and soft texture of saltwater taffy, making this one of the top candies for a lot of people. It brings back memories from childhood, as well as makes the present a little sweeter. If you haven’t enjoyed this sweet treat recently, it’s time to remind yourself what makes this candy so delicious.

10. Caramels

The creamy smooth taste of caramel is appealing to a lot of people. Whether you are eating it as a hard candy or indulging in the sweetness of soft chews, eating caramel throughout the day is a great way to bring a smile to your face.

There’s no rule that says candy can only be eaten at certain times of the year. Indulging in your candy favorites whenever you get the craving can make you happy—and everyone deserves to be happy.

Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes & Helpful Hints

Crock-Pots and slow cookers became extremely popular in the 1970s. Subsequently, they dwindled to near extinction before recently undergoing a revival. The best thing about the resurgence of this handy appliance is that now, there are so many more options in slow cooker design (e.g. both manual and digital models, ceramic or stoneware insets, availability of non-stick coatings such as Teflon, portable models and even choices in lid design). During seasons when the weather is cold, and at busy times around the holidays, slow cookers can be invaluable for the following reasons:

  • Nutritious and balanced one-pot meals can be prepared inside a slow cooker, cutting down on meal prep time.
  • Slow cooker recipes can be set up hours in advance, allowing a hot meal to be ready and waiting for you when you come home from work or school.
  • Crock-Pots and slow cookers don’t heat up a kitchen the way an oven can. They also utilize less electricity, cutting down on your energy usage.
  • The slowness of the cooking process helps to tenderize less expensive cuts of meat.

Obviously, for people with hectic schedules, the timesaving aspects of slow cooking can be a huge benefit. You may be surprised at the number and variety of mouth-watering recipes that can be made with this relatively low-cost appliance. Below are some suggestions on making meat, soups and stews, and desserts in a slow cooker, and a few yummy recipes to check out:

Meat Dishes:

  • All types of meat can be slow-cooked, even whole chickens and large cuts of beef, but for better taste and texture, choose meats that have a firmer texture and are higher in fat, such as chuck roasts, short ribs, pork shoulders, lamb shanks and dark meat chicken. The extra fat makes the meat tender and flavorful when cooked with the moist, low heat of a slow cooker. Leaner meats like chicken breasts and pork tenderloin tend to dry out with when slow-cooked.
  • Another tip with meat is to trim the excess fat; otherwise, you’ll wind up with your meal stewing in an unappetizing, greasy liquid. This includes removing the skin from chicken, too.
  • If you are cooking meat along with vegetables (potatoes, carrots and onions work well in a slow cooker), make sure you layer the vegetables on the bottom of the cooker and put the meat on top.
  • Finally, consider browning your meat and sautéing the vegetables before you put them into the slow cooker. The payoff is food with an extra layer of rich, caramelized flavor.

Try these delicious meat recipes:

Slow Cooker Turkey — Perfect for holiday meals.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Meatballs — These make a delicious appetizer or holiday potluck dish.

Crock Pot Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze — Another holiday meal crowd-pleaser.

Soups and Stews:

Combine colder weather with an active family and a crockpot, and voilà — delicious slow cooker stews make the perfect mealtime solution. Stews can be a combination of meat and vegetables, as in Slow Cooker Beef Stew, or tasty vegetarian dishes like Classic Lasagna and Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers.

  • Remember, avoid opening the lid of your cooker while in operation, as this can add considerably to the cooking time required.
  • Regarding cooking time and slow cooker settings, it generally takes twice as long to cook a dish on the “low” setting as on “high.” Different recipes call for specific settings to yield the best results.

Soup is another Crock-Pot-friendly dish which can be made using any of countless recipes, with or without meat. To make it even easier, consider using a pre-prepared soup mix, possibly even adding a few additional ingredients of your own. A couple of holiday soup classics to make in a slow cooker include Healthy Crockpot Potato Soup with Chicken and Easy Crockpot Vegetable Lentil Soup.

Desserts:

There is no skimping on decadence when using a slow cooker to make desserts. Crockpots are excellent for making moist cakes and crumbles, and even some kinds of pies, cookie bars and fudge. People with experience using slow cookers to make desserts comment on how easy it can be: “Just dump all the ingredients in and let the slow cooker do the work.” Of course, we love that.

Since the holidays go hand-in-hand with sweet indulgences, check out these recipes:

Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Turtle Brownies — Fulfills every sweet-tooth

Slow Cooker Blueberry Cobbler — Serve a la mode with vanilla ice cream or your favorite whipped cream.

Cookies and Cream Slow Cooker Fudge — Perfect homemade gift

If you threw away your slow cooker sometime during the ‘80s, it’s time to get a new one and try some of the recent recipes made possible with improvements in this appliance. Think of all the gift-wrapping and Santa-letter-writing you could do while your dinner or party recipe is taking care of itself inside your Crock-Pot.

Vintage Décor for Christmas – Festive, Fun & Affordable

The smell of fresh pine needles, the beauty of twinkling lights, creamy-sweet eggnog, vibrant packages trimmed with satin bows — these are just a few of our best Christmas memories. Bring back those cozy, age-old feelings of Christmas nostalgia with these fun, affordable vintage items, available right here at Miles Kimball. What better way to enjoy the holiday than to feel like a kid again?

1. Vintage Resin Reindeer, Set of 3:

This adorable set of figurines is likely to make you flash back to the original 1964 television production, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Remember Rudolph and his friends: Sam the Snowman, Donner the Reindeer (and Mrs. Donner), Yukon Cornelius and Clarice the Doe? And of course, don’t leave out the Abominable Snowman and Hermey the Elf/dentist.

Each figurine in this sturdy reindeer set is authentically detailed and specially decorated with a Christmas bell around its neck. The trio makes a charming adornment for a table, mantel, windowsill, or alongside other retro holiday décor.

2. Tin Fire Engine Ornament:

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ornaments made from tin, inspired by mechanical toys being manufactured in Germany at that time, became popular. Brightly colored via lithograph, these ornaments were miniature works of art. In fond remembrance of this historical Christmas ornament style, our fire engine ornament is crafted from tin and detailed in brilliant color. Even more fun are the spinning wheels and moving ladder. Complete the vintage effect with other tin ornaments, including our Tin Bi-Plane Ornament and Tin Locomotive Ornament.

3. Battery-Operated Vintage-Style Ceramic Tree:

The Christmas tree is the most traditional holiday icon, and this special ceramic tree is distinctively inspired by holiday décor from the 1960s and ‘70s. Maybe you even painted and kiln-fired a tree like this yourself a few decades ago. Brightly lit by multicolored, battery-operated mini-lights, this Christmas tree doesn’t drop needles. It stands beautifully anywhere in your home, shining with color for hours on two AA batteries. Timer-operated, the tree will sparkle without your worrying about “on/off” or electric cords and outlets.

4. Vintage Candolier Lights:

Our retro candolier lights instantly bring a warm Christmas glow to your home. A delightful addition to any holiday theme, they add a touch of calm inspiration through their steadfast radiating beams. Detailed right down to the “wax” drip, the candolier lights are perfect for a mantel. Better yet, purchase several and place them in the front windows of your home, to bring holiday cheer to all who pass by. C7 bulbs are included and are replaceable with any color C7 bulb.

5. Special Magic Coca Cola Puzzle 1000 pieces:

What could be more “vintage” than Coca Cola, which has been quenching thirsts and tickling tongues for over 125 years? This challenging, 1000-piece puzzle will provide your holiday guests and family members with hours of entertainment. Watch the festive images of Santa with children, elves, gifts, a toy train — and bottles of Coca Cola, naturally — emerge as the pieces are correctly placed. The completed puzzle makes a cheery tabletop display during the holidays. Just don’t bump into the table, because you’ll have to start all over again.

6. Vintage Bottle Brush Wreath by Holiday Peak:

In 1930, the Addis Brush Company fashioned the first artificial, green-dyed, bottle-brush Christmas tree. The Addis tree was one of the earliest forms of artificial trees. Twenty years later, they patented their “silver pine” bottle brush tree. Hearkening back to these times, our 14” diameter bottle brush wreath is flocked in white and embellished with gleaming, multicolored mini-ornaments. Pretty and festive, this retro-style Christmas decoration is fun and unique, carrying with it a bit of holiday history.

7. Vintage Holiday Tree Vinyl Table Cover by Chef’s Pride:

This drop-style table cover, constructed of heavy-gauge vinyl, is adorned with retro Christmas images — traditional green trees and white snowflakes against a red-and-white gingham background. Remember decorating Christmas cookies on a tablecloth like this? Of course, since the vinyl surface is easy to wipe clean. Plus, the reverse side is lined with soft polyester that won’t scratch your table. Enjoy holiday meals on this table cover, while imagining yourself back in your grandma’s kitchen.

8. Personalized Merry Mason Jar Christmas Card Set of 20:

Carrying the vintage style into your Christmas cards, the Merry Mason Jar Christmas card is inspired by the wonder of snow globes. The cards are die-cut in the shape of a mason jar, and decorated with the scene of an old-time automobile transporting a Christmas pine through the snow. The artwork extends to the back of the card, and the set comes with coordinating envelopes. Even better, this unforgettable greeting can be individualized with the names of your friends and family.

Like Christmas itself, vintage décor never goes out of style. Start your collection now and enjoy adding to it over the years of holidays to come. Both you and your home during this special season will become known as true “classics.”