Articles Tagged with holiday

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What better way to beat the heat this July than with patriotic popsicles? If you want to really knock the socks off your neighbors though, you can’t settle for store bought. But of course, that’s why you’re here.

Don’t let the title mislead you – today I’m bringing you not one, but twelve popsicle recipes. Because today’s blog isn’t just about making a Fourth of July popsicle, it’s about making the ultimate Fourth of July popsicle. I’m talking a popsicle that bleeds melts red, white, and blue.

Ready to pick some flavors? Let’s start off with white.

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Venn Crawford

He might be your father, stepdad, or husband, but this Sunday, you’re celebrating him for being Dad.

There’s a lot of work that goes into being a dad. Dad brings us water and sits with us when we’re sick to our stomach. Dad walks the dog we promised we’d take care of. Dad keeps us safe from the monsters in our closets and the real ones outside. Dad does all this because he loves us. And that love right there is what makes him a Dad, whether he’s related to us or not.

This Fathers’ Day, make sure to give your Dad some of that love back, and let him know that yes, you do notice how much he does for you. If you’re not sure how to celebrate him, check out some of the ideas below.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Today’s Ask Carolyn answers two questions about summer vacation. Our first reader wants to know what the ground rules should be for a multi-generational beach trip. Our second reader is taking the family cat for a sail.

Dear Carolyn,

I just turned in the dates for my summer vacation weeks with my sons (ages 6 and 9) to my ex. In even years I pick first by May 1. I get three total summer weeks split as two weeks and one week. Week isn’t defined, but that is another story for another day and a source of arguments. I picked Saturday to Saturday because of my beach rental for the one-week session. My two boys and I are camping in the Rockies the two-week time. Now for my questions regarding the one-week time, which I would like to do with my parents, the paternal grandparents of my children:

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Venn Crawford

Easter is just around the corner! Pastels, bunnies, and eggs are the order of the day this weekend, and I’ve collected some DIY Easter crafts, activities, and recipes to help you spice up your celebrations this year. And with the long weekend from Good Friday, you’ve still got plenty of time to try these out with the kids!

Origami Paper Bunnies

These origami bunnies are adorable! All you need is printer paper cut into squares, and you’re on your way to a whole family of them. Because they’re made from plain white paper, your kids can decorate the bunnies as well as their Easter eggs. Alternatively, you can let your kids decorate the paper before folding the bunnies, so that the final product is a surprise.

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Venn Crawford

Valentine’s day is aimed at couples, and those who are single often feel left out or disenchanted. But while the focus of Valentine’s may be romance, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate love of all types.

Platonic love is perhaps one of the most underrated kinds of love. Our friends are the people who support us every day, comforting us when we’re hurting, laughing with us when we’re not. But we don’t recognize that love nearly as much as we do romantic love.

The love we share with friends, siblings, and parents is just as worthy of celebration as the love of a significant other.  So if you’re feeling down about being single on Valentine’s day, try celebrating the other types of love in your life.

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Venn Crawford

Valentine’s day is approaching, and pink and red coat nearly every store. Shelves are overflowing with heart-holding bears, roses, and assorted chocolates with dubious fillings. Everything is marketed to say “love,” but is a prewritten card truly the best way to express that?

I’m a firm believer that the most meaningful gifts are the ones that you put effort into. The Christmas before I moved out, my parents gifted me dishware and supplies for my new home. Among these gifts was a cheese cutter from my dad. Instead of buying a cheese cutter, he instead spent hours of his time making one – and unlike spent money, spent time is gone forever. Of all the gifts I’ve received, this one stands out the most due to the work my dad put into it.

It isn’t just the time spent that makes such a gift special, though. Making a gift means you aren’t limited by a store’s selection, so you’ll always be able to choose something perfectly tailored to the recipient.

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Venn Crawford

During my holiday travels, I found myself in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As a little adventure, we made a stop at the Arlington Hotel.

The Arlington Hotel originally opened in 1875 and has been rebuilt twice since. The hotel has had many famous guests, including Al Capone, who used to rent an entire floor for his gambling scheme. The bathhouse spa looks like it hasn’t changed since the 20s, either – what a nostalgic event for Dwight and me! Of course, men and women have separate sections of the bath house.

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The spa experience starts with a relaxing mineral soak. The tub had what looked like a hot tub pump in it. When we’d soaked for long enough, we went into a sauna to steam the water away. After drying, we were wrapped in hot towels. We laid on a cot, a cold towel on our face to keep us from overheating. A shower in Mineral Springs cooled us off after the sauna and towels.

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Venn Crawford

It’s almost a new year – the days are already getting longer, sunlight stretching out a little further every evening. You can feel a fresh sort of energy in the air. And, like many, that energy might inspire you to think about how you’ll change this year, how you’ll make efforts to be a new, better, you. You might even make a New Year’s resolution.

But, in two weeks, or a month (or for some of us the third day of January), most of us will give up on our New Year’s resolution. That inspiring energy fades, and life gets in the way. We just can’t make our resolution stick.

The thing is, changing our habits is hard, and New Year’s doesn’t change that. But if you approach it right, you can make a change any time of the year.

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Venn Crawford

Today marks a turning point – it is the winter solstice, the day of the year with the least light. Our days have been waning since the middle of the summer, growing shorter and shorter with each nightfall. Think of the winter solstice as the sun’s version of a new moon – we will see the least of its light today, but tomorrow, it will wax once again.

Scientifically speaking, the winter solstice is caused by the Earth’s tilt. When the northern hemisphere tilts closer to the sun, we have summer, but when it’s tilted away, we have winter. The winter solstice is the point when the northern hemisphere is tilted the furthest away from the sun, which causes us to receive the least sunlight.

The solstice (and winter itself) is one of the origins for our holiday season. Before we had greenhouses, refrigerators, and 24/7 supermarkets, our food supply was inescapably tied to the changing of the seasons. Winter was an unforgiving time of year – food, warmth, and light were all scarce. The entire year was essentially spent preparing for the winter. Cows were slaughtered so they wouldn’t use up precious food during the winter, and the wine that had been fermenting all year was finally ready to drink. The solstice festival was the last feast and celebration of life before winter.

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Venn Crawford

Peppermint is one of the most iconic tastes of the holidays, nipping at us with the same frost as the winter air. We usually see peppermint in the form of candy canes during the holidays. I remember as a child, we used to eat candy canes like lollipops. We tried so hard not to bite into them because we knew that if we did, they wouldn’t last long.

Though we see candy canes as an emblem of Christmas, they were originally just made to keep kids quiet. Back in 1670, the children at achurch in Germany kept making noise during a Christmas ceremony, frustrating their choirmaster to no end. The choirmaster, having given up on discipline at this point, asked a local candy maker to make sugar sticks for the kids. If they’re busy eating candy, they can’t talk, right? Obviously giving kids candy just to shut them up doesn’t look great, so the choirmaster had the candies made to look like shepherd’s crooks. This way the kids were quiet, and he could pass the candies off as a reminder of the shepherds that visited Jesus during Christmas.

Chocolate’s another iconic holiday taste. Nothing makes you feel quite as festive as a cup of hot chocolate heaping with whipped cream. Hot chocolate itself wasn’t originally a holiday treat, though – it has its origins in Latin America, where the Mayans made a cold chocolate drink with chili peppers in it. Hot chocolate as we think of it today wasn’t invented until the 17th century. During the chill of winter, sweet hot chocolate was bound to be a success, so it’s no surprise that it became a holiday tradition.