Thursday, September 18, 2014

Festive Holiday Drink Ideas Needed!

Red Wine Sangria Punch
photo courtesy of epicuria.free.fr
So I'm thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and I need your suggestions. I love hosting holidays in my home, and I especially love decorating the holiday table. I also try to use my "good" china, silver, and crystal whenever possible. I figure I didn't put it on my wedding registry just so I can look at it setting so pretty in the china cabinet, so why not use it! And, over the years I have collected many festive centerpieces and serving dishes which add so much to the holiday table decorum. The menus are basically the same year after year except for the varying (and sometimes experimental!) side dishes. Turkey is always served on Thanksgiving, filet mignon steaks and roast beef are the main entrees for Christmas, and Easter brings a variety of barbecued meats including chicken, ribs, and hamburgers for the kiddos. For the accompanying side dishes I like to make recipes that can be prepared in advance, refrigerated overnight, and then baked, microwaved, or tossed just prior to serving. This plan allows me extra time to visit with our guests. Additionally, another time saver is having an alcoholic punch for the adults and a non-alcoholic drink for the children (and adults too!) readily available for the guests. These drinks can be made in batches ahead of the big day and also allows for easy serving of drinks. Anyone can just help themselves when a refill is needed. I've served a red wine sangria punch for Christmas and a white wine sangria punch garnished with lemons, lime, and strawberries at Easter. The kiddos always request frozen non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris which I keep in the freezer year round! I also make sure to have several cans of whipped cream available to top off the frozen daiquiri. And depending on the holiday, the kids also love when festive stirrers and straws are included with the drink.  The local Dollar Tree Store is a good source for holiday drink accessories.  I've even found adorable bunny glasses to serve the frozen drinks. They look so cute when topped with a mound of whipped cream!  So this year  I'm looking for a special alcoholic and also a non-alcoholic drink appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday that can be made in advance and can easily be served. I did find a recipe for an apple cider punch that looks interesting and tasty, but would love your suggestions too. And, if you're also looking for a Fall themed shirt or bodysuit and leg warmer set for your little one for the Thanksgiving holiday, Zoey's Attic can help!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Remember

Tomorrow is September 11th. Of course this date has no significant meaning to the current post millennial generation, but to members of previous generations it is a day which will never be forgotten.  It is interesting how certain events in history are forever etched in one's mind as well as the psyche of the nation as a whole.  I know my own parents remember every personal detail of December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor which led to the United States' entry into World War II. In the same manor I can recall each and every defining moment of November 22, 1963... the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.  To this very day I remember the exact moment I first heard our President had been shot, to praying with the entire school family gathered together in our Parish church, to exiting the school bus and walking the remaining distance in the cold rain to the safety of my own home and my mother's welcoming arms.  As a family we watched the continuing news reports on our black and white television. Quite unlike the 24/7 news coverage of the current day! I even remember being huddled around the TV set in our living room when Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the prime suspect in the murder of our President.  Our country again faced the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 8, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Then once again on June 8th of the same year our Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, brother of the late President, was killed in Los Angeles, California. Time stood still and the aformentioned tragedies are forever ingrained in my memory. As the years moved forward we then watched and read in the local newspapers and national publications the horrors of the Viet Nam War. However, there is not a single particular date relating to this conflict that stands out in my mind. And then so many years later, feeling carefree and enjoying life, it happened... the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  Many moments from that day are so deeply embedded in my mind, my heart, my soul... watching the Today Show from the comfort of my family room as the first and then second planes hit the World Trade Center Towers in New York City, then the moment of panic as I learned the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia had also been attacked, and finally the stunning revelation that Flight 93 carrying 40 brave passengers and crew had crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Remembering the innocence of life lost due to the careless ways and misunderstandings of our fellow man. Seeking the day when all mankind will learn to live in peaceful coexistence.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Savings!

Saint Louis Labor Day Parade
photo courtesy of bmwe.org./journal
Labor Day is a United States Federal Holiday celebrated each year on the first Monday of September. It was officially made a legal holiday by an act of Congress in 1894. Our Canadian friends also observe Labor Day on the 1st Monday in September. Many local communities host a parade in recognition of the contributions of the American worker, and then families get together for a picnic or barbeque to celebrate the end of summer and rapidly approaching Autumn season. Labor Day also typically signifies the end of wearing white shoes until Memorial Day rolls around at the end of May! :) It's also a weekend filled with lots of sales, steals and deals offered by many local and national retailers. And so to commemorate Labor Day, Zoey's Attic is also offering our Facebook friends and Twitter and Pinterest followers a coupon code for 15% off your purchased items from Zoeys' Attic Personalized GiftsThe code to use at checkout is LABOR15 and it will expire at 11:59 p.m. CST on Monday, September 1st. Get a head start on all your holiday shopping and be sure to check out all the fun and adorable designs for HalloweenThanksgivingHanukkah and Christmas! Happy Shopping!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Where Did the Summer Go?

August is proving to be a very busy month! When I was younger August was just a lazy end of summer month spent swimming and relaxing before the start of school. This year August has been filled with shopping trips to get the kiddos ready for the big day! New school clothing, new school shoes, the perfect backpack, and school supplies have all been crossed off the list. Grocery shopping for nutritious yet yummy items for a brown bag lunch has definitely been challenging. What I like to eat isn't necessarily what the kiddos like! The much anticipated and somewhat dreaded first day of school went well. The kids have adjusted quite easily to the new schedule and I actually think they like the daily routine of the school year. Now the evenings and weekends are filled with meetings, practice dates, and game times that are all a part of being a team member in the many extracurricular activities offered to the children. Dance school is also about to begin. Most of the dance academies in our area run concurrently with the school year. So sometime at the end of May or beginning of June the year culminates with the annual dance recital. After a break of a few summer months classes start again and it coincides with the beginning of the new school year. When I was a young girl I really only liked dance school because I loved the costumes we got to wear for the recitals! I loved my ballet and tap shoes, the leotards and tutus! But... I really didn't like dancing!  I never had any rhythm and always felt awkward! But every Saturday morning for years I packed my pink vinyl shoe bag with my tap and ballet shoes and headed off to class. Now days the girls carry their dance apparel and dancing shoes in adorable personalized canvas tote bags. So if you're looking for a special gift for your little ballerina, Zoey's Attic has such sweet dance bags and they even have tops to match! Your styling little dancer will be the envy of the dance school!

Dance Bags and Dance Shirts From Zoey's Attic

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

There's A First Time For Everything

Personalized First Holiday Shirts and Bodysuits from Zoey's Attic

When a baby is born it is the beginning of so many firsts...first smile, first tooth, first word, first step. This list of firsts goes on and on as we meander through life. Being a bystander to the excitement and wonderment of a child's first accomplishment is truly a parent's delight! And of course, there are so many other firsts throughout a person's lifetime such as the first birthday, first day of school, or first date to mention only a few. One of my favorite baby shower or new birth gifts is a collection of holiday shirts or bodysuits made especially for that special little someone. It's so much fun to dress a new baby in a personalized holiday outfit. Personally, I prefer giving clothing items as a new baby gift (rather than a baby shower gift) because you can better assess the sizing and need for long or short sleeves based on the baby's birth weight and time of year of his or her arrival. An assortment of personalized holiday apparel to include a first Valentine's Day, first Halloween, first Thanksgiving, or first Christmas makes the best gift ever! Zoey's Attic offers the most adorable holiday designs and each can be tweaked with your personal name, quote, colors, or really anything you would desire. And if you celebrate a lesser known holiday, Zoey can create a custom shirt or bodysuit for that too!

Personalized First Holiday Shirts and Bodysuits from Zoey's Attic

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Family Fun!

Apple Tree Tote Bag
It's almost time to get the kiddo's apple picking shirts ready for the big event! One of the most anticipated family outings of the year is the annual trek to a local orchard for apple picking. Luckily there are several outstanding orchards in the St. Louis area offering a variety of apples including Jonathans, Green and Red Delicious, and even Granny Smith! The orchards also have several fun activities for the family to enjoy during your visit. Some offer face painting for the kiddos, sack races, and a petting zoo too.  The entire family loves the hayride to and from the orchards as well. The apples are amazingly big and so very tasty! The perfect ending to the perfect day is making an apple pie! I always make a mess of the pie crust, and since it frustrates me terribly I now use an already made refrigerated pie crust. The Pillsbury "perfect apple pie" recipe is my favorite.  It's very easy and kid friendly too. Here are some other super ideas for the bushels of apples you bring home: Bring one to your teacher. He or she will love it! Get a special family tree tote bag and fill it with apples for Grandparent's Day.  The adorable apple family tree tote from Zoey's Attic can be specially made for grandma and/or grandpa and it can also be personalized with all the grandkids' names. And, you can even get a sweet apple birthday shirt and have an "Apple Of My Eye" themed birthday party with one of the games being apple bobbing! The children will love it!  What does your family do with all the apples after a fun day at the orchard?

Apple Themed Shirts from Zoey's Attic

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oh No! It's Back To School!

Teacher Shirt
Geez... the first day of school comes earlier and earlier every year! When I was a kid we never went back to school until the beginning of September. The academic year ended the first week of June and began the day after Labor Day. I remember those Labor Day evenings when it was the tradition to scrub off the summer dirt. We had a full three months off for summer vacation, so by this time we were definitely ready to head back to the classroom (I'm sure my parents were ready too!).  I believe the difference in our schedule was that we never had a Fall or Spring break, but rather only two weeks off during the Christmas holidays. I liked it this way...work, work, work, then play, play, play! I guess too it really needed to be this way since we didn't have air conditioning in the schools (nor at home) back then. It would have been unbearable attending class in the oppressive summer heat in St. Louis.  Now days the schools in our area are air conditioned and the first day of school is earlier and earlier each year. Most of the neighboring school districts have a start date some time during the first two weeks of August. So the good news is you still have time to get a fun custom tee from Zoey's Attic for your school aged kiddo's first day of class!
Back To School T-Shirts