The Most Popular Christmas Cookies in America:Northeast

13 12 2010
Everyone loves sugar cookies, chocolate-chip cookies, and gingerbread. But what did bakers in each of the 50 states pick for their holiday trays besides the straight-up national favorites? Based on page views last December at allrecipes.com, the sister site of Reader’s Digest, the winners in the Northeastern states are …
You can read the rest of The Most Popular Christmas Cookies in America:Northeast here
Advertisements




5 Safety Tips for Holiday Shopping Online

10 12 2010

 

Holiday shopping can be an exhausting experience, even online. There are so many places to visit and choices to make. You like to believe that the product and service recommendations you receive while shopping are helping show you the best bargains and important special offers. This is the claim made by many behavioral tracking advertisers. Their PhD-designed computer algorithms watch your every move and help predict what you might want to see.

But what happens when one of these friendly helpers has an ulterior motive such as selling your information to someone else or using it to invade your shopping privacy? These five tips will help ensure that you get the most from your holiday shopping experience and keep the unwanted intruders at bay.

1. Beware of upsells and add-ons

It is common practice to offer additional related items to a customer who just completed a purchase. If you purchased a pair of shoes, it is logical for marketers to assume that you might want socks or even another pair of shoes. How you deal with these prompts tells the vendor a lot about your tendencies and preferences. Most importantly, it tells them that you DO or DO NOT respond to such advertisements. Vendors design their sites and shopping carts based on this behavior. If you ignore such prompts, or quickly navigate away from the site after receiving your purchase confirmation, you will be less likely to become a statistic and more likely to keep your personal privacy intact.

2. Use a different email address

One of the biggest annoyances surrounding online shopping is the increase in follow-up emails that are sent after you make your purchase. Good marketers know that existing customers are their best customers, so almost every purchase you make online will result in a series of emails designed to get you back to the site to buy something else. Most sites assume that by making a purchase from them, you have voluntarily “opted in” to their email marketing campaigns. But don’t forget that you can opt-out by clicking on each email’s unsubscribe link, while this sounds easy enough, it can sometimes be a time-consuming, painful process. Instead, go to gmail.google.com and get a new gmail email address that you can use exclusively for online shopping. Make sure to create a legitimate email address because some purchases will require you to validate it. Once you finish holiday shopping, you can then choose to either ignore or cancel that gmail account, and your ‘real’ email inbox will remain spam-free.

Read the next 3 steps here





Refuge House Toy Drive 2010

29 10 2010

4343 at the Parkway is teaming up with Refuge house this year in their local toy drive for the children that are in their foster care. Refuge house is a non-profit foster care and adoption agency located in Dallas, TX. Refuge house opened its doors in 2004 when they placed their first 6 children and has grown to serve over 1,000 children through out each year. Refuge house continues to grow each year and is currently serving over 500 foster children.

Participating in the toy drive is easy! There are two ways that you can participate this year:

  1. Choose a toy from one of the wish lists located in the 4343 at the Parkway clubhouse. We have wish lists ranging from $3.99 per toy to $49.99 and up. Bring in the new and unwrapped toy(s) that you would like to donate to the 4343 clubhouse drop box. If you can not stop by to pick up the wish list the 4343 at the Parkway team can email you a copy.

 

  1. Sponsor a Toy: We have numerous toys on the children’s wish list that range anywhere from $55.99 to $199 in value. By sponsoring a toy for a child you will be able to collect donations from family, friends, co-workers, etc. to help purchase this toy. You can choose the toy you wish to sponsor from our sponsored toy list which can be provided by the 4343 at the Parkway team members. We will give you all the marketing material, toy information, and sign up sheet in order to collect the donations for the toy. We ask that you collect the money, purchase the sponsored toy, and bring it to the 4343 clubhouse to be stored until the end of the toy drive. 4343 at the Parkway will not accept cash payment to purchase the toy. If you are unable to reach your goal that is ok! You can bring us the sign up sheet and put the money collected into a Toys R Us gift card to be given to the Refuge House team.

 

We really hope that this year’s toy drive will be the best ever! The Refuge house is a local foster care program which is why we wanted to sponsor them this year and help out local children in need. The toy drive will run from November 1st, 2010 through December 13th, 2010. We ask that all donated toys be turned into the 4343 at the Parkway donation box by Sunday, December 12th, 2010.

If you have any questions at all about how to participate in this year’s toy drive please give our team a call at 972-818-9090.

To learn more about Refuge House, please visit them online at www.refugehouse.org. Thank you,

The 4343 at the Parkway Team





Top 10 Simple Ways to Stop Bedroom Clutter

6 09 2010

1. Add a Trunk
An attractive trunk at the end of a bed does double furniture duty. As a bench, it gives you a place to sit while you put on your shoes; as a storage chest, it holds extra blankets or pillows.

2. Like to Read in Bed?
Mount a painted rectangular wood box on the wall on either side of the bed and you’ll have a place to stash all your reading material, plus a reading lamp. Use dividers to organize stuff.

3. Improve Drawer Space
Drawer dividers may also be made from 1/4-inch sheet acrylic (have the retailer cut the pieces to size, or cut them yourself using a fine blade in a table or radial arm saw). Butt the pieces together in whatever arrangement you desire; then bond the joints with acrylic solvent. Create compartments in a shallow drawer by notching and joining strips of wood lattice (available at lumberyards and home centers). Clamp the crosspieces together and cut the notches all at once so they’ll align exactly.

4. Lamps Off Your Bedside Table
To free up space on your nightstand, remove the lamp. Use a swing-arm floor lamp instead, or mount a swing-arm wall lamp above the headboard. Such fixtures allow you to adjust the lamp exactly the way you want it for reading. Install the lamp about 18 to 20 inches from the top of the headboard for best results. If you don’t have a headboard, position the lamp 3 feet or more above the mattress, so that it will be within easy reach but won’t hit your head when you sit up in bed. With the lamp out of the way, you’ll have ample room on your nightstand for your alarm clock, book, and telephone.

5. Electronic Armoire
Cloak the clutter of a bedroom TV, VCR, and stereo equipment in a handsome armoire. Look for a piece that has interior electrical outlets, pivoting platforms, and doors that virtually disappear—either into the cabinet itself or flat against its sides when they are opened.

To view more of the Top 10 Simple Ways to Stop Bedroom Clutter click here.





Top 10 Nutrition and Fitness Tips

4 09 2010

1. Get real and be specific. Write down three or four realistic goals that you can stick to. For example, “I will try to lose one pound of body fat every week. I will walk for 30 minutes minimum five days a week.” Avoid fantasy-land goals that will only frustrate you.

2. Get prepared. Throw away all the junk, the processed, and the “bingeable” foods now and replace them with fresh, whole foods like lots of water and veggies. Buy a new pair of walking shoes and find some clothes in your closet you feel comfortable to walk in. During a lifestyle change, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!

3. Get support. Whether it’s your best friend, spouse, or pet, it helps to have some nonjudgmental and nurturing support when trying to lose weight, especially during trying times.

4. Make daily notes. Research has shown that keeping track of your daily exercise and food intake in a journal or notebook will increase the likelihood of success. Keep it simple, or if you’re inspired, write a novel! The key is to hold yourself accountable.

5. Create a food-free reward system. How about a new workout outfit, pair of jeans, shoes — or what the heck, even a spa treatment, shopping spree, or weekend getaway? You deserve this kind of treatment when you reach your goals.

For more of the Top 10 Nutrition and Fitness click here.





Top 10 Toys for Men!

3 09 2010

1. Cranium

This board game can drive you crazy and therefore, keep you entertained for hours at a stretch. Two groups need to play it and try to reach the middle portion of the board. They will have to keep humming an odd tune, answer questions and spell difficult words back to front. Why? To have fun!

 

2. Aim N Shoot

If you like throwing all the wastepaper into the bin from a distance just to see if you can make the shot- this game is for you.

3. Razor Xtreme

This is basically like a small scooter and the rubbers are smooth enough to allow you to zoom over any street in the world. You can even rush over curbs and pavements- as long as there is no traffic in sight, of course.

4. Ferrari Model

If you cant afford the real deal, you can get somebody to create a dummy for you. Place it in such a way that you cannot help but admire it every time you are in the house. This will not only encourage you to buy the real car but also keep you happy.

5. Super Soaker

This is basically like those guns that squirt out water but much bigger. It may sound shocking but more adults buy this toy when compared to little children. Round up some old friends and play for hours and call it a day! Frustrated men can always point it at their wives if they don’t mind sleeping on the couch for the rest of the year.

To view the rest of the top 10 list click here.





Cats Nap in the Funniest and Cutest Places

4 08 2010
As these 11 adorable pictures prove, a cat can sleep just about anywhere.
Funny Cat Pictures
Funny Cat Pictures
Funny Cat Pictures
To look at more adorable sleeping cats, check out the Reader’s Digest Site: Click HERE!
 
Do you have a cute/funny sleeping cat photo?? Send it our way! We would love for you to post a picture of your cat on our Facebook Wall!
 
Facebook: Laramar Dallas