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Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 11:09 am

Professional holiday decorators give their tips on how to make the season bright, indoors and out

Every year, holiday lighting manufacturers introduce more varieties of bulbs, strands, colors and accessories. Luckily for the seasonal lighting industry (and those who love cruising the neighbo...
Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 06:53 am
Nothing soothes quite like curling up with a good book. But with the booming e-reader market, the avid readers on your gift list might soon be curling up with thousands at once. As the popularity of e...
Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 05:14 am

Whether hosting or attending, the casserole is a holiday mainstay. Turn the traditional up a notch with these innovative ideas.

Casseroles are an omnipresent holiday staple, be it grandma’s chicken-stuffed cheese concoction or a fried-onion encrusted green bean favorite. But getting comfortable with a casserole recipe ca...
Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 03:32 pm

Yeah, we know who’s been naughty. And they’ll get gifts for Christmas and Hanukkah anyway, the little darlings.

With waggly tails and rumbly purrs, they show us the love every day. What better time of year than the holidays to delight a four-legged family member with a special gift? “Pets get so much joy ...
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 02:55 am

Help these helping agencies by getting them something from their wish lists

These central Illinois organizations need some extra help this holiday season. If your organization needs help you’re your list to: swhalen@illinoistimes.comSPARC232 Bruns Lane, Springfiel...
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 02:54 am

Apple aficionados always are hungry for an upgrade. Here’s a rundown on all the latest ’Pads, ’Pods and ’Phones they’re craving this season

You might be a PC, but there’s no doubt that they’re a Mac –%u202Fand nothing else with suffice. If you need the perfect –%u202Fand newest –%u202Fperipheral to plug into ...
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 08:08 pm

Give the party cheese the platform it truly deserves –  a homemade cracker. They’re easy to make, taste great and there’s no frustrating packaging to open

If you still reach for a box of buttery-tasting crackers for the party cheese to rest on, you can find more appealing alternatives. Thanks to the cracker revival, you’re in for exciting new tast...
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 01:25 pm

Old stuff is cool again. Gifting old stuff is even cooler.

Retro style is in, and kids can’t get enough of it, from cutting-edge clothing and accessories that recall the classics to thrift-shop home goods straight from grandma’s attic. A quest for...
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 03:19 pm

Party planning expert, Karen Bussen, offers these easy tips to put any host or hostess in the driver’s seat of a holiday celebration.

1. Stock a ’Holiday Party Pantry’Find a place in your home (a cupboard, closet, or a few shelves) where you can collect basic elements to help you pull together a great celebration, even a...
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 03:32 pm

How to make peppermint ice cream using only three ingredients and no machinery

Growing up in the Midwest, there wasn’t a holiday that didn’t get a little merrier courtesy of a scoop of homemade ice cream. Aside from the Cool Whip-topped pumpkin variety, there wasn&rs...

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