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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ways to De-Stress From Emotional Trauma, Instability and Depression

Constant Stress Can Wreak Havoc On Our Bodies, Our Minds, And Our Souls 

Some medical problems are triggered by continual stress, and emotional trauma, instability and mild forms of depression are also likely to result.

By taking a few moments to de-stress when you feel the levels and intensity rising, you can save yourself from undue anxiety and potential health problems.

Below are several stress-reducing options to help you eliminate the physical and mental feelings caused by stress.

Take a Hot Bubble Bath-The soothing suds and warm water can wash your cares away while relaxing your tired, aching muscles. If you want to enhance the healing effects, turn on some soft music, dive into a good book, or just daydream the night away.

Throw on your Comfiest Pajamas and Grab a Good Book! Snuggling up under the covers in your cozy bed with soft, comfortable clothing can be enough to relax you almost immediately. Find your favorite magazine, pull out a book you have meant to read or just put on one of those cooling eye masks to alleviate them from the cares of the day.

Pamper yourself with a Pedicure and a Facial-The softness and smoothness returned to your weary feet may be enough to relax you and help you reduce your stress level, but don't stop there! Use a gentle cleanser and apply a mud mask and sit back for 10-15 minutes while it works its wonders. If you're feeling especially energetic, cut two cucumber slices to place over your eyes. Think happy thoughts and drift away from the things that trouble you.

Take a 20-minute "Power-Nap." If you've got more things on your To-Do List-Right when you get home from work, shed your business attire and hop into your bed-set your alarm for 20 minutes. If you have other things on the evening's agenda or allow yourself to be awake naturally if you have a free schedule. Your energy should return to you in no time!

Make sure you have some Delectable Desserts in the house and Indulge! Cakes, cookies, pastries, brownies... they are all comfort foods to me. Treat yourself to something extravagant and delicious.


Light a Aromatherapy Candle and Play some Soft Music-Close your eyes and imagine whatever peaceful moments come to mind. Relax and think about your hopes and dreams for the not-so-distant future. (Be careful not to leave candles burning unattended).

Convince your Sweetheart to give you a Massage! A simple back massage or foot massage has been known to greatly reduce stress and send the recipient into a super-relaxed state. Just don't forget to return the favor when your sweetie is having a bad day!

Kick Back in Comfortable Clothes and Look through your Photo Albums-Memories of happy times can easily bring a smile to your face and take you back to days when the tides weren't so turbulent... Plan a vacation or a get-together with friends for another photo-taking opportunity to add to your scrapbooks, and the simple act of having something to look forward to should significantly help you cope with your stress.

Start Keeping a Diary or a Journal, just for yourself! Record your innermost thoughts and feelings, and vent out your angst of the day. It can be very effective to get your troubles off your chest and onto a sheet of paper, where they'll stay for the rest of the night.

Immediate Results for Urgent Needs: Deep Breathing-Take deep breaths when you feel your stress levels begin to escalate. Start by counting to three inhaling and then to three while exhaling. Gradually increase it to five, six or seven as you try to calm yourself from the aggravating element.

Stretching-Especially if you find yourself irritated at work, raise your arms above your head, arch your back and give it a good stretch. Get up from your desk and walk around five-minute breaks are definitely allowed when your sanity is at stake!

Go Somewhere to Be Alone and Have a Good Cry or Confront the Source-I have been on the brink of tears while on the job, and sometimes the best solution to an overly stressful day is to lock yourself in a room (failing that, your car) and let loose. The relief and renewal experienced by letting out a couple of tears rejuvenate the body and the mind. Get mad, get upset, but get over it...cry in privacy or express yourself to the afflicting individual. Chances are you will feel much better once you confront the agitating factor.

Do Something for YOU - Play an instrument, knit or crochet, work on a scrapbook or partake in another of your hobbies. Lose yourself in the moment and do not think about your stress until you must. Go to bed early with a light heart and dream of happy and carefree moments ahead.

Exercise-Go for a Jog, do some abdominal workouts, aerobics or lift some weights. Exercising renews the body and gives the mind an easy escape from daily troubles.

Enjoy a Cup of Herbal Tea or Gourmet Coffee and a few Cookies or a Good Book-Soothe yourself with a warm beverage and some sweets or get lost in some good reads. Reading can be a great escape from stress because it requires your mind to focus on something other than your own problems.

Order-Out! Indulge in some Comfort Foods or a cup of Hot Cocoa-Avoid making dinner or dessert for the night and call for a pizza, pick up some Chinese food or find a place that makes great seafood to go. Whatever your palate desires, treat yourself (and your family) to a night of take-out.

Try something like Yoga or Meditation to Relieve the Day's Stressors-Beneficial results occur by relaxing the body through yoga exercises. Mental, physical and spiritual responses to yoga and meditations can very powerfully reduce stress's effects on your mood and your body in general.

Break out of the Routine! Do something unusual and avoid the stressors. Your laundry can wait another day or two, run the dishwasher tomorrow and just relax! Get together with a few friends and go on an adventure-leave the town you know and the buildings you inhabit day after day and take a hike, hit up the beach or go sailing on a beautiful body of water.

Spend Time with Loved Ones and Pets! If they are the ones making you stressed out, you may think about some alone-time, but more times than not, there's nothing quite like that unconditional love freely given by our furry friends who look to us for the same affection.

No Matter What Stressors Affect You from day to day, it is important to try to combat them before they get out of hand. Job-related stress could follow you home and may then have an effect not only on you and your body but on your family, too.

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Do what you can to reduce stress and ask those who are close to you for advice if you can't find a reasonable alternative to the taxing feelings forced upon you by stress. Remember: worrying does not get you anywhere-all it does is take up time.

Get out there and do something about it!

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Health Benefits of Coffee Consumption


Coffee lovers will tell you already that there are numerous benefits to practically inhaling the drink each morning.


Some people even go so far as to consume the beverage all day long in some form or another. Some like it hot, some like it cold, and some like it in or with desserts such as ice cream.

To these people, it may not be surprising to find out that coffee might actually have some health benefits, despite the negative reputation it has for the unhealthy side effects of caffeine consumption.

However, there may very well indeed be some real benefits to coffee consumption. These are three purported benefits of coffee consumption. 


Coffee As An Anti-Depressant:



Folgers does claim that the best part of waking up is, well, their coffee in your cup. But, some research suggests that any coffee in your cup may be a key to fighting depression. According to Prevention magazine, those that drink four or more cups of coffee a day are less likely to display symptoms of depression. And, since the same benefit does not extend to other caffeinated beverages, researchers suggest it is due to the antioxidants found in the drink, not the caffeine. Perhaps Joe should be considered a valued friend after all.


Coffee for Weight Loss:



It may seem counterintuitive to drink a caffeinated beverage and expect weight loss, but minus all the extra creams and sugars, coffee can actually be good for weight loss efforts. At least, that is what Dr. Oz has claimed on one of his shows. A few other researchers make this claim as well, but still, others caution that there is no definitive evidence to fully back up the claim. Rather, it is green coffee beans that are thought to assist with weight loss. They supposedly do so because they are unroasted beans, which still contain a chemical compound called chlorogenic acid. This compound is lost when the beans are heated and roasted, and it is this chemical that is said to aid with weight loss.


Coffee to Avoid Liver Failure:



As unlikely as it may seem, some studies suggest that coffee may reduce the risk of certain liver problems. The Mayo Clinic offered study results claiming that those that consume coffee on a regular basis, a cup a day or more, may have a lower risk of developing primary sclerosing cholangitis, or PSC, which is an autoimmune disease that causes liver damage. And alcohol consumers might also like to know that it is believed that those who consume coffee on a daily basis might be less at risk for alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fun Facts About Easter

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Fun Facts About Easter

While the pageantry and presents of the Christmas season overshadow it, Easter is the holiest day for Christians. It is on this particular day that Christians from every corner of the globe and from every denomination celebrate the resurrection of their savior Jesus Christ.

Easter holds a special meaning for people from all walks of life, rich and poor, young and old, male and female. For many people, Easter means fond memories of waking up to an overflowing Easter basket. To others, it means special times with family and friends, and to others, Easter means building on past family traditions to create a special celebration for your own family.

There are some great and exciting facts about the Easter holiday, and it is great fun to delve into the history, facts, and trivia of this particular holiday. Some of the things you may not have known about Easter include:

The Easter egg roll on the White House lawn has been a tradition ever since 1878, and it remains one of the most popular events in Washington, D.C.

The people of the Ukraine are thought to be the original egg decorators, and the process of creating those intricately decorated eggs is known as ìPysankyî. The Ukrainians and others have been creating these intricately decorated eggs for over six thousand years, and some of their creations are worth a fortune.

We owe the ever famous chocolate bunny to the people of Germany. It was the Germans who first created edible Easter bunnies out of a combination of pastry and sugar. These special Easter treats were first baked in the early 1800s, and as Germans emigrated to the United States, they brought their chocolate rabbits with them.

In Europe, it was common practice to hang decorated Easter eggs from tree branches, and this practice of creating Easter trees is becoming popular in the United States as well.

The egg as a symbol of fertility and new birth predates the Christian celebration of Easter. The egg has long been held to be a symbol of rejuvenation and rebirth. Decorated eggs have been found in Egyptian tombs, and the Greeks used to place eggs on the graves of departed loved ones.

The beauty of Easter lies in its versatility. Easter can be either a somber religious celebration, a great chance to eat delicious candy and open presents, or a combination of both. No matter what your Easter celebration may hold, we hope you enjoyed these fun facts about this very special day.
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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

How to Throw a Hoppin' Fun Easter Bash for Your Kids

Kids Easter Party Ideas Bring some fun into your Easter this year by throwing an Easter party for your kids and their friends. 

Below are some egg-cellent ideas for your Easter bash.

Invitations

Make some extra cute invitations by gluing construction paper rabbit ears to the back of a folded notecard that gives the details for the party.
If you are delivering your invitations in person, print the party information on pastel paper. Roll up the paper and place it inside a plastic Easter egg to give to guests.



Décor
Easter eggs and bunny rabbits are central to an Easter party theme. Have you kids help you cut ovals out of construction paper and poster board. Decorate with markers, stickers, and glitter. Hang one large paper egg on the front door to welcome the guests.
Use pastel colors like pink, baby blue, soft green and lilac for streamers, balloons and table covers.
Food
Satisfy kids' appetites with these Easter treats.
Rabbit Snacks
Everyone knows that rabbits love their veggies. Fill plastic cups with carrots and celery, and give kids ranch dressing for dipping.
Peeps Fruit Kabob
Cut up small pieces of fruit and put them on skewers with a Peep in the center of each. Use cubes of pineapple and melon, strawberries, grapes and orange slices.
Rice Cereal Eggs
Melt two tablespoons of butter with 4 cups of marshmallows. Mix in 6 cups of rice cereal.
Clean 12 plastic eggs and coat the inside of the eggs with cooking spray.
Press the cereal mixture inside. Kids will open the eggs to find a marshmallow treat.
Easter Cake
Prepare a regular round cake, and ice it with white frosting. Pour pastel colored candies on the top of the cake, and line the edge of the cake with bunny Peeps standing side by side.

Activities
Make your party memorable with awesome activities that kids will enjoy.
Egg Coloring
Any Easter bash should have a time to color eggs. Before the party, boil at least one egg for each guest. Set out cups with a half cup of water, a tablespoon of vinegar and enough food coloring to produce the shade you want. Provide spoons so kids can get the eggs in and out of the water.
Take your egg decorating to another level by providing some extra supplies. Kids can draw on their colored eggs with permanent markers or paints. Spread glue on the eggs in any pattern you like and then roll them in glitter.
Egg Hunt
This is another must-do activity for your Easter celebration.
Buy plastic eggs, and fill them with candy or coins. Hide them in your yard or around the house. Give each guest a basket, and let them go crazy.
If your guests are of several different age groups, consider hiding eggs in a particular color for each group. That way you can make the big kids work harder for their eggs and be sure that little ones will get to find some, too.
Designate one or more eggs as special, and hide something like $1 or four leaf clover charm inside. The finders of these eggs will win a special prize.
Egg Toss
Divide the guests into pairs, and give each team an egg. Start with partners standing facing each other about a foot apart. One partner tosses the egg to the other partner. If the egg is successfully caught, each person takes a step back. If the team misses the catch, they are out. The last team standing is the winner.


Bunny Hop Race
Divide guests into two teams, and ask them to stand in a line. Give the first person on each team a balloon. They must place the balloon between their thighs and hop to a designated spot on the other side of the yard or room without dropping the balloon or touching it. If they drop the balloon, they must put it back between their legs and continue hopping where they stopped.
When one player successfully hops across the room and back, the next player in line gets the balloon and takes a turn. The winning team is the first to have all players successfully complete the hopping.
Egg Roll Race
Mark off a starting line and finish line on opposite sides of a yard or room. Line the guests up along the starting line, and give each guest a hard-boiled egg. Ask the kids to get down on their hands and knees. When the whistle blows, the children must roll their eggs with their noses to the finish line. The first person there is the winner.
Bunny Sack Race
Give each child a potato sack or pillow case and let them hop across the yard to the finish line. Don't forget to give them some bunny ears to wear while they are racing.
This race can also be done relay style if you have a lot of guests and not very many potato sacks.
Peep Stuff
Seat guests in a circle, and pass around a bowl of Peeps. See how many Peeps the kids can stuff into their mouths while still being able to say "Happy Easter" out loud.
Basket Game
Divide kids into three or four teams, and assign each team a color and a basket. Dump a large container of plastic eggs onto the floor, and have the kids pick up eggs of their color to drop into their basket. The first team with all the eggs in a basket is the winner.
Potted Flowers
Give each child a small clay planter, some potting soil and a small flower like a marigold or pansy. Let kids plant their creations to take as an Easter gift for someone at home.
Easter is a perfect time for a celebration. Use these suggestions to help you throw an Easter party that will have your kids hopping with joy.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Finding Time to Pamper Yourself

Spa gift baskets for womenAs women, we are always putting ourselves last. We cater to the needs of our ailing parents, our significant others, and our kids; but by the time we get around to ourselves it is either too late in the day, or we are just too exhausted.

We can find time for ourselves by including ourselves in our daily schedules. In doing so, we will begin to relieve the stress associated with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Below are just a few suggestions for Finding Time to Pamper Yourself:

1 - Create a spot in your house where you can have "ME" time. Once you have created you "ME" time place. Set aside daily time to meditate, read a good book, watch your favorite show, or just have some quiet time, if even for a few precious minutes a day.

2 - Create a spa experience in your bath tub. Use your favorite bath tea or bath salt in your bath water, light some candles and listen to some soft, soothing music such as Jazz.

3 - Treat yourself to a weekly spa treatment. Many of these you can do at home yourself such as facials, body polishes, manicures, and/or pedicures.

4 - Invite your girlfriends over for a spa party.  Many companies are now bringing the spa experience into customer's homes and offices. Do an internet search on spa parties and contact the ones that interest you.

5 - Light a lavender candle or spray a lavender scented mist in your "ME" area during your scheduled "ME" time. Lavender helps to create a calming and uplifting effect.

By following the above-listed suggestions, you will in no time begin to feel de-stressed and re-energized.



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Monday, February 27, 2017

How To Slash Your Grocery Bills With Extreme Couponing

Food can eat up almost any budget if you're not careful about saving on groceries. Here are five easy tips to help you save while shopping or eating out.

Check Weekly Store Ads
Scour the weekly store ads for the best grocery deals. Then find blogs and other Web sites that have already done the hard work of matching the sales up with recent coupons to boost your savings even higher. If you don't have much time to clip coupons, use printable coupons or eCoupons.


Stockpile
Buy before you need it. By stockpiling items you need at the lowest price, you can just shop from your pantry. By combining a store sale with coupons, you can maximize your savings. Once you have a nice stockpile built, you will make fewer trips to the store, which will reduce your impulse purchases and help you save on gasoline. Another advantage of stockpiling is that you'll already have a stocked pantry, which gives you one less excuse not to cook at home.


Create a list of 50 or so of your most-used products, items you can have on hand to whip together a meal anytime. This will be different for every family. To get the best deals, you have to put aside brand preferences unless you are willing to wait longer for your preferred brands to go on sale. Basics to stockpile include: canned soups, canned/frozen vegetables, canned fruits, cereal, sugar, bread, pasta and pasta sauce. Outside of food, you should also stockpile cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and personal care products.


Plan Your Meals
Make your weekly meal plans based around what you already have in your pantry or on the weekly grocery sales. Browse free sites like $5 Dinners, Simply Recipes, and Carrie's Cooking for fun new recipe ideas.

Still stumped for meal ideas? Many manufacturers have recipe sites. For example, if you have a can of beef gravy or cream of mushroom soup, you can visit the company's Web site, search by item and usually find recipes to use it.

Prepare "Freezer Meals"
For those nights when you don't feel like cooking, having several meals ready to go in the freezer will stop you from ordering out. Whenever you cook your favorite meal, double the recipe and freeze the other half for a later date. For inspiration, check out the free site Once a Month Mom, which helps you cook a month's worth of meals in one day.


Look for Free Promotions When Eating Out
You don't have to eat at home every night to stay within your food budget. Many restaurants are offering free promotions to lure you in. Use these coupons and savings by signing up for their e-newsletters or by following Web sites that alert readers to money-saving offers. Just be sure to check the specifics of each deal so that you know when it can - and can't - be used.Click here to buy gift baskets online

Monday, February 20, 2017

Gift Cards - The Perfect Gifts

It seems like every family has at least one person who is simply impossible to buy for. That can make any holiday season, birthday and gift-giving occasion a real challenge. Gift cards make wonderful gifts that are sure to please even the pickiest friend or family member. Below are a few of our favorite gift cards to give and to receive.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Baskets, Romantic Gift Baskets For The People You Love!

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Gift Ideas for the Fishing Enthusiast on Your Gift List

Great Gifts For Those Who Love To Fish
Those who enjoy fishing would love to receive gifts of fishing equipment and gear for birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day, or any other gift-giving occasion or holiday. Our unique fishing gift baskets provide many options for those in search of gifts for the fishing enthusiast on their gift list. There are endless numbers of options available when shopping online for fishing gear and accessories, and fishing gifts are available in all price ranges to meet every budget and preference. Consider the following gift basket ideas for the fishing enthusiast on your list, and you will find the perfect gift for any occasion.





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Basic Equipment for Bank Fishing

There are people who like to fish but do not have access to a boat. This article addresses the equipment needs of people who fish from the bank either from necessity or by choice. This article is not targeted at the avid fly fisherman.

The hard core fly fisherman is in a different class from the average bank fisherman and requires specialized equipment. The target audience for this article is the average Joe (or Jane) who fishes for relaxation and perhaps a meal or two not to show off his fly-casting skills or the fancy equipment he can afford.


Primitive Fishing Tackle

The absolute minimum for the bank fisherman is some line, a hook and something to use for weight (a small pebble perhaps). A pole of some kind is helpful but not necessary. Hand-lining is the oldest form of fishing and dates back to prehistoric times. Fish can be caught on this basic setup. Hand-lining a larger-than-average catfish or carp can be a real challenge.

The basic hand line setup has a weight at the end of a line, a length of line sufficient to reach the areas where the fish are likely to be and at least one hook hanging off the main line. The weight allows the angler to throw the baited hook some distance into the river or lake. The best bait is something natural from the local environment. Cricket, worm, grasshopper or another insect will almost always get a response from some fish in the vicinity. The hook(s) should be small enough to be picked up by bluegill or other sunfish. Detecting a bite and hooking a fish [using a hand line] will require both luck and some practice. Multiple hooks on one line will increase the effectiveness of the rig, but too many hooks make casting or throwing out the line more difficult. This could be considered a survival setup where the object is to catch anything edible.




Adding a pole to the hand line rig makes hooking a fish easier. The larger travel distance as the pole is raised to set the hook moves the hook faster and with more force. It is possible to use a hand line to present the bait in the fishÌs vicinity and a pole to provide hooking leverage when a bite is detected. The fish can then be brought to the bank by hand. The pole can be any long slender branch found along the bank. It should have a flexible tip and some stiffer backbone. The length should be sufficient to provide enough travel as the hook is set. The slender tip provides a bite indicator while the strong backbone sets the hook.

Here is how it works. The weighted and baited hand line is thrown out into the water. The distance depends on the length of the line, the weight used, the presumed location of any fish in the area and the anglerÌs skill. The line is pulled back enough to remove any slack then secured to something on the bank. The line is wrapped once or twice around the tip of the pole, and the pole is propped up so that any bites will be indicated by the movement of the tip. When a fish bites, the pole is swung back sharply to hook the fish which is then brought to the bank by hand. Some refinements to the basic rig include multiple hooks on dropper lines from the main line or some floats to keep the bait off the bottom and to indicate bites. Anything that floats can be used.

The above-mentioned method is the simplest form of hook and line fishing. It requires patience, practice, and luck but can be a useful survival skill. For a real challenge, an angler can take only a couple of hooks and a length of line on his next fishing trip. It may be an amusing experience. Modern fishers are not restricted to the hand line method. Next, the use of more modern equipment is discussed.

Modern Tackle



Modern fishing tackle ranges from simple spin-casting rigs costing a few dollars up to custom built rods and high-tech reels priced in thousands of dollars. The bank fisherman will most likely be found using items nearer the lower end of this price spectrum. In the real world, the fish taking the bait doesnÌt know or care how much money the angler spent on equipment.

The basic bank fishing rig is a rod and reel of the anglerÌs choice. For best results, the combination should be matched to the targeted species and the anglerÌs skill level. Do not equip a beginner fisherperson with a complicated level-wind baitcasting reel. A single spin-casting reel is much better. A cane pole with a length of line equal to the length of the pole can deliver plenty of fun when the sunfish or bullheads are active.

The experienced fisherman will have the skills to use more sophisticated tackle. Level-wind baitcasting and spinning reels provide more casting distance and accuracy. This allows the angler to better place the bait where the fish are likely to be as opposed to just getting the bait in the water and depending on luck. Artificial baits make for a more interesting fishing experience and broaden the list of target species.




The location is important to the bank fisherman. A boat allows fishers to move around in search of fish while the bank fisherman is limited in his locations. The location is often chosen by the physical mobility of the fisherman. Many people are not able to walk a mile cross-country to find the best location they are limited to accessible piers and boat ramp areas. This can restrict the number of species available for the bank angler. Open water species such as striped bass or lake trout are rarely within reach of the land-based fishermen. The more common targeted species are catfish, carp, and sunfish.

The land-based angler can fish on days when wind and waves keep the boats at home. He can stop and fish for a few minutes on the way home from work, or he can spend a relaxing weekend enjoying the outdoors without worrying about fuel, wind or boating safety. Bank fishing can be a real option that allows more anglers the opportunity to catch a keeper or enjoy the outdoors. With some experience and some interaction with local fishers the success rate can be surprising. A meal of catfish or sunfish fillets can be a bonus on the experience.


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  • Friday, January 27, 2017

    The Teddy Bear's Comeback; Modern Day Teddy Bears

    Heartwarming Teddy Bears just can't be beat when it comes to cherished, loving gifts that last a lifetime. Everyone loves bears, the young and young at heart.




    The History of The Teddy Bear 


    Today we can hardly imagine the world without that eager listener, confidante, and loyal friend, the teddy bear. But the teddy bear has not always been with us. In fact, the teddy bear did not make its entrance until late in 1902. Then, in one of life's unexplainable synchronicities, the teddy bear appeared in the same year in two different parts of the world: Germany and the United States.




    The Early Years:


    In America, the teddy bear, according to tradition, got its start with a cartoon. The cartoon, drawn by Clifford Berryman and titled "Drawing the Line in Mississippi," showed President Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a baby bear. According to this often told tale, Roosevelt had traveled to Mississippi to help settle a border dispute between that state and Louisiana, and his hosts, wanting to please this avid hunter, took him bear hunting. The hunting was so poor that someone finally captured a bear and invited Roosevelt to shoot. Roosevelt's refusal to fire at such a helpless target inspired Berryman to draw his cartoon with its play on the two ways Roosevelt was drawing a line--settling a border dispute and refusing to shoot a captive animal.

    The teddy bear cartoons appeared in a panel of cartoons drawn by Cliffored Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902. It caused an immediate sensation and was reprinted widely. Apparently, this cartoon even inspired Morris and Rose Michtom of Brooklyn, New York, to make a bear in honor of the president's actions. The Michtoms named their bear "Teddyís Bear" and placed it in the window of their candy and stationery store. Instead of looking fierce and standing on all four paws like previous toy bears, the Michtoms bear looked sweet, innocent, and upright, like the bear in Berryman's cartoon. Perhaps that's why "Teddyís Bear" made a hit with the buying public. In fact, the demand was so high that the Michtoms, with the help of a wholesale firm called Butler Brothers, founded the first teddy bear manufacturer in the United States, the Ideal Novelty, and Toy Company.

    Meanwhile, across the ocean in Germany, Richard Steiff was working for his aunt, Margarete Steiff, in her stuffed toy business. Richard, a former art student, often visited the Stuttgart Zoo to sketch animals, particularly the bear cubs. In 1902, the same year the Michtoms made "Teddy's Bear," the Steiff firm made a prototype of a toy bear based on Richard's designs.

    Though both the Michtoms and Steiff were working on bears at the same time, certainly neither knew, at a time of poor transatlantic communication, about the other's creation. Besides, the Michtoms' bear resembled the wide-eyed cub in the Berryman cartoon, while the Steiff bear, with its humped back and long snout, looked more like a real bear cub.

    A few months later, in March 1903, at the Leipzig Toy Fair, Steiff introduced its first bear--Baer 55PB. The European buyers showed little interest, but an American toy buyer, who was aware of the growing interest in "Teddy's bears" in the States, ordered 3000. In America, people were beginning to get teddy bear fever, and Steiff was in the right place at the right time.

    The Teddy Bear Craze:

    By 1906, the teddy bear craze was in full swing in the United States. The excitement probably compared to the frenzy for Cabbage Patch dolls in the 1980s and Beanie Babies in the 1990s. Society ladies carried their teddies everywhere, and children had their pictures taken with their teddy bears. President Roosevelt, after using a bear as a mascot in his re-election bid, was serving his second term. Seymour Eaton, an educator, and a newspaper columnist, was writing a series of children's books about the adventures of The Roosevelt Bears, and another American, composer J. K. Bratton, wrote "The Teddy Bear Two Step." That song would become, with the addition of words, "The Teddy Bear's Picnic."

    Meanwhile, American manufacturers were turning out bears in all colors and all kinds, from teddy bears on roller skates to teddy bears with electric eyes. "Teddy bear," without the apostrophe and the s, became the accepted term for this plush bruin, first appearing in print in the October 1906 issue of Playthings Magazine. Even Steiff, a German company, adopted the name for its bears.

    Steiff and Ideal were no longer the only players in the teddy bear business. In America, dozens of competitors sprang up. Almost all of these very early companies didn't last, with the notable exception of the Gund Manufacturing Corporation. Gund made its first bears in 1906 and is still making bears today.


    American teddy bear companies faced stiff competition from all the teddy bears imported from Germany, and many of the U.S. companies didn't last long. In Germany, toymaking was an old and established industry, and many German firms, such as Bing, Schuco, and Hermann, joined with Steiff in making fine teddy bears.

    In England, The J.K. Farnell & Co. got its start; in fact, the original Winnie the Pooh was a Farnell bear Christopher Robin Milne received as a first birthday present from his mother in 1921. Five years later, his father, A.A. Milne, would begin to publish the Winnie-the-Pooh books about his son Christopher's adventures with his bear and his other stuffed animals. Today you can see the original toys that inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh books on permanent display in the Central Children's Room of the Donnell Branch of the New York Public Library in New York City, while the Pooh books themselves are as popular as ever.

    More Great Years:

    With the exception of the four years when World War I raged in Europe, the next 25 years were kind to the teddy bear. Mass production had not yet taken over the teddy bear world, and people still preferred to buy high quality, hand-finished teddy bears.

    Because World War I interrupted the flow of teddy bears from Germany, new teddy bear industries developed outside Germany. Chad Valley, Chiltern, and Dean's joined Farnell in England; Pintel and Fadap were begun in France, and Joy Toys in Australia. The bears themselves changed, too. Boot-button eyes were replaced by glass, and excelsior stuffing was replaced by a softer alternative, kapok.


    The United States was relatively untouched by the war, and its teddy bear industry continued to grow. For example, the Knickerbocker Toy Company got its start in 1920 and continues to make teddy bears today. Nine years later, though, the U.S. was hit by the Depression, and most teddy bear companies were hurt by the financial crisis. After 1929, many American companies either found cheaper ways to produce bears, or they closed.

    In the 1920s and 30s, musical bears and mechanical bears were very popular, and they were produced all over the world. Perhaps the most noteworthy manufacturers of these novelty bears were Schuco and Bing. These two German companies made bears that walked, danced, played ball, and even turned somersaults.

    But the outbreak of World War II in 1939 stopped the fun. Instead of making teddy bears, the world's workers and factories were needed for the war effort. Some companies closed and never reopened. Made around 1929, the 9-inch mechanical duck by the German company of Bing was wound by a key.

    The Lean Years:

    While traditional teddy bear companies had always prided themselves on quality hand-finishing and had always used natural fibers to make their bears, all that changed after World War II. Fueled by a desire for washable toys, synthetic fibers were all the rage in the post-War years. Buyers liked the idea of washable toys, so bears were made from nylon or acrylic plush, and had plastic eyes and foam rubber stuffing.

    Traditional teddy bear companies could adapt to this change in materials. However, they were not prepared to compete against the flood of much cheaper; mass-produced teddy bears coming from eastern Asia. Even the old, well-established companies were hurt by the onslaught of inexpensive teddy bears from the Far East.


    The Teddy Bear's Comeback: The Present

    Strangely enough, the comeback of the teddy after years of mass-production was triggered, not by a bear maker, but by an actor. On television, British actor Peter Bull openly expressed his love for teddy bears and his belief in the teddy bear's importance in the emotional life of adults. After receiving 2000 letters in response to his public confession, Peter realized he wasn't alone. In 1969, inspired by this response, he wrote a book about his lifelong affection for teddy bears, Bear with Me, later called The Teddy Bear Book. His book struck an emotional chord in thousands who also believed in the importance of teddy bears. Without intending to, Bull created an ideal climate for the teddy bear's resurgence. The teddy bear began to regain its popularity, not so much as a children's toy, but as a collectible for adults.

    In 1974, Beverly Port, an American doll-maker who also loved making teddy bears, dared to take a teddy bear she made to a doll show. At the show, she presented Theodore B. Bear holding the hand of one of her dolls. The next year, Beverly presented a slide show she had created about teddy bears for the United Federation of Doll Clubs. That show quickly became a sensation. Other people, first in the United States and then all over the world, caught Beverly's affection for the teddy bear. They, too, began applying their talents to designing and making teddy bears. One by one, and by hand, teddy bear artistry was born with Beverly, who coined the term "teddy bear artist," often cited as the mother of teddy bear artistry. Today thousands of teddy bears artists, often working from their homes all over the world, create soft-sculpture teddy bear art for eager collectors.

    Artist Bears set the stage for a new kind of manufactured bear, the artist-designed manufactured bear. Today artist-designed manufactured bears are offered by Ganz, Gund, Dean's, Knickerbocker, Grisly Spielwaren, and others; all offer collectors the opportunity to own artist-designed bears that cost less due to mass production.

    This increased appreciation for the teddy bear as an adult collectible has also increased the value of antique teddy bears, the hand-finished, high-quality teddy bears manufactured in the first decades of the 20th century. In the 1970s and 1980s, these old, manufactured teddy bears began showing up in antique doll and toy auctions, and they began winning higher and higher bids. Today the current record price for one teddy bear, Teddy Girl by Steiff, is $176,000; that bear was sold at Christie's auction house in 1994.


    So what's next for the teddy bear?

    Certainly our love affair with the teddy bear shows no signs of abating. In 1999, in just the United States, collectors purchased $441 million worth of teddy bears. Certainly, as we begin our journey through a new century, we certainly need the teddy bear's gift of unconditional acceptance, love, and reassurance more than ever.

    --by Marianne Clay, Managing Editor, Teddy Bear and Friends




    Click here to buy gift baskets online

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    Retiree Gift Tips And Pointers

    Help a Friend or Loved One Make the Transition by Sending A Unique Retirement Gift Basket by Adorable Gift Baskets.

    Retirement can be a joyful time, but also a very emotional time for someone who has worked most of their life. It's a time of transition as they close one chapter of their life and welcome a new beginning. Most retirees dream of the days ahead when there will be no daily rush, no fights in traffic, no pick-me-up morning coffee breaks to stay awake, and no clock-ins at work. With retirement gift baskets by Adorable Gift Baskets, you can help your friend, co-worker, or employee makes the transition to retirement with a smile.

    By sending a beautiful gift basket for retirement, you can help them celebrate this incredible milestone in their life. At Adorable Gift Baskets, you'll find retirement gift baskets of all shapes, sizes, and styles. From luscious gourmet food gift baskets to balloon and flower arrangements, there's something for everyone. If your recipient is on a medically-restricted diet, try one of our colorful fruit baskets or a basket with sugar-free goodies for someone with diabetes.

    For the retiree who loves sweets, you can surprise them with a delicious chocolate basket filled with chocolate candies, chocolate-covered peanuts or raisins, chocolate bars, truffles, bonbons, etc. Or dazzle them with an Italian specialty basket or a coffee and tea basket. There are also flavorsome cookie baskets if you'd like to keep your gift simple!

    When buying a gift basket for a retiree, consider their favorite hobby. How do they plan to spend their free time after retirement? At Adorable Gift Baskets, you can browse themed retirement gift baskets that are perfect for gardeners, sports fans, golfers, readers, movie lovers, home decorators, etc.

    A retirement gift basket from Adorable Gift Baskets will add a sense of thanks and congratulations at their office retirement party. If you're an employer, you can show your appreciation for years of hard work by giving each retiree a retirement gift basket. Our retiree gratitude baskets contain a variety of goodies including cookies, tea cakes, pretzels, cheese spreads, coconut rings, chocolates, tea, cocoa, popcorn, and other fine treats.

    Appetizing retirement gift baskets can be delivered to your friend's home or office. These gifts provide an affordable way to celebrate any retiree's final days with a company.

    Retirement is a pivotal moment in anyoneÌs life. Quite often, farewell retirement parties are thrown, and gifts are given. Just as often, the gift givers struggle with the concept of what to give. How does one decide what can be given as a meaningful, useful, and desirable gift? Although this may appear to be a daunting task, a bit of simple planning and clever investigative research is all that is necessary. Money seems so cold and impersonal.
    Specialty food baskets, gifts baskets filled with fresh fruit, a gift box of chocolates, fresh flowers and executive theme gift towers are, without a doubt, all time favorites gifts for the retiree.

    Retiree Gift Tips And Pointers

    If you know the person well, then you already know what it is that they are planning to do with all of this free time. This is one of the first steps to planning the perfect retirement gift.


  • Find out the short-term goals of the person who is retiring, either through conversation with them or with their close friends or relatives.
  • Find out the long-term goals the individual has through the same methods as above.
  • Discover what hobbies the person has, whether these are new hobbies, and how serious the hobby is.
  • Find out what his favorite foods, snacks, and restaurants are
  • Ferret out his cultural heritage.
  • Learn where his or her early roots are, where he or she grew up, and where the places he or she visited are.
  • Plan the gift accordingly.


  • Retirement Themed Gift Ideas



  • Gifts for the Sports fan, buy sports gift baskets, unique, all star sports gifts, golf, fishing, baseball, basketball, collegiate, hockey, football baskets and gifts. Perhaps a duffle bag or backpack.
  • Gifts or the Fisherman, a fishing theme gift basket is perfect. Or, buy a deluxe tackle box, a few books and DVDs on fishing, and a few other assorted fishing related items.
  • Gifs for the Golfer, purchase a golf gift basket filled with golfing gifts and golfer's theme gifts designed for those who love to play golf.
  • For the deep sea fisherman, purchase a few tickets for excursions throughout the season.
  • For the new part-time career, purchase items that will come in handy on the new job.
  • For the Grandparent, invest in a few photograph albums and journals. Buy a few tickets or even a membership to a kidÌs museum or all day park.
  • Gifts for the Gardener, select a colorful array of new gardening supplies, books, and plants. Every gardener can use replacement tools after years of use.
  • For the person who is going to relocate, phone cards and stationary are excellent ways to keep in touch after relocating to a new area.
  • For the computer wizard, gift certificates to local computer stores are an excellent choice.
  • For a cultural gift, books on the cultural heritage, videos, music CDs, and paintings are nice touches for a thoughtful gift.

  • If you are unable to gather enough information to make a themed choice, purchase a large basket and fill it with a variety of items: the newest best seller, movie theater tickets and a box of candy, sporting event passes, gift cards to unique stores, and a few gourmet food items. These not only look terrific but also, something in the basket is sure to make a hit with the person.
    No time to put together a gift basket for your favorite retiree? No problem! Adorable Gift Baskets offers a huge selection of extraordinary retirement gifts, gift baskets and gift ideas for retirees.