web analytics

Archive | Seasonal

What’s your Valentine’s Day personality? 


How anyone can make the day special

VAL-Valentines-Day-personality-web(BPT) – Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or you don’t believe in Cupid at all, everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day in their own special way. From a fancy date or a girls’ night in, to a festive class party with the kids, there are activities, and treats, to suit every type of Valentine’s personality out there. Which one are you?

The hopeless romantic

Do you wear your heart on your sleeve? Do you look forward to Valentine’s Day every year as a time to celebrate the people you love? Then you are a hopeless romantic and you embrace everything that Valentine’s Day stands for. For you, the day should be filled with thoughtful gestures that come from the heart.

Start by sending messages to the special people in your life. For a significant other, you might text famous romantic quotes throughout the day to show your love. Then, skip the expensive flowers and get crafty by making Sweetheart Roses with Hershey’s Kisses chocolates, which come in special pink and red foils for the holiday. Simply wrap two Kisses chocolates in cellophane or plastic wrap to create a rosebud shape and then attach your creation to florist wire and wrap it in green florist tape. Add a little note saying how much you care. This gift is a sweet treat and you won’t have to worry about it wilting.

The last-minute cupid

If you are the person who waits until the commute home to swing by the store for your sweetie’s gift, you are a last-minute cupid. You like Valentine’s Day, but you are not known to plan ahead. Fortunately, there’s no need to worry. Here are a few quick and impressive ideas for special gifts.

To start, a handwritten card is always appreciated. Simply say what’s in your heart; you don’t have to be Shakespeare. When the words are your own, your loved one will know you genuinely care. Next, attach a gift that signifies all the sweet things in life, like the Hershey’s Kisses Heart Shaped Tin, packed with Kisses milk chocolates, which is guaranteed to make her swoon. For more quick and fun Valentine Day’s ideas, visit www.CelebrateWithHersheys.com.

The class parent

In classrooms across the country, Valentine’s Day is a special time to celebrate friendship at school. If you’re the class mom or dad, you know the class will be counting on you to help the kids get ready for this special day and prepare all the cards and goodies.

Help students celebrate their friends by having them make their own cards. Use construction paper, ribbon, glitter and stickers to help your kids make customized cards for classmates, then add a sweet treat.

Parents can also start a new family tradition at home and show their kids how much they care by giving them Valentine’s Day baskets.

The playful platonic

If you think that Valentine’s Day is more fun spent with friends, then you have a playful platonic personality. You don’t need all the mushy over-the-top romanticism; you know the true loves of your life are your friends and you want to use this day to celebrate everything they mean to you.

For example, you might meet with your favorite buds for happy hour or spend the evening at home swapping manis and pedis with your best girlfriends. This is the perfect time to flip through some pictures and take a trip down memory lane. Make your home a festive oasis by filling a candy dish throughout the night.

No matter your Valentine’s Day personality, there are simple ways to make the day extra special. From yummy treats to sweet gestures, you’ll show the loved ones in your life you care—today and every day of the year.

Posted in Featured, Valentine's DayComments Off on What’s your Valentine’s Day personality? 

Pop the cork at home this New Year’s Eve



(Family Features) If you’ve thought staying home to celebrate New Year’s Eve sounded like a great idea, you’re not alone.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, this year, 61 percent of Americans who plan on celebrating New Year’s Eve plan on celebrating at home. To help make your night the most memorable celebration ever, here are some great ways to ring in 2015 from the comfort of your own home.

Girls just want to have fun

Ladies leave your man at home – tonight it’s all about you. Instead of waiting for a drink in that crowded party full of strangers, have a girls’ night in at your place. Of women surveyed, 67 percent said they would skip a New Year’s Eve party for a girls’ night in. So, pop open some bubbly and celebrate 2014 with your closest girlfriends. For more inspiration on what to serve, visit www.barefootwine.com.

Sing in the New Year

What’s the best part of celebrating at home? You can dance like no one’s watching. Make your New Year’s bash a dance party. Create a playlist with all of your favorite songs from 2014 and dance the night away.

Get your party poppin’

Pop some bubbly, pop some popcorn and pop in a movie. Waiting until midnight leaves plenty of time to throw on a good movie before the clock strikes. Continue celebrating the best of 2014 by watching this year’s biggest blockbuster movies. Need a little inspiration for what to watch? Try something starring Kate Upton or Bradley Cooper. According to the survey, when asked which celebrity women most want to have as their New Year’s kiss, Bradley tops the list, while the guys would go for Kate. If you want to serve your guests a signature drink while they enjoy the movie, try the Barefoot Bubbly New Year’s Rock.

Game on

Looking for a fun game to play? Have everyone write down a pop culture event or relevant celebrity from 2014 on a sticky note (for example, Pharrell’s crazy hat, Taylor Swift, Ellen’s award show selfie, the 2014 Sochi Olympics, George Clooney getting married), and give it to the person to your left without revealing what is written, and stick it to their forehead. The person will ask yes or no questions and attempt to guess what is written on the note.

With a few friends, yummy cocktails and fun games, you’ll have a memorable New Year’s celebration.

Pink In the New Year

1/2 ounce apricot brandy

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

3 ounces Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato

Mint sprig or lemon twist garnish

Place apricot brandy, lemon juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into chilled champagne flute. Top with Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. Garnish with mint sprig or lemon twist.

Posted in New Year's, RecipesComments Off on Pop the cork at home this New Year’s Eve

Tips for families to get healthy this new year

This New Year, you can get the whole family together by committing to a healthier lifestyle as a team.

This New Year, you can get the whole family together by committing to a healthier lifestyle as a team.


(StatePoint) New Year’s resolutions often focus on personal improvement. This year experts are encouraging entire families to consider making a pledge to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Parents have more potential than anybody else to influence their children’s behavior — including their eating habits—according to a study by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In fact, parents outrank sports celebrities as the people most children would most like to be, according to the survey.

“You are the most influential role model in your child’s life,” says Kim Larson, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson. “Modeling healthy eating behaviors encourages children to adopt and choose healthy behaviors that will benefit them for a lifetime.”

Setting realistic goals

Small steps add up, and Larson recommends making healthy lifestyle changes that are realistic and easy to stick with for the long-haul. Try adopting healthy changes for the entire family, such as:

• Make sure your kids know they are part of the team and that health and fitness are a family affair.

• Encourage children to help plan meals—from developing the menu to shopping to preparing and serving the meal.

• Serve regular, balanced meals and snacks with a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

• Eat breakfast daily.

• Enjoy family dinner together each night or as often as possible.

• At each meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

• Make at least half of the grains you eat whole grains.

• Get active. Incorporate physical activity where you can in your day, whether taking a family walk after dinner or hitting the gym. Remember, children and teens should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should get two and a half hours per week.

Focus on overall health, not weight alone

According to the experts, good nutrition, health, and fitness fun should be the focus of your family’s goals, not calorie counting, food restriction or working out.

“You don’t want your kids to think that a healthy lifestyle is only about how much they weigh,” Larson says. “Concentrate on delicious nutrition and fun physical activities,” says Larson.

For a personalized plan tailored to your lifestyle, food preferences and the unique needs of your family, consider consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist. You can find one in your area at www.EatRight.org.





Posted in Featured, New Year'sComments Off on Tips for families to get healthy this new year

Resolve to Adopt Cost-Cutting  Shopping Habits in the New Year


(StatePoint) The start of the New Year is often a time for resolutions and improvements to your daily lifestyle. While many people vow to lose weight or take a big trip, others might focus on trying to save money in the year to come. There are some easy ways to start saving now and develop smart shopping habits for the remainder of 2015.

Plan Weekly/Monthly Meals

Instead of impulsively buying produce and other perishable items while grocery shopping, try to make a plan for all your meals that week or month. By only buying what you need, you can save money at the grocery store and limit the opportunity for food to go to waste.

Private Brands

Another simple way to save money this year is to make the switch to private or store brands. Many items can be purchased at a fraction of the name brand price, and there is often little or no difference in product quality. For instance, Dollar General offers many private brand items at affordable prices with a satisfaction guarantee, which can help you to cut back on expenses without sacrificing quality.

Digital Coupons

You can score truly great deals by clipping coupons, but doing so can be a time consuming process. New digital alternatives can make the process less painstaking. One example is Dollar General’s digital coupon program, which lets users create a profile where they can pin the coupons most relevant to them. You can have instant savings on your cell phone or computer for items you use the most, without ever touching a newspaper or pair of scissors.

This new year, resolve to make a few small changes to your shopping habits that can create big savings in the long run!


Posted in Featured, New Year'sComments Off on Resolve to Adopt Cost-Cutting  Shopping Habits in the New Year

How to Dress for Success in the New Year


(StatePoint) When it comes to professional success, the way you present yourself in the workplace should complement the quality of your work. Whether you’re looking to advance your career or simply make a great impression, a useful New Year’s resolution is to refine your office look and style — take everything into account, your wardrobe, your accessories and your workspace.


You may not have the top job yet, but the old adage holds true — dress for the job you want, not the one you have. If budget is an issue, don’t sweat it. Online coupons can help you score great deals at mass market retailers. Additionally, discount department stores often sell designer labels at a fraction of the cost.

Be sure to press your clothes even if your office is business casual. Invest in an iron and give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning to ensure clothes are wrinkle-free.

Every season, go through your closet and set aside clothes that no longer fit, are worn out, faded or out of style. Donate these clothes and make room for new ones.


Rocking the basics can make a great impression at meetings, conventions and other professional events. Show employers, colleagues and clients organization is important to you by carrying a planner and business notebook.

Look for a sleek design, such as those from the AT-A-GLANCE Collection. These products not only keep you organized and track your story, but can act as a highly useful accessory to your professional style. Whether you’re looking to stay organized by the day, week or month, a planner won’t just help to improve your image; it can also help remind you of upcoming deadlines so you stay organized.


Take ownership of your workspace. Your desk, cubicle or office is visible round-the-clock, even when you are off-the-clock, so make sure it makes a great impression.

A few personal items are welcome in most workplaces. Just be sure any personal photos of friends and family that you display are tasteful and appropriate.

Lastly, display a stylish wall calendar on your cubicle or office wall to keep important dates in view. Or if you prefer, a desk pad calendar gives you the same view of your busy month ahead. You want colleagues to know that not only do you have a full plate, you know what’s on it.

By fine-tuning your look, you can help make 2015 the year you reach your professional goals and look great doing it.


Posted in New Year'sComments Off on How to Dress for Success in the New Year

Letters to Santa



Dear Santa,

What I want for Christmas

is Tetris and The Legend of Zeald

for nintendo enertamit Syestem

and pokemon red for my game

boy color. I also want Super

Mario 3d land for wiiu. I really

want Grayson to live because

he is a stray cat and I really

want him to live more than

geting presents. That’s all

I want for Christmas please

and thankyou!

Love, Courtneny Mooney

P.S I hope you have a safe

flight Christmas Eve!






Dear Santa

My name is Owen. I am 4 years old. I have been a good boy. Could you please bring me a present? I would like a trailer with ramps for my power wheels, a fertilizer spreader, three power wheels lawn mowers. One is a push mower, one is a feet stand mower and one is a buckler mower. The old one is leaking oil. I’m so tired of fixing it. I also need a new lunch box. Could you fill it with cheese and boiled eggs. They’re my favorite. Mrs. Holloway makes them for snack time at school. She’s my teacher. Could you please bring Mrs. Holloway some new toys for her classroom? A lot of them got stepped on and broken. But I didn’t step on any, I’ll leave a bell for your reindeer.

From Owen Spicer



Dear Santa

This is my first Christmas so I want rattles, musical toys, and outfits because I’m growing fast. And my mom to get a good night sleep.







Dear Santa

My name is Oliver. could bring me a nerf gun please?

I have been kinda a good  boy for 5 days in a row.




Dear Santa i hope you  Get my Good or  Bab List and The Things Theat i watid

from Gracie. aBBott


to: Santa

i Love You Santa

Santa i wat a Monster high american Girl Polly Pocites toy horses

Schleich s woves and pups shopkin Pok’emon Game DS CanDy

Colering Book Books Monster high Books Gift

Cards money and a american Girl Horses. american Girl outfit for me and the american Girl.



Dear Santa,

I would ask for a few

things. First bands… Lime, orange, brown, red, blue/baby blue, purple, sparkley, clear, Black, yellow, dark green, raseberry, white, & pink! please Santa. Next I want a cute just white jacket for my puppy bella. Last please! please! please! get 2 things 1. The movie star wolf and Amercan doll cloths!


Chandyce Novak

P.S. Please get my brother a pet!

P.S.S. Please!

P.S.S.S. Please put me and  are presents under the snow tree!

Please get me a camra


Last Get my dog a BIG doggy bed!


Dear Santa

I would like camo

stuff, batman nemoto

car, spring shoes, ralph.


thank you, Keegan Nix



Dear Santa

I love you, I am 4 years old. For Christmas I want a

really big tool Box filled with Little screwdrivers,

A beautiful necklace with A angel on it, and a match

Letters game. for my mom I would like a ring with a

jewel in it. For my Dad I would like some wood Island Stools.

for my brothers I would like smelly soap

and last my dog Audrey a sqweeky toy.

Merry Christmas.

Colton Ream


Dear Santa

My Name is Ben Dorrance

all I want for Christmas

is a beebee gun and

football, cars, clothes.

Thank you





Dear Santa,

This is River Oligney from Cedar Springs, MI. What I want for Christmas is call of duty advanced warfare for my X-box 360. And farcry 4 for Xbox 360.

I also want a GoldenTate Jersey and call of duty legos

I also want to get internet at my place because my mom said it cost to much    I would like to get Xbox live also    Thank you very much.

Please get me some stuff I know you are real and you can do it.

Luv River Oligney


P.S Dont forget my little sister

Brooklyn Archer. Even if she is a brat!



Dear Santa,

Hello My name is Brooklyn Archer and I live in Cedar Springs MI

I am 3 years old so mommy is helping me write this to you. I would like for you to bring me a woofer hound dog guitar and Doc McStuffins walk n go doll and a Doc McStuffins get better talking mobile cart and a puppy suprise and the game shark mania and a Hello Kitty Sports Car 6 volt ride on with bonus 3 wheel scooter. I’m trying to be good at home and school.

But at home im a little bad. But my brother River Oligney is real bad. But you can still bring him stuff if you want. I love you Santa. Dont forget me please!


Love Brooklyn Archer

from Cedar Springs.

Dear Santa,





Monsterhigh Doll’s



Frosen Poster


That is all

I love you Santa






Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Letters to Santa

Christmas Coloring Contest

AmericanGirl-SaigeWinner of American Girl Doll  Announced

While we haven’t had a lot of snow this Christmas season, we have had a lot of excitement generated for our twenty-something annual Christmas Coloring Contest sponsored once again by North West Kent Mechanical. And our doll sponsors, All About Heating & Cooling, Cedar Springs Rental, Little Caesars, Ray Winnie Auto Sales, Rockford Ambulance, Sparta Chevrolet, Sturgeon Collision, Inc. Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home. Thanks guys. And gals!

Kids everywhere in and around Cedar Springs grabbed their crayons, and put color to paper in their best effort to win this year’s prize, the popular American Girl Doll.

Three runners up were selected from three different age groups. And it was hard! It was clear to all three judges that all entries were top rate this year.

The names of the nine “finalists” selected were placed into a red flannel hat for the winning draw.  (Pun intended.)

We picked the best and Lady Luck did the rest!

Congrats to nine and one half-year-old Jessa Riley P. (Patin) of Sand Lake, Michigan, she may pick up her doll today (10am to 5pm) or after the holiday weekend.

We thank all who participated. Finalists are invited to stop by after the holiday weekend and pick up a consolation prize for their efforts.

Winning entry: Jessa Riley P. (Patin), 9 ½ yrs., Sand Lake

Winning entry: Jessa Riley P. (Patin), 9 ½ yrs., Sand Lake

Winning entry: Jessa Riley P. (Patin) 9 ½ yrs., Sand Lake

Finalists include:

Emilee Carter, 6 yrs., Howard City

Maddie Oliver, 6 yrs., Sand Lake

Autumn Passage, 5 yrs., Sand Lake

Emily Patteron, 10 yrs., Howard City

Mikayla Caruthers, 10 yrs., Howard City

Madelin Dekraker, 12 yrs., Newago

Alex Vanos, 11 yrs., Cedar Springs

Olivia Male, 11 yrs., Cedar Springs


Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Christmas Coloring Contest

Tour of lights

This home is located on Shaner Avenue, south of 15 Mile.

This home is located on Shaner Avenue, south of 15 Mile.

There’s nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights this time of year to give you a good dose of Christmas cheer! Pack up the kids, go for a ride, and enjoy the decorations your friends and neighbors have put up this year. We’re sure you’ll find a few other treasures along the way!

1. 427 Northland Drive, near the corner of South Street and Northland. See the 90-foot evergreen Christmas tree at the Reep family home.

2. 65 E. Muskegon, corner of First and Muskegon Streets. The home of Larry and Audrey Young is a classic home decorated with style.

3. Downtown Cedar Springs is aglow with lights and decorations on the lampposts and the town Christmas tree is at the corner of Main and Ash.

4. The Fieldstone Meadows subdivision, first cul de sac, just off 18 Mile. Head north on Main Street in Cedar Springs, turn east on 18 Mile. Go around curve, past mobile home park, and then east into Fieldstone.

5. 345 Tall Grass Drive (corner of Tall Grass and Prairie Run). Many other homes in this subdivision off of Pine Street also have many lights.

6. 2207 15 Mile Rd, one block west of Algoma Ave. Nolan Patin, 13, set up a Christmas display to music. It runs now through Jan. 6, 2015, every night from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Although the light show is small in size (only about 4,000 lights), it is a fun show set to 3 popular songs. Pull right into the driveway to enjoy it completely, tuning your radio to 103.5 FM. and don’t forget to make a donation to him to support the Cedar Springs Historical Museum.

7. Shaner Avenue, between 14 Mile and 16 Mile – several homes are decorated, including the one pictured above.


Posted in Featured, Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Tour of lights

Tips for enjoying a healthier holiday 


(Family Features)

The holidays bring lights, cheer, TV specials and treats – plenty of them. While it is tempting to eat all that gets placed in front of you, it isn’t worth the extra pounds you may gain during the holidays.

Here are some tips to balance healthy living with enjoying the holiday spirit:

Get in a festive mood with wintry activities. Bring the holidays to life by planning some fun seasonal activities with loved ones, such as ice skating, sledding, going to a tree farm to pick your tree, or decorating for the holidays. You will create some great memories with your favorite people, which is what the season is all about.

Share the joy. Sharing is encouraged when it comes to holiday deliveries loaded with carb-filled goodies. Instead of keeping temptations around your house, share them with your neighbors or coworkers along with a holiday card to spread the cheer.

Don’t drink your carbs. If you’re not careful with loaded winter beverages, you could derail your healthy eating efforts. Instead of hot chocolate, opt for peppermint tea or add peppermint extract to your coffee for some holiday flavor. This also applies to alcohol consumption – red wine or spirits with low-glycemic mixers are best.

Bake yummy low-carb goodies. This is a good approach both for sweets around the house and for attending a party. Your friends and family will love your thoughtful contribution and you get to enjoy a healthier holiday treat.

For example, bake a classic like the Holiday Cookies below from www.Atkins.com, where you can find many low-carb versions of your favorite holiday treats.

Holiday Cookies

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Makes: 24 servings

1 cup sifted soy flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

3 tablespoons granular sugar substitute (Sucralose)

4 ounces cream cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In food processor, pulse soy flour, baking soda, sugar substitute, cream cheese and butter for 30 seconds, until texture resembles coarse meal.

In mall bowl, mix together sour cream, egg and vanilla extract. Add sour cream mixture to soy mix mixture and pulse until just-combined, about 15 seconds. Chill in freezer 10 minutes or until firm.

Roll dough out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper to 1/8 thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out dough in desired shapes. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheet and bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Nutritional information per serving: Net carbs: 1.4 g; Fiber: 0.3 g; Protein: 1.8 g; Fat: 3.7 g; Calories: 46.

Posted in Hometown Holidays, RecipesComments Off on Tips for enjoying a healthier holiday 

Pop Up Wintertime Fun

Red and green sprinkles, chocolate and popcorn make a happy winter treat.

Red and green sprinkles, chocolate and popcorn make a happy winter treat.

(NAPS)—Often defined as a time of quiet hibernation, winter is, in fact, one of the busiest times of the year. Consider the numerous celebratory occasions that begin with the harvest and continue on through the holidays and beyond, not to mention all the fun and frosty get-togethers prompted by skiing, skating and sledding.

Keep popcorn on hand and you’re only minutes away from a satisfying and healthful treat. When friends drop in or as you make your way through neighborhood parties, pop up some wintertime fun by making these simple and delicious popcorn treats.

The following recipes vary a basic method: melt chocolate, drizzle over popcorn and mix in flavorings or sprinkles. You can easily adapt these for any number of occasions—substitute holiday sprinkles with colors of your favorite Super Bowl team, red for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day and so on. You’ll love having this quick “go-to” in your recipe file.


Easy, Elegant Holiday Popcorn

Yield: 8 cups


8cups popped popcorn

2ounces white chocolate, melted

2ounces dark chocolate, melted

Red and green holiday sprinkles


1.Place popcorn on a large baking sheet. Set aside.

2.Drizzle popcorn with melted white chocolate and melted dark chocolate.

3.Scatter sprinkles over top. Let stand until chocolate is set.

4.Break into clusters if needed. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


White chocolate and peppermint plus popcorn can bring warmth to the coldest night.

White chocolate and peppermint plus popcorn can bring warmth to the coldest night.

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark

Yield: 1 pound


5cups popped popcorn

12ounces white chocolate, melted

1cup crushed hard candy peppermints


1.Cover a baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside.

2.Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside.

3.Melt chocolate in a double boiler OR according to package directions.

4.Stir in crushed peppermints after chocolate is melted.

5.Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir to coat.

6.Spread onto prepared pan; allow to cool completely.

7.When chocolate is set, break into chunks for serving.

8.Store in an airtight container at room temperature.



Cranberries & Almond Bark

Omit candy peppermints. Mix 1⁄2 cup dried sweetened cranberries and 1⁄2 cup sliced almonds with the popcorn. Pour chocolate over the mixture after it is melted.

With these, you can create gourmet gifts for friends and neighbors, and munchable snacks for the whole family. You’ll find more creative wintertime recipes at www.popcorn.org.





Posted in Featured, Hometown Holidays, RecipesComments Off on Pop Up Wintertime Fun