Creative Gift Giving Is Easier Than You Think

(NewsUSA) – It’s no secret that shopping for holiday gifts can be overwhelming.The answer to alleviating the stress of thoughtful gift giving comes in a cardboard box.Seriously.Subscription box services are popular options for a "gift that keeps on giving," providing a personalized experience delivered safely every month.In fact, in a survey conducted by the Paper and Packaging Board from August 2015 to November 2016, 82 percent of those surveyed agreed that they could rely on corrugated cardboard boxes to get their merchandise shipped and delivered safely. And 60 percent feel that products that come in paper-packaging tend to feel more premium.Innovations in box and packaging design allow these boxes to delight well past delivery with extended use and upcycling options.Find the perfect gift for your loved one this season with one of these favorites:* KiwiCo (Kiwico.com):For the Kid Who Is Going to Run the World.KiwiCo develops monthly STEAM educational hands-on projects and activities to spark curiosity and creativity in kids aged 0-16+.Each eco-friendly corrugated box is filled with interactive projects to fit a child’s respective age group. As your child or loved one grows, so do the boxes!* Loot Crate (LootCrate.com): For the Pop-Culture Obsessed.Loot Crate is a pop culture- themed subscription box featuring a changing monthly theme that covers all fandoms.These corrugated boxes hit every interest from video games to television and movies. Loot Crate offers an additional perk – the box is part of the monthly theme itself, which is to say, the box transforms into a "bonus" gift with some simple cuts and folds. You have to see it to believe it.* Graze (Graze.com) – For the Foodie.Graze is a subscription box that uses high-quality, nutritionist- approved ingredients to provide wholesome snacks. Graze uses responsibly resourced paper-based packaging to ensure that its products are safe and fresh for consumption.Foodies can subscribe for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deliveries of personalized Graze boxes based on their custom-snack profile.*KitNipBox (KitNipBox.com): For the Cat Lover.KitNipBox is uniquely themed so cats (and their humans!) have something fresh, fun and new to look forward to each month. The design of the box, which can be recycled, is specifically made to fit 95 percent of cats, so they can play with the box and fit inside of it.Additionally, KitNipBox uses specially designed crinkling tissue paper in the boxes, so that the unwrapping experience is even more special for cats and their owners.* Cratejoy (Cratejoy.com):For Everyone.Cratejoy is the world’s premier subscription box website, providing a global marketplace of products.Cratejoy offers a vast selection of uniquely crafted corrugated boxes suited to virtually any hobby, interest or taste.Gifting a subscription box service is an easy yet thoughtful option for anyone on your shopping list! Unbox an experience that will last long past this holiday season. Find out more by visiting HowLifeUnfolds.comClick here to view video. 

Main Street Series Promises to Revitalize One Small Town

(NewsUSA) – "People are looking for magic in their lives and to experience something that stays with them forever," says Helen Marriage, the director of Artichoke, the producers and creators of the Lumiere London festival."People respond to light in a special way," Marriage continues. "and in the middle of winter, when night falls early, it’s just so wonderful and uplifting."In January 2018, London’s most iconic buildings, streets and landmarks will again be illuminated artistically for the British capital’s largest night-time festival, Lumiere London.Lumiere last lit up London in 2016, when millions of people visited the city to interact with the art installations. In January, the festival returns to London much bigger and bolder than before.More than 40 international artists will work to transform the city into a vast, nocturnal exhibition space, offering dazzling new perspectives on London’s iconic landmarks and historic architecture with beautiful, thought-provoking installations.As an example, Westminster Abbey, which has stood at the heart of London for hundreds of years, has been the setting for every coronation in the British monarchy since 1066 and has hosted 16 royal weddings, will be one of the key festival locations again.It will be illuminated by the French digital artist, Patrice Warrener, who will present the second installment of The Light of the Spirit for Westminster Abbey, one of the most popular installations at Lumiere London in 2016.Other installations include: Love, a Matisse-inspired animation of two paper-cut figures who spend the evening kissing and dancing to a bespoke soundtrack at the Royal Academy of Arts; interactive illuminated singing see-saws in Mayfair and, at Kings Cross, an immersive work that imagines a world underwater.The artists will create bespoke light installations for each selected building in London, turning the capital into a gallery without walls. Lumiere London is about more than the art: it’s about people sharing public space and re-discovering the city."Lumiere London offers the chance for visitors and Londoners alike to see the city in a totally new light, explore new areas, and see a familiar city in different ways," says Helen Marriage."Our mission from the start," Marriage continues, "was to make great art accessible to everyone and to bring back the joy of experiencing it. Lumiere London is about reclaiming the streets and bringing a new dimension to the daily life of our city."Lumiere London will take place on closed roads over four nights between 18 and 21 January 2018 at locations around the city, including: London’s West End, Mayfair, Westminster, Piccadilly, St James’s, Fitzrovia and Kings Cross.To find out more about the festival and to plan your trip to London, see https://www.visitlondon.com/lumiere#7kk8D0owMHHw6OqU.97

Boomers, Grandchildren Find Common Ground Through Music

(NewsUSA) – As mayor of D’Lo, Mississippi, one of John Henry Berry’s recent challenges included tracking down errant employees — goats he had positioned to clip the town’s ball fields had wandered off. The quest for the goats is an example of the quirky challenges facing Mayor Berry and featured in the reality series, "Small Town, Big Mayor," airing on UP TV on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.The series offers a refreshing escape from the negative attitude surrounding much of politics today with a behind-the-scenes look at a hard-working mayor and his family who want to make their town a better place and to help it survive and thrive in the future.The residents of D’Lo include 456 people, as well as 240 cows. Mayor Berry wears multiple hats, serving not only as mayor, but also as town arbitrator, dog catcher, landscaper, sewer repairman, volunteer fireman, high school football announcer, Parish drummer, and 4H Firearms Instructor, to name a few. He also finds time to be the father of five children: Ashley, Ben, Autumn, Preston, and Josh; and husband to Angie.The fourth-generation resident of D’Lo is known for his positive attitude, white suits, and the inclination to drive around town in a golf cart."The love of my town inspired me to run for mayor," says Mayor Berry. "As a native of D’Lo, Miss., I want to improve the town and bring in tourism," he adds. Specific plans to attract tourists include opening a restaurant, he notes.In addition to the restaurant, his goals include legalizing golf carts in D’Lo, making the town more environmentally friendly, putting D’Lo on Kickstarter, building a library, and launching a campaign to recruit new volunteer firemen.Each episode of "Small Town, Big Mayor" will focus on some aspect of his 95-point plan to revitalize the town.In the meantime, Mayor Berry gracefully juggles daily challenges of small-town administrations."There’s nothing I won’t do for D’Lo," says Berry. One surprise: "I had to learn to work on the water well and sewage system to keep things functioning properly without spending money the city didn’t have," he says.Tune in to "Small Town, Big Mayor" for a taste of genuine community spirit as the citizens rally around the mayor. As Mayor Berry says, "We may be tiny, but we have a lot of heart."

Customer Feedback Is Our North Star

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – “The customer always comes first” should be every company’s mantra. However, a lot of companies say it, but don’t act on it. So, how do we make sure we’re living up to that mindset?
The answer is simple — just ask.
On any given night, half of the guests in our hotels are members of the Hilton Honors loyalty program and their feedback is what helps us make our program so esteemed.

Reverse Mortgage Can Help With Retirement Planning

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – This article is a paid advertisement. The content was provided by One Reverse Mortgage.
When people want access to money from the equity in their home, they often turn to a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). But homeowners who are 62 and older may have another option — the reverse mortgage line of credit. Similar to the HELOC, a reverse mortgage line of credit’s value is based on the equity in your home, and you can access the money whenever you need it.
Unlike a HELOC, the available funds in a reverse mortgage line of credit can be a big benefit for many people, because whether they ever use it or not, the reverse mortgage line of credit grows in value. This can be a great safety net that can cover future expenses for financially savvy clients. Another way people use the reverse mortgage line of credit is by receiving monthly distributions to live on while they defer the use of their retirement assets. This, in turn, may allow those assets more time to grow.
The reverse mortgage line of credit is widely used due to its many features. Some financial advisors are recommending that the reverse mortgage line of credit be used as a financial tool in retirement planning. But the line of credit is just one way to receive your proceeds from your reverse mortgage. You have other options, too. One of the best features of all reverse mortgage products is that you are not required to pay monthly mortgage payments; however, you are still responsible for paying homeowners insurance, property taxes, and home maintenance costs.
To receive more information, request a free guide from One Reverse Mortgage by visiting www.onereversemortgage.com/nu/ or call (888)779-8011 to speak to a licensed specialist. The licensed specialists at One Reverse Mortgage are trained to answer any questions you may have and get you started with a reverse mortgage product.
Equal Housing Lender. Listed in all 50 states. One Reverse Mortgage NMLS #2052
These materials are not from HUD or FHA and were not approved by HUD or a government agency.

Marketers: Get in touch with your audience

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Promotional products are more popular than ever, based on data from a 2016 consumer survey conducted by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). The survey respondents were evenly split between men and women, and included millennials (43 percent), generation X (35 percent), baby boomers (19 percent), and the “silent generation” of older adults (3 percent).
Overall, 89 percent of the adult consumers surveyed reported receiving a promotional product within the last six months, an increase from previous years.
Key survey findings include:
–85 percent of individuals said they remembered the branding and 76 percent recalled messaging from at least one promotional product.
–82 percent of individuals said their impression of the brand changed for the better as a direct result of receiving a promotional product from that brand.
–79 percent of individuals said they looked up a brand and 83 percent said they would be more likely to do business with a brand after receiving a promotional product.
–All age groups rated promotional products as the most effective way to encourage consumers to take action with regard to the brand.
PPAI used five metrics to evaluate the participants’ responses to promotional products: Reach, Recall, Resonance, Reaction and Relativity.
Reach: Refers to the length, frequency, and range of exposure of a consumer to a brand. For example, 79 percent of consumers will pass along a promotional product, whether or not they use it themselves, which extends the brand’s reach. In addition, the survey found that 23 percent of men and 13 percent of women would keep a promotional product for up to 11 years or longer.
Recall: Refers to whether a consumer remembers a product. According to the survey, 85 percent of consumers could recall the branding of at least one promotional product, with some prompting; 76 percent remembered the message; and 71 percent remembered a call to action associated with the product.
Resonance: The survey results suggest that consumers feel engaged with promotional products on a personal level: 71 percent described their emotional connection to promotional products as “happy.”
Reaction: A positive response to advertising is more likely to generate the desired reaction, and 79 percent (87 percent of millennials) reported being curious enough to take further action after receiving a promotional product.
Relativity: Consumers across all age groups said they preferred visually appealing advertising with a clear message, and that promotional products were the most effective medium.
For more information, visit www.GetInTouchAdvertising.com

Sauces for the Win: Why They’re A Hit At A Party

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s that time of year again–the time when families and friends come together to celebrate with food and open arms. That’s right, it’s almost playoff season, with football, basketball, and hockey playoffs all just around the corner.
With these highly anticipated games come the equally anticipated snacks–from chips and dip to wings and hot sauce. In fact, a lot can be said from people’s usage of dips and sauces, and that usage has increased over the past year.
According to a survey by the Association for Dressings & Sauces, the reasons for using dips and sauces more often include: making more or new foods that need them, using them on more foods or as a healthy option with healthy foods, and cooking or eating at home more. So satisfy your craving for the perfect mid-game snack and bring them to parties in new and creative ways.
Here are a couple of tips that will help you pick the perfect recipe for your friends:
* Survey results show that Asian sauces, horseradish, hot and Mexican sauces are more popular than they were last year, with hot sauce and mustard being used several times a week by the majority of respondents. So go exotic and use bold flavors in your dishes!
* Geography also has something to say about what you should bring to a gathering. People in the Northeast reported a greater affinity for horseradish. Folks in the Midwest loves barbecue sauces. Asian sauces and hummus are more popular in the West and the South is all about hot sauce.
These tips should get your creative juices flowing so you can bring a tasty and unique contribution to whatever playoff party you’re attending. Should you need a little recipe inspiration, however, check out some dishes at www.dressings-sauces.org/recipes.

This Easy Tire Tread Test Only Costs A Penny

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Tires may not be the first thing you notice when you look at a car, but they may be the most important safety and performance element of any vehicle. When you think about it, they are the only part of your car that connects you to the road.
While brakes stop your wheels, it’s your tires that stop the car — and that’s why maintaining them is absolutely critical. Luckily, one of the most important tire checks won’t cost you more than a penny!
Once a month, or before heading on a long road trip, check your tires for wear and damage using “the penny test.” Just grab a penny and select a point on your tire where tread appears the lowest. Then, holding Lincoln’s body between your thumb and your forefinger, place Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves. If any part of Abe Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the legal and safe amount of tread.
However, if all of Lincoln’s head is visible, it’s a sign that it is time to get new tires.
“Traction and tread are inextricably linked. The grooves in your tire are critical in helping to channel water away to allow the tire to grip the road,” says Sarah Robinson, Michelin safety expert. “Making sure you’re driving on tires with proper tread can be the difference between avoiding an accident, and becoming part of it.”
If it’s time to get new tires, consider these two factors first and foremost:
1. Safety: Most tires perform well in everyday situations, but difficult conditions will reveal their differences. Choose tires that can perform well in the worst types of weather or roads you encounter. For example, if you live in a region with regular heavy snowfall and cold winters, consider winter tires for part of the year. The difference can be huge.
2. Value: It’s important to remember that not all tires are created equal. Tires may seem like an additional expense on top of general car maintenance, but investing in quality tires known for long-lasting performance–such as the Michelin Defender with its 80,000 mile warranty–will save you money over time as your tires won’t need to be replaced as quickly.
For more information, visit www.MichelinMan.com

Celebra una fiesta de Posadas inolvidable para tu familia y amigos

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Cuando los jóvenes de la casa empiezan a pasar más tiempo con sus amigos o se mudan por primera vez, la celebración de las Posadas puede ser la ocasión perfecta para reunirlos a todos cada año y pasar un tiempo en familia. Desde JCPenney te contamos cómo preparar un festejo emocionante y memorable que mantenga viva la tradición. Si tienes previsto invitar a tus seres queridos a un delicioso banquete o salir a cantar villancicos en las calles o bien, jugar a la tradicional piñata de las Posadas, en JCPenney tenemos todos los artículos que necesitas para celebrar esta fiesta de manera fácil y asequible.
Obsequios para toda la temporada
Con tanta música, dulces y obsequios, sin duda, los niños son el centro de las Posadas. No obstante, hacer obsequios durante las fiestas puede ser costoso. Opta por opciones asequibles que llenen de alegría los nueve días de celebración, como por ejemplo, los anteojos de visión nocturna de Discovery Kids o las cartas Wembley Jumbo. Dale más emoción a la tradicional piñata repleta de dulces y añade sets de figuras de la colección de La Bella y la Bestia o de Cars, de Disney; los mas pequeños se sorprenderán al reventar la piñata y encontrar sus personajes favoritos.
Moda de temporada para la familia
Peregrinar por las calles durante Posadas es algo distintivo de esta fiesta, pero el frío de las bajas temperaturas puede ser insoportable. Elige texturas cálidas y abrigadas para pasar la noche, como las bufandas Mixit Gold Knit Chunky Infinity o los abrigos mullidos Xersion. Para los chicos, opta por un chaleco acolchado St. John’s Bay con una bufanda a rayas JF J. FERRAR y dale un toque casual a tu estilo mientras cantas Pedir Posadas en la noche.
Platos festivos para su cena de Posadas
Después de una noche al aire libre, es hora de volver a casa para una merecida cena familiar, elegantemente servida con arreglos de mesa en metales y elementos naturales, como madera y mármol. Entra en calor con una taza de atole o un tazón caliente de pozole servido en vajilla Gourmet Basics de Mikasa Delancy Dinnerware — y deja que la cerámica blanca y sus ribetes metálicos le den a la comida un aspecto tan delicioso como su sabor. Ningún banquete de Posadas está completo sin una montaña de deliciosos tamales de cerdo — colócalos en una fuente Thirstystone Urban Farm de madera de mango con asas de metal, fácil para servir y recargar.
Las fiestas de Posadas se aproximan, así que mantén viva esta tradición y prepara una celebración alegre y animada que quede en el recuerdo de tus familiares y amigos. Para más información sobre los productos mencionados, visite www.jcpenney.com.

5 Tips for Perfect Wedding Photos

(NewsUSA) – Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion — something to be celebrated and cherished. Planning it, on the other hand, can feel as if you’re preparing for war — between ensuring that Uncle Sal isn’t sitting next to his brother, who owes him money, to budgeting for everything you want and need. The one thing you don’t want to skimp on is the memories.Which is why choosing your photographer is one of the biggest decisions you will make. To help ensure that you get the most romantic photos of your fairytale day, Professional Photographers of America, a 29,000-plus-member association, offers these suggestions:* Express yourself. What kind of photos do you like? Do they tend toward the journalistic or is your style more whimsical, classical, or romantic? Whatever your style, be clear with your photographer so that he or she can capture your personality.* Say yes to the dress. It starts and ends with this iconic garment. What will make you feel like the bride you’ve always dreamed of being? Is it a flowing sundress, a formal gown complete with train and veil? Or maybe your idea is more modern and it’s a strapless dress, in a color other than white. Whatever it is, dare to wear your dream dress.* Buy the shoes?or not. Carrie Bradshaw knows shoes. And you should too. Will you walk down the aisle in stilettos or kitten heels? Maybe cowboy boots are more your style? Can’t decide? Then leave the shoes at home, and feel free to walk barefoot.* Rejoice in style. Your wedding day isn’t just a ceremony, it’s a celebration that brings all your family and friends together (for better or worse), and pictures of this memorable party are a great way to inject your own sense of style. Be it a backyard BBQ, a tail gate at your favorite stadium, or a formal dinner, pictures of this event are a must-have.* Decide on your ride. Some people prefer to be whisked away by horse and carriage as if they were Cinderella herself. Others prefer luxury limos and cars as their modern equivalent. For the unique free-spirits of the world, maybe a motorcycle is more your thing. Either way, a great photo opp awaits as you leave your wedding.For more information, visit FindAPhotographer.com/weddings.