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. 

Napa Valley Holiday Traditions from Marc Mondavi and Family

(NewsUSA) – Holiday entertaining can be stressful. What to cook? Which wines pair well? But with a few tools and a bit of planning, you can breeze through the holiday season like an entertaining pro.Janice Mondavi knows this all too well. As a mother of four girls and a member of the iconic C. Mondavi wine family, Janice hosts her large, extended family throughout the holidays. She gets through the season by keeping some go-to recipes on hand and a few quick tips for the perfect wine pairing.Janice’s go-to’s include her favorite roast recipes and easy, no-nonsense wine pairings. She finds that roasts and steak recipes feed her large family without breaking the bank. Her favorite holiday recipe is the family’s "Steak Sliced Thin" New York Strip Steak recipe that was created by Rosa Mondavi, the wife of Cesare and the family matriarch who started the Mondavi wine legacy in the Napa Valley in 1943.When pairing wines, Janice says it’s all about pairing similar flavors together. For instance, Janice pairs sweet wines with spicy foods, simple fare with lighter wines, and bold flavors together. She also points out that rules are made to be broken, even with wine."Wine is simply a matter of personal preference and sometimes it’s fun to mix things up, especially during the holidays," she adds. Some people prefer to pair opposite flavors together, and will pair a dry, acidic wine with a rich creamy sauce.Janice loves a good cheat sheet for pairing wines and that’s why she and her team at CK Mondavi and Family wines came up with this handy wine-pairing sheet, "The CK Mondavi and Family Wine Pairing Made Simple," which can be downloaded here: www.ckmondavi.com/ckm-pairings.This Christmas, Janice will be making the Steak Sliced Thin Recipe for her family. "It is one of my husband Marc’s favorite dishes, is easy to make and everyone enjoys it," she says. Janice will pair this recipe with CK Mondavi and Family Cabernet Sauvignon or Scarlet Five (their red blend).Grandma Rosa’s Mondavi Steak Sliced Thin RecipeIngredients:- 1-2 lb New York strip sliced by your butcher to 1/2" or thinner- 6-8 Garlic Cloves- 1/4 cup CK Mondavi and Family Sauvignon Blanc- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil- Steak seasoning (The Mondavis prefer a simple seasoning of oregano, salt and pepper)Directions:Pound both sides of the steak slices until they are somewhat thin. Season each slice with oregano, salt and pepper (or your steak seasoning of choice). Set aside. Slice the cloves of garlic. Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a frying pan on very low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or so. Be sure not to burn the garlic slices. Add the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated. Turn up the heat to medium and begin to sauté the steak slices for about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare, a bit longer if you like your meat well done. Place on a serving platter and pour the excess sauce on top. Serve hot with any of your favorite side dishes.Meet the Mondavis: Click here to view video.

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.

Noodles to the Rescue: Make Dinner In a Snap

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – And now the nation’s opioid crisis is putting newborn babies at risk.
The use of prescription painkillers like OxyContin by women during pregnancy has resulted in what’s being called “an explosion” of infants as addicted to the drugs as their mothers. Newly published data in JAMA Pediatrics shows the number of cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has risen five-fold in the U.S. from 2000 to 2012 — that’s nearly 22,000 affected infants in that last year alone — and the reality behind those stats is heart-wrenching.
“The babies, they really suffer, just like adults do when they withdraw from narcotics,” Dr. Terrie Inder, chair of pediatric newborn medicine at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told CBS News. “The babies are very irritable and sometimes have high heart rates, sweating, flushing, diarrhea. They cry a lot.”
Heightening experts’ concern:
* The crucial early “bonding” between mother and child is disrupted, given the babies’ average hospital stay of 24 days.
* The mothers — often unaware of the potential collateral damage from the painkillers they’ve been taking — experience what Inder calls “anxiety and guilt.”
Back and neck discomfort is especially common during pregnancy since women’s postural changes can result in spine and pelvic pain. The open question is whether this latest development — combined with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s call last year for physicians to dramatically curtail prescribing opioids — will encourage more women to seek alternatives like drug-free chiropractic care.
“All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant,” the American Pregnancy Association says, lauding their expertise in “establishing pelvic balance and alignment.”
As the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress notes, visits to highly educated and trained doctors of chiropractic are covered by most insurance and health plans.
Learn more at F4CP.com/findadoctor.

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

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

Yes, Olivia, There Is a Santa, and He’s Calling You

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Think there’s almost a conspiracy out there to squelch your child’s belief in Santa Claus? Technology can help you fight back.
For years the big guy in red has had to contend with aggressive pushback from the PC crowd who apparently wish he’d just pack up his sleigh and stay home in the North Pole. Department stores were pressured to nix their Santa stand-ins. Schools changed their calendars to say “winter holidays” instead of Christmas. And let’s not even talk about the damage done to his image by Billy Bob Thornton’s “Bad Santa” movies.
Santa, being Santa, could keep right on ho-hoing when lesser immortals would’ve sicked their elves on them.
But you?
Clearly, just quoting pro-Santa experts like Professor Jacqueline Woolley, chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin, wasn’t going to cut it. “Believing in impossible beings such as Santa Claus may exercise children’s counterfactual reasoning skills,” she’s written. “The kind of thinking involved in imagining how nine reindeer could fly through the sky carrying a heavy sleigh may well be the same kind of thinking required for imagining a solution to global warming or a way to cure a disease.”
Which is where a website called www.PackageFromSanta.com comes in.
First started a decade ago as a pure labor of love by the husband-and-wife team of Dale and Carey Gruber operating out of their home in suburban Washington Township, Michigan, the business has grown to the point where it now includes a 21st-century app — downloadable at the iTunes and Android App Stores — that lets users worldwide personalize a phone call to their kids from none other than Santa himself.
As in, say, “So! Olivia, I couldn’t be prouder of you for being such a good girl! And I’ll see you soon.”
And completing the effect for tech-savvy kids: Both their own and Santa’s name and photo appear on their smartphone’s call screen (with the call shown as originating from the “North Pole Workshop”).
“The reason we continue to do this is that it often seems like there’s an effort to take the joy out of Christmas,” explains Dale Gruber, who’s also a graphic artist. “Whereas we think a child’s innocent belief in Santa is something worth fostering.”
You can watch a video here. But know the site offers three different packages at very affordable prices — all also include a letter from Santa and a personalized Santa video — and feature items like Christmas cocoa, “genuine reindeer food,” and a tin of Mrs. Claus’ Famous Sugar Cookies.
In fact, so popular has PackageFromSanta.com become that celebrity fans like Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, and reality TV star Kim Kolciak Biermann have taken to social media to sing its praises this Christmas season.
Think of it as Santa’s ultimate ho-ho.

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.

Family Has a Home: TV Network Has Something for Everyone

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – In a world that thrives on bad news and sensationalized storytelling, it can be difficult to find programming consisting of genuine and authentic shows about family.
Research suggests that 42 million adults are looking for programming with family in mind.
Enter UP TV, a network whose mantra is We Get Family, and is staying true to its brand by ushering in shows that bring adult viewers all the fun, dysfunction and love that defines the modern American family.
“With family as our framework, we are filling a void in the media landscape as the brand families trust most to bring them positive programming,” said Charley Humbard, president and chief executive officer, UP.
That is how UP is finding its niche with families — through its brand. From shows about a single mom to parents with sextuplets to a family with 19 kids, UP is all about relatable and entertaining storytelling.
“We believe family, whether through blood, friendship or community, provides us with the most emotional and memorable experiences in our lives. It’s a journey with highs and lows and everything in between.”
No doubt, with an endless array of choices, it can be difficult to find good, authentic, entertaining stories that viewers can feel great about watching. UP seems to have found its footing through original programming such as Growing Up McGhee, Bringing Up Bates, and Jo Frost: Nanny On Tour, as well as syndicated series such as Parenthood, Gilmore Girls and America’s Funniest Home Videos.
And for those who are looking specifically for family and faith-affirming content, UP has a subscription-on-demand offering, UP Faith & Family.
For more information, please visit www.UPtv.com.