tulips

Spring Activities

After an especially harsh winter, spring has finally arrived! To welcome this new season, there are a few activities you won’t want to miss:

1.) Visit a botanical garden or arboretum

tulipsSpring represents a time of new life and growth. So why not celebrate its arrival by visiting a botanical garden or arboretum in your area?  If you’re not sure where to go, check out this list of must-see gardens in the United States. You’ll love admiring the beautiful, breathtaking flowers. Visiting a botanical garden is the perfect way to mark the end of a long winter. Pack a picnic lunch, find a friend to go with you, and spend some quality time resting, relaxing, and soaking in the warm weather.

Tip: Bring spring to your workplace by buying tulips, daisies, or other flowers for your office. If you’re really inspired, you can even plant your own flower garden. For ideas on how to get started, consider subscribing to Birds & Blooms magazine.

2.) Try a new outdoor adventure

If you’ve been coped up all winter, spring provides a welcome opportunity to take advantage of beautiful, warm weather. It’s a wonderful time to resume your favorite outdoor activities, such as jogging or hiking. However, it’s also the perfect time to try something new. This spring, why not participate in a new activity you’ve never done before? Whether it’s sailing, horseback riding, rock climbing, or planting a garden, outdoor activities are a wonderful way to celebrate the weather.

Tip: Find an activity that your family can do together. Everyone will benefit from the exercise, sunlight, and shared memories.

3.) Go to a baseball game

baseballSpring wouldn’t be complete without a night out at the baseball park! Whether it’s a professional game or a grandchild’s game, nothing says “spring” like baseball. Gather some friends together and enjoy a night filled with sunflower seeds, hotdogs, and baseball!

Tip: Use Groupon or other deals sites to find reduced ticket prices. To keep up with your favorite professional sports team, subscribe to one of our sports magazines.

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Magazine Trivia

In 1731, the first modern magazine, The Gentleman’s Magazine, was published in England. Edward Cave, editor of the magazine, coined the term “magazine” from the Arabic word makhazin, which meant storehouse. The magazine contained essays, poems, stories, and political commentary, so it was indeed a storehouse of knowledge and information.

Benjamin Franklin planned to publish the first American magazine, General Magazine, in 1741. However, Andrew Bedford beat him to it by publishing The American Magazine three days earlier. The magazine, which lasted for only three months, covered the activities of colonial America. The first women’s magazine, The Lady’s Magazine, was published in 1770. The magazine featured embroidery patterns as well as literary stories and fashion advice.

sciIn 1845, publisher Rufus M. Porter created Scientific American, a weekly magazine highlighting new patents, inventions, and theories. When the magazine’s readership declined after World War II, three partners who were planning to start a new science magazine bought the assets for Scientific American and merged the two magazines together. As a result, Scientific American is now the oldest continually operating magazine in the United States.

National Geographic was published in 1899, and soon became famous for its awe-inspiring color photographs. Reader’s Digest was created in 1922, and is now loved for its cultural commentary and enriching stories. The first weekly news magazine, TIMEbegan in 1923. Today, it is one of the most timefamous and well-respected magazines in the United States. The first  magazine for adolescents, Seventeen, was founded in 1944. TV Guide, now famous for its listings of popular shows, began in 1953.

While magazines initially covered broad topics, they began focusing more on niche audiences as time went on. The invention of Rolling Stone in 1967 proved that special interest magazines could become incredibly successful. Today, magazines are read by millions of people around the globe. They continue to live up to their meaning by being wonderful storehouses of information.

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March Madness

Can you believe that March Madness is already underway? If you’re planning to throw a party to celebrate the occasion, here are a few ideas you might want to try:

1.) Invitations

Send out game brackets as party invitations. Ask guests to fill out the brackets prior to arriving at the party so you can compare them when everyone arrives. This fun icebreaker provides a great first activity while you’re waiting for the game to begin.

2.) Decorations & OutfitsMarchMadnessDecor

If all of your guests are cheering for the same team, you can decorate with jerseys and colors from that team. If everyone is rooting for a different team, consider decorating with generic basketball colors (orange and black.) You can also decorate with banners and basketball items found at a local craft store. Decorate miniature oranges (cuties) to look like basketballs by drawing seams on them with a permanent marker. If desired, you can put the basketball cuties in a glass vase alongside orange flowers. If you’re looking for more cute ideas like these, subscribe to Real Simple. The magazine is filled with numerous tips and shortcuts that help you simplify your life without sacrificing style and elegance.

If your guests are cheering for separate teams, encourage them to wear their team’s jerseys or colors. The differing jerseys will promote some fun rivalry among your guests as you watch the game together.

4.) Food/Snacks

basketball cakeCreate themed appetizers such as cheese “balls,” cheese ball snack mix, and miniature meatballs. Place the drinks you’re serving in a cooler to add to the basketball game feel. You can also create a basketball cake as both a conversation starting center piece and delicious dessert. To make the simple yet creative cake, prepare a chocolate cake mix according to package directions. Pour into a greased and floured 2-1/2-qt. ovenproof bowl. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from bowl to a wire rack to cool completely. In a small bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups vanilla frosting and orange food coloring. Place cake on a serving plate. Spread with frosting. Gently press a meat mallet into frosting so texture resembles a basketball. For seams, gently press pieces of black licorice into the frosting. (For more creative recipes like this one, subscribe to Taste of Home.)

5.) Games

Plan a few fun games for guests to enjoy during commercial breaks. For example, you could create a basketball trivia game with little known facts about previous coaches, players, and games. If you have a basketball goal, see who can score the most three-pointers in a minute. Of course, the main event will be watching the games, but it’s also fun to have some planned activities in case your guests want to do something else. After the party is over, keep up-to-date with March Madness by subscribing to ESPN magazine (check out our special deals–they end 3/23!)

With these simple yet creative ideas, you’ll be well on your way to hosting a fun and memorable March Madness party.

cherry blossom

Celebrate the First Day of Spring

cherry blossomDid you know that March 20 is the first day of spring? Although the Polar Vortex may have kept many of us inside all winter long, warm weather is just around the corner. Why not consider celebrating the arrival of spring with some of these activities?

1.) Gardening

Few things say “spring” like planting flowers and vegetables in warm, freshly tilled soil. With the worst of winter behind us, it’s time to start thinking about planting a garden! If you’ve never planted a garden before, this spring is the perfect time to start. Subscribe to Fine Gardening in order to get helpful tips and information about tending to your garden. The magazine is filled with detailed instructions, colorful photos, and informative articles about techniques, landscaping projects, garden design, and more. You might also enjoy a subscription to Country Gardens magazine. The magazine gives information on flower, vegetable, and herb gardens. It’s also filled with planting diagrams, design ideas, and color photos. Planting a garden guarantees that you can enjoy fresh, healthy, delicious vegetables all summer long. Consider subscribing to Vegetarian Times so that you will receive delicious and nutritious recipe options for your fresh produce.

2.) Traveling

Spring is the perfect time to travel to a new location, because the weather is gorgeous and the scenery is breathtaking. If there’s a tulip festival or cherry blossom festival near you, why not visit it over a weekend? If there’s a charming, old-fashioned town you’ve been wanting to visit, pick a weekend and explore it. Whether you go on a week-long spring break trip, a weekend trip, or a day trip, make it a priority to travel to a new place. If you need ideas on places to visit, pick up a copy of Travel + Leisure or one of our other travel magazines. They’ll give you plenty of great ideas about the best spots for a spring getaway.

3.) Enjoying the Outdoors

Why not celebrate the beautiful, warm spring weather with a host of outdoor activities? If you’ve been cooped up inside all winter, a hike and picnic is the perfect way to enjoy the warmer weather. Horseback riding, golfing, and flying a kite are also great activities. Don’t forget to wade in a creek, feed ducks, draw on the sidewalk with chalk, or visit the zoo as well! There are countless activities you can partake in, either with your loved ones or by yourself. Regardless of what you do, make it a priority to get outside and enjoy the weather.

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St. Patrick’s Day Ideas

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, which means it’s time to think about festive recipes, decorations, and crafts for the special day. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

1.) Recipesrainbow-cupcakes

Let your inner leprechaun out by creating some of these fun recipes. If you’re looking for a festive recipe to make with your kids, consider Rainbow Cupcakes. First, make a white cake mix according to package instructions. Then divide the cake batter between five bowls. Put a different color of food coloring into each bowl of batter. Spoon some of each colored batter into cupcake tins. Bake according to package directions. After the cupcakes have finished baking, they will look like the colors of the rainbow. Frost them with blue frosting. Pipe white frosting on top for clouds. Decorate them with Airhead Extremes Sour Belts for rainbows and Rolos for gold coins. Kids will love these colorful and creative cupcakes! If you want more fun recipes to make with your kids, subscribe to Yum for Kids. For a classic corned beef and cabbage dinner, combine 4 cups of water and 1 corned beef brisket with spice packet (most grocery stores carry the brisket around St. Patrick’s Day) in a pressure cooker. Close cover tightly. Turn regulator knob to pressure and select high pressure. Cook for 45 minutes. Next, cut a head of cabbage into 8 wedges. Combine the cabbage with 2 chopped red potatoes and 1 can of chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 4 chopped carrots and 1 chopped onion. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender; drain. Release pressure cooker according to manual instructions. Remove beef to a serving platter. Discard cooking liquid. Serve beef with cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onion. This recipe serves around 4-6. You can find more classic, traditional recipes like this one from Taste of Home.

 

2.) Decorationsst. patrick's day jars

Trying to add some Irish flare to your home? For an easy-to-make decoration sure to add extra St. Patrick’s day charm to your household, use puffy paint to draw shamrocks and write sayings on Mason jars. Next, spray paint the jars green. Fill them with flowers or other decorations. You can also spray paint wooden blocks and stencil Irish sayings onto them. If you’re hosting a party at your house, consider making a green yarn wreath to stick on the front door. You could also hang a horseshoe on the door. For more simple ideas like this one, consider a subscription to Real Simple. The magazine is filled with easy decorating, craft, and recipe ideas designed to simplify life for today’s busy women.

 

3.) Craftsst. patrick's crafts

If you have young children, make finger paint rainbows with them! To complete the craft, you will need white and black construction paper, rainbow paints, glue, scissors, and gold glitter glue. Start by cutting a black “pot of gold” out of the black construction paper. Glue it onto the bottom corner of a piece of white construction paper. Then, have your child dip their pointer finger into one of the paints. Starting at the pot, make an arch across the rest of the page. Continue making arches with different colors, wiping off their finger before switching to a new color. After you’ve finished the rainbow, use the gold glitter glue to decorate the “pot of gold.” For a fun craft to give their teachers or friends, put a layer of gold-foil wrapped chocolate coins on the bottom of a Mason jar. Top the coins with a row of blue skittles, then a row of green skittles, then a row of yellow skittles, then a row of orange skittles, then a row of red skittles. Put some miniature marshmallows on top for clouds. Tie a gold ribbon around the lid. This is a cute, creative, and simple craft idea! For more details like this one, subscribe to Decorating Digest Craft & Home Projects.

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Magazines for National Nutrition Month

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?garden

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the day was created to remind people of the importance of “making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.” This year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” The goal is to combine taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that individuals will enjoy. “It is important that we find the balance between choosing the foods we like with those that provide the nutrients we need,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Dr. Glenna McCollum. “This year’s ‘Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right’ theme reinforces that the two choices are not mutually exclusive.”

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.) Strive for Balance

Rather than trying to go cold turkey on day one, aim for proper balance. Instead of completely cutting out all sugary sodas and desserts, begin by reducing the amount that you consume. Instead of swearing off pizza forever, start by serving pizza with a healthy vegetable salad and fruit. Remember that it’s okay to enjoy portions of your favorite foods in moderation, as long as you’re also eating proper amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (The Academy recommends making sure that half of each meal consists of fruits and vegetables.) Try to reduce the amount of calories you eat each day by cooking with reduced fat ingredients. Remember that healthy habits are achieved over time, not in the course of a day.

How we can help: We sell subscriptions to Cooking Light, a magazine with reduced-fat and low-fat recipes. It’s a great asset for anyone wanting to enjoy healthy renditions of their favorite foods.

2.) Prepare Your Own Food

Bringing lunch to work or cooking dinner at home is often much healthier than dining out. Try a new fruit or vegetable each week so that you can find healthy new foods that you enjoy eating. You can also consider preparing old favorites in new ways. For example, rather than making French fries, you can roast potatoes. Rather than boiling vegetables, you can saute them. Experiment so that you can find new ways to make old foods.

How We Can Help: We sell subscriptions to several magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Eating Well, which are packed with healthy and delicious recipe options. If you’re dedicated to eating better but aren’t sure what to cook for each meal, these magazines will be perfect for you.

 3.) Exercise Regularly

In order to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle, eating properly and exercising regularly must go hand-in-hand. Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “When it comes to physical activity, some is better than none, and more is better.” If you don’t currently exercise, then any increase in physical activity will be beneficial for you. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to work out for 30 consecutive minutes. You can also exercise for shorter intervals throughout the day. The most important thing is just to make sure that you are beginning a lifestyle of regular exercise.

How we can help: We sell subscriptions to several health magazines that give important information and helpful tips about exercise and workouts. Women would enjoy a subscription to Health, a women’s fitness magazine that features informative articles on how to stay fit and feel great. Men would benefit from a subscription to Men’s Fitness, a magazine filled with workout routines and suggestions for healthy food.